Mick’s CV Memo – Comfort from Past and For the Future

In last weekend’s message I mentioned that the key to inner peace will only be found in trusting the Lord (Isaiah 26:3). Circumstances have always been and will always be infected with the consequences of evil; until God intervenes. He has a plan, and He has provided us with more than ample reasons to believe He is worthy of that trust.  As I reflect on God’s faithfulness to CCC in the past, there are a spectrum of memories and associated emotions.  It has been exhilarating to see the great things God has done.  He has blessed and used the labors of a pioneering group of volunteers who left the familiarity and relative “comfort” of EHBC and brought their “sweat equity” (literally) to CrossRoads.  Their example and verbal testimony have attracted and inspired a cadre of new partners in the mission. Together they have continued to pursue the mission of “Bringing Christ’s compassion to people at the CrossRoads of life”.  Through partnerships and direct influence, lives have been affected here in Madison County and the east suburbs of Syracuse, as well as in inner city Syracuse, the Philippines, France, Poland, the UN and London diplomatic communities, South America, Siberia, Africa, Indonesia, Haiti, Annapolis, Young Life and FCA.  Marriages have been strengthened and restored.  Many who were sick have experienced healing.  Initiatives like CR have helped folks whose lives were traveling in destructive or purposeless direction touching and redeeming them for God’s purposes.  Life-long friendships have been made and enriched.  Families have been launched, children added to them and others have grown from toddlers to graduates, with our former toddlers now influencing lives for Jesus. God has provided for us to embark on recent initiatives to expand our influence in the community, our capacity to grow our fellowship in character and our capability with new facilities that will allow us to grow and gather for the next generation.

There has also been hardship, sadness, loss and deep disappointment.  While the comfort and support of friends has been encouraging, the circumstances in some cases have not changed and enduring them has been extremely challenging.  But we endure with His presence and provision of brothers and sisters in Christ who join us in times of trial.

Across that spectrum we have the promise of God’s presence.  It is expressed with clarity and power in this most famous passage of Scripture…

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.
(Psalm 23, NKJV)

As we look back, we can see His presence.  As we look at this inspired truth, we are promised that no matter the situation, even in the “valley of the shadow of death”, we will find ourselves in His presence. Today we find ourselves in that shadow and we are not alone.  Other followers before us have journeyed through that shadow as they endured wars, diseases, disasters and famine. They found Him faithful and so will we.  He has been and will be eternally true to His promises.  May the promise of His presence comfort and inspire us as we continue serving Him. Others need to know He is available and present with them.  As we engage in dialogue with folks, we can give the reasons for our hope as we travel through this valley.

As we enter another week of fluid “normal” I want to keep you up to date on our ministry processes.  I am set up to work from home and both Rochelle and I will be away from the office the bulk of the time.  If you call the office number 315-687-7625 and follow through on the menu you can get to our voicemail.  Voicemail messages you leave are immediately sent to us attached to an email so you should get an answer within a few minutes even when we are not at the office.  My voicemail also gives you my mobile number so you can call me directly if it is an emergency.

We will be recording services for next weekend with a message about the Passover—the event and the remembrance.  The Passover was God’s sign of grace to His people in the midst of the devastating plagues all around them (Ex. 12-13).

Please pray for one another and stay in touch.  Imagine those people who often sit near you in the “blue chairs” and give them a call!

With you—in Jesus,

Mick