Monday, October 9, 2017

my day off

Today I will be spending the day taking my mom for follow up doctor appointments.

As any thoughts arise wondering when I'm going to have time to accomplish the things in my own home that I'd love to get done, I remind myself of all the friends that would give anything to spend any kind of time with mom's who are gone.

I've had various girlfriends through the years that lost mom's at pretty early ages.  Mom's that missed their graduations, mom's that were not there when they needed boyfriend advice and mom's that weren't there for their weddings.  I can't imagine...

I've told girls in my lives more than once that I'm not a very good girl-friend because of how close I am with my mom, sister and daughter, they fill my 'girl need'.  But I realize I am in a season where I'm going to look for opportunities to serve more women - to share what I've learned from being close to my family.  To encourage and possibly help them with relationships they find themselves in.

As I get to spend a day serving my mom, I'll remember all the motherless girls I know and thank God for her and honor her anyway I can.  And I'll be even more dedicated to cherishing every minute I get.

Cherish those girls around you today - all the ladies God has placed in your lives whether they're family or not.  May we all be Proverbs 31 ladies and be used to serve others pointing them toward the Lord with our actions and our words!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

weekend report

How can another weekend be over?  Well it was a good one!

We enjoyed a time of worship followed by an amazing message about "The Proverbs Woman" titled: Family Jewels.  Pastor Dave delivered a powerful message about the impact of a Godly woman on her family and friends, the influence she has on her children and what a tremendous gifting of discernment God has given and how important the correct use of all those words are!

Here's a look at the service.

Mystery guest who we usually find sitting in the
highest point of the auditorium directing!
ok already, it's Arnie!
 Our setlist:

Spirit of the Living God
This is Amazing Grace
Do It Again
How Great Is Our God
Bumper video
Message:  Our Home Pt. 4: Family Jewels - Pastor Dave Vance
Exit Song: How Great Is Our God 

To watch our services go to

Have a great week - let's live for Him and further God's kingdom especially us girls - use your words as if He's standing right in front of us!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

so much new

I would assume the hint that any organization is healthy can be evaluated on whether or not new things are happening and new people are joining.

Just as we settle into a new normal - God seems to be moving us in many new directions which equals new opportunities to reach people for the Lord!

I am so thankful to be part of a ministry that constantly changes and where we rarely hear, "But we've always done it this way," most likely because there isn't a this way!  

As we prepare to continue adding new staff and leaders into our ministry - new doors will open.  Each person has a sphere of influence and unique giftedness that can contribute to accomplishing our mission.  Leading People to the Truth that Transforms lives in North Central Ohio and Around the World!

As we move into this exciting new era here at Crossroads, what will your contribution be?

What area of your life do you need to become fully dedicated to the Lord in?  Serving as a volunteer?  Giving? Regular attendance instead of when you feel like it?

As we look around our community, listen to the news or watch tv, it's clear - everyone is searching for purpose in their lives trying everything from working too much doing anything to make money, watching movies and tv shows that are not Christ honoring, being unfaithful in marriage and sadly some claiming to be a believer but really not acting much different than the lost.  All these things leading to emptiness and sometimes to depression or addiction.

We only have the answer to these desperate attempts if we have a relationship with the Lord AND live everyday like we do.  It's heartbreaking to see people who claim the name of Christ - swearing or sharing negative comments on social media, making evil postings that sound no different than the lost.  Leading the unsaved to believe that they're as good as the people claiming to be Christians.  Sad.

Instead let's be set apart from the world as Christ clearly calls us to be - allowing people to see what it means to love the Lord and to know him personally.

Let Crossroads be known as an authentic group of believers that make a difference in our community as we live each day!  Please join us as many new and exciting things will required an even greater commitment from all that worship with us! 

There's 'so much new' - I just cant' wait to see what God has in mind!

Monday, October 2, 2017

a sad morning

I was looking forward to waking up this morning knowing it was a day off, weather sounded like it was going to be glorious and I had minimal responsibilities.  I had my day planned.

However, as I was waking up I received an early text from a close friend asking me if I had seen the news yet.  I had not.

I turned on the news and the sights that greeted me turned my morning into a sad morning, a different morning than I had planned.

As I watched video of the complete panic, the fallen bodies and crying reports from news interviews in Las Vegas, I thought about the morning that was greeting at least 50 families with the news  of unexpected loss.  I prayed for the families that still may not be sure if their loved ones survived or not.  I can't imagine such terror.

We have a Crossroads' team serving in Texas to recover the loss of property and help to re-build the ability of families there to return to regular life following the hurricane and multiple tornadoes.

I also know one man from Crossroads who is serving in Puerto Rico as they attempt to even evaluate the level of loss they've experienced.

Why?  Why does God allow this to happen?

We believe we have a God who already knows these things will happen, a God that could prevent these things from happening, a God that created the very human beings that cause this type of tragedy - our human minds can't understand why.

Lee Strobel says this in regard to why God doesn't just stop evil from happening,
"So, first, it helps me to remember, as I ponder the mystery of pain and evil, that God did not create them. Though suffering isn’t good, God can use it to accomplish good. 

He does this by fulfilling His promise in Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  

Notice that the verse doesn’t say God causes evil and suffering, just that he promises to cause good to emerge."

It is the free hand of human beings that make evil things happen.   God allows free choice.   Our hands can create evil or care for the needy - it's our choice how we spend our lives.

Lee goes on to explain in regard to 'natural disasters' that "even nature groans over the disruption of God's perfect design -Romans 8:22 says, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” 

My limited human mind can not understand the evil that caused Stephen Paddock to decide this shooting was the answer to whatever tortured him.  I'm sad to assume that this shooter will now spend eternity separated from God - another seemingly pointless existence.

But now those of us who know the Lord have another opportunity to encourage the lost toward a secure future with Christ.  Drawing closer to our God and pointing others to security in Him is the only thing that gives purpose to our lives here in an evil world.

Will you let tragedy draw you closer to Him?  Or will you become bitter over the act of a troubled human's actions last night?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

weekend report

As I got home tonight from work and began once again working inside to keep caught up as well as begin some Fall cleaning, the trees blowing and leaves falling created a scene I could not resist.  So now I sit in my favorite spot on our deck.

The sounds that greet me are everything from falling walnuts as they pound the ground below the trees each time the wind blows, to birds considering whether they'll fly in to the feeders for an evening snack, to the sound of the neighbors' nightly target shooting.  All these sounds are a welcome distraction from what I should probably be accomplishing.

But I can't resist!


This was a great day as I got to do a couple of my very favorite things!

I got to work with a brilliant young lady that came in to record this coming weekend's announcements.  She loves the Lord and we talked about the amazing things God's using her to accomplish and it was such an encouraging time together.  I pray I get to work with her a lot in the future!  Very few things excite me more than discovering new talent and connecting them to our ministry!

After that I had the privilege with my daughter to present the Crossroads Christmas concept to Pastor Dave.  I've worked on 20 Crossroads' Christmas concepts and I'm still as encouraged and excited as ever when all year long I collect possible creative elements, songs, videos and set design ideas - and then sit down with others and watch how the ideas they contribute fit hand in hand with them.  It's obvious that God's hand is on the concept when everything lines up beautifully.  (It's also obvious when it's just been my idea and isn't the will of the Lord!)

As we showed Pastor Dave each element for the first time, it was fascinating to hear his on-the-spot suggestions and affirmation as he graciously listened to us and was so encouraging as he approved the concept.  I left this meeting excited to begin work on the specific elements that I need to create and pass on to others to work on!

Now about last weekend - the Weekend Report

I don't remember another weekend which was so full of technical miscommunications about details of the service, equipment failure, announcement guy's car breaking down preventing him from doing the announcements at the 9:00 a.m. service and many more difficult details behind the scenes.

I believe with all my heart that the enemy was hard at work to discourage the teams this weekend that were involved in the services following an amazing rehearsal last Thursday night and time of devotions and sharing personal needs with one another - a break through moment of sharing according to several team members I talked with!

But despite all the behind the scene problems I received so many compliments and thank you's for the praise and tech teams that I knew God used it exactly as He had intended and nothing was going to stop it from happening.

Here's just a few pictures of our weekend services.

Jocelyn lead this great team as we all joined in for a glorious time of worship!

Austin, Scott and Johnnie all gave their talents to the Lord to help
make the weekend excellent!

Our tech guys play such a huge part in the worship services too!  The LED set design is one of my favorites!

Our Setlist:

Announcements - Jesse Rider

Scripture Reading
King of My Heart 
The Lion and the Lamb
Special Music:  Home - Jocelyn Nicolas

Video Bumper
Message:  Our Home Pt. 2: Expectations in the Home - Pastor Dave Vance

To watch our services go to

I hope you all have an amazing rest of your week - and thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

staying the same

I loved this sentence I just read in a leadership book I'm studying,

when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing, we are ripe for making a move.  Awareness also involves being able to see the possibility of living in a new way.  

In the chapter I'm reading, the study is in the context of Moses leading the Israelites, and just as they got going they faced the Red Sea.

It discusses how God rarely if ever takes us the fastest, most logical way - He has too much to teach us by leading us through the 'roundabout way'.

Just this week I had a chance to spend some time chatting with our pastor and we were discussing some of the things people have been through this past year.  And how in our earthly - limited human way it's impossible to see the whole picture and especially difficult to see the 'why'.  But, we can have such confidence in the fact that God, the creator of the entire universe and all of it's inhabitants can see everything from the beginning of time to the end.   He sees how it all fits together and all supports our journeys.  And all it takes for us to 'change or move on' is trust in His all-knowing plan and surrendering our lives to His way.

My prayer is to see the change He needs in me and in turn to lead well through change which always makes us stronger than we were before!  I do not want to stay the same!!

Monday, September 11, 2017

weekend report

By 7:00 a.m. Saturday the GoMissions team was ready for action downtown Mansfield as we provided drinks and cheered on those running in the Spherion MidOhio 13er!  Here are just a couple of shots.  We used sidewalk chalk to write encouraging words on the street, and rang cowbells loudly to encourage those running past us!


Bill and others wore signs telling the runners what we were providing.

As always Darlene had our missions booth looking great! 

GO  Mark - everyone cheered even the little ones got into it!

Taking your family to serve at a GoMissions event is such a great way to teach them about missions!  It provides a platform for explaining why we need to serve others - both locally, nationally as well as globally.

Later Saturday and Sunday again...  I stood and looked at all the people that the Lord brought through our doors this weekend and am amazed that He allows us the privilege of leading!  It's so humbling to work on projects, watch the time come for them to actually happen and see people come and get needs met!   Oh my goodness what an honor to watch my brothers and sisters in the Lord worshipping, serving, caring for others just being the church!  And our church was definitely hopping this weekend!

We had the honor to welcome Les Parrott to speak in our weekend services and then for the Parrott's together to lead us in the Fight Night event.  Everyone was so blessed and had such a great time together!

As I sometimes do, while amazing things were happening in the auditorium, I wondered around Crossroads and watched the behind-the-scenes ministry that takes tons of organizing in order to care for all of our Crossroads' Kids and teens - just pure joy to see them growing in the Lord!

Here are some pictures from the weekend!

Thankful for our faithful children's workers who are dedicated to teaching
Biblical truths to our kids that will shape them for all of eternity!

Our student ministry praise team lead the youth in worship!

I found Pastor Jesse acting like he was running tech in the
student ministry room with Dylan!
Our praise team lead us in worship in the big room!

The response to Fight Night was unbelievable!

Les and Leslie are amazing communicators!

Signing books

Felt like we'd been friends for a long time!
Our setlist:

Announcements on Video

Glorious Day
Call Upon the Lord
Throne Room
Break Every Chain
No Longer Slaves
City Center Update - Intro of Nicole Blakely and Dr. Les Parrott -Pastor Dave Vance
Message: Dr. Les Parrott
Dismiss: Pastor Dave/Les
Exit Song:  No Longer Slaves

To watch our services live on-line, go to