Church Bike Trip!

Last Sunday our church did another church-wide 14-mile bike trip to the Nederhoff’s home where we had a cook out. We typically do this twice a year. We all bring our bikes to church and start riding after church, taking the nearby trail which providentially goes all the way to Nederhoffs!

My dad always assigns one father to lead and another to bring up the rear.

Enjoying fellowship at our destination. My mom is recovered enough from our van accident that she rode the 14 miles too!

Good catch, Ezra!

Big family!

Thankful that Tony Ramsek was with us and shared a devotional on propitiation and expiation from Leviticus 16. Our sins are doubly gone!

Sunday morning I remember thinking about how we just don’t know from day to day what the day will bring forth. It could bring blessings or it could bring unexpected difficulties. Sunday evening I thought, Praise the Lord He gave us yet another undeserved blessed day. He gives us so many gifts we don’t deserve. And actually, since He is taking care of us and in control of everything, every day is a blessed day, no matter what happens.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” Psalm 103:1-2

Church-Wide Memorizing Marathon

On January 20th, our church family ran a marathon. Only, the entire event took place inside our church building. It was not running miles, but memorizing verses! It was an exciting day! I’ll share a glimpse of what happened.

The morning began with a wonderful breakfast that Cheryl volunteered to provide. (Everyone knows you need good food before a marathon!)

As breakfast was concluding, my dad gave instructions about the morning’s schedule. Everyone chose in advance whether they wanted to do a whole marathon (memorizing 26 verses, all in one morning), a half marathon (13 verses) a 10 K (6 verses) or a 5 K (3 verses). We had 37 participants.

Memorizing 26 verses all in one morning is no easy undertaking! Like physically running a marathon, it requires unusual dedication and perseverance. It helps to know others are doing it with you. Sometimes you don’t know how much you can memorize until you really apply yourself.

No one knew in advance which Bible passage we would be memorizing. The passage was printed out, and everyone was told to pick up a copy (in the version of their choice) as they entered the auditorium to begin.

Silence filled the room as the “race” began and each mind focused diligently on the passage.

That is, until the “Chariots of Fire” theme song would start playing (approximately every 45 minutes) which meant it was time to go downstairs for a quick water and snack break. (How could you run a marathon without snacks? πŸ™‚ )

Some of the girls prepared motivational posters for the little ones to hold to cheer on the memorizes as they came down for the snack break.

After a quick break, we were all back upstairs to keep studying! Each person picked their own quiet, comfortable spot in the church to study.

Chloe found an exceptionally good study spot (her dad’s lap).

Whenever anyone finished their entire goal (whether 26, 13, 6 or 3 verses), he or she would quote to someone.

Naomi worked really hard and did a 10 K all by herself (6 verses). Here she is quoting them to Charlie.

Thomas really applied himself and here he’s quoting his 5 K (3 verses) to my grandpa with actions. We’re so proud of how hard the kids worked!

After lunch we had an awards ceremony! In this picture Stephen is passing out the 10 K medals.

Our “winner” was Laura Howard (mint sweatshirt), who memorized all 26 verses in just 90 minutes and quoted them fluently to my grandpa. Mark Woodhouse, one of our elders, was the second to finish the full marathon. πŸ™‚ Of course, we weren’t actually racing against each other.

The event concluded with some Bible quizzing on the passage we had all just memorized.

The kids were pretty excited to see the adults quiz also. πŸ™‚

We praise God for all the Scripture that was hidden in hearts in just a few hours, and for the joy that accompanied doing it together! We counted up how many verses that were memorized by everyone over the course of the morning and the number came to 500. Praise the Lord.