Thursday, December 30, 2010

hard to put into words

I have been busy today trying to write a script for a video shoot we will be doing on Sunday.

I sometimes have a very difficult time putting my ideas into words, words that other people can understand and follow.

I have frustrated people on previous shoots when I haven't clearly spelled out each and every shot we need. When it isn't well thought out and explained it wastes everyone's time and often results in missing important shots creating holes in the final project. And there is nothing I hate worse than wasting peoples' time or leaving holes.

I have given it my best shot and sent it off to the actors. So once again my work will be out there for all to see. It is hard to put into words how it feels to fail despite trying and equally hard to put into words the feeling when you get it right. When an idea becomes words, then actions and then part of the message that penetrates peoples lives ...well, that is not a feeling at all. It is nothing short of the greatest privilege in my life and only possible when the Holy Spirit becomes involved in all those words.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

back to work

Today I went back to work. Well, I've been working at home remotely, so I guess I mean back into the building of Crossroads.

It was surreal to walk through the empty halls of Crossroads - devoid of most of the staff as well as the hundreds...several thousand actually who attended just days ago.

It was amazing to watch the Christmas series unfold and become reality this past week. We watched as ideas became 3 dimensional and the message was proclaimed clearly for all to understand. The Holy Spirit moved people - I watched it. Eyes being wiped, families hugging as they sat with loved ones who seldom walk through the doors of church - anxious sideway glances to see if they were taking in the Christmas message. Christmas was everything we hoped for, worked for and prayed for.

God sent His only Son. And we celebrated that sending.

It was a blessing to be back to work today, to put things away and to move on to our next opportunity to produce ideas, create new things and give Him our best. So good.

Monday, December 27, 2010

many people asked...

We had many people ask us how we made the 'plastic people' that we had in our Town Square as an artistic support of our drama on Christmas Eve.

So the best way to explain it is to show you. I have sacrificed all of my pride to demonstrate the making of the plastic people! Enjoy at my expense!

my day off

I am looking forward to once again beginning to write!

As soon as I slowed down from the holidays my head began to fill with praise and ideas and things I want to explore. So, if you would be so kind as to read...I will once again write!

I experienced many things during Christmas. Family reunited, several thousand in attendance at Crossroads to see the services we all poured our lives into the past few months, the exchange of gifts with those we love and appreciate as friends, family and volunteers and a whole lot of eating.

Among the glitter, glamour and performances stood one small event that I will forever cherish - my father reading Luke 2 to us before we opened our gifts. This was Christmas to me!

What was your most cherished memory from this Christmas?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

too busy to write

We were at the church preparing until late again tonight, but we found a little time to spend with cousins from Texas as the families all went tubing yesterday!

Squeezing in the fun!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

the process in pictures

Such a blast to watch God take the creative ideas of a team and help us work it to completion! This is how Christmas at Crossroads will come to be!

Here are pictures of the rehearsals that took place at our home before going to the church.

After arriving at church I began to find various groups around the church in offices practicing before taking it to the stage. So fun to see them there and then later to watch it all come together!

Our first rehearsal, although chaotic - was amazing! I am excited to share the service with everyone!

The church is preparing!

my day off

Today I enjoyed my kids (and hubby)! Our house was full of noise again with preparations for Christmas. Gifts being wrapped and music being practiced and then off to Crossroads.

Crossroads' Christmas services are Thursday at 7:00 and Friday at 5:00, 7:00 and 9:00. And rehearsal was in full swing tonight!

It went extremely well and will be excellent by service time, Lord willing! I'll post pictures in the morning but desperately need to sleep right now.

I occasionally become overwhelmed by God's people as they generously serve and give of their time and tonight was one of those times! As I looked around the room at everyone and imagined how many times they listened to the music, and how many times they practiced their instruments, I thanked God for each one and thanked him they are all at Crossroads. Such a blessing!

Enjoy your week and let us all come together and celebrate the birth of our Savior later this week!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

let the present begin!

Today we received our Christmas gifts today from Pastor Tim. They were each hand picked just for each of us chosen to be a good match for each of us.

Being the Director of the worship areas of Crossroads - of course I got musical instruments...quite high classed musical instruments - one plays by using your nose!

It is just the beginning of sharing gifts, well wishes and thanks to friends and family for the past year.

I just have a couple more things to pick up and wrap and I'll be ready for next week! Are you ready?

Friday, December 17, 2010

so behind in writing

I am SO behind in all of my writing. I really miss the process of thinking about a given topic and writing all the details out. For the next few days that is a luxury I can not dedicate time to. After Christmas I plan to write extensively for the various websites waiting for articles. I look forward to this tremendously!

Until then - I will just cherish each moment with our kids and family and enjoy Christmas!

Tonight was spectacular as we walked around one of my favorite areas - Easton in Columbus, Ohio. So gorgeous!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

amazing generousity

I am overcome by the visual of our auditorium being completely covered with gifts for 800 of Richland Counties neediest children! Breath taking! Once again, our Adopt A Child leaders have just outdone themselves in one of the most excellent events of its kind in the area!

Any of you Crossroadians that are not able to help with the distribution are missing a HUGE blessing! You really should just stop in and take a look!

I am anxious to finish my tasks and get back to the church to join in the fun of watching God's people work together to bring joy to our community! So good!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

everyone is freaked out

Everyone is freaked out about the weather that seems to be headed toward Northern Ohio. It still looks like it will miss us, but I SO hope people won't just stay home from church in the morning.

It was such a blessed time of worship and teaching tonight! And next weekend...oh my just wait!

I am very excited about our Christmas series "The Promise" which begins next weekend. This series will run Dec 18/19 into the Christmas services on December 23 & 24 and conclude on January 2nd with an amazing service!

You all really, really need to plan to be here over the next few weeks!!

holidays going fast

I feel like Christmas is slipping away! We got to attend a really great Christmas party last night and we are preparing for our small group tomorrow...these two parties are all we are attending as far as I know.

We have so many great friends and what makes the holiday special is spending time with them and our family - and this year family looks a whole lot different! A new amazing son-in-law and very limited time with our kids before they both are off again! This makes for kind of a panicky feeling I guess! Yet we are determined to breathe in each moment - far into our memories where they will always remain!

I thought you'd enjoy some pictures from last night - notice the competing hats!

Determine to enjoy this holiday - the birth of the beautiful Savior!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

church = the best

I loved my church growing up, but I still felt at times that we settled for less then excellent. In leadership at times, in the quality of the furnishings, in the approach to ministry. And don't even get me started about the lack of creativity...

At times it was like we just decided to let the world have all the excellence!

I have worked recently to create connections with the local art center and the academy in Mansfield that provides lessons to many of Richland County's top musicians. I want the church to be a place where excellence and creativity abound.

This video recently circulated showing SUCH creativity in the church. Sadly they had to take down the comments because people were leaving such hateful comments. Why would people criticize a ministry for being so 'cutting edge' and current? I say - this is great! click here

Would the Lord bless us with artistic creative ability and then not want it used in church? I don't think so!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

it occurred to me

Christmas is almost here and I am not ready, at least not at home.

I have been working only to prepare at church, not home. So, yesterday I shopped with my mom and sister to begin preparing! We tried to take a picture of ourselves, but, it didn't go well. Finally a sympathetic stranger snapped one for us - although it was still out of focus!

I love my mom and sister and I don't take the fun that we have together for granted. I know many families don't get to enjoy one another like we

Due to a friend's amazing coupons, we enjoyed fabulous savings at Bath and Body Works and went on to make a few more purchases! Today I wrapped gifts and made lists, so I am on my way to being ready for Christmas which feels really good.

Hurrying to get all the details prepared allows me to fully focus on Christmas and all that this amazing time of year is really about!

Do you feel that you ever get to fully embrace Christmas - or do you just hurry around and miss the true Christmas ? Please share any suggestions that you use to keep your Christmas you have please!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

weekend report

An unexpected family illness caused plans to change for the weekend. But Milo stepped in and God was there!

I will try to list the songs from our setlist, although I don't have the cue sheet with me~

Our Setlist:

Joyful, Joyful
announcements on video
Joy To The World
Amazing - Brewster
Jesus Paid It All

Message: Joy pt. 2 - Tim Armstrong

Exit song: Joyful Joyful

To watch our services on line go to

To see what other ministries used in their worship services go to

Saturday, December 4, 2010

video shoot

Today in 20 degrees, we shot video for 3 hours! I am honestly still quite frozen!

We shot a combination of 3 to 4 videos at one time. Hopefully we didn't leave anything out - we will soon see as editing begins!

Now on to the next project, stage design for Christmas...another busy week ahead!

Friday, December 3, 2010

preparing for Christmas

We recorded Travis' voice today for our Christmas Radio spot! Funny how audio without video goes quickly and video without audio goes fast! Combine the two and it becomes a long process! Today's process went very quickly!

Travis read through the radio spot like a real pro!

We are very anxious to get the word out about our Christmas services!

We then did a little shopping and visited Crossroads' own Betty Lemaster signing books at Barnes and Noble.

Betty is one of our Elders wives and has just published her first book! Very exciting!

It was a great day with friends!

ministry = choices

Everyday is filled with choices. We make good ones and bad ones and we make some of each everyday!

Today I must choose between finishing projects at church, completing insurance papers, attending a radio advertisement recording, a video shoot or working ahead on the details of the coming weeks including my own shopping list and small group dinner next week!

Sadly, I NEED to do all of these. So instead of wasting any more time deciding, I have begun.

Make good choices today - as busy as we all are the last thing we need to create are bad choices and regrets.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

a frigid night

I never thought anyone would come out tonight for our First Wednesday communion service due to the frigid weather...but they did.

It was a warm wonderful night of worship inside!

I was overcome with thankfulness to our volunteers that so unselfishly came to worship and serve others! So amazing!

Our communion team worked their magic to decorate the tables and prepare the elements!

All these little details come together to help create an atmosphere of excellence and celebration for our congregation!

It was good to be in the house of the, if I can just get home safely!

Monday, November 29, 2010

my day off

Re-using things is a big deal these days I guess... There has never been much in my life that only gets used one time although the American mindset has always been a 'throw away' mindset overall.

Today I went to the church while Greg helped hang the steel stars that the artists created last Christmas at Crossroads. We used them on the stage last year, this year out in our foyer area, the area we loving refer to as 'Town Square'! After decorating the church I headed home to tweak the decorations we hurriedly got out while the kids were home at Thanksgiving.

We have used these same decorations year after year, rarely buying anything new. So all it really took was a few new batteries, some cleaning and we were good to go.

Just as I clean and work on my home this time of year, especially as we draw near to the new year, it's a time of examining areas of my life that have grown stale or bitter or used up. This takes serious thought and prayer and obedience - or it is just a waste of time.

Today as I watched my day off quickly pass away - I turn my thoughts toward the things of the Lord and consider where He wants me to go this year, what He wants me to tweak or get rid of completely.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

weekend report

We began a new series called JOY today. A three part series that will take us up to our Christmas series which begins on the 18th and 19th. So good!

our setlist:

opening instrumental by Jessica Pounds -such an amazing performance!

announcements by Deering Dyer

More Than Amazing: Brewster
Glorified: we combined an acoustic beginning to rock (Newlife)
Blessed Be Your Name: Redman
Happy Day: Jesus Culture
Message: Joy Pt. 1 - Pastor Tim Armstrong
Ending Worship: Enough - Tomlin

To watch our services go to

To see what other ministries used in worship this weekend go to

Friday, November 26, 2010

another holiday come 'n gone

We had a blast the past couple of days, and now it's back home for everyone - or off on new tours - or back to work preparing for Christmas at Crossroads!

Funny how all our lives take us different directions - down different roads but always lead us back home at least for a little while.

Things we did:

took naps on the floor as demonstrated in the picture
Made hard-tack candy in grandpas garage and

Loved every minute of the last few days and look forward to new visits in just a few short weeks!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Christmas is here

Christmas came to the Biddle's today.

Decorations were going up at the same time turkey was baking and rolls were rising.

Of Course we continued the tradition we began when the kids were born - giving them one new ornament each year when we decorate the tree. We even had some extras this year.

Our son-in-law Aaron was confused about 'hanging' the stockings that Jocelyn just bought for them instead of wearing them!

With windows of time becoming less and less with our kids we decided to decorate when everyone was here at the same time. So I guess I can relax in my Christmas-ness and prepare to celebrate for the next month beginning tomorrow!

I was wondering when all of you do your decorating?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

what I learned today

Today I learned that I had missed my kids way more than I realized.

I cried when they walked through the door. Four months ago today they got married - SO hard to believe it has been that long!

As I write this we are all sitting in a dark living room watching something that I'm not paying attention to as I cuddle up by the fire...God has blessed me more than any woman could be blessed.

I adore the holidays - celebrating thanks this Thursday for our amazing country and our families and then our Savior's birth. I am so excited!

Due to the shortness of their stay we will be doing all of the tree decorating and traditions associated with that tomorrow. So good.

Because all of our kids will be leaving again soon - I cherish this fireside moment. Something so simple becomes extremely significant when you realize the importance of the moments WHILE you are in the middle of them! It took distance to produce that kind of attention in me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

my day off

Lots of plans for the day and then - a slight delay, ok, a HUGE delay!

We were just ready to leave home to meet my mother-in-law for breakfast and we got a call. She hit a curb and came to rest in the front lawn of Berean Baptist Church! So we took off to help her.

I am fairly sure that the tire pointing outward is not a good sign. Totaled? Possibly, we are still waiting to hear.

It is just another example of how fragile life can be. Thankfully she wasn't hurt at all and we will just have to wait and see if the car can be repaired. And oh yeah, we finally had breakfast - at 2:00 p.m.!

My day off was not as I planned, and could contribute to stress heading into the Thanksgiving preparations that I didn't get to begin..but..still so much to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

weekend report

Loved, loved, loved the opening instrumental! And Loved, Loved, Loved just as much the parody that we created to support the Pastor's teaching on being single! You can watch it here CLICK !

Our setlist:

Instrumental: Hey Soul Sister - Train
Announcements: Pastor Tim
I Stand Amazed - Hayes
We Will Sing - Draper
Everybody Praise the Lord - Brewster
Oh Lord, You're Beautiful - Jesus Culture
(a small chunk of...) Redeemer - Kutless
VIDEO: starring Jimmie McCready
Message: Rethink Marriage Pt. 4
Exit Song: Hey Soul Sister

to watch our services go to

to see what other ministries used in their worship services to to

Friday, November 19, 2010

just days left

My Aunt was given news this week that she possibly has only a few weeks left. She has been fighting cancer for over a year.

I lay in bed last night trying to imagine how that must feel.

To have someone look you in the eyes and tell you that....

I wrote before about trying to live each day as if it were my last, but that is nearly impossible when you assume you will continue living.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

night of worship

You heard me go on and on a few weeks ago about our Night of Worship and some of you who missed the concert asked me if it would be possible to get a DVD but instead... you can now watch on line!

Hope you enjoy it - it was SUCH a great night!

laughter in the office

My dearest friends are those who make me laugh the hardest! I LOVE to laugh!

Today I heard laughter many times, this is GOOD!

Our Technical Coordinator, Steve Browning had me rolling when he showed us this weekend's parody he shot. SO funny! In fact, even during the final work on Christmas which contained the MANY details of programming today we laughed a great deal! So much fun when it is not tense with important decisions and hard things to work on!

Then as I walked through the office I heard various staff members enjoying one-anothers company. This is sweet fellowship indeed.

We have gone through different seasons with our staff, just as any business does, some seasons of struggle, some seasons of sweet fellowship. And, that is the season we find ourselves in right now.

I am serving with people that have a common vision and purpose. People that understand the pressure of ministry but feel called to be there. People that I dearly love!

I think maybe some of our work and laughter today may have caused God to smile just a little!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

watching alien

Oh my goodness - the variety that our technology provides. We rarely watch anything in its entirety and tonight has been no exception.

We began with a little Fox news, moved to basketball, on to Forest Gump and ended on Alien.

I feel sometimes that such an endless variety of technology online, cell phones and any number of other conveniences make it very difficult to concentrate and finish a task or to fully experience anything.

Whoa - Sygourney Weaver just called the Alien out and is attacking him/her with that big machine she climbs inside. Whoops they fell in the pit together...oh no the outer space door opened and is sucking them all out! Gotta go!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

my favorite people

I think I am going to start a weekly posting of 4 of my favorite people! Sometimes family, sometimes friends and sometimes people I consider heroic in their everyday lives! FUN!!

Here is this week's posting - family trip to Chipotle - my parents first time!

I love these 4 people so much - our son Eric and his girlfriend of 3 years Alyssa, and my parents Russ and Jan !

My life is MUCH fuller and blessed because of them!

my mission

I don't know what God will say when he examines my response to the charge to go into the uttermost parts of the world...I understand that as a church our tithe goes to reach this responsibility, and I understand that it is not just talking about going as a missionary overseas.

But, if God examines attitudes and He does, then how does he feel about mine?

I have often been critical of the old model of missions where the only way it was considered missions was to physically go overseas or at least directly pour all available funds into something far away.

Going is good, I am planning to go to Cambodia next spring - and giving so that orphans and widows are cared for is good, but even better than that may be when they are taught to provide for themselves and taught how to stay healthy both physically and of course spiritually. When you see this begin to happen I believe that we may be much closer to the charge the Lord gave. Equipping. Sometimes it doesn't help much just to go and meet a current need and leave again. Lasting change and ongoing involvement helps more! I worked at the Welfare Department (old name) before going into full time ministry, and I can tell you giving without training accomplishes no change.

We have an opportunity over the next couple of weeks at Crossroads to help build a permanent orphanage in Cambodia for our Crossroads Orphans simply by buying candles. We will be selling candles for $22.00 each. These are the highest quality candles I have ever seen! PLEASE consider buying these for Christmas exchange gifts OR as a business if you usually give gifts to your employees or business partners! $11.00 from each candle goes directly into the orphanage fund!

The Crossroads Go Mission's team thanks you so much for caring for our orphans! May your family have a blessed Christmas!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

weekend report

Busy weekend is how I will describe this weekend for sure! The picture is my view from the sound booth looking back at 2 of our 4 cameras and Steve Browning our Tech Coordinator.

We are hosting a seminar Saturday through Tuesday that teaches us how to use the Bible software, Logos - which is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. We then went right into our Saturday night services which were great. And then - we kicked off our Adopt A Child Christmas project with a great beginning, adopting out a record number of kids on the first weekend of our project!

We set up a photo booth and invited our Veterans to get their pictures taken for the past two weekends. We then used the photos to create a pre-service countdown and ran the balance of the pictures combined with the old service pictures during our opening patriotic special music.

Our praise team was outstanding to set up our Pastor's amazing teaching on divorce!

Our setlist:

Patriotic opening Special with video/pictures
Announcements on Video: We used a couple in our church who are currently serving in the military to do announcements
Worship: Revelation Song
Worship: Holy Is The Lord
Praise: Everybody Praise the Lord
Interview with Logos trainer
Message: Rethink Marriage pt.3
Exit Song: Our God - Tomlin

To watch our services on Monday, go to

To see what other ministries used in their worship services this weekend to to

Saturday, November 13, 2010

logos learning

I felt so privileged to be part of the Logos training today at Crossroads. We were taught how to use new Logos software to study the Bible. I had NO idea anything like this even existed. I knew it is how Pastor Tim prepares, but, I just never imagined how user friendly it was - even I could use it immediately!

I cannot wait to use it right away as I finalize our Christmas Series next week! It helps you to study the Hebrew and Greek meanings of the text instead of the English - which doesn't keep the text in it's original context.

I have asked our pastor's countless times if what I'm writing is theologically correct because I never want to lead people astray with my opinions as opposed to the facts of God's Word! Now I don't have to ask anyone anything else! Well, at least not today!

Friday, November 12, 2010

learning new things

I am sure it's got something to do with my age, but lately I "have a hankering" (quote from Deering Dyer) to learn new things!

Tomorrow I get to take a leadership class instructing how to use the Logos program - which will be a resource that will help me to create my small group studies and make sure my writing and Biblical discussion is accurate! I cannot wait to begin using this program!

The next new thing I am considering is taking an art class of some kind. I have been interested for quite a while in cement work (not large items) more like cement bowls and pots - much more practical to get into than creating pottery on a wheel and firing it - even though that's probably my favorite artistic area.

But if I could do anything I wanted to, regardless of the time involved, it would be to write and publish a book. I probably would have to quit my job to ever make that happen - and that's not gonna'll just have to see. Meanwhile I'm going to see if there are just some local writing courses at the branch or on-line!

So...what are you learning? If money or time wasn't an issue what would you do?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

the decorating pastor

SO...besides being the best teaching pastor in the world, Pastor Tim's hidden talent is decorating. We all think he should star in a new reality show about a Pastor who invades peoples offices and re-decorates everything around him!

If you give any indication that you are interested in changing an office around watch out!

I recently decided since getting a new laptop - to go desk-less and I love it. Tim was there shoving furniture around and making suggestions. I think I finally have it back together and I LOVE it!

He then returned to give his final examination on the scooter followed closely by his counterpart Deering! They finally left and peace returned to all!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

a very important conclusion

I had the privilege yesterday of walking into an unexpected meeting. I had been ironing in my bedroom and didn't realize there was a meeting going on in my living room

It was The Gun Show - our sons band. They are an extremely hard metal Christian band - often misunderstood because of their unorthodox music. But a more determined group I have never known.

As I walked out, the meeting I interrupted was a prayer meeting. This prayer time went on for a very long time and the passion with which they talked to their heavenly Father was almost more than I could take...I of course honored their privacy and passed through the room quickly and drove away.

As I drove my heart was warm and I thanked the Lord for my son. I came to a very important conclusion - these young men will reach a people group for the Lord that I would never have any access to. So I too prayed as I drove away - for their safety - for their faith to continue to grow and for no compromise, ever.

Monday, November 8, 2010

my day off

With the economic struggles we are currently experiencing, advertising is something that requires careful consideration.

On one hand if you do not advertise you cannot attract the customer and on the other hand you risk spending money that you may not recover.

Just today I received a really extreme piece of advertising. I sent for some coupons and what I got was a packaged game with pieces that contained different facts about pasta on each one. You are supposed to toss the pieces into the bowl and pick out one at a time. Now I hardly think anyone would be bored enough to sit around and play this little game - but I was completely interested in the work that went into this piece. It had to be assembled by hand then put into the neat little box it arrived in. This kind of assembly had to be very expensive.

Very creative, but worth it? I cannot even tell you what pasta company it came from even after studying it - so I am thinking it might not be a great investment! When it's all said and done it's all up to the product to sustain the advertising.

I would say this went just a tiny bit too far to advertise pasta!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

weekend report

Tough weekend - but I feel God was honored and God was worshiped!

AND Christmas was officially launched today at Crossroads - the pictures show our amazing Go Missions team creating the 800 Adopt-A-Child gift tags that begin to go out next weekend!

This has been such a great opportunity for our congregation. We started partnering with a local established organization in our area that makes sure the identified neediest children in our area receive a bag full of gifts each year. And now just a few short years later we have the privilege of hosting them at Crossroads this year where we will distribute with their volunteers and ours - the entire 800 Adopt-A-Child gifts! So exciting! I LOVE the concept of not trying to dream up our own local mission events when opportunities already exist. This can bring the church alive in your community!

Our setlist:

Opening special -
Announcements: we used our Stewardship Pastor Wendell and his lovely wife Madeline for announcements since we are currently in a Marriage series.
Worship: I Exalt Thee - Jesus Culture
Worship: More Than Enough - Tomlin
Praise: Short portion of Our God - Tomlin
Praise: Free To Run
Message: Re-Think Marriage: Pt. 2 Sex - Pastor Tim Armstrong
Exit song: More Than Enough

You can watch our services on Monday at

To see what other ministries used in their worship services go to