Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Final Christmas report

The flu took our family down after Christmas - so I'm just getting around to posting all the pictures!

It was a great time of gathering together with 4,000 of our friends at Crossroads as we celebrated the birth of Christ!  This is a sample of what our nights contained as we worshipped the King!

To watch the entire service go to crossroadswired.com

                                  I found a professional Japanese dance performance on-line
                                  that used this kind of background and we found a designer that
                                  created it for us.

                                                                    Silent Night

                                                      Shawn and Milo rehearsing

                                                                Student drummers


                                                            Shepherds rehearsing

                                                                           Banjo !

                                                     Our drummer Michael was amazing!

                                                                 Yay tech team!

                                                            Camera 1 - oh yeah!

                                                Pentatonix has nothing on our team!

                                             We have an amazing staff - while some served in
                                                the auditorium, others treated the children
                                                       attending to special gift packs!

                                                    My handsome son-in-law made sure we
                                                      had perfect front-of-house audio!

                                           Ok, so we stole the idea of the drummers in the
                                         middle of our auditorium from King and Country!

iPads started this song!

                                           Dan's love of directing just can't be squelched!

                                                         Our amazing team serving!

                                                    Nick and Eric leading worship!

                                                So thankful for our talented singers!

To see what other ministries did last weekend in their services go to www.theworshipcommunity.com

Friday, December 26, 2014

my Christmas

I just crawled into bed, yet even though completely exhausted from doing 3 different family Christmas' in one day, I'm still wound up.

It's also the first time today that I've been alone since 7:00 a.m. to think and to thank.

I said thanks to everyone who gave me a gift today, everyone that cooked great food or hosted us, but I really want to spend some time thanking HIm.

I'm again undone when I focus on the fact that God created us, watched us pull away from Him and the only way He could repair the separation was to send His only Son for me.

I have one son, Eric.  He is everything that I've ever dreamed a son would be and If I force myself to imagine having to send him to do something that I knew would cost him his life, I know I could not do it.

Yet that is exactly what God did for me.

Thank you Lord, for the precious gift of your Son, thank you for the family you've given me and thank you that because of that tiny baby, I get to spend all of eternity in your presence.

I pray you recognized within your Christmas the eternal significance found only
in God's gift!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

reflections on preparing well

I watched a new team be born this year in preparation of our Christmas services.

Senior worship leaders mentoring younger worship leaders, faithful team members encouraging one another lending hours of their lives to prepare well, a technical team with a new leader solving problems and preparing earlier then ever before.  A new Pastor speaking to us even before he arrives using technology - also caring much about being part of this incredible opportunity to effect people for eternity.   Preparing well.

All God asks us for is our best.

And so tonight we all come together to offer as our Christmas gift to the Savior of the world, our preparation.

It is not just about what our team is ready to present...
-it's an entire ministry poised to welcome people as they arrive who may not have been in church for years, or ever...
-it's special treats for the children in attendance - carefully prepared by loving volunteers that value each child enough to interrupt their own busy Christmas preparations to give their offering of service to the Lord.
-It's volunteers cleaning so that our building God has given us is excellent before the Lord.
-It's men carefully placing each chair in the auditorium so that extras can be added
-it's each person taking hand-fulls of invite cards to invite their lost friends and neighbors
-and coffee hand-picked by the farmers we love in Guatemala all ground and ready to be served

This is His church preparing well

And tonight all of this preparation will become the service that begins the journey of the lost- toward a new born Savior.

Friday, December 19, 2014

nearing the end

It's hard to believe that we are down to our last rehearsal tomorrow night at Crossroads! We are nearing the end of creating our Christmas service, several of us working together for the 18th year!

Many things are different this year, but one thing is the same, I still stand back every year and marvel that I get to be part of Crossroads and the things that God is doing in that place!

The process of our Christmas@Crossroads begins the same every year, with an idea, a concept, a single song or creative piece and it builds from there to become what God brings the creatives together to produce.  Something He allows us to form as our gift to Him - our very best - and He already knows what it will be, how it will be used, and who it will touch.  It takes my breath away to think of it.

We talked over the past couple of days about the ways God's used Christmas@Crossroads in the past.  And as our team went out to lunch together to celebrate Christmas early, and just to take some time together away from our work, we rejoiced as our new graphic designer, Allie, reminded us that just a year ago she and her husband came to Crossroads for the very first time at Christmas,  and now she's on our staff!  Amazing!

People took invite cards with renewed determination - with plans to invite people to come with them this year, and I cannot wait to walk out of the back hallway and see the crowds of people for the first time Sunday night!  I'm praying for them now as I finish writing this. 

As I drove around today I prayed God would create a fire within me for the lost in our community.  That He would bring creative new ideas to me that would help to reach people that desperately need to be surrounded by a church family that cares about them.

Please join me in praying for all of those that will hear about God's precious gift of His Son, this Christmas.  May all of churches in our community rise our voices and talents in unison to be the very loud - irresistible voice of God!

Monday, December 15, 2014

my day off

Nothing is running this morning at our house except the quiet swish of my washing machine.  My hubby is with his riding buddies for their weekly breakfast.  No TV is on, no music, no lights - not even my tree lights are turned on and as I sit in my favorite 'inside' writing spot I'm surrounded outside by heavy fog.  It feels like my house is wrapped in a warm foggy blanket - keeping the outside world out for just a little while longer.  I like the quiet warmness and the distance from the world's hustle.

I'm sitting here also wrapped in thankfulness, my Christmas is taking on an order that makes me feel ready. Yesterday's Christmas rehearsal was far more gratifying than I anticipated.  Everyone came prepared and we pushed harder then ever before to even have tech ready at the same time music was.  It brings hope early to the process and will let us walk away with joy filled hearts that the Lord has once again allowed us the privilege of presenting Him to a lost world this Christmas season.

I pray now that the Lord moves in our people's hearts to bring their family and friends along with them next weekend to discover perhaps for the first time what Christmas really means.

I pray all of your Monday's will hold some quiet reflection time - He's waiting....

Sunday, December 14, 2014

weekend report

It was such an inspiring weekend at Crossroads this weekend!  We celebrated God's protection, prayed for His healing, talked about the amazing coffee farmers we support in Guatemala, heard from God's Word and worshipped together!

Our setlist:

We Have A Savior
Announcements:  Stephanie McAuley - Coffee House Manager
Angels We've Heard on High - Tomlin
Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)
Pastoral Prayer:  Wendell Anderson
Broken Vessels - concludes
Our God (O Come All Ye Faithful)
Message:  God's Gift of Joy for You - Pastor Brian Boone
Exit Song: We Have a Savior

To watch our services go to www.crossroadswired.com

To see what other ministries used in their services go to www.theworshipcommunity.com

Thursday, December 11, 2014

the church

Today I got to watch 'the church', the real church as God intended.
The volunteers praying before beginning

Our GoMissions team has worked under the leadership of my precious friend Darlene, and organized the distribution of
the gifts that our congregational members had contributed for the neediest families in Richland County.  It was definitely a blessing to witness.

People sat and prayed and discussed their lives with Crossroads volunteers and I saw more tears of joy in one day's time then I've seen in years.  One lady said she had just told her children there would be no Christmas this year, but that she would try to take them shopping as soon as the holidays were over and she saved up some money by working overtime at the gas station.  Her husband had left her and she was trying to keep the family together. 

She was overcome with tears of joy as she watched the volunteers bring her children's gifts to the table where they sat.  They then prayed together and after sitting for nearly an hour talking, she made her way back home to her tiny house and 3 kids and unknown future.

The circumstances that were shared with our volunteers are stories that bring perspective to our own lives.  Days we feel sad or disappointed usually have no foundation when measured against the hopelessness of those we served today.

The Lord permitted us to serve people today that society considers less fortunate, but I don't know...  Sometimes those who have too much, who never have to wonder about having enough or the ones slighted I imagine.

I have to be very honest and say there are seldom times in my life that I've worried about going without something, and today I saw people that spend their lives feeling hopeless.  They needed help, and somehow the Lord allowed the people of Crossroads to fill that need.

As always with this event, we are the ones blessed the most.  Such a privilege!

Monday, December 8, 2014

my day off


My husband casually asked me if I'd like to accompany him to Lehman's Hardware Store in Amish Country and I said yes, and I'm so glad I did!

The only negative that happened all day long was when this guy - the founder of Lehman's, I guess Mister Lehman, walked by right when I was saying to Ron, "man, these prices are a lot higher than I anticipated..."  Open mouth, insert foot...he just kept walking!  I'm sure hubby was proud...
Well, at least I bought a couple things to make up for it!

He also took me to an Amish buffet and two of my favorite clothing stores in the world!  What a guy!!  Needless to say, he ended up not buying anything except a match holder for the barn, and I'm the one that did the shopping - happy to accommodate!

Tomorrow we take a trip to Ashland, my home town for a while to have breakfast with my parents and then who knows what!  So fun.

It's these kinds of days that make me really love my days off and I thanked the Lord as we drove for the gift of His son this Christmas season, an awesome husband,  an amazing new pastor and his family and all the great work I get to be involved in at Crossroads!

I pray you all get a restful great day off too very soon!

weekend report

It was a caroling style Crossroads service this weekend!

Our setlist:

Announcements:  live!  with Bill Hill in a lovely Christmas sweater
Christ Has Come - Milo Sgambellone
Joy to The World  - Milo version
O Come, O Come Emmanuel - Maher
Hark the Herald Angels Sing - Milo version
Silent Night - Milo version
Drummer Boy- Church on the Move
Message:  Pt. #2  God's Gift of Strength for You  - Pastor Brian Boone
Exit Song - Silent Night medley - Milo

To watch our services on line go to crossroadswired.com

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

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

worshipping like David

It always interests me when I study about worship that David was God's choice to use as an example, especially of private worship.

David was a regular guy that had big struggles.  He struggled with lust, committed adultery and murder.  Still God called him a 'man after His own heart'.

If God had chosen a more perfect man to use to teach us about worship, we would have all given up.  Instead he shows us how a repentant heart is perhaps the ultimate form of worship to the Lord.

If you picture a young boy sent out to stay all alone in the middle of huge open land to guard sheep, you can understand the things he learned.

First of all, I'd be so terrified I would be hiding, so just BEING alone at night is impressive and demonstrates great trust in the Lord.  As a parent, sending your young son out in the night seems crazy!  Does it mean he considered the sheep more valuable than his son?  Can you imagine that young man defending the sheep against seemingly impossible foes at times?   What a demonstration of God caring for us!

But worshipping out there in the great wide open spaces is something I can definitely relate to.

Give me a sky full of stars and stillness and I find myself instantly in worship!  Can't you just see it as a falling star drops from the millions of others - David jumps to his feet in worship and wonder?  Dancing alone in the night surrounded by sheep!

So how do we compare in our worship to the Lord each day?

Why do we find it so difficult to remain in worship each day?  The wonder of our God gets buried under our stuff and busyness.   As we move through our days He waits longing for fellowship with the very creation He made to worship Him.  Can we give Him our worship today?

Join me in opening this day in prayer and dedicating our day to Him and let's see what opportunities of worship He lays in our path this day.  Picture David getting blown away by God's amazingness- dancing alone
out in that empty field and do a little dance of your own today!

Monday, December 1, 2014

my day off

I'm finished with all the Christmas decorating I will do this year.  It's simple - consisting mainly of twinkle lights and old items saved from years past.  I added nothing new.  I like that.

Now I sit, which I haven't done in a while and reflect on the whirlwind of the past couple of weeks.

Just days ago you heard me describe my communion with the Lord on a level that I hadn't experienced in a while - while we were on vacation.  Not because He did anything different or moved closer toward me.  But because I was available.

I came home fully rested, renewed and ready.

The blessings that I've experienced since vacation have been too numerous to count.

The ones that come to mind are my job at Crossroads - working with people I adore, and last week working with Dr. Kevin Leman.  This man is a riot while being a wealth of knowledge and accomplishment yet remaining very approachable and Godly.  I LOVED my time working with him.

Following that weekend event, we created our Christmas set design discovering things I didn't know our Environmental Projection was capable of doing and continued working on Christmas@Crossroads.

This was a very special weekend, as I got to watch the young worship adults from the Student Ministry at Crossroads lead our congregation in worship!  Knowing we have this kind of young adult base gives testimony to the fact that we have a very healthy ministry.  Of course the biggest blessing to me personally was that my son and daughter and son-in-law were part of that team.  There is perhaps no greater earthly blessing than to watch your kids serve their Lord!

And finally yesterday we celebrated Katie and Garrett's wedding.  These are both Crossroads young adults that discovered one another after being at Crossroads together for years.  What a great night it was as I watched one of the girls that I got to build into during times of single girls groups and doing ministry together!  She deserved a great guy like Garrett!

And now, on my day off, we get to meet with a beautiful lady from across the world, who is here in the states for a short time.  Tutu is one of the most giving - loving - Godly ladies I've every known.  She serves with Asia's Hope in Thailand.  She hosted our kids years ago when they served 2 weeks with her.  So we'll all get to be with her in just a couple of hours!

The Church is not a building, it's God's people serving and caring for one another.  Gathering on the weekends to learn and to fellowship with one another.

If all you do is attend a church, but your life isn't connected to what God's doing during the week through that body of believers, then you're not partaking in what God intended for His Church.

I invite you perhaps as a New Year's resolution to get involved, really involved and begin not only to serve others, but to experience God's family in it's fullest!  It will change your life...forever!