Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
But then race day came, and it rained, and it rained, and it rained. But still we ran - 13.1 miles we ran.
That's right, friends, I finished my first ever half marathon Saturday on Kiawah Island. I had two goals: to run the whole thing and to finish in less than 2:15. I ran the whole thing and I finished in 2:13 - mission accomplished!
A few observations:
1. There are a lot of really skinny people at these events.
2. We, and by "we" I mean Jamin, observed that at the starting line where the masses lined up according to pace, people got skinnier as you got closer to the front (which is the nice way of saying that those of us between the 9 and 10 minute pace were heavier :) - something you can easily tell b/c everyone is wearing spandex.
3. Everyone got a medal as they crossed the finish line. While I typically frown on the whole "everyone gets a trophy" mentality, I am now a firm believer that running 13.1 miles is deserving of a medal. (Plus, the people who won got much shinier and fancier medals that actually said "winner" on them; whereas mine just says "Kiawah Island Half Marathon.")
4. We need to challenge ourselves. There is no exhilaration that comes with doing something we knew we could. There's a complete euphoria that comes with doing something we didn't think was possible. It's about being stretched, getting out of our boxes and re-learning again and again that God wants to do more with our lives than we dare to dream.
So, who's running with me next year?
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Monday, December 06, 2010
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Ironically, one of the things that keeps many couples from praying together is the fact that it's so incredibly awkward. Different kind of awkward, but still, awkward. Fear not, I'm not about to try and talk you into it for the purposes mentioned above. However, I would just like to say that whatever the fringe benefits may or may not be, couples need to pray together. I tell our high school students all the time - look for the person who will pray with you and for you.
When my husband and I were engaged and living in separate states, we used to pray together over the phone. That was more awkward for my roommates than for me. As a married couple, we've had periods of time when we've been very faithful to pray together and periods where we've been awful about it. I can guarantee you the times we're praying together are our best times, our most genuine times and the times we've been the closest and gone deeper in our relationship.
I'm thankful for a husband who invites me to pray with him even on the nights when I'm annoyed with him and would rather just go to bed. I'm really thankful for a husband who invites me to pray with him on the nights when he is rightfully annoyed with me and doesn't really want to talk with me let alone pray with me. Mostly, I'm thankful for a Savior who invites both of us into His presence even when we're so unworthy to be there, but at least we're there together.
I know it's awkward, but today, ask your spouse or the person you're dating to pray with you. I promise you it will be awkward. I promise you it will be worth the awkwardness.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Two truths: God created relationships, relationships are not easy
Last week - dating
I like you becomes I do (whole different message on that transition, today we’re
What is marriage? What does it look like? What does it mean?
Marriage was God’s idea (Genesis 2:24)
A Numbers Issue – when we talk about marriage, we talk about 2s and 1s (and in the south 20s if we include the whole wedding party)
Two sinks vs. One sink
One bed, two sides
Two ways to do things – my way, your way or right way, wrong way
Marriage License reads as a Two-Party Contract – couldn’t be more mis-leading
Marriage God’s Way: A 3-party covenant
Three instead of Two
Covenant instead of Contract
When's the last time you invited Jesus into your marriage? He's our foundation. He's our hope. He's our forever.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
And yet we…
And still God…
Last Week – Nineveh knew what they were supposed to do and chose to blatantly disobey and rebel against God…and they were destroyed
This Week – Different kind of disobedience and its consequences, the disobedience of standing by and doing nothing when someone is in need
What Would You Do? – all these scenarios when people see awful things happening and we get awkward and find ways to pretend it’s not happening versus getting involved
We say things like – “it’s not my place” “I didn’t want to get hurt” “I didn’t want my
kids to get hurt”
– shortest book in OT (17 verses)
– written in the form of a dirge of doom
– Edomites – descendants of Esau
vv. 10-15, Obadiah explains why Edom will be destroyed, namely blatant arrogance toward God and persecution of God’s children
- Obadiah said God would destroy Edom as punishment for standing by when Babylon invaded Judah
o A21 campaign – why didn’t you come sooner?
- Edom located in the mountains – thought they were invincible
vv. 17-21 – God will fight for His children and those who stand against or stand by will be destroyed
Who are God’s children? We are all God's children - the vulnerable, the oppressed,
the hungry, the abused
The redeemed are called to restore - we can no longer stand by while our brothers and sisters get hurt, it's time to get involved.
For more information on the A21 Campaign, check out theA21Campaign.org. Our senior high students will be fasting on the 21st to bring awareness to human trafficking - would you like to get involved?
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
If you ignore your laundry piling up and up and up, you will run out of clothing to wear.
If you eat junk consistently, then you’re going to gain weight and have health issues.
If you spend more than you make, then you will end up in debt.
If you betray someone you love – a friend, a family member, your spouse – then you will lose trust.
And yet we…Do it anyway
(We know if we stay up late, we’ll be tired in the morning – but just this one last show on tv, a few more chapters in my book, a little more time on facebook, hey what about these other internet sites…)
Why? When we’re young we think we’re invincible (that bad stuff won’t happen to me, no one else will be affected, I have plenty of time to turn things around…). We get older and we figure we can manage things (I can take care of it, I’m in control…). Then we get really old and we think, who cares, what’s it going to hurt now.
Bottom line is we do it anyway because it feels good, it looks good, it sounds good and, after all, it’s my life anyway.
- a minor prophet (minor as opposed to major b/c of population addressing and size of the book)
- Remnants of the Jonah story re-emerge - Jonah is the if…then… - goes to Nineveh, tells them to repent or get destroyed, so they repent
- 100 years later, Assyria is the world power, Nineveh is the capital – Judah is a vassal state
- Nineveh had heard the if..then, but yet they chose anyway to live in disobedience and rebellion to God
- What happens? Chapter 1:1-8, God tells Nineveh they’re going down, which they do (about 50 years after Nahum’s prophecy, Nineveh is destroyed, shortly after Assyria falls to Babylon)
Consequences are real. Not just an OT thing.
And still God…
Romans 5:8 - God proves His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
It's time to stop running from God and instead run toward God.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Who’s Your Team? Part 4
I like to win – you could say I’m a little bit competitive
Doesn’t matter what the event/activity – board games, brushing teeth
So competitive, I’ll compete at being bad at something – someone says to me “I can’t draw,” my response is “Oh, you want to see someone who can’t draw? I promise I’m much worse than you.”
Where are you winning in your life right now and where are you losing?
Are you winning the fight for your marriage? Your kids? Your neighbors? Are you winning with your money (to steal a Dave Ramsey line)?
Life can feel so often like an uphill battle – the moments we feel as though we’re winning are few and far between
But here’s the good news…
- Lead-up – God is working things out, despite present hardship or suffering, God is at work redeeming all of creation
- V. 35 – what’s going to separate us from a God who wants to be with us – anger, pride, aggression, bad decisions, pain, anxiety??? None of that
- V. 36 – bad stuff happens, doesn’t change the answer in v. 37
- IN ALL THESE THINGS, WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS
- the only way we win is with Jesus who loved us more than we will ever understand
- with Jesus, we win and we win big – more than conquerors
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Who’s Your Team?, Part 3
Maximizing Your Investment
College Football Tickets - $150
Parking - $20
Gas to and from game - $60
Tailgating - $45
Hotel room - $150
Game Day Apparel - $40
Big Foam Finger - $5
Spending Saturday with 85,000 of your closest friends – priceless
A few caveats:
Money talk is always a little uncomfortable b/c it’s personal
Too often the church has done a poor job of talking about money b/c we only talk about the 10% we want you to give to the church and we don’t talk about the 100% God has entrusted us with and biblical financial management of that money
To make it worse, we didn’t learn it in home economics either – we learned to sew a pillow and make no-bake cookies, but skipped the “home economy” part
So, most of what we’ve learned has come from the credit card companies who spend millions and millions every year talking us into spending more than we have
This message - Not talking about what we give to God, but what we do with what God gives to us.
Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25:14-30
- Jesus has just finished telling a story about the kingdom of God, which he ends by telling his disciples to “stay alert,” because no one knows when he is coming back
- Notice first off that the master entrusted his money with his servants, the money never belonged to them
- A talent was a large unit of money, one talent worth about 20 years of work from your average person
- They didn’t all start with the same amount of money – fair? No. reality? Yes.
- If this were a modern parable, there would have been a fourth guy who spent all of his talents, borrowed more from someone else and when the master came back, he was actually at -6
What we do with our money has eternal significance - do we sit on the incredible gifts God entrusts to us or do we use them for His glory?
- 70% of Americans haven’t kept what God has given them – we blow it and then we finance 30% more, as a result, we’re broke
- Average American family spends between $500-$1500/month on debt payment, excluding our house payment
- Average family can get debt free in 18-36 months
Challenge/Place to Start: Take out a blank piece of paper and open your bank account on the computer – make a list of all the things you spend money on and then rank those things in order of where you spend the most – talk about it with your family, have an honest conversation including your teenagers about how you spend money
If you are part of Ashley Ridge Church, sign-up for a small group today. In the coming months, our small groups will all have opportunities to go through a 6-week study called "I Was Broke. Now I'm Not" by Joe Sangl that will provide practical steps to becoming debt-free and investing wisely.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
So easy to zero in on the things that excite us, the things that get our passion running high –
Can you just imagine if we were as excited about Jesus as we are about football?
Thousands of people crowded into stadiums every weekend, faces painted, signs made – so eager to get in that they show up early and cook out in the parking lot, making friends with the people parked next to them b/c even if they’ve never met, they have this one, amazing thing in common.
Not just football…basketball, rock concerts, etc.
Are we that excited about Jesus, or do we come here when we don’t have anything better to do?
Revelation 3:14-22, Church in Laodicea:
Water source was about 6 miles out of town, so when it came through the pipes into their town, it was tepid
Hence, the metaphor resonated with them that they were not to be lukewarm, better to be cold than lukewarm. Jesus wants us to be hot, passionate, on fire.
Jesus doesn’t need lukewarm, he needs boiling hot, passionate, on-fire people who are ready to live a radical, sold-out life to him
The issue is not feeling guilty about loving college football or basketball, or playing golf or doing any of the things we love – it’s about what has captured your heart, or better said, it’s about WHO has captured your heart.
Where are you going to place your passion? What are you going to get so excited about that you’re willing to look foolish for the sake of it?