Friday, February 27, 2009
We often eat out after church with others, but, tonight a group of us all went out to eat and then to a show. We ran into even more good friends at the show! It was so much fun enjoying one another and not being worried about when we had to be home or hurrying off to do anything else!
I am beginning to understand how important this is as I talk to others who are struggling in their relationship or some who seem to have no close friends. How vital it is to never stop working on your marriage and friendships! No one can do this life alone, God didn't intend us to not have relationships with others. We need each other and God needs what we collectively can accomplish!
I would like to have many more evenings like tonight, many more real dates!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Steve was adjusting a couple of lights to accommodate our baptisms during worship. Dan was moving a computer out of the sound booth while Bryan was preparing to dial in the sound. Tom was in the lighting booth watching our big production piece being rehearsed for a week from now. (You won't want to miss March 15 & 16, that's all I am going to say about that!)
Musicians were preparing to practice and vocalists were busy warming up and practicing sweet harmonies. All this preparation to bring the Lord our most excellent work, it's going to be amazing!!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Listen to Mal 4:2 "Whether here on this fallen Earth or in the splendor of a new one I know I will see the sun of righteousness rising with healing in its wings, and we will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall."
I have seen calves who are freed from their stall, they do jump! My grandfather had calves, I loved to watch them run and jump when they are free from captivity, free to run to jump to play!
I read this today in the context of healing from times of suffering or a period of hurting. What a blessing to believe that no matter how tough things may get, God always provides deliverance and healing. When we turn to God's Word healing comes. God's creative way of describing the joy He brings in Malachi is an awesome promise that made me smile when I thought of being back on grandpas farm!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
One of the things that came up as we ate was a discussion about praying, specifically praying for small unimportant things. I was telling them, that I don't always pray about everything. When I look at all the trouble around the world it seems so trivial to pray for some of my little requests. I know God cares about every area of my life, still I hesitate to give him all my cares.
And then came news tonight that one of our kids former classmates passed away just a short time ago. Our daughter called from college extremely upset. I do not know the details, so it's difficult to wrap my head around it. I immediately began to pray for the family who are very dear to us. So I turn back to thinking about prayer again. I am sitting here just thinking back through what Pastor Tim has been teaching us. "Thy will be done..."
How can this be your will Lord, how can this possibly be your will? I am reminded of the passage in Lamentations 3:22b - 24 "For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, Therefore I have hope in Him." I learned today how quickly a day can change and how precious life is. And I was reminded as I read today that God's faithfulness is great, and it is only He that I can place my hope in!
Monday, February 23, 2009
If we at least get the supplies, we will be much more likely to begin the updates! I hope! We may just visit our parents today and do dinner with them, all in all a relaxing day.
What do you do on your days off? Leave me a comment!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Our set list was the thematic support to the teaching that we had hoped for:
Opening Instrumental: WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU
O PRAISE HIM - Crowder
BLESSED BE THE NAME - (shortened)
THE LORDS PRAYER - original by Milo Sgambelone (one of our worship leaders)
RESCUE - Desperation Band Performed as a special after the congregation was seated, but they jumped to there feet or raised their hands worshiping as it was performed. Just an amazing response!
Special Music: SMALL ENOUGH - this took place within the final minutes of the message.
We then went back into BREATHE - the perfect ending to our worship and prayer filled day! God was good.
On Monday click here if you would like to watch this service.
Also, if you would like to see what other ministries around the US and the world click here.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Tonight after the service this little college girl came up to me and gave me a note. I stuck it in my pocket and read it while I was in our post production meeting. A group of moms we call MOCK - Moms of College Kids - just sent out Valentine Care packages to our college kids at Crossroads.
Her note read, "Dear Crossroads Moms,
I thank you so much for all the gifts and happiness that
you have sent to me and the reminders from home to believe
in Him and everything will be just fine. Thank you so much
I really appreciate it.
That made my evening. Simple things are amazing gifts from God!
Difficult in the sense that I never want our services to become repetitive, boring or less than excellent! In most cases the longer you work somewhere the more you take things for granted and become relaxed. This can never happen in my work! So I start over each week knowing it is only God's grace that reveals new ways to communicate the NEVER changing Word of God!
We have several extremely exciting things coming up this year, I'll share more when I have all the details in place! Until then I continue to treasure each day I get to serve the amazing Crossroads community!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
As I was reading today about Zebedee the father of James and John I was reminded we are not so different from one another. Beth Moore describes Zebedee as being like every father, a father whose sons grew up playing by his side. "They probably played around even behind Zebedee's back when they should have been working as teenagers." And then she went on to say, "Just about the time Zebedee grew exasperated with them, he'd look in their faces and see himself."
This is so true! I see myself in them, the same occasional wrong decision, angry words or worry about things over which I have no control. Biblical mothers and fathers felt the things we feel, were frustrated by things that frustrate us and loved their children just as much as we love ours!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
So in some ways it felt like a “not too important” day. What is an important day? I guess a day with big accomplishments, important appointments, equipment that works flawlessly, people returning my calls and answering emails I send, a new volunteer recruited and trained, phone calls from college with exciting news from my kids…
Once I faced my discouragement with my Wednesday, I asked myself what would have made the day feel important; I was ashamed of what I considered important. At least in most of the instances.
The Midweek teaching continued in Hosea 4, and one of Pastor Tim’s statements was, “whatever you are putting first place in your life is your idol”. So looking at my list of ‘importance’, what were my idols? Accomplishments, my kids, another volunteer for my Department? Trivial, (well, surely my kids aren’t trivial? Are they?) Not trivial in God’s eyes, but at my most honest place I admit I have put them first before God at times…
Every day God gives is an important day; the only thing that separates important from unimportant is what my idol becomes each day. Nothing too important is not found in God’s vocabulary, only in mine.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
My thinking is this: It will require me to be more disciplined with my evenings (less tv and computer)! Also, I would love to begin working out in the mornings instead of afternoons - big 'would love to'! The final thing is, I hope it will make me go to bed earlier and go to bed pondering something God wants to teach me. We will see...
Tonight I studied the story of the disciples fishing, just a normal night. A frustrating work day producing - no fish! This is bad if your livelihood depends on fish. This was their routine, day in and day out, fishing. And then Christ walked into their routine day and it became anything but routine! It became amazing!
My study today challenged me to consider when the last time was that I was amazed by God? Typically for me amazement is easy anytime I am out in nature, no matter the weather. But due to the amount of time we have been inside this winter with extremely cold temperatures, I have not gotten my fix of nature for quite some time. Still, God has amazed me in other ways.
He has opened doors recently that I could have only dreamed of in the past. He has chosen this time to amaze us in new ways! When God walks into our routines, ordinary days become amazing!
When Jesus told the disciples to throw there nets on the other side of the boats in deep water after they had fished all night, they couldn't have know how utter amazement of this Christ was about to change everything! After obeying Him their nets were full, something they couldn't accomplish themselves. They knew at that moment they would follow Him anywhere!
Obedience allows God to reveal himself, even when we don't understand fully what He is asking us to do. He has made us all fishers of men, and that is why we follow God's call on our life, to be used of Him is all that matters. To be chosen and used of Him is amazing! That is what I learned today!
Monday, February 16, 2009
My response - consistency.
I really cannot think of another thing that is more important in parenting. This is true in every area. Parents must demonstrate consistency in their own marriages, consistency in our pursuit of spiritual maturity, discipline of our kids, a big one is encouragement of our kids, we need to be very present in their lives - attend things that are important to them, then there is honesty with our kids... I could go on and on.
Even the Christian kids I know who have lost respect for their parents seem to resent them because they see they don't practice what they preach. We cannot expect our kids to act any differently then we act. Certainly there are exceptions, and it doesn't always mean that the parents did wrong things. Some kids just seem to struggle with authority their whole lives. All we can do is our best to demonstrate a responsible, consistent, Godly life for them!
Generally speaking, what I see is if there is consistency between what we say and what we do, the relationship with our kids can flourish! I pray for my kids and praise God for our relationship every day!
No evidence of bad economy at this store that's for sure. I jumped in the car with a couple good friends and off we went toward Detroit for intense shopping (never take a truck or large van this controls spending!), we didn't spend much at all! Besides shopping we enjoyed lots of laughs, most of them at my expense! We also reviewed an extraordinary amount of the latest Christian music! Fun day off!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Anyway, God has given a lot of old equipment great longevity, but, the time is coming where we need to replace mics and other various equipment. We had a drama with 6 actors and had problems with several face mics, other than that the volunteers offered the Lord their best and pulled off a very technically difficult weekend! I counted 28 volunteers that it took to run the service. I praise God for them!
Opener: Pray Darlene Zschech
New Praise: Sing, Sing, Sing
Our God Saves
Responsive reading - Lords Prayer with additional inserts
Draw Me Lord (shortened)
Prayer Perplexity - WillowCreek Drama
Exit Song: Pray
If you would like to see what other ministries around the world did this weekend click here
If you would like to watch our services click here on Monday afternoon. God Bless!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Proverbs 4:23, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."
We know we have to guard things like our time, resources, family, marriage, but, what about our own hearts?
Sometimes in ministry I feel like I have to always give 'all of me' away constantly. Some of my friends have taught me recently this is not what God wants. He wants us to protect ourselves, protect our hearts. We have a God given intuition (promptings from the Holy Spirit) that tells us when we have had enough or need a break. We need to listen, we have to guard our hearts.
The ways of guarding are many, the study of God's Word, prayer and Godly support of close friends. We do, however, have to make sure there is balance. God never intended us to live in isolation, shutting out all around us. The church is the perfect example of how much God values community. This requires a balance of investing in and doing life with others while remaining aware of the condition of our hearts. Balance is the tough part.
So, how is your heart on this Valentines Day?
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I am very excited about the Creative Arts Small Group tonight at the Mansfield Art Center, I'll probably add pictures to this post tonight! So, that is what I'm working on over lunch, my small group study.
I am not particularly happy with the commentaries I've been using, they all seem to contradict one another. Oh well, it should make for lively conversation and exploration at group tonight.
More detail later! Hope you have electricity wherever you are today!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I waited to write on my blog until 11:00 tonight. Big mistake, no internet! No electricity! Wind gusts of 60 miles per hour!
But, God is good and we got through a great, great night of ministry at Crossroads with only one front door broken, and several lost umbrellas! Pastor Tim’s ongoing study in Hosea is extraordinary. And there was a whole lot of ministry going on!!
As soon as the service was over the ministry went into high gear! Our MOCK (Moms of College Kids) group began packaging Valentine care packages for our Crossroads kids that are away at school. These moms packed up the goodies and prayed over all the envelopes for God’s protection and blessing on our kids.
Meanwhile the drama team was busy working on the drama “Prayer Perplexity”, a script from the
As all of this was going on, lists were being made to replenish the café supplies when we do a Sam's run on Thursday, just as I heard this conversation the volunteer cleaning team began to work. The Roadie team started to reset the stage preparing for the weekend services. Hospital visitation was also being planned for the rest of the week based on our congregation’s needs at the same time our fearless parking lot attendants were assisting people back out into the wind and into their cars safely!
Nothing is more fun than watching God’s people use their gifts to serve on another! I’m exhausted, but it was a great day!
As I finished writing this and saved it until the internet was back up, I went to bed with flashlight in hand only to wake up to an odd smell a while later when the electric decided to come back on. Something smelled terrible!! I was boiling eggs for egg salad sandwiches today and forgot to turn the burner off when the electric went off!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I cannot imagine how horrible it would be without the Holy Spirit in our lives. How hopeless to be focused on sinful things, a pointless life really. I started my day, which is a gift from the Lord in itself, asking God to fill my mind with pleasing things, Holy Spirit lead things the entire day. Does this guarantee perfection? Of course not, because somewhere along the way today I'll try to take over and mess something up!!
I cannot control my thoughts and actions without His intervention. I get mad, I get jealous, I spend time worrying about things I have no control over without His help. So today I put on the armor of the Holy Spirit and give Him my day.
Nancy Beach from the WillowCreek church says, "Things we know, doctrines we say we believe are useless and meaningless if they don't affect our daily lives."
I was reading about Art in the Bible recently, in it the author writes about celebrating the 'Lordship of Christ over the whole of man...' Lordship of Christ over man - this is what I am learning, that is what I desire. I was reminded again today how much I need the Holy Spirit in my daily life and how important it is to submit to this daily!
Monday, February 9, 2009
Following that I re-listened to an old message of Charles Stanley. A dear friend had given this to me a few weeks ago. It was amazingly relevant and a perfect compliment to the weekend's messages on prayer.
One of the key things Charles said was, "in the midst of trouble you need to think of the trouble as coming from God, not the people around you". That stunned me. I had never thought about it that way before. But, if we truly believe God is sovereign, then He is the one that gives permission for trouble to come into our lives. We then have to decide how we will react when trouble comes, when we feel like we are surrounded by the enemy.
Our decision should be to 'stand in prayer'. Only through prayer can solutions come, can a close walk with God come, can relief from trouble come. Charles went on to say that when we are being targeted or unjustly accused, we should fall on our faces in prayer. Let God reveal the wrongs of others, and do not fight back. Wow, that is a tough assignment! I just want to explain, fight back, tell my side of the story! But honestly, that never brings glory to God, never.
I am so thankful for more experienced people in ministry that we can learn from. Men that go before us, that have experienced the same things as we have and in some cases much worse. I value the older wiser believers in my life more than ever before!
Sunday, February 8, 2009
- Beautiful Day
- You Are Good
- Our God Reigns
- Blessed Be The Name
- On My Knees - special music
- FaithHighway video - "Do You Pray?"
- Message: Prayer Pt. 1
These shots are taken of our cafe, greeters preparing for the service, our security team, technical areas, Jesse - our youth guy (shorts in February!), the early morning coffee group, the band, our childrens' areas, and just a lot of good friends fellowshipping! Our community coming together, using their talents to serve others! How amazing the weekend was!
If you want to see what other ministries around the country and the world were doing this weekend click here!
We stayed late today to work on next weekend's drama and are looking forward to it!
Saturday, February 7, 2009
"I [wisdom] have riches and honor,
as well as enduring wealth and justice.
My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold,
my wages better than sterling silver!
I walk in righteousness,
in paths of justice.
In this troubling time of instability this verse rings truer than ever before. The only true wealth is peace with God as we live as a person of character. The way to get what we want most in life is to pray seeking God's ways, His wisdom, His blessing on our lives! I cannot wait to hear the message tonight!
We will be launching in a couple of weeks and I cannot wait! This new ministry is going to get everyone excited and everyone involved. From the people that feel called to serve our local community, to the people who have always had a heart for foreign missions, opportunities will be available for all.
It is as if God has just been waiting for us to get everything ready and POW - things are lining up almost faster than we can handle them! We talked today about all the ways our congregation from kids on up will be included, it's going to be amazing! God's timing is sovereign and the excitement building around this new ministry is contagious! Just a couple more weeks to go and we will be ready for the big reveal, the launch, the GO!
More details to follow! Please begin praying for God to provide!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Peter 3:18Grow in grace, not in only one type of grace, but in all forms of gracious response.
Gracious response, although I have never seen these words used together before, I knew exactly what it meant when I read it today. It was referring to something I am not very good at. My responses are quite often not well thought out, just a reflex to what someone else says.
A great friend and one of our Magnification Staff Steve, and I have two secret words we say to one another over our headsets. If one of us sounds less than kind to our amazing volunteers, Rabbit Ears is our code for "that didn't sound very nice"!
Gracious: 1. pleasantly kind, benevolent, and courteous.
Response: 1. an answer or reply, as in words or in some action.
If someone was describing how you generally respond would this be the phrase they would use to describe your response? Gracious response? Occasionally maybe, but if you're like me, not often enough.
I wonder how it felt to be perfect, without sin, and still to be verbally abused and accused like Jesus was? Are we shocked that The Pharisees taunted him and tried to trap him with their words, that the crowd yelled crucify Him and the cock crowed as Peter used his words to deny he even knew Jesus. Are our words so much different? Don't our gossip and angry words deny we know Him? Don't they divide the church and distract us? Don't they make it much harder for the lost to see Him in us?
It is dangerous to write about this. What I write about, people have a right to hold me accountable to. I want to respond this way... graciously. He died for ungracious responses, for dishonesty, for pride, for unkindness, for His church, for me.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Everyone brought too much food as usual, but, you hate to insult anyone so you have to try everything! Next we did a fun mixer to keep the conversation lively and ended with a short information meeting and discussion of upcoming events.
I love this staff and they all are fully dedicated to serving using their amazing talents and gifts! It was such a great day together doing God's work and planning ahead for the coming weeks.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
So, when did this happen? When did I become anyone that young girls could learn from based on the length of my marriage? Hilarious! I've become my mother!
I may have been the woman there tonight that had been married the longest...wow! As we talked with the younger woman it took me back in time. Listening to them describe the strong parts as well as the weaknesses of their marriages.
Ron and I have done life together for so long that I seldom think much about my marriage, except to be thankful for my husband, to pray for him and thank God for him. But, these young women think about it a lot! They are anxious to know they are on the right track. They wanted us to tell them that what they experience is normal, and that the days of small children will pass so quickly they'll barely remember it. I was 30 when we had our kids, so I had more confidence than many of the much younger girls do. God knew what he was doing big time - to withhold children from me until I was ready.
Being there tonight made me realize my responsibility to young women and young couples. I should be investing time in them. We should mentor in areas that God has blessed us in. I think today's young couples need to be assured that it is possible with God's help, to stay together for life. They certainly don't see that model in our society much anymore. I was glad they thought of asking me to come tonight, even though it means I'm getting older.
Monday, February 2, 2009
I have a lot of catching up to do at home, things I have let go the past week. Some Ebay items to ship, a couple stops to make then back home for the day.
I do hope to spend some time in study and prayer. Recently I have felt very convicted about my prayer life. God has spoken through the preparation for the next series which will be on prayer, as well as through the series we ended this past weekend on Contentment. I am also feeling challenged by my kids. In my discussions with them I realize they have a raw, intense relationship with God that my generation wants desperately. They see their future as very different then the old 'American Dream', a renegade, authentic, real relationship not only with God, but with a close community of believers. This is something unfortunately, that my generation barely understands.
We value distance from others, we are suspicious of motive, cautious to 'get close'. We are scared to be hurt. Where does this come from? I want God to reveal this to me. I am asking God to help me to be brave and to work to build authentic community. I desire to help create opportunities within our ministry for authentic God centered life! This is my prayer on my day off.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
I received countless comments on the worship and on the most amazing teaching series about Contentment ever! I even got a phone call this afternoon about how much people loved it and were so thankful for all our team's hard work. I don't say these things to pat myself on the back, I could plan from now to eternity, but our Technical and Worship teams work so hard, and are so great I have to brag about THEM! It all came together and I think God was pleased!
We opened the final weekend on Contentment with what else...
Don't Worry Be Happy!
For Who You Are
New Doxology - Gateway
How Great Is Our God (chorus only)
Awesome Is The Lord Most High
It Is Well
Amazingly thematic! Now on to our next series on Prayer!
To see what other ministries were using in worship this weekend click here.
If you would like to watch our service, they will be up by Monday afternoon, you can click here, then click on services.