How even Hurricane Harvey Couldn’t Silence God’s Message to Me.

It was just a few short weeks ago that Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Coast as a category 4 hurricane. It was the strongest such storm to hit this part of Texas in at least 56 years. Many watersheds in our area experienced 500 and 1000 year flood events as Harvey came and just would not leave. My own family and ministry lost almost everything we had.

After the storm we were making one last check through what little was left before leaving our little apartment for the last time. God led my wife to reach her hand into a pile of trash for just one more check. While she was doing this she pulled out a blue velvet box in a white cardboard wrapper. The first part of this miracle was that I had not seen this box since our wedding day almost 13 years before ! The second part of the miracle was that even through the horrific storm, the recovery efforts, etc. it had remained in perfect condition !

 

On the side of the cardboard wrapper was written my name, and the letters ChCKOR-DSR. Inside the box was a gold cross shaped medal suspended from a ribbon. More formally it is known as The Cross of Honor of the Most Honorable Order of the Christian Knights of the Rose. The letters ChCKOR stand for Chaplain Knight Commander of the Rose, my rank within the order. The letters DSR carry great significance in the military community. I was awarded the DSR designation by the Knights of the Rose because I served as a military policeman while a member of the Texas State Guard.

 

I placed the medal where it would be kept safe not immediately realizing myself the significance of what had taken place. Given the circumstances it was very unlikely that my wife would find something so personally and historically valuable randomly searching a pile of what had been deemed trash. It is further unlikely that this decoration would have been found untouched after being hidden away all these years. I am convinced that God’s hand were in these events.

 

The time since has left me only further convinced that I was being mobilized by the Commander in Chief of Creation. I am convinced that it is no accident that the item returned to me in the opening sentences of the toughest chapter my family has ever faced was a cross ! It is not lost on me either that it was not just “any” cross, but a knight’s cross, my knight’s cross ! It is as if God was summoning me to the battle that was just beginning. It was and is as if God himself wanted to reassure me of His confidence in my ability to wage the battle. I was handed a symbol of authority. First of all of His authority.  However also the authority of one who was not only a spiritual leader, but a commander of soldiers, His soldiers ! Since that day God’s people have been comforting to us, and generous  toward us.

 

Our family and community are still battling against Hurricane Harvey. I’m not even sure the end is in sight. However my wife and I have already talked about it. This cross will have a prominent place in our new home when we get there. It will always remind us of His message to me and his presence with us during some of the most trying times we will ever see. There is still much that is uncertain about our future. Of only one thing am I certain. I have been given my marching orders by an authority that neither Harvey nor any other storm can quiet.

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God Found the One for Me. ( A Wedding Poem)

I don’t often write poetry, but the muse struck the other night while I was watching T.V. with my wife. The poem below is the end result of what the Lord gave me.  The inspiration I got was that people would somehow make it part of their wedding celebrations. If you find a way to make it part of yours, please email me at ra_crutchfield@yahoo.com and tell me about it. I look forward to hearing about how the Lord’s vision found  a place in your special day.

 

God Found the One for Me.

By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, FaithInspires.Org

 

I searched and Searched but did not find.

My days and nights were equally empty

My heart knew you, but we had not met.

God Found the One for Me.

 

People suggested others, but they were not you.

Faint copies were all around me.

None of them came close to being you.

God Found the One for Me.

 

I prayed over and over for my missing half.

I prayed for God to show me his choice for my mate.

I prayed for Him to bring us together at last.

God Found the One for Me.

 

Then finally the moment I prayed for came

From the first instant, it was if I always knew you.

My loneliness and emptiness, died the day we met.

God Found the One for Me.

Statement on 10/1 Las Vegas Massacre.

(Katy, Texas) Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, Christian Growth and Healing Expert at SelfGrowth.Com and founder of Faithinspires.Org released the following statement after Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas,

” I awoke a little while ago to news of the horrific massacre in Las Vegas Last night. My heart breaks for the people killed and injured and their families. No word on the shooter’s motive has been released. Even the first thought that struck me was that hearts and minds need to be changed away from the climate of Anger, Frustration, and violence that has been increasing across the country the last few years.
NO ONE can heal or change hearts and minds like Jesus Christ. This is why I encourage so much prayer following tragedies like this. Such events are beyond our understanding, much less our ability to prevent them.
I pray that those killed, injured, and their families receive God’s mercy, strength and comfort. I also pray that God have mercy on our nation and lead us to heal those things that are working so hard to divide us.”

 

Pastor Crutchfield can also be seen on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/RobertCrutchfieldPastor

Gettys Commemorate Queen’s OBE Award and Announce Plans for Live Simulcast Worship Conference

LONDON, Sept. 18, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — Keith & Kristyn Getty were this week honored at the Houses of Parliament in London, England to mark Keith’s Officer of the British Empire (OBE) award in June by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The evening, hosted at St Mary’s Undercroft set beneath the Palace of Westminster celebrated the Getty’s contribution to music and hymn writing through their re-popularizing of hymns. The event marked the first occasion in which an OBE has been given to an individual who is actively involved in the world of contemporary church music.

Beyond just their work as hymn writers, Keith Getty and his wife Kristyn have spent the last decade as ambassadors of the genre. An estimated 40-50 million people are singing Getty hymns in church services each year, include the eponymous In Christ Alone (co-written with Stuart Townend) which has become of the one most-frequently-sung in US churches over the last decade.

Getty says, “Obviously to receive the OBE has been a great honor, but to sing hymns in as intimate and prestigious a venue as the chapel of St. Mary’s Undercroft is one of those moments neither Kristyn, nor I will ever forget.”

The event also marked the “pre-launch” of Sing!, a book inspired in part by the reformer Martin Luther in this the 500th anniversary of The reformation, made all the more poignant as the Houses of Parliament was the seat of the reformation.

Alongside the OBE celebrations, the Getty’s announced that their upcoming Getty Music Worship Conference: Sing! will be global live simulcasted from September 18th – 20th. Audiences from the USA and around the world will have the opportunity to hear celebrated speakers including the Gettys, Alistair Begg, D.A. Carson, David Platt, Joni Eareckson Tada and over 50 other speakers and seminar leaders. Four thousand people will attend this sold-out conference in person from around the world, but live simulcast registration is now open and Getty is keen for the churches across America to join them.

Keith continues, “We would love for churches across the United States to register for the live simulcast and be equipped to release even greater potential through their worship.”

The simulcast will include an exclusive concert at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, TN with special guests Stuart Townend, Ricky Skaggs and more.

To register for the Getty Music Worship Conference: Sing! live simulcast go to http://www.gettymusicworshipconference.com.

Child Welfare System Increasingly Relying on Relatives to Raise Children Exposed to Trauma

This article strays a bit from our usual topics. However I feel it contains information many Christians will find both interesting and useful. I also feel strongly the the Christian Church in all its many flavors is uniquely positioned and qualified to help mount the challenges it highlights. -Pastor Crutchfield.

 

WASHINGTONSept. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Thirty percent (127,819) of children in foster care are being raised by grandparents or other relatives, a six percent increase since 2008. In the wake of the opioid epidemic, that number is even more dramatic in the states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic like Ohio, which saw a 62 percent increase in the number of children placed with relatives in foster care since 2010. For each child in foster care with a relative, there are 20 children outside of the system with a relative.

According to a new report by Generations United, grandparents and other relatives who step in to care for children, play an important role in mitigating trauma, which children in the child welfare system experience at starkly higher rates than the general population.

More than half of the children in the child welfare system have endured four or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), leaving them 12 times more likely to have negative health outcomes – substance use disorders, mental health problems, and engaging in aggressive or risky behaviors – than the general child population.

“Growing up with a childhood full of trauma and abuse, there were very few moments where I felt safe and very few people with whom I felt protected. Being put into my uncle’s care was the best decision that could have ever been made for me,” explained Kindra, whose last name is withheld to protect her privacy. “It wasn’t an easy road by any means, but I have no doubt in that it completely saved my life.”

Compared to those in care with non-relatives, children in foster care with relatives have more stable and safe childhoods and a greater likelihood of having a permanent home. The have better mental and behavioral health, and are more likely to report always feeling loved.

“These relatives are the loving and protective arms for babies, children and youth who’ve experience trauma,” said Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United. “They are caring for children with multiple high-level needs and they should get the support required for the families to thrive.”

Unlike parents or foster parents who plan for months or years to care for a child, grandparents or other relative caregivers usually step into their roles unexpectedly. At a moment’s notice, they are forced to navigate complex systems to help meet the physical and cognitive health challenges of the children who come into their care.  Grandfamilies are less likely than foster families to have access to specialized training and support from professionals that have expertise in helping children, who have experienced trauma, heal.

“One thing I know to be true: you can’t love away the effects of trauma from neglect and abuse,” said Jan Wagner, grandparent caregiver, Michigan“Our children need the same amount of intensive therapy and services as a traditional foster placement and we, as their caregiver desperately need the same to help them heal.”

Among the report’s recommendations:

  • Reform federal child welfare financing to provide more trauma-informed support to prevent children from entering or re-entering foster care
  • Increase availability of and access to trauma training and supports designed for grandfamilies
  • Address barriers to licensing relatives as foster parents
  • Ensure grandfamilies not licensed as foster parents can access financial assistance to meet children’s needs

Generations United will release The 2017 State of Grandfamilies in America report Sept. 13 at a reception, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, in room G-11 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Generations United will honor Senator Susan Collins (Maineand Senator Bob Casey (Pennsylvania) with its 2017 Grandfamilies Champion Awards at the event.

The report, which also includes a resource list and profiles of grandfamilies, will be available at www.gu.org on Sunday, Sept. 10th. For an advanced copy or to schedule an interview with one of our experts, contact Alan King at aking@gu.org. (An expert can also do interviews in Spanish.)

Generations United is home to the National Center on Grandfamilies, a leading voice for issues affecting families headed by grandparents and other relatives. Through the Center, Generations United leads an advisory group of organizations, caregivers and youth that set the national agenda to advance public will in support of these families. www.gu.org

SOURCE Generations United

Harvey and the King Who Died For Me

One of the bright sides of moving even when a hurricane forces the issue is finding things you thought were long lost. One of the “surprises” that survived both time and the storm was the newsletter from the 2006 investiture of the U.S. Grand Priory of the Most Honorable Order of the Christian Knights of the Rose. I hold the rank of Chaplain Knight Commander in that order.
On page page 7 is my little known poem, The King Who Died for Me. I repost it here in the hopes that it will help renew and strengthen the faith of someone out there.

The King Who Died for Me.
By Rev. Chev. Robert A. Crutchfield ChKCR, DSR, ChCStI
The prophets foretold your coming;A sinful world awaited you; You came to save each of us.
The King who died for me !
You were always God; You chose to be born a man; I was never more than a man.
The King who died for me !
There came a day on Calvary; The sinless King hang on a tree; Your death paid for my sins.
The King who died for me !
Three days later you rose; Sin you defeated for me; Death you defeated for me.
The King who died for me !
You lived a sinless life; You died for my sins; A sacrifice I will never deserve.
The King who died for me !

Knights of Columbus Helping in Harvey’s Aftermath, in Preparation for Irma

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Sept. 7, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — The Knights of Columbus has raised more than $1.3 million for victims of the disastrous flooding in Texas and in preparation to help those who may be in the path of Hurricane Irma.

The organization has taken a leadership role in assisting those affected by the historic flooding in and around Houston, Corpus Christi and an enormous swath of inland and Gulf Coast towns and cities in Texas, distributing more than $150,000 for food, water and other necessities.

The Knights began reaching out to its members throughout the U.S. in Harvey’s immediate aftermath and is now expanding its appeal to the general public, as Irma bears down on Florida and the Caribbean.

“We have seen incredible generosity from our members, and we invite others to join us in providing aid that is urgently needed,” said Knights’ CEO Carl Anderson. “The funds we raise will make a real difference in the lives of those already affected and those who are bracing for the worst.”

Consistent with the K of C’s longstanding policy, 100 percent of all disaster relief donations are being used for current relief efforts and the needs that may arise from Irma.

Knights in Texas are already providing food and shelter to victims, helping people return to their homes, clearing debris and solving local problems such as providing upwards of 5,000 meals in in the Beaumont area and 8,000 in Ingleside. Weekend Masses were held at a Knights’ hall in Dickinson due to flood damage at the local parish.

Meanwhile, Knights in the areas that may be affected by Irma, are preparing disaster plans. The hurricane was strengthened to a dangerous Category 5 storm on Tuesday.

Donations by check or money order can be sent to: Knights of Columbus Charities, P.O. Box 1966, New Haven, CT 06509-1966 with “United Disaster Relief” in the memo portion of the check. They can also be made online at kofc.org/flood or by calling 1-800-694-5713.

Knights of Columbus Charities Inc. is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

The K of C was founded in 1882 by Venerable Father Michael McGivney, a parish priest, in New Haven, Connecticut. The organization was formed to provide charitable outreach and care for the financial well-being of Catholic families. It has grown to include more than 1.9 million members worldwide.

The Knights set a new all-time record for charitable donations in 2016, with more than $177.5 million in donations and more than 75 million hours of service valued at $1.8 billion.

Hillsdale College’s Darryl G. Hart Named President of Mencken Society

HILLSDALE, Mich., Sept. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Hillsdale College announced today that Darryl G. Hart, distinguished associate professor of history at Hillsdale College will be installed as president of the Mencken Society and deliver the 2017 Mencken Memorial Lecture at 2 p.m. on September 9, 2017, at the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Mencken Day 2017 celebration.

Darryl G. Hart, distinguished associate professor of history at Hillsdale College
“It’s an honor to be chosen to take the helm of the Mencken Society and to speak at this year’s Mencken Day activities,” Hart said. “I’m looking forward to the chance to discuss the fascinating character of H. L. Mencken with others interested in the legacy he’s left behind.”
Titled “When America Was Great and Baltimore Knew Better,” Hart’s lecture is the centerpiece of the library’s event which honors the works and legacy of the “Sage of Baltimore,” Henry Louis Mencken. The speech will explore material from Hart’s recently published book, Damning Words: The Life and Religious Times of H. L. Mencken, which explores how Christianity framed Mencken’s skepticism and concerted criticisms of American culture.
As the speaker for the 2017 Mencken Memorial Lecture, Hart joins the ranks of esteemed previous lecturers including author Christopher Hitchens, long-time editor of The American Scholar Joseph Epstein and Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post book critic Jonathan Yardley.
Mencken Day 2017 will also feature several exhibits on Mencken, open to the public throughout the day. Other activities will be hosted at the Maryland Historical Society. The society’s France Hall will open its doors for the Mencken Society’s annual meeting, featuring an address by Baltimore lawyer George W. Liebmann, followed by Hart’s lecture. For a full schedule of Mencken Day 2017 events, visit http://calendar.prattlibrary.org/event/menckenday.
About Hillsdale College
Hillsdale College, founded in 1844, has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 3.6 million. More information is available at hillsdale.edu.

Church of God in Christ Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Sept. 5, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) Charities has launched a massive national response to the crisis in the Texas Gulf Coast area by collecting and deploying needed resources.

Photo: West Angeles COGIC opens center in Los Angeles — Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Mrs. Mae Lawrence Blake, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

COGIC Charities, the benevolent arm of the Church of God in Christ, has set up regional collection centers, in COGIC churches and other facilities around the country, that will collect much needed items over the next two weeks for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

These regional collection centers are asking their communities for basic needs items, to include hygiene products and kits, toiletries, nonperishable food items, bottled water, new undergarments (for men and women), new men’s and women’s clothing, new children’s clothing, baby diapers (all sizes), baby formula, cleaning products, plastic garbage bins, shovels, tools, and plastic trash bags.

Volunteers at each COGIC regional collection centers are planning to load approximately 40 semi tractor-trailer trucks with the donated items. Our collection weekend is Friday September 15 thru Sunday, September 17,

On Monday, September 18, 2017, following the collection weekend, semi-tractor trailers will depart from each of the regional collection centers nationwide, in route to the COGIC Super Resource Center in Houston, Texas a 25,000 square foot warehouse. The COGIC Ground Zero Task Force, led by the National Missions and Evangelism Departments and volunteers will unload the large trucks at the Resource Center. From the Super Resource Center the Task Force will load and dispatch smaller trucks for rapid ground response, distributing resources to Houston and the impacted Gulf Coast Areas.

COGIC’s Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. says, “Hurricane Harvey has devastated the Texas Gulf Coast area. Many of our pastors, members and thousands of Houstonians were forced to leave their homes submerged in water, along with several of our churches. The Church of God in Christ will help as many people as possible for as long as possible. Our prayers, our hearts and our resources go out to all of those affected by this overwhelming natural disaster.”

To view the COGIC Charities regional collection centers go to http://www.cogic.org.

The Church of God in Christ, headquartered in Memphis, TN, is one of the oldest and largest Pentecostal denominations in the world and the 4th largest Protestant group in the United States, with churches in 87 countries worldwide and a membership of nearly 6.5 million adherents.

Harlequin Authors Quote Katy Minister on Definition of Romance.

(Katy,Texas)  Best selling authors Loree Lough, and Cerella Sechrist write a monthly article for Harlequin Heart Warming’s official blog. On finding out that August was National Romance Awareness Month they decided for their newest article to dig into the question of what is romance ? When you’re a pair of authors for the world’s leading romance novel publishing company, where do you turn with such a question ?
One person Lough and Sechrist turned to was Katy, Texas minister Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield. Crutchfield is the same minister that Lough used as the basis for a character in her novels Guardians of the Heart and Healing of the Heart. This is not Crutchfield’s first time commenting on Romance and related subjects on the national stage either. Back in 1983 his poem Love Is was published in the anthology Hearts on Fire: A Treasury of Poems on Love. Two of his articles on SelfGrowth.Com are on relationships. Just last year CurvesConnect.Com the major dating site interviewed him on the topic of dating and politics.
Crutchfield defined romance for Harlequin Heart Warming as “Romance is the process of giving yourselves to each other, not in grand gestures but tiny pieces, not for brief spans of time, but for the long-term.” 
Crutchfield preaches weekly at the Spanish Meadows Nursing Home in Katy. His articles on Christian and other topics have been read all over the world !  He previously served as Chaplain of the Katy Fire and EMS Department. He is married, the father of two and grandfather of four.  He can be found online at Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.