Honor where honor is due
I’d like to take a moment this week to honor someone: Pastor Kevin Suiter, and his wife, Cindy. Kevin was the Associate and Outreach Pastor for my most recent church home, he served there longer than I’ve been alive. Real quick – don’t worry – he’s still with us. But, him & his wife retired this past week to start the next chapter of their lives. Freeing up their schedules for time to see their grown children and their grandchildren. Also, to enable them to have a more mobile ministry, and in turn, enjoy one of their big joys in life – travelling. I’m wishing them all the best of luck, and much love from all of us as they start this new exciting time!
But, I also wanted to take a minute to shout out here, because Pastor Kevin, is one of my readers!! And has had an encouraging word from the beginning. I mean, it was a pretty big deal to me, to have a pastor tell me how much he loved my blog and how excited he was for me. And, that he didn’t just read it once! He continued to check in, and take a moment on Sundays to tell me how he had enjoyed it this week, and what a good job I was doing. ❤ What a blessing! I attend a bigger church, and here I reached out to the entire Pastoral team, by giving them all little slips of paper with my blog address just written down (before I thought of making business cards :P) And, all of them took the time to read it. I couldn’t believe it! And, they all had encouraging words, and have continued to encourage me. Words cannot express how grateful I have been for this. But – back to my Pastor Kevin shout-out! He has been such a light for us – all of us – our church, my son, and myself. And, to hear all the incredible, moving testimonies that were shared during the “Retirement Party”. Not a dry eye in the house. He’s a part of the jail outreach, men’s retreats, Pastor Conferences, tent revivals, plus all his sermons are available on Google Podcasts (and they DO NOT DISAPPOINT!!) And yet, every time, he talks to everyone or anyone, you feel like you’re the only person in the world. He’s just such an incredible Pastor, and he’s touched SO MANY lives, including mine and my son’s – in such an incredible and lasting way. The world is a better place because of him, and I thank God for him. And, even he’ll tell you, he couldn’t have done it – without Miss America (that’s his nickname for his wife – Cindy). Cindy Suiter, who started and ran our Children’s Program, was the church Secretary, and always shared an anointed word. She was one of those behind-the-scenes people, who kept the ship in shape so that we can all rest easy knowing she’s on the case. Her organization, drive, patience, and understanding could not be matched, and our church wouldn’t be where it is today without her. Thank GOD for both of you! I’m so blessed to know you and to have you in my life, and I wish you both the best of everything! ❤
And, of course, with these big, great moments in life, we’re reminded of change. Everything changes. It’s inevitable. And, although, it’s hard to accept change, it’s all for the glory of God, he uses all of it.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (NIV)
God tells us, everything changes, seasons come and go, and you just have to be ready for them, or adapt as needed. Just as in, “saying good-bye” to our Pastor and his wife, we make room for a new pastor and his wife. We prepared for the changes, as we should, just like Jesus did. Jesus prepped the apostles for his leaving (whether they were understanding it or not ;)) Jesus got us ready for him not being around, and gave us instructions for what to do until we either we go to him, or he comes to us. You know, “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth” – BIBLE. And, everything you need to know, is in there. For every situation, for every relationship, for everything – you’ve got the instructions – right at your fingertips. You just have to get it from in there, to your head, to your heart.
Psalms 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (NIV)
You also need to know the word, so that in moments of crisis, you know what the Lord has already told you to do. Knowing the words of God, are what will help you be ready for changes, when you expect them and when you don’t.
I was listening to a pastor’s podcast a while ago, and he was sharing about a change that had happened in his life. He had lost his mentor – who had gone to be with Lord. And, in the throws of grief, he was angry with God, for taking the pastor too soon. He wasn’t ready to be on his own yet. He still needed his mentor. And, he was telling God about all the stuff that he still needed his mentor for, and God, in his still small voice, said, “I’ve given you everything you need.” And, the pastor knew, that he had. And, in that moment, he let go and let God. And, accepted that he was ready, as ready as he was ever going to get, and it was time to start a new season.
Because, if you ask us, we’re never ready are we? We don’t ever feel ready to do anything. Not really. I mean, there might be times, where we think we are, but in that last moment, before we step out-there’s just the slightest hesitation, isn’t there? But, in truth, there are some things you just can’t prepare for, not until you’re in it. You can’t always know every little thing that’s going to happen. – That’s God’s job. That’s why we can rest assured, when we’re on team God. Because, he’s got it. So, whether we rail against the change, or easily step into it, the change is happening, whether we like it or not. And, letting go and letting God, is really, how we as Christians, need to learn to handle life. We need to learn to be more reliant on God and understanding of the fact that we don’t understand. I was at a women’s conference a few months ago, and I heard the speaker, Beth Taylor say so incredibly profound: “You receive the peace that surpasses all understanding, when you give up the right to understand.” And, it’s so true. Stop trying to understand what God is doing, or why. Just accept it. That’s the only way we can make it through some of these life changes. We don’t have the big picture. We don’t have the playbook. But, we’re on the team that does. Team God. Trust him. Trust him like you trust a coach, a mentor, a pastor, your parents, your best friend, because he’s all of those things, and more! Let me share some inspirational quotes that help me get through life here (None of these are mine, I’ve picked them all up over the years):
Worry is a conversation you have with yourself about things you cannot change, Prayer is a conversation you have with God about things he can change.
If the world gets you down, drop to your knees and take it to God in prayer.
Do your best, pray that it’s blessed, and He will take care of the rest.
When you have your Bible, and you don’t feel like it’s working, Double the DOSE!
Everything you want is on the other side of Fear (False Evidence Appearing Real – FEAR)
In the darkest times of your life, your praise to God should be the loudest. Let the enemy know you’re not afraid of the dark.
You have obtained the EXACT SAME FAITH AS THE APOSTLES
God performs “stress tests” sometimes to know your heart – just like the doctor
God does give you more than you can stand, otherwise, why would you ever need to call on Him? We were never meant to do this alone.
In your emptiness, it’s your heart that matters.
The SAME GOD that rose Christ from the DEAD, LIVES INSIDE YOU!! (Ephesians 1:15-21)
I hope those help. They’ve all had their time on my warboard. Some of them, have a permanent residence. But, they’re all things that I remind myself of, in times of trouble, times of change, times of stress. We have to remember that we’re on team God. That we serve the Almighty, the God of Abraham, the God who rose Christ from the dead, the God who sacrificed his son for us, the God who saves you from you.
I believe in the upcoming weeks, I’m going to share some major life events, some have resolved, some have not, but I’ve let them all go to God. I’ve accepted that I have no idea what’s going to come of them, but I’m resting assured that God’s got it all figured out. He knows exactly how this is all going to play out, and I’ve just got to trust Him. I hope they encourage you. I hope this all helps you grow and understand your faith and our God, that it helps bring it from your head to your heart. Because, that’s what we all need, and God’s ready to give it to us.
Dear Heavenly Father, I’m praying for this person right now. Whether they’re going through changes right now or not, that they know you. That they draw closer to you. That they get it from their head to their heart that you’ve got this, and that you understand it all. That some of it’s you, and some of it’s the world, but it will all be for your glory in the end if we let it. I pray, that this person draw deep in your well of living water, of overflow. That they truly understand that You are the Great Big God that has all the supernatural, amazing power we could ever want or need. That you are the SAME GOD that rose Christ from the dead. SAME GOD. Oh Father. That you may stir within them, draw closer to them, comfort them and hold them in your mighty hands, deep down in the depths of their soul. That you may give them the supernatural PEACE that we all need in our lives. The peace to trust you, to know you, to love you, to let you have it all. The peace of the Messiah, the peace of our Faith in you Lord. That you may know everything this person needs just like you know the hairs on their head, and you knew them in their mother’s womb before they came to us. That they may accept this all, and trust in you Father. The GREAT I AM! IN JESUS NAME, AMEN!!! ❤
God bless you and keep you all this week.