To Him Who Sits On The Throne

When we come to worship, we come to a throne.  This is where worship must begin.  Everything else arranges itself around that throne…When we worship, we acknowledge that all authority, power, dominion, control, and supremacy belong to Him who sits on the throne.  There is not authentic worship without the acknowledgement of the authority of God.

Pressing On!

In April of 2010, Runner’s World published an article on Scott Jurek.  It was a very interesting article on a man who is an ultrarunner — these are not mere mortals — these are almost super humans.  A marathon is to an ultrarunner what a 5K is to most the rest of us mortals.  Ultra runners race in races 50 miles or longer.  The article gives you a glimpse into the mind of an ultra runner — people who think running 135 miles across Death Valley is something fun to do.  (And I get strange looks when I say that I’m going out for 10 mile runs.)  When I read the article, there was a paragraph that caught my eye.

Millions of people, from schoolchildren to overweight joggers, can run a mile in nine minutes and 20 seconds, and doubtless hundreds of thousands can hold that pace for a half-hour or more. Extend the range to the marathon, and the numbers shrink, but still, 26.2 miles at a 9:20 pace is hardly remarkable, something that many thousands of people can do. Double the marathon, though, then double it again. Add steep climbs over rocky paths. The numbers shrink. Turn up the heat, and plunge the course into frigid darkness. Now there are few nine-and-a-half-minute milers left . Add shrieking headwinds, and dusty canyons and icy rivers and exposed mountain ridges and what you have is the Western States Endurance Run, a 100-miler that has 41,000 feet of ups and downs, and scores of men and women facing not just thirst, and hunger and fatigue and unforgiving terrain, but each other, and more daunting, themselves. At the end of the race, you’re left with exactly one human being who can sustain a 9:20 pace.

The opening sentence of that paragraph peaked my interest.  Would the day come, when I could run a mile in 9:20?  Wednesday marks the second anniversary of my foray into running — August 31, 2009 — I hit the track at Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton, with an old pair of sneakers and ran/walked 1 mile.  It took me 20 minutes.

I’m hear to say that today, I hit that mark for a 9:20 mile, in fact, I almost hit that mark for three miles in a row.  I completed my fastest 5K run to date.  It took me just a mere 29:06 to run 3.1 miles for a pace of 9:23.  Which means I put three almost 9:20 miles together.  I can’t begin to describe how that feels — it is amazing.  You’ll notice that is twice as fast as that first mile I ran walked two years ago.  As of my last weigh in, I weighed 220 pounds (about 45 pounds lighter than two years ago.)  I feel so much better.

People ask me all the time about pain in my knees or ankles or other such pains.  Running has reverse a lot of damage that overeating created.  Two years ago, my knees would crack and creak and hurt.  Today all of that pain is gone.  A foot that I injured 5 years ago, is completely healed.  I used to feel that injury all the time.  All of this due to the fact that I now exercise regularly.

At times it’s hard for me to believe that I went from being a complete couch potato, to someone who actually enjoys running and misses it when I don’t get out.  Yes, I do take an occasional vacation from running, but those are short.  Another added bonus is that my clothes fit better than they have in years — I really need to get a new suit, because the current crop of suits that I wear are all too big.  If all goes well, the next time I buy pants, I will be in a size 40.  I can’t tell you the last time I wore that size.

As you can tell, I am excited.  It’s now hard to believe that I am looking at a goal of running a 9 minute mile.  So this is my running anniversary post and wanted to let you know how I was doing.

Pressing On!

Sunday Night Thoughts

Watching the Sun Set

It has been an amazing weekend, despite the weather.  If you’re wondering, Staunton really didn’t see much action from Hurricane Irene.  Yesterday was cloudy, with several good bursts of wind and one or two pockets of rain, otherwise, we didn’t see much of anything.  The summer really is beginning to wind down.  The temps this week will be much cooler – with lows from the mid 50’s to low 60’s and highs in the 70’s and low 80’s.

Parkway Student Ministries

This past weekend, I was wearing my student ministries pastor hat for a good portion of the weekend.  Friday night we met at the church for a lock-in.  We had 7 students attend and we had a great time painting the youth room.  It still needs more painting.  I need to go back to Lowe’s and get some more paint.  The room looks great and we will be rearranging the room following our paint job.  One of the other highlights of the lock-in was playing “Sardines.”  It’s sort of like a reverse hide and seek – played in the dark.  You can imagine trying to find your way around a darkened church.  We had a great time.  This morning our teens took over the service.  The teens led the worship time (Call to Worship, music, prayer, and the message.)  James preached the message – he volunteered to do it and he did a great job.  I will be posting video of the message tomorrow.  I am so proud of James.  I was nervous for the teens, so I made a few mistakes in playing my guitar.  Twice I had a song in the wrong key.  We did several songs that the students wanted to do including Tim Hughes “Happy Day,” Matt Redman’s “You Never Let Go” and Hillsong’s “The Stand.”  I am proud of all of our teens for doing such a great job.  We have a new theme for our youth group that comes from Ephesians 6:13 — Stand: Stand up, Stand, out, Stand Firm.

Happy Birthday!

I have been amazed and overwhelmed at the amount of birthday greetings I have received today.  My phone has been pinging all day with notifications from Facebook.  Thank you ever one for all the wonderful wishes.  I have some wonderful friends and count each one of you among them.  Thank you and may God richly bless you.

I am looking forward to another great week.  Remember to Seize the Day!

Sunday Set List

August 28, 1011
Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost

Welcome and Announcements

Call to Worship and Invocation

1 Timothy 4:10b-13

Songs of Worship

Beautiful One

Happy Day

In Christ Alone

Worship Through Prayer

Songs of Worship

The Solid Rock

You Never Let Go

Worship Through Giving

The Stand (Musical Offering)

Worship Through God’s Word

Stand Up, Stand Out, Stand Firm

Ephesians 6:11-17

Final Words

Benediction

Moses and the Burning Bush

Proper 17 (22)
August 28, 2011

Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45; Romans 12:9-21; Matthew 16:21-28

1 One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro,[a] the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai,[b] the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lordappeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. 3 “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.”

 4 When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

   “Here I am!” Moses replied.

 5 “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. 6 I am the God of your father[c]—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.

 7 Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. 9 Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.”

 11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”

 12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”

 13 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”

 14 God replied to Moses, “I Am Who I Am.[d] Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.”15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh,[e] the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.

   This is my eternal name,
      my name to remember for all generations.

I have a few quick thoughts for today, but I wish I had a little more time.  This is a fascinating story.  One, we have Moses, after being spared by God, runs away to Midian and meets Jethro and marries his daughter.  After quite some time there, God speaks to Moses who ran away and tells him that he needs to go back and free the Hebrews from the bondage of the Egyptians.  Moses wasn’t the most popular man in Egypt, now the Lord was sending him back.  Has that ever happened to you?  I’ve been in that situation a time or two.  After some discussion, Moses says he’ll go.  He was to go in the name of I AM – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Where is God asking you to go today?  Perhaps, it’s a place you’ve been before.  Perhaps, it’s a scary place (to you.)  The great thing is, when God sends you, He goes with you.  That is an amazing thing.  God went with Moses and God stayed with Moses (despite Moses’ failings and the failing of the Hebrews.)  God will stay with you where ever He calls you.

‎”Our entire being is fashioned as an instrument of praise. Just as a master violin 
maker designs an instrument to produce maximum aesthetic results, so God 
tailor-made our bodies, souls and spirits to work together in consonance to produce pleasing expressions of praise and worship. When we use body language to express praise, that which is internal becomes visible.”

p.60 “A Heart For Worship” by Lamar Boschman