Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I ran again.... in the rain.

Hello faithful Blog readers!  I'm so glad you decided to peep into my blog to read this.  :)  I haven't kept up my posting as much as of old, but when I have a thought, I always want to pop on here and write it down.  And I hope you enjoy those thoughts.  ;)

Anyways, I want to talk about running - and more specifically about running in the RAIN!

First off, I really think that the Bible uses certain analogies and draws certain parallels on purpose.  There's much to be said about how the Bible teaches us.  It uses scenes from nature to help us understand key Biblical principles (Faith - like a mustard seed.  Sowing and Reaping.  Psalm 1 and the righteous man.  Etc.).  With that in mind, I do believe that there's a reason that living out our faith is compared to running a race (twice) in the New Testament.  There's something to be said about striving after a goal.

Anyways, I went running today.  And let me tell you about the weather - it has been overcast all day, and it has been raining for a couple days straight!  That means that everything has been thoroughly saturated.  ;)  When I left the house, it was kind of drizzling, and it never stopped while I was running...  if anything, it got worse and became a heavy sprinkle.  That being said, I noticed something...

When you're running in the rain, your tendency is to lower your head and plod on so that you don't get water in your eyes and become uncomfortable.

Sometimes doesn't life feel like that?  We are wet to the bone, can't see the sunshine, and everything seems dreary.

The Bible has just such an answer for your situation in Hebrews -  "let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith..."

Jesus was lifted up on the cross!  I'll tell you something...  I learned that I couldn't tell where I was going when I had my head down...  I mix it up when I run - I'll run on the cart paths and on the streets, alternating between both depending on how far I want to run.  But today in particular, I hit one uphill part that was hard to keep my head up on, and I missed my turn-off onto the cart path...  and I wondered if I had gone too far...  So I turned around and ran back a little bit.  ....Only to realize that I hadn't gone far enough yet!  So I turned around yet again to get to the right path.  It's the same in life.  We need to keep our heads up and fix our eyes on Jesus, or we will lose our way and lose time trying to find the right path.

When we get into these pits of life where it seems like our life is the hardest to live, if you keep reading in Hebrews - "...who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Now our trials seem little in comparison to what Jesus did for us.  And He did it for the JOY before Him!  I didn't go outside to run and make myself sad...  no, I knew I needed the exercise and I wanted to run my course.  If you look at the wording - "who for the joy set before Him..." it gives you a sense of being able to see what lies ahead.  You have a purpose here on earth - you have goals you want to accomplish...  When I was running home, I always know where I can stop my timer to give me an accurate time for a perfectly mapped out 5k - and when I'm running down that last stretch of road, it's like the race is perfectly set out before me...  this is the completion of all that I've been running for!  I can see clearly how far I've come, and how far I have left.  It helps a ton to be able to lift up your head and eyes and see what's before you.

Keep reading - "For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Consider what Jesus did.  The Bible says to Consider Him.  We all know we have sinned.  We have sinned so much in our own lives, that someone else had to forfeit their own so that we wouldn't feel God's wrath on us every second!  Consider this as well - when you break a law, you are hostile against whatever made that law.  If you break an American law, then America would consider you hostile towards itself.  God says it's the same way with His laws.  But!  He not only knew about our sins...  but He endured them on the cross for us so that they wouldn't be counted against us!

When we are down...  We know we have sinned in some area, or we are just uncertain of what we should do or what the future holds...  Consider Christ.  Christ endured so much that in comparison, my trials and hurts seem insignificant.  I can look to Christ and I won't become weary or lose heart, because I know that He endured.  Jesus finished the race.  His example is the best one there is.

I'm almost finished...

"Hear, my son, and accept my sayings
And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in upright paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be impeded;

And if you run, you will not stumble." ~Proverbs 4:10-12

The theme of running/walking is widespread throughout the entire Scriptures.  I think it's only wise to understand what it means.

I know that when people are hurting, it's not a light matter.  In other places in Scriptures, we are supposed to feel how others are feeling at the moment, and then make our responses appropriate (weep with those who are weeping, mourn with those who mourn, etc.).  But I think this lesson can apply to us personally when we are going through rough trials.  We aren't supposed to hit others with the line "Why are you sad, you're supposed to be happy!  It's rough?  Oh, well, you're just not seeing things!  Wanna get some more cotton candy with me and take a stroll through the park?"  No...  Being bubbly all the time isn't the answer for every situation.  But if we apply it personally in our own lives, then there is also a right time to communicate it to others and encourage them with it as well.  You can't go wrong with suggesting passages from the Bible for others to read.  There is no such thing as "too much Jesus".  ;)

I hope you have gotten as much from this post as I have from thinking about it.  In fact, I hope you got more from it!  When one wants to learn, the opportunities are endless.  :)

That's all for now!  Until next time.  ;)

P.S.  Just a thought - but we were given such an advantageous spot (in life and the universe) where the only times we can't see light is when something comes between us and the Sun.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I went for a run today

Yes...  Yes, I did.

I go for runs all the time in my city (which is perfect for it - with over 90 miles of beautiful golf cart paths you can run on).  And I have a new goal of being more active, so I have been taking advantage of them a little bit recently.  But today I decided to run a little further (instead of faster).  And I did one thing that made me think....  btw, you can learn a LOT when you're just out for a jog!  I didn't realize there were so many things around me that had something in them to learn from, if you just take the time to think about them.

Before I tell you what I did that started the whole brain exercise off, I'll just tell you that I'm just going to write my thoughts down as they come...  they'll probably be very short, and most likely require you to think a little bit to know where I'm going.  ;)  JUST a disclaimer!  :D

So the thing that happened was this - I tried to crack my neck while I was running.

Sounds fun, right?  Haha!  Well....  I crack my neck frequently (especially when I'm working out...  it just gets cramped, and ready for some popping.  ;)), so that's not something abnormal for me to do.  But I made this observation while doing it - You can really stagger around like you're drunk if you're running with your head sideways!  :D

The body follows the head.  Christ is the head of the Church.  Fathers are heads of their households.  Husbands are heads of their wives.  When I was running, and I twisted my head a little bit, my body naturally turned with my head!  How many of you are able to run one way and turn your head the other way?  It's hard (if it's even possible!).  There are so many points you can make off this one point...  But I'll move on.

Then I ran further and while I was thinking about that, I ran off the side of the path a couple times...  making me thankful that I have strong ankles!  But then I realized...  The head is in charge, but the rest of the body is just as important!  The body of Christ...  just read 1 Corinthians 12:12-26!  Husbands are supposed to love their wives as their own bodies....  etc.  If there weren't other parts of the body with the head, the head wouldn't be able to do anything!!!  So, the body naturally follows the head, and the head can only work with the rest of the body...  so far so good...

Now, I sorta switched gears here (I'm sorry, but it's just coming out as I thought about it).  But as I thought more and more, I thought of life as a race.  Maybe not a race (since I wasn't trying to beat anyone), but more like a course...  When I left the house, I went out with a route in mind.  The route didn't change, but as I ran along, I found myself running to smaller goals (just make it to the lake...  okay, now make it to the other lake), and I thought...  We all know where we're going after we run the course - Home - but we also can get too focused on the short term that we don't plan for the longer run.  I had to pace myself if I wanted to make it home!  Make short-term goals for sure, but don't let that be a reason to forget the long run...  your short-term goals should always help your long-term goals.

Then, as I ran further, I ran past one guy I've been "friends" with for about 5 years...  I say "friends" because we've never talked to each other before...  we're usually both working out or on our way to do something, but he has one of the most catching smiles around!  He always smiles when he sees me coming.  :D  I make sure I wave to him and encourage him on as well!  I also passed another guy (about my age, running as well, and wearing almost the same stuff I was), and I gave him a "thumbs-up" sign as we passed.  He looked at me, smiled, and signed back.  :)  Encourage others.  Your friends may come in a variety of ways, but they're all placed there by God for however long He chooses.  Make the most of every opportunity.  I really appreciate the random happiness among some Southerners.  :)

It started raining after I passed that guy.  I kept running, and it felt so good.  Rain, sun, wind, clouds?  Life isn't about waiting out the storm, it's about learning to dance in the rain.  Favorite quote of mine right there.  But it's so true!  God doesn't call us to sit on the sidelines when things are getting tough!  Have you ever seen the dedication of some guys who are playing Football?!?  They'll get out there in the worst of storms, and they'll keep at it until the lights go out!  We need to bless God when He sends his blessing as well as when He withholds it.

Then I passed some other people...  about 3 of them were smoking (one had a huge cigar...  Whew!  Hadn't smelled that in a while.  :P  And the other two were teens smoking...  something not good).  Your sins affect others!  Even if you think it may not be a problem, you are affecting yourself negatively, and most likely affecting others in the same way!  (I recently listened to a sermon that talked about your sins affecting others, so this analogy might be stretching it...  but I made the connection in my mind, and it helped to cement it in, for me at least)  As I was running, I found the smell to be offensive.  Others may be more accustomed to that smell, but it's the same with sin...  We should find it offensive.  And some of us are more hardened to it (great thing though, God came to heal the sick, he saves the worst of sinners to show how mighty His power and how amazing His grace is!).

At this point in my run, I experienced a cramp.  I get cramps while running all the time, and they force me to slow down.  But here's the deal - As we're going through this life, God doesn't say there won't be any pain!  There WILL be pain!  Unless you're taking the course so slow that there is no pain at all.  (now, runners, I'm not saying pain is good...  this is all just an analogy.  My thoughts.  So take them with a grain of salt).

People passed me...  there were golf carts and other runners...  and some people that were kinda not really all there (if you know what I mean).  People going the other way...  A lot of people.  I found myself running faster when either a golf cart passed me, or I was in a more popular area...  that actually partly led to my cramp, was going too fast instead of pacing myself like I should have.  And I had this thought - We can go through life watching others and pushing ourselves to meet their expectations of us, or we can go according to the design God has planned out for us, no matter what others think.  They can look at you, but who cares if they're watching you go slower?!?  God always has the best plan...  I would have gotten more out of my run if I had kept it steady and not sped up and gotten that cramp!

Well...  As I neared my home, things started hurting more (I'm too young to be drawing this analogy from experience, but I've listened and learned from those who have), but as you get older, things start to creak.  And I mean no disrespect at all to my elders!  It happens to everyone who gets there.  I'm sure I'll probably hurt the worst, based off of how well I've kept myself over the years.  But anyways, I had to take it even slower then (I had gotten over the cramp and started running again, like any soldier would do - fall and rise again), because I can't risk not finishing the course just to try and be as manly as possible.  But it's funny, all this time while running, I had my headphones in and was listening to music (it's only sort of hard to think while listening to music...  :D  But God gets across what He wants to get across, no matter the circumstance), but anyways, a song came on.  A song that reminds me of my older sister's wedding.  In my mind, I've attached it to that day, and honestly - it describes it almost perfectly.  Songs can hold emotions in them - you hear certain ones and think of certain things.  It's natural to do that (here's the song in case you wanted to hear it, just listening to it now, and I'm getting those feelings [trying not to cry. xD]. Gold Forever).  Here's my point - Memories are amazing things.  You can remember people, places, days, sounds, smells, and more.  When God reminds brings something to your remembrance like that, you can praise Him for letting you remember His greatness in your life!  I'm praising God right now, my sister has a baby on the way (due in TWO MONTHS!!!!!! :D), and her and her husband are amazing examples to me of a young, Godly couple.  I thank God for letting me hear that song and remembering them.  :)

Last point.  I'm almost done.  I'm tired, nearing home, my course is almost finished...  I'm thinking about all the things that made this run memorable, and I get to the door.  And I realized something.  All this time, the only thing I took with me the whole way was my cell-phone!  I thought about that for a little bit.  Some of you may know that I recently bought a car from my awesome Grandpa, and I keep "climbing the ladder" at work and in other realms - hoping some day to provide for a family, help others, etc...  But when I got home, I realized that all I wanted was some rest, and to get inside my home, I couldn't take my car in with me!  All along this run, I had a means of communication with someone who would come pick me up if I inured myself...  We are able to talk with God all the time!  Sometimes we forget that we are holding a "cell phone" and that we need to be using it.  I like to think of it as a bluetooth - constant communication.  ;)  And this other thought - We have to leave it all at the door.  (Matthew 19:16-26, anyone?)  But as I look outside in my mind's eye (it's too dark to see out there literally), and imagine my "new" car out in the driveway, I know that it's not there as something to focus on, but rather as a tool that God has given me to use in His service and for His glory.

I think that's all for now.  I know I had a lot of other thoughts, but those were the main ones.  ;)  You know what?  If you're still reading this - I admire your perseverance!!!  =D  It's always different reading something than writing it, so I hope it's not too bad on your end (and I'll tell you something, aside from the occasional backspace as I've been writing, I haven't gone over it to edit it...  kinda scary.  O.o  But since I'm not editing it, you get it as it comes straight out of my brain.  xD).

Whenever and wherever this finds you (or you find this, as the case probably is), I hope you are having a blessed day!  May God be with you as you endeavor to run the course set before you.  I'm always praying for you and all the saints (Ephesians 6:18).  :)


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Frisbeeman.... or Schoolman?

Well, I have a new hobby.  School.

That's right!  I'm now working on school like I actually liked it!  (shock)

After taking wasting one year of college in which I only got 12 credits, I'm trying to pick up the pace and graduate faster.  :P

I'm on pace to finish off with 9 credits gained THIS MONTH!  That would put me at 21 total (I'm at 18 right now).  :)  Still a Freshman, but going at a fast pace.

And you know what?  I've been working this whole time too.  ...And coordinating Frisbee!  :D  Guess you just have to prioritize when you get older.

Just wanted to update y'all on my school, and then I'll get back to posting more stuff on Frisbee and Theology (I think and hope).  ;)

I hope you're having a good day when you read this!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Frisbee - Work and Attitude.

Well Frisbee guys, we have exactly 10 more days to the season opening game (which means you'll have to wait one more day to get a weather forecast for the day).  :D

I know I haven't been posting much on my blog recently, and most of it isn't related to Frisbee - but this is a Frisbee post for you if you're interested.  And it's pretty short, with not a lot to it.

Ok, so look one more time at the title....  How do work and attitude apply to Frisbee?  Just this - It counts for EVERYTHING in a game!

Let's look at opposites....  Work and laziness - A lazy person won't move around much in a game, and they shut down when they start to feel just a little tired.  A hard worker runs around until they're ready to drop!  Now which one would you rather have on your team?

Attitude - Good or Bad.  A person with a bad attitude won't have fun on the field, especially if they're losing.  A person with a good attitude will see the fun in every game, winning or losing!

The benefits -
Morale:  If you have teammates who are working hard, and are having fun doing it, the morale of the team will be brought up by them - if not, the morale of the team will be brought down.

Fun:  It's a lot more fun to do your best and have a lively spirit about it!

Exercise:  Q: What are you doing if you give up before giving it your all???
A: You're not exercising your full potential....  you'll get a better workout if you're working hard and being happy about it.

Legend:  Your legend will be remembered by teammates for a long time.  People will be inspired by you to do the same.

I can't WAIT for Frisbee!!!!!!!!!  :D

So whatcha say?  Shall we all try and have a positive impact on others at the field?  I'm going to try, and I sure hope you help me out!  :D


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

When Change Comes...

Well, I haven't really posted anything in about a year (although I've gotten a few more followers - you know who you are!  :D), but I was just thinking about things...  So I just had to do a post!  ;)

Last year I made a post summing up what changes were in store for me (This post) - And I was just looking back and thinking of my expectations...  Some of my ideas never happened, some did, and some new opportunities came up that I couldn't even think of back then!  But I'm coming to a realization: God is in control of my life, no matter what I try to do with or without Him.  I have a verse for ya.

"The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps." ~Proverbs 16:9

With that being said, I'm at a point in my life where more change is either happening or needs to happen.  And for some reason, it came around again in March...  I guess I'll just adapt and make March my "Life Planning and Seasons of Change" month.  Hah!  ...But I digress.

Back to what I was saying, This time my outside environment isn't changing all that much.  I'm back to working during the night, and still working my way to become a supervisor (and I have a more realistic goal for doing that.  I'm disenchanted with the idea of becoming one before I'm twenty).  But this time there's more "personal change" going on.  I'm in a group of a few people at my store that's being "trained" and given leadership opportunities and experiences by our operator, and that is stretching me to my max...  Not to mention the fact of actually getting into a routine of doing school - which, yes, I have done.  I've actually accomplished figuring out how to manage my time so that I can work almost full-time while completing college in three years. - so my life is pretty busy at this point....  But....  The change....  Several of my managers and people I respect have told me that to take my leadership to the next level, I'll have to change some things about how I work.  I need to change my mindset about a few things.

And that, my friends, is going to be really hard for me.  It's a step in the right direction, and it's necessary to be an effective leader, but my inner man is still fighting it with every ounce of strength in him....  It's almost like my brain knows what to do, but it goes into "auto-pilot" when it comes right down to it.

Will crying fix it?  No....  Although I wish it was that easy.  I believe that God, prayer, hard work, a right attitude, and dedication will be the only things that can see me through this to bring God glory.

Not to say I haven't felt like crying a couple times already.  But hey!  You've all heard that "Life isn't going to be easy, in fact...." etc.  But I think (and this has been said a lot by many other people as well) that you need to just get right back up when life knocks you down, and keep at it!  That's the only way to live!  You'll die if you stay on the ground.  And I'm picking myself up and gearing up for the battle.

It's a battle of the mind and heart.  And one I can't lose, because of my great Captain.

Are you going through any change in your life?  If you are, don't give up just because it seems hard!  God will give you the strength you need for the challenges you face.  :)


P.S.  In other news, Frisbee is about ready to roll around again.  And I'll start to post a little more on here as I have time (Lord willing, and the creek don't rise - as they say here in the Sunny South).