Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sunday 7s: Oct 18

1) Just left a congregational meeting at the church. Our pastor is resigning. Everyone is heartbroken. Some are angry. Dave Desforge has taught me so much about the Gospel. He's one of the reasons I love Grace and keep coming back. It will be strange not have him giving the sermon, but I am reminded that Jesus is bigger than one man. Or one church.

2) Jesus + nothing.

3) This experience has made me contemplative. I understand the inability to manage people and the constant risk of burnout. I wonder if or how long my heart can continue to pursue this passion (teaching) with the energy, commitment and love that I need to for my students and co-workers. It's tough to admit that you might be in over your head. I often feel that way.

4) Today's sermon was by my good friend Brian Land. He spoke on Hebrews 12:1-3, which is one of my favorite passages.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
  • Jesus runs with us. It's an endurance race and we're not alone.
  • I love that not only does he "author" our faith, he also is the "perfecter:
  • I made it into the sermon today. Me, Reese Witherspoon, Liam Neeson & Robert De Niro, King Leonidas and Neo (the Matrix) all make their way into the sermon. Obviously, I was the star...
  • Brian used my bike journeys to illustrate the endurance aspect of the race that must be endured. Also, he said that if he were to ride the Great Divide, he has a reference that he can trust-- a wealth of knowledge. Jesus provides that for all our races.
  • Talked to two friends who recently moved. They both commented on how much stuff they have and they are trying to lighten the load. Ironically, that's one of the messages in the sermon: we carry heavy burdens that make our race harder. Reese Witherspoon in "Wild" had too much stuff and she couldn't hike the Pacific Coast Trail. Robert De Niro's character in "The Mission"-- he literally carried his burdens and was trapped by them until they were cast into the river. Both my friends are at a point where they are realizing that the stuff the accumulate to make their lives more comfortable only burden them and weigh them down. But getting rid of stuff and lightening the load is difficult. In one friend's words, "It takes radical heart change."
5) Went to Columbia yesterday. We had a party for my older brother, Chhay, who is being deployed to the Middle East for 6 months with the Air National Guard. His brother in law, La, who is the only person I know with a hibachi grill on his porch, cooked up dinner. We played with the kids, ate and celebrated a great brother, dad and husband who will be missed while deployed. 

6) Rode Spencer Branch Trail today. It was the last run down Spencer as we know it. Tomorrow, they are closing it and the new re-route will be the only way down from Spencer Gap. The old trail was technical, with lots of roots, rocks and decent drops off water bars. I'm not a great technical rider, but I love to ride this trail and have no shame in walking when necessary. It will be greatly missed. I hope the new one is as fun and challenging.

7) Another crazy week in College Football. Michigan-Michigan St was nuts! Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech look bad. Ole Miss lost to Memphis. 
  • Overrated in this week's Poll: Florida St (9), Houston (21)-- I know they are undefeated, but I still haven't seen a Top 10 performance from the Noles. Houston is beneficiaries of a soft schedule (though they did beat Louisville).
  • Under rated: Oklahoma (17)-- they are better than Iowa and Florida in my opinion and that throttling of K-State was impressive. The Texas lost, while not pretty, might be an anomaly. North Carolina (NR)-- shows the lack of respect the ACC gets. And the ACC deserves no respect, even though Clemson is really good and UNC isn't bad.
  • Top 7: 1) Utah 2) Baylor 3) Ohio St 4) LSU 5) TCU 6) Clemson 7) Michigan St.

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