Once upon a time in the land of Frederick lived two girls. The two girls, Christina and Elise, were best friends. They did everything together. They would go to church together, out to eat together, watch movies together, go on bike rides together, they even went on vacation with each other families! They were inseparable and happy to be so. One of the best parts about their friendship is (and there are many) is that they support each other.
One day Elise decided to sign up for a 10k (6.2 miles) and the Naval Academy on a fall Sunday. Christina being the best friend that she is, agreed to go with Elise and run as well.
The day has arrived. It was 5:45 am when the sound of the alarm clock filled the room. Elise shut both alarm clocks of and turned to Christina and said, "Hey, it's time to get up." Christina made a grunt to which Elise replied, "I kind of almost don't want to get up and go." Christina agreed. They had had a late night due to sleeping in earlier that day. Elise than asked, "But what would our excuse be." Christina replied, "Because I'm tired." "Well that's not a good enough excuse!" "Okay, we'll go." So both Christina and Elise reluctantly rolled out of bed and began to get ready. They were in the car by 630 ready to make the 1:30 drive to Annapolis. But before they even got on the highway they had to stop by Duncan Donuts for some blueberry bagels. The combination of the bagels and music were able to wake both Elise and Christina up.
After Christina and Elise made it to the Naval Academy they checked in and got their bib numbers as well as timing chips. They had some time to spare to they went back to the car and laid down for 20 minutes. The 20 minutes flew by and suddenly it was time to gather at the starting line. The other runners manly concisted of families. From the looks of it there appeared to be 40 adults (at the most) and 40 kids. Everyone began at the same time, however, there were 3 different "races". The first race was a kids fun run, than a 5k, and lastly a 10k.
The beginning of the race started a little congestion but after some weaving, slowing down, picking it back up Elise and Christina settled into their own comfortable pace. For about 4.5 miles of the race Christina and Elise were able to enjoy beautiful views of the Chesapeake Bay.
Side Note: When you take the time to really look at your surrounds and breathtaking views of God's creation it can be overwhelming that you have (or can have if you don't already) a relationship with this powerful God. Not only can you have a relationship with God but He actually WANTS a relationship with us. He doesn't need it by any means, but that's just how much He loves us. It really is overwhelming how good our God is.
Elise finished the race first at 50 minutes, a slight improvement from her previous 10k. (Placed 1st in the 20-29 age group and 13 overall) Elise was happy that she finished and with a better time, but intends to get her time down even more for her next race. Christina finished at 1:10 which was also an improvement from her previous 10k! Overall it was a great day to run and glorify God.
This was also my last Sunday race. After some thought I realized I no longer want to run a race on a Sunday. My intention with my running is to glorify God and I don't feel like my skipping church to run is the best way to do that. Today I read a great sermon on the subject!
(THE IMPORTANCE OF CHRIST’S CHURCH By Don Krow) The Greek word for “church” is ecclesia and literally means an assembly of people together for the purpose of worship or prayer or praise or just looking unto God. Church is not a building nor something that makes you a Christian. The church is an assembly of people coming together for the purpose of looking to Jesus, praising the Lord, to receive direction from the Lord, to follow through with that direction. The primary purpose of the early New Testament church was edification. They met together for the purpose of building each other up in the faith. The early church was an evangelistic church. People were scattered everywhere,sharing their faith in Jesus Christ, and as they did, the Lord added to the church––not to a building—but added to the people of God as they repented and believed. Then they assembled themselves together to encourage one another, to exercise their spiritual gifts,to serve one another, and to have a time of fellowship with one another by sharing a meal together. When they were together, they exercised their spirituals gifts to edify one another. Then they would go out and preach the Word, and the whole cycle would begin again. They believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and they assembled themselves together. It didn’t matter where they assembled. It could’ve been in a building or someone’s home. It could have been a large amount of people, or it could have been a small number of people meeting in homes. It didn’t really matter, as long as they met together in the name of the Lord for the purpose of exercising their gifts, to encourage one another, and to fellowship with one another with the end result being edification, or building, each other up. No matter what church you go to—no matter if you’re in a denominational church or a non-denominational church, if you are meeting in a mega-church or a small home group—the Scripture is telling us that as you see the Day approaching, and as sin abounds, the grace of God much more abounds. Grace is going to abound within these assemblies of God’s people. In the church where each believer has a part of the ministry of Jesus Christ, you can minister to one another, exhort one another, and encourage one another as you exercise your spiritual gift with one another.
We would all benefit by meeting with a group of believers in this way. Even if it’s just two or three that are meeting in the name of the Lord Jesus, we need to meet together on a regular basis. It is good to meet together to use our spiritual gifts, to exhort one another, to encourage one another, to look to Jesus together, and to pray for one another. There’s a lot we could say about the church. We could talk about the elders, overseers, pastors, and church government, but that’s not the purpose today. The purpose is to know the purpose of the church and to know we do not have to be isolated like one man on an island all to himself. We cannot survive that way. When we received salvation, God put us in the body of Christ––the universal body of believers. We need one another, and we need to meet together as God’s church to encourage one another and serve one another with the spiritual gifts that God has given us. I encourage you, meet together today with God’s people.
Hebrew 10:24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
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