Connect: Allowing the Holy Spirit to connect the pieces
As believers in Jesus, we are granted the promise of the Holy Spirit to guide us through life. But - do we take full advantage of this? To truly connect with God and others through the power of the Holy Spirit, we talked about the need to: …
Cre8 Summer - KINGDOM & Gr8
Most of us struggle with wanting to build our own little kingdoms compared with doing whatever is asked of us to add value to God’s eternal kingdom. Further, we all want to be happy, but happiness seems to be a selfish pursuit compared with living our lives to make God’s name great. Where John chapter 4 takes us puts all of this into perspective.
Cre8 Summer - Hooks & House Rules
Do you have hooks in you that keep you from following God’s lead? Do you follow different sets of rules depending on where you are? This message points out an important thing Jesus did, which reveals a great truth about Him ... and us. This truth will lead us into our next yearly theme.
Cre8 Summer - LIGHT
We all love the light ... unless it shines on something we want to remain hidden. As believers, we know that we are called to share the Light ... but what are we really sharing? This message looks at the role sharing the Light plays in our growing relationship with God and how this “invitation” is sometimes presented and perceived.
Cre8 Summer - ROOTS
We cannot look at a family tree without a look into a family’s roots. Through Jesus, we have the opportunity to be rooted in so much more than what we think we know and what we’ve experienced. This message looks at the difference between focusing our on immediate needs and focusing on the bigger picture ... allowing our very roots to be transformed.
Cre8 Summer - Reawakening the year
This summer, we are looking back at the message series that shaped our ministry year through what we learn from John chapter 4. Each message reviews a topic (or two) while focusing on key events from this important gospel chapter. This message takes a look back at our yearly theme through Jesus’ conversation with a Samaritan woman.
Crystal Garvin – Why We Cre8
Crystal Garvin wrote a wonderful blog post about what it means to be a Cre8 Family. Read her thoughts on her blog, Crystal Clear as Mud.
I never thought answering the conversational question, “So, where do you go to church?” would be so awkward. It used to be that I would name my church, reciprocate the question, and immediately the other person and I would form our snap judgments about each other …
To look at our Family Trees, we must look at our Family’s roots. God wants our roots to run deep so that we can stand strong. Shallow or diseased roots can infect everything else. Through this series, we learned to …
Our New Yearly Theme: CRE8 AWAKENING
Our yearly theme is based on John 4:23.
Cre8 Awakening is our theme for 2013-14. There is a big difference between waking up and being awakened. When you are awakened, it is always for a purpose. God’s promises are ushered in through our obedience. As believers, we often embrace the concept of a one-time repentance of our sins so that we can saved through faith in Jesus. Then, we often fall into the kind of complacency that plagued the Israelites during their time in the Promised Land and the same kind of complacency Jesus found when he began his ministry. How do we break through this complacency? By awakening every day ready to create! Join us this year as we discover the life that awaits when our souls are awakened.
Time for a FLOOD
When God chose not to flood the world again, there became only one solution for our sin … the blood of Jesus Christ. Instead of choosing to destroy us again, God chose to offer a way to save us.
Be & Become
I’ve had three HUGE “a-ha, change-my-life-forever” moments since being with Ami. Number one was realizing that the worst day with Ami was better than the best day I had ever experienced with anyone else – prompting me to propose to her on the spot. Number two was the evening that led to the idea for Cre8 – which we are now doing by the grace of God. The third was this …
If These Walls Could Speak
It’s been an incredible year on the property. The property. Wide Open Acres.
It’s been an incredible theme for the families. The theme. One Life.
One Life: Living Life where every ONE matters. (You can read bits of that theme revealed in my other recent posts.)
I can’t tell you how many times the old Amy Grant song, “If These Walls Could Speak” has gone through my mind. Allow me to venture into some of the things that I believe the walls of this home may speak about forever:
The front entrance would speak of a young couple who drove a car into the ditch, and were pulled out by a rescue team of men and women who would months later become to that runaway couple a rescue team on a much grander scale. New Recovery. (90 days clean… and counting.)
The dock would tell of the man in need of peace who came to fish by the water after trying to keep a pulse on a dying little girl, but had to watch her go anyway. New Strength.
The Man in the Red Coat
A Trip to Mellow Mushroom Turned Really Reeeeeally Mellow
I should learn by now to expect the unexpected when Mike or I change a plan at the last minute on a “hunch,” like tonight. The PLAN was to cook the chicken that has been thawing and roast the veggies from the fridge that need to be eaten. Out of the blue, Mike asked, “Are you up for a change of plans? I have a hankering for Mellow Mushroom.” So a hankering disguised his hunch and we headed to the minivan to commute into Winston for some yummy, gooey delicious pizza.
After dinner, Sadie, in her purple, tapping dress-up clickety-clack shoes, asked consistently, “Can we pleeeeeeeease stop at the park and walk around on the stage?” We always park right next to a small arts center with an outdoor amphitheater. It has a fountain and a climbing stairwell, and the kids always run up and around as quickly as they can, run back down the other side, and perform something for us from the fountain stage. Tonight, their giggles and grins on the up-run were halted abruptly and JM called down calmly, “Mom? Will you please come up here? There is something very scary that you need to see.” He wouldn’t allow his little sister to come near where he was standing, but had her stay back and take a seat on a step.
Did You Know That?
There are just so many stories happening all at once to share, and in order to express them in writing or in video, it will take a great deal of time. I feel, however, like I need to express something or I just may pop.
Did you know that more than you could ever imagine can happen in a year?
Did you know that even though we are unsure as to the future of this property that we have complete peace in what God has done and will do?
Did you know that if money is not going into big salaries, it can go far in the lives of others for the sake of Jesus?
Christianity Through the Cross
Any discussion of theology should include Jesus’ own words. What better words to glare into than the seven statements Jesus made while hanging on the cross – while actively paying the price our sin deserved so that we could be reconciled with our Heavenly Father. We recently concluded this series at Cre8, assigning key words to each statement:
Okay, it’s To-Be-Tuesday…Time…To-Day…To-Be…(Something).
And this particular Tuesday, I choose TO BE THANKFUL.
- I am thankful today for the years of singing, traveling, and writing.
- Thankful for the turbulent teens and twenties, for the writing and sharing of melodramatic song lyrics, and for the naive confidence and brave road-trips!
- Mostly, I am thankful for the people who willingly listened to me sing my Jesus songs, my life songs, my love songs, and my Wild Horse Running songs. I am thankful for significant women writers that poured encouraging words over me! And I am thankful that whether people saw me being silly with a yodel or watched me crying through a sad song…every lovely willing listener was on the other side of my heart.
Those years were amazing, and that young lady was one that I would love for my children to meet! She exists today in certain ways, but to be able to introduce her to them would have been quite a treat. I think they would laugh at her. I’m sure they would also sing along with her. They would look into her eyes and receive the same significant encouragement from her that she received from her beloved singer friends.
So, if you were ever there for ANY of my freshly made up songs, silly raps, random yodels, worship dances, spontaneous interruptions of myself, or my favorite passionately spoken Scripture passages…Thank you!
Thank you for listening.
I treasure those memories.
I found a box of pix from some of those years, and thought I’d put myself out there and do a little Throw-Back-Thursday… on Tuesday. Because it is TO-day TO-Be…thankful.
Why We Need Cre8
We’re Still Going
When people ask me how Cre8 is going, the only consistent answer I can give is, “We’re still going!” This is hard to write about yet this is what drives me every day. To give any update about Cre8 is difficult because what we’re doing is more about the stories, not about numbers and carefully crafted marketing statements aimed at getting more people involved. Currently, we’re facing a unique circumstance that we didn’t create – yet we find ourselves in the middle of.
To conquer this specific challenge – we need help!
Below is the outline used for the Vision Gathering we used on January 6, 2013. These notes underscore the Big Picture of where we are and where we’re headed. If you want more information, please contact us. We’d be happy to talk with you!
WORlDview Part 2
Simply stated – A family needs a strong sense of identity, shared values and purpose. A good start is to stop constantly segregating yourselves when it comes to your spiritual and relational growth. How can a family grow together if it rarely worships together? If no one knows much about what other family members are learning or studying, what would keep a family – even a family who attends church – from forming segregated views and values?
During the months of October and November (2012), Cre8 Church will be discussing – as families – the ways Satan has corrupted the world – and even God’s Word – to keep us divided, distracted and discouraged. By talking about these things together, we can be better equipped to pursue a common worldview that becomes more comfortable with the WORD than the world. You don’t need to join what we’re doing to accomplish this. You simply need to be committed to growing together. Here’s what it looks like:
You are either living like this – WORlD – where the power of God’s WORD defeats all the big and little LIES (thus the little “l” and big “WORD”) you hear every day, or . . .
WORlDview Part 1
We are told that our worldview shapes our beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. Worldviews are often determined by three overriding factors. We typically form our views based on: 1) Believing whatever the person we trust most tells us, 2) Believing whatever we hear first, or 3) Believing whatever we hear most often. Sounds simplistic – because it really is.
For centuries, our worldview was passed onto us through our families. Nowadays…
The battle in life will always be for your heart or affection. God wants your heart fully while Satan wants you to fully turn your heart away from God.
As a beginning CHALLENGE for the year, we are asking those who wish to read 1 CHAPTER OF PSALMS per day AS A FAMILY. You can read it during a meal time, for a prayer or before bedtime. We have it charted out for you to download. You can keep up by date or just start with Psalm 1. We believe in the power of reading scripture and we believe in the power of reading scripture TOGETHER!
David and the other psalmists went through energizing good times and demoralizing bad times. Reading these words as an offering to God can help you to keep your hearts connected to Him! Even if you don’t intend to read every Psalm together, this is a great way to intentionally connect with God and each other!
A Wednesday Window
I share that to let you know that Cre8Home is a constant activity of people, families and stories. Some are triumphant; others are desperate. All are personal. Real. While I am saving up a plethora of God-stories as we walk each day with the people around us, I am not sharing them with the world-wide-web. Seems irreverent. Invasive. HOWEVER, face-to-face, families are sharing stories of what God is doing in their lives… and together, we celebrate. For, we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
Pictures do communicate. So while writing is sparce, let me share some images today that will perhaps display for you some of what is happening in the day-to-day activity and surrounding the special events on Wide Open Acres…
Cre8 Community – Week Three
We know that community exists for a PURPOSE – one inspired by God. We learn that we are to offer our best to fill NEEDS and to fully demonstrate God’s LOVE. All this sounds good – but how do we continue to love and lead each other amidst the day-to-day of life? We live this out by being each other’s BIGGEST FANS. When you are a fan – you are pulling for someone to succeed. You overlook the times they stumble, hopeful for their next opportunity to show their worth. When you are a fan – your heart remains in love, not expectation.
When you have fans, you don’t want to let them down. When you have people pulling for you, wanting you to succeed – it pulls the BEST out of you – especially when you need it most. This life requires our BEST – right NOW. Sometimes for that to come out, it needs pulled out by those who believe in us. God is the only One worthy of our worship, but even He loved every single one of us enough to send His best for our sake – His one and only Son, Jesus Christ.
A community is better inspired and equipped to meet needs and show love when everyone involved not only shares his/her best – but also pulls the best out of each other!
Please listen as we conclude this series … and provide a small glimpse of where we’ll pick things up this fall with next year’s big theme!
Cre8 Community – Week Two
As we talked about last week, the quest for community starts in the home. It has to – what shot do we have of experiencing community abroad if we don’t experience it in our homes? This is why we choose to worship together so every generation speaks the same language of love, faith and growth. A community is also brought together by godly purpose. Cre8’s is to see families worship, grow and stay together! The Apostle Paul was charged with taking the Good News to the gentiles. Now – the calling to spread God’s message of love and redemption falls on all of us. While Paul sought to be all things to all people, you cannot and I cannot. BUT – as a community – we can!
We want a place where people who need to know God’s love come to us; where this can become kind of THEIR church. Then – the only thing keeping them from becoming part of THE church – the church of Jesus Christ – is one of us! We don’t want to place you in a box where the majority of what you share here is a simple “volunteer position.” Your best exists so that through you, others can come to know God’s LOVE!
What does that mean for you?
What does that mean for us?
Please listen as we look where community continues.
Cre8 Community – Week One
Community is a hard concept to understand in today’s society. We hear the word all the time – referring to specific locations or groups of people. We live in some sort of a community and we function in various communities – but that doesn’t mean we experience community. In fact, nowadays, we strive more to protect privacy and insulate ourselves than to embrace what we can offer those around us while accepting what they can offer us. Community isn’t giving up everything you have so that everyone has exactly the same things. Community isn’t giving everything away so you have nothing. Community exists for a PURPOSE.
What does that mean for you?
What does that mean for us?
Who (you) What (you) Where (you) When….
The new website has been launched (thank you Andy Smith for building it from scratch!). We’ve had lots of interest, questions, and encouragement from others this week, and we thank you!
We use the word “Home” and we use the word “Church” in what we are doing, and frankly, they are often interchangeable. We struggled for quite a while over even using the word “Church” to describe our integrated worship gathering times (only one part of the overall vision). That word often causes dissension and a tribal emotion rather than a love of being clothed in the shared identity that a family of believers in Christ carries throughout the four corners of the earth. We love both of those words, “Home” and “Church,” and thus decided to use them together. For even though we are not set up as a corporate church but rather as a not-for-profit organization we all 1) grow our spiritual roots in the Home, 2) we gather together as the Church, and 3) we live our lives in that shared Identity in order to make a difference in the world. We meet in a Home with the hope that…
What is Cre8: In Pictures
When it comes to the personal ministry side of things and the stories that excite us, it’s hard to use information like this to “promote” what we’re doing. We have a deep reverence and respect for people and their circumstances, which creates a conflict within us. We don’t want to, in any way, cheapen or tarnish some of the inspiring or miraculous stories we’ve been privileged to experience as a way to get others to join what we’re doing. If our primary goal was numerical growth, we would have done almost everything differently than we have.
We Won’t Drown… Goodnight
Having already written something on Monday, I was not planning to offer a Wednesday Writing, but I think I need to fess up to my personal hauntings of late, oddly for me, the all-night-long kind.
Seems we’re living on the very edge of our faith in a house made for ministry and not (in our minds) a single-family dwelling (remember, we left the 3100 square ft. Atlanta house (moderate-sized for ATL sub-divisions but seeming quite large once gone). For FOUR YEARS we were in hotel rooms, a 5th-wheel camper, and various other small spaces, the largest and final home being the beautiful and cozy, beloved “Mr. Condo” that boasted…
Follow The Signs
Yesterday was beautiful. We spent the morning having family time, praying over the Cre8 gathering that would take place later in the day, and did any last-minute spot cleaning and prep-work. Mike worked in the office on the computer and I sat in the worship room at the piano, singing for a while… until I was SUDDENLY interrupted with a nerf gun bullet to the face by a cute little spygirl in full battle attire, protective spy glasses, and a look of shock! GAME OVER. The Worship Room is a non-play zone. She ignored the invisible sign.
Back to quality time with the kids and a bit of post war briefing after the face bullet. We saw the sign, and gave them our time. Hearts happy, people forgiven, all was well.
Ganders and Jackhammers
It’s Writing Wednesday... and I am sitting in the café with peaceful music playing amidst the sound of jackhammers in the basement below. It resembles the way Mike and I are feeling today. Cre8Home is a place that those in need are finding. It’s been a week of listening, praying, of kids playing… And there is a wave of peace that overrides a person’s temporary pains, even while the foundation of their very home/family is under the jackhammer.
Every few days, we ask God…
Fishbowl Church, Mama Goose Community, and Horneytown NC
Writing regular updates has been hard now that we are on the property, so let me begin Writing Wednesdays. Today, I have three HUGE thoughts colliding that would merit a Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3… but with blogs, that doesn’t mean that all three will be read. Therefore, I am going to write these thoughts in punchy bullet form, so imagine more and read less.
Sorry if it’s choppy.
So Blog-Gone Busy!
Oh Where Oh Where has my little blog(ging) gone?
Sorry that I have been such a blogslacker!!! There is MUCH to catch up on… I hope to write out some stories soon. For today, just know this: there is a vast difference between being in ministry where you spend hours at a desk or in an office, and ministering out of life itself. Personal can be messy, but in the personal, there is real.
We are loving the real.
A day might look like this: a song written, floors cleaned, grass mowed, a friend celebrated, a listening ear offered, prayers uttered, someone lonely welcomed…
Introduction to Wide Open Acres/Cre8 Home
Someday our professional EXPERT video family & friends will have to show you where we’re headed with Wide Open Acres and Cre8 Home. But for right now, you are stuck with me! (And I just opened iMovie for the first time in my life last night!?!)
Before I take you into the home, around to the outbuildings and garden areas, or deeper into explaining the ministry vision for family, artistry, community, music, and all kinds of other good stuff… let me give you an intro to the property and let you see some nature and wildlife.
And Speaking of Prayer…
I have been asked by many friends what we do with our children to teach them how to pray. I thought that for now, I would share with you a supplemental devotion that I wrote to directors and kids who are learning The Word Connection Musical this season. This link has audio samples if you want to give it a listen!
Tonight I am thankful for intercessors. As we approach the weekend and walk into a new season, we know that of all building materials, prayer is the most essential.
Something exciting happened during this past year. We knew we couldn’t make another move or decision until we had…
Ready? Set? F.A.I.L.
Last night Mr. Condo was full of friends who are beginning to Cre8 with us NEXT SUNDAY. You may wonder why 2011 came and went without a whole lot of public activity being displayed. That was intentional on our part.
A friend of mine whose husband runs a national youth organization told me once that people will come and go, especially in the beginning. Men and women who are attracted to this vision as a business will…
Time for T
If you are like me, you will never hear your children say, “It’s time for you to work now Mom. I’ve had enough play time for today. In fact, I can go for quite a while without playing with you or Dad, so please—go do your thing.”
No. Every day we hear, “Will you play with me? Wanna play the new game with me that I got for Christmas? Watch this, Mom! Look at me! Hey Dad—wanna play?” It doesn’t matter what…
Most Recent Blog Posts:
Connect: Allowing the Holy Spirit to connect the pieces
By Mike Shroyer on 07/04/2015
Cre8 Summer - KINGDOM & Gr8
By Mike Shroyer on 08/17/2014
Cre8 Summer - Hooks & House Rules
By Mike Shroyer on 08/10/2014
Cre8 Summer - LIGHT
By Mike Shroyer on 08/03/2014
Cre8 Summer - ROOTS
By Mike Shroyer on 07/27/2014