Monday, December 28, 2015

Should a Christian set New Year's Goals?

Did I Do Enough?
Notes from my sermon on 12.27.2015
Princess Anne Church of Christ

This is the question I ask myself ever year in the final few days in the calendar year. I always answer it the same way...NO. I'm never quite good enough or strong enough or faithful enough or successful enough.....I'm always hard on myself. I go through my list and see what I was successful at through out the year, and what I found that I failed at. 

I have to do this so I can properly evaluate myself in order to RESET my new goals. Often people use this as the only day to establish their new goals. I like to use a series of firsts, not just the first day of the year. I have a reset at the first of every month, week and even morning. Sure, I have my New Years Resolutions....or goals. I set them for personal, physical, business and of course my spiritual. It is important to have an appropriate mind set and priority when you establish these goals.

I've gone through the bible and selected a few key thoughts about characteristics you should first consider when setting your goals. After that I sought out several verses that tell us about our new goals and how they should be established.


8 Biblical Keys for Goal Setting

Faith – We serve a big God who can accomplish the impossible.  There is nothing He can’t do.  We can believe that He journeys with us and always has our best in mind.  He is trustworthy and faithful.

Humility – We never want to be in a position of demanding that things work out or that all our goals are accomplished exactly as we say.  The Lord’s will always trumps our own.  We need to be sure our attitude is one of humility before our holy and mighty God.

Commitment –  We need to commit ourselves to the tasks at hand.

Diligence – Goals often require hard work.  We need to be diligent in our effort.

Perseverance – We will face set backs and disappointments, but need to persevere through rough times.  Don’t give up!

Alignment with God’s Word and Will – Are we within the parameters of God’s Word and His character?

Forethought & Planning – Have we done the appropriate homework before starting our task?  Have we counted the cost?

Motivation – We need to ask the hard questions.  What is our goal and why?  Do we have selfish motives or are we operating with a healthy heart.

Bible Verses To Think on When Setting Goals
Goals, Plans, Desires, Paths, Visions

Psalm 20:4 “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”

Psalm 33:11 “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”

Psalm 37:4-5  Delight yourself also in the Lord,And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord,Trust also in Him,And He shall bring it to pass.

Psalm 127:1 “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”

Proverbs 3:6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 13:16 “All who are prudent act with knowledge, but fools expose their folly.”

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:9 “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”

Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”

Proverbs 24:27 “Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.”

Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.”

Isaiah 32:8 “But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand.”

Jeremiah 17:7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”

Habakkuk 2:2-3 “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that whoever reads it may run with it.”

Matthew 17:20 “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.'”

Luke 14:28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?”

John 6:27 “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Philippians 3:13-14  “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Hebrews 10:35-36 “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

Hebrews 12:1-2a “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

James 4:13-15 “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.'”

2 Chronicles 15:7 “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

Hope this gives you some perspective in setting your goals this year. Set them right and the Lord will prosper. God Bless my friends.

Eugene Thompson
ET This I Believe 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Art of Sharing

Christmas time is often considered the most joyous time of the year. People are spreading good cheer toward their fellow man. Family gets the opportunity to join together and eat a fabulous meal. And of course there is the presents thing. A tree filled with lights and ornaments seemingly held up by the pile of presents surrounding the base of the tree.

I understand that this isn't the true meaning of that is. There is a whole lot more involved. First of all it isn't really related to Christ so much as the world has put into it, but I'm okay with that. People can do and believe as they wish. There could be a whole blog post....probably books and books about it but that isn't the point of today's post. Today is about how we perceive and participate in the holiday. I'm sure none are wrong, it's your right to celebrate how you want to.....or not. Let's just remember that the spirit of Christmas shouldn't be just this one day of the year....but everyday. Everyday the homeless need to be fed, everyday somewhere people would like to be cared for, pampered maybe, treated about hugged, loved, cherished and so forth? That's what I believe anyway.

The things I do on Christmas are traditions that were either started back when I was a kid or since my wife and I started our family. Most actually have been created with our kids. We have had a few recent additions since everyone has grown older and I'm sure we will continue to develop a few......and maybe a few will disappear, which is sad, but that is okay. Change is okay. That's what I believe anyway.

The biggest part surrounding Christmas is the gift giving to one another. It could possibly be brought back into the bible when the three wise men gave gifts to baby Jesus in the manger. Actually by the time they got there Jesus was in a house.....sorry I digress, but you get the idea. So we give gifts to each other. All good and fine. Again I don't think we are really out there thinking about Jesus when we are buying gifts. I don't. I'm thinking about my loved ones. That's what I choose anyway.

I wonder if the three wise men knew what they were starting when they traveled great distances and brought presents.....creating Black Friday sales, discounts galore or the massive amount of wrapping paper we go through on this festive morning? They might have been wise men but sometimes I think we are a bit foolish. If thought of the right is all for fun and love. That's what I choose anyway.

So here comes the negative part. Yes I'm sorry there can be a negative part.....if you so choose. The world has placed us in a monetary game of forcing us to spend money in order to cherish this tradition. Spend money, slave over the stove, shop shop shop until you buy buy until you're in deep deep debt. Okay so they may not say that on the toy advertisements but you feel guilty if you don't buy little Johnny that extra special gift....even if you cannot afford it.

I have to go back all the way to when I was a kid and celebrated Christmas. I was seeking to find what I believed.....not what my family told me to believe. I saw a cartoon Christmas special call "The Little Drummer Boy." Do you remember that show? I don't think I've seen it for years.....wonder why? In the story the drummer boy didn't have anything to give to the newborn baby Jesus like the wise men but he wanted to share something.....he was poor. But he gave what he could was a song. A PA RUM PUM PUM PUM, ON MY DRUM. That my friends is the meaning of Christmas and the best gift you can give. Not because it was on sale at Target.....but because it was a gift given from the heart.

It doesn't take money to make Christmas special. It takes love. 

We have made Christmas morning a great festive occasion with some outrageous traditions. Not because we had lots of money to spend....on the contrary..... We were poor. Lol. I made gifts for all of our family. Sketches of superheroes (of themselves..... Called the IONIC 6). I created custom artwork from photos for everyone. When I was a kid I made pot holders out of the clothe rubber band things, leather carving kits, paintings, and on and on. I didn't have money.....not as a kid....not as a young family starting out.....not as an entrepreneur beginning his business. But I did have a gift to give. I had a talent to share, so I did.

Ever since then I love the opportunity to give. Not just at Christmas, but anytime. To help someone or to pick up the check at a meal. I've picked up the tab of people I know and often do business with that we've run into at a restaurant...... Not because I have to....but because I like to. That is just me. I like to do those things. Not always were we able to. We had just enough to make ends meet. It's not the's the thought of the gift. That .....I believe ..... is my blessing the Lord has given to me. Sharing.

So I give not to expect something in return. It isn't about material wealth. It is about something that maybe I can say is selfishness.....yes selfishness on my part.....I like to give.....that makes me happy, that brings me joy. I've always tried to make Christmas special for my kids and my make it memorable.....different......unique....because I care. That's what I choose anyway.

So today I continue the same. I will continue to do the same traditions. I will continue to be silly and have fun and make this time of the year memororable. For as long as I can. I might spend right now....tomorrow I might only be able to give you a doodle......but I do it because I love to do it....not because I'm obligated. This brings me joy. One day I might be too old and shaky and my eye sight too poor to draw....Ill find some other way to share......and then ill be gone. Oh don't be will happen.....but everyone will remember that crazy bald Dad or Grand Dad or maybe even Great Grand Dad that was just crazy.....Crazy about sharing.

Just remember my friends.....PA RUM PUM PUM PUM.....ON MY DRUM.


Eugene Thompson
ET This I Believe

Monday, December 7, 2015

For Those About To Rock......

For those about to Rock......n Roll Marathon......we salute you!

Okay so I had a hard time coming up with a title. It was either this or Remember the Alamo.
So I will start off saying that I don't remember the Alamo......they told us we would run past it but I'm not so sure we did. If we did...I missed it. This race was great weather and perfect setting. I hoped to do a PR. I assumed it was flat.....I assumed wrong. Last six miles was a steady incline.

My wife and I arrived in San Antonio early Saturday afternoon and did our normal check in the hotel and walk over to the convention center for package pick up. I'm so glad my wife found a room downtown next to everything because that made it incredibly convenient. We could walk to everywhere.

It was the typical Rock n Rock expo as we strolled around to see if there was anything different. There was a new massage thing that looked great to work out your muscles. Expensive but then again aren't they always. My high hamstring has been bothering me for some time so I took advantage of buying it to see if it would felt great. I used it before and after the race.

Saturday evening we went down to Riverwalk area and had dinner. I ate the largest Texas Sized Ginormous Chicken Fried Steak on the planet. Not sure I recommend eating one of these before running 26.2 miles. But I did anyway.....and an apple crisp with ice cream for dessert. Again maybe that wasn't a great idea either. Early to bed and we were beat!

Let me quickly mention that I had posted my intent of hitting my goal of 12 marathons this weekend on the Miracle Morning Facebook Community page.....I received an outstanding number of responses and notes of encouragement. Over 700 likes.....that inspires me to make Run Eugene Run a successful endeavor even more.

I woke up early and ran through my miracle morning routine, yes even before a race. Got my self in order and headed to the start line. I once got really nervous about the start of a race and wanted to make sure I was there in far advance. Now I chill pretty easy. I sort of zone out.

And this is why I titled this post as ....We Salute You!:
However this time I talked to someone that was truly amazing. I didn't catch her name but she noticed my medical ID on my wrist and said, "I've got one of those too." I responded and asked what hers was for....."I have a tumor." ....whhoooo, what?! She started to explain and that she also had diabetes. Type 3. I had never heard of type 3 before and she explained that it was when a issue like a tumor causes the diabetes to kick in. That's crazy! Had your running today!

She was doing the half and was shooting for just a fun run of 2:10......that's pretty good for an old lady as she described herself and her running career. She had done several triathlons and four Ironmans. The last one when she was diagnosed improperly and had the tumor. She has ran more marathons than she could count.....ok.....I have officially met The Beast! I have nothing to complain about. This lady is now my hero.

So started off great in the race and was hitting my pace to break the 5:00:00 mark for the first 18 miles. And then there it was.....that dreaded wall. I just can't seem to push past it and my time dies off terribly. I plugged a way but couldn't keep up with the pacer. I finished and that was the best part. Got my medal and my giant Stairway to Seven Heavy Metal so I'm feeling good.

We talked to lots of people along the way after the race and at dinner. I wore the giant metal to attract attention. It did. It didn't take much to wrap up the evening after dinner and ice cream.....chatting with a young girl serving ice cream about her cross country running and her family doing a race together. Great conversations. This is why I do what I do.

Back to hotel to crash, I'm tired.

Up the next morning and we head out to breakfast and then the Alamo. Got to see the Alamo.....don't want to walk too far for shopping though. Feet aren't real friendly with me this morning. I need new running shoes.....hint hint to Saucony to be my ordinary guy Well its worth a try.

Grab a plane and back home late......what a trip.....ready for life again.....oh wait....crazy work week....short work week.....another race in a few days.

Until next time my friends.....have a Fun Run!

Eugene Thompson
Run Eugene Run

Friday, December 4, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Pretty amazing and ridiculously crazy week around our household. 18 adults, three kids under 2.5 and a dog......the dog being the biggest help by cleaning up the floor once anything was accidentally It was pretty great to have some much of our family together. Doesn't very often even with our immediate family these days.

I was going to post this immediately after thanksgiving but I drag on.....not being very prompt on my writing diligence. I'm sorry. Looking at this picture makes me happy. What a silly bunch we are. I love my family.

Happy moments involved Nanee and Pop playing with the little ones. They are a handful....but a true blessed handful. We had lots of fun.

I really don't think my kids want to be like their father that hilarious when they walked in the house this way. No wonder they were late for dinner! Just wait boys....before too long that will be your only styling option.

Thanks to my family for being there to enjoy the day. We really needed our family around that day. What a blessing.

Enjoy the day my friends

Eugene Thompson
ET This I Believe

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Richmond Marathon

So this marathon wasn't for me at all....even though it was claimed as the national diabetes day. This day was all my wife's. She had been training long and hard to accomplish her first marathon. I cant really say that I helps her much....other than the occasional example. It was all complete her first marathon on behalf of a friend of ours who was going to cancer treatment. That is her story to tell so I won't ruin it. I'll let her tell you.

I'll,just add some pictures of the event and her pursuit of something that a very small percentage will ever accomplish. She had an amazing team from TEAM IN TRAINING to encourage her along the way.

I have always had an interest and a passion for health and nutrition. I wanted to be strong and healthy and not like my mother. In college,  aerobics was the craze, but as real life went on getting to a gym was not that simple. When we moved to VB in 1995  I had a friend from church  that I walked with in the evenings. That was great as long as it lasted. In 2002 I was introduced to running. I didn't really think I could run. I had never been particularly athletic and I had allergies that made me think it would be hard to breathe. However, I began 1 street at a time, run to the next street, walk to the next until I could complete an entire lap around the neighborhood, (.7 mile). And so it began. I ran my first 5K in November of 2002. From then on, it was an on again, off again affair. I would do well for awhile, then I would slack, gain weight, and repeat the cycle. I decided I really wanted to do a long race, maybe even a marathon someday. My first ½ marathon was in 2008 and then I stopped and went back to the on and off of running and the shorter races. Somewhere around 2011 I was running most of the J&A races up to the 10 miler most every year. 

At that point Eugene finally got serious about his health, dropped weight, and started running. Unfortunately, I had kind of gone the other way. However, when he started running marathons in 2014, I found being a spectator was no fun. We went back to Disney in 2015 and I ran the half again for the first time in 7 years. I was feeling good and ran 2 more halfs in April. 

Some time before this I found out a good friend had leukemia and I wanted to do something, so in April of 2015 I joined TNT and signed up for my first marathon in November, almost exactly 13 years after my first 5K. 

Unfortunately, training did not go as planned over the summer. I did run a few 10 milers and 2 more half marathons in October. I was out of time, I got in an 18 miler 3 weeks before the race. I was a little terrified. I was pretty used to pain, but I knew how much a half marathon hurt, a full has to be overwhelming. 

We went to the TNT dinner and got inspired, woke up at the crack of dawn as usual for races and I was heading to the start line ready to “run” my first marathon. With TNT, there were lots of coaches along the way and that was helpful but my true coach and best friend stayed beside me all the way. At first, I was feeling excited and adrenaline was pulling me along, but as the miles passed, so did my energy. When we got to mile 13.1, my body was thinking ok this is far enough, but I had to do the whole 13.1 again!  My walk breaks grew slower and slower. Eugene had to take my hand and pull me along, so I didn't slow down too much. I was getting pretty cranky. We were blessed to have 2 of the coaches with us through a good portion of the race which took my mind off of the miles, the time, and the pain. All I could do was keep going, quitting wasn't an option. There are so many people, children included,  fighting much worse fights with their health as  they try to stay alive and not quit. I could do this for a few hours. As we neared the last couple of miles we met more of the coaches. I was the last team member to finish, so all of the coaches were with me at the finish line. I was surrounded by a “ great cloud of witnesses”! I got to cross the line hand in hand with my wonderful husband who had stayed with me all 6 hours and 48 minutes! I almost I cried as I realized I could now say, “ I am a marathoner” . 

Completing that comes with many lessons that can’t be told at once.  There are so many lessons and analogies in the marathon that apply to life. Keep fighting the good fight and never give up! 

As always my friends....HAVE A FUN RUN.

Eugene Thompson
RUN Eugene RUN

PS: Watch for our new design logo coming soon!

PSS: We have committed to seeking non-profit 501c'll take some time!

PSSS: We will have tshirts and new products shortly!

PSSSS: Watch for the new goals for 2016 coming in January and how you can help!

Now I'm done!