Tuesday, April 13, 2010

T4G Conference- The Unadjusted Gospel...I'm getting fed and equipped!!

T4G- 2010, Together for the Gospel- The Unadjusted Gospel.

I'm so excited to be writing this update.  As I start this blog entry, I am sitting in Louisville, KY with 2 great brothers from my local church in Harrisonburg,VA.  My pastor and another elder embarked on an 8 hour drive with me to see and hear from some awesome heroes of the Christian faith who, at the encouragement of 7000 pastors, have agreed to come together for the purpose of the Gospel.  John MacArthur, John Piper, Ligon Duncan, C.J. Mahaney, Al Mohler, Joshua Harris, Thabithi Anyabwile, and others...What a great opportunity for the guys in the trenches, for the ordinary pastors, leaders, and even the sheep to hear and learn about the preeminence of Christ in the Gospel.  Refocusing the church away from flashy trends and loose theology, this has been an outstanding endeavor.  May God bless the efforts.
So what is this all about?   How does this Gospel or this group of guys relate to me?  Here is what T4G has to say about themselves: Together for the Gospel (T4G) began as a friendship between four pastors. These friends differed on a number of theological issues, like baptism and the charismatic gifts. But they were committed to standing together for the main thing—the gospel of Jesus Christ..
So they began a conference which occurs every two years and aims principally at encouraging other pastors to do the same—to stand together for the gospel. And now this conference is evolving, as God pleases, into an informal network of church leaders who all share this ambition and who intend to encourage one another to do the same.
T4G is convinced that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been misrepresented, misunderstood, and marginalized in many churches and among those who proclaim the name of Christ. The goal of these friendships, conferences, and networks is therefore to reaffirm this central doctrine of the Christian faith and to encourage local churches to do the same.

So What is the Gospel?, here ya go, check this out.
The Gospel is the joyous declaration that God is redeeming the world through Christ (Matt 1:21; Luke 1:68; Eph 1:7; Col 1:20), and that he calls everyone everywhere to repent from sin and trust Jesus Christ for salvation (Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38; 17:30).

The Gospel- Each of us has sinned against God (Rom 3:23), breaking his law and rebelling against his rule, and the penalty for our sin is death and hell (Rom 6:23). But because he loves us, God sent his Son Jesus (John 3:16; Eph 2:4; 1 John 4:10) to live for his people’s sake the perfect, obedient life God requires (Rom 8:4; 1 Cor 1:30; Heb 4:15) and to die in their place for their sin (Isa 53:5; Mat 20:28; 26:28; Mark 10:45; 14:24; Luke 22:20; John 11:50-51; Rom 3:24-25; 4:25; 1 Cor 15:3; 2 Cor 5:21; Eph 5:2; Heb 10:14; 1 Pet 3:18). On the third day, He rose bodily from the grave (Mat 28:6) and now reigns in heaven (Luke 22:69; 24:51; Heb 8:1), offering forgiveness (Eph 1:7), righteousness (Rom 5:19), resurrection (Rom 8:11), and eternal blessedness in God’s presence (Rev 22:4) to everyone who repents of sin and trusts solely in Him for salvation.
Hope this helps!  read, weep, repent, be changed through faith.  Live for something more than ourselves  Write me if you have questions....or if you're local, come check out a neat little church that is faithful to the gospel and is seeing the fruit of God's work as a result....check'em out at www.aletheia.org

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Denali grows closer, the trails get longer

   As the prospect of summiting Denali grows closer, so does my pursuit of extreme fitness grow stronger.  It has been intriguing to consider the commitment level of this type of training. In consideration of my desire to live a life that honors God, I found my self doing more stretching than just my muscles.  Maintaining a strong love and devotion to my wife and my children, fulfilling and hopefully exceeding the expectations of my career in heart surgery as a PA, and maintaining the duties on all other fronts has been quite a challenge.  This week marks a period of time to shift my workout focus into a slightly more endurance and cardio- oriented training regimen all the while maintaining the strength and power accumulated with my former weights and core-body routines.
My awesome brother in Christ, and personal trainer- George Reid, has been incredibly helpful in this regard.  He is so knowledgeable and able to reconcile my workout schedule to the demands of life for a husband -father -career guy...ie- he finds a great way to make efficient use of my gym time.
    This weekend, I will be pursuing a prolonged trail run of 26 miles and although I have been slowly pursuing similar maneuvers, this one shall truly prove to be a challenge.  May God bless the efforts as I am sure there will be both mental, physical, and spiritual challenges over such a pursuit.  Here is some information about the Wild Oak Loop Trail near Stokesville, VA.

The Wild Oak Trail was designated a National Recreation Trail by the Secretary of Agriculture in 1979. Much of the land surrounding the trail and the North River was cleared for farming, which continued through the 1930s. It was during this time that portions of the trail was cleared by the Civilian Conservation Corps to help in providing access for fighting Forest Fires.Loggers, farmers and cattlemen lived in the area about the trail before the land was purchased by the Forest Service between 1915 and 1935. Much of the land along the North River had been cleared for farming, and the area now forested was used for cattle grazing. Grazing continued on portions of this land until the mid-1930s.

Camp Todd was the site of a herdsmen’s cabin, and later was used as a fire guard station. Much of the forest in this area was logged for local mills around Stokesville. Evidence of the old logging railroad can be seen at North River Gorge. The railroad tramway ended a few miles west of Camp Todd. Nearby is the Shifflett Plantation, a reforestation project featuring white pine planted in old fields in 1935.
Portions of the existing trail were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s to provide access for forest fire control. Now the primary use of the trail is recreational. The original trails were combined as the Wild Oak Trail, which was designated a National Recreation Trail by the Secretary of Agriculture in 1979.
The Wild Oak Trail forms a 25.6-mile loop – mostly favoring ridge tops – beginning at the headwaters of the North River in Augusta County, Virginia.
Elevations along the trail vary, from a low of 1,600 feet where the trail begins at North River Gap, to a high point of 4,351 feet on Little Bald Knob.  Thats a lot of change in elevation!!

Below is a great map with the topographic appearance and real-time changes in elevation
This Chart shows the rough changes in elevation across much of the distance, my route was slightly longer than this 

May I rise, fall, trip, stumble, succeed or summit, walking, crawling, or running, may it all be to the glory of the One who sent me!!