Monday, April 28, 2014

my day off

Rain makes a day move slowly.

No hurrying to do tons of yard work, or washing cars, or even cooking out.  Just moving slowly.

And when you move slowly you discover the most important things.

This is what I read in a book a friend gave me to read.

"His commands are not burdensome"  I John 5:3

Jesus' expectation was that we would receive His grace and that grace would set us free and lighten our load.

It is our true self that God loves, forgives, and longs to surround with grace.  Our value is a gift given because of God's grace.

If I could sink completely into that promise, and truly remain in Him - all my burdens would seem light...  the rules and hoops of Christianity are placed there by men, not Almighty God!

Sometimes I guess it takes a little rain and a day off to slow down and really hear!

It's been a blessed day off.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

weekend report

We had a special guest teacher this weekend, Pastor Knute Larson!  He was a blessing as usual - not sure I've met a man that has been used more by the Lord then he to minister to local church leaders and pastors!  Our congregation loves him!

I hope all of you serving in local churches around the country this weekend truly felt the presence of Almighty God in your midst- it was a truly amazing weekend here at Crossroads!

Pastor Knute Larson praying with the team!

Our camera guys are amazing!

We had the greatest teams - they love the Lord!!

Our setlist:

All He Says I Am
From the Inside Out
Whom Shall I Fear

Message:  Living a Life of Nobility - Pastor Knute Larson

Exit Song:  Be Thou My Vision

To watch our services on line go to

To see what other ministries around the country used in their worship services this weekend to

Thursday, April 24, 2014

real ministry

Due to my position at Crossroads, I'm often not able to spend much time talking to the congregation or even to sit through a service without some detail disrupting me.  My job is to make sure everything goes without a hitch in our services - and I love it!  And, I understand that an excellent service provides the setting for the message of Christ to be proclaimed and honored!

But…I love watching what I call 'real' ministry go on around me.

I got to go with my hubby to minister to an elderly Crossroads member in the hospital a couple nights ago.  I listened as this elderly gentlemen who was in excruciating pain tried to comfort his wife of many years as she was clearly struggling with his illness.    "It's ok baby", he assured her.   All the while my hubby held his hand and massaged his shoulder - assuring him that God cared about his pain and kept trying to bring him spiritual comfort.   "I love you brother," he said.  I held his wife as she sobbed and I knew, this was real ministry.

A couple of hours ago my hubby got a tearful call from this same family who were in tears heading for the hospital where the doctor had just said he didn't think this gentlemen was going to make it.  Ron headed back to the hospital - willingly giving his evening away.

At Crossroads I love to watch as the children's ministry staff love each and every child that walks into their area each weekend.  We won't know for years what an impact their love has made on these young lives.

One of my favorite areas of the ministry is Go Missions.  Watching what they do to provide experiences where each of us can serve those less fortunate - is such a special ministry!

We're each called to do different things for the Kingdom, we're all gifted in different ways, but when every once in a while you get to feel like you've made a little bit of difference in someones' life, that is SO rewarding and THAT is real ministry.

I'm very thankful to be part of Crossroads, and to serve our congregation in anyway I can!

What do you love doing to serve others?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

weekend report

I decided after all the work to get ready for Easter to take a few days off.  So, I took off from writing too, but I just have to talk about Easter - it was wonderful and meaningful and had very special significance.

It was a weekend full of firsts and lasts.

It was the first Easter my son helped lead worship.
It was the first time I've ever cut an art performance, with the blessing of the artists,  from our Easter service the night of rehearsal.
It was the last time Crossroads will ever hear from Pastor Tim at an Easter service. 

It was full of beautiful music and worship and a great teaching no one will soon forget!

Our setlist:

Heart of Courage - instrumental that ran during EP opening
Nothing But the Blood of Jesus - Kingdom
Christ is Risen
Heart of Courage - shortened instrumental with second EP words
Jesus Paid it All
Forever Reign
How Great Thou Art
Jesus Son of God
Message: 316
Victor's Crown

Here's what it looked like!
Deep behind the scenes in the Video Booth
Happy audio guy!

John on Camera!
drumming away for Jesus!
Eric leading "Nothing But the Blood" - powerful!
Milo and team rehearsing just moments before first service!
Chrystie lead beautifully even with a horrible cold!
Our Creative Arts Team...we will miss you Pastor Tim!
Worshiping with guitars - God has blessed us with great musicians!
To watch our services on line go to

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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

my birthday

Many times my birthday falls during the week of Easter and even several times on Easter itself.  This makes it difficult to even think about since the ministry is all about Easter and what goes into it!  And honestly at my age - I really don't care about celebrating at all!

This year was different.

It started on a rainy Monday earlier this week,  when we went to Easton to shop and spend time relaxing- knowing it might be our only celebration time.  It was one of my favorite days in a very long time!  I came home with a few things, but mainly just very relaxed, especially unusual on Easter week!

But, today, a work day surpassed all my expectations!  I got to be with my friends and they gave me many warm happy birthday greetings and funny cards and very meaningful cards and gifts. I am a very, very blessed woman!

Jesse and Eric - horse heads for the Country Western series
This was one of the first things I received - a Happy Birthday text from my grandson!

There were things that made me laugh - like the crazy Student Ministry Pastors - and very thoughtful  treats - my favorite flavor lemon - which caused me to immediately gain weight!

Claire could be a professional baker!

A few of the notes I received were extremely kind, meaningful and quite surprising.  Some of the beautiful young women I work with, are girls that God has given me the privilege of loving in my home and in groups at Crossroads.  I now am surrounded by them at work and I will NEVER take this for granted!  I beg all of you reading this, to take time out of your schedule to build into other people's lives - it will come back to reward you in the most shocking ways and at unexpected times.  Everything we do with the limited years of our lives matter!

My older girlfriends at work blessed me with more of my favorite things as we laughed over the funny cards and talked about the next time we will be able to get away together and our hopes and plans for the future at Crossroads!  I love them!

Crossroads staff
At lunch I snapped a picture of all my friends at Crossroads, (missing a couple of staff that had appointments), I praised the Lord that He has allowed me to be part of this amazing group for so many years.  And I understand in a new way the only thing that makes birthdays matter to me is being surrounded by the people I adore and the job I love so much!

The only sad thing of the whole day was our very last programming meeting with Pastor Tim!  He will be missed more than I can EVER explain!
Final programming meeting with Pastor Tim

And finally a quiet dinner out with the love of my life, my hubby!  I figured out it was my 38th birthday with him - again, I'm a very blessed woman!

Thank you all for a really, really great day!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

weekend report

Palm Sunday weekend was simply amazing!  Worship, communion, a God filled message - and new decisions for Christ!  

Here's a some of the things we saw and experienced!

Our setlist:
Announcements on Video
Whom Shall I Fear
To Live is Christ
Lord I Need You
The Stand
Message:  JOHN - Pastor Tim Armstrong

To watch our services go to

To see what other ministries used in their services to to

Thursday, April 10, 2014

coming and going

This morning I had the privilege of meeting with a college student who has been serving in a volunteer intern position at Crossroads for the past few months.  She is a blessing, an OSU student who just started to attend Crossroads and wanted to get involved.

She isn't able to stay around this summer to actually serve one of our paid internships, so it's off to Washington DC she goes to intern down there.  How exciting!  The difficult thing about college students in the church is the coming and going that never ends.

I don't know what it is that makes me madly in love with teens and college students.  I find them fascinating and I believe with all my heart it's an age group the church needs desperately involved in the ministry.

I can hardly wait to officially launch Crossroads' internship program this summer!  I can't wait to spend time with all of them weekly getting to know them, being able to fulfill their school requirements with the serving opportunities Crossroads offers.

I've also been given information on possible direct involvement on the campus of OSU/NC State for Crossroads!  Affecting our community for eternity - nothing could be better!!

This just doesn't happen, God is opening doors.  Even the coming and going is all part of His plan!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

weekend report

Goodness…I don't think there could POSSIBLY be more going on at Crossroads this weekend if we tried!  Pastor Tim's wife, Michelle's was on the praise team for the last time this weekend. Michelle helped him begin Crossroads 18 years ago!

The weekend was full of perspective interns visiting from Asbury University, artists working on Easter set design with elementary praise team rehearsing across the hall, and our Cambodia missionaries Aaron and Jocelyn shot a music video that ran during worship with our band…I could go on and on but please allow me to show you some of the weekend instead!

Our missionary, Jocelyn, (my daughter) worshipping in the background on music video

The rescued orphans of Asia's Hope worshipping behind our team on music video

Michelle has been leading worship since Crossroads began 18 years ago…her final day

Michelle, Angie and Penny - together for years on the praise team

Our team this weekend saying goodbye to Michelle

Easter set design painting

2 of our artists working on Easter

Our artists at Crossroads are involved in nearly every special service!

Our Setlist:

Announcements on Video:  Main focus Easter Promo
One Thing Remains - Music video shot in Cambodia with our live band and vocalists joining in!
A Mighty Fortress
Man Of Sorrows
Our God Saves
Message:  JOHN Pt. 12     Pastor Tim Armstrong
Exit Song:  Our God Saves

To watch our services on line go to  

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

Thursday, April 3, 2014

my encouragement

I needed encouragement today.  Nothing horrible - just regular disappointing stuff - but I needed, really needed His words today.  I heard lots of other words today - 
tonight I wanted, longed for only His words!  

My devotions began like this as if written by the Lord…

"SOFTLY I ANNOUNCE MY PRESENCE. Shimmering hues of radiance tap gently at your consciousness, seeking entrance. Though I have all Power in heaven and on earth, I am infinitely tender with you. The weaker you are, the more gently I approach you. Let your weakness be a door to My Presence. Whenever you feel inadequate, remember that I am your ever-present Help."

Oh my goodness, that line…
Let your weakness be a door to My Presence   Can I let it be a door?

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. PSALM 46 : 1

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. ROMANS 12 : 12

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ROMANS 15 : 13

I LOVE these verses.  

After reading this my mind started to think these lyrics - one of my favorite old hymns

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

As I was typing this I received the lyrics to another powerful song from one of my best friends.  She had no idea I was writing this at the exact time!

Our helper He amid the flood
of mortal ills prevailing 
for still our ancient foe doth seek
to work us woe

His craft and power are great
And armed with cruel hate
on earth is not His equal…

I told her I was typing the words to On Christ the solid rock I stand when she text me, and she text back…
All other ground is sinking sand..
All other ground is sinking sand...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

American Idol

I love musical competitions on TV-  i.e. The Voice, America's Got Talent, The Sing-off, The X Factor etc.   It fascinates me to see the song selections and the confidence or lack of that contestants display and the cluelessness of some who think they're good.

On the nights I watch music competitions, my hubby and I have to watch in separate rooms, he has no tolerance for such foolishness.

How some of the contestants early in the season think they have real talent is beyond me!

Once in a while I hear someone talk about the fact that all of their experience has been singing in church. It makes me wish i could see them there.  I wonder if their parents made them sing, or were they in a large church that had many singers?  Some of the best singers I've ever heard were in the local church.

I wonder if they'll be able to handle the pressure of professional singing?  I hope so.

It's just that kind of night…an exhausting day, so after taking a big walk I'm happy to just sit and watch a little singing!

What have you spent your night doing?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

what I learned today

Sometimes your adoration is a spontaneous overflow of Joy, in response to radiant beauty or rich blessings. At other times your praise is more disciplined and measured—an act of your will. He dwells equally in both types of praise.

I read this in a book I used for devotions today and it really encouraged me!

It encouraged me because sometimes I don't feel like praising, I've wondered if I praise anyway if He can still receive it?  I was so glad to read this today - it makes me determined to praise Him at all times.

I know at times I've withheld my praise worrying that it wasn't a whole hearted- fully engaged praise I was offering.  What that does, is suggest it's up to me to determine when it's good enough or when God can accept it.  It actually paints Him as unable to accept it suggesting it's my decision.

He accepts our praise even at times it comes out of the discipline of constantly praising Him instead of a huge experiential event!

How it must grieve Him when I don't trust Him to truly be the God of the universe, capable of all things!  The thought of Him waiting and waiting for my praise is humbling and convicting and makes me determined to never withhold whatever is on my lips and in my heart!

God desiring MY praise…unbelievable.