Sunday, January 31, 2010

weekend report

We always love it when baptism is a part of our service. Because we have 3 weekend services, one of which is Saturday night, we use a combination of video from the previous services and live baptisms. That way our whole congregation gets to watch everyone except the Saturday night people! Very moving.

I also love having extra people with our team to spend the weekend 'backstage' with us! The picture here on the left shows the 3 people preparing to be baptized! The team was large this weekend and it was such a blessing!

Our setlist:

Instrumental: Brandy
announcements: Bill Hill
Praise: Beautiful Day
Praise: How Great Thou Art - Baloche
Worship: For All You've Done
message: Deconstruction/Reconstruction; Ephesians Pt. 3
Worship during baptism: Revelation Song - Gateway

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

To watch our services on Monday go to

Saturday, January 30, 2010

songwriters group

A great new group began tonight at Crossroads. This group of talented people hope to create music that Crossroads as well as other area ministries will be able to use! Very cool.

We started out by telling in what ways we are creative. I talked about the fact that early in Crossroads history I used to sing and play keyboards (they were desperate!) Now days I write a lot so have decided to try my hand at lyrics.

After those early years I turned my focus to providing musical opportunities for our kids and enthusiastically left the stage to begin programming the services at Crossroads. Today our son sent this picture from his band's tour.

I was a little concerned that the length of his Snuggie might get wrapped around his feet while he was driving toward Florida. Songwriters are awesome - even if they wear snuggies!


As the Magnification Department continues to read "Sabbath Keeping" , I expected to be very convicted as I hesitantly agreed to read along with the group. But, what I'm finding is despite the fact that I have literally been in church since my first week of existence, I was totally unaware that sabbath even pertained to me!

I wish I had been taught this as I began my marriage. I hope to convince both of our kids to put this in practice from day one of their marriages!

One paragraph in this week's chapter struck me in particular. "When we work hard seven days a week with few breaks, we can subtly become convinced that we are earning salvation, that God's love and salvation come to us because we deserve it. THE SABBATH HELPS US KNOW EXPERIMENTALLY THAT NOTHING WE DO WILL MAKE GOD LOVE US MORE."

That is one of the most freeing statements I have ever read. I know in my head there is nothing I could ever do or need to do to earn God's approval or salvation. But to read that I can EXPERIENCE nothing I can do can earn God's approval was very freeing. It had NEVER occurred to me that I could become even more convinced of this fact by living it out. Especially by resting! That is amazing.

I can only imagine and regret how many things I have DONE in the name of Christ that has actually been the very thing that prevented me from experiencing God and reaching a greater understanding of Him.

I won't wallow in my regrets however. New, applied knowledge is a gift straight from the Savior and I'm thirsty for more!!

Friday, January 29, 2010

1 out of 4

I was watching the news recently and I saw a startling statistic.

They said 1 out of 4 home owners in the US now owe more on their homes then they are worth! That is horrible!

Things used to be so straight forward. People borrowed what they could repay, houses gained value as you paid on them and until recently I never heard about people just walking away from their homes instead of finishing paying it off.

Things are tough and people are scared. And those of us who personally know the Lord are the only ones that can face these times with confidence. My heart aches for my brothers and sisters who find themselves without jobs and feel like they are without hope. Believers have an opportunity more than ever before in my lifetime to be the hands and feet of Jesus to one another. It can no longer be every man for himself here in America. We need one another desperately! What can you do today to minister to those who feel hopeless - watch for God opportunities and you will find them.

One out of four..

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Easter is coming

We begin official work on our Easter services next week. I cannot wait! This is one of my favorite times of the year at Crossroads and it is going to be great (with God's help!)

This sounds crazy to be talking about Easter already but consider this:

- only 8 more programming meetings before Easter
- only 2 full months until Easter
- only 4 artist meetings before Easter (artists will be used during the services & to prepare the set)
-only 2 meetings left with the Crossroads actors before Easter

Ok, now I am really worried about getting everything ready! Got to go!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

mass burials

I cannot stop thinking of those who passed away and were buried in the mass graves in Haiti. Unbelievably sad!

I was thinking there has to be some that no one even misses. In some cases maybe no one still lives that knew their names. No evidence exists giving testimony that they ever existed. They are just gone.

In life they may have been at different levels of society, yet in death all becomes equal. Now they lay side by side in the earth and only God knows where their souls have gone.

I pray for those still struggling to live and those still to be found and I rest in the truth that God is in control.

Cheap is Good

Here is today's money saving tip:

Go to coupon Katarina site. I liked how Katarina listed the exact item combinations she got big savings on.

Also for those of you who Twitter - try couponbot. I don't have experience with this site yet, but was told by a friend it works great!

Please, please share your deals for the week with all of us!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

what I learned today

I learned that I can cram a whole lot of excellent meetings in one day! Very productive and fun at the same time!

At one of my meetings this is who greeted me...everyone is trying to stay warm right now I guess - even the ducks!

Monday, January 25, 2010

weekend report

If I could describe this weekend in one word it would be - community! When you struggle to get all the details ready for each service and hit rough spots - you can either blow it (which I certainly have at times) or you can use it to minister to those struggling - which I saw numerous times in different situations this weekend. I really believe God was honored by all who served and perhaps our congregation was blessed because those serving ministered and held one another up! It was good.

We have never used such a large memorized portion of scripture before (almost 2 full chapters of Ephesians). Quoted scripture is POWERFUL!!! Our drama team is AMAZING!

Our setlist:

Instrumental: Lady Madonna
Original Praise: Free Indeed (our worship guy Milo Sgambellone wrote this)
Praise: For Who You Are - Hillsong
Worship: God You Reign - Brewster
Worship: Give Us Clean Hands
Scripture Drama: Ephesians 1 - Ephesians 2: 27
Message: Deconstruction and Reconstruction - Pt. 2
Announcements: Bill Hill
Exit Song: Lady Madonna

See what other ministries have done around the country go to

To watch our services go to

my day off

Met with some of the Magnification ladies for coffee (and a few breakfast items) earlier.

Then guess what I did this morning - trying for 2 days in a row - a new record!

When the gym owner laughs when he sees you - you know it's time to get serious.

Now on to meeting with my assistant and then to an artists small group!

Did you work out today?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

teachers training at Crossroads

I attending the teachers training today at Crossroads. If it's offered again, I would highly recommend that you all take it. If you lead anything, small groups, Crossroads University Classes, a volunteer team - anything, it's highly applicable.

The scripture they used as the text was Matthew 8: 23-27. We were asked to consider what we would want students to 'know' about this passage and then what they should 'do' as a result of knowing.

As we sat and discussed the text it puzzled me why the disciples would be scared, even with Jesus physically with them. They had already witnessed him healing and doing other miracles. Different times when I have studied over the years I have been somewhat critical toward the disciples wondering how they could possibly doubt this physical Jesus when they saw what He was capable of doing. They said in the passage, "What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?" As if they were totally surprised!

Then I remember all the times I get scared and try to do things in my own power and wonder if I would have believed it if I were in their shoes (or boat I should say). Probably not. I have been taught these truths over and over, and the the Holy Spirit convicts me over and over, and still I live as if I don't believe at times.

God works in mysterious ways and today as I went to learn better methods for teaching, I was a student who learned much more than I went in expecting to learn!

Friday, January 22, 2010

just really thankful

I have so much to be thankful for...I became filled with thankfulness tonight.

I am starting to put away some of our son's college stuff because he's all done - he's touring - and he gave me permission to take down old posters and get his room ready to paint.

This doesn't mean 'he's out'! Just that, no kidding...embarrassing...oh well here it goes... we haven't painted his room since we built the house 14 years ago! Nasty! ha ha Not really so bad because he has always had tons of posters up. So the old posters are coming down and a great big cleaning is beginning.

As I cleaned tonight and cleared a closet shelf for all his books, I was overwhelmed at the books he has read these past few years, Reformed Theology, Rick Warren's writings, My Utmost for His Highest... - so much to be thankful for. I loved the years that our house has been filled with Eric, his guitar practices, the short lived piano phase and his made up words and laughter and all the many, many questions.

Now it's time to make a grown up room and watch as the knowledge he has taken in the past few years shape his future and lead him into God's plans for him. So thankful!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

my heroes

Among the greatest of heroes are single moms.

Honestly, I have no idea how they do it. I would be horrible at raising kids alone.

They discipline alone, they take care of a house alone, they balance the finances alone, they love their children alone...I admire them more than I can ever say.

My husband and I had a chance to spend some time recently with one of our favorite single moms - Alissa and her boys.

What a privilege it was.

Hard to tell who had the most fun!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

cheap is good

Go to couponlady for some great coupon deals for the week!

The Bible talks an awful lot about finances and the fact that how we spend our money is a reflection on where we are spiritually. Do you spend as if your money is just yours? I would challenge you to experience the freedom that putting the Lord first in every area of your life, including your finances, can bring.

Step out in faith, take simple steps like preparing well before you do your weekly shopping - and take beginning steps of trust toward tithing proving you really trust God by giving to Him first each week.

I hope to post encouraging, practical things each Wednesday that not only give you weekly deals, but, begins to create new patterns in your life toward financial accountability and freedom!


This is what happens when your waste basket is over flowing with used kleenex from your cold, and you think you can fit just one more thing in it before emptying. NOT!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

what I learned today

I can take a hint. I haven't felt well the past two evenings so I've just been home reading and resting. Yesterday as I said I began the "Sabbath Keeping" book. Today as I studied it was about solitude, as I said, I can take a hint Lord.

I was so blown away by my study in one of Beth Moore's books today that all I am going to do in this post is quote what moved me so much- really think about this...

"Solitude is not so much the place we find answers. It's the place we find our own square foot of earth from which to grapple with heaven and decide if we're going on - possibly alone - without our answers. And many of us will. Why? Because the privilege of wrestling with such a holy and mysterious God still beats the numbness - the pitiful mediocrity - of an otherwise life. Sometimes we don't realize how real He is until we've experienced the awesomeness of His answerless Presence. He knows that what we crave far more than explanations is the unshakable conviction that He is utterly, supremely God."

So the question we must answer is, "Are you willing to be faithful, even when it means being faithful alone?"

Monday, January 18, 2010

my day off

I began my day off appropriately studying the new book that the Magnification team at Crossroads is studying together, Sabbath Keeping. Many things jumped out at me as I began.

One of the most amazing sentences I read was the following...
"On that day I am a disciple, not a leader. On that day I am beloved, simply beloved."

My guess is that the spirit of those who lead will respond to this statement intensely.

This is what I miss so much as a leader...just being a disciple...just being able to worship not lead. I AM His beloved - I need to live as if I believe this everyday. The book says that continuous working can make us think God's love is connected to 'what I do'.

I was created with the need to organize my week so there is time to just 'be' in Him...I am so excited to study more!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

weekend report

A weekend of both reflection, prayer and fun all in one. It's funny how we think we create the services for our churches - what is obvious when the weekend comes is that God totally creates them.

We didn't know what would take place to our brothers and sisters in Haiti when we began to work on these services, but, God did. We decided to begin worship slowly and quietly this weekend. Typically we begin energetically to try to wake people up and get them involved. What we added last minute was a prayer for Haiti and instructions on how we could give to the rescue efforts. This connected seamlessly to the beginning of worship.

Fun came at the end of worship as we greeted one another and sat down to the crazy music video we shot last week (thanks to Steve Browning and Deering). This supported the introduction to Pastor Tim's new series based on Ephesians.

Deering's Diet from Steve Browning on Vimeo.

God is good!

Our Setlist:

Instrumental: (not on recording)
Announcements: Deering Dyer
Worship: Here In You Presence/Wonderful, Beautiful, Glorious
Worship: I Give You My Heart - Morgan
Praise: Love the Lord - Brewster
Praise: Lift the Name - Anderson
Special Music: our version of "Susie's Diet" with original music video
Message: Ephesians/ Deconstruction-Reconstruction Pt. 1: Tim Armstrong
Exit Special Music: Susie's Diet

To see what other ministries around the country used in their set lists go to

To watch our services go to - on Monday. (Please remember we do not mix for recording so sound is not great - I promise it's much, much better live!)

Friday, January 15, 2010

economic crunch

So...I've been racking my brain to see if there might be something I could do to encourage people in this difficult economic time. Don't get too excited, I am not giving anything away~

What I thought I would try for a while is to begin the "Cheap is Good" post on Wednesdays. A place where people can share their biggest deals of the week so I can pass them on to all of you!

If you would like to send me weekly deals, coupons or ways you cut back or overcame the economic downturn, email me at this week and I'll begin to post them next Wednesday.

Bad times mean HUGE opportunities for God's children. Opportunities to share His love in practical ways. So lets get started!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

make sure it works

Some times ya gotta just make sure it works.

Such was the case with our office shrink wrap machine recently. We just wanted to be sure, so a couple of our most ornery staff members fired it up and practiced and WA LA! (is that how you spell it,

It was a thing of beauty! (click on image to get the full scope)

What is the orneriest thing anyone in your office or workplace has ever done...that you can talk about?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Do any of you know anyone in Haiti that we could pray for specifically?

I cannot even imagine what they are going through right hopeless they must feel!

I have had them on my mind and in my prayers all day. Still it doesn't feel like enough.

This part of the world has had one problem after another - sometimes seems unfair that we live so well.

It made me think about what makes me feel safe or hopeful. Is it my money, house or the ridiculous amount of food we all have that makes me feel secure? I had to be honest - I often put my hope in the wrong things - in temporal things. Will it take a tragedy to move my security completely into God's hands alone? I commit today to try harder to acknowledge my complete dependence on Him as well as remain committed to praying for my brothers and sisters in Haiti! Please join me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

what I learned today

I was preparing to lead the artists small group today reading in Manuel Luz's book, "Imagine that". I came across Manuel discussing how hard he used to work on image management.

He said, "One aspect of image management is that you actually begin to believe that you are who you pretend to be."

Do you pretend? Everyone does. Why?

I suppose we sometimes feel we are not good enough, that if people really know us they won't like what they see or that we will be judged, and on a spiritual level it becomes even more personal.

Pretending always come to an end, it cannot last. I learned today that it is more work to pretend, then to truly be who you are - who God created us to be.

Monday, January 11, 2010

my day off

Another day of firsts! Our daughter thinks she has found her wedding dress so it's back to Columbus today for the final purchase. I thought I would be sad about 'losing' her to her husband, but, what I've discovered instead is when you have a healthy relationship with your kids you easily transition with them into the next stage. We now are closer to being on the same level and communicating better than we ever have. We are adult women when we talk now, spiritually, mentally and physically. It's been an awesome winter break.

Our son is traveling with his band and finished with 'attending' school probably for the rest of his life, so he is loving life! We are enjoying the unorthodox way he is following God's calling on his life, and admiring more and more his unconditional love and acceptance of the seekers that cross his path. We could take a lesson!

Still...I feel a completely unrelated restlessness in my spirit, deep in my spirit. It is not an unhappiness, it is not a dissatisfaction - something restless deep inside. I like to have things figured out as quickly as I can...but in this case I am curious. I am anxious in a positive way not negative...we will see...and I will keep praying for His answers. I have felt this way before, I think it might be the creative part of me, I haven't been writing or thinking creatively as much as I like to. So as my kids empty the house and I have space to think and pray, my plan is to pay close attention as God moves us into these next places and hopefully out of the restless places soon.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

weekend report

Oh my goodness, what a variety of goodness we had this weekend! We had amazing worship with guests, The Colonial City Quartet to bring us a little different flavor and Pastor Wendell did a great job! Very blessed this weekend.

Our Set List:

Trading My Sorrows - Evans
One Way - Hillsong
One Voice - (original) Milo Sgambellone
From The Inside Out - Hillsong
announcements - Deering Dyer
I Keep Looking Up - Colonial City Quartet
You Must Meet Him - Colonial City Quartet
Real Faith - Colonial City Quartet
teaching: Transformers - Wendell Anderson
Exit Instrumental: From the Inside Out

To see what other ministries did this weekend go to www.theworshipcommunity .com and click on Sunday Setlists.

To watch our services on Monday go to

Saturday, January 9, 2010

a mess

My house is a total mess. I don't say that in jest. It's trashed!

I love a tidy house. Although we usually have a few extra people around, we try our best to stay clean. Our Christmas decorations are halfway down, which means some of my furniture is still out of it's regular location and half packed boxes are everywhere.

My daughter's wedding supplies are beginning to take over our dining room, her college things that came home for the holidays are stacked all over, and my son's band left for tour this morning so some of their mess is still around. I do not do well in this kind of surrounding. I really don't even want to go home!

But, I am so exhausted I guess I will. Talk to you tomorrow!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

many thanks

How often do you say thank you?

How often do you write thank you notes?

Sometimes I do well and sometimes I forget!

Today I was reminded of how impacting a thank you can be. (click on the image to enlarge.)

God used a very young man to remind me of the importance of thank you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


We had our monthly communion service tonight.

Pastor Wendell talked about remembering in regard to communion as well as the new year. A time to begin fresh but to remember what Christ did for always remember.

I need to remember His sacrifice - He loved me enough to die for me. I don't understand the depth of his love but I desperately want to understand it more and more!

I didn't get to be up at the front of the auditorium for prayer tonight - I was directing the service, but I saw some of my friends go up for prayer and heard some of them cry. What an honor to be at these services and watch people move even closer to their Lord.

Communion allows us to remember, things we need to confess and things that hurt - but then we are free to move on and to walk closely once again with our God. Amazing!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

what I learned today

"Collaboration is not a promise; it is an invitation. Hearing people does not mandate that you will always follow what they say. But it is a significant way for you to value and engage people." Nancy Ortberg

It's funny how many times the very thing I am thinking about or talking about, is the thing I end up reading about the same day! I came across the above quote from Nancy as I continued to read, "unleashing the power of rubber bands" today.

I was with my assistant this afternoon and I was telling her when I work with artists how careful I am to explain the bottom line. I try to make it clear that although I value their opinions and desperately need their creativity and suggestions, I cannot promise I will take their suggestions or that we will always use the projects we work on. This puts all of us at ease and actually makes the project more enjoyable. We create for the sake of creating and if what we do supports the teaching, or helps to enhance the services then we use the art in our services.

Collaboration is so important, but takes work to manage and requires both honesty and kindness as you explore endless possibilities together! A good reminder from Nancy today!

Monday, January 4, 2010

my day off

I have spent the entire morning sorting out the old and putting in the new. Fitting I guess!

Throwing away:
  • old coupons
  • old food in fridge
  • old newspapers
  • old mail
Putting in:
  • new coupons into my coupons notebook
  • fresh food after grocery shopping
  • food in the crockpot for this evening's meal
  • outgoing mail to the post office dropped off
This type of re-organizing I love. It just makes the week begin better, more organized. After I go to the gym I have a stack of reading - conference opportunities, magazines and old to-do lists. Following that reading there will be more throwing away.

This new year promises to be filled with many potentially stressful personal responsibilities. I plan to talk to God a lot this year, because during stressful situations come amazing opportunities if we can view them through God - eyes. Potential life changing opportunities in 2010...that sounds like it is worth preparing well for... Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

weekend report

I of course am primarily limited to the auditorium during the weekend so I don't often get to see what goes on in other areas. God gave me a glimpse today and I loved it!

As I left the auditorium following worship this morning I crossed paths with the older members of our nursery being pushed across our Town Square. They were being taught about the Lord as they went and I was astounded to hear Sharlene, (our nursery coordinator) teach. She was taking advantage of teachable moments even as she pushed the toddlers around. I heard her say, "Now what color is the grass", they answered "green!", she asked, "and who made the grass?" the immediate answer was "God!" This moved my heart. I realized in that moment how much teaching at all levels, all equally important, goes on each weekend at Crossroads.

God also blessed us with spectacular worship! God is so good!

Our Setlist:

Instrumental: Sirius - Alan Parson Project
Opening Song: Lift The Name - Anderson
Worship: Awesome God
Worship: How Great Is Our God (chorus only)
Praise: Everlasting God - Brewster
Praise: All The Earth Will Sing Your Praises - Baloche
message: Straight Talk

To watch our services Click Here on Monday afternoon!

To see what other ministries used in their worship services this weekend go to Fred McKinnon's site.

May God richly bless your week!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


What is it about the new year that causes us to take a look back, and in most cases consider making changes for the new year?

I guess everyone loves a new beginning...

I have a lot to finish this year. A lot to evaluate - is it worth more time investment - or should I let it die? This requires prayer. But, more than that it requires truly giving it to God - not just praying about it, but, laying my year at His feet.

I make it sound like I have earth shattering things to consider, that is not the impression I want to give you. It's just regular stuff mixed with a few new opportunities if I feel God really telling me to develop these things. They are things that take additional leadership time investment. I think my team can help other ministries - but, is that arrogant thinking or is it God's leading to reach out beyond our own Crossroad walls? A lot to decide, so I start praying again - over and over I pray. For focus, for answers, for signs from God. But, for now I'll wait and try really hard to just start organizing so room for His answers exist.

Are you preparing for God opportunities this year? Is there space in your life and your dreams?

Friday, January 1, 2010


You can tell it is a holiday! I am not really writing except to say loud and clear...

O - H - I - O

Oh my goodness how sweet it is!