My Great God

My Great God
This is what the Lord says:"Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord"- Jeremiah 17:5

Friday, November 26, 2010

This Blog is about a race!

The purpose of this blog has been radically changed from what I intended it to be about. I initially wanted to write about the training process of the foot race in Arizona and hopefully encourage those reading that the Lord provides strength yada yada yada...AND He did, He was so evident! But in the Sovereignty of the Lord the purpose is so much more eternal. Maybe not SO different...but I am no longer doing the Arizona marathon and my heart has completely changed. I have LOVED the accountability the Lord has made this blog to be throughout the 2 months that I was intensely training. The physical training was not in vain. I want to continue to write about what the Lord is teaching me in this race of faith. It is a race, and by the grace of God I intend to beat this body till the finish line.
Yesterday was thanksgiving. I have SO much to be thankful for. From the list of what i am given to the list of what i am not given. I walk by grace and mercy. As we went around the table talking about what we are individually thankful for, the Lord pulled another scale from my eye to show me(at the right time) how much i do not deserve to be in my earthly family but more importantly how much i don't deserve to be adopted into the family of my Maker! I arrogantly walk through life with an attitude of entitlement. What a horrible associate in my heart! I Love to think I'm lovable and that I deserve things in life. What a freakin lie!! What have I made happen in my life!? NOTHING! I never chose, I never created, I never, nor will I ever, be able to control or know all things.  I read through Job 38-41 today and by the kindness of the Lord he revealed to me my heart.. and its deceits.Who am I to tell God how he should act!? To tell him that I know the perfect plan for my life, and be discontent till He gives it to me. What blindness and arrogance I am prone to. OK enough of my ranting.. you see a glimpse of my wretched heart. I am so thankful for GRACE! But thankfulness has to be an act of worship in my heart.. or else my heart uses it as a way to puff me up. Our thankfulness must be directed to a person! I'm not just thankful to some ambiguous thing. I am thankful to God!! All good things come from His hand! A very cool friend of mine came over for thanksgiving and he said he was thankful for trials. What a heart  I long to have that says that. That sees trials as a means of grace in a believers life. And like he said, in this we can rejoice. Like Romans 5 says, trials produce in me hope that doesn't disappoint! SOLID!!! I'm the queen of fearing disappointment!! I was humbled as i listened to friends and family talk about what they were thankful for... we are all thankful for things that we haven't had a part in. Thankful for gifts given, desires given, people given..all by my precious Heavenly Father!
I just came back from a run and had lots of time to think. I listened to Rick Holland preaching on Proverbs 5. Talking about the seriousness of fighting the associates in my heart. Thinking through what sins that i coddle and protect in my heart. What do i "let slide" in this fight? What am I strapping to my back before i run up the mountain towards holiness? Talk about conviction, I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit and his active work in my life, I hope you are as well. Praise be to God for His forgiveness and the forgiveness of others.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Unexpected Conversation!!

Now if you have been reading my blog you know i have been having funky knee pain and i have been praying about whether or not it is really wise to keep pushing it. Its been about 3 weeks and no real clear answer until now. Due to various "reasons" (totally from the Sovereign hand of the Lord) plus many conversations, Amber and I have decided to hold off on the Arizona Marathon and pray about doing the LA marathon in March. Now we are thinking of doing the 1/2 in Arizona, but not sure yet.So we are still going to moderately run but not crazy pushing. It is just so cool to me to see how the Lord has revealed his will in this specific area. I totally thought it would be hard to tell everyone that i have decided to not finish the goal i initially set out to accomplish.. Now obviously this was covered by my fear of man.. I was afraid of what you people might think of me. Would i be a loser, failure, weak sauce, quitter, baby, a fatty.... you may laugh but this is real thoughts that go through my silly mind! Once again, the lord is faithful through time in his word and through sermons and godly peoples influence... he is so kind to show me how desperately I need him and i don't need everyone to think of me how I think of if i have a right view of myself. HA!! I believe a lie about me, i ain't no thang!! The bible tells me so.. so why am i longing for people to tell me lies!!! The fear of man is a straight up joke! Jesus is to be feared alone!
 He is my audience and he is already pleased with me because of what Christ has done for me. That my name, "Laura Jean Stone" (Question:what happens when you get married.. is Laura jean Stone written or my married name?? Just a stupid thought) anyyywayys!! I'm chosen!! I'm picked, I'm wanted, I'm beautiful, I'm taken, I'm making my eternal husband smile...ONLY by the blood and Resurrection of Jesus Christ!! I am these things because Jesus SET his very specific love on me! i was the target when i didn't want to be!! ( and so are you hopefully!!) The approval of man seems so disappointing when compared to my heavenly father. I obviously lose my focus, i get distracted with my own lusts and worldly desires and i deceive myself daily into believing that this world is my home. What freedom the Lord freely gives in knowing him! I have been studying Romans 5 and i cant help but tell you how thankful and peaceful it is to trust in Jesus... i have access to my maker, I live in joy that nothing can extinguish... that trials only fan it into a bigger flame. I beg the Lord to humble me to continually see my need and dependence on him as i seek to discipline my mind. I need to know my bible more because we all know i need to keep changing and there ain't no other way this stubborn selfish heart is going to change apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. He needs handle bars on my heart to direct me, these handle bars are his word.

Funnnnny story... THIS MORNING!!! OK i see this guy almost every morning i go to the gym.. I'm wearing headphones so i never talk to anyone. So i finish my workout and go to the drinking fountain and he walks out too. He asks how far i ran and I'm telling him a bit about the race i set out to do but am unable due to my knee. He was interested and told me how he does marathons yada yada yada.. and i smile and walk towards the door.. He follows me and i ask if he was done with his workout and He said no... he just wanted to talk to me. ( i tell you this because the LORD is so in control an so soveregin its sometime s funny) soo he then asked if i wanted to get a cup of coffee sometime. I said "ya know what, I'm going to be honest with you... You are probly not going to like me after we start talking" he was kinda shocked and asked why. I explained why by saying " I'm a christian and i absolutely love my savior.. (inserted gospel) and if this is not your passion in life,you will not like me. So maybe you should rethink this question."  Now by the grace of God i got to talk to him about his soul...He grew up catholic and seemed very unaffected by the gospel. Now what was sweet was that i told him I loved him enough to tell him the truth and wanted to see him in heaven. he laughed and said you do!?!!? and i said the most loving thing to do is to give you the answer to why your here to fix your greatest need! he agreed on that. We talked about the Lord and how Holy he is and how sinful we are. This was all in the stairway of the gym!!! hahahha!!! After 15 minutes i had to go, and he said well thanks for loving me and ill think about what you said.. I said I would pray for him and have my friends pray for him. i encouraged him to read john and 1John.. So we will see. But all this came about because I have been training for this race!! I love the wisdom of the Lord and his plans!! I want to live in His will and be a Christian anywhere.. Pray for GT. (That's his name)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Turbo Turtle"

Literally about to write this blog before I go to work!
I am the fastest turtle. This is a very good analogy of the pace I am running at. I am very fast for a "slow" runner. But you know what, this is ME! I give it my all every time I run, even if its not all that much. I know i am working hard at pushing myself to "win it" each run. Whats the use at doing anything unless you do it with all you got. This is all I can do. So praise the Lord he has let me run today! Praise Him for his kindness to me in giving me his word, giving me sermons that put His word in my mind giving the Holy Spirit handles in my heart to direct me to do His will. I listened to John MacArthur's sermon on the "Power of the Word of God in a Believers Life". SHOOOOT!!! You have got to go listen to it! He was explaining the text in Matthew 6 about the word of God being like a sword. The Greek word explains that the sword is not a long heavy sword, but its discribed as a dagger. That it is only effective if used in a very detailed way. To kill someone with a dagger you must go for the key spots on the body that would kill someone, not their pinky toe! so he went on to convict me by correlating the truth of the word needing to be used in the heart of a man in such a detailed way. we must KNOW it, not just heady, lofty facts... but we must know detailed scripture that pertain to each temptation in our mind and life. I cant possibly live by truth I dont know... I cant possibly love someone i don't study. (My husband doesn't even know how excited I am to study the way I don't know who my husband is..haha But Lord willing!!) Through this run today, I was driven to thankfulness. Honestly, aren't you? We have been given the very word of God, His presence. smokerydots_turbo-turtle
                                                                I can't believe I found this picture... HAHA!

This is a little taste of our weekend.. He is such a gift!

I have been going through something in my life that is driving me to pray. HOW SWEET OF THE LORD TO GIVE ME THIS TRIAL!! Driving me to beg for the Lord to make my desires His. While at the same time he is teaching me how much my life is not mine. This is freedom people!!! My expectations for my life may very well not be his plans for my future. I have had to repent and confess my selfish, self-centered expectations that i have put on the Lord. This is not faith, I am so tempted to distrust his care in my life. As if he would want to make me do, live, or even marry someone to punish me. HA!! This is not the true and living God!! The one true God is out for His own glory and HIS GLORY IS MY GOOD. Do I believe this, willing to unclench my grip on this "ideal" lifestyle, body, status and walk in faith? Is faith IN the creator of the universe, sustainer of my life, the giver of my breath that hard or disappointing to trust?? I'm jacked up if i believe I know better than Him. I'm so humbled to think about how much i sin against him. How unbelief and doubt are where I am prone to sin. Do I really believe Heaven is where i belong? I cant let my voice give evidence to that in my life, you gotta look at my life, look at my checkbook, look at my calendar, look at me alone in my closet.  Do you see Jesus, or Laura stone? I must decrease, Christ must increase! All in all, it was a great run this God be the glory..

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What's the real goal...

This has been an interesting week. I know the Lord's will for my life is my sanctification. I started this blog so i could show you how evident Christ is in my life and how great He is!! Thus far it has been super positive while being hard, but i want to be faithful to still proclaim Christ when it is seemingly negative and my sin is ugly. So here ya go...
Now to give you all a brief background, I have been having weird knee pain... pain i have never ever experienced before. So after talking to a few studly runners, they encouraged me to slow my pace down and ease into training even slower. So i have been and the knee pain is better (not completely gone, but better) As i am having to slow down i am feeling so ashamed, like i failed because the initial goal to qualify for Boston seems to be very UNrealistic. I have been praying and asking the Lord for clarity on what to do. Knee pain, unattainable goal for my body right now, not wanting to injure myself for life...yet sticking to a goal no matter what, being a woman of my word.. all these thoughts have been flooding my brain. As of this moment, He has made it clear to change my goal. To not kill or injure myself to qualify, but to beat my last marathon time. I have been contemplating the thought of running the half instead of the full. In my arrogance i don't want to quit because i have committed to finish the race! (To the Lord, myself, family, friends..specifically Amber since we are training together)  At one point I had a complete peace about the decision to do this marathon. BUT I also don't want to quit at this because its getting really hard, that's why we set keep going and never stop until we reach the mark. I'm wrestling with this because I don't want to be a fool. I have loved the training, the Lord has been teaching me, encouraging me through his word through the hours i get alone with him running.
Just finished this with Carly Brannon. I HIGHLY recommend it!

I know my body is feeble and weak...(I know I'm not old) but this time around my body is responding differently to the training. haha...So the Lord, in His kindness, has brought to my mind the issue of contentment. Accepting the way the Lord made me and not trying to be someone I'm not. Lets be real guys, I ain't no long distance runner. No one would ever guess that about me, and that is totally fine! I have been told i have more of a sprinters body type if anything. Not that I'm a sprinter.. haha.. But I have always longed to look a differently than i physically look at any given moment. I constantly let myself live in the belief that i must always be changing.. loosing weight, toning up, etc. IN ORDER TO be affirmed, accepted and admired by what I have done to achieve this "look". As if looking a certain way would get me married, friends, status, respect.. whatever! There is no rest in my mind with this issue EXCEPT from the belief and honest acceptance of my Sovereign Lord hand crafting me JUST HOW HE WANTS ME to be for HIS GLORY. And for me to actually believe that His glory is for my good.

So with this being a sinful tendency in my heart, it just kind of adds to the questioning of doing this full marathon.WHY!!! I am not saying i have committed to bail or to stop training yet.. The Lord hasn't made his will clear in this exact decision yet. So i write this to beg you to pray for me. I want to honor the Lord so badly in this. I want to be so OK with whatever it is he has planned. His plans are so not my plans sometimes.. and i want to be teachable to my Lord and eager for His will to be done no matter how radical that may change my circumstances. But this is not my tendency, I fear man and I fear being alone, unloved, and undesirable. All of which my Lord offers to me in Him. I am humbled even as i am typing about my self centered thinking even. But I ant to be honest with you in hopes to encourage anyone reading this to seek the Lord while He may be found and to worship the one person we are created to worship. It comes down to a battle of what will I worship. Me... or my Creator!
This is my dirty rotten sinner heart, but I am forgiven and I am so thankful I can even run for the glory of God. Please pray and let me know any thoughts! i would love to hear your comments.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Not my will, but Your will be done!"

The Lord is so kind to me!!! He allowed me to hurt my knee in order to test my faith. So I could see my heart!I know He is in control, I know He alone is sovereign, and I know Christ-likeness is my GOOD!
I ended up taking 3 full days off of running due to the abnormal shooting pain in my knee. An unexpected detour in my plans are definitely times where my fears love to show their ugly heads. I was tempted to (yet again) sulk in my "failure" (or having to pull back) and totally disbelieve the Lord is who He says He is. I gave into self pity and have had to repent and act contrary to what my flesh.. that person who was lazy, people pleasing, selfish, dead to spiritual things and unmotivated by Jesus...but have since  been saved and changed from. When i wake up in the mornings my flesh is ready and waiting to punch me in my face.
So with all that said.. you now know a bit more about my personal struggle with pride and Independence... pray for me to be quick to repent and constantly leaning! As of Wednesday, my knee has been totally fine!!! The Lord took away the pain!! Granted , I have ha to slow down a bit... but that doesn't hurt. So i did my mid week longer run yesterday and i did my cross training today. I was listening to John pipers sermon on "How to kill sin". Let me tell you, it was soooo practical! At the end of the message from practically the whole book of Romans, his application was to murder the flesh with the sword of the spirit. Christianity is about killing. Killing MY flesh. Sounds lofty, and churchy... so he continues to say how we actually do this. We obviously use the sword of the spirit (the word) to conquer our sin, and in the moment that simply means we recount and BELIEVE the bible, the great promises of God!!! I must choose to not be hostile towards God but to believe God! To believe whatever the bible says. This stresses the importance of knowing and living in and loving the Word of my God!!! I grow in sanctification the same way i got saved!!!! This was so encouraging to my heart today, so thankful for the word and so eager to get into the word. Ps. 90:12 My days are numbered here. I want so badly to kill my sin of laziness, to kill my desire for self indulgence (or comfort) and to live in the reality that I live in His watchful presence! (Even when I run!!)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Goals are made with an open hand!

It has been a ery eventful weekend. We had our annual staff retreat for the High School ministry at my church. It was such an encouraging, refreshing time. The topic was "Stewardship" and it was super convicting but so helpful when figuring out how to practically change. My body is not mine. My body is completely owned by another! I say this right off the bat because on Friday i did my long run since i was going out of town and i guess i pushed it too hard or something because my knee has been killing me ever since. i have never ever ever had knee pain. I have been doing everything " right" when it comes to stretching, trigger pointing, icing and rest. Yet the pain remains. No doubt this is in the Lords will for today. Don't get me wrong, I have been asking him to take away the pain if it would be His will. In this tiny little trial i have seen how my fear loves to show its ugly head whenever possible. I have been tempted to think that i have "failed" and fall into the "pity me" pride! I have also been tempted to quit a few times because the goal seems even more impossible now, kin of as a way to protect myself from being let down possibly..BUT IM NOT!!
I promised my mom before I began that I would listen to my body. To not over due it when i KNOW there is a problem. If your an athlete you know the fine line of difference between pain and injury. SO i have taken today off. I feel like a lamo, but I know this is necessary if I want to continue to do this race.
Coming off of a super good weekend, thinking biblicaly about my body, my time, my stuff, my money... NONE OF IT IS MINE!! The time I have committed to use to train, the money i have committed to use and the tole I have committed to place on my body is all the LORDS! I am to be a steward of all of this. I am entrusted with these things for the glory of the Lord. Not for my own self exaltation. This concept has helped me think more clearly on this race even. (So silly I know) But I want to use all this time and money and pain to grow closer to my Savior... to know him better because i have chosen to do this. So please pray that my focus remains on enjoying and praising the Lord... that He would remain my goal to please... and to hold loosely my expectation to run this race, but to trust Him no matter what.. knee or no knee.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who am I?

Today was my mid week longer run. I mapped out my route last night so i knew exactly where i needed to run. I woke up with a slight stomach ache but that ain't goin to stop this girl. Had a great time with Jesus, quiet... focused. Before i knew it i was out runnin. No joke, I got spooked by 2 Hispanic guys that were crossing the street. They whistled and chased me for about 5 seconds as if i was a horse! Totally freaked me out, i definitely ran faster.

 I had John MacArthur's sermon on expectations on. SUPER SUPER helpful! The main point the Lord drove into me today was the fact that I am lowly. Philippians 3 tells me so. But what the heck is lowly? The contrast came when Paul talks about Jesus coming  back, and changing me from this

 lowly state into His glory!! SO that leads me to think about why I do what I do. Why am I trying to be seen as UN- lowly or should I just say superior, or proud??? (You know what i mean) And MacArthur went on to talk about our society and how it is all about "Your best life now!" It scream at us to milk this world for all its worth. Get as much as you can, be as fulfilled as you can, live it up and get it all because the world says your life is for you. As if that will make me happy, totally void of peace. Wat a lie to I am believing when i think achieving a certain appearance or status as a big reason I exist! (I am not saying to ditch hard work and to not give a rip about how you look when you walk out the door.) I mean come on, If you guys have ever read the bible you know I am a dirty rotten sinner! I know my heart... I know where I let sin thrive. I know where i like to justify my actions. But with this sermon and the sermon from Monday about humility, it couldn't be more clear... I am not alive to live for me! haha.. My comfort and earthly pleasure is not at the top of Jesus' priority list for my life, so why is it ok for them to be on mine?! The fact that Jesus wants my character to be exactly like his is awesome! What a privilege. The fact that He knows me and loves me and wants the absolute best for me, i am nothing but thankful!!! He desires me to find true satisfaction TODAY in communing with Him. He isn't mean for not giving me what i have prayer for for so many years! Little did I know I was praying for idols. How patient and forgiving He is to me.
 I am so unimpressed sometimes with what this world offers, ya know? I am so thankful for those little glimpse's ! Jesus is alive. 

Same God that created these legs created mine! Haha! 

I got through my run and it was hard... FORSURE! I was pretty fatigued to begin with and the rain and tummy ache didn't seem to let up. But by the grace of my Lord i was faster than last Wednesday!! WOOHOOO!!! Totally unbelievable. 

Monday, October 18, 2010


Saturday was the shortest "long run" of the entire training plan. So In my mind it was so do-able. But no matter how long or short the distance is, it is always hard. Praise the Lord my mile was actually a bit faster than the week prior! He made me move faster!!! woohoo!
As for today, Its always great coming off of a rest day. Let alone a rest day filled with Gods word being preached, rain, and a nap... this just made for such a great day! And the Lord had granted me rest so that come this morning my run was great! It was definitely hard because in my head I always have to be pushing my speed. But I finished strong and a nice old man at the gym looked at me as i was walking out and said "Wow girl, you must have worked hard" (I was really gross and sweaty, he made me laugh) He was definitely not complimenting me! hahaha! Anyways! During the run, i was listening to John Piper's sermon on the humble servant. I don't know the real title, I just know what convicted me! And let me tell you, THE LORD IS AWESOME!!! The reality that true humility frees us from the bondage of fearing man. If i care what people think of me (in a self centered,approval seeking kind of way) I'm not being humble! I'm obviously not thinking of others, and I'm definitely not thankful I am just consumed with myself. I'm so arrogant because i think in the moments of sin that I deserve to look/act/ sound/be liked more than i actually am currently being noticed for. What a lie and disbelief of the word of God! Lie, that my worth is defined by men. (2Cor 3) Disbelief that God is good! SO with all that said... all those thoughts swimming around in my head as I'm running... He nails it at the end by talking about my favorite person!!! JESUS!! He came to serve... not to be served. I know i have heard this a bunch growing up.. but I'm afraid i have become numb to this marvelous truth!
 There is so much freedom found in humility. Jesus was the most joyful person!!! I can be who the Lord made me to be, I can look the way he made me to look, and i can worship him fully by understanding how much i don't deserve any of His attention! Only He is worthy to be praised! Only He is sovereign and all powerful. Only He made everything that I see, everything I don't see but I know to exists, and everything I don't see that I don't even know to exist! Wow! Who am I to answer back to God! With all that said, I just want to encourage anyone reading this to get to know how massive and awesome our God is! How goo His plans our for us that love Him. I desire to praise Him and to trust Him while striving to distrust my flesh. To be thankful despite how slow my mile may be! Today was a day of great rejoicing! He gave me grace to understand a glimpse of true biblical theology of me that leads to freedom because I am but dust, there ain't nothin glamorous about dust people! So I have to stop trying to fool everyone to think I'm something when the bible says I'm nothing apart from Christ!
This picture is quite funny. It is the actual finish line for the Boston Marathon(Ignore the truck!). My sweet mom had taken this pic when her and my dad went to Boston a few years ago. She had no clue I wanted to run this at the time. But i found this laminated on my bed when I got home with a sweet and super encouraging note on top to remind me of the goal!
This is my favorite quote of hers "This is the REAL street with the REAl line, and we serve a REAL Savior who can make it REALLY happen!" AMEN!!! =)

By the grace of God, even short girls can run fast!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sweet, sweet, sweet!

What a day! I'm not going to lie... today has been a hard day. But today is also one of the most eye opening, reality shocking kind of a day. I AM SO THANKFUL FOR TODAY. Who am I to have the family I have, the friends I have, the health an body I have. That's just it! I am nothing, I don't deserve a lick of grace! When will I learn! Today started out with Nicci Hunt on a great run! She makes me so thankful for my church. Loving the leadership the Lord has put over us and actually being thankful for it.  She makes me want to go to Texas.. she also makes running super enjoyable!
6am and lookin hot..or not... !!!

Then hurry home to get ready for work and make my yummy protein shake ! 1/2 cup almond milk, 1cup decaf coffee, Hemp seed protein, ice and a dash of stevia and blend! Ta' Dah! YUM!

But today just kept getting better (not that I thought that in the moment) But i had lunch with my Dad! Just me and him... that's a recipe for goodness! I wanted to write this on my blog because as the Lord has been convicting me of being thankful for my health, running... etc. I have so much more, so many things that I constantly overlook and selfishly take for granted. My Mom and Dad are so kind. So patient with me. I do not deserve their love, their care, their protection, their interest in me, their constructive criticism... the list goes on an on. And this just parallels the Lords love to me.(and you) If i am not thankful for my earthly authority seeing through the eyes of faith or if i act as if they are there to do my will how can I possibly love and understand how undeserving I am of earthly things and visible people. What makes me think I am genuinely thankful for my heavenly Father and heavenly things when my eyes are on me or on what others should change for my convenience? As if the Lord is not sovereign in placing me under the people he has! Which He has given me the most gracious, godly parents and he has made that clear today that the best choice for me to make is humility I have to be the one to change because I am the problem. Humility ain't no extra-ultra godly characteristic that only some can achieve (that would make it pride eh?? haha) It's just living in reality! Reality is, is that I don't know it all, I'm wrong a lot. (feel free to remind me of this whenever you want) I want to live in the reality of the cross! Don't you??? What a sweet place to be...What a great day the Lord has given me. And now, I'm off to Santa Clarita!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Today was my cross training day. I chose to take a spin class at the gym. I was just so thankful that my body does what I tell it to. Like I totallly don't depend on the Lord for the strength and grace i need to even get out of my bed. Who do I think I am.
 I have been learning to love the discipline of running, but also to be thankful that i can run. Not for running sake alone.... but for seeing the hand of the Lord pouring out his common grace to me as i live and move on His earth, in this body He gave me. So, I took a killer spin class, got super sweaty and gross, but in the midst of my disgust i was convicted! I need to be thankful I can even sweat. What unique design that the Lord used to make me. The ability to SWEAT! Kinda crazy when you think about it... the bodies way of cooling itself down. Thats grace!! I don't tell my body to sweat and start cooling itself down.. no!  I would overheat if the Lord never invented sweat.. I even get all mad that i have to take a shower because of it..I should be thankful. Kinda silly, maybe grossed you out..I''m sorry, it's a great thing. Showers are also a great thing! But Im starting to think I can even sweat for the glory of God.. hahaha Well, time for bed so I can wake up and run early! woohoo!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pleasure or the prize

The Foam Roller, A drear friend of mine.
I'm not sore!! Priase the Lord!! I'm so thankful for my foam roller. Well, today's run was suppose to be a short fast run. Now after coming off of a lame 11 miler on Saturday my confidence an excitement were slightly lagging... but I knew I needed to run hard today.
Yesterday was obviously Sunday, the Lord was so sweet to convict me and open my eyes a little bit to see more of how sinful I truly am. How my lust for pleasure, be it found in admiration, food, accomplishments, or whatever, they are all sins and a direct sign of the battle I am engaged in, this fight of faith. This fight in my heart is between me and me!  I am seriously my worst enemy! Spiritually and therefore physically. I can justify anything an everything in my own mind. Just give me a few seconds. hence my need for a savior... and His word! haha...My pastor Austin Duncan was so helpful in communicating the traits of a bad example from Philippians 3. How the bad example listed there is one seeking their own desire, unashamed of their own sin. Now obviously i was convicted in many other areas of my life where I seek my own desire but as I was talking with the Lord this morning before my run, he opened my eyes to see how I continually seek my own desires, even while running! The desire to quit, to not run heartily as unto the Lord!!
 Now by the grace of God He has given me desires that do please Him. But I would be lying to you if I told you I never desired anything sinful =). So I wont... The Lord already knows my sin so its not a shock if you get hear about some of it too, right sinner?? ;) Hopefully to help spur you on to run he race of faith harder. Shedding any sin that you and I are entangled in is a must. Anyways, I listened to CJ Mahaney's sermon " A Cry form the Cross" and the Lord couldn't have orchestrated a better sermon for me to listen to as I was running today! HAHA!! The reality the Jesus Christ SCREAMED the scream of the damned on the cross (the scream I should scream in Hell for my own sin) was a major motivation to run. Christ suffered for me. I don't know even a tinch of what Christ suffered on the cross. Physical pain... YES, but the pain that would be inflicted on Him by HOLY God  for the sins of His elect!! MASSSIIIVEE!!! I'm so self-centered that I feel alone sometimes, YA RIGHT! Jesus was alone, actually forsaken by the Father. I have never been forsaken by my Maker!  What a reality that drives me to embrace any suffering in my life. I will never feel the punishment of my sins. Wow... all I may feel from today is the pain of a body beaten up by a marathon. This cannot even compare.I honestly felt like running as hard as I could, I felt free.... free from wrath, free to enjoy my Savior, free to deny my lust! People driving by me must have thought I was psycho... but they weren't listening to what I was listening to! I know my "suffering" is totally self inflicted and therefore isn't really suffering. But in the moment I want so badly to choose the pleasure and comfort of this life, by slowing down. I so badly wanted to WALK! If I chose to give in, there would be regret waiting for me at the end. NO DOUBT! But if I begged the Lord for strength and for perspective... there would be pain, sure.. but there would be a prize at the end! (I am not advocating self inflicted pain as a way to grow in sanctification, with my body pain just comes with running..that's all. But whatever pain the Lord deems nessescary, to trust Him and endure) The joy of giving it my all, knowing that the LORD gave me strength! That is soooo much more worth it! To endure a little while and be satisfied when its over! What's great about suffering is that its temporal. It will end ONE DAY, most likely the same day! I am so thankful, the Lord has given me encouragement and perspective today from His word! I am prone to wander and forget, so feel free to keep reminding me of the Lords goodness and kindness and His accessibility! I hope you enjoy Jesus and worship Him for who He is.. Perfect, sinless! I am so thankful He was willing to suffer for my sake. Man, if one of those cars hit me today... I know where I am going! What a run, woohoo! But man, what a Savior

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My amazing friend Amber!
 This picture was taken right before we took off running. Today was my first "long run" in the training process. It was only 11 miles and honestly I thought it wouldn't be too bad. Pride comes before a fall! Haha! I say this because today was one of the hardest runs that I can remember. Now I am not in optimal running shape and I am trying to run faster. Put those two together, you make for yourself a little taste of Hell! No joke, my legs felt like elephants! I elaborate on the tremendous pain and disappointment I was feeling because in the end, there is only one way I could have finished. That would only be by THE STRENGTH THE LORD GAVE ME  every single step. This is kind of funny because when I walked, my knee started to hurt immediately so I had to keep running. (Now, I know why my knee hurt, so yes mom... I will take care of it) But I see the grace of God in the pain because it kept me going. Not the most ideal way, but since when is the Lords will exactly how I want it to be. Today seemed to just remind me of my weakness which I think is a great thing! But honestly, I'm tempted to fall into doubt... that my goal may be too high, that the Lord can't supply me with very real physical strength and endurance! What a sin, disbelief! My sweet, sweet friend Amber told me truth, she always directs me to the Lord! And as we were foam rolling after the run, she said that she wasn't going to let me quit trying to achieve my goal, especially after one little disappointing run. Yikes!! What an encouragement in the midst of me being so hard on myself after my first long run. A Reminder to press on. I can't do this myself! I need the Lord and He seems to reveal himself by using my friends. (Thanks to all my friends and fam for being so easily used by the Lord in my little life!)! The Lord is so cool, I am so thankful for the gift He has given me in her friendship! So bring on the soreness (I already feel it)..tomorrow is my rest day. And I will press on only by the grace of Jesus. Death on a cross is far worse then being out of breath with an aching body. What a Savior!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Week 1

Training has officially begun. Of course it's going great. I am still living in the motivation that comes when you begin something new. But I have been faced with the test of patience already! In the pursuit to run faster and shorten my times, I get impatient because I'm slow and the goal seems so hard to achieve. Its the baby steps that test me! It was great though, I was listening to Al Mohler's 2008 Resolved sermon on "Heaven" (which actually made me run faster, no joke!). The Lord was so kind to reveal to me the brevity of my life. That in heaven I will have a new perfect body! (I  bet I will be able to run super fast in the proper heart rate zone! j/k Haha) But the reality that this is not my home and the trials and temptations I face, even in the moment of the run today, are to be expected and for my good.
There was a moment that I wanted to slow it down. As I was quickly justifying this weak sauce decision the Lord brought himself to my mind. I needed help. I WAS SO WEAK, literally. In that quick moment, I begged Him for strength to keep going hard. What's great is that he gave me just enough strength to finish. The pain and discomfort didn't go away... it was "endure-able". Haha! I love it! He made it so clear that He is with me and I need Him. What a great day!