Just exactly what is Jesus Loves Kzoo?  Well, here’s what they have to say about it:

‘It’s an evangelistic movement that has been growing over the past 11+ years in the Kalamazoo, MI area and, in recent years, volunteers from over 60 area Christ-following churches and ministries have been coming together through Jesus Loves Kzoo (JLK) events to share God’s love and the Good News of Jesus Christ to the community.  They say it is their greatest desire that every event become a ‘catalyst’, igniting passion for Jesus and birthing continuing ministry.

JLK’s belief is that as ‘the Church’ steps out and shares the love of Jesus Christ together, God will use their obedience to bring healing, revival and transformation to their region.

Their mission is to:

Cultivate unity among Christ-following churches and ministries;

Reveal God’s kingdom through acts of love and compassion done together in the name of Jesus

Engage ‘the Church’ in community outreach throughout the year

Connect seeking individuals to resources and discipleship

Their kick-off, or ‘Catalyst Week’, for 2019 was July 7-12 and it was a wonderful opportunity for volunteers in the area to serve and introduce others to Jesus through hands-on experiences.’

And, for the first time, Cross The World partnered with them!  Crosses were put in the hands of the many volunteers who shared them with those wishing to know more about God and His love for us. We feel very privileged to have played our part in this ministry.  Here’s what they had to say about us on Facebook:

‘Thank you to Cross the World for supporting us this Catalyst Week with these beautiful crosses! As your mission is “Making God’s love visible, one cross at a time.” We pray that this Catalyst week that God would use these crosses to “Make Gods Love Visible”. God bless you and your ministry.’

If you’d like more information about Jesus Loves Kzoo, find out more about their beliefs and/or mission statement, or learn more about how Catalyst Week works, visit their website HERE.

 


 

Last month, ‘Ernie’s girls’ from Heartwood Senior Living in Crosby, MN visited us for an indoor Hawaiian luau … or Weiner Day, as we call it.  They feasted on grilled hotdogs, tropical salad and fresh salsa, along with other tasty treats.  Everyone had a grand time!

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And again, we say THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS!’  to these ladies.  They make a MAJOR contribution to Cross The World, as they meet each month to string the hangtags to the crosses.   We really couldn’t do it without them; God blesses us every time we’re together!

 


 

Our crosses were placed in others hands by these folks in July.  We thank them for so freely sharing God’s love.

Julie – MI for Jesus Loves Kzoo

K – AZ

Community Lutheran Church – Bullhead City, AZ

Dana – MI for LAMP Ministry

Bobby – MN

Barbara – PA

Four Mile Presbyterian Church – Beaver, PA

St. Francis Hospital Pastoral Care – Tulsa, OK

Carla – MN

Hosanna! Lutheran Church – St. Charles, IL

Joy – MN

Edward – TX

Ronnie – KS

St. Peter Lutheran Church – Greenwood Village, CO

Joplin Family Worship Center – Joplin, MO

Angelic Enterprises – Park Rapids, MN

Open Door Community Church – Breezy Point, MN

Don – MN

St. Cloud Hospital Spiritual Care – St. Cloud, MN

Cora – MN

Paul – PA

 


 

May the Lord bless you for your love and concern for a world in turmoil and not praising our Lord and Savior.    James from Pennsylvania

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Imagine two grains of wheat lying on the floor of a warm and cozy barn.  One day, the farmer comes in and tells them, “I want to take you out of this comfortable barn and plant you in the earth.  I’m going to place you in the cold ground and cover you with soil.  it will be dark, and you will die.  But I promise that you will multiply and become very fruitful.”

The first grain of wheat turns down the suggestion.  “No way!” he says.  “Count me out.  I like my comfort, and I don’t want to die.”  But the second one, after carefully considering the pain and discomfort of dying, decides the promise of a future harvest is worth the sacrifice.  So, the farmer takes him outside and plants him in the ground, while allowing the first grain of wheat to remain inside the barn.

A few days later, a small green sprout begins to appear over where the seed has been planted.  Then it grows and becomes a tall stalk of wheat that produces one hundred more grains. For the next 40 years, the farmer plants all the seeds that originated from that first grain of wheat, and year after year, the harvest multiplies.  Meanwhile, the grain of wheat that stayed in the barn remains there all alone, never growing or multiplying … but he has stayed very comfortable.

Which grain of wheat are you?  Are you playing it safe, or have you let Christ plant you in the world? The only way you’ll become useful and fruitful in God’s kingdom is by abiding in Him and trusting that His desires for your life are worthwhile.                              – Charles Stanley

 


 

In many countries, the gospel can’t be shared freely. Repressive governments and religions stop Christians from telling others about Jesus.  However, God is mightier than the oppression.  Where human messengers can’t carry the good news, the Lord is revealing Himself to those whose hearts are open.  Nothing will stop Him from reaching out to people who follow conscience and creation to the logical conclusion – the existence of a loving, sovereign God.

We know there are missionaries who travel to some areas of the world that are not always safe and/or their presence is not welcome but they persevere, much like that grain of wheat that was planted, flourished and, as a result, multiplied the amount of God’s love shown to others who might not have ever had the opportunity to learn about His goodness.  In January, some missionaries from Messiah Lutheran Church, Lakeville, MN safely journeyed to and were welcomed by the people of Thailand and Cambodia for Project Video.  They forwarded us two videos from their trip and we wanted to share.

Click HERE to see their visit to the Akha people in Thailand.

Click HERE to see their visit to the Bunong people in Cambodia.

We thank them for sharing their travels with us and also for presenting the cross to these people.  Cross The World is very privileged to travel with you!

 


 

And, here’s some awesome testimonials:

‘These crosses make a difference.  Thank you for your ministry.’  Frank – MN

‘Amazing story about the Cross the World. I received my cross at the Fredericksburg, TX Cowboy Church that we attend while wintering in Fredericksburg. Someone had ordered them and put them out to share. We are back home in NW Minnesota and so fun to see that they are made right here in Lake Country. I have wanted to order some. This should be the opportune time to do that.’  Coleen – MN

And, this from our Sister in Christ, Kay from Monticello, MN, who shared pictures:

‘Hi!  Were your ears ringing today?  We were talking about your awesome crosses and your ministry.  I had ladies over to my house today and we made 160 necklaces out of your crosses.  We will hand them out at our booth at Monticello Walk and Roll day June’s second Saturday.  Was a fun day.  God bless you!’  

 


 

Crosses made a difference in peoples’ lives during May and June.  Here’s who shared with others:

Open Door Community Church – Breezy Point, MN

Good Samaritan Society, Heritage Meadows – St. Peter, MN

Birch Ridge Resort – Cass Lake, MN

Liz – PA

Diana – MN

Harbor City Church – Aberdeen, WA

Bill – MN

Oracle Union Church – Oracle, AZ

KTIS Radio – St. Paul, MN

Barbara – MN

Geralyn – PA

St. Francis Hospital Pastoral Care – Tulsa, OK

Patricia – PA

Messiah Lutheran Church – Lakeville, MN for mission trip to Thailand and Cambodia

Dr. Jim – MI

Samantha – MI

Joy – MN

MN Homeless and Wounded Warriors

Connie – MN

Yvette – CA

Zion Lutheran Church – Litchfield, MN

Buddy – AK

Don – MN

Edward – TX

Trinity Lutheran Church – Fergus Falls, MN for mission trip to Canada through LAMP Ministry

 


 

Let love be your greatest aim.

 1 Corinthians 14:1

 

 

 

 

On Good Friday, Presbyterian Homes posted a wonderful tribute to Cross The World on their blog.  We were so touched with their post about our cross ministry, we wanted to share it with all of you.

‘Good Friday marks the crucifixion and death of Jesus. For Christians, this is a solemn day of reflection on the meaning of the cross in anticipation of Easter and the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.

The cross is a beloved symbol shared by people of the Christian faith around the world. The cross, a brutal tool of execution by the ancient Roman Empire, was transformed into a symbol of God’s steadfast love and sacrifice when Jesus poured out his whole being for us by dying on the cross.

A group of about 20 resident volunteers at Heartwood, located in Crosby, MN, have found a unique way to share the message of the cross by helping to send hand made wooden crosses all over the world.  They work with Cross The World, a faith based ministry located in North Central Minnesota, that supplies over 2,500 crosses to Heartwood every month for the volunteers to prepare for distribution.
 
“We believe in the cross and that it’s important for us to share our faith with people,” said Heartwood resident Elynn Niles, one of the original volunteers who helped start the group in 2014. “It’s just clicked with us!” she said.
 
The crosses, measuring 4 x 2.5 inches, are crafted at the Cross The World workshop in nearby Emily, MN. Each cross is cut one at a time from recycled wood materials by a volunteer woodworker and, much like the individuals who will receive them, no two crosses are alike. Then, residents who live at Heartwood lovingly complete the gift by threading jute twine through the crosses and attaching a prayer card that reads:
 
                                                   TRUST – in HIS timing
                                                   RELY – on HIS promises
                                                   WAIT – for HIS answers
                                                   REJOICE – in HIS goodness
                                                   BELIEVE – in HIS miracles
                                                   RELAX – in HIS presence

Elynn estimates that the group has sent over 200,000 crosses across the world since they began five years ago.  ““It’s our faith that keeps us doing this,” she said. The group prepared over 9,000 crosses that were given out at the 2017 Boy Scout National Jamboree.  They have given crosses to people as nearby as a neighbor at Heartwood and as far away as Malawi in Africa.

They are also inspired by the mission of Cross the World, “to touch people’s lives by giving out crosses for free as a simple reminder that God is in their corner, no matter what.” As thousands of crosses travel far and wide, the volunteers at Heartwood are proud to be a part of this tangible way to share the love of Christ, one cross at a time.’

 

We thank Presbyterian Homes for their kind words and can only say the admiration for the residents of Heartwood Senior Living goes both ways.  We don’t know what we would do without them!  God bless them all!!

 


 

And, these words from our Sister in Christ, Kay:

‘Hi, my daughter-in-law gave me all this fake fur which was donated to her.  We will make scarves for the shoe boxes.  Praise the Lord.  We also put your cross necklaces into them.’

 

 


 

April crosses were sent to:

Geralyn – PA

Sunny Knik Chapel – Wasilla, AK

Grace United Methodist Church – Fergus Falls, MN

St. Francis Hospital Pastoral Care – Tulsa, OK

Paul – PA

He Intends Victory – Irvine, CA

Second Assembly of God – Joplin, MO

Christ English Lutheran Church – Fridley, MN

Peace Lutheran Church – New London, MN

Caley – MI

Patty – ND

United Methodist Church – Smithton, PA

Crossing Home – Minneapolis, MN

Norris Square (Presbyterian Homes) – Cottage Grove, MN

Pam – PA

Joyce – MN

Kay – MN

Don – MN

 


 

J – Just for today, let me be a blessing with
E – eyes and ears ready to
S – see other’s needs and hearts as I
U – uplift your name while serving and living by
S – simply allowing others to see you alive in my life. 

 

 

This entry was posted on May 2, 2019. 1 Comment

Recently, our church was visited by a missionary family whose intent it is to work in northern Haiti.  Currently living in northern MN, Richie works for a plumbing company and Robin is in the nursing field.  Their skills will come in handy when they finally reach their destination as Richie will be the main guy to get the plumbing fixed in the local hospital along with getting the pumps working that will bring water from the local cistern to the city; Robin will be interfacing with the staff and patients, especially the children, at the same hospital.

They are in the preparation period.  They still need to get financing set up.  Their life is busy with traveling to various locations where they are learning the native language or where Richie learns application skills for the specific job function he needs for the hospital work.  There are school supplies that need to be ordered; they have two young boys who will be home schooled when they aren’t busy visiting the kids in the hospital with their mom or just playing outside with the locals.

We could all feel the excitement they have for this venture as we listened to them tell their story.  They have visited Haiti once before and have some knowledge about what life will be for them there and, while there will be shortages of water and electricity (when the generator at the hospital shuts down, so does their house), while the nearest big town for shopping is 8 hours away by car, and while it isn’t the safest place to live, their commitment to this calling remains undeterring.

Richie and Robin have asked for prayers:  For settling the unrest protesters against economic management and corruption are causing; that there will be effective communication between the people in Haiti and the government; that the health and safety of workers at their hospital be protected.  They have asked for guidance that their time and skills will be used wisely; that they will be fruitful in their spiritual partnerships with individuals and the local churches; and that their ministry team will continue to grow.

The organization they are working through is Crossworld (we found the closeness of their organization’s name to ours quite astonishing!).  If you would like more information about Crossworld, please click HERE.

Our crosses are accompanying them on their travels; we would like you to keep this young family in your prayers as well.

 


 

Here are some great testimonials we received; we thank you!

 

‘Thank you for the crosses.  We will be so excited to share these with our church family.  Thank you for all you do!’

Alison – Grace United Church, Lloydminster, Alberta Canada

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‘God’s richest blessings to all of you at Cross The World.’

In His love – Susan, Community Lutheran Church, Bullhead City, AZ

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‘We are Winter Texans.  Received your beautiful cross at the Cowboy Church.  A basket of them were left on the table for anyone to take.  I will be passing mine on to my family and friends.  What a blessing.  The Lord’s word, crossing the world, one cross at a time.  Praise the Lord for your discipleship.’

Coleen – TX

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Thank you, also, to the following for giving our crosses ‘feet’ this last month.  To God goes the glory!

Open Door Community Church – Breezy Point, MN

Gethsemane Lutheran Church – Dassel, MN

Good Samaritan Society – Inver Grove Heights, MN

Community Lutheran Church – Bullhead City, AZ

Grace United Methodist Church – Fergus Falls, MN

Sandra – WA

Karen – IA

Canaan Moravian Church – Davenport, ND

Nancy – MO for mission trip to Belize

Don – MN

Second Assembly of God – Joplin, MO

Janice – MN

Center of Hope – Sioux Falls, SD

Hilltop Chapel – Palisade, MN for mission trip to Haiti

Dodie – MN for MN Teen Challenge, Brainerd MN

Our Saviors Lutheran Church – Rock Valley, IA

Gold Canyon United Methodist Church – Gold Canyon, AZ

Dorothy – MN

Carla – MN

 


 

Because of what the Son has done, we have been set free.  Because of Him, all of our sins have been forgiven.

  Colossians 1:13

 

He is risen.  Celebrate the Savior!

Wishing you all a very blessed Easter.

 

During storms, emperor penguins huddle for warmth, taking turns at the center and on the perimeter of the group.  While incubating eggs, up to 6000 male penguins have been observed clustering for shelter against the harsh Antarctic winter.  Partially grown chicks gather in protective ‘creches’ (French for cribs); often surrounded by a colony of adults, these groupings ward off predators and cold.

In stormy times, humans also need supportive groups; we can’t survive alone.  A church family allows us to take turns giving and receiving care.  Amid social upheaval, injustice, illness, natural disaster and any loss or crisis, God invites us to gather for protection and warmth.  In the church community, we support and strengthen one another and are empowered to go out again into the less-sheltered world.

God places each Christian in a local church with intention and purpose.  What’s more, He has given every believer a spiritual gift with which to serve.  If one member doesn’t use his or her gift, then the entire body suffers as a result.  You are needed by the people in your church and you need them as well.  This amazing entity known as the church is a blessing and you are part of it.

 

 


 

We’ve received some awesome testimonials from CTW family members and we thought you would all enjoy reading them too.

I found my cross in Oatman, AZ. What a find! I needed God’s reassurance that I was on the right path. There it was. Thank you Jesus.

Shirley – AZ

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I took a box full of those lovely crosses to our small local Food Pantry where I volunteer. We are not permitted to offer a cross to anyone directly but are allowed to leave the box in plain view so that all can take one or not. At the end of the day there was only ONE cross left. May God bless you and all you love with His greatest blessings. The minute I have more money I will order more crosses.

In His love,  Geo – AZ

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I am lead to start a Pen Pals Mail – Childrens Ministry and I am going to use these inside the envelopes with the story/activity book.  Easter theme is my next one and these will be perfect.  I love them!  Thank you! 

Caley – MI 

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We do cold calls for our church in our town as well as prayer requests in people’s homes.  We would like to leave them something to remember us by. 

Eldon – MO

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Thank you Shirley, Geo, Caley and Eldon for sharing your thoughts with us!

 


 

Here’s the family members who got our crosses in February:

Karen – WA

Dar – MN

Kay – MN for mission trip to Guatemala

Latter Rain Ministries – Kingman, AZ

Rejoice Lutheran Church – Clearwater, MN

Don – MN

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Bruno, MN

St. Francis Hospital Pastoral Care – Tulsa, OK

Russ – MN for Homeless and Wounded Warriors-MN

Bob – TX

Jason – MN

Immaculate Conception Council of Catholic Women – Columbia Heights, MN

Grace United Church – Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada

Chaplain Scott – AR

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church – New York Mills, MN

Linda – MN

Classy Jacs Guiding Light – Joplin, MO

Gethsemane Lutheran Church – Dassel, MN

Fayette Congregational Church – Fayette, MI

Charles – ND

 


 

A couple of reminders for you:

Daylight savings times starts Sunday, March 10th! Remember to set your clocks ahead!!

 

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If you are thinking you would like crosses for the Lenten/ Easter season, please request them as soon as you can.  This is a busy time in our woodshop and we want to help everyone get their crosses in time to meet their needs.  Thanks!

 

 


 

 

 

 

We received  a couple more wonderful Christmas blessings regarding our crosses in the Operation Christmas Child project that I wanted to share:

“Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas.  A special thanks for the 600 crosses we obtained for our Operation Christmas Child shoe box packing party.  We were able to pack 843 at our event.  God provided crosses for each box as one of my friends worked with ladies at a Care Center to make crosses so we were so happy to have all the crosses to fill each box.  May God continue to bless you as you share His love thru your crosses.  We have heard a lot of our shoe boxes went to the Philippines carrying your crosses.  We are keeping you and your wonderful ministry in our prayers.  Merry Christmas!”

Edna – AZ

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I can’t tell you how much your crosses will help spread the Word! I sent them to Operation Christmas Child!”  Candice –  CA

(I posted Candy’s comments last month but forgot the GREAT photo she sent!  Thanks, Candy for sharing!  Your boxes look terrific!!)

 

 

 


 

The other night, I dreamt I went to Heaven.   It was breathtaking there … more magnificent than anything we can visualize here on earth.  Plush gardens were everywhere, with cool waters gracefully and lazily flowing through them; fragrances from the vibrant plants caressed my face as they floated by.  Children and their pets played gleefully along the pebbled pathways; big belly laughs could be heard as they romped in the thick, soft grass.  And, the music … it was sooo beautiful … and it surrounded me.  I could almost see it rising as dainty, spent dandelion flowers in the wind above the heads of every single smiling, peaceful, loving face I saw.  It was wonderful … everyone was healthy; everyone was whole.  Everything I had heard about it, everything I had read about it … SERIOUSLY downplayed.  I could hardly take the majesty, the opulence, in … this was Heaven.  I was in Heaven!!!

An angel guide appeared and suggested we go for a walk.  As we walked and talked, it was hard for me to keep my mind in tune to what she was saying … there was so much serenity, so much beauty, so much obvious love.  I was giddy; I was in Heaven!!!  Pinch me!!!

Eventually, we came to a massive warehouse.  Stopping, my guide said she wanted me to see something.  When we entered the warehouse, I could see a narrow hallway stretching down the entire length of it on the right, with doorways to rooms on the left side.  We started down the hallway and stopped at the first doorway.  This first room was huge and bustling with more angels than I could count, every one of them working feverishly.

Where were we, I wondered?  As if reading my mind, my guide said, ‘This warehouse is our Prayer Processing Center and the room we’re looking in is the Receiving Department.  Here, all prayers are received.’  As I looked around, I realized the angels were sorting out voluminous petitions written on paper sheets and scraps of all sizes and colors … petitions from, obviously, people all over the world!

After watching them for a while, we moved on down to the second doorway, another room of matching size.  My guide announced that this was the Packaging and Delivery Department.  She further added, ‘Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them.’  I noticed how busy all the angels were here too.  It was evident that the volumes of requested blessings were being packaged for delivery.

As we continued on our tour, we stopped at the last door at the farthest end of the long hallway.  It opened into a very small room where one angel was seated at a tiny desk, idly doing nothing.  ‘This is the Acknowledgment Department’, my angel friend quietly, almost embarrassed, admitted to me.  I stood silent, trying to come to terms with the glaring difference between this department and the previous two.  How is it that there isn’t anything going on here, I thought?  As if reading my mind, my guide sighed and said, ‘It’s so sad.  After people receive the blessings they’ve asked for, very few send back acknowledgments.’ ‘How does one acknowledge God’s blessings? ‘ I asked.  ‘Simple’, she answered, ’Just say, “Thank you, Lord.”’

 

 

 Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings you give to me, my family & friends, my church and thank you, too, for blessing all the good folks in our Cross The World family.  Thank you for blessing me with the strength I need to make it through each day and for surrounding me with people who make my life more meaningful.

Amen.

 

 


 

I received this great testimonial from our Sister in Christ, Carla, from Moorhead, MN and I couldn’t wait to pass it on to you.  Thank you so much, Carla, for letting us know about this great Christian service in your area and THANK YOU for introducing Cross The World to them!

‘Greetings from the Fargo/Moorhead area. There is a very unique ministry thriving in my community and I wanted to share its info with you. It is called Fix It Forward Ministry. 

Fix It Forward Ministry is a not-for-profit charity located at Fix It Forward Auto Care (a full-service auto repair facility) in Moorhead. The ministry’s goal is to remove the transportation barrier for needy members of the community and help enable them to be independent and self-sufficient. This goal is accomplished one of two ways:  1) by providing free car repairs to needy individuals, to help keep their vehicles on the road and safe, or 2) by repairing donated vehicles and giving them to needy members in the community who do not have a vehicle or whose vehicle is beyond repair. After-hour volunteer labor, discounted parts, and charitable donations cover the costs of repairs.

Anyone in need who receives a car, or repairs to a car, from Fix It Forward Ministry must be referred to them by one of the 30 participating assistance organizations in the Fargo/Moorhead area such as the YWCA, Salvation Army, or Jail Chaplains.  In 2018, there were more than 120 cars fixed and 81 placed. 

A volunteer from my church, Messiah Lutheran Church in Fargo, details the car before it is sent on its way so it is as clean and fresh as possible.  And, this is the exciting part for me … the part where Cross The World gets involved.  One of your crosses accompanies a Bible that is placed in each car; together, these give people HOPE.  So, thank you, for making it possible to think outside the box to yet another road for the crosses to go to those who need encouragement.  I am blessed to play a part in this program; may God bless you as you continue to bless others through your ministries.’

                                                                                    Carla

For more information about this awesome ministry, click HERE.

 

 



“The more kindly we treat people – the more we let God love others through us –
the more real His Presence becomes to us.”


Dave Roberson, The Walk of the Spirit

 

The love of God was shared with these folks last month through the cross:

Messiah Lutheran Church – Lakeville, MN for Project Video trip to Thailand and Burma

Mary – MN for Jamaica mission trip

Diane – AZ

Georgia – AZ

St. Francis Hospital Pastoral Care – Tulsa, OK

Paul – PA

Canfield Presbyterian Church – Canfield, OH

Trinity Lutheran Church – Billings, MT

Carla – MN

St. John’s Lutheran Church – Park Rapids, MN

Community Lutheran School – Readlyn, IA

 


 

The light of God surrounds me … the love of God enfolds me,

The presence of God protects me … God is always with me.

Notice God’s creation today?  Can you see what it’s trying to tell you? 

All those golden brushstrokes were by your Father to remind you of His love.

 

We received some very special blessings from some of our Cross The World family over the holidays and wanted to share them with you:

 

“We can’t begin to tell the blessings your crosses have given so many people that we meet everywhere we go.  They are a wonderful gift that touch people’s hearts and inspire them to share their testimonies with others.  Keep the crosses going on, as your friend’s dying wish is being fulfilled – ‘Cross The World’.”  Nick & Pam – PA

“I can’t tell you how much your crosses will help spread the Word! I sent them to Operation Christmas Child!”  Candice – CA

“How thoughtful! The crosses you make have been a great source of connection with Faith Community Nurses and those who receive them, often with smiles and sometimes tears so we can offer support. Christmas Blessings to you.” Annette – MN

“Thank you so much for crosses to share with our leaders across Presbyterian Homes.  They are such a special gift – especially knowing they were handmade by you with some help from our Heartwood residents.  Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!”  Darcy & Courtney, Presbyterian Homes – MN

 

And, we thank Holly Spate, author of the message on our cross hangtag, for penning this lovely Christmas message:

All Is Bright

by Holly Spate

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18

As you head into another holiday season filled with the hustle and bustle this time of year can bring, take a moment to pause, to contemplate and to breathe deeply. Find a quiet, comfortable spot to simply stop, stand still and focus. Whether you come with a full heart or a heart that’s falling to pieces, fall on your knees and take a moment to rest and remember.

Remember this past years blessings, provisions and protections. Remember moments of happiness and the growth that came through moments of sadness. Remember the struggles in the valleys and the breathtaking moments on the mountaintops. Remember the miracles and the blessings of fresh starts and new mercies. Remember the transformations that came from lessons learned, the beauty that blossomed from brokenness, and the honor that was gained from humility.

Remember the day you put your trust in Christ…the day you decided to accept the gift of salvation He freely offers to all who call upon His great name. The day you turned from self and turned to Him. That day He broke your chains, forgave your sins, and took your hand. His sacrifice washed you afresh…white as the falling snow, cleansing you forever. His unwavering faithfulness tightly wrapped you in the warmth of His beautiful, unconditional love and continues to hold you tight. Every step, every day, every moment…all for you.

Recognize your place in Christ and all it affords you both in this life and for all eternity. Remember what life was like without Him and rejoice because you’ll never have to be without Him again.

Because of the Savior you have been blessed beyond measure. You have an everlasting hope. Even your darkest days are illuminated in the light of His presence. God sent His one and only Son so you could have life, peace, joy, grace, and hope. He stepped out of heaven into the creation He designed to bring the gift of himself, all because of His unconditional and perfect love for you.

The babe in a manger came so all your days would be bright.

So, as you head into another holiday season filled with the hustle and bustle this time of year can bring, take a moment to pause, to contemplate and to breathe deeply. Find a quiet, comfortable spot to simply stop, stand still and focus. Make time to reflect, to give thanks, and to remember. Spend time in His presence and praise Him for the greatest gift that came wrapped in love over 2,000 years ago. A gift that was paid in full for you.

And as you remember and celebrate the true meaning of the season, hold tight to the truth that with Christ all is bright.

With Him, all will always be bright.

Merry CHRISTmas!

(Copyright 2018 Holly Spate All Rights Reserved)

 


 

Our brother in Christ, Mike from Messiah Lutheran Church in Lakeville, MN, traveled with his mission team to Laos with Project Video in 2018 (please click HERE to get more information about Project Video).  He forwarded these photos of the happy recipients of our crosses from that trip.  Thanks, Mike, for sharing with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike’s mission team will be leaving for their 2019 Project Video trip the end of this month, visiting with and bringing the Gospel to the Akha people in Thailand and the Bunong people in Cambodia.  We ask God to watch over His faithful servants as they travel to these Asian countries and look forward to seeing photos from that trip as well.

 


 

 

 

 

And, in December, the joy of the cross was shared by these folks:

 

 

 

 

Rodnes Lutheran Church – Erskine, MN

Pam – PA

Bill – MN

Carla – MN

Donna – MN

Norris Square (Presbyterian Homes) – Cottage Grove, MN

Hosanna Lutheran Church – St. Charles, IL

Paul – PA

Carol – AZ

Community Lutheran Church – Bullhead City, AZ

Fallen Up Ministries – Palmer, AK

Denise – MD for Operation Christmas Child

Hilltop Chapel – Palisade, MN

New Hope Church – Kilauea, HI

Don – MN

 


 

Faith is not the presence of warm religious feeling.
It’s the knowledge that you walk before the God that hears. 

 Ed Welch