Sunday, November 9, 2008
I got up at 5AM and was at the Fire Station at 5:30 to grab a cup of coffee, a Sonic sausage and cheese sandwich and get instructions for traffic control duty for today's OBX Marathon. FF Kidd and I were at our post at 6:00, which was conveniently at the corner of Soundside Road and Croatan Hwy, and the location of Nags Head Church.
After 4 hours of directing traffic and drinking coffee I had to be excused to get ready for my "day job". I volunteer with the fire department as their chaplain, and this was a great opportunity to give back.
Thanks to our Hospitality Team (Barbara, Les, Carol and Cindy) for coming in early and setting up a coffee stand for spectators. It's another way to reach out. 5,000 runners and not that many spectators came by us this morning before church started.
We only had one gathering this morning due to the congestion the Marathon causes. So it was a full house crowd and with lots of energy. Everything was crowded today, but that's a great sight. So here's a special shout out to our First Impression team for getting extra seating up as we filled up; to our Hospitality team for keeping up with the coffee and pastries; and especially to our Childrens and Nursery staff for handling the double dose so well.
Today I talked about God's 3rd purpose for our lives: discipleship. God made us to become like Christ. That's a lifelong process involving changing our character. The focus today was on the things we don't normally think about as tools God uses: trials that He designs to help us; temptations Satan throws at us to hurt us and trespasses against us by others that hurt. God uses them (Romans 8:28) to teach us to trust, obey and forgive. Easy? No. But no one who is a Christ follower (something about taking up your cross) would describe the Christian life as easy.
Great songs complimented the message today as usual. Our band does a fantastic job tying in just the right music with the message before and after.
We're again partnering with Samaritan's Purse with Operation Christmas Child. I don't know how many years we've done this - 12 or 13 I guess - and the response is always great. A short video today explained it. If you don't know about it, check out the link.
We gave a shout out to our Veterans today. Freedom isn't free. Thanks to all who have served and are serving our country in our military. If you get a chance Tuesday, attend a Veterans Day ceremony.
And Semper Fi to all the Marines out there as you celebrate your birthday tomorrow.