Wednesday, June 22, 2016

unity - Community Night of Worship

Unity = the state of being united or joined as a whole.

This is what we experienced at Crossroads last night.

As pastors linked arms and prayed, as we learned about Light Our City, an opportunity to serve our community together, and as we lifted our voices in worship - we stood unified in Christ.

My devotions today said this, "Christianity is even stronger than a bloodline, it's a Christ-line we all share.  It is what makes the Church body a family."

Acts 2:44 "All the believers were together and held all things in common" 4:32 that they were of one heart and mind"...unity!

I was so thankful for the church leaders that sacrificed time this week to be part of the Community Night of Worship at Crossroads Tuesday night, what a demonstration of how walls can break down and we can stand as one!

Community pastors standing united

The crowd starting counting down the countdown - they were excited to worship!

So thankful for this young man that stepped in when someone had to cancel.
His spoken word was amazing!

I loed this shot of Darin our drummer, & Shawn our bass guy just having fun!

Our Crossroads praise team was such a great part of the night!

As I stood at the back and shot this picture I imaged being together with these brothers and sisters for all of eternity!

Our amazing GoMissions team - worked to explain our Crossroads' Light Our
City grocery shop event and sold shirts!

Stephen and Milo

Brandi and Jon

Crystal, Matt and Kristin

Jocelyn and Josiah

Milo, Dan and Adam

Everyone came prepared to worship together and to bring 'light' to our beloved community!

And we left saying, "It was good to be in the house of the Lord"!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Young and old

Saturday!   A day I always enjoy!

Sleeping in (usually), moving slowly and choosing what I want to do.

Some days are very full of choice, but today wasn't.

With 1 grandchild overnight and 2 more joining us this morning - my day began as perfectly as possible!  The choice had been removed from my day INTENTIONALLY by me! It's unbelievable how much I miss the simple love relationship I have with my grandchildren when I have to skip a few days!

Sunshiny skies, watering flowers, pushing toy baby strollers, pulling a few weeds and plucking off dead blooms, little hands throwing rocks into the creek...and breathing all of it in deeply...holding it in and worshipping the creator.

Saturday was very different then Friday, and I was so, so thankful!

Today I poured into young, young lives - Yesterday I hung onto old life.

There would be no grandkids without this old life of my mom's.  Her adoration for my dad created 4 of us kids who were then blessed with our own children, a RICH AUTHENTIC Christian heritage and love, lots of love!

As I watched my mom fighting to form each word for the doctors in Columbus yesterday, my heart ached for her!

I tried to remember that God's design is a perfect cycle - amazing variety and interesting comparison.

The young learn to speak - the old sometimes lose their speech or have to learn it again following a stroke or accident.

The young learn to walk - the old stumble and struggle to walk and keep their balance.

The young are taught everything for the first time - the old fight to remember what they've been taught.

I could go on and on - but, moving between a mom recovering from the loss of a kidney a week ago which she did praising the Lord, to fighting for all she was worth to simply speak yesterday - fighting whether she realized it or not for her very independence - well, it just caused a lot of this comparison to go on in my head....and in my heart.

I fought hard to turn these thoughts into praises to the creator, the cycle of life and the creation of each of us to be so unique, young and old to serve equal purpose on His earth, just can't be comprehended by my simple mind - while my heart longs for understanding and peace.

My mom is home, they're calling it a TIA, they see no other blockages or problems so all that remains is the return post-surgery visit later next week.........I hope and pray!

Thanks to all my friends and relatives who have prayed for us AGAIN this week. Please, don't stop!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

what I learned today

I've been searching for a study that combines prayer and scripture, so why am I surprised when the Lord gives me exactly what I prayed for?

I received a totally unsolicited study in the mail yesterday and it appears that it is EXACTLY what I've been looking for!  A 10 week prayer journaling study - short - concise and personally challenging.  Working in ministry I've become aware how casually I tell people I'll pray for them, and I have to confess unless I write their name down right there and then I often forget.  This provides me a place to write down specific names, and to write my prayers out before the Lord - accountability.

At this point I'm not going to share what the title is because I'm just in day 1, and I don't know the content yet.  I've been highly disappointed in some of the pastoral associations that have emerged lately between some of the people I thought were theologically safe to study.   So, that causes me not to jump the gun and recommend much.  Instead I'm going to pray harder then ever for God to protect Crossroads theologically - to anoint our church with great discernment which sometimes means we are forced to point out problems we see with others' teachings.

Back to what I learned today, sitting in my favorite place this morning with sunshine pouring through trees that are still raining from last nights shower, I studied creation.  Genesis 1:1-27

Oh my word!   Talk about the pages of scripture coming alive before my eyes!!   I heard bird calls I've never noticed before, I saw annoying bugs fly past me and watched dew laden flowers reach toward the sun.   I saw a woodpecker that God decided needed a bright red head!  Amazing detail!

A cardinal came calling

Talk about a Creative God!  But creativity alone only creates chaos - orderliness is equally important, God had a plan.

The teaching talked about how God considers a blend of creativity and order to be the most effective way of working.  He needs both type of personalities to operate as He intended.  He said His creation was good, but it goes on to talk about if we had seen those first few days of creation - we may not have thought it good, seed-bearing plants with no sunshine?  God knew what was coming next, so He knew it was good!

The same applies to our lives.

Do we have problems trusting in His plans?  He sees into eternity and we only see this moment.
He knows how we fit into His plan - do we really trust Him?

What a convicting challenge to lay our my life COMPLETELY unconcerned with what is next.  That is my goal today - a day of obedience capturing every word and every thought of useless worry.

I was reminded again this morning to fully lean into God - what I learned today is that I'm simply a piece of the overall plan He designed - created specifically to help in this small span of time for His glory.

Monday, June 6, 2016

weekend report

Weekends come and weekends very fast.

After doing this for the past 19 years, I feel more dedicated then ever to the preciousness of this opportunity weekly!   We pray weekly that our collective work as a staff is used of the Lord to move people toward Him - EVER SINGLE WEEK.

This weekend was no exception - careful planning happened from the tiniest children's area to the most mature adult, we care for everyone so much!

Our praise team always works hard and I figured this weekend service in the main auditorium alone we collectively invested 120+ from the staff (that doesn't count the organizing of video stories etc.), and you figure every praise team member spent time rehearsing and memorizing music there were 6 volunteers on stage and that many behind the scenes technically to allow the service to happen.  I sing our volunteer's praises constantly as we work and play as if we're family - caring for one another and becoming closer each time we get to serve together!  What a privilege to be part of this!

Our Setlist:

Announcements on Video - Shanna Lehew

This I Believe
Holy, Holy, Holy
The Whole Earth
Come Lord Jesus (Even So Come)
Message:  Overwhelmed Pt. 3 - Depression - Lead Pastor Dave Vance
Special Music with video:  Through All Of It

If you'd like to watch our services on-line go to

To see what other ministries used in their worship services go to

Friday, June 3, 2016

our waiting is over

I wrote this yesterday evening, but didn't have time to finish and post...

We are finally with our mom.

After about 2 1/2 hrs. we were told to meet the doctor in a private room, not the words you want to hear.

My sister and I passed around the tissue box in preparation for what we assumed was news that would change our lives.  In some ways I guess it did...

We probably had mouths wide open in disbelief as a smiling doctor joined us telling us that all was well, in fact that all was really, really well!  Why are we surprised by good news?

Our prayers and our praying friends prayers had been abundantly answered - the cancer was contained in the removed kidney.  THE CANCER WAS CONTAINED!

The praises have not stopped to an all powerful God who is not done with mom yet!

This outcome means she can know her great-grandchildren more - teaching them of God's mercy, and celebrating Christ's birth again this Christmas, and continue to be involved in the church she's loved for so many years...

What would the other outcome have been?

I think in the middle of the battle the praises would have just look different - if it had been a health crisis we would celebrate little things, each small victory of a no pain day, each new step taken, each meal with no nausea, more time with our mom...

Does the Lord except our praise whenever they are lifted? ...does He wait for then, long for them?  I don't we decide if He is worthy of our praise?  I pray that under any circumstance I would never withhold praises from Him...that I under any circumstance offer them unconditionally.

For now the Lord has chosen to answer our prayers in the way that we hoped for, and I am overwhelmed with thankfulness to Him and to all of our friends and family holding us up over the past few weeks!

Psalm 9: 1 & 2
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
    I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
    I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

weekend report

It was such a great weekend this Memorial Day weekend at Crossroads.

Our Young Adult Band lead us in worship and it was so good!  It was an opportunity to create awareness for this amazing ministry!

The Young Adult group (YA) at Crossroads meets every 2nd Sunday night for ages 18 - 35.  It's a great chance to get to know other young people your age!  For more info contact Pastor Aaron -

The music lead us deep into intimate worship preparing us to learn more from Pastor Jesse in our Overwhelmed series!  The amazing video shot in our Children's Ministry was a real hit as Jesse used it as an example of temptation - take a look just click on the link!

Kid's Video

Nick, Jocelyn and Max leading us this weekend!
Add caption

Eric leading All the Poor and Powerless

Excellent bassist - Nick

Jocelyn lead us strongly from the keyboard

Max keeping the beat!

Austin leading "Come Thou Fount"

Our Setlist:

Announcements on video

All The Poor and Powerless - All Sons and Daughters
Come Thou Fount - Kings Kaliedescope
It Is Well -
Good, Good Father - Zealand Worship
Oceans - Hillsong United

Message:  Overwhelmed Pt. 2 - Temptation - Pastor Jesse Rider

Exit Song:  All The Poor and Powerless

To watch our services go to

To see what other ministries used in their worship services this weekend go to

Have an amazing - God blessed week and enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend!

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' 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.