19 Miles

D_Mile 19 Apache CreekThis morning I woke up knowing that 19 miles awaited me this morning.  As I got up, I saw that it was much darker than last week.  Of course, we are losing 7 minutes of daylight in the morning each week.  I finally started my run about 7:10 AM.  This would give Pam a few extra minutes to meet me at my first fueling station.  I fuel a little differently during my training than when I run the races.  I try to fuel about every 45 to 50 minutes when training.

The weather was nice this morning at least at the start – just a little overcast and about 46 degrees which made for a great first part of the run.  My goal was to run at around a 9:00 mile pace.  The good news is that I hit that pace for the full run.  I felt really good for the first 13 to 14 miles.  It was at 15 miles that things started to break down, but I looked at my watch and all looked good. In fact, I was encouraged with my time up to that point.  The last couple of miles have some constant uphills, while good for training, killed me today.  On the final downhill and in the 18th mile there is a downhill and I ran that timed mile at an 8:33 pace – not bad considering my legs were killing me by that time.  My breathing (and lung capacity) have really adapted to these long runs.  Hopefully next week my legs will feel better.

I finished 19.32 miles in 2:50:12, which gave me an 8:49 pace.  Not too shabby considering this is the first time I’ve run 19 miles in my life.  This was a “keep your eye on the prize” kind of run.  It was a cool run because at no time did I think of quitting, which has occurred to me in other long runs.  I struggled with that when I was in the 12 to 13 mile runs late in the summer and even last week.  Pressing on – running with perseverance was the rule of the day.  Tomorrow a slow, recovery run awaits.

Tonight, Pam and I booked our hotel room in Richmond…the day is getting closer…I still have some mixed feelings – I know that I will have to trust my training.  I’ve always run further than the distance I will race and this will not happen this time around.  Next week…20 miles.

Pressing On!

In Defense of Contemporary Worship

Christians of my generation and younger have been a part of a surge of energy that seeks to reclaim the historical hymnody of the church. We have grown up in churches that played contemporary worship songs because “young people” liked them while we, the young people, scratched our heads wondering why we don’t sing awesome songs like “O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing” anymore.

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Sunday Night Thoughts

Sunday Night ThoughtsFall is really starting to come to the Valley, but not at too quick a pace.  Over the last few days, we have noticed that the trees are starting to change, but not too quickly.  I think it’s because we had a good amount of rain and that it wasn’t hot and dry for weeks on end.  I know that by the amount of grass I cut this year.  It is weird because it’s now been over a week since I have cut the grass and before that I had the yard split in two, cutting one half early in the week and the other half later in the week.

I love the fact that it’s almost 52 degrees tonight – already.  Hopefully we will lose a few more degrees because that will make a great morning for running 19 miles.  I’m really trying to not let that psych me out.  I did 18 last week, so it’s only one more mile and I’m hoping it will be at a 9:06 or faster pace.  9:06 is a four hour marathon pace.

It’s been a great week and we had a great weekend.  Yesterday, our family went up to Harrisonburg to look around – not for anything in particular, but just to look around.  I took Anna to Starbucks and we both had Salted Caramel Mochas.  James decided to have a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.

Today was a big day – we had a great worship service at Parkway this morning.  It was strange being back in our Sanctuary after being outside last week.  I really can’t wait to get rid of the multiple echos.  The team did a great job.

Not only did we have worship this morning, but Parkway and Waynesboro Wesleyan got together tonight for a 5th Sunday Sing.  Usually we have several other Wesleyan churches join us, but tonight it was just us and we had a wonderful time of praise and worship and testimonies.  I think it was what all of us needed.  It was different having an unstructured service – not knowing exactly what songs we were going to do – some were planned – some were off the cuff.  James did a great job bringing up the songs that we did spontaneously.  Here are some pictures

It was a good day and now it’s time to get some rest – 19 miles awaits in the morning.

Pressing On!


Sunday Set List

Sunday Set List Main

Sunday, September 29, 2013

19th Sunday After Pentecost

Welcome and Announcements

Call to Worship/Invocation 

Psalm 91:14-16

Songs of Worship

Your Grace Is Enough

Blessed Be Your Name

Better Is One Day

Worship Through Prayer

Songs of Worship

(Responsive Reading)

My Faith Looks Up to Thee

Worship Through Giving

Whom Shall I Fear God of Angel Armies

Worship Through God’s Word

SoulShift: Seen to Unseen

Response to God’s Word

More Love to Thee


Prayer for the Week

Prayer_Banner_22-760x176O 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.

Why Do We Sing in Worship?

via David Santistevan —  September 28, 2013

corporate-worshipHave you ever wondered why we sing in worship?

Let’s be honest, it has it awkward moments. A room full of people…singing to God – some who can sing, some who cannot. People raising their hands, shouting “amen”, getting emotional.

Imagine if you hosted a dinner party with a bunch of people you didn’t know. You gathered them in your living room and announced – “Let’s sing together.” And yet most of the people didn’t know the songs.

Oftentimes our corporate worship can feel like this. And I want to tell you that this is OK. Sure, we need to improve our skill of being an engaging leader and being strategic in oursong choice.

But I want everyone – worship team and congregation alike – to dive into the awkwardness of corporate singing. And not just to sing, but to sing loud in corporate worship even if singing isn’t your “thing”.

Here’s why.

We sing because…

1. God is worthy – There is no other name that is worthy of all praise, glory, honor, and renown. The glory of God demands our praise and we respond with joy.

2. Singing Unifies the Church – Ever wonder why singing is the dominant art form in church? Singing is the easiest way to unify a large group of people.

3. God Commands it – The Word of God doesn’t suggest that we sing. It’s a command. ”Sing to him a new song…” (Psalm 33:3).

4. God Sings – Our God is a singing God. ”He will exult over you with loud singing…” (Zeph. 3:17).

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Running Strong

thumbnail-4.aspx24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. – 1:Corinthians 9:24-27

My apologies to those of you who follow me on Facebook.  You have been hearing quite a bit about my running exploits this week.  This has been quite the week on the running front.  I am deep in the heart of training for the Richmond Marathon.  This was a 39 mile week – 18 of those coming on Monday – with 19 scheduled for this coming Monday.  I wrote the other day that when you are training for a marathon, it becomes an all-consuming passion – either you are all in or all out – 26 miles is a long way to train for.  I have been (like the verse to the left) running with purpose.  I have my eye on the prize – that prize is to complete 26.2 miles and hopefully within 4 hours.  Because this is my first marathon, the biggest goal is to finish.  My secondary goal is to finish in under 4 hours.  If all goes perfect, I would like to finish at an 8:45 pace.  My run on Monday was at just over a 9:00/mile pace.  And yet that pace was faster than my first half-marathon pace.

This has been a very good week, and I am experience (in my opinion) some of the best running that I have in at least a year.  The last time I felt this good about my running progress was last fall.  It was following the Danville Half-Marathon that things fell apart a bit.  That is one of the cautions as I finish up training and running Richmond.  There will be a let down following the race.

Thursday’s run and today’s run were both sub 8:20/pace runs.  While Thursday’s was run in the relative flat of Gypsy HIll Park, today’s run was over the streets of Staunton.  You can’t run anywhere in Staunton without encountering hills.  I was excited that today’s run was under an 8:15 pace (which is about what I ran the Park to Park at in April.)  I am looking forward to see what next week holds.  If all goes well, I should run 19 miles on Monday, a slow 6 mile recovery run on Tuesday, 7 miles in the park (in the dark) on Thursday and probably the same on Saturday (because we have a service project at Valley Mission.) I’d rather not run outside the park anymore in the dark, especially after the skunk encounter several weeks ago (no I didn’t get sprayed.)

That’s about all till next week.  Pressing On!

Proper 21 (26) (September 29, 2013)

Jeremiah 32:1-3, 6-15; Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16; 1 Timothy 6:6-19; Luke 16:19-31


We have one of these framed, with our family name stitched on it hanging in our hall. It was given to us by a dear friend and Wesleyan Navy Chaplain.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

3 Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.

14 “Because he[a] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Psalm 91 is considered to be the Soldiers psalm.  If you look at the full text, you will see that much of it applies to warriors of many stripes.  It is one of my favorite psalms to go to when times get tough or I need some comfort. I know that it is one of Pam’s favorites as well.  In just a few weeks we are planning on a Veterans Day Celebration and I think we are planning on having this read as the call to worship.  This is a great psalm of worship and comfort in a time of trouble.

All-Consuming Passion

1236695_648241791882153_889481825_nThe Richmond Marathon is coming up and I have realized that getting ready for a marathon is a huge commitment.  Running short distances requires different kind of training and in most cases it doesn’t require the big commitment that preparing for a marathon does.  I am use to long runs of an hour and 1/2 to two hours, but as the weeks go on, the long runs are closing in on three hours.

I am an average runner – a mid-packer if you like.  One of the reasons that the Boston Marathon bombing affected me so much is that the bombs went off, just about the time the average 4 hour runner was coming to the finish.  I am looking forward to finishing the training for Richmond and then getting back to be a “regular” long-distance runner.  But for now, it has become my all-consuming passion.