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July 2009

It started on a bike ride - Pt. 1

No Sunday Recap today as I was not in church yesterday. I took a spiritual retreat morning over the same hours that I normally am serving each week at LCC. I was overwhelmed at how much God had to say to me in such a short time, and I'd like to share pieces of  it over the next week here at cheval post could not contain it! I focused on 3 statements (Thanks, Beth!) all morning.

1. God, I just want to be with You.
2. God, I need Your guidance.
3. Lord, I want to feel Your love.

I grew up out in the sticks of South, humid, no breeze...summers were awful. The one thing that brought relief was riding a bike. I grew up in the day when it was safe for little girls to ride for miles, and that it was I did. We lived out in the country and I would ride for hours. It was during this time that I started just talking to God. I would share my thoughts, my worries, and my dreams. This is how I learned to pray...on long bike rides. Skip forward 22 years or so (!) to where I live now on Hilton Head Island. So much of this place reminds me of home (except this is a lot prettier, and then there's the beach!) We have miles of back paths all over the Island and the Plantation (or subdivision) that we live in has beautiful bike paths. Our new house is just outside of the bike path so I can easily jump on it and ride for miles. I started my day on my bike and I rode and talked to God.  Here is what God said to me. "Cynthia, I've missed our bike rides. Did you ever think that maybe the reason I have brought you to this Island is because I wanted you to get back on your bike and talk to me like you did when you were a kid? I look forward to those times together again. They are my favorite. " I felt the 1st statement immediately. And that was just the beginning...

I'm flying the coop

Well, just for one Sunday...I am taking a personal retreat tomorrow morning and I AM PUMPED. Thanks to 3 great chic worship leader friends (Jan Owen, Kim Bontrager, and Beth Brawley) I have some direction on what tomorrow morning should be for me. My team at LCC-Hilton Head Campus is going to ROCK the house (we have a new guitar player and my friend, Dean is playing sax tomorrow!) I love being able to leave and know that the services are going to be BETTER than if I was actually there! Rob Jacobs, our High School Pastor, is leading worship and my fabulous intern, Emily, is the musical director. No twitters or live blogging for me tomorrow...just me and my God somewhere on this Island. I can't wait, Father. See you in the AM!

I'm just sick

Not physically...although, I have a rotten feeling in the pit of my stomach. In the last 3 weeks, I have seen 4 Christian marriages fall a part. Yeah, it happened before that, but I just found out about it. We have become callous as a society, even in the church, to hearing the stories..."So-and-so did this and now this...and the kids are ..." It stinks BIG TIME. I walked this journey as a young adult within my own family...I'm one of the blessed ones that got to witness God's grace and restoration in our family. Not everyone gets that ending to their story. People ask, "What happened?" No offense, but honestly folks, do you not know? Does your own marriage not give you the perspective that if it were not for God's grace, we would ALL be in the same boat? I guess other people have their act together better than I do. Todd and I are flawed people. We have produced 2 flawed children. We are all sinful people and one stupid mistake away from totally wrecking our lives and our children's lives. My heart is breaking for my friends.  I called Todd today and just confessed to him that I take him for granted and I apologized. I thanked him for being a great husband and a great Father. I told him that I respected him and that I was so thankful for God's grace is our lives. So if you are married, stop and tell your spouse how much you appreciate them. Yes, they are flawed and not perfect...neither are you.


DSCF7820 DSCF7844 DSCF7832
It was a rare 24 hours...everyone in my immediate family in the same house for 2 hours. Here are the pics to prove it! Yes, I'm the short one in the middle between my 2 YOUNGER sisters...How about Grandma Sandra getting Sean to take a photo with his cousins? He was NOT into it at all! I feel so blessed when I see these pics. I have already printed and framed the one of all of us.  A BIG thanks goes out to my hubby for setting up the picture and actually getting all of us to look at the camera at the same time! I am so thankful for my family.

Sunday Recap

We are into our 3rd week of being LIVE with our message. I'm really enjoying it. We have cut about 10 minutes out of our service (which we needed to do) & the service feels very warm and relaxed. My tech team has NOT missed a beat making this transition. They are unbelievable! Sunday was our 1 year anniversary in our new facility. We cannot believe it has been a year! Praise God! Emily, our Worship Arts Intern, is doing an awesome job choosing songs and planning worship. I am taking a MUCH needed personal retreat day this coming Sunday & I am handing the service to her as the musical director. This Message Series "Speak God" has been tremendous. Anytime we talk about how to pray, there is SO much we can do in our services with worship and other elements to enhance the teaching time. This week, our key word was "Kingdom" and what it means when we pray "Your Kingdom come..." Here was our service flow...

"The Lord Reigns" -
"Sing to the King"
1st Anniversary in New Facility Video
Welcome/ Announcements
"Here is our King"
"Take My Life"
"Our God Reigns"

Our Senior Pastor Jeff Cranston celebrated his 10th Anniversary at LCC this week. Congrats, Boss! Enjoy your Kindle!

Meet me @ Fred's for more setlists!


Todd has used this word a lot in the last few months. I'm not a huge fan of this word and I am not sure really what it means. I have used this word before and everything opposite of this word started to unfold in my life.  This is the last word I would use to describe my life pretty much since 2003. Don't get me wrong...These last 6 years have ROCKED! So much adventure, change, out-on-the-ledge regrets AT ALL. But I'm starting to realize that I have entered a different season of life now. Sydney starts Kindergarten in August...our church campus is 2 years old...Sean is no longer a baby...and we bought a house in a horrible economy (we got a GREAT deal!) So, there it is...I put it out there. No guarantees that it will apply to our lives for very long, and honestly, I'm cool if it doesn't :)

Sunday Recap

Our new intern, Emily Wolff, started this Sunday with us. She sang, played keys, played djembe - it was a blast! We spent the whole service on communion and worship. Todd (my hubby!) gave a great "Homily" (lol - LCC staff get this!) It was so refreshing to spend the entire service in song and taking communion. We are officially LIVE every week now, which is something I am still trying to get my arms around. I am very excited about being a 100 percent Live worship experience every week. It will take some adjustment for our team and people, but overall, the response has been very positive. I love team teaching and having all our pastors teach in person is what I am THE MOST excited about experiencing each week. The creative juices are really flowing now, baby! Here was our service order...

"Marvelous Light" - Hall
Grad Recognition - Rob Rechy - our cellist :)
"Awesome is the Lord Most High"
"Happy Day"
Message Bumper - Communion (We created this with scriptures and scenes of communion in ProPresenter - we played live music for the audio)
Communion - Time of Confession
The Bread
"Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone"
The Wine
"Beautiful the Blood"
Message: Our Response to the Eucharist
"Hear Our Praises" - Hillsongs

The service was about 65 minutes. It was great and our people really responded in worship. What a great way to celebrate my birthday! (seriously!)

Go to Fred's for more setlists...


image624122042.jpgOk...I said it. I'm 36 today. Closer to 40 than 30 now:( However, I am loving my 30's. I had my kids in this decade, lived in NYC for a short while, and I now reside on an Island. Not bad:) I spent the day at home with my family doing nothing. It was awesome. The kids sang happy birthday to me, gave me the cutest card, and let me take a nice afternoon nap. I am so blessed. I am overwhelmed at God's grace in my life. I am not worthy of the gifts he has given, family, friends, church, life experiences. So here's to another year. I'm ready, God...let's go!

two weeks

I have been in somewhat of a "fog" the last 2 weeks as we spent one week packing and this past week moving. I looked at Todd at some point this week and said, "Honestly, if there was a gun to my head right now, I could not tell you what day it is." We are SO happy to be in our new to come! So , here is what happened around the Cullen house the last two weeks...

  • DSCF7673 Sydney finished preschool...she is officially a Kindergartener...say that 30 times really fast! She is headed to HHCA in August.
  • IMG_8715 Todd and I celebrated our 14th Anniversary on June 3rd. For those who know us REALLY well, we can all say that Todd deserved a big kudos for that!
  • IMG_0431 My Worship Arts Intern, Emily Wolffe, from my Alma Mater, Liberty University, started this week. Her 1st task? Painting Sean's bedroom last Friday night! She is an awesome woman, gifted musician, and a REAL servant to put up with our move being right smack in the middle of her 1st week on Hilton Head! We are going to have an awesome summer!
  • IMG_0447 Ellie Lancaster was in Hilton Head this week and we had the chance to reconnect. We have known each other for about 9 years from NorthStar and most recently we were original staff members of The Gallery Church in NYC. We love you, Elle!
  • IMG_0458  IMG_0453IMG_0461 Sydney turned 5 years old today. She is such a big girl and just a joy to our lives. I would think after 5 years of being a parent I would have more of a clue? NOT! We celebrated with some of Sydney's close friends and our friends as well at the Yacht Club (My b-day is tomorrow.) Yes, it was a much deserved treat...sitting around the pool and they fixed the food!
  • We love our new home. We feel SO blessed that God has given this to us. Our friends, the Krupas, from ATL were able to move into our rental house. God just worked the whole thing out! Now the fun begins...painting, pictures, and giving this place "our touch."

Hope you had a great two weeks...looking forward to being back in the blogosphere this week!