th  Another year has quickly passed into the annals of history, and a memorable year it was.  2014 was filled with global & personal challenges, and more growth for me than any time in recent years.  As I stand just inside the door of a new year, and look to the future, the word that comes to mind is “possibilities.”  “Unspecified qualities of a promising nature; potential” Webster.

For me, celebrating the New Year is like pushing the restart button, a fresh start in the important areas of my life.  A chance to rethink the journey and how I am navigating, a chance to make course corrections.  God has given us a road map for the journey in the Bible.  In it we are encouraged to take stock of our lives and make any necessary changes to live as God intends us to.  Hebrews 12:1 (NLT) says:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

We see three important things in this passage.  1)  Life is like a race of unknown duration.  We don’t know how long our race/life will be, but if we have a chance at winning the prize, we need to lighten the load so we can run our best race.  Here the load can be several things but one is specifically mentioned, sin.  Sin is like loose shoe laces on our life and if we are not careful, it will trip us and we will fall.  2)  We don’t run alone.  We are told that there are a great crowd of witnesses to our lives as followers of Jesus and they are cheering us on through our struggles.  3)  The race is not going to be easy.  Life will have it’s difficulty, and we will be required to endure to win the race.

As I think about the possibilities before me in 2015 my mind is filled with anticipation of what can be accomplished.  In the days & weeks ahead I will be intentionally thinking, planning and structuring my life around the possibilities God has for me, my family, friendships and ministry and I would encourage you to do the same.

Realistically, like most years, 2015 will have it’s high points and it’s lows.  But, I am confidant of this, that God is working out his plan in and through me, and you too!  In the words of King David in Psalm 27:13:

 “I remain confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Happy New Year!

Ironman – Part III – The Finish Line – “You are Ironman!”

Tucker Dunn


Jordan Zarraonandia


Sunday June 23, 2013 was the most amazing day!  The alarm went off at 3:30 AM.  The big day was hear.  Tucker & Jordan were heading out to the car, their bikes were already checked in the day before as well as their race gear.  All they had to do was dress and get themselves to the starting line for the swim.


My son Ty and I were volunteering all day at 3 different locations during Ironman.  We had to be at our first assignment by 5:30 AM, which was the first bike aid station at mile 6.  Ironman begins with a 2.4 mile swim, so we did not expect to see the frontrunner cyclist until around 8 AM.

Next at 11:30 AM we reported to the transition area from Bike to Run, where we helped the athletes transition to their running gear.  Transitions are very important for racers, so if we could help them shave a few minutes off their time, that would be a good thing.

We ended the day with the final shift at the finish line from 8:30 PM – 12:00 AM where we expected to see Tucker & Jordan cross the finish line.  It was a long day, but more fun than you should have on a Sunday.  We met lots of interesting people and were able to help hundreds & hundreds of people achieve there dream.

We saw Tucker & Jordan a number of times during the day as they passed through each of these stations.  We were able to get updates and encourage them along the way.  They both were doing well, but were tired coming off of the 112 mile bike…with lots of hills!  Jordan had broken 2 spokes on his bike and was delayed significantly while he figured out a repair.  He had time to make up in the run if he was going to finish.

We were able to follow their progress on an app called IronMobile, both of them were slowing their pace especially on the 2nd half of the marathon, but each would find the finish line in time to hear the words of Mike Reily, “You are Ironman!” before the 17 hour deadline.  They had hoped to cross the finish line together, but due to Jordan’s bike troubles that did not happen.


What does it feel like to swim, bike & run your hardest for over 16 hours?  What’s it like to get the the point of absolute exhaustion and have to keep going and going?  What are the things you endure, think about?  How do you find the will to keep yourself from quitting 100 times along the way when you so very badly want to?

The Apostle Paul talked about a race in Hebrews 12:1And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.  For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Paul also said in I Corinthians 9:24 “Run in such a way as to get the prize.”  In the case of Sunday’s event, the prize was crossing the finish-line and getting that medal around your neck that says “Ironman.”  Not to mention bragging rights for the rest of your life! Tucker said he was going to add Ironman to his resume!  I guess he & Jordan have both earned that.

But what is the bigger picture?  Paul tells us, life is like a race, a very difficult and challenging race, the Ironman of life.  If you are going to cross the finish line and win the prize, you must keep focused and disciplined.  I think the lessons that Tucker & Jordan learned by doing Ironman will be lasting and have application in their careers, family and spiritual lives.  We can all learn from this and we can run the race of our lives to win the prize that Christ Jesus has in store for us.

Congratulations Ironmen!  You are truly amazing!