If you would like to send your offering through the mail, our mailing address is:
CrossPointe Community Church
P O Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215
Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.
Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.
Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us. Greet all the brothers and sisters with a sacred kiss. I command you in the name of the Lord to read this letter to all the brothers and sisters. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.I Thessalonians 5:14-28
It’s interesting to me that there have been three major proclamations of Thanksgiving in our nation and that all three were issued in tumultuous times.
The Pilgrims had lost half their members to hunger, disease, and exposure their first few winters in Plymouth, Massachusetts. And yet on November 29, 1623, Governor William Bradford declared:
Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience. Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.
Then on October 3, 1863, just 3 months after 50,000 men were killed, wounded, or missing in just three days at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving proclamation in which he invited Americans “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” Much like the Pilgrims nearly 250 years earlier, Lincoln’s words of gratitude stood in sharp contrast to the misery of surrounding circumstances:
We fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.
And then the observing of Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November was finally made law, and a federal holiday, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Dec. 26, 1941, just 19 days after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
This coming Thursday, we will observe a national day of Thanksgiving. And although some might be tempted to think our times are tumultuous, we can thank God that our circumstances are not as dire as those just mentioned.
We have much to be thankful for at CrossPointe.
Primarily we thank God for the faith that He has granted unto us to embrace the good news of the gospel of His Son Jesus, the Christ.
God deserves our thanks for this because He is the One who took the initiative in rescuing us from having to pay the penalty for our sins when He sent His one and only Son into the world to die in our place upon the cross.
Peter opens his second letter to the church by writing:
From: Simon Peter, a servant and missionary of Jesus Christ. To: All of you who have our kind of faith. The faith I speak of is the kind that Jesus Christ our God and Savior gives to us. How precious it is, and how just and good He is to give this same faith to each of us.II Peter 1:1
Much like what happened to Shane, somewhere along the way, God was so good to use someone’s preaching or teaching or testimony to draw us to Himself. Or perhaps, God touched you through your Bible reading or spiritual reflections, perhaps a dream or near-death experience. Regardless of what means, God is the One who through the power of His Holy Spirit drew us to Himself and granted unto us believing faith. And so we give God thanks for the faith that He has given to us.
And then we give thanks to God for the decisions we have made to make this our church home.
We worship here, we fellowship here, we grow spiritually here; we practice our faith here by offering ourselves to God the Father through Jesus the Son in the power of His Holy Spirit.
This past Monday and then again Thursday, I began both of my classes by thanking them for attending and reminding them that apart from studying the Bible we also have the privilege of gathering together; to get to know one another, to learn from one another, to experience growing in Christ together.
We thank God for giving us these relationships in the church so that we might learn to encourage one another, to forgive one another, to serve one another, indeed, to love one another.
A week ago Friday, I received a phone call from Cathy Warner. She and Larry were at the Amish Auction and Larry had fallen over a misplaced pallet, cut his head, and was a little woozy and so an ambulance was called. He was taken to Lodi Hospital. I encouraged Cathy to ride in the ambulance and not worry about leaving their car. When I got to the hospital, I called Jerry and Sandy who came right down. They went over to the auction, picked up the Warner’s car, and drove it to their home in Seville then came back to the hospital and eventually drove Cathy home after Larry was transferred to Medina. The next day, they picked up Cathy and drove her to the hospital to visit Larry. And the day after that, Jerry picked up Larry and took him home.
That is just the most recent of many similar stories we could tell about how we “care for one another.”
So let me say again, I give thanks to God for the decision that you have made to make this your church home; to worship here, to fellowship here, to spiritually grow here; to practice your faith here by offering yourselves to God the Father through Jesus the Son in the power of His Holy Spirit.
We also give God thanks for the opportunity we have engaged in to “Sharing God’s Grace with Our Community.”
Together we thank God that He has enabled us to see that the church is not only about coming together to worship and fellowship, but also, about being salt and light in our mission field of Chippewa Lake.
In that regard, we thank God for all of you who use your gifts of serving others to participate in our last Friday of the month Community Meal, for those who serve when we observe our every 5th Sunday Gather to Scatter projects.
And I know we will be thanking God a couple of weeks from now for generously helping with our Christmas Adopt-a-Family.
Similarly, we will be thanking God a couple of months from now for all the people who use their gifts of serving others to help in any capacity with the annual Lions Club Polar Bear Event on February 4th.
We are also thankful for your gifts of faith and generosity as it concerns your commitment to the Biblical principles of Christian stewardship. Without you, we would not have been able to give thanks today for all that we are enabled to accomplish on Christ’s behalf. Without you, we wouldn’t have the blessing of a building, the ministry we share, and the manifestation of God’s presence in the community.
Have you ever stopped to imagine the positive impact that our church has had in coming to and maintaining this ministry in Chippewa Lake? I don’t think I am stretching it to say that almost everyone who lives nearby knows about our and therefore, God’s presence here. And whether or not people come to join us on Sunday morning, they know about a group of people who are doing their best to have a positive impact on our community.
What I am saying is that without your commitment to giving every Sunday this amazing ministry we share together would not be possible. And I thank God and I thank you for your continued faithfulness in this regard.
As we close, I want to read one of my favorite verses of scripture. It is found in Paul’s letter to the Philippians and it applies directly to what I have been saying:
Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News (1:27).
I recall one evening several years ago watching one of the sports channels featuring the telecast of a light-weight boxing championship match. The boxers were a thirty-one-year-old Scotsman and a man from the United States who was six years younger. The Scot was the reigning champion, and the bout was being fought before twenty thousand in Glasgow, Scotland. The champ had said before the match that he would rather die than be beaten before his own people, but the younger contender had never before been beaten.
Soon after the match began it became clear that the battle would be close. As I sat watching, I heard something kind of strange. It was faint at first, but it seemed to be singing . . . singing at a boxing match? Gradually, it became louder; hundreds and hundreds of male voices singing a strange Scottish melody. They were singing encouragement for their champion as he fought for his crown . . . and encouraged by his countrymen, he won!
Every time I recall that event, a little lump rises in my throat; thinking that as you and I do battle for the Lord, it is the Lord Jesus Himself who sings in our ear encouraging us to serve Him with joy and gladness promising us that the light we shine will bear much fruit for His Kingdom.
And so as we approach Thanksgiving 2022, let it be said of us that we give thanks to Almighty God for His many manifold blessings bountifully shared with us through the presence and empowering of the Lord Jesus Christ.