God’s 45th birthday present to me…

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Run with Trish 5k 2014 Prayer Circle

As Boston 2014 approaches, I can’t help but reflect on Boston 2013.  My emotions have been pretty tame up until about a week or so ago.  I think of the joy and excitement we had going into the run and then the tragedy that struck and broke those emotions apart.  But we are runners and we are resilient…we will run!

Little did I know on April 15 that God was giving me an early 45th birthday present.  He was delivering beauty from the ashes on that day…He allowed me to run a 45-year-old Boston qualifying run at age 44.  So, I turned 45 on Saturday – 4/5/2104.  Race day age is the age you get to count when trying to qualify…of course that didn’t dawn on me until the Saturday after Boston 2013.  God allowed me to live through April 15 and let His goodness soak in through the tragedy.

My dream of running Boston as a true qualified runner is coming true on April 21, 2014…and God orchestrated that last year.  He also knew when I started my Boston journey in 2011 that it would work out this way.  He knew I would find Team Hoyt and be able to run with them for two years as a charity runner.  He knew the beauty from the ashes in 2013 would be to once again join Team Hoyt in 2014 as a qualifier!  Happy Birthday to me! Thanks to the Lord for this amazing blessing!

So, this past weekend we had our 3rd Run with Trish for Team Hoyt for my Boston journey. This year was different from any other in several ways.  First, I had the majority of my family and Mike’s family present for the run/walk.  They all participated and some of them even won their age groups. Blessed and thankful is all I can say.  Our families were on a roller coaster ride much of 2013.  To have us all together and healthy brings more joy than I can truly describe!

img_8390Newsom/Taylor Families…

img_8361Mom – Doesn’t she look great??? She won her age group! :)

img_8337Dad – He too won his age group.

img_7923My niece Taylor did too!!

img_7674My sister, Lisa cheering us all on!

Secondly, I had the incredible privilege of pushing a sweet 12-year-old named Gracey.  Gracey has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair.  I was able to be her legs across the 3.1 miles.  When a hill would come I would push through it for her.  I would tell her what was coming up along the way.  Gracey did a couple or should I say several wheelies as we turned corners.  She exclaimed with excitement throughout the whole course.  AGAIN, what a true joy!

img_8251The Estes Family

img_7981Gracey and I coming into the finish!

Thirdly, we had GREAT weather. It was perfect! We couldn’t have asked for more idea running weather! The venue was ideal.  The surroundings made for awesome pictures by a wonderful photographer…my other niece, Lane.

img_8397The photographer, my niece Lane…

Check her photos out here:   http://laneybugphotos.smugmug.com/Proofing/2014-Sessions/2014-Run-With-Trish-5k/

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Fourthly, my dear husband and gift from God spoke of his experience during the Boston bombing aftermath.  He talked about how without the bad we really and truly wouldn’t experience the good…how it all works together to help us appreciate the life God has given us!  Mike is such an encourager and he definitely shared his heart with us!

Romans 8.28

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.

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img_7647Mike…:)

What was the same? My running angels…they were there all around helping make the DAY a grand one.  They started it by singing happy birthday and providing goodies to snack on at our early 6 a.m. set-up.  They made sure the race went smoothly from registration, to timing, to emceeing, to the sound system, to ice for drinks, to post-race food, to door prizes and awards, to clean up…I couldn’t ask for better friends!!! It takes a village to run the Run with Trish 5k for Team Hoyt!

img_8401My running angels!!!

So needless to say…God gave me a BLESSED 45th birthday…He started orchestrating it last year with a BQ and had it complete itself with an AWESOME day that cannot be replicated! It was a day to remember forever! One to say was truly one of the BEST! I was surrounded by people I love more than life itself, doing something I love and God gave me as a tool to use for HIM all while helping others in the process! What a day!

God is good all the time and all the time God is good…as one of my running angels likes to say!

So, going into Boston 2014 my joy runneth over!!! The good and the bad help me see the joy in life! I am ready to go to Boston and run for HIM with a team that is an earthly example of what our heavenly Father does for us….check it out here:

This God-given journey that started many years ago is going to finish Boston Strong on April 21, 204.  Stay tuned!

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Do we have eternal eyes?

Do we look at things through the eyes of eternity?

He prepares for us a place! If we have accepted HIM in our hearts we can confidently say: “Our citizenship is in heaven!!”

How comforting is that? It is so very comforting to know Christ is preparing what is good for us…better than any good we could EVER imagine…in our heavenly home! The things we battle in this world are preparing us for our eternal home!

This conjures up all kinds of thoughts for me…Are we looking at life through the eyes of eternity? Are we sensitive to those around us and where their eternal citizenship may lie?

This past week I have had three different people close to me lose loved ones. These loved ones do not have another chance to determine their eternal home. They gained their eternal citizenship last week.  Did they hear the good news?  Are they experiencing the good Jesus has been preparing?  Did someone share with them the saving love of Jesus Christ?

Philippians 3.18-21

For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

John 14.1-4

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

As I live comfortably with the assurance that my citizenship lies in heaven, am I burdened for those who may not be have that same assurance? My prayer should be as Hillsong’s song Hosanna states:  Break my heart for what breaks yours…

He wants all of us to see Him and fellowship with Him in the place He is preparing – Heaven! Are we reaching out to ensure our neighbors, our loved ones, our co-workers and others will have citizenship in heaven?  What is keeping us from sharing the BEST news ever????

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http://youtu.be/AQGJdTpMUcU - Go here to listen to Hosanna by Hillsong…be blessed!

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What is i2? Follow up to my latest blog.

After I posted my latest blog, God’s reasons for i2, it hit me…not everyone knows what i2 is. Oops! So here you go:

i2 is really “i” squared. It is a symbol for the scripture Proverbs 27.17 – “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” A symbol for iron sharpening iron…i2.

My brother, Rob came up with the logo and used it for a company he used to own. Rob is a godly man and wants to sharpen all he comes in to connect with according to God’s word.  He gives credit to God for i2.

In 2012 when I hosted my first Run with Trish 5k for Team Hoyt, Rob’s company sponsored our t-shirts. From this point on my running buddies and I started using i2 to encourage one another as we ran and in life. It has now become a symbol for us all to be encouragers for the Lord.

Over the last two years I have felt a prompting by the Lord to use i2 as a way to encourage others…family, friends and strangers…so I went to social media to make it a reality. Thus the i2 Facebook page was developed in December 2013.  On this page I try to post pictures with scripture, Christian music and up-lifting words on a daily basis.  The Lord has blessed me with the love of photography as well.  All of the pictures I post are from my travels around the world.  The music posted are songs that have touched me in some way as I walk with Christ.  The scripture is God’s ultimate guide-book for our lives.  It blesses me to post for others.  God is good! I want to share up build, bless and benefit others in the process.  The blog post, God’s reasons for i2, described the journey through scripture that led me to the Facebook i2. If you have not found it yet, go here: https://www.facebook.com/iron2

Be encouraged! Sharpen and be sharpened!!

 

 

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God’s reasons for i2

Today as I was reading my daily Bible reading, I kept coming across different scriptures with i2 written next to them.   It became clear to me that I wanted to share the reasons for i2…God’s reasons for i2.

The scripture i2 is based on is Proverbs 27.17As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (New Living Translation)  We are called by God to encourage one another…whether that be in running, as it started for me or in every day living through every day situations.  As the Bible says in Hebrews 10.23-25 - 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV)

We see the Day approaching…we see the world turning to worldly ways…we see evil all around us! It is hard to live in this world.  We have to remember we are not of this world and we are not alone!  We need to sharpen one another as we move along on this journey called life.

In 1 John 2.15-17 the Word encourages us to not love things of this world: 15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

Ephesians 6.20 states “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Due to all of this we need encouragement, we need friends who are like-minded, we need others who love Christ and we need to give ourselves to those we love in any way Christ would have us to.  I believe i2 is one way the Lord is encouraging me to encourage others.

Below you will find the scriptures the Lord laid before me over the past couple of years in reference to i2.  I sense His prompting me to encourage others on how we, as God-fearing people, can encourage one another to be all we can be in Christ as the Day approaches.  I hope you are blessed and bless others on your journey!

It is better to give than receive…

Acts 21.32-35

32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

Share with others!

Hebrews 13.16

16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Are we bond servants for Christ?

2 Corinthians 11.29-30

29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?  30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.

In my Bible I have written the following words below the next passage: 

When God puts a thought, a vision or a dream in your heart – DO it! We are jars of clay…

2 Corinthians 4.1-5

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

So…

Romans 15.13

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

for OTHERS….

Because….

Romans 14.7-8

7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

And finally there is JOY in serving…

Philippians 2.1-8

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

So, let’s BUILD, BLESS & BENEFIT others for Christ!

1 Thessalonians 5.11

11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1thess5.11

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Forgiveness…Let Go & Let God!

The Lord has been dealing with me on this topic quite a bit lately.  Today after finishing my morning devotional reading, I was flipping through my Bible.  The Bible fell open to Matthew 18.   The page caught my attention because there were sermon notes written in the margins. I like to write sermon notes, prayer requests, and answered prayers in my Bible so I can go back and read what God has done…to see how faithful He has been…to see His love for me and those I love!  I love how God always brings these messages and notes back up.

The scriptures referenced in the sermon notes were Matthew 18.21-35 – where Jesus is dealing with the unforgiving debtor. The sermon notes hit home as well as the commentary I had written down that day.  Most of the time I write the pastor’s name down who delivered the sermon…but this time I did not.  Credit for the following words goes to him and God knows who He used to present this message.  These are not my words but the servant of the Lord’s.

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SERMON NOTES and SCRIPTURE:

Forgiveness with Humility and Love!

Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor

21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

23 “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.

26 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.

28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars.He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.

29 “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.

31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me.33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

ARE WE FORGIVERS? LIFESTYLE FORGIVERS?

  • Forgiveness is an obligation not an option!

~You are no closer to God than the person you like the least.

Mark 11.25  But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”

  • Forgiveness is a matter of grace not law – Amazing Grace!
  • Forgiveness sets people free!
  • Forgiveness sets us free!

~Bitterness and unforgiveness are like acid- They are worse on the vessel they are stored in than the one it is poured on!

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This is great stuff! It is HARD but so simple with God! God is so good! How many times are we to forgive? Forever!

Luke 17:4

“Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”

Christ sent His son to die for us and forgive us of the many wrongs we do over and over again.

Romans 3.23-26

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

We are to love as He loved.  He loved the unlovable and we are to do the same!

John 13.34

34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.

He can and will give us the strength to do so when we ask!

Philippians 4.13

13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

We are to release our pride and let Him help us forgive.  Oh the peace that comes from letting go and letting God!

Philippians 4.6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Are you ready for that peace? Are you ready to forgive and be set free?

forgivingothers-2

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Do we anticipate Christ’s return like teachers/students anticipate snow?

Last night as I was falling asleep thinking ‘snow’…hoping for ‘snow’…wanting ‘snow’…it hit me – Do I think this way about Christ’s return? Do I wait for it? Do I hope for it? Do I anticipate it like I should? Do I live expectantly for His return?

What  does the Lord say to us about Christ’s return in His word? A lot(more than 300 times in New Testament)…but here are a few key scriptures that spoke to me as I searched out the answer for myself:

Do we know when He will return?  Should we be waiting and ready?

Mark 13.31-36

31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.  32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. 34 It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.  35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.

John 14.2-3

2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

2 Timothy 4.7-8

7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

How are we to live while we wait?

Titus 2.11-4

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Why do we wait?

Philippians 3.20-21

20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Revelation 21.4

4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

So, should we anticipate Christ’s return like we(teacherslol) anticipate snow? YES and more so! This gentle reminder from the Lord reminded me we should be living as if Christ could return todaybecause, yes, He can! 

S tay focused on the Lord daily…

N ever losing sight of our eternal home…

O pen and willing to share His love with others…

W ith anticipation of HIS return!

snow

He will RISE again…let’s get excited!!!
Song of the day – Chris Tomlin – I will Rise!

http://youtu.be/Bms0ZiM_KG0

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Another blessed year of running…1750 miles strong!




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2013 proved itself to be one of chaos. Controlled chaos…but chaos.  Running saved me.  Running took me to places I hadn’t planned on going.  Running proved to be therapeutic and necessary for so many reasons.  Running allowed me to lay everything down and truly run the race He set before me.

Many mailboxes were passed…in my 1750 miles.  They were run in 8 states:  Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Massachusetts.  Most of my runs were training runs for my three marathons: the Boston Marathon(April), the Tupelo Marathon(September) or the 7 Bridges Marathon(October).  So thankful to the Lord for the ability to run and move!

This year I did more solo running than last.  God and I conversed while I pounded the pavement in His wonderland.  It was a year of truly finding myself in Christ as I put one step in front of the other.  Most of my races had deep meaning! Running also allowed me to get closer to my friends and faithful running angels! So grateful for them!  And I can not go without thanking my family and dear husband for being with me on every run whether in spirit or body.  Very blessed!

I did a lot of picture-taking along the way.  I learned to take time and smell the roses…to seek the joy in the run.

Here is a pictorial review of my 1750 blessed miles that got me through 2013…

Hot Chocolate 15k in Atlanta

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Scenic City 5k

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Run with Trish 5k for Team Hoyt

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15k in Indianapolis with my sister

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Boston 2013

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Meeting Ryan Hall

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Team Hoyt 2013

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Boston Marathon Finisher – April 15, 2013 – Qualified for 2014

Chickamauga Chase 8k

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Destin, Florida with my sister

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Springfield, Missouri – During 21 day hospital stay

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July 4th – 4 on the 4th – Fayetteville, Arkansas

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Bentonville, AR

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Bentonville, Arkansas – When Mike came to visit! Yay!

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The Pinky Run – Welcome Home – Chattanooga

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Tupelo Marathon – September

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7 Bridges Marathon – Chattanooga

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Bethel Bible 4 miler

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Turkey Trot 8k

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Funky Monkey 5kIMG_6703

Families on the Run 5k

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2014 will bring many more blessed miles…I have around 750 left on my journey to Boston 2014.

Thankful for the ability and the desire!

Joyful I run.

Grateful I run.

For God, I run!

Here's to a fun 2014 enjoying the run!

Here’s to a fun 2014 enjoying the run!

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i2 ~ Iron sharpens Iron

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i2 is not only the chemical formula for iodine it has also become a symbol of encouragement and love.  Like iodine, encouragement and love are essential to humans.  This symbol has very special meaning!

My brother first started using i2 as a part of his business logo while he was in Arkansas.  Not long after that  we were organizing the first Run with Trish 5k for Team Hoyt.  Rob’s company sponsored the race and we placed i2 on our t-shirts to represent his sponsorship.  Realizing the power of encouragement while running the roads I asked Rob if I could use i2 to encourage others in our running.  He said i2 is not mine but God’s. :)  So at that point, my running angels and I started using the symbol i2 to encourage one another on the roads.

i2 stands for iron sharpening iron as found in Proverbs 27.17.

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

In November 2012 of the Lord pressed upon my heart that I could use i2 to not only encourage running friends but everyone.  At this point I did not act on it.  Then the year 2013 hit me like a Peterbilt truck…:) (that’s for my brother!) I was the recipient of an overwhelming amount of encouragement and love.  i2 was lived out in my life through others…many of you! You all encouraged me through Boston 2013, through my mom’s accident and then through Mike’s accident.  There were times I felt like giving up and because of the overwhelming outpouring of love and encouragement I didn’t! God provided encouragement in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined.  Then today during my devotional I felt God pressing once again…”you have received much encouragement and sharpening, it is now your turn to give back.”

With all of this being said…I am acting on it!  I have built Facebook page called i2.  Go here to like and share: https://www.facebook.com/pages/i2/639734179417709?ref=hl  This page will be used to encourage God’s way! I will post daily scriptures from the best encourager we all have – our Lord and Savior. My goal is to write and post smaller snippets as my family continually encourages me to do. This page will be used for encouragement and sharpening for all of us through the Holy Word of God.  In this process I will continually pray that the Holy Spirit leads me….this page is about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ encouraging His children through one another.

Life is a journey.  This journey is one with ups and downs and we all need a little encouragement along the way.  I hope i2 will be a positive source of God’s encouragement for you during your journey of life.  Share with others and feel free to post your encouraging words with us.  We are not alone! Let’s….

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

 1 Thessalonians 5.11

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One phone call away…

As I was looking through our 2013 Taylor Christmas photos, music was playing in the background. The words “I guess we’re all one phone call from our knees” rang out. These words have so much meaning to our family this year. We experienced that phone call more than once!

My family first experienced the phone call on April 15, 2013…The Boston Marathon! The second phone call was from dad on June 12, 2013 when mom had her brain bleed.  The third and hopefully final phone call of 2013 was on November 8 when Mike fell from the ladder and broke his shoulder and nose.  All of these things literally brought us to our knees! We cried out to our Lord and Savior for help, for comfort, for healing, for understanding and for peace!  To which He answered all of them in His perfect timing.

Romans 8.26

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

 

These photos were taken by my very talented niece Lane Lewis of Laneybugphotos.  Check her work the rest of Christmas 2013 here:   http://laneybugphotos.smugmug.com/MyPhotos/2013/Christmas-2013/i-Fd6xdth  

She truly captured the overwhelming joy our family experienced this season.

This Christmas we celebrated life.  First, we celebrated Jesus’ birth and life!  His life and death assures us of eternal life and comfort on earth through the Holy Spirit.  We have felt His presence through the Holy Spirit with each phone call.  It baffles me how anyone can receive a phone call that brings you to your knees and not know, really know God.  How do they survive?  He is the only way I have survived and found peace and joy in ALL circumstances.

Jeremiah 29.11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Then we celebrated our lives and being able to be together! We enjoyed quality time just being! This time of year we forget that…we forget to be still and just take it all in!  We celebrated sitting in a room with one another…conversing, laughing, reminiscing…being together in the moment.

Looking at the pictures brings us tears of joy just knowing how faithful God has been.  He never left us.  He held us together the whole time.  Mom is a miracle! Mike is alive and healing extremely well! Boston 2014 will bring closure to a bittersweet Boston 2013.  All of these things have taught us to live for Him in the moment.

We have learned this year that the moment will and can end.  We have no control of when that will happen.  But it will! Take this day and make it your best.  God gave us the best present next to His son – the PRESENT….we need to live in it and find the joy in the people around us!

Psalm 30.5

For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.

Matthew 6.25-34

 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

2014 will hopefully be a little less eventful.  BUT, if it is not and I receive yet another phone call…my knees is where you will find me. Why?Because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my Lord and Savior will be there to pick me up and help me take each step of whatever journey lay ahead.  How do I know? Because He has proven Himself over and over in 2013(and before!)  He is our Lord and He is our Savior…He is faithful and good ALL the time!

Romans 8.28

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.

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Merry CHRISTmas…from start to finish!

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Merry CHRISTmas!

Today’s post is about the whole CHRIST story from start to finish! Christ was born for a purpose to later be fulfilled in His death and resurrection for us – sinners who did not and do not deserve this AMAZING GRACE!

Merry CHRISTmas my friends and followers! May you know the true reason for this season…Jesus!

Be blessed this day as we celebrate the START of an amazing journey taken for us by the babe called Jesus…

The Characters…

Luke 1

31…Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 

 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.” 38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

The Setting…

Luke 2.11-14

11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,  14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

The Plot…

John 3.16-17

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

The Conflict…

Titus 3.3-8

3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

The Theme…

Romans 10.9-10

9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

christmasMay you feel His love for you on this day! He is the reason for this season and the key to a fulfilled life!

Merry CHRISTmas 2013!

 

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