One Million Thank Yous!

DSC_0383

Hi everyone!

I had an amazing reminder of the experience myself and over 1,000 other runners from Team Kensington had last weekend during the Detroit Free Press Marathon. You have to watch the video the Kensington Arts team created to celebrate the work God is doing here in Michigan and in Kenya.

As I watched that (4 times already) I couldn’t help but get emotional (I may or may not have cried). That truly was an amazing experience that I will never forget. What resonated with me most were the faces that I saw along the 26.2 miles that were there to encourage me to finish. I truly believe each of them were placed there at certain points when I began to doubt myself and whether or not I would finish. What was even more amazing was the injury that prevented me from running the 18+ days leading up to the race didn’t bother me at all during the run.

Most importantly, the money keeps coming in. To date, we are at $963,000. I do have one more ask of all of you…would you consider helping me spread the word about Team Kensington and Hope Water Project to your friends and family? I raised my goal to $3,000 and am looking to raise just $285 more dollars. Who knows, maybe your friends and family know someone that ran but didn’t realize they were part of Team Kensington. Below are a couple of links. The first is directly to my donation page. The second is to the search function to see if you know any runners that ran for Kensington.

My Donation Page: http://www.hopewaterproject.org/fundraisers/39

Main Donation Page: http://www.hopewaterproject.org/fundraisers?campaign_id=10

Please consider helping me one last time by spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. November 3rd is the goal. I’m confident with your help, we can hit $1,000,000 and make a difference in the lives of the Pokot for GENERATIONS to come.

Thank you again!

In Him,

Patrick

Why I Run

Sharing my "Why I Run" story with Team Kensington

Sharing my “Why I Run” story

I was recently asked to share why I run to our Team Kensington running group. I had sort of thought about it before but as I now get into the heart of the training and the recent events at the Boston Marathon, the reasons of why I run continue to evolve.

I think it would be easy for me to say that I’m running to “lose weight” or “get healthy” but those reasons began to change as my training over the last 7 months continued and my mileage increased. Now I view running as an opportunity to interact with others, encourage those who are new to it and intimidated by it, as well as be an example to my kids that being active and healthy is the right choice for their free time. For Team Kensington and the Hope Water Project, this is also about the Pokot people in Kenya who do not have access to clean drinking water and dedicating the miles and the hours to them in the “hope” of raising one million dollars for wells.

It is pretty interesting to see how this parallels to my faith. In the beginning, it was truly about me.

How can God help me?
How can God help me stop doing this?
How can God help me start doing that?
Will God be able to motivate me?

As I continued to grow (i.e. “train”) in my faith, I began to do more (i.e. “run farther” or “run faster”).

I would read the Bible.
I would pray daily.
I would serve on Sundays.
I would lead a small group.
I would run a marathon for the Pokot.

Now, my faith is more about serving others and finding opportunities to share it with others so they can understand what it means to be a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. My life verse is 1 Peter 3:15 and I think it clearly sums up what we are called to do:

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”

Hope. We strive for it, not only for ourselves but for others and if we are equipped with the power of the Holy Spirit to have hope then why aren’t we doing more to give hope to others?

That is why I run.

If you would like to help me reach my goal of $2,000 for the Pokot, please visit my Hope Water Project fundraising page by clicking HERE.

Friendship Redefined

I’m a huge advocate of social media (as you know) and how it has impacted the way brands market.  I love the connections that I’ve made from using Facebook and Twitter.  This blog has given me a platform to share my thoughts on faith, fatherhood and marketing.  Social has expanded our reach to across the country and in some cases around the globe.  I’m sure you’ve also seen the ability to reconnect with people you once thought you may have never been able to again.

However, with all of the positives I just mentioned, social has redefined the word “friend” hasn’t it?  Think about this…I have 1,177 friends on Facebook.  I don’t tell you that to brag, but as I look at that number, what real relationship do I have with all of those people?  Yes, there are a select few that I can say I have a deep friendship with but most of the others are people that I’ve come to know professionally, people I’ve come to know through Kensington, others are childhood friends and others are those from Michigan State.  Regardless, each group of people was significant for a certain period of my life but I can’t honestly say the friendship is nothing more than a casual friendship.

What I’ve learned and was reinforced this past weekend at Kensington Orion was that social media does a great job of expanding our friendships horizontally but often times causes the vertical depth of friendships to suffer.  Don’t get me wrong, I have been able to establish deep and meaningful friendships with some…Gini Dietrich and Justin Brackett are 2 great examples but those were able to grow because of the personal investment we made to get to know each other not only through our online interactions but also through in person visits and conversations.

As I’ve continued to think about this over the last few days I began to look at the friendships I have with other guys around me…or lack thereof.  I hope I’m not in the minority on this, but in conversations I’ve had with other guys in my circles (not a Google+ reference), many of us can only name maybe 1 guy that we feel comfortable enough sharing more than the surface level stuff with.  It must be a guy thing because I know this comes much easier for women.

Why is this important?
I mention all of this because of the message from Kensington Orion this week.  This past Sunday we talked about the 3 men in David’s life that…

…were committed
…were Christ like
…carried burdens

This group of men battled for each other and supported each other.  I want that in my life.  I also want that for the life of my sons.  I want other men, other than me, to pour into my boys and teach them what having strong male figures in their lives will do for them as they grow up to become men.  For me, I want a select few guys to be able to hold me accountable to my faith, to my marriage and be able to help me when I’m struggling.  This verse from Proverbs states it perfectly:

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. ~ Proverbs 27:17

Having these close relationships sharpens us, makes us better men, better husbands and better fathers.

What is my action step?  To invest in the relationships around me and pray that God reveals to me the open doors of friendships that will sharpen me and to make the vertical investment.

What about you?

The New Has Come…

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

People change.  When someone says “that’s just the way that I am” or “I can’t change who I am” it frustrates me because you can change who you are and often for the better.  A while back, I shared with you an e-mail I sent to my friends and my family talking about my how my faith in God was growing.  There was a point in my e-mail that I said, “What I don’t want is for all of you to think I’m going to completely change who I am and who you all have come to know me to be.”  Well, I’m COMPLETELY different from the person I was 5 years ago.  My priorities are different.  My outlook on my wife, my kids and my job is different.  The reason I’m different is because of a faith in Someone that has the transformative power to heal the sick, mend the broken and raise from the dead.

The same Someone impacted the life of Travis Gluckler.  A guy that lived the east coast lifestyle and moved that lifestyle to Las Vegas.  See how his life was transformed.  Who knows, maybe it will get you to think about your own life and the changes you need to make.

Peace On Earth

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14 KJV)

I just saw the Christmas service from Kensington Church tonight.  A few thoughts.  The 12 Days of Christmas will never be the same again for me.  I never thought Eminem would make his way into a church service.  I had 80’s flashbacks with Devo.  The arts team at KC is simply amazing.

More than anything, the message was one of significance for me particularly as I continue to reflect on Christmas and what it means to me.  This year, the Kensington team went to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ and brought back a story of hope.  A story of people divided politically and literally by a wall separating Palestine and Israel.  We learned about peace on earth.  We learned about people putting aside their labels and bringing forward their humanity.  A humanity that thinks more about the person rather than trying to change a mind or opinion.

It was a great reminder to me to really focus on the people that I come into contact with on a daily basis and honor them.  Respect them.  Love them.  These are the things that come to mind especially when I hear the words “Peace be with you.”  Jesus Christ was and is the Prince of Peace.  When that offering of peace is made, I feel relief, love, hope, and joy.

Peace is often the forgotten message but it can be the unifying message in any discussion or debate.

This week, I invite you to join my Kensington family and experience the hope and peace that was talked about today.  There are a few of you I’m already thinking about that I believe would really get something out of the message and I’m praying for the right opportunity to invite you.  There is also the opportunity to watch from the comfort of your own home as Kensington will be streaming LIVE all 15 Christmas services from its Troy campus at kensingtonchurch.tv.  Whatever you decide, I invite you to join me and renew your sense of peace with a faith and hope that has given me strength over the last few years.

Merry Christmas.  Peace be with you.

If you’re on Twitter, follow #kensingtonchristmas to see what people are saying!

The Christmas Revolution

The Christmas Revolution

Black Friday.  Cyber Monday.  Both of these conjure up images of people doing anything and everything possible to get the best deal and the newest stuff for Christmas.  I don’t have any issue with this.  We all want nice things but does this become the most important thing about Christmas?  Does it become so focused on self indulgence that we lose the meaning of what these holidays really should be about?  Family.  Community.

One thing that I’ve appreciated the most about Kensington Church is its ability to deliver impactful messages that make you think about your life and your purpose.  This holds true each year when they talk about The Christmas Revolution.  As we head into this Christmas season, I invite all of you to participate in something my family will be doing again.  Do something radical with the money you were planning on spending for gifts…spend it on someone in need.

If you’re interested in learning more about this program that has raised over $2 million for people in need, go to www.kensingtonchurch.org/christmas.

This has changed the way my family and I view Christmas each year.  We appreciate everything God has given us.  More importantly, we value the people in this world God has given us the ability to bless financially.  Who knows…if enough people participate, we can make this something to look forward to after Thanksgiving instead of something peppery.