Saturday, March 31, 2012

Last 20 miler

Back to front: Tim Miller, John Heatherly, Robin Day, Jim Sowders, Me, Ryan Roberts, and Wendy Miller
There is an old expression, "the hay is in the barn," and it applies to my Boston Marathon training. The work has been done, so now it's time to taper toward the day. Relax. Focus. Imagine. I will run fewer miles now. I will do a 3 mile tempo on Tuesday and then a 10 miler a week from today. In between and after there will be shorter slower runs.

Our run today was good! We ran from Tapp Road to Oolitic and then back to, and around, the fish hatchery in Avoca. It totals 20 hilly hard miles, not unlike the Boston course. It was humid this morning, but the run went well. I finished 1 minute slower than last time but still managed an 8:26 pace. The group picture above stayed together for most of the run. Four of them pulled away and finished a couple of minutes ahead of me.

We ran mile 16 in an 8:01, and I let them go. I didn't need to go that fast, plus I don't think I could have. I ended up running mile 17, which was slightly downhill, in 7:43 and was falling further behind. At that point I just settled in for a good finish. It was a lot of fun running with the group. Not pictured are Larry Moffatt and Bill Deckard. They took off pretty early and finished way ahead of us.

Following the run several of us enjoyed a nice breakfast together. It was an awesome first half of the day!

Friday, March 30, 2012

How to boil a frog


You’ve probably heard this old parable about how to boil a frog.

If you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will leap out right away to escape the danger. BUT, if you put a frog in a pot that is filled with water that is cool and pleasant, and then gradually heat the water until it starts boiling, the frog will not become aware of the threat until it is too late.

There are lots of ways to apply this little story, but I’m thinking about how easy and dangerous it is to slowly become desensitized to things in our life. We gradually allow the unacceptable to become accepted.

Do you see that?

Old Isaiah did (5:20).

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

Friday a.m.

Good morning! If you live for Fridays, then today is your day! Two weeks from right now we will be getting ready to head to the airport for a nice little flight to Boston. It's hard to believe that it's so close now. I've dreamed of this most of my life. I'll talk about that some more as we get closer to the day.

Yesterday was good day! I got a good start on my sermon before I had a meeting with a few other guys who do what I do. It was an interesting meeting of generations. It worked out that we had one guy in his 30s, one in the 40s, one in the 50s, one in the 60s, and one in his 70s. We discussed some the issues that we all face. If I told you, I would have to kill you, so don't ask. Top secret preacher stuff. I know it's hard to believe, but the meeting went pretty long.

After the meeting I got a few other things done, and then it was time for the maiden voyage with my Kestrel and her new carbon clincher wheels. I thought there was going to be a large group meet at Lighthouse, but it turned out to just be 2 others, Mike and Bill. Bill rode from Bedford, and Mike drove in. We prepped and then it was time to roll, and roll we did! I couldn't believe the difference the wheels made. Sweet!

We had a very pleasant ride. It was a good mixture of relaxed riding with some experimentation with speed. Here is Bill's description of the ride. After the ride, I grabbed a smoothie from Lighthouse and headed out to the pool. There I made some more progress, and it was also good for my humility. ha ha.

Today it's back to sermon prep +. I've got someone coming from Layfayette with some supplies for the tornado folks, and I need to help pick up some furniture for the Store. At some point I want to head over and see how Lester and Maddie are doing. Lester put the final coat on the hardwood floors yesterday. It looks good!

Maddie came down last night and was happy with the progress. She is looking forward to having a couple of days to work on their new place. Maddie had her first gun experience last night. Lester bought an old 12 gauge recently and talked Maddie into firing it. I think you can view it HERE. Notice the recoil pad on her shoulder. She may not be able to work today, due to deafness and a sore shoulder.

Tomorrow I do my final 20 miler with a group running from Bloomington to Bedford. Should be fun!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

How do you walk?


How do you walk?

Like an Egyptian? With swagger? Stagger? Stumble? Humble? Amble? Ramble?

Do you saunter or sashay?

The way you walk says a lot!

God has shown us the best way to walk.

Micah 6:8 — He has shown 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.

How’s your walk?

Thursday!

I was at Mitchell Manor yesterday, and I could have heard this conversation. First old man: "You wanna go for a walk?" Second old man: "Isn't it windy?" First old man: "No, it's Thursday." Second old man: "Me too. Let's go get a drink."

I could have heard it, but I didn't. Hey, it's Thursday and I'm looking for a fresh way of introducing it. Maybe I should go back to the usual way? Whatever.

I've got a full day today, but I am really looking forward to it. It's starts out with preparation for Sunday. I think I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do in the sermon, so that's a relief. There are few things more frustrating than not knowing what to say or how to say it, knowing you have to stand before a large group of people expecting something. Lately I've been blessed with good direction. This present series on the Story of God has gone well and has received good feedback from the listeners. Those who sleep through them are also satisfied. They wake up refreshed and ready for lunch.

Yesterday was my day to see people, and I saw a lot of them. It's always interesting to stop and think about each individual and where he/she is in life and how he/she got there. I saw a few people in the nursing home. Yesterday I was struck by what a sad place that is in lots of ways. I ended up on a hall where there were lots of people that were in bad shape -- people slumped over in wheel chairs, people drooling, curled up in fetal positions in bed, people moaning and crying out. It bothered me yesterday. I was glad to leave but glad I went also.

We are having a group bike ride this evening at 5 -- looking forward to it! It will be my first ride on my new wheels. We are going to do a 31 mile loop from Lighthouse bookstore. We go south, east, south, west, south, east, north, west, north, west, and north. Follow that? My favorite part is through the Amish country between Mitchell and Orleans. The best part is riding with others.

We received a nice phone call last night. It was from Luke, our 2nd son, who graduates from Lipscomb in May. He has been interning for just a few weeks with a large civil engineering firm in Nashville. Yesterday they offered him a full-time real job, once he graduates! He is very excited and thanful, and so are we. It's a relief and a blessing to have both boys employed before they graduate. Now they will be able to support their parents. ha ha

Lester is busy working on his house. He pulled up the carpet and is refinishing the hardwood floors. He has sanded, scraped, and put down 2 coats of finish. He's working hard and it looks good.

Tonight after the ride I will head to the pool for my twice weekly lesson in humility.

Let's roll!



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What are you waiting for?


I guess you’ve noticed that most of life involves waiting? We wait for birth, and we wait to die, and most everything between requires waiting.

We even have rooms for doing it.

Waiting well is an art informed and influenced by faith.

Psalm 5:3 — In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and WAIT in expectation.

Psalm 27:14 — WAIT for the LORD; be strong and take heart and WAIT for the LORD.

Psalm 33:20 — We WAIT in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

Psalm 37:7 — Be still before the LORD and WAIT patiently for him.

Maybe we can be better waiters today? I’m working on it!

Wednesday morning

Good morning! It was nice to wake up to a warmer morning. Yesterday's 30s, while around normal for this time of the year, seemed a little chilly didn't they? I think those mid 70s and 80s a few days ago really spoiled us. I wonder if we are going to get the really cold snap that we usually do in the Spring -- the one that could destroy the peach crop?

Yesterday... as I wrote that I started to sing the old Beatles song.

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday

Now, it's stuck in your head too! ha ha I really have no idea where any of that came from. As I was saying, yesterday was enjoyable. I spent some time studying, thinking about Sunday's message. It's going to be about the message of Jesus, surveying the Sermon on the Mount and then settling into Luke 15. Jesus pushes us way beyond rules to living from the heart and having the (inclusive, forgiving) heart of God.

Pat A and I had lunch together yesterday and then spent some time talking about life and the message for Sunday. Before I met him, I went by the Bike Doctor to pick up my bike. I had him (bike doc) put the wheels I won on my bike and make the needed adjustments. When I opened the door of the bike shop, there it was. Shafts of light rained down from heaven, illuminating this thing of beauty. I stood there in awe and a tear ran down my cheek. I stood motionless. Steve, the bike doc, gently brought me back to the present by saying, "It's ready." Ready indeed. The bike looks very fast. Now the pressure is on the motor.

Last night's run was good and fun. We had a large group of folks gather at Parkview. Everyone seemed happy and in good spirits last night, more than usual. Maybe it was the really nice weather? We broke into 2 main groups. A fast group doing 10 miles at an announced 6:50 pace. This group always lies and goes faster than they say. My group was the 7:50 group. We sometimes lie also. Interesting enough, both groups ran a little faster than announced. The fast group came in at around 6:44 and my group came in around 7:42. Both groups were a little fragmented at the end. Rand pulled away from "my" group and came in about a minute before everyone else. I felt good and comfortable most of the run, which was the goal.

Saturday we are planning to do the Bloomington to Bedford 20 mile run again. We are meeting at Avoca at 7:30. Tomorrow evening I am going to ride with some friends, trying out the new wheels. Today I will do a short recovery run.

Time to get going -- lots to do today!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Know Regrets



I like word play! So I’m a sucker for these:

No Jesus - No Peace. Know Jesus - Know Peace.

Here’s one I ran into recently:

Know Regrets = no regrets.

It was in a book about how to be an Ironman triathlete, something I am trying to become. My problem is swimming, and I am going through the frustration of learning. I sometimes want to fling my goggles and quit, but I know how I feel will feel if do. I know that regret.

Once you begin the quest toward something and start to waver, it is good to imagine, vividly, what quitting will be like, feel like. Know regret! By knowing regret you will persevere to No Regret!

Let’s press on today. We can do that! Right?

Tuesday Morning


Good morning Tuesday! I can't believe you are here already! Oh well, I am going to enjoy you the short time you are here. Hey, hey, look what came in the mail yesterday. It's all starting to get really real. I am seeded right in the middle of the field, ever so slightly toward the front. I'll take it! And yes, I do plan to win the whole thing. I think I can out sprint the Kenyans, so I will just stay in the lead pack most of the time.

Yesterday was a good, fun, therapeutic day. I got up early and did some quiet things for a while, followed by a shorter run, followed by a trip to Jeffersonville. We took the ReGen truck down with a load of supplies we collected, and then we filled it full of clothes. We also took our church trailer and nearly filled it as well. The folks in Jeffersonville were very happy to have the clothes out of the way.

I enjoyed spending time with B.A., Greg M., and Pat A. yesterday. We stopped at Famous Dave's on the way home and had a nice lunch. We had a great waiter who brought us samples of food and samples of some hot sauces that they don't put on the table. He got a nice tip! Famous Dave's Devil Spit sauce is one of my favorites. Here's the crazy thing: you can buy it at Menard's! I don't know.

Today is my study day, and I am looking forward to that, along with several other things. The day will end with a 10 mile run at, hopefully, a 7:50 pace. Rand plans to run it with me. Jim and Bill are going to go faster than that. The weather is looking good -- not too hot.

Lester got going on his house yesterday, ripping out carpet etc. I have a feeling that I might be spending some time over there. They have a really nice place. I love their big yard.

Last night I went back to the pool. I think I will just leave it at that.

I hope your day goes well!

Monday, March 26, 2012

What Was I Saying?


I don’t know about you, but my mouth has caused me more trouble than any other part of my body!

It’s so easy to speak first and then think later. That usually makes for trouble!

The Rotary club adopted this 4-Way Test of speech, and more, back in 1943.

"Of the things we think, say or do:

1. Is it the truth?
2. Is it fair to all concerned?
3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?"

James, the brother of Jesus, said it this way:

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

Now, what I was going to say?

Monday morning


Here we go! I don't know why, but I woke up a little after 4, seemingly ready to get up. I fought it for a little while and then gave in, gave up and got up around 4:30. Oh well, I feel good! Wonder what will happen mid afternoon?

My Life Group met at the ReGeneration Store last night for a couple of hours. We baled clothes and had a wonderful time. "You did what??" Baled clothes. We bale clothes all the time at the Store. We bale clothes that did not sell after a few weeks on the rack, and we bale clothes that we can't or won't sell, due to inferior quality. Last night we were baling clothes in another category.

Well-intentioned people sent tons, literally tons, of clothes into the tornado disaster area. Most of them weren't used, which then created a problem for collection sites. One of them called us and asked if we could take the clothes, and we said yes. We are baling the clothes and selling them and then donating money, beyond the worth of the clothes, back to the disaster relief folks. It's good for everyone!

The baled clothes are sold by us to a group in Canada. There the bales are opened, and, if I understand it correctly, some of the clothes are then shipped to developing countries and some are used to make paper. Nothing is wasted. We use the dollars from the baled clothes to do ministry. In this case we are giving generous donations to help with tornado relief. It's another way Capstone Ministries generates revenue to help people in need.

Some of us going to Jeffersonville today to take supplies down. We are going to return with a box truck load of clothes. We are taking a truck and trailer also. There are that many more clothes to bring back and bale.

The video above is going to be my focus in the pool tonight! Last Thursday I had a pretty frustrating time in the water, but it was probably my most significant night in some ways. I am very close to putting everything together for triathlon swimming. The breathing is the hard part for me. I tend to panic. That's probably not the right word. Let's say I have not learned to relax in the water and this just exacerbates everything.  I've never been comfortable in the water, but I am getting there. Slowly. I've spent more time in the water in the last 2 months than I have in all my 53 years combined. That's no exaggeration at all!

Lester and Maddie get possession of their house today! Lester finished his pharmacy rotations and is basically finished with his pharmacy degree. Wow, that 6 years seemed quick to me. Probably not as quick for him! He is going to spend a lot of time working on their new place. The North Central Church honored them yesterday, which was really nice. They will now make the slow transition from Indy to Bedford over the next 4-5 weeks.

Rebecca had a great trip to Mexico. She worked in a children's home all last week and loved it. She loves children, so she was in the right place doing the right thing. Luke spent his last spring break traveling around with various friends. He graduates the week before Lester and then heads to Guatemala for a little while before, hopefully, beginning a civil engineering job with the firm where his interning.

Off we go...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday afternoon

How's it going on this fine Sunday afternoon? I am half-heartedly and one-eyedly watching college basketball. It's the Kentucky game, and I really don't like Kentucky. Looks like they are going to win, but it's still early. I'm not a John Cal fan; too much corruption around him. And I don't like the idea of a college team being a one year farm team of the NBA. OK, enough...

I think this week is going to be busy, so I will get a jump on it right now! I've already worked on my "Think Along" for tomorrow and Tuesday. I took a week off from most things last week, so there will be a price to pay for that. That's all fine. I will be ready.

We had a good few days in Alabama. We went down there last Sunday afternoon and got back Wednesday night. I really enjoyed the down time. I ran 25 miles and biked 40 in 3 days, so I made the most of those opportunities. I really wanted to do more, but I knew I would risk injury. I really wanted to ride a lot more, but I need to wait until the Boston Marathon is over to do lots of miles.

My Boston prep is just about complete. I do a modified taper. Lots of experts say you should taper for 3 weeks and do your long run 3 weeks before the marathon. I don't like to taper that long, so I will do one more 20 miler, next Saturday, which is 2 weeks and 2 days before the marathon. I will reduce my overall miles this week to compensate. I need to do a 10 mile steady state run at a 7:50 pace, hopefully Tuesday. I will fill in the rest of the week with shorter and easier runs.

Yesterday was my 4th 20 miler in this training cycle, and it went really well. It was another confidence builder. I had no trouble and held back most of the run. I did it comfortably in the 8:30s. I am just hoping for a decent weather day in Boston. The heat we have been having would knock my goals out of consideration, so I am hoping for a cool day in Boston on the 16th.

Lots of stuff going on, so I best get focused on it...  OH! The picture? That's my old bike, and there is a story brewing with it. Time will reveal the mystery.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Running in Walmart Gear

I never imagined it would happen. Imagine what would happen? First, that I would forget my running shorts, and second, that I would find something at Walmart that I could run in. Let me tell you what happened.

Kedra and I arrived late Sunday night at her parent’s home in Huntsville, Alabama. While Kedra and her parents were catching up, I slipped away to the bedroom to prepare for an early morning run. I got out my shoes, socks, and hat, not necessarily in that order. I just pulled out the pieces as they came. Where were my shorts?

I was sure that I packed them. A thorough search, followed by two more, including dumping everything on the bed and putting it back in the suit case, piece by piece, revealed that I was wrong. Now what?

Well, I have my bike here, which means I have bike shorts. The bike shorts I brought, however, were the ones with a thick pad built it, so, if I ran in them, I would look like I was wearing a diaper under my skin tight shorts or I should have been. Either way I didn’t think venturing out in Alabama like that was a good idea.

It’s fairly late on a Sunday night in Huntsville. Dick’s Sporting Goods is closed, the malls are closed, Target (which has some decent running stuff) is closed. What’s open? Walmart.

Walmart? It was the only option, I’m telling you! So off to Walmart I go. I’ve never seen it so empty, which allowed me to quickly make my way to the men’s section. "There’s no way I will find shorts with a moisture removing liner built in," so I’m thinking of how to handle that situation. Non-runners, just skip your thoughts here; don’t ask and don’t worry about it. Really, just move along.

The first thing I notice is that almost all the shorts are very ugly and very large. Hmmm. Lots of XXXXXXXLs down to XLs. Then a pleasant surprise: they have compression shorts made of good moisture removing material! And I found a Medium (referring to size, not a psychic). One problem is now solved, and any shorts would basically be OK on top of these little beauts, which were only $12.

I kept searching and searching through the shorts, and I finally found one pair of small gray shorts that were not too ugly and, amazingly, seemed to be large for a small. It was late, so I would have to make do. Time to check out. There was one checkout line open on the non-food side, which was a long, long way from the food checkouts, which were backed up with large people getting Sunday night snacks. I guess that’s what they were doing?

The one line open on my side of the store was a "10 items or less" line. But when I arrived there was a young couple there, not nicely dressed, not classified as "beautiful people." They had a cart ("buggy" in southern speak) with at least 500 items in it. There were unloading, and the "big-boned" checkout woman was not very happy about anything. I was probably engaged in psychological projection at this point. She was actually expressionless. A Stoic perhaps?

The couple talked to each other in Alabama redneck language. I am actually an interpreter of this language, but I could not quite hear them. All I know is that he actually left to go get more stuff, while the big-boned woman looked on stoically. I allow my breathing to become audible. Hey, I wanted them to know that I was still alive, just in case they were wondering.

The guy came back, and everything stopped. No "boop" of an item across the scanner. The big-boned woman looked at the young man and then at the pile of stuff collected on the bag carousel. Clearly she is sending a message.

He picks up her signal! He, quite friendly and eager to please, says to her, "Oops, not doing my job!" He grabs some of the bags and other stuff and get things moving again. The man’s girlfriend, not very friendly and not eager to please, mutters, "I don’t think it’s your job," slinging her words at the big-boned woman, now booping again. Boop. Boop.

Finally the 90 something dollar total is announced, and now comes the question about funding. I turned away, fearing the worst. A few cards, a few swipes, nervous laughter from the friendly man, and my fears were. . . relieved. They were finished!

I stepped up to the big-boned booper. We exchanged a few emotionless words, words of a good, solid transaction. She looked at the compression shorts, tiny and tight, and said nothing. I looked away, looked back to pay, and then walked away. My running had taken me places I did not want to go.

I felt her stare as I left.  I turned and said, "Boop, boop, baby. Now, you can stop checking me out!"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Break

Good morning! I wanted to check in with you this morning before I check out this afternoon. Kedra and I are headed to Alabama some time this afternoon and will be gone for a few days. It's spring break, and so I will take a little break from here and from a few other daily things I do. I might be back at the end of the week, maybe sooner, depending on Internet connections and desire. ha ha

I'm in my final prep for my sermon this morning, and I am finishing up my class also. I think I am just about ready for both. Thus, I have a little time to tell you about a few things. First, Rebecca is in Mexico on a mission trip with Lipscomb. She is working in a children's home this week. Please pray for her.

On Friday I had a great bike ride with Bill and Tim the Elder. It was fun and went really well. The weather was in the 60s and the road was a bit damp. That led to the only downside of the ride. My bike was a mess when I got finished. I spent about an hour in the evening cleaning it up. The bike looks so nice that I enjoyed restoring its beauty through a bath. Yes, that sounds really weird. We rode a little more than 30 miles Friday.

Yesterday I had my longest long run of this training cycle. I went 22 miles, and it went really well. Most experts say your long run should be a minute slower than your intended race pace. My intended race pace for Boston is 7:59, and yesterday I ran a comfortable 8:41. I actually cranked out a 8:13 for mile 21 and 7:53 for mile 22, which tells me that I am in pretty good shape and had plenty left. I am just hoping for a good weather day in Boston. I ended up with 50 miles for the week.

In Alabama I hope to get some good quality running in, and I'm taking my bike to get a few easy rides in. I am working on some adjustments as far as fitting is concerned. That's always a work in progress, so it will be good to have some extra time to work on that. Plus there are some great places to ride in AL.

OK! See you soon.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

What Can We Do?


Quite along time ago, my young family was crossing a street. My precious little girl, misreading the sign asked, "Are we allowed to cross here?"

"Yes, why do you ask?"

She explained, "Because we are not Presbyterians."

Still cracks me up!

There certainly are a lot of divisions amongst those who follow Jesus, and I think God is not especially pleased with that. You can read John 17 and 1 Corinthians 1 to get some idea of what he thinks.

What can we do? Maybe just start working side by side in serving people who are in need, walking together to help others? Seems like a good place to start to me.

Friday

Wow, I slept in this morning! Made it to 5:50 a.m. I was up a little later than usual last night. I went to the pool, and I don't get home from it until around 9:30. It takes me a while to unwind after that. Plus, last night IU was playing basketball. They are starting to draw me back in after years of my apathy.

Sleep in = running behind this morning. Oh well... I had a good day yesterday. I didn't get to run in the morning, because the storms just kept coming along. I had to be at the bus barn around 9, so I simply didn't have enough time to get a 7 miler in. No problem! Once I got to Indy, I did the Superman thing, using a bus, instead of a phone booth. Off I went into the midday sun for seven. It was a decent run.

I came back to the bus, cleaned up, changed back into Clark Kent and continued sermon prep. I got a start on it before we left, due to not running at home yesterday morning. This sermon is going to be different. I really like it, which means most people won't -- ha ha. That seems to be the way it works.

Other preachers tell me the same. "The ones I like don't seem to capture anyone's attention. The cruddy ones - those are the ones the people like." Hey, it's all God's word and doesn't return back to him without doing something. The key is the sermon must be based on Scripture. Oh well, enough preaching theory.

It seems that the last 5 minutes in the pool are always the most productive, and that was the case last night. I THINK I am "this close" to swimming. I'm getting excited about that. Once there, I can start the new dream of becoming at triathlete.

The bike is calling my name! I hear it, and a couple of my friends have heard theirs also. I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I think a 32 mile ride could happen today. Tomorrow is a 22 mile run.

I hope your weekend goes really well!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Last Tear


I hate to see people cry! Gets to me. Bad.

Yet tears are a part of life, and some people die with tears in their eyes.

Yesterday I saw a man who is dying. He was crying. Tears filled his eyes.

There is quite a promise to those who believe in, and follow, Jesus. If we die in pain, then guess who wipes that last tear away?

Revelation 21:4 — "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

And after that last tear is gone... Wow!

Thursday a.m.

Good morning! How are you on this fine, warm morning? It's going to be another weirdly warm day. Oh well. Sure is pleasant. I'm looking at the radar and seeing a few showers, which is not what I want to see. I need to do another (my third this week) early, before the sun comes up, run. I think I will be OK.

I need a 7 miler this morning. It, coupled with my 6 miler from yesterday morning, will position me for a 22 miler on Saturday, which will give me another 50 mile week. As far as training for Boston goes, the time is now! I have this week and couple more to hit it hard and hope everything holds together. I feel strong and fit right now, so my confidence is growing. I am starting to get excited!

Yesterday was a busy day! I had 3 meetings in a row yesterday morning and then I saw a bunch of people in various places in life. It was an interesting day that ended in my class last night. We talked about the 400 years of silence between the Old and New Testaments. My class reenacted it for me by saying little! Ha ha, just kidding. Well, sorta! There is just a lot to process from a historical standpoint. The class reaction is making me rethink my sermon plan, which is what the class is designed to do.

Sermon prep today will be in an interesting environment. I will work inside a bus today. I am driving a group of students to Brownsburg for the Challenger Learning Experience, or something like that. My kids did it when they were in school. They get to do a space mission. It's pretty neat, and it will provide a good quiet place to work. I've prepared a few sermons over the years in a bus. The money I receive will go to fund some of my endurance atheletics habits. (Bus driving in the fall bought me my bike!)

Well, I better get going here soon. I hope your day goes really well.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Desire to Finish


Last summer, during the Tour de France, I heard something like this:

"The desire to finish must be stronger than the rationale to quit." Wow!

I love endurance athletic events, in part, because they are a metaphor for the Christian race.

Hebrews 12:1 — Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Philippians 3:13,14 — Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Work through the rough patches, the temptations to quit, and keep moving! It’s worth it!

"The desire to finish must be stronger than the rationale to quit."

Wednesday



Good morning Wednesday! How are you? Luke is 22 years old today! I remember his birth very well. In fact, when we went to the hospital the night before he was born, it was close to 80 degrees. He decided to wait all night before he made his entrance, like at 8:30 in the morning. Then, if I remember right, it got really cold. He has been such a blessing to us and is at a neat place in life. He is getting ready to graduate in May.

The other picture is of one my favorite things I've brought home from Honduras on my 6 trips there. When we went to Santa Rosa de Copan, I kept seeing bottles of something at roadside stands. I asked Marc what they were. "Honey." I said, "Stop calling me honey, you weirdo!" He said, "No, those are bottles of honey, like from bees." "Oh, OK then." On the way back to Tegucigalpa, we stopped at one of the stands and made the purchase. It is the best honey I've ever had! I got about a quart, and it cost me about $5!

Yesterday was a good day! I enjoyed studying for a long time the intertestamental period. It's during this time that the synagogue develops, which has a huge influence on the way churches worship today. Also during this time some of the famous players in the New Testament develop, for example, the Pharisees and Sadducees. As I bumped into Alexander the Great yesterday, I so much wanted to spend time with him, but I had to keep moving. He changed the world in so many ways, and we still live under his influence today in some ways. When he was 14, he began studying with Aristotle.

When I visited Turkey and the sites of the 7 churches of Asia Minor, I ran into a lot of Greek influence. You could see buildings that were built by the Greeks, and then when the Romans came along, they would build on top of those structures. Fascinating stuff, at least to me.

Last night we shortened the tempo run to 2 miles, due to the heat. We're not acclimated to it yet and need to keep our long term goals in mind and not do anything too foolish. (I threw that in there, because some of you think all of it is foolishness! ha ha) Anyway, I was pleased with my workout last night. I ran a total of 10 miles and ran the 2 tempo miles at a 6:45 pace. I think from now to Boston I will do only the longer steady state runs, e.g., runs once a week at a 7:45ish pace that cover from 6-10 miles. Boston is only 4 weeks from Monday!

Today is going to be a busy one! I have 3 meetings this morning and tons of people to see the rest of the day, followed by a meal and class tonight. It should be a good day, even though really long.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday a.m.



Good morning! My usual routine was severely disrupted this morning, due to our satellite internet being out. I can’t receive or send email, check or read anything on the internet, or post my blog. Since you are reading this, you know that it has started working again, but for now, as I write, I am in the process of being flexible and adjusting. Ha ha - no choice.
For more than a week my focus has been on helping people living in the midst of the tornado damage to our south and east. I’ve lost track of how many phone calls, text, emails, and Facebook messages that have taken place in regard to the matter. Yesterday I finally made it down to one of the areas hit.
We took a nice group of around 15 people. We worked on one guy’s farm, helping him clean up a hay field and clear a place to build a fence to replace the one destroyed by the tornado. It turned out that we working just across the road from where my mother’s parents and grandparents are buried. I have vivid memories of standing in that cemetery as they were buried years ago.
We were also working on the farm where one of our church member’s daughter-in-law grew up. Those were some interesting connections for me. The work itself, as usual, was less than glamorous and dramatic. It was simply cutting up twisted trees and bushes that were intertwined with wire, picking up wood and sticks, and gathering pieces of metal. It was not glamorous, but it was very helpful to the farmer. It was service to the Lord by simply serving one of his sons.
I was struck yesterday by how we worked all day to clean up one hay field. Just one, and it wasn’t that big. That job needs to be multiplied over and over and over. When we started it seemed pretty futile, but once we got going, we could see how things started progressing. Cut. Pile. Separate wood and metal. Pick up the piles with a tractor and trailer and move them to one big pile. At the end of the day, you could see that this was going to be a hayfield once again.
After not much sleep, a good five mile run, and day of working, I was beat last night. No pool for me. I needed rest more than anything, and I got it. I slept well last night and got up before 5 this morning.
Today I get to wrestle with the Intertestamental Period, the time between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. There are 400 years to consider. You go to bed with the Persians allowing the Jews to go back home and rebuild their Temple (Ezra & Nehemiah), and then you wake up and the Romans are in control (Gospels), synagogues are everywhere, Pharisees and other sects are present. How did all that happen? My task this week will be to explain that in a way that keeps folks interested. Challenge!
Tonight is the tempo run. I need 10 miles, so I am going to start a little early to get a few in before the group goes at 5:15. I hope your day goes (is going) well.

Wanna Get Away?


Ever just want to run away from everyone and everything?

You have had enough of whatever and you feel the best thing would be to leave, to escape.

A long time ago, David, in Psalm 55, articulated what you and I feel sometimes:

"Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest— I would flee far away..."

But David doesn’t flee. He stays, and he remembers that God is with him. I need to remember the same. How about you?

Several times in our Story, God says, "I will never leave you!" So we stay, and we stay aware that God walks with us.

Don’t you love this promise?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Thanks!


What attitude do you see in others that bothers you the most?

What attitude do you think bothers God the most?

I think the answer to both could be ingratitude. What do you think?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

An attitude of gratitude acknowledges that we are the recipients of God’s grace, goodness, and gifts, including a day of adjusting to a time change ( ha ha).

I’m going to work on gratitude this week. Will you join me? Let’s start today!

Monday a.m.

Kathy & Rand Hammel, Jim Sowders, Ryan Roberts, Bill Deckard, John Heatherly, and Larry Moffatt.

Larry Moffatt and me with John Heatherly in the background

Good morning! How are you adjusting to time change? Evidently my body decided that I didn't need much sleep last night. I went to be later than usual and woke up much earlier than usual, and I felt like I never went to sleep. Oh well, I was due for one of those nights. I think it was the warm, moist air? I had the window by my bed open fairly wide last night.

How was your weekend? Wasn't the weather amazing? It was a little cool Saturday morning but warmed up nicely. We had a nice group for our Bloomington to Bedford 20 miler. It was actually a Bloomington to Oolitic and back to Avoca 20 mile run, but that's harder to say (ha ha).

We met at Avoca and piled in one vehicle and headed to the medical offices on Tapp Road. We dropped water and Gatorade on the way up at 3 spots. We had a great run! The group I was in completed it in 2:47:55 for an 8:24 pace. I was very pleased with that for a training run on a hilly course. I THINK you can see the details here:
Untitled by awb330 at Garmin Connect - Details

Luke was home this weekend, which was so nice! I miss having him around SO much! He brought Lydia with him, and it was nice to get to know her better. Luke is working at large engineering firm in Nashville as a paid intern. He and we are hoping that it will turn into a full time position when he graduates in May. He is making a trip to Guatemala right after he graduates to see about his bridge that he designed for his senior project.

Yesterday, after church and a lunch, I managed to get out on my bike for a little while. It was so nice! The wind was light and temps were just right. I didn't have time to do much, but I got a quick 10+ mile ride in.

Today I am heading to Pekin, along with a bunch of other people, to do chainsaw work. I'm not exactly sure what we are getting into, but I think I know (ha ha). I am really looking forward to it. I love helping people and I love running my chainsaw. Today they come together in a nice way.

OK, I've got lots of things to do before I go, including a 5 mile run... I plan to end the day in the pool at 8 this evening.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Who Are You Not?


Short, sweet, and light – the perfect thought for a Friday. Right?

And, it takes the form of a joke! Ready?

What's the difference between you and God?

God NEVER thinks He's you.

Let God handle the cares of this week, and then on Sunday, His Day, worship him with other flawed individuals who have found forgiveness and new life in Jesus Christ!

Why not?

Friday a.m.


You've heard of strawberry fields forever, right? How about cabbage fields for a short time? OK, even I know that that was not that funny. Hey, it's Friday, so you can let it go. This picture is from Guajire in Honduras, and it is a field of cabbage. I'm not sure how they rotate their crops, but cabbage was near harvest when were there. Corn had been harvested, dried, and was being shucked and shelled. Coffee also was being dried, after being picked. Last summer they were harvesting broccoli.

They get about the same amount of sunlight year round. I think the variation is only about 2 hours from the longest to the shortest of days, but the rainfall is probably the key. Our winter time corresponds pretty well, I think, to their dry season. Stuff to learn.

I'm pretty well fried, so I'm going to try take it easy today. I came back from Honduras about 10 days ago and hit the ground running and really haven't taken much of a break since. The combination of being behind in my work plus the tornado have kept me busy. Taking it easy simply means I will do other stuff all day -- stuff around the house that needs doing or some things I want to do.

Sermon prep went well yesterday, and I am almost ready for Sunday. Pat and I work well together; a synergy takes place. I have a few finishing touches on a few things, and then I can put it down until tomorrow night. I always go over everything on Saturday night and then again early Sunday. The clocks change this week, so I need to be prepared for that.

Yesterday morning I got run with the two Tims. I was ready to go a little after 7.30, about the time the monsoon broke! You should be proud and acknowledge that I actually waited a few minutes for it to pass. Once it let up, I took off. I came back and met the Tims for 5 miles, and then I finished on my own with 8.5 miles. I actually did not get too terribly soaked. I am now ready for 20 on Saturday. I am really looking forward to it!

When I arrived at the pool last night, there was a junior high meet going on. Waiting was called for. I waited until 8.30 and finally got in. It was a short night, but I think I made some more progress. I think learning Mandarin Chinese might be easier for me. Just kidding, but learning to swim is not easy, at least not for me. Perseverance!

I hope you have a good weekend.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Glorious Body

"I have the body of a god! Buddha is a god."

Are you satisfied with your body? From what I read and hear, most people aren’t. Why is that?

If we follow Jesus, then our bodies house the Holy Spirit of God and have been bought at a great price. We need to love our bodies and take care of them. Perfect bodies are rare, so let’s just give up on that idea.

The promise of God, in the resurrection, is that he "will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." A glorious body! Finally!

Your body is already glorious in lots of ways, because you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God! You are his masterpiece!

How can you honor God with your body?

[For further reflection, read: Philippians 3:20,21; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20 & 15:35-58]

Thursday


How are you this morning? It's Thursday! Already. I am really looking forward to today. I'll start with an 8 mile run, here in a little while. Looks like I might get wet! My sweetness always puts me at risk of melting, but, hey, you have to take risks in life. The completion of 8 miles will put me at 30 for the week. Tomorrow I will take off, and then I will be ready for our Bloomington to Bedford 20 miler on Saturday. Fifty miles per week is what I hope for for the next couple of weeks; maybe a little more.

See William up there? Isn't he cute? When we were in our adopted village of Guajire the other day, I was visiting in Coronada's home, taking some pictures of his children. One of the boys pointed me to a wooden box in another part of the room. When I looked in the box, made out of pallet material, I saw little William. Precious.

William is a product of rape. Coronada has a daughter who is mentally challenged, and a guy raped her. She conceived and gave birth to William. God's redemptive nature--working in the messes of life to make something good happen--seems evident in this situation. William will be raised in a loving family that is a part of a very loving church.

We had a good class last night, which capped a good day. The challenge this week, as it is most weeks, will be to take all the information and narrow it down to 20-25 minutes worth of the best stuff. I think I will present an overview of the prophets and then focus in on Jeremiah, showing the realness of his struggle. Man, he struggles, but he hangs on to his hope. It is new every morning!

My quest to swim continues this evening. Monday was a little rough, due to having 2 weeks off. With assistance, I did manage to cover 600 yards again. I was going for 750 but ended up talking to a few people and decided to pack it in. Rome was not built in a day, they say. ha ha. My goal is do a triathlon in June. There is a friendly one with all my buddies+ over at Sullivan, at Jim's friend's house. I hope to be ready for that.


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Priorities

You only have so much time and energy, so what’s the best thing for you to do? What’s first?

I’ve discovered that I can’t do all that I want to do. I have too many interests, limited time and energy, physical and emotional. I have to decide how to spend my time.

I find it difficult to not do a good thing in order to do a better thing.

Priorities!

How do you make those decisions?

Jesus says this about life, God, and priorities, "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness..."

What do think that looks like?

Wednesday a.m.

Hey, good morning! Last night when I was running in 70 degree weather, I had this weird thought that I had actually run the day before in 25 degree weather with snow on the ground. Funny how the mind has the strangest thoughts from time to time!  So how are you this morning? I had another good night's sleep, which is such a blessing. You don't appreciate those until you don't have them. I know many people who don't sleep well, and I have my share of nights without sleep as well.

Sorry to revisit the fish issue, IF it causes you to be grossed out. If that is the case, then you should probably stop reading right now. Why? Because I'm about to tell more about eating these fish. Melissa, pictured above, is one of the young ladies helping Marc, along with her sister, Heidi. As we were eating the fish, I jokingly (at least I thought it was a joke) asked, "Are you going to eat its eyes?" She answered very seriously, "Yes - very good!" Then she proceeded to remove the head and eat the meat found in and around it, and then she removed the eyes and ate them. The eye is on the tip of her finger. See?

Yesterday was another good day. I had a couple of good hours studying/thinking about the prophets and exile. The prophetic message was one that emphasized sin, punishment, and restoration. There is always the hope of restoration in God's economy. That's a really good thing to know and remember!

I started focusing on Jeremiah, because he was in the midst of the Babylonian conflict. He watched them come in and take people away. He wrote Lamentations, which is so powerful. Even in the midst of turmoil and destruction he writes in Lamentations 3:22-24:
Because of the LORD'S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;therefore I will wait for him."

Last night's run was fun. There is something about the first really nice, warm evening that makes it all so enjoyable. I ended up with a good workout, even though it was a bit disjointed. Jim and Bill talked me into going out with them at 6.40 pace, which I did for the first mile. I knew I couldn't hold that for 5-6 miles, so I backed off. Then I found myself in no man's land. My other friends were behind me now.

Miles 2 and 3 were around a 7:10 pace, which was sustainable. When I hit the 3 mile mark, I stopped for water and waited for the group behind me. Tim the Elder and I took off for another mile at around the same pace, and then I waited for Rand and connected with him for another mile plus. All in all it was a good workout for a warm night. I did 10+ miles right at an 8 pace, which included the warm-up and cool-down. I'll take it.

OK, lots to do...



Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Knowledge and Ignorance


"The more I know, the less I know." Does that sound right to you? No?

How about this one?

"As the island of our knowledge increases so does the seashore of our ignorance."

It’s clear to me that as my knowledge increases, I am increasingly aware of how little I know, relative to what there is to know. Humbling! I bow in humble adoration to the God who knows all, and I trust him with my ignorance. I know enough to do that!

Roman 11:33 — Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

What do you know?

Tuesday a.m.


Last week an email came from the Boston Marathon. They have changed their mind, and I can't go. Just kidding! ha ha. It was an email asking me to confirm my entry information. This dream is starting to get real! It's only 41 days away. The next 3 weeks or so are the time to hit it the hardest without getting hurt. Push it to the red line!

Yesterday was a busy one! Most of the day was taken up with disaster relief plans and conversations. I don't know how many phone calls and emails I did yesterday, but it was a lot. Greg McBride is a good leader, and I think we have a pretty good plan in place. We are going to meet with a couple more guys on Wednesday who are doing something similar. We want our effort to be united.

The disaster, coupled with being behind from being in Honduras, means that I have a long list of things to do and people to see. I hope today will be a day that I can get to a lot of it. A study of the prophets and Babylonian Exile also await me. I think it's going to be an interesting day!

The day will end with a 10 mile run, and the rumor is that our short tempo has been changed into a longer, 6 mile steady state run. That would actually fit my training better, so that's probably what I will do. Warm up for a couple of miles and then run 6 miles around a 7 minute per mile pace, and then cool down for 2 miles. I think the plan for Saturday is to run from Bloomington to Bedford, finding a 20 miler along the way. Those who have run Boston say that the grades/hills on that course are similar to Boston.

Need to hit the books!

Monday, March 05, 2012

How to Help the Tornado Victims

Here are some things you can do. We are going to fill a semi trailer full of supplies, and we are going to organize teams to take day trips, starting next week, to help clean up.

The semi trailer will be parked at Tulip Street church (900 Tulip St. in Mitchell) during the month of March. We will collect your goods on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. until Noon. We will collect the following:
  • Water/Gatorade
  • Protein/granola bars
  • Paper towels
  • Trash bags
  • Wipes - baby and/or antibacterial
  • Diapers
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Personal hygiene items, e.g., tooth brushes, deodorant, shampoo, etc.
If you are collecting with others, for example a church or a work group, please sort your items and place them in a plastic container that can be used by the survivors for other things.

Our church will be taking up a contribution soon. If you want to give, then make checks out to Mitchell Church of Christ; memo: Tornado relief.

More information on day trips will be available soon.

One Day at a Time


I wonder what will happen this week?

A lot of us spend/waste a lot time wondering what will happen in the future. We act out scenarios in our head, anticipating things that may occur (but often don’t). That is the stuff of worry.

Here’s a quote to live by:

"I don’t know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future."

Jesus said this (Matt. 6):

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

How about we just live faithfully today, being conscious of God’s presence and promises?

Sounds good to me!

Monday!

Are you ready for this? A new week! The last 2 weeks for me have been "partial" weeks. What do I mean by that? Well, the week before last, I left early, early on Wednesday morning to go to Honduras, and last week I returned home on early, early Wednesday morning. The trip required me adjust 2 weeks, which was fine. I am, however, looking forward to a full, regular week this week. Of course "full" and "regular," especially that later word, is very hard to define.

It sure was an interesting weekend! Friday was a busy day. I needed to finish my sermon and all the stuff that goes along with it, plus I needed to run 20 miles. If you remember Friday, then you remember that it was a day of wild weather, and it began early. I took off to run around 8:30, after watching the radar; looked good, I thought. I got less than a mile from my truck when the lightning and thunder started. Time to change plans, so I went back home and worked for a while, watching the ground turn white with hail. Good move.

I went back out around 11 a.m. and got 10 miles in before I had to be somewhere else. Oh well. I decided I would run another 10 on Saturday. The rest of the day was busy with various things, including getting ready for Sunday. Friday evening Kedra and I took advantage of Ben going to the sectional basketball game in Washington to have a really hot date: Bloomington, Olive Garden, and then, wait for it(!), Sam's club. Yes, we went clubbing!

We ate out on a gift card that we received at Christmas, shared a meal, drank water, and walked away for a total of the face value of the card: $25, which included a $3.97 tip. That's was good. On our way to Sam's, Greg McBride from Tulip Street church called, saying that we needed to do something to help the tornado victims just to our south and east. Greg and I have worked together on various things, and he went with me to Alabama last April to help with tornado relief.

Long story short, we planned a quick and simple effort that would take place on Saturday. We got the word out on Friday evening, mostly via Facebook. Amazing! That's how I would describe what happened. The word spread rapidly, and by Noon on Saturday, there were literally truckloads of supplies on the way to Pekin. Facebook has its problems, etc., but it sure is a powerful communication tool!

I could not help with the collection and delivery on Saturday, due to a commitment to drive the bus for Larry M and the track team. We went to DePauw University in Greencastle for a huge indoor meet. I got the bus at 7:30 a.m. and parked it at 8:00 p.m. Long day! While there I ran 10 miles. It was cold, windy, and a few snowflakes fell on me!

Yesterday was a good day at church, and one of the coolest things that happened, in my opinion, was the "tweeting" that took place during the sermon. I have been thinking for quite a while about encouraging sermon interactivity, and that kinda happened yesterday. I would like to evolve to the point that people can text statements/questions during the sermon that I would take the time to answer at the end. Yesterday a few guys simply tweeted some thoughts and ideas, some were funny and some were serious. The hash tag is #mcoc, if you want to see what happened.

OK, off to work...

Sunday, March 04, 2012

From the home office



This morning as I was preparing for the only day of the week I work (beat you!), I looked out my office window. This is what I saw. It was a fairly young deer.

I love my home office and do my best thinking there. I have a couple of bird feeders right outside my window.

I think St. Francis would like my office.

Going Iron with a Cause


I've become a cyber friend with this guy. He goes to Farmer's Branch church in Texas. I like his idea of connecting a personal challenge with a great cause.

Friday, March 02, 2012

HELP!

Tomorrow afternoon we are taking supplies to Pekin for the tornado victims in the region. We are collecting the following things tomorrow (Sat.) morning from 10 a.m. until Noon at the Tulip Street Christian Church (900 Tulip Street in Mitchell):

  •  Gatorade and bottled water
  • Fruit
  • Protein and Granola bars
  • Snack crackers
  • Chips - single serving bags
  • Pre-made sandwiches (at least 12): cold meats, peanut butter, cheese, etc. Wrap some individually and some on plates. Label them please.
  • Paper towels

We will need coolers with ice, with your name clearly marked on it for return.

We MAY need some trucks/box trailers to haul everything. (We don't want to take too many vehicles/people.)

Greg McBride is the chief coordinator. He can be contacted at tulip-greg@frontier.com or just drop by to see him in the morning for questions/information.

If you can't come between 10 and Noon, the south doors of the church building will be open beginning at 8 a.m.

 

Encouragement


Do you give it?

The biblical idea of encouragement pictures one person coming alongside another. Presence. Participation. Conversation. Walking together. Working together.

Interestingly enough, that is how the Holy Spirit of God is described also.

God empowers people to encourage other people, and the best kind of encouragement is specific rather than general. "Good job" is OK, but "I really appreciate you because _________" is much better and longer lasting.

Can you come alongside someone this weekend to provide encouragement in a specific way?

It’s a good way to imitate God!

Friday!


Good morning! I hope you have had a good week! Keep an eye to the sky today. Usually, however, when storm predictions are hyped like they are this time, they turn out to be less. I hope that's the case this time too. 

I'm still way behind in my prep for Sunday, but I'm OK with all that. I'll just take it as it comes. Yesterday was a busy day. I did get some of my sermon started, but then I left it to go see people and do things. I saw a man who is dying. He's afraid. There are lots of challenges with this one, but the biggest is that his speech is hard to understand. I had trouble following all that he was saying.

I saw a few other people yesterday also, and I went to an ethics committee meeting at St. Vincent Dunn. I really enjoy these meetings and always learn a lot. One of the weirdest things that I learned yesterday is that people steal the crucifixes off the walls of the hospital. Wow! That's complicated! Think about it. ha ha.

The ReGeneration Store is a regular hangout for me. Yesterday was no exception. It's a great place to see lots of people. The store continues to do amazingly well. We had our best February ever. By far. This means more ministry dollars to help people in need. It is an awesome blessing to so many. We are so thankful for it all.

Yesterday evening we got to have dinner with Lester and Maddie. They were down to close on their house in Bedford! We are so happy for them and are so excited to have them coming back home to live. They get possession of their house in mid to late March but won't move in until May.

The picture above is from our adopted village of Guajire in Honduras. It is a grandmother with her granddaughter. Steve, Dan, and Warren built a house for the little girl and her family. I got to visit them a few days later. They were so grateful. They are members of the church in Guajire.

Tomorrow I am driving the Mitchell track team to DePauw University, so I will be gone all day. This means I need to do my long run, a 20 miler, sometime today. I'm going to have to do a detailed study of the weather to see what window opens. Could be a challenge in several ways today. I am hoping to get 50 miles this week, which means, if I get 20 today, then I will need to run 5 more tomorrow. Doable!

My quads are still burning from my 10 miler in the mountains of Honduras on Tuesday. I hope to post about running in Honduras next week. It was quite an amazing experience!

OK, here we go!


Thursday, March 01, 2012

Got your back


Isn't that funny?? ha ha

From Mike Cope's blog.

Today



As a rule, a man’s a fool

When it’s hot, he wants it cool

And when it’s cool, he wants it hot

And he always wants what’s not

I memorized this decades ago. Speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

We talk about the weather a lot, even to strangers. Is it because it’s one of the most basic things we share in human existence? A lot of people complain about the weather. Why?

My running buddies, always positive, laugh and say, "There are no bad days to run, just bad running clothes."

God says, "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!"

Can we do that even on cruddy weather days, all days, always?

I do better when I remember that each day is a gift given by God.

Thursday morning

Wow, I slept well last night! I guess I was making up for the night before. The day we left Honduras I got up and ran 10 miles, so I started the long journey on the tired side. Our trip home was good but long. We leave Honduras around 1 p.m. Central time and fly to Houston, which takes less than 3 hours. In Houston we usually have around a 3 hour layover, which is not too bad. We have to clear passport control, pick up checked bags, go through customs, re-check the bags, and then go through security again. It takes a while to do all that, and by the time you get something to eat, the wait is not all that long. The flight from Houston to Indy is less than 2 hours, arriving around 11 p.m. Eastern time. It's always good to get back home.

Yesterday I tried to get myself back together and focused on what is coming rapidly: Sunday. I got up at the usual time and forced myself to do some things, including going for a 5 mile run. I'm right in the heart of training for Boston, so I can't miss too many workouts. It was hard to concentrate yesterday, but I got a few things done. Today I have a busy schedule, which will hinder sermon prep. It's all OK. I've got tomorrow and Saturday to get it all done.

I better go for now. I have lots more to share about the trip and other things, and I will over the course of the next few blogs.