Like many of you, I have fond memories of campfires. Campfires generate warmth both physically and emotionally. We share campfires with friends, with family, with fellow campers.
I especially remember the campfires at Bible camp. During my formative years in northeast Nebraska, I spent at least one week each summer at Glad Tidings Bible Camp and sometimes at Oak Hills Camp in northern Minnesota. I admit that I fast-tracked learning a lot of Bible verses to get a reduced rate. I’m sure that demonstrated a wrong attitude then but those verses have, nevertheless, stayed with me.
Bible classes, chapel, sports, cabin devotions, mess hall … that was summer camp. But the week reached its climax at the final campfire on Friday night. Following that last chapel, we ran up the hill toward that old rugged cross highlighted against the sunset. Gathering around the fire, we sang and shared testimonies.
The testimonies usually went something like: “Well, last summer I told you that I wanted to live for Jesus more consistently, but I failed. Now I want to throw my stick in the fire and share with you how I want to live for Jesus more consistently this year.” And so on and so on …
Eventually the last song was sung, the last testimony shared, we found our parents and left summer camp. And the embers of that campfire burned out.
How many memories we’ve made around our family campfires! Camping at the Royal Gorge, at the Grand Canyon, in Mesa Verde, in Moab, Utah … a campfire is just one of those camping necessities.
Inevitably, the embers of every campfire, of every fire, burn out. Life moves on from campfire to campfire, but each succeeding campfire, in time, necessarily burns out.
But those campfires changed me! Not the campfire itself, but the campfire as a tool made a difference in my life. Precious memories of friends and family and stories still cling to those campfires. As we stared in silence as those final embers died out, things stirred inside. And I doubt that the campfires of my life are over.
I share these storied, nostalgic thoughts with you to let you know that our Embers has also necessarily burned out, that this is the final issue of Crosspoint’s Embers. But let me explain.
Change happens. You don’t drive around in that old beater you used to own. You’ve perhaps upgraded your furniture, your kitchen cabinets, your carpet. Your old saucepan served its purpose but your fried eggs slide right out of that slick new skillet.
Over the last several years, communication has changed dramatically. Information technology has introduced the internet (or vice versa?). The many varied avenues of social media have brought about a seismic change in the way we communicate.
More recently our Embers editorial staff has had to search high and low for information and articles to fill our Embers. Events and needs and requests and “sign-ups” have simply found others places to hang out. Our Crosspoint web page and our Crosspoint Facebook page have increased in readership dramatically.
In our case, as in many cases today, the printed form has given way to the posted form (or forum!). Posting and texting and blogging and tweeting have simply replaced (or greatly reduced) printing.
Personally, I am still going to write. I enjoy writing. I want to write. But everyone around me wants me to write shorter articles (sorry, I never took short-hand!). So I’ll try to learn to blog and tweet. Just don’t expect shorter sermons!
If you haven’t yet done so, consider this your invitation to connect with Crosspoint online at crosspointbible.org. If you are already familiar with and use Facebook and Twitter, you can find Crosspoint Bible there, too, and join the information access and the conversations.
We are still going to write, still going to inform, still going to announce. But we’ll do so in different places and venues. Prayer requests and answers, church events and calendars, birthdays and anniversaries, announcements and invitations … all will be published and posted and texted and tweeted.
Remember the old-fashioned way of getting people to “sign-up” in the foyer? As soon as the sermon was over you rushed out into the foyer… More likely, you forgot all about the “sign-up” and missed the event.
Well, there’s a new foyer, literally with our building program, and virtually, online. For our “church-in-the-park” event a few weeks ago, “sign-up” for the lunch was accomplished online and I, for one, did not leave hungry! In other words, it worked! And soon, almost every “sign-up” will occur online.
Before we say goodbye to these Embers, I want to express my great appreciation to Sherrie Lindsey for her tireless work over the years in editing both Embers and its predecessor, Crosstalk. Sherrie has a job. All her volunteer editing for Embers and Crosstalk took place on her own time. She patiently gathered material (I was late with nearly every article!) and skillfully wove it together to make a coherent and presentable church information tool that has served the Crosspoint family so very well.
My Assistant Kady Schubert did the final editing before printing and posting and stuffing the Embers in church mailboxes. Many of you wrote regularly, CARE Team articles, CoMission Team articles, Fellowship and Discipleship and Outreach Team articles, men’s and women’s activity announcements, new member articles, financial reports. The list goes on and on. Thank you to all who contributed and for all your contributions. And thank you to all who continued to read the printed version!
A massive fire destroyed a historic building in the Old Market last winter. Remember the pictures? Ice coated everything several inches or feet think. Before the last embers had died out, thinking and planning began for what would take its place. A newer, more modern building soon began to rise literally from within the old building, but one which fit the environment and surroundings of the Old Market.
Where fire has been, where embers have died out, a newer and greater edifice often has taken shape. And so it will! Thank you!