Tom’s Midweek Greeting
Crossroads Community Church
Hello, Crossroads Family!
I’m looking forward to our gathering this Sunday morning at 10:00 at the Y! We’ll continue our look at Paul’s letter to the Colossians, this week in chapters 2 and 3 where Paul describes something I’m calling “Refried Christianity” (especially for all the Mexican food lovers at Crossroads!).
My understanding of frijoles refritos (refried beans) is that they are not actually fried twice, but they are cooked twice – soaked for eight hours and cooked in water; then, mashed and fried with lard until almost dry … which is a good description of how some people understand the life of a Christian – mashed, fried with lard until almost dry, a day-old glop of religion! This is certainly not the life Paul lived, nor the life Jesus promised us when He said, “I have come that you might have an abundant life” (John 10:10). Let’s see what Paul offers in this part of Colossians as an alternative to Refried Christianity!
As always, if you’re not able to be with us Sunday morning, the sermon will be posted on the Crossroads FB page on Saturday.
Our church elders will meet following the worship service this Sunday. Please pray for them as God leads them and all of us together.
Christmas Eve Service
Our Christmas Eve service will be Thursday, December 24, 6:30 pm, at the Y. It will be a short service of singing and celebrating the birth of Christ together. Consider inviting a friend that evening!
We have an important congregational meeting scheduled for Sunday, January 10, immediately following worship. Please plan to attend. Everyone who considers Crossroads their church home is welcome to be at the meeting! Please be in prayer for this meeting.
Some Good Reading
I’ve been reading two books since the start of the Thanksgiving break. One, called I Am Cyrus, tells the story of Harry Truman and the rebirth of the State of Israel. Harry Truman was fighting in World War I during a time when many Jews around the world were returning to the Holy Land and looking for their own statehood. Later, he was the first world leader to recognize the State of Israel in 1948. This book gives a fascinating history of the Jews and other peoples who have lived in that land, renamed Palestine by the Romans, but promised centuries ago by God to Abraham’s descendants.
A second book is written by our friend Dale Losch, president of Crossworld, an international mission agency whose offices are in Kansas City. You might remember Dale’s sermon on the story of Jonah and God’s love for the nations from last year. Dale’s new book, Giving Outside the Box, is about becoming generous givers. These are lessons Dale began putting together years ago in his desire to teach his own children how to be stewards of God’s money. I recommend it to you. God is looking for those who have a heart for the spreading of the Gospel and want to give generously toward that end. He does, actually, promise to bless those generous givers in return … but not for their own prosperity; rather, so that they can continue to give even more in the cause of Christ.
At Crossroads, we have an opportunity to finish in the black financially for the first time since I’ve been with you – in other words, an opportunity for the first year since 2015 to not draw on our reserves. I can’t emphasize enough what an important goal this is – a first step toward lasting ministry in Nevada; a first step toward greater impact for Christ in Nevada and in the world; a first step toward ourselves being changed into more generous givers. Let’s finish the year strong financially and take this step of faith which God promises to bless. For the time being, there are two ways to give at Crossroads: You may give an offering in the box at the back on Sunday, or you may mail your offering to P.O. Box 23, Nevada.
In addition to Dale’s book, the sermon I heard last Sunday at my kids’ church in Florida was on the subject of … generous giving(!). Here are four typical ways of church giving that were presented in that sermon:
- Tipping: It’s all mine, but I’ll chip in a few bucks when I can.
- Gifting: It’s all mine, but I’ll donate a percentage. (The national average of charitable giving in America is 1-2 %.)
- Tithing: Ninety percent is mine; ten percent is God’s.
- Stewardship: One hundred percent is God’s; I manage it for Him.
“God, who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing, and will increase the harvest of your righteousness” (2 Corinthians 9:10).
I’ve been blessed by a nighttime prayer from a daily prayer guide I’ve been following recently. I’ll post the full prayer on the Crossroads FB page. Here’s how the prayer ends:
“To Thy care also, O Father, I would commend my friends, beseeching Thee to keep them safe in soul and body, and to be present in their hearts tonight as a Spirit of power and of joy and of restfulness. I pray for _______________ and ________________ and _______________. I pray also for the wider circle of all my associates, my fellow workers, my fellow townsmen, and all strangers within our gates; and for the great world of men and women outside our gates, to me foreign and unknown, but dear to Thee; through Jesus Christ our common Lord. Amen.”
How about filling in the blanks with the names of someone you know at Crossroads!
See you Sunday!