Serving in Sorrow

Jesus WordleThere are some things about the culture of the world that are the same across boundaries; across ethnic differences; across color lines –  and selfishness is one of those things.  99.9% of us think of ourselves first especially when we are in difficulty – we want people to see us and care for us and we want a break from giving ourselves away.  Unfortunately, that is not the way the call of God works.

Those who we are discipling need teaching and direction.  Those who are hurting need love and compassion.  Those who are lost need the path to our Lord, Christ. Those who are in despair need to be given a picture of hope.  And wouldn’t you know it! – the children of God; those redeemed by Jesus Christ; we are responsible always for giving our lives, hearts, love, compassion, truth, hope, peace, joy – to the world.  Even when we ourselves are in need!

In the last year I’ve lost both my nephew and his mother, my oldest sister.  I’ve also had some health challenges that have been both an enigma and an inconvenience.  People who love me are constantly telling me to rest; to take some time away; to take a break – and I am giving my mind and heart times of rest, but not neglecting my calling. As I read God’s Word and look at the beheading of John, I know that Jesus was retreating from danger and opposition; but in light of my recent losses, it appears to me that my Savior is also grieving the loss of His cousin and ministry forerunner.  However, even in this time of struggle and bereavement He continues in His ministry, allowing His compassion for the world to reign!

I want to be like Him! So … I too will keep going; keep pressing; keep loving; keep listening.  I do have to readjust some things – I have to travel to Africa for shorter periods; I cannot drive; I have to keep my stress down – but it doesn’t mean that I cannot show love and be a missionary right where I am.  Inviting my neighbors into my home; speaking words of grace to the cashier; showing love in ways that speak to my mother and my sister in our family’s great grief.

I cannot allow the troubles of this world or the pain that is piercing my heart to keep me from carrying out my calling.  It is my privilege and duty to be God’s love in a lost world!  I need His compassion and peace in my heart – so I’ve got to be ready to give His compassion and peace away!  Blessed in order that I might Bless others.

God Himself will strengthen me and He will also be The One those in need see!  I’m His chosen one even in my own times of trouble.  My duty is to Him – ALWAYS!

His disciples came and took away the body and buried it; and they went and reported to Jesus.  Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. Matthew 14: 12- 14

Hurricane Harvey:  Help us to Recover and Restore in Texas

21271194_912848153646_8288796328469793288_nThank you to so many of you who have sent kind words of encouragement as we recover here in Houston.  Watching the movements of people from across the nation come to the aid of Texas in the midst of this devastation has been heartwarming.  Incredible to see people show love across lines of all types.

Here are some helpful tips:

  1. $$ is the best gift because it allows organizations to purchase what they need and what people need exactly.   Our church, Crossover Bible Fellowship, has established a fund to help people affected by the storm.  You can give online at Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.  All donations to this fund will 100% exclusively support relief and recovery efforts from this hurricane and flood. All gifts are tax deductible, bank drafts and debit cards accepted.
  2. Give things that are needed. Here’s what is being taken in — in its original packaging ONLY!1. Non-perishable and/or canned food
    2. Paper towels
    3. Toilet paper
    4. Medical supplies/First Aid Kits
    5. Baby items (diapers, wipes, onesies, bottles, socks)
    6. Baby formula
    7. Cleaning products, especially bleach
    8. Cleaning tools such as brooms, mops, dust pans
    9. Trash bags
    10. Plastic bins
    11. Flash lights
    12. Rubbermaid Totes to store items
    13. Safety glasses
    14. Claw Hammers
    15. Fans
    16. Shovels
    17. Knee pads
    18. Face masks
    19. Bug Spray
    20. Gloves
    21. Deodorant (both male and female)
    22. Feminine hygiene products (tampons, pads, panty liners)
    23. Underwear (both male and female)
    24. Socks
    25. Bras
    26. Hair shampoo/conditioner
    27. Toothpaste
    28. Toothbrush
    29. Lotion
    30. Lip balm
    31. Soap
    32. Combs/Brushes
    33. Hair ties/bands
    34. Jogging pants
    35. Flip flops
    36. Body spray
    37. Personal wipes
    38. T-Shirts
    39. Blankets
    40. Towels
    41. Pillows
    42. Pillow cases
    43. Dog Food/ Cat food
    44. Pet food dishes(plastic)
    45. Hand Sanitizer
    46. Batteries(all types)
    47.Gas cans
    48. Tool Boxes
    49. Flatware(spoon/forks)
    50. Paper plates
  3. Volunteer with us by sending an email to  info@crossoverbf.com.  Our Executive Pastor will pull your email and help to direct you to the place you’ll be most helpful.

HELP TEXAS:  Go HERE to give to Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

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https://player.vimeo.com/video/231458778” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Watch this video to get an encouraging word from our Pastor

 


I want to encourage you all to pray for others who are experiencing devastation at this same time:  fires in Los Angeles; torrential rain in northern India, southern Nepal, northern Bangladesh and southern Pakistan; bush fires in Australia, and so much more!  Many are suffering.

Pray for everyone!  Pack your backpack and go help, if you can! Give money if you are able!  Let’s show the world what the Love of Christ looks like!

Weeping for Lost Souls

hearttearsReading the account of Lazarus death and resurrection in John, I was struck by the grief of our Savior.  The onlookers remarked about his love for Lazarus.  I re-read the account and it occurred to me that because He is God – what He grieved for was probably not what we might think he  grieved for.  Yes – He loved Lazarus; but it seems unusual to me that our Lord who knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead would be weeping over the loss of life; so I re-read the passage several more times and then it occurred to me that the humanity of our Christ came face to face with the reality of the wages of sin and what it means for a fallen humanity.  He was fully human – Yes! – but he was without sin!  He loved these people deeply and what was happening here brought our Lord face to face with the effects that sin would have not only on the sinner, but on those whom the sinner loves. I believe that He grieved for their sinfulness. He grieved the effects of their unbelief.  Continue reading “Weeping for Lost Souls”