Saturday, June 25, 2011

walked on beaches last week

Here are a few pictures of our fun.

My Mother-in-law and her long time buddy Betty (on the left) kept us laughing and my husband 'driving Miss Daisy'.
Everywhere we drove there were turtle statues!
We ate constantly, but our favorite restaurant belonged to our friend Greg Crawfis' brother - the French Quarter was outstanding!

It was great to be away - Ron and I walked 4 miles almost everyday on the beach.  And now?  I am freezing
here in Ohio!

Oh well, it was nice while it lasted!

Friday, June 24, 2011

no light

I am sitting at Crossroads with only the light this computer produces.  Our electric is off.

We all have so much work to accomplish today - this is discouraging to say the least.  At first there were a few isolated rooms where there was still light as well as the emergency lighting.  Our worship leaders, Dan and Milo, found that they could still rehearse for the weekend by going to the staff copy/coffee room!  Creative!

Now, however, the entire ministry is completely black.  

A faithful volunteer sat and talked by candlelight with me for about a half hour while we waited to see if lights would come back.  She grew tired of waiting and went out into the 'lit up' world beyond our doors.

No light always turns my mind toward the dark, dark world around us.  In fact I have grown more and more concerned about the darkness I see even in some of the lives of our believing friends and my own.

He calls us to be 'salt and light'...

... when literal darkness surrounds me I am confronted with the contrast between the dark and light, the difference is that of complete opposites.  That is the perfect demonstration of how much of a difference there should be between us, the King's children and those around us.  As different as night and day...literally!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I am back

I thought vacation meant more writing.  It didn't.

I struggled with the Internet and got kicked off so many times I finally got it through my head that maybe I was supposed to be on vacation even from writing.  So I didn't do much...

Even though I find writing to be relaxing and very important personally, it still is something that is a commitment and all ongoing commitments should be suspended for vacation I suppose.

It surprises me each time I return from being away to see how being away for just one week completely throws me off my schedule.  Blackberry or not, I feel totally discombobulated.

I am really struggling with my desire NOT to return to routine tomorrow, so we will just have to make sure it isn't just a routine!

In fact we have a great weekend waiting for us with David Barton's visit!  So let's all give it our best this week, as unto the Lord and we'll all gather together this weekend.  See you then!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

weekend report

I had to miss our Father's Day services this weekend, but I hear Deering Dyer did an amazing job with the Father's Day teaching!  Deering is our Director over Small Groups and House Churches.

And our praise team and tech teams were as excellent as always!  I am so thankful for them all!!

I won't be posting the music we used this week, but I did have the Father's Day video uploaded in which we used 3 generations to shoot our announcements.  Take a look!

To see what other ministries used in their weekend praise packages go to

To watch our services go to

I pray God blesses your coming week!

Friday, June 17, 2011

hard to recognize

Our country is becoming hard to recognize.

We are used to seeing everything easy, ridiculous wealth even among those considered needy in comparison to other countries and in relative safety.  Now people are raising up demanding to be cared for by our government, instead of caring for one another.  Even some of the sweet elderly friends I love feel 'entitled' to receive an unsustainable amount of government care.  This is frightening.

As I watch Greece rise up and strike out at anyone they think has more than they do, I wonder how far behind we can be here in the US from becoming just like them.  Not far.

Don't get me wrong, I am  not scared to die in any manner God has planned for me, but, what is troubling is that even the believers are becoming deceived, dwelling in constant fearful conversations.

I have a Greek friend whose family is still in Greece who said a month ago he sees America moving exactly in the same direction his beloved country did right before all of the violence broke out.  Tears come to his eyes as he realizes we too could be experiencing this type of violence very soon.

Friends, we should be on our knees for America, we should be the comfort those who have no hope in the Lord come running to for assurance.  This could be the greatest time in our Christian lives to be an American.

BUT, if we join in the complaining and fear then there is no difference between our faith and the hopeless around us.  There is NOTHING to fear!  God could stop this downward spiral at any time if He chose to, so we have to understand that He may allow this for America.  We should not give up praying on her behalf, but we need to seek His will - what kind of amazing opportunities will we each get as a result of potential trouble?

Now the real Christians will appear, it may not be the 'easy' to which we have become so accustomed, but it just may be a time where revival rocks the land as never before in our life time.  Remember, you were placed exactly where you are, born exactly when God planned and prepared for your life in Him - now it's time to live authentically in our troubled country!!  Charge!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


As I walked today I realized that all I was thinking about was my destination. Focused straight ahead and moving quickly!

I was paying no attention to what was going on around me as I walked. I was missing potentially important details of my day as I hurried along my way.

So I stopped.

I looked around and saw things I had not noticed before. I noticed as I began to walk again that a bird flying beside me was moving at the same speed I was due to the brisk head wind, I took his presence very personally as if God had sent him to accompany my walk. The wind was blowing so hard that the sound blocked out the normal everyday sounds and heightened my other senses. I felt the placement of my feet instead of hearing them and took notice of the brown path on which I walked. I marveled at the palette of color all around me and wondered as I have before why God cares about such detail. I remembered a friend who had asked me for prayer recently and spent time telling God about their request and I asked God to provide for a financial need.

I realized the real blessing was in the journey not the final destination. And then I understood that my destinations are often not what God chooses but are often my own end goal.

The things He really wants to show me are the lessons learned along the way. The people walking right beside me stifled by a struggle and unable to make headway because of the obstacles in their lives. I miss this because I'm too busy looking past them at my own destination. I hear all the many voices pulling me this way and that instead of letting God fill my ears so I don't miss the experiences He intended just for me this day.

A good friend of mine going through some medical difficulties is a shining reminder of looking for the today things God wants to show her, instead of the possible negative destination that could be awaiting her. 

Ironically no goal or planning can result in missing just as much as being to driven.

The conclusion I have to draw then is God wants us to rest in Him completely, put one foot of obedience in front of the next and move forward, no matter our circumstance. 

Focus today on each little detail, especially the ones you may perceive as negative and see what God wants you to learn or observe in each.  I pray your journey moves you in His direction on this blessed day -it's a very short period of time we all have to worship Him with our lives so worship!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


103:13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
   so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
14For he knows our frame;
   he remembers that we are dust.

As I read this today I was overwhelmed at the arrogance I have to question or worry about anything in my life as a child of God.

He has compassion on me as He watches me struggle to live as I should and to trust Him unconditionally - because He knows I am but dust.

I just want to love You, please You and know You Lord.

Please remove the earthly dust in my eyes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

what I learned today


I cannot believe how amazing vacation sounds.

Waves crashing -sea gulls crying - silent phone -  sleeping breath that moves in and out slowly, rhythmically, tired work-laden breath slowly dissipating into calmness that is gained in no other way than vacation. Some of my favorite sounds come as my hubby and I hike our 4 mile walks while talking non-stop.  There is much panting and struggle to talk above the waves.  (I am shamefully out of breath as we talk - must work on that!)  These sounds are what we have waited for.

Sounds sum up your day.  When home my work day sounds are computer keys clicking, videos playing, conversations of future plans, long conversations of problem solving, music playing and the never ending attempts at scaring me out of the middle of concentration into near heart stopping panic as my door suddenly is kicked or as I lift my eyes from my keyboard to see a distorted face staring at me through the small window in my door, just waiting for my reaction - frightening!

No matter what we are involved in the description of your day can be described in the sounds that you hear. 

I liked the sounds I hear today, but I don't dread at all the sounds of returning.  I feel so blessed to spend my life doing the work of Crossroads.  The sounds of corporate worship, and laughter and very LOUD talking in Town Square are sounds I miss even when on vacation!  Although, there are some sounds I would be happy never to hear again! 

I have decided my life is very full of really good sounds.  This week I am going to try to find a different praise for my God every single day.  Things I normally would not take the time to value or thank him for.  I challenge you to join me - no matter what your week will hold!

Monday, June 13, 2011

My day off

We woke up at 3:00 this morning in order to begin our vacation. That doesn't make sense - seems we should be sleeping later than usual if it's truly vacation.

As I look around me I wonder what everyone else's plans are. Business, pleasure or are they leaving something hoping to begin somewhere new. What is everyone leaving behind and what are they going to- what will meet them at their destination? Vacation, heartache, a work day, financial trouble or a waiting family? So interesting to look at everyone and try to guess what lies ahead for them today . I would love to ask them and write their stories...

I considered not bringing any electronic devices but I really wanted to be able to write.

So as we prepare to take a few days off I hope there is a little time to think, to listen and pray and consider what is next and to rest.

And to write.

Friday, June 10, 2011

summer is here

Yesterday finally felt like summer was really here as our family headed off to fish.  It was a riot - hooks nearly missing us as there was one bad cast after another.  My nephew's cast went so wrong the entire reel flew off!

Many large blue gill were hauled ashore only to be released again with a few nice sized bass being caught as well.

The worst thing of the night was the poor turtle that my sister caught!  My husband and son worked and worked to carefully remove the hook - finally resorting to cutting the end of the hook off to slide it out.

My brother in law looked a little too much like the wide mouth bass...frightening!
Laughter rang out and a great night was had by all...except the turtle.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you, if they persecuted me, they will also persecute you...  John 15: 18-20 

Today in programming we watched a video on North Korea in preparation for a future teaching concerning how we take our freedom for granted.  (both personal freedom and spiritual freedom)

The film talked about the way the soldiers identify Christians.  One way is despite the meager amount of food people have, the Christian's will always give their last bit of food to save someone else.  They immediately are thrown into a concentration camp and isolated from everyone.

The film went on talking about many other aspects of life over there, but that one fact kept coming back to me.  The question that haunted me was, "would I be identifiable as a believer"?  Would I give up my last bit of food to save someone else, probably a stranger, and most probably not a fellow believer?

I would like to think I would, but I had to be honest and say, I'm not sure...

It is widely recognized around the world that we are among the most lost because we have no clear concept of who God is, or our need of Him.  So, would I be identifiable as a child of God if I was in another country where persecution took place?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

one more step

Tonight as a family we took one more step into the next period of our lives.  We went with Eric (our son) apartment searching in the Columbus area.

Since I have never lived more that 25 minutes from where I grew up,  am not the best person to advise anyone on relocating! 

This next step for our family is not sad by any means because we love our new daughter in law and we love how happy she makes our son.

And really when you think about it all of our life is just one more step. Jesus asks us to follow Him, and that requires steps.  If we follow Him than all of our steps matter, even the ones that move us away from our children.  God designed the process and from day one our children step away from us.  Tonight we took some of those 'away' steps.

Where are your steps taking you?  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

what I learned today

This is a rather lame post in comparison to something spiritually deep that I learn, but, fun none the less!

For the first time since Easter I began to coupon again today.  It was fun!

Big spender at Meijer! Pickles for $.37, spicy mustard $1.29 for 2, Suddenly Salad $1.00 for 2, and crackers $.30.

Target - with coupons I spent $12.00 and got a $5.00 gift card.  So for the cost of 1 1/2 shampoos I got all of these items.

And then I hit Walgreens.  This took a while to figure out.  What I learned today was not to trust the websites that list 'how to' work the deals.  You also have to look at the add and read carefully.  Finally after going to my car to grab more coupons I worked out the following deal.

Each of the Gillette Items above sell for $4.99.  The razor $8.99. Get this - I got all of these items for $19.00 and got two Walgreens Bucks to spend next time equalling $15.00!  So I spent $4.00 for over $40.00 worth of products, a good day!

Some of you have been asking me about couponing - so I thought I'd just put up my day of shopping for all to see!  Now on to more serious things!

Monday, June 6, 2011

my day off

Do you ever wake up just totally overwhelmed by God?  That is how I felt this morning - like I was anxious to learn more about Him and SO thankful for Him in my life!

I thought the perfect form of expression would be found in the Psalms and I decided on Psalm 68:32-35 as my praise to Him this morning.

sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth,
Sing praises to the Lord,
To Him who rides upon the highest heavens, which are from ancient times:
Behold, He speaks forth with His voice, a mighty voice.
Ascribe strength to God;
His majesty is over Israel
And His strength is in the skies.
O God, You are awesome from Your sanctuary.
The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people.
Blessed by God!

I have been feeling very behind for a long time, there are so many good things I would like to develop and haven't been able to, which probably means I just need a few uninterrupted days to think and dream.  But today I plan to just remain in Him and not think ahead as I constantly do, instead I remain in praise and thankfulness!  A true day off!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekend report

Baptism always moves me deeply -such was the case this weekend as we baptized 10 people within our praise and worship time. These precious people were taking next steps in their spiritual walk with the Lord. I feel so blessed to be involved in these services!

Our setlist:

Opening song : Creed - Third Day
Announcement video: Jamie Koenig - our Middle School guy
BAPTISMS during worship: The More I Seek You - Gateway
Here in Your Presence - New Life
Come Thou Fount - Sublime
Revelation Song - Gateway
Message: spiritual Gifts Pt. 4 - Pastor Tim Armstrong
Exit song: Creed

To watch our baptisms and service on line go to

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

Saturday, June 4, 2011

trying to program

I have spent time over the past few days trying to prepare to lead a programming process that will prepare a worship series for later this summer.

When doing this I watch videos, read drama, look for creative readings anything that may give me even one inspiring thought or idea.

I am usually disappointed because rarely are there many elements available to purchase or watch of high quality that fit exactly what we are trying to focus on.  But I keep trying.

Something that I found over and over on several of the most reliable sites is the question "what does worship mean to you" ....and they would go through all the scenarios such as, I like this style, I like quiet, I like hymns, I like contemporary, I, I, I, I, "what does worship mean to you".  And it struck me - it makes no differences what YOU or I think it is, worship is what God thinks it is.

If we are each truly in love with our Lord, it wouldn't matter what kind of setting we were placed in, familiar songs, loud music, historic music, contemporary readings, funny drama, serious should make no difference as long as they are Biblically based and theologically correct.  We should worship Him.

"What is worship" it should be - I am in love with God and cannot wait to express that overwhelming love for Him! Whether through music, speaking, praying, working or just living - constantly increasing in love for Him.

I recently heard someone describing a conversation they had with a Christian leader in a foreign country saying he would NEVER allow his children to visit the US until they are much older. His reason was that we have too much stuff to need or worship God.  We are too satisfied, too spoiled and too self sufficient to need Him.  I really think this is why I so often feel distant from God - it's my stuff and my schedule, I don't know that it allows for me to really know Him.

I desire Him deeply and long to know Him more.

Worship is not what we think it is or should be, it's what God deserves and what He demands of our lives.  Does your daily walk worship Him? Would other people in your daily life feel you worship with your choices and everyday life?     Really?

Friday, June 3, 2011

feeling old

There are things that make me feel old.

I no longer like to ride the rides at the Cedar Point Amusement Park.

I now split meals with my husband when we go out to eat.

I switch to decaf after only 2 cups of coffee and I like naps, a lot!

They say you are as young as you feel.  I no longer like this saying.

I am in no way afraid to grow old.

I like the idea of saying anything that comes to mind, and people expect and accept it.

I look forward to wearing whatever I want regardless of season or for the matter era.

I cannot wait to stick artificial flowers in my outside pots and never pull another weed.

Anyway, time moves on BUT there is still as much to look forward to now as ever!  I have often said, I have no idea how anyone without the Lord faces the future and old age.  It would be hopeless.  But, in Him we have eternity.  An eternity with real flowers and no weeds!