Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday

Good morning! Wednesday already. Wasn't the snow beautiful? Yes, it was! You snow-haters need to lighten up - ha ha. I got to run in the snow last night, but the problem running in the snow after dark is that you cannot see it as well. It was still fun. We had a group of about 10 last night, and I add that fact just in case you thought I was the only one. This morning's run will be dry - first one this week.

Our huge Toy Sale at the ReGeneration Store is this Saturday. It's nearly unbelievable how many toys we have. We are moving the sale up to our church gym to give us more room. Last year we sold more than $2500 worth of toys on one day. I expect that we will exceed that this year. Going on at the same as the toy sale is our church's annual Coat Give Away. I think we will give a lot more away this year, since the toy sale is going on across the parking lot.

Yesterday I spent some good quality time with old Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist. Interesting guy! You can read about him in Luke 1. He provides an interesting constrast with Mary, and Luke carefully weaves their stories together, which is the story of two babies, John the Baptist and Jesus, both in the wombs of very unlikely women, one old and one young. I wonder when Zechariah and Elizabeth quit praying to have a child?

I went to Mitchell Manor yesterday. I go just about every week. One of the people I see there is Hollace Sherwood. Hollace is getting fairly along in years, well into his 80s. He had a stroke a few years ago and cannot speak, which makes visiting him a little challenging. He's a remarkable man. He was a science teacher for years at Mitchell High School, but the thing that impresses me the most is that he and his wife began "the corn project" (now BHRP) many years ago. You can read about it here. A magazine article and a couple of God-honoring people with good minds and hearts is all it took. Talk about a reflection of Mary and her attitude: available and willing!

While at MM I came across another person. I knew she was supposed to be there, but she got delayed. With all the confidentiality laws, coupled with no children and a very tenuous church connection, I had no idea where she was. Nobody knew anything. Anyway, I was able to find her and see her. She is a sweet old lady who seemingly has so few connections in this community. It was good to see her. I seriously doubt she will have any visitors at all.

OK, off to the hills for a run, followed by a full day of people to see and places to go...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday a.m.

Give Thanks 4 raffle tags torn off
Good morning! Think it'll rain? What about snow? Doesn't look like much of that. Oh well, I think it will come sometime before too long. Cold rain makes you want to stay inside, but most of us have to go out anyway. Yesterday morning, when it was raining very lightly, I took off for my Spice Valley to Bryantsville Hill Run, a nice 6 miler with lots of ups and downs. I'm getting stronger and threw in several periods of acceleration along the way, including uphill.  No Heartbreak Hill for this guy!

Day 1 of the 26.2 plan is in the books and it was successful. Let's do it again today! Eating this way presents some challenges when you are out and about all day, like I will be today. I've packed several things to take with me to eat at the appointed times. The cool weather is nice, since it eliminates the need for refrigeration or a cooler.

One of the nice things that happened over the weekend was that I got to discuss my accommodations for the Boston Marathon. My niece-in-law (is that a term?) has a sister, Mary, who lives in Boston. She was in for the weekend +.  Their apartment building keeps a suite open for visiting relatives. It has a couple of bedrooms, a kitchen... well, it's an apartment. We have it booked for Friday the 13th through Monday 16th, and it is about half the cost of a hotel room, which are very expensive as you can imagine. Staying there will allow me to eat much better and be better prepared to run on Patriot's Day! I'm also hoping that maybe some other family members might be able to swing a trip to Boston.

Mary is married to Gregg, and I really enjoyed getting to know him. He is a researcher at Harvard University and works on finding a cure for cancer. Clearly he is a sharp guy, but he is also easy to talk to. He has some friends from Harvard who have run the marathon, so he shared what he knew about their experiences, which is consistent with everyone else's testimony.

Better get going - lots of people to see and things to learn. I running this evening in Bedford. Hopefully it will be snowflakes falling instead of rain by that time.

The photo above was the start of the Give Thanks 4. Some, very few, forgot to tear off their raffle tag from their bibs. An announcement caused everyone to check.

Monday, November 28, 2011

26.2

Most people know that the marathon is 26.2 miles long, which is long way to run by the way, especially when you are trying to run fast. The Boston Marathon is now only 20 weeks away, so I am in my last 2 weeks of pre-training, before my official training starts. The difference is the introduction of hill repeats and speed work. I have playing around a little bit with both for the last couple of weeks, so it won't be totally shocking to my system. I will ease into it also, being careful not to get injured.

The 26.2 of this post does not refer to the marathon distance, rather it refers to days. For the next 26.2 days, which takes me into the first 2 hours of Christmas Eve, I am going on a strict diet to get down to the weight I want to be at Boston. I'll see where my body takes it, but I think I will lose 5-7 pounds. The next 26.2 days, and I just add the .2 for fun, will be about disciplined eating and activities. Once it's over, I will loosen up a little but not much.

Here are the key things for me, things that I will avoid for 26.2 days, starting today:
  • 1 small cup of coffee in the morning (avoiding 2 big ones) followed by nothing but water. I hope to drink at least a gallon of water each day.
  • No desserts, no candy - NONE!
  • No salt out of the salt shaker for meals (some on popcorn is OK)
  • No butter on popcorn - this is my weakness and downfall! ha ha (Some have beer bellies, I have a popcorn belly)
  • Reasonable portions at meals, eaten slowly
  • Small high protein snacks between meals
  • There are other, smaller specific things, but I can't think of them right now
  • I will run 30-40 miles per week
I've been doing some core work, but for these 26 days I will establish a habit that will continue. Three times a week I will do 100 Torso Track and 30 sit-ups (50 TT, 30 SU, 50 TT). I will spend at least one hour per week on the bike trainer, hopefully a little more. This is as much about biking as it is running. I plan to do RAIN (yes, all of it - read this if you don't get the joke) next summer.

OK, I've gone public with this, which is my way of making sure I will do it, all of it! Anyone want to join me on this 26.2 challenge. Hey, it ends on the morning of Christmas Eve! What better way to prepare for all the food challenges of Christmas and the days following? And you might just find that some of the food you give up loses some of its appeal...





Thanksgiving 2011

Tim Galloway & Larry Moffatt awarding Albert Mesarosh
Good morning! That was a nice, long weekend! Now the reality of a new routine is making its presence known. More about that in a little while. First, how 'bout we recap a little about things since we last met?

The Give Thanks 4 went really well! The weather was different than forecast, but it was actually pretty good running weather. We had 129 finishers, and Kyle Stansbury, a former student of mine, won. He's a really good young man in many areas, including running. We had a great awards ceremony. The highlight of that was giving Albert Mesarosh the Albert Mesorosh Long Run Award for a lifetime of running achievements. This will now be an annual award given to someone who has run a long time and accomplished a lot.

Here's a sample of Albert's career, compiled by Tim Galloway. This is from 1992, when Albert was 54 years old:

Jan 19 Frosty 5K 22.21
Feb 22 Vincennes 10 miler 79.13
Apr 4 Spring Fever 5K 22.46
Apr 12 Glass City Marathon 4.03.54
Apr 18 Fitness Challenge 5K 21.37
Apr 25 Louisville Half marathon 1.43.17
May 2 Crane Half marathon 1.45.01
May 23 WRV 5K 21.30
May 31 Phil Harris 5K 21.29
Jun 6 Sunburst Marathon 3.44.08
Jun 27 Limestone 5K 20.32
Jul 4 Madison 10K 41.25
Aug 1 Owensburg 5K 21.35
Aug 9 Morgan Monroe 10 miler 79.06
Aug 29 Watermelon 5K 21.13
Sep 5 Summerfest 5K 20.17
Sep19 Toledo 24 hour run 85 miles
Sep 26 Persimmon 5K 21.29
Oct 4 Celestine 5K 21.25
Oct 11 Columbus Marathon 3.43.45
Oct 18 Louisville Marathon 3.44.20
Oct 25 Chicago Marathon 3.48.51
Nov 1 Columbus 50K 4.53.19
Dec 5 Kentucky 50 miler 9.52.00

This is really amazing stuff, especially toward the end of the year, where he ran 3 marathons in a row, followed by 50K (31+miles) and then a 50 miler! Before all that he ran 85 miles in a 24 hour run. Albert is 73 and still runs! I asked Larry Moffatt and Tim Galloway to present the award, since they know Albert better and have run with him over the years. They did an excellent job. Albert received a nice, long standing ovation from the appreciative crowd. Well deserved!

After the race, we had a nice family gathering at our house. Lester and Maddie then joined us on Friday evening, so we had all my kids together. It was my 53rd birthday, and the best gift was having all of my children around. I had to fight sadness when they all left yesterday afternoon, but I was thankful to have the time with them.

It's going to be a good week! Time to catch up, reorganize, and move onto the next thing. We have a new routine developing. Ben has weight-lifting at 6.15 a.m. now, so we are all adjusting to that. He does not get his license until February. I don't mind running him into town for this. I want him to really bulk up and become all he can as a football player. That's his passion.

Watch for another post a little later on today: 26.2.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wednesday a.m.

Good morning! How are you? I am going to be quite occupied today. (Sorry for the wordplay - couldn't resist.) Today is mostly about getting ready for the Give Thanks 4. I think we may end up closer to the 200 runner mark than I thought. A lot of people registered yesterday. Today I have to organize and/or contact 25 volunteers and do a ton of other little things on my list. I really enjoy this kind of thing, so it's going to be a good day!

Luke arrived from Nashville/Guatemala early this morning, around 2 a.m. Kedra, being the good mother, represented his parents to welcome him home. I will welcome him later on when he gets up! It will be so nice to have him around for a few days. Lester and Maddie will join us Friday evening, and then we will all be back together for a couple of days. Wonderful!

Yesterday was a busy/productive day. I got all of my stuff for Sunday completed! I don't think I have ever, in my entire life, done that before. I did a few things/errands for the Give Thanks 4, saw some people, and had a good evening run in Bedford. It was a full and good day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday morning

Good morning! Looks like it might rain for a while today! That's fine with me, because I am warm and dry in my quiet, comfortable office, ready to work on my sermon for Sunday. Yes, I am working way ahead this week. I want to be totally ready for Sunday by Wednesday night. All of my kids will be home by Friday night, but they've already started trickling in.

Rebecca came home Saturday, and I knew I missed her tons, but I didn't realize how much until she walked back in. She adds so much life to everything. Luke has been in Guatemala since Thursday and is on his way home right now. I got a brief message saying that he is in Antigua. He'll fly from there to Houston and then to Nashville. He will either drive home late, late tonight or tomorrow. Lester and Maddie will arrive on Friday.

I am looking forward to hearing of Luke's trip to Guatemala. He went with a few others to do surveying in the remote village that Lipscomb has adopted. His senior engineering project is to design a bridge that will span a deep gorge. It will replace a very dangerous rickety one that is presently used by the villagers.

Since I hope to be totally free Thursday-Saturday to spend time with family, I am compressing everything into the first 3 days of this week. I made my usual list of 20 something people to contact, but I probably won't get all that done, but I got a great start on sermon prep yesterday. Pat A and I met for about 3 hours yesterday to study/talk through the preaching text for this week. Synergy! Today I've got to flesh out the good skeleton we constructed.

The Give Thanks 4 is only 2 days away! I got to talk to the Police Chief yesterday. He was very helpful and supportive. We are north of 85 preregistrants, so that likely means well over a 100 runners. The perfect forecast should bring lots of last minute, fair weather runners out. I am really looking forward to it! I've got quite a bit to do today and tomorrow in prep.

I got a good 6 miler in yesterday. I ran the SVBV course (Spice Valley to Bryantsville) and did some accelerations on the hills, both up and down. Hill repeats are going to be a key component for my Boston Marathon training, so I am kinda easing in, getting ready for them. The Boston course is hilly and difficult. I've been told by several, and have read the same in several places, that the down hill portions, especially later in the race, are very difficult. The course beats up your quads. I am actually going to do some hill repeats running down hill. This was suggested by marathon guru Hal Higdon.

OK, busy day today! Study, a few visits, Give Thanks 4 work, Store, and a 7 mile run this evening in Bedford. Ready, set, go...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Golf balls in a jar

A Professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the Professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The Professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous “yes.”

The Professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the space between the grains of sand.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things–your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else -the small stuff.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. “Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.” One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The Professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

Monday morning

Good morning! It's going to be a short week. Are you ready for it? I am! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the food and the feel of it, and it's free from a lot of the commercialism that steals Christmas. Don't take me wrong, I like Christmas also, but Thanksgiving is hard to beat. Since Thursday and Friday are essentially days off, it means that I have a lot of work to do Monday through Wednesday, but I am OK with that.

The ambulance story keeps moving along. I think the picture I have chosen today will probably illustrate this whole process, once it's completed. Warren C and I were supposed to drive the ambulance to Plain City, OH last Friday. Thursday evening Darrin calls me and says, "Hey, I was in the store office and overheard Donna saying that she and Max were going to Columbus on Friday." He went and asked her about that and found out that they were riding over with their daughter to watch a granddaughter play basketball. Long story shortened: after a few calls it was decided that Max and Donna would drive the ambulance for us and then ride back with their daughter. Providence.

I went down to the barn Thursday evening and got the license plate on, and Friday, Warren brought the ambulance to town. We met, prayed, and sent the Timbrooks on their way -- on their way to meet the mysterious Edgar at Yoder's Hardware in Plain City. Later that afternoon they called to say that Edgar wasn't there and no one at Yoder's knew who Edgar was! More phone calls. Finally I got a hold of Edgar. His phone died and he was running late. In the end the meeting/transfer took place. Now I think the ambulance is supposed to be loaded on a flat bed truck for a trip to Honduras. I will keep you posted!

The weekend was good. Because I didn't go to Columbus, I was able to catch up on a few things. I was also able to run 7 miles with a couple of Tims. I wanted to run Friday because I was going to help with the donut run at BNL on Saturday, which I did. See below. I also got a jump on this week's sermon.

I hope to get all my work down by Wednesday night this week. I want to be free to really enjoy Thursday - Saturday with all of my kids. Today I am going to work on my sermon, along with Pat A. We are preaching the same texts for Advent -- the songs from Luke 1 &2 that surround the birth of Jesus.
November 27 Mary’s song - Luke 1:46-55 Magnificat
December 4 Zechariah’s song - Luke 1:67-79 Benedictus
December 11 Angels’ song - Luke 2:13,14 Gloria in excelsis
December 18 Simeon’s song - Luke 2:28-32 Nunc dimittis

I've entitled the series Christmas Carols. On Christmas morning, a Sunday this year, we will sing a lot of the Christmas Carols that are near and dear to so many. It should be a good series.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday evening


Just a quick hit here! Four days until the Give Thanks 4! Yikes! We are getting several pre-registered, so I think our numbers are looking good. We should have more than 100 runners. I was hoping for 200, but I don't think we'll make that.

Today was a fun day! I helped out with the Starstrong Donut Run at BNL. They had a great turnout and raised lots of money for cancer research. Most people opted to run the first half of the the 5K and then carry a dozen donuts the second half. The real challenge, only taken by a very few, was to run half, eat a dozen donuts, and then run the second half. Yuk!

After the run I went to eat with some friends and then headed out to help a friend clean up a property. It was fun. It was a nice day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The story keeps evolving

Good morning! The ambulance is headed to Ohio this morning, but I am not. I was all ready to go, but then we found out that someone else was going to Columbus today. Long story short: Max and Donna Timbrook are going to take it. What a journey this has been, and the ambulance still rests in a barn in Bryantsville. That all changes in a a couple of hours!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hmmm


This was sent me today. Looks like a war is a-brewing.

Should I be concerned?




So this morning I am reading the Indianapolis Star online and come across this headline:

Wounded deer apparently kills Indiana hunter

It's about a hunter who shoots a deer, and then the nearly-dead deer attacks the hunter. Evidently they engage in a massive struggle and the hunter finally kills the deer with a knife but then dies. Wow!

So I tweet this story, and then one of my friends tweets back:

"better watch out for squirrels next"

Oh man! I hadn't thought about that. So I start looking around, doing a little intel work. The above pictures are what I found. It may be my imagination, but I have seen a lot more squirrels lately. They all look a little bigger and stronger than usual.

I'm thinking that Johnny Furbee is behind all this!

Reading elsewhere

Hey, if you don't like running, think it's stupid, and want reasons for not doing it, then you could read this:

Top 11 Reason for not running

On a totally different note, here is an interesting article about the Penn State mess and churches:

Narcissism and Grandiosity in Sexual Abuse

Thursday a.m.



Good morning! OK, class, let's compare these two maps. What is the difference? That's right! One is exciting and interesting, and the other is boring, very boring. Why am I showing these maps? It's a way of dealing with disappointment, I suppose. My big ambulance adventure, driving it from Mitchell to Honduras has now turned into driving it from Mitchell to Plain City, Ohio.

I still don't know all the details yet. I called a number given me yesterday and spoke to thick-accented guy about driving the ambulance to a hardware store in Plain City, the one behind the McDonald's. He said something about "the stuff," "the brothers," "the cartel," and a few other things I could not make out. Oh well.

Just kidding about the drug running references! All I know is that I will probably drive the ambulance to OH tomorrow or Monday, probably tomorrow if I can get everything organized. Evidently this guy works for a guy who knows a guy who has a friend who has a brother that has a truck his mother lets him use to drive to Honduras on a regular basis. We are supposed to load the ambulance on that truck.

OK, so all you people praying that I wouldn't be able to make the trip, you win! Plain City, OH! Plain City. Wow. The main thing, seriously, is that the ambulance makes it to Honduras and is put into service to serve hurting people. Marc wants me to fly down later for a transfer and dedication ceremony. I doubt I can do that for lot$ of rea$on$, although I would love to.

Today is all about preparing for Sunday and beyond. We had a great class last night, talking about giving thanks in all circumstances, which is what I Thessalonians 5:18 says to do. Really? How? We concluded that you can only do that if you have a long, faith-infused/informed, view of life that is marked by trust (faith) in God to redeem all things (Romans 8:28).

You probably can't say "thank you" in the midst of a terrible tragedy, but your faith informs you. You know that God can make something good come from the bad as he works in/through it. Sometimes it takes a long time, so we hang on and trust the best we can. God understands our doubts, questions, frustration, and anger, during those times. He keeps loving and pursuing us. Don't give up on him or yourself.  All who wander are not lost.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Good Prayer

Teach me, O God, so to use all the circumstances of my life today that they may bring forth in me the fruits of holiness rather than the fruits of sin.

Let me use disappointment as material for patience;

Let me use success as material for thankfulness;

Let me use suspense as material for perseverance;

Let me use danger as material for courage;

Let me use reproach as material for longsuffering;

Let me use praise as material for humility;

Let me use pleasures as material for temperance;

Let me use pains as material for endurance.

by John Baillie

5 Months from Today!

Wednesday

So what day is it? Oh yeah, it's Wednesday, the longest day of the week. Before it's over it will be a 15 hour day, but that's OK. It ends well with a nice meal at church, followed by a discussion with a great group of people. I'm not sure what to think of the cartoon. I suppose I am guilty of that, but I usually just get quiet when I don't have much to say. I don't need to always contribute to the noise. Right? ha ha

Yesterday was a day of lots of travel. I went to court with my friend yesterday morning, leaving the house about 8. Turns out that I couldn't go with him before the judge, so I sat outside the chambers and got a lot of things done. Previous experiences taught me to take things to do.  I left the courthouse and went to the bank to get our "Give Thanks 4" checks approved. Got it!

Next stop: the Mayor's office. We had a surprisingly long chat. He got up and shut the door and wanted to talk about lots of things. We did. It was good. Next stop: police station, but the chief was out of town. I chatted with the dispatcher for a while and promised to return some time soon. I did a couple of more stops before going to the ReGeneration Store for a while. Donation just keep increasing, which is a good problem to have. We are trying to figure out how to manage it, however.

Between all the stops, I was able to contact most of my race volunteers in one way or another. We are in good shape! I stopped to talk to my neighbor Roger about helping and ended up helping him get his wood splitter going. He has trouble starting it.

Yesterday afternoon I went back to court with my friend. This time I got to be in the presence of the judge, who happens to be a friend. My friend is changing his life and I got to say that to the judge. I think the hearing went well. We shall see. Next stop: back to Mitchell for a Capstone Ministries meeting. Next stop: Bedford to run. Yes, that was my third trip to Bedford, for those keeping score.

Last night's run was very enjoyable. I did 2 miles before the group arrived and then did 5 more with them. I always leave the group run feeling encouraged and energized. I love my running friends. Speaking of them, you really might want to read THIS. It's by one of our group runners. Wow! I've really enjoyed getting to know Wendy and Tim and appreciate them a lot. I don't always run with them, because they are really fast!

OK, I guess it's time to continue on with the day!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday Morning


So how are you on this fine morning? I guess you survived the storms last night? The rain held off long enough for me to stack 2-3 ricks of wood last night, which was a bonus. I really didn't expect to be able to work outside last night.

I'm headed back to court today; seems like I have been there a fair amount lately. This time I am going with a former student of mine, and it relates to a custody issue regarding his children. It's a pretty big mess. My former student has been faithfully attending church with us for about 2 months now, and I am convinced that he is allowing the Lord to change his life. He has struggled with all kinds of addictions. I really love him and pray that he can continue on the path he is on.

When I go to court this morning, I am going to take several things to do. I know that a long wait is quite possible. My main focus today is putting the final touches on the Give Thanks 4 race. It is part of the Mag 7 Race Series. I need to see the bank manager to make sure checks made out to "Give Thanks" are cashable. Our old bank had no problem, but our new bank is so picky about things.

I need to see the Mayor and Chief of Police regarding a few things. I have secured a few really nice prizes to be given away, and I am checking on getting a few more from local businesses. We are expecting 200 runners or more. About this time next week I will be getting nervous. Last year, at about 5 in the morning on race day, we had a tornado warning, followed by heavy rain. I wonder what the weather will bring this year?

This evening I'll head to Bedford to run 7 miles with my friends. They will probably only run 5, so I will go early and grab a couple extra. My hilly 6 yesterday was...hilly and windy but warm, weirdly warm. I am inching toward my official Boston Training Plan. I'll start that in a couple of weeks. Included will be a strict diet for the first 2-3 weeks to drop me down about 5 pounds. I've already started working on my core with lots of sit-ups and lots of reps on a Torso Tracker. Burn, baby, burn. Trying to turn these abs of mashed potatoes into something else.

Luke is heading to Guatemala in a couple of days. He's going down to do surveying for his senior engineering project, which is to build a bridge in a remote village. I wish I could go with him. Maybe I will, when he goes back in May?

Alrighty...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Who Says Preachers Only Work on Sundays?

Here's something I wrote a few years ago - a golden oldie, perhaps.

Quiet. Humble. Unassuming. That’s me; not your typical preacher. I am more like Clark Kent, but I am a preacher. What do you think of the work ethic of preachers? Some have the impression that preachers only work on Sunday. It’s just not true. I have decided to give you a glimpse of a typical day which is usually unusual and atypical. I haven’t talked to Superman, but I am guessing he could relate to my life.

About 8.30 on a recent Thursday morning Melissa, the church secretary, called me at home, where I was dutifully working on my sermon. Her words, full of fear and trembling, went something like this, "There’s a bat in the office; we’ve trapped him in there. He ain’t one of those little ones; he’s big! He’s trapped in there and we turned the light off." I thought to myself, "Hmmm." Hearing other voices, I asked her, "Who’s with you?" She quickly replied, "The kids." She has three.

With my best reassuring voice I said, "Well, I have to take Rebecca (my daughter) to volleyball at 9. I’ll come by after that." Thinking ahead, I said, "Do you have a flashlight?"

"Nope."

"OK, I’ll bring one."

I loaded up Rebecca and my 3 D battery Mag Light, black and well worn; it seemed eager for some bat action. I dropped Rebecca off at the gym and made my way over to the church building. I parked on an angle (police officers and important people seem to do this), grabbed the Mag and made my way to the door. If you looked up "bravery" in the dictionary, then my picture at that very moment would have been there. It would have also said, "see hero."

I reassured the women and children that everything would be ok. I went to the office door and shined my light through the slender, long window. The bat saw the light and began flying around. Indeed it was big, and it was very, very active. I went to the closet and got a broom, one with a wooden handle, strong and sturdy. Ralph, the church treasurer, came in the building about that time.

We went over to the office door and Drew, Melissa’s young son, slipped his boy hand into the room to turn the light on. The bat went crazy, flying and swooping everywhere. We went down the hall and tied open the doors that lead out to the bat’s freedom. Melissa and her kids held open another set of doors in the opposite direction – the glass doors under the carport.

It’s show time, baby, show time!

I asked Ralph to watch through the office window. With broom firmly in hand, I opened the door. The bat went crazy but would not leave the room. My heart pounded with the exhilaration that all warriors feel as they face a respected foe. "I’m going in after him," I said with confidence and determination.

I assumed a crouched/squat position. Holding the broom in my right hand I walked, like a duck, into the room. The bat landed temporarily on the ceiling. With my left hand I grabbed a mesh, flatly-folded-for-storage, play pen; it was there for small children to play in. It found a greater purpose as my shield. I made my way across the office. Suddenly the bat started flying and swooping, just going crazy. I dropped to my knees to gain better stability and leverage. I began swatting at the bat.

POW! WHACK! BAM!

I landed several blows, but he just kept going in erratic circles, getting dangerously close to my head. We battled, this bat and me. Finally he had one too many blows from the broom. He decided to exit the office.

He turned right, just as we hoped he would. I jumped to my feet with the agility of a young cat. I rushed to the door. The bat flew right to the intended exit, but then suddenly came back at me. WHACK! He headed south again, and then turned around, yet again, to come back at me. I thought heard him say, "You wanna piece of me??" BAM! WHACK! POW!

Finally he flew over my head and headed toward the foyer. Will he exit the glass carport doors? No! He’s heading toward the auditorium! Oh no! High ceilings! He could evade capture or death for a long time. Ahhh, but he made a really bad bat move. He headed for the baptistry. I am Church of Christ. I know my baptistries.

Everything grew very quiet. "Shhhhh!" I tiptoed to the glass, Melissa, Ralph, and kids following cautiously behind me. I spotted him. In hushed tones I said, "He’s hiding behind the step." With the wooden-handled broom firmly in hand I carefully poked at his insecure position. He fell into the water! With all the broom skills I could muster, I placed the broom on top of him and held him down. Will he escape or be a bat drowned? There were a few tense moments. As I came to realize that I had him, I thought to say, "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."

After a little while I raised the broom and there he was! Baptized and dead. Perfect! Went to heaven before he had a chance to sin. Ralph took a towel and carefully removed him from the water. It was a touching scene. We took him outside and examined him. His wing span was about 12 inches. He was big, but, and I’m not bragging here, he was no match for me. Oh, the life of a quiet, unassuming, humble hero. 

Who says preachers only work on Sundays?

Rebel Squirrel Nation at Monumental?

If I told you, I'd have to kill you.

Monday Morning

Hey! If you are reading this, then you have not blown away yet. Sure was windy yesterday! Weirdly warm also. As soon as school traffic clears this morning, I am headed out for a hilly 6 miler. I want to get it in before the rain arrives.

How was your weekend? Mine was fairly quiet, uneventful but productive -- my favorite kind! We stayed at home Friday night and got a few things done around the house. Kedra spent some time studying. She is working toward getting her teaching license, and should have that completed in about 1.5 years. She has a degree already, but not a teaching license. When she gets done she will be qualified to teach math. I'm really proud of her for working toward this. Once she gets a job, then I can pursue my country music singing career.

Lester showed up at bedtime on Friday night. Maddie was having a girls day out with her sister and a friend, based out of Bloomington, so Lester came down here. We got up Saturday and ran 10 miles in Bedford. The marathoners and others were only running 5 (recovery) miles, so we ran with them to hear all the stories. It's always fun to hear the reports. Lester, Tim G. and I did another 5 miles. It was very pleasant.

After the run, we came home to bacon, eggs, and pancakes. Yum yum! Then it was time for work. Lester and Ben went to help my dad with wood, and I got trash organized. I helped my neighbor Roger a little bit and got his trash also. After taking the trash off, I got on my roof to blow all the sticks and leaves off, tar around the chimney, and clean out the gutters. A couple of observations: 1) I love being on the roof with a leaf blower - makes me feel powerful.  2) I really need a new roof! I keep putting it off for various rea$on$.

We had a nice roast lunch, since Lester was home. Then it was back to working in wood. I cut up some really big logs and the boys man handled them onto the hydraulic splitter. It was so nice to have them do all that. Now I have a nice pile of split wood that I can stack this week.

Yesterday was a good day. It finished with a really good life group discussion about identity. How do you describe yourself? How do you answer the question, "What's your story?" Too many base identity on performance and what other people think. Shaky ground! If we are in Christ, then our identity is simple this: beloved children of God.

Today is going to be another busy one: run, meetings, lunch in Bloomington, hospital in Bloomington, and.... we'll see how much time is left. If it's not raining, then I will be stacking wood this evening.

Have you seen this?

With the lockout dragging on, many NBA players have called John Calipari asking to play for Kentucky so they don't have to take a pay cut.

That's funny!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Monumental Moment


Here's Lester and me running the Monumental Half Marathon last Saturday. Mark Ryan is in the middle. I think Lester is trash talking to Tim Strunk, "Get the lead out!" Mark is trying to pretend that nothing is going on, so am I. Tim kept calling Lester a bandit, and that's what he was. Evidently Lester had had enough. The truth hurts sometimes.

It's Friday!

So how was the week? Fine, you say? Fine. OK. Here we are waking up to another Friday. They seem to roll around so quickly. I was talking to a 94 year old this week, and I asked her if she was ready for winter. She made some comment about it coming and going so quickly, adding, "I've been around 94 years, so I know how it works." Did you see the snow flurries yesterday? I kept hearing about them and seeing comments on Facebook and Twitter and then finally, when I was outside working, I saw a few falling. It was strange that it was relatively warm, mid 40s, and snowing a little. The temps aloft obviously were a lot colder than on the ground. You know I love snow, so I welcomed the sight.

I enjoyed a nice 5 mile run yesterday morning, while the sun was still shining and before the wind started blowing too hard. Today will be a day off from running, and I hope to get my bike trainer set up and spend a little time on it. I am working on a deal to get another bike from a friend. If I do, then I want to give my present bike to Lester to see if he enjoys biking. I think he could be a fantastic triathlete. He seems to be a gifted runner but he's not realized his potential there yet. He knows how to swim, and once you've learned to bike you never forget, right? We'll see.

Yesterday I tried to visit Mitchell's recently defeated Mayor. He was out for a little while, so the mission was not accomplished. He's been good to me and to the ReGeneration Store, so I wanted to thank him. He also has been very interested in the Give Thanks 4, so I was checking to see if he would fire the start gun again this year. I am friends with the newly elected Mayor, and I am pleased to see that a spirit of cooperation between old and new is present.

Today I hope to get my sermon completed, along with the slide show and life group discussion guide. Lester is coming in late this evening to spend the night. Maddie is going on a little shopping trip tomorrow, so Lester is going to hang with us. He will join me and some others on a nice 10 mile run in the morning. I am really looking forward to that. Our New York City Marathon friends will likely be present to tell stories.

Catch you later...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sad, sad, sad

Thursday

How are you today? It's a little cooler this morning than yesterday, but that's OK. Yesterday's temperature drop sure caught my attention. Hey, it's November -- anything can happen.

Yesterday morning I attended the Mitchell Area Ministerial Association (commonly called, and better known as, MAMA) meeting. You've heard my old joke about this. It should be called Hoosier MAMA, since we are all from Indiana. Anyway, I feel these meetings are very important and much good has come from them over the years. We continue to work through benevolent issues, i.e., trying to help the poor in a responsible way without enabling bad choices. It's a constant battle.

A couple of exciting things came out of yesterday's meeting. Blessings in a Backpack is going to start at Burris school really soon. This program sends a few food items home with some of the kids, so they can have an opportunity to eat better over the weekend. I think there are about 200 kids at Burris eligible for this. Capstone Ministries is going to contribute a significant amount of money to help. Schools that have this program have better test scores. Correlation?? The other thing that is on track is a summer meal program. Surrounding communities do this, but Mitchell has not. We are working with the school administrators presently to get it in place. It's all good, important stuff, in my opinion.

After the meeting yesterday, I stopped another minister, one who has been where he is for 24 years. I thanked him for his longevity and faithfulness. I asked him, "Did you ever want to leave?"

"Oh yes!"

"Did you ever try to leave?"

"A few times, but each time the opportunities dried up and door closed."

"Did you ever feel like Jonah?"

"Yes."

I went from that meeting to meet with the girl whose mother died recently. We had a nice talk, and I helped her get some things out of her mother's garage, which I took over to the ReStore. After that I had lunch with colleague, and then it was off to Superior Court I to sit with a grieving mother. That took a lot longer than any of us anticipated. It was interesting, however, to watch all the proceedings and people. Wow, talk about a different world!

No running yesterday and no bike trainer. I simply ran out of time. Rest is good. Ben and I did go get a load of logs before church. We were supposed to get two...

Today is sermon prep day. Interesting passage, 1 Peter 5:1-11, and a good class last night, both of which will make preparation easier and harder: easier in that there is a lot of easily understood material and harder because there is too much to talk about in a relatively short period of time.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Critic


"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
Theodore Roosevelt
"Citizenship in a Republic,"
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Wednesday morning

How are you today? It's a little wet out there, but that's OK. And I guess the wind is going to blow later - that's OK too. I thought this picture was pretty funny. There is a blog I read on a regular basis. His post this morning was particularly good: From Critic to Encourager. The author is one I know from a distance. We both went through the same doctoral program and share lots of friends, but I don't think we have met. I often find his posts lining up with what I am thinking.

We all need encouragement. Are you good at giving it? What about receiving it? I tend to let the voice of the critic drown out the voice of the encourager. It's easy to play, over and over again, in our minds the times of our failures and the words of the critics. Right? One of the names/characteristics of the Prince of Darkness is Satan/accuser. He loves to whisper in the ears of our heart, "You are not worth much; you failed again," etc. He accuses through the critics. It always wise to listen for the voice of God in criticism, I think, BUT to dwell there long leads to discouragement. If you messed up, fix it and move on. Do the next right thing right, thanking God for grace.

We need to hear the voice of God affirming our value as his image-bearer, his beloved son or daughter (if indeed we are - by being in Christ). We need to play video clips of encouragement, those times when we did well and were genuinely told so. I had a long conversation with a person yesterday who is struggling with all this. "It ain't easy." One of our roles as travelers through life is to provide real encouragement, moving beyond superficial flattery. That ain't easy either.

I got a nice 5 mile run in yesterday. The weather was so nice! I am moving toward getting started/focused on my Boston Marathon training plan. I am looking forward to it. I may not run today, setting up my bike trainer instead. Time on the trainer is going to be a part of my Boston plan, and it will help me with second big goal of 2012: to complete RAIN, doing all of the 162 miles on my bike. If you don't know what I am talking about, you can read my RAIN Report from last July. The third big goal for 2012 is to complete, without drowning, a triathlon. Boston. RAIN. Tri. It's going to be a great year.

Today's going to be a busy one. It seems like wall to wall meetings, engagements, appointments await me. Here we go...


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Tuesday

Good morning! What a nice mild morning, and it's going to be another beautiful day! Yesterday was great, wasn't it? I overdressed for my morning 5 mile run, but that was fine. I was taking it easy anyway. I actually ran part of the Give Thanks 4 course, looking for the first mile marker. I know within a few feet of where it is, but I cannot find the specific spot. It's not a big deal, but if you know me, then you know that it is at least a deal.

Yesterday was a nice recovery day in lots of ways. I stayed busy all day, but nothing really challenged me too hard. I used to take Mondays off, which is not unusual for ministers, because Sunday is usually the most taxing day of the week for us. It really is. I stopped taking Mondays off a long, long time ago, because I was teaching at Oakland City U on Mondays, and I also did not like waiting until Tuesday to start focusing on the week. I felt the pressure of being behind. So now I try to take Fridays off, but it rarely happens. I try to get my "Sabbath breaks" each day by running. It's not ideal, but it works for me - most of the time.

After watching Rand finish the Monumental Marathon on Saturday, Kedra, Lester and Maddie, I made our way downtown to eat. We walked past the Capitol, and it was there that we found protesters. First we ran into people protesting Eastern Time; they want Central Time. Then we ran into the Occupy Indianapolis group. They were sitting on the steps. They were pretty quiet.  All of a sudden a guy comes running over from the food tents--food prepared for the runners--and shouts, "Hey everybody! There's free food over there!" Not sure how all that played out! All I know is that I chuckled. Funny word: chuckled. Oh well.

Yesterday evening Ben and I got to use his beastly truck to do some manly work. I have a friend who has a few acres of woods, and about every 2-3 years he piles up logs from trees that have died. He offers them to me as firewood, which is great! Ben and I took a wagon over to his house, pulled by Ben's truck. My friend loaded to wagon with a huge heavy load of logs, and we pulled it home.  We're going to do another load this evening. Male bonding at its best.

Back to the protesters -- I guess I've never felt that passionate about something like that. I'm not talking specifically about the Occupy movement or the time change people. I'm against greed, but probably have significant differences with the occupiers, and frankly I don't care much about the time thing. My point is that I don't ever recall protesting anything in a public way. Is it because it seems futile? That, and it seems mostly ineffective. 

I do know that things can change if a few individuals stir up a few more who stir up a few more, but it doesn't happen often. I guess my mindset/personality is more of living faithfully in each day, trying to change my heart and hearts of those around me. Maybe that's why I like this verse, found in Micah 6:8.

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and
to walk humbly with your God.

That's what I'll work on today. Again.



Monday, November 07, 2011

Monday a.m.

I really need to come up with more creative titles for my blog posts. Oh well... Good morning! It's going to be a nice, mild day. How are you adjusting to the time change? I woke up this morning at 3 a.m. and resisted, for about an hour, the strong urge to get up. I finally fell back to sleep and actually stayed in bed until my usual 5:15, which is really 6:15 body time, which means, in essence, I slept in! ha ha

I thought I would be in Houston this morning, getting ready to cross over into Mexico later today, but here I am in southern Indiana. I don't know what's going to happen with the ambulance for Honduras, but I will let you know when I know. In the meantime, life goes on! 

Yesterday sure was a nice day! Church went will, or at least I thought it did. I guess you would have to ask others to really find out. We had a nice family meal, I watched the Colts and then fell asleep, then I realized that I had recorded a 2 hour special on the New York City Marathon. I cued that up and started watching.

While I was watching I got on the computer to check the results of Bill Deckard and Jim Sowders and Leisa Deckard.  The NYCM had a cool tracking system that posted times for each mile. I followed Leisa "live" as she ran. Bill and Jim had already finished. They had a good day but did not meet their goal of running 3:08. Leisa ran a little over 5 hours and raised a lot of money for cancer research. She did a great job.

Today is a day to get organized again. I woke up at 3 with the Give Thanks 4 race on my mind. I think I have everything pretty well in place, but I need to look at it all again. It's 2 weeks from Thursday. The biggest thing is getting about 30 volunteers all confirmed and assigned. Darrin already has the T-shirts and trophies on order.

Gonna take a trip to Bloomington today. I plan to have lunch with Pat A. I can always use his wise counsel. Then I've got a few things to do in Bloomington. I need to get an easy 5 miler in and few other odds and ends.

Need to complete my "to do" list... Catch you later...

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Monumental Day

So, we "fell back" over night? All that means for me is that I got up a little after 4 instead of a little after 5. It will take me a few days to get my body swung around. I think I have a harder time with the fall than I do the spring. Oh well...  The challenge for me this week will be staying up past the 9 p.m. Go ahead and laugh! It's OK.

Yesterday was the Monumental Marathon and half marathon. I ran the half as a hard training run and was pretty pleased with it. I ran with Tim Strunk, Mark  Ryan, and Lester my son, who was a bandit yesterday (did not enter the race). We had a nice time and stayed right around an 8 minute mile pace, which is exactly where I wanted to be. The weather, with the exception of the wind, was just about perfect for distance running.

There were two highlights of the day. First, Tim Galloway--a friend and frequent training partner--had an awesome half. He ran 1.33.56 and won his age group! He's had a great fall of training and racing. The other highlight was Rand Hammel. He ran 3.32.17 and qualified for Boston! We drove out and found him at mile 21. He looked good, and I thought he would qualify. It was awesome watching him come in! It brought back lots of memories from last year.

We had a nice time with Lester and Maddie Friday night and yesterday. After watching Rand finish and congratulating him, we walked downtown to PF Changs for a nice meal. It was a good way to finish our time in Indy.

My focus now is the Boston Marathon. Last night I started experimenting with a training plan. I am going to "officially" start training the first week in December. I hope to run 3.30 at Boston, which is a huge goal, due to my age and difficulty of the course. I am going to work hard toward the goal and see what happens.

Friday, November 04, 2011

The Last Pick


I recently read this book by David McGillivray. He is the director of the Boston Marathon and has been for quite a while. I am slowing saturating myself with all things Boston. I hope to know the course and culture very well before I arrive in April of next year.

I found the book pretty interesting. I liked what he said about the marathon serving as a metaphor for life:

The marathon is an ideal metaphor for my life. It's challenging and difficult, but if you work hard and you're prepared, then it's manageable. I've run on that asphalt through heartache and also spent hours running alongside some incredible people. There are hills and valleys. The weather changes from year to year. Mostly, though, at the end of the day, it's up to me to get the job done.

Friday

Hoosier Uplands
Good morning! I guess you know that it's Friday, which seems to be a big deal for a lot of people. It means for me, this week, a day to get ready for Sunday. I didn't get finished yesterday, due a couple of meetings and lots of other things.
St. Vincent Dunn Hospital
The biggest news, which is not finalized yet, is that I may not be driving the ambulance to Honduras. I am waiting on more information. Yes, I will be disappointed if I don't get to do that, but the main thing is getting it there and in use. This whole thing has been a real test of patience. So far so good...

I had two meetings yesterday. The first one was Hoosier Uplands Hospice Professional Advisory Board. I've been on this board for years and enjoy going back to Hoosier Uplands to hear about where they are with the hospice program. Back in the mid 90s, I was one of people commissioned to begin the program, and I was heavily involved in it until I left in 1998. The program has done really well over the years and remains strong. Yesterday I got to the doctor who helped us in our start up. He is such a good man -- Dr. Luke M.

The other meeting was at St. Vincent Dunn Hospital. I am serving on their ethics committee. I really enjoy this group. It's made up of several hospital folks (docs, nurses, chaplain), a lawyer, and me. It is a fairly new committee designed to help the hospital align itself with applied Catholic theology related to life and death. We are working through processes, and we get to do some case studies as well.

While there yesterday, I ran into one of the chaplains, and he said, "Oh, you're here to see one of your members?" I said, "No, I am here for a meeting." Awkward silence. "Should I be here to see someone?" Then I quickly added, laughing, "I know you can't tell me that." He smiled and said, "You may want to do some checking." Confidentially laws surrounding health care probably rival the secrecy of nuclear technology. I did finally figure out who was in the hospital and made the visit.

Today I am headed to Indy for the Monumental Half Marathon. I plan to run with a group tomorrow, having lost my motivation to really "bust" it. I am a little more relaxed now, knowing that I'm not driving to Honduras on Sunday. We have several participating tomorrow, including one guy who is trying to qualify for Boston. Wow, that brings back memories, because it was a year ago that I did just that.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Thursday morning

Good morning! Have you seen the radar? Wow, looks like we could have a bit of wet day ahead. I like the rain, so I'm good. Well, the ambulance run has been postponed, due to Marc Tindall's wife having emergency surgery this week. She's recovering well - that's the main thing. I have a feeling there are going to be lots of phone calls and correspondence today. I will keep you posted. Flexible. That's the word. Flexible.

Wasn't yesterday a beautiful day? I started my day in Bryantsville. We loaded a semi with pallets of corn. I believe each pallet has around 30 bags on it, and the bags weigh roughly 60 pounds each. So how many pounds on a pallet? (Stop whining about story problems!) That's right, about 1800 pounds per pallet, which is close to a ton. I weigh, depending on the day and hydration levels, between 155 and 159. Do you see where this is going?

When I arrive at Bryantsville, I discover that I am the youngest guy there by far. I am 52 (for a few more days). The hardest job of the day is ramming a pallet jack into the pallets and then, by hand of course, moving the pallet jack, loaded with the nearly 1 ton of corn on it, onto the semi, which includes going uphill over a little ramp. I think it was my first attempt that led to my downfall. Literally. The floor was slick and I am light and the pallets are not. I engaged one and tried to back it up. The next thing I know, I am on the hard concrete floor with tingly fingers. I had fallen--hard--on my elbow. It was embarrassing and painful. I had to have help getting up.

About that time, a hero walks in! A young man, a man of experience, a man capable of maneuvering a ton of material on a pallet jack. Earl Wilson. Earl loaded the load, while I, with my sore elbow and tingly fingers, wrapped the pallets with plastic. I am known as the rapper. Well, they probably mean wrapper, but I kinda like the edgier "rapper," which fits more my personality and singing ability.  Anyway, the load got loaded, my fingers returned to normal, and everything is fine.

The rest of the day was filled by all kinds of fun (ha ha). Speaking of fun, my class last night was good. We talked about suffering. I think we learned that "chicks dig scars." The women in the class were not so sure about that. I'm not sure I can work that phrase into the sermon, but I'll see if I can.

Maybe I will post some serious thoughts about suffering later on, as they develop and turn into words?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Wednesday a.m.

Good morning! Hey, it's going to be another beautiful day, so get out there and enjoy it one way or another! The picture above is from the back page of an old Bible of mine that I recently found. It is a tracing of my oldest son, Lester's, hand. It is dated August 20, 1989 and says below that, "Auckland, NZ, Morningside church. Lester was born in New Zealand on February 8, 1988, so he was about a year and a half old at the time. We must have been visiting with the Morningside church that day.

It sure brought back lots of memories. Now Lester is married, just about finished with pharmacy school, and will soon be employed. Indeed, life comes at you fast! I remember, back when our children were little, people saying, "They grow up so fast!" Now I find myself saying the same thing. Enjoy every minute of it.

Wow, this is turning into a fast-paced week! It seems like I have a lot more meetings and specific engagements than usual, plus I am preparing for the adventure of a lifetime. Speaking of that, I was able to successfully navigate my way through the license branch yesterday. I only had one challenge where I had to plead just a little. The employee asked another person and a supervisor, and they agreed with me. I got out of there as fast I could!

I saw a couple of people, ran 5 miles, studied, lunched with Kedra, hung out at the food pantry, had a Capstone Ministries meeting, picked up the ambulance from its super secret location where the machine guns were being mounted (kidding about the guns), took it home, put on the license plate, dropped it off at the mechanic, and enjoyed some chair/family time.

One of my favorite parts of yesterday, perhaps for even the whole year, was when a friend came by to see me. He brought me a book about the Boston marathon that he signed, along with one of the most famous runners of a whole generation, Bill Rogers. He saw Bill recently at a race on the East coast and asked him to sign the book for me. Bill Rogers, "Boston Billy," has been a hero of mine for a long time. This book is going to be a treasured possession. I am so grateful.

Today is going to be another busy one! I will spend a lot of the morning in Bryantsville. We are loading a semi with Bryantsville Hunger Relief Corn. This is our last load of the season. The new crop will soon be going into the bin, and we'll start all over again. I love this ministry! Also today, I need to start getting things together to drive the ambulance to Honduras. I am not going to take much, so I have to think through carefully what I need.

OK, I better get going... Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Tuesday a.m.

Good morning! It's going to be a beautiful day - just like yesterday, only warmer! Yesterday I became a viking for a couple of hours. This was inspired by Quince E. who gave me the hat you see pictured above. The annual costume run in Bedford provided the perfect opportunity to allow the hat to lead to the rest of the outfit, and thanks to ReGen and Penny, everything came together nicely.

Kedra helped dress me and then called for Ben to come and see. Ben, who rarely shows emotion and doesn't like it when I do anything that might embarrass him (he's 16, so the list is long), looked at me with a horrible look and said, "Don't do that." I did it anyway!

On my way to Bedford I stopped by to see Nadine, who needed some cheering up after a bad doctor's visit. It took her a little while to figure out the what and the who, and in the process her dog escaped. Oops! Anyway, the dog was rounded up, and Nadine told me that I was really, really ugly. I think that's good?

Running 5 miles through Bedford with the others pictured above was quite a fun experience. Blowing horns, waves, and comments. The funniest comments came from a bunch of kids who were dressed in the Emo/Goth style (their usual dress), sporting various body modifications. They liked what were doing; struck me as funny for some reason.

* * *

Thanks to your prayers, we now have all the papers for the ambulance signed. I will be the first in line at the license branch this morning. Hopefully I walk out of there with a license plate and a "speed title" on order. It should arrive no later than Saturday. I already have insurance lined up and a mechanic's visit scheduled. Now I need to concentrate on packing. I am taking very few things, so I can fly back standby without checking any bags.

We have 2 new prayer concerns related with this trip. The first is that title come back by Saturday, but the more important one relates to Marc Tindall's wife, Terri. She is having surgery this morning, possibly for a blocked intestine. Pray that things go well for her.

Today is going to be good, busy, fun day!