Praying Is Easy

On January 10, 2021, I was asked to deliver the sermon for the worship service at Grace United Methodist Church in Wyckoff, New Jersey.

Here is the worship service along with the written sermon (my reading notes) below that.

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Chronicle of a Comeback (vol. 33) – Last Article In Series

Today is January 8, 2021.

Exactly one year ago today, I walked into the surgery center to meet Dr. Braver for him to perform surgery on my right Achilles tendon. As I walked in, I said to the receptionist at the counter, “I am here to begin my training for the 2020 New York City Marathon.” She smiled and said, “You must be Mr. Semendinger.”

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A Selected List of The Best Books I Read in 2020

(A copy of this post can also be found at Start Spreading the News.)


I love to read. My goal each year is to read at least 30 books. This year I read 36 books. I am pleased.

When I read, I read. I don’t do audio books. I also don’t read off a kindle or any device. I’m old school. When I read a book, I actually read the actual book.

My reading tastes are somewhat eclectic. The subjects I tend to focus to most on are baseball, history, leadership/motivation, and spirituality. I also usually read a few novels along the way.

What follows are the books that I most enjoyed in 2020. (Not all are about baseball.) These are presented in the order in which I read them.

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Chronicle of a Comeback (vol. 32) – 11 Months!

Eleven months ago today I had surgery to repair the interstitial tears in my right Achilles. 

All went well.  In fact, all went great.

My orthopedist is amazing as were my physical therapists.   Amazing.

They were so good, so great, that “amazing” is actual an understatement.

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Setting A Place At The Table

Thanksgiving 2020

***

This Thanksgiving will be different from ones in the past.  This Thanksgiving might be the first one that includes the complete absence of friends, family… loved ones.

There will be smaller gatherings and many empty seats.  

There will be empty homes.  And empty hearts.

The turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and the rest may taste less rich and be less fulfilling because they cannot replace the void that will be continually present on this day.

There will be an absence of voices and of laughter.  

It will be a Thanksgiving with seemingly little to give thanks for – a Thanksgiving of emptiness.  

But, it doesn’t have to be that way.  Not entirely.  

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Chronicle of a Comeback (vol. 31) – NYC Marathon Day

It’s been over a month since my last update here…

My running hasn’t been great, but it hasn’t been bad either. I’ve been running about three days a week, usually about 3 miles at a time. It’s basically been a succession of 11-mile weeks. This approach has made sense because I just need to get strong.

About two weeks ago, though, I decided to ramp it up a bit. I want to start building miles and becoming a stronger runner. (I need to do that. “Want” makes it seem like a choice. It isn’t a choice.)

Two weeks ago, I did five miles. That was my longest run in a while.

Last week I did six.

Today is NYC Marathon Day.

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Chronicle of a Comeback (vol. 29) – Continued Progress

Well, I needed that.

It’s good to be back. Again.

After my five consecutive days of three-mile runs, two weeks ago, the next week, I set out to do four consecutive days of four-mile runs.

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Chronicle of a Comeback (vol. 28): Back-to-Back-to-Back-to-Back-to-Back!

Whew.

I did it.

It wasn’t easy, but it was easier than I thought it would be.

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Chronicle of a Comeback (vol. 27) – TEN!

I didn’t really think I could do it this quickly.  I mean, ramp up to ten miles.  My longest run just a little over a week ago was six miles.  Then last week I did seven.  That was HUGE!

Up until the moment I decided to do a long run today, I wasn’t even thinking ten miles.  That seemed just too far.

Way too far…

And then, this morning, I thought, “Why not just do ten?”

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