Sunday, March 31, 2013

Art, Art I Love You...

Who am I? I am a creative artist.
I worked with designing stages to portray messages and experiential moments to draw people closer to God. I loved soaring on the top of a ten foot ladder, creating and designing in the air. It feels like flying to my heart.
Now, I am no longer implementing these designs. It's a new season in my life.
But basically, in my heart I am still an artist. Waiting to see where the next step on this journey will lead me.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


How do I explain this? I have no earthly clue what is going to happen with the message each Sunday. I pray and God's gives me ideas to implement. I create them.

I've been playing with this “red thread” idea/stage design for several weeks now.
Here is the design I created for June 24th, which didn't happen. So, I continued the idea for this last week. July 1st.  (read the notes on the drawing)

This was the main scripture for the message.
1 Peter 2: 4-9
Specifically verse 9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”
This was the stage:

As long as this continues to happen...
I just trust God.

Friday, June 22, 2012

in God's time...

Learned a powerful lesson over the last two weeks.

At our last Loudoun HTTF meeting, we shared reports and began to talk about our next action step. During the discussion Amanda spoke up and said we needed to be mindful of being good stewards of what God has given to us.
At that point, we stopped and spent the rest of our time in prayer that the Holy Spirit led us to God's will, to be good stewards of what He has given us.

My personal impressions from that prayer session were: be hands and feet, be good stewards, allow God to open doors.

Here were the immediate results:

In our time: we were asked to create a “Round Table”. To bring together non-profits working with human trafficking, social workers, law enforcement, shelters and others to a “round table” to discuss how to approach the problem of human trafficking in our area. The planning was a dismal failure. Why? Because in retrospect that idea wasn't in God's planning & timing for US.

In God's time: His plan was for someone else to create the network in our northern Virginia area. Someone who had more clout and was paid to do the work. We were invited to attend a Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Forum. When the forum plenary session started we all looked at each other and went “Wow!”. It was almost exactly what was envisioned for the “Round Table”.

Note to self: For me personally, it was a defining moment. A reminder that we may even see the vision, but we need to let God tell us when to move. We didn't need to do the work, we simply needed to show up and be the...

...Hands and feet Through out the day, there were several conversations with various organizations that had needs for hands and feet (people). Several requests were specifically for people of faith. Some of these specific requests were:
we need counselors
we need hotline workers
we need people to hold hands
we need families to mentor survivors
we need supplies to fill the houses and rooms of the survivors
we want to work together with others

Gee whiz, guess what? We have hands and feet (people) that want to serve. This is that opportunity (open doors) to be good stewards of people that God has connected us with other the last year.

Our perceived needs: We have been needing some simple cold, hard facts that human trafficking does exists in Northern Virginia as ammunition for naysayers we are running into. When we entered the forum, in our folders was a hand out from the U.S. District Attorneys office. It was 6 pages of convictions over the last year of human trafficking cases: domestic, labor and sex trafficking.

In conclusion, my recommendations for our team: we are going to be spending a lot more time in prayer. Allowing God to led us and only move when we are sure it's a door that God is opening.

Monday, June 4, 2012

red thread...

I actually have been toying with this idea for a couple years.The idea first came to me when we were in the designing stages of producing the book “Revealing the Relevant Word” for our reading through the Bible in a year with Cross Current...
The background:
I like studying demographics in relation to the church. One interesting tidbit I found was that the fastest growing community in our zip code is the Asian community. I have talked about it often.
I was also doing some research on the concept of the legend of the “red thread”.
“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of the time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break” - Chines Proverb
At that point I was seeing that God's Word was the thread that connected us to Him. That this thread connect us to Him and our true destination is to meet God.
The final prompt was a family that is about to receive their newest child into their family. She is a sweet girl from China. I have since learned that the adoptive community have picked up on this legend to represent linking the child to their forever home.
So mash-up all that with our current series: love God, love others, serve the world...
I decided to create a red thread to use in the stage design.

As if often true, there may be only a few that will “get” what this stage design is all about; but it will be worth it.
This took HOURS...
364 yards of red yarn

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Disclaimer: This isn't a post about "pinterest"; but an idea to utilize the interest in the latest "hot" social media application as an interactive tool for a relevant message at church.

I've watched the pinterest world from afar. Creeping up all over facebook.
Honestly, I not an overly girly, girl. I wasn't “pinterested”. But, I am interested in the impact of social media on our society at large. Obviously there is something that appeals to people (mostly women) about pinterest.

According to Wikipedia: “Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, 're-pin' images to their own collections and/or 'like' photos. Pinterest's mission is to "connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting" via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing. Pinterest allows its users to share 'pins' on both Twitter and Facebook.” 
So, I started thinking...
This year we have been focusing on love God, love others, serve the world...
This would really make an interesting message for “serve the world”. But, obviously it would need to be less girly. Maybe we could use knives. LOL.
An interactive bulletin board, when people would “pin” or “knife” what they are already doing to serve the world and/or where their interest lies in serving the world. Actually it would be a reflection of both what we are currently doing and what we dream of doing.

serving the world...

What is interesting is that service is really in our DNA at Cross Current Ministries. We are currently going through a search process to find a new pastor. We have hired consultants to come in to evaluate where we are as a church. I remember during an interview with the consultants, the asked so what does that mean? It's in our DNA.

What does it mean?

It means that we announce a need in the morning service for lots of backpacks that are are needed at the middle school where we meet, and by 4:00 the cars start rolling up and we have ALL the needed backpacks that day.

A school contacts us because they have 80 children that needs clothes (socks, underwear, sweat suits and all). We create boards with cards of all the needs. Every single card is taken and we have to scramble to find more needs...

As long as I have been here, I have never seen an announced need go unmet. It is just the way we roll. It has been very interesting to say the least.

The consultants concluded that Cross Current ministries expressed an extreme passion for mission. They had never seen a church that is as passionate about mission as we are.
About getting our focus beyond our walls, into the world.
So, the idea is to create post-it like signs: poverty, hunger, orphaned, foster care, justice, water...
and have people come up and “pin” what they are doing and dream of doing.
But, to take it a step beyond that.

Link these people together, create teams that would do service together.
Now that would be “pinteresting”!

Friday, May 4, 2012


in a place of wonderment... standing on a precipice...

not knowing the next step...
yet, knowing He is faithful...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

100th day of the year...

How do you celebrate the 100th day of the year?
First you do a lot of counting and re-counting. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,6, 7, 8, 9,...
Everyone brought 100 of their favorite things to the party.
I put 100 safety pins on a shirt to wear and share.
At the party, we started by reading “Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten”.
Then everyone shared the 100 items they brought to the party. trading cards, Pokemon Cards, beanie babies, hair ties, beads, stickers, Lego's, marbles, colorings pens & pencils, monkeys on an outfit.... Help me out mom's, what did I miss...
Hundreds of fingers counted and strung 100 Fruit Loops on a string and made necklaces. I would say it is safe to assume that 100's of Fruit Loops got eaten also while we were stringing!
There were three jars of jelly beans and we guessed which one had 100 jelly beans in it. Only one person got it correct. Go Laurie and Jake!
We listed 100 Things that we are thankful for on a poster board.
Then we ate! There was 100 pretzels, 100 pieces of cheese, 100 cucumber slices, 100 grapes, 100 chicken nuggets...
We shared 100 skittles and 100 jelly beans for dessert. Yum! Believe it or not 100 of these items was just the perfect amount.
We had at least 100 minutes of playing and fun.
Everyone got a fake Monopoly $100 bill, and we all shared what we would do with $100.
Then we learned how 100 friends, who stick together can not be broken apart.
There were way more than 100 laughs!
What a fun, fun day! Old friends, new friends. We may have to do it again next year and maybe you could join us. Someone even wanted to have a 200th day of the year party. I think he had fun.
So everyone start counting....
1, 2, 3, 4, 5....