Entertaining Angels Unaware

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The Parkway Wesleyan Park to Park 1/2 Marathon Water Stop team ready to hand out water and Gatoraide to thirsty runners at mile 4.

Last week our church had the opportunity to provide refreshments to runners who were running in the Park-to-Park 1/2 Marathon right here in Waynesboro.  There were over six hundred runners in the race and our team did a great job.  I am so proud of them.  We do these as “bridge” events.  Our church got several mentions at both the start and finish line.  Like I said there are six hundred runners and six water stops.  Here’s where the story gets interesting.

Today Pam and I went out to exercise.  She was walking 3 miles and I ran three miles.  During her walk, a lady came up to her and said, “Thank you so much to you and your church for providing water last week during the marathon.” That was very strange.  Pam didn’t recognize the woman and the woman approached her running from the back and Pam had a completely different outfit on this morning.  How this lady knew this information was a mystery.

Even though it was a mystery, it was very cool, because this is the kind of thing that sponsoring the water stop is supposed to do.  So we really encourage you to go out and find ways to take a cup of cold water in the name of Jesus.  You never know who you are going to touch and it may just make a huge difference in their life.

Sunday Night Thoughts

Philippians 3 13-14The above photo came from a presentation that I gave at our Local Church Conference today.  For those of you who are local, you know that we resigned from Parkway Wesleyan Church back in February.  The weeks since then have been filled with sending out resumes and looking for where God would lead us next.  At this moment we still don’t have that answer.

To say that this morning wasn’t emotional for me would be an understatement.  I could feel the emotions welling up inside of me, especially know this would be the last report I would give to the local congregation at Parkway.  Yes, I will continue to lead worship until July or whenever we move, which ever comes first.  But today’s report encapsulated six years of ministry at Parkway.  It was cool to relive the great things that have happened since our arrival.  (One of the things that I need to do in the next several weeks is to write the Parkway chapter of my ministry journal. When I do that I will link to the first seven chapters.) At the end of the presentation, I finished with the photo that I have at the top.  Philippians 3:13-14 has always been a favorite of mine, but since I started running, I understand it more.  The picture was taken just shy of the finish line at the Richmond Marathon in November of 2013.  I had trained my heart out and you can see that in my frame because there is no fat on that body.  You can see me looking up.  What am I looking up at?  I am looking at the finish line – 26.2 miles of running – 4 hours and 20 minutes of my very best effort – even though thought of that this evening gives me shivers.  It was a lifetime achievement – something I once thought impossible.  But just beyond lies the finish line.  Today we are at that point in our ministry at Parkway.  We have served here 6 years – six wonderful years – I am so thankful for God’s beautiful, amazing, justifying, sanctifying, keeping, sustaining grace.  And yet tonight – the finish line is in sight – tonight we press on toward the goal for which God has called us.  Pam and I would covet your continued prayers as we determine where God would have us serve next.

I should mention that Pam and I did go on an interview this past week.  We traveled up to the New York shores of Lake Ontario.  It was cool to get my feet in one of the Great Lakes.  We will keep you up to date as we follow the Lord’s leading.

After a little run yesterday, most of the morning and afternoon was spent organizing.  It really is amazing how much stuff you can accumulate in six years – so we spent quite a bit of time going through stuff – figuring out what we wanted to keep and what we wanted to give away.

Like I said, this morning was emotional and the songs affected me more than I thought they would – during practice, I could barely contain myself and while we sang them during worship, I sang like I had never sung before.  It was just me and my guitar, Anna on flute, and our wonderful keyboardist Ethelyn leading today.  The congregation sounded great and it was great fun to lead in worship.  We had a special guest from World Hope International and learned more about how this great organization is being the hands and feet of Jesus and sharing the gospel.

Last night we had a little pastor’s couples’ get together.  The three local Wesleyan pastoral couples gathered for dinner – it was great.  I will miss them greatly.

So this week we get ready for our National Day of Prayer service that we do on Wednesday evening and then this Saturday it’s time for another race.  This time to benefit Comfort Care Women’s Health.  Compared to last Saturday’s race, this one is short – it’s just a 5K.  That’s about it and we will see you next Sunday night!  Seize the Day!

Sunday Set List

Sunday Set List Main

Sunday, May 3, 2015 | Fifth Sunday of Easter


Video—Nepal

Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship and Invocation – 1 John 4:7-11
Songs of Worship
Happy Day
Made Me Glad
God of the Ages
Worship Through Prayer
Songs of Worship
The Church’s One Foundation
Worship Through Giving – World Hope Video
Worship Through God’s Word
Song of Commitment
I Will Follow
Benediction

Prayer for the Week | Fifth Sunday of Easter

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Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Running Update

It’s hard to believe that today was the first day that I ran in a week.  That’s not a good thing – I was really hoping to get in some type of recovery run after last week’s 1/2 marathon, but my hip was killing me.  I babied it all week and went out for a run this morning.  My goal for today was a 5K.  What I did was try to push – run faster.  I was very successful running it at an 8:38 pace, which if you compare it to anything I’ve done of late – at least 20 seconds a mile faster.

I missed my goal of running 100 miles in April, by just 8 miles.  The good news is that I got in three already this month and Pam and I are going to do more walking.  Hopefully, I can get to that 120 mile mark this month.  I do have a 5k race this coming weekend for Comfort Care.  I think my training runs this week will focus on faster rather than longer and I’m hoping maybe I can be under 26 minutes next Saturday.

Until next week, I am Pressing On!

I Will Praise You in the Great Assembly

Fifth Sunday of Easter (May 3, 2015)


25 I will praise you in the great assembly.
    I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied.
    All who seek the Lord will praise him.
    Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
27 The whole earth will acknowledge the Lord and return to him.
    All the families of the nations will bow down before him.
28 For royal power belongs to the Lord.
    He rules all the nations.

29 Let the rich of the earth feast and worship.
    Bow before him, all who are mortal,
    all whose lives will end as dust.
30 Our children will also serve him.
    Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.
31 His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born.
    They will hear about everything he has done.

Your Church Needs Two Side Doors

The front doors of many churches today are closing. “Front doors” is a term that describes how most newcomers first come in contact with a church—as visitors to worship or to some other special event.  It is out of this visitor pool that churches have traditionally identified prospective new members.  However, in the past 20 years both the total numberof church visitors has been declining, as well as the percentage of visitors to total attendance in most churches.

If you want to see your church survive, let alone thrive, I suggest that you build some new “side-doors” that will create new ways to connect with people in your community.

What is a “side-door”?  Here is a definition:

Side-door: A church-sponsored program, group, or activity in which a non-member/non-Christian can become comfortably involved and develop meaningful relationships with people in the church.

A side-door provides a place where church members and non-members develop friendships around something important they share in common. And such friendships are an important key that describes the most important means by which people come to Christ and the church.

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