Its the first Sunday of Autumn here in The Brook. We have had a great week. It was a little different than normal – No meetings (church or otherwise.) We did have our weekly prayer meeting. One of the unique things that happened is that one of the members of our church took us out to meet our neighbors. It was a great time as we were introduced as the pastors of McCrae Brook. Most of the visits were short, but we did spend around 20 to 30 minutes at one of the houses nearest to us.
Anna started substituting this past week and has three assignments this week. Tomorrow I am going for my physical and finger printing so that I can substitute bus drive for the local school district.
My favorite part of the week was yesterday going to Letchworth State Park. This beautiful park along the Genesee River has three waterfalls in a massive gorge. Often called the “Grand Canyon of the East,” it really is beautiful.
Today we had a wonderful service as I preached on the importance of fellowship – think of the word Koinonia – check out the word in the Greek – it is so much more than we think it is. This afternoon we went to Sheetz – it’s about 15 miles away, so it’s not somewhere we go often. It was fun.
Well that’s about all I have for this week. Have a great week!
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.
Here we are on the last Saturday of September. Two months ago we were celebrating our first Sunday at McCrae Brook Wesleyan Church.
Since we have moved here my running routine has really evolved into something much more than it had been. It has been feeling good and for the first time in over a year, I feel like I am accomplishing something in the area of running. It hasn’t been easy to re-establish, but things are going well.
So far I have 127 miles (now that includes walking and running miles.) The last time I had that many miles in a month was June of 2014. That month I ran and walked 140 miles. At the moment I have an outside chance to beat that. If I do that means I’ve walked and ran more miles this month than I did since October of 2013 – which was the month before the Richmond Marathon. That’s wild!
Not only am I picking up the miles, this week I ran (just running not including walks) almost 30 miles. In addition to that I ran a 7 miler at under a 9 minute mile pace. I haven’t run that distance at that pace in a long time – probably sometime back in 2014, since that is where it seems all fell apart. I am really confident at the moment – as long as I can stay healthy – the last two years have involved a lot of pain and injury – that I can kick-start – hopefully before the cold sets in too much here.
I do have a race in the future. I will be running the Purple and Gold 5K at Houghton College for Parent’s Weekend. I don’t expect to place – I don’t think I have that kind of stamina yet. So as you can tell I am happy with where my running is at the moment and I continue to press on!
Proper 21 (26) (September 25, 2016)
- First reading and Psalm
- Second reading
1 Timothy 6:6-19 | New International Version (NIV)
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fightof the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords,16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Our reading for this week contains one of the most misquoted scriptures in the Bible — For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. What I’ve put here is what Paul wrote, however we often say that “money” not the “love of money” is the root of all evil. This reading actually puts it all in context. For some reason we humans like to pull things out of context. Probably even more so now since we live in a sound byte culture. It is so easy to take a snippet of something that someone said and turn it something completely opposite.
In this scripture Paul is telling us what is better – Godliness with contentment is great gain. The question here and now is what is the most important thing in your life? What are you pursuing? Paul says that we should be content with food and clothing, and we could probably add a place to call home. Pam and I have lived in various size houses. When we lived in Marion, we were in a tiny house – it was bigger than the houses in the current tiny house craze but compared to the houses we have lived in since, it was tiny. Our current kitchen, dining room, living room is near the size of the entire house in Marion. But we loved that little house. Paul reminds us to be content with what we have. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation. One only has to look around to see the empty lives of those who have spent their lifetime pursuing riches. Paul says that is a trap and leads to ruin and destruction.
Let me balance this for a moment before going on. The “grandfather” of our movement, John Wesley is quoted as saying “Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” It is said that over the course of his lifetime he earned more than 6 million dollars. However the pursuit of money was part of his greater mission. Wesley died with enough money for him to be buried. All the rest was given away. Our pursuit of money should be to help others and make a difference – our pursuit of money should always be less than our pursuit of God.
So what should we do? Paul encourages Timothy to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life. This is what living the life of faith is all about. We are not to put our hope in riches – but we are to put our hope in God – pursue him – pursue his righteousness – pursue his godliness – pursue his love – and do that with endurance …perseverance…and gentleness.
We are told to put our hope in God because he richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. We are commanded – instead of hoarding for ourselves – to be rich in good deeds – to do good (we need that in our world – especially in light of recent events) – to be generous and to share. Why? As Jesus commanded we are to lay up our treasures in heaven…where the rust and moth do not destroy. I like how Paul finishes out this section…”In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
What are you pursuing today? Are you pursuing temporary treasures that you lay up here? Or are you pursuing the treasures that we can lay up in heaven? Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.
Several weeks ago our country remembered 9/11. As you may remember there was and still is some controversy in the NFL. Just this week several players on our hometown Eagles decided to protest. This is a clip from 12stone Church where Kevin Myers is the pastor. 12stone is our largest Wesleyan church. I encourage you to watch this clip all the way through. Our country is in a world of hurt and we really are in need of justice for all.