Friday, July 31, 2009

slow service

Do you get mad when you receive poor service at a restaurant?

A group of us went to a local semi-fast food restaurant for lunch today. At least we thought it was fast food...An hour and a half later we got our cheeseburgers. Very tough on our schedules.

We were not the only dissatisfied customers, table by table began to complain. Some demanding refunds, free desserts, a variety of requests. Some were treating the poor waitresses very disrespectfully. We remained very patient although it was a terribly disruption to our day.

When you are a paying customer purchasing a meal, you rightly assume that you will be treated as a valued guest. When that doesn't happen it can be very upsetting.

So how do you respond in this situation? Even if you ask for a refund or mention your disappointment to the waitress or manager are you kind and respectful? Have you had similar experiences and acted in a way that you later regretted?

Please leave a comment about a time when you experienced 'bad service' and how you handled it. Don't be shy!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

speed of the leader

Speed of the Leader, speed of the team.

This has to be one of my all time least favorite sayings. Pressure!

I never want to be the thing that is slowing down a team.

But, sometimes I know I do.

Lead: To go before or with. To show the way.

This definition makes it seem much more possible.

Sounds like the way God leads us...He goes before us to show the way.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Imagine That

I was recently asked to review the Moody Publishers Book Imagine That by Manuel Luz. I enjoyed it immensely and recommend it very highly!

Crossroads' Creative Arts Small Group began reading it last night. It is very exciting to have a resource of this quality! Thanks Manuel!

Imagine That - Book Review

July 29, 2009

9780802424501The book “Imagine That” by Manuel Luz, declares that “we are all born artists, but in the art of living, the artist in many of us dies.”

We all drew, painted, or sang at the top of our lungs and participated in all kinds of artistic endeavors when we were young. We continued creating until someone told us we were not good enough. This was just one of many thought provoking truths discussed in the book.

Manuel masterfully explores all the many reasons the Christian artist is so needed and so valued by God. His conclusions give encouragement for each of us to continue following our God calling toward wholeness.

Manuel talks in detail about Bezalel being the first person mentioned in the Bible to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This brilliant, talented artist was chosen to design the Ark of the Covenant, trusted with all the details. This unique distinction does not fall on a leader or a prophet or a king, but upon an artist.

Manuel goes on to say Worship is described as “one of our most basic responsibilities”. He says that rather than worship being an event that happens on Sunday, it is actually an eternal interaction between the Triune God and His creation. It does not begin with something we do, but with something God has already done.

My day was richly blessed when I attended a workshop at the Saddleback Worship Conference not even knowing Manuel Luz would be there. Now I will be taking every artist that God has placed under my leadership through this amazing book to be affected for eternity! I encourage you to do the same, you will not be sorry!

Manuel is the Creative Arts Pastor at Oak Hills Church in Folsom, CA. He is a working musician, with almost fifty albums to his credit. He holds a BS in aeronautical engineering and an MBA in management.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

they worshiped

Oh my what a night...I will remember this night for a long, long time.

Gracious friends invited us to use their beautiful farm to take the Crossroads artists outside tonight. We shared a picnic then I encouraged everyone to worship God with their artistic talents, whatever that meant to them, just worship Him. And they did.

They spread across the farm and began to worship. With pens, pencils, cameras and words they praised Him. And I know He was pleased. The talents God gave them came back to Him - he created artists to draw for Him, to sing for Him, to act for him, to design for him and to write for Him. And tonight they did.

Monday, July 27, 2009

my day off

Getting back into the swing of things quickly after being away. I met Mario (my hero), and Steve our Tech Coordinator to shoot the story of Mario's life at the Juvenile Center today. He is an amazing testimony to the mighty way God takes bad and turns it to good! If we use his story in the service I will post it with my weekend report.

Let me digress...last night flying home from Minneapolis, I finally finished Kay Warren's Book Dangerous Surrender, a MUST READ! I read it through chapter 5 quite a while ago, and once I read chapter 5 I was so moved that I began to pass it around to our missions team, powerful is an understatement. But, now that she will be coming to our ministry, I am trying to familiarize myself with everything she's written. One of my best friends recommended the book and I honestly don't think I've ever read anything so personally challenging EVER. Challenging because God used it to ask me for complete surrender at a level I have never experienced before. The surrender may have began to reveal itself to me today...I will be praying for His leading.

Kay reminds us that we are to be involved in the area of caring for the orphans, widows, sick and also the prisoners.

The area I am totally not involved in, or really never paid attention to, is the area of prisoners. As I ended the book LAST NIGHT, I prayed for God to show me what He wants me to do with this newly pledged surrender...I really, really meant it. So, today as I met Steve and Mario at the Juvenile Center to shoot video, I talked to the judge and I asked him what church involvement took place there. He said there is some, he wasn't sure what ministries come. I told him that I feel God may be leading me to personally connect with these kids in some way, to look them in the eyes and know them. He looked at me rather shocked and said, I've always thought the most affective program that could begin would be a one on one mentorship program of some kind. There is was, a God what?

As I left the building with a thousand possibilities going through my mind, I mentioned the conversation to Steve and Mario. Mario said, that is exactly what the kids need. They are rarely visited by anyone, even their own families never come. Heart breaking!!

I then had a conversation with my daughter just generally talking and told her what I had been doing this morning. She said, "that is exactly what my focus is at college this next semester - creating and launching non-profit organizations/ministries" - are you kidding me?

Jesus spent his time on earth training and teaching his disciples, a hand picked group of leaders that He would send out to rock the world, and he spent his time with the forgotten hidden community. He touched the sick when no one else would, he forgave the criminals even as he himself was dying and he loved the orphans and widows. To limit our personal ministry to those who are like us is wrong. Those our community has abandoned need us too.

Would you be willing to join me in very focused prayer asking God to open the doors that each of us need to walk through, specifically in caring for our community's forgotten?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

weekend report

What a blessing to be able to take vacation and know that in no way is the quality of our services compromised! My team is the BEST - I'd put them up against any ministry! Thanks guys!

Our Setlist:

How Great Thou Art - Paul Baloche
Glorified - New Life

Special Music: Waiting on the World To Change - Mayer

message: Flip This House Pt. 2 (our youth guy- Mr. amazing!) Jesse Rider

Special Interview: Alex Kuenzli - is a high school student who created a soccer equipment giveaway ministry for missions organizations overseas called Soccer Kicks 4 Kids. Primarily to support our Crossroads mission partners, Asia's Hope and GYMN. It is taking off and she has been asked to speak all over our community - Pastor Jesse used this testimony at the end of his message to demonstrate how families can be creative in their approach to teaching their kids how to serve God. Great illustration!

What a blessing to see our ministry really begin to embrace others around the world!

To see what other ministries across America used in their services, go to FredMckinnon's site.

To watch our services on line, click here on Monday! May God richly bless your week!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

my crossrosswalk

Today at my crosswalk in Minneapolis (the crosswalk near the coffee shops - mine for one more day)...I saw a beautiful tiny Asian girl holding her daddies hand.

As he stood focused on the crosswalk light, I watched as she struggled to spin, to twirl, she grinned as she attempted to dance. She tried to move as a graceful dancer moves when an attentive partner holds a hand overhead assisting a graceful turn. Like the groom proudly spins his new bride. Over and over she tried.

The father never noticed his tiny dancer and as the light changed they walked, they did not dance.

It reminded me of missed opportunities to love to watch to assist beautiful happenings, how many have I missed?

good friends

These are some pictures from the past month that I came across today.

Each picture clearly represents why I like them all so much!

I think God likes it when his kids are silly!

sites of minneapolis

I was intrigued as soon as I saw pictures of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum. Amazing looking building! Very cool!

As we continued our walk yesterday evening we crossed the Mississippi and as we neared the far side we found these trees completely full of shoes, boots, all things idea what the significance of this is, but I'll try to track down the info today. You have to look carefully to see them on the left hand side of the picture, and one or two scattered ones at the top and other side.

Today is our last day here, we haven't seen as much of the city as I had wanted, but workshops are the reason we came so I guess Joci should attend those...we'll talk soon...

Friday, July 24, 2009


I would love for each of you who read my blog to take the time to sign up so you can leave comments on my blog. After you complete that please post a comment to this post letting me know you are all signed up. Just click where it says 1 comment at the bottom of this post, and if you are not already signed up on blogger - it will tell you what to do...really not difficult.

I am considering two things - a regular post that includes pictures or comments that you send to me...

I am also considering changing my blog to another site reason being it would allow me to do more than this site allows.

So, I am interested very much in your feedback as soon as possible please! There are more things I'm considering like occasional evaluations, polls and feedback on issues and ideas! So I really need your help please! I appreciate your time - I know it's precious! Thank you all so much!

dreamer of dreams

I may have written about this a long time ago, but, each time I come across this type of subject it really helps get me going again...

...he measured his life not by the length of the day or coming of the seasons, but by the death of his dreams. Once in his life he was a dreamer of dreams and inspired by creation, excited by possibility...

I read recently that "We all begin as artists", we draw, paint, sing at the top of lungs when we are small, that is until someone tells us we are not good enough.

How I long to remain a dreamer of dreams my entire life. Why do we give up dreams? Just because we become a realist and figure out it just might not work out? Forget it, go for it, as long as it's not something that abandons responsibility in the areas of care you provide for family, or is a sinful thing - keep dreaming!

I usually don't dream big enough, but I definitely have dreams that I refuse to give up - no matter how old I get! How about you

Thursday, July 23, 2009

a long long day

Soooo, we started at 6:00 a.m. this morning to get to the Cleveland Airport on time! No traffic, amazing. We arrived in plenty of time only to wait, and wait, and wait some more!

As our plane arrived at Cleveland to take us the first leg of our journey to Chicago, they decided it needed maintenance work! So off to the hanger it went. We got several updates on the progress of the engine work or rather the lack of progress and finally I decided I needed to talk to the stewards. They graciously changed our flight realizing there was no way we would meet our connecting flight, and we got to go straight through to Minneapolis! This required us to sit until 12:55, but we actually arrived about the same time we would have originally. That was even with the President flying in to Cleveland Hopkins and stopping all air traffic, so we stood and watched Air force One land (cannot explain it but I felt a great sadness as I watched the plane land) I digress... (Joci finally gave up and went to sleep on the floor!)

Anyway we finally arrived for Jocelyn's Associated Press Conference and took a shuttle and drug our suitcases down street after street until arriving at our dorm room at about 4:30 p.m. Ohio time! TIRED!

Can I just tell you though, tonight's meal made it all worth while - truly one of the best of my life. We ate at this old Drug Store, with open wall sections to the outside (80 degrees and sunny), live sax player and fabulous very affordable food to die for!

We just hiked the 2 miles back to the dorm and I am now going to pass out! Bye for now!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

picnic ended

The picnic with the amazing Connect Kiosk Crossroads team has just ended. I will never stop being thankful for all of our great volunteers. Ministry could not happen without them!

As we began to talk about the rest of the year and all the exciting things we are looking forward to, I became overwhelmed once again with God's goodness.

The fact that He continues time and time again to pour His blessings over our ministry just amazes me...He cares about our ministry and He cares about each of us

I got to spend the night with God's people - sweet!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

what I learned today

What I learned today - man, that's tough today. I worked from the time I got up to right now 11:12 p.m. on the house.

My husband is hosting his Connect Team tomorrow night at our home so I had a lot to do.. God didn't get the best of my time today. I know He is honored in my work, but, when I don't set aside a significant amount of time just to sit with Him and meditate and listen, I feel like I miss out. Like I miss a friend. Although I read for a short time and spent some time in prayer, it wasn't the amount of focused time I am trying to get in the habit of giving Him, and I felt it all day.

It takes about 21 days to form a habit and the silence I've practiced using the book by Bob Kilpatrick that I've mentioned previously- has helped me achieve that goal.

What I learned today is the habit I am trying to be dedicated to, is taking hold, I feel it. And although my time was short today I really missed it, that is such confirmation of progress!

Monday, July 20, 2009

my day off

I basically plan not to move today!

Yesterday we left home at 7:30 a.m. and got back at 10:45 p.m. Annual Magnification Picnic!

This picnic has come to require the same amount of creativeness that our weekly programming does - just not as spiritual. I am always worried no one will come, or people will not want to participate or it will be boring...but, once again we had a blast.!

In the never ending attempt to be creative I often loose sight of the power of connection. Our department consists of many teams, many of which never cross paths in the weekly execution of the services, so this picnic is vital! Without exception people leave having met at least one new person.

When our friends offered to host the event I jumped on the chance to not only face the planning of the event, but the preparation of my own home and property! "Yes" was out of my mouth before they finished their invitation! (Thanks Crawfis'!)

So, only the content of the picnic was left for me to organize.

The past year has been a year full of change, some of the changes were very difficult. Now however, God is beginning to reveal the 'next generation' that he is preparing to help lead Crossroads. This event gave me a physical chance to look across our teams and see the transition that has taken place this year. To visually see the different gifts this variation of ages brings to our department takes my breath away!

When Crossroads began we began primarily with very young leaders. At least in the area of worship volunteers. This caused us at times to struggle with the levels of maturity. We had to try to grow everyone up quickly. Then, as we settled into our middle years of ministry and all began to mature together, we realized we were not developing enough young people to join us. Now, I see the possibility of generations coming together like never before at Crossroads. And as I looked across the picnic I was very excited and pleased. A very balanced range of youth/maturity/experience - quite exciting!

The games I ask the picnic participants to play, of course caused them to work as a team - this brings me GREAT pleasure!

  • This year I pulled out pictures I had saved since we left the old building and asked 2 team members at a time to connect faces with names. (Not really fair to the new team members...but, Oh Well!) It was challenging and proved that there is not enough overlap between the teams because they could only name people they had served directly with in most cases.

  • We blind folded one person, allowing team members to verbally and physically guide them as they threw games pieces playing 'air golf' nearly taking the heads off of the spectators.

  • We then chose 4 people from each team to see how many balls they could carry and successfully hand off to a fellow team member without dropping them..(I never realized how far people's clothing could stretch! ha ha). As the 'ball carrying' game came to an end and people noticed Youth Pastor Jesse was paddling a boat in the lake, it became a free for all pelting Jesse with as many balls as possible. I would estimate that at least 50 balls were floating in the lake by the end of the assault. (Funny how youth pastors are always targets!)
  • Our grand finale was for the entire team to run, grab a kite that was still in the package, assemble it and get it in the air for at least 30 seconds. With 3 out of 4 teams tied for first place, this became the determining game for the championship (free gift certificate from the Crossroads Cafe!) People became creative (if not somewhat violent - in a Christianish sort of way.) One team assigned a team member to take the other team's kites and throw them as far away as possible. One team member slit another team's kite with his pocket knife (it still flew), and as everyone started counting off the seconds of flight required to win, the team in last place (the tech team) emerged victorious!
Some of our team members do not attend the picnic because they just prefer small settings, or because I cannot allow small children (based on the games above you can see why I cannot have kids there), but I wish I knew how to explain to them what they are missing...this has become one of our greatest opportunities to connect. I completely understand schedule conflicts and already planned vacations, but I remain fully committed to provide this opportunity, and next year will plan further ahead and become even more persuasive in my attempts to get people there!

I would encourage any of you from other ministries reading this to consider the same type event, it pays huge dividends throughout the rest of the year. All of the participants now have "remember when we did this..." type experiences to share, many were reminiscing about last years picnic while we were together...priceless!

Another result of this year's picnic was the creation of a possible new team, the Photography Team. We have had photography teams come and go through the years, but this time we are going to recruit a leader and train the members to take it from picture to completion in organizing it for us. When you get together in a relaxed setting - good things happen! Literally hundreds of pictures of this event were taken by several team members. I wanted to give you details of the picnic today, and later this week I'll post a picnic photo folder for you to enjoy - have a great week!

The final picture shows the prize everyone wanted - the ShamWow. (Scott, pictured here, negotiated a trade to acquire it! ha ha)

weekend report

Church was just not this much fun when I was a girl! Great worship (wonderful harmonies) and well thought out transitions (I love it when we prepare well so we can 'get out of the way' and the Spirit takes it to the next level!), and hilarious thematic videos and well done teaching by our Youth Guy, Jesse Rider! Great to be at church today.

Our Setlist:

For Who You Are - Free Chapel (love this new one!)
Everlasting God
As For Me


Special: New Attitude (the oldie!)

Reading from Charles Swindoll: (this tied the special to the message so well!)

Message - Flip This House
(message contained segments of "Jaywalking" and the famous YouTube video
"Charlie Bit Me!" )

Ending Worship: Draw Me Close

So many compliments, so much fun, I think the Lord was pleased with everyone's excellent work today!

If you want to see what other ministries around the country did over the weekend, click here.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

the vine

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me."

Again, another verse that I have read a hundred times before today. But, today I really saw it a whole new way, almost as if I was reading it for the first time.

Bob Kilpatrick reminds us that, "branches do not visit the vine when they need sustenance. They do not come and go. They stay. They are attached. If they detach they die."

We need to constantly be with Jesus to stay connected to Him. This is the only way that we can receive everything that comes from God to create Holiness in us. It is much more about who we are in Christ, than what we do in our busyness. What we do "for" Him... He made it crystal clear when He spoke with Mary and Martha. He was trying to teach and visit with them but Martha couldn't be bothered to just sit and listen. Martha was a doer and really thought she was doing the right thing. It was, however, the complete opposite of what Jesus wanted her to be doing in that moment. He just says to abide.

Doesn't sound that difficult...we are the branches and He is the vine...amazing!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

touring near the big apple

Our son Eric is still touring with his band. I miss him.

They are pictured here in the Big Apple, how fun! Awww to be young again!

Tonight they are in West Virginia making their way toward Florida in the coming days. I noticed an email today from another band from Portland that they had played with recently.

This guy talked about how much the band has ministered to him and affected his walk with the Lord - how exciting to see a genre of music that we don't always understand still able to help kids with their spiritual walk! You go boys!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

art comes to crossroads

I am so looking forward to the art show provided by our Creative Arts Group at Crossroads this weekend. We have grown very close as a group and out of that comes a trust and willingness to share in many ways, our hearts, our words and art.

And now they share their art with you...enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

what I learned today

I learned I do not look up enough.

"Why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven." Acts 1:11

Can you imagine watching Jesus ascend into the heavens right before your eyes as his disciples did?

Beth Moore raises this question, "if you had seen him disappear into the heavens, would a day go by that you didn't look up?" No way!

Think about how they must have spent each day after that, looking toward the sky in mid conversation. Each time they walked out of a building glancing upward. Wondering whether each cloud that passed by would reveal their Lord as it drifted away. They were convinced He would return in their life time, and so they waited expectantly. Do we?

Unfortunately I long for His return the most when I am struggling, when I want to give up, when I doubt my calling. But when things are good I act as if I have caused the goodness. God is good and delights in us - He is the provider of all good things. He rose again and will come once more for His children. He is coming- it's time to live as if I really believe this!

What I learned to day is that I need to live 'looking up', I think it brings God great joy when he sees the upturned faces of His children longing for His return!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

my day off

We got art display boards up for the Artist Small Group's art show this weekend, so the art goes up tomorrow...exciting! After getting that done we headed back home to grill out and relax around our deck - perfect summer evening.

I feel right now like I have so much to do that it is difficult to begin, so I am reading instead! ha ha - not the greatest solution I guess. But, what I am reading is amazing, once again it is about stillness and silence. It says that "all fruitfulness and maturity will grow from time we spend with God. Besides, the things we do could easily be done by many others. We are not indispensable to the work of God. We sometimes get an exaggerated sense of the importance of what we do."

Puts it in perspective doesn't it? I'll work tomorrow!

left overs...that's what it is

The picture I put up on my last post was a picture of leftover pie crust dough that we make into cookies. Yeah I know, not good for us but tastes amazing with a little sugar and cinnamon!

As I decided whether to bother making them or just to toss them into the wastebasket, it made me think of all the leftovers there are in my life. Some come out of the excess of too much, some are left over because they just weren't good to begin with. Food of course is the most often thing the word leftover is associated with, but what about the rest of my life?

After thinking about this I came to the conclusion I should have MORE leftovers than I do. I want to have leftover time, leftover resources and leftover kindness...instead I find myself spent in every way quite often.

I wrote this first thing today, so I can keep this mindset throughout my day off. Leave a little at the end of each day...who knows what opportunity may come if I purposefully allow just a little leftover time today! May God bless your day!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

guess what

Guess what this is?

Anyone know?

I'll write about it tomorrow!

weekend report

Another weekend is over, hard to believe it has come and gone so quickly! We had great fellowship, teaching and worship this weekend.

Our Setlist:

Instrumental during countdown - I Feel The Earth Move (sax on melody - it rocked!)
Annuoncements: Deering Dyer (our Small Group guy)
How Can I Keep From Singing
Love the Lord
One Voice ( an original song by Milo who is one of our worship leaders)
Mighty To Save (Hillsong)
You Are Good (Gateway)

Wendell Anderson taught on "Finishing Well"
don't know if I have ever heard a message concerning Retirement. I found it fascinating to consider that the Bible really doesn't talk about retirement, but talks about a "long endurance" which suggests staying involved and working your whole life. Wendell didn't speak against retiring from a job at a certain point, but taught how important it is to stay actively involved, especially where it applies to the church and service the Lord. Cool service!

If you want to see what other ministries around the county used in their worship services this weekend click here.

You can watch our this weekend's service on Monday at

Saturday, July 11, 2009

marathon canoeing

It was so much fun to go canoeing with the Crossroads Drama Small Group today! Oh my goodness, we were doing Matrix back bends in our canoes to avoid took me right off my the delight of my friends (I use the word loosely)

We paddled through lightning and cold rain, over fallen logs, dodged between old tires and other various abandoned items half submerged. Finally 5 hours later (yes 5), we climbed from the river and into our cars.

Not sure I have ever laughed and screamed so much in my life! I love small groups!

Friday, July 10, 2009

friday fun

My Friday has been a blessing! I spent time working with our amazing Magnification Staff this morning, met with the other Directors of Crossroads that I love so much ...then after work we headed to Columbus just to hang out - here are some of the things we saw!

This was an amazing sand sculpture - it was so well done I wasn't sure if it was really sand or not...very cool!

I am so thankful for such a beautiful evening just to be outside and enjoy my parents and hubby!

Don't have much time to write tonight, going canoeing early tomorrow with the Performing Arts Small Group then off to church! Good night!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


We have 4 drivers in our family. Two cars so old they are about to fall apart - one without brakes, one driven off the edge of the road by a friend and now not running right, one with a crunched parking lot 'not our fault' back-end and one that is fine. I HATE taking care of cars!

We are constantly trying to figure out when it is no longer worth investing more in repairs, yet the alternative is buying another one - that is even worse!

Sometimes I feel like the people around me are in similar shape. Some are beat up by life, some need replaced parts and a few look good, at least on the outside. It is hard to judge who needs us the most, who to invest our time in and sometimes if there is anything God can even use us to do for them at all. A difficult balance but one we must seek.

Time spent serving others will last for eternity - long after our cars have turned to rust!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

results = effort

I am trying to figure out what my contribution can be to our art show that is going up next week...I'm going to try to create something on a canvas totally with spray paints! I know the REAL artists are cringing, or laughing. (You would be too if you saw it...not going so well).

If I am an artist at all, I am definitely not a well prepared, pondering, serious artist - I want it done instantly but well. Yet not willing to invest the time that it takes to develop a talent.

The results = the effort invested. This is true in any kind of art, music, dance, writing, painting, ceramics the results reflect the effort that has been put in to prepare and learn.

Guess I should stick to hanging the show instead of contributing Art!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

what I learned today

"You and I, each and every one of us without exception, can be defined as an aching need for the infinite. Some people realize this; some do not. But even the latter illustrate this inner ache when, not having God deeply, they incessantly spill themselves out into excitements and experiences, licit or illicit. They are trying to fill their inner emptiness, but they never succeed, which is why the search is incessant...If these people allow themselves a moment of reflective silence (which they seldom do), they notice a small voice whispering, Is this all there is? They begin to sense a thirst to love with abandon, without limit, without end, without lingering aftertastes of bitterness. In other words, their inner spirit is clamoring, even if confusedly, for unending beauty. How they and we respond to this inner outreach rooted in our deep spiritual soul is the most basic set of decisions we can make; they have eternal consequences."
author - Thomas Dubay

God created all of us with a desire to know Him, a desire that can be filled no other way than to know him. Romans 1 talks about the fact that since the day we were born we have been able to see his hand in nature and all that he has created. So, there is no one with an excuse not to see God. Romans 1:20 (NLT), "From the time the earth was created. people have seen the earth and sky and all that God has made. They can clearly see His invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God."

It is so obvious that there is a need created in each of us to seek Him, to seek our purpose - which only comes in Him. The celebrities obviously and foolishly seek this, and they sadly do not realize only He can fill that horribly empty space. But not so obvious are the regular people all around us that feel worthless, that go to jobs they hate, that fight with family or walk away from family...They too are searching, it's just a more private search. Perhaps a more acceptable search. It is in the everyday that we must show them God, they must see our love for Him in our eyes and the words that we say, and the way we treat each day as a gift - even the days that hurt us.

As I consider the significance of this passage directly on my life, I realize that at 51 I wrestle with the exact questions my 19 and 21 year olds are struggling with. "What do you want me to do, how do you want to use me Lord"...My kids feel pressure to figure this out soon, I assure them (and discourage them by saying), At 51 I still ask Him daily, 'Is this what you want from my life, what can I possibly teach those over whom I am charged today...both family and ministry? What are you calling me to do Lord? Am I obedient in your call on my life? Till the day we die we are responsible to follow Him, and in this act He will reveal the details of our lives.

So today let His nature reveal the Creator as Roman 1 talks about, and live as if we truly believe we are without excuse. And to believe Him is to follow Him in everything.

Monday, July 6, 2009

my day off

Two Mondays ago, I was eating Oatmeal with strawberries and orange on Laguna Beach, today I'm eating Oatmeal with almonds on my deck. Both are equally gorgeous to me...what a beautiful God created day today in Mansfield!

I am reading "Secrets of the Silence" at the same time a friend of mine is. We are exploring Silence before God as a discipline and as a different aspect to prayer. It is already amazing!

Isn't it such a contradiction to our thinking, that in silence we learn more sometimes than with speaking?

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, God is not difficult, we just make Him that way by trying to force things to happen. By giving Him ourselves, then taking us back.

This day off began perfectly, sitting outside reading, meditating and listening...May nothing ruin it, may I not ruin it!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

weekend report

To see the creative elements other churches across America used in their services this weekend, you can go to The Worship Community where worship leaders share their weekend experience.

This weekend made me thankful for a staff with multiple talents, we are small but my fellow staff members are VERY talented and willing to serve! This weekend Milo, one of our worship leaders needed to play drums (he's usually on lead guitar), and play them he did, quite well actually! Along with that change, Wendell Anderson, our Stewardship Pastor took care of the teaching so Pastor Tim could enjoy a well deserved vacation! Great weekend!

Our Set List:

Following our service countdown - we began with a Video titled: Our Nation's Inspiration - From from the Steelehouse Media Group, purchased from Worshiphouse Media.

We transitioned right into Announcements beginning with an invitation to stop by our Go Mission Kiosk and write a note to one of our servicemen and women. We are sending care packages and notes of encouragement...really flowed well one from another. Following announcements we went into a great time of worship!!

Glorious - Passion version
All Creatures of Our God and King - Michael Neal
The Rock - Crowder version
I Will Boast -
Garrett arrangement

Special Music: Ten Simple Rules which supported the teaching beautifully

Message: Rebuilding Sacred Walls that Protect (great message on the Sabbath)

We repeated the Special Music as people exited, great weekend!

You can watch us on the web on Tuesday at

Saturday, July 4, 2009

a great loss

Our ministry suffered a great loss this week, his name was Skip.

This man Skip, was not someone I was close to, but I always admired him from afar. Anyone who chooses the Hospital Visitation team to serve on is special. And he was.

At his funeral yesterday, one of the speakers talked about being with Skip a couple of days before he went to be with the Lord. He spoke about Skip's eyes lighting up with the anticipation of seeing Christ. He knew with certainty he was only a day or so away from meeting Him and it's all he could talk about. He longed to be with Him!

The thing that concerned him terribly were the people in his life that he knew still didn't know the Lord personally. He asked his wife to call each one of them so he could speak to them with great concern and urgency. And for those he couldn't speak to one last time, he prayed for in his hospital bed.

While Skip was hospitalized fighting great pain he shared his faith, he lead several people to the Lord right in the hospital room. Amazing!

This is something I cannot get off my mind, if I knew for sure that I only had a day or two to live, would I be overcome with the joy of passing to be present with the Lord? Would I?

I cannot say with certainty.

This makes me sad and has brought great conviction to my soul. I long to be Eternity focused instead of settling for this. In my final days I wonder if I would busy myself trying to make provisions for family, organize as much as I could and fuss about earthly details instead of resting against Christ counting the moments until I saw Him. Life is very, very, very short - eternity forever -

So even in his passing Skip challenges me with a life that always looked ahead and always lived to take many with him, and so he did...awesome!

Friday, July 3, 2009

the 4th of July-ish

We celebrated the 4th early by continuing our 15 year old tradition of going to my home town for the Balloon Glow! Great fun!

Our evening began by stopping by Southview GBC, my home church. They have hosted a whifle ball contest for 10 consecutive years - hosting 98 teams this year!

We watched our nephew Ethan pitch his team to a 12-4 victory! We then enjoyed the delicious brats cooked by none other than my dad!

We then made our way to the LynWay our favorite 'down home' restaurant to eat more and build up strength for the long walk to the field of balloons.

The balloons lived up to their reputation lighting up to the glee and cheers of the HUGE crowd.

It was a great night and it was our early celebration since we work tomorrow night at Crossroads!


Have you ever noticed how sad celebrities are overall? In human moments we may wish to have what they have, wealth, popularity - but the deep sadness in their eyes...

As I watch the Micheal Jackson pictures and videos - he seems so empty - honestly, I feel deeply sad about his passing.

A few days ago before his death, I was wondering if it is ever possible to speak to or find direct emails to any of the big Hollywood stars? I wonder if we gained access to them, if we could make them understand how much God cares about them. I wonder if we could convince them that we have what they are searching for? It seems when they have reached the pinnacle of stardom they soon discover there is nothing left, nothing higher to pursue. So just as they achieve the highest possible accomplishment, the thing they have given up everything for, they realize it can never satisfy them. How horrible that must be - to chase an empty dream!

I wonder if our paths crossed if they could see in our eyes that we are different and desire to know what it is within us that satisfies us, completes us and makes life worth living? My heart breaks for them. They truly seem unreachable.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


This is a quote from the conference I just attended:

SUCCESS: having the people that know you the best - love you the most

Is that even possible? I want this to be true of those around me! To be loved even more by those closest to me than those who only see me when I'm 'out in public' so to speak, when I'm on, when I'm dressed up. I pray it is true, and I'll do whatever I can to make it so!

So how about you? Do you think those closest love you most? I'd love to hear from you!