Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Our Trip To Italy So Far

If you read our latest newsletter you know that we were finally able to take our return trip to Italy to pack our apartment, sell a few things, give away some things and say farewell for now to a country that has become a second home to us.

Here are links to some photos showing how our trip has gone so far....

Most of our time was spent in Verona and here is that photo album:
The last few days we are in Ancona, where we spent most of the eight years we were in Italy:
Hope you enjoy the photos!!
Matt & Angie

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Newsletter - September/October 2010

And now here's the newsletter you've all been waiting for!  It's our September/October 2010 newsletter.  Our trip back to Italy to pack up our apartment and close out our ministry there is scheduled for October 16-29th.  You can read all about it in this issue of our newsletter...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back Again?

So, since Memorial Day weekend, my back has plagued me with aches, pains, lost sleep, etc...  Actually, my back pain started in High School after a car accident I was in.  However, during the past several years I haven't had many problems with it.  In Italy I was walking, I had changed my eating habits and lost weight, and our bed was nice and firm.  Since my brother's accident a year ago, I stopped walking, ate whatever was given to us, slept on whatever we could find (hospital beds, recliners, benches, couches, air mattresses, etc....) and gained some of my weight back on.  A dietician we met with said stressful situations will add weight on, maybe there's something in my survival instincts that tells me body, 'whatever problems we are facing, if you brace yourself, find a cave to crawl in, put on some hibernation weight and hunker down until things settle, we'll be okay'.  Well, the dust has been settling and my back pain has worsened due to the situational and habitual factors. 

My chiropractor told me today that it is my sciatic nerve running down my right leg that's bothering me.  He asked if it feels like a dagger is digging into the top of my right leg, to which I replied wholeheartedly, "Yes".  For a few weeks now, I have been trying to walk Brinkley each day.  It also gets me out into the neighborhood, something that I would have made a goal to do in Italy.  Been working on exercising some with a big RED ball and trying to be more discerning into what goes in my gullet.  Hopefully, next time I write about this, I can title it, "Back no more".

Friday, September 10, 2010

Humbled to Have Help

So, I've been working from home today, sitting at the kitchen table looking out onto a very cool sight.  Fifteen to twenty volunteers from American Airlines and the United Way have been in our (Kevin's) backyard since around 8.  They have been laboring without complaint all day.  We were asked what projects needed done around the house for us and Kevin.  Since, a couple great guys at Highland Park Christian Church built a ramp out front for Kevin's wheelchair, that didn't need done, but there were other needs.  We talked about having a deck to take Kevin out onto, they countered with the idea to have a covered deck.  I told them that if we had a privacy fence, we could take Kevin outside to give him a shower.  We knew we needed a storage building to put things like the mower away to protect it from the elements.  And every time it rains, a small lake is formed in the back fifteen feet of yard.  It causes mosquito issues as well as potential flooding, if we ever get a really hard rain. 

They are doing all the projects.  Wow.  I am humbled by their sacrifice.  I appreciate their gift of hard work.  I am thankful for the good things that God gives us through them, whether they realize they are the conduit of that gift or not.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Newsletter - August 2010

Here's our August newsletter.  Make yourself up a cup of coffee or warm tea and enjoy reading!  Let us know if you want to receive a paper version of our newsletters.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Global Leadership Summit by Willow Creek

Angie and I got the opportunity to attend the Global Leadership Summit put on by the Willow Creek Church outside of Chicago.  We didn't have to go to Chicago though, they use satellite locations all around the globe, including close to 200 in the states.  Our location was at First Baptist in Owasso, Oklahoma.  It's a city about 10 minutes from Tulsa.  There were around 31 attenders from our church alone.  It was a great two day event, but our favorite session was called "The Land Between" by Jeff Manion.  You can pick up the book at Amazon.  Just follow this link

The book and session follow the premise of going from one "place" to another in our lives.  The time that takes place between those "places" is called The Land Between.  It's initial idea comes from the story of the Israelites, going from the land of slavery in Egypt to the land of promise in Canaan (near the Dead Sea).  That time period for them and for us is fertile, even though it is in the desert.  On one hand, it is fertile for complaints, on the other it is fertile for transformational growth.  It depends on what choices you make during this 'time' on who you will be when you arrive at your next destination.  We bought the book and I am already a couple chapters into it.  If you are looking for a good book to help you through a difficult transition, this seems to be it.  I'll let you know once I finish reading it.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Newsletter - July 2010

Here is our July 2010 Newsletter. If you want to get this in your postal service mail, let us know and we can add you to our mailing list!  Check out the new look as well as the new Project Showcase on the backpage!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Technology and Modern Day Ministry

Whew, can you imagine Simon Peter, saying, hang on Andrew, let me respond to this text message?  Matthew the tax collector asking for the rest of the disciples to hold on ten more minutes because for some reason his Turbo Tax software is not recognizing his printer and won't print!  Or what if Simon the Zealot had the tools of Facebook and Twitter? Sometimes, it seems like I can't live with technology and I can't live without it.  Today has been one of those, I could take it or leave it days, which believe me does not come around very often.  I haven't had major issues, but just the little bumps in the process that wouldn't be there without technology. 

However, to put it in perspective, a hundred years ago you would be receiving this via pigeon or pony express (which was anything but!).  My hand would be cramping from gripping the feather that I continually would have had to dip in indian ink and back to the page.  I would have lost touch with many of you years ago, due to either the enormity of the world and vastness between cities or to the plague, since technology would have not brought us the simple things like vaccines and modern medicines to help us live past thirty.

I guess, all in all, putting it in perspective, technology has brought us some pretty amazing things. It enables me to get out a prayer request to several hundred people in a matter of seconds.  It lets me keep fellowship with people that live more than 100 miles or more away from me.  When I see your status updates, I rejoice with you, empathize with you and pray for you.  I work with a ministry team that lives in another city doing missions that reaches out across the entire world.  I create artwork and resources to be used all over the world for the expansion of God's kingdom.  And depending on my job load, I can respond with something within ten minutes! Yeah, I guess you could say that technology has changed things.  The landscape of modern ministry is different because of it.

So next time you read a status update, don't just think of it as someone's boring dribble.  Ask yourself how God wants you to respond to that invitation into someone's soul. And find a way to be involved with the church from afar, taking the opportunity to be interactive with missionaries in far away lands that would not have even been possible ten years ago!

Technology, I'll take it, speed bumps, frustrations and all.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This Was On Our Back Door During The Storm

We found this froggy hanging onto the back sliding door for dear life during the severe thunderstorms rolling through Tulsa tonight.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Newsletter - April 2010

Here is our April 2010 Newsletter. If you want to get this in your postal service mail, let us know and we can add you to our mailing list!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A New Season of Life

So, I have hesitated posting anything on our blog in awhile.  I guess, I really didn't know what to say.  On August 20th, 2009 my brother was involved in a car accident leaving him with a traumatic brain injury.  After a few days we returned to the states from Italy.  We had only lived in our new apartment in Verona for three months.  We have yet to return.  We have felt compelled to be in the states to be with Kevin, his kids and our family as he goes through the excruciatingly long process of recovery.  For six months, we functioned under a medical furlough and helped Kevin get from the hospital to an acute care facility to home.  We are currently living with him and caring for him as he recovers. 

Last month, we made the decision to transition out of our ministry in Italy to a support role for all the missionaries of our organization, Team Expansion.  We will continue to raise the support for our salary and ministry budget.  We will be based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, yet reaching out to many countries in the world through graphic design, illustration, website design, curriculum creation, video editing, etc....

This blog will continue to be about our lives as we try to follow God in whatever we do.  We are redesigning our website. thecrossers.com to reflect the changes and direction we are taking in missions around the world.  If you want to check out some of my art projects, personal and ministry related, go to my sketchblog at http://mattsketchpad.blogspot.com/.  If you want to read more about the medical and faith journey we are going on with the recovery of my brother, Kevin, head over to http://www.prayforkevin.com/.

Thanks for sticking with us and reading our news, following our ministry, praying for our effectiveness in missions and supporting the work through regular gifts.  If you would like to help us out in any way, please write.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

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