Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

Let us Always Remember the great sacrifice of our Veterans for Freedom and Liberation.

I vividly recall the free flowing tears of an ~85 yr old WWII Vet sitting on the front row of the first American Legion program I spoke at in 2004. My eyes also began leaking. He fought at Kasserine Pass in North Africa; once standing beside General George S. Patton. His later battles included places such as Sicily and Normandy.

Sixty years later he continued shedding tears over the sacrifice of those who did not return and the lifetime of nightmares of those who did return. I met him only once, yet his face, stories, and tears remain vivid in my mind's eye.

How well written is the Thank You note of our lives for the ultimate gift of their lives?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Power of Goals

Twenty years ago, May 25, 1996, I drove to Gaylord (KS) to run a moderate 16-mile training run to complete the first 100 mile week in preparation for the New York City Marathon in November.

I ran the first 10 miles north, west and south of Gaylord averaging 5:40 to 5:50 pace. With 6M to go, I headed east on Hwy 9, turning south at Hager's.

Two miles later, as I passed the end of the sidewalk at our old farm, I clicked my watch split, 11:02. Out of nowhere, I instantly recalled setting a goal in 1982 to run that 2M stretch in 11:02--about 30 seconds faster than my 2 mile PR at the time. We left the farm in 1983.

I never did put that goal in writing!

I made a U-turn and was so excited about hitting and remembering that goal that I stepped-up the pace a little for the next 2 miles, running miles 14 thru 15 in 9:37.

I then recalled my excitement in jr. high when I first ran that 2M stretch without stopping. Whatever your goals, keep plugging away!

After the run, I showered at Aunt Charlene's in Smith Center. Then went to Brian and Dee Meyer Isaacson's wedding.

Running on Faith Ministry

Saturday, May 21, 2016

All Things in Christ...

Are You Truly Eager To Do All Things In Christ…? (Philippians 4:13)

The race begins in roughly an hour; runners scurry to packet pick-up, to a port-a-potty, and back to their vehicle before running a few warm-up miles. Several wear shirts, jewelry, and various other modes of communicating, “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

Christian runners, other athletes, and those with amazing dreams, goals, or overwhelming challenges eagerly recite this made for race-day, motivational one-liner straight from the Bible.

However, do we diligently seek to understand, internalize and apply Paul’s entire letter to the church at Philippi in consideration of the context, proper interpretation, and several correlative applications?

Initially, consider these rhetorical questions:

· What thoughts does this scripture generate in your mind?

· Do you place greater focus and emphasis on number one or number two?

1. “I can do all things,” otherwise stated, “to have power…”

2. “in Christ.”

How do we define in Christ?

Paul’s ability to do all things requires him being in Christ. Paul defines this position in Philippians 1:1 where he identifies Timothy and himself as “bond-servants of Christ Jesus.” Simeon (Lk 2:22), James (James 1:1), Simon Peter (2 Peter 1:1), and Jude (Jude 1:1) also identify as bond-servants.

Bond-servants obediently serve their masters, recognizing their livelihood and purpose originate from their master. Paul obediently and joyfully served Christ Jesus, recognizing that his purpose, physical life, and eternal life originate from his master, Jesus Christ.

Because Paul lives as a bond-servant in Christ, he diligently seeks God’s will and obedience to the Lord Jesus in everything (Col 3:17). Consequently, God provides Paul with the fruit of the Spirit, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-26), enabling him to endure all things in alignment with God’s will.

Therefore, Paul is joyful, prayerful, and grateful in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) as evidenced throughout his letter to the church in Philippi including Ph. 4:11-13.
“Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to
get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have
learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all
things in Him who strengthens me.”

Paul endures all circumstances because of his position as a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, placing him in Christ.

Let’s review a few of the all things Paul endured after his conversion to Christianity (Acts 9)?

Paul and Barnabas began their first missionary journey in response to the Holy Spirit’s directives (Acts 13:2). This expedition included visiting Pisidian Antioch, Iconium, Lycaonia, and Lystra (Acts 14:1-19). Paul and Baranabas shared the gospel of Jesus Christ despite opposition from disbelieving Jews in every city. In Lystra, the opposing Jews who followed Paul and Barnabas won over the crowds to stone Paul.

After the stoning, the angry Jews lugged Paul outside the city leaving him for dead. Paul eventually stood up, then traveled onto Derbe where he continued making many disciples of Jesus Christ (Acts 14:21). Paul received God’s power to survive the stoning and continue preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ because in Christ he sought and obeyed God’s will.

Comparatively, a reflection of Stephen’s death from stoning in Acts 7 and James’ death by a sword, Acts 12:2, remind us that obeying God, living in Christ, fails to guarantee physical prosperity or survival. Rather, God always achieves His will through His infinite wisdom regardless of our understanding or approval (c.f. Romans 9)

During the second missionary journey, the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:6, 7) prevent Paul, Silas, and Timothy from speaking in Asia and going to Bithynia as they desired. This reminds us that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” rests upon Paul, or any believer, being in Christ as a bond-servant which necessarily includes pursuing God’s will instead of man’s desires or man’s attempts of self-actualization.

Do you diligently and obediently seek God’s guidance for His will in your family, profession, friendships, community, and running?

Dr. Charles Baylis, professor of Bible Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary, adds “God’s guidance is being in His will which is to be “in Christ,” that is, to glorify Him in all cases, giving His mercy to others. It is not nebulous voices, circumstances, etc., as that is the same as superstition. It is only through the Scriptures that one receives guidance, and that guidance is to walk with God.”

While at Troas during the second missionary journey, Paul receives a vision from a man from Macedonia (Acts 16:9-12). Immediately, Paul, Luke, Silas and Timothy sail from Troas to Macedonia. Luke reveals that he accompanies them because as the author of Acts he switches from “they” to “we.” Despite this east to west-northwest voyage in the opposite direction of prevailing winds, they complete this trip in two days. Comparatively, the return trip in the same direction as the prevailing winds takes five days.

· When considering the comparison of both the time of travel and the travel direction in relation to the prevailing wind, how do these factors reveal God's power (i.e. being in Christ)?

Are You A Bond-Servant Of Christ? 

Are you willing to live in Christ, fully submitting yourself as a bondservant of Christ Jesus?

1. How do you currently live “in Christ”?

2. Mature Christians confess their need to pray more as bond-servants of Christ. Are you willing to spend more time in prayer? Solitude time in prayer is certainly needed, yet you can also pray while “on the go.”

3. How will you increase your serving Christ in your profession?

· You may view a Bible study on Philippians 4:13 on my blog post originally published July 7, 2015.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Honored and grateful for the opportunity to share a couple of ideas to improve your speed with the DFW running community.