"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Run For God - 2016 / Week 10

It's ALL about the Pace! Well, maybe not 'all' about the pace, but many a runner has sabotaged their race day experience by not staying true to the rules of pacing - knowing your pace, valuing your pace, running your pace. As we began our longer distance, non-interval workouts tonight, the idea of pacing has become extremely important. So we spent much of our time talking through how to calculate, practice, and strategize around individual pace.

Similar to running 'our pace' we took a look at a devotion that spoke to how we run 'our path.' One that is hopefully guided by the Lord's work in our life, yet individually unique in both the ground we have traveled and the journey ahead. Psalm 23 was a scripture for the night and it was nice to recite these encouraging words as a group. (Oh, the skit guys reminded us of how wonderfully complete the Word of God is - we simply need to read it! - link to this video is provided below).

Keep working hard - May 14th is in our sights now and you have all come a long way. You've completed 28 workouts so far!!! Only 7 more to go before we toe the starting line.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Running With Grace

There is a mental image etched in my mind, unveiled every time the word ‘grace’ is used in a running context. It’s a memory so vivid I can still hear the sounds as the visual is played out.

The year, 2004. The locale, Nashville. The situation, my first distance race of any kind with no idea of what to expect, and little idea of what I was doing. Needless to say, I am not the subject of grace in this story.

Sparing you the full details (though they are pretty good and you should ask sometime), this image comes from around mile 6, where hugging the center line cones (I have a habit of doing this - I like to think it’s a bit flatter there) and running north, I notice a stir from the spectators about a 1/4 mile ahead. Next came the sound, something akin to a herd of horses. I’m guessing it’s one of the entertainment groups along the course pounding out the tunes, and it would become louder and louder the closer I came to it.

Leaning left, I peeked up the street and quickly realized it wasn't the closer "I came” to whatever it was, it was the closer “they came” to me. I also quickly figured out that the left hand side of the road was a return section of the course, mile 12 for those running the full marathon on their way back south. And that sound, it was the thud-like rhythm of fifty+ marathoners leading the field, striding inches apart at a 5 minute mile pace. What an amazing sight.

In a flash they were gone. The snapshot would have showed me looking back over my shoulder, eyes wide open, and uttering something like “Whooaaa!” I distinctly recall being struck by the breeze they created, by the ease in which they ran, and by how graceful they made all this appear. They were certainly running with grace and I am energized every time I recall it or have the opportunity to watch others run in this similar fashion.

So what’s the moral of this story. How do you and I run with grace when you and I are not blessed with these gifts relative to running, or maybe even relative to walking and chewing gum.

Actually, I think we have the opportunity to run with far greater grace than the smoothest and fastest of the smooth and fast. And it is in running circles -- the training groups, the starting line, along the course -- where I find that we often can work out that grace and learn to carry it into our daily walk.

See, grace is that act, or those words, of kindness, compassion, courtesy, respect, and forgiveness, that we grant to others (all others). Not because they deserve it or have earned it, but because it is the right thing to do. It is unmerited, yet we give it anyway. It’s when we learn to say “That’s ok” more often then we say, “Hey, watch where you are going!” It’s when we say, “Can I help you to the finish” rather than “Ha, wouldn’t want to be you!” It’s encouraging the beginner, appreciating the experienced, saying “Thank you" to the volunteer, and granting forgiveness to the race director (hint-hint, just in case).

In a culture that is consumed with sarcasm, hurtful criticisms, zero tolerance for honest mistakes, pride, bitterness, anger, and hatred, grace can make a lasting impression - sort of like a herd of marathoners flying past you when you least expect it. Besides, a life of grace is so much more liberating and joyful than a life otherwise. It’s like experiencing an everyday spirit of the starting line!

Finally, grace is a foundational pillar to our Christian faith, and believers really have no choice on this matter. However, whether you are a follower of Christ or not, the concept of running with grace is one I think we can all embrace and employ.

May your runs be filled with grace.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” - Ephesians 4:32

Monday, April 18, 2016

Run For God - 2016 / Week 9

We are officially within a month of our graduation race, and tonight's workout started preparing us for the extended effort that will be necessary as we transition from interval workouts to simply running for a designated time. The heat today will help you down the road, regardless of how difficult it was during the workout (trust the plan). You all did great!

In our time together, we discussed the idea of grace - specifically, God's grace. The Skit Guys had us look at it from the Apostle Peter's perspective (embedded video below), and then we had a time of discussion around the impact that grace has had on our own life. With the theme of grace, we discussed a few common courtesies that we as runners should stay aware of on race day. 

Have a great week - make sure to register - see you soon. 

(Watch Video Below)


 Watch Mark Remy Video Here: Rules To Run By


Monday, April 11, 2016

Run For God - 2016 / Week 8

Now if you've gutted it out to week 8 of this year's RFG training, I have to believe you are extremely motivated to see this thing through to the finish line. So in theory tonight's theme is more about your future adventures with running than your present. One day, when you try to get going again, or you are wanting to go farther or faster or more frequently, whatever it is, you will find yourself looking for some additional motivation. That was the point of our time together tonight.

Relative to our faith, we persevere with the knowledge that we can continue through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). We don't use this promise out of context, but we do use it for the honor and praise of our Heavenly Father. We find encouragement and motivation to serve Him and others with the gifts He has provided because of this promise.

In your physical race, we discussed a few of the tips and tricks that can push us out the door and even push us an additional mile or two. Dean, from RFG, provided some really good thoughts.

We are starting to round the corner to interval-free running and will be experiencing the thrill of 5 Kilometers very soon. Stay on track - Stay to the plan - Stay motivated! See you soon.

(SORRY - Too big a file to embed)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Run For God - 2016 / Week 7

So what's not to love about our week seven Monday night! A beautiful evening to run, the distribution of shirts, thoughts on nutrition / race day fueling, and the call to "bless His holy name" as we endure the race before us. Bonus is the company of our committed walkers and runners. Great to see everyone and certain you are ready for the workouts ahead.

In addition to reviewing the attached slides (note the mid-week change in workouts) and letting me know of any questions, please also take time in the coming days to register for the ROCC 5K. The code has been provided and it would be great to go ahead and have everyone signed up and ready to go.

See you soon.