November 21, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
Sitting behind the wheel of my car, I held my breath and pushed the start button…
I hoped it would start and not blow up or something, which would be both inconvenient and expensive!
 
My car had been “getting up there” on the odometer and not running like earlier days.  You know the feeling!  Anyway, since I like learning new things and about how stuff works, I decided to try changing the spark plugs.  I’d never done this before, but what could go wrong?  As I got into the fun of prepping and actually starting to do it, it dawned on me though my car weighs 3,000-4,000 pounds (varies by load), it is powered by 4 small spark plugs, weighing less than 1 pound.
 
Though spark plugs are small, often overlooked, and difficult to access, they are absolutely essential to the proper functioning of gas-powered car engines.  They are the point of ignition where fuel becomes power!   When I got the old plugs out, I was shocked how worn they were when compared to new ones (see pic).  It is no wonder the car had been running poorly!
 
As we finish a tumultuous 2020, it’s also occurred to me how critical being thankful to God is in order to live and love well.  Like spark plugs, thankfulness can seem like a small thing, that’s often overlooked and difficult to access in our culture that seems to relentlessly perpetuate insecurity and dissatisfaction.
 
No matter how life-altering 2020’s been or 2021 looks ahead, choosing a spirit of thankfulness can be the spark plug or ignition point of much faithlove, and joy in our lives!  Yes, I know many of our hopes, dreams, and even specific plans abruptly changed in the interpersonal, vocational, financial, and health-related aspects of our lives.  However, our living and loving God reminds us there is a lot more that remains constantstable, and worthy of our focus
 
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever.  
– 1 Chronicles 16:34, Psalm 136:1
 
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heartI will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
– Psalm 9:1
 
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and wonderful deeds for all mankind.  
– Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31
 
When Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home… Three times a day 
he got down on his knees and prayedgiving thanks to his Godjust as he had done before.
– Daniel 6:10
 
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, Jesus gave thanks 
and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people.
– Luke 9:16
 
Let’s cultivate thankfulness in our lives that it may ignite a powerful love for God and the people around us😎
 
Be strong in the grace and peace of Jesus!  -Pastor Steve
 
November 14, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
It’s about that time of year again.  Days are getting shorter and nights longer and colder… Can’t wait to get the fireplace going!
 
Right now, however, it’s got birch logs in it taunting me.  They’re from a triple-trunked tree just off our patio, now a double.  They know it was me who felled, limbed, and segmented them into beautiful, fireplace-ready logs.  They might even remember the bite of that chainsaw!  Still, they don’t tremble around me.  For they will never be kissed by flames or give themselves to share heat and light with others.  They’re just ornamental and they know it.
 
Soon, however, I’ll exchange them for the less uniform, decorative logs from our wood pile and really heat things up!  In our pile, all manner of oak, cherry, maple, and irregular birch logs can be found.  Mixed together, they’re beautifully functionalgiving themselves to provide much heat and light!
 
Similarly, Jesus Christ calls every person into a faith-ignited love relationship with him.  A relationship that’s so much more than ornamental.  Instead, being generously passionate and functional, bringing the warmth and light of God’s love to others!  Jesus’ incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection open this door!
 
I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God 
given to and now within you.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity,
but a Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline!   -2 Timothy 1:6-7
 
O God, you are my God, 
earnestly I seek youmy soul thirsts for youmy body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than lifemy lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.  
My soul will be satisfied…   – Psalm 63:1-5
 
Oh God, help me resist slipping into an ornamental faith, which lacks love, gratitude, and generosity in relationships.
Instead, help me give myself intentionally to a beautifully functional faithignited by a passionate love relationship with you.  Amen! 😎

 

Be strong in the grace and peace of Jesus!  -Pastor Steve
 
November 7, 2020
Reminder: ONLINE CHURCH ONLY this Sun, 11/8 at 10:00am (Lord’s Supper & Message)
Reason:  Response to Confirmed Case of Covid at church on Sun, 11/1
To protect our church family, businesses, and local communities from possible spread of the virus.
It will also give any symptoms a chance to surface and encourage those at risk or concerned to get tested before gathering to worship again.  More updates next week…  Thanks for your concern and prayers!
 
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
Somebody pinch me as I must be dreaming…
I had coffee this morning on the patio without a coat.  Most of my day was spent in a t-shirt and sandals (jeans, too) doing yardwork.  As the sun sets, my ears are filled with the happy sounds of many neighbors frolicking outdoors through our wide-open windows.  To put this in perspective, last year we were “treated” to shoveling 4 inches of snow on October 31st.  That trick was no treat!
 
Circumstances sure can change suddenly, can’t they?  Up, down, and all around- change is constant in all areas of life like weather, health, vocations, politics, finances, technology, relationships, responsibilities, etc…  Such change can be unsettling, disorienting, threatening, and fear-producing.  So how can we function better in the waves of constant external change?
 
Internally anchoring to the enduring love of God is a great place to start…

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Let Israel say:  “His love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say: “His love endures forever.”
When hard pressedI cried out to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place.

The Lord is with meI will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
The Lord is with mehe is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.”   -Psalm 118:1-9

Let’s anchor our security and significance in God’s unshakeable love in Christ when change begins to cast us adrift! 😎
 
Be strong in the grace and peace of Jesus!  -Pastor Steve
 
November 1, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
Three solid days of temps in the 30’s and 7+ inches of rain seriously altered our visit with extended family…  Off the table were all the outdoor plans- taking walks, biking scenic trails, eating on the patio, and even possibly playing a round of golf.  None of it happened!
 
Trip was a bust, huh?  Nope, not hardly!
 
Instead, we masked up indoors and took things at a slower pace.  Coffee, conversation, more coffee, crockpot meals, and lots of cards!  It turned out to be just what was needed.  God blessed us with the opportunity to prioritize people over plans and be fully present with one another.  It worked!
 
Thank you, God, for your presence and blessing in the middle of disrupted plans!
 
My heart, O God, is steadfast in you;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Awake, harp and lyre!
   I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.  -Psalm 108:1-5
 
Let’s center on the love, faithfulness, and glory of God, delighting in the people around us! 😎
 
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve
 
October 24, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
Shuffling across our kitchen in a pre-dawn haze, I switched on the light and began my morning coffee ritual…
Fill the Brita, grind new beans, rinse out carafe, open top to… Whoa, yikes! 
 
I was startled out of my stupor by a pair of eyes staring at me from within our drip coffee maker.  The animal was crouching right in the middle of the used grounds and grinning at me rather defiantly.  No, I didn’t imagine this nor make it up!  What did you do?  Well, I burst out laughing and smiled from ear to ear!  Have you lost my mind?
 
Not entirely…  You see, the animal was a jaguar.  What?  Did I mention it’s not a living creature, but a plastic one that’s had many happy years of stalking prey across the savanna of our carpets and roaring from beneath furniture in our house.  He comes to life at the initiative and vision of whoever holds him.  Children of various ages mostly, but recently he seems to be expanding into new markets!
 
Back to the coffee maker…  No, it wasn’t a child, but Laura who cleverly placed the jaguar for me to find at just the right time!  You see, it’s become a bit of a game with us.  Each trying to delight the other with an unexpected jaguar encounter!  I appreciate them for a few reasons.  First, when the jaguar shows up, it’s a reminder that Laura loves, is thinking about, and wants me to be delighted.  Second, in unplanned or mundane moments, the eyes and smile of the jaguar remind me that God sees me always, knows me best, and takes delight in me.  Also, just as the jaguar “comes to life” in our hands and becomes a manifestation of our love for and delight in one another, so we are called to “come to life” when we trust God to take hold of us in Christ.  In his hands, we become reminders of God’s love for, grace towards, and delight in others!
 
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an 
everlasting loveI have drawn you to myself with unfailing kindness.  -Jeremiah 31:3
 
Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;   you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue, you, Lord, know it completely.  -Psalm 139:1-4
 
Jesus answered, “The most important of the commandments is this…
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these.”   -Mark 10:29-31
 
Let’s live and share the reality of Jesus’ resurrection love in unexpected and delightful ways! 😎
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve
 
October 17, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
I wasn’t having the best of days…
Alarming expansion of my “to do list” was greatly outpacing my progress.  Anxious about a misunderstanding that had me stewing for some kind of resolution.  Approach of shorter, colder days signaled the quickly closing window for favorite outdoor activities.  Anger over the state of our nation’s political climate.  And worst of all (not really)…  Abysmal described the descent of my fantasy football team (and my attitude) into last place in our neighborhood league!
 
You may be thinking, “Get a grip man,” especially on that last one.  If so, you’re spot on!  I share this as reminder of how easy it can be to allow minorunexpected, and beyond our control things to get under our skin, into our hearts, and on top of our attitudes!  Fortunately, God gives us helpful insight in these two passages…
 
Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands.
Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!
The Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me you have believed;
blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.” -John 20:27-29
 
Now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. 
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorableand right
and pure, and lovely, and admirable
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—
everything you heard from me and saw me doing. 
Then the God of peace will be with you.   -Philippians 4:8-9 
 
Let’s fix our thoughts on and live in the power of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection! 😎
 
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve
 
October 10, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
“What’s that awful smell? I wondered with disgust.  It ambushed me as I hurried into the medical building for an early appointment.  Answering my own question, I first guessed, “spent mop water” had been used near the entrance.  Not seeing an unattended mop bucket, I recalled the olfactory assault began as I put on a mask just before opening the door.  Must’ve grabbed an “old mask,” I surmised as I slipped it off to take a whiff.  Hmm, it was fine.
 
Then it hit me how wrong I was…  With sudden clarity, I realized the offensive odor had come from “my own breath” which was now a toxic mix of stale morning breath and reheated coffee!  In my rush, I forgot to brush and the doctor was going to pay the price.
 
How easy it is to judge, critique, or blame others before ourselves!  Jesus talked about this all too common, toxic habit
 
“And why focus on a speck in another person’s eye when you have a log in your own?
How can you think of saying to another person, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ 
when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?  Hypocrite! 
First get rid of the log in your own eyethen you will see well enough 
to deal with the speck in another’s eye.”  Matthew 7:3-5
 
Let’s focus on bringing ourselves and our logs to Jesus’ healing cross.  His arms are always open wide! 😎
 
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve
 
October 3, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
Bang!  Shock and surprise quickly gave way to a flash of anger as I realized my car had been hit…
As I hopped out of my car hopping mad, I was reminded that years ago I too had once caused an accident, more substantial than this minor fender bender.  Empathy prevailed over anger as I asked, “Are you okay?” Fortunately, damage was limited to rattled nerves, disrupted routines, and a replaceable rear bumper.
 
It wasn’t easy for me turn over my car to a collision repair shop…  You see, we’d been through a lot in our 9+ years and 150,000+ miles together!  Taken many memorable family trips and hauled everything under the sun (bikes, brush, kitchen stove, donated food for the local pantry, and even 50+ folding chairs for two grad parties) with the rear seats down.  Super functional and indispensable!  I left the shop in a new, provided rental car, but it wasn’t the same…
 
When I got my car back, the bumper repair was done great.  Also, they had cleaned and buffed it both inside and out.  Seriously, my car was the cleanest it had been and smelled in 5 years!  However, as I drove home, I had a flash of guilt.  They had taken care of my car better than I was doing!  You see, even though my car was indispensable to me, I’d gotten lax in doing in all sorts of necessary maintenance.  You know, washing it more than once a year, vacuuming the interior, removing discarded banana peels, apple cores, and yoghurt cups, and changing the oil, filters, and spark plugs in a timely manner!
 
Why share this?  Similarly, even though a faith relationship with God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit is both indispensable to our lives and super functional, we can get lax and overlook necessary maintenance that’s essential for quality relationships with God and everyone else in our lives!
 
Jesus answered, “The most important of the commandments is this…
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these.”   Mark 10:29-31
 
Let’s make time to talk with, listen to, and move in love towards Jesus and the people around us! 😎
 
September 26, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
It was a perfect evening sitting outside at a favorite local restaurant.  Talking with one of the owners who’d stopped by, we didn’t notice the server deliver our second small plate.  “Octopus!” proudly announced the owner.  Now, we are not timid foodies, but were caught off guard and paused…
 
“Oh, that must be somebody else’s.  It’s not our order,” we replied with surprise.  “Well, it’s yours now, no charge!  Otherwise, I’ll have to throw it away,” she persisted super-hospitably.  Not wanting to offend, we chorused a semi-enthusiastic“Okay great, thanks so much!”  When she left, we confronted the reality of the pale, sucker-sided, five-inch arm segments gifted to and before us.  It wasn’t going to be easy to move beyond our fears and preconceptions in this food arena.  However, doing so could affirm and show respect to the people involved in the preparation and delivery of the meal.  So, we gave octopus a try…
 
Guess what?  It was surprisingly and refreshingly delicious!  In fact, we’re going to order it ourselves in the future.
Years ago, God challenged Peter’s ideas of “unclean food” (and unclean people) to help him understand and live out the reality that God’s grace in Jesus Christ is fully available and offered to all people and every personnot just (certain types) people within his race, culture, religion, and community!
 
The voice spoke to Peter a second time, 
Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”  -Acts 10:15
 
Peter said, “God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted the Gentiles 
by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us
He did not discriminate between us and them, 
for he purified their hearts by faith in Jesus…  We believe it is through 
the undeserved grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”  -Acts 15:8-9, 11
 
This surprising, challenging, yet very refreshing Good News is meant to be embraced and lived out today!
Let’s move beyond our fears and prejudices in all the broadening encounters and relationships gifted to us! 😎
 
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve
 
September 19, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
There is something about being outdoors that has always invigorated me
Taking a walk on a trail, mowing the grass, jogging in the morning, listening to wind in the trees, camping in a tent, feeling the sun on my face, painting the house trim, frolicking at the beach, planting and harvesting a garden, rolling in a birdie putt, trimming the bushes, getting rained on, riding a bike, raking fall leaves, picking apples in an orchard, looking at the moon and stars from around a firepit, etc…  While your favorites may differ, you’re with me, aren’t you!
 
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God.    The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;   night after night they make him known.
They speak without a sound or word;    their voice is never heard.
Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,   and their words to all the world.” Psalm 19:1-4 
 
God whispers, speaks, and even sings to us through creation…

Let’s open our hearts afresh to his love and majesty on full display! 😎

September 12, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
About a month ago, walking across our yard had become a decidedly unpleasant experience
Lush green grass had given way to something more like dry breakfast cereal!  While weeks of sunshine and no precipitation had provided a nice break from mowing, it had also taken a withering toll on the grass, bushes, and trees!  They all were desperate for water…  Fast forward to the present, where we’ve had a renewal of rainfall and the last several days have been overcast with cooler temperatures and lots of rain.  Though few appreciate such dreary weather, it is greening up around here and the grass is caressing our feet once again!  Water is indeed essential for life! 
 
Much like physical water, the Bible tells us that God’s and Jesus’ words to us in the Bible are life-sustaining… 
 
Jesus:  “Everyone who drinks the water from this well will be thirsty again
but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst
Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water 
welling up to eternal life.”  (John 4:10-11)
   
God:  “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”  (Isaiah 55:10-11) 

Let’s drink deep and often
 of this water…  Even the most parched of us, can be made lush and verdant! 😎
 
September 5, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
Pulling weeds from some landscaping, I suddenly (ouch!) felt a sharp pain in my wrist…
I’d gotten too close to a bush housing the hidden domicile of a family of yellow jackets.  Though I was unaware of them, they perceived me as a definite threat and instinctually treated me to a painful sting!  I was lucky to get away with just one sting, as several more emerged to confront me and had no interest in listening to my benign explanation!
 
Similar reactions happen among human beings all too often, with more serious results…
We feel threatened, yet do plenty of our own threatening.
We are hurt by harsh words, yet aim them all the time with precision.
We dislike being misunderstood, yet often listen absently or not at all.
We hate being used or exploited, yet carelessly treat others as transactional commodities.
 
Jesus Christ came to help reconcile and unite human beings with himself and each other.
He desires us to be “made new in the attitude of our minds” as we trust and follow him! 😎
 
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, 
brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Choose to be kind and compassionate toward one another
forgiving each otherjust as in Christ God forgave you.”    -Ephesians 4:31-32 
 
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve
August 28, 2020
 
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
For a second or two, I was caught off guard by the polite request, “Can I see your scar?”
I’d shown it to others and not been self-conscious about it.  In fact, she’d seen it early on, 3+ weeks previous, when the swelling and bruises were fresh and obvious.  Noticing my pause, “I want to see how you’re doing,” she explained.  Oh, sure…
 
Scars are complicated things.  We all have them, yet they can be so different!  Some are physical and perhaps readily visible, while others are more difficult to notice and relational, emotional, psychological, or spiritual in nature.  They all tell stories, yet their narratives vary widely.  Many tell of something gone wrong, injury or conflict endured, and perhaps lessons learned in the process.  Others show vulnerability or brokenness, interrupted plans or dreams, and of the need for overcoming intervention.  Our scars are personal.  They can inspire and strengthen or distract, discourage, and disrupt us.

God is very familiar with all kinds of scars- yours, mine, everyone’s.  He even has scars of his own!

In Jesus, God become fully human and experienced the scarring realities of living in a corrupted world, among fallen people.  Motivated by passionate, sacrificial love for each person, Jesus allowed himself to be scarred by vulnerable poverty and refugee status, personal opposition and verbal assault, exhausting temptation and relational betrayal, which then culminated in the agony of Roman scourging and crucifixion.  Yes, he understands scars!

Jesus showed his scars
 to his disciples, proving he was alive and giving them his presence, peace, and power!
Through his scars and resurrection victory, Jesus’ healing and transforming power are at the ready…
He was pierced for our transgressions,  he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.    -Isaiah 53:5

 
Risen Jesus asks, “Will you show me your scars?” “Let me help you, so you’re doing way better than okay! 😎

August 21, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
True confession.  Sometimes I fall asleep when I pray with God.  Yeah, it happens!
I say “with God” because I try to have prayer conversations where I both speak and listen to God.  It’s during “listening” that I’m most likely to doze off.  Not just at night or when horizontal on the couch or carpeting, either!
This morning, sitting upright in a bright room, focusing with my eyes closed, and keeping my second coffee within reach, I did some quiet praying with God.  When I opened my eyes from “listening,” I was greeted by Laura’s smiling face within one foot of my own!  It was a nice vision.  “You were sleeping, weren’t you?” came her loving non-question.  “No, I was praying,” I dreamily, but inaccurately, replied.  She knew better, yet was delighted for me!

God lovingly smiles and delights over us whenever we approach him in prayer!
  God is described in the Bible as just, truthful, loving, compassionate, and highly relational.  In Jesus, he understands and identifies with all of humanity and each of us personally.  Through faith in Jesus, we are granted and guaranteed access to God, interpersonally.  That’s what Jesus’ incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection are all about!  God much prefers we pray with him– even when we get distracted, doze off, struggle with our attitudes, or don’t do much listening- rather than live without interacting with him.
Delight yourselvesin Godfinding your joyin him at all times.
Have a reputation for gentleness, never forgettingthe nearness of your Lord.
Don’t worry about anything whatsoever… 
Tell Godevery detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, 
and the peace of God,which transcends human understanding,
will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.”  -Philippians 4:4-7
When prayer is difficult or seems futile, envision God’s loving smile and delight in you and keep at it!  😎
August 14, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
It’s good to be writing to you again and speaking this week!  I hoped to write last week, but couldn’t even though my recovery was going well.  I wasn’t ready; too soon, too vulnerable.  I’ll try to explain…

It’s only been five weeks since I learned about my colon cancer, the last three during post-surgery recovery.  In the two weeks before I was rolled out of a successful surgery, a lot of good and necessary stuff happened that I would never have chosen, but now would not trade…  Fasts, cleanses, tests, scans, and scopes out the wazoo (literally).  Pathology reports, abdominal incisions, robotic maneuvers, plumbing removal, hand sewn reconnections, etc…

As I try to process it all, I am incredibly thankful to God and so many others for their personal involvement in my healing and recovery! In my vulnerability and need, God reminded me to come to him and his love…

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; 
   and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread
   and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, 
   and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenantwith you,
my unfailing lovepromised to David.”  -Isaiah 55:1-3😎

 

July 18, 2020

Crossroads Family & Friends,
Another head-spinning, but good week…

At some point during my surgical consult the details started to overwhelm me.  Not emotionally, which would’ve been okay, but cognitively.  I wanted to understand everything, but wasn’t quite able or prepared.  My questions were more than my usual curiosity about how and why things are done.  I was in need of some sense of control for a surgical process soon to involve me!  It was then I heard the inaudible whisper, “we got you,” and I relaxed…

I am thankful my surgery has been expedited and scheduled for Wed, July 22.  This is good news since “we” are trying to limit the spread of the cancer to other areas.  I say “we” because by God’s grace I am surrounded and being upheld by a formidable team!  God the Father, Son & Spirit; ever-present, ever-loving & everlasting!  Medical professionals; highly-skilled, caring & mobilized!  Laura, Emily & Josh; who share my heart & love like no one else!  Our extended families; kind, loving, and committed to pray!  Fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who love God with all of themselves and others as themselves; as part of Crossroads and in broader and expanding spheres of influence!

Thanks so much for being part of “we” and your manner of upholding!
Btw, Jesus has always been and always will be about “we”
Just as each of us has one body with many members,
and these members do not all have the same function,
so in Christ we, though many, form one body,
and each member belongs to all the others.  -Romans 12:4-5 😎

July 11, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
It’s been a weird week…
Sometimes “routine” things turn out to be lifesaving things.  This week, the pathology report from my “routine” colonoscopy revealed that I have an aggressive/invasive type of colon cancer.  It will require surgical removal of part of my colon and resection.  It is hoped the cancer has not spread to affect other areas, which would make treatment and recovery far more difficult.  I have a CAT scan on 7/14, surgical consult 7/16, and surgery toward end of July or early August.  Yeah, my head is kind of spinning, too!
I ask you to pray for Laura & I, Emily & Josh, our extended families, and Crossroads.  Please pray for Jesus’ presencepeace, and power to “show up” and make a meaningful difference in all concerned and that God would be glorified through this trial.  Also, since the surgery is time-critical, that God would help me keep clear of Covid-19, which would delay things.  Thank you so much!
Lots of things have changed for me this week, but really nothing has… My life continues to be in God’s good and capable hands!
I’m reminded of one of my favorite passages in Psalm 103 from David:

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases,
who redeems my life from the pit
and crowns me with love and compassion,
who satisfies my desires with good things
so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  -Psalm 103:1-5 😎
July 4, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
I hope this Independence Day weekend give you opportunity to relax, relate, and refresh
in the freedom and power of the love and resurrection life of Jesus Christ!
Since today is a national holiday, I will be uncharacteristically brief with my comments,

deferring to the timeless insight of the Holy Spirit through Paul…

“You have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.
But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.
Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
For the whole law can be summed up in this one command:
Love your neighbor as yourself.”
But if you are always biting and devouring one another,
watch out! Beware of destroying one another.”  -Galatians 5:13-15

Serving someone in love
 can be as simple as showing appreciation, forgiving an offense,
helping with a to do list, letting go of a grudge, observing & meeting a need, listening attentively,
offering a compliment, investing your time in another, lending a hand, initiating kindness…

Okay, let’s just do it!
 😎
June 26, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
The masked and shielded woman seemed to be testing the plasticity of my brain rather than
swabbing my nasal passages for Covid-19.  In the words of Bob Uecker, “Juuust a bit inside!”

Bad, huh?
  Well not really.  I may be exaggerating just a bit for effect!
You okay?   As far as I know.  No symptoms, just ticking boxes before a preventative health procedure.
Why do it?  Doctor insisted.  If I’ve got Covid-19, it benefits/protects me and others to reschedule.

Why share this?
  It occurs to me recently, that going through preventative health procedures has strong parallels to following Jesus.  Both require faith in the credibility, experience, and good purpose of those in charge (doctors, Jesus).  Both involve following instructions or guidance, even when personal need or urgency isn’t perceived (patient/follower).  Last, both are designed to bring benefit to more than just the person directly involved.

Simon Peter
 didn’t like it much when Jesus revealed his greater mastery of fishing.
“Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8-9)
Saul (Paul) was undone when Jesus’ greatness exposed the fragility of his carefully constructed life…
“Who are you, Lord?” (Acts 9:5)
These examples of the preventativehumbling touch of Jesus, and many that followed, benefitted Peter and Paul greatly.  Thousands of years later, that benefit is still bringing benefit to many.  May future generations say the same of us😎

1)  Onsite
 Worship & Online Live Messages this Sun, 6/28 will work together this way:
As you participate, may the love and good news of Jesus Christ wash over and bless you!

10:00-10:15am
 > Onsite starts...
(Greeting / Worship music- acoustic guitar & singing this week / Video)
10:1510:50am > Online joins in…
(Greeting / Inspiring message from the Bible / Closing prayer / Sending music)

2)  
Online Live Sunday Message  (Join our live-stream message on Facebook…)
We continue our series “New Life Reaching Out” this week 6/28 with a message
from Acts 11 “Join Jesus’ Seeking Initiative!”
Follow link below, then scroll down Crossroads Fb page.  Broadcast begins about 10:13am…

3) 
Visit our website (gocrossroads.net)
> For more messages and helpful updates to renew & recharge in this Covid-19 pandemic.
> Continue or start worshipful financial giving to God’s ministry through Crossroads Church as God provides for you!
You can either send a check by mail or go online to the PayPal portal on our website (www.gocrossroads.net).
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve
June 20, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
After three months of quarantine, Crossroads re-opened for “limited” worship last Sun, 6/14.
Many thanks to those who made it possible!  Volunteers moved by the Holy Spirit truly are the heart of Crossroads!
We’re making a small (5 min) adjustment to the Sunday schedule this Sun, 6/21.
Onsite Worship & Online Live Messages (via Facebook) will work together this way:

10:00am-
10:15am Onsite Begins (onsite welcome, updates, music, video, etc…)

10:15am-10:50am Online Joins (online welcome, Lord’s Supper, Bible message, closing prayer & music)

This Sunday, 6/21 we will share in the Lord’s Supper together (onsite & online) shortly after the online broadcast begins.

We do this to remember and give thanksfor Jesus’ broken body and shed blood for us!  The elements are both
physical reminders and powerful symbols of his demonstrated love for us and the ultimate cost he paid on the cross!

Onsite elements:  1) packaged/prefilled cups with soft wafers or 2) bring your own from home!

Online elements:  1) bring your own wherever you’re watching!

However you choose to participate,
may the good news and love of Jesus Christ wash over and bless you!

Onsite Worship
Thank you in advance for reviewing the details and guidelines, particularly as we move into
Limited (Phase 1) Onsite Sunday Worship.  As we worship together, we want to affirm, respect, and
build up one another in the grace, mercy, and powerful love of Jesus Christ!

Online Live Sunday Message
– We encourage you to watch online if in high risk group, not comfortable, or unable to come to church.
This Sunday, 6/21 at 10:15am join our live-stream message on Facebook…
This week is Acts 10: “Follow Jesus into a Wider Circle!”
Follow the link below, then scroll down the Crossroads page to find it.  Music broadcast begins 2 mins before start time…

Onsite Sunday Worship
 (Phase 1- limited)
– See guidelines under June 12, 2020 post below…
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve

June 12, 2020

Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,

I am excited to announce Crossroads will re-open for “Limited (Phase 1) Onsite Worship”
this Sunday, June 14 at 10:00am!  We will continue to offer live online Sunday messages via Facebook
and message outlines & recorded messages (on gocrossroads.net) for any and all who may be in high-risk groups,

not comfortable coming to church yet, or unable to come to church.

However you choose to join in, may the good news and love of Jesus Christ wash over and bless you!

Here’s how Onsite Worship & Online FB Livestream Messages will work together in Phase 1:

10:00am-10:10am Onsite Begins (onsite welcome, updates, music, video, etc…)

10:10am~10:45am Online Joins (online welcome, Bible message, closing prayer & music)

Thank you in advance for reviewing the details and guidelines below, particularly as we move into

Limited (Phase 1) Onsite Sunday Worship.  As we worship together, we want to affirm, respect, and

build up one another in the grace, mercy, and powerful love of Jesus Christ!

Online Live Sunday Message

– Continue Online Livestream of Sunday messages on Facebook (Crossroads Church – Pewaukee, WI)
– Encourage people to watch online if in high risk group, not comfortable, or unable to come to church.
Join our live-stream message on Facebook this Sunday, June 14, 2020at 10:10 am
Message series from the Book of Acts. This week is Acts 9“Be Jesus’ Supporting Evidence!”
Follow the link below, then scroll down the Crossroads page to find it.
Broadcasts with music background begin 2 mins before start time…
– Simple service (limited music, welcome/announcements, Bible message, limited music)
– Maintain social distance (6ft) in seating groups (2, 3, 4, or 6) for 58 people max
– Practice social distance in all interactions and any singing
– Encourage wearing of masks, but not required, respecting either choice
– Hand sanitizer and new masks (free) offered at welcome table in foyer
– Use restrooms one person at a time
– Preaching w/o mask done at 20ft distance from front row

– Lord’s Supper (when celebrated) with packaged pre-filled cups with soft wafers or BYO

– No snacks or coffee offered (BYO)

– No bulletins handed out (BYO from website)
– No pens, envelopes, or communication cards in seats
– No passing of offering plates. Offering box & envelopes on side table.
– No nursery/childcare or children’s church at this time
– Children are welcome, but must also practice social distance
– Children sit with their adults during the entire service
– Children who get restless may go and stay with one of their adults to a designated nursery room,

that will have access to a toilet, sink, kid’s table & very limited toys. BYO toys, books, etc…

Visit our website (gocrossroads.net)

> For more messages and helpful updates to renew & recharge in this Covid-19 pandemic.
> Continue or startworshipful financial giving to God’s ministry through Crossroads Church as God provides for you!

You can either send a check by mail or go online to the PayPal portal on our website (www.gocrossroads.net).

Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve

June 5, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
We planted a small flowering crab apple tree two years ago.  It has since become a hot commodity in the spring and summer rental market for nesting robins on Airbnb!  Anyway, during planting I noticed the bark changed about 3/4 of the way up the trunk.  I learned it is common practice with some trees to “graft in” a less hardy upper portion into a proven, durable root stock.  The top benefits tremendously from the more stable, nourishing root stock without changing what it is.
This practice mirrors what happens when anyone trusts in and follows Jesus Christ!  Let me explain…  When anyone places their faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord, their personal story “gets grafted into” the proven, life-giving root stock of God’s living and active story revealed in history and the Bible.  In so doing, they join with countless others across generations, genders, and cultures bringing redemption and blessing to the world!
In the early church, Stephen helped solve a discriminatory food distribution problem in Acts 6.  Later in Acts 7, he highlighted three men who were “grafted into” God’s greater story (Abraham, Joseph, and Moses) and the blessing God brought through them.  While there are many lessons to be internalized from their stories, here a three that can help bring stability and flourishing to our lives and others…
Trust in God to Fulfill His Promises in and through You!
         (As God promised, Abraham’s descendants are blessing the whole world)
Let God Change Hardships into Sources of Blessing!
         (God elevated Joseph from slavery & prison to leadership that saved nations from famine)
> Allow God toWork Through You Beyond Your Ability!
         (God worked through Moses to lead millions out of slavery and bondage)
By God’s grace in Jesus, let’s purpose to be “fully grafted in” and bringing that kind of blessing😎
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve

May 22, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
As the frozen turkey carcass made its way up from the depths of the basement freezer to the garbage, we couldn’t help but burst out laughing!  No, it didn’t waddle itself up to the bin, but did land with a dull thud in stark contrast to our Thanksgiving hopes six months prior…  turkey soup, turkey waffles, turkey hair conditioner.  Well, the first one anyway!  All that turkey potential unused…  Yet, we laughed even harder, realizing this was two years in a row!
While “turkey potential” may not be terribly important, human potential (individual & collective) certainly is!
That said, it’s worth noting God is very passionate about developing human potential and always has been.  In Jesus Christ, God demonstrates his loving commitment to free and release our potential in such a way that brings forth benefit and rolls back injury within and through as many people as possible!

Trusting
 in Jesus’ incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection and leaning into his Holy Spirit overcomes barriers, creates harmony, and releases the power of his practical, generous love within any person or community!
This can be seen in the way the early church (Acts 6) addressed an overlooked problem in one of the church’s important ministries.  Jesus’ message was drawing people from different cultures and life experiences into the new church, a good thing, but things were falling through the cracks.  Like then, today’s church also needs people to help manage changes and find solutions togetherthat benefit others!  This is how Jesus develops and releases our potential to multiply and distribute his blessings to others!  🙂
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve

MAY 15, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
“To open or not to open– that is the question…”  No, I’m not quoting some weird version of Shakespeare’s play Hamlet,
nor have I been watching too much British “tele” during quarantine (actually that’s probably true)!  As most know, the
“stay-at-home” order to reduce the spread of Covid-19 was suspended midweek here in Wisconsin.

So, what does that mean for worship or other gatherings at Crossroads?

Short answer
:  Nothing will change this weekend or until further notice…
We will continue to Facebook Livestream messages on Sundays at 10:00 am,
continuing the series, “Experience New Life- Taking Root” from the Book of Acts.
Our study groups for men and women will continue to meet via Zoom.
Right now, we’re not ready for anything more.

Long Answer
:  While state law has changed, Covid-19 and its transmission and health risks have not.  This is particularly true for larger groups, gathered indoors, and that involve close proximity for respiration and vocalizations.  As Christ followers and a local expression of Jesus’ church, we are constrained to:
Love God with all of ourselves and to Love Others as ourselves. (Mark 12:28-31)  
So, though we long to gather in worship right away (for inspiring music, engaging messages, growing friendships), we will take a more deliberate approach to facilitate both the spiritual and physical well-being of childrenvolunteersguests, etc…
We have much to consider, pray over, communicate, pray over, coordinate, pray over, and then worship together!
In the mean time, I ask you to pray for the leadership team and I as we seek wisdom from God and insight from
experienced others in making important decisions ahead. Thank you so much for your prayers and input; we will keep you posted!
Again, let’s continue to be Jesus contagious, showing his sacrificial lovegraciousness, and patience to the people around us…😎
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve


MAY 8, 2020

Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
Stifling a cough into my mask at the grocery checkout, I wondered about the reaction of other foragers nearby…
They didn’t know about my seasonal drainage.  Thankfully, no one yelled, “Unclean” or had me forcibly removed!

Transmission
 is on everyone’s mind- with visible symptoms or without; receiving from or giving to others.
Let me to encourage you to excel at all of the above…  What?  Have you lost your mind?
Yes, if I were talking about Covid-19.  No, since I’m talking about the grace of God in Christ!
Within your “Covid-19 Quarantine”, whatever it looks like, opportunities abound to be positively contagious
with the sacrificial love and generous grace of God in Christ!  Seize the opportunities to show people they matter.
Open your eyes to their needs, stories, and priorities!  Give your full attention in person, remotely, and through prayer!

It has been done…
  See Jesus’ activity through Peter and John! (Acts 3)
It can be done today…  You will do similar by the same Spirit! (in your world)
Let’s be the right kind of contagious, showing the resurrection reality of Jesus in far from perfect people like us…
Start by giving your mom some extra and deserved love this weekend! 😎
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve


APRIL 30, 2020

Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
Looking back on the last two months, my mind is drawn to sports parallels.  Weird, I know…
-Third and long…  Edge rushers anticipate bringing pain to the QB…  Draw play up the middle for a long TD… Now they’re in pain.
-Five seconds, four…  Defender plans to lock down point guard once again…  Quick crossover, no look pass, slam dunk… Gut punch.
-Bases loaded, two outs, and a full count…  Batter expects to drive a fastball…  Gets an off-speed curve… Not pretty, rally over.
It’s been a difficult time for all of us!

Looking forward
, the new realities of “Covid-19 Spring” are going to hang around a while in varying ways.  How we handle the disruption and ongoing change will largely be shaped by what goes on inside our heartssouls, and minds and how that works its way out!  Even though we are less prepared and more vulnerable than we anticipated, there are good, unshakable reasons for hope and courage!
When Jesus passed the baton to us mere mortals, he said we wouldn’t have to go it alone
He promised to give the ever-present lovepowercouragepeace and companionship of the Holy Spirit (his spirit) to all who trust in him.
That’s good news since the Holy Spirit…
…..Works alongside & beyond our human limitations!
…..Wants everyone to experience new life in Jesus!
…..Breaks barriers & brings together God and people!
So, whether you’re experiencing the pain of a missed goal or opportunity, feeling the gut punch of personal loss and your own limitations, or the emptiness of striking out and letting others down, Jesus is completely and totally in your corner!  The cross, empty tomb, and Holy Spirit prove that!
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve

APRIL 23, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
Easter moves around in concert with Passover’s full moon.  For many here in WI, it marks the start of “psychological spring.”  As such, expectations run high for warming temperatures, greening landscapes, and renewed life bursting forth!  No one wants to wait a single minute, let alone four more weeks.  Yet, here we are facing a quarantine extension together.  Many have strong, legitimate, and yet divergent opinions about this, so it remains to be seen if we will be graciouskind, and respectful to one another in the midst of our differences…  By the way, I am unabashedly optimistic and hopeful we will do so!
The first Easter, Jesus demonstrated his victory over sin & death and announced his plan to use ordinary & unproven disciples to share his victory with all peoples, in all places, and in all times!  An outlandish plan with long odds…  In the words of Gimli the Dwarf (from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Return of the King), “Certainty of death.  Small chance of success.  What are we waiting for?”  Indeed, centuries later, as always, today’s Jesus followers can be:

-Hopefully Confident:  
JESUS replaces death with resurrection life!
-Humbly Authentic:  JESUS renews and uses real, imperfect people!
-Expectantly Transformed:  HOLY SPIRIT gives power to soar!  🙂
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve

APRIL 17, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
With 3-4 weeks of social distancing under our belts, the new normal involves my pants becoming too tight!  But I digress…
Seriously, many with “adjusted” work routines, social connections, health risks, and personal dreams are wrestling with
how to adapt, find significance, and live with hope.  Feelings of isolation, uncertainty, and vulnerability abound.
On resurrection Sunday, quite unexpectedly, Jesus stepped into the “turned upside down” & “locked up” lives of his followers.
He reassured them of HIS PRESENCEdeclared HIS PEACE with them, and breathed into them HIS POWER in the Holy Spirit!
Whenever loneliness, disorientation, or agitation start to get the better of you, remember…

-JESUS is present, 
always understanding and never abandoning you in whatever situation!
-JESUS is peace, transcending and dispelling our inner unrest that tends to work its way out!
-JESUS is power, forgiving human failure and selfishness, while equipping us to do the same!
Jesus, we ask you to help us experience the presence, peace, and power of your resurrection reality!  🙂
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve


APRIL 9, 2020

Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
The events of the first Easter weekend were quite a roller coaster ride.  For Jesus’ first disciples, events progressed from celebratory to ominous; to disorienting, frightening and devastating; then quite unexpectedly to disbelief, rejoicing and empowerment!  Sounds like timeless Good News worth a listen… 🙂

Experience Easter renewal & rejoicing two ways this weekend on our Facebook page
For either one, please follow the link below, then scroll down the Crossroads page to find it.
Broadcasts with just music background will begin 3-5mins before official start times…

1- Good Friday, April 10, 2020 at 3:00 pm on Facebook, share in the Lord’s Supper remotely!
Can we do this?  Absolutely!  All you need is any kind of bread & juice to remember Jesus’ broken body & shed blood for you
on the cross, and your willingness to trust in and be thankful for Jesus’ sacrificial love for you!  Pastor Steve will lead you
and whoever you’re with, through the rest.  We will join millions of Jesus’ followers worldwide…

2- Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020 at 10:00 am on Facebook, join our live-stream Easter message
!
We will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection victory over sin and death with an uplifting Easter message from Pastor Steve!
-For more messages in the series “Soaring Hope” and helpful updates to soar, slow-down, and recover from Covid-19 pandemic.
-Continue or start worshipful financial giving to God’s ministry through Crossroads Church as God provides for you!
Two options:  Send a check by mail or go online to the new PayPal portal linked to our website (www.gocrossroads.net).
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve

APRIL 4, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
As soon as the words flew out of his mouth, he regretted them…  Harsh words they were, coming from the frustration and fear in his own heart.  Regrettably the words were mine, directed at my favorite person in the world and impossible to take back.  Coming to my senses, I whispered an embarrassed apology and went out for a walk, a long one.  “It’s easier to learn and teach my ways than live them,” said the Promised Companion as he came alongside…  He continued, “Just, revisit what you taught last week and go forward. Lean into me, I’ll help you!”  Okay then, message received…

In these stretching times, remember to…
1- BE KIND TO YOURSELF, remembering Jesus has washed “your feet”, been crucified, and risen for you!
2- BE AS KIND TO OTHERS, realizing that’s Jesus’ way and “other’s feet” are no more offensive than yours!
3- BE MOST KIND WHEN IT’S INCONVENIENT, revisiting the “inconvenience” of Jesus’ cross, for you and others!
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve

MARCH 26, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
In this time of testing, we are still all about Jesus, people, worshiping & growing together, and life-saving moments!
It’s why Crossroads means so much to us and brings forth our love, commitment, and passion!

In this time
 of upheaval and stress, it’s a big deal to experience threats and disruption to our health, families, vocations, churches, social connections, personal finances, and so much more, all at once!  We need Jesus more than ever and so do the people around us!  That being true, I am reminded of Jesus’s words to his disciples, and us, after he washed their feet mere hours before his own crucifixion…

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, 
you also should wash one another’s feet.”  John 13:14
“…As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

In this time
, I encourage you to…
1- BE KIND TO YOURSELF, remembering Jesus has washed “your feet”, been crucified, and risen for you!
2- BE AS KIND TO OTHERS, realizing that’s Jesus’ way and “other’s feet” are no more offensive than yours!
3- BE MOST KIND WHEN IT’S INCONVENIENT, revisiting the “inconvenience” of Jesus’ cross, for you and others!
Be strong in the love, grace, and peace of Jesus! -Pastor Steve

MARCH 19, 2020
Crossroads Family & Friends,
First and foremost, I want you to know that I love and care deeply about each of you and your families
and pray for God’s gracious hand upon you regularly. You don’t need me to tell you we are in difficult times.
Coronavirus has seismically shifted the social, cultural, and economic landscape of all our lives in less than a week.
Many people are unsettled, fearful, and even terrified.  The “earthquake” we’re in will have more “aftershocks”
that will threaten to destabilize and disorient us further…

Thankfully,
 in all this upheaval, Jesus Christ is still the same yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever…
HE IS eternal & everlastingHE IS rock-solid footingHE IS pursuing loveHE IS grace & truth,
HE IS unshakable compassionHE IS unexpected victory –
giving resurrection life, hope, power, courage, and so much more! 
As Jesus believer-followers, let’s help one another to rememberstand firm on,
and serve out of these unchanging realities in our unique spheres of influence and God’s family!

Last Sat & Sun, we took some good first steps
1- Cancelled Sun service to fight unseen virus transmission
2- Streamed message “Soar when Facing Giant Odds” to encourage people (our first ever)
(Find video, parts 1&2, on Facebook: crossroads church – pewaukee wi)
(Message outline & scripture on website: gocrossroads.net)
Take look & listen if you haven’t already!

Going forward, we’ll take more 
& better steps
We, Jesus’ people, must continue to CONNECT, ENCOURAGE, & EMPOWER people.
Connect (use remote technologies regularly & effectively)
Encourage (share God’s Living Word & worship, and show care in meaningful ways)
Empower (breathe Holy Spirit vision to give power to serve & contribute)

1- Stream Sunday messages from God’s Word
1a- Make video messages & outlines easier to access on Facebook & website.
1b- Find ways to include periodic worship music & Lord’s Supper on live streams.

2- Start mid-week “Connecting Point” communications
2a- Use emails, video links, or website to encourage & strengthen people

I strongly believe that God will help us all to…
1- Adapt/Not Quit, leaning on Jesus!
2- Serve/Lead, showing Jesus & giving hope!
3- Pray/Involve, releasing the Holy Spirit in our lives & midst!
For Jesus, your brother & pastor, -Steve

MARCH 14, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family & Friends,
Crossroads Church leaders and I have decided to cancel this Sunday’s (March 15) worship service. 
Here’s why…  Right now, Covid-19 is an insidious enemy of all people and communities, particularly harming the weak and vulnerable among us, through undetectable transmissions. It is sweeping the world and now our nation.  It demands action to overcome it.
Jesus calls us to two primary things: “Love God & Love People”, which is really one thing (Mark 12:30).
We get to work out the details… 
So, to help defeat this enemy and “run quickly to the battle line” (1 Samuel 17:48), we encourage you to be part of our church family
sharing in these three proactive steps:

1. Avoid larger gatherings to limit opportunity for human transmissions.
    (We will keep you posted on the status of future Sunday worship services…)

2. Pray daily & earnestly for God to mercifully & powerfully help us (as communities, states, and nations) 
to defeat this pandemic through love, hope, kindness, compassion, sacrifice & civil behavior.
(It is very important we believe in and pray for God’s powerful help!)

3. Use technology to stay grounded in God’s Words of love, grace, power, & hope!
(We are working on live-streaming a message on “Soar when Facing Giants” this Sunday at 10am.)

Thank you for your prayers, consideration, and trust in God during these unsettling times!
For Jesus, -Pastor Steve