Sunday, September 27, 2015

Second Mile Ministry

A Vision for Change: Where the American Tobacco Trail meets Fayetteville Street near Pilot Street.

Priority # 1 is that this three phase project keep in mind Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). What and who are the resources in the neighborhood and how can they be mobilized?

I. An open parking lot for trail access along the Southern side of the American Tobacco Trail near the 2 mile marker and behind the Discount Mart (3011 Fayetteville Rd, Durham, NC 27707).

II. A Chick-Fil-A restaurant on the Southern side of the American Tobacco Trail at the intersection with Fayetteville Street. Next to the current bus stop. 

III. An Outdoor Amphitheater on the Northern side of the American Tobacco Trail near the 2 mile marker and the Blind Boy Fuller monument. There is a large grassy field that touches on the Fayetteville Street Elementary School property, facing the American Tobacco Trail where it forks with the Rocky Creek Trail. Elmira Park is nearby. 

Any or all of these projects would add value to the neighborhood and would be welcomed by many of the residents, local citizens, and those who utilize the American Tobacco Trail.

The current sense or mood of this block is one described as harried and hurried and I observe fast travel to and fro. Drivers fly by on Fayetteville Street. Walkers, runners, cyclists zoom by on the trail in a hurry to be North or South of this block. Folks are tight and tense. More so than they should be. This block is not as dangerous as the rest of the town thinks it is, yet in the questions that I receive on a daily basis it is among the most frequent.

"When is that part of the trail going to be safe?" is fielded second only to, "What do you (the Tobacco Trail Church), do when it rains?" I welcome the conversations that come with both these questions and yet they both leave me feeling weary. I cannot sit quietly and have no answer to either question. Let's change the questions and the mood.

What if we heard in 10 years, "Hey are you going down to mile two? Yeah, me too!"

What will it take to draw the Bull City back into the neighborhood, slow them down, invite them to stay a while?
This question should matter to city officials, NCCU, residents, interested non-profits, and future business owners. This is a highly traveled area of town and one with great social and economic importance.

I am prepared to dedicate the next decade to this project in South Durham.


Rev. George E. Linney, III
3312 Denada Path
Durham, NC 27707
Chick-Fil-A would be directly to the right or West of this photo.
Parking Lot down and to the right or West, 100 yards.
Outdoor Amphitheater down and to the left or East, 150-200 yards.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

It Was a Hot August Night -- Join the Party

It Was a Hot August Night
Nobody brings it like The Diamond (A Beautiful Noise, I Am I Said, and who can forget Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show)? Diamond seems irrelevant to young people and then they get older and find his genius. Sounds like the church sometimes.

"It Was a Hot August Night" is the opening to Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Song--a gospel influenced nod to Church Revivals. When Neil Diamond performs this song best, he becomes the very preacher, “Brother Love.” We will become the participants in a revival in our own unique way by riding, running, and walking to a special place of prayer on Sunday afternoon, August 30th. You really should try this special opportunity for recreation and faithfulness.

Once when Neil Diamond gathered at L.A.'s Greek Theater he wondered if his career might be over and if this gathering would be his farewell performance. Doesn't the life of a church plant always follow such a similar identity crisis? Diamond has gone on for another half century of performing and writing meaningful music. And so too, the church will go on--be it the Tobacco Trail Church or other church plants and other long-standing and historic churches.  But these ministries will look different than the ones that came before them.

Are you afraid? Or are you excited? Or, are you both?

Let's raise some money to help the Tobacco Trail Church meet ministry goals this fall. You can give before the event at the website – Let’s continue to ask the necessary questions to follow.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Read Victor's latest post -- GOING NOWHERE AT 160KM PER HOUR


Telling the Story

How many times have you shared it?
Tweaked it?
Changed your inflection?
Re-ordered the emphasis?

People are getting excited about the story you have to tell.
And it might be a new story.
Along the way, the vision is changing, growing, and that's okay.
It's no lie that it is not the same as what you first shared.

God is in the changes.
Don't fear. It needs a thread that runs through it all and that bit of string might be nothing more than you.

Your story, YOU, are not small to God.
In your humility and your courage, you are EVERYTHING to Jesus.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

#olderandfaster -- The Cover of Runner's World

10 more days in the #RWCoverSearch and my quest to be on the Cover of Runner's World magazine.
Vote every day for #762

These are just some of the images that epitomize my passion for running in this last season.
I hope you will support by voting.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Run Free

Some grownups make a living jumping over barriers and running through water like hunting dogs. Isn't the world just great?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Take on Coaching

From 1,001 New Worshiping Communities on "Coaching"

A coach is not someone who will tell you what you should do. But a coach can come alongside you as you seek to discern the way forward in your context. A coach can provide you the margins to reflect and discern God's agenda for this ministry amidst the chaos and constant decision-making that is the nature of church planting.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Cover of Runner's World Magazine

I am trying to get on the cover of Runner's World Magazine.

1) Running is one of the odd contexts that God has provided for me to spread the good news. The cover of Runner's World is a new way for me to share what inspires me as a runner.

2) Our church has just turned five years old and is receiving a surge of new energy and support from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and now, what looks like a possible formal partnership with Presbyterians (PCUSA) and their 1,001 New Worshiping Communities initiative. These intersections have been both intentional and organic. In much the same way, running and the mission of the church have intersected intentionally and organically since the very birth of the Tobacco Trail Church (Pentecost 2010).

3) When the Tobacco Trail Church was in its' infancy, even still in the womb, I was a bike rider in the Race Across America. That story wove together Durham Cares, 16 local agencies, eight bike riders, a support team including another 15 volunteers all while raising more that $100,000 for Durham charities. Maybe a pastor/runner on the cover of Runner's World could raise money and/or awareness for the next initiative in God's project for the church.

4) I am about to turn 40 (June 18) and need all the help I can get meeting my summer running goals--personal bests for the distances of one mile and 800 meters. I am confident that God is forming me to be #olderandfaster. I could use some personal accountability so that I stay faithful. Will you encourage me?

You can vote for me to be on the cover of Runner's World at this Link. I hope you will set a daily reminder because you can vote every day from now until July 22nd. What might seem like a hassle, or have you thinking, "I don't know this runner guy," instead, think is this daily click as a prayer for a small church plant in central North Carolina. Call it a prayer for future Baptist and Presbyterian church plants and the exploration of this post-denominational season we seem to be entering. Call it a hope for the aging runner within each of us that we might all grow younger and more child-like in Christ who redeems us.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Writing Voice

In your natural way of producing words there is a sound, a texture, a rhythm--a voice--which is the main source of power in your writing. I don't know how it works, but this voice is the force that will make a reader listen to you, the energy that drives the meaning through his thick skull.
Peter Elbow, Writing Without Teachers

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fire At Your Heels

Fire At Your Heels

Moses - Michelangelo Buonarroti.  Marble sculpture. "And we know, when Moses was told, in the way he was told, "Take off your shoes!" He grew pale from that simple reminder of fire in the dusty earth. He never recovered his complicated way of loving again and was free to love in the same way he felt the fire licking at his heels loved him."-David Whyte

Friday, May 8, 2015

This could have been... But for the Grace of God it was not. #thanksJesus
I survived my life at Furman (no fault of the school), just my time of life. I remain forever grateful.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Exquisite photo of Golden Gate Bridge

The first time I processed truly losing a loved one, not death, but of the heart, I was running across this bridge. Three quarters of the way across, I stopped, prayed, lamented, and turned back and ran toward my future.
What landmarks mark a turning point on your journey?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Ice Bath #2

Day two of operation ice bath, post-marathon 36 hours. My commitment to recovery is at all time high after yesterday's Rock n Roll Raleigh Marathon.

Seems to be working. Surprisingly, I was able to walk and run today. First, time ever after a marathon.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Furman University Inauguration

Check out @RGary2's Tweet:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Check out Tobacco Trail Church (@TTrailChurch):

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Goodson Chapel, Durham, NC

Check out @TTrailChurch's Tweet:

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Modest Love by Sir Edward Dyer : The Poetry Foundation

A Modest Love by Sir Edward Dyer : The Poetry Foundation

A Modest Love


The lowest trees have tops, the ant her gall,
   The fly her spleen, the little sparks their heat;
The slender hairs cast shadows, though but small,
   And bees have stings, although they be not great;
Seas have their source, and so have shallow springs;
And love is love, in beggars as in kings.

Where rivers smoothest run, deep are the fords;
   The dial stirs, yet none perceives it move;
The firmest faith is in the fewest words;
   The turtles cannot sing, and yet they love:
True hearts have eyes and ears, no tongues to speak;
They hear and see, and sigh, and then they break.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cross Covered Runner

March is a month for moving forward as a runner.
March is a month that draws near to Easter.
March brings with it springtime in the northern hemisphere.

MLK on Love

Check out @jobsforlife's Tweet:

Monday, February 9, 2015

from a friend, 7 verses in 7 days

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31.
I recall the first time I heard this passage was during a speech by Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire. I was moved by the sheer beauty of the verse (Perhaps it was Eric Liddell's pronunciation of Eagles (Iggles)). Previously, when I was a runner, I used to recall this verse and the 23rd Psalm again and again which seemed to help push my mind through the fatigue of the miles.
No longer a runner, I see now that the verse shows me that strength, endurance, and goodness comes from above.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Goodson Chapel at Duke Divinity School

Check out @TTrailChurch's Tweet:

Monday, January 26, 2015

Reaching Out...Reaching In

We need to see what we can do for others in life if we are to have joy within us. For it is in living lives open to others that we find our own true selves.  --Robert J. Wicks

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Marathon Lamentation

"The fact that a man runs 20 miles good and the last 5 miles bad is the very reason a good many men do not get any medals for running marathon races." 

-- Johnny Hayes, Winner of the 1908 Olympic Marathon

Sunday, January 11, 2015

from the poem--Coleman's Bed

stay in this place
     until the current of the story
          is strong enough
               to float you out

a line by David Whyte in the collection, River Flow

It may be that the current must be strong enough to float you out, but other times, like in this video (and I recommend turning the sound off and watching silently) the hydraulic and the eddy are very strong currents and keep the raft stuck in the same place and only when the raft slips into weaker currents, a more subtle flow, does the raft slip away, free to move downstream and onto the next season of the journey.

Are you pushing too hard? Against forces that are too much for you to bow up against?

Why not try simply relaxing and surfing for these moments and wait for the necessary strong or weak currents? Wait for the flow to float you out.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Mentally Tough

Check out @RGary2's Tweet:

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Gift of Presence

"Presence" is truly one of the best gifts we can offer to others in need. The value of presence to another person should not be understated. When we sit with people in the darkness and "help them cry" we model hope and new possibilities in ways even we sometimes don't realize.

from Snow Falling on Snow by Robert Wicks

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Meagan Nedlo Qualifies for the Olympic Trials Marathon

Back on November 15th, Meagan Nedlo ran herself one heck of a race at the Anthem Richmond Marathon. The 32 year old Kenyan Salem, MA resident finished in 2:40:48. This placed Meagan 3rd amongst the ladies racing that day and was also good enough for 16th overall. Also, that time will get her into the 2016 Olympic Trials for the marathon.

Nedlo Gets her OTQ in more at Level Renner and be inspired.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Downhill Running

"I lean with the hill.... I know I'm doing it right if it feels like I'm going to fall on my face, but don't."
--Ed Eyestone on downhill running

Friday, January 2, 2015

Late for Work

"Man, that cat's late for work every morning."
--Conversation overheard by ultramarathoner Ted Corbitt, who used to run to the subway before work each day.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

OAR Again

Take out your bible. Not Jack Daniels. Not Noakes. The other one. The Old Testament. Now turn to page 12. Breathe in. Breathe out. Let the words soak in:
He wanted to impart some of the truths Bruce Denton had taught him, that you don't become a runner by winning a morning workout. The only true way is to marshal the ferocity of your ambition over the course of many days, weeks, months, and (if you could finally come to accept it) years. The Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials. How could he make them understand?

from OAR (Once a Runner) and pulled from Talia's blog. Nice post--year in review--2014.