A Body Gathered

My favorite thing about Sundays is getting to gather with fellow believers to celebrate Jesus. However, this wasn’t always the case.

I went through a period recently where this gathering produced some tough emotions and it was such a struggle for me. Frankly I found myself not wanting to attend, and dealing with panic attacks and extreme anxiety walking in the doors of a church. (Spoiler alert: anxiety has become a thorn in my side. I’d like to share more of that story another day).

When I was there, I couldn’t sing.

It was no mistake that we found ourselves sitting under teaching from Scripture discussing the church (and not sugar coating the good, bad, and ugly). It was no mistake we were singing songs reminding us of God’s faithfulness and goodness. I’m grateful for the role that Brainerd Baptist, Micah Fries, and the rest of their Pastoral team played in my story. They love Jesus, they love His Word, and they love people.

One of the new songs I heard during this time was one from Austin Stone Worship called “Jesus is Better.” Here are a couple of lines from the lyrics:

In all my sorrows, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
In all my victories, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
Than any comfort, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
More than all riches, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
Our souls declaring, Jesus is better – make my heart believe
Our song eternal, Jesus is better – make my heart believe

This was my prayer: Jesus you are better, make my heart believe.

And. He. Did.

Not even going to lie: this time wasn’t easy. It wasn’t pretty. But it also wasn’t meaningless. God allowed this season, this suffering for a purpose. He was using it to produce something in us, in me.

Brandi is the bestest person in the whole entire world. She carried an immense load for our family. There’s no doubt that she is God’s good gift to our family, and to me.

This morning I find myself anxious again: but it’s an anxious excitement to have the chance to gather again with the church. We’ll celebrate Jesus together, and then the church will scatter until we are able to gather again.

Maybe it’s your story that church doesn’t bring this level of excitement for you. Maybe for you it brings dread, or anxiety, or maybe it doesn’t produce any emotions at all.

There’s grace in abundance for that.

Because of that grace, today you’ll find me gathering with my family (most of which I don’t share any blood relation) to worship.

My song eternal: Jesus is Better,


Here’s the entirety of the song in case you want to listen:

I quit my job today


I think I’ve gone off the deep end. I turned in my resignation notice today for the best job I’ve ever had. I have been working part-time (and later full-time) for Apple since we’ve moved into the city. Working for Apple has been an amazing experience for my family. The benefits have been the best we’ve ever had, the pay has been more than fair, and the culture of the company is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.

But I quit.

Why? Because my family and I moved into the city to plant a church, to see the city of Atlanta saturated with the Gospel and my job with Apple has turned into a roadblock for that to happen effectively. This is not a decision that came lightly for us, Brandi and I recognize the hurdles ahead. The decision didn’t come without plenty of worries (that are still present). Things like insurance, finances, food, my kids weigh heavily on me; but at the end of the day what I want to leave my kids with is an example of following Jesus no matter how crazy it may seem. Is this a safe decision? Not really. But I’m convinced that when we get to Heaven we will never be asked how many times we went the safe route.

There’s a really awesome video of Francis Chan that talks some about this idea of safety and risk. Do me a favor and take four minutes of your day to watch:

Where to from here?

We need your help. Primarily we need you to pray for our family specifically. Pray for clarity and discernment to seek out the right direction for our lives. Second, our church plant is actively seeking out additional partners (both churches and individuals) to come alongside of us in our mission to saturate the city with the Gospel. We would love to have the opportunity to come to your church/small group/mission team meeting to discuss the vision God has given us in this work. If you would like to set something up simply shoot us an email at Info@TapestryATL.com. To find out more about our church plant you can check out our website: TapestryATL.com. The fact is that without partners supporting the work we cannot make it. Would you consider donating to Tapestry? Would you consider partnering with us in this work? I am also looking for part time work that I can do on the side so if you know of someone looking for someone that can dabble in website creation, lawn maintenance, technology support, cow milking, kid watching or anything in between let me know.

Much love to you guys,
Kris and Brandi

Simple Service. Everyday Missionaries

IMG_8228Yesterday since the majority of our students were out of school for MLK day we decided to do some sort of service activity. We didn’t do anything really complicated- it was rather simple actually. We took them to our house and made a lot of homemade sugar cookies, bagged them up, and took them around to my neighborhood.

I think that we tend to have the mindset that “serving” means going downtown Atlanta feeding the homeless, or doing something for widows or orphans, but that is not the case. To be clear- it is important, necessary even, to care for the widows, poor, and orphaned but that is not the only groups that we should serve and love on. Serving can become like a mission trip if we are not careful- something we schedule and leave our homes to do, and then return to our comfort zones.

Serving should be something we do right in our backyard. At Crossroads we say that we want to develop fully devoted followers of Jesus, not living for themselves, but as everyday missionaries. That can look like many things- but it doesn’t have to be super complicated. It can be something really simple- like taking sugar cookies to your neighbors. I want my kids, and my students to realize that they should be considering themselves missionaries every day, in every place they find themselves.

So what about you- how can you be a missionary today?

The Deeper Yes

The Crossroads staff has been going through some discipleship material and spending time talking about the topic of living a life of priority instead of pressure. This is a topic that really resonates with me as I see that so many of people today live by the pressure of society and not by setting priorities. In the reading there was a section that I thought was so great I wanted to share with you:

“I once heard a famous life management guru say, ‘It is easy to say no when there is a deeper yes burning within.’

I believe this statement is the very reason why so few Christians live as mature and multiplying disciples. A lot of Christians have the wrong “yes” burning within.

When I stay up late to watch television and cannot wake up early enough to have a quiet time with God, I have the wrong yes. When my schedule is so full of activities that I don’t have time for my lost neighbor, I’ve got the wrong yes. When I am so busy at work that I cannot serve in my local church, I’m saying yes to the wrong things. When I don’t make time to invest in a handful of disciples, I have the wrong yes. If I’m so in debt I cannot tithe, I have the wrong yes.

Jesus was able to manage His life for eternity because He has the right “yes” burning within.

I love it.

I want to live my life based on priorities that will matter for eternity, and not by the pressures of life…

There is definitely more of this line of thinking coming as I flesh out in my mind what this looks like in my life.

Your thoughts?

What is the deeper yes that is burning within you?

Who is God?

Who is God BackgroundWho is God?

Could there be a shorter question with deeper implications?

But that’s the question I want to present to you- Who is God? Our student ministry is going to start a new series this Wednesday focusing on the attributes of God- and what those attributes mean- but I wanted to ask you the question first.

If you had to summarize your thoughts on God in one word what would it be?

How would you describe God?

Who is He?

Leave a comment here, or on Facebook. I am going to collect all of the descriptions together and use them in something coming up.

A Glorious Failure

Success-FailureI hate to fail.

Hands down hate it.

No really, I don’t know that you understand. I absolutely hate to fail. I have come to stress over failure. It gives me anxiety to think about failing.

It’s something I have been learning about myself with my career change. God has shown me lots of areas where I am not doing as good as I should. I have learned all sorts of things about my personality, my character traits, and my shortcomings. I have learned that I am an extremely prideful person. That is reflected in my fear of failure.

It’s sort of weird really. If something goes well I have no problem directing all the glory to God, but the reverse is not always true. In my mind if I fail in planning an event, lesson, ministry, etc- I feel like it is a reflection on me and that I am a failure. I know it’s illogical at best, but it’s how Kris is. I’ve come to realize that this attitude is nothing but pride. Truly it’s as Jeremiah 17 says, “The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable — who can understand it?”

It’s something God has been working on me on, to realize that it’s not about me — whether I succeed or fail. I had a chance to stretch a little in that aspect last night.

Because I failed.


But it was glorious!

I took a group of students to Winter Jam (a concert featuring 10 or so Christian artists at Phillips Arena) last night. We left from Monroe at 2:30 to get downtown. We knew it would be crowded, and we were worried about gaining access to the event, and the weather. When we got down there the rain was just starting, and the line was wrapped completely around the building. In spite of all that we felt good about our chances. We found a back door and weren’t too far from the entrance…and were able to stay mostly dry. The line started moving relatively quickly until we got 20 feet from the door. Then it stopped…after a while we were told they were doing a count and were possibly at capacity.

Then it really started raining. Hard.

Thankfully, we were under an overhang and stayed dry. After 30 minutes or so we were told they were at capacity and wouldn’t be letting anymore people in the building. So now I have 25 students who I had promised a great time at this concert who weren’t going to see or hear any of the concert. They had been standing in line for 3 hours, they were cold, they were wet, they were hungry, and they needed to go the bathroom.

And I had failed them.

Do you know one thing they were not? Grumpy.

They had an amazing attitude about it. We decided to hit up the CNN Center for food and head back towards Monroe. We had a great time of fellowship, and truly enjoyed being together. They’re amazing. I can’t believe that I get the opportunity to lead, shepherd, and guide them. They’ll never know what a blessing they are to my life, and the life of my family. I genuinely love those kids.

So I failed.

But it was glorious.

We laughed, we loved, we grew together more. It was great. I don’t know that we had more fun than what we would have had we made it in the doors, but we had a great time.

Forge Students.

They’re my favorites.

I Love them.

Kris signature


A Chance to Help…


Christmas time is a joyful and festive time of year. There is lots of food, promises of plenty of unneeded gifts, and just a general sense of happiness. At least that’s the case for many of us.

But not all.

In fact there are lots of people who aren’t joyful this time of year. They don’t have anything to be joyful about. There’s no hope for anything for Christmas, in fact, there’s huge amounts of stress about whether or not there will be any food for Christmas. This is the case even in our own communities, in our own neighborhoods even. Continue reading “A Chance to Help…”

A Chance to Help Someone in Need

Maybe you saw my post the other day about perspective this Christmas season. So many times we tend to be worried about ourselves, what we think we need, what we want, and the list goes on and on. In an email with one of the ladies who works at Monroe High School she mentioned that there are 15 students who are classified as homeless.

15 Students.


That’s heartbreaking.

Many people asked how they could help out- and here is a place to start. I am meeting Monday with the lady to find out more information about how we can help, we meaning all of us, but specifically Crossroads since that’s where I am called to lead. So here are some ways you can help- you can get a couple of these needed items:

Hygiene products: Full size men and ladies deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, body wash/soap, and feminine products. (Full size products)

Gift Cards: Gift cards in small amounts to Wal-Mart, Chick-fil-A, McDonalds, Goodys, etc. would be great for these students.

Food Items: Items to make a Christmas food basket would be great. It would need to be stuff that does not need refridgeration to facilitate getting it to the students.

You can bring any of these items to me at church tomorrow, or to the church office (HD Atha Road just off of Youth Monroe Road) Monday before lunch. I am meeting with the lady to find out more information and I’d love to be able to take her some of these items for the students.

It’s not much, and I realize it, but it’s a start.

And it’s showing others that we care.

Now that just seems like something Jesus would do…

An Election Day Disappointment

Here we are, November 7th, 2012. America has voted, and chosen to reelect as our President Barack Obama.

That’s certainly not what I was hoping for, but that is not what is so disappointing to me.

I have been more disappointed in the things I have read on Facebook and Twitter from my Christian brothers and sisters. Things like “America is doomed, Don’t forget to fill up your gas tanks tonight” and similar things have been all over the place. I’ve seen people changing their profile pictures on Facebook to that of an upside down American flag.

That’s disappointing.

It certainly seems as though many had placed their hope in a Romney Presidency, many who would claim to be a Christ follower. I think many got it all wrong. They placed their hope in a man winning an election- and now their hopes are dashed and they have a defeatist attitude. That’s sad. And it’s disappointing. Especially when you consider the word of the Bible in regards to our actions when it comes to our leaders.

I think there are two main things we should be about in coming days:

1) Honor our President and Leaders.

I posted two passages from Romans 13 and 1 Timothy 2 in yesterday’s post– and they are still true today. We are to submit to our governing authorities, we are to pray, intercede, and to thank God for our leaders. We can have this attitude even when we disagree with our leaders because we recognize that it is God who has appointed the leaders. It is God who is the ultimate authority and who is in control. When we are raging against the election of President Obama we are raging against the person God has appointed to be our leader.

We should honor President Obama. Using coarse, derogatory, slanderous language towards him certainly does not honor our President, or God. Also- think of the example you are presenting to those watching when you do such things. We should all use respectful words to mention our President- and we should be in prayer that he would lead our nation well. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with his every policy- but let’s be a little more mature about about our responses.

2) Love our neighbors.

This has been an incredibly contentious election cycle. The rhetoric, and vitriol has been off the charts.

Those left leaning people that you’ve accused of not only wanting government handouts and welfare? They’re your neighbor.

Those people you’ve called fool, idiot, lazy, and worse? They’re your neighbor.

They’re not just your neighbor- but Jesus died for them. Jesus loves them no more or less than He loves you. So let’s stop acting like we are better than anyone who thinks differently than us on political issues. Let’s just love them. Let’s take the time to reach out to them and learn their name. Let’s learn their story, their background, their family- and let’s point them to Jesus.

Let’s love them so deeply, so intensely, that they have no option but to become your friend. And I think that when you get past your perceived differences you’ll find out they are not so different after all. They have the same fears, the same questions, the same hopes about our future.

After all, doesn’t that seem a little more like something Jesus would really do? Let’s keep an eternal perspective when we’re viewing such things as our political process and not get too hung up on the things that do not matter in terms of eternity.

Question: What, if anything, disappointed you about the election?


An Election Day Pot Stirring

It’s Election Day.

Not that you needed me to tell you that, because unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several months you’ve been inundated by the relentless political ads, debates, conversations, even fights- and that’s just on Facebook amongst your friends.

I’ll admit to not being in touch with all things political, but I can’t remember an election cycle that has been this ugly. The attacks between the candidates, the attacks between their supporters, the angry rhetoric and vitriole from their “fans,” it has been complete and utter madness. Continue reading “An Election Day Pot Stirring”