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Author Angela Thomas urges students to run the race with perseverance

September 12, 2012 : By Bethany Pico/Liberty University News Service

Bestselling author and speaker Angela Thomas spoke at Liberty University’s Convocation on Wednesday, Sept. 12, about running the race of life for Christ with perseverance. Through humor and heartwarming personal stories, she captured the hearts of Liberty students.

Thomas is the mother of four; one of her sons, Grayson, is a Liberty student. She is the author of several books including, “Do you Know Who I am?: And Other Brave Questions Women Ask,” and “52 Things Kids Need from a Mom: What Mothers Can Do to Make a Lifelong Difference.”

In Convocation she spoke on Hebrews 12:1-2, which states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And 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 its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

“The Savior does not call us to live a perfect life. But I believe that you and I are supposed to live a passionate life. We are supposed to run with everything we have,” Thomas said.

Angela Thomas greets students after Convocation.

Thomas told a story about her 8-year-old son running a 5K. She said that while she was waiting at the finish line, she noticed it was taking him longer than most people. As a result, she ran to find him. At that moment she saw her son running up the hill and down to the finish line.

When he crossed the finish line he told her, “Mama, it was so hard. The last part was all uphill.”

“I want you to keep that picture in your mind because I want you to remember what you are going toward,” Thomas told the students. “We are spending this life for the glory of God, running toward His arms and running to our Savior. There is a good possibility that today you are running a part of the race that is all uphill. One day you and I are going to pass the line and that cloud of witnesses will be standing at the finish line saying, ‘Bring it home!’”

Thomas acknowledged that most people don’t get the choice of which race they run in life: “You get the life you are given.” She challenged students to get rid of hindrances in their life that will get in the way — such as bitterness, unforgiveness, and discouraging people — and run with perseverance.

She closed with an inspirational charge to students “on behalf of every mom.”

“From your mom’s heart, I say to you: Run, baby. Use these days to give everything you have for the glory of God. Take everything that is given to you. I am not calling you to perfection, I am asking you for all your heart.”