Saturday, March 30, 2013

in darkness hides

This morning it was with great joy I woke up to sunshine!

As Vern and I headed outside, I noticed how all the grass was brightly lit and already looking a little bit more green.  All the grass however except the grass still hidden in the dark shade of the trees.

It brought to mind how evil tries to stay hidden in the darkness, clinging to the last little bit of shade, a place where no one sees.

Pastor Tim's Easter message at Crossroads speaks to all who are trying to hide the mistakes and sin they've made in their lives.  Hoping desperately that no one ever sees.

It's time to no longer hide. 

Just as the sun eventually reveals the last remaining bit of frost hidden in the darkness, so the Son of Man exposes our sin but He doesn't just reveal - He offers Himself as the sacrifice and forgiver of our sin.  Move from the darkness to the Light this Easter weekend!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

life is precious

As I read Michael Sparks obituary this morning, it was a description of a Godly man who lived for Christ but at age 43, God decided He needed him in heaven.

That's tough to understand when it seemed that Michael was so needed down here, our understanding is so limited.

Today I am with my dad down in Columbus as he has a heart procedure.  Imagine that, looking into the human heart...amazing.

If God chooses it can be a fairly simple procedure solved with stents and he'll be home for Easter.

But it sure makes you look at the incredibly short time we all have here.  A time during which if we follow the Lord carefully, obediently we can be used to affect eternity.  If we live for gain, if we abide in our own strength and goals then it's all a waste.  No amount of money, or status, or beautiful homes, or exotic vacations, or fancy job mean ANYTHING outside of His will mean nothing.

Obviously God places some of us in extraordinary positions of influence, those people have been given the ability to influence and help others.

My dad has lived one of the most consistent lives I've ever watched.  Never straying from God, never straying from our family, never straying from hard work.  He still cuts hair and visits with customers 4 out of 5 days a week in Ashland.  He also sits at a cousins chain-saw business where he talks to everyone and catches up on what's going 1 time each week.  In the midst of heart issues he's selling and moving away from his home of 46 years to move into a condo in town where everything is on one level and they are closer to everything they need.  On paper it looks logical, but it doesn't make it easy.  I am proud of them for taking steps to make the future easier on them!

Love those around you and hold them a little closer today.  And make sure you use this day for eternity not for the temporary.

Monday, March 25, 2013

my day off

I woke up today at 5:30 a.m. to be with my dad as he had a stress test at the hospital.  We won't know the results for a couple of days.  There was nowhere more important than being there.  I was in the right place.

I then went to my parents house, with my sister and her husband as my parents signed a contract to sell the house we all grew up in.  There was no where more important than being there.  I was in the right place.

Next I went to Crossroads and helped hang a couple of things that needed to be put up for Easter.  For that hour there was no where more important than being there.  I was in the right place.

Finally I came back home to make dinner and just be with my hubby and puppy.  There was no where more important then being there.  I was in the right place and I still am.

I am thankful for days off that include great medical care and families and enough to get done that a quick stop at work is needed and hubby and rest and food at home.

My day off was a day I could say that  "I was in the right place".

Sunday, March 24, 2013

weekend report

Jocelyn and Aaron leading
I am still praising for all that took place this weekend at Crossroads!

Breathtaking worship!
An unforgettable message!
Celebration in the town of Galion as our first Multi-site 'rehearsed' for the Easter Grand opening!
A Cedarville University team lead worship in our Youth Ministry and worked with our youth worship leaders in break-out workshop sessions.

So much going on that it was nearly overwhelming - overwhelming with praise!

Our setlist:
Crown Him with Many Crowns- Tomlin/Jobe
Jesus Paid It All  - Stanfill
He Came To My Rescue - Hillsong Chapel
Revelation Song - Gateway
Lay Me Down - Tomlin
Message:  The First Easter - Tim Armstrong
O The Blood - Gateway

To watch our services on Monday go to

To see what other ministries included in their services go to

if you look closely - even the camera guy was worshiping!

drum/bass workshop in youth

guitar workshop with youth

vocal workshop with youth

Friday, March 22, 2013

out on the town

Tonight my hubby and I enjoyed a luxurious night out on the town...or in the country...or whatever!

The Farmers Town Institute play was our destination.  We all know it's simply impossible to watch a play or movie without snacks. And since I know the location to which we were heading didn't sell snacks and knowing my brother and his son and various other relatives would be there, I emptied my purse and stuffed it full of snacks and off we went. 

First we visited Uncle John's Restaurant down on 'the square'.  We had heard great things about it and decided to give it a try.  I'm not sure what hubby ordered - as you can see it appears they simply piled on everything they had back in the kitchen!  I loved their salad!  We will definitely go back - if we live from overeating. 

Next we headed to the play.

The program we were handed said the "117th year" of the Institute, I wasn't sure if the yearly play had been going on for 117 years or if the institute had just been around that long.  I've been attending since I could walk - always getting a small bag of candy to take and arriving early so we could sit in the front row with all the other little kids.  Great memories!  Tonight we attended just to be with my parents.

The play didn't hold my attention but the fascination of watching a tiny community come together to create something did.  It took scenery painters, and stage hands, and actors, and people gathering door prizes.  The place was packed, they laughed and pointed and waived at people they knew and clapped loudly. At the end of the play they call out ticket numbers for door prizes - I won the very first one!  A ten dollar bill - I promptly turned to my dad and handed it to him to pay for the tickets.

It was fun to watch- and priceless to hear my dad laugh beside me.

Out on the town wasn't fancy at all.  But it was so good!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

delight in him

God’s aim in history was to “fully display his glory.”
God’s aim was that his people “delight in him with all their heart.”

--John Piper

Wow.  Powerful.  I want to know this.

Delight in God with all my heart...all my heart...ALL

How do I delight in Him with all my heart?  I need to experience this...  I need to submit to this.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

more new things

Ecclesiastes 1:9    What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Just because something is new to me, something is happening for the first thing in my life, does not make it new at all.  It's happened before, it's been experienced before, it's been created before.

What has been will be again.  

I was wondering if working just to accomplish something that someone else has already accomplished was worth the effort?  The answer is yes!

My job is to do whatever needs to be done for now, for here just one day at a time.

Recently I am experiencing all kinds of new things, new to me! I'm watching my kids, now young married adults discover new things.  I'm watching our son and daughter-in-law discover all kinds of new things related to their first baby!  I'm watching our daughter and son-in-law deciding between many options before them.  I'm watching Crossroads bust out of here and head to many new locations around our community, and it is definitely a time of more new me.

What is also true about new things - is there is no new sin that God has not already seen mankind commit.  In regard to sin - the only thing new is God's never ending mercy every day!  Why He pours out new mercy on us is something I don't understand.  I would grow tired of the same mistakes, the same bad choices and the same disregard for my instruction quickly.  But He, the God of the universe watches us sin and still He reaches down with Jesus to us in the middle of our old repeating sin.

Perhaps the only truly new thing then is God's forgiveness everyday.  How amazing!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

preparing for Easter

Preparing for Easter has been a top priority in my life for as long as I can remember.

Before Crossroads I was involved in 2 other ministries - all the way back to childhood.  In both ministries I was involved in singing, or playing keyboard, or decorating the stage or cleaning or any number of responsibilities.   I was always somehow involved in Easter preparation at the church.

As I read about  the liturgy connected to Lent or Easter  - I realized that even though I have prepared for Easter all these years, I haven't always personally prepared for Easter. cc Easter requires preparation.

My own sin required that He die.  If I had been the only one that had ever sinned, it would have required his death.  So what is my responsibility in preparing for Easter?

I feel it should be a time of purging, confessing and time of dying to my old self so the sacrifice the Lord made for us can transform us - a life that is again new in Him. 

In the middle of colored eggs, candy and baskets, choir practices and video shoots - the real preparation involves our own hearts.  Without our hearts prepared and open to Him - God's sacrifice is pointless.

Would you join me to make this Easter personal?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

weekend report

Services were awesome - all about worship and I'm not just talking about the music.  Pastor Tim taught us about worship and we worshiped!  Good to be together in the house of the Lord!

Deering sound-checking with little Matthew!

The team warming up to lead us!

Our Setlist:
Not Ashamed - Gateway
Alive In You - Hillsong
Embrace - Hart
Mighty is The Power of the Cross - Tomlin
Forever Reigns - Hillsong
Prayer/announcements - Deering Dyer
Message:  The Worship of Devotion - Pastor Tim Armstrong
Not Ashamed - Gateway

To watch our services on line go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to

Saturday, March 16, 2013

the Mag guys

I have the privilege of working with 4 amazing guys at Crossroads.  They make up the Creative Arts team at Crossroads better known as the Magnification staff.

Dan Fleming, one of our worship guys,  was the first staff member hired after Pastor Tim started the church.   Dan had Tim as a student at one time and they often joke about old times in the classroom.   Dan came to Crossroads from a long history of working with award winning school choirs!  He traveled extensively with choirs all over the county and into Canada - winning awards everywhere they went.  He is a fabulous vocal coach, superb pianist and an even better spiritual mentor.  His attention to detail and organization of our teams is a huge part of Crossroads' excellence.  He is a faithful, dependable very talented staff member.  And he is my friend.

Steve Browning is our fearless 'all things technical' leader.  Steve oversees the creation of all videos, all lighting, everything you see on our screens including the Environmental Projection that helps set the mood for our services.  He's involved in all the behind the scenes technical aspects of the ministry including assisting with the website and IT issues when needed.  When there is a job to be done I never have to worry if it will be completed.  Steve is one of the most dependable people I've ever met and his work is a key part of what sets Crossroads apart!  And he is my friend.

Milo Sgambellone, is one of our worship guys.  Milo is one of the most talented guitarists I've ever known and his voice is amazing too.  He has an impressive history of performance and has become a great worship leader.  His ability also spills over into recording - the recent Crossroads original CD project had Milo at the helm, organizing, writing and mixing the CD.  He has worked tirelessly to develop our youth group's musicians and vocalist insuring that the next generation is connected to the church.  He currently is helping to organize the worship at our multi-sites.  And he is my friend.

Arnie Clawson is the newest member of our team.  He was hired in December to oversee the Audio needs of our ministry.  For the first time in 15 years we have consistent sound in our weekend services.  An answer to prayer! Arnie brings tremendous talent to our team with an ability to not only set the stage for our bands and prepare the sound, but has extensive ability in video, IT and website related needs to name a few- basically a jack of all trades.  He has actually been a part of Crossroads forever and formerly played bass on the praise team!  We needed him desperately and are thankful for him!  And he's my friend.

These men help make Crossroads excellent and to run smoothly.  They help people use their God-given talents to build the Kingdom....I love them all and never want to work without them..I am a very fortunate girl that they are my friends and that I get to be part of this amazing team!  And my prayer for us is - that God would grant us the honor of being a part of Crossroads together until we no longer work!


Monday, March 11, 2013

my day off

Looking back over my day I wondered where the time went so quickly?

I was home this morning then went to take my mother-in-laws car to Ashland for car repairs, so I had an opportunity to eat with my parents.  We chatted over sandwiches and pie, which is a blessing I'll never grow tired of!  For those of you familiar with Ashland you'll recognize where we ate - the infamous LynWay Resturant!  A real local treasure!

My dad had us laughing as usual describing the hair cuts he attempted to give people this morning.  He talked about one gentleman who was nearly bald before my dad started cutting.  He kept asking my dad to cut closer and shorter, frustrated and afraid of scalping him completely, dad handed him the clippers and the guy continued to trim here and there.  Can you imagine??

My dad pictured here in the Ashland Times Gazette photo
surrounded by old friends and 4th grade posters from
Crestview students advertising the Play.
We talked about the fast approaching 113th Annual Farmers Town Institute Play that we will all attend in a couple of weeks.  It's a tradition out in Adario, where farmers and local actors put on a show, it's hilarious and I go nearly every year just to attend with my parents and have a few laughs.  At the end of every single performance is a drawing for door prizes during which we all wait with bated breath to see if we're chosen!! And there is not one thing given away that any of us even want - we just want to win!    This play and all the surrounding events were one of my fondest childhood memories.  Such pure innocent fun!

Growing up, there used to be a little candy store across the street to which my sister and brothers and I would take our change and buy little brown paper bags of candy to eat during the performance.  I used to be satisfied so easily.  I wish I still was.

While my hubby played with Vern, I bolted to the grocery store to take advantage of combining my coupons with some of the great Kroger sales.  Great savings!  (my life is so exciting I can hardly stand it!)

Later my hubby and I were home for a while relaxing before having a great dinner with some of our good friends.

Looking back over the day, it was largely as a day off should be!  Full of people we love mixed with great food and a little relaxing!  I am grateful, so grateful!  (And my clothes are Tide clean! )

Sunday, March 10, 2013

weekend report

We had the privilege of hosting Lumber River this weekend.  Giving our congregation a little taste of Southern Gospel!

It's always fun to meet and worship with new brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Our setlist:

Basics of Life
Rivers of Joy - Lumber River
Your Grace Still amazes me
When I cross over Jordan
10,000 Reasons
Message:  Devoted - Pastor Tim Armstrong
All My Fountains

To watch our services go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to

Have an amazing week!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

lightness to my step

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 ESV)

In my reading this morning I was challenged to have a "lightness to my step that is observable to others".  Translation - even a Silent witness.

What is different about me then the world?  Even in trials I know the outcome because I personally know the creator.  Isn't that enough to control my attitude, my outlook my confidence?  Based on me, you wouldn't think so sometimes.

This morning as I stepped outside my immediate world had exploded with activity - squirrels dove for cover, the bird feeder had been instantly emptied, and geese flew by as if on cue squawking their glee at returning for the spring.  On this golden morning it was easy to feel the presence of a creator - my walk was light.

But, when violence and sickness doesn't make sense or makes me feel helpless my lightness cannot go away, for in that time of trial my testimony to His greatness would be declared the most powerfully!  May I always remain in Him.

I have no choice but to conclude that trials are the unveiling of Him in me - the true test. if you will.  Can I see Him even in the darkness?  I pray I can so others can see Him too.

Friday, March 8, 2013

what a wonderful world

I see trees of green........ red roses too
I see em bloom..... for me and for you
And I think to myself.... what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue..... clouds of white
Bright blessed days....dark sacred nights
And I think to myself .....what a wonderful world.

The colors of a pretty the sky
Are also on the faces.....of people ..going by
I see friends shaking hands.....sayin.. how do you do
They're really sayin......i love you...

These are some of the lyrics to "What A Wonderful World".

The morning following the last snow I became almost overwhelmed with God's beauty.  I stood outside waiting on Vern, and thankfulness and praise washed over me as I thanked God for His beautiful creation.

As I prepared to leave home for the morning I remained in this praise and enjoyed all the simple privileges of warmth, and jeeps and coffee and dogs...  and this song came to mind.  What A Wonderful World.

..I wondered if most other parts of the world EVER feel this way?  In areas where their main focus is what they will eat that very day, or if their children will survive another day or if the violence will ever end...  do they EVER get to see beauty in anything?

It's easy to  live as if we here in America are the world and unconcerned for those trapped in horrible areas of circumstances .

My prayer that day was for those unable to see beauty.  My prayer that day was that God would know how much I praise Him for the detail He created that I don't take my life for granted - and how thankful I am for His provision every single day

...what a wonderful world.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

what i learned today

As I had a time of devotions this morning - this sentence really stuck out to me, probably because I become bored so easily!

A close walk with Christ is a life of continuous newness.

Nothing else in this world can offer that, nothing!  Everything else stays the same, becomes boring, becomes not enough anymore.  Worldly things give such temporary fulfillment - it's off to the next thing every day.  It takes more and more to satisfy and never ends.

Abiding in Christ is the constant that offers fulfillment, a place to be new every day.  Notice the sentence says 'a close walk with Christ' is required.  There is work and dedication required to discover all He offers us.  It's not a 'works' deal - don't misunderstand!  It's seeking an intimate relationship with Him - that's why He often compares our relationship to that of a bride and groom.  That's what I want from be intimately connected to Him.  He holds my life in His hand, yet He gives me the choice whether I partake in all He offers me or remain satisfied in a undeveloped relationship.  If I don't follow Him, obey Him and pursue Him I can still be safe in Him - but I never live experiencing the complete fulfillment and newness He offers.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD... JEREMIAH 29 : 11a

God created each of us.  If we are really, really His, then we shouldn't have a care in the world beyond obedience and using the talents He's given us in our work and with our families and communities.  He knows the plans.  I am tired of making my own plans - I only long to follow His...  To be new in Him.

He is the only one infinite enough to offer continuous newness.  Do you long to be new?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

weekend report

Pastor Wendell led us this weekend.  He has a tough job, he manages our budget and he teaches us personally how to manage a budget and he teaches us about God's budget.

We always get complaints when there is a teaching about money.  People think it's theirs.  They are very deceived .  Maybe that's where the saying "the truth hurts" came from?  I was very challenged.

Yes, I already give but look how much I still have...can I justify that before the Lord?  Will He say "Well done good and faithful servant"?  Or will He say  - "wow, you had a lot"?  Challenging.

I am proud to be part of a ministry that tells the truth and challenges us, otherwise, why bother coming? Worship was especially sweet this weekend and I totally believe it's because we were obedient as a ministry - even if some people complain.  We aren't called to proclaim the truth and we did.

Our setlist:

I Will Boast - Baloche
Alive In You - Hillsong
Pastoral Prayer - Senior Pastor Tim Armstrong
Praise the Father, Praise the Son - Tomlin
Stronger - Hillsong
The Whole Earth - Gateway
Message:  Devoted - Wendell Anderson

To watch our services on line go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to