Archives For Misc.

Love offering for Kyle & Alex Lake

Watch a video of Kyle walking through his store after the robbery

Pastor Kyle’s shoe store was robbed this past Friday and Saturday nights.  Kyle is the owner of Smokin’ Souls, a sneaker boutique, where he collects half his income; the other half coming from his youth pastor job at Crossroads Church, where I co-pastor.  While the insurance should cover the inventory that was stolen, Kyle will have to close the store down for some time and will be missing a significant chunk of his regular income during that time.  This is a very emotional and stressful time for Kyle and his wife Alex and we want to BE THE CHURCH for them during this difficult time.  We took a love offering on Sunday, but want to make the love offering available to you online and this coming Sunday at Crossroads as well.  If you’d like to give to Kyle and Alex, you can do so via Paypal to (write “for Kyle and Alex Lake” in the notes), or you can mail a check to Crossroads Church, 108 W. Cesar Chavez Ave., Lansing MI 48906.  Write your check out to Crossroads Church and put “for Kyle and Alex Lake” in the memo line.

What first drew me to actor Terry Crews was when he made headlines for boldly speaking out against pornography.  He shared his own struggles with it to his fans (see video below) and it made national news.  The more I looked into his life, the more substance I found.  What I discovered was a courageous person who isn’t afraid to risk their popularity in order to stand for important truths.  I love this.  This led me to read Terry’s autobiography, Manhood.  What I discovered was the refreshing account of a real person, not a Hollywood facade.  What I found was a transparent, relatable guy that I have a lot in common with.  I highly recommend you read Manhood and I bet you’ll find the same thing.

12 Things Terry Crews and I have in Common:

Continue Reading…

In speaking to hypocritical religious leaders who were accusing Jesus of doing his miracles by the power of Satan, Jesus says:

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37 (emphasis added)

A person can’t be divided from what they say and what they do.  In Jesus’s case, his actions were good, and they were coming from a good heart.  He was consistent.  The religious leaders on the other hand were branded a “brood of vipers” due to their ability to say “good things” while being evil people.  With the opposite also being true, saying evil things, while claiming to be good.

This is a very relevant message for today.  No one wants to be called “evil,” but does that mean evil people don’t exist?  When a person says evil things (over and over again), what is the logical conclusion?  Continue Reading…

I blog about a lot of controversial things and receive my share of flak for it, but I anticipate today’s article will top them all.  Today we are diving deep into the heart of America to shine some light on the one and only:


You would be hard pressed to find a bigger fan of football than me during the first 33 years of my life.  I was born into a Packer and Badger family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  While as a youngster I always pulled for these teams, my independence sprouted at age 5 when my family moved to Kentucky and I started liking the teams that were on TV, namely the Philadelphia Eagles and the Michigan Wolverines.  I’ve owned an extensive wardrobe of Eagle and Wolverine garb throughout my life and can pretty much name you every player and stat line from these teams from the past 25 years.

I started playing John Madden Football for Super Nintendo when it came out in 1991, with steady doses of Tecmo Bowl and Tecmo Super Bowl prior to that–and I’ll still whip any of your tails at any of the above.

We moved to Ohio when I was in 3rd grade.  I soon began idolizing Troy High School football, as most of my town did.  I played at Troy from grades 7-12, my sophomore year getting to be on the roster with the 1998 Mr. Ohio Football (best player in Ohio) Ryan Brewer, who went on to be Outback Bowl MVP at the University of South Carolina, and Kris Dielman, a 2x NFL All-Pro and 4x NFL Pro-Bowler with the Chargers.

After high school, I played as much flag football as I could, continued my Madden addiction, and dominated* my friends in fantasy football (which I began playing in 8th grade).

*ok, the dominated memory is a little foggy…

Noah Filipiak Capital City Stealth football

Noah Filipiak playing for the Capital City Stealth in 2012 (a.k.a. the glory years, pre-ACL tear #3)

In 2012 I took a summer work sabbatical and strapped the pads on one last time, playing for Lansing’s semi-pro team, the Capital City Stealth.  I played safety, was a team-captain and had 7 interceptions prior to re-tearing my ACL. Continue Reading…

Crossroads Church's Youth Director Kyle Lake leading the Summer Lights summer youth outreach

Crossroads Church’s Youth Director Kyle Lake leading the Summer Lights summer youth outreach

Kyle Lake is our Youth Director at Crossroads Church.  He does an awesome job leading our youth group of around 30 teens, most of whom are from the inner city and whose parents don’t attend church with them.  He also leads our summer park ministries.  There are two of these each week, at two different parks, with each park bringing in around 40-70 youth per week (over 350 unique youth over the summer).  (Check out photos here)

Kyle is called to go to seminary.  He’s found an awesome program at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary called the Urban Cohort.  It is a once-a-week program for urban ministers only, with a majority of the tuition coming from a GRTS scholarship.  It takes 3 years, doing one class per semester and you graduate with a master’s degree.  Kyle never finished his bachelor’s degree at Wayne State University, but GRTS/Cornerstone has made arrangements for him to get his bachelor’s equivalency through their adult degree program on the undergrad side so he can be official for his accredited master’s degree!  Kyle can start these classes in October and begin seminary course work in January, but here’s the hang-up:

It will cost $3367.74 to get Kyle’s transcripts from Wayne State.  This is tuition and fee bills from Kyle’s time there.  Did I mention that Kyle took a HUGE pay cut to work as Youth Director at Crossroads?  He was making a great salary with benefits working for Apple and now makes $30,000/year with no benefits at Crossroads.  (We’d pay him more if we could!)

Will you help us raise the $3367.74 needed to get Kyle’s transcripts from Wayne State so he can start seminary???

Blog Nation, we can do this!  Rather than using GoFundMe, which takes a large percentage of your gift, you can give directly to Crossroads Church on our PayPal button below.  Write “Kyle’s seminary” in the “Add special instructions to the seller” line (this will appear after you log in).  We will mail you a year-end tax deductible receipt (PayPal takes a 2.4 – 2.8% fee out of your gift, vs. GoFundMe’s 5% fee).  You can use the PayPal button below OR you can do it the old fashioned way and mail a check to Crossroads Church, 105 W. Allegan St., Lansing MI 48912.  Write your check out to Crossroads Church and write Kyle’s seminary in the memo line.

Update: 100% of the $3367.74 has come in!  Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, here we come!!!  Thank you to everyone who gave!!!!

Thank you to those who have given.  Here’s an important update about the need for this money that I didn’t know before–which is why Kyle has these fees in the first place.  Kyle enrolled for the winter 2014 semester then had a severe fire accident where he was out from work and had a lengthy hospital stay.  When Wayne State was sending him bills to pay for the 4 classes he enrolled in, he appealed it with doctor documentation.  Wayne State took away some of the tuition (around $6000) but kept on the administration fees, kept $1500 of tuition on, and other fees (late payment, fitness center, registration fee, and collection fee).  We still have $2600 more to raise!

Let’s get this Ninja Turtle into seminary!
Donate Button with Credit Cards




Crossroads Church's Kyle Lake teaching the youth group

Crossroads Church’s Kyle Lake teaching the youth group


Crossroads Church Youth Director Kyle Lake thinking he is Brett Favre at the Summer Lights summer youth program

Crossroads Church Youth Director Kyle Lake thinking he is Brett Favre at the Summer Lights summer youth outreach