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    Despite My Self

    This morning I read from John 4 about the woman at the well. In this passage, a Samaritan woman meets Jesus. This woman has had several husbands and is living with another man at the time of the meeting. Jesus indicates to the woman that he knows this. He also shares that “Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst-not ever.”

    Following the encounter, the woman tells others that she has met the One who knows everything about her – the Messiah. I get the feeling that she was extremely excited about this meeting. If I read correctly, she did not walk away ashamed; she walked away feeling loved, accepted, and known.

    I have many perfectionist tendencies; however, I am far from perfect. It’s incredible to know that Christ loves me and accepts me despite my self. It’s also amazing to realize that all I will ever need comes from Christ.

    Until the next post….

    Vince Antonucci

    This past Sunday, we had a guest speaker at our church from Forefront Church in the Virginia Beach area. Vince Antonucci spoke about “How Can I Follow Someone Who I Can’t See?” Vince’s preaching style is unbelievable. I’d love for you to get a taste of Vince. Go to the website below, and I think you’ll be challenged and you’ll meet Jesus in a new way – The Jesus You Never Knew. http://www.soiwonder.com/messages_jesus.html

    Until the next post….

    Hersheypark

    Yesterday, I took Isaac to Hersheypark for the day together. We had a great time just the two of us. According to Map My Run, we walked about 4.23 miles – see the map above. We got to see three shows including the 3-D show which Isaac really enjoyed. Isaac tried out two new rides (with me) – the Tidal Force and the Roller Soaker. Isaac also tried out a few parts of the new Boardwalk water part of the park that was added over the winter. They did a great job with this whole area which includes several cool water slides, a few different water playgrounds, and a cool boogie boarding surf area.

    Here are a couple of the tips that have made our trips in the past a real fun time:

    1. If you’re planning on getting wet, get there right at the opening and go for the water stuff first. We went on Canyon River Rapids, Tidal Force, and Roller Soaker without any wait. Later in the day, the lines for these rides were huge.

    2. Now your show times and use the shows for entertainment and downtime. We have especially enjoyed the shows at the Aquatheater.

    3. Food is expensive in the park, so eat a good breakfast before you arrive. We have discovered that Subway in the park is one of the most reasonable places to eat.

    4. Save time for Chocolate World. We have hit this free ride at the end of our day every time we’ve gone to Hershey. The best part is that it ends with a free Hershey’s chocolate treat. Chocolate World is actually located just outside of Hersheypark. It is open year round, so if you’re just passing through, it’s worth a quick visit.

    It was a SWEET day with my son.

    Until the next post…

    Revenge of the Nerds

    Check out the link to the KJ-52 rap video below. The song reminds me of my high school days a bit – first, because my buddy Brian Willem and I used to enjoy and write our own wraps; second, because I probably fit into the nerd category at times during these high school days. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

    Map My Run

    One of my buddies turned me on to a cool website. If you are a runner, biker, hiker, etc. and are curious about how far you actually went on your outdoor journey, you can go to http://www.mapmyrun.com/. At this website, you can trace your route on a map, get your distance, see your elevation, etc. It is pretty cool. Yesterday, I did a 3.33 mile hill interval workout. I hit a maximum elevation four times of 277 feet. And had a minimum elevation of 153 feet. Check it out.

    Until the next post…

    Take Me Out To The Ball Game

    Thanks to a generous man from our home team (small group), I took the kids to see the Reading Phillies play the Erie Seawolves last night. The Reading Phillies are the Double A League farm team for the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Seawolves are affiliated with the Detroit Tigers. Shane Victorino (the Philadelphia Phillies right fielder) was on a rehab assignment here, so there were lots of cheers for him.

    If you’ve never been to a minor league baseball game, I would highly recommend trying it. It is so entertaining. Besides the game which the Phillies won 8-6, there is literally on the field entertainment between every half inning. We saw the crazy hot dog vendor throwing hot dogs in the stands from his ostrich, inflatable blow-up bobble head people dancing on the field, vegetables racing around the field, people shooting foam baseballs into the stands via sling shots, people shooting t-shirts into the stands via train/air cannon, etc. The food is reasonably priced. We didn’t have to pay for parking. And we arrived home just 40 minutes after getting into our car.

    What’s best about the whole thing is that I got to spend six solid hours with my kids (counting the car ride to and from the ballpark). I look forward to making more memories like this.

    Until the next post…

    Legs for Lindsey

    Last Wednesday evening, I journeyed to Evansburg State Park along with 250 other crazy people to brave the extreme heat and humidity for a good cause. We ran a race called Legs for Lindsey, a 5K that has been set up to raise money for Sebastian Riding Association. Sebastian is a club that gives disabled kids a chance to ride horses for fun and therapeutic purposes. Lindsey was one of the club’s members until a couple of year’s ago when she lost her battle with leukemia. This 2nd annual event was a great way to pay tribute to a girl who brightened many faces.

    I look forward to running this one again next year on 08/08/08.

    Until the next post….

    Googling God

    This week our church started a four week sermon series entitled “Googling God.” Basically, the congregation was asked to write down any question they would ask God or want to hear more about from the stage. This week’s question: Is the Bible Real? Our adult ministries pastor (Frank) did an excellent job addressing the question. Here are the questions for the next three weeks: Week 2-How Can I follow Someone I Can’t See? Week 3-Evolution vs. Intelligent Design Week 4-Why Does God Allow Suffering?

    It should be an interesting sermon series.

    Here are a few of my notes from today:

    There is internal evidence that the Bible is real:
    – The Bible claims to be inspired (by God) 2 Timothy 3:16
    – The Bible speaks with authority John 7:46
    – There is unity of the writings
    – All the books address the fallen state of mankind
    – All the books address one solution – God’s grace
    – Prophesy
    – Many of the prophesies in the Bible have already been fulfilled
    – Reliability of the text
    – There are ~500 original manuscripts that all support each other

    There is external evidence that the Bible is real:
    – Historical accuracy
    – You can actually go to many of the places described in the Bible
    – Unsurpassed worldwide distribution and influence
    – The Bible sells between 30 and 50 million copies a year
    – The Bible has been published in 1200 languages
    – The Bible changes lives Hebrews 4:12
    – Look around and see the lives in our own church that have been changed

    Here are a few questions that I might ask God:
    1. Why can’t the Phillies (or any team from Philadelphia) win a championship?
    2. How can we reach so many people who are far from God in our area who have everything?
    3. Why does there have to be so much disunity among followers of Christ?

    I’d be curious to know what some of your questions would be.

    Until the next post….

    Kids Camp Adventure Island Video

    Here’s a highlight video from Kids Camp Adventure Island hosted by our church a few weeks ago. It provides a small look into the fun time that 750 kids and 350 adults had during this three day adventure. Hope you enjoy!

    Gifford Pinchot State Park

    For the past six years, our family has been camping with three other families who were connected through my church in Mount Holly, NJ – First Presbyterian Church. Usually, we camp over Labor Day weekend at one of the state parks in PA. This year, we decided to move it up to this weekend.

    Despite setting up in rain on Thursday night and dealing with high humidity Friday morning/afternoon, we had a blast. It is always great to see each other and see how much the kids have grown over the past year. It is also incredible to share life’s up and downs with each other knowing that we are cared for in the thoughts and prayers of each other. We have dealt with a kid going to college, a child being diagnosed with autism, families moving, families wrestling with church related searches and issues, kids being struggling to fit in, adults being challenged with job situations, adults training for big events, etc. We seen our kids learning to ride bikes, learning to read, learning to make wise choices, learning to deal with not-so-wise choices, etc.
    I feel very blessed to be in the company of these friends, and I look forward to next year when I’m sure we’ll have more to share, more memories to create, and more to look forward to in the years to come.

    Until the next post….