Friday, December 28, 2007

My Papa!

I bought my Dad a hammer for Christmas.
Of course, he already has a hammer - if you count a 16 oz claw hammer.
I bought my Dad a real hammer.
A 20 oz. framing hammer.
Because he's offered to go to Mississippi with me to help build houses.
This is my way of assuring he'll go.
So, sometime this winter - we'll build a house together.
I can't wait!
Oh yeah - Dad is preaching for me this weekend. I've had quite a long run and am ready for a break. So Dad is preaching on "The Mulligan". He's reminding us that life is like golf - that because of God's grace, we get to "try over" whenever we need.
Thanks God!
And Thanks Dad!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Eric the Entertainer

So this is Eric. This is a picture of Eric, UNDER the house that the rest of our team was building in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Why is he under the house?

Well, it was a job that needed to be done (hurricane clips from underneath). While everyone else was up above, basking in the sun and lifting 2x4's and all, Eric did the "grunt work" of crawling around, pounding nails while crouched in wierd positions.

All the while, Eric made us laugh. He's funny and fun and doesn't push for his own way or try to sweet talk his way to the top. Eric is humble.

And now, Eric is leading the GO Factor initiative while I give direction to the church.

There is a reason I chose Eric. It's not just because he's a little crazy and a lot funny - altho those are both true.

It's not just because he has tons of extra time on his hands, which, he doesn't - he's very busy.

It IS because he really cares. Cares enough to actually push through all the "pitfalls" that come with leadership. He cares enough to answer all the red flags that pop up. He cares enough to get the job done.

Right now, Eric is working on a team that will leave for Haiti early in the new year. While in Haiti, they will deliver a few thousand pair of glasses, and fit hundreds of "sight impaired" people (like myself) with glasses that they would never be able to afford.

Think about this: To take a team to Haiti, one must find an eye doctor, find dates when people can go, handle the danger of traveling to a country like Haiti, get passports, find a way to raise money for plane tickets, collect thousands of pair of glasses, have those glasses checked and labeled (which he did almost singlehandedly, along with his family!), and then, clear away everything else (like work and hobbies) that could get in the way of the actual trip.

So, Eric and his team are leaving early next year for Haiti.

Hundreds will find sight because of Eric and his passion to help.

Think about this for a moment: How often have you wanted to do something nice for someone else - send a card, make a phone call or build them a new garage? There are always things that get in the way, aren't there? Important things like family and church, or unimportant things like "The Amazing Race" or "Survivor".

Leaders find a way to get things done - AND do the important things.

Thanks Eric!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Back to the Pass

Well, my friend Greg Kisov went back to the Pass.
He and his friend (and son), along with Kevin VanErt and Jon Hisey all flew down to Pass Christian for the weekend -- to work hard on the Spencer home - trying to get that family in to their new digs!
The story is this: Thomas and his wife and daughter lived a happy life in Pass Christian. Hurricane Katrina came and absolutely blew their house away. It's gone.
For the last two years, Thomas and his 8 year old daughter have lived in a FEMA trailer, while his wife lives 2 hours away in Hattiesburg. She can't stay in the FEMA trailer on account of her being claustraphobic.
Greg led a group from CrossRoads back in November, and that group (us!) framed and roofed the Spencer Home - all in 5 days. This is about 1 year earlier than anyone expected!
So, now, we all want that family back together as soon as possible.
So, Greg and Jon and Kevin and the rest went down to drywall and put on the siding.
Way to go guys! I love your passion for this amazing work!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Project 418

Luke 4:18-19 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poort. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." We're excited to raise money during this Christmas season, for our GO factor work all around the world. From Bulgaria to Bowling Green. From Missionaries to Mississippi relief. From Church planting to Church camping! Yay God -- thanks for letting us do this!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Farewell My Friends!

Glenn and Nancy Teal. Pastor and First Lady of CrossRoads during the last 12 years. Helped the church experience amazing growth, by focusing on winning the lost. We outgrew the old and built a new building!

And now you are off on a new adventure! Spokane, Washington will be better off because of you! Enjoy the new ministry and have fun!

Thanks Glenn and Nancy for inviting us here to CrossRoads -- God bless you in a big way!

Christmas is Coming!

I wonder what it was like, that starry starry night when Mary and Joseph settled down in the stable. And then the cry of the newborn baby. I'm looking forward to our Christmas series beginning next week, here at CrossRoads: Signs of a Better Tomorrow. We'll look at all the amazing ways God told us that tomorrow is full of hope and peace. And that is true for us today!
Anyway, I'd have liked to peek in on the babe in the manger. That'd been cool!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Giving Tree

Wow - this morning at CrossRoads, God did some cool stuff!

Of course, we were all a bit nervous, wondering if the church could keep on, despite no Lead Pastor. But what a day! God helped us in all sorts of ways!

He met us through worship - Andrew and the gang provided some awesome music that just hit us right. We started a series called "Life to the Full: The Worst Case Scenerio Survival Handbook" and through that message, God spoke to all of us. The God who made a miracle out of David will make one out of you and me, too! Bring on the Giants! I love hearing from the "Roadies" at CrossRoads - how God has met and encouraged you! Yay God!
And the Angel Tree - we are setting records on how fast we run to the tree and invest ourselves in those hurting all around us. We should be "sold out!" by Wednesday. I guess this morning we chose over 150 kids to provide Christmas presents for this Christmas! Way to go, church!
What a great adventure this is!

New Birthday Suit

Well, it's not actually a suit - more of a sport coat. Mom and Dad got me this, from SteinMart. It's made by National Geographic, has 23 pockets and contorts into all sorts of cool things. This is some sort of zoot suit, ready for an emergency "dress up" moment, I guess. I look like I could work on a cruise ship!


Wow - what a week!

First, my birthday! I turned 44 on Tuesday the 20th and celebrated with a 13 hour day at the office. But what a fun day - staff meeting, interviews, Superintendent and staff for lunch and New Community at night!

And then, off to Mom and Dad's where the rest of the gang showed up on Thursday. What a feast! Mom and Dad outdid themselves. Turkey and ham and all the fixins!

Uncle Chris, well, actually my brother in law - he piled his plate high!

How fortunate I am - to be part of a family that loves each other. It's wierd, I guess, in these days, for a family (24 of us!) to actually enjoy being together! We really do love each other.

Of course, Mom and Dad set the tone. They've always loved - and liked each other!
We have much for which to be thankful! God is good -- all the time!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Crew

This is part of the crew - we spent quite a few hours up on this roof. I'm still thanking God that none of us fell. Remember: the "floor" of the house is nearly 10 feet up. One floor, another eight. And about 6 more feet to the peak. That's a long way to fall.
Thanks God!

Cafe' Au Lait and Bignets!

There is nothing, I mean nothing, like the amazing sugary bignets and cafe' au lait at the famous Cafe du Monde.
I especially liked how I took everyone there, claiming I'd pay.
The check arrived and I whipped out my world famous Discover Card.
"We only take money!" said our waiter.
Thanks Paul for covering us that night!

The Son Also Rises

Each and every morning, Dick Rollins made us get up early and watch the sun rise. We'd walk down our sidewalk, across the street, and sit on the beach. It was a beautiful work of art, each and every morning.
We'd all watch, and as the sun rose - we'd ooh and ahh, and say things like "that's the best one yet!"
I think God is pretty cool. Giving us new art, every morning to admire - to be reminded that He loves us.

What a Great Trip!

Wow - another great time, building new relationships and making new friends!
We built a little larger home then normal. Thomas Spencer's wife is claustraphobic - she's now living in Hattiesburg, about two hours away, while Thomas and his 8 year old daughter lives in the FEMA trailer in Pass Christian.
So, we built a little larger home - most are a bit over 1200 square feet. This one is 1800! Yay!
But what's really cool, as always, is this: going away with 12 or 13 people, and coming home with 12 or 13 family members.
I love all the people at CrossRoads - but there's something special about those with whom I've served.
So, we did the normal trip into New Orleans - and had the always amazing cafe' aulait and bignet's at the famous and always open Cafe' du Monde.
Wow -- thanks God!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Micah the Rock Star!

Check out Micah's first music video. I'll be looking for it on MTV. I didn't even know he was in a band!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Break Time!

Okay, so you're thinking - "you haven't posted much this fall, and you need a break?" Yep.

Our Lead Pastor is moving to Washington state, to lead an amazing congregation there, and so there are a few "extra's" that I need to take care of around here.

Why don't you check back in December?

Or, if you're up for it, maybe I'll report at the end of our current trip.

Either way, I look at November at being a slow Blog month.

Promise me you won't erase me from your list of favorites!

Building Again!

Well, here we go again!
On Sunday, we leave (6am!) for Pass Christian, Mississippi. We'll build a house and slap down some concrete and a host of other miscellaneous things. I can't wait!
So, we'll start with a deck, as pictured here, and end with a house like this white one, which we drywalled last March.
We have 15 going, under the awesome leadership of our own Greg Kisov and his lovely wife Ellen. You think they're nice people now -- wait until you see them covered with drywall dust!
Well, this should be a great trip. Jon Hisey and Dick Rollins are flying down ahead of time to get things ready. We'll join about 35 FM'ers from around the country and have a blast!

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Okay, I don't know how to do links, but check out the above link for more information on "Reveal".

So what is it? Well, it's a pretty amazing study on what actually helps people grow spiritually. Rather than a bunch of pastors saying "here's what I think helps people grow" - the study is done of actual "non-pastors!" who want to be fully devoted to Jesus Christ! So, it's pretty revealing, in a way, of what helps people grow and when. When? Well, sometimes one thing helps you grow, and other times its a different thing. Let me cut to the chase.

Mature Christians get very unhappy with their church and their personal "growth rate" UNLESS they are actively serving the under-resourced. Of course, that's not the whole story - but it's a big piece of the story, that's for sure.

So, you wanna grow spiritually? Serve someone less fortunate - that's a great start!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Well, thanks to Jessica over at babblebrain for this...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Worry Free!

When change occurs, especially change that worries you, disturbs you or messes with your stability, remember that God is sovereign.

Here's the deal: God never says "Wow, I never expected that!"

He knew the change in your life, when it would happen and how, long before you were even born! He knew!

Romans 8 reminds us that God works all things together for the good of those who love him, and Jeremiah 29 tells us that God has great plans for you - plans for your future!

So, do not be worried. Do not be terrified! The Lord your God is with you wherever you go!

Yay God - thanks for being close!

Your Majesty (By Brian McLaren)

I love to see your high white clouds sailing, Lord, like a fleet of mighty galleons on the blue,
and watch white seagulls dive and glide among them.
Your Majesty, they make me think of you….

The rhythm and the roar of ocean breakers, like great dark pages they turned as the tide withdrew.

They curled and they crashed and they pounded the surf in the white foam.
Your Majesty, they make me think of you….

I love to watch the dark gray clouds as a storm's approaching, and see the willow branches sway as the wind blows through…
see the flash of lightning, hear the rumbling or your thunder.
Your Majesty, they make me think of you….

Upon a tall and mighty mountain, with a valley spread below (so beautiful)
I lean into a strong fast breeze and deep inside I know,
that all of creation joins in majestic declaration, from a single leaf and flower of clover to a burning yellow star to show,
Your Majesty, how wonderful you are!

Your salmon spawn after fighting up fast river currents.
Your geese migrate each season as you taught them to.
Your great sea turtles return to the beach of their birth.
Your Majesty, they make me think of you….

Monday, September 17, 2007

Explaining My Fondness for Nicknames

When I was in High School, my teammates on the Edsel Ford basketball team nicknamed me "Ben" - and I'll never know why.
Then at Spring Arbor, Jerry started calling me "A.C." - a nickname I loved - it stood for Anthony Carter, a standout wide receiver from U of M -- because I could catch the ball on our Gamma 1 Intramural football team.
Later, I simply became "Crydo" - I guess yelling "Cryderman" sounded too much like they were shouting "Cry German!"
Then, as a youth pastor, my teens began calling me "PMC" - for Pastor Mark Cryderman...
I loved each of these monikers. There's something about a nickname that suggests love, or specialness, or a closeness of relationship -- I like that.
In John 10, the Bible says that Jesus knows us each by name. I like that too.
I wonder if Jesus ever uses nicknames - perhaps he has one for you? What would it be?
I guess this would all explain why I like the worship song where we sing "I am a friend of God, I am a friend of God, I am a friend of God - He calls me 'Fred'!" Fred?
Just a thought.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Car Show!

Well, this will be fun!
A couple hundred cars and motorcycles.
Jimmy Johns Subs and Marcos Pizza.
Thousands of people.
Add in some blow up games, cotton candy and face painting.
And then there's the amazing program called "Open Road" in the auditorium!
Sunday, 9-3 - come check it out!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Wierd Birdy Wing Drying

Is this wierd or what? Mary and I were on our morning cruise on the lake, and came across these birds. Standing on the branches with wings out. Drying them? Who knows?

Under the Sea

Well, did you know there is a world beyond what we normally see? Here we are at Cryderman Cove in Goose Lake. And when you float along and keep your head under water long enough, you begin to notice a whole other world! Little undersea bugs, and fishies and clam-like things (mussels?) that open their little clam mouths and breath, or whatever they are doing. And then there are these tiny little red bugs that swim, with a not so obvious goal before them. Who knows what they are doing -- but they sure look like they are on a mission! And I feel so big -- like a monster invading their little world. But then, I think, I'm like that little bug. There's another world that's so much bigger than mine -- and I wonder if the angels watch me skittering about and say "what is that little guy up to?". And then one more thought: God knows. He knows exactly what drives me, where I'm going, what I'm trying to do. And he knows my thoughts and my dreams. Not only mine, but yours too. And he loves us!
I can't imagine becoming a little red bug to die for them so they could live forever up on shore!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Coming Trips

So, We are going back to Pass Christian for some awesome Katrina Relief.

My good friends Greg and Ellen will be leading the trip - which at this point is slated for November 4-11. Wanna go? Let me know!


My other good friend, Eric, is taking a team of CrossRoadsians to Haiti to put donated glasses on the poorest of the poor who cannot afford vision correction. I can't wait to hear them read John 3:16 (the final vision test!)

Wanna go? Let me know!

Romans 12

So, I have nothing to share.
Life has been pretty busy as of late.
I've been running meetings and well, just been busy. It's been fun!
So, I have nothing new to add to the GO FACTOR thoughts.

So, chew on this:
Lately I've been reading Romans 12 for my devotions. Every day I read it.
You'd think it'd get boring - au contraire! Each time I read it I see it in a new light and learn awesome truths about God.
Here are a few...

No way Jose'! I'm not telling you! Read it yourself a few days and you'll hear some great things from God, too!

Ha - you almost had me there!

So, happy reading!

In case you're wondering, I'll be reading Romans 12 from now through December 31, and then I'll begin reading Romans 8 every day. But don't look ahead, Stinky, stay with me for Romans 12 until the end of the year. Let's do this together!

Anyone still reading this blog? This may be a good time to check in and say "Keep on writing Crydo..."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Dark Water?

Well, here is McKenna and her two cousins - Katelyn and Aaron. Can I tell you about them?

Katelyn was on my boat the other day, and someone noticed her toe was bleeding. Upon closer inspection, it was because THE GIANT BLOODSUCKER had basically filled himself up and was overflowing! He was still stuck on her toe.

Her mother and I casually mentioned that she had a bloodsucker on her toe, but not to worry, we'll take care of it. (Inside, we were gagging and screaming and running away! But externally, we knew she would be alright, eventually).

Now, all the cousins have to look (and scream!) but her older brother - Aaron - he takes care of business. He jumps into the water, and swims back to shore. He finds the salt and puts it in a ziploc baggy, and then swims back out to the boat, one handed, while he holds the salt up in the air, keeping it dry. The boy is a hero!

We salt the little sucker and eventually it curls up and falls off.

Next morning, in fact all day - where is little Katelyn? She's ankle deep in the muck, catching frogs. Her mother makes it clear that she could get another bloodsucker - but she's not afraid.

SPIRITUAL POINT: This is what God does. When you get into dark water (ever been there? are you there now?) he brings people into your life to have faith for you, even when you don't have it for yourself ("It's going to be alright - I'm here with you!") and he provides a hero. Sometimes God sends an angel of mercy - someone to literally carry you, and sometimes God himself becomes the hero and saves you. Sometimes he is the one who brings the salt and rescues you from harm.

The point? No fear. You do not fear the future - because just as God has been present in the past and just as he is with you today, God is present in the future! You can count on it! So, sure, dark waters will come - but they are not the end of the story - God will save the day!

Joshua 1:9 (NIV) "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Family Fun!

So, while this has nothing to do with the GO factor, I had to post.

This is my daughter and one of her strengths: a love for all things slimy.

No Fear!

Saturday, August 11, 2007


We were challenged like crazy, at the 2007 Leadership Summit.

I'm encouraged about the future, because I will help the GO Factor focus quite a bit. I think that's a good "part two" for us!

Here's what I mean:

Right now, I and the Go Factor team will study the strengths of CrossRoads and try to match up our strengths with a few Go Factor opportunities. I still like the idea of offering a whole bunch of places to encourage people to try, but I want to focus on a few to make a big impact there. I think that will help us GO more effectively.

I was also challenged by a movie dude (writer for Notting Hill and Mr. Bean and the brainchild behind the American Idol Gives Back thing), I think his name was Richard Curtis, anyway - I was challenged to provide hope for kids who have no hope. He made the remark that in one destitute country, "the young girls will trade sex for a sit down meal at McDonalds". The point is, they have no hope, so they won't hold out for the future - basically, because they don't believe they have a future. Well, I want to provide hope for kids -- I wonder how that will be lived out here in the Toledo area. Well, I'm kind of babbling -- but I'm encouraged to help us focus, using our strengths, to make a greater impact.

The Coolest People Ever

Well, here are a few pictures from the Leadership Summit. Of course, we didn't take pic's of the actual meeting time, so there is no proof that we did anything but eat. And eat we did -- wow, the snacks were terrific!

And we also ate at Abuelo's, a cool Mexican/Italian kind of place.

But these people who make up the CrossRoads church - they're the coolest! They love Jesus, and love each other, and love to learn leadership -- what could be better?

They love to learn to "be the church in a better way" -- I love you guys!

Glenn was back for a moment from Sabbatical, and joined us - it was great to see him!

The Summit

Hey dudes and dudettes,

We just finished an amazing time at the Leadership Summit - put on by the Willow Creek Association. We went to the site closest to us - at CedarCreek church in Perrysburg.

Wow - once again, this has been a knock my socks off experience. It's amazing how God brings together the entire summit just for me! It seems like every speaker shared stuff that I needed to hear, I love when God does that!

Last year, the Summit inspired us to begin the "Go Factor" here at CrossRoads - so there is some expectation as to what will come of this years'.

Well, the over riding "theme" seemed to be about corporate vision and ownership. We all have a part to play in the Kingdom - and in hearing from God on how we are to accomplish his mission for us.

I think the most exciting days are ahead of us -- as we "clean up" our focus as a church and march forward arm in arm.

Yay God!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Building a House is Cool!

So, I woke Micah up at 6am and said "We leave at 6:30, so get up!" Micah does not love very much to get up early.

But he did. And paid me back for waking him up: Twice I filled my cup with crystal cold water (on this 95 degree day!) and began drinking -- only to find that Micah had secretly poked a hole or two in the bottom of my cup, and then waited patiently until I got thirsty. He's very funny!

But besides his practical jokes -- he worked his tail off! Way to go, Micah!

Along with the world class building crew (Jim Moline Builders, 2007 Builder of the Year) Micah and I framed a house today. Honestly, the more I do this, the more fun it is! I learn so much each time, and the physical labor is just awesome!

But cooler than that is participating in God's great plan of spreading Kingdom love - of being world changers! I mean, today counted. We worked - not for ourselves, but for others who needed it - we made a difference! Part of God's plan for his people! Thanks God!

We've been working alongside our brothers and sisters from CedarCreek and Calvary Assembly, but of course I'm partial to the family at CrossRoads -- I love you guys!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Deck: next up: the FRAME

Well, we did it!
We built a deck. Now, for the uninitiated: the deck is not a bunch of boards off the back of a house on which you place your patio furniture. The deck is basically, the main floor of the house, on which the rest of the house shall be built.
So, let me reiterate: we built a deck last Saturday morning.
I was very proud of CrossRoads - many, perhaps most of the volunteers were from CrossRoads and did an outstanding job. Of course, this is not a contest between churches, but it's nice to represent well.
The important part is this: we started the deck at 8:30 and finished around 11:20 - and we had a ball doing it! Once again, there is nothing so awesome as working side by side for a cause!
Way to go, Church! (That's with a capital C, meaning - the Church United, which by the way is not a soccer team from overseas, but the Church made up of all the different Christ following churches!)
Especially notable: Micah, my son, got to serve with me. And that was fun! He did a great job - worked hard from start to finish and contributed greatly to the cause. I'm a proud dad!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Finally - it's time to build!

Wow - finally - it's here!
Tomorrow - we get to build!
8am - the ground breaking ceremony.
Immediately after - we build the deck (main floor, over the crawl) on which we will build a house!
There is one family that must be beside themselves with excitement and anticipation.
And there are a few church families almost equally as excited!
In one month, they'll move in and we'll move out! A new house!
I love Habitat for Humanity! How cool!
So, tomorrow we start.
Don't bother calling me. I won't hear my cell phone ring over the sound of my Vaughn 23 hitting nails!
However - it's not too late to join in the fun.
Check the Go Factor booth at CrossRoads or, ask me here and I'll help you get connected!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Volunteering At General Conference

So, Thursday was our day to volunteer at the General Conference of the Free Methodist Church held in Spring Arbor, MI. I was given the task of driving a golf cart around the Spring Arbor University campus, shuttling people to and from the different buildings. (Check it out at

Sometimes what you think is normal turns out to be, uh, not so normal.

So, I'm driving this cart - a 6 seater - and it sputters to a stop and I smell smoke. I comment to myself, out loud, joking: it smells like it's on fire. I get out and look in the back seat, and smoke is pouring out from the engine compartment.

Then, I open it - and flames..."it IS on Fire!"

Boy, do golf carts burn up fast.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Angels in the Attic

So, our build for Habitat for Humanity is quickly approaching. Tomorrow, we introduce our fundraising and prayer support concept. It's pretty cool. Tomorrow, we will begin selling "Angels" - for 5 dollars each.
And here is the cool part: you take your angel, color it, add a prayer or Bible verse or a poem, or your "good wishes" to the family -- and these "angels" will be stapled to the rafters inside the attic. How cool is that? Imagine, going up into the attic to collect your Christmas decorations and seeing again the prayers and well wishes of thousands of people!
So, tomorrow, we introduce the family and begin selling angels. Want to buy one?