The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalms 34:18
As I was last Sunday night, I am writing this message while looking out my window and gazing at our nativity scene in the front yard. Only something is different from a week ago. My heart is heavy, my mind preoccupied, my prayer life suddenly increased as the events of last Friday in Newtown, CT came to be known. And yet our nativity scene reminds me that Christ is our Lord and Savior that in tough times, and in all times, we can go to, depend on, and find hope in the Great Comforter and Healer.
Good and evil exists in this world—as if we didn’t know this already. This has been true since the “Great” fall. Every generation from the beginning has lived and experienced this reality. There are things that happen in our time and in our world that we just don’t have an answer for or understanding of—incomprehensible things that are nothing short of evil. On one level, I am at a loss to comprehend the pain and suffering of parents and family in Newtown. And yet at the same time, I feel blessed to have a family, my church, and Celebrate Recovery. I was thankful for a meeting on Friday night, and church services over the weekend. Please pray for the Newtown families and community, for our country and our world. There is so much to pray for.
At Celebrate Recovery last Friday night, we had a wonderful testimony of God’s grace and mercy in the story of one of our members. As we broke for share groups, our focus question came from something I had been thinking about since the afternoon. When something horrific happens to innocents, it causes you to stop and put things in perspective. It forces me to ask the question: What really is important in my life, in my community, in my world? We come to Celebrate Recovery to have a new relationship with Christ, learning to rely on his grace to clear away the wreckage of the past so that we may live in a growing relationship with him in the present. The group focus question: What are the petty things we hang onto that, with just a little bit of grace, we could remove so very easily? Make no mistake—there are big issues in our lives that take a lot of effort and God’s grace to work through, but why do we hang on to the petty stuff?
“Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace. There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it.” Hebrews 4:16
I am convinced by my own experience and failures in the discipline of daily inventory— making quick amends and offerings of forgiveness—that the petty stuff corrected today doesn’t become the major stuff of tomorrows. Live one day at a time; give it your best one-day at a time, and love passionately one day at a time. Whomever you have in your life, tell them you love them, show them you love them, and may the grace of Jesus lead your way.
“Don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” Matthew 6:34, TLB
At Crossroads Church, we prayed for the innocent loss of lives, and for grieving families, friends, community, and nation. The craziness of it all—yes, evil is real, but so is the powerful truth of God’s love and grace. The good that is Jesus was center stage at Crossroads; it always is when we have Baptisms—a public declaration of faith in Jesus Christ. We witness the pure love in their hearts for Jesus, the sparkle in their eyes, the exuberance of a spiritual passion that is Jesus, shown through the believers’ baptisms. It truly warms your heart and brings some order into our lives, to be a part of this faith family.
We live in a mixed up world where both good and evil are present. Sin and evil get the headlines in this world, but it’s through Jesus that we will be supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
“Dear brothers, you have been given freedom: not freedom to do wrong, but freedom to love and serve each other.” Galatians 5:13
Make this week a great God filled week (one day at a time). Do your part and trust God do the rest.
Friday, December 21:
- 7 pm: Worship, followed by a teaching from Marty on Inventory.
- 8 pm: Open Share Groups.
- 9 pm: Solid Rock Café.
Group Meetings and More:
If you’re trapped by a hurt-habit-or hang up, try a Celebrate Recovery 12-step group. Note: Our Women’s Abuse 12-step group is full.
- NEW Women’s Mixed-issue 12-step Group, Thursdays, 6:30-8pm. For addiction, co-dependency, and relationships.
- *FULL* Women’s Abuse 12-step Group, Tuesdays.
- Men’s Group, Tuesdays, 6pm. At the 137 Homeless Connection. Dinner is at 6pm, and the meeting is at 7pm.
- NEW Men’s Mixed-issue 12-step Group, Fridays. For addiction, co-dependency, and relationships.
- Men’s Sexual Integrity 12-step Group. Starting early next year.
For more information, contact [email protected], or call the church office at 970-203-9201.