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Newsletter

Soon Jesus Christ is going to return.  His glory will be revealed for all to see.  Right now the glory of God is in his church.  WE ARE GOD’S TEMPLE!  God’s glory dwells in us and is revealed to the world through us.
 
Reminders
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.
 
 



Changed Not/Changes Not!

What do you do when your situation does not change? You pray, seek the Lord, call for prayer, and still, you “change not.”
In the gospel of Mark, the Woman with the issue of blood can tell you what to do, for she suffered 12 years with this constant infirmity. She spent all she had on doctors and tried everything she knew, and still, she “changed not” for the good. She opened her eyes in the morning, “changed not.” The noonday, “changed not.” At the closing of the day, “changed not.”
But today was different because Mark 5: 27 says “When she heard about Jesus…….
Well, we may wonder how she heard and what did she hear, for she was isolated from everyone due to her ritual impurity. Could it be she heard her neighbors talking through the open widow as she sat down for a moment of strength after household chores? Or did she see and hear a crowd going by her house on the way to the lake to see if Jesus was there? I do not know, but we do know that she heard about Jesus. What have you heard about Jesus? Do you have ears to hear?
I wonder did she hear Luke shout, (Luke 5: 17 b)….”the Lord’s healing power is strongly with Jesus!” Or a nicely dressed man once demon-possessed tormented by a legion of demons, testifying that he was a cutter, once constrained with mental chains, shouting and praising Jesus shackle free, while pigs float in the water. (Mark 5:15 b) She may have heard the man, once a leper telling how he knelt down in front of Jesus as “unclean“ and stood up “ Clean” (Mark 1:40-42) or the once paralyzed man telling how he came down through the roof by faith-filled friends walking out the front door with forgiveness and healing. (Mark 2:10)

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The Big Picture

On my list of things to do, working a puzzle is not one of them. But due to the pandemic I chose to work a 1,000-piece puzzle at home. I thought, how hard can this be, since the puzzle was offered to me already in multiple baggies arranged by color, and 1 baggy with just the border.  So, I got out my card table, the picture of the puzzle, and began the task. Except for 1 piece, the border was done quickly. I did not work on it every day, just occasionally. I would put a piece in here or there. Some days I could only find a few pieces after hours of searching. It was becoming a very frustrating task. The pieces I just knew would fit, did not, and other pieces kept falling off the table’s edge. I was even offered a magnifying light to help find the correct puzzle pieces, but I wanted to do this without help. When I did find a piece or two that fit, it reminded me of hunting Easter eggs as a child.  It was exciting for the moment, but then back to the hunting again.


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Bearing Good Fruit

The current culture and environment we find ourselves living in can be quite toxic at times.  We live in a day when a persons first reactions or thoughts are blurted out onto Social Media platforms.  Comments, some extremely cruel are typed out on news stories and articles written and reading those can disturb our peace and our emotional well being.

What does the Word of God have to say about this?  If we are a Christian and live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit of God, we must take heed to what His instructions to us are.  May those who read this do a heart check and examine it to determine if we are indeed bearing good fruit.  The Word says that what has been “stored” in our heart will be heard in your words.  May we guard our hearts and hear what the Spirit of God is speaking to us.


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Have You Got Your Ears On?

In the Gospel of Mark chapter 4, Jesus begins his parable of the seed with “Listen” and he ends with “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” This took me back to a time in the 70s when we shouted out on our CB Radio (Citizen’s Band Radio) “Breaker, Breaker, has anybody got their ears on?” Coming from a truck driving family, a CB radio was a big deal. The perfect Christmas gift, along with a great antenna for better reception, was a fun new way of communication. Many of our friends had one as well.  We all made up a “handle” (name) that we identified ourselves with so we could talk.  When we were ready to communicate with our friends, we would call out on channel 19 (talk channel) to see who had their ears on. It might be a friend, a stranger nearby 😳, or someone in another country, all depending on the time of the day or night. If we could not understand them, we turned up the squelch to drown out some of the noise.
In this parable Jesus is calling out not just to his disciples but to all those listening in the crowd. He is asking them, “do you really have your spiritual ears on to a point of understanding what I am saying?” Many times, we have our ears on, we hear the call, but ever so quickly, the voice fades away. Could it be our antenna has suddenly turned directions? Then, hearing the call again, we answer, but instead of fine tuning our channel we tune to another voice coming on as well. “O this is the call I need” we say, because we like the tickling of our ears and we do not turn back to find the True voice. Then there are other times the call is loud and clear. We rejoice at what we just heard. We claim “this is just what I needed to hear!” “O what joy!”  Only to get up the next morning with a sadness of holding on to a lifeless memory that was once our hope, the channel is lost. Perhaps if we had just turned the squelch up a bit to drown out the other voices, turned the knob a little to the right, we might had gotten better reception? So, what do we do with the True call we long to hear, to keep tuned to? How can we know that we know that this is the One? The answer is in the preparing to hear that still small voice. It is the fine tuning from coming over and over to the same channel. The same time of listening with “ears to hear” to The Voice that quiets our souls, that refreshes the mind to a place of rest. Knowing that this is our channel day or night that we can call out to and respond to  “the Lover of our souls” and we answer with  “I got my ears on ready hear what You have to say!”




Are You Still Loving Jesus?

Revelation 2:1-7 NLT says “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands:”
“I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.”
“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do.”
“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the Tree of Life in the paradise of God.”
Do you remember when you first came to Jesus? Do you remember your first encounter with the Savior? I can remember simply overwhelming LOVE. Love for God, love for everyone around me. It was as if I was given new eyes as well as a new heart as I saw everyone differently than I had before I met Jesus. The Word of God gives us plenty of instruction on how we are to love after coming to Jesus. We must begin at the altar, recognizing the diminishing of our relationship with God as well as others as life just hits us from all sides and circumstances.

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The King’s Anointing

Have you ever had someone in authority in your life be really, truly good to you? Have you had that moment when your boss said, “You have been doing such a good job, I would like to give you a promotion and a raise?” Or when the teacher at school says, “Wow, I was really impressed by your recent paper, you may have a career in writing?” Those are wonderful experiences.
How about the opposite? Have you ever been passed over? Ignored? Embarrassed publicly? Were there people who did not want to be friends with you, people who would not talk to you? Have you ever been fired? These are not good experiences. They are situations we want to avoid in life.
Let’s look at how God thinks about us. In the Old Testament times the Holy Spirit worked through select people. When a priest went into service unto God, he had to be from the right family-the family of Jacob’s son, Levi. He had to be free from disease and if he meet the qualifications then the existing leadership would pour oil on his head to signify the coming of the Holy Spirit in his life. And it was only for a man. This was called the anointing of the priest.
In the same way the king was anointed by the prophet. Samuel went to Jesse’s house to anoint one of his sons as king of Israel. He had a meal with them and them went through them one by one looking for the one whom God had chosen. He found none. God had rejected all of Jesse’s sons. So he asks Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”
Jesse confesses that the youngest son is in the fields watching the sheep, and they go to get him. When he arrives God says, “This is the one; anoint him.” So David has the oil poured on his head as a symbol of the coming of the Holy Spirit in his life.
This was the working of God in Israel for many years. The prophet, priest and king received the anointing when they began their service unto God. But in Joel 2:28,29 God announces a change:

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Be Still My Soul

While reading in the Gospel of Mark. I came to the story in the 4th chapter where Jesus calms the storm. On this journey, Jesus is with them asleep on a pillow at the back of the boat. The windstorm came up and the boat began to fill with water. This could only mean one thing; they were going down!
Have you ever had a storm in your life where your soul was overwhelmed? Have you ever felt restless and alone as your boat was filling up with water quicker than your bucket could dip it out?
Well, take courage-Your answer is as close as the Word on the pillow next to you in your storm. Jesus said “Silence, be still” “Suddenly the wind stopped and there was a great calm.” (verse 39) May we rest in Him and trust in His ever-watchful eye so we can say: Be Still My Soul!


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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