The bible says in Mathew 5:8-9; “8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Today’s writing is not about me, but instead one that I consider a TRUE “Spiritual Father” and that I have the utmost respect for. Over the past several months many of you have been with me through my struggles and when I wrote the post “suicidal thoughts” about my experience with the leadership, the women in the church and the journey I went through. I received a massive amount of support through e-mails and comments and you have no idea how that helped me. As I clung to God and received restoration my family was blessed to find a new church home where I was re-introduced to a family that had made such an impact in my life as a young teenager. Although I was all grown up now and had scars His wife and He showed me that they had scars as well and that forgiveness is the first step of restoration, but choice is the second. Over the past several months I have heard the words “rise above it” as if it was the password to the promise land. And I never ever really, truly understood it until this past Monday night at a service where Bishop Cupples came and spoke. He spoke of the “transformative church” with principals that led to transformed people. Duplication of Jesus and who He is and what Jesus truly represents, not plastic replicas who give his disciples a bad name and open churches where gossip takes place instead of worship, but people who have been transformed by Jesus and his love and peace and grace. Transformed people change people for better or worse. Jesus never forces his will on us, one thing that we have free reign over are our choices and one that I have been told over and over is about the choice to keep my mouth shut and rise above any situation that was spoken against me, my family, or the will and destiny that God has for our lives, because God will take care of it; he is an on-time God.
One to always lead by example, my Pastor, has always done that. I have seen him on his face crying out to God for his enemies, I’ve been in meetings where he would tell his staff to rise above the talk of others when they would try and find people to accuse him of the imaginable, and I have seen him duplicate Jesus from the pulpit down. Always faithful to remain in the peace of God and consistent to tell us that the battle is not ours, but God’s and to stay a peacemaker.
So when Bishop Cupples closed the service Tuesday night there was a true God moment. Standing in front of him was a weeping, transformed, man saved by grace, and a walking testimony of who our loving God truly is – the truest and sincerest form of a leader, My Pastor; who after 3 years sat under leadership after his entire life was literally ripped away from people he thought loved and believed in him over a mistake that never involved anyone but his family. A man who proved countless times what it was to walk in forgiveness and still have a purpose and destiny in a God that truly loves his children. I sat in my chair holding back tears as I watch Bishop Cupples lay hands on my pastor and tell him that everything is restored in Jesus Name and the faithful words I’ve always heard – “rise above it”. I don’t even know how to put the moment into words, but if you ask anyone in the service you would hear that it was as if everything around our pastor that had been attacking him over the years crumbled to dust during that prayer that Bishop Cupples prayed. It was a true God moment that was full of everything our Holy God is and it offered hope and motivation to press on in the calling that has been placed on my pastor and the vision for the community.
How wide and how deep is the love of God to restore that which was lost?
It is not my place to speak of the pain and accusations that my Pastor and his family have gone through, but God didn’t wait long before he started moving mountains that had previously been obstacles. It’s so significant to know that our choices make or break us and that pure hearts and peacemakers show the art of rising above it all.