Thursday, April 30, 2009

Foot Injury

I haven't been able to run all week because I hurt my foot on Sunday. I have no idea what happened but after my lunch digested, I dusted off my bike and went for a quick but hard ride. When I got home, got off my bike, and took my shoes off, my left foot hurt so bad that I could hardly walk on it. It was weird. I have no idea what could have caused it. My cycling shoes are locked into my pedals when I am riding so my feet never even move. Its Thursday and it still hurts to walk on. I am going to wait until Saturday morning and see if I can run on it then. If I can't run, I don't know what I will do. I guess all my racing goals for the summer will go down the tube. Oh well, we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Friend Hogan

I just got off the phone with my friend Hogan. I love this guy and he inspires me! His love for God, his family, his ministry are so awesome. He is doing such a difficult work in the inner city of Pittsburgh but he is so faithful. His hard work and consistency are so awesome and admirable.

On the phone today, we talked about who God is and what He is doing in our lives. We talked about the struggles of ministry and the difficult things that we are both facing in ministry right now. As we were getting off the phone, Hogan prayed for me. His love for me came across the phone lines as he prayed for me. I was moved by his heart for me when he really has it much worse than I do and his calling is more difficult than mine. When I hung up the phone, I was moved by his faithfulness to God and his calling and moved at Hogan's love and respect for me. He is a great guy and has a great ministry. Please check out his website ( and pray for him and his ministry. If you can do more than pray, please do. I know he has many struggles that God's family could help out with (he has two broken down cars right now that he can't afford to fix). The world and the church would be a better place with more "Hogans" in it. Check out his story and be inspired along with me. Pray for him and his family and his ministry. Send him a check if you can.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Running with a Cold

I have had a head cold since I went to Florida and it is still holding on. My ears are stopped up and I even have a little chest congestion. I ran on the beach on Wednesday and only went about 2 miles but it felt terrible and I wished that I hadn't done it. Today was a little better but still wasn't great. Steven and I went a tad over 4 miles in 33:01 with a final mile in 7:35. It wasn't super slow or anything but it didn't feel good and probably wasn't the smartest thing to do when my body is fighting something. Oh well, I gotta keep my miles up right?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Reflections from Exponential 2009

Seven of us from Crossroads got back from this year's Exponential Conference late last night. It was an amazing conference and trip and I thought I would just share some highlights from the week. Here goes:

  • The weather in Orlando, FL in April is awesome!
  • I would put Ian and our worship team up against lots of other church's best.
  • I need to be more intentional about taking care of me and my family relationships. If I am not OK, then Crossroads Church is not going to be OK.
  • The overall theme of this years conference was that it is not about one church but it is all about a full blown Kingdom movement!
  • A church planting movement will never be safe. It will be risky and dangerous!
  • We need to pray more!
  • A movement will never happen with the old measurements of success of money, attendance, and baptisms.
  • The beach is definitely NOT my favorite place on earth.
  • Church planting has become a "big business" and I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing or if it just is what it is.
  • I am SO proud of Crossroads Church and our partnership with Francisco in The Dominican Republic through GO ministries.
  • I love sitting under and listening to men with like hearts and passion who have already been where I am and have gone through what I have and am going through. It is very convicting and inspiring!
  • We need to pray more!
  • I love Jesus and His Church!
  • I love the enthusiasm of our Crossroads team.
  • I like driving rental vehicles!
  • Flying with a head cold is miserable!
  • It is absolutely amazing how small and insignificant that I am! God doesn't need me at all. I just praise Him for giving me grace, calling me, and allowing me to be a part of His story.
  • We need to get out of the fish tank and into the ocean!
  • We need to stop allowing fear and pride to determine our actions.
  • We need to bicker less and love more!
  • We need to spend less and give more!
  • We need to stop viewing church as the end and see it as the means. God wants to do something bigger than we could ever imagine and it goes WAY beyond anything Crossroads can do. It is not even about Crossroads Church. That statement needs to be more than a statement that I say on Sunday morning. How can God use us to see a Holy Spirit filled movement sweep this country and the whole world?
  • We need to pray more!
  • It felt good to be home. I love West Virginia!
  • "It is not good for man to be alone!" I miss Becky when she is not around!
  • We're doing more right than I thought we were. We are not a perfect church and we never will be but I came home encouraged at all that we are doing right.
  • It was so good to see all the Tennessee guys from our Churches Planting Churches group.
  • We need to pray more!
  • It was so great having dinner with Chad, Natashia, and Hannah Priestley. It was so good to see them and to visit with them. It is hard to believe that they have been in FL for almost a year and that they will be home soon. I can't wait to have them back in attendance at Crossroads!
  • It is amazing what God is doing outside of America in the rest of the world.
  • We need to be better at using technology to get the message of the Kingdom of God out there.
  • Never judge other's sin! You are only condemning yourself!
  • I love airports just not airplanes!
  • Did I mention that we need to pray more? We can do all the right practical things and possible grow a church but without the presence of the Holy Spirit, it is all for nothing. Without the Holy Spirit, it is not real and will carry no lasting impact into eternity.
  • A big thanks to our state convention (Baptist Convention of Pennsylvania/South Jersey)(they paid for our conference tickets), my Uncle Dwight and Aunt Betty (they let us stay in their FL condo), and Crossroads Church (for the plane tickets, food, ground transportation, and the gracious and supporting spirit to want more for your leadership). You all rock!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Night Reflections

  • I am overwhelmed by the grace of God on my life, ministry, and preaching!
  • I am so thankful for all the servants at Crossroads Church. I am thankful for all the little things that people take care of that I don't even know anything about.
  • Ian and our worship team ROCK! Every Sunday, I am so thrilled that I get to worship at Crossroads with those guys and gal leading me. It is amazing and I pray I never take them/it for granted.
  • God is flooring me with all the new things He is teaching me and how He is challenging me in my preaching.
  • Did we really have 105 today?!!!! God is SO good! I am SO stoked at what He is about to do in and through us for His glory and our benefit. The place was packed and we need in our new space now! I am so excited to move to a new building. It's all so surreal. Is this really happening? Did we really just start with 20 people 3 short years ago? To God be the glory great things He has done! May I/we never get comfortable and may we always seek the next Kingdom challenge with courage.
  • What's next God? Lead on O King Eternal!
  • Seriously, it would be so easy to get comfortable right now, but I am eager for God to reveal the next crazy goal/dream that He want s to accomplish in and through us. There is much to be done. There are a lot of people in Morgantown who aren't yet worshippers of the one true God and lots of starving kids in the world. We must stay busy being about His Kingdom!
  • I am so glad that Steve Finn is in Morgantown, WV and that he is my friend. Hung out a bit with him tonight at the ranch. The new administration building is amazing. It is a testimony to God's work through Steve and Dawn's faithfulness. Check it out here - Steve and Dawn - you guys rock and your lives and testimony inspire me!
  • I am so thankful for my family! Becky Suiter is the most amazing and loving wife and mother and I still can't believe that I have three little girls. Who would have ever thought that?!
  • I am so thankful for all the new people/friends God is bringing to Crossroads. It is so cool to watch this thing grow right in front of my eyes and it is so great to see who God is bringing our way and to get to know them as new friends.
  • I am exhausted. I have no idea how these pastors at really big churches preach two and three times in one day. I guess it just has to be more of God's grace. I am looking forward to finding out though.
  • Thank You God for freedom!
  • Thank You God for Honey Nut Cheerios (that is not sarcastic and is not meant to be a joke, I am REALLY grateful for them!)
  • Thank You God for all my peeps from Arkansas who believe in what we are doing in West Virginia enough to move up here and be a part of it! Crazy cool!
  • I miss my mom and dad! September can't get here fast enough!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Speed and Pain

Tonight's 5 miles were the fastest 5 in my memory. Steven and I did it in 40:04 with a final mile in 7:39. I hurt most of the whole way. I don't know if it was the speed or the chocolate cake I had at lunch. It was a great run even though it hurt. The weather was finally great and I ran in a t-shirt. That was nice. After our run and while we were stretching, we met a nice guy and talked to him for a good while and invited him to church. It was a good night. I came home to a home cooked meal and then had some Honey Nut Cheerios for dessert. Good times!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Barrier of Pride

"Beg the Lord to keep you from any temptation that causes you to keep falling into the sin of pride. It is pride that keeps us blind to our own sins, and so loveless that we are always aware of the smallest sins of others. And so we ask God to correct and judge them, but to spare us!

Unless you completely open your soul up to God you will never bear the true mark of a follower of Jesus Christ and that mark is love!"

Theresa of Avila (1515-1582)

Today's Run

It was a good run this morning although it rained on Steven and I harder than any other recent run and my hands were like ice cubes. Other than that it was great! We went 5 miles in 40:17 with a final mile of 7:19. It is nice to be getting in more running and faster running. I am looking forward to my racing times toward the end of the summer. They should be way faster than in recent years. We'll see!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fast Sandwich

My post title is not what it sounds like. I had to run alone tonight because Steven had to work late. It was 52 degrees and sprinkling. That is perfect running weather and I was already super amped to be running. Add to that some rockin 80's hair metal and I ran my first mile way too fast. 10 minutes into my run, I was hurting and so miles two and three were pretty slow. Then for mile four, I really picked it up and ran hard and fast through the pain, thus the "fast sandwich". Get it? All in all it was a great run and I enjoyed the hills (I ran in Westover), the rain, and the music. I am not sure exactly how far I ran, but I know it was a little farther than 4 miles because I ran for 34:15.

Future Grace

The things that God has been teaching me the past three weeks about a believer's position IN Christ and about the full impact of God's all encompassing grace has been truly life altering! I am deeply indebted to the teachings and writings of Miles Stanford (The Principle of Position) and John Piper (Future Grace) for all of their direction and wisdom on the idea of God's grace. I am so thankful to the Holy Spirit for using these men's writings at this stage in my life when I was ready to really see how the grace of God practically works in my life.

The idea that we are IN Christ and that we are to live obediently in response to His Word out of the future grace that He will give instead of living some life born out of gratitude for past grace according to some legalistic set of rules has been so freeing. To live for God based out of His promises instead of His requirements has been a major mind sift for me. It has not only been freeing but has also been more empowering than I ever thought. Living in light of the future and not the past and living according to who I am IN Christ has so much more implications for Holy living than striving to "be good".

If you want all the details and the practical application for what I am talking about, go to and check out my sermon from Easter Sunday. By the grace of God, it is probably one of the most enlightening and best sermons that I have ever preached. I know that the content of my message has forever impacted me. If you want to go even deeper, I would strongly suggest that you read the two books that I listed above. It is amazing stuff! Just like the grace of our great God!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Another Cold and Rainy Run

Well, the weather was not very good for an early Saturday morning run but Steven and I headed out anyway. Its been a crazy week and we haven't run since Monday. And this morning, I certainly didn't feel as good as I did on Monday's run but that was probably the Mexican food and ice cream that I had last night.

I sure am glad that I braved the elements and started my day off with running. I feel great right now and I know a hot shower will feel even better. We stepped it up just a bit this morning and went 5 miles instead of 4. Our time was 40:23 with a final mile in 7:18! Yep 7:18! I was pumped. My goal is to post some fast race times this summer and with the training getting faster, I am well on my way. Sweet!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A 7:20 Mile!

It was a cold evening run in April. I just love Morgantown weather! When the temperature started dropping and the rain started falling, my desire to run lessened but I am so glad that I went. It was the best run that I can remember. I felt great and strong. Running more often since Steven has been here is obviously helping. Every step was awesome. We ran a little bit over 4 miles in 32:25 with a final mile of 7:20. The best part was when I finished, I didn't feel like I had worked that hard. I was so amped! It makes me excited for this upcoming race season.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

An Early Saturday Four

Steven and I ran four miles this morning in the cold sunshine. It wasn't the easiest run that I have ever done (it was probably the ice cream I ate late last night) but it was a little bit faster than my most recent runs. So this past week's consistency has obviously helped and I am looking forward to more consistency over the spring and summer resulting in much faster race times. So Steven's presence here in Morgantown has already helped my run times. It should only get better. We ran the 4 miles today in 32:37 with a final mile of 7:36.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Don't Waste Your Life Part 2

John Piper all by himself. Wow! What a great word!!!!

Don't Waste Your Life

John Piper and Lecrae

2 Year Milestone

Well, it is hard to believe in so many ways, but Crossroads Church experienced and huge milestone this past week. On April 1, 2007, Crossroads officially launched as a church! We had already been meeting in some capacity since mid June of 2006 but everything became official on April 1, 2007. We did lots of publicity and door knocking and got everything ready to welcome guests and act as an official church. So in lots of ways, we just had a two-year-old birthday this past week.

That is truly amazing and mind-blowing. In so many ways, it seems like Crossroads has been around for much longer than that and in other ways, it is easy to look back and wonder where the past two years have gone. God has been so good and faithful to us over these past two years. The ways that He has led and provided have been astounding at times. I am so grateful for the call of God on my life and the life of Crossroads Church. It has been a wonderful journey. Some times have been filled with great joy while other times have been filled with great darkness and stress but through it all, the call of God on my life and this church has rung loudly!

I am thankful for the people who are Crossroads Church. I am thankful for the original 20 who have been on board for over 2 years and I am thankful for the people who God has recently brought on board (as recently as this past Sunday) and for everyone in between. The journey from 20 people to 100 and from a rented space to owning our own building has been crazy cool and I am so grateful to God for all He has done.

Two "official" years behind us and many more to go. The work here in Morgantown and in the Dominican Republic is just beginning. We have much to do for God as we march forward in faithful obedience. May God find us doing exactly what He has called us to on the Day of His Return!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Running In The Morning

It is so hard for me to get out of bed and go running. I prefer to run in the evening when it is warmer and all I have to do for the rest of the day is eat and relax. On the flip side, getting up early and running allows more time for training and more time for family. Running in the morning is a difficult thing to do when you are trying to train all by yourself but it is a lot easier when you have a partner. When you know someone is going to meet you at 7:30, then you have an appointment and you have to get out of bed. It's a good thing and this morning Steven and I met and ran for 31:41 which was prolly just shy of 4 miles. It feels good to be running more often and to have Steven along. It was cold this morning and I didn't dress warmly enough. It is the only run that I can ever remember that I was cold during the entire run.

I am so glad that I went. I logged some miles and I still have the whole day to spend with my girls. Good stuff!