Saturday, May 23, 2015

finally there

Today is a personal celebration of FINALLY being in my #1 favorite spot in the deck.
my view past my computer screen

I'm watching twirling seeds fall from gorgeous green trees and birds visiting our bird feeders as I hear the 'flap' of the American flag overhead...I breath deeply here and I learn.  Deep breaths have been missing lately - it's been nearly 5 full weeks now that I haven't worked a full 'on-site' week and it's taken a month to get everyone fairly healthy again.

I woke up today preparing to accompany my hubby to help another staff member complete a relocation of a Crossroads attendee that found herself in trouble.  We discussed as we drove how difficult it is sometimes to tell the difference between truly helping someone and being taken advantage of.  It's difficult to know the difference sometimes and even more difficult to discern whether our responsibilities are to just blindly help and serve without trying to figure everything out - or to insure the need is real.  This was a necessary 'saving', and it was good to watch a fellow staff member give this person another chance.

I wasn't sure how long it would take, and although I desperately needed to spend some time at home today, I marveled at how God can use all of us to accomplish and provide what He needs others to discover and know.

This serve opportunity took no time at all to complete and soon I found myself finishing the last load of laundry and now I'm here, in my favorite spot again.  Resting in the Savior and basking in His creation fills my heart again, and I couldn't be more grateful to finally be here again!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

old and new

I was reading a John Piper book this afternoon and in it he talked about the infleunce C.S. Lewis had on his life.  This one paragraph gripped me unexpectedly.

“He has made me wary of chronological snobbery. That is, he showed me that newness is no virtue and oldness is no vice. Truth and beauty and goodness are not determined by when they exist. ”

Sadly I have been guilty of chronological snobbery.  Even in ministry.

I have assumed at times as long as I could come up with something new it was good, it was what everyone else needed and was better than old.  Man was that dumb!

It's so exciting to try new things-  that it can become easy to be driven by constant striving and discovery, when the best thing may already be obvious...waiting for re-discovery.

Watching my kids connect with the old traditions of the church and seeing their desire to know the depth the fathers of our faith knew and practiced, it reminded me that old is new again, and again and again...

Today's reading was a great reminder that I need to look back as well as ahead.  God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow!  So thankful!! 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

weekend report

I swear I have never seen half of the people that were at Crossroads this weekend.  I try to stand in Town Square so I can meet as many people as possible but man, the Lord is filling the place- very exciting!

I found this room in the back full of students preparing for their Summer Mission Trip...we are so blessed!
Our Setlist:
Announcements:  Stephanie McAuley - The Coffee House
Nothing Ever (Could Separate Us)
Lay Me Down
We Believe
In Christ Alone
My Heart is Yours
Message: Unstoppable Walk - Wendell Anderson

To watch our services go to

To see what other ministries used in their worship services go to

Thursday, May 14, 2015

looking back

After visiting my parents yesterday, I decided to drive around Ashland for a while and see if I could remember where all the things were located that were part of my childhood.

Bad pic as I was driving of the house I grew up in on Rt. 250
Gerwigs White Barn is the grocery store that was the nearest grocery story to us growing up
A & W Rootbeer stand was the highlight of childhood

This shop used to be a restaurant, Ron and my first date
This house used to be a silk flower shop, way back when you couldn't buy a very big selection of silk flowers I made all the flowers for our wedding.

I headed first out past the house I remember from when I was really small.  It's hilarious what you remember from being a kid.  Here are the memories that are most vivid to me.  When I was a kid it seemed so much larger and further from the road then it really is!
  • I remember being super sick with Old Fashioned Measles, laying in my parents bed and the whole room spinning - high fever.
  • My sister and I would always lay on the floor upstairs when my parents had guests and drop bobby pins down through the floor register - we thought we were pretty funny.
  • I remember swinging a pillow around in the living room and of course loosing my balance and falling into a table
  • We used to get milk delivered and the Milk Truck ran over our Collie and killed him.
  • My dad decided to demonstrate why we shouldn't use firecrackers, put them in a can and lit them while we all watched from a safe distance on the porch.  They proceeded to blow-up and the metal can sliced him wide open.  We are scared for life but never touched firecrackers.
  • I remember playing on the swing set and helping in the garden (at least I thought I was helping)
  • My mom dropped my sister and I off to pick strawberries when we were pretty young, I think we got paid 25 cents per quart.
  • Things were crowded, overlapping and dingy inside, but we didn't have to drive far so we didn't care
  • We knew the family that owned it - so it was fun to go there
A & W Rootbeer stand
  • We NEVER went out to eat, so it was a real treat
  • It was located across from the only Drive-In Movie theater, so we'd stop and get coneys and root beer and take it to the drive-in.  The traumatic part was my dad took 1 bite out of every coney before passing them out.  I still haven't recovered from that!
The small business
  • This was were Ron and I had our first date - following a football game we picked up some food from it when it used to be a restaurant or sub-place.
The blue house
  • Back in 'the day' there weren't very many places that sold silk flowers except the Florists, and this house sold silk flower kits to make.
  • I made all the bouquets, and flower decorations used at our wedding.
 It was good to drive around and remember, to appreciate how hard our parents worked.  The town has changed a whole lot, but to me it will always hold many fond memories of public swimming pools, and summer soft ball games - simple pleasures like sipping root beer and making new friends.

And now I find myself back in Ashland just a day later, up in the hospital with a momma who is really sick.

How quickly things change ...  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

what I learned today

I started my day off praying and meditating specifically asking the Lord to reveal how He wants me to use my life for Him today. 

As I ended that prayer I knew all He is asking today is for me to walk with Him in obedience - if I truly do that I can be used for exactly what He intends.

I was reading a John Piper story this morning about how he grew up watching his father evangelize.  And out of all the horrible stories of young people losing their lives, tales of people coming to know the Lord on their sickbeds and on and on - the one story that broke his heart as a young man the most was this one.  This old gentleman had been prayed for - for decades, and in his final years came to know the Lord.  This is what he remembered the gentleman saying to his father... I've wasted it - my entire life, wasted..."  Here's the quote from John's book.

“In those early years God awakened in me a fear and a passion not to waste my life. The thought of coming to my old age and saying through tears, “I’ve wasted it! I’ve wasted it!” was a fearful and horrible thought to me”

I assume many of you are like me, and perhaps because we're Americans it's difficult for us to believe that simple obedience and a pure life may be perhaps all God is asking us in order for us to be in his will.  We see so many glamorous things on TV and all around us that look so important and perfect that it becomes the 'normal' or the goal in our minds.   I believe it's satan's most perfect deceit - taking our contentment and confidence away and convincing us we are inaffective or not good enough.  Lies!   We were CREATED by the creator of the universe - how can we forget that?  Please believe it with me!

I just wanted to encourage you all today, no matter how UN-glamorous your day seems - if you are living for Him - it's exactly where He wants to use you today.  Pay attention and keep your minds pure before Him and watch the opportunities that He brings!

Here we go!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

leading from behind

In the beginning of Crossroads there were no rules, there was crystal clear Vision and we all jumped fully into pouring ourselves into doing anything that it took to follow the Mission, the royal why 
we were doing this.

I was reading recently that any new organization can't help but move from "unexplainable to institutional" and in some ways that's where I find myself today.  Examining what the areas I oversee have become.  A strong Godly movement can only be bogged down with too much institutional!

All of our teams still care desperately about working hard, preparing well and serving all who enter our doors, but everything on earth fossilizes as it ages and fades away.  And what I long for all of teams to be is part of a passionate movement - like the early church of the Bible.

Almost 20 years into our ministry I think all of us who have been leading for a long time need to take a step backward and lead from behind. And in the next few years all of us can push the next generation of leadership from behind to achieve what we alone cannot do.  An exciting possibility!

I believe with all my might, that a movement has begun in Mansfield Ohio, and i can't wait to see what God is up to!!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

when I fall down

Yesterday was a day full of unplanned events.

I woke up believing I had my day all planned ...little did I know...

My plans:
-bike ride
-hair cut at noon
-attend last summer's Crossroads worship intern's senior recital
-leading our amazing worship/baptism services

His plans (reality):
-bike ride & breakfast 1/2 way through
-father perhaps close to passing do to severely dehydration from bacterial illness 
-crash 3 minutes away from being back to the car for no reason
-in ER for 2 1/2 hours
-broken wrist & imprint of chain-link fence on my forehead

the results of THE FALL
my precious dad

Decision to believe in God's sovereignty...

Romans 8:28
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

 Why did God allow this to happen?  In time I may or may not know fully - but, when you are a believer you understand that perhaps your faith becomes the faith YOU make it unless He chooses to test us which causes growth or reveals weakness.

He has already let me experience the following.

-in ER the Physicians Assistant asked me where I worked.  After leaving the room he returned with a chair and sat back down beside me.  He said he would probably cry and he did.  Years ago he was invited to a Crossroads Easter service and attended.  To hear him describe his experience and his wonder at the quality of the service made me cry.  The next year he brought his entire family and was again blown away.  Soon after that, being in Special Forces he served very ugly time in Iraq and Afghanistan and longed to receive something He could show his comrades.  So he requested a copy of that year's Easter service which we NEVER do, but we made an exception in the case of our amazing military serving overseas.  To see him cry as he described receiving that package made me cry again!  

He then kissed my head and left the room.  I may never see him again, but God let me see how our team's work is being used!  Breathtaking confirmation of my calling...

Being unable to attend services forced me to miss my favorite service - baptism, even more disappointing because my son, daughter, son-in-law and husband were all baptizing precious saints, some of which are brand new believers!  SO moving even watching on-line. This morning I gave thanks!

God IS moving for sure!  All areas of Crossroads were represented in baptisms!
my perfect husband Ron
Our son Eric

Our daughter and Son-In-Law Aaron
We don't always know WHY we fall and we don't need to know why... so I dedicate this slower-moving next few weeks to His glory and I will try not to question when I fall down.