Royal Princess Beauty Salon

So many wonderful things are occurring around Crossroads because so many amazing people are throwing themselves into the Cause of Christ with total commitment.   Royal Family Kids Camp is one place we have seen our family fulfill the calling of James 1:27 (NASB) “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”   Gail Baitx is one of those who went to camp this year and shared the love of Jesus in meaningful way.  Here is her experience  …

The beauty shop for Royal Family Kids Camp was brought about by a dream to see these Foster care girls changed from the outside in.  Patty Galippo and I have been volunteers for RFKC for several years.  At one camp how the girls in our cabin were transformed by a little pampering with manicures and pedicures and words of encouragement and that brought about the idea for “Royal Princess Beauty Salon.” We wanted these girls to understand that they were beautiful princesses because they were daughters of the King. The salon was in full swing at this year’s Royal Family Kids Camp in July and it truly transformed these little ladies from the outside in.

To get the salon up and running, it took many volunteers and donations from one salon and many individuals. We had every color of nail polish imaginable; a table with barrettes, clips, hair pieces, and head bands; and hair and body glitter spray.  Tim and Jill Borth made all the decorations and built the “thrones” for the girls to sit in. They turned the camp chapel into a princess palace. There were 4 stations set up where each girl would receive a pedicure and manicure and they would have their hair and make-up done.

All 50 girls made appointments and received invitation reminders of their appointment. Upon arrival they received a bottle of water from the “Royal Reserve of the King” water supply and they were given a princess bag filled with lip gloss, eye shadow, hair brush, manicure set and most importantly, their tiaras. They were asked hoe they wanted their hair styled and their nails done and the ladies went to work. As they were being pampered the volunteers would affirm their beauty and worth in Jesus’ eyes and would let them know about His love for them. When the transformation was complete, they each had a picture taken with the tiara on their heads and a royal scepter in their hands. 

We saw that each girl who entered the Princess Salon left it changed. The very first little girl who came through the door had her head down and would not make eye contact with me.  She was hesitant to even pick out nail polish and hair things for herself.  I’ll never forget when I first went to touch her hand to start the manicure, she pulled her hand away from me in fear.  I thought, “What has happened to this little girl that she is afraid to be touched?”  I asked her if I could do her manicure.  She reluctantly said yes.  While working o her fingernails I tried to have a conversation with her but she would not even look at me.   When I told her about how beautiful she was, she started to look up at me.  I asked her if she knew she was a princess.  She said she was not.  I informed her that she was a princess of the King and asked if she knew who her King was.  I told her that Jesus was her King and that he loved her very much and had made her so special that He would never make another girl like her again because he had made her perfect.  Her expression began to change.  She looked up at me and gave me a beautiful smile. By the end of the process she had a huge smile on her face and held her head high.  She admired herself in the mirror and beamed for her photo.  As she walked out the door to the compliments of her counselor on how beautiful she looked, I could see that she had been transformed.

This is just one of fifty stories of girls who were transformed that day due to the “Royal Princess Beauty Salon” at RFKC. Thanks to all the volunteers and contributors who made a difference in these little girls’ lives.


BFF

 

As “Fave Five Day” approaches excitement wells up within me. I have been a part of many “Fave Five” type days throughout my career as a pastor and have witnessed many lives changed because of people bringing their friends to church. These changed lives then go on to have a ripple effect changing many more lives. It is amazing to see God’s work unfold in front of my eyes.

One of the examples of this involves one of my all time favorite people, Angela Linzay.   When Angela came to know the Lord, she was bursting with excitement over her new found joy.   Her heart’s desire was for everyone to come to know God’s love as she had.   One of the people for whom she desired this most was her best friend Amber.  At times Angela would get emotional because she wanted so badly for Amber to know Jesus.  Angela finally got her best friend to agree to go to church with her on a “Fave Five” day that we were having at our church.  That day, Amber gave her life to Christ and God started a ripple effect of blessings. Greg, Angela’s boyfriend introduced Amber to his best friend Josh. Josh and Amber began dating, fell in love, and got married. A few years later, Greg and Angela got married as well. Both men became pastors and today serve with their families of two children each in churches in California and Texas.  

Angela and Amber are a beautiful example of the importance of “Fave Five Day.” They are best friends who married best friends but more importantly because of Amber’s decision at “Fave Five Day” these women are best friends “forever.” I greatly anticipate the ripple effect that “Fave Five Day” (September 14th) will have at Crossroads.


GQ

We were standing with our Ministry teams getting ready to pray when Kasey Butler loudly says, “Pastor Chuck, you are starting to look hip!”  What an ego booster! Kasey is one of the “hippest” people I know. In fact she is so “hip” that on my wife Pam’s photography web site http://www.pameesplace.com/Photography, Kasey’s pictures had an astounding number of hits the first month they went up.  That is impressive considering all the wedding and baby pictures on the site that people tend to view the most. (It could also mean that Kasey visited the site and looked at herself a lot!)  Her comment confirmed that my attempts at being fashionable were working. I was wearing my new Body Armor Golf Shirt (coolest shirt ever) and I had spiked my hair endeavoring to achieve the “messy look.”   

Fashion is a hot topic in the office at Crossroads…amongst the men. Matt Wandel can tell you all the information on any shoe that you may be wearing or want to buy.  Ronnie Roa always knows the latest fashion trend. He even gave me the name of a cool web site where I can get Body Armor apparel at great prices.  And, at least twice a month in Creative Team, Tony Wood will comment on how we looked on stage that weekend. He actually notices more than Kasey when I wear something new. Tony, being the fashion conscious guy that he is, had Ronny and Natalya take him shopping to find the “right” jeans. I didn’t know that there were “wrong” jeans!

To be honest, all this fashion business freaks my wife Pam out a little bit.   She really doesn’t care about fashion.  I love that about her because it means more clothes money for me! 

Now the bottom line is that I am 51 years old and I know that I don’t fit the current trends and the latest styles.  I do what I can not to be too out of style but the truth is that the “right” jeans of today are tighter and at 51 with my body type, that spells torture.


Some of All My Parts

The sum of what others have imparted into my life makes me who I am today. I think this is true of all of us. Over the years, God has allowed me to know and learn from some amazing people.

Don Olsby, the first Youth Pastor I ever knew, served here at Crossroads with his wife Connie. They loved Pam and I, and always seemed to have time for us. They poured themselves into the students in their ministry and genuinely cared about people.  Shortly after coming to Crossroads Pam and I went through a difficult time in our lives.  When we walked through the doors with a foreboding feeling, Don greeted us by name and with excitement and made us feel loved. This comforted us and allowed us to see God’s love for us in the midst of our situation.

God used Tim Coop in our lives as well.  The way Tim lived his life made Jesus real to us. He was one of the most Christ-like men that I have ever met. He was a leader who did not back down from preaching the Word. I still remember many of his sermons and have also “borrowed” a few.   I watched Tim go through the joys and pains of ministry and in every case he acted as Jesus would.

The most loving man I ever met was John Samples.  He loved people and made them feel like they mattered.  John loved his wife Joyce in a way that inspired me to be a better husband. He adored her and made her know that she was special.  For John, there was no other woman in the world for him but Joyce.  Watching him made me want to give Pam that kind of love.  

Floyd Strater left a thriving church to help a hurting one.  I witnessed him lead Knott Ave. Christian Church from a dire place to a place of victory.  Floyd did this with wisdom and courage.  God’s use of Floyd at Knott Ave. and Hope University showed that when we put ourselves in the hands of God anything can happen.  

One of the most selfless men I have ever met was Ron Keller.  When he found out that his home church was about to close its doors, Ron left his flourishing church in Tucson Az. to become the pastor of a failing church. This man was willing to risk everything for his home church out of a love for the Lord.   He was always everyone’s biggest cheerleader.  If I or anyone else preached a great sermon or had a success, Ron expressed sincere excitement for us. He found deep joy in the victory of others and taught me that it did not always have to be about him.  

Over the years, there have been Pastors who have not lived out what it means to know the Lord.  Sadly, they seem to be the ones who make the news.  The men who I named above may or may not have any meaning to you, but they mean the world to me and they mean more to God.  My life has been blessed by these men who truly are “for real.” They really loved Jesus and they really lived for Jesus. Some have achieved a level of notoriety and some have not, but God has seen their work and will always cherish who they are and their service for Him. I hope that I exhibit the character that these men taught me.


Kiss the Girls

In the movie The Bucket List, Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson compose a list of things they want to experience before they, “kick the bucket” (die).   One of the tasks on the list is to “kiss the most beautiful girl in the world.”   Morgan Freeman doubts that Jack Nicholson will be able to accomplish that mission and questions his ability to do so. Despite his friend’s doubts, Jack Nicholson does kiss the most beautiful girl in the world: his granddaughter who he meets for the first time at the end of the movie.

I know that I have had the wonderful experience of kissing the most beautiful girls in the world as well.  God has blessed me with two gorgeous identical twin grand daughters who live in Syracuse, New York.  Before I ever laid eyes on them, I loved them.  When I first saw pictures of them, they had my heart.   Eventually, I got to see them and touch them and interact with them, but the best part was getting to kiss them.   Just recently they came to see us and they were excited to kiss me; their Papa!   Nothing in life compares to that.

God has also blessed my life with my god-daughter, Maia Murray.  I already loved her brother Noah before she was born so when God brought Maia into the world and our lives, I knew that I would like her.  But, when I held her in my arms and got to kiss her for the first time, she captured my heart too.  I see the beauty of the Lord in her and I thank God for her.

Before these three gorgeous little girls came into my life, God gave me the most beautiful girl of all, my wife Pam.   The moment I saw her, I fell in love with her.   There she was sitting on her front lawn on Garretson Street as I drove by on my way to the Prom.  When we saw her, my friend and I went crazy.  We both thought she was incredible.   God chose me to be the one to marry her and I am forever grateful to Him for that gift.

In my office hangs one of my favorite pictures of Pam.   When I was putting it up, she let me know that she was not as fond of it as I am.  “I don’t look like that anymore,” she said.    I was caught off guard because to me she still looks as beautiful as she does in that picture!  The years have flown by and I know we have aged but I can honestly say that Pam has never been more beautiful to me.  

On July 26th, Pam will turn 50.  I plan to kiss her on that day.  When I do, I know I will be kissing the most beautiful of my beautiful girls
Proverbs 18:22 (NLT) The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.


Incredible people, a butterfly and a bluebird….

I am blessed to be surrounded by some of the most wonderful people ever! Often, I have to determine how I will handle this: Will I celebrate how awesome they are? Will I rejoice at how loved they are? Will I join in the applause of their amazing accomplishments? Or will I go to a lower place of petty self-centeredness?


Bill Heydorn is one of the most gifted speakers I know. This last Sunday, he brought a great message to our congregation. On January 2nd, he preached one of the best sermons I have ever heard! If you have not heard it, go and listen to at http://www.crossroadschurch.com/sermons/2011vid.asp Now, people are sharing with me that they have never been so touched by a message. It was the most amazing sermon they have ever heard. Honestly, I am excited and even agree with those comments. I love Bill and praise God we have him with us. I praise God for Bill being in my life.


Then, there is Dr. David Smith. Recently, I asked Dr. Smith (that is his real name, at least since he and Karen entered the witness protection program), to lead a session to enrich our staff’s marriages. The session was incredible. I received email after email from the staff telling me how amazing the session was. They shared that this meant more to their marriage than any other counseling or seminar they had attended. They said he really cared and addressed the issues that matter most. One staff member shared, that they cannot wait for more! I love David and we at Crossroads are blessed to have him with us. He is fun, intelligent, gifted, and a true servant of God. I am blessed to have him in my life.


Then there is Kasey Butler. Kasey is… well…perfect. The other day, I walked into her office as she was drinking a glass of milk. There were bluebirds and butterflies surrounding her. I overheard her telling someone who drives me crazy, how special they are. She told them how much she cares about them and how God has a wonderful plan for their life. As I walked out, I thought about how blessed I am to have Kasey in my life…then I noticed that there was a butterfly on my arm and I was being followed by a bluebird.

Praise God for incredible people…


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