Where Did This Storm Come From?

 Hurricane Harvey just barged through Texas and now Irma is slamming  Florida. Then there are the wild fires out West.  Do you wonder where God is in all this destruction?

Some are of the opinion that one should never question God.  They feel is shows a lack of faith and is a sign of weakness. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with asking, but we should be careful not to blame Him.

When we were in the first stages of  training our little children, we tried to instill in them the importance of obeying without question.  They didn’t have any experience to draw proper conclusions and they needed to trust us as their parents to know what was best for them.

But I was always excited when they really began seriously thinking about things and asking questions about the reasons why we did what we did.  To me it was a sign of intelligence.  Another result was as they began to understand why, they could apply that information to help them in other areas of life.

I know God is a way better “parent” than I’ll ever be, but I think we can sometimes use our relationship with our own children as an analogy of our relationship with Him. Jesus did when He was trying to describe God’s love for us.  He asked in Matthew 7:11, If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

So back to what is going on… Some would say God is judging our nation for the moral decline and general disregard for the principles found in His Word, the Bible. I’m not sure, but there are some things I am very sure about.

  1. Man, not God, is responsible for bad things entering the world.  By one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (Romans 5:12)

God created a perfect world and it was man who messed it all up by sinning against God.  God has been redeeming our messes ever since.

I was following in my car as my son, Nathan, was riding his motorcycle into town today.  I was enjoying riding down this quiet, country road until I suddenly remembered driving on it yesterday.  There was quite a bit of debris strewn across the road that had fallen from a truck. Immediately I thought of all the dangerous scenarios for Nathan on his bike. Should I blow my horn to warn him? No, that might scare him. Should I call him? No, he couldn’t answer his cell while riding his motorcycle.  Then I realized that the debris had been in an open area and could be easily seen and avoided. I also realized I can’t warn Nathan of every hazard every time he gets behind the wheel/ handlebars.  And this was good practice for the next time something is in the road that shouldn’t be there.

Did God cause that debris to be in the road? No. It was there because of some irresponsible human being.  It wasn’t God’s fault. And whether I am a good person or a bad person, I am affected by it.  That is just life in this world.

2. God loves us and made a way to mend our broken relationship caused by sinBy the righteousness of one (Jesus) shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:19)

God loved us so much He gave Jesus, His sinless Son, to die and buy back everyone who ever lived and will live.  A God that loves His creation that much would not take pleasure in watching it suffer.


The people of Nineveh were wicked and God could have zapped them, but He lovingly sent Jonah to warn them of judgement because He wanted them to repent of their evil. They did repent and God was pleased that they, along with the animals, were spared. (Jonah 4:11)

However, if Nineveh had not repented, they would have had to suffer the consequences.  And be sure your sin will find you out. (Numbers 32:23)  We can choose our sin, but we can’t choose our consequences.

God doesn’t like seeing us suffer anymore than we like to suffer.  The fact is, all of us, whether righteous or unrighteous, are living in a fallen world.  God makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends the rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matt. 5:45)

3.  God can, and often does, bring good from terrible circumstances.

4. We will never go through anything alone. I will never leave thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

5. Hardships give us a heart to help others in trouble and we are more likely to seize those opportunities when we can relate to their suffering.

Instead of just asking, Why? the better question is, God, where are You in all of this? If we ask that question, we are more likely to have a better attitude, learn to be more like Christ and will glorify God in our trials and tribulations. We should think about how Jesus would respond to the pain in this world and try to emulate Him. I think this is how we can overcome evil with good and find God in the midst.

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

My grandson, Destin- June 2017

My Ragnar Relay Revealings

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Jeff, P.J., Katrina, and Kathy waiting for the last runner, Jamey, to come across the finish line in Nashville!

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You many ask, What is the Ragnar Relay? This is where teams of twelve runners pay a fee (that will be partially donated to a charity) to tag team and complete a run of around 200 miles. The first runner on each team begins early on a Friday morning and the teammates run around the clock until they finish sometime the next day.  In a few cases,  a team of only six runners (Ultra Ragnar Relay) complete the race.

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The crazy, fun, happy Van 2! Katrina, Kathy, P.J., Jamey, Gaye & Sergio excited about beginning the Ragnar Relay 2016.

Your next question might be, What kind of nut would do something like that? That’s a good question! It is one I asked myself a few years ago when I first heard about this run.

Honestly, I’m not sure exactly why I signed up. The team needed two more runners. I was assured that it was just for fun and they weren’t out to win anything.  My friend, Kathy, had participated in it a few years ago and said she loved the experience, but she would never put herself through it again.  So right away I gave her a call, knowing my level-headed friend would talk me out of it.  Instead of the expected,  No way, Girl! Don’t do it! She excitedly said, If you do it, I’ll do it!

WHAT??? You said you would never do it again!  Kathy cheerfully responded, Oh, it will be fun!  We will make some good memories together! So that’s when I signed up for this run a few months ago and my awesome teammates and I ran from Chattanooga to Nashville, TN this past weekend. Although I didn’t know most of my teammates prior to this event, these Christian people inspired and encouraged me. It was a wonderful experience.

I’ve been forced out of my comfort zone in so many ways this past year with the passing of my husband.  With God’s help, I’ve done things and made decisions I never thought I could.  And I’ve found that this stretching has made me rely more on God, has proven God’s faithfulness and power in my life, and has given me more confidence to let God use me. This event was another good stretch for me.

There are so many analogies in running a race to running the race of life.

I’d like to share some things I think about while running.

  • Pace yourself

While on the farm when I was young, I would begin working in the early morning at full speed and my dad would say,  Gaye, you have to pace yourself.  It’s going to be a long day. I still have that problem.  At the beginning of a race, my adrenaline is flowing and I want to give it all I have. But I must be careful, because I must not run out of energy before the race is completed or I won’t be able to finish.

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Van 1 and Van 2 relaxing while Kathy runs down the mountain!

This is the way it is while serving the Lord.  In the past, I have gone full speed ahead trying to serve God and I haven’t taken the necessary time to pray, meditate on God’s Word, and know God while doing so. It isn’t long before what started out as God’s work being led by the Holy Spirit turns into  “Gaye’s work” which will burn up, leave a pile of ashes, and have no reward in the day of judgment.  If I am too busy to spend quiet time with God, I am too busy.  If I’m obeying God’s schedule for my life, I will have time to spend with Him.

  • Keep the run in perspective

I’m more competitive than I should be. I know that how you run the race is much more important that winning, but I have to continually remind myself of that. P.J. Simmons provided the perfect example this weekend of giving your best whether or not it looks and feels like you are winning. She had been having ankle pain before the Ragnar. The doctor confirmed that the bones were not broken or fractured and that it must be a damaged nerve or tendon.  P.J. rested her ankle and didn’t run any for two weeks prior to the relay. As she began her first leg of the relay (5.5 miles), sharp pains immediately began radiating throughout her ankle.

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Jamey, P.J., Gaye, Sergio, and Katrina

We tried to talk P.J. into letting us do her run, but she insisted on not letting her team down.  Her husband lovingly supported her by running with her, checking on her, and asking about her condition. As I fought back tears while watching her limp/jogging in excruciating pain, I wondered how God could stand to watch His only son, Jesus, be tortured and then die on a cruel cross for the sins of the world.

P.J., like Jesus, was so determined to follow through with her commitment. Her tenacity and perseverance inspired and humbled me. What if the sinless Jesus had caved in and said, No! I don’t deserve this pain! I will not do this!? He could have. No one would have blamed Him.  But mankind would have been doomed to hell for all eternity if He had.  Jesus bridged the gap for sinners to be redeemed (bought back) by paying our sin debt.

  • Weakness is not a bad thing

When I’m feeling good, the run is fun! But it is also easy to forget where my strength comes from. When my strength is gone, I’m begging for God’s help! When we have enough money, our health is good, our relationships are happy, when the car is running, etc., it is easy to trust in ourselves and not seek God like we should. But when the problems come and we don’t have the solution, we are much more inclined to start calling out asking for God’s help.

After only 9 hours of sleep in two days, not much food, and running 11 miles, I was out of gas by my third and last leg of the Ragnar Relay.  My teammates had done so well and I sure didn’t want to let them down, but all my energy was gone.  Even the peanut butter and energy jelly beans did not seem to help. I almost panicked. I asked my friends to pray and I claimed Isaiah 40: 29, He giveth power to the faint (weak); and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. I said, God, I guess I was crazy to think I could do this, but here I am.  Will you deliver me? As I began running, His strength was made perfect in my weakness…just like He promises in 2 Corinthians 12:9.  It was  amazing to feel strength that I knew was not my own.

  • Let’s cheer others on

After the runner starts running his leg, the other runners drive on ahead and pull off the road to cheer their teammate on as he runs by.  This encouragement goes a long when you’re tired. It motivates you to keep pushing forward.

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Katrina, Kathy, Gaye and Sergio

Kind words of encouragement are necessary as we daily run the race of life.  Texts, cards, and calls can motivate and inspire others to live life well when they feel like giving up.

  • Be careful who you follow

Near the end of the race, one teammate had an eight mile leg to run.  I couldn’t imagine having a long difficult stretch to run at that point in the race where there had been so little sleep or food.

Everyone wears their running bib on the front of their shirt so as they approach the gate, the new runner can identify their teammate. Not being able to see the bib, our teammate began following the runner in front of her only to realize at one point that he was NOT a Ragnar runner! To her dismay, she found herself 2 miles off course and lost! This is such an easy mistake to make. Eventually, her teammates were able to locate her and help her get back on track.

We must be SO careful to keep our priorities right in life and not get distracted by the world.  Spending time reading the Bible keeps us heavenly focused and combats the lies of the devil. When we do stray, hopefully, there will be other Christians who have the courage to lovingly lead us back on the right path.  AND, hopefully, we aren’t too proud to allow them!

  • Keep the end in mind

During the night runs, everyone is required to wear safety gear that includes a headband with a front and back light and a reflective vest. When I did my night leg of the race around 1am, I could see no other runners in front or behind me. I was running in the country with only the moon and stars shining, a cool breeze, the sweet fragrance of honeysuckle, and the occasional sound of dogs barking.

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P.J. cheering me on at my night run.

This reminded me of the lonely times in my life when God’s sweet presence was the only thing I had. There aren’t distractions from the world, but I have to fight the enemy of self-pity to persevere through the dark valley.

Just as I became weary and wanted to stop and walk, I saw the bright flood of light that marked the end of the run….the exchange station! The place where I could stop running.  The place of rest. Then I heard the cheers of encouragement to make it to the end! What a wonderfully exciting time!

Our teammate, Kathy, shared with us how this reminds her of how special it is going to be to enter heaven at the end of our race on earth! Our loved ones who have gone on before us along with our Savior will be welcoming us into our eternal rest! The struggles of life will be over for those who have completely trusted Jesus Christ and made Him Lord of their lives.

In conclusion and most importantly, I think our team enjoyed this relay.  As an added bonus, we were happy to place 14th out of about 200 teams! Whether you ever choose to run or not, you are in the race of life.  May you run well the race God has called you to so one day you will hear Jesus say, Well done, thou good and faithful servant… enter into the joy of thy Lord! (Matthew 25:21)

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

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Gaye and Kathy- Ragnar Relay 2016

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the Bottom Line?

 

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Where is your path of life leading you?

What’s the bottom line in this life? We know there is a lot of uncertainty in this life, but we don’t know how many days we have. So to me, having confidence in what will happen after this life is the bottom line. This determines how we live our lives, what choices we make, how we spend our time, and what is most important to us.

We can say we believe a lot of things, but the way we live proves what we really believe…..unless we are side tracked and distracted by this world and the devil.  We can say our family is one of the most important things in our lives, but are we living in a way that validates that? It’s easy to get busy doing things that really don’t matter at all and neglecting the people who matter most.

Have you ever thought about what you are going to think about on your death bed? As you realize your opportunities to have a positive influence, serve God,  and love others are coming to an end, how will you feel? Will you feel good about how you’ve spent your precious time here and the things you’ve accomplished?

The first Scripture we taught our children to memorize was John 14: 6.

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Why? We wanted to make sure our children would be with us in heaven for eternity.

 

 

 

Ephesians 6:1 was another memory verse early on.

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We knew if our children didn’t honor and respect us as their parents, they wouldn’t honor or respect God as their heavenly father.

 

John 3:16-18 soon followed…

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For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

The other day I was with a lady who knows she probably doesn’t have much time left here. I wanted to make sure she was placing her faith in Jesus Christ and was at peace about dying.

As we talked, she said, I don’t know my Bible as well as you do, but I’ve been taught… Then she asked me what denomination I belonged to. I said, I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I believe the Bible. I am placing my faith in Jesus and the truth in this book. Denominations don’t mean much to me.

It is easy to live our lives believing what we’ve been taught, but is our faith good enough to die by? I don’t want to risk my eternal well-being on what someone else has taught me! When I repented of my sin and placed my faith and trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit came to live inside of me.  He is the one who convicts me of sin, confirms to me what is right and wrong, teaches and comforts me.

I recently went away for a few days to visit my family in NC. I left my son with some specific instructions before I left. When I came home I found that he had followed most of them, but had left a few undone.  The To Do list was lying in front of us. When I confronted him about it, he didn’t have a good reason for not following my requests and apologized.

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Some of my NC family…from left to right, Cordell (dad), Mary (mom), Nick (nephew) John (brother-in-law) Faye (twin sister), Faith (niece) Bethany (daughter), Wesley (son-in-law) 2-16-2016

I said, Nathan, this is what it’s going to be like when we face Jesus and give an account of how we’ve lived. I imagine God will say something like this, I left you instructions. They are right there in the Bible. I told you what I expected. We won’t have a leg to stand on. There will be no good excuse for disobeying Him.

Will you please take some time to think about what the bottom line is in your life? What really matters? Should it matter?  Your faith may be good enough to live by, but will it be good enough to die by?

This song reflects my faith,

The Solid Rock

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;

I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found;

Dressed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand,

All other ground is sinking sand.

Standing on the Rock,

Gaye Hughes

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My sister, Faye, and me and the big fish we caught….NOT! 🙂

 

 

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When Your World Falls Apart

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What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? What or who do you think you cannot live without? What makes life worth living for you?

Now that you’ve answered those questions, what if that thing or person was taken away? What then? What would then motivate you to keep on living?

Would your remaining family be enough? Would your favorite hobby be enough? Would your church family be enough? Would your health and money be enough? How about your work, sports, shopping?

That’s a difficult question to answer if you haven’t had that thing or person taken from you. It’s hard to imagine life without them or it. But personally, I don’t think any of those things are enough to keep us going when it feels like our world has fallen apart.

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And this hope and strength comes from Jesus!

Allow me to share Haratio Spafford’s (1828-1888)  story and how his world fell apart. He was a successful lawyer in Chicago.  He was a devout Christian man who enjoyed the friendships of Dwight L. Moody and Ira Sanky. He and his wife had a lovely home, one son, and four daughters.

Spafford and his wife, Anna, lost their young son and soon afterwards lost most of their real estate investments in the Great Chicago Fires on October 8, 1871. To help he and his family to cope with the tragedies, a family trip to Europe was planned.  Having some unexpected last minute business to take care of, Spafford sent his wife and daughters on the boat ahead of him.

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There was a boat collision and several days later he got word from his wife, Saved alone. When he came to the spot in the ocean where it was believed his daughters perished, he penned the words to, It is Well With My Soul. That was the bottom line for him.

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For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)

Could you say that, if you were in that situation?  If you don’t know Jesus or have a good relationship with Him, will you please make that a priority today? None of us know how many days we have left in this life. Life is short and unsure.

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But we can have peace and hope even in these uncertain times if we know Jesus as our Savior. He is willing and waiting for you with open arms. You can’t be too bad for Him to not accept you and you can’t be good enough without Him.

 

 

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I believe with all my heart that the ONLY thing or person that is truly enough in this life is Jesus Christ!  We can be lulled into thinking things or people in this life is all we need. But we all have a deep seated spot in our hearts that only Jesus can fill and satisfy.  He wants to be there for us. The question is, “Do we want Him?” If every last comfort and security is taken from the believer,  God is enough! He gives and is enough.. strength, hope, and love to be all we need in this life.

Paul told the Corinthians, Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; (2 Cor. 3:5)

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This is what I found when I looked up the definition of sufficient in the Webster’s Dictionary.

sufficient– enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end.  ENOUGH, ADEQUATE, COMPETENT mean being what is necessary or desirable, SUFFICIENT suggests a close meeting of a need; ENOUGH is less exact in suggestion than SUFFICIENT;  ADEQUATE may imply barely meeting a requirement; COMPETENT suggests measuring up to all requirements without question or being adequately adapted to an end.

During the most difficult days of my life, the one thing that has kept me going is to believe God has a reason and purpose for giving me breath. I want to use that breath and life to fulfill His purpose for me.  I try to do something, anything to help someone every single day because I know that is what God calls every believer to do…to love others. That will last for eternity! Love never fails. It always works. It is always a good thing.

There you have it folks! God is more than adequate to meet us where we are. He made us and only He knows what we need.  And only He can fill those needs in our lives. Won’t you trust Him to do that for you today?

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

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Running the Race of Life

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From left to right. Gaye- 2nd place for 50-59 Nathan- 1st place for 15-19 Bethany- 2nd place overall for women

 

This past weekend Nathan, Bethany, and I ran the Mayberry 10K (6.2 miles) in NC.  Bethany had won first place overall for the women two years ago so she was wanting to defend her title. Nathan hadn’t been able to train much because of work and school. I had been able to train, but I had the age thing going against me.

We were all in different circumstances, but in the same race. Isn’t that just like life?Comparing life with a race is so interesting to me.   As I was running, the analogies flooded my thinking, but I wasn’t able to write any of them down.  I’d like to share a few that I remembered.

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Chilly 42 degrees before the run!

  • We have no control over some of our conditions in life

After unusually balmy weather for November,  the temperature was to drop the night before the race.  We were hearing it would be 32 degrees the morning of the race. Ouch! This complicates things because it’s cold before the race and you want warm clothes, but as you get into the race, you warm up and don’t need the extra clothes heating you up and weighing you down.

In Hebrews 12:1 Paul said, “lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us…” Sin holds us back from living the abundant life God has for us.

Although we sometimes reap negative consequences due to our poor choices, often times while striving to live for God, we are thrown into circumstances in which we have no control. In these times, we must pray for God’s help, trust that He is in control, and seek to learn how to be a better person as a result of them.

  • Pace yourself

This has always been a challenge for me. At the beginning of a race, I am SO excited!  The adrenaline is rushing. I feel good.  When the horn goes off, I’m like a caged rabbit being released.

This is what happened Saturday morning. Bethany shot off like a streak of lightening and was out of sight in no time.  I was rearing to go, but Nathan was holding back.  He said, “Mom, I haven’t had time to train.  You go ahead!” It’s at times like this that I hate my competitiveness.  I wanted to stay with him, but I wanted to do my best. I decided it would make him feel bad to know I was holding back for him, so I ran on ahead.

At about 2 miles Nathan caught up to me. Now he was feeling good, and I was feeling tired.  As we approached a steep hill I glanced over at Nathan who was looking like he was just warming up. I said,  “Nathan, I’ve messed up.  I started out too fast. I’m afraid I’m going to run out of gas and not make it.” He encouraged me to keep going.

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Nathan finished one minute ahead of me. 🙂

He had been walking up the hills while I tried to jog up them. It had been a wise decision on his part.  Note to self: When life gets tough, you may not be able to keep up the speed you’ve been living life. Don’t give up. Give yourself time to recharge. Spend extra time in God’s Word and in prayer.

I’ve seen Christians really on fire for God.  They are impressive. They work hard in the church and serve God fervently.  But a few times I’ve found that some years later,  they no longer attend church at all.  Maybe they burned out. We must constantly make time to nurture our personal relationship with God and make sure we are being led by the Holy Spirit.

Then there is the aspect of spending lots of time in Bible study and church going, but neglecting to share that knowledge with others or practically apply what I’m learning. I must be careful to not equate church attendance with serving God. I believe God gives us opportunities every day to serve Him and love others.

  • Just do your personal best

Bethany had trained hard, but came in second place by 12 seconds. She did her best and had a great time of 45 minutes, but had to watch another cross the finish line ahead of her.  While we were all so proud of her, she was disappointed.  My mom asked me if I had known that I would miss first place by 1 minute, could I have done better.  I responded, “No, I actually did the very best I could.”

God requires our best….no more.  He has equipped each of us uniquely for the special purposes He has for us alone. It is not wise to compare ourselves with others. If we think others are better than we are, we get discouraged.  If we think we are doing better than others in a particular area, we tend to get prideful.  Neither is beneficial.

2 Corinthians 10:12 says, For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

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Part of our cheering section on the left… my mom, Mary Brewster and my son-in-law, Wesley Crews.

  • We need the support and friendship of others

My sister couldn’t stay for the race because of other obligations, but she came to encourage us before the race.  Wesley, Bethany’s husband, my Uncle Charles, and my parents came to cheer us on. What a blessing they were to us!

Their cheering reminded me of Hebrews 12:1 where it says, “Seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses…”

When we know others are watching and cheering us on, it motivates us to do our best. We have loved ones who have gone on before us.  I believe they are watching from the banisters of heaven and are cheering us on.

We need the help of others to get to the finish line in this life.

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Uncle Charles isn’t a runner, but he is a loyal supporter!

If you aren’t regularly meeting with a group of believers around God’s Word, please find a group you can join to do that. Nathan and I enjoy going to Community Bible Study as well as attending church.  It is vitally important that we continue to learn how God wants us to live and then be encouraged by others’ examples and have sweet fellowship with them.

  • “Why are you doing this?”

Along about mile 5 while climbing a hill in the race, Nathan and I passed some men at a shop. They called out, “Why are you doing this?” It is a legitimate question. It is hard for people who don’t like to run to understand those you do. And to be honest, as my lungs were screaming for air, I had to wonder too! Here is why I run.

I had cancer last year.  My grandmother died of a massive heart attack at age 67 and my daddy had a massive heart attack when he was around 45 years old.  By a miracle from God, he lived through it, but heart trouble runs in my family. I want to live life to the fullest. I want to be as healthy as I can be.

I want to make memories with my children and be a part of their lives.

There will come a day when I can’t run so I want to run while I can.

So that was a good question and it is one I try to ask myself often. “Why am I doing this?” My motives need to be good.  When it comes between choosing to please myself or meet another’s need, this is a good question to help me make the right decision.

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Aunt Denise Davis on the left crossing the finish line

  • Life isn’t always fair

My Aunt Denise competed in the Mayberry 5k.  When her only competitor in her age group fell, the true colors of my sweet aunt shone brightly.  She stopped to help her up. They became friends as they continued the race side by side. When the awards were given out, my aunt errorously received the second place medal. She crossed the line first, but the judges made a mistake. Was it fair? No. Did she deserve first place? Yes. Was she properly rewarded what was due her? No. Was she a winner? Definitely! Knowing she had earned first place, she graciously received her second place medal without a word. She made God smile and set a beautiful example for the rest of us.

  • My father’s at the finish line

As Nathan and I were in the last mile of the race, we could not see anyone ahead of us. Nathan asked me if we were bringing up the rear.  I knew we had passed a lot of people, but there were also several  half marathon runners going the same route so we weren’t sure where we stood in the race. That’s when I turned and looked behind us.

I instantly remembered what Jesus said in Luke 9:62, “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”  I felt like Lot’s wife in Genesis 19:26 who looked back while escaping Sodom and turned into a pillar of salt.

Anyway, there was no one in sight. So we just kept running. I was getting really tired and felt like walking, but then I realized that this race was different from any I had ever ran before.  My daddy was waiting at the finish line! I wanted to finish well and make him proud of me.

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Bethany, my dad, Cordell Brewster, and me

When life gets hard, it is helpful to remember our Father is at the finish line. I want to finish well and hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

  • The end of life can be an uphill climb

The finish line was at the top of a hill. Ugggghh.  As I neared the end, I was tired and looking forward to being done…. but there was one more hill to climb.  As life here on earth draws to a close, it can get tough.  Sometimes the heartaches of life seem to increase and become more intense.  We long for relief.

Maybe God does this to help ease our hold on life here and make our transition easier.  As Christians, when we begin to see what is at the end of this race of life, we can be excited! We will forever be with Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. There will be no more pain, sorrow, or sickness. All will be well.

Along with the closure of pain and suffering though is also the end of opportunities to prepare for the next life. While we have breath and our being here, we need to seize the opportunities to lay up treasure in heaven. I believe what we do here will affect us in eternity.

May we run our race well by being obedient to what our Father has called us to be and do for His glory.

Keep looking up,

Gaye Hughes

I Corinthians 9:24-27  “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is self controlled in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown; but we an imperishable. I therefore run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I discipline my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.”