Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Trip with a Lesson

One theme in Scripture that strikes me every Christmas is the worship of the Christ-child.  The account of the Magi stands out as the height of this theme in Matthew 2:1-12.  The opening verses in chapter two states, Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."   These strangers appear on the scene suddenly, declaring that they have seen “His” star in the East and desiring to worship the One “born King of the Jews”.  They have come a great distance to follow after a star they call “His star” that “went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was” (v.9b).  Just imagine the terrain and time that it took to make this journey.  This is not a whimsical decision to present valuable gifts to the King.  No, no—this was a sacrifice of great proportions.  All of this—to worship!  Think about that.  This was the greatest of honors to be in the presence of the King and give Him homage through their gifts.  God was calling them, that much is sure.  The star and the prophecy from Micah gave them the directions to find the Messiah but they had to make the commitment to follow and worship.
Fast forward to today: we are still called to follow the revelation of God in the Bible and worship the Lord Jesus. This time of year is a great reminder of the highest calling for believers to worship the King. This is what the Lord put into the heart of Abraham, David, and the Magi—to follow and worship. I want to encourage you this Christmas to set your heart’s desire upon worshipping the Lord everyday. There is so much joy and grace in kneeling before the Lord Jesus and giving Him the treasures of your heart—I promise you will never regret it!

Blessings, Pastor George

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Shame on Us

Greetings to the U.S.A.,

Well my dear countrymen, we have now entered a time and era that is unprecedented in our lifetime. The country that I live in has gone the way of Sodom--it is seeking out Gomorrah. Let me be clear, our beloved country has been going in this depraved direction for a long time but yesterday the United States took a definitive step to affirm immoral practices in public policy that will greatly change the nature of our country. This is simply a matter of moving down the list of Romans 1 and the progressive march from idol worship and the worship of the creation to affirming a public policy of homosexuality. My fellow citizens, the Bible describes this as the last stage in God giving people over to the consequences of their sin. This did not result in blessing for Israel nor for other kingdoms throughout history and the consequence will not benefit the United States of America. How can we escape the judgment coming upon the nation? Return to the Lord! He is the Judge of all the earth. This God loves us and sent His Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins and bring us eternal life. Our corruption as a nation has reached a boiling point and will consume us from the inside out if we do not turn to the Lord by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. He is the only One who can shelter us from the coming wrath.

Dear fellow citizens, every nation and kingdom has fallen and within the account of the collapse is a corruption of values and character. This is upon us now as our country has willingly taken some deadly steps toward same sex marriage, legal use of marijuana, and abortion on demand. Today is day 1...and it will not end well for the good ol' US of A unless we return to the Lord.

Shame on Us....Shame on Us

Walking in grace, Pastor George

My Brother's Keeper Sunday

In the past election, the economy was a huge factor. We realize that things are difficult for everyone financially. This is why we deeply appreciate the financial support you share with Crossroads on a regular basis. It has always been our commitment to use your dollars in the most effective way possible. We watch the expenses closely and look to get the best value we can.

As most of you know, we provide Financial Peace University on a regular basis. I believe in the program and in the principles that Dave Ramsey teaches. The leadership team has based our stewardship strategy on those principles. We remain dedicated to that strategy. In keeping with that strategy, we have made the following decisions.

1) We have cut staff salaries by $120 per week. It is not something we wanted to do, but the circumstances demanded it. We appreciate the staff and all the hard work they do. They have always gone above and beyond what we have expected.

2) We have indefinitely suspended doing the 3% for debt reduction. Given the current economic situation, we felt that we should be focused on funding our current programing and making our regular mortgage payment. Over one thousand dollars ($1000) of each offering goes just to cover the mortgage payment. The leadership team is still dedicated to reducing our debt. We will be discussing and proposing some future changes to our stewardship strategy in regard to it.

As difficult and challenging as things are financially for us as a congregation, they are even more so for those in our community who are poor. While you and I can financially “tighten our belts”, those who are less fortunate struggle for food, paying basic utilities, and even having gas in their car to go to work. This is where our benevolence ministry “My Brother’s Keeper” is desperately needed.

MBK is funded in several ways. First, it is funded through the two garage sales we have every year. Many of you have generously donated of your time and items for the sales. We also fund it through using the PayLess gift cards. Three percent (3%) of what you put on the card before you shop is donated to the ministry. You can use the gift card to buy groceries and even pay for gas as well.

Another way you can help MBK is to utilize their other program for purchasing gift cards for many popular restaurants and retail stores. These make great Christmas gifts and a percentage of price is given back to help those in need. For example, if you purchase ten $5 Starbucks cards, 10% of your $50 would be given to MBK. See Becky Holladay or Stacy Tilton for a list of merchants that participate in the program or use this link

The final way that we fund My Brother’s Keeper is through the second of our two annual special offerings. On November 18th, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we will be taking up a special offering and ALL funds received will go to MBK. Remember this is a SPECIAL offering and should be “over and above” your regular tithing and giving to the church. It will NOT include any funds given online through our e-Give system. That means that you must come prepared to give either by a check or cash on that Sunday.

Please pray about this, and seek God’s direction. You folks blew my mind with the record special offering on Easter. I know that even in difficult times, God is still in control. Let your thankfulness and generosity be expressed as you consider how much you should give. As you do that, know this, that the funds you allow God to provide through you will make the difference in someone’s life. It will allow MBK to be the answer to a desperate person’s prayer for assistance.

See You Sunday,