Monday, May 14, 2012
I asked her how her training was going and below is her response. I love her attitude - even in pain and fatigue, she still sees God all around her.
"IM training is going well. We're in our last build phase. I keep trying to remind myself I won't be tired forever. And, I'm reminding myself to have fun with this. I'm not trying to set any records, just finish. Need to stop and smell the roses around me as I have this experience. I was riding Thursday and God gave me so many reminders of His presence. I saw a huge turtle crossing the trail that I had to avoid. Reminded me that slow and steady wins the race. Got mad at myself that I didn't take a pic. At the low water crossing saw a momma duck and her babies drinking on the dam. Reminded me that, when swimming I need to be a baby duck following it's momma, nothing more. A beautiful white tailed deer jumped across the road 25y in front of me by the lake. Reminded me to be springy when I run and run with abandon and joy. Finally, on the way back, I saw another big turtle crossing the trail. Ironically I stopped to take a pic and he was too fast for me. Got off the trail before I could snap a shot. So funny!
What a great example my friend is for us! Her eyes were open, so she saw, her ears were listening, so she heard. Life is a constant adventure when you are hanging out with the Creator of it all! There is never a dull moment and we become stronger everyday that we follow Him!
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11
Friday, April 27, 2012
Yesterday, I was walking into a building when a friend of mine said, "Jennifer, I want to show you what you missed." She took out her cell phone and showed me a picture of a mama duck with a train of baby ducklings following behind her. I didn't see that precious line-up because I was in tunnel-vision mode. I was so thankful God motivated her to approach me and show me that picture. He is a personal God and was reminding me of my frequent prayer request. If I so easily missed the duck parade, what else have I let pass me by?
I want to show you what you missed, has been going through my mind since my friend spoke those words. It got me thinking about past marathons I have run. Beautiful scenery, nice neighborhoods, crowds yelling encouragement, people all around... and what do I see? The pavement. If I am hurting, the only thing I focus on is the pain - and miss out on the wonder all around me. Fortunately, I got it right during the last 1/2 marathon I participated in. When I started to hurt, I looked up and started praying for the people around me who seemed to be struggling. As I took the focus off myself and prayed for others, I forgot about my pain. I was able to view the scenery around me, thank the volunteers, high-five the kids who were cheering on the sidelines... I was now a part of the wonder of it all and not blinded by my problems. I wish I could get it right every time! I wish I wouldn't need so many reminders to "look up" but I do. I am thankful that my friends timely reminder caused me to re-focus.
I pray that everyone reading this will agree to not let family, friends, opportunities, adventures, or miracles pass by unnoticed and unappreciated.
Lord, let us be enthralled by the beauty and wonder the gift of each day You give to us brings. It truly is a present from you. May our lives show our appreciation and let our hearts not focus on lesser things that try and steal our joy. May we be like little kids who are amazed by the wonder of it all! Amen
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Corinthians 2:9
Friday, September 30, 2011
11 Corinthians 4:7 says that we have a treasure that resides in an earthen vessel (our bodies). This treasure is the AWESOME POWER of GOD to those who are new creations in Christ. This is why it is so important to keep ourselves fit and healthy so that we can render ourselves effective witnesses for Jesus. God isn't concerned with appearances but He is concerned with our well-being. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came to give us life more abundantly (John 10:10). How can we live the abundant life that He promises if we are sick and tired all the time? It seems to me that by filling our bodies full of junk and letting our muscles deteriorate due to lack of use that we are giving the enemy a foothold in our lives. Remember that he wants to destroy all that is important and loved by God, which is you.
What is my responsibility?
As good stewards we have a responsibility to stay informed about health and nutrition. God's word says that "my people die due to to lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6). Our excuse cannot be "Well, I didn't know super-sizing my fries was such a big deal." A nonchalant attitude won't keep you from the reality of a life-threatening disease. We are God's masterpieces that deserve the utmost care. What are we saying to Him when He gives us the gift of life and we abuse what He created? 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, "Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body."
It seems to me that taking care of our bodies is a responsibility that we owe to God. How would you feel if you bought a brand new car for someone and they took it and poured sugar down the gas tank? I know that our lives cannot be compared to a car but we do treat our material possessions with more care than our own bodies. We need to understand that we are killing ourselves by not being concerned about our physical health. We lose nearly one million people a year due to food-related diseases. These are staggering statistics that are screaming for our attention. We should present ourselves to God in our best condition so that He can use us whenever He needs to. How can serve Him if we are always sick and tired? Of course, God can work through us in any situation but it is not His will to see His children suffer needlessly.
Where do I start?
First and foremost, educate yourself about what you are putting into your body. When you learn why certain foods are bad for you then you are empowered to make good decisions. For example, most soft drinks contain high amounts of sugar, caffeine and artificial flavorings. All of this junk robs your body of calcium by increasing urinary secretion. The phosphoric acid found in many sodas add to the problem by further robbing you of calcium by increasing the loss of magnesium and calcium in the urine. The effect this has on your body is weaker bones and deposits of calcium in the kidneys. Are you thirsty now?
Secondly, start now. Right this second. Eating healthy and exercising needs to be a lifestyle. Don't say you are on a diet because diets don't work. Don't say that you will start exercising tomorrow. We are told in the Bible not to "boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day will bring forth" (Proverbs 27:1).
Third, don't rely on yourself. Put God first and call on Him for help. He will never leave us or forsake us and promises to help us when we ask. He is faithful and will not let us fail if we do our part. We are created in God's image and like Him we are relational to the core. Find an exercise partner or group that holds you accountable. You will start to look forward to exercising when you are meeting with others who have the same goals and purposes in mind.
Health is a blessing. We forget this until we get sick and it is taken from us. Then we would do anything to feel better. Nothing seems to matter when you are not feeling good. It is even worse when it is an innocent child that is sick. If there was something you could do to prevent future illnesses, wouldn't you do it? Do it for your Heavenly Father who loves you. Do it for your family and friends who want you around for a long time and do it for yourself. Live the abundant life that is yours through Jesus our Lord.
Monday, May 23, 2011
His name was Cliff Young, and his "racing attire" included overalls and galoshes over his work boots.
At first, they refused to let him enter. So he explained that he'd grown up on a 2,000-acre farm, with thousands of sheep. His family could afford neither horses nor tractors so, when the storms came, his job was to round up the sheep. Sometimes, he said, it would take two or three days of running.
Finally, they let Cliff enter, and the race began. The others quickly left him way behind, shuffling along in his galoshes. But he didn't know the plan included stopping each night to rest, so he kept going.
By the fifth day, he had caught them all, won the race, and became a national hero. He continued to compete in long-distance races until well up in his seventies. He was an inspiration to millions and a great encourager of younger runners.
In his honor and memory, in 2004, the year after his death at age 81, the organizers of the race where he first gained fame permanently changed its name to the Cliff Young Australian Six Day Race.
What was the key to Cliff Young's success? It goes by various names: determination, perseverance, persistence, tenacity. It means keeping one's eye fixed steadfastly on a goal, and not stopping, no matter the difficulties or the obstacles, until that goal is achieved.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Somebody said it couldn't be done.
But he with a chuckle replied,
That maybe it couldn't, but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so 'till he'd tried.
So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried, he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done. And he did.
Somebody scoffed, "Oh, you'll never do that
At least no one ever has done it."
But he took off his coat, and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we know, he'd begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or "quit-it".
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't done. And he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done.
There are thousands to prophesy failure.
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you
But just buckle in, with a bit of a grin;
Just take off your coat and go to it.
Just start in to sing as yout tackle the thing
That cannot be done--and you'll do it!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Monday, September 27, 2010
Like many, this is one of my favorite verses. I love the eagle analogy and wanted to share what I found regarding some traits that we can learn from the eagle.
FACTS ABOUT THE EAGLE
Eagles are born with big and heavy wings, and part of the survival mechanism they are born with is that they have to learn how to fly without actually flapping their big wings. They have to learn how to do this in order to conserve energy. Eagles can literally die if they expend too much energy flapping their wings during flight as versus soaring without flapping their wings.
As a result, what eagles have to learn to do very early on in order to be able to soar without flapping their wings, is to wait for what are called wind thermals to come up on them. A wind thermal is a big gust of wind that will rise up from the atmosphere. Sometimes eagles will remain perched for days before they can catch a good, strong wind thermal, where they can then launch onto and combine a mixture of flying and soaring on that strong wind thermal to get them to where they want to go.
If we apply this to ourselves, then we are the eagle and the wings of the eagle represent our faith in God. The wind thermals the eagles fly on represent the Holy Spirit.
We have to learn patience and wait on God's timing. When we wait for Him and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us then we are operating in the Spirit and nothing will be impossible for us. If, however, we try to work in our own strength, then we will be "flapping our wings" frustrated and disillusioned. I love the verse in Zechariah 4:6 that reminds us that is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord.
A LEAP OF FAITH
The eagle has to take that big leap off the edge of the cliff in order to be able to fly and soar on those wind thermals. If the eagle does not take flight on those wind thermals when they do come up on him, he will forever stay perched and he will die on the cliff due to starvation.
Sooner or later, every single Christian will have to make that big choice for their lives. Who will they decide to serve and follow in this life? Do they follow and serve their own self and their own self-interests, doing what they want to do with their lives. Or do they decide to fully surrender every part of their life over to the Lord and go with His divine plan for their lives rather than their own.
If you decide to follow and serve the Lord in his life, then sooner or later God will call you and you will then have to take that big leap off the edge of the cliff in order to learn how to fly into the calling that He has placed on your life.
And just as the wings of the eagle are the only thing that will allow them to fly and soar on those wind thermals, in the same way the only thing that will allow you to fly on the call that God has placed on your life is your faith and belief in the Lord. If you do not have enough faith, belief and confidence in the Lord and His Holy Spirit to guide you and empower you for this call, then nothing will ever happen.
I wonder how many Christians have missed out on their true callings from the Lord because they did not have enough faith and belief in Him to take flight on the Holy Spirit like the eagles have learned how to do on those wind thermals?
EAGLES ARE MASTER FISHERMAN
Eagles are also considered master fisherman. They are very good in locking in on their prey and then swooping down to catch them. How many times have you seen videos where an eagle will swoop down on a body of water and pick up a fish swimming near the surface with perfect accuracy and catching them on the very first attempt. They are absolute masters at hunting down and catching their prey, whether that prey be on land or in the water.
Just as eagles are considered to be master fisherman with how they can catch fish in water – we, as Christians, have been called by the Lord Himself to be “fishers of men,” just like He and His apostles were at the very beginning of the New Testament.
Our number one job in this life is to try and get as many people saved as we possibly can. Personal evangelism within our own sphere of influence is something that each and every Christian can do, and it is something that we should always keep our radars up for – as you never know when the Holy Spirit will move on you to lead you to someone He will want you to witness to, whether it be someone you might know or a complete, total stranger.
EAGLES LIVE ON HIGHER GROUND
For the most part, eagles will always be found living on some type of higher ground. As Christians, we are already living on higher ground as compared to the rest of the world as a result of who we are in Christ.
We are now born again children of the Most High God. We are now kings and priests of the Lord. We all have the Holy Spirit, along His power and knowledge, residing on the inside of us to help lead us, sanctify us and empower us so we can all be used by the Lord in a mighty way for ministry.
This is why the Lord is calling all of us to stay in the world, but not to be an actual part of the world. In other words, we are to be in the world, but not of the world. We are to keep ourselves separate from the corruption, pollution, vices and sins of this world so God can keep us on the straight and narrow road for the rest of our earthly lives.
We live on this higher ground as a result of our position in Jesus, and we always need to keep reminding ourselves that we are living on this higher ground and to stay on that higher ground, as the world will always do everything it can to try and drag us down into their lower way of living.
EAGLES ARE EXTREMELY BOLD, COURAGEOUS AND POWERFUL
Another very powerful trait of the eagle is that they are very bold, courageous and powerful. Eagles have literally been seen engaging with poisonous snakes and tearing their heads off with their beak. They have been seen going right through major storm clouds, where most birds will fly away and hide in safety until the storm has passed.
God is calling all of us to become good and mighty soldiers of Jesus Christ. He is asking all of us to put on His armor and just like the eagle has no fear of any man, beast or snake – in the same way we should have no fear since we all have God Himself totally on our side. The Bible tells us that greater is He that is in us than he who is in the world. David perfectly proved that point when he took out Goliath with one well placed blow.
EAGLES ARE CONSIDERED MAJESTIC
Due to the way eagles look and act, many people consider them almost majestic and invincible. They seem to have a look of royalty about them.
In the same way, we, as Christians, have this same air of royalty about us since we are now considered kings and priests of the Lord due to the sacrifice that Jesus has personally made for all of us with His death on the cross.
This majestic royalty that we now have operating through us all comes direct from Jesus. It does not come directly from us, or any of the good works that we may have done to-date for the Lord. It all comes to us as a direct result of Jesus dying on the cross for all of our sins.
Only the blood that Jesus has personally shed for each and everyone of us on the cross makes us kings and priests before Him.
EAGLES ARE VERY PATIENT
Another very interesting quality that eagles have is that they are very patient. Documentary film crews have filmed eagles spotting rabbits they they will target as prey. Once the rabbit senses the danger, he will go into hiding in a hole, sometimes for as long as an hour or two before he finally comes back out.
The eagle will then wait for that hour or two until the rabbit comes back out. And once he does, the eagle will then swoop down and catch him within seconds. As a result of his patience, the eagle will be rewarded with a big meal.
In the same way, we all need the patience of the eagle, especially in the type of world we now live in with everything being done at breakneck speed, and people’s fuses being shortened as a result of all of the high stress that we are all forced to live with.
That is why one of the 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit is the fruit of patience, as we all need His patience operating through us in order to be able to weather the storm clouds of this turbulent life.
THE EAGLE HAS TWO SETS OF EYES
Another fascinating quality that eagles have is that they have two sets of eyes. The first set is their natural eye which they have when they are in a resting mode.
However, when they start to take flight on these strong wind thermals, they have a second eye that comes in on them. This second eye enables them to fly on these strong wind thermals without damaging their original eye. This second eye is also used when they are seen flying through actual storm clouds. The heavy winds from a storm cloud could damage their normal, natural eye and this second eye gives them a protective covering as they are navigating through these heavy storm clouds.
As Christians, we also have two sets of eyes operating in us. The first set is our normal, natural eye with which we use to see the natural world in which we live in. However, we also have a second set of eyes and that is the eyes of the Holy Spirit.
Since we all have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us, we also have His eyes available to us at times to see things from His perspective. As you start to draw closer to the Lord in your own personal relationship with Him, there will be times that He will allow you to “see” things as He sees them. You will start “seeing” what certain Scripture verses may mean. You will start to “see” what the truth is in many of the matters of your own personal life.
When this starts to occur, this is the Holy Spirit Himself allowing you to see things through His eyes, not your eye. This is highly, supernatural event when it starts to occur. It is God Himself literally allowing you to see things from His point of view and perspective.
The Bible says that the truth will set you free. But you first have to see what that truth is before it can start to set you free. That is why we all need the eyes of the Holy Spirit operating in us, so we can start to see what the truth really is on many of the matters and issues in our own personal lives.
Just like the eagle needs his two sets of eyes in order to be able to live and survive in this world, in the same way we need both our natural eyes and the eyes of the Holy Spirit operating in us to be able to properly work and function for the Lord in this life.
THE NESTS OF EAGLES ARE BUILT IN THE WILDERNESS
When baby eagles are first born, the mother eagle will build the nest in which to raise up her newborns in the wilderness, away from mainstream society. This is done so she can safely raise them up without any harm coming to them.
In the same way, the Lord will sometimes build up His eagles in a wilderness type setting. Again, Moses was in the backside of the desert for 40 years before God called him out to complete the greatest deliverance mission of all time. David was in the caves of the wilderness for a number of years, possibly for 13-15 years, before he was called out by God to become the greatest king that Israel has ever had.
Some of you who are reading this right now may be in your wilderness setting with the Lord, where He is slowly raising you up in your calling for Him. It is sometimes in these wilderness type settings that your greatest strides in spiritual growth are actually made in Him.
Once you isolate all of the main qualities of the eagle, I do not think it is a coincidence that they all perfectly line up with what God would like to have worked into each one of us. I believe when God says in the above verse from Isaiah that we will mount up with wings like eagles, He is meaning exactly what He is saying in this verse.
Information found at:
Thursday, July 22, 2010
"We are moons. God is our sun. If the world comes between the moon and the sun, it is dark. The insecurity of the world is meant to be the raw material of our faith. Surrender to the enemy means death, but surrender to Jesus means life."
Confess, commit, and claim His presence. In doing so, you will shine for Him in a dark world that desperately needs the light of His presence.
...so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. Philippians 2:15
"The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him." Ezra 8:22