Refine Us

Relationships are difficult. They are full of give and take, compromise, love, grace, truth, mistakes, apologies.. the list goes on and on and on. You open yourself up to other people giving them permission to love you and to hurt you. They are scary and exciting and frustrating and refreshing. It’s not for the faint of heart. They’re absolutely worth the all the trouble we go to to have them. They make our lives…beyond ordinary.

All relationships are sacred, but perhaps the one type of relationship that seems be under attack the most, the hardest to maintain, the one that throws us for the biggest loops, causes the most heartache and joy…is marriage.

Marriage is a battle field,(do we have any Pat Benatar fans?)  and every marriage is different. Each person brings something totally different to the table. So…how do we do marriage well? How do we make marriage something worth fighting for? How do we prepare for marriage well? How do we recover from a marriage that left us brokenhearted? How do we seek to see and love the people with whom we are in relationships….like Jesus does? Where do we even start?

Those are tough questions, but essential to having relationships that make us better, that bring us closer to Jesus….that are beyond ordinary.

Next weekend, January 23-24, Justin and Trisha Davis, authors of the book Beyond Ordinary will be here for the Refine Us-Marriage Conference. They’ll share their story of joy and heartbreak and their journey back to each other. They’ll give us tools that will help us make our relationships extraordinary!

If you’re happily married, If your marriage is struggling, if you’ve been married for 38 years or 6 months, never been married, or you’ve been married and hope to be again, we encourage you to come. It’s for everyone. We were not created to do life alone.

Relationships matter, they are worth the work and worth fighting for! If you only do ONE thing this coming week, register for this conference. You will not regret it.  Click here to register.

See you this weekend!


Nicole Case
Web Administrator


2 Are Better Than 1

I like to do things that hard way. Well, I don’t really “like” it, but more often than not, that’s the way it goes. It’s frustrating for 100% of the people who love me. To add insult to injury, I also like to figure things out by myself. I have a very 2-year-old “I do it” mentality when it comes to new things, especially things that are challenging or give me anxiety. The reality is, that I’d rather do it myself, so if fail, and trust me, i do, no one else will know but me.

Much to my dismay, we are not designed to do things alone. God designed us to live in community with each other. The very reason God made Eve was so Adam would have a helper. Out of dust and rib the first intentional community was born, and it was good.

When I think about my community, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m especially grateful for the people who have paved the way into adulthood for me. My parents, and mentors, and older, wiser friends, who, when I am feeling very self-sufficient love me enough to keep me honest, offer advice (even if I don’t take it) and love me regardless of the outcome. They’re constant cheer leaders and broken heart menders, and I’m very thankful for that.

We all need that, don’t we?  People who come along side us, who pray for us, and help us when we need it most.  During days when live is ordinary and regular, they’re cheering on our sidelines celebrating every day victories. I’m so grateful that God created us to work together, to share heavy loads and big laughs, and ultimately to be tangible reminders of His love and provision. That is good, isn’t it?

At Crossroads, we feel privileged to pray for your prayer requests. We have prayer teams at each of our campuses that care deeply about you and pray passionately. We believe in the power of prayer and that our God is a God who hears and answers prayers. Week after week the most frequently requested prayers are for health-related issues.

In response to this, we are offering a Health care Directive Seminar on Saturday, October 11, 9:00-11:00 am at the Woodbury Campus. A Health Care Directive, formally known a living will, is a written document allowing you to name who would be in charge of your health care in the event you’re not able to advocate for yourself.  At this seminar, we will help address your fears, beliefs and other important values in regards to your health. If your family should face an unexpected tragedy we want you to be prepared.  Let’s face it making difficult health care decisions during such a time can be overwhelming for your family, and we want to help lighten your load.

Please consider coming to this FREE seminar. FREE childcare is also provided if you register by October 8, click here for details.

Additionally, a quick reminder that we will be having a Honduras mission’s trip meeting this Sunday at our Woodbury campus immediately following the 11:15 service, please come hear how you can be a part of this amazing mission team. No sign ups necessary, just come in to the auditorium and take a seat and see who God might be adding to your community of people.

Please join us for week 4 of our current series The Starting Point: A Journey through Genesis. It’s going to be a great weekend.


Nicole Case & Lisa Renlund
Web Admin & Missions and Care Coordinator 

Go Love People

Lisa Adams is on a much deserved vacation this week, and I’m here to fill in.  Hi. I’m Nicole. I work as the Web Administrator here at Crossroads. I also volunteer with our High School Ministry. This year, I had the privilege of spending the year with a group of 12th grade girls who have added so much laughter and love to my life. We went from just meeting on Tuesdays to coffee dates to them showing up on my door step because they had nothing else to do. Our small group became like family. They left for college this week, and my heart is overflowing with love and excitement for them.

One thing you should know about me right away is that I’m a relationship person. I love being with people. It’s always surprising who God puts into my life and how they’ve shaped me in ways I can’t even begin to explain. Most of the time it’s people I would have never expected, in a time that is completely inconvenient. But, I love my people. They are a melting pot of ages, genders, and walks of life. They are a hilarious bunch that keeps me laughing and keeps me honest. I am so grateful for their time and love.

Much like God, or, rather, because of Him, we are also in the pursuit business. At the heart of everyone is the need to belong. To be loved. To be valued. We spend our lives looking for the people that bring out the best in us. The people with whom we can truly be ourselves, our people.Many of us are lucky enough to have it. Our people get us.  They know us. They see us. They’ve been there with us.  They’ve held our hands. They’ve helped us fix our broken cars, and broken hearts.  They’ve celebrated and cheered us on. They are the type of people we can’t get rid of because they’ve become a part us.  And, well, you just don’t want to take the chance that old prom pictures or videos from the 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s will end up on a Throw Back Thursday.  Am I right?

The truth is, though, that life with meaningful relationships is the way that we understand better what Jesus’ love for us looks like.  Author Shauna Niequist says, “When we do the hard, intimate work of friendship, we bring a little more of the divine into daily life.”  And how true is that? If we have people who love us even after we’ve hurt them or after we’ve told them all our junk, don’t we begin to see what unconditional love looks like, just a little?  When we let people know us, we get to see more of who Jesus is and how he pursues us.

There are people who don’t know love like that. They could be sitting next to you, or down the road, across the oceans or border. They, too, desperately want to be known, and seen and loved. We have an amazing call in our lives to be the people who love them. To be the people who were found and now are finding others. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

Serving is about relationships. It’s about that first step of saying “I see you,” and moving towards “I want to know you.” Whether we’re at a food shelf or tutoring a kid or if you’re in Mexico or Africa we are looking past the brokenness, past the dust, past the language barrier, and we are seeing people. People created in God’s image, fearfully and wonderfully made, who are just waiting to be seen and to be loved. When we serve, we are linking arms saying, “We’re in this together, friend, I will not let you down.”

Is there someone in your life who needs to be seen? Have you thought about reaching out to a child to give him a place to belong through adoption? Have you thought about a mission trip? Why not start taking steps now, to make those thoughts actions?

If you’re not sure where to start, I urge you to pray into those feelings and ask God to lead you…somewhere. I pray that you have the boldness and the bravery to go where He’s leading.  We’re also offering a Strengthening Families Roundtable on Sept 15, which will offer information on adoption and foster care. Also, there is an informational meeting about a mission trip to Reynosa, Mexico in October, details here.

Who knows who you will meet and what that meeting will do in both of your lives, and how God will work in all of it to bring a little more of Heaven on earth. This weekend we are bringing ourPursued series to a close with a very special story about the Andersons’ pursuit of their daughter, and how it has changed all of them. You won’t want to miss it!

As Bob Goff says, “Just go love people”…now that’s an order I can get behind.

See you this weekend!

Nicole Case
Web Administrator