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5 Quick Thoughts I’ve Had This Summer While Running

July 24, 2012

So … I run.  One of the things I like about running is that it creates space in your life for God to speak to you.  I’ve written a time or two about some of the things I’ve learned in the process of running.  Here are some things that have struck me recently to the cadence of pounding feet on a sidewalk.

1.  God is a long term planner. 

I’m running.  It’s facemeltingly hot.  95+ degrees.  I want to stop it’s so hot.  And then … glorious, beautiful shade.  A perfect patch of trees on the road with a shadow stretching across the road.  It reminds you of something simple but important to your life: God prepares areas of shade and rest to help you on your great journey.  Some farmer somewhere or God himself planted those trees long ago so that they could be used at this moment.  Noticing these things opens your eyes to the fact that you are a part of a greater narrative that is happening over the course of humanity.

2. Sometimes you have to ignore shiny objects for great things.

The other day I was running and I noticed a quarter on the ground.  I’m a cheap guy.  Really, really cheap.  I thought about stopping and getting it but the problem was that I wasn’t sure I could get going again.  As I considered getting this quarter I thought of the people without clean, accessible water that I was running for.  That was a much greater prize and more than worth not being distracted from my task.  The enemy makes a killing by distracting you with shiny things in the here and now to get you to forget the  worth of the greater task.  Sometimes we must ignore the less to obtain the more.

3.  I’m not satisfied.

I’ve run miles and I’m tired, sweaty, worn out.  But, I’m not satisfied.  I’ve helped people.  I’ve sacrificed.  But I’m still not satisfied.  My feet are blistered.  My toe nails are coming off.  I’m still not satisfied.  A desire has grown in me.  I had to control it.  Challenge it.  Grow it through trial.  It’s there.  The desire to not be satisfied with small things.  To not be satiated until others are filled with water like I am filled with living water.  Jesus provides complete satisfaction.  In response to that I desire to satisfy others thirst in proportion to that.  I will take no less than Him.  I choose to be satisfied with no less than him in all for all.

4.  Running with a backpack on is stupid.

I’ve been running with weight on to simulate a water walk and I’ve found out something simple: running with weight destroys your back and knees.  It only makes sense that if you try to spiritually run without first removing your burdens, the same will happen.

Guess who’s going to do something stupid?!? Me-e-e-e-e!!!!! I sure hope it’s 100 degrees out!

5.  The world is a beautiful place.

I often run by a farm that has a gazebo in the front yard.  In that gazebo – morning, noon, or night – is usually an old man, drinking a cup of coffee.  And I love this guy because I know he sits there looking out across his field because it’s better than anything that is on television or the internet.  It’s more beautiful.  It’s more amazing.  Something happens when you actually run through a place rather than drive through it: you see it in a completely different way.  It is more complex, more wonderful, and sweeter than you could possibly know driving through it with a window up and the a/c on.

Love and a great run to all!



What’s up in the ‘Zoo?


I haven’t updated in a little while so let’s do that.

The biggest news is we are currently in the summer o’ love.  Or so it seems!  Last weekend, Harold and Marissa celebrated their nuptials in the great city of Chicago!  It was awesome to be a part of their wedding ceremony.  But, they aren’t the only ones around where the love is flowing.  Daren and Danielle married a couple of months ago and Mr. Christopher Allen Merches is in a dating relationship.  I’ve been working about 20 years on that one!  It really is awesome to see the answer to prayers we prayed so long ago at the beginning.  We often pray about healthy relationships forming – and God has been gracious!  Since the beginning, we’ve had 4 marriages and a couple of relationships that are still in the works.  We love it!

We also have baby fever going on around here with 4 young couples all pregnant at the moment.  A little petting zoo ministries seems to be forming in the Zoo Ministries.  Pretty awesome stuff.  These things really are special.

One of the most awesome things of late was a visit from a girl in the youth group in the Sydney church of Christ – Natasha George!  We had a great time catching up with her 6 years after we left (yes – 6!)  It is awesome to see how she’s grown in her faith and we were very relieved and joyful to hear of the faithfulness of the group that we worked with in love for so long there.  They are amazing people doing amazing things.  We love that God let us be a part of their life and that we had the chance to express Christ to them!

Natasha very evilly gave the three year old in the Hippie Commune Vegemite. She learned to never trust adults again. Thanks Tash!

Monday Night Dinners are still cruising along, powered by Chris’ delicious food.  We always to have a person or two stop by from the neighborhood.  Tonight was no different when a 13 year old boy named Darion stopped, ate some spaghetti, and talked WWE with us for an hour.  It is awesome to bring the love of Christ into the neighborhood in that way.

Kara is getting super pregnant.  Daren is about to do an ironman (I think he should do the ironman in an Ironman suit – how awesome would that be?).  Kara is still quite into volunteering at Active Water.  I’m still having a chance to talk to my co-workers about Christ.  I have a couple of blogs up – one specifically focused to further our efforts from MWBC that involves my camp class for the year.  That’s pretty cutting edge and cool!  Harold and I bible study with some other guys.  All in all – pretty good regular stuff.

Rest has been really enjoyable and I’m super thankful to the people who come share Christ with me and others.  We are trying in a very focused way to put Christ at the very center of our purpose and universe.  I can’t wait until next week!

Kara’s ready to protect the baby … Michigan style.

Please pray for us.  Pray for Monday Night Dinners.  Pray for our group cohesiveness.  Pray for our love to abound.  Pray for people to come to us.  We really do believe we are doing something so needed here – reaching out to young adults, restoring a function of the church, and being restored to function as the church.  In this day and age where are young people wander off in droves we function not only as the shepherd going into the wilderness to find the lost sheep, but also to restore the sheep to the shepherd and give them a valued place in the flock.  This ministry is urgently needed and we love so much that you see that!  We have ups and downs but the goal must be achieved and we will toil to see it through no matter what the cost.  Your love in Christ sustains us.  Your financial support gives us the opportunity to offer this free of charge.  We love you.  Thank you.

Love to all!


Hi!  Zoo Ministries is a community of young adults who have chosen to live out the life of Christ in their greater community.  We focus on the practical aspects of what it means to be devoted to one another in Christ while living in a world that more and more feeds self absorption.  The focus of our community is to share the love of Christ with each other and with the world around us.  This blog updates and explains this ministry as well as being a spot to share thoughts, generally on spirituality, about the events of the day.  We hope it provides something good for you!

Here is our house motto:

“We are a community of Christ-followers who believe in living a life of love. That loves drives us to comfort the hurting, serve the needy, befriend the lonely, accept the rejected, and challenge the status quo. We understand that love is risky, and we are compelled by Christ to take that risk. If people needs a place to belong, they can belong with us.”

We currently function partly of donations (we have a 2 year plan to cut the need for donations down significantly and, actually, be able to start funding other things).  If you want to contribute financially to help this develop, go to  or send check payable to East Main Church of Christ with my name in the memo line to East Main Church of Christ 2528 East Main St. Kalamazoo, MI 49048 .  If you don’t care about tax write offs you can send it to me at Todd Tipton 5727 West Q Avenue Kalamazoo, MI 49009.  We are always looking for roommates and helpers so contact us if you want to move here and be a part of this!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 24, 2012 4:43 pm

    Great blog. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. July 24, 2012 6:43 pm

    Reblogged this on skinnyisatrap and commented:
    This was very inspiring for my Day 3 walk/jog. I think I will use this now and go instead of waiting til later to exercise!

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