Teammates and Friends

                  In my mind, the beginning of March is the beginning of spring... despite the January temperatures that seem to be hanging around in the Northland.  March is a time of warming forecasts, melting snow, more sunshine, and hopes of the coming summer.  It is also a trigger that the endurance season is quickly coming upon us.  It is with this in mind that I ask... are you getting prepared for a season of ministry?

                  We have been discussing spiritual disciplines for the past few months, and much like training prepares you for racing, these disciplines equip you to grow as a disciple, preparing you for effective ministry.  As we approach the 2014 race season, I continue to enthusiastically invite you to live a disciplined life - not just in early morning swims and long Saturday afternoon rides, but in regularly scheduled, protected, and focused times of fellowship with our Heavenly Father.  For a number of months we have been discussing time spent with God through His Word.  This month we'll begin to explore prayer.

                  As a basic definition, prayer is simply talking with God.  I also like Graeme Goldsworthy's definition though, "Prayer is our response to God as he speaks to us."  God has spoken first and demonstrated a love that we can't measure through sending and sacrificing His Son for our sins.  What is our response to this?  Surrender, praise, adoration, worship, and a longing to know God better.  Prayer is an opportunity to express our hearts to God, to respond to Him, and to invite Him to align our wills with His through growing our faith and renewing our minds. 

                  While prayer is a spiritual discipline, it is not designed to be a burden or calculated equation.  Nor is it a legalistic "have to," measured on a training log with goals set and achieved which will somehow earn us additional favor with God or man.  Lastly, it is not a means to access some supernatural genie in a bottle who will meet our every command and desire.  Rather, prayer is a right response to God's love, motivated by our own love.  It is also an act of obedience, given with great thanks and joy, as we follow Jesus's model and teachings.  While praying may require discipline as we battle the distractions of our flesh and this world, the act itself is an outpouring of our own faith. 
                  With prayer defined and our motives clarified, I think it is helpful to discuss some practical tips.  I transparently confess my own struggles with regular, focused, prolonged prayer, and I know that others share my experiences.  Internally I long for a deeper prayer life, but all too often I succumb to worldly temptations that sabotage my desires and hijack my intentions: busyness, distractions, and fleshly desires of time use.  Thus, my need and encouragement for increased discipline regarding prayer come not from strength or legalism, but from weakness and frustration.  When we remember how weak we are, how powerful God is, and the amazing privilege it is that we get to talk with Him, what could keep us from seeking His presence?  Disciplines simply help us intentionally remember our reality among the noise of our own lives.   

                  In the coming months I'll share some practical tips that I have found helpful in terms of prayer.  However, for March, my encouragement is simply this... schedule some time to pray.  Set aside some intentional time beyond the ongoing conversations you may have with the Lord throughout the day.  Much like you schedule an early morning swim or a track workout, schedule some time where you will be intentionally undistracted, specifically to focus on a serious conversation with our God.  You can decide how much time or how often, but I urge some time daily.  Schedule it like you would schedule an appointment with your King, your Creator, your Savior, the One to whom you are accountable, and your best friend.  Then keep the appointment!  I look forward to hearing about blessings that come through this time, and I believe this will be a valuable investment in preparing you for the upcoming season of ministry.


                  As we do each month, I wanted to celebrate a few Huddles and their local ministries.  I'll start with Denver.  They have been busy, despite some winter weather.  They have already put their new tent to work, ministering through 20 degree weather at an icy version of the Ralston Creek Half Marathon and 5k earlier in February (see post-race photo).  They have also been meeting every few weeks to go through R12 Coach and have been picking up a few new attendees each time, averaging 15-20.  I'm excited about what the Lord is doing in Denver through this Huddle and look forward to seeing what lies ahead this season.  Thanks to Huddle Leader Brad Cooper for his faithful service!




                  It's always fun to share a photo from the Savannah Huddle.  They had their team kick-off in early February and packed the house (see photo).  

No doubt they'll have a powerful presence on the Savannah-area endurance community in the coming year.  Also, we'll take this opportunity to welcome Savannah's newest Co-Leader, Natalie Grace.  Thanks to Natalie, Steve, and the rest of the gang for their commitment to our mission!  We're praying for and looking forward to hearing about great things that the Lord will do in and among you this season.


                  I wanted to celebrate the Huntsville, AL Huddle under the steady leadership of Tom and LD Gale.  They continue to meet for socials and training, building a wonderful community while taking advantage of opportunities for impact.  Most recently they held an Asian-themed pot-luck and devotional.  They definitely have fun with their fellowship!





                  I also wanted to celebrate a fantastic 2014 Triathlon Camp.  It was a blessed time of fellowship, training, coaching, and ministry equipping!  Our pros (Heather Gollnick, Jamie Whitmore, and Brad Seng) did a fantastic job of passing along expert knowledge and personal experiences of how the Lord has stretched and grown them as disciples.  Our pastoral team (Scott Bennefield, Bill Pinches, and Linc Murdoch) inspired and equipped us all, and our coaches (Brandon Nichols, Scott Bennefield - serving double duty, and Troy & Robin Soares) prepared us for success as athletes and spouses.  Overall, it was a GREAT camp!  A special thanks also goes out to Camp Director Barry Edwards and local host Theresa Allison for their significant contributions in making this camp great!  We hope to see you all next year, and have a tentative date set for February 6-8, 2015.  Get this on your calendar, and we'll keep you posted.


Other Quick Ministry Updates:

  • Calendar:  Are you racing in 2014?  Would you like to connect with other Teammates and coordinate fellowship and ministry opportunities in the coming year?  Then it is time to add your events to our Ministry CalendarAdding events is easy, and once they are added, people can RSVP and connect with one another through the event.  Events added to the calendar are also included on the prayer calendar for additional support!         
  • 2013 Ironman TriClub Podium:  After a great year of racing and serving, we're excited to announce that we came in 3rd Overall (and in our category) in the World Triathlon Corporation TriClub competition!  We feel that participating and placing in this program has provided increased favor with the WCT, and we are grateful for opportunities generated through this program.  Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible through boldly racing and serving under the FCA Endurance name.  We're hoping to podium again in 2014, and invite each of you to sign-up as a member of FCA Endurance if you'll be racing a 70.3 or Ironman event in the coming year.  Register Here       
  • Ironman Co-Branded Gear Special Opportunity:  As a part of our participation in the WTC TriClub program, there is a special opportunity to order a few pieces of gear co-branded with the Ironman logo and FCA Endurance logo.  This opportunity is offered and administered by, and it's important to note that there are zero exchanges and all transactions are handled independent of our ministry.  For details and to order, click here.   

  • High 5 Relay:  Our Omaha Huddle is partnering with local FCA Staff to host a new event in 2014 - the High 5 Relay.  This is going to be a fun, fantastic, and unique race and ministry event.  US Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall will be there, and you don't want to miss it.  Check out the details here. 

  • 2014 Gear Survey:  As we continue to strive for excellence in all things (a core value of FCA), it's our desire to continue to improve our ability to equip as many Teammates as possible with FCA Endurance gear that will bless them and create ministry opportunities.  To help us do this better and increase our understanding of what's most important to you, we have created a new gear survey.  We've kept it simple, hoping you can complete it in 5 minutes or less.  Would you help us out by completing the survey?  Take Survey  



God bless you as you make disciples in 2014!

For God's Glory!


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FCA Endurance Mission:  To present to athletes and coaches, and all whom they influence, the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church.


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