Sparklers and Mortars and A Very Happy 4th of July

Nothing says summer like watermelon and the 4th of July!

Nothing says summer like watermelon and the 4th of July!

It’s July 2nd. I’m sure that there is something significant about this date somewhere. July 2nd is about the time that I begin planning my July 4th celebration. We still don’t know what we are doing and the pressure is higher since the 4th falls on the weekend. I should have been planning this weeks ago; sidling up to friends who have campers, cabins, lake houses.  But alas, I did not.  And I rarely do. Which is why 90% of my 4th of Julys are made up of mostly last minute moments.

If any of you are last minute people, LMP, (also know as Perceiver on the Myers Briggs), you know what I am talking about. This does not mean we don’t have fun. It means that the memories are less Instagram worthy and more America’s Funniest Home Video worthy.

For instance, when you are a LMP, you might end up deciding to just purchase your own fireworks to shoot off in the common area of the townhouse where you live so that your 3 year old’s sleep schedule doesn’t get interrupted. This shouldn’t be a big deal. Unless you are a last minute person who is married to a very excitable person, VEP, (also known as a sales persons dream).  Then, things get REAL.  Because you,LMP, send the VEP over the border to buy fireworks quickly for that evening.  VEP is living the dream because he is being sent to the land flowing with milk and honey, or in our case, beer, cheese, and illegal fireworks.  (For those of you not in the midwest, Minnesota doesn’t like to let normal folks set off large fireworks, you know because safety.)

In the world of a LMP, a very strange thing happens…GUILT.  I feel bad about being so last minute and it’s my fault we didn’t make plans.  And when VEP returns with many dollars worth of  illegal and large fireworks,  and the neighbors and kids cheer and rally around him, you go with the flow.  And pray that no one loses a hand. Or head.  It’s actually a very real possibility.

There is a slight chance that your VEP doesn’t follow directions and doesn’t actually know much about fireworks other than that they are SO loud, SO big, and SO illegal.   Which means SO AWESOME.

When a VEP encounters SO AWESOME, someone is going to come close to death. (I’ll tell you about Mexico in another post.)  My VEP set up the fireworks and went to town before dusk.  I tried to explain night and day to him, but we were halfway through the pile when we could finally see them in the sky.  I think we saw maybe 2 night sky fireworks when the inevitable happened.  A lighted firework tipped over.  Now, if this was a Minnesota legal firework, VEP would have been able to just tip it back up. But this was a SO loud, SO big and SO illegal firework. The only option that VEP had was to run.  And scream at all the sweet neighborhood children to do the same.  I swear it was slow motion.  The chaos. The screaming. The running. The BOOM.  That firework shot out of it’s container and like a bolt of lightening and disappeared behind the townhouses across from us. Thankfully, there was a neighbor outside grilling who was able to tell us where it went. Right next to his head.

I swear that if we had had cell phones that could video, we would have won some sort of prize.   But, it’s a last minute moment.  No video.  No photos.  Just a photographic memory of meeting new neighbors who have the ability to laugh when faced with their mortality.

You would think that I would learn, but I like a good adventure and I love those last minute moments.  Happy 4th of July y’all.  May we never take for granted our freedom and may we continue to fight for those who are denied theirs.


It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The snow beautifully blankets the ground and the trees. Your coats keep you cozy, and your cheeks are the perfect shade of rosy. There are twinkle lights, and great food. It’s amazing if you forget about the cold part. We are friendly to strangers. We are concerned about those who don’t have enough, we love our families and friends, we take time to honor traditions. We wave at neighbors, and hold doors open for people, we push cars out of being stuck, we help each other shovel and scrape, and dust off cars, sidewalks and porches, and the world just seems smaller.

It’s also the time of year when Crossroads kicks off our annual mug sales. We sell gorgeous, handmade mugs made right here in St. Paul! Each year, we use the profits of these sales of support one of our Mission Partners. Last year, it was World Vision. This year, the money is going to support International Justice Mission! We are excited to announce a new partnership with an IJM office in Uganda! The money from these mugs will help the IJM staff in Uganda provide a year of after care support of widows, and orphans affected by property grabbing as well as train 150 police officers to strengthen the already existing government in Uganda. To read more about our new partnership and the mugs, click here.

We are so excited for you to see these mugs. They are gorgeous, and they’ll make a great gift for someone you love….or for yourself. The money supports a local, family owned company andsupports the amazing work of the staff of IJM who seek justice for the world’s most vulnerable people. To read more about International Justice Mission, click here. 

We are excited to kick of the Christmas season with with you with the first sermon in our new series, A Reel Christmas! It’s going to be a great series! Can’t wait to see you this weekend. 


Lisa Adams
Director of Missions and Care