May 01, 2021
Tomorrow we will be having our show "The Lobby" live on Facebook @ 9:30am. Join us as Bill Heisterman will be sharing his story.
Our Sunday Celebration Service will be at 10am. Pastor Stephen will be picking up his series from the book of Galatians. Paul will share with us why the scriptures and the gospel are so important and how they support one another.
April 28, 2021
Women's Bible Study (LIFT) will be meeting this morning at 9:30am. Join them as they continue their study in the book of Isaiah.
Student Ministries (6th-12th Grade) will be meeting tonight at 7:00pm. Join us as we play games, connect with one another and study God's word together.
April 24, 2021
Tomorrow our Celebration Service will be at 10am. We will being closing out our series in the book of James where he will speak to us about prayer, confession and reconciliation.
Our Pre-Show, "The Lobby", will be live tomorrow morning at 9:30am. Join us as we hear the story of Cindy Heisterman.
April 21, 2021
Today our Women's Bible Study will be meeting at 9:30am. Join them as they continue their study in the book of Isaiah.
Student ministries will be meeting at 7pm tonight. All students, 6th - 12th grade, are welcome to join join us.
April 18, 2021
If you missed "The Lobby" yesterday then you missed hearing Penny Schoerner's story. If you would like to check it out go to our Facebook page.
April 17, 2021
Tomorrow we will be having our show "The Lobby" @ 9:30am. Join Pastor Stephen and his guest Penny Schoerner as she shares her story of coming to Christ. You can view "The Lobby" either in-person or on Facebook Live.
Tomorrow we will also continue our series in the book of James during our Sunday Celebration Service @ 10am. James will exhort all of us to be patient in the midst of suffering. You can join us either in-person or online at https://crosswindschicago.online.church
April 15, 2021
A response to recent shootings...
Over the past couple of days we have heard about the shooting death of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo. First we want to offer our condolences to both families.
A year ago, Pastor Stephen, preached a couple of messages concerning racism. To summarize those messages... We in no way support racism and we believe the Bible strongly condemns it. We also do not support violence in any way. Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
Our view has not changed and we are outraged that this incident has happened once again. People are angry, disturbed, heartbroken. That includes me (Pastor Stephen). I am frustrated that these incidences continue to happen with no change in sight. I grieve with my brothers and sisters in the African American community, along with all minorities who have similar experiences in life. I can’t possibly understand how this makes you feel, but I choose to believe you when you talk about your fears and frustrations.
Unfortunately this narrative is a repetitive one. It cycles through seasons of high profile and then tapers off only to return with a vengeance at a later date. Like the stories of the past, this story will also lose the attention of the national public. However, for some, it will not be forgotten. It is another story in the rising pile of injustice narratives toward people of color in this country.
There are a few things that break the heart of a person of color in America. One is the sense that people of color are viewed and treated differently than others. Our vocabulary has many words to describe this treatment: racism, implicit bias, profiling, systemic injustice, bigotry. The narrative includes statistics: economic inequities, hiring practices, social circles, health care access, political division. And it also includes stories: Michael Brown, Emanuel AME, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo, just to mention a few in recent years — but there are thousands of others. Talk to people of color and most will have droves of personal stories of mistreatment and mistrust.
With this is mind it is important to note that God has called the church to speak out against oppression, defend the marginalized, and live as peacemakers.
Racism is a particularly heinous manifestation of sin. Let us not forget this. Sin, when it is kindled by the work of Satan and his minions, works tirelessly to divide us. In this season, it certainly seems that the forces of evil are working powerfully towards this end. Therefore there is no group more equipped, by God, for this moment to delve into these divisive issues in society than the people of God filled with the Spirit of God, informed by the Word of God, who can then bring the love of God and His great message of hope, that is in the gospel of Jesus. into the conversation. We must recognize these gifts in this moment and bring the hope of Christ to what seems to be a hopeless situation.
We know all this. To do nothing would be wrong. To say nothing would negate our witness. But where do we start?
Dr. Harold Lewis has a fourfold filter for personal interaction with people from other cultures, colors and classes. I have benefited from applying these actions when I engage with people who have a different view or experience in life. While this will not solve all the problems, it is a place to start.
Listen: Seek to hear rather than be heard. Seek to understand rather than be understood. Increased awareness will increase understanding.
Learn: While you cannot stand in another person’s shoes, you can learn from his or her experience in this world. Taking a humble, teachable posture validates that their experience can be different than yours and may empower you to walk alongside your friend more effectively.
Lament: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. The ability to “grieve with those who grieve” as well as take responsibility for any part you may have played in their pain creates connection and trust.
Lead: Once understanding is gained, connection is established and trust is earned, you can now walk together into expanded conversations and actions that strengthen your relationship with one another and influence others in your life who need to join the journey of awareness and action.
Never forget… The gospel not only changes lives, it changes communities. In Acts 17:6 the Thessalonians described the impact of the gospel as turning the world upside down. Paul describes the impact of the gospel in Thessalonica in his letter to them (1 Thess. 1:4-6). They were entrusted with the gospel, empowered by the Holy Spirit, engaged in the community and enduring hardship together to accomplish the mission.
This is how a community is transformed with the gospel. (You can see a similar pattern In Acts 19, where the community of Ephesus was transformed.) It is obvious from these passages and many others that the justification by faith of the individual should lead to increased justice and righteousness in the community.
April 14, 2021
Our ladies Bible Study (LIFT) will continue their series in the book of Isaiah today at 9:30am.
April 12, 2021
If you missed our Facebook show "The Lobby" I would encourage you to go and check it out. Lois Miller opens up about her family, how she came to Christ, and some of the hurts that she has experienced. So check it out on our Facebook page and make plans to join us each Sunday at 9:30am for a new live episode.
April 10, 2021
Today the church will be holding a memorial service for Bob Gillies (the son of Don & Marje Gillies). Visitation will be at 11am followed by the funeral 12pm and a luncheon.
Tomorrow we will have our Facebook Live Show "The Lobby" at 9:30am. Join us as we will hear the story of Lois Miller.
Sunday Celebration Service will be tomorrow at 10am. We will continue our study in the book of James and ask the question... Are you a hoarder? Join us and find out what that is all about.
April 07, 2021
Women's Bible Study is today at 9:30am. All women are welcome to study God's word, discussion and connecting with others.
Student Ministries (6th - 12th Grade) is tonight at 6:30pm.
April 05, 2021
We had an amazing day here at CrossWinds yesterday. It is always good to come together to celebrate a risen Savior. By the way, that is what we should do every Sunday. The early church began to meet on the first day of the week to celebrate Jesus' resurrection. So make plans to be with us each Sunday as we celebrate.
If you missed yesterday's service or our pre-show, "The Lobby", you can check it out on Facebook, or YouTube.
We hope you have an amazing week.
April 03, 2021
Tomorrow we will come together to celebrate a Risen Savior. We will be having services in-person and online at 10am. We hope to connect and celebrate with you. https://crosswindschicago.online.church
We will also be having our pre-show "The Lobby" at 9:30am.
Matthew 27:57-66 (ESV)
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.
The central claim of the historic Christian message is that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. Tempting though it may be for us to jump quickly from Friday to Sunday, from cross to resurrection, Matthew pauses and brings us through the silence and stillness of the grave.
Many have tried to dismantle the hope of Christianity, suggesting that Jesus had not really died or that eager disciples had stolen his body to substantiate their claims of a risen Savior. Yet Matthew’s interlude between final breath and first appearance speaks unequivocally of a death that was real, a grave that was silent, and a situation that appeared beyond hope.
Romans were thorough in carrying out capital sentences, particularly for those accused of treason. That Joseph was able to retrieve Jesus’ body meant the executioners were satisfied with their handiwork. Jews, throughout the Old Testament, would heap rocks on the vilest of criminals to represent that for some, there would be no life beyond the grave. That a great stone would cover the entrance of the tomb meant that there was no expectation of life beyond this grave. The tomb is still, dark, silent.
This is the fate that should have been ours and the destiny of humanity. And yet, our hope is that through the one who went into the tomb before us, there is a way through and out into a new world of God’s creating. It is the hope that because one transcended the grave itself, we too may experience new life with him. Matthew’s description of the grave is a reminder that the tomb was silent and yet the silence would only last one more day.
Our Father, remind us that the darkness of the grave will soon be overcome by the brightness of the third day. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
April 02, 2021
Today we will come together to remember the death of our Savior. Good Friday service will be in-person or online at 7pm. https://crosswindschicago.online.church
John 19:1-37 (ESV)
Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,
“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”
So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness — his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth — that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”
Re-read this again slowly and prayerfully, engaging your imagination as each scene unfolds. What do you see, hear, feel, smell, in each scene? What is all this meant to mean to you? Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through the story of Christ’s death for you today.
Lord Jesus, it was our sins that sent you to the cross. There we beheld our king. There you finished the work of our redemption. There we looked upon you, whom we had pierced. There redemption was accomplished. Thank you for your astonishing love. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
April 01, 2021
Tomorrow we will come together to remember the death of Jesus. Join us for our Good Friday service, in-person or online, at 7pm. https://crosswindschicago.online.church
John 13:1-15 (ESV)
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
The NIV translates verse 1: “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.” In this unexpected act of foot washing, Jesus was communicating something profound about the nature of divine love. Love is not simply what Jesus does, but love is who he is.
Often when we consider loving someone, we think in terms of actions and behaviors. We ask ourselves, “What’s the loving thing to do?” But Jesus’ unexpected, self-effacing act of service leads us to ask the antecedent question, “Who am I?” Without first asking this question, we can unknowingly place limits on our love because we are not operating out of a gospel-transformed identity. For example, if we functionally see ourselves as orphans needing to look out for ourselves instead of as God’s beloved children, we will limit our generosity towards others out of fear of not having enough. Likewise, if we think we are righteous by our own hard work, there will be boundaries to the way we are willing to serve others because our pride keeps us from serving those who “aren’t deserving.”
When we look to Christ we find a beautiful freedom to serve others, arising from the security of his identity: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant …” (Phil 2:6-7, NIV). Jesus was able to serve in a way that no one expected because he knew the Father’s love intimately. The same heart that led him to wash the disciples’ feet would lead him to the cross. Because of Christ we have the same privileged status and security with the Father, and so we become free to serve in the radical, loving ways in which he has served us.
Heavenly Father, I forget each day who I am in Christ and the grace that envelops my life. My love has limits because I don’t embrace the truth of who you have made me to be. Help me to live out the reality of being your beloved child so that my love for others flows out of this new identity. Let me be a bewildering servant to those around me as you dismantle the limits I have placed on my love. In Christ’s Name, Amen.