God was certainly present at The Crossroads yesterday. I am blown away every week as more and more people pour in. Families continue to come who have never been to church, or who were burned badly years ago, or who have simply fallen out of the habit of attending since they have moved to Anna. This week we hit another record attendance. We had 66 people just in children's! That number has doubled since September.
Shawn did a great job with a sermon on tithing. I love how he focuses on how tithing is an opportunity to be a part of God's plan. He doesn't discuss budget shortfalls, or try to guilt people into giving. I liked that he met people where they were on giving. Many people that we are reaching have maxed out their credit cards, bought a home they cannot afford, drive vehicles out of their price range, and are drowning in debt. Shawn told people that he thinks they can give 10 percent, but if they just absolutely can't do that to begin with a smaller number. If you think you can give 1 percent, then stretch yourself and give 2. Then at the end of the year, raise that number. Don't not give just because you can't give 10 percent.
Of course, I bawled like a baby. Shawn shared one of the many amazing stories of God's provision from our early marriage. We were in school full time, paying our own way. He was on staff at a church that was paying a very small part time salary. One week we ran out of food. I'm sure there were a few staples in the cabinet, but we did not have anything left to cook for a meal. We could not go to the store until payday, but we thought "people fast for 3 days all the time, we are not going to starve." We went to a meeting at church that night and Butch Sorters, a man that was not a close friend at the time, approached us at the end of the meeting and invited us home for supper. His wife was furious with him when we showed up. Her house wasn't clean, and they were just eating hamburger helper, or something similar. She enjoyed visiting with us, but she was bothered by not having prepared for company.
After we ate, Butch offered us some food from their freezer. We saw God very literally meet our need. Butch had no idea that we had run out of money and had no food left to eat. He had never invited us over and actually never invited us again. But on that night, he was obedient when God told him to invite us to eat. Even though he knew the house wasn't clean. Because he obeyed, we were not hungry. It makes me wonder how often I miss out on meeting other people's needs when I refuse to be hospitable because my house is messy. That night, we did not care that their house wasn't perfect. We were grateful beyond words that God was feeding his hungry children.
Worship was beautiful this week. God spoke volumes to me as we worshiped. It is beyond my comprehension that the God who created the oceans, the mountains, and the stars, wants and values a very intimate and personal relationship with me.
As you read this, spend a few minutes in prayer for The Crossroads. We have several families who have been hit hard this week. Spiritual warfare is a very real thing. I am burdened heavily this morning for a family in a major crisis. Pray that God will protect them from evil, and that He will bring peace and protection to their household.