Monday, June 27, 2016

my day off

I often talk to people at church that speak of the things and places that help them relax after working all week.   Places at The Lakes, amazing vacations or beautiful places to eat out.

Again, I guess that's just not my idea of a day off.  Waking up when I want to, eating oatmeal on my deck, enjoying perfect weather that allows me to read God's Word and pray outside...these are what my soul longs for!  And today, finally, I have that type of morning to enjoy.  I am forever grateful!

Before going outside,  I sorted and created piles of laundry to be done, pulled my little laundry rack out to our deck and settled into my favorite chair - I drew in a deep breath and as I exhaled I began to praise Him.

When all is well praises are sometimes few.  When you walk through trials your appreciation deepens for even the most 'regular day'.

My devotions took me to several scriptures this morning, one of which was found in I Timothy - telling of Paul's persecution and his words that remind us that ALL who believe will be persecuted...

Persecution can of course come in all shapes and sizes, it can be physical, mental, imagined, disappointments that we choose to dwell on, mistreatment from people we considered friends and on and on....

So far today it's peaceful and event free - this time prepares me for what lies ahead.  My schedule is no more demanding than anyone else's, but the Lord knew how much I needed a regular day - and I rejoice in it and rest fully in it!

weekend report

One thing about Crossroads Community Church that no one can argue about is that things constantly change!  And I LOVE change - I love new challenges and opportunities to 'figure out' how to make something new work!  And this weekend was no exception - a new addition!

Crossroads welcomed the Taylor family to our ministry this weekend - and what a blessing they are going to be to us!  Their love for the Lord is evident from the moment you speak to them - and nothing encourages me more then to see a family that worships together, serves together and values 'the church' equalling.  Although there are certainly exceptions to this, it just helps you to be 'fully in' when your family stands with you unified in the calling!

Doug will serve as our Communities Discipleship Pastor.  We're dedicated to a commitment to really provide our congregation with opportunities to do life in a smaller community or class setting, to grow in the Lord together and to become a tight-knit community in the Him!

Our worship was great as always and it warmed my heart to see several of the young adults on stage that our senior worship leaders have poured in to,  giving them opportunity to lead!  We have a fabulous praise team and one of the things that make it that way is the multiple generations on stage together. We believe if our goal isn't to mentor and raise up the next generations - then our leadership has failed!  It takes a commitment to welcome and support all generations using all of their various life-experience, spiritual maturity and musical ability mixed together to give glory to our Lord!  Very exciting!

Worshipping and leading our congregation so well!

Jocelyn making announcements

The old song Turn, Turn, Turn - set up the study on Ecclesiastes beautifully

Brandon is one of our videographers on staff - welcome to the praise team!

Even on a beautiful summer weekend our congregation was faithful in their attendance!

Our Setlist:

Announcements:  Global Leadership Summit  (click her to register)- Jocelyn Nicolas

King of My Heart
One Thing Remains
Come Lord Jesus (Even so Come)
Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)
Special Music:  Turn, Turn, Turn
Message:  Pt. 1 - Ecclesiastes - Lead Pastor Dave Vance
Exit Song:  Turn, Turn, Turn

To watch our services on-line go to Crossroads Community Church

To see what other ministries used in their services The Worship Community

Thanks for reading - may God richly bless your week!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

unity - Community Night of Worship

Unity = the state of being united or joined as a whole.

This is what we experienced at Crossroads last night.

As pastors linked arms and prayed, as we learned about Light Our City, an opportunity to serve our community together, and as we lifted our voices in worship - we stood unified in Christ.

My devotions today said this, "Christianity is even stronger than a bloodline, it's a Christ-line we all share.  It is what makes the Church body a family."

Acts 2:44 "All the believers were together and held all things in common" 4:32 that they were of one heart and mind"...unity!

I was so thankful for the church leaders that sacrificed time this week to be part of the Community Night of Worship at Crossroads Tuesday night, what a demonstration of how walls can break down and we can stand as one!

Community pastors standing united

The crowd starting counting down the countdown - they were excited to worship!

So thankful for this young man that stepped in when someone had to cancel.
His spoken word was amazing!

I loed this shot of Darin our drummer, & Shawn our bass guy just having fun!

Our Crossroads praise team was such a great part of the night!

As I stood at the back and shot this picture I imaged being together with these brothers and sisters for all of eternity!

Our amazing GoMissions team - worked to explain our Crossroads' Light Our
City grocery shop event and sold shirts!

Stephen and Milo

Brandi and Jon

Crystal, Matt and Kristin

Jocelyn and Josiah

Milo, Dan and Adam

Everyone came prepared to worship together and to bring 'light' to our beloved community!

And we left saying, "It was good to be in the house of the Lord"!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Young and old

Saturday!   A day I always enjoy!

Sleeping in (usually), moving slowly and choosing what I want to do.

Some days are very full of choice, but today wasn't.

With 1 grandchild overnight and 2 more joining us this morning - my day began as perfectly as possible!  The choice had been removed from my day INTENTIONALLY by me! It's unbelievable how much I miss the simple love relationship I have with my grandchildren when I have to skip a few days!

Sunshiny skies, watering flowers, pushing toy baby strollers, pulling a few weeds and plucking off dead blooms, little hands throwing rocks into the creek...and breathing all of it in deeply...holding it in and worshipping the creator.

Saturday was very different then Friday, and I was so, so thankful!

Today I poured into young, young lives - Yesterday I hung onto old life.

There would be no grandkids without this old life of my mom's.  Her adoration for my dad created 4 of us kids who were then blessed with our own children, a RICH AUTHENTIC Christian heritage and love, lots of love!

As I watched my mom fighting to form each word for the doctors in Columbus yesterday, my heart ached for her!

I tried to remember that God's design is a perfect cycle - amazing variety and interesting comparison.

The young learn to speak - the old sometimes lose their speech or have to learn it again following a stroke or accident.

The young learn to walk - the old stumble and struggle to walk and keep their balance.

The young are taught everything for the first time - the old fight to remember what they've been taught.

I could go on and on - but, moving between a mom recovering from the loss of a kidney a week ago which she did praising the Lord, to fighting for all she was worth to simply speak yesterday - fighting whether she realized it or not for her very independence - well, it just caused a lot of this comparison to go on in my head....and in my heart.

I fought hard to turn these thoughts into praises to the creator, the cycle of life and the creation of each of us to be so unique, young and old to serve equal purpose on His earth, just can't be comprehended by my simple mind - while my heart longs for understanding and peace.

My mom is home, they're calling it a TIA, they see no other blockages or problems so all that remains is the return post-surgery visit later next week.........I hope and pray!

Thanks to all my friends and relatives who have prayed for us AGAIN this week. Please, don't stop!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

what I learned today

I've been searching for a study that combines prayer and scripture, so why am I surprised when the Lord gives me exactly what I prayed for?

I received a totally unsolicited study in the mail yesterday and it appears that it is EXACTLY what I've been looking for!  A 10 week prayer journaling study - short - concise and personally challenging.  Working in ministry I've become aware how casually I tell people I'll pray for them, and I have to confess unless I write their name down right there and then I often forget.  This provides me a place to write down specific names, and to write my prayers out before the Lord - accountability.

At this point I'm not going to share what the title is because I'm just in day 1, and I don't know the content yet.  I've been highly disappointed in some of the pastoral associations that have emerged lately between some of the people I thought were theologically safe to study.   So, that causes me not to jump the gun and recommend much.  Instead I'm going to pray harder then ever for God to protect Crossroads theologically - to anoint our church with great discernment which sometimes means we are forced to point out problems we see with others' teachings.

Back to what I learned today, sitting in my favorite place this morning with sunshine pouring through trees that are still raining from last nights shower, I studied creation.  Genesis 1:1-27

Oh my word!   Talk about the pages of scripture coming alive before my eyes!!   I heard bird calls I've never noticed before, I saw annoying bugs fly past me and watched dew laden flowers reach toward the sun.   I saw a woodpecker that God decided needed a bright red head!  Amazing detail!

A cardinal came calling

Talk about a Creative God!  But creativity alone only creates chaos - orderliness is equally important, God had a plan.

The teaching talked about how God considers a blend of creativity and order to be the most effective way of working.  He needs both type of personalities to operate as He intended.  He said His creation was good, but it goes on to talk about if we had seen those first few days of creation - we may not have thought it good, seed-bearing plants with no sunshine?  God knew what was coming next, so He knew it was good!

The same applies to our lives.

Do we have problems trusting in His plans?  He sees into eternity and we only see this moment.
He knows how we fit into His plan - do we really trust Him?

What a convicting challenge to lay our my life COMPLETELY unconcerned with what is next.  That is my goal today - a day of obedience capturing every word and every thought of useless worry.

I was reminded again this morning to fully lean into God - what I learned today is that I'm simply a piece of the overall plan He designed - created specifically to help in this small span of time for His glory.

Monday, June 6, 2016

weekend report

Weekends come and weekends very fast.

After doing this for the past 19 years, I feel more dedicated then ever to the preciousness of this opportunity weekly!   We pray weekly that our collective work as a staff is used of the Lord to move people toward Him - EVER SINGLE WEEK.

This weekend was no exception - careful planning happened from the tiniest children's area to the most mature adult, we care for everyone so much!

Our praise team always works hard and I figured this weekend service in the main auditorium alone we collectively invested 120+ from the staff (that doesn't count the organizing of video stories etc.), and you figure every praise team member spent time rehearsing and memorizing music there were 6 volunteers on stage and that many behind the scenes technically to allow the service to happen.  I sing our volunteer's praises constantly as we work and play as if we're family - caring for one another and becoming closer each time we get to serve together!  What a privilege to be part of this!

Our Setlist:

Announcements on Video - Shanna Lehew

This I Believe
Holy, Holy, Holy
The Whole Earth
Come Lord Jesus (Even So Come)
Message:  Overwhelmed Pt. 3 - Depression - Lead Pastor Dave Vance
Special Music with video:  Through All Of It

If you'd like to watch our services on-line go to

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

Friday, June 3, 2016

our waiting is over

I wrote this yesterday evening, but didn't have time to finish and post...

We are finally with our mom.

After about 2 1/2 hrs. we were told to meet the doctor in a private room, not the words you want to hear.

My sister and I passed around the tissue box in preparation for what we assumed was news that would change our lives.  In some ways I guess it did...

We probably had mouths wide open in disbelief as a smiling doctor joined us telling us that all was well, in fact that all was really, really well!  Why are we surprised by good news?

Our prayers and our praying friends prayers had been abundantly answered - the cancer was contained in the removed kidney.  THE CANCER WAS CONTAINED!

The praises have not stopped to an all powerful God who is not done with mom yet!

This outcome means she can know her great-grandchildren more - teaching them of God's mercy, and celebrating Christ's birth again this Christmas, and continue to be involved in the church she's loved for so many years...

What would the other outcome have been?

I think in the middle of the battle the praises would have just look different - if it had been a health crisis we would celebrate little things, each small victory of a no pain day, each new step taken, each meal with no nausea, more time with our mom...

Does the Lord except our praise whenever they are lifted? ...does He wait for then, long for them?  I don't we decide if He is worthy of our praise?  I pray that under any circumstance I would never withhold praises from Him...that I under any circumstance offer them unconditionally.

For now the Lord has chosen to answer our prayers in the way that we hoped for, and I am overwhelmed with thankfulness to Him and to all of our friends and family holding us up over the past few weeks!

Psalm 9: 1 & 2
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
    I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
    I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.