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I recently spent a few days in Washington D.C. It was a whirlwind of a trip and emotional roller coaster. We spent time at all the memorials (and more) which takes you through the a history of war, courage and sacrifice.
Perhaps it was the over night bus ride and not sleeping much that made me a bit emotionally thin. But the question of whether we have forgotten haunted me the whole time we were there.
Our country was birthed through sacrifice. A lot of sacrifice. Wars were fought, freedom has been defended. Peace has been elusive at times. And it seems there has always been a downtrodden people group. There still is. Honestly there is more than one. And there are always men who have evil in their hearts. Who have such an obsessive craving for power that individual lives become cheap to them and then the slaughter of innocent lives continues.
Have we forgotten that life is precious? And that all the people groups around the world need defending not just a few? Forget the politics and forget the caustic arguments. God has created all people in his image and are worth defending. Yes it is a sacrifice and yes it is more costly than I can even imagine. Yet the flip side is a world in chaos and evil men will continue to think lives are cheap.
I’m very thankful for the men and women who gave the final sacrifice (and of course all veterans and those currently serving). People need defending and it is nothing to shrink back from nor is it to be taken lightly.
May you have a day full of memories and most of all do not forget.
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Here are my top 3 reasons:
- It’s good for my brain
- It’s good for my body
- It’s good for my soul
Running helps keep me sane. No really it does. I suppose that most forms of semi-rigorous exercise would fit this bill however running is simple and you can do it pretty much anywhere. It allows me to think if I want to or to just completely check out. Both are super helpful.
Obviously exercise is good for you however chronic cardio is actually not the best. So I try to balance it with good cross training and also by not pushing myself every time I go out. LOTS of
easy miles is essential. That being said, pushing my body by going farther or faster than I’ve ever gone is exhilarating.
I love listening to podcasts while I run. Sometimes I hang on every word while other times something that is said starts my brain down a rabbit trail and I miss several minutes of what is being talked about. Whether I listen to every word or not, listening and learning feeds my brain and my soul. If my running schedule gets condensed, I REALLY miss my podcast time!
There are more benefits of course but these are my top 3. I’m mostly an introvert so you can see that (mostly) running by myself fits the bill. Conversely, running in community is huge for others.
How about you?
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Guys don’t often take enough time to listen. Sometimes not at all. And we certainly don’t normally take a weekend to put a pause on things to just soak in scripture, pray fervently and LISTEN.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to do just that with 9 other guys up at North Manitou Island. I can hardly put into words how good it was to lock arm and arm with guys and cry out to God for his mercy and grace. God’s Spirit was evident and it was such a powerful experience.
Amongst other things, it was evident to me that we as guys, as Christians, we need biblical community. We are desperate for it. Often we don’t know we need it or it is just a idea that we are told we need. But this weekend we actually experienced biblical community where we shared, cried, and prayed for each other. Where we laid hands on one another and sought after God’s heart. And he showered down his favor on us.
I feel strongly that God has created us to be in community with other Christians. Much of the New Testament is written towards how we are to take care of one another. That really is impossible if we hermit and try to do things solo. My faith is strengthened in community as others pour into me and I pour into others. One element that is powerful in biblical community is sharing your faith story. And sharing it several times helps you to remember how good God has been to you. Sharing your story is super encouraging to others too because seeing God work in others is like a shot of adrenaline.
This past weekend was a mountain top experience for sure and I get that it’s not going to be an every day thing. Yet, there are elements that can be everyday for all of us because this journey God has us on is best done with others. In biblical community as I struggle, others pick me up and petition to God on my behalf. As others struggle, I pick them up and petition to God on their behalf. We really don’t have to be lone rangers. As guys we are told to man up and make something of ourselves. Honestly, that is a perfect way to be a great navel gazer, be hooked on porn but otherwise be a nice moral person. God calls us to be so much more!
Being a disciple of Jesus doesn’t mean we’ll ever be perfect. But it does mean our lives are marked with humility, repentance, love and generosity. And those marks are not to make ourselves look better but to give every ounce of glory to our incredible Father.
When is the last time you paused life long enough so you could listen to God?