GUEST BLOGGER - RICHARD NASON
The God I Wish You Knew! What does that mean to me? What does that mean to you? This is our current series and it has led to much contemplation as of late. Mostly good in case you are wondering. lol Let me tell you about the God that I know!
I have seen my share of trial and tribulation and I, still currently, am not out of the fire. There are days when the inner demons of my mind fight tooth and nail to take me down. There are days when I want to shout at the world, This is not fair! There are days when I ask, "Why me Lord?" There are days when I feel so small and insignificant and like I don't really matter. There are days when I just don't want to put my foot forward, when I just want to hide under the covers and wish this whole life away. I think there are times when we all face some situation in life that just doesnt seem like it will ever straighten out and that we are doomed to face this forever. The outside we portray to the world does not always convey the inside emotions we are experiencing.
When you seem like a rock to so many, sometimes people forget that you, too, can experience trying times. The biggest difference is how you handle those times. How do you handle them? Well let me tell you, I don't! God does! The God I know is ALWAYS there for me. He is waiting there to hold me up and to help push me forward. He gives me the strength and peace I need to face those times. Without Him, I would be a stark raving lunatic. So many times when things seems too big to handle or so out of my control that I say a short prayer and just ask Him for strength, peace and patience. And you know what...He gives it. Honestly, within minutes, I am calm and my thoughts of worry, anxiety, fear are all gone. This is the God I know!!! I do not ask for Him to take the situation away. He could do that at any time. He knows what is going on. I know He sees all and allows us to experience certain situations to strengthen us, to allow us to lean on Him more, to look to Him for encouragement and support. I am being trained to be stronger and more faith driven. Where would I be if I were not allowed to go through this?
We are entering a time as a church when many are experiencing much difficulty specifically because the evil one sees our God at work in Fellowship. The God I wish you knew wants us to draw together more so as a family. He does not want us to experience these trials alone. He wants us to reach out to one another as a family. He wants us to draw closer together, encouraging and supporting one another as His family moves forward during these times. And make no mistake, we are a family. God is our Father, Christ is our Lord and Savior and you, dear church, are my brothers and sisters. The God I wish you knew does not abandon us but gives us fellow siblings to help on our journey.
The God I wish you knew took a lost angry man and turned him into someone He can use to further His will. He has taken me and molded me into someone who strives to encourage, to support, to inspire, to serve. It is not about me but about what He wants me to do. I am not any one special. I am an average ordinary person trying to make my way through life the best I can. The difference now is that I am doing it knowing He is with me every moment and in every situation. I am His child and He is there loving me, watching over me and pushing me to help others!
And my journey is with soooooooo many others. We do not always know who we affect in our walk and in our actions. I can list so many who have affected me personally at Fellowship. First, my wife Lori, who has truly shown me what having a deep faith in Christ means. Ed Hickman, Anthony Jenkins, Jim Lawrence, Ken Morrison, Rich Stevens, Joe Bouley, all warriors in our men's group showing me support and encouragement as we walk together. Rich Pancoast for the joy he constantly shows for our lord. Vicki Pancoast, Lisa Brown Tica, Riley McConnell, voices to inspire and help me to worship. Dennis Bishop, a man of incredible strength and humbleness. Matt and Stephanie Sykes, younger ones whose passion for the Lord is beyond question. Amy Swanson, such a powerful testimony that makes me realize I don't have it so bad and inspires me to continue forward. Kellyann McConnell for her selfless devotion to LP and creativity in sprucing up Fellowship. John and Michelle Vigneri, love conversing with them and their smiles are infectious. Jeff Caiola, coffee, kind words, wisdom. Bella Caiola, a smile that could light up the world. Such a brave little girl who just seems to find the joy in life and leaves little time for pity. Kathleen Skalandunas, selfless; Willow, artistic; Jared, always contributing quietly. Bill and Laura Wilson, contantly serving and forever with smiles. Laurie and Dale Hall; selfless devotion to LP and church; Cindy Schulte, grace, wisdom, patience, always a kind word and never a frown. I could continue this list for another two pages so please don't feel left out if I did not name you. There are so many many more worth mentioning. (Lara, Marcel, Scott, Todd, Vinnie, Gary, Ashley, Darby. See what I mean. Smiles)
I saved Pastor Andy for last because you always save the best for last. This man just gets it. That perhaps is the highest compliment I can give anyone. The God I wish you Knew has given us a pastor worth knowing. A man who truly loves Christ with all his heart and always leads us in that direction. It cannot be an easy journey for him at times and yet time and again he just seems to find the right note to inspire us, encourage us, support us, love us. I will follow willingly if I am being led properly. It is never about Pastor Andy and he will be the first to tell you so. I love that immensely!
This is the God I wish you knew. Who took an average ordinary broken man and showed him where his home is. Who placed so many extraordinary people in his life and helped him to realize he is not alone. Who knows my life, my struggles, my faults and still accepts me as one of His children. Who truly cares for me and wants the best for me. A God who knows my name.
This is the God I wish you Knew. A God so loving, gracious, merciful, kind, patient, strengthening, all knowing that provides a family for us. One who provides a loving home to worship in at Fellowship. One that wants us to encounter, encourage and engage not only those outside our walls but also those inside. Fellowship is about family and The God I wish you knew has always been about family otherwise why bother sending His one true Son down to die for us. Love most holy and supreme! We are family and we are in this journey together!
This is the God I know! THIS IS THE GOD I WISH YOU KNEW!!!!!