Be Different

Be Different BannerHey everyone, Merry Christmas! 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 my truck. Number one, I always tell him to “Tell someone about Jesus today”. It’s my conviction that we just can’t tell our kids that enough. But there’s something else that I also tell him on a regular basis.

Be Different.

You know I’m wearing a Run for God shirt about 90% of the time, and when I’m not, people notice. They notice that the Run for God guy is not wearing his normal attire and many times they’ll even make comments to me. But there’s a lesson to be learned 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 this 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 by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

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

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope your week goes well. Love on your family, love on your friends, don’t eat too much, Run for God, tell someone about Jesus, and be different!

Mitchell

If you would like to learn more about how to know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, please visit our Peace with God page at www.RunforGod.com/PeacewithGod.

To Win. Or to help a brother?

“By this we know love, that He laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” 1 John 3:16

If you don’t’ follow the sport of triathlon, then you may not have seen what took place this past Sunday in Cozumel, Mexico during the final moments of the World Championships.

Alistair and Johnny Brownlee from Great Britain are two forces that must be reckoned with if you want to claim a top spot in the sport of Olympic distance triathlon. These two brothers claimed gold and silver at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but it’s what they did this past weekend that has the whole world talking.

While competing at the ITU World Championships in Cozumel, both brothers were beginning to set the stage for yet another one-two finish. Johnny had a comfortable lead as he approached the finish line while his brother was battling it out for second place just behind him. With 1K to go, things went south for Johnny. His body began to shut down in dramatic fashion as a stumbled to the side of the course only meters from the finish.

Johnny appeared to be done. He looked dazed, and a podium finish seemed to be disappearing. It was at this moment that his brother Alistair rounded the corner on his way to what would now be a gold medal when he noticed Johnny standing to the side of the course. To everyone’s sheer amazement Alistair also stopped as his gold medal chances ran buy him. He put his brothers arm around his neck and all but dragged him to the finish line. As if that were not enough, as they approached the finish line, he pushed his brother to the finish ahead of him.

Today, you see the images and pictures all over the Internet. Alistair is being called a hero, which in my eyes he is. It’s a teachable moment for athletes of all ages all over the world. Here is a guy who sacrificed his own aspirations for another brother.

Could this be a living picture of 1 John 3:16? Now I do not know the spiritual well being of Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee, but I do know this, Alistair showed sacrificial love for his brother. He showed a side of humanity the Christ calls us to put on display daily. He showed that when your brother is down, you help them up, not run past them. He showed us that real love is an act of giving ones self even at a cost.

Thank you Brownlee Brothers for not only being a shining example of sportsmanship, but for showing how we can all live 1 John 3:16 lives.

Watch the dramatic finish of the 2016 ITU World Championships HERE.

The Truth About Salvation

Do you know that you know if you died today where you would spend eternity?

Today more than ever our lives are inundated with distractions, and more specifically distractions that take us away from the question posed above. It seems as though everyone wants to know what we think, what we feel, what we would do, or how we would react. I’ve noticed that many news outlets will post a picture or quote of a politically charged nature and simply ask the question “What do you think?” It doesn’t take long until the gloves are off and people are in an all out argument (to put it mildly) about where they stand on the issue, or how they feel. Many times this is done in the name of “A Healthy Debate”.

What good does this do for us as a society? Many will say that we should debate the issues, but many times a debate is the last thing it turns into. So who’s at fault? I submit that everyone who is involved in these distractions is, and that includes me, because I have fallen into these traps many times.

When speaking to those around us, we SHOULD be concerned with the answer to the question that I first posed. WHY? Because Jesus tells us all throughout the New Testament to love. In fact, 1 Corinthians 13 says that even if we are all knowing, without love we are NOTHING! Let’s just go ahead and take a look at 1 Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

The Bible tells us that the Greatest Gift is love and the Great Commission is to share the Gospel and to make disciples of all nations. So if we are to follow the Great Commission using the Greatest Gift, then we are to lovingly point people to Jesus Christ, PERIOD! I cannot find anywhere in the scripture where Jesus tells us to have a “Healthy Debate”. Stop debating, stop calling names, stop the finger pointing, stop saying what you think or how you feel, AND START LOVING. Can this be tough at times? You bet! Should we take to Facebook because we don’t like what someone said, and “let them have it”? No way!

Let me attempt to get back on point. When prayerfully considered, and done with a sincere heart, asking the question “Do you know that you know if you died today, where you would spend eternity” is the greatest way to enact the Great Commission using the Greatest Gift. In fact, let me ask you this question.

Do YOU know that you know if you died today, where you would spend eternity?

Lets breakdown the three answers that you will get from this question. Depending on whom you are asking, you may get a variety of colorful reactions. But many times you will only get one of three answers, “Yes, No, or I Don’t Know”.

Yes

Don’t get excited too quickly. If the answer is yes, then the follow up questions where and why should be asked. If the answer is “Yes, I’m going to Heaven because I have trusted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and I have a personal relationship with Him” then things are looking good, but we’re not excited just yet.

No or I Don’t Know

I would submit that “No and I Don’t Know” would fall into the same category, and that category would be “No, I do not know where I am going”. At least here, you know where a person stands. They are acknowledging that they do not know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior because of the simple fact that they’re unsure of where they’ll spend eternity. You either KNOW or YOU DON’T. At this point, we are able to explain to this person, if they are willing to listen, what it means to have a personal relationship with Christ and to walk them through the plan of salvation.

Yes*

Yes*, is for those whose convictions or lack of convictions may not line up with their words. Notice I didn’t say, “Actions may not line up with their words”, but rather “Convictions”.

You can’t determine where someone stands eternally based solely on his or her actions. If that were the case, we’d all be headed to hell, because we ALL sin! And many times, this is where the debates begin. “My sin is no worse than your sin”, “You can’t judge me, because you sin too”, and the debates, or might I say distractions, go on and on.

Now I’m not going to get into the specifics of what’s sin and what’s not sin because the Bible is very clear on that answer. Simply put, it’s any thing that does not please God.

So we’ve determined that your answer may be Yes*, and we’ve determined that sin is sin, and we all do it. So the next question I would pose is:

Do you wake up each morning convicted of the sin in your life and with a desire to please God?

Jesus said in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10), “Blessed are those who mourn” and “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness”.

If you are a child of God, If you know that you will spend eternity in Heaven, and, If you know that you have a genuine personal relationship with Jesus Christ, THEN YOU WILL AGONIZE OVER YOUR SIN AND HAVE A DESIRE TO PLEASE GOD DAILY! If this is not the case, meaning you don’t mourn over your sin AND strive to please God daily, then you really need to take a hard look at your salvation because you are riding a very dangerous train. It’s one that says, “I’m headed to Heaven” but in reality is headed straight for Hell.

Let me give an example.

An area that many people struggle with in their life is lust. I think we can all agree that lust would be considered a sin, and often the root of many other sins (James 1:14-15). I think we can also all agree that most Christians and Non-Christians struggle with this sin at some point in their life. So does the fact that I, as a Christian, have struggled with lust mean that I am not a child of God. Of course not! But I also know that each time it happens I am convicted of it, I ask God to forgive me for it, and I do everything in my power not to let it happen again. This means taking myself out of situations where it can happen, not watching shows that cause it to happen, and asking God everyday to protect my eyes from the things that will cause me to stumble. I wake up every morning convicted of my sin and with the genuine desire to please God.

Now let’s say that I were to struggle in the area of lust and were not convicted each time that it occurred. In fact, I defended my right to look at the opposite sex however I like, citing that everyone sins and this one is no different. I mean, it’s not like I’m killing anyone, right?

This is exactly where much of the church is today. People sitting in the pews each Sunday and hanging their hat on a prayer they said years ago. Their life revolves around them, they’ve embraced a sinful lifestyle (all in the name of rights), and they have absolutely no conviction of the Holy Spirit or desire to please the Creator of the universe! THEY ARE LOST. There is a fundamental flaw in our society today that says you can “Hunger and thirst for righteousness” without “Mourning over our sin” or simply put, you can desire to be like Jesus without worrying about your sin. They are correct, we can do that, but we would be severely misguided and LOST!

If you are a child of God, you WILL NOT be comfortable in your sin!

I encourage you to think about our first question. If you are 100% confident that you will be spending eternity with Jesus Christ, then praise God. If you are not 100% positive that you will spend eternity in Heaven, then I encourage you to get on your knees right now and talk to God. He’s there, the door is open, all you have to do is acknowledge that it’s your sin that separates you from God and ask Him to become Lord of your life.

I hope you understand that my motive here is to tell you the truth out of love. Nothing else.

Mitchell

P.S.

If you have questions or would like to know more about how to have “Peace with God”, please visit http://www.runforgod.com/peacewithgod.

Run for God – Devotions

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Below is an excerpt from Run for Gods – Devotions. Formatting will be different in actual book.

Week 18

Run the Race God Has Set Before You

One Sunday morning during the meet and greet time at church, two ladies commented on my upbeat personality. One woman said that I am always so bubbly, and another said that I always smile. I didn’t have time to tell them that I don’t always wake up that way. Some days I have to talk myself into that smile. I also have to remind myself daily to be grateful for all I have and force myself not to dwell on things I don’t need.

Every morning, I mentally prepare myself to face the world. I hit snooze a few times. I get up, go into the bathroom, and look at the scared person staring at me in the mirror. I make breakfast and pack lunch for my son and myself, but during this whole process, I am in prayer. If you were sitting in my kitchen watching me, you might think I was doing what any normal mom does as a morning routine. If you were to look closer though, you would see that I was quietly talking.

I give my fear and anxiety over to God. Jesus says I don’t have to carry that burden, so I try not to. I thank God for the food I am preparing, the home we live in, the little boy laughing at cartoons in the other room, the heat, electricity, and the most basic of things that I take for granted every day. By the time I am ready to walk out the door, all of the worldly junk that fills my mind has finally been cleared. When I get to my porch, I am able to greet my neighbors with a smile.

Most people don’t understand how I can be so positive all the time. It is simple. I choose not to worry about what I can’t control. I choose to give the negativity, illness, worry, and stress in my life over to God, but I didn’t learn to do that on my own.

In January 2013, my sister convinced me to join a local Run for God 5K challenge. Scared and worried about embarrassing myself, I agreed to try it. I ran track in junior high and high school, and I was so bad my parents begged me to quit at the end of my freshman season. Run for God was not what I expected at all. Everyone was so warm and friendly. The program is tailored to reach people of all faith levels and fitness levels, and God did what God does. He met me where I was and carried me to the finish line.

The Run for God class prepared me to begin a journey back to God. Each week I read the story and listened to people’s responses to the discussion questions, and I thought, “Why am I so angry all the time? I have a good life in spite of being a single mom. I have enough money for all the things my son and I need, a wonderful family, and a good job. Why can’t I just be happy?” During week three of our Run for God class, the discussion was titled “Running Your Own Race: Running the Race God Has Set before You.” I knew then that it wasn’t my sister who led me to the class, but God.

My sister is extremely athletic. She runs much faster than I do, but when we trained together for the 5K, she never left my side. She pushed me through each work out, running beside me step by step. She refused to allow me to quit or fail. A week before our race, the words “run your own race” rattled around in my head. My sister would have stayed with me through the whole course if I had wanted her to, but I decided it was time for me to trust God and let Him carry me to the finish line. I told her to go run her race, meet her time goals, and I would run mine.

I was scared out of my mind when the gun went off, but I turned on my mp3 player and went on my way. I became discouraged in the first half mile because I felt as if hundreds of people were passing me. I knew I had to change my focal point, so I concentrated on my breathing and paced myself to the beat of the music. Around the one-mile marker, I started seeing the leaders of the race looping back. I passed people from my RFG group as they headed back to the finish line. They were over half way done with the race and I had at least a mile ahead of me. They were throwing me high five’s and yelling, “Good job!” I felt overwhelmed by their love. God was showing His love through them.

My sister’s house is about half way through the course, and when I reached it, I cried. My son was sitting in the front yard with my mom. He yelled and waved a sign that read “GO MOMMY!” It took about 300 feet for me to pull myself back together, but I picked up the pace and started the loop back. As my music carried me, I felt a second surge of energy take me into the last mile. Then I saw my sister, who had already crossed the finish line, running toward me. She ran the last mile with me, encouraging me to stay strong. She stepped off to the side about 200 feet from the end, and in the photo of me crossing the finish line, you can see her in the background with her hands around her mouth, yelling at the top of her lungs.

Faith and God’s great love carried me through that race. Run for God taught me that anything is possible with God on my side and faith in my heart. I smile and have a happy heart today, because I am running God’s race.

In Galatians, Paul says they are focused on the wrong things. Christ gave them a mission. He has given each of us a mission. I had to run a 5K to realize my mission, and now that I am running my race, I don’t plan to ever look back. Every morning I wake up, praise God, and ask Him to show me what path I need to run. Without Him, I would be lost on the trail.

Katie Hendricks – Carrollton, OH

Get In The Word

Galatians 5:7–8

You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Scripture Memorization

Write out the scripture(s) in the space below and recite them ten times.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Something to Ponder

What are you withholding from God? What burdens do you carry that you should give up to Him?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone and allowed God to carry you through your fears?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Do you spend time with God each day, asking Him about your mission in order to avoid allowing Satan a foothold for distraction?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Running Observations by Dean

Thank the Volunteers

Races are great fun! It doesn’t matter if it is a local race with 100 participants or a party moving down Peachtree Street in Atlanta called “The Peachtree Road Race.” There are mud runs, color runs, and foam runs. Some races are plotted through downtown areas, some through the woods. Some have tons of awards; some are no-frills. There are 5Ks, 100 milers, triathlons, and duathlons. There is a race for everyone. Whether a race requires a lot of planning or only needs someone to draw a line in the dirt, they all have one thing in common—volunteers.

Many volunteers are runners themselves and understand what you are going through as you run. Many of them get up early on Saturday mornings to help their community or the race’s charitable beneficiary: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or ROTC for example. Almost any race that takes place on the roads will employ the services of the local police department, and although they may be paid for their services, they usually volunteer to do the work.

Race directors have a huge responsibility to bring their event together for everyone to enjoy. Have you ever wondered how the portable toilets show up for the event? Yes, the race director has to pay attention to every detail, and at most events they have curve balls thrown at them all day long. They must make decisions quickly, because more questions are coming in another three minutes. Usually when I want to talk to the race director on race morning, I have to wait in line.

On race day, those who hand out drinks, tell you where to turn, and protect you from traffic have put love and time into their roles under a director’s supervision in order to give you a great experience. If you are not one who already tells the volunteers how much you appreciate them, tell someone the next time you race. For most events, volunteering means giving up a day to a cause, and you are part of that cause. Remember that whenever something doesn’t go well for you. These people care about doing things right. I once ran a marathon and was going to receive the first place masters award. When they called out the winner, the time was fifteen minutes slower than my time. Imagine my shock. I calmly walked to the front to explain what had happened, and the race director sent me a trophy in the mail the next week. Problem solved, and I didn’t need to get upset about it.

Like a race, God has set up a course for us to follow. He is standing at the corners telling us which way to turn. He has aid stations along the way to help with any need. He waits for us at the finish line with something much better than a medal—everlasting life.

  • Races are full of volunteers trying to make your day the best it can be.
  • The volunteers really like hearing appreciation from participants, so thank everyone at your next event.
  • God wants us to run His course.  He said it would not be the easy course, but it will be worth the effort.

Order your full copy of Run for God’s – Devotions today at

www.RunforGod.com

The Thing About a Shirt

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This past weekend I was in Richmond, VA for the Youth and Junior Elite draft legal triathlon. Some of our young athletes were competing, and it was an all around great trip. Something happened this weekend that happens quiet often to our entire Run for God family. A gentleman came out of his way to comment on our shirts, more specifically, the suits our triathlon kids wear. He said that his son had recently come to know the Lord and when he saw one of our athlete’s on the course wearing their Run for God gear, it inspired him. The other part of our Tri team was competing at another venue and while getting a race summary from that venue; I heard the same thing, stories of how people had commented on the Run for God tent and the shirts. While making the eight-hour drive home, I pulled up my Facebook and began reading how Ben Reed, an instructor in Westerville, OH, had volunteered his class to work the packet pick-up at a local race. 14,500 runners were present. Guess what, they were all wearing their Run for God shirts, and to hear the impact they had on those runners was awesome!

Yes, I am wearing a Run for God shirt 95% of the time, and I get many comments from many people. The vast majority of comments are great, inspiring, and are the type of comments that you know the Lord has reached down and touched someone’s day. Even if it’s just a small touch. Others are witty and even rude at times, like the guy that asked me “What’s God running for? President?” I’m convinced that in some way, even those people are touched.

So, can a t-shirt make a difference? I say yes, but I say that with a strong word of caution. People today seem to be more aware than ever of how others handle and portray themselves. A Run for God shirt, or any spiritual shirt for that matter, on the shoulders of someone who is out in the world living for Christ and reflecting Jesus can be a very powerful thing. It says a lot about who you are and whom you follow. It lets others know what you stand for without you ever having to open your mouth. But, and here is the word of caution, you must be walking with Christ and reflecting His light for that shirt to have ANY power. I have a friend that had a quote from Francis of Assisi printed on the back of his Run for God shirt. The quote is simply “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words”. That statement is so true! We can make all the statements we want about how we live for God, and even have a closet full of spiritual shirts, but if our actions do not backup what we are representing then we are only hurting the cause and our words have no validity.

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (NIV)

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sinfor us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

“Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words” Francis of Assisi

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Spiritual Base

Slow RunningThis past week I began a forty-week training plan that will hopefully land me at the Chattanooga Ironman finish line in under twelve hours in just over nine months from now.  Training for an event like his is something that I have become very familiar with.  I have read about this kind of training, gotten formal education on this kind of training, been certified to coach this type training, and I have personally endured this kind of training.

The first thing you will learn about any kind of endurance training is that you must first establish a base.  Base is a period of time in your training that you will exercise at an intensity that will many times seem easy, monotonous, and just a waste of time.  So why do I say that it may seem to be a waste of time?  Because as athletes we have an inner desire to always do better, to push ourselves to the limit, and as runners, to just get faster.  Base work accomplishes none of this; at least that is what we athletes often think.

It has always been said that many runners never get faster because their hard days are not hard enough, and their slow days are not slow enough.  Many times, you will fall into one category or the other, but rarely into both.  Base work builds endurance and is the foundation for everything that your training is built on.  Sure you can go out and do speed work every day of the week, you can even do 100 meter sprint until your heart is pounding out of your chest, but without a base level of fitness you’ll find it very hard to complete a 5K or 10K, much less a half or full marathon.  I once read a study that talked about the fact that many NBA players will often run 4.5 to 6 miles in a game at high intensities with no problem, but ask those same players to run 6 miles straight and they’d find that to be a real challenge.  Why?  Because basketball players do not build a base level of fitness, nor do they need it.  They train those fast twitch muscles to do exactly what they are designed to do, go fast, and neglect those slow twitch endurance muscles.

Speed work is great!  It’s challenging, it pushes you outside your comfort zone, and it makes you a better runner.  But without a good base period even the best speed work plan will not be sustainable.  If you’re running an endurance race and all you’ve done is speed work in training, you WILL blow up, hit the wall, and crash and burn.

So let me get to the point that I set out to make.  Today I was running one of those dreaded Six Mile Low Intensity Zone 3 training runs.  For those of you who don’t understand what that is, just take your comfortable running pace and at about two minutes per mile to it.  It’s a slow run; it’s almost embarrassingly slow and I was having a battle in my mind as to whether or not I should speed up.  The runner in me wanted to pick up the pace to my “comfort zone” and not look like the turtle rolling down the side-walk, but the trainer in me was hammering home the point that base work is a must and without it this 140.6 mile race might end at 70.3 or sooner.

It was at this point that the Lord began speaking to me about my Spiritual Base.  Don’t you just love it when God takes a point that you are trying to make to yourself and uses it to make His point for where you may be spiritually?  He began to show me that just like I must have an athletic base when competing in endurance events; I must also have a spiritual base when competing in this earthly event called life.

Spiritual base is also very basic.  It’s spending time in prayer and in Gods word.  This is the base by which we should all build our spiritual lives.  If you’re like me, I love to read books or hear sermons on how to be more spiritually fit.  These are great resources and if Biblically grounded will definitely add to your spiritual toolbox and make you sharper.  But these resources are like speed work, they will make you more knowledgeable and for a lack of better words, more spiritually fit, but without a strong base, they are useless.  Hearing a great sermon or reading a great spiritual book and having a deep daily relationship with God is like sharpening the edge of an industrial size log splitter.  That log splitter has a base big enough to get the job done even with a dull edge, but having it razor-sharp only makes it easier.  Hearing that great sermon or reading that great book without a deep daily relationship with Christ is like sharpening the edge of a razor blade.  Yes, it’s very sharp, but when put to the test against an oak log, it will fail!

So I challenge you today to join me in building a spiritual base that will stand up to even the biggest hurdle.  Make prayer and spending time in Gods word the backbone of your spiritual life.  Yes, it’s OK to sharpen the edge, but only after the base can back it up.

God Bless Everyone!

Mitchell

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.   John 1:1

Move out of your comfort zone.

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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!

Mitchell

Mary’s Faithful Journey

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.”
  6. 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.
  7. 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