Thursday, August 30, 2007

Long Over-Due Update

Not last weekend but the weekend before...(how can it be Thursday of this week already?)...I went to Colorado with the Smelser family who are all my friends. We went to Leadville, CO which is the highest incorporated town in the USA at 10,200 at City Hall Main Street downtown. There the Leadville 100 Mile Trail Marathon was held. Yes - runners who set out to run 100 miles! good grief! Well Saturday morning at 4am we sent off Allen Smelser - I am guess around age 52 or so - to run the race. He was one of 594 starting participants. He made it 40 miles before he gave out with non-running related internal problems. But the inspiration went on. The first guy crossed the finish line at about 8pm. That means he ran 9 minutes miles the whole way - including twice over a 12,500 foot pass - and finished in 16 hours - an hour and a half in front of the next guy. The next inspiration came Sunday morning when we watched the last hour of people coming in. They only get 30 hours to finish. A good chunk of the only 210 finishers came in right there at the end within the last hour. That was the most inspiring thing because they kept going all night long!
Anyway, I was thoroughly inspired to keep running and train for my marathon this fall at DC and...well...hopefully...maybe...absolutely accept the challenge of completing the Leadville Trail 100 myself someday! Why not?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

"Century Ride"

I rode my bicycle 103.5 miles on Saturday in Wichita Falls, TX with my friend, Mike, from Chandler in an event called "Hotter'n Hell 100". This event features 12,000 bikers who either participate in the }race" (fast) or "ride" (more moderately paced) portion of the line-up. I was definetely a rider! It was really fun actually and I was surprised at how well I finished up - expecting to be dragging more. Miles 80-90 were the hardest - where I just wanted to be done. The last 1o were really easy! Other than being sore today I hit the rode again running 5 miles to "recover"! This is my first century ride that I finished and it was really fun to be out there with all of those other people! Maybe I'll do it again next year...

"Only Grace" by Matthew West

There is no guilt here
There is no shame
No pointing fingers
There is no blame
What happened yesterday has disappeared
The dirt has washed away
And now it's clear

There's only grace
There's only love
There's only mercy
And believe me it's enough
Your sins are gone without a trace
There's nothing left now
There's only grace

You're starting over now under the sun
You're stepping forward now
A new life has begun
Your new life has begun

And if you should fall again
Get back up, get back up
Reach out and take my hand
Get back up, get back up
Get back up again

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Psalm 84:11-12

"For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

O LORD Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I heard the weatherman on the radio say yesterday that the "heat wave is intensifying", as if it had a mind of it's own? It is getting up to 103ish every day this week. Yesterday was painting in the heat and I called it a "head-pounding" heat. Today is my first "office" day in my 1/4 job for Crossroads. I am doing the beginning bare minimum stuff in order to actually set up an office to work.

Last night I ran 16 miles! I literally ran from the central part of town to the extreme North part of town and back. It was hot and I was running pretty slowly but I finished and feel great today (actually really sore and tired but it is a good kind of sore and tired!).

Something fun that has been happening at least a few times each week is breakfast and dinners as a family here at my house! Praise be!

Letter writing coming soon!


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Quote of the Day

Not that I am in a particularly negative mood or anything, but as I reflect on some past experiences in church ministry I found this quote particularly relevant and true:

"Sometimes I think the whole Christian world is made up of just two groups: those who speak their faith and accomplish significant things for God, and those who criticize and malign the first group." —Don Basham, "On the Tip of My Tongue," New Wine (June 1986). Christianity Today, Vol. 30, No. 12.

104 today - or something terrible like that! Off to bed by 10pm tonight!


What a 2 Hour and 12 Minute Challenge!

Today was a scorcher! The radio said it was 99 degrees and the bank clock said it was 104 - who knows which one was right? Either way - it was hot! But with a redeeming strong south breeze (breeze doesn't really seem to be the appropriate word here because it is really more like a hot air wind). Painting in such conditions is quite the challenge. Actually, it was a great day!

Tonight at 9 pm, right at dusk, I set out for my "long run" of the week. These are the contents that I packed in running shorts: cell phone, 3 one dollar bills to buy more gatorade, 2 sticks of gum, one and half packages of GU blocs which are energy and fluid replacement squares you eat every couple of miles, a GU gel pack which is basically pure sugar to help give energy towards the end of the run. I also carried in my hand a 24 ounce bottle of gatorade. By mile 9 the gatorade was gone and I bought another bottle at the convenience store and it was totally consumed by the time I made it home - total trip was 14 miles running. About 2 hours and 12 minutes or so! But the unique challenging factor was the stifling heat. It was still about 94 degrees according to the Friends University marquee which is just done the street from my house when I started running at 9. The sidewalks were baking and radiating heat - an hour into the run it literally felt like my feet were burning. Although it was dark, it was really really hot. Another really interesting phenomonon that I've never encountered before is that I found myself trying to find the "shaded" areas to run on even though it was all dark. There was a very distinct temperature change on the sidewalked areas where the trees or structures shaded the sidewalks during the day compared to the ones that were directly exposed to the sun.

I finished in one piece and now am trying to rehydrate - which will take probably around 36 hours to be back where I should be.

All that to say this - it was awesome!


Saturday, August 4, 2007

Fascinated By The City

I took a different route tonight on my run, and traveled through several "new" neighorhoods on streets that I hadn't run on or even ever been on before. I found myself fascinated by the cultures, languages, and homes represented in 6 miles of observation tonight. I also had in the back of my mind what kind of house I would like to buy someday and in which neighborhood. There is also a crazy baseball tournament going on at the Minor League Stadium where they have 72 hour of consecutive baseball - all throughout the night - even between midnight and 8 am! Hopefully late tomorrow night after the sun goes down I'll catch a few of the games.

Oh yeah, Go A-Rod!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

"Dog Days of Summer"

Here are some words that describe my current temporary job as a painter: work ethic, temporary, character building, dehydration, sun burn, sweat, hot breeze.

Ruthless trust is what God desires from us and what pleases him and the only option in response of faithful obedience!