Run Your Race With…

I hope you enjoyed the notes from my first session of the youth day.  I am posting the second session notes starting today. Same idea, the lesson was focused on Hebrews 12:1-2 “run with endurance.” I looked what it takes to run successfully and the first part of the lesson was to run your race with…

#1 Endurance!

This is a hard one!  Literally! To keep going when everything seems to be too hard, when it is crashing in around you. When you are so tired and hurt that all you want to do is stop, it takes so much to keep going, to push forward!  Your body reaches a point where you wonder if you can make that next step.  Our race is a marathon, not a sprint!  And sometimes it can feel more like an obstacle course! It is the same way spiritually.  We reach points in our lives when we wonder if we can go on.  When we question whether our sins are too bad to be forgiven?  Something bad is happening in our lives and we wonder why God doesn’t take it away.  We feel defeated.

We have an ultimate example of what it means to endure, what it means to give everything you have and never stop.  Heb. 12: 1-3  “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of ourfaith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”
We are to consider Him and all He endured for us when we want to give up.  To remember His sacrifice and all it cost Him when we are struggling to move forward, to understand.

Christ is our example!  But it is impossible to endure if we are weighted down with sin, doubt, distractions.  Things that will only hold us down and make us slow and unsteady on our feet.

Jesus warned against the dangers of distractions, of being deeply rooted so we would be able to endure the tribulation and persecutions in this world in His parable of the sower/soil.  Matt. 13:3-9, 18-23  If we aren’t rooted in God and have the purpose that we are going to live for Him it will be so hard to endure!  We must be like Daniel who purposed in his heart that he was going to live for God no matter what came his way.  (Daniel 1:8)

We must be careful not to let things of this world distract us and get us off course.  We must remember though we are in this world it is temporary, with all its problems and distractions and we must try not to get tangled up in them.
2 Timothy 2:3-4  “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” 

David tells us to keep going til the end!  He wasn’t going to give up because life wasn’t going his way, wasn’t easy, there were giants in his way!
Psalm 119:32-33  “I will run the course of Your commandments,For You shall enlarge my heart. Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall keep it to the end.”

We must remember we are not perfect.  We are not going to run perfectly. We are going to stumble and fall at times, but we must get up.  We must keep going for Him!  We must press on!
Phil. 3:12 “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”

The key to enduring what ever this life throws at us and keep living for Christ… Love!

1 Cor. 13:4-7 “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

We can endure all thinks with Love for God and knowing His great love for us!

Hope you enjoyed the first part of this lesson! Watch out the next few days for the remainder of it!

In Him,
Tiffany

Deflated Balloon

Have you ever had one of those days?  You know, where things start out great, good, regular, normal… but then events begin that slowly let out your air.  That has been my day.  It started out normal, with hopes for it to be a good day, but one phone call, one text after the next slowly began to wear me down until I was in tears, feeling so defeated, so deflated.

My balloon was full this morning.  I had plans, goals set, things I expected to accomplish.  Then there was this little snag, not enough to pop it completely, but just to create this tiny leak.  A small tear that made me feel inadequate,  a blunder I made that was brought to my attention,  that made me feel bad for my mistake.  An error that I had to take time and try to repair.

Then next thing I know, the balloon is snagged again.  Something else happened and air began leaking out more quickly until there was no air left. News we had been waiting to hear not only didn’t come, but what did come in its place was not good news and bad news, but bad news and worse news!  It is days like this that I am so glad I have my faith.  Knowing I have a loving Savior who cares for me, who is holding me up and knows and cares when I hurt, when I cry, helps me get through.

Days like today remind me to lean on Him, look to Him, depend on Him.  When I am deflated I can only be lifted by Him. No eartlhy bandaid can lift my spirits the way He can!  God knows what I need.  In His caring for me we had some unexpected guests show up.  A couple from church, a wonderful part of our Christian family, showed up out of the blue bearing a gift of vegetable soup and hugs!  They didn’t know about my deflated balloon. They didn’t know about our bad day.  It just so happened that their day, their plans changed and they stopped by for just a few minutes! They stopped by enough to lift our spirits and give us hope and help us get through a rough day!  I thank God for His Son who blesses us continually and I thank Him for the wonderful family He has blessed us with here at Three Forks!!

I know things will get better.  I know our days will look up and He will care for us. I know we have family surrounding us who cares for us.  So even when the world tries to take the air out of our balloon, I know God will always be there to pick us up and set us flying again!!

Youth Day Notes Part 3

Lesson 1 Part 3

#3  The More You Work At It/Practice/ Put In The Effort The better You Get!

This one seems easy.  Something we can all grab ahold of.  The more you put into something, obviously the more you are going to get out of it.  The more you practice at running or anything else, the better you perform.  You grow, from walking, to jogging, to running. You run faster and farther.   It’s the same with our Christian life.

I want to read you a short story from a professional runner.  It offers advice she would give to runners.

“Tatyana Pozdnyakova, Female age 55,  April 20, 2010

Tatyana and her husband Alex Zagoruyko moved to the US in 1997 from the former Soviet Union. They have lived and trained in Gainesville, FL and currently reside in Eugene, OR. For many years, Tatyana came and ran in the Boston 1/2 marathon often bringing several other excellent runners with her. We have known her for many years and respect her as a world class runner but also as a wonderful person and true ambassador for the sport.

Tatyana wrote:  At first I would like to ask people:

Do you love to run? Do you want to run for life? Do you want to improve your performance?

If your answer for these questions is yes, no experience needed for fast or slow; for beginners or old runners. Running is the perfect exercise for anybody. From beginners to professional runners, training programs are built to get everybody across the finish line. So make running part of your daily schedule and pick a regular running time that works best for you.

Your endurance will improve but you have to train it. We can’t train our endurance by by sitting on the couch and watch a sport channel. So we need to run. It’s hard but if you lace your shoes and open the door you will go to run. It’s easy.

I have a couple of suggestions from me and my husband who is a coach. These apply from beginners to veterans:

1. COACH. Without a coach you never train properly.

2. TRAINING PARTNER(s). This will help you push yourself in your training program.

3. REGULAR TRAINING. Run long and hard. Run on trails, grass and other soft surfaces.

4. RECOVERY. Between long and hard runs, run slowly on your easy days. Sleep more and you can also do a massage and use a sauna. If training, then train. If resting, rest. Don’t mix these.

5. AVOID INJURY. If something is bothering you don’t be greedy. Take a day or two off from training. Tend to any injury immediately. Take time off to heal and then resume training.

6. Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water both during workouts and between them.

7. Emphasize a mix of family, daily exercise and happiness. Be sure to smile. And remember running improves physical fitness, strengthens the heart, lungs and major muscles but running also reduces our stress.

I wish to bring some passion for your running, fitness and exercise! My goal: Running is the best way to stay young! I am running from 18 years old till now, almost 36 years and I love to run. Running is my life. It doesn’t matter how old are you. So go for a run and you’ll see how possible it is.

Final note. Some thought was given whether to Americanize the English and we opted for the “true version” as it was kindly sent to us. Thank you Tatyana for your contributions to the web site.”
(You can see this story an more like it here:
http://www.runforlife.com/full-stories.html
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I thought this advice she gave for runners fit so well with my point of what you put into it you get out. I loved the ideas behind what she had to say.

1. COACH.   We have the greatest coach ever!!  We have Jesus, our example who showed us how to run this race.  He motivates us and encourages us not to give up, to keep going, to keep giving it our all. When we fall, He is there to pick us up, to help us push forward.

2. TRAINING PARTNER(s). Our training partners are our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are running right along beside us.  We help each other carry on.  We are there for each other.

3. REGULAR TRAINING. Being a Christian isn’t always easy. We are going to face rocky paths that are going to make running this race very hard!  We have to work at it, we have to practice, we have to train, we have to be determined and dedicated that this is what we want to do.    1 Cor. 9:26-27Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”  Paul knew he had to run with a purpose and with discipline!  It takes effort, you can’t just watch, you have to put the effort in!

4. RECOVERY. We have to take time to rest and recover.  You have to take time to meditate, to refresh your relationship with God. Spend time in His word, gaining strength and inspiration to carry on.  This is so important when the world tries to hard to slow us down, to make us stop and get off track.  We have to take time to recover from the world’s pressures!

5. AVOID INJURY.   We must be careful!  We must be watchful for those things that would trip us up and cause us to stumble and fall.  We must be wary of the pitfalls of life. Of the traps that Satan lays before us!

6. Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water both during workouts and between them.  We must take care of ourselves.  We must feed ourselves on what is good and acceptable, a diet rich in God’s word.
“God’s word is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions.”  We must hunger and thirst for righteousness.

7. Emphasize a mix of family, daily exercise and happiness. Be sure to smile. And remember running improves physical fitness, strengthens the heart, lungs and major muscles but running also reduces our stress.   There isn’t much else to be said for this last one!  It is great advice. Get your family involved. Have friends that share your desire to be pleasing to the Lord.  “Exercise” your Christian faith daily, do something positive for Him that will lift you and those around you.  Choose to be happy, to be at peace, to find joy in your life and what He brings to it.  Don’t let this world run you into the mud.  Chose to run and finish your race with Joy!  Like Paul!

Acts 20:24 “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. “

Hope you are enjoying the notes, please check back soon for the rest!!  If you missed the first 2 posts you can find them here…
Lesson 1 Part 1
http://myhouseandme.com/2012/07/24/youth-day-notes-part-1/
Lesson 1 Part 2
http://myhouseandme.com/2012/07/25/youth-day-notes-part-2/

Tooth Fairy Fail!

Wordless Wednesday

Last night my middle son lost his first tooth!  Now looking at the picture you may think, “What? But he is missing 2?”  Well the top one was pulled by the dentist so I don’t think that counts!  The one on the bottom was his first one lost and he was so excited to put it under his pillow!!

EPIC TOOTHFAIRY FAIL!!!  There is no dollar this morning!!  Guess the toothfairy was exhausted and forgot, but good ol’ mom was able to slip one in this morning!  The boys were none the wiser and “toothless” now has a dollar to spend!

Have a blessed day everyone!!

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Youth Day Notes Part 2

#2  Running Is More About What’s On The Inside Than On the Outside!

A lot of running is mental.  Do you have to be in shape? To go very far you do!  To you have to practice and exercise?  If you want to get better and not get hurt, yes!  But so much of it is your attitude, your mind frame.  It is saying I am going to do it. It is actually saying I am going to get up and go and not let fear hold me down.  It’s being tired but saying I am gonna keep going to that mailbox.  And once you get there its saying I am gonna make it to the next one. I am gonna keep going, I am not gonna give up!

Our relationship with God is the same way.  So much of it is on the inside, no one else can see it, it is our attitude, our frame of mind that says, I will live for Him.  I will choose His way.  I won’t give up when it gets hard. I will keep going even if I am the only one!

When we have this attitude we can make it, we can do it, but the best part is we don’t have to run this race alone!

Isaiah 40:31  “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”
If I depend on God He will give me the strength to keep going! It is Him that keeps me placing one foot in front of the other!

Phil. 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

He will strengthen us just as He strengthened Paul…  2 Timothy 4:17-18

But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.  And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”

Matthew 19:26  “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Even when things in this life seem to hard for us to do on our own, remember we aren’t alone,  God is with us always and will help us carry on through our hardest battles!  Through the deepest mud, He will help us run out of it on the other side!

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 You can see the first part of my notes from the first session here:
http://myhouseandme.com/2012/07/24/youth-day-notes-part-1/

Youth Day Notes part 1

I have decided to share my notes from my speaking session at Center’s youth day for anyone who is interested.  Since they are quite long I will post a part of them at a time!

Run With Endurance Heb. 12:1-2

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Lesson 1  –   Why Running?

So many ways God could have used to describe the Christian life, why running?  How many of you have run at sometime in your life?  Games on the playground, chasing a sibling!!  Running in practice for some other sport.  More than likely most of us have done at least some running!

#1 It’s personal.

It is something almost everyone can relate to.  Running requires very little and can be done without anyone else.  Is it more fun in a group, yes, but is it necessary, no! Just like our relationship with God it is one on one! It is something no one else will really know the effects of other than us.  Our relationship with God is the same way.  Others may see the effects of it in our lives:  happier, peaceful, attitude, actions/reactions, but only we know the true affects of what it means for our lives. Only we can feel the difference it makes.  Only we can know the benefits for our souls.

God wants a personal relationship with us.  Even if you or I were the only person on this earth He still would have sent His son to die for us.  He loves us that much!

2 Peter 2:9 says “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; “

HE chose you!  You are Special to Him!!  He wants you for His own and will never stop wanting you!

He knows each of us personally, better than anyone else ever will!!  NO one, ever, will know you as personally as God does, He made you!!

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you;”

Luke 12:8 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”

Psalm 139:13-14   “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

Psalm 139:1-7    He knows everything about us!!

Psalm 139:17-18  He thinks of us often!

How great is it to serve a God that cares for us so much!!!

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I will be sharing my  post with these great sites, be sure to check them out as well!

Inspire Me Mondays @  http://www.create-with-joy.com
Open Call Tuesdays @ www.salttree.net
Tuesdays Treasures @  myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com
Terrific Tuesdays @ adventuresofadiymom.blogspot.com
Show Me What You Got @ ourdelightfulhome.blogspot.com

Whew I Made It!

Wow!  What a great day!!  It finally came and I am so happy.  Today was the youth day at Center church of Christ and that means today was the day I spoke for the first time for a youth day!  I loved it, but I was so incredibly nervous.

The first session I felt so bad, so nervous, so sick to my stomach. I tried to calm myself. I knew so many of the faces before me, I knew we were all there because of our love for God and that meant I had nothing to fear standing there. But I was still nervous.  Getting past the first session though was a big relief.  The rest of the day seemed to go by so much smoother. I relaxed and really started to enjoy myself.  I hope everyone else did as well.

I really want to thank all those at Center for inviting Nick and myself to be a part of this event and for all their effort in preparing for this day.  Thank you for the great food and the cool t-shirts!  I want to thank my class for being so attentive and helping me more than they will ever know in getting through this event! Thank you to the members of our Three Forks family who came out to support us and Center!!  I want to send a big thank you to my dad and step mom for getting up super early to make the hour plus drive up here today to watch our kiddos so we could go have this experience!   I want to most of all thank my Lord for helping me through the day! It is by Him that I had this opportunity and through Him that I made it and I hope I taught His word in such a way that uplifted those in class and maybe offered someone something that they could use in their life.

The theme today was “Run With Endurance” based off of the key verses Hebrews 12:1-2.  I enjoyed the theme and hope God blesses all who were there! I will be posting my notes over the past few days if anyone is interested!