Thursday, July 26, 2007

Values - What would YOU stop to pick up?

So I was out running yesterday morning and I looked down just in the nick of time to see...a quarter. I took two more steps and in that 2 second time period did some quick evaluating...a I stop, turn around, and go back to pick up a quarter? Certainly not for a penny. A dime? Not if I'm in a groove. Quarter? Hmmmm. Now, if it were a 50 cent coin, absolutely. A dollar bill...nothing to talk about. The most I've ever found is a $10 bill. I not only picked it up, but looked around to see if there was any more cash laying around - there wasn't.

Those who know me pretty well, know I'm Scottish. So....

Values. What are we willing to "turn around" and "go back for?" We live our lives every day according to our values. What we say means nothing. What we DO reveals what we really value. Someone once said that you can tell exactly what a persons values are by looking at how they spend their time and money. Our checkbooks show our true values.

Value that which really matters. Your spouse, children, parents, siblings, friends and most importantly, that which is eternal. Scripture tells us that this life is like a vapor. Ever try to focus on steam rising from boiling water? You can focus on a spot for about 1 second...and then the vapor/steam disappears. That's this life. It's short.

Be careful what you "turn around and go back" for. Be sure it's something that really does have value...from God's perspective. By the way, my lose change cup now has another quarter in it.

James 4:14, "Yet, you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away."

Pressing on,

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Go Plant A Seed

Speak "Destiny" To Someone....Plant A Seed...And Change Their Life

Last year, at a planning meeting for the International Christian Triathlon Network Camp, Meghan Bullock, a fantastic young triathlete who was on the planning team said to me, "You could go to Worlds." Meghan had just race in Switzerland at the World Age Group Championship Triathlon, representing Team USA. I laughed. "Yeah, right," I thought "Me...Worlds...maybe when we get a blizzard in Phoenix in August." I replied, "Yeah right Meghan, maybe when I'm in the 80-84 age group." (And there are only 3 of us still alive.) We had our planning meeting and went home.

Over the next day or two, Meghan's words came back to my mind several times. She had seemed so serious. Did she really believe I could do that - Qualify for Team USA? Was she just being nice? No, I think she really meant it. At that point a seed of destiny had been planted in my heart. Now, months later, it has become a reality.

Here's the point...we can help lead others into their God-given destiny by first, believing in them and second, by speaking to them what we sense they can accomplish or become. Meghan believed...and spoke...I laughed. Several thousand years ago, someone else laughed. Her name was Sarah. Her husband was Abraham. They received a word of destiny about having a child even though they were well past child bearing years. Even though laughter was the first response that came out, their destiny had been set and a year later, Isaac (meaning "laughter") was born. God had said, "Is anything too hard for me? Genesis 18 and 21.

Look around you. Think about your family or close friends. What do you see in them? What could they become...IF you told them that they could and that you believed in them. Make "Destiny Deposits" in people often. Meghan, many months later, talked to me about the possibility of her taking a year to serve people in a missions environment. I had the chance to return the favor and add my word of destiny to Meghan's opportunity. So, right now, instead of tearing up the triathlon scene this year, she is serving the Lord and needy people in a foreign country. Go plant some seeds and listen to God say, "Is anything too hard for me?"


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Linc's First Post - Team USA - God's Gift...Jubilee

Last February I turned 50. (I AM still alive...there IS life after 50) A friend of mine, Chris Stanton, wrote a book called "Jubilee - A Gift From God; A Year Like No Other" and it's a story of how he trusted God for a year (his 50th) beyond all years, based on Leviticus chapter 25. Every 50th year was a very special year for the Children of Israel. You can read it and and discover what made it special.

Chris' challenge is to move into that year, trusting God for really big, very special things to come to pass. So...I did. God knows our hearts. He knows how He made us and what brings us joy and that's what Jubilee is all about.

There is something about being a Christian endurance athlete that I think is hard to have non-endurance athletes understand. If you are one, you'll understand. If you're not, then the words of Eric Liddle, the Olympian from Scotland and missionary to China may help. "God made me for a purpose and He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure." When I run and race, I feel God's pleasure. You may feel only pain and that is OK. We're all different and uniquely made. Running and racing makes me this is part of what I'm on the earth to do.

That might sound like an overstatement to some, but, it's honestly how I feel. Some of the most awesome times I've ever had with the Lord have been on runs in the desert at sunset, listening to worship music on my iPod Shuffle - body, spirit, mind, soul all engaged in God and the beauty of His creation. Gratitude and worship pours from my heart like a waterfall. Feeling the Lord "carry me" in some races is a very real sense I've had on occasion.

All that to say, this is my Jubilee year and the Lord has blessed me with an opportunity to represent Him and the USA by making the age group triathlon team that will represent the USA in Hamburg Germany on Sept. 2nd at the World Championships. I'll be one of over 200 Americans that will make up the team.

It'll be an Olympic distance triathlon - about a 1 mile swim, 25 on the bike and a 10K / 6.2 mile run. Lots of friends have asked me to keep them informed on my training, what I'm learning and how the trip and race goes. Another friend said I should do a blog to accomplish this, so....thank you Mike for setting this up for me.

I'll post entries every few days and will send reports and pics from Germany when we get there. God knows what bring us joy and because He's a good, loving Father, He'll blow our minds every now and then with demonstrations of these aspects of His character. Making this team is just that for me. By His grace, I finished 9th at the USA National Championship race in the 50-54 age group, qualifying me for the team. So....Germany, here we come.

As I worked out this morning, a worship song I was listening to had a theme from Ps. 115:1, "Not to us Oh Lord, not to us, but to YOUR name be glory because of your lovingkindness..." That's it. That's what life is all about. Not us, but Him. Germany and Team USA are about Him, His kindness, His generosity, His graciousness and that will be foremost in my mind as I train the next 7 weeks and race at Worlds.

"Eye has not seen nor ear heard and no mind imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him." I Corinthians 2:9. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement! More to come soon...