Saturday, November 30, 2013

Throw Yourself into this Work

"Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor's crown except by competing according to the rules.". 2 Timothy 2:5

The transition bags are filled with sunscreen, apples, dry towels and wet wash rags. There is GU and Glide and granola. The bikes have been checked in and are locked up for the night in their secure location. The athletes may not be nestled all snug in their bed, but visions of the Ironman ARE dancing in their heads!

I'm trying to think past the lists, and calendars, and nerves about waking up at 4:45. As I sat with my son today at dinner and watched him load up on a full plate of carbohydrates he started laughing and smiled and said, "just think - after tomorrow I won't have to run anymore unless it's for fun. I won't have to swim anymore because I HATE to swim, and I won't have to get on a bike unless I just want to. All this training will be over, the race will be finished and I can just rest."

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith..." 2 Timothy 4:7

One day ALL of us will cross the "finish line" of this life. All the efforts, ministering to others, worrying about the "what if's..." and "why's" will be done! We will experience the joy of the Master and the beauty of His presence, and my friends and cheerleaders, who accompany me on all these adventures - we will hear more than our name called as we cross over* we will hear our King and the choir welcome us home, we are MORE than conquerors (or Ironmen for that matter)!

Pray for a race well run!

*Mike Riley is the official announcer for Ironman events. He calls each individuals name out when the cross through the finish line. The participants can't wait to hear him say, "Greyson Johns (insert each name) from Dallas, TX YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Off but There's No Wizard

I find myself at the airport this Black Friday morning, headed out for my youngest son's (Greyson) Ironman competition this Sunday.

There is no Yelllow Brick Road to follow, and no Great and Powerful Oz that will see him to the finish line. There is only months and months of grueling training that will ensure he will make the 140.6 miles within the prescribed 17 hours.

I'm nervous.

And it's really not about whether or not he will finish, it's about how he will sustain himself on the course. Last year when his older brother participated in the Coeur d' Alene Ironman, none of us (spectators) knew what it would feel like to watch someone we love struggle through the physical endurance and breakdowns.

It was a spiritual experience.

Throughout the day I was reminded of Hebrews 12:1 "since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses..." I pictured our band of cheerleaders in heaven, watching our triumphs, cheering us on with signs of encouragement, and waiting...

Several of my friends and loved ones have passed on to the heavenly bleachers since that time. I know they are watching and cheering and waiting..

"For the sons of God to be revealed!"

The race begins Sunday morning CST 7:00am. The last qualifying finisher must complete the race by midnight. As you go through your day Sunday, offer up a prayer, for strength, endurance, courage, and stamina.

During the race, Greyson is raising financial support and building awareness for the new Sunshine After Rain Wounded Warrior initiative.

Go to our website:

The initiative will focus on reaching the Wounded Warrior population in a dynamic way with resources easily accessible. There will be more follow up about how we will be implementing this in the weeks ahead. Ill be heading back to San Antonio next Thursday, to meet individually with our core group of soldiers and their families.

Remember the ministry in your prayers and support. This undertaking for soldiers who are in crisis situations is an undertaking we will only be able to accomplish through your help and commitment.

God bless our troops
God bless America
God bless you this season of thanks.


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