What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Tina Turner was not the first person to ask this question. The answer is simple. Everything. Love has everything to do with “it.”  Love (or finding it) is the reason we do most things. It’s why we get married. It’s why we buy expensive bridesmaids dresses to be in those weddings. It’s why we’d die for a our children. It’s why we answer the phone at 3 am when our people need us. It’s also why we throw surprise parties, send “thinking of you cards,” celebrate the achievements, milestones and people.

Love is why we fly halfway around the world to help people we don’t know, and we hit our knees every day to stand in the gap for those who are hurting, who need answers, who desperately need to find joy and hope.

Love is the big deal, right? We want to love people well, and in the way they most need it. This spring, Crossroads has two missions trips coming up that happen to be in country (or right over over boarder)! If you’ve never been on a trip, or are feeling like now is the time to spread the love….now’s a great time!

In April International Justice Mission hosts the annual Global Prayer Gathering, in Washington DC. You’ll get to see first hand the work the IJM is doing all over the world. You’ll to talk with, worship with and pray for the people who are on the ground in the places that need love the most. It’s an incredible weekend. for details, click here.

In March, there will be another trip to the orphanage in Reynosa, Mexico.  There’s an informational meeting at the Washington County Library in Woodbury on February 14th. For more information, please contact Rick Ross ( rickross400@msn.com; 651-442-8314).

Last weekend, Justin and Trisha Davis kicked off our new series called “More than Words.” The marriage conference was amazing. There was such a buzz of positive energy all weekend. It’s awesome to see couples being passionate about their relationships and wanting to do the hard work to make them beyond ordinary. Thank you to all who volunteered and attended. I can’t wait to see what God does with this series in our relationships!

Excited to see what’s next!

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Lisa Adams
Director of Missions 

IJM Field Office Update

Mission trips are funny things sometimes. We are called to love our neighbor across the street and across the ocean. So we go. We get passports and visas and shots. We hop on planes, and take buses for a week or 10 days, to help. To get our hands dirty. To do what Jesus calls us to.  We hold babies, offer clinics, build houses and teach English and in those days we feel closer to God. We watch him preform miracles in front of us. And it’s amazing.

And then, we go home. Changed by the experience, yes, but often we are left to wonder if what we did on our trip…made a difference, a dent, an impact.  Are people’s lives changed for the better? Is there justice for those who need it? Did we do our job? Sometimes we never get to know, but sometimes we do.

This week, I had the opportunity to get a field update from the IJM field office in Kampala, Uganda, and the conversation was filled with so much hope. In the summer for 2013, a group of women, myself included, from Crossroads went to Uganda to help organize court files along side two other churches in an effort to stop land grabbing from happen to widows and orphans. Land grabbing, as you know, is illegal in Uganda, but was virtually impossible to prosecute due to the fact that lawyers could never find the files.

The court house we worked in was one of the worst in Uganda. Cases were often delayed for years, or never tried at all because of lost or missing files.

This week, the IJM field director, Kathryn Wilkes, told us that because of the work that we did alongside other churches, files are now found immediately. Lost or missing files are now never an excuse for cases not to prosecuted! What incredible news!

Along with organized court files, they are offering police training to police officers so they know all the laws in their country, making the justice system even stronger.

The work that IJM does is slow, and hard but they are seeing prayers being answered, justice being served, and amazing work God is doing. We are so thankful for what they do, and their faithfulness to their calling.

I just wanted to let you know that April 16-17 is IJM hosting the Global Prayer Gathering in Washington DC. It’s 2 days of amazing stories of God restoring, rescuing, and rebuilding his kingdom through the work of IJM. It’s an amazing time or worship, prayer, and stories. I’d love to have you join me. For more details, click here.

See you this weekend!

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Lisa Adams
Director of Missions 


Refine Us

Relationships are difficult. They are full of give and take, compromise, love, grace, truth, mistakes, apologies.. the list goes on and on and on. You open yourself up to other people giving them permission to love you and to hurt you. They are scary and exciting and frustrating and refreshing. It’s not for the faint of heart. They’re absolutely worth the all the trouble we go to to have them. They make our lives…beyond ordinary.

All relationships are sacred, but perhaps the one type of relationship that seems be under attack the most, the hardest to maintain, the one that throws us for the biggest loops, causes the most heartache and joy…is marriage.

Marriage is a battle field,(do we have any Pat Benatar fans?)  and every marriage is different. Each person brings something totally different to the table. So…how do we do marriage well? How do we make marriage something worth fighting for? How do we prepare for marriage well? How do we recover from a marriage that left us brokenhearted? How do we seek to see and love the people with whom we are in relationships….like Jesus does? Where do we even start?

Those are tough questions, but essential to having relationships that make us better, that bring us closer to Jesus….that are beyond ordinary.

Next weekend, January 23-24, Justin and Trisha Davis, authors of the book Beyond Ordinary will be here for the Refine Us-Marriage Conference. They’ll share their story of joy and heartbreak and their journey back to each other. They’ll give us tools that will help us make our relationships extraordinary!

If you’re happily married, If your marriage is struggling, if you’ve been married for 38 years or 6 months, never been married, or you’ve been married and hope to be again, we encourage you to come. It’s for everyone. We were not created to do life alone.

Relationships matter, they are worth the work and worth fighting for! If you only do ONE thing this coming week, register for this conference. You will not regret it.  Click here to register.

See you this weekend!

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Nicole Case
Web Administrator

Simple, As it Should Be

I really like New Year’s Day. I think there is something beautiful about a seemingly clean slate, unwritten futures, and the possibility of anything happening. I like living in a world of endless possibility.

You should know, though. I’m terrible at resolutions. Absolutely the worst. I make a list of them and then….i forget about it when life gets back into normal rhythms and then i have an uncrossed off list of things i wanted to accomplish, and that never feels good.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been picking one or two words I want to focus on through out the year. It helps me be intentional, it’s doable, and above all else, it’s simplified.

Our current series, Simple,  has really gotten me thinking about getting down to the simple of roots of what Jesus taught us. We are called to love. Love God. Love people. That is simple, right? Well, yes. But sometimes it’s hard to love people, right? Like sometimes hurt, and being right, and brokenness get in the way and we forget to love people. And relationships suffer because of it.

That’s why, this year, the word I’ve chosen to focus on is, grace. Jesus extended grace to everyone.Everyone. including the people who hated him. Shouldn’t I try to extend grace to everyone, too? Even the people who have hurt me, or don’t like me? Isn’t there more to their story, too?

I also think it’s important to extend grace to ourselves. Currently, I’m awful at this. I’m super hard on myself all the time. Sometimes we’re in the refining fire, and some times we are living the dream. It’s important to remember that Jesus is at work in every season. If i used more grace with myself in and the people around me, who knows how things might change. I think, thought it will bring me closer to being more like Jesus, and it will strengthen my relationships.

Speaking of relationships, we all have them, right? They all take work. Some more than others. On January 23rd and 24th Crossroads hosting the RefineUS-Marriage Conference, hosted by Justin and Trisha Davis, authors of Beyond Ordinary. Now, don’t let the “marriage conference” part scare you. Currently, I’m as single as you can be and I’m really excited about it. We are going to figure out what good relationships look like. How to have them, and how to navigate them when everything feels wrong. Those tools are universal. So, if you’ve been married and aren’t any more (for whatever reason), if you want to get married, you’re newly married, or if you’ve been married for a million years, COME! There is something to be gained for everyone! It’ll be the best $10 you’ll spend this January. Maybe even this year!

We’ll see you this weekend for week two of Simple!

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Nicole Case
Web Administrator

Drifting

And just like that, it’s 2015.  Sometimes I’m amazed at how fast life passes me by. Blink, and the year is over! And sometimes, I’m amazed at how long it takes for a day to pass by. Like the entire day went by in slow motion.Time is a funny thing.

As I have gotten older, the things that impact me and bring me to my knees have changed.  Things that I never saw in my teens, I see weekly now. Cancer, divorce, and death all rear their ugly heads far too frequently. War, poverty, and violence fill up my view of the world. And if I’m not careful, these things can also change the way that I see God.   It’s a daily practice to make sure that I continue to believe that God is who he says He is and that I live my life like that. If I’m not careful, it’s actually quite easy to drift away from church, from reading the Bible, from prayer, from community.

Have you ever found yourself drifted in your faith? Blink, and it’s been a year. Try to get back from where you drifted from and it’s like every day is hard.  Do you have daily practices?  How do you make sure that God is getting the attention He deserves from you?

The beautiful thing about January 1’s is that it’s a great time to reflect on where we have been, how we got there, and then dream about where we want to go and what it will take to get there.  Crossroads wants to help you!  Perhaps you want to meet some more people and grow in your faith?  Our small groups are a great place to do that and they launch in January.  Maybe your marriage needs a little TLC?   We have an amazing marriage conference at the end of January you won’t want to miss. You can find details, here! Maybe you need some adventure and need to be inspired by God’s work in the world?   There are mission trips a plenty!  Maybe you’ve drifted and you just want to know that God exists and He loves you. Our upcoming series “Simple” will help you find your way back.

It’s never too late to try something new or to begin again. And after 2014, I’m incredibly grateful for that.

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Lisa Adams
Director of Missions