Posts Tagged ‘ 2014 winter olympics ’

Olympic Speedskater Jilleanne Rookard: Christ Gives her ‘Courage to Chase a God-Sized Dream’ (Gospel Light Minute #137)

Jilleanne Rookard

Jilleanne Rookard

She is an American speed skater who has competed in the sport since 2006. She was named to the U.S. team for the 2010 Winter Olympics and reached 12th place in the 3000 meter competition and 8th place in the 5000 meter competition. She won the 3,000-meter women’s speedskating event at the Olympic Trials in Salt Lake City, Utah, on December 27, 2013. She is currently competing with the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi, Russia, at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

When she started training for the Olympics in 2006, she had every reason to give up. For two years, she had to search for the right coach, had very little financial support, and had to work to pay for groceries, rent, and coaching. On top of that, her father passed away in 2001, and her mother began undergoing chemo treatments before passing away soon after. Many people around her expected her to quit and give up on her dreams, but she had her faith in God to rely on.

She said, “I had accepted Christ just before I made the decision to train for the Olympics in ice speed skating in 2006. I was training at a gym and I started pouring out some of my troubles to a woman. Without hesitation, she asked me if I would like to pray. We prayed right then and there on the floor at the gym. I said yes, and that is when the magic started to happen. It goes to show that God is everywhere! God is on the floor of my local gym and He is in my bedroom at 3 a.m. when I am pouring my life out to Him!”

Her faith is a source of strength and inspiration for the times when she feels like giving up. She said, “it was strange that God didn’t solve all of my problems. But it seemed as though He was giving me the strength to handle more!” She had to remind herself every day why she was pursuing her dream. She told herself that whether she succeeded or failed, she would learn something. She said, “I realize that it’s not about me at all. It’s about finishing what I started… I’ve just kept growing since the time I accepted Christ, and it’s not anything sudden. I realize now that I’m never going to stop learning.” She thanks God every day for the lessons He has taught her in her journey. Even with the risks of moving, training, and uncertain outcomes, she says there is one thing she has learned, and that is: “Success is not defined by the outcome, but by the courage it takes to chase God-sized dreams.”

Her name is Jilleanne Rookard.

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GLMX #183: Perfection on Ice

perfectiononice

The 2014 Winter Games are underway in Sochi, Russia, right now. All of the competitions are exciting and thrilling. But one of the competitions that is not only exciting and thrilling, but completely beautiful to watch, is speed skating.

The precision and grace of the sport often leave us in awe of those who take to the ice to master it. While those who compete on the Olympic level make it look easy, many years of hard work, training, and discipline are behind the few minutes of perfection on ice that make up a competition that is incredibly inspiring to watch.

Each of us strive for perfection in some area of our lives. Students desire perfect grades, moms and dads want to be perfect parents, and businesspeople want profit trajectories to consistently go up. Even though we may obtain something close to perfection in one or more of these areas in our lives, there is one area in which we will always fall short — and that is the area of moral behavior. Even the most disciplined person who strives to do what is right in every situation will often stumble in sin and immorality. As the Bible says, “there is none righteous, no, not one.”

We may see our sins as small infractions, but we shouldn’t. The reason why is because even the smallest of infractions is all it takes to separate us from our Creator who demands perfection from his creation. Yes, God’s requirement is that you and I be perfect in order to fellowship with Him.

“That’s impossible!” you say. “Everybody makes mistakes sometimes.”

Yes, everybody does make mistakes — even speed skaters. All of us, at some point in our lives, have sinned. In fact the Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” This means that we cannot have the fellowship with God that we would like to have. This also means that we are destined for eternal punishment and separation from God in an awful place called Hell.

All is not lost, however! The good news is that our Creator made a way for us — yes, us with all of our imperfections — to still have a relationship with Him. He did this by sending His perfect Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to take upon Himself the punishment that we deserved for our sins. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth (or showed) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” For a moment in time, God turned his back on His own Son and poured out His wrath on Him so that we could be eternally saved. It was the perfect sacrifice.

MUSICAL SELECTION:”Perfect People” by Natalie Grant

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