Sunday, November 30, 2008

weekend report

I help design all of our services. I am never surprised by the contents. But, today I was surprised.

I took off my headset, and sat with my son (home from college), and my husband as if I was attending church instead of working. The thematic flow of the service was engaging. Even though I knew what was next I was caught up in the movement of the service.

It was a very simple service really, but excellent. The words of the songs I had sung a hundred times spoke to me today, surprising me as if I had never heard them before.

In the song This Is Your God - by Chris Tomlin, one line struck me, "He will wipe away your tears and return your wasted years"... that is powerful! Return your wasted years, what an amazing promise. Then of course the killer song Here In Your Presence, every time I sing it I am moved to tears! The following is our entire setlist for the weekend.

Only One - Hillsong
Free Indeed - original by Milo Sgambellone
As For Me -
This Is Our God - Chris Tomlin
Here In Your Presence/Wonderful, Beautiful, Glorious

We purchased the video "One Need" and used it as a thematic transition between our worship and the special music, Voice of Truth. It set up the weekend teaching beautifully!

You can find out what other ministries used for their set lists by going to this link.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving was amazing

We ate a lot! Great food and a blast with our families! I love the holidays!

We started our Thanksgiving at my husband's side of the family. We always have so much fun, and always leave wondering why we don't spend more time together!

We had a very relaxing time with the Seifert's! Relaxing is probably something that doesn't apply to my side of the family. Never a dull moment! We end up at my parents house in the evening after a stop at my mom's sisters house.

The tradition with my family (that our kids will not let us stop doing), is to make hard tack candy! Yippee!

This takes place in my parents garage.

I am so thankful that my kids have such amazing grandparents on both sides of the family! They love their grandparents! The Christian heritage they have passed on to them is something that I can never thank them enough for, God is good!

We got the candy done and then headed upstairs to watch a movie. My hubby turned my mom's living room into a movie theatre complete with theater treats! We were way too full to eat candy, but of course we ate it anyway!! It was fun.

the Lord's presence=power

And David became more and more powerful, because the power of the LORD of heavens armies was with him. I Chronicles 11:9

This paragraph followed my daily reading:
Sometimes we Christians shrink from power giving it away too easily in the name of humility. We may think it is sinful to want power or to be powerful. Here we see that the Lord's presence will mean power. The issue is about where the power comes from and what we do with it.

I had really never thought about the possibility of God wanting us to have power. The author of the above paragraph claims that the Lord's presence will mean power! I am resistant to this concept, the people I admire the most in my life are very humble. Many up-front people I know struggle with power or arrogance. Power sounds so negative!

A gentleman approached me at church last weekend and complimented a TV interview I did to advertise Rick Muchow's visit. I promise, I am not exaggerating when I say it was a horrible interview! The content was fine, but I was really bad on camera, I sounded scared to death!
I went on to tell him how much I love being behind the scenes. He said, "...I don't think God wants you to be behind the scenes." Ok, so this gentleman and I know one another, but have never had much of a conversation, so for him to make this statement totally threw me!

Later I mentioned the conversation to a co-worker who said, "God doesn't want you to be comfortable." Thanks!

I am willing to do what God calls me to do, but I also know we are all gifted differently and 'up front' type work is not what He has gifted me with. I don't know where my negative association with power came from, and if God wants us to live with power, I will but... I think we can be powerful from behind too! Behind the scenes, behind other upfront people and my favorite place, behind my computer screen!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I ate too much

I ate too much turkey, too much ham, too much dressing and too many desserts! In the midst of the feast, we talked about what we are thankful for...

I am thankful for the people around me that see ability within me that I myself would never see, they believe in me. These people have the unique gift of encouragement, discovery and development.

I am thankful for children that not only believe in the Lord, but understand what that relationship demands in their lives.

I am thankful for a husband that allows me to develop and obsess over work that I love without feeling threatened, he is my biggest support and greatest love.

I am thankful for a God that chose me and despite the fact that I constantly DO NOT live up to my end of the deal, He never abandons me. He sent His son to die for me before I physically existed. WOW!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I am not ready

I am not ready for Thanksgiving. Isn't that terrible! I just got home from church and I don't have enough time to do what I was supposed to for Thanksgiving.

Everyone on my husband's side of the family counts on me to make their "Nana's" homemade rolls. Not happening! So, I'm preparing myself to see sad faces knowing I have let them down! Despite not being ready for our meal tomorrow, I have much to celebrate!

I am thankful for an amazing husband and 2 great kids, healthy parents on both sides of our families, a growing ministry (nearly 2,500 people this past weekend), new friends, new teams and a great marriage! I thank the Lord for each of these blessings!

I pray each of you will have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Rick's voice

I value voices. I listen to everyone that talks to me differently perhaps than most people listen. I have an appreciation for good voices because I need good voices for many of the projects I create. But I value most of all a voice of wisdom and experience.

Did you ever meet someone that you just feel like you've known forever? That is how Ron and I felt about Rick Muchow, Saddleback's Worship Pastor. I thought I would be very intimidated and nervous, not so. He put us at ease from the moment we met him. The entire Magnification team felt the very same way!

The weekend was exactly what our teams needed, a wise, experienced voice. Rick spoke to us on Saturday morning, reminding us what worship really was. Worship is not just the music portion of each service, but instead the entire service, every element. It also includes our preparation, what we bring to each service, our attitudes, spiritual preparation as well as rehearsal.

In talking to Rick later, I asked him how he was able to lead the incredible amount of Christmas Eve services at Saddleback Church. He said he would begin immediately upon returning to California to not only prepare musically but physically. He would be working out more and getting ready to give his best to each service. I never thought about how being physically in shape would make services even better, it just makes sense. Many practical things he mentioned were so helpful.

It is amazing how quickly you fall into routines, Rick pointed out that the way you rehearse, is the way you will perform. Habits are created at rehearsal. If you want to have good stage presence, smile and imagine you are leading an audience even when there isn't one. Rehearsal has to be the place that you practice leading, not just the words and notes to songs. I could go on and on.

When I asked Rick to come it was so our teams could hear a new voice, an experienced voice. A voice that God has used to lead thousands of people through faithful obedience to his calling.
A call Rick cannot deny because he lives a life to serve his God and to serve God's people.

Rick's voice changed us, and we are forever grateful.


Here is a link to Rick's performance of the song Depend Upon His Love at Crossroads!


These are additional pictures taken while Rick was here: We took him to see the Carousel Works. We discovered they were refinishing some of the carousel pieces from the Central Park Carousel in New York. Rick remembered sitting in the chariot when he was a young boy in New York! He enjoyed reminiscing while looking at all the amazing carousel creatures being created and restored.

Thanks for coming to Mansfield

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Hey, just a heads up, the audio is so bad on this past weekend's service on the web, that I'm going to pull it off as soon as my guy Steve gets in. Of all the services this year that I wanted to be excellent, this praise and worship is not a good enough mix to broadcast. So it is coming down.

If Steve has the time to edit pieces out of it, we will do some fade outs as Rick's solo parts come to an end and the team comes back in.

To my amazing teams: THIS IS NOT HOW IT SOUNDED IN THE HOUSE! You rocked!! Something got messed up in the recording of the service. No one is more disappointed then I am.

Maybe we would have gotten all proud and arrogant if we sounded great with Rick! ha ha!! Anyway, tune back into our web site tomorrow, and hopefully we can put something up that gives people of glimpse of Rick's greatness and our team's true fabulous sound!

what I learned today

This is a statement I came across in my reading today. Change is made by leaders who are proud to be called heretics because their faith is never in question.

Heretic : anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle.

We can all just get by, go along with the flow. Anyone can live within the confines of established rules and guidelines. It seems to me that this would be a very boring existence. So, can change ever happen within established attitudes? Unless these attitudes are truly given up I do not think change can happen, at least not long lasting change. I served in a previous ministry where we tried to move the church from their established ways of doing things. They said this is the direction they wanted to go, but then changed their minds later. So, for a season there were beginnings of change, but they were short lived. Attendance fell, and they were content to stay where they were. And I believe this was best,
it's not about me!

What I LOVE about Crossroads is that we change constantly. Have we been called heretics? Probably. But, to my knowledge, no one has ever questioned our faith in Christ!! Change is not good just for changes sake. But when we find ourselves doing anything just because it is the way it has always been done! Find the nearest heretic and get things changing!

Monday, November 24, 2008

my day off

Well, first of all I was hoping to post extensively about our weekend with Rick Muchow, but I was not able to get the pictures and I would like to wait for those. I guess it will have to wait for tomorrow's post. Sorry! It was a blast!

Today was an interesting day to say the least.

Do you ever go through those periods of time where you feel very sensitive to God's spirit? That is how I have been feeling lately. I don't mean that in an "I'm so great God wants to work in my life" way, just an awareness that something is coming... and I need to pay attention.

Our weather was truly miserable today, a constant rainy mist filled the sky. As I stopped by the church to pick up some things from the weekend, I noticed a very wet 'homeless looking lady' crossing the church parking lot. I felt I should offer her a ride, but as I approached she went into a store, so I went on my way.

As soon as I turned out of the church lot and onto a side street, I saw another elderly lady with a cane trying to carry a bag of groceries. She could hardly walk because there was no sidewalk and she had her cane up in the yard as she walked down the street. I was in a line of traffic and was unable to pull over, so I turned into the first driveway and waited for her to approach. When she got within hearing distance I rolled down my window and asked if I could give her a ride. She waved her cane in the air pointing to the apartments behind me. She didn't need my help.

Next I went into the grocery store. Can I just say I don't think people wait until the day after Thanksgiving to shop any more, traffic was horrible and the store lot was jammed. It was 3:00 in the afternoon, doesn't anyone work? I found a parking spot and hurried inside. As I finished I needed only one more thing, milk, and we all know where they keep the milk. In the very back of the store!

As I made my way to the back, I noticed a lady in a wheel chair that just sat a few feet from the milk cooler where everyone kept stepping in front of her. She looked perplexed. I asked her if I could help her with anything. She declined. She said that she was trying to decide what she needed and she would be fine. Man, I couldn't be a good Samaritan no matter how hard I tried!

OK God, what are you trying to tell me? Were my motives wrong, I didn't set out to save anyone today, opportunities just kept passing my path.
I thought they were opportunities from the Lord. Were they just coincidences? Would I have been proud if I had "saved" someone? I don't think so, it just seemed like they needed me. I think I would have just felt very happy to serve someone. Oh well, I guess all I can do is to begin tomorrow the same way as today, available.

We will see what God has in store for tomorrow.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

amazing set list

Our praise teams are amazing every weekend, but this weekend...oh my goodness! Rick Muchow from the Saddleback Church lead our worship, or I should say our music. The entire service was worship - music, prayer and message! Here is the set list he lead with our teams.

Beautiful Day - by Rick Muchow

How Great Is Our God

Mighty To Save

Depend Upon His Love - by Rick Muchow

Trust God - by Rick Muchow

Religious Lies: A Good Christian Doesn't Do That - message by our Pastor Tim Armstrong

Ending song: Healing Grace - by Rick Muchow

Amazing weekend! Thanks Rick for coming to Mansfield, we'll never worship the same! (more details about Rick's visit tomorrow!)

To see additional ministries' set lists go to

Friday, November 21, 2008

california comes to mansfield

We picked up Rick Muchow, Saddleback's worship pastor tonight at the airport! I am so excited for the worship training tomorrow with our praise team! My prayer is that our teams are blessed and encouraged! What an opportunity for Crossroads!
Joyful is the person who finds wisdom,
the one who gains understanding.
For wisdom is more profitable than silver,
and her wages are better than gold.
Wisdom is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.

Proverbs 3:13–15

Wisdom. This is a word I seldom spend any time thinking about. When I ask myself who do I know that I would consider truly wise, the list is very short, and believe me, I'm not on that list.

In reading this morning I came across the following; "What do you want most in life? Consider that Godly wisdom may be the means to fulfilling your deepest desires. Do you want to be happy? Seek wisdom and you'll be joyful. Nothing you desire can compare with wisdom! "
Of course I believe that true wisdom and understanding only come from God, never through worldly knowledge.

Wisdom brings understanding which brings contentment because you would have a clear understanding of why. When I become dissatisfied and begin to complain it is always because I don't see beyond the circumstance I am in right then. If I had an understanding of what comes next, or what caused the circumstance I would be satisfied, I wouldn't try to change the circumstance. But, isn't the fact that I need to know what's next prove that I don't have faith, and am not wise?

This is what I am wrestling with in this discussion, where does blind faith and obedience come into this whole scenario? True wisdom, I think, can only come with faith and a desire to live an obedient life, maybe wisdom has very little to do with knowledge of any kind.

I wonder possibly if faith and Godly obedience is all wisdom truly is?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

connecting generations

Last night was amazing. I have mentioned in previous articles that we created a college student group in our data base. Well, the group became real last night.

We packed our first shipment of care packages intending to encourage our Crossroads students as they prepare for finals, what happened instead ? The moms were encouraged! We introduced ourselves to one another and talked about where our kids were in college, and connection happened. We traded stories and all were blessed.

One mom shared with me the week before, (a lady I only know because of this group), that her son has wandered far from God. I told her, "he won't know what hit him, we are going after him!"

After our conversation took place this dear mom attended a training at Crossroads this weekend where she just happened to sit by a mom who has a wonderful Christian son 2 floors above the wayward son. Wow, what a coincidence! NOT! The plan coming out of that encounter: the Christian son is contacting the wayward son inviting him to study with him because just by chance, NOT, they found they are in the same class!! COOL!

To end the stuffing of the care packages, we laid hands on all the boxes and prayed for our Crossroads kids. We are going after the next generation!

Connection is so easy if we just identify needs that are already natural areas of focus in our everyday lives. It isn't Rocket Science!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

what I learned today

I love this line from Seth Godin, "When you identify the discomfort, you've found the place where a leader is needed."

That is so true, think about it. What are some of the times when a leader is most needed?

  • when two sides cannot agree
  • when there needs to be a quick decision made that everyone can get behind
  • when strategy changes
  • when vision needs to be re-cast
  • when people are discouraged or unorganized
If everyone is on board and moving in the right direction, new leadership is not necessary. But the minute focus is lost, people refuse to agree and work together - that's the time for leadership. Now the discussion becomes, what is great leadership?

Great leadership to me of course is first of all God based. But beyond that, there can be no secret agenda, no desire to be known, no egomaniacs. We are surrounded in the media by people who clearly lead only to achieve status and recognition. And usually the only followers are those that hope to benefit from the leaders success, sadly it very often has nothing to do with the cause, the cause simply serves as a platform.

The more giving a leader is, the more productive she will be. I don't mean giving your life away with no boundaries, I just mean it's more productive to work to give then to get. Seth Godin talks about the fact that followers can "sniff" out why someone is asking for their attention. They soon tire of following someone who is only looking out for number one.

In conversations with my son (just this past weekend), this generation is very weary of chasing the ever allusive dream of obtaining much, and of arrogant leadership. They can spot a false leader from a mile away. They want to follow someone who gives not takes for himself. They also reject religion. Now before you get worried about my son, don't, he knows Christ in a more authentic way they I do sometimes. He sees past the religious set of rules that past generations have established. It is difficult for me to get past "the rules" of religion at times, even in a contemporary setting. He quotes scripture, and presents very pure arguments toward a freedom in his faith, that I have seldom experienced. He challenges my false boundaries, my religious 'to do' list. And I'm beginning to see a great, confident leader emerging, it scares me and excites me all at once! The passion of youth makes me jealous!

So today I learned that to be a great leader discomfort is required (isn't that just great!), and that you will lose those you lead if a secret agenda exists. So lead confidently and transparently!

Monday, November 17, 2008

addition to my day off

My dog Ebony enjoying the first snow too! ha ha

my day off

"They are new every morning; Great is thy faithfulness"
Lamentations 3:23

I woke up this morning, as many of you did, to our first snow! I had forgotten how magnificent everything looks with a fresh blanket of white. It seems to define everything and make it all look more 3 dimensional. Kind of makes all things new!

What a blessing that God is the God of second chances! I think like God, we need to be very careful to give one another second chances. And as we begin today we get to leave behind the mistakes of yesterday and seek His will for a brand new day. Another chance to worship Him with our choices, all that we say, all that we think, and every single thing we fill our day with.

I need to get many, many household chores done today, so I better get started. I hope all of you have a blessed day!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

weekend report

Great weekend! We launched our Christmas Project which was answered with a huge response from our congregation! We are adopting 600 of Richland Counties neediest children for Christmas to make sure their needs are met. Our congregation loves this event! More sign ups happened then ever before on the launch day.

Our praise team was amazing with the following set list:

Opening thematic special: Stained Glass Masquerade
Opening instrumental: Undeniable (hot jazz piece!)
Praise: I Will Boast
Praise: All About Your Glory (Tommy Walker)
Praise: Beautiful One
Worship: More Than Enough

Great job by all involved! Looking forward to Rick Muchow next weekend!

You can see what set lists other ministries around the country used this weekend by going to

Saturday, November 15, 2008

balance required

I recently was challenged by an article I read asking the question, "who is in your contacts?". The article went on to challenge everyone to include unchurched people. Man, that hit hard. I don't know if I have even one person that is not currently involved in church in my contacts on my cell phone!

Jesus lead a life of balance. He divided His life between time spent in prayer to His Father God seeking wisdom, worshiping God and making requests. Jesus spent tons of his ministry time on earth with the lost, as well as time with people considered in their communities to be outcasts! I have always considered my involvement with ministries that make the unchurched feel welcome, with ministries that put teachings in common language so anyone can understand God's word to be enough to fulfill my involvement with the lost. I guess I tried to convince myself this was enough, instead of personally reaching out to the lost.

I confessed this to the Lord after reading the article and asked that He show me what I should do to correct this. I asked Him for balance.

No lie, one day later a waitress I know from our ministry approached me at the restaurant where she works and invited me to a dessert exchange with 6 other girls I do not know. I told her I'd check my calendar immediately and let her know by tonight. Time to do baking would be involved. Now comes the balancing part. This potentially could be one of the busiest weeks of my life, sooooo, is this a God opportunity? Something I cannot miss? Maybe...I think it could be! Pray for me to have wisdom please. God does work in mysterious ways!

Friday, November 14, 2008

out of my comfort-zone

I know, I know, God never promised we would be comfortable when we follow Him. But, I could not have been further out of my comfort zone than today! The local TV station wanted to do an interview in regards to next weekend at Crossroads when Rick Muchow comes from the Saddleback church in California.

I had it all figured out, we would fire up the screens and lights in the auditorium, I would get the worship guys practicing on stage, and put Rick's picture up on the side screens! That's what I'm paid to do, figure things out, prepare details! I even coached Dan Fleming, one of our worship leaders on what to say, thinking it would make the most sense to interview him. It will be the worship team that benefits the most from Rick's visit, so logically Dan is very excited about him coming.

Mark... She should be REALLY excited about the opportunities that God is giving her. Now, back to Lori.> Get off my computer Mark! (if you look back in my older blogs you can see what happened the last time mark stopped by my office uninvited!)

So where was I before being so rudely interrupted, oh yeah, I suggested when the TV
station arrived, that they do a group interview since it takes all of us to make our services happen each weekend. But, no, he wanted to just interview me. My throat shut down, ( I have dysphonia in my throat- which means the vocal chords have spasms), I about died. But, I knew I had to, so I said a prayer and am still praying that the interview made sense. My prayer is that God uses this to bring anyone that would be blessed by Rick's leading to be here next weekend. I am indeed willing to be uncomfortable for my God!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

small groups rock!

We were busy again tonight, another 12 hour day, but a lot of fun! Crossroads is full of activity day and night! There were people everywhere. This was a Small Group training lead by Deering Dyer. My hubby Ron, helped with training too. As I made my way down the hall there was a CCB Data Base training for leaders in the ministry going on.

Next I went through the auditorium where I found Steve Browning, our Technical Coordinator checking all the lighting cues in preparation for the weekend services. Looking down from the lighting booth I caught the sound guys hard at work! Not to be outdone one of our praise teams was practicing too!

It's time to go home and I leave anticipating what the weekend may bring, changed lives for eternity. How cool!

the community is buzzin

I am very excited about some of the buzz around Crossroads. Things are hopping and I am really looking forward to the coming weeks!

This event is one of the most exciting all year! Crossroads has committed to providing Christmas for 600 kids in Richland County! These children have been identified by area agencies as the neediest in the area. We have the kick off announcement this weekend and I can't wait to see what God is going to do in our community this Christmas!

-Rick Muchow visit
You can see my previous post with details about Rick. The community seems to be buzzin'! What a blessing that he was willing to come and minister to our teams here at Crossroads on November 22 & 23! I cannot wait until he arrives!

-Small Group Leader training
This event begins in just a couple of hours. It will be the first time I've been able to attend one of these meetings and I'm really looking forward to it. Of course it doesn't hurt that one of my favorite fellow staff members, Deering Dyer, will be leading! Expected attendance=40+ yippee

-Thanksgiving service. Wednesday, November 26th we have a Thanksgiving themed service planned that should be awesome!

-We are finishing up plans for our Christmas series and Christmas Eve next week! We already know we are planning a children's recital and a string quartet in our Town Square!

We are really excited and thankful to the Lord for many, many things! What a blessing to serve here, hope you can join us!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


As I returned to work today after attending one session of a local conference, I had a very unexpected reaction. The speaker said nothing I had not already heard before, although he was very well spoken. But I realized as I looked over the crowd of 200+ church leaders that I felt isolated somehow.

Isolated by the never ending to-do list, by the demands of managing well, by limited time to touch others lives.

I constantly search for new blogs, websites, books anything that makes me feel connected to anything related to my position. So, in this way I stay in touch but still, I feel isolated. Maybe it is just the nature of my job. Most churches don't even have my position on staff. Director of Programming - I plan the services. Most ministries don't consider this position necessary I guess.

Because I feel this way, I delayed returning to the church, and so I sit a write... maybe what I felt at the session is that I wanted to know the attendees stories, talk to them personally. Not just listen to a speaker. I don't know why, but I had a feeling I probably could encourage some of them. Our ministry is larger than most in this area, we forget that some times. It is good to get out and gain an appreciation for what we have at Crossroads.

I love our town and am satisfied to always be here if that is what God calls me to. To do life with our Crossroads staff is an honor!

Isolated... I know it is not God's will for us to do life alone, so I guess I need to start watching for God opportunities and connect!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rick Muchow: November 22!

It is almost time for Rick Muchow's visit to Crossroads and we cannot wait! Watch for an article in Saturday's News Journal about his visit, the paper conducted a phone interview with Rick yesterday!

Rick is looking forward to being with us in a couple weeks, but, not half as much as we are!

Remember to invite all your friends to Crossroads the weekend of November 22 & 23 as Rick, one of America's top worship leaders, comes to Crossroads! God is so good to us!!

what I learned today

It is hard to believe that another week has gone by. Time to study. I read throughout the week, but knowing Tuesday morning is always a focused time to learn, makes me anticipate it even more.

The effort to devote time both to the study of God's Word as well as being a student of leadership skills, I continue to be amazed at how applicable the Word is to all areas of my life. I have mentioned in previous writings how I sometimes allow myself to become paralyzed by fear, fear of making wrong decisions, fear of disappointing friends, a boss or family. I have never witnessed such fear among God's people as I see now in the areas of politics and economics. Fear changes nothing, but stops everything.

This is an opportunity for God's church like never before.

As I continue to read through the New Testament my reading today was from Romans 13, "Every person is to be in submission to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are established by God. Wow, hits us right where we are!

Think about this, "there is NO authority EXCEPT FROM God...God appointed leaders are in place all around the world..."and those that exist are established by God." No need to fear!

Later in this passage, God says, "and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Are these passages connected?

Our relationship with our fellow men, women and children is inseparable from our relationship with God. Perhaps the secret is to recognize that our neighbor, whether it's the guy next door, the server at a local restaurant, or those in authority over us are as worthy of God's love as we are!

These verses from Romans directly impact my leadership. Can you imagine if I lead as if my neighbors are as important as myself? Fear has not power. In my work life I don't think the fear of failure is truly what bothers me, I am willing to take ownership for decisions I make that fail. What holds me back I think, is the fear of criticism. Especially non specific criticism, this kind of criticism shuts me down. Constructive criticism on the other hand, is specific and gives me direction to correct my mistakes.

Ministry if full of criticism. More than I ever experienced in the secular work place. Because it's "church", and truly does belong to all of us unlike a privately owned company, everyone has their opinion and many, many suggestions. How do we survive criticism in ministry? We submit to the promise that God has appointed our leaders and we love our neighbors as ourselves.

If, with God's help, I can live a life that loves everyone as much as I love myself, then those in authority are treated as they should be, and criticism simply becomes a part of learning instead of a focus on the wrongs committed against me.

God is in control and wants my life to reflect that confidence. I learned today there is no room for fear in a life dedicated to the Lord.

my day off

Well.. let's see...we went to breakfast like we do almost every Monday at Rise and Dine.

We are so busy we haven't done many updates at home for quite a while. But, today we went and got tile samples for our bathroom as well as paint color samples. I'm very excited to begin!

Then late this afternoon I went to Jackie Crawfis' house to help prepare and serve a dinner to Crossroads' Apples of Gold group. This group is made up of young married girls and teaches them how to make their marriages strong.

As always, the food was over the top good and organized in a way that rivaled the last cruise I went on. The assembly line began with appetizers and salad and it went on and on from there! My husband Ron dished up the soup and got everyone served quickly.

Greg and I were soon busy washing dishes - our job at each Apples of Gold dinner.

This program works so well because it connects older mentors with younger women who need the knowledge they have to offer. They encourage the girls to grow both in their love for their husbands as well as for their Lord.

This group is an amazing way to not only help couples but also a great way to connect young women to each other at Crossroads. I am thankful for the mentors that feel called to this ministry, and I am glad to help even a tiny bit with my dish washing, as each session comes to an end.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

weekend report

Well, I survived one of the craziest weekends in a long time!

I am so crazy patriotic that I was really excited about the opportunity to honor our Veterans. So, we began our service with LeeAnn Rimes version of "God Bless America" during which we ran a picture collage of our own Crossroads Veterans! People loved it.

Next Dan one of our worship leaders, transitioned us into worship. Can I just take the time to say how much I value both Dan and Milo, our two worship leaders. They are such a blessing to serve with. Dan and I have actually worked together at two churches. I was on the vocal team and played keyboards at a Lexington Church with Dan for about 3 years before Dan headed to Crossroads. I later joined him in 1996 and the rest if history!

Hannah, pictured on the left was the newest member on the praise team this weekend! Welcome Hannah nice job this weekend!

Jon Pierce, pictured on the left of Dan is our IT genius! I get to share him with IT to use his talents in the Tech Dept part of each week. This weekend Jon called all the cues and helped with all the Tech details, man, was he busy!!

As worship came to an end we transitioned into our thematic portion of the service with the drama "Problem of Perspective" featuring two of our newest actors, Stephanie and Jeff. The cast was rounded out with Doug playing the psychiatrist (Doug pictured with coffee). People laughed and laughed as they portrayed each spouses spin on the same conversation. It was fun to see how differently husband and wives perceive the same situation. Job well done!

Next, Pastor Tim delivered a home run message full of great illustrations and of course marriage jokes; He finished by teaching us guidelines for successful marriages from God's Word.

We had to add extra chairs and ended up with almost 2,500 people for the weekend! Wow, everyone's hard work really paid off! God was so good!! Our current weekend services will be up on the web by Monday evening at

To see what other ministries did in their services this weekend go to Sunday Setlists at Fred

Friday, November 7, 2008

testing = faith

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

I don't like tests. I have trouble passing them. Why did God decide it takes trials to grow my faith? David Nasser said, "Tests force us to apply what we learn, or to realize we haven't learned enough." Tests reveal what we know and what we believe. Pain produces character in our lives.

What helps us is the understanding that we live for the next life, not this one. Forward thinking. My head is sometimes so wrapped around this world that my focus is not forward.

I am not afraid to die and I know to be absent from this life is to be present with Christ. But, to count it all joy in the midst of testing, that only happens with a heaven mindset. When trials come as they surely will, I pray I can face them with this kind of Godly perspective.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

manage well

en⋅tre⋅pre⋅neur : person who organizes and manages any enterprise, esp. a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

These are pictures of my son and his band, they are entrepreneurs. (Eric is in the stripped shirt, he won't look at the camera because his mom is embarrassing him) They have managed to continue performing while maintaining good grades in college. They managed last summer to buy a $300 van and keep it running all summer. They managed to cover the cost of all their gas and have enough left to buy new merchandise which they are preparing in the pictures for last weekends gig. They managed to sell over $100 worth of merchandise, I guess they prepared well.

It is with this entrepreneur spirit that we should face each day. Many churches may be feeling the effects of the economy so this is the time we need to become very creative! The huge Harvest Party that our Family Ministries Department just put on for 6,000 in our community, did so without spending money and actually came out ahead! All the candy and all the prizes were donated! Each game was sponsored by a local business and without charging any admission, we made money on the event! This is true genius! Entrepreneurish! (I know it's not a word, but, I like it!)

What else could be accomplished if we all managed and worked like young entrepreneurs? I want to work that way and manage well, with forward thinking, able to make due and be creative. I admire their spirit, how hard they work and how excited they are about life! Mom learning from son, cool!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

first things first

First thing every other Thursday I meet my girls (Magnification ladies), at Panera for small group. What a way to start the day - coffee and some of my favorite girls. I arrived before everyone else today and opened God's Word. Perfect!

Coffee, my girls, the Word and off to Crossroads I go!

I love what I do.