F3 Knoxville

244th Edition of Patriot Games – F3 Style

THE SCENE: Pre-Ruck with the Flag at 0615 to finish scouting out F3 route – arrived back at the AO at 6:50 to Cheatsheet and Mermaid ready to rock

F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER

  • WELCOME to F3: Fitness – Fellowship – Faith
  • My name is Steam and I am HONORED to be your Q this morning, on America’s 244th birthday
  • A couple things before we begin
    • Any FNGs?
    • I’m not a professional
    • You’re here on your own volition – meaning you’re here on purpose. And I firmly believe that.
    • I don’t know any injuries you may or may not have so if you need to modify anything we do this morning, feel free to do it, but push yourselves and the men around you – they deserve it and so do you.
  • Like I said earlier – you are here on purpose. It is no accident you showed up this morning – just like 244 years ago the greatest nation was founded on purpose, with things like this in mind.


WARM-O-RAMA:

 

  • SSH: 61 x 1
  • Mountain Climber: 61 x 1
  • Flutter Kick: 61 x 1
  • Squat: 61 x 1

= 244 (Happy Birthday 🇺🇸)

  • Merkin position —> all PAX sing “Happy Birthday” while holding the Merkin plank

THA-THANG:

***The Standard for the Q*** = The Shovel Flag will stay at the front of the PAX for the duration of the Q. The QIC does not go past it and neither does anyone else. This will be our rallying point for the entire Q. Flags out front.

(Mosey over to Pickett’s Charge)

  1. Pickett’s Charge
  • Pushups have been crucial to our country since day 1
  • The founding fathers coined the phrase “Merkin” for pushups before they signed the Declaration of Independence. Once again, I’m not a professional so don’t hold me to that
  • So we will honor them this morning by doing 10 Merkins on a 4 count together in cadence – taking the small hill – executing 10 more Merkins on a 4 count in cadence together and rinse and repeat until we hit the top, AYE?
  • Execute 10×4 Merkins and take the hill
  • PAX executes evolution on Pickett’s Charge – the Flag being passed to a new HIM after each iteration of merkins

 

(Mosey to light post path across from Veterans Memorial)

 

2. Light-Post Path Across from Memorial

  • “Bringing the Hammer Down”
  • Every other light = 13 x 4 American Hammers
  • Finish at the street/crosswalk

 

(Mosey to Everest)

 

3. Everest

  • Q sends Cheatsheet 1/4th up (big stump where a tree used to be) with the flag – with instructions to wave it and give the command to charge up the hill balls to the wall after SSHs are completed by all PAX
  • Line up facing Everest
  • Buy-In = 50 SSHs (1 count)
  • TAKE THE HILL

(Wagon wheel with the flag to get the 6 up)

  • At the top – Steam asks for a 50 count – yes you heard right – a 50 count
  • Q asks men to focus on their breathing and think about their time “in country” from the day they were born

(Mosey carefully back down Everest to the other side of the walking path and with the flag out front execute 10 x 4 merkins

(Mosey down the street across from Veterans Memorial)

  • Out of respect, when we get to the top, we will stay in silence until we step off to mosey back to the AO. I will instruct us in a few things, we’ll take a moment, and head back. Sound good?
  • American Indian walk up the veterans memorial hill – flag stays up front
  • all the way to the top where the flags are
  • At the Top
    • 10 Merkins in silence
    • When you’re done — recover, and focus on your breathing
  • Here’s what’s about to go down:
    • We’re going to take a moment of silence together – I’ll say a prayer over us (below in BOM section) take a moment and look at these white stones, at the flag and just breathe. 

(Mosey back across the street)

Final push to the AO –> 100%

Post-Thang:

  • Go out the same way we came back in
    • SSH: 244 x 4
  • CheatSheet leads in 100 SSHs
  • 25 merkins on a 4 count

COUNT-OFF & NAME-O-RAMA

18 PAX

CIRCLE OF TRUST/BOM:

 

  • “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness……….And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
    • Declaration of Independence

 

  • Recited from the “Pray for America Bible” at the top of the Veteran’s Cemetery (See here on Amazon)
    • From the D-Day radio broadcast, June 6, 1944: “My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far. And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:
      • Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. They will need Thy blessings. And for us at home – fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas – whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them – help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice. Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts……And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade……With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Leas us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.”

 

  • 1 Corinthians 16:13-14: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. (14) Act like men.”

 

  • The Declaration of Independence cannot exist without the Bible. Neither can this country. It’s what it was founded on. However, the Bible transcends time and exists so that things like our great Nation, the Founding Father’s guidance, and the Declaration of Independence could come about.

 

  • This is the most unique and greatest nation in the world. And it was founded by High Impact Men. 244 years later – the United States (and the world) needs High Impact Men just as much as it did in 1776. More than ever. The High Impact Men that founded the United States of America believed in what they stood up for – that truly, by the hand of Almighty God – all men are created equal and there are certain unalienable rights. They stood for something. They were men of initiation and courage. 244 years later – we need those same men more than ever. We need fathers, sons, bosses, brothers – we need men of impact to stand up and follow the 1 Corinthians 16:13 model to the fullest. And it starts with you. Praise be to God we exist in the greatest country in the world – where we can openly say the name of Jesus and do things like F3.

 

  • The necessity for Iron Sharpening in 1776 still exists in 2020.

 

  • Just as the founding fathers understood their necessity for a savior and for freedom – we too, need to recognize this same need, 244 years later.

 

Perspective

THE SCENE: Foggy, temps in high 60’s.
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER
WARM-O-RAMA:

20 Side Straddle Hops, 10 Jump Squats, Around the World Each Hand, 10 Cherry Pickers, 10 Windmills, Michael Phelps

THA-THANG:
Mosey to Southern Ball Fields Parking Lot.  We will circle the parking lot twice, stopping at each cone to perform exercise and moving to the next cone by the method designated on the cone:

  • Cone 1:  20 Bobby Hurleys.  Butt Kick to Cone 2.
  • Cone 2:  20 Hello Dollies (4 ct). Sprint to Cone 3
  • Cone 3:  20 Iron Mikes (both legs = 1).  Bear Crawl to Cone 4.
  • Cone 4:  20 Merkins.  Bernie to Cone 5.
  • Cone 5:  20 Big Boy Sit-ups.  High Knees to Cone 6.
  • Cone 6:  20 Star Jumps.  Grapevine Left to Cone 7.
  • Cone 7:  20 Flutter Kicks (4 ct).  Hop to Cone 8.
  • Cone 8:  20 Carolina Dry Docks.  Grapevine Right to Cone 1.

Mosey toward the Northshore Entrance to park.  We will stop at shaded area by apt buildings.  20 American Hammers.  10 Tempo Merkins.

Mosey to stop sign at southeastern corner of Admin Bldg.  30 second gander at scenery.  Mosey to Bat House.  We will do High Mountain Roundabout which will be the following:

  • 10 Hand Release Merkins by Bat House.  Then run down initial steps of Roadshow Run to grassy field below.
  • 20 Diamond Merkins.  Then run to grove of trees just below summit of Mt. Everest.
  • 10 Burpees.  Then run uphill to summit of Mt. Everest.
  • 20 Boy Boy Sit-ups.
  • Rinse and Repeat above.

Next, we will run down Roadshow Run to Perimeter Trail. From there we will head on trail toward Lyons Bend.  At perimeter trail we will head east and across road that goes to entrance way at Lyons Bend.  We will cross the roadway and stop to do 20 American Hammers.

We will then head on trail east and south to lower area parking lot.  We will head that way by doing 14’s, lunging for one light and then sprinting for four until we reach parking lot.

Next, head back to AO.

COUNT-OFF & NAME-O-RAMA
16 men, no FNGs.
CIRCLE OF TRUST/BOM:
2020 has certainly been a difficult year and citizens in our country are a bit on edge right now.  You see it in the arguments between citizens on how serious a threat the Coronavirus truly is and whether we should be opening businesses at this time.  You see it in the protests going on related to the recent killings of black men by police.  Whether you support or are against opening up during the Coronavirus, whether you tend to look favorably upon the protests or are more prone to see the destruction caused by rioters, it is easy to judge that “other side”.  In some of our BOMs, however, we have been asking ourselves whether this is what God wants us to do.  Should we angrily judge someone whose ideas are different than ours or should we try to love them and make the attempt to understand their perspective?

We can learn to love even our worst enemies if we can learn to truly put ourselves in their shoes, openly hear their stories, and do so in a non-judging way.  And I think that is what we are needing more of at this time when politicians and even newspapers and news stations make quick judgments and fail to view the perspective of the other side.

When I spoke in my last BOM, I did not have time to talk about a story that I had actually included in the written Back Blast. The story is about White Fang.  White Fang is the name of a novel written by Jack London.  Some of you may have read it.  In the novel, White Fang is a vicious dog, one that will strike you and tear you apart.  He is a dog to avoid because his look and actions spell D-A-N-G-E-R and H-A-R-M.  Why is he like this?  Part of the reason is his genetics.  He is part wolf and wolves can certainly be savage.  The bigger reason, however, it that he has been taken advantage of by humans his entire life.  He has been beaten by others for use as a work and sled dog and has been unfairly used by men in betting games where White Fang fights with other dogs.  A guy named Weedon Scott meets White Fang for the first time after one of these fights where White Fang is almost killed.  He takes pity on the dog and takes him away from it’s current owner who has used him in the dog fights.  He feeds the dog and nurtures him back to life.  The dog doesn’t trust him but Weedon certainly can understand why, given what the dog has gone through.  Weedon slowly, slowly gets closer to the dog, trying to develop a bond with him.  At one point he goes too quickly and is viciously bitten.  But, Weedon doesn’t give up on the dog.  He takes the dogs perspective, realizing that he had tried to quickly to pet the dog when the dog feared him and didn’t trust him.  He continues to feed the dog, continues to use cooing language and weeks later touches the dog again.  White Fang growls a low growl.  He both doesn’t like the touch but also likes it.  This touch thing is different and for some reason it feels good.  Over time the man and dog form a wonderful bond. Those of you who love dogs know what that bond can be like.  Weedon Scott is long longer seen as a threat – he is seen as a Love God by White Fang.  This once vicious dog is so strongly bonded to Weedon that he will do anything for him.  And, at the end of the book he saves both Weedon Scott and his family from their own harm and possible deaths.

As HIMs, we can learn to patient and loving.  We can learn to take the perspective of others, even when we don’t agree with their opinions.  We can learn to love our enemy as Jesus would want us to do.  In so doing, we may form bonds we never thought we could have and even change the lives of those former enemies for the better.

MOLESKIN:

Praise for Choir Boy’s wife that, although she is having lymph node issues, her Ultra Sound looked good.  Prayers for the wife of Rainbow’s wive’s grandmother who is at her last days of life.  Prayers for Rainbow’s friend whose wife died.  Prayers for Lillydipper’s wife, Jan, who is undergoing chemotherapy treatment at this time for breast cancer.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Q101 is occurring this morning at Bomb Shelter

Slow to Judge, Quick to Listen

THE SCENE: Windy, temp about 70 degrees
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER
WARM-O-RAMA:

20 Side Straddle Hops.  10 Pinto Twists.  40 Grady Corns.  10 Windmills.  10 Tempo Squats.  Little of This and That.

THA-THANG:
Mosey to northeast corner of Admin Bldg.  From Cone 1 we will run to Cone 2 atend of sidewalk.  From Cone 2, bear crawl to the Cone 3 positioned at sidewalk going to steps of admin bldg.  At Cone 4, on steps do 40 Shin Lifts and 40 Bench Dips.  Then run back on sidewalk to Cone 5 on street.  At Cone 5 do 20 Merkins.  Then Bernie to Cone 6 by stop sign.  At that cone, do 20 Big Boys.  Then go back to Cone 1.  Rinse and repeat two more times.

Mosey on roadway and through parking lot to CMU pile.  Each man takes CMU.  Do 25 each of the following exercises but also sprint to end of parking lot and back after each exercise.  Here are the exercises:

  • Overhead presses
  • Curls
  • Squats
  • Rows

Mosey on grass past dugouts to bottom of Cardiac Hill.  We will go up hill stopping at corners and benches to do exercises.  Here are the exercises:

  • Corner 1:  20 American Hammers (four count)
  • Corner 2:  20 Hello Dollies (four count)
  • Corner 3:  20 Decline Merkins
  • Benches:  20 Bench Dips

Mosey to shady area by northeastern corner of Admin Bldg.  We will do 20 Flutter Kicks and 20 Bicycle Kicks.

Mosey to AO.

COUNT-OFF & NAME-O-RAMA
26 men that included four FNGs:  Sparty (Tony Burkhart), Hermes (Mason Burkhart), Orphan Annie (Dylan Berry) and a Flying EH, Couch Potato (Reginald Williams).
CIRCLE OF TRUST/BOM:
Slow to Judge and Quick to Listen

Our current society is very quick to judge.  A politician makes a statement and the other party immediately attacks it, often taking the statement completely out of context.  Even news stations, which are supposed to give us the truth, are quick to judge.  CNN quickly pounces upon anything Trump says.  Fox News is sure to badmouth Biden.  It is difficult for any public figure to say anything without being judged.  Athletes are considered anti-American for taking the knee during the Pledge of Allegiance or racist for saying they will not join others in taking the knee.  We ourselves tend to blame the “other side” for the “state of affairs” whether that state be the declining economy, the coronavirus numbers, or good ol traffic on the way to our jobs.  We join with friends who are similar in opinion to us so that we can find support and comfort in our criticism of the other side.

The problem is, where does this get us?  How do parties resolve anything when they are so sure to attack and so unlikely to listen?  We cannot give an inch to reasonable comments from the other side because we feel that, in doing so, we would somehow admit that we are wrong.  Well, maybe WE are a little wrong.  Maybe THEY are a little right.  But we refuse to even look to see.  And we lose love and grace in the process.

Doubtfire gave a great message several weeks ago about Forgiveness. He said we need to learn to forgive even if we dislike what the other person has done.  Jesus talked about turning the other cheek to our enemies.  I get the idea that Jesus would also say we should be willing to listen to our enemies.  What do they have to say?  Is there anything reasonable in what they are saying.  And, if it doesn’t seem reasonable, what has happened in that person’s life that leads to their perspective?

Maybe it is too personal to look at the behavior of another human.  Let’s look at the behavior of an animal, a dog. Some of you may have read the book “White Fang” by Jack London.  In the book, a man meets up with a dog that is vicious toward humans.  People have used and abused the dog.  The dog, indeed, is mean.  The man finds the dog when it has been so badly mistreated that it is near to death.  He feeds the dog, talks kindly to it.  He cannot initially get close to the dog because the dog would attack him.  But he slowly, after many weeks, gets closer and finally, touches the dog.  The dog initially reacts with a biting move.  The man is patient.  Many days later he tries again.  The dog growls a low growl while the man keeps his hand there.  The dog both dislikes the touch but also thinks it good.  And as he learns to love the man, he learns to cherish the touch.  The dog gradually changes.  And, because of the love that the man shows him, he finally sees the man as his “Love God.”  An incredible bond forms between the man and this dog that once hated humans.  And, toward the end of the book, the dog saves the lives of the man and his family.

We must learn to listen to others, even our enemies.  We must learn to be quick to listen and slow to judge.  We must hold our tongue with others.  Try to see the perspective of the other.  Maybe there is some truth in what they say, particularly if you see things from their perspective.  You don’t have to fully agree.  But you may find some commonality.  You may find that the “enemy” has hopes, hurts, and dreams just like you.  As Sting once said in a song he wrote, “Maybe the Russians love their children too.”

MOLESKIN:

Prayers for Crispr’s coworker and her husband.  Her husband has a terminal illness and will likely die soon.  Prayer of praise for the birth of Crispr’s niece.  Prayers for family member of Swimmies and Octomom as she has been in labor for over 24 hours and their is concern for the baby.  Prayers for David, a friend of Brick, Sparty and Hermes.  David’s son has been diagnosed with Melanoma.  Prayers for Pusher and his family, particularly his father as the one year anniversary of the death of Pusher’s mother will be this Friday.  Prayer of praise for Title 9 who has been coping with angst regarding an upcoming move to Oregon.  After reporting this last week he has had a sense of calm come over him.

AMRAP-O-RAMA

THE SCENE: Warm, but beautiful, low 80s, partly sunny, less humidity than normal
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER Check!
WARM-O-RAMA:

-20 Side Straddle Hops (4-ct), in cadence

– 10 Windmills (4-ct), in cadence

– 10 Reverse tempo squats (all the way down, then stopping at intervals on the way up)

– 40 Moroccan Nightclubs

– 10 Plank Jacks (4-ct), in Cadence

THA-THANG:

Mosey to Stop Sign to northeast of admin building.  Do 30 seconds of the following 4 exercises, AMRAP.  (and yes, a car drove by RIGHT when we were doing the pickle pounders!)

  1. Plank Jacks
  2. Pickle Pounders
  3. Mountain Climbers
  4. Shoulder Taps

Mosey to CMU pile.  Get a CMU.  Do 30 seconds of the following exercises. AMRAP.  Rinse and Repeat.

  1. Overhead Press
  2. Curls
  3. Rows
  4. Squats

Mosey to Bathrooms.  Do 30 seconds of the following 4 exercises, AMRAP

  1. Froggie Jumps
  2. Lunges
  3. Bobby Hurleys
  4. Smurf Jacks

Mosey to Open Field.

RING OF FIRE!

  • 8 cones are placed in a big circle in the shade of a tree down by the outdoor chapel. Divide up among the cones. Bear Crawl or Lunge between stations. Do 60 seconds of the listed exercise at each cone, then rotate counterclockwise
    • LBCs
    • Squat Jumps
    • Run to the tree about 70 yards away and back.
    • Flutter kicks
    • Carolina Dry Docks
    • Half Burpees (stay in plank, no jump).
    • Hello Dollies
    • Iron Mikes

 

  • Mosey to the new cul-de-sac by the Coliseum. Do 30 seconds of the following 4 exercises.  (we ran out of time before the E2Ks).
  1. Big Boy Situps
  2. American Hammers
  3. E2K Left Side
  4. E2K Right Side

Jail break to the AO.

MARY:
No Time.
COUNT-OFF & NAME-O-RAMA
12 HIMs present and accounted for, including two FNGs, C-6 and Octomom. Virginia Slims needs a tag. Plus two doggies.  They were nice and didn’t bite anyone.

CIRCLE OF TRUST/BOM:

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King’s letter from the Birmingham jail on June 12, 1963. His closing remarks are worth remembering today, almost exactly 57 years later.

“Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”

As HIMs, I feel we need to be an active part of making the “deep fog of misunderstanding” disperse from the general conversations about the virus, race, and other challenging issues that our society is currently facing.  How can we do that?  I’ve been trying to work on these suggestions.

  1. Hit the mental pause button. The easiest way to fall into a web of misunderstanding is to let emotions get the best of you.  Try to relax, calm down, and really listen.
  2. Use your head. Put yourself into the other’s person’s shoes.  If you’re not sure how to do that, ask them questions that get to the root of why they feel the way they do.
  3. Use your heart. Try to tap into the emotions underlying their point of view.  And be patient when discussing volatile topics.  Really trying to understand where someone is coming from is a unique form of love and caring.  It means that you value them as individuals and aren’t just dismissing their viewpoints, but are rather seeking a depth of understanding that is really connecting with them.

This has to be a two way street.  Try to encourage the other person to meet you in the middle. Otherwise, you’ll just become frustrated that the efforts you are going through aren’t being reciprocated.

MOLESKIN:
Prayers for Lillydipper’s wife as she continues to go through chemo treatments, and praise that they’ve found a surgeon that they both like.  Prayers for Title IX as he prepares for a bit life-changing trip to Oregon to continue schooling in the coming months.  Happy birthday Hooker!
ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Morristown clown car leaving Sat. morning at 5:30 am from the REI off of Papermill.

Patience of Unanswered Prayer

THE SCENE: Sunny, temp about 90 degrees
F3 WELCOME & DISCLAIMER
WARM-O-RAMA:

20 Plank Jacks, Plank Stretches, 10 Rockettes, 10 Windmills, Little of This and That
THA-THANG:
Mosey to Stop Sign at Southeastern Corner of Admin Bldg.  We will do 20 American Hammers.

Mosey to grassy area that is south of Area 51.  There will be four cones set up in a square pattern.  We will be going in a counter-clockwise route around the square four times, stopping to do an exercise at each cone.  By the end we will have done four exercises at each cone.  Following are the exercises at each cone and the method by which to get to the next cone:

  • Cone 1:  1. 20 Side Straddle Hops (4 ct)  2. 15 Mountain Climbers (4 ct)  3. 20 Star Jumps  4.  20 Iron Mikes (both legs = 1)  (After exercise, Sprint to Cone 2)
  • Cone 2:  1. 20 Merkins  2. 15 Shoulder Taps  3. 10 Hand Release Merkins  4. 20 Carolina Dry Docks  (After exercise, Skip to Cone 3)
  • Cone 3.  1. 20 Big Boy Sit-ups.  2. 20 Hello Dollies (4 ct).  3.  20 Flutter Kicks (4 ct.)  4. 20 Bicycle Kicks (4 ct)  (After exercise, Bernie Sanders to Cone 4)
  • Cone 4.  1. 10 Burpees  2. 15 Imperial Walkers (both legs = 1)  3. 20 Bobby Hurleys  4. 20 Squat Jumps  (High Knees to Cone 1).

Mosey to Northshore Entrance to Park.  We will go south then east on the perimeter trail, doing Nickel Dime Quarters with the following exercises:

  • Squats
  • Dead Bugs
  • Diamond Merkins
  • Dive Bombers

We will be near the Southern Ball Fields when we have done the above.  Mosey to the parking lot at the Southern Ball Fields.  We will do 8 count Bear Crawls then 8 Count Lunges, repeating this pattern from one end of the parking lot to the other.  

Mosey to Outdoor Chapel.  Take 15 second breather.  Then mosey up hill all the way to the new built area near the Admin Bldg.  Take 30 second breather.  Mosey to AO.

MARY:
25 Hello Dollies
COUNT-OFF & NAME-O-RAMA
22 men with two FNGs whom we named Whistler (Brett Marshman) and Leo Turcas (Nadia).  Nadia was a Flying EH victim!
CIRCLE OF TRUST/BOM:

Asking with Patience

Matthew 7: 7-8

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Romans 8:25

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

2 Peter 3:8

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

At last week’s internet streamed worship service at my church, a line struck me from one of the songs we sang.  The song is “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart” by Croly and Digerness.  The line that struck me is “Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.”  That is certainly a line I need to hear during the time of this coronavirus and national unrest after the death of George Floyd.  I read the bible verse that says, “everyone who asks receives.”  I know that people all over Earth are asking that this coronavirus would end.  I ask, “God, when will you answer our prayer?”  Yet, I need to also ask, “God, teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.”

When I was a boy, my best friend, Neil, who lived next door, was the first family on our block to get a Color TV set.  Seven years later, most people had Color TV sets but I was still praying for our first one.  My mother was a single parent and a teacher – and, just like today, teachers don’t make enough money for all the work they do.  I remember getting excited when we went to a big store that had a television promo.  As part of the promo, people could bring in advertisements they received in the mail.  If your code number on the advertisement was one of the winning code numbers, you could get a free TV set.  My mother, of course, told me the odds were minuscule for us to have a winning number.  We went to the store and there were all these magnificent color television sets, sitting there for a kid like me to gawk at.  Needless to say we didn’t win a set.  “But, mom, can’t we even buy one of the smaller sets?”  I know my mother felt bad for me but with her lack of funds she was also teaching my about life – about limiting oneself to a budget; about not coveting; about appreciating what we have; about patience.

About six or seven months later I came home to find a portable television set sitting on a cabinet in our living room.  It was on, it was playing a television show, and the show was in living color!!!  My mother had saved for quite some time to get that portable but color TV set.  I was so happy!  It may have been small but it was a COLOR SET!

God, teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.  I think of people who have endured wars that last for many years.  Teach me to be grateful for what I do have.  I think of people who endured plagues like the Black Plague where cities of people were wiped out by the disease or indian tribes in America who were practically wiped out by diseases that Europeans brought from another continent.  God, teach me to have trust that you are there for me, for us, no matter what difficulties and even tragedies beset us.  For in You we have something that hardship, suffering, even death cannot take away.  As the famous poet, John Donne, said, in you Death Shall Die.

MOLESKIN:

Prayers for our nation at this time of unrest, prayers for Iceman’s father who will need surgery for his heart again, prayers for Thunderstruck’s mother and grandfather, prayers for Lillydipper’s wife.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:
F3 Launch at Morristown this weekend.