Sunday Night Thoughts

Sunday Night Thoughts

Last Sunday night, we were talking about cold and snow…this morning we were greeted by…you guessed it…snow.  It reminded me of a line that we heard in the musical “Narnia” this past weekend.  “Welcome to Narnia, where it is always Winter and never Christmas, and especially not spring.”  The good news is that it is almost 45 at the moment and will warm up to near 60 tomorrow with some 70’s in the forecast for this week.  Soon I will be talking about cutting the grass…which has started turning green, but not as green as it was in South Carolina.

Speaking of South Carolina, we were at Southern Wesleyan University this past weekend for a preview weekend.  I can’t believe our youngest is now looking at colleges.  James really enjoyed the trip and now we are looking at taking a trip to Indiana Wesleyan in the fall.  It will be cool to visit my alma mater.

While one the trip we got to visit Skins Hot Dogs, which is a local Upstate SC chain.  It was very good and had a unique atmosphere – and I say that in a good way.  If you are ever in the Upstate SC area, you need to check them out.

While at SWU, we also took in the annual musical – which as I already mentioned was a musical adaptation of “The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe.” The cast did a great job.  It was very enjoyable.

What was not enjoyable was the ride home – One particular stretch of highway – from Statesville, NC to Fancy Gap, VA was miserable – stop and start and slow traffic along with rain and fog and general poor visibilty.

We had a great choir rehearsal tonight as we prepare for the Easter season.  I’m even hoping our church children join us for a rendition of “God’s Not Dead (Like A Lion)” on Easter morning.  We had a great morning of musical worship this morning.  The team did a great job and God’s presence could really be felt.

This week returns to “normal.” I’m not even sure what that means anymore.  I know it does include 4 runs, since the Park to Park 1/2 Marathon is just 4 weeks away.  Tomorrow I plan on a long run of around 13 miles – with another one next Monday at least.  I can’t believe how it snuck up on me.  Other wise the weather looks great and I am looking forward to some warmer runs over the next few weeks.

That about wraps it up as we are waiting for Rebecca and Michael to get home so we can Skype.  Blessings and Pressing On!

Sunday Set List

Sunday Set List Main

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fourth Sunday in Lent

Welcome and Announcements

Call to Worship and Invocation

Psalm 23

Songs of Worship 

At Calvary

That’s Why We Praise Him

You Are My All In All

Worship Through Prayer

Songs of Worship

The Old Rugged Cross

In Christ Alone

Worship Through Giving

Worship through God’s Word

Song of Commitment

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross


Prayer for the Week

Prayer_Banner_22-760x176Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Lord Is My Shepherd

Amiens26-mediumFourth Sunday in Lent (March 30, 2014)

1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41

The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord

Arguably this is the most well known psalm in the Bible.  Many people use it, and understandably so, in times of trouble.  A few weeks back we looked at Psalm 121, which is one of my go to Psalms.  That being said, this is a great psalm.  Several weeks ago, Pam wrote a post about lying down in green pastures and what that means for us as westerners as compared to those in the east.  It is amazing how little vegetation constitutes a green pasture in Israel.  It is a great reminder that God gives us what we need when we need it.  Many times he won’t give us more than we need.  We may think we need more, but God knows.

I’ll close with a video that I found on Youtube.  I wish I had my senior recital from Indiana Wesleyan University in digital form, because I sang this piece I’m going to share with you.  I hope you enjoy Psalm XXIII by Paul Creston.  Listen especially how the composer paints a picture in the accompaniment of the text being sung.

A Work of An Artist

the-interrogative-pronouns-introduction-to-artist-run-initiatives-in-sydney_h“Saint Thomas Aquinas says that art does not require rectitude of the appetite, that it is wholly concerned with the good of that which is made. He says that a work of art is good in itself, & this is a truth that the modern world has largely forgotten. We are not content to stay within our limitations & make something that is simply a good in & of itself. Now we want to make something that will have some utilitarian value. Yet what is good in itself glorifies God because it reflects God. The artist has his hands full & does his duty if he attends to his art.”

Novelist Flannery O’Connor

A Surprising View of the Trinity

trinity-stained-glassOn Ash Wednesday I received a package from Wesleyan Publishing House. It was a devotional book for Lent, “Finding Life” by Jane Rubietta. I love this book because it has been a challenge over the course of this Lenten season.  One of the devotions got me thinking about the Trinity. The Trinity is interesting in and of itself – this idea of the Three-in-One God – a God that is three separate entities yet one.  It is a concept that Christians have trouble understanding.  How can one person be three persons?  I have discussed this with the children at church and that this is one of the areas where faith plays a big part in our belief as Christians.  
The other morning the pastoral staff were having an informal meeting.  That’s one of the things that I love about Parkway – we have some of the most interesting staff meetings – most of them informal – sometimes they occur in the lead pastor’s office – sometimes in my office – sometimes in Dale’s office – or more than likely around the coffee pot (even though I don’t drink coffee.) 
We got to talking about the Trinity – this concept that God is three and yet one – and the point of Jesus’ death.  During Lent I have been teaching the children about Jesus. We have been talking about how Jesus was 100% God and 100% man.  In the gospel of John, he is described as the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us.  A $5 word that we use is incarnation – or literally God in the flesh.   
Here is where the fun begins.  Jesus who is 100% God and 100% human took the sins of everyone and died on the cross.  Imagine, here was the perfect Lamb of God.  Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, because he had never sinned.  He never knew what it was like to have sin in his life.  All of a sudden, here was perfect God taking on the sins of the world.  We know the weight and pain that sin brings into our lives…imagine…if you can…what it was like for Jesus to have all the weight and pain of the sins of the whole world on him.  It must have been incredible and then add to that the pain and suffering of the crucifixion.  
In addition, we have God the Father, looking on…I would imagine that he could barely stand it.  Jesus even cries out “Father, do not turn your back on me!”  God the Father turns his head.  God cannot look on the sin…neither could the Holy Spirit.  How lonesome at that moment must Jesus have felt.  
Imagine the rift in the Trinity at that moment in time. Here was the Trinity – the everlasting Trinity that had been together since before time began…forever…there was no time that they were apart…all of a sudden torn to pieces as Jesus paid the punishment for our sins.  No wonder the veil was torn from the temple…no wonder their were earthquakes…no wonder people rose from the grave.  Dale even mentioned that it is surprising that the whole universe didn’t split apart that crucial moment in time.  
How did Jesus stay 100% God if he had the sins of the world on Him?  If God cannot be around sine, then how did Jesus stay 100% of the Godhead?  These are great questions.  I have been thinking about these questions over the past couple of weeks.  This is a place where faith plays a huge part of my life and my beliefs.  It’s a great question to think about…we probably won’t have the answer this side of heaven…and yet it is great to challenge our faith with questions like this.

…No Common Act

If may be difficult for the average Christian to get hold of the idea that his daily labors can be performed as acts of worship acceptable to God by Jesus Christ…We must offer all our acts to God and believe that He accepts them.  Then hold firmly to that position and keep insisting that every act of every hour of the day and night be included in the transaction…Let us practice the fine art of making every work a priestly ministration.  Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds and learn to find Him there…Let every man abide in the calling wherein his is called and his work will be as sacred as the work of the ministry.  It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.  The motive is everything. Let a man sanctify the Lord God in his heart and he can thereafter do no common act. (Tozer, Pursuit)

Jane Rubietta, Finding Life

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