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Posted by Michael Ross on Monday, January 16, 2017,

Remember this song?

"Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for you."

I have always liked this song. The words and the tune. Singing it slowly and quietly. And then finishing with a flair of an upbeat tempo and louder chorus as if to let everyone know of our commitment to God.

But what does it mean to be a "sanctuary?" We hear about sanctuary cities. Animal sanctuaries. Church sanctuaries. But what about us being "living sanctu...

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Happy New Year

Posted by Michael Ross on Tuesday, January 3, 2017,

Happy New Years! It is hard to believe that 2016 is over. Time flies when you are having fun. Thank God for the past year, learn from your mistakes, grow from your tragedies, celebrate your successes, and seek God more intently in the new year of 2017.

I am not one for making "New Year Resolutions." It has been estimated that only about 8% of those who make new year resolutions actually keep them. So what is it that gets us so excited and focused to make the resolutions but lose that excitemen...

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Doing the Right Thing!

Posted by Michael Ross on Tuesday, July 28, 2015,

Sometimes doing the right thing is difficult. You argue with yourself and can justify other actions, but deep down you know the right thing to do. And when you do the right thing it may be awkward and frustrating and uncomfortable. But it is still the right thing.

The right thing is always motivated by love. One of my favorite encounters that Jesus has is found in Matthew 22 and Mark 12. He is asked which commandment was the greatest. He responds by saying that Love is the greatest commandment...

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What do you do with...?

Posted by Michael Ross on Saturday, June 6, 2015,
There are so many things that we don't have the answers to.  At some level I believe that I can figure most things out.  But the reality is I don't have very many solid answers to most things. I struggle with several areas where I don't have the answers.  Here is a partial list of those things.

What do you do with...
  • ISIS
  • Caitlyn/Bruce Jenner and the transgender issues
  • Politics in America
  • Politics in churches
  • Heroin overdoses on the rise
  • Racial struggles in Ferguson, Baltimore, etc
  • Flooding, Earthqua...

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Quick Survey

Posted by Michael Ross on Monday, April 13, 2015,
Purpose:  what an interesting word.  We do things in purpose...sometimes.  We say things on purpose...sometimes.  What about those other times.

If you are reading this...great!  Please respond to the following question.

What is your purpose?  No boundaries here.  No hidden agenda.  Just answer the question to the best of your ability.

Again...what is your purpose?

I look forward to reading your responses.
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Two Questions!

Posted by Michael Ross on Saturday, February 28, 2015,
1.  Do you believe in the cross?

2.  What are you going to do about it?
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Fifty Shades of Grey

Posted by Michael Ross on Sunday, February 15, 2015,

Some of the content is from Dave Owens from the Wetzel Road Church of Christ in Liverpool, NY

Well, I had decided not to even give the movie a thought.  I wasn’t going to write about it or even acknowledge it.  However, it probably needs to be addressed.  So here it goes.

   carried an article saying: “Americans should boycott Fifty Shades of Grey on Valentine's Day, say more than 60,000 signatories and a growing coalition of groups that accused NBC Universal of ...

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Quick Question to think about!

Posted by Michael Ross on Saturday, November 1, 2014,
This has been on my mind a lot lately.  Maybe it is misguided.  Maybe it is spot on.

Do you ever think God looks down at his followers and just wants to ask, "Why are you making this so difficult?."
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What is Your Passion?

Posted by Michael Ross on Saturday, October 4, 2014,
Do you know what you are passionate about?  What is it that really inspires you?  What occupies your thoughts and motivates you to get involved?  Can you pinpoint the one thing that you really want to to?

I ask those questions because I ask myself those same questions every single day.  And I know the answer.  The problem is -- there always seems to be a barrier that stops me.  Things like finances, education, time and opportunity are just a few of the things that pop up.  The passion still st...
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Two Events!

Posted by Michael Ross on Saturday, August 23, 2014,
There are two great events coming up real soon!

August 31, 2014 -- Kanawha Valley Unity Service -- "Hope in Unity, Unity in Hope" -- Matt Oliver from the Hurricane Church of Christ will be speaking.  It will be from 10:00 - 12:00 at WV State University in the Davis Fine Arts Auditorium.   Praying that our worship together will be uplifting and powerful but most importantly authentic praise to our God!

September 21, 2014 -- Friends Day at the Cross Lanes Church of Christ.  In conjunction with th...
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What's Your Story?

Posted by Michael Ross on Saturday, March 15, 2014,

What’s your Story?

This past Thursday there was a guy on the corner of Lee and Quarrier Streets in Charleston.  He was a younger guy with long hair just sitting in a sports chair.  As I got closer I could see he was holding a sign and immediately I thought he was panhandling.  And of course I rushed to judgment.

The closer I got these were the words on his sign – “What’s your story?”  I started heading toward him so I could talk but someone else got there first and I heard him exp...

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Merry Christmas

Posted by Michael Ross on Tuesday, December 24, 2013, we are again.  It is Christmas time.  I want to encourage you to really enjoy your time with family and friends without feeling guilty.  Be thankful for your blessings and all of the gifts that you may receive this season.

But I also want to encourage to be thoughtful of those who do not have what you have.  Make an extra effort to give in some way to others during this season.  

And I want everyone to celebrate Jesus!  His birth is so important.  Take some time and worship this seas...
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Life on the Vine

Posted by Michael Ross on Sunday, August 11, 2013,
This is the title of a book by Philip Kenneson about cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives.  He asserts in the book that the church has failed to do this and has simply become an extension of our culture rather than recreating our culture by living and displaying the Fruit of the Spirit.

I attended a VBS a couple of weeks ago and the theme was the Fruit of the Spirit.  Great discussion about how the evidence of the fruit in our lives will spill over to others as we are able to bear ...
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Life is Short, Pray Hard

Posted by Michael Ross on Saturday, June 1, 2013,
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.   James 4:14

I had a couple of experiences this week that really brings this scripture to light.

1.  A 47 year old father and husband is in the hospital with swelling on the brain.  The future is uncertain and family has been told there is really nothing that can be done. 

2.  A 31 year old single mother of 2 passes away after a short battle with cervical canc...

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Grace -- what it's all about!

Posted by Michael Ross on Saturday, April 20, 2013,
From Brennan Manning's book -- "The Ragamuffin Gospel"

Put bluntly, the American church today accepts grace in theory but denies it in practice. We say we believe that the fundamental structure of reality is grace, not works–but our lives refute our faith. By and large, the gospel of grace is neither proclaimed, understood, nor lived. Too many Christians are living in a house of fear and not in the house of love.

Our culture has made the word grace impossible to understand. We resonate with ...

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Relationship vs. Religion II

Posted by Michael Ross on Saturday, May 21, 2011,
Which has more power?  A relationship with God through Jesus or a list of religious duties and rules?  Yes, I realize that at some level the two go together.  However, we have had it backwards.  We don't follow the religious duties and rules to have a relationship -- we put the effort to follow the duties and rules because we have a relationship.

Think about it.  Which one has more power? 
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Relationship vs. Religion

Posted by Michael Ross on Saturday, April 30, 2011,
Is there a difference between relationship and religion?  Are the two mutually exclusive?  Can you have them both?  What is it that Jesus came to share with the world?

Jesus says that two things measure our spiritual life -- Love God with everything you have and Love your neighbor as yourself.  Love that defines our lives and the activities we pursue.  Could it be that we have missed the point by making the religious institution the focus?  Could it be that we made the wrong things the most im...
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Is it Working?

Posted by Michael Ross on Saturday, April 2, 2011,
Is what we are doing working?  Are we working for the Kingdom or are we simply perpetuating our little group?  Don't misunderstant me -- I am proud of my heritage, my beliefs, my convictions.  But aren't we supposed to be building the Kingdom?  Yes, we can do that through the local church, but the local church here is either stagnant or declining.  It is time we started looking for a more effective way to reach the world for the Kingdom.  The church is a small part of the the bigger Kingdom. ...
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Posted by Michael Ross on Friday, March 25, 2011,
What stirs you more --  The tradition and/or beliefs of the movement/denomination that you are part of or the intense desire to follow the leading of Jesus in your daily life?

My hunch is that we all want to choose the latter, but we would probably have to choose the former.

What stirs you the most?
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Posted by Michael Ross on Saturday, January 29, 2011,

11 Questions for 2011

Do you thirst for God?

Are you governed increasingly by God’s word?

Are you more loving?

Are you more sensitive to God’s presence?

Do you have a growing concern for the needs of others?

Do you delight in the bride of Christ?

Are the spiritual disciplines increasingly important to you?

Do you still grieve over sin?

Are you a quick forgiver?

Do you yearn for heaven and to be with Jesus?


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It is Here!

Posted by Michael Ross on Thursday, December 23, 2010,
Well, it is almost here.  Two more days and "the big fat guy" will be here.  I love listening to my children talk about Santa coming.  They have this amazing sense of anticipation and just pure happiness talking about it.  This really is the most wonderful time of the year.

Take time to celebrate this Christmas season.  Celebrate Jesus, celebrate life, celebrate family, celebrate giving, celebrate gifts, celebrate friends, celebrate everything you can.

Merry Christmas....
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What is Christmas?

Posted by Michael Ross on Saturday, December 4, 2010,
What is Christmas to you?  Growing up it was simply a holiday about trees, toys, gifts, meals, lights, and time off from school.  We didn't celebrate the birth of Christ during December.  We didn't want to be like the "denominations."  We somehow were more enlightened than everyone else.  But maybe, just maybe, we fooled ourselves right out of the miracle. 

From the movie "Scrooged" starring Bill Murray:

"It's Christmas's the one night of the year we all act a little nicer.  We smile a...
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Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Michael Ross on Thursday, November 25, 2010,

I have a quick question for all of us to think about.  It is estimated that the US will spend $27 billion dollars on Thanksgiving meals.  What would happen if all of us took half of what we spend on our own Thanksgiving meals and spent it to feed the homeless all across the world?  That would be $13.5 billion dollars spent on those who need it most.

Another quick thought:  Since God is the Father of the fatherless; God and Jesus are one; The church is the Bride of Christ;  Wouldn't that make t...

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Baptism Celebration

Posted by Michael Ross on Monday, November 22, 2010,
Wow!  It never ceases to amaze me how happy it makes me to participate in a baptism.  The decision to follow Jesus is so monumental in someone's life and it is so incredibly exciting.  Sidney Simons was baptized on November 14, 2010 and I am thrilled that I was part of that.  Sidney needs our prayers and example as she lives for Jesus.
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Kanawha Valley Unity Service

Posted by Michael Ross on Thursday, November 4, 2010,
WOW!  Not many words could describe the service on Sunday.  It was simply awesome.  Approximately 330 people met together to sing, commune and share in the word.  Eight (8) congregations were represented (Cross Lanes, Griffithsville, Hurricane, Kanawha City, Nitro, Park Ave, Sissonville, and Danville).

It was apparent God was speaking through Steve Fox to talk aobut unity and how we were created to be in fellowship together.

Watch for information about future gatherings.
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Kanawha Valley Unity Service

Posted by Michael Ross on Monday, October 11, 2010,

October 31, 2010

WV State University -- Davis Fine Arts Auditorium

10:00 am - 12:00 noon

SPEAKER:    Steve Fox, Kanawha City Church of Christ

Please make you plans to attend this opportunity for fellowship and continued work toward unity in the valley.  Our last meeting was simply fantastic with around 300 worshiping together.  You won't want to miss it.

Questions:  Please contact Michael Ross at (304) 541-1541.
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About Me

I am lucky enough to be the husband of Kerry and the dad for Alex, Emily, Jeremy, Jacob, Jessica, Max, Olivia, and Maci. I am also the Preaching Minister for the Cross Lanes Church of Christ in Cross Lanes, WV. My Motto: "Live in such a way that those who know you but don't know God will come to know God because they know you."