Sunday Night Thoughts

Sunday Night Thoughts

It’s hard to believe that it’s time to start another week.  Pam and I have spent the last hour making some cookies.  It was my idea, but Pam is such a good baker.  We have two reasons for making cookies – 1) for my co-workers at Chick-fil-A this weekend – first for Friday (Black Friday) and then for Saturday (while not Black Friday – Virginia Tech and University of Virginia are playing in Charlottesville and we usually get a crowd of hungry football fans in our store.  While we were making the cookies we were listening to the new  Getty Christmas album.  It is a live album of their Christmas material. While offering some different arrangements and stylings, it is familiar and I am enjoying it.  I love the new hymns that the Gettys have been writing for the church.

I’ve already mentioned the big weekend ahead and this coming weekend kicks off a new church year beginning with Advent.  Not only that, but here in the states we also celebrate Thanksgiving. Our family has to work our dinner around Anna’s Cracker Barrel schedule, but I think once we drop her off, we are going to take some of the cookies to our friends at Sheetz and Hess.

It was a good morning as we celebrated Thanksgiving at Waynesboro Wesleyan.  We have enjoyed working with this congregation and in turn, they have blessed us as well.

This afternoon, Pam and I went out for a walk – it was a bit chilly.  Our bodies are still getting used to the colder weather. It’s been quite warm of late.  I’m going to go for a walk in the cool of the morning tomorrow and may try a few runs to see how the hamstring is working out.

That’s about all I have for tonight.  I hope you have a great week!

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good – His faithful love endures forever!

Prayer for the Week

cross-crownAlmighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Running Update | Testing the Waters

person-in-red-shorts-with-leg-crampsSo I was out running on Wednesday, doing my long run.  I was well warmed up – at about the halfway point, so I was already over 5 miles, when I felt a sharp pain in the back of my thigh – more running was out of the question.  At first I simply thought it was a cramp – but the next day while on break at work, I came across an article from Runner’s World about hamstrings.  Apparently, I’ve pulled it – and it is a mild strain.  I’ve been resting (as much as possible while still working 40 hours) and taking the typical anti-inflammatory meds and elevating it when possible.

This morning I thought I would go out and find out how things were doing.  I went out to the track – where I took my very first serious run 6 years ago – very gently – very slowly – I got out to about 150 meters and slowed back to a walk.  It looks like I’ll have to wait, although I did do the same thing three more times this morning.  As I was finishing up I had a strange thought.  Six years ago after doing the same thing, I thought I was going to die – and it took 20 minutes to do it.  Today those same four laps took just 13:07 and except for the mild pain in my hamstring, felt really good – It doesn’t really feel like I did anything, but I didn’t want to go further and risk pulling something.  It looks like walks are in my future for the next week or so.

So for now, I’m pressing on even as I rest.

Reign of Christ Sunday


Reign of Christ – Proper 29 (34) (November 22, 2015)

 


 

Psalm 132:1-18 New Living Translation

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

Lord, remember David
    and all that he suffered.
He made a solemn promise to the Lord.
    He vowed to the Mighty One of Israel,
“I will not go home;
    I will not let myself rest.
I will not let my eyes sleep
    nor close my eyelids in slumber
until I find a place to build a house for the Lord,
    a sanctuary for the Mighty One of Israel.”

We heard that the Ark was in Ephrathah;
    then we found it in the distant countryside of Jaar.
Let us go to the sanctuary of the Lord;
    let us worship at the footstool of his throne.
Arise, O Lord, and enter your resting place,
    along with the Ark, the symbol of your power.
May your priests be clothed in godliness;
    may your loyal servants sing for joy.
For the sake of your servant David,
    do not reject the king you have anointed.
The Lord swore an oath to David
    with a promise he will never take back:
“I will place one of your descendants
    on your throne.
If your descendants obey the terms of my covenant
    and the laws that I teach them,
then your royal line
    will continue forever and ever.”

For the Lord has chosen Jerusalem;
    he has desired it for his home.
“This is my resting place forever,” he said.
    “I will live here, for this is the home I desired.
I will bless this city and make it prosperous;
    I will satisfy its poor with food.
I will clothe its priests with godliness;
    its faithful servants will sing for joy.
Here I will increase the power of David;
    my anointed one will be a light for my people.
I will clothe his enemies with shame,
    but he will be a glorious king.”


So this post brings to a close the third cycle of 3’s.  Nine years ago, we looked at these readings as a whole and tried to find the connections.  Six years ago, I only put up the Old Testament readings. For the last three years we have looked at the Psalms and complete that this Sunday – “Reign of Christ” Sunday.  This coming Sunday completes the Christian Year.  Our readings have changed on year C, which throws a wrench into the works, but beginning on the first Sunday of Advent (November 29, 2015) we will look at the Epistles beginning again with Year C.


I think it is appropriate that the Christian year ends with Reign of Christ Sunday.  After all, Jesus will someday reign forever – even as He reigns now.  Over the last few weeks we have been studying in Sunday School, the book of Revelation.  I like the emphasis that our curriculum has put on the victory of the Lamb.  The Lamb represents Jesus.  On this Sunday we remember that Jesus is in control – that He is the victor – even as he rose again from the grave and then reminded His disciples on the Mount of Olives that he would return to establish his kingdom forever.

We have an eternal King who reigns forever.  This Sunday completes our year – before we start all over again.

Here is a contemporary version of the Isaac Watt’s hymn “Jesus Shall Reign.”


Here is a video that I created several years ago for Reign of Christ Sunday.  It is based on an old audio recording called “That’s My King.”

Through Thanksgiving There Is Peace

It is November again and there are a lot of people on Face Book doing the thirty day Thanksgiving challenge. The Thirty Day Thanksgiving Challenge is a challenge to find something that you are thankful for during the entire month of November. Now I am not against being thankful. It is a good thing to take the time to find things that you can are thankful for – but let’s remember to do this all year around. We should not only look for the really big stuff that happens to us but we need to remember the little things too. Maybe even the little things that happen every day.  The very first book I read this year was One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I even wrote a blog about it back in January. So I am not going review the book again. I want to let you know what effect it had in my life this year. A couple months ago, I used the One Thousand Gift Devotional for my devotions for sixty days.

Dale and I have been going through a dark period in our lives this year. As many of you know, Dale and I resigned our positions at the church where we were on staff.  So that meant we had to start sending out resumes.  We sent our resume’ to every church in our denominations that had a position open that we were interested in. We did not get a position. I have to say in most of those moments it was hard to see how God was blessing us. Honesty, it felt more like God had forgotten us. Then I start working through the devotional and started to see that sometimes God does not always gives us blessings that are big so that we are reminded that he is around. Most times it is in the everyday little stuff that we can see his blessing too. I have learned that peace does come in to your life when you start to be thankful for the things that God has given you. At the end of the devotional book, there are twenty pages with the numbers 1- 1000. So that the person how is using the devotion can start working on a list of things they are thankful for. In her book Ann, has some things a couple of time, like the bubble in the dish water turn colors when the sun shines on it. So do not worry it the some things bless you a couple times on your list.

I have started working on this list and have worked on it off and on this past year. I did not get up to a thousand gifts yet but it is a work in progress. So here is my list so far.

1.       My bed after a week away from home

2.       The warm shower on a cold rainy day

3.       My grandson singing.

4.       The little girls at church laughing

5.       The smell of cookies baking

6.       The sound of the heater on a cold night

7.       A good friend visiting

8.       The little gifts from friends to remind us they love us

9.       Not hitting the skunk on the road

10.   How the van lights make the snow sparkle

11.   Quiet moment at home

12.   The beauty of the snow dust on the ground

13.   Listening to our kids conversation in the back of the van

14.   A fawn eating grass in our yard

15.   Smelling cookies

16.   Encouragement from friends

17.   My Army friends

18.   Hot day to be able to walk

19.   Smell of rain

20.   The deer in the field

21.   Zucchini I have to shredded

22.   Electric to charge our stuff

23.   Health of our kids

24.   Ssg Bland’s smile

25.   Unexpected money given to us

26.   Not have to pay the doctor because over paid once

27.   Low gas bills

28.   Anna’s eye is better

29.   Meeting Tucker’s family

30.   Coins to take to the bank to cash in

31.   Encouraging letter from a friend

32.   Scrap booking paper and sticker giving to me from Kirsten

33.   Soda in the morning

34.   Encouraging phone call from a friend

35.   Time hanging out with the family

36.   The fall colors

37.   Robert’s sweet voice saying “Hi Pop”

38.   The smell of Apple pie

39.   A butter squash and banana peppers

40.   Supper with the whole family there

41.   A gift from a church we were not expecting

42.   Friends like Craig and Vilene

43.   Smiles and hugs from the women at Sheets

44.   How pretty frost paints the world

45.   That all my kids are out of high school

46.   The friendship God has blessed us in the time of waiting.

47.   The sun pecking out of the clouds when it is cloudy

48.   Technology to keep in touch with family out of state

49.   Face time our kids in Canada

50.   Spending a morning with just with Dale

51.   Giving us a place to ministering during this time of waiting

52.   The sound of the crows calling around our house.

53.   Letting me get back to blogging

54.   Jobs

55.   A warm November (praying it will be a warm winter)

56.   My Ipad Mini (best gift ever)

57.   An encouraging song

58.   Safety on the roads ( our family drives a lot on the road get back and forth to jobs)

59.   The beautiful sunset and sun rises

60.   I am thankful for buzzard. .Buzzards are really ugly but they are important in the world we live in.

61.   Our kids helping out without complaining

62.   How the fog changes nature’s view and how we look at the world around us.

63.   Safety on the road, especially yesterday, when one of the “neighborhood” deer ran across the driveway.  (We have that hazard almost every evening at this time of year.)

So instead of just spending thirty day being thankful, why not get a notebook and see if you can find thousand gifts.

 

 

 

 

The Purpose of the Church

The church now lives on earth between the historic saving event of the death and resurrection and the future coming of Christ when the transformation of the world will be completed. The church has been entrusted with the meaning of all time. The world does not know the meaning of its own history, but the church does. . . . The purpose of the church is to be a sign of the redemption as it declares the wonderful deeds of God in Christ accomplished in history and fulfilled at the end of time.

Robert E. Webber, Ancient-Future Time: Forming Spirituality through the Christian Year (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004), 26-27.