Tuesday, June 30, 2009
He went on to say that Joseph, Jesus' earthly dad was not only a righteous man, (Matthew 1:19), but also a carpenter. Today's concept of carpenter is most often a home builder, but a more correct concept is that he was a craftsman. This kind of craft took years of training to master. And the custom was that fathers teach sons. So Jesus would most likely have known this craft from an early age.
I just never think of Jesus in such a common way. If he did indeed learn Joseph's trade, he was creative as well as a hard worker. To think he really was raised within the context of a family, taught regular things. Yet He was God. How amazing that his heavenly father would choose this way to raise a Savior! God is so gracious with His love for us...I cannot imagine in my wildest dreams watching my son go through the trials and humiliation that Jesus endured.
I spent time today thanking God for the gift of His son...though he walked the earth as we do, He was God. Amazing!!
Monday, June 29, 2009
As I return to the comfort of my own living room to write this I sit here reviewing what I have experienced and what I have learned. The breakdown goes something like this, new insights into the 'workings' of mega church, discussions with various staff from Saddleback, unusual workshops leading to new understandings of things I thought had no connection to my ministry but do, new family era - realization that in the next few years my kids are going to be 'really' gone...
I know, a rather strange description, but the best I can do.
I learned things God wanted me to learn, many of which appear to have no connection to what my ministry is directly. Still obviously things God wanted me to know and experience.
One workshop totally supported the passion I have been feeling about connecting the next generation to Crossroads. Now, part of this stirring I am sure is simply God reminding me over the past months about my age! ha ha But, we must be very intentional in the development of the next generation or there will be no young adults fully formed and ready to be involved in key roles of Crossroads. Pastor Tim has been encouraging us to really work to identify young leaders and this workshop supported that encouragement. (Pray for our new College Bible Study that begins next week, I think it has the potential to be ministry changing, much excitement connected to this study). Anyway, the workshop I attended had people slightly older than myself talking about their conversion stories, their past and how people would look in their eyes and say "I want what you have", what they saw of course was Jesus in their lives, but it was challenging to consider what people see when they really look at me... and how I can show that to the younger people at Crossroads. How can they see Jesus so much in us that they want to serve him too?
I also enjoyed private conversations with staff which made we realize that we are not so different at Crossroads then they. Same struggles, similar ratio of staff compared to congregation size, technology that is old the minute your purchase it (after saving money for it for so long!), and I saw the desperate emptiness that other leaders feel around the country who have the responsibilities of leading week in and week out. I also saw discouragement as people became overwhelmed at the amount of information we recieved which represented all the change they needed to go home and make.
So I guess I return with a willingness to look at our ministry, evaluate and make changes if they are needed, but honestly more than anything, I come back valuing our ministry more. Realizing with newly opened eyes what we have at Crossroads. When you see something everyday you stop seeing it in a sense, but to all of you who have Crossroads just know that attendees, worship leaders and church staff across America would count it a privilege to be where we are at this time in our ministry. God has richly blessed Crossroads and I return with a new appreciation for and excitement about what God is doing in Mansfield, Ohio - funny I had to go all the way to California to find it!
Friday, June 26, 2009
But what I take back to our ministry with me is probably not what I expected. I take back new awareness of this generation and the desperate need to connect them to our ministry. It burned in me previous to this conference, it consumes me now. Jesus made real to the next generation...the only legacy we should worry about leaving.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The video booth is crazy! I'm going to be ok, trying not to drool as I look at their 10 or more screens and video control boards ...ok, enough ...
Now Bobby Barton is opening the service - hilarious!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
We moved from orchestra practice to choir practice and on and on the preparation goes!
We met the Worship Pastor from Mariner Church who offered to give us a tour, but, not sure we will have time...we are having so much fun meeting new people!
So as this morning begins I'm preparing my heart for what God has for us. When you lead every weekend it is often hard to remove yourself from the work and really focus and move toward God. Today we get to just 'be' with Him! I cannot wait!
I complimented her work and we talked for a while. She said she was originally from Iowa and had formerly lived in California and was back for a while. She seemed very happy to talk and I was blessed by her quiet spirit. God blesses us often in the most unexpected ways.
When I speak to people I don't know, I often wonder if our paths will ever cross again. Chances are they won't but I had a feeling if they did, we could be friends...
Heading out to have breakfast with Rick Muchow and his wife at Laguna, cannot wait!
I'll be bloggin 'live' from Saddleback this week, from the Worship Conference. I'll possibly link it here, but meet up with Tech support today at Saddleback to figure out what I'll be doing for sure. I'm actually really looking forward to that, they are giving me passes into all the Tech areas for the duration of the conference.
Last conference we went out to, Steve Browning got access into the Video Control room, can I just say at one point we saw him peeking out from backstage waving at us! It was so funny!
Pray for us, many important conversations as well as fun a head, we appreciate your thoughts and prays so much!
Monday, June 22, 2009
I have always told God, and actually have told all of you before, that I would be the most generous people in the world if He wanted to make me very wealthy! ha ha (really don't wish for that...) But, I have the privilege of staying in an unbelievable home in San Juan Capistrano, CA for the next few days.
People associated with the Saddleback Church connected me to a friend who is away and offered to open their home to me, and let me tell you...what a blessing!
This is the kind of thing that is difficult for me to understand really, because I am very private. And although my house is nearly always full of young adult friends of my kids, I would be uncomfortable just letting total strangers arrive in the night and go into my house! But, that's exactly what these generous friends have done! This is just the backyard!!! Enjoy...I am!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
We incorporated several families into our program this weekend to carry through the Father's Day theme! And they really delivered.
The Sgambellone family was up first with an original song. This gives me so much hope for the next generation to take over the ministry! We then had our Announcement guy Bill bring his 3 boys to the stage. Tremendous job - great voices ! So much fun!
Here is our setlist for the weekend.
We started with a great video countdown we purchased called "It's Great to Be a Guy" our audience laughed like crazy! This was a purchase from Sermonspice.
Next the Sgambellone family performed an original song and got a standing ovation every single service. We dismissed at the end and people still stayed seated to watch them play their exit song. Really cool!
Praise: Everybody This Lincoln Brewster song was led by Cody Roland - an amazing leader!
worship: Stay Amazed
Video: Father's Day Confession Another great video purchase, perfect transition into a great message about Fathers and sons.
Message: The Impact of a Father; Pt 1
exit song: Sgambellone's
Please check out Fred McKinnon's site where worship leaders from all over America post the songs they used this weekend in worship!
Also - stay tuned this week as I blog live from Saddleback in California!
You can watch our services at Crossroads Community Church, beginning Monday by clicking here.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Jesus included even Judas in the Last Supper, although he knew he would betray him. As Jesus prepared to "show the full extent of his love", he knelt to wash the disciples feet, the same disciples that would soon betray him, turn their backs on him and walk away when he needed them most.
He told them to love others as He loves them. How could this be possible, as much as He loved them?? - that's a lot more than I could ever be capable of loving.
I have trouble loving people that hurt me. But, that's what Christ told us to do. He knew bitterness and unforgiveness would destroy me, so I must forgive to love like Jesus commanded.
This was the final portion of my study today: Jesus doesn't call us to cautious neutrality with those who've hurt us; he calls us to radically love those who've hurt us and those who'll hurt us in the future.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
As thunderstorm warnings and ominous looking clouds seemed to sit all around the area, we sat outside the Cheesecake Factory eating and enjoying a great live band on Easton square. It was a beautiful night with magnificent clouds (clouds are some of my favorite things) and amazing music.
I am thankful for these kinds of simple things. God not only meets the needs of His children, but often gives us additional blessings if we just watch for them. My favorite things are still the small things of life not accomplishments or successful completion of projects, but instead the slow paced and unexpected things!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Garfield, leaping, Rambo-like, through the open door of a pet shop, announces himself: "Freedom Fighter"!
He charges through the shop, flinging open the cages of the confined pets, proclaiming: "You're Free! You're Free!"
But, instead of rejoicing in this sudden gift of liberation, the cats and dogs and birds all remain in their open cages, intimitated by the unknown possibilities ..
Have you ever felt like this? Intimidated by unknown possibilities? I have, but I am working really hard to get over it!
I ask more often then I used to.
The old phrase "the worst they can do is say no" is SO true! And most of the time, if what you ask is well thought out, and if you are prepared to take care of the details, they will say yes.
I have joked with my friends many times about how much scares and intimidates me. I grew up in a household with hard working parents that didn't ask anyone for anything unless it was absolutely necessary, so I get it honestly! What I realize now is how many opportunities I have let slip away because of being scared as well as being too stubborn to ask for what I wanted. There definitely is a security in the ordinary. It takes no explanation, no thought really, but how sad to spend our lives there.
The challenge of creating can be both paralyzing and exhilarating depending on the reason for which you create. If you've committed the decisions of your life and creativeness to Christ, then there is no reason to fear freedom or opportunity! God promises lives full of the extraordinary, in fact a God affected life is our only hope of experiencing the extraordinary this side of heaven.
What I learned today is when God released me from the cage of eternal bondage - I wasted a lot of time reluctant to venture out into His possibilities...no more
Monday, June 15, 2009
I'm not very good at it...
I see the glory adds, $145.00 worth of groceries for $37.99...HOW??? I want to save money, I really, really do! Michelle, Stephanie, Penny and Maureen seem to breeze right through coupon-ing with spectacular results. I am very competitive and I am determined to master this!!
Determined to succeed I surrounded myself with coupons today. The were all still inside newspapers, which were still inside grocery bags, which were all still inside the closet...well, I had good intentions. So I pulled everything out, cut everything out, spread it all over the place and tried, really tried to organize them. I think I had 500 at least.
I went to Meijer and bought $17.95 worth for 7.50...sort of good...I tried!. The best news was, I ONLY bought sale items that I had coupons for, very disiplined! (First time for everything)
Ater returning home with my prizes I began to realize that the hours I invested to save 10 bucks probably cost me $75.00 worth of time. Oh well, I'll get it figured out as soon as possible, but, for now...back to the closet with the coupons hopefully remembering to get back to it before they all expire.
PS Let me know if you have any coupon secrets!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Oh my goodness, Saturday night's service had more mistakes than any in recent history! I even had one actor that said as she walked in Saturday night she felt oppressed, so I don't know if the enemy was just messing with us, if we were all unfocused or not prayed up...but, wow every technical area had problems. The good news is, everyone improved tremendously by Sunday! Just one of those weekends I guess.
Instrumental: Hip Hop Rock - David Maxwell
Praise: Now That You're Near
Praise: Sing, Sing, Sing
Worship: How Great Is Our God
Praise: One Way
Drama: Lord, Lord onetimeblind (I love this group's videos! We performed it live.)
Message: UnSurrender; Beautiful Fight (the message rocked!!!)
Walk Out song: How Great Is Our God
To see what other ministries around the country did this weekend click here.
To watch our services go the www.crossroadswired.com on Monday.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
One of the most obvious difference is in our tastes in music just as it was in our generation and our parents. Last night I gained new respect for the Christian Hard Core/Metal music our son plays. I have always really liked his band, but have never stayed for an entire event once he is done playing. Last night as the evening progressed I witnessed first hand, life change.
We hosted a music festival with 7 bands including a rapper at our house last night complete with stage, refreshments, porta pot and band merchandise. As dark fell on our field a young man walked to the refreshment table and asked if we were "the moms" of the last band that had played. We were. He went on to describe the affect their music has had on his life ultimately leading him to salvation.
I stood there stunned...
I asked him if he had ever spoken to Eric about this and when he said no, I asked if I could take him to meet Eric who had just finished playing his set. As I searched for my son in the crowd, I saw a group off to the side of the stage praying, there was Eric with his arms wrapped around another young man who was asking for prayer...possibly accepting Christ. Stunned again...
They are Christ to a generation and within a genre of music I could never reach.
I write this encouraging all of us to look past the outside package, see what is in your kids hearts, do they personally love the Lord? If they are respectful and connected to loved ones, showing a desire to grow in Christ, then I encourage you to empower them to explore, to create, to reach out in their own way. Then step back and be amazed - God is the God of this generation and my heart if full of Praise to Him for raising up Christian kids brave enough to be different. I have spent a great deal of my life being scared and worried about upsetting the status quo, so I deeply respect the confidence it takes to be different.
Except in cases of actual sin, I will not try to influence them to change, but, bless them to continue in the discovery of how their unique talents and gifts will shape their lives to reach their generation for God.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Our son's band is back together again with Bryant's return from Colorado, and they are ready to take off across the country on tour, fun times!
Tonight as I am attempting to think, sitting at my computer - video games are blazing, food is disappearing, and preparations are being made for all the traveling about to take place. We all cannot wait to see what opportunities God brings their way.
Please pray for them, they will be gone almost the entire rest of the summer.
You teach your kids about the Lord, try to model a consistent Christ honoring life to the best of your ability, then you have to let them go...tough to do...please pray
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
This is due to finally having a whole day to catch up. When I know I don't have time to properly organize and finish everything, I let it sit on email or wherever it is instead of printing it off and filing, or taking the action needed. Today I needed to regroup and as I sit at 11:30 tonight, I just punched my last paper. Crazy!
This is a good illustration on what happens with life in general. We put things off, we wait until we have to perform a task that we do not particularly enjoy. This just makes things worse.
This is particularly true concerning things in our lives that should be dealt with quickly. Not allowed to accumulate. When problems or problem relationships are ignored they become very messy, they become more unorganized and they get much worse in every way. Misunderstandings, unwillingness to forgive, and any issue unresolved is not good. It turns into a huge pile.
I encourage you to look at your desk, your office, your home and your relationships. What is accumulating that could be dealt with, finished and put away? Do it, deal with it, punch it like a hole punch does and attach it were it belongs... or you may become completely buried and unable to spend your time as God has intended!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Our Creative Arts Small Group met tonight at the Mansfield, Art Center. There always is an added anticipation in our group when we not only get to be together for our meetings, but also when a new show is up at the Art Center. Tonight was magnificent!
Spoke In Wood - is the current event up and it is amazing! The group members come early when they know something new is up, but, we all decided to wait to see it together and it was so much fun experiencing it!
Here are just a couple shots of some of the pieces!
Monday, June 8, 2009
Phone calls were made, texts were sent, MySpace was updated and we hustled to set up sound and everything they needed. This is some video I shot of Sing For Company (our daughter's band) and The La De Les, band from Michigan. It was the first time I've used this camera, so a little jiggly, but you get the idea!
The show wasn't too bad for last minute put together...sound issues a few times, but, I think you can hear the girls. They amaze me, they sing and lay live tracks on Joci's loop pedal vocally and instrumentally, then sing over them - sounds like a whole choir at times! They even back mask, remember when groups used to use that technique with hidden messages? Now, I'm showing my age! Enjoy.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Instrumental: Band on the Run this got everyone's attention - the heads were bobbin'
Announcements: we did a wrap up for Asia's Hope mission drive - all 24 orphans adopted! You can see our orphans on this music video we created!
Special Music: The Motions
Here on my post this video has the original music score under it, we performed it live with the video during our services. lead vocal: Greg McReynolds - harmony: Penny Davis
Worship: All For Love
Praise: All To You
Drama: The Stool actors: Joseph Gillum, Stephanie McAuley, Maureen Browning
Message: Unsurrender: Act of the Will
closing song: Trust God by Rick Muchow
You can watch our entire service on line on Monday at www.crossroadswired.com
Great weekend - great set - great team - great generous heart for orphans!!! God was good!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
(not naming names) Church will be hosting an Open Carry Celebration for all who support 1st and 2nd Amendment rights. It will be held on Saturday June 27th, the weekend before July 4th. We are asking responsible handgun owners to attend this service openly wearing their sidearm. This will be a Cold Range Carry meaning handguns must be unloaded and in a secure holster.
Area gun store/firing range owners will be invited to attend and tell about their services.
There will also be a raffle to win a handgun. All that is asked is that you bring a sidearm, a friend who has a sidearm and a canned good for local food bank.
So what do you think? Should churches get involved in these type of issues, in politics? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Friday, June 5, 2009
The song is based on the story of the woman in the Bible that was sick with a bleeding disorder for 12 years. In her desperation she decides her only hope is Jesus. So in a throng of pushing, pulling desperate people she followed Him until the time was right. And as many, many others pushed to be near Him she crawled through the dirt, stuck her hand through the crowd and touched the hem of Jesus garment.
Immediately she was healed! She was moved from the darkness of despair to healing with just a touch!
Jesus stopped dead in His tracks and asked, who touched me? For despite the closeness of the crowd He felt the power leave Him...and without seeing her He knew. She believed and she was healed.
This is just one of the songs that Jocelyn and Olivia will include in their Sing for Company CD release show this Sunday night. Enjoy!
I am going to begin introducing you to my friends. First I would like you to meet Milo Sgambellone and his family. Milo is one of our Worship Leaders and he not only has amazing talent as a guitarist and vocal leader, but also as a writer. He has a great family and this past Sunday they served us breakfast!
It was not only delicious but was so much fun to watch Milo and his wife Lisa and kids Hannah, Mia and Noah serve the entire Magnification Department and Staff breakfast!
This was an amazing way to teach your kids to serve! What a blessing!!
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I am responsible for what they experience, I take it very personally.
Sometimes I feel like I have totally brought my best, sometimes I don't feel completely prepared. In the moments I walk around I wonder if they can tell how well I've prepared, how much I've committed the preparation to God. This is weighty and this is important.
God of course is not in my feelings of being overwhelmed, being totally surrendered means resting in Him, convinced of my calling.
I love our congregation, I sometimes wish i could see our ministry through their eyes. Through eyes that come ready to receive hope and care and teaching that will change them forever.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I woke up this morning thinking about, and praying for everyone in our community that is suffering with the fear of wondering how they can survive in light of no work, or too much debt, or any number of economic related problems. I laid there and wondered how my own kids were going to pay off college debt and pay for their own insurance once they were out on their own in the next few years...concerns I might not have had if I really, really, really lived totally surrendered. I also thought of the grudges I secretly hold, the unwillingness to forgive that I sometimes hang on to. There are of course no secrets from God, but we live as if there are! I came across this rather long poem. I know the saying, "would there be enough evidence to convict you" is old..but, I still found this poem based on the saying to be thought provoking, would you be convicted?
The Trial of Jack Pale
Two: And this country has changed as they tend to do
and being Christian’s illegal.
One: No Way.
Two: Yes it’s true.
The law passed one year with overwhelming approval
And all churches were scheduled for immediate removal
One: Now Christians are criminals in the eyes of the state,
And murder and worship now draw the same fate.
Two: But don’t worry the Christians haven’t all gone away,
They meet now in secret to this very day.
One: One group that met in a house in Glendale
Had a member that went by the name of Jack Pale.
Two: Now Jack was always there when they met together
He would never miss no matter the weather
One: One night when his church was quietly praying
From outside they heard a megaphone saying
Two: “FBI! Come on Out! You’re being arrested”
One: Some went out quiet while others protested
Two: But both groups soon ended up in the jail
And Jack’s wife was called to help him post bail
One: “A Christian,”
Two: she cried to the voice on the line
One: “There’s no way a Christian is a husband of mine”
Two: “But m’am he’s confessed; he claims that it’s real”
One: She said, “There’s no way and here is the deal
I don’t care what he says we’re going to court
And when I get there I’ll give a report
Of the life that he lives away from that place
How he lies and he cheats with a smile on his face.”
Two: So she got her a lawyer and they set a court date
One: And gathered the evidence, but Jack was irate
Two: “I’m a Christian,” he tried to explain to his wife.
One: “No your not,” she replied, “I have looked at your life
I have gathered your friends who will tell what you do
And the judge will see that a Christian’s not you.”
Two: So the strangest of trials that our town ever had
One: Was of a man who screamed “GUILTY!” with all that he had
Two: “I’m guilty,” he said, “and this isn’t funny
I go every week I even give money
I sing all the songs. I stand and I kneel
Now they try to tell me that this isn’t real
Just see what I do at that house in Glendale
Now I rest my case for that’s my whole tale”
One: “Exactly!” screamed the lawyer sitting by Jack Pale’s wife,
“But you’ve only talked about a part of your life
What happens when you’re not with the other church guys?
Do you act like a Christian or do you tell lies
Do you treat other people with fairness and grace
Or do you treat them unkindly and then lie to their face?”
Two: What happened next was a line for four days
Of people Jack’d wronged in various ways
One: “He cheats!” said his friend.
Two: “It’s true!” said another,
“Why I even saw him pull a scam on his mother.”
One: “His mother” cried the lawyer “you must be mistaken”
Two: But the friend had the proof of all the money he’d taken
One: Some others explained how course jokes were the norm
And one guy gave testimony of his room full of porn
The parade was relentless, ruthless, and complete
It even included an ignored bum from the street
Two: Ms. Pale’s lawyer rested after showing his proof
Jack was dejected his wife seemed aloof.
One: “Mr. Pale,” said the Judge, “I know this is odd
And your place as a Christian is between you and your God
But here in my court we judge people by facts
And is seems you don’t act like a real Christian acts
Two: “But I’m a Christian” said Jack standing up from his seat
One: “Sit down” said the judge, “This case is complete
You claim you’re a Christian but you come in this court
With nothing to sustain it and no evidence in support
You say you’re a Christian and that may be true
Both: But what shows you’re a Christian are the things that you do”