Thanksgiving 2010 Top Ten List

As I have done for each of the past two Thanksgivings so I continue this year, in 2010, in coming up with my personal top ten list of things for which I am thankful.  

I hereby declare my thanks for the following (in ascending order):

10. That the Minnesota Vikings finally fired  Head Coach Brad Childress.  (now if only Favre would return the Favor…) Note to naysayers: I am a lifelong Vikings fan.

9. Yesterday, Today…and Tomorrow if it comes (see James 4:13-17).

8.  The continual privilege of seeing all of life through the lens of a heightened sense of my own mortality that only a close brush with death could bring. 

7. The Crossroad Church Family and all of my genuine brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world.

6. The ability to speak and move limbs at will and build stuff again.

5. Karla’s (my wife)  homemade breadsticks hot out of the oven with fresh grated Parmesan Cheese and tomato sauce and a Dr. Pepper …to die for!  I have a thing about   doctors.

4. The intricacies of the human brain designed by the inscrutable Creator God…the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

3. The Privilege, Blessing, and Responsibility of Life itself! (In Acts 5:20 when the Apostles Peter and John were imprisoned for preaching the Gospel of Christ an angel of the Lord came to the prison during the night and did three things: 1. Opened the prison doors.  2. Brought them out.  3. Told them precisely what they were to do: Go and Stand in the temple and teach the people “all the words of this Life.”  This word Life here encompasses all that surrounds the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus).  May God grant us all a proper perspective of our own mortality (life) and also of the immortality of the most important message of this Life.

2. My wife and five children: Karla, Luke, Benjamin, Elisabeth, Gabriella, and Jared.

1. God Himself and the guarantee of a future inheritance of the Kingdom of God which cannot be shaken and where all things will be made new (Hebrews 12:28-29).

Happy Thanksgiving everyone out there in the blogosphere!

Mike Evans

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Pilgrimage to Israel

A pilgrim is someone who journeys a long distance to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion. 

Karla and I are planning to make a pilgrimage to Israel and surrounding areas in February of 2011, along with 40 or so other pilgrims, including one gracious widow from Crossroad Church who has made two previous pilgrimages to the Holy Land. 

Lois Yetter visited Israel for the first time five years ago just after her husband (Sam) had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.   Lois and Sam had always dreamed of going to Israel together and they had the opportunity to fulfill this dream before he went to be with the Lord in January of 2006.

We are excited to make this 11 day pilgrimage (from Feb. 19th-March1, 2011).  To walk in some of  the exact  same areas that Jesus walked is nothing short of a dream come true for me! 

 To be able to see the actual locations where many of the events of the Bible occurred will surely be an inspiration to us all.  The temple …The locations where Jesus performed some of his miracles…to see the Garden of Gethsemane…to see the Beautiful Gate of the temple where the lame beggar in Acts Ch. 3 was healed after being lame for more than 40 years! 

To walk through the Valley of the shadow of death (a real geographical place!) will surely breathe spiritual life into this pilgrim and his wife who walked (or was it crawled) metaphorically through this valley less than 20 months ago when I was physically unable to walk. 

In Acts 3:7-8 we see that Peter healed the aforementioned man who had been lame from birth : “And he (Peter) took him (lame guy) by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.  And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.” 

I think I can appreciate what is happening here more than most for I know what it’s like to have nearly zero muscle mass or core strength…and how many hundreds of hours and the amount of determination it takes to get it back…and surely this man had undeveloped muscles, and core strength as well.   

  So the fact that “immediately his feet and ankles were made strong”…and that he began to walk and leap…well this is nothing short of miraculous!  I believe the Bible is true.  I believe in miracles.   I believe I will go to Israel in February.

If you see me before we leave in February you have my permission to kick me in the shin to see if I’m dreaming or not!  

Eager pilgrims,

Mike and Karla