Last Words…

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo (pictured above) was performing his duty flawlessly…Honour Guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada.  Attorney Barbara Winters passed by and took a few pictures of Nathan and his counterpart standing at full attention.

Moments later four shots rang out, piercing the still morning sky.
Barbara Winters did the exact opposite of what every other civilian did on that day.
She ran, not away from the shots but rather toward them.

And there he was, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo lying on the ground where he stood so valiantly just moments before.
Barbara Winters, along with three others calmly, speedily, professionally and lovingly began administering CPR on the dying soldier. The wounds were too great to overcome.

Barbara Winters did what no other person I have ever heard of do…
She began whispering in Nathan’s ear these words (Pictured above)…
Barbara recited the Lord’s Prayer and with Nathan staring right at her she said,
“You’re a good man, you’re a brave man.
You are loved.
Your family loves you.
You’re a good man.
Your parents are so proud of you.
Your military family loves you.
All the people here, we’re working so hard for you.
Everybody loves you.
You are so loved.
We’re all trying to help you.
You are so loved.”

Nathan died in her arms with those words being the “last words” he heard on this earth…
Afterward, Barbara Winters was interviewed and she concluded with these poignant, powerful words…
“When you are dying, you need to be told how loved you are.”


I wonder if Jesus knew how loved he was when he was dying on the cross…(Just wondering)

I have a friend.
Her name is Rachelle.
We have a special relationship. Outside of my family, Rachelle is the friend that I have known longer than any other person in my life. We met 43 years and one month ago in third grade at the California School in Orange, California. She has my good friend Doug Fields beat by about one or two weeks.
Through the wonders of social media we reconnected.

I have spent a good portion of my life encouraging people to say what they need to say to their loved ones before they pass away. The emphasis being on the “living” person doing the talking.
Never before had I spent much time thinking about the “listener,” the person who is dying.
Until now, thanks to Barbara Winters.

My friend Rachelle is in an unenviable position. Her father is on life support. He needs to be taken off of life support.
I have encouraged Rachelle to tell her dad all the things a daughter needs to tell her dad before he journeys on to the next life.

What strikes me today is what words, what “last words” does Rachelle’s father need to hear?
What “last words” would he like to hear?

I can think of a few I would like to share with Rachelle’s dad…
“Mr. Wolfe, this is David Dendy, as I behold the beautiful heart that lies within your daughter, as I listen to her business smart mind, as I have been the recipient of her tender care and outreach during some difficult times in my life, as I hear the joy in her voice as she boasts and brags about her boys, as I have had the privilege and pleasure of walking next to your daughter who stands so tall and so proud, I would like to say to you, “You are loved by Rachelle and your children and your grandchildren and by so many others. And oh, one more thing…’Well done Mr. Wolfe…well done good and faithful servant… well done.”

May I encourage all of you to say what’s important on your heart to those you know and love so well…
Not only for your sake…
But for their sake as well…
Whether we are dying
or whether we are living…
We all need to hear how loved we are!

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1. Corinthians 13. 1-3, 13 ESV)

Laugh often and Fear not!

ps – Rachelle, you are loved by me and so many, especially your dad…My prayers are with you

Hold On…

I backed slowly out of the driveway, started heading down the winding street and quickly noticed a caterpillar lounging on my windshield.

My first temptation was to turn on the windshield wipers and watch him get smeared across the glass one way and then back the other way in a rhythmic, metronome motion.
My competitive side got the best of me as I decided to see how far and how fast could I go before the caterpillar could no longer “hold on.”


At a sustained 38 miles per hour covering a distance of 400 yards the caterpillar was finally whisked away like a tornado throws a mobile home to the curb. I will give the caterpillar credit. His little legs, all six of them (true legs) along with his prolegs held on longer than I thought.
Soon enough though the wind was too strong and away he went.

Ever feel like a caterpillar holding on with all your might to the smooth glassy surface of reality?
You are doing really well…
You are hanging on…
You are holding on…
Your phalanges are pressed like a suction cup on the windshield of life and the driver of the situation you find yourself in is intent on putting the pedal to the metal, accelerating to a speed where it is impossible to hold on.

Is there is a difference between us and the caterpillar?

It is worth noting…
The glassy surface of life cannot be held on to.
It’s a grand illusion to think that we can physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually hold on to this slippery, sloping surface.

Here is the good news…
We cannot hold on, but fear not, for it is God who holds on to us!
Here is the better news…
God never lets go!

You will let go!
You will give up!
You will be exhausted to the point where your grip on life is gone!

In fact, how about trying this exercise today…
Let go…

In letting go, we surrender to the One who
Never lets go!
Never gives up!
Never is exhausted!

We are in good hands!
Our prayer is,
“Lord I may let go this day
But hear my plea,
pay heed to what I say…
To my hand and me…HOLD ON!!!

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.'” (John 10. 27-30 ESV)

Laugh often and Fear not!

She’s My Daughter… Still

Last year I posted this blog on my daughter Morgan’s 27th birthday. The title of the blog was “She’s My Daughter.”
Today, I repost the blog on her 28th birthday with an updated title…”She’s My Daughter…Still” – nothing has changed in our relationship “status” in the last year. Those of you who pray for her and her sister, Molly-Catherine, I say, “Thank you!” My prayer for reconciliation is constant and the lack of communication and the chance for reconciliation is a continued void in my heart and life…May God’s name be praised!


(Morgan with her twins Peyton Leigh and Parker)

She turns 28 today…

She was born in Richmond, Virginia at St. Mary’s Hospital

She weighed 8 pounds and 10 ounces.

She entered the world with a perfectly shaped “cone head.”

She graduated from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia in 2009

She got married on June 4, 2011.

She is married to a youth minister at the McLean Bible Church in Virginia named Kyle Cox.

She is a mom to twins – Parker (boy) and Peyton Leigh (girl) who are about 2 years and 7 months old.

She has the most beautiful brown eyes.

She has a brilliant smile.

She has the thickest flowing hair.

She has a “heart for the Lord.”

She and I haven’t seen each other in a long time.

She and I haven’t really had a conversation since April 15, 1998.

And oh…

By the way…

She’s my daughter…Still


Twenty eight years ago, I was right there when Morgan Goodson Dendy uttered her first cry.

Twenty eight years ago I helped place that little pink beanie on her cone shaped head.

Twenty eight years ago I was 23 years old and a second year seminary student.

Along the way something happened that I never thought would ever happen to someone like me.

I went through a divorce…

I left the house on April 15, 1998 and Morgan and her younger sister Molly-Catherine have chosen not to speak to me ever since.

16 years, six months and one week is a long time.

I really wonder if they will ever speak to me.

In the opening paragraph of this blog I wrote just about everything I know about Morgan, who changed her name when she turned 18 to Morgan Leigh Goodson. Her younger sister Molly-Catherine followed suit two years later changing her last name to Goodson as well.

I don’t know what Morgan likes to snack on.

I don’t know what Morgan’s favorite TV show is.

I don’t know what Morgan likes to do.

I don’t know what kind of music Morgan likes to listen to.

I don’t know what kind of car Morgan drives.

I don’t know what the twins look like.(I do have an idea now with the photo above)

I don’t know her husband Kyle Cox. I have never had the privilege of meeting him.

I don’t know what it was like to walk Morgan down the aisle on her wedding day. I wasn’t invited.

I don’t know a lot of things…

But on this day…especially this day…

I do know one thing…

She’s my daughter…Still!

Happy Birthday Morgan!
From the man who is your Father…Still

For all the moms and dads, sons and daughters who have broken relationships with their sons and daughters or moms and dads, I do pray and hope for reconciliation…

Wouldn’t that be a glorious thing…

I guess it would be glorious…

I would hope that it would be…

I wonder if I will ever know…


Laugh often and Fear not!


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5. 17-19 ESV)

“Mommy, I pooped my pants… again!”

It was the perfect day for flag football.
Temperature in the low 70’s. Not a cloud in the sky and the typical balmy humid air was as dry as New Mexico.
The game began and the faithful families found their spots along the sideline to cheer on their respective gridiron greats.
The “Mom” next to us had her hands full with a little boy who was about 3 or 4.
Not more than 5 minutes into the game he said in the sweetest little four year old voice, “Mommy, I need to go to the baffwoom.”

Mommy was none to pleased as her son had just scored a touchdown and being taken away from the game was not part of the prepared plan for spectating.
Off they went with Mom in a bit of a huff and a puff and the little boy waddling as fast as his 18 inch legs would take him.

Within five minutes they were back and mom was once again cheering in her best cheerleader voice.
Not more than two minutes had passed when her little boy moseyed on over to her seat, batted his eyelashes with the cutest of smirks, tugged on his mama’s shorts and said these epic words, “Mommy, I pooped my pants…(insert pregnant pause)…again.”

I thought Julie and I were going to come right out of our seats we were laughing so hard with our lips pursed shut as tight as a vice grip making my insides feel like they were going to explode any second.

The Mom’s out loud audible response with her head bobbing backwards, hands thrusted heavenward and her eyes rolling upward was an instant classic, “Oh dear Lord Jesus!!”


How many times have I come before God and basically uttered the same thing?

“Abba, Father, I have messed up (I pooped my pants)…(insert pregnant pause)…again.”
It’s the word “again” that drives me batty!!
It’s also what drove this mom crazy at the flag football game.
Just when we get cleaned up and get moving again, boom…we’ve pooped our pants…AGAIN!!! 

I hope and pray that God doesn’t respond with, “Oh dear Lord Jesus!!”

I do have the strong feeling that God lovingly and graciously responds with, “Come on son, let’s get you cleaned up.”
What else should I expect by now? O what a magnificent God we worship!

Here’s the question of the day…

Have you pooped your pants recently?
Me too…
You are in good company! Welcome to the Super Duper Pooper Club!
If you haven’t, then I am not sure I know what to tell you other than when the time comes and you have really made a mess of yourself, please know that you will find nothing but comfort, grace, forgiveness and acceptance.

Better to admit it and let God graciously clean you up versus sitting in it for the rest of your life!

 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1. 8-9 ESV)

See you at the diaper changing station…

Laugh often and Fear not!

Dysfunction Derails Dream!


Is this the headline of your life?
Is is the headline of someone you know and love?
Could it have been the headline of your life?

The alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. in order for me to attend a Men’s Bible study that started at 6:15.
I arrived with Bible in hand at 6:12.
It was my first time.
Am I the only one who takes a deep breath before entering a room where you know absolutely no one?
Deep breath taken, I peeked in the room and there were about 20 round tables with about half of them semi-filled with men already engaged in conversation.
The epic question of the day was racing through my mind and it was only 6:12 in the morning.
“At which table should I sit?”

I decided upon a table that had two men sitting a chair apart from one another. I walked up, introduced myself and sat down. Within a couple of minutes two other gentlemen sidled up to the table. It was plain to see that all four men knew each other from previous interactions. In reality, I was the outsider.

The Bible Study began with a prayer and then the speaker for the day began talking about dysfunctions and dreams. The dysfunctional family he was using as a guide for our discussion was Jacob and his sons, specifically Joseph.

The brothers hated Joseph.
The sibling rivalry was thicker than molasses.
The brothers sold Joseph into slavery and convinced their dad that Joseph had been torn to pieces by a wild animal.
Let me get your attention here!! This is a dysfunctional family at its best! (Or worst!)

Listen to this bit of good news: Joseph, who by the grace and power of God went on to be a man of great influence and power, did not let the “dysfunction derail the dream.”


With the lecture over the attention of the five gentlemen at my table was turned inward toward one another.
We took a minute to introduce ourselves and talk a little bit about who we are, our families and what we did for a living. The men that surrounded me were obviously good, solid, successful and stable.
We took the appropriate time answering the first question in our study guide.
By all intents and purposes it seemed as though the men at my table were going to get out of there unscathed as our conversation was appropriately guarded in nature and vanilla in flavor.

Then came the second question: “How has your family’s dysfunction affected your dream?”
If the first question invoked “vanilla”, the second question invited Habenero, Jalapeno and their sister Chili!
One by one each man shared how their father had been or currently suffered from alcoholism and the effect that that dysfunction had on their families.
I was last to go…The moderator of the table looked at me…”David?”
Two simple words from my lips…”Me too..”
We all chuckled, put our fists in the middle of the table and gave each other a loving, caring and knowing fist pump to the collective dysfunction we had all faced.

Here’s the fascinating outcome from this group of men who accepted me so warmly and graciously.
Each of our dysfunctions did not derail the dream.
If anything the dysfunctions sharpened the dream and brought the dream into clearer focus.
There, but for the grace of God go I…

The speaker of our group brought to light one important factor in pursuing our dreams.
From a physical standpoint everything on our bodies point forward…
Our feet and toes point forward…
Our knees point forward…
Our chest points forward…
Our nose points forward..
Our eyes points forward…
Our mouth points forward…
There is only one part of our body that points backward…
Let me put it to you gingerly and gently…
Don’t be that part of your body! You will never be able to pursue your dreams if you are constantly looking backwards.

Don’t let the dysfunction derail the dreams!
Don’t let the dysfunction define you or your dreams!
Don’t let the dysfunction derail you from delightfully pursuing the dreams God has in store for you!

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37. 4 ESV)

Go get ’em!
I’ll see you out on the tracks…

Laugh often and Fear not!

PS – Thank you Lord for leading me to a table of fellow dreamers!

White Noise

I was running yesterday and stumbled upon a fascinating sound…
Running on a nature type trail, I noticed that I was missing out on some of the distinct sounds of nature.
The constant drone of traffic from I-45 which was less than 2 miles away was drowning out the serene, peaceful setting in which I found myself immersed. This fascinating sound that I stumbled upon was the “white noise” of traffic.

White Noise is defined as…. a steady, unvarying, unobtrusive sound, as an electronically produced drone or the sound of rain, used to mask or obliterate unwanted sounds.”

“Used to mask or obliterate unwanted sounds…?”

White noise…


White noise is supposed to “mask or obliterate unwanted sounds.”

What happens when the “white noise” obliterates sounds that we need to hear?

What is the “white noise” of your life?
Is it busyness?
Is it work?
Is it social networking?
Is it keeping up with the Jones’?
Is it community involvement?

Are there voices in your life that drone on and on in such a way that they obliterate the Voice of God?
I’m no good…
I’ll never amount to much…
Life is depressing…
I deserve better…
If it hadn’t been for so and so, then I would have everything I need…
One of these days my ship will come in…

What if the “white noise” of your life was grounded in God’s word?
You are loved by God with a furious love…
You are lovable, adorable…
You are cherished and treasured…
Fear not…for I am with you…
Your mistakes are not futile or fatal…You are forgiven!
My grace is sufficient for you…
When you are weak then I am strong…
Love one another as I have loved you…
I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…plans not to harm you but to prosper you, to give you a future and a hope…
For freedom Christ has set us free…

Maybe, just maybe if God’s word was the white noise of my life then the unwanted sounds of negativity would be obliterated…

What is the background noise of your life?

What is your “White Noise?”

Laugh often and Fear not!

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (John 10. 27 ESV)

Do you have Guts?

It’s an annual rite of passage that takes place at the Dendy household year in and year out. The only difference for this year was that we had an extra child in our midst engaging in the October ritual of carving pumpkins.
We had three itty bitty pumpkins for Faith, Joshua and Chase (our 4 year old friend for the weekend).
We had one ginormous pumpkin for the whole family.

Let the ritual begin!!!
I grabbed the extra sharp knife and plunged it into the skull of the gargantuan pumpkin and started carving away.
Little Chase pulled on the stem of the pumpkin and off came Mr. Pumpkin’s top along with the stringy brains and seeds reluctantly attached.

I reached over and grabbed the big silver spoon that would serve as the excavator of the guts that were still inside Mr. Pumpkin. With a glee in my voice I proudly proclaimed the next step to Chase. “Now, we have to get the guts out!”

Listen to Chase’s response…
“You have to get the guts out, so the light can go inside and shine through…”


I cannot begin to tell you how many conversations I have had over the years as a pastor that went something like this…

“Well Pastor, it’s awfully good to see you. I appreciate the invitation to come back to church. Once I get my life straight and get a few things ironed out, I’ll be back.”

For the first few years I would smile and say, “Sounds great! I hope to see you soon.”
In the last few years my response drastically changed.
I would hear their response about wanting to get their life straight before they came back or even come for the first time.
My next move went something like this…
I would lovingly and with great care and compassion put my hand on their shoulder and look straight into their eyes and say, “Well then, I guess I won’t be seeing you anytime soon…(Dramatic pause)…If you’re waiting until you get your life straight before you get to church then you will never get there.”

More times than not, I never saw the person in church ever again.

Where do we get this idea that we have to “get the guts out” before the light can come in and shine?

The beauty of the gospel, as I read it, is that Jesus, the Light, comes into our world, into our neighborhood and into our lives while the stringy, sticky guts and seeds are still in there. The Light of Jesus shines through the guts, the strings and the seeds.

And I don’t know about you, but that makes this big ol Pumpkin head smile from ear to ear!!


There is also great joy in knowing that it is Jesus who removes the sticky, stringy seeds and smooths out the inside so that The Light can shine brighter.

Whatever you do, don’t fall for this idea that Jesus only comes into the lives of those who don’t have the guts!
I got guts!
Do you?

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8. 12 ESV)

Laugh often and Fear not!

Bogged Down


It’s amazing the veritable plethora of things God can show you on a simple four mile run along a culvert.
For today, let’s focus on what I ran across in the middle of the culvert after a hearty rain storm the day before.

This four wheel drive, 4X4 Ford wannabe monster truck got stuck, got BOGGED DOWN in the mud!
There was no one in the driver’s seat.
There was no one nearby to claim the truck.
The truck was abandoned…at least for now.
Evidently, the owners of this vehicle didn’t see the big sign that read:

Have you ever been BOGGED DOWN?


Haven’t we all been bogged down?

Some of us are bogged down by a certain lifestyle that has kept us stuck in a mud pit for years…
Some of us are bogged down by a dream that hasn’t come true yet…
Some of us are bogged down by a job that undervalues our self-worth…
Some of us are bogged down by a dysfunctional family member or two…
Some of us are bogged down by depression and other mental health maladies..
Some of us are bogged down by a dangerous driver recklessly driving through and past all the warning signs while we sit idly by in the passenger seat.
Some of us are bogged down by doing good all the time. When doing good no longer becomes a choice but rather a rut, then the joy of doing good routinely is ripped right out of the good intention. Even the Bible recognizes this potential hazard, “Let us not become weary in doing good…” (Galatians 6. 9)

I am reminded of this quote that talks about the danger of getting bogged down by sin…

“Sin will take you farther than you want to go…
Keep you longer than you want to stay…and
Cost you more than you want to pay.”

The photo above serves as a perfect example of this quote…
The driver went farther than he wanted to go…
The deep mud kept him much much much longer than he wanted to stay…
And if the sign is right  – This person’s predicament is going to cost him a heck of a lot more than he originally wanted to pay in order to get his truck out…
Bogged Down?
Watch out for the warning signs. Do not only watch out for them, but obey them!
Turn and go the other way. Several references in scripture mention “running” as fast as you can in the opposite direction.
What is it about our human nature that we live by the motto of “Rules are made to be broken?” Surrender that independent, rebellious nature and become more dependent on following God.
What might seem very counter intuitive, just sit tight and wait for the hand of God to come in and pull you out. As evidenced by the photo above, the more this driver spun his wheels the further he got bogged down.

We may be so bogged down that the only way out is from a hand from up above that gently and yet firmly grabs a hold of us and lifts us to higher heights and a firmer foundation where we won’t get BOGGED DOWN!

He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
    but the Lord was my support.
 He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me. (Psalm 18. 16-19)

Read that last verse one more time… “he rescued me because he delighted in me…”
Even when we are BOGGED DOWN, the Lord delights in us!

Laugh often and Fear not!
Twitter: @seeinggodatwork

PS – Be alert and on the look out…
The very hand from above that gently pulls someone out of a bogged down situation might be yours!

The Fog Bank


Have you ever run into a Fog Bank?

On my morning four mile run I came around the curve only to see a bank of fog in front of me.
I even took a picture of it…(See above)

In military terms there is a phrase that depicts the incredible difficult reality of decision making that takes place in the heat of battle – “The Fog of War.”

Do you ever feel like you are living, running and waging war in “The Fog of Life?”
I have no doubt that for many of us the very sight of “The Fog Bank” stops us in our tracks.
Halts our purposeful gait…
Haunts us for the unknown that lies within the bank…
Hesitates what was once our confident steps running toward the goal…
Harangues our mapped out minds…
Hampers, harasses and hammers our sense of serene security…

Oh, I hate how The Fog Bank hacks, haggles and hinders!


This morning “The Fog Bank” stopped me long enough to take a picture.
That is the only thing “The Fog Bank” succeeded in today.

Here’s what I found fascinating about “The Fog Bank.”
Once I ran into it, I could see perfectly fine.
Sure the distance of my sight line was reduced.
But I could see far enough in front of me to take the next step and the next and the next…

There is a great temptation within our world to have our lives mapped out days, months and years ahead with clear skies in the forecast!
The reality?
We can barely control the next step we place in front of us…

Approaching any Fog Banks lately?

Humor yourself and
Heave yourself headlong,
Humming as you go
Holding on to the one who holds on to you…the
Holy Spirit!

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues,
they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13. 8-12)

Laugh often and Fear not!
Twitter: @SeeingGodAtWorK

PS – I ran into “The Fog Bank”… I also ran right through “The Fog Bank” into clear skies…

The Race

I have run two marathons in my lifetime.
My first marathon took place on March 6, 2011.
My last marathon took place on March 6, 2011.

I have two close friends that ran the race of their life this past weekend.
My 16 year old friend Jacob DeVries ran the Portland (Oregon) Marathon (26. 2 miles).
My 53 year old friend Leisa Chaney ran the Leavenworth (Washington) Half-Marathon (13.1 miles)
Congratulations to you both for training, persevering, committing and running the race of a lifetime.
From what I have heard, only 1% of Americans have ever run a marathon.

Leisa ran the race with a friend of hers and with about 4 miles to go they came across a young man who serves the United States of America in the US Army. He was running a full marathon. Leisa was running the half-marathon.
The soldier had run 22 miles.
Leisa had run 9 miles.
The soldier had never run this far before.
Leisa had never run 13 miles before.
The soldier was on his last leg. He had run out of water. His legs were shot. More than once he muttered, “I just don’t think I can make it.”

That’s all my friend Leisa needed to hear for her amazing gift of “encouragement” to kick in to high gear.
Gatorade was offered. Shot blocks shared (gummy blocks filled with calories and energy).
Best of all, Leisa and her friend lifted this soldier from the proverbial pavement with their words of encouragement.
For four miles all this soldier heard were loving, encouraging words of praise, hope and support.

The three of them crossed the finish line exhausted and exhilarated.
The soldier gazed at his girlfriend, whose arms were open wide at the finish line and blurted out these words, “I never would have made it to the finish line had it not been for these two women who encouraged me all the way to the finish line.”


It might be true that only 1% of Americans have run a marathon…

But, it is absolutely true that 100% of us run the race of life!

My friend Leisa said to me, “If you had asked me a year ago if I could run a half-marathon, I would have said, ‘No way.’ But if you follow the training guide and do what it says, then you can run the race!”

What “Training Guide” do you follow?
Where did you get it?
How’s it working for you?

My “Training Guide” is God’s word – The Bible.
It’s the only one I know.
I have tried others and have quickly found myself lying in a ditch by the side of the trail.

In regards to my “Training Guide” (The Bible) let me offer this observation I have gleaned over the years.

“It is not what I don’t understand in God’s word that disturbs me, it’s what I do understand.”

It disturbs me that someone would give up his life for me.
It disturbs me that I am loved unconditionally. I would rather earn God’s love and your love.
It disturbs me that I am forgiven, over and over and over and over and over again and again and again.
It disturbs me that I cannot, hear me again, I cannot do it on my own. Nothing. Nada. Nothing on my own…
It disturbs me that I could keep going on for a few hundred more paragraphs…

How is your race going?
Ten years ago this past weekend I started serving the First Presbyterian Church of Klamath Falls, Oregon as their pastor. My friend Jacob DeVries was only 6 years old when he wandered in with his parents and grandparents.
Now I am in Texas by way of Iowa…
Fifty years ago this week a dear friend of mine was born into this world and the world has never been the same.
Ten years ago today another friend of mine took her last drink of alcohol. She celebrates ten years of sobriety today!!
Five years ago this past week my administrative assistant Kim Morgan walked through my door and said, “I am here to apply for the new Administrative Assistant position.”

We are all running the race!
My race has had a number of twists and turns.
I imagine yours has too…
There have been days I have wondered if I would make it.
I imagine yours has too…
And then lo, and behold one of you comes running up beside me and offers me a “shot block” or a swig of Gatorade.

My recovering alcoholic friend has had all sorts of obstacles to overcome. She wouldn’t have made it to ten years of sobriety without you.

As you run the race, let me come up beside you today and raise a shout so loud that you will not misunderstand in any way the meaning of what I am about to say…


And when you and I and our friends gather at the finish line where Jesus will be waiting for us with His amazing, loving arms open wide, we will all be able to say one thing for sure…

“If it hadn’t been for these wonderful friends who prayed for me, supported me and lifted me up when I stumbled and fell, I never would have made it…”

Be an encourager today!
You just might help a fellow runner make it a little further down the trail!
One more thing…
Allow yourself to be encouraged by someone else today!
You just might need a little help getting further down the trail yourself…

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12. 1)

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5. 11)

Laugh often and Fear not!
Twitter: @SeeingGodAtWork