Monday, January 31, 2011

It's been a good day! I got a fair amount of reading/studying done today. I helped get someone a tank of LP gas, thanks to revenue from the ReGeneration Store (we are now north of $50,000 that we have given to help people in need.) This person will have heat now. I got a 7 mile run in with a couple of Tims.

Today I ate lunch at Bub's in Bloomington with Pat A. We had a really good conversation over quarter-pounders. Man, those burgers are good! Pat is a great friend who helps me sort a lot of things out.

After Bub's I went over to the hospital to see Kenny L. He has cancer but seems to feel fine right now. He is funny! He is 87 and tells stories constantly.

Back in Mitchell, I stopped in the Store. It was bu$y! Penny and gang do such a wonderful job with everything. They, rightfully so, view their work as ministry. They all have servant's hearts.

I finally made my way back to my office. I had lots of emails and news to catch up on. On Facebook I posed the question, "What are you afraid of?". The question has generated a bunch of very interesting and varied responses. I also have received a few emails in response to the question.

After a few minutes in my office, I got a call saying I needed to pick Ben up. He was at school after a run. I hurried to pack things up and head that way. I crossed a street and accidentally pulled out in front of a truck. It wasn't that bad and wasn't close at all, but the driver decided to give me the one finger wave! I hope he felt better. ha ha. Relax, buddy!

We had a nice supper - like I needed to eat again after Bub's! Now I am watching the weather and contemplating the popcorn that will soon be mine. Good night!
Sittin' here and wondering what the next 48 hours is going to bring. We are in an interesting spot for forecasting. We are the outer edges of both Louisville and Indianapolis's forecast areas, so it's hard to know sometimes. Lousiville takes a little more interest in our area than Indy does, in my opinion. Reading several different reports leads me to believe that we are going to be right on the line between ice and rain and will probably get both. Of course just a little shift could change everything. I guess we'll know soon. I hope the kids don't miss several days of school.

How was your weekend? Mine was pretty good. I did a lot of reading. I finished up "Unbroken." I highly recommend it. It's about an Olympic athlete who ends up as a prisoner of war in Japan. It's a true story and keeps you on your toes until the very last page.

Ben and I ran 10 miles Saturday morning. It was my best long run since the marathon. I think some weight loss plus good weather were contributing factors. Ben is looking really strong. He left us with about a mile to go and finished strong.

This week my sermon focus is going to be on this question, "What are you afraid of?" I am going to experiment this week and see if I can get any response out of my Facebook friends regarding this question. I have no idea if this will work or not. You, too, are invited to answer the question here. I would love to hear your responses.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Midday Friday

It's been an interesting day so far. I got up around 5 and did the things I always do. This morning I had a breakfast meeting at 7 with my Capstone Ministries buddies. After that it was back to my office to finish off the sermon, slides, and life group discussion guide. All done!

Then I decided to make a trip to D.C. Metal, just outside of Loogootee. We needed another remote for our garage door opener for Rebecca to use. I've been putting this off for a while, thinking that I would have a reason to be down that way. It hasn't happened, so I just made the trip. I found it very relaxing and nice.

As I drove through Shoals a lot of memories rushed into my mind. I worked with the church there for 4 years. I thought of several people; some dead and some alive. I would love to see some of them again.

On the way home I decided to take the long way. I turned onto 450 in Shoals and drove to Williams. I really enjoyed the ride. It was a good time to reflect, listen to some music, and feel alive.

One of the things I thought about was the Challenger disaster that happened 25 years ago today. We were living in New Zealand at the time. It was shocking. It was especially hard on Kedra. Her dad was working at NASA as an engineer at the time, and he actually worked on the solid rocket boosters. [It was not his part that went bad.]

Memories. Lots of them on this Friday.

Here it comes

Right on time - the weekend. For most it is a delightful experience, but for me it just points to the one day per week that I work. Ha! I enjoy the weekends also, even though Sunday is my big day.

I have a meeting in a few minutes, and then I hope to finish up everything for Sunday. I learned a long time ago that I cannot force or rush a sermon. I patiently (well, maybe not always) wait for the Spirit of God to work, helping me to find the words he needs to communicate.

Looks like I will get north of 30 miles again this week. My deathbed sickness knocked my miles way down for 2 weeks. I will get more than 100 for the month, which is pretty low and the minimum that I ever want to see in one month. I am hoping February will be a good running month, although a week of it will be in Honduras, which will make it hard to get a lot of miles.

The other day I had a strange weather experience. It was Wednesday morning, and I decided to run at the Park. At my house there was only a light dusting of snow, but by the time I got to the Park there was more than an inch. Weird.

Looks like there is the potential for a big snow at the first of the week. I've been around long enough to know that all that could result in what I call a BFN - Big Fat Nothing! We'll see...

The weekend appears to be quiet, which is what I like. A 10 mile run in the morning and some time to relax and catch up on some things around the house. I hope your weekend is good!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nouwen on Forgiveness

Healing Our Hearts Through Forgiveness

How can we forgive those who do not want to be forgiven? Our deepest desire is that the forgiveness we offer will be received. This mutuality between giving and receiving is what creates peace and harmony. But if our condition for giving forgiveness is that it will be received, we seldom will forgive!

Forgiving the other is first and foremost an inner movement. It is an act that removes anger, bitterness, and the desire for revenge from our hearts and helps us to reclaim our human dignity. We cannot force those we want to forgive into accepting our forgiveness. They might not be able or willing do so. They may not even know or feel that they have wounded us.

The only people we can really change are ourselves. Forgiving others is first and foremost healing our own hearts.


It's amazing to me how quickly the days pass/roll around. Good morning, Thursday. It has been a fairly productive week so far, and I am hoping for a good day today. Sermon prep is the dominant thought/activity for the day.

This week I am talking about God being for us, using Romans 8:28-39. Interesting passage. My class pointed out last night how we often trivialize/misuse/misquote Romans 8:28.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

We must not/cannot ignore the present painful reality and quickly dismiss it with this verse. I believe Paul's point is that God enters into our suffering to redeem it, to use it for his purpose. When we have doubts about all this, Paul points us to the cross (read the rest of the passage), essentially saying, "Have no doubt that God is for us. He gave up his son for us."

The hope of a future when/where everything will be made right is what keeps us going at times. I think we have to be careful, however, that we do not dismiss this present suffering. It serves a purpose. It is part of a process to conform us into the image of Jesus. The tension between the present reality and our future hope is relieved by the knowledge of God’s inseparable and unstoppable love for us.

SO we enter into suffering with an attitude that comes from this wonderful knowledge that God is for us and will use suffering to make us better.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tempo Tuesday

Tempo Tuesdays are back! Actually they started last week, but I couldn't do it, due to sickness. Tonight we started out with a group of 14 runners. Some wouldn't tempo but the most of us did. The tempo begins with a 2 mile warm-up that includes several short surges of running at nearly full speed.

After the warm-up we stretch a little. Then the fun begins. Our tempo is a 3 mile run at a slightly slower than a 5K pace (in theory). We know where the first quarter and half mile marks are. This helps us adjust our pace. Everyone did really well this evening. I was especially pround of Ben. He ran a 6.58, 7.01, and 7.02. He will continue to improve rapidly and dramatically, I believe. I ran 2 miles at a 7 pace, but that was all I had. I had to stop and cough - a reminder of last week's sickness. I was pretty pleased to hold that pace that long. Last year I peaked out at a consistent 6.45 pace. I hope to get back to that.

Today was a good day. It was surprisingly warm and sunny. I spent most of my day working on a project for the Lilly Endowment. They have asked me to write a 10-15 page paper about the lasting impact of my sabbatical experience. I am really enjoying doing this. The paper will be on a website that sabbatical seekers will use to help them.

Kedra and I met for lunch at Arby's. That was nice. I went over and ordered 2 junior roast beefs, 2 orders of potato cakes, and 2 waters. Isn't that exciting? I timed it so that she could walk in from school and be ready to eat. That way we beat the 20+ high schoolers who showed up for lunch.

After school we went to the funeral home and nursing home. Our neighbor Roger was doing better today. He is starting to talk about coming home. Ideally, in my opinion, he would be better off in a residential facility, but I doubt he will go for that.

OK, time to do some reading and start thinking about popcorn and bed.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Big Ugly Weekend

I hope you had a good weekend. Mine got really ugly at one point. I'll explain in a moment.

Friday afternoon we decided to go to Indy to see Lester and Maddie. Kedra and Rebecca were going up Saturday anyway, with other female family members, to watch Toy Story on ice or something like that. Ben and I decided it might be a good time to hang out with Lester, so we all loaded up in the car and took off Friday evening.

Once we got to Lester and Maddie's apartment we ordered pizza and enjoyed some time visiting. A little later on the group decided that we must go to Huddles, a frozen yogurt place owned by Jim Irsay. It was a great idea since the temperature was nearing zero - the yogurt would not melt like it would in the summer. I am off sweets for the month, so I went as a spectator. I could also serve as designated driver if things got out of hand. Can you believe that Huddles was packed with people?

On Saturday the boys and I decided to go for a 5 mile run on the Monon trail, which is a really neat "rails to trails" track that goes for miles and miles. It was a cold run, but we got it done. After cleaning up, the plan was to head to Carmel, which is not very far from Lester's place, to find Bub's and get a hamburger. Bub's is quite famous. A Man vs. Food episode was filmed there last year.

We arrived at Bub's a little before 1 p.m. Much to our surprise there was a 45 minute wait to get a table! We waited. Bub's has a Big Ugly Challenge. A Big Ugly is a huge hamburger; it weighs 22 ounces pre-cooked and weighs at least a pound after cooking. If you can eat it all, you get your picture taken and then placed on a wall of fame. If you eat two, then you get a bigger picture. If you eat three, which is what the Man vs. Food guy attempted, then you get even a larger display of yourself.

I encouraged the boys to take the challenge, and after some hesitation they did it. The look on their faces when the burgers arrived was hilarious. I was not in a competitive mood, and I'm trying to lower my weight and colesterol, so I settled on a nice tasty quarter pound burger. I didn't think either boy was going to get the job done, but I started taunting Lester a little. He manned up, didn't throw up, and did the job. Ben couldn't get it done. He wisely stopped at 3/4, knowing he couldn't do it all. I think he regrets not doing it now and wants to try again.

It was fun to watch, since I wasn't stuffed. The Challenge idea was first introduced to me at the end of last year. My running friends had one in Bloomington, and more than a dozen people did it. One guy ate two! Amazing! I couldn't attend due to a wedding. After seeing the size of the burger, I'm kinda glad I didn't try it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

So, how's it going? Kinda chilly out there this morning! It's January.

It's good to feel nearly 100 percent better and to feel nearly 100 percent. The last couple of days have been pretty busy. Seems like I have spent a lot of time on the phone and meeting with people. Funny how that goes in cycles.

Yesterday's snow was beautiful. I loved watching it fall, and I had a nice 5 mile run in it. It was great! I feel that my running is getting back on track. My sickness lowered my miles considerably last week, and I lost a couple of days of full miles this week. No problem.

This morning I need to finish up my sermon, slide show, and life group discussion guide. I hope that all goes well. Sunday's sermon is going to be a little different, I think, so I hope it works. I am going to dress up as a carrot. Just kidding. Not sure where that came from.

I am going to talk about perichoresis - the divine dance, the interconnectedness of God and how he invites us into that through the church. Ephesians 5:21ff. talks about that, but we usually don't. It's time to elevate the view/status of the church. Too many have such a low view. Which is easy to do, if you look at it through purely human eyes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wow, it's good to among the well again. It happened yesterday. After I woke up feeling very disappointed about still feeling sick, by mid-morning I could tell things were getting better. By midday I was feeling much better - good thing because I needed to see a couple of people. I thought I would crash later in the day but didn't. Grateful!

I started getting sick last Wednesday, so for the nearly a week I have not felt very well. I was never sick enough to totally quit everything but did not feel like doing much. It reached a peak on Monday. After sleeping about 10 hours (normally sleep 7), I took two long naps during the day. In between I was able to get a lot of reading done, which was good.

Last night I resumed running. It wasn't much, but it was a start. I took Ben over to Bedford for Tempo Tuesday. I wasn't up to "tempoing" but he was. I got him started with the group and then drove to the tempo course. While I was waiting on them I managed to run a couple of easy miles. Ben had a good tempo run, averaging 7.18 per mile. He will continue to improve, and my days of beating him are quickly coming to an end.

Yesterday I was finally able to go see my neighbor, Roger, in the nursing home. I packed up his computer and took it to him. I found out that the nursing home has WIFI, so he can use his computer to communicate with family and friends. Roger didn't seem too well yesterday. I don't when he will get to come home. His poor dog, Benji, is so lonely. I visited him a little yesterday.

I have a few things on my schedule today, including more study for tonight's class. This week we are discussing loving the church. I think a lot of people don't; it shows up in lack of attendance, commitment etc. I've heard people say, "I love God but I'm not that crazy about his fan club." The church, at times, certainly gives people reason to not love it, but the church is still a vital part of God's plan in this world. Maybe the biggest test of how much we have appropriated the love of God is whether we can love the church in spite/in light of all its flaws?

Oh, I'll end with this:

Let it snow!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Honduras Trip

We booked our flights this evening for our next trip to Honduras. There are 4 of us going at this point. If you want to join us, then let me know. The trip is February 12-19, 2011, Saturday to Saturday.

One of the things we plan to do is install a water treatment system for people who live in/around the dump. The video above is what I shot during last year's January trip. The dump is the most disturbing place I have ever been. Unbelievable place.

We still need about $800 to complete the water system. Let me know if you or your church, club, or group would like to help with this. We could also use $1200 to build another house. We build these houses in honor or in memory of people, so if you would like to honor someone, then let me know.

The Room

A couple of things - the picture is a painting by Maka Batiashvili, and what follows has an unknown origin. I modified it heavily for use in a sermon yesterday, but it is not my work.

The Room

I don’t quite understand whether it was real or a dream. I only remember that it was late and I was sitting in my favorite chair with a good book in my hands. I was tired and I began to doze. In that world between asleep and awake I found myself in a huge room with a wall full of drawers like you find in a library, from floor to the ceiling, with no end on sight.

Each drawer had a different name. When I got close, one of the titles caught my attention: “Girls.” I opened the drawer and started to read the files inside. All of the sudden I realized that I recognized some names - girls I had lusted after or touched inappropriately. There were files that recorded all of my visits to internet sites where I had sinned. The file was huge. I slammed the drawer shut. I was so ashamed.

I started to realize where I was. This huge room with its endless drawers represented my existence. There was a record of everything I have ever done, large and small, good and bad. Some of the records made me happy and brought sweet remembrances. Others gave me a sick feeling of shame and guilt that was so intense.

I saw file drawers labeled, “Books that I have read,” “Lies that I have told,” “TV shows I’ve Watched,” “Jokes that I have told.” I was amazed by the volume of the information that I have compiled about my life. How could I have had the time to write each one of these millions of files? Each file had my signature; they were records of my life.

When I arrived to the drawer “Impure thoughts,” I trembled. I only opened the drawer a few inches… I was ashamed to discover its depth. Randomly I took a file out and read it. I felt sick knowing that moments hidden in obscurity and secrecy had been recorded.

I didn’t need or want to see any more… A single thought dominated my mind. No one should ever see these files. I have to destroy the evidence! I had to burn the files! But I couldn’t; they would not come out of the drawers.

I started to cry. Hopeless. Lost. Full of shame, I cried and cried. Then suddenly through my tears I saw Him. Oh no, not Him! Anyone but Jesus. I was so ashamed because these files revealed my hypocrisy and betrayal. Helplessly, I watched as Jesus opened the drawers and read each file. I could not stand to look at his reaction. He read file after file.

With sadness in his eyes he looked into mine. I lowered my head with shame. I put my hands on my face and started to cry again. He came near, put his hands on my shoulders. He did not speak. He simply stood next to me in silence. He wept with me.

Returning to the drawers, he started to open them and one by one, on each filed he signed his name over mine. I told him in protest, “No, those sins are mine, you shouldn’t have to take them.” But there it was–written in crimson–His name written over mine; written in his own blood.

He quickly went through all the files, as I watched in shame mixed with indescribable relief and gratitude. As he finished, He gave a tender look and said to me: “It is done, it is finished, I am carrying your shame and guilt.” At that moment we both left the room. The room is still open, because there are more files to be recorded.

I still don’t know if it was a dream or a reality. . .

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A lesser person would probably be in the nursing home, but I refuse to bow to sickness. I keep battling back from the brink of death; scratching, clawing my way back to life. It has been a rough few days.

I thought my run yesterday would cure me. Wrong! I don't think it hurt me, but it certainly did not help me overcome this death bug. I was pretty useless yesterday and today. (Some would say that I am useless every Sunday.) Since today is the only day of the week that I work, I had to man up, Tylenol up, and go do what I do. What a hero I am.

OK, that's enough. I just want all of you faithful blog readers to be impressed and feel sorry for me at the same time.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sorry about my absence for the last couple of days. I should have known on Wednesday that something was up/on its way. I just didn't feel right; it was a precursor.

I wasn't THAT sick, but certainly have not felt very well. I've slept more in the last couple of days than I have in a long, long time. I think I am on my way out of it now. I am going to try run this morning, which will help cook out the last vestiges.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So, how's it going? I think I'm about tired, but there is quite a bit of the day left. I will persevere.

We had Butch's funeral this morning, and it went well, I think; others felt the same. It was a positive upbeat funeral, if that makes sense. It was like Butch. I had several people contribute thoughts about him, and that always helps make it more personal. We talked about how Butch won. He and I had a conversation early in his illness about how he could not lose. We discussed Philippians 1:20-23 - to live is Christ and to die is gain. Can't lose; win either way. Life. Death.

I think I am going to get on the bike trainer today and do some work on my core as well. I don't feel like running. I went out last night with the group. It was like a blizzard for a lot of the run. The wind was blowing around 25 miles an hour, and it was snowing. It was fun! I really did enjoy it.

Looks like the snow is still blowing around and coming down a little. I hope school is in session tomorrow. I am beginning to have doubts.

OK, I don't feel like sharing anything else, so...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The falling snow is so beautiful! I'm sitting in front of the fireplace, completed sated from a yummy breakfast of steel cut oats, Ezekiel toast, an egg and Canadian bacon. This was after a couple of cups of Starbucks coffee - the Christmas gift that keeps on giving (though I am quickly running out).

In a little while I will head to the ReGeneration Store for most of the morning. I was present there nearly all day yesterday. I set up in the office and got a lot of study done and helped out a little with the phone, receiving donations, and a couple of other things. Most of the day I was focused on The Book of Life. There is a lot of mentions in the Bible about heavenly books; very interesting. I'm not sure what to make of it or how to talk about it on Sunday, but I have a few more days to get there.

Today I will spend time working on Butch's funeral message. I want it to be special, which is the case for every funeral. Butch had such a distinct personality. I want to be able to capture the essence of that. Being at the Store today seems appropriate; a great place to prepare.

Also today I will continue my Roger duties. Roger, the famous deaf neighbor, is in Mitchell Manor for a week or two, so we are keeping his house warm, with the help of another one of his friends. He heats with wood, so we are trying to keep the fire going. The biggest concern is the dog, Benji. He is so lonely. Yesterday I had some "Benji time." I went up there and held him for about half an hour, while I watched Roger's TV. I really should receive a medal for this, some sort of commendation. Why? 'Cause I'm not that crazy about dogs. I can't stand them licking me! But I let Benji, although I keep my gloves on. I guess that's cheating, right? Oh well, maybe a certificate of participation (instead of a medal).

We were supposed to start our Tuesday evening tempo runs this evening. Not going to happen. Hopefully we'll still get a good run in. I like running in the snow.

OK, need to get going... Bronco time!

Monday, January 10, 2011

How was your weekend? What's this week look like for you? It may be a challenging week for me, but that's OK.

I had a good, but busy, weekend; little down time. Friday I went to Indy to see Butch P. at IU Med center. It started snowing before I got there and got pretty slick. We had a really nice visit; didn't know it would be the last one. I left Indy and headed south and found the roads pretty slick. There were several cars off the road; some of them upside down.

When I got to Mitchell I made a few visits and got home a little after 5. It was a good day. About 7 my phone rang. It was Penny, telling me that Butch had died. I was really surprised that his death came so quickly. Upon hearing the news I went over to Butch's mom's home and was present with her and other family members for a while.

Saturday Ben and I went to get our "Let's Go" blood tests before our training run. Mine did not turn out well. My cholesterol is high. Sigh. I have had a battle with it for quite some time. I ate sloppily over the break, and I'm sure that has something to do with it. Hopefully being back on a strict diet will fix it. Our training run was cold and windy but good.

The rest of the day Saturday involved more visits with Butch's family and taking care of our neighbor Roger's home and dog. He is in the nursing home for a little while. [Anybody want to keep a little yappy dog for a week or two?] We also went to the funeral home for visitation for Beth P.'s grandfather. After that we watched the Colts get beat. That was not much fun.

Yesterday was busy also. It's the only day of the week I work, of course. At least that's what I am told on a regular basis. So funny!

Today I am going to hang/work at the ReGeneration Store. We are going to try keep it going the next couple of days. I've got to go run early this morning...

Snow on the way...

Friday, January 07, 2011

Hey, it's Friday!

I've got to help pick up some furniture for the Store this morning, and then I'm heading to Indy to see a friend in IU Med Center. Lester has to work, so I am not going to get to see him. Oh well.

Could be an interesting trip - I'm taking my truck with its nearly 233,000 miles. Every outing is an adventure! You never know when the last moment might come. Actually the thing runs very well.

On the way home I think I will treat myself and stop at Rural King, or as some would say, "the Rural King." I really like the store; Kedra does not. I hope to pick up some suet plugs - exciting stuff, I'm telling you!

I'm looking forward to the weekend. I hope you are too.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Thursday already? How's your week been?

I am finding the present weather kinda boring. Now, please understand that that is not a complaint; it's just an observation. I welcome the possibility of some light snow overnight, but I hope it does not cancel school tomorrow. I don't think it will.

This week has felt busy. I am hoping I can get most of my Sunday prep done today, because I plan to try go to Indy tomorrow to see a guy who is battling cancer. He's in IU Med center. While there I might be able to see Lester; need to see what his schedule is. I used to think Indy was so far away, but after so many trips in the last 4-5 years, it doesn't seem that far any more.

This morning I was reading in Mark's gospel and came across this beautiful invitation from Jesus to his followers.

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Doesn't that sound nice?

In addition to preparing for Sunday (sermon, slides, life group discussion guide), today I plan/hope to:

Run 10 miles
Have a Capstone Ministries meeting
Counsel with a guy who is really struggling/seeking
Talk to a friend
Have lunch with Kedra
Hang out at the ReGeneration Store
Deliver a ReGeneration gift card to a family that needs some basic stuff
Go to the funeral home to see a friend who has lost someone
Visit my neighbor Roger who is still in the hospital
Attend an OCU-B advisory board meeting - free dinner!
Deal gracefully with interruptions to all this

Looks like I better get to work. I want to enjoy that invitation a little later on.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


I took a few minutes yesterday to reflect on my goals and to establish this year's goals more firmly. I believe setting goals is important. If don't set any, then you will never meet them. It reminds me of my favorite expressions.

If you don't know where you are going, then you won't get there.

My running goals are easier to measure than the others I have. Last year I set the following goals. I have provided commentary beside them.

Run 1560 miles - ran 1729
5K - sub 21 minutes - did not meet this one; ran 21.22
Mini - sub 140 - ran 139.31 on 5/8 at the Mini; this was with the famous collapse
Marathon - 3.33 - ran 3.31.47 on 11/6 at the Monunmental
Weight - 150 - reached this on 2/1; I actually gained 5 back before Monumental. Did I lose too much body fat for Louisville?
Injury free - what a blessing!

Here are my running goals for 2011:

5K - sub 21
Mini - 1.35
Marathon - 3.29.59
Weight - 150
Injury free
Run 1560 miles
Go into 2012 ready to train for excellence in Boston

The weight goal is under review - ha ha. The Mini and Marathon goals are fairly ambitious; goals should be that way, right?

I have lots of other non-running goals, including these:

BE joyful, consistent, and kind all the time

BE positive always

BE a non-anxious presence

BE intentionally relational

Read and re-read from the Gospels everyday

Be still & pray daily

Spend time with one elder at least once a week

Work on core 2x week

Ride bike across Indiana (RAIN)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

An Evening with Roger

I had a pretty good day yesterday. I liked moving toward a new routine and am excited about doing some new things in new ways. The day started early, as usual, with my pre-breakfast time in my nice home office. Following breakfast with a less than enthusiastic family--wonder if had anything to do with a return to school--I went for a nice hilly five mile run. It was a frosty, chilly run, but I liked it.

Yesterday was one of significant interruptions, and if you know me, then you know one of my favorite quotes is from Henri Nouwen. Here I paraphrase:

Most of my life I complained about interruptions to my ministry. Then I realized the interruptions are my ministry.

One of my old friends, a person who used to work for me at Hoosier Uplands, came to the food pantry yesterday. She actually came down the hall looking for me, to say hello. I invited her in, and we had a really good chat about life. I'm going to get a couple of things and take to her family this week.

I had a couple of really good meetings/conversations with people I greatly respect, people who are wiser than me. This is one of my goals for the year - to spend time with people like this; off to a good start.

After a few other things, including a hospital visit, I headed home a little before 5. We had a nice supper together. Healthy food; anti-holiday food. [For January I am drinking nothing but one cup of coffee per day and water the rest of the time. And NO sweets! ONLY healthy foods! Boston 2012.]

After supper, Kedra was checking her email and found an urgent email from our deaf neighbor Roger, sent a couple of hours earlier. It was a request for help ASAP. We quickly changed clothes and made our way across the road. Honestly I was prepared to find him dead. He is so frail. I went in his house, which was totally dark. I turned on a light and saw him on the couch. Was he breathing? Yes.

Long story short: he was severely dehydrated and very weak. We managed to get him to agree to go the ER. He barely disagreed, which is significant. He is usually very stubborn about these sorts of things. We helped into the car and made our way over to the hospital. ER=Wait. They took him in immediately, but it seems to take so long to get all the tests done, etc. They finally admitted him about 10. I made contact with his brother in IL, and he was on his way. Today I'll check on Roger's house and hyper dog. We love old Roger.

I wonder what will happen today?

Monday, January 03, 2011

Here we go!

I hope your new year is off to a good start. If you are like me, it is probably starting today. I'm not too much into resolutions, but I do set some goals and work toward them. I may share more about that in a future post.

You probably noticed that I did not post anything for a while. That really wasn't intentional; it just kinda happened that way. I got in holiday mode and stayed that way for a while, which I think I needed. I feel refreshed now and ready to take on the challenges that will present themselves this year.

Here are a couple of things I tweeted and posted on Facebook lately:

Heard this in church today: "The secret to life is setting & effectively pursuing the right priorities." Sounds right to me.

Another good one from R. Warren - "Just as night conceals earth but reveals the universe, your dark times can reveal truths about God u wouldnt see otherwise." I've learned this to be true and must remember it in the darkness.

"I am learning to live the questions, to follow the teachings of a radical rabbi, to live in an upside-down kingdom in which kings are humbled and servants are exalted, to look for God in the eyes of the orphan and the widow, the homeless and the imprisoned, the poor and the sick." This is from Rachel Held Evans in "Evolving in Monkey Town - How a girl who knew all the answers learned to ask the questions." Interesting book - couldn't put it down.

Happy New Year!