Hi church family,

I used to run a lot, about 20-30 miles a week when I was training seriously.  Somewhere along the way, time became scarce and I just wasn’t able or motivated to keep up with being able to commit that much time.  Well, I’ve started running again, and guess what?  It’s hard.  Really, really hard.  Sometimes I think it is even harder than when I originally started running, because now I remember back to what I used to be capable of, and I’m just not there anymore.  I’m a little bit heavier, a little bit slower (okay, a LOT slower) and a little bit older and creakier.  But still, I run - slow and steady. 

I think this is what the author of Hebrews was talking about in Chapter 12 when he wrote:

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Now granted he was not talking literally about running, but pursuing our faith can be much the same.  Sometimes we get into a rut, time seems scarce and we find ourselves out of “spiritual shape” and unable to find motivation to get back into it.  Whether that may be regular worship attendance, regular bible study, our prayer lives or maybe engaging with a LifeGroup or other small group with whom we can do life and be encouraged.  The good news is, just as I am a long distance runner not a sprinter, life is not a sprint either.  We are called to run with perseverance – to keep going – no matter where we currently are in our “training” with our eyes steadfastly fixed on Jesus.  And there is no better time than now to up our game.

I believe that our new series - 1❤️&Mind – is a great way to continue “training” for this race.  Learning how to live together as the family of God, united by our common belief in Jesus and and by our common mission to reach and disciple people for Christ!  As we talked about in last week’s sermon is that one great way to begin reaching people is by invitation and special events are a great entry point to invite those who may not yet be part of the family of God.  One such event coming up this weekend are our Spring Concerts with our worship leading choir.  These concerts are always inviting, fun and impactful so invite a friend or two and join us on either Saturday, May 6th at 7pm or Sunday, May 7th at 5pm, both at our Plaistow campus. 

Another great event this weekend for us gals to gather and invite friends to is Motion and Devotion.  On Saturday, May 6th at 9am in Amesbury we’ll be gathering together for Christ-centered yoga led by Joni Boggiatto.  All skill levels are welcome.  So grab a yoga mat or towel, your girlfriends and a water bottle and come on down on Saturday morning!

However you decide to “exercise” your faith this week, may you run the race marked out for you with perseverance, fixing your eyes firmly on Jesus!  Until we come together again as the family of God, may God’s every blessing be upon you. 

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