so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify t

Chains and tribulations await me. 

...except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.  But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.  Acts 20:23-24 (NKJV)



Margaret Kazmierczak members racing as a girl.I vividly remember standing at the 200m mark waiting for the sports gun to fire. I dug my spikes into the muddy earth to get a good grip for the start of the race. Breathing in and out, standing in the beginners pose, I crouched down with fingertips just touching the ground and waited. “Bang”. The noise made me jump.

Then the sudden realization that I had to run, to fly through the wind and rain, boggy surface, and get to the front to stand a chance of winning. Passing one, then another, and onward around the bend to the 100m mark. Having left a little in reserve, I used this to sprint madly towards the lead runner. Had I done enough? Did I finish the race with joy?


Although I was only nine the first time it happened, I still feel that disappointment of coming second. There was always one girl who beat me in the sports day sprinting event every year. Second was rubbish. Yes, I had finished the race, but I wanted my name engraved on the trophy. I felt I was never quite good enough.


Margaret Kazmierczak remembers a lesson learned when very young at


Humbling Lesson

This yearly failure did teach me a humbling lesson though. Life is full of chains and tribulations. We can be bound by our failures or use them as opportunities to grow. I needed to understand that as a Christian we are here to declare the Grace of God not wave around our own personal trophies.  I had indeed run a good race but not for God’s glory but for my vanity. 

Margaret Kazmierczak speaks at abut the chains that bind usOver the years chains and tribulations have flooded my life. The only way I have found to run the race has been to take each day as it comes. Dealing with what I can on a daily basis. I may not come first or second, and that is alright so long as I have tried through the Grace of God in union with the Holy Spirit to please my Father.

This gives me greater joy than a hand engraved name on a trophy. It sets me free to testify!

Do chains and tribulations prevent you from testifying the joy of the Lord?


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Margaret Kazmierczak

Margaret Kazmierczak nee Doust was born in 1958 in Redhill, Surrey, England. Had her father gotten his way, she would have been called Margaret Angela Doust with initials M.A.D. To avoid endless teasing, her parents dropped the middle name. She loved writing in her head, but found putting pen to paper difficult due to her dyslexia and inability to read. Her belief that she could write came when she submitted a sermon to a retreat master as a novice in a Contemplative Order. His advice to her: if you decide that this life is not for you, you must become a writer. After three years, she did leave, then life became busy and got complicated when she married her husband Peter and had three children. Finally after thirty years, the Retreat Master’s words became true and a writer was born.

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