Been running?

Have you ever had someone say to you, “I saw you running today.”  Or better yet, when they catch you returning from a run, they ask, “Have you been running today?”  I had a friend drive by my house the other day and ask me that as I was stretching after a long run.  Why did he ask?  Because I showed all the evidences of a person who had been running: the sweat, the clothes, the shoes, the watch (my big honkin Garmin GPS Forerunner 305), the posture (stretching) and of course, the smell.  It was obvious.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished.  And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”  Acts 4:1

I read that verse in my time with God this morning and was moved by it once again.  Will people know I’ve been with Jesus today?  Will they hear the joy in my speech because I’ve already talked with my Father?  Will they experience Christ through my actions?  Will they walk away from a conversation with me knowing that I a a fully devoted follower of Christ and feeling drawn to the Almighty?

Most of the time it’s not obvious as to whether those whom we meet are believers.  We can’t change others, but we can change ourselves.  James MacDonald has said many times, “If your faith hasn’t changed you, it hasn’t saved you.”  Powerful words regarding the power of God at work in your life.

Whether I run an easy 3 miler or a long run, it is evident that I have been running.  How will your time with God impact your speech today?  Your actions?  What you share?  Where you go?  What you do?

May we have the “aroma” of Christ today!!!!!  (2 Corinthians 2:15-16)

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Pre-Race Tips

I’ve had several people ask me questions about what to do the week before the race.  While I’m not an expert, I’ve learned some things from the races I’ve run and the articles I’ve read.  Here are some of my basic tips for Pre-Race Week:

Prepare the night before:  Lay out clothes, shorts, shirts, socks, shoes, etc., everything you will need for race day.  Do this the night before and it will ease your mind throughout the night. If you are running a marathon see “Marathon Packing List” under the Resources tab.

Tried and true clothing:  Wear comfortable clothes that you’ve worn before.  Do not wear anything new, especially for a long race.  Race day is never a time to break in a new pair of shoes.  Wearing new clothes, socks or shoes could produce undesired effects that you don’t need in a race.

Don’t over dress:  Dress as if the weather is 15 degrees warmer.  I just ran a race on Saturday where the temp at the start time was around 58 degrees, halfway through the 10k, I saw many with jackets tied around their waists.  As you do your warm up and begin running, your core temperature will rise and you will feel warmer. Read more of this post

New World Vision Page

Check out my new page on Team World Vision.  Click HERE.

I’m running for Africa this fall at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon….

Not There

Whether the weather be fine,
or the weather be not.
Whether the weather be cold,
or whether the weather be hot.
We’ll weather the weather,
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not.

(author unknown)

I’m not there yet.

Thunderstorms, rain, lots of wind.  My cozy bed felt much better!  The good news.  More time for my Quiet Time this morning!!!

Hit by a car

Yes, it finally happened.  I was hit by a car, a small black one.

Well, maybe I am pushing it a bit, but I did hit it enough to make a thud on his hood and shock the driver.  When running in town, I’ve read and learned that you must always pay attention to your surroundings and sure enough, my eyes quickly caught the young college student who pulled up to the stop sign as he exited his apartment complex.  I was approaching on his right while he was looking left.  As I have done hundreds of times before on my runs, I passed in front of the car, wondering, “Does he know I’m here?”  In a split second I got my answer.  The driver didn’t see me, only an open turning lane.  Sure enough, the car rolled forward while my left hand reached out and landed on his hood.  With the speed of a trained CIA agent, I gingerly and athletically cleared the front of this high-end sports car.  (Ok, may not.)  Luckily my legs brushed the far corner as I quicken my step and cleared the vehicle.  With my heart racing and the loud apologies from the scared driver coming through the closed window, I continued on and finished my run.

I wish the attacks of Satan were just as clear as a threatening black car on a run, but unfortunately the tricks of the devil are much harder to recognize.  Peter reminds us, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”  (1 Peter 5:8 NLT)  As we walk through life, staying alert and recognizing how the devil can easily tempt us to sin is a practice that must be drilled into our thinking.  Too often it is that split second awareness that makes all the difference in the world, the difference between sustaining serious injury and jumping clear, the difference between breaking the heart of God with our sin and taking 1 Cor. 10:13 to heart and knowing there is a way of escape every time sin crouches at the door.

Stay alert!

Saturday Run

Ever start out on a run hoping for the best and it turn out much rougher than you wished?

For my long run this morning I decided to see where I’m at physically for my 10k race (a month away) by simulating the 10k.  Last night Parker and I figured what my race pace ought to be, a plan to run the first mile and then the next four with a nice kick to the end with whatever I had left.  Needless to say, the old adage “you can’t bank minutes” came to life around mile 3 and held true.  My goal of holding to race pace died when I ran my first two miles 45 seconds and 30 seconds too fast.

My lesson for the morning… stick to the plan and don’t start out too fast!  At least I have a few more weeks to work on my race pace.

Have a great Saturday.

Planning Your Time with God – Part 1

This is multi-part series to follow-up from last week’s post “Planning Your Walk Like You Plan you Run.”

This morning it was 41 degrees, foggy, damp, and a little windy.  Not the ideal conditions for running, but not terrible.  I had been meaning to do a speed workout all week but found a number of excuses and plenty of interruptions to my running that caused me to postpone it.  Today was different, I was determined.  So Kendis and I hit the path at 6am.  She took off and I psyched myself up for 5 x 800 repeats.  After the fourth one I was ready to give up.  I struggled to keep the pace on my fifth repeat but found myself only 7 seconds off my split time.  Not bad.  In fact, it felt good.  I stuck my mind to it and I experienced the reward.

Our walk with Christ is no different.  Maybe you woke up this morning and said “I know I should spend time with God, but…” then one little excuse wins over and you find yourself hitting the snooze button.  One of the first steps to daily physical exercise and to your spiritual exercise is to have a plan and prepare for it the night before.  So the first step is simply to have a plan to get into God’s Word.

God’s Word

As many of you know there are a lot of different running workouts to can do throughout the week.  There are also many different aspects to your time with God.  Let’s start with one of the most basic aspects.   Just as with a running workout you must decide to show up.  Once you have made the choice and you are there, you need to have a plan for getting into God’s Word.  I have set it as a goal many times to read through the Bible in a year and to be honest; I have never completed it, at least not in one year.  I’ve read through the bible many times using different plans,  just not in the prescribed amount of time.  Like all training workouts, you need to customize your plan to fit you.

One plan I have recently started is Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System.  The short version: read ten chapters from ten different parts of the Bible a Day.   Check out the following links:

I would love to hear what you think of this plan so leave your comments – what works, what doesn’t, how to make it personal…

Here are a couple of good plans from Discipleship Journal to choose from:

The 5x5x5 Bible Reading Plan

5 minutes per day, 5 days per week, 5 ways to dig deeper. Takes you through one chapter each day. Read the New Testament in one year.  Download the 5x5x5 Bible Reading Plan

Book-at-a-Time Bible Reading Plan

Intersperses Old and New Testament books in each month’s readings, with the four gospels spread throughout the year. Read the complete Bible in one year.   Download the Book-at-a-Time Bible Reading Plan

The Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan

Read four places in God’s Word every day to better grasp the unity of the Scriptures. Read the complete Bible in one year.  Download the Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan

The Challenge:

So as I am preparing for my upcoming 10k on May 1st, I am going to challenge myself to get into God’s Word like I am preparing for Race Day.  My goal: a minimum of 5 days absorbing scripture and hearing from God (and using Horner’s method).

What’s your goal?

Plan your walk like you plan your run

Every time I set out running, I have a plan.  I know where I am going to run, the distance, the pace, and even the type of workout.  Why is it that we enter the Christian life with no plan?  Mature believers are sometimes the worst at it.  How many season marathoners would simply head out day after day with no plan?  Not the ones that will compete, that’s for sure.

This morning, for my time with God, not knowing what I was going to do, I simply did a quick search of “run” on my iPhone’s YouVersion app.  Over the next few minutes I found God speaking to me in various ways through the random verses.  In fact, the very verse God laid on my heart convicted me of what I just did!  Paul was using the example of training, of athletic completion, as a metaphor for pursuing after God.  Without discipline and focus, there is no victory.  If we truly want to experience all that God has for us, we must plan our walk with Him with the same focus and intentionality we have in planning our workouts for the week.

“Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air.  Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”  (1 Cor. 9:26-27)

So how intentional are you in your walk with God?  Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have a reading plan for getting into God’s word?
  • Do you have a journaling plan for getting God’s Word into you?
  • Are you actively involved in a small group where God’s word is opened regularly?
  • Is your prayer life one that consists of variety, depth, sincerity, passion?
  • Is your time with God meaningful?

You will never cross the finish line without discipline and self-control.

OK, Kevin.  Enough of the toe bashing.  You’ve got my attention!  Now what?

Next post will have basic steps and creative ideas that will strengthen and bring depth to your relationship with God.

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