Tuesday, April 26, 2016

why pray

Do you ever wonder if prayer really is necessary?

The Bible talks about it a lot, this is just one of many passages.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I wonder if God tells us to pray constantly because He simply wants us to communicate with Him - He wants to be close to us? He already knows what will happen next so I sometimes find myself wondering if it's really necessary.

Is it another area of our lives in which He just plain asks for obedience?

I believe it's partially about relationship. I know when I really pray consistently, He fills my mind with himself - gives me a heavenly mind-set, one that's not concerned as much with life circumstances. He also gives me confidence to move ahead in the direction He's making obvious to me. Without prayer I'm just a participant in this earthly life - losing my focus on why I was created in the first place, and unconcerned with 'what could be' in Him.

What an insult to Him, when we don't spend time in prayer - except of course when we're in trouble!

Prayer is also vital in regard to the church, and powerful when our voices raise together!

I found these 4 things that happen as a result of unified, consistent prayer from a body of believers! 
1.The Word gets preached with boldness.
2.The church remains unified on mission together.
3.The world hears about the hope of the resurrection.
4.God’s blessing and favor is upon his people.
5.The community is changed by infectious generosity.

One of the events we're considering during the days leading up to our 20 year anniversary this fall, is a prayer event. It seems to me the only response that makes sense, a time of thanking Him for what He's accomplished through Crossroads, and the only thing we can offer to the Lord that will have any affect on our future as a ministry!

What an amazing opportunity we have, we weren't just created and sent along our way alone, He asks us to communicate with Him without stopping....that's crazy good!

Monday, April 25, 2016

weekend report

I'm not sure when I've heard the congregation sing louder then they did this past weekend - it was so good to be with my brothers and sisters in the Lord - rehearsing for eternity!

I love the cello and was so excited when I found out we had a gifted player coming.  The richness he added to the worship was so beautiful!

I'll never grow tired of watching different giftedness coming together to create an experience that removes all distraction from the past week, and proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ loud and clear and beautifully!


Our talented Greg Crawfis built our Final Destination stage design

Jocelyn lead strongly!

Jocelyn lead with Dan Fleming and I just loved watching them engage the congregation in worship with the amazing volunteer team members!

Our Setlist:

Welcome/Announcements:  Jeff Schultheis
You Make Me Brave
Great Are You Lord
Revelation Song
Message:  Final Destination:  Judgement - Wendell Anderson
Special Music:  Called Me Higher

To watch our services go to crossroadswired.com

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

Friday, April 22, 2016


I love freshly ironed clothing.

I unfortunately - based on our current schedule, had allowed my ironing to really pile up.  It was one of those evenings a couple days ago, when all that was on TV was election junk, so I headed upstairs.

I think the reason I enjoy ironing is that it has a beginning and an ending, and most of my work feels like it doesn't.

I took my laptop with me and decided to re-listen to Pastor Dave's heaven and hell teachings. Crossroads Messages

Even though I almost always sit clear up-front during 1 service a weekend, it's really difficult to ever fully stop evaluating and making suggestions for improvement creatively, technically and musically.   So although I sit down - I don't 'take it all in', like I should.

I was really, really challenged more than any other messages in a long time as I listened.   Dave's challenge to long for heaven to spend eternity in Christ's presence felt like a brand new challenge. He said it should be the main thing we long for, to simply be in the presence of Jesus forever.

Sitting under this kind of teaching makes me understand that I had several pastors growing up, that seemed to focus on sending us home each weekend feeling guilty about our lives.  Not redeemed, not saved, not secure - guilty...not good enough.

So I have to admit, when taking the time to carefully examine my heart, most of my thinking related to 'excepting Christ', was feeling not worthy on my own to get to heaven, which of course is true.   And because I was scared to death of hell.  We were asked weekly, "Are you SURE you're saved, are you POSITIVE you've been forgiven", even though we didn't believe you could lose your salvation - they asked weekly.

I see now how our enemy can even use well intentioned good men to lead us away from a personal longing to understand and know our Savior more and more.  Instead it can turn into nothing more then a 'get out of hell' pass.

He created me to BE WITH HIM, not worry about doing things well enough, bank accounts and the future - but to understand that as a child of His I will ONLY find satisfaction in Him...

I want to know Him more - to ask for understanding of who He is, and to honestly believe what I'm doing now - my amazing family - all these blessings He's given me are all to use for eternal accomplishment.  In a blink of an eye we'll move on, and that's not a negative thing.  I want it to nurture a longing that can only be satisfied by Him.

It shouldn't be shocking that God allows dramatic things to happen to us, removing all 'the stuff' that clogs our ability to focus on Him.  Especially as Americans, it's nearly impossibly to see our deep eternal need of Him through all of our appointments, purchases and self-sufficiencies, but I want to know Him at a level that makes heaven the longing of my heart.  Pouring into only heaven worthy things and attitudes.  I am very thankful that truth is taught clearly and bravely at Crossroads without guilting us into obedience!

Who would have thought ironing my hubby's shirts could be used of God to open my eyes and catch just a tiny glimpse of what He really wants from me?  What awaits for me!

May your day be filled with heaven-longings and a new, deep knowledge of Christ- and maybe a little ironing!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

disrupted sleep

When my sleep is disrupted it can be any number of things:

-Vern needs to go outside
-Eating too late at night
-Snoring from dog or hubby
-Loud storm
-Bad dream

This morning at 4:00 I absolutely could no longer sleep!  Very disappointing after being in the car over 10 hours yesterday!

So I got up and made coffee and worked a little bit, knowing I would be exhausted by the end of the day with 3 meetings today and various tasks ahead of me.

As I'm winding up some work right now, I wondered if there was far more to accomplish then a couple of early morning tasks.

So I began to pray and ask the Lord to be pleased with my day.  It's amazing when we're obedient and quiet our hearts what He brings to our attention.  I'm not claiming any mystical revelation - more like an 'abiding in Him' quiet focus.

Psalm 46:10  "Be still and know that I am God..."  

I think the context of this was when God needed people to 'stop trying vainly' to accomplish and let it be obvious that this was going to be something only God could do.  It's interesting that God asks for our quietness - to step aside so He can work.

I SO want to be still enough to hear God's leading - and then to trust Him completely today!

Will you be loud, or quietly abiding today?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

weekend report

It was a beautiful weekend studying what the Lord has told us about heaven in our "Final Destination" series.

We worshipped, studied and shared communion together - it was good to be in the house of the Lord!

Preparing communion behind the scenes

Milo did a great job on There Will Be A Day

Our setlist:


"Word on Heaven" video intro

There Will Be A Day

Message:  Final Destination Pt. 2: Word on Heaven - Lead Pastor Dave Vance

Here In Your Presence
Good Good Father
At The Cross (Love Ran Red) - Congregation takes Communion
Unbroken Praise

To watch our services go to crossroadswired.com

To see what other ministries are using go to theworshipcommunity.com

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

a great outpouring

I have never experienced anything in my life like the passing of my father, on many levels.

One is the great outpouring of love and support in the form of cards and letters that are still coming from my friends and relatives.  Another was the amazing food that friends brought to us!

As I sat with my mom this afternoon - I read through all the cards she has received.   I couldn't believe the pile of cards and notes she had!  The thing we marveled at was that nearly every card had extensive writing in it.  The amazing detail people included about their relationship with dad made us smile.  And the only ones that didn't contain extra writing, were from people that we've spent time with and talked to over the past several weeks, or from people who didn't know my dad, but sent beautiful cards to encourage us - a generous outpouring!

As I returned home today, my husband handed me the mail which also still contained cards coming from dear friends!

Thank you so much!

It's so hard to believe it's been a week ago that we held dad's funeral service.  Out of all the services I've helped to create, it was my greatest honor.  I loved him so so much...

We invited dad's pastor whom he loved to open the service and then family members lead the rest.

Eric and Jocelyn lead the music

My brother John read scripture
Aaron had the difficult task of reading the families' memories of dad and my brother-in-law Rob Barlow delivered a perfect message, and then my precious hubby gave the graveside message!  I was thankful for the talents of each family member, so thankful!

The veterans were so kind to honor dad too!

My mom only wanted to have 2 hours of visiting hours right before the funeral service, which was at 3:00 p.m.- so I was worried that she might be disappointed in attendance on a workday.  But everyone  just kept coming and coming to pay their respects to my amazing dad.

They came to pay respect to the man that taught me who God is, what kind of a man I deserved to marry and how to raise kid's to love the Lord.  The man that adored my mom for nearly 60 years.

I miss him desperately and just cannot thank you all enough for all of your care, your support and your example of what it means to have amazing brothers and sisters in Christ.

Now we turn our attention to mom and the tremendous changes that she will be experiencing.  To lose a partner after so many years...so difficult.  One of the saddest pictures from the whole experience was the one of mom walking out of Hospice with all of dad's possessions for the final time.  It makes my heart ache.

But she's leaning into her Heavenly Father and continues to encourage everyone else - an amazing women for sure!

Thanks for continued prayer!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

weekend report

Entering from backstage
What a great start to our new Final Destination series!

Before the services began I walked out on stage from the green room  - and thanked the Lord for all the people behind the scenes that make each new idea a reality.  People like Greg Crawfis who never gets or wants any attention for all that he does, but faithfully works behind the scenes building set designs and new kitchens and electrical panels.  I can't thank him enough!

As I entered the stage I saw the 2 light fixtures that made the graphic for the series come alive and continued to clean up the stage.  As I looked out over the empty auditorium, I saw the praise team and band scattered around that auditorium praying and journaling, doing what each needed to do to prepare their own hearts to lead the rest of us in worship.  Their preparation made me very thankful for their dedication to prepare well themselves!
Praise team praying

Milo doing the opening scripture reading.

It was a weekend of saying goodbye to old friends!

Jim's final pose on the Crossroads stage.

It was a weekend of learning, worshipping and unfortunately saying goodbye to Jim Messner who has played faithfully at Crossroads for the past 18 years, he's moving out of state.  Thank you so much Jim!

Our Setlist:

Announcements:  Aaron Nicolas and Brandon Majers

Scripture Reading:  Milo Sgambellone

Special Music:  Grow

How Great Thou Art
Lord I Need You

Bumper Series Video

Message:  Final Destination Pt. 1; The Proof of the Afterlife - Lead Pastor Dave Vance

Final Worship:  Come Lord Jesus (Even So Come)

Final Prayer:  Pastor Dave Vance

As I drove home tonight I gave thanks to the Lord of the universe - such a great day!

To watch our services go to crossroadswired.com

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