Dear Crossroads Family,
What a wonderful and full several days I’ve had! Thank you for your prayers for me! Thanks to those who covered for me in various ways while I was out of town.
I had a great visit with my kids in Portland, Oregon, enjoying their company, beautiful hikes through the city and through the Columbia River gorge, and an uplifting worship service at one of the churches they attend. This church meets in a historical building with beautiful hardwood floors, curved wooden pews, and amazing stained glass windows that preach sermons of their own. The service was part of a “Family Meeting” the congregation was having that day. I’ve included at the end of this email the sermon notes I took. I hope you’ll look through them and consider how they might help us understand who we are at Crossroads.
On Tuesday of this week, I was in Waconia, Minnesota (southwest outskirts of Minneapolis), where I had the privilege of having a small part in the funeral service of my friend Dave Sletten who was promoted to heaven on July 5. A video recording of the service can be found at https://vimeo.com/572150223. While the service is long, it’s powerful. Dave never grew tired of the wonder of who Jesus is, and his funeral service demonstrated that.
Happening at Crossroads
Worship this Sunday, 10:00 at the Y
We’ll be back at the Y this Sunday morning at 10:00. I’ll be starting a series of sermons based on the Statement of Faith of the Evangelical Free Church of America, the denomination to which Crossroads belongs. This Statement of Faith outlines the essential doctrines that have united believers in the EFCA for many years. The overriding principle of the Evangelical Free Church has been, “In essentials unity; in non-essentials charity; in all things, Jesus Christ.”
The Youth Group Pool Party is scheduled for Wednesday, July 28, at the Vestals’ home, in Nevada. Bring a friend! Nachos will be served!
God Loves You Tour
There is still time to register for the Billy Graham Christian Life & Witness course to be held in Springfield. The dates are Thursday, August 12, 6-9 pm, or Saturday, August 14, 9 am – 12 pm, at the Doubletree Hotel in Springfield. This is an excellent course for anyone wanting to improve their skills and confidence in reaching out to others. The Franklin Graham Route 66 God Loves You Tour will be held Thursday, September 23, 7 pm, at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. More information at http://www.godlovesyoutour.com.
Todd Brooks Visit
Todd Brooks, our new Associate Superintendent for the EFCA Central District, will be visiting Nevada August 23 to meet with me and our church elders. If you would like to meet with Todd some time that afternoon, please let me know. Todd has taken the place of Al Frank who is now serving Village Bible Church in Bella Vista, Arkansas. You can read more about Todd at http://www.efcacentral.org/team/todd-brooks.
Please pray for Jessica Baker, Kelsi Kershner, and Erin Reedy who will be serving the Lord at the Kamp Keirsey Senior High Camp, near Amsterdam, Missouri, this coming Sunday through Thursday. Pray for spiritual growth in the lives of campers, for wisdom and the filling of the Holy Spirit for leaders.
Let’s continue to pray for Cris and Forrest as they finish out their trip out West. Pray for safety and for open hearts to what God is teaching them on this trip.
Our elders continue to explore options for Sunday meeting spaces. We have conversations going with three possible meeting sites. Please pray for all the details needed as we make this decision. The Y hopes to switch over to 24-hour operations sometime between the beginning of September and the beginning of October.
Sermon Notes, “A Cross-Shaped Community” / Door of Hope Church / Portland, Oregon / July 11, 2021
“But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14).
Our culture is not interested in total surrender; it’s interested in self-realization. A self-realization gospel is incredibly attractive; however, as followers of Jesus Christ, we don’t have the right to change the message. The biblical message is that we are called to die to self and to live for Christ.
The world needs to see, not just individual Christians, but a community of people joined together around Jesus. The picture is that of a kingdom. When we get busy living our individual Christian lives instead of living as a community, the world sees the kingdom as a long-lost kingdom, and its king as a long-forgotten king.
Living in community can get messy. A church is run by broken people ministering to broken people. Our witness to the world will be seen best by how we love each other. Frequently, we’re quick to point out the problems in church, but slow to be part of the solutions.
In order to love each other, we have to be together. The Covid pandemic showed us “it’s not good for a man to be alone.” Yet, it’s hard to shake the “new normal.” The new normal, actually, is this: “I don’t go to church any more.” Many people realized, through the pandemic and accompanying lockdowns, that they didn’t really know why they were going to church. Many weren’t looking for a community of Christ-followers; they were simply looking for some combination of the best speaker, the best music, and the best kids’ program. Some realized that if that’s all they wanted, they could find that on the internet or on television.
As Christians, what we know is not something; what we know is Someone.
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday at 10:00 at the Y!
“Above all, fear the Lord and worship Him faithfully with all your heart, considering the great things He has done for you” (1 Sam 12:24).