Thursday, December 31, 2009
Ok, so...I went to The WalMart looking for one item...Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
Can I just tell you it is without a doubt the single most popular grocery item on New Year's Eve.
I have come to this conclusion based on the fact that it took me 3, yes 3, trips to The WalMart to locate Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
I found it on the bottom of a 10 foot pile of boxed refrigerated items sitting on a skid wrapped in saran wrap type plastic. Yes, I said on the bottom!
First of all it is not like the Philly should be on the bottom I wouldn't think, not exactly a solid item. Yet on the bottom it was! It didn't stop me...
Desperate to not disappoint our family tomorrow - I simply had to have that cheese for my recipe! So on hands and knees I did what any red blooded American would do and tore into that bottom box victoriously waving 2 bars in the air!
Happy new year - enjoy your favorite recipe tomorrow we almost didn't !!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Taking Christmas down this year looks different than usual.
Since our kids have been born we have given them a new ornament each year. This year when the tree comes down - our daughter and son will take their ornaments and will pack them separately. Packing them separately so they can use them next year or the year after in their own apartment or home...
There is a happiness that comes from knowing there is not a whole lot we would do differently in raising our kids, we like who they have become a lot!
But there is sadness connected to any kind of change - so watching our Christmas come down this year will not be quite so fun.
I have decided to leave it up for as long as possible!
I found these questions on Mike Hyatt's Blog - they are very interesting and they may help us focus if we take the time to think them through and call this year completed and prepare to move forward.
1. If the last year were the genre of your life, what would the theme have been?
drama, romance, adventure, comedy, tragedy, or a combination...
2. What were the two or three major themes that kept recurring? these can be single words or phrases
3. What did you accomplish this year that you are the most proud of?
4. What do you feel you should have been acknowledged for but weren't?
5. What regrets or disappointments did you experience this year? Did you let others down?
6. What were the spiritual lessons you learned this past year?
I would love to see your answers if you'd like to share...leave a comment please!
It could have been the worst year of your life - but everything God allows should help prepare us for the next thing in our lives. If we can purposefully look back - evaluate and learn, we can look ahead determined to listen to God's leading - leaning into His purpose for us.
Although I, like everyone, will experience lapses in focus in 2010 where I look at my own agenda instead of His, my heart desires to follow His lead to let this next year be the most amazing God year ever! Let's go!!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
That sums up my day! I sat on the couch, laid on the couch and sewed on the couch!
It is always curious how long you can keep moving - but the moment you stop - you realize just how tired you truly are! Today I discovered this and took full advantage of doing little to nothing!
Running the dishwasher was one of the most strenuous things!
Do you ever wonder if you are ever at your very best - ready to accomplish what God intends? I often wonder how many amazing opportunities I've missed because I am too tired, distracted or focused on trivial things...
I want to follow Him into 2010 confident that I am ready to experience things that can only be explained by the fact that He is the forever almighty all knowing God! I better get rested up!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
So many visitors that we pray will continue to come to Crossroads if they are looking for a church home - some I am sure, hearing the tremendous message of God's love for the first time!
Our set List:
Opening Song: Carol of the Bells - Sixpence None the Richer
Announcements: Deering Dyer Small Group Pastor
Special: Christ Is Come - Big Daddy Weave
Joy To The World - Tomlin
My Savior Lives - (from A break to end)
Hallelujah A Savior is Born - original by one of our worship guys Milo
Drama: Sticky Jesus - Skit Guys
Message: Part 3 - The Incarnation Senior Pastor Tim Armstrong
Closing Special: Winter Snow - from Tomlin Christmas CD
I was honored that our daughter Jocelyn got asked to sing/play the final closing song to our series. We do not do a separate mix for our recordings - so you cannot hear the piano or the excellent backup singer Cody very well. But, people asked me if it would be on my blog so set your volume kind of quiet to avoid our over modulation and enjoy! It was such a great weekend - and not just because our daughter got to participate...
God was there and people expressed how moved they were - I was very thankful for such a dedicated team that comes prepared even on the busiest weekend of the year.
Enjoy what others used in their services this weekend by going to Fred McKinnon's site.
You can watch our entire service at www.crossroadswired.com on Monday afternoon. May God richly bless your week!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Ours are made of determination and very, very high skill. They rocked the house tonight! Excellent worship, drama, technical execution and teaching! Such a high level of excellent preparation.
A perfect ending to a wonderful holiday weekend! More about today's service including video tomorrow! I hope you all can join us, you won't be sorry!
I disconnected for a couple of days - hope you missed me!
We spent the whole day with my family after opening gifts at our home, since my hubby's family was away this Christmas. Eric surprised me with an original painting and as you can see the kids both got Snuggies!
We had so much fun - and laughed so hard that we almost cried.
My dad finally had enough of the gaiety and took a little nap (there is some advantage to being hard of hearing I guess!)
Everyone grew weary from all the eating combined with the game playing. We decided as dad snoozed in his chair - it was time to call it a day and we took off. (We can take a hint! ha ha)
My sister asked us today at the dinner table what we were thankful for this year, and at the top of everyone's list was our family. Working in ministry and hearing people's stories, makes me so aware of the struggles families have with one another.
Although we are far from perfect, we love each other deeply and try very hard to make our time together memorable. And it was! Merry Christmas everyone!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
God gives each of His children talents and gifts that he asks us to use to serve Him. Tonight we get to see many people's talents come together in unison to worship this God who sent His son.
Last night at the Willow Creek service Bill Hybels said, "God wants to have a relationship with us so much that He sent his son - to become like us and the relationship He desires is that of a Father with His child. Just as 'good' earthly fathers will do anything to have a relationship with their children God desired us SO much that He would give up His son to reach us." Amazing!
So we go into tonight's rehearsals knowing we bare great responsibility to communicate this message of salvation well, to present the sacrifice of God giving His son strongly and to give a desperate community the hope that can only come through relationship with Him.
Monday, December 21, 2009
My daughter officially grew up today.
She called bright and early this morning and announced she just got engaged!
That filled me with quite a mixture of emotions.
Thrilled for her of course! (Aaron is amazing!) but...
Sad her childhood went so quickly.
Excited that her engagement was so carefully planned out and special. One of a kind ring, and spectacular timing!
Thankful that her future husband loves her and the Lord so much!
Sad that holidays will have to be a choice between 2 families from now on. (I am selfish!)
But willing to share her because Aaron's family loves her so much too...
We are proud of our daughter, thankful she is so happy, and excited about the future. We will wait to see where God takes them as a couple and what amazing opportunities He gives them ! Today was a wonderful mixture of emotion, an ending to childhood and the beginning of an exciting future!
Christmas that is.
Did we forget to buy for anyone?
Did we buy enough...too much?
Will they like it?
Will they take it back?
I wish I had more money I could spend on Christmas. I know, I know that's not what the celebration is about, but it is so much fun to surprise people!
So instead of more spending the effort goes into getting it just right and that of course includes much more than gifts.
God made it right by sending us His son. How amazing it will be this week to worship Him...we will rehearse tomorrow to get this important, life changing message ready for Christmas Eve. The thought of some hearing this message for the first time is my favorite part of Christmas and is what will motivate me to work very hard with so little time left...
Friday, December 18, 2009
I love to walk outside at Easton Town Center when Christmas decorations are all up. It seems magical.
As I stood outside waiting for my family to come out of the stores it felt like I was the only still thing. Everyone rushed by. People bumped and hurried and sometimes spoke to one another...but mostly they hurried. I stood still and watched.
Tonight I took a Christmas walk...it was amazing!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Truth: a verified or indisputable fact
What can you think of that is an indisputable fact?
Everyone dies (unless the Lord returns!)
God. The world certainly disputes His existence, does your life?
Could it be that we live so much like the world around us that people do not believe God could possibly be true? Is that why it is nearly impossible in many cases to lead our own relatives or those closest to us to the Lord?
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I have the privilege to work with 4 of the most talented guys I know! Steve, Milo, Dan and Bryan make up our Magnification staff.
We had our Christmas dinner tonight and I gave them their gifts.
It's hard to believe we have just ended another year together! We are excited about 2010 and what God has in store for Crossroads!
Here is a picture of Steve sent by his wife just minutes after he arrived home!
I have a blast working and creating with these guys! Best job in the world!
I have always tried to remain influential in my kids lives by being honest, living in a consistent Godly way before them and praying continuously. But today I had a wrestling match with God.
I had to be honest and admit that I was still holding one piece tightly in my hand. That was the piece of - protection from consequences. After quite a time of beseeching Him, sobbing and almost a physical collapse on the couch, I finally handed it completely to Him.
I will always be here for my kids, proud of them, rooting for them and praying for them. Even if I don't understand everything they choose to do. But, as they both graduate from college this year I realize I cannot fight their battles, I will not always know what God's will is for them - only they can know that, and I cannot protect them from the consequences of their decisions.
Why I wanted to hang on to this for so long is beyond me...if I try to control any of their decisions I could be the very influence that leads them down a path God does not want for them! I will walk beside my kids until the day I die, but, I will not try to control them. (silly to think I actually could anyway!)
I gave them to God the day they were born, and this day - I mean it more fully than I ever thought I could.
I release them to His calling fully!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Pulled out all my left over as well as new wrapping paper - pitched some, scrounged for gift boxes in attic - laid out bows, ribbon and gift cards.
All my gifts laid out - inventory taken - wrapping has begun. ( not like I have that many!)
Massage (old injury flared up again - I feel old!)
We put up a few outside lights for the first time in years.
Dinner = left overs
Tonight I am looking forward to finishing my day with Beth Moore study and additional reading by the fire...
The Lord made us with a need to rest, today I did, and it was good!
What is the one thing you find the most relaxing?
Sunday, December 13, 2009
But guess what? Other team members stepped up and rose to the occasion and we were blessed! God works in mysterious ways and I just witnessed this to be true!
Our Set List:
Deck The Halls - Relient K
Adore Him - Kari Jobe
Actors reciting: Luke 2
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus - Tomlin
Emmanuel - Tomlin
God You Reign - (shortened)
Angel We Have Heard on High - Tomlin
Message: Incarnation Pt. 1 Tim Armstrong
Exit Song: Emmanuel
To see what other ministries used in their worship services go to Fred McKinnon's site.
To watch our services on Monday go to www.crossroadswired.com
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I was reading about Paul today - perhaps the most ironic bio in the Bible. God used the very man that persecuted and scattered believers, to later spread the gospel himself. Reading in Acts I was struck again by the fact it was the religious leaders who were furious with the teaching of salvation.
You always assume it's the bad guys that persecute. Not so, the RELIGIOUS leaders were right in there stirring things up- forbidding the gospel to be taught even at the temples!
You see, they had to do everything within their power to shut the Christians mouths up - because I think they were beginning to believe themselves that this Christ may indeed have been the long awaited Savior. The very savior they taught about themselves! They had made the ultimate mistake of all time - killing their own Messiah.
I wonder how much time we spend trying to cover up the fact that we may have been wrong about something. Why is it so hard, so embarrassing to admit it when we make a mistake?
Friday, December 11, 2009
One of my friends mentioned today how sad he was for Tiger's wife. How embarrassing and heartbreaking!
Do you think Tiger's sin is any worse than sin you commit?
I thought about that a lot today as I listened to one news report after another discussing Tiger Woods. Obviously some sin has more immediate consequences than others, that is possibly where the concept of big sins vs. little sins came from. It is either sin or not - it all comes in the exact same size.
I dont' know why the world draws such pleasure from catching someone in sin. Perhaps it is because it takes the focus off of our own shortcomings.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Our congregation has adopted 600 of the communities' neediest children for Christmas through an event we call Adopt A Child! To watch the joy of everyone bringing in their gifts is amazing! Next week we give them out - cannot wait.
This Radio Flyer is one of my favorite things so far!
I want to thank Darlene Rudrick and her amazing team of volunteers that work for weeks to organize this event! God bless you all!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
It is so windy that if I took my video camera and shot a close up on the puddles, you would swear you were at a large lake.
Waves actually are connected to many of my favorite memories, I love the ocean or large lakes. My honeymoon was in Key West, one of our favorite extended family vacations was to California, and another time my sister and I drove to Hilton Head to meet my parents. We took a cruise for our 25th wedding anniversary - this is my favorite kind of vacation - cruise...just the word exudes comfort and rest!
Anyway, on a very windy cold day - to see the little waves in my puddles transported me for a brief moment back to some of my favorite memories. Back to warm waves!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Seriously now...I learned no matter how organized I am, no matter how hard I work, no matter how good my intentions are - my plans are pointless without covering my day in prayer and time with the Lord first. As is the case many days, I blasted off from home with arms full and plans swirling in my head. As I sat down to being to work, I realized I had not adequately prepared. God had not been invited in to my day.
Back up...now I will begin again WITH Him.
4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. I John 2: 4 - 6
How many days have passed when my own agenda was ALL I thought of all day long? NOT TODAY get thee behind me busyness (satan)!
Prayer: "Lord, forgive me for living as if this day belongs to me. It is only by your grace that I even draw breath let alone try with feeble attempt to further your kingdom with my work. This is your day - please, let me be pleasing to you Lord!"
Monday, December 7, 2009
My daughter has a person in her life at college that is causing her grief in a work setting. She was recently sharing some of the harassing this person has been doing and I could feel the hairs on the back of my motherly neck beginning to stand up.
You just don’t mess with my kids or friends.
My usual serene exterior quickly deteriorated into what some of my family not-so-lovingly refers to as a “mama-lion”.
I become quit defensive for my loved ones (understatement).
With the shock that anyone would be less than kind to my daughter weighing heavy on me, I took it to the Lord. My intentions were noble – my flesh was weak.
After two or three lines of asking for God’s help, my mind drifted off into the possibility of taking matters into my own hands.
This without a doubt is less than pleasing to the Lord. After a few minutes of thinking through the possibilities of my involvement my focus returned to what I had originally set out to do – pray.
A few lines back into my prayer I once again found myself somehow considering the idea of sending the perpetrator a letter expressing my great disappointment in his behavior. Rehearsing what I might write in great detail in my mind…finally the return of helplessness came back over me and I turned back to the Lord.
I kid you not, 5 minutes back into prayer I returned again to yet another scenario, this time picturing my self confronting them on the college campus. Now, let’s just picture that in our minds for a moment. ME confronting a college student I don’t even know – which would completely undercut my daughter’s authority, and would require that I actually be confrontational (can you say chicken?)
Anyway, by the end of the time which should have been a hallowed time of coming to my Lord asking Him to intercede, I highly doubt He was even listening. I can just picture Him leaning in to hear my prayer 3 times, and finally giving up and turning His focus toward someone else. (I know, bad theology)
Anyway – am I the only one that has trouble remaining focused in prayer?
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Blasting goodness! How amazing it was to worship! Lot's of people dedicating their time to serve this weekend, just like every amazing weekend!! Thanks to all our fabulous, dedicated volunteers!
Jingle Bells: Denver Mile High Orchestra
Little Drummer Boy (with extended percussion)-Duncan
Joy To The World-(Unspeakable Joy) - Tomlin
Beautiful One-Hughes shortened
All For Love-Hillsong United
Announcements: Bill Hill (yes, it's his real name)
Go Tell It On The Mountain - Barlow Girl
Our announcement guy, Bill Hill, interviewed his wife, Cindy for a segment during Pastor Anderson's message...
To see what other ministries used in their times of worship this weekend go to Fred McKinnon's site.
You can see what's happening at our ministry by going to www.crossroadswired.com
Saturday, December 5, 2009
This is something I can probably justify as actually 'needing'...ish
I often turn the wrong way or take the long way. What a concept, having a piece of technology that just talks to you as you drive even correcting your errors - wrong turns.
Very cool that I already have the ultimate GPS - God's Word. Does it give instruction, yes, does it tell me when I take a wrong turn, yes, does it suggest the best direction for my life, yes.
Do I still sometimes go the wrong direction, yes. But, there really is no excuse to. It is a choice - I can listen and follow instruction or try to find my own way.
I do hope I get a GPS for Christmas - meanwhile I will try to follow the instructions I already have - and maybe do a Google maps search !
Friday, December 4, 2009
Brilliant recruiting/developing concept - Crossroads University Guitar Class!
These are the students that most recently completed the class giving our Worship Leaders time to access each one, and keep an eye on new talent at Crossroads!
Thanks everyone! The worship was amazing!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I vow never to procrastinate! It always makes things worse.
When I put off what I don't like to do, it's all I think about, dreading it - this robs my life of joy!
When I put off something that just seems too time consuming - I waste more time avoiding it than the task even takes to complete!
When I postpone assignments - they are always the ones I am asked for first!
When I procrastinate confronting trouble or something difficult - it affects more people than it needed to include and turns into a much larger problem than it was at first!
What do you procrastinate doing?
I decided to share a writing that I wrote recently that is going to be used on another website - it describes the emotions connected to creating services especially during this time of the year. It was written to encourage others who create or are involved in Christmas services.
The Call to Create Christmas
Christmas evokes a large variety of emotions.
Love, excitement, stress, wonder, pressure to create something spectacular, as well as great anticipation. These are just a few of the emotions I experience each and every year as I begin to develop Christmas services.
I look forward to it and dread it sometimes simultaneously.
Then I remember. I remember the wonder of his coming. God revealing His plan that Mary would conceive and bring forth God's son and call Him Emmanuel. I once again marvel that this young woman believed and accepted this extraordinary responsibility.
Why God has trusted me to create services that introduce Christ to people seeking Him is something I will never fully comprehend. It is the greatest privilege and greatest responsibility of my life outside of my family. My desire is to show our congregation just a glimpse of His glory in the midst of economic uncertainty and earthly struggle. This may be our greatest opportunity in many years.
And so I begin with a prayer that sounds more like pleading for His direction. "Please show me how to reveal your son to these people, I cannot do this alone. Use me Father...I'll do anything you ask of me to reach them..."
I remember standing at the back of the auditorium during the first Christmas service I helped to create 13 years ago. I stood in front of the sound booth and cried. His Spirit was there and His presence filled the room that night. That is when I knew that this is what I wanted to do the rest of my life. To be used to reveal the marvelous mysteries of Christ's coming is a privilege I will never take for granted.
This year approach the call to create Christmas as if it were your very first time...full of amazement and wonder. We have been called to carry His message to a broken world. May God richly bless you and your team, and fill your services with His presence!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I was blessed this weekend when one of our team members told me that he experienced compliments based on his application of something I taught in one of the trainings I lead recently. That was one of the most shocking things anyone has ever said to me. I trained out of obedience, although I did agree there was a need for what I taught.
My surprise is not false humility - it is a lack of ability. You see, an area of great weakness is my ability to stand in front of a group and teach or even talk coherently for that matter! I marvel at my friends who can communicate so well. I am not jealous of them because I know God has gifted me in other ways, it is a talent He chose not to give to me. Maybe He knew being an upfront face would cause arrogance in me.
At any rate, what I learned this weekend and still thanked Him for today, was that God can use our weakest areas if we offer them to Him in obedience.
(PS I am not looking for compliments and will not post them...but, thanks.)