Friday, January 13, 2017

For Our City

The series Pastor Dave begins this weekend is called For Our City.  I'm not sure there has been another series he's lead that he's been more passionate about.

He is not satisfied with success between the 4 walls of Crossroads, he intends to lead us into changing our entire community for Christ!  And the Crossroads leaders believe with all of our hearts 
that is what God is about to do!

Imagine our Mansfield, once made fun of as a place where no one would want to live, vibrant and full of hope!

I'm not referring to physical restoration, but a mighty, supernatural spiritual restoration!

This spiritual restoration can begin to happen as we offer physical help, as we love and give unselfishly, opening the door to share our faith.

We can no longer stay silent with our personal relationship with Jesus unknown to those around us! Our community must see by watching how we live, how unselfishly we serve, that this relationship with Christ is what's missing in their lives.   It's the very thing they long for, even though many don't realize this yet.

Now is the time to step up and reach out from our safe, beautiful church to become like we never have before, a community church as our title suggests.

It's time Crossroads - to live For Our City!

Thursday, January 12, 2017


It's been a while since we've had a Crossroads retreat - but, ladies we've got a great one planned for May 19 & 20 at Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron.

Some of the most cherished memories I have of the past 20 years in ministry, are the times we spent at past over-night retreats. They were times of getting to know girls I never had an opportunity to spend time with at Crossroads, they were times of staying up all night and never ending laughter along with some tears. Good times.

And they were times of gaining greater understanding of what the church really is - it's a bunch of not perfect girls who know the Savior and need each other!

We'll spend time learning about the importance of the Words we speak and the influence what we say can have on others for all of eternity! We'll play games, laugh hysterically, win a few prizes and enjoy other surprises.

And when it's all done, we'll come back home and know one another better, and care about each other more!

Will you make plans now to go with us? Reserve your room this weekend at the Communities Center in our lobby at Crossroads!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

a Saturday of listening

One of my favorite things to do is to sit for hours and just listen.

I have listened today to Christmas services from all around the country, reviewed all the links I've saved since last year of song ideas, video ideas and all kinds of projects that we may consider this year at Crossroads. Ready to create Easter - cover me and our team in prayer please!

Just listening and listening, open to what the Lord would have for me to 'take in'.  Very satisfying!

I have found the older I get the more important I consider listening to be.  Listening to my family, to what's going on around me, to my grandkids and especially to the older adults in my life. even though i consider it important I need to get better at it!

The death of my dad has created a new desperation to pay attention and to consider more closely what the older adults around me are feeling, dealing with and to consider how it feels as your vitality starts to slip away.

I look at my older friends and relatives and try to imagine them in the prime of life when their dreams had not yet been pressed into and before they gave up what 'could be'.

America does not value their older loved ones like some other countries do.  I wish we did.  Youth is idolized here - it's why millions are spent on face lifts and clothes that are not flattering to the older body - just trying everything possible to appear young.

As I reach out to those much older than me it's difficult to understand that they've also seemed to lose the ability to know what they do want.  When we offer to provide exciting experiences they decline, when we don't offer they complain about being lonely or bored.  It's confusing for both us and them.

I don't want to just take them on 'field trips', I want to convince them they are vitally important and have huge purpose in their community and in the eyes of the Lord.  We need their experience and wisdom and knowledge to be passed down to us.  Especially their spiritual maturity acquired by trial and error, by obedience and disobedience to the Lord.

I feel God calling me to do something about this senior loneliness - this acceptance of the elderly believing the lie of our society that their importance has ended.

This is my prayer - to figure out a new way to serve our elderly.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

there was a man

There was a man from our area who said Crossroads was his church.

We did not know who he was.  He had never filled out a card introducing himself to us.

And then he died.  This made us very sad.

The same week there was a man who passed away that we had known through previous jobs, who was always the life of the party.  He was one of the only men I'd ever been around who was intoxicated in public.  He was one of the only men I'd been around who had no concept of right or wrong.  He did what he wanted, when he wanted with no apparent purpose, goals in life or any care about living for anything beyond current satisfaction.

And then he died.

A few years ago there was a man, a very wealthy, one time very influential man I knew who passed away.  This was an older man that at one time started businesses, helped children with their educations and all sorts of generous things. A man I looked up to.

And then he forgot that God's blessings on his obedience was the source of his success, and he wanted even more.   More women, more alcohol and fewer real relationships.

He once put his arm around me sobbing, telling me to promise him I'd always be a good girl.

And then he died.

I've thought a lot about these men recently.  Can lives exist virtually unknown, unappreciated, unable to live strongly until the end?  The things of this world are fleeting and can be destructive.

I've been troubled thinking about these men.   I wish I had known the first gentleman - I wish I could know everyone at Crossroads, impossible of course.  It's so necessary to be connected in groups or ministry areas at the church in order to be known and do life together as God designed us to.

These men reminded me again about how vitally important every single day is and that hope only comes from the Lord.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

creating Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you still reading my blog!  I haven't been writing, again!

This morning I've had time to think back over Christmas@Crossroads and realized again that creating involves layers of work, an idea doesn't just happen - first the concept;
Amazing CREATIVE TEAM: Dan Fleming - Head Worship Leader; Jocelyn Nicolas - Asst. Worship leader/
Asst. Creative Arts Leader; Lori Biddle -  Creative Arts Director; Aaron Nicolas - Young Adult Pastor
& Front of House Sound Engineer; Lead Pastor Dave Vance; Eric Biddle - Creative Arts Specialist;
Arnie Clawson - Technical Director;
(not pictured)  Milo Sgambellone - Asst. Worship Leader and Brandon Magers - Multi-Media Coordinator
after the concept, second is developing the idea into music that supports the movement through the story; working on every single transition between songs and videos; storyboarding video shoots; meeting on locations with all the supplies to shoot; experimenting this year with lit steel wool spinning and sparklers to create one of the videos; editing videos; creating a stage layout so the team can set the stage; creating the icon for advertising; multiple rehearsals; organizing meals for rehearsals and performances; choosing clothing for the singers/musicians; recruiting the Crossroads Artist Group to help hang everything in our lobby and asking a close friend to create the picture taking backgrounds, everything making sure that we flow toward Pastor Dave's messages; advertising; and now, major clean-up!

Re-aiming lights and setting up platforms - step #1 on the stage
I cannot remember the last day I got to wake up and read and think without a current deadline looming over me!  That's just the nature of my job - to create and finish well so everyone else can do their job. I was very stressed at one point the week leading up to the performances and realized it was the point in the process when I no longer had ANY control - the process had physically begun, so I finally just released it to the Lord and fell back in love with it again!

Pastor Dave and I are already discussing next Christmas and we may have the theme, I'll know for sure after we develop the concept just a little bit further.  That would allow us to plan a summer shoot that would resemble the climate Jesus was born in.  Making the service as true to the story as possible.

This year's Christmas@Crossroads was the most original video work we've ever done, and I loved every minute of it!  In fact I'm pretty sure that the moving background on the worship songs clear at the end of the service, was the only thing we purchased!  So we're making progress!!

One of our favorite concepts was shooting forward moving video and then using a treadmill to make it look like 'Ruth' was walking!

A big shout-out to all the videos in which
Mya Taylor portrayed Ruth!

Even though creating Christmas is a whole lot of work, perhaps the most difficult thing about creating is to release that concept to others.

When you own an idea and have 'stewed' over it for so long, you form a tight concept for what everything should look like and sound like.  But, as you invite others into the process you have to consider their ideas and play to their strengths.  That's where covering everything with prayer and trust comes into play.

As I stood back and watched what the worship staff, musicians, technical staff and Pastor Dave's messages' brought to Christmas, I praised the Lord for such talent and dedication!  I watched as their ideas brought more depth and creative expression to the services and was so thankful to be at Crossroads where we have such creative freedom!

I'm pretty pumped that IKEA is coming to Columbus -
the stars were a hit!

I talked to several staff members who got to minister to those who stayed after the services to pray and I rejoiced as they had this honor.  These decisions or prayers to the Lord, and the richness that the service brought to families that just want to keep Christ first,  paid huge dividends and reminded us once again - this is why we do our jobs!

My on-going prayer is that our work brings additional dimension to the services we create, not changing the message, but adding visual and technical support that helps you remember what's being taught!

Hide God's word deeply in your souls - and thank you for allowing us to be part of your lives!

Monday, November 28, 2016

weekend report

This weekend began our Ruth series, and it was amazing!  This series will tell the beautiful story or Ruth and Hope!

Everything was beautifully prepared to support the teaching, everything from an amazing, thematic time of worship to the beautiful original video footage our team shot - to the small things like 'hope' bulbs on the tree!  All was carefully prepared and presented to our congregation!

Pastor Dave's teaching, "A Difficult Journey of Hope", set up the series beautifully and taught us much that we didn't know about this obedient woman in the Bible!

I can't wait to hear the next teaching this coming weekend!

Our worship team did a beautiful job - even inviting a cellist to join them this weekend - it was gorgeous!

Here are a few shots of our weekend.

Jocelyn ended the service with the song O Lord - it
was such a great support of the message we had just heard!

Our setlist:

Announcements on video

Ever Be
Forever Reign
I Have Decided

Message: Ruth Pt. 1 - the Difficult Journey of Hope - Dr. Dave Vance, Lead Pastor

Special Music:  O Lord

To watch our services go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to

Sunday, November 20, 2016

weekend report

We had yet another amazing weekend!

This weekend I walked around all the areas of Crossroads during one of our services.  I was completely overwhelmed as I saw worship happening in each room of Crossroads!

Here is the look of worship...

Our main auditorium was full of people fully engaged in worshipping the Lord!

The student worship was so great - I left the room worshipping myself!

The students room was set up for 100 and they were adding chairs when I came in!
Talk about praise!

Another form of worship is using your technical talents to serve!

This was worship in the 4 & 5th grade room!

Worship in the form of technically serving!

Worship in the elementary room!

And a young Pastor, Aaron worshipping God with his words of teaching!
Our Setlist:

Announcements on video

Opening Worship Intro Video

Good Good Father 

Responsive Reading

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
In Christ Alone
It Is Well

Light and Dark Video Bumper

MESSAGE:  Light and Dark - Pastor Aaron Nicolas 

Exit song:  In Christ Alone

To watch our services go to

to see what other ministries used in their services go to