Wednesday, March 31, 2010

our staff preparing

Easter takes a lot of preparation to make sure the incredible message is clearly proclaimed - we take this very seriously!

But today we took an hour to enjoy one another! Our staff is divided in half and every other month we take turns providing a carry in lunch! Our Easter lunch was SO excellent! Can you believe the talented chefs we have? Of course a certain unnamed - ornery pastor cut a rather large cube right out of the center of the gorgeous bunny cake!

Just when we thought it was time to get back to work, Jesse (youth guy) jumped up and said we were
dividing up on teams to go on an Easter egg hunt!

Now, we all knew who would win... Deering located one hidden egg after another and led the Directors to victory! And so after excellent food and fellowship we went back to our work and are all looking forward to what we pray will be a life changing weekend for many, many people!

cheap is good

I bought a Dove Hair Conditioner product that was on sale for $4.00 and used a #1.50 off coupon, and received a $4.00 Walgreen bucks back!

I then took my Walgreen bucks to another Walgreen and purchased a $5.00 - 12 pack of Scott toilet paper using a $1.00 off Walgreen coupon and got it for FREE except .34 cents tax! The clerk said it was the lowest sale she had ever made!

I went back the next day for another Dove Hair conditioner and now have Walgreen bucks = $4.00 that I'm going back to get something that my hubby asked for today, FREE! YAY - so fun.

I actually did quite a bit of couponing this week - Snuggle Fabric Softener and dryer sheet deals, Hasbro games at Toys R Us and on and on!

PLEASE share your best deal this week - because with Easter coming I cannot spend anymore time this week looking for deals! Can you help all of us!! Thanks!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

what I learned today

I got girls! Girlfriends that is. Some of us girls from Crossroads meet once a month for breakfast! As I got caught up with each one it dawned on me that we are girlfriends!

Girlfriends had been a terrifying term to me in the past, it usually conjured up visions of constant talking, gossip, looooong telephone conversations (I HATE to talk on the phone...texting in the greatest invention known to mankind!), neediness - you get the idea of my former opinion of girlfriends. But times have changed.

Everyone is buys, everyone seems more confident and it has become a mutually giving and receiving relationship now with all my girls! I know if I needed them they would all be at my home immediately but we give one another space in between times of need. How blessed am I?

So after I finished hangin' with the girls I stopped to make yet another 'deal of the century coupon purchase' and another one of my girlfriends called and said she just saw me in the parking lot where I was digging through my coupons. She talked for a while - saying very encouraging things to me and continued on her way...

I know many people out there are very lonely. If you are willing to take a word of advise I would say this. Be mutually giving in your relationships, don't just take - give too! By that I mean, respect your friends family time, don't monopolize their days off, limit phone calls unless you really need to convey a message and when you do talk be encouraging, not always needy! I think these few guidelines will go a long way to create new strong friendships that you will both benefit from.

Today I learned, I have a whole lot of great girls around me and I thank my God that I could go to any one of them just to hang out or in a time of need! I am blessed!

Monday, March 29, 2010

my day off...not

It's Easter Week! So there is no such thing as a day off and it was hopping at Crossroads today!

Preparation for musicians, artists, teachers, actors and as many people as we can fit in are well under way!

These are just a few pics I took of my buddies helping to do everything from carry platforms to assist with sound check. (Deering and Steve are never allowed on the instruments ears!!)

You can invite your friends to Crossroads on line by going to our website at and click on the "Invite Your Friends" button and you can send an invitation to anyone who has an email address! Let's pack the church!

Most of all pray for those who will meet Christ as their personal savior! These are the New Believer kits waiting to be given to those who accept the Lord on Easter weekend!

The last time I met with the Crossroads artists, 2 out of 5 said they attended Crossroads for the first time on Easter a few years ago...this tells you the potential this weekend holds! PLEASE invite your family and friends and pray for the staff this week. The enemy usually gets a few nasty jabs in each year in an attempt to discourage us or interfere with the plans!

May God richly bless your week- we will be waiting for you this weekend!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

weekend report


Today we used a video that we shot using one veteran actor, (Maureen Browning our Drama Team Leader), and two actors new to Crossroads! The concept/script came from The Skit Guys - one of our favorite drama sites right now. PLEASE watch this video to see how we advertised our Easter services next weekend.

Our Set List:

We kicked off our set with 2 originals that we performed as people entered the auditorium! I am so proud of our writers!

Beautiful Savior - Crossroads
My God, My King (You Reign) - Crossroads
Video: Easter Invite
Announcements: Pastor Tim
Praise: One Way - Hillsong
Praise: King Of Majesty - Hillsong
Worship: All For Love - Hillsong United
Worship: Amazed - Brewster
Message: More Than A Story -Jesse Rider, Sr. High Pastor
Special Music: Untitled Hymn - Chris Rice
Message conclusion
Praise Reprise: Amazed

To see what other ministries used in their setlists - go to

To watch our services on Monday -go to

Saturday, March 27, 2010


In order to clean you have to take things out, deconstruct.

As I took dishes from my cabinets today to clean and to eliminate unused dishes, I thought back over the last few weekends' teachings from Ephesians. The teachings were powerful words from God.


First you empty it all out and clean it, then you fill it back up...with the right stuff, only with the necessary things.

Much like my house, my life is sometimes full of too much stuff. This does not allow enough room for the right things. How sad it must make my God when there is no room for him in my days full of stuff... I will continue my cleaning in more ways than one.

the gunshow

Our son had his CD release show last night! The Currents album is on iTunes. A huge turn out made it a whole lot of fun!

The stage was so surrounded by kids I couldn't even catch a glimpse of the band! So we will settle for merch pictures and their promo shot I guess. These are their shirts - (nice Indian!) I think they have as much fun designing them as selling them. To look around the room and see how many people were wearing their shirts was fun!

They hit the road this morning bright and early and will be playing tonight in Indiana then head toward Illinois. They will be gone for almost a month and we will miss them!

We encouraged them to serve the Lord in every aspect of their travels and prayed them on their way. What an exciting time of travel and unusual ministry. From what we as parents have seen, thegunshow has a good handle on combining authentic ministry with opportunity to perform and witness. We are extremely proud of our son!!

How cool!

Friday, March 26, 2010

I need to write

It is so predictable that when either of my kids are around I am completely off schedule! It doesn't take much. And one of the things I miss the most is writing. It takes time and it takes focus - I have neither right now.

It doesn't help that the weather is also so out of whack! I cannot believe it as I sit in my living room watching the snow blow past the windows, first from the right and then from the left. Completely off schedule. Yesterday in flip flops, today in socks and boots. Crazy.

My son leaves again tomorrow after his CD release show and I miss him so much when he's gone. But, with an organized house I think a little more clearly, (not crystal), but clearer and I remember the God moments of my day.

I need to write. Tomorrow I hope to begin again!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

cheap is good

So many bargains this week and so little time.

I finally made time to lay out about 3 weeks worth of coupons that I cut out, but hadn't done anything with. Now they are neatly stuffed into my trusty sports card notebook!

I have read quite a bit this week about shopping at Dollar Stores. I have done this occasionally but never with coupons, so that's my plan. I wonder how consistent their inventory is...I guess I'll find out.

You can sign up for the savings zone at to receive printable coupons. They also accept manufacturers' coupons. Should be interesting! You can also see a sales fliers at so you can just compare their deals with all the other stores.

Happy shopping - I'm going to bed - goodnight!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

what I learned today

John 4:11
The woman said to him, "Sir you have nothing to draw water with and the well is deep"....

This story will be part of our Easter services in two weeks.

I got to witness true humility today as the Crossroads Artist Small Group discussed their ongoing battle to enjoy and share their talents while constantly examining their hearts for pride. This discussion has been an ongoing one as I ask the artists to take a more visible role in some of our services.

I love their reluctance to display their talent publicly, to have the kind of talent they do and also to desire to please the Lord is such an encouragement to me each time we meet. I am blessed by their Godly spirit as well as amazed at their God given talents!

These pictures show some of the Easter sketches and preparations.

I learned today it IS possible to be very talented and still be humble before the Lord!

Monday, March 22, 2010

my day off

Getting more and more anxious for Easter. Today I set out to purchase everything I possibly could - I do not like last minute shopping...

My car is filling up fast!

We began yesterday to remind people to invite their friends to our services on Easter. Two services on Saturday, at 5:00 and 7:00 p.m., and two on Sunday at 9:30 and 11:00.

The artists and actors are recruited, the praise team has their assignments and Pastor Tim is set to kick off the "Amazing Jesus" series!

Please invite your friends, you won't be sorry I promise!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

weekend report

We came to the end of the current series Deconstruction/Reconstruction - a terrific series from Ephesians.


Preservice praise: Empty Me - Jeremy Camp
Preservice praise: Thy Mercy - Caedmons Call
Praise: All To You - Brewster
Praise: Draw Me Close - Kutless
Announcements: Wendell Anderson - Stewardship Pastor
Worship: How Great Is Our God - Tomlin
Worship: The Wonderful Cross - Tomlin
Message: Deconstruction/Reconstruction Pt. 10
Exit song: Thy Mercy

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

To watch our services on Monday go to

Saturday, March 20, 2010

tonight I was scared

We had a gentleman in our services tonight that became very agitated and finally left.

I get very scared. Even though he didn't do anything except leave the auditorium mumbling, it still made me wonder what could have happened. It made me think about stories of violence that I have heard about over the years.

We have an amazing security team that paid close attention to what was going on. And all was well.

If you are from another ministry, do you have a security team? I would really encourage you to work on organizing one immediately!

Have any of you ever been in a public place where something that happened scared you ?

Friday, March 19, 2010

how quickly it goes

As I write tonight I am sitting on the IWU campus. I will be back on campus in a little more than a month to celebrate as both of our kids graduate from Indiana Wesleyan University. Boy - how quickly it goes!

It truly seems impossible that Eric has been out here for 3 1/2 years and Jocelyn for 2 years.

Our kids have learned well here, they have grown in every way here, been challenged here, they have changed here, fallen in love here and are now leaving here.

Of course God does not exaggerate, and He wasn't exaggerating when He talked about our lives being 'as a vapor'...we must value each day, make wise choices and live as if it were our last, we really must!

My kids are considered adults quickly it went.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


I wanted to write tonight and encourage each of you to sign up to participate in the Proclaim event at Crossroads! It is the most amazing thing I ever attended.

Proclaim is a 24 hour a day continuous reading through the entire Bible. People sign up and read for 20 minute periods of time. While others are reading you can simple listen, follow along or pray for the requests that our Crossroads brothers and sisters will be turning in this week and next.

You really should consider attending- sign up with your small group, serving team, family or just come yourself - Crossroads friends will be waiting for you!

Remember to stop at the Mission Kiosk this weekend and sign up for a time slot of your choice!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

cheap is good

Did any of you Kroger shoppers get 3 coupons in the mail for free items at Kroger? Although Kroger is possibly my favorite grocery store I don't often go because their prices are higher. However, when I get coupons in the mail for totally free items, that gets my attention.

Last night I ran in for a couple things with one of our son's band members Bryant in tow and as I checked out even the cashier was amazed at my 'free' coupons. She complained loudly that "she had never received anything like these" - in a funny way!

Even Bryant commented as a total of 4 items were deducted among my other coupon discounts.

This is what I got free.

Kroger Carrots
Full sized Crest Toothpaste
Hellmans Mayo
Frosted Flakes (my hubby's favorite!)

Some of the other items I needed, I checked the prices of but didn't purchase because I knew I could get them cheaper somewhere else - so if I go prepared with a list and coupons are already pulled I am not easily tempted to buy anything I don't HAVE to have at that moment.

Based on that, I wonder how worth while it is for the stores to give free coupons away? Us coupons girls, we are pretty stingy and not easily tempted!! ha ha

QUESTION: when you go to the store for their bargains or to use their store coupons - do you spend a lot of additional money or stick to the deals??

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

what i learned today

Some of us at Crossroads have the privilege of supporting orphans in Cambodia and today I found out something very, very humbling...

One day each month the orphans fast and spend the day praying for Crossroads...

That took my breath away. Orphans who have so little, praying for us - I give a little bit of money each month to care for one orphan as if that's a huge I realize they give much more...

I can only imagine how closely God listens to an orphans prayer...

Monday, March 15, 2010

my day off

  • check up - while I was at doctors hubby had to get his car jumped - dead battery
  • breakfast with hubby
  • drove to Ashland to get tires from my parents - no one had the jack we needed - back home
  • began to paint - nephews came - stopped painting
  • dinner at mother-in-laws
  • home - painted until now
Just a regular day. Nothing spectacular.


  • good blood pressure - other tests looked good - thankful for good health
  • excellent breakfast and saw 4 friends: Photographer from our wedding, old high school friend and Crossroads buddies
  • even though we couldn't get the tires today, we had a fun visit with my parents
  • got a base coat of paint on upstairs bathroom walls so it could dry while we went to dinner
  • great porkchops! and watched my mother-in-law open her 80th birthday gifts
  • got second base coat on walls before bed
Perspective: the state of one's ideas, the facts known to one

Everyday we have a choice... do we see our day through a God coated perspective no matter what happens? Or a negative selfish earthly perspective?? Don't waste even one day. Your choice.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

weekend report

Pastor Tim talked about God's Will for our lives from Ephesians 5. So, I've been in church my whole life and I get this "Am I doing God's Will...Dear God am I in your will???..." messed up all the time. This is it, are you living totally sold out - in total obedience- are His desire your desires? Then you are IN GOD's WILL!!! How freeing!!

Our setlist:

Preworship: Never Alone - Barlow Girl
You Are Everything
Worship: I Will Rise - Tomlin
Worship: Mighty To Save - Hillsong
Praise: Majestic
Praise: Everyday - Hillsong (shortened)
Message: Deconstruction/Reconstruction: Ephesians Pt. 9
Annoucements: READ THROUGH THE ENTIRE BIBLE as a congregation beginning Easter evening through communion on Wednesday - I am so excited about this event Small Groups, families or individuals all come together for 74 hours . Each participant reads for 20 minutes! Cannot wait!

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

To watch our services go to on Monday.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

maple syrup

The sounds of Lucas Ohio today included.... rain drops, live music, boiling sap over crackling fires and horses' hooves.

Despite the weather we took Ron's brother and his boys (from Texas) to Malabar Farm where sap was being extracted from trees - guides dressed in frontier attire explained the process - and many items made from maple syrup were available to purchase including maple Carmel-corn and even maple flavored cotton candy!

Sometimes we take our area for granted, I am determined this year to enjoy our surroundings and take full advantage of being outdoors as much as possible!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

ugly space

For all the joking we do about how bad our weather is, this area of Ohio is absolutely beautiful. A couple of my friends were saying today they could not live somewhere that stayed hot most of the year and I completely agree. I love our seasons. With all of our wooded areas, beautiful hills and valleys there is an abundance of wildlife and plenty of room for all the creatures to live.

This leads me to ask, why would any bird choose to live in this empty, ugly space in my wall when they could live in a gorgeous tree or bush? They had to tear through the covered area to even gain access...I have no idea how they even knew it was there. The mess they made below their new home was evidence of how hard they had been working.

AGAIN I ask, how could anyone not believe in intelligent design by an imaginative, creative, meticulous, perfect creator? The detail of God's nature is so magnificent I will never stop watching in awe of Him as I see all of His creatures preparing for spring. Very cool!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

a night for family

After several very busy nights with small groups and other responsibilities we headed off to Ashland to celebrate our nephew, Bradley's birthday. We ate great grandma food, sang way too loudly and off key (on purpose of course) and ended the evening with a rousing game of slide Sorry.

What more can you ask for...

I would love to know, are birthdays a big deal for your families?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Tonight we had a dance audition planned at Crossroads. I was very encouraged when we had close to 12 dancers that signed up to come.

As time drew closer, one by one they dropped out - one guy said his girlfriend signed him up as a joke (that was actually really funny!) one student had too much homework, volleyball practice, not feeling well, and some probably just forgot. Regardless the conflict we ended up with only 3 dancers. They danced to the music and then sat and talked a while and now when we see one another in the crowded halls at Crossroads we will know these new friends.

When things seem to fall apart you can either get discouraged or force yourself to find God's intentions. That is what we did.

Kari - the ballerina we have used the most often through the years at Crossroads, came to help me, as well as one of my dearest little girlfriends Shanna. I watched as they talked, evaluated dancers and then we invited Kari to join our drama small group. Exactly what God intended.

Tonight may not have been about dancers at all - it ended up being about new connections - possible ways to use dance in the children's areas, on ministry teams and new small group members.

cheap is good

Here are Rite Aide Coupons I thought you might like!

Here are some links for free samples and a free Snikiddy Snack...whatever that is!

I am soooo behind on couponing with no catch up time in site...

Does anyone have any shortcuts, or management tips to share for couponing?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

what I learned today

Tonight at the artists small group we talked about the importance of practicing spiritual disciplines. Creatives perhaps even more than some need to be disciplined enough to slow down in order to even be creative! We talked about how difficult it is to say 'no' and stick to it.

Perhaps our favorite quote was this "inspiration is strained when hurried...this is because inspiration is a dialogue, and we must hear before we create." We must hear from our God! The other thing we all agreed on is the fact that the true artist is a worshiper! We then learned what the attributes of God were - focusing silently on this list for a few moments...this evoked worship!

After discussing the attributes of God , we each chose one as the focus of our "automatic drawing" exercise. We approached the paper in a 'fencing' stance - fully extending our arm to just touch the paper. Oh yeah, did I mention we used our left hand or whichever hand was our non-dominate hand? One of the artists informed us this would cause us to create new brain cells since we were not using our usual hand. (If that's all it takes to create new brain cells I think I just became left-handed!) We painted 5 minutes, then stepped away from the paper and looked at our painting then began again drawing inspiration from the attributes of our God. It was very challenging to not do 'good' paintings for the artists since they are each so talented, but, automatic drawing challenged us to respond to the Lord without trying to create anything specific. So fun! I enjoyed the night immensely drawing encouragement from being surrounded by artists who love the Lord!

Monday, March 8, 2010

my day off

So thankful for today. Trying to finish laundry, organize unfinished work and prepare to lead the artists group tomorrow.

As I spent some time reading about prayer this morning I was greatly encouraged by what I read. It was a section discussing prayer specifically within community - and specifically the duty of the leader in prayer. I have always preferred to pray privately. I do not find it hard to be honest and desperate before the Lord - to the point of exhaustion at times.

However, due to my position I often need to lead prayer publicly. This is something I sometimes almost dread because it's usually with the same teams over and over and I worry about sounding authentic and not repeating myself. So I try so hard to focus on just talking with the Lord, but also trying to be careful to make sense - not too personal... often feeling like I have failed miserably. How embarrassing is that to admit!??

I have never prayed trying to make myself sound all spiritual or better than anyone, that's not what I mean, but, it just feels so plain and like nothing inspiring... I am certain there have been times when I have not spiritually prepared myself before the Lord and that could make prayer sound mechanical I suppose...

Then today I read about the proper way to publicly pray, or rather the value in consistently praying for our fellowship. This is what it said, "It is precisely when a person, who is borne down by inner emptiness and weariness or a sense of personal unworthiness, feels that he would like to withdraw from his task, that he should learn what it means to have a duty to perform in the fellowship, and the brethren should support him in his weakness, in his inability to pray. Perhaps it is right here that one will realize the profound truth of Paul's words: "We know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" Romans amazing promise.

So on my day off the question to myself once again is this, why do I waste so much time worrying about stuff or trying to figure things out instead of immediately searching the Word for instruction and comfort? The next time I lead in prayer I will remember these words and just let the Spirit use me to make intercession for those I serve.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

weekend report

O my good to be in the house of the Lord worshiping! The team was focused, well practiced and completely ready to forget about the notes, the words and just lead worship. Their preparation paid off and they lead us seamlessly into the message, and I do mean INTO the message. The words were thematic and Pastor Tim took it from there and God spoke through his mouth loud and clear! So thankful to part of these teams!

Our setlist:

Pre-service Instrumental: The Power Of Love - Huey Lewis (this put smiles on everyone's faces as they entered the auditorium!)
Announcements: Jesse Rider - our Senior High guy took care of the announcements LIVE from the Youth Room (with kids punching one another in the background! ha ha)
Praise: How Great Thou Art - Baloche
Praise: You Are Good - Lakewood
Worship: Lead Me To The Cross - Hillsong United
Worship: Inside Out - Hillsong
Message: Ephesians: Deconstruction/Reconstruction Pt.8 Tim Armstrong
Closing song: You Are Good

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

To watch our services on Monday go to

Friday, March 5, 2010

radio opportunity

Jocelyn's future brother-in-law Cody invited her to sing with him when he was featured on the Berklee Radio Station with one of his original pieces of music. It was a great experience!

While I was uploading this video I heard a gasp as Jocelyn received the news that she had in fact been accepted for Graduate School at Boston University. They originally told her she would not know until April so we were totally shocked to find out so early! Looks like I'll be making many trips to Boston in the future...(heavy sigh with a smile on my face)...

back from Boston

We just got back from Boston where we visited our future son-in-law, Aaron and his buddies! Celebrated everyone's birthday - watched a radio broadcast featuring our daughter Jocelyn and Aaron's brother Cody. We checked out Berkley School of Music where Aaron and his brother attend, visited Boston University where our daughter has applied for Graduate School and walked through Harvard! We had a blast - walked miles and miles investigating all areas of Boston - ate constantly and drove up to Maine! And we enjoyed one day of shopping that ended in sleep at the train station. Very, very, very fun! Here is a peak at what we saw.