Thursday, February 27, 2014


Sweet Karla
Good morning! It's Thursday, the day after Wednesday, the day before Friday. Just thought you should know how clearly I can think. I told Kedra I slept hard but weird last night. I usually wake up quite alert and oriented, ready to go. Today was not like that. I had weird dreams last night but slept really hard between them. Some of my dreams involved Honduras, undoubtedly triggered by young Karla's death.

This is the winter that will not let go. I almost always mow my grass at some point in March. That's hard to imagine right now. I suppose it can still happen, though I heard a forecaster say, yesterday, he saw no break in the cold pattern. Speaking of grass, Ben is looking to mow some yards this summer, if you are interested in his service.

Yesterday was a little different. I tried to carve out some time yesterday morning to do a little more reading than usual. It is for things I'm working on for a little later on in the spring. I enjoyed it. I also spent some time working my way up and down the hall at Mitchell Manor. I know 3-4 people who are all located pretty close to one another.

Today is sermon prep day. First I need to go run. It's 20 degrees, which is ok. The wind is a bit brisk, but I can't do anything about it. When I line up on the beach at Panama City on November 1st, I will be glad I ran this morning. And tonight I will get in the pool, and I will be glad about that too. Self-talk is always good. ha ha

Rebecca and her friend who is a boy are coming home this evening. I am really looking forward to seeing my little girl. It's hard to believe, but I think she is more excited about seeing Cora Jane than she is about seeing me. Oh well, I will take what I can get.

Alright, let's make this thing move...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Karla and Marc
Good morning! How are you today? It's a bit cold and windy out there, but we are used to that. Right? Several of us who go to Honduras were saddened yesterday to learn Karla, a very vivacious girl of around 11, died yesterday. She developed severe headaches and passed into eternity.

I met Karl back in February of last year. She, like many in Honduras, grew up in a horrible, abusive situation. Marc and Terri took her in. She was incredibly friendly and outgoing. There are lots of people in Honduras and in this country feeling heavy-hearted this morning. Please pray for our family and friends in Honduras.

Yesterday was another good day on planet earth. I got a lot of things done and continue down various paths with various people, carefully walking into the future. There is a lot of pain in this world, but we have promises upon which we stand, allowing us to move through with peace and confidence.

After school yesterday I drove the 6th grade basketball team to Shawswick for a basketball tournament. I thought there was going to be one game, but there were two. I always take plenty of stuff to do, so I found a table and got quite a bit of work done.

I saw Jim P, one of the administrators of the school, and talked to him. He runs, so I know him from that. One time we were running and talking about basketball. Jim, who is quite tall, told of playing against Larry Bird in high school and actually shutting him down. Jim says Bird hates him to this day. ha ha

Over the years I have been told by various one, a significant number actually, that I looked like Jimmy Carter, you know, the president. This was back in the younger days. I've also been told several times that I look like Chuck Norris. So I've always taken these to mean that I am perceived as being really smart, powerful, and tough. Stop laughing.

Last night, one of the kids on the bus got my attention to tell me something. He said, and I quote, "You look like James Bond." I told him, that while I was not James Bond, I was a spy, and if I told him any more I would have to kill him. That pretty much ended the conversation. Sixth graders are easy.

OK, here we go. Hump day. Long day.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Good morning! Repeat after me: I will not complain about the weather. I will not complain about the weather. OK. The temptation is growing stronger, but I will not complain about the weather. I will not complain about the weather. So how are you on this new day? It's late February, and March is on its way. Hang on.

Yesterday was nice and sunny and a good day to get lots of things done. That's what I did. The life of variety I lead was in normal mode yesterday. All the way from meetings to getting an old bed for someone who needed it to studying to checking in at the Store to corresponding with various people in various ways in various situations in life. Yes, it was a normal day. Today there will be more.

I started yesterday with a decent 5 mile run. The darkness is not as dark, since the days are getting longer. I guess the morning light will be exchanged for longer evenings on March the 9th when we "spring forward." I would still be ok with the old way of not changing our clocks, but since we do, I find daylight savings time enjoyable in some ways. I like it for bike riding. Soon we can begin evening rides.

After supper last night, I rode my trainer bike for a while and got to chat with Roy and Jimmy. We are talking about our Ironman Florida plans, specifically accommodations. That's all pretty exciting. We are only just a little over 8 months away from November 1 -- the big day. After the ride, I went swimming. It was a bit crowded at the pool last night. Several new faces were there. I'm not sure why.

Alrighty then! Time to get going and do it all again. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 24, 2014


She's the studious type
Good morning, Monday, how are you? Cold. I've enjoyed the winter, and now I am ready to enjoy spring. It's coming. We need to be patient.

The weekend was so nice, especially Saturday. I took advantage of it and did an early run, before a nice breakfast at church, and then after the breakfast did a nice 30 mile ride with Scott and Bill. I ended up with more than 100 bike miles for the week, which is the most for this year. I need to keep ramping those up, because I plan to do at least one 100 mile ride the week of spring break, March 23rd.

I hope to do one at the first of the week and then another at the end. Kedra and I are celebrating 30 years of marriage this year by heading to the Gulf of Mexico. We'll spend some time with her parents at the beginning and end of the break. I hope to ride 100 miles on the Natchez Trace trail on our way to Alabama and then do another 100 while near the water, which will be a lot like the 112 miles of the Ironman ride.

On Saturday I came home to Cora Jane. Kedra and I got to babysit her for several hours while Lester and Maddie were celebrating Maddie's birthday. We had a great time, and Cora did great. Luke and Lydia were here for the weekend, so they got to help out too.

Luke came home to join his brothers in a big tractor restoration project. My dad has an old John Deere 530. The boys starting tearing it down on Saturday with a view of getting it looking good. They got along really well and now have a part lists.

This week is going to be another good and busy one. I got a good night's sleep last night, nearly 8 hours, so I should pretty good today. That's a good thing, because it is a long day, ending in the pool at 8 tonight. Before then: places to go and people to see. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Good morning! Kedra found this picture yesterday, so it is day late. She knows I love the "hump day" commercial. I should have waited until next Wednesday to share, but I know I would probably forget.

Kedra is in AL. Her mother has some fairly serious health issues going on, and her father is not doing too well either. She'll be back tomorrow night. In the meantime, Ben and I are holding down the fort or something like that.

Luke and Lydia are coming in for the weekend, so that makes Kedra's absence a little more interesting. They will get here before she does, so I am in charge of getting a meal together for Friday night. I think I am up for the challenge.

Wasn't yesterday nice? I guess today will be warm and windy. That's OK with me. The snow, except for the piles, is quickly going away. I'm living one day at a time. I am ignoring the predicted cold for next week.

This is busy day, a busy week, and a busy time. It's all good, just a lot of it. I think I better get after it. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Cora's first family walk
Good morning! Wow, It is mid 40s, so I'm thinking it may get a little warmer than predicted. It's starting out 10 degrees warmer than predicted. That all works for me! The snow is rapidly melting off the ground. The piles? They'll be around for a while. Sound like severe weather for tomorrow.

Yesterday was so beautiful! I ran before and as the sun came up. Once I got started I realized why there was a 2 hour delay. There were lots of ice patches. I had to slow down many times and carefully make my way across them. It was ok, though, because there was such a nice hint, even a smell, of the warm day ahead. It felt good to be out early.

The rest of the day went pretty well. My usual conspiracy work took place. I would have to kill you if I told you, and none of us want that. I slipped out on my bike just before supper, and came home to a nice meal. Better than that, Maddie and Cora were there to eat with us. Lester was dealing drugs, so the girls came over to hang out for a while.  Cora is a 10 pounder now. She is really growing.

Today promises a couple of things: to be busy and to be nice. That works for me. I'll start with a run and may end with late afternoon ride. In between will be all kinds of fun.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Good morning! Now we know the secret to African runner success. Plus it is a picture that illustrates the very old expression most non-runners like to say, "I wouldn't run unless something was chasing me." Oh, that's a good one! ha ha  ha Sorry.

OK, what in the world is going on this morning? It is 35 degrees and we have a 2 hour delay? Of all the delays and cancellations, this one wins the prize for "Most Surprising." There must be something going on out there I don't know about. Oh well, I am going to take off shortly and go run.

Yesterday got the week off to a good start. I got a lot of things done and a lot of good things happened. How's that for a general statement that tells you nothing? I just can't write much about what I do, because, especially in a small community, people would quickly figure out what/who I am talking about. Frankly, much of what I do is conspiracy work.

My biggest project is taking over the world. I am starting locally, recruiting weak-minded people who will follow my orders without questions, blindly loyal people. So far I don't have anyone. I have always wanted to be a cult leader, but I just can't get anyone to go along with me. I'm thinking about attending a workshop or something that will help me.

Kedra and I got a little Cora Jane time late yesterday afternoon. She is growing and is so sweet. Maddie is doing super great as a mom, and Lester is a great dad.  Kedra and I are bringing it as paternal grandparents also. We are the best in that specific category.

OK, I guess you see what kind of mood I'm in, so I guess I better do something else. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Click to enlarge to see info you won't care about
Good morning! Trying to give you a break from Cora pictures! I took a screen shot of my Strava page. It has some interesting things on it, including Iron Bill's 3rd 100 mile+ ride on a trainer! Do you know how difficult that is? Probably not, since few can do it. I rode 3 hours on a trainer Friday, which is a lot. I can't imagine doing (at least for me) twice that. Though, for mental toughness, I think I will try 4 hours.

The picture, on the right, also shows the challenges I am involved in. One was Friday. It was call Stravalentine. The challenge was to run and/or ride any distance on Valentines Day. Since Kedra was gone, it was easy to do both. It also shows I have run 90 kilometers in February so far. That's not really that much, but, hey, Strava points it out.

So how are you? Ready for spring? I know you know I am crazy. Let's make it certifiable, shall we? I am still enjoying the snow. Yes, it is has been a challenge at times, but I still enjoy watching it. On the other hand, I am really looking forward to warmer weather. I try to enjoy whatever is given to me/us.

Kedra and Ben, along with 30+ others, went to Gatlinburg for the weekend to attend a huge youth conference. They got there and back safely. They also had a wonderful time. It was good to get them back home. I had the place to myself Friday and Saturday and enjoyed some quiet time in front of the fireplace.

I have a pretty busy week again this week, so I better get moving. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Final Exam

There were four university sophomores taking chemistry and all of them had an A so far. These four friends were so confident the weekend before finals, they decided to visit some friends and have a big party. They had a great time but, after all the hearty partying, they slept all day Sunday and didn't make it back to school until early Monday morning.

Rather than taking the final then, they decided after the final they would explain to their professor why they missed it. They said that they visited friends but on the way back they had a flat tire. As a result, they missed the final. The professor agreed they could make up the final the next day. The guys were excited and relieved. They studied that night for the exam.

The next day the Professor placed them in separate rooms and gave them each the 100 point exam. They quickly answered the first problem worth 5 points. Cool, they thought! Each one in separate rooms, thought this was going to be easy. Then they turned the page. On the second page was written, "For 95 points: Which tire?"

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Forgiveness and Freedom

Recently I was talking about forgiveness with a man for whom I have the deepest of respect. By the power of God, he forgave an abusive father and found freedom from bitterness and anger. He said something like this:

"Having bitterness and anger in my heart is like me drinking poison while hoping the other person will die of it. Foolishly, I’m really just killing myself."

Henri Nouwen says,

"As long as we do not forgive those who have wounded us, we carry them with us or, worse, pull them as a heavy load. The great temptation is to cling in anger to our enemies and then define ourselves as being offended and wounded by them. Forgiveness, therefore, liberates not only the other but also ourselves. It is the way to the freedom of the children of God."

How do we find that freedom? A long long time ago, way down in Egypt, Joseph, who had been severely mistreat by his brothers and others, forgave all of them/it. He absorbed a lot of injustice, pain, and loss. He did not seek revenge or retaliation, though I think he was tempted to do so. Ultimately he does not. How? Why?

The key is found in Genesis 50:20, words that show his deep faith in a God who redeems terrible messes, a God who works in injustice, a God who has the ability to bring good out of bad, a God who loves forgiveness. Joseph says,

You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

Joseph recognized, by faith, the formative value of suffering through injustice and the way God can use it to accomplish great things. It liberated him. It can do the same for us.


Maddie & Cora Jane
Good morning! Looks like another beautiful day ahead! I hope to get mostly ready for Sunday today. Lately I've been working on Friday and Saturday to get ready. I finding break time hard to come by. That's not a complaint, but I do hope to restore a little bit of Sabbath.  It's a busy time and a good time.

Didn't yesterday feel like a heat wave? ha ha Wow, the 30s feel super warm. I wonder what the 50s are going to feel like. I guess we will find out soon. Looks like a little bit of snow first.

Kedra and Ben, along with a bunch of others, are leaving early in the morning to go to Gatlinburg for a big youth conference. I will be holding down the fort. I am not exactly sure what that means, but I will be doing it.

Got another good 5 miles in yesterday. I am going to try ride longer on the trainer some time tomorrow. I would like to work up to 3 hours, working on mental toughness and concentration. The Ironman Florida ride is 112 miles on flat roads, so you are pedaling the whole time.

Around here we get quite of bit of coasting. Of course on the trainer you don't, so as Rand has pointed out, the trainer is a good prep for IMFL. I'm not sure what my limits are on the trainer. I'm certainly no Iron Bill. For the last 2 weeks he has done 100 miles or more on the trainer! Yes, one ride, 100+, on a bike sitting in a room. Amazing!

OK, I better get moving!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


That’s a word charged with all kinds of thought and emotions, a word used and misused all the time. We can think about it in all kinds of ways. Henri Nouwen, as usual, gives me something to think about. Let’s think along with Henri:

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

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

I think of forgiveness as having to absorb pain, loss, and/or injustice, all with a view of hoping for reconciliation and peace, a relationship restored. That is not always possible. It takes two, and sometimes only one wants it. God knows all about that, doesn’t he? His offer of relationship, based on forgiveness, always awaits. Can we say the same?


On top of everything else, she has great fashion sense
Good morning! Do you know what day it is? That's right! Wednesday. OK, now you have visions of camels in your head. Maybe polar bears would be more like it. Speaking of that, I guess you are seeing those 40s and 50s coming? People will go nuts. I will go biking outside. That's what I'll do.

I have 8 degrees this morning, and we are headed north of freezing. I like it. I went for a run yesterday morning. I think it was 3 at the time. I only ran 3 miles, due to time constraints. It really was not that bad. The problem is keeping up with all the clothes required.

Doing 3 sports, especially in the winter, requires lots of clothes. Even though the swimming and biking are indoors, I am still washing a lot of clothes on a regular basis. The bulk of them are due to bulking up to run outside. It will be nice to not wear so much. It's all coming.

Yesterday was another good day on the planet. The sun was bright and warm and lots of good people were around. You can measure your days in different ways. I am task oriented, so I tend to look at what I accomplished, things I can check off a list. Yesterday was not day that saw a lot of that happening, but I have learned to measure days in other ways.

Cora and Maddie came for supper last night. Lester was working. I got to see her for a little while. She is growing and changing so quickly. She is precious.

Today promises to be busy, full, and long. I'm good with all that. I better keep moving! Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Quick Adaptation

It was around 12 degrees with a light wind. I went for a run and didn’t think twice about doing it. It has been that kind of winter in Indiana. In a normal winter, I probably would have thought twice before deciding to run and might have sought an alternative activity.

With a several nights below zero, coupled with many days with wind chills well below zero, twelve degrees sounds pretty good. Really. I was thinking about that while I was running and knocking tiny icicles off my eyelashes.

It’s amazing how quickly we adapt and get used to our environment. I lived for a few years, years ago, in a temperate climate. It didn’t take long before the mid 40s were "freezing" cold. We adjust our thinking quickly.

The same thing happens in other areas as well. It’s so easy to allow the culture to change our thinking. Those of us living in the Story of God need to know what it says. Paul reminds Christians living in Rome along time ago (Romans 12:2):

"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

I need to know The Story and stick to it, allowing God to ground my thinking. That requires spending time with it, reading it, thinking about it, living it out.


Ah! She's thinking of me.

Good morning! How are you on this new day, a gift from God? I am holding at 1 degree but it will probably drop a little before it rises. It has been a winter to remember, even though most would like to forget it. Warm weather is on the way. Here is one of the few poems I have memorized, and I have shared it before:

As a rule a man's a fool
When it's cold he wants it hot
And when it's hot he wants it cool
And he always wants what's not

Hey, when you come to this site, you get scintillating real life drama, as I live it out daily, and now you get culture. It's all here! What more could you want? Stop yawning.

I did the triple yesterday. I ran early in the morning, starting in the dark. Then after supper I biked for an hour, before heading out to the pool. I enjoy filling out the training log on a triple day. Today I will probably only run. I am trying to rebuild my base. I got 30 miles last week, and that's about where I want to be for a while.

Yesterday was a good day. In spite of an intermittent internet connection at church, I managed to get a fair amount done. Hopefully it will get fixed today. I still have a few things to download from my backed up files.

OK, I guess I better keep moving...

Monday, February 10, 2014

6 Years Ago

Six years ago I was in Russia. Here is a blog post from that day. If you want to read about my nearly month long adventure in Russia, Greece, and Turkey, just scroll down to old blog posts in February, toward the bottom of the page.

Computer Trouble

Good morning! I had major computer trouble a couple of weeks ago. As a result, I have not invited you to think with me for a couple of weeks now. I’m not totally back to where I need to be with my computer, but I am almost there.

Isn’t it strange, if not scary, how dependent we are upon electronic devices? I felt a bit lost a couple of weeks ago, but after a few days, I was beginning to enjoy some of the freedom. Slowly I am resuming the old patterns of dependency. I am not sure what to think about it, not sure there is another way.

Related: I am becoming more aware of how electronic devices are a new form of rudeness. I don’t think it’s intentional and it’s not rudeness that takes the form of mean words, harsh tones, or aggressive gestures. It’s a rudeness of not being fully present with another person. I am guilty.

We keep our heads down and our eyes fixed on a small screen, doing what we do. Maybe the person with you is doing the same thing. Just look around in a restaurant. Are we slowly losing the ability and desire to be fully present with one another? We are so distracted. And it’s self-centered, right?

Worse than ignoring one another, even when physically present, is ignoring God with all our distractions. He gently reminds us, "Be still and know I am God." I need to turn my stuff off when I am with you, and I need to turn it off on a regular basis to be with God. Lord, help me.


16 miles + 16 degrees = Randcicles
Good morning! It's Monday. Again. Already. That's all ok with me. I hope it is with you. My thermometer is still saying 14, which is a lot better than just north of here. I enjoy winter, I really do, but I will be glad to see the temps moderate some. It's coming! You know it is. I wonder how long until we complain about it being hot?

The weekend was good and fast. It was busy also. I managed a 10 miler Saturday morning. A few of us did 10, connecting with some who went 16. It was a little on the cool side but not too bad. The most challenging part was slick spots and loose snow. Those things slowed us down some but not too much.

I'm enjoying watching the Olympic Games. I don't care much for the skating, which Kedra loves. While that's on I get some reading done. The downhill skiing is amazing. The skiers approach speeds of around 85 mph. I've been in the 40s on my bike, and I find that scary. I can't imagine going that fast while standing up.

Today is going to be full. I hope to run, here in a few. A meeting or two follows. I'm still working on computer restoration. That has been crazy and made difficult because of church internet issues, which are supposed to be resolved tomorrow. This evening I plan to ride some before heading out to the pool at 8. It will be a long day but a good one.

I think I better get started! Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 06, 2014


Getting all Gangsta
Good morning! I hope you are well on this new day. Hey, it's a balmy 14 out there. It's funny how quickly we adjust our thinking to things (insert sermon here).  I really do think 14 is not that cold after experiencing all the sub zero stuff. I am thinking mostly from a running standpoint. Fourteen is manageable; not too bad really.

My computer restoration is still a work in progress. Maybe this morning will see it to completion? I feel a bit out of sync without all of it back together. You don't want to hear about the obstacles that have been in the way of this task. Perseverance.

This has been an unusual week in some ways. We've missed school yesterday and today. A  lot of my life, for good or ill, is tied to the rhythm (I can never spell that word right the first time) of the schools. I hope they go tomorrow. Also unusual this week was a huge bread offer.

The director of the Salvation Army called me Monday evening and asked if I/we wanted some bread, a lot of bread. I said yes, so Tuesday I went with the church van and picked up around 30 racks of bread. That is a lot. I talked to our food pantry director, wondering if we could use that much. We agreed to share it with some others. We got a bunch, and then I took the rest to another pantry in town.

I've run everyday this week so far. Yesterday's run was a little challenging, and today's may be the same. Sadly, I'm knocked out of swimming again, due to the school cancellation. I am eager to get back in the pool and work on the stuff I learned over the weekend, moving from frustration to implementation. Patience. I know.

Today is Sunday prep day, plus I have a meeting or two along the way. In addition to running, I hope to ride for a while, probably this evening. We are less than 9 months from Ironman Florida. In some ways that seems like a long way off, but in other ways it makes me almost feel a sense of urgency. Almost.

Better get moving... 

Wednesday, February 05, 2014


I was telling her about my sermon
Good morning! I guess you survived the big winter storm, the one that doesn't seem like it left much snow. Maybe there is a lot of ice? I am waiting for daylight and for reports from others before I decide what I'm doing today. I get the sense it is not THAT bad out there. We'll see.

My computer restoration is going as slow as a turtle. We had no internet at church for 2 days, which made things quite complicated in lots of ways. My bandwidth at home is fairly slow and limited. The Store is fairly slow, so it's back to the patience thing again. I still do not have my data files, which means I am fairly handicapped in doing some things. Maybe today will be the day?

I managed to get a couple of 5 milers in before/as the sun came up the last couple of days. They both went well. My time in the pool Monday night was somewhat frustrating, which was to be expected. I learned so much Saturday at the workshop, so trying to remember/put into place all that led to confusion. It will all get better soon.

OK, that's all I have this morning. Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 03, 2014

I'm Back

Good morning! My apologies if you are getting tired of seeing Cora Jane. Not really- ha ha. You have to admit it is better for me to put pictures of her rather than me. She is almost 3 weeks old now.

Well, my computer was in the shop all last week, so I was getting by with an old that did not have a lot of my files, etc. on it. I managed to get most of my work done OK, but it was hard if not impossible to do some of the stuff I do. I do not like being so tied to a computer but it seems to be the way things are.

Several weeks ago I purchased an online back up system, so supposedly all of my files are in the cloud. Today I begin the task of restoring everything. I am a bit apprehensive about it. It should be fine. I will feel a lot better when I see everything back.

Last week was pretty good, in spite of computer trouble. Honestly I have trouble remembering all I did, but I remember it being good. My running and riding miles were a little low last week, due in part to weather and other conflicts. I had a good week in the pool, and that is probably the most important thing right now.

On Saturday, Jim and I went to a swim workshop in Louisville. It was good. Swimming is often compared to golf. There are so many things to do, and trying to keep everything going right is difficult. I learned a lot on Saturday, so now the trick will be doing the drills and putting it into practice. I know I will not master it all, just like one golf lesson is not going to make you a pro golfer. I did learn some things that will really help me immediately.

OK, I need to get after this restore stuff. Wish me well; prayers would be even better.