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Merry-Go-Round

June 16, 2010

Occasionally adolescent boredom would set in with my youth group comrades when I was a teenager.  You can only drive around Sonic so many times.  I was very close to other students in my youth group – it was more than a Sunday crew.  We did lots of different activities to pass the time.  One of our meeting places was a little park that had a merry-go-round.  You know, a merry-go-round is that metal disc with hand rails and a large dose of nausea.  It became a spot where we would talk about our lives.  It’s amazing how much private information is divulged when you’re dizzy.  Nonetheless, we talked about the angst of growing up, our fears, and our dreams – and God, we definitely talked about God.  I’m sure C.S. Lewis and his tavern, discussion group would not have been jealous of our theological depth.  Still, it is a special place to me.  A place of community and conversation.

Not too many “merry-go-round” spaces exist in our lives.  Rarely do we have conversations that matter.  Most of our words seem to float into nonexistence after spoken.  My hope for this blog is that it would become a “merry-go-round” space for the folks within my sphere of influence.  I don’t care about being controversial in order to stir up interest.  What I want is community and communication.  What I want is the kind of fellowship that spurs on to a more vivid imitation of Jesus. 

I especially desire to stay connected to my Heartland Worship Center missionaries (we have replaced the word member for the word missionary).  Believe it or not, I alway feel that I have more to say to you.  I desire greatly to be a voice in your life through the week and hopefully this blog will give occasion for such a thing. 

The name of this blog (our merry-go-round space) is Crossculture.  The concept of a church driven by the philosophy expressed through the cross and by the example of Jesus is my life passion.  I will write on other things from time to time, but I will always come back to Jesus and his cross. 

I hope you will subscribe to this blog and occasionally make a comment or two.  I hope this is a place of true Christian community as an addendum to the love we share face-to-face.

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. Beverly permalink
    June 22, 2010 8:03 am

    Thanks, Nathan, for this blog site. I’m looking forward to hearing “more” of what God is showing you.

  2. Kyle H permalink
    June 23, 2010 5:23 pm

    I remember those merry-go-round days very well. Thanks for being the kind of friend and pastor that points people towards deeper relationships with each other and with God. Look forward to more from your blog!

  3. Brent permalink
    June 24, 2010 1:56 pm

    Nathan,
    Thanks for the blog and as w/ your sermons-your insight and your words of wisdom. Through the hardest challenge that I have faced in my entire life, your teachings have not only guided me, but challenged me to embrace the cross and to live a cross cultured life. I praise my God that we have you here at HWC, for your training, your knowledge and your passion. Please don’t let up or take it easy on us. WE NEED THE CHALLENGE!!

  4. Susanbracey permalink
    June 26, 2010 11:14 pm

    You say you always feel like you need to tell us more. Same here, we always feel like we need to hear more. I just can’t seem to get enough. The blog is a great idea! Thanks for taking so much of your time feeding your hungry sheep. We appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.

  5. Cherity permalink
    June 27, 2010 3:18 pm

    I am SO glad I checked the website. I am glad to have found this blog of yours and look forward to following it. Thank you for sharing what God puts on you to share and for sharing your own heart. It helps me (and I’m sure many others) to have that more personal relationship that we often need to be able to truly feel “connected”. Just as you say you always have more you want to say to us, I always leave wanting more. Not in a bad way, I just can’t wait to hear more of what God has to say, through you. I am thankful that you have been chosen to pastor the flock here; I am even more greatful that the Lord revealed Heartland to us so that we could have a spirit led church. I think this is long enough I could have started my own blog, so I shall close for now. Thanks again for all of your Godly wisdom that you share!
    In Christ,
    Cherity

  6. Sandy Dement permalink
    June 27, 2010 8:15 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am so glad and happy that you have started this blog. Sunday morning evening messages are awesome but it seems that I/we always want more. Please don’t stop challenging us to get out of our comfort zone. You are so inspiring in your messages and make me want to study and know more about our Jesus. I am blessed to get to take part.

  7. Lee permalink
    June 27, 2010 8:32 pm

    BRING IT ON! I am always moved and challenged by God’s word spoken through your inspiration. Culture change in all stages and phases of life are somewhat slow and even a bit painful, but worth going through the process. Becoming a part of “The Cross Culture” over the past 2 1/2 years has been and is continuing to be just that. I am significantly more interested and blessed to see your generation becoming caught up in “The Cross Culture”. Don’t ever stop preaching and teaching the gospel of the Cross.

  8. Joey permalink
    June 27, 2010 10:03 pm

    Ready to be dizzy! Spin me! 🙂

  9. Teressa Stewart permalink
    June 28, 2010 6:25 am

    Thanks Dr. Nathan…I cannot tell you how much I enjoy each message you bring…You are a true man of God. Keep on spreading the true word ….You are always a blessing to me and have helped me during a rough portion of my life by your words and your messages directly from God. Looking forward to your blog…God Bless You!!! I cannot tell you how much you have blessed me and how thankful I have you as my Pastor…..

  10. Holly B permalink
    June 28, 2010 1:19 pm

    I miss the merry-go-round days. I loved the closeness we shared there. I pray daily that my kids form a group as close as we were and stay as close to God as many of us have. I know that group was a great source of accountability for me and kept me out of some things I am glad I stayed out of. I love those memories and keep them close to my heart. I want to mirror our activities in my kids, but I know times have changed and their activities have to change. I pray God puts great Christian friends in their paths like he did mine. Thanks for the memories, Nate!!!

  11. Mendy Harris permalink
    June 28, 2010 2:05 pm

    I miss that Merry-Go-Round, too! Funny how Kyle’s office is right down the street from it! But I’m fortunate to be back with not only some of the Merry-Go-Round friends from back in the day, but have now found new friends to share and experience similar things with through Heartland. Thank you for your friendship and leadership! Can’t wait to experience the blog! Love you!

  12. Jenny Muniz permalink
    June 28, 2010 2:53 pm

    I agree with Holly! We were so blessed to have such a close group of friends. That does not happen with every youth group. Good times and good memories!

  13. Annetta Guess permalink
    June 28, 2010 3:06 pm

    Thanks for being a great teacher. I’ve learned more these past few years than in the many past. God continue to use you is my prayer

  14. June 29, 2010 9:22 am

    I miss those days. I remember how someone always seemed to be searching for the right direction at some crossroads of life. More than once, it was that merry-go-round group that loved me enough to confront me about not pursueing the direction my heart was bent toward. It was and still is a picture of the church, love that cares enought to get involved and even say the tough things.

  15. June 29, 2010 4:04 pm

    I always felt that the Merry-Go-Round youth had that desire to be close to Him and His will and love for each other.How blest to be Bro.Ron and watch God use us,correct us,and spread His love to others.
    He has not changed.He is still doing it for all who are willing to let Him. Always knew that God wanted my son to love Him and others. God bless….Ron Joyce (still Bro.Ron)

  16. Andrea B permalink
    June 29, 2010 10:20 pm

    Nathan – So happy to see this blog. Living 6 hours away is a bit of a commute to get to your sermons so I’m excited to see this new mode of missioning.

    Keep on keepin’ on.

  17. Deb permalink
    June 30, 2010 2:46 am

    Thank you for taking the time to do this. God uses you in such an amazing way and I’m thankful for the truth and the passion and the love that you bring to us every single week. Looking forward to reading more.

  18. June 30, 2010 11:14 am

    My little sister has been talking about your works at Heartland and I need a good dose of daily Christianity 😀 I will definitely be following this blog, thanks for sharing your thoughts and knowledge with us.

  19. July 10, 2010 12:56 pm

    Being homebound now, fighting cancer, it was a joy to read your blog, thank you so much for taking the time to reach others that get shut-off from hearing or reading others opinions of Our Lord…………….

  20. Ashley permalink
    July 12, 2010 6:39 am

    Nathan – so glad you are doing this! Great posts so far. Keep ’em coming!

  21. Darby McMillen permalink
    July 21, 2010 7:15 pm

    Wow, this brought back some wonderful memories! I remember how any one of us could just utter the words “I need to go to our park” and we’d assemble in no time and talk for hours and pray for that person’s struggles. God truly blessed me with some awesome Christian friends and a youth group that helped me stay on the right path whenever I was tempted to stray.

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