Greetings to you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord,
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. I Corinthians 9:24-27 NIV
I remember competing for the high school cross country team and the strict training that was required. We ran ten miles a day during the first part of the season so that we would have the stamina to compete with other teams in the state of Louisiana. As the season progressed, we would start running 10 quarter mile runs. Each quarter had to be under 60 seconds and we only were able to rest 60 seconds between quarters. This training helped us increase our speed and our endurance so that we could finish the race with a sprint.
We ran a race in Lake Charles, Louisiana where the mosquitoes were as big as B-52’s and as fast as fighter jets. Many of us finished the race with so many mosquito bites that we resembled an accumulation of bumps rather than an actual human being. We were defeated in that race by a team called Redemptorist out of Baton Rouge. Two or three months later, we faced them in the state championship in Baton Rouge. We won. Although I was not one of the leading runners, I can testify that our work helped us win.
The Christian life is very similar to cross country. You need stamina to continue to cope with life’s challenges and speed to be able to race past difficult situations. Most of all you need self control – the ability to be quiet when silence is best – the ability to speak when the truth must be told. This self-control helps us persist when everyone is quitting around us. This self control enables us to sprint when everyone else is lagging behind.
Prayer, scripture reading, and worship are the ways that we train for the Christian life. I hope that you are praying and reading scripture daily. I hope that you are worshipping as often as possible.
I would like to encourage you to contribute the $42.48 for per capita. To sustain the ministry of a presbytery which has helped us with $2000.00 of money toward the ramp and has provided a necessary support to the pastors of this presbytery, please contribute something towards per capita.
If you wish to mail a check, you can use the following address: First Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 69, Schaller, Iowa 51053, or you can drop the check off at the State Bank of Schaller.
Please pray for our members who have been affected by Covid. Please pray for our leaders – whether they are incoming or outgoing. Pray that our nation might seek God’s vision of blessing for all people. Pray for any who feel anxious or isolated. Continue to pray for teachers, students, and staff and that our college students might remain safe as they return to school. Remember the medical personnel who are on the frontlines, the Emergency Medical Technicians and others who transport patients to the hospital, our community, our troops, and the various people on our prayer list.
May God bless and keep you,