I am one who has somewhat of a determined single focused mindset. Although I can effectively multi-task, I usually am focused in heart and mind on one big thing. I am a dreamer, a visionary, a goal setter and a big picture guy. I look at a field and see all that could be in it and then say how do we get there? As of the last few years I have felt myself slipping down a slope of small dreams! This has somehow found itself creeping into many areas of life. Then something strange happened. I turned the big 30! Turning thirty is a problem for some. Many people dread that turning of the biological clock. However, this is not me! I looked forward to it. It meant a new start! After a decade in my 20's of marriage, parenthood, ministry, education, and responsibility, I was ready to tackle all of these head on with a new sense of purpose and passion.
Here enters running. I have never enjoyed running. In fact I have always loathed it with all of my heart. I have tried on many occasions to begin the process of running. All of these efforts would start with the right intentions only to find me quitting before I really got started. My wife is one who can get me passionate about things. She came in one day and told me of a marathon for adoption. Although I thought it could have been at a more convenient place, I was intrigued by the idea. It was in this moment that something welled up deep within my heart. I now had a purpose to run. I now had a cause to push me beyond the couch and to take the initiative to regain my health and a new perspective for my 30's! So on July 5th I began a training routine for to run a half marathon in October.
Something happened this time when I began running. I actually enjoyed it. There were alot of reason why I enjoyed it, but I want to share 4. First it was different this time beacause I actually invested in these:
Shoes are so important in order to run well! A second reason I have fallen in love with running is this:
Running provides me with something I do not get alot of....solitude. I can hit the road with nothing but an ipod and the journey in front of me. I can think more clearly, pray more intensely, plan more diligently, and reflect more objectively when its just me and the road. No phone to ring or decisions to be made. It has become somewhat of a daily activity that I need and look forward to. A third reason I have come to love running is the opportunity for this:
Running has become a time of worship for me. Not only do I get to be in nature and see the beauty of God's creation unfold, but I can worship to music with no added responsibility. As a pastor, times of unhindered worship are rare. On Sunday morning, while others can worship with a clear mind, I am simultaneously thinking through the message I am about to share. Its not that I cant worship, because I can and do. Its just that I cant just worship. Running affords me that time with God. I can sing and even raise my hands in worship to Him while I run. Yes I do raise my hands when I am in a deep moment of worship while running. So if you ever see me going down the road with my hands lifted, just know I am not trying to flag anyone down :)
A fourth reason I have fallen in love with running is this:
Running is helping me to restore my health. I feel better at 30 than I ever did in my 20's. I have lost 20 lbs in less than 2 months and am building endurance which is producing more energy for me. It is somewhat like remodeling the house while living in it. There are days that it is a real struggle, but the outcome is the ultimate motivator! I intend to lose another 20lbs over the next few months and become more of a serious runner. In fact, after I accomplish the half marathon, I am going to begin training for a full marathon. Who knows after that, maybe even attempt a ultra marathon.
Running has become an agent of change in my life. It is forcing me to get things in order in my life. I am so thankful to my wife who encouraged me to begin. I am thankful to mamme and big who invested in our expensive shoes. The journey is just beginning and I cant wait to see where it takes me!
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Posted by Nathan at 7:23 AM
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking through this word. "Radical"... the dictionary says that it is "deviating from the usual". One of the great young leaders of this new generation is David Platt. He wrote a book with this as the title. The book is certainly one of the most challenging books on the market today. However this is not a new concept. In fact this concept of being Radical is one that Jesus paves the way for.
This Sunday I will begin a series on "The Radical Jesus"..See the truth is we seem to paint this picture of Jesus as floating on the clouds singing Just as I am with all His angels. However, this is really not the picture of Jesus that the bible paints at all. While we was in fact loving and compassionate, He was also zealous and fierce when it came to the things of God. Jesus came to turn the religious establishment upside down. He took the Fathers business seriously and His life was fully devoted to the cause.
In thinking through these things and seeing the radical statements that Jesus made, it makes me as a believer really examine how much I am risking for the Kingdom. It makes me wonder if I am really teaching my children how to be radical for the King. It makes me wonder if my heart really longs to further God's Kingdom instead of mine.
Let me ask a few questions for you to ponder today?
1) Can anyone see that you are radically following Jesus?
2) Does your life reflect the radical nature of Jesus or of the average church attendee?
3) Would your children be able to recognize what radical for Jesus really is by observing your life?
4) Are you willing to give up everything you own if God asks you to?
5)Are you a radical....or not?
Posted by Nathan at 8:39 AM
Monday, August 22, 2011
Its been a really long time since I have blogged about anything. The truth is, I have been working on a Doctorate degree for the last three years. When you pursue something academic you are usually writing a paper at all times. Therefore it really takes the joy out of writing. However, now that I am finished with this degree, I want to once again take the opportunity to do three things with this blog.
First, I want to utilize this as a tangible way to express my heart and what God is doing in me. This gives the opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings about the things God is teaching me.
Second, this blog will serve as an opportunity to keep people informed as to whats going on in ministry. As you know, Jenna and I are fully devoted to spending our life serving God in whatever capacity He allows us to. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to serve the wonderful people here at FBC Malakoff.
Third, this blog will be challenging. I came to the conclusion a while back that if something doesn't challenge me to be more or do more, its probably not worth my time reading. I know alot of people use blogs for various reasons, but I intend to use it to challenge people (if any really read) to become more the like the person of Christ.
I am excited and refreshed. I am ready to dive in head first into the freedom of being done with my education and really read and write because I want to....not have to!!!
Posted by Nathan at 9:15 AM