Wednesday, June 30, 2010

happy at work

I was looking forward to getting into work today. I know there are some of you who may not feel the same way. You probably think working at the church makes it easy to be happy, at least in comparison to your job.

But, consider this. Unless you are living in disobedience to the Lord, you are right where He wants you to be. You are right where He needs you to be. And you are where others need you to be.

I encourage you to go to work today anticipating God meeting you there.

There is nothing magical about a church building, like I work in. It's the Holy Spirit and the people that gather that make it a kingdom building tool and a place of learning and fellowship. Today without the congregation here, it is where I work. I feel privileged to have a job, and to have a position that is not just a job. You can feel the same way if you are willing to treat your job as if you believe that God has placed you there! Try it! May God bless your day!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

what I learned today

I had 3 unplanned conversations today with people in ministry.

  1. My first conversation was with the wife of a full-time pastor (not in our ministry). As we talked about our kids and all the things filling our lives, she talked about being concerned that one of her kids thought God may be calling them into full time ministry. They just wanted their kids to be able to avoid difficult things. Understandable.

2. I then talked to another person also in full time ministry who was struggling with their own
calling.Just kind of feeling ineffective and needing some encouragement.

3. Finally I received a call from yet another full time ministry friend (out of town) asking for
prayer as they prepared to have a sit down meeting with their pastor to
discuss their future at the ministry.

I know everyone has difficulties with their jobs. But, what makes the ministry so difficult, so hurtful and in many cases such a short tenure?

It is a place that we assume will be safe, fair and Godly at all times. The element we often forget is that churches are filled with imperfect people - this of course includes the staff! So, why are we surprised when things occasionally turn ugly? We should instead expect it I guess.
Jesus was surrounded by imperfect people that He chose to use, and they disappointing him constantly!

All my conversations today gave me something to think about.

I learned today that if I watch for opportunities, the Lord will surround me with chances to be an encouragement to others!

Monday, June 28, 2010

my day off

I was very thankful for a day at home although it rained an inch again. Have you ever seen so much rain. And it isn't a gentle sprinkle either!

I got a lot of housework that was long overdo done, and now I am completely exhausted.

I keep falling asleep writing this so I will write tomorrow instead. Have a restful night!

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

weekend report

Oh my, Oh my...such an amazing weekend of worship!! Six brass, bass, guitar, synth, piano and OH so many singers! And a Tech team that was so focused and excellent! Just powerful!!!

our setlist:

Instrumental: Undeniable (brass featured)
Preservice Worship: You Are My World
Announcements: Bill Hill
Praise: Everybody Praise The Lord- Brewster
Praise: Your Grace Is Enough - Tomlin
Your Love Is Amazing - Milo Sgambellone
Lead Me To The Cross - Hillsong United
Video: Principles of Greatness
Message: Greatness - - Jesse Rider (Senior High Youth Leader)
Exit Song: Undeniable

To watch our services go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to

Saturday, June 26, 2010

a good cleaning

We are giving everything in our home a good cleaning. Everyone is helping and we are making slow but steady progress. The problem is I have been so busy I am beginning to feel the wear of less quality time with God.

It is always a choice of course. Nothing to blame but the way we prioritize our day. This determines how that one and only day is spent - and it shows what we valued most that day.

My body is very physically tired from a combination of working out and working at home, but it is surprising what a toll my soul takes when I don't care for it. It is a far more painful ache I feel spiritually.

If God gives me tomorrow I will try to prioritize more carefully - beginning with Him. Tomorrow I'll focus the cleaning on my eternal self instead of my stuff.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

the blessing of rain

There are many sayings associated with rain. "Rain on my parade", "I love walking in the rain because then no one knows you are crying", "into each life some rain must fall", "it takes both rain and sunshine to make a rainbow"...

Recently I have considered rain my own personal enemy. We are a month behind with outside work in preparation for our daughters wedding. In this case, time is not an issue we have saved vacation to prepare. Rain is our enemy.

Our yard has been too wet to drive on for at least 3 weeks now. I find myself hating each rain shower more and more. Complaining to any friend who is not already bored by my griping.

...And then I stepped out of my door to leave for work today and saw the most beautiful thing, this perfect leaf with glistening rain drops laying on it. I just stared at it and it caused me to immediately give thanks to God for His ongoing pr

The rain is not going to steel the joy of our daughter marrying the man God chose for her. Even if it's soggy, even if it gets moved inside we will celebrate their marriage and the beginning of a lifetime of love, serving God and walks in the rain...

I needed this simple reminder that God is in control, not me!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

what I learned today

Actually, I should call this writing, what I learned last night.

I came to know the Lord when I was a sophomore in highschool. I am now 52 years old. And last night was one of the most moving, soul stirring, eye opening experiences I have ever had.

Our fabulous missions leader at Crossroads, Darlene Rudrick, organized a skype appointment with the Crossroads orphanage in Cambodia. This was a chance for each supporter to talk directly to their child. As we entered we saw the banner that waited for our mission team last year - each orphan had signed it.

I will never forget the first face and the first group that took the microphone and described their love for their child and that they are praying for them and how beautiful or handsome they were and on, and on, and on it went.

Each orphanage in the Asia's Hope group, has a mom and dad that raises them, and our orphanage is fortunate enough to have a teenage daughter who speaks pretty good English. (One of the Crossroads supporters just paid her entire year to go to the University in Cambodia - $600) She acted as the translator.

Finally it was our turn to step to the camera. Our daughter Jocelyn was with us last night. She has been to Cambodia twice, the last time for a month with our son Eric. When she stepped up to talk the teenage girl burst into tears and asked her when she was coming back. While in Cambodia she and Jocelyn had exchanged rings and both girls from across the world held up their hands to show that they still had them. Jocelyn could not speak, and from somewhere deep within me sobs broke from my chest in a way I have NEVER experienced before. I was changed in that instant. I am not trying to be dramatic, but I tell you something I've held onto for a long time disappeared.

Just to clarify, this relationship with the BB3 orphanage is not just a 'feel good' opportunity. It is not about us at all. These kids would be presently used in the sex trafficking trade, be working in factories for a hand full of rice each day or dead if there wasn't a safe place for them to live and learn about Jesus. And they believe this. They live everyday as if it was a gift straight from heaven. Two years ago when they were rescued, they didn't smile and they didn't know God - now they do!

I know each of us are called to different kinds of giving, I am not talking about tithing, that goes to the church, I am talking about beyond that, GIVING. God puts needs of people in our lives that we get the privilege of meeting. But, especially you parents, you NEED to get your kids involved in supporting something WAY outside themselves. And, if you have the opportunity to help someone like we do that you can actually 'see' and communicate with - it makes it so much more real. This kind of unselfish involvement takes kids outside their own little American world and gives them God Eyes like nothing else ever will. Of all the sacrifices Ron and I made for our kids, allowing them to go overseas probably will have the greatest spiritual payoff for the rest of their lives, second only to a Godly - consistent (to the best of our ability) upbringing.

These orphans called us mommy and daddy, they asked us how Pastor Tim was - they consider him their pastor, and they thanked us for praying for them...not for money.

The entire orphanage fasts and prays for Crossroads on a regular basis. I have said it before, but I would imagine the prayer of orphans going up on behalf of Crossroads get the Lord's attention. This is an eternal connection.

I believe one day we will stand beside our adopted children and as united children of God worship Him together!

Monday, June 21, 2010

announcement video fun

We decided for Father's Day to use our normal announcement guy's son's to video tape announcements instead of doing them live! Great fun!

my day off

Back from Michigan on Saturday, back from working out, back from my 10,000th trip to The WalMart...9:20 a.m. - my day off.

Even when I have a lot to accomplish it counts as a day off. I think what constitutes a day off is a day when you can decide what you want to do when.

I decided to begin early, but I feel disconnected from the Lord so I am taking a time out before forging ahead to gain His perspective on the day He has given me. I really meed to rest in the assurance that enough will get done, and putting Him first is not negotiable.

This day, like all the days of life, do after all belong to Him.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

weekend report

Such a great Father's Day weekend at Crossroads! So many people involved in making the weekend happen - a big THANK YOU to all! The drama was so good, worship fabulous and the teaching= home-run! Many comments on how much they related to Pastor Wendell's teaching!!

Please watch our services at

Our setlist:

Our God - Tomlin
Original Announcement video- featuring the Hill family
You Are Good - Lakewood
King Of Majesty - Hillsong
You Alone- shortened
You Are Good - Gateway
Drama: Minivan Family - Willowcreek Association
Message: Father's Day 2010 - Wendell Anderson
Closing Special: How Deep the Father's Love

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

Thursday, June 17, 2010


We all have within us a tendency toward competitiveness.

We are motivated to work hard to get good grades, awards, position, and financial gain.

We look at what one another have to see if we have more or less.

We compare. Attractiveness, cars, clothing, homes, children, talents and levels of education.

Why are we so competitive? Why do we care what others around us have, or how they look, or what they are doing? Our sinful nature.

Even the disciples were competitive about their positions with Jesus. That had to break Jesus' heart.

I am very competitive. I turn this over to the Lord over and over.

It doesn't matter what others have, it matters that we show our thankfulness by being content and satisfied. I have so much to be thankful for - and I will try to thank Him daily not only verbally but with my contentedness.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

struggling friends

Tonight I got to renew an old friendship. I got to talk to a young lady that I used to be very close to.

She was at our ministry as a younger girl then went her separate way. She talked openly about the mistakes she had made, the time she had wasted and how desperate she got when she hit rock bottom.

But now she is back. God protected her from abusive guys and even from herself.

She is back and she is whole in the Lord. And, I am so thankful that the Lord drew her back home to us!

While I got to catch up with her, my husband went with a couple other Godly men to try to intervene on behalf of a friend who is facing certain divorce if things do not change quickly. They hope to help convince him not to give up on his marriage and to make some changes in his life.

We all have struggling friends. Tonight we got to be part of people's lives that matter to God.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

what I learned today

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

I was reading today about having a steadfast mind. That is something I really want to continue working on.

The more my mind and heart stays focused on Him the less I drift this way and that.

The more purpose each day has. The more obedient my life is.

A steadfast mind, a mind filled with the desire to follow God is the only hope for experiencing peace.
A worthy discipline.

Monday, June 14, 2010

my day off

Running. That described it! Running around from morning until night...

Tomorrow I get to be home the entire day except for a massage - cannot wait!

God has always granted me such amazing health. But, I have never had as much discomfort as I have had the past month with carpal tunnel type problems in both hands! So painful and nearly impossible to get any sleep. I drop and break things constantly. Really weird and sudden.

When I suffer even a tiny bit - it causes me to remember the kind of never ending pain some people live with. I cannot even imagine how discouraging that would be. It is good for me to get a glimpse of what others go through.

I am hoping the massage therapist can work on my arms and give me some relief tomorrow. And beginning now, I will pray more for those I know of that are suffering.

Do any of you have a request I can pray for?

weekend report - late

I haven't had a chance to be on my computer at all until right now - I've been up since 4:30 a.m. today - so I'll try to list things correctly...

The worship team and tech teams all did a great job! I particularly loved how the songs connected seamlessly! So worshipful!

Our setlist:

You Do All Things Well - Tomlin
Pre-taped Bethany Ezawa doing our announcements. Thanks Bethany!
How Good and Pleasant - Tommy Walker
Let God Arise - Tomlin
One Voice - an original by Milo Sgambelone
Revelation Song - Gateway
Message: I Corinthians - Sainthood
You Do All Things Well - Tomlin

To see what other ministries used in there weekend services go to

To watch our services to to

Saturday, June 12, 2010

identity comes from association

Our personal identity is something deep within each of us. It is what we think of our self, who we think we are and only we know all the things that have formed our identity.

But, what is your public identity? Who do the people around you think that you are?

I saw this statement when I was reading today and it made me consider my own identity.

Identity comes from association.

This would seem to support well my parents continuous protective obsession over who I was friends with growing up.

I am wondering this morning, were they more right than they knew? I think so.

All that some people ever get to know about us is who they see us associate with. So it goes to reason that in their minds they would be justified to assume my identity is similar to the company I keep.

This is not to say that we should avoid helping those in trouble, those who are fallen and helpless. Jesus obviously spent extensive time ministering and going in among the sinners and those in desperate need of the everlasting message He offered.

But, He also surrounded himself with the 12. These were his associates. They were not perfect, there were varied in talent and trade, but they were His closest friends. The people He poured His daily life into.

When people look at me I wonder what they think my identity is. Interesting.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Meijer catalinas = free money?

I LOVE to coupon! I am highly inspired by savings - I cannot pay full price for anything.

We needed to purchase about 90 bottles of salad dressing for our daughters wedding. Michelle, a good friend, gave us a tip about Meijer's sale on Kraft salad dressing.

The following is a true story.

If you could have seen me last night... The salad dressing sale was buy 4 Kraft dressings for the sale price of $1.59 each, I had run copies of or been given $1.00 off coupons for every bottle. and as if that wasn't good enough, 59 cents each, I received a Meijer catalina worth $3.00 off of my next grocery purchase. In other words, Meijer paid ME to buy dressings!

I didn't have time to buy just 4 at one time so I thought, I'm just taking 20 bottles of dressing up at a time and do 5 separate orders at the self checkout line. So I stepped to the center self check out surrounded by other shoppers at about 9:30 last night. Next thing I know, after completing one order and beginning the next. Everyone was gone - except the managers and people taking money out of every machine but mine.

They pulled the divider across the entire self check out area - not allowing any more customers to enter. There I stood - trying to work the system to get my $3.00 catalinas by checking thru just 4 bottles of dressing at a time - as the Big Top Manager person stood watching me outside the dividers - and as my coupons required the clerks assistance - I caved in to the pressure and just ran the last 16 through as one heart breaking, but they were so intimidating! I was preventing an entire shift from going home!

This morning while Ron was at the Elders meeting - I headed back to Meijer with determination and coupons in hand I went back in. This time I decided I would try one of my old Kraft catalinas to see if they would roll. They did! So for 26 cents - I headed back to my car with 4 salad dressings and a $3.00 catalina with the intention of grabbing more coupons and going right back in.

What I found was that I had left the parking lights on in my euphoria to get a deal, and my battery was dead! I called my husband and he and Deering came to the rescue. I somehow talked Ron into going in for one group of 4 dressings before heading to church. We took turns sitting in the car with the motor running to get the battery built back up - while the other bought salad dressings - ridiculous!

We then agreed to come back after work and buy more, even if we had to go in one at a time and just by 4 dressings. So we did! By Ron's 3rd trip to the car I could tell I was losing him - his eyes had that far away 'I'd rather be anywhere in the world but here' look - so as he returned once more to the car with the goods I reached a dead-run pace with my cart racing to get the rest of what we needed in my cart before he returned. He didn't.

I called and he said he was done! I asked him to just bring back in the final $3.00 catalina and promised I would just buy the remaining 27 bottles in one transaction. He agreed...

As we checked out with not only our remaining dressing purchases but additional groceries, our clerk was extremely patient as she took coupon after coupon off of our bill - our $75.00 bill dropped to just $17.00 and produced another $3.00 catalina!

It grieved me greatly to give up the additional 6 catalinas I could have earned - but, it wasn't worth losing a husband!

Couponing is a good thing I suppose, but, it is so much easier NOT to know about the deals out there!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I saw my first fireflies of the summer this evening. I don't know if I haven't been out at night or just haven't noticed - but they were really beautiful tonight!

I thought of all the fun times with our kids when we would run around and catch as many as possible. The kids would then keep them in their rooms and fall asleep to the twinkling little lights.

I remember as a child chasing them around and being completely surrounded by them! They have always fascinated me.

They cause me to wonder how anyone could believe that this amazing little bug packed full of detail could be part of a universe that just formed by chance or from a big bang. No Way!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

the middle of writing

In the middle of writing - I write.

I was working on a writing yesterday when I had another concept - so I left what I was writing to write something else.

I have many ideas. I feel everyday that I don't have time to write about everything that I want to, to try the new things that interest me or experiment with possible new projects.

Too many things to learn, to try, to experience.

So how should we manage our precious God given days - producing what needs to be created? Discipline. The thing that encourages my creative writing the most is discipline. Seriously.

When I am disciplined my mind is programmed to create -to be aware -to notice what is happening around me - to remember a deadline is coming. Without discipline I drift - dream too much and accomplish little. To write in the middle of writing is the highest point of my creativity. Ideas on top of one another. Words coming quickly, endlessly begging to be written.

All of us have triggers that cause us to produce at our highest levels. What do you require to be most productive? Please share so we can all learn!

little taking on big

Today I saw the most interesting thing in front of my house. I saw a bird that was hysterically happy! He was working as diligently as he could on a very large snake that had been killed on the road.

Now think of this from his perspective...giant worm! It surely was the happiest day of this little birds life!

I feel this way often, as if I'm little taking on big.

With God's help I have had the opportunity to try some things that are impossible in my own strength and ability. And every once in a while He grants me the David vs Goliath victory. It's then that I feel the same happiness that the little bird felt!

PS ...that was one ugly snake - although it was thought provoking!

Monday, June 7, 2010

graduation complete

Tonight we celebrated the college graduation of both of our kids by inviting some friends that influenced their lives.

It was a great time of looking back at old photos and laughing; as well as sharing stories about our kids. Here are a few pictures...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

weekend report

Our Spiritual Maturity Pastor Wendell Anderson stepped in for our Senior Pastor who injured his back and is awaiting diagnosis this week. He did such a great job despite the fact that he didn't know until Friday that he would be filling the pulpit! God was good!

Our setlist:

Pre-service: Breathe On Me- Hillsong
Pre-service: As It Is In Heaven - Harris
Announcements: Green Screen video of babies doing announcements
Praise: All Because of Jesus - Fee
Praise: My Savior Lives - New Life (shortened)
Praise: Glorified - New Life (Piano intro)
Praise: Blessed Be The Name - Redman
Message by Pastor Wendell Anderson
Exit Song: Glorified - New Life

To watch our services go to

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

Saturday, June 5, 2010

tests and trials = pruning

Although I do not claim to have deep theological understanding, God has filled His Word with tons of practical teachings and everyday examples for common folk like me.

This morning, following the heavy rains of the past couple days, I spent about an hour working on our flowers. There were many, dead, soggy, damaged blossoms that needed to be removed. I noticed the dead blossoms also on the deck - the pieces that had become useless to the plant and fallen away.

As I began to work on them and started to see the beautiful results of my work, it dawned on me exactly what God was talking about when He uses the gardening analogy of pruning in the Bible. As areas of our lives become dead, and things need to be removed He promises to prune them just as a gardener does with dead branches. He cannot tolerate dead areas of a believers life and so He allows trials or uses other people, whatever it takes to prune them from our lives.

John 15:2
Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Growing up I often thought when I saw a true believer suffering through trials, that maybe they had done something wrong. Now I know it is just the opposite! Those he sees potential in, those who can make a difference, those who love the Fathers dearly - they are the ones He tests and allows what we perceive to be negative circumstances to enter their lives.

I love that the Lord brought this simple example to my attention this morning. The examples of His nature teach us so much and demonstrate the amazing attention to detail He created around us...FOR us!

Pruning is a promise, not a maybe for those who are His children...the beautiful results of testing and trials yield a bounty that an easy life can never offer.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

building the kingdom

There was a period of time, not too long ago (as I began to feel old with the pace of ministry), when I was worried about who would carry on at Crossroads. Those worries are fading more and more daily.

The leadership at Crossroads is working diligently to build into the lives of the youth and young adults of our ministry. This focus is already paying huge dividends as young people understand that this is their ministry as well as those of us who are getting up there!

Emily is one of our outstanding youth - talented in many ways. Her monologue at our Communion service was outstanding, and I am so thankful for the amazing talent of many of our young volunteers!

We had a difficult audio beginning to her monologue- so bear with it - it clears up momentarily. I wanted to share this to encourage each of you to build into the next generation and let them know how much we need them to help build God's kingdom!

privilege with responsibility

Most privileges come with responsibility. Can you think of any that don't?

We studied this recently in the "Lessons on Christian Living" booklet. I found it very, very interesting to think about. We studied from the perspective of Christian maturity. It takes an obedient life to grow as a believer.

But even outside of that - from a worldly point of view I cannot think of any kind of privilege that doesn't require responsibility. Wealthy people should live very generous lives - providing for those less fortunate. Highly educated people should teach those less educated. People in powerful positions of authority should govern honestly and fairly. The list is endless.

It seems in many cases that privilege instead brings the very worst out in some people. An attitude of entitlement and selfishness. Or the desire for more privilege.

Although my life may not look like a life of privilege based on what I own or my bank accounts, I count myself among the most fortunate on earth. My privilege comes from the Lord in blessings of family, dear friends and co-workers and the local church. The nice thing about this kind of privilege is there is no way I can ever act as if I deserve it, or earned it. It was given to me and I recognize the value far exceeds anything measurable on this temporary earth. If you abide in the Lord - I am sure you can express the same kind of thankful joy!

Mine is not a perfect life with everything going well all the time - but it is a life of privilege.