Friday, July 31, 2009

Not Where You Live Or What You Drive

And it's funny how it's the little things in life that mean the most
Not where you live or what you drive or the price tag on your clothes
There's no dollar sign on peace of mind this I've come to know

lyrics from "Chicken Fried" by the Zac Brown Band

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rock Creek Night Race 30K

Saturday night, after a long weekend at Ministry Conference in Haviland, I made my way up to Lake Perry for the 8:00 pm start of the 30K (18.6 mile) trail run. The first 20 minutes or so it was light out but then twilight set in for about 30 minutes or so. It was harder to see during twilight than the pitch darkness. I tripped more and saw others wipe out (ouch!) during this twilight time more than in the light or darkness. It was warm and humid again with no breeze felt in the woods! Anyway, the course is tough with lots of ups and downs, hills, rocks, roots, twists and turns. I never actually fell all the way to the ground but I did run into several trees full speed, which didn't feel too good. I used a headlamp and a handheld LED flashlight to see where I was going. Usually during these long runs, I will find someone with about the same pace and talk for a long time. I don't think I said one word to anybody the whole night! (Other than "Yikes!" out loud to myself when the guy behind me whiped out running downhill on a rocky section.) I also was aware that I was in the pitch dark thick woods, alone, and at times miles from the next aid station, and it didn't bother me one bit (which is significant progress)!

I finished in 3 hours 47 minutes and 23 seconds, which is a 12 minute and 13 second per mile pace, which considering the terrain and the high mileage week, 8 days straight without a day off, I'm okay with it. Allen did very well and came in only 10 minutes behind me.


If Only I May Finish The Race

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.

Acts 20:24

Monday, July 20, 2009

Run For Missions 2009: July Update

Today I launched the fundraising process for the second annual Run for Missions. Check out the Run for Mission blog for all the details and the July 2009 update:

Look, I Am Making Everything New! (portions from Sunday's Message at Crossroads)

Part 3 of "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!" series

Revelation 21
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” 6 And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. 7 All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

“Look, I am making everything new!”
-What does God want to make new in your life?
-What needs renovation, restoration, rejuvenation, even resurrection?
-Will you surrender that part of your life?
-however you come to God today, he extends his invitation to make all things new, really to experience the kingdom life
-this is the story of the gospels, the message of Jesus (turn from selfishness and sin and experience new life, new beginnings, living for and in and through and by God)
-Religion says “I obey/conform, therefore I am accepted”
-The gospel/good news/the story and message of Jesus and the New Testatment tells us is “I am accepted and loved by God through Jesus Christ, therefore I obey/conform!” (Romans 12:1-2)
-This is the story of the Prodigal son Luke 15 – younger son spoils his inheritance and then comes back to the Father humbled; Jesus is all about making things new!

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Galatians 6:15 (NLT)
It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not (attend church, read our bibles, give 10% or 90%, etc.). What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation.

Colossians 3:10 (NLT)
Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

-have you been/are you being transformed (learning to know your Creator and becoming like him)? Are things being made new in your life? Are you experiencing new life and new fruit?

Andrew Peterson song (based of Ephesians 5 words), All Things New
-let the words “He Makes All Things News” sink deep, deep in to your heart – What Does He want to make new in you today? In what ways are you and I just sleeping – and need to wake up, rise up?

Come broken and weary. Come battered and bruised. My Jesus makes all things new, all things new. Come lost and abandoned. Come blown by the wind. He’ll bring you back home again, home again. Rise up, oh you sleeper, awake, the light of the dawn is upon you. Rise up, oh you sleeper, awake, he makes all things new.

Come frozen with shame. Come burning with guilt. My Jesus, he loves you still, he loves you still. Rise up, oh you sleeper, awake, the light of the dawn is upon you. Rise up, oh you sleeper, awake, he makes all things new. The world was good, the world is fallen, the world will be redeemed, so hold on to the promise. The stories are true that Jesus makes all things new. The dawn is upon you. Rise up, oh you sleeper, awake, the light of the dawn is upon you. Rise up, oh you sleeper, awake, he makes all things new.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday Evening Wedding

Saturday evening outdoor wedding for a girl from our church.

Thursday Evening

After being with us since June 15th, Andrew and I took Linda home to her apartment in South Hutchinson on Thursday evening. I also helped her buy a new couch (top, picture at the furniture store) for her apartment (below).
After dinner back in Wichita, Andrew and I went to part of a Wingnuts game on a rare dry, relatively cool Kansas July evening. Downtown Wichita skyline in background.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have,
we must wait patiently and confidently.
Romans 8:25 NLT

Summer Nights in Kansas

The card game "Rummy" and lots of ice-cream!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hailstorm Clean-Up Day 1 & 2

Day 2 - cleaning up the office yard
and the roof and the gutters...
20+ bags of leaves!


Lunar Trek 2009 Report

Lunar Trek 2009 Results:
Lunar Trek 2009 after-the-fact Weather Report:

After a crazy two-day clean up from last Wednesday night’s monster hail storm in Wichita, I was tired, stiff and sore from cleaning up debris, raking leaves, and bagging 40+ bags of leaves and branches. Plus it was over 100 degrees both clean-up days! So being sore before you start an ultra is always a little nerve-racking, but it’s not the first time I’ve done that.

I rode up to Scandia, KS with Terry and Sherry Rider from Wichita. Terry is a fellow KUS ultra-runner from Wichita (who I ran the Flint Hills 50 miler in March with from start to finish). After a few blocks of driving in their 4 door truck I thought I heard some chirping. I smiled and turned around to Sherry, to see if maybe she was making the clucking noises? No, it was a bird! In a cage! In a truck! I said, calmly, “Is that a bird?” “Yeah”, they said in unison, “it goes with us everywhere!” Anyway…I thought…well that’s interesting.

We arrived at 8 pm at the race start and I had an hour to change and arrange drop bags and pack my pockets and camel bag with just the right supplies for the 100K (62 mile) start at 9 pm. It was still light out at 9 pm and for the first 3 or 4 miles or so of the run. I started off in a mid-pack of about 6. We held together for about 6 miles or so before spreading apart. I was running with Terry and Matt from Kansas City. Of course, it got dark, but because of the moon light I didn’t hardly ever even use my headlamp.

From 9 pm until sometime around 5 am it was mostly still (minimal breeze) and very, very humid (as high as 90% according to weather reports!) and warm – 80s and then dipping barely into the high 70s (though it didn’t feel like it) sometime in middle of the night. I’ve never sweat so much in my life, seriously! After 20 miles I changed my shirt because I felt it was actually starting to disintegrate. The bugs were out and on full attack, especially lightning bugs. The course was in great shape with absolutely no mud!

At Aid Station #3 in a barn, in the middle of the night, we were talking to a nice farmer man about the heat and humidity. He said what one day this week just a few miles away a friend of his who owned a feedlot lost 350 head of cattle in one day because of the high heat/high humidity which is fairly rare in North Central Kansas. The poor cows just fell over dead! At 35 miles Matt, Terry and I had hamburgers at the aid-station. Wow did that really help! Real food and protein and it fueled me for a long time.

There were only 11 of us who started the 100K and lots of others running shorter distances. Sherry completed the 11 miles. Two 100k participants dropped at 20 miles with non-heat related issues. The other 5 dropped at the 40 mile point. I arrived at 40 miles at 9 hours, which was 6 am, about an hour behind where I had hoped pre-race. I felt fine – legs relatively fresh and I was ready to get back out there. I grabbed some fruit and supplies and spent only like 4 minutes at the aid station and left again all by myself. By this point Terry had faded a bit behind me. In the end, he finished about an hour behind me.

I ran well for the first 10-12 miles of the last loop. I believe my 50 mile time was 11:10 or something. Then the “death-slog” set in for the last 12 miles. Definition: that terrible feeling in your legs where you just can’t seem to muster up enough strength to keep pushing. If I would’ve had a pacer I could’ve finished probably 30-45 minutes faster. It hurt the same whether walking or running so it didn’t make a difference, but I had just lost the will/drive/momentum and walked a lot in those last miles but not all of it. I tried a run 4 light poles and walk one strategy for what felt like hours.

Then a dumb dog decided he wanted to be my pacer. He was a lab pup who just wanted attention. He would try to trip me up to get me to pet it and bite my hands as they moved and anything to get my attention. He followed me for 6 miles before someone picked him and took him home! Thank goodness!

I never had any major issues. No significant blisters. No nausea, no dehydration. I ate dozens of PB&J rollups in tortilla shells and survived the last couple hours on granola bars among other normal ultra foods. I also drank a whole 12 ounce mountain dew at mile 50. When the sun came up and it started getting hot again, it wasn’t fun. Thankfully, though, it was cloudy and that really helped. However, by 10 am the sun started peeking through the clouds and we started to bake. Actually, with the humidity, wouldn’t the correct term be broil?

My official finish time was 14 hours 17 minutes and 32 seconds, which come to find out is my 100K PR! I finished first in my age group (yes, I was the only one) and second out of the 11 100K participants (4 finishers). My only other 100K finish was at Free State in April 2008 with a time of 14:28:50. Lunar Trek 2008 results: This finish gives me a lot of confidence heading into Leadville which is like 6 weeks away or less!

This Lunar Trek Run in small town Scandia, KS is a special treat to participate in. The race directors are just great, fun, thoughtful, thorough, and so friendly. After the race I felt awful and I laid on the cold hallway in the dark, in front of a fan, throwing up, and they took such good care of me!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Update from Brazil

Just a short and simple update from Brazil, that Kenny is fine and doing well (and working hard!). He was pretty much fine by the time he arrived there (being sick the day he left Wichita) and Frank Penna is doing well too:

Additional update (7/13): Josh Smith (Kenny's oldest son) and his friend from Texas left yesterday and are on their way to Brazil and will return 7/22.

Crown Vic Club Update

Hail damage from last night's storm. I was fortunant that it only cracked the front windshield and did not shatter. I was in the car with Alex and Audrey on the way home from youth group stuff, hiding under a tree for partial protection on University street near Friends University. When I got home, we had no broken windows on the house even though many in the neighborhood had such damage. Both Alex and Audrey had their rear windows shattered and the rest cracked from the hail, parked at Friends. Anyway, 258,016 miles and still rolling. The helicopter hasn't gotten to me yet!

The Macy Crown Vic suffered much worse - shattered rear window and cracked front (and lots of dents).

Submitted as an official update of the Youth Pastors with Crown Vics Club. July 9, 2009. -Adam Monaghan, CEO, Founder and Club President

Kansas in July: Hailstorm!

Top 1: The morning after, everything looks pretty much gone, especially the corn. The tomatoes will probably survive though. Top 2: All the flower gardens are smashed, but most of them will probably grow back?

Bottom 3 & 4: Last night after the hail storm (at least 20 minutes after when I thought to take pictures, some melting had already occured). The hail stones were golf ball to tennis ball sized and some reports of even baseball sized hail! The biggest hail I've ever seen in my life!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Psalm 126

1 When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream!
2 We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
3 Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy!
4 Restore our fortunes, Lord, as streams renew the desert.
5 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.
6 They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.
Psalm 126 NLT

Any Idiot Can Face A Crisis

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

-Anton Chekhov

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4th Firecracker Run

It rained at the start line and for the first couple miles! Andrew ran his first race today, the 4-mile Firecracker run in 37:20. I ran it is 27:48. Mom ran it in 52 minutes. I also ran the 1 mile race which shortly follwed the 4 mile in 6:44 (but I believe mile 2 of the 4 miles was actually faster than 6:44!). Linda was there to cheer us on! Offical results to follow soon...

(NEW) Results: I finished with the official time of 27:46, 41st place out of 256 finishers in the 4 mile. I finished with the official time of 6:44 (really slow!), 26th out of 124 finishers and 3rd place of males age 25-29. Linda took my medal (above) and I told her she could keep it for at least the next 20 years!

July 3rd Cookout at Phillips Farm

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Three Kinds of Christians

When it comes to world missions, there are only three kinds of Christians: zealous goers, zealous senders, and disobedient! Which will you be?

-John Piper

July Garden Update