Tom’s Midweek Greeting
Crossroads Community Church
August 27, 2018
Dear Crossroads Family,
What a good morning of worship and fellowship we enjoyed yesterday! It’s a blessing to be with such gifted, loving, and spiritually growing people as you! As we think back to what God has done in our lives during the recent months, there’s a reassurance that He certainly must love us. There have been so many answers to prayer, and even where questions or suffering continue in our lives, we have a sense of the Lord’s ongoing support and guidance through the journey. He is maturing us, teaching us, using us, and preparing us for our home one day in a beautiful and perfect place.
It was good to be blessed again by our young women from Cottey, back from summer vacation! We should anticipate that others from Cottey may be visiting Crossroads in the weeks to come. We’re glad to have you back!
Here’s a recap of things discussed at the Congregational Meeting yesterday after church,… and a glimpse of the calendar for this fall semester.
Walking the Walls
We’re looking forward to Joe Chenoweth’s involvement at Crossroads this semester, leading us through a project he calls “Walking the Walls,” based on the book of Nehemiah. Joe is going to meet with some of the leadership from Crossroads this Wednesday evening, but his desire is to eventually bring the entire church family into this process of identifying how we can strengthen and prioritize ministry together. I’m looking forward to the process! Would you please be praying? Also, you can help out by reading through the first four chapters of the book of Nehemiah. Those chapters will help guide us through our inspection and strengthening of the walls at Crossroads! Thank you!
Wednesday nights this fall
We’re planning a fun combination of home group and youth group activity on Wednesday nights this fall!
Our Wednesday night home group for adults involves sharing food and fellowship, then having some Bible discussion usually centering around the previous Sunday’s sermon. There is always meaningful discussion, prayer, and support on Wednesday nights! Everyone is welcome! We’ll plan to eat at 6:30, then have a study time beginning at 7:00 and ending around 8:00 or so. Our first Home Group will take place on Wednesday, September 5, at the Rodriguez home, **contact us for directions**. Home group is a good time if you want to build friendships and get a better sense of God’s heartbeat for Crossroads!
In addition, our Middle School / High School Youth Group will plan this fall to join us on Wednesday nights for food (6:30), then also have some fun activities of their own starting at 7:00. Plan to come if you’re a middle schooler or high schooler … and bring a friend! Bible study for the Youth Group will be on Sunday mornings, 9:00 – 9:45, beginning Sunday, September 10. This is a new format this fall – and an ongoing opportunity for young people to grow strong in Christ in a new school year!
(We want to continue a prayer time for those interested prior to Home Group on Wednesday nights but are working on the details and timing. Be watching for more details about Wednesday prayer group.)
Sunday mornings this fall
Our Adult Bible Study will also start up again, beginning September 10 at 9:00 a.m., (same time as the Middle School/High School Youth Group) for adults who wish to have an interactive study time prior to worship. What I love about ABS are these things:
• connection with God’s Word in a setting where you can ask the questions on your mind;
• connection with other people who are seeking to know the Lord better;
• and a warming up of our hearts in preparation for worship.
I’m hopeful of leading us through a study, either of the book of Job or of the book of Leviticus, during ABS on Sunday mornings. So, we’ll be working in the Old Testament at 9:00 and in the New Testament at 10:00 (1 Corinthians) on Sundays! A good diet for people wanting to grow spiritually this semester!
We’re going to begin a monthly evening of fellowship for men starting Monday, September 17, with dinner at Buzz’s BBQ followed by a discipleship study where we’ll have a chance to discuss life with the Lord in practical ways that matter to men. Please mark your calendar and plan to come. Men meeting for Bible study, prayer, and accountability is a powerful thing that will influence your home, your work, and all of our lives. We’ll meet September 17th at 6:30 at Buzz’s, and we’ll plan to finish around 8 p.m.
A day of fellowship for women is being planned for Saturday, October 27, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the lavender farm just west of Nevada owned by the family of Erlinda Reichard. More details will be coming concerning this fun day for women. I’m glad for this opportunity for women at Crossroads to develop deeper friendships and to be a support to each other. Our sister church, The Springs E-Free Church in Springfield, Missouri, is inviting Crossroads women to join them for their annual weekend retreat next February 1-3 in Branson. My daughter Emma is one of the organizers of that retreat. I hope you’ll mark your calendars. I would love for women at Crossroads to make that connection with some other amazing Christian women!
A Call to Prayer
Some in the church family wish for us to engage in a time of fasting during the week this semester in order to seek God’s power and will for our lives. Fasting and prayer would coincide perfectly with this season of “Walking the Walls” at Crossroads. We’ll try to have some helps soon for those who would like to be part of that.
A date for the hayride has been set at the Reedy farm – Saturday, October 13. Mark your calendar for a fun time of food and a wagon-journey through and around Moundville! More details coming!
Thank you to those who helped with two Moss House moves last Saturday, and to those who are contributing to the lunch for the Moss House residents this week on Thursday! Thanks especially to Phill Edwards for coordinating the moves, and to Kim and Dave Reedy for coordinating Thursday’s meal.
The Church as a Family; the Family as a Church
We closed out our meeting yesterday with a reading from Lloyd Ogilvie’s commentary on the Gospel of Mark, specifically from the passage in Mark where Jesus says that His family consisted of all those who do the will of God (Mark 3:35). Ogilvie suggests that the local church should be like a family; and in our homes, we should have a sort of church-in-miniature.
The local church is God’s family. It’s not God’s plan that Christians simply be observers of a church, but that we be involved participants because the church is His family. (In fact, the New Testament goes so far as to say the church is now Christ’s body; it’s not possible to relate to Christ and remain disconnected from his body.)
Ogilvie says: Our language betrays us. We say we go to church, give to the church, support the church, and attend the church. Not so! We are the Church. But a strange thing has happened over the years of history. The church has become a presentation of programs which can simply be attended. Today we are sermon tasters, music appreciators, Bible students, devotees of spiritual leaders, but without commitment to a family. That’s only realizing some the blessings Christ came to give. Even more of the Lord’s blessings are reserved for those who bother to be a brother or a sister to the church family. “Commitment to Christ must be spelled out in commitment to a church,” says Ogilvie, pointing to Jesus’ words in Mark 3.
Ogilvie gives seven practical steps which all of us at Crossroads could implement to make the church a family, and to make our families (homes) a “church-in-miniature” every day of the week:
1. Begin with yourself. We cannot expect our home or our church to be any more “Christian” than we are willing to be ourselves in attitude and action.
2. Ask for the disposition of Christ for your relationship to every member of your family and church family. Let us see with His eyes, love with His love, give with His selflessness.
3. Be to each other what Christ has been to you. That means loving, forgiving, accepting, and enabling.
4. Pray for and with each other. There is unlimited power available for the encouragement and direction we all need in our lives. Power is always just a prayer away.
5. Be honest about your feelings; and allow an honest expression of feelings from those who live with you. Hidden feelings can hurt a family. Exposed feelings, however, can be … (a) forgiven, if necessary; (b) used to correct a wrong or injustice; and
(c) accepted as the basis of new, mutual esteem.
6. Let go of any right to each other. People (in our family, or in our church) are not our possessions, or an extension of our ego. We do not belong to each other, but to God. We are a gift to each other, and the gift is to be handled gently and with honor.
7. Open the doors of your home and heart for others to share what you are experiencing in your life. Meals together, family worship, and times of recreation are all practical ways the church comes alive with other people in your home.
Food for thought!
I look forward to seeing you during the week, and also next Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Y!