Posts in the Encouragement Category

Through His Eyes

Posted onFebruary 1, 2019 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

The Bible says that Jesus was the only perfect person in history and yet He managed to notoriously attract the imperfect. Even in His day, Jesus had a great deal of respect for people who didn't believe....Keep Reading


Posted onNovember 29, 2018 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

As many of you know, this fall our oldest son Samuel began his first semester in the Corp of Cadets at Virginia Tech. Virginia Polytechnic Institute is one of only two major public universities to host a senior military college as part of a larger civilian university. Lord willing if he's able to reach the end, he will graduate with a college degree as a commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corp. It is an incredibly challenging program. This past August he began a four-year program with 45 other NROTC freshmen and now just 16 remain....Keep Reading

Special times with family

Posted onJuly 16, 2018 | by: Father Chuck Owens | 0 comments

Becky and I looked at each other last night with sad eyes . . . our grandson Charlie went home yesterday! The Uno and Rummikub games have been returned to the cabinet beneath the den window; the night light is off in the bedroom at the top of the stairs; a pair of small flip flops is no longer waiting by the back door; and after two weeks, the Rectory seems strangely empty. ...Keep Reading

What is Lent?

Posted onFebruary 8, 2018 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

If you're new to the liturgical calendar, the season of Lent can seem downright odd. Black smudges on the head, fasting, washing feet, deep prayers of sorrow. What does all of it mean?...Keep Reading

Padre's Ponderings

Posted onFebruary 6, 2018 | by: Father Chuck Owens | 0 comments

The annual "State of the School" gathering was held this past Monday evening. After opening the event with prayer, I listened in awe as Mr. Frank Byrd, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, reviewed Cross Schools' recent accomplishments and Dr. Brad Schultz, Head of Schools, cast a vision for the innovative educational approaches to be launched this fall across all grade levels....Keep Reading

An Enduring Lesson

Posted onFebruary 6, 2018 | by: Pastor Jonathan Riddle | 0 comments

As many know, I have been coaching Cross Country at Bluffton High School the past 18 months. Between coaching, traveling with teenagers to visit a World War II Veteran or raising my own six children, there is an enduring lesson I've learned. ...Keep Reading

Padre's Ponderings, June 29, 2017

Posted onJune 29, 2017 | by: Father Chuck Owens | 0 comments

On June 28, 2004, The Church of the Cross celebrated the 150th anniversary of its historic church building by breaking ground for a new campus fronting the Buckwalter Parkway that would become home to Cross Schools and expanded opportunities for worship and discipleship activities. ...Keep Reading

Unthinkable and Thankful

Posted onMay 18, 2017 | by: Pastor Jeff Falkowski | 0 comments

When I first understood what it meant to have a good relationship with God, I was a junior in college at the University of Georgia. I had been involved in Fraternity life to the fullest (in an unhealthy way) and as a result of my newfound relationship with Jesus I no longer was involved in many of the activities which had become the basis for many of my friendships....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

Are you in Rhythm?

Posted onApril 27, 2017 | by: Pastor Jeff Falkowski | 0 comments

In our modern society rhythm is hard to find. We are no longer in line with the natural order of things. As a result, many of us feel out of sync and frazzled. Is there a safe harbor for our tired and weary souls in the midst of the chaos of the storms of life?...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

What Does Every Marriage Need?

Posted onFebruary 24, 2017 | by: Pastor Jeff Falkowski | 0 comments

Before Gwen and I were married, we had a wise friend insist on sending us to professional marriage counselors for premarital counseling. While there, the husband and wife team made a powerful point. They said, "People routinely take care of their cars because it is important to keep them running well, how much more then should we take care of our marriages?" Their point was clear. Don't wait until you have a major breakdown to "fix" your marriage, make sure you take care of your marriage along the way and your marriage will take care of you!...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

Padre's Ponderings

Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 | by: Father Chuck Owens | 0 comments

Have you ever had so much to do that you just couldn't seem to catch up? I'm in one of those places right now - I know because this morning I woke with these words from one of my favorite Frankie Laine songs running through my mind!...Keep Reading

A New Beginning

Posted onJanuary 27, 2017 | by: Pastor Jeff Falkowski | 0 comments

It is amazing how quickly plans can change, in an instant, at the drop of the hat. We were moving forward, things were going well, we were making progress and then "it" happens....Keep Reading

A New Beginning

Posted onJanuary 9, 2017 | by: Pastor Jeff Falkowski | 0 comments

I love starting a New Year. How strange that the passing of the date from December 31st to January 1st can give us a sense of closing an old chapter and starting a new one. Yet, it does!...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

Padre's Ponderings... November 3, 2016

Posted onNovember 3, 2016 | by: Father Chuck Owens | 0 comments

Having farmed for many years in rural South Carolina, I know that one can deduce a lot about a fellow from his pickup truck. Suspecting that the same could be said about a fellow and his boat, from my vantage point on the Bluff I begin to "Sherlock" the strange situation of the mysterious sailboat....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

Padre's Ponderings: War Surplus, 9-8-16

Posted onSeptember 8, 2016 | by: Father Chuck Owens | 0 comments

Wars and rumors of war set the context for my early childhood years . . .CEO the 2nd I suspect I would have hardly noticed the transition from World War II to the Korean War were it not for two events: my father (a career naval officer) was stationed ashore and I discovered the Army-Navy Surplus Store on King Street in Charleston, SC....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

Padre's Ponderings, July 28, 2016

Posted onJuly 28, 2016 | by: Father Chuck Owens | 0 comments

It's 3:00pm; and with the predictability of the church bell announcing the start of worship, a summer shower is bringing relief from a wilting combination of temperature and humidity above 90. The rain is falling softly from clouds too white to be menacing and too ephemeral to offer the promise of a lingering respite. That said, the sun's momentary return will be welcomed, for it's been robbed of sufficient time to reignite its earthly oven....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

Padre's Ponderings, "Bottom Fishing", June 16, 2016

Posted onJune 16, 2016 | by: Father Chuck Owens | 0 comments

While vacationing with my grandsons on Edisto Island last week, I noticed that Drew (13) and Charlie (11) were focused on the waves before them, while my eyes were drawn to the ocean beyond. I noticed, too, that they didn't have to get up during the night, while I . . . well, you get the idea. These two observations colluded to spawn another in the midst of a midnight hour near the end of our time together....Keep Reading

Padre's Ponderings "Summer Shoes", June 9, 2016

Posted onJune 9, 2016 | by: Father Chuck Owens | 0 comments

"Summer Shoes" Though my childhood seems so far away, it's not . . . in fact, it's as close as a suddenly triggered memory; and may I quickly add, I find that comforting. Mind you, I've no desire to relive those pivotal years; but neither do I want to forget them, for to do so would be akin to erasing a portion from the chalkboard of my life as if it never existed. But it did - and my, oh my, was it significant in this lad's life!...Keep Reading

Padre's Ponderings, 5-26-16

Posted onMay 26, 2016 | by: Father Chuck Owens | 0 comments

Early on the morning of April 27, 2010, Becky and I glimpsed Ireland for the first time. As the plane traversed the countryside, we could see below the patchwork of hedgerows, narrow winding roads, brilliant shades of green dotted with sheep and cattle, and quaint hamlets, appearing to have somehow avoided the onslaught of the 21st century . . . quite a contrast to what greeted us upon landing in Dublin!...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