Friday, August 31, 2012

Not Taking Chances


A man and his ever-nagging wife went on vacation to Jerusalem. While they were there, the wife passed away.

The undertaker told the husband, "You can have her shipped home for $5,000, or you can bury her here, in the Holy Land, for $150."

The man thought about it and told him he would just have her shipped home.

The undertaker asked, "Why would you spend $5,000 to ship your wife home, when it would be wonderful to be buried here in the Holy Land and you would spend only $150?"

The man replied, "Long ago a man died here, was buried here, and three days later he rose from the dead. I just can't take that chance."

OK, it’s Friday and time to laugh.

I will say this. Even though his applied thinking is warped, the old man was right about the Resurrection.

Jesus rose from the dead, and because of that, I have hope and can really enjoy this day and the ones to follow!

You really ought to go worship the Lord this weekend.

Friday!


Good morning! Think we'll get any rain? If this computer model is right, then it looks like about 7 inches. My pond will be happy, since it's almost dry. I did some final prep for the rain on my roof last night. I took my leaf blower up there and blew out all the gutters and put a little more roof cement on some places that looked like they needed it. Come on Isaac, I'm ready!

You know how one of my favorite quotes governs my life in a lot of ways? It's a quote that changed my life a few years back, and it comes from Henri Nouwen, a theologian who has had a deep impact on my life and ministry. Here's my paraphrase of it:

I used to complain about interruptions to my work until I realized the interruptions are my work.

I got to use/apply that a couple of times yesterday. Details? No, I would have to kill you. I just share that to tell you that my (to)day is different than I anticipated it would be, looking at it yesterday. I've still got work to do, and I'm not complaining. It's all good. I do hope to carve out a few hours sometime today to take a little time to recharge my batteries.

I drove the junior high cross country bus to Pekin last night. I really enjoyed that. Anytime you get to be with Larry M. is a good time. The boys and girls both won, and we have some church kids on the team. I got to enjoy and encourage them some. It was hot! I was so glad that I ran yesterday morning.

We heard a little more from Rebecca in Costa Rica. She successfully survived her scavenger hunt. Part of it was to find a pay phone and use a (supplied) phone card to call someone back in the U.S. Rebecca called Kedra and spoke to her briefly. It was limited but we did find out that her host family speaks no English, their house is small but clean, Rebecca has a single bed in the same room as her 2 "sisters" who sleep in bunk beds. The house has 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. She is still unclear about Internet connections.

Tonight we go to Paoli to play football. Paoli is a highly ranked powerhouse and their coach seems super confident that they will win all their games. He says it in the paper quite often. Ben is quietly confident of an upset. I love seeing him that way. I hope it happens. Ben, again, has his work cut out for him. Paoli has a good running game.

Tomorrow calls for a 12 mile run. We have a quote that we share back on forth. I think it originated with Lance Armstrong, talking about cycling, weather, and clothes. We have modified it for running.

There are no bad days to run, just bad running clothes.

OK. Run we shall.

Here we go...


Thursday, August 30, 2012

What's God Like?



What’s your image of God? How do you imagine him? A sleepy old white-haired man on a big throne? Super-sized cosmic Santa Clause? An angry policeman or parent, just waiting for you to mess up again? Distant? Aloof?

The image we have of God is shaped in lots of ways. The way we were raised has a lot to do with it.

J.B. Phillips, a long time ago, wrote a book that’s worth reading. His point in "Your God is too Small" is that we can overcome all our inadequate and harmful images of God by looking at Jesus.

Indeed that is the claim of Jesus that pervades the New Testament. Jesus said plainly in John 14, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father."

Jesus is God in the flesh, showing us who he is and what he wants from us.

What do we see, when we look at Jesus? A compassionate, caring God who came to save and not condemn. He is worth getting to know and getting to know better. How? Read his story in John, Luke, Mark, and Matthew

Thursday a.m.


Hello Thursday! You and me - let's work together today. Get lots done. Have some fun. OK?

We heard from Rebecca overnight. Yesterday we got a group email from the leader of her group, saying that everyone was fine, etc. Then last night Rebecca was able to use her host family's father's phone to post a brief note on Facebook and to send us a brief message as well. We are still unsure of her regular Internet access.

She is staying with a family that has two girls: Rebecca 14 and Nicole 8. I think she will be really happy to have a couple of younger "sisters" for the next 4 months. Today Rebecca, who is incredibly direction-challenged, is supposed to work in a small group to learn how to get around San Jose on public transportation. She said something about a scavenger hunt.

Isaac is headed our way, and while he may make the weekend really wet, he is very welcome. My mind has been in the gutter this week, and where the mind goes the hands are soon to follow. I think I have them cleaned out. I will probably go back up on the roof today and look over everything. I think I need to put some tar around my chimney.

Yesterday was a good day. I saw lots of people and got some good thinking done. We had a good class last night, discussing Romans 8. Go ahead and read it. It won't take that long. There are so many wonderful things there. I hope I can cut my sermon down to 2 hours.

I'm sitting on 16 miles of running this week, moving toward 40. I'm thinking of 9 or 10, here in a little bit. I know I am going to have some wet miles later in the week. I need to lose about 5 pounds again, so September is going to be my strict eating month. That ought to do it. I want to go into Monumental at a good running weight. No use carrying a bag of sugar with me the whole way.

After school today I am driving the junior high cross country team to Pekin for a meet. I am looking forward to it. I get to hang a little with Larry M., a great runner and a great man. It's fun watching the kids run also.

Thanks for stopping by. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Be Strong



What Do You Need to Hear Today?

Words that tear you down, discourage you? Probably not what you need.

Words of flattery that have little substance? Like a sugar rush, they don’t last long and then leave you feeling kind of empty.

I’m reading through the Bible this year. I’m finishing up Daniel this week, and I ran into some words there that I need to hear. The words there are similar to an astonishing thought that is presented in Romans 8, which is my preaching text this week.

An angel appears to Daniel, who, by the way, is living in a very challenging place and time. Here’s what the angel says, and this is God’s message to you today and every day, if you are his.

"Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed," he said. "Peace! Be strong now; be strong."

Do not be afraid.

You are highly esteemed.

Peace!

Be strong now.

Be strong.

Wednesday a.m.

Good morning! Are you ready for Isaac? I think I will board up all my windows and secure everything over the next few days. What? You don't think I need to do all that? OK, I'll just wait for the rain to come. You know, and I've said this many times, I would love to be in a hurricane, experiencing it all. Maybe I should apply for a job at the Weather Channel?
 
Not gonna lie, yesterday was a tough day, one of the toughest in a while for me. Don't misunderstand. I am so happy that Rebecca is in Costa Rica for the next 4 months. She is going to learn Spanish in a way you can never learn it in a classroom, and she is going to have experiences that will enhance her life as long as she has it. It was just hard to say good-bye. She's my little girl. We have not heard from her yet, which is to be expected.
 
I pretty well holed up yesterday. I got a surprising amount of things done, so that was a bonus. I ventured out of my cave to go ride last night, but I wasn't into that much either, although I enjoyed the company of my friends. I opted to not paceline. I was so wrung out from saying good-bye to Rebecca that I didn't feel I had the keen concentration required to paceline. A lapse or two and you take out the whole line. I didn't want that on the last unofficial official ride of the summer.
 
This summer has been great in lots and lots of ways. Biking has been amazing for me, and last night's pleasant ride, followed by a trip to Wendy's, was a nice quiet way to end it. I will still ride some, but the main focus is now running.  Cranking out 40-50 miles a week leaves little time for riding now.
 
I ran 8 miles on Monday and did 3 last night after the ride, so I have quite a bit to do to get 40 this week. I am watching the weather and may adjust a little as I go. It looks like Saturday's run could be a wet one, so I may move some of those miles to another day? We'll see.
 
It's Long Day Wednesday -- people to see, places to go. Looks like a very nice day ahead, so I guess I should get started.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Humble Hero


Neil Armstrong passed from this life a few days ago. I remember his words from 1969. (Yes, I’m that old.)

"Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed."

And then these as he stepped on the moon:

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

If you have paid much attention to the news, then you have seen articles on Armstrong’s humility. He quietly and humbly lived his life for decades after walking on the moon.

From what I read, Armstrong was a Christian. Some reports say he took communion with Buzz Aldrin on the moon. We know Aldrin took it.

What I find refreshing is a humble hero. His humility stands in stark contrast to the less than heroic self-promoting significance-seeking bluster that essentially says, "Look at me!"

Armstrong must have derived his significance from a deep source. I’m thinking it was from a relationship with God. We can do the same.

"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rebecca

My beautiful daughter, Rebecca, leaves for Costa Rica in the morning. Kedra and I will take her to the Indy airport in the morning. We will pick her back up in about 4 months. She returns sometime in mid December. Kedra can tell the day, the hour, and minute of her return.
 
It's going to be hard to say good-bye, but I've lived long enough to know that 4 months passes pretty quickly. We should be able communicate on a regular basis, via Skype, so it's all going to be fine.
 
I'm very excited for Rebecca. She is going to join about 30 other U.S. students from around the country for this adventure. Each student lives with a local Costa Rican family. One of the goals of the experience is learn Spanish and to learn it well. As a result of this semester of study in Costa Rica, Rebecca will graduate with a double major: Elementary Education and Spanish.
 
You might remember us in the prayer over the next couple of days.

24 Hours


Did you go to bed last night with a sense of dread regarding this week? I was with a group of people and that was the group mood.

I asked why is it that we dread the week. The answer was/is busyness. Places to go. People to see. Things to do. You know what I’m talking about.

As we talked about it, one guy said something like this, "You know once you start into it, it’s really not all that bad. You just take it as it comes."

That reminded me of what another guy, who is very active with AA, said the other night. He said something like this. "The key to dealing with a lot of things is breaking life down into 24 hour periods."

One day at a time! Let’s just take Monday as it comes today, just a little bit at time, and let’s remember these words of Jesus, spoken right after he assured us that God will take care of us, so we don’t need to worry.

"Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Let’s be blessed and be a blessing today.

Monday a.m.

Good morning! You ready for this? Monday! We were talking in my life group last night about the sense of dread that so many people have on Sunday night. They dread the week ahead and all the busyness it holds. We talked about how when you break it down into single days and parts of days, then it's really not that bad. I think that's the essence of worry and dread: trying to pile everything together, when we really need to just take it as it comes, a little bit at a time. Didn't Jesus say something like that? Yes, he did!
 
Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble.
 
Now, if I could just do that more and better...
 
I hope your weekend went well. I had a nice one. We had a football game in Springs Valley Friday night. The game didn't go too well, but it is a game after all. Ben is learning to deal with disappointment in a lot of areas of his life. We talk to him about that and the opportunities for character formation and character revelation. He's 17.
 
Saturday I ran 14 miles, 12 of them with our group, which was a little smaller this week. The run went well, but it was a lot warmer and more humid than the previous 2 Saturdays. We had a nice breakfast after the run and then chose not to ride. I think that was a good choice, for me at least.
 
Yesterday was a good, busy day, as most Sunday's are. Ironman Louisville was yesterday. I know one of the participants, Brent V. We've run in the same events over the years and swam at Kenray once this summer. I talked to him then about his Ironman training. Swimming was his challenge. He did really well in meeting the challenge. He swam well yesterday, rode really well, and then, seemingly, survived the run, which is what you do, I think, in the heat and humidity of yesterday. He finished in a little over 13 hours.
 
We were talking about Ironman on Saturday's run. One in our group asked me if I was going to start training next year. I answered, "I'm training for Ironman right now." That's how I see it. I started right after Boston, actually even before Boston. That, in part, is why I rode RAIN, and it's mostly why I am running the Monumental Marathon. I want to keep my level of endurance high on the bike and on the run, hoping for a breakthrough in the swim this winter. My goal for Ironman is still 2014 and it impacts most of what I do between now and then.
 
OK, here we go. Let's take this week a day at a time. Monday, you're up.
 
 
 
 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Security


How to Install a Southern Style Home Security System

1. Go to Goodwill and buy a pair of size 14-16 men's work boots.
2. Place them on your front porch, along with a copy of Guns & Ammo magazine.
3. Put four giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.
4. Leave a note on your door that reads:

Bubba,

Me and Marcel, Virgil, Erra, T-Bone and Jimmy Earl went for more ammo and a gallon of sweet tea. Be back in an hour. Don't mess with the pit bulls. They got the mailman this morning and messed him up bad. I don't think Killer took part, but it was hard to tell from all the blood. Anyway, I locked all four of 'em in the house. Better wait outside. Be right back.

Cooter

It’s Friday and time to laugh a little! (Thanks Nadine.)

It’s funny but it makes me think about security in this world.

There’s only one way to have it - a relationship with Jesus. What can you do this weekend to make it stronger?

Friday


If you live for Friday, you can now come alive. It's here. For me it just marks another day closer to the only day of the week I work.  If I wasn't working on Sunday, I would go watch Ironman Louisville. I thought about going down after morning church, but I've got afternoon/evening responsibilities as well. Not complaining.

The picture above has no relevance to me, unless I am one being poked at a funeral. I'm not quite old enough for that yet. I just thought the picture was kinda funny. I don't recommend that you go around doing either of these things, at weddings or funerals, and, yes, some do think that weddings and funerals are similar. Not me!

I would love to tell you everything I did yesterday, but, frankly, I would have to kill you. A few of you have figured out that I am a Russian spy on the side, but I cannot confirm nor deny these things. Others have figured out that I used to be Mr. Universe and then I got this terrible disease that ate away most of my body, except for my midriff, which remains largely intact. OK, I have to stop now.

I can tell you that I had a good 7 mile run in/on hills yesterday. It about killed me, but since it didn't, I must be stronger, right? Isn't that what they say? They say, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Today is a rest day from endurance activities. Well, mostly, anyway. I am loading a semi with corn, so I am going to get some kind of workout with that. Assuming I can still move/function in the morning, I plan to run 14 miles - 2 work-out-the-kinks miles before joining the group to run 12, starting at 8 a.m. at Parkview. I'm not sure if we are riding after that. It's supposed to be 95 tomorrow, so I have my doubts. The run/bike combo is a pretty tough workout.

Tonight it's football in the Valley. I'm driving the bus. I'm hoping for a win tonight and for Ben to have another good game. He will be challenged. Valley scored 40 something points last week and have a good running game.

OK, go enjoy the day. Boris is here; must go.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Got Humility?


To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:

"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’"

I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Luke 18:9-14

Thursday

Hey, those creative blog post titles just keep coming don't they? What can I say? Well, one thing I can say is that I'm glad I'm not Prince Harry. I was thinking about all the exposure he has received over the last couple of days. We all do things, hide things -- things that would embarrass us (maybe not quite like Harry), but we are often not exposed. I'm glad. Aren't you? We probably ought to consider those things and imagine what it would be like to have all revealed. It's the old "Know Regrets - No Regrets."
 
Wednesday, the Long Day, was survived by me. You too, evidently, since you are reading this. Last night, in my class, which was really good, one of our members shared the old AA concept of "one day at a time." That's how we need to live. Don't drag yesterday into today, and don't drag tomorrow, with it's anticipated problems, into today. Jesus said, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Yesterday was busy,long, varied, and good. I believe last night's class was the highlight for me. We talked about Romans 7 and the frustrating struggle of wanting to be good and do good but failing at both from time to time. Paul's articulation of his struggle is so easy to identify with.

I ran yesterday morning and felt pretty good. This morning I am going to do a 7 miler with some hill accelerations thrown in. It's time to get serious about Monumental. I really want to qualify for Boston again. It will be a challenge, but I think I can do it. I don't know if I will run Boston again. I would be qualifying for 2014. If I learn to swim well enough, then I hope to do an Ironman that year. If I do an Ironman, then I probably will not go to Boston, even if I qualify. Of course if Lester's qualifies, then...

Today is going to be a busy day. I have all my Sunday prep to start on, a meeting or two, a counseling session this evening, and lots of little things thrown in amongst it all. One of my meetings is with the ethics committee of St. Vincent Dunn Hospital. I've been on that committee for more than a year and really enjoy the conversations and the people. Today we are talking about end of life issues. Catholic theology is interesting and I align pretty well with most of its ethical applications.

Alright, here we go...
 
 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Like Trees



Yesterday’s post about trees (see a couple of posts back) elicited a great thought from someone. You can read it further down. Let me set it up for you with a few facts about the giant sequoia tree.

These trees grow to nearly 300 feet tall and have a diameter up to 40 feet. Some of them are believed to be nearly 3,000 years old. They only root to 12-14 feet and have no tap root, yet they stand strong.

Here’s the comment that came to me yesterday:

Your comment about trees makes me think about the majestic sequoia trees, I find it interesting that they do not have a tap root, but they intertwine their roots with each other so they may stand to weather the storms together! God created them to be dependent on Him and on each other! Makes me think of our own lives and how much stronger we would be if we lean upon God and each other that much!

Thanks, Georgia, and amen.

Wednesday

Well, good morning Wednesday! How'd you get here so fast? What's that? Oh, you come at the same time every week, and it's just a matter of perception how quickly you arrive? Any suggestions how to slow this whole thing down a little? No? Just deal with it, you say? OK. I'm doing the best I can.

I was up really early this morning. I woke up at 4 and could not go back to sleep, so this is going to make the long day even longer. There may have to be a little power nap somewhere a long the way today. I will try avoid that while I'm driving. Driving and napping do not mix very well.

Yesterday was good and a little different. I've been asked to do a little writing project, so I got started on that. It's taking me back into a world where I used to live, which is a bit of refreshment. I will tell more about this a little later on. I had lunch with a good minister friend yesterday. It's nice to have someone to talk to who does what you do.

Last night was (penultimate?) Paceline Tuesday. It was such a beautiful night! We experimented a bit last night, doing a more classic style of paceline, where each person pulls for just a few seconds before dropping back. It was faster, but I got popped off on Lost River hill. I think my hard run yesterday morning was a contributing factor. I just didn't feel very strong at any point. No complaints or excuses here - it was a fun night.

The cycling season is coming to a close for me. I hope to keep riding some, but my main focus will be running for now. I have right at 2200 miles on the road this year on the bike, which is not too bad. I have about 900 miles running, which is a little low, but those numbers will increase quite a bit as I starting getting 40 miles a week, which will start next week.

Today is going to be a busy one, so I best get going...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Like a Tree


"When God wants to grow a squash, he grows it in one summer, but when he wants to grow an oak He takes a century."

I’m not sure who said that. Maybe James A. Garfield? Doesn’t really matter, I suppose.

Old trees fascinate me. If they could talk, they would probably tell of difficult times and storms they thought would take them down, but, alas, they still stand.

They would probably tell us that those storms actually made them much stronger and helped them become what they are: beautiful, useful works of God that bless creation.

I think it works like that for all of us.

Stand strong in the storm and be a blessing!

Tuesday Morning

Are you carrying too much?
Good morning! Another beautiful, cool morning. Surprisingly, we had a little rain shower last night. I was parking the bus at 8:30, after taking the JV football team to Brownstown, when it started raining on me. It rained for a little while.

The trip to Brownstown was uneventful, which is what I wanted. I got some reading done and took in part of the game. It was a lovely evening - a nice end to a great day.  Yesterday was filled with a variety of things and people and it went so quickly. I did get my 7 mile run in to start that day, and that always makes me feel better. My endurance activities keep me sane, which is ironic in some ways, because many think they are an indication of insanity.

Today? A 4 miler to start it and a 32 mile bike ride to end it. I noticed on my way home from Brownstown last night that the days are getting shorter and shorter. I'm afraid our Tuesday night rides are coming to an end soon. Lack of daylight, coupled with all kinds of competing activities through school and otherwise, makes it hard to sustain. It has been a great riding season thus far.

I've got a lot going on today, including an extra thing or two that involve some thinking and studying, so I best be getting on with it. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Where's Your Focus?


I hope you know Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Christian who sought to save Jews from the Nazis during World War II. She got caught and was placed in a concentration camp, and, by the grace of God, survived.

Later she wrote The Hiding Place, and you should read it, if you haven’t already. It’s worth reading again, if you have.

She said this, and it seems like a great thought for a Monday.

"If you look to the world you’ll be distressed, if you look within you’ll be depressed, if you look to Christ you’ll be at rest." 

She’s simply reflecting what someone said in Hebrews 12 a long, long time ago.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Monday a.m.

It was an all Kestrel ride on Saturday
Here we go! New day. New week. New opportunities.

How about a quick recap of the weekend? Friday turned out to be a pretty busy day. A couple of counseling appointments, lots of work to get ready for Sunday, and a few other things filled it up pretty quickly. I did get a 5 miler in before it all officially started.

Friday night means football for us. Perennial power Browstown came to town and beat us. I really thought we might win, but we didn't. Ben played well and received nice comments in paper article from the coach. Ben was a little frustrated with the loss, as he should be. Hopefully Friday we can beat Valley.

Saturday was such a beautiful day! I got up and did a few things and then headed to Bedford for a day of endurance training. I started around 7:30 got the kinks worked on a 3 mile run. Then I met the group at 8. We had a pretty good turnout, and most of us did 10 miles. I felt good again and finished fairly strong. It was my first 13 miler since the Boston marathon.

Following the run we decided to meet/eat at the Stonecutter Cafe on the square. Josh Anderson's wife is owner and runner of the place. She is also Robin's daughter-in-law. Josh and Robin are regular participants in our runs (and sometimes rides). We "warned" Robin that a large group was coming; she quickly passed that on. We were there for a while. The food was good and the fellowship better.

After my Dan-recommended Wrap-a-Doodle-Do and good coffee, I changed into my bike kit (cool cycling language) and waited for everyone else to get ready. A couple of riders had already signaled that they would prefer to start at Lighthouse and not have to deal with the rock cut when 37 heads north right after the bridge. I was in total agreement. I remember my bonk from a couple of weeks ago.

We met at the Lighthouse bookstore. Turned out we had 7 riders and all 7 were riding Kestrels. Bill made up songs about that and we laughed as we missed our Cervelo and Fuji friends. It was a very pleasant ride to Orleans. There we stopped at Huck's for refreshments. The return ride was good, and Bill pulled us down the highway at 30+ mph, which is always exhilarating.

The rest of the day, and there wasn't a whole lot left, was relaxing and uneventful. Yesterday was another beautiful day. My new sermon series got off to a good start and our life group had a good discussion last night. I finished the day by watching Andrew Luck and the Colts. He is very impressive and going to be lots of fun to watch.

I hope your day goes well. I got a 7 miler to start the day and a bus trip to Brownstown to end it. I'm driving the JV football team over there, to help out the transportation director. Hey, it will be some spending money and some reading time.

Friday, August 17, 2012

"Whatcha Thinkin?"


"Whatcha Thinkin?"

What’s on your mind? What do you think about?

You get to choose! Yes, some people and situations make you think about things you don’t want to, but, really, you get to choose what you dwell on.

Here are some interesting, helpful words from Philippians 4.

. . . Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Let’s do that today.

Friday a.m.

Good morning! Happy birthday Ben! I know we have stretched his birthday celebration out a bit, having his family party last week, but his actual birthday is today. 17. Hard to believe. I'm so glad he was born and so proud to call him my son. I hope his birthday present today is a win over state-ranked Brownstown.

Yesterday was a full day, and I didn't get all my work for Sunday done; not even close. Today is going to be busy also, so I am going to have kick it into high gear. I need to squeeze in a 5 mile run this morning, which I will do shortly. Then it will be meetings and writing for the rest of the day. We'll end the day watching football, which is a nice way to end a day.

Tomorrow is promising to be fun, if you like to do what I like to do. I know for many of you it would appear to be torture, but, hey, we are all different. I plan to start the day with a 13 mile run. We are re-establishing our group runs at 8 a.m. on Saturday, after a summer of meeting at different times. The plan is to run 10 miles, so I will start a little early and grab 3 miles before meeting with the group.

Following the run, I think we are going to get breakfast somewhere. Then we plan to hop on our bikes for, probably, a 40 something mile ride. The weather is promising to be just about perfect for both running and riding: cool in the morning and warm by mid-morning.

I hope your weekend is good. Talk to you later...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Missing God's Will?


A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood and was praying to God for help. Soon a man in a rowboat came by, shouting to the man on the roof, "Jump in, I can save you."

The stranded fellow shouted back, "No, it's OK, I'm praying to God and he is going to save me." So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. "The fellow in the motorboat shouted, "Jump in, I can save you." The stranded man said, "No thanks, I'm praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith." So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, "Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety." The stranded man again replied, "No thanks, I'm praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith." So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, "I had faith in you but you didn't save me, you let me drown. I don't understand why!"

God replied, "I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?"

That’s funny, but I wonder how many times we miss God’s will, looking past all the signs and words that come to us in simple, human ways?

Thursday a.m.


So how are we on this Thursday morning? Think it will rain today? I sure hope so. Maybe everyone should wash their vehicles. I'm afraid to do that. Why? I'm afraid parts of it might fall off. I love my old truck, but it sure is getting rough in spots, inside and out. Rebecca leaves for Costa Rica in a few days and is obviously not taking her car. Hmmm. The other day I simply stated these facts. She immediately replied, "You can drive it but don't trash it!" I resisted the urge to say, "Have you looked in your car lately?" Surprisingly her car is not super clean. I guess I should not have said that. Oh well.

Yesterday was wall to wall busyness of the good kind, but it sure wore me out. I ran 6 miles early and then it was a little study, lots of contact with people at various places and places in life (all the way from new babies to dying folks), meetings, phone calls, moving stuff, and a class to top it all off. I slept well last night but woke up wanting more.

Today should be of a different nature. Less people, more thinking and writing -- more in line with my introvert-leaning personality. Seriously. I like the variations in my work and ministry. I don't know if it keeps me fresh or off guard (ha ha), but at least I don't get into too many ruts for too long.

We had a good class last night, talking about the end of Hebrews 11 and the beginning of chapter  12. I love the picture painted there. The image of running with perseverance, drawing upon the energy of those who ran difficult races before and still finished. They have filled a stadium and are cheering us on. It sounds like the finish on an Ironman event. I finished another book on Ironman last night. I think I have read around a dozen in the last year. It helps me get a feel, an idea of what it's like to do one.

Got lots an lots to do today, so adios!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Jealous Eye


A jealous eye - that’s an interesting expression.

I recently ran into it while reading the Bible, back in 1 Samuel 18.

"Saul kept a jealous eye on David." Saul was having a hard time with David doing well and receiving a lot of praise for it.

Do you have a problem with jealousy? Why are people jealous of others?

Is it rooted in personal dissatisfaction? It’s certainly rooted in the sinful ways of the world. It’s one of the "works of the flesh," found in Galatians 5.

If we follow Christ, then we should be able to let jealousy go, simply resting in the satisfaction that we are dearly loved children of God. We don’t need to compare ourselves to other.

I need to let God’s love for me be sufficient and enough. I working on it...

Wednesday a.m.

I'm happy to report that I did not end up in the cornfield last night, unlike last week. Mike J. told me a trick about how to wear my watch so that things like last week would not happen again. I did it and it didn't. That's a good thing, although it is far less entertaining for everyone else. I'll have to come up with something different soon.

Last night was one of those nights that I hated to see end. The weather was on the cool side, and everyone was in a good mood and enjoying each other's company. We have had a great summer of riding. As it winds down, I think everyone is wanting to savor every moment and every mile.

We rolled out of the Park around 5:45 and had the easiest of rides out to Washington County. I looked down and often saw 20+ on my speedometer. This can only mean one thing: big tailwind. This, of course, means one thing for the return: big headwind. "What are areobars for anyway?"

We lined up in 2 groups, and I was somewhat surprised by the division. Greg, a friend of Mike's daughter, was there. He is on Purdue's tri team. He's young and fast, so only a few wanted a piece of that action. That's the way it seemed to me anyway. Bill, John, and Tim, along with Greg comprised the A team.

The A- or B line was made of up Troy, Dan, Jim, Mike, and me. You can read about the A team here. We took off with Mike pulling first. The wind felt pretty strong, but he had us up into the 23 mph range fairly quickly. He tapped and Jim took over, pulling us right into Bromer. Then it was my turn. The Bromer Hill. The Hill I had said I did not want. I got it and was going along at 22, then 21, then 20.

I saw a big spattering of "Amish horse exhaust" on the road ahead, so I moved over to the left to go around, while pointing to it. Troy, new to pacelining, thought I was finished with my pull, so he passed and hammered it. The line fell apart temporarily. Troy eventually came back and we got ourselves organized again.

Everything was fairly uneventful the rest of the way. Dan had a tremendous pull up Lost River Hill, but it about killed him. It about killed me as well. Dan tapped at the top of the hill, which is bad for him. It's hard to recover and get back on.

Dan and I fell off the back a little after cresting the hill. Mike and Jim slowed a bit, while Troy went ahead (I think). Dan and I managed to bridge the gap, and we all stayed together the rest of the way in. I had nothing left for the sprint, which was won by Dan.

The time at Wendy's was good. Food. Stories. All good things must come to an end, so we left and headed home. I wonder how many more nights we'll have? The days are getting noticeably shorter, and the weather patterns are changing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rest

Remember these "Think Alongs"? I decided at the end of the school year to take a break, to rest, a bit of a sabbatical. With the school year starting, I will start thinking along with you again from time to time.

Summer is a good time to take a break from lots of things. It should be a time to rest a little from the hectic lives our culture suggests we should live.

Rest is important to God, which is a fascinating thing to think about, isn’t it? He rested after Creation and then asks that we rest from our work also, imitating him.

There are all kinds of things to say about rest, but the most important one is found in these words of Jesus in Matthew 11:

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

Will you rest in him today?

Tuesday a.m.

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Good morning! How are you on this new morning? I guess it was all the lumberjacking yesterday. . .  I woke up with my back, usually quiet and unnoticeable, announcing it presence this morning. I said, "Well, hello. Now straighten up and act right." I think it is going to cooperate. I'll go for a run, here in a few minutes, and that should do the trick.

The boys and I did work in the rain some yesterday morning and got quite a bit accomplished. Using my dad's tractor, we drug several logs in from the nearby woods. I cut and the boys split the wood. Some of it was ash, which splits easily, so they felt quite manly. Then we ran into some oak that didn't want to split. Humility is always a good thing. The boys ended up running the chainsaw while I stacked. I'm not sure how many ricks we did; maybe 3-4 once it's all finished. It was a nice time with my older boys.

In the afternoon I spent some time studying and getting organized for the week. I stopped in at the Store. Things there are good. We keep trying to tweak a few things here and there to make things better for the employees. About every week we have people who trespass and go through things that are donated after hours. Of course, we do not want people to donate after hours, but they do it anyway. Then others come and go through the donations, stealing what they want, usually leaving a mess behind. It happened Sunday night, and then the rain yesterday morning got the mess wet. That's life, I suppose. We are thinking of placing a sniper on the roof. If we shoot just one person, then others would probably reconsider. Right?

I made the Monday evening run in Bedford. I went a little early so I could turn a short 5 miler into 6 miler, which I did. I felt really bad for my first mile, but then the group got me going. I felt strong at the end. I am going to do 4 this morning. I'm on my way to a 30 mile week. Ultimately I'm on my way to a 50 mile week as I prepare for Monumental. As I ramp up my long run to 20 miles in a few weeks, those larger weekly totals are easier to achieve.

Tonight is Paceline Tuesday. Yet again, there is the promise of 5-10 mph headwind. Oh well. I look forward to riding with everyone. We have had a great summer of riding. I kinda hate to see it slow down, but that's the nature of things after school starts.

I made a decision late last week that I am not going to do the triathlon on Saturday. It just doesn't feel right, and I'm not confident enough to do 500 yards in open water. I think I can cover the distance, but I would be so slow. I plan to keep swimming, working hard at it over the next few months, as opportunities permit. I still dream of being an Ironman and believe I will be. My goal is still over 2 years off.

Busy day ahead, so... BYE.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday a.m.

Good morning! My post yesterday pretty well caught you up with lots of things, so what do I write about this morning? That's a good question, and I hope I have an answer before this post is over. I figure something will come up, if I just keep punching these keys on this computer. Another line or two and I will have the first paragraph that lines up with the picture of my little Ben, who is not so little anymore.

I'm kinda taking the day off today. Luke came home for the weekend and is still here. Lester is off work today, so being opportunistic, I asked them if they could help me this morning. They both said yes. The task? Cut and process a few ricks of firewood. The present problem? Rain! I will not complain about rain in the midst of a drought. I hope the boys don't complain about working in it! ha ha. It will probably quit in time for us to get a lot done.

The drought has killed a few trees that are literally in my back yard. I cut a few done Saturday afternoon, so we will drag them, after trimming them in the woods, right up to where they need to be stacked and cut them into firewood there. It should work pretty well.

I was going to run early this morning, in the dark, but I've decided to wait until this evening. I may connect with some of my friends in Bedford for the Monday evening run. I occasionally make that connection. They are worth the drive.

OK, this week I re-start some things that I rested from over the summer and generally ramp up the work. Here we go...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday afternoon

Just missed!
Ben is not a huge fan of this picture that was in the paper Saturday. He actually just missed the quarterback on a blitz. He had his leg but could not hang on. This picture was shot right after that. The scrimmage was good, and Ben had a decent game. He had a few tackles and several assists. I think he was pleased with his performance. I was. The weather was so nice Friday evening. It made it that much more enjoyable.

Before the game, Luke and Lydia arrived. I smoked some ribs, so we had a nice meal together mid afternoon. I have started using Famous Dave's Devil's Spit sauce on some of the ribs. I put a layer f honey under it, so I end up with sweet heat. Right before serving the ribs, I like to sprinkle them with just a little Kosher salt, which always amuses me. Think about it: Kosher salt on pork ribs. It all tasted pretty good! Ben and I had to leave late in the afternoon. I drove one of the team buses.

Saturday morning was so nice! A few of us gathered to run 10 miles. It was a really good morning for running, especially in the context of a very hot summer. It was around 60 degrees. I ran the last half faster than the first, which was a good confidence builder. I will share my data with you.

Rand, Kathy, John H., Lester, and Tim M. were in the group all or part of the time. Lester ended up with 20 miles. He, like me, like many others, is training for the Monumental Marathon November 3rd. He is going to try qualify for Boston, and I am going to try requalify. Not sure I will go, but I would like to qualify again.

Last night we celebrated Ben's upcoming 17th birthday. He will be 17 on the 17th, which is the day of the big Brownstown football game. I know what he wants for his birthday. Lester experienced a win over them his senior year. Ben would like to get one this year and next.

Combing with others, we bought Ben a shotgun for his birthday. I think he is going to hunt deer. Back in the day, as a teen, I was quite the avid outdoorsman, so it's fun watching him interested in the same things that interested me many years ago. I shot his 12 gauge a couple of times. I don't get the same thrill I used to. Oh well. Things change over the years.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday

Good morning! It's Friday. I hope that is good news to you. It is to me, because Friday, today, is the day that Luke comes home! I miss him so much and am looking forward to having him home for just a little while. He is bringing his friend Lydia with him. I don't remember the last time Luke was home, but it has been a while. He's been busy settling into his job in Nashville.

Tonight's a big night for Ben and the rest of us. High school football gets going tonight. We scrimmage BNL at their place. It's always challenge playing them, since they are so much larger than we are, but it's a good test. Ben is very nervous. I talked to coach last night, and he is very optimistic about having a good season. I hope so.

I did a brick workout yesterday: 31 mile ride and a short run. It went pretty well. My heart rate challenged me a little bit on the run. I think it is the accumulation of workouts over the last couple of weeks. It didn't take long to get it under control.

Today will be a rest day. Tomorrow I will do at least 10 miles, starting at 7 a.m. I will be done in time to get home to spend time with Luke and others. Tomorrow is the Cicero Triathlon, which has been turned into a duathlon, due to low water levels. This was the day/event that I have been focused on since late winter. It's a little disappointing that it's not going to happen as planned, but that's the way it goes. A few from our group are still going to participate. I hope they have a great day.

I hope you have a great weekend!


Thursday, August 09, 2012

Thursday a.m.

Well, I can't give a taped rebroadcast... And I don't have any dog stories or stories about manly screams of courage as I leave the road on my bike. Nothing like that happened yesterday. I did run 5 miles early. It was just a pretty ordinary day. Hopefully it was a day full of seemingly mundane things filled with eternal significance.

Bumped into these, as I am reading through Jeremiah. This from the 29th chapter and speaks of Babylonian Exile and life in it and beyond:

This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Those are good words to know and live by when you are in Babylon. I'm sure you've been there before. Maybe you are living there now? Trusting God with all the unanswered questions and with the things that make no sense is the essence of faith. That's the life in Babylon that God will honor and eventually fix.

OK, time to go take it on.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Wednesday morning

"Yeah, that Allen, I hear he is outstanding in his field."

"Really, that's not how I heard it."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, I heard that, first, it wasn't his field, and, second, he wasn't standing."

"Oh, I guess I misunderstood something."

"Yes, I think you did."

Good morning! Wednesday it is. Already. Again. The Long Day, but that's OK. It's going to be packed with fun and excitement. You know it is!

I'm reading through the Bible this year, and I'm still on schedule. Right now I am in the middle of Jeremiah. It's an interesting book. Jeremiah stands alone in the world. Alone. That's a hard place to stand, but God stands with him. That's always a good thing to remember. Jeremiah had a hard time with it, though. Who wouldn't? His struggles produced some beautiful writings. Read Lamentations some time.

OK, about last night... We had 21 people riding! Eleven did the time trial, while the other 10 did various things, like a different shorter route or turned around early. Eleven of us made our way to the county line to line up. We took off in 1 minute intervals, somewhat seeding ourselves. I opted to go 5th, hoping to not get caught by anyone.

As I hit the (rolling) start point, I was going about 15 mph. I carefully turned my Garmin on, since I wanted to capture all the data from the ride. I very quickly got to 20 and then 25 mph. The first mile or so is pretty easy. Even though it doesn't look like it, it is slightly downhill.  I rode hard but carefully, trying to maintain constant pressure and taking what the rolling course gave me.

There was a slight headwind at times. I was in areo position  the whole time but could feel the wind  at times. I felt pretty good the entire ride. I didn't bog down on Lost River hill as badly as I usually do and seemed to recover fairly quickly. The last set of rollers came and then the final hill. I managed all of them pretty well.

The last mile was my fastest, rolling along north of 25. I pushed hard to the finish, giving everything I had left. I was pleased that I didn't get passed; not even close. I didn't have much time to celebrate or contemplate this fact, however. I'm known in the endurance world for my dramatic finishes (or near finishes).

There was Derby City Marathon of  2010 - full body cramp that caused several to think that I was a special needs runner. There was the Indy Mini of 2010, where I was drug across the finish line with my head bobbing up and down before being laid on the ground for the stretcher. There was RAIN of 2011 - hospital trip. These are some that come to mind.

Last night was a different sort of dramatic finish for me. I pushed hard to the finish line, and I wanted to clearly and concisely capture the finish on my Garmin, which happened to be in my left wrist. I hit the finish at full force going 26 or so. Well, when I reached over to turn off the Garmin, I did not hold a straight line with my bike. I headed to the right.

To the right I went. Onto the shoulder I went, avoiding the biggest drop off. Right into the high weeds I went. Avoiding a sign, held by a metal post, I held on for dear life. I was concerned about the high weeds and what they could be hiding. I expressed my concern in a rather loud way; more about this in a second. As I was rolling through the weeds, fully clipped in to my peddles, I was expecting to crash and crash badly, but I didn't. I was still upright.

I looked to my right. There was a cornfield right there. The first row of corn also had a nice patch of cultivated dirt between it and the high weeds. I opted to head for the dirt. Once I hit the dirt, I slowed dramatically. I guess I should say that I stopped within a few feet, which allowed me no time to get my feet out of my pedals. So I fell over. Right over to my right. Into the corn. I laid there for a few seconds, mostly concerned about my bike. I clipped out, which is hard to do on your side.

My bike was fine, even though it had a little dirt on it. I was fine too, even though I had a little dirt on me. Roy Ritter came running to check on me, while Tim S. stood by laughing. Why was he laughing? It was the loud expression of concern that I articulated as I was leaving the pavement. He called it a scream. This is where he is wrong. I clearly remember it being a very deep manly expression of courage, kinda like the ones in Braveheart.

So my exciting life continues...

Here is the data from the ride - pre cornfield trip, right before it, like a second before it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Tuesday a.m.


Hey Tuesday! How are you? Yesterday on my early morning run, out on east Frank, right before you hit Meridian, I was totally surprised by a little yappy dog. This little creature was fully intent on getting a piece of me. His timing was terrible - for him. He got right in the way of my left foot coming forward. I hit him hard, and I didn't really mean to. He went flying and rolling and then yapping back to his yard. Hey, doggie, things like these happen. I don't think he will try that again. He's fine I'm sure, and he's probably blogging about it somewhere this morning.

Look I found his blog!

A Dog's Tail
Monday p.m.

It finally happened! Mr. Owner failed to clip my chain on correctly. I was loose, and he didn’t know it. I would act like I was tied, so he would relax and go smoke his cigarettes. He went inside. There I was, out on the porch with what looked like a chain attached to my collar, but things are not always as they appear. I would wait patiently for the right moment. I was going to make a dash and chase a car!

I waited patiently. No cars. Maybe a bicycle? I waited for those freak cyclists that come by on Thursdays and other random days. Bunch of weirdo! Bright tight clothes, sissy helmets, always yakking and laughing. I would love to have a piece of them! No luck. No cars. No bikes. Then all of a sudden, I see my Opportunity. My Target! An odd looking old man dressed in black shorts, white shirt, new shoes, and a hat. Slow and ugly. Yes! Perfect!

I wait for him to come down the little grade. Wait... Wait... WAIT! Now, go! I made a direct line for his little legs. Target: the meat right above his left ankle. I went in for a bite, and then all of a sudden something hit me. Literally! The next thing I know I am flying through the air, then rolling, then stopping, and then running away, yelping for help! I underestimated my Target. I will never mess with that dude again. Wow, he has strength that is unbelievable. Mr. Owner was mad at the runner, but, hey, I respect the guy. Chain me up please. I do not want to go through that again!

Yesterday was a good day. It was so nice out; lower humidity feels great. I got lots done and connected with several folks. We had a back to school night last night, and, wow, we had lots and lots of people show up. We live in an area where lots of people need help, and I'm glad we help in some ways. I wish we could do more.

Tonight is a time trial ride. I think I like the paceline rides a little better, but the time trial will be fun. We'll ride out to the Washington County line. Then from there we will take off about a minute a part, somewhat seeded by predicted performance, and ride hard for 10 miles back to Orleans. Looks like little wind tonight. That will be nice.

Lots to do today...

Monday, August 06, 2012

Monday a.m.

Good morning! And just how are you this morning? It looks like this week is going to be a little cooler but still dry? We just keep missing the rain at my house. I know it will come eventually, so we wait patiently. Waiting. Patience. So much of life is about those things.

How was your weekend? Well, since you are not telling me, I will go ahead and tell you about mine. Let's start with yesterday. Yesterday morning involved the usual: get up early, prepare, meeting, class, worship, and family lunch. Yesterday afternoon was a little unusual. There were 2 people in the hospital that I needed to see, and then there was a wonderful couple in Shoals that I wanted to visit. Then our life group did a service project for a 94 year old lady. Then we had to eat at El Compadre. The afternoon was a little busier than usual, but it was good.

Saturday was busy and good too, but in a different sort of way. I got up early and then made my way over to Parkview to run. A small group gathered at 7 a.m. Everyone was kinda doing their own thing, as far as distance was concerned. A couple were doing 14 miles and had already done a few of those. Others were going to do 8, and I wanted 10. We all took off together to do the deer loop, which if done fully is 10 miles. There are options, of course, to cut it short, making it whatever you want.

I was struck pretty quickly by how humid it was Saturday morning. We all ran together, more or less, for 5 miles. Then we started separating into to different groups. I decided to run with Jim and Dan, pictured above. They were doing 8 and going at a comfortable pace. We finished their 8, and then I added a couple of more to make my 10. My clothes were totally soaked. I talked for a while with someone, which allowed me to stop sweating. It took quite a while.

Next up was a 30 mile bike ride. I was a little concerned about it because of the humidity and rising temps. I thought I had re-hydrated enough, but I was a little concerned about nutrition. I was going to get a smoothie at Heaven's Gate, but Heaven's Gate was closed to this old preacher. Hmmm. I would ride without a smoothie, and ride turned out to be not so smooth for me.

We rode into a headwind--Jim, Dan, Bill, and me--all the way to Orleans. I was working pretty hard and sweating harder. I was drinking a lot, I thought. We took a little break at Huck's, where I didn't get a drink, opting for a PayDay candy bar instead.  After a few stories and little time to rest and cool down, it was time to roll back to Lighthouse. A tailwind awaited. I got delayed in the parking lot. A guy in an old car was seemingly intrigued by my bike (or was it was my amazing body?) and wanted to know how far I was riding. I tried to be nice as I watched my friends ride out of sight, knowing I was going to have to work to catch them. Not what I needed.

I did catch them, just in time to have work up the little rollers west of Orleans. I was struggling. An unusual amount of traffic passing us separated me again. By the time we turned west I was behind again, so I worked hard going downhill, instead of coasting. I managed to catch up and latched onto some wheel to pull me through. Once we crossed 37 I was in trouble and Bill picked up on it. He came back and helped me through, giving me a couple of Endurolytes. Fortunately we had a couple of miles of slightly downhill, heading into Mitchell.

By the time we turned our way through town, I was feeling a little better. We hit the highway and Jimmy pulled me through at 30 mph. Once we got back to Lighthouse, I was relieved. I still didn't feel well, but I was OK. Next up was the soap box derby type race in Mitchell. Ben and his football buddies made a car, so I went to see it and watch some of the race. This was after I got a chicken sandwich and a large coke at Wendy's. It was so hot at the race. I wasn't feeling well, so I headed home.

I took an hour long nap, after drinking some more water. I didn't even shower. Once I got up and cleaned up, I weighed myself. Even after drinking and eating, I was still down 4-5 pounds! I had lost a lot of fluids and didn't realize how much. At least I know why I was feeling so rough, and at least it was not in an event. As usual, I should have drunk more and taken my Endurolytes. Bad boy!

After doing a few other things Saturday evening, I went to bed early. Then I dreamed all night about swimming in a triathlon. Three folks from our group participated in the Columbus tri on Saturday. All three, Tim the Elder, Rand the Man, and Wendy (sorry no clever name for her) all won age group awards. It was Wendy's first official tri, and it was a half mile swim. Pretty impressive. I am looking at a tri on August 18th, if the low water levels and algae problems don't cancel the swim.

OK, busy day ahead and a long post already, so see ya!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Captain Ben!


My quiet, not so little, son was selected as one of the captains of his football team. He leads by example more than with words. He has worked really hard the last couple of years on and off the field to become a better football player. I love him and am proud of him

Friday a.m.

Good morning! Are you ready for Friday? I thought you were! This week, like all of them, seemed to go by very quickly. I've enjoyed this week for the most part. I've made some moves toward a routine and am moving along in lots of areas. Progress. It's a good thing! I like to say that life is a process and we are looking for progress.

I got up early yesterday, as usual, and did a fair amount of reading and being quiet. Being quiet when the rest of the world is quiet and mostly in bed works out well for me. One of my favorite simple pleasures is to wake up to freshly brewed coffee. I like hold a warm cup in my hands, close to my heart. (Insert jokes here.)

Right at 8 a.m. Tim the Elder (a grandpa to be!) and Troy the Young and I rolled out of the Lighthouse bookstore parking lot. It was beautiful yesterday morning, and, believe it or not, for a few moments, my arms were on the chilly side! It didn't take long to warm up, however. We had a nice 31ish mile ride. Tim is doing a tri in Columbus tomorrow, so I listened carefully to his plans, always learning from him. We talked about my first tri and things to think about.

Last night I did much better in the pool, but can I do 500 yards in the open water in a triathlon on August 18th? I'm not sure, but I am leaning toward giving it a shot. What do I have to lose? My life. By drowning. Well, that probably won't happen. I will be so slow that the people in the boats who watch over the swimmers will circle around me. They will be yawning the whole way, waiting for me to finish.

If I can get out of the water, then I can make up a lot of time on the bike and do well in the run, I hope. Of course the first "official" tri (I did the informal Steve N Me and Jim N I tris) is about finishing and doing it well, not necessarily fast. My ultimate goal, of course, is a full Ironman in November of 2014.

Here in a few minutes, I am going to do a short brick workout, followed by several varied activities, including helping 2 couples who are having a huge yard sale in our gym tomorrow. They are raising money to adopt children. Isn't that great?

Tomorrow I plan to run 10 miles beginning at 7 a.m. from Parkview. I think a group is forming for this. Then at 10:30 Iron Bill and I (and others?) are riding 30+ miles from Lighthouse. 





Thursday, August 02, 2012

Thursday a.m.

The dump at Tegucigalpa - feeding the "least of these."
Good morning! How are you? This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Yesterday was another packed one. A little bit of a summer sabbatical has energized me, which is what is was designed to do. I feel new life and creativity in my old mind and body. I had a good run yesterday morning and didn't really stop running the rest of the day.

My day including lunch with a young man who is trying to escape a past that includes drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity that produced several kids. He is working hard and fighting the fight. Through his life I get a glimpse into a world that is so foreign to me and probably many of you reading this.

He is better off than many that he speaks of. Many do not have a place to call their own, so they live here and there. No cars. If they have cars, they have no money for gas. A lot of them work, but they receive minimum wage. I know so much of their situation in life is tied to choices, but even for those who are trying really hard to overcome the past, like my friend, it is really hard to make it work.

I admire this guy deeply. He is back in school, taking care of his kids, and trying to do the "next right thing in the right way." I'm helping him as much as he'll let me. That's another thing I like about him. He is hesitant to ask/receive help. He is not looking for a hand-out -- not even close. He is appreciative of the help he receives, even though it is hard for him to take it.

On the other end of life, I saw a man who, last week, buried his wife of 64 years. He's an interesting man, a good man, a man who enjoys and knows how to tell a story or two. He's a fighter and is determined to go on. I stood on holy ground last week as I watched his final moments with his wife, right before they closed the lid on her coffin. It was powerful.

Last night I spent time in counseling with a couple who are getting married in a few weeks. Pre-marital counseling is always interesting to me. Everyone is usually pretty positive and idealistic. My job is introduce the reality they will face down the road. At least I think that's my job - ha ha.

This morning I am going to ride with a couple of guys. I am looking forward to that. After that I will be focused on getting ready for Sunday. Lots to do... I hope to get in the pool tonight. I am looking at a triathlon on August 18th in Indy.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Wednesday morning


Good morning! It's August! Again! How the months roll around... I hope you are doing well on this new day, a gift from God. The appropriate response is gratitude, of course. Go ahead and say "Thanks!"

Yesterday was packed for me. I did more yesterday than I've done in a while, and of course, as usual, a lot of it was not planned. I think I got most of my planned work done, plus a lot of those God orchestrated interruptions that showed up - more than usual. It was a long but good day. Of course most of my work is not appropriate for publication. You'll just have to wonder, won't you? Please keep in mind that if I told you some things, then I would have to kill you. That's why this blog spends most of its time on my endurance exploits. (And not all of the things in this area are publishable - secret training, doping suspicions, etc.)

Speaking of endurance exploits, the image above played a huge part. I did not run yesterday morning, anticipating a hard ride, followed by a run in the Park (not walk). Late afternoon I became aware that we were under a severe thunderstorm watch, so I went to view the radar. I started following this bad boy, pictured above. So many storms this summer have dried up and died before they get to us. Would this one be the same?

I loaded my bike and gear and headed to the Park. I delayed and went about 15 minutes later than usual so I could check the radar. When I arrived, Rand was there. We talked briefly about fools and foolish behavior. I will not name names. Others started arriving. We ended up with a fairly large group, a large group of fairly intelligent people all trying to decide whether to ride our bikes into a severe thunderstorm warning. Well, bottom line: we delayed about half an hour and rode AND did not get wet or lightninged upon.

We did shorten our ride by 10 miles and did not paceline. I rode fairly hard coming back, feeling the need to work hard, knowing that I was headed to Wendy's. Several of us gathered to eat and laugh. We talked of an alternative to the Cicero triathlon and really did not come up with anything yet, but I'm thinking we will.

Today is another wall to wall day of activity. It starts with a 7 mile run, here very shortly... It will end about 9 tonight.