Monday, March 1, 2010
My Heart is Full!
There were so many miracles of God's goodness and grace that were evident in New Orleans this past weekend at the Mardi Gras Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. Once again the truth of 1 Corinthians 15:58 was proven: "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."
Words cannot adequately express the way I feel about the weekend we had in New Orleans. To say that it was a successful event would minimize all the things that happened. To say that it was a great event would not do it justice. Simply stated, the weekend was a turning point for the ministry of TEAM 413. We are about to go down a road that we have prayed to travel for several years. We are about to enter the Audubon of growth that we have asked God to give our ministry. This is going to be the ride of our lives!
Thousands of people filed by our booth at the Mardi Gras Marathon Expo. However, some extra-special folks stopped by. I had the pleasure to meet many of our Facebook friends and followers of GRACERUNNER JOURNAL. Meeting, sharing, and talking with them was priceless! Thanks for stopping by!
TEAM 413 runners from all over the country stopped by to say hello, buy a new shirt, get a book signed, or just visit. These folks are the heart of our ministry. They are the feet on the street who help spread our message and plant seeds of faith all over the world. It's been a long journey for many of them as it has for us --- but, they persevere. They keep pushing forward and standing tall in the midst of unimaginable circumstances. These folks share their shirt stories with me via email, phone calls, or talking with us at expos. These "billboards of grace" inspire me each day. God bless all of you who run the race and share your faith in words and actions! Keep the faith and the path!
I received one message from a TEAM 413 friend who said that she saw more of our shirts on the New Orleans course than at any other race that she has attended. I'm not sure how many people wore their faith on their back on Sunday, but it was in the hundreds. John Bingham, the Penguin and PA announcer for the Competitor Rock 'n' Roll Series, gave me a shout out at the start of the race and said that the number of TEAM 413 shirts were too many to count. He gave out our website address over the PA and then I was interviewed from the corral for everyone to hear. TEAM 413 runners were validated at that moment. A goal of our ministry is to become a more visible and viable entity in the running community. The events of this past weekend helped us toward that goal!
Finally, there was Kiki. My wife and best buddy is amazing. In my book I share a story about Kiki. I share what kind of person she is and how much she has done for me through the past five years. Yet, I go on to share about her athletic ability and the way she will take on a challenge. When we registered for the race, I wrote down that she would run a 1:45 half marathon. This put her in corral #2. The reason that I did this was to place her in a position to run the pace that she can run! She has been through many injuries during the past year and suffered an illness which set her back a great deal. Just as we were about to part to go to our corrals, I kissed her and wished her luck. Then, I whispered, "run 2 hours! I challenged her and she went out there and pushed herself like I knew she would. Her finishing time after all that she has been through 2:02:55! Outstanding effort and I am so very proud of her.
New Orleans was outstanding but we have so many great events coming up. Please join us as we move forward under God's grace. We'll be in Seaside, Florida and Little Rock, Arkansas this weekend. Check www.team413.org for our other events coming up during the next few months. We are most likely coming to a city near you!
Under HIS Grace...