Monday, September 30, 2013

my day off

It's been a long time since we've taken even a couple of days to get out of town with our family.

It's perfect - everyone can do exactly as they please!  Bicycle or walk to the beach, drive to the pier to fish, walk to DQ or simply sit and watch baseball on TV.  A great change from regular.

Nothing spectacular, but spectacular is not what we require so it's perfect.

The main goal is simply to enjoy our time together - taking in every moment, breathing deeply and moving slowly.  There's no guarantee how many times together any of us have - so I'm determined to create those times.  A good strategy which fits our lives is to do multiple 3 day outings - requiring us not to be away too long and not to use our vacation time all up at one time.

The pictures say the rest, and there will be more pictures - we're leaving for dinner soon which is always an adventure with my family, we will see.

a welcome to Huron!

no offense intended - but, this is the cutes grandson on earth

taking to grandpa

family at the lake

my dad

Sunday, September 29, 2013

weekend report

Oh my my - what a weekend!

Our student ministry band was amazing leading us in worship this weekend - preparing us to hear Pastor Tim's message from Habakkuk.

The students also ran most of our tech areas - it was a very encouraging weekend to see how much talent exists at Crossroads!

Here are a few shots of the weekend!

our students leading

looking past the drum cage toward the baptism

Our students even running tech

Our setlist:

One Thing Remains
Be Thou My Vision
Lead Me To The Cross
From The Inside Out
Blessed Be The Name
Message:  God, What Are You Doing Pt. 1
Exit song:  Blessed Be The Name

To watch our services go to

To see what other ministries are doing in their services go to

Friday, September 27, 2013

contributor or commentator

I was super challenged today when I came across a little description of a book that is for sale.  They asked the question, are you a contributor or a commentator?

As a commentator you are quick to point out everything that's wrong with the your life.  You may criticize your job, your spouse, your kids teachers, your church, our government, what you have compared to someone else....

But as a contributor you agree to partner with God to make a difference, to BE different, to change.

I easily fall into commentator, especially with some of my friends.  Not gossiping about others but just giving reports on how bad things are around us.  boo hoo hoo !

Contributor - that's what I want to be known for.  Solutions to problems not part of the problem!  What a great challenge to all of us.  Look at your conversation today - which one are you?

It's funny how a small phrase that catches my eye can shape my day when I offer what I find to God.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

leading worship

I oversee the area of worship and anything that falls under Creative Arts at Crossroads.

Tonight I got to watch something I never thought I'd get to see, my son leading worship with a team of students at Crossroads.  Our student ministry band leads this weekend and I cannot wait.

I've watched our son Eric move through school singing and playing instruments.  In sixth grade at Mansfield Christian was his first public performance with a band and the rest is history...

He's been in several bands and always involved in a youth group or college group leading and always faithfully following the Lord.  And now this weekend - I get to watch him lead us with the help of very talented students and one of our worship leaders, Milo.

My thankfulness continues from last night's blog and I dedicate myself anew to ministry as I praise Him for His sustaining grace and protection.  And I'm more hopeful then ever before that under the strong worship leadership of Dan and Milo and Steve and Arnie in the tech area - that we will get to invest in, and train up the next generation of leadership at Crossroads!  A blessing beyond description!

You will love the students this weekend - they're walking with the Lord when they could be involved in things of the world - and it is such a huge blessing to Crossroads!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

stay thankful

Thankfulness is what I'm brimming over with today!

I'm SO thankful for friends that cook and serve for all our crazy events!

I'm SO thankful for local doctors that accommodated my request for prescriptions for Cambodia!  (our kids are fine don't worry!)

I'm so thankful for important ministry leaders from across the country who carry on conversations with me even though they don't have to.

I'm so thankful that old problems can be solved.

And I'm thankful for kids who seek the Lord.

You would think I would remain in constant, never-ending thankfulness for the ridiculous abundance that surrounds me.  But I forget to say thanks  - to my friends, to my family and to my Savior.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

 in everything give thanks. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 

In everything give thanks...

I close my day thanking Him - praising Him - and anticipating what tomorrow will hold.  Give thanks IN EVERYTHING - can I? Will I?  

Monday, September 23, 2013

what I learned today

Habakkuk 1:1-3

The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

Habakkuk's Complaint

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
    and you will not hear?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
    and you will not save?
Why do you make me see iniquity,
    and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    strife and contention arise.

Pastor Tim begins a new teaching series this weekend called - "God, what are you doing?"

I was reading tonight to try to prepare for the weekend and I was struck by how similar the questions being asked way back then are to our prays and questions today!

One commentary I was reading began with the following paragraph.

The prophet was perplexed. Wickedness and violence seemed to go unchecked. Would there be no end to the rising tide of sin? Habakkuk took his complaint to God. “Why don’t You do something?”

Doesn't it sound just like conversations you hear around you?  Anytime I see the news it makes me wonder how much longer God will allow our county's horrible sin.

There's comfort that comes in knowing others before us asked the very same thing and our God delivered them.  His timing is perfect!

I'm looking forward to the series!

weekend report

This weekend we hosted 40 colleges and universities at Crossroads!  We also enjoyed hearing from Dr. White, the President of Cedarville University who blessed our congregation with an inspiring message!  It was so great to be at Crossroads this weekend!

Our setlist:

All My Fountains
God Is With Us Now
Message:  Dr. White
Exit Song:  All My Fountains

To watch our services on line go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

thinking about heaven

Tonight as I was driving home from spending time running some errands, I was thinking about heaven.   I sometimes wish I could have just a glimpse.

I imagine it is completely beyond anything my mind could even handle.

In fact all I have to do is look at some of God's amazing creation to get excited about what will surround us up there!

I suspect these earthly creations are nothing compared to what we'll some day see!

Our God is amazing, never ending, never beginning, creative, Father and someday we will step into that glorious home He's created just for us....forever!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

prayer requests

Our staff and elders receive Crossroads' prayer requests each week.
I cannot look at them without crying each time - praying for each one.

The requests are often praying for children both young and grown who have just discovered cancer or who are struggling with addiction.  

Wives praying that husbands will choose them over alcohol - husbands longing to choose her over his addiction yet unable to...

Sons and daughters fighting over-seas - mother's unsure they'll ever see them again.

Grown children experiencing the role-reversal of caring for their elderly parents - trying to decide what kind of care is best for them...doubting if they can care for them...

People whose loved ones are facing death - they pray for their last-minute salvation - they pray for their loved-one to not fear death...

The prayers of God's children are too overwhelming for me...He tells us to come with anything and lay it at His feet - and lay them down I do for they are too heavy to hold...and so the requests continue to  come and we pray and they come and we pray...

Even in their heaviness praying for them is one of my greatest privileges.

Oh that this day their fears, and struggles and cares are covered by His love and the peace that comes only through Him...only through Him..........

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

what I learned today

As I read in Psalm 22 this morning - I was reminded about how the Psalms run the whole range of emotion and experiences we have.

Starting with total despair to prayerful seeking of the Lord and finally to praise as His delivery comes.

In the book I'm reading it says this, "The Psalms is a divinely-inspired collection of prayers.  Whereas much of the Bible comprises God's words addressed to human beings, the Psalm are made up of human words to God -yet not merely human words - but divinely inspired words.

As I watch the Psalmist walk out of despair and into God's provision, I'm reminded that remaining in defeat is a choice.  In the Lord we have the choice of turning it over to Him, I mean REALLY turning it over to Him and walking in praise, or wallowing in self-pity and worry and despair.

I claim this example again today for my life.  May my very existence be that of praise and worship of Him - may I not get caught up in worrying about tomorrow, but offer Him my best attempt and leave it at His feet.  

As I'm writing this, I'm listening to birds all around me squawk and carry on, and I wonder, are they communicating with one another or offering their form of praise to their creator.  Did God create them simply for His own enjoyment and to receive their praise?

Amazing things to ponder and to praise Him for!  Today I learned that the Psalmist understood our struggles and is an example of God's deliverance!

Monday, September 9, 2013

my day off and Beth Moore

The past few weeks I've been preparing the details for the Beth Moore Live Simulcast that will take place at Crossroads this weekend.  Ladies, please come!!  It will be an amazing day of learning and fellowship!  

It's ironic I am overseeing this event...

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not a fan of 'women's ministry'...

I've been in church since I was 2 weeks old and I have yet to experience a healthy women's ministry.  The ministries I've tried to be supportive of in the past have all been engulfed in gossip, constant prayer requests that often ended up being gripes against their husbands, and for the most part the ministries I have attended seemed to attract the girls that were just over-all very needy.  I believe that women need one another, but I haven't seen this satisfied in this type of setting despite the fact that I really, really wanted to see a successful group at the ministries in which I've been involved.

I tell you this to explain why I have spent time organizing the Beth Moore Simulcast that will be at Crossroads this weekend.  It will be worth your time!  I encourage you ladies, please invest the $20 it costs to come for the whole day - it's not only an event that will personally encourage you and spiritually challenge you - it's also a launching pad for ongoing connection to the ladies of Crossroads and in the Mansfield area.

Women NEED one another, regardless of what my experience has been I know this for sure.  This one-day simulcast creates a safe place where women can come and connect, and in fact a place where we'll be announcing the ongoing Bible Study groups that will also launch next week for the women of Crossroads (and in our community).

Jean Sloan and Carol Harris are the teachers of our Ladies Bible studies and they are AMAZING!!

I was recently asked again why we don't have a women's ministry at Crossroads and it's simple - we would if the right leader stepped forward AND we were convinced that it was the best way to help ladies spiritually mature and connect.  Right now, we believe these Bible studies along with quality special events are the best way!  So please, stop and talk to Jean and Carol Saturday, they'll be handing out flyers about their classes in Town Square - become part of the Crossroads' way of connecting ladies!

I'll look forward to seeing you at the event Saturday!   You can buy tickets by going to to help us determine how many will be attending, or just buy them at the door.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

weekend report

This weekend is exciting on several levels!

First, we're in the middle of an irrational fear series - so good.

Secondly, our dear friend and co-worker Deering Dyer is marrying Jen Frye after the services today!  Deering's story is amazing - we all loved his first wife Jean who we suddenly lost a couple of years ago when she passed away.  But our God is so generous and He is the Almighty Healer...  and now we've all fallen in love with the beautiful Christ-loving woman- Deering's fiancĂ© Jen!  So our weekend is a celebration of God's generosity and care!

Our setlist:

Announcements on video

As We Pray
God Is With Us Now
Lay Me Down
In Christ Alone
The Whole Earth

Message:  Irrational Feat Pt. 2

Exit Song- Whole Earth

To watch our services on line go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to

Saturday, September 7, 2013

the possibilities of today

It was such a beautiful ending to the day yesterday that I wondered even as I took this picture what would happen in the morning....

When I awoke to an equally glorious morning I began my day with praise to it's creator.

As I did the trivial things of morning like putting dogs out and making coffee - I wondered just what this day would hold.  The possibilities were endless.  (So was my to-do list)

I purposefully post-poned my list for just a little while longer hoping it could actually be an un-designed day and got trivial tasks done.  It was time to dump my poor hanging plant and re-fill all the bird feeders and so the hours began to pass.

Here I am at noon already and just beginning my true work, so I guess it's been a slower pace and relaxing even as I've worked.  These are the moments I can actually think, and really praise Him.

I'll say farewell for now so that I can get a few things done before evening.  As I do, I look forward to the worship in song and scripture and message that we get to share tonight and tomorrow!  I hope you all will join me!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

what I learned today

I have opportunity to dabble in some pretty important things from time to time.

Ministry is an eternal business, no room for error.  Constant attention and bringing your best required.  Believe me, that doesn't mean I don't make tons of mistakes!

Today I was reminded outside the complexity of people and eternal decisions I relish simplicity.  In fact I long for it.

This morning was simple and I feel more fulfilled than important things have made me feel recently.

I walked dogs.
Did laundry.
Hung clothes out to dry.
Put a roast in the oven to slowly cook all day.
Filled bird feeders.
Swept the deck.
Prepared potatoes to be added later.
Got ironing done and put away.
Re-arranged some things that have been annoying me.
Washed a few outside windows that have been sporting cobwebs for quite some time.

I hope it means my head and heart are in the right place when I can take so much satisfaction from regular stuff.

It is in simplicity that I found focus on thankfulness for God's provision and blessings this morning.  And I get to stay there the rest of today!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Weekend report

Ah how good it is to be the house of The Lord!

I love worshipping with my brothers and sisters ...I've asked myself this weekend why every song has made we weep?  What is the sensitivity I feel this weekend?  It's a precious time before Him...

"Your love never fails... It never runs out on me..."   I cling to this promise today!!

Pastor Tim

Our setlist:

Pre-recorded video announcements
Be Lifted Higher -Gateway
All He Says I Am- Gateway
One thing remains -Passion
Finish Your Work - Sgambellone
Nothing Ever (Could Separate Us) - Citizens Way
Message: Irrational Fear Pt. 1 - Sr. Pastor Tim Armstrong
Exit Song: All He Says I Am

To watch our services on line go to

To see what other ministries used their services go to