Friday, October 31, 2008
Anyway I have no idea how we got here, I mean in regard to this place in our lives.
As we pulled up I heard the parking attendant call my husband, "Pastor Ron"...oh man, how did we get here? One of the most impacting, memorable times in a person's life - the death of a loved one. How can we possibly be in charge of such an important event? Pastor Ron...so what does that make me? A Pastor's wife?? Wow... Don't missunderstand, Ron is not officially a pastor at least not in a techincal-degree sense. But his whole life he has been a pastor. He sees deep inside people, he knows what they feel, he cares for them instantly. He loves the Lord.
Ron took a round about way of arriving as our Membership guy, but he was always supposed to be there, he just had a small building project he had to oversee first. God's timing, impeccable, there is no arguing no resisting when you are called.
So that's how we got here. By following God's giftedness, His call. I have to go now, time to go support my husband, a man of God.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Here is a link to learn a little more about Rick.
Rick is completely dedicated to equipping local church worship teams and leaders. Rick will be leading training for the Magnification Team at Crossroads and then be with us for the entire weekend leading us in worship. God is so good to bless us in this way, I can hardly wait!! Please make plans to join us on November 22 0r 23 for three amazing services full of worship lead by this amazing Godly leader!
More updates as the date draws near - stay tuned!
Thanks for watching! We appreciate your support!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
My husband and I had fun greeting people and dodging the candy that was being thrown continuously by our Sr. Pastor, Tim Armstrong. Thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who made this all possible!!
Here are just a few of the many outstanding games and areas of refreshment provided by Jeanette and her staff and army of volunteers!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Learning Styles - How to Learn Anything Fast
How To Learn More and Study Less
Learning How To Learn
How To Learn Facts
Teaching Students How To Learn
...on and on it goes according to the internet...
God said, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth."
--study to know what God would approved. These are three of the possible applications that could be made from this passage about learning: obtain knowledge, strive to understand what you know, and apply the wisdom you gain in your studies.
So I had to wonder, why didn't God just create me already knowing what He would approve of. Why was it so important to Him that I discover on my own what would keep me from being ashamed before Him?
I think things become important to me only when I discover them and experience them myself. Love, forgivness, honesty, obedience... I can have no full understanding of them until I have learned what they are first hand. God obviously didn't want a bunch of robots obeying out of programed understanding, but instead followers who use personal diligence to know Him.
I do so want to stand before Him unashamed, approved.
This will be a life long learning. I learned to day that my desire to study is God given and should be used first and foremost to know Him more.
Monday, October 27, 2008
My siblings and I agreed many years ago to see how creative we could be while only spending $5.00 on one another. Today my sister and I basically just picked out what we wanted from each other for Christmas, so one gift done!
I love my family! It is such a blessing to spend time together and enjoy one another so much! God was so amazing when he gave me my family!! Happy Birthday Mom!
We decided to have this trip begin with a visit to Indiana Wesleyan University to see my kids dorms. The kids called several times to follow our progress. Progress impeded by a late start, drive thru dining and rest stops after too much coffee.
Ok, so the main reason to stop at the campus was just to see my kids as well as their spouses. A name we have given their girlfriend and boyfriend unknown to them.
We are getting ready to begin birthday and Christmas shopping with a new Casting Crowns Christmas CD to preview to get us in the mood. We will collect pictures as we go and report back at the end of the day. Stay tuned for my day off Pt. #2!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
It was an uphill climb to get ready this week, but despite the obstacles, God was good and our services truly reflected the full spectrum of Spiritual Maturity.
We began with worship which included 16 baptisms. A public declaration of faith. How awesome! After a very worshipful beginning the praise team cranked it up a notch and it really got exciting! As worship drew to a close everyone greeted one another and enjoyed a great version of "Takin' Care of Business" by the band. There was a real feeling of fellowship as Pastor Tim came to the stage and everyone found their seats.
The message was the final in the One Month To Live series and used several videos and stories about Evel Knievel. So of course we had to finish the day by dressing our announcement guy, Bill Hill as Evel, and invite everyone to come back on Wednesday for our Harvest Party. Last year we hosted around 5,000 people in a 2 1/2 hour time period. The entire staff will be in costume and I believe that Pastor Tim has offered a prize for the best staff costume! (It won't be me, I don't even have a costume yet with 2 days to go).
At the end of a long difficult week I am very grateful that the Lord blessed our efforts and that we were able to be a blessing to all who attended!
Friday, October 24, 2008
We have a lot of elements in this weekend's services so I attended the first part of rehearsal last night to make some decisions about positioning everyone. Things got off to a slow start. I finished what I came to do and left, man I wish I had stayed. Things rapidly deteriorated. Our sound guy (one of my favorite volunteers), was struggling to get the monitor mix right. Everyone kept making requests and he tried to accommodate them but when everyone needs help at once it is very difficult to get finished.
One of our most beloved volunteers finally became so frustrated that he left the stage. Our tech guy and the band leader went and talked to him and he returned. As a result of the sound meltdown last night my day was spent in continuous conversation and evaluation. I felt like a spy on a secret mission trying to discover the hidden truth. No one was being dishonest, everyone wanted to help solve the problem but as I discovered there were many contributing factors.
As the Director of the Department I was responsible to find a solution and find it fast. I had one conversation after another and multiple conversations with our Chief of Staff because the ultimate solution lies in a hire (and also because he's a friend). This wasn't just about one bad rehearsal but about a year's worth of trouble in our new auditorium. So what to do?
Ultimately the solution seems to be: Hire a part time sound guy- we need the consistency that the same guy each weekend would bring instead of 4 different volunteers, require that no one leaves on Thursday before every mic is hooked up, and every line is sound checked, develop a sound strategy or ongoing goals- no clear vision for what we hope to accomplish in this tech area currently exists, and create an evaluation team made up of various musicians, a vocalist, a worship leader and the hired sound guy. We obviously need better communication between the musicians on stage and the sound.
But, the buck stops here. Looking back I should have taken charge and pushed for measurable systems to be in place. I should have tried to learn more about the sound myself in order to evaluate progress. Hind site is perfect and we need to move forward quickly. I should have been on top of it. I hate meltdowns.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
One battery left out of a mic and the message isn't heard! We have had many small errors over the years, one phone call not made, one light left on, one light left off, one stool not in place, one music transition not played, one word forgotten, one instrument not tuned, one cell phone not muted, one forgotten note, one video not played... one+one+one+one+one+one...details
de·tail (dĭ-tāl', dē'tāl') Particulars considered individually and in relation to a whole: careful attention to detail.
Particulars considered individually... each detail important alone... and in relation to a whole... and finally all the little details come together to create a whole.
You take all the individual details in each service, add God's people and mere details become the whole!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The concept of groups is all inclusive. Think about it, everyone in our congregation is part of at least one group.
Small Bible Study Group
Small Group - fellowship
Singles Group....on and on...
Every time I sit in the service I wonder what other groups could be created? I have a heart to begin an artists group, but just haven't figured this one out yet. For a while we were using art in our Town Square on a regular basis, but artists are hard to recruit and difficult to get commitment from. (Although I have one very faithful participant!) What it seems to take in addition to projects is to create a Small Group in order to keep some teams together. The artists will especially require this. We will have to not only participate in projects together, but a caring non-judgmental connection. This I will add to my to do list! I love artists. The church needs them.
Nothing excites me like connections do. I watch the vocalists, band and tech teammates first know one another in a volunteer work environment, then become friends who care for one another and do life together. It is how the church should function! Amazing!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
This got me to thinking about focus. How do you totally block out personal things when you are in the midst of your professional responsibilities? Is it possible? Is it something we should even strive for? After all, our personal lives are what make us what we really are, right? In my case my kids being home from college was nothing but positive, well except for a little lost sleep.
In my profession, I am paid to be both creative and administrative. I call it being hired to provide "Artistic Clarity", oxymoron? Not really.
Even in God's most creative moments He is orderly, very purposeful. Nothing random about His work. So why do we have such focus problems? My head is always full of multiple things at once. They other night I was driving home without music or anything on in the car. My head swam with creative ideas for services, articles as well as jobs at home to squeeze in. This is my state of mind most of the day, so to pick and choose which to finish first is no easy task. Not an excuse for lack of accomplishment. Even the most creative among us should live with purpose, thus the success of the "purpose driven" teachings and books by Saddleback's Rick Warren. People need to understand their unique purpose in life. This need is built into each of us, artistic or not.
Even in our most creative endeavors order is required. Required to finish a project, a writing, a poem or conversation. I learned today I must be both focused and creative. God made that possible within me. And He gave me perceptive friends - they know me well and encourage me constantly!
Monday, October 20, 2008
What we found was 3 of our directors, our small group guy, Deering Dyer, deliveries, a crashed server - so no one could work, phones down, what a mess!
We made a quick exit and had a great brunch then headed home. I finally got to sit down and read. My devotions today were taken from Genesis 1: 1-3.
The awesomeness of God struck me. The fact that I cannot understand at all the fact that he always was, and always is and always will be. In my finite mind (a mind he created), I struggle with the concept that God has no beginning...where did He come from? He always was...how can this be? No idea. But I believe it.
He spoke and things were created. Earth, sky, water, from nothingness. The creation I love from nowhere, both the seen and unseen working together, sustaining one another. More than I can wrap my head around!
I have no understanding of no beginning, we are surrounded by dates, by beginnings and ends. By appointments, both missed and attended. God requires faith, faith in what we cannot see or understand. And faith in His decision to choose us to spend eternity in His presence. I am astounded that He would value a relationship with me. This time in the Word changed my day off !
Did any of you get time to study today, share the passage you studied with us!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Our set list for the weekend consisted of the following:
All About Your Glory - Tommy Walker
Make It Matter (special thematic music)
-message on regrets-
-willowcreek drama "second chances" (click on drama video below)
Heal The Wound (special thematic music)
All For Love - congregation really responded singing this song at end
we played them out by repeating Make It Matter
fred mckinnon (go to this site to see what other ministries did this weekend)
Our weekend -
Our drama team is expanding and did a great job this weekend! Please take the time to enjoy the Drama "Second Chances". We purchased the script for our drama from Willowcreek. Steve Browning, our Media Coordinator, shot the video intro! Sweet!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Breakfast out with our kids home for fall break, workout at the gym, then home until church tonight.
I have so many things at home that need to be done, basement cleaning, laundry, a few dishes...but this time of the year is my absolute favorite!! I have to be out.
So, my husband caught me in the act, slacking and reading - a perfect Saturday.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Mark 7:24-30 talks about the woman who asked Jesus to heal her daughter. I want to be like this woman. She understood how to influence without being either aggressive or silent. Sue Edwards says, Men respect women who believe in their cause and are willing to make a cogent case, as long as they do so with grace and humility. Grace and humility, not the words that come to mind when we talk about strong leadership. Definitely something to strive for!
But, what if it can be both, what if true leadership is the polar opposite of the stereotype CEO? To be a leader means that for a group, you lead the way, you spread ideas, and make changes when needed. If we as leaders demonstrated true humility and complete authenticity, I suspect people would rush to follow. No larger opportunity exists in our Christian walk, then to lead as Christ lead. If we have been created to lead it is something we can't resist.
My greatest leadership challenge is self leadership- I can't follow myself! I have so many dreams, so many new things I would like to begin, so many things I would like to write about that I sometimes become paralyzed! My mind is full and my ambition high, but I sit, stuck. I know what to do, but the task is daunting until I begin. I need you all to hold me accountable to begin and to finish. I so want to lead by example - so with God's help I'll continue to move, and only with His help will I lead strong.
What keeps you from moving forward? What do you know you are capable of doing, but just can't begin? I would love to here from you - please leave a comment!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
We run multiple cameras during each of our services both on the weekend and MidWeek. We were discussing a new angle with our cameras and how to get them higher when Tim suggested purchasing a hunting tree stand. And it worked beautifully!
Greg Crawfis our facility guy, attached them to the pole and we were ready to go. Here are some shots of Tim trying it out.The tree stand provided a safe seat high above the audience and a brand new view of the stage!
There is never a dull moment at Crossroads Community Church!
To see what other creative things churches are doing on Thursdays go here.
- Prayer requests to be prayed for from the weekend
- Thank you notes to be written
- Tons of emails to answer
- personal reading/study time
- hallway conversations that end up as additions to my 'to do' list
- cleaning up left over weekend messes backstage and in green room
- preparation of announcements for the weekend
- Staff prayer at 11:45 a.m.
- follow up with drama director for upcoming drama: many details
- ongoing recruitment discussion
- stage layout for the weekend service has to be approved
- Roadie team gets instructions and sets weekend stage after Wednesday service
- Administrative projects lined up for the week
- research on next series creative elements
On and on it goes! The Bible tells us in I Corinthians 10:30 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Rick Warren said," Do everything as if you were doing it for God! When this happens, what we're doing becomes an act of worship that brings pleasure to God!"
This doesn't just mean 'church work'! Everything as if we are doing it for God! Puts a whole new spin on each day!!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,and let her works praise her in the gates. Proverbs 31:25-31
I have been somewhat concerned recently by the world's financial failings not to mention complete disregard for all things sacred! But as this passage shows the 'virtuous woman' isn't at all anxious about the future! Why, because she lives a life of integrity and is careful. She focuses on what lasts!
I want to be so focused on reaching others with God's comforting message that all worry fades away. There is no time to be worried or fret about what is to come when we are faithful and focused!
I think it is possible we will see people begin to turn to the local church in record numbers due to their circumstances. When the security of wealth and independence is removed from them the church is the logical place to turn for comfort. True purpose and lasting security is in the message we all take so for granted at times. Desperate times may be ahead, but, we have the never changing promises of Christ, I don't know how anyone lives without Him!
I learned today that to lead a virtuous life is to live with integrity trusting in God. And to be investing time working both at home and outside the home focused on what will last not pass away!
Monday, October 13, 2008
We have a great advantage over most people, we get to work together all day and then get to be together all night! We are very blessed, and have been for over 30 years now!!
It is back to work in the morning, but my day off was awesome!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
- I have to create some blog training for my teams
- Finish writing evaluations for my staff
- spend some time reviewing old systems that we aren't really using anymore and rework or abandon them
- create 2 new small groups
- organize an ongoing writing schedule
Walk out the door and walk back in, what a great illustration! We would have a completely different perspective on what had to be done if we were new on the job. I want to stay fresh minded and identify things as a leader that aren't working.
The blog went on to say...When your memories exceed your dreams, the end is near. You look back with smiles and lots to celebrate, but you don't have a lot to work forward to.
How sad to only be able to look back and to no longer be visionary. I really want to dream, to look ahead. I think with all the problems facing our country right now, we as leaders will be required to have a clearer, stronger vision than ever before. If the economy continues in the direction it seems to be heading, memories may be all many of our people have left.
We need to all walk out the door and come back in again to see things as they really are and to be brave and visionary enough to make changes that need to be made. And to always base those changes in the never changing message of Christ where our hope comes from!
These are all the ingredients in our weekend service preparation:
1.Coffee and snacks must be made for our teams!!
3.tidy up the stage wings so audience can't see equipment
4.everyone get head sets on!
5.meet with tech team to go over every technical cue
6.sound check band/vocalists/monitors
7.cameras are white balanced
8.practice for 1/2 hour
9.sound check pastor
10.video team goes through pastor's teaching support to make sure they understand details
11.team meeting to go over every detail of each element and transition in service
12.sound check announcement guy
13.run through with all tech elements
14.critique sound in house
15.instruct greeters to make sure they understand when doors open and close
16.run door countdown
17.team leaves the stage for green room before service countdown begins
18.doors open at 15 minutes until the service begins
19.playlist begins in house and lobby
20.service countdown runs
21.doors close at pre-determined time
23.post service assessment of service with pastor
24. decide if there are any changes made to order of service or technical changes
25. inform anyone changes affect
This weekend went well as far as worship, house sound and most video support. We had some struggles with monitors and a couple missed lighting cues. Luckily we have 3 services to choose between for the web broadcast!
Most importantly, 6 people came to know the Lord, or at least asked for additional information on how to come to the Lord! Our work was well worth while!!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Most people have a time of college, or apartment living before getting married, or some period of time they are on their own. Not me, I went right from living with my parents to married by 20 years old. It is so weird to go from couple to single after 30 years. Those who know how much I love to be with people might think this was a time that I was out every night with girlfriends, or set up tons of fun things to do. I did exactly the opposite.
I had great hopes for many accomplishments, that lasted about 3 days. I covered a chair, transplanted hostas, replaced old bedding, and organized the garage including some new shelves.
This brought a certain satisfaction, some noticeable accomplishments.
My friends were awesome, calling to make sure I was ok out in the country by myself. I wanted to experience alone so I was home all the time I wasn't working. Of course knowing a husband comes home soon isn't the same as always alone. But it was interesting and probably good for us.
Alone makes together better!
Friday, October 10, 2008
What surprised me the most was the fact that most areas I could be a little stronger in, were the very areas of strengths and gifts God gave me.
I am a relational leader. Team building, creative, relationships, keeping everyone affirmed and assured that their contributions are vital to this ministry, rah, rah, rah, (ok, so I was a cheerleader in High School, what can I say??) These same good attributes cause me to turn a blind eye to minor problems or put off confrontation.
Man, how can this be?? My greatest strengths are my biggest weakness? Do I use my gifts or don't I??
I THINK THIS MAY BE THE ANSWER: I work the hardest on things that don't come naturally to me. Sometimes easy = lazy.
So evaluation is nothing but good, it refocuses me, forces me out of my comfort zone. Some of the goals that were set for me seem totally impossible, but if others see possibilities in me I am blind to, I have to assume they could be right. It is no mistake I have been put under their authority to create and accomplish what God intends for my life.
I have been evaluated - and I fully embrace it!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
A typical order would be that my sense of hearing is first. The dreaded alarm clock. Then my sense of touch, pounding the snooze button on the alarm (did I stress the word pounding?) Then the rest following in random order.
So for me it isn't a sudden fully engaged awakening, but gradual each morning.
Today, God made me aware of this order of awakening, simply (I believe) to help me fully grasp the gift of each day.
It went like this...Sense of Hearing - alarm clock (not good yet) Sense of Touch (snooze alarm - only one hit! new record) Sense of Touch continues - shower
Sense of Taste and Smell - COFFEE (I'm am completely addicted!!) And then as I left my house the final sense, the sense of Sight Magnificent!!!
I stood in awe! "This is the Day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it"...how could I not rejoice!
Then I received another gift as I headed to work, again the Sense of hearing. I have been previewing a CD that Pastor Tim gave me, it's a Passion CD. This was not planned, I don't even know this song, but this is the song that just happened to be on, listen to these words. ...rising sun awakening, the early dawn, they're risen up to give you praise. we have seen the stars and moon, have seen how they shine, they shine for You and you're calling us to do the same... you will never convince me this was all just by chance, no way! God knew I needed a creative beginning to my day in order to bring that creativity to His work at Crossroads. Thankfully my senses were fully engaged, I didn't miss it. He is magnificent, fully magnificent and fills my senses with himself. And yet like the words of the song says, "they're risen up to give YOU praise!" I just get to be on onlooker, a participant in creation giving its praise the almighty God of the universe.
If you want to be amazed that God brings together the creative elements at Crossroads each weekend (despite us).
If you want to see our team in action... Join us at 1:00 today LIVE as we program the next couple of weekends services as well as evaluate last weekend.
Simply come back to my blog and click on the box on the left that says WATCH LIVE. Please join us!!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
It could have something to do with the fact that I don't think I ate one thing all day that was actually good for me. I'm fairly sure that a Sausage McMuffin with egg and cream sticks cannot be found anywhere on the food chain. I really should try to eat better.
It could have something to do with the fact that I haven't been sleeping well, my neck is driving me crazy!
It could have something to do with how busy I was at church from morning until 9:00 at night straight through.
It could just be that I have nothing profound to say...so why say anything at all, good night!!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I got a call from church today from our Chief of Staff at Crossroads, Mark Pierce. He wanted to discuss problems he had seen last weekend. Problems that could interfere with our 'guests' experience at Crossroads. He started talking about a group of volunteers that do not fall under my leadership, technically. However, this group directly affects my area of responsibilities and is a 'first touch' ministry.
As we discussed the problems that occurred, the dreaded words came out of my mouth. The words that every supervisor NEVER wants to hear. I said, "now, you know that so and so is over that area not me, right?" What it may have sounded like is, "That's not my job!" Not good! As we talked I explained that the reason I mentioned that was because I really did think he may have thought this team was under me. He understood, thankfully!
As soon as I hung up the phone I emailed him, apologizing and telling him I hoped he didn't think I was refusing to overlap into another area. No one, I repeat NO ONE feels stronger that the whole staff is one big team than I do, but man I still wish I could take back those lame words.
He assured me again, he totally understood.
So how do we all fall into the trap sometimes of thinking as long as we do our job we are fine? I suppose it can sometimes be a pride issue, that job is beneath me, (no excuse and this is NEVER true), or we may be so busy with our own responsibilities that is is difficult to notice the other areas of ministry around us, (no excuse), or we may worry about over stepping into another persons area of responsibility. Although I think we do have to honor the way others supervise and not take over, it still is no excuse because you can always go to that supervisor and have a conversation. We all have ownership, whether it is a secular job or ministry.
What I learned today: Think Before You Speak! Duh!!
Monday, October 6, 2008
I headed out this morning to run a couple of errands and ended up gone almost the whole day again, but it was nice. Breakfast out, a few hours at the church cleaning up details from the weekend, and reading a great book while I rode a work out bike at the gym. My favorite quote for the day came from a leader I talked to from the Ginghamsburg, a Tipp City church, she had been reading - Oswald Chambers’, “My Utmost for His Highest” We always know when Jesus is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring. "in the commonplace"... that's right where we are! Nice!
This evening I am doing one of my favorite things, just sitting talking on the phone, talking on the computer and writing. Perfect, quiet ending to my day off.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
We had fun with our Home Videos - thanks guys! Enjoy
Pastor Tim asked us "What would you do differently if you only had one month to live"? I have been thinking about this. What would I change and if it is that important why am I not doing it anyway?
This is my list :
- spend more time talking to God: I don't examine my life enough. I think if you don't picture your life as fleeting you don't always confess things as you go. I tend to wait for "prayer time", instead of confessing and asking for forgiveness as God brings wrongs to my attention. I would never let any conviction He brought to mind go unresolved if I thought I only had 30 days left.
- stop worrying about tomorrow and fully grasp each moment: I would enjoy each day, the whole journey. Especially with my family. I would realize the future is pointless to worry about, because we are not promised anything but today! And even this day we are not promised anything beyond the current breath we are taking. I would continue to live as wisely as I could preparing for the future, but not focused on the future. I would also create writings for all my friends and family telling them what they mean to me.
- write a book: Pastor Tim has been trying to get me to write for years. I don't know...maybe. But I have to be honest, if I had 1 month to live, I would try to write a book.
It is all any of us can do with our lives , just obediently begin.
First, put 10 college students in a house and immediately it is full of eating, laughter and blankets everywhere!
Second, let my daughter go shopping and come home and spread it all over the dinning room to show everyone each tiny item she purchased. But, definitely wait until 3:00 in the morning to model your new high heeled boots on the wooden kitchen floor right out side your mom's bedroom door!
Third, everyone finally settled into bedrooms about 3:30 a.m., then the dog decides to go hunting! We have a lab that just lays around outside on our deck all day. But every once in a while he decides to run the woods right behind our home, (directly behind my bedroom). So after being awakened twice by his barking, I tried to crawl out of my bed and yell out the window. What I forgot was that I had the ironing board sitting between my bed and the window. I almost knocked the iron right through the glass in the dark! I finally found the locks on the window, opened it and yelled at the dog. He came down from the woods and looked up at me. Back to sleep! A half hour later he was barking right outside my window, so I finally got up and went out on the deck in total darkness and almost fell down because it was so slippery with frost. (We live in the very coldest spot in Ohio!) I whistled and called and happened to look up.
Did anyone see the stars last night? I almost forgot what I came out to do I was so mesmerized!! I swear it looked like I could reach up and touch them. I wonder if God thought I needed to see His stars at 4:30 in the morning? They took my breath away and I praised Him! I remembered my mission and started calling again and finally heard the dog crashing through the woods toward me. I told him to sit and stay!
The final two hours of sleep were uneventful, but I hit the snooze alarm and was a little late for church. I managed to stay awake , participating in worship that was amazing, and I am now on my couch ready for a nap and looking forward to sleep tonight!
Saturday, October 4, 2008
I invited her to join me for a few minutes in the church lobby. As we sat down she began to tell me that her husband had just asked for a divorce. She completely broke down and begged me for help. The complete hopelessness that I heard in her voice told me this was a divine appointment. And I had almost missed it!
She didn't go into great detail but began through tears to tell me that she knows she needs to be at church more so she could get things right with the Lord. I assured her that she could come to the Lord any time anywhere, but that of course we would love to have her faithfully attending. I also promised that I would help to get her connected with a Godly counselor and a couple in our ministry that specialize in mentoring and helping couples. She told me she had a terrible experience with a secular counselor in the past that suggested the solution to her problems would be to have an open marriage! Can you imagine??
I assured her this was a Christian counseling center that would never recommend such a thing. We contacted her husband and he too agreed to go, so please pray for them!
The world's solutions are pathetic! It seems more and more that secular men have an agenda to destroy all that is sacred. In this case they take advantage of a woman who feels like she has tried everything to make her marriage work and open marriage is what they suggest? I have to wonder how many people have fallen deeply into sin as a result of bad counsel. How sad.
Every once in a while God grants me a glimpse of my unique contribution to ministry and it is seldom about how well I prepared, or how smart I am, it is always about obedience and availability and humility. The unplanned meeting with this sister in Christ didn't need profound answers, or fancy solutions none of which I would be qualified to give her. She desperately needed just a small glimpse of hope, this I was able to provide! God never calls me to do anything I am not capable of doing. What a honor it is to be a chosen child of God and to work with his people!
Even in our discussions of how God did or did not seem to answer requests we help one another. By sharing we each bring a unique perspective to each others lives. Insights very different depending on our own journeys.
I feel very blessed by each of these women already. I'm excited to share the future with them in ministry and personally!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
A really old chair of my grandmothers had been sitting in the garage for a long time. My son's band had adopted it to lay guitars on, or to occasionally sit in, but it was so grungy even sitting seldom happened. The faded red seat was filled with stains and spider webs. My husband has lovingly suggested many times that we should just get rid of it, but I loved the shape, I thought it could be updated. But I had no clue how to do it.
So, I did what any professional furniture restorer would do, I spray painted the wood arms and legs black. Not with a professional spray gun, with a can from WalMart! That was only after turning it upside down to see if I could figure out how to dismantle the whole thing.
NOT!! Oh - it would have been so simple to cover the upholstery if I could have just unscrewed the legs from the body of the chair. But every screw was completely hidden from view.
Not to be discourage I gabbed the fabric I purchased a couple days earlier and went to work. I loved the contemporary fabric I found and thought it would really pop in my living room. Next I gathered my tools, staple gun and glue! Several hours later and tada! Love it! Whether anyone can actually sit on it without the whole thing coming apart is yet to be seen!
Woops I just remembered, I have to lead a 6:30 a.m. Small Group! Good night!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The communion service is typically more simply programmed than the weekend services, but it still takes a lot of preparation to make it a worshipful setting for our congregation. I walked through the auditorium on Monday where I found one of my faithful volunteers, Chris Love setting up our communion tables.
The next step was for our communion team headed by Roxy Rudrick (pictured) to prepare the bread and the cups of grape juice. This seems like it would be a very simple job to do, but I have tried to separate those little cups myself. It is very time consuming and I am very thankful for Roxy and her team that take care of this for me.
Eileen Kline usually decorates the communion tables but she currently is on our mission team in Thailand and Cambodia. (You can follow Eileen and the rest of the team's progress by going to www.ronbiddle.com.) My good friend Jackie Crawfis stepped in and decorated for me, it looked great!
The final step was for the team to practice the worship package. Tonight we went with just acoustic guitar and violin. It was perfect! Milo and Jessica played "the offering" while we took the communion elements, it was outstanding!
Our congregation never seems closer than during one of our communion services. It was a blessing to be at Crossroads tonight.