More than an Ironman, Part 4!

August 16, 2017


This week we shift our focus to nutrition! The biggest week of training is upon me with approximately 215 miles we are tasked with honing in on a nutrition game plan according to coach. As a result, it only seems appropriate to encourage others to consider how they too can focus on nutrition, perhaps individually but more importantly that of others. Since it’s inception, I have supported Meals from the Heartland in a variety of ways. In a couple weeks the 10th Annual Hunger Fight event will no doubt save thousands of lives. So as I continue this journey to make my miles count, I’m excited to fund meals for thousands of people and help provide the nutrition needed for daily life.

Meals from the Heartland has been a growing organization that provides many opportunities for people in our community to package dry good meals that are sent around the world to a variety of partners who distribute the meals in their communities. It’s a way for people of the Heartland of America to use our resources to provide for a basic need, nutrition. A couple years back I actually saw the impact of meals packaged here in Iowa on the lives of homeless in Gallup, New Mexico. While away on a mission trip we took a group of students to serve a meal at a church where we were serving meals packaged back at home. Couldn’t help but bask in the moment that revealed the impact many have had on many lives around the world.

So it’s your turn to have an impact. As I put in long miles this week it is going to help knowing that each mile can result in saving lives and provide basic needs. To package one meal it costs $0.20 and for many of us we are spending near $5 per meal or more if we eat out a lot. So consider how saving on a meal or two this week could provide for others. When we look at how many meals will be packaged in the upcoming week at the event, there is no doubt that we have a chance to impact lives. Perhaps you’d like to make a financial gift, but there are also many opportunities to serve and I would encourage you to consider both.

How will you participate?

$0.10 per mile = $21.50 = 107.5 meals
$0.20 per mile = $43.00 = 215 meals
$0.40 per mile = $86.00 = 430 meals
$0.50 per mile = $107.50 = 537.5 meals

If you decide you’d like to be a Packager at the event, you will provide nearly 200 meals in an hour. Take a team of 7-10 and you will package 2,000 meals for others. Either way you decide to participate you will have an impact. Thank you for helping support the journey to becoming and Ironman by making the miles count for something more!

More than an Ironman, Part 3!

August 7, 2017


After the first two weeks of final preparations, I’m learning a lot about how to stay committed to training and balancing life. Things have come up that are out of my control when it comes to weather and physical challenges. All the best plans and intentions can be impacted by so many factors, this results in adjusting daily activity accordingly. Last week I came up a little short in miles, but still had my longest ride ever at 122.5 miles and completed a 2.4 mile swim event, Swim the Bridge, which means I now know how I should feel before hitting the bike for 112 miles and time to expect! Another great thing to highlight from last week is the power of prayer in healing! My friend and sister in Christ, Jen Segar, prayed for me during our Holy Spirit and Healing Prayer Service with students last Wednesday. She mentioned she sensed someone in the room had a pain in their leg and butt area that needed healing. Sure enough that was me and since this time I have not felt the lingering hamstring pain I’ve had for a few years on and off, that is aggravated by working out and often is felt while sitting in a car for an extended period of time. Since last Wednesday I have worked out quite a bit and traveled to KC and back to visit friends. Praise God for His healing power!

This week began with a 4 mile run and the target is 170.25 miles with a little lighter week after the past couple. This week’s miles will be dedicated to a local outreach opportunity called the Book Mobile which is a mobile library that a friend and teacher in our community, Joy DeJong, was inspired to start to share her love for reading with kids in Ankeny. There was a story recently covered on our local news station,

We also collected thousands of books as a part of our mission during Vacation Bible School in Ankeny that will help provide so many people with the gift of reading. I’m excited for the impact that encouraging kids in our community to read can have on the future as so many of us have found reading to lead to great things. Yes, sometimes reading can be tedious and not a joy for some, but if you are like me over time you may have found a love for reading specific types of stories, books and more. Perhaps you love reading and want to share this gift with those that may not have the regular opportunity or access to the library as the news story shares. Let’s partner together in spreading the gift of reading in the community and supporting the dream of making books more accessible during the summer and beyond.

If you are interested in supporting the Book Mobile with a financial donation, please let me know and we’ll get you the specifics on how you can make a donation. This is a new non-profit and your support will provide the basis to continue building the dream laid upon Joy’s heart and supported by many in our community. You can email me directly with your interest and I’ll send more details. What amount will you consider?

$0.10 per mile = $17.03
$0.25 per mile = $42.56
$0.50 per mile = $85.13

I really like the idea of supporting the reading of our future leaders through each mile this week and will say this truly has been a great way to talk about many different causes with family and friends, as well show support to a variety of causes.

Thank you for keeping up with the journey and for your encouragement and support along the way! Let’s impact others together!

More than an Ironman, Week 2

July 31, 2017


This week we continue the mission to make miles count for more than just the goal of becoming an Ironman, rather to support causes through each stroke, pedal and stride! So today the More than an Ironman journey continues into week 2 of 7!

Our family members, Adam and Cassidy Purdy, are following the call to be on staff with an organization named The Navigators( The organization grows leaders in ministry to share the message of Christ across the world, and they are being led to minister on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Missouri. The call to be on staff means they are responsible for raising financial support to carry out the ministry and live in the community to which they are called. For this reason, Bridget and I have chosen to expand the network of support through those we know. We believe that supporting the dream of our family members is something worth sharing. So many people have dreams and we have the opportunity encourage you to support the dreams of our family members. For Adam and Cassidy, The Navigators ministry at Northwest Missouri State had great impact on their lives through the relationships formed and mentors who have led them in their journey with the Lord and together. The mission field at Mizzou is great and opportunities to spread the Gospel are numerous. We are hopeful that we can encourage them with our support and invite those of you interested in supporting their mission to join us in getting them started!

You can support Adam and Cassidy through prayer and give financially here:

This week I am scheduled to train for approximately 195 miles…of course this depends on pace and pain management. I’d appreciate your prayers for knee and hammy pain to disappear. But here’s what I’d encourage you to consider giving:

$0.10 per mile = $19.50
$0.25 per mile = $48.75
$0.50 per mile = $97.50

What will you pledge? Send me a text to 515.371.9252, an email to, comment below or message via Facebook. I’ll then check back at week’s end with final amount and encourage your donation.

Today, we made the donation of $95 to last week’s cause after 182.15 miles of training! Supporting the Thorn Family’s medical expenses:

More than an Ironman!

July 23, 2017


We often challenge ourselves by taking on new endeavors in life. This year I’ve decided to embark on a journey to become an Ironman. Like me, you too may have a Bucket List, yet I’d say it would be hard pressed to find someone with the exact same, so it’s okay to call me “crazy!” Seven(7) weeks from today I hope to hear the words, ”Congratulations, you are an Ironman”.

I’ve had the pleasure of training with many different people over the past 7 months, yet there are also many times I’m in the pool, on the road, or running the trails solo. This time has given me great opportunities to think about the joy to come on September 10 in Madison, Wisconsin, where all the hard work results in accomplishing a big goal, 140.6 miles! But I’d have to be honest, I’ve learned to find a bigger purpose than myself in all things thanks to a God who is greater than us all!

As the hours and miles are adding up and I’ve found myself thinking about how to make the miles count. God had put something on my heart years ago, to support organizations, charities and fundraising for others through the season of preparation for the Ironman I hoped to someday complete. Just last weekend I shared a message with our congregation about the seeds we will plant that will transform lives and impact the world, like Ted in the Lorax(watch this). God has been leading me to planting this seed! Now is the time!

Today marks 7 weeks from the day. The number 7 symbolizes both physical and spiritual completion in the Bible, as well can be associated with perfection. I believe it is no accident that God has led me to this day where I’m approaching the final stretch of training knowing that added encouragement and purpose will help stay focused and committed!

I’m inviting you to join in the effort, maybe not physically, but definitely spiritually! Each of the final seven weeks I’m going to commit my miles to support something bigger, from supporting needs, supporting ministries, supporting cures, support dreams and more. It is my hope that I can invite you to partner with me in giving of our resources to support others in need. Bridget and I will commit to $0.50 per mile for each partner! What will you be able to do?

Each week I will highlight a new opportunity and the approximate miles I’m scheduled to train. Then I’ll ask you to make a financial commitment per mile. You then can post a comment below, send me an email –, or send a text – 515.371.9252 with your commitment. At the completion of each week then I’ll invite you to make your contribution online, via check or cash for the organization in the mail. Your support will be a part of the motivation and encouragement needed to push through the final long days and weeks of training, Together we will impact the lives of others in only ways God knows!

I started with an 8 mile run today!

Week 1 : CAUSE – Financial Support for a Hope Ankeny Student who broke his neck on July 4, helping cover medical expenses as Justin Thorn and his family spend the next few months in Denver, CO at the Craig Institute for rehab. Life can change in an instant and I am hopeful we can support this family in big ways.

Week 1 Mileage Goal = 185 miles

How is God leading you to help?

$0.10 per mile = $18.50
$0.25 per mile = $46.25
$0.50 per mile = $92.50

Donate Directly online at

Thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement as we move closer to the big day!



Here’s to our Father’s!

June 15, 2014

Today is a great day to be reminded of all the love our Fathers pour out for us!  Each year many holidays and celebrations come and go, and in many ways it is easy to forget what we celebrated come the next day.  Yet there are certain holidays that we should be mindful of celebrating each day what may have only captured our attention for 24 hours in previous years.  Today specifically I was unable to celebrate with my dad, so we instead went golfing and enjoyed a little lunch Thursday.  Yet, there are so many times throughout the year I am reminded of how important he is in my life.  For all the blessings he has worked to provide, time he has sacrificed to support me, and love he has shared…here’s to you DAD!



There are numerous reasons why I love my dad, yet the most important I believe for the both of us is as simple as spending time together.  Whether it is with family throughout different times of the year such as our afternoon trip to the Madison County Covered Bridges a few summers back, our Christmas gathering with family or our fun at sporting events like the most recent at Kansas Motor Speedway, experiences together are what make lasting memories!  I look forward to and hope for so many more.  So on this day in 2014, I thank you DAD for so much!  I cannot help but be draw attention to the love you display, which is an example of love that comes from our Heavenly Father!

“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God!  That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to.”
 1 John 3:1 

The Message version is a great view of our identity as Children of God.  Maybe you haven’t had the chance to connect the dots between your’s and God’s stories.  It may help to think of your story connected to your father’s story.  In many ways your father has displayed the same love that God shares with His children.  How great is it that we can experience this type of love from our dads here on earth.  So let’s celebrate our dads in the ways that only we, their children only can!  We are each unique children of our own fathers, as we are unique children of our Heavenly Father.  Today and every day we get to celebrate our dads; our mothers too; in unique ways.

DAD, I want to celebrate you by sharing a message with others, proclaiming how much I appreciate the time we spend together!  I can’t help but also thank you for this…



Yes, this is a photo of my dad many years ago and you can see where I got my good looks…aren’t we handsome!  Thanks DAD for all you do and for who you are!  Love you DAD!




The Beautiful Game!

June 12, 2014

Today is the day that the world begins to tune in to an amazing sports spectacle!  Years of playing and coaching the “Beautiful Game” is a testament to a lifelong passion.  Now, we all have different passions…one of mine just happens to be soccer, the real FUTBOL!  You know where I’ll be this afternoon.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this day is my Sabbath Day and I couldn’t imagine spending it any other way on this, the opening day of World Cup 2014.

Why do I love this game.  I love the creativity of each individual player combined with the camaraderie of a team.  Many don’t understand how teams can play 90 minutes and end in a tie and often ask how one enjoys such a low scoring affair.  For me there is a fluidity in the game that separates itself from other sports and there is a level of skill that is required which is unique.  I began playing at the age of 6 and continue to play as often as I have the chance.  Over the next month, I will be watching as many matches as possible, with hopes of some brilliant goals and watching the world’s best compete!

I was able to celebrate with our boys in the Red, White and Blue last October as they capped off their world cup qualification with a W in Kansas City over The Reggae Boyz of Jamaica.  In 2012, I attended the Hexagon qualifying match against Guatemala and all I can say is the love for the game is alive here in the States!  It was in 1994 when I attended my first ever professional soccer match in Chicago, a World Cup Match between Greece and Bulgaria and there was nothing quite like it, yet it was not quite as popular a sport…

The World Cup fanfare was simply amazing and oh how I desire to travel to a World Cup abroad.  It is definitely on my bucket list, yet this year is not the year.  Watching from afar is fine by me and I hope to catch as many matches as possible, to watch the games unfold and see what surprises await.

In so many ways as I think about my love for the game of soccer, I am reminded of my life’s passions which inspire, encourage and light the fire.  When you witness the passion from the host country, you cannot help but be reminded of our own passions.  I came across a promo video yesterday that concludes with a reminder of our one true Passion!

When it comes to living a life for Christ, I find true passion.  Sharing His love and life with others, whether it is through soccer…or whatever your passion may be!  How are your passions lining up with your mission in life?  I spent the majority of my time this past High School Soccer season asking the question of how to move beyond the simplicity of the game and the competition, to focus more on leading the young men I coach, helping them grow into their unique selves.  I believe that it starts with my passion for Christ whom I’d love to share with the boys I coach, and I am blessed with the opportunity to discern opportunities to teach and lead under His guidance.  I believe this is one platform I have been given to impact the lives of youth.  Just as you saw in the video, the Brazilian national icon, Neymar, is gifted in the game he plays and invites God into the battle with him!  There is something more to him than just playing the Beautiful Game.  I share this with you today, a public statement of faith he has made, “Life only makes sense when our highest ideal is to serve Christ!”  Amen!  Do we live with this same central passion?!  My prayer is that this month of play is not just about a Beautiful Game, but about a Beautiful Life filled with passion!

32 Birthday Thanks to All!

December 12, 2013

So many things to be grateful for this time of the year and after celebrating my Birthday yesterday, it is time to share those thanks after all the wishes came in!  Before we get to the thanks, there are a couple highlights I want to share with you.  Over the past 5 months I have had the opportunity to live with my friends Jared and Britni, along with their two little kiddos, Grayson and Sloane.  As I awoke and came downstairs I was preparing for the day with a little quiet time with the Lord when Grayson came walking in to the reading room with a card he and Sloane made for me.  What a great way to start the day with the smiles of these two friends of mine(and mom and dad)…

Grayson & Sloane BDay Photo

Then it was off to the Java Jag, the coffee shop at Ankeny Centennial High School, to volunteer.  I was able to see some students and share a smile with them, always great seeing students in their environment!  Afterward I was off to work, starting my day with a meeting with my Children’s Ministry Staff, Jackie and Angie.  Little did I know that the meeting had an alternative motive, a surprise that both of the ladies were in on.  Even before the meeting started, Miss Bridget walked in and definitely surprised me with her presence and presents.  We shared a delicious Wig and Pen Union Jack pizza and then gave me some wonderful thoughtful gifts.  What a blessing it was to have lunch on a day where we are both busy with student ministry at night!


Following this wonderful lunch date, I continued the day by watching a soccer match of my top team, Chelsea.  As I watched I did a bit of work, but was preparing for a night with students.  In preparing I was excited to take on a new  activity to share with the Junior High students.  Dustin, our worship leader, and I practiced some choreographed dance moves that our friend Geneva taught us to share with the students.  We found out later that it rocked!  As PowerLife started I was serenaded by 100 students and leaders to a wonderful Happy Birthday sing along, as I thanked them I told them how much I loved celebrating my Birthday with all of them, couldn’t be more blessed!  After a great night with the students, I then returned home to enjoy game night with Jared and Britni.  The kids and Britni had baked a cake and Jared had bought some ice cream for a nice treat.  After playing four games, 2 of Settlers of Catan and 2 of Ticket to Ride, I came away with one win in Settlers…I’ll take it.

Catan BDay PicBDay Dessert

Such a great way to the end a day filled with surprises and fun!

There was one thing that the day was littered with I have yet to mention and a reminder of all the great friends in my life.  Thank you for all the Birthday wishes in person, via text and Facebook message.  As I thought about how to say thank you to all I knew of something I would like to share that would be a gift in return.

This year’s gift to you comes from the Lord( John 15:9-17 ), it is His love!  The best gift I got is the love that comes from the Lord and as the Lord reveals in scripture, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  So that is my offer to you this day!  How may I “lay my life down” for you?  I want to continue to grow in my sharing of love with you all as we continue our journey’s in this life!

Then just to say thanks in a unique way, here are 32 Ways I am Thankful for all of you, my friends:
1)     Friendship through life
2)    Support through
3)    Encouragement through challenges
4)    Laughter in good company
5)    Creativity together
6)    Sense of Adventure
7)    Care for my well being
8)    Smiles when a lift is needed
9)    Hugs to share love
10)  Thoughts when in conversation
11)   Prayers in all circumstances
12)  Questions that make me think
13)  Energy early in the morning(and throughout the day)
14)  Empathy when emotions are a challenge
15)  Wisdom in decisions
16)  Love for soccer(sports in general)
17)  Hope in the desert places
18)  Experiences of a lifetime
19)  Your children who bring joy
20)  Your compassion for those in need
21)  Memories of the past that won’t fade
22)  Teamwork
23)  Hospitality over the years
24)  Affirmation in times of change
25)  Accountability in thoughts, words and deeds
26)  Gifts over the years
27)  Acts of kindness
28)  Inspiration and Motivation
29)  Vulnerability and humility
30)  Appreciation for food

There is so much more I could say, but this is a pretty good start!  Thank you all for your friendship and your kind words yesterday!  It was a great way to celebrate and this time of year is always a good reminder of all the numerous blessings that come in the shape of friends!  Praise God for you and your friendship!  Please let me know how I can be praying for you and your family!  My goal is to share more and more love, because God continues to show His Love more and more each day!