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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!

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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”!

I Was Frustrated. Until…

There are many things in our day that we take for granted. A warm shower. Transportation. Opening the door to get into work. (I know, that’s a random list) I do each of those things everyday. Well, everything but open the door.

The other morning, I arrived at work. I reached into my bag to get my keys. Put them in the lock, and…nothing. It acted like it was jammed. I tried again. Nothing. They keys wouldn’t turn. The door wouldn’t open. And, because I was the first person to arrive at the office, I couldn’t pound on it and ask someone to open the door. So, now what?

After several frustrating minutes, I finally did what I should’ve done to begin with, pray! It wasn’t a long, drawn out prayer, it was a “Um, Lord? I could really use some help…” kind of prayer. (Which is about as real as it gets)

I took a deep breath, turned the key, and, “click”, it opened! Why didn’t I pray in the first place?!

Life sure would be a lot less stressful if prayer was the first thing, instead of the last resort. Pray first. Act second.

Well, the other morning, I again was the first person to arrive at work. I reached into my bag, grabbed my keys and tried to open the door. Nothing. But, this time, I stopped and prayed another simple prayer. “Lord, I’m coming to you first and asking for your help to open this door…”. I turned the key again, and, “click”. The door opened! That’s the power of prayer.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Today, when you encounter an issue, a need, a problem, pray first, act second.

Pray first. Go make a difference. Always run by faith.

I’d love to hear of a time you’ve discovered the power of praying first! Drop a comment below!

Why Don’t We Pray More?

P.F.A.S. Those 4 letters have helped shape my life. They stand for Pray First Act Second. PFAS.

I’ve been trying to lean into praying first, before jumping into action. I would love to say that I have it mattered. But, Uh…NOPE!

I will say this, it has become more of a practice in my life. Praying first before worrying. Praying first before looking for a lost item. Praying first before lashing out.

Recently, I lost an item that I just purchased from the store. It was something I needed for my daily run. I always keep this item in the same dresser drawer every time I use it. So, when I reached into my drawer and it wasn’t there, I was a bit confused. I went into another room to look. Nothing. I looked in my travel bag. Zero. Now what?

I went back to my dresser drawer. But, this time, before I opened it up, I took a moment and said a small prayer. Basically, I asked God to open my eyes, and help me to see if I overlooked it. Well, right there, under an item in my drawer was the prized possession! It had been there all along.

Prayer is not a magic potion. It is a conversation between you and God. An opportunity to chat with the creator of the Universe. Think about that, if God knows what it takes to make the sun rise, I’m pretty confident He is able to help me find a lost item in my dresser drawer.

But, how much time, and unnecessary worry, would I have skipped if I just would’ve prayed first?!

Pray first. Act second. Go make a difference. Always run by faith!

Planks And Proverbs

It is a new month! Are you up for a challenge? It is sure to benefit you physically, and spirituality.

First the Spiritual part. There are 31 days in the month of July. There are also 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs in the Bible. How about joining me in reading a chapter a day?

Now the physical part. I would like to invite you to join me on a journey to add plankng into your life. Planking is great for your core and upper body. Did you know, that with a plan, you can build up to a 5 minute plank in 31 days?

Here is my challenge. Let’s do this together! Simply follow this handy planking calendar everyday. This will show you exactly how long you should be planking daily. If 5 minutes is too daunting, simply modify the plan to best fot your fitness level.

In addition, I challenge you to read a chapter everyday in the book of Proverbs. There are 31 days in the month, so you just need to read 1 chapter of Proverbs everday. Or, at the very least, 1 “verse” in Proverbs. If you’re not too familiar with the Book or Proverbs, or have access to the Bible, there are several apps you can download. Or, just Google “Proverbs”.

If you join me in this challenge, I believe that you will see a change both physically and spiritually.

Are you in? Drop me a comment and let’s do this!

Planks and Proverbs! Go make a difference. Always run by faith!

He Heard My Cry

Lately, I have been struggling. It has been a grind for the last few months. I am well aware that trials produce maturity. But, the human side of me has been hit pretty hard.

My wife is still without taste or smell since October from last year due to Covid. We have had numerous technology issues behind the scenes where I work. I’ve lost 2 friends in 2 separate motorcycle accidents. It has just been tough.

I have been praying. I’ve been reading my Bible daily, and it has helped. That said, it has still been a grind.  

A few weeks ago, I heard a speaker challenge the audience to read the Bible aloud. At first I thought, “That’s a cool idea. But, I doubt I will try it.”  Well, when enough trouble comes your way, you find yourself trying ANYTHING! 

So, I opened up my Bible to Psalm 6, which is entitled, “A Cry for Healing”.  (Why Psalm 6? I truly believe God directed me to that one) It says things like, “Heal Me, Yahweh, for I’m falling apart.”  “I’m worn out with weeping and groaning. Night after night I soak my pillow with tears, and flood my bed with weeping.”  

Then, before verse 8, it says, “He Heard My Cry”. Check this out, “Turn from me, all you troublemakers! For Yahweh has turned to hear the sound of my weeping”. 

WOW! Saying those words aloud really helped me “talk” to God. I was speaking those words directly back to God. Those words written thousands of years ago are STILL relevant today! God knew I needed these words.

While I am still not out of the woods with my, “problems”, I’m finding much more peace because of Psalm 6.  

When is the last time you read the Bible aloud? God will hear your cry!

Read aloud. Go make a difference. Always run by faith.

A Song That Only Went To #9, But Has A #1 Message

As I was out for a Father’s Day run, and heard the classic song, “Leader Of The Band” by Dan Fogelberg. It was written by Dan as a tribute to his Dad.

The song, which climbed to #9, was released in 1981, almost 1 year before his Father died. It has become somewhat of a “tribute song” to say “thank you” to Father’s for leading the way. What an honor for your son to write a song about your legacy as a Dad.

The chorus says, “The leader of the band is tired, and his eyes are growing old. But his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul. My life has been a poor attempt, to imitate the man. I’m just a leaving legacy to the leader of the band.”

If my kids were to write a song about me, what would it say? If you could write a song about your Father, what would it say? What kind of legacy am I leaving?!

I am grateful that we have a Heavely Father who loved us so much that He gave his only Son, Jesus. Believe in Him and you will not die, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) Now THAT is a #1 message.

I raise my coffee mug to Dads! Leave a legacy. Go make a difference. Always run by faith!

The Importance Of Listening To That Still Small Voice

Ever have that moment when someone pops into your mind completely out the blue? It happend to me just the other day.

I have no idea why, but a friend popped into my mind. Whenever that happens, I try to send a quick message and just touch base. It is a good thing that I did.

My friend, unbeknownst to me, is in the process of making a very difficult decision. I’m not going to go into detail, but I will say that this friend was super grateful to know that someone was reaching out. (I don’t take credit for this. This was all God)

It did get me thinking, how many times do we ignore the still small voice, and just blow it off? What if I didn’t reach out at just that moment?

I encourage you to not only listen for the still small voice, which I believe is the nudge from God, but act on it!

If you have a time in which you acted on “the nudge”, or someone reached out to you after getting “the nudge”, let me know in the comments below.

Listen for “the nudge”. Go make a difference. Always run by faith!

Running IS Universal

Happy global running day! A day that is worthy to be celebrated.

On my run this morning, while at a conference, I snapped this picture to commorate the day.

It seemed fitting, since running is a universal thing!!

I’d love to see a pic of something you spotted on your run today. Please share it in the comments below.

Celebrate your health. Go make a difference. Always Run By Faith!