Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Last 24

Pastor Dave begins 'The Last 24' series this weekend at Crossroads - you shouldn't miss it!  Who cares about a couple of inches of snow!
Not only will it be an amazing message about Jesus gathered around a table with the disciples for their Last Supper - we will be sharing in communion.  Communion at Crossroads is ALWAYS an amazing time of reflection and surrendering to the Lord.  It's impossible to leave unchanged.
Pastor Dave talked a little with us today about his teaching while we worked on the details of the service, and I was captivated by the brief glimpse he gave us- I wanted to hear more!
Please come with hearts prepared to worship and receive the teaching the Lord is preparing for us to hear.  A teaching God can use to change your life!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

how should we pray

Last week when the Crossroads staff gathered to pray - Darlene read to us before we prayed about the suffering and persecution that we see around the world.

She asked the most challenging thing..."should we stop praying for God to end persecution?  Because persecution comes when God's people are living for Him - when new people are coming to know Him.  If we ask for persecution to stop, then in essence we're asking for God to stop working in the hearts of men." 

I thought about that all week - what a revolutionary way to think about what we see going on.   We watch as men with an evil agenda think THEY are in control when it couldn't be more apparent that they are puppets of evil - playing out exactly what God said would happen when His people rise up and are willing to lay EVERYTHING on the line to lead others to Him.  The persecuted believe with all their hearts that every person they can reach with the message of God is worth any personal risk.  What an amazing testimony this is!

Obviously we still need to ask for God to surround them with His Holy Spirit and presence so even as they face death, they know He is near.

I have been appalled at what has been shown on TV and will not watch any of it.  But, the other thing I can't get out of my mind is what Pastor Dave said in last weekend's message when he reminded us that in the book of Revelation God says in the last days we will be able to see what is happening around the world.  That's amazing that in God's Word He describes our current ability to 'see' with the internet - although He obviously doesn't come out and say 'how' we'll be able to see.

This should be extremely comforting knowing that none of this is a surprise to Almighty God and that He is indeed in control.


The question we must ask ourselves then is - if persecution comes to places where God is moving in people's hearts, is that why America is still going about it's daily business - for the most part blind or unconcerned with what is happening around us as long as we're comfortable? 

Interesting to wrestle with and pray about.

My personal prayer is for God to reveal His Glory through my life - to use me to lead others to Him,  so much so that persecution holds no place of fear within me as I rest in Him.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

weekend report

Despite snow and cold we met together - as the church...  as our We Are One series came to an end.

It's been a fabulous time of discovering what the Lord had in mind when He created and chose the church as the vehicle to tell others of Him and as the place of community that would help us to do life together.


Our Setlist:

Instrumental:  My Girl
Announcements :  Aaron Nicolas - FOH Engineer
A Mighty Fortress
Our Great God
We Believe
Video:  This is My Family - Asia's Hope   https://vimeo.com/104507094
Prayer for Cambodia Mission's Team
Message:  One Heart; Community - Pastor Dave Vance
Video:  We Are One 
Exit Song:  We Believe

As I walked the halls at Crossroads today, these were just a few things I saw that made me proud, and thankful and excited for the future of The Church!
Student Ministry worship



It would be interesting to find out how many years Doug has taught in the Elementary area of Crossroads!
Doug Wolfe - loving our kids

Many behind the scenes things are going on
during our services.  This morning I found a room
with quite a few people learning about what it
means to become a Member at Crossroads!

To watch our services go to www.crossroadswired.com

To see what other ministries did in their worship services go to www.theworshipcommunity.com

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

second-hander

This morning as I am preparing for my day with the Lord - I looked back over a section of Piper's book and found this note I had written.   Don't EVER be a second-hander!

They don't live for the joy and satisfaction of achievement and obedience to the Lord - they live with one eye on their action or work, and one eye on their audience.

Our audience can be anyone.  Our boss, our co-workers, the congregation if we are a worship leader or teacher/preacher, our spouse, our kids...you get the idea.

No lasting joy can ever be found in this kind of existence.

A second-hander is someone with a lack of true confidence in the Lord, in their calling - trying to compensate for their deficiencies by looking for compliments.

I KNOW without a shadow of doubt, there have been seasons in my life that I could be classified as a second-hander, but my prayer for this work day is that I'll stand strong in the Lord.   Work with a God-given confidence that allows me to make decisions well and love those around me.

So I challenge each of you today - don't be a second-hander - no matter where God has placed you, at home, in the office, in whatever situation you find yourself as long as of course it's a place of obedience, be strong in Him.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

what I learned today

This is actually still churning within me as a result of my study on vacation.  

There is so much - where to begin...

Growing up in the church, so many of the 'believers' I knew seemed sad - as if being a follower of Christ meant they had to be constantly serious and on task to obey every rule known to mankind.  They said they believed in eternal security and yet lived an outwardly terrified life as if their salvation might at anytime be revoked.  It didn't make sense to me as a kid.

What I'm beginning to discover is that what Christ desires for us, what we were created to be and what attracts the lost more than perhaps any other single thing - is when they see our Joy in Christ.

The old song "What the World needs now is love sweet love" really translates into a universal desire to be loved and cherished and what the worldly love never finds is lasting satisfaction which we know is found only through relationship with the creator of love.  And only through that relationship do we find true joy.  For when we have hope in Christ - we're sure in our eternal destination there is truly no room for paralyzing fear. or loneliness.  The world cannot make us sad unless our focus turns toward the world and the temporary stuff it offers us instead of keeping our eyes eternally focused.

Psalm 37:4
Delight yourself in the Lord

I'm sure this has no circumstantial boundary - no limitation of any kind that would justify a believer to ever be less than delighted with the Lord.

The Bible talks about how Paul was sorrowful yet always rejoicing and we know of many missionaries who have given all yet felt they never made a sacrifice.    How can this be?   Can this type of focused delight even happen in America where we all have too much?

John Piper's book  -  Desiring God has strengthened my resolve to find out how to live this way.

I have made the statement  - "He or she steals my joy",  about people I was struggling with.    I have to wonder if that deeply hurt my Savior!  It is a choice to allow my joy in Him to be stolen, no one can take it.   It is only when my relationship with Christ is as it should be that I can experience any lasting joy.

Piper says God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him...

Is it possible as an American to be satisfied - ever?  I've said it before and I still believe it may be true - perhaps America is the most deceived of all nations?  The nations where people are persecuted for their faith - there is no doubt who truly loves and knows Him and who does not.   Here - it's become kind of gray...if asked most people would probably still say they believe there is a God, but sadly their life, their lack of joy and constant striving for more says otherwise.

I'm beginning to believe that everything God created me to be, to accomplish, to strive for is contained in - Delighting In Him - so much so that everyone can see Him and not just all the stuff I accomplish.

Are you joyful?  Does the world wonder what you have that they don't?  Is there a peace deep within you that leaks out when everyone else seems to live in a state of stress and panic and deep dissatisfaction?

Let's all take a step toward an eternal Delight that no man, no event, no trial can ever extinguish!  Let's be filled with joy found only in our Savior!


Monday, February 16, 2015

my day off

Vacation was so very good!



Still loving this guy after 36 years!

All kinds of new friends on vacation
















And now we're home...but, my day off coming at the end of a week long vacation - could not have been better in any way.

Breakfast with our kids, grandson and my parents started the day amazingly, followed by...

Staying home all day with my hubby - he worked on taxes and I finished 6 loads of laundry, waded through emails and took care of necessary communications about coming concerts and other events.

I LOVE being home - it was just a day to come back home and prepare well for the coming week, and it was just what I needed.

As we headed off for vacation last Sunday, I accidentally forgot my iPad, the book I planned to read and my phone.  I think it was possibly a Divine intervention and I didn't miss any of them...at all.

Since I forgot to bring the book home I wanted to read, I grabbed an old John Piper book I had at least partially read years ago - Desiring God.  It was completely captivating and exactly what I needed to read.  Divine.

More about what I took away from that book tomorrow - but for tonight I just want to encourage all of you to search for a deeper walk with the Lord.  Walk away from your stuff and be available.

Read - pray - detach - renew.

I was reminded again how 'off' our understanding of who God is and what He created us to be truly is.  Now to move forward in that knowledge - determined to continue learning and following and loving Him more each day.

weekend report

I was sorry I didn't get to be at Crossroads last weaken cheering Dan on as he taught on worship!   He's such a great leader for our teams and I was so happy he was given the chance to teach as well.

Our setlist:
Announcements on video

Here In Your Presence
Our Great God
Lead Me To The Cross
Finish Your Work
The Whole Earth
Message:  Worship- Dan Fleming
Closing worship:  How Great is Our God

To watch our services go to www.crossroadswired.com

To see what other ministries used in their worship services go to www.theworshipcommunity.com