A Wrong Decision

I am trying to get back to running on a regular basis — the holidays and the weather and other busyness (too many excuses, Dale) have gotten in the way.  It was a beautiful day today, even though it started out cool.  By the time I went out running it was a beautiful, sunny, late-fall day.  “Why not forgo the long-sleeve running shirt, since it’s so nice,” I thought to myself.  So, that’s what I did — just running shorts and a wicking running shirt.  The temps were in the mid-40’s and the sun was shining — that was until we got to the park.  The sun decided to hide behind the clouds and a fall breeze blew in.  The first mile and a half was cold — I struggled with a muscle that was tight — my thought as I started the run, was just to have fun running 5 miles.  I made good time on the first lap — so I pushed on.  The next two laps were slower, but by the fourth lap I was feeling better and was able to push the tempo once again, so much so that I completed the final lap the fastest in 14:10 for 1.36 miles.  My total time was 1:00:03 for 5.56 miles, which equals my fastest 5-1/2 mile run.  Not bad, considering I have been slacking lately.  My goal is to maintain, until it gets warm again and then begin training for a half-marathon.  I’d like to get 3 to 4 five mile runs in each week until then.

Still Pressing On!

The Narrow Road

On Sunday I mentioned that we took our girls to Roanoke to catch a ride back to Southern Wesleyan University. Because it was the Sunday after Thanksgiving the traffic was crazy. The main highway between Staunton and Roanoke is I-81. For most of the distance it is 70mph and two lanes in each direction. For about a 30 mile stretch it also carries the traffic of I-64, which is an east/west interstate. For that 30 miles I-64 runs north/south and there are no additional lanes for the additional traffic. I-81, for the most part, parallels US 11, which before the interstates was a major highway. It has been kept up in good shape in our area and except for a few small cities and towns the speed limit is 55. The traffic on I-81 between Staunton and Lexington, VA was crazy – start/stop – slow/fast – it really was a wonder that there weren’t more accidents today – we saw none. The lesson learned today was sometimes the narrow, less traveled way is the much better way. Jesus said that there were two roads – the wider way that many find which leads to destruction and the narrow way that few find that leads to righteousness. That parable really came to life today. While on the wider, more traveled way, I found myself really frustrated, much more than I should have been. It was only when I got to the less travelled way – the slower way that I experienced much more peace in driving. Today the slower, less travelled way was better and in a way was faster – imagine that in the days of interstates J !

It reminded me of the poem by Robert Frost

The Road not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood

and sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, long I stood

and looked down one as far as I could

to where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,

and having perhaps the better claim

because it was grassy and wanted wear;

though as for that, the passing there

had worn them really about the same,

 

And both that morning equally lay

in leaves no feet had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less travelled by,

and that has made all the difference

Sunday Night Thoughts

  • It was wonderful to have my parents and our children and future son-in-law at our house for Thanksgiving.  We had a great time and I miss everyone already.
  • We are having a bit of a winter preview this weekend, minus the snow — last year we had our first big snow on Saturday before the second Sunday of Advent — which is next week.  At the moment there is nothing like that in the forecast — whew!!!!
  • It’s not going to be warm this week, but at least it won’t be really cold.
  • We had a wonderful morning of worship during our service this morning as we kicked off the season of Advent — a season of waiting and preparation.  The pre-school class helped us light the first candle and did a great job.
  • Immediately following worship, we cleared the platform for tonight’s concert and then jumped in the van to take Rebecca and Anna to Roanoke to catch a ride back to SWU.
  • The traffic this afternoon was nothing short of crazy.  We finally took a parallel road that helped quite a bid — something like the narrow way and few will find it.  More on that later on in the week.
  • After 4 hours and ten minutes on the roads, we were back at church and gearing up for choir practice.  Since we weren’t rehearsing in the sanctuary, I temporarily lost the accompaniment track — I was able to find it and we had a good rehearsal.  Great job choir!
  • Tonight, a local quartet kicked-off there Christmas concert season at our church — it was a mix of gospel and Christmas song — very casual and relaxed.
  • I’m tired and yet my mind is still moving — but time to try to wind down and get ready for the week.  Seize the Day!

Sunday Set List

November 28, 2010
First Sunday of Advent

Welcome and Announcements

Lighting of the Advent Candle

Video – Advent

Sing to the King

O Come Let Us Adore Him

Emmanuel

Worship Through Prayer

Songs of Worship

Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Jesus, Name Above All Names

Giving Back to God

Special Music

Our God Is With Us (Chapman)

Worship Through God’s Word

Why Did He Come? To Show Us the Father


Song of Commitment

Come Just As You Are

Benediction

Weekly Lectionary Reading

READINGS FOR THE COMING WEEK
First Sunday of Advent (November 28, 2010)

Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44

1 This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

2 In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house
will be the highest of all—
the most important place on earth.
It will be raised above the other hills,
and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
3 People from many nations will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of Jacob’s God.
There he will teach us his ways,
and we will walk in his paths.”
For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion;
his word will go out from Jerusalem.
4 The Lord will mediate between nations
and will settle international disputes.
They will hammer their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will no longer fight against nation,
nor train for war anymore.

5 Come, descendants of Jacob,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Christmas Decorations

Today, my mom and dad helped me get up our outdoor Christmas decorations. It’s the first time in two years that we have had any outdoor decorations. The last year in Martinsville, I didn’t put them up and last year we were in temporary housing, expecting to move any day, so we didn’t put up any outdoor decorations. It was cold and windy this afternoon. In addition, I put up our tree inside and put the lights on the tree. The family is planning on putting on the rest of the decorations tomorrow night. It has been great to have the family here for Thanksgiving. I am super excited about that and I love having the decorations up already. It’s shaping up to be a great Christmas and I’m looking forward to what God has in store for this season. Blessings….

Thanksgiving Lectionary Reading

Thanksgiving Day
(November 25, 2010)

“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you as a special possession and you have conquered it and settled there, 2 put some of the first produce from each crop you harvest into a basket and bring it to the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored. 3 Go to the priest in charge at that time and say to him, ‘With this gift I acknowledge to the Lord your God that I have entered the land he swore to our ancestors he would give us.’ 4 The priest will then take the basket from your hand and set it before the altar of the Lord your God.

5 “You must then say in the presence of the Lord your God, ‘My ancestor Jacob was a wandering Aramean who went to live as a foreigner in Egypt. His family arrived few in number, but in Egypt they became a large and mighty nation. 6 When the Egyptians oppressed and humiliated us by making us their slaves, 7 we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors. He heard our cries and saw our hardship, toil, and oppression. 8 So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and powerful arm, with overwhelming terror, and with miraculous signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land flowing with milk and honey! 10 And now, O Lord, I have brought you the first portion of the harvest you have given me from the ground.’ Then place the produce before the Lord your God, and bow to the ground in worship before him.11 Afterward you may go and celebrate because of all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household. Remember to include the Levites and the foreigners living among you in the celebration.

Have A Blessed Thanksgiving

MY HEART IS FILLED WITH THANKFULNESS

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who bore my pain;
Who plumbed the depths of my disgrace
And gave me life again;
Who crushed my curse of sinfulness,
And clothed me with His light,
And wrote His law of righteousness
With power upon my heart.

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who walks beside;
Who floods my weaknesses with strength
And causes fears to fly;
Whose every promise is enough
For every step I take.
Sustaining me with arms of love
And crowning me with grace.

My heart is filled with thankfulness
To Him who reigns above;
Whose wisdom is my perfect peace,
Whose every thought is love.
For every day I have on earth
Is given by the King.
So I will give my life, my all,
To love and follow Him.

—Words and music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend, Copyright © 2003 Thankyou Music.