I sit here at my computer one and half hours before the big event, the Masskrugstemmen Finals at Krause’s. There should be 10 finalists but probably just seven or eight will show up. Just a week ago I was at this same position before the Friesenhaus finals. There I took third holding maybe 4 minutes, less than half what I have done before. A disappointment, I was sick all week, but this week I feel much better, though I am nervous. I laugh facetiously, I have done this tongue-in-cheek but I also have been seriously training! Am I ready? We will find out shortly.
The first time I held it was effortless and I was a rock star! The next two times I went longer — 10 minutes — but it was hard from the start! I realized it had to be God giving me strength the first time.
That being said, I really want to win and have been hedging my bet by training. That did not help at all last week, so this week I have stopped doing that.
“I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me,” is one of my favorite Bible verses. So I now have put it in God’s hands. I do it for His glory and He tells us I can do all things through Him, so I have been reminding Him of that and remembered His encouragement in the past. A decade ago, at the end of an awful divorce, I was manning our booth at an all-day trade show. There by myself, no lunch break, from 10 a.m. until 7 that night I was exhausted. Finally, while packing up I heard an incredible clear inaudible voice say “You are going to win.” A second later I hear my name announced as the grand prize winner of a trip to New Orleans!
It took me a while to figure out that was God speaking! I have never heard anything like that again, but those words are something I hung on through seven years of very tough times. Now the hard times have passed, my life is fruitful, productive and joyful. I have won lots of battles, spiritual battles, a lot of heavy stuff that if I told you would think I was crazy. He has been with me, strengthening me and as he promised, I have won.
So now an hour away from the big show, I am writing and sharing my life experiences with Jesus’ overwhelming love. Shortly I will either win and go to the National Championship in New York or hang up my stein with a 3-2 record. I want to WIN but most of all I want to serve God, following Jesus and giving him the glory. The nervousness now gone I have on my VBS “ROAR Life is Wild — God is Good” T-shirt and I am ready remembering to give it all to Him.
He is in charge and God is Good!
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declared the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’” — Jeremiah 28: 11-13
Whatever happens tonight I am good. I seek God with all my heart and He is with me! This is a lot of fun!
Now three hours later back at my computer, He provided the strength but not a straight arm! I was called out on three strikes for bent elbow and took third place. Congratulations to Edwin Brown of New Braunfels, who took first with 10 minutes 30 seconds, and Sierra Krauskoph of Wimberly who took the women’s division with a world class time of 5 minutes 14 seconds! She looks be the first woman representing Krause’s or Friehsenhaus to win in New York!
I was going to hang up the stein, but now I think His plans are for me to keep on holding! See you next year at Krause’s.
Hold that beer!