Thursday, July 31, 2014

What does this change

I'm asking myself this evening - so I'm here in Cambodia, falling deeper in love with the children of Asia's Hope and my team members, but what does that change?

If we invest money, give up valuable time, and travel around the world - what does it change?  Does it change this largely pagan country?  Does it change these kids?  Does it change me?  

I believe our investment of time and money will have an impact in Cambodia through the children whose lives we're investing in, some day.  But it may change me more...

I can't be here and go home the same, it's impossible.

When your normal is stripped away it reveals what you fill your life with.  

And although it may not actually be something bad - it could be that you're just settling instead of investing in what may be God's best.

I guess that's my prayer this week - to discern what I should invest every moment of my life in.  To not live carelessly as if it's my life, because it's not.

If The Lord thought I was worth enduring the kind of cruel - tortured death he died, then I want to live as if I believe that.  

He has blessed me beyond anything I could have ever imagined - now I long to be a blessing to others and to spend my life loving as He loved!

Today...relaxing and loving

It's been a day so far that allows us to simply love on children and preparing for a worship service when we return...  Simple things..I'm loving it!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Starting our day

As I walked around for a few minutes this morning getting a glimpse of this part of Battambang up close, I wondered what was going on behind closed doors on the street we walked.  Were people waking up to yet another day filled with simply surviving ?  Did anyone wake up with a true sense of hope?  
Every inch is used for something here, clothes laid out over poles, or cords or anything suitable, pots for gathering water, a million electrical lines everywhere.  I have no idea how anything possibly works efficiently, but they survive.

Corruption still exists here openly in their educational systems, the way local government works, things move forward but seldom ahead without outside countries coming in to change things.  The changes other countries make however, are usually selfish such as sewer systems being installed not to prevent disease and serve the community, but to accommodate their businesses that are buying up as much space as possible while costs are cheap.

In considering the astonishing greed taking advantage of innocent people I am reminded of the scripture 
Genesis 50:20. " You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives". 

Men think their plans are all that exist but God uses even men that will never know Him to accomplish His plan!  This causes me to worship Him and praise Him and rest in Him turning over my worry and attempt at control!

As I walk the streets these next couple of days I will pray for these precious people caught in this place. Please join me in asking the Savior to reveal Himself thru us!

The things I saw

       Today we spent all day in our little bus traveling between the ocean and Battambang - playing euchre for hours, snacking constantly and non- stop talking!  I love these people!

These pictures are the sites we saw !

Ready to begin out journey!!

Greg prepared peanut butter sandwiches for us!

Crazy Cambodia gas pumps!

Cambodia food truck!
I think one of the things that draws me to this place is it's simplicity.  The beautiful, simple,
lush rice fields are such a quiet contrast to the horrifying things that once took place here.
It's hard to believe some of history's worst murders happened not so long ago here.

It was a fun day of traveling with friends and just seeing the countryside in Cambodia!

Monday, July 28, 2014

To the beach

We had the privilege of taking our Cambodian children to the Indian Ocean today.  For many of them it was the first time they've ever seen the ocean - we were so thankful we got to be the ones that showed it to them!

Today's festivities take little explanation, but I did want to say what a contrast this little one was to our rescued children.  
She sat on a low rail next to us gathering empty bottles to exchange for food.  She disappeared after we gave her all of our bottles and returned with a large piece of seafood that she sat and ate.  She was so dirty it broke our hearts - we gave her many treats and cared for her while we were there.

Our Asia's Hope kids were probably all rescued out of similar circumstances... Today seemed like a lifetime away from any lonliness or pain they knew before arriving at Asia's Hope!

A generous donar sent money along with us for sea toys!!  The kids loved them!

Aaron looked lovely in Sem's hat!

After several local, meals we opted for pizza while the children enjoyed local sea food!

Thanks to all the sponsors who donated the money that made it possible to provide the children with a sea-side seafood meal and trip to the beache!

Quite possibly one of the most precious rescued faces on earth!

While we were sitting on the beach I looked over and saw Savorn and Savy - two of the men I respect the most on earth, deep in thought.  I wondered what problem they could be solving or young life they could be discussing.  

Both Samuth and Savy, the fathers of our two Crossroads' homes are amazing men under Savorn's strong leadership.

Watching these children grow in The Lord is one of the most fulfilling parts of my life, and as I watched them eat it dawned on me in a country onlyas big as Ohio - these children could be the ones that change this Cambodian nation for Christ!  Definitely worth pouring our lives into!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Worshipping in Cambodia

I watched Crossroads worship this morning on-line, but it was Saturday night back home.  I marveled at the blessing of freely worshipping on both sides of the world simultaneously.

The rescued children of Asia's Hope have a much deeper understanding of God's mercy and saving grace then we do, they were physically saved from evil and then began to know God.

It moves my heart so deeply to watch them worship, and I count it a privilege to join them when we come.

This PE home visually demonstrated being soldiers of The Lord VS the young soldiers that were forced into horrifying evil years before them in Cambodia.

I thought this little one worshipping next to big 'daddy' Greg, was a perfect contrast of small innocence just starting out on his journey against this grown man of God.

I even got the privilege of being taught by Aaron today, my son-in-law shared God's Word with all of us and it was great!  He's extremely gifted.    I think God has amazing things in store for him!!
As I close my eyes - hoping to sleep despite the relentless noise from the busy street outside, I thank The Lord for granting me this day and for all the amazing things it contained!!  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

What will change

Every event in our lives bring change, all you have to do is watch for them, and walk into them.  So as I lay here in the dark of my Cambodian room I wonder what changes God has waiting for my heart today?

We walked the killing fields earlier.  The same path that thousands had walked the day the truck pulled up and emptied them out blindfolded and terrified.   The same path down which men and women were walked that one day had regular flourishing careers and lives and the next day were taken from their homes by an evil man's desire for complete power.  He wasn't a brave man, he was a coward with the ability to manipulate others behind an idea of power.  As thousands were slaughtered he enjoyed the wealth of a selfish leader with his family and grandchildren as if nothing was going on - unbelievable. 

I can only assume that Satan fully possessed the men that lead these atrocities against mankind - there is no other explanation.  

I have lived in complete freedom my entire life and as always when I come here I wonder why God chose me to live this way instead of bondage.

There is another kind of bondage - the bondage of too much.  Our minds fool ourselves into thinking nothing evil exists beyond the little world that concerns us.  This bondage causes the very people that poccess the ability to help others, not to.  We wallow in our plenty and are satisfied.

I don't want to live merely satisfied.  In fact the word itself suggests 'settling' sad if I remain there.

I pray this trip feeds a deep dissatisfaction within me that burns my entire life.  I want to 'see' outside myself, to know why I was created and to fulfill God's desire for the days he's numbered as my life.

This kind of desire and search is simply an openness, an willingness to change, will you join me and begin to search your heart?

Friday, July 25, 2014

The team is heading to Cambodia

We made it to Korea safe and sounds - when we board here we only have about 5 1/2 more hours until I attack my daughter and son-in-law!!  Can't wait!

Please pray for us we're weary after traveling 24 1/2 hours so far!

Keep your eye on our blogs and we'll keep you updated!

Praying Crossroads is filled with God's amazing presence these next two weekends!!

Love you all!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

First day in Cambodia

We just finished our first breakfast in Cambodia - we are thankful for a night's rest, but our hearts are heavy for our friends back home who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

Separated by miles of ocean, sky and culture does not remove the depth of sadness we carry in our hearts today for our friends.

Pray for us today as we begin to unpack the mystery of why God chose us to be here - representatives from Crossroads coming to see what God could possibly use us to accomplish for His kingdom...

I will try to write more later - we love you all!

leaving for Cambodia

Pray for our team as we prepare to leave for Cambodia tomorrow please!

More info to follow - hopefully later today!

Monday, July 14, 2014

weekend report

How has another weekend come and gone already?   I swear I feel like I just get a handle on all the details and preparation required and before I even 'fully participate and take it in' - it's gone.

I always sit through our Saturday night service so that if any adjustments needs to be made to the length of the service or something needs added we can do that for Sunday... as I walked down the back-hallway to speak with our interim pastor at the end of the final service, and heard applause in the auditorium,  I became overwhelmed with thankfulness to our faithful Crossroads attendees for encouraging the efforts of all involved in the services and support ministries of Crossroads.  Applause = thank you!

Even though there is a strong sense that we know 'who we are' and 'what we're about' - in this time of transition it could be possible if we take our eyes off of Him - that we could try to make the ministry about what we like - our personal preferences.   Instead it's perhaps more important than ever before to know who God's called us to be to our community and to the Body of Christ that worship here.

My hubby talked to a family this weekend that left Crossroads for a season to support another local pastor - they are back and their time away helped them to return fully committed to the importance of expository teaching and a strong direction in ministry.  It seems weekly the Lord provides at least one story of encouragement telling us that even in this transitional time - people recognize our commitment not to change directions, and to support the fact that the Lord moved Pastor Tim to a place He needed him more - AND that He also knows exactly who He needs at Crossroads now.

Our setlist:

Announcements on video:  We've been using younger people predominately on our video announcements - but, this weekend I asked tech guys to include one of my favorite 'older ladies', Nadine and she nailed it!  I got so many compliments about using her - she's a rock-star!

Jesus Paid It All - took our congregation into passionate authentic worship…so strong!

Lay Me Down - Passion
We Believe - Life Worship
From the Inside Out - Hillsong
Jesus Paid It All - Passion

Message:  A Living Hope: Beyond Temptation - Interim Pastor Brian Boone

Exit Song:  From the Inside Out

To Watch our service go to

To see what other ministries used in their service go to

Have an amazing God-filled week!!  Praise Him!

You can follow us on twitter @cccwired

Saturday, July 12, 2014

wading through stuff

Yesterday I cleaned my house and we hosted the last official Young Married's Group at our home.  (although we do life with these couples so all it changed is a regular monthly study)

This change was necessary because my hubby's been asked to launch men's groups this Fall at Crossroads -so we had to eliminate something to make room for more.

I was thinking about how full my house is and made the comment to my hubby that I would be content never to move again…the thought of packing is overwhelming!

Over the 4th of July holiday we spent time with my parents in Ashland - and went to an auction.  I love seeing what people are selling and this sale was a 2-household sale.  There was tons of stuff!

This is a shot looking down just 1 of probably 20 tables of stuff..  

Although we have more than we need - I really think the only things I have boxed up are some dishes of Ron's grandparents and my kids old toys/school books.  We try really hard not to buy stuff that just gets put in closets, boxes or not used.  Even so, we have too much!

I wondered how the people who's stuff was for sale, could have this much extra that family didn't take? It looked more like a 5 family sale.

If we could take all the stuff that accumulates in our homes that we have no need for, sell it and use it to bless others - what clean houses we would have and what a blessing to our families some day that won't have to deal with all our stuff.

I've also been working this morning at cleaning out my email.   I can't even guess how many emails  I get each day… it requires regular housekeeping too.  Gee, I wonder why we're all so stressed all the time!  We're surrounded by things that need care - things that need cleaned - and things that need discarded.  Certainly not a simple life.

Well, I'm finished wading through my stuff for another day - I'll turn my eyes toward the weekend and the privilege once again to lead at Crossroads!  See you all there!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

tryin' to be wise

I've been trying really hard to be wise - and it's not working so well.

I've been trying to be wise when friends come with problems - even though I know full well they just need a listening ear - not solutions from me.  Tryin' hard to be wise…

I'm trying to be wise with my care about the ministry.  I sometimes act as if it's my ministry and have to draw myself back hard - and lift my eyes upward to once again focus on the only reason I'm in ministry.  Tryin' hard to be wise…

I catch myself worrying about who's not there, it's a normal summer but it feels way more personal this summer.

I was blessed when I found this today on my favorite author's blog.

 The very Son of God had a ministry to 12. And even one of them abandoned HimForget the numbers in your work. Focus on the net value of  your work. 
May I be wise when I talk to even one.  Who knows, I may have been called to ministry just to reach one!
I give up trying to be wise in the eyes of the world - and will follow and listen and wait…patiently.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

what I learned today

I've been familiar with CR for a long time since Crossroads hosts a Celebrate Recovery program each Friday evening.

But I have to admit, the world I grew up in could not be more polar opposite then what many of the members of CR have experienced.

There is no one I admire more than someone who has fought back from abuse, neglect or addiction!  How tough that must be - I can only imagine.

Today I had the privilege of reading a testimony of a recovering addict - and marveled at her amazing life now.  She may share her testimony with us soon.

While I was reading the testimony and preparing for this weekend at Crossroads -

My hubby had the opportunity today to visit a rescue organization created to rescue trafficked girls and hide them.  Locally.

In fact the lady that showed him what needs to be done in their homes, was herself kidnapped as a young girl and rescued.  She now works to save other young, innocent girls from the slavery of the sex trade.

So, as you face your problems today, as you deal with frustrating little ones, or a job that's less than satisfying, rejoice in the freedom you have!

Rejoice that Jesus chose you to be His own!

And pray for those people all around us that are slaves to abusive partnerships, addiction and worse.

Monday, July 7, 2014

my day off

Psalm 143:8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

You probably have guessed, I'm once again blessed to be in my favorite spot…

I saw this scripture this morning posted by a worship pastor that I talk to from time to time and it just resinated with me in the special place God has given me to renew and reflect.
My day off always starts in the right way when I begin here, with Him,  un-distracted and un-burdened.  It was also a very fitting verse based on recent conversions I've had - where I've tried to help lead others through times of transition and discussed trusting God as the key part of that decision making process.
Even if I'm not making life-changing decisions - we still make decisions that matter for eternity everyday.  Will I share my faith if given the opportunity or will I be too worried about people's opinion of me?  Will I decide what to watch on TV or the internet based on the fact that the Holy Spirit is right there with me - God himself dwells within me.  My body and mind are not my own.  How will I spend this day that I'll never have back again - working my hardest at the job God's provided and placed me in, or complaining about my job or circumstances?  
God knows exactly how many days, hours, minutes, seconds he's ordained me to live on this earth - they belong to Him not me.  Do I live that way - even when no one sees me?
That is my prayer this morning as I sit here soaking in His creation - worshipping Him for being God - that I live this day to glorify my God!
Let us all live a day of worship - blameless before Him - recognizing opportunities to live for Him - worshipping Him with our lives.  Have a great, great Monday!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

weekend report

Deering's last weekend with us before heading to Dallas!
Deering's been a faithful friend and valuable part of our ministry!
This weekend could not have been more packed and exciting - except of course for the fact that one of my dearest friends has been called away from Crossroads.

Just take a look at some of the amazingness!

Mission Expo!  Crossroads' partners with 3
foreign mission partners, and 6 local agencies in our community.
Town Square fellowship between services.

A great praise team - a touching added note: 1 of our interns, Ben,
was playing lead guitar with his grandma beside him on flute!
A generational team is a healthy team!

Student Ministry Mission Team ready to depart to
take over Louisville, Kentucky - working with the immigrant
population, sports camps, Salvation Army and other organizations!

Our Student Ministry Mission team - receiving Crossroads' blessing!
We sent a total of 73 on this mission trip - pray for them this week!

Luggage = much preparation for Students mission trip!
Our Setlist:

Announcements on Video including our latest Mayhem commercial for our Cleaning Team!

God Be Praised - New Life
Be Lifted Higher - Gateway
We Believe - New Life Worship
The Whole Earth - Gateway
Our God - Tomlin

Celebration of our volunteers - Video Clips from our Volunteer Picnic last Sunday!
Picnic Recap Video.

Message:  God's Unstoppable Purpose - Deering Dyer (Deering and his wife and son will be leaving for Dallas Theological Seminary soon, this was Deering's final message with us)

Prayer for our Student Ministry Team - Louisville bound!

Exit Song - We Believe

To watch our services go to

To see what other ministries used in their services this weekend go to the worship community.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

our son

Eric my son with his son - Oliver and me.
Eric is our son.

He is a lot like his father, whom I adore, so God has blessed me with 2 men I adore...well, actually 4 men I adore if you're counting my son-in-law and my dad!

Eric always stood back to see if others were going to push it too far, or get in trouble before he would join in any of the orneriness of his friends.   I call this wisdom - even though it was early in his life that I first witnessed this.

When my hubby and I talked to Eric at an early age about the Lord - he told us a couple of times he was thinking about it.  This was about 5 years of age.

Then one day - he came and told us he was ready.  I call this wisdom!

His creativity has always fascinated me.  I love to watch to see what 'his take' on things will be.  It's always unique, and it's usually right.

He's smart.  I fought, and begged and tried to be creative in encouraging the completion of reading requirements and other homework assignments.  They always got done in his timing not mine - and he was very, very seldom if ever late with his work.  It was the process that was unorthodoxed, at least according to me, but it worked and I learned to let him figure it out.

Isn't that in fact the most difficult decision of parenting?  To let them figure out things for themselves as they become capable of doing that?

And now he is the High School Student Ministry Pastor.

I watch students follow him around.   I see that he has an ability far beyond his years to teach and connect with them and I stand and watch as if seeing him for the first time.

And now our son is a dad.

Everyone told me - being a grandparent is like nothing you've ever experienced before and they were right.  But, it's not just having a grandchild that's AMAZING, it's watching our son parent.  Unbelievable.. and it causes me to thank the Lord every time I watch he and his wife love their son.

I write this today to tell all of you - keep working with your kids.  They won't be perfect, neither is our son - but he loves the Lord and he loves his family.

Eric is my son - and it's one of the greatest, most fulfilling pieces of my life.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

what I learned today

Perhaps a more fitting title would be, What I Accepted Today…

During my time with the Lord this morning, I was distracted by all the tiny, fuzzy seeds caught in the moving air - taking them to a new destination.  I was immediately disappointed in myself that once again such a small thing distracted me.  I found it nearly impossible to get my attention back to the scriptures as I became mesmerized by their floating dance.  

Sitting a little longer a huge hawk flew high above the tree tops - with a more intentional dance then the seedlings.

It all caused me to raise my face to the heavens, with tear filled eyes worshiping a Savior who loves beautiful details and created each one.

The maticulous system of reproduction among plants is fascinating . Over and over again for the length of their life they produce seeds that either drop, get carried away by animals and birds, or blow high in the sky like the ones I watched earlier.  This evokes praise, and awe and thankfulness for a creation that calls me to look, even when I should be doing something else.

So once again, God confirmed that my soul is fed by watching what He created, and that's ok.  That's what also causes me to be fascinated by artists and musicians that everyone else considers different.  I LOVE them and have accepted that's just how God created me too.  (Hopefully not the different part so much).

Can you accept how God made you?

Can you see that if we were all the same creation wouldn't work?  The church could not work and it's ok to be who God created you to be - embrace it, own it and rejoice in it!!