A Little Warmer (for now)
Today for the first time in several days, the mercury topped 30 degrees. This is 10 degrees colder than normal at this time of year. The forecast is for snow tomorrow, followed by a drop in temps for a few days. At this point the mercury will recover somewhere around Monday – so it looks like another cold weekend. I know there are those who have it much worse than we do. I think about those days in Upstate New York when the mercury didn’t rise above 0 .
Today a crew led by our lead pastor’s wife came over to help us clean the house and get ready to move in. They did a great job and we are so thankful for their help. At this point, we are only waiting for final approval to move in. That should happen in the next day or two. As if I haven’t said it already – “I can’t wait!”
It was finally my turn to teach and we had a great turnout tonight – we had 12 students along with 7 volunteers. The students did a great job singing during the worship time and I taught the middle schoolers – which was a good time as well.
Wednesday night is also praise team rehearsal. They did a great job learning the Matt and Beth Redman “Blessed Be Your Name.” It’s one of my favorites and I look forward to adding it to our line-up. That song and some of the others we rehearsed help support the theme of this week’s message – Perseverance in the face of persecution. We are singing to great hymns as well – “O God Our Help in Ages Past” and “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah.” I am really looking forward to worship with the Parkway family on Sunday.
Remember that our identity lies in Jesus Christ!
Cool, Brisk Morning
Like I mentioned this morning in my running update, we had a cool start to the morning, although not quite as cool as my friends in Wisconsin (right Mark?) It warmed up to the low 40’s this afternoon. It looks like that will be the pattern for the next week, with a small chance of snow on Saturday
8 More Days ‘Till Christmas
After I finished my run, Pam and the girls and I went out Christmas shopping. We went over the mountain to Charlottesville which has quite a nice assortment of stores. We had a great time and then came home and got the car washed. It’s hard to believe that Christmas is almost here. I know all my teacher friends can’t wait till Friday afternoon.
This evening, we went to the Stewart Middle School band concert. James plays in the 7th grade band. We really enjoyed the concert. The bands — all four of them — including one Jazz Band — did a great job. It looks like we have a great music program at our schools. [Here are some pictures.]
Tomorrow looks to be a busy day — Seize the Day!
Looks like we dodged a bullet — a freezing rain bullet that is. This morning we woke up to all rain — it had rained most of the night. Winter has decided to show up in the Shenandoah Valley. There are no more 50 degree days in the forecast. There is a chance of snow on Saturday and/or Sunday, depending on whose forecast you listen to.
We are getting ever closer to being able to move into our new house. Today the kitchen cabinets arrive and they began to install those and the hardwood floors are being worked on. All of this is very exciting.
Tonight we had one of our final rehearsals for our Christmas musical on Sunday. It went pretty well. I’m really looking forward to presenting it.
Tomorrow night our girls will begin their travels home. They are riding Amtrak home and we pick them up Friday morning. It will be good to have them home again.
That’s about it — it has been a good couple of days — looking forward to the rest of the week. Seize the Day!
The Weatherman Was Correct
Today turned out exactly as forecasted. It was also one of those cold right down to your bones kind of days. Then it began raining. Yuk! It is actually warmer now than it has been all day topping out at around 50 degrees at 10:00 at night. It must have rained a whole lot because we are now under a flood watch. I believe tomorrow is suppose to be much nicer with highs in the low 50’s.
Should Be A Nice Day to Run
I am already planning on going out for a run tomorrow afternoon. It will be the first time in several weeks that I have gone out on only one day’s rest. That should make for a good run.
Today was a day of planning and preparation. Preping for tonight’s praise team practice and worship for our student ministries. It’s been several weeks since we have had a worship time on Wednesday night, so that was really nice. One of the songs that I taught tonight was “Jesus Messiah.” We even had our own Advent candle lighting as part of our worship time.
We had a great time tonight — I really enjoyed sitting in the the Middle School class as they talked about worship. It was a good night. Pam had a good time with the younger children.
The team did a great job on the tunes that I presented them tonight including a old Charles Wesley Advent hymn called “Celebrate Immanuel’s Name.” It took us several times through but we finally got it and it sounds really nice. I really can’t wait till Sunday to sing it with the congregation.
That’s about it for tonight. What a great day I had today. Looking forward to the rest of the week. Seize the Day!
Cloudy, Cool, Rainy — Very Fall Like
We are heading into late fall here in the Shenandoah Valley. Most of the leaves are off the trees, although here and there, there are leaves. The days continue to get cooler and this afternoon, it began to rain and cool down. It was rather dark tonight on our way home from church.
In spite of the weather, this morning was fairly nice — 40 degrees and cloudy. I was able to get in a 5.2 mile run. I am averaging a 13:15 minute mile right now and continue to try to pick up the pace. That was about the pace that I ran the 5K at several weeks ago. I’ve discovered that my weight has leveled off — I’ve been at the same weight for three weeks. Hopefully we can change that by next week 🙂
We had Thanksgiving Dinner at church tonight and had a very good crowd. I would say that we were well over 100. The ladies and probably some men did a great job cooking. The food was wonderful. It was great to hear what everyone was thankful for.
The highlight of the night was our rehearsal for Sunday. Our team is growing stronger each week. Tonight we worked on a song we have done one other time and the team nailed it — including the harmonies. We had a great time as we not only rehearsed, but worshiped and fellowshipped.
Tomorrow involves some clean up from tonight and a board meeting — All things that are part of building God’s Kingdom. Seize the Day!
Home, Sweet Home
We arrived home from Table Rock tonight, just in time for praise team practice. We took a beautiful route through the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, which was beautiful. It rained on and off from Pickens, SC to Bristol, VA, then it rained continuously. We had a great time at FLAME, but I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed.
The rain has made it about impossible to run over the last several days. And my left foot has decided to swell for no apparent reason. Hopefully the swelling will go down and I will be able to run on Friday. Several at FLAME commented that they have been watching my progress and were inspired to start their own fitness program.
Spiritual retreats and mountain tops are great places to spend some time — now it’s time to do work and pitch my tent in the valley and get back to work — Seize the Day!
Winter looks like it is approaching here in the Shenandoah Valley. We have now awoken several mornings to frost on the car. The next few days appear that they are going to be on the cool side. It was a nippy run this morning
This morning I set a new personal best by running 5 miles. I was able to run that in 65 minutes which equates to a 13 minute mile. For the most part, running five miles didn’t seem much different than running 4 miles. I was happy to keep my 13 minute mile pace.
The house is really beginning to move along. All the rooms are painted. Electrical outlets and switches have been installed in the three bedrooms. The lighting fixtures have also been installed in the bedrooms. The HVAC is now completely installed, which means that we are getting very close — still need to finish the floors and install the tile — finish the electrical and install doors and trim. And we still need kitchen cabinets and appliances and bathroom fixtures, but overall it’s getting very close and Pam and I are getting excited.
We got a call from Anna this morning that she has the flu (Yea!)
Beyond the Gates of Splendor
Tonight we combined our student ministries with our adult ministries and viewed a segment of a Stephen Curtis Chapman DVD. It was the story of Nate Saint, Jim Elliott and 3 others who were missionaries to a savage group of people in Ecuador in 1955. I really recommend you read the Elizabeth Elliott book of the same title as well as get the DVD and watch it. It is a great story of God’s mercy, forgiveness, and grace. The question is, “What would you be willing to give up in order to share the gospel?” These five men gave their lives, so that others could live — just like Jesus gave his life so that we could live. It was a powerful evening.
Tomorrow me and our lead pastor have a breakfast meeting with H. B. London speaking. It should be a great morning. Have a great rest of the week and Seize the Day!
Dismal Start — Beautiful Finish
That describes the weather today. It started out damp and cool, but this afternoon was really gorgeous. The leaves have passed their peak now, but we are still enjoying the colorful display of the leaves. These have been some beautiful weeks here in the Shenandoah Valley.
Big news! The sheet rock is installed and sanded. We are ready for paint. All the trim is painted and is ready for installation. HVAC is completed except for trim items. The best news is that our local power company came and finished the electrical hookup. So there is now power at the house and we can now have heat for laying tile and electric for finishing the floors. Everything is really coming together now — it shouldn’t be long until we make the move to Staunton.
School Bus Driver Training
This week I began training to drive as a substitute for Augusta County Schools. Tonight I finished day 3. I want to thank my great group of volunteers at church who helped me out tonight. Thanks a ton — you guys are great. I am learning a lot about transporting students. We finish up next Monday night with the classroom training and then its on to road training.
Yesterday, we had high speed internet installed at the church. Yea!!! I spent some time getting the modem working and tomorrow I need to spend time in the attic running Cat 5 cable to the router. At the moment you can get internet in the storage closet, but that should change tomorrow.
I already mentioned how well my run went this morning — that only means that I will need to begin to work harder to get the same results. The good news is that I have lost another pound or two. I didn’t weigh myself until this afternoon, after we had had lunch. I still had a one pound loss despite that. I plan on getting a better measurement tomorrow.
That’s about it — tomorrow will be another big day and Sunday is Friend Day and we are expecting a big crowd. Looking forward to it. Seize the Day.
Beautiful Fall Weather
Today had one of those cool starts, but by 11 AM it was building into a very nice fall day. I love the fall, especially here in the South.
Things have really begun to move on the house. Here are some pictures. The front lawn is beginning to grow. The house is insulated and drywall started going in this morning. It is really looking nice. All the hardwood floor is in. We are looking forward to moving in soon.
Running Update Pt. 2
I’ve already shared how well I did today. As of today, I have lost 12 + pounds. I weighed in at 248 pounds today. Let’s just say I’m very pleased.
We had a great time during student ministries. I really enjoyed listening to the students as we sang. They did a great job. I sat in with the High School students and enjoyed the lesson from one of our great volunteers. After that we had a really good praise team rehearsal.
It looks like another nail-biting finish for the Phillies. Hopefully the Phils wrap it up tonight – really needed that pop-up in the top of the eighth.
We have a big day tomorrow again. Seize the Day!
Looks like we have hit a stretch of un-fall like (at least for Staunton) weather. It’s more like early winter — highs in the low 40’s – snow in the forecast for the weekend — yuk. I’m really hoping I can get a run in tomorrow and Saturday
Speaking of running — today I had a chance to get on the scale to see what I had lost since the first time I weighed myself a couple a weeks ago — the great news is that I have lost 9 pounds. This is more than enough motivation to continue. I just hope the weather doesn’t mess me up.
Since it is Wednesday, tonight was Student Ministries night — we are still lacking a name and I’ve encouraged our students to come up with one. It was a night for all the usuals and sickness has hit our ranks. We only had 9 students with 4 staff tonight. But it was a fun night as we sang and then I taught Middle School.
Tomorrow will be spent getting ready for our church’s Fall Festival (Family Fun Day) on Saturday. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. Hope you have a great rest of the week. Seize the Day!