Tom’s Midweek Greeting
Crossroads Community Church
December 31, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family,
It’s a thrill to come to the end of the year and to be reminded again how faithful God is! I’ll share a few thoughts from our church year, and from my own personal life in 2020, below.
First of all, a reminder that we’ll worship together this coming Sunday, January 3, at 10:00 at the Osage Prairie Y. I look forward to seeing you there, Lord willing! We’ve been having some good times together on Sundays recently! The sermon this Sunday will be from Psalm 126, “God’s Plan for You and Me in 2021.” There will no video of the sermon this week on Facebook. We’ll be back on Facebook starting January 9-10.
Thank you so much for the very kind and generous Christmas gift I received from the church. I am grateful for your positive feelings concerning our walk together with the Lord, and I appreciate your generosity toward me and my family. Thank you! I give thanks, too, for the generous giving of everyone in the church family to God’s work during the past year,… as well as some kind and generous gifts from friends outside the church ! God meets our needs, and He has provided us with all we need to do the work He has given us to do right now! (Think “Scrappy Church”!)
There are many Crossroads highlights from 2020, and I’m certain I will leave out many in this list. Allow my incomplete list to jar your memory for ways God has blessed and been at work among us!
— The Lord’s help, wisdom, and direction as we responded to the pandemic starting in March, including a lockdown in Vernon County in April, and the closing of the Y for several weeks. We had some good live-streamed worship services in the spring! I especially remember doing Easter Sunday worship live-streamed from my house! Everyone adapted so well to the challenges we faced! Thanks to everyone who helped my family move just days before the pandemic affected Vernon County!!
— Outdoor worship on the front porch of the Y in May and June was a great way to come back together, meet with the Lord, and enjoy His creation all at the same time! Thanks to God’s provision, we were able to work our way, little by little, back into the Y for Sunday worship.
— Our Monday Night Bible studies, also on Facebook, helped many of us stay connected, and also gave us connections with people far beyond Nevada. The “strength” series was especially helpful to me. “As your days, so shall your strength be” (Deut 33:25).
— Our Worship Team has grown in number and in vision; as a church, we are experiencing good worship!
— We have been blessed by new people and families attending. It’s amazing to watch the group God is assembling, and I’m always encouraged by the connections He gives us with students from Cottey College or Crowder College or the Missouri Welding Institute. Let’s pray for new connections as we say good-bye to Ebony Conley, to Jacob Baker, and also to Phill & Judi Edwards. We welcome the Sissecks (who have been with us through all of 2020), Jaci Servos (same!), Andrew Pitkin, Olivia Madderom, and, more recently, the Vestal Family.
— To finish financially in the black is an answer to prayer and action over the course of the past five years. This is a goal worth reaching; now we can build on a more sure foundation and anticipate more fully God’s future plans for us. Plan to join us for Congregational Meeting coming up on January 10, immediately after worship. We have finished a budget proposal for 2021. We need to approve that proposal and also elect an Elder. Shane Dahmer is the nominee for the Elder position.
I was reading through my 2020 journal this morning. I was surprised at how much God has done, and how kindly He has answered my (our) prayers. Here are a few things I picked out from last year’s journal that I hope will encourage you as we say good-bye to 2020 and step into another year of life:
— “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). Isn’t that funny! That was an entry in my journal on January 5, 2020, and it was our last sermon of the year, December 27, 2020. God had a message for me there, making bookends of that verse for my life in 2020.
— “We cannot do great things; we can only do small things with great love” (quote from Mother Teresa)
— “God, I’m waiting on You!” was an entry in my journal. Someone also reminded me at that time that God is infinite in His ability to attend to me and to seven billion other people!
— Help from Psalm 84:
- “How blessed are those who dwell in Your house” (v. 3) — spiritual life
- “How blessed is the man whose strength is in You” (v. 5) — physical and social life
- “How blessed is the man who trusts in You” (v. 12) — future life ; all my needs
— Encouragement from Exodus 13-15 about a powerful God:
- “By a powerful hand the Lord brought you out from this place” (Exodus 13:3).
- “With a powerful hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt” (Ex 13:9).
- “With a powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt” (Ex 13:14).
- “With a powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt” (Ex 13:16).
- “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent!” (Ex 14:14).
- “The Lord is fighting for them!” (Ex 14:25).
- “The Lord is a warrior” (Ex 15:3).
— Encouragement from the psalms:
- “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains” (Psalm 121:1).
- “To You I lift up my eyes” (Ps 123:1).
- “Our eyes look to the Lord until He is gracious to us” (Ps 123:2).
- “Had it not been the Lord who was on our side,… they would have swallowed us alive” (Ps 124:2).
- “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever” (Ps 125:2).
— “We need not always have our expectations met in the way we thought God was supposed to do it. But, He is faithful” (quote from Elisabeth Elliot)
— “There are two classes of people in the world: those who are thankful for what’s given; and those who complain about what’s not given. Let us make it our habit in the coming year to be full of praise for what God has give us” (also EE).
— “Nothing you do can make God love you more. Nothing you do can make God love you less” (something I wrote down from an online worship service our family watched last spring).
— How to know God’s will:
- The Word of God in a Book.
- The Spirit of God in your heart.
- The Providence of God in your life.
That last one pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it! If we have God’s Book, God’s Spirit, and if we’re attentive to His Providence, we’re going to be okay in 2021! I look forward to serving Him and following Him with you!
I hope to see you Sunday!