This is a place for me to share and document personal interests such as music, technology, and other writing. Please enjoy; I love to receive comments and hear back from you! And if there is something you'd like me to record or a tech question, please let me know! For more of an overview, see the "Who Am I?" and "Ministry Passions" tabs above.

Cloud Storage for Ministry

MINISTRY TECH

People are increasingly using "cloud storage" for personal and business use, and I have found it to be a very useful tool for ministry as well as for personal use. In this post I want to focus on ministry use. Many churches and ministries pay for cloud storage and don't have a well thought-out approach to its use, so I'm writing to address both those aspects of cloud storage: COST and USE.

I want to focus on three cloud storage services: Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive. There are many others, but these are among the largest and are different enough that I would use all three whether I paid for storage or not. Fortunately, each comes with some free storage and, to date, I have not had to expand beyond the no-cost options, either personally or at church.

So I will primarily be giving an overview of the free features of each service and how I use them in ministry. Subsequent posts may go into more specifics for each one.

BOX - Individual Free Plan (https://www.box.com/pricing/individual)
Image result for box.com icon
  • 10 GB storage
  • 250 MB max upload per file
  • Has desktop version that syncs with cloud version
  • Can share files/folders with another box account without counting against that accounts storage limit
  • Can share links to individual files or folders and allow download; can also embed files online
  • File Recovery/Previous Versions: 30 days
Recommended ministry use: long-term archival of files. Each staff member at church has an archive of their ministry files and we share those archives with each other (as appropriate) so that we can all see all archives. So, the admin assistant has all our old newsletters and bulletins archived, but I can see and access them because they are shared with me.
 
DROPBOX - Individual Free Plan (https://db.tt/rJk63xu5 <== that's a referral code so my church will get a little extra storage space!) Related image
  • 2 GB storage (growable up to 16GB through referrals, social media sharing, taking 'tour', installing desktop version, etc...); if you use the code linked above, we'll get 500 MB extra storage! (You can do that once you have an account to grow your free storage space.)
  • Has desktop version that syncs with cloud version
  • Can share files/folders with another dropbox account, but it does count against that account's storage limit
  • Can share links to individual files or folders and allow download
  • Can edit files (Word, PP, Excel, etc...) online, though there are some feature limitations
  • Can not work on a file at the same time as another person (you can, but it will create a separate copy of the file).
  • File Recovery/Previous Versions: 30 days
Recommended ministry use: current files shared by a group (e.g. bulletin, presentation file for worship service, pictures, etc...) that do not require work at the same time.We have 3-4 people that work weekly on the bulletin and the service PP file. Each puts there info in on a certain day (and we can see if someone else has the file open).

GOOGLE DRIVE - Individual Free PlanRelated image
  • 15 GB storage (shared with your Gmail account)
  • Must create or have a Google account to activate (you don't have to use Gmail, but I recommend it!)
  • Can share files/folders with another person who does not have to have a Google account
  • Can store any file type and can edit Google docs, presentation, spreadsheet (this is different than Microsoft Word, Excel, PP) at the same time as another user. This is a game-changer!
  • Has desktop version that syncs with cloud version
  • File Recovery/Previous Versions: 30 days or 100 previous versions
Recommended ministry use: planning docs that would benefit from group collaboration and work but where fine-tuned graphic design is not needed. We use this for worship planning, volunteer lists, officer note-taking, presbytery committee resource hub, etc... This is particularly handy for planning with the music director and pastor, for looking at upcoming service themes and scripture. We put congregational music ideas in on a rolling basis, then touch base the week of the service to finalize. Children's ministry and others can also reference the ongoing planning for things they might be planning in the service.

SUMMARY

Box - archived files
Dropbox - current files; exp. MS Office
Google Drive - current files; esp. for collaborative planning 

 

Cries in the Darkness - choral composition

About a year ago a Presbyterian pastor colleague in East Tennessee (Dwyn Mounger) asked in a music forum I am part of on Facebook if anyone would be willing to compose some music for a hymn text he had written.I offered to look at it - he sent three texts, and I chose one to try to turn into a hymn. That turned out alright, though with six verses it got a little repetitive. I started thinking that it would be much more interesting to write as a choral arrangement. So a year later, that's what I have; an SATB arrangement of his text, "Cries in the Darkness." It's a different take on the nativity scene, in contrast to a "no crying he makes" baby Jesus. And then Dwyn makes a nice turn in the last two verses to our cries in a world full of suffering and pain. It's a nice connection to the incarnate one who came to live among us rather than over or apart from us.

We'd like to offer it to anyone interested in trying it out. If you are a music director, would you consider it? If you are not but know a music or choir director, would you share this e-mail with them? You are free to make copies and we just ask that you include the attributions included in the PDF. We'd also love to know that you used it and what you think! If you have any questions, please reach out to me (robert@robertaustell.com). Dwyn and I would be honored if you would like to use it. The choir at my church is singing it on Dec 8 and I should have a recording after that to share.

Two Christmas Pieces on Piano

When I was in college I decided to record about 10 Christmas songs on piano to give to friends and family. A few have told me they still have that cassette! recording these many years later. (A later digitized version lived in iTunes for a while... don't think it's still there.) At any rate, last year (2017) on Christmas Eve I decided to record video of a few songs. Two of them are below: Go Tell It (wait for the chorus... it's got some good rhythm) and "What Child is This?" (you can prob tell I listened to a lot of George Winston in college!).




Young Life

One of the ministries I am most passionate about is Young Life. I have been involved with it in some way or another since I was about six years old! Currently Heather and I serve on the support committee for Young Life of Matthews/Mint Hill. At this year's metro banquet (of which our area is one of about six) I took part in a video meant to convey how Young Life has shaped whole lives. They interviewed four adults around that question and my story is one of them, interspersed throughout this video. One of the big self-discoveries as I responded to their questions was how much involvement with Young Life has shaped my own theology and understanding of the Church, missions, and how Christians should interact with the world around them. I hope you'll check it out! (and the other stories on the video are awesome!)

Silent Night

A few years ago I stayed in a house at Montreat to do some song-writing. One of the things I experimented with was an alternate tune for "Silent Night." I realized that it was such a familiar song that the alternate tune would need to be also familiar so I modified the tune for "Amazing Grace" to use with it. No one I've played it for could pick that out, but they said it seemed familiar and singable, so I guess it worked! Our worship team did the arrangement the following Christmas with the congregation. During the next year our music director asked me if I would arrange it for SATB choir and that is what is below. (LINK)





One feature of this choral arrangement is that, in digging into the lyrics, I believed the second verse with the heavenly hosts singing was the climax (and with a choral arrangement each verse can be treated differently), so I tried to reflect that with the dynamics and accompaniment.

I also realized in digging into the lyrics of verse three that I had not been correctly reading one line that is intended as one thought: "love's pure light radiant beams from Thy holy face." When we sing the hymn we pause between 'light' and 'radiant' and it sounds like baby Jesus is shooting light beams from his face rather than radiant love. ('beams' is a verb!) Anyway, that's a fine point that I got to sharpen in my adaptation of the text.

The audio above is a recording of the Good Shepherd choir singing the arrangement, with Rick Bean playing the piano accompaniment and Eric VanderHeide directing.



And if you'd like the simple worship team arrangement, here's a link to that. (LINK) and audio (sorry for a few crackles as the audio was adjusted during the service):



Also, here's a piano version of that worship team arrangement that I did on Christmas Eve 2017:

Confirmation Sunday Song

In 1997, Gerrit Dawson and I wrote this song for our Confirmation class. I've continued to use it on Confirmation Sundays throughout the years. The lyrics are below the video.


NOW YOU MAKE IT YOUR OWN (Dawson/Austell)

God chose you in Christ before the world was made
He came here for you... the Word was enfleshed
In Jesus, on the cross, your sins were laid
So dying, then rising with him, you are kept

Long love foresaw this day, parents vowed before the throne
Friends in Christ showed the way; now you make it your own

God told his story through those in your home
Christ showered love as water was poured
The Spirit brought friends, you’re never alone
So in the Church, you share one faith, one Lord  CHORUS

The world will insist that you turn its way
But dear ones resist, remember this day!!

Before God and us, you make holy vows
The name of Jesus you confess in Word
And in your heart.  Each day you will follow
The Savior whose call to serve you have heard  CHORUS
I'm a little bit young for the early 70s era of "Jesus music" - except my parents played some of it in our house and I loved it. I couldn't play the guitar then, but by the time I was 7-8 I could sound out some things on piano and learned a few Chuck Girard, Pat Terry, and Keith Green songs. One of my all-time favorite songs was "I Can't Wait (to see Jesus)" by the Pat Terry Group. I think my dad had the album. But I loved the sound of it and the pictures of Heaven, as folksy as they were ("get my sleeping bag and roll").

It's very hard to find the song any more, even on YouTube. But I printed off the lyrics and learned it because I wanted to sing and hear it. I'll include them below under the video.



"I Can't Wait"
Pat Terry, 1975-ish

Just as the lightning comes out of the East,
And branches even to the West;
So shall the coming of the Son of Man be.
So put on your Sunday best,
Put on your Sunday best.

I can't wait to see Jesus;
In His glory as He bursts from the sky.
I can't wait to be held in His arms;
And see the glimmer in His eyes.

Tell me, how it's gonna be;
Read it from the Bible again.
I can't wait to see Jesus;
Cause Jesus is coming again.


I can't wait to hear trumpets;
Cause I know what they mean when they sound.
I can't wait to cast off my burden;
And feel my feet leave the ground. Chorus

I can't wait to see Heaven;
And to walk those streets of gold.
I can't wait to check into my mansion;
And get my sleeping bag and roll.

Emmaus Road (Burning Hearts)

I haven't recorded a song video in a while, but had some time off this morning. With Easter just behind us, I remembered that story of Jesus appearing to the two on the road out of Jerusalem. They had not yet heard of the resurrection and found themselves marveling at the conversation with this traveler until they finally recognized him. They said to each other afterwards, "Weren't our hearts burning within (as he walked and talked with us)."

I wrote this song with my friend, Gerrit Dawson years ago (1998) to use in a worship service. It has remained one of my favorite "sermon-songs."


new CD


I am excited to announce the release of The Depth of Worship, vol.1 - you can download for free on bandcamp (enter $0 when you name your price) and you can give it a listen there or in the player below. A short link for sharing is bit.ly/rmacd16
Some of these songs started more than 10 years ago; most were recorded in my first sabbatical in 2008, and I was able to finish the mixing and mastering this past summer during a second sabbatical, thanks to my wonderful congregation at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church. (I also have about 8 new songs in the hopper... but still some work to do on them!) Here are the liner notes, and explanation of why the project is sub-titled, "A Journey Home": 

The album began as a collection of contemporized hymns, most of which are early on in the album. As original songs were added and organized, a theme emerged of journeying home. Like the father in the prodigal son parable, the songs reflect the persistent, merciful, gracious, and abundant love of God for His children, even when they are far from home. The song lyrics move from the nearness of worship at the beginning to the presence of God during the wandering, to the joyful return to a loving Father's welcome. While I hope the hymns are useful in worship, I also hope the album as a whole will offer an opportunity to reflect on God's extravagant love that welcomes even the most prodigal wanderer home.

2015 Round-Up

2015 has been a full and different kind of year. Last year at this time I wrote about finishing renovations, new patterns of exercise and recreation, and looking forward to being fully staffed at church. For both myself and the congregation, 2015 felt like a 'recovery' year from a pretty exhausting 2014. Though that language seems to fit a personal workout rather than the overall experience of a community, it seems apt nonetheless. And where I anticipated being fully staffed early in the year, it was fall before we had new staff in place. (And they are wonderful!) So as I look back on the year, I see myself leaning back into core ministries of preaching and leading worship, struggling (a bit) to maintain weight and exercise routines, and only rediscovering time and space for recreation and music late in the Fall. So what follows are some highlights of this past year.

Sermon Series: I don't always preach in series, but when I do, I often enjoy the cumulative effect of building on a theme or digging deep into a topic. We had several this year; here are the indices:
  • Holy Habits: the Law as Teacher: patterns and practices God established that still cultivate and develop a healthy spiritual life
  • Tested with Us and for Us: on the benefits of Jesus' humanity to identify with us
  • What is the Good News: a basic look at several aspects of the Christian message
  • Teach Us to Pray (The Lord's Prayer): our longest series by far, we looked at scriptures to understand (and pray) each phrase of the Lord's Prayer
  • Welcome Wanderers: working through Ephesians 2 to see how extraordinary is the gracious welcome offered through Jesus Christ
  • Psalm 24: a three-week study on Psalm 24 that really covers the whole biblical story
  • Advent: a look at the hope, love, joy, and peace of God w/personal testimony
Individual Sermons: three sermons that stood out as "most downloaded" as well as meaningful to me. It is interesting to me that two of them came from our 'number' series early in the year and that the three represent a nice range of interests (spiritual struggle, spiritual discipline, spiritual health).
  1. "40: Waiting on God" (Psalm 37:1-7a, Acts 7:20-36) - three stories of having to wait on God
  2. "10: Tithing" (Deuteronomy 14:22-29; Matthew 23:23-26) - this was the first time I had preached on tithing not during the "stewardship season" of the church; it was a profound text for me to work through
  3. "Fit for What?" (Hebrews 12:1-11) - what does spiritual health look like? and how do we get started?
Testimonies: this was a year of meaningful testimonies shared in and with the church; some are included below; I started to note "this is amazing!" next to them, but they are all amazing and really significant testimonies of God's goodness!
  • Cynthia Roberts (audio link, 7 min) - responding to the question "Where have you seen or experienced the Good News of Christ?"
  • Marty McKenzie (audio link, 5 min) - responding to the question "How have you experienced the HOPE of God?"; Marty shares personal loss and struggle and how hope in God has sustained her
  • Karen Katibah (audio link, 6 min) -  responding to the question "How have you experienced the JOY of Jesus Christ?"; Karen, a senior in college, shares about the uncertainties of graduating from college and the joy she has discovered in following God's leading
  • Cynthia Roberts (audio link, 4 min) - responding to the question "How have you experienced the PEACE of God?"; Cynthia shares about the loss of her mother and God's peace
Music: one of the goals/habits I cultivated in 2014 was trying to regularly write or record music; I called this "Sundays for Singing," trying to post something each Sunday. I certainly didn't generate a post weekly, but it did get the wheels turning again. Here are a few unpolished examples:
  • "Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul" - a worship song by Kevin Twit (Indelible Grace) to a text by Anne Steele; wonderful words for those struggling in this world
  • "Hail the Day that Christ Arose" - an encouraging song by Steve and Vikki Cook (adapted from a Wesley hymn text) about the benefits of Christ's resurrection
I was also excited for my friend, John Duncan, to get a life-long dream up and running in Beathaven. It brings the opportunity of professional interaction, review, and submission of ideas to amateur musicians. I was pleased that John used several of my instrumental tracks (here's one example) in setting up the site and interacting with him around the Beathaven service has spurred some enjoyable musical creativity.
    Health/Fitness - Just a few benchmarks to mark (for myself) where I am. Still running and walking regularly, though I've put some weight back on this year. (here are last year's data also shown +- below). Everything is a little shorter and slower, but still a significant amount of work. Big goals ahead for 2016!
    • Jan-Dec: approx. +5 lbs ...but still down 25 from pre-2013
    • 279 (-61) workouts in 213 (-40) hours
    • 155,000 (-49k) total calories burned
    • 502 (-153) mi. running + 400 (-71) mi. walking = 902 (-224) total miles
    • Longest Run: 10.1 mi. [did this 2x, but no 13.1 runs this year]
    • Fastest Runs:
      • 1mi: 7:59 min/mi
      • 5k: 10:09 min/mi
      • 5mi: 10:07 min/mi
      • 9mi: 11:35 min/mi
      • 10mi: 12:18 min/mi

    hope

    I was recently quoted in an article by Jodi Craiglow entitled, "Is there hope for PCUSA evangelicals today?"  I thought I would bump my old article to the top of my blogs in case anyone wants to read the quote in its fuller context.

    -----
    In mid-January 2012, Moderator Cynthia Bolbach and a group of other ruling and teaching elders posted a video entitled, "Hope for the PC(USA)."  They invited others in the church to share with the church why we believe "this to be the beginning, not the end, of what God has planned for us."  What follows is my answer to that invitation...

    I have great hope and conviction that God is alive and well and at work in this world in which we live. That was just confirmed in person as I sat at the corner coffee shop and had a conversation with the manager who has become a friend, who shared some of her own personal burdens, the help she gains from her recent faith, and her desire to follow God's leading in her work and life. That she had no church background or desire to know God did not stop God from pursuing and finding her. Thankfully. Mercifully. Gloriously!

    I have great hope that God is alive and well and at work in the part of the Church called the PCUSA. I see it as I share stories with friends across the presbytery and across the country. For instance, I see it in my good friend's church - a "transformation church" that has struggled to cling to life, battled the prospect of change, and embodies new life in Christ. Despite struggle and tears, even accusations and opposition, I have heard and seen the Gospel of Jesus Christ SHINE through her and those remaining to become God's church in their neighborhood. I see our presbytery responding to a vision of becoming less about institutional maintenance (survival?!) and more about asking what God is already doing through the congregations of our presbytery. Despite resistance to change, guarding of territory, and fear of the unknown, I have seen the Spirit stir and move in and among our presbytery.

    I am not ignorant or indifferent to the challenges before us. John Vest's "Pathos" post was piercingly truthful about the ways we fail and fall short. But my hope is not pinned to institutional "success," human merit, or theological position. Honestly, I have been disappointed by people all across the theological spectrum; I have also been greatly encouraged, challenged, and witnessed to by people all across the theological spectrum. People are people... and they sure aren't God. My hope comes from a conviction that God's ability to move, work, help, and save is not dependent on human success or faithfulness. That doesn't let us off the hook in terms of faithfulness or obedience, but it sure keeps me from becoming hopeless.

    Finally, I have great hope because of my own congregation and ministry. And lest that seem obvious or self-promoting, that hope comes precisely because of my own keen awareness of my limitations and failures. One of the ways I describe our congregation is "ordinary people; extraordinary God" - and I mean every bit of that. There is nothing I would deem good or bad, faithful or unfaithful, Jesus-centered or wayward as Hell, in the denomination that I don't also encounter in my own congregation and my own life. And God keeps showing up, stirring us up, calling us back, cleaning us up, and sending us out under the Word, sealed in the Spirit, and following the Son.

    Thankfully. Mercifully. Gloriously!

    Hail the Day

    We sang this in worship this morning.
    Lyrics adapted from Charles Wesley. New lyrics and music by Steve and Vikki Cook.


    Hail the day that Christ arose, through the skies to worlds unknown
    Glorious there He ever reigns, object of all heaven's praise
    See Him lift His hands above, see the scars of His great love
    He has conquered death and sin, saving all who hope in Him.

    Hallelujah, hallelujah, the King of love is on His throne
    Hallelujah, hallelujah, His grace will lead us safely home.

    Though He dwells beyond the stars, His redeemed are on His heart
    Even now He intercedes, Jesus cares for all our needs.  Chorus

    Hallelujah, we are redeemed; Hallelujah, Jesus is King!
    Hallelujah, hallelujah, the King of love is on His throne
    Hallelujah, hallelujah, His grace will lead us safely home.

    dear refuge of my weary soul

    We sang this (w/piano) in church this morning to go with Psalm 37.
    Words by Anne Steele; Music by Kevin Twit

     

    Dear refuge of my weary soul, on Thee, when sorrows rise
    On Thee, when waves of trouble roll, my fainting hope relies
    To Thee I tell each rising grief, for Thou alone canst heal
    Thy Word can bring a sweet relief, for every pain I feel

    But oh! When gloomy doubts prevail, I fear to call Thee mine
    The springs of comfort seem to fail, and all my hopes decline
    Yet gracious God, where shall I flee? Thou art my only trust
    And still my soul would cleave to Thee though prostrate in the dust

    Hast Thou not bid me seek Thy face, and shall I seek in vain?
    And can the ear of sovereign grace, be deaf when I complain?
    No still the ear of sovereign grace, attends the mourner's prayer
    Oh may I ever find access, to breathe my sorrows there

    Thy mercy seat is open still, here let my soul retreat
    With humble hope attend Thy will, and wait beneath Thy feet,
    Thy mercy seat is open still, here let my soul retreat
    With humble hope attend Thy will, and wait beneath Thy feet

    personal highlights 2014

    duplicates post here

    2014 has been a full year. In my 12th year at Good Shepherd, we undertook a sanctuary and youth building renovation project; I was fortunate to be invited on a ministerial trip to Scotland; I tried to establish some new patterns of regular writing and recording (music); I continued to try to incorporate regular exercise into my life. Challenges included two beloved church staff leaving (and trying to cover their vacancies for most of the 4th quarter), the renovation campaign (did I mention that already?), and maintaining regular health and exercise...did I also mention that? :) Some highlights of preaching, writing, travel, health, etc... follow:  

    Sermon Series: "It is Written" I don't always preach in series, but when I do, I often enjoy the cumulative effect of building on a theme or digging deep into a topic. Early in the year, having read an article about some "Red-Letter Christians"* who found Jesus' teaching at odds with other scripture (whether Paul or the Old Testament), I did an extended series looking at a number of places where Jesus quoted the Hebrew scriptures and used them as the basis of his own teaching and ministry. It was a fascinating study for me and the congregation seemed to get a lot out of it as well. (*Note: this view does not describe all so-called "Red-Letter Christians"; some, like Tony Campolo, simply want to take Jesus seriously and use this designation to point to all the things Jesus did say... turns out, though, for the critics of the Old that those red letters also encompass pretty much the whole scope of the Old Testament being spoken out of Jesus' mouth.) That study led right into Acts for Pentecost, and I just stayed there all summer with the "Into the World" series (link).  

    Individual Sermons: three sermons stood out as "most downloaded" as well as most meaningful to me. They all were part of the series mentioned above (and really framed that whole series), but did more even than track the theme of Jesus' use of Hebrew/OT scripture. All coming from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, these represent much pulling together of my own thinking and real-life experience (in ministry and as a human being). The accompanying graphic (included here) captures much of it, but I commend these sermons to get a sense of what developed. Also, see the short overview of all three (also with links) on my blog HERE.
    1. "The Space between Truth and Grace" (Matthew 5:17-26)
    2. "Fulfilling the Word: Vows" (Matthew 5:27-37)
    3. "Fulfilling the Word: Neighbors and Enemies" (Matthew 5:38-48)
    Testimonies: this was a year of meaningful testimonies shared in and with the church; some are included below; I started to note "this is amazing!" next to them, but they are all amazing and really significant testimonies of God's goodness!
    • Mark Katibah (audio link, 5 min) - "How have you seen the goodness or greatness of God through our church? (shared on Nov 9 for "Church Matters, pt. 1"; page link)
    • Shannon Klar (audio link, 23 min) - "What does it look like to encounter God's goodness and greatness and be changed?" (shared on Nov 16 for "Church Matters, pt. 2"; page link)
    • Ray Ball (audio link, 7 min) - as part of our Christmas "Behold the Lamb of God" concert, I asked Ray to share part of his testimony to illustrate God's deliverance
    • Bentley Ball (audio link, 12 min) - as part of our Christmas "Behold the Lamb of God" concert, I asked Bentley to share part of her testimony to illustrate what it is like to wait on God (both the faith and the struggle)
    Scotland Reflections (index): a ministerial trip to Scotland proved to be one highlight of the year, particularly as related to theological/personal/ministry reflection. The main part of my blogging this year was thoughtful reflection on my time in Scotland, particularly around themes of change, culture, and community. Music: one of the goals/habits I cultivated in 2014 was trying to regularly write or record music; I called this "Sundays for Singing," trying to post something each Sunday. I certainly didn't generate a post weekly, but it did get the wheels turning again. Here are a few unpolished examples:
    • "Temple Song" - about Jesus overturning the tables in the Temple in John 2; first guitar-arrangement of this original piano song with my friend, Gerrit Dawson; please excuse the "Christmas jammies"
    • "Say Something" - a radio cover my daughter wanted to do; it was a blast just singing/playing with her!
    • "Friend of Sinners" - a worship song by Red Mountain Music to a text by Augustus Toplady; another highlight because my daughter played drums with me
    Health/Fitness - Just a few benchmarks to mark where I am. Still running and walking regularly, though I've put some weight back on this year. (here are last year's data)
    • Jan-Dec: approx. +20 lbs :(  ...but still down 30 from pre-2013
    • 340 workouts in 253 hours
    • 204,000 total calories burned
    • 655 mi. running + 470 mi. walking = 1125 total miles
    • Longest Run: 13.1 mi. (in 2:24:21)
    • Fastest Runs: gonna beat these all in 2015!
      • 1mi: 7:54 min/mi - a slight uphill... 7:27 going the other direction... so prob should average those together :)
      • 5k: 9:38 min/mi (not sure why this is slower than the 5mi except that I only tried the 5k route a handful of times and have run the 5mi course a hundred or more times)
      • 5mi: 9:02 min/mi
      • 8mi: 10:47 min/mi
      • 10mi: 11:10 min/mi
      • 13.1mi: 11:00 min/mi

    beautiful savior

    We sang this in church this morning for Ascension Sunday.


    "Beautiful Savior" - by Stuart Townend

    All my days I will sing this song of gladness
    Give my praise to the Fountain of delights
    For in my helplessness you heard my cry
    And waves of mercy poured down on my life

    I will trust in the cross of my Redeemer
    I will sing  of the blood that never fails
    Of sins forgiven, of conscience cleansed
    Of death defeated and life without end

    Beautiful Savior, Wonderful Counselor
    Clothed in majesty, Lord of history
    You’re the Way, the Truth, the Life
    Star of the Morning, Glorious in holiness
    You’re the Risen One, Heaven’s Champion
    And you reign, You reign over all


    I long to be where the praise is never ending
    Yearn to dwell  where the glory never fades
    Where countless worshipers  will share one song
    And cries of “Worthy!” will honor the Lamb
    Chorus 2x