Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The 30 Day Challenge Calendar



Another devotional from Youversion:

"I’ve made up my mind that I want to be a super-fit 50 year-old. Okay, so I have a few years before I reach that age (God willing), but there is no time like the present to get started. 

To go to the next level in my fitness, I joined a 2-week intensive exercise program at one of our local gyms. Running, sprints, squats, box jumps, push-ups, pull-ups…military-type exercises. 

It was very hard. 

But I did it because being fit and healthy is important to me. I want a disciplined body because I want to stay qualified for my life’s purpose. 

In today’s scripture, Paul talks about disciplining his body and bringing it under subjection. When something is under subjection, that means that something else controls it. 

In the case of your body, your mind is supposed to control what it does. But too often, we fail to exercise that authority! 

A vivid example of that was played out in the media not too long ago. 

A well-known athlete cheated on his wife with multiple women. Even though he disciplined his mind to excel in his sport, he failed to discipline his mind to resist temptation. 

And because of this, his body led him into a situation that hurt his wife, damaged his family, and caused him to lose respect from those who admired him. 

When it comes to your weight loss goals, you too must be careful to be a person of integrity, which means wholeness. You keep your word to yourself and others. And your actions match your words. 

I’ve seen many examples of people who say that being healthy and getting fit is important to them, yet they act in ways that will bring them the exact opposite result. It seriously damages your confidence and esteem when you say one thing and do another. 

So today, resolve to go to the other side of hard by disciplining your body. It starts with disciplining your mind. You can control your thinking and direct your thoughts where you want your body to go. 

If you keep your eyes on the prize, you will win and stay qualified for the purpose to which God has called you! "

No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:27 NIV)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Something New

God has been talking to me in a series of ways.  Several years ago, after experiencing a natural disaster myself and losing a home, all our belongings, and dealing with the clean up, rebuild, and insurance disasters, I was watching an episode of the DOCTORS.  They were in Haiti after the earthquake and helping the many homeless and severe medical needs.  I remember seeing a little 18 month old baby girl who became an orphan due to the earthquake.  Her limbs were severed due to the natural distaster.  My heart just went out to her and the many in Haiti who were struggling for survival.  The fact was, many were struggling before the earthquake.  Haiti is considered a third-world nation, and doesn't have the resources we have in the states.  I felt a calling to the mission field back then, but wasn't sure where and when God would put me.  

Since then, God has placed this amazing partner in my life that started out as a friend and after a few years later, I was blessed to be his wife.  Jeff and I have worked together to put our Phi Theta Kappa honor society on a mission to continue to raise funds, volunteer, and run for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  We also co-created the Holden's Hope 5K as a fundraiser for MPS research and our cousin Holden's medical expenses.  The 5K event has grown over the years in what we have been able to offer and the sponsorship we have received.  The only reason could be is that God's hand is in this mission and He has placed us in a mission field we have created in certain ways.  

In 2011, we found a Pittsburg Nazarene who has one of the largest, if not the largest youth bus ministries in the city.  We were honored to be asked to teach the middle school class on Sundays in addition to helping with the Wednesday night Ignite Missions.  Again, God placed us as a team in the mission field.  By 2013, God gave me the opportunity to travel to the Dominican Republic with several other church members and experience a third world country mission.  Our first step off the bus into the mission field, my heart was pounding and my eyes were teary.  I felt the Holy Spirit in me at that moment and used my God given talent to document through photojournalism the 8 day mission trip.  

I now have another opportunity to go on a mission trip with Christians on Campus with my son, and maybe Jeff to Guatemala in the spring of 2015.  I recently received new camera equipment for Christmas from my amazing husband, and am excited to start using it in the mission field here and beyond.  Then, my brother gave me a word of encouragement along with the rest of the family, which I felt meant something different for each one of us.  However, God really laid on my heart, that I'm free to do HIS WORK.  Nothing is holding me back.  I have FULL support of my family and friends.  

This past Sunday, our pastor gave a sermon on "Something New."  The sermon gave me chills because it was another affirmation that God was sending me to do MORE for missions for HIS work.  The sermon was from: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18, 19 NIV)

The pastor reminded us we can't go forward if we continue to look back.  I have made many mistakes in my life I'm not very proud of, but God has forgiven me, so I need to forgive myself.  In addition, the old jobs or careers were preparing me for what I'm in now and the up and coming...God's plan is always better than my own.  Solomon once wrote in Proverbs 16:9 that, “Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the LORD’s decree will prevail.”  I want to trust in Him more this 2014 and become more Christlike, so that someday I can use all my talents He has given me for His glory and for His work.  

Men working in the sugar cane fields in the Dominican Republic.  

Me and my roomies in the Dominican Republic right before SCORE night at the chapel.  

2nd Annual Holden's Hope 5K

The 2011 St. Jude Marathon Weekend and the first year Jeff and I created Team TENN-KAN for the Phi Theta Kappa St. Jude Heroes team.   

Embrace the Grace

I loved this devotional I found through YouVersion for Weight Loss.  It can be applied to so many areas of our life outside of our weight control.

From today's devotional on YouVersion:

"I receive a lot of emails, and the ones that always sadden me the most are from people who condemn themselves because of their obese state. 

And because they condemn themselves and others have condemned them, they think that God must condemn them too. 

Nothing could be further from the truth! God is about restoration, not condemnation. He sees differently than human beings see. Think of it like x-ray vision. God can look right past your body, straight into your heart and mind. 

He sees all the invisible thoughts and behaviors that contributed to your physical results. And He has the ability to help you change them. 

If you have been condemning yourself for your weight gain and generally being unforgiving to yourself then I believe it saddens God. Why? Because through His grace, He has set you free from garbage thinking. Continuing to put yourself down plays straight into the hands of the enemy. 

The enemy wants you to be so condemned and discouraged that you get deeper into bondage. But sin no longer has dominion over you. The only power it has is that which you choose to give it. 

Remember who your Father is. In your weight loss journey, think restoration not condemnation. Forgive yourself for your past; after all there is nothing you can do about it. 

The body you have now is just a snapshot of the choices you made in the past. The choices you make now will determine the body in which you will live in the future. 

A necessary part of embracing health is embracing grace. In that way, you can walk in freedom and newness of life, which is the gift that Christ died to give you."
For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14 NIV)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Weight Loss Devotional from You Version


One thing I have learned in my Christian weight loss journey is this: God is a forward thinking and acting God. 

I meditated on this fact recently when a scripture from Jeremiah 7:23-24 hit me right between the eyes during my morning bible study time: 

“But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’ Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.” Jeremiah 7:23-24 (NKJV) 

Even though God led the Israelites out of Egypt, a place of oppression, wickedness, and idolatry, in their hearts they never left. 

Their bodies might have been free in the Promised Land but their hearts and minds were still in bondage back in Egypt. 

Too often, we allow fear, emotional pain, and habitual sins to keep us chained to the past. But God sent Jesus to set us free from all that so we can move forward in Him. 

A wonderful blessing to celebrate! 

I heard a motivational speaker once who said that we want the new thing, but still want to hang on to the old stuff! But that just does not work: To experience change, we must change. 

When I wanted to be delivered from emotional eating and food addiction, I had a vision: I saw myself huddled in a dark corner, cold, scared, and lonely. And I saw God bathed in light just behind me. I sensed Him calling me to come to Him and give Him my emotional burdens. And yet, voices were whispering to me that it was safer in the darkness. 

Imagine that: I actually felt safe in my misery! 

But God’s love was so strong that it compelled me to turn around and look at Him. I saw beauty, gentleness, and strength. I trusted Him, took His hand, and haven’t been the same. 

In order to receive real comfort and move forward, you have to let the false comforts go. Simple as that. 

Yes, it takes courage. It can be scary and hard. 

But say to yourself that you are willing to go to the other side of hard. 

That is where your reward is. It is waiting for you. All it takes is a commitment to forward motion, step by step. And you will get there! 

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, (Philippians 3:13 NIV)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Eating a Healthy Devotion from You Version


Every time I read Proverbs 14:1, I can’t help but think about the story of the three little pigs. In the story, the big, bad wolf was hungry for a pork sandwich and he knew where the three little pigs lived. 

He went to the 1st pig’s house, which was made of straw, and begged for the pig to let him in. But the little pig would not, so he huffed and puffed and blew the straw house in. But the 1st pig escaped by running to 2nd pig’s house. 

Then the wolf came to the 2nd pig’s house, which was made of sticks. But the 2nd pig wouldn’t let the wolf in either. So the wolf huffed and puffed and blew the stick house in. But the two little pigs escaped and ran to the 3rd pig’s house. 

Then the wolf came to the 3rd pig’s house, which was made of bricks. He asked the 3rd pig to let him in but the 3rd pig would not either. So the wolf huffed and puffed and blew with all his might. But the brick house stood. 

The wolf blew all day but the house never budged. Finally the hungry wolf went away, determined get an easier meal elsewhere. 

Is your house (body) made of straw, sticks, or bricks? Your body is only as strong and healthy as the materials you put into it. Your body turns the food you eat into your bones, blood, skin, liver, and other organs in your body. 

Wouldn’t you have more confidence in a body built on lean protein, vegetables, and fruits than one built on Twinkies, Ho-Hos, and candy bars?

Now I am not saying that you can’t eat such items, but if you want to lose weight and live according to Christian health principles, then I wouldn’t advise a regular diet of them. 

My goal is to eat healthy 90% of the time or more, saving the other 10% for the other stuff. You get in trouble health-wise when the percentages are reversed! 

With your hands, you have the ability to feed yourself with foods that turn you into a brick house. 

Today, be a wise person by building your house with the highest quality building materials, which is eating foods as close as possible to the way God made them. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Coaches devotional from FCA day 2

Fight the Good Fight

When I’m recruiting players, one of the most important qualities I look for is fight. Fight is that one thing that serves as the axis for our team. If we do that, then we never have anything to be ashamed of. It’s the one thing we can control. There will be things that will come and go; shooting percentages, adhering to a defensive scout, whatever it may be. But you can control how much effort you give and how hard you fight. It gives you the chance to be the best ever if you are talented, and it gives you a chance to compete even when you aren’t as talented as your opponent.

Whether you’re facing an illness or any sort of struggle that may come your way, fight is a way of life. That is also very true when it comes to our existence as Christians. In athletics, we coach our players to fight for loose balls or to fight through adversity on the playing field. But in the spiritual realm, we coach those within our influence to fight the good fight. We help prepare them to fight through adversities on this journey to our eternal life in Heaven.

When you talk about gritting your teeth and standing your ground, maybe nowhere is it more important than in your daily Christian walk and the moment-by-moment decisions. That means doing things that aren’t always easy but what’s necessary. That requires fight. That requires perseverance. And eventually, we will finish the race and be able to say, as the Apostle Paul did, we have kept the faith. – Sherri Coale

1. In athletic terms, how would define the word “fight?”
2. Read 2 Timothy 4:6-8. What is the fight that Paul describes here?
3. How can you incorporate “fight” into the spiritual challenges and decisions you face daily?

1 Corinthians 9:24-25; Colossians 3:17-24; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:6-8

Prayer: Father, thank you for giving me the strength to fight the good fight. Help me to stand against temptations and challenges that I face daily and stand up for my faith. Help me to have fight in my spiritual life. Amen.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

3.8 mile jog in Pittsburg. by jdphotog at Garmin Connect - Player

3.8 mile jog in Pittsburg. by jdphotog at Garmin Connect - Player

Christmas Day Walk in Arkansas by jdphotog at Garmin Connect - Details

Christmas Day Walk in Arkansas by jdphotog at Garmin Connect - Details

Coaches Devotional from FCA Heart of a Coach

This devotional was so good, we had to share: (You can find this on YouVersion Bible App)

Correct, Don’t Criticize

When I first started working towards becoming a head coach, people wondered if I could do it. I wasn’t the type to yell at people. I wasn’t the type to get in people’s faces. They didn’t know if I could control the players. How would they respond to my coaching style? How would I handle being in charge of an entire team?

My style has always been one that relies on motivation, encouragement and teaching. I always want to help people get better. That’s the idea behind correction. It’s not about tearing people down. It’s about helping them improve. You have to let them know when they’ve done something wrong, but the goal is helping them became a better player and a better person.

There are certain things that are going to be done a certain way and they’re not negotiable. The punishment is already set and everyone knows it. But then if a rule is a broken and you have to correct, it’s best to avoid sharp criticisms but instead to discipline with love. That approach gives the person the best opportunity to change their behavior.

Jesus corrected by telling stories. He showed examples. He pointed things out. He didn’t just say, “This is wrong and this is right.” He corrected people by getting them to think. When He corrected His disciples, they walked away understanding that it was for their benefit.

As a society, we desperately need to develop young people that are correctable. The youth generation is sometimes difficult to correct because of the way they’ve gotten correction. They have rebelled against correction because they see it as criticism. When the time for discipline comes, sometimes it’s easier to demonstrate authority. It’s more difficult to build relationships because it takes time and patience.

But when we follow Jesus’ model of correction and avoid the temptation to criticize, we are better able to build long-lasting relationships and we increase our influence over those within our care. – Tony Dungy

1. How would you describe your style of discipline?
2. In what ways does correction differ from criticism?
3. What are some things that you can do to become less critical and more encouraging as a coach?

Proverbs 3:11-12; Hebrews 12:11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Prayer: Father, thank you for loving me and helping me grow through correction. Help me to model Jesus’ style of correction to those that I teach and influence. Amen.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Runners Devotion from FCA

Trials of Life

Steve Beckerle


“A man who endures trials is blessed, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” - James 1:12


At 13 years old Ryan knew exactly what he wanted to do when he grew up. Just like his father, he was going to be a major league pitcher. He worked hard, day after day, to make his dream come true, but often fell short. He wondered if God could really build a dream and a passion so big in his heart and let him fail.

Fast forward several years, and it’s evident that God had bigger and better plans for Ryan Hall. A world class Olympic marathon runner and American record holder for the half marathon, Ryan has truly been blessed by God.

God asks us to “consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials.” (James 1:2) This is often the last thing we want to do when experiencing tough times. It’s important to notice that He uses the word joy and not happiness. There’s a big difference. Joy comes from a relationship with Jesus, and happiness is a short-term earthly emotion.

This challenge seems big, but the promise (James 1: 3-4) that comes afterward is simply amazing: “so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” What a promise!

I’m sure 13-year-old Ryan struggled with not knowing what God had planned for him. But in enduring to follow God’s plan, Ryan matured in his walk with the Lord and was blessed for his obedience. His running has given him amazing earthly success along with countless ministry opportunities. So consider it joy, God’s got a plan for you too.


  1. What kind of trials have you faced recently?
  2. What was God trying to teach you?
  3. Have you seen God’s blessings after a trial?

    James 1:2-4
    Romans 12:12


    Lord, help me see You in the mist of my trials and replace my frustration with Your joy. In Jesus name, Amen.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holden's Hope Documentary


This link will take you to a video documentary about a 9-year boy who suffers from a rare genetic discorder called Mucopolysaccharidoses, type VI (MPS VI).  

Friday, November 29, 2013

Runners Devotion

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:31-33 NIV)

In everything we do, we should always try to glorify God.  We also should never cause our peers to sin or turn from God.  Therefore, our actions and what we say affect many.  One group run can stir the hearts of some lost souls or turn a wondering soul away from God.  It is so important we try to glorify God in every way and each way we can so more can be blessed by his grace and mercy.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Runners Devotion

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 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. (1 Corinthians 9:24, 25 NIV)

I run, not to medal, but for several reasons spiritually.  I run to take care of God's temple (my body) which he has given me temporarily while I'm here on Earth.  I run to release myself from daily stresses and take in anything God may want to tell me.  I run and pray. When I run in a group, I run to share encouragement.  There are so many prizes with running.  

In this verse, God had the author use running and the prize as our life and living for salvation in  Jesus. He is the ulitmate prize to everlasting life.  Amen!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Nov. 22, 2013

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Building endurance

Fired Up

Jimmy Page (adapted from WisdomWalks Sports)


“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1:2-4


Cut from the team. Knee blows out senior year. Lose the state title. Playing time disappears. Your mistake costs the team a win. As a competitor, all these circumstances are considered tough trials. Add academic pressure or conflict at home and you can feel overwhelmed.

But our character is uncovered during life’s trials. It is revealed and refined in the fire. When we are squeezed, what comes out shows us what’s inside. And for God to truly transform us, it takes time, pressure and heat. He forms our character the same way he forms diamonds. When the element carbon is forced deep beneath the surface of the earth, it encounters extreme temperatures and pressure. Those extreme conditions transform carbon into diamonds. And when they rise again to the surface, they display the brilliance of the light.

So, when we face trials, we can do it with joy, knowing God will use every piece of the pressure and pain to produce perseverance and maturity. And if we let our character be formed in the fire, we, too, will shine in His light. Going through tough times will make us unshakeable and Him unmistakable.


  1. Have you experienced adversity or trials that have tested your faith?
  2. What are the purposes of the pain we suffer in this life?
  3. How important is it to have others walk with you through your trials?


1 Peter 4:12-16
2 Corinthians 1:3-6
Proverbs 17:17


Father, I know that storms are not optional, but inevitable. Use these trials to transform me and change me into the person You have made me to be. Let me rejoice when I face trials and struggles and trust that You have a reason. Form my character through the fire. Amen.

Want more Relentless studies? Check out the Athletes Bible atfcagear.com

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursdays Athletic Devotion


Roger D. Lipe


“And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works,” – Hebrews 10:24


What is it that best motivates you to compete at your highest level? Some athletes are motivated by the challenge or thrill of winning. Others are provoked to excellence by the fear of losing. We’re certainly not all wired the same. But we can use Hebrews 10:24 to remind us of those differences and how we can use them to our team’s advantage during competition:

Let us be concerned about one another… This implies that serious thought should be given to each member of the team. Where motivation is concerned, one size does not fit all. Let’s give a real effort in understanding each teammate.

In order to promote… What promotes a great performance in you may not affect me at all or vice versa. One teammate may require a pat on the back while another may be better motivated by a kick in the pants. We must consider what will stir up each person most effectively.

Love and good works. We all know plenty of people who get stirred up and it’s not always toward love and good works. The idea is not to simply stir them up, but to motivate them toward success for the team. Let’s be consciously aware of the things that help each one perform at his or her highest level.

As you compete, give careful attention to the motivational keys in each of your teammates. Find a way to press that button that stirs up the best performance possible in each one.


  1. What motivates you for competition?
  2. What stimulates you to love people more?
  3. What provokes good works in your life?


Titus 2:6-8
James 3:13
I Peter 2:12


Father, please enable me to see how I may encourage my teammates to be their best today. Help me provoke them to love and good works in honor of the Lord Jesus. Amen.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sunday's Sermon

Last Sunday, we had a special speaker come in and give an awesome sermon.  It was simply this.  We were put on this earth to:
1. Go
2. Make Disciples
3. Baptize them
4. Teach them God's Way.

Matthew 28:18-20
18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The pastor encouraged each one of us to pick four people in our life who weren't saved and to pray for them daily.  I've started to do this and ashamed I haven't made this a daily prayer.  I've prayed for these people before in the past and do off and on but not as a daily obligation.  However, it is our obligation to go out and share Jesus with others, make disciples among the world, baptize them, and teach them God's ways

Friday, October 18, 2013

Athletic Devotional

Another good devotional from FCA:

Born to Play

Marcellus Casey


“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:8-10


Athletes are born to play. Competition is the air that we breathe. It takes incredible risk to be an athlete. Everyone sees every move we make. There's always the risk of failure when we step into the arena of sports competition. So why do athletes keep coming back? Why not just stay comfortable in our lives and avoid the risk of the humiliation of mistakes or defeat? Most athletes would say that they are born for competition. There is a satisfaction from achieving success that is worth the risk of failure.
Well, the same is true in our spiritual lives. When we approach a Holy God for a relationship, most people know that we do not possess the perfection that it takes to please God. In order to continue in our pursuit of God, we have to rely on the fact that God will forgive us when we fail, and He will sustain in the risk of failure. We were born for a relationship with God. So why should we walk away when we fail? Take the risk because you were born to give Glory to God in everything you do, as His Masterpiece.


  1. 1. What risks have you taken as an athlete? Were they worth it?
  2. Do you have the same mentality toward your spiritual walk as you do athletics? How so?
  3. Do you truly live like you believe Christ will pick you up if you fail?


2 Corinthians 12:9
1 Corinthians 10:31


Lord, give me the strength to live each day all out for you, no matter the risks. Help me have the faith to trust You are always there, ready to catch me if I fall."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I loved today's devotional so much I had to share!

"Move those Chains

Jimmy Page (adapted from WisdomWalks Sports)


Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.” – Hebrews 11:6


Every time my family goes to a Baltimore Ravens football game we get caught up in signaling and chanting “Move those chains!” on each Ravens first down. You might think, ‘big deal … they moved the ball ten yards.” But first downs lead to touchdowns.
The player or team that practices, prepares and performs with the most consistency generally outplays their opponent. And when we “move the chains,” we create and sustain momentum. Consistency leads to excellence and is fueled by self-discipline.
What we do today determines who we become tomorrow. Moving the chains simply means that you will consistently do what it takes to reach your goal. It means doing the little things. It means doing the hard things – even when you want to quit, even when you don’t feel like it and even when you can’t see the results.
As competitors, we know how to train consistently and put in the practice time necessary to get better. Shortcuts and compromises don't work. But do we apply that same diligence in our spiritual life? Do we train ourselves in godliness? Or are we hit-and-miss? If we continue to pursue God and spend time seeking Him daily we will become more and more like Jesus.
God rewards us when we seek Him. A consistent life leads to both internal transformation and external influence. So let’s strive to take action and do the little things that lead to excellence. Let’s move those chains!


  1. As a competitor, what is your level of training consistency? Spiritual consistency?
  2. What are you willing to sacrifice to pursue consistent time with God?


Luke 9:23-24 
Proverbs 2:1-5


Father, I pray that You would give me a powerful desire for consistent time with You. Help me to dig into Your word daily and carve out regular time for study and prayer. Amen."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Bondi Bands

I have new Bondi Bands for sale to benefit St Jude! This red design in the photo is available as well as sequence lime green, and metallic maroon. $8.50 a band. 


Monday, September 16, 2013

St. Jude Training Tip

Training tip of the week
A training program is not dependent on one workout. The key is staying consistent and healthy over the course of the training plan. Missing a workout occasionally or taking an extra day off will not ruin your race. It can actually improve your fitness over time by allowing you to arrive at your next workout fresh and energized. Don’t get greedy either when things are going well. Your confidence will build as you complete each week's mileage. The temptation is to add some extra miles or more speed for “extra credit,” but it’s important to stick to your plan. This mistake is repeated over and over by endurance athletes. What you are doing is working, you are healthy and on target. Don't drive yourself over the cliff. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Big Red Shoe 15K

I ran the Big Red Shoe 15K with my husband and my cousin Chad for the Joplin Ronald McDonald House. I've donated to the house for years and it was an honor to run for their 15th anniversary. 

The hills in the run were worse than some of the hills I ran in longer runs, such as the Hospital Hill Half-Marathon. The last hill, the Joplin runners like to call "Miss Jackson" was treacherous! However, it made me a stronger runner in the end. I can say I completed it and we did it in the heat of the summer for a great cause while training for our St. Jude Marathon.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pastor Kyle Roger's Sept 1, 2013 Sermon

“All this,” David said, “I have in writing as a result of the Lord ’s hand on me, and he enabled me to understand all the details of the plan.” David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished. (1 Chronicles 28:19, 20 NIV)

The Big Idea: Don't be afraid of God's plan.

But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. (2 Timothy 4:17 NIV)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10 NIV)
* We should only FEAR The Lord, not his plans for us.

We must remember:
1.  Fear and faith don't go together.
        *And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe
        that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 NIV)

        *He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a
        mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing
        will be impossible for you. ” (Matthew 17:20 NIV)

        *For we live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV)

2.  True faith can appear foolish to some.
        *Noah looked foolish to everyone else but his own family.  

        *so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Corinthians 2:5 NIV)

        *But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of
        the world to shame the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27 NIV)

        *Have you ever been a stumbling block for someone's walk with God, like Peter was to Jesus?
        Read this in Matthew 16: 
        From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer
        many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he
        must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
        “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get
        behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God,
        but merely human concerns.” (Matthew 16:21-23 NIV)

3.  Obeying God's voice never leads to failure.
        * God's voice will never contradict the word of God.

        *The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself,
        declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,
        I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the
        sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and
        through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
        (Genesis 22:15-18 NIV) 

        *The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself,
        declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,
        I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the
        sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and
        through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
        (Genesis 22:15-18 NIV)

        *In Greek the word "BELIEVE" means to live by.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Anatomy for Runners

I've been reading Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry, MPT, SPS.  The book gives some great details about why we continue to reinjury ourselves during training.  First of all, it is important to understand the right amount of rest is necessary for the healing process, but too much can allow for our muscle fibers to become weakened.  Over training results in injury because we don't allow the body mechanics to allow for healing for the strengthening to occur.  

I hope to share some key points I learn as I read this book and also get trained to become a fitness instructor for Mercy's Health for Life in Ft. Scott.  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Overcome Evil with Good

Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. (1 Thessalonians 5:15 NIV)

It is so easy to get angry and want to "get even."  However, God wants us to "overcome evil with good" as it says in Romans 12:21.  I've wondered why it is so easy to want to strike back at someone who has wronged me in some way.  Why is it human nature to feel this way?  

The true blessings come from when you have decided to serve the "hater" in your life.  It is easy to be loving or giving to someone who treats us with respect.  However, it is difficult to repay evil with good.  I believe we build our treasures in heaven through these actions when we find the strength to overcome the revenge spirit in all of us.  

I thought about this today during my run.  I think God makes us work for our treasures in heaven, but we just don't realize how he is molding us to be like Christ through these actions.  

Monday, August 26, 2013

Week 6 of Marathon Training

Monday - Rest (zumba / weights)
Tuesday - 4 miles
Wednesday - 2 miles
Thursday - 5 miles
Friday -Cross-train
Saturday - LONG RUN 10 miles
Sunday - 3  miles

Friday, August 23, 2013

Naaman and the leprosy

In 2 Kings 5: 1-27, Naaman, a great army commander who suffers from leprosy, goes to the prophet Elisha for healing.  Elisha tells him to go to the Jordan River and dunk himself seven times.  It sounds ridiculous, and maybe that was the point, but Naaman went away mad.  At first, he didn't do as Elisha told him, but once he did he was healed.  

How many times has God asked us to do something that seems strange and we ignore the request? How many times do we miss out on the healing or the blessing because of our decision to ignore God's request? 

 The Bible says,  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8 NIV)

I never thought I could run a marathon a few years ago.  However, God sent an encourager into my life, (my husband, Jeff) that told me while training for 5K's that I would be running a marathon within a year.  I thought he was crazy.  However, my heart was created by God to serve the weary and broken spirits on this Earth.  St. Jude Children's Research Hospital became one of those service projects and through the help of many Phi Theta Kappa friends and resources, Jeff and I made this an annual service project.  My desire to run longer miles in honor of those children being treated at St. Jude became more prevalent in my life.  

By May of 2012, I ran my first half-marathon for the tornado victims in Joplin.  In June of 2012, I hit a personal record at the Hospital Hill Half-Marathon.  Then, in Sept. of 2012, I completed my first triathlon at the Olathe Medical Center Women's Triathlon. I ended the 2012 year by running the St. Jude Memphis Marathon my husband told me I could run, with him by my side.  I never felt so emotional like I did during that race.  The inspiration you feel from all the patients and their families are tremendous.  

This year, we won't be able to make the race date, but still running our marathon in honor of St. Jude. We are both committed to raising $500 a piece for the hospital and hoping when we run in Ft. Scott on Nov. 23rd, we have groups who will come out in honor of St. Jude and their life saving mission to cure pediatric terminal diseases.  

If you feel lead to donate, go to our fundraising links and the donation will go directly to St. Jude!  


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Digging Ditches

I've been reading in 2 Kings about the prophet Elisha and his great faith he had to serve God.  In chapter 3, it is interesting that the kings of Edom, Israel, and Judah come to Elisha as they go to fight against Moab.  Their war strategies apparently didn't go as planned and their men and animals became dehydrated before they finished their journey to fight.  

Elisha tells them to go dig ditches (in King James Version).  God is able to provide water and rain for these men. However, many times it is our duty to learn from our faith and hard work before the miracle arrives. After they dug the ditches, God filled the ditches with over flowing water to nourish the troops and their animals.  Then, they were able to defeat Moab successfully.  

Can you imagine what those kings thought of Elisha when they asked for water, and he told them to go dig ditches?  However, they did obey and through faith God provided.  What ditch are we supposed to be digging right at this moment so we too can get the nourishment we need to conquer our goal?  

2 Kings 3: 1-27


Monday, August 19, 2013


And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24, 25 NIV)

Jeff shared this passage with me today.  Yesterday in church part of this passage was used and I came upon this verse one other time this past week.  Therefore, it has to be God telling me to continue to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ in their walk with Him, the message we give to others about God and the faithfulness many of us are trying to grasp through our times of trials.  

My husband has been a blessing from God in all he has encouraged me to do and live.  I never thought I could have ran solid for more than 3 miles back in 2011, but by 2012 he trained me and encouraged me to run the Joplin Half-Marathon, Hospital Hill Half-Marathon, the Olathe Women's triathlon and the St. Jude Memphis Marathon where he ran side by side the whole 26.2 miles.  

We all should encourage each other in our faith and gifts God has given us to glorify Him.  Too many times, I get caught up in the daily tasks, I wonder, "have I encouraged anyone today?"  

I pray God will strengthen me to be an encourager, not only to Jeff but others.  This week we are on WEEK 5 of the marathon training but our fellow Team TENN-KAN runners are on WEEK 3.  I posted last night on our Facebook group to encourage them in their training and reminded them a small fact about St. Jude Children's Research Hospital so they would remember why they are running and raising funds.  It is quite an encouragement message to me to know I can run for such a worthy cause.  

This is from the TN Region's Honor in Action Academy back in the summer of 2011.  Jeff and I went to encourage the TN members of Phi Theta Kappa to join our fundraising,  volunteering and running efforts in Memphis for the St. Jude's Memphis Marathon.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Race to Give the Message

While in the Dominican Republic, we were blessed to attend a church service where the message was about our duties and responsibilities to share God's message.  

During the sermon: The paster gave these verses -
I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. (Romans 1:14-16 NIV)

The pastor talked about how messengers in history would carry important messages by running with the  message rolled up like a baton (scroll) and would run a marathon of miles to spread the message to the next destination.  Jesus as he died past the baton to Peter, Peter past the baton to Paul, Paul past the baton and so on.  We now have the obligation to grab the baton and take the message to as many people as we can who need to hear the message until it is time for us to pass the baton to someone else.  

In this DR photo, it is the Sunday School teacher giving a lesson before the service started:
Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
(Colossians 1:24-29 NIV)

Paul is speaking to the church about not only their sufferings but his own and all Christians.  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Faith like Elisha

In Kings 19:14-21, Elijah goes to appoint Elisha as his predecessor.  Elisha shows amazing faith by dropping his farm work immediately, burning his plow and slaughtering his ox to give to his neighbors to eat.  He immediate leaves all he knows, all he has and all his inheritance to serve God's purpose in his life.  

Faith is so important, but how many times are we as obedient as Elisha?  We ponder our decisions.  Sometimes, we wait because we want to make sure it was God's plan.  Sometimes having faith isn't the popular among your culture or society in general. I've personally struggled with that in the past, but I don't want to now.  I want to become more faithful and open to God's plan.  Especially his calling for us and mission work.  

I've had this feeling to get rid of a lot of my stuff even before I went to the Dominican Republic.  When I returned the drive inside me to simplify my life grew even deeper.  I have to have the faith to just do it.  I make excuses that I need to have a rummage sale and give the proceeds to the orphanage in the Dominican Republic or donate it to our St. Jude's mission.  However, I just keep piling one Saturday after Saturday with activities I have to complete leaving no time for a sale.  There are Planet Aid bins all over town I could stash my clothes in.  I'm sure the other stuff could wait for a rummage sale or I could take pictures and post it online to sell.  Faith like Elisha, that is what we need. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Philipians 1:3

I thank my God every time I remember you. (Philippians 1:3 NIV)

This verse revealed to me today, reminded me of the deep passion I have for my mission field here in Pittsburg and what I was given the opportunity to experience in the Dominican Republic through SCORE International.  In addition, while listening to Christian radio today, I heard Word of God Speak twice within 10 min. of each other.  The song was performed by Casting Crowns first and then Mercy Me, two of my favorite bands.  

I know God was talking to me.  I pray God will continue to speak his guidance in my heart where he wants me to go with my St. Jude mission for Phi Theta Kappa and marathon running/fundraising, my middle school kids in Pittsburg I work with on Wednesday and Sunday, and the people of the Dominican Republic and the many missionaries who blessed our group while working down there this summer.  

Pray for Jeff and I as we start with a new group of 7th graders coming up into my Sunday School class.  We want these kids to grow spiritually, knowing how to pray, when to pray, why we pray, and actually learn details about the stories in the bible and how we apply them to our daily lives.  One day, I hope to learn Spanish, well, and learn it with a biblical background so I can do the same teaching in the Dominican Republic on a return mission trip.  

The following photo is from a nursing home in the Dominican Republic.  There were Haitians, Dominicans, and Americans speaking 4 different languages when we got there.  However, the unique blessing we found was we all could sing in our native language praises to God at the same time and worship Him in all his glory.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Update on Aidan

Aidan's mom, Miranda, said his tests came back negative on the masses and/or seizures.  All this is good news.  His problems are due to his SDS.  He still needs prayer, but this is an answer to prayer.  Thank you, Jesus.  

Week 4 of training:  I swam 1000 yards Monday.  Tonight I ran 4 miles.  Tomorrow is 2 miles and Thursday is 5.  Saturday's long run is 8 and Sunday's is 3 miles.  22 miles total.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Please Pray for Aidan Davis

Our fellow Phi Theta Kappa friend from Tennessee, Miranda Davis, needs prayers for her son, Aidan, today.  He is one of the St. Jude patients we ran in honor of last year at the 2012 St. Jude Marathon.  He has Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS) which is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bone marrow dysfunction, leukemia predisposition, and skeletal abnormalities. 

Today, Aidan is having some neurology testing because of some pretty significant eye problems. The  medical team is hoping this is isolated to the eyes and not caused by the brain. His SDS can cause several problems with his health, but Jesus can heal all because he endured all. 

Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.”

Monday, August 5, 2013

Marathon Date

God is so amazing how He can work things out. Jeff and I both signed up for the St. Jude's Marathon again this year. In fact, this will be our 4th year, attending with our Phi Theta Kappa family and friends as runners and volunteers.  Unfortunately, we found out neither of us would be able to attend this year due to our new job opportunities God blessed us with.  We know our new jobs are in God's plan, but also know that He placed this passion in our hearts to raise money and run for the kids of St. Jude.  

Therefore, we decided to run Nov. 23rd in Ft. Scott, a couple of weeks before the actual Memphis Marathon.  I just found this clip on YouTube showing how special Nov. 23rd is to St. Jude this year.  


I hope this will inspire our running friends to come out and help us.  We need aid stations and people to encourage us.   

Week 3 of the Marathon Training

This week, we are running 3 miles Monday and Wednesday,4 on Tuesday, 5 on Thursday, and 8-9 on Saturday.  Sunday, I will run the WINGS 5K in Garnett to support their local Breast Cancer foundation with my class of 1993!  In addition, my mom will be walking in memory of one of her past co-workers and good friend.  This will be the first 5K I get to do with my mama!  I'm quite excited.  

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Not A Fan

I'm reading Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman. I heard it was a great book to read after returning from a mission trip, so I made sure to buy it when I returned home from the Dominican Republic. I was so blessed by the Dominicans and the Haitian people we met and served on our mission trip. In fact, it has been a difficult transition back in the states of, "What do I do next, God?" I grew very close to God while I was down there in the DR working in this third world country. I had no access to internet, cell service, or other technology. It gave me a chance to just be quiet and listen for his word.

Now, with this book I'm reading, Idleman points out just because you have knowledge of the bible or Jesus doesn't make you a follower. In fact, it might just make you a fan. We don't want to be Jesus' fan, we want to be his follower. We want to intimately know him and grow close to him.

My runs each morning during my new St. Jude Marathon training has become an alone time with Jesus. My husband always told me he used his runs to reflect on his past day or week and the bible devotion he just read that morning before hitting the pavement. I felt it would also be a good time for me to start doing this especially as I start to build more miles into my weeks.

Meanwhile, if you have time read (Luke 7:36-50 NIV). It shows how the Pharisee Simon is a fan of Jesus but the prostitute becomes a follower. The book pointed out has Simon ignores the traditional cultural greetings of the times; when Jesus enters his house, he does not greet Jesus with a kiss or wash His feet. However, the prostitute, after realizing where Jesus was and becoming convicted of her sins, uses all the rest of her expensive perfume, her own hair, and washes Jesus's feet while kissing His feet. It reminds me a little of the reflection I felt of of the mission trip. Americans are so rich. Even the poor are rich compared to people in the DR. However, the people in the DR openly were happy and were open to hearing more about Jesus and us sharing Jesus with them.

Here is a photo of the men who work in the Sugarcane Fields. No modern farming equipment. They work with machetes.