Love Your Neighbors

Today is Halloween. Kids everywhere have been counting down the days to cool costumes and free candy since the beginning of October! If you’re looking for a fun and safe place to go with your kiddos this year, the Cottage Grove Campus is hosting Trunk or Treat today from 5-7 in the south parking lot. It’s Disney themed this year and the trunks will be fabulous! It’s also a great way to get out and meet the people of your community that you might not otherwise see!

If you’re sticking around home you have an awesome and fairly easy opportunity to love on your neighborhood kids. A friendly smile and hello at a door can go a long way. You might even have a chance to chat with those people down the street that you’ve been meaning to introduce yourself to. If you find yourself going door to door with your kiddos, chat with the other parents who are in the same boat: waiting and the curb and giving constantly reminders to say thank you! You never know who you’ll meet and where those conversations will take you!

Whatever you’re doing tonight, enjoy your time. Be ever present, count the number of Elsa and Anna’s you see, eat a little bit too much candy, say a lot of hellos, smile a lot. You won’t regret it and your kindness won’t go unnoticed.

Just a reminder, pick up a Missions Go Catalog (at the Adult Ministry desk or at the doors), spend some time looking through it and praying about where you could use your gifts. Come back next week Nov 8-9 to our Missions Weekend and meet the people behind the organizations. Ask questions, make connections and say your next yes!

It’s an exciting time at Crossroads and in missions! Excited to be on this journey with you!

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Nicole Case
Web Administrator 

Go Do Something…Now

My life is funny. Sometimes “ha -ha” funny, other times it’s tragically funny. Usually something is breaking down, or I’m losing my keys or my check chard. I’m spilling something or running into something. I should do it with jazz hands and win a Tony because dramatic is my tone of choice. By the way, I’m Nicole. I do the web here at Crossroads. It’s nice to meet you. You can add “forgets to introduce herself” to the above list as well.

Basically, I’m kind of a mess, in an endearing kind of way. The kind of way that people smile at you and genuinely hope that you don’t break a bone by walking out the door. I’m that girl. Ever the Underdog. But God bless the people who keep rooting for me.

Don’t worry though, I have lots of reasons to smile, to laugh, and to be thankful. I love my job. I love my city. I love who I surround myself with and what Jesus is doing with all of it.

I’m clumsy but I’m also a planner, which seems like an interesting juxtaposition of qualities, but it is my essence. I like to know what’s coming and how much time and money I’ll need when the future gets here.

So you can imagine how I sometimes forgot to be in the moment. I got so busy scheduling, checking my phone, filling in my planner, I sometimes miss moments. Experiencing them. Letting teach me, or show me, whatever they were supposed to right then and there.

Last night I had the great privilege of being at an Urban Ventures fundraising event. I was sitting in a room full of people who believed in change and the power of Now. I put my cell phone down, my planner away, and I was just present. I let the words, statistics, and stories of the night roll around in my brain, soaking up every second of my time with these incredible people who are literally breaking the cycle of poverty and changing the lives of thousands of people.

It was pretty incredible to be in a room of people who are taking ordinary moments and using them for great things. It was an excellent reminder that I need to “go do something” way more instead of simply making a plan to “go do something” at some point, maybe, down the road, when life is less chaotic.

Does that sound like you? Are you taking advantage of moments you have? This weekend we are launching our Missions Catalog. It is full of places like Urban Ventures who are using the here and now to love like Jesus. Pick one up at the Adult Ministries desk and see all the amazing opportunities you have to “go do something.” To get your hands dirty. To make a difference. To be Jesus-like people doing Jesus-like stuff.

Circle some things in the catalog that interest you, and then come back on Nov 8-9 and meet the faces behind the programs you’ve circled during our annual Mission Weekend. You’ll get to ask questions and meet the people who are part of the organizations listed in the catalog. Make some contacts and get inspirited! Say your first yes in the moment and go do something amazing!

We’ll see you this weekend for the beginning of the second part of our Genesis Series, Turing Point.

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Nicole Case
Web Administrator 

Just One

There are times when I look at what’s going on in our world, from wars, to Ebola, to human trafficking, to poverty, and I get overwhelmed. Everything seems so big. My heart wants to do something, anything! But knowing where to even begin is daunting. How could, I, a single, white American 20-something, ever do anything to make a difference in this world? Who am I to make a difference?

The reality is that I won’t be able to stop violence against the poor, I won’t end poverty to an entire country of people. But, I can help. Even if it’s just one person.

A few months ago, I chose to sponsor a child through World Vision. Her name is Rachele, she will be 8 this Saturday, and she lives in the Congo with her parents and two younger siblings. Through my sponsorship of just one sweet little girl, her world and her family’s world is changed.  She gets to go to school, she has clean water to drink, and she has the opportunity for a better future. She will be able to grow up with the skills needed to be successful. She has the potential to be a leader in her family and in her village. The ripple effect of raising up a strong, healthy educated girl, could change an entire village and nation of people.

I believe that change comes from investing in people. Giving people the tools and resources they need to change their current situation is the way we can eradicate hunger, poverty and disease. I think that is what Jesus meant when he told us to love each other.

That’s why I believe in the work World Vision is doing, not just in the Congo, but all over the world. They are investing in children. They are keeping families together, making them stronger and healthier. They are bringing clean water to places who desperately need it. They are changing futures by investing in what is happening today.

And all of this is happening because of regular, ordinary people who decided to say “yes” to just one child.  Just one sponsorship can change the lives for a lot of people.

This weekend, Rich Stearns, president of World Vision, US, will be here to talk about the work World Vision is doing. The work that is being done because their hearts broke for people who need help. The work that being done because they take seriously Jesus’ call to love each other. It’s going to be an incredible weekend full of stories of restoration and change.  You will also have a chance to sponsor a child in the Congo!

Mark off the weekend of November 8th and 9th as the Cottage Grove and Woodbury campuses will be hosting over 30 organizations that will offer you a chance to do something during our annual Missions Fair.   The catalog is being released early this year (next weekend!) so that you and your family/small group/friends can meet up and decide which organization you want meet and talk with that weekend.  Eagan will be hosting their own Missions Fair and handing out the catalog this weekend.

This movement of Jesus like people doing Jesus like stuff needs you!  Where are you going to GO?

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Lisa Adams
Director of Missions and Care

Whining

We got a dog this summer. Watson. He’s super cute and well behaved. He rarely barks and he loves us, kids, and other dogs.  BUT (you knew there had to do be one) he whines.  Of all the things that are potential issues, this would be the one my dog has.  As I’m writing this, he is whining.  When he isn’t getting what he wants, he whines. He whines because he’s sad, when people leave, or he wants to go outside.  When he is playing with his toy, he whines because he’s happy.  For. The. Love.

Watson reminds me of how God must feel when we complain and whine. We live in the wealthiest country in the world.  We live in freedom.  We have 24/7 access to the Bible.  We have a public education system where we received an education and learned to read. 80% of the world lives on less than $10.00 per day.  My life should overflow with gratitude and joy, especially considering that I spend $70 a week in gas alone and I have 3 Bibles within eyesight of where I’m sitting right now.  There should not be a whine coming out of my mouth.  And yet, if I’m being honest with you, I have found myself whining these past couple of weeks; forgetting the abundance in my life and focusing on the areas where I feel like I’m missing out and things aren’t fair.  Do you ever find yourself whining when you should really be grateful?  For. The. Love.

Thankfully, God’s patient and forgiving and he’s given us people like Richard Stearns (President, World Vision U.S.) who can help us reset our posture from whining to thankfulness. Richard reminds us that we are needed to help build God’s kingdom. Our time, money and resources are the very things that can change someone’s world. Richard will be joining us live at our Woodbury Campus Saturday, October 18th at 4:15pm, and Sunday, October 19th at both 9:15am and 11:15am. He will be speaking about our response to those who live in the margins and World Vision’s work happening in the Congo alongside Covenant Kids Congo.

Don’t forget! We are offering a Health care Directive Seminar on Saturday, October 11, 9:00-11:00 am at the Woodbury Campus. A Health Care Directive, formally known a living will, is a written document allowing you to name who would be in charge of your health care in the event you’re not able to advocate for yourself.  At this seminar, we will help address your fears, beliefs and other important values in regards to your health. Child care is now closed, but you can still register by clicking HERE to attend without your kids.

Let’s find time this week to be thankful for all that we have and pray about ways that we can help in our community and/or abroad. Join us this weekend for the final week of The Starting Point: A Journey Through Genesis. It’ll going to be a great weekend!

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Lisa Adams
Director of Missions and Care

2 Are Better Than 1

I like to do things that hard way. Well, I don’t really “like” it, but more often than not, that’s the way it goes. It’s frustrating for 100% of the people who love me. To add insult to injury, I also like to figure things out by myself. I have a very 2-year-old “I do it” mentality when it comes to new things, especially things that are challenging or give me anxiety. The reality is, that I’d rather do it myself, so if fail, and trust me, i do, no one else will know but me.

Much to my dismay, we are not designed to do things alone. God designed us to live in community with each other. The very reason God made Eve was so Adam would have a helper. Out of dust and rib the first intentional community was born, and it was good.

When I think about my community, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m especially grateful for the people who have paved the way into adulthood for me. My parents, and mentors, and older, wiser friends, who, when I am feeling very self-sufficient love me enough to keep me honest, offer advice (even if I don’t take it) and love me regardless of the outcome. They’re constant cheer leaders and broken heart menders, and I’m very thankful for that.

We all need that, don’t we?  People who come along side us, who pray for us, and help us when we need it most.  During days when live is ordinary and regular, they’re cheering on our sidelines celebrating every day victories. I’m so grateful that God created us to work together, to share heavy loads and big laughs, and ultimately to be tangible reminders of His love and provision. That is good, isn’t it?

At Crossroads, we feel privileged to pray for your prayer requests. We have prayer teams at each of our campuses that care deeply about you and pray passionately. We believe in the power of prayer and that our God is a God who hears and answers prayers. Week after week the most frequently requested prayers are for health-related issues.

In response to this, we are offering a Health care Directive Seminar on Saturday, October 11, 9:00-11:00 am at the Woodbury Campus. A Health Care Directive, formally known a living will, is a written document allowing you to name who would be in charge of your health care in the event you’re not able to advocate for yourself.  At this seminar, we will help address your fears, beliefs and other important values in regards to your health. If your family should face an unexpected tragedy we want you to be prepared.  Let’s face it making difficult health care decisions during such a time can be overwhelming for your family, and we want to help lighten your load.

Please consider coming to this FREE seminar. FREE childcare is also provided if you register by October 8, click here for details.

Additionally, a quick reminder that we will be having a Honduras mission’s trip meeting this Sunday at our Woodbury campus immediately following the 11:15 service, please come hear how you can be a part of this amazing mission team. No sign ups necessary, just come in to the auditorium and take a seat and see who God might be adding to your community of people.

Please join us for week 4 of our current series The Starting Point: A Journey through Genesis. It’s going to be a great weekend.

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Nicole Case & Lisa Renlund
Web Admin & Missions and Care Coordinator