Tuesday, February 28, 2012

what I learned today

Today I was reading about Mary in "Twelve Extraordinary women" by John MacArthur I gained a new understanding of how desperate people are to believe in something.  Why so many elevate Mary to the position of deity has always been confusing to me, so I was very interested in reading this chapter.

(The Crossroads young woman's group will be studying this chapter next Tuesday.  I love those girls and this will make for a great study!)

When a woman in one of the crowds surrounding Jesus yelled, "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts at which You nursed."    

Jesus answered, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and observe it" Luke 11:27-28

Scripture reveals her as an average young girl of common means from a peasants' town in a poor region of Israel, betrothed to a working class fiancĂ©' who earned his living as a carpenter.  

This common girl would be shocked and I suspect not happy about the way some people regard her as slightly less than God himself.  The crazy stories I have heard over the years about supposed appearances by Mary make no sense to me.  One person claimed an image of Mary was found in a toasted grilled-cheese sandwich!  Don't laugh it sold for $28,000 on ebay!  Crazy!!

Those who continue to focus on Mary instead of her God need to understand that Mary ONLY magnified and praised the one and only almighty God.

Today I learned just a little more about Mary's life and was highly encouraged to remember how humble she remained even under heaven's highest privilege.  She understood this was a divine calling and had nothing to do with her abilities or position!

Monday, February 27, 2012

weekend report

I could fill 3 pages with this 'report'.  This weekend was just so amazing it is very difficult to describe in words.

Our regular weekend services were on 'serving'.  This topic was taught so well by Pastor Tim that everyone in attendance should have left determined to investigate where God wants to use them at Crossroads and beyond.  Pastor Tim never teaches using guilty, just God anointed facts about how each of us are uniquely created with purpose and careful equipping.  How ridiculous that Almighty God would care enough about each one of us to give us such talent and purpose!

The worship was very moving and so well prepared by our team!

And the video creation of our very own 'Mayhem' character sparked interest I have not seen in our congregation connected to one of our 'announcement' peices previously.  I have NEVER had so many people come and make suggestions on what our next Mayhem commercial should be.  That is the most encouraging response I could possibly receive!  I told each one to email me their suggestions!  We do plan to use him in an ongoing manner.

shooting of Mayhem

Jimmie taking one for the team!
muffin face Jimmie

Shawn played Mayhem just a little too well!

AFTER all of this, then came our NIGHT OF WORSHIP on Sunday night....OH MY GOODNESS!!  I am surprised the walls are still standing!  In the history of Crossroads I have possibly never attended a service where I felt we received just a tiny glimpse of what worship in heaven will someday be  - anymore than last night.  EVERYONE that came, came prepared to worship and we took it straight to the throne!  I fell in love with Him all over again - it was AWESOME!!!

ok...let me compose myself, here are both set lists:

Weekend setlist:

Mayhem (recruiting )/announcements on video
After All - CrowderRevive Us Again - Big Daddy Weave
God You Reign - Gateway London
I Give You My Heart - Hillsong
Love The Lord - Brewster
START Pt. 3 - Start Serving God - Pastor Tim
Exit Song - Revive Us Again

Shawn and Milo having fun preparing for our N.O.W!!
Night of Worship Set List:

Jamie, Tammy and Josh leading us!
We began our NIght of Worship with a Cool opening of spoken word!

One Way - Hillsong United
Everyone Praises - Gateway
Our God (new arrangement) - Tomlin
Mighty To Save - Story
Came To My Rescue - Hillsong United
Although this is difficult to see, most of this section was
 our youth group up front worshipping last night!

I Need Thee Every Hour - Breland
Responsive Reading
(audience seated)
Blessings - Story
10,000 Reasons 
I Stand Amazed - Keyes
The Stand
God Be Praised/How Great Is Our God (connecting these 2 songs rocked!)
My Savior Lives

To watch our services go to www.crossroadswired.com

To see what other ministries used in their services go to www.theworshipcommunity.com

Saturday, February 25, 2012

feeling privileged

I felt highly privileged today to attend the New Hope Bears basketball game.

These men are varying ages and ability levels yet they all come together to compete against other teams from other cities.  It was a great game!

I LOVED watching people interact with these men - patiently instructing and rewarding them with hugs and 'high-fives'!  It brought back great memories from the high-school summers I served at the New Hope camps!  No dance party I have ever attended since can compete!  (OK - well the Cambodia kid's dance parties are right up there too I guess!)

Anyway I miss those days of camp sometimes.  They were so simple, and so rewarding.  I fully understand what makes these parents and coaches so willing to explore every opportunity for these amazing young men and women!

I was the privileged one today, being exposed once again to true innocence and a pure joy I rarely get to see.

Friday, February 24, 2012

we are ready

Our amazing team finished preparing tonight for our Sunday evening night of worship (7:00 p.m.).

Tonight I watched rehearsal taking care of small details, but the team was ready, I ended up spending most of my time pacing and singing!  What a blessing.

Tammy and Christine - two of our awesome team members
As I looked across the stage I saw young adults who had sacrificed their Friday night dates, parents who had sacrificed time with children and their spouses and who knows what else they gave up to be on the team.  This was their second rehearsal night so they have invested almost 6 hours preparing at the church and who knows how many hours at home learning their music.  All of this to lead us in worship Sunday night.

Austen looks puzzled about my picture taking
Caught up in worship...even during rehearsal!
Speaks for itself...a moment for fun!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

grandparents and grandkids

There is something special about the relationship between grandparents and grandkids.

  • Is it because the pressure of parenting is largely gone and they can just enjoy them?
  • Is the joy experienced in the execution of the famous 'payback' promised for years to your kids, "you kids just wait until YOU have kids and I get my hands on them - payback time!"
  • Maybe its special due to the satisfaction of realizing your own grown children actually know how to care for them?  Surprise - you were a great teacher!
Whatever the cause of this very special relationship - there is nothing like a grandchild with their grandkids.

Tonight I watched this on several levels with my parents.

On one hand they are saddened by some decisions one of their other grandkids are making right now.  We spent time reassuring them that they had done everything right with all the help they have given him and that he would have to figure it out himself.  We discussed that we need to pray the Lord will draw him back to Himself.

On the other hand I watched them interact with our daughter and it was so moving to watch.  

In those moments I was silently shouting thank-yous to the Lord for such a rich heritage.  They adore their grandchildren and the feeling is mutual.  Our kids LOVE spending time with their grandparents.  They have helped us teach our kids how to live the Christian life authentically!  There is nothing like additional loving support backing up what you are trying to teach your own children!

Tonight, with just a short drive to Ashland I got to witness this strong grandparent bond once again. 

I praise Him for creating such an ingenious 'family plan' for us to live and grow within.  God is love!

a day got away

I cannot believe I didn't write yesterday - how did a day get away?

These days feel precious...there is just something about them now.  I want them to move more slowly.

Hurry empties a soul...

Yesterday I hurried from morning until late at night and I feel like a day got away...again.

Today I covered my day with prayer and tried very hard to be fully present and attentive to His leading.  I stopped myself at least twice from going down the road of criticism when in conversation.  That is a road I walk FAR too often and I'm tired of that waste of time, that sin.

Today I caught up with my friends' ministry lives and worked hard to get work done and even look ahead.

Also I sadly discussed a nephew's struggle with my brother and watched my husband drive away to attend a relatives funeral.  Even on a day fully dedicated to the Lord it wasn't all pretty.

Spiritual discipline is the door to freedom.  If God gives me breath tomorrow I will again - cover the day with prayer and try never to lose another precious day.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I am back

Mixed emotions always accompany a return from vacation.  Such is the case today.
excited about vacation!!

We were blessed to  be away the past week and it was a refreshing time full of reading, relaxing, way too much eating and much needed time with my husband as well as a blast with our friends.

I am becoming more and more attached to our brothers and sisters in Christ.  The friends we are growing old with.  The friends we are doing life with.  The friends we take vacations with and the friends that are waiting for us when we get home.  I am more blessed then I can possibly describe.

A step away, a vacation, allows you to gain perspective on your life, dial in your focus and celebrate your blessings.

What I pray I can do is to remain in celebration, of the little moments, not big vacation moments but the everyday stuff.  Can I be thankful during a stressful day?  Do I really believe that God is in control or do I choose not to believe by taking things into my own hands?

Can I give time to friends and relationships, or will I continue to over-book my schedule unable to enjoy the people that God lines my path with?

I do have mixed emotions about returning from vacation.  It's back to one of the busiest weeks of the year for me, a real reality check, but I will do my best and remember fondly the last few days.

I believe with all my heart that God is ready to move at Crossroads in a mighty way - that is not some lightly made claim - I believe this.  Our community at Crossroads is falling more in love with the Lord and   in relationship with one another. This will change us as a ministry.  And this makes me ready to return.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Speaking out

Do you tend to sit back and keep peace? Please stop! Jesus was radical - He called people out - he called them to The Truth. Depart from the tendency toward mediocrity, we can draw the line - demand that people stop claiming the name of our precious Savior who refuse to live for Him. Living for Him has NOTHING to do with rules - it's behavior that pours out of those who deeply know their God. It does require learning and study and surrounding ourselves with great Godly mentors and friends, but the desire to mature in Him is already there somewhere deep in the soul it forms when you come to know Christ. When there is a true relationship with Him you cannot resist the pull to know more, to love more and to place everything about your life within Him. I am tired of just 'keeping peace - hoping problems will go away' - I have been weak and reluctant to name sin and I now know when I ignore sin in myself or others it allows it to increase and for the enemy to take a foothold. He will however be defeated - in God's power and in God's time. So take courage - take a stand against sin and call it what it is. Jesus gave His life to show us What is true and just and pure.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

what I learned today

Wow...where to begin!

At first I thought all I was going to learn today was how to cram as much as humanly possible into one day, then as the day got going I learned a ton!

I hurried to complete as many tasks as possible in 1 1/2 hours I had at work before leaving for an Easter video shoot.  Every time I go to a shoot, I learn something new about lighting, audio or just the placement of the seemingly most insignificant item.  Today was no different.

Next I ate an an authentic African Resturant.  I tasted goat for the first time - very similar to roast beef.  We got seated in a middle of the resturant 'family' section away from the front 'mens' area, due to the fact that I was there.  Interesting.  Wonder what would have happened if I had insisted on sitting up front?  ha ha

I was highly distracted and saddened by the stream of men placing a rug on the floor, facing a wall and continuously bowing over and over in prayer to their god.  My heart ached for them to know the only true living God!

Next I returned to Crossroads to finish a few work details, help set up for Turbo Kick and to finish preparing for the Young Woman's Bible study I have the HUGE privilege of leading.  Tonight we studied Hannah.  I had never studied her story in detail before.

She lived with her husband who she was madly in love with, but her husband also had a second wife.  This created a huge amount of tension in the home to say the least.  Especially because Hannah was unable to have children, something she longed for and prayed for without ceasing.

Finally, God gave her a son, Samuel.

I am fascinated each time I study the Old Testament.  The way these people loved the Lord.  It wasn't  theological knowledge, they truly, personally knew God.

If Hannah can love and trust God even in the midst of her husband's bigamy, what possible excuse can I have not to be fully, continuously immersed in the Word and prayer?

Hannah's story of faithfulness and continuous praise to God was inspiring to all of us girls tonight.

I learned many things today and for that I am very thankful!

Monday, February 6, 2012

my day off

  1. My day began with hubby going out for breakfast.  (perfect beginning)
  2. Stopped at church to discuss set design plans and check on a couple projects (set design is one of my favorite parts of my job)
  3. Met girlfriends to go thrifting (made some great finds and had a few laughs)
  4. Returned home with new/old treasures (I love blending contemporary with antiques!)
  5. Started laundry (I find when I keep up with laundry AND ironing - I tend to believe I have enough clothes and I don't buy more and I feel organized)
  6. Sent messages (sent info to the girls in my study group, face-booked a couple of minutes and now am writing)
Examining my day so far - have I done anything important or worthwhile or eternally significant?


  1. Keeping marriage strong by spending time together.
  2. Details at Crossroads; each have a unique and eternally significant importance.  Stopping by for a few minutes puts me ahead for the rest of the week.  Communicating with the girls I lead is obviously important as well.
  3. Investing time in my Christian girlfriends - we keep one another on the right track and hold one another accountable!
  4. Even the shopping, because I stayed within my budget was an aspect of fellowship that I enjoy very much - makes it feel like a day off.
  5. Finally... laundry.  It prepares us for the work week and helps me feel organized and 'done' at home when I have the laundry done and completely put away.  (weird I know)
I am curious to know what your day off is like!  Do you fill your day off with errands and busyness or do you get caught up at home.  Is it all about relationships or a day to be alone?

I am thankful for my day off and I will now do the ultimate 'day-off thing'...nap. Enjoy your day!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Waiting is difficult and it holds many of my closest friends in its grasp on this very day.

I have friends waiting...

to see if the Lord will continue to protect and grow a long 'prayed for' baby in the womb
to have the emptiness of being alone filled
to heal a marriage
to change a wayward son
to restore health
to meet financial needs

The Bible is filled with times when the Lord required waiting.  Within the wait bitterness can grow, or the decision to take things into our own hands can be made...

But, what could this wait become if we filled it with thankfulness recognizing the small blessings around us while waiting for the big one?  Surrendering the wait to Him?

Are you waiting too?  What it is that grips your heart and pushes you further toward complete reliance on your Lord?  Give Him the desires of your heart today and then lift your praise to Him even in the waiting.

love is not passion

Love is not passion. It is the pulse of sacrifice - Ann Voskamp
I love this quote.  It is so true.
To love anyone - whether spouse or friend or child is to sacrifice for them.  You can tell them you love them endlessly but what really speaks true love is when you give up the pursuit of your own comfort and agenda and serve the other.

There is no room for equal - we must each give more to the other.
Have you loved this way?  Completely unselfishly? Is it even possible to not be selfish?  Do you love even when their love doesn't look like what you wish it did?
I learn more about true love everyday.  
I have watched friends this year who remain in love with their Lord even with the loss of spouses.  I see them cling to the love that can only be found in Christ.  They inspire me to love more and to not take love for granted.
Love is the pulse of sacrifice.  A pulse is steady, repeating, never stopping until the day you die.  To die to self and sacrifice for another is a steady, repeating, never ending until the day you die sacrifice. 

Looking at the life of Jesus is the perfect example of love - look at his life closely, the Word of God shows us perfect love and needs to be the source of our pulse.

Friday, February 3, 2012

how much is enough

I have watched several shows tonight featuring some of the most expensive  homes in America.  Some were for sale and some had recently been redesigned for extremely wealthy clients.  These homes contain design elements and contents that I honestly didn't even know existed!  The beautiful wood and marble that had been imported from around the world easily cost more than my entire home!

One APARTMENT not home, APARTMENT reduced their price by $1,000,000 because it had been for sale for 6 months.  Can you imagine?

It made me wonder how much is enough?

Are you satisfied with what you have?  HONESTLY?

Gossip comes from being dissatisfied.  Over-shopping, and high credit card debt also screams "I'm not satisfied!"

I am sure you realize how wealthy we all are in comparison to most of the world.  So what does it take to make us happy?  Do you spend what you should be using to help others -  Missions - The local church?

I examined my own heart and my own actions...

I really do have enough. More than enough!  May our thanks pour out daily praising the Lord for His exceedingly gracious blessings!!