Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Well...I almost knew everything completely this morning and saw Jesus face to face. This guy came flying out of his driveway this morning and was making a right hand turn on to F Street. He only looked to his left to see if anybody was coming. I was on his right. I don't know if it was my last minute prayer, God not being through with me yet, my muscle memory from my two races as a 3000 meter steeplechaser nearly 18 years ago in college, or just plain luck. Whatever it is, I'm just glad to be able to tell the story. My left achilles is a little sore from jumping over the driver's little sports car.
I'll live the rest of the day as a gift - probably should have been doing that anyway.
Monday, May 26, 2008
The following is my outline. Thanks to my intern Cayla for making this week's study guide. Great job with the quotes and Bible verses.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
We have spent hours solving cases, rescuing puffles, and building his igloo. We've had lots of fun exploring. Here is what I have learned and observed from Club Penguin:
- Creativity and imagination open doors most people never even dreamed existed.
- Excellence and attention to detail reap great rewards.
- Six-year-olds are smart.
- Good decision making skills and problem solving skills will get you a long way in life.
- Never stop exploring.
- Spending time with kids helping them do something they love is a great thing.
Monday, May 19, 2008
We started off worshipping at Russell Middle School on September 10th, 2006. During the first year we more than doubled in size from about 110 worshippers to around 250 worshippers. We outgrew the space at Russell Middle School and moved to Millard West on September 16th, 2007. Again, we have steadily grown in our time here at Millard West. In recent weeks our worship attendance has been about 325 people per week. It has been a great joy to see existing people grow in the relationship with God and with others. It has been equally exciting to see new people worshipping with us, getting connected, and being enthusiastic about church.
I am surrounded by an outstanding group of leaders who are as committed to this ministry as I am. We have hundreds of volunteers who give so much time and energy to serving at The Water’s Edge. Over 150 people, on a weekly basis, are committing to growing as a follower of Christ by being part of a small group. We have recently implemented some new strategies and initiatives that are going to position us for more growth in the future. We now have two adult volunteer coordinators and two volunteer coordinators for our kid’s ministry. We are in the process of developing a more comprehensive strategy to follow up with our guests. Other things are in the works as well. If anybody would have told me 20 months ago, when we launched worship that we would be this far along, I would have told them that they were crazy. We are way ahead of schedule and I am so excited about the possibilities that the future holds for all of us.
One of the curveballs that was recently thrown at us is that Millard West will be remodeling much of their first floor this summer. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to worship at this location this summer. Russell will not be available this summer because of renovations that will be happening at that school as well. Both of these schools and the Millard Public Schools have been so welcoming and hospitable to us and we are so grateful for them. We look forward to returning to Millard West in August.
Starting on June 8th, we will be worshipping at Skutt High School for a few months. We had a team of people who unanimously chose Skutt as our summer location for a number of reasons. Mainly the look and feel of the worship experience and kid’s ministry will almost be exactly the same as it is here at Millard West.
Last summer we did something amazing for a worship service in the summer: we grew. With God’s help, I think we can do it again this summer.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
A toxic co-worker makes me feel worse about myself with every interaction.
Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose speech is corrupt. These people turn from right ways to walk down dark and evil paths. They rejoice in doing wrong, and they enjoy evil as it turns things upside down. What they do is crooked, and their ways are wrong. -Proverbs 2:12-19
Happy is the person who finds wisdom and gains understanding. For the profit of wisdom is better than silver, and her wages are better than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. She offers you life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly. -Proverbs 3:13-18
Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer. -Proverbs 9:11-12
Wisdom at work requires me to recognize the bigger issues
1. I can’t control other people
2. I can’t force others to change
3. Imperfect people sin and cause damage
Ask for God’s Wisdom
Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do! If you prize wisdom, she will exalt you. Embrace her and she will honor you.
Avoid the toxic “open doors”
Do not do as the wicked do or follow the path of evildoers. Avoid their haunts. Turn away and go somewhere else, for evil people cannot sleep until they have done their evil deed for the day. They cannot rest unless they have caused someone to stumble. -Proverbs 4:14-16My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! -Proverbs 1:10
Use words that build up
The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the godly save lives. -Proverbs 12:6
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.
When arguing with fools, don't answer their foolish arguments, or you will become as foolish as they are. -Proverbs 26:4
Thursday, May 15, 2008
The boys enjoyed throwing water on me and each other.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
5 miles continuous running. 400 meters at 5K race pace (80 seconds) followed by 400 meters at marathon race pace (95 seconds). Repeat 10 times with no rest. The workout doesn't last long, less than a half hour, but it is the beast.
I think of Hebrews 12:11 - No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
Discipline makes the runner perform better. For bigger, more important areas of life, discipline, like in running, is not easy, but it has many rewards. I once read that discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
- Discipline helps us grow closer to God and closer to those most important to us.
- Discipline helps us take care of daily task and functions that will make our lives much easier and more simple.
- Discipline will help us achieve our dreams.
David getting some disciplined rest.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I had a good 12 mile run early this morning. It's absolutely beautiful this time of year. The tulips and the trees in bloom make me appreciate the beauty of God's creation.
This is the Swedish word for "speed play." The workout began with 20 minutes of easy running to F Street. Then I worked all the uphills on F Street and ran easier on the downhills. I also ran hard around the lake just north of F Street between 192nd and 204th Streets and I ran the last mile faster than normal (5:53). The idea is to shift the pace around and get the heart and lungs working harder than normal. It worked. It was a killer workout.Corn Burners
I didn't even know there was such a thing before this morning's run. A friend of mine, I'll call him Freddie, but is real name is Mark, slowed down in his truck and talked to me for a while. I appreciated the company. My normal training partner, Christy, is recovering from illness, so I have been going it alone lately. For some really strange reason, Mark was hauling a big, strange-looking apparatus in the back of his truck. I asked him what it was and he said it was a corn burner. I was on one of my uphill sections so I didn't get as many details as I wanted about WHY he was hauling a corn burner. More to come at a later date.
AXE / TAG
I was finishing strong by Beadle Middle School about a mile away from home. I flew by three boys who were waiting at the stop light. It was like walking through the entrance to the men's department at Dillard's. I don't know if it was AXE or TAG or some lethal combination of the two -- but my sense of smell may never be the same again.
I totally sweated through my gray Adidas ClimaLite t-shirt after an hour and a half of running. I left it on the entire time, as I always do!
Monday, May 12, 2008
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. -1 John 4:7 (NIV)
A relationship is defined as toxic when two people are stuck in a way of relating that’s poisoning them both. Here are a few facts about toxic relationships:
We ALL have toxic family members even the Bible admits this, beginning with the book of Genesis. Being imperfect is not what makes us toxic. We are toxic when we are stuck.
All toxic relationships are not equal; some situations are short-term and some are long-term.
When it’s toxic, we must act. We shouldn’t just study the situation; we need to do something about it.
Father, strengthen me to accept my limitations.
We are like clay jars in which this treasure is stored. The real power comes from God and not from us. -2 Corinthians 4:7 (CEV)
And then He told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become. -2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (Message)
Father, enable me to forgive my family.
Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times? Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. -Matthew 18:21-22 (NAS)
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. -Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
Father, empower me to change my thinking.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is His good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Father, free me to accept your love.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us. -1 John 4:16-19 (NIV)
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
Sunday, May 11, 2008
My mom, Bonita, is imperfectly perfect. For the last twenty-five years she has been a single parent. Despite her demanding job as an accountant and parenting my three older siblings, she loved me like I was the only one to love. I ran track and cross country in high school and college. She drove thousands of miles to see me run around a 400 meter track countless times. She was my biggest fan – celebrating the victories and encouraging me on the days I wished I was on the golf team instead of being a distance runner. She is not perfect, but as far as moms go, I am blessed. She enjoys and loves her many grandchildren. But she still loves me like I am the only one there is to love.
The role of being a parent is holy and sacred. Even if the parents are neither holy or sacred, the role of parent is still sacred like the role of pastor is still sacred even if the pastor is a scoundrel. Being a parent is ordained by God, the creator and sustainer of life. Being a parent has responsibilities and rights. The responsibilities are many.
Entire books have been written on parenting: but praying, playing, listening, and modeling a Christian life are a good start. These responsibilities are for the parent of a six year old child and the parent of a sixty year old child. The rights are many as well: smelling the hair of a sleeping baby who has recently been bathed, laughing with the child exploring life, watching the child running races or dancing dances or singing songs, witnessing the child become who God wants the child to be, and having that child care for you when you are no longer able to care for yourself just like you once cared for the child when he or she was not able to take care of himself or herself.
Today is Mother’s Day. God’s command to honor your mother applies today as it does every day. Honoring them doesn’t mean putting them on a pedestal or worshipping them. It means seeing them for who they are and who they are not. It means loving God and our neighbor as faithfully and selflessly as mothers at their best have tried to love us. It means listening to them, praying for them, playing with them, and taking care of them to the end of their days on earth.
To mom and all the mothers reading this—Happy Mother’s Day!
[Thanks for Frederick Buechner for his inight on Mother's Day]
Thursday, May 8, 2008
- Take a banana (or any other object that won't bounce, roll, or break). Drop it on the floor. If you can't pick it up without bending your knees, put on a shirt.
- If you have a tattoo containing any of the Federal Communication Commission's seven dirty words, put on a shirt.
- If you have more chest hair than your neighbor's dog, put on a shirt.
- If you have more hair on your back than you do on your head, put on a shirt.
- If you have any piercings between your waist and neck, put on a shirt.
- If you are sunburned, put on a shirt.
- If you are wearing tube socks and a spandex shorts, please put on a shirt.
- If you have voted for Truman or Dewey (or even know somebody who did), put on a shirt.
- If your mother, wife, or daughter (and especially all three together) can't reach around you for a hug, put on a shirt.
- If your family or neighbors have cut out this list for you, put on a shirt.
If you now feel compelled to buy a shirt, they make them with technical fabric that helps keep you dry and cool. I suggest the following companies:
Today's run: An easy seven mile run, about 7:10 per mile, around the the west lake and the F Street hills between Zorinsky and 192nd Street.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
- A complicated universal remote control
- Just about any wireless router
- A cordless iron
- Xbox 360
- An early bird dinner at the Hy-Vee buffet
- Literature on how to host a Botox party
- A gift certificate to Weight Watchers
- An entry form for TLC's What Not to Wear
- Elastic waistband pants
- A copy of The South Beach Diet
- A Thigh Master
- A new vacuum
- A gym membership
- A bowling ball
- Monster Truck Rally Tickets
- A 12 month subscription to the all the UFC Pay-Per-Views
Today's Run - Interval Training @ Millard West
1 mile warm-up and 1 mile cool-down.
5 sets of 800 meters at 5K pace - 30 seconds rest - 400 meters at 5K pace. 90 seconds rest between sets. I was way too fast on the first set, unless I'm planning on running a sub 15:00 5K in the near future. Set two, three, and four were pretty close. I picked it up on the last set a little. The wind felt good, but was a challenge from the 50 meter mark to the 250 meter mark.
There was a pack of about 15 adult runners all over the track going various paces and directions. Never seen anything like it before. The workout seemed like I was running intervals and playing Frogger at the same time. No big deal...I'm glad they are out running.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Who would have thought that religion would be center stage in the 2008 Presidential Election?
First, it was Mitt Romney. About half of all Republicans said they were “less likely” to vote for him because he is in the Church of the Latter-Day Saints. Ironically, other social conservatives and evangelicals criticized Romney for not being enough of a Latter-Day Saint when it came to social policy. Had Romney been a Protestant, it would have been interesting to see how he would have fared among the Republicans.
Second, John McCain easily defeated Mike Huckabee for the Republican nomination. This is significant because Huckabee was the evangelical candidate. Many social conservatives don’t see McCain as a candidate that is agreeable when it comes to things like abortion and homosexuality. McCain is the first non-evangelical supported candidate in my lifetime.
Third, I don’t recall a time in our nation’s history when the sermons / theology of the candidate’s pastor have come under scrutiny. Jeremiah Wright is certainly forthright about his opinions. In March 2008, a controversy broke out concerning Obama's long-term relationship with Wright, his former pastor. ABC News found several racially and politically charged sermons by Wright, including his suggestion that past U.S. policies were partially responsible for the September 11th attacks, his statement, "God bless America... No!... God Damn America...for killing innocent people...for treating her citizens as less than human," and his assertion that "the government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color." Obama gradually distanced himself from Wright. Can't say I blame him on that one.
I have a few observations.
Observation #1: Our country has many issues that need great attention. Consider these: Iraq (not to mention Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, terrorism, nuclear proliferation), the housing / mortgage predicament, immigration, the economy in general, the rising costs of health care specifically, climate change, chronic budget deficits, how the BCS is the biggest scam ever and college football needs to have a playoff, etc…
Observation #2: I don’t have the evidence to prove this, but I don’t think the evidence exists to disprove it – a majority of Americans assert that faith and politics should be mixed about as much as chocolate milk and onions should be mixed.
I have a belief that addresses both Observation #1 and Observation #2. I believe that our faith should effect almost every other area of our lives – including (maybe even especially) politics and culture. The Bible addresses most of the issues in Observation #1 (OK…maybe not the BCS thing). It sometimes may be a little more gray than black and white (Take war, for example. Bright Christians disagree about what the Bible teaches. Some are Pacifists and others subscribe to a Just War belief.), but if our faith doesn’t shape our culture – what (or who) will?
This is a touchy and interesting subject. I would be interested to know what you think.
Today’s workout: 12 miles around the lake. Easy pace -- around 8 minutes per mile.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Josh - 4:09:26
Brad - 4:11:39
Jamie - 4:42:27
Jason - 5:29:42
Angee - 1:45:05
Charissa - 1:56:13
Gracie - 2:07:03
Rick - 2:07:12
Kori - 2:20:03
Margie - 2:20:22
Sunday, May 4, 2008
- Legalism – living by rules instead of relationships
The Pharisee was shocked and somewhat offended when he saw that Jesus didn’t wash up before the meal. -Luke 11:38
They don’t practice what they preach. –Matthew 23:3
They pile up back-breaking burdens and lay them on other people’s shoulders – yet they themselves will not raise a finger to move them. -Matthew 23:4
- Nit-Picking – Pointing out people’s mistakes
The Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap Him in His words. -Matthew 22:15
- Guilt by association
The Pharisees complained that Jesus was associating with despicable people—even eating with them! -Luke 15:2
He who belittles and despises his neighbor lacks sense. -Proverbs 11:12
Flattery is a form of hatred and wounds cruelly. -Proverbs 26:28
Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive innocent people. -Romans 16:18
The Pharisees were on Jesus again, pressing Him to prove Himself to them. -Matthew 16:1
Anyone who spreads gossip is a fool. -Proverbs 10:18
Part 2 – What turns people toxic?
It was out of envy that they handed Jesus over to Pilate.-Mark 15:10
- Love of Money
When the Pharisees heard this, they made fun of Jesus, because they loved money. -Luke 16:14
Be careful that no one misses the grace of God so that no root of bitterness grows among you and makes trouble, because it can poison a large number of people.” -Hebrews 12:15
Part 3 – How to Handle Toxic Religious People
- Realize it’s not about you
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. -Romans 12:18
- Disconnect and let go
The Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus. Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. -Matthew 12:14-15
The disciples came and asked, “Do You realize You offended the Pharisees by what You just said?” Jesus replied, “Ignore them. They’re blind guides leading the blind.” -Matthew 15:12-14
- Refuse to play their game
“Then the Pharisees met together to think of a way to trap Jesus into saying something for which they could accuse Him. But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” He said. “Whom are you trying to fool with your trick questions?” Matthew 22:15-18
- Set boundaries
Freedom is what we have—Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again. -Galatians 5:1
- Live for an audience of one
We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. -1 Thesslonians 2:4
Friday, May 2, 2008
The tulips outside our house this time of
year are not toxic at all.
Jesus dealt a lot with toxic people. The Scribes, Sadducees, and Pharisees were all pretty pretty toxic. The twelve disciples had their moments as well. Jesus dealt with them in a manner that was pure genius. We'll learn from Jesus how to deal with toxic religious people this weekend. Prayer is essential in dealing with toxic people. Next weekend, we'll learn four prayers we can pray that will help us relate better to toxic family members. The Proverbs are also very helpful in helping us handle toxic people. We'll explore that wisdom in a few weeks as we learn how to handle toxic people at work and in school.
Your thoughts are always welcome:
How do we become less toxic?
How do we deal with people who are toxic?
What do you think...
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Craig: Hey, after Benjamin's baseball practice tomorrow, I need to get a babysitter for the kids.
Craig: I'm going out.
Amber: What do you mean you're going out?
Craig: I'm going out.
Amber: With who?
Craig: Some friends.
Amber: What friends?
Craig: Just some guys I hang out with.
Craig: Some other runners. This guy is coming in from Boston.
Amber: Where are you going?
Craig: Upstream Brewery. I hear they have good Root Beer there.
It was a perfect night for baseball practice. After baseball, I went out. Not my customary evening. It was fun hanging out with the guys--talking about something we all love to do. And the Root Beer was excellent.
God gives us each other. What a great gift that is!