Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Last night was horrible with a nasty mixture of rain and snow blowing sideways! Today, sunshine. So with this inspiration I moved my closet around - burying turtlenecks deep into the recesses of my closet and moving summer shirts forward. I pulled out sandals and packed away boots. Perhaps premature, but there is always hope right?
God gives me a personal gift when I get to enjoy beautiful weather, you've heard me talk before about how much I love to be outdoors. The newness of spring is so exciting to me!
Somehow today my sister and I began talking about forgiveness. Forgiveness if it's genuine can definitely be a new beginning, much like spring.
To remain in a state of bitterness and not to forgive hurts and scars deeply. The thing we were discussing is 'who does it hurt more?' Toss up. To be denied forgiveness is brutal, to not offer forgiveness is cruel. What right do we have to withhold either when we have been forgiven so much by our Father? How we must hurt Him. I thanked Him today for second chances and forgiveness.
God used a beautiful Spring day off to remind me again how many new beginnings He has given me, and how grateful I am!
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Tim encouraged everyone to take advantage of the opportunity that Easter provides to invite others to church. Most people you talk to first come to church because someone personally invites them. (I think I need to get extra chairs ready for the auditorium!)
To support Pastor Tim's great teaching, we put this setlist together. I would encourage any of you who are not familiar with Charlie Dodrill's music to check it out, the final song was one of his.
Instrumental: Just What I Needed the Cars
Easter Promo Video: Three Days Later Chris McGowan (purchased on Sermon spice)
You Are Good - Gateway
For Who You Are - Hillsong
Sing, Sing, Sing
Special Music: Give Me Your Eyes - Brandon Heath (we used original footage shot in New York)
Message: Moving the Mission Forward Tim Armstrong
Special Music: What If I Would Say - Charlie Dodrill
Great weekend - everyone seemed excited for what God has in the coming weeks!
To see what other ministries included in their services go to Fred McKinnon's site.
To watch our services, click here on Monday afternoon, www.crossroadswired.com
Saturday, March 28, 2009
After a little rest, I am anxious to get back to it!
A close friend of mine and I were talking Thursday about our church backgrounds. She shared some very hurtful things that had happened in their church when she was young. I assured her she wasn't alone and that we shouldn't be surprised because the church is just made up of imperfect people. People that come from all different backgrounds with all different expectations and all different needs.
People complaining about things shouldn't discourage us, we can never let it take our focus off of why we were called to our ministries. Grumbling also shouldn't surprise us, after all Moses lead the ultimate grumblers, an example that maybe God added to the Bible to show people are never happy!
Ok, so picture this, the children of Israel finally begin lead from captivity, they grumbled, pillars of fire lead them, they grumbled, God fed them from heaven, they grumbled about the choice of food, God parted the Red Sea just for them and killed their enemy with it, and still they grumbled!
Here is a line I loved from one of Beth Moore's books, " Moses had all of forty years on the far side of the desert followed by a flock of aggravating people". The poor guy! I can't think of much worse than trying to lead a huge group of grumblers through hot sand.
All this to say, even when God performed the most amazing miracles, used men to do incredible things that only He could allow, people grumbled. So what does this have to do with us? When all every single one of us deserves is punishment for our thought lives, our bitterness, our lies and all of our many sins...
God allowed his own son to be murdered by sinful men just like you and me, buried and then He reached down from heaven and raised him up for us, for me, for you, and still we grumble...
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Deering taught us tonight on Hosea 9. Tough chapter, tough subject. But God was there and Deering was willing. When Deering explained that Hosea gives us the perfect example of what Christ does for us, it clicked for me big time.
Just as time and time again Hosea had to retrieve his wife Gomer out of a life of sin, so God forgives us over and over. Hosea forgave his sinful wife and provided everything for her, yet she continued to go right back to sin again and again!
Deering challenged us not to 'Cheat on God' by given Him less than our best. I never thought of it that way, but it is so true - God loved us so much He gave us his son, and instead we choose our own sinful desires, again and again. We too are just like Gomer.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I was challenged by a fellow ministry blogger to answer the following questions, so I'll give it my best shot!
What ignites that flame inside you to create? Honestly, it can be anything. Some of my friends laugh at me as we talk and I start say "we should do this, or we should try this ..." So although it sounds terribly simple - any new idea, any problem that needs to be solved, any creative challenge that needs to be tackled gets me going!
What sparks that passion inside you? This is easy to answer, the thought that something I help to create might be the element that finally makes it click for a non-believer is all the spark I need to get me all fired up! I say almost weekly to someone nearby - I still can't believe I get to do this every week!
How do you channel your creativity into a finished product? I brainstorm when given an assignment or when I decide to create something new, and then I move into the creation process quickly. I set a time line, contact the other people I need to pull off the creative assignment, I stay involved in the project especially in the early stages. I feel it is very important to make sure early on that things are on course so people don't spend time going the wrong direction.
What do you do when you struggle to create? I pray a lot! I create a new team, quickly! When I discover that I am short handed, or don't have the right group of creative talent that I need, I create a new small group/team. It's much easier than it sounds.
I never hesitate to ask for help, but honestly we have so many creative people in our ministry I usually can find someone that can help me get over the hurdle pretty quickly. My senior pastor and my husband are both very creative and can usually make suggestions that get me moving again. My biggest problem is waiting longer than I should to ask for help!
How do you celebrate your wins? I celebrate with everyone that helps in the process. I write tons of thank you cards weekly expressing my thanks and telling any stories that I hear from people whose lives have been changed due in part to their work.
Do you enjoy your creative process? Love it, even when it is difficult.
How do you share your creative elements with others? On our church website, YouTube, GodTube, facebook, and my blog.
Monday, March 23, 2009
So question...if this is how we are to spend our lives, seeking God's will, then why is it so hard to find? Or is it?
Maybe it is as simple as being in the Bible and in prayer, listening to wise counsel from trusted more mature believers, being willing to walk through doors the Holy Spirit reveals to us, watching for opportunities He provides to use the abilities He has gifted us with. It isn't about us "doing things" to discover God's will, but rather to remain in Him, being content even in times that feel like He is not revealing Himself to us.
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:6
Being in God's will may be the closest peak at eternity with Him that we get. Worth the pursuit!
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Our Setlist: We began the theme right from the opening element and carried it all the way through
Instrumental: Linus and Lucy
Announcements: we used our Senior High Ministry Pastor who brought up a tiny side kick (we look for thematic ways to have fun with announcements- so involving a child was perfect)
Praise: As For Me this song is taken from one of the texts Jeanette used
Praise: One Voice this is an original song written by Milo Sgambellone one of our worship leaders...if you watch our service on line, you will see a video within the teaching of a little boy who played and sang this song for Milo ! A perfect illustration of how we model for our children.
Special: Cats In The Cradle I have to confess when the music guys told me we were doing this song I thought it too predictable. But, the way it was performed was so great, a great take on the original!
Drama: Fat Chance (a WillowCreek drama) A perfect representation of what every parent deals with and how it is difficult to even find time for prayer.
Teaching: Prayer in Parenting
Ending Special: Shout To The Lord kids choir
This weekend took a lot of behind the scenes people to pull of, I would like to thank them all so much. Our congregation was very moved and I'd like to pass all the thank yous on to all of our amazing team members!
If you would like to see what other churches around the country and around the world did this weekend, go to Fred McKinnon's site!
If you visit our site on Tuesday, you can watch the Crossroads services on line! God Bless!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
My kitchen currently contains many pieces, shapes and styles of tile for my project. A good friend at Crossroads was kind enough to give me old or left over tile to use! Thanks to the Frankhouses!
Right now it's a mess, hopefully by the end of the night I am hoping it will take shape. I am very anxious to see the artists work in the next couple of weeks. This will be our first project since forming the Artists Small Group, a great, great group of very talented people!
This Easter art collaboration project is a great example of how many disconnected, individual pieces of work all come together to create a masterpiece. Much like what takes place when Christ followers come together to serve and grow closer to one another and closer to their God. I am so inspired by artists and musicians and actors and photographers and writers and anyone who loves to proclaim their love for the Lord in creative ways! Ok, so ...back to my project!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
This is truly a new era at Crossroads...not yet defined but cool things are happening, quietly, steadily, God is moving.
What a blessing to serve in this place with God's people...
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Today in Kay Warrens book "Dangerous Surrender" I read the following, "The Polaroid picture of what God was doing in my life was still mostly gray and blurry...I had an inkling that I was on an adventurous journey that would include growing in intimacy with God."
What a cool way to describe our lives, like a developing Polaroid picture! What I feel the most like recently is the part of the process when you take the picture and shake it, waving it around in the air to aid in the development. (I've always wondered if that really helped speed up the process.) Shake, shake, shake what will I look like in the end? Good question.
I still haven't gone back and read all the pages I wrote when I woke up the other night. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow, should be interesting. Maybe some of the things I poured out to God could be the topics He wants me to write extensively about? Maybe He doesn't want me to write, I'm fine with either. I just really want to know what is next? Don't we all?
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Not perfect of course, but much more careful than most days. Not terribly difficult since I was home almost all day. I studied from Beth Moore's John study today. Wow! When you start down the path of listening, God responds loudly! Here is an excerpt from today's reading..."God takes us places we never intended to go. Those are places where He will reveal Himself to us in ways we didn't even know He existed. One reason He takes us to places we've never been is to show us He's NOT LIKE ANYONE ELSE."
Beth Moore talked about when Jesus was transfiguring Himself before the three disciples it was to show them "I am not like you. " They walked and talked with Him and still they acted as if he was somewhat like them - how ridiculous! I have to admit I have thought as I read this portion in the past how dumb they must have been when witnessing miracles to still not get it. But, how different am I?
Jesus has lived, died and risen again. God has given me the entire Bible account of creation clear through the future! I have less excuse then they did. I have no excuse to still go about my day as if it belongs to me...back to last night, I want an eternal perspective and there is nothing preventing me from having one. So I continue into tomorrow to again try to be open to His leading, to believe Him even more, to know without a shadow of a doubt the He is not like anyone else and to live that way. Want to join me? I dare you!
I have only been asleep for about 2 hours and I just woke up from the worst dream ever! I woke up in a pool of sweat and was laying there trying to get comfortable when God brought this question as clear as day to me. "If you knew you only had a short time to live, would you do anything differently?" I laid there trying to drift back to sleep clearly disturbed and He said, "Well would you?"
The answer was obviously, yes...and then I felt His next question, "Why?"
I had to get out of bed and write... now.
I've been sitting here asking Him to reveal to me what He wants me to change in my life. If God points out specifics as I sit here I will begin to do them and begin to write them down. If He does not, I am going to go through the rest of this week and journal whenever His spirit points out anything displeasing. I expect to fill multiply journals with my selfish choices.
So before I start to write in detail I thought I would share the question with you. If you knew you only had a short time to live would you live differently? Why?
Monday, March 16, 2009
I just got off the phone with Rick Muchow's travel agent, Jim. You may know that Rick Muchow is the Saddleback Church's Worship Pastor in California. We were deeply blessed by Rick's first visit back in November of last year.
Now, that is just plain ridiculous - so obviously a God thing that we would get the privilege to host Rick twice!! Rick's next visit to Crossroads is scheduled for May 16 & 17!! It is the understatement of the year to say that I am crazy excited to have him back!!
His teaching affected our Magnification Teams deeply the first time he visited us and I cannot wait to serve with him again in May. God is so, so good!
I then had a completely unexpected conversation with a pastor in San Diego via. email. I would love to cultivate a relationship between Crossroads and his ministry as well. Total surprise that I'll elaborate on at a later time.
You know, God never intended for churches across America to do life alone, separately. It's not a competition! We need to help one another and encourage one another. I think the churches of America are going to come together in more ways than we have ever before witnessed. I believe with all my heart that Crossroads is going to begin to have more and more chances to connect with other ministries as well as amazing world changing mission opportunities! We truly are a blessed congregation and there is no where I would rather be!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
- Opening video "Worship Objects"
- immediately into an Amena Brown monologue "He Is Here"
- Here I Am To Worship we began quietly and then invited audience to stand
- Holy Is The Lord - this was an amazing original song by Chris Draper - our audience just loved it and sang it loudly on the very first try (Chris is pictured here leading his song!)
- Love The Lord
- Next up was Bill Hill our announcement guy- we used Bill to set up the Crossroads Israel trip video report...our group posted a video talking to our audience
- Video - "What Is Worship"
- First section of Message - Prayer in Worship: adoration
- Here In Your Presence /wonderful, beautiful
- Second section of Message - Prayer in Worship: confession
- Give Us Clean Hands
- Third section of Message - Prayer in Worship: Thanksgiving/Supplication
- The Heart of Worship
You can watch our service on line by Monday afternoon by clicking here, then roll your mouse across services, then weekend, then watch now.
If you would like to see what other ministries did this weekend, click here.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
While he is off frolicking in Israel, doing things like video taping baptisms in the Jordan River, walking where Jesus walked, we are left behind to try and maintain the technical excellence to which our audience has become accustomed. Steve is pictured here shooting video of the boundary between Lebanon and Israel.
Our volunteers rock, and all care deeply about the quality of each service. It is important to them that everyone can hear the teaching and praise music, and that each shot can be clearly seen on our video screens later to be uploaded on the web, and our lighting team works hard so the cameras can focus on each element of the service and so the mood can be felt by our audience.
These are team members that I have come to love and highly value. So, to Steve we say enjoy your long overdue vacation and we will do our best without you! But, don't be gone too long!
Friday, March 13, 2009
God is so good, they are all doing well and falling more in love with the Lord! I can tell from the words on Pastor Tim's blog that it is the experience of a lifetime. I cannot wait to talk to them when they get back.
How moving it must be to walk where Jesus walked.
Please continue to pray for the group as they travel and experience the Bible come to life!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tonight a generous artist brought a true piece of art - a Shamrock Cake! It rocked!
But, mostly we talked about projects we as artists could do to help support our mission projects at Crossroads. Very cool conversations!
I am not sure I have ever loved my church as much as I love it now... after 12 years I have never seen more opportunities to create, never found more people anxious to connect and never had more exciting conversations then I have recently had with people very much in love with the Lord.
Maybe the economy helps point people back to the Lord, not sure, it just seems people are more open then ever. I am ssooooo thankful to be right where I am at Crossroads - surrounded by artists!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
This team is creative, driven, organized, VERY competitive and really, really good at discovering songs we would never otherwise find for our services! They come prepared and fight for the songs they feel best support the thematic teachings of each series. It's a blast, enthusiastic and so creative! I couldn't even begin to put together the elements of all our services without their help.
Once again, like a broken record I say, when you release God's people in their passionate, gifted areas, really great things happen. He planned it this way!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
We are tired and our house is full of a mess right now but the end is in site! In the middle of it all I had cooking to do for a team member and a meeting to attend tonight.
But despite everything else, Spring cleaning has begun and I couldn't be happier! What I learned today was scaffolding is heavy and is much like putting together a jig saw puzzle!
Monday, March 9, 2009
What a blast I have had today! I got to visit one of my favorite spots in Mansfield, The Carousel Works! They just created the carousel prototype for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, amazing! The officials from the cruise line were here in Mansfield to watch a test run on the carousel a couple days ago. People from Finland and all around the world where there with computers in hand to run all sorts of diagnostic tests on the carousel. They needed to make sure it was compatible with rough seas.
The employees had to sit on the animals while they raised and lowered and tipped the carousel different directions! With computers connected to the carousel, they were able to test the ability of the carousel to remain stable and compensate for the different pitches. How cool is that! Right here in little 'ole Mansfield!
And I'm proud to say that several of the carvers and artists (painters) are part of our congregation at Crossroads! This leopard is just one example of Tim Gorka's amazing carving! He is so talented and so humble about his ability. I believe artists have God given ability that few of them fully realize. They have been set apart by God as an artist or musician. While most of us can only express ourselves to the Lord in a few ways, artists have a whole additional mode of expression to offer Him. Their forms of expressing come from deep inside each of them. I think this may be why so many are tortured at times.
The longing to create comes from deep within their souls and if it is misused it is a very personal hurt. Critics can destroy them and cause them to hide their talents. My mission is to provide safe places and creative ways to use their art within the ministry. I wnat to provide opportunity to 'give back' to the God that created them this way. It pleases God to receive worship from His artists!
My day off was awesome when I went wandering through the maze of creative genius at the Mansfield Carousel Works! I came home so inspired I went outside and began to work on my Easter Cross project. Easter is going to be a great weekend full of artistic worship to the King!
I love these kinds of days off - now it is off to begin the long overdue painting at our house! A great day indeed!!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Jocelyn loved each and every gift and went back to college with more than she came home with for sure!
Daughter's are a blessing I cannot even begin to describe. I honestly never thought God would bless Ron and I with a girl. I had been best friends and played sports with guys my whole life, I thought I wanted all boys. In fact I was honestly worried about how I could possibly raise a girl. I just really believed I would be a better parent to boys. God knew who He had for us, the daughter He wanted to bless us with, and Jocelyn can only be described as a blessing. It was a great birthday weekend, it is nearly impossible to believe that it has been 19 years. Life goes fast, I cherish each moment God gives us with our kids!
"Every little girl is a princess" a quote from one of our favorite movies, and it is so true - we tried to give her a birthday befitting a princess...she is our princess! Happy Birthday Joci!!
Instrumental "Baker Street"
Sing, Sing, Sing
New Doxology - Gateway
The Tithe Rap - Streeter Clow and Shawn smith
The Rap - brought the house down! This was the perfect ending to a difficult subject. Oh my goodness this was amazing! We watched a video on You Tube called "Tithe Rap" and we created our own version. We had a blast with our brothers and sisters in Christ - as it should be!
To watch the amazing Tithing Rap click HERE>
To see what setlists other ministries used around the world click here!
To watch the video of our service on Monday click here.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Focused time in prayer and in God's Word are what it takes for each leader to come ready for the weekend services. This applies of course to everyone across the board. Although upfront leadership is under much more scrutiny, behind the scene positions support everything else that goes on in the ministry and are just as vitally important. Preparation determines how well we communicate with volunteers, what our reactions are to uncomfortable situations and how focused to detail we can be.
I think our preparation is important to our Lord. I have experienced His blessing on services that we all prepared well for, and I have experienced chaos when my personal preparation was less than it should be. I cannot bare the thought that my lack of preparation could be responsible for many problems that could be avoided. So pray for us as we go into this weekend, a new weekend of opportunity. A weekend that we have been chosen to lead.
Friday, March 6, 2009
It hit 55 degrees here in Mansfield today, so we rolled out the new grill for a test run! 20 shish-ka-bobs later and it's beginning to taste a lot like summer! The end to this hideously cold winter is in site and I am very thankful.
When we realized we were going to be home we invited all the grandparents last minute and they changed plans to come! Ok, so maybe they came because our daughter was home from college, but regardless the reason, we had a great time!
Our parents, my kids grandparents, are such a major part of our lives. We are what we are in part at least to our parents influence and care. They have loved and nurtured and participated fully in the raising of our kids and our kids adore their grandparents! We had a great night and we look forward to the culmination of the birthday weekend in Ashland on Sunday!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
We spent some time doing just a little shopping, mostly we just looked, but, we had fun!
Jocelyn's choice for dinner, the Ocean Club! We enjoyed a fabulous dinner of salmon, trout, short ribs and Red Snapper!
And of course we couldn't leave without a Starbucks for the road. Jocelyn and I decided a WalMart stop was necessary when we got back to Mansfield, much to the dismay of our male counterparts. Finally we got everyone home and then it was haircut time!
Jocelyn worked quickly trimming Aaron's hair to perfection before we could all go to bed! It looked great... a beautician is born!
We had a great night of eating, talking and laughing together!
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Staff team #1 hosted our monthly lunch with an Italian theme! We had thematic music playing in two locations, thematic food everywhere and it was soooo good! Then some of us offered up our best and worst moments of the past few days, a great way to 'catch up' with one another.
What a great way to spend a lunch hour, a great investment of our time, but, now it's team #2's turn in April. And I am on team #2! What to do - the brainstorming has begun! We will not be defeated!! Stay tuned for the next go 'round!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
To Surrender means to give yourself completely. To basically place yourself at someone else's mercy. This is where I find myself.
What I learned to day was that even a tiny area withheld from Him means He doesn't have me at all. Isn't it ironic that my creator is willing to wait for me to decide that I will give myself to Him? I want my life to be lived in this way, serving Him whatever that means.
Monday, March 2, 2009
On one errand I purchased Kay Warren's book Dangerous Surrender. This book is amazing! What a challenge to step outside our personal world and dare to care about the whole world. I certainly care deeply about those less fortunate but when Kay listed these statistics it really got my attention. Kay said, "If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world!! (And listen to this), if you have ANY money in the bank, some cash in your wallet and spare change thrown in a dish at home, you are in the TOP 8% of people on the earth; 92% have LESS to live on!" WOW, talk about perspective! It ended up being a day of prayer and soul searching. I later discussed with Ron my thoughts concerning accompanying him on his next mission trip.
My dilemma is this, I am 100% behind the mission of Asia's Hope, the agency that Ron will again travel with this fall. They rescue orphans in Cambodia and Thailand, an amazing - Biblical based concept. Ron and I personally contribute to this ministry, but, as far as being personally called to go, I don't know what God wants me to do. I'm continuing to pray seeking his will. Ron and I have always done everything together for 30+ years, so I would go even for the common experience if that is what he wants me to do. Is this reason enough to go, or does God want me to send the portion of money I would spend to support the orphans? Tough call. I have a little while before I have to make a commitment to go, for Him to reveal His will to me. I will obey.
I finished the day by attending the Global Youth Ministry Network's open house. How richly God has blessed this ministry! This ministry equips youth leaders around the world to lead in their own ministries. He has graciously provided a beautiful facility for this amazing Mission organization, through a generous friend! How good God's people truly are! It has been a day to look beyond myself and begin to develop a far reaching more global perspective, a God perspective!
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Oh my goodness, my dear friend and Pastor's wife, Michelle and I got to go see Kay Warren! (Thanks to Joy, Kay's wonderful assistant who invited us to come). Kay is the wife of Pastor Rick Warren from Saddleback. She was in Columbus, Ohio where she taught a session at a Youth Conference and later sat down with pastor's wives.
What a privilege it was to sit in a room with only about 25 other people and ask questions and receive encouragement. Kay is an amazing woman who has been through tremendously tough times. She is a breast cancer survivor and has just had a second knee replacement. Despite her discomfort she came and ministered to us! Kay has an unbelievable love for her Lord as well as for the local church.
When the session ended we got to talk to Kay one on one. She may never know how much that meant to us! She could have been speaking to any group anywhere she chose, but she chose to care for pastor's wives. What a blessing.
God chooses just a few that can serve with great success and remain authentic. Kay is one of the few. She is an extraordinary communicator who speaks straight from her heart to others. Amazing! I would have never dreamed that I would get the opportunity to meet such a great Godly leader. God is so good!
Instrumental: The Offering
Worship: I Surrender All - Michael W. Smith
This is the song we used Jane from Kenya (in her native tongue) to sing with one of our team members. This song received a standing ovation - powerful way to begin worship!
We began the baptisms during this song.
Message: Prayer Pt. 4
Another fantastic teaching!
Praise: As It Is In Heaven
A thematic ending to the teaching.
Go Mission segment - The introduction of the mission strategy as well as one of the ministries we will be supporting. Very exciting stuff which got our audience very excited!
I highly suggest you tune back in tomorrow when the service gets uploaded. We do not mix our sound for broadcast, so the sound quality may not be the greatest, you will get the idea of just how powerful the services were! I'm still thanking God for being so present! Click here to watch services.
Also, if you would like to see what other ministries did around the world, click here.