Saturday, January 31, 2009

Icey Run

That was a very needed 5 mile run even if I did almost fall several times on the ice. It has been a hard two weeks because I haven't gotten much sleep so my runs are probably even more important. Ian is suffering from some respiratory distress (pray for him in the morning) so we didn't think it was a good idea for him to go along this afternoon in the 26 degree air. So Francis Chan kept me company and it was amazing. I love to hear him preach the Word of God. I love the Word of God. It is so great how it cuts right to the heart.

So this afternoons run was really great even though I almost fell and I was very slow (44:39) because of the ice. It was great for my body and my soul!

Suiter Size

My comfort food from last night. My box of Fruit Loops was almost empty so I just ate them all! Now that was a big bowl of cereal!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Money And A Bad Economy

"Tomorrow's needs are getting short shrift because the Great American Majority - the broad middle class - is choosing to consume today rather than save for tomorrow." Peter G. Peterson in The New York Times Magazine

"Prosperity is when people buy things they can't afford; recession is when they stop doing it." H.E. Martz in The Wall Street Journal

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. " Jesus in Matthew 6:19-21

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hair Cuts!

All my girls except Mary got haircuts today. It was a fun time. Here are some pictures of Brannon and Anna's experience. I do not dare put any pictures up of Becky's haircut. I'll post a finished product of all three later.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gang Related

I am posting this excerpt from an article about what the church of Jesus Christ is supposed to look like and act like. It was written by Francis Chan and it is good! Enjoy and be challenged!

A while back, an ex-gang member got baptized at our church (Cornerstone Church). He fell in love with Jesus and turned from his old lifestyle. But after several months at the church, he stopped attending. When we asked him why he stopped attending, he answered: "I had the wrong idea of what church was going to be like. When I joined the church, I thought it was going to be like joining a gang. You see, in the gangs we weren't just nice to each other once a week-we were family."

That killed me because I knew that what he expected is what the church was intended to be. It saddened me because I realized that the gangs paint a better picture of loyalty and family than the local church body does.

But what if the church looked like this?

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47)

That describes what the ex-gang member was looking for. It describes what the world is waiting for.

Monday, January 26, 2009

2nd Coldest Run Of My Life

Well, Ian and I were back on the trails tonight. It has been awhile since Ian has been running with me and it was great having him back. Tonight's run was majorly needed. The stress and spiritual attack level has been pretty high. Since Mary has been born, it has been hard finding the time to break away. So prior to tonight, I had only run one other time since her birth and she is 11 days old. It felt really good to be out running even though it was only 25 degrees. I only ran a little over 4 miles since it has been so long between runs. My total run time was 33:55 and we were back at the car before dark. I guess spring really is on the way even if it doesn't feel like it.

It's A Wonderful Life

I was blown away last night that I can go to my kitchen and get milk out of my refrigerator and eat cereal anytime I want. Talk about luxury! You may think I am crazy, but I think like this all the time. I never want to take for granted all that we have available to us. We complain about so many things in our lives and the reality is that we live in the best time period ever. We should not be complaining. We should be ecstatically grateful for everything that we have and that is available to us. I would love to make a list here, but there are just too many to list, but I do want to provide you with a must read link. It is an article that I read last night in Reader's Digest. It is really good stuff. Take the time and check it out. You are not as busy as you think you are. If you were, you wouldn't be reading my blog right now. After you get done with the article, get down on your knees and thank God for allowing you to experience life at this moment in time. Count your blessings! It really is a wonderful life!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Two Most Important Things

When everything in life is boiled down to the essential, what are the most important things that we can do in life. I know someone will disagree with me (you just gotta love how we all have our opinions and we all think we are right), but I have come up with what I believe are the two most important things in the whole world. Here they are:

1. Sleep. No matter what comes at you, good or bad, you can always deal with it better if you are well rested. In your relationships with others, you will always respond better to people if you have had plenty of sleep. When your body is not run down, you can think more clearly and you are just a better person in everything that you do. When you get enough sleep, you can hear and respond better to the Holy Spirit as well which leads to the second most important thing in life which is

2. Prayer. Anytime, I think I can handle things on my own, I am in trouble. Anytime I go a season without talking intimately with God, I am done. My focus turns quickly to myself and my struggles seem like huge mountaintops. I find that when I am overwhelmed or just in a dark spot, the best place for me to be is on my knees. When I get up off my knees, my circumstances have not changed but my heart and attitude have. Prayer changes me. And the cool thing about prayer is that if our hearts are pure, then our prayers are "powerful and effective" (James 5:16) to bring about the purposes and plans of God. That is so awesome. Prayer is good for me and good for others. Check out this quote from Theresa of Avila (1515-1582) about prayer - "Prayer is the way to open ourselves to God, and the way in which He shows us our unstable hearts and begins to strengthen them....If you ever find yourself in this spiritual state - feeling wayward, unstable in heart, confused as to why you are not growing and changing in the Lord - I say this: keep turning from sin, and cling to the Lord in prayer!"

If I do both of these things well, my life and walk with God are on track and going places. If I do neither well, then forget about it. I will be having a pity party within 48 hours but probably sooner. My life cannot be on track when I do not spend plenty of time resting my body and feeding my soul! These two things are essential! A lot of the things that we think are so important and that we spend so much time on need to take a back seat to the two "most important things". Our lives would be more balanced and productive in the temporal and the eternal.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More Mary Pictures

Mary Is Here!

Well, Mary Anne Suiter is here. She was born on Thursday night at 9:34 PM after a long day of waiting. We are home now and everyone seems to be fine except for the tiredness factor. It is good to have Gram (my mom) here. She wasn't able to be present for Brannon or Anna's birth so it's really nice to have her here. I have missed her so much over the past year so it's doubly nice to have Mom in Morgantown. Brannon and Anna are taking to their new sister and at the same time not so sure what to think.

Keep us all in your prayers as we celebrate the growth of our family and weather the changes that Mary's arrival brings.
Enjoy the pictures of the fourth stunning beauty in the Suiter family!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Amazing Sunday

Yesterday was so great! It was fun sharing the Crossroads vision and being invigorated with all that God has in store for Crossroads this year and for many years to come. We had an amazing attendance setting a new Crossroads record with 98. This is just the beginning. We are just on the launching pad of all the things that God is going to do in and through Crossroads Church.

Here is the clip that Drake put together that is set to Tomlin's God of This City. It was a great way to end our visioning service Sunday and a big thanks to Drake for all his work on the clip! There are truly greater things to be done in this city and it is going to be an awesome journey for Crossroads Church as we watch God show up to transform lives and a whole town as we are obedient to walk with Him.

Let's rock this city for Jesus in 2009 and for many years to come!

Friday, January 9, 2009

On The Discipline of Solitude

"I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they are unable to stay quietly in their own room."

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

I wonder what he would think now with our crazy culture of noise. It seems no one can unplug from some form of technology and noise to be quiet for any real length of time. Maybe we would experience real Holy Spirit revival if we would just learn how to be still and quiet and actually learn how to focus on and hear God.

"Muddy water becomes clear if you only let it be still for awhile."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Spiritual Self-Discipline

This past Sunday, I preached on the necessity of Biblical self-discipline. So many of us Christians just look like the rest of the world in the way that we spend our time, spend our money, sleep, what we eat, how much we eat, where we go, etc. It seems like we allow our body to rule us instead of the other way around. As I shared Sunday, Scripture is replete with calls to discipline ourselves for the glory of Christ and the advancement of His Kingdom. This morning, as I was reading Dallas Willard, he tackled the same issue and it was great clarification and follow-up for me on this past sermon. I wish I could share all the pages that he wrote on the subject, but I will just leave you with one pithy quote. Here it is:

"Reliance upon what the Spirit does to us or in us, as indispensable as it truly is, will not by itself transform character in its depths. The action of the Spirit must be accompanied by our response, which, as we have see, cannot be carried out by anyone other than ourselves."

Good stuff! You should read his whole section on Spiritual Self-Discipline from his book - The Divine Conspiracy.

If you want to hear my sermon form this past Sunday on Self-Discipline, you can find it at under the Resource tab.

"I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize ." 1 Corinthians 9:27

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Consumer Christians

"The consumer Christian is one who utilizes the grace of God for forgiveness and the services of the church for special occasions, but does not give his or her life and innermost thoughts, feelings, and intentions over to the kingdom of the heavens. Such 'Christians' are not inwardly transformed and are not committed to the Kingdom of God."

by: Dallas Willard

Hmmmmmm. Read this slowly and carefully and check your heart!

The Easy Life

I want life to be easy! I guess I just want the impossible. Life is not easy and it will never be. If life is easy for you, then you are probably doing something wrong. Notice that I didn't say anything about life being good or filled with joy. My life is better than good. It is even better than great and it is immensely filled with great joy, but it is not nor will it ever be easy.

And when I do find myself in seasons of life that are easy, then I miss the fact that my circumstances are driving me to my knees in prayer. So I guess if I am truthful with who I am at my core, I really don't want an easy life. It just feels like it would be nice at times.

Yesterday while I was running 5 miles, it occurred to me around mile 3 that running 5 miles is not easy. I felt good while I ran and I enjoyed it and at the same time I wanted to stop because it took effort. It was not easy. I didn't strain that hard as far as distance or speed are concerned and it still was not easy. I think this is how life is as it comes at us. Most of the time, our situations do no tax us beyond what we can handle, but most of the time we also find that things are not a cake walk either. Life takes effort especially when you are striving to live for Jesus and allow Him control of your life. Life takes effort when you live to please him and strive to serve Him with your life. That is why I said that I guess I really don't want a easy life because an easy life, I think, is the result of living for self and striving for the things that make life easy. We, as Christians, are to strive for the things in life that make us feel peace and joy, not necessarily ease. It is not just semantics either. My life is not easy but it is filled with great peace and joy. May you discover peace and joy as well today and in your life as you seek a life lived for Jesus Christ and not yourself!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Good Run

After being sick and going through the crazy holiday schedule, I feel like I am back on track with my running. Tonight's five miles actually felt good. I ran the first two-and-a-half miles in 21 minutes and the next two-and-a-half miles in 20 minutes and 5 seconds (total was 41:05) with a final mile in 7:35. Ian was in a real good mood after a great nights sleep (he said). As always, it was great having him with me. Those rail trails get cold, dark, and lonely when I run by myself. He was great company and really pushed me hard tonight especially the final mile. It was cold (34 degrees) and was right at the shorts/tights line so I went for comfort over temperature and ran in shorts tonight. It was the right decision. Tonight's run was so good that I am thinking about trying to work in another run day. I want to get into better shape. Maybe Thursdays will work. We'll just have to wait and see. I mean my life is about to get way more hectic and crazy with the new baby coming soon.

Practical Theology - I Love This!

In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus says "Don't worry!" I think Bobby McFarrin would agree!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sweet Sisters

Just thought I would post this great picture of Brannon and Anna "reading" together in their favorite chair.

2009's First Sunday

If today is any indication of what God has in store for Crossroads Church in 2009, it is going to be a great year! Last week, we ended the year on a whimper with low attendance, low offering, sound problems, and a blah sermon. Today, we started the year off right. Wow, the difference a week can make! We had a great offering today and even without all our regulars not back from holiday vacation, we still had 88 in attendance with 12 new first time faces. Our sound system was like a new system after Drake and Ian moved the speakers and got them above everyone's heads. I guess the sermon was OK. You can decide for yourself under the resource tab at , but it certainly was a lot of fun and I could feel the pleasure of God flowing through me as I preached. After church, we had a super cool fun fellowship time with some Crossroaders at Rio Grande #3. That was some good Mexican food and even better company. After lunch, we had our first of the month staff meeting. We closed with one awesome prayer time. It moved me greatly! I am so grateful to God for these volunteer leaders that God has put beside me to help lead Crossroads. They were a tremendous blessing tonight. Then the Suiter family came home and picked up the house. Now Anna is getting ready for an early bedtime (she didn't get a nap today). I am about to go out to get a Sunday night movie (it is my favorite crash night after a exciting and exhilarating Sunday). It has been a marvelous day! Words cannot describe my gratitude for all that God has done for me in regards to my family (we are hoping for a baby (#3) this week) and in regards to my church (I can't believe that God lets me pastor the greatest church ever!

Thank you God for all that You have done in 2008! Keep using me and my family and Crossroads Church for Your glory in 2009. Let today be the first awesome Sunday of an awesome year for our benefit and for Your great glory!