Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Do you have the Spirit to guide you?

And I [God] will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. ~ Ezekiel 36:27
Today we've become convinced that God wants us to be happy so we should be able to do anything that makes us happy. In the US at least, too many of today's Christians believe they serve a God who doesn't mind if they violate His laws and decrees.
In Hebrews, Paul told us Jesus Christ is and always has been the same. In Matthew, Jesus told us He did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. It is wrong to think that believing in Christ gives us carte blanche regarding God's laws.
Christ didn't come so that we can sin freely, or redefine sin, or refute that sin even exists. Jesus came to pay the price for our violations of the law, but that certainly doesn't mean He is pleased when we sin, or doesn't mind if we sin. In Romans, Paul makes this absolutely clear!
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! ~ Romans 6:15
Here in Ezekiel, God tells us that when we belong to Him, He will give us the Spirit to guide us. Does that mean we will be perfect? By no means! We are flawed humans with a free will, and every one of us is a sinner.
But, if we constantly find ourselves going against the laws and decrees God laid out for us in the Bible, one must wonder if he really has that promised Spirit. If we can sin freely without remorse, we should wonder if we've really given ourselves to God. If we claim that God's word is wrong and our 21st century ideals are right, are we really in submission to God's will?
I can't believe we are.
If I'm not motivated to seek out God's will, but instead work to convince everyone that my will is God's will, then I have to believe I lack that promised Spirit. That means I'm not where I need to be. That means I need to rethink my position. That means I need to change. That means I need to submit.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Great Running Weekend!

This weekend was great to be a runner!

Saturday morning started with the Fly Like an Eagle 5K, not as a runner but as race director. This was our third annual race to benefit Vilonia Cross Country, and our most successful so far. We're still waiting on the last couple of checks from the online registration company, but it looks like we'll clear significantly more than last year.

This race funds some extra rewards for our kids that aren't included in our program's budget. It lets us pay for t-shirts and hoodies for our athletes, meals on the road once in a while, and for hotel rooms for faraway meets. Our kids run all summer to be ready for fall. Once school starts, they show up for practice at 5:30 in the morning four days a week, then on Friday afternoon too. And most weekends, their Saturdays are spent traveling to and from, and competing at meets. At the peak of our training, some of our kids will be running up to 70 miles per week. As hard as our kids work to represent our school, we like to be able to reward them, and this race helps make that possible. Thank you to everyone -- runners, sponsors, and volunteers -- who helped make this successful!

Yesterday afternoon, I had a great run at the Arkansas 10 Mile Classic in Little Rock. That race benefits the Cabot Band program. The weather was as nice as could be expected for a 5 PM mid-April race, and it made for a great run. By the grace of God, I dropped five minutes and ten seconds from last year's race, finishing the race in 1:22:40.

I am so thankful that God makes it possible for me to run!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

10K PR at the Capitol City Classic!

This morning was the Capitol City Classic 10K. Last year at this race I set a PR of 48:39. God blessed me again today, with perfect weather and a great race. 46:55 was my finish time today. Praise the Lord!

At the beginning of the year, I stated my goal for 2016 is to PR every distance. So far, I've been blessed to do just that in the 5K, 10K, 15K, and 2 Mile distances. Next weekend is the Hogeye Marathon, the Grand Prix marathon this year. While I'm not expecting a PR there, who knows what will happen when we get there!

With God, all things are possible!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter Everyone!

Happy Easter everyone!

The truth is that Jesus Christ, the risen Son of God, who was crucified for our sins, that Jesus Christ is the One and Only Way, Truth, and Light! The salvation offered by God through Christ is the ONLY way to have eternal life in Heaven! Regardless what the world wants you to believe, that's the truth! Preach the truth, regardless whether they flock to hear you or flee from you.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Some 2000 years ago today...

50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. ~ Luke 23:50-54

Some 2000 years and just a few hours ago, Jesus' body was taken down from the cross and placed into a tomb. Most people then, those who loved Him and those who hated Him, thought that was the end. But oh were they wrong!

On this day, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Son of God, was nailed to a cross and died an agonizing, unimaginably horrendous death. And the people thought His story would end there. But oh were they wrong!

This weekend isn't about a magic rabbit that hides eggs for children to find. It's about the One and Only Son of God who paid the price for all our sins, so that we would have the opportunity to spend eternity in Heaven.

I pray that someone out there who doesn't have the hope that comes from the promise of life everlasting in Heaven will come to believe, repent, and find that salvation, that produces that hope, in the loving arms of Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spring Fling 5K 2016

Thank you Jesus for a great race this morning at the Spring Fling 5K! No PR, but a great race in great weather, much cooler than we've had lately.

This race is in Cabot, the start and finish only about 3 miles from our house. So Janice, Zoey, and I were all there. The kids run is always scheduled to start before we know Janice can get to the finish. So, last year I pushed Zoey in her stroller for the 3.1 miles.

But the race is a Grand Prix race, and I'm faster this year (by the grace or God), so the stroller was going to really influence my time.  But last year I met Janice on part of the course where runners are coming and going. So this year we decided she would push Zoey from the start. Then, when I met her on the way back, I'd take the stroller and run Zoey back to the finish.

Sure enough, it worked well enough that I could still finish with a decent time, 5th in my age group. My first mile went by in 7:06. The second in 7:03. I was still feeling really good when I met Janice, right about the 2 mile mark, and took over the stroller. But it did slow me down. I even had to walk about 30 yards on a short uphill stretch. Managed the 3rd mile in 8:29. Then, about 50 yards from the finish, I steered Zoey's stroller to the field beside the track.  I pulled her out and let her run that last 50 yards with me. That was a lot of fun!

My finish time was 24:03, but it was a great race and a lot of fun! Thank you Jesus for a great day!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Great Day to Run! Chase Race 2016

But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. ~ 2 Timothy 4:17

Blessed. Most definitely blessed. God continues to bless me with strength to run and spread the message of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, and the message of the dangers of teen substance abuse. He blessed me with this gift of running to push on after Amanda was killed.

Today was the annual Chase Race in Conway, AR. It's a 2-Mile road race, held in memory of Chase Potter, son of race director Don Potter. This was the 11th running of the race, and Don announced record participation today.

I first ran this race in 2009, when I was 40-years-old. That first year, I finished in 17:24. I remember that race. I remember reaching the one mile mark and having to walk. That was two and a half years before my first marathon, and almost two years before Amanda was killed. A lot has happened in the years since my first Chase Race.

This year was my sixth time to run the Chase Race and God blessed me with a big PR! Last year I set my previous PR here at 14:20. This year, I set a goal to drop below 14 minutes. I missed that goal, by 2 seconds, but still finished with an 18 second PR! Chip time today: 14:02.

That was good enough for fifth place in my age group. Because this was an RRCA Grand Prix championship event, age group awards go five deep. This was my first ever age group award in a Grand Prix race! It honestly surprised me. I never expected to win an award in a Grand Prix race!

But God has given me strength. Because my improvement definitely didn't come from me. Only God can make an old fat man like me fast enough to win a trophy at a race. Thank you Jesus for all you do for me, running and everything else!

This race is always special because following the two-mile road race is a one-mile leashed pet race. Last year and the year before, I ran this race with Sandy, who was Amanda's dog. We won trophies both years for top ten finishes. So, this year, we ran it again. Once again, we finished in the top ten to bring home a trophy!

One day Sandy will be too old to run it with me. Before that, she'll get old enough that we'll run it but won't be fast enough to get a trophy. But we'll run it as long as we can, and do the best we can. I sure hope Amanda can see her little dog run. I know she'd be proud.