Say, I do

This past weekend we focused on the covenant of Abraham and celebrated how this “everlasting” deal has been given to us as well. At the end of the message I illustrated this covenant arrangement through the New Testament metaphor of the Groom (Jesus) and the Bride (His church) and the vows they take. While this is no where near exhaustive, I used some of the promises of Scripture to describe the commitment God has already made to us and the “I do” He has already uttered.

Several have reached out and asked for a copy of those “vows” and I am happy to oblige. Remember, I have reworded the passages to the form of a marital vow, but I include the Scripture reference so you can see them as they actually exist in Scripture.

Many blessings my friends, and never forget that the Lord has asked for your hand and He has already said, “I do.”

Do you Lord…

… promise to supply every need according to Your riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

Will You know the plans for us, plans for our welfare and not for evil, to give us a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

If we confess our sins, will You be faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Will You give us reason to fear not, because You are with us; to strengthen us, help us, uphold us with Your righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Oh LORD, will You fight for us; even as we are still. (Exodus 14:14)

Do You promise to go before us and to be with us; to never leave us nor forsake us. To keep us from fear; to save us from discouragement. (Deuteronomy 31:8)

Oh LORD will You be a refuge for us when oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9)

Oh Father, out of Your glorious riches may You strengthen us with power through Your Spirit in our inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. Helping to root and establish us in love, 18 having power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 knowing this love that surpasses knowledge—that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of You. (Ephesians 3:16-19)

If you’d like to see this read from the message itself use the link below, it starts at 44:14.

From the series TEN, week 6

In other words…

How are your daily devotionals going? Are you spending time with God reading His word and praying each day. If not, you are missing out!

My hope for you is that you would use the daily readings that we provide at CrossPoint as a simple way to stay on track, focused and renewed in your faith.

A simple way to interact with scripture each day is to practice rewriting. Just like there are hundreds of versions of scripture that have each been translated for different needs and reasons, I think a great spiritual exercise is to create your own translation from time to time.

It’s a simple way of processing God’s word by reading it, praying/thinking through it, then re-writing it in your own terms… we’re not creating a new Bible… just expressing it the way you are reading and understanding it in the moment…

Sometimes a rewrite points out things and gives insight that you didn’t recognize in just a glance or reading. It causes you to think through the vocabulary, and truly process what we’re being told.

That was part of my devotional today. 

Let me share with you! I was spending time in the familiar passage of the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew six. I wrote two columns in my journal: one to write out the Lord’s Prayer and then one to rewrite it in my own words.

Here is what I enjoyed this morning:

Matthew 6:9–13 (in the English Standard Version):
9 “Our Father in heaven, 
hallowed be your name. 
10 Your kingdom come, 
your will be done, 
on earth as it is in heaven. 
11 Give us this day our daily bread, 
12 and forgive us our debts, 
as we also have forgiven our debtors. 
13 And lead us not into temptation, 
but deliver us from evil.” 

Now, Matthew 6:9–13 (in the Andy Unstandard Version):
“Loving God above, great are You and great is Your name.

May Your rule and reign extend. May Your desires and plans prevail. And, may the earth become more like heaven because of You.

We trust You for all that we need.

We confess our wrongness and rejoice in Your mercy. May it transform us, causing us to be merciful to others in kind.

Protect our path today and shelter us from our own weaknesses. Rescue us from the evil in this world.”

It’s just that simple. 

Take some time today to get in God’s word. Download the CrossPoint app (link here) for a daily reading list if you don’t know where to begin and maybe start a journal with this practice as one of your first entries. 

Write out God’s word, thinking and praying through it, then rewrite it in your own words. 

And (just as a bonus of course), maybe even live it out in the day that follows.

Many blessings my friend!

More of Him, less of me – Pastor Andy Addis 

Stay Sharp

Thank you to all who took the opportunity to be a part of the Global Leadership Summit. It has become a regular part of our offerings for personal, spiritual and leadership development, and as always there were some fantastic challenges and thoughts:

  • “Your faith doesn’t make life easier… your faith makes you stronger” – Erwin McManus
  • “Never trust success blindly, but treat it with the same skepticism as you do failure.” – Rasmus Arkensen
  • “All leaders see more than others see, and they see it before others see it.” – John Maxwell
  • “Don’t call them fails, call them ‘learns.’” – Carla Harris
  • “Your ability to deliver on big vision is only as good as your ability to deliver consistently on the day to day details.” – Bishop TD Jakes
  • “You do not have to be in charge in order to lead. You have influence!” – Craig Groeschel

Those were just a few of the highlights as I stroll through my journal notes from the last couple of days.

I know that many of you did not have the opportunity to be a part of this experience. Sometimes there are not enough hours in the day! I understand.

But, let me encourage you always to make time to improve yourself. Not only for your sake, but for your other CrossPoint team members, and the congregation you serve at the behest of the King.

There is a law of diminishing returns that happens in ministry far too often. We work hard and fall short of our goals, so we work harder and gain a little more ground. The problem is we are now working twice as hard for only half the results.

Then, out of frustration, we make plans to work harder and harder and beat ourselves down more and more. 

This is not God’s plan.

Am I talking about the Sabbath? A little.

Am I talking about getting rest and learning to say no? Some.

More importantly, I want to remind you how important it is to sharpen your ax.

Ecclesiastes 10:10 says, “If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed.”

There is only one person that can make you take the opportunities in front of you, and that’s you! 

Whether it’s conferences, podcasts, books, or one on one conversations, you cannot always pour out; you have to be able to receive.

When you receive, you evaluate.

When you evaluate, you dream.

When you dream, you change.

When you change, you are a leader.

Many blessings my friends. As we work on this incredible task together called CrossPoint, I want to remind you that we are privileged to be called by God for this hour. And, I am doubly blessed that He has given me the opportunity to walk toward the cross, everyday, hand in hand with you.

A Note From The Doorman

I don’t know that I was planning on writing to you today, but I am inspired!

Not in a good way.

Here I am at this coffee shop enjoying another day’s worth of Kansas weather suffering from an identity disorder: Should be 85 degrees or so this afternoon, get ready for snow Saturday night, but right now, just enjoy the wind.

As I sit here in the corner all nestled in for a good study session, another customer left the store and without looking back failed to notice that the door they used blew wide open and stayed open. In fact, if you listened carefully, you could hear the small whimpers of brackets and hydraulic arms being pushed too far in a direction they were never intended to swing.

It only took a few seconds to recognize this door would stay propped open by the wind until… Mayish? Maybe June?

That’s when my eyes flittered about the room filled with other customers.

  • I saw a dissatisfied glance leading to a frown fueled by an unwanted breeze. Or, in all honesty, by a gale force wind.
  • I saw another customer never break eye contact with her book, but reached up to zip her jacket a little higher.
  • There were a couple of others, locked in position and unmoved like a still painting reflecting a tableau of modern life I’d like to call “Hipsters in Repose.”

Though I was not the closest, I got up and walked across the room to grab the handle and close the door.

As I walked back across the room, I enjoyed the many thanks of those who were now escaping the harshness of our semi-rural, micropolitan environment.

Er, I mean no one said anything (or even glanced my way).

Ok, no one get offended thinking I was offended because I thought it was offensive that I had to do that.

Calm down.

That’s not my point at all. Closing the door on a windy day is no great sacrifice

Maybe that’s my point.

Why don’t we get up to close the door when we see it’s stuck wide open?

I mean, when we know something needs to be done, why don’t we just do it!

I made a statement at CrossPoint this past weekend that “You don’t need counseling, you just need to start doing what God’s word has already told you to do.”

In other words, close the door!

This is no argument against counseling. There are all kinds of moments and circumstances significantly advanced through Christian counsel. Lot’s of healing can be found in counseling and therapy.

But, what if your problem wasn’t others, circumstances, or something super deep-seated? What if you just need to get up and close the door?
You don’t need a circular saw to cut a piece of paper… the answer is easier than that.

For instance, we taught that the instructions of Ephesians 4:25-32 advise us in several ‘closings of the door’:

Honesty is the only policy. Maybe we should just start telling the truth?

There’s a right way to be angry. Could it be that it’s time to deal with the hurt

Do something for someone else. How about we look around and do something for someone else, just because?

Use your words for good and not evil. Perhaps we think about filtering those comments before hitting ‘post’?

Your attitude sets the scene. Don’t get me started, just change the attitude.

Let’s trying this, a test if you will. When we know what God’s word instructs, let’s do that. Start what we should, stop what we need to, take what you already know and use common sense.

Well, I feel better. Thanks for letting me vent. I had a couple more thoughts, but this is getting a little long, and the door is open again.

“No, no everyone. I got it.”


If I could use one word to describe most people I see today, it’s overwhelmed. We know what we mean when we use that word to describe our circumstance, but have you ever actually looked up the definition?

overwhelm | ˌōvərˈ(h)welm | – verb 1. bury or drown beneath a huge mass. 2. defeat completely. 3. give too much of a thing to (someone); inundate. 4. (usually be overwhelmed) have a strong emotional effect on. 5. be too strong for; overpower.

Sadly, these definitions often hit the nail on the head, and what comes next is a list of even worse words: quit, fail, depressed, anxiety, etc. We’ve all been there. 

But, why is this the case when we know that this is true: “…for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4

There seems to be a missing piece of connective tissue between the truth of “greater is He who is in me” and the crushing weight that seems to be on top of me. Let’s hear from somebody who is in the same boat, our good friend the psalmist.

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.” – Psalm 34:17-20

Now there is a list of words that we would love to have as descriptors for our life: deliver, near, saves, keeps. Now we are talking!

The Psalmist finds himself in this place for three good reasons: “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord…”

  • Righteous – Parents afford their children natural protection when they are obedient. If you’re in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, there is very little chance you can get yourself in trouble. It’s the same with God’s children, and this behavior is called Righteousness. It’s true that we have the righteousness of Christ, but Paul would say, “Just because we have grace, should we go on sinning? Absolutely not!” Living a righteous life affords you certain protections.
  • Cry For Help – Admitting you don’t have enough is the beginning of the road to recovery for the overwhelmed! To suffer in silence is to become bitter. To deny the reality of your circumstance is a form of self-induced insanity. To ignore the warning signs is to drive off a cliff, through the barricade. Cry out!
  • The Lord – And, that cry needs to be to the Lord. Have you noticed that when you try to fix your overwhelming circumstances yourself, it often leads to one specific place… being even more overwhelmed. Check your logic here: I am at the breaking point, so, let me DO SOMETHING ELSE to fix it. I think we see the problem now.

When you are trying to live the righteous life and cry out to the Lord He may miraculously intervene, He may sovereignly guide you to make changes, He may do what only He can do.

The one thing we know for sure, being overwhelmed is real, and there is a real answer: Cry out to the Lord and then do what He says.

What God doesn’t want…

Well, it’s that time of year again! With back-to-school season come all kinds of activities, obligations, and restarts of all sorts of things.

 For me, the start of a new school year means teacher in-services, college chapels and motivational talks to incoming freshmen.

 This year, I picked one passage to speak to Christian schools who asked me to help kick off the year. The title of the message was: “The Syllabus for the Christian life.”

 The three mandatory elements of the syllabus for the Christian life come from Micah 6:8, a passage I’m sure you’re familiar with:

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8

In this passage, we see what God wants from a believer, well, wants is not the right term; requires is the word He uses. But, the verses just before verse eight tell us the things God does not want, and I find them interesting enough to share with you as CrossPoint leadership.

6“With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” – Micah 6:6–7 (ESV)

  •  Coming before the Lord and bowing before God most high… it’s not a bad way to start, but when it’s all about putting on a show, that’s not what God wants. We are all guilty, remember the last time you tripped in public? You defied gravity and fought through incredible pain just to pop up as quickly as possible and scan the horizon to make sure no one saw you fall. We all care what people think. What God doesn’t want is our public displays of devotion just to be seen.
  • Coming before him with burnt offerings… that should do the trick right? Unfortunately, many of us have gotten into the bad thought habit of believing that when we do something “for God” then He owes us. We would never say it out loud, but we wonder when stuff is going bad if maybe somehow we have shortchanged God and He is letting us know. Offerings are good when they come from the heart, but when they are more like club dues leading you to believe there are benefits you deserve, that’s a no no. What God doesn’t want are our sacrifices in which you think He now owes you.
  • Pleasing the Lord with thousands of rams and 10,000 rivers of oil… now that’s a worship service! All the spectacle of temple worship, but times 10,000. It would’ve put Hillsong the shame! Great worship is great, but only if it’s greatly focused on the One who is Great. Many times when people say, “Worship was amazing!” What they are actually saying is, “Man, I really enjoyed that.” In that space let me remind you, worship isn’t for you. The question we should ask ourselves following worship is, “Do you think God was pleased?” What God doesn’t want is worship that’s pointed at Him, but meant for you.
  •  Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for my own sins… that is the cry of a desperate and devoted person, kinda. When suffering from guilt rather than conviction we can get some crazy ideas, and lead us to silly statements and inappropriate commitments. Even if we are really remorseful about something in our past, even the recent past (like this morning), we need to remember that God is not into double billing. If you are so remorseful you’d be willing to offer your own son, don’t forget that your bill has already been paid by another Father who offered His Son in your place. What God doesn’t want is absurd repentance out of guilt that doesn’t lead us to grace.

 Sometimes it’s important for us to know what God wants, like doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with Him. But, we must never forget that those of us in the “business” of ministry can sometimes find ourselves walking in the weirdness of rules we made up, feelings that are not valid, and ideas that are not godly.

Let me encourage you, you don’t need to come up with something new. “He has told you, O man, what is good,” and all we must do is rest in Him.

I love you guys, and I’m thankful for you every day. Many blessings out there in CrossPoint land!

Take a Stand

It takes a leader… I’m thinking about you guys. Leadership inspires followship. And, serious followers become next generation leaders.

I’ve been reading the book of Acts and taking it very slowly. One of the things that stood out to me (no pun intended) is that when the church was under duress, and decisions needed to be made, after they gathered, a time of unifying, and a season of prayer… We get this verse:

Acts 1:15 (ESV): 15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers…

It’s not just enough to stand up, it must be built upon a season of growth, discipleship and prayer. But, when that season has come, it’s necessary to stand up!

What’s really interesting is what happens in the next chapter. I don’t think the language is used by mistake. It says after the coming of the Holy Spirit when the disciples were being mocked and questioned Peter does something similar, but slightly different see if you can see it:

Acts 2:14 (ESV): But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them…

I find that fascinating. He maintains his leadership and stands up in the face of opposition. But, this time he’s not alone.

Continue to prepare yourself, be a disciple before you focus on making disciples, but know there is coming a time when each one of you will need to “stand up!“ And on that day those who follow will eventually be the ones to stand with you.

Not Alone

It was one of those awkward moments after a Sunday morning service when a visiting family looks at you and asks if you remember them… Oops.

My mind raced, thinking the faces looked familiar, but I couldn’t place them. After an apologetic wince, I asked for a hint, and then it all came together: he was a former coworker/boss, and she was my middle school speech teacher!

This would probably be a fun moment of reminiscing for anyone, but you have to understand the background here. 

As a pastor, I have been speaking publicly and regularly since 1991, but I wasn’t born this way. I am a true introvert, not just self-diagnosed, but testing that way time and again.

 I, like others, grew up with a fear of being a public spectacle and having to speak. That’s why the eighth grade was rough when I got bumped out of a physical education class because of an injury and put into the only class left with space that year… Speech and Debate. 

I thought I was going to die. 

Apparently my self-predicted doom was obvious, but that speech teacher looked at me with compassion and promised me I would live. She permitted me to start slowly but challenged me to move forward. She held the bar high, but as much as any teacher could also held my hand while getting over the bar. 

Her husband was a communication professional working as a radio personality for a local station, and he agreed to meet me. Before too long, I had a part-time job working in the same studio. 

Speeches, dramatic readings, a spot in the school play, forensic competitions, regional debate finals, spinning records, and reading the weather on a 100,000 Watt radio station… my world had changed!

Now I look back at nearly 30 years of ministry with countless presentations, thousands of sermons, and a life lived ‘upfront.’ I could not be more thankful for that silent cheerleader I called Mrs. O’Connor in the eighth grade.

Many of us today are afraid to do, speak and step into the spotlight. Not always because we’re introverts, or fearful of public speaking, but because we live in such a divisive, hostile, and threatening world.

For those of us who are called believers, we sometimes feel incredibly alone, and even though we know we have the Good News of Jesus Christ to share, it is so intimidating to use your voice in this world.

In those moments, I remember the Apostle Paul, who everyone says was so bold he would charge hell with a water pistol. 

I don’t think so.

Several times we see the Lord encouraging him. For example, Acts 18:

“9 And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent,  10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.’ ”

It must’ve been incredibly encouraging to know that he was not alone, that there were allies about him of which he was unaware.

The story is the same for us today! We are part of the world-wide, Body of Christ, and we need to take courage that God has been, is, and will be doing more than we ever knew.

Stand up, speak up, ‘Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent’!

Seeing  my speech teacher after service that day was  a reminder that there are those rooting for you, on your side.

She said, “You’re not that scared kid anymore, A+!”

It made my day… now you go and do the same. 

You are not alone.

Which one is it? Yes.

I have an experience common to many of you.
Raising teenagers, specifically teenage boys, comes with a series of predictable issues and outcomes. 

There will be emergency room visits.

There will be “shenanigans.”

There will be drama.

I guess you don’t even have to be a raiser of teenage boys to know this is true; you just need to be near them, those jokers can eat!

Depending upon what cycle of the growth spurt there in, I cannot tell you which will be higher on any given month, my utility bill or my grocery bill.

A few weeks ago my boys came in from some outdoor summer frolicking. Before they got into the kitchen, I heard from their brotherly conversation that they were “starving.”

Good timing.

Mom had laid out a spread, and I had grilled up brats, dogs, and burgers. It was a teenager summer food dream come true.

As they walked into the room, they both eyed the kitchen table, and I felt a little fear for my life recognizing that I stood between them and the bounty that lay before them.

Mom told them to grab a plate and asked if they wanted a hamburger or a hotdog.

In unison, they both said, “Yes!”

I love that answer because it’s one of my favorite responses… Not either/or, but both/and.

They didn’t want one; they wanted one of each.

I think the church needs to get a good dose of both/and.

We argue about which is right or best and often it’s both.

It’s either traditional or contemporary… what if both were appropriate?

It’s either seeker sensitive or hardline fundamental… what if both had a place?

It’s either Baptist or nothing… well, let’s not get crazy.

Last week I had the privilege of sitting under the teaching of Dr. Claude Thomas. The former pastor of First Baptist Euless, Euless, Tx and now president of C3 Global.

He made an incredible statement that is probably the most important both/and I have heard in a while.

He said, “We (the church) need to grow spiritually, that’s true, but if we do not grow numerically we will eventually become irrelevant.”

True words, life-giving direction, and hard to reproduce.

I think there has long been a belief that we don’t need to be effective as a church as long as we’re faithful. That perspective has lead us down a road where we say that we may not be growing numerically, but we are growing spiritually.

I wonder, has this become an excuse? 

Have we traded in the difficult work of the objective growth of the church numerically as we point to a subjective growth that we want to believe is there?

The truth is, healthy things (spiritual growth) will naturally grow (numerical growth). 

And, didn’t Jesus himself say you will know a tree by its fruit? Fruit is also called produce… because it is something that is produced. 

I’m not arguing for numerical growth over spiritual growth. And, I’m not asking for spiritual growth to be dominant over numerical growth.

In fact, you may ask, “Andy, which one do you want spiritual growth or numerical growth?”

And my answer would be, “Yes!”

The truly healthy church and the truly healthy believer is growing spiritually, and the evidence of that is a fruitfulness in which the believer reproduces, multiplies and adds to the Kingdom.

Honestly, numerical growth is evidence of spiritual growth. And spiritual growth is the predecessor to numerical growth.

It is a both/and.

So step up to the table, the church is famished, and the world is in need. When you’re thinking about the direction of you, your leadership and your church, and that little voice inside your spirit asks which do I pursue… spiritual growth or numerical growth?

The answer is difficult and easy… it’s a both/and. 

The answer is yes. 
Originally published in the Baptist Digest, Oct 2016

Risky Haircuts

I have had the same haircut for 17 years.

First, I know this because I cut off the rebellious ponytail of my youth the same week my first son was born, and he’s 17.

Second, no comments from any of you about not having hair options because of the ‘limited resources’ I am working with as of late. I am aware.

So, back to the beginning. I have had the same haircut for 17 years.

I was pondering this recently as my son and I went for haircuts together. He sat in the chair first, giving direction for the new thing that he desires for the massive mane that God has given him. If you’re picking up on a scent of jealousy…oh yeah, it’s there.

While he was explaining his complex cut I was reflecting on the many iterations of his ‘do.’

As a toddler, he had a mullet. I know some would say that’s abuse, but he saw pictures of me in college and wanted “a haircut like daddy.” Come on, who is going to refuse that?

Then, he had the typical toe-headed little boy cut.

As a preteen, he morphed into a mop that could shame the Beatles.

Out of nowhere, a couple of years ago came the high and tight athletic cut (he looked all the stud).

And, now he’s doing this… thing. I don’t quite understand it: white wall sides and back, then long on top down the middle. We’ve already had the talk that if I ever see the man bun, he’s homeless.

They finished up, and I have to admit he can make any head of hair look good. There’s that jealousy again. I’ll pray about it.

Next, I climbed in the chair, and it’s funny. I don’t recall any conversation. She just started cutting.

Like I said, I have had the same haircut for 17 years.

Maybe I am not just jealous of Noah’s luscious locks. Maybe I am a little jealous of his willingness to take risks. And, I should be.

I think God blesses and encourages the risk taker.

Matthew 25 contains one of the most interesting parables in Scripture concerning a master, his servants, and entrusted resources.

Let’s talk about this in 21st-century terms. The boss goes away giving one guy five bucks, another two bucks, and another one buck.

He gave it to them according to their ability. That’s an interesting note, isn’t it?

The guy with five went out and traded his dollars, doubled down and cashed in big. The guy with two did the same. But, the guy with one went very safe.

He hid it, buried it and protected it. So when the boss came back he could say there was no loss on his watch.

But, the boss’ response was to praise the risk takers and the cautious, conservative operator he called, “You wicked and slothful servant!”

I think the theological term for that is, yikes.

Apparently, the Boss (with a capital B) is looking for the risk takers.

What are you doing to take a risk? Where is your church stepping up and stepping out? Where is your foot landing that will end in failure if God doesn’t show up?

I think that believers today, and consequentially the church, have confused faith with fear, stewardship with doubt, and holiness for the status quo.

We need Godly risk takers who know that betting on God is always a good bet. Who is willing to go big, because there is nothing more important than the calling upon us?

God’s has given us much, so let’s take a flyer. Life’s too short to play it safe.

In fact, I think I’m going to get a mohawk. Well, maybe a reverse mohawk. Just using what I got!


This article was originally published in the Baptist Digest… you should check it out: