Getting Ready for a Marathon

Getting Ready for a Marathon.

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Getting Ready for a Marathon

Hey folks. I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was great! I’ve had my coffee intake for the day and it’s slowly wearing off.

I have been given the awesome task of preaching for the entire month of March. Our Pastor has retired after over 35 years and the other Associates, along with myself have been asked to do an entire month of sermons. When I said that I am gearing up for a marathon, I seriously mean that. I have dome some big things in my adult life but, never have been given the opportunity to preach the Word of God for one month straight!! The Word says that “to whom much is given, much is required.” The Army told me, “with this rank, comes responsibility.” Either way you look at it, the calling that I was given was not for everyone and I am in now way saying that I am above anyone, “Saint” or “Sinner”. The bottom line is that I have a lot to do pretty shortly and while I feel I may not be ready at times, I have to accomplish my goal.

We all have felt this way at one point or another. Just when we think we’ve got it all figured out, BAM!!! Here comes another one! Here’s hoping that the BAM that you hear is the sound of you finishing what you started…

Time For a Rant

Well it’s finally Friday. It was a short week but it definitely felt like a regular one. I’ve stopped planning for weekends as I have gotten older. To be honest, I really don’t lead a very exciting life. I go to work, come home, spend time with my boys as much as possible, worship on Sunday, then do it all over again the next week. Pretty mundane if you ask me but, oh well. Things could definitely be a lot worse.

Who’s gearing up for the Super Bowl?! I look forward to this game with bitter sweetness because of the fact that it’s the last game of the season and we will see football until August. I know there is still basketball, hockey, etc but, I only watch those on a college level. In fact, I actually prefer college sports to professional sports. There is something about playing at that level that seems to be more genuine at leat in the traditional sense. Granted, college sports has come a long way–not necessarily for the better but, I still love watching it. This does not take away from my love for the NFL; it just has to know its place in my heart.

I also freely admit to having an addiction to Netflix. Whomever was responsible for this gets props for sure. I’m the type of watcher that will watch an entire series in marathon mode. To me it’s the closest thing to reading a book without turning pages. The last show that I completed was Dexter. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth looking at. I will warn you that it’s not for the weak-hearted or those that are squeamish. Mature subject matter along with graphic scenes definitely suggests that you not let your children look at this. In certain ways, I can identify with the main character (minus the sociopathic tendencies, and the thirst for killing). He’s definitely a good person at the 3rd layer or so. He definitely likes his alone time…lol. He also definitely loves his family and will do anything to protect them. Yeah, he needed help in a LOT of other areas but, who doesn’t, right?

Ok so, now I am winding down to the last paragraph. I hope you all have a great weekend and I also want to thank each and every one of you that stop by and take a gander at the progress I’m making. I’ve had this blog for a few years and have tried my best to share what God has given me to share. There have been times when I have neglected to post anything not for lack of trying. I plan on making this place a lot more useful. I only ask that, if you enjoy what you’ve read, please share my spot with someone. Well, I guess this is it for today. Have a great weekend.

Don’t Look Down!!!

“Calm down doctor. Now is not the time for fear. That comes later…” This is one the best lines from Dark Knight Rises. If you’re not familiar with the movie (seriously?), this is the scene where Bane and his cohorts have hijacked a plane belonging to the CIA that is carrying Dr. Pavel. Bane has captured Dr. Pavel and assured him that being afraid now won’t do him any good but, later he should be.

I remember, back in my Army days, there was always some sort of training that we had to do, Especially in Basic Training. On one particular day, we had to go through, what’s called, the Confidence Course. This was a series of obstacles that ran a few hundred yards. Along the course there were a myriad of obstacles that you had to negotiate. Some required crawling while others required, jumping, running, rolling, etc. However there was one obstacle that almost everyone feared. This was the one where you had to climb up and over at a pretty decent height. Sure, there were some that were able to get passed it but, there were many of us that were not. You heard the usual calls of motivation as well as tricks to get over it.

“Just keep your eyes forward…”

“Don’t look down…”

I could go on and on. The thing about it was that there could have been a million tricks but if you have a fear, there is no point in wasting your breath. Fortunately for me, I was successful at climbing but, because of my height, I was at a disadvantage. Still, I had to get over the wall. It took me two times but, I made it. However my greatest challenge was when I went rappelling for the first time. The wall in basic training was tough however, a 50 ft tower is a totally different animal. Not only was it high, this time, I had to rappel down the front. I was fitted with a harness and climbed the tower. Once they gave me a class on rappelling, it was my time to go over the edge (insert scared face). As I got into position, my heart was racing faster than a zebra being chased by a lion. I was over the edge but I wasn’t going anywhere. I was stuck. My friend told me that I had to kick away from the wall and pull my back arm away from my body loosening the rope. I was still at the top so I wasn’t able to kick very far but, when I started my descent, I was moving! It was all over after about three kicks.

After I got done, I went back a few more times because it got easier once I faced my fear. Noticed I said “face” and not “overcome”. The way I see it, we never really stop being afraid. We face the fear by looking straight at it and then we go on ahead. This reminds me of Paul’s second letter to Timothy. He tells him to not be afraid because that’s not how God operates. He doesn’t give us the spirit of fear. That comes from the enemy. God gives us the spirit of love and a sound mind. We go through life everyday thinking about ways to not do something because of fear. Myself included. There have been many times since leaving the army where I was afraid. I had a fear of the unknown. Even after my divorce there was still some fear. I had to push through and face it all. You can too…

So, What’s Your Story?

We’ve all gone to movies at least once. There is always a story that is being told and sometimes there is even a happy ending. Well I was looking at one on Netflix the other day and, as the movie went on, I thought for a second I focused on the extras in the background. They are usually carrying on some sort of conversation or simply just walking by. I thought to myself, “I wonder what their story is. I mean seriously, what’s the deal with the couple at the next table? Are they going through something or are they happy?” The truth is, I really didn’t know what their deal was. It really shouldn’t have made a difference to me nor should I have been concerned but, the fact remained that it kinda bothered me. Not to the point that I lost sleep per se but, think about it; everyone has a story in their own movie. My job wasn’t to judge them in any way but I was definitely curious. I guess we all have at least one scene or another where others can see us without being too transparent. It’s actually kinda cool when you think about it. Your story could easily be a movie. Your life can be on the silver screen or, at least on DVD lol. There’s joys, sorrows, heartache, happiness and even sadness. The good thing about this is that we have the opportunity to write the ending. It may not win an Oscar but it not any less important than anyone else. The point I’m trying to make here is that you will always have to go to different scenes in your life but, the key is to keep making the scenes. While in your scenes, do your best to give your best performance. You never know. Someone may be watching your movie…

My Big Black Binder

I wanted to share this experience with you. I got up one morning to get on my way to work. I was going to ride my bike but, before I left, I had to get something out of my car. It was a big black binder. The kind that actually had some weight to it. Well, I put the binder in my bag and got on my way. I got to my first stop and started down the longest part of the trip. Whew!! Talk about tough. I had gone down this road many times but today was just crazy. There is a little bit of an incline on the way. Not really a steep grade but, it was definitely noticeable that day. My legs burned and I was getting winded fast. Now, while I’m not in that bad of shape, I know that I shouldn’t have gotten this bad this fast; especially since this wasn’t some new route that I was taking. When I reached my first stop, my heart was racing pretty bad. I had to walk it off for a few minutes. After a few hours of work, I had to go to the next stop so, off I went. This time, I had the wind against me as well. Talk about a struggle! For you totally athletic folks out there, this may not seem like a big deal but just indulge me for a moment. Anyway, there I was struggling to make it to this next stop. Finally, I made it. Legs sore and almost out of breath. Well, this was also the place where I dropped off the binder. When I got home, I needed to rest my legs a lot!

The next day I got myself together for another ride. WOW!!! Talk about a great ride! I was able to get a lot of speed that day. In fact, it felt like a new ride altogether. I was going faster and I wasn’t really putting a lot of effort into it. I was wondering what the deal was until after I got to work. The day before I had a lot of weight to carry. Since I have a backpack the weight was literally on my shoulders and it made it difficult to ride on the. But, since the I didn’t have that extra weight, I was able to ride faster.

Where am I going with this? Take a look at the definition of the word BURDEN:

1. that which is carried; load: a horse’s burden of rider and pack.

When I was carrying that big black binder, I had a hard time riding but as soon as I did not have the big black binder, I was able to ride faster, farther, and I wasn’t as tired. When we are on this life’s journey, there will be times when you will carry a big black binder in your life. There will also be times that when you are carrying the weight of your own big black binder, you will going uphill. Even still there will be more times when you will not only be carrying your big black binder uphill, there will also be some harsh winds that will be blowing against you. Yes, you are going to get sore and yes, you will get tired to the point that the journey will not seem like it’s worth taking but Jesus made is very clear to us in Matthew 11:28-30 that if you give your burdens to Him, He will even trade with you:

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

So you see, there’s no need to get to down about it. Life is definitely not easy. Your big black binder probably has a lot more stuff than it should and that’s ok. Just leave the binder with God and He will trade with you. When you take make that trade, the journey will get easier and your will be able to travel a lot farther. The winds will still be there and so will the hills. The binder serves a purpose and it will help you build your strength. That way, you leave it with God, your journey gets easier…

Another Trip Around the Sun

Well, here we are, folks.  We’ve entered 2014.  How do you feel?  I feel pretty good, actually.  I tell you what; I’ve been through some rough stuff last year but, I made it through to see 1/1.  If you’re reading this, so have you.  So again, I ask you, how do you feel?  I’m feeling pretty determined.  I know what I have to do now.  No more being stagnant, no more shucking and jiving, I will conquer this.  That’s a blanket statement that everybody can say.  It doesn’t matter what you’re going to face this year.  It doesn’t even matter if you don’t think you can make it or not. What matters is that there is something within your reach and it can only be obtained if YOU decide to go after it.  Me, I’m going to do it!  I’m sick of waiting, Man, I tell ya, it will be a challenge.  The odds may seemed stacked from where others are looking but, they’re not part of my equation.  I will make things happen.  I promise you that.  God still loves me so, I’m good.  He’s heard my plea and will answer in His own time.  I suggest you get in touch with Him and get an answer!

 

Happy New Year

 

Rev. P. K. Minister