Wednesday, March 30, 2016

weekend report

WOW!   It was such an amazing, amazing Easter weekend at Crossroads!

As I watched nearly every seat fill up in all 4 services, I wondered where all these people had come from.  What circumstances had they left behind as they came to church?  Were they searching for answers, for something to place hope in?  I prayed they could find God here!!

We considered Christ's death on the cross...
We celebrated His resurrection...
We lifted our voices as one in worship of our Savior...

It was an extraordinary weekend!!

Let me show you some of what came together to become UNSHACKLED, an idea that came from pictures taken of a chain statue in Chicago 4 years ago.  An idea that artists, and musicians, and teachers surrounded and worked together to form into the message of freedom found only in Christ!

Getting the 'chain man' in place
It was a glorious Easter morning

Pastor Dave delivered an amazing message called Unshackled

The Crossroads artists version of the Chicago chain man


Our Setlist:

Welcome and Opening Prayer - Jesse Rider  Student Ministry Pastor
Go To Dark Gethsemane
O The Blood
Video Segment
My Victory
Christ The Lord Has Risen Today
Break Every Chain
Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
Spoken Word Video
Lift Your Head Weary Sinner
Message: Unshackled - Pastor Dave Vance
How Can It Be
Instructions about picking up packets if they made a decision to follow Christ

To watch our services go to

To see what other ministries used in their services go to

Thursday, March 24, 2016

rehearsing to worship well

I think this is the 19th Easter I've had the privilege to be part of at Crossroads, and it's the first one my dad will miss.

It's always so humbling when you watch many hands touch a concept and bring to life what once was just in a folder in a your drawer, this concept became filled with Holy Spirit filled life.

As I'm critiquing and watching every move of our Easter rehearsal, listening to every note - I worship, almost so overcome I cannot watch.  Forever He is Glorified...forever He is lifted dad's singing too - I know it.

We try to worship as we should and then every once in while when we prepare well, we stand before him forgiven, then we catch a glimpse for just a moment of what it may be some day in heaven.

While we remain for a while with hurt, and sin in a scared world - dad worships His Savior face to face.  And as we try to understand what worship really is - there is no effort in my dad's worship, he cannot resist it - nothing else enters his mind but continuous worship of the only Savior of our world!

Until then, I'm just asking you all not to miss the opportunity to worship this weekend - don't forsake the gathering together of saints as we celebrate the amazing undeserved love of our Savior!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I'm a little less whole

Yesterday and all the past years of my life, my dad was a huge part of me.  This morning as he passed I felt just a little less whole.   Like something is missing now.

I am so thankful I got to be with him non-stop over the past few weeks.  But, it's been very difficult to watch the man I grew up in love with, shrink away before my very eyes.

This father of mine was strong and independent and suddenly in 3 weeks time became totally dependent on others.  All decision making was removed from him as he had doctors telling him what he had to do next and squads moving him from hospital to Hospice to home to Hospice..people bathing him and medicating him, I could hardly stand to watch all privacy and dignity be taken from him.

But, even as he was taken from the home he loved - he treated everyone kindly, his sarcastic humor had never been sharper and the stories that were told will be remembered forever by all that participated! And oh how he talked of the Lord - a testimony to the end!

Everyone had different ways of saying goodbye - I found myself even today as he took his final breaths stroking his arm and then kissing his head goodbye.  Both things were something I'm not sure I've ever done before.  But it's all I could do as we assured him it was ok to go to be with Jesus.

Later in his empty bedroom today, I started to go through pictures in preparation for the funeral and physically saw the little things he had that were important to him.   Simple things, things he's touched in the past, things I now need to hold for a little while.  These things all left behind.

This I know with more certainty then ever in my life - he is not in that coffin -  he has been welcomed into His Saviors arms!

All his hardships and all disappointments have faded, and all longings have been fulfilled with just one glimpse of Yahweh!  He probably fell on the ground in breathtaking amazement of God Almighty!

I loved him fiercely, and he encouraged me endlessly so I'm perhaps less whole without him.  But I think any loss, any trial, drives us to long more and more to be present with Jesus ourselves!  And only then - in heaven's glory will I too feel the glorified fulfillment that my dad experienced at 10:27 a.m. this morning.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

weekend report

My understanding is that the services this weekend at Crossroads were packed!  I didn't get to be there today due to my dad taking a turn for the worse, but I'm so excited for what the Lord is doing at our church!

Pastor Dave challenged everyone to consider forgiving others,  and as a result to initial the crosses in our lobby if they were willing to forgive as God commands us to forgive!  A visual to remind us of Jesus sacrifice on the cross to grant US forgiveness!

It was a great lesson on the power of forgiveness!

Also, you are not going to want to miss Easter!  As I watch all the pieces coming together, I'm amazed again at how the Lord uses each of our talents collectively to create a final service that we fervently pray is anointed by the Holy Spirit and used to change lives for eternity!

You can choose between 4 services next weekend:
Saturday at 5:00 & 7:00 or Sunday at 9:00 & 11:00 - all 4 services are identical

Our setlist:

Announcements:  Thanks to Ruby Feagin for recording the announcements this weekend

You Make Me Brave
Your Grace is Enough
Come Lord Jesus (Even So Come)
Man of Sorrows

Erased Video Bumper transition

Message:  Erased Pt. 3: Forgive Others - Pastor Dave Vance

Exit Song:  Man of Sorrows

To watch our service to to

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

Saturday, March 19, 2016

fully present - is it possible?

I woke up at 2:00 a.m. today and could NOT get back to sleep.   So I finally gave up and got up and made a cup of tea, folded laundry and sat down at my computer.

As I looked over my work load, and wondered how my dad was doing at Hospice I wondered if it was ever a true possibility to be 'fully present' anywhere for anything?

Reading an email reminded me of something else I needed to schedule, which took me to my DayTimer which revealed something that had to be done the next day which caused me to add a reminder to my phone calendar which revealed another appointment that I really, really needed to reschedule......

How do you simplify life?

How do you fully focus on anything longer then a few minutes?

I heard on the radio yesterday that there has never been a time in history where depression and unhappiness has been as rampant as it is now in the US.  This was a secular station so I was curious to see what their solution would be.

They felt depression was being over-diagnosed and what it boiled down to in many cases, was simply 'having too much'!

They talked about young people being under tremendous pressure to know for sure what they wanted to spend their lives doing by age 25 when they already had more of everything then they would ever need.   Was there really any real reason to even seek a career when they already owned more by the time they graduated then nearly any other country in the world?

They described how young adults were bouncing from one thing to another seeking fulfillment and happiness in comparison to the satisfaction older adults found in stability and being satisfied with 1 or 2 jobs in their lifetime.  And how the older generations with less options were more able to fully focus on just a few things and were far more satisfied.


I've been wrestling with my lack at times of a longing for heaven.  I feel it's directly related to the distraction of too much stuff to take care of, and being very comfortable with my life.

My dad said yesterday, "I don't know how long I want to live like this", is that what it takes to get my focus on heaven and not the things of this earth?   Facing death?  How sad.

I'm anxious for Pastor Dave's teaching in this next series on heaven and hell - our final destination.  I haven't heard a teaching on this topic for a long time and it comes at a prime time for my family as we face the loss of my dad soon.

As we move into Psalm Sunday weekend and on to Easter next week - I long to be completely obsessed with my Savior.  and I plan to try my hardest to abide in Him...fully present...

Thursday, March 17, 2016

unfinished plans

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

a beautiful early morning at Crossroads 

This morning I worked out in the back of Crossroads preparing chains for our Easter set design. About 8:30 I was just getting a good start when a call came from mom. What I thought my plans were for the day suddenly became not so important.

My dad was being moved back to the Hospice facility.

As my girlfriends surrounded me in my office, placing arms around me with tears in their eyes, I wondered how people face the loss of family without this kind of support.

But as I drove toward Ashland again - I found myself worried that the details of Easter may never get done. It was such a crazy thought to consider that details beyond my control had in a sense become chains of worry... the concept of shackled I'd been developing was present in my own life... And then the Jeremiah scripture came to my mind and I remembered the Gospel of Jesus will be proclaimed despite any unfinished plans. And that I can have complete confidence and freedom in Christ!

Today I sit writing obituaries and organizing a celebration of life service instead of the Easter service details like I had planned. No one is predicting how long dad has, but things are clearly shutting down so we are preparing now to eliminate all last minute stress and so that we can be fully present with him no matter how much time is left.

For I know the plans I have for you ...

Sunday, March 13, 2016

weekend report

Jesse Rider, one of our Student Ministry pastor continued our ERASED series this weekend and did a great job!

We worshipped and it was so good to be in the House of the Lord!

Jay talked to us about how he prepares when he's on the team - searching
scripture that the songs are based on and also reflected back on  the last conversation
he had with his dad before he passed away.  A great moment in worship.
There is never just the services going on in the ministry, behind the scenes there's always preparations happening for the 'next things', classes and tons of fellowship.

One of those things was the final video shoot for our Easter services, I can't wait to see it edited to see if our talented video guys were able to capture what we were trying to create!

Shooting for Easter!

Our setlist:


Be Lifted Higher
Mighty To Save
Good Good Father
Your Glory (with Nothing But the Blood)

Erased Bumper Video
Message:   Erased Pt. 2:  Forgive Yourself

Exit Song:  Good, Good Father

To watch our services go to

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

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

falling into place

I heard this phrase on the radio this week and it's caused me to really think.

"You're world's not falling apart it's falling into place"...

Time and time again as I've studied God's Word, it's apparent that my 'take' on my circumstances could not be more opposite than God's perspective.

What we can see with the natural eye is not reality, but those things that remain unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

 I long to see all of those around me through Christ's eyes - eyes that loved so much He gave His life for us.  To recognize circumstances at any given time as temporary in comparison to eternity and to long for the unseen!

No circumstance is beyond God's control or outside of His plan.  THAT should bring complete peace and confidence that our world is simply falling into place!

Monday, March 7, 2016

my day off

These have been a remarkable few days.

From the certainty of my dad's passing, even medical professionals certain of it - to a family birthday party just a week later with dad comfortable in his own home....what a week it has been!

Dad is still very fragile - and exhausted easily - but very comfortable and for that I am more thankful then I can possibly say!  And because he's doing better right now, we headed over tonight.

We celebrated our daughter Jocelyn's birthday.

Every time another year passes I love her more.  I am SO thankful for the ability to live close by and to have such a close relationship with her.  She inspires me each time we talk and challenges me to be better and to consider new things.

She wanted to be with her grandpa tonight for her birthday, and I am praising the Lord for that opportunity!  She loves him.

It's been a roller coaster ride the past week and a half - but it was a special birthday evening for her.  An evening none of us took for granted - an evening although extremely simple - we won't soon forget!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

weekend report

What A great beginning to our ERASED series on forgiveness!   So good!

Worship was strong and it was so good to hear the congregation singing so strongly together!

I walked around the ministry a little this weekend and was so excited by the things I saw!  Our student ministry worship was just so good, nothing says healthy ministry like students excited to be in their classes all the way down to the nursery!   I walked by a family I didn't recognize this morning and heard a boy about 7 years old saying, "I LOVE my class"!   So encouraging!

Students worshipping
Then I saw Eric, our High School Pastor working with his son to set up the Coffee Student Fund-raiser.  He was so excited to help.  Generations working together!

In classrooms during the services were things like Marriage classes and a Bilingual class and then training after church in our children's areas!  So many good things!  It was truly VERY good to be in the House of the Lord!

Our setlist:

Good, Good Father
Come Lord Jesus (Even So Come)
Unbroken Praise
Holy, Holy, Holy
My Heart Is Yours
Bumper Video Intro
Message:  ERASED Pt. 1 God Forgives - Pastor Dave Vance
Exit Song:  Good, Good Father

To watch our services on line go to

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

Thursday, March 3, 2016

weekend report

I'm super late getting this up - but, it was another great weekend at Crossroads as Pastor Dave wrapped up the Conspiracy Series!

Our worship team lead us strongly!  I needed to worship Him so badly this weekend!

As we worshiped and I looked around the congregation, I could only imagine what circumstances and life happenings each person had come from to be with us.   Some possibly desperate for a break from their life, others anxious to meet new friends that could perhaps be a good influence, and still more just trying to raise children strongly - looking for Godly guidance apart from this world.

Regardless, we came together, and we breathed as thankful to be part of the body of Christ!

Our setlist:

Victory In Jesus


You Make Me Brave
Lay Me Down
How Great Thou Art
Your Glory (with Nothing But the Blood)
Oceans (where feet may fall)

Message:  Conspiracy Pt. 6 Called To Share - Lead Pastor Dave Vance

You Make Me Brave

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Rally days

Everyone said there would be rally days and brother there was!

We wish we had a word counter and recording of all the things that came out of his mouth yesterday

I describe his story-telling as an auctioneer comedian combination.

He talks continuously about listening to the Ashland University girls tournament game tonight - wishing I could some how get him there- he never misses a game.

Today he goes home - unbelievable from 2 nights ago when we were positive Jesus was calling him home.

Prayers work - although God already knows the number of his days.

They say he will get weaker and weaker ...we're praying he just sleeps away to Jesus, and has no pain.

Please know we FEEL your prayers and care and we love you all more than we can possibly describe.