I have always enjoyed sports. When I was in school I played whatever sport was in season at the time. That meant track and field in the spring, baseball in the summer, cross country in the fall and basketball in the winter. My kids have now entered the age where they compete in the same sports at school. This spring I have spent many nights at the track watching kids run around in circles. Some are very competitive in their racing and others are not. Some are out for track because they like to run and some treat it as a social occasion.
It has been impossible for me to watch these track meets over the last couple of months and not think of the Apostle Paul. From his writings it is easy to assume that Paul was a fan of track and field events. Or if not a fan at least someone who had watched and understood the games.
When writing the first letter to the Corinthian church Paul records the following, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)
Paul likened these races to our individual races as Christians. We all run a race, unfortunately, many are running away from something. As Christians we should be running toward something. Paul refers to it as a crown that will last forever. He also implies that there is a specific way to run this race.
I realized watching the kids run their races that there were different types of runners. Some run because their friends ran, running is a social event for them. Others ran because their parents or their siblings had run before them. They ran because they were expected to run. The third group, though, they run because they want to win. They run when it hurts. They run when the weather isn’t nice. They run when their opponents are bigger, stronger and faster. But here is the thing. The ones who win, whether it is a crown that will not last or a crown that lasts forever, the ones who win are those who run with everything they have. These kids who run to win can barely stand when they cross the finish line. They have given everything they have, they have poured out everything on that track and have nothing left to give.
Paul wrote to his son in the faith, Timothy, the following, “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
Paul described his life as a drink offering, being poured out before the Lord. His choice of referring to it as a drink offering is telling. A drink offering was the lowest, the most humble and the most insignificant offering that one could make to God. Paul recognized that he had nothing to recommend him or justify his salvation except the grace of God. The good fight is the struggle each one of us deals with each and every day against the things of this world and the things contained in our own heart that prevent us from fully worshipping and trusting in God’s grace. The race he refers to is the life we live. More importantly the life we live from the point where we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior to the point where we are called home. That life, or that race, of sanctification is what truly defines us. Are we running that race with everything we have? Have we given everything we have, have we poured everything we have on the track? Those question cause you to ask other questions that many of us don’t want to ask or answer. Are we running because our friends are running, is it a social event? Are we running because our family does? Is it just a tradition? Or do we really want to win? Do we really want that crown that will last forever?
HOC Meal Report:
On April 25, 13 were involved in preparing, serving and cleanup for 53 guests. Our meal was liver & onions, pizza pork patties, chicken nuggets, green beans & bacon, biscuits, mixed fruit, cupcakes, brownies, milk, tea & coffee.
Thanks to our great volunteers: Marci & Brad, Joe & Kay, Chuck & Ann, Tom & Jo who provided food or funds, Diane T and Vi who prepared and served, Jo G, Darla and friend Ted who served and did the cleanup.
Our next meal will be May 31. Please consider joining in the fun of serving together.
Summer Camp Registration
Camp registration needs to be completed by May 20th. The church needs a copy of the invoice and your check for $25 per camper prior to this date. If you would like to register at church Christian Ed will be available to help you with this.
2018 Youth/Young Camps
Little Fry (k-2nd grade) June 8-10
Jr/Sr High (7th-12th grade) June 10-15
Elementary (3rd-6th grade) June 24-28
If you register AFTER May 20 you will be responsible for paying for your child’s camp fee in full. The church will reimburse you for the camp fee minus the late fee and BLFC registration fee (per Camper). The church needs a copy of your invoice showing the registration and payment before the refund will be issued.
CE will be available to help 5/6 and 5/13 with online camp registrations.
Mission for months of April, May, June is Camp Quaker Heights scholarships
· July 13-19, 2018: Youth and Young Adult Board sponsored trip to Chicago July 13-19,
· August 1-3, 2018: Church Multiplication Conference at Barclay College (Haviland, Kansas)
Spring is finally here, time to get ready for the garden. Mother’s Day is coming up, too. Lots to do! Take a break from all that work with a good book from our library. We have many to choose from. Amusing Grace, The Heart of a Mother, A Mother’s Love, Sometimes I Feel Like Running Away From Home, Stick a Geranium in Your Hat and Be Happy & Where Does a Mother Go to Resign?
We also have Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado, Inspirational Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
We would like to thank all our family and friends who took the time to wish us a Happy 60th Anniversary. We received so many cards and well wishes, we so appreciate all of you for making this an extra special Anniversary.
James & Sharon Johnson
Quaker Heights is Looking for:
….6 amazing high school and college aged individuals to serve on the 2018 Summer Staff. A summer at Quaker Heights offers you an incredible experience that will push you to grow in community, in Christian living and service.
Applications Due: May 2018
Summer Staff Program: June 1-August 3, 2018
Housing and meals provided at Quaker Heights
We provide cost of lifeguard training and first aid training.
Begin the application process online: www.campquakerheights.org
There are a variety of responsibilities available for Quaker Heights summer staff.
Kitchen, Camp Store, Lifeguard, Archery, Challenge Course, & Canoes
Staff at Quaker Heights understand what it means to engage kids, teens, and adults with life transforming message of Jesus. Each staff member uses their skills and ability to serve Christ and guests, while living out CQH’s core values. The amazing Quaker Heights Experience would not happen without committed Chris Followers and passionate staff.
Last Deeper meal and class will be May 23, 2018
Starting on May 30 (Summer Deeper)
Deeper Meal and Class will start with
M & C fixing the meal
On May 17th from 5:30pm to
about 7:00pm Child Abuse Prevention
Services, the Marshalltown Police Department, and the L.A.S.T. Watch will be
hosting a FREE Community Forum on Human Trafficking at the Marshalltown
Public Library. ANYONE is welcome! Attendees will be trained on the signs of
trafficking and what to do if you suspect trafficking is going on as well as
information on what is being done to prevent and prepare locally. There will
also be a questions/discussion time at the end of the presentation where
various local professionals from a variety of facets will be available to
provide insight and responses. Please pass this along to your contacts! A
meal will be provided.
On May 17th from 5:30pm to about 7:00pm Child Abuse Prevention Services, the Marshalltown Police Department, and the L.A.S.T. Watch will be hosting a FREE Community Forum on Human Trafficking at the Marshalltown Public Library. ANYONE is welcome! Attendees will be trained on the signs of trafficking and what to do if you suspect trafficking is going on as well as information on what is being done to prevent and prepare locally. There will also be a questions/discussion time at the end of the presentation where various local professionals from a variety of facets will be available to provide insight and responses. Please pass this along to your contacts! A meal will be provided.