Posts Tagged ‘Life-at-the-Cross’

I run with purpose

Posted onNovember 16, 2017 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Eighteen months ago, in a hospital outside of Columbia I made a promise to a young girl. She had survived a hit-n-run accident that killed her best friend. ...Keep Reading

A Night of Fun

Posted onOctober 26, 2017 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Our “Monday Night Main Event” began in 2015 with the hope that we would bring the generations together. It’s a night filled with laughing, a children’s message, a family craft and dinner and has been a huge success....Keep Reading

Aslan's on the Move!

Posted onMay 11, 2017 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

In his Children's Books The Narnia Series, C.S. Lewis writes of the great lion Aslan, a Christ figure who is in and around everything. It was often said of him, "Aslan's on the move!" It wasn't hard to see the Lion's greatness it was evident by everything and every person he touched....Keep Reading

Life at the Cross

Posted onApril 13, 2017 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

As we move into the week of The Passion of Jesus, there are no words more powerful than what the Prophet Isaiah wrote 700 years before Christ's Birth, Suffering, Death, & Resurrection. The hope of the Gospel is found below....Keep Reading

I Feel Like a Rich Man

Posted onFebruary 9, 2017 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

This week my oldest son Sam turned 17. It does not seem that long ago that Lisa and I brought him home from the hospital. So, now we have a 17 year old and a two-year-old with four others running around the house. Lisa and I calculated except for a 14-month break, we have been changing diapers for nearly 16 years! Life is always busy in the Riddle household....Keep Reading

What Was I Thinking?!

Posted onDecember 8, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

I have a different view of Christmas than in years past. Lisa has always done the Christmas shopping for our children's gifts. It has gotten increasingly harder as our family has grown. Last year I made suggestions of better ways she could shop for the children's gifts. ...Keep Reading

Saying Goodbye

Posted onSeptember 15, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

The Church of the Cross will be celebrating and honoring the life of Brad Donaldson this Tuesday, September 20 at 4:00pm on the Historic Campus. This past week Brad suffered a massive heart attack and died. He was just 50 years old. Even now it is hard to comprehend because he was one of the toughest and fittest people I've known....Keep Reading

Another Year by God's Grace

Posted onSeptember 1, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Today, September 1st, normally just comes and goes for me. Even though it's my birthday I don't get sentimental with it being particularly special. I have said too many times, "Age is just a number" or as Satchel Paige use to say; "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?"...Keep Reading

Monday Night Kick-Off

Posted onAugust 22, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Last year our we began Monday Main Events. Being spread across two campuses, five worship services, over eighty ministries and numerous communities, it's important that we become more intentional about building the personal relationships that hallmark the Body of Christ. This is a special night once a month for adults, youth and children - bringing the whole family together! There will be a group activity, a children's message and a free meal for all....Keep Reading

Therefore, My Heart Is Glad

Posted onJune 23, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

At least once a year our family escapes to the North Carolina Mountains. It's a special place for me, it's where I went to college and Jesus Christ became real. I've often arrived weary and left feeling full. It's hard to hide my children's enthusiasm, especially my youngest, when they visit "Tweetsie Railroad" and see Thomas the Train!...Keep Reading

Living Through Miracles & Tragedy, 5-19-16

Posted onMay 19, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Our Church and the Bluffton Community have experienced a heart wrenching loss. Twelve days ago 14-year-old Grace Sulak was tragically killed in a hit and run car accident outside of Columbia. Andrea Dewey and her 14-year-old daughter Emma were critically injured. It's difficult to communicate how hard this has hit so many because both families are such a huge part of our Church and Community....Keep Reading

The Irish Are Here! 1-23-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a famous doctor when he left his very prestigious position in the Royal College of Physicians and shocked many of his colleagues by going into ministry. Years later he would remember in his pre-ministry days spending all his time with the intellectual elite of British society; but when Christ came into his life, much of that changed. His first job was in a little town in Wales in the middle of nowhere. Its primary industry was fishing, and a large majority of the community was blue collar. Lloyd-Jones feared he would have nothing in common and, as an academic, would fail to preach the Gospel in a way they could connect with....Keep Reading

God and Sinners Reconciled, 12-23-13

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Billy Graham recently turned 95. It's hard to find anyone who has had a bigger impact on this world than Dr. Graham. His son recently asked people to keep his father in their prayers as his health is fading fast. He will always have a special place in my heart; my first son's middle name is Graham. I was reminding him recently of a story he frequently shares:...Keep Reading

Living Life with One String, 1-6-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

One evening Niccolo Paganini, the nineteenth-century violinist, was performing before a packed house and playing through a number of difficult pieces when one after another the strings began to break on his violin - he finished on one string! As expected, the audience jumped to its feet clapping and cheering loudly, never asking for an encore. Paganini, seizing the moment and with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face shouted, "Paganini on one string!" As the audience sat in amazement, he played the entire concerto again on one string!...Keep Reading

City on a Hill, 11-27-13

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

When I first meet people in this community I'm often asked two questions; "Where are you from"... and "What do you do?" When I mention that I'm a minister at The Church of the Cross what usually comes next is a mention of how beautiful our Historic Campus is. ...Keep Reading

Let Your Light Shine, 10-28-13

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

One of my greatest memories didn't start off that way. During my time as a student at Appalachian State I had the opportunity of earning extra money around Christmas by working at Samaritan's Purse. Operation Christmas Child was just getting off the ground; it was relatively an unknown ministry but even then the idea of helping children around the world seemed to resonate with people. It was a highly accessible way to do something that would really make a difference in the life of a child....Keep Reading

Reflecting God's Glory, 10-14-13

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Last week our Church celebrated the Blessing of the Animals, one at Cross School, the other at the Historic Campus. It was a special treat to see people's love for their animals, but even more so because we're living out a Gospel mandate, "To Glorify God and enjoy Him forever." The Psalmist writes, "The stars declare the glory of God. The earth is full of God's glory if we will but stop to examine it." Psalm 19:1....Keep Reading

Seeing Heaven Now, 9-30-13

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Over the years in ministry, I've met so many wonderful people. When you're around them you walk away feeling better. I've also been around many in the church, that leave you feeling condemned, angry, frustrated, and hurt. Yet you know deep down they're Christians, that New Creation of Christ is in them somewhere....Keep Reading

Nothing is Impossible with God, 8-19-13

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

My older brother Evan who I have only seen twice in the last 15 years flew into Bluffton this week. In so many ways it's a miracle beyond anything I could've imagined. A heavy methamphetamine addict for nearly 20 years, most of our holidays were spent wondering if he was still alive?...Keep Reading

To Take Offense, 7-8-13

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Over the years Lisa and I (mainly Lisa) have written down memorable moments of our children. It is fun to look back and remember all the funny things they said and did, we often feel like we experience the joy of those moments all over again....Keep Reading

The Peace of God, 5-13-13

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

As some of you are aware, I had surgery last week. All is well and I'm recovering, and should be back this week at the Historic Calhoun Campus. I was reminded again last week as I was going under the knife that our lives are always in God's Hands....Keep Reading

The Joy of Family, 4-26-13

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

A few days after Easter we returned home from a short family vacation to The Great Wolf Lodge indoor waterpark outside of Charlotte. After an incredible Holy Week I returned home Sunday afternoon to begin to pack the car for seven people....Keep Reading

Soli Deo Gloria, 3-18-13

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Johann Sebastian Bach - today the world knows him as probably the most brilliant musical composer that has ever lived. Many however don't know what propelled him to write some of the greatest music in history....Keep Reading

The Hound of Heaven, 3-12-13

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

...So wrote C.S. Lewis in his autobiography "Surprised by Joy." His story describes how The Hound of Heaven brought him to his knees to admit that God was God and he was not. It is one of the great stories in history of God pursuing one of his prodigal's even when they weren't pursuing him. I'll be covering Lewis this Thursday in my Journeys of Faith class, please feel free to come, even if its just this week....Keep Reading

Heart Christianity, 2-27-13

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Recently a pastor's words challenged me to think about my life. He said, "Much of Christianity in America is focused on Adrenal Christianity rather than Heart Christianity." I love adrenaline; being a pastor and having five children there are many days where that's the only thing that gets me through......Keep Reading

Not Forgotten, 11-9-15

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

During my time as a student at Appalachian State I had the opportunity of earning extra money around Christmas by working at Samaritan's Purse. Operation Christmas Child was just getting off the ground, it was relatively an unknown ministry, even then the idea of helping children around the world seem to resonate with people. It was a highly accessible way to do something that would make a difference in the life of a child....Keep Reading

In God's Hands, 11-30-16

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

At the urging of Pastor Jason I want to take a moment to share with you a current medical condition. Two weeks ago I received word that I had been diagnosed with a type of skin cancer. When the call came, I was corralling the kids in the car so I only heard bits and pieces; but what I could gather seemed serious. As a minister I'm around sickness, cancer and death on a regular basis; but having to face your own mortality is a viewpoint that I have never experienced. I didn't sleep that night and found myself thinking, "Will I be around in a year? What will happen to Lisa and the children?" Most importantly, "Do I believe what I've been preaching?"...Keep Reading

His Hands & His Feet, 10-19-15

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Watching the events and the massive flooding to our State brought back personal memories of similar circumstances. Having had our home destroyed by Hurricane Frances in 2004 I remember well the weariness and the helplessness in the days after. I knew God was in control and yet there is a tiredness that touches every part of you that is hard to describe....Keep Reading

On A Warm Summer Evening, 7-30-15

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Last year a friend of mine wrote on a July evening from his front porch in Summerton, "Lightning bugs, the comforting sound of cicadas and tree frogs on a hot humid night, I absolutely love summers in the South!" Growing up on the coast, I never knew life outside of the beach. Like most, when you're young, you think "life is better everywhere else than here." When I moved away I discovered I had a love for everything near the ocean that had always been there but I took for granted. Driving into Pawley's Island late one night from Florida, I can still remember the Pluff mud, a distinctive smell like none other. Any southerner who has lived on the coast knows its characteristics, it will definitely stay with you whether you smell it or step in it. I hated it for years but when I was away I discovered I missed it dearly. I missed all of it, the Tidal flats and Spartina grass salt marshes, with its sights and smells, and the feeling of home....Keep Reading

For whom do you carry your stone? 8-17-15

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

One of the most influential people in my life, Elisabeth Elliot died this past June. She was a Christian author and speaker. Her first husband, Jim Elliot, was killed in 1956 while attempting to make missionary contact with the Auca Natives of eastern Ecuador. A year after her husbands death, she and the other widows tried again to reach the Auca. They succeeded and 50 years later the Auca largely worship Christ....Keep Reading

Charleston: A City on a Hill, 6-29-15

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

In our home state this past week, we have seen the worst of humanity and the best of it. From the horrific murders in Mother AME to the victims' family members telling the killer "We forgive you." These families have reminded us that at the heart of everything we believe is a person who died on a Cross for His enemies. He prayed for the very people that were killing Him and said "Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing."...Keep Reading

Trust in the Lord, 2-9-15

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Several years ago Elisabeth Elliot (the wife and the martyred missionary Jim Elliot) was visiting some friends who were sheep farmers in the Highlands of Scotland. In that part of the country, sheep attract parasites that get into their wool & skin eventually killing them. Farmers combat this by taking the sheep once a year and submerging them into a vat of antiseptic. For this to be effective, (the sheep which are desperately trying to get out) the farmer has to hold their head completely under the surface for a few seconds....Keep Reading

Finding Jesus in Advent, 12-8-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

The Advent season is upon us. I know because people are driving more aggressively, my mailbox is stuffed on a daily basis with magazines I never ordered, and I'm busier than at any other time in the year. I'm already tired and December has just begun....Keep Reading

The Imago Dei, 1-15-15

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

(This) quote could have been communicated in 2015, it was actually written on April 16th, 1963 by Martin Luther King in the Birmingham Jail. He was appealing to the Christian Church to go deeper into their understanding of Christianity. His example was the early Church, and how their witness electrified the Roman Empire. Today's church can still capture the sacrificial spirit and the Apostle Peter's words still ring true today: "God has chosen you to tell about the wonderful things He has done. He has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."...Keep Reading

Soli Deo Gloria, 11-17-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Today the world knows Johann Sebastian Bach as probably the most brilliant musical composer that has ever lived. Many however don't know what propelled him to write some of the greatest music in history. The letters SDG are found in nearly every piece of music he ever wrote. Soli Deo Gloria, Latin for "Glory to God Alone" was Bach's supreme goal in life. ...Keep Reading

A Good Endeavor, 10-27-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

One of my greatest memories didn't start off that way. During my time as a student at Appalachian State I had the opportunity of earning extra money around Christmas by working at Samaritan's Purse. Operation Christmas Child was just getting off the ground, it was relatively an unknown ministry, even then the idea of helping children around the world seem to resonate with people. It was a highly accessible way to do something that would really make a difference in the life of a child....Keep Reading

Fanning the Flame, 9-11-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you. 2 Timothy 1:5-6 ...Keep Reading

For the Least of These, 8-26-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Every week our Church is involved in a ministry that is mostly hidden, our Food Bank - hidden because it takes place in the morning in the middle of the week. A small group of volunteers gather early Tuesday mornings to be ready for the 9:30 opening. We serve between 90 -110 families, ranging from single moms and retirees to those searching for work and those on fixed incomes....Keep Reading

Sorrow Too Deep for Tears, 7-27-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

The Lord giveth, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21 The hardest thing Christians have to face is living in these two realities. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. I find myself as a minister, a husband, a father constantly living in both worlds....Keep Reading

Summers in the South, 7-7-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

A fellow priest friend of mine recently wrote, "Lightning bugs, the comforting sound of cicadas and tree frogs on a hot humid night, I absolutely love summers in the South." Growing up on the coast, I never knew life outside of the beach....Keep Reading

Waiting for a Baby, 6-2-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Sometime very soon, we're going to have a new son. Our five children are already beyond excited and regularly talk to Lisa's stomach. To stave off an early delivery she's been on partial bed-rest for the last couple of weeks and, praise God, has made it to thirty-six weeks. We feel thankful because that means the baby will be delivered locally. Thank you for bringing meals the last few weeks; you have shared our burden and blessed us. We also want you to share in our excitement as we did when Trevor and Julie Harden delivered their son Styles this past week. By the way, he's very cute!...Keep Reading

The Least of These, 5-12-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

This past weekend a large group of volunteers both inside and outside of our congregation gathered on the Cross Schools Campus for the Stop Hunger Now Campaign. The vision and mission is simple: a world without hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-saving aid to the world's most vulnerable by creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources....Keep Reading

The Center of History, 4-24-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

My ten-year-old daughter, Rachel Scott, just finished reading the New Testament. Instead of giving up something for Lent, she decided to add a new daily routine: she planned a 40 day reading schedule that would cover the entire New Testament. Each night she sat in our bed and read; it was quite encouraging to see her do it day after day....Keep Reading

What to Make of Hollywood and God, 3-31-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

I was asked not long ago how I became a Christian. God used a series of things/events/people who brought it about. One of the more bizarre events occurred during my senior year in high school - I saw the movie "The Seventh Sign", starring Demi Moore. It was an apocalyptic film about the Seven Seals foretold in the Book of Revelation to bring about the end of the world. For some reason the movie caught my attention and prompted me to begin to read the Bible for the first time... it began a journey for me that has really never ended. ...Keep Reading

Carry a Stone for Me, 3-17-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Several weeks ago I shared a story that I heard years ago that has always stayed with me. Though it sounds like its from the Bible, it's taken from Elisabeth Elliot's book "These Strange Ashes." One day Jesus said to His disciples: "I'd like you to carry a stone for me." He didn't give any explanation. So the disciples looked around for a stone to carry; and Peter, being the practical sort, sought out the smallest stone he could possibly find. After all, Jesus didn't give any regulation for weight and size! So he put it in his pocket. Jesus then said: "Follow Me."...Keep Reading

The Fragility of Life, 3-3-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Last week, I got an unexpected phone call my Dad's wife. She had been in Washington for a couple of days to visit her daughter and returned by train to Norfolk, VA. My Father was to pick her up but he never arrived; because he is never late for anything, my sister knew something was horribly wrong....Keep Reading

Waiting for Our Son to be Born, 2-13-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

The night of September 11, 2001 I crawled in bed at about midnight, still numb from what I saw unfolding in New York and Washington. I had just talked with my father over the phone and still remember him saying, "Our country will never be the same again, everything is going to change." At the time Lisa was in her last month of pregnancy with our second child. As I lay in bed unable to sleep, I remember thinking, "Into what kind of world is my son being born?"...Keep Reading

Historic Campus Music Ministry News, 2-10-14

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Father Chuck Owens | 0 comments

There's not a time in my daily prayers that I don't think about all the Lord has done and is doing in and through The Church of the Cross and that the words "thank you" are not voiced . . . always my initial thanksgiving is for the God-given privilege of serving Him alongside Becky and the great and growing number of faithful folks who call this parish home......Keep Reading

Taking Action & Making a Difference

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Today 21,000 people will die from a hunger-related cause, one person every four seconds. One in every nine people on our planet go to bed hungry each night. We live in a country where few know the personal effects of not having enough to eat. We see the suffering from afar and feel compassion but don't know what to do....Keep Reading

Pray for Sarah, 4-21-16

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

For everything there is a season, A time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3 The above was written by Solomon nearly 3000 years ago toward the end of his life, his wisdom still rings true. Every Christian has highs and lows, seasons on top of the Mountain or in the depths of the Valley....Keep Reading

The Suffering Servant, 3-29-16

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Seven centuries before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah wrote of the coming Messiah and what He would accomplish. Every year I read this in a Public Worship service. There is nothing I can write in this Passion week that is more powerful. It has been known for centuries as "The Suffering Servant."...Keep Reading

Seeing Differently, 2-24-16

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

Each night during this season of Lent our family sits around our kitchen table and reads two chapters from the Gospel. It is somewhat of a juggling act with our 5 year and 18 month olds. What has struck me are the conversations with the children concerning the scriptures and how we apply them to everyday life. Because I'm "The Minister" I'm to have all the answers, yet many times I have found myself saying "I don't know."...Keep Reading

Thankful! 2-1-16

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

It's kind of silly, but my heart was filled with joy after our family watched our beloved Carolina Panthers advance to the Super Bowl this past Sunday. After all the years of traveling to Spartanburg training camps, enduring the 1-15 seasons, the unexpected losses, now the biggest game in the world, we still couldn't believe that they had actually done it....Keep Reading

I Will Rise, 1-11-16

Posted onMay 18, 2016 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

This past Saturday at Saint James Church on James Island over 1000 people celebrated the life of The Rev. Martha Horne. Martha died December 28, due to complications from cardiac arrest after a long battle with cancer. She's had a profound impact on tens of thousands, ...Keep Reading