Happy Friday Y’all! We are about to begin a somber Memorial Day weekend, a weekend that serves as a painful reminder of the brave men and women who have passed from this life after serving our great nation. With the events unfolding around the world right now, even more Veteran’s are losing their lives at alarming rates due to COVID-19. I hope you spend all weekend reflecting on the sacrifices made by these incredible heroes.
Y’all might have thought I had forgotten to share Elevation Church’s weekly sermon. Nah, G, I still got y’all. Click the image above to get pumped up and start flexing!
I stumbled on this jewel of a music video from our family’s favorite female Christian artist. Miss Lauren Daigle holds a special place in our heart. Not only does she have a one-of-a-kind vocal prowess, but she is the role model we want our daughter to look up to, and one we can be confident she is setting the right example for. Ms. Daigle is also the first concert our daughter ever attended and helped catapult her love for music and live performances more than anyone else could. We happened to stumble on this great video yesterday, it’s been out for over a month, but I wanted to share it today. It’s worth watching a handful of times, so much talent, so many different musicians to watch as they combine for this fun video.
22”And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:22-24)
In the verses above Paul bids farewell to the elders at the Church of Ephesus. Paul knows that trouble waits for him in Jerusalem, which would only be a sensible expectation. He has become the lead figure of the Christian Church, and he was about to return to the heart of the Jewish faith. At this time, Jerusalem served as the epicenter for the Israelites and the budding Christian faith. Today Jerusalem holds extreme importance to all three major world religions: Judaism, Christanity, and Islam. Israel venerates Jerusalem as the location of the first and second Temple and their current national capital. Christianity, of course, holds the city near and dear to their heart because it was the place of Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection. For Islam, Jerusalem holds the Dome of the Rock, where The Foundation Stone rests, the rock Muhammed is believed to have ascended to Heaven from. I cannot wait until the day I am able to visit the Holy City myself. It is a bucket list trip my wife and I are planning when our youngest child is a little older so he will fully understand the impact of visiting such a holy site.
Paul speaks with a dramatic eloquence that you will see throughout the letters he pens to the early Christian churches. He speaks of his goal to “finish the race” in one of his most famous letters to his beloved pupil, Timothy. We are all running the same race, a race that has taken much longer to finish than I think Paul would have ever expected. 2,000 years of running the race to spread the good news of God’s grace and Jesus’ love. It seems like we have taken the wrong turn many times on this race, and there have been several false starts, and then the dozens of dominations competing against each other when they should be running with one another. We need to put our focus back on finishing the race, not just mindlessly running around the track. The finish line was to spread the Gospel of Jesus to the ends of the Earth. Now we need to reteach the truth of Jesus: complete forgiveness, loving God first, loving everyone else as we love ourselves. It’s that simple. Run the race, spread the Good Word. On your mark. Get set. GO!
Reading plan: Acts 21
Deeper reading plan: Job 13, 14, 15
Prayer and meditation: Pray for the sick, pray for the lost and their loved ones. Pray for redemption for this lost world. Pray for a reviving rattle to shake COVID off this planet. And continue to pray for all those in medical professions, grocery stores, supply chain operators, first responders, and the amazing teachers still doing all they can to teach the students they love so much. Pray for all the businesses trying to recover and keep their associates able to provide for their families. Pray that the world reopens without a surge of new COVID outbreaks. And pray that the world has undergone a lasting change and the flame of revival has been lit!
Fitness challenge: Free-day Friday. Here’s a great HIIT workout. You will need a watch or timer and a way to do pull-ups. Once you find a bar to attempt pull-ups on, if you cannot do a complete pull up, pull yourself up as high as you can and hold for the working set. 20 minutes of work:
8 rounds each exercise, 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds rest. So do as many reps as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 10, repeat for 8 rounds.
Elbow plank crunches