Thursday, February 26, 2009

Out Of Pocket

For those of you who check my blog often, I apologize for not posting recently. I have been "out of pocket" for the last 9 days. I have only been in Morgantown 3 out of the past 9 days and have had little or no computer access. I have had much to blog about but no time or access to blog. Last Wednesday, Drake and I went to TN to meet with Crossroads Church partners and then I came home for the weekend and left again on Monday morning to have some down time with the family. Needless to say, things have been backing up while I have been gone and I have hit the ground running this morning with much to do before Sunday. Since I can't blog about everything about the past 9 days, I thought I would just hit the highlights and then later blog about a few of them in greater detail. Here goes:

* Drake is the man and I am thrilled about his role and involvement at Crossroads. I am excited to see him grow and develop as God continues to work in him and use him!

* I am SO thankful for our TN ministry partners! Hillcrest Baptist Church in Morristown, TN is such a great inspiration to me and I am so stoked at what God is doing in and through them! CPC (Churches Planting Churches) and Steve T. really blow my doors off. Their commitment to Christ and to planting new churches is awesome and always fires me up! It was good to be with both of these ministries last week.

* I loved visiting with my cousin Heath while I was in TN. It is tremendously cool what God is doing in his and Lisa's lives and I am stoked for them as they radically follow God's will for their lives! I'll be praying for you guys!

* God's grace is amazing!!!! His hand on my life, my ministry, and Crossroads Church is truly astounding. A little less than three years ago, Crossroads Church started with 20 people in a picnic shelter and this past Sunday, in one Sunday, we raised over $14,000 for our new building!!!! It takes my breath away. God is up to something big and I am stoked just to be a part of it to say nothing about leading it. This is crazy cool and the ride is just speeding up! Go God; I just want to follow Your lead for Your great glory in Morgantown and throughout the world!

* Crossroads Basketball is so fun but we are nursing an 0 - 2 losing record. We'll get'em Saturday Kent! Come out and cheer for us at 1:15 at Chestnut Ridge Church.

* The words "family vacation" is an oxymoron when you have little kids. I told Becky that we are not taking a "family vacation" again until Mary is 6 or 7. The next vacation I take will be a Shane and Becky vacation or just a Shane vacation. Kids don't need a vacation. It only serves to increase their propensity toward self-indulgence and they don't need any more of that than they regularly get in our everyday culture.

* I love Rebecca Anne Suiter. She is the most amazing woman! I have never in my life met a more intentional person and this carries over in her parenting and it shows in my kid's lives. And the way she loves me is amazing! I am so thankful for her!

* What God is doing and up to at Crossroads Church is just blowing my doors off. I hope we don't miss the significance of where we are right now as a church and how God has brought us to this place. I also pray that we never get comfortable and settled and that we are never OK with people going to Hell. If we continue in faith and obedience, we are going to look back in another 3 years and be blown away at all that God has done. It is going to be SO exciting!!!!!

* I can't believe that we are taking 20 people to the Dominican Republic for a mission trip in just 3 weeks! I expect this to have a life-changing effect on me and on Crossroads as a whole.

* New building in just a few more months! That is crazy cool!!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is It Possible For A Christian to Sacrifice?

I read this quote by David Livingston (great African missionary during the 1800's) this morning and it made me wonder if it is even possible as a lover of Jesus Christ to really sacrifice anything. I really don't consider the things I do or give up for my wife or kids a sacrifice, I just consider it love. Shouldn't this be true of our relationship with Jesus! We shouldn't speak of sacrifice or of giving up things (time, energy, money) for Him, it should just flow out of the love relationship that we have with Him. Just some thoughts and here is the Livingston quote: "People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa....I never made a sacrifice. We ought not talk of 'sacrifice' when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His Father's throne on high to give Himself for us."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Is This True Of The Church?

"There is nothing more common in this world than unsuccessful people with talent."
Calvin Coolidge - 1932

I wonder how many Christians and churches this is true of?

"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'
"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
" 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'"

Matthew 25:24-30

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Anna's Blankie

This morning as I was praying for my children, Anna and her "blankie" came to my mind. That kid loves her blanket with passion. We recently had to get it fixed (thanks Linda H.) because the end that she always holds was unraveling. "Blankie" is a constant fixture in our home and is never far away from Anna's thoughts. Sometimes when she realizes that she left it in her bed, we have to go downstairs and get it. "Blankie" goes every with Anna and it winds up in the oddest places in our house. That is the funny thing about "blankie" though. As much as Anna loves it, she just leaves it sometimes when something else gets her attention. But she always comes back to "blankie" especially when she is tired or things don't go her way.

As I thought about this, I thought about how "blankie" is like God for many of us and how that is a good thing and a bad thing. First, God is like "blankie" for many of us in that we love God passionately and really want to take Him everywhere we go. Then something fun and sparkly distracts us and we drop "blankie" (God) and run after the other thing. Then when we are tired or things aren't going our way, we cry and run back to "blankie" (God). Wouldn't it be great to just keep "blankie" (God) with us at all times and be passionately consumed by Him all the time.

I know my daughter will eventually outgrow her need for "blankie" but it is my prayer that she, as well as me and the rest of my family and church will never find a place where we think or feel that we do not need God.

"The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him." Nahum 1:7

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy. 31:6

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5

Loving Others

"Love is of utmost importance. Once you have set your will that you will learn the way of love, then there is no flaw or irritation in another person that you cannot bear. You will find , in fact, that you are able to live so at peace that it will take a truly exceptional irritation to affect your love for anyone.
If this one commandment were kept - 'Love one another' - I know that it would carry us a long way toward keeping all the rest of our Lord's commands." Theresa of Avila (1515-1582)

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Girls

I can't believe God has blessed my life with three beautiful little girls. The gift of family is amazing! I look at these three girls and am blown away that God has given me the gift and responsibility of Brannon, Anna, and Mary! Thank you God! Help me to be the father that they need me to be. Help me and Becky to raise them to know and love You!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hidden Treasure

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field." Matthew 13:44

This passage of scripture is foundational to an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ! What has captured our hearts? Is it pleasure, stuff, comfort, relationships, or is it Jesus Christ and His Kingdom?

What are we willing to "sell" in order to gain Jesus and His Kingdom? I am sad that these are hard questions to answer. I wish they were easy. I wish we would all run and willingly "sell" everything in order to gain Jesus. And don't miss the word "joy" in the verse either. We cannot be double-minded! We must run in joy toward Jesus and His Kingdom and away from the things of this world!

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family."
Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
Luke 9:57-62