Men of the Bible: PCC Scroll Volume XIV Issue III

It may be that my favorite section to write is Men of the Bible!

Name: Samuel
Meaning: Name of God or God hears
His Character: Samuel was a righteous man and a reliable judge. He spent his life in service to God.
His Sorrow: Samuel’s sons did not have a close relationship with God. He was also unhappy that the people wanted a king to rule over them.
His Triumph: Samuel was an effective judge of Israel. Despite his apprehension, he was able to help Israel transition from judges to kings in which he anointed the first two kings.
Key Scriptures: 1 Samuel

Samuel was the answered prayer of his mother, Hannah. Hannah prayed fervently for a child, and she promised to consecrate a son into service to God. She kept her promise. As a toddler, Samuel was given back to God. He was taken to be raised by the prophet Eli in Shiloh. His parents, Hannah and Elkanah, would come to Shiloh once a year to worship. Each year, Hannah would bring Samuel a robe. And each year, Samuel’s favor with the people and God increased.

Samuel grew up assisting the high priest, Eli, in the tabernacle. When Samuel was still a boy, God revealed Himself to Samuel. Before God spoke to Samuel, God’s voice had been rarely heard and there were few visions. From the moment God spoke to Samuel, it was clear that he was a prophet. His first words to God, “Speak; for thy servant heareth,” were true for all of his days. He was a person who wanted to hear God’s voice. Samuel had two-way conversations with God. He could pray, and he could listen. Because he was faithful in little things, he was later trusted to greater things.

Samuel called for the children of Israel to turn away from pagan worship, to repent, and to serve the one and true God. Samuel heard God’s voice and spoke God’s words even when it was to rebuke a king. Samuel won victories over the Philistines. He was a reminder of God’s faithfulness and a reminder of the importance of obedience to God.

During Samuel’s life, Israel moved from being ruled by judges to being ruled by kings, which the people wanted. Samuel was not too keen on a king, but Samuel’s sons did not follow his lead. They were wicked, and the elders of Israel were not satisfied and demanded a king to rule over them. Samuel saw it as a rejection of himself. When he went to God in prayer, God’s answer was a surprise. Even though Samuel warned the people of the impact of a king, they still wanted one. Samuel anointed the first two kings, King Saul and King David.

God was able to use Samuel because Samuel was dedicated to God (and literally was from the very beginning). He was a man who listened to God’s direction, and he did not have his own agenda. Samuel’s faith and service to God resulted in him being listed in the Hall of Faith, which is found in Hebrews 11.

Samuel played many roles in Israel. He was a judge, a priest, a prophet, a counselor, and a man of God. He gave himself over to God. In our lives and many roles, we too must give ourselves and our wills over to God. Samuel was able to accomplish so much because of his strong relationship with God. Since he was shaped by God, he was able to live out his authentic self in service to God. From his beginning, he lived out God’s purpose.

Fit for the Kingdom: PCC Scroll Volume XIV Issue III

I wrote a fitness success story for the latest issue of the Scroll.

In this issue, we wanted to highlight a success story in the “Fit for the Kingdom” section.

I wanted to share a success story about crossing an item off of my bucket list. For many years, I have kept a list. The list consists of places I want to visit and life experiences I would like to do. The life experiences section includes items like going on a helicopter ride and going on a hot-air balloon ride. One thing that had been on my list was walking a half marathon. I have always loved walking. I find it relaxing and enjoyable. It’s also low impact, free, and being in the outdoors is good for me (all of that fresh air).

I can happily say that in the last seven months, I have walked two half marathons. So I was able to cross it off my list. It started in November, when I walked the Seattle Half Marathon. The marathon occurred the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The timing was great because I was able to enjoy all of the rich foods and desserts that are associated with Thanksgiving with absolutely no guilt. The goal finish time of my friends and I was four hours. We came in around four hours and five minutes, but that included stopping for potty breaks and stopping to take pictures.

Crossing the finish line was such a rush. I discovered I could do it. I can’t even describe the amount of pride I felt. I wasn’t sure what to expect when we began, but it was actually quite enjoyable. It was a cold, fall day but absolutely beautiful.

In mid-June, I walked the Seattle Rock and Roll Half Marathon. The goal for that race was four hours as well. We finished in three hours and 43 minutes, which was below target! We didn’t really stop for pictures, and if people needed to go to the potty, the rest of us kept going and they caught up.

The Rock and Roll has full and half marathon races all over the U.S. and in other countries like Spain, Portugal, and Ireland. Two other bucket list items could be walking a half marathon in another state and one in another country.

One of my former coworkers has a goal to do a marathon in all 50 states. I believe she has 14 states under her belt. I have a current coworker who wants to walk a full marathon (26.2 miles). I haven’t quite grasped that one yet, but who knows what the future holds. I do know that there are tons of 5Ks, 10Ks, and so on out there. If walking or running a marathon is on your goal list, you can do it! There are websites that have recommended training schedules to help you prepare.

I am on the hunt for other walks I can do. If you are interested in joining me, please let me know! Let’s walk to wellness together.

Seattle Marathon Finishers

Seattle Marathon Finishers

Rock and Roll Seattle Marathon Finishers

Rock and Roll Seattle Marathon Finishers

Editor’s Corner: PCC Scroll Volume XIV, Issue III

Here is my editor’s section.

Over the last editorial calendar year, we have been walking a journey of becoming our authentic selves, or in some cases discovering it. So who is my authentic self? It’s a great question, and I take some comfort in knowing that this is a question that I will be asking and discovering for the rest of my days.

Over the last few months, I have been feeling a little out of sorts. It’s hard to describe, but I find myself being all over the place and not really clear about some things. It’s a little disconcerting because I had reached a point where I thought I knew.

On impulse, I looked up the definition of the word authentic in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. The first meaning was the meaning I had been focusing on during this journey. It is the definition that says, “Real or genuine: not copied or false.” I had been focusing on my authenticity as a person trying to mirror a true and accurate reflection. You know how we talk about “being real” and not “wearing a mask.” But I also stumbled across another definition of the word authentic which says, “Made to be or look just like an original.”

So that was the moment that the light bulb came on. I had been focusing on my individuality, which is important. But I should have been focusing on a journey to become more like God – the original whose image I was made after.

Sometimes the whole “What Would Jesus Do,” motto can be trivial sounding. But I have been asking myself this question in certain situations where I know that I am not/have not reacted in a way that illustrates that I have ever met Christ. I am talking about getting back to basics like having peace, showing love, and not letting situations move me.

So in the end, my journey to becoming my authentic self is really a journey in allowing God to transform me into His image. The Bible is filled with examples of people who have been transformed to become more like God.

One of my favorite people in the Bible is Paul. Imagine his discomfort in his transformation from Saul to Paul. This transformation challenged everything he knew or thought he knew about his world. His meeting with Jesus challenged and changed who he was. That’s the way I am feeling. I feel unsettled and a little bit on edge. In the end, this is a good thing. Though I will admit I like to feel comfortable.

In this season, I am seeing things in myself that I don’t like. I believe God is challenging me to be better…to be more like Him.

In the center of my storm, at my most authentic self that comes from becoming more like God, I will have my peace in spite of. So the answer to the question, “Who Am I,” has nothing to do with my personality or anything else to do with me at all. The answer has more to do with who I am in Christ and what that means about my presence in this world. Who Am I? I am peace. I am love. I am pardon. I am faith. I am hope. I am light. I am joy.

Word of the Quarter: PCC Scroll Volume XIV, Issue III

Here is the Word of the Quarter from the latest PCC Scroll. I combine the thoughts of the other editors into one article.

Last fall, we began writing from the overarching theme of “Becoming the Authentic You.” The first step in becoming the authentic you is acknowledging where you are while taking stock in where you’ve been. The second step in becoming the authentic you is figuring out who you want to be or (more importantly) who God says you are. The third step in becoming the authentic you is determining where you go from there.

In this issue, we will close out the overarching theme of “Becoming the Authentic You,” and write about living out our authentic selves. Our authentic selves have the power to do amazing works for and through God.

The crux of the journey of becoming our authentic selves is found in God. The more we know about Him, the more our thoughts, actions, and lives can be changed. This transformation causes us to move toward our authentic selves, which is who we are in God.

Simon Peter had a daily walk with Jesus. He saw Jesus perform miracles. He saw Jesus’ compassion toward the people. Simon Peter saw Jesus in His humanity. He, along with the other disciples, had a front-row view of who Jesus was.

It is from that closeness with Jesus that Simon Peter was transformed. Simon Peter’s intimacy with Christ helped Simon Peter identify who Christ was at His essence. Simon Peter was transformed to Peter. He became the potential that God had placed in him. He became and lived out his authentic self. He became a person who changed the world.

Paul is another person who was transformed after an encounter with Christ. He was transformed from Saul to Paul, thus becoming his authentic self. He was then able to live out his purpose. One just needs to read the New Testament to know the amazing work Paul performed as his authentic self.

Peter and Paul are just two examples of the many people who walked out their authentic selves and changed the world after encounters with Christ. You too have the power within you to impact the world around you. You have the freedom to be who you are. God will use your personality, gifts, and talents for His purpose and for His glory.

There is a power that emerges when we live out our authentic selves. Who we are in our authentic selves lies in who God says that we are. Through His power, we can live it out.

Christ knows the real us. When walking in our authentic selves, we are being true to ourselves. We are striving to become more like Christ. We are striving to be authentic.