Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Higher Running Ground

Signing up for a race motivates one to train for the competition ahead. The time beforehand is not only spent in physical preparation, but in mental transformation as well. Olympic runners train for years or even a lifetime in order to obtain the gold medal. These games are not last minute decisions, even for those who seem physically fit.

The Corinthians were no strangers to the concept of racing. They would not so much as touch anything that would inhibit their physical power. During the race, no man was left out of harms way; anyone could fall prey to the snare of injury or death. Runners pushed themselves beyond limits to have a chance at the champion title. The one that succeeded received a laurel crown and a palm branch to signify victory over the opponents. The winner was placed in high esteem by all peoples in the town and surrounding lands. No amount of pain and suffering could weigh down the athletes vying for the honors awarded.

If Christ were to come today, could you say you have been training intensely for the marathon to Heaven? Have you kept out all distractions or possible stumbling blocks from your path? Will He be able to place the victors crown upon your head?

"I'm pressing on the upward way,
 New heights I'm gaining every day;
 Still praying as I onward bound,
'Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.'"

"I want to scale the utmost height
 And catch a gleam of glory bright; 
 But still I'll pray till rest I've found,
'Lord, lead me onto higher ground.'" 

God wants you to win so He can place the victors crown upon your head, but you have to train every day for the race ahead.

" For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come."     ~1 Timothy 4:8

Sunday, July 10, 2011


6:18 A.M.     The alarm goes off... can it be that time already? Emily, time to get going. The longer we wait, the less time we have to run and the more humid Tennessee gets! We start running around our little neighborhood while the sun starts the journey across the sky. This is OUR time to talk.

While reading chapter 15 of Christ's Object Lessons, I studied the story of The Lost Sheep. Everyone knows that God is the Great Shepherd and He is searching for us, the lost sheep. But how many of us have taken on the role of being a shepherd for those lost sheep that we know? Christ calls us to this job, once we have accepted His sacrifice, and expects us to learn the rules of life's hide-and-seek for lost souls. Every time you walk away from a lost sheep without extending the guiding staff of love, that sheep will potentially be lost... forever. Christ died for all one-hundred sheep, even the one that ran away.

Emily and I know this is our duty, to become shepherds for lost sheep, but what do we do if all our friends are already Adventist. This certainly would not apply to us. How do you witness to those other shepherds? Then reality struck. Just because we say "Happy Sabbath", make our famous potluck specialty, and take an afternoon hike does not mean we can't be lost. Most often, the time   I spend with these friends on Sabbath is not spent discussing our joys of being a shepherd or even the blessings we received from God. More likely, our talk will pertain to topics of the world. Is our duty to usher the other herdsmen back onto the trail we traverse? Should we start singing "More, more about Jesus" as loud as we can? How do you stand up to those who have already taken after the Shepherd?

7:08 A.M.     Finally back home. The cool air of the dining room brings a delightful feeling upon our steamy skin. The canister of granola is placed in the middle of the table with blueberries and bananas as extra toppings. This is my morning routine, my time to converse with God and learn more about Him.

Have you had your granola today?