“God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:9 (NASB)
Blessings & Grace to Everyone!
I’m excited to be sitting down in front of this computer this morning with the return of the writing bug. I know that I’ve been on quite the extended hiatus, but I believe that season has come to an end. I had to work on transitioning from being a full-time stay at home daddy to learning to be a lawn care professional to learning how to be a good customer service representative for U-Haul.
So, I’ve under gone a few season changes over the last few months, and taking the hiatus was necessary for me to be able to focus on reminding myself of what it takes to be a good employee…and now I have to learn how to balance family time, work time, personal devotional time, and ministry time. So, I hope y’all will stick with me and be patient as I learn to add working to being a parent, pastor, husband, friend, and child of God.
The other thing that’s happened in the two months since I last penned a message is, of course, that we have elected a new President of the United States of America. I’m sure I’m going to cost myself some followers by letting y’all know I supported and voted for Donald Trump…but I don’t care.
Most of y’all know that I’ve stood against Clinton from the beginning, and for me this election was more about keeping her OUT of the White House then voting the “lesser of two evils” in…and quite frankly there’s no question in my mind that one candidate IS actually evil and one is not. One candidate surrounded themselves with good, solid Christian counsel, and one did not. So…there was never a doubt in my mind that on Tuesday November 8, 2016 who I was going to vote for to become the 45th President of the United States.
So…with all of that out-of-the-way it’s time to get back to doing what I’m called and anointed to do…write for Jesus. This message is going to be a tad different that what you’re used to reading from me, but with the help of the Holy Spirit I believe this will be one of the best messages I’ve penned in quite some time. So, let’s get to the verse, ask the Lord to help me write this message, and see what He wants to say to us through this message.
Father God, I thank You for once again lighting the fire in my heart to write, and to resume walking in the vocation in which You have called me to walk in as pastor of Christlike Ministries NWA. Thank You for being faithful, thank You for opening the doors I needed You to open, and for continuing to draw people to the ministry. Holy Spirit, as I resume writing these messages I ask that as always You would make my fingers as that as a pen of a ready writer…writing ONLY of the oracles of You. I pray for boldness, clarity, and the supernatural ability to reach in to the heart of every reader that only comes from You. I ask that You would give each and every reader ears to hear what You are wanting to speak, hearts that would be receptive, and most of all respond to whatever it is You are wanting us to do as a result of hearing the Word that You are about to give us. Father, I pray that we wouldn’t just be hearers of this Word, but doers. I ask that if there are readers who don’t know You, Jesus as their Lord and Savior that You would move upon their hearts and draw them to You. I ask all of this in the mighty and matchless name of Jesus. Amen & Amen
Stay The Course
Hallelujah! After a prayer like that…no wonder I feel like I’m ready to write, Amen!?! So, here I am kind of messing around within the message waiting for the anointing to come, and I think we’re about to get some really good stuff. I mean, it’s been a little more than 2 months since the last time I penned a message, and now that I’m sitting here I know it’s just a matter of time before I find where the Holy Ghost wants to go with this message.
Most of you know that I don’t like to do this, but I feel like the majority of our message today is tied up with the words in this picture, and further I believe that much of this message is going to also be a little more about me than I like messages to be…but if that’s what the Lord wants that’s what the Lord is going to get, Amen.
Here’s what I saw that lit the flame in my heart to get back to writing…and it went along with one of the Scriptures of the day which is 1 Corinthians 1:9 (NASB)…it’s also where the title of this message comes from…
So, I believe what the Lord wants is for us to break this down into smaller statements so that we can really get to the meat of what He’s wanting to talk to us about through this message today. I’ve no idea who wrote it or who said it, but I’m glad it’s out there because it’s something that I’ve really tried to do since the Lord lead me to start this ministry back on February 25, 2012, and for a while it’s something that I quite frankly failed at which is the part about me that I really don’t want to get in to.
However, I believe it’s important for men of God to be transparent and use their struggles to prove God’s power in their lives…not act like they never go through anything. Y’all know by now that I’m never, ever going to claim that I know it all, and that I have no room to improve…and as usual I add the disclaimer that if you’re looking for the perfect pastor that never fails, that never misses God, and that always does what God wants him to do…then you’ll have to look elsewhere because I’m not that perfect pastor. I don’t belong on a pedestal, and I will do my best to admit and own up to my failures so that we can learn from them and so I can share with you how God moves and works in my life.
The ultimate goal is for me to share what God is doing so that you’ll be encouraged to know that if He’s doing that He’s doing in, with, and through my life…He can and will do the same if not greater with yours. So…let’s get to the first point I believe the Lord is wanting to talk about in this message…
“All of your days have already been written in God’s book. When you go through a disappointment don’t stop on that page.”
In all reality, if I didn’t write anything else but 1 Corinthians 1:9 and those words that would be enough to close this message, but if I did that I believe what God’s saying is that we’d all (myself included) miss the message that’s behind those words…and that’s where the anointing is on this message.
Glory to God…we’ve found the Holy Ghost, and this message is about to get gooder than it already is.
How many of us when we get to a place in life where we’re disappointed with some kind of outcome in our lives (perhaps the election this past Tuesday) we have a hard time turning the page, and staying the course?
Can I be transparent with y’all for a moment? I believe part of my personal story here will help some of us to turn the page from some of the disappointments we’ve experienced, and start pressing on like Paul writes towards the mark of the higher calling as children of God. Some of you have allowed some of the disappointments to keep you from stepping into your own divine destiny and walking in the vocation in which God has called YOU to walk in. So, I believe we’re about to get into something that the Lord wants to set us free from so that we can all turn the page and step into all that God wants all of us to understand.
Part of the reason for the hiatus I took is that I was having some difficulties in letting go of some of the disappointment that my time as a stay at home dad had come to an end, and it was also due to the fact that I was greatly disappointed in the fact that the majority of those of you who are members of the Christlike Ministries NWA Family don’t value what I do enough to support it financially. I was disappointed that I was going to have to step away from the ministry to seek employment because you…the Christlike Ministries NWA Family told me by your lack of financial support that what I do isn’t important enough to you to put your money into it to help me keep doing what God’s called me to do. Now, don’t get that twisted. I am willing to do what’s necessary to help my family even though the amount of money I make isn’t really going to take much of the financial burdens off my wife’s income, but that’s what happens when pastors are forced to get jobs because their congregation refuses to listen to God’s leading to sow financial support into the ministry.
Listen, I know many of you have it on your heart (still) to financially sow into Christlike Ministries NWA, and let me tell you that refusing to do that is willful disobedience on YOUR part…but that was also the source of much of the disappointment on my part. So…while I’m thankful and appreciate all of you…I’m also disappointed in those of you who know you’re supposed to sow into this ministry, and refuse to do so.
Hanging on to that disappointment lead me to being discouraged and even (if I’m being honest, and I am) being a little bit depressed. I knew that God wasn’t finished with me as the pastor of this ministry. I knew that I was still called to walk in this vocation continuing the work I’ve begun through Christlike Ministries NWA, but I was really discouraged by the fact that so many of you put such little value on what I’ve been doing for the last four years. There are things I know God wants me to do through this ministry, but I don’t have the finances to do them. It’s disappointing to find that so many people valued the work you’ve done so little.
I’m thankful that God opened the doors He has opened for me to work and be able to at least cover my expenses, but the reality is I still need YOUR support. I need it not only so that I can pay for the ministry expenses, not only so that I can help provide for my family, but for the encouragement of knowing that you value what I do enough to support it financially. I’m not sure you know this, but it’s encouraging to your pastors when you support the work they do with your hard-earned money because the Bible says that serving the Word of God is supposed to be our job…and we should receive a salary for the work we do. It’s biblical to financially support ministries that you are fed by.
Anyways, I don’t want to make this a message about money. That’s not the point of this message. The point of this message is that I allowed disappointment to become discouragement…and that contributed as much as anything to the hiatus that I had to take in order to take the time to get my heart right and allow God to heal the hurt in my heart that results from the discouragement that comes from knowing that the work I’ve done the last four years was worth more to me than it was to you. It hurt my heart that y’all didn’t believe or appreciate what I’ve been doing enough to support it.
So…like this picture says…I allowed disappointment to keep me stopped on that page, and basically God is saying to me that it’s time for me to turn the page. It’s time for me to turn the page, get back to doing what He’s called me to do, and to “Stay The Course” no matter what happens outside of MY control from here on out. I’m employed now, and simply put I’m going to have to continue to be employed until the Christlike Ministries NWA Family begins to support the ministry.
And now…just like that it’s time to move on. Are y’all still with me?
See…I feel in my heart that many of you don’t even really read these messages. I know that many of them can get to be pretty lengthy, and I’m sorry that many of these messages aren’t 15 minute reads…but I’m always going to keep writing until the Lord let’s me know that I’ve written everything that He’s wanted to say in a particular message. Some of these messages don’t just take hours, but days to write. I put a lot of time into these messages, and I sacrifice a lot that I would like to be doing with the time it takes me to write some of these messages. This is actually work, and it’s work that I’m not getting paid to do…even though I should be…and now once I move on to the next section of this message I’m going to do what the Lord wants me to do…turn the page and move on.
Stay The Course…Keep believing. You may be tired, discouraged, and frustrated…but don’t give up on your future.
It’s not easy to operate an online ministry because there’s very little offered in the way of encouragement. In fact, there’s more that offers discouragement because it’s not like I can stand at the door after I write a message and shake hands to hear y’all say “great message pastor”. Yes, I know many of you like my posts, and I want y’all to know that I appreciate every like and read every comment. I appreciate those of you that take the few seconds it takes to like a post, and I really appreciate those of you that actually take the time to read the messages I write. I appreciate the many of you that pray for me and my family as though you’re praying for your own, and I greatly appreciate every one that has sown financially into the ministry. The greatest encouragement of all comes from those who sow their hard-earned money into what you’re doing because that’s what led me to understand that what I was doing wasn’t just a hobby, but a ministry that God wants supported by it’s followers. That’s right, friends…YOU are how God wants to provide for this ministry…but until you’re willing to do that He’s had to open the door to secular jobs to help do what the Christlike Ministries NWA Family is supposed to be doing.
But. I’m no longer going to be stopped on that page. I am turning the page, and will do my best to write when the Lord leads and time allows. I don’t believe we’ll be getting into any teaching series, but that’s never up to me. What I write is always contingent upon what the Holy Ghost wants to do, and if that means it takes an entire year to go through a 7 message series that’s what I’m going to do. I know that this is what God wants me to do…and therefore my eternal future depends upon me not giving up on it whether y’all support what I’m doing or not. I have to keep believing and stay the course and be obedient to what God wants me to do…and continue doing what God wants me to do for the soul purpose of knowing that THIS is what God has called and anointed me to do.
The most important thing or lesson I’ve learned in all of this is the same lesson God has taught me all my life…and it’s with these words that I’m going to finally be able to close this message.
God is faithful.
That’s it. God is faithful no matter who supports me. God is faithful no matter how long a break I take. God is faithful to continue drawing people to Pastor B’s Blog in record numbers even though I haven’t penned any new content in months. God is faithful to answer my prayers, to provide for my family, and to allow me the grace to learn through this lesson of being disappointed and allowing discouragement to keep me stuck and stopped from fulfilling His purpose for my life. I am here to tell you all today that I’m no longer going to allow disappointment or discouragement to keep me from walking in the vocation in which God has called ME to walk in, and fulfilling what HE has called me to do as the pastor and founder of Christlike Ministries NWA.
God is faithful when I’m not. God is faithful when you are not. God is and always will be faithful because He is Faithfulness itself. So…I return to writing these messages with this message to say that I’m turning the page and that I’m going to stay the course that He has set my feet upon. For no other reason then the fact that God is Faithful…and because I want to be obedient to Him and put my love for HIM on display by doing the very thing He has called me to do. I’ve always operated this ministry by the goal of obeying what He wants me to do, and then trusting Him with the results.
So…I basically wrote all of what I wrote to simply say that my job is to stay the course God has anointed me to walk. I also wrote all of this to hopefully encourage you to stop allowing the disappointments that are keeping you stopped from turning the page in your own walk with God. I know as sure as I sit here writing this that many of you have God anointed destiny’s, but many of you have stopped walking because of discouragement or disappointment…and the thing God is wanting us all to do (including me) is turn the page…and get back on course because GOD…IS…FAITHFUL.
Lord God, You are so good to us. You give us such grace, such mercy, and room to learn the lessons we need to learn in order to draw closer to You. Forgive us (and most of all me) for allowing discouragement, frustration, disappointment, and hurt feelings to keep us stopped from doing what it is that You have called us to do. Forgive us (especially me) for forgetting that it’s YOU that is faithful, it’s YOU that will sustain us, it’s YOU that will provide for us as we are faithful to be obedient and trust You. Teach us, Father God, to obey You quicker and without question…and to trust and rely upon You for the results. Help us, Jesus, to stay the course that You have ordained and anointed us to walk. In Jesus name. Amen & Amen.
In closing, I just want to take a moment to refresh your memories about some of the cosmetic changes that have happened over the last few months, and remind you of where you can find all of the posts by Christlike Ministries NWA. I also want to say that the main reason for the hiatus I took was actually more about getting myself transitioned back to learning how to be a good employee, and putting my focus upon learning my new positions. It’s been nearly 3 years since I worked outside of the home, and part of the reason for taking the break I took was for the purpose of getting used to working outside the home again. In addition, I also took a break simply because I was tired of all the political stuff, and I just kind of needed to get off Facebook until the election was over. I know many of you will cease to follow me because of my choice for POTUS, but I’m okay with that because I voted according to my heart and convictions.
I have changed the title only to the two WordPress blogs. The blog at www.christlikeministriesnwa.com is now Pastor B’s Blog, and the blog at www.pastorbsblog.com is now Pastor Bryan’s Blog. As usual, you can find the Christlike Ministries NWA Facebook Page by going to https://www.facebook.com/ChristlikeMinistriesNWA/, you can join the Christlike Ministries NWA Family Closed Facebook Group by going to https://www.facebook.com/groups/christlikeministriesnwa/, and you can even friend me personally by going to https://www.facebook.com/CLMNWAPastorB. If you’re on Twitter you can find Christlike Ministries NWA there by going to https://twitter.com/ChristMinistNWA. If you’re on Instagram you can find us there by going to https://www.instagram.com/pastor_bryan_kizer/, and you always write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well, friends, that’s all for today’s message. I hope that y’all are having a fantastic day, and I pray that our work weeks will go by quickly. For now, I’m going to close and proofread this message so I can get it published and get ready for some NFL football!!!
Have a blessed day in the Lord!
Blessings & Grace ~ Pastor B