August 31, 2014
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship and Invocation
Songs of Worship
The Saving One
At the Cross
In Christ Alone
Worship Through Prayer
Songs of Worship
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Worship Through Giving
Worship Through God’s Word
When Dreams Get Shattered: Surviving the Dungeon
In Moments Like These
Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
Today marks 5 years. Five years ago, I stepped on to the track at Lee High School in Staunton and ran/walked a mile in 20 minutes. It was a very uninspiring first attempt at running.
The photo to the right show what I looked like when we moved to the Shenandoah Valley. I weighed 260 or so pounds and wasn’t feeling well most of the time.
The next day I went out and did the same mile – in the same 20 minutes. At that point I started my every other day routine of running – and a that point it was a run/walk routine and more like fast walking and slow walking. But it was getting up off the couch once a day and getting moving.
Several people have asked what inspired all of this. The biggest influence was our senior pastor who asked me on our initial interview, “Have you ever thought of running?” I must admit that I probably looked at him like he had five heads. Running – that’s for crazy people. I had tried exercise and dieting so many times over my life that I was in no mood to try it again. Yet, Barry encouraged me to try. Yeah right! Do you know that I hate running? That would not be too strong a statement. My memories of running all come from my childhood – always being out of breath – always hurting after a run – always being dead last. Why would I want to subject myself to that?
Yet, Barry encouraged me to try. And so on August 31, 2009, I made my first attempt. Slowly, but surely I got better at running and just 10 weeks later I ran my first full 5K – all 3.1 miles of it and finished in 36:59 – under a 13:00 mile. While I wasn’t fast – I also didn’t finish last – that in itself was a shocker.
Some have asked, “Did you make any other life style changes at the time?” No, I simply got off the couch and ran and by doing that I lost the first 30 pounds. In the spring of 2011, I had gained a few pounds over the winter – it was then I was determined to make running a real part of my life – no more excuses – not when it rained – not when it snowed – whether hot or cold – I was going to run. In the fall of 2011, I made a second change – I decided to start eating better. That’s when the weight really started to come off and by the spring of 2012 I was near my goal weight.
Five years later I have run 4 half marathons – a full marathon – and various 5K’s. I hang around my goal weight and Tuesday I go for a physical to see how I am doing. This has been an amazing journey. If I can be of help to you, let me know. I don’t have all the answers – especially when it comes to running injuries, but I can be an encouragement. I know how the transformation feels.
Over the last five years this has become my running and life verse:
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
So I encourage you – as I have to Press on!
I was up early this morning and really excited about today’s run. My goal was to run 8+ miles at around a 9:00/mile pace. If I completed this goal – it would be my longest run since the last Saturday of June. In addition, I wanted a pain-free run – no hip pain. One of the things that happen when you haven’t done a long run in a while is that all the other runs seem hard – I have been adjusting to the short runs and now that my runs are getting to the right distance, hopefully everything else will fall in place.
When I got to the first mile I was just under a 9 minute mile – not bad considering the first mile is primarily up hill. The second mile is almost all downhill, So by the end of that mile I was solidly under a 9 minute mile. I kept that pace on the mildly uphill mile three and began dreading miles 4 and 5 – the toughest miles on today’s course. Mile 4 has a long uphill and mile 5 is a long false flat – meaning your are going uphill when you think you are running on the level. By mile 5 I was at a 9:03 pace. The good news is that mile six is mildly downhill – but the mile marker is tough to determine. Mile 7 is another slight uphill and by the time I hit that I was in the area of a 9:05 pace. Mile 8 to the end is uphill and/or flat. In Staunton there are uphills everywhere. When I got home and put in my time – my pace came out to a flat 9:00 – so I accomplished all three goals – 8+ miles, 9:00/mile pace, and pain free.
As I waited for Pam to finish her walk, a feeling came over me that I haven’t felt in a long time – it was the feeling of endorphins washing over my body – so cool. This was a great run on all accounts and I am hoping for more over the next few week.
Just because I think everyone needs this – today! You are an overcomer!
Courtesy our friends at Children’s Ministry Deals
1. If you can’t get backstage passes, at least you could eat lunch with them everyday.
2. Nothing says “child of the 80’s” like a Troll.
Via Judith Park-Ebeling on Pinterest
3. Why carry 8 pens, when you can carry 1 the size of a small club.
4. Anyone else ever try to turn a whole pencil into sawdust in one sitting? That was a workout!
5. Back when every kid had to get a tetanus shot just to eat lunch.
6. They don’t taste like they smell.
7. Anyone remember what the cowboy boot sticker smelled like?
8. Lisa Frank now makes survival packs, specifically tarps that can be seen from outer space.
9. The coolness of your pencil toppers determined your social status for the rest of the year, don’t mess this up!
10. This was 5 star dining in the cafeteria.
1 Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
Let the whole world know what he has done.
2 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
3 Exult in his holy name;
rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
4 Search for the Lord and for his strength;
continually seek him.
5 Remember the wonders he has performed,
his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
6 you children of his servant Abraham,
you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.
23 Then Israel arrived in Egypt;
Jacob lived as a foreigner in the land of Ham.
24 And the Lord multiplied the people of Israel
until they became too mighty for their enemies.
25 Then he turned the Egyptians against the Israelites,
and they plotted against the Lord’s servants.
26 But the Lord sent his servant Moses,
along with Aaron, whom he had chosen.
Praise the Lord!
This morning as I write the sun is coming over the hill. These are great words to read on a Friday morning. I think about all that needs to be done today – Pam and I are playing taxi today, so the day looks a little crazy and I think we are going out to celebrate my birthday tonight – I say all that because these words cause me to pause – to take a little break. Why? It is a reminder to give thanks to the Lord and to proclaim his greatness. I have been working my way through a series of videos by Louie Giglio. The most recent one I watched is called “How Great Is Our God.” It is a reminder of how big God is and how small we are. This psalm give us the commandment to proclaim God’s greatness everywhere. We are to let everyone know how great God is. How do we do that? We sing his praises. The psalmist even repeats the phrase with some emphasis. We are to tell and sing about all the wonderful things God has done. In this psalm, the psalmist goes on to recount how God has been faithful in the past – telling short stories of how God worked with Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, Joseph and Moses.
We are to give God all the praise – we are to lift up his holy name. I think it is interesting that right here the psalmist reminds us to seek the Lord – search for his strength – continually seek him. In the hustle and bustle of every day, we need to be reminded of this. Our God is great and it is only through him that we have any strength. We are reminded of this by the apostle Paul – in our weakness, He is strong. How do we do that – we are reminded to remember the wonders that God has done.
So today as you read this I encourage you to praise the Lord – in word – in deed – in song – with your heart – with your soul – with your mind – with all of your strength
Praise the Lord!
From the Beloit College Website:
Each August since 1998, Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., has released the Beloit College Mindset List, providing a look at the cultural touchstones and experiences that have shaped the worldview of students entering colleges and universities in the fall.
Behind the light humor of the Mindset List there are always some serious issues about the future of the class and their role in the future of the nation. The digital technology that affords them privacy from their parents, robs them of their privacy amid the “big data” of the NSA and Google. How will the absence of instant on-line approval impact their performance in the classroom and work place? Will this generation continue to seek reliance on prescription medications to address challenges and adjust reality?
Between the medications and the social media this generation is able to do what, once upon a time, only celebrities could do: advertise their self-designed personalities. Will that keep them from ever finding their authentic selves, or will they go through life with a “virtual” identity.
The Mindset List is assembled each year by Ron Nief and Tom McBride at Beloit College. It was initially created as a reminder to faculty to be wary of dated references and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing perception of each new generation as they make an important transition. It is requested by thousands of readers, reprinted in hundreds of print and electronic publications internationally, and used for a wide variety of purposes. It has caught the imagination of the public and draws responses from around the world and a million visitors to the website each year.
Students heading into their first year of college this year were generally born in 1996.
Among those who have never been alive in their lifetime are Tupac Shakur, JonBenet Ramsey, Carl Sagan, and Tiny Tim.
On Parents’ Weekend, they may want to watch out in case Madonna shows up to see daughter Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon or Sylvester Stallone comes to see daughter Sophia.
For students entering college this fall in the Class of 2018…
1. During their initial weeks of kindergarten, they were upset by endlessly repeated images of planes blasting into the World Trade Center.
2. Since they binge-watch their favorite TV shows, they might like to binge-watch the video portions of their courses too.
3. Meds have always been an option.
4. When they see wire-rimmed glasses, they think Harry Potter, not John Lennon.
5. “Press pound” on the phone is now translated as “hit hashtag.”
From The Gospel Coalition:
I have officiated more than 40 funerals ranging from suicides to infants. I have buried the young and the old. I have sat in hospitals with the dying as well as in prisons with those who have taken life. For the last two years, I have walked with my Resplendent Bride as she has suffered through lymphoma, leukemia, and a bone marrow transplant.
With one addled brained banality, I hope to forever clinch my claim to the title of Captain Obvious by opening an article on how to disciple a member of the fellowship of the suffering with this astute observation: “People suffer differently.” So the process of discipling them through their pain will look different depending upon the person who walks next to you through the shadow-lands.
People suffer differently. People are soothed differently. The goal of discipleship in the midst of suffering must be comfort in Christ, for the closer we walk with the Lord Jesus the more we see of the massive burden he always carries on our behalf. Surely the Lord Jesus walks with us through the feasts and the famines (Ps. 23).
Here are some lessons I have learned since joining the fellowship of suffering.