Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

This video tells the amazing story of three friends. These three 8th grade guys have skateboarding in common. But their relationship with each other does not end there because one of the friend had the courage and cared enough to share Jesus.

Here is their story…

“Look at it this way. If someone has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders off, doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine and go after the one? And if he finds it, doesn’t he make far more over it than over the ninety-nine who stay put? Your Father in heaven feels the same way. He doesn’t want to lose even one of these simple believers.” ~ Matthew 18:12-14 (Message)

Are you reaching out and sharing Jesus with the ones in your life that are lost, lonely, hurting, and fallen away? These guys challenge me to take an honest look in the spiritual mirror to see if I am taking ownership of God’s call to be fishers of men.

I am proud to have these guys in my life and in REVOLUTION. They are world changers!

Breaking news….

I will speaking this Sunday at the Shannon Oaks Church in Sulphur Springs, Texas. I served at SOC for five years as youth pastor from 2004-2009. Heather will be coming with me this weekend. I am very excited to share a message and catch up with some very good friends this weekend.

Funny story from this morning…

I got up early this morning for my workout, went to the gym, knocked it out, and drove home to clean up before work.

Around 8:15am as I am getting dressed, my doorbell starts repeatedly ringing. I am rushing to put on my clothes but the person at my door starts machine gunning my doorbell. It was the “this is not a casual house call but something urgent is going down” doorbell ring.

I open up my front door and a visibly frazzled woman is standing there seemingly out-of-breath. Immediately I knew something was wrong because she was straight up keeping it real – pajamas on, hair all over the place, no makeup, etc. She frantically explains to me that she is one of my neighbors from across the street and that I am being robbed. She goes on to describe the man rummaging through my open garage as a large, bearded man driving a running, unmarked white 15-passenger van.

As I try to keep myself from laughing, I let her know that everything is fine and that I am not being robbed. Last night my REVOLUTION and NORTHchurch coworker Michael Bergstrasser, who was driving the church van, stayed at our house. He was rummaging through my garage looking for something he could scrape the ice off his windshield.

Two things stick out to me from this experience…

1. That lady was brave. She ran from her house to a house that she thought was being robbed. That takes guts. She even was yelling at him the whole way over, but Michael could not understand her. No regard for her own personal safety, only what was best for the neighborhood. Good to know my neighbor has my back or could possibly be a ninja.

2. I am very glad that I was actually home. If I had not been home, I think Michael would have been in trouble. From the perfect description she gave me of the potential robber, Oklahoma City police would have an APB on this guy right now…

This video was used at REVOLUTION during week 3 of “Happily Ever After”. This is one of my favorite videos that I have ever made. Thanks to Michael Bergstrasser and Lauren Sheppard for starring in this video.

Enjoy…

This completely ridiculous video actually has a point. Emotional intimacy can be just as dangerous as physical intimacy. Remember Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

And yes, I some how managed to throw in Scripture to this blog post.

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REVOLUTION

Wednesdays, 7-8:15pm

NORTHchurch

Check out the video announcements from week 1 of REVOLUTION’s Happily Ever After February series. My friends and youth leaders Michael Bergstrasser and Patty Rankin give all the wonderful REVOLUTION announcements in a creative, fun way.

Enjoy…

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REVOLUTION

Wednesdays, 7-8:15pm, all February

NORTHchurch

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

Pastor Rodney Fouts shared these two friendship quotes with me the other day. The truth of these quotes have made me think. Who am I surrounding myself with? How important are friendships?

I know I have the best friends on the planet. Friends that follow Jesus. Friends that consistently push me and challenge me to be a better person, husband, friend, pastor, and follower of Christ.

To anybody that considers me a friend, thank you for being so incredible.

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How important are friendships?

Have you heard any good friendship quotes?

Eric Seguin is one of my best friends on this planet. He is currently living and teaching English in Isla Baru, Columbia – a community of about 5000 people who are all classification 0 or 1 (out of 6) poverty level (super poor). I asked him to share his journey with the REVOLUTION students. What he wrote absolutely blew me away.

Here is Eric’s story in his own words…

READ PART 1 HERE

READ PART 2 HERE

PART 3 OF 3:

Seeking Him each day and begging for His to carry this cry to action, God first revealed the true need in this world. According to the a few Joshua Project statistics: 1/3 of the planet’s population has never heard the Gospel! I have seen reports from the International Mission Board that the number is closer to 4 billion people! And of this number, 50,000+ die each day never hearing the Gospel message.

Next, the commands of Christ began to pierce my heart in a way that was amazing. From orphan care to potent words of the great commission, the Holy Spirit began to ask me if I truly believed them and if I did, to put all my chips in and commit! That “C” word was the hardest part, but for once in my life, I was given “the peace that transcends all understanding.”

Understanding how awful the devil is, I asked my family and close friends to constantly lift me up in prayer and to keep my accountable.

Through prayer and guidance from loved ones, I enrolled in Seminary while still maintaining my job. My tentative plan was to commit to graduate studies for the next several years and then to enter full-time mission work once I completed my Masters of Divinity. If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans!

As I started classes, I learned of an amazing opportunity that would have me teaching English within an underserved population in Isla Baru, Colombia with Harvard University. While this was a secular organization, I knew that the acquisition of the language and the opportunities to work with an International Mission Board team in Cartagena on the weekends was a divine opportunity! Pretty cool what God gives us when we search Him with all our hearts!

Fortunately, I was accepted to this program and I am now writing you from Cartagena, Colombia! My life has come full circle and in a couple hours I am going to one of the poorest barrios here, Nelson Mandela, to participate in an awesome ministry here that uses sports and chronological bible stories to reach the lost children here. They have also started a few home churches that have seen many Colombians come to know Jesus!

As my Spanish improves (adopted from Colombia- didn’t grow up here), I hope to become a more effective communicator of the Truth that is His Word! The reality is that while these people have absolutely nothing, they could have everything through Jesus Christ!

So please keep me in your prayers as I want nothing more than to become utterly dependant on Him and to be used in every capacity He would have for me here! Please keep Kendall and the International Mission Board team here in your prayers as they work very hard to reach the lost in Colombia! These are the real missionaries who have dropped everything they know and have for the Cross! These people are on the front lines and if you understood how fierce the spiritual warfare is for them, we would all drop to our knees right now.

Please pray for the families and children here in Colombia who live in oppression and fear! May they come to see and believe in the amazing creator God we know and love!

Lastly, I ask that you pray for one another and what God would have with your life. What does the great commission mean to you? What cry has he placed on your heart? While I miss my family, friends, and beloved dog Ellie, I know that the joy of being used by Him trumps everything! When the cards are all on the table for Him, we will always “clean house.”

In Christ,

Eric Seguin

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Powerful, huh? What stuck out to you? How did God speak to you through this letter? What can you learn from Eric’s letter and life experience?

WARNING: THIS IS A STORY. THIS WILL BE A LONGER POST THAN NORMAL, BUT IT WILL BE WELL WORTH YOUR TIME. TRUST ME, I WOULDN’T PUT IT ON MY BLOG IF IT WASN’T. I AM NOT IN TO WASTING TIME.

Eric Seguin is one of my best friends on this planet. He is currently living and teaching English in Isla Baru, Columbia – a community of about 5000 people who are all classification 0 or 1 (out of 6) poverty level (super poor). I asked him to share his journey with the REVOLUTION students. What he wrote absolutely blew me away.

Here is Eric’s story in his own words…

READ PART 1 HERE

PART 2 OF 3:

I went to Lipscomb and through my love for basketball met Brian and a bunch of amazing people who have truly helped me see firsthand what God can do to us when we give everything to Him. I participated in homeless ministries and a youth mentoring program that began to show me I had a heart for relationships and those less fortunate.

I graduated college and began work in the realm of Childhood Obesity where I learned so many professional and intrapersonal skills that I know will be used for His glory today. However, like many college graduates here in the states, I began to feel the pressure that is corporate America. What can I do to advance my career? Should I work for this organization or go to graduate school?

I also remember feeling utterly broken when my best friend left to do overseas missions. She was someone so important to me and such an encouragement. But what began to hurt the most was the pure fact that my true identity was in everything but Him!

I remember a tough conversation with your youth minister where God used him to reveal all of this to me! Even though I was faithful follower of Christ, each day I woke up I walked my own path on my own strength and desire. I remember the moment that Brian broke down what being “refined by fire” truly means and how much it can hurt. And in that moment, I began to seek the true heart of God and began to let the Holy Spirit “burn up” all the impurities that were present in my life as I knew it.

What does impurity mean to you? Through Gods amazing grace and redeeming power, we are made clean. I love how Paul says in Colossians 1:21 that we were once “alienated from God” but in verse 22 by belief in Jesus we are reconciled and now viewed as “without blemish” and “free from accusation.” Yet, the verse continues when Paul says “if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.”

I say this not for you to think we live by “works” or that God’s love is conditional, but for you to remember that the devil does everything he can to steer us away from all that God wants to give us.

My impurities were many, ranging from sexual sins to prideful worldly ideals. For many years, though I felt such a calling, my past and current struggles were something the devil hung over my head so that I might feel “disqualified” and “unfit” for such a service as missions. While the devils attacks are just as prevalent and even more creative today than before, I know if I rest in Him, that the Lord can and will deliver me each and every time!

So as I began to drop these desires to “control” my own life, by His power, I began to see things in a different light. My very rewarding job that was improving the well being of children through community initiative and clinical interventions was now leaving an empty place in my heart. God began to press on me that these overweight children needed Jesus more than anything else I was asked to provide them in the way of lifestyle modification!

Another moment where God began to reveal this calling to me was through a trip to Guatemala. As I walked through this immensely poor community in San Juan del Obispo, I saw some kids playing soccer. In a moment that I have had a few times before, God reminded me of where I came from, how much He blessed me through my upbringing in the States, and my responsibility to be His hands in feet to these people!

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Check out briancromer.com later to read part 3 of this incredible story.

WARNING: THIS IS A STORY. THIS WILL BE A LONGER POST THAN NORMAL, BUT IT WILL BE WELL WORTH YOUR TIME. TRUST ME, I WOULDN’T PUT IT ON MY BLOG IF IT WASN’T. I AM NOT IN TO WASTING TIME.

Eric Seguin is one of my best friends on this planet. He is currently living and teaching English in Isla Baru, Columbia – a community of about 5000 people who are all classification 0 or 1 (out of 6) poverty level (super poor). I asked him to share his journey with the REVOLUTION students. What he wrote absolutely blew me away.

Here is Eric’s story in his own words…

PART 1 OF 3:

The great commission is more than handing out Christian literature. It’s about becoming intimately involved in people’s lives and being prepared and willing to let the Lord open doors to share His redeeming story.

I love how Missionary Steve Saint (son of martyred Nate Saint) paraphrased the core concepts of the Great Commission from all the Gospels in his book The Great Omission. He wrote…

God, my Father, sent me (John 20:21) to represent His interests on earth and gave me His authority in Heaven as well as here on earth to get the job done (Matthew 28:18). With His authority, I am sending you (Luke 10:3) as my representative. Every people group on earth should be told so that they fully understand about repentance for forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47). So, go into the entire world and teach everyone everywhere. Those who believe and are baptized will be saved! Be sure to explain carefully that anyone who doesn’t believe is going to be condemned (Mark 16:16). Then train those who have decided to follow me- men and women and girls and boys from all over the world. Teach them how to do it themselves (Matthew 28:20).

I believe that not everyone is called to do international missions. However, over these last few years I come to the conviction that everyone must be involved in missions on some capacity and also that I have been given a cry that has driven me to go personally.

My personal story begins from the moment I was brought into this world. One day after I was born, my biological mother gave up her rights to me and I was handed over to a caring but poor orphanage in Bogota, Colombia. Growing up an orphan in the 1980’s and 1990’s in conflict ravished Colombia was something no one would like to do. Fortunately for me, God has another plan for my life. Only a few months after I was born, my amazing parents from Concord, New Hampshire boarded a plane to come adopt me and take me as their own!

I went from poverty to riches and opportunity in a matter of a 5 hour flight!

With my father who is a solid 6’7” and my little Italian mother, the Sesame Street song that “One of these is different than the other” hit home for me in a personal way. Yet, I loved my parents and from an early age God began to place on my heart a feeling of blessing that is indescribable.

My parents would tell you that when I was really young, that in my nightly prayers I would thank God for everything and also for “my parents who saved me from becoming a drug lord in Colombia!” However, like many people who feel called to be His light in other countries, I did not have this conviction from an early age.

Having accepted Christ at the age of 15, I will honestly admit that I did fully understand what that meant until my Father and I traveled to Honduras my senior year of high school. Our 3-week mission trip was something that connected a few dots for me. The poverty and oppression was tremendous. I began to see firsthand how fortunate I was to have been adopted from such a similar situation.

Yet, like most people who go on short term missions, I returned to the States convicted and fired up to be His hands and feet among these people. But as many know, this is when Satan works overtime to put out such flames by using doubt, inadequacy, and fear just to name a few. My amazing experience was no exception as I lost focus on the apparent need and the cry He had placed on my heart.

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Check out briancromer.com later to read part 2 of this incredible story.

Yes, I am going to attempt to start blogging. I hope to share a little of my brain with world wide web from time to time. I will try to write from time to time on a variety of subjects…life, faith, family, sports, random, etc. If you know me, then you know that my brain is always going. I think from the time I wake up till the time I go to bed. Let’s see if I can get some of those thoughts out on the world wide web so the entire global civilization with a computer can see them. What a brilliant idea!” – Brian Cromer, March 11, 2008

This is a quote from the first briancromer.com post ever. Nearly 1 year & 9 months, 470 posts, and over 130,000 visitors later, it’s time to take a look back at the year that was. This is briancromer.com’s Top 10 Blog Posts of 2009. Some of you reading this are newer to the blog and may have missed some of the earlier moments. I invite you to click on the links and enjoy some of the moments that you may have missed. Some of you have been around since day one (Heather & Mom). I invite you to take a stroll down memory lane, maybe take a look at the comments that you have posted. Without further adieu, the Top 10…

#10 OFFICIALLY ON TWITTER – August 17, 2009

“I am going on record and saying that I will not EVER use twitter. :)” That sentence was taken from my blog post on April 8, 2009. I put this post on the Top 10 list because I like to poke fun of myself and I am suffering from a bad case of foot in mouth disease. By the way, you can follow me on twitter HERE.

#9 GREATEST PITCHER OF ALL TIME – August 4, 2009

It is no secret that I am a huge New York Yankees fan. 2009 was a great year to be a Yankees fan as they won the 27th World Series in franchise history. On November 5, things were again right in the world. That day I woke up refreshed and something was different. Food tasted better. Air was fresher. Traffic seemed lighter. The sun was brighter. And then I realized that the Yankees won #27. That championship could not have been won without Mariano Rivera, who I argue in this controversial post is the greatest pitcher of all time.

*Also, check out this post explaining New York Yankees HOPE Week, which was a week full of the Yankees reaching out  and serving their community.

#8 DEEP THOUGHTS BY B.DAVID VOS – June 16, 2009

Creating and editing videos is one of my least talked about passions. I often wish I had more time to dedicate towards growing more in this creative outlet. I made quite a few videos this years. These ones from Sulphur Springs Workcamp 2009 are my favorite. Others from this year include TUESDAY MORNING, MESSY OR NOT MESSY, REVOLUTION ANNOUNCEMENTS (didn’t make this one, but hilarious), SHOOT EM UP, and GALLON CHALLENGE ANNOUNCEMENTS.

#7 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT CHALLENGE – February 18, 2009

This is a story where I got to brag on my incredible wife. This is just a small taste of how amazing she truly is. I seriously am a lucky man and I know it. She is amazing. She is my best friend. She makes me a better person. And she loves God more than she could ever love me.

#6 TOP 10 P90X YOGA POSES – August 13, 2009

One of my most crucial guidelines about my blog is that I never want to take myself too seriously. I know I am a dork, so I embrace that and in the process, you experience a good laugh at my expense. Over the past 5+ months, I have been doing P90X. Part of the P90X workout includes a yoga workout. I quickly learned that Brian Cromer and yoga do not go together. For your enjoyment and laughter, I decided to let Heather take pictures of me during a P90X yoga workout to help give you an idea how hilarious and ridiculous I look doing this workout.

#5 NEW HOUSE TOUR – November 13, 2009

This was the first ever video blog on briancromer.com. I am toying around of doing this more in the future. What did you think? Good stuff? Would you like to see more video blogs?

#4 COWTOWN MARATHON PART 1, PART 2, PART 3, PART 4, & PART 5 – March 2-6, 2009

On Saturday, February 28, 2009, I ran the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth, Texas. This was marathon #3 for me, but the first marathon since having this blog. Over these 5 posts, I gave a detailed account of the events leading up to the race and the race itself. My goal was to chronicle this out so that I could remember the marathon.

#3 CONFESSIONS OF A BLOGGER – August 24, 2009

Like I said earlier, I have been blogging since March 2008. By no means does 22 months of blogging qualify me as a blogging expert. I do not have this whole blogging thing figured out. However, in the past 22 months I have learned a thing or two about blogging and myself in the process. This post has some blogging tips and things I have learned while blogging.

#2 BIG NEWS – June 15, 2009

2009 was a big year for the Cromer family. If I had to describe this year in one word, that word would be transition. On June 14, 2009, I announced that I was stepping down as youth pastor of the Shannon Oaks Church in Sulphur Springs, Texas and moving to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to be the student pastor at NORTHchurch. It was an incredibly difficult, bittersweet, and exciting decision to make. Making a healthy transition on both ends was a big deal to Heather and I, and God answered those prayers. This post is Heather and I’s letter publicly announcing our decision.

#1 JESUS RUINED MY LIFE – January 15, 2009

No extravagant words for this one. The title speaks for itself. This one simply is my favorite blog post of 2009.

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If you want to go through 222 blog posts from 2009 and make your own top 10 list, that would be sweet. Which ones did I miss? What blog post should have been on the top 10 that wasn’t? What was your favorite blog post of 2009? GYM GUYS? STARS? SOCIAL MEDIA REVOLUTION? PROSPERITY GOSPEL? SPONGES? I’M A LEADER? JOHN 3:16 HOTTEST GOOGLE SEARCH?