Hello, I am Andrew Peavey, and I found online ordination at CLI. My beautiful wife, our hilarious 5-year-old son, and I live in Garland, Texas, in the Dallas metroplex. I’ve spent the past twelve years running a family retail furniture store alongside my father. Here I watched my father model the “holy mundane” of work. He was a furniture guy who brought glory to God in how he chose to love our customers and partners. In November of 2019, we decided to initiate a going-out-of-business sale to close the business after 72 years of serving the community. By God’s grace, we liquidated our inventory on March 7th of 2020, just one week before COVID-19 began shutting down our area, our state, and our country.
My Faith Journey
I grew up in a Christian home where my mother stayed home while my father ran the furniture store. When my sisters and I were children, we joined our parents in the church services each Sunday after Sunday school. It exposed us to communion, although my parents did not allow my sisters and me to partake. The tiny cracker and teaspoon of grape juice to a five-year-old boy was a feast fit for a Narnian prince. My parents explained communion to us. It is a celebration and remembrance of Jesus Christ’s work on the cross on behalf of sinners. They said that one day if we placed our faith in Jesus Christ and His work of forgiveness, then we too could enjoy this feast.
Just a few years later, I found myself in misery lying on my bed one Sunday morning with bronchitis. While my mother went to get a wet rag for my forehead, the Holy Spirit opened the eyes of my heart. I placed my faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of my sins. I was thrilled to get my first wafer and a cup of juice and be a part of the family of God!
Struggles and Growth
Since that Sunday, my journey has been much like so many of you. At the age of 11, mental health problems surfaced at school. I convinced myself that everything I turned in at school was a failure even though when I would receive my grade, it would be a 95 or above. I went to counselors, took medication, and struggled with perfectionism in school. My parents offered to pay me money for every B I received to take the pressure off myself from getting A’s. I never made a dime.
Scripture became a source of life for me, modeled by my father. He gave me a small pocket Bible that I would carry everywhere in my back pocket. The Psalms, especially Psalm 13, gave me so much hope to see a psalmist struggle with their mental health problems. To see him cry out “how long, O LORD” and declare “give light to my eyes or I will sleep in death” gave me a model to take my wrestling thoughts to the one who is the Light! The Psalmist taught me how to praise God even in the darkness. “I [too] trust in [His] unfailing love, my heart rejoices in [His] salvation. I will sing to the LORD for he has been good to me” (Psalm 13:5-6).
Even today, the Psalmist and all of God’s Word resonates with me as a look back over the past decade and see the hurts, confusion, failures, and sins. Peter tells his readers in 2 Peter 1:1b that they “received a faith as precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Peter declares that Salvation is a gift from God. The word “received” literally means “obtain by lot.” Essentially, we won the lottery!
Then, Peter reminds us that our salvation is equal to or as precious as his own but not because Peter got it right all the time. Jesus rebuked Peter for getting in the way of Jesus’ mission to the cross. Peter was sifted by the devil and failed when he denied Christ three times. Then Peter was rebuked by Paul, even after Peter spoke to thousands and saw the church explode through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Instead, Paul called out Peter for separating himself from the Gentiles out of fear of what the circumcision group would do and say to him. When Peter penned 2 Peter, he was fully aware of his failures and struggles as a follower of Christ. 2 Peter 1:1b proves it because my faith, your faith, his faith is a gift from God. It is precious and equal not because of anything we did, but rather because of the object of my faith, your faith, Peter’s faith is the same. Jesus Christ and his work of righteousness on our behalf is the object of our faith.
Hope and Online Ordination at CLI
This fact gives me great hope despite all my screw-ups! I am thankful God restores us to himself, and through his power and promises, we can grow in Christ-likeness. Then we can be useful in our knowledge of Jesus Christ until the day He restores us completely new in His glory.
So why am I here at the Christian Leaders Institute? My sister met a guy, and they fell in love. They asked me to officiate their wedding. So I went online to get ordained. That is kind of important to making their marriage legit in the eyes of the state. As I researched different online options, I realized so many of these online ordination companies did not support my worldview and values. I did not want my money for the certificate to go towards something I did not believe in or support.
Then I found online ordination at CLI. Their statement of faith and their desire to equip the saints for the work of ministry without having to rack up debt sold me on CLI. My main goal is to provide a Christ-centered wedding ceremony. A ceremony that my sister and future brother-in-law will look back fondly on in their grey-haired days. Online ordination at CLI has given me an opportunity to be equipped to do just that. Thank you, CLI!