Saturday, August 24, 2013

All About Happiness

Each week, my running log has quotes, tips, and encouragement to look at.  A couple weeks ago, things just kept coming up in Bible studies, church, songs, even my teacher at school, and the book I am reading that were telling me to just enjoy the moment.  Life means so much more than the things I worry about.  My running log had this quote in it by Jackie Joyner-Kersee, a six time Olympic medal winner:  "The medals don't mean anything, and the glory doesn't last.  It's all about your happiness."  God also said in John 10:10, "I have come so that you may have life, and have it to the full."  Jesus came to die so that we could live.  But not just live to be alive, live to the full.  Time goes by extremely fast.  I am completely shocked at how quickly the past 2 years of my life have been, and it just keeps speeding up.  "Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."  Ephesians 5:15-17.  Remember what the most important things in life truly are, and enjoy them.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Remember the Gift Giver

My youth group at church has started a little study book recently called Don't Waste Your Sports.  It is all about using the gifts God has given us to glorify Him and make known to the world His love, mercy, salvation, and everything about Him.  It is so challenging, and I'm loving it so far!  It is a small, pocket-sized book, so it can be toted anywhere!  I hope to share bits and pieces of what I learn as I go.
The chapter I just read was titled Play to the Glory of God.  There was a great analogy about how when we are young kids, our parents always told us at birthdays and holidays to open the cards (usually first), and thank the person who gave that gift.  Before we get started using what we've been given, we need to pray to thank God for that gift.  Mahaney says this: 
“The gift doesn’t reinforce selfishness; it draws attention to the Giver.”  We shouldn't go through the day tearing the wrapping paper off one gift after another forgetting to read the card.  Ingratitude is a sin, and an insult to God.  This is what has hit me really hard.  Humbly using my gifts I've been given is an act of worship to God!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Trojan Train

Every Friday of a football game, a big group of kids meet together in a parking lot in town to do what we call the "Trojan Train."  This was the morning of our Jamboree for our conference, also the first time we did this for the school year. I must say that was the best participation I have ever seen!  This is the truck I rode in.  One of my lifelong best friends drove her Papaw's truck so that the senior cheerleaders, a few friends, and the WAOS (Women Ambassadors Of Spirit) could have a great ride!  In front was the AOS (guys) followed by the guys Street Team, then us, then the girls Street Team. Everyone else who came followed behind. We have outfits, painted faces, flags, hazard lights blinking, horns blowing, and people dancing and yelling out the cars driving to school!  (We are followed by a policeman so it's okay!)  We all think it is hilarious to see the looks on the faces of the freshmen's parents who dont know what we are doing. This was my best arrival to school and got me and everyone else so pumped for the things to come this year!  I'm so thankful to have such a supportive Trojan Nation!

Monday, August 5, 2013

1 Corinthians

Parts of this book have been hitting me hard as I make my way through the chapters.  I really liked chapter 4, titled Apostles of Christ.  It humbled me, and that is what I needed with school starting and the cross country season getting into full swing.
"I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human is The Lord who judges me." 1 Corinthians 4:3-4
This is what Paul said speaking of himself.  This is how I also should live because when we are in Christ, we are not held under human's judgment.  We are all sinner, and God is the only one who knows everything to the very depths, therefore He is the only one who can make sound judgments.  When we are living for Christ, we don't have to worry about what others say about us.
"For who makes you different from anyone else?  What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?"  1 Corinthians 4:7
This book tells a lot about how we are not our own, but that we belong to Christ.  I would be nothing without Him.  I am a human being, sinner, like everyone else.  Everything I have, every possession, talent, opportunity, and just life is a gift from God.  There is no reason for me to be proud or boast in anything.  Everything I have was given to me, I did not earn it.  So when people see me out in the world, I want them to be able to see God's work being done, not attention being drawn to me.
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?   You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body."  1 Corinthians 6:19-20
I was given the Holy Spirit to live in me and guide me.  I was bought by Christ at the price of death on a cross; that is what has given me everything I have, not my own works.  God gave me this body and my abilities to be a tool for Him, so this really hits me as a runner.  Every race, people see me running.  They are watching how I respond to situations.  I want everything I say and do to be pointing to the One who gave me the ability.  To honor God with my body in this situation would be to give everything I have to do my best and let Him take care of the rest.  My attitude will show people His love.  I must use every step of my life to reflect who He is, and stay humble; He gives me all I truly need.  My goal is to lift Him higher.

Great Reads

One thing I love to do every day is read.  Some days it may be a lot, or on others just a little, but I love to read!  I like to read sports stories and devotionals the most because I feel like they apply to me.  These are some of my favorites!  Of course, the Bible is what I read first in my days, but I follow up with these for reading in free time.  I get Runners World magazine in the mail each month and it always entertains me with stories, tips, and recipes.