Sunday Night Thoughts

Sunday Night Thoughts

56 Days Until Our First Sunday In Eldred

  • We are finally under the 60 day mark.  There is quite a bit of work to be done yet and yet the boxes are starting to pile up. We continue to look forward to the ministry that awaits us there.
  • This morning Pam and I were up early to take in a walk before church – I’m glad we did because it rained this afternoon – we went early because of the annual Art in the Park event. If it wouldn’t have been raining, there would have been a lot of people in the park.
  • Pam is just shy of 100 miles walking for the month. I just crossed over the 100 mile mark – currently I am at 111.
  • Because I have to work tomorrow, I will miss an event that we have tried to get to each year – the annual Memorial Day Service at Gypsy Hill Park – I am sad that I have to miss it.
  • However, we were able to catch the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS.  If you’ve not ever seen that before, you need to check it out – it is a wonderful program commemorating those who have died in service to our country and also those who have served.
  • We had a good morning of worship at Waynesboro Wesleyan – by the way, I invite you to our Farewell event on July 17 at Waynesboro Wesleyan.  The service will be at 6 PM and will involve a lot of music – surprise, surprise!
  • This week is a busy week at work – so, it is time to get to bed.
  • Have a great week!

 

Prayer for the Week

Prayer_Banner_22-760x176O God, your never-failing providence sets in order all things both in heaven and earth: Put away from us, we entreat you, all hurtful things, and give us those things which are profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Running Update

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Here we are on the 28th of May.  It has been an interesting month.  The last couple of runs have been tough and now as I look back – on the month – and especially this week, I understand why I struggled.

So far this month I have run/walked 107+ miles.  The last time I did anywhere close to that mileage was back in October of 2014 – that my friends is a long time ago – at least in terms of running.  In addition, this week I ran/walked 37 miles.  That stat I don’t have readily available, but it has been a long time since I ran/walked 37 miles in a week.

This week did have a long run of 10 miles and I have been having moderate success with long runs this month.

I started out today slow, but by the end of the run my pace was down to a 9:39…not too shabby considering I worked 40 hours this week – on my feet for the full 40 hours and I ran 37 miles.

My plans for the end of the month include a walk tomorrow – a run on Monday morning and possibly a short run on Tuesday – my work schedule is a little weird next week.

Wednesday is National and Global Running Day – I have at least a 7 miler scheduled for that day – I have to work on Wednesday, so I’d rather not push that into a long run. That’s why I plan to run on Tuesday, to make up some of that mileage.

As you can tell, I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough month and still I Press On!

The Good News

Proper 4 (9) (May 29, 2016)


Galatians 1:1-12

This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ himself and by God the Father, who raised Jesus from the dead.

All the brothers and sisters here join me in sending this letter to the churches of Galatia.

May God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen.

I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.

Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.


We have now reached the long season of Ordinary Time.  It’s not what you think.  Click hear for a post on It’s Not Really Ordinary – the short version is that Ordinary Time means Counted Time. We are not in any particular season, so we count the Sundays by the Sunday’s after Pentecost.

For the next several weeks, we are going to be looking at Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia.  We best know it as Galatians.  This week we look at the introduction to the letter.  You may notice that when I put in the scripture, I strip it of the headings and the verse and chapter markings. Bible Gateway makes it easy to that.  “Why?” you may ask.  Because remember that these were letters written by Peter, Paul, or James to a specific church (Rome, Corinth, Philipi) or person (in the case of Timothy) or a group of people (Hebrews, James.)  The point is they were letters and did not have chapter and verse markings.  Also remember that the headings were and are added by the editors.

With that in mind, let’s look at Paul’s introduction.  Paul jumps in and tells us by what authority he is writing this letter – no bishops or ecclesiastical authority has authorized this letter.  Paul is reminding his audience that Jesus himself and God the Father selected Paul to preach the Gospel or the Good News. It appears that this was important for the selected audience to know – Paul is an apostle – not by his own choosing or by someone else’s choosing but by God himself.  God chose Paul to preach the Gospel – to preach the Good News – and to take that Good News to not only the Jews (of which Paul was one) but also to the Gentles. God had good reason because Paul was a Roman citizen – it meant that he had access to much of the Roman empire.  Jesus reminded Paul that he would also suffer for preaching the good news.

This is what drove Paul and he was writing to the church in Galatia because of a controversy there. We will get into that in the coming weeks.  Suffice it to say that Paul really needed to write this letter for the sake of the church.  Some were forgetting the true gospel and were getting caught up in another gospel – one that wasn’t from Jesus.

Paul reminds us that Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.” This in itself is a short statement on what the true gospel is.  Apparently some in Galatia were teaching something else.  Paul wants the church to know that we should only preach the Good News – nothing else.  The Good News is that Jesus gave up his life for our sins to rescue us!  Don’t accept anything else as the Good News.  

Paul makes it plain that this letter is not so that he can win approval from the church – no.  That is a good reminder for us that preach the good news – we don’t do it so we can win approval from the church – we don’t do it to please people – no – we preach the gospel because God has called us – and sometimes — people will get angry when we preach the truth rather than what they want to hear.  Paul says those who do not preach the good news or preach another gospel should be cursed.

Sometimes there are those who say we preach nonsense – that it doesn’t make sense in our human minds. Paul reminds us that the Good News is not based on human reasoning.  After all it doesn’t make much sense that God himself would come as one of us – die for us in our place – taking our sins as his own – so that we could be restored to the original plan that God had for us.  And yet – that is exactly what happened when Jesus came to die for us.  The creator died at the hands of his creation and paid the price for his creations sins.  That my friends is a great love.  And that is the heart of the gospel and the Good News.

It’s what Peter preached at Pentecost and afterwards.  It’s what Stephen preached before he was stoned to death and ultimately it is what Paul preached and ultimately was the cause of his death.  All of the original apostles – save John – died for the gospel that they preached.  The preached it because they believed it – because they received it directly from God himself.

Today we have God’s Word – in a book form – the Bible.  Those revelations have been revealed to us and now we must take the Word that we received and preach the gospel to a world that needs it.  It might be costly.  It might cost us our very life – again that doesn’t make sense to give up our life for the gospel – but the gospel is not based on human reasoning.

So tell others about the Good News – the real Good News!

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Memorial Day

MilitaryGSA_Banner.jpgThis weekend we celebrate (or better yet) commemorate Memorial Day.  May is Armed Forces Month and last week we celebrated Armed Forces Day – when we celebrate those who are currently serving in one of the branches of our Armed Forces.

This weekend is Memorial Day – when we remember those who have died during service to their country.  As it should be, Memorial Day is more of a somber day.  Unfortunately for many it is just a day of celebration (some celebrate it as the day the pools open, it is called the unofficial start of summer, there are picnics and so on.) There isn’t anything wrong with celebration – in fact – I like a good party, but this Monday, let’s take the time to remember those who have died in service to their country and the families that are impacted by those deaths.

In honor of Memorial Day, I came across a great article on time.com called, “7 Things You Didn’t Know About Memorial Day. ” [click on the underlined title to see the article and an accompanying video.]

Here is a summary of the 7 things.

1. It was originally called Decoration Day

2. It wasn’t always celebrated the last Monday of May

3. It’s legally required to observe a National Moment of Remembrance

4. James A. Garfield delivered a rather lengthy speech at the first Memorial Day ceremony

5. Several states observe Confederate Memorial Day

6. Waterloo, New York is considered the birthplace of Memorial Day

7. More than 36 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home this Memorial Day

This Monday take time to remember those who died in service of our great country.