Thursday, August 29, 2013

iPhone blogging

Today I finally downloaded the iPhone blogger APP - no more excuses not to blog no matter what's going on!

That can be good or bad -previously if I'm busy when I come up with a concept to write about, I just write a memo and develop it later.  Now I can write immediately. Less of a thinking investment but perhaps a whole lot less forgotten ideas!

The other APP I downloaded today was one to help me memorize scripture - the plan is that it's recorded on my phone and I can practice verses anywhere I am.  Genius!  Now all I have to do is be disciplined enough to use the awesome tools I have.  

So I'm curious -what's your favorite use of the smart phone?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

weekend report

My, my, my how the days go by...

It's Sunday once again and it's been an amazing weekend already.

Pastor Tim is finishing up his 2-weekend mini series on Revelation.  As he taught last night I watched the congregation sit totally engaged at the detail he taught.  To see he personal video of the area where the battle of Armageddon will someday take place made it so much more real and understandable!

Come Lord Jesus COME!

 We shortened our worship setlist to accommodate the amount of time he needed to try to teach the whole book in just 2 weekends.

Our setlist:

Dan leading strong

Amazing Tech Team at work

I'm Not Ashamed - Hillsong

10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) - Matt Redman
Come Thou Fount - Come Thou King - Gateway
Message:  Revelation Pt. 2 - Senior Pastor Tim Armstrong
Closing Song:  Come Thou Fount

To watch our services on line on Monday, go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to  The Worship Community

Friday, August 23, 2013

hiding in my office

Tonight we are hosting the Jonathan Nelson concert at Crossroads.   In addition to Jonathan performing, there are other local and semi-local churches participating.

The sound checks have been amazing and the front doors just opened, so the preparation phase has come to an end.  Now we wait for the actual event to happen.

I am currently hiding in my office.  Door locked, blind down, ice coffee on table.

I just need to be alone for a few minutes.

I LOVE hosting events like this.  I love to problem solve, I love to make a big deal over caring for people, I love to be asked 5 questions at once, and I love to watch the chaos slowing fade away as the finished product emerges from among the mess.

Outside all the activity connected to the concert the really strange thing about today has been the other people that have stopped by Crossroads.

I happened to be standing out front when two gentlemen came from an out of town church to look at our auditorium flooring.  They recently had devastating flooding in their church and are considering the type of carpet squares that we have in their newly renovated building.  I enjoyed talking with them and helping them.

Next a pastor from a new church plant from out of town, stopped in to check out Crossroads as a possible church for his local daughter and her husband.  I had the privilege of walking him all around our building and giving him material about Crossroads.  He loved the church and said he'll be back on a Saturday and will tell his kids all about us!  I love doing this!

As I sit in the momentary silence I marvel at the God opportunities I have had today.

I have absolutely NO IDEA, how I got the privilege of overseeing these kinds of events - I love this, I'll never forget the things I got to be part of here at Crossroads, and I pray this is just the beginning of amazing relationships with other local churches and sisters and brothers in our community!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

back in the saddle

I had my first day back at work today - well, the first full day back at work since my Cambodia trip and the new baby!  I was surprisingly focused, but not well prepared.

My job does not allow you to just show up and start a new day, every day overlaps from the last.  Every weekend connects to the next, every conversation has to be remembered exactly as it took place and every event well planned out, and details gone over with a fine toothed comb.

Tough to pick up well - when you're gone for a while.  There is always that moment when you think,
is it worth being gone...

It was.

I'll review tonight, remember what needs to be done and start again tomorrow - and pray a lot!

Being back in the saddle doesn't mean you don't sometimes slip out and have to crawl back in...

that's what the stirrups are for.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What I heard today

It happened again today - this time in the hair salon I heard a girl say, "we just knew God called us to start this"...

Really? For sure?

They left their church with another couple and a staff member to start another church.   And she was so excited that they had 15 people.

Really? For sure?

It scares me how often I hear "I'm called" as the platform to start something someone wants to do.

I'm sure there have been times God has worked this way but I find little evidence in His Word of this.  I watch as people just decide their called to do something where no need exists beyond personal dissatisfaction with their current circumstance.

I understand this sounds very judgmental - I'm simply stating what I heard again today and describing the disappointment that filled my soul at the ease with which people leave things in the name of our Lord.

I think we may all perhaps be surprised some day when He reveals what 'being called' really means.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

middle of the night

Tonight has been another first.

First of all I'm still trying to get rested from our Cambodia trip - we got back Thursday night.  Just as I prepared to settle down for a great sleep - I got THE call...

Baby Biddle is on the way!

It's now 3:39 a.m. and I'm sitting in the waiting room - the birthing is progressing but is probably still a few hours away.  I've never been more excited!  We face timed with Aaron and Jocelyn, trying to include them as much as possible from thousand of miles away!

Since Eric has moved back to Mansfield, it's the most I've been around him as an adult man.  He is SO much like his father it's unbelievable!  In the birth suite I thought I was back 25 years in time as he searched through the cabinets, curious about everything, and kept us all laughing - relieving the stress of waiting.

The baby is coming....First of all - I can't wait for the first look at him!

What will he be like?  Who will he look like?  What will he sound like?  What will his favorite story be - his favorite color - his favorite toy?  When will he fall in love with Jesus?

A new life to pray for, to care for, to love.

It's the middle of the night and I've never been happier, or more thankful to my Savior!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Out of context

It's crazy how you can totally destroy the meaning of something when taken out of context!

We see this over and over on the news - they can pull one sentence they don't agree with out of a whole conversation and focus on just that.  In fact they can build an entire report around it .  That's why the news should be called ' This is My Opinion and I really don't care what the real entire story was'.... And that's why I refuse to listen to or watch the news - it's not real. Ok, maybe the weather.

And how many times have I been in conversation with someone and later hear they claimed I said something that I didn't?  This is also because they only remembered or chose to remember one part of the entire conversation.  They pulled one sentence out of context and put their spin on what I was trying to communicate.

We shouldn't be surprised at this.  Disappointed yes, but not surprised.  And IF in our mainly insignificant conversations we are disappointed - how much more so must God be disappointed when we remember that easily the most often taken 'out of context' thing in the world has to be God's own words, the Bible!

Just this morning I was reading in Psalm 121 where it says, " I will lift up mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help."

When you hear people refer to or quote this passage, it is the perfect example of scripture largely taken out of context!  Growing up I heard it taught as if it was an 'inspirational part of creation', or possibly a place that inspires worship.  You've heard of a 'mountain top experience ' connected to a positive 'break-through Christian experience'?

In the original language the context in which it's written reminds us that a mountain in Biblical times was terrifying to the Israelites!  Their mountains were full of bandits, torturous roads and extreme weather.  So when you read this passage correctly , this is no inspirational moment but instead a question to The Lord asking, " what will help me when I enter these dangerous hills, where my life is in great danger?"

Scripture read and understood in it's proper context is so much easier to understand...why do we try to make things so different then they were intended to be?  I assume to fit our own adgendas or possibly because we hurry through even our time with God.

I'm reminded again this morning to highly value the context in which things are placed, taking time to properly understand them...  and to leave them there!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Above the sun it still called a sunrise when you wake up in the plane and it looks like you're above the sun?

This morning after traveling through the night I opened my eyes to a brilliant sun filled sky - and it immediately evoked worship! Breath-taking!

Traveling this far away kind of feels like you're somewhat upside down!  It's difficult to keep things straight in your mind  and remember what day it is and where you are.  But, within the confusion I find freedom and I hope I'm ready to re-enter the pace of home.

This trip has been a blessing - I loved the team more than I can say and I feel like we got to know the house parents and children so much more.  We got to meet some needs in their homes and surprised them with gifts and promised to return as soon as we could.  

The thing I love about visiting the kids of Asia's Hope is this, it feels like a direct investment in eternity.

I'm not sure it's as easy to know you've made a difference in America.  I understand The Lord calls us to faithfully serve whether we get to see the fruits of our labor or not, but man, when you KNOW the last 2 weeks of your life FOR SURE made a difference - 

that's a blessing straight from heaven...Above the sun!


I'm forcing all our final purchases and clothes into our ever expanding suitcases to load our vans one last time.  I guess I'm ready to come home - already feeling the anxiety of projects waiting back home but covering them in prayer - determined to give them over fully to The Lord!

Coming home means new baby - concerts - college fair - Beth Moore event - worship with all my brothers and sisters in The Lord - Vern - gift giving - and cheeseburgers.

I am so thankful for this time away - for the experience of this foreign land - for having time for goodbyes with our daughter and son-in-law and for the amazing team we've traveled with!!  I am blessed! 

See ya soon!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Final good-byes

The time has come - the most difficult part of the trip for sure, good-bye... Made more difficult of course by Ron and my personal goodbyes to our own daughter and son-in-law.

Surrounded by prayer of precious friends we are ready.  Ready to release our children to these children.  There is no sadness in the leaving because of why they stay.  Yet still it is a huge release the likes of which I've never known.

My own children being used by ,God to raise up the next generation - Jocelyn and Aaron in Cambodia, and Eric and Alyssa with the youth of Crossroads back home.   This makes me eternally grateful!  The tears that fill my eyes are tears of thankfulness and worship, not sadness!

As I look around the campus I remember one of the things I see here that I love is the willingness that the kids have to help in any way they can.  And now our kids get to help them.  They pick up trash when they see it, help cook, do laundry and hang it and help those younger without being asked.  Things that make me thankful to the house parents raising and training them.  

And so we say good-bye for now, with wonderful memories, experiences, and praises to our God!  Here are today's sites.

Finally - I took a walk all alone (which is hard to do) back to see the future BB10 now under construction and prayed for the precious souls The Lord will rescue and fill the house with.  Takes my breath away to understand there are tiny ones being hand chosen by The Lord to be saved...

Thanks be to God for the privilege of being born into freedom allowing me to serve those less fortunate...and now I leave them in your hands...amen

Sunday, August 11, 2013


I can hardly believe it's Sunday already.

We began the day with worship music and dance and a teaching from Ron.  I'll tell you when those kids sang and danced to 10,000 reasons I almost lost it.  It was the most beautiful thing I've eve been part of.

After the worship service we moved on to the dedication of the sewing center.  What an awesome thing to dedicate this amazing building to training up Godly young woman how to sew and some day use these skills for their families!

We then attended a U10 soccer match between the Asia's Hope team and city of Battangbam boys.  We won - showed them how to run thru a parent tunnel and had a blast!

Brand new uniforms and shoes were provided by Grace Sports!  The boys were SO proud of their trophy.

The things I've seen today once again tell me that the staff of Asia's Hope are providing an exceptionally well rounded Godly family experience for our kids!!

Friday, August 9, 2013


So much of the success at Asia's Hope is about leadership.

The children's homes are lead by amazing house parents, the country director is Savorn and even among the kids you can see young leaders emerging.

Within these structures there's Biblical and school lessons taught by leaders, dance taught by leaders, everyday skills taught by leaders  and on and on.

I'm sitting at the youth conference right now waiting to watch Aaron and Jocelyn help lead 400+ students.  So many opportunities exist here - just waiting for leaders to come, to be prepared to grow up enough to take over...well  it's all just very exciting to watch!


Another day is drawing to an end in Battangbam.  Surrounded by laughter and dancing and children every where I found a couple of hours to be alone with my daughter.

We shopped for household goods and gifts and talked non-stop.  We went back to where she and her hubby will live and cleaned and set up her kitchen, I was so thankful for this time together.

It seems like yesterday she was tiny, following me everywhere I went singing at the top of her lungs unafraid of what anyone might think.

She's still that way - unafraid, determined and confident.   And soon the greatest opportunity, in my opinion, of her life will begin.  To take God's message of hope and love to an unloved area of the world. An area even today bracing for political unrest and expected uprisings as the result of the latest election.

I couldn't be more proud of the calling on her and her husband's life.  I know it's of God and that He wants them there.  Even this week they've had additional job offers and opportunities they knew nothing about when they left America last week.  It takes my breath away.

We are called to raise our children to release them, not hold onto them.  I'm still learning this and will continue.

I'm watching her now across the room and can see her as a little girl again...but today I walked the dusty streets of Cambodia with a grown woman of God, a woman who can teach me far
more than I ever taught her.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A conference for youth

This morning we are all at the campus where there is a youth conference beginning!

There are all the older kids from all the Asia's Hope homes as well as outside youth hearing the name of God proclaimed right now.

There are tales of local pastors here bringing lost youth in from the community.  They all get Asia's Hope T-shirts and lunch and to hear the Word of The Lord for 3 days!!  One of our homes here on campus just did praise dance, it was amazing!

One of our jobs today is to entertain the younger children while the youth attend the conference.

The little ones ...Jesus loves the little children - all the children of the world....

I am sitting among the children and they are precious indeed.

These are the 

men that will speak at the conference, pastors, business men, teaches - all men that love The Lord and love the children!
Music - the universal language.
Youth entering the conference
Our team handing out the packets !

Basic things

The first step with any child is to meet their most basic needs- tonight we ate at the homes of Asia's Hope and watched the children eat.  Even that evokes praises in us. 

They may not all remember being hungry but most were at some time before their rescue - now they will be satisfied not only physically but spiritually as we'll!! We are thankful - so thankful!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Starting right

Our team is currently sharing devotions as the perfect start to our day.  I'm surrounded by my brothers and sisters.  We are men and women who will spend eternity together...forever because of Jesus sacrifice.  

It's a blessing beyond description to be with people whose treasures line up with yours, who long to be used of God- I love this and I need this...

Today we are talking about the 10-40 window , the longitude and latitude location on earth of the people who are still largely lost - uneducated about The Lord.  To be sitting right in the middle of that location is so humbling.  God knew from the beginning of time that WE would be sitting here right here right now.  He knew we would be hand picked by Him to bring his message and share His love with these once orphaned children.

Among the evil here, we read His Word in our cabana - loudly.  "Holy, holy holy, The Lord God almighty... And I hear the voice of The Lord saying - 'who will go...'

And we say - 'we will'.  Crossroads, you are here, here in one of the darkest places on earth.

Thank you for allowing us to represent you here, for allowing us to hug the kids you support, for responding every time there is a need revealed.  This is the Church.

What I saw

It was a great great day!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Today so far

So far today we've held children who once were hopeless, we saw the beautiful new sewing center that didn't exist a year ago where our girls are learning to sew, we listened to the children sing one of the songs that Jocelyn and Aaron helped them write and record last year - a song whose lyrics were written  by the children, we purchased beautiful handcrafted jewelry made by some of our rescued young men who are being trained to be silversmiths', visited an exclusive private school that some of the Asia's Hope children tested high enough to attend, and ate at a great local resturant started by an American determined to teach local young adults how to cook for foreigners.  It's been amazing already.

Out team is resting now and then will take all the house parents on the entire Asia's Hope campus out to eat.  It's always been very important to the Crossroads GoMissions team that we treat everyone on campus - not just our own church's homes.  The parents are very excited for a night out with us!

These people work night and day to care for the children and seldom get time to themselves as a couple, so it's our privilege to serve them in this way.