Thursday, June 26, 2014

Communication is Key

The following went out to the Crossroads email list a few moments ago.  If you'd like to be added to the list let me know!  It's so great that we can stay in touch even when we're at a distance from one another.  (For those who do not have internet we're doing our best to put printed copies in our church mailboxes, and making a few available to pick up near the church building entrance.)


Good morning!  It's been so good to have a few days without more rain!  Praise the Lord!

This is just a quick note to remind you of what I believe is a special God-given set of messages that we are sharing on Sunday mornings.  The DIY series of messages from Sundays are at  "DIY" means "Do It Yourself."

If you have to miss on Sundays please
  1. Fervently pray for the people of Crossroads, the mission God has given us and your place in that mission.
  2. Let us know what you're up to (just as you would any family member) and
  3. Keep up with what the Lord is doing in our midst via our church website. 
Spending a bit of time looking around at and is a great way of keeping in touch -- something all of us need to "Do" ourselves!  What a blessing!

At those websites you'll find pictures posted from VBS last week and a few from the Franklin Avenue Mission last Saturday and the Chicago YouthWorks mission trip this week with more to come.  You'll also be encouraged to pray!

On Saturday we'll begin our 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim world.  Two weeks ago we heard from Sherry Mohamed, someone who came to the light of Christ because of prayer.  That was clearly stated in her message as she said "I am an answer to prayer."  Please take time to pick up a "30 Days" prayer booklet at church if you haven't already.  Or give me a call and I'll deliver one to you.

All these things are great examples of a DIY church. These are examples of practical ways that God works in His people instead of having them just hire it out. Of course, all that God does through us happens because of what He has first done in us.  (We shared that on Sunday and will continue to do so throughout the series.)

Today Toni will be getting ready at home to host women from Crossroads.  You can still RSVP by giving Toni a call - 763-957-9296.

Let God's Word and the Holy Spirit guide you and each of us to live, not as independent individuals or independent families, but as people who are called, each of us, to do our part for the mission of God through Crossroads Community Church.

Pastor Steve


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Grace for Today

The following was shared with me this morning by one of our Crossroads board members in Cokato.

Helpful and strong words from the Lord via Charles Stanley:

The Power of God's Grace
Romans 5:1-5

Grace is one of God's most amazing gifts. It provides us with everything we need to live in perfect freedom: pardon for our sins, healing for our hearts, the companionship of God's indwelling Holy Spirit, and access to freely cultivate our relationship with Him. We work, worship, and enjoy life surrounded by His unconditional love. His grace upholds us, fills us, and sustains us.

Since we are forgiven people, the Lord responds to us not as enemies but as His dearly loved children (Rom. 8:15; Eph. 5:1). He hears our prayers, speaks to us, and acts on our behalf.

The knowledge that we live under the covering of God's grace gives us...

  • Security about our position. No one can snatch us out of His hand (John 10:28).
  • Boldness to live for Christ. Nothing anyone does or says can shake our confidence in who the Lord is or who we are in Him.
  • Peace for today because we can fully trust in His sovereignty. The Lord is carrying out His perfect will--and we can be sure that nothing is able to thwart His plans when we cooperate with Him.
  • Hope for the future. This life is just the beginning. One day we'll see Jesus face to face, be perfected as the individuals He created us to be, and live with Him in our true home forever.
The Lord is committed to transforming each of us according to His special plan for our lives. Even His correction is an expression of His loving favor (Heb. 12:10). When we falter or fail, we can rest assured that His amazing grace hems us in and always offers us redemption.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Full Days

Today was my first full day back in the DC area after school was out for the year last Wednesday. After pastors prayer this morning, I spent a couple hours with young Nathan Dahlseng prepping for VBS games, then some time working on (and communicating about) other "church" stuff, then did my best to repair/unclog a rug/carpet cleaning machine and did some house cleaning. 

Tomorrow I'll spend the morning at the church office and then take care of other things in the afternoon.  At some point tomorrow Godly and Ndede Agala will be coming by.  On the weekend Crossroads will host a guest speaker and we'll go to my nephew's graduation party.

These days of summer are going to go by really quickly.  Let's make the most of them and be glad for each moment the Lord gives us to serve Him and love one another.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Next Series

Hello! It's been awhile (again) since I've written here. Toni and I are at our friends' home in Texas, having come here on Friday for our god-daughter's high school gradutation. We'll be heading home tomorrow.  This won't be all that organized but it will help me to get going on what's next once we return.

Right now I'm thinking and praying about what "direction" the Lord is giving us about themes and messages for Crossroads beginning June 22. This last Sunday (yesterday) Crossroads was blessed with an awesome worship experience and message from Igniter Ministries and our sons, Dan & Jon Thorson. Coming up on June 15 (this coming Sunday) Sherri Mohamed will be here (at Crossroads) to get us ready for our "30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World." The question is, what's next after that.

I've been in communication with Pastor Per Nilsen today. He has headed up the informal "network" of churches and pastors that I've been part of since the summer or fall of 2011. When we met earlier this year they had suggested that we do series called "Do It Yourself" this summer followed by a series on the OT book of Nehemiah. As I've been praying now I'm thinking that it would be good to proceed at least with the Do It Yourself Series, probably beginning June 22.  (I had thought perhaps we might do one more message on the "Living the Dream" series but none of the other churches in the network are doing so and I don't seem to have inspiration right now to go that way.)

My first reaction to the "Do It Yourself" message series titles was not positive. But here's what the series authors say:
While we all need Jesus and cannot truly “do it yourself,” there are certain practical areas of our faith where we must take some responsibility and ownership.
Our son Dan said something similar this last Sunday as he spoke on the God given unity we have in Jesus and connected that with Jesus' statement: "by this they will know that you are my disciples IF you love one another."  So there is a "doing" that each of us is called to, and our doing or not doing makes a difference.  There is a part of the Christian life that we do ourselves... not by ourselves but our own selves are called to do it.

There's a lot more to be worked out in this series, but that's the gist of it.  The network pastors suggested four different things that we're called to do ourselves: (1) forgive one another, (2) raise our children to know Jesus, (3) live by spiritual "rhythms" (such as the sabbath) and (4) share Jesus with others.

Perhaps others at Crossroads or beyond would like to suggest other things that we're called to "do ourselves" in response to the grace of God.  I'm hoping that others will be called by God to share one or more of these messages in upcoming weeks.  Toni and I will be most likely out of the area on July 6 for family time so perhaps YOU would like to share a message that week?  Pray and let me know!

One thing that I know is how much of a difference it makes in our fellowship when some of us are gone.  Taking time to gather together is a "do it yourself" issue that all of us are called to.  No one can participate for you.  You must "do it yourself."  You are irreplaceable and unique.

God's peace to you all tonight.

artwork from network partner Community of Hope church in Rosemount