Sunday, April 28, 2013


I've been away the past few days at a music festival in North Carolina. It's been good to be away!

I'm not trying to get away from anything in particular - just a time of 'away'.

We all need 'away', and my away is coming to an end, but the time off was good, so good! It was a time not to plan, not to decide, not to think - instead I got to just listen - eat and discover the history of a whole genre of music that I have never known before. I walked around discovering new bands and watching artists work all while enjoying food that isn't good for me and hanging out with my hubby and friends!

My next away comes for a few days in June and I look forward it already. For now I head home and can be thankful for this short away...

What 'aways' do you all have planned?

Thursday, April 25, 2013


It feels like I spend every minute of every day preparing.

Preparing myself for the day - shower, fresh clothes and LOTS of makeup.
Prepare to learn something - study.
Preparing laundry so we have something to wear.
Preparing food so that we can eat.
Preparing the dog so that we can spend the day away.
Preparing smoothies so we get the fruit and veggies we need.
Preparing emails so that needed communication can be completed.
Prepare for meetings so that I don't waste others' time.
Prepare for the weekends insuring that all the details are clearly understood by everyone.
Preparing the teams to lead our congregation in worship.
Preparing dinner to begin our night at home.
Preparing for bed.

And so it goes on and on - not sure I ever see anything end?

What a blessing to have purpose, to have something to do, to have to get up...

I am thankful today that I CAN prepare.

Monday, April 22, 2013

my day off

I stood outside this morning with Vern, and it occurred to me I could actually accomplish a lot of studying, especially the Bible while I sit outside with him.  To take the time to sit and study from God's Word is the highest form of worship I can offer Him -instead I find myself thinking of study after part of the frenzy of my day has already taken place.  Sad.

As I thought of my faith I realized whenever my faith comes to mind, it's often in a negative way.

  • I haven't spent enough time with Him - fully focused
  • The people being tortured and held against their will around the world because of their Christian faith makes me worry about WHEN we will lose our freedom to worship in USA
  • The horrible news that is delivered in such a sensational, and always negative way blasts from every TV station and radio station - bending my thinking to always assume the worst
  • In ministry we often only hear from people when there are problems or illness - causing us to dread phone calls 
  • Prayer requests in the ministry are almost always negative and often hopeless
  • terrorist activity

When did my faith become focused on only negative - earthly things?

It is tough to not get caught up in this dying sinful world of negativity, but that's not what Christ offers.

He offers the escape!  Not an escape from the illness and sin and difficulty of the earth, but He offers the only escape - a perfect eternity - a cause greater then what man can imagine.  With Him we can face the very same negative news and circumstances and talk of the peace and joy found only in Christ.  Turn our mission in life toward presenting the alternative perspective and hope.

I take a vow to turn off the negativity and remain in Him fully.  May my day off be committed to encouraging others and taking EVERY SINGLE opportunity to present the only true HOPE found in my Savior!   Have a blessed day!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

weekend report

It was such a blessing this weekend no matter which way you looked!

Teams at Mansfield and at Galion worked hard to prepare excellently in order to present the Gospel to two different locations at once!  So cool!

Our setlist:  (at both locations)

New Doxology - Gateway
Rescue - Desperation Band
One Thing Remains - Passion
The Only One - Tomlin
Not Ashamed - Gateway
Pastoral Prayer - Tim Armstrong
Message:  Come On Get Happy - Tim Armstrong
Exit Song: One Thing Remains

To watch our services on Monday go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to
Worship at Crossroads Galion

Praise team circle of prayer in Galion
Galion Tech team

Worshiping with new attendees in Galion

Galion is like the early days of Crossroads - everyone helps load and set up!

worship at Mansfield Crossroads

Mansfield camera

Friday, April 19, 2013

an enjoyable evening

I was tired today and wasn't sure I would be good company tonight for the guests coming to our house.  And then they arrived.

My hubby and I have had the privilege of spending time with a beautiful family from Mexico that attends Crossroads.  I loved this evening with them.

The Perez family moved here for the father, Sergio's job.  A couple of their children are now attending local schools - trying their hardest to really learn English and to become acclimated to our everyday life here.  Their English is still very broken and they work hard to keep up and to learn, to be accepted and to make new friends.  Their mother stays home all day with the youngest daughter and I need to do things with her during the week - I want to spend time with her!

God lead this family to Crossroads and I am so very thankful He did.

As we sat and laughed over pizza and cookies and coffee - we pulled out some of our own children's old toys and watched as a little 3 year old girl that we had trouble understanding smiled and played.  And I knew that there was no other way I would have preferred spending my night.

I am blessed beyond description.  I am introduced to precious people that our Lord loves almost weekly, a privilege I do not take for granted.

Although I was very tired, I loved my Friday evening!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

network down

Road Trip!
When we left this Sunday after the services, we left our computers behind.  There was work to be down on our network and all sorts of upgrading I guess.  What did that mean to all of us?  We really did have to take a couple days off!  Horrifying!

Fortunately for me it was my birthday so my hubby took me out of town for a day and I rather enjoyed not being attached to work or anything else computer/internet related!

But, as of now - the last few adjustments have been made and we are back up and running!  Our guys are great!

While 'down' I asked myself why I miss it when I don't write?  Can't what I have to say wait?

Of course it can wait, however, when my mind becomes fulls of words I become frustrated if I cannot put them on paper, or on screen or just plain out of my head!

In regard to my writing, I never dreamed that anyone would read more than once, I never planned for it to cross over years and continue, I thought it was perhaps just therapeutic for me.  And it is!

All that to say, I thought I would summarize the past couple of days I missed writing about and move on to gathering information, ideas and experiences to discuss for tomorrow!

My Day Off:  Monday
My hubby had hoped to take me away over-night but a gentleman passed away that specifically asked for him to do his funeral.  There was no way we could say no!

We then worked on flower beds after the funeral duties were complete - just raking and preparing no planting yet

We picked up dinner and sat and watched TV for a little while before colapsing!

What I Learned:  (my typical Tuesday writing)
I learned that birthdays CAN still be fun!

My hubby took me on a car ride to several small towns that had fun shopping and dining and we just drove slowly and talked and ate and bought a couple things.

We returned in the evening after having a great day together!

So that catches you up.  The computer is back and I'll try to start writing again daily.

AND, thanks for reading have a blessed evening!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

weekend report

Crossroads Mansfield worshiping!

Crossroads Galion worshiping!

Crossroads Galion worshiping!
Today as I directed the services at Crossroads Mansfield - our prayers for One Church - multiple locations became alive on my phone as I received shots from both locations!  GOD IS SO GOOD!

Pastor Tim spoke live at Mansfield last night and went live to Galion, our first multi-site this morning.  He described the experience as exactly like it was in the beginning days of Crossroads- and it FELT like Crossroads!  Our mission to Turn Irreligious people into fully devoted followers of Christ is now being realized in 2 locations - thanks to God's provision!

Pastor Tim said, "It was great to hear the worship package last night at Mansfield, and then hear the same package done by different worship leaders at a different location! Both were excellent"
 I couldn't be more proud of our teams!

Our setlist:
How Great Though Art - Baloche
Come Thou Fount - Sublime
From The Inside Out - Hillsong
To Live is Christ - Sgambellone
Here For You -  Redman

Message:  Come on Be Happy - The Blissful Message Series  - Pastor Tim Armstrong

To watch our services go to

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

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

what I learned today

My sunshine has returned to Ohio.  The sunshine that encourages me outside where I feel most connected to my the midst of His creation!

I'm currently reading a marriage book called, "Beyond Ordinary" that I can't put down as well as a  daily reading in "A Quiet Place". 

Beyond our personal spiritual maturity increasing, and the time with Our God that requires - our marriages take extraordinary effort. As my hubby and I celebrate 35 years of marriage this September, I'm more committed than ever before not to let it slip into easy, or auto-pilot or into assuming we're both fulfilled and living to our full potential.  Submitting and serving one another daily takes being ALL - IN.  And the challenge of marriage is to remain what you personally should be in the eyes of God, not constantly hoping for your spouse to change!

Think about that for a moment, could your marriage possibly fail if you both are committed to being as spiritually mature in the Lord individually as He desires us to be? 

I'm not suggesting that removes all conflict and trouble, but what it does do is provide the necessary maturity in Him allowing us to respond to trouble properly - as God would respond.  We lash out at one another, are dissatisfied with one another when we aren't what WE should be.  To look at ourselves with discernment and honestly, is perhaps the greatest challenge.   Start today - work on yourself and you'll be surprised how you see your relationship change.  Take care of your own shortcomings and stand before the Lord with nothing but submission and honesty.

Let's all work to make our marriage in Him one of the areas that draw others to Him - allow others to see what God intended marriage based in Him to be!

Monday, April 8, 2013

my day off

I loved my day off.

First half of the day was home reading and working on a couple of things in preparation for the work week - but at a slow easy pace.  A pace that achieved what needed to be done without any stress or hurry.  With puppy asleep in the sun and hubby nearby also catching up on his computer.  No music, no TV just silent sun beams through windows and an occasionally faint typing sound.

Then the second half of our day - I drove my parents to Columbus to see my sister and brother-in-law's amazing new church and to celebrate my sisters birthday!

We walked through their new ministry and celebrated how God miraculously moved them there!  It is SO obvious it's right where they belong.  And then we laughed and talked over food and gifts.

The simple joy of being together as a family is something I will never take for granted, and it is my favorite way to spend a day off.

Days off should all be just like today was (:

Sunday, April 7, 2013

weekend report - hands

We had another awesome weekend at Crossroads-  both locations Mansfield and Galion Ohio!

As I walked around I noticed how in every area of our ministry it was the hands that caught my attention.

There were hands of every age.

Hands reaching out to welcome those who entered our doors were the first hands I saw.

In the auditorium I saw volunteers worshiping even while they were working, this tells me that it is so much more than just doing a job! Inspiring...
Bev worshiping while running camera 1!

I then looked across the auditorium to see one of the most elderly of our attendees raising her hand in the worship of her Savior.  She never heard anyone say that only the 'young' like contemporary Christian music.  She can worship to any kind of music because she is there to truly worship - slow - fast - or somewhere in between.  I could see even from far away that her hand had crooked aged fingers and still they reached toward heaven.  Inspiring...  I love her hands. 
Aged hands worshiping still!
The navy is going to get one of our favorites

In our youth rooms I saw several hands pointing at the young man whose face was on the screen.  A face that is soon leaving our ministry for the navy. 

Then I stopped at the young children's room and
was blown away as I watched some of them lead worship with beautiful, young, innocent hands raised hi to the Savior!   Inspiring...
Kids Praise Team

Our setlist:
God's Great Dance Floor
God Be Praised
Our God
The Whole Earth
Pastoral Prayer/Announcements
Message:  Come On Get Happy: Blissful Marriage Series Pt. 1  - Senior Pastor Tim Armstrong
Exit song: God's Great Dance Floor

To watch our services on line go to

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

I am so thankful for every hand that lends itself to make Crossroads a place of welcome

Thursday, April 4, 2013

minor conflict

I don't know about you but minor conflict affects me more than major conflict.

If there is a major blow up or problem that needs to be addressed, given a little time to pray, evaluate and think things through I can usually deal with it.  Major conflict causes me to turn to Jesus immediately which is probably the very reason He allows us to go through very hard things.

But, when there is underlying nit-picking or silence between friends or gossip, I cannot rest.  I am not productive and I get completely discouraged.  Minor stuff that's constant exhausts me and I take my eyes off Jesus. 

I believe the enemy loves NOTHING more than a lack of unity in our lives.

I am spending time in prayer today specifically asking the Lord to reveal in my own life anything that is displeasing to Him.  My desire is to be very intentional in searching my heart for stubborn - controlling desires that need to change.

I pray that this day will be a day that pleases Him, a day that brings me even further into His will...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

the Coffee House

One of my favorite places is the Coffee House at Crossroads- 1188 Park Avenue West - Mansfield.

I love it because the quality of the coffee they serve is the highest and most fresh in the area, I love it because it directly supports Guatemalan farmers we personally know and I love it because I love all the people that work there!!

Last Friday they kicked off the official grand opening and now they will be open from 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.  They also added a daily sandwich to the menu along with their amazing humus plate and fabulous local sweets!

Although they don't have a drive-through, they offer "text ahead" ordering which allows your drinks to be ready when you come in.  Just text your order to 1-815-507-9226.  This is a number you'll want to add to your contacts for sure!

Here are some shots of activity at The Coffee House's ribbon cutting event last Friday- yes, you do hear a dog barking when everyone begins to clap on the video below!

Aaron and Jocelyn being interviewed by WMFD tv station

ribbon cutting

Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 1, 2013

weekend report

I don't remember a better Easter.

First of all - it was a simple proclamation of who Christ is and what He did for us.  Pastor Tim explained perfectly our need for Him and that no one has done anything that is unforgivable.  He came to forgive every hidden and every public sin.

Our first Galion, Ohio service!
Secondly - we launched our first Crossroads multi-site in Galion, Ohio.  We had a response from that community that exceeded our expectations when 450 children and adults attended our first service there!  It still takes my breath away to speak of it.  God showed up in a big way there!

On the very first day of Multi-Site almost to capacity!

Third -  we gave out 237 new believers kits (212 in Manfield, 25 in Galion)- which tells us the possibility is that there are 237 new believers who will one day share eternity with us!!!  For all of us who worked and volunteered on Easter weekend - this is why we do what we do and are highly honored that God would allow us to help in any way in the process!!!  He is Risen indeed!!

Our setlist:

Video ads ran at top of hour leading to the awesome Sermonspice video "This is Our Church"

Alive In You
Be Lifted Higher
Message:  This Changes Everything - Pastor Timothy Armstrong
Closing Song:  We Fall Down

To watch our services go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to

fellowship:  I also had fun watching people enjoy one another between our Easter services this weekend and found it really fun to take pictures of people taking pictures of their families all dressed up - this is church - fun and fellowship!!  I've posted just a couple of examples...have a blessed week!