Sunday, November 30, 2008

Laugh Loud: A Message of Hope

You can listen to today's message here.

1. Connect to the Source

From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. –Acts 17:26-27

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. -John 15:5

O Lord, you have formed us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you. –St. Augustine

Belong to a Village

In numbers we are better off.

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. –Galatians 6:2

Do the Right Thing

God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. –Matthew 5:6

What are you hungry and thirty for? Well…if you want your hunger and thirst to be satisfied…Jesus says start with justice. Start with doing what is right. This Christmas that our hunger and thirst for life isn’t satisfied or quenched with what is under the tree.

To lend each other a hand when we’re falling…Perhaps that’s the only work that matters in the end. –Frederick Buechner

Go For Broke

Death twitches my ear. “Live,” he says, “I am coming.” –Virgi

Hope doesn’t come from sitting idly waiting for life to pass us by.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. –Isaiah 41:10

Never measure the height of a mountain, until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was. –Dag Hammarskjold

Training Update

I have come down with a case of the flu or something and have no desire to run, eat, etc... I made it through the sermon, barely, and have been in bed since. Oh will give me an opportunity to catch up on my blog!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Part of my legacy

I spoke about leaving a legacy this morning. You can listen here. Here are some of my notes:

Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. -1 Corinthians 3:10-14

Let’s tell our young people that the best books are yet to be written; the best paintings have not yet been painted; the best governments are yet to be formed; the best is yet to be done by them. –John Erskine


“There is a critical difference between beliefs and convictions: a belief is something you hold on to, but a conviction is something that holds you. A conviction is a core value from God’s Word that anchors us, shapes us, permeates our lives, and becomes such a part of us that it’s who we are.” –Kerry and Chris Shook

The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever. –Isaiah 40:8

But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash. –Matthew 7:26-27


You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. –James Miles


But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” –Luke 10:40-42

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

When you were born, you were crying, and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you will be smiling, and everyone around you will be crying. -Anonymous

Training update

10 mile break-down run

3 miles at marathon pace
4 minutes rest
8 x 800 meters at 5K pace with 60 seconds rest between reps
4 minutes rest
3 miles at marathon pace

I felt great the entire run.

59:07 for the 10 miles - 5:54 per mile.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I had a little problem at the wedding I did today. I made it through the first half -- no problem. I've done over a hundred, so I'm pretty good at them by now. When it came to exchange their vows, I didn't have that part in my script that was in my little leather folder. Nor did I have the part about the exchanging rings or the Unity Candle. As they looked at each other, I took a deep breath and went for it. Thankfully I have done enough weddings and I had it memorized. I was a nice wedding, thankfully I didn't mess it up.
Training Update
I ran with Gary, Dave, and Jalan from the Pedestrian Bridge to the top of the Lewis and Clark Monument early this morning. The bottom to the top of the bluff is about a mile and a half long. It is a pretty wicked hill. The view from the top is worth the climb. The temperature was a bit chilly and there was a cold north wind. We did 12 miles pretty easy.
View from the Lewis and Clark Monument

Friday, November 7, 2008

Leaving a Legacy

A few months ago, the family and I went to my mom's house in northwest Iowa. It is a little town, maybe a thousand people or so. Most are Norwegians. Many are farmers or at least want to be farmers. But times have changed. Today, the people work at a few small manufacturing plants and a food distribution center. There is a small grocery store. A couple banks and a gas station. I think there are four small churches. The people cheer for their 8 man football team in the fall. Although I haven't lived there for twenty years, when we walked through the streets or went to the local pizza place, the people still knew who I was and greeted me with a firm handshake or an occasional hug. Many of you have been to a place like this before.

There is a house one block due north from my mom's house. It is a dirty white and hasn't been painted in a long time. The roof needs replaced. A window in the garage is broken. The weeds are overgrowing pretty much everything. This is the house where my grandpa Adolf and grandma Elva used to live. The house looks much different than it did twenty years ago. It was immaculate. A big vegetable garden used to encompass much of the side yard. The lawn was mowed every few days and the flowers were watered early every morning. In the winter, smoke would come from the chimney from the wood fireplace that grandpa built by himself. During the other three seasons, many of the neighbors would gather on the front porch. You could usually smell grandma's baking as you entered the house. She kept the house spotless and sanitized. Although grandpa was born in Norway, every morning, when it wasn't raining, he would go out and raise the American flag on his white, oil-base painted flagpole.

Maybe somebody will buy the house and fix it up. Maybe not. Maybe some new family will create new memories in that house. Maybe it will just be torn down. Either way, I look at the house and part of me is sad. But thankfully, grandpa and grandma's legacy isn't that little house on First Street. Their legacy is years of investing their lives in others. Grandma was as loving and nurturing as you were going to find. She was a true servant. She embodied what grace is all about. Grandpa was hardworking and tough. He was frugal and thrifty. He was a listener and made some of the best lefse and coumpa this side of Oslo. More than anything else, he was wise.

I write this early on a Friday morning in my home office. Part of their legacy is in this house now. Part of who they are is who I am. Part of who I am is who our two boys (who are making the writing of this a bit challenging at the present time) are. Legacy isn't about stuff. It's about people. What kind of legacy are you leaving?

Fresh Lefse

Training Update

Nothing. No time. Busy day and I went to the Millard West football game tonight.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Norwegian Proverbs, Day 2

You don't know what a man is made of until he encounters hardship.
He who follows the river comes at last to the sea.
A lover should open his ears more than his eyes.
Silence is sometimes an answer.
Envy does more harm to the owner than to anyone else.
While there's life, there's hope.
Training Update
I ran 12 miles with Christy and Machelle this morning. My legs were pretty sore from helping a friend move last night. This weather is crazy. It was over 70 degrees at nine o'clock in the morning on November 4th.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Norwegian Proverbs, Day 1

If there were no fools, how would we recognize the wise?
What's done is done.
He is worth much who has learned much.
What a man sows he shall reap.
What mother and father don't teach, the world teaches.
Training Update:
8.5 miles easy around Lake Zorinsky before I picked Benjamin up after school.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Learn Humbly

This morning I spoke about suffering and humility. You can listen here. The following are my notes:

A fact of life: Pain happens and innocence is lost

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. –John 16:33

Sometimes what the Bible doesn’t say is just as important as what the says:

Not “IF you have trials and sorrows”
Not “You will have trials and sorrows”
It says “You will have many trials and sorrows”

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. –Romans 12:12

Another fact of life: Security is not found in the world

While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. -1 Thessalonians 5:3

You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that will come upon the earth, for the Lord is your security. -Proverbs 3:25-26

Another fact of life: Pain and misery are not the same thing

Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional. We cannot avoid pain, but we can avoid joy. –Tim Hansel

Be Humble

Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right. –Henry Cloud

Humility is not having a need to be more than you really are.

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others too. –Philippians 2:3-4

Six Steps to humility

  1. Say you are sorry to your children, spouse, coworkers, customers, and other people in your life when you fail them.
  2. Get rid of any and all defensiveness when it occurs in you. What you are defending—the need to be more than you are—is not worth keeping.
  3. Embrace a spirit of gratitude for everything you have and any good treatment you get.
  4. When someone is hurt by you, listen. Try to understand what he or she is feeling and learn how you can make things better.
  5. Embrace your imperfections and the imperfections of others.
  6. Use failure as a teacher and a friend.

Innocence Lost. Grace Restored.

When hardship, negativity, or adversity comes into our life we can and should do one of two things:

1. We either fix the problem
2. We figure out the problem can’t be fixed and let it go.

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain. –Maya Angelou

How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar. –Trina Paulus

God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord. –Romans 5:20-21

Training Update:

I jogged to the Millard West track late in the evening. I hadn't done anything hard for a few days. It was warm and dark, but my legs were rested and I ran well.

2 mile warm-up

1K - 3:52 (6:16 / mile) - 600 meters jogging

2K - 7:40 (6:06 / mile) - 600 meters jogging

3K - 11:27 (6:05 / mile) - 800 meters jogging

4K - 15:19 (6:06 / mile)- 1000 meters jogging

5K - 18:58 (6:06 / mile)

2 miles cool-down

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Busy today with church stuff. Like 14 hours of busy. Thanks to Amber's parents for helping out with the kids. I wasn't able to run today. I think I'm getting slower by the day!

I did manage to catch the last half of the Texas Tech - Texas game. It was one of the best games I have ever seen!