Hello, Crossroads Family!
God is at work in so many ways, fitting all things together for our good and for His purposes! We don’t always see it or understand it, but by faith we believe it; and we do, from time to time, get some small understandings of God’s work and purposes in the world.
A big thank you to everyone who blessed our worship service and reception afterwards last Sunday!
- Thanks to Michelle for the beautiful Mothers Day flower arrangements!
- Thanks to Donna for organizing the reception and slide show honoring Kourtnee and her upcoming high school graduation! Thanks to those who led in prayer for Kourtnee.
- Thanks to Evan and Andrew for filling in last-minute in childcare during the sermon!
- Thanks to our Worship Team for music, to Heather Hall for bulletins and worship slides, and to all those who set up and tear down!
There are a lot of needs in our church family at this time. Thanks for praying! As we walk with the Lord, in the light of an honest relationship with Him, we can expect Him to answer. I’ve seen several direct answers to prayer in recent days! Here are a few current needs at Crossroads:
- Please pray for peace, healing, patience, and courage for Konner as he recovers and moves forward. May God grant wisdom and insight to doctors. May God not only heal Konner physically but also grow him personally through this unexpected turn of events.
- Julie is carrying a heavy load of needs in her family. Would you keep Julie, her kids, grandkids, and cousin in your prayers?
- Judi Edwards has asked prayer for family members of hers. Thanks for remembering Judi and Phill and their families. We miss them and appreciate their connection to the Crossroads family.
- Pray for Misha and family as they anticipate moving from Ukraine. May all involved trust God for timing and direction. May God provide care and healing to them and to their country.
- Pray for Kourtnee in her preparations for college in the fall ! May God grow and use Kourtnee, along with others of our Crossroads young people, several of whom are just now finishing their first year of college.
- Please pray for our missionaries: Jesse and Erica McCallister and family in Berlin; Tyrell and Rachel Shoemaker and family in their new assignments in Chicago; Colin Welch who is beginning language study and initial ministry outreaches in Paris. Thank you!
- Other individuals and families at Crossroads have some important needs at this time. Thank you for remembering each other in prayer.
- Thanks for continuing to pray for a church home for Crossroads.
Worship this coming Sunday.
I’m looking forward to worship, study, and fellowship this Sunday morning. Although many of us have contact with each other in different ways throughout the week, there’s a special joy and privilege in meeting with each other in a worship setting on Sunday morning. We’ll start at 10:00. Childcare during the sermon. We’ll take a break from Revelation ; the sermon will be from Psalm 127, one of the “Psalms of Ascents” that will be the subject of our new Home Group study in June and July !
The next gathering of Crossroads’ Youth Group will be Wednesday, May 31, 6:30 pm, at Jessica’s house, 402 S. Washington Street. Thanks to Jessica and Forrest for providing leadership for the young adults at Crossroads.
Home Group begins June 1
I’m excited about our new 6-part Home Group study, “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.” This is a classic book on discipleship written by Eugene Peterson. It’s a practical study of the Psalms of Ascents, fifteen short psalms (120-134) that were sung by Jews who made their way “up” to Jerusalem three times a year for the major Jewish feasts. They remind us that to be a follower of Jesus is to be part of a journey — lifelong obedience in a certain direction. You may purchase the book if you’d like, but you’re not obligated to have the book to be part of the study. I hope you’ll prayerfully consider joining us. The schedule may change some due to people’s summer schedules, but we’ll get started on June 1, 6 pm, at the home of Alex and Emily Lewis, *contact us for location*. You do not have to commit to being present each week; each study will be self-contained.
Women of Joy Sign-Ups
This year’s Women of Joy conference is called “Sacred Rest” and will be held in Branson, October 6-8. Conference tickets are $109, and registration for that reduced price is due by July 9. (Lodging costs will be additional and will depend on the number of people going.) Some of our Crossroads women have been in the past, and it’s a fun, fulfilling weekend. Please contact Heather Hall (417-321-0303) for more information or to reserve your spot.
With high school classes and activities winding down, I’m starting to get a feel for having a little time to wrap my mind around life ! (I’m sure others of you understand this feeling, too!) It has been an eventful year, including a mid-year job change from Cottey College, then being named Support Staff Person of the Year for the Nevada school district a few weeks ago. Thank you for your prayers for last Sunday’s Senior Sermon. I believe God spoke to all of us in attendance, and it was a joy to share some thoughts with the Nevada graduating seniors. I also enjoyed having Evan and Esther here this past weekend!
For the summer, I look forward to more time to pray and plan. I have a trip scheduled to see my four children in the Portland area in July. I’ll also be the camp preacher at Kamp Keirsey this year (four evenings in July). This is the high school camp Jessica and Kelsi lead in Amsterdam, Missouri. I do look forward to our Home Group in June and July and hope you’ll join the group ! It’s in small groups in a church that relationships grow and ministry ideas germinate.
It was 33 years ago today that our little 3-week-old old baby, Chad, went to be with the Lord, very unexpectedly during a morning nap on a beautiful day in Brussels, Belgium. What a shock and surprise! How faithful God was then and has been since. His peace was present that day, as were many key people in our life. We certainly do need each other, don’t we ? I’m amazed at how faithful God has been to me during my life.
The following “terms of discipleship” are from an old book called True Discipleship and were important concepts for Diana and me. I had an opportunity to re-read them today. I hope you’ll consider what God might be saying through them. I do believe that if we would seek to live according to what the Lord says about being His disciples, we would experience change in our lives and in our world that we didn’t dream possible!
Seven terms of discipleship (from True Discipleship, by William MacDonald):
- A supreme love for Jesus. “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). This doesn’t mean animosity or ill-will toward others, but it means that our love for Christ should be greater than all other loves.
- A denial of self. “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself …” (Matt 16:24). Denial of self is not the same as self-denial. The latter means forgoing certain foods, pleasures, or possessions; denial of self means complete submission to the lordship of Christ.
- A deliberate choosing of the cross. “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross …” (Matt 16:24). The cross is not a physical infirmity or mental anguish; those are things that are common to all people. The cross is a pathway of obedience taken even in the face of opposition.
- A life spent following Christ. “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matt 16:24).
- A fervent love for all others who belong to Christ. “By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35).
- An unswerving continuance in His Word. “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples” (John 8:31).
- A forsaking of everything to follow Him. ”Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:33).
Concerning that last statement, the author of the book says, “Clever theologians can give you a thousand reasons why it does not mean what it says, but simple disciples drink it down eagerly, assuming the Lord Jesus knew what He was saying.”
These are seven steps toward living the abundant life God wants for all people. When we understand fully what Jesus did for us on the cross, these concepts are a delight and make complete sense. I don’t personally claim to have lived up to them, but they do express what I wish for myself and for all of us. It is lifelong obedience in the same direction, isn’t it? The journey is a good one, and the destination is greater likeness to Christ, our Lord!
I hope to see you Sunday at the Community Center! I’ll plan to post the sermon Friday or Saturday in case you’re not able to attend!