Sunday Night Thoughts

Another Cold, Grey Morning

Today wasn’t much nicer than yesterday, plus it has rained most of the afternoon and it’s one of those cold rains.  This week the temps look to be lower than average, but not brutal cold like a few weeks ago.

God Is In the House

We had a great worship service this morning.  It was more traditional than usual.  I played bass guitar for most of the songs.  In addition to that I played in our community handbell choir, which is based out of our church.  That was an awesome worship experience in itself.  Pastor Barry preached a great sermon and we closed with Charlie Hall’s Give Us Clean Hands.  The congregation did a great job with it.

Amazing Grace

Tonight, we continued our rehearsals for our Palm Sunday musical.  We have got a great group.  Almost all of my 20 books I purchased are gone 🙂  This was only our second night, but I am very pleased with the sound already and we have many weeks to go.

Closing Thoughts

Pastor Barry preached this morning on the church at Thyratira.  This was a church that compromised itself.  It was a great reminder of what happens when we let sin into our lives.  Let’s resolve to worship God will all that we have and refuse to let our lives be compromised.  Seize the Day!

Sunday Set List

January 24, 2010
Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Welcome and Announcements

Call to Worship

Songs of Praise and Worship

All Hail King Jesus (Moody)

He Is Exalted (Paris)

Majesty (Hayford)

Sanctity of Life Sunday Presentation

Psalm 139:13-16

99 Balloons

Litany for Sanctity of Life

Connecting In Prayer

Songs of Worship

My Jesus I Love Thee (Gordon)

Giving Back to God

Special Music

Mountain Ridge Ringers

Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel — Arr. Page

Worship Through God’s Word

Listen Up, Church!

Thyatira: The Corrupt Church

Revelation 2:18-29

Song of Committment

Give Us Clean Hands (Hall)


Running Update

Sunrise Gypsy Hill Park

This morning wasn’t the first time I ever ran at sunrise, but it was the first time that I ever ran at Gypsy Hill Park in the early morning.  Most of my runs there have been in the afternoon.  I love to watch Sunrise Earth, especially on our HD television.  This morning I was able to watch the “sun rise” right before my very eyes.  When I got up the temp was right around freezing.  Imagine a 30 degree, January day, with a light fog and overcast skies with blue sky peeking through here and there.

When I first got to the park, there were just a few walkers and one other jogger.  During the time I was there, the traffic picked up in the park quite a bit.  When the sun finally does come out today, I’m sure the park will get lots of use.  It was interesting to hear all the morning sounds — the woodpecker trying to get some food — the ducks and the swans at the pond — the geese flying overhead.  In addition to that there are the park squirrels gathering food.  It is great to watch all of that.  When I went by the duck pond, I was thinking about the first several times I ran at Gypsy Hill and it almost sounded like the ducks were mocking me.  Well, I’m way passed that now.

This morning was a tough, but fun run.  I completed 3 laps or 3.9 miles in 47:30 (another personal best!)  We are slowly moving back toward that 12 minute mile mark.  Today I clocked in at 12:10 minute mile.  Monday is suppose to be much warmer and sunny and I plan on putting in 4 laps or 5.2 miles.  It’s time to get back to that distance and an hour or so run.

Pressing On!

Weekly Lectionary Reading

Third Sunday After The Epiphany
January 24, 2010

Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 * Psalm 19 * 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a * Luke 4:14-21

1 all the people assembled with a unified purpose at the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had given for Israel to obey.

2 So on October 8 Ezra the priest brought the Book of the Law before the assembly, which included the men and women and all the children old enough to understand. 3 He faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law.

5 Ezra stood on the platform in full view of all the people. When they saw him open the book, they all rose to their feet.

6 Then Ezra praised the Lord, the great God, and all the people chanted, “Amen! Amen!” as they lifted their hands. Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord  with their faces to the ground.

8 They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage.

9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, “Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God.” For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

10 And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

This is the Third Sunday following the Epiphany.  We are in a season that emphasizes the mission of Jesus.  The passage above comes from the Old Testament book of Nehemiah.  This narrative comes after Nehemiah has led the people in rebuilding the walls Jerusalem.  The people come to gather to hear the reading of the Law.  The books of the law are the first five books of the Old Testament — Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.  These books are also known as the Torah.  They include the laws that the people of Israel were to follow.  Unfortunately from the time of Judges on forward the people of Israel were caught in a vicious circle of following God, then slipping into sin and worshiping the surrounding nations idols, then being oppressed by those nations, then crying out to God for help and repenting and then following God again.  Over and over throughout the Old Testament this happens.  From what is recorded here, it sounds like the people were being convicted of their past sins.  In that they were weeping and wailing over their past sins and shortcomings.  Nehemiah tells them it is not a day for mourning and weeping, but a day for celebration because now the people were following God once again.  It was a sacred day — it was a day set apart.  I’m sure Nehemiah would have told them, make sure that you continue on this path — continue to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, and strength.  If you do, the joy of the Lord will be your strength.  Perhaps you have gone through a time of restoration like the people of Israel did in the time of Nehemiah.  I encourage you to love God with all that you have — God has restored you and he wants to see you do your best.  In this way, we can be faithful to the mission of Jesus to go and make disciples to all the world.  Blessings….

Running Update

Cold, Grey Morning

Cold grey morning without sunlight ghostly mist on the horizon…

These are words written by Kerry Livgren, but played by the band Kansas.  However, these lyrics really sum up the way it was running this morning.  On Monday afternoon, with the sun out and the temp around 50 degrees, everyone was out in the park.  In fact it seemed a little crowed.  Not so this morning.  There were a couple of walkers and a couple dog walkers and a runner or two, but for the most part, I had the park to myself.  One cool thing that happened was toward the end of my second lap.  I passed an older gentleman who was walking.  I’m sure he heard me coming — I was huffing and puffing pretty hard because I was pressing to improve my time.  He asked how it was going.  I said, “good.” Then he said, “Keep it up, you’re doing great!”  Wow!  what an encouragement.  That made me even press on harder.  It was good to be running this morning.

So…how did I do?  I completed three laps (3.9 miles) in 47:55.  As far as I can tell, this is a personal best.  I ran a 12:17 minute mile.  Not bad…at all.  I also completed 15 miles in the last 7 days.  I’m hoping to get out on Friday — if the weather cooperates and hope to complete another 4 miles.  I’m really trying to get back up to 20 miles in 7 days.  My next goal is to run an 11 minute mile…Pressing On!

Haiti Update

Wesleyan Churches in Haiti Damaged by Earthquake

Jan. 18, 2010

The Wesleyan church of Carrefour Dufort-Leogane (pictured) is one of five Wesleyan churches in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. This photo by Thony Querette shows the extent of damage to one of those churches. Photos and videos of Haiti are being sent to The Wesleyan Church World Headquarters by World Hope International CEO, Dr. Karl Eastlack. Updates on the Church’s Haiti Emergency Relief efforts are being posted regularly.

A “call for a church-wideDay of Prayer and Fasting for Haiti, along with sacrificial giving, has been issued by the Board of General Superintendents of The Wesleyan Church. According to board chair Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, “The immense tragedy of the earthquake that has devastated Haiti is beyond human comprehension, but not beyond Christ-inspired compassion. We encourage each of our local congregations to set aside one day between Sunday,January 17 and Sunday, January 24 as a day of sorrow, prayer and fasting for the suffering nation of Haiti. We also ask every Wesleyan to donate the cost of at least one day’s meals to our cooperative disaster response effort by sending gifts either to the Wesleyan Emergency Relief Fund or World Hope International (our primary international relief and development partner).”