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If you watched much of the Olympics over the past couple of weeks, you probably saw an athlete get disqualified for one reason or another. A couple of times in track and field, runners jumped the gun at the start. In the Olympics, a false start results in automatic disqualification. The US men's 400 meter relay team was disqualified for an illegal exchange. Paul Chelimo was disqualified in the 5000 meters for impeding another runner, but later reinstated upon appeal. Can you imagine training diligently for four years, only to be disqualified? The thing is, all the athletes are very familiar with the rules. It's not like they intended to cheat, to get an unfair advantage. They just lost focus for a moment. That's all it takes. In 1 Corinthians chapter 9, the Apostle Paul wrote about the importance of discipline in our spiritual life to avoid being disqualified. "Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." It's unlikely that any of us will be qualifying for the Olympics anytime soon, so we don't really need to worry about being disqualified there. However, people are constantly watching us to see if our actions and words line up with the faith we profess. We have to be disciplined so that our message, the message of the gospel, isn't damaged by something we do or say because we lost focus. Just like Olympic athletes are part of a team and train together to improve their discipline and performance, so we to can benefit from the support and encouragement of others. If you haven't joined the CRT for a run/walk lately, we'd love to see you again. This week we will be meeting on Wednesday at 7 pm at Clearwater trail and on Sunday at 7 pm at Doris Ranch. No Saturday run this week. I hope to see you there. Have a great week! Pastor John