Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I was thinking about the fact that all of our lives we are following.

We start out following our parents
Then follow peers
Then follow leaders we look up to
Then follow love interests
Then follow careers
Then follow spouses
Then follow temptations
Then follow rules
Then follow the desires of our hearts
Then follow doctors orders
Then follow directions
Then follow bad advice

...and the list of course never ends until we do.

The question is, where in all the following is the Lord truly ever allowed to lead?  really.

When parents, peers, leaders, love interests, careers, spouses, rules and doctors let us down?

Tonight as I had a little time to reflect, to think, I had to confess to Him I follow Him most when I need Him.  And I am very wrong to think I need Him only when there's trouble or disappointment.  

Tonight I promised to follow Him, wherever that leads.  I told Him that the day I asked Him to be my Savior and have made that promise since then many times.

Sadly though looking at my list of followings I haven't always lived as though I've meant it - and I know in my heart I've mostly lead.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

in my own strength

Every single time I set out to do anything in my own strength I run out of energy, passion and determination quickly, very quickly.

Today I've worked inside all day, a blessing to be home.  One thing I did was re-orgainze my contacts and I am now purging my email.  In my email I saw this week's prayer requests from our congregation. The staff gets them every week.  As I read down through the list I quickly become discouraged, tearful and nearly overwhelmed.  I attempted to read through this list in my own strength.  It was more then I could bear the weight of on my own.

I don't mean to make this sound overly dramatic but I felt deeply for each new person with cancer - their life completely changed with this new diagnosis.  I was in tears as I read that a friend of our congregation lost a 7 month old child this week and still others prayed for addicted children...I cannot imagine that kind of agony!

It was interesting this hit me so hard today, last night I woke in the night contemplating whether 'more' prayers matter.  Isn't that a weird thing to think about?  I know God covets our prayers and so I will always pray.  We don't have to understand everything - why some prayers are answered the way we pray and some not.  I am called to be obedient and follow after God and so I do.

I closed the prayer list after reading through it, and decided I needed to approach the thrown for strength to bear these burdens on behalf of my brothers and sisters in the Lord.  I need Him so!

I don't know if God will choose to answer their prayers the way I hope He does, but regardless, I pray and because of praying I feel myself drawn to the throne and to the only one whose strength is sufficient for all my needs...and yours.  Hard things move us toward Him, things that we cannot solve. Prayer is sometimes all we can do, and sometimes all He asks that we do.  And, when we are weak in Him, only then are we strong!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

impressive people

I was sitting on the floor with Vern, listening to the orphans worshiping on-line, the orphans that the families of Crossroads support and visit, and for some reason in this simplest of moments, I was trying to think of anyone that truly impresses me.

There are no famous people, performers or politicians that I can use the word impress with - partially because I don't trust what I see, no matter how noble they appear.  I am only impressed with a few people that I actually know.  If you don't know someone personally and spend time with them, I'm not sure  you can claim to be impressed with them.

It's in the really crappy times that someone's nobleness comes out.  Their Godliness is real.  Their testimony withstands bad things.  If there is no test of character during which they stand noble and sinless, then they cannot claim to be impressive, at least not to me.

My husband is the most consistent human being on the face of the earth.  I never have to be scared about his reaction to anything.  If he reacts strongly it is justified and never unreasonable.   I thank the Lord he is mine everyday.

Beyond him, I have a handful of friends and family I have been through bad things with, the impressive ones are still with me, still holding a significant place in my existence.  They have earned the description that God uses to describe the faithful in the Bible, "Well done good and faithful servant"...

There is no greater thing to live for than to be considered noble, and honest, and dependable, and a child of God.  Nothing else matters.  My spirit has become more and more sensitive to arrogant talk and people trying to 'talk' their way to importance.

Impressive people to me, find their significance in the Lord and their importance is measured by their consistent obedience and increasing maturity in the Savior and the knowledge of Him.  Oh how my heart longs for this world's leaders to know Him - the author of significance.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

the value of things

I LOVE auctions, or antique shows or any event/sale where the value is revealed on odd items.

I don't know why I find it so fascinating.  I love it when someone finds out an old item they have is very valuable.  Normally it is an item that someone else discarded or thought worthless.

Worthless, is there really such a thing?

Maybe I just like to see things appreciated for what they are.

It reminds me of the way God views me - He sees what is really there, good or bad.  He values what others consider worthless.  He redeems.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

what I learned today

And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. And when evening came they went out of the city.

(Mark 11:15-19 ESV)

Protecting and defending the integrity of the church is something I take very seriously.  Obviously Jesus did!

I question my motives often as ideas come and I pray constantly for clarity of vision and purpose within my daily ministry.  You see it's very easy to slip into worldly ways of accomplishing what you decide needs doing.  It's much more difficult and takes tons of discipline to 'wait on the Lord' as I should.

Leading in ministry is terrifying when you consider the amount of responsibility you carry in regard to God's church.  Today's scripture reading was a great reminder about the responsibility we all bear in protecting and caring for the integrity of Crossroads- the physical church.

I assume however, it refers also to the way our lives are to be set-apart from the rest of the world.  We are called to something different than the world around us understands. We should never be surprised when the lost have no regard or understanding of this.  Our lives are the church, and our relationships are the Body - we are called to a high level of living that only Christ can help us abide in.

Today I learned again to clean and purge and live a life that is a worthy representation of Christ in each word I speak today, in each motive I follow, we are the church.

Monday, January 21, 2013

my day off

Best beginning to a day for a while = a slow wake up!  Love it.  No alarm, no hurry, no responsibilities to hurry off to - the best!

I began my at home to do's:

a few dishes
baked peanut butter cookies
 of course Vern play
organizing one of my cabinets

Within this list you see nothing that is extraordinary, and it appears nothing that will last for eternity, nothing significant.

But I wonder, could it be that these kind of moments are what we need as the foundation of significance?

organized home

I know it sets me up for accomplishment.  When I know my responsibilities are done at home I willingly turn my attention to more difficult outside projects.  Things that aren't so simple.

It's been a really good, really simple, really satisfying day off!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

weekend report

Our teams bless us with excellent worship leading!
This weekend has been awesome!  Very, very participatory worship - great energy and excitement in the auditorium!  Solid teaching by Deering!  But as I left the auditorium I decided to walk through our children's department.  It caused me to continue to worship.

pictured here:  Tammy, Streeter, Tom & Darin
Each of us that attend Crossroads only walk into the areas that directly affect us.  The Childless may stop in our amazing coffee shop, or go directly to the auditorium.  Those with children practically RUN to the children's area, (not exactly sure if it's because they are trying to keep pace with their anxious children or because they are so excited to get to worship without the children for a few minutes!)  Still some choose to watch the service while fellowshipping in what we call our Town Square, regardless, it's a thing of beauty to watch!

Here are a couple shots/video of the ministry running on all cylinders!

Nursery children ready for a ride!

So many youth I couldn't fit them all in the picture!

Our setlist:
The Only One - Tomlin
Pastoral Prayer:  Mike Mahek - Shelby House Church Pastor
Praises To Our King - Sgambellone (a Crossroads original!)
10,000 Reasons - Redman
The Stand - Passion
Announcements:  Coffee House interview
Message:  The Samson Protocol - Deering Dyer
Exit Song:  The Whole Earth - Gateway

To watch our services on line go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to

Have a blessed week!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

deeply thankful

I suppose whatever you're surrounded by, whatever you have access to constantly, whomever you see and talk to all the time - you at some point take for granted.

I've recently become more and more thankful for the dedication of the volunteers in the Magnification Department of Crossroads.  They include musicians, vocalists, artists, actors, announcement guys/gals, communion team and all the technical volunteers on cameras, technical IT, video, lighting, sound, directing and on and on...

We had two musicians scheduled this weekend that had unexpected death in family and sickness and had to drop off.  Two other musicians stepped up and played like they had practicing for weeks!

WE ARE BLESSED with an amazingly HIGH level of talent on the stage and behind the scenes both!  My goal is to never take that for granted and to always appreciate our volunteers!  I always appreciate their work , I just don't always say it - so I'm going to try to say it more!  And to tell anyone about them that will listen!

I'm also going to praise the Lord for them and pray for them even more than I do.

I am a deeply thankful and blessed leader to serve on the Magnification Department at Crossroads!

Friday, January 18, 2013

complete abdication

Abdicate:  To release power formally

"Complete abdication to Christ is the only way to complete liberation.  "

I came across this statement today in a reading I was doing and it just really penetrated my mind and soul.  The words speak truth.
What an immature mind I have - why does it feel like I'm not free when I have to obey or follow or give up?  When instead obedience to God's truths and to what He asks of us is the ONLY place of true freedom.  The only place.  Obedience and surrender the only path to complete liberation.

I choose liberation.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

taking what they want

I talked a while back about the fact that people broke into my son and daughter-in-law's garage and took all their bicycles. 

We just got a call that our nephew who attends Case Western Reserve and lives close to the campus, just experienced an attempted 'stick-up'.  A group of young men surrounded him as he walked to the store and stuck a gun in his back demanding his money.

He calmly turned around to face the 'gun-man' who was very young and simultaneously dialed 911 on the phone in his pocket.  As he talked to the 'gun-man' he could see it was a pellet gun, as the train came by the boys scattered.  The Lord was good to our nephew, very very good.

Why do people just think they can take what they want? 

It's only in relationship with Jesus that we see our responsibility to one another and make any attempt to live obediently.  Without Him - without purpose and an understanding of His will,  I guess it's truly not surprising that many just take what they want.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

my favorite artists

My favorite artists just all happen to go to Crossroads!

We have amazingly talented artists at Crossroads!  We meet monthly at The Coffee House and we are currently involved in several projects.

One is called the Sketchbook project - you can check it out here sketchbook project.  This project is an opportunity for all of us to create a small thematic sketchbook that will be added to a sketchbook library that now contains over 22,000 sketchbooks!  And, they are bringing the portable sketchbook library to Columbus this year so we can go see some of them.  A great community building activity for our group.

Our biggest event this year may be on February 22 when we host an Art Silent Auction at Crossroads to raise money for The New Store, one of our local mission partners.  It will be a night for our artists to shine!  I hope you all will come!

It's one of my greatest honors, to be involved with these talented artists!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

weekend report

The newly re-organized Youth Worship area!

We once again were blessed by an awesome worship team and our pastor leading us this weekend.  God is good, first time commitments, expository teaching from The Word and time spent as the Body of Christ in prayer!  So good!

While we were worshiping in the main auditorium, our newly re-configured youth room worshiped!!

Our setlist:

God and King - Gateway
Lay Me Down - Passion
Forever Reign - Hillsong
Pastoral Prayer - Pastor Tim
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus - Hillsong Live
Jesus Paid It All - Passion
Message:  Shattered  - Senior Pastor Tim Armstrong
Closing Song:  Our God during Elder/House Church Pastoral Prayer with congregation

To watch our services go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to

Saturday, January 12, 2013

starting out

It is so weird to often be the most experienced one in a group or ministry setting.  That carries with it a great deal of responsibility.

Despite my age, I find myself very interested in things or people that are just starting out.

These are the 'starting out' things and people that surround me currently:

1.  puppies = training
2.  young married couples = mentoring
3.  new ministry families = getting to know one another
4.  new ministry opportunities = preparing brand-new ideas and strategies
5.  learning = diligently reading to stay current and learn as much as I can about leading/personal
6.  new staff = balancing giving space allowing them to create their own way with necessary
                        boundaries of accomplishments required
7.  new creative ways of raising funds = special events and Missional opportunities
8.  endless possibilities for new groups = recruiting new leaders to help shepherd special focus groups

My energy soars when given new challenges and opportunities.  I don't think it's because I can't admit my age - I just love being part of anything that is just 'starting out'!

Do new challenges energize you or weigh you down?  Leave a comment to further discuss!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


The Bible talks about how adversity and trials lead to maturity and a deeper understanding and trust in the Lord.

Trials also offer others an opportunity to pour into your life like no other time.

I find that when everything is going well I don't need anyones' help or care, or at least I don't think I do.  But the moment something goes wrong or I become weak - I need others around me to be strong and I need their help.

This may be why one of the greatest opportunities in ministry to serve is when there is illness or the loss of a loved one.  These difficult times make people extremely willing to 'let you in'...deeply in.

My hubby is the primary person on staff to organize and conduct funerals.  When I can, I go with him.  I understand now why it's so rewarding to assist people in this time of loss.  They are receptive, attentive and very interested in the Lord and in any reassurance you can give them regarding their loved ones final destination.  They need you.

I suppose since my main responsibilities are usually in a large service or event setting, these small intimate settings offer a more immediate response to our work.  You know where you stand, what you've accomplished and that it mattered that you were there.  Trials bring people close, and they never forget that you cared enough to be there and to help.

It is obviously never my desire for someone to experience loss, but I do thank God that my husband and I can share such a deep experience in others' lives.  That we can try to be the hands of the Lord when someone needs that kind of support....What a privilege.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I love saving money, using repurposed items, thrifting - about anything to do with saving!

Tonight I am reorganizing my coupons, something I've been putting off for a long time!  It just about kills me to go to the store for something I need and have to pay full price, so I'm committing to getting back into careful planning and preparing well!

This plan can be applied across my entire life, preparing well, for work for study for play.

Can I stick to it, I'm not sure but if desire counted for anything then I've got it licked.

How cool would it be to spend each day offering our best because we prepared really well?  I would love it if I could be remembered as someone who prepared well!   My 2013 goal...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

the last thing

I wonder if God accepts our worship if it is the last thing in our day?

Somehow this day off, this wonderfully long day of laundry and tug-o-war with Vern and cleaning and working out and cooking got away from me.  Although most of my to-do list was accomplished I realized a few minutes ago that I haven't spent anytime worshipping in study or prayer.

So late at night, after I get everything else done and I read His words and pray do they mean as much as putting Him first thing in my day?   I cannot say anything that I do this late at night would be my best.

So, can God be honored when He is the last thing?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

sitting by fire

One of my favorite places  to sit is by a fire.

Right now I'm in The Coffee House at Crossroads sitting by their fire place - one of my favorite locations in the whole world!  Seriously!

In the summer I love to sit by a campfire.

What is it about fire?

It allows me to dream, to think, to be satisfied to be completely still.  It's warm and beautiful.

I wonder then why it's fire that describes hell.

All consuming - never ending - intense - hot.  Alone and separated for all eternity from good - from Almightily God - from satisfaction - continuously experiencing eternal dissatisfaction and agony and complete isolation.

I cannot imagine - I don't want to imagine, especially thinking that anyone I know will be lost for all eternity.  Horrible.

My pause by the fire has turned from enjoyment to examination and asking the Lord who it is that He needs me to pursue, to invite into a God filled - forever rejoicing - endless worship existence ?

Who Lord?