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Category Archives: Sabbath Rest

Not What I Had Planned

It seems like December is the month to say, “Not what I had planned”. end-of-year

I’m a planner by nature. I wake up at the same time daily, and try to go to sleep at roughly the same time daily. I have routines. I have dress codes for work. I schedule meetings at times in the day with families. I schedule my business meetings in a timely fashion. I generally have my top 10 places to eat meals… you know, life is pretty predictable when it comes to planning and schedules.

Then, out of the blue, the church I was working for, ran out of funding for my salary as Senior Pastor. Didn’t see that coming this year. This year, after 7 years of serving this church, I was granted a sabbatical 3 months off of office work. We took advantage and made some plans for trips to NYC, and Vancouver Island, Canada. We went to Ontario Canada and even to Los Angeles for some sunshine. We returned home to Colorado in August and found that church has spent the savings and giving was down, and wouldn’t recover. We gave it 3 months and the numbers kept declining, much to our chagrin. So we decided to resign the position before getting blindsided by bad news of no more money for staff positions. Didn’t see that coming. Again, not what I had planned.

Now I’m working part time for a local funeral home in town. We get calls, remove deceased, place them in our care, meet with families for services, care for the grieving as best we can, and complete services with burials or cremations. Not what I had planned; and not what they had planned, either. It’s quite the business for sure. I never knew the amount of work it takes to prepare someone for burial, or cremation services. I’ve been a pastor for nearly 30 years in various forms, and have walked with those grieving in many ways for those years, but I never imagined this side of the business it takes to care for the loved ones remaining. Again, not what I had planned.

Then I think about the time of year that it is. December is a month where people tend to say, “not what I had planned”. The passing of a loved one tends to occur more often in the winter than in the summer months, statistically. Many of our grieving families say aloud in our arrangement meetings, “This is not what we had planned”. I couldn’t agree more.

December is also the time of year when we celebrate and remember the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah of the world. King of kings and Lord of lords was born to a young virgin girl, engaged to be married to a young man Joseph. Imagine the conversation Mary had with the Angel Gabriel about the pregnancy, “not what I had planned, but may it be according to your word”. And imagine the dream Joseph experienced with the angel about Mary’s pregnancy. I wonder if his response was “not what I had planned, but I will obey”. And Zachariah heard from the Angel Gabriel about his wife Elizabeth’s pregnancy with John the baptizer, and imagine his conversation going something like, “not what I had planned”.

I can’t imagine any of the events that happened in the Bible were something God would say, “not what I had planned”. God is never surprised. Someone posted an image of the manger scene on social media with a meme quote “unplanned pregnancy”. But it sat wrong with me. God didn’t see that pregnancy, the one with his Son, the chosen Messiah for the salvation of the world … that one …, as anything unplanned. God, in His infinite wisdom and total sovereign grace, saw that pregnancy as the most pre-planned event in history. Some 300 Scriptures are linked to predicting that one pregnancy alone. God doesn’t do anything unplanned. And so it is with our lives.

So, when life throws you a curve ball, or events in your life, career, or family dynamics feel like “not what I had planned”, you’re not alone. Everyone feels the struggle of “not what I had planned”… everyone, except God. He knows. He is sovereign. He is not caught off guard. You can rest assured that your life, though confusing to you, may be God’s sovereign work of Grace for others in your world around you.

Maybe you need to hear the words of C.S. Lewis again, “The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own’, or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course, that what one calls interruptions ARE precisely one’s real life – the life God is sending one, day by day.” If God is able to see your life as an orchestration of His Divine work, maybe we can learn to see it this way too.

Merry Christmas. May all your plans, and un-plans, lead you closer to Jesus, who was born for you, and relentlessly pursues your heart. He’s not going to give up.

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2019 in Leadership, Ministry Calling, Sabbath Rest, Sermons

 

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A Worthy Prayer

Pastor Reid Olson of Crossroads Church of Greeley teaches on Ephesians 3:14-21.jon-tyson-YtYNavix3pw-unsplash

Praying takes work. It doesn’t come by us naturally. How goes your prayer life? Do you incorporate prayer into everything you do? As people who follow Jesus, we are called to grow up in our faith, and one of the strongest faith components includes prayer in conversation with God. Pastor Reid preaches on one of his favorite scriptures in the Epistles (click here for the video).

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2019 in Leadership, Media, Sabbath Rest, Sermons

 

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Rules Can Be Tricky

Pastor Reid Olson of Crossroads Church of Greeley teaches on Colossians 2:16-23, where the Apostle Paul warns the small home church on Colossae to walk by faith in Jesus, rather than be bound by all the Jewish laws and regulations of faith.

ambassadors 1Rules and regulations don’t save you from your sin. Rules don’t have the power to save or to heal. Only a life found in Christ can bring healing and restoration from a broken life of sin. Do you find yourself bound by rules in religion, and restricted by the attempt to “keep all the rules” for God? If so, you can find more freedom in letting Jesus have influence in your life and submit to his leading. You can receive this power of God today by letting Jesus enter your life and surrendering to Him alone.

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2019 in Leadership, Media, Ministry Calling, Sabbath Rest, Sermons

 

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Suffering Builds Character

Pastor Reid Olson of Crossroads Church of Greeley teaches on Colossians 1:24-2:5.

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Paul the Apostle is writing a letter to the churches near Collosae and wants them to know how much he is personally suffering for their sake. He has committed his life to serving them, no matter the cost, so that they might mature in their faith in Christ. What does mature faith in Christ look like to you? Does it mean that God answers your prayers? Does it mean that you receive healing when you’re sick? Does maturity even have anything to do with the blessings you receive, or does maturity mean we look to bring God’s blessing to others? God is always pouring out his blessings, but are we submissive enough to receive blessings in obedience to Jesus?

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2019 in Leadership, Media, Sabbath Rest, Sermons

 

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Not What You Expected

Pastor Reid Olson of Crossroads Church of Greeley teaches on the surprise at the resurrection of Jesus.

door-closed

We forget that Jesus appeared to women first, at the empty tomb, not to the men. We forget that the first evangelists of the resurrection of Jesus were women, not men. We come to this scene in the Bible and we bring our expectations to it, since we’re removed from it by 2000 years, but if we put ourselves in the scene, our expectations wouldn’t match what really happened. Join us as we visit the scene of Jesus’ resurrection and see that God does so much more than we could expect or even imagine. HAPPY EASTER 2019.

 

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Permission to Say “NO”

Pastor Reid Olson of Crossroads Church of Greeley teaches on the Sabbath Principle from Exodus 20.

Screen Shot 2019-04-09 at 3.10.13 PMHave you ever thought of the 10 Commandments as a gift? God wanted the former 400 years of slavery in Egypt to be removed from His peoples’ thinking, so God gave them a Sabbath Principle. Remember the Sabbath day, and make it holy. How do you remember the Sabbath day in your life? And, how do you make it holy unto God? Do you have sabbath practices that break your chains of slavery? What are you enslaved to in your life? Cookies, caffeine, sugar, shopping, entertainment and even working can become a slave driver in our lives, I know that even ministry (heaven forbid) can become an idol for me. This week we want you to learn to rest, and trust that the God who made you doesn’t make mistakes, and He wants you to rest in Jesus and trust that the world will continue to spin without you holding the steering wheel. Learn to take a weekly sabbath to rest in God’s grace.

 

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Jesus Breaks Bread With People

Crossroads Church of Greeley http://www.crossroadsgreeley.com

Pastor Reid Olson of Crossroads Church of Greeley teaches on Acts 2:42-47.

love like jesus

The example of Jesus to the world through the church is through fellowship, gathering, serving and forgiving one another. You can participate in the will of God by eating meals with others. God isn’t asking us to judge the character of another person before having a conversation with them, which is easy to do, God is asking us to fellowship with people so that the light of God might shine more brightly in the world. You have a responsibility to love the world the way Jesus loved the world. You and I can show the love of God by being the light of Christ in relationships and eating meals with others. God expects us not to live life in a bubble away from the world, but to be in the world with those who need God’s love.

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Posted by on November 27, 2018 in Leadership, Media, Sabbath Rest, Sermons

 

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