Monday, July 12, 2010


Good Morning Everyone!

What a beautiful July rain soaked morning it is! The run in the rain was absolutely refreshing! As you know or have figured out from last week's emails we had a crazy week in the Ruckman household. Challenging might be an understatement, but I can't think of a much better word to use. The good news is that it brought us closer together as a family and strengthened our resolve. Its amazing how God can do his work in the hardest of times. The goodness kind of hit a pinnacle for me last night at bedtime when Will decided he wanted to sing his bedtime song instead of having me sing it to him. Usually his bedtime routine entails me reading him a book, helping him through his prayers (he usually says the Lord's prayer on his own and doesn't want Dad's help), and then I usually sing him a song which is often a contemporary Christian song. Lately he has wanted me to sing "Our God is Greater" by Chris Tomlin. Last night he wanted to do it himself and he did... he hit the entire song perfectly on pitch and it flowed as if I was listening to it on the radio. Needless to say this Dad was a little choked up with joy and found strength of the spirit through a 5 year old. Raising children is certainly the hardest thing I've ever done, but moments like last night make it all worth it! There is a simple beauty in their souls that I think as adults we tend to guard and keep away from the world. Thanks be to God for allowing me to see it!

Last week, during what I will call a battle, my prayer partner Scott shared Psalm 33 with me. I found a verse that kind of carried me and really describes the way I felt last night...
Psalm 33:21
In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.

The rough stretch last week was about trust and faith and I found that if you want to truly rejoice, God has to be present. If you want to truly get through pain, God has to be present as well. Without God we just muddle through. Don't fall into that trap if you can avoid it. Allow true peace to enter your lives this week. Allow the Risen King to refresh you, renew you, and let you experience joy. And, may you have that moment of beauty like I did last night. The kind that resets the playing field... Praise be to God!

Love in Christ,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How much do I Love them?

During the past 12 years I've finished 7 marathons. At some point during each one of them (usually around mile 20)... I've hit a wall. Didn't think I would see that wall again until the Fall, but I was wrong. A wall of life hit me last week. This wall was different and I wasn't running a marathon ... As I type this I ask for prayers. I ask for prayers of strength, prayers of forgiveness, and prayers of discernment. Not only for me, but for anyone that has been beaten down. I won't go into details, but will tell you that in the past week I've faced many challenges. All of them relate to being a good Christian in the wake of adversity. As Christians, we are challenged to live our lives on Biblical principals while being surrounded by those that would easily cast the hurting aside or absolve themselves of the challenges that come with living and loving together as true believers of Christ. Some of these individuals call themselves friends, some neighbors, and some just acquaintances, but all in all I've had the distinct displeasure of experiencing what it feels like to live among pretenders, gossipers, and slanderers this past week. I not only felt their vile spit, but became engrossed in it, tortured by it, and beaten down by it. But, during it all I was able to remain somewhat centered. Why? Hebrews 11. That simple, that easy ... FAITH

In the past I would have probably went off the handle, but I think I've finally reached a point in my walk where I've been able to reach down into my toolbox and pray rather than judge, distance rather confront, and love rather than hate.

Its curious how hard times present us with choices. I once heard a quote that said its not the setbacks that define us, its how we respond to those setbacks. How very true that is. I would also add that when facing adversity, its our faith that truly defines us and our actions.

Back to choices and back to the reason for this email other than just my weekly thoughts on life. I made a choice and it wasn't an easy one. I made a choice to not judge, but also not to try to understand those that don't show God's love. How much love do I have for them? A whole lot, but I have to resist the urge to be a Man and to "fix it now". Time to let God do some work. If he needs me to be a vehicle, he will let me know in his time. Until then... I'll run on... it is marathon training season after all.

Finally, I know I've rambled some today and it was intentional. You see I wanted you to know a couple of things:

1. I'm far from perfect and struggle just like everyone. I believe we learn from each other and I am an open book to be learned from. Use me if you need to as a good example... shoot, use me as a bad example, but see me as I am ... broken and only saved through the Grace of our Perfect God!
2. Next time something happens to rock your world and question your impression of the world I encourage you to open your Bible, read Hebrews 11 and tell me what it says to you about Faith. Let that be a tool for you as its been for me.

Next week is going to be a better week. I don't think it, I know it. Live by Faith my Brothers and Sisters and Run On!
Love in Christ,