So the month of July is history running wise. I have 60 miles to show for it. I just checked and the mileage is down from last year in July. I know part of the reason is the additional time I am spending at Chick-fil-A. I will say the runs I have been on, despite the humid weather, have been good, quality runs. This week I got in 16 miles for the first time in a long time and I hope to put in at least that many miles next week. That’s about all I have – Pressing On!
So I thought I might try something different for a Wednesday post. Usually Wednesday’s post is something about worship. Since I am in a transition state, I have spent much more time on the road and much more time listening to music. One of the things that I have done is created some playlists in Spotify. One of those playlist is simply songs I like – no matter the genre. There are 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and even 2000’s songs on there – country, rock, pop – no rhyme nor reason. It is a great road trip playlist, because as Forest Gump once said, “You never know what you’re going to get.” It’s fun to put it on shuffle play and let it play. I think there are enough songs to play for 10 hours or more. As I was listening to that playlist, I found myself waxing nostalgic. I was listening to groups like Chicago, Toto, Kansas, and others. The musicianship was fabulous. I love listening to these groups.
One of the other playlists I have includes most of the Kansas discography. I have been going through some of the albums that I have never listened to before, mainly the first and second. One of the songs that I come back to over and over again is “Song for America.” It is an epic ten-minute song. I’ve included a video from the “No Place Like Home” DVD. It was recorded for The 35th anniversary of Kansas and has a full orchestra backing. Not that Kansas needed that, because with six members they can sound like an orchestra. Over the next few weeks, I plan on sharing some of my favorite music.
Song for America has become one of my favorite Kansas recordings – even eclipsing “Crossfire,” which for many years was my favorite. Perhaps because it is more mellow and has so many “classical” moments. Some is because of the interplay between the drums and bass. Phil Ehart does an amazing job on drums and that is one of the parts that intrigues me on this piece. So here on week 1 is “Song for America.”
“To pray does not imply that without prayer God would not give us anything or that He would be unaware of our needs, but it has this great advantage, that in the attitude of prayer the soul is best fitted to receive the Giver of blessing as well as those blessings He desires to bestow.”
Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929) Indian Christian missionary in his classic work, At The Master’s Feet, 3.2.1.
1. It goes without saying that the most important thing in the entire universe is God. Nothing else is possible by definition, for to be the one God is to be the most important thing.
God is the source of the universe. The universe could not exist without God, but God could exist without the universe. Those of us in the Wesleyan tradition, of course, believe that God values the creation. The creation is important because God loves it and wants good for it. Every human being is important because God loves it. Not a sparrow falls to the ground without God’s notice because God loves the creation (Matt. 10:29).
Accordingly, to say God is the most important thing in the universe does not mean that we devalue anything in the creation. It is merely to put the creation into proper perspective. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism says, “The chief purpose of humanity is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”
Yesterday morning we attended Church on the Hill and heard this song. It was almost like God was speaking directly through us in the music.
I think for the first time in nine years, I missed a Sunday Night Thoughts last week. Last Sunday was also the first Sunday in 17 years that we didn’t have a church home. We had planned to go to the mountains and have some family worship, but a family emergency came up and we went to visit some family in Pennsylvania. Everything is good there now. We came home on Monday. It was very strange not getting up and going to church. This doesn’t mean that we have ceased to minister, it’s just now we are not attached to a church – at least for the moment.
When we arrived back home on Tuesday we found out that our final lead – at least for now – had dried up. It was tough to say the least – and I had to go in to Chick-fil-A and lead the team. I am so thankful to my fellow team leaders and team members for helping me get through the day.
This week was a full week as a Team Leader at Chick-fil-A. We are continuing to seek the Lord’s guidance and direction. To be real honest and transparent, it has been tough. One of the thoughts that has going through my mind all week is “Yet I will praise Him!” God has had to remind me over and over and over again this week. We would continue to covet your prayers.
Our original plan for the day, was to try the same thing as last week, but we really felt that we needed to be in church – but where to go. We wanted to go somewhere that was 1) contemporary 2.) was big so we wouldn’t be noticed and could be incognito 3.) a place where nobody would know us. We managed to find the first two, but I think being that I work at Chick-fil-A, number 3 is going to be hard. Finally we decided on Church On the Hill. It is a Four Square Church. We tried to sneak in as close as possible to the beginning of the service. This is not my style – usually. Let’s just say that we were pleased. The service was an hour and a half long. They had a special guest, but I loved the way they presented it. It was done in a interview format. i would love to try that for a missions conference sometime in the future. The musical worship was great – it lasted about 45 minutes – with spontaneous prayers and planned prayers and music and come as you will communion. The songs I recognized were “Forever,” “Your Grace is Enough,” and “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” When I came home I looked for one of the two other songs. It was “You Never Fail” by Hillsong. Then they took some time to dismiss the children – that was cool – before the children left, they prayed a prayer of blessing on the children. There was some teaching about giving and then we took the offering followed by the special guest. The service was concluded by a real benediction – which was a nice change of pace.
After that we went to lunch and then came home – and … well…it was just too strange. There is a rhythm to a parsonage and that rhythm has been completely disrupted at the moment. It’s really strange not thinking about the service next week and planning for the next week, especially when you have done that for 17 years. Tomorrow is a weekend day of sorts for me – no Chick-fil-A tomorrow and then another full week there.
Again, Pam and I would appreciate your prayers. We want to be exactly where God wants us to be and in the meantime we want to seize every opportunity we can to minister right where we are. Seize the Day!
O god, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
This again was a tough week on the running front, but it did have some highlights. Monday morning we were at my mom and dads, so I got out for a very warm and humid run. My watch was back here in Staunton, so I went out for an unmeasured – time-wise at least – run of 3 miles. Wednesday I had to go into work at 8 and Anna had to be to work at 7, so there was no getting a run in then, but yesterday was great. I wanted to do six miles and did it and did it at around a 9:07/mile pace, while this isn’t great, it wasn’t bad considering I am still really getting used to being on my feet for forty hours a week. Hopefully I will be able to start increasing the mileage this week and get back to a decent running schedule. The important thing is to Press On!
Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
Proper 12 (17) (July 26, 2015)
- First reading and Psalm
- 2 Samuel 11:1-15
- Psalm 14
- Second reading
- Ephesians 3:14-21
- John 6:1-21
Only fools say in their hearts,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
not one of them does good!
2 The Lord looks down from heaven
on the entire human race;
he looks to see if anyone is truly wise,
if anyone seeks God.
3 But no, all have turned away;
all have become corrupt.
No one does good,
not a single one!
4 Will those who do evil never learn?
They eat up my people like bread
and wouldn’t think of praying to the Lord.
5 Terror will grip them,
for God is with those who obey him.
6 The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed,
but the Lord will protect his people.
7 Who will come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel?
When the Lord restores his people,
Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.