Tom’s Midweek Greeting
Crossroads Community Church
November 2, 2020
Hello, Crossroads Family!
We were only a small group on a busy day yesterday, but we enjoyed great worship through singing, through prayer, through the Word, and around the Communion Table. I’m glad you were there and hope, if you missed, that you’ll catch up on the Crossroads Facebook page or on my YouTube channel. We had a great group for lunch afterwards and some “Crossroads Connection” time. Thank you(!) to the person who picked up the bill for all of our meals ! What a surprise and a blessing! Below are some notes from our Crossroads Connection:
Finances. Our finances for 2020 are better than they have been in years past. Thanks to all who are giving faithfully to the Lord’s work. God is blessing; let’s work with Him! If you didn’t receive a copy of the financial report, please let me know and I’ll email one to you.
January Congregational Meeting. January 10 was the date set for our next Congregational meeting. We’ll meet following the worship service for the purposes of electing someone to the Elder Board, and for approving a 2021 budget. If you have suggestions for the open Elder position, please let someone on the Nominating Committee know before the end of November. Members of the Nominating Committee are Forrest Drury, Julie Kemper, Uriah Lentz, Erin Reedy, and Donna Rodriguez. If you have input you wish to give for the 2021 budget, please notify one of the elders. Thank you!
Christmas Eve Service. We’re planning a Christmas Eve service. In the past, this has been a good opportunity to invite friends and family. Mark your calendars for December 24 at 6:30 pm.
Thanksgiving Meal. We’ll have a church Thanksgiving meal on Sunday, November 22, following the worship service. More details coming about what you can bring. Plan to bring someone to church with you that day!
Building Visit. Last week, the church elders visited the building for sale on Main Street just south of McDonalds. Please be in prayer as we gather further information on utilities and possible work needed on the building. Pray for God’s provision of a home for Crossroads Church. The word we have is that the Grocery Grab food program will move this week to the empty building next to Woods Supermarket. That will significantly reduce distractions for us on Sunday mornings and allow us to get back to more fellowship. Always remember to dress warmly for worship at the Y.
Can you help? We are still looking for helpers from Crossroads for the Grocery Grab on Saturday, November 14, starting at 1 pm, and on Sunday, November 15, starting after church. Please let me know if you can help, even for part of the time! Thank you to those who have helped!
Time Off. I’ll be taking some vacation time November 23-29. Shane McCasslin will preach in my place on Sunday, the 29th.
Learning to Accept and to Trust God’s Sovereignty
Most of you know that one of my favorite authors is Elisabeth Elliot whose story and ministry, along with those of her first husband Jim Elliot, are told in books like Shadow of the Almighty, Through Gates of Splendor, The Savage My Kinsman, and more recently in her biography, Becoming Elisabeth Elliot. Even though she was promoted to heaven in 2015, her daily 15-minute radio program can still be found on the internet. As you may know, she is tough. But sometimes I need some toughening up if I’m going to survive and grow as a person. I thought her program this morning on the themes of “acceptance” and “God’s sovereignty” was especially good, and I share it with you below in a paraphrased form. Too often, our words reveal that we don’t really believe God is sovereign, or that what He brings into our lives – both the good and the difficult – is for our good.
There are so many things in life which we can’t change. We can’t change the weather. We can’t change the swift passage of time … or aging … or death … or taxes … or the past. We can’t change other people. It’s God who changes people. We can pray for them; we can love them; we can honor and respect them and do to them as we are supposed to do toward each other, but one of the things God has never assigned to us is to try to change other people.
An old devotional book says this: “Thou camest not to thy place by accident. It is the very place God meant for thee. And shouldst thou there small scope for action see, not for this give room to discontent.” (Can you wade through all those old words? The writer is saying you’re not here by accident! Don’t give room to discontentment!)
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “Accept the place the Divine Providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, and the connection of events.” A simple thought. And a liberating one.
Marcus Antoninus, philosopher and Roman emperor said: “Adapt thyself to the things with which thy lot has been cast. And love the men with whom it is thy portion to live, and that with a sincere affection. No longer be either dissatisfied with thy present lot, or shrink from the future.”
Thoreau wrote: “I love best to have each thing in season, doing without it at all other times. I never got over the surprise that I should have been born into the most estimable place in all the world, and in the very nick of time, too.”
Has it ever crossed your mind that you were born “in the nick of time”? … that you were born in the right place? … that you are now in the place where God’s hand has led you?
We can’t change our mistakes, our failures, or our sins, either. We can fume and stew over our them, but we can’t change their fact. We have to accept our failures, even thank God for them, knowing the promise that He won’t allow anything to happen that He can’t use for our good.
Part of the good in our failures is that they allow us, once again, to acknowledge our fallibility. Often the inner feelings we have about our mistakes come from pride within us. We should always thank God every time He deals with pride in us. To refuse to accept my failures is to refuse the lesson of meekness which those failures ought to teach me. I am fallible. I fail. I sin.
Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
If we look to Jesus, it changes the look of things around us. Jesus tells us we are to learn meekness. My failures are lessons in learning in meekness. Jesus is the perfecter of my faith, not I.
Can I accept the sins and mistakes of others?
My prayer is, “Help me, Lord, to find in everything that wounds me, the fellowship of Your sufferings.” Has someone insulted me? Someone insulted Him. Has someone given me the cold shoulder, lied about me, cheated me, robbed me in some way? Jesus was insulted, cheated, lied about, given the cold shoulder. Can I say, “Lord, in Your name I will receive this wrong”?
These are things we cannot change; but we can accept them. Even the wrongs done to us we can accept as a part of our experiencing the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ.
God chooses the things that are most appropriate for our learning. He knew thousands of years ago exactly what sort of a thing might happen in your life that can’t be changed. He’s in charge of those occurrences. He asks us to accept. And He says, “Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Are there troubles in your church? Don’t switch churches. Faith has a chance when circumstances are tough. Give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, even if nobody appreciates it. God sees it – isn’t that enough for you? He knows.
Accept the tough things. Whatever happened to endurance? We are all too eager to be comfortable, to be understood, and to be loved. May God help us to accept gladly what His loving will sends.
Acceptance is a voluntary act. We have the power to do it – the will to say, “Yes, Lord.”
Take a minute to think on all that! I am!
I hope you have a great week! I am praying for you!
Reminder: No Monday Night Bible Study tonight. We’ll meet again for MNBS next Monday, November 9th, at 7 pm.
Worship this coming Sunday, 10 a.m., at the Y.