Already Renewing….

“He is already renewing the face of the earth.  And we have strong reason to hope that the work he hath begun he will carry on unto the day of his Lord Jesus; that he will never intermit this blessed work of his Spirit until he has fulfilled all his promises; until he hath put a period to sin and misery, and infirmity, and re-established universal holiness and happiness, and caused all the inhabitants of the earth to sing together, “Hallelujah!  The God omnipotent reigneth!”  “Blessing and glory, and wisdom, and honour, and power, and might be unto our God forever and ever!”

John Wesley (Sermon 63, “The General Spread of the Gospel”)

Running Update

Wow! was it humid this morning.  We got up real early and did our exercise.  When I went to bed last night, I had no expectations of being able to run this morning.  I got out of bed and miraculously, nothing hurt.  I quickly got ready to run knowing that it would have to be a short and easy run.  (no more than 3 miles.)  We went out to the park and the humidity was nasty.  The first mile, until I got used to it, was tough.  During the second mile, I had an unexpected running partner.  They passed me, and for the next half mile I was able to keep up and then passed them.  In about another half mile they passed me again.  It was good, because I think I ran harder than usual.  I could hear me breathing hard.  My foot passed with flying colors.  I am really happy with that.  Tommorrow, I plan on doing some speed work, sprints with walking around the high school track.  Pressing On!

One Year Ago Today…

We woke up and began to pack our belongings into a big, yellow truck to move to Staunton.  It is hard to believe that a year has already passed.  A year ago I was 25 pounds heavier and not in shape at all.  I wouldn’t have ever thought of running a mile much less 6 or 7.  My goal this fall is to race in a 10 miler.  We moved twice this year — the first time I ever remember doing that in my life.  We are blessed with a beautiful home and a beautiful congregation.  God is doing some amazing things here at Parkway and I am humbled to have a small part to play in it.  I have been on a missions trip (my first one ever.)  And every day brings new opportunities to build God’s Kingdom.  As we talked with old friends yesterday, it was cool to hear how I had a small part in bringing someone into the kingdom (part of that one sows, one waters, one reaps thing.)  Have a great day!!!!

Sunday Night Thoughts

What An Interesting Weekend!

This was a very interesting weekend.  Pam and I have spent most of it at home, not by choice.  It seems that the ankle that I twisted a week ago, decided to remind me that it was still there.  I haven’t run since Wednesday — I haven’t even walked.  My plan is to attempt a walk tomorrow morning and see how it goes.  Pam was sick with a little stomach bug, so she was grounded yesterday.  Even though the weekend had “interesting” beginnings, it has turned out to be quite nice.

Sing to the King

We had a great worship service this morning.  The team did a great job in leading worship — we did some of our most energetic songs.  Pastor preached a great message from Esther on being shining lights in a dark world.  I got to catch up with some old friends that I haven’t seen since our Marion days.  There mom and dad attend our church and it was great to hear what was going on in their lives.  As a added bonus, I found out a former co-worker of mine received Christ as his Savior.  I had prayed and prayed it would happen and the Lord was faithful to keep His promises.  Sometimes we think that people are beyond hope.  This is a great example that God can reach anyone.  What is cool is that in a small way, I had a part in that, showing Him what the love of Christ was all about.  Many times we don’t know these stories this side of heaven, but in this case, God was gracious an revealed the story to me.  So cool!

Baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

This afternoon we had a baptism service and we baptized several elementary students and several adults.  It was really exciting as we gathered and worshiped by the pool.  Our baptism service finished ahead of the thundershowers that rolled through in the late afternoon.  I am not complaining because we could really use the rain.  Our grass is very brown and we have been watering it and the trees.  Tomorrow brings a better chance for more rain.  Then we should get a break from the heat and humidity for a few days.

Closing Thoughts

When I woke up this morning, my foot felt pretty good and I have been on it most of the day.  It’s time to get some rest and get my foot up.  We have a big week ahead of us — Vacation Bible School planning meeting; District Conference is right around the corner and I have several videos to create for that.  It’s hard to believe that the summer is half over.  Tomorrow we celebrate our one year anniversary in Staunton.  It is hard to believe that it’s already been a year.  I’ll share more tomorrow.  In the mean time, Seize the Day!

Sunday Set List

June 27, 2010
Fifth Sunday After Pentecost

Welcome and Announcements

Call to Worship and Invocation

Psalm 77:1-2; 11-15

Songs of Worship

Sing to the King (Foote)

Days of Elijah (Mark)

We Fall Down (Tomlin)

Connecting Through Prayer

Jesus, Lover Of My Soul (Wesley/Marsh)

I Love You, Lord (Kline)

Giving Back to God

Special Music — Just a Closer Walk with Thee

Worship Through God’s Word

Bible Superheroes

Esther: Letting Our Light Shine

Esther: 4:9-17; Matthew 5:14-16

Song of Commitment

How Can I Keep From Singing (Tomlin/Redman/Cash)


God and Grass

From my good friend Mark at Revitalize Your Church:

Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.

It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers “weeds” and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

GOD :Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it – sometimes twice a week.

They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

Yes, Sir.

These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

You aren’t going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It’s a natural cycle of life.

You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

No! What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

And where do they get this mulch?

They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

Enough! I don’t want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

“Dumb and Dumber”, Lord. It’s a story about….

Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.