One Spirit

A body isn’t really a body, unless there is more than one part. It takes many parts to make a single body. —1 CORINTHIANS 12:19-20 (NEW CENTURY VERSION)
 
If you worshipped with us last Sunday, you can’t forget what you heard. We were touched deeply as Loura Causey, Louise Byrd, and Joel McDaniel gave testimonies of how God has worked miraculously in their lives. Actually, last Sunday morning was a lot closer to the New Testament Church than what goes on ordinarily. Why? If you read the letters written by the Apostle Paul to 1st Century churches, you will definitely recognize this principle of ministry: Decentralization. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “decentralize” as: the dispersion or distribution of functions and powers; specifically: the delegation of power from a central authority to regional and local authorities.
Say what?
 
Jesus is THE Head of One Body—The Body of Christ. Paul writes in Colossians 2:10, “and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.” In Ephesians 1:22, Paul writes, “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church.” In Colossians 1:18, Paul writes, “He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.”
 
ALL spiritual authority originates in Jesus. He came as the Personal Expression of Father God. ALL Authority and power has been entrusted into His care. The most astounding thing is that He delegates  that power and authority to ordinary people—people just like you and me. What in the world for?
 
Paul writes, “A body isn’t really a body, unless there is more than one part. It takes many parts to make a single body.”
If you’re reading these words right now, no explanation of this analogy is necessary. As much as you value your heart and as critical as it is to your survival, you need a LOT more than it to survive. OK…that’s enough of our biology class for now.
 
Think with me for a moment; what kind of a “thing” would Church be if it weren’t a BODY? It could be an organization—mostly mechanical, depending on some moving parts, led by few, labored for by many. No, thanks. It could be a committee—much talk, little action, lots of headaches. We’ll pass. It could be a foundation—led by a “mystery” board of directors which disperses goods or services periodically, maddening the masses as it moves at the speed of molasses. Uh, no. Jesus absolutely did NOT leave His Body at the mercy of an organization, a committee, or a foundation. Thank God Almighty!
 
Do you realize how much FAITH Jesus has in us? The Gospel is the only thing on earth empowered to save souls, heal sick bodies, cast out demons, and raise the dead. The Body of Christ is the only entity authorized to utilize the Name of Jesus to accomplish His mission in the world. In other words: ALL HANDS (and other pertinent parts) ON DECK!
 
In 1 Corinthians 14:26 (Phillips), Paul writes, Well then, my brothers, whenever you meet let everyone be ready to contribute a psalm, a piece of teaching, a spiritual truth, or a “tongue” with an interpreter. Everything should be done to make your church strong in the faith. There are three words prominent in Paul’s teaching on “church”: One, Anyone, and Everyone. A New Testament church “service” wasn’t a production by gifted orators, musicians, and singers. As a matter of fact, people did not “attend” church. Rather, “everyone [was] ready to contribute…” in order to “make [their] church strong in the faith.”
As a result the Church grew like wildfire. The Church became an unstoppable force in the earth, despite brutal persecution and violent opposition. Wow!
 
Are you ready to contribute today, or do you expect a performance? A performance invites critique (there are lots of critics in the church). We don’t “perform” at Crossroads. Everyone serving in ministry is just that: a servant—not a celebrity. Are YOU ready to serve? If you have a psalm, a teaching, a spiritual truth, or a “tongue”, you’re up. Thank God for building His Body and FOR including YOU AND ME!
 

Pastors Glenn & Diann



Memorial Day!

He recruited an army and appointed officers, and summoned them to the plains before the city, and encouraged them with this address: “Be strong, be brave, and do not be afraid of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is someone with us who is far greater than he is!  He has a great army, but they are all mere men, while we have the Lord our God to fight our battles for us!” This greatly encouraged them. 2 CHRONICLES 32:6-8 (THE LIVING BIBLE)
 
Thank you for joining us today as we honor our military veterans on Memorial Day weekend. What a blessing it is to serve alongside them in a different type of warfare—the battle for human souls. They understand the principle of sacrifice
better than those who’ve never served in the Armed Forces. We can learn so much from them, and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude which we can never repay.
 
Years ago, I read an article in Liberty Magazine entitled, “The Cost of Freedom.” Author Herbert Douglass wrote of the sacrifices required over the course of history to secure and to defend freedom. It is staggering the number of deaths and life-altering war injuries suffered to secure freedom. Why? Tyranny, oppression, and occupation by a foreign power is totally intolerable for those who crave liberty.
Rather than endure this condition, families willingly offered their fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters in their struggle to live in freedom.
 
Have you ever heard of Laszlo Tokes ? This brace Pastor of Romania’s Reformed Church, Tokes dared to challenge one of the cruelest tyrants of the 20th Century—Nicolae Ceausescu. A court order was issued for Tokes’ exile from his church to a remote village. On December 15, 1989, hundreds of loyal parishioners encircled their church, forming a huge human chain.
 
When the police came, the church members stood their ground and a massacre began. The officers who refused to shoot were themselves shot, but the revolution was on. The news of what had happened in Timisoara spread throughout the nation of Romania. Days later, Ceausescu became a hunted fugitive, his capture and eventual execution dominating the news for months. The fanaticism of Ceausescu’s Security Forces—180,000 strong—wasn’t able to quench the spark of freedom ignited by Laszlo Tokes in Timisoara.
Freedom is worth any price because nothing can ever substitute for it!
 
What price freedom? U.S. Armed Forces costs American taxpayers over $580 billion annually. As of January 1, 2016, 1,306,300 men and women are serving in U.S. military service. From the Revolutionary War until today, over 40 milliom people have served in U.S. Armed Forces to procure and secure the freedoms we enjoy. That’s what makes occasions like today so significant for us all!
 
In 2 Chronicles 32, Sennacherib, King of Assyria, invaded Judah as he moved toward Jerusalem. Israel’s King, Hezekiah, knew that the Superior strength of the Assyrians would require Divine strategy and intervention. Hezekiah hid the water supply to the city so that the Assyrians would not have access to it. He fortified walls, consulted with leaders, and prayed hard. Hezekiah also gave one of the greatest “pep talks” ever. He said: “Be strong, be brave, and do not be afraid of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is someone with us who is far greater than he is!  He has a great army, but they are all mere men, while we have the Lord our God to fight our battles for us!” (vv. 7-8).
 
Sennacherib’s army was defeated as the Lord sent an angel who, “cut down every mighty man of valor, leader, and captain in the camp of the Assyrians” (v. 20). The result: Sennacherib “returned shamefaced to his own land”  (v. 20). WOW! Friend, never forget that the God of Angel Armies is STILL on the side of the Righteous! Regardless of the skill or size of our enemy, our All-Powerful King has promised that HE will CRUSH Satan underneath OUR feet (see Romans 16:20). Hallelujah!!
 
As we observe Memorial Day, take some time to reflect on the many sacrifices offered in your behalf and mine to maintain freedom of speech, freedom to worship, and the right to vote. We have immense challenges so let’s pray and intercede for our nation. Thank God Almighty for the privilege of FREEDOM!

 

God Bless America & Heal Our Land!



New Beginnings

 
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. —Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT)
 

Welcome to Crossroads! Thank you for joining us on this special day as we honor our high school graduates. What a day of celebration!

Do you remember Pomp and Circumstance? Every graduate has heard this famed composition over and over again. British composer, Edward Elgar (1857-1934), was asked why he thought his work had become “the standard” for graduation exercises. His answer: “The tune manages to sound triumphant, but with an underlying quality of nostalgia, making it perfectly suited to a commencement that marks the beginning of one stage of life, but the end of another.”

 Elgar’s description of graduation: “…the beginning of one stage of life, but the end of another” is appropriate for every phase of life. Today is a graduation [of sorts] for us all. Today marks a new beginning—the birth of one stage of life, and the death of another. One of the reasons I treasure days like today is that having crossed this particular threshold over 40 years ago, I, like many of you, have an idea of what the future may include for each graduate. For instance, higher education or career opportunities may be on their minds soon. Why? Achievement on one level of challenge is what qualifies you for the next level of challenge. No sooner will echoes of Pomp and Circumstance fade into memory than applications for school, a job, an apartment of his or her own, etc. will demand each graduate’s attention. What a metaphor for life!

Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us that there is a season (a specific period of time) for every activity. While it is important to celebrate significant mile-markers like High School graduation, it’s way too early to stop there!

Our gracious God invites each of His children into an ongoing journey of challenge, discovery, and commencement. When your first child took his or her first steps, you didn’t yank them up into your arms and hold an awards ceremony. You knew that those stumble-and-start steps, however precious, deserved recognition—not graduation. As the footprints on the carpet faded, your child moved on to the next challenge, and they’ve been repeating that process ever since. Aren’t you glad?

A wise man said that death doesn’t happen in an instant for most folks. Rather, one begins to limit, if not avoid challenges altogether. Death—for that person—is almost imperceptible. Ponder this poem:

There was a very cautious man
Who never laughed or played
He never risked, he never tried,
He never sang or prayed.
And when he on day passed away,
His insurance was denied,
For since he never really lived,
They claimed he never really died.  
(anonymous)

“A very cautious man” never failed at anything new because he never tried anything new. He convinced himself that he’d done all there was to do.  Never again did he know the thrill of victory at a new challenge, nor the heartache of failure. That sounds more like dying than living to me.

Jeremiah 29:11 reads, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  Just as a human parent hopes that their child will boldly attempt what they’d never done, wouldn’t Abba Father prepare new challenges for each of His children? Wouldn’t He rejoice when they tried their best, successful or not? Wouldn’t He give dreams and visions to provoke His children to risk the safety of the familiar for the thrill of achievement at a new level of challenge? Sure, He would!

We are so proud of each graduate. Your achievements speak for themselves and we honor you today! May the next season of your life be filled with the joy of achievement as you continue to discover and pursue God’s great plans for you. Whatever you do—

KEEP GROWING!

 

Never Forget: You Are LOVED!

Pastors Glenn & Diann



Fresh Wind Fresh Fire!

“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” LUKE 24:49 (NKJV)
Welcome to Crossroads! We are honored that you have joined us today as we celebrate PENTECOST SUNDAY 2016!
In his landmark book The Clash of Civilizations (2011), author Samuel Huntington predicts that demographics will ultimately decide the clash between Christianity and Islam. Huntington summarized his analysis with these words: “In the long run, Muhammad wins out.”
 
Not so fast, Mr. Huntington. Author Philip Jenkins in his book, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity (2011), writes of the rapid growth of Christianity in previously “un-mined” areas, including in Arab nations where professing faith in Christ often costs people their freedom, if not their life. The most interesting of Jenkins’ analysis is this astonishing statement: “By the middle of this century, there will be three billion Christians in the world—one and a half times the number of Muslims. In fact, by 2050 there will be nearly as many Pentecostal Christians in the world as there are Muslims today.”

Do you see what I see? Our King and Redeemer, Jesus, has a plan for a world that is reeling under the weight of terrorist plots and senseless evil. Christ’s strategy involves a Power that no terrorist or extremist can defeat: The Power of The Holy Spirit! As we celebrate Pentecost, let us remember this dynamic truth: We are filled with earth-shaking power!

William Seymour was a 34-year-old son of former slaves. In 1906, he went to Los Angeles, CA to preach. The Holy Spirit moved powerfully upon Seymour and others seeking God. Seymour and his small group began meeting at the home of Richard and Ruth Asberry at 216 North Bonnie Brae Street in Los Angeles. Crowds of people began attending the nightly meetings. In fact, so many gathered that the front porch of the home collapsed and a new meeting place was sought. Here’s an eye-witness account by a neighbor on Bonnie Brae Street of that occasion: “They shouted three days and three nights. It was Easter season. The people came from everywhere. By the next morning there was no way of getting near the house. As people came in they would fall under God’s power; and the whole city was stirred. They shouted until the foundation of the house gave way, but no one was hurt.”

The group grew so large that they began meeting at 312 Azusa Street with services going on around the clock. Participants included members of the Holiness Movement, as well as other denominations. The impact of those meetings is still being felt today!

Why would people of various races, ethnicities and church backgrounds meet for hours every night for weeks on end?

Why would people forego sleep and forsake personal convenience to pursue more of God’s presence?

The answer is found in four simple words: Fresh. Wind. Fresh. Fire.

Doing “regular church” gets stale fast. Routines develop into ruts; ruts become tombs; and tombs preserve dead things. When a stench fills the air, there is one remedy: Fresh Wind! When our passion for the presence of God dries up into religious routines, there is one remedy: Fresh Fire! Aren’t you tired of routines, ruts, and tombs? Have you had a personal Pentecost? Have you been “endued with power from on high”? Are you repeating a dead religious routine 52 Sundays a year, or are you a living member of the living body
of Jesus Christ?

We Need Fresh Wind! We Crave Fresh Fire! The Holy Spirit is as available now as He was on the Day of Pentecost and at Azusa Street in 1906. So much is at stake in the world. Former Muslims are coming to Christ by the thousands daily. As the Holy Spirit fills, empowers, and anoints new believers, the Kingdom of God is growing. As we prepare for the return of Christ for His Church, there is one thing I am quite sure of: In the long run, Jesus wins out! Holy Spirit, use us for Your glory by filling us with Your awesome power. Amen!!

Never Forget: You Are LOVED!

Pastors Glenn & Diann



Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother
10  Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11  Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12  She brings him good, not harm,
     all the days of her life.
13  She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
14  She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
15  She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
     and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16  She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17  She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
18  She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
     her lamp burns late into the night.
19  Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
20  She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
21  She has no fear of winter for her household,
     for everyone has warm clothes.
22  She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23  Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24  She makes belted linen garments
     and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25  She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26  When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27  She carefully watches everything in her household
     and suffers nothing from laziness.
28  Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29  “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
     but you surpass them all!”
30  Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31  Reward her for all she has done.
     Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

PROVERBS 31:10-31 (NLT)

 

Happy Mother’s Day!



Joy!

Joy
“I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy I have and so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy.” JOHN 15:11 (NEW CENTURY VERSION)

Good morning and welcome to Crossroads!

 

As one reads the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, a word found frequently in each is: JOY. This is no accident. Jesus brought JOY to the world with His first coming, and will do the same when He appears to catch away His Bride, the Church. Here’s a look at a few occurrences of the word JOY in the Gospels, and why this should matter to us today.

 

As astrologers searched the heavens for a star revealing the place of the birth of the Christ-Child, “…The star appeared to them again, standing over Bethlehem. Their joy knew no bounds!” (Matthew 2:9-10 TLB) I can just imagine the beaming faces of these Star-seekers. Can’t you?

 

In one of Jesus’ parables, he mentioned the JOY of one who discovers life’s most precious prize: “Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like some treasure which has been buried in a field. A man finds it and buries it again, and goes off overjoyed to sell all his possessions to buy himself that field”  (Matthew 13:44 Phillips). Now, that’s some kind of field!

 

Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Here’s what happens when one lost soul believes in Him: “…in Heaven—there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner whose heart is changed”  (Luke 15:10 Phillips). You talk about a party extraordinaire! This was it!!

In John’s Gospel, the word JOY appears seven times; six occurring hours before Jesus was seized by the authorities, tried on bogus charges, convicted, and crucified. Jesus left a legacy to His disciples—and to all who would believe on Him from that time. That legacy is

JOY ! Do you carry on that legacy, or did the JOY train stop just short of your heart?

 

I don’t mean to be mean, but I’m amazed at the number of saints who ain’t joyful! We all have our share of trials and “problem people”, but do we have to be so serious? Did I miss something? Are the angels passing out prizes for Sour-Puss Saints? If so, there’s some stiff competition right here in North Alabama. If we are supposed to reflect the glory of the Lord (and we are) some of us are on the cloudy side looking in!

 

Jesus suffered horribly so that we could experience astonishing JOY every day of our lives. Even in life’s darkest valleys, the SON shines through the clouds. Did you realize that Jesus offered this legacy-gift to people who were dirt-poor? Many who heard His words and witnessed His life went days without food. It was not uncommon in the Roman-occupied world of that day. Yet, to these people Jesus said:

“That is why I say to you, don’t worry about living—wondering what you are going to eat or drink, or what you are going to wear. Surely life is more important than food, and the body more important than the clothes you wear” (Matthew 6:25). How can someone who is hungry not think of food, or someone who is thirsty not think of water? How can someone wearing rags not think of clothes? The Church in the first three centuries was forced to live like animals, hunted by Jewish zealots and many other enemies. Despite those conditions, the Church flourished, becoming an unstoppable force. What won the hearts of those once opposed to its very existence? It was their testimony of JOY! Can that be said today?

 

Are you a carrier of the legacy of Sovereign Joy? Does your manner of life, disposition, and hope show on your face? Does the atmosphere of your home, classroom, or workplace change for better when you arrive, or are you a storm-cloud looking for a place to park? Some may protest, “I’m melancholy by nature.”  If you’re in Christ, you have a NEW nature —a nature drenched in limitless JOY. You have nothing to worry about and no reason to be depressed. The JOY of the Lord is your strength, so flex your JOY muscles. You’re contagious! God bless you as you infect some folks with the life, love, and JOY of Jesus this week!

 

Never Forget: YOU Are Loved!!

Pastors Glenn & Diann



Challenges!

Challenges google

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

 DEUTERONOMY 31:8 (NLT)

Good morning and welcome to Crossroads. We’re so glad you’re here!

In 1943, Sir Winston Churchill addressed a capacity crowd at Harvard University. In the midst of a world convulsing under the stress of a second World War, the British Prime Minister reminded his hearers of the reason for the astonishingly high price being paid by the Allied Forces. He said: “The price of greatness is responsibility. If the people of the United States had continued in a mediocre station, struggling with the wilderness, absorbed in their own affairs, and a factor of no consequence in the movement of the world, they might have remained forgotten and undisturbed beyond their protecting oceans: but one cannot rise to be in many ways the leading community in the civilized world without being involved in its problems, without being convulsed by its agonies and inspired by its causes.”

Ponder this statement: “The price of greatness is responsibility.” If those words were true as nations defended freedom in the face of Nazi oppression, how much more should you and I be involved in the fight for spiritual liberty for those held captive by our infernal adversary, the devil?

The Church of Jesus MUST be involved with the problems of broken societies. The Body of Christ MUST be convulsed by the agonies of war-torn families and burdened hearts. Disciples of our Lord Jesus MUST risk their own privileges to insure that those who are denied the same may experience freedom. Remember: The price of greatness is responsibility. Do these truths stir something within your heart?

In Matthew 25:40, Jesus reminds us that every action—and inaction—will be rewarded. Matthew 25 begins with a parable about Ten Virgins. Five virgins were wise and resourceful. Five virgins were quite foolish, bypassing opportunities to be prepared for the bridegroom’s appearance. In Matthew 25:14-30, a Master’s resources is divided among his three servants, each according to his ability. Two servants maximized their provision {talent/opportunity} and earned dividends for the Master. One servant misjudged the intention and character of his Master and suffered immensely as a result. There is much in these two stories to consider.

First, squandering opportunities is more costly than a “squanderer” may imagine. The five foolish virgins found the door into the wedding feast LOCKED. What they were supposed to prepare for, they missed!

Second, the failure to capitalize on the Master’s resources entrusted to His servants will result in great loss. The slothful, evil servant heard his Master say: “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away” (Matthew 25:39 NLT). This is a Kingdom principle that applies in every generation: Our Lord entrusts His gifts to each and every person adopted into His royal family. Those who use well what they are given RECEIVE MORE.  Those who do nothing by squandering opportunities, LOSE EVERYTHING!

Where will your family be in ten years, should our Lord delay His coming? Are you maximizing the Lord’s grace-gifts to you

{talent/opportunities}, creating a legacy which your heirs will treasure? Or are you, as Churchill alluded, “absorbed in [your] own affairs…a factor of no consequence in the movement of the world” ? If the United States of America had chosen that path during WW II, we’d be speaking German today. Convenience and comfort are ever the enemies of greatness.

As servants of Christ, we must Bless Others With Our Lives. And as Moses reminded Joshua, “The Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” In other words: “Don’t Limit Your Challenges; Challenge Your Limits.” You are called to greatness—not mediocrity. May we hear our Master say: “Well done, good and faithful servant”
(see Matthew 25:21). May the Lord honor your efforts to see that His will is done on earth as it is in heaven!

Never Forget: YOU Are Loved!!

Pastors Glenn & Diann



Prime Time

Prime Time
“…And who knows if you may have attained royal position for such a time as this?”
ESTHER 4:14 (MEV)

Welcome to Crossroads! We pray that today will mark the beginning of a dramatic shift in how you perceive yourself in our Heavenly Father’s Grand Plan. Read on if you’re curiosity has been piqued…

Esther 4:14 is taken from one of the greatest stories in the Bible. The Book of Esther takes less than an hour to read, yet it contains a dramatic story of Divine Intervention that reshaped human history. At the center of the story is a young girl whose family were captured in their homeland and forced to live in Persia. Tragically, the child’s parents died, leaving her an orphan. Mordecai was a family relative also living in Persia. He graciously adopted Esther and then raised her as his very own child.

Esther’s beauty attracted the attention of Hegai, a custodian of the King. He spent one year preparing Esther to meet the King (who happened to be looking for a Queen). When they met,

“The king loved Esther more than all the, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen…” (Esther 2:17). Isn’t it amazing how things work out when you’re a part of The Master’s Master Plan?

Proverbs 18:16 says: “A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.” Esther’s “gift” was her physical beauty—a gift that brought her into the presence of the King. During this time, a plot by a man named Haman targeted every Jew in Persia for extermination—and Esther was Jewish! The King, not knowing Esther’s nationality, made a decree endorsing Haman’s diabolical scheme. Mordecai—who’d raised Esther as his own daughter—appealed to her to use her royal position to intervene with the King. She did, and history was forever altered!
When you have a few minutes, read the Book of Esther. There, you’ll see that God—even though He is never directly mentioned in the Book of Esther—put the right people in the right places to carry out His will. For everyone who knows the Lord and submits to His will, their placement, gifts, callings, and unique circumstances are never accidental; they are PROVIDENTIAL. God prepares His people for Prime Time!
Does this story matter to us? YES! Divine Providence may be defined as: Prearrangement . God orchestrates the affairs of humankind, either directly or indirectly. Esther’s placement was not accidental. The relative who adopted and raised her—Mordecai—played a key role in preserving the nation of Israel, too. Even though both were forced to live in a land they would never have agreed to on their own, they were positioned by Divine Proxy. Every time an opportunity came their way to do the next thing ordained by God, they took a step of faith, realizing that their steps had been ordered and that they were on assignment (see Psalm 37:23).
Mordecai’s question is applicable to us today: “…And who knows if you may have attained royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) Whether we love our job—or hate it…whether we love our school —or hate it…whether we love our family—or hate itwe are where we are, with whom we are, and how we are by Divine Proxy (unless we’re living in rebellion). We are players in a story that started before we were born and that will continue after we’re gone. The people who pour into our lives were placed there by God. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reads: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” So, how’s your  assignment going?
Today, students competing in the Alabama District’s Fine Arts Festival next week will be sharing their talents. Father God has placed them in this Church under Youth Pastors who have invested in their lives. Let’s celebrate their gifts. Each student is this generation’s “Esther.” They are where they are, with whom they are, and how they are by Divine Proxy —and so are you. God has placed us all side-by-side in His Master Plan “for such a time as this.” Aren’t you glad that He sees the BIG picture and that He has prepared us for this moment in HIStory? The stage is set and the next chapter is about to unfold. Get Ready For PRIME TIME!

Never Forget: YOU Are Loved!

Pastors Glenn & Diann



Unfailing Love

Unfailing Love

“God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures. It is true whether we believe it or not. Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, Who is love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son.”  ~Jerry Bridges

We pray that the Lord will bless and encourage you as you worship Him with all your heart today. David Bowman entitled his work depicted above:“Security.” Bowman describes a life-changing revelation that the Lord gave him as he prepared for his painting. He saw a frightened child being calmed in Jesus’ embrace. As her tired body began to wilt in His arms, He lifted her to His shoulder and held her tightly as she fell asleep. Bowman said that for the first time in his life, He knew what God’s love was all about. I think Bowman depicts God’s love beautifully; don’t you?
At the conclusion of worship today, several people are being baptized as a public declaration of their commitment to Christ as Savior and Lord. My hope is that each one of our brothers and sisters discover the endless, measureless love of God! This journey of discovery is the reason that we can “know” Christ at the moment of salvation, yet enjoy new depths of knowledge in our walk with Him. Such was the reason for Paul’s joy. He writes, …so that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely]” (Philippians 3:10a AMP). Isn’t that our heart’s greatest quest as well?
Did you read the words by author Jerry Bridges? Of the thousands of quotes I’ve collected over the years, Bridges’ words move me deeply every time I read them. Ponder this statement with me: “Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it.”
Human love—regardless of how profound it may feel—is measured, calculated, and often fickle. When a person says that they love us but at some point, stops expressing or demonstrating that love, we begin to doubt whether that person loves us or not. Doubt is a disease. Like cancer, it spreads quickly and silently. If entertained, doubt begins to cauterize our heart. We no longer need that person’s love (or so we say). Everyone loses with that kind of love.
While faith can move mountains (see Mark 11:23) it cannot create love. Only the Author of life could have created the gift of love. Love can only thrive in an environment where it is nourished daily and cherished deeply. Love, as Jerry Bridges stated,
“originates in the very nature of God, Who is love…” Why should this matter to you and me?
Love is mankind’s deepest need. As God’s children, we owe a debt to our fellow man. We owe other people an invitation to encounter a love that originates not in the heart of fallen man, but in the depths of Abba Father’s heart. When a person comes to God searching for true and lasting love, He’ll never turn them away. The love of Jesus is a bottomless ocean! Only in His arms can we truly and permanently experience Security! We are blessed beyond measure to experience His boundless love. How can we keep this love—His love—to ourselves? We can’t!
Friend, love your family, friends, and co-workers as Christ loves you. God pours His love into you and the overflow of His love spills over into the hearts of others. This week, we hope you LEAK!

Never Forget: YOU Are Loved!

Pastors Glenn & Diann



Prayer!

prayer
 
“Prayer is the only channel through which God’s great graces and favors may flow into the soul; and if this be once closed, I know no other way He can communicate them.”   (St. Teresa of Avila)
 

    Welcome to Crossroads! There are two ministry opportunities today—Worship @ 10:30 AM and Fire By Night Prayer Encounter @ 6:00 PM. As wonderful as corporate worship is each Sunday, there is nothing that has the potential to affect our lives, families, communities, and world as does the power of corporate prayer. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught, “And WHEN you pray…(emphasis mine)”, not “And IF you pray…”.  Have you noticed in recent years that fewer and fewer “Believers” show any interest in praying together with the members of their faith family? Why? It’s A Conspiracy!

I am convinced that the enemy of our souls has dedicated much of his time and energy toward driving God’s family deeper and deeper into our own teeny-tiny little worlds. Once isolated, we represent no tangible threat to the kingdom of darkness. That is exactly what the devil is counting on. And when he wins, we—and those we love and care for the most—lose.

 

    As personal convenience becomes more and more “the norm”,

REAL relationships—even among Christians—have virtually vanished. Believers are so in touch with their world, their needs, and their

challenges that they have no interest in getting involved with the lives of other saints. Satan—our adversary—laughs in delight as God’s people forfeit the power available to them only through faith-filled corporate prayer. Are you OK with that?

 

    Will you set aside one hour this month for corporate prayer?  Meet us in the sanctuary tonight with your brothers and sisters in Christ as we join our hearts in prayer and praise. We will call upon our gracious Father in heaven who has pledged to answer when we call upon His great name. I believe that history will shift and hearts will be opened as we answer the Lord’s invitation to pray. Thank you for answering His call!

 

Never Forget: YOU Are Loved!

Pastors Glenn & Diann




Blog 5.3.15
 

You Are God’s Masterpiece                                            MAX LUCADO

To see sin without grace is despair. To see grace without sin is arrogance.  To see them in tandem is conversion.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (GALATIANS 2:20)

   Christ is on the move, aggressively budging you from graceless to grace-shaped living. The gift-given giving gifts. God sees in you a masterpiece about to happen.

   He will do with you what Vik Muniz did with the garbage pickers of Gramacho. Jardim Gramacho is the largest landfill in the world, the Godzilla of garbage dumps. What Rio de Janeiro discards, Gramacho takes. And what Gramacho takes, catadores scavenge. About 3.000 garbage pickers scrape a living out of the rubbish, salvaging 200 tons of recyclable scraps daily. They trail the never-ending convoy of trucks, trudging up the mountains of garbage and sliding down the other side, snagging scraps along the way. Plastic bottles, tubes, wires, and paper are sorted and sold to wholesalers who stand on the edge of the dump.

   Across the bay the Christ the Redeemer statue extends his arms toward Rio’s South Zone and its million-dollar beachfront apartments. Tourists flock there; no one comes to Gramacho. No one except Vik Muniz.

   This Brazilian-born artist convinced 5 garbage workers to pose for individual portraits. Suelem, an 18-year-old mother of 2, has worked the garbage since the age of 7. Isis is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. Zumbi reads every book he finds in the trash. Irma cooks discarded produce in a large pot over an open fire and sells it. Tiao has organized the workers into an association.

    Muniz took photos of their faces, then enlarged the images to the size of a basketball court. He and the 5 catadores outlined the facial features with trash. Bottle tops became eyebrows. Cardboard boxes became chin lines. Rubber tires overlaid shadows. Images gradually emerged from the trash. Muniz climbed onto a thirty-foot-tall platform and took new photos.

   The result? The second-most-popular art exhibit in Brazilian history, exceeded only by the works of Picasso. Muniz donated the profits to the local garbage pickers’ association. You might say he treated Gramacho with grace.

   Grace does this. God does this. Grace is God walking into your world with a sparkle in His eye and an offer that’s hard to resist. “Sit still for a bit. I can do wonders with this mess of yours.” Believe this promise. Trust it. Cling like a barnacle to every hope and covenant.

   Grace hugged the stink out of the prodigal and scared the hate out of Paul and pledges to do the same in us.

   Grace comes after you. It rewires you.

   From insecure to God secure.

   From regret-riddled to better-because-of-it.

   From afraid-to-die to ready-to-fly.

I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never  think of them again. (ISAIAH 43:25)

 

 
 
Blog 4.19.15
 

Worry Is Worthless: God Takes Care of You

CHUCK SWINDOLL

My soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by. (Psalm 57:1)

    Worry is a complete waste of energy. It solves nothing. That is why Jesus asked, “Which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span” (Matthew 6:27)?

    In essence He was saying, “You go to bed tonight and fret and fuss because you’re not five feet, eleven inches; you’re only five feet, nine inches. But when you wake up in the morning, you’re still going to be five feet, nine inches.”

    Worry will never make you stretch! And it won’t solve that anxiety on your mind either. Let me be completely candid. Do you know why we worry? We have a quiet, hidden, love for worry. We enjoy it! When one worry is gone, we replace it with another. There’s always a line of worries waiting to get in the door. So as one goes out the back door, we usher in the next one through the front door. We enjoy entertaining them.

    Worries are our mental and emotional companions. But Jesus says, in effect, that they’re worthless!

    Worry erases the promises of God from your mind. Jesus implies this when He says, “O men of little faith. Do not be anxious then, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘With what shall we clothe ourselves’
(Matthew 6:31).

    The promise of God is that He will not allow His children to beg for bread. He will care for our needs and that’s the promise you can claim. Since He took care of our greatest need at Calvary by giving us Christ, then you can be sure He will take care of everything else He considers important for us.

 

 
 
blog 4.12.15
 
 

GOD’S POWER WHEN IT MATTERS MOST

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

I CORINTHIANS 10:13 (AMPLIFIED)

    Good morning! Last Sunday, we celebrated the triumph of Jesus over death. What a celebration it was! Most of us are familiar with Gethsemane, Golgotha, and the Cross. We realize that Jesus could have avoided all of those experiences if He had chosen to. Have you ever thought about the first temptation that Jesus experienced? It is so interesting that, according to Luke 4:1, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness where the temptations would occur. WHY?

    A wise man once said, “A faith that has not been tested cannot be trusted.”  Jesus, the Son of God, had to endure the process of temptation and refuse the false promises of temptation in order to experience the power of God when it mattered most. Our Lord suffered the same temptations that you and I do, yet remained faithful to His Father. Even though we’ll face trials and temptations during our time on earth, Jesus left an example of how to overcome every evil attack! “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18 NKJV). Notice that Jesus “…suffered, being tempted” ! Jesus revealed a life key that gives me courage every day: God never said it would be easy. He said that it would be worth it! So, the next time you find yourself in a battle, remember: Satan tempts us to get the WORST out of us; God tests us to get the BEST out of us. Friend, this week, I hope that you will experience God’s Power When It Matters Most!

Never Forget: You Are Loved!

Pastors Glenn & Diann

 

 
Love your enemies
 
 

Even From the Cross: Love Those Who Hate

Dear Jesus,

   Sometimes it’s really hard to love people, particularly when You ask me to love those who hate You and do evil things. Please show me. How can I hate evil and still love the haters?

   Isn’t that what Paul did when he was in prison? In the worst of circumstances, he hated evil but continued to love. And You did the same, Jesus. When You were beaten, mocked, and crucified, You asked God to forgive Your enemies because they didn’t know what they were doing. That is pure love.

   Jesus, You are always in my heart, guiding me and leading me to be more like You. And for that reason, I have to pray for those who hate You and do evil things. I don’t love what they do, Lord — but I want them to know You, so I pray for them. I love them enough to ask that You will save them. Please, Lord Jesus, come into their hearts. Open their eyes to see You. They need You so much.

* * *

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. — Matthew 5:43–44

When Jesus was on the cross, He prayed for His enemies and asked God to forgive them. Can you love someone who hates the Lord or who willingly inflicts suffering? Love doesn’t mean that you accept acts of hatred and evil, but love requires that you pray for those most in need of salvation. Remember them when you pray.

Excerpted with permission from Jesus, I Need You: Devotions from Your Heart to His, copyright Zondervan 2015.

 

 
 
 
blog
 

CHILDREN OF THE BURNING HEART

 

And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” LUKE 24:32 (NKJV)

     Have you ever heard of a chronic condition ENJOYED by followers of the Lord Jesus, called “Holy Heartburn”? As A. W. Tozer writes, there is a passion for more of God that only those who know Him best understand. We were sharing Fifty Things The Holy Spirit Does last Wednesday night. Discussing Who the Holy Spirit is and describing the things He does in and through us pushed me to the breaking point. I was about to jump out of my skin! I sensed an insatiable hunger for the Glory of God shared by all who were present. We were all, “Children of The Burning Heart”!

     Friend, I encourage you to begin experiencing “Holy Heartburn” today. God’s Word is alive! Every page of Holy Scripture is like liquid fire setting hearts ablaze and renewing the minds of its readers. As we worship today and next Wednesday night, make it your aim to be fully engaged. When we make God Himself the object and focus of worship, He responds in ways that makes us realize that our pursuit of Him brings Him great pleasure and delight. Our hearts overflow with a joy the likes of which no earthly pursuit or experience can ever remotely compare!

     Today, will you open your heart, clear your mind of clutter, and worship King Jesus with reckless abandon? This week, will you set aside time each day to soak in God’s presence and meditate on His Word? If so, you might want to buy a bottle of Pepcid. Holy Heartburn is on the way!

 

 
 
 
 
3.15.15
 
 

Tragedy Turned Into Eternal Triumph

 

And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how He  died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (MARK 15:39)

    Mark’s account of Jesus’ death is an agonizing record of what seems to be a total failure. A mock trial, a brutal crucifixion, cruel taunts, a hurried burial. And for three days hope died in the disciples’ hearts.
A.W. Tozer explains how failure in the eyes of the world may be success in God’s eyes: “The current mania of people seeking to succeed in the world is a good thing perverted. The desire to fulfill the purpose for which we were created is, of course, a gift from God. But sin has twisted this impulse about and turned it into a selfish lust for first place and top honors.

    “When we come to Christ, we enter a different realm, one infinitely higher than and altogether contrary to that of the world. Our Lord died an apparent failure, discredited by the leaders of established religion, rejected by society, and forsaken by his friends. It took the resurrection to demonstrate how gloriously Christ had triumphed and how tragically the world had failed. The resurrection demonstrated once and for all who won and who lost.”

    There is no greater success story than the resurrection, for apparent tragedy was transformed into eternal triumph. That would be good news enough. But there is more! Christ’s resurrection makes a similar success story possible in the lives of Christians who know the truth of this verse: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20).

    That’s a success story with brand new chapters being written every day. One of those chapters is reserved just for you. How will today’s page read?

Excerpted with permission from Once-a-Day Walk with Jesus Devotional, copyright Zondervan.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Valentines
 

Communicating Love and Respect in Marriage      Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Excerpted with permission from Love and Respect for a Lifetime by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, © Thomas Nelson.  

  God’s way of communicating in marriage is to talk with words of unconditional love and respect.

  “If,” comments a wife, “I’m in the middle of a conversation with my husband that has the potential to become heated and a negative thought about my husband enters my mind, I remember the simple advice in Love and Respect that when I communicate with my husband, I need respectful words, a respectful tone of voice, and a respectful countenance. I also remember the simple advice that I need to think respectful thoughts about my husband because he is created in the image of God, and God commands me to respect him.”

The heart of the wise instructs his mouth and adds            persuasiveness to his lips. (Proverbs 16:23)

  I also teach “my response is my responsibility.” When my spouse and I get on the Crazy Cycle, my unloving words are my responsibility. My wife, Sarah, does not cause my unloving words, and I must always ask myself before I speak, “Is that which I am about to say going to sound loving or unloving to Sarah?”

  A husband comments, “Our relationship changed from frequent nagging and fighting when I realized that my response is my responsibility. I find myself constantly going back to that [truth] in every situation that gets heated. Our relationship has gradually gotten better and better as I try to speak lovingly.”
 

    It would be easy enough to deduce that communication is the key to marriage, but I don’t agree. To say that communication is the key to marriage is to assume that both spouses speak the same language. After more than three decades of pastoring, counseling married couples, and conducting marriage conferences, I’ve learned that, in fact, the wife speaks a “love language” and the husband speaks a “respect language.” They don’t realize this, of course, but because he is speaking one kind of language (respect) and she is speaking another (love), there is little or no understanding and little or no communication.

    Your words are a very good indication of what is going on in your heart — and your spouse knows it. Just about every couple knows what it is like to get into a conflict that escalates into a full-blown argument and they are not sure why it happened. Spouses tend to write off these kinds of arguments, saying, “If only she weren’t so sensitive” or “If only he weren’t so touchy.” But those aren’t the real issues at all.

    Conflict inevitably happens when spouses focus on their own needs and overlook the needs of the other. That’s when the issues arise. The wife needs love; she is not trying to be disrespectful. The husband needs respect; he is not trying to be unloving. Once the Love and Respect couple grasps a basic principle — that the apparent issue is not the real issue at all — they are on their way to cracking the communication code.

    Conflict is inevitable; it is simply part of living together. The key to keeping conflict from escalating is to choose to practice love or respect. When a husband speaks with a loving tone during a conflict, which may range from a mild argument to a more serious disagreement, his wife will feel one with him. When a wife softens her facial expressions and comes across more respectfully during those times of friction, the husband will feel one with her.

    Will the disagreement be solved? Perhaps, but more than likely it will still be there. Yet husband and wife can feel oneness because nobody has to win and nobody has to lose. Oneness is, and it is gained when the wife feels loved by her husband and the husband feels respected by his wife. They bond with each other; two, indeed, become one.

 

 

 
 
Love
 

I CORINTHIANS 13 (THE MESSAGE)

1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

 

10 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

11 When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

 

 
 
 
Keep my mouth shut

“Help me, Lord, to keep my mouth shut and my lips sealed.”

PSALM 141:3 (THE LIVING BIBLE)

    Good morning! I’m not going to bother asking how many times you’ve wished you had prayed the words recorded by King David in Psalm 141:3. At least a dozen or two, right? Me, too! As you see on the front cover, an incredible prayer is recorded in Psalm 19:14. Years ago, I began praying that prayer before I left for each day’s activities. Being mindful of the huge impact of my words has saved me countless apologies and salvaged many vital relationships. If I’d only known this truth sooner! Can you relate?

    Over the first month of 2015, we’ve talked about the priority of setting a positive, spiritual atmosphere. It would be spiritual malpractice NOT to deal with the matter of our speech before moving forward. Today, we consider the power of our words. King Solomon writes, The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences

(Proverbs 18:21). As the Holy Spirit ministers to us, let’s allow Him to expose areas of speech that may cause Him grief, that maims our souls, or that wounds the hearts of those we love. This will be time well spent, even if it brings pain. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening —it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way” (Hebrews 12:11 NLT). Let’s do whatever it takes to reap a harvest of right living in 2015. God Bless You!

 

Never Forget: You Are Loved!

Pastors Glenn and Diann

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Know Christ
 

 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (EPHESIANS 3:19 NKJV)

Possessing the Fullness of Christ                                 Francis Frangipane

    We have instructed the Church in nearly everything but becoming disciples of Jesus Christ. We have filled the people with doctrines instead of Deity; we have given them manuals instead of Emmanuel. It is not difficult to recognize someone from Pentecostal, Baptist, Charismatic or other traditional church backgrounds. Nearly every congregation seems to develop a particular slant or system of traditions, some of which ultimately obscures the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. We can honor our traditions, but we must not be limited by them. For us, they will never be enough. We are seeking to be like Jesus, not men. We want the kingdom of God, not typical American Christianity.

    Thus, as a man of God, I must be vigilant to submit myself, above all things, to the Spirit and words of the Lord Jesus, incessantly reaching for the holy standards of the kingdom of God. I consider that any focus or goal other than Christ Himself in fullness will become a source of deception in the days ahead.

    Look at what Jesus did with common people. In just 3 1/2  years average men and women were transformed into fearless disciples, literally filled with the Spirit of God. They did not wince at suffering; they did not withdraw from sacrifice. These once ordinary people were equipped with spiritual authority over demons and exercised power over illnesses. They were the actual living proof that Christ transforms people.

Three and a half years of undiluted Jesus will produce in us what it did in them: THE KINGDOM OF GOD!
 

The first disciples were just as average and human as we are. The difference between them and us is Jesus. He is the only difference. One may argue that this occurred two thousand years ago. True, but “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

    You may say, “But they actually heard Jesus speak; they saw His miracles!” The same Spirit that worked through Jesus in the first century is poured out upon us today! The Holy Spirit has not grown old and feeble; He is still being poured out today. The words Jesus uttered in the first century are still “living and active” today (Hebrews 4:12), even to the “end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). We have no excuses. The eternal One who established His kingdom in men two millennia ago is fully capable of producing it in us today. All we need is undiluted, uninhibited Jesus. All we need are hearts that will not be satisfied with something or someone other than Him.

    Thus the pattern for leadership in the years ahead is simple: Leaders must be individuals whose burning passion is conformity to Jesus Christ. Is this not the highest passion of your heart—to possess the likeness of Christ? Heaven’s concern is: Will we become people who are seeking hard after Christ?
 

God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts. So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your  strength and glory. In your generous love I am really living at last!   My lips brim praises like fountains. I bless you every time I take a  breath; My arms wave like banners of praise to you.

PSALM 63:1-4 (THE MESSAGE)

 

 
 
  
   Lion
 

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Psalm 139:13-140

     I want you to picture your heart, that powerful machine pumping inside your chest. Believe it or not, it’s about the size of your fist and weighs less than a half a pound. Yet in less than twelve hours, it does enough work to lift 65 tons off the ground!

     And not only that, but if you were to line up the veins, arteries, and capillaries of the average adult end-to-end, they would stretch over 60,000 miles. That’s nearly 2½ times around the world!

    Three millennia ago, before any of these facts would’ve been known, the psalmist said we are fearfully and wonderfully made. How can any rational person look at the human body and not see a divine hand in its design?

You are created by God, not in a factory, but custom-made unlike any other person in the world!

    God made creation. He constructed light years upon light years of universe. Yet that very same God also knit you together in your mother’s womb. He intricately crafted you before you even took your first breath as a newborn baby.

    You have significance. You are NOT the product of an accident. God Himself created you; He sustains you; and He loves you. Yes, YOU! Praise Him today for that amazing truth!

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 Blog Pic
In this life we have three great lasting qualities—faith, hope  and love. But the greatest of them is love.

I CORINTHIANS 13:13 (PHILLIPS)

 

   Good Morning! Can you believe that there are only 17 shopping days left until Christmas? [I’ll make sure you’re informed from now until Christmas week!] Last week, we shared about the power of faith. I hope that article was an encouragement to you. And speaking of hope…

   The second link of this “life link” shared in I Corinthians 13 is the lasting quality of hope! What comes to mind when you consider this rich word? In my mind’s eye, I see three links of a chain. On one end is the quality of faith. On the other end is the quality of love. Smack dab in the middle of these qualities is the enduring, undeniable link of HOPE! An author/poet from a century ago, G. K. Chesterton once said, “Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” Powerful, huh?

   As we remember the birth of Jesus, history shows that it was a very difficult period. Rome ruled the world, forcing the servitude of people living in conquered nations. Rome owned it all and there was nothing anyone could do about it…apparently. But God!

   God sent hope to planet earth in the form of a newborn baby. During His time here, Jesus preached hope, gave hope, and fulfilled hope. And He’s still doing the same some 2,000 years later.

   Nothing you can buy online or in a store can supply what the lasting quality of hope provides. Only Jesus can do that. HOPE: That’s what Christmas is really all about!

Hope Works!

Pastors Glenn and Diann

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 Nov 23-0

1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!

2 Serve the Lord with gladness! Come before His presence with singing!

3 Know (perceive, recognize, and understand with approval) that the Lord is God! It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]! We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!

5 For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.

PSALM 100 (AMPLIFIED)

This Thanksgiving, Be Sure to Count Your Blessings!