Weekly Update: January 20, 2016

Dear Family,

How's it going on your homework assignment? Have you been praying this week for the Lord to use Cross Creek as an instrument of his grace in our community? Last Sunday's message was about how believers receive the gift of the Spirit in the power of the gospel. That gift should rightly lead us to serve others with the good news of Jesus Christ. Please dedicate prayer to our call to spread the good news of the gospel throughout our community. We believe that when homes in northwest St. Johns become transformed by the Spirit it leads to a thriving and flourishing community. Please pray for hearts of evangelism. Please pray that we would see our own communities as the centerpiece of our missional endeavors. Remember that every time you walk out of your front door you enter the mission field. The opportunities to commend Christ are truly endless.

Twenty men braved an arctic blast of frigid temperatures but Aaron Koerner kept the fire going and kept us warm. Thanks to Mark Radford for hosting the gathering and to Aaron for his grilling skills (the beer brats were incredible). It was so nice to chat with the guys and meet some new visitors, but I have to admit that I was absolutely floored to learn that Charles Hinson was at Woodstock. He has pretty much risen to the level of "coolest guy ever" in my book.

Men's Ministry Bonfire

Men's Ministry Bonfire

Do you remember my friend, Mike Francis? He suffered a massive heart attack while bicycling in DeLand. So many people have been praying for Mike and his family. Mike was even lifted up in prayer last summer at General Assembly in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Here are a few photos I'd like to share with you. The photos were taken by his daughter, Lydia. I also included a portion of her writing in italics below. Please continue to pray for my dear brother and friend.

On Memorial Day, my father went out for a bike ride and did not return. He had a heart attack, suffering a severe anoxic brain injury while his heart stopped pumping oxygen to his head. Five days later, the neurologist told us that he would not bounce back; the Mike we knew and loved was gone. The next several months were spent in the hospital, as our family, church, and friends witnessed a miracle occur in my father as his mind and body defied diagnoses.

My father still doesn’t remember almost anything from before the accident. He struggles with short-term memory and naming objects. Seven months later, I’m proud to say that my father is still with us, breathing and talking and laughing and walking. The Mike we knew and loved is still with us, but life in 2015 ended very differently than it began.

So while I’d like to put 2015 in a box and shove it under my bed and never look at it again, it just does not work that way. 2015 happened, containing the highest highs and the lowest lows. You can’t separate the two; they happen right alongside each other.

 

Praise God for his mercies on Mike and his family, for they are new every morning.

Please don't forget our congregational meeting immediately following the worship service this Sunday. See you then!

Blessings,

Paul