Sunday, December 30, 2012

weekend report

Wow the weekend came quickly after Christmas - our team was REALLY struggling with the virus going around, but they pushed through and worship was so great!  Deering Dyer spoke about Gideon and we had a great weekend indeed!  Very, Very good to be in the house of the Lord!

Our setlist:

Pastor Tim did the announcements on Video for us this weekend.

God Be Praised/Our God Reigns - New Life
The Whole Earth - Gateway
More Than Amazing - Brewster
The Heart of Worship - Redman
Give Us Clean Hands - Tomlin

The Gideon Protocol: Strength From Weakness- Deering Dyer
The Whole Earth - Gateway

To watch our services go to

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

Saturday, December 29, 2012

weekend already?

I don't understand how it can be the weekend again?

ok, so we didn't realize half the wall would come off!

There has never been a month like this December has been, when I have no idea what day it is.  Probably not a good thing.  This morning I got up and started helping Jocelyn tear old tile off the walls of her kitchen.   I am now exhausted and realized it's almost time to head to Crossroads again.

I am now trying to be intentional for the next couple hours to prepare my mind and heart for worship.

My point is - we have to PREPARE to receive- to apply it to our lives.  In Frances Chan's book "Crazy Love" he says, "We've conditioned ourselves to hear messages without responding.  Sermons have become Christian entertainment.  We go to church to hear a well-developed sermon and a convicting thought.  We've trained ourselves to believe that if we're convicted, our job is done.  If you're just hearing the Word and not actually doing something with it, you're deceiving yourself."

I refuse to be deceived.  I'm anxious to give the Lord whatever portion of my life He reveals that needs to change.  In just a few hours I once again have been given the unbelievable opportunity of sitting under a pastor's teaching.  I'm ready!

Friday, December 28, 2012

sacrificial offerings

Today I was reading in Leviticus.  I try to read the Bible daily using the Daily readings that are posted on the Crossroads Facebook page,

The reading was in Leviticus and described the process of preparing and offering sacrifices to the Lord.  They were given unbelievably precise instructions from the Lord, how to do it, when to do it, what to use and what parts to burn etc.  I'm sure I would have forgotten something and done something wrong.

It made me very thankful for the simplicity that Christ's sacrifice brought to my life.  I've obviously thanked Him over and over for my salvation - but had never thought about what that physically meant to me, the time and preparation and ongoing work it relieved us of. 

He died a horribly excruciating and humiliating death and rose again - so that the need for me to continue to make sacrifices was removed forever.  Amazing.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

a special event

I've already spoken about the fact that it takes an entire team - working together cohesively to create a production like we enjoyed this past weekend.  Now I am ready to show you more of the results.  You may watch the service in it's entirety by going to click beside Last Week:  Watch Service

I am still getting feedback and tons of questions about different elements of the services, exciting when conversation continues after the lights go off!  Exactly what we hoped for - thoughtful consideration of the message and in God's timing - life change!  THAT is what we all prayed for !!

Sickness hit one team member after another.  But they pushed through!  Even tonight's rehearsal for this coming weekend got canceled until Saturday because Dan is ill. 

Everyone involved in this past weekend worked diligently  - to allow the Lord to use them and I will always be very, very grateful.  It was such an amazing experience, I am anxious to begin planning next year's soon!

Please enjoy some of the images that I will always remember as one of the greatest team efforts in Crossroads' history.  (some are taken at rehearsal, some right before the service)

Panoramic of the whole stage
Drummer Boy
One of the marching images a team member created

Our vintage accordion!

a far off shot from the sound booth - I LOVE this EP!

strings rehearsing in front of an original EP video background

My personal favorite!  The electric cello!

Bass playing under 'the' star

A shot through the mic holder!  Hi Scott!

Austin on guitar and Brian on percussion - amazing!

A hammer dulcimer that my son-in-law carried home from Cambodia!  Played by my daughter!

Chrystie's beautiful voice!

Happy to have Brian with us this year!

I couldn't help peeking through the drum cage for a shot!

Steve Feazel...just an amazing voice!

I was privileged indeed to lead this effort - bringing together amazingly talented musicians, singers and a brilliant technical team!  It was so beyond us that it was clearly God who was here - God who anointed these services and blessed those who attended. It was indeed a very special event!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Each of our Magnification team received numerous compliments for the Christmas services at Crossroads.  People who personally know each one of us, thanked us and mentioned specific details from the services that particularly spoke to them.  They would go on about our work, our creativity or talents depending on what role we played.  We then each thanked them but went on to explain that we create and execute every service as a team.  Not one of us could produce what we do without every one of us.  EVERY one of us.  I am thankful for this team, I count it a privilege to be part of this team and I pray God allows us to serve together for many, many more years.  And most of all I pray our collaborations help to lead people to the thrown of God for all of eternity.

Now I am going to give into exhaustion and say goodnight, thank you for attending our services and please have a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

what day is it?

Like many of you I'm sure, I have to keep looking at the calendar to even know what day it is!  I suspect that could mean we are all way too busy!

I have a very small space of calm this morning.  It will disappear the minute my foot lands outside my door.

I plan to use it wisely.

You may be thinking - she's about to get all spiritual on us and describe in detail her Jesus meeting of the morning.

Although I plan to move to that next, I've basically been standing here eating Chex and thinking and staring - just trying to grab a little perspective on the day and the balance of the week.

Perspective is allusive.  A loss of it throws everything out of balance and all becomes unobtainable.

Perspective:  the state of one's ideas, the facts known to one,

There are some facts only known to me right now, regarding the Christmas services, our families' plans and many, many undeveloped ideas.  The trick is to communicate my perspective on these areas so it can be moved to completion.  Therein lies the dilemma.  Ideas and dreams and plans are needed in order for anything to happen or change.  But, communicating what only you see or know, that takes work.

This is the best explanation I can think of this morning regarding where my head is right now.  Just trying to gain perspective, or at the very least - remember what day it is without looking at my phone.

Monday, December 17, 2012

night #1

Tonight is our first rehearsal and night of preparing tech support for our Christmas services.

one of our EP backgrounds

The enemy knows where and how to hit us, details overlooked, changes that don't get communicated, careless words...but God is Mighty and He is sovereign and all will be as He wills it- we just need to get through the preparations!

I haven't reached the point of anticipation yet, too buried under the details right now - but, we'll get there.  Right now I am remain in a state of prayer...covering all the staff praying for protection from illness, prayer for rest and for cooperation among the team.

The details pale in comparison to the message that must get out.I've never felt so desperate for that to happen.  The only message that can bring any shred of hope to a hopeless nation and world.

A Savior who is Christ the Lord...

May our work proclaim the message of Emmanuel so loudly that many, many people meet you Lord for the very first time!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

weekend report

A spectacular weekend indeed!  Our huge choir rocked Crossroads!  And the children's choir was great in Town Square!  So many things going on at the same time!

Our setlist:

 Prayer for victims' families in Connecticut - Senior Pastor Tim Armstrong
We lit candles for the victims and had a prayer time of remembering the families who suffered the loss of family members.  We then transitioned into worship by giving thanks for the amazing outreach we participated in this week giving gifts to the most needy children in our area.  And we worshiped, possibly as never before!

Joy To The World - Tomlin
Angels We've Heard On High - Tomlin
Emmanuel - Tomlin
How Great Is Our God - Tomlin
Joyful, Joyful - Hackett
Message:  Road to Bethlehem - Sr. Pastor Tim Armstrong
Exit Song:  How Great Is Our God

Panoramic of the team!

Scott's last regular weekend before heading to Hillsong!

To watch our services go to

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

Saturday, December 15, 2012

when evil takes lives

I woke up thanking the Lord for a wonderful nights sleep - the best I've had in weeks.  Just what I needed to get the day going.

Now however, I'm finding it's hard to begin.

 It feels wrong to organize and begin to wrap gifts for my kids right now.  Waking up thinking of such trivial things soon brought a sense of guilt as my mind recalled yesterday's tragedy.

 All I can picture are the gifts intended for the diseased that now lay forever unwrapped... so I pray

When evil takes lives, especially the lives of young children it diminishes the value of all that's normal around me as my heart aches even though I have no personal connection.

The enemy, the evil one, has not only succeeded in destroying lives forever, but has also possibly managed to remove the ability to ever celebrate the Savior's birth again for these families - maybe even turning them totally against the only true God, blaming Him for allowing this tragedy.  Evil appears to have won, but think with me about what will happen next.,,

Pray diligently for these communities  -  Churches that haven't been full in years will be this weekend and beyond.  We must pray for opportunity for the believers in that area of the country to minister to these families and help them make sense of the senseless.  Every tragedy I've ever followed closely allows you in the end to see God's hands, and what the enemy intends for evil God uses for good.  Every single time.

This didn't happen because people have guns, I read recently about a similar tragedy in Japan, where a man entered a room of small children and killed I believe almost as many with a knife.  A HIDEOUS crime.  My point, don't get distracted by what or who to blame, this evil was planned by a disturbed human being.    It would have happened no matter what he had to use in order to commit the crime.

Join me in prayer for these families all day today.


                                                                      As you wrap your gifts
                                                                                   pray for the families' with
                                                                              unwrapped gifts in Connecticut.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

creating Christmas

Tonight I stayed just a little while longer to go over a few remaining Christmas service creative details at Crossroads.  Little did I know it would be a unexpected night of deep rewarding conversation.

I had one quick technical meeting planned, but that had to wait when I ran into a friend at The Coffee House that needed to chat.  I spent time encouraging them and discussing things to come and tried to catch up since we hadn't spent much time together recently.

Next my Tech appointment arrived.  We spent time looking at the small behind-the-scenes details that we prayed would make Crossroads' Christmas weekend an extremely meaningful night and just a huge blessing to all who attend!

Finally, the best surprise of all.

Following these meetings I found myself alone in The Coffee House with my daughter, just the two of us talking until it was time to close down shop.  It's funny how you can be 'around' someone an awful lot and still not communicate as deeply as you'd like due to busyness.  An amazing ending to a busy day!

Creating Christmas always holds within it many roadblocks, usually one of our team battling illness or an unexpected difficulty, and a few disappointments of projects not coming together, but in the end all the little meetings, talks and time spent creating all come together in the Savior's hands as He accepts our work and uses it as He will.

The creative process is amazing to watch and a blessing to be a part of as we cover the services with prayerful expectations of hope returned to the hopeless and lives changed forever.

Mark your calendars for Friday - Monday, December 21 -24 @7:00 p.m.  at Crossroads

Monday, December 10, 2012

my day off

I am enjoying a morning at home where I can hear the satisfying hum of my washer and dryer indicating domestic accomplishment, at the same time I sip coffee and enjoy staring at my Christmas tree - which glows beautifully against the very grey background of a gloomy, rainy Mansfield morning.

I am sitting down ready to hammer out the last few creative details of our Christmas weekend services...Lord willing!

This past week we shot video and worked all week long on tiny details that we pray will all come together as an offering to the Lord within our services.

Here is just a peak of what's to come - pray for us to be mindful of Him in the process and that we will prepare exactly what God will use to move people's heart toward Him.  That's all we care about!

Modern meets old barn

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

stark contrasts

 I was in the process of texting my son to tell him how proud I am of him after watching his most recent video, and how I marvel at the seemingly unending talent and ability that God has blessed him with, when a text came in on my hubby's phone laying beside me.

My amazing hubby, makes a certain special needs adult young man feel he can come to him about anything.  So he very often and sometimes MANY times a day hears from this young man.  The other text message told my hubby that he was going back to the doctor.  His 'shaking' has become very bad.

It struck me what a contrast this was.

On one hand our son, a young man fully capable of doing almost anything he puts his mind to, on the other hand a young man who would give anything for an opportunity just to be fully functional and able to choose what to accomplish today.  Instead it's dictated to him, day after day, what he'll accomplish based on his current health and stability of mind.

Why does God allow this kind of contrast...I don't know.  I do believe God is sovereign and He decides what best furthers His kingdom.

Watching this special needs young man struggle sometimes just to survive, does draw me to the Lord.  It draws me in prayer and it encourages me when he succeeds - I cheer for him.  I can understand - just a little  bit more, how things that don't make sense to us fit into God's plan, and I rest in that.

Yes, it's easy for me to say, because my son is doing well and is healthy, but I've worked with special needs kids in the past and I understand even more now why they are so special.  It's their pure belief and joy in the Lord.  It's the uninhibited joy and their expression in worship that I see in our services at Crossroads.  God uses the 'least of these'.  In His eyes I suspect THEY are the closest to the heart of God - they are unquestioning.

Stark contrasts drove me to the Lord today.

Monday, December 3, 2012

my day off

Puppy.  That's my day off. Training.

I've spent more time outdoors today then I can remember doing in a very, very long time.  SOOO thankful for the temperature! interesting concept.

If you repeat something often enough - it becomes habit.  And so it begins.

However, habits can become mindless, this is good when it comes to puppy training, but not to my life.

It's funny what sometimes 'undoes' me.  This weekend the song I've sung a hundred times, so much so that the lyrics are memorized and sometimes mindless - penetrated my understanding.

Your glory shines, You teach the sun
When to bring a new day
Creation sings, God, You reign

God, You reign, God, You reign
Forever and ever, God, You reign

You part the seas, You move the mountains
With the words that You say
My song remains, God, You reign

You hold my life, You know my heart
And You call me by name
I live to say, God, You reign

The Creator of the Universe, the One who decides when the sun shines - HE holds my life...
and calls me by name!
He is mad about his bath...pouting eyes!

I can hardly read it now.  I feel Him washing over me as I type - he alone deserves every minute of my day, my thoughts, my accomplishments should be for Him only.

 OVERWHELMING gratitude pores from my eyes and soul.

Like the ashamed, pitiful eyes of my puppy when he's scolded - I too turn my mind and eyes upward begging Him to forgive me and love me and show me what I am to spend my life doing.  I really, really mean that, I don't care about anything else.  I don't.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

time to stare

My week is nearly over and I realize I've missed a couple days of being in the Word.  I knew there was no higher importance this morning than to read.

I love the fact that each morning our Daily Reading is posted on the Crossroads Facebook Page.  You can click on (listen) or just read.  They choose various passage that all support one another and even on my most busy day, I always come away with something applicable from the passages!

HOWEVER, in my easily distracted state it takes discipline to sit and soak.

What I have found is my heart is much more ready and my understanding is much more focused when I  site and stare for a while before I begin.

Today, with my Christmas tree lit and everything ready for the holidays, I just sat and thanked God for the years of blessings that each ornament represented.  I just sat and stared..

How the years have flown by...takes my breath away.    He's an extraordinary God!

Once I calmed my mind I read and instantly knew why my soul cannot survive apart from His promises.  I read the passage assuring that God only requires faith the size of a Mustard Seed.  I find that terribly encouraging.  I have that much faith even on a bad day.

I have heard several people say over the years ..."I'm just not ready yet to follow God, someday I will.  I believe in Him though...I just don't know if I have that much faith"  No one is able to 'get themselves' ready for God, He calls us - we have faith and believe.

His scripture is a lifeline - you HAVE to read to know Him.  His words renew my faith.

Today, I am full simply because I started the day staring and thinking, reading and listening.  So simple to be in Love with the Savior!

a night at home

This is the first time in 22 years that our kids did not help decorate for Christmas.  It was weird.

Regardless, tonight I FINALLY had a whole evening and night at home and so proceeded to decorate.  It was glorious.

So as our kids did their own things, my hubby took puppy upstairs with him to the tv room so I could have the basement door open, and I took my good ole time!  No one rushing me, no one caring where I put each decoration. A night I could play any music I wanted and do what I wanted.  Rare and oh so rewarding.

A simple night at home turned out to be quite extraordinary, and I am very thankful.

 I pray your Friday was great as well!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

what is my motivation

As we move closer to Christmas and I see the details starting to fall into place, I have a chance to take a step back and examine my motivation.  What drives me in this process?

To produce a quality presentation?
To be seen as creative?
To create something truly unique?
To tell the same story differently then previous years?

Is my drive to accomplish pushed by a frantic desire to reach as many unchurched people in our community as possible?  Do I even think of them as I work?

I do think of them.  But I want to do more than think.  I want to wake up at night haunted by the thought of the lost perishing - everyday driven to proclaim the name of Christ until our community knows Him!

My motivation will be to proclaim the name of Christ in every decision that's made, in every creative aspect, and in every word that's spoken.   Then will my motivation stand blameless before Almighty God!

Monday, November 26, 2012

when people take things

I don't think most people truly pay attention when someone gets robbed or taken advantage of until it happens to them.

In the past few days sometime, our son and daughter-in-law got their garage broken into.

They lost 4 bicycles and their lawn mower, and we are not yet sure what else may be missing.

Today we've spent our day off building a fence hoping to keep them from repeating the burglary.

Here is the thing.  I have to admit, when I've occasionally heard about someone in our town getting robbed it hasn't affected me much.  This time it was personal.  And it hurt.  And it costs the innocent party-  time, money and work.

This is what bothers me the most.  I found out that most people don't even report robbery when it's not in their house.  They figure no one cares and nothing will be done as a result of it.  So, not only do the innocent suffer loss, but our society just lets the criminal get away with it because they've been made to feel it's pointless and bound to happen to everyone sooner or later.

If neighbors knew one another, cared for one another and stood up to the bad guys there could be hope.

Sadly few seem willing to risk their time or the hassle to make a difference.

From now on I will pay attention when someone suffers loss, even a small one.  It will feel more personal.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

anticipating tonight

What do you get when you cross a very gifted communicator-teacher,

powerful worship,

meticulously prepared visual backgrounds and technical work,

a warm inviting coffee house offering outstanding quality drinks and Christmas gifts for your family,

a beautiful new art show,

lovingly cleaned facility done exclusively by volunteers,

mission projects that provide gifts for the most needy children in our area,

outstanding care and teaching for children and youth?


This weekend begins our new teaching series, "The Road to Bethlehem",  join us please as we prepare as a congregation to wrap our hearts and minds around The Christ Child!

Friday, November 23, 2012

really bad family pictures

It took many, many tries to get an even fairly good picture of our family during Thanksgiving.

I tried over and over and ornery family members who shall remain nameless, were just not having it.

I enjoy jokes and laughter and pranks and goofing around, but, I was really trying to get a few pictures that could possibly be used in our Christmas cards.  Not sure we accomplished that.  We did however make fun of one another and carried on quite loudly!

Here are some pictures that may provide a glimpse of the lack of cooperation I experienced so that you will feel sorry for me!
Eric blaming his squirming dog for bad pictures.

Aaron making faces unknown to wifey
Uncle Sam not cooperating

Alyssa demonstrating her reluctance to be photographed by modeling a new hairstyle.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I took the least amount of pictures ever at a holiday.  I don't know why -

I took this picture at my hubby's side of the family - such great food and fellowship!
Ron's mom hosted us all- so good!

Then off to my side of the family where, yes, we ate again.  Crazy!

We missed Eric and Alyssa and our nephew Matt.   It just gets more and more difficult to get everyone together at the same time, but it was good.

I was blessed that my dad got out of the hospital this morning and was with us today!  So thankful!
We watched the movie "Brave" and laughed together and then it was time to go home.  Another Thanksgiving over!

This is Ron and my 37th Thanksgiving together!  I hardly remember one without him.  I am blessed.

God is so good to our very good!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Crossroads' artists

Crossroads has an artist group.  They're kind of a quiet bunch.

But every once in a while they speak out, not usually with words but with the things they create.

This weekend at Crossroads the artists will speak at the Vessel Art Show.

The beginning process - painting the boards and boxes

Jen and James hanging the show in Town Square
So thankful for the wonderful talent at Crossroads!

Several of our beautiful art pieces.

The view from outside Crossroads.

Pastor Tim passed by the art show demonstrating superb balance on an Adopt A Child bicycle.

Please stop by anytime during the week when The Coffee House is open or during the weekend services and enjoy the show!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

weekend report

This Thanksgiving week is packed to the gills with things to accomplish and ending with Black little time.   We had a great reminder this weekend that it takes preparation to be Thankful - so as I go into my week I plan to build in thankful time!

It was another blessed weekend designed to help us all prepare for Thanksgiving and all the countless things we have to be thankful for!

Our setlist:

Welcome and Announcements began our service with Jamie (the middle school guy) inviting us all to stop by The Coffee House on Black Friday!  Pastor Tim wrapped up the announcements by reminding everyone what an opportunity we have to serve a needy child by participating in our annual Adopt A Child project.  Click here for announcements  

Thank You Lord - Baloche
Praise Him, Praise Him - Tommy Walker
10,000 Reasons - Redman
For Who You Are - Hillsong
Everyone (Praises) - New Life
Message:  Preparing To Give Thanks - Wendell Anderson
Ending Song:  Thank You Lord - Baloche

To watch our services on Monday, go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Many, many changes right now.

My dad will be having surgery in a week or so.  Nothing serious - praising the Lord!

My parents are beginning to consider selling their home and looking for something in town.

My daughter-in-law is interviewing for a new job.

My calendar gains new events almost hourly it seems.

The weather is inching toward coldness.

I find I reach tired much more quickly.

Constant ministry changes.

Changed several passwords today.

Changed batteries.

Changed my mind.

Changed my clothes twice since waking.

Changed my sheets today.

It goes on and on.

I believe more than I ever have, there is only one constant that doesn't change, EVERYTHING else does.

Almighty God.  The same yesterday, today and forever!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

and that's ok

Today I had a wee tiny bit of time to evaluate my responsibilities and to ask, "what can I give away"?

I identified several things and have emails and calls out recruiting.  But by in large I didn't find much.  Guess it's just the creative nature of my job.  And that's ok.

I'm not sure outside of the ministry I have much to eliminate either since I barely have time for hobbies anymore.  Funny how you wrongly think once your kids are grown you'll have time to pursue all the new things you've never done...NOT!  And that's ok.

Finally I asked myself,  if I can't find things to eliminate, why do I still spend less time with the Lord then I want to?  I decided I won't stop trying to eliminate things until that area is completely fulfilling.

And then it occurred to me, maybe my thirst for the Lord is just unquenchable...and, that's ok.

a year gone by

Tonight we finally had a chance to celebrate my son and daughter-in-law's 1 year anniversary.

A year has gone by so quickly!

They now have a house, a dog, a kitten and a Columbus church family.  This year has been good to them!

I cherish much about this past year.  Their wedding was a big part of it.

Our daughter and her husband are back in Mansfield too.  They have a house, 2 cats, and are running The Coffee House at Crossroads.  A blessing indeed!

Tonight on our way home from Columbus we were listening to the oldie "Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking into the future..."

Logically you would think it would be time keeps on ticking into the past...   But time gone by definately moves us into the future.

It's been an awesome year and with 2013 just around the corner I anxiously wait to see what God has in store for us next year!