Sunday, December 4, 2016

Body of Christ and Quadraceps

Consider the body of Christ (Eph 4:10-16):

It's as ridiculous for the quadracep to express jealousy towards or try to undermine the calf muscle as it is for one Christian (or Ministry) to express jealousy toward or try to undermine another Christian/Ministry.

Rick E. Meyer
Running on Faith Ministry Inc.

Compliment and Complement

Complement and Compliment often go hand in hand.

Just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit complement and lift up (compliment) one another, so should we seek to lift up others.

If you struggle to find a way to compliment someone, consider how they complement the body of Christ, including you. Additionally, seeking other's strengths to compliment helps us recognize how they complement the Church and us.

Start by making a list of strengths of those whom you struggle to understand.

This applies to relationships of all types, including professional peers.

Rick E. Meyer
Running on Faith Ministry Inc.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Why do you run?

Every runner has been asked at least once, “Why do you run?” Most likely, you too answered this more than once? I began running in sixth grade because I loved sports yet I was absolutely lousy at playing baseball, football, and basketball.

You may have begun running due to an encouraging invitation from a friend or coach. Perhaps you have run competitively for many years or decades. Others begin running for health benefits such as losing weight or they simply set a goal to complete a specific race or race distance such as a 10K, half marathon, or a marathon.

Additionally, some begin as a way to relax after work as well as a time for reflection and meditation regarding work, family, life in general, the Bible, or all the above.

Our reasons to run often vary depending on our fitness and health, the calendar, experience, ability, and goals.

Regardless of why we run, we eventually enjoy, at least to some extent, all of the above reasons. Runners enjoy competing, covering miles with friends, the physical and mental challenges, health benefits, achieving goals, and relaxing.

What do you think about while running?

Additionally, our meditative minds sometimes drift into what I have longed called Lala Land, becoming oblivious to our surroundings as we soar into a near dream state of deep thoughts with a highly creative state of mind.

Powerful ideas arrive like flashes of lightning. Moreover, when in Lala Land, we swiftly and effortlessly cover the miles, feeling as if we could seemingly forever run fast. If only we could automatically record each of these original, insightful ideas while in Lala Land?

How we define and respond to our ultimate purpose(s) for running determines whether our running possesses eternal value or ends with our earthly life (1Corinthians 3:12-15). Do you, like me, easily focus on only the self-gratifying aspects of running?

Is my Life and my Running anchored in Christ?

Socializing, relaxing, meditating, goals, competing, and health benefits all represent wonderful pursuits in life as long as our primary purpose for each of these to serve and glorify God (Colossians 3:17).

Our sinfulness demand that we seek and accept forgiveness of our sins (Romans 3:23) and continually extend Christ’s grace and mercy to everyone we encounter (Ephesians 2:8). This includes our relationships with fellow runners, bicyclists, those in automobiles, pedestrians, race officials, along with anyone else we encounter. “We love, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Fortunately, we have an internal helper for this formidable task, the Holy Spirit (1Cor 3:16-23), sent to us by Jesus Christ from God the Father (John 14:16).

He reminds us that God created everything in existence such as you, those with whom you run, the ground and surfaces we run on, the chemistry and fabrics of our apparel, vehicles, fuel, the sunrise and sunset, as well as the stars in the sky that we enjoy while running in the dark (John 1:1-3).

One of the tougher challenges in serving and glorifying God is our innate desire to depend on our human wisdom to rationalize our running ups, downs, and everything in-between rather than trusting God in everything (Proverbs 3:5-7).

Trusting and serving God includes pointing people towards the Lord Jesus Christ and His word in the Bible even when we perceive to risk embarrassment or rejection.

Trusting God initiates appropriate action (James 4:17), while rejecting complacency (Prov 1:32). While appropriate action varies from one interaction to the next, it always includes sincerely wanting Christ’s best for everyone.

Persistently thank God in Christ for the ability to run, the challenges along the way to remind you of your dependence on Him in all of life, those whom you met, and that you glorify Christ regardless of your ability, time, or placing.


1.     Take a deep, sincere interest in those with whom you run. Most of us get to know those with whom we run beside very well through the course of miles and conversations.

2.     Listen and ask how you may pray for them, their friends, and families. Record these prayer requests in a secure, yet convenient place to find them.

3.     Listen with the desire to serve and glorify God.

4.     Only promise to pray if you will indeed pray for them.

5.     Pray fervently (Acts 12:5; James 5:17). Check-in occasionally, whether in person or a quick note, reminding them of your prayers and for updates or changes to the request.

6.     With Love and Truth, share God’s word from scripture with your friends. This will soothe their and your hearts and hurts.

7.     Read the Bible ten to fifteen minutes a day, even more if you prefer. Seek the contextual meaning of the scripture.

8.     Continually pray for God’s guidance in your running and your running relationships.

9.     Ask God to shine through you at all times, ask that your face, gesture, and words may reflect Him to everyone you encounter, including drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

10.  When running alone or meditating, fervently pray that He guide your thoughts and that they each manifest to serve and glorify Jesus Christ.

11.  Frequently remind yourself of the above. It’s so easy to make our running mostly about ourselves.

For the cause of Christ, who may I serve today? ~ Charles Gibbs


For a contribution of any amount, you receive a pdf copy of Rick’s highly acclaimed booklet, The Holy Spirit’s Guidance in Max International (Business). This powerful book contains evaluations of other literature, insightful interviews with leading businessmen in various industries. Rick E. Meyer wrote the original version for his Applied Research Project at Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas.

Ø  How do leaders recognize, listen, respond and share this guidance?

Ø  How do leaders and believers know His non-audible voice (John 10:27)?

Ø  Is the guidance received audibly, in the heart, mind or soul?

Ø  Does God speak to us through other people?

Ø  Does God speak to us through physical events and/or circumstances?

Ø  What are three understandings of discerning God’s guidance?

Ø  The Christian’s Five Essential Daily Questions

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Dallas, TX

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Coach Lyle Claussen

During last night’s visit about upcoming workouts, Coach shared how he as a substitute teacher in southeast Nebraska put the local all-star football players in their place during class (keep reading). This caused my reflecting on his many lessons over the years. Too many to cover here.

I first met Lyle when I moved to Kearney, NE after graduating from Kansas State in 1990. Before a local 5K in June he turned around and warmed-up with me, we have been friends since.

He transformed University of Nebraska—Kearney, then Kearney State College, from an average men’s NAIA cross country program to one of the nation’s best, regardless of division.

I once asked this member of the South Dakota Hall of Fame who has spoken at a multitude of Coaching Clinics across America, “Is there is a race distance or track event that you have not been asked to speak about at a clinic?”

“Yes, the javelin and the hammer throw. But those are easy, get out of the way…” Lol

As a coach, he modeled for his NCAA Div II teams with five top eight and three top four national championship finishes in six years little things such as to stand back from the luggage carousel at the airport until your bag has arrived. Many business people fail to understand this simple concept. It’s about awareness and respect of others.

He insisted that his top teams and All-American runners run absolutely no more than three abreast, preferably two abreast, keeping the pack in tight formation near the curb or side of the road while running down the streets and the roads facing traffic. It’s about awareness, safety, and respect for others.

Yesterday (Tuesday 08/29/2016), he stopped lecturing during class while serving as a long-term sub. He then stood in front of the class with his arms crossed. Most of the class focused their attention on him. The two star athletes continued visiting. He stood silent until they became silent.

“Have you two believed you’re deserving of special attention (or favor) all of your life or are you being obnoxious because I am a substitute teacher?”

They remained silent.

Coach continued, “Yes, I am a coach (he assists with cross country and track) and I like athletes. In fact, because I am a coach and like athletes, I have much higher expectations for those who are athletes in my classes. So far, you two have failed to reach the lowest standard for any student.” (May not be verbatim, yet close.)

The all-star athletes and the rest of the class were stunned.

“You should have seen some of their eyes and facial expressions.”

If you're a standout in any specialty, the more that is expected of you by your peers in all of life.

Choose high performance over highly arrogant and obnoxious behavior.

Monday, August 29, 2016

God's Greatest Gift

What is God's blessing, or what is the greatest gift we can receive from God?

Social media contains many posts and memes stating in various forms, "God will bless you when/after/soon..."

However, you receive God's greatest blessing the moment you become a Christian; an eternal relationship with God through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. We spend the rest of our lives maturing in this relationship.

This is the Greatest Blessing possible. Period. NO comparison of any measure or scale exists between the Creator and Creation.

An Olympic Gold medal, setting a world record, finishing in the top 50 at Boston, BQ'ing, OTQ'ing, a promotion, or any other earthly success is simply rubbish when compared to eternal life with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. (Matthew 6:24)

Perhaps you are wondering, "What must I do to be saved?"
A jailer once asked the same question.

"When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!'"

"And he (the jailer) called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”"

"They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house."

"And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household."

"And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household." (Acts 16:27–34)

Moreover, as a believer, enjoy the fruit of the Spirit (singular):
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

"Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit."

"Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another (Galatians 5:22–26)."

This fruit immensely enhances your attitude and your relationship with others (family, friends, co-workers, customers, peers, etc).

Following devastating Tornadoes, the News often contains stories of those who heard the warnings and appropriately responded by taking shelter, as well as those who either ignored warnings or claim they never heard the warnings. One's responsibility and response makes all the difference.

For example, consider:
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him." (John 3:14–17)

“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil."

“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed." “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (John 3:18–21)

Once again, an eternal relationship with God through the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ provides an inner-peace and joy beyond human comprehension or adequate description.

This relationship is the Greatest Blessing of Life. #RunningonFaithMinistry

Running on Faith Ministry, Inc.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

How Should Christian Athletes / Runners View Injuries?

How do we make sense of and respond to injuries and other challenges in life?

“Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them (Psalm 139:16 —139 is a Wisdom Psalm of descriptive Praise).”

Trusting God’s sovereignty, rule and control over everything, is often easier said than endured; especially when His plans differ from ours. This Psalm and other Biblical illustrations of God’s reign over all of creation stabilize, encourage, and humble us in our perceived failures and successes.

“People try to deny God’s sovereignty to allow for randomness and evolution,” Dr. J. Lanier Burns, Sr. Professor of Theology, Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX.

God simply expects us to trust Him (Prov 3:5-7) and keep our eyes heavenward (Php 3:13-14, 20) His wisdom far exceeds ours (Ro 11:34), therefore we lack the understanding to explain the greater purpose of challenges and victories while swimming in the sea of life. For example, in May 2015, I gratefully received a Pro Athlete entry into the USA Masters Marathon Championship held in conjunction with the Twin Cities Marathon on October 4, 2015.

My excitement and determination to succeed escalated. I continued listening to Lyle Claussen, my coach of twenty–five years while preparing for this marathon. I once avoided any injury for eleven consecutive years. My fitness level provided a realistic opportunity to challenge my twenty–year old personal best in the marathon.

I humbly and joyfully prayed throughout the training cycle to glorify God in every way. We glorify God through our faithful love, obedience (Mt 7:21), enduring suffering (Php 1:29, 3:8), and extending Christ’s mercy to others whether we achieve secular greatness or utterly fail.

Conversely, the world promotes the errant Prosperity Gospel, the belief that God’s favor results in worldly success and astounding performances.

The intense training provided soaring confidence the week of the marathon.

Race day finally arrived. I felt strong and fast! The crisp forty–two degree October air offered ideal racing conditions. Mentally, the first six miles passed like two. Portent of the remaining twenty miles, my Garmin gps watch permanently lost satellite reception about the same time as I stepped on uneven pavement in the curb while running the tangent around the curving road near the 10K marker. My left glute muscle began cramping.

I nearly quit the marathon at each of the remaining aide stations due to perpetual cramping and the resulting limping. Despite the diligent physical, mental, and spiritual preparation for this race, the last twenty miles were the most miserable of my 124,000 lifetime miles.

As I ran the final stretch along Summit Ave in St. Paul, MN, I continued Running on Faith, trusting that my race would glorify the Lord Jesus Christ regardless of my time or place (Php 1:12-14). Faith also in eternal life with God only through Christ’s death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins for those who believe in Him (John 3:16-18).

Do you ever ask yourself something such as, “Why did this injury happen in this big race after all of my preparation?” Or, “Why does God allow suffering?”

The Bible, both in specific passages and as a whole, beautifully illustrates and assure us of God’s sovereignty. For example, Psalm 139:1-16 explains that God knows our thoughts and words before we know them; as well as the number and our activities of each of our days before we existed. We often struggle in life with understanding why God allows tough, seemingly impossible challenges; whether injuries, financial, relational, or loss of loved ones. The Bible also teaches that God’s wisdom far exceeds all of man’s wisdom (Job 38-41; Ro 11:34).

Dr. Chuck Swindoll succinctly summarized God’s sovereignty when I visited with him a few months later. “Rick, God knows the precise timing, placement, magnitude, duration, and effects of our every injury before we are born.”

God allows our suffering for purposes beyond our understanding. Our suffering reminds us of the suffering Christ endured while dying on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins. Forgiven sins eternally restore each believer’s relationship with God.

However, due to my pride and ego, devastation struck for the next several hours after crossing the finish line. Because, I focused on my failure to achieve my goals instead of focusing on God’s greater plan established before I was born.

This includes glorifying Christ by remaining joyful, prayerful, and grateful (1 Thess 5:16-18) through suffering, such as enduring an unexplained injury during a major championship. My attitude brightened once I refocused on scripture and glorifying Christ in all circumstances.

Through diligently internalizing scripture and persistently praying, God directs the necessary thoughts and people into our lives to achieve His will. We obey with prudent action because we strive to please God whom we love (1Jn 4:19). The resulting journey and destination often differ from our original expectations.

Let’s examine a few other biblical examples of God’s sovereignty. For example, Zechariah (Lk 1:1-13) is chosen by lot (Prov 16:33) to serve as the priest to offer the incense in the temple where an angel informs him of God hearing his long-time prayer for a son, John the Baptist. Elizabeth gave birth to John six months before Mary delivered Jesus.

“The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the LORD” (Proverbs 16:33).

Because approximately 18,000 priests vied for the position of entering the temple, priests were chosen only once in their lifetime. The prophet Isaiah (Is 40:3; Lk 3:4) announced the future arrival of John the Baptist as the forerunner of Christ approximately 725 years before Zechariah’s encounter with the angel (Isaiah prophesied from 742–701 BC).

Since God operates within His decreed and permitted will, how should we respond to life’s challenges and setbacks such as an injury that disrupts our dreams and goals?

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).

We do so because we know loving God necessitates obeying Him, and because He is God, we trust Him (Romans 8:28).

God uses a variety of circumstances, including injuries to athletes, to transform us into His image, growing closer to His character—a lifelong process which we never complete.

Obviously, no athlete seeks or initially welcomes an injury. However, if or when you suffer another injury, remember that God knew about and permitted this injury, in this moment of time before the world knew about you.

Therefore, pray, rejoice, and give thanks. Ask God to reveal how this disappointment advances your spiritual maturity, deepens your relationship with and serving of Jesus Christ who offers salvation for all who believe in Him.

Ultimately, know that God loves you and reigns over your entire life. Expend your every ounce of energy in serving Jesus Christ whether performing at your highest level or enduring injuries.

Because, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father (Colossians 3:17).”

Additional Bible Study:
Other Biblical examples of God's Sovereignty:
1 Samuel 9 -- Having grown-up on a Kansas farm, I don't recall any of us getting excited when livestock got out / lost.
Yet, isn't it amazing how God used Kish's donkeys getting lost to connect Saul and Samuel?

  1. What happened during today's Run or Race that God may use to direct you in serving Him?
    1. Who did you meet today?
    2. What did you learn about them?
    3. How may you serve them or someone they know?
    4. Record your thoughts during today's run. Share if appropriate
    5. Do today's thought topics, beyond running, correlate with past thoughts? If so, how, how many, frequency, common donominator on prompting this topic?

What else does the Bible say about Suffering:

"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law,

but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead." (Philippians 3:8–11)

"For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me." (Philippians 1:29–30)
  • Are you willing to share in Christ's suffering?
  • How are you currently suffering for His sake?
  • How have you suffered for Christ in the past?
  • Does your type of suffering differ over time?
  • How does your suffering relate to other areas of your life?
  • Will changing anything in your training (or life) alleviate your suffering?
  • Who else do you see suffering for Christ? How are they suffering, from your perspective?

Friday, July 8, 2016

In Memory of Dee...

In Memory of Dee Isaacson, my sister, September 26, 1964—April 27, 2016

My sister, Dee, lost her battle with bone cancer at her home on Wednesday April 27, 2016 at 2:30 PM. Her life consisted of abundant cheesecake-type relationships, rich and filling. Dee focused on loving God, His people (Matthew 22:37-39), and her need for forgiveness of sins for eternal life with God only through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:14-21). 

Dee maintained her optimism, sense of humor and strong faith in Jesus Christ through the end. She epitomized Running on Faith, fully trusting God with all aspects of her earthly and eternal life. She recognized each step and breath, whether healthy or sick, as God’s gift of an opportunity to love and to serve.
God enabled us to grow-up in a family and community that hinged on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I fondly recall Mom sitting on the dining room floor with Dee and me teaching us to sing, “Jesus Loves Me.” Mom also taught us to read from a Children’s Bible as well as numerous books of Bible stories we received from relatives, neighbors, and teachers. I last visited Dee Monday night, April 25th, saying goodbye with a strong firm hug then gently rubbing her back. Yes, we love you Dee!

Revised from the original version written December 28, 2015

I am learned a great deal about Running on Faith from watching my sister Dee battle breast cancer, followed by bone cancer.

One of the thrills in athletics is pushing yourself beyond previously known limits and watching others do the same. This includes beyond the point of what we previously believed as the point of absolute physical and emotional exhaustion, the point of physical collapse.

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was Dad and Dee: Christmas 2005.

not made out of things which are visible." (Hebrews 11:1–3, NASB95) The Greek word for hope, elpizō, is “to be confident and reasonably expectant of a future event.”

Dee could not compete in sports due to challenges with her knees, yet she strongly encouraged myself, other athletes and championship teams. Additionally, she truly inspired me in her courageous and faithful battle with cancer. She initially defeated breast cancer from February 2014 thru September 2014. Last July bone cancer chose to challenge her. 

 The week of Christmas she entered ICU for the second time in two weeks, this time for two or three days before transferring to PCU (Preferential Care). Dee continued her upbeat attitude as her faith remained founded on the solid rock of Christ's words (Matthew 7:24-27). 

“Trust in the Lord with all Your Heart…”

The hospital released her on Thursday afternoon. She and her smile joined us at my mom's. We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Day. She continued running an amazing race on amazing faith. By March 2016, she was able to once again able to offer a little help with sheep chores.
Left: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” John 10:27 Wyatt with his sheep (Febr. 2016), Tornado and Twister. Amazingly, even baby lambs recognize and respond to their shepherd’s voice.
Right: Brian and Dee five weeks before the initial cancer discovery and diagnosis.

As an example of her faith, I never heard Dee complain or ask, "Why me?"
Yes, she faced previous hardships including losing a son and our dad 10 weeks apart in 2006. She kept her faith and hope rooted in Christ. 

Dee’s iron-will for victory over bone cancer illuminated her faith in Christ along with her love of her husband, Brian, and son Wyatt.  

These types of athletic performances often result in the athlete receiving headlines, their picture in the paper, their name in every major paper around the world, and perhaps appearing on ESPN’s Sports Center. Not so with most cancer patients. 

Dee your battle with cancer epitomized Running on Faith, pushing yourself far beyond previously known limits. You inspired me, your friends, family and many whom you have never met.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart…”

Faith and Trust: 
  1. Do you place full faith in Christ’s death and resurrection for the forgiveness of your sins? (John 3:14-21)
  2. Do you fully Trust God in all of live? (Proverbs 3:5-7)
  3. Loving others, desiring God’s best for them, as much as you love yourself. This includes strongly desiring others knowing Jesus Christ as savior (Matthew 22:39).
  4. Do you worry about things out of your control? (Mt 6:27)  “Worry is contrary to God.” ~ Martin Luther
  5. Do you seek the God’s kingdom above all else? (Matthew 6:33)
  6. Do you place your faith, trust, and hope in God or man and government?  
    1. “It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in man. It is  better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in  princes.” (Psalm 118:8-9) 

Keep Running on Faith!
Rick E. Meyer

The hospital released her on Thursday after-