Snowy Blessings

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I have a correction from last month’s post.  At the very end of the article on Amanda’s Poems, I provided a link for your inquiries about obtaining copies of the book; the link was incorrect.  Here is the correct one. I apologize for any confusion.

 

 


 

Over Thanksgiving weekend, Minnesota was graced ….. errr, more like blasted!!! … with a fresh covering of snow.  As my mom used to say, ‘A little goes a long way’.  Well, I’m thinking this ‘little‘ fresh covering should have been enough to cut a path proceeding south towards Missouri, take a hard right, march through the states of California, New Mexico and Arizona and then come sliding into the East Coast like a baseball player trying to outrun the third basemen into home plate and still have enough snow left to close schools there!  That ‘little’ bit of snow really did go a long way, as far as us Minnesotans were concerned.th.jpeg

To say we were blessed with snow is still up for discussion by some.  It wasn’t a huge amount of snow, only about 18” at our house.  But, to get it all in less than 24 hours and, if you think like me and only want a little covering of the powdery stuff until the Marc melt anyway, it was a titch much.

That amount of snow caused boots, mittens and heavier coats to come to attention and head for the front of the closet.  Snow shovels, snow blowers, salt and sand all made their groggy appearance too, shaking off the dust and cobwebs of a long summer slumber.  Things pretty much digressed to a slow crawl as we got to work clearing driveways and sidewalks.

But, the Bible tells us to always, always look for the blessings, as disguised as they might be.  And, that snowstorm that everyone, with the exception of the snow plowers cursed WAS the blessing!  Life for us slowed down … it had to … where can you go quickly, dressed like the Michelin Man?  Neighbors helped each other; phone calls were made to check on homebound; runs to the grocery store and other errands were shared when the roads cleared for safe passage.   People actually started communicating with each other again and, pretty soon, there were smiles & laughter, pats on the back, hugs, and promises to get together for coffee or lunch … greetings we hadn’t taken the time to do for a long time.  We became caring, sharing polite humans again.  We forgot about rushing off to the store, the craziness of holiday shopping, the busyness of the season and found the blessings God had intended for us.

The other morning, as I sat drinking my tea and watching the snowflakes drift lazily to the ground from the pine branches, I thought they looked like diamond dust … all glittery, soft and beautiful.  And, then I thought, if the storm hadn’t come and caused us all to slow down, I would have been back to my regular routine, trying to cram as much in a day as I could … not taking the time to enjoy these dainty diamonds and missing everything else that matters.

We won’t forget this snowstorm for quite some time.  It is my prayer that we won’t forget God’s blessing to us either.  We truly do live in a winter wonderland, and it is God’s creation, just like you and me.  In one swell swoop, God bestowed on us, once again, His blessings and, this time, we actually took time to breathe it in.

Now, after reading this, you might be thinking to yourself, ‘God had nothing to do with this snowstorm.  This was all Mother Nature.’  To that, I say ‘What?  You don’t think they talk??’  TRUST IN HIS TIMING!!!

 


 

We received these blessings from throughout the US:

‘These crosses are amazing and I love to share them!  I appreciate your work!!”

Sheila – SD

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‘Thank you for all that you do to make your ministry of passing on the cross possible.  Not only are recipients blessed but friends who I give them to are experiencing the joy and satisfaction of sharing them, especially with strangers!  They are well received here by the giver and receivers.  The cross is a gift and it has given us a way to witness for which we are grateful!’

Joy – MN

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‘Happy Thanksgiving to everyone at Cross The World.   Thank you for your ministry; it has helped me and many others to be closer to Jesus and to feel His love.’

Frank – MN

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‘May God bless your ministry, bless Harlow’s ministry, and bless Ernie’s girls.’

Your brother in Christ, Tom – CA

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And, this photo of a completed shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, submitted by Candy from CA.  Look closely and you’ll see the cross.  Thanks, Candy, for sharing!

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And, thank you to everyone who got crosses to put in the shoeboxes.  This summer, we received an email from a pastor in China who had seen some of our crosses in shoeboxes delivered to his region.  He was extremely grateful for them being included in the boxes and thanked us for our ministry!  Great news!!!

 


 

And, more blessings!!Spark3.120658.gif

In November, the following shared the cross with others:

Ohioville Free Methodist Church – Midland, PA

Joplin Family Worship Center – Joplin, MO

Grace Lutheran Church – Ada, MN for Operation Christmas Child

Marian – MN

Epworth United Methodist Church – New Castle, PA

Cora – MN

Heidi – WI

Hilltop Chapel – Palisade, MN for Operation Christmas Child

Sheila – SD

Carla – MN

Bob – MN

Susan – PA

Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church – Cornville, AZ

Gale – MN for Operation Christmas Child

Beth – MI

Gold Canyon United Methodist Church – Gold Canyon, AZ

 


 

There’s no Christmas without Jesus; it’s to Him our eyes should see.
Not to jolly old St. Nicholas, not a glitt’ring Christmas tree!
Shops in town are decorated, decked in colors bright and gay.
Tinsel lights and shapes created merge into one grand display.

‘There’s no Christmas without buying gifts and toys to give’, they say.
Oh, that they should be realizing all these things will fade away!
Santa Claus is just a story; reindeer never pulled his sleigh.
Why then does he get the glory on this sacred holy day?

 But a baby in a manger really lived in Israel.
He was born to be our Savior; it’s His story we must tell!
I will think of Christ this Christmas, how He left His throne above.
He gave up all His heavenly riches for to manifest His love!
Take the tinsel and the glitter and the santas all away,
For God’s love is far, far greater than this manmade grand display!

-author unknown-

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There is no joy as deep, no hope as eternal, no love as secure as that found in Christ, Our Lord.

We pray that God’s peace will touch your heart this Christmas season and radiate out to the world around you this coming year.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Cross The World!

Amanda’s Poems

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Recently, our Brother in Christ, Tom from CA, shared copies of a beautiful commemorative book he has published about his daughter Amanda’s poetry.  Most of the poems in this book were written by Amanda, starting when she was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 16 through to her death at 23.  Each poem validates her feelings and thoughts as she progresses through this journey, her discussions with God and the growing relationship she has with Him; each one draws us into her relationship at that particular moment.

Here is an excerpt from the inside cover:

The poems on the following pages are the expression of Amanda’s range of emotions. Her words communicate how her relationship with God helped her through the tough times and to be grateful, even under extreme challenges.  it was Amanda’s wish that her poems be published and given to others to inspire them and to demonstrate how she drew her strength from her faith.’

As I read the poems in this book, some written by Dad or sisters Lisa and Laura, it struck me that, while most of these poems were written by a young woman suffering the ravages of cancer, they were all expressively written to include any malady any one of us might be facing … health issues; loss of family, marriage, job; financial struggles, etc.  And each writing showed us there is hope if we have faith.  If we give our troubles to God, He will take care of us.

Here’s an example of one of the poems written by Amanda, and possibly my favorite:

CAUGHT UP

Are you really thankful
As trials come your way
Caught up in a rush
Do you have the time to pray?

Forgetting to savor the day
If you have the faith to pray
Is all He has to say
Just stop, take a breath, and pray

Overwhelmed and frantic
Silently you’re working
The past is gone, you’re forgiven
Waiting for that Day

Well done, good and faithful servant …
Worry can’t control you
Wrapped up in the future
You wake up everyday

Beautifully done, this book has been reprinted twice since its original 2005 publish date and is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Hebrew.  There is no charge for this book; a donation is asked only for the reprinting costs.

Tom tells us it is his wish to get this book in as many hands as possible so others can be inspired and find comfort through Amanda’s writing.  For more information about Amanda’s Poems and to obtain ordering/contact information, click HERE.

Live by Faith, not by Sight.          2 Corinthians 5:7

 


 

For testimonials from our CTW family last month:

‘I plan to include crosses in with donations to the Yellow Ribbon girls who will package up items needed by our troops. Each will need the love of Christ most of all.’

Liz – PA

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‘These crosses will go to every lady who attends the LWML Convention in Grand Rapids, MN June of 2020, where the theme is ‘Drawn to The Cross’.  If some are left over, we will pass them on.’

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church – Cohasset, MN

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And, those who ordered for cross sharing:

Grace United Methodist Church – Fergus Falls, MN

Holly – TX

Donna – WV

Oak Bank United Church – Oakbank, Manitoba Canada

Paul – PA

St. Francis Hospital Pastoral Care – Tulsa, OK

Watered Gardens – Joplin, MO

Salem Lutheran Church – Deerwood, MN

Campground Community Church – East Liverpool, OH

New Community Church – Wexford, PA

Robert – WI

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church Ladies – Cohasset, MN

Kay – MN

Joy – MN

Carroll – OH

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And, to the many who have gotten crosses to share through Operation Christmas Child.

 


 

The middle of October, the AWESOME ladies from Heartwood Senior Living in Crosby who graciously string crosses for us every month came to our house for a fall ‘Thank You for all You Do’ luncheon.  As usual, lots of food, lots of laughs, and tons of love!!  Here are some photos of the ridiculously fun time we had:

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This month, we have so much to be thankful for … all the beautiful people who touch our hearts and lives, the veterans who have and still sacrifice so willingly to secure our freedom, and our Savior who continues to unconditionally forgive our transgressions and love us in spite of ourselves.

My fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord, let us continue to stand after having done all, as the Lord tells us to do in His Word in Ephesians 6:13

Give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Cross The World.

Isn’t It Strange?

IT’S STRANGE, ISN’T IT?

Isn’t it strange how a 20 dollar bill seems like such a large amount when you donate it to church, but such a small amount when you go shopping?

Isn’t it strange how 2 hours seem so long when you’re at church and how short they seem when you’re watching a good movie?

Isn’t it strange that you can’t find the words to say when you’re praying, but you have no trouble thinking what to talk about with a friend?

Isn’t it strange how difficult and boring it can be to read one chapter of the Bible, but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a popular novel or PEOPLE magazine?

Isn’t it strange how folks want front row seat tickets to concerts or games, but they do whatever is possible to sit in the last row in church?

Isn’t it strange how we need to know about an event for church 2-3 weeks before the day so we can include it in our agenda, but we can adjust for other events in the last minute?

Isn’t it strange how difficult it is to learn a fact about God to share it with others, but how easy it is to learn, understand, extend and repeat gossip?

Isn’t it strange how we believe everything that magazines and newspapers say, but we question the words in the Bible?

Amen, in Jesus name I accept my blessings of desires in abundance of immeasurable proportion, I accept salvation by confessing with my mouth that you my Lord Jesus, King of kings are my Lord and Savior, my God, because of you father everything I speak comes to fruition commanded by the Holy Ghost, through the everlasting love of Jesus Christ, embraced in Gods mercy and grace. Amen...  Lisa Christiansen, child of the one true king ΙΧΘΥΣ


Kind words from our CTW family:

‘Bless you for all you do.  The crosses have been such a blessing to so many who have received them.  I have given them out to family members at funerals as well as to all of my church members.  I make them available to those under counseling as well.  Literally anyone who comes in my office.’

                                    Pastor Bill – Owendale & Kilmanagh United Methodist Churches, MI

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‘I originally received about 40 crosses from a friend in Arizona who is an assistant pastor and part-time hospice worker.  I found a good home for each cross in California.’

1. To a woman who lost her husband, son and daughter in 18 months

2. To each member of my small group Bible study

3. To a woman who lost her son

4. To a doctor who lost his brother

5. To my niece

6. To my 5 year old granddaughter and 1 year old grandson (my granddaughter memorized the words on the hangtag)

7. To homeless people

Tom – CA

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‘Love your emails! Always uplifting; gives me inspiration that “hope” & ‘love” is out there! I enjoy the smiles when giving the crosses.  I thank you & God’s blessings!’

Brenda – ND

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And, this kindness continues to be carried through the cross to waiting hands from these family members:

Trinity United Methodist Church – Lomira, WI for Operation Christmas Child

CHI St. Gabriel’s Health – Little Falls, MN

Sharon – MN

St. Francis Hospital Pastoral Care – Tulsa, OK

Joy – Duluth

Pisgah Baptist Church – Cloverport, KY

Valene – MN

Tom – CA

CALOFMN – Minneapolis, MN

Lake Union Evangelical Covenant Church – South Haven, MN for Operation Christmas Child

Owendale United Methodist Church – Owendale, MI

Nancy – MO

Cora – MN

Candice – CA for Operations Christmas Child

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church – Topeka, KS

Meghan – MA

Lenox United Methodist Church – Lenox, IA

Sandra – PA

 


Recently, our crosses were placed in the hands of Christian Action League of Minnesota (CALofMN).  A faith-based organization, CALofMN provides education to people struggling with addition to pornography as well as offering support to people/families who have been exposed to sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

We are very honored to be able to partner with CALofMN, giving people hope that their God is watching over them and that He does love them, regardless of their situation.  Sometimes, all it takes is a little tangible something to hold onto to make the big difference.  We pray our little crosses will do just that.

For more information about CALofMN and the work it does, click HERE.


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Love Outreach

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Meet Me In The Stairwell
by Stacey Randall

You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news On September 11, 2001. Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called his wife to say ‘Good-Bye.’ I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say, ‘Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is OK..I am ready to go.’

I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children. I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn’t coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to Me for help. ‘I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!’ I said. ‘Of course I will show you the way home – only believe in Me now.’

I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls. I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer. I was with the crew as they were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the believers there, comforting and assuring them that their faith has saved them.

I was in Texas, Virginia, California, Michigan, Afghanistan. I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me?

I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew every name – though not all know Me. Some met Me for the first time on the 86th floor.

Some sought Me with their last breath. Some couldn’t hear Me calling to them through the smoke and flames; ‘Come to Me… this way… take my hand.’ Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me. But, I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day. You may not know why, but I do. However, if you were there in that explosive moment in time, would you have reached for Me?

Sept. 11, 2001, was not the end of the journey for you. But someday your journey will end. And I will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are ‘ready to go.’

I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.

Jesus

 


 

Sharing love with the community was the goal of the “Love Outreach” event held the first week of August in Park Rapids, MN, kicking the event off with a concert featuring Christian rap and ending the next day with an all-day block party.

The organizer of this event said this:

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“Some people are afraid to be loved.  People on our Frontline Mission Team (which is part of the Peace Makers group in California) are the kind of people who can reach them. Everybody needs to know there’s hope in God. Love is God. That’s our message. All God wants is for us to love. That’s it and that’s the greatest.”

A couple of the ways this group showed love to the community was fixing bikes so kids could come and get their bikes fixed at no charge; another way was to provide transportation to the Love Outreach for people who wanted to come but had no way to get there.   It was all about showing love to others, the way God intended.  Nothing else asked, nothing else expected.

This event was the first annual and was well attended.   We were excited to participate by providing crosses for all who wished to have one and they were very well received.  We look forward to partnering with Love Outreach for many years to come!

If you would like more information about Love Outreach (maybe organize something like this for your community?), click HERE.

 


 

And, we thank everyone for this good news to share:

Thank you for sharing the good news.  It always uplifts my day.  God is good.   Cindy – TX

I have used your “crosses” in our ministry to women leaving prison and to those ex offenders who are coming to our housing from prison. It is truly a blessing to gift them with the crosses! Thank you all so much for this ministry of love and encouragement!    Catherine

Thank you for your ministry in spreading the good news that Jesus is the only way.  Marlene – MN

Thank you for your quick response to my orders and for the joy of giving them to others.   Joy – MN

I have been leaving crosses … everywhere.  If it draws even one person closer to the Lord, it’s worth everything.    Liz – PA

And, these crosses as well:

Christian Life Assembly of God – Waunakee, WI

Donna – MN

Hilltop Chapel – Palisade, MN

Frank – MI

Dorothy – MN

Open Door Community Church – Breezy Point, MN

James – PA

Carla – MN

Marlene – MN

Cora – MN

Bob – MN

God’s Country Cooperative Parish – Newberry, MI

Diane – CO

Don – MN

Liz – PA

 


 

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Jesus Loves Kalamazoo

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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Project Video Mission Trip

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

 

Presbyterian Homes Tribute

 

 

 

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

Missionary Work in Haiti

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

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

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

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

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

‘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

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

 


 

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.

 

You Are Your Church’s Blessing

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

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

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

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

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 

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

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

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

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!!

 

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

 

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!

 

 


 

 

Fix It Forward Ministry

 

 

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

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

 

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.