Sunday, July 5, 2015

weekend report

It was another amazing weekend at Crossroads!

I watched groceries coming through the doors for next week's grocery giveaway, I helped several more people get signed up for the Global Leadership Summit Simulcast before Tuesday's cost increase - hard to believe that's not even a month away, and I listened to stories of more young couples beginning to attend Crossroads and their interest in our new Young Adult service!  In fact, Aaron Nicolas, our Young Adult Pastor taught the weekend message.  All of it is very exciting!

Our setlist:

Announcements:  Wendell Anderson

Amazing Grace - Milo started things off with an acoustic version of Amazing Grace
Holy Spirit
This is Amazing Grace
All Because of Jesus
All He Says I Am

Message:  Freedom - Aaron Nicolas

Exit Song: Amazing Grace

To watch our services on line go to

To see what other ministries used in their set lists to to

Saturday, July 4, 2015

am I free

I had aspirations of sleeping until at least 9:00 this morning - my cold had other ideas.  When I lay down I cough.  With laundry in and coffee by my side, I sit down to write.  To write about anything my heart desires, to write about what the Lord may lay on my heart, to write about what pleases me and what displeases me, this is freedom.

The definition of freedom is super interesting!

the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

That is a powerful statement!  But then I kept reading and the definition seemed to be much more focused.

the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.

This made me realize that freedom can be huge or small.  Circumstantial or inclusive.  Defined based perhaps on each individual circumstance.

It challenged me to decide what freedom means to me - am I free?  

In light of recent government decisions I have been feeling 'less free'.  It's easy to believe we are on a landslide toward less and less individual freedom if you consider that important issues are being decided without taking a vote by the citizens or at least elected officials.

But I've also been feeling more drawn toward my Savior.  

So guess what?  Adversity always makes us look to the only one who offers true freedom - it doesn't take a genius to realize why He allows us to experience problems!

It's interesting how much we long to look to a fellow human being to change bad things, to save the world, to save America. Nothing, not even a single word, is happening outside of God's permission here in America today.  

As I think of brothers and sisters across the world suffering just because they love Jesus, I realize their physical definition of freedom would definitely be the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. Still, no power on earth can take away their complete belief in and reliance on Christ.

So the question I ask myself is, should I have the power to act, speak, or think as I want to without hindrance or restraint AND the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved?  Am I free?

I will never understand why I've been one of God's chosen to live in this amazing country, but I'm also learning to take it less and less for granted and that's a good thing.  They (whomever they are), always say "you don't know what you have until it's gone"...I pray for all of us - that we wake up and take advantage of our freedoms right away.  Share the beautiful Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone He gives you opportunity to do life with.  That's the freedom they're searching for and they don't realize all of these other 'feel good now things' are a complete waste of time and in the end destructive.

This is the time perhaps like never before in my life-time, to embrace the freedom we have and love those around us despite our differences and maybe we'll taste of a freedom beyond the dictionaries definitions.

I am free and I pray for safety across our amazing country today to express our thankfulness and to be together in our freedom!

Monday, June 29, 2015

my day off

This was a true day off - SAMS Club, Walmart - high-class living!

Spending time with my hubby and family and camping out with my grandson - INSIDE - well, it just doesn't get any better.

As I walked through thoroughly stocked shelves of merchandise and groceries I wondered how my brothers and sisters in the Lord were doing today around the world.  I have no idea why I get to live in such provision and they don't.

One crazy thing after another kept coming on the radio and across my news feeds concerning everything from young children suing parents for equality,  the mess that Greece is in financially -  to a massive man-hunt in Ashland County right now... our world is upside-down it seems.

I spent my day thanking the Lord for His grace, but understanding that the He NEVER promises we'll be comfortable, or safe, or protected from what we see others around the earth experiencing.

As I enjoyed a day full of freedom, I thanked Him for His provision, I rested more fully in Him and kept singing the phrases I can't get out of my head from one of the songs this weekend -

Letting go of my pride 
Giving up all my rights
Take this life and let it shine

Letting Go of my pride - Giving up all my rights...this is exactly where the God of the Universe needs me to be, on my day off.

weekend report

This weekend I felt God's presence so strongly - I felt so drawn to be there with all my brothers and sisters in Christ...and it was so good to be in the House of the Lord!

Worship took us to the thrown, the teaching was spot on - exactly what we needed to receive from the Lord, and community felt very strong as I talked to many that just wanted to be there, perhaps like never before with other believers this weekend!

Here's are some of the sites we saw!

Our Cedarville Worship Interns lead worship for the students!

The whole powerful!
Our setlist:
Lay Me Down
The One That Really Matters
The Whole Earth
Message: Unstoppable - Pastor Dave Vance

To watch our services go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to

Friday, June 26, 2015

when I'm fearful

 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.  And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Genesis 1:2-3

I was worrying about the state of my beloved Country and praying and was feeling fearful... and then I read this short passage in Genesis, and a smile appeared on my face.

How easy it is to fret and worry as if we have no knowledge of the Master Creator, the one who will always be in control no matter who thinks they are.

Can you picture it?  the earth was VOID without shape and dark.  And the Spirit of God hovered...

and said - "Let there be Light", and there WAS light.

Any time He chooses to step in, to cast light on a situation, to create something brand new, He can.

And this passage turned my focus from the things of this earth - toward my precious Savior - the very one who has already bore all the sin in the world upon himself.  There is no sin that surprises Him, no sin that is too big for Him, and no sin that will go un-judged by Him.

And, my focus turned back to my own life, my own sin, my own shortcomings and I broke into praise and thanksgiving that I'm His chosen one.  

Chosen by the very one that hovered over the deep and then spoke and created... I can just picture it, and it takes my breath away!  I will not fear!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

what I learned today

I realized this morning as I had a couple minutes to reflect back over my whirlwind life lately, that outside of my family - one of the biggest blessings I get to enjoy are the diverse 'communities' that I get to be part of.

Pastor Dave on stage at ALIVE!
Crossroads provides me with opportunities WAY outside what I ever dreamed I'd participate in - and last week I watched as God worked to extend Crossroads' Community again as Pastor Dave got invited to speak at the ALIVE music festival as one of the main teachers for thousands of teens and their parents/youth pastors!  God seems to be moving us outside of ourselves and into the community immediately around us as well as regionally, without us trying to make it happen!  So blessed!!

Here are some of the community areas I love the most in my life:

- I do not exaggerate when I say the Crossroads staff is my second family.

  1. I know any one of them would be there for me or my family at a moments notice
  2. We line up behind a common Mission: "Leading People to the Truth That Transforms Lives in North Central Ohio and Around the World.  This is what we measure each possibility against, each ministry opportunity we consider getting involved in.  We do nothing that doesn't support our Mission!  It helps us to be intentional with our time and resources.
  3. We celebrate with one another and support one another in disappointing times - we are family!
-The reason I am on staff today, is because I first got involved in serving as a volunteer.  

  1. When Ron and I began attending, I served on the praise team singing and playing synth.   
  2. We attempted to also help in the children's area, but it didn't take us long to realize this was NOT our gifted area!  We did however enjoy the adult friends we made.
  3. Next I was offered my Director of Creative Arts position as a volunteer and Ron and I worked together with the Crawfis' to create massive set designs and worked on all the special events.  (this was pre-lighting and video - so everything had to be physically created back then - we even used a slide projector for song words!)
  4. The people at Crossroads that I have served on teams with as a volunteer, and as a staff member, have become life-long friends.  Something that will never happen if you just attend Crossroads and don't get involved in serving somewhere!
  5. Although I'm very dedicated to continued development of all the Creative Arts teams and groups, I look forward to getting to know more and more new people along the way outside of our area as well!
-For 18 years I've stood in the Sound Booth, or calling cues in the Lighting Booth, and recently I most often am pacing back and forth across the back of the auditorium, watching the details of the services.

We almost didn't get it all to fit in when it was time to leave
the ALIVE festival last weekend!
I've often joked that I recognize everyone - but really know very few names.  But recently I've broken out of my area and just last week I had the opportunity of getting to slosh through the mud with 26 High School Students from Crossroads at the ALIVE music festival.  Ron and I went as the official cooks.  (little did we know most of our time would be spent just trying to keep things dry!)  

I came back feeling like I had just met a whole new generation at Crossroads!  Oh my goodness how great these students are!

I returned so encouraged about their future involvement with the ministry and met some who have attended since they were small children!  How encouraging!!   For others this was the very first time they've done anything like this with Crossroads - exciting first steps!

I think in January, Lord willing, I'll be going to Guatemala with the Crossroads team.  Again it's a team containing some 'already friends' - but, I also see names I don't know, and God never arranges these things randomly!  So I can't wait to do ministry with new friends too!

There is no true connection outside of community and I encourage you today to sign up to volunteer on a team at Crossroads, join a House Church or take a CLASS and experience strong connection through community!

Community: A unified body of individuals; a social unit of any size that shares common values.

What God reminded me of again today - was what a privilege I have as a believer in Him to do life with so many amazing people!   Are you part of the Crossroads' community?

Friday, June 12, 2015

today's beginning

We often talk about how life can change on a dime - sometimes devastatingly tragic, sometimes just not according to our plans, which is the case today.

As I was preparing to leave for Crossroads, we got word that electricity was down - so our starting times are delayed a little while.

I had listed each point of what I needed to get accomplished this morning - mostly organizing administrative stuff, but I find myself instead in my favorite spot - on my deck!

I started my day yesterday in the same place assuming the Lord had something for me, and it turned out that my prayers yesterday supported everything that ended up happening - unscheduled things - things that could have been negative or positive - things that felt negative as the day went on.

But when I asked the Lord to see things through an eternal perspective - it seemed completely insignificant and the Lord allowed me to move through it, and here I am laying my day down again.  The negative stuff I'm referring to, was nothing big, so I'm not trying to sound all mysterious and make you feel sorry for me - it was just stuff that didn't feel good, that felt repetitive and old.

To picture the Lord 'way up high' looking down (not theologically correct I'm sure), knowing He can see all the dumb tiny things that we focus on and how they fit into His plan makes it important to keep moving through Him.  I picture Him seeing so easily how my decisions fit into eternity, and picture His disappointment when I choose the lesser path - the compromising path.  And in some cases, the easy path.

His plan will be fulfilled, with our without my cooperation.  That gives me confidence - and I praise His Holy name for a new day of communion with Him again.

All I care about is that my life speaks of Him, that nothing I do pulls people's attention away from Him, and that my life encourages everyone I have contact with today.  

Titus 3:1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Can you even image how our surroundings would be affected if we lived this way?  Only through total submission to Him will I take steps today into this passage and into the possibilities of eternally important options.  Ready, set, go!