Search Results for: happy hands happy hearts

Happy Hands, Happy Hearts Revisited


Our crosses were recently shared by these CTW family members:

He Intends Victory – Bullhead City, AZ for mission work in Kenya and Uganda

Augustana Lutheran Church – W. St. Paul, MN

Colman Lutheran Church – Colman, SD

Church of St. Joseph – St. Joseph, MN

The Center for Family Counseling – St. Cloud, MN

Hubbard United Methodist Church – Hubbard, MN

My Father’s House – Minneapolis, MN

Don – MN

Mt. Zion Lutheran Church – Tucson, AZ

Trinity Lutheran Church – Fergus Falls, MN for mission work in Canada through the LAMP program

Joan – WI

St. Odilia Catholic Church – Shoreview, MN

Lighthouse Fellowship – Milaca, MN

Tony – MN

First United Methodist Church – Manistique, MI

Carla – MN

Bill – MN

We say ‘Thank You!!!’ for providing the feet for our crosses to ‘take a hike’!

And, these comments to share:

God is so awesome.  Crosses were on the table at a soup kitchen which we were led to!!! Thank you for your ministry.  It was a tearful blessing to watch the less fortunate grab a cross and tie it on them.  To God be the glory!!!  In Christ, Bob & Pam from Washington

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

We will sing ‘To God Be The Glory’ on Sunday and remember your love and the ministry of Cross The World with the cross of Christ.  May Jesus be Glorified and proclaimed to the people of Monticello as we hand out these crosses on June 10th at the Monticello ‘Walk and Roll Day’.  Thanks for making it possible for Faith Lutheran Church to be used by the Lord in evangelism in Monticello, MN.  God bless you and your friends always.  Kay from Minnesota

Don’t repay a kindness; pass it on.



In January, 2015, we introduced you to our ‘Happy Hands, Happy Hearts’ volunteer work force, residents of Heartwood Senior Living in Crosby, MN.  The first Monday of every month, Ernie brings them 5-gallon pails of crosses and all the supplies needed to string, tag and bag those crosses.  When we started working with them, the total number of crosses completed in about an hour was 600.  Not only have these diligent, dedicated ladies (and sometimes there is a man or two who will pop his head in but is usually scared away by the chatter and laughter!) continued their involvement in our ministry but they have also picked up speed … completing about 2000 crosses in the same time!

Here’s the original story about ‘Ernie’s girls’ and, when you look at the photos we took of them working the first Monday in June of this year, you’ll see a lot of familiar faces.  They are still smiling and chattering and laughing … it truly is God at work.  We ALL couldn’t be happier!!






And, so, no good deed goes unattended.  Here’s the same gals at our house a couple of weeks later, enjoying an indoor picnic with us.  It was a great time … good food, lots of laughter, tons of fellowship, mountains of love! (Trust me … they DID have a good time.  I guess I’ll have to remind them to smile the next time I snap their picture!~!~!)






We are so blessed to have the Heartwood Senior Living complex in our lives. Our hearts are brimming over with gratitude and love for each and every one of them.
PS – I just have to share the simple, delectable dessert my sister came up with for the day.  She cut watermelon, minus the rind, in circles about 2” thick and 3” in diameter (similar to the size of a hamburger patty), drizzled Hershey’s dark chocolate ice cream topping over the melon, added a dollop of Cool Whip and finished dressing it with some chocolate sprinkles.  DOUBLE YUM!!  What a light dessert to finish any summer meal … try it, I guarantee you’ll love it!!!



Happy Hands, Happy Hearts!

We are excited to welcome a new group into the Cross The World family …. Heartwood Senior Living located in Crosby, which is close to our home.

Recently, Ernie visited with some of the residents and staff there and was thrilled to find willing hands to help us finish our crosses. Ernie and his ‘crew’ get together once a month for some dedicated work (and fun) time tying the message tags to the crosses and, because they enjoy what they’re doing, some of the residents continue to work independently on the crosses in between Ernie’s visits.

These residents are a wonderful group to work alongside; we are so very grateful for the opportunity to have the residents of Heartwood involved with Cross The World. It’s a win-win situation for all of us!!

We wanted to share some photos of their latest get together.  They are gettin’ busy!!


2015-01-05 009


2015-01-05 010


2015-01-05 002


2015-01-05 008


2015-01-05 006


2015-01-05 005


2015-01-05 004


2015-01-05 003


2015-01-05 001


2015-01-05 011

 Happy hands, happy hearts!!!


  “Let us be grateful for people who make us happy;

they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” 

Marcel Proust


We thank the following for joining our ministry recently:

Good Samaritan Society – St. Peter, MN

Jamie – AZ

Pastor Stanley – MN, crosses for family in Oklahoma

Heartwood Senior Living – Crosby, MN



I wanted to share this poem with you. It was received some time ago and I reread it often, especially during those times when I question whether I’m doing enough to help others.


If nobody smiled and nobody cheered
and nobody helped us along,
If every minute looked after himself,
and good things all went to the strong;
If nobody cared just a little for you
and nobody thought about me,
And we all stood alone in the battle of life,
what a dreary old world it would be.

Life is sweet just because of the friends we have made
and the things which in common we share;
We want to live on, not because of ourselves,
but because of the people who care.

It’s giving and doing for somebody else
on that all life’s splendor depends;
And the joy of this world, when it’s all added up,
is found in the making of friends.
– Anonymous



Happy Valentines Day!

It was just a harmless prank, that’s all it was.  And it wasn’t as if Old Lady Hayes didn’t deserve it, the way she used to scream at us for ‘borrowing’ a few of her precious raspberries each summer … like we were stealing gold out of Ft. Knox.  Well, she had it coming.

At least, that’s the way we saw it as George finished tying the string to the red, heart-shaped box.  We giggled as Ron added the final touch:  two plastic red roses, glued to the lid.  ‘I wonder what will surprise her most’, I asked as George practiced jerking the box out of reach by yanking on the string.  ‘Seeing a box of candy on her step, or watching it fly away when she tries to pick it up?’

We laughed as we watched George make Albert chase the box around the garage.  For a chubby 10 year old, Albert did a good imitation of Mrs. Hayes’ hunched hobble and her seemingly permanent scowl.  And, we howled when he picked up a broom and pretended to ride it through the midwinter air while shouting, ‘I’m Old Lady Hayes, the driedest-up old prune in the West!’

Ron was first to notice my dad in the doorway.  Within seconds, Ron’s anxiety was shared by all but Albert, who continued to swoop around the garage until he came face-to-belt buckle with our silent observer.  For a moment, the only movement in the room came from the little puffs of steam escaping our mouths.  Dad broke the stillness by walking slowly to the empty candy box lying on the floor.  He picked it up and dangled it by the string, watching it swing back and forth.  Then he looked into the eyes of the frightened boys.  And, as was his custom, he looked into our hearts as well.

‘It doesn’t seem so long ago that I was pulling Valentine’s Day pranks’, he said as he laid the box on a workbench.  ‘One year, my cousins and I decided to pull one on our Grandma Walker even though we loved her … she was the sweetest grandma a boy could have.  We were just feeling devilish and decided to have some fun at her expense.’

‘Early in the evening we snuck up to her doorstep with a can of red paint.  Grandma was hard of hearing, so we didn’t have to worry about being very quiet.  Which was a good thing, because every time we thought about how funny it was going to be to see Grandma try to pick up a valentine that was just painted on her doorstep, we couldn’t keep from laughing.’

‘It didn’t take long, and it wasn’t very artistic.  But for an old woman with bad eyes, it would do.  We kicked the door and hid behind the bushes.  When Grandma finally appeared she stood in the doorway, her grey hair pulled back tightly in her usual bun, wiping her hands on her usual apron.  She must have heard the commotion in the bushes because she looked in our direction and spoke loudly enough for us to hear:  “Who could be knocking at my door?”  Then she looked down.  Even from 15 feet away, we could see the joy in her eyes when she spotted a splash of red at her feet.  “A valentine for Grandma!” she exclaimed.  “And I thought I’d be forgotten again this year!”

‘She tried to retrieve her prize.  This was the moment we had been waiting for, but somehow it wasn’t as much fun as we expected.  Grandma groped at the fresh paint for a moment.  Slowly, she figured out our prank.  She tried to smile.  Then, with as much dignity as she could muster, she turned and walked back into her house, absently wiping red paint on her clean, white apron.’

Dad paused, and for the first time I noticed that his eyes were moist.  He took a deep breath.  ‘Grandma died later that year and I never had another change to give her a real valentine.’

He took the box from the bench and handed it to me.  Then he turned and left the garage.

Later that night, a red heart-shaped box with two plastic roses on it was placed on Mrs. Hayes’ front doorstep by six giggling boys.  We hid behind snow covered bushes to see how she would react to receiving a full pound of candy and nuts … with no strings attached.

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Last month, our crosses were carried through missionaries from Messiah Lutheran Church of Lakeville, MN to the cities of Yangon, Myitkyina and Putao in Burma as well as Miao in India.  The mission trip was the 7th trip to Asia for the Project Video (PV) team, sponsored by mission-minded Messiah in 8 years.

We have featured Project Video before and you will remember that their mission is to proclaim the gospel through video throughout Asia.  What a wonderful mission!  Producing God’s word in the native tongue and presenting it to people who may not know how to read or write their language, who may never have heard the gospel before, who may not know anything about God.  Imagine the impact!

While there, they brought recording and projection equipment to the Yangon and Myitkyina studios as well as dedicated two new Gospel Vision Ministry (GVM) studios:  one in Putao located in the northern most region of Burma, targeting the Rawang and Lisu languages; the other studio (the first in India!) in Miao, located on land owned by the Lisu Church of Christ in Arunachal Pradesh, the largest state in NE India and where more than 135 languages are spoken in the district.

Glory to God and blessings to the Messiah mission team!  They sent photos to share:

Rejoice in His goodness!!


 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Father God:

We are reminded of Your wants for us and how, sometimes, we fight against Your will because we think we know better, or maybe, because we’re afraid of the outcome.  We forget that You hold the keys.  You have the master plan already laid out.  You walk with us at all times, involved in each and every decision we make.  You are our Creator, our Architect, our Leader, our Magnificent One.  We are mere shadows in Your presence.

You honor a generous heart and one that gives freely. Please help all of us to learn to give more and demand less.  Give us the tools to do more letting go and less holding on.  Please teach us to yield to Your sweet spirit of generosity.  Take the reins from our hands and teach us to rest in that release.

We thank You for Your unending love for us all. Amen


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Easter season is fast approaching and we want to provide crosses for all those who would like to share them with others during this season.  We ask that you put your requests in as early as possible so we are able to accommodate you.  Thanks!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


We acknowledge and thank our CTW family members from January for sharing God’s love with others:

Messiah Lutheran Church – Lakeville, MN

Hope Lutheran Church – Fosston, MN

Birch Ridge Resort – Cass Lake, MN

Good Samaritan Society – Pipestone, MN

Community Lutheran Church – Bullhead City, AZ

Nancy – MO

Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd – New Rockford, ND


♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


You wanted someone who’d listen to your most impossible thoughts …
I invented prayer

You wanted someone who’d write you sweet letters …
I gave you the Bible

You wanted someone who’d show you a simple magic trick …
I made miracles

You wanted someone who’d show you what life is all about …
I let you feel love

You wanted someone who was handsome …
I poured out my heart

You wanted someone who’d give up other things just to be with you …
I gave up my life

You wanted someone who’d take you places …
I invited you to Heaven

You wanted someone who’d be your forever …
I promised you eternal life

Happy Valentines Day, with all my love,


Bound By Faith Ministries

We received some great feedback from some of our Cross The World family members and I am excited to share!

‘Have a blessed day.  Truly a clear message.  Amen.’    Mary ~ IL

‘Thank you for your ministry.’       Liz ~ PA

Frank from MI forwarded this note on to us.  His church received it from one of the Christmas Shoe Box recipients.

‘Hi everyone there!!  I am Eder, father of Joseph, who received the box gift of all of you.  Thank so much!!  We are living in Medellin, Colombia.  Joseph is very happy for everything in the box, specially for the cross.  He told me: ‘Dad, Jesus isn’t on the cross.’ I answered: ‘He rose!!’  Just for that, Thank you!!  Thank you for blessed us!!!  We would like to have contact with all of you!!’


♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥


This month, we are pleased to feature Bound By Faith Ministries located in Barnum, MN.  This ministry was founded by Bob Cummins who serves the Lord by making and distributing wooden crosses (most of them made from reclaimed barn wood) free of charge, all under the direction he receives from God.  After making these crosses for years, Bob rejoices in the fact that over 500 of them have left his hands for others.  He says, ‘Each cross the Lord directs me to give away is a special message from Him to the party receiving it.  The message is that there is power in the cross and, through that power, lives and hearts are changed.’  Amen!

We feel so privileged to welcome Bob and his ministry to our Cross The World family and look forward to a long-lasting relationship.  To read Bob’s testimony and to see photos of his beautiful crosses, click HERE.


♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥


Please remember to visit our Covid-19 page to read notes/comments shared by other CTW family members.  You can get there by clicking on the Covid-19 tab on the top of this page or by clicking HERE.

Our intention is not to clutter our site with repetitive information from the internet but to share our personal thoughts.  So, if you have something you feel is pertinent, please send it to us and we’ll publish it.  New comments will be published in red.

Remember … we’re all in this together.  God is with us … don’t let go of His hand!!!

Although storms have many origins, there is only one answer for all of them.  When everything around us comes unglued and falls apart, we must go to our knees, trusting the Lord to give us a sense of assurance and boldness to stand firm in obedience.  A yielded life that’s settled in God’s Word, open to His work within us, and made adequate in the Holy Spirit’s love and power is immovable in the tempests of life.

~ Charles Stanley


♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥


Summer is officially here … Ernie saw his first mosquito last week!!  And, that reminded me of this:



♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥


In spite of just about everything being shut down due to the coronavirus, there is still a need for crosses and some made their way from our woodshop to others; we’ve listed those folks below.   We are so thankful for our entire Cross The World family; we appreciate you sheltering in place and staying healthy!!  You all remain in our prayers; keep safe!

Mary – IL

Frank – MI

Shirleen – NC

Gale – MN

Carla – MN

Pam – PA

Sherry – MN

Nancy – PA

Lewistown Christian Church – Dawson Springs, KY


♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥


Irving Berlin wrote this to honor his mother; Kate Smith made this famous during her radio show in 1941; the US Congress stood on the steps of the Capitol Building and sang this on 9/11.  It’s a great reminder.





Amanda’s Poems


Recently, our Brother in Christ, Tom from CA, shared copies of a beautiful commemorative book he has published about his daughter Amanda’s poetry.  Most of the poems in this book were written by Amanda, starting when she was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 16 through to her death at 23.  Each poem validates her feelings and thoughts as she progresses through this journey, her discussions with God and the growing relationship she has with Him; each one draws us into her relationship at that particular moment.

Here is an excerpt from the inside cover:

The poems on the following pages are the expression of Amanda’s range of emotions. Her words communicate how her relationship with God helped her through the tough times and to be grateful, even under extreme challenges.  it was Amanda’s wish that her poems be published and given to others to inspire them and to demonstrate how she drew her strength from her faith.’

As I read the poems in this book, some written by Dad or sisters Lisa and Laura, it struck me that, while most of these poems were written by a young woman suffering the ravages of cancer, they were all expressively written to include any malady any one of us might be facing … health issues; loss of family, marriage, job; financial struggles, etc.  And each writing showed us there is hope if we have faith.  If we give our troubles to God, He will take care of us.

Here’s an example of one of the poems written by Amanda, and possibly my favorite:


Are you really thankful
As trials come your way
Caught up in a rush
Do you have the time to pray?

Forgetting to savor the day
If you have the faith to pray
Is all He has to say
Just stop, take a breath, and pray

Overwhelmed and frantic
Silently you’re working
The past is gone, you’re forgiven
Waiting for that Day

Well done, good and faithful servant …
Worry can’t control you
Wrapped up in the future
You wake up everyday

Beautifully done, this book has been reprinted twice since its original 2005 publish date and is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Hebrew.  There is no charge for this book; a donation is asked only for the reprinting costs.

Tom tells us it is his wish to get this book in as many hands as possible so others can be inspired and find comfort through Amanda’s writing.  For more information about Amanda’s Poems and to obtain ordering/contact information, click HERE.

Live by Faith, not by Sight.          2 Corinthians 5:7



For testimonials from our CTW family last month:

‘I plan to include crosses in with donations to the Yellow Ribbon girls who will package up items needed by our troops. Each will need the love of Christ most of all.’

Liz – PA

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

‘These crosses will go to every lady who attends the LWML Convention in Grand Rapids, MN June of 2020, where the theme is ‘Drawn to The Cross’.  If some are left over, we will pass them on.’

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church – Cohasset, MN

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

And, those who ordered for cross sharing:

Grace United Methodist Church – Fergus Falls, MN

Holly – TX

Donna – WV

Oak Bank United Church – Oakbank, Manitoba Canada

Paul – PA

St. Francis Hospital Pastoral Care – Tulsa, OK

Watered Gardens – Joplin, MO

Salem Lutheran Church – Deerwood, MN

Campground Community Church – East Liverpool, OH

New Community Church – Wexford, PA

Robert – WI

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church Ladies – Cohasset, MN

Kay – MN

Joy – MN

Carroll – OH

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

And, to the many who have gotten crosses to share through Operation Christmas Child.



The middle of October, the AWESOME ladies from Heartwood Senior Living in Crosby who graciously string crosses for us every month came to our house for a fall ‘Thank You for all You Do’ luncheon.  As usual, lots of food, lots of laughs, and tons of love!!  Here are some photos of the ridiculously fun time we had:







This month, we have so much to be thankful for … all the beautiful people who touch our hearts and lives, the veterans who have and still sacrifice so willingly to secure our freedom, and our Savior who continues to unconditionally forgive our transgressions and love us in spite of ourselves.

My fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord, let us continue to stand after having done all, as the Lord tells us to do in His Word in Ephesians 6:13

Give thanks to the Lord for He is Good.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Cross The World.

God Bless America!

America was founded by people who believe that God was their rock of safety.  I recognize we must be cautious in claiming that God is on our side, but I think it’s all right to keep asking if we’re on His side.

– Ronald Regan



In June, our crosses traveled with these folks.  We appreciate your sharing the love of God with others.

Trinity Lutheran Church – Fergus Falls, MN for Lamp mission trip to northern Canada

        Open Door Community Church – Breezy Point, MN

Paul – PA

The Center for Family Counseling – St. Cloud, MN

Grace Lutheran Church – Erskine, MN

Linda – MN preparing for Operation Christmas Child

                 Bill – MN

Arkansas Children’s Northwest – Springdale, AR

Don – MN

Candice – CA for the homeless ministry

Trinity Lutheran Church – Cedarburg, WI

Theresa – MN

Hilltop Chapel – Palisade, MN



This last week, Ernie and I hosted our early summer indoor picnic for the group of willing hands from Heartwood Senior Living in Crosby, MN who have helped us string crosses every month since we introduced them to Cross The World in January, 2015.   Click HERE to read the original story on them.

This is always a fun time for us and it’s a small way we can show our appreciation to them.   This year’s picnic was themed ‘Queen For a Day’ and everyone was provided with tiaras and corsages.  Usually, we picnic with about 12 women.  This time, we were blessed with a bonus … a gentleman came along who is new to the facility and it didn’t take long for him to fit right in with the group (although for some reason he didn’t want to wear his tiara!).  We look forward to seeing him on cross stringing day!






We LOVE this dedicated group of workers soooo much.  They are ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!  Each month, they string a little over 2500 crosses for us in an hour and we’re pretty sure they don’t realize they’re even working when they do it … all we hear is chatter and laughter!  It’s a grand time and we are oh so thankful that God put this awesome bunch in our lives!

Stay tuned … plans are already in the works for their fall get together!!



Many Miles Traveled

When we started up the Cross The World woodshop in 2011, our goal was to make and distribute crosses to 340,000 people (at that time, 340,000 represented the daily worldwide birthrate).  We hoped (and continue to hope) that our efforts would introduce or reunite 1% of the 340,000 to God, so they could know His love, feel His presence and come to believe in Him.

And, because of you, the wonderful disciples of our CTW family, 2016 has been a monumental year for us; two terrific events happened.  Over 35,000 of these compact little crosses were given away and, more amazing, the number of crosses distributed since we began reached 170,000!  Hallelujahwe’re halfway to our goal!!!   We are very excited to see how God has blessed our family members and the recipients of the cross.  While we have a record of where our crosses have been sent or delivered, we will never know just how many miles they will ultimately travel in their life.  We know our crosses were recently sent to Argentina and Malawi, Africa and that they will be traveling to Burma next month but, again, we can only imagine how many miles their journey will see.

I wondered how many miles we could come up with given the information we did have.  So, I started calculating the mileage these crosses would accumulate enmass as they begin their journey here in our woodshop.  To date, we’ve created 170,000 crosses, each one being born from a 6.5” piece of wood.  Calculating (and if my math is wrong, don’t flog me as I am NOT a mathematician AND I will gladly accept the correct calculations!), these 170,000 crosses equal an impressive distance of 17.5 miles.  And, that’s before they’re shipped to you to begin the second chapter of their incredible life … WOW!

Since 2011, we have shared awesome testimonials about the impact these pocket crosses have had on people’s lives; all of us at Cross The World are so blessed to play such a teeny tiny role in God’s big plan.  We know our crosses have traveled many, many miles in their search to comfort hurting souls.  As Ernie and I drive to our neighboring town (which is almost exactly 17.5 miles from our house), I imagine a line of our little wooden crosses, laying end to end like Christian soldiers, along the side of the road, waiting to be picked up and placed in the eager hands of people hungry for God’s love.  We encourage you to imagine the crosses lining the shoulder of the road you’re traveling on … and, although shorter, to think about the distance Jesus struggled to carry His cross to Golgotha, His last act of love for us and how hungry we are for Him.  Both images will be a humbling experience.



Recently, Immanuel Lutheran Church in neighboring Crosby requested some crosses to be taken on a mission trip to Malawi, Africa.  This church has supported the Malawi Orphan Care Project, which is an organization that helps to support the Kanyenyeva Orphan Care Ministry of Malawi, for many years.   This ministry currently helps to feed over 300 orphans in 19 villages, orphans due to losing one or both parents usually to AIDS or malaria.

Immanuel Lutheran Church has answered the call for support by hosting fundraisers, silent auctions, etc. every year.  This summer, in one fundraiser, they were able to raise $35,000 through their efforts.  What a blessing to give to the orphans at the Care Ministry and what a dedication to serving our Lord!

Here’s what they had to say about their visit there:

‘490 crosses were delivered this past week to Malawi, Africa.  The children were so pleased to each receive one.  We are one of 6 churches around the country who support these children.  We have helped build wells for them and also helped to start their chicken business to sell eggs in the village.  Many from Immanuel have been there to do the labor.  Two gals are coming back this week from sharing in our sponsored “daughter’s”, Stella, graduation which a bunch from Immanuel paid for her schooling.  She is coming back to the village to help with the HIV/AIDS epidemic that makes so many orphans.  We love these happy children who have so little.  Thank you for helping!’

For more information about Malawi Orphan Care Project, please visit



In November, our CTW family was busy!  Here’s where our crosses traveled:

Aurdal Lutheran Church – Portland, ND

Hope Lutheran Church – Fargo, ND

Community Lutheran Church – Bullhead City, AZ

Immanuel Lutheran Church – Walker, MN

Immanuel Lutheran Church – Crosby, MN for mission work in Malawi, Africa

Darlene – MN

Cindy – TX

My Father’s House – Minneapolis, MN

We thank you for your service to our Lord!



And, here are testimonials from some of our family members:

Thank you for all the crosses.  I enjoy doing this mission of keeping God’s love visible one cross at a time!  God’s blessings and my hugs.  Darlene, MN

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

I need to share the blessing from your obedience as servants doing God’s work.  We have one more bible study left for the fall quarter.  Each woman in our table group received a cross at their spot today.  They were very appreciative.  I had taken some extra and told them to feel free to take more and the box is almost empty.  Just as the tomb was empty HE is not here, just as HE said.  HE is being spread right from here to whomever GOD chooses.  It is so exciting.  Thank you for your love.  In Christ, Pam, WA

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Several months ago, I purchased 700 crosses from your company.  I thought I would let you know where they are going.  I am one of the youth leaders at Community Lutheran Church here in Las Vegas.  Our youth group has been doing a lot of community outreach.  We have a huge number of homeless people here.  Our kids came up with the “Matthew Kits” idea (based on the scripture verse Matthew 25:35-40) and it has been well received by our church.  These bags are filled with hygiene products, snacks, a bottle of water, list of services available and maybe a new pair of socks or a new T-shirt.  They are handed out to anyone that needs some help.  Our congregants welcomed this option because some of them were not comfortable just handing out money.  Each bag has one of your crosses in it.  Blessings.  Nelly, Community Lutheran Church in Las Vegas, NV 

(JoAn’s note:  These kits are made available to the congregants to put in their cars; the congregants are asked to pass them out to anyone they see in need.  So far, over 3600 Matthew Kits have been passed out.  What a successful and loving venture in God’s name.  You are to be congratulated!  Thank you!!!)

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

The ember story…. I have always had a strong faith….but now I KNOW I don’t want to be that lone ember. I am so blessed that I received your cross and card today. That is a true miracle from Him, I am in recovery from several issues and every single thing I read in your site had to be put there by Him to be found by me today to save me just like I have been praying for, especially last night!!!!! I DO believe I WAS drowning! Melanie

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

A lady at my church gave me the cross and told the story and we knew right away we would like to share the crosses with those who attend my daughter’s wedding in April, 2017.  We weren’t going to give out gifts at the wedding, but when we saw the crosses, we knew in our hearts we would be remiss if we didn’t.  Their wedding is to glorify God and it is one week before Easter.  Thank you for all you do.  We feel so blessed. Holly, WA

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥




Make me an instrument of your peace.

 Where there is hatred, let me sow love. 

Where there is injury, pardon.

Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is darkness, light.

And where there is sadness, joy.


This Christmas may you experience the simplicity, peace and genuine joy only Christ brings.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Cross The World.



November is for family …

honor all who served

We salute our veterans this month for their service and commitment to our country. November 11th is the official celebrated Veterans Day but because of what these soldiers did for us, I think we should consider recognizing and honoring them for the entire month! We need to celebrate these heroes for their patriotism, their love for their country, and their willingness to serve and sacrifice for us. What a privilege they have provided us to live in a free country; let’s not forget them!! Please take some time to thank the servicemen and servicewomen you know for their dedication to protecting and keeping us safe.



Happy birthday greetings to one of our Cross The World directors! Mary Schemel will celebrate big on the 26th … turkey for Thanksgiving and cake for her birthday!! Happy birthday and much love Mary!!!



On a rainy Friday a couple of weeks ago, some of the folks from Heartwood Senior Living paid a visit to our Cross The World woodshop.

2015-10-23 002

During their short stay with us, Ernie walked them through the steps of cross production, starting with the stack of wood patiently waiting in the corner for its turn to be turned into something beautiful. He explained the many pieces of equipment used during the production stage and the function for each piece … the planer, the table saw, the miter saw, the drill press …








… all the way to the final stage of stringing the crosses, which most of the visitors have much experience with! Here they are, checking out Ernie’s technique …

2015-10-23 005

2015-10-23 007

2015-10-23 008

Everyone had a wonderful time; we were so blessed with their visit.


And, Cross The World remains so blessed to have the enthusiasm and energy of the Happy Hands, Happy Hearts group. We love them all!!



Christmas is on its way and the woodshop is purring away. We just want to remind you again that, if you are interested in receiving crosses for the Christmas season, please send your requests in as soon as you can.



Thank you to the following for sharing crosses during the month of October:

First Baptist Church – Bemidji, MN
Joan – MN, for mission work in India
Grace Lutheran Church – Ada, MN
Paradise & Hulbert United Methodist Church – Newberry, MI
Gerald – ND
Rick – OH
St. Anthony’s Vocations Ministry – Tigard, OR
Bev – MN
Les – IA
Carla – MN
Narrows Community Church – Outing, MN
Marlys – MN
New Pathways – Brainerd, MN



All of us at Cross The World wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Spend time with your family, enjoy each other’s company, give them plenty of hugs and let them know you love them … and remember to give thanks for all you have and for all you have been given.

thanks to the lord


Helping Others Through Service

We appreciate and thank you for your comments.  Here’s some we recently received that I wanted to share with all of you:

‘I think this is our third or fourth year of using your crosses in our holiday baskets – over 2000 in that time! We produce approximately 1500-1800 baskets a year for the needy and we place them in all baskets for 12 and older … Thanks for all you do. This is a wonderful ministry!’
– Sue, CUPS Basket Ministry

‘Thank you so much for providing crosses for us to give away in Guatemala. God
bless you abundantly.’
– Kay, Faith Lutheran Church, Monticello, MN

And, in response to last month’s post – ‘Happy Hands, Happy Hearts’:

‘What a magnificent story how these ladies help with your ministry. I am sure that is a two-way blessing. I took 3 of my crosses with me this month on a South American cruise and passed them along to staff members on the cruise ship, one from Brazil and two from Philippines. So, I’m really making an effort to pass them on not just in the USA but across the World. Thank you so much for what you do to spread the Word.’
– Pat, GA

‘Thank you so much for sharing the story and pictures of Happy Hands, Happy Hearts.’
– Darlene, MN

‘What a wonderful ministry! Bless their hearts – bless your hearts!’
– Sue, MN



Immanuel Lutheran Walker MN


The last week of January, Immanuel School in Walker, MN observed Helping Others Through Service and they invited Ernie and I to talk to their students about Cross The World. We were well received by the students, as well as the teachers, as we told them how our little ministry got started and answered questions about where the wood for the crosses comes from, the kind of wood we use, how we get other supplies, who makes the crosses, how many crosses we’ve given away, where the crosses go, etc.  The kids quickly got into it!!


2015-01-26 002


But, the biggest excitement came when the kids were asked if they wanted to make some crosses to share … it didn’t take long for the line to form at the work table!  Here’s some pictures of eager hands and enthusiastic hearts:


2015-01-26 003

2015-01-26 004

2015-01-26 036

2015-01-26 034

2015-01-26 032

2015-01-26 031

2015-01-26 023

2015-01-26 021

2015-01-26 019

2015-01-26 017

2015-01-26 014

2015-01-26 008


Many of the kids told us the crosses they were making would be given to their parents, siblings or friends; almost all of them told us their school bus driver would be receiving one!   What a bounty to be received!!
It was truly a joy and a blessing for us to see crosses pass hands from one student to another, from students to teachers, and from students to Ernie and I!


2015-01-26 0202015-01-26 012


What a wonderful opportunity to share the news of our helping serve others in God’s world; we thank Immanuel School for inviting us to be a part of this special week!!




 And, in thinking about Helping Others Through Service, here are nine things God won’t ask you on that last day:

1. He won’t ask what kind of car you drive. He will ask how many people you drove who didn’t have transportation.

2. He won’t ask the square footage of your home. He will ask how many people you welcomed into your home.

3. He won’t ask how many clothes you have in your closet. He will ask how many people you have helped clothe.

4. He won’t ask what your highest salary was. He will ask if you compromised your character to obtain it.

5. God won’t ask what your job title was. He will ask if you performed your job to the best of your ability.

6. God won’t ask how many friends you had. He will ask how many people you were a friend to.

7. God won’t ask what neighborhood you lived in. He will ask how you treated your neighbors.

8. God won’t ask the color of your skin. He will ask about the content of your character.

9. God won’t ask why it took you so long to look for salvation. He’ll lovingly take you to your mansion in heaven, not to the gates of hell.



We thank the following Friends in Christ who requested crosses from us during the month of January:

Glenda S – ND
Faith Lutheran Church, Monticello, MN – for mission work in Guatemala
First Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, LA – for CUPS Basket Ministry
Resurrection Lutheran Church, Women of the ELCA, Tucson, AZ
Jeanne C – NV
Rev. Herb S – MT
Immanuel Lutheran School, Walker, MN



Some food for thought:

Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.


Aaannd, we’re back!!

The move is complete and the Cross The World woodshop is up and running! Our wood supply was delivered last Saturday and Ernie is a very happy man!!! We thank everyone for their patience in this transition; we know it’s been a long time … well, it seems that way to us. Funny how long two months can be when you’re waiting to do something that is so meaningful, worthwhile and enjoyable.



Let me repeat, Ernie is a very happy, albeit very busy, man!!



Some of you requested crosses during the interim and we want you to know you are already in our system; your crosses should be on their way to you within a week or two. If you were waiting with your request, you can send them at any time. Please note that there is an address change; here is the new one: 24753 Norway Pine Place, Emily, MN 56447. Our phone number and email remains the same.

Again, all of us at Cross The World thank you so much for your patience and prayers during the move of our woodshop/distribution center. We are eager to again be working side by side with you in God’s great universe and hearing how we all have impacted people’s lives!



July 16-19th brought SonShine 2014 to Willmar and Cross The World was there!! We want to say a big ‘Thank You’ to the following people who made our presence possible: Bob S, Terry & Sarah L, Jared H,  Adam S, Susan W & her cousin Amy J (from Bullhead City, AZ & Montevideo, MN respectively – first time visitors to SonShine ever!!) and Jason S. We can’t tell you enough how much we appreciate all of you taking time from your summer to devote to CTW and to visit with SonShiners about who we are and how they can join in with us. Most of all, we thank Jason for taking the reins during the event: helping orchestrate set-up and tear-down, setting up worker schedules, preparing booth props and overseeing day to day activities. You are an amazing God worker; we couldn’t have done SonShine 2014 without you!!!

During their visit to our booth this year, people were invited to write their thoughts about Cross The World and we wanted to share some of them with you:


‘I love giving the crosses to people. God bless you.’ – Tanya


‘All things work together for your good as a child of God. Being in His presence and bringing
Him honor and glory is all it’s about.’ – Michael


‘Thank you so much for your incredible work in spreading God’s word and love.’ – Alyssa


‘Thank you so much for your ministry. I will order crosses for my AWANA Club kids
and use the cross for a council time lesson.’ – Dawn


‘Just wanted to let you know the crosses we made at SonShine 2013 were used to tie on
each of our Christmas gifts last year in order to share in the ministry.’ – Steve & Doria


‘I will be using some of these crosses at the Bible camp I work at.’ – Ashley


‘I’m going to share these crosses with my small group girls at Eagle Brook Church and make a
craft out of it. What you all do is AMAZING!! Keep doing what you’re doing!’ – Kalli


‘Thank you for loving all your customers & friends around the world. Thank you also for
responding and acting.’ – unsigned


‘Great idea! Thank you for the free cross to spread the word of God!’ – Danielle


‘Blessings upon you and your ministry!’ – Pastor Diane


‘I have passed along dozens of crosses to students in MN and would love to do the same
when I move to Colombia in 2015!’ – Rebecca


‘God’s blessings to you both! Thank you for letting me a part of this event!’ – Amy (booth worker)


‘So glad to be part of this awesome ministry. Thank you!’ – Susan (booth worker)


‘Thank you so much for what you have done! Because of this, we were able to bring them to Thailand. Hundreds of children now have a cross of their own. God bless you!’ – Austin


‘Thank you so much for the amazing crosses. I brought 8 to Uganda last week and gave them
to our hosts and our co-volunteers from Uganda. Those who received were beyond grateful.
In fact, for many it was their first and only cross. It was a true blessing and encouragement.
God bless your ministry! You are a blessing!’ – Jenn, founder of Hands of Action International


‘You are cool!’ – unsigned


‘God bless you for your mission. I will pass your work and words to my church and pass the message.’ – Jackie


‘A special thanks to you for lifting the hearts and prayers for so many.’ – Ron


‘When me and my friend made these (crosses) last year, it led to our church sending
hundreds to Thailand. I brought a few home as well to brighten up my home. I hope you
will continue to send the Gospel to new places.’ – unsigned


‘Your crosses have made their way to Winnipeg, Canada to our churchs’ inner city school.
It was so special to give a gift to new students who are learning about the Lord and need
a physical reminder of the awesome power of the cross.’ – Caroline


‘Thank you so much for your ministry and your labor of love. I am blessed beyond measure.
And, thank you for providing a resource that can help me further the Kingdom of God through the Gospel.’ – Saul


‘May God richly bless your service to Him. Never doubt the dream and labor you do for the
Lord. May you always know God is singing over the labor of your hands.’ – Cindy


‘My parents recently gave me a cross for Easter and since, I’ve brought it with me everywhere
I go for safe travels. It’s really cool.’ – Len


‘Our grandson did a challenge (last year – see our August 2013 post) and is still talking
about it.’ – Doug & Evelyn


God is ahh-mazing!! All of us at CTW were so touched to read what you had to say; we are sorry that we weren’t able to be there in person this year to meet and talk with each of you but look forward to sharing this experience with you next year! Thank you so much for sharing your kind words!!



Make it a goal that when someone looks at you,

they will notice the light of Christ in your eyes and

the radiance He brings to your smile.