Memorial Day

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Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans — established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

Today I encourage you to remember those who have fallen in service to our country.  If you are able, I encourage you to find a local Memorial Day service.  If you are here in Augusta County, there is a beautiful service held at the Gypsy Hill Park Bandstand.  It starts at 10 AM and features the music of the Stonewall Jackson Brigade Band.

Remember those who have fallen in service to our country and especially pray for those who are missing a loved one as a result.

Sunday Night Thoughts

Sunday Night Thoughts

9 Years

I know that I mentioned this last week, but since the anniversary date fell much closer to today than last Sunday, I thought I would mention it again.  Nine years ago on a Sunday Night, this little blog, known then as Virginia Transplant began.  Little did I know that I would outlast a whole bunch of other blogs.  I owe a great debt of gratitude to Mark Wilson for the encouragement to start.

This past week the blog fell silent – I wasn’t feeling very inspired and those times have happened from time to time.  Hopefully this week will be better and I’ll have some original thoughts to share as well as some great articles from other writers.

The Kids are Coming

This may be the thing that keeps me from doing too much writing this week.  Our kids from Canada will be heading our way.  We miss them so much and we look forward to this week together.  It will be fun!

Visiting Family

Yesterday, Pam and I and Anna and James took the trip up to York, PA to visit with Pam’s family.  We had a great time and a fun picnic.  We played a great, yet different version of Frisbee Golf.  James is quite the Frisbee thrower.  It was a bit cool and because of that we didn’t realize the amount of sun we got.  Both James and I got a bit of sunburn.  It is always great to see family.

The Transition

We are still in a state of transition.  Do we know where we are going yet?  No, but slowly I believe the Lord is revealing where He is leading.  I would encourage you to keep you in our prayers and we will be keeping you updated as we seek the Lord’s will.

Pentecost Sunday

Today was Pentecost Sunday – the birthday of the Church.  You will notice I used the large C indicating the church universal.  Today we celebrated the Holy Spirit filling the believers in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost.  Peter preached a message and 3000 people were saved that day and the world has not been the same since.  I had a different worship team (Pam and Stephanie) helped me out on vocals and did a great job.  We had a new person on sound and were training someone on video.  All in all I thought it went well.  The Holy Spirit’s presence was evident in the service.

Memorial Day

Tomorrow is Memorial Day – the day we remember those who lost their lives for the freedom of our country.  We plan on going to a local Memorial Day service that is held in Gypsy Hill Park.  This is a Memorial Day tradition for us as we remember…Remembering is a great thing to do…it is important to look back as we build a bridge to the future.

Wrapping It Up

My prayer is that you have an awesome week – that God will reveal Himself to you in new ways – that that you always live for Him.  Seize the Day!

Aldersgate Day

20150518-2Today almost passed without me mentioning Aldersgate Day.  Some may wonder what that is.  With all the excitement of Pentecost Sunday and tomorrow being Memorial Day here, I forgot about this little known day in Christian history.

What is Aldersgate Day?

Aldersgate Day is celebrated on May 24 (or the Sunday closest) to commemorate the day in 1738 when John Wesley experienced assurance of his salvation.  Wesley reluctantly attended a group meeting that evening on Aldersgate Street in London.  As he heard a reading from Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to the Romans, he felt his “heart strangely warmed.”   Wesley wrote in his journal that at about 8:45 p.m. “while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”

Charles Wesley only a few days before had also had a conversion experience in the same place. The building where the meetings took place no longer exists. Aldersgate Street has been shortened by common Methodist usage to simply Aldersgate. The word has come to represent both the place and the experience.


Since Wesleyans derive much of their theology from John Wesley, this is a great day to commemorate.  I find it interesting that this year Pentecost and Aldersgate fell on the same day.  Pretty cool if you ask me.  So Happy Aldersgate Day!

Sunday Set List

May 24, 2015

Pentecost Sunday

Welcome and Announcements

Call to Worship – Pentecost Video

Songs of Worship

     Come People of the Risen King

     Pentecostal Power

     The Potter’s Hand

Video – A Memorial Day Prayer

Prayer

Songs of Worship

     Holy Spirit Rain Down

     Fill Me Now

Offering 

Worship Through God’s Word

Song of Commitment

     Lord, I Need You

Benediction

Prayer for Pentecost

cropped-pentecost-front.jpgAlmighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

or this

O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Running Update

bigstockphoto_running_5360616.s600x600Well this morning, even before the sun was up, I went out for a run.  Just a short three miler and a slow three miler at that.  The good thing is that for the first time in several weeks -since the half-marathon, I ran 20 miles and everything is finally feeling the way it should.  At my current rate, I’m not going to see 100 miles for this month, but I am trying to build a solid base and not injure my hip again.  This has been a good week of running.  Even this morning’s sluggish run was faster than a 9:00/mile.  This week all my runs will stay the same except for the long run on Monday and I am going to try to take that out to 7 or 8 miles.  I really need to start running some hour + runs.  That’s about it – have a great week – Pressing On!

Pentecost Sunday

pentecost6Day of Pentecost (May 24, 2015)

  • First reading
  • Psalm
  • Second reading
  • Gospel
    • John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

      O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
          In wisdom you have made them all.
          The earth is full of your creatures.
      Here is the ocean, vast and wide,
          teeming with life of every kind,
          both large and small.
      See the ships sailing along,
          and Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea.

      They all depend on you
          to give them food as they need it.
      When you supply it, they gather it.
          You open your hand to feed them,
          and they are richly satisfied.
      But if you turn away from them, they panic.
          When you take away their breath,
          they die and turn again to dust.
      When you give them your breath, life is created,
          and you renew the face of the earth.

      May the glory of the Lord continue forever!
          The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made!
      The earth trembles at his glance;
          the mountains smoke at his touch.

      I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
          I will praise my God to my last breath!
      May all my thoughts be pleasing to him,
          for I rejoice in the Lord.

      Let all that I am praise the Lord.

      Praise the Lord!


      On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place.Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

      At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem.When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.

      They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome(both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!” They stood there amazed and perplexed. “What can this mean?” they asked each other.

      But others in the crowd ridiculed them, saying, “They’re just drunk, that’s all!”

      Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this. These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. Nine o’clock in the morning is much too early for that. No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:

      ‘In the last days,’ God says,
          ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
      Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
          Your young men will see visions,
          and your old men will dream dreams.
      In those days I will pour out my Spirit
          even on my servants—men and women alike—
          and they will prophesy.
      And I will cause wonders in the heavens above
          and signs on the earth below—
          blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
      The sun will become dark,
          and the moon will turn blood red
          before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives.
      But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
          will be saved.’


Sunday Night Thoughts

Sunday Night Thoughtstumblr_inline_nh6gvocXAc1t4snhvNine Years

Nine years ago tonight my blogging career had it’s start.  Well, it all started on the third Sunday of May – the same day as our first Preston Wesleyan Homecoming.  The reason I got started blogging was because of my good friend Mark Wilson, the pastor of Hayward Wesleyan Church.  I was pastoring a small rural church at the time – transplanted to the south – my writings reflected the musings of a small rural church pastor – who also was trying to understand the culture into which he was called.  The official birthday is May 22.  I think I might post something more significant Friday.  In related news, a blog that I follow about athletic uniforms also started nine years ago today.

Currently Playing…

Of late Matt Maher has getting quite a bit of airplay around our house.  I’ve been teaching some of his songs at church and may even use another one this coming Sunday for Pentecost called “Burning In My Soul.”  I love his music because it doesn’t follow the typical pattern of most contemporary music and it is worship music with a strong guitar base – since most worship music is moving in the direction of keyboard orientation.  I encourage you to check out “Saints and Sinners” and “And All the People Said Amen.” Both of these are great albums and as I type I am listening to the Saints and Sinners album.  Great stuff.

Summer Warm-up

We have had a real taste of summer – today it has been quite humid.  We’ve been getting a lot of rain so the grass is growing like crazy, but it is great for getting out on runs.  It is so nice to get out in t-shirts and shorts instead of bundling up.

What the Future Holds?

As many of you know, we resigned our position at Parkway and are currently in the searching position.  It’s really been amazing as God has given us a peace this week…we have some things on the table, but I’m not ready to reveal anything at this time.  As things come into place, I’ll let you know…we would appreciate your continued prayers.

The Joy of the Lord

This morning was just one of those mornings…the joy of the Lord was evident in our service this morning.  We started off with a great gospel song, one of my mother-in-laws favorites when she was with us, “Victory In Jesus.” Our congregation sounded awesome as we sang this great song.  We continued with a relatively new song for our congregation, but they still sang well on “God Is Able.” The first set finished off with “How Great Is Our God” – another familiar tune.

One of the songs I have wanted to teach to our congregation was “This Is Amazing Grace.” This morning I sang it as the offertory with a track.  It was great and the congregation really enjoyed that as well.  It was just a great celebration of God’s victory in the resurrection of Jesus.

I’m looking forward to another celebration next week as we get ready to celebrate the birthday of the Church Universal – it’s Pentecost – the coming of the Holy Spirit – the birthday of the church.  I am looking forward to it and am encouraging our congregation to celebrate by dressing in bright colors.  It should be great!

Well, that’s about all I have for the evening.  I hope you all have a great week.  Remember to Seize the Day!

Sunday Set List

Sunday Set List Main

May 17, 2015
Seventh Sunday of Easter

Welcome and Announcements
Call to Worship and Invocation     Psalm 1:1-2

Songs of Worship
Victory In Jesus
God Is Able
How Great Is Our God
Worship Through Prayer
Songs of Worship
At Calvary
At the Cross
Missions Video
Worship Through Giving
Worship Through God’s Word

Song of Commitment
I Will Rise
Benediction