Happy New Year everyone! It's January 1, 2013 and a new year has begun. This morning, by the grace of God, I ran it in with 13 miles. The last 3 were pretty tough, and I was feeling every one of the 12 that I ran yesterday to close out 2012, but Jesus Christ stayed with me, kept me going, and brought me to the end to log 13 miles on the first day of the new year!
For us, 2012 was a rough year, and 2011 was even rougher. But through all the tough times and tragedy, God continued to bless us. If I could have chosen, things would have worked out different. Amanda would still be with us and we'd still have a relationship with Courtney. But I didn't get to choose and this is the hand we were dealt.
" And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." -- Romans 8:28
And just like the verse above promises, God has brought good from the bad. This ministry may not ever rival that of Jimmy Swaggart or Joel Osteen, but God is working through us. Just today I had the opportunity to tell Amanda's story to a clerk at the gas station where I park when I run in Jacksonville, NC. Every chance I have to tell this story has the potential of reaching some kid somewhere who just might remember when he or she is offered an opportunity to abuse drugs or alcohol. Every opportunity to share has the possibility of keeping someone else's kid alive.
Those same opportunities to share also keep Amanda alive. They make certain she didn't die in vain. Yes, God has taken our tragedy and made good come from it.
"making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." -- Ephesians 5:16
Janathon is intended to inspire folks to get up and get moving, exercising, every day of the month of January. It's a time that's easy to fall off the exercise wagon. Saddled with the extra pounds packed on after too much holiday food, unpleasant weather, and shorter daylight hours all work discourage folks from getting outside and encourage them to sit on the couch.
The idea is simple really, a challenge to do some sort of exercise every day of the month of January and blog about it within 24 hours. Dozens of bloggers have accepted the challenge, and many of these folks will be checking out other participants throughout the month. That's where we get a little increased exposure, and that's how we get to spread Amanda's story and spread the Gospel.
So expect to see a few more posts this month while I play out this challenge. I'm going to try to make every post a sort of mini-devotional wrapped around my workouts for that day. Who knows? This just might become a habit that lasts long after the first month of 2013.
If you're interested in joining the challenge, click the picture on the right to learn more.
"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe," -- Hebrews 12:28
God has blessed us these past two years, and we plan to keep running as long as He'll allow it. He has granted us the peace of knowing that one day we'll be in Heaven with Him, with Amanda. We are blessed with a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and we are thankful.
We will continue to worship God with reverence and awe, thankful for the blessings He's given us, and those still coming in the future. We hope you'll continue to follow along with us as we continue Running with Amanda through 2013.
If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.