A Surprise In The Mailbox

I was a bit surprised to find this on the outside of a Mudwater box that arrived in my mailbox today…

Whoa! This stopped me in my tracks.

Am I a leader, or a follower? Do I need to be in the majority? Or, am I comfy being in the minority?

I am pausing and reflecting.

In the busyness of the day, I find it to be a struggle to pause and reflect. There’s just so much to do, you know?

But, isn’t there great benefit in taking a few minutes to pause before moving forward? I find that looking back helps me see what’s coming ahead. When I reflect on how I handled a situation in the past, it helps me with how I can handle it in upcoming days.

Think of it as looking in the rearview mirror. You see where you’ve been, and you see if something is approaching. YET, if you spend all of your time looking in the rearview mirror, you’ll never enjoy the journey, and challenges ahead.

As a runner, it’s fun to look at my training times from 1 year ago. Am I faster? Slower? What was the temp on this same day a year ago? How did I perform then? How am I performing now? Reflecting helps me see my year-to-year gains, and the areas in which I’m decreasing.

I encourage you to heed the words of Mark Twain to “pause and reflect”. We all need it. Jesus even paused and reflected.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 

Mark 1:35

Pause and Reflect. Go make a difference. Always run by faith.

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Stop Fighting The Demons

Ever read the Dale Carnegie book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”? He says, “There’s no sweeter sound to one’s ear than the sound of his/her name.”  Your name has meaning. Even nicknames. Nicknames are said to be the most endearing, almost like a shared secret. Like Sting. Lead singer of the Police. They gave him that name because he liked to wear yellow and black shirts. Besides, Sting sounds a bit cooler than his real name, Gordon Sumner.

I think of the story in the Bible, Mark 5, where Jesus goes out of his way to meet up with a demon-possessed man. (true!) “And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

A name means that you’re more than a social security number, or an ID at college. Jesus was always concerned with names.  I find it interesting that Jesus is making a point to show this man that he matters by asking a name.  Jesus was searching for the man that was hidden inside this tormented body.

Years ago, I came out of a dark time in life. I had made some poor decisions and wondered if God could repair it. I even doubted whether I was worth fixing.

I remember, through that time, I asked my wife why she kept believing in me. I will never forget her words, “I knew you were in there“.

I was tormented with guilt and shame. Oh that Shame thing… not healthy! But my wife, and others, spoke life into me and helped me realize that I could turn it around. Reminding me that I really do matter.

You’re more than the sum of your poor choices. Jesus – and me – we know you matter. You’re loved and have purpose. Your name matters. You’re not just a number, a data point, a nobody.

Have you ever felt like you were facing something so large and overwhelming that you doubted God could handle it?  A time when the circumstances or challenge seemed to outweigh what you thought God could do?

If you’re living in what you feel is a mess today, and think it is too big, this story reminds us that Jesus sees you and I in our mess, and he will walk with you and me as we go through it.

YOU matter! GO make a difference. ALWAYS run by faith!

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My Wife Taught Me A Valuable Lesson

Little fact about me, I LOVE things to be clean, and in their place. (I think I get this from my Grandma). Her house was always clean, and always in order. Everything had its place, and was always in-order. When things are a mess, and out of place, it literally makes me anxious.

That said, you’ll always find my side of the bed nice and tidy. My car is very clean. In fact, I use the car wash 5 times a week. And my side of the closet is organized by color.

My wife, Patty, doesn’t have this same “calling”.

Now, before you think that this blog is about doggin’ on my wife, Patty, hold up! Patty has a cleaning passion that I do not. To quote the Prophet, Don Henley, “I’ve been tryin’ to get down, to the heart of the matter…”.

Patty is a deep cleaner. I am not. I like things put away on the surface, so that the room is pleasing to the eye. Patty goes even deeper than that. She’ll make sure baseboards are clean. Spots are out of the carpet. And dust is removed from the vent covers. Patty gets, “to the heart of the matter”.

There’s an important lesson in the way Patty cleans. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “Humans look at outward appearances, but the LORD looks into the heart”. We all tend to look at things from an outward appearance. (How does the room look? Why are the clothes on the floor? Whose papers are these? ) But God goes deeper. Like Patty’s cleaning, God is more concerned about “deeper things”. What’s happening behind the appearance? What’s really at the core of what’s going on? God is interested in your heart.

I encourage you to allow God to do some deep, thorough cleaning. the deeper, the better. Let Him take a big bottle of spiritual Windex into your life, and watch the room of your heart shine!

Deep clean. Go make a difference. Always run by faith!

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Wrestling Isn’t Rigged

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “Wrestling with God”. Well, let’s just say that I ‘got into the ring’ with the Lord the other day.

I pulled into my driveway, and saw my wife , and one of my sons, on their hands and knees in the grass. I knew something wasn’t right.

I asked, “Is everything ok?” “No, we can’t find the screw that we dropped.” You see, this screw was important in fixing my son’s car. And of course, this was a specialized screw. And, like I mentioned, they were fixing this in the grass.

They had been looking for 15 minutes, and couldn’t find the screw. So, we huddled up, took a moment and prayed. We keep looking. Kept praying. Kept wrestling!!

After several minutes, we found the screw! Now, this wasn’t moving mountains, or curing a disease, but it showed me the joy of praying, instead of being frantic.

Is there something you’ve been missing that needs to be found? I wonder what would happen if you simply stop, pray, and wrestle with God about finding it? Seek the joy of answered prayer.

Keep Wrestling. Go make a difference. Always run by faith.

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How To Be Thankful With A Flat Tire

The other morning, as I drove into work at Zero dark thirty, I noticed an odd sound coming from my car. I don’t remember hitting anything on the road. But, something was definitely wrong! I began to slow down. Then eventually, I heard the sound and knew it was my back tire. UGH!

I was right by the Hudsonville exit, westbound on I-196, so it was easy for me to pull off the highway. I was able to make it to the gas station. Got out of my car and saw this.

I will be honest, in years past, I probably would’ve been quite angry. But, as I have been learning what it means to have an attitude of gratitude, and living in a state of thanksliving, my initial reaction was, “Thank you Lord that this was all that happened.” I took some inventory and thought, “I’m safe. I’m in a safe location. No further damage. I’m alright.” In years’ past, I would’ve thought, “Why? Why does this stuff have to happen? How much will this cost me? (insert drama here)

But, as I have learned that God is in control, these issues don’t rattle me near as much as they did before. It’s the choice of giving thanks everyday. The idea of, “Thanksliving”.

Here are the words to a song that has really meant a lot to me in the last few weeks, “Gratitude” by Brandon Lake.

All my words fall short
I got nothing new
How could I express
All my gratitude?

I could sing these songs
As I often do
But every song must end
And You never do

So I throw up my hands
And praise You again and again
‘Cause all that I have is a hallelujah
And I know it’s not much
But I’ve nothing else fit for a King
Except for a heart singing hallelujah

I’ve got one response
I’ve got just one move
With my arm stretched wide
I will worship You

So I throw up my hands
And praise You again and again
‘Cause all that I have is a hallelujah
And I know it’s not much
But I’ve nothing else fit for a King
Except for a heart singing hallelujah

So come on, my soul
Oh, don’t you get shy on me
Lift up your song
‘Cause you’ve got a lion inside of those lungs
Get up and praise the Lord

Oh come on, my soul
Oh, don’t you get shy on me
Lift up your song
‘Cause you’ve got a lion inside of those lungs
Get up and praise the Lord

Come on, my soul
Oh, don’t you get shy on me
Lift up your song
‘Cause you’ve got a lion inside of those lungs
Get up and praise the Lord, hey

Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord

So I throw up my hands
Praise You again and again
‘Cause all that I have is a hallelujah
And I know it’s not much
But I’ve nothing else fit for a King
Except for a heart singing hallelujah

Try Thanksliving. Go make a difference. Always Run By Faith.


A New Hope

In May of 1977, a Princess uttered a phrase that rippled through America. It wasn’t long until that Princesses phrase began to send shockwaves around the world. Actually, that little phrase brought a new hope to an entire generation.

So, what was that phrase uttered by the princess in 1977? “Help me OB1 Kenobe, you’re my  only HOPE.”  Princess Leah made it famous in Star Wars episode 4 which is entitled, “A New Hope”.  She was trying to send some kind of “insider information” through a little robot droid, R2D2, hoping someone would get this info and help save them!

Hope is an often-misunderstood word. That’s because the way we use the word “hope” in our vernacular is not the same as the way the word “hope” is used in the Bible. Sorry your Majesty.

We often use the word hope to describe wishful thinking — even wishful thinking founded in futility. Futility like, “I hope I PR my race! I hope she says yes to going to homecoming with me.” 

Hope is an important topic, because you might be teetering on the ledge of wishful thinking. Your circumstances seem horrible, and your situation seems out of control, and looks like a hot mess!  For you, it might be easier to just throw in the towel.

If you feel this way, or have ever felt this way, then you need to embrace — fully embrace — the Biblical concept of hope.

I googled “songs about hope”. You know what came up? “Imagine” by John Lennon. “Lean On Me”, “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger.” Even, “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. I’ve gotta be honest, when I think of hope, I don’t think of Hannah Montana. I want REAL hope. Eternal hope that sees you through every storm, based on the Word of God, the power of God, and the goodness of God.

Ever notice that when we express hope, it almost seems uncertain? “I hope my daughter makes the team…” I hope I don’t miss my flight.”  I hope this still fits… I hope they hire me… I hope they don’t pick on me. I hope I have enough money… I hope that construction is done… I hope my candidate wins… I hope there’s enough room… I hope he doesn’t find out… All of those things sound desperate, don’t they?  Biblical hope is not just a desire for something good in the future. Biblical hope is a confident expectation and desire for something good in the future.

“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

Romans 8:24-25

Maybe you’re familiar with Toby Mac. He’s played a lot on Christian Radio stations, like JOY99, and has toured the world, singing in front of millions every year. He’s had #1 songs, and has won several Grammy’s. The reason Toby got into Christian music was to turn people’s eyes to God.

October 23, 2019, Toby’s son was found dead. I can’t think of anything more difficult than losing a child. How did he find hope?  Toby said, “when you go through something hard, you have to grab onto something you can trust.” He grabbed onto the promise of God. THAT is holding onto hope.

Recently, Toby was on “Good Morning America” talking about how God was “kind” to him through it all. That’s hope with endurance. It’s not a result of what you see or what you feel; it’s a result of a choice you dare to make, and an action you dare to take. Hope is daring to endure, refusing to jump ship, even when you don’t know how the story will end.

Toby has hope. Despite all of that, through it all, Toby Mac’s, his new song says, “Lord, you’re the Goodness in my life.” Whew! After all that Toby has gone through, God is the Goodness? THAT is holding onto hope! Not hope from a princess with a droid, but from the Prince of Peace, our living hope in Christ.

Hold onto hope. Go make a difference. Always run by faith.

(Special thanks to Pastor Steve for the inspiration)


Mackinac Island Swim 2022

The amazing M.I.S. volunteers!

When is the last time you did something crazy? I ask, because I just witnessed a whole other level of crazy.

371, somewhat crazy, people jumped into the 65° waters of Lake Huron and swam around Mackinac Island. That’s a total of 8.2 miles!

Swimming 8.2 miles is a feat in itself. Combine that with battling swells of 3 foot waves, and you have the making of a long day!

The Mackinaw Island Swim started at 7:45am. The morning was actually quite pretty. But, the waters were ugly. By the time some swimmers hit the 2 mile aid station, many decided they had had enough, and called it a day.

After hitting 4 miles, (near halfway) the waters became rougher. The wind and the waves were more intense, and more swimmers decided to walk back to the finish line. (No shame at all!)

That said, a 4 Man relay team from Zeeland High School took the honors of finishing first with a blistering time. While this was just a, “fun event”, and not an actual race, all of us were quite impressed at their speed, and camaraderie.

A few more finished. Then, to the cheers of many, a 4 woman team, also from Zeeland High School, came to the finish at the shore. (I’m telling ya, Zeeland High School Swimmers will be a force this year!!)

All of the swimmers families, and friends, cheered loudly for each individual who finished their swim. I loved watching the support. We all knew how much stamina it took to finish that swim. It was the definition of endurance.

There were so many wonderful stories from the event. I met a 4 Woman team from Wisconsin. I spoke to a woman who, just last weekend, completed an Ironman event in Alaska. And I spoke with several swimmers who did the event last year, and had such a blast, decided to do it again.

I want to congratulate the Swim Director, Jon, for a wonderful event. He, and his incredible team, helped raise over $28,000 for the Mackinaw Woman’s Club to better their community. Isn’t that incredible?

As emcee, it was super inspiring to watch each of these swimmers battle the waves, and, battle their endurance.  I am reminded of this in James 1, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

It is true, whenever you face a trial of any kind, you will find that the battle isn’t easy, but the reward of endurance is worth it.

If you’re interested in trying the 8.2 mile swim around Mackinac Island, it is happening Sunday, August 13, 2023. Keep an eye on http://www.swimaroundmac.com in January 2023 for more details.

Endurance pays off. Go make a difference.  Always Run By Faith.


He’s 73, And Not Afraid Of His Career Change

The Unity Christian Music Festival, an event held yearly in Muskegon, Michigan, is 4 days of amazing music, friends, and stories. Many of the stories are told from on-stage. But I ‘d like to share with you a story that was told to me off-stage.

I spoke to a man who was recently released from jail after 7 years behind bars. He brought his friend, who is about to be released from jail, and is now on parole, after 23 years behind bars. This man, now a follower of Jesus, with tears in his eyes said to me, “After 23 years behind bars, I’m dedicating the rest of my life to volunteer as a chaplain in the jail.” That man is now 73 years old, and wants to use his remaining years to make an impact in the jail.

This simple conversation reminded me that no matter what our mistakes may be, we serve a God who is certainly big enough to not only forgive them, but allow us to use those stories to inspire and hep change others.

Who is that ‘someone’ in your life that is ‘free’ on the outside, but ‘behind bars’ on the inside? Reach out and let them know that God holds the keys to release them!

You can be free! Go make a Difference. Always Run by faith!


Don’t Let “Glory Days” Pass You By

Do you remember the song, “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen? In the song, Bruce sings about looking back at the good ol’ days of life. “Glory Days, yeah they pass you by…” Basically meaning that today is blah, nothing new, and life is boring compared to those days.

I read a wonderful quote by Paul David Tripp, “The best of life is found when you live for a glory, vastly greater than your own. That is, the glory of God.”

I talk to people who continue to say, as they have aged, “My life is better today than it was several years ago.” These people don’t move as well as they did. They have more wrinkles. And yet, they’re more joyful than ever! The reason? They find that they are growing in their relationship with the Lord.

It’s OK to reminisce about, “The Glory Days”, but, I believe your best days are still ahead of you! Start today, before they “pass you by”.

Live for a glory vastly greater than your own. Go make a difference. Always Run by Faith!


Are You A “Swamp Thing”? Or A “River Liver”?

Michigan is the Great Lakes state. We thrive on fresh water. No salt. No sharks. No jellyfish.

While we have plenty of fresh water, we also have our share of swamps.

Recently, I was asked, “do I want my life to be like a river or a swamp? ” A River receives fresh water and gives away fresh water.  A Swamp just receives and hoards.  I’d much rather drink from a river than from nasty swamp water.

As you head into your week, I ask you the same question, “do YOU want your life to be like a river or a swamp?” Do you want to give and give to bless others? Or simply take and never give back?

Live in such a way that someone wants to name a river after you! 

Flow like a river. Go make a difference. Always run by faith!

(Inspired by a message I heard from Cornerstone Church)


Quite Possibly The Best Lunch EVER!

I admit it, I’m a pretty routine person. I do many of the same things everyday. I pray. I run. I read my Bible. I parent. I work. I support my wife. All good things. Yet, sometimes routine needs to be changed up.

I’ve heard many experienced runners say, “Run a different route”. I’ve heard accomplished speakers encourage the audience to, “Turn left, instead of going right.” So, recently, I decided to break my everyday routine, and did something out of the norm.

For no reason whatsoever, I decided to grill some sausages…at 11:45am. Yep! I lit the grill for lunch.

First of all, they were delicious! And yes, every member of my house said, “You just grilled these?” “YES!” I said with enthusiasm. “I needed a change to my day. I’m kind of tired of being so routine.”

If you, like me, feel like you do the same thing, every single day, try something different. It is actually fun to mix things up. Run on a trail. Have breakfast for dinner. Make microwave smores. You get the idea. Just break the routine!

Oh, and don’t worry, God NEVER changes! “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

I’d love to hear about your “routine breaking moments!” Drop yours in the comments below.

Have lunch on the grill. Go make a difference. Always run by faith.


Is It Time To Become A Vegetarian?

I love food! Especially a good meal of meat and potatoes. (Yes, this can be burgers and fries!) But, there might be a time in which an adjustment will be made to eating only veggies. Let me explain.

Would you rather have a meal with meat and potatoes and sit with people who are full of hate? Or, enjoy a meal of with veggies and be surrounded by love and grace? Interesting question, huh?

It’s much better to have a meal of vegetables surrounded with love and grace than a steak where there is hate.

Proverbs 15:17

I’m immediately whisked back in time to the lunchroom in middle school. It was there that I was bullied. Often times, I sat with only a few friends. Yet, those friends loved me for who I was.

Sure, there were bigger tables with bigger friend groups, and they always acted like they had it better than the rest of us. Basically, they were at a table filled with steak. Yet, their main course consisted of name calling, shooting paper wads, with a side of popped-collars. Some legacy, huh?

Me? I sat at a smaller table, with a smaller friend group. But we had laughter. We had joy. We had love and grace! A smorgasbord of the finest veggies!

I do plan to stick to meals filled with meats and potatoes. However, it is best to always have a well balanced meal. “Excuse me? Can you please pass the veggie tray?”

Eat veggies. Go make a difference. Always Run by Faith.


Dove Chocolates And The Bible

I love dark chocolate. It is a true obsession. Especially those little Dark chocolates from Dove. The taste is amazing. But something else recently amazed me; the little message on the inside.

Sure, often times there are cute little phrases like, “Be proud of your age”, or “It’s a bubble bath day”. But, the message on my chocolate really caught my attention, “Trust with your heart, not your head“. WOW! Is it possible Dove dark chocolates is reaching into the Bible for inspiration?

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” Thinking with ONLY your head will get you into trouble. YOU’LL begin to drive the ship with your OWN understanding. YOU’LL begin to make choices that aren’t always right with your OWN understanding. But, trusting with your heart, is walking by faith. “For we walk by faith, not by sight”. (2 Cor 5:7)

Sure, we may not see it happening right now, but God is working. And when you lean into what God has put inside of your heart, you think differently. You think of not just YOUR needs, but the needs of others. You yield to what God has in store for you, and your life. Simply put, thinking with your heart, (trusting in the Lord) is different than with your head. (your own understanding)

Thank you, Dove chocolates, for your amazing taste. And, for reminding us all to “trust in the Lord with all of our heart and lean not on our own understanding”.

Trust with your heart. Eat dark chocolate. Always run by faith.


Life Is Short. God Is Good.

High School picture of Kelly

Today, I should be texting my sister, “Happy Birthday”. Today, I should be eating cake and ice cream. Today, should be the day my sister, Kelly, turns 46.

My sister, Kelly, left this “home” on January 9, 2001. Her life was taken short from a rare disease called, “Wegener’s”. Kelly was only 25.

My children would’ve adored Kelly’s laughs, jokes, and her unconditional love. Sadly, they never got to know Kelly, as she passed away when my kids were too young . Kelly was my only sibling.

One day, while she was in the hospital, I asked her if she had made the decision to follow Jesus. “Yes”, she said. That simple “yes” gives me the confidence that I will see her again in Heaven. It is the most important decision you will ever make in your life, too.

24 “I speak to you an eternal truth: if you embrace my message and believe in the One who sent me, you will never face condemnation. In me, you have already passed from the realm of death into eternal life!”

Jesus as recorded in John 5:24 (The Passion Translation)

I’m asking you for a favor today. Would you take a moment and simply text/call your sibling (s), and say, “I Love You”? My sister is gone. I don’t have the opportunity to do this anymore. If you have a sibling, I encourage you to reach out today. Push differences aside. Life is too stinkin’ short!

Use an emoji. Share a funny memory. Or, whatever else is coming to your mind as you read this. It would mean a lot to me for you to simply connect.

Here is a picture of Kelly. I miss her, and look forward to seeing her again. And yes, I know that I will!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is fb_img_1578618968537310633097780240729.jpg

What is something YOU do to connect regularly with your sibling(s)? I’d love for you to drop a comment, and also subscribe for more encouragement.

Love your siblings. Go make a difference. Always Run By Faith!


Running By Faith

Running the miles. Sharing the encouragement!

Hi. I’m Tommy, and I love to run. I love encouraging people! And, I choose to Run by Faith!

What does “Run by Faith” mean? Pretty simple, really. My favorite book, the Bible, has a great quote that says to, “walk by faith, not by sight“. Well, as a runner, I ‘run by faith, not by sight’. Get it now?

Here, I plan to share my passion for running, along with my passion of encouragement. I want to help you run some trails, and help you navigate through life. Bottom line, this is my new blog where fitness, friends and faith come together to help you, “Run by Faith”!

That Poor Lady, Was Rich

It was Feb 21, 1990 at The Grammy’s, the highest award for the Music Industry. Everyone was waiting for the winner of “Best New Artist”. It went to a group who put on some major dance moves, and they sold millions of records and scored 3 #1 songs. 41 weeks in the top 10, and 7 of those at #1. They became famous…and infamous. Let me explain.

About 5 months before the Grammy’s, at one of their concerts, their song track skipped. The Audience didn’t think much of it, until Rob ran off the stage. 10 months after winning that Best New Artist Grammy, their producer shared more about that record skipping event, and eventually, he exposed that Milli Vanilli NEVER sang a note on their record. They lip-synced every single song. The gave back their Grammy. And the 6 million who bought the Milli Vanilli CD, could return it, and get their money back.

In Mark, Chapter 12, there’s a story that you probably thought you knew everything about, but like Milli Vanilli, there’s more to it.  It’s sometimes called the widow’s mite, or “the widow’s offering”.

She’s the one who put her last two copper coins into the offering box. It was all she had to live on, and Jesus praises her for her faith, as she was trusting God to provide despite her bank account. Reminding us that we, too, should be more generous, and God will bless us like that sweet woman. Right? Well, like lip-syncing, not quite.

The widow comes into the temple, and Jesus takes the time to bring some perspective to teach the disciples by giving perspective of not just sacrificial giving, but she, like the record track that skipped, exposed something bigger: a Temple system that is broken.

It IS true that she gave her only remaining coins. But the REAL story is that the lip-syncing filthy, corrupt temple system drove her to the point of only HAVING two copper coins (Mark 12:42)!

So, like the producer who blew the cover on Milli Vanilli, I see Jesus getting fired up over this teaching moment as He exposes the corruption and oppression of these religious dudes. Don’t get me wrong, this is sacrificial giving—she gave ALL she had! But, something had to change! The temple system was corrupt. These leaders were lip-syncing their faith.

Are you loving people with the heart of God? Or, is it more like a Milli Vanilli lip-sync concert? This is between you and God. We are called to strive for actions that give us peace, and serve God the way He wants to be served, and give as God wants us to give. Jesus loves the lost, the broken, the marginalized. He’s with those on the other side of the line and calls us to do the same. 

Don’t lip-sync. Go make a difference. Always Run by faith!

(inspired by a conversation with my friend Steve Place)

The Worst Vacation Souvenir, Ever!

Recently, I was in Florida for a wedding. It was wonderful to run some early morning miles, soak up some sun, and sit by the water, I just wish I knew more about one tiny issue.

The issue is a little bug that people call “no-see-ums”. Why? Because you can’t see them, but they sure see YOU!

Apparently, they are small and have a big appetite for exposed skin. (Like my legs!)

OH MY WORD, do these bites itch! I’ve been putting anti-itch cream on, and it does help. But they itch like poison ivy!

Here’s the lesson I’ve learned. While running, I was on the lookout for big things like gators in the pond, snakes, and getting pooped on by birds. I was never prepared for no-see-ums.

Many times, we’re on the lookout for the big, dangerous things in life. But, we often miss those small things that don’t seem like a big deal. But, if you don’t pay attention, they’ll bite ya!

Is there something in your life that’s currently a ‘no-see-um’?

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8 NIV

Avoid no-see-ums. Go make a difference. Always run by faith. Oh, and I’d love for you to subscribe for more encouragement!

I’m Trying To Quit…

Well, this isn’t easy, but it needs to be done. I have made a decision that I believe will help me and help others. I feel like it is a much needed tuneup.

For this journey up to Easter called “Lent, I am giving up complaining. I know it sounds a bit odd, but I have found myself complaining more than I should.

I believe that there is a very fine line between a statement and a complaint. Saying, “Wow! There is a lot of traffic” in much different than “Sheesh! This traffic is ridiculous!”.

What is the difference? I believe that it is in the attitude of the heart. I truly have nothing to complain about in life.

I’m healthy. (Which means I am able to keep running) I have a wonderful wife and kids. I am blessed with plenty of friends. I have a wonderful job. All with the comforts of 1st world amenities.

So, for the next several weeks leading up to Easter Sunday, I’m trying to quit. Trying is a big word, but it is important to start the process.

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing”

Philippines 2:14

(Ironically, I am already having this put to the test, as I’m making constant mistakes as I type this which is…DEEP BREATH…Just fine!)

Quit something. Go make a difference. Always run by faith!

Let me know if there’s anything you plan to give up as a lifestyle tuneup.

Goals and Purpose: A Winning Formula

Think back. 1 year ago. What was your goal for the year? Not your resolution, but your goal. How did you do?

At this point, you’re either smiling because you crushed it, or you want to exit out of this blog asap.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve trained for a race, only to fall short of my goal. Was it discouraging? Yes. Did I give up? NO!

I kept pushing, training, and making tweaks to better myself. Then, when the day came that I did hit my goal, oh, it was so much sweeter.

Goals are important steps in your everyday life. Maybe this is the year you take that first step in a faith walk with God. Pray daily. Read the Bible daily. Grab a daily devotional. For me, this has been my winning formula above all else.

So, you have a new slate. A new year. Stop looking back on the things you didn’t achieve, push toward a new goal, and go get it!

“I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.”

Psalm 57:2

Set your goal. Go make a difference. Always run by faith.

4 Christmas Gifts

Merry Christmas! I hope your Christmas was wonderful.

I am going to keep this short. For the last few weeks, we have been preparing for the birth of Christ. Every week, we have focused on 4 great gifts of Jesus: Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy.

There is no wrapping paper for these gifts. There is no charge or layaway. These are gifts God gives to you through the birth of Christ.

Will you open these gifts and keep them? Or, will you return them and say, “No thanks.”

Unwrap the gifts. They fit perfectly! Go make a difference. Always run by faith.

Merry Christmas, friend! Subscribe for more encouragement.

Is A Wrong Turn Really Wrong?

Have you turned left when you meant to go, right? Straight when you were supposed to exit? Run on a trail instead of a road? Usually, you think “oops” or “that was a mistake,” but is it really?

I truly believe that God directs our steps. Many times, I’ve gone into a store when I wasn’t planning on it. Only to bump into a friend or someone I haven’t seen in forever. Is that a coincidence? I don’t believe it is.

I was just reading in Luke 2 in the Bible to prepare my heart for Christmas. I came across a verse that jumped off of the page. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like much. But, the more I read it, the more it caught my attention.

As they came to the temple to fulfill this requirement, an elderly man was there waiting—a resident of Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. He was a very good man, a lover of God who kept himself pure, and the Spirit of holiness rested upon him. Simeon believed in the imminent appearing of the one called “The Refreshing of Israel.” For the Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would not see death before he saw the Messiah, the Anointed One of God. Keeping his promise, the Holy Spirit led Simeon to be in the temple court at the very moment Jesus’ parents entered to fulfill the requirement of the sacrifice.

Luke 2:25-27 TPT

I italicized the part that jumped off of the page.”The Holy Spirit led Simeon,”. At just the right time, Simeon was led into the temple to encounter Jesus. All of his life, he waited for this moment.

Was it a coincidence that Simeon walked into the temple at that time? Nope. This was a moment appointed by God. Simeon could’ve been anywhere, doing anything. But God made a way for Simeon to intersect with Jesus at just the right time.

Today, be on the lookout for those “moments” that God puts in your path. There may have been a reason you turned left when you planned on going right.

Be willing to be directed. Go make a difference. Always run by faith.

For more encouragement, please subscribe. (And it wouldn’t be wrong to share it with a friend, either).