Tuesday, March 31, 2009

50 Mile Run

On Saturday, March 14th I ran 50 miles on the same course as the Heartland 100 that I finished in October 08. I took one day off in between the two weeks of Extreme Camp Makeover to run. The run was the Kansas Ultrarunners Society's annual Members Only fun run for 2009.

Now that I am very familiar with the course, I knew what to expect and those hills with about 10 miles to go to the end in Cassody just seem to get steeper and steeper every time! Otherwise it was a great day to run and a lot of fun. My legs actually started out sore before I even started because I was working all day every day at camp of that week leading up to the run. The weather was chilly at the 7am start - lower 30s. There wasn't much wind all day really, and it quickly heated up to the mid 70s by afternoon. By the mid to late afternoon it was hot! Because there were just a few of us running this unofficial race, the roving aid stations were more frequent than the actual race. 2 guys from Wichita, Dennis and Terry, who are also Kansas Ultrarunners Society members, of course, since it's members only, and I ran the whole 50 miles together from start to finish! Allen Smelser also finish about 50 minutes behind me. He caught up about mile 22 and then faded back away.

My finishing time was 11 hours, 15 minutes and 6 seconds. That's almost exactly 2 hours better than my previous 50 mile personal record last year. So I was very happy with that improvement. This Saturday is the Rockin K 50 mile trail run. The weekend will be so much fun and I am looking forward to it greatly. If the conditions are right (no mud, no rain), I'm really going to try to push to break 11 hours - but there's no way to know how it will turn out. Right now the forecast is for rain and thunderstorms all day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

"I'm not a scientist, but I can row."

I love this article about a 25-year-old who rowed across the Atlantic by himself to raise money for cancer research. He says, "I'm not a scientist, but I can row." And he believes in the cause.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring Blizzard

In Wichita, yesterday and today, we had over 24 hours of freezing rain, sleet, and then snow, totaling perhaps 4-6 inches? In other parts of the state, even only 70 miles west, there was 2-3 feet of snow and drifts of over 6 feet! Some excellent pictures of the snowfall elsewhere in Kansas:
I ran this morning 3 miles in the snow and sleet. It wasn't the cold that bothered me-just the sleet hitting my face like hail and then the shin high slush puddles that I had to splash right through crossing the streets. It was still a fun adventure.

Sow Righteousness, Reap Love

‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’
-Hosea 10:12 NLT

Sow righteousness, reap love.It's time to till the ready earth, it's time to dig in with God,
Until he arrives with righteousness ripe for harvest.
-Hosea 10:12 The Message

Extreme Camp Makeover

Sunday Evening Pictures left to right: Janet Penna, Frank Penna, Samuel Vasquez
Vasquez Family singing"Ven Es La Hora Adorarle" (Come, Now Is Time Time to Worship)

Jeremiah and Joshua Locke with Vasquez girls

Samuel sharing the message from Hosea 10:12 (NIV): Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.

The two weeks of Extreme Camp Makeover in March were a great success. More was accomplished that most people thought was possible. There is still much to do in the next two months to complete the Makeover!
Week 1 was very cold. A couple days it never got above freezing. That makes for cold weather when you are working outside the whole time! (Especially since I didn't bring a heavy coat.) Week 2 had excellent weather, which was especially good because there were around 80 people there working.

Samuel & Cristina Vasquez and their three youngest daughters, Amarice, Yvonne, and Ana also came to help for the week. Samuel is the Pastor of Agujita Iglesia Amigos in Coahuila, Mexico and the superintendent of the Friends Churches in that region. The Vasquez ladies worked on my painting crew all week, serving alongside our Crossroads youth. Samuel dug ditches! Then Samuel was able to come to speak at Crossroads on Sunday morning and then, in their honor, we had a special dinner for them on Sunday evening at the Macy's.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Adam Prepares For The Human Race


The Shack Review

Here is a link to a very interesting and well-written article about the supposedly controversial novel, "The Shack", by William Young. He says that perhaps people were equally offended when King David compared God the Father to a pathetic little shepherd in Psalm 23!?


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Running the Race

Lead article in March 2009 Insights, by Dr. David Robinson, EFC-MAYM General Superintendent:

I hate to run. That is why I chose the interior line in high school football. All I had to do was take a few steps hit somebody and fall down. The only time I got a quarterback sack was when he stumbled and I fell on him. About 25 years ago, I set out to run a mile. It took about 3 weeks to work up to it. Running is pain for me – agony. Do you know that the Greek word for race is “agon”? Just put the “y” on the end of it and you get the picture.

My father was a runner in high school. He won the Galveston County mile and got to run in the state of Texas track meet as a senior in high school. I definitely didn’t get that gene. Adam Monaghan is a runner. He loves it – lives for it. Last fall, he and Allen Smelser ran the 104 miles from the Ministry Center to the Barclay Campus to raise money for the Missions Scholarship. They raised almost $13,000. It took 26 hours. Now that, to me, is a picture of what agony looks like – a race filled with pain. Was it worth the agony?

Ask the student recipients of the scholarship. They will tell you that Adam’s agony was worth it for them. And after the students reach the mission field, you might ask the people who are brought to the Lord through them if Adam’s agony was worth it. They will tell you it was worth eternal life to them.

The writer of Hebrews speaks of the race we are to run as Christians and puts it this way, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (12:1). I’d paraphrase the last phrase as, “run with agony, the ‘agon’ (race) marked out for us.” Sometimes it takes pain and agony to persevere. But is it worth it? The difference is life or death to the cloud of witnesses. Stick to it. Finish the race well.

I Will Keep On Hoping For Your Help

2 Save me and rescue me, for you do what is right.
Turn your ear to listen to me, and set me free.
3 Be my rock of safety where I can always hide.
Give the order to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
12 O God, don’t stay away.

My God, please hurry to help me.
14 But I will keep on hoping for your help;
I will praise you more and more.
19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens.

You have done such wonderful things.
Who can compare with you, O God?
22 Then I will praise you with music on the harp,

because you are faithful to your promises, O my God.
I will sing praises to you with a lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
23 I will shout for joy and sing your praises,
for you have ransomed me.

Psalm 71 NLT

Monday, March 2, 2009

Living Water

Living Water by Brother Yun

“Living Water” is an excellent work of a powerful, apostolic leader, known as Brother Yun, written from the context of the persecuted Church in Communist China. The writings are not fun or entertaining but deeply challenging, provocative, and sometimes brutal. It’s certainly not “pleasure” reading as it took me like four months to finish. Each chapter contains a specific teaching and challenge to a Godly and fruitful life. I highly recommend the work, but with a caution: read it only if you are prepared to be beat up, worked over, and to not be content with your expression of faith until your life takes obedience, sharing the gospel, and Christ-centered living to a new level!

You see, we are all called to run a race for Jesus, and repentance is the starting line of that race. It’s futile to try to run the race if you never made it to the starting line to begin with! This is the problem with many believers today. They are trying to follow the Lord, but they have never truly repented and surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ. The result of the false gospel so prevalent today can be seen in churches full of halfhearted Christians whose lives are still centered on selfishness and the principles of the world. P18

Repentance is both the first step to walking in the kingdom of God and the key to continuing in a place of obedience and submission to the Lord. P19

The challenges in your life are real, but Jesus is the truth! If you will learn to praise Jesus Christ regardless of your circumstances, you will find inner freedom and joy, and you will have the strength to overcome whatever you are faced with. P82

When the Lord told Jonah to go to Nineveh to warn them of impending judgment, it didn’t suit Jonah’s schedule! Jonah was just like many Christians today—they have their lives planned out for the next year and are so inflexible that even if God tells them to do something, they are unwilling to interrupt their precious schedules.” P87

If you belong to Jesus Christ, then you are His servant and you no longer have the right to control and plan your own life….Everybody in this world is a slave. Either they are slaves to Jesus Christ, or they are slaves to sin. It is better to belong to Jesus! P88

It is a false kind of Christianity that teaches that God only wants us to be safe and secure and to keep out of harm’s way. P91

The true gospel, when it is preached with power, always results in either revival or riot. Just read Paul’s experiences in the book of Acts. P92

Somehow we deceive ourselves into thinking that if we retain control of our lives, things will be okay, and we fear if we truly give ourselves to God, we will regret it. This thinking is completely false. Nobody who has ever given control of their life to Jesus has regretted it.
Oh if we would have a revelation of God’s care and provision for His children, we would never be the same again! He is much better at running your life than you are! P93-4

I exhort you in Christ: please do not forget your identity. You are a redeemed one, chosen by the almighty God to be His child. Your heavenly Father wants you to be a bold warrior who depends on His mighty power. He wants you to be as bold as a lion. Amen! P109

Many Christians seem to be good at sitting around trying to perfect their doctrine, but few seem to obey Jesus’ command to go into the world and make disciples of all nations. We need to stop trying to play games with God. Many believers want people to think they are pious, when in reality they are living in disobedience and deception. P142

As you go forth in obedience to the Great Commission, pray earnestly that God will show you whom you should go with. P183

Jesus doesn’t expect you to sit on your backside for the rest of your life while you try to perfect your doctrine. Rather, He wants you to get busy in His harvest field, sharing the life of Jesus with those who know nothing about Him. P237

Ask God to give you a worldwide vision. God wants to reach the whole world, and you should too. Many churches today only focus on reaching their local communities. It is good to reach your local community, but you should to this at the same time you are reaching the nations of the world. Jesus commanded the apostles to preach the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost ends of the earth. He didn’t mean we should do one at a time, but that both our home area and the ends of the earth should be reached simultaneously. P241

As you follow Jesus, you will be attacked and maybe even killed for your faith. If you die, don’t worry. Everyone has to die one day. You will just be following in the footsteps of our Lord. P251


A revival is no more a miracle than a crop of wheat...Revival occurs when you go to bed exhausted and wake up exhausted.

Charles G. Finney (as quoted in "Living Water" by Brother Yun)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

True Happiness

A happiness that is sought for ourselves alone can never be found: for a happiness that is diminished by being shared is not big enough to make us happy. There is a false and momentary happiness in self-satisfaction, but it always leads to sorrow because it narrows and deadens our spirit. True happiness is found in unselfish love, a love that increases in proportion to which it is shared. There is no end to the sharing of love, and, therefore, the potential happiness of such love is without limit. Infinite sharing is the law of God’s inner life. He has made the sharing of ourselves the law of our own being, so that it is in loving others that we best love ourselves.
-Thomas Merton