Happy New Year Everyone!
I just wanted to sit down for a moment, look back on 2013, and share a few thoughts that have been on my mind. This past year has been a great one for Run for God. Thanks to your support and God’s AWESOME grace, we have continued to see tremendous growth.
As of today, Run for God has been taught in 49 of the 50 states (come on Connecticut), and 6 countries. Nearly 1300 different churches, schools, and athletic clubs have walked through the Run for God Challenges with over 27,000 graduates. This past year we’ve added some new programs, new products, new races, and even had the privilege of hiring some new faces. Are things always perfect here at the Run for God shop? Not even close! Yes God is a perfect God, but I’m still Mitchell and I can certainly mess things up from time to time. Some of you may remember the books with upside down pages, incorrect pages, or recently missing pages. Yes, I occasionally make grammar mistakes, printing mistakes, and I’ve even been known to stick my foot in my mouth. It’s a good thing God call’s workers, not perfect workers, or well-spoken workers, but workers.
So why do I keep such a close eye on these numbers? Because it’s a very clear reminder that God is using this program to touch the lives of people all over the world. If you’ve read the introduction of The 5K Challenge, you know that I was happy with 12 T-shirts, I was happy and content with teaching one class at my church, I was ready to go back to my “Building” career after our first graduation race. Run for God is not something I went looking for, but it was something that the Lord laid on my heart and a decision had to be made, go or don’t go.
Early on, I said this would never work. I felt unworthy; I mean who was I to lead a program like this? I wasn’t an author, I’d never been to seminary, I wasn’t an Olympic Marathoner, I’m not even that good of a runner, although I do love it. I had a million excuses as to why I couldn’t do this and none of them seem to slow God down. Then one day it hit me! I AM unworthy and unprepared, but maybe that’s exactly where God wants me. At our moments of weakness, God WILL show His strength.
So why am I bringing all this up? Because it seems that over the past year I have talked to so many people who relate to my story. They feel the Lord pushing them to do something, something outside their comfort zone, but something just seems to be holding them back. One gentleman told me this past year that he has felt the Lord calling him to start a Christian based workout gym, another lady shared with me her idea of a Christian Children’s book. There were several others that shared great ideas with me, and more importantly they indicated they felt the Lord calling them to these ideas. So why haven’t they acted? Fear! Fear is one of the devil’s best tools. The ideas that I’m not good enough, that I’m not worthy, that it just won’t work, are all fear tactic’s.
Here is the bottom line. If you truly feel the Lord calling you to do something, you’ve prayed about it, and aggressively sought His direction, and you know that you know, THEN DO IT! It doesn’t matter how prepared you are, how good you are, or what your titles are, if God birthed the idea, go for it. We will NEVER be good enough to do anything God sized, but God is, and that’s all that matters!
God Bless and Happy New Year Everyone!
While reading the Christmas story in the book of Luke, I am completely amazed by Mary’s faith. The thoughts and feelings she must have experienced when approached by the angel of the Lord? How was she able to handle the news of raising the Son of God? How did she feel during the lonely journey that she and Joseph took together? She must have felt afraid and unsure why she was chosen by God to carry out His precious plan. There are many lessons that the bible has shown me through Mary’s life in my journey as an instructor today. I want to share a few with you this holiday season.
- Mary knew the Word of God and kept it hidden in her heart (Luke 1:54-55). As a Christian, and an instructor, it is important to know His Word, make time for it daily in order to grow and speak His truths to others.
- Mary was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). There are times when I have found myself relying on my own strength rather than submitting to the power of the Spirit to help me get through some tough situations. Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27) I pray that we continue to learn to submit our lives to Him in order for Him to work in and through us.
- Mary said “YES” (Luke 1:38). She not only said yes to God’s plan, but she also was obedient, submissive and had a humble heart. Being obedient can sometimes be very frightening. I remember God calling me to become an instructor with Run for God. Even though I was terrified, and felt inadequate, I knew I wanted to do more for Him. Today I still ask, “Lord, if it is of you, I will go.” Are you willing to say, “Yes Lord?” May we have ears to hear His call and become faithful and obedient servants for His glory.
- The Lord chose Mary to be a vessel (Luke 1:30-31 ). As Christians, we are all chosen to be an instrument for God. Whether you are leading or studying the Run for God program, you can use what God has given you to reach and encourage others. Run for God’s mission is to prepare individuals to be better witnesses for Christ mentally, physically and spiritually. All you have to do is share what He has done for you, leave the rest to Him.
- Mary asked Jesus for help (John 2:3-5). When I decided to take a leap of faith and lead my first season of the 5k Challenge, I wasn’t sure how to begin the journey that was ahead. Then I remembered the story of Moses when he told God that he wasn’t a speaker. God told him that He would equip him with everything he needed. Sometimes we all feel unsure if we are able to lead or are worthy to His calling, but you need to know that He needs you. Most of all, you need Him. Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
- Mary praised God in all things (Luke 1:46-47). She praised God in every circumstance. Learning to praise Him in all circumstances brings honor to Him, reflects our relationship with God and brings others to Christ.
- Mary was faithful (John 19:25). When everyone had begun to desert Jesus, Mary stayed with Him all the way to His death. We live in a society where being bold for Christ is not popular. Are you willing to be bold and lead others to Christ and help individuals become better witnesses for Christ? Be bold and share your faith! Join us this January
The one lesson I hold to the most is being able to say, “yes Lord.” I used these two words in Fall of 2011, and I am reminded with each season of Run for God. As some of us conclude this Fall season of Run for God as an instructor and prepare for the next season that the Lord has for us and as we enter into this Christmas season, may we remember to have hearts that are submissive to God’s will for our lives. He may call some of you to say “yes” to becoming an Instructor or a student of this ministry, but one thing He has called us all to, as followers of Christ, is faithfulness. May we surrender our lives to His will and purpose for our lives. May we surrender to Him on bended knee and say, ‘Yes Lord.”
Running for Him,
Tanna Friday, Run for God Instructor – Warner Robins, GA