Thursday, December 27, 2007

More Christmas Pictures

Brad home in Wichita from Rwanda on a short visit to his girlfriend, Chelsea
All smiles at the Northridge Friends Church, a yearly reunion we have the Wednesday before Christmas - invited are all the students who have ever attended Northridge Youth Group
That is/was the Youth Pastor, Matt, in the middle and also some others


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Good Marginal Thinking

I read a great article today by one of my favorite authors, Brian McLaren.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2007/004/14.110.html

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Celebration

El arbol de navidad con mucha decoracion!

For the record, these are not fake smiles. Just forced. Christmas Day '07.

My Step-dad, Kenny and I.

My mom being kind of crazy.

Aunt Linda in a sling (she fell three times on the ice/snow!)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Very simply, I have thought today about the redemptive endings to both the Grinch and Scrooge stories. This thought speaks for itself.

Merry Christmas!

The Shortest Day of the Year and a Blizzard!

The day before the day before the day before Christmas.

Short days - only 8 hours leave me longing for the long summer days. I haven't run in the daylight in what seems like months.

Today's "first day of Winter" brought a blizzard. Who knows how much snow really fell because the incredible drifts of up to several feet have left everything snowed in, including my car, and this restless homebound runner.

Wise Men Still Seek Him!

My thoughts on the Christmas season 2008:

-We celebrate the greatest act of love ever in the history of humankind: the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ, born to the Virgin Mary. The greatest, most specialized and specific and incredible and amazing proof that God, indeed, loves us. All praise and honor and glory to a God who really became "one of us" in order to save us, and even better, give us hope and meaning and purpose and life "here and now"!

A Message of Hope from John 1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.

John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Challenge this Christmas, in response to and contemplation of the Incarnation (Ph. 2):
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!

Revelation 22:20
He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon."
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Friday, December 21, 2007

More Christmas Music Recommendations

My second favorite Christmas CD is "Christmas" by Rebecca St. James (1. Behold the Lamb of God 3. Handel's Messiah 4. Nitro Praise Christmas etc. is my list)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Do Not Be Afraid of God Who Became a Man!

"Christ knows our anguish best of all...Do not be afraid of God...insted invoke him, call him Father. God is with us. God, infinetely perfect, is not only with man, but He Himself became a man in Jesus Christ. Do not be afraid of God who became a man!"

- Pope John Paul II

as quoted in "John Paul The Great: Remembering A Spiritual Father" by Peggy Noonan

A Very Big Deal!

"Christmas is a really important date in the Christian year, even if people make it out to be a material event. If God really did enter into this world, it's the most significant event ever in human history and it only makes sense that people would turn it into a very big deal!"

Chris Laughlin (my friend from Emory/Candler Seminary)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) Quote of the day

"You loved us first, O God, alas! We speak of it in terms of history as if You have only loved us first but a single time, rather than that without ceasing You have loved us first many times and every day and our whole life through."

"You who are unchangeable, whom nothing changes! You who are unchangeable in love, precisely for our welfare, not submitting to any change: may we too will our welfare, submitting ourselves to the discipline of Your unchangeableness, so that we may in unconditional obedience find our rest and remain at rest in Your unchangeableness. You are not like us; if we are to preserve only some degree of constancy, we must not permit ourselves too much to be moved, nor by too many things. You on the contrary are moved, and moved in infinite love, by all things."

2007

Top 10 Things I am thankful for in 2007

10. 226,000 (number of miles on my car)
9. First successful finish of 31 miles (by foot)
8. The number 26.2 X 5, from 4:45 down to 3:40
7. That “new” doesn’t get old
6. Calling/Purpose in life
5. Family
4. Friends – connections in Christ!
3. Blogs :)
2. Discipline/Grace (what’s the difference!)
1. Hope!

Love Bade Me Welcome

Described and exegeted by one of my former college professors as “one of the most beautiful descriptions of the gospel”

by George Herbert, 17th Century Pastor

Love (III)

Love bade me welcome, Yet my soul drew back
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked anything.

A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:
Love said, You shall be he.
I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah my dear,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame
Go were it doth deserve.
And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?
My dear, then I will serve.
You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:
So I did sit and eat.

Finis
Glory to God on high
And on earth peace
Good will toward men

1 John 4:7-18 NLT
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I Wonder as I Wander

Last evening's Wichita Symphony Orchestra (accompanied by Singing Quakers Alumni Choir from Friends University) concert was fun, though I didn't realize (never crossed my mind) until after I got there that they would be playing, pause, Christmas music. There is just something not right about singing Joy to the World with an awkward-looking Santa standing on stage with a "ho-ho-ho". Humbug. I was confused and disoriented, so I can only imagine how the young impressionable children felt! The music was also very diverse; everything from "Santa Baby" to "Silent Night" to "Carol of the Bells". The following song, "I Wonder as I Wander", is one that interested me, though I wouldn't say that I "liked" it or anything:

I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I
I wonder as I wander out under the sky

When Mary birthed Jesus 'twas in a cow's stall
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all
But high from God's heaven, a star's light did fall
And the promise of ages it then did recall

If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing
A star in the sky or a bird on the wing
Or all of God's Angels in heaven to sing
He surely could have it, 'cause he was the King

I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I
I wonder as I wander out under the sky

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A New Day

James 1:17
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights..."

Behold the Lamb of God by Andrew Peterson

Behold, the lamb of god
Who takes away our sin
Behold the lamb of god
The life and light of men
Behold the lamb of god
Who died and rose again
Behold the lamb of god who comes
To take away our sin

Broken hearts
behold our broken hearts
Fallen far
we need you

Behold the lamb of god
Son of god
emmanuel
Son of man
we need you
Behold the lamb
The hope of man
Behold the lamb of god

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Result of a Mostly Iced-in Weekend

What happens when the weekend comes and it rains ice and sleet from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon? Well, church is canceled and other than reading several books (literally), running 18 miles in the bitter cold (fun!), going to the movies, and catching up on sleep, you really can't wait for Monday morning to go back to work to get out of the house!

Favorite Quotes of the Weekend:
[Really challenging words from Gene Edwards, "Letters to a Devastated Christian: Healing for the Brokenhearted"]
"...One of the foundations of human survival is to understand this simple point: 'It is not what men do to you but how you react to what men do to you that determines how you will survive and live upon this planet.'...You have but one person in this world to indict for any attitudes of bitterness, cynicism, hurt or pain. That person is yourself and it lies within your jurisdiction, and yours alone, to decide whether or not you wish to continue the patterns that are beginning to be set in your life, or whether you wish to break from them and head for the sunlit meadows of higher ground."

[“Through Gates of Splendor” by Elisabeth Elliot]
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot
“As we have a high old time this Christmas, may we who know Christ hear the cry of the damned as they hurtle headlong into the Christless night without ever a chance. May we be moved with compassion as our Lord was. May we shed tears of repentance for these we have failed to bring out of darkness. Beyond the smiling scenes of Bethlehem may we see the crushing agony of Golgotha. May God give us a new vision of His will concerning the lost and our responsibility.”
“Lord, God, speak to my own heart and give me to know Thy Holy will and the joy of walking in it. Amen.”
– Nate Saint, December 18, 1955
“God is God. If He is God, He is worthy of my worship and my service. I will find rest nowhere but in His will, and that will is infinitely, immeasurably, unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to.”
“We are not always sure where the horizon is. We would not know which end is up were it not for the shimmering pathway of light falling on the white sea. The One who laid earth’s foundations and settled its dimensions knows where the lines are drawn. He gives all the light we need for trust and for obedience.”
– Elisabeth Elliot

Revelation 5:9 NLT
And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation."

Friday, December 7, 2007

At Least Somebody Had A Camera

To view two pictures from Saturday's St. Jude Marathon in Memphis, follow this link.
http://www.asiorders.com/go.asp?27661684
The first picture it shows is just after crossing the finish line. Yeah...the grimmace on my face. Well, I guess you could say "it hurt so good"! I was glad to be done but my head was spinning for a while after the race. Remember that the clock time it shows was "gun time" and my actual time was measured from the time I crossed the start line to the time I crossed the finish line...officially 3:40:09. It took about three minutes to get to the start line.
The second picture, I believe, was captured right around the end of mile 26. The last .2 (1/5 of a mile), which sure seemed like a long ways, was all I had left to go (just running one block into the baseball stadium and around the warning track to a third base finish. Autozone Park fields the AAA team for the St. Louis Cardinals, I think. This picture reminds me how fast it felt like I ran in this race. I probably passed 300 people in the last 5 miles.
Now 2007 can rest...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

An Oldie But A Goodie (written in 1987 and 1989)

I Believe In Jesus

I believe in Jesus
I believe He is the Son of God
I believe He died and rose again
I believe He paid for us all

And I believe He's here now
Standing in our midst
Here with the power to heal now
And the grace to forgive

I believe in You, Lord
I believe You are the Son of God
I believe You died and rose again
I believe You paid for us all

He Is Able

He is able
More than able
To accomplish what concerns me today
He is able more than able
To handle anything that comes my way
He is able more than able
To do much more than I could ever dream
He is able
More than able
To make me what He wants me to be

Monday, December 3, 2007

Just "Be Still"

Early this morning as I sat in silence, this verse came to my mind over and over and over, until I set everything aside in my mind, one a time through 'the issues' and was just "still" before God. That was all that I was being asked to do today, just "be still, and know that I am God". Besides, the Lord is on thy side...

Psalm 46:10, NIV
"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

46:10, NLT
“Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation. \
I will be honored throughout the world.”

46:10, The Message
"Step out of the traffic!
Take a long,
loving look at me,
your High God,
above politics,
above everything."

"Maybe it was Memphis"

This past weekend I went to Memphis, TN to run the St. Jude Memphis Marathon http://www.stjudemarathon.org/.
I drove up there on Friday morning, ran the Marathon Saturday morning and drove home Saturday afternoon, making it home by midnight.

I ran another PR (personal record) and finished in a time of 3:40:09, which is over eight minutes faster than my MCM time in D.C. in October. The day was perfect with a sunny 47 degrees start in gloves and a long-sleeved shirt. It quickly warmed up into the 50s by 9am and I wore a short-sleeved shirt the rest of the way. It was mid-60s and a very warm southern sun by finish time. I ran again with a pace team, this time provided by the local Memphis running club. They helped me to maintain even 8:24 minute miles, finishing each mile directly on target. I guess I slowed 9 seconds in the last mile or so. The marathon is always a fun event and a fun day of running - but this time it was tough. It was a fast pace to maintain and felt like "work" the whole way. Sometimes you can get in a zone for 10 or 15 miles and cruise and it seems easy. It was never like that on Saturday. From mile 3 on - it was hard work. But again I am excited about the finish!

In total Marathon finishers, I placed 391/1923. www.stjudemarathon.org/results/2007/Marathon_Top_Down.txt
In age group, Males 20-24, I finished 26 out of 67.
www.stjudemarathon.org/results/2007/STJUDE_MAR07.TXT

Everybody is so consistently friendly and warm in Memphis - not quite like anywhere else I've ever visited - "southern hospitality" I hear? I saw Elvis at least 10 times, at least two of them running the marathon and the rest singing in a band on the side. The marathon ran twice down Beale Street, home of the Memphis Blues, Rock'N Roll and Barbeque and all that stuff that is interesting but I know nothing about.

"I'm goin' to Memphis, mhm
I'm goin' to Memphis, mhm" - Johnny Cash

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nouwen's Reflections on Christian Leadership

"In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership" by Henri J. M. Nouwen

I think it is amazing what the Masters can do in so few pages that take Amateurs ten times as many words and pages to do less. I believe Nouwen is one of these masters of Christian spirtuality and leadership.

Nouwen
On Leadership...
"...'burnout' was a convenient psychological translation for a spiritual death."
"...the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self. That is the way Jesus came to reveal God's love. The great message that we have to carry, as minister of God's Word and followers of Jesus, is that God loves us not because of what we do or accomplish, but because God has created and redeemed us in love and has chosen us to proclaim that love as the true source of all human life."
"The question is not: How many people take you seriously? How much are you going to accomplish? Can you show some results? But: Are you in love with Jesus? Perhaps another way of putting the question would be: Do you know the incarnate God?"
"The central question is, Are the leaders of the future truly men and women of God, people with an ardent desire to dwell in God's presence, to listen to God's voice, to look at God's beauty, to touch God's incarnate Word, and to taste fully God's infinite goodness?"
On Spirituality...
"But when we are securely rooted in personal intimacy with the source of life, it will be possible to remain flexible without being relativistic, convinced without being rigid, willing to confront without being offensive, gentle and forgiving without being soft, and true witnesses without being manipulative."
"When spirituality becomes spiritualization, life in the body becomes carnality."
On Maturity...
"...Jesus has a different vision of maturity: It is the ability and willingness to be led where you would rather not go...the servant-leader is the leader who is being led to unknown, undesirable, and painful places."

A Few More Running Quotes

"Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you will be right."
"Go for broke but prepare to be broken."
"Workouts are like brushing my teeth; I don't think about it, I just do it. The decision has already been made." --Patti Sue Plumer, U.S. Olympian
"If I am still standing at the end of the race, hit me with a board and knock me down, because that means I didn't run hard enough." --Steve Jones, former marathon world record holder [Note: Funny and inspiring? Yes. But that is not my policy!]
"...While a body in bed wants to stay in bed, once a body is in motion, it'll want to stay in motion." [Newton's Law of Running!?]

Praise God!

Psalm 100
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The King of Preachers

Jesus' preaching was attractive; he sought above all means to set the pearl in a frame of gold, that it might attract the attention of the people. He was not willing to place himself in a parish church and preach to a congregation of thirteen and a half, but would preach in a style that people felt they must go to hear him. Some of them gnashed their teeth in rage and left his presence in wrath, but the multitudes still thronged to him to hear and to be healed. It was no dull work to hear this King of preachers, he was too much in earnest to be dull and too humane to be incomprehensible.

Charles Spurgeon, Leadership, Vol. 2, no. 3.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Quotes of the Day

"...professionalism without compassion will turn forgiveness into a gimmick, and the kingdom to come into a blindfold."
"Hospitality becomes community as it creates a unity based on the shared confession of our basic brokenness and on a shared hope."
"...Prayer is not a pious decoration of life but the breath of human existence."
"His appearance in our midst has made it undeniably clear that changing the human heart and changing human society are not separate tasks, but are as interconnected as the two beams of the cross."
"It is not the task of the Christian leader to go around nervously trying to redeem people, to save them at the last minute, to put them on the right track. For we are redeemed once and for all. The Christian leader is called to help others affirm this great news, and to make visible in daily events the fact that behind the dirty curtain of our painful symptoms there is something great to be seen: the face of Him in whose image we are shaped."
"The Christian way of life does not take away our loneliness; it protects and cherishes it as a precious gift."
"...it is the call of God which forms the people of God."
"A Christian community is therefore a healing community not because wounds are cured and pains are alleviated, but because wounds and pains become openings or occasions for a new vision."
"...ministry can indeed be a witness to the living truth that the wound, which causes us to suffer now, will be revealed to us later as the place where God intimated his new creation."
Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Creative Thanksgiving in Iowa

A creative Thanksgiving Day celebration watching "Fred Klaus" at the theatre
4 inches of snow the day before Thanksgiving in Iowa...que bonita!
Jadon and Audrey Ross, Youth Pastor at Middle River Friends Church in Carlisle, IA. We were all friends at Barclay, too. Thanksgiving morning - right before a 5-mile "Turkey Trot" at the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. It was 25 degrees and icy.
I was cold only until we actually starting running.Post-race euphoria/freezing/frostbite/laughs
Thanksgiving Lunch at Cracker Barrell in Des Moines
Uh...well it speaks for itself


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Psalm 20:7

NLT
Some nations boast of their chariots and horses,
but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.

NIV
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

The Message
See those people polishing their chariots,
and those others grooming their horses?
But we're making garlands for God our God.
The chariots will rust,
those horses pull up lame—
and we'll be on our feet, standing tall.

Freedom

"Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire."

Epictetus, Discourses ~(2nd C)

Climate Change

Fall tripped and fell, but recovered smoothly. Summer temperatures have raged on here in Kansas. Record temperatures yesterday and today around 80 and all last week as well. We have the AC on at the office, can't ever remember needing that two days before Thanksgiving. But, we are excitingly bracing ourselves for the first real blast of winteresque weather. The low tonight is same as the high tomorrow. Besides, we are waiting for our first hard freeze in Wichita as well (probably Wednesday night). Normally it comes by the end of October. Bring on Winter! I'm dreaming of a white Thankgiving in Iowa! Likely!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Last Week

Last week I went to Haviland to visit Barclay College and to present some announcements about Project Recruit in chapel and also have some informal meetings with a couple students. (My best "meeting" was an 8-mile run with Eric, who was my roommate my senior year, and this is now his senior year and is preparing for church ministry after graduatinon in May. Scary!)

Anyway, it was a treat to get to hear Dave Williams (live!) in Chapel.

I wanted to recommend the link again, to hear Dave speak. His message was a great, clear, encouraging, affirming and exciting presentation of the good news about identity in and relationship to God through Christ. (Dave also referred to several of my favorite things like the Oregon Coast and the Haviland countryside in his message. Dave is currently getting his D.Min. at George Fox and was fresh off a 2-week visit up there for class. He showed a presentation of a bunch of pictures at the beginning of the message.) Bare with the first 5 - 10 minutes to get to the heart of the message - for which I was so encouraged and am thankful.

Click on November 6th "Listen Now!"
http://barclaycollege.edu/Students/chapel.asp

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What does it mean to me to be a part of the Evangelical Friends Church?

I love our rich heritage and history, going all the way back to the radical life of our founder, George Fox. I love the controversial stands we've taken, rocking the cultural boat throughout the last couple centuries. I love the attitude of theologically majoring on the majors and trying not to get bogged down by the rest. But what does it mean to me today to be a part of the Evangelical Friends Church?

I am reminded of the two core values we affirmed at last year's ('06) Friends Ministry Conference (formerly known as Yearly Meeting) in Mid America. The message that we have available for the world is that 1. You can have a direct, personal relationship with God and 2. Every Christian is a minister!

If we can learn to engage this message with a "go and tell" approach instead of the traditional "come and see" approach, watch out!!

- Adam Monaghan

Monday, November 12, 2007

On Becoming One's Self

"The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become-because He made us. He invented all the different people that you and were intended to be...It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own."
C.S. Lewis

The Evangelical Friends Church

Mid-America Friends in Wichita hosted Evangelical Friends International North-America/Evangelial Friends Mission meetings this past weekend. Friends leaders from all across EFI-North America came to Wichita for several days of important meetings. I am not on any of these boards but was able to sit in and observe and learn.

Among many exciting and encouraging things I learned, I found the "big picture of EFI-NA" particularly helpful.

Evangelical Friends International-North America is changing its name to "Evangelical Friends Church-North America", which more accurately reflects what we are together: the church! EFC-NA consists of about 300 churches, comprising of about 40,000 members, and together we give about $50,000,000 to the local and global cause of Christ among Evangelical Friends!

Singer's Song

(just get the whole Delirious: Cutting Edge Disc 1 & 2...they are all great! all-time favoritos mios)

Singer's Song


Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord

As your people Lord we now stand before your throne,
A sacrifice of praise will be our song.
As your singers Lord we will shout that "He is good
For His love endures forever"

Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us singers sing that Jesus Christ is Lord
As your people Lord we will sing with thankfulness,
We want our lives to be a song of praise.
Banners we will wave to proclaim that "He is good
For his love endures forever"

Come on all us dancers dance that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us dancers dance that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us dancers dance that Jesus Christ is Lord
Come on all us dancers dance that Jesus Christ is Lord

Help us Lord to realize that our lips
were made for praising You
Not for bringing others down,
but for boasting of Your love.
Show us Lord that when we meet we have
our feet on holy ground,
Come and purify our lives,
forgive us for the wrong we've done.
We desire to see Your face,
but teach us first to "Fear the Lord"
Let us not presume your grace,
for the sin we bring is our disgrace
In Your mercy send Your power,
demons go in Jesus name
Heal the sick and save the lost,
reveal the power of the cross
Open up the heavens Lord
Open up the heavens Lord
Open up the heavens Lord
Open up the heavens Lord
Open up the heavens Lord
Let us sing the song that Jesus saves us!

Message of the Cross

Message of the Cross
Delrious: Cutting Edge Disc1

This is the message of the cross, that we can be free,
To live in the victory, and turn from our sin,
My precious Lord Jesus, with sinners you died,
For there you revealed your love and you laid down your life.

This is the message of the cross, that we can be free,
To lay all our burdens here, at the foot of the tree,
The cross was the shame of the world,
but the glory of God,
For Jesus you conquered sin and you gave us new life!

You set me free when I came to the cross,
Poured out your blood for I was broken and lost,
There I was healed and you covered my sin,
It's there you saved me, this is the message of the cross.

This is the message of the cross, that we can be free,
To hunger for heaven, to hunger for Thee,
"The cross is such foolishness to the perishing,
But to us who are being saved, it is the power of God!"

You set us free when we come to the cross,
You pour out your blood for we are broken and lost.
Here we are healed and you cover our sin,
It's here you save us,

You set me free when I come to the cross,
Pour out your blood for I am broken and lost Here
I am healed and you cover my sin,
It's here you save me, this is the message of the cross.

Let us rejoice at the foot of the cross,
We can be free, glory to God. (repeat)

Thank you Lord, thank you Lord,
You've set us free, glory to God. (repeat)

Use Me Here

USE ME HERE
by Everybody Duck

Use me here
Where I am
I am not going to pray anymore that You'll change your plans
Despite my fear I place my life in your hands
The future can wait
Tomorrow might be too late
Jesus, use me here

I lay my heart's desires at your feet, O Lord
Take all the plans I've made and all my dreams
Blinded by triumphs of tomorrow
I've let sin control today
So many drowning within reach
Father, it's time you heard me say

Use me here...

I tell myself I want to know Your will, O Lord
Still I confess I've had plans of my own
But from now on I plan to listen to Your will and to Your way
No matter what the future holds, I'm gonna live for You today

Use me here...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Some Fun Running Related Quotes

"It hurts up to a point and then it doesn't get any worse." - Ann Trason
"You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming." - Frank Shorter
"Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts." - Steve Prefontaine
"The polite term for those afraid to run distance is SPRINTERS!" anonymous

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Real Community

Sometimes brilliant Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California and author of an excellent book on Church Health/Growth strategy (The Purpose Driven Church):

"The sooner we give up the illusion that a church must be perfect in order to love it, the sooner we quit pretending and start admitting we’re all imperfect and need grace. This is the beginning of real community."

Why I Love Kansas

I really do love Kansas. I've really enjoyed some other places that I have visited in the US and around the world. But I really do love Kansas, just for the record. I've been thinking a little bit more about why.

Top Ten Reasons I Love Kansas

1. November - enough said. Maybe November is like this in every state, I am not sure? But November in Kansas is incredible. The red, orange, yellow, brown, and greeen leaves started to fall and are falling fast within the last couple of days. The temperature is cool and crisp, though the sun is still warm and bright. You can run outside in the afternoon with a t-shirt only. But in the very same month as that, we'll have our first freeze (not quite yet) and then our first snow-storm sometimes right after Thanksgiving. October was still hot. November is great!

2. Kansas is flat which makes for good sunsets that you can see for miles and miles. Flat also makes for easy running/training. Though it is kind of hard when you have to look really hard or maybe even drive several miles to find a good hill to run. I have heard it said that scientifically Kansas is actually flatter than a pancake. You gotta love it.

3. It's home! I am a Jayhawker. I root for Kansas University in sports (when I care to root, and mostly just because my dad always does root for KU). I was born in Great Bend, KS and have lived every other (other than 2 lost to OK) in Hutchinson, Wichita, or Haviland. KU is one of the best BB teams ever, I think.

4. Haviland. It's one of my favorite places in the world, though it's one of the simplest, smallest towns in the world. No other state has Haviland, as profound as that is. I traveled to Haviland this week to visit some students at Barclay College and my best "meeting" was with Eric, during an 8-mile run in the country. I was reminded how much I love Haviland!

5. Wichita is only 8 hours or less from the Rocky Mountains. That almost seems like an insult until you realize that you really wouldn't want to live full-time in the mountains, but having them so nearby is great for visiting!

6. Fall evenings in Kansas are just incredible. The sun begins to set by around 5:30 and it is usually dark by around 6. The sky and the air and the feel is just so perfect.

7. Pawnee Prarie Nature Center. My new favorite place to run even though I've known about it and visited it for several years. It is on the edge of town near the airport in Wichita. I call it the Central Park of Wichita. It has about 7 miles of trails. Two weeks ago when I was running there I saw 26 deer in one hour! The woods and trail systems are a great retreat and quiet and just perfect for running! They also dual as horse trails so watch your step...

8. There is a lot about the mid-west that leave much to be desired (social and ethnic prejudice, etc.). But those things are not unique to Kansas, if anything they are better in Kansas than our neighboring states to the south. Progress is happening here but slowly. One thing that is starting to interest me is that property values here are so much cheaper than on either coast. That's good for the buyer, bad for the seller. Trying to buy in the city is way more expensive than in the country or in a small town in western Kansas. But still, the value and what you get for the buck, home and lots of land, is great compared to other states. And the good thing about Kansas is that there are enough people to have culture, but not so few to be sparse like Wyoming or North Dakota.

9. I don't know why but my favorite spot in Kansas is SouthWest especially in June when the wheat is about to be cut. It is so perfect. I also like to see the tall corn. October when the new wheat is planted and very green and just a few inches out of the ground is great too. Kansas has great variety: flat farm lands in the south west, desolate cold ranchlands in the northwest, green hilly wooded ranches in the southeast, and the flinthills in the northeast.

10. I found this one off a Why I love Kansas blog: "If you don't love Kansas, there is no way to explain to you why you should love it or want to move here! I can't imagine living anywhere else. I live in a tiny town of less than a thousand people. The BEST thing about it is that there is nothing here! No reason for anybody to move here, no reason for tourists to come here, just good quality of life." I guess that says it all...I guess? You gotta love KS!

Monday, November 5, 2007

My Savior, My God

by Aaron Shust (this is a typical song we sing on Sunday mornings at Crossroads; it happens to be one of my current favorites)

I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at his right hand
Stands one who is my Savior
I take him at His word and deed
Christ died to save me this I read
And in my heart I find a need
For Him to be my Savior

CHORUS
That He would leave His place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You count it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior
My Savior loves
My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God He was
My God He is
My God He's always gonna be

Yes, living, dying; let me bring
My strength, my solace from this spring
That Ge who lives to be my King
Once died to be my Savior

My Hope Is in You

To You O Lord I lift my soul
In You O God I place my trust
Do not let me be put to shame
Nor let my enemies triumph over me

CHORUS
My hope is You
Show me Your ways
Guide me in truth
In all my days
My hope is You

I am O Lord
Filled with Your love
You are O God
My salvation
Guard my life
And rescue me
My broken spirit shouts
My mended heart cries out

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Marathon with Marines


My Mom and I at the bottom of the Lincoln Memorial steps. I think this was about mile 16 or so. Despite the grimmace, I felt fine.
Yes, at last, the finish line!!
I was sure I saw Laura Bush...she does live there you know...but everybody thinks I am crazy.




Last Sunday was the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC. My step-sister Alisha, mom, and I all went to Washington for the weekend of site-seeing and, oh yeah, running. The last time I was in the Nation's Capitol was when I was 13. So a lot of it was new to me or at least really fresh. I don't remember loving politics and American History as much at that age, so I wasn't quite as fascinated by everything then.

After arriving Saturday, we went to the Washington Momument, Lincoln Memorial, and walked the Mall Strip, by the Smithsonians and the War Memorials. Sunday afternoon we visited both views of the Whitehouse and a whole bunch of other big important buildings. Monday we visited the Capitol building, the Supreme Court (my favorite!), and some more big important buildings (FBI, Department of Treasury, EPA, Library of Congress, etc. etc.). I think we are all now experts in the Washington DC area subway system, known as the Metro".
Sunday morning I ran the Marine Corps Marathon, which started right next to the Pentagon in Alexandria, Virginia. The temperature was just about perfect for running - right around 52 degrees or so. I was able to start with a short sleeve shirt and never really get cold - other than waiting at the start - but then I was wrapped in a trash bag poncho. Normally, I would have felt really stupid wearing that but when tens of thousands of people all around me were wearing their trash bag ponchos to stay warm too, I didn't even think of it. The mass start began at 8:00 am. We ran through Alexandria and then made our way into DC. A great course map is available on the website. This marathon is nicknamed the "Monument Marathon" for good reasons - it runs right next to most of the major monuments, even getting a quick glimpse of the Whitehouse (which I missed).

I ran a 3:48:19 for my actual start-to-finish time. That's about 10 minutes faster than my last full marathon in Missouri on Labor Day, and certainly my personal best! I was thrilled! I felt great the whole way, never got off my pace at all, about a 8:40/mile pace, and actually got faster throughout the race and sprinted most of the last mile. There were hundreds of US Marines everywhere, handing out water and Gatorade, and also encouraging you into the finish line.

For a more complete summary and report, go to http://www.marinemarathon.com/ and click on the "Finishers Webpages" on the right under the Spotlight. My bib number was 10076 and enter my last name.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Look What You've Done for Me

Look What You’ve Done for Me

Look what you’ve done for me
Your blood has set me free
Jesus my Lord
Look what you’ve done for me
I haven’t been the same
Ever since that day I called your name
Yahweh Yahweh look what you’ve done for me

What can I do for You my Lord?
I want you to know my heart is yours
It’s not a question of what you can do for me
What can I do for You my Lord?

Up to Your cross I crawled
Now I am standing ten feet tall
Jesus my Saviour
Look what you’ve done for me
Free at last I’m free
I owe you my life completely
Yahweh Yahweh
Look what you’ve done for me

Daryl Evans, Tree 63 etc

Monday, October 22, 2007

Let's Go Down to the River Jordan!


I AM SO GRATEFUL TO Crossroads Lead Pastor Jeff Mullen for being wiling to baptize me in the cool October waters in the pond behind his house. This baptism comes at a time for me where the symbolism of dying to self and rising up with the same resurrection power that raised Jesus from the dead is particularly appropriate.

I FEEL COMPELLED BY THE LORD to respond in obedience by being baptized. I have studied the Scriptures on the issue and likewise the teachings of the Evangelical Friends Church. I am convinced that as a personalized, subjective response of obedient faith to God, I should be baptized. I am fully convinced of the teachings of Friends of the non-necessity of water baptism for spiritual salvation. I am also convinced that sound Friends distinctives do not imply an absolute prohibition but a call to understand the reality of importance of the things that really matter (an intimate, personal relationship with God, “There is one, even Christ Jesus, who can speak to thy condition”). I believe that such a symbolic act of faith profession is appropriate, certainly biblical, and particularly timely in my spiritual journey.

IT IS MY PRAYER FOR THIS WATER BAPTISM to represent an important milestone (symbolic yet physical, tangible, experiential and wet!) on my spiritual journey of faith to overcome sin and live in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ! Going down in to the water symbolizes my own submission to and willingness to die to myself and to my own desires and dreams and ways of life so as to live fully unto Christ. You can't breathe underwater – thus the baptism is a real symbol of death. Coming up out of the water is a real symbol of life in Jesus' name with Him a Lord! Thanks be to God!
- Adam Monaghan

Colossians 2:12-14
For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.

Titus 3:4-7
But—“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”

MIGHTY TO SAVE!

Everyone needs compassion
A love that's never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
A kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

My Savior
He can move the mountains
My God is Mighty to save
He is Mighty to save
Forever
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
Fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender

Shine your light and let the whole world see
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus

Hillsong

Isaiah 25:8-9

He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken. And it will be said in that day:
"Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation." NKJV

Friday, October 19, 2007

Family

Mom and I after the service
Great-Great Aunt LouEllen sharing stories about my great-grandma Ruth
Leading the graveside service Tuesday afternoon

My Great-Great Aunt LouEllen has quickly become one of my favorite family members (that I never knew I had!). My mom and I would like to make plans to go visit her soon. My great-grandma has three siblings and they are all still alive and all were able to make it to her funeral. Their ages are 90, 85, and 82, I think.


Left to Right: Great-Great Uncle Robert, Great-Great Aunt LouEllen(North Carolina), Mom, Great-Great Aunt Frances, myself, and LouEllen's son Robert




Thursday, October 18, 2007

Remembering My Great-Grandmother

This is the main scripture passage I selected for the funeral and below that are the words of Eulogy/testimony offered from my mom:

Romans 8:28-29 NLT
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?...No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY GRANDMOTHER was not a close one in my younger years due to a couple of reasons. One was her location. She lived in California and we lived in Kansas. The other I don't quite understand and that's okay but my grandmother and mother didn't have a close relationship for quite a few years. I'm not even sure they kept in touch for a long period of time but I'm thankful contact was resumed and they moved to Kansas to be closer to all of us. Although my memories of my grandmother aren't the fuzzy, cookie baking, cuddly type, they are no less important. My grandmother was an organized, goal-oriented, driven woman. She didn't achieve a success that is recognized by society today. But everything she set out to accomplish she did. When she set out to achieve a goal, she had a methodical, logical way of doing that and she always seemed to end up where she headed. My grandmother wouldn't have called herself a mentor but in reality that's what she became for me. Many times I will say today that “that's how my grandma taught me to do that", and I am thankful for this. As in every aspect of life, there are lessons to be learned from things unspoken. My grandmother was often gruff and didn't offer affection freely. But I always knew by her generous spirit that she loved us and cared about our well-being. And as she aged she became a softer, kinder human being toward everyone! I must say that I received more affection than I knew what to do with as she grew older! It made me think that maybe this is what was really underneath her gruff exterior.

ALTHOUGH I WISH I COULD HAVE had her with me longer I am thankful for the time we shared. I’m thankful for the lessons of life that she passed on. I’m thankful that she listened as we talked to her about God and his love for her. And I know that as much as I loved her, God loves her even more. He is faithful and full of compassion. In this I place my hope.
- Jill Smith

2007

YOU KNOW YOU ARE LIVING IN 2007 WHEN...
1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commerical on television has a web site at the bottom of the page.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on-line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. :)
12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there was a 9 on this list.

Right, Wrong, or just Different?

After spending the majority of the past six years in small town America (Haviland-Western, Kansas and then Chandler-Central Oklahoma) I have now completed almost four months back in the 'city'.

I can't help but notice how many people are text messaging while riding their bikes to or from work or school. It seems dangerous to me. The next thing I've noticed is how many people are text messaging at the YMCA while lifting weights or running on the treadmills. I find that time a great one to turn the phone off or leave it in the car - but others feel the need to stay connected.

In conclusion, some might react initially to such observations with judgement, wishing for the "good ole days of the past" (i.e., no cell phones). While I do certainly believe that we have to have a rhythm in our lives of plugging in and working hard and staying connected and then resting, unplugging, and withdrawing from technology and the 'rat race'. But not that our culture and society today don't have serious issues, maybe the symptoms are just different? I think a better response and conclusion is "Hmm...interesting," instead of, "isn't that terrible"! Life will probably (ok...most certainly) change significantly more in the next 40 years and hopefully even then we'll be able to relaxingly say "hmm...that's different" instead of "wrong"!

Are some of these kind of societal changes "right", "wrong", or could they just be "different"?

Stories

The priest looked at him and said, "Don't you want to go to heaven?"

"No," said the man.

"Do you mean to stand there and tell me you don't want to go to heaven when you die?"

"Of course, I want to go to heaven when I die. I thought you were going now!"

--------------

A man said to his parish priest, "My dog died yesterday, Father. Could you offer a Mass for the repose of his soul?"

The priest was outraged. "We don't offer Masses for animals here," he said sharply. "You might try that new denomination down the road. They'll probably pray for your dog."

"I really loved that little fellow," said the man, "and I'd like to give him a decent send-off. I don't know what it is customary to offer on such occasions, but do you think five hundred thousand dollars would do?"

"Now wait a minute," said the priest. "You never told me your dog was Catholic!"

- stories from Anthony De Mello

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Take It All! by Hillsong

Searching the world
The lost will be found
In freedom we live
As one we cry out
You carry the cross
You died and rose again
My God I'll only ever give my all

Jesus we're living for Your Name
We'll never be ashamed of You
In our praise
In all we are today
Take, take, take it all
Take, take, take, it all

You sent Your Son
From Heaven to earth
Delivered us all
It's eternally heard
I searched for truth
And all I found was You
My God I'll only ever give my all

Jesus we're living for Your Name
We'll never be ashamed of You
In our praise
In all we are today
Take, take, take it all
Take, take, take, it all

Running to the One who heals the blind
Following the shining light
In Your hands the power to save the world My life

Monday, October 15, 2007

Lots to Learn

"Always when I leave the village," the Bishop said slowly, "I try to define what it means to me, why it sends me back to the world refreshed and confident. Always I fail. It is so simple, it is difficult. When I try to put it into words, it comes out one of those unctuous, over-pious platitudes at which Bishops are expected to excel."...
"...I know...That for me it has always been easier here, where only the fundamentals count, to learn what every man must learn in this world...Enough of the meaning of life to be ready to die..."

I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven p.144

Praise the LORD!

Psalm 56:10
I praise God for what he has promised; Yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised.

Psalm 9:1
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.

Psalm 18:46
The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock! May the God of my salvation be exalted!

Psalm 18:49
For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations; I will sing praises to your name.

Fall finally fell!

Fall finally fell today! It's chilly and wet but all the trees and grass are still green! Low 80s the rest of the week so fall didn't fall too hard.

Wait for the LORD

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Salvation Is Here!

Salvation Is Here
Words & Music by Joel Houston

God above all the world in motion
God above all my hopes and fears
And I don't care what the world throws at me now
I'm gonna be alright

Hear the sound of the generations
Making loud their freedom song
All in all that the world would know Your name
We're gonna be alright

Chorus
'Cause I know my God saved the day
And I know His word never fails
And I know my God made a way for me
(It’s gonna be alright)
Salvation is here

Bridge
Salvation is here
'Cause You are alive and You live in me
Salvation is here
Salvation is here and He lives in me
Salvation is here
'Cause You are alive and You live in me

CCLI Song No. 4451327 © 2004 Hillsong Publishing by Joel Houston

Life

I found this quote in a recent month's Runner's World magazine which serves as my monthly inspiration to keep running. It is from a man who used running to get in to shape physically and personally and became a marathoner!

I worried that when I came to die, I might discover I had not lived. "If I run a marathon, I will have lived." I also thought I might die.

Loss

http://www.legacy.com/Kansas/DeathNotices.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonID=96026192

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
Mt 5:4

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Year that Forgot Fall

So far 2007 seems to be the year that forgot to Fall! It's still hot. Over the weekend the temperature was still a mid 90s oppressive and humid heat! It's October! Crazy! A mild cool front moved in yesterday to eliminate the oppressive heat but now it's still hot and leaves us looking forward to November. I'd say that many people in Kansas drained their swimming pools a month too early this year. At least the evenings are cool and comfortable and those start so much earlier now that I shouldn't complain too much.

The green trees haven't changed much at all yet and usually they are starting to turn colors by now. Fall, if it comes, will be enjoyed during thanksgiving instead of Halloween this year!

Adam

I Heard the Owl Call My Name

I am re-reading Margaret Craven's I Heard the Owl Call My Name. It is excellent - one of my favorites especially to read during the fall (though there is no such thing this year in Kansas).

Some of my favorite quotes from the book are coming soon...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Kingdom

Matt 3:1-2 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" NKJV

Just as the church is not the building, but the people (who are the Body of Christ), the kingdom is not a place as much as a state of relationship. We can be in His kingdom and at the same time be in horrible places, but we cannot be in His kingdom if He is not in us.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Be Still, My Soul

These words have meant so much to me during the past 8 months especially during February and March and April as I was transitioning away from Chandler and also especially during July, August, September as I was faced with new challenges!

Be still, my soul:
the Lord is on thy side;
bear patiently
the cross of grief or pain;
leave to thy God
to order and provide;
in every change
he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul:
thy best, thy heavenly Friend
through thorny ways
leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul:
thy God doth undertake
to guide the future
as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence
let nothing shake;
all now mysterious
shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul:
the waves and winds still know
his voice who ruled them
while he dwelt below.

Be still, my soul:
when dearest friends depart,
and all is darkened
in the vale of tears,
then shalt thou better know
his love, his heart,
who comes to soothe
thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul:
thy Jesus can repay,
from his own fulness,
all he takes away.

Be still, my soul:
the hour is hastening on
when we shall be
forever with the Lord,
when disappointment,
grief and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot,
love's purest joys restored,.
Be still, my soul:
when change and tears are past,
all safe and bless├ęd
we shall meet at last.

What Life is All About

"This life therefore, is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it; the process is not yet finished but it is going on. This is not the end of the road; all does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified."

Martin Luther

1 John 4

9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

1 Corinthians 13

4 Love is patient and kind...It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged...7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
...12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Heart

My heart is confident in you, O God;
no wonder I can sing your praises!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sermon of the Month: God Meets Us in the Desert!

http://www.barclaycollege.edu/Students/chapel.asp

Click on Listen Now! for September 25th for Dave Williams and listen to his inspiring message.

- Adam

Monday, September 24, 2007

So What Does God Want?

Ps 51:15-17

O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise. 16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart — These, O God, You will not despise. NKJV

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mennonite Theology

I heard a great quote from a Mennonite friend recently from the Mennonite Theologian, Michael Sattler who said:

"Jesus meant what he said, and he was talking to us."

I've been wrestling with it's profundity!

Adam

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Recap on Heart of America Marathon at Columbia, MO on Labor Day 2007




My new friend Ben from Kansas - we ran the race together from mile 3 on...
Picture taken just a few minutes after the marathon.
To see official results of the Heart of America Marathon at Columbia, MO on Labor Day 2007:
I came in 52nd right in front of a barefoot runner (crazy!) with the official time of 3:57:48.
Ben finished 11 seconds faster than me. I never learned Ben's name until after the race!

-Adam




Monday, September 17, 2007

to see an 'in print' update on me

http://maym.org/newsletters/insights/Sept%2007%20-%20Bulletin%20-%20Full.pdf

another favorite all-time song!

"Where the Streets have no name" by U2 from Joshua Tree album, 1987

I want to run
I want to hide
I want to tear down the walls
That hold me inside
I want to reach out
And touch the flame
Where the streets have no name

I want to feel sunlight on my face
I see the dust cloud disappear
Without a trace
I want to take shelter from the poison rain
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
We're still building Then burning down love
Burning down love
And when I go there
I go there with you
It's all I can do

The city's aflood
And our love turns to rust
We're beaten and blown by the wind
Trampled in dust
I'll show you a place
High on a desert plain
Where the streets have no name

Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
We're still building
Then burning down love
Burning down love
And when I go there
I go there with you
It's all I can do
Our love turns to rust
We're beaten and blown by the wind
Blown by the wind
Oh, and I see love
See our love turn to rust
We're beaten and blown by the wind
Blown by the wind
Oh, when I go there
I go there with you
It's all I can do

"I want to know you!"

a new "favorite song" we sang at church yesterday:

I Want To Know You
Darrell Evans

When your heart beats,
I wanna feel it
When your voice speaks,
I wanna hear it
When your eyes cry,
I wanna catch the tears
I wanna know you
(I wanna know you)

Oh my Lord, I wanna know you
Oh my Lord, I wanna know you

When You breathe Lord,
I wanna breathe with you
When You make a move,
I wanna move with you
And when your calling,
I wanna answer you
I wanna know you
(I wanna know you)

I wanna know you,
I wanna know you,
I wanna know you, my Lord
I wanna know you,
I wanna know you,
I wanna know you, my Lord

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I want to be that tree!

Psalm 1 (New Living Translation)
New Living Translation (NLT)

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
4 But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. 5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly. 6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

When Busy Is Too Busy

"We need to scrutinize the rush of our activities, because even venerable exertions may be keeping us from becoming and doing what God wants. A packed schedule may be detrimental not only to ourselves, but to those we seek to help. A few years ago our neighbors were drawn to us, but when we talked to them about the Lord, their response was, "We couldn't be Christians; we couldn't live at your pace." They had been attracted to Christ, but the busyness of our lives had scared them from a commitment.

—Jean Fleming, "How Busy Is Too Busy?" in Decision (March 1988). Christianity Today, Vol. 32, no. 7.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Yesterday

Yesterday morning I ran my 9th marathon (26.2 miles) in Columbia, Missouri – “Heart of America Marathon”! When I arrived to the race headquarters at 5:00 am to get my race packet I saw the note that said “Welcome to one of America’s hardest marathons!” I wondered what I had gotten myself into – there were lots of hills there in and around Columbia and 5 major hills on the marathon course. The entire course was “rolling” at best – hardly any thing flat at all. The most profound hill – Easley Hill – coming up from the Missouri River valley at the half-marathon point, was incredibly steep for almost a mile long!

Anyway, despite the hills and heat I accomplished an important life goal of mine that I’ve had for a long time: a sub 4-hour marathon finish. I came in at 3:57:48 (52 of 137 participants)! This is 9 minutes faster than my previous best time and under the 4-hour mark with 2 minutes to spare! Something else that was new to me: a post-run ice bath! There was a huge pool 10 feet from the finish with ice-cold water and lots of ice. I got in 3 times for 5 minutes at a time and this greatly reduced my soreness and speeded up post-marathon recovery. In a few weeks I am going to try 31 miles!

Adam

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Long Over-Due Update

Not last weekend but the weekend before...(how can it be Thursday of this week already?)...I went to Colorado with the Smelser family who are all my friends. We went to Leadville, CO which is the highest incorporated town in the USA at 10,200 at City Hall Main Street downtown. There the Leadville 100 Mile Trail Marathon was held. Yes - runners who set out to run 100 miles! good grief! Well Saturday morning at 4am we sent off Allen Smelser - I am guess around age 52 or so - to run the race. He was one of 594 starting participants. He made it 40 miles before he gave out with non-running related internal problems. But the inspiration went on. The first guy crossed the finish line at about 8pm. That means he ran 9 minutes miles the whole way - including twice over a 12,500 foot pass - and finished in 16 hours - an hour and a half in front of the next guy. The next inspiration came Sunday morning when we watched the last hour of people coming in. They only get 30 hours to finish. A good chunk of the only 210 finishers came in right there at the end within the last hour. That was the most inspiring thing because they kept going all night long!
Anyway, I was thoroughly inspired to keep running and train for my marathon this fall at DC and...well...hopefully...maybe...absolutely accept the challenge of completing the Leadville Trail 100 myself someday! Why not?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

"Century Ride"

I rode my bicycle 103.5 miles on Saturday in Wichita Falls, TX with my friend, Mike, from Chandler in an event called "Hotter'n Hell 100". This event features 12,000 bikers who either participate in the }race" (fast) or "ride" (more moderately paced) portion of the line-up. I was definetely a rider! It was really fun actually and I was surprised at how well I finished up - expecting to be dragging more. Miles 80-90 were the hardest - where I just wanted to be done. The last 1o were really easy! Other than being sore today I hit the rode again running 5 miles to "recover"! This is my first century ride that I finished and it was really fun to be out there with all of those other people! Maybe I'll do it again next year...

"Only Grace" by Matthew West

There is no guilt here
There is no shame
No pointing fingers
There is no blame
What happened yesterday has disappeared
The dirt has washed away
And now it's clear

[Chorus]
There's only grace
There's only love
There's only mercy
And believe me it's enough
Your sins are gone without a trace
There's nothing left now
There's only grace

You're starting over now under the sun
You're stepping forward now
A new life has begun
Your new life has begun

And if you should fall again
Get back up, get back up
Reach out and take my hand
Get back up, get back up
Get back up again

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Psalm 84:11-12

"For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

O LORD Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Update

I heard the weatherman on the radio say yesterday that the "heat wave is intensifying", as if it had a mind of it's own? It is getting up to 103ish every day this week. Yesterday was painting in the heat and I called it a "head-pounding" heat. Today is my first "office" day in my 1/4 job for Crossroads. I am doing the beginning bare minimum stuff in order to actually set up an office to work.

Last night I ran 16 miles! I literally ran from the central part of town to the extreme North part of town and back. It was hot and I was running pretty slowly but I finished and feel great today (actually really sore and tired but it is a good kind of sore and tired!).

Something fun that has been happening at least a few times each week is breakfast and dinners as a family here at my house! Praise be!

Letter writing coming soon!

Adam

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Quote of the Day

Not that I am in a particularly negative mood or anything, but as I reflect on some past experiences in church ministry I found this quote particularly relevant and true:

"Sometimes I think the whole Christian world is made up of just two groups: those who speak their faith and accomplish significant things for God, and those who criticize and malign the first group." —Don Basham, "On the Tip of My Tongue," New Wine (June 1986). Christianity Today, Vol. 30, No. 12.

104 today - or something terrible like that! Off to bed by 10pm tonight!

Adam

What a 2 Hour and 12 Minute Challenge!

Today was a scorcher! The radio said it was 99 degrees and the bank clock said it was 104 - who knows which one was right? Either way - it was hot! But with a redeeming strong south breeze (breeze doesn't really seem to be the appropriate word here because it is really more like a hot air wind). Painting in such conditions is quite the challenge. Actually, it was a great day!

Tonight at 9 pm, right at dusk, I set out for my "long run" of the week. These are the contents that I packed in running shorts: cell phone, 3 one dollar bills to buy more gatorade, 2 sticks of gum, one and half packages of GU blocs which are energy and fluid replacement squares you eat every couple of miles, a GU gel pack which is basically pure sugar to help give energy towards the end of the run. I also carried in my hand a 24 ounce bottle of gatorade. By mile 9 the gatorade was gone and I bought another bottle at the convenience store and it was totally consumed by the time I made it home - total trip was 14 miles running. About 2 hours and 12 minutes or so! But the unique challenging factor was the stifling heat. It was still about 94 degrees according to the Friends University marquee which is just done the street from my house when I started running at 9. The sidewalks were baking and radiating heat - an hour into the run it literally felt like my feet were burning. Although it was dark, it was really really hot. Another really interesting phenomonon that I've never encountered before is that I found myself trying to find the "shaded" areas to run on even though it was all dark. There was a very distinct temperature change on the sidewalked areas where the trees or structures shaded the sidewalks during the day compared to the ones that were directly exposed to the sun.

I finished in one piece and now am trying to rehydrate - which will take probably around 36 hours to be back where I should be.

All that to say this - it was awesome!

Adam

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Fascinated By The City

I took a different route tonight on my run, and traveled through several "new" neighorhoods on streets that I hadn't run on or even ever been on before. I found myself fascinated by the cultures, languages, and homes represented in 6 miles of observation tonight. I also had in the back of my mind what kind of house I would like to buy someday and in which neighborhood. There is also a crazy baseball tournament going on at the Minor League Stadium where they have 72 hour of consecutive baseball - all throughout the night - even between midnight and 8 am! Hopefully late tomorrow night after the sun goes down I'll catch a few of the games.

Oh yeah, Go A-Rod!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

"Dog Days of Summer"

Here are some words that describe my current temporary job as a painter: work ethic, temporary, character building, dehydration, sun burn, sweat, hot breeze.

Ruthless trust is what God desires from us and what pleases him and the only option in response of faithful obedience!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

2007

I noticed two things tonight in my late 12 mile run. There was a man fishing from the bridge over the river downtown Wichita. Fishing pole in one hand, cell phone in the other - text messaging! While convenient and funny, it just doesn't seem right! Also, on very busy street there was a boy riding a bike holding the handle bars with one hand and holding a cell phone with the other - text messaging! Very much a sign of the times! I shook my head and smiled and then a few blocks later my cell phone rang! And I was the one out running! I took it with me "just in case" and found myself chatting with my youth pastor friend Jesse while running down the street - he did most of the talking. Yes, it is 2007!
Adam

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday

Did you know your body actually acclimates to the heat and it becomes less oppressive after a week? I am starting to enjoy painting for the most part.

Reflecting on my upcoming job...I've decided it's good news and bad news. The good news is that I don't have to "write the book on bi-vocational church planting" and the bad news is that I don't have to "write the book on bi-vocational church planting". It's good because it would be a hard book to write. It's bad because it would be a hard book to write for somebody else. One of my tasks in this new job is to still "write the book" even without doing it specifically.

I have a great peace and trust in the Lord this week (inspite of a slight constant anxious feeling).

Adam

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Is Sunday the end of the week or the beginning?

It seems that in Genesis it was the end. But the gospels refer to the resurrection being on the first day of the week and we now celebrate that on a Sunday. I've always thought of it as the end of the week - but the best part!

I am just returning home from my late run through the dark. Today ended our Yearly Meeting sessions and then I went to work painting from 2 to 9 pm.

Let's just say for the past few days I haven't slept very much.

Yearly Meeting was awesome. Our theme was "Reaffirming Our Connections" as we are 71 churches of Mid-America and we really do believe that there is much we can do better together than seperately. I had to give public speeches twice - a testimony about my call to ministry and what I "like about being a part of the Friends Church of Mid-America" and then today a missions promo speech and introduction to some of my missionary friends who were to give a report to the body. The meetings were Spirit-filled and exciting and we all left encouraged and energized and pumped up ready to get to work!

At the beginning of the week I had no clue (other than painting) how God wanted to use me - other than the promise that I know he wanted to and would! Deep down I think I had faith all along that something special was going to happen. While I don't know all of the details yet, I am very excited about joining the Yearly Meeting staff and getting to work ASAP. I think it will take some time, though. We are going to have a meeting this week to discuss job description and title and roles and compensation and confirming whether or not I want it. They are taking no other apps though, pretty much. The job is created with me in mind - which is something very honoring and exciting. The 1/4 administrative position at Crossroads fell through 24 hrs after agreed upon and will be tabled for one month and then possibly brought back up and implemented. I have plenty of work for the time being.

I am anxious about this week and the hopeful correspondence that will take place. I am also excited!

Also, I am so grateful to God today for his grace and love and faithfulness! God really is mighty to save! I feel that he is leading me and guiding my like a shepherd! Praise be!

--Adam Monaghan

Friday, July 27, 2007

Communication

I sent a very important and exciting letter today. I prayerfully await a response in due time. I continue praying and studying and discerning on some things - but I already know what my heart tells me. Praise be!

It all makes sense now

I was just waiting for all of the puzzle pieces to fall together...they have fallen together in the last 24 hours. This is the rough draft (yet to be confirmed and 'officially' decided upon by me and the churches) of what I am going to be "doing with my life". I am going to be primarily serving on staff at Crossroads as Youth Pastor/Associate Pastor titled not yet clarified. This is volunteer. I am going to be 1/4 time working as Administrative Assistant for Crossroads and 3/4 time working for the Friends Church Mid-America office doing some light administrative work, serving under the Youth Superintendent as an Event Planner and Project Recruit Director. More explanation later but these responsibilities excite me greatly and I will have a full time salary between the two jobs and then will be on staff bi-vocationally but it won't require me working a secular job permanently or at all right now. I am so grateful for that. I am so excited. I will spell all of the details out in a few days once it is finalized and approved and I actually see something in writing.

Right now is Yearly Meeting sessions in Mid-America held here in Wichita. I am also painting everyday too so I am trying to squeeze everything in and today made for a really long day. I attended the Missions Board meeting for 6 hours and then painted for 6 hours and then attended a meeting tonight from 10pm to 12:30am. Whew! Oh yeah, I also squeezed in a 8 mile run earlier too. All in a day's work! Time for bed!
Adam

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Painter

It's still a shame I don't have pictures of any of this that I am doing...

I guess I am a painter now!? The last two days have found me powerwashing, scraping, and priming. I figured up that I am like 1/32 done at this point. I may find that this project lasts until Thanksgiving? I am sure I will be on to more permanent work by then but I have committed to finishing painting this house. It has been fun and I've already learned a lot and know that I will learn a whole lot more soon: caulking, ladders way high up in the air, etc. etc.

Another thing that I've learned is that I really am an extrovert. Working in isolation all day with no one to share life with is...well...boring! But it is a good character building time. I love to work hard and share that work with others, working together, even without talking. This proves how much of an extrovert I really am. Anyway, I need to go to bed early tonight and wear lots of sunscreen tomorrow.

It's funny because we don't know who won the D-backs game? Go Yankees and Braves!

Adam