The Most Important Invitation

I received a call a few months ago from a man (Pastor Anthony Okello) who had just read my blog        (www.therrrick.com ) who was very excited.  Between that excitement and his accent – well, hospital cialis sale I was a bit confused. 

The following is about how the conversation went: 

Pastor Anthony: “Mr. Rrrrick?”

“Yes, I am.”

Pastor Anthony: “I am Pastor Anthony Okello. I just read your blog and got your number from your Facebook information page. I want to share something very important with you!”

 Not being fully able to understand him I ask: “Where are you calling from?”

Pastor Anthony: “Nairobi.”

Thinking it was one of the Indian names of a city here in Florida I ask him where it was near.

Pastor Anthony: “Nairobi, Kenya!”

I almost fell off my desk chair! Someone from Kenya was calling me!  A sudden rush of excitement matched his if not more so. A Kenyan calling RRRICK! WOW! I have made it to the top somehow!

Pastor Anthony: “Rrrick? Are you still there?”

“Yes” I replied almost yelling my answer.

Pastor Anthony: “Our Lord spoke to me, as I read your blog, about reaching the local Kenyans with a running and ‘Good News’ message. Your ideas will touch their hearts and open them up to receive Jesus as well as encourage many of them to also share the gospel message!

          I was speechless. Words were not able to come together and I started to pray and praise our Lord out loud!

Tell me more!” were the only words that I could pull from my spiritual spinning heart’s mind!

          I soon found out  a lot of details such as a  marathon and crusade that were  being planned , that he had a music ministry, he wanted to raise money for the local orphanage,  and he wanted ME to be apart of it all!

         Weeks later news came that my wife, Donna, would be a part of the ‘Women’s Crusade’!

         AND! As work got out about all of the events, pastors in the area contacted me about coming to preach at their churches and at the prisons and orphanages that they ministered at.

 Since that day he has called me a number of times a week, e-mailed and sent messages on Facebook. Other have even wrote AND CALLED me from Kenya!

        And before I get on with what I feel is the most important – and yes! –More exciting than this invitation, I want to share with you the name for the race: 26.2 FOR JESUS MARATHON. I want to give credit to the great folks in Jacksonville, FL who had the name:  26.2 for Donna Marathon               (A great cause to raise money for cancer research) who gave us the idea for our marathon name.                                                                                               

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Many years ago, way back in 1974, I received an invitation that not only changed me –but changed my life for all eternity! It came not by a phone call, by mail or a person speaking to me ‘face to face’. This invitation was clearly for me and I had no problem answering with a quick reply.

         I was given a Bible and asked to promise to read it. The pastor (David Dobie) asked me to promise to read at least the first four chapters. I soon learned that it was a New Testament, and as I began to read the gospels, time seemed to stand still. Words became alive. I could almost hear them spoken to me as if the writers were in the same room! And, as time stood still for me I was aware that this book was more than just a book. It was the very Word of God. And the Jesus, of who I know ‘of’ now became real as He never did before in my many years in church. The invisible chains of religion were broken and I was set free with words from the Holy Bible.

The invitation that I not only read, but accepted, was and is also for all who will accept it. Jesus Himself said; “Come all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…..’ (NIV)  I love the way THE MESSAGE translation read: “Are you tired? Worn Out? Burned out on religion. Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life……Learn the unforced rhythms of grace……Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  Matthew 11:28 (partial quote – read it all!)

                                    Have YOU responded to this heavenly invitation yet?

                               Have YOU shared about it with your running friends?

 

Yes, the invitation of all invitations! Directly from the King of Kings, Lord, Savior – Jesus Christ!