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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Daily Read July 31, 2010

I've been slacking lately with the Daily Reads... with Summer in the Son and vacation. Time to get back on track. Here is something for today... a little prophecy from Isaiah:

Isaiah 40:3-5 (New International Version)

3 A voice of one calling:
"In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.

4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.

5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."


progress visible...

I have now run 3 - 5k races.

My first was a Turkey Trot (on Thanksgiving) last fall. My second was the Susan G. Komen 5k in Columbus in May. My third was last night (July 30) here in Caldwell, the Fireman's Festival 5k.

Each time I run a 5k... I see some progress.

About 6 weeks ago, I realized (because I synced up my running software) that I was running a lot faster than I thought I was. I was also running a lot further than my software told me that I was.

So I set some goals for the 5k that I ran last night. I wanted to run the 5k in 24 minutes... or less than 8 minute miles. Admirable goals... difficult but achievable... and something to bench my progress by. I trained hard... I fought through some difficult times (see HERE). And felt like I was ready (well rested and hydrated).

Last night, I didn't achieve those goals. However, I did run hard and strong the entire time. I felt good. I felt like I ran as hard as I could without burning myself out or hurting myself... so that's good. Plus, I ran my race. I ran a 5k in the midst of a Caldwell Cross Country Reunion weekend (no joke)... so, everyone who was anyone in Caldwell Cross Country was there last night... including their 4 time State Champion!!!!!

While I was disappointed with my time, I felt satisfied with the run.

But I noticed something... progress.

My first 5k... Turkey Trot - 28m 38s
My second 5k... Komen 5k - 27s 09s
Last night's 5k... Festival 5k - 24m 54s

Progress.

Some days it's hard to go out and run and feel like you really aren't making any progress or you really aren't getting better. Some days I go out to run and feel like a failure because I don't complete my distance or don't do it in the time that I had hoped. But the reality is that in little ways, ways that I don't see on every run, I am getting better, stronger and faster.

As I was thinking about that, there is a spiritual dimension to that as well. In my own personal discipleship, I don't always see the progress that I'm making... ways that I'm growing... temptations that I avoid rather than fall prey to... Some days I only see my failures (like when I don't read as much... when I don't pray as much... when I make mistakes or don't take advantage of opportunities God sends my way... like when I don't finish a run as fast).

But there are times... milestones... when I can look back and see the progress.

The Apostle Paul compares the spiritual life to a race in 1 Corinthians 9:25-27... " 25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."

So... the next time you feel discouraged (in your spiritual life... in your running life... in life in general), remember that it's often difficult to see the progress everyday. Only occasionally do you get a glimpse of how far you've come and the progress you've made.

Jim

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Middle School Summer in the Son - Video!!!

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.



Here is the Middle School Summer in the Son video that we used as a countdown on Sunday!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Seinfeld Trailer - "Serenity Now" RE-CUT



Music makes all the difference!!! I love it when people do this with well-known videos!

Jim

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Running... and relationship with God...

I've been struggling with my running lately. I have been struggling with a distance barrier. I've been struggling to run past 5 miles for the past couple of weeks.

But I think I've got it figured out.

I've been thinking about it for the past couple of weeks and I think that the reason that I've been struggling with my distance lately is that somehow I got the thought in my head that this training is going to be and supposed to be easy.

The reality is... training for a 1/2 marathon is hard.

It's supposed to be hard.

But lately when I head out to run, if I encounter any difficulty...
  • It's too hot...
  • It's too humid...
  • I'm tired...
  • It's too early...
  • It's too late...
  • My feet hurt...
  • My ankles hurt...
  • I'm low on time...
  • I ran 4 1/2 miles (of my projected 6 miles)... that's enough...
  • My shoes are new...
  • My shoes are old...
  • I got stung by a bee on my lip (which actually did happen)...
Then I quit.

I somehow got the idea in my head that every time I head out for a run that it's going to be both fun and easy. But in reality... It's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's training. I should be expecting it to be hard.

Today, I went out with the idea that my 6 miles was supposed to be hard. So when it was, I was ready. And I kept going.


Kinda made me think about my relationship with God... while I was running...

I think sometimes we go into a relationship with God thinking that it's always going to be both easy and fun. We get back from a great week like camp, Summer in the Son, CIY or a mission trip and it was both fun and easy... everyone else was a Christian and we were given time to read our Bibles and worship and we were encouraged to do the things that we know we should do... and we think that the Christian life is going to be like that.

Suddenly life gets hard and our relationship with God runs smack into our life...

  • Our friends aren't Christians...
  • Our teachers give homework...
  • Practice was hard...
  • Practice was hot...
  • Our friends want to hang out...
  • We want to spend time on Facebook...
  • We're tired...
  • Worship didn't connect with us...
  • The sermon didn't address what we're dealing with...
  • We don't really connect with those in our small group...
  • We don't like our youth minister or our youth leaders...
And we begin to struggle spiritually. Because we got the thought somewhere that the Christian life is going to be both easy and fun all the time.

The reality is that it's not. And no one said that it would be. If someone told you somewhere that the Christian life is both fun and easy all the time, they were lying... or they aren't really a Christian and therefore don't know what they're talking about. In fact, Paul said that the Christian life is a struggle.
"12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14

The Christian life is not easy... and it's not supposed to be!

The next time that you are tempted to quit... give up... go with the flow... or skip out on God... Remember that no one said the Christian life would be easy. Keep pressing on!!!

Just a few thoughts from the journey... both running and relationship with God...

Jim

Daily Read July 17, 2010

Isaiah 25:1 (New International Version)

1 O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer in the Son - Thursday (MS)





The last full day of Middle School Summer in the Son arrived today!! Hannah enjoyed her start with a mouth full of cereal!!














Brock found himself up a tree... on purpose!!












But everyone had a great time tonight at worship. We had an incredible experience and the students raised $5255.68 to push the three-week giving challenge over $15,000 to build a well in Haiti!!! Awesomeness!!!










Matt and Alex were surprised at how much we raised... and what great seats we had in the far back!!!
















Emily paused for a quick picture!


It has been a great week. Tomorrow morning is breakfast and morning wrap up. Then we'll be on the road heading back to North Terrace around noonish. Pray for good travel... that bus can be hot!!!


Jim

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer in the Son - Wednesday (MS)



Wednesday went by fast.


But it started off slow... Alex started off the day slow with some Bible reading. Morning encounter time is one of the highlights of the day.










Emily, Jericha and Jozie had a good morning. We had breakfast, worship, workshops, freetime, and lots of stuff.



We had dodgeball... which despite all the dodgeball that we play at church, we never seem to be too good at dodgeball at a place like this.








Hunter made a new friend. Wanda is the cafeteria lady who makes sure that every student has their lanyard when they come into the cafeteria... and sends them away if they don't have it. Hunter posed for a picture with her. She's kinda of a celebrity for the week.








Hannah spend some time with a real celebrity... Aaron Pelsue of the Aaron Pelsue Band. He was busy texting with Rachel Murray back in Ohio... she was criticizing him for not playing a specific song when they were at North Terrace a couple of weeks ago.











All in all... which the day was busy... and fun... it was a great day. Tomorrow is Thursday and I feel another great day coming on!!! But one last picture with Hannah (Hall), Vilma and Paige!


Jim

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer in the Son - Tuesday (MS)



Tuesday arrived in full force...

So hard that Emily couldn't find one of the lens of the glasses she found on the table.

But she was smiling anyway...











One of the highlights of the day is Encounter Time. Brock gets some quiet time in on a bench outside of Lusby.















Hannah and I were feeling a little goofy!












Colton, Ian and Wesley got the best seats for the night!!! They were pumped!















"Remedy Drive" put on a good show tonight! After the show, Lori, Jackie, Alex and I got into a pretty long and casual conversation with their lead singer David. It was very cool!!!




Tomorrow is Wednesday!!! Time for some sleep!!!



Jim




Daily Read July 13, 2010

Isaiah 6:5-8 (New International Version)

5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."

6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for."

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer in the Son - Monday (MS)




Monday arrived!!!


Jericha was surprised to see it arrived already.











But the day got rolling with a session and some morning quiet time. Most really enjoy the designated time to connect with God. Alaina is digging into the material.












Ireland isn't turning red... it's the tent. It makes all the pictures red.















Tonight was a great session with a powerful message from our speaker Danny. Jericha, Emily, Ireland and Jonah posed for a picture... well, Jonah did less posing than the rest.













But it's on Monday and these kids are driving me 'crazy!!!' Just kidding... everything is great!!! More pictures coming tomorrow.

Jim




Daily Read July 12, 2010

Isaiah 5:20-21 (New International Version)

20 Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.

21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
and clever in their own sight.

MS Summer in the Son - Sunday



We have arrived.

The ride down was long and hot, but we made it. (Thanks to Tom... our excellent driver's skill!!!).


Alex enjoyed the ride. At least some of it.










Emily and Hunter enjoyed it more after we stopped at McDonalds... they picked up Frapps...













But we arrived... all of us (Ian, on the right, was the last to join us). And the night got kicked off well.















Hunter, and Vilma's thumbs, approve of the worship!!! It was a great night kicked off by the Aaron Pelsue band and some great speaking by Danny!














Hunter, Paige, Vilma and Emily are all smiles after the first night!!!

But now... I think it's time for bed. The first full day of Middle School Summer in the Son awaits tomorrow!!!



Jim

Sunday, July 11, 2010

High School Summer in the Son - Video!!

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

Daily Read July 11, 2010

Isaiah 1:18 (New International Version)

18 "Come now, let us reason together,"
says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Daily Read July 10, 2010

2 Kings 6:15-17 (New International Version)

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked.

16 "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."

17 And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Daily Read July 9, 2010

2 Kings 5:10-15 (New International Version)

10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed."

11 But Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?" So he turned and went off in a rage.

13 Naaman's servants went to him and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, 'Wash and be cleansed'!" 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, "Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Daily Read July 8, 2010

2 Kings 2:23-24 (New International Version)

23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!" 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Summer in the Son - Wrapup


We had an amazing week!!!

We had a challenging and powerful week of Summer in the Son. The students were great. The weather was great. The speakers and bands were great.

It truly was a great week!!!

Thanks to those who made it happen (Terril, Penny, Jackie and Paul). Thanks to those of you who prayed for us all week. God's Spirit truly moved this week. We truly appreciate it!!

Jim

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Summer in the Son - Thursday




Today was the last full day of Summer in the Son. And it was a great, great day!!!

The morning was awesome. This afternoon, we headed over to Brian and Melody (Angie Gergely's sister and brother-in-law who live nearby)'s house for some swimming.

Most kids hit the pool... Several just hit the snacks... Paul (Sr.) jumped into the Ale81.




Several enjoyed an afternoon in the sunshine!!!















Sadie hit the pool... Jackie didn't. But they were all smiles none the less.














We had a great evening... followed by a powerful group time.


The last full day of Summer in the Son is complete. We've got a celebration service in the morning and then we'll be home tomorrow evening.

Jim

Daily Read July 1, 2010

Proverbs 31:30 (New International Version)

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.