1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Many of you may or may not know, but I have been training for my first ever 'half marathon.' The race will take place in Clarksville, TN tomorrow morning beginning at 7:30 a.m. I started this adventure over a year and a half ago, when I went to the doctor for a check up and he told me I had borderline high blood pressure, extremely over weight, and need to do something about it. He suggested I walk 3 times a week for 30 minutes a day. I contemplated that advice for awhile and after 3 months of contemplation I heeded his advice!
I begin to walk a little every other day, which was very difficult to do. At the time I weighed an enormous 289 pounds and had not exercised since high school days. After walking for a couple of months I got the hankering to jog a little also. I worked my way up to running for a minute and walking several minutes at a time. Over a period of 6 months I built enough stamina up that I was able to run/jog for 30 minutes. This is when I decided I really enjoyed my new found hobby and so I registered for my first 5K, last August.
Since then I have averaged at least 40 miles a month. I built up to run a 10K, which is 6.2 miles and wanted to run 10K race. After looking for that specific race, I was unable to find one but about the same time one of my pastor friends had signed up for the Go Commando Half Marathon causing me to inquire of this race. My question though was, can I do it? 13.1 miles is a long way, but I knew I had went from walking in 20 minutes to running 6.2 miles in less than a year surely I could do this 'half marathon.'
With that said, by God's grace I have built up to 10 miles (the farthest in my half marathon training) over the past 3 months of training Tomorrow, if I am able to finish the race it will be a great achievement for me personally. For so long I have always been one who set goals, but unable to achieve them. I have set this as a personal goal for me and by God's grace He has allowed me to achieve the training, even in the midst of my youngest son's sickness and alot of other responsibilities that I have.
As with so many other sports running is largely a mental one. You must prepare mentally for running races, especially 13.1 miles. So, tomorrow I have come up with 13 motivational prayers and reminders. I will dedicate each mile either to the memory of a loved one, a prayer for specific individuals, or a praise to God Almighty for His mercy and His grace. I would like to share my list with you:
My first motivational prayer, praise, or in memory if will be:
Mile #1 To the Glory of God. I will dedicate my very first mile to the glory of God, as He has given me the desire and the ability to take seriously in taking care of my temple which the Holy Spirit of God dwells. I will meditate on God's grace toward me in saving me and calling me to the ministry.
Mile #2 In memory of my great grandfather W.W. Cummings. W.W. Cummings is one of the most influential man God used in my life to tell me about Jesus and His church. As I run tomorrow I will think upon the time he and I shared together.
Mile #3 I will pray for C.J. Jackson and family. C.J. is a young man who was on Dylan's baseball team a few year back and has recently diagnosed with leukemia. I will dedicate this mile to praying for him and his family.
Mile #4 I will pray for Barry Carpenter and the church planters in the Philippines. Barry is a missionary whom PHBC supports in his efforts in getting the gospel to the ends of the earth. Also, Barry trains pastors in order they have a better understand of the church and the gospel.
Miles #5 I will pray specifically for the lost in my family and community. I am reminded each day the brevity of life and so many in my family and community who are without Christ and eternal salvation.
Mile #6 I will pray for Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, patients, nurses, and doctors. I have grown fond of this place over the last several months. God has used them in our lives in a mighty way. Therefore, I want to dedicate this mile to them.
Mile #7 I will pray for a wedding taking place in Montana. A church member's brother and best friend are getting married tomorrow. They have visited out church on several occasions so I want to dedicate this mile that God would bless their marriage.
Mile #8 I will run this mile in memory of my Uncle Wade. The second man I holds a special place in my life is my uncle Wade who died 18 years ago in a 18 wheeler wreck. I will think on the times I shared with him as I run.
Mile #9 I will praise God for the work of His grace at PHBC. I am overwhelmed by God's grace in how He has called men, women, boys, and girls to Himself for salvation. How He has been growing His church by drawing people to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. So, I will praise my God throughout this mile.
Mile #10 I will praise God for the gift of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary during this mile. I have been fortunate to receive a theological education at one of the best seminaries in the world. I will praise God for the gift and privilege of attending this institution and the leadership God has raised up for this particular season.
Mile #11 I will pray for the future of PHBC. There is a lot to pray over and for as we move forward for the future of PHBC. I will dedicate this mile to prayer for the future of PHBC and to the members who make up the church at Pleasant Hill. I am thankful and love each one of you.
Mile #12 I will praise God for my family. This mile is dedicated to my family for putting up with all my training. I am so grateful for my families patience with me and how they have supported me, especially my wife, by encouraging me along the way when I wanted to quit. I love you, Sam and thank you for you support in my endeavors. Without you I could do nothing!
Mile #13 I will praise God for my eternal salvation and giving me a desire to persevere in sanctification. I wished I were perfect, but unfortunately I am not. Therefore, I stand in need of God's grace and the forgiveness which is offered through the gospel of Jesus Christ each day. I stand amazed in the power of the gospel...How God can take a man like me, dead in my sins and trespasses and give him a new desire to serve and love Him. I am so unworthy for such a work of His grace, but that is what makes it SO amazing. Tomorrow as I enter my last mile (Lord willing) I will be reminded of the persevering grace of God in salvation that He gives His children. Thus, reminding me of the persevering grace He will give me to finish that last mile.
So, I covet your prayers for tomorrow as I run my first 'half marathon.' Thank you and God bless!
Thursday, October 10, 2013
1st Corinthians 12:27-31 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
And I will show you a still more excellent way.
From the outset I want it be known this is not an attack on my charismatic friends. Rather this is an honest look at the Scripture to see what it says concerning the 'gift of tongues.'
So, how does one interpret text such as Acts 2, 1st Corinthians 12,14? Are tongues possible still today? Were they "angelic" language or "ordinary" language? Well, it would serve us well to look at "What saith the Scriptures?" Nathan Busenitz gives biblical overview of the gifts of tongues by comparing text concerning tongues.
Nathan has written a timely blog post concerning this matter of tongues. Nathan serves on the pastoral staff of Grace Church and teaches theology at The Master's Seminary in Los Angeles.
Click link to read blog post: