Monday, March 25, 2013
Friday, March 22, 2013
A strong young man at the construction site was bragging that he could outdo anyone in a show of strength. He really picked on Morris, one of the older workers.
After several minutes, Morris had enough.
"Why don't you put your money where your mouth is?" he said. "I will bet a week's wages that I can haul something in a wheelbarrow over to that outbuilding that you won't be able to wheel back."
"You’re on, old man," the braggart replied. "It’s a bet! Let’s see what you got."
Morris reached out and grabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles. Then, nodding to the young man, he said, "Alright. Get in."
Job 12:12 — Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?
Posted by Allen at 3/22/2013 06:13:00 AM
Yesterday was a nice looking day, and really it wasn't that bad outside. The wind was light, and that sure makes a difference. We are really going to appreciate even 60 degree days that will come one of these days.
I have abandoned my home office. It was 47 degrees in there yesterday. I do have heaters and can warm it up, but it's easier to work elsewhere presently. My chimney repair is scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday of next week. Maybe getting it fixed will bring warm weather?
Yesterday was a good day. While I didn't get everything done, I did get a lot done, including some things that were not planned, of course. I cranked out another 5 miles on the road and a little more than 1000 yards in the pool, where I am making decent progress. Tomorrow I hope to get a 14 mile run in and possibly another ride. I need to get a lot in before the 2-3 feet of snow comes in. ha ha
I need to get going here, so see you on Monday! Maybe. It is spring break you know.
Posted by Allen at 3/22/2013 05:59:00 AM
Thursday, March 21, 2013
This week I am working on a sermon from Deuteronomy 1. It’s about the 12 spies who explored the Land of Canaan. They found the land to be wonderful, but 10 of the 12 also saw things that scared them. There were big cities and big people!
"There is no way we can occupy this land!"
Those 10 men had a short memory. They looked at the obstacles and quickly forgot the promise of God. They forgot what God had done recently. Even with reminders, they could not grasp what God did or could do.
Deuteronomy 1:30-32 — The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God. . .
It’s a tragic story. The bright spot in the story belongs to the 2 faithful spies, Joshua and Caleb. They remember, and they have faith in who God is and what he has done and will do.
There is a constant battle between the promises of God and perception of danger which brings fear. One is based on your ability, and the other is trusting in God’s. We choose one or the other.
I will have to make that choice again today. Lord, help me to trust in you and not me.
Posted by Allen at 3/21/2013 06:42:00 AM
Good mornig! It hasn't made it into the teens yet, still 20 degrees. Small victories. I think I just saw something that I am pretty sure will not happen. This is from the Weather Underground site for Sunday.
Overcast with snow, then a chance of snow and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 36F with a windchill as low as 21F. Breezy. Winds from the NNE at 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 80% with accumulations up to 8 in. possible.
They have done this the last couple of times, when it comes to storms. I think they are picking up one computer model and putting it out without thought or filtering. Oh, that sounds like some people I know. Me! ha ha Back to the weather, I really don't think it will snow 8 inches on Sunday. I know the models are still trying to decide how far south the snow line goes. Hey, I just wish I was going to be 80 or 70 or 60 or 50.
I ran as the sun was coming up yesterday morning, and it was cold, due to the wind. I was glad I ran early, because it did not warm up much and the winds increased. I like early morning running anyway, but I have not done much of it lately. As the weather warms, I will likely do a lot more of it.
Today is the day of preparation for Sunday. I try to write my sermon. I have been thinking about it all week, and my class last night discussed the text. We had a really good discussion. In addition to sermon prep, I need to produce my slide show, a life group discussion guide, a bulletin insert for note taking, and prepare for my Sunday morning class. There will be a few other things along the way.
I'm still thinking an outside bike ride could happen tomorrow. Mid 40s and light wind - that wouldn't be too bad for a 20 miler. I may go back and do the time trial course again, not hard, just for fun and familiarization. It has lots of hills and turns. It's good to know when to fold em and when to hold em, so to speak. Not sure where that came from.
Posted by Allen at 3/21/2013 06:16:00 AM
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Come, my children, and listen to me,
and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
Does anyone want to live a life
that is long and prosperous?
Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies!
Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
his ears are open to their cries for help.
But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
he will erase their memory from the earth.
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
I like this. A lot.
Posted by Allen at 3/20/2013 05:44:00 AM
Good morning! I made a private vow quite some time ago to not complain about the weather. So I won't. Ha ha. I think, within the confines of my vow, I can say: man, I wish it would warm up! I still have my eye on a Friday afternoon ride, but it may take a few more clothes than normal.
I have no idea why, but I woke up at 3.30 this morning. I was ready to get up. I fought it but lost, so up I got. It's going to be a long day on my long day. I'll take it one hour at a time and see how it turns out.
Last night was Tempo Tuesday, but I didn't tempo. I've had some niggling pain from pushing my limits over the weekend. It was getting better, but on the warm up last night, I just didn't feel quite right. I did the stride outs--short surges of speed--on the way to our stretching place. While I was doing them, I was having doubts about 3 hard miles.
Once we reached the stretching place, we began the usual talk of "What are you going to do tonight?" My main tempo man, John H., said, "I'm just running the course - no tempo for me." That's all I needed. Iron Bill joined us, so we just ran. Only 5 tempoed (pretty sure that's not a word, simply because it is very ugly looking) and did well. Some of our new guys have made dramatic, impressive improvements. That's really neat to see. Their confidence is soaring and their times are lowering.
Today is going to present lots of things to do. One neat thing is that I am going to do today is meet a couple of guys, and we are going to "steal" someone's riding lawn mower. It belongs to a lady who has had to use her push mower for a year or two because her rider doesn't work. She doesn't know why and doesn't want to spend the money to get it fixed. (She is very generous toward others.) We're going to get it fixed for her and present it to her as a surprise. Hopefully. So don't tell anyone. OK?
Over the weekend, four of us signed up to work Ironman Florida in November. We are going to volunteer in 2013 and then participate in 2014. That's the plan. We'll see. We volunteered for the second shift of bike transition. We'll be receiving bikes after the athletes have completed their 112 mile ride, placing them back in the racks. Our shift will allow us to watch the 2.4 mile swim and then T1 - transition from the swim to the bike. We'll be completed with our shift in time to watch a lot of the athletes finish the marathon.
OK, off I go...
Posted by Allen at 3/20/2013 05:27:00 AM
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Brett McKay presents a list of 10 things regarding giving compliments. It’s worth looking at, considering, and putting into practice.
He sets up the list by telling of a sincere compliment he received from a coach many years ago. McKay was not the most talented guy on the team, but the coach recognized his strong work ethic and spoke to him specifically about it.
That compliment turned into life-changing, not-forgotten encouragement that impacted the way he perceived himself. Still does.
I wonder how many lives we can change with a few sincere compliments that move into encouragement?
Here’s the list:
1. Start paying attention.
2. Compliment the small stuff.
3. Be specific.
4. Be sincere.
5. Avoid the backhanded compliment.
6. Explain how the person’s great qualities affect you.
7. Vocalize your thoughts.
8. Compliment someone in front of others.
9. Relay "second-hand compliments."
10. Don’t delay.
Posted by Allen at 3/19/2013 06:24:00 AM
Good morning! Is March about over? I think we should let April have a try at warming us up. What's that? Oh, tomorrow is the first day of spring? And the forecast is in the mid to low 30s with wind? The temptation to complain about the weather is getting stronger, and it's made worse by lack of chimney repair. That's right, I still do not have my main source of heat.
Now we are running into scheduling problems with the repair guys. They are very nice and seem competent. From talking to them, they work all over the place, including surrounding states. There is a possibility of them arriving at the end of this week but for sure next week. I'm sure as soon as it gets fixed we will stop have lows in the 20s and teens, which is a good thing.
This week got off to a good start in several categories. That's a good thing. Today I will try to maintain that start and settle in for a good week.
In the area of endurance athletic training, the weather is going to challenge riding outdoors this week. I do have my eye on Friday afternoon, hoping for a shot then. Yesterday I got a decent run in and ended the day in the pool. Tonight is Tempo Tuesday.
Looks like I'm running slightly behind schedule, so I'll see you later! Thanks.
Posted by Allen at 3/19/2013 06:15:00 AM
Monday, March 18, 2013
Last Friday, Kedra and I, while traveling from Tennessee, stopped to eat in Kentucky. While we were eating, the hostess seated a solitary man at the table behind us. I was struck by his attire: white cowboy hat, suede vest, jeans, and white boots with long fringe coming from the top. The boots went to his knee; his pants were tucked inside.
Next the hostess brought in another solitary man, a very talkative man. I noticed he struck up a conversation with the cowboy. I heard the end of a speech, something about "all the atheists live in China." The cowboy nodded in silence.
As we were leaving our table, I heard, "Hey!" It was coming from the talkative man. I Ignored it. I heard it again and ignored it again. Then he said it too loudly to ignore. "HEY!" I looked at him, and he motioned while saying, "Come here!"
He leaned toward me, and I leaned in slightly, "Yes, sir?"
He then said, "When the trumpet sounds, make sure your feet get off the ground!" He smiled and waited for my response.
With a smile, I said, "I’m ready!" He smiled back, and said, "God bless you!"
1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 — For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Posted by Allen at 3/18/2013 06:09:00 AM
Good morning! Luke sent this picture from Guatemala on Sunday morning. He is leading a team of Lipscomb students during their spring break. Part of their week's activities is to pour pads for another bridge.
On Thursday evening we were able to have a meal with Luke, along with his friend Lydia, and Rebecca. We had a wonderful time! It was Luke's 23rd birthday. It was good to see him on that day and right before he took off on his trip. Rebecca also left for Central America on Saturday. She will spend about a week in Mexico.
We also found out from Luke that he is headed to Liberia for 10 days in April. His firm is going to do some work for an American tire factory there, helping with water treatment. Luke gets to be involved in the project. He is getting some really good experience in a job he loves. That's hard to beat.
After a really good meeting at Lipscomb on Friday morning, Kedra and I made our way home. It was a beautiful day, if you recall. I made it home (barely) in time to ride with Iron Bill and James F. We managed to get 21 miles in great weather: warm with little wind. I ran Friday morning. Now I had a ride in. There was only 1 thing left to do: go for a swim. Check! Friday I did the triple, which would make Saturday a challenge.
Saturday morning was really nice, a lot warmer than I expected. I sweat a lot during our 12 miler, which went pretty well. We didn't go too fast. I knew I was going to ride later, so I was really glad we took it fairly easy. Riding after running is not the easiest thing to do, especially after doing a triple the day before. I was pushing it and knew it. How can you know your limits without pushing? Plus, it was too nice not to do something!
Iron Bill, John H. and I took off from Lighthouse, heading to Orleans via Amish country. I had Kedra drop me off, and I was going to go straight from Orleans to my house via hwy 60. We had a nice tailwind while heading south and west. This would be paid for on the return trip, and we knew it. John turned around early, due to a time constraint. Bill and I headed to Huck's for his obligatory Milky Way and Diet Coke. I opted for a Pay Day.
Time to return. West wind. Tired, tired, old man. Hills. Slow pace. Good friend leading the way, letting me suck wheel. I managed the west segment OK. Now to turn north. More wind. Stronger wind. See how this paragraph begins and apply to the northern portion of the ride.
We got to the place where I would continue north to 60 and Bill would turn east to 37. An unemotional good-bye and best wishes were spoken without a slowing of cadence. Up the hill I went and then down the hill into a stiff wind. Right before I got on 60, I threw my chain. I'm not sure what happened. I fixed it and headed into the west wind on high way 60. It was an areo grind for a couple of miles. Then onto some sheltered country roads. Home with another 27 miles for the training log!
It was a good weekend for endurance training. Lots of miles on the run and the ride and several yards in the water. Sunday was a great rest day, after nearly 9 hours of sleep! Now we're into a new week. Wonder what happens this week?
Posted by Allen at 3/18/2013 06:01:00 AM
Thursday, March 14, 2013
We pray for blessings, we pray for peace.
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep.
We pray for healing, prosperity.
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering.
All the while, You hear each spoken need.
Your love is too way too much to give us lesser things.
Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near?
What if trials of this night, are Your mercies in disguise?
We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear.
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near.
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love.
As if every promise from Your word is not enough.
All, the while, You hear each desperate plea.
And long that we'd have faith to believe.
Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near?
What if trials of this night, are Your mercies in disguise?
When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win;
We know that pain reminds this heart, that this is not, this is not our home.
It's not our home.
Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops?
What if your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near?
What if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life;
Is a revealing of greater thirst that a world can't satisfy?
And what if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights;
Are Your mercies in disguise?
Posted by Allen at 3/14/2013 06:51:00 AM
Good morning! Cold out there - 21 degrees. I gave up on my office. It's just too cold in the basement. It was 49 yesterday afternoon. I'm working in front of the fireplace. It's much warmer here. I hope my chimney is repaired next week. We've been without it since February 8th. It's been a long haul.
Sure didn't sleep well last night, so it's going to be a long day. I hope my Honduran coffee will give me enough to get everything done today. Kedra and I are headed to Nashville this evening. I have a meeting at Lipscomb in the morning, so we are taking advantage of that to spend a little time with Luke and Rebecca this evening.
The timing is perfect. Luke turns 23 today, which is so hard to believe. I remember the day before he was born being in the 80s. He decided to keep Kedra in labor all night and was born around 8.30 in the morning. The next day, I think, it snowed. Such is March.
Both Luke and Rebecca are leaving for mission trips on Saturday, so it will be good to see them before they go. Luke is leading a team to a remote village in Guatemala, the place where he built his bridge last year. He is working on another one now. Rebecca is going to Cozumel, Mexico to work in an orphanage. She went last year and loved it. Her much improved Spanish, thanks to a semester in Costa Rica, will really help her and the team.
I've got a busy day ahead. I need to get everything ready for Sunday and prepare for my meeting at Lipscomb. Better get going...
Posted by Allen at 3/14/2013 05:58:00 AM
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Are you a good listener?
Do you do what I do a lot? Kinda listen, just waiting for a pause from the other so I can say what I want to say. I’m working on being better.
Really listening to others requires us to actively hear their words and imagine the scenes they are describing, while feeling what they feel about them.
Some say listening is an art. That may be true, but it is also a learnable skill. Maybe a more important emphasis: it is a gift, a gift of hospitality to the other.
Henri Nouwen says this:
Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.
I’m trying to hear his words today.
James 1:19 — My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak. . .
Posted by Allen at 3/13/2013 06:22:00 AM
Good morning! Looks like another cold and windy March day is ahead of us. This March is so different from last year's. I do believe that we will really appreciate the nice weather that will eventually arrive. Even a 60 degree day is going to feel really, really good. Friday of this week is looking pretty good, so I am working toward having everything taken care of so I can ride outside in the afternoon. I hope to run and then ride on Saturday also.
Yesterday was another productive day, which are my favorite kind of days. Of course there are different ways of measuring productivity. I had three good, meaningful meetings. All three were different, but all three produced some good results. I'd have to kill you if I told you what they were about. Actually that's not true, but it sounded good.
Last night was Tempo Tuesday, and it was windy. During the first mile, I was cruising along pretty well until I turned west, down Industrial Drive. The wind almost stood me up. I felt like I stopped, but I guess I didn't. I went through the first mile at 6:50. The second mile goes in all 4 directions, so the wind was in my face, at my back, and at my sides. I was a little surprised that I hit the second mile in 6:50 also.
The third mile begins going uphill and then turns west. Last night the strong wind met me there again, but I pushed through it. Then I got a nice little downhill to White River Lodge. I pushed a little on that segment. Now for the finish - up Industrial Drive, with a significant tailwind. I tried to sustain a strong effort. It's a tough finish, so I was pleasantly surprised to see 6:43 for the final mile. So here is scorecard:
Mile 1 6:50
Mile 2 6:50
Mile 3 6:43
Ave. pace: 6:54
OK, I'm a theologian not a mathmetician. John H points out that the ave is really 6:47, which makes me feel better about it all. Some corrections are pleasant.
I'll take it. I hope I can keep lowering my time a few seconds each week. I've got a ways to go, if I am going to break 20 minutes in a 5K. I think with some specific training I can do it.
OK today is going to be long! Lots to do and all that. Thanks for coming by.
Posted by Allen at 3/13/2013 06:16:00 AM
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
It’s a very catchy phrase, descriptive too.
The wrong place at the wrong time.
Have you ever been there? Are you there now?
Most people know the Bible story of King David and his affair with Bathsheba. David lusts and then fulfills them. Bathsheba conceives a child, turning David’s fulfilled fantasy into a nightmare. David crafts a cover-up that includes murder. It gets really really ugly.
As the narrator starts the story, in 2 Samuel 11, he says this seemingly innocuous thing.
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war . . . David remained in Jerusalem.
I think the narrator is saying, "David was in the wrong place at the wrong time." He should have been at war, but he was at home - wrong place at the wrong time.
When you start there, then things get worse. They certainly did for David.
It provides a powerful point about where we position ourselves. Are there certain places you need to stay away from, knowing the temptation there will be powerful?
I can think of a few for me. What about you?
Posted by Allen at 3/12/2013 06:35:00 AM
So I guess, really, roaches rule the world. Kinda makes sense in some ways, doesn't it?
March is a cruel month in lots of ways. The cool temps feel colder in March to me. The promise of warmer weather is a good thing, a hopeful thing. I am really ready for it.
Busy day yesterday. I met a good minister friend in Loogootee for a long lunch in a nice little cafe. We talked life and ministry and the challenges and rewards of both. It was an encouraging time for me.
Today I have a couple of meetings, one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon. In between those I need to get my mind around the Gospel of Luke. That's what I will be talking about on Sunday. Plus there will be the normal, expected interruptions, along with checking on a few people and doing a few other things.
Tonight is Tempo Tuesday, the first one in DST. We were ending our Tuesday runs just as it was getting dark. Now, we will have plenty of daylight to get them done. I'm not sure what I can or will do tonight. I'll know around 7 this evening.
Yesterday I got another 5 miles on the run, and last night I went 1000 yards in the pool. I am making some progress there. Still not to the point I want to be, but the key is progress.
Gotta go... Thanks for coming by.
Posted by Allen at 3/12/2013 06:10:00 AM
Monday, March 11, 2013
I really like this old, simple poem by Saxon White Kessinger. It helps me keep everything in perspective. It also reminds me to find identity in someone besides myself.
Sometime when you’re feeling important;
Sometime when your ego’s in bloom
Sometime when you take it for granted
You’re the best qualified in the room,
Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions
And see how they humble your soul;
Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining
Is a measure of how you’ll be missed.
You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop and you’ll find that in no time
It looks quite the same as before.
The moral of this quaint example
Is do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There’s no indispensable man.
This week I need to remember that I am a child of God, thanks to the work of Jesus.
That identity transcends all the temporary things that I am and do. I’m not indispensable now, which is liberating, when you think about it.
My true identity, my standing and status with God will allow me to live forever.
That’s Good News!
Posted by Allen at 3/11/2013 06:33:00 AM
Good morning! I guess you survived the daylight saving time move? I actually slept so poorly Saturday night that it didn't matter. I guess that was a blessing in disguise. My busyness on Sunday allowed no nap, so I was ready to go to bed at my normal time last night, which was actually an hour early. Right? It didn't matter. I went to bed and fell asleep. I woke up at my usual time of 5, which is really 4. Right? ha ha. It's best not to overthink this thing. Just go to bed and get up. Right?
Wasn't it so nice to have warmer weather? Yes, it was. I took advantage of it. I took Friday afternoon off and went for a good ride. I got my bike back from the Bike Doctor Friday a.m., after dropping Kedra off at the people doctor. We had another appointment in Bedford, so by the time I could go riding, it was after 2, which meant the weather was in the mid 40s, sunny, and not too windy.
My plan was to ride from Orleans on our time trial/pace line course, just to get a benchmark early in the season. I rolled out from Orleans the 10 miles to the Washington county line. The plan was to work hard, but not too hard, coming back. The wind was out of the northeast, which is interesting. It helps and hurts, because the course is basically heading northwest. I was pleasantly surprised that I averaged 20.6 mph. Here are the details.
If you look at them and see the maximum speed was 29.3, then you know the north wind came into play. Usually heading down the hill into the Lost River bottom, we hit 30+ mph. The wind slowed me in that segment and coming out of Bromer, which is uphill. Overall, though, it was enjoyable and encouraging.
Saturday afternoon provided another opportunity to ride. Iron Bill and I did a 31 miler from Lighthouse bookstore to Huck's and back, via Amish country. It was a pleasant ride. There was considerable wind but not too bad. I had no window of opportunity yesterday, but it would have been a nice day to ride. The rain held off and the temps were amazing.
We have a new week awaiting us. I have a lot going on and a lot to do. OH! I got part of my chimney check on Friday. Today will see some movement toward repair. I think it's likely still going to be next week before the actually work starts. My office warmed to 54 during the recent heat wave. See, there is good news in world! ha ha
Posted by Allen at 3/11/2013 06:14:00 AM
Friday, March 08, 2013
Jon received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude. The words out of the bird’s mouth were rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity.
Jon tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music, and anything else he could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary.
Jon was fed up. He yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. Jon shook the parrot and the parrot got even angrier and more rude.
Finally, Jon in desperation, threw up his hands, grabbed the belligerent bird and put him in the freezer.
For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed. Then, suddenly there was total quiet, not a peep was heard.
Fearing that he had hurt the parrot, Jon quickly opened the door to the freezer.
The parrot calmly stepped out onto Jon's outstretched arm and said, "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I am sincerely remorseful for any inappropriate transgressions. I fully intend to do everything I can do to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."
Jon was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude. He was about to ask the parrot why he had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, but the bird continued, "May I ask what the turkey did?"
It’s true, isn’t it? That your mouth can get you in all kinds of trouble, take you places you don’t want to go, and make you think horrible things that might not even be true. Be careful.
Posted by Allen at 3/08/2013 06:22:00 AM
|Rack to Road this weekend|
It was certainly an eye catching headline:
Hot Chicks: at 60 Peeps More Popular Than Ever
I knew what this article was about, but I didn't realize peeps were 60 years old. I love peeps. Some people hate them. Here's the other thing that is controversial: I like my peeps with about 2 days of staleness on them. They are fine fresh, but for the best in eating pleasure, I like to open the package and allow them to age for a couple of days. I like a little edge on them, a little bite to them. Oh man, I think I know what will be purchased in the near future. My mouth is watering in anticipation.
So Chavez is dead. When we were in Honduras for the first time, in the summer of 2009, we had an exciting and interesting experience. Some would describe it as a coup. It really wasn't that, but there was certainly a major change in the government which created all kinds of panic in the country. We couldn't get out for a few days, so we kept working and had a wonderful time.
Anyway, while we were there, early in the panic, one of the rumors flying around was that Chavez had troops on the border and was ready to come in and take over Honduras, establishing one of his buddies as President. That's my best Chavez story.
Yesterday was amazingly productive. I love it when things work well and all kinds of good things happen. Yesterday was like that in lots of ways. Today will allow me to do quite a bit of reading. I'm really enjoying another Tim Keller book. I've read several of his works in the last year or so. He's kinda my "go to" guy right now as far as reading is concerned. I'm also reading a deep theological work by one of the Duck Dynasty guys. I also downloaded Bobby Knight's new book, which was a great deal on Kindle, something like $5.
See you on Monday!
Posted by Allen at 3/08/2013 06:15:00 AM
Thursday, March 07, 2013
Can you image someone writing a song about you?
"Oh, that’d be cool! A song about me!"
"About how good I am?"
"Or maybe about some heroic act I performed?"
What if I said the song is not be about your goodness but about something you did, something that was not so good?
For example, something like these:
A song about Mary, the Sunday school teacher, when she was caught shoplifting.
A song about Timmy, recently baptized, when Timmy was caught, by Susie’s dad, in the back seat of the car with Susie.
A song about Beth Ann, the honor student, when Beth Ann was caught plagiarizing a college paper.
A song about Joe the Christian, when his wife Mary caught him viewing pornography on the family computer late at night.
A song about Jan, when she was caught having an affair with Bill, her boss.
Still want a song written about you?
"We’ll not like that!"
What you need to know is the song, written about your worst sin, and your worst nightmare, which is likely getting caught in the act of doing your worst sin, reveals that things turn out OK.
Things turn out OK — ONLY by the grace of God.
King David from long ago knows all about it.
Psalm 51 — For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
It’s actually one of the most beautiful songs you’ll ever hear. Go listen to it. Psalm 51.
Posted by Allen at 3/07/2013 06:20:00 AM
Good morning! I've had my 2 cups of Honduran coffee this morning, so I am ready to go, go, go, go, go! I am concerned, though, because I don't forward emails and don't respond to those "if you love Jesus, then you'll like this post" things. I hope I can still go to Heaven?
OK, I am a confessed snow lover. You know this. I did enjoy watching the snow fall recently, but I am ready for spring to spring forth. I saw something by an Indy meteorologist yesterday. He said that a year ago yesterday it was 69 degrees, and then the rest of the month last year, we never had a high that was lower than in the 60s. Everyday was either in the 60s, 70s, or 80s. That doesn't seem possible right now does it? It's coming though.
Well, you are probably getting tired of my insurance/chimney story. Just to keep you up to date, my office was 50 degrees this morning, as is the whole basement. Yesterday I contacted my friend, the local agent. He's not real happy with what's going on at all. I think the problem is the adjuster who lives in Indy. Anyway, after 4 exchanges with the adjuster yesterday, I was told I should have a check today or tomorrow for part of the job. The adjuster is not quite satisfied with all the paperwork from the chimney repair guy.
Today is going to be a good busy day. My list is long and my desire is high. How could it not be after that Honduran coffee? I'm sitting on 18 running miles for the week and plan to get a few more later today and tomorrow. I also am hoping for 2-3 outdoor rides this weekend. I'm ready to roll.
Posted by Allen at 3/07/2013 06:09:00 AM
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
I sometimes hear people complain, "God is not fair."
It’s usually in the context of a person experiencing something unpleasant or painful. Death and disease often precipitate these sorts of comments.
We live in a fallen world as a fallen people. Stuff happens. Bad stuff. The complaints are understandable.
I have to agree that God is not fair, and that’s the best news you’ll ever hear. Really!
He does not treat us as we deserve; he does not administer the justice associated with his holiness.
Along time ago, David recognized that and wrote about it in Psalm 103.
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
Posted by Allen at 3/06/2013 06:50:00 AM
Well, another snow day. Kedra is disappointed, because it now means they have to go to school on March 15, a Friday. That day was a day off or a snow make up day. Now we know which it is going to be. I was out last night for a meeting, and I knew that there was an excellent chance of no school today. March is a cruel month. It will make up for this with some nice 70 degree days before it's all over. I'm ready for those, although the snow is beautiful, in my opinion. You snow haters will never appreciate that! ha ha
I decided to change my routine this morning. I got up and stayed in front of the fire place this morning. It's nice and quiet - a good way and a good place to start the day. I'm tired of going to my 51 degree office. It does warm up fairly quickly, but. . . I called the chimney guy yesterday. They are still waiting on the insurance company. I've been without my main source of heat since February 8. Guess who is getting some attention from me this morning?
Yesterday I drove Kedra's Escape around. I took her to school and then picked her up. Someone asked if I had a new vehicle. I said, "No, I'm just practicing for what it's going to be like when my truck dies." I am wondering when death will arrive. It's leaking water and oil now. It has 251,000 miles, but I am hopeful it will keep rolling for a while longer. I will probably replace it when it dies, but we are wondering if we could get by with one vehicle. Probably not, but it's an interesting thought.
The extended forecast is saying that biking outside is in my future, hopefully Saturday afternoon. I've been thinking about it a lot. I am really going to strive to get stronger on the bike this season. My running is going well, so I will slip it into maintenance mode while focusing on the bike. I keep plugging away at the swim also.
OK, best keep moving...
Posted by Allen at 3/06/2013 06:34:00 AM
Tuesday, March 05, 2013
It’s hard to believe, but it is time for baseball!
Have you ever thought about why baseball managers wear a uniform? They do not wear suits like many basketball coaches. They do not wear team casual wear like many National Football League coaches.
Baseball coaches wear baseball uniforms.
Why? Seems like there are lots of reasons. It’s a tradition that is very old, and the reason I liked best from my brief research into the issue was this. "That’s baseball."
I would like to think that there is something there about identity, solidarity, comradery and community. The coaches and the players wear the same uniform because they share a common goal and purpose.
That reminds me, of course, of the Incarnation of Jesus -- God becoming human for our sake, to show us that he is one with us.
Speaking of Jesus, the writer of Hebrews says, "He had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might . . . make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted."
Notice what happens in our baptism, according to Galatians 3:26,27.
By faith in Christ you are in direct relationship with God. Your baptism in Christ was not just washing you up for a fresh start. It also involved dressing you in an adult faith wardrobe—Christ’s life, the fulfillment of God’s original promise.
Now that’s identity, solidarity, comradery, and community! Hallelujah!
Posted by Allen at 3/05/2013 06:31:00 AM
Good morning! I woke up and saw this video about a deer hitting a guy riding his bike. It reminded me of an incident from years ago. It was encounter that I had with a deer while running trail 7 at Spring Mill Park.
I guess it was in the spring of the year, and love was in the air. I was running along trail 7 when suddenly 2-3 young female deer, presumably single, ran across my path. They looked to their left and spotted me. As often happens, due to my stunning good looks, they stopped in their tracks to behold my beauty.
As I often have to do, I said gently, "OK ladies, that's enough. You've seen enough to last you quite awhile, so it's best you move on now." With reluctance they lowered their heads, slowly removing their gaze from me, and walked away.
I resumed running. All a sudden, I had to stop again. In my path, not more than 15 feet from me, was a big buck. He was looking at me head on. He said nothing. He just lowered his head and very slowly raised his right front leg and like a man drawing a line in the sand, he forcefully drug his hoof across the path, like a bull ready to charge.
Not being much of a fighter, being true to my nature as a lover and peacemaker, I said, "Whoa! Wait just a minute pal. I'm not interested in your lady friends, and I'm not interested in a fight. It's true that the ladies love me, but you need to know I'm not interested in them."
He said nothing. He listened carefully, I believe. He again lowered his head and raised his right hoof. This time, however, he simply put his hoof to the ground. He did not make the aggressive move like before. From his lowered head, he raised his eyes and made contact with mine. With locked eyes, I tried to show him that I respected him but was not afraid.
After a few seconds of staring, he diverted his eyes. He said nothing, but his look said it all. It was a look I will never forget, for it was a look of honor and respect. I'm fairly confident he was saying to me, "Man, you are one handsome dude, and look at your body! If only I could be like you." Knowing that was not possible, he backed down.
He slowly raised his head, looked to his right. There he saw the young females watching this whole scene. They flashed their little white tails and ran away. Suddenly the buck remembered his purpose in life and began the chase.
I finished my run and remembered my purpose in life as well. I went to my truck, got my gun, and shot the buck. I then wrapped him on my shoulders, and to show him and the others who is boss, I rode him around on my bike, kinda like the picture.
Some of the above is true.
Posted by Allen at 3/05/2013 06:23:00 AM
Monday, March 04, 2013
How about one of those "fear nots" for a Monday?
I called on your name, Lord,
from the depths of the pit.
You heard my plea: "Do not close your ears
to my cry for relief."
You came near when I called you,
and you said, "Do not fear."
Have a good, fearless week!
Posted by Allen at 3/04/2013 06:15:00 AM
Good morning! It's cold out there! My office was a record low of 48 this morning. Hopefully this week I will have my main source of heating back. I'm going to make some calls this morning to see if can't get the squeaky wheel thing going. I have not had my main source of heat since Feb. 8. That's a long time, and February was unusually cool, if you recall. March is starting out that way. And what about this snow talk?
The computer models have had us all the way from 8 inches to no inches. Now some of the models are moving the storm back our way, so I'm seeing 1-3 inches in some places. I'll let you know about Thursday. What I like seeing is the extended forecast - highs in the 50s. That is going to feel so warm!
OK, the goofy picture. I'm almost embarrassed to report this next part, but I know if I don't, then a few will give me a hard time. The stars aligned perfectly on Saturday morning, and I actually won a little 10K race. I couldn't believe it either. I had a pretty good run, and others either didn't run or didn't run as hard as they could. OK, a win is a win. And a first for me. At 54 I will take it. I need to go back and revise my bucket list: win a road race. That way I can mark it off. I never thought of putting it there before... ha ha.
We had Luke home for the weekend. It was so good to see him and have him here. He is doing really well. His job is going well and is going to take him to Liberia in the near future. I would love to go with him. What's that? You are raising money for a one way ticket?
Wonder what this week holds? Only God knows. I just know that I will strive to live a little bit at a time and strive to be faithful in small chunks. I have lots of little things going on in an attempt to help several people. I hope you have a great week.
Posted by Allen at 3/04/2013 06:07:00 AM
Friday, March 01, 2013
A woman's husband had been slipping in and out of a coma for several months, yet she had stayed by his bedside every single day. One day when he came to, he motioned for her to come nearer.
As she sat by him, he whispered, eyes full of tears, "You know what? You have been with me all through the bad times." He started naming them, pausing for breath after each one.
"When I got fired, you were there to support me."
"When my business failed, you were there."
"When I got shot during the robbery, you were by my side."
"When we lost the house, you stayed right there with me."
"When my health started failing, you were still by my side."
"You know what?"
"What dear?" she gently asked, anticipating, smiling as her heart began to fill with warmth.
He replied, "I am beginning to think you are bad luck."
* * *
Proverbs 10:19 — When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.
Posted by Allen at 3/01/2013 06:17:00 AM
My email is down again. I have not been able to send/receive since yesterday afternoon. I can't log on to their website, so I'm certain the problem is on their end. This seems to have happened a fair amount lately. Hopefully it will get fixed sometime this morning.
Who is ready for a shift in weather patterns? Me, me! Either get colder and give a decent snow or warm up and let the sun shine -- those are my choices. Yes I know, I'm not in control of the weather. It is March the 1st, so you know warm weather will start showing up soon. I'm ready.
Luke is coming home today! It will be good to see him. His birthday is coming up. 23. So hard to believe.
I still have lots of work to do today, so I better getting going. Have a great weekend!
Posted by Allen at 3/01/2013 06:06:00 AM