Thursday, November 27, 2014

I'm so thankful

As I mix Ron's grandmas homemade roll recipe, and burn the first fire of the winter - I am completely full of thankfulness.

Why the Creator of the universe chose to call me to Himself is something I'll never understand.  It's abiding in His calling that covers my life in purpose.  That purpose fills every second with assurance that there is a reason for each day, that all I have to do is remain in Him and watch for opportunities to serve Him - normally by serving those around me.

The family that the Lord has surrounded me with is one of the areas of my life that I thank Him for continuously.  Always remembering how short our time here truly is by loving them deeply each time we're together.

Today I got word that my daughters' friend lost her father in an accident.

Today we also found out a friend from Crossroads has been given 2 - 3 months to live, completely unexpectedly.

As I bake my rolls I think of these families and can't imagine that they will be able to be thankful tomorrow or that Thanksgiving will even enter their minds.  As I bake my rolls I pray for them, and I tell the Lord of my thankfulness for Him in my life.

I'll think of them tomorrow as I express my thankfulness and love to my family and those we spend the day with.

I'm just so thankful...


Sunday, November 23, 2014

weekend report = Dr. Kevin Leman

What a weekend it was with more still to come tomorrow!

Dr. Kevin Leman was at Crossroads this weekend!   He taught the 3 weekend services plus a Sunday night seminar on marriage.   I've never laughed more in my entire life than I have this weekend!  And the really good news is there is still more to come!

Dr. Leman has an uncanny way of taking truths straight from scripture and presenting them in a way that is irresistible!  He makes you want your relationships to be as God intended and I'm sure many couples left tonight happier than they came!

We are blessed to have Dr. Leman with us and would love for any mom available to come tomorrow morning at 9:30 Moms Only Seminar - Or for anyone to come tomorrow night at 7:00 for 2 seminars on Parenting!

Just go to crossroadswired.com for all the details and to purchase tickets!

Our Setlist:

Traditions Christmas Video

Live Announcements - Wendell Anderson

Blues Intro - All My Fountains

All My Fountains
In Christ Alone
10,000 Reasons

Intro of Dr. Leman - Jeanette Chase - Director of Family Ministry

Message:  The Way of the Wise - Dr. Kevin Leman

Exit Song - Build Your Kingdom

To watch our services go to crossroadswired.com

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


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Dr. Kevin Leman in the house

There is an excitement at Crossroads right now as we finish preparing for Dr. Kevin Leman to arrive.  

It's so satisfying to me, that we are able to offer our congregation one of the most well-known, celebrated Christian psychologists in the entire country.  When it comes to working with Christian families and couples He's the guy!  God is so generous!
We've hosted enough celebrated people to be well grounded in the knowledge that they are just people like you and me that God's presented somewhat extraordinary opportunities to-  who have followed him obediently to serve the body of Christ!
Last night as I finished organizing all of his books that shipped in, I was thinking about the families that would touch each book.  Please join me in praying for every hurting family and marriage as well as young couples preparing for marriage.  May this weekend play an important part in their lives.
That's what Christianity is all about, new beginnings, and I couldn't be more thankful that we have this tremendous opportunity to play just a tiny part in offering those new beginning and strengthening our communities' families!  Please plan to attend this weekend and bring everyone you know with you!  Especially those who may be struggling in any kind of a relationship.
If you haven't already purchased tickets for the Sunday night, Monday morning, Monday night workshops, there should still be tickets available at the doors and we will have them available at the long information counter on your left as you enter Crossroads lobby this weekend!

Friday, November 21, 2014

when I sit and when I stand

In reading Psalms 139:1-24 this morning, I saw verse 2 once again, a familiar verse.

2.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

I know this verse, I've heard this verse before, the question is do I believe this verse?

IF God truly knows when I sit and stand and what I'm thinking about - I IF I really believe this - then WHY don't my life and especially my thoughts look differently then they do?

SO FRUSTRATING!

I do what I don't want to do, I think what I don't want to think...

THAT'S why even every movie and TV show matters and all kinds of trivial things matter so much.  Every conversations matters AND every thought matters.

Does it support what I 'say' I believe?  sometimes...

All I can do when I'm reminded of this is to grab onto it today - turn my day over to the Lord and fight against the enemies interruptions of sights and sounds!

Do you want to join me as we start this day IN HIM - to grab onto these verses and SHOW the Lord we do believe He sees all be the way we act and talk today?

I claim His promise that He'll never leave me - and in Him I'm about to walk out of this house determined to remain IN HIM!

Here we go!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

does SOUL require suffering

A profound question:

Does soul require suffering to make itself known?  Ortberg asks.

My whole life I've heard hell-fire and brimstone threatening sermons about the devil taking my soul  (except at Crossroads!), a faith driven by guilt (my parents had complete control of me playing on my sympathies and guilt).

I grew up honestly believing that until you suffer, really suffer - you may never be close to the Lord.

So I ask you - is that true?

The other things I heard as a child into young adulthood, were glowing testimonies of these amazing people that withstood torture and rose above unbelievable odds to lead many to the Lord.  Deep in my soul even then I wondered if I could ever live up to this and be that kind of Christian.

Even the flannel graph was creepy!

Still I knew there was more to each of us than just our outer shell and mind - a soul - that's what sets us apart in God's creation!

Ortberg says, "We speak of the soul as a source of strength, and yet we speak of it as fragile."

So confusing!  Are we supposed to understand it, or doesn't it matter?  We just somehow know there's more to us then just flesh and bone because the Bible talks about it a whole lot!  So it must be important.

I seem to re-discover my soul when I'm on vacation, especially if water is involved.  The obligations melt away, the to do's are postponed and I remember again, what I accomplish is NOT who I am.

In times alone or away from distractions my mind, heart, body and soul function perhaps closer to what God intended.

Vacation was great and I intend to hold it close and yet move forward into this new season that requires our very best, both externally and for us to closely guard and nurture our souls so we are ready for God's next things.

Are you?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

refilled

If you didn't read my blog yesterday - you may want to start there.  I'm going to write a series of articles about my discovery of how worn-out I've been, both spiritually and physically.

And you can't lead when you aren't where you need to be 'in Him'.

Some people may wonder what horrible mess I'm referring to, I hear all the time that I have the perfect family and life.  They have nothing to do with my own self-care and abiding in Him.  It's not that it has to be a terrible catastrophe to feel separated from the Lord, rather, it's not being as fully emerged in Him as I've been designed by Him to be,  when I'm not surrounded by Him that's what  leaves an unexplainable longing and other things fill my day.

When you get super busy it's easy to just 'stay' there because it's habit and somewhat rewarding, but you soon realize any satisfaction is temporary if you can't evan appreciate the journey - be fully in each moment.

I started each morning of vacation listening to this song (click on the HERE link).  There's only one thing that draws my soul toward Him when I'm studying His Word more than nature, and that's music.  I'm convinced that Kari wrote it just for me!  Please listen to the words when you have time to really Hear them!

HERE

Before I studied each day on vacation, I would listen to this just to focus and get myself ready.  You should try it each morning for a week!  POWERFUL!

When my heart was focused and I stopped crying - I opened the book I will always love called "Soul Keeping".  It is the most powerful - personal book I've read in years.  I received it for attending the "STORY" conference  a couple months ago.  It was worth the cost of the conference to me.

Let me leave you with this today from John's book, he had the privilege to spend time with Dallas Willard a USC professor and a person believers that knew him referred to as a "soul curate".  His deep understanding of the things of the Lord caused John to cry when he spoke of his relationship with God.  When John asked Willard what he needed to do to stay spiritually healthy Willard said,

"You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.  There's nothing else - hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day."

Sounds so simple.  So that's my pursuit - to listen to the Lord.  To be fully present when I have an opportunity to listen to and minister to others He places in my path.  And to not feel one bit guilty for resting more then I have been for a very long time.

Will you join me in this seemingly simple move toward Him?

Monday, November 17, 2014

it's been a while

As some of you may know, we just got home from vacation.

It was the first traveling vacation my husband and I have taken for quite a while.  It was glorious!


Although we had a group of us on the trip - each day everyone did exactly as they pleased and if anyone got bored - there was always a rousing game of euchre or 'oh heck' going on.  I won in euchre but was a disaster in the other.

All that to say, the Lord knew exactly what I needed and He graciously gave it to me.

It's easy to be so busy that you miss your life, your God opportunities, being fully engaged and getting proper rest.  That was the cycle I've been caught in for a while now.  I'm not a victim, I allow it and quite frankly love it.  I love to work and communicate and to see what I can help to create.  But this cycle breeds stress and tiredness.

So as I packed for vacation I knew I had a powerful book or two to take - reading is how I unwind, and I was able to read as much as I wanted to on this trip - couldn't put them down and God used them in a mighty way!  Ortberg is officially one of my favorite authors now!

I want to spend this week writing a little about what I learned each day - I'm still trying to process it all.  As I read I realized I was nearly empty - my soul was weary and begging for focused renewal.

Let me explain this important fact I learned, the difference between busy and hurry from John Ortberg's book.

Being busy is an outward condition - it occurs when we have many things to do.

Being hurried is an inner condition - a condition of the soul.  It means to be so preoccupied with my life that I'm unable to be fully present - unable to occupy this present moment.  I cannot abide in God with a hurried soul.

And I realize I've been hurried for a very long time.  The beginning of the end to hurry started this week - I engaged with my Savior like I haven't for a very long time.  The longing in my heart can only be filled by Him and NOTHING else.  I know all of these things in my head - but my heart, my soul was not satisfied with all the hurry so I really want to continue taking steps in abiding...

For a number of years I've claimed I Corinthians 9:26 & 27 as my life verses and one of the books I read on vacation talked about how important having a life verse is - so here are mine.

Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way as not to beat the air;
but, I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

Who would have thought that one of the greatest lack of disciplines we could have is to hurry?