Thursday, June 30, 2016

Longer running intervals

I ran the first 1.5 miles in about 17:16, then walked a quarter, then ran a half, then walked a quarter, then ran .6.

So, the good news is that I'm stretching out that first running segment; the bad news is that I was slower overall from Saturday. BUT, what I didn't tell you is that on Saturday, I had a 4 minute gap between miles 1 and 2, so, I'm counting this run as progress.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Garmin loses my data!

This is an estimate. I know the first mile is correct and the total time is correct, but the other three miles are an educated guess. I know that mile 3 was the slowest as I had a quarter mile walk to start and end it. The even miles had just one quarter mile walk in them.

So far so good. $10.24 committed to debt so far for June, and I plan on running tomorrow!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Pi Run!!!

Although, I wish it were a pie run; then again, that's how I got here in the first place!

So, as if I didn't have enough motivation, along comes the idea (not mine) of having a "Biggest Loser" contest at work. I plopped my $5 down faster than you can say donut! Now, I just have to eat as much as I can before the weigh in, and I'll be a sure winner!

This run was indoors at The Gathering Place. They have a 1/7th mile indoor track. And AC. Looooove the AC. I'm all about the AC. Especially in 90° F heat.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Not my worst 5K

So, my cholesterol is up to 251. That's some motivation to start running.

My weight is still hovering around 210 lbs. That's some motivation to start running.

I'm not in very good shape. That's some motivation to start running.

But all of that isn't enough! So, I made a deal with Brandy: For every mile I run, we allocate $1 to debt. Now there's some motivation for running!

Monday, I'm scheduled for 500 miles.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


Dear Friends and Family,

I have the great privilege of being part of the Grace Bible Church mission team headed to Guyana, South America coming up in July 2016.  This is the fourth summer mission team our church has been able to send. The previous mission teams from 2007, 2010, and 2013 witnessed the Holy Spirit working in every aspect of the Guyanese individual lives. Grace Bible Church and I appreciate your commitment to carry out a part of the great commission from the book of Matthew chapter 28. You can participate in this great commission by keeping us in your prayers.

You may ask yourself, 'what happens during the mission trip?' We as a group will conduct Vacation Bible School for young children that will include Bible stories, singing, skits, and crafts for girls. Junior aged to teen age boys will participate in soccer skills clinics, scrimmages, team building and a healthy dose of exercise.

Each evening we will have crusades in a local village which include fellowship, singing, drama, testimonies, and preaching.

Today, the logistics of putting together a mission trip can be daunting. Packing items, securing transportation and passports, each person for this trip will have to raise up to $1200 for plane tickets and lodging, $50 for meals while traveling, as well as expenses for VBS crafts, materials, and soccer equipment.

Prayerfully consider if you are able to meet any of the needs stated above and if God lays on your heart to help out monetarily, please send those donations to Grace Bible Church at the address above, with a note in the memo of checks: Guyana Mission Team.

One final note: In John 15:5, Jesus lays out how we are to engage in ministry:  I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

In 2 Corinthians 1:11, Paul lays out the importance of prayer: you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.

More than anything, I ask you to pray.

Pray for the mission team for purity, for strength in resisting temptation and enduring the trials that will prepare us for this work.

Pray for the Guyanese people that God would call many brothers and sisters into His kingdom during our time there.

Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 9:37-38: Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Jonah Chapter 1 Notes and Summary (timely)

Chapter 1 Notes and Summary
God moves the pressure to conform to His will from the general (the storm) to the specific (Jonah as the cause of the storm) to the pinpoint (isolation) (only Jonah gets put into the crucible of the fish).

God also uses humans to bring the pressure to repent, starting with the captain's (one) call to prayer and following with the sailors' (many) confrontation in v.8 and intense confrontation in v.10 "HOW COULD YOU DO THIS???", which should be taken in its proper context of imminent, intense danger in which the sailors are in fear for their very lives. A direct, personal, in your face confrontation produces no repentance from Jonah.

We all know of believers that have been through this sequence of God's discipline; perhaps we recognize it in our own lives. What are we holding onto right now that God is prying our fingers off of by bringing His loving hand of discipline into our lives? How long will we "kick against the goads", as Paul recounts his own struggle against God in Acts 26:14.

A final comment from this chapter on the stubbornness of Jonah: it stems from the fact that he would rather die (with the sailors in a sunken ship or by himself if thrown overboard) than do the will of God. I think we often underestimate God's tenacity in disciplining us to do His will.

Wayward believers may think of 1 John's "sin leading to death" (1 John 5:16-17) and take comfort in the fact that eventually God will give up and kill them. God will exhaust every single tool at His disposal to bring back His running sheep, and remember, God always uses His tools like a master craftsman - with precision, accuracy, and wisdom. No, God will take a long time engaging His son in discipline to finally allow a sinning believer the comfort of death.

Chapter 1 boiled down to a sentence: God's will always triumphs over man's will.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Jonah 1:17 and Paragraph Summary (timely)

Jonah 1:17 and Paragraph Summary
1:17 - And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.
Continuing from vs. 12, God had Jonah exactly where He wanted him in order to apply pin-point pressure on him to obey. Is that where you are? Has the general call to repentance, the confrontation by one, and the confrontation by many all been applied in your situation by God to turn you from your willfulness? The next step is isolation, isolation from God, from believers, from a lot of the goodness that flows from God.

Now the sinning believer is put into the crucible in order to turn him from his own way to God's way. It took three days of being in the dark, acid filled belly of the fish for Jonah to come to his senses. Most likely, when he saw that he wasn't going to die, like he wanted to, Jonah responded to God's will.

What about us? Is the only time we respond to God's will is under the threat of endless discipline without the escape of death? Are we so hard hearted and stubborn that we will only relent when the pressure becomes more than we can bear?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Jonah 1:15-16 (timely)

Jonah 1:15-16
1:15 - So they picked up Jonah, threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging.
Our obedience stops the pressure to obey. Huh! In this case, the man that God was pressuring still had more pressure to deal with, but the collateral damage to the sailors was stopped as the discipline from the Lord had its desired affect: Jonah's isolation.

1:16 - Then the men feared the Lord greatly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.
From an act of faith (v.15), salvation comes from the Lord. Here is another great example of salvation by grace through faith. James 2:18 - But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

Paragraph summary
Rom. 8:28 comes to mind here with caution from Rom 6:1. God works good out of our disobedience, but our disobedience is not from God nor is it working the works of God. Nobody can justify sin just because God brought good out of it.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Jonah 1:10-14 (timely)

Jonah 1:10-14
1:10 - Then the men became extremely frightened and they said to him, "How could you do this?” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.
Often times, we are witnesses against ourselves and when the check comes due, the world stands in amazement at how uncaring we have acted. If only Jonah had repented earlier or not even run from God, then the sailors would never had been in danger and dumped all that cargo.

1:11 - So they said to him, “What should we do to you that the sea may become calm for us?”—for the sea was becoming increasingly stormy.
Even when the cause of the situation is revealed, there is still the matter of what to do about resolving it.

1:12 - He said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will become calm for you, for I know that on account of me this great storm has come upon you.”
Even when we acknowledge our sin, we often are reluctant to do anything about it! Jonah could have fallen on his knees, repented of running away, and sought God's forgiveness; God probably would have calmed the seas and allowed the ship to return to Joppa.

But Jonah was not willing to do so, therefore, he had the sailors throw him overboard to an almost certain death rather than be obedient to God's will. We too, bring more of God's discipline upon ourselves when we refuse to turn from our own will to His.

1:13 - However, the men rowed desperately to return to land but they could not, for the sea was becoming even stormier against them.
Man will never win in a fight against God's will. God's will reigns supreme; we can either go along with it or be crushed by it.

1:14 -  Then they called on the Lord and said, “We earnestly pray, O Lord, do not let us perish on account of this man’s life and do not put innocent blood on us; for You, O Lord, have done as You have pleased.”
Isn't it ironic that the pagans align themselves with God's will before the prophet of God does. How many times are we like Jonah in the stubbornness of our hearts.

Paragraph summary
We often put quite a bit of effort in our running from God's will. Sometimes the people around us will help us in our running by providing justifications or reasons not to do god's will. By attempting to row themselves out of the storm, the sailors were only reinforcing Jonah's poor decision to run. But, as in all things, God's will eventually wins out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Worst 5K ever!

But, the 5K that is run/walked, is better than the 5K that isn't. So, I'm feeling ok about this one.

I did walk and run with Meesha. I'm not sure if this link will work, but if you want to see the breakdown of walking and running, here ya go:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Jonah 1:7-9 (timely)

Jonah 1:7-9
1:7 -  Each man said to his mate, “Come, let us cast lots so we may learn on whose account this calamity has struck us.” So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.
If we ignore the more specific events, God will then single us out so we cannot deny that He is trying to get our attention. The action is still motivated by the positive hand of pleading rather than the negative hand of discipline (which is also always good).

1:8 - Then they said to him, “Tell us, now! On whose account has this calamity struck us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”

1:9 - He said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land.”
Many, many times we can be almost clinical in our presentation of who we are. May it never be! The attitude goes something like this:
"I don't have to worry about how this affects others because I am secure in my salvation."

"It stinks for you, but I really don't care about your struggles - I've got this under control...uh, praise Jesus."

"Being a Christian is everything to me; don't come to me with your problems."

So often we have an uncaring, hard hearted response to men in desperate need of salvation.

Paragraph summary
If the servant of the Lord refuses to turn from his disobedience, God will confront him directly. This may be through unbelievers, as in this case, or believers, ala church discipline or Spirit led inquiry. Often the runner will confess that he knows he is running (see next paragraph).

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Jonah 1:4-6 (timely)

Jonah 1:4-6
1:4 -  The Lord hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up.
God uses all manner of things to bring us back to His will. It may be that God uses a general event that affects a number of people to bring us back to alignment with Him. Local disasters, national catastrophes, and regional events all fall into this category.

1:5 - Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god, and they threw the cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep.
We are often oblivious (or hard hearted) to the general event to the point of ignoring the implications or guidance that God provides from it.

1:6 - So the captain approached him and said, “How is it that you are sleeping? Get up, call on your god. Perhaps your god will be concerned about us so that we will not perish.”
If we discount or ignore the general event, God will start targeting more specific events designed to turn us from our own path back to His. God will often us the ungodly to shame/move His people into action. At this point, God is still acting from the positive side of entreating His wayward child to return.

Paragraph summary
As pressure comes from the Lord, He uses a variety of tools to, in this case literally, wake up His servants to obey His will. This pressure can be a general trial or local event that affects many and causes many to turn to the Lord or it can be somewhat more specific to the targeted individual.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Timely Perspective Applied to Jonah

Who hasn't run away from God?

Who hasn't had a little heart to heart with God and tried to sway Him to a different point of view?

Who hasn't sulked around for days because He wasn't doing according to our will?

We can relate to all of these actions that Jonah engages in. Too often we can see ourselves in Jonah's attitudes and much less in God's attitudes.

Chapter 1

Jonah 1:1-3
1:1 - The word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying,
The word of the Lord, indeed, comes to us also as we feel led to take action on God initiated impulses.

1:2 -  “Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.”
We have been called to preach the gospel in all sorts of "Ninevehs", whether that's our workplace, our community, our family or our friends.

1:3 - But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
Too often, out of selfish desires, we also run from God's command.
            It is clear we are to pray, but we don't make the time.
            It is clear we need to study God's word, but we don't have time.
            It is clear we should give, but we don't have enough...after we satisfy ourselves.
            It is clear we are to love only God, but we love just ourselves and idols.
We too, pay a price to run from God.

Paragraph summary
Here we find the premise for the entire book: God expresses His will and man refuses to do it. Everything that follows is a variant on this theme.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Timely Perspective Explained

The last perspective in this series is usually the first perspective that people try to understand about a passage of Scripture:

What is God's message for today?

What is interesting is that the time-locked message, at one time, was a timely message. In fact, one could say that both the time-locked and timeless messages that have been found in this study have been timely messages; there have been applications for today derived from each of them.

The timely message certainly is not static and can change greatly depending on the reader's (audience's) situation in life and maturity in Christ.

Questions to ask in a timely study:
1. How does this passage correlate to my life?
2. Does my life correlate to the passage?
3. How can I relate to the events/teaching in this part of Scripture?
4. Does the text teach me about God and thereby enlighten my worship?
5. Does the text teach me about myself and my actions?
6. Am I convicted by Scripture that points out sin?
7. How does this passage draw me closer to God?
8. Is there an example to follow? To avoid?
9. How am I encouraged in my walk with God by this passage?
10. Does the passage teach a timely principle or idea that I can use in my life?

Timely study shines the light of today upon God's timeless Word. We see it through the lens of our position in Christ as well as the light of all of Scripture. Remember, though, timely study is not about making connections that aren't there and reading into Scripture things that God never meant. There are plenty of teachings that force the square peg of Scripture through the round hole of skewed applications; that should never be.

Rather, as we prayerfully consider the Word of God, we allow the Holy Spirit to bring to mind the application that He can use to mold us into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Consider 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. God's Word should have an effect on His children, and He uses it in all four of the ways mentioned above: for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness, to grow us in maturity.
In searching out the timely message, remember also, there is one interpretation and many applications. There is no such thing as "What this passage means to me"; there is only "What this passage means" and "How this passage applies to me".