Greetings and grace upon grace to you my faith family. Here we are finishing another year and preparing to walk WITH Jesus into a new one! I know it is just a date on the calendar, but the New Year is a wonderful time to reflect on the faithfulness of God in your salvation and sanctification, and on where our Redeemer is taking you in the year before you. I pray that the free resources we have available to assist you with that are finding their usefulness. We have had copies at church for the past few weeks and you can download them from our website.
I encourage you to share the link with others who may not have the encouragement of community to get them focused upon THE Christ!
Please take some time in the next few days to work through your plan to place Christ, His kingdom, and His church first in the coming year. Remember, time is our most precious resource, so how we spend it is the greatest reflection of what we truly value. I know that ’Resolutions’ are often thought of in the wrong way, so they often get a bad rap. But, as Christians, our goals (resolutions) for the coming year should not be about ‘bad things we are stopping’, or even 'trivial things we are starting', but centered around God's things we are pursuing that will help us grow in Christlikeness.
What we fixate upon we migrate towards. What consumes our minds captures our hearts.
Jesus doesn’t need us to make another set of unrealized promises to Him. We have all made those mistaken commitments too many times. NO! Our commitments should be made in light of seeing Jesus as BETTER. They should help us in our pursuit of Him and His purposes and plans for us. Remember, He is not some ‘means to an end’ but He IS the END worth pursuing! He IS the promised BLESSING. He IS BETTER! In His presence there is fullness of joy!
2022 was a remarkable year for CrossTrain. There are far too many things to list, but here are a few that stand out to me as I write this:
We committed to sending and supporting our first missionaries from within our FRamily— Fahren and Taylor.
We have increased our support of the gospel mission with our ministry partners in Costa Rica, Mexico, Kenya, and Pakistan.
We had 14 baptisms!
We have seen healing happen in marriages, physical and mental well-being, and in families.
We have grown as a people of prayer with Sunday Night Prayer being added
We had 100+ people go through the Training Center’s first two offerings— Systematic Theology and Old Testament Survey.
And 2023 promises to be an amazing year for CrossTrain too. Again, just a couple examples:
The Training Center is staring up January 24th, with New Testament Survey. What a great way to go into the New Year walking with Jesus. This is open to everyone and will be offered Tuesdays from 6-7:30a or 6:30-8p.
We are planning multiple missions trips to Mexico for this spring and will get the details to you very soon.
We are equipping more and more people to be disciple makers as we train to teach God’s truth and we are seeing the fruit in this near and far.
D-Groups, our organically formed small groups anchored in being in relationship centered around the Word, will be starting back up mid-January. I want to encourage you to open up your hearts, and maybe your homes, to inviting others into a conversation that is centered on God’s Word. You learn to train, and you train to learn. Nothing will accelerate your maturity in Christ more than discipling others.
We desire that everyone plan to make the Daily Readings tied to the Sunday message a part of your Bible reading in 2023. This allows us to all be having the same conversation around ‘what the Spirit is saying to us in the Word.’ You can get each day’s reading emailed to you by signing up for the short In the Word Today devotional I write and send out each morning. The sign up is on the homepage of our website. And let's all be on the lookout to invite others to join us on this journey with Jesus.
I will also be reading through the Bible in a Year with readings from the OT, NT, Psalms and Proverbs each day. I invite you to join me in that at well.
Let’s let 2023 be marked first and foremost by COMMUNITY — with Him, with one another, and with others who are not yet in the community of Christ. And then let it be marked by INTENTIONALITY — living as His Kingdom people, by His Kingdom power, for His Kingdom glory as we make disciple-makers TOGETHER.
I love being at Cross Train Church. We are continuing to grow into the most authentic people I know who are learning to embrace the differences in one another as part of the 'glorious mess' the Holy Spirit gifts and knits together. It is a joy to do life with you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any of your leaders to discuss the things the Spirit places on your heart for this coming year.
May the HOPE–PEACE–JOY–LOVE of His presence be made manifest to and through us like never before in 2023!
MUCH love! Make much of Him in the New Year!