Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; 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.
Well this morning, even before the sun was up, I went out for a run. Just a short three miler and a slow three miler at that. The good thing is that for the first time in several weeks -since the half-marathon, I ran 20 miles and everything is finally feeling the way it should. At my current rate, I’m not going to see 100 miles for this month, but I am trying to build a solid base and not injure my hip again. This has been a good week of running. Even this morning’s sluggish run was faster than a 9:00/mile. This week all my runs will stay the same except for the long run on Monday and I am going to try to take that out to 7 or 8 miles. I really need to start running some hour + runs. That’s about it – have a great week – Pressing On!
Day of Pentecost (May 24, 2015)
- First reading
- Second reading
- John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15
O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the ocean, vast and wide,
teeming with life of every kind,
both large and small.
See the ships sailing along,
and Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea.
They all depend on you
to give them food as they need it.
When you supply it, they gather it.
You open your hand to feed them,
and they are richly satisfied.
But if you turn away from them, they panic.
When you take away their breath,
they die and turn again to dust.
When you give them your breath, life is created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord continue forever!
The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made!
The earth trembles at his glance;
the mountains smoke at his touch.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
I will praise my God to my last breath!
May all my thoughts be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place.Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem.When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.
They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome(both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other.
But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, “They’re just drunk, that’s all!”
Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that. No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:
‘In the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
In those days I will pour out my Spirit
even on my servants—men and women alike—
and they will prophesy.
And I will cause wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below—
blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
The sun will become dark,
and the moon will turn blood red
before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives.
But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
will be saved.’
Nine years ago tonight my blogging career had it’s start. Well, it all started on the third Sunday of May – the same day as our first Preston Wesleyan Homecoming. The reason I got started blogging was because of my good friend Mark Wilson, the pastor of Hayward Wesleyan Church. I was pastoring a small rural church at the time – transplanted to the south – my writings reflected the musings of a small rural church pastor – who also was trying to understand the culture into which he was called. The official birthday is May 22. I think I might post something more significant Friday. In related news, a blog that I follow about athletic uniforms also started nine years ago today.
Of late Matt Maher has getting quite a bit of airplay around our house. I’ve been teaching some of his songs at church and may even use another one this coming Sunday for Pentecost called “Burning In My Soul.” I love his music because it doesn’t follow the typical pattern of most contemporary music and it is worship music with a strong guitar base – since most worship music is moving in the direction of keyboard orientation. I encourage you to check out “Saints and Sinners” and “And All the People Said Amen.” Both of these are great albums and as I type I am listening to the Saints and Sinners album. Great stuff.
We have had a real taste of summer – today it has been quite humid. We’ve been getting a lot of rain so the grass is growing like crazy, but it is great for getting out on runs. It is so nice to get out in t-shirts and shorts instead of bundling up.
What the Future Holds?
As many of you know, we resigned our position at Parkway and are currently in the searching position. It’s really been amazing as God has given us a peace this week…we have some things on the table, but I’m not ready to reveal anything at this time. As things come into place, I’ll let you know…we would appreciate your continued prayers.
The Joy of the Lord
This morning was just one of those mornings…the joy of the Lord was evident in our service this morning. We started off with a great gospel song, one of my mother-in-laws favorites when she was with us, “Victory In Jesus.” Our congregation sounded awesome as we sang this great song. We continued with a relatively new song for our congregation, but they still sang well on “God Is Able.” The first set finished off with “How Great Is Our God” – another familiar tune.
One of the songs I have wanted to teach to our congregation was “This Is Amazing Grace.” This morning I sang it as the offertory with a track. It was great and the congregation really enjoyed that as well. It was just a great celebration of God’s victory in the resurrection of Jesus.
I’m looking forward to another celebration next week as we get ready to celebrate the birthday of the Church Universal – it’s Pentecost – the coming of the Holy Spirit – the birthday of the church. I am looking forward to it and am encouraging our congregation to celebrate by dressing in bright colors. It should be great!
Well, that’s about all I have for the evening. I hope you all have a great week. Remember to Seize the Day!
May 17, 2015
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship and Invocation Psalm 1:1-2
Songs of Worship
Victory In Jesus
God Is Able
How Great Is Our God
Worship Through Prayer
Songs of Worship
At the Cross
Worship Through Giving
Worship Through God’s Word
Song of Commitment
I Will Rise
O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
So here we are on the third Saturday of May, just one week distant from last week’s blistering 5k and three weeks distant from a half-marathon. As a runner I’ve been in a little bit of a down season, but over the last couple of weeks have really been trying to change all that. If running was one of the other sports, I would say that I am in a rebuilding season – and that is what I am in. It seems that year 5 of my running career had more lows than highs.
But I am encouraged. I ran 16 miles this week and only one of those runs was at a pace slower than a 9:00/mile – and that was on purpose, because it was the longest run of the four. All the other runs were under an 8:40 with today’s short 3 miler clocking in at an 8:34/mile pace. I really want to see these short runs under an 8:30 pace and get the long runs under a 9:00 pace. I think that I am on the right track at the moment and really plan to continue this through the summer so that I can be strong in the fall. I have one race planned for the end of the summer – it’s a 5K and depending on where we move, I would like to get a longer effort in as well. The key is to keep on keeping on. I am a runner – running is what I do. Pressing On!