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Newsletter

“Wow!”  Perhaps “Hallelujah!” is the proper christian response, but it has been so good to gather as God’s family on Sundays. So glad for those who could come and be in His presence. We will continue the Wednesday night online Bible Study at 6:30 pm. This week’s Bible study begins a new course entitled: “Cornerstones of Truth”. This is a study of Bible Doctrine.The Major topics include the nature of God, the acts of God, the activities and limitations of angels, the Creation, the fall of humanity, God’s redemptive plan, the origin of Scriptures, the church, and God’s ultimate plan for humankind. 
 
Remember, all of the Messages are found on Youtube.com under the channel, “CRAG Teaching Fellowship” .  Pastor is asking that you subscribe to that channel then you can receive notices when new videos are available.  We are putting up new things each week including the Sunday service and Wednesday night Bible study.
 
PLEASE if you need assistance in any way let your church family know.  We are available for rides or for errands or the meeting of any ministry need.  The “church” is not a building, WE are the church!  We are the body of Christ, the family of God.  Let’s support one another, serve one another, pray for one another, encourage one another.  Church: 784-4949/Pastor 616-7998/Linda 616-6126
 
New Things 
We have a PRAYER WALL on this page under the Sermon listing where you can make a prayer request, or offer a prayer for others.  You may offer a prayer and allow others to agree in prayer with you.  You may post a request that everyone can see and again when someone clicks on the “praying hands” it is an indication of their prayers for the request.
You may also make a request anonymously or just submit your name for prayer.  Try it out!  It’s a great way to stay connected.
 
We now have our church APP.  This is a smaller version of the web site and something that you can check on a regular basis. You have to download the “Sharefaith App” and then choose “CrossRoads Assembly of God” as the ministry you want to follow.  Allow CrossRoads to be your icon and allow us to send you notifications.   Be Blessed.
 
Giving
There are many ways to give to the church.  You may drop the offering by the church any morning Monday to  Thursday, 9-12 am.
 
You may mail your offering to the church at CrossRoads A/G, PO Box 12344, Jackson Tn 38308.
 
You may give here on the web.  The giving link is the last link listed.  This will take you to the Engage giving site.  If you are already a user of Engage then you just continue as usual.  If you are new to Engage then you either have to create a new account or give was a visitor.   Creating a new account allows you to receive credit for your giving at the end of the year.  In order to create an account the church must have your email address on file, then as you create your account the sign-on and password and add your credit care or bank information. 
 
No matter how you give—God bless you for giving during these difficult times!!
 
Guidelines For Church Attendance
Come ready to worship the Lord! This is a celebration of God’s grace in our lives, so let’s come ready to sing, and pray and respond to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
The doors of the church will be open and remain open during the service. This accomplishes two objectives. First, no one has to open the door, just walk right in. Secondly there is increased fresh air flow which we deem advantageous in diluting any viral particles in the air. You may want to dress accordingly, we may or may not be able to maintain a cool environment.
Once inside, maintain some “social distancing”. Some rows of seats will be roped off and unavailable for seating, unless we can still maintain a six foot distancing. Families, and couples are able to sit together, and then others adjust their chosen seat accordingly. We have rearranged the center section. Please forgive us in advance for the inconvenience and the changes.
We are planning a shorten service, aiming for an 11:00 am dismissal. This is to limit exposure to any potential viral particles. However we will remain responsive to the Holy Spirit.
We will receive an offering, but will not “pass the plate” as usual.
We will serve communion, but the bread will be in its own cup, so you will receive a drink cup and a bread cup.
Face Masks are NOT required!! However, if you expect to greet someone with a “holy hug”, then you must wear a face mask and we require that you do not breathe directly upon anyone, with or without a mask. Masks will be available at the church. Remember not everyone will want a “holy hug”, so be kind and forgiving.
Because we are bringing fresh air into the building then we are not restricting fellowship time. You may stay or leave as you feel comfortable. However outdoors is safer than indoors, no matter how much fresh air we are able to bring into the building.
If you have been sick, or have any level of fever, please stay home and watch the service online. We will miss you, but let’s not infect others with any sickness, of any kind.
Restrooms are open, please use the Lysol spray to kill any potential viruses. We’ll have hand sanitizer available-everywhere!  Please use Hand Sanitizer as you enter the building and as you exit!
We are planning on having our fellowship hall open just in case you feel uncomfortable, but still want to view the service. Our present plan is to have the service on the big screen. Just don’t mess with Pastor’s “studio” while in the fellowship hall.
 
 



Be A Solution

The events of our days are confusing and somewhat frightening.  We are facing sickness and death like no other time in our lives.  No one knows the long term effects of being sick with the Covid-19 virus.  No one has found a cure and there is no preventive measures we can take.  If I say all we can do is trust God, someone will say that it is a cop out.  But I say to you, “Trust God”.  This is the first place to go.  God loves you and is waiting for you to cry out unto him.  He give comfort and peace, hope and assurance.  He knows what tomorrow will bring, so learn to trust him today. 
On the other hand I must learn to “Be A Solution” and not part of the problem.  I find far too many people who ignore wisdom and end up sick themselves or making someone else sick.  Don’t be a part of the problem.  Walk in wisdom.  Walk in compassion.  I talk to people every day who have cancer or heart problems or diabetes and are in danger of their lives if they were to contract Covid-19.  Yet too many people ignore masks, ignore calls to social distance, ignore washing hands.  It’s said that 80% of all cases could be eliminated if everyone would wear a mask.  That’s 80% of all cases worldwide.  Be A Solution and not part of the problem.
 
The same goes for the other cultural elephant in the room.  There have been protests for over a month over racial injustice.  I have heard people talk about civil war, about anarchy, about what should be done, could be done, and would be done if they were in charge.  I am doing a Bible study on 1 John  and I read it over and over.  LOVE ONE ANOTHER! If you love God then you will love others because God is LOVE!  The Bible is clear about this truth–the church is to be what the society is meant to be.  There is no racism in the Church of Jesus Christ.  There is no injustice, no inequality, no violence.  In fact the Bible says, “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female.  For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  (Gal 3:28).  Jesus and the disciples did not spend time in social activism.  They were not attempting to change the Roman Empire culture.  They, Jesus and his followers, were creating a church which was a model for reality.  It was a place of love, acceptance and forgiveness.  It was holy and righteous.  It was fully loving as it was fully transformational.  Jesus never left anyone the same as when he found them.  Every person was a changed person.  A more loving person.  A more forgiving person. A person more like Christ.
 
The least we can do at this time is to not be the problem.  Love your God with all your heart and soul and strength.  And love your neighbor as yourself.  Be a good Samaritan! A good American! A good disciple of Christ.  If and when God leads you into a situation where you can show the love of Christ, then show the love of Christ!  Bind up the brokenhearted.  Set at liberty the captive.  Open the eyes of the blind.  And put your actions and words to the test–Am I Being a Solution or am I Being A Part of the Problem?


Be Thou My Vision

“It is January 2020, and today starts the year of clear vision” came confidently from my mouth. Well, this little emoji   is how I looked on March 2020. I am a planner; my job is to keep things flowing. I am always looking ahead and thinking about the next months and on to the next year. My vision was unclear, and I felt like I could not proceed. I remember pacing and finding it hard to settle. Not just a work but at home and in life. I remember thinking, “how could things just stop?” Well, I could have stopped and remain immobile, but that is not God’s plan for us to stop. His plan has always been for us to trust Him, to let Him, Be Thou My Vision. The Lord knows what we have need of. Little did I know but He had already prepared my year by also giving me a scripture in January as well. Romans 15:13-Paul said to the Romans “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. THEN you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” God is not only our source of hope, but He is hope.

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Patient Endurance

 As I sought the Lord for a word to share, Patient Endurance settled into my spirit. I was recently reading in the book of Colossians, one of my favorite books of the Bible and came across these verses that spoke greatly to me.
Colossians 1:11 – 13 NLT says “We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.”
 
I find these words to be extremely encouraging and very good news. What struck me as I read this recently, in light of our COVID-19 stay at home order was needing or having endurance and patience during this time. I don’t know about you, but I could sure use to develop that quality/virtue/character trait in myself with all of the challenges we are facing at this time. Everyone is experiencing different levels of stress and anxiety through this event, but we who know Jesus have an advocate in the Holy Spirit of God. You see, it is with all his glorious power that God Himself empowers and enables us to obey the word He gives, and to develop those characteristics that we will need to bring glory to our God and His Name through all of our challenges and adversities we will face; because we will face challenges, adversity, sickness and suffering in this life. The Holy Spirit will work these things in us as we surrender to Him and let God have His way in us.
 
It appears as though many are suffering loneliness during this time. I know that there are times that we do not “feel” God’s presence, but His word assures us that He is with us and will not leave us. (Hebrews 13:5) If we set our hearts to seek Him, to worship Him, to pray, and to stay in the Word, He has promised to meet us and be with us. I am a hugger, and I admit I am missing so many people in my life and the hugs. Patient endurance will help me get through until I can hug again and God will not leave me, He is with me, and with you.

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More On Corinthians

In our study of Corinthians we found that Paul answered a number of questions the Church asked him.  Some of the questions are seemingly irrelevant to us.  “Do we eat meat sacrificed to idols?”.  We will likely never faced this situation.  However the answer that Paul gives is relevant to us.  “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  This is excellent truth!  We must do everything we do for the glory of God.
The second irrelevant section is on the wearing of head coverings for women.  Someone asks about proper attire at church.  In those days, women were expected to cover their heads whenever they prayed or prophesied.

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Jesus Is Life

The picture you see above is the glass door of one of our Church Families homes. They sent me this picture through text Sunday night. Being quarantined at home Arianna and Lilly found something creative to do. They used glass art paint and painted their front door. I think it is beautiful and so inviting. This reminded me of one of the scripture verses that I have been pondering on for several weeks now. Psalm 90:1 “Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!”

Psalm 90 is entitled a Prayer of Moses. Here he is giving God praise for being the dwelling-place-the refuge-the help in all generations.

This prayer of Moses was written during the 40 years of the Israelites desert wanderings due to their lack of trust and unfaithfulness. But even then, God was their refuge and their home.

If you are a child of God, then you are at home in God. He is your comfort and your place of safety. Even amid crisis and uncertainty, inside the door you are sheltered in God.

Look at the beautiful door again. It says,

“Jesus is Life” Wow!, what a witness to their neighbors.  Yes, the only way to Life, is through Jesus Christ.  God gives us eternal life in His Son. He did this out of Love.


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What Satisfies the Soul?

I come to the end of this season of fasting.  Earlier in the year I was greatly impacted by a testimony that George Wood shared about the founding of the Assemblies of God churches in Springfield, Missouri.  Amanda Benedict was one of the early participants in the Pentecostal movement. Though she was already 60 years old, and had served the Lord with distinction in rescue home for girls in Chicago, when she arrived in Springfield she set her heart upon receiving the Holy Spirit and being a part of a world-wide revival.  She decided to pray and fasting for one year, eating only bread and water.


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Hitting the Wall

There are times of fasting in which you hit the wall.  The wall comes more frequently if you allow yourself to think about what you are doing.  On day 11 I celebrated and felt great.  I was half way!  Then on the next day I got up and could barely move and thought “Oh no I have 10 more days?!?!?!”  You just have to learn to rely upon the Lord to keep you busy and mentally focused upon the task of getting through the day.

I also see that as I grow closer to the end of the fast that my mind and body are preparing to eat.  I have looked up menus for coming off a fast—none of them are appetizing.  Mostly juices and steamed vegetables.  Absolutely no meat for at least four days, some say a week, others question why you eat meat in the first place.  Needless to say my mind and body is trying to be ready.  This creates tension however in the body.  My body craves food intensely and its cravings are sometimes overwhelming.  It is not pain as such as it is a deep anxiety, a deep longing for something that is missing.


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Expansion

Expansion of the Kingdom comes through sacrifice.   The greatest move of the Spirit that I experienced in Russia came after a time of an intense Daniel fast in 1998.  Healings and salvations were common place and the Word of God came alive to me as never before. In 2009 after years of sowing in fields in China revival came.  Over 13 years I had traveled multiple times in China each time after I had spent time fasting with the Lord. Fasting is about Kingdom expansion.


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The Purpose of Fasting

 Many people ask why I fast and I don’t truly have a good answer except that it seems that fasting works for me.  God works more in my life during and after a fast, than if I don’t fast.  I don’t think everyone is called to the same level of fasting that I am.  But I would contend that you should have some seasons of the year where you demonstrate to God that He is more important than food, or entertainment, or comfort.  This fasting helps us break out of spiritual ruts and malaise.  It wins the victory over the darkness and oppression of the enemy.  Fasting and prayer just works.


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Trusting God

Recently I was confronted with a ministry challenge that reminded me that I desperately needed the Lord’s help in order to accomplish what I had to do.  He gave to me the verse,“I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).  I memorized that verse as a child and quoted it many times to myself and to others.  It has a tendency to become a cliche-something we quote but never truly experience.  Yet over the past few weeks I have experienced the strength of Christ daily.  I needed his strength and he supplied.  I needed his comfort and he was there.  I needed his wisdom and he spoke to me.  I can do what God has called me to do, because he has given the strength to do it.


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