And then I just quit blogging…. Â I didn’t call it Â a blog back then because Â I’d never even heard of a blog. Â I don’t know if anybody had. Â I just called it my “Online Journal” andÂ had no idea how far ahead of the curve I was. Â I don’t know why I quit. Â I just did. Â It was way before WordPress or blogspot. Â Nobody could subscribe or leave commentsÂ so I had no idea, at the time, if anybody was even reading it so I just gave it up. Â I found out years later that a few people were actually reading and enjoying my old school blog. Â I wish I would have known that then, maybe I would have kept it going but oh well, Â Whatcha gonna do??
It has been really fun to reread these old Journal posts and walk through the days when I was just getting started in this phase of my ministry. Â The posts about my Dad’s cancer and death were especially interesting and I plan to revisit them and look at how things have changed in the 10 years since he passed. Â The goofy post about planting all those trees is also funny to me now because those trees are 15 feet tall now and Elli & Nick are nearly grown! Â There is a lot of perspective on that one I couldn’t have begun to see at the time. Â I’ll revisit these topics, the I Have a Reason stuff, and more in upcoming blogs.
If you want a good laugh check out the Old School Runks.com where these Journal posts were actually posted. Â I was doing the website myself and had no idea what I was doing. Â It’s so bad it looks like a website straight out of the 8O’s! hahahhahha
I don’t really know how to end this thing so I guess I’ll just “kick it old school” and go out like I did back in the day!
God Bless ya – Runks
It has been way too long since my last entry. Things have been going well. God continues to bless, as always, in incredible ways! Once again, I am in the middle of writing new messages. Which is always a struggle for a mentally challenged nut like me. I am really excited about where God is leading me. Last year was all about having a reason to believe what you believe and this year God is leading to me to go deeper with what we as Christians really believe. I am working on a series on Grace, identity in Christ, or freedom in Christ. I really don’t know at this point where it will wind up but I am pumped about where God will take me. Keep checking for more info!!
God bless ya, â€¨Runks
Aaron (my summer intern) and I just finished up our first camp for the Parker County Association at the Heart of Texas Baptist Encampment in Brownwood, Texas. It was an awesome camp! We had students saved every night!!! I’m still gagging from that nasty toothbrush skit!! (check out the pics on the wha’ sup page) It is so cool to have Aaron with me on the road. I honestly believe that the ministry was doubled at this camp because Aaron built some relationships with and ministered to a ton of students that I didn’t have the chance to meet. I was able focus more of my time on preparing to preach because of all the logistical junk that Aaron took care of for me. I am so thankfull to God for providing the means for him to travel with me this summer. It has been a crazy week and God has been good and in about 65 hours we start all over again!! Talk to you next week!.
God bless ya, â€¨Runks
Well, I have finally finished writing my sermons on knowing why you believe what you believe. It has taken me almost 4 months to get it done and believe me, I am extremely pumped to be finished. Now I will be able to get back to being my usual loser self. I haven’t seen a movie or played dream cast in forever! And starting tomorrow I am going to the Superbowl on NFL 2K!!!!! The sermon that I talked about in my last journal entry has turned into 2 seperate sermons. I am really pumped about preaching them this summer. The first one challenges Christians to have a reason for believing what they believe. The second is an apologetic based message that defends the Truth of Christianity using non-biblical evidences to prove that Christianity is the one and only universal, absolute truth that rules all of existence. â€¨My faith has been stretched to incredible lengths during my study of these amazing truths. As I was doing my research, I found myself buying, whole heartedly into the truths that support the fact that Christianity is the Truth. So I tried, as best as I could to look at these evidences without allowing my bias as a Christian to allow me to be easily swayed into believing them just because I am already a Christian. It was difficult to do but as I worked my way through this stuff, I found over and over that Christianity is not only a credible belief system but I found that it is a provable truth. I know alot of people say that you can’t prove that Christianity is the Truth but I am convinced that that is not true. Because if you really seek out the Truth you will find that the overwhelming testimony of history proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Christianity is the Truth. It is absolutely amazing how much historical evidence there is that supports the fact that Jesus was and is the one and only Son of God and that He really did resurrect from the dead! The hardest thing about writing the non-biblical evidences based sermon was deciding what to leave out because there is so much evidence supporting the Truth of Christianity.â€¨â€¨Check out this list of books that I used in my research: Reccomended Reading list The book “The Case For Christ” by Lee Strobel, is the best one on the list as far as detailed information that is easy to read. If you are a Christian, these books will enhance your faith in Jesus beyond what you could ever imagine. So engage your mind in your faith and start reading so you can be an intelligent Christian rather an ignorant Christian. And if you are not a Christian, I dare you to read these books. They will challenge everything you have ever believed about Christianity.
God bless ya, â€¨Runks
It has been a long time since my last entry. A lot has happened since then. I have finally finished the first sermon of a series on knowing what you believe and why. It is titled, “Don’t be an Ignorant Christian” It is based out of Hebrews 5:11-6:1 and it deals with going deeper in your knowledge of the deeper truths of Christianity. It basically deals with knowing what you believe and moving beyond a faith based in emotion and moving on to a faith based in knowledge. Right now I am working on a follow up sermon that will deal with knowing why you believe what you believe. It has been awesome studying this stuff. It is stuff that I have known about but I have never really studied it as deeply as I have been lately. I have been reading a ton books on “apologetics” – books about defending our faith to an unbelieving world using non-biblical sources. It is pretty amazing stuff. In this next sermon, I am hoping to present reasons to believe that Christianity is the truth by looking at the historical and philosophical arguments we can use to prove that the Bible is accurate, Jesus was who He said He was, and how we can know that He really did raise from the dead. I have finished most of my research and now, I am trying to figure out how to communicate these truths in a way that Christians as well as non-Christians can understand them. I hope to finish writing it this week. I am so ready to preach this sermon. I am so ready to not only challenge Christians to know why they believe what they believe, but to also challenge non-Christians to look at the evidence that supports the fact that Jesus is the only way to heaven and the only way to true hope in this life. I will let you know how things are going!.
God bless ya, â€¨Runks
I am seeing something over and over that has become of great concern to me. We are living in a time of incredible spirituality without any grounding in anything other than tolerance, relevance, and humanistic ideas. As a result, our faith is being challenged more than ever and my concern is that most of us are not prepared for the onslaught of non-Biblical ideas that we continually face. I am afraid that when our faith is challenged we will not have the tools to defend what we have always been taught and have always believed. I am afraid that we have a generation that doesn’t know what they believe or why they believe it. Students, I challenge you to seek a deeper understanding of the truth in the face of a world that doesn’t believe in it, so that when your faith is challenged you will be able to stand firm in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. You need to get beyond the “Sunday School” answers! Trust me, at sometime in your life John 3:16 will not be enough to answer the questions you will face. You need to know what you believe and why you believe it so you can take a stand for what is true and not look like a complete idiot. Check out – Josh Mcdowell’s web site or Christian Answers.net. They have some awesome stuff to help you know what you believe and understand how to defend it. Hang in there and know that I am praying for you as you pursue a deeper relationship with Jesus.
God bless ya, â€¨Runks
I have been working my tail off around the house here lately! Since I am gone so much in the summer I have a ton of yard stuff to catch up on!! The last few days I have been planting trees…. I have planted 71 trees in the last three days! We are planting a wind break almost all the way around our 2 acres. If you are not from west Texas, a wind break is a row of trees that blocks the wind because there is absolutely nothing between us and Alaska but a barbed wire fence up around Amarillo! It has been really cool for me to do something like this because rarely in what I do are there tangible results. It is difficult to look back and see something I can put my finger on that is the result of my efforts. I think this is especially true for ministers because we don’t build anything or sell anything – we work with people’s lives. When I was a youth minister, at least I got to see someone follow through on a decision and grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus. But now, I blow in , speak and leave. I get to see what God does initially but none of the long term results. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love what I do. I am blown away every day that God allows me to do this ministry but sometimes I would like to see something tangible that is a result of my work. And I guess that is why I am so pumped about at stupid row of 71 trees!! I go out there at least twice a day and look at them. I feel like an idiot because I know there is not going to be any difference in the trees from the last time I looked at them 20 minutes ago. But I keep going out there hoping that they will be, maybe, a little bit bigger.
Here is a pic of Elli & Nick and the treesâ€¨â€¨I know it sounds silly but God had taught me several things from this stupid row of trees. He has been reminding me that growth is a process and it takes time, alot of time! I can’t expect those trees to be 20 feet tall over night and neither can I expect myself to be a spiritual giant overnight. Just as it takes a tree a long time to grow to maturity, it also takes us as Christians a long time to grow to maturity. It takes years for us become what God intended for us to be when He saved us. We must not become frustrated or over anxious to be a “super” Christian overnight. We must be patient and seek God every step of the way and depend on Him to take us through the process of growing towards spiritual maturity. Just like I have a responsibity to water, fertilize, and prune my trees, we have a responibility to spend time in God’s Word in study, meditation, and prayer BUT it is God who causes the growth. I can’t make my trees grow but I can do my part to give them the best chance to grow fast and reach maturity. And the same thing is true in our relationship with Jesus – we can’t make growth happen but we can do our part to put ourselves in the best postion for God to make a continuing difference in our lives. Which is what he does best! So I am gonna try and do the same thing with my life that I have to do with my trees. I am gonna hang out with Jesus, spend time in the word and sit back and see what God Does!!!
God bless ya, â€¨Runks
How was that for a pastoral newsletter article! I just read it and I feel like Pastor Runks from Po dunk Country Church! LOL!!!
Well. Let’s see. It has been a long time since my last entry because I have been on the road almost all summer and the last thing I want to do, when I am only home for 2 days a week, is to spend anytime at all updating my website. It was an awesome summer and God did some amazing things. I did 7 camps and students were saved every week except one. The most encouraging thing for me about the summer was that none of my camps turned into the usual mushy, gushy, emotional mess that they usually turn into especially on the last night. I have been very concerned lately that so much of what happens at camp is an emotional experience and not a genuine encounter with Christ so this summer I did everything I could to make sure that things did not get out of hand and become a big pile of emotion. At some of my camps that meant having the students deal with God right where they were sitting rather than coming to the front. I challenged them to learn to deal with God on their own and not depend on whoever was next to them for their experience with Christ. My fear is that students and adults as well don’t know how to deal with God on their own. When ever we have a problem or a question, rather than going to God about it we go to every one else. As followers of Christ we must learn to depend on Jesus above all else. There is nothing wrong with seeking the advice of others but it must never come before seeking the counsel of Almighty God!! He knows our situation, our needs, our problems, our hurts, our doubts, our questions and He has all the answers. We must learn not only to trust God with our lives but to also include Him in it as well. He must be the center of every aspect of our lives. So next time you have a problem, hit your knees before you pick up the phone. Learn to deal with God on your own. Learn to really trust Him with your life whether you can “feel” anything or not.
God bless ya, â€¨Runks
I had the opportunity to be in Colorado the weekend after the Columbine High School massacre. I did a retreat about 2 hours from Denver. Those students were really freaked out by the shooting so all we really did was talk about the tragedy and the fact that God is STILL IN CONTROL! And that this should be a wake up call for them to begin to really reach out to the lost and the outcasts at their school. It was special weekend and God really ministered to those hurting & confused students.
I also had the opportunity to speak at First Baptist Church in Meadow, Texas the weekend after the Green Lawn Church of Christ, Lubbock, bus accident. One of the girls killed in that accident was a student at Meadow High School which is a 1-A school. They, also, were pretty freaked out by the loss of one of their own. I was able to share with them what God has taught me about His sovereignty and goodness through my Dad’s cancer and death. It, also, was a special time and God really ministered to those hurting students.â€¨â€¨There is no doubt in my mind that God had me in both of those places because what they needed to hear was exactly what God has been teaching me throughout the most difficult time in my life. Once again God has proven to me that He knows exactly what He is doing even when what we are going through down here doesn’t always make sense.
God Bless Ya!!â€¨Runks
Let’s see. It has been way too long since my last entry. Tons of things have happened in the last two months. We are remodeling our house and Joanna and I are doing most of the work!! I’m not doing this again until I can afford to pay someone else to do it for me!! â€¨â€¨In the midst of all of this I have been attempting to write some new sermons in preparation for the upcoming summer. The last one I wrote was basically a testimony of what God has taught me throughout my Father’s cancer and death. It was very difficult to write but I deeply wanted to share what I have learned about the goodness of God in the midst of our hard times (see past entries). I have been able to share this message at several of my recent events and it has been awesome to see God take what I have been through and use it to minister to others who are going through difficult times. I have never experienced God so intimately as I have during the last few months. He continues to remind that no matter what we are facing down here, He is still in control and cares deeply about what we are going through.
God Bless Ya!!â€¨Runks