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

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Seasons of Life

Summer is winding down for most folks with kids going back to school soon, football season on the horizon, and summer vacations are in the books. It was a blur for most of us! And, so it is with life -- we rush through our "seasons of life" and wonder where all the time went -- we invested our time in one thing and another had to be put on the shelf or we invested time in things that mattered and we will have life long memories. 

Time is precious for once we spend it in one way, we can't get it back. We can't press rewind and have a do over -- a life mulligan. We have to live with what we have done and then move forward. 

This is a problem for many of us, including me. Looking forward is hard when the harsh realities of our time in the past keep tapping us on the shoulder to remind us what we should have been, should have done, or just to give us a guilt trip. A simple reminder to look to God and pray and then move forward is the way I try to deal with these rear view moments. 

God uses everything that we have been through to mold us into the person that He wants us to be. So, even if you could go back, would you? I wouldn't -- sure, my human nature tells me that I would change this or that, but when I really think about what I've been through and how it has changed my life, I wouldn't go back and change it for anything. God has taught me lessons that I would have never learned if everything had gone just like I wanted it to go. 

It's hard, but I know for sure that God has promised us much in Romans 8:28, "ALL things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called to HIS purpose!" If I live in the past, I'm not believing the truth of this promise!

Today make it a priority to move forward after you have prayerfully considered the goodness and grace of God. I think you'll learn, as I have, that His plan is much better than anything I could have ever imagined.

Look up and then move forward ---

Under HIS Grace...


Friday, August 1, 2014

The Person God Wants Me to Be...

A few days ago I posted my daily GRACE-WORDS ....

"Allow God to change you from who you were yesterday to the person He wants you to be today!" © GRACE-WORDS

I have changed much in the past few years and this has been especially true over the past month. God is at work in my life and I want to honor Him by being the person that He wants me to be -- not the person that the world thinks that I should be.

My life has taken many twists and turns over the past year. I've had moments of excitement, times of agony, have been lied to, and my feelings have been dismissed. Like many of you, I have been liked and disliked, understood and misunderstood, accepted and rejected. 

The bottom line of all of this is that I cannot do anything about how others treat me except to be the person that God wants me to be today. That may be different than yesterday or tomorrow. I must focus on allowing God to work in my life today! 

We can't worry about being the person that the world wants us to be. It's not our job to please everyone or do everything that they want us to do. My role is to follow God's plan for my life. Simple, yet we've made it complex by adding in the human element of imperfection. We serve a perfect God who has a perfect plan. Why do we care about the imperfect world and its imperfect plan?

As you go about your day, remember that God has control and all the decisions you make should be influenced by Him. He may use others to help us, but I do not believe that He uses others to bring us down. If you place yourself in the center of God's will and give it ALL over to Him, that's enough because He's got your life in His hands!

That's a great place to be --

Under HIS Grace...


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Trucking on Down the Road

Move to the Florida Coast -- New Home of TEAM 413 -- Presented by U-HAUL!

Kiki and I have learned much during our moving adventure from Athens, Georgia to Seacrest, Florida. We have both become truck drivers, movers, and frequent visitors to the Goodwill Donation Center. We have learned that we don't need nearly as much stuff as we DIDN'T know we had until we started packing a truck and TWO trailers! God has taught us so many lessons, but most of all, He has taught us to savor the experience and not take anything for granted!

On our biggest trip about 10 days ago with Kiki pulling a trailer and me driving a truck full of our belongings, we stopped at a small truck stop just outside of Athens. At that truck stop I did several things that I've never done before. I fueled the truck and it was nearly $100.00! And, I realized that I had not eaten all day so, I broke down and got a truck stop hot dog -- Actually it wasn't bad. We pulled out of that establishment headed south. All that I lacked was a big, tall truck driver's cap! Instead, I wore my TEAM 413 cap as I thought it was more appropriate.

My mind raced for the next 6 hours as we made our way through Georgia, Alabama, and finally to the Florida Panhandle. What is this full-time gig with TEAM 413 going to look like? How are we going to make ends meet? Who believes in TEAM 413 enough to help us? What is the next step? I had a bunch of questions and then I remembered the promise from Philippians 4:13 that I wear on the back of my TEAM 413 shirt -- "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I thought to myself, God has this!

God has something big in store for this ministry. Honestly, I don't know what it is, but I trust Him with my life and I know that whatever comes our way is going to be in His timing and it will be for His glory. That's all we can do as Christians....trust and obey! He's got the rest. We must remember the promise...

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Called to HIS purpose is a good place to be! 

Under HIS Grace... 


Friday, June 27, 2014

Sensations - Out of the Comfort Zone!

There are times in life when you simply can't understand what is going on within your heart or all around you. At those times God is working in a special way to create a sensation of responsiveness that we would not have if we had slipped into a comfort zone.

In my 56 years I have felt this sensation on several occasions that are far too complex to write about in a short blog. However, recently this sensation has been within me because of the uncharted road that lies ahead. By "uncharted" I mean it doesn't show up on my "human" GPS, but it certainly is planned and ordained by God. This hightened sensation of the things around me, I suppose, is God's way of keeping me intune, to provide me with the opportunity to NOT miss anything along my path, and to look to Him for guidance along this journey.

We all fall in a routine at some point in our lives. The alarm clock sounds, we jump in the shower, get dressed, hop in the car, drive to work, walk into an office, interact with people, end our day, go home, have dinner, and turn in for the night only to have it happen again day after day. We put ourselves in a "rut" of complacency that we don't want anyone to disrupt. If our "rut" is affected, we don't know what to do. It's just the way we live.

I believe God will pull you out of the comfort zone rut in order to challenge you to be more, do more, and feel more of His presence. 

Here I am out of my comfort zone, on the edge of my rut looking down at it, and feeling a little uneasy because complacency is gone. Yet, it feels good! I am closer to God as I travel throughout my day. I feel no sense of urgency to do the things of this world that man wants me to do, instead I feel a timely patience to wait on God and see what He has in store.

It's a good place.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He's the one who will keep you on track. Proverbs 3:5-6 The Message

Under HIS Grace...


Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Side by Side -- Wouldn't have it any other way!

It never gets easier. It is always hard. I simply cannot get over it.

I married Kiki in 2005 and when we are apart, I am not whole. She truly completes me in so many ways and every time we are separated, it gets harder and harder. 

Kiki and I worked the Grandma's Marathon expo together in Duluth, Minnesota last weekend -- sort of an escape from the harsh heat of the south as it was in the 40's and 50's for the duration of our stay there. Still, it was so great to work an event together. Working side by side -- that's the way it should be.

Our return flight arrived in Atlanta late on Sunday evening. Upon our arrival, we quickly claimed the TEAM 413 gear at baggage claim and made our way to the offsite shuttle area. The problem? Kiki got on one shuttle to go retrieve her SUV and drive through the night to our new home in Seacrest, Florida. I waited to board another shuttle for a two hour ride back to our previous home in Athens, Georgia. I had to go back to Athens in order to tie up loose ends, pack some things, and prepare to for a trip to Indianapolis for the National Athletic Trainers' Association Annual Symposium where I speak this week.

Kiki had to be back to her new job at the Rosemary Beach Trading Company by Monday morning and I was off in a different direction. I have been among packed boxes, Goodwill donation items, and bare walls in Athens for three days and as I write this post, I sit in a hotel room in downtown Indy after a 10 hour drive today. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder -- well, it also makes one a little sad!

After my last presentation this coming Saturday, Kiki and I will meet back in Athens, pack the rest of our belongings, load a rental truck, and drive back to Florida. I calculated the mileage that we will have traveled since we left to go to Duluth, Minnesota last Wednesday until we settle in Florida some time next Tuesday night -- the grand total will be more than 8,200 miles! That's a lot of miles!

This adjustment of moving to full-time status with TEAM 413 has not been easy. To be honest, it has been much more difficult than I ever imagined. However, both of us would have it no other way because we know that the end result will be that we are reunited again soon, enjoying each other's company as we grow old together serving the Lord! OK.... as I grow old....Kiki never ages!

I claim and cling to this promise tonight .... and I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord! My plans are not to harm you, but to give you hope and a future -- The Chris Gillespie paraphrase of Jeremiah 29:11.

We are looking forward to a great future -- side by side!

Join us on this great adventure!

Under HIS Grace...


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It's Been A Long Time

Moving Forward in this Journey
I haven't posted a blog in over a year because I spend most of my time writing GRACE-WORDS each morning. However, because of the happenings of the past few weeks, I will be posting GRACERUNNER JOURNAL on a regular basis from this day forward.

My wife, Kiki, and I made a decision just prior to June 1 -- We committed our life's work to TEAM 413 - GRACERUNNER MINISTRIES. After founding the ministry back in 2003, it has grown to be the largest ministry for endurance athletes in the world with an estimated 80,000 people running under the name of TEAM 413. We had directed the ministry as volunteers in our "spare" time for 11 years and it just couldn't go on like that any longer. The ministry needed and will now receive my full attention from a work perspective.

We stepped out in faith after much prayer, consultation with folks much wiser than me, investigating all options, and with all the facts at our disposal. We moved to Seacrest, Florida where we own a small vacation cottage and has now become our home and the headquarters of TEAM 413. This is where we'll be from this day forward as we do the work and run life's race that God has placed before us.

I ask that you pray for us as we move along this path. Please pray for guidance, wisdom, and discernment as we make the decisions that will chart the direction of this very visible and viable ministry within the endurance athlete community. We will be very busy in short order! So, please pray for uncommon strength for us in the days ahead.

Our first project is a major fundraising campaign that will help us enhance the ministry and allow us to attend more events each year. To be directed to our fundraising page, click HERE.

I thank God each day for allowing me to be His servant and to lead TEAM 413. I am humbled and honored by His faithfulness, goodness, and grace! I also thank Him for all of you -- those who make TEAM 413 go by simply sharing your faith along your journey! Stay the course! We have much work to do!

Under HIS Grace...