no email friday…

Here is a fun new video about one company that banned email once a week… the result… people actually had to talk to one another. I laughed out loud a couple times. Like when the guy realized the person he emailed with, whom he thought was across the country, was actually across the hall… HA!

What a crazy world in which we live… said the man on his blog…

campus ministry…

It was a strange thing today when I discovered something that I knew would eventually happen, has in fact, happened.

Harvard has a full time, endowed, humanist campus minister. He serves along side many religious ministers in Harvard’s Chaplaincy.

There are so many things that I don’t understand about this, and yet, I am in no way surprised. Like I said, I figured this sort of thing would eventually happen, but it seems strange when it does. I mean, surely the next step is the atheist campus minister… Now, that would make for an interesting chaplaincy meeting.

Sheesh…

in the news…

I read a really good (and quite well written) article on the urban development of Richmond and the impact it is having on low (and even middle-class) residents in the city. It has some really interesting history lessons and good insight and perspectives on what is going on.

There was also a great sidebar story that shows another interesting perspective on all the re-development going on.

stuck in a tube…

So, the other day I had the opportunity to have my first MRI. I also had the opportunity to have several needles stuck into my hip and some dye injected into my labrum. The whole experience was a bit odd. For those of you who have had an MRI, you are familiar with the whole experience. You lie down on a metal slab and get rolled into this tiny little tube and are told, “don’t move.” I found myself thinking, “how in the world do big people fit in this thing.” I mean, I know that I’m a skinny fella. I also know that there are more than a few people in the world who outweigh me. So, does this machine expand when a bigger person come in… if not, WOW… that would be really, really awkward.

Anyway, since I was in this machine, not moving, I had the opportunity to just think… which, by nature, I really like to do. (As a side note, I just took a test called strengths finder 2.0 which classified one of my strengths as “intellection” which apparently means I am the kind of guy who would like to be stuck in an MRI tube so that he can just think.) Anyway, it was fun to just think about God, and life, and the frailty of the human body. I began to think of how amazingly complex my body is and how a simple rip in a piece of cartilage could cause so much pain… not only that, but this cartilage has been perfectly fine and functioning without error for 28 years… and much of my body is that way… for 28 years, most everything has worked the way it was created to… Seriously, that is pretty amazing.

So, anyway, I finally was released from the tube and hobbled, ever so slowly, out of the hospital. Today I found out that there is, indeed, a small tear in my labrum (contrary to what the first doctor told me at the hospital) that was likely caused by a slightly odd shaped bone in my hip. So, not entirely sure what that means, but I go to the doctor on Thursday for a follow-up.

In conclusion, I’d like to recommend that everyone have an MRI at some point. The experience was really interesting and I think you’d enjoy it… unless you are claustrophobic… in which case I simply recommend you stare at a white sheet of paper held 4 inches from your face for about 20 minutes and have someone make a loud clicking noise while you do it. Either way you go, let me know what you think about during the experience. I’m interested to hear…

I’m dreaming…

(to the tune of White Christmas)
I’m dreaming of a white Easter.
Just like the ones I used to know…

Ok, seriously, this is freakish. All I wanted all winter was a couple of nice snow days. So, now that I have offically put away all my winter clothes and busted out the shorts and sandles, THIS HAPPENS.

Well, happy day before EASTER!

Sheesh.

Running the race set before me

For those of you who I did not mention this to, I ran the annual “Monument Ave 10k” on March 31. My dad came down & ran it with me. I originally decided to do it in December merely as in incentive to keep me jogging/exercising to lose my “baby fat”. I need goals. So I jumped in & registered. The scary part was that I knew I would kick myself if I stopped to walk, but when I registered, I was not able to finish 1 mile, let alone 6.2. Really. Not to mention the last time I ranin an actual race was my freshman year of high school…in 1994. Then in January Ryan surprised me with a membership to Gold’s Gym for my birthday. That was awesome, since they have child-care I could go work out regularly without trying to fit it into his schedule (hard to work out with kids climbing on you…& I don’t have or want a jogging stroller). Anyhow, the race was INCREDIBLE. not to brag but….well…ok, bragging….I ran it in 1:08:34. I realize that’s not any kind of record for..anyone, but for someone who couldn’t jog 1 mile before wanting to puke 4 months prior, not too shabby. My dad finished at 1:08:35. lol. he could’ve beat me by at LEAST 10 minutes, likely 20 (maybe more..i’m not really sure), but he kept pace with me the whole way & at the end I forgot to warn him that I was going to sprint to the finish, so caught him off guard. I thought i was going to throw up & my body felt like it was going to give out but when i saw how close i was I just got the banner in my sights & took off. it felt REALLY good. I can only imagine how slow i was actually going but it did FEEL fast. I really enjoy finishing races with a sprint. exhilarating. I’ve been training on a treadmill which is quite boring & since i’m stubborn (or determined depending on how you look at it) I only run one pace, I refused to slow down, so basically the longest i went in the gym was 4 miles & only did that twice & just barely made that. I think i averaged about 2.5 miles regularly. Needless to say i was quite nervous about 6.2 however running with my dad & talking with him was great, then on top of that there were so many people on the side with posters & cheering ect. they also had bands at (seemingly) every mile playing for the crowds & the camaraderie among the runners was incredible. we slowed to talk with a few people before passing them. it was such a social thing. I didn’t even feel uncomfortable until mile 5 & then the crowds started getting bigger & i started really getting into the cheering. everytime we passed people cheering or bands we’d always put our hands up or clap & say “woo hoo”, & slap little kids’ hands as we ran by. Kinda felt silly (not everyone was as enthusiastic as my dad & I so to be honest, we were probably dorky), but it was just too fun. I also had some great conversations with my dad.

my top 3 favorite posters were “was that a bolt of lightning or was that my grandad running by?”, “nice legs”, & “runners are sexy”

we totally yelled out, “thanks!”

so all day today i’ve been thinking about it in light of the book I just finished reading (“when life & beliefs collide” by Carolyn Custis James). It’s a book about why women need good theology. It’s geared toward women, but of course everyone needs good theology, so I would recommend it to men as well. She gets into some gender issues at the end that I’m not sure how I feel about….but a good book nonetheless.

In the book she often uses the race analogy. & it’s all i could think about the day after the race. not only about the idea of pushing past the pain & even using your “training” when you hit hard spots (theology being your training, tough life circumstances for hard spots)….for example, i started to get a cramp in the second mile (weird since i NEVER got cramps while training) & my gut reaction is to breathe shallow, tense up & clamp down on the cramped spot. In one of the “pre-race” emails updates sportsbackers sent out, it said you should do slow deep breathing & shake out your arms & neck & do your best to relax everything. easy to say, but in the moment not what i’m thinking to do. However i did after a second do just that & almost immediately it went away. James says we’re like that with our theology, we’ve learned who God is & that He loves us & works for our good, but in the moment, our instinct is to dispair & think he’s either out to get us, forgotten about us, or doesn’t love us. anyway, that wasn’t the big thing i got out of the race. it was the “family-ness”. that we’re in the race together. there were thousands of people in that race (over 20,000). even though i felt like i was going to throw up on the drive in b/c of being nervous, once i got in the starting corral, it all left. there were soo many people. we weren’t racing each other. we were racing the clock, our minds, our bodies. so we’d encourage one another, cheer each other on. Some people who finished would run back up the sidewalk for the last mile to encourage us to keep going that we were so close. & honestly, if it weren’t for that i would’ve stopped at mile 5. that’s when my body hurt & my brain starting saying things like “you can’t do this, you can’t breathe anymore”. but i knew i was close & i knew THEY had finished & while they were obviously in better shape, I still was encouraged & it kept me going. & the “cloud of witnesses” (ha ha) really empowered me. I wasn’t afraid to stop in front of them, i wouldn’t be embarrassed, but they were just so encouraging i COULDN’T stop. i just don’t remember feeling that kind of community with strangers in a sporting event. maybe in elementary school when i was on the swim team….but only with MY teammates’ parents. it was like having thousands of teammates.

I’m already pumped for next year. glad to not HAVE to run for awhile, but i’ll def. do it next year. my dad said he wants to as well. we both emailed each other the day after, that we think we can shoot for under an hour for next year. i’m pleased w/my time, seeing as how in december when i started i couldn’t run ONE mile, but i think i can do better. it will be fun. so ya’ll should TOTALLY do it next year. God is good. it seems so strange that something generally not fun, could be so very enjoyable. i really did feel the “pleasure of God” like the guy quoted in that movie pastor doug talks about (10 pts to anyone who can name it).

….it may have sparked a new addiction.

twocent book review…

The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World

I picked this book up on a whim and have been rather pleased with the purchase. For those who want to get a gist of the Reformation by looking at some of its key figures, then this book is for you.

Beginning with Martin Luther and the 95 thesis, Nichols take you through a myriad of moments, documents, and people surrounding initial years of the Reformation.

One thing that I enjoyed about this book was that it was really approachable. This book in not intended to be an in depth study of the reformation, but rather a really great introduction for the every-day-joe. It was an enjoyable and easy pre-bedtime read.

In all, I’d really recommend this book for anyone who in interested in understanding the Reformation but doesn’t want to read a graduate level book. This book is approachable, understandable, and enjoyable. Well worth checking out.

good friday…

My heart mourns and rejoices on this great and terrible day. It is this day that we Christians look to the cross of our King and stare at the awful penalty of our sin. The judgment and destruction I so truly deserve as one who has committed treason against my King has been poured out upon Jesus.

For those who would like to take some time to meditate on the cross during this Good Friday, I recommend what I hold in my heart as the greatest sermon I have ever heard. Check it out here.

On this Good Friday I encourage and challenge you to wrestle with the King who was murdered that you might be pardoned. You and I have turned our hearts from worshiping the King of heaven and chosen to worship worthless things, and more particularly ourselves. We spit in the face of our creator on a regular basis. His response is to come and take the wrath we deserve for these actions.

My glorious king, thank you for your mercy extended to me. Cause the world to see the glory of the cross that they might truly understand the joy of the resurrection. To you be glory in the earth forever.

—–
After making this post I stumbled across this quote on another blog and found it very worthy of inclusion here:

To put it bluntly and plainly, if Christ is not my Substitute, I still occupy the place of a condemned sinner. If my sins and my guilt are not transferred to Him, if he did not take them upon Himself, then surely they remain with me. If He did not deal with my sins, I must face their consequences. If my penalty was not borne by Him, it still hangs over me. There is no other possibility.–The Cross in the New Testament by Leon Morris

lazy or busy…

Well, I’m not sure which it is, but I have certainly been one of these when it comes to being consistent with my posting. I’ve had several posts on my mind lately that I hope to roll out this week… One is chronicling my “take your son to work day,” one reviewing the book “The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World,” and one… uhhhh… great, now I can’t remember the third one. Oh well, we’ll be lucky if I get these first two out.

Wish me luck.