Saturday, March 17, 2018

the lost

Recently, perhaps due to a more focused time of prayer with our 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting, I've had an overwhelming burden for the lost.

The thing that keeps coming to my mind is that I hold the cure for everything that makes them hopeless, and still I hesitate to share at times.

I have talked recently to several young adults who are completely hopeless in the pursuit of allowing selfish self-satisfying pornography into their lives, after being raised in amazing Christian homes! The feelings and desires that God gave us to cause us to pursue satisfaction in the context of marriage and daily living our lives properly - have been turned into unsatisfied addiction.

The physical pleasures God taught us to enjoy are the very things destroying their marriages because we do not allow His influence and teachings to form and control them. 

The claims that Chrisianity is too controlling, just a bunch of rules & foolish beliefs for the weak could not be more opposite from the truth!

The ONLY thing available to mankind to brings true freedom and complete peace is faith in Jesus Christ!

THEY instead are the ones in complete bondage when they take good things and turn them into addiction.

Their supposed freedom offers the life-long pursuit of wealth and endless competition - which offers no satisfaction (just look at Hollywood and our prominent business leaders).  Their supposed freedom offers marriages that don't satisfy because they aren't following the Lord together and in many cases are involved in pornography which no human-being can compete with.  I've watched some friends fall into the hidden at-home addiction of having to have a drink thinking a nightcap is harmless. Their supposed freedom includes deceptive friends who offer a good-time "just try it once" drugs that change their lives into complete dependance on substances that need more and more to be satisfied.  And there's that new addiction to electronic devises and phones that never disconnect and Social Media daily criticism that drives teens to suicide.  Everything their supposed freedom offers leads only to complete hopelessness and deep loneliness as the endless search for more and more continues.

Our society is falling apart due to turning their backs on a belief in the Lord.  We MUST tell them of our freedom and hope in HIM!

Easter is a time when people who haven't been to church in years will consider coming.  It's almost like they really believe if they go once a year they're covered.  I heard the other day that if a child doesn't accept the Lord by age 13, they have less than a 4% chance of ever knowing Him!  It's not enough to occasionally bring their kids to church, kids have to see how it affects and changes their lives and how committed they could be as a family!

We know the Savior that offers complete satisfaction, hope and the only way to survive the crushing culture we have around us!

This is a challenge to myself as well to reach out to my neighbors - who knows what struggles go on behind the walls of their homes.  I've traveled around the world to reach others with the Good News of Jesus, but struggle to tell the same story to those around me.  It makes no sense...

May God challenge our hearts and give us resolve to reach others around us with the only Freedom known to mankind!  The news that Jesus not only gave His life for us - but rose again!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

weekend report

Hard to believe that another weekend has come and gone!  I love this teaching series we're in -
the 7  Final Sayings of Jesus!  So good!

Here's a peak at what we were blessed by!

Aaron Hill is a very gifted drummer - we're very blessed to have him at Crossroads!

Our amazing sax player Brad was in the house! While he played I was teasing
Jim Messner (our former amazing player for years), that he had been replaced.  The
conversation was hilarious as those of you who know Jim can imagine! 

Milo and Shawn enjoyed the worship and serving together on the team!

Greg was our new acoustic player having fun with Shawn - so good!

The next few weeks are just going to be amazing as we prepare our hearts to once again lift our praises as ONE to the Savior the world so desperately needs!

Please consider who in your life needs to know this Savior and bring them with you! 

Monday, February 26, 2018

the looks of ministry are many

You never know at any given time what ministry may look like.  You must be ready as a Christ follower for it to occur at any time!

Here are just a few of the different opportunities to serve we had just this week alone!

the IMAGE choir blessed us from Mansfield Christian.  I felt like a
proud mama as our own Nick blessed us on the piano!

Pastor Dave continued the powerful teaching series The 7 Last Sayings

Tough being a staff kid - you live here so you just lay down where you are! 
But what a teaching for a young one to help pack
toys, clothing and vitamins for little ones in Cambodia!

IMAGE trio was excellent!

Even as the team prepared for Cambodia - a drunk man stumbled into the church
and my hubby and another gentleman in the left-hand corner ministered to him the rest of the evening.  

And then there was my beautiful Kristin
and her hubby Will making an eternal commitment to
one another...I cried all sweet!

It's a blessing to serve at Crossroads surrounded by others who take ministry out of the church and into people's lives.  I can't imagine what it would be like to not be part of this ministry...LOVE!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

successful transition

As I watch rehearsal here at Crossroads this evening, I'm praising the Lord for another successful transition!

As the team prayed together during our rehearsal break Ernesto asked how many on the team were either new to the team or returning after a long break and about a 1/3 of the team raised their hands!  This filled me with a worshipful heart full of thanksgiving!

It's possible to be thankful for a rich past here at Crossroads while at the same time raising up new people to join us, change us!  We can enjoy reminiscing about  a past where all of us that started here served on multiple volunteer teams to make the church function - but none of us can do this alone long term!   And now we get to serve in the areas that we're the most talented in - not every area!

I'm thankful as we watched the Lord choose to touch Crossroads through Pastor Tim and Michelle's faithfulness leading us and introducing us to constant change.  Growing, maturing in Christ while having a blast!

Our staff has always joked about how fast things change here - they always have!

And now under Pastor Dave's leadership we get to enjoy being part of the God-given vision he is leading us toward!  A vision filled with future goals and continuing maturity in the Lord. And still having a blast!

Pastor Dave recently reminded us that if change ever stops then we have become the very thing we were terrified of becoming in the beginning.

How horrible it would be to not change and become stagnant...uninspired...unchallenged and unable to demonstrate with our lives that others are welcome here.

I'm thankful for change and leadership and new things that all lead us toward the God-given role for which we were created and the opportunity to welcome new family to the Kingdom!!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

watching from afar

I watched the Crossroads services this morning.  It made me realize again how much I love being there!

I marveled as I watched all the amazing praise team members, the beautiful voices and the hearts for the Lord that I personally know.  So many hours go into preparing well each week.  As I watched I thanked the Lord for our ministry and that I get to be part of it.

But one of the things I'll never take for granted is all the behind the scenes work that it also takes to create even one service.  It takes so many hours of preparation and creative work.

The beautiful set design by Arnie was breath taking!  I wasn't there, but assume our audio guy Eric probably helped hang everything and do the work it took to get it ready for the weekend with Arnie.

It's easy to just spend money to buy things for set design - instead we take pride in creatively solving problems and making new things out of old and beauty out of repurposed things others would consider useless.  It's a challenge we love to solve!  Go tech and creative teams!

Next I watched as the graphics that Eric our Arts Director created to support Pastor Dave's new teaching series came across the scene.  Beautiful and thought provoking were the words that came to mind.

Just as I'm proud of all the amazing up-front teams, I'm also very thankful and proud of the behind-the-scene hidden teams!!

Our creative process proves again how God has gifted each person with unique talents that when used in unity bring beautiful glory to God the creator!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

A whirlwind of a month

It has been quite the past few weeks! 

  • son turned 30 = multiple parties
  • work began on Crossroads' Easter services
  • daughter engaged to an amazing, Godly man
  • visit to meet her future family-in-law 
  • fun with grand-babies
  • prayer with our unbelievable Crossroads staff
  • visited church-in-the-mall in Florida (I missed Crossroads)
  • decided after arriving in Florida to take a last minute cruise

What these things caused is much praise and worship of my precious Lord!  I am a wife and mom overwhelmed with thankfulness for the faithfulness of God through celebrations as well as difficult times, a time of refreshment as I visited another church on vacation and the most restful time away I have EVER had when we decided to take a last minute cruise!  So thankful!

Just a few shots from this whirlwind past few weeks!
Surprise Eric!

Our 'dabbing' grandson

staff prayer

The beautiful entrance to Jared's families' farm event center

Our trip to North Carolina

Future location of Jared and Joci's home

Last minute cruise decision!

Baby towel animal

I believe this was taken in the tropics - during Mansfield's snow storm!

Our balcony room surprise upgrade!

I've had a lot more time lately to think and to pray, and it's been a good, reflective time of rest.

I am forever thankful and rest in Him for whatever comes next!

Monday, January 15, 2018

weekend report

Amidst frigid temperatures we gathered as the Church.

It was a beautiful weekend of communion, fellowship, worship and learning more about God's creation of His church and His intention for how we should do life together.

I always think of those I only see once a month or maybe every-other weekend at Crossroads and feel sad that they may never know how God's personal design of the church really works.

God's church is the place where the gifts and talents that the Father gave every single one of us were given to be used.  It's the place where lifting our voices together in worship is the closest thing we'll experience here on earth - just a glimpse, just a taste of what eternally worshipping God face to face will be.  It's the place where every problem you've ever faced can be used to encourage others, showing them that God is in charge, that problems and trials are the very thing that draw us closer to Jesus - trials in our lives are the place we're no longer in charge but really fall deeply into faith in Christ.  It's the place where even those without family can do life in community, discovering in groups and classes who their family in the Lord is.  Those who know Jesus, do not have to do life alone - we are eternal family, we are The Church!

It was a beautiful weekend and I was thankful to be part of it!

Our Setlist:

The Lion and The Lamb
King of My Heart

Communion - Pastor Wendell lead us in preparing for Communion

Come To The Table
Christ is Enough

Message:  Is It Yours?  Yours, Mine, Ours - Lead Pastor Dr. Dave Vance

Exit song: Praise Goes On

Please join us next weekend as we enjoy part 2 of our Is It Yours? Series!  If you missed this week's service go to the link below to watch.

Have a blessed weekend!