"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'll give it more than anyone!

Kiki Running Like the Wind at 2007 Country Music Marathon
Her knee hurt badly but she didn't say anything when I talked to her upon my arrival in Appleton, Wisconsin for the Fox Cities Marathon on September 16. Then later that evening she called. I could hear the emotion in her voice and the tears were flowing. I was far away from home and my best friend, wife, and the love of my life - Kiki - had hurt her knee while playing tennis. "This time," she said, "it's bad!"
I did my best to comfort her in her pain of the heart and body. She knew that this wasn't good. As a certified athletic trainer for more than 28 years, I was trying to diagnose her injury over the phone. Eventually, I asked her to send me a picture of her knees, side by side, via email. When I got the pictures I saw that she had a lot of swelling and I was concerned about several things that might be going on in that knee. So, I emailed my good friend and world class orthopedic surgeon, Larry Lemak. He called me when he got the email and asked me to send Kiki to his home for him to examine on Saturday, the 18th.
After examining her knee, he scheduled an MRI and eventually surgery for Wednesday, September 22. We arrived at the hospital on that day and after Kiki was taken back to be prepped for surgery, Dr. Lemak met me and took me back to the surgery viewing room so I could watch the surgery. After I had watched the repair and clean-up work he did in her knee through the arthroscopic procedure, Dr. Lemak came back to the room where I was and simply asked, "Did you see that!?"
Kiki's many years of tennis, running, biking, and so much more had taken a toll on her knee. The wear and tear to the knee was significant. She had arthritic changes, a meniscus tear, and defects in the articular cartilage that covers the ends of the bones. Dr. Lemak told me that she would most likely have to do non-load, non-weight bearing sport activities from now on. He knows Kiki but I'm not sure that he knows how driven and tough she is .... so, I'm not betting against her being able to run again!
Regardless, I had to tell her what was going on in her knee. When she returned to her room from surgery, I told her what they had done to her knee and how significant the problem was. She asked me what all that stuff meant .... what would she be able to do? When I told her that she might not be able to run or play tennis competitively again, she began to cry. She was heart broken and her sadness lasted most of that day.
Still, she is tough, stubborn, and has the strongest will of anyone I know. She will out work anyone! So, the idea of her not being able to do the things that she has done all of her life hurt her heart. As is our mantra, "Never allow your circumstances to dictate your character" -- I began to see and hear a change in Kiki over the next couple of days. She told me, "Then, I'll do what I can do to help grow TEAM 413. I'll work just as hard as if I were training for a marathon. I'll give it more than anyone. I don't have to run to minister."
Needless to say, Kiki's words hit me like a ton of bricks. She believes in the ministry of TEAM 413. She has seen the impact that this ministry has had on thousands of people from all over the world. She understands that TEAM 413 is important and that we have to keep moving forward and continue to glorify God in all we do and say. We simply cannot turn around and retreat when things get tough!
Through the years, countless people have told me that they want to be a part of TEAM 413. They tell me that they want to do whatever they can to help us grow. They just want to be a part of this ministry so they can help other people. Yet, when it comes time and they are asked to help, only a handful have lived up to what they have said. Many have had excuses. Others never call or email us back. However, a select few have the same attitude as Kiki. They just ask me to point them in the right direction and they'll get it done!
We need more people with TEAM 413 like Kiki. We need folks who will give their time and resources to help us move forward as a ministry. We need people who love the Lord and will shed tears of joy and sorrow with those of us who are "locked in" on this God thing we call TEAM 413. We need individuals who will do what they say and get on with the business of helping others all across this country. We need people who don't say that they will "believe it when they see it" but will say "I'll SEE it when I BELIEVE it!"
This world would be a much better place if it were filled with people who have a heart of service like my wife -- no complaints -- no whining -- no excuses! Just get it done! It's time for people who want to be a part of TEAM 413 to step up and step out of their comfort zone. We are long over due to accomplish many things and it's time to live up to the standard that Kiki has set!
If you are committed, let's get it done! No excuses any longer! In the words of Kiki:
"I'll do what I can do to help grow TEAM 413. I'll work just as hard as if I were training for a marathon. I'll give it more than anyone!"
Praying for God's blessing and for servants to come our way!
Under HIS Grace...

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Willie, our little dog, takes a nap on me as I write the words that only God could give.
Over a year ago I was very resistant to opening a Facebook account. But, I was encouraged to do so by friends and family. In my wildest dreams I never knew what an impact that page would have on me personally as God has opened a new avenue for me to share my faith, stories of grace, and God given quotes (status updates) each day. My prayer is that these words have changed the way someone thinks, challenged fellow Christians to give of themselves, touched a heart or two, or encouraged those who were going through a difficult time.
Because of many comments from those who follow my Facebook page, the following are my quotes from July 1 - September 26, 2010. The quotes begin with the latest date and go back in time....
‎"When God gives you the gift of serving Him, it's not easy. Quite frankly, it can be more difficult that you can imagine. To know that God has chosen you to do His work on earth - well, that is beyond comprehension! For His glory we serve even in the midst of others doubting us, through any trial, planting seeds of His love each mile of the way!"
‎"There is life on the other side of the 'bad' times -- I've lived it! Trials make us stronger and allow us to see the good things along our life journey in a totally different way. God reveals things that we would not see unless we've been to a place that we didn't want to be."
‎"As a Christian, others should be able to see the mark of our salvation in good times and bad, in the clearness of a cobalt blue sky day, or in the blizzard of the moment. They should be able to see Christ in us regardless of the circumstances. They should find hope, trust, and solace in us during any moment of any day - during any life weather pattern that may pass our way - during the brightest or darkest of days."
‎"There is no doubt that we need others to help us as we strive to deal with the trials of life. We have all heard that God will never place more on us than we can handle. I don't believe this to be totally true unless we depend on our brothers and sisters in Christ. Reach out to someone today!"
‎"God knows your every need. He knows your heart's desire. He understands everything that is going on in your life. Regardless of your circumstances, He truly understands! Call on Him and He will comfort you. Seek Him and He will come. Praise Him in all things! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!"
‎"Many of us could learn so much by dropping the mask, by refusing to be chained to man-made rules, by declaring our faith without apology, by sticking to our beliefs, and by sharing Christ with someone TODAY without reservation!"
"You can always do more than you think you can! This is true in your personal and professional life. But, with the strength that you gain through Jesus Christ, you can do far more than you could ever imagine. Commit every aspect of your life to HIM and you can accomplish anything that is within HIS will for your life. Give it up! Give it to HIM!"
“Endurance events are not for the weak hearted! Early rise, early run! One more breath, one more step, one more mile, finish line! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! God speed to all of you on the roads and trails today!”
‎"God can teach us a great deal through the good and not so good moments in life. If we don't listen and learn through those times, we miss the opportunity to help others through lessons straight from the heart of God. Listen to God, learn from the Master, and live your life as He directs. That's powerful stuff!"
‎"As a Christian, we MUST have a servant's heart, hands, and ATTITUDE. Others will notice a difference in us if we exhibit these characteristics. If we don't, our impact on another person's life is minimized and we may miss our opportunity to share Christ with them."
‎"We live in a world of instant gratification. Push this button and something happens immediately. Push that button and it happens even faster! We expect everything to happen in our timing with the results we want. Waiting on God's timing is difficult sometimes -- Give it ALL over to Him, be patient, and wait on His perfect timing. If you are obedient to Him, He will give you the desires of your heart."
"The devil will throw things in our path and dish out things just to see if he can make us stumble and fall to ensure that God is not glorified. He will not play fair! In the face of those circumstances we must STAND! We must allow our faith in Christ to show through so others will see Him in us. God WILL be glorified! STAND strong! Never allow your circumstances to dictate your character!"
"There's always an opportunity to serve the Lord. Everyone has been given a talent or gift to be used to honor Him. Look deep within your soul -- pray for guidance -- find your place to be a servant! He is worthy of your praise and your service."
“Decisions in life can be tough. So many times we have to make uncomfortable choices! When it comes down to it, we have to step out in faith and choose God's less traveled road instead of opting for a road filled with the traffic of this world. Those FAITH MOMENTS help us grow and become the person that God wants us to be."
"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Each day of our lives we are hit with situations and the 'stuff of the world' so much that we forget to simply give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. Praise God for the good and the bad -- the times when you just don't think you can go on -- the cobalt blue sky day moments! He is worthy of your praise!"
"God commands us to go into all creation and proclaim the gospel. What will you do TODAY to expand the Kingdom? Pray that God will bring someone to you today who will walk away changed because of their encounter with you! God at work through you -- that's a powerful thing!"
"Empathy, sympathy, and compassion show the true character of your heart. Giving the gift of grace - a second chance - to someone just as God gave us through Christ is 'living out" your character so others will see HIM in you."
‎"Being totally submissive to God's will for your life requires the heart of a servant. To give it ALL up takes courage because it means that you are no longer in control. That's the place where God wants you to be -- Completely 'sold out' to Him!"
‎"Making a commitment is more than just saying that you want to be involved in a cause. It includes investing your time, your efforts, and your heart. As a Christian, we should be committed to be a difference maker in the lives we touch each day....if so, give it your all. In the eyes of God, mediocrity is unacceptable."
"Giving thanks should be more than saying 'grace' over a meal. It should be a celebration of life - deep reflection of God's blessings. We should also thank God for the trials and troubles that have allowed us to exhibit our character of faith. Others are watching and waiting to see how we will respond. Praise God in ALL things - You may be the ONLY one who can break through to touch someone's heart."
‎"If our heart has been changed through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, why do we not take every opportunity to share Him with others? It should be our heart's desire to lift Him up in our words and actions in ALL we say and do!"
‎"I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! is more than a verse on the back of my TEAM 413 shirt. It's a message of hope, of love, of living a life filled with God's amazing grace. It's may be our mantra in the eyes of the world -- in my heart, it is God's promise to me."
"God's provision for my life is enough! It is enough to get me through yet another day. It is enough to keep me moving forward through tough situations. It is enough because it changed me through His Son!"
"Jesus loved you so much that He died for you. When He was on the cross he looked into your eyes and said, 'If I cannot love you, I cannot love another because you are the love of my life!' When life seems to have won the battle, remember that the battle has already been won for you! Christ paid the price for you!"
‎"Giving of yourself takes very little effort. You can offer your time, your talents, your prayers, your heart! When you have the heart and hands of a servant, God will use you to accomplish the unimaginable! Give of yourself --- today may be the day that God uses you to change someone's life!"
“The bridge to where God wants you to be starts where you are right now! As you align yourself with God's calling for your life, He will give you the desires of your heart."
"People who come in contact with you today should see your heart through your actions. If they don't see the love of Christ through you today, how will they know what you stand for? The everyday moments of 'witness without words' may speak more loudly than a thunderous roar."
"I am blessed to be part of something so big that I cannot comprehend. I am blessed to be touched by people from all over the world. I am blessed to serve an amazing God who brings wonderful people my way to share stories of His grace. Truly, I am blessed by God's provision!"
‎"It's a change that is faster than the speed of sound or light. To be changed forever, all you have to do is ask Christ into your life. He will come instantaneously -- a change in your life, in your heart, in your soul, in your eternity -- SO fast that it cannot be measured. Instant GRACE!"
"Character is God's heartbeat within your soul that makes you do the right thing even when no one else will ever know!"
"Never minimize, discount, or dismiss another’s feelings because when we do, we minimize, discount, or dismiss Christ himself! He never did this. If our goal is to be more like Jesus, we must follow His example."
"Allow everything that we do in our daily walk -- at work -- in our dealings with others -- in the stillness of a moment be totally and completely Christ centered. If we do this, then we have accomplished much toward showing the grace that God exemplified for us!"
‎"Show more grace than you believe necessary today. It's the example God set for you through Jesus Christ."
"Allow every action -- every word -- every deed be pleasing to YOU, my Redeemer! This is my prayer on this day -- Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!" Run under His grace today, friends. He is worthy of your praise!
‎"When God plants something in your heart and it grows to a point where others see the impact of His work, don't ignore it yourself! God has given you a gift. He has chosen you to carry His message. You are uniquely qualified or God would not have picked you to plant that very small seed that has grown into something so beautiful that it cannot be denied!"
‎"God is there with you. In the midst of a life storm, He is with you. When things are crashing and falling in your heart, He is with you. When you feel like it is the darkest of days, He is with you. All you have to do is call on Him and He is there! Allow HIM to do a good work in you for with God NOTHING is impossible."
‎"In a world arguing over everything, one thing is for sure. Jesus Christ is Lord! He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. One day, every knee will hit the ground and declare that He alone is Lord!"
‎"When it's "ALL ABOUT ME" we only influence our life. When it's "ALL ABOUT OTHERS" we have the opportunity to influence the lives of countless people. So, follow the lead of Christ and give more even when you don't have to -- Smile and speak to someone and make their day -- Touch someone with your heart and lift their spirit. In turn, by having a servant's heart and hands, your life will be changed as well."
‎"Sometimes life means taking a risk - stepping out of your comfort zone to get something done. That's the way it is with running a marathon. You have to jump in and get the training started, go the distance, and finish the race. It's not easy and it's a risk. I'm glad accepting Christ had no risk -- it was about receiving the gift of God's grace through having faith in Him. NO risk - ALL reward!"
"When things get difficult while running a marathon, we trust that the training that we've done will get us through. So it should be in life. When things get tough and the road is hard and long -- trust God. He has prepared you to go the distance. One more breath, one more step, one more mile, finish line -- You really can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!"
"The old saying 'nothing ventured, nothing gained' has a lot of merit in describing our walk with Christ. Those moments of greatest decision - of the worst stress - of the most pain are when we grow as Christians. In those times we learn that God's desire is for us to humble ourselves before Him and we truly understand the concept of total surrender."
‎"Snapshot, picture perfect moments in life -- you can't beat them! God constantly amazes me with His handiwork of relentless love and grace! Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord!"
"Live your life "out loud" for Christ. Live your life "large" for Christ. If you don't, how will others see Christ in you? Be bold -- be strong -- show love!"
‎"What if we laid our 'ALL' at the foot of the Cross? What if we submitted our 'ALL' to God and allowed Him to do His will in our lives? What if we stepped back and really did our 'ALL' through the strength of Jesus Christ? What if we had the courage to let go of our talents, our gifts, our troubles, our trials, our maladies, our decisions, our everything and give it to Him? What a wonderful world it would be!"
‎"So many people live at a frantic pace in our society today. We live in a world of instant gratification. If we will just slow down, ask for God's intervention in our lives, and serve others -- this world would be a much better place. Make it a point to tell someone that you care about them today and show grace in all you do and say."
"I've learned many valuable lessons during the past few years. God has shown up in ways that are unimaginable. Along the way, I have learned so much through good times and bad -- through celebrations and trials -- through positive physical moments and through pain -- through mental anguish and heartache. Each day, I am reminded that He is always in control and we continue to praise Him in ALL things!"
‎"When others put you down, ridicule, discount, dismiss, or minimize you -- simply pray for them! Most of the time, the insecurities in their own life require them to deflect negativity upon you. Don't allow your circumstances to dictate your character during those uncomfortable moments. Instead, pray that God will change their heart."
“It’s amazing what can be accomplished when people come together for a common cause. As a ministry, TEAM 413 needs you to come together to help us share Christ with people from around the world. Are you willing? Are you up to the task? If so, it's time to get on board and move forward!”
"You can find hope in Christ! God sent His Son to live with us and then die for us to give us hope. Without Him, we have no hope at all!"
"Every experience in life that God leads you through helps prepare you for events along the rest of your journey. While you should never dwell on the "rear-view mirror" of your life, embrace your past as a learning experience and move forward under God's grace."
‎"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and He will give you the desires of your heart. God promises that if you are in His will, you will be so totally aligned and in step with Him that your heart's desires will be exactly what He wants you to do with your life."
‎"Fork-in-the-road moments can be God's way of allowing us to make decisions to follow Him. When we look back at those moments of decision, we can typically see the hand of God at work in our hearts. Even when we choose the wrong path, God will not give up on us. When we find our way back, He will be there to welcome us with open arms."
‎"In God's timing, there is no second hand. In His timing, there are no missed deadlines. In His timing, there are no missed appointments. In His timing, He is punctual to meet the needs of all of those who come in contact with Him through the circumstances at hand. God is there to help us through the good and the bad. He is there to be hope and light for all of us."
"God gave us the gift of grace through His Son. It is our duty to give and show grace to others."
"A simple conversation, smile, kind deed, or helping hand may have an eternal impact on someone's life. Never minimize the seeds planted by a minimal act of kindness. God can take a seed that lands on a fertile heart and grow it into an amazing landscape of hope."
‎"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me is how we live! We live in such a way that we can face anything that comes our way -- we can use the talents and gifts that God has given us -- we be ALL God wants us to be through the strength of Jesus Christ!"
‎"Give more than expected. Serve more than others deserve. Love unconditionally. Show grace without reservation. We must strive to do all of this each day! After all, Christ did those things for us!"
"Be alert to what is happening around you. Look for things that you wouldn't normally pay attention to -- Listen for things that you've never heard. The smallest things in life are sometimes overlooked but are the fine brush strokes of God's handiwork."
"Passion is God's heartbeat planted in your soul! If you feel it, God has something extremely important in store for you. Listen and feel for that passion -- It's God's gift to you!"
‎"God's provision will always be enough to manage any circumstance that may come your way. You simply cannot handle life on your own! Being totally dependent on Him is exactly where God wants you to be."
‎"In every aspect of your life, do others see Christ in you? You may have an opportunity to share Him with someone today. You never know when you'll have a chance to make an eternal difference in someone's life. LOOK UP and then LOOK FORWARD!"
‎"Take comfort in knowing that God's love is everlasting and His grace is sufficient for all of your needs. Don't worry because He is with you always - He will NEVER leave or forsake you. Through Christ, He is all we need!"
‎"All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. If we believe God's word, we must trust this promise in Romans 8:28. Give your ALL to God and allow Him to do good through you!"
‎"God's timing is always perfect. It's our human nature to want Him to hurry up and get on with it! But, if we will just wait on Him, it is amazing to see the unveiling of His plan. Things come into focus and then we understand why He is God!"
"Sometimes running is easy, sometimes it's hard, and sometimes it is just drudgery! Yet, we keep running! And, so it should be with life. God never promised a life of ease. He never promised that everything would go exactly as you want it to go. He promised to be there with you all along the way. Easy, hard, or drudgery-...keep moving forward under His grace. He is with you!"
"Living a life that God wants you to live is not easy. You'll be criticized, dismissed, discounted, and frowned upon. You'll be treated just like humanity treated Christ while He was on earth and how many still treat Him today! So, LIVE LARGE for Christ and never allow your circumstances to change the way you go about it!"
‎"Involvement is action! It doesn't mean that you can stand on the sideline and watch and wait for others to react. The best time to do what God wants you to do is now. He is a God of action and He expects nothing less of us. He is honored in excellence!"
“It’s amazing what can be accomplished when people come together for a common cause.”
‎"God gives second chances. Just because you missed one opportunity to follow His path for your life, it doesn't mean that you can't get back on track. The perfect time to do what He wants you to do is NOW! The blessings are unimaginable!"
‎"Get out of the fast lane for a change and enjoy what God has to offer. Take an exit now and then and explore the miracles that God has created. Don't miss out on the blessings that may come your way because you speed through the road trips of your life."
‎"God's work is not for the weak -- it is for the strong. Stand firm on your convictions. He will be there with you all along your journey. If it is His command, it is your calling!"
‎"When people dismiss you and discount you, when they minimize you and ridicule you, when they don't care about your feelings, when they do not understand the work that you are doing for God's Kingdom -- Love them anyway! It's what Christ wants you to do. He wants you to be different so others will see Him through you!"
“Look at today as an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Being a witness for Christ is not always the easiest thing to do, but it is the one thing that can make an eternal difference. Plant a seed in someone’s heart and watch it grow. You just might be the one God uses to change someone’s life for all time.”
‎"During our life journey we sit back and wait on God. We wait on Him to give us stuff - We wait on Him to deliver what we want at the time we desire - We wait on Him to do a miracle in our life. We should give it all over to Him and quit treating Him like a genie in a bottle. He's doing a miracle each time we take a breath. Keep your eyes open - be alert
- He's working in your life right now!"
"In the midst of the heat of this summer --- What is your season in life? Does your faith ebb and flow with the climate of your life or do you stand strong through all of the changes that come your way? Allow God to work through you to create a constant season of evidence of HIM within your life."
"Time spent with family and friends is a gift of God's grace. Never minimize or take for granted those times when you are with the ones you love. It's a treasure of life!"
‎"In the 'rear-view' mirror of your life do things appear larger than they should? Look forward under God's grace and things of the past will disappear. The road will be in clear focus as He guides you through the twists and turns ahead."
‎"God's plan for your life is not always what you expect it to be. It may be something that you never imagined. It might be something that you have dreamed of all your life. It might be something that is out of your comfort zone. Regardless of where it takes you, following His path will unleash extraordinary blesses within your life."
‎"God may try to teach you a lesson today. It may be through the words of a child, through beauty in nature, during a tense time at work, or in the midst of quiet time with Him. We have a tendency to miss His teachable moments because we don't pay attention! So, listen for His ever-present voice throughout your day. You might be surprised at what you learn today."
‎"Options and obstacles in life tend to weigh us down so much. Yet, if we will give them all up -- hand them all over -- put them in God's hands, He will give us the strength to continue to move forward under His grace!"
‎"Live, Love, Laugh! That common phrase means so much more when you are in step with God's plan for your life and are surrounded by family and friends who love and support you without condition."
"We can learn so much from children. One of my favorite things is to see a child show passion for God through their innocence. Their boldness for Him should be a lesson for all of us! Watch a child today -- it might change your life!"
‎"We have to stress our bodies through exercise to improve physically. This is true for our faith as well. We must push ourselves through our 'self' imposed boundaries in order to grow in our relationship with God."
“God can use anything as a ministry that honors Him. If God gives you a passion, He gives it to allow you to share it for His glory and not to hide it. If it’s a sport, music, art, whatever; he gave you that passion because he wanted you to share it. If you’re not using your passion to glorify Him, maybe you’re not doing what He commanded you to do to enhance His kingdom.”
Under HIS Grace... Chris

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pictures Worth More Than Words!

I am constantly amazed at the growth of our "once" small ministry for marathon runners and other endurance athletes. God has taken a simple ministry and turned it into a worldwide organization that we cannot comprehend. This ministry has touched hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. We are humbled to be part of something so "God sized" with such an impact on so many lives.
I can write much about the people, places, and things that have influenced us over the past few years. But, pictures speak much louder than words! Enjoy the pictures below and join us as we move forward under God's grace!
Join TEAM 413! Help us as we share the good news of Christ with "whosoever" all over the world!
Under HIS Grace...

Monday, September 13, 2010

TEAM 413 - A Project in Progress!

As I write this edition of GRACERUNNER Journal I am somewhere over the heartland of America flying to Chicago for the Chicago Half Marathon Expo and Speaker Series. I find myself traveling again after just getting back from Virginia Beach three days ago --- yet, I feel so blessed to be in this position. God is doing great things with TEAM 413 and I’m always anxious to see what He has in store next.

I’ll be on the road quite a bit this fall -- Appleton, Wisconsin -- Omaha, Nebraska -- Des Moines, Iowa -- Washington, DC -- Springfield, Missouri -- San Antonio, Texas -- Memphis, Tennessee -- and a few more cities along the way. Our 2011 schedule is already in the works as well. We have confirmed that we’ll be going back to Disneyworld, Miami, Seaside, and St. Louis just to name a few. Several years ago, we could only imagine going to a 10 - 15 cities in a year and now God has us traveling from coast to coast – about 40 events per year. Amazing grace in motion!

TEAM 413 has been a grassroots ministry. Many people have given of their time, talents, and dollars to help us continue to move forward. We’re still looking for that elusive corporate partner who will help us reach another level in God’s service. We’re looking for a partner who isn’t afraid of us because of our personal faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. God will reveal them to us one day – we just have to be patient!

The past few months have been a growth time for TEAM 413. We’ve seen God bring people to us from all 50 states and several foreign countries. We’ve heard stories of lives changed because of a simple message on a simple running shirt - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." We’ve shared our hearts with hundreds of thousands of people. God is working in the lives of many to mold TEAM 413. We are a project in progress!

So, join us! Help us grow. Be a part of something bigger than yourself and think outside of the ministry box. If you have a desire to serve, we’ll find a place for you. Give me a yell and let’s talk --- God may be opening a door for you to help change a life right now!

Want to be a part of something big? Let me know. We sure could use you!

Under HIS Grace…


Sideline Note:

On my way to the Chicago Half Marathon Expo on Saturday morning, I was driving along Lakeshore Drive on the western shore of Lake Michigan. This area is a popular spot for walkers, runners, and bikers. As I drove along, I looked toward the path and I saw a lady wearing one of our TEAM 413 shirts. It was white with bright lettering.

What made this sighting unique is that she had not picked up this shirt in Chicago because we have never offered that color at any of the shows in the city. It was purchased at another race somewhere in the United States! God opened my eyes to something that goes along with my GRACERUNNER Journal entry from above….Grassroots ministry! Here I was in Chicago, Illinois having traveled from Birmingham, Alabama and I see a person wearing a TEAM 413 shirt on the side of the road that I just ‘happened’ to be driving on at that moment in time! There wasn’t a race or big event going on --- this was one single person sharing her faith through the ministry of TEAM 413. I was able to get a glimpse of the seeds that are being planted all around the world!

I always tell people that there will be a ‘story’ behind their shirt! Well, on this day, I became the story behind that lady’s shirt! My emotions ran wild --- we started this ‘CAN DO’ mania with ONE shirt. We travel to city after city ONE at a time. We put shirts on ONE person at a time. And, here I was in the third largest city in the United States looking at ONE shirt out of the 35,000 we have placed on people from all over the world! WOW! That's amazing grace in motion!

Want to be a part? Let me know!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Simply Not the Same!

We drove down the roads of the east coast late at night…ETA 3:52 AM! Driving to Virginia Beach into the eye of Hurricane Earl for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon – 2010 Edition!

Kiki and I hold this race in a special place in our heart. It was here where the Runner’s Prayer that we have on our shirts, on bookmarks, and that I write about in my book was originally said during a pre-race devotion. It was here back in 2004 that I ran what I thought might be my last race having been clinically diagnosed with MS only to eventually learn that dysautonomia was the culprit that had taken over my body. It was at this race in 2008 that I struggled to finish through the heat and humidity against odds that I could not imagine considering my health at the time.

It is this place where people have come back again and again to say that they saw our shirts in a race, a city, a store, a fitness center and the message helped them – They would declare that they now wanted to help someone else! It was here that we met some of our biggest TEAM 413 supporters – Jackie, Tonya, Danny, Karla, Jerome, and so many more. It was here where we stood on the beach and listened to the B52’s and Kiki and I have lived part of the life that we missed together. This road of late night travel was nothing for us – it was a trip to a place where our lives have been molded, changed, and celebrated!

As we drove TOWARD Hurricane Earl there was no hesitation because we knew that God would take care of us. Kiki was able to visit with one of her best friends from high school who she has not seen in more than 25 years! Once again, this race has personal meaning to us and will hold a special place in our hearts as we continue to move forward with the ministry of TEAM 413.

Just as this race is “simply not the same,” neither am I when we take off for a TEAM 413 event. It is God’s calling in my life. Kiki calls me a ‘different person’ when I put on the TEAM 413 shirt, when I’m able to serve the people who God brings my way, when RACE DAY approaches. Regardless of how I’ve felt physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually – God refuels my soul during a TEAM 413 event! Things happen that can only be described as miracles of grace straight from the heart of God. I can’t wait to get on the road and meet new people – it’s a gift!

Life has taken a toll on my body, mind, and the heart of my soul. Yet, God has never given up on me. He has never forsaken me. And, at this very moment He is at work in me unlike any other time in my life. He is preparing us for full-time ministry one day soon. He is laying the groundwork for us to take TEAM 413 to a totally different level. He is about to do something that we cannot comprehend!

Please join me as I pray for guidance for the next move that we make. Pray with me that God will do such a work in others and in me that we are “simply not the same!”

Under HIS Grace...