Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sick Kids II

The good news - Anna is feeling much better and Becky and I got good sleep last night.

The bad news - I think I am getting Anna's cold.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sick Kids

In my context of life and normal routine, I would be hard pressed to come up with something worse than having one of my kids sick. It is terrible! When Brannon or Anna is sick, I have to deal with the fact that one of my little girls doesn't feel well and that is bad enough (I always wish it was me instead of them). But in addition to that, I have to also deal with the fallout from the sickness as well. The fallout always involves a major lack of sleep and a big disruption to our families lives and schedule. Other aspects of fallout from a sick child also include a messy house (Becky has to take care of the child and has less time to handle the house issues), piles of undone laundry (I run out of socks and underwear fast) and more money spent on medicine and/or doctors. So you can see how having a sick child is one of the worst things ever! I am sure that many of you have experienced it and would agree with me.

So by now, you have probably guessed that one of my girls is under the weather. You have guessed correctly. Anna has had a bad cold for two days and I have not had much sleep. I think sickness gets way worse at night. All night last night, Anna coughed like a seal. Like I said earlier, it is so bad because I feel so bad for Anna and I also just want to get some sleep. She seemed a little better when I was home earlier at lunch so maybe tonight will be better and the Suiter family can get back into routine real soon.

Well, I have a sermon to get ready for. I sure hope I can stay awake in this comfy office chair!

And I sure hope my little Anna has a good afternoon nap and feels way better when she wakes up. She sure is pitiful when she doesn't feel well.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Responsibility In Leadership

"From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."
Luke 12:48b

As a leader (church planter/pastor) in God's church, this is a passage that scares the hebby gebbies out of me. The responsibility that God has placed upon me is no small thing and I do not take it lightly. I want desperately to follow the LORD in all that He wants for me, my family, and for Crossroads Church. He has given me much and I want to be a good steward of all that He has given me and all that He has put in my charge.

Then check out this passage from Jeremiah 15:4 that I read this morning - "I will make them (nation of Judah) an object of horror among all the kingdoms of the earth because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem." Now I know that all individuals are responsible for their own lives and sin but this verse jumped out at me when I noticed God bringing judgement on an entire people because of the sinful actions of the leader. Wow, that is some serious responsibility and I want to live up to the responsibility that God has given me. I want to be a great leader for His great glory. I want to lead my family and my church with purity and integrity so that God can do great things in and through my leadership.

Pray for me and other church leaders that you know and interact with. It is a great calling and a great responsibility and the Bible says that we (leaders) will be judged by a stricter standard.

Being a leader in God's church is a great privilege and with that privilege comes great responsibility. I want to live and lead in such a way that corresponds with the privilege and responsibility that God has given me in this life. And I want to finish well. I want to live and lead my whole life with purity and integrity so that 1)God is glorified 2)my family is strengthened 3)Crossroads Church grows is maturity and number and 4)the Kingdom of God is touched for all eternity!

Last Night's Run

Ian and I parked in an empty rail-trail parking lot last night as the fair weather exercisers were no where to be found. They must have been at home on their couches or walking at the mall. I knew the time would come where a full parking lot would turn into an empty parking lot but I didn't expect it to come this early. Then again, it was 39 degrees when we arrived at the rail-trail for our Monday evening run. It was cold and the first time this year that I had to run in layers, but it was good and as usual, I am thankful to have Ian along with me. Monday is fast day and I am trying to speed up. Yesterday's run was quick but not quite as fast as last Monday. I ran the 5 miles in 40:09 with a final mile in 7:26.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday - 6 Miles

Ian and I had to deviate from our normal Monday and Friday runs. Becky is hosting a ladies banquet at the church tomorrow night so I have to be at home with the girls. Because of this little scheduling blip, we decided to go tonight to maintain 2 times a week.

I wanted to go farther than 5 since that is what we do on Mondays but didn't feel like I had time to go 7 (had to help Becky set up tables at the church building and still get the girls in bed at a decent time), so we took Decker's Creek Trail tonight and went 6 (49:57). The whole way was paved and my legs are very tired right now. It didn't feel good tonight. I guess sometimes you got it and sometimes you don't. I felt heavy and slow the whole way. It might have something to do with the fact that I wasn't in a good mood all day. Anyway, I'm tired and I'm gonna go crash on the couch with some comfort food (Honey Nut Cheerios). Maybe I'll blog about something of substance tomorrow.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Off To The Races (a little late)

I ran 5 miles tonight in 39:19. That is 13 seconds faster than last week's 5. I ran the fifth mile in 7:19 and I was really pleased with both times. It seems I am finally getting in race shape now that most of the races are over for the year. I should have gotten Ian to go with me a long time ago and maybe I would have won a trophy or two this past summer. Oh well, there's always next year right?

Sunday Reflections

Wow! Yesterday was an awesome fun day!!! We had a great morning with many visitors and an overall good crowd. We were just a hair shy of my goal to have over 90 three weeks in a row, but with two weeks over 90 and yesterday at 85, I am not going to complain. I know it was a good day with God moving in people's hearts and lives when I preach for 66 minutes and get no complaints, not even from the children's workers! God is doing great things at Crossroads Church. He is constantly challenging us from His word to be more like Christ and to keep moving forward in faith. It is an exhilarating journey!

We had our bi-monthly staff meeting yesterday afternoon and, as usual, it was a good time together. I am so thankful for a group of committed individuals who love God, Crossroads Church, and me so much. Crossroads staff is a great team of individuals who are committed to being used of God to accomplish His purposes in Morgantown and in the world Thanks guys and gals for all you do to honor God and to do the work of ministry at Crossroads!

And last but definitely not least, we had a special service at the new building that we are about to buy. A big thanks to New Beginnings Church for allowing us to infringe on their space for a night. It was a great time together. We had 57 in attendance and I think I speak for everyone when I say, "we are excited." We have big dreams of what God has called us to do and therefore what He is going to do through us but we are presently excited about and enjoying the blessings of right now. Last night was a thrill to see what is very soon in our future and the possibilities that that will bring to us. We also used the night to re-issue the challenge to "Embrace Sacrifice" (our giving campaign title). We still need $20,ooo by the end of January in order for everything to move forward. We, as a church, must do everything we can, which definitely includes personal sacrifice, and then watch and see what God will do. We have already raised $20,000 and took in just over $1,000 last night. God is up to something big in Morgantown and He is going to use Crossroads Church to accomplish His purposes as long as we stay obedient and faithful! The Kingdom future looks good and we are resting in God's hands and trusting Him for the outcome as we continually press forward in faith!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Busy Week

I am sorry that I have not blogged much this week. There have been several things that I wanted to post, but time seemed to get the better of me. It has been a busy week and it feels like I am just picking up steam and am only about half-way down the hill. I do not have a normal weekend again until November 21st. Don't get me wrong - I am not complaining, just making excuses for not blogging.

I finally got all our Crossroads Church 501c3 material together. I am waiting on a signature and it will go in the mail next week. I can't tell you how big of a relief that is.

I have also been getting ready for our special service that we are having this Sunday night at our new building. I was there tonight putting some finishing touches on the worship slide show with Reece and it just seemed so surreal. I can't believe we are buying a $200,000 building after only being in existence for 28 months! Thank you God - You rock! It is going to be a great time together on Sunday evening as many Crossroaders get their first peek at our future new home. I can hardly wait!

Before I went by the new building tonight, Ian and I capped of our week with a 7-miler. It was good and pretty uneventful. Ian even mentioned that it felt slow but I checked my running log when I got home and it was actually the fastest 7 we have done together. We were out on the dark, cold (49 degrees) trail for 1 hour and 4 minutes and 13 seconds.

I am up late because it is so hard to go to sleep when I run that hard that late, but I am about to crawl into bed and try to sleep. After this week, I need the rest!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Little Quicker

I ran 5 miles tonight in under 40 minutes! It felt good to pick up the pace and run a little bit faster. I think the 9 miles from Friday really helped me on the speed front. My time was 39:32 with a final mile of 7:27. The positive to getting faster is, well getting faster, and if you are Shane Suiter, which I am, then that is the goal. The negative to pushing harder and faster is that I could hardly talk the whole 5 miles. Therefore the conversation with Ian was not that great, but I am so thankful Ian is so on board with my running and my getting faster and going farther. He really pushers me and wants me to get faster. We have a cool partnership on the trail and in the church!

Friday, October 10, 2008

9 Miles Baby!!!

I'll say it again. I would not be running this far if it wasn't for Ian. I am so glad that he has chosen to run (he rides a bike) with me. It makes the time and miles go so much quicker. Ian told me tonight that he was game to stick with it throughout the winter so my mileage on Mondays and Fridays should continue on.

Tonight we got to the trail a little late (I needed to help Becky with the girls a little bit before I headed out and Ian was caught in pre college football game traffic). Then when we got there, we got a wild hair and decided to go for 9 miles! I can't even remember whose idea it was, but we were both game and decided to go for it. It was a great run and great conversation. When we were a little shy of the 8 mile mark, I looked at Ian and said, "Wow, 9 miles is a long way!" I was beginning to get a little bit tired and had a blister on my left little toe. I feel great now and am about ready to go to bed. It sure feels good to accomplish something like 9 miles. I'm not setting any speed records but I did the 9 miles in 1 hour, 25 minutes and 28 seconds. That's almost long enough to watch a whole movie. Good stuff!!!!

The Most Important Thing

"A thousand distractions would woo us away from thoughts of God, but if we are wise we will sternly put them from us and make room for the King - and take time to entertain Him!

Progress in the Christian life is exactly equal to the growing knowledge we gain of the Triune God in personal experience. And such experience requires a whole life devoted to it and plenty of time spent at the holy task of cultivating God.

God can be known satisfactorily only as we devote time to Him.

Some things may be neglected with but little loss to the spiritual life, but to neglect communion with God is to hurt ourselves where we cannot afford it.

God WILL (my emphasis) respond to our efforts to know Him. The Bible tells us how; it is altogether a matter of how much determination we bring to the holy task!"
A. W. Tozer


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Good Anger

Being mad at bad things is a good thing! I have recently noticed afresh and anew the moral toilet that we live in here in America and the way that most churches respond to our environment and culture. This is a war! And so many churches and pastors are dancing through the daises while our culture is getting flushed. We have gotten this attitude in the church today that we are to be soft and mild and we have become culture pansies instead of Jesus warriors! We need to get mad and hold up a righteous standard.

I am mad at gossip and lies! I am mad at pornography and Victoria's Secret (I wish she would have kept it a secret)! I am mad at music lyrics that belittle and tear down! I am mad at young people who wear cuss-words on T-shirts and the parents who allow it! I am mad at what is considered art today! I am mad materialism! I am mad at condescending people who think they have all the answers! I am mad at sex outside of God's design! I am mad at the American media who push relativism and liberalism down our throats. I am mad at the "Christians" who keep swallowing it and paying for more! I am mad about the way most women dress (or don't dress might be a better term)! I am mad about the way most Christians handle God's money. I am just downright mad and I sure feel good about it!

I have come to the conclusion that the Church (notice the capital C) and today's pastors had better stop dancing around trying not to offend people. It is past time to step up and radically proclaim God's trutheven when it is hard and harsh. We also need to live out God's ways in order to stand strong amidst all the filth and lies that is swirling around us.

I want so desperately to be a pastor engaged in the fight and for Crossroads Church to be a light on the hill in the darkness of our culture. I am going to strive to let my good anger drive me to a holy lifestyle and a holy stand!

Check out this quote from Martin Luther. He lived in troubled times as well and he was angry about it. "I have no better remedy than anger. If I want to write, pray, and preach well then I must be angry. Then my entire blood supply refreshes me. My mind is made keen and all temptations depart."

I'm with Luther. My life is so my better when I am filled with righteous indignation than when I am just dancing along through the daisies. I am so much more focused on God and His plan when I am focused on the nature and consequences of sin! I am so much a better man when my blood is boiling.

I know this blog entry might offend some people, but oh well, I gotta start somewhere! Actually, I started long ago, I just want to keep it up and maybe one day, my good anger will have temporal and eternal rewards!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday's 5

Ian and I went 5 miles tonight in 42:33 with a final mile in 7:33. Good times!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday's 7

Ian and I did another 7 miles tonight. I think it is going to be the new standing run for Fridays. With only 2 scheduled runs each week, I guess 12 miles a week isn't so bad. Tonight was pretty uneventful, but as always it was great being with Ian. I have so enjoyed his being with me this past month. I ran the 7 miles 16 seconds faster than last Friday. The time was 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 52 seconds. Still not blazing fast but at least it wasn't slower than last week.

Sin and Chocolate Cake

Sin is a lot like chocolate cake. The similarities are staggering. As you dig into a decadent piece of chocolate cake, the immediate gratification is wonderful. The amazing taste rolls over your tongue and sends your brain waves into sheer ecstasy. With each bite, the pleasure mounts UNTIL you've had too much and then it almost seems to rot in your mouth and you push the final few bites away. Then you feel miserable and sick. And now that remorse has kicked in, you go into full regret and begin thinking about how this decision to gorge on chocolate cake will continue to affect you. You think about how the cake will have adverse health affects to your body as it weakens your immune system and packs on the pounds. Right then and there, you vow to never it chocolate cake again; well at least not that much of it!

Hmmmm, that sounds just like when we sin doesn't it? Do you see the similarities? We begin to sin and it tastes really good and brings exactly what we thought it would - gratification. We are feeling good about things until the Holy Spirit brings conviction into our hearts and the sin that we are engaged in begins to make us sick. Then we have to deal with all the adverse affects on our spiritual health that sin brings into our lives. We deal with broken relationships with God and others and other aspects of pain that sin brings into our lives.

Why do we keep returning to sin like a dog returns to his vomit? We know it is bad for us and that it leads to nowhere. We know that it breaks God's heart and leads to broken relationship with Him so why do we allow our selfishness to run rampant all over the Holy Spirit in our lives? It's so crazy!

"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Romans 7:24-25

"continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." Philippians 2:12b-13