Saturday, May 28, 2016

falling into place


Your world's not falling apart it's falling into place.....

Whenever I come across sayings, quotes or ideas that challenge me - I often don't have time to really dig into them at that moment, so I send them to myself.

At the time I came across the above quote, it was little more than logical to me.  I don't think I've ever doubted that God's will is what will be done, despite any effort to the contrary on my part.

In the past couple of months however, my neat little package of a life has looked anything but orderly.

I always have believed the fact that God changes are often difficult in order to grow us, otherwise we pay little attention.  They are also usually in the areas we feel the most in control of.

FYI - we have no true control over anything.  

He is the only thing that never changes.

Most of you know I lost my dad a couple of months ago very suddenly.  I'm not sure the fact that I'll never get to see him try to make me laugh again with his dumb jokes, has still quite sunk in.  
















But, there have been many things to praise Him for in his death.


  • Dad had No pain
  • He died in love with Jesus
  • God gave him just the right amount of time to spend quality time with nearly every single person he loved.
  • He and mom had sold their home 2 years before and were in a perfect - single floor condo that is completely maintainable by mom alone - and paid for.
I could go on and on - but, these are the things I continue to thank the Lord for.

A week and 1/2 ago my mom went to the doctor, and finally to the ER after seeing blood in her urine.

On a Saturday night I left church and met her there - we expected kidney stones - they found a large mass on her right kidney.


The past week I've taken her to Columbus twice, spent the night in the hospital with her and ended up having a grand mal seizure myself.  (Don't ever have a seizure in a cancer wing of a teaching hospital)...that's all the detail you get.

What I've witnessed in the past several months is  faith becoming sight for two of the people I love the most in the entire world.

You can talk about Jesus, you can read about Jesus and you can go to a million church services, but the question you must answer is, how does this affect my life?   Does this relationship with Him affect my daily talk?  Can others see the love i have for those around you?   Do others see the tolerance and grace i extend to those that may be difficult in my life?  Do i REALLY have a relationship with Christ?  Really?

I've been asked from time to time about my family, how we raised our kids, just regular asking by people that are perhaps struggling in an area they think we've had success in.

Every single time it comes down to the same thing - CONSISTENT LIVED-OUT OBEDIENCE!  (not perfection, we're incapable of this - just obedience).

If you try to teach about love, but argue constantly at home; if you refer to the Word of God, but don't hide it in your heart and truly study; if you try to teach your kids about finances, but don't tithe on a regular basis; if you occasionally visit parents or loved ones - but never truly care for them - then everything you say are just words. 

This world craves examples to watch - Faith lived out - a life centered around Christ.

As I've watched my mom face what could be just a surgery that she'll heal from, or a cancer battle that could get ugly, I've seen again why I've always respected her faith - why I've never for one day seen her make decisions without her Lord - why I want to be like her.

Her world's not falling apart it's falling into place...

My friends and family are insisting that I take a hard look at myself through this process too.

It's weird how when you're in ministry you think your work is more important than anything, so I'm admitting today - I'm a workaholic!  I LOVE to work!  God never asked me to be this - God doesn't need me to be this.  

So, in the midst of my mom & dad's struggle the Lord decided to give me a good 'ole dose of 'falling apart'...to see if I'd get it this time.   I think I have.

I'm certainly not turning my mom's serious health struggles into something about me, i just finally sat down to process for the first time in a couple weeks and needed to put my thoughts into words.

Thanks for tolerating a long post...that fact that you ever read this means more than I can every explain to you.  Thank you my friends - prayers are coveted.



Thursday, May 26, 2016

weekend report

I am WAY behind this week - my week took a huge U-turn and I'm still trying to get my bearings - but, that story is for another day!

We had a great time in worship and celebrated God's goodness as we began our OVERWHELMED series.

We always enjoy our brass weekends and this weekend was no exception!   I continue after nearly 20 years to be amazed at the level of excellence in our weekend services.  Our staff and volunteers alike take it very personally as an opportunity to  use they gifts and talents to honor the Lord!

Here's a few photos!

Jocelyn lead the weekend for us!  So good!


Great Praise Team!


Austin and the Brass
Our setlist:

Announcements on Video

First - Special Music

Message:  Overwhelming Pt. 1 - Lead Pastor Dave Vance

It Is Well
In Christ Alone
Great Are You Lord

Jocelyn dismissed and reprised back into Great Are You Lord

To watch our services on line go to www.crossroadswired.com

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


Friday, May 20, 2016

in a crisis

Margot with great grandma Forbes


It's always fascinating to watch the rest of the world keep right on moving, normally, uninterrupted even though you find yourself in the midst of crisis.

As we approached The James Hospital today with my mom, I watched airplanes fly overhead, hundreds of cars driving past, birds resting on branches and the drive thru restaurants steady flow of hungry guests pulling in and out.  All the world seemingly normal, except ours.

We've been waiting since 3:00 p.m. today to get my mom admitted at The James Hospital in Columbus.  It's now 1:30 a.m. and we're still in an ER room.

They say the mass they see on her kidney is 6" in size and her blood pressure is off the charts high.

We're waiting.

I've watched her today, one minute participating as we try to make her laugh and talk, the next staring into thoughts of the unknown.

I wish I could make it all ok, to return to what we consider normal, and for all of us to be safely tucked in our own beds - but, for now this is our new normal.  And we'll walk beside her through it, not yet ready to lose her, selfishly praying God's not ready to take her home...

Please pray for our mom, that the mass will be operable and that normal may once again be ours.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

together

Romans 1:5

So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually one of another.

The staff of Crossroads are just the most amazing group of people I know.  We are all individuals, all gifted in different ways - but when we bring our gifting and love for God's church together...well, it's just a thing of beauty!

For the first time ever, we all got away together for a much needed time of vision, discussion, praying, dreaming and fun!

Here's a glimpse of what went on!

These two together...trouble!

All I'll say is, we didn't starve...

staff buddies



Mike's Place in Akron - we're in a bus waiting to eat

I have no idea why Kristin's car is full of beach balls!?


Game time!
It is an honor to serve with these dedicated men and women as we move into the future together in Him!  We appreciate your prayers as we continue in our work!

PS... Greg Crawfis is the volleyball champion!  Just sayin'

Friday, May 13, 2016

simple things = clean water

I'm gaining a greater appreciation for simple things.  
I'm growing more satisfied to just be home, more satisfied reading instead of being on the run, and I hope gaining in understanding of what Christ talked about when He offered us rest in Him, and encouraged a more simple life.
Perhaps the most simple physical need of man, is clean, germ free water.  We take it SO for granted - taking long showers, swimming when we choose, drinking directly from the facet, running our washing machines and yet a great deal of our world spends many waking hours trying to provide their family with enough water just to get through each day.  
When water filters are built in Guatemala, wells dug in Nepal and water storage and filters provided for the rescued children in Cambodia, it also creates the opportunity to share the top need of all mankind, the eternal rescue that only Jesus can provide.  It creates a chance to walk along side of people who had no hope even for their most basic needs, and to give them the true hope found in our Savior!
Today we listened to Crossroads' special guest for the weekend, Gerber describe his country, Guatemala and their needs.  We as a staff got to surround him physically to pray for he and his family.  We got to physically touch and pray for a man making a great difference in this world.  He reminded us how Jesus always used the simple things to accomplish great things.  He also talked about how Jesus used what and who were available - very convicting about being 'ready' not too busy!
We prayed for generous offerings this weekend to address the needs of precious, less fortunate people that we love in Guatemala, Cambodia and Nepal.  We can send our touch across the world by being faithful this weekend.
Will you help us provide physical life and the hope of Jesus to our brothers and sisters across the world? 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

weekend report

Happy Mother's day to all the mom's we love and to all the ladies in the world who 'mother' those around them!

We honored mom's this weekend with words, and videos and teachings and hugs!  It was a great family weekend at Crossroads!

While we were in the auditorium, the students created this video 'live'!
Mother's Day Video

Here are the looks of Mother's Day at Crossroads today!



Pastor Dave teaching us about Pharaoh's daughter saving Moses!

Milo and the team leading us!

Julie - one of the stars of our Mother's Day video!

Jeanette - leader of our Children & Student Ministry areas
worked for days preparing to treat the moms volunteering
behind the scenes this weekend serving our kids!

Worship was sweet!

Sergio took care of our lighting!

Arnie - captain of the Tech ship up high in the booth!


Our Setlist:

Claire took care of announcements for us!

This Is Amazing Grace
Forevermore
Broken Vessels
A Mighty Fortress

Mother's Day video - take off on the Geico commercial!  Mother's Day Video

Message: A Time For Mom - Lead Pastor Dave Vance

Exit Video:  Sermon Spice - Portrait of a Mother

To watch our services go to crossroads community church

To see what other ministries used in their setlist go to The Worship Community

Thursday, May 5, 2016

those were the days



A girlfriend said to me just yesterday, "Do you know how lucky you are to have your kids in town?"


I told her - absolutely! I NEVER take it for granted because they have all lived elsewhere in the short time they've been married. And I missed them everyday!


I don't know why the Lord decided they needed to live close by at this time in our lives, but they do and we see them nearly everyday.


I spent time praying today for all of them and asking the Lord to make it abundantly clear to me - what He intends for me to make of this time? It's a precious time for sure - and I will NEVER take it for granted.

I think it's because they are near, and we get to dream with them and talk to them and touch their children all the time - that I don't feel like the 'good ole days' are only in the past, although those precious childhood days flew by!

But, after talking to my girlfriends I realized how very lonely they were for their children and their children's spouses, so when I came across this article today, I realized it probably describes most mom's.

Here is the article:

We'd spent a few hours at the beach during our Spring break trip to San Diego when the weather turned and we decided to pack it up and head out. I juggled sandy beach toys and wet towels in my arms and attempted to convince my 2-and-a-half-year-old that it was a good idea to leave the endless playground that is the beach while my husband followed behind with the folding chairs and our crying 4-month-old. As we trudged through the sand, I noticed an older man look at us and heard him comment sweetly to his wife: "Those were the days, weren't they?"

I stopped — not physically, because that would have sent plastic toys flying and my toddler running — but inwardly, and when we got back to the car my voice cracked as I told my husband what I'd heard. There weren't actual tears, though that wouldn't have been too surprising for my sentimental self, but I got emotional thinking about it. These are the days. We're in them, living them. Right. Now.
It was a powerful reminder for me as a mom. Especially as a mom who, at the time, was only four months in with two kids and who'd spent the first eight weeks after my second son's birth wondering how on earth anyone has more than one child and their sanity. It had taken me a while to get into a groove and there were more than a few mornings when I had to force myself to get up to tend to a crying child and even more afternoons when I wondered how early was too early to pour a glass of wine.

Juggling 2-year-old tantrums with nap schedules and never-ending bedtime routines makes for some long days, and when you throw in being responsible for actually feeding the entire family and maintaining the relationship that got you there in the first place, it can be overwhelming.

The grocery shopping and the lunch packing and the endless picking up of toys. The busyness of all the little things starts to drown out the beauty of it all as one big thing. It's easy to lose sight of how magical a time it is when you're in the middle of the everyday, but that man's comment reminded me that the days when our children are little are the days that we'll be nostalgic for once they're calling us for money instead of whining for more Cheerios.

In the weeks since, I've made a conscious effort to replay those words and that scene at the beach in my mind. We were sticky with sunscreen, hair tangled from the wind, hands full of stuff, dragging our babies through the sand, and instead of seeing chaos, that man saw us as a beautiful memory of his own young family. We were the highlight reel.
The potty training accidents, the endless snack requests and subsequent spills, the constant fight over the need to actually be buckled into a car seat — these may not be the highlights of each day, but somewhere along with that first baby smile, the hilarious comments only a toddler is capable of making, and the out-of-nowhere hugs that make you want to freeze time, they all combine to make one amazing lifetime of experiences.

The challenge is remembering that the next time your toddler intentionally throws a plastic fire truck at your infant's head after they both refused to nap all day and you just realized there's no food in the house for dinner. Man, these are the days.


I pray this Mother's Day will feel full of love even for you mom's away from children. And that all the ladies in our lives that care for us, and pray for us that may not have children of their own, realize how much God uses them in our lives. They ARE moms! Happy Mother's Day!