Our Country Needs God

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  2 Chronicles 7:14

This morning I woke up to news that seems to be coming more and more common.  Another senseless shooting which took the lives of twelve individuals.  This time it was in Thousand Oaks, California.  The town immediately caught my attention as I knew that Run for God has a pretty strong presence there.  Was anyone I knew hurt?  Was anyone that our Instructors know injured?  So many thoughts raced through my mind this time because I actually knew someone in that town.  I lifted this community up in prayer during my quiet time this morning and sent a text to one of our Instructors on the ground letting them know that we were praying for them.

As I went through my day I began to think about how close this shooting hit to my home.  Yes, it happened 3000 miles away, but I actually knew someone in that particular town.  I began to think about where we are as a nation and as a society.  It seems as though we are as divided as you can get. But why?  Why are we so divided?  Why, when something like this happens do we all rally together for a day or two and then quickly run back to our political corners?  Republicans think Democrats are the problem and Democrats think Republicans are the problem.  It’s a never-ending circle that is splitting our nation in half.

Let’s take this tragedy for example.  I can tell you what will happen over the coming days and weeks.  One party will say we need more gun control while the other party will say they are just trying to take our guns.  The issue will turn white hot for a few days and then it will be forgotten within days? But why?  Because another divisive issue will come up and the party lines will once again be drawn.

Let me put this as plainly as I know how to put it. The problem with our nation and society is not a political problem. It’s not a gun problem. It’s not a red or blue problem. It IS a spiritual problem.  Our nation has turned it’s back on God.  It’s true.  As a nation, our identity was once based on God and the Bible.  At one time people knew you by where you went to church.  We bowed our heads in prayer before class at school.  Our children were taught right from wrong based on Christian Values and not based on what you’re rights are or what feels good.  There was a time that as a nation we based our identity on Jesus Christ.

This is truth.  I’m not a very smart guy, but you don’t have to be very smart to look back at the heritage of this country to see what set us apart from many other parts of the world.

2 Chronicles 7:14 was written thousands of years ago and yet wrings so true today.  Our land needs healing.  Gun control will not fix our problem.  More guns will not fix our problem.  More or less rights will not fix our problem.  More democrats or republicans will not fix our problem.  Only God Himself can fix the problem that we’ve gotten ourselves into, and He’s willing to do just that.  But He will only do that once certain conditions are met, and His Word is clear about what those conditions are.  Be humble, pray, seek God, and turn from our wicked ways.  It really is that simple.

Please don’t take this as some sort of political writing, it’s not!  Please don’t demonize me as not being non-inclusive.  Please don’t read into something that I’ve not written.  My message is simple, and it is that as a country we need God on our side.  We need to drop the political rhetoric and humble ourselves, we need to pray, we need to call evil for what it is, and we need to seek God’s face.

The instructor that I texted this morning reached back out to me this evening. It was a message that made my heart sink. She told me that two of the young men who were viciously gunned down last night were family friends; in fact one had just left her office hours before.

Please join me in praying for our country. Please join me in praying for revival. Pray that while we desire worldwide revival, we understand that it needs to start with the person looking back at us in the mirror.

Go up and tell someone who has a different political view that you love them.  I’m serious. If we all did that one thing, we’d be a better country.  Love always wins.

1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now abide in faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love”

Friends, I love you.  But more importantly, God loves you.  Now go tell someone about Jesus today.

Mitchell

Local Businessman to match all donations to Run for God up to $30,000.

For Immediate Release

Varnell, GA (www.RunforGod.com) October 18, 2019

Since the fall of 2009 Run for God has one mission, to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the sport of running.  Mitchell Hollis had no idea where God was taking this ministry when he decided to have twelve simple t-shirts made.  “I was simply doing what I feel the Lord had laid on my heart,” said Hollis who serves as the President of Run for God ministries.

Run for God has now been taught in over 3500 churches, schools, and community centers around the world, but their focus has begun to shift.  “The program itself used to be the focus,” Hollis said, “But God changed all that!  With God’s direction, we’ve built a large platform, the only questions is, what are we going to do with it?”  Hollis feels that while they will still promote new classes around the world and continue to grow the platform, the primary focus is now boldly sharing the Gospel through mass media.

“Mass Media is effective, but it’s also expensive, and we’ll need help,” explains Hollis.  Mitchell Hollis and his wife Holly prayerfully made the decision this past November to step out in faith and take the entire ministry of Run for God Nonprofit.  Hollis continues, “What God was leading us to do simply could not be done with a traditional business format. A 501c3 nonprofit status offers the accountability, integrity, and transparency that donors demand, and that’s exactly what we want to give them.”

It is for this reason that an anonymous donor has offered to match all donations to Run for God up to $30,000 in an effort to kickoff the fall donation season.  When asked why a donor of this size chose to remain anonymous, Hollis simply said, “That was their desire.”

Run for God has already seen hundreds of salvations and thousands of visits to its Peace with God webpage as a result of what God is doing through these media campaigns.  If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to Run for God, please visit http://www.RunforGod.com/Donate

About Run for God

Founded in 2009 by Mitchell and Holly Hollis, Run for God began as a simple class in a North Georgia church.  The goal was to illustrate the parallels of faith and endurance, all the while taking 22 students to their very first 5K.  Since then the ministry has blossomed into over 3500 classes across the globe with over a hundred thousand graduates.  For more information about this ever-growing ministry visit www.RunforGod.com.

Media Inquiries 

For more information or to request an interview contact Gaye Coker by e-mail at CustomerService@RunforGod.comor by phone at 706-694-0937.

The Greatest Evangelist

Who would you say has had the biggest impact on the cause of Christ in recent history?

In light of his recent death, I bet many of you are thinking Billy Graham.

Many consider Billy Graham to be the greatest evangelist of all time, and I tend to agree. Many have referred to him as America’s pastor, and for good reason.  It is estimated that through all forms of media that Billy Graham reached over 2.5 Billion people with the Gospel of Christ resulting in over 3 Million salvations.

There is no doubt that Billy Graham was a tool by which God used for several generations and is still using today even in his passing.  But I would argue that Billy Graham might not have been the greatest evangelist of all time, at least not in the eyes of Billy Graham.

Hear me out.

Billy Graham did not consider himself a celebrity.  In fact, he often referred to himself as a simple farm boy from North Carolina.

You see, we have a problem with putting people on a pedestal and referring to them as great.  It gives us a reason to allow them to do God’s work and not us.  Billy Graham would not have been the evangelist that we all know if it had not been for a gentleman named Mordecai Ham.  Mordecai Ham is most likely a name that you’ve never heard, and for sure not a name that you’ve ever seen listed among the most influential evangelists. But Mr. Ham is the one who led Billy Graham to Christ, and someone led Mordecai Ham to Christ.

Many times we want to leave the evangelism to the evangelist.  We want those we love to find a relationship with Jesus, but we want that introduction to be made by someone else, you know, someone who is qualified, like an evangelist.

This was not Jesus’ intention when He gave us the Great Commission.  Jesus was not only speaking His last words on this earth, but He was speaking to everyone who puts their trust in Him when He said, “Go and Make disciples of ALL nations.”

Evangelism is defined as the spreading of the Christian Gospel by public preaching, OR personal witness. Yes, public preaching would indicate someone like Billy Graham or your pastor, but personal witness would indicate people just like you and me.

So the next time you are confronted with that person who needs to know Jesus, don’t just pick up the phone and ask your pastor to go see them.  Don’t just invite them to church and hope that they’ll hear a message that speaks to their heart.

No, pray for God to give you the words to say and be obedient.  Understand that person is not guaranteed another minute on this earth and may not be here for that next sermon or that next service.

Understand that by definition we are ALL called to be an evangelist.  We are all called to share what God has done in our life.

Friends, I’m sure that Mordecai Ham had no idea of the impact the person he was leading to Christ in November of 1934 would have on this world.  Just like you have no idea what might happen if you simply say to that friend or loved one, “Let’s talk”.

Maybe you’re sitting out there reading this blog and you’re realizing that God is speaking to you in a very different way.  Maybe you’ve got knots in your stomach, a lump in your throat, and you’ve come to the realization that you don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.

I’ve got great news! That can change right now.  Please head over to www.RunforGod.com/PeacewithGod right now and watch four simple videos. The voice you’ll hear will be Billy Graham himself walking you through the Steps to Peace with God.  Don’t wait, head on over right now.

If you like what you’ve heard in this blog, then please like it, comment on it, but most importantly, Share it.  You never know who might need to hear the simple truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ today.

Friends I love you all, but more importantly, God Loves You!

Now go tell someone about Jesus!

Mitchell

Be Different

You know, I just dropped my son off at school and there are two things that I often tell him just before he gets out of the truck.  Number one, I always tell him to “Tell someone about Jesus”.  It’s my conviction that we can’t tell our kids that enough.

But there’s something else that I also tell him on a regular basis.

“Be Different.”

I’m not wearing a Run for God shirt today.  That doesn’t happen often, and when it does, people notice. They notice that the “Run for God Guy” is not wearing his normal attire.  But there’s a lesson here.

Just like people notice a difference about me when I’m not wearing a Run for God shirt, they should also notice a difference IN me because I’m a child of God.

My words, my actions, my attitude, and my LIFE should all point to the fact that I don’t reflect the world, but rather JESUS.

The Bible tells us in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Bottom line, as children of God, we are CALLED to be different.

If you’d like to know more about what I’m talking about, please visit www.RunforGod.com/PeacewithGod.

If you like what you’ve heard in this Blog, then please like it, comment on it, but most importantly, Share it.  You never know who might need to hear the simple truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ today.

Friends I love you all, but more importantly, God Loves You!

Now go tell someone about Jesus!

Mitchell

Satan’s Convention

I heard a story the other day that made so much sense; I just had to share it with you.  In full disclosure, I’ve tried to find the author of this story, but everywhere I see this story posted it simply says author unknown.

The story is about how Satan keeps Christians from Christ and it goes something like this.

Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, “We can’t keep Christians from going to church. We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from conservative values. But we can do something else. We can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding experience in Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.”

“So let them go to church. Let them have their conservative lifestyles. But steal their time so they can’t gain that experience in Jesus Christ.”

“Here is how I want you to do this. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day.”

“But how shall we do this?” shouted one of Satan’s angels.

“Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent numerous schemes to occupy their minds” he answered. “Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, then borrow, borrow, borrow. Convince the parents to work 6 or 7 days a week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their life-styles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their families fragment, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work.”

“Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still small voice. Entice them to play the radio whenever they drive, to keep the TV going constantly in their homes. And see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ. Fill their coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day and invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, sweepstakes, mail order catalogs, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes.”

“Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from it exhausted, distracted and unprepared for the coming week.”

“Don’t let them go out in nature. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, concerts and movies instead. And when they meet for fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with a troubled consciences and unsettled emotion.”

“Let them be involved in soul-winning. But crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek the power of Christ. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family unity for the good of the cause.”

Well, in the end it was quite a convention. The evil angels went eagerly to their assignments, causing Christians everywhere to get busy, busy, busy and rush here and there.

Has the devil been successful in his scheme? You be the judge.

Today, I challenge you to take inventory of your life.  Does this story ring true for you?  I know it has for me from time to time, but the good news is that the moment we put our focus squarely on Jesus, Satan is powerless.

Maybe you’re not sure how to put your focus on Jesus.  If that’s you then I’d ask you to head on over to our www.RunforGod.com/PeacewithGod webpage to learn how to do just that.

If you like what you’ve read in this blog, then please like it, comment on it, but most importantly, share it.  You never know who might need to hear the simple truth of Jesus Christ today.

Friends, I love you, but more importantly God Loves You.

Now go tell someone about Jesus!

Mitchell

Outward Appearances

Watch-Subscribe Here

For the past nine years I’ve coached a Junior Triathlon team and there’s always a hurdle that I must overcome with new athletes.  It’s the hurdle of, “Outward Appearances”.  You see many times with newer athletes, they are entering the sport with limited knowledge and what they consider sub-par equipment.  It never fails that when their first race rolls around and they enter the transition area for the first time, which is the place where you transition from the swim to bike and bike to run, that they feel inadequate.  They take a look around and many kids are rolling in on bikes that cost thousands of dollars, wearing apparel that looks as if it were custom made just for them, and speaking the triathlon lingo that seems to be a foreign language.

I always make sure that I’m close by to explain one principal.  “A fast bike and fast clothing makes a fast “LOOKING” athlete, not necessarily a fast athlete.  It’s the engine inside that makes a fast athlete not how they look on the outside.”

The principal of outward appearances holds true for many areas of life.  Kind of like the story of the seemingly homeless man that once walked into a bank and was just looking around.  Some of the bank staff politely asked him to leave only to find out the next day when he returned, that he was the owner of the bank.

We’ve all heard the cliché; “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”  It’s true, you can’t.  You can’t tell how fast a triathlete is by looking at their bike.  You can’t tell how much money someone has in the bank by the clothes they wear, and you can’t pick out a child of God simply by the image they portray.

I once had lunch with a gentleman who I’ve always considered a brother in Christ.  I’d known him for several years, and we were meeting about the possibility of him supporting Run for God financially.  We met for about an hour and just before leaving he told me that he believed in the mission of Run for God and would be happy to support our efforts but he needed me to understand that he was not a Christian.

What?  Why would this gentleman tell me this?  There is nothing about his outward appearance that say’s, “I’m not a Christian”.  He’s a great guy.  He goes to church.  He supports Run for God.  But he’s headed for an eternity of destruction without a drastic change on the inside.

First of all, pray for this gentleman, God knows who he is.  But secondly, understand what I believe God was showing me that day.  That is that there are people all around us that look fast, that look wealthy, and they look as if they are walking with Christ. But they’re spiritually bankrupt in need of a savior.

How is your walk with Jesus Christ?  Spiritually, are you the person who walks into the bank who looks broken, battered, and bruised but it’s only because you spend all day in the trenches saving your treasure for another day?  Or are you the person who walks in looking as if they’ve got it all together only to get up to the teller and realize that your account is overdrawn?

If that second person is you, then I’ve got great news!  Jesus Christ has enough spiritual currency for eternity and He wants to give it to you freely.  All you have to do is believe in Him, trust in Him, and turn your life over to Him, and it’s all yours.  If in fact that’s you, then I’m going to ask you to visit our Peace with God page right now to find out how to become a child of God.  Simply visit: www.RunforGod.com/PeacewithGod.

For those of you who do know where you’ll spend eternity, don’t just assume that those around you do. Ask questions.  Look them in the eyes and ask, “Do you know where you’ll spend eternity?”  If they do, then they’ll be happy you asked.  If they don’t then lead them to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if your not comfortable with that, then ask them if you can watch four simple videos together and head over to our Peace with God page.

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power….”.  If you love someone, if you care about someone, then ask them the powerful questions!

If you like what you’ve heard in this blog, then please like it, comment on it, but most importantly, share it.  You never know who might need to hear the simple truth of Jesus Christ today.

Friends, I love you, but more importantly God Loves You.

Now go tell someone about Jesus!

Mitchell

I Know Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan SubscribeNow this may come as a surprise to many of you, but I know who Michael Jordan is.  I know he was the greatest basketball player of all time. He wore #23 and played for the Chicago Bulls.  He went to college at the University of North Carolina from 1981-1984, and I know that he was 6’6 tall and weighed 216 pounds.

I know a lot about Michael Jordan.  I do believe he was the greatest basketball player of all time, but at the end of my life do you know what Michael Jordan will say about Mitchell Hollis should he be asked? He’ll say, “I’m sure he was a great guy but I never knew him.”

Friends, let me explain something to you.  Many people have knowledge of who God is and they confuse that with a relationship. They think that because they have an answer to the question, “Who do you say that Jesus is?” then they must be good.

They say, “Well I know who God is, I believe there was a Jesus.”  They know lots of facts about Jesus, they may even read the Bible and attend church.  They may even be leaders in the church.

But unless their answer to this question is relational and not just factual they’ve missed the mark.

Holly Hollis is my wife. Lane and Landon are my sons. There is no other way I would describe them.  I would never say, when asked, who is that beautiful lady is with me that she is the daughter of Donna and Jerry Elkins, or that she is a female who happens to live in my house, NO I answer by saying, “SHE IS MY WIFE.”  The relationship is in my answer.

When asked, “Who do you say that Jesus is?”, Is a relationship indicated in your answer?

When I look at this question I say that he’s my Father, He’s my friend, He’s my everything.  Not the guy they talk about in the Bible.

Jesus says in Matthew 7 that many will come to me upon walking through the doors of death saying, and I’m paraphrasing,

“Lord, Lord,

I knew everything about you…

I knew what your Word said…

I was faithful to attend church…

I was a great person…

But I just never invited you to be a part of my life.”

Scripture says that God will say in that day, “Depart from Me, for I never knew you.”

Friends, it’s not enough to know WHO Jesus is. 

What matters is whether or not your answer to this question is relational, or is it just factual?

So how do you know?

Well, it’s pretty simple. Either you’re at peace right now, with what I’m saying, or you’re in agony.  Pay attention to what’s going on inside of your spirit right now.  Are you at peace?  Or is your heart telling you what you need to do, but your mind is looking to close out this blog.  Make no mistake, that’s a spiritual battle being fought right now between your sinful flesh and a Holy God.

Please, please, don’t close this blog without first visiting our Peace with God webpage at www.RunforGod.com/PeaceWithGod.

Cultivating a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is simple, but you must be intentional and take that first step.

God Loves You.  That’s truth.

If you like what you’ve read in this blog, then please like it, comment on it, but most importantly, share it.  You never know who might need to hear the simple truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ today.

I love you all!

Now go tell someone about Jesus!

Mitchell

God Thoughts

God ThoughtsI don’t know about you, but God is always laying things on my heart.  Things that both encourage me and that could point people to His saving grace, but many times I go through my busy day and let those thoughts slip away.

It is for this reason that we are going to try something new here at Run for God.  We are going to test a series called God Thoughts.

These are simple messages that I feel God has laid on my heart and prompted me to share with everyone in my sphere of influence, and that includes you.

God Thoughts has three objectives.

Number one, for you to Watch.  Join our YouTube channel and watch these short videos and prayerfully consider what God may be telling you.  Maybe He’s offering you encouragement in a particular situation or even prompting you to take some kind of action.  Whatever it is, be obedient.

Number two, Share. The more you like, comment on, and share these videos, the more we will know that they are effective.  This is evangelism in its most simple form. Taking the word of God and sharing it with a lost and dying world, and believe me, there are plenty of people looking at your social media feed who need to hear the hope of Jesus.

Number three, Salvations. This is the primary goal of Run for God. Introducing people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.  Each video will conclude with an invitation to visit our Peace with God webpage.  God has already used this simple yet powerful page to bring many into a personal relationship with Himself.

That’s it everyone. My hope and prayer is that these God Thoughts will both encourage believers and draw the lost to Jesus. It’s a simple formula, but if we all pitch in it will make an enormous impact for the cause of Christ.

I love you all, now go tell someone about Jesus.

Mitchell

Subscribe to God Thoughts by visiting our YouTube page here.

Our Lives are like Lake Weed

LakeWeedBannerA few weeks ago I was running with a friend of mine and as we passed a local pond we began talking about lake weed. The particular pond that I’m referring to is known for having lots of lake weed. This is simply algae that grows in the pond and makes its way to the surface during the hottest part of a summer day. You’ll pass that same pond on an early morning run and you’ll see little to no lake weed.

But why, why does this occur? Simply put, it’s the sunlight. Many times when a pond is shallow enough for the sun to penetrate to the bottom, algae will begin to grow and chase the sunlight to the surface of the water. As the sun goes down, so will the algae that has made it’s way to the surface. Many people will even plant trees around their ponds to provide shade and keep the algae problem under control, basically killing the shaded algae because of a lack of sunlight.

Isn’t that how we as Christians are? We are like the lake weed and our sunlight is the Son of Man, Jesus Christ.  When we constantly expose ourselves to Jesus through reading His Word and prayer we begin to grow and flourish.  We begin to branch out and share what we’ve found with others. Just like that lake weed uses photosynthesis to convert sunlight into energy, constant exposure to Jesus Christ will produce a spiritual energy that can’t be replicated.

But there is a warning in this analogy.  Just like the lack of sunlight will kill the algae in the pond, our lack of interaction with the Son of Man will produce spiritual deadness as well. Allowing unconfessed sin in our life is no different than that shade tree on the ponds edge. They both block the light and begin to kill what is below.

Jesus says in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Today, I challenge you to seek the light of life, Jesus Christ himself. Remove any obstacles from your life (sin) that would block His light, and bask in the Sonlight that will give you the spiritual growth that nothing else can provide.

Mitchell

If you would like to know more about how to experience the Son of Man (Jesus Christ) and how to have true peace with God, please visit http://www.RunforGod.com/PeacewithGod.

Personal Quiet Time

Personal Quiet Time

How important is Personal Quiet Time?  Very! It’s very important.

This past Spring I joined about 45 others from my church on a Mission Trip to South Carolina.  We spent the week going into low-income housing projects and having backyard Bible clubs with the children who lived there. We were very busy.  We’d wake up early, have some breakfast, have our time with these kids, eat lunch, and then we were off to minister to folks in that community through face painting and balloons.  We’d come back, have some dinner, a little free time, and then we were off to bed.  It seemed as though we could not be any more immersed in God’s work.

At the end of the week however, a strange thing happened.  As our team loaded up to head home, our family loaded up to head to a race that my son was doing in Greenville, SC just a few hours down the road. As we were driving there, my mind began to get back on all the things that were going to need to be done after being gone for a week.  The hustle and bustle of my everyday life began to overwhelm me to the point that by time we arrived in Greenville I was frustrated, ill, and just not very pleasant to be around.  I knew it, and I could see that my family knew it as well.

But why?  Why did I just leave a place where we had seen God’s hand move in the lives of many young people, a place where we went to do God’s work, and four hours later I was fit to be tied?  I began to have this blunt conversation with God.  I began to tell him about all the good that I had done (just so you know, I do understand how ridiculous this sounds).  I had taken a week to serve Him, to tell others about Him, and to witness first hand others receive Him.  So why did I feel so far from Him?

His answer was short and to the point.  Because I failed to talk to Him.  You see, on any normal day, I wake up, have my breakfast, and spend some time in God’s word and praying.  It’s my time to connect with God one on one.  But that didn’t happen that week.  I looked back, and though I was doing God’s work, I never once talked to Him one on one. What would happen if you went on vacation with your spouse and never spoke to them?  You get my point.

The bottom line is this. Don’t get so caught up in doing the things OF God that you neglect your time WITH God.  You can get so busy in doing God’s work that you miss Him all together.

Mitchell