Running Makes Me Feel Alive

I got to run with Heather and our son this afternoon. We are training for some upcoming races. Heather ran 3.1 miles and our son ran 5 miles with me. This was the furthest he had ever run. This is after having a baseball game this morning and when we were done running he wanted to shoot hoops with me! He has way more energy than I do!!

Recently he said, he “loves running because it makes him feel alive”. I have actually thought that too! I love we are a running family and we run not only because it helps us feel alive but we want to honor God and bring Him glory. We are working not only on the discipline for running but the discipline it takes to live the Christian life and that is why we Run For God.

Surrender to Him

I woke up yesterday morning and I was tired. I did not have a good attitude and had not been in the right spirit all day. Nothing like going for a run and reading the Bible to help change one’s attitude. The weather was nice, I took my time running, listened to some worship music and set my mind on Christ. I even saw 5 or 6 deer eating in the woods. So peaceful.

I ended up running 6.24 miles. I have been reading through the book of Job in my Bible. I decided to open it up to see what Job 6:24 says. It is a two part verse. The first part of the verse says, “Teach me, and I will be silent;” Wow. I needed to read this. I need to remind myself everyday that I need to be slow to speak and quick to listen. Something that at many times I struggle with. This weekend I was reminded of the concept of Surrendering. I will never be good enough. There is nothing I could ever do to earn salvation (to be saved). Christ loves me and chose me. As Christ does for every person as stated clearly in John 3:16. I was reminded that the Christian life is about surrendering. Daily surrender. Only at that point of complete surrender is my spirit in the place to hear from God and Christ can then teach me and use me.

Oh Lord, may I surrender my life, my all, every single day! May I humble myself as Christ humbled Himself and He went to the cross taking MY sins upon Himself and was crucified. Three days later He rose again, breaking the curse of sin for all who believe and surrender their life to Him. Jesus, thank you for the cross!

God is an Artist

It was 31 degrees outside, with the windchill it felt like 21. The trees are covered in ice. I saw the YMCA was closed. I didn’t want to break my run streak so I dressed in three layers and went outside for a run. The streets were just wet. I decided to run through the woods. It was so beautiful! “God’s Artwork”. The path through the woods is paved and wasn’t too bad. However, I ran over a wooden bridge and almost wiped out! 😂 I planned to only run one mile but I was having so much fun and it was so beautiful that I ended up running 3. That’s one of the many things I love about running. You can explore and you never know what you will see. You can see things that you can’t see by car. It was a great afternoon running, spending time with the Lord, and taking in the majestic beauty around me. Plus, my run streak is still alive and well!

Running Does benefit our health

So, it is interesting, today I woke up not feeling too well. I was feeling a little dizzy and nauseous. Upon taking my Blood pressure it was as low as 98/54. 😳. I suspect it is from all of the running I have been doing and the fact that I have taken blood pressure medication for over 15 years. Even though I was not feeling well, I decided to enjoy the 65 degree temps and go for a run so I would not break my run streak. I figured I would either feel better or pass out on the street. 😂 However, I know that exercise does temporarily raise blood pressure as the heart pumps more blood (increasing blood volume) to get enough oxygen to the body to match the body’s workload. As a result of the increased blood volume, blood pressure rises. So, I felt I would be okay. And I was. I ran my fastest 5k ever!! I ran my first ever sub 30 minute 5k, my fastest 2 miles, and my second fastest mile! I praise God for health and at age 45 I am probably the healthiest I have ever been. I contacted my health provider and she is going to allow me to come off of my blood pressure medication and only take half of my BP pill if my BP increases over 120/80. 🙌🏻🙌🏻👏🏻 First time in 15 years that I won’t be on any BP meds!! Yesterday, I ran one mile at the YMCA, and it marked one month that I have ran at least one mile every day. I am now a believer of running at least one mile every day (run streaking)! It has benefited my health so much and has been phenomenal in helping my running. I believe with proper training and starting out slow, ANYONE can run no matter what age you are, how old you are when you start, or what physical ailments you have. I have scoliosis (curvature of the spine) which used to give me back pain, minor asthma, other respiratory issues, high blood pressure, acid reflux, and have had knee and hip issues over the years. Running has taken care of all that (for me). I love running and thankful that God has allowed running to help me be healthier than I have ever been!

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Running and experiencing God’s presence

I had a nice, peaceful and serene run this evening. As I was running, it was not quite dark yet and I saw something grey and white cross the path in front of me. I didn’t know what it was. As I cautiously ran ahead and out of the path of trees to the open field, I saw a deer (Doe). It had ran out from the deep embankment of the creek. It noticed me as well, and we respected each other’s presence and just went about our business. The Doe never ran off. It made me think of this Bible verse, Psalm 42:1-11 which says, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God”. There are many ways to experience God’s presence. One is through reading God’s word and prayer. Another way is getting outside and experience what ONLY God could create. In Romans 1:8, it says “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” All creation testifies of it’s creator. I love running for many reasons. One of the reasons is to be able to get alone with God and experience His presence.
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Why I Run for God

I love running! Many people ask what’s with this Run for God thing? Well, there are a few reasons why I Run for God.

First, because Jesus ran after me. Back in college, at Arkansas State, God used some now friends from college, who I did not know at the time, to show and share with me about what it meant to be a follower of Christ.

From these now friends, I learned about having a relationship with Christ, the living God and not just serving a religion. I thought I was a christian because I went to church an owned a bible which I barely read. I watched how these friends lived there life and noticed it was so different than mine and they were excited about worshiping God. I had not seen many young people excited about worshiping God previously. I wanted to experience that and know Christ personally as well.

Since then, I discovered this Run for God movement before I started actually running. Later, I actually took a Run for God 5k challenge class and have been running ever since. Run for God helped me change my life physically. I felt terrible and in the worst shape of my life, having high blood pressure, overweight, no energy, etc.

Since running I feel so much better!  I have lost 15 pounds and have more energy to serve God in whatever He asks of me. I have learned that running is so much like the christian life. The bible talks about this as well in many verses such as Hebrews 12:1-2 and 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. The discipline it takes to be a runner and the discipline it takes to be a follower of Christ is similar.

In my life I have had my successes and unfortunately I have had many failures. But through it all, I have had an eternal “running partner.” When I run, I listen to upbeat praise and worship music and reflect on God’s goodness in my life and what He has done for me.

I may never win a race, but reflecting on my relationship with Christ, I have already won. Even if I never physically win a race, it will be okay. I run because I enjoy the journey and He who runs with me. Wherever, running takes me I hope to share with those I meet what Christ has done for me.

Out with the old, in with the new

Well, I have not posted on here in a REALLY long time.  As we start a new year, I wanted to reflect on 2015 and some goals and aspirations for 2016.  This past year has been a really great year for the most part.  In march of this past year, I passed my nursing boards and am now a licensed practical nurse.  I spent all of 2014 in nursing school, and to be able to pass my boards this past year was definitely one of the great milestones of my life.

I started my first nursing job in May and work in a small family practice clinic in a poor neighborhood here in Memphis, TN.  We treat a lot of patients that do not have health insurance and those that receive government aid.  It is a great privilege to be a nurse and to serve the community.  I wanted to be a nurse to serve Christ and to make a difference in this world.  I am now able to do that and God has been using me in the lives of the patients that come in to our clinic.

Also, I have had great achievements in running this past year.  Back in 2013, I attempted to start training to run but never finished my training.  I suffered from terrible shin splints and ended up with a stress fracture.  However, in January of 2015, I started a running class through my church.  It was the Run for God 5k Challenge (www.runforgod.com).

 The Run for God ministry/running club is such a great blessing!  I worked on stretching properly and went to a local running shoe store and bought a pair of shoes designed specifically for my feet and my style of running.  The result was that over time I was able to run without pain.  I have come to love running so much!  This past year I ran in a 4 mile race and six 5k’s!  I ended up ending the year being a part of the St. Jude Marathon weekend in which I ran a 5k.  It was such an amazing experience!  One of my favorite parts was being able to run through the St. Jude Children’s hospital campus and seeing the children and their families cheer you on as you run by them.

Running has helped me to lose some weight and to feel healthier than I have since being in high school!  The year 2015 was a pretty good year for me and my family.

In 2016, I have many goals and aspirations.  I think it is important to have a plan and to set goals. This helps me to stay on track and have something to follow.  One of my greatest priorities in 2016 is for me to grow deeper in my relationship with God.  I am not always the best in spending time reading my bible but that is one thing I want to make a priority this year.  Every blessing in my life has come from God and I want to pursue Jesus Christ and become more like Him everyday.  Spending time with Him is how we learn about Christ and through the Holy Spirit begin to become more  like Him.  On that note, I also want to work on being a better husband and father.  I believe that I do fine but I also know that I can do so much better.  It is important for me to be the leader and example of Christ to my family that God has called me to be.  I want my children to see what an authentic man of God looks like and what it means to be a follower of Christ.

Also, this year in the area of running, I want to continue to run and be more consistent in running weekly.  Towards the end of this past year, my running had dropped off and I was only running once or twice a month.  I want to get back to running 3 or 4 times a week consistently.  I would like to focus on increasing my speed as well as increasing the distance that I run.  The furthest I have run is four and a half miles.  This year I would love to increase my distance and maybe even possibly run a half marathon before the end of this year.  Running the St. Jude half marathon would be awesome!  However, in order to do that, I will have to manage my time well because one of my last goals is to go back to school this year.  I look forward to starting my journey to further my nursing education and pursue my RN degree this year.  I actually start in a little over a week taking prerequisites towards my RN and will apply sometime in March or so for the RN program.  I will be praying that I am able to get in and start my RN classes in the fall.

I am looking forward to all that God is going to do in my life this year and the life of my wife and children.  I know that if I rely on Christ’s leading, no matter what happens, this year will be great.

Mike
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer”.  ~Psalm 19:14

I Miss Running

About two months ago, I started trying to run.  I was training for a 5k race and started to get shin splints.  I have had to take a couple of weeks off to heal before I start running again.  During this time off, I have to admit, that I miss running.  It’s really tough at times and I am not sure if I can finish my run, but I am always amazed that I can usually always do more than I thought I could.  Besides the health benefits that I get from running, sometimes I experience some neat things on my runs as well.  A few weeks ago, during one of my training sessions, I had one of those neat experiences on a run.  I shared it with my friends on Facebook and I decided to share that experience again here today.  So here it is:

August 10, 2013-  I had a really great run about an hour ago. I have been doing the Run for God 5k challenge (using the Active app to keep me on pace since Run for God doesn’t have an app yet) and was listening to worship music as I run. There was some humidity but with a cool breeze the weather was beautiful. There was a crescent moon glowing. There are ponds in our neighborhood on both side of the street. On my way up I saw a blue herring by the lake really close to me and it flew away as I approached. It was quite majestic. On my way back on the other side of the street, I saw a deer about 10 feet from the sidewalk by the pond. It was cautiously aware of my presence and as I approached he scooted forward slowly while watching me but was not afraid. He kept watching me and I of course “waved”. I’m a doofus. ha ha The deer was only about 50 feet from me or less as I passed by. He respected my presence and I respected the deer’s. Then as I continued to run, there was a clearing in the woods and I saw a big buck and a doe only about 25 yards from me. They were very clear as the street light shined on them like a spotlight. They saw me and continued to watch me as I passed by but never moved. It was quite awesome! I of course waved like a doofus again. I saw another deer 100 yards away or so in the field as well. Seeing the deer, especially the one by the pond reminded me of the verse in the bible, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” Psalm 42:1. God allowed me to see all this beauty while I ran and sang worship music to Him on my phone. I have to say, by far, it was my best run ever and a really cool and special time between God and I. Such an awesomely beautiful night.

It really was a great night and a great run.  This is why I love running!  I am looking forward to getting back to running again hopefully in the next week or so and looking for more neat experiences as I improve my health and get fit at the same time.

“And let us run<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”> with perseverance<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(B)”> the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus,<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(C)”> the pioneer<span class="crossreference" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(D)”> and perfecter of faith”. Heb. 12:1,2

Keep Running!



Mike
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer”.  ~Psalm 19:14

My first post on my first blog

This is my first post on my first ever blog.  I named it “Life with Mikey.”  When I was a young kid, my nickname was Mikey.  I was called Mikey mostly by family, friends and close family friends.  Now that I have aged and become an adult, most family and friends just call me Mike.  As we age, part of us looks back to our younger years and wishes to experience some of those times again.  As we go through life, it is so important to make the most of each day.  Life goes by very fast and unless we plan well, we will let it slip by and not do the things that we wish we would have done.  In the Holy Bible there is a very great verse on this subject matter, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”. 
James 4:14-15.

  Blogging seems to be a popular thing these days.  I decided to give it a try.  As I go through life and face all the beautiful experiences, the ups and downs and the challenges that life brings, I decided I would try to share these experiences with others.  I am not sure if they will be very interesting but if anyone has any extra time and wants to read them, they will be there.  If not, then it will be a cool personal journal for my children to read as they get older and hopefully share experiences for them to learn from.

Mike
“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer”.  ~Psalm 19:14

A blog about faith in Christ, family and running