Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Unexpected Encounters with God

Welcome to Jacci Busch!  Jacci, Andrew, Deone and I have connections that go back to seminary days and Madison Square Church in Grand Rapids, MI.  So glad that she is coming to bring the message to our Crestview Community.  Jacci shares a passion for God’s word and the desire to follow Jesus faithfully and authentically.  Thank you Jacci for bringing us God’s word this Sunday.

This vacation time has had a steady diet of devotions from Dietrich Bonhoeffer that drop into my inbox from Bible Gateway… O my, an amazing interruption… as I sit here and right this to you, a young male moose has just stepped out of the woods right in front of me.  Wow!  Praise God for this wonderful sighting.

Where was I?  Bonhoeffer… well, just as I was unexpectedly surprised by this young male moose sighting, I am going to unexpectedly change my reflection to C S Lewis.  In a letter to a friend, C S Lewis writes about the unexpectedness and unpredictability in life.  He says, “For good as for ill one never knows what is coming next.”  Although this can be disconcerting to those of us who like to plan everything out and for everything to go according to our plan.  And when it doesn’t we become irritated or upset.  He goes on to say, “There is a brighter side to the same principle.  When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.”

This seems to be a good way to embrace daily life.  In the midst of life’s up and down’s there is unexpected joy of an encounter with God in unexpected places.  It also seems that these unexpected encounters with God through nature, through others, through events, can only bring joy if they are recognized.  Lord, give us eyes to see you in the unexpected encounters you bring on a daily basis.  Turn our hearts and our inclinations toward you – bring us joy.

Some people have asked me this week how things went last weekend with the races.  Well… looking back on it, I’d say it went very well.  The 100-mile Mountain Bike Race was challenging this year.  Race day this year was warmer than normal and that may have contributed to the management of significant on and off cramping of my calf and quad muscles over the last 50 miles.  This was painful for me to work through, but the end result was just fine.  I finished with a respectable time.  The next day, the 10K foot race felt good on the leg muscles.

What this means is I have one final event to go to complete this crazy Leadville Series goal – the 100 Mile Trail Run.  I have never done anything like this before in my life and after this weekend, never will again.  A one and done for sure!  This Saturday at 4am I line up with 600 others to attempt a 100 mile out and back Trail Run within a 30-hour cutoff time limit.  The first 50 miles I have to complete solo.  At the 50-mile turnaround I am allowed to have a pacer with me for the remainder of the race.  A pacer will act as a ‘pack mule’ for lack of a better term; carrying water, food, clothing, lights, etc. and coaxing me along to the finish.

I again ask for your prayers and I ask that you would pray for my pacers as we attempt this goal.  My pacers are Dewayne and Joanne Niebur, Ryan DeGroot, Erik Newhouse, and Morgan Quist.  I ask for prayers for endurance, perseverance, and safety for me and the pacers as we run over rugged trails, mountain passes, ford a couple rivers, and ultimately end up at grandmothers house – Downtown Leadville.

See you soon, be back in the saddle on Tuesday August 21st.

Pastor Mark

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