The Mark of the Christian

On how a loving community is an apologetic for the gospel:

“And if we are surrounded by a world which no longer believes in the concept of truth, certainly we cannot expect people to have any interest in whether a man’s doctrine is correct or not. But Jesus did give the mark that will arrest the attention of the world, even the attention of the modern man… Because every man is made in the image of God and has therefore aspirations for love. There is something that can be in every geographical climate, in every point of time, which cannot fail to arrest his attention. What is it? The love that true Christians show for each other, and not just their own party” (Francis Schaeffer, The Mark of the Christian).

Sunday Night Thoughts

sunday-night

This week we return to Sunday Night Thoughts and instead of a Vlog you also get me writing.  Last Sunday I missed my first Sunday Night Thoughts post in eight years.  I’ve had some late ones but I never missed one – at least until last week.

Last week, Pam and I headed to Clarksville, TN to visit some good friends of ours who also happens to be a chaplain in the Army.  It was a great weekend just to kick back and relax.  Our friends took us to see the post at Fort Campbell – we worshiped with the soldiers there on Sunday morning and then Sunday afternoon we visited the city of Nashville.  It was quite interesting and we also visited the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  Many years ago my family visited the same place – but it was in a different location at the time.  It was also a great afternoon of people watching as we ended up on Broadway – very interesting indeed.  On Monday we went to see a Civil War site called Fort Defiance.  It was interesting to see a different story of the Civil War.

The rest of the week was catching up and getting ready for this weekend.  There really isn’t much grass to cut because we have had a lack of rain and now it is turning to fall.  This afternoon Pam and I went on a walk and it was sad (as much as I love the leaves turning color) to see the leaves beginning to change.  That soon means it will be getting cold :(

This weekend our church had it’s annual Global Impact Celebration and it was awesome.  We had some great food, played some games and saw how Wesleyans are ministering the gospel of Jesus around the world.  This morning we heard from our keynote missionaries and found out how God is working in the hearts of many of our Spanish speaking countries.

Following the service our teens served lunch – we had baked spaghetti as they continue to raise funds for a trip to Hephzibah Ministries this winter.  It was a great time and then we spent the rest of the day relaxing – the first time since we arrived home on Tuesday that we did that.

It has been great week and a great weekend.  This week returns to a sense of normal before I go on a pastor’s prayer retreat next week.  I am looking forward to that.  I am also looking forward to our presentation of “Mom’s Night Out.” Our friends showed us the movie last week.  It is a great movie.  If you are in the area of Parkway next weekend, I encourage you to check it out – October 4 at 7 PM.

That’s about it folks – Pressing On!

Sunday Set List

Sunday Set List MainSeptember 28, 2014
16th Sunday after Pentecost

Parade of Flags - He Reigns
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship and Invocation

Acts 26:17b-18
Songs of Worship
Days of Elijah
Song for the Nations

Worship Through Prayer
Songs of Worship
 Jesus Saves
Worship Through Giving – I Love to Tell the Story
Worship Through God’s Word – Rick and Clara West
Song of Commitment
   I Will Follow
Benediction

Prayer for the Week

Prayer_Banner_22-760x176

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Running Long and Loving It!

long-runIf you spend anytime around runners and running publications, you will hear about the benefits of long, slow distance runs.  A long run in the runners world is a run that is 1-1/2 to 2 times the length of your regular run.  It is also done at a slower pace – an easy pace than your regular run.  I’ve documented it here that this summer has not been the summer for long runs.  Most of my runs this summer have been short runs and I can tell it.

Today’s run changed all that.  My regular runs are now back at around an hour so today – after missing a long run in Clarksville – I ran 11 miles.  It was awesome – it was suppose to be slow but I had no part of that today.  The first 5, 6, 7 miles felt great and I couldn’t believe how pain-free I was running even at 7 miles.  The only tough part of the run came at about the 1:20 mark – as I was getting into the 9 to 10 mile range.  I had to keep telling myself – just two more miles.  As I approached the 10 mile mark, I had one minor hill and then it was gravy.  I knew I was on a decent pace, but not aware how good until I got home and crunched the numbers.  It was 11 miles at an 8:38/mile pace.  This is easily the best run since the Park to Park 1/2 Marathon and gives me some confidence with some good training over the next 6 weeks that I could PR a half marathon in Roanoke in November.  That would be awesome.

As I runner I have found I love the benefits of the long run.  It makes the regular runs feel so much better.  I am looking forward to this week’s regular runs – I should be able to keep all of them under an 8:30/mile if not faster.  I’ve also noticed that I am not as fatigued in the later miles of those regular runs now.  It has been a summer of perseverance, but I have done it – I have overcome – and my comeback is complete for the most part.  The added benefit of long runs is some serious calorie burning – like 1,600 for today’s run.  I really miss those high calorie burning runs.  As you can tell – even late on this Saturday evening, I am quite please with today’s results and plan to keep Pressing On!

We Will Not Hide These Truths

kidsProper 21 (26) (September 28, 2014)

O my people, listen to my instructions.
    Open your ears to what I am saying,
    for I will speak to you in a parable.
I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—
    stories we have heard and known,
    stories our ancestors handed down to us.
We will not hide these truths from our children;
    we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
    about his power and his mighty wonders.

12 the miracles he did for their ancestors
    on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt.
13 For he divided the sea and led them through,
    making the water stand up like walls!
14 In the daytime he led them by a cloud,
    and all night by a pillar of fire.
15 He split open the rocks in the wilderness
    to give them water, as from a gushing spring.
16 He made streams pour from the rock,
    making the waters flow down like a river!

This week’s reading from the psalms reminds us that those of us who are in Christ have a great story – we have a testimony – and we have a legacy.  This passage tells us that we cannot hide the glorious deeds and the mighty wonders of God from our children.  We need to tell them about the wonderful things that he has done.  I am reminded of the Hebrews – that was one of their problems – they continued to forget the wonderful things that God had done.  In the book of Judges we see a people who had forgotten all about Joshua and the generation before it.  During the time of the Judges we are told that everyone did what was right in their own eyes.  This is because they forgot how God had delivered them previously.  So I encourage you to not to hide God’s wonders, but tell your children about God’s marvelous wonders.