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Marathon Update – One Step in Front of the Other…over, and over, and over!
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There are only two major runs left for Brian and I in our marathon training, 18 miles and 20 miles.  Our training program has us running three times a week with one run being a long distance.  Some weeks we scale back to give our bodies a rest and our long runs are not a “new” mileage but a maintaining mileage.  We have those two long distances yet to reach before our longest run the marathon itself.Marathon Training

I find myself pretty excited!  I can see the end goal and I know it will be here before we know it!

One of the things I love most about running is doing it with Brian!  What a joy to have a hobby we both enjoy!  This hobby was mine first and Brian joined in.  I was rather encouraged when I thought back on this and realized it.  There are many hobbies that we do together that originated with his interests, camping and hiking to name two.  But running was something I did and Brian decided to join me in.  That makes me smile!  I am thankful to be married to someone who enjoys hanging out with me and investigating my interests.

As we put one foot in front of the other for each long run we have had a few interesting experiences!  Running in Lancaster county brings it’s own sights, sounds and smells!  Around here they fertilize with manure.  One run had us passing an Amish farm while the farmer was spreading this liquid manure!  It was even on the road and we had to run around it.  All I could think was run faster, get past this guy before you get sprayed!  We have been threatened by dogs, one got a kick in the jaw from my husband as he defended me!  But my favorite thing by far is just the running conversations.  When you hit the road for mile after mile and it is just the two of us for a couple of hours it is a good time to talk a little! You must realize we can’t talk the entire time, if so our pace would be too slow.  But talking comes in spurts and it is good.

So I am thankful!  Thankful for the gift of being able to run.  Thankful for the gift of a great running partner, and thankful for the feeling of anticipated accomplishment as the end is drawing near. Before we know it we will be standing with the crowd of runners at the beginning of the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 6th! The video below gets me so excited for the day!

Tuesday’s Tunes – A Little Longer
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Years ago one of the students in our ministry gave my friend Greg Despres a CD with a song sung by Jenn Johnson which was so impacting that he shared it in one of his messages.  Upon hearing it I immediately went to purchase it because of how deeply it struck my heart.  This song has continued to impact my life so much that at times I open iTunes, select the song, select the repeat 1 song option, and press play.  I sit and pray, sometimes through tears because of the message of the song.  This past summer some of our students found this video and played it during an all night prayer/worship gathering.  Watch below and see if it might strike your heart in a deep way:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-vjd6LJFi0

Here is the part of the song that hits me the hardest:
“Then hear you saying to me
Listen, you don’t have to do a thing
Just simply be with me
and let those things go
‘Cause they can wait another minute”

It is so easy to get caught up in ministry or any christian service with a “do” attitude (which can turn in to a “do-do” attitude) rather than a “be” attitude.  Take a moment today and just be with your creator God, listen, relish in God’s love, and then stay there a little longer…those other things can wait another minute.

This Sunday morning in Calvary Church’s Sr High Insight this song fits so perfectly into our current series and will be featured…you don’t want to miss the way in which this will be creatively featured!

the god of Christmas
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The subtle, yet poignant message in this commercial screamed out at me this morning while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with the family.  Watch below and see if you can hear what I hear:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TMwBFK2qHI

Did you see it…not only have we overtaken the real reason for the Christmas celebration, Christ the eternal, the Messiah taking on humanity for the salvation of the world, but we have further replaced God with today’s image of commercialism, Santa Claus!  Coca-cola has created Santa as a god-like figure who controls the events of humanity through his snow globes, to bring happiness to all (and a Coke and a smile).  I realize that this is a mythical and flawed view of how God works, but it subtly indoctrinates our society and bumps God the Father and the Son out of the Christmas celebration.  Maybe we should start calling the holiday season Santamas?  Merry Santamas to all…yikes!

Those of us who know the reality of God in flesh appearing need to keep Christ as the center of Christmas, help our children discern and understand the lies of society around, and celebrate that true joy and life only known through the Christ of CHRISTmas.

I Love Coke…but this ad campaign doesn’t bring happiness or a smile to my face.

For married couples only!
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I came across the following clip of a challenge that Ed Young of Fellowship Church (main campus in Grapevine, TX) and when looking into it further found that his challenge has received some national press, and many people weighing in their opinions.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPOhQ-nHNfI

It seems that when you consider it in context and what they are encouraging in their church that this is a really healthy way to focus on building up marriages.  Check out the comments from he and his wife on his blog.  My biggest concern when I heard this was thinking about all the marriages that have much emotional pain in this area of their relationship and how it wouldn’t go well without some major counselling…I pray (as he and his wife are also) that many will seek wholeness in their relationship through this challenge and that many will be encouraged towards greater intimacy in marriage.

This made me think of the Tommy Nelson sermon series on Song of Solomon that Mandy and I listened to on our honeymoon roadtrip.  Those are great messages, revealing the heart of God when it comes to marriage and sexuality!  What a blessing that God created!

…Now, how about that challenge!?

Owen and The Swing
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This will make you chuckle and want to run to the rescue!  Enjoy!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJblOzmC_iU

Break the Silence! – It’s all about Owen
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Wow, the silence of this blog is deafening! It has been too long since we posted anything…you can imagine that life has been crazy.

owen1-1.jpg

We just celebrated Owen’s first birthday! First with some of his Texas family and then here in PA. More pictures will come in the days ahead on our gallery.

Eating cake is not the only thing Owen has been busy with, check out the video below to see what he’s up to.

[wp_youtube]ihuhChgx1hY[/wp_youtube]

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