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

Monday, September 30, 2013

This is it! Get entered to win tonight!

Tonight's the last chance to get in on our September drawing for a $200 Walmart gift card. Last month we gave away the first one. Tomorrow it's time to draw for the second. And, if you give to one of our supported charities, through our fundraising pages linked below, before 11:59 pm tonight, you'll be entered in the drawing to win this month's $200 gift card!
"And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased" ~ -- Hebrews 13:16

Click the link below to choose the charity you wish to support. Make your donation and we'll put your entries in for the drawing tomorrow. Tomorrow evening, we'll announce the winner. So get in while you can! Give to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital now!

Give to Arkansas Children's Hospital now!

Give to Soaring Wings Christian Home & Ranch now!

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.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Only 3 days to enter our September drawing!

September's almost done,and that means there's not much time to get in on our $200 Walmart gift card contest. The rest of today, tomorrow, and Monday, then the contest ends and the winner will be drawn. Donate as little as $10 or as much as you want. Every dollar you donate through our fundraising pages will earn you one entry in this month's drawing.

Many thanks to the Whitehead family! Dylan, Doyle, and Pat have donated so far, and already made this month more successful than last. Still, we'd love to see even more people getting in on the action and giving to St. Jude, Arkansas Children's Hospital, and Soaring Wings.
"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ " ~ -- Acts 20:35

You won't find more worthy causes to support, and remember, we don't take a dime of your money! When you donate to St. Jude through our fundraising page, 100% of your donation goes to support the hospital. Crowdrise hosts our fundraising pages for Arkansas Children's Hospital and Soaring Wings, and they take a small percentage of your donation to cover administrative costs. Donating through our fundraising pages gives you an excellent bang for your fundraising buck!

So get in on our September drawing for a $200 Walmart gift card and support a worthy cause at the same time! Click on one of the links below and give today. Winner will be notified on October 1st or 2nd.

Give to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital now!

Give to Arkansas Children's Hospital now!

Give to Soaring Wings Christian Home & Ranch now!

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.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Reverse Your Thinking

I'm not good enough with words to pull this off, but saw it last night at church. It's an awesome message on how Jesus Christ can turn your life around.

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.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Getting Back in the Groove

It's been a busy couple of weeks, and I apologize for the lack of posts here. I've still been running, but I've allowed the world's distractions to interfere with everything else we do here. Now it's time to get back on track, and to remember that God allows me to run in order to glorify Him, not to seek glory for me.

I've learned this lesson many times in the past, but it's one of those that just keeps getting lost in the closets of my mind. The lesson? We can always make time for God, regardless how busy we get or how many things we have to get done. We allow ourselves to believe we're too busy today, then tomorrow, then the next day and the next. Before long, it's been weeks since we've devoted God any time at all.

And that's always when times get tough.
"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." ~ -- Psalm 119:105

Today I was tired. All day I felt just beat. It was bad enough that a young lady in my 2nd period class asked if I was okay. I didn't feel bad, just tired. But it showed, and I have to think part of the reason is that I haven't been devoting my daily time to praying and studying the Bible. It's not that ventured off and was doing anything bad. I just wasn't doing what I should be doing to stay "prayed up" and strengthened through God's Word.

So now it's time to turn things around and get back in the groove. Back to studying the Bible every morning and MAKING time to write here about the great and wonderful blessings God gives me. It's more than being able to run. I'm blessed to work with great kids in my classes, on our cross country team, and at church. I'm blessed to get to spend almost every weekend with our beautiful, sweet granddaughter. And I'm blessed to be running at my age.

God is great, all the time! It's high time I remember that, and shout it from the rooftops.

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.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Never Forget!

Today it's been 12 years since the United States was attacked by Islamic terrorists. Almost 3,000 Americans were killed that day by 19 assailants and untold numbers of supporters who trained them, funded them, and supported them. I'll never forget that morning, that day, or the years that followed.

For the first time in my life, we were a united nation, nearly unanimous on the need to strike back at the beast that dealt us that blow. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents stood arm in arm and stood together as Americans.

It's been a dozen years now and we're more fractured than I ever recall. Too many have forgotten, and too many young people don't even really know the significance of this day in our nation's history. Today, I pray this country will turn back to God and stand together again to make this country a shining city on a hill, a real life example of what awaits those who turn to and follow Jesus Christ.

In honor of those who fell 12 years ago, and in honor of their families who will be forever haunted by the memories, and for Jesus Christ who blessed this nation for all the years we were a people who honored, served and revered Him, here is The Star Spangled Banner.



May these United States turn back to our Heavenly Father, and may God bless America again!
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.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Let's do this again!

The contest we ran last month I mean.

Remember how our fundraising was floundering for a few months? So last month we tried something different. Instead of donating to our causes, we took the $200 we would normally donate and spent it on a $200 Walmart gift card. Then, for every dollar donated to charity through our fundraising pages, we placed the donor's name in a drawing. The first weekend of this month, we drew the winner. Dylan and Delaina Whitehead were the lucky winners.

When all was said and done, $270 was donated to Arkansas Children's Hospital, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and Soaring Wings Christian Home & Ranch through our fundraising pages. And this was our first time to try this! Since the contest generated more than we could give, we're doing it again.
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." ~ -- Luke 6:38

So every dollar you donate to one of the three charities linked above (through our fundraising pages) will earn you an entry into the drawing for this month's $200 Walmart gift card. You can use the card for groceries, gas, or pretty much anything you need. Or, you can give it to a less fortunate person and multiply your own charitable giving through this contest. :)

If you donate $10, you'll be entered 10 times in our drawing. A $20 donation will get you 20 entries. Your $100 charitable contribution will put your name in our drawing 100 times! So the more you give, the better your chances of winning the gift card. The actual odds of being drawn will depend on the amount of money we raise this month, but I'd bet they'll be better than winning $200 in the lottery.

So here's your chance to give to one of these great charities, and have a chance of getting something back, maybe even more than your donation. If you needed a reason to give, this is it! The Whiteheads have jump started this month's contest today with their gift to Soaring Wings Ranch! Now it's your turn.

And always remember, we don't touch a dime of your money! Our fundraising pages are hosted by the charity itself or a 3rd party site that handles the entire transaction. So give today and feel good about it, because this might just be the best bang for your charitable giving buck you'll ever find.

Give to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital now!

Give to Arkansas Children's Hospital now!

Give to Soaring Wings Christian Home & Ranch now!

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.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Tough Run to End the Week

Well...we had a couple of nights this week when the temperatures dropped into the 60s. So I thought this weekend would be a good time to stretch out my long run. Since I DNF'd my first attempt at a 50K in July, my longest long runs have been 11 miles. Today I wanted 20, but went out with the idea that 15 was a more reasonable goal. Turns out, even 15 wasn't so reasonable.

The Bass Pro Marathon is only 8 weeks away, so I really need to be working in a 20 mile run pretty soon. But cross country season is here, with meets on most Saturday mornings. But we didn't have a meet today. I don't train on Sundays so that I don't put myself in a position to be tempted to let my running interfere with attending church. So, with the cooler weather earlier in the week, today seemed like a great time to see where I'm at.

Assuming the weather is conducive to running a marathon, my goal at Bass Pro is to break 4:30. That would be a 13 minute PR, and I'm not sure if it will happen in November, but that's what I'm setting as a primary goal. So today, I wanted to see how many miles I could get in at my goal pace of 10:15. I managed to do the first 10 miles under that, but then things went south. By the time I finished the whole 15, my average pace was 11:08, and I walked the entire last mile when it became obvious that heat cramps were on the way.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." ~ -- James 1:2-4

Today's run was one of those trials James wrote of, but I have to admit, I wasn't considering it pure joy as I was struggling through the last 5 miles of today's run. Now that it's over though, I'm feeling better and know that this struggle today will help me persevere later, when things go bad in races.

I'm still looking forward to cooler temps ahead, but am grateful for the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ that kept me going today, and will keep me going in the future.

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.

Monday, September 2, 2013

August Running Recap

The month of August is in the books. That should mean cooler weather right around the corner, and I am so looking forward to that! This month was hot, mighty hot, but it ended up a pretty good running month here at RWA.

Our race this month was August 3rd in Holland, AR. The Ranch Run 5K is the official kickoff to the training schedule for the Soaring Wings Half Marathon in October. The 5K is held on the campus of Soaring Wings Ranch, a two loop course on a gravel road around the property. It was much cooler this year than it was last year and that helped a lot. The Kona Ice truck was there handing out their souped up snow cones for free. They were simply Heavenly! This was the only race we ran this month, looking forward to cooler temperatures in September.
They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water." ~ -- Isaiah 49:10

Mileagewise, I was only 13 miles short of my best monthly total for the year. This month I logged a total of 179 miles (I know. I know. Why didn't I just do one more and break 180?). My best month this year was January when I logged 192, but you can probably guess it was MUCH cooler then. God was good to me, like always, and we can chalk this one up as a successful 31 day period.

I managed to get in three 10 mile runs and one 11 mile run in August. These were all pretty slow, but just getting through them was a chore in the heat and humidity at times.

September's off to a good start with an 11 mile Labor Day run this morning. Cross country season is now underway, so I'll be adjusting my schedule from time to time. Still, I'm hoping to at least break 150 miles and get in at least one 20 mile training run. Weather.com is promising cooler temps later this week and that's all I'm waiting on to start ramping up those long run miles.

Stay tuned to stay abreast of what's going on here. We'll keep updating if you'll keep reading. Hope everyone has a great September! :)

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.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

And the winner is...

We have a winner for our August contest! Congratulations to Dylan and Delaina Whitehead on winning the $200 Walmart gift card!

This was the first such contest we've held, but it wont' be the last. In fact, we're announcing another $200 Walmart gift card giveaway this month. And we'll continue to do so monthly, or something similar of the same magnitude, as long as it effectively matches or multiplies our fundraising efforts!

This month, our $200 investment resulted in $270 dollars in donations to the charities we support! And remember, we don't touch a dime of that money. So if you want to get in on our next drawing, donate through one of our fundraising pages (linked on the right side of this website) this month. Our next drawing will be held on the first weekend in October!

Many thanks to the Whiteheads and all who donated through our pages this month, and best of luck to all who enter this month's contest.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." ~ -- Luke 6:38

As promised, I'm going to explain exactly how we executed the drawing so everyone can understand the process and that it is a truly random process.

  1. First, for each dollar donated during the month of August, we created a list with the donor's name and a number. For instance, our first donation of $10 assigned that donor's name to the numbers 1 - 10. The next donation of $100 assigned that donor's name to numbers 11 - 110, and so forth.
  2. Once the list was completed and the month of August ended, I used a TI-84 calculator to generate a random integer from 1 to 270. The calculator came up with the number 146 and the winner was the donor whose name had been assigned the number 146*.
*For those wondering if the calculator generates a truly random number, and for those who know that it only does if certain steps are taken, I will explain.

First, the calculator is a machine that follows a program (a list of steps) to generate a random number. Therefore, it is necessary to initiate the random number generator with some arbitrary number before asking it to choose a random number.

To accomplish this (what I like to call "priming" the random number generator), I asked our followers on Facebook to give me arbitrary numbers other than 0 or 1. I chose the first three numbers that were submitted and multiplied them together to get my entry to initiate the random number generator in the calculator. See the photo below of the calculator screen to see this process was done correctly.



As for the question, "Does the calculator truly generate a random number?" We looked at this in my Statistics and Probability class at the college on Thursday. I had my students use their calculators to generate 10 random integers between 1 and 50. My 15 students produced a data set with 150 entries. We created a stem and leaf plot and saw the data points were distributed pretty much evenly. Therefore, we deduced that the calculator does actually generate a truly random number when asked to do so.

This is method I will use to select winners in future contests as well.

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.

Innocent Baby Dead Because Dad Smoking Pot!

I can't tell you how many people have told me marijuana doesn't hurt anyone. I've been told the drug has never killed a single person. States are legalizing it for "medicinal" and now recreational purposes, in direct violation of federal law. But our government has pretty much stopped fighting the war on drugs, flying the white flag of surrender and practically encouraging drug abuse and dependency.

Cody Gorecke was drunk and smoking pot the night he killed Amanda, but he refused to admit he used marijuana. One of the others present at the party where our daughter was shot and killed told the police they smoked pot that night, but the prosecutor told us there was no way they could prove it. Gorecke's word against the witness wasn't enough. He tested positive for marijuana, but even that wasn't enough to use in court, because there is no test capable of proving a marijuana user is stoned at a given time. Tests can show the user was under the influence at some point in the past couple of weeks, but not at the time the test was administered.

That's how potheads get by with their claim that marijuana doesn't hurt anyone, that it's never killed anyone. They refuse to acknowledge that accidents caused by impaired drivers are not attributed to marijuana only because it cannot be proven they were stoned at the time of the accident. There's no telling how many fatal accidents, motor vehicle or others, have been caused by someone under the influence of marijuana, because there is no test capable of proving they were impaired at the time.
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”" ~ -- Matthew 25:45-46

But here's a case that, in my opinion, proves that marijuana IS capable of harm, even killing innocent people. The father of a 3-month old baby forgot his child was in the car while he went to score some marijuana. Even standing in front of the car smoking his week didn't remind him of this innocent child dying inside the 100+ degree Phoenix heat.

Follow this link, read the article, and try telling me again that marijuana isn't harmful. As for me, this poor little child suffocated in a car-turned-oven by his stoned father.

Dad Charged After Baby Dies in Hot Car

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.