The following link is an interesting article by the president of Focus on the Family, entitled “A day of prayer for judicial common sense”
see the link here for Ryan Hall’s blog about his attempt win the Boston Marathon this week. Ryan finished 4th, but set the American record for Boston.
The more I read about Ryan Hall, the more I am impressed with the way he integrates his faith into his running, and uses his running as a platform for reaching out to others.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
– 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
I enjoy preparing for long-distances races. The training has its share of hardships, but I am always motivated by how the process makes me better: faster, stronger, more efficient, etc. There are peaks and valleys, successes and failures, elation and misery. Yet at the end, many of my best experiences have come from these training times — sometimes even better than the races themselves.
Yet every race demands personal sacrifice. I am frequently not careful about what I eat, and the junk food leaves me overweight and sluggish on my next run. A close friend repeatedly attempts training, yet he is not careful about his other activities. As a result he pays the price with frequent injuries — many of which have caused him to cancel his race plans.
The list can go on. We strive to better ourselves in the physical world and to attain to a form of greatness. In the passage above, God tells us to approach our spiritual life with the same level of intensity and sacrifice that is expected of an athlete as they prepare for a big race.
Let us pursue greatness in our physical lives, but especially in our spiritual lives!
Thanks to Don Francisco:
The gates and doors were barred
And all the windows fastened down
I spent the night in sleeplessness
And rose at every sound
Half in hopeless sorrow
And half in fears that day
Would find the soldiers breaking through
To drag us all away
And just before the sunrise
I heard something at the wall
The gate began to rattle
And a voice began to call
Must-see link: Alive!, by Max Lucado
There is an excellent article here about looking for convincing proof of creation.
There is a lot of talk about presuppositions. When you start out with the presupposition that there is no God, then you are left with finding interpretation of the world around us as evidence of evolution.
However, when you believe that God exists and has provided us his word then the rest of creation shows us the evidence of his work.
I recently saw this quote on a popular TV show:
“That man…believes that everyone is corruptible because it is in their very nature to sin. I bring people here to prove him wrong.” (See the entire clip here).
This quote, as expressed by the “good guy” speaks to the essence of thought in our culture: man is basically good.
The democrats in life espouse the goodness of man by believing that people will do right if they are only educated properly, given the right opportunities, etc. When we build the proper “village”, people will be good.
The republicans in life espouse the goodness of man by believing that people do right if left alone. When we stop meddling with others, people will be good.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Bible says that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). This is further shown in the New Testament (using Old Testament quotes):
“There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
All have turned aside, together.
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.
Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,
The poison of asps is under their lips,
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness
Their feet are swift to shed blood,
Destruction and misery are in their paths,
And the path of peace they have not known.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Apart from God, we are all corrupt and worthless. Even when we know God, we are not much better, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8).
We are all corruptible and sinners by nature. Thankfully, God offers to cleanse us:
“Come now, and let us reason together, says The Lord,
Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.”
Since God has forgiven us, we can thank him with the Apostle Paul, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.” (Ephesians 1:7-8)
No, we are far from being good at heart. But thanks to God that he forgives us and brings us back to him!
The Wisdom of God
I have been reading through James lately and am being taught about the wisdom of God vs. the wisdom of the world.
Some attributes that we see from the world’s wisdom:
- Feeds our own lusts (1:14, 4:3)
- Builds within us a covetousness that develops into other sins (1:15; 4:2)
- Enemy of God (4:4)
- Jealous, bitter (3:14; 4:5)
- Has no hope (3:15)
In contrast, some attributes of God’s wisdom:
- Not what the world sees (4:4)
- Pure, peaceable, reasonable, merciful, sincere (3:17)
In the dry and weary land
Lord, You are the rain
In the sea of shattered ones
Your love comes rushing in
You hold the world within Your hands
And see each tear that falls
Through every fire and every storm
You’re Always Enough
Your love is peace to the broken
Faith for the widow
Hope for the orphan
Strength for the weak
Your love is the anthem of nations
Rings out through the ages
And You’re Always Enough for me
In the watches of the night
Lord, You are my song
Hope is in the morning light
Your love shines like the dawn
You keep my heart in perfect peace
Great article on Runner’s World:
Mark Remy’s Rules to Run By
I especially like the following:
- “Run Like A Dog” Workout
- Rule of Thumb #9: Running any given route in the rain makes you feel 50 percent more hard-core than covering the same route on a sunny day.
- “Lookin’ good!”…and other runners’ lies
- A PR is a PR forever, but…
“For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a mature man, able to bridle the whole body as well…for every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.” -James 3:2, 7-11
This passage of Scripture struck me as I was reading today. How often do I have something bad to say about other people when their lives interfere with my own? What will be my reaction to the driver who cuts me off on the way home from church tomorrow?
The challenge here in James is that it describes others as being “made in the likeness of God”. Note also that the audience of our words is never spoken here in James — the core issue is our own heart, not with who hears us. May we remember that about the next person who bothers or annoys us: let us remember that they are in God’s image, and may we also remember to keep our mouths shut.
Even when I am alone in my car!