Greater – Mercy Me
We are celebrating Labor day which was first celebrated on Sept. 5, 1882 to honor those men and women as well as children who were the industrial foundation of America. The Central Labor Union was able to bring about regulations for the working world such as 8 hour work days, 2 day weekends off, minimum wage, the end of child labor . So this weekend let us pay tribute to those who labored so diligently before us to bring about this day. May we celebrate their opening many doors of enhancement for all of us in the workplace. For the Christian this was a blessing as they believed in resting on the Sabbath day as recorded in Gen. 2:2, 3. Enjoy your Labor Day earned by many before us!
August 31, 2014
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship and Invocation
Songs of Worship
The Saving One
At the Cross
In Christ Alone
Worship Through Prayer
Songs of Worship
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Worship Through Giving
Worship Through God’s Word
When Dreams Get Shattered: Surviving the Dungeon
In Moments Like These
Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
Today marks 5 years. Five years ago, I stepped on to the track at Lee High School in Staunton and ran/walked a mile in 20 minutes. It was a very uninspiring first attempt at running.
The photo to the right show what I looked like when we moved to the Shenandoah Valley. I weighed 260 or so pounds and wasn’t feeling well most of the time.
The next day I went out and did the same mile – in the same 20 minutes. At that point I started my every other day routine of running – and a that point it was a run/walk routine and more like fast walking and slow walking. But it was getting up off the couch once a day and getting moving.
Several people have asked what inspired all of this. The biggest influence was our senior pastor who asked me on our initial interview, “Have you ever thought of running?” I must admit that I probably looked at him like he had five heads. Running – that’s for crazy people. I had tried exercise and dieting so many times over my life that I was in no mood to try it again. Yet, Barry encouraged me to try. Yeah right! Do you know that I hate running? That would not be too strong a statement. My memories of running all come from my childhood – always being out of breath – always hurting after a run – always being dead last. Why would I want to subject myself to that?
Yet, Barry encouraged me to try. And so on August 31, 2009, I made my first attempt. Slowly, but surely I got better at running and just 10 weeks later I ran my first full 5K – all 3.1 miles of it and finished in 36:59 – under a 13:00 mile. While I wasn’t fast – I also didn’t finish last – that in itself was a shocker.
Some have asked, “Did you make any other life style changes at the time?” No, I simply got off the couch and ran and by doing that I lost the first 30 pounds. In the spring of 2011, I had gained a few pounds over the winter – it was then I was determined to make running a real part of my life – no more excuses – not when it rained – not when it snowed – whether hot or cold – I was going to run. In the fall of 2011, I made a second change – I decided to start eating better. That’s when the weight really started to come off and by the spring of 2012 I was near my goal weight.
Five years later I have run 4 half marathons – a full marathon – and various 5K’s. I hang around my goal weight and Tuesday I go for a physical to see how I am doing. This has been an amazing journey. If I can be of help to you, let me know. I don’t have all the answers – especially when it comes to running injuries, but I can be an encouragement. I know how the transformation feels.
Over the last five years this has become my running and life verse:
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
So I encourage you – as I have to Press on!
I was up early this morning and really excited about today’s run. My goal was to run 8+ miles at around a 9:00/mile pace. If I completed this goal – it would be my longest run since the last Saturday of June. In addition, I wanted a pain-free run – no hip pain. One of the things that happen when you haven’t done a long run in a while is that all the other runs seem hard – I have been adjusting to the short runs and now that my runs are getting to the right distance, hopefully everything else will fall in place.
When I got to the first mile I was just under a 9 minute mile – not bad considering the first mile is primarily up hill. The second mile is almost all downhill, So by the end of that mile I was solidly under a 9 minute mile. I kept that pace on the mildly uphill mile three and began dreading miles 4 and 5 – the toughest miles on today’s course. Mile 4 has a long uphill and mile 5 is a long false flat – meaning your are going uphill when you think you are running on the level. By mile 5 I was at a 9:03 pace. The good news is that mile six is mildly downhill – but the mile marker is tough to determine. Mile 7 is another slight uphill and by the time I hit that I was in the area of a 9:05 pace. Mile 8 to the end is uphill and/or flat. In Staunton there are uphills everywhere. When I got home and put in my time – my pace came out to a flat 9:00 – so I accomplished all three goals – 8+ miles, 9:00/mile pace, and pain free.
As I waited for Pam to finish her walk, a feeling came over me that I haven’t felt in a long time – it was the feeling of endorphins washing over my body – so cool. This was a great run on all accounts and I am hoping for more over the next few week.