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CrossPointe Community Church
P O Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215


All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins.

Ephesians 1:3-7


Then the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”
“Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”
Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”
“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”
The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”

Judges 6:11-16

One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on Him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So He sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there. When he had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”
“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.
Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.

Luke 5:1-11

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? No one—for God Himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:31-39


Catch 22 and Cracked Pots

Randy K’Meyer

The phrase Catch-22 originated as the title of a 1961 novel by Joseph Heller, which was released as a movie with an all-star cast in 1970. The latter was so popular at the time that Catch-22 soon entered the vernacular as the label for any irrational, circular, and/or impossible situation.

“You have to spend money to make money,
but you have to have money to spend money.”

“Gastroparesis, inability of the stomach to empty,
PX for gastroparesis, take on an empty stomach.”

“No friends because I don’t do anything,
don’t do anything because I have no friends.”

“Oh God, I have to get to the bathroom,
but I can’t run or else I’ll (blank) my pants.
But if I don’t run I won’t make it in time.” 1

How about an example of a Christian Life Catch-22: “I want to come closer to God, but the closer I get the more I become aware of my sin, which makes me feel guilty and shameful and want to run away from God.”

Does anyone here know what I’m talking about? If you don’t, I know two of many in the Bible who experienced this type of Catch-22 spiritual experience.

Both Gideon in the Old Testament and Peter in the New, have a close encounter with God only to question God’s ability to accept them for who they are. At that time in their lives, we would say that they both had a negative self-image.

Could it be possible that some of us have to deal with the same thing?

I admit that I sometimes struggle with this issue. I want to get closer to God, but the more spiritually mature I get, the more I realize the depth of my sinfulness, which causes me to feel ashamed, guilty, and unworthy; not only to receive God’s love and grace but also, to minister the same to others.

Our ‘self-image’ has to do with how we see ourselves.

Our self-image is much like a self-portrait; who and what we picture ourselves to be. Our self-image may or may not be an accurate reflection of who we really are, but it is how we perceive ourselves to be.

The reason our self-image is so important is that we usually speak, act and react as the person we think we are. To be sure, people with negative self-images will at times break out of their own self-imposed mold and accomplish something of worth. Conversely, people with a great self-concept will blow it from time to time. But generally speaking, our minds will complete the picture we tell them to paint of ourselves. Solomon wisely said, “As a man thinks, so he is” (Proverbs 23:7).

If when we take a look in the mirror, we see ourselves as inadequate, inferior, unqualified, and/or failures in God’s eyes, we will more than likely act in accordance with the way we see ourselves. If we hold a poor self-image, we will tend to imagine ourselves as failures and unworthy of being loved and accepted. Our self-talk will take on negative characteristics.

“How can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh. And I am the least in my entire family” (Judges 6:15).

“Oh Lord, please leave me, I am such a sinful man” (Luke 5:8).

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

Larry Warner lent me the book, Waking Up Slowly, in which the author writes,

Don’t most of us have that fear of being exposed for who we perceive we really are to others? I have an accuser in my life named satan who is more than willing to prey on that fear. Whenever I begin to trust and grow in grace, he holds up the mirror of accusation. 2

What are we to do?

Our self-images are fed by at least three tributaries, and hopefully a fourth.

First, and the most important influence on our self-image is derived from our parents, quickly followed by our peers, and then thirdly, our life experiences; our education, our family, our job, and our relationships. These three tributaries may have distorted or even cracked the mirrors in which we see ourselves. And if we are not careful, before long we will begin thinking that the image we see in those cracked mirrors is a true reflection of the way life is supposed to be.

Those first three tributaries are out of my bailiwick, but I feel a little more comfortable talking about the fourth, which I think you will agree is the most important of the four tributaries that feed our self-concept. And that is the tributary of our Christian faith.

For the Bible implores every human being, no matter who they are, or what they have done, or what they have, or have not accomplished, in life to come to the Father, through Jesus, the Son to receive His grace, love, and forgiveness and begin to see themselves as He sees us!

I love the story of the man who because of his parental upbringing had a difficult childhood, had less than one year of formal schooling, and was treated terribly by his peers. In addition, he failed in business twice before deciding to go into politics; where he was defeated in State elections 3 times, was defeated twice as a US Congressional candidate, was defeated in a run for the US Senate in 1855, was defeated for vice-president in 1856, was defeated for Senate again in 1858.

After being defeated for public office 8 times, how in the world did this man have the fortitude to run for President of the United States of America? 3

Because regardless of what his parents said, and no matter how ruthless his critics were, and they were scathing, and despite the many failures he endured, Abraham Lincoln also took into account a fourth view of himself; God’s view.

Lincoln had learned what the author I just quoted is learning. “I am learning to look into the mirror and see someone that I accept by faith and not by my feelings.” 4

If you have a tendency like me to beat yourself up, then you, like me, need to learn the same thing.

We must learn to see ourselves as God sees us; by faith not by our feelings.

Philip Yancey, in his wonderful book, What’s So Amazing About Grace, writes, “Sociologists have a theory of the looking-glass self: you become what the most important person in your life (wife, Father, boss, etc.) thinks you are. How would my life change if I truly believed the Bible’s astounding words about God’s love for me, if I looked in that mirror and saw what God sees?” 5

We have been created in God’s image. The Bible proclaims that God created us as the crown of His creation. And even when we willingly rebelled against Him, He went right to work and set in motion a plan to save us from ourselves that culminated in the sacrifice of His own Son to secure the forgiveness that all of us so desperately crave.

God loves us with an unfathomable love. Paul counsels the Ephesians, “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully” (Ephesians 3:18-19).

God sees those who trust in Jesus as righteous no matter how many accusations are thrown at them. Isn’t that what Paul wrote? We are “holy and without fault in His eyes” (Ephesians 1:4). We will probably be accused again, probably sooner rather than later; be it by satan, or our own conscience. But we must learn to say to ourselves, ‘That’s not who I am anymore, I am holy because of what Jesus has done for me.”

I know, I know; we are conditioned to believe that if something sounds too good to be true then it probably isn’t. But God’s unconditional love and grace is more true than we can begin to imagine.

Think about the disciple of Jesus named John. In his worst moments, he saw a reflection in the mirror that he loathed to see.

And yet as he matured in Christ, he was able to look in the mirror and see his primary identity not as a disciple, not as an apostle, not even as the writer of the fourth gospel, but rather, he refers to himself in his gospel 4 times, as the “one whom Jesus loves”

What would it mean for us if we could train ourselves to look in the mirror each day and see ourselves as the one whom Jesus loves?

Because if we did, we wouldn’t shy away from also His call upon our lives to serve Him in some capacity.

Sometimes we have a sense that God is calling us to do something for Him, then the Gideon/Peter negative self-talk begins: “God I can’t do that, I’m just a nobody, I don’t have the ability to do that, You’ll have to find someone else more qualified, someone who doesn’t have as much sin in their life as I have.

But once Gideon accepted the angel’s promise that God would be with him he was more than a conqueror. And Peter, the one who said, “Get away from me Lord for I am a sinful man” went on to later write a letter to the Church that began, “God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and His Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Him” Not long after, Peter gave his life in service to the Lord.

But hey, both Gideon and Peter were flawed for sure, but each went on to accomplish great things for God! Similarly, God sees us as champions! We may feel unqualified, insecure, overwhelmed, weak, fearful, and insignificant, but God sees us as victors! “We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us” (Romans 8:37).

God loves to use ordinary people, just like you and I, warts and all, to accomplish extraordinary things!

The following notice was spotted in the lost and found section of a newspaper: “LOST DOG—$50 REWARD. Black and tan dog of poodle and German shepherd descent. Flea-bitten, left hind leg missing, no hair on rump, blind, and recently neutered. Answers to the name of ‘Lucky.’”

Some of us are a lot like Lucky; of mixed ancestry, not much to look at, and in pretty bad shape, but we don’t answer to his name. No, not “Lucky;” we can call ourselves “Blessed.” For our Master cares enough about us to look for us, to pursue us, to desire us, to pay to get us back and then to offer each of us a chance to participate with Him in finding other little lost dogs who run away.

There’s an old Indian proverbial story about a rich man who had a servant whose job was to carry water each day from a distant stream to his master’s house.

The servant carried the water in two large pots, each of which hung from opposite ends of a pole he carried across his neck. One pot was in perfect condition and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream. The other pot had a couple of cracks in it, though, and, sadly, always arrived at the master’s house half full.

For two years the servant delivered only one and a half pots of water to his master’s house each day. The undamaged pot was proud of itself. It had been made to carry water without leaking, and it did the job perfectly. The cracked pot, on the other hand, felt ashamed. It was miserable knowing it was not able to accomplish what it had been made to do. Still, it did the best it could, even if it was only half of what the perfect pot could do.

Finally, the cracked pot spoke to the servant one day by the stream. “I need to apologize to you,” the pot said, “For two years now, I have been able to deliver only half my load because these cracks in my side cause water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you do all of this work, and you don’t get full value for your efforts.”

The servant simply said, “When we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice what lies along the path.” And as they made their way back to the house, the cracked pot noticed all the gorgeous wildflowers beside the path and was cheered a little by their beauty. When they reached the house, the servant said to the cracked pot, “Did you notice that the flowers only graced your side of the path? I’ve always known about your flaws, and I took advantage of them by planting seeds on your side of the path. Every day when we walked back from the stream, you watered them. For two years I’ve been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. If you weren’t just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.” 6

All of us are a bunch of cracked pots, not crackpots, but cracked pots, and when we will allow Him to, the Lord God uses our flaws to grace His table.

So let’s remember that God has always used imperfect people to accomplish His perfect will.

Hey, listen up; God knows everything about us. Psalm 139 begins:

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.

Psalm 139:1-4

He knows our favorite color, food, hobby, past-time. He knows what we like to spend our spare time doing. He’s looked into every nook and cranny of our hiding places. He’s walked beside us in our dreams. He’s visited every imaginary place we make up in our minds to visit. He’s felt all the guilt and shame we have felt.

And knowing all that, the Psalmist also writes,

The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins;
He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.

Psalm 103:8-12

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

1 https://duckduckgo.com/?q=catch+22+funny+examples&ia=web

2 Dave Burchett, Waking Up Slowly, [Carol-Stream Illinois: Tyndale Momentum,
© 2017], Page 211.

3 Abraham Lincoln’s Education

4 Burchett, Page 212.

5 Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing about Grace? [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, © 1997], Page 69.

6 The Cracked Pot