Saturday, October 17, 2015

What is the Foundation of Your Thoughts?

Do you face mental challenges with and when running?

Our thoughts greatly affect our running.

The source of our thoughts determines the quality, the "nutrient value", of our thoughts. A robust cherry tree in fertile soil with appropriate pH and adequate irrigation produces higher yielding and greater quality cherries than a feeble cherry tree in poor soil.

What is the foundation, the source--the soil--of your thoughts and actions?

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. (Matthew 7:24–25, NASB95)

Are you seeking and internalizing God's word, the Bible, as the source of your sustaining thoughts to endure training and tough races?

God's word strengthens and encourages us through all of life's challenges, including running. Motivation apart from and contradicting the Bible washes away once the pain arrives.

“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand." (Matthew 7:26, NASB95)

In 37+ years and 120,500++ miles of running, I have never found sustaining motivation apart from Christ, the word made flesh (John 1:1-2, 14).

Seek, Hear, Internalize and Act on God's word. This will Transform your Thoughts, your Life, your Relationships and your Running.

See Christ, Believe Christ, Achieve with Christ!

Rick E. Meyer
Running on Faith Ministry Inc

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Marathon and Winter Driving

Congrats to all of today's Marathoners!!

Running a marathon is similar to embarking on a 26.2 mile winter drive through open country. You begin with sunny skies and clear roads. "This drive is going to be a fun. The forecast calls for winter driving conditions, the weather forecasters are wrong again."

Then around mile 6, or maybe delayed until 15 miles, the skies become overcast, yet the roads remain clear. Light to moderate snow now falls thru 21 +/- miles. Sometimes an piece of isolated black ice will spin your car around, perhaps into the ditch.

Without warning... solid ice covers the entire road along with whiteout snow conditions the last few miles. You grip the steering wheel, focus with every ounce of remaining energy and pray that you survive.

Much can change and occur over 26.2 miles!!

 We're proud of the perseverance you each displayed on your journey, today. Keep the Faith and Keep Winning!!

Rick E. Meyer
Running on Faith Ministry Inc.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

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Friday, October 9, 2015

Enduring Peace vs In-Grown Eyeballs

Despite running at least 40+ minutes slower than anticipated & desired in Sunday's Twin Cities Marathon, the inner-peace that began weeks before this marathon remains as powerful this Friday morning as it was last Friday morning.

God does not give us false peace, or false anything else. He is truth, therefore everything from Him is true and pure (James 3:17). Authentic peace--originating from God--always points towards God: the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

God provides indescribable peace and joy through the Bible, prayer, gratitude, praise and other people.

I nearly extinguished this peace a few times this week with the great extinguisher of peace otherwise known as, "In-Grown Eyeballs."

Let's keep our eyes on Christ. For the cause of Christ, who may I serve now? Let's enjoy God's peace (Eph 6:15)!

"And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7, NASB95)

Keep the Faith, Trust God!

Rick E. Meyer
Running on Faith Ministry Inc.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Post Marathon Reflections

Reflecting on Sunday's marathon:

 I am making no attempt to project these current thoughts on/toward all runners.

I love to run fast and place high as much as anyone. Yet, the purpose of the race resides in testing one's mind, body and soul in training and race day execution.
This includes doing one's best in traveling over the given course, on foot, as fast as possible on race day through the given weather, course conditions, physical challenges or mental battles one encounters during this time.

 Obviously prudence exempts extreme factors that remain undetailed in this comment.
Typically this approach yields an acceptable time and place relative to our preparation. Certainly not always.

Quitting, other than health issues, arises out of attempting to salvage our Pride and Ego which transform the Time and/or Place into Idols.

Pride and Ego oppose God, as do the Idols of Time and Place.

Racing, and everything in life, mandates seeking to obediently serve God along with praising Him and striving to glorify God through the process, in spite of ourselves.

Time and Place goals, like all goals, are good as long as we keep them subservient to God.

Running on Faith ==> Seek God, Do Your Best, Trust God!

Running on Faith in Christ!

Rick E. Meyer
Running on Faith Ministry, Inc.
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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Run - Bible Word Study



Pushing yourself beyond previously known limits of your mind, body, soul with lactic acid causing each nerve ending in one’s quadriceps, calf muscles and forearms to feel as if lightning strikes every second along with a burning knife repeatedly stabbing each muscle; this represents one aspect of running.


One endures this torture while competing for the prize of the race, either in pursuit of the leader or holding off the pursuers. One minute of enduring this physical and emotional pain seems as if ten minutes have passed.


Three-time Olympian and eight-time world record holder Jim Ryun once said, “You don’t know whether to laugh from the fun or cry from the pain.”[1]


Other runs include engaging conversation with friends while striding through the rolling hills, watching the sunrise and the cattle wade into pond for a morning drink. Time and miles pass quickly into history.


Paul’s use of run (τρέχω, trechō, prim. verb)[2] in his first letter from Ephesus to the early Corinthian church who struggled with immorality, complacency and other challenges, surely follows the former example of run (1 Corinthians 9:24). The same holds true of his description of completing the race in his letter to Timothy from Rome while on house arrest (2 Timothy 4:7).[3]


What are other perspectives and definitions of “run” (τρέχετε)?  The root: τρεχω, LN: 15.230; verb, present, active, imperative, second person, plural meaning to run, appears twenty-three times in the New Testament.[4] The English word forms of the NASB95 Bible include: run, runs, running, ran, race, racing, rushing, and spread.[5] Other sources produce similar definitions of run.


For example, run is a Syntactic Force: Finite verb meaning to runs, running, ran /ran/; past participle run), that is to “move at a speed faster than a walk, never having both or all feet on the ground at the same time. Enter or be entered in a race. Move about in a hurried and hectic way.”[6]


Paul compares the eternal crown received from Christ with the fleeting pine wreath “crown” given to the winners of the biennial games held near Corinth (1Cor 3:13-14, 15:10; 2 Cor 1:14, 5:10; Phil 2:16; 1 Thes 2:19).[7]

“Greco-Roman athletic games were deeply religious in origin and expression. The ancient Olympic Games usually held every four years between 776 B.C. and A.D. 393, were dedicated to Zeus, and were finally curtailed because they were considered incompatible with Christianity. During the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, the Hellenized high priest Jason promoted Greek athletic games so persuasively that he nearly brought priestly service in the Temple to a standstill as priests devoted themselves to these games (2 Macc 4:7–26).

Eccl 9:11, Php 2:16, Php 3:13–14, 2 Tim 2:5, Heb 12:1, 2 Macc 4:7–26),[8]


In his second letter to Timothy (Ti 4:7), Paul declares completion of his race. Finishing a race virtually always results in physical joy, as this represents rest for the body. However, the emotional and spiritual joy hinges upon the intelligence and effort with which one runs the race. Runners rarely claim running a perfect race, I claim two of these in over seven-hundred-fifty races during since 1978.


Even with errors, as every human experiences in life’s race (Rom 3:23), the runner acquires joy and contentment in reflection and knowledge of how one adjusted during the race, including giving one’s best effort in the given conditioning and environment.


Paul quickly confesses mistakes while living as Saul, yet as Paul he flat lays it on the line as illustrated in being left for dead after the Jews from Antioch and Iconium stoned him outside of Lystra (Acts 14:19-20). Because of Paul’s exception response to God’s calling, he finds contentment in Christ as he nears the finish line of earthly life.


In Galatians 2:2 Paul describes the possibility of running in vain, had the Jews continued insisting on including the law with the Gospel, especially circumcision. Paul went to Jerusalem in response to God’s command, a revelation[9], to unify the church’s mission.[10] Paul, as a servant of Christ, desired the leaders comprising the Jerusalem Council to endorse the Gospel message without circumcision.


The Judaizers strongly attempted to misguide the Galatians, including the need to continue the law and circumcision.[11] Paul’s understanding of the Gospel remained unwavering despite the result of his private meeting with the Council.[12]


However, had the Jerusalem Council ignored Paul’s urgent message, thus God’s urgent message, of preaching the gospel of grace absent the law, Paul’s running—his efforts—were in vain regarding influencing the Galatians.[13] Paul would have fully exerted himself, while failing to produce the desired fruit of the Galatians accepting the gospel of grace. This passage reminds us of our dependency of God in running with His word.


The author of Hebrews also uses “run” (τρέχω) in the twelfth chapter (Hebrews 12:1), following the great chapter of faith and God’s faith filled champions. Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1–2).”


The author of Hebrews begins this commentary instructing the reader(s) to rid themselves of sin and all excessive weight.[14] Joe Boyle, owner of the Texas Running Center and a former Navy seal and developer of West Point’s fitness program, confirms other research I have seen in the past regarding excess weight’s effect on running: one extra pound adds two seconds per mile traveled.[15] This verifies the author’s urgency of shedding extra weight and burdens. Certainly, sin adds significant emotional and spiritual weight.


The Hebrews’ author continues saying to “run with endurance,” this indicates persistence, pushing oneself beyond previously known limits. Endurance includes continuing past one’s first and second wind, onto the eighth or tenth wind, continuing to the point near or actual collapse.


The body initially burns glycogen when running, endurance includes exhausting the glycogen supply and burning fat for fuel. This word and command remind us to press on well beyond our comfort zone of serving Christ, responding to His commands.


This command reminds us that effectiveness of running for Christ, includes burning up our easily available energy, instead of glycogen, we have excitement for the Lord Jesus Christ.


Similarly, we must train our mind, body and soul to endure by tapping into the energy source of fat. The soul’s equivalent of fat resides in internalized knowledge and relationship with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The love based relationship provides the fuel for enduring beyond our first and second winds, into our eighth and tenth winds, well beyond our normal tolerance of pain.


Next, we are commanded to set our eyes on Christ, while considering His endurance on the Cross. When we consider the physical, emotional, spiritual pain endured by Christ on the Cross, our life’s discomfort becomes minuscule. Additionally, this correlates with Paul’s message in 1 Corinthians 9:24 of running for the incorruptible prize.


A runner’s mental toughness, his/her ability to endure, largely depends on his desire for the prize. Our desire for Christ increases with our knowledge and understanding of Him, the Father and the Holy Spirit. As our desire increases, so does the intensity of our focusing our eyes on Christ. When a runner fixes their eyes on the highly desired prize, they see and hear nothing else.[16]


This author has blacked out during the last fourth of a championship cross country race, while continuing to pass people because of setting his eyes on serving Jesus Christ and seeking the promise set before him to glorify Christ, the Father and the Holy Spirit. My teammates did the same thing.


Two or three minutes before the start of the 1984 Kansas 6A State Championship cross country race, Dan Schneider—our number one runner—led our team’s final prayer, “Lord, help us run a race to glorify you, whether first place or last.”


Our team with six of the seven runners back from the previous year’s championship team set out to defend our title with our eyes fixed on Christ. The commentary writers attempt explanation with theoretical, academic explanations. This fails to convey the message of the power of a runner fixing their eyes on Christ, pushing oneself to the brink of death in response to the runner’s love of Christ.


A runner trains and races as intently as possible when he desires the prize as much as life itself. A frequent reminder of championship cross country teams include, “You gotta want it more than life itself.”


Surely, fixing our eyes on Christ, with a perpetually growing knowledge and understanding leads us to desire running for Him, serving Him more than life itself in the race set before us. This race set before us includes His will—His plan—for our life.[17]


“True obedience acts immediately,” Dr. Stanley Toussaint.

Running the race set before us, casting aside our burdens and unprofitable baggage while fixing our eyes on Christ and what He endured on the Cross, mandates true obedience.


Let us run the race set before us, let us run to greet the resurrected savior and our resulting relationship with the indwelling Holy Spirit. Let us seek the eternal, incorruptible prize of the high calling of Jesus Christ. Let our love for Him exceed our desire for physical life, as well as popularity and secular acceptance.

Let us push ourselves beyond previously known limits in spreading the Gospel, and the immediately commencing relationship with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Let us operate with hasty urgency. Let us RUN for Christ!

Running on Faith in Christ!

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Rick E. Meyer
Running on Faith Ministry, Inc.
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[1] (Jim Ryun 1984)
[2] (Thomas 1998)
[3] (Toussaint 2012)
[4] (Bible Software 5 n.d.)
[5] (Bible Software 5 n.d.)
[6] (Soanes 2004)
[7] (Lowery 1983, 525)
[8] (Myers n.d., "Foot Race")
[9] (Campbell 1983, 593)
[10] (Anders 1999, 20)
[11] (Toussaint 2012, Class Notes)
[12] (Campbell 1983, 593)
[13] (Anders 1999, 20)
[14] (Radmacher, Allen and House 1999, 1655)
[15] (Boyle 2013)
[16] (Boyle 2013) (Jim Ryun 1984)
[17] (Boyle 2013) (Bible Software 5 n.d.) (Jim Ryun 1984) (Lowery 1983) (Radmacher, Allen and House 1999) (Clownney 1995) (Coffman 1984) (Dowling 1995) (Ferguson 1996) (MacAurthur 1984) (Pringle n.d.)

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Twin Cities Marathon, USA Masters Marathon Championship

The first 6M felt like 2 miles. From there on, not the day I planned. My watch serendipitously lost satellite connection and stopped.

My left hip began cramping in the 7th mile. I nearly dropped out at 8M and numerous other times.

Other than near death or loss of limb, I don't believe in quitting. Exceptions may include such factors as if preparing for a greater race.

Three factors circled my mind to maintain this belief.

Amazing support from friends.

My sister, Dee Meyer Isaacson, battling bone cancer with no option of dropping out.

Running on Faith includes recognizing that God wants us to trust Him for His victory not how the world defines success.

Received many compliments from spectators along the course on the singlet.

Running on Faith in Christ!

Rick E. Meyer
Running on Faith Ministry, Inc.
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