Saturday, October 30, 2010

going too fast

Our short time with our daughter and son-in-law is going too fast! We have eaten too much, walked non-stop all day and talked continuously and we wish we could take them home with us! But soon we will be heading home without them.

Jocelyn asked me a very interesting question the first day we were here. She asked me, "do I seem different to you? Have I changed at all?" As I spend time with them the answer is definitely YES.

When we talk now it is on such equal terms, more like friends. I really like it and I am so thankful for our relationship. I am also thankful that we have Aaron as our son-in-law! What a blessing - the perfect husband for Jocelyn. God is so good!

Those of you who have small children - enjoy them thoroughly because they will leave your home very soon. Too soon!

Friday, October 29, 2010

a different perspective

It is always good to get away to gain a different perspective.

I am in the most opposite place from my regular work in ministry possible. Salem, Massachusetts during halloween! This of course is where the witch trials took place long ago and this is the place where people involved currently in witchcraft or at least curious about the belief system associated with such things gather at halloween. They come from across the country to be here.

I have seen many curious things - costumed dogs being pushed around in strollers, of course people fully costumed and trolleys full of people touring the area. Some are people who just think it's fun to dress up for halloween and others are people who are fully devoted to satanic influenced practices.

When you go into darkness you immediately feel God's indwelling, it is actually MUCH easier to live for Christ then mixed in crowds back home. It is black and white here, back home in my world there is a lot of gray. People back home actually wear more masks than the lost folks here.

I walk around praying for the lost here, don't get me wrong, I don't believe there are more non-believers here than back home, they are just much more obvious here. More out-spoken and perhaps determined to remain lost. Or, just not called to be a Child of God, in which case I view them with deep sorrow - a totally wasted life serving themselves or worse, satan.

The perspective I gain by being here is a deep thankfulness to my Lord for my fairytale life surrounded by Godly friends and family where I seldom consider the evil that seeks to destroy the lost. It gives me a renewed determination to share my faith and reach out to those clueless about the eternal choices they make each day. I desire the eyes of my God.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Christmas completed...sort of

I have never been more proud then I was of the brand new programming team that was made up of people that have never served in this way before.

They all brought ideas as we began to work on Christmas, they were all dedicated to the project a project that had to communicate clearly the message of hope found in Christmas.

They found it, created it, committed to it and today they presented it.

Those watching the presentation understood the message, and approved the concept to move forward to completion. And so we prepare now to take the pieces that will become Christmas with the Lord's help and bring it to completion.

I am so thankful and I cannot wait to see what God will do!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

a dark parking lot

I stood outside of Crossroads last night with the door propped open listening to our team practice for the Night of Worship on November 3rd. I was working on a Christmas prop.

I was attempting to spray paint a skinny branch from a tree. The weather man is predicting 50 mile an hour wind today and it was beginning to pick up last night.

As I tried over and over again to spray paint the tiny little fingers of this branch in the dim light of our parking lot pole lights, I watched tons of over spray drift off into the night. Wasted paint and little to show for my efforts!

It reminded me for some reason (maybe the Lord speaking to me), about how many wasted words and wasted time come out of me daily - blowing away in the wind.

How God tolerates such waste is beyond me - but, I am oh so thankful that His mercy is new each day.

My hearts desire is that my words and my work be Kingdom words and work, or nurturing words. Kingdom work does not only pertain to those in ministry of course, each of you, wherever God has placed you have Kingdom work to accomplish today...join me please.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

weekend report

Where do I begin???

First thing this morning as I walked across to my office I heard the most peculiar sounds - it sounded exactly like the character from Lord of the Rings saying 'my precious'. This is what I found - our Small Group pastor, Deering Dyer inhaling helium! What a welcome!

In trying to figure out what to do this year to honor our veterans I decided to set up a photo booth in our Town Square and take pictures and scan their 'old' pictures when they were still in active duty. This was an idea that I had second thoughts about but moved ahead anyway and MAN did it go over big! People lined up across the room to get their pictures taken.

We are going to create a countdown using current pictures and then use the remainder of the people that bring us their active duty pictures combined with their current shots in a patriotic music video. I was very thankful that the Veterans seemed excited about getting their pictures taken!

Our setlist:

Instrumental: Heaven
Video Promo: Rethink Marriage - Media House video
Announcements: Stephanie McAuley
Praise: It's All Because of Jesus - Fee
Praise: Happy Day - Sublime
Worship: God You Reign - Brewster
Worship:Lead Me To The Cross - Hillsong United
Praise: It's All Because of Jesus - Fee (short portion to take things back up before the teaching)
Message: I Corinthians - Pastor Tim Armstrong
Exit Song: Heaven

To watch our services go to on Monday.

To see what other ministries used in their services go to

Saturday, October 23, 2010

rehearsing with all our might

Tonight at Crossroads we rehearsed and sound checked with all our might.

It was a glorious night of worship even during rehearsal.

As I walked the auditorium making sound suggestions and carefully examining the stage for any missed detail that demanded attention, this is what I saw...

Two little darlings whose momma was taking care of our announcements this evening thought our sound levels were just a little too loud for tiny ears! SO CUTE!!

I suspect some day they will be the ones up front leading us in worship!

Friday, October 22, 2010

I love my mom

Today was my mom's birthday so we surprised her at a restaurant, at least I think we surprised dad tells sometimes! ha ha

I am so thankful for my mom. When I think back to childhood the words that come to mind are consistent, hard working, dependable, loving and most of all an authentic follower of Jesus Christ.

I never for one moment doubted that she had a personal relationship with Christ. Seriously - she wasn't perfect of course, but, never did her faith waiver, never did I think she was disingenuous or dishonest in her walk. She truly has always 'practiced what she preached' - and we all understood what it meant to know the Lord just by watching her live each day.

I have seen many parents struggle to pass their faith on to their kids. In most cases the parents know the right things to say, but don't live as if Christ affects their everyday decisions and choices. It's impossible in most cases to teach anything you don't demonstrate with your life.

This was not the case with my mom. She didn't constantly talk at us, she just walked in front of us...and we still follow.

Have a blessed birthday to my dear mom!! I love you!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I am anxious for something. I don't know what.

Isn't that weird? Do you ever feel that way? Like something is about to change or something exciting and new may be coming?

Part of it may just be my conversations with our kids. God is just heaping blessings on both of their lives - and my hubby and I are just so excited. Our daughter may have a writing opportunity at Harvard and our son is experiencing travel all over the country with his band as they prepare to release their first full length CD. Both are meeting and connecting with believers everywhere they go. We are so thankful!

It is fun to watch and see what is next. There is always a next you know. It might be staying where you are, accepting a new project, it might be learning something new and improving in some way. Whatever 'next' is - I accept!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

good works

Today our staff study took a look at the charge to "do good works". It was an interesting conversation discussing 'why' we do good works and defining 'what' are good works.

So interesting that the Bible says that we can actually lead people toward the Lord with our good works. Authentic good works make them curious - they see that we are different from the world.

We should look for opportunities to feed those who are hungry, care for orphans and the church. What happens when authentic - Godly good works point people toward the Lord and away from us. If they are truly pure good works then they come from the Lord and not us to begin with.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

what I learned today

Today's activities reminded me once again how much more joy there is in the journey when you do these two things:

  1. Include others instead of trying to do things alone.
  2. When you plan way ahead.
I often forget to include others in the beginning of a new process. But I have thoroughly enjoyed including brand new people in the creative process for Christmas this time around!

The journey also becomes more enjoyable when I begin very early. This allows for creative experimenting - and still leaves time to change things if needed.

In ministry at least, these two points can be applied to just about everything I can think of - well, maybe except the preaching!

Monday, October 18, 2010

my day off

I did not have to hurry to wake up today. That was a blessing!

One thing my age has naturally brought about is a true thankfulness and appreciate for the simple.

Most days are filled with difficult deadlines, decisions and too much to accomplish. So, when I get a day when I can just kind of experience the minutes. Not caring what happens in the next hour. I count it a huge blessing!

Don't get me wrong, there are several projects with ever nearing deadlines I could have spent the entire day on - but didn't. I accomplished things like ironing and some organizing around the house and had dinner with my parents - a slow relaxed pace...a gift from the Lord truly.

I am thankful for this day off!

I would be curious to know - what is your favorite thing to do on your day off?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

weekend report

We continued our study in I Corinthians this weekend with Pastor Tim back in the pulpit. Our time of worship was sweet and again this weekend I am just so filled with appreciation for all of our dedicated volunteers. NO WAY we could do this without them!

Our setlist:

Instrumental: This Love - Maroon 5
Welcome - Streeter Clow
Praise: Happy Day - Sublime
Praise: Love The Lord - Brewster
Worship: Our God Reigns
Worship: How Great Is Our God - Tomlin
Worship: I Stand Amazed - Aaron Keyes
Message: I Corinthians: Sexual Conduct of a Believer - Tim Armstrong
Exit Song: How Great Is Our God

to watch our services on Monday go to

to see what other ministries used in their services go to

Saturday, October 16, 2010

our facility guy

Our facility guy just happens to be one of me and my husbands best friend on top of a staff member at Crossroads. So amazing when you get to work with your friends!

Anyway, I walked into his cubicle yesterday looking for a Sharpie and instead of pens and pencils in his pencil holder - this is what I found ...

I guess each of us have our own tools of the trade!

a few more

I have just a few hundred more coupons to file and then it's off into the day. awww....

This could easily become a part time job - NOT what I'm looking for!

As I looked at my piles of coupons preparing to take advantage of the remaining sales that will disappear at midnight tonight, I realize again that even this 'good' thing could easily become stressful instead of helpful.

Many things, good things, would love to eat up our days. Interesting how even a hobby requires evaluation if you are a child of God.

As soon as I get a moderate savings system figured out I will probably teach the couponing class at Crossroads this winter that girls are asking for...only if I can offer a system well organized and protective of their other more important responsibilities! Meanwhile - it will take a couple hours of my day to prepare well and know that I have exactly what I need to walk in - get great deals on things my family actually will use - and then on to the next good thing.

I woke up excited today to fellowship and worship at Crossroads tonight - first I will finish the day's responsibility to my family! Enjoy your day!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

friends are important

Our friends are very important to us - we are blessed by all of them!

We recently had an opportunity with two friends, Gary and Pam, to visit German Village for dinner. My hubby's family used to eat in German Village quite often, but it had been years since we had been there so the night ended up being a little stroll down memory lane.

We had great food and TONS of laughs! God gave us a beautiful Ohio Fall night to walk down the streets of German Village and talk and get lost and get found again.

The guys really got into it - such a touching picture with really great memories!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

crossroads artists group

We launched the artist groups fall session last night by touring the Carousel Works - what an amazing creative place! Each time I see it I am surprised it is right here in Mansfield. It is the WORLDS largest manufacturer of wooden carousels! Currently they are restoring the old Geauga lake carousel ( the pictures of the cherubs and large group of horses are from Geauga Lake) they are working on a LA carousel and they are receiving a couple items at a time from the Central Park carousel in New York! They also build brand new carousels - they do the ones on the cruise ships as well! So beautiful!

This Fall our group is visiting each members home or place of employment to become more familiar with how they spend their days or their creative time! So much fun! Our visit in a couple of weeks will be to one of our members homes where he is doing creative work with cement.

This is such a great way to really get to know one another and fellowship at the same time!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I love this quote

I have found this quote to be SO true - the more 'entertainment' you give the more the community comes back wanting. Oversimplifying the gospel takes all personal thought and wrestling out of spiritual maturity.

I love this quote: C.H. Spurgeon said “If you have to give a carnival to get people to come to church, then you will have to keep giving carnivals to keep them coming back.”

We have discovered this at Crossroads. You have to ask - are people coming desiring ever increasing closeness with the Lord or just to be spoon fed and enjoy themselves with easy listening and over-explained programing elements??

I will NEVER stop trying to communicate in creative excellent ways, but, not so much so that it requires no commitment on the part of the congregation. Jesus asked men to follow Him, and it never meant just for that day - or come watch the exciting 'miracle' parts of ministry and then just go back home...He meant FOLLOW ME. (period)

what I learned today

A goal: do not be considered simple or naive! Can you imagine being described that way?

I am currently still 'writing out' the Proverbs day by day. On the right side of the open pages you write the passage on the left side you list whatever they are asking...the current assignment is to list every passage and the attributes of the 'simple' or 'naive' in the passage of Proverbs I am currently in...rough descriptions of these people. I do not want the passage to refer to me!

I remind myself - this is a choice! Obedience or trying life on my own.

The people described in this passage did NOT fear the Lord (big mistake), they were satisfied with their own choices, rejected counsel and were described as simple minded. Nasty!

This passage reminded me clearly to place my trust in Him alone, My earthly agenda though temporarily successful - will ultimately lead me to dread, calamity and anguish as described in this passage. It's amazing how you can sit on this side of faith in Christ and just watch as the world invests day after day in temporary, OH SO temporary things.

I praise Him for choosing me and then for giving us His Word - read by generation after generation and still immediately applicable to our lives today - so amazing!

Monday, October 11, 2010

my day off

Two weeks in a row it has finally felt like Monday was a day off - a welcomed rest.

As I was praying today I remember several friends and people that I know from past years that are really suffering. One will begin cancer treatment this week and another family and ministry is reeling from the loss of Pastor Todd Scoles, associate pastor at Marysville Grace Brethren Church. He was hit while riding his bike, so at just 48 years of age Todd has gone home to be with the Lord.

It is always so shocking when we lose young men unexpectedly! Please pray for Marysville and for Todd's family.

With this perspective in mind - I just couldn't treat my day carelessly. So I pray in God's eyes it was a day that counted - a day not used perfectly perhaps, still it was a day of rest and preparation for the rest of the week.

As I finish writing I pray to keep a 'life is short' focus - these are not days to be wasted and certainly not spent involved in any form of sin. Pure before Him - just like His magnificent creation...this is my prayer.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

dreaming differently

"Dream as if you were not limited by money" was the charge we recently received as Director's facing the task of budgeting for 2011. Even the word budgeting suggests limitations. So how much dreaming should we do? Will it be discouraging if our dreams are not realized?

Actually, our dreams are seldom realized - but, that shouldn't stop us! If their were no dreamers nothing would ever change. The new would soon become old and 'good enough' would be our mantra.

Dreamers imagine what could be, what would be inspiring to others and often come closer to what we really need than the logical people that constantly aim them back toward reality.

So tonight I dreamed of what could be - after all our God is certainly capable of the unimaginable and I would guess enjoys the creativity and longing of the dreamers. the midst of dreaming I pray for His guidance and for only His will in all that might be in 2011!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

our staff are rockstars

I love the staff I get to work with - I should say the friends I get to work with! Today we went out to eat to celebrate 2 birthdays - so fun!

As we left of course there HAD to be an oh so friendly competition...the youth guys won!

I count it a privilege to work side by side with all my friends!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

what I learned today

I have been thinking a lot about the Apostle Paul this week, ever since Pastor Tim taught us about him last weekend.

He was possibly Christianities' number 1 enemy for a while. The Christians spoke out against the laws that Paul and the Pharisees wrapped their lives around and considered it blasphemy. So Paul sought them out!

He thought he was right. He believed with all of his might that the Pharisees and all their rules were the Godly, talk about being dead wrong. And so he sinned against the God he thought he was serving. He arranged for people like Stephen to be killed - he ruled with an iron fist.

Then he met Jesus, the Son of God. His world was rocked!

God's forgiveness was immediate. Still Paul's guilt and the realization of what he had done to so many innocent people had to make him question if he could be forgiven. I wonder how long he wrestled with the replays over and over in his head of all the atrocities and murders he had orchestrated before he surrendered the guilt. Maybe forgiving yourself is step one in understanding and fully participating in God's grace - easier said then done. I am not sure I could have ever fully put all of it behind me...but Paul fully understood the mercy God was offering and had no hesitation in moving into God's forgiveness.

From the time of his conversion on, all Paul thought about was Jesus. Every day for the rest of his life he urgently sought to know his Lord more deeply - obey more completely and tell everyone that came within shouting distance of God's mercy and forgiveness. And in doing so he became the target of the Pharisees and those that would not believe in his Jesus. Incredible.

Monday, October 4, 2010

my day off

Today was such a blessing. Amazed once again how much can actually be accomplished with a full day at home! We cleaned, sorted, scrubbed and swept. It's never finished of course - but we gained quite a foothold!

The thing that helps me accomplish the most is when I am willing to throw old things away. Why do we think we need SO much? We pulled old clothes from closets preparing them to be dropped off - old worthless costume jewelry in the trash and now tackling the last pile of papers from the table.

The pace at which I live often makes my house feel only like a place to sleep. Today it felt like home - clean, organized with competing smells of Clorox and homemade vegetable soup and brewing tea. I breathed it all in and a deep thankfulness for God's goodness and provision filled me.

As the day moved toward darkness I took this picture of the fading day as it fought for attention one last time with brilliant pink streaks announcing the end to our day off...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

weekend report

Another blessed weekend at Crossroads!

our setlist:

Opening Instrumental: The Game Of Love
Announcements: Bill Hill
Praise: Shout To The King - Milo Sgambellone (our worship leader)
Praise: Our God - Tomlin
You Are Good - Gateway
Praise: How Great Thou Art - Sublime
Message: I Corinthians : Imitate Me - Tim Armstrong
Closing Song: How Great Thou Art

You can watch our services live every weekend - Saturday at 7:00; Sundays at 9:30 and 11:00 at - you can also watch our services on Monday!

To see what other ministries used in their services go to