P119: A Spiritual Workout

P119Last summer I began a series of messages on Psalm 119. Since this psalm provides a pretty strenuous spiritual workout, I entitled the series The P119 Workout. We had such a positive reaction that we are continuing that series this summer.

So once again we’ll be turning to the 119th chapter of Psalms to get a multi-discipline approach to stretching, strengthening, and improving our spiritual lives.

Each week throughout the summer we will look at one of the 8-verse segments, and learn how to apply the principles to our daily lives. There will be some “workout instructions” given in our Sunday morning services, and then some on-your-own “stretches” to do throughout the week.

I am really excited about continuing this series, as I saw the expanded spiritual strength everyone was gaining from this last summer. Please join me this Sunday and throughout the rest of the summer at 10:30am to get spiritually fit. (And if you want to get a little head start for this week, read Psalm 119:65-72.)

The Hobbit (book review)

HobbitThis year (2013) marks the 76th anniversary of the publication of J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterful work The Hobbit, and the 35th anniversary of my first reading of it.

I remember being carried away to the magical world of Middle Earth, of excitedly turning page after page after page, of imagining how each character and place looked and sounded. As I re-read The Hobbit, all those feelings came rushing back. As I read some passages I smiled in fond remembrance; as I read others I wondered how I missed the profundity the first time I read it. As Bilbo approached Bag-End near the end of his journey, I could strangely relate to these words—

“Coming to a rise he [Bilbo] could see his own Hill in the distance, and he stopped suddenly and said: 
Roads go ever ever on, 
Over rock and under tree, 
By caves where never sun has shone, 
By streams that never find the sea; 
Over snow by winter sown, 
And through the merry flowers of June, 
Over grass and over stone, 
And under mountains in the moon. 
Roads go ever ever on 
Under cloud and under star, 
Yet feet that wandering have gone 
Turn at last to home afar. 
Eyes that fire and sword have seen 
And horror in the halls of stone 
Look at last on meadows green 
And trees and hills they long have known.”

I loved my return visit to Middle Earth!

Whether you have read this story before or not, I encourage you to read it again. If you are a parent, read The Hobbit with your children and enjoy the magical journey together. You won’t be disappointed at the richness of Tolkien’s writing.

%d bloggers like this: