Tom’s Midweek Greeting
Crossroads Community Church
May 17, 2018
Hello, Crossroads Family & Friends!
Looking forward to a great weekend together, both at the Showe ‘n’ Shine barbecue and car show, and also Sunday morning for worship at the Y. I hope you’ll make plans to join the “family.”
If you can still lend a hand at Showe ‘n’ Shine on Saturday, please let me know. Set-up begins at 8:30, and if you can help serve at the Crossroads stand, we could use your help any time between 10:00 and 2:00. The main thing will be to enjoy some fellowship and to interact with people from our community. Thanks to Richard Roberts who is preparing the barbecue for Crossroads. Stop by if you can; as you know, the proceeds from the day benefit Habitat for Humanity.
On Sunday we’ll continue a short look at some of the end-time events spoken of in the Bible. If you missed last week’s sermon from Ezekiel 38-39 on “Harry Truman, Israel, and the End of the World,” you can listen to it on the church website,www.nevadacrossroadschurch.org. You can also find my sermon notes under the “Ministries” tab. Thanks to Heather and Michelle for all the help on the church website.
This Sunday we’ll consider the subject of the Rapture, as written of by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4. The word “rapture” means to be “caught up” in the clouds to be with the Lord. Take a look at that section of Scripture, if you have a chance, before Sunday. (In fact, an even better exercise would be to read the entire first letter to the Thessalonians. It’s a short letter!) What is the Rapture? When will it happen? What difference does it make? Are we nearing the culmination of God’s plan for the world, and the coming reign of Jesus Christ on the earth? C.S. Lewis once said, “If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were precisely those who thought the most of the next.” Interesting thought. We should keep our eyes on what lies ahead; it will make a difference in us and in our world today.
• Showe ‘n’ Shine car show & barbecue – Saturday, 10:00 – 2:00, at Dr. Schowengerdt’s office and property.
• Worship and Fellowship – Sunday, 10:00, at the Y. (No Adult Bible Study; no Youth Group this Sunday.)
• Wednesday Prayer Group – next Wednesday, 5:45 pm, at Judi Edwards’ home.
• Home Group starts up for a summer session on Wednesday, June 6, at the Rodriguez home at 6:30 pm. We’ll have home group on Wednesday evenings in the month of June.
• Church night at the Nevada Griffons ball game – Sunday, June 3, at 7 pm. Admission is free. Bring a Crossroads church bulletin, and we’ll have a chance to win $75 for our youth group ministry!
We have a wonderful ministry to children on Sunday mornings during the sermon time. Thanks to those who are currently helping! Ministry to children is an essential part of a local church, and a response to the Lord’s command who said, “Let the children come to me.” In my opinion, the growth of a local church depends on its willingness and ability to reach out to young people and to families. We’re still in need of some helpers and teachers for Children’s Church to relieve those currently carrying the load. Would you be willing to sign up for one or more Sundays this summer? If you are a helper, the job is easy: show up and love children! If you’re interested in teaching, Judi Edwards is doing a great job of preparing the lesson plans in a way that makes it easy for you to teach. Please let me or Judi know if you can help. A person’s “belonging” in a church is really solidified through serving in some way. We could use your help! Thank you!
I’ve been reading through the book of Exodus this spring and finished it this week. At the end of those powerful stories of Moses and the Israelites comes this phrase: “Moses finished the work” (Exodus 40:33).
Poor Moses! What a challenge he had in leading the people out of slavery toward the Promised Land. He faced so much misunderstanding and opposition during that first year when the people should have been the happiest!
At the end of the book, however, is … amazingly … worship! Several chapters at the end of the book detail the building of the Tabernacle (the place where the nation would worship), and the people’s willingness to give materially toward the construction of that Tabernacle. God gave instructions to Moses on how this worship center was to be built, and “Moses finished the work.”
What a relief it is to finish a work! Graduates know all about that. Teachers do too. People who follow the Lord Jesus know what that’s like, too, because spiritual growth is a process; there are steps along the way where we realize, “I’ve grown! I’ve understood something! I’m a changed person! God has finished a work he was doing in my life! Now, on to the next step!”
Life – and ministry – is a process. We have to press on, through the good and the difficult, until we reach the point Moses did where we enjoy the satisfaction of finishing some work! We look back and say that it was worth the effort.
At Crossroads, we’re in the middle (probably, more realistically, at the beginning) of our work together. There’s joy, too, in starting something … with a vision of that day when the work will be firmly established and will have an ongoing impact in the world. Let’s be like Moses, take courage, and press on toward the finish line. Time, planning, organization, unity, patience, and obedience to the Lord will be required of us. It will be a work of God in our hearts and in our community. The result will be lives (our own and others’) impacted for eternity – a spiritual legacy for the Lord. In fact, it’s already happening, so let us, like Moses, … “finish the work.”
Following that phrase in Exodus of “finishing the work” comes a final statement that a cloud of God’s glory rose up and set out before the Israelites each time God wanted them to move forward. God led this group of imperfect people. He will lead us too. Where do you see him presently moving forward? Where are you and I to follow him?
• The school year is winding down, and I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to serve at Nevada High School as accompanist to the show choirs there. It was one of the most successful years ever for the choirs. I enjoy that daily interaction with the students, faculty, and staff at Nevada High School, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to enjoy and play music! I’m planning to take on two or three piano students this summer. Let me know if you’re interested.
• I have an opportunity this Friday evening to accompany a soloist and a choir who will be singing as part of an informal spring concert at Cottey College. I’m looking forward to that and am grateful for some new connections there.
• We enjoyed being at my son Billy’s graduation this past Sunday from the College of the Ozarks near Branson. Billy is now studying for his medical school entrance exam … and getting ready for his marriage to Hannah Thieme June 10. I’ll be conducting the wedding ceremony which will take place in Ash Grove, Missouri.
• We are looking forward to Sam’s graduation from NHS this Sunday, and also that of Trent Ellis and others at NHS. Congratulations on a lot of hard work!
• My health seems fine. I will see the hematologist and gastroenterologist (Drs. Hawamdeh and Wu) again this summer to see how my iron levels are looking.
I look forward to seeing you this weekend!