Monday, July 29, 2013

weekend report

For those of you who faithfully read my blog, I apologize for the lack of writing!  It hasn't been due to a lack of activity, that's for sure!

We relocated our son and daughter-in-law to Mansfield, into our daughter and son-in-law's home at the same time they're trying to empty their home to go to Cambodia for the next year.  Our lives have been CHAOS with an amazing purpose, and today it's my turn to begin packing!

Despite our chaos, it was a really great weekend at Crossroads and I wanted to share with you about all the things God is doing at our ministry!

We kicked it off with our annual Run4Hope - 5K/bike ride to raise money for our precious rescued orphans in Cambodia!  Although it rained it didn't dampen spirits as all ran to help a worthy cause!

Blessed by our praise and worship team!

A prayer of blessing and protection for our 1st Crossroads missionaries

New volunteers joining our team!  A true blessing!
Our setlist:

You Alone (We Praise) - Ocean's Edge School of Music
Alive In You - Hillsong Live
Be Lifted Higher - Gateway
In Christ Alone - Stanfill
Our God  - Tomlin
Pastoral Prayer - Pastor Tim
Message:  The Church Pt. 3  - Pastor Tim Armstrong
Exit Song:  You Alone

Monday, July 22, 2013

my day off

I LOVE my day off - just took care of a few work-related details and now I'm of my very favorite things to do!

This little guy caught my eye on the side of my house...he is God's little garbage man!

The God of the universe knew in His connected - dependent on one another - creation that there needed to be this ugly creature!

Here is why God created them -
In a nutshell, slugs are good for eating things; they eat all kinds of stuff, and some can eat more than their weight every day. (so can I)  Among the foods slugs consume are animal feces, carrion, centipedes, fungi, algae, insects, worms, lichen, green plants, and even other slugs.

While they look all mushy and soft, slugs have some pretty impressive weapons to help them eat, these weapons including a sharp jaw and mouth, and a radula inside the mouth. The radula is like a ribbon with thousands of teeth.


So if I could describe my day so far - I would say I'm trying to be very observant - and not miss the simple things around me instead of charging along full-speed-ahead!  I could get used to this!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

weekend report

some of our elementary kids worshiping
Perhaps nothing is more moving than a communion service.  This weekend was no exception!

It was a blessing to be in the House of the Lord and to see several areas worshiping at the same time!

Out setlist:

Opening announcements/welcome

Bless The Lord - Anderson
Nothing Ever (Could Separate Us) - Citizen Way
Strong God - Desperation Band
Stay Amazed - Gateway
Pastoral prayer
Message:  The Church Pt. 2 - Tim Armstrong
Cornerstone - Hillsong Live

To watch our services online go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to

Our beautiful communion

flowers straight from Jackie's garden - beautiful!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Church - as supporter

Never in my life as a church attendee have I felt the kind of support I feel from Crossroads.

Recently God presented our daughter Jocelyn and her husband Aaron with the opportunity to go to Cambodia for a full year.

Immediately Crossroads' congregation began giving toward the $22,000 that was required.  And as usual when there's a need they met this need in a matter of weeks.  Also involved in the preparation was a need for musical instruments that would allow them to give the rescued children music lessons.There have been additional funds given toward that need as well.

Never have I ever been associated with a more generous church.

Our congregation is generous in other ways as well.

They forgive and they move forward.  They embrace new.

As we send our daughter and son-in-law out, Crossroads leaders decided to bring our son and daughter-in-law in.  He replaces a much loved young leader who is no longer at Crossroads.

I have heard many conversations regarding the release of this young man.  Some were spoken out of hurt at the loss of a friend.  I saw ugly words written to staff in charge and heard youth declare they would never follow anyone new.  This was hard.

And when the person coming into replace is your own son it is personal.

I realize it would not have mattered who the incoming person was - students experienced loss and that always hurts.

Finally, over the last week or two I have heard breakthrough conversations regarding forgiving and trusting leadership and being kind to those in charge.  This makes me hopeful.

Last night as the student ministry kicked off the new format for Wednesday nights, I had the privilege of sharing with the students 'why we have the rules we have' when you are up front serving.  I looked into their eyes as I spoke and almost became overwhelmed with passion to do everything within my power to contribute in some way to help move them quickly through any remaining sense of loss.

The support Crossroads has given to our family is something I can never express enough thanks for.  I love you all and count it the most high privilege to serve at Crossroads and do life in The Church!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

what I learned today

“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”— Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.—Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith.

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”—But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

The Crossroads daily reading,  cccwired , caught my attention in several of the verses this morning.

If I had to choose the thing I am the worst at (tough choice...), it would be worrying.  I'm a control freak and often forget, very little is actually controllable by me.  When I see in the context of scripture that He cares for Me and He wants me to just totally cast everything on Him, I'm so ashamed that I worry.

What a slap in His face!  I realize my perspective regarding God is SO limited regarding who and what God is that I don't have a clear picture of how completely in charge He is over the world and over my life. 

This morning yet again, I gladly release the price my body pays for taking on worry over things I can never control to Him.  And maybe that's all my feeble human body can do, begin each morning mindful that it's a trap of our enemy to worry.  Any minute I waste in worry - is a precious moment  lost that could have been focused on His will, helping someone or studying...

And then the second verse above...   terrifying....

Do I call Him Lord and just continue to hear the Word proclaimed as I have nearly every single weekend of my 55 years, and walk away not applying it to my life.  Not letting God's commands change and mold me to be more like Him?

How privileged we are to hear the Word of God expository-ally  taught and explained so it is immediately applicable to our lives through His spirit!!

This morning I have heard, I have stopped worrying and I have applied.  Now to walk steadfastly focused on the day the Lord has given being totally mindful of Him knowing I won't walk perfectly, but at least intentionally... and He knows my heart's desire is to be more like Him...  this is what I learned today.

Monday, July 15, 2013

my day off

A true day off!  (Well except a few emails about details that needed to be taken care of today or tomorrow ....)  But, that's behind me now and I'm praising Him from my favorite spot on earth!

Reflections on the week behind me force my mind toward praise...

Never, NEVER in the history of Crossroads have I heard such stories of spiritual awakening and even some brand new decisions for Christ from our Student Ministries!  Story after Story is trickling back through different friends about decisions and connections their students made on the mission trip this past week.

I must be honest...when my kids were in our youth group we were going through some rough leadership trouble and neither of my kids wanted to attend the youth group.  And now, 8 or 9 years later God has allowed them to be a small part of the healing and the re-awakening!  This takes my breath away!

I am telling you - DON'T GIVE UP - even if you think something is impossible - to the Lord a decade is as a moment and IN HIS TIMING things will be revealed and healed!  Usually not in the time we think it should happen or the way we assume it will happen.  But when it's time - your soul will marvel at the way HE chooses to reveal himself.

You can see many pictures and read a little about their mission trip by getting on Crossroads' Facebook page .

Other praises left lingering from this God-filled week include new volunteers within my department that I didn't even realize I needed.  People that love the Lord stepping forward to give their lives in service to make the ministry more excellent and more God filled.  Pastor Tim was talking about serving this weekend - when you're created with gifts and talents to serve in a specific area, your service increases the efficiency of everything else around you.  If you selfishly get involved in only secular things it's as if there is a missing 'cog' in the church - a part that is desperately needed!

Isn't it completely overwhelming to realize and believe that God created you to fulfill something in The Church that ONLY you can do?

Finally my praise includes DEEP - humble thankfulness for friends and family that surround me.

I had several parties to attend this week as well as family get-togethers before Jocelyn and Aaron leave for Cambodia, and in my busyness I often forget the amazing GOD-FILLED blanket of believers that surround us as a family.  Tears stream down my face in gratitude to my KING AND SAVIOR.  I truly feel blessed beyond words and it's with gratitude for another day that I lay this morning at His feet - because it's only when HE fills it that it has value and eternal significance.

Psalm 136:1-3, ESV
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever;

Sunday, July 14, 2013

weekend report

We had a great weekend once again at Crossroads!

Our setlist:

Here For You - Matt Redman
How Great Thou Art
The Same Love - Paul Baloche
Finish Your Work - Sgambellone
As We Pray - Gateway
Pastoral Prayer - Tim Armstrong
Message:  The Church Pt. 1- Tim Armstrong
Exit song:  As We Pray

To watch our services go to

To see what other ministries used in their services this weekend - go to

Thursday, July 11, 2013


volunteer: A person who freely offers to undertake a task.

I grew up in a church, so I've always volunteered in a variety of ways.

As a child our family cleaned the church and did all the yard work.

As a young married couple we voluntarily lead the youth group and a traveling young married's worship team.

By the time we had kids, we were ready to begin to volunteer in whatever age group they happened to be in at the time.  (It didn't take long for me to see this was NOT my gifted area!)

As so we moved on to the Board of Trustees, Sunday School leaders, my hubby to the Elder board and the rest is history.

Despite the volunteer heavy upbringing I had - I never expected others to serve.  Just because I had been taught to didn't mean others were, so it didn't upset me when they didn't, although I knew they were sacrificing a HUGE blessing.

But these past 17 years at Crossroads - I think I've seen the most unbelievable things, behind the stage not on it.  The quiet people that serve and don't care if anyone ever knows... I find them fascinating!!  Maybe that's why my favorite Bible stories have always been the ones about the under-dogs, the unexpected heroes!!

Don't get me wrong - my whole position on staff revolves around the up-front ministries and the amazing Godly people that are gifted to serve there.  I adore them!

But, that volunteer that no one knows about - they're very special too.  They volunteer out of obedience and don't need to be checked up on, they're faithful and honest and just as important as the most well-known among us!  And Crossroads is what it is today largely due the the tremendous volunteers we have cleaning, and greeting, and making sure we're secure, and providing child-care/teaching, and parking even in the winter and making coffee, and singing and running tech areas and helping in the office during the week...I could go on and on but I'll just say this...

Those of you who volunteer at Crossroads and serve with a joyful heart - will share in the eternal reward and celebration of every soul that comes to know Christ as a result of stepping through our doors!!

Thank you - I love you all!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

being a parent

Eric, Alyssa and Garra

Alyssa and Jocelyn

Aaron and Jocelyn being interviewed by tv station

Eric and Jocelyn working on Student Ministry stuff

Jocelyn testing out the Crossroads vintage accordian

I could not be more proud of my kids - though not perfect they are amazing.

And now on top of the two of them,  you add their spouses - who are straight from God-  and I'm completely swept up in thankfulness to Him.

As I write my son and daughter are both with the Crossroads Student Ministry Mission trip.  They are serving the Lord and they are building into Crossroads' next generation.  Breathtaking....

From time to time I get asked what the secret is to raising kids that love the Lord.  It is simply this -
they must see you love Him.

Not from time to time, not when things are going well, not when it's convenient to go to church, they must see you love Him always.  They must understand that what they believe and who they follow matters, even when they are young.

They must see He is your life and they must see that you make mistakes and are not perfect but that God forgives and longs to offer His grace.

You can talk until you are blue-in-the-face about what they should and shouldn't do, but, if they don't see a consistent Christian walk in you or someone else they look up to in their lives,  they cannot understand.  Or at the very least, it will take them longer to truly understand it.

As our daughter and her hubby prepare to leave us for a year - we believe they have been divinely chosen to go for a year serving the Lord full-time overseas.  We praise Him!

As our son and our daughter-in-law prepare to lead the next generation at Crossroads as well as introduce the next Biddle to the world, our lives could not be more blessed or more full.  In Him we rejoice and are thankful.  We praise Him!

Being a parent never ends, it just goes through many changes and it keeps you on your knees!

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Last night was not a good night - I had a seizure in my sleep...

Don't call me I'm fine and resting!

Being out-of-control is something I'm not used to.  It doesn't feel good and makes me sad.  It also gives me much more empathy toward those who suffer from on-going health issues.

This is only my second one in a year-and-a-half and it's a night time seizure which I'm VERY thankful for - many people have night time seizures and never have one during the day.  The doctor says unless they occur more often then 6 months medication is optional.  I had a ton of tests the first time which revealed nothing abnormal - my guess is it's hormonal and stress induced.  So I'm going to pursue it with a doctor that exhausts all natural treatments, diet and hormonal imbalance.  We'll see.

Today I'm just resting and asking the Lord to reveal anything I need to change in my life to live more healthy and focused, and I will obey.

At Crossroads among the staff - we always say 'there must be something big coming' when the enemy seems to be attacking or distracting us with sickness or other junk.  Several of us on staff are battling issues and health stuff right now so please pray for our Crossroads' staff - but mostly pray that God's will be done in all of us!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

freedom IS free

Funny how the world's version is completely opposite from God's....

As I was happily preparing for an amazing evening with friends and family - regardless of what the weather does, I was thanking the Lord that I was born in America and thanking Him for the ridiculous abundance in every sense of the word that I daily experience.   I was also thinking of the countless brave men and women who have given their lives and in some cases parts of their bodies and even their emotional health in the fight for my freedom.

Our freedom in America was definitely NOT free.  As I thought on these things I realized the exact opposite was true in Christ.  My freedom in Him was completely free TO ME.

He calls us to Him and all we have to do is accept Him.

He took care of the cost, mankind had to do nothing, in fact there is nothing we could do to earn our eternity.  He gives it.

Will we always enjoy such abundant freedom here?  I have no idea - it does feel like freedom is being challenged as never before, as if their's a slow leak dripping - seemingly unnoticed by most.

There should be no fear of this in Christ - prayer is what our response should be!   Today we just need to be fully focused on the privilege of another free day.  We should live thankful and serve Him on this beautiful, day that God has granted us!  I pray you'll have an amazing day of celebration!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What I learned today

I constantly read about how to improve our worship at Crossroads.

As Americans I think the majority of us hope to participate in as many fulfilling activities as possible - while being unwilling to invest in little that requires work and discipline.  I know, because it's true for me many times.

Although I understand not everyone is comfortable raising their hands and joyfully clapping and singing during the worship services - to fully engage in worship would at least produce the moving of lips I suspect.

As the leader of this department I seek to move each person in our congregation to the next level of spiritual abandonment in Christ - whatever that is for them.  It HAS to begin at home - we cannot accomplish this in a half hour worship service each weekend no matter how hard we try.

What i need to work on the most is to ensure our praise team is maturing in Christ and living a worship life outside the walls of church. If a Godly life is not pursued outside of Crossroads- hours of memorization and practice could mean little more than fulfilling a call to serve.

Will you join me on this journey of worshiping our Lord?
Gateway @ Crossroads/ July 30 at 7:00 p.m.

A rare opportunity exists on July 30 at Crossroads when the Gateway Church comes to lead us in a Night of Worship.  Will you mark your calendars and let nothing interfere with your commitment to worship with us on that Tuesday evening? 

I cannot wait to worship with all of you there!

Night of Worship - Gateway  (gateway poster and info here)

Monday, July 1, 2013

everyone is asleep

Vern was too tired to wait for me to finish!
By the time I sat down tonight to write - everyone is asleep so no one is reading!

If no one is reading is it worth writing?

Why do I write?  Is it for me or for you?  Would I write if no one read?

I started out writing just to report what was going on mostly at Crossroads.  But it's turned into more.

It has become an important way to form my thoughts into words, to make sense of things I've been thinking about, a place to discuss things that need to be figured out and a place to celebrate incredible blessings that need to be shared.

So tonight when no one is reading, it kind of just puts my day to rest.  I write this as the very last thing I'll do with the day the Lord has given me, a day I'll never have the opportunity to live again, a day that I pray brought
Him glory.

And now, I am also going to sleep.