Archive for June, 2007

As mentioned Thursday there were lots of races to choose from.  I decided to travel to Hartford City to check out the 7th Annual Jennifer’s Run 5K.  I was very cautious with my expectations regarding my performance due to my 11-miler yesterday at Westwood.  I ran a 20:47 (6:19, 6:50, 6:56, :41) and could definitely tell my legs were tired, not to mention the heat!  Overall results are here (coming soon).

Note: Before you read my review let me say that I am 100% behind their cause and the reasons for their race.  I think domestic violence is horrific and awareness needs to be raised about the issue.

A quick race review: In summary I will not attend this race next year.  Why not?  Lots of little reasons, a 9am start is a bit late given the mid-June race day, the course is pretty flat (a couple of tiny semi-hills) but had lots of turns and was delicately marked (little white lines within a foot of the curb and easy to miss mile markers).  Not to mention being 1 tenth too long (3.2 miles). The police officer leading the race actually missed a turn, thankfully someone was biking and yelled at the leaders to turn! Other reasons include not having water at the finish (they did have Powerade) and an odd layout for the course (a quick turnoff after the finish line is already in sight).  I should note that there was a water stop between 1.5 and 2 miles. The race was sponsored, in part, by RoadID Race Sponsorship Program which included gift certificates for RoadID products for race winners and a $2 off coupon for all participants.

Finally and this may be the greatest sin a race director can commit, age group awards were not given out as advertised (for the awards they used 10 year instead of the advertised 5 year, making the error the other way wouldn’t cause any concerns!).  In addition to a little confusion about some age group awards.

This is a good local race raising money for an excellent cause, but in my humble opinion not worth the drive from Anderson!

Am I too harsh? Want to talk about your recent race?  Click on the comments link below and leave me a comment.

Crossposted at Run Central IndianaTeam Cross Runs.  I did e-mail my concerns to the Race Director prior to this posting.

I’ve mentioned this book before on the blog and we just finished reading it! We aren’t overly diligent in our reading together, but we are trying!

Written as part of the Women of Faith collection this book is a collection of 60 short devotions split into eight categories.  The authors are Dr. Larry & Rachael Crabb, Paul & Nicole Johnson, Dr. Kevin Leman, Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott, Gary Smalley, Becky & Roger Tirabassi, Dr. Neil Clark Warren.  With an impressive list like that the book has to be good!!

While each author (or set of authors) has a different writing style, each shares stories from their lives or clients lives making everything seem more real.  It does provide challenges to couple to learn how to love each other deeper and to understand the importance of loving Christ first and your spouse second.  I highly recommend this to couples of all stripes.  Sometimes humorous, sometimes extremely serious it is grounded in scripture and prayer.

The eight sections are titled:

  1. Celebrating our Friendship
  2. Celebrating our Imperfections
  3. Celebrating Family and Hope
  4. Celebrating our Oneness
  5. Celebrating – Even in Tough Times
  6. Celebrating our Future Together
  7. Celebrating Each Other’s Gifts
  8. Celebrating Romance and Passion

We will probably read this book again throughout our marriage to make sure we keep our marital joy!  I’ll close with a list of some of the chapter/devotion titles!

  • The Fine Art of Stubbornness
  • Graveyard Roots
  • True Love
  • The Carousel
  • What Part of 5:30AM Don’t You Like?
  • Stronger Together
  • The Naked Lady Who Needed a Lift
  • Sign and Stuff

Have you read this? Leave me a comment and tell me what you thought.

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Hosea 12:6-8 (The Message)

6 What are you waiting for? Return to your God!
Commit yourself in love, in justice!
Wait for your God,
and don’t give up on him—ever!

7-8The businessmen engage in wholesale fraud.
They love to rip people off!
Ephraim boasted, “Look, I’m rich!
I’ve made it big!
And look how well I’ve covered my tracks:
not a hint of fraud, not a sign of sin!”

The whole chapter is pretty good.

I show Gilead rampant with religious scandal
and Gilgal teeming with empty-headed religion.
I expose their worship centers as
stinking piles of garbage in their gardens.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

(bold mine)


37-41When he [Jesus] finished that talk, a Pharisee asked him to dinner. He entered his house and sat right down at the table. The Pharisee was shocked and somewhat offended when he saw that Jesus didn’t wash up before the meal. But the Master said to him, “I know you Pharisees burnish the surface of your cups and plates so they sparkle in the sun, but I also know your insides are maggoty with greed and secret evil. Stupid Pharisees! Didn’t the One who made the outside also make the inside? Turn both your pockets and your hearts inside out and give generously to the poor; then your lives will be clean, not just your dishes and your hands.

42“I’ve had it with you! You’re hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but manage to find loopholes for getting around basic matters of justice and God’s love. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required.

43-44You’re hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You love sitting at the head table at church dinners, love preening yourselves in the radiance of public flattery. Frauds! You’re just like unmarked graves: People walk over that nice, grassy surface, never suspecting the rot and corruption that is six feet under.”

45One of the religion scholars spoke up: “Teacher, do you realize that in saying these things you’re insulting us?”

46He said, “Yes, and I can be even more explicit. You’re hopeless, you religion scholars! You load people down with rules and regulations, nearly breaking their backs, but never lift even a finger to help.

47-51“You’re hopeless! You build tombs for the prophets your ancestors killed. The tombs you build are monuments to your murdering ancestors more than to the murdered prophets. That accounts for God’s Wisdom saying, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, but they’ll kill them and run them off.’ What it means is that every drop of righteous blood ever spilled from the time earth began until now, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was struck down between altar and sanctuary, is on your heads. Yes, it’s on the bill of this generation and this generation will pay.

52“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars! You took the key of knowledge, but instead of unlocking doors, you locked them. You won’t go in yourself, and won’t let anyone else in either.”

53-54As soon as Jesus left the table, the religion scholars and Pharisees went into a rage. They went over and over everything he said, plotting how they could trap him in something from his own mouth.

Luke 11:37-54

(bold mine)

We just finished watching Season Six of 24 a few weeks back and then went ahead and watched Season Three over Memorial Day Weekend.

Caution: This post contains spoilers for both seasons, so you might want stop reading now!

There was much talk about acceptable losses. An “acceptable loss” usually refers to the amount of something you are willing to give up in order to protect a larger something. From the business world “spending money to make money” would be a similar phrase. Unfortunately acceptable loss is used more frequently in regards to war, most recently the war on terrorism. How many soldiers or civilians is it “acceptable to loss” in order to promote the broader outcomes.

In relation to Season Six, the president risked starting a war with Russia in order to save the life of Jack’s nephew. And Jack did that several times too. The US was also willing to hand Jack over to terrorists to be killed in order to prevent a nuclear bomb attack in LA.

In Season Three, Tony risked a CTU operation that would have captured a terrorist to save the life of his wife. He then covered it up! If I recall there was actually discussion using the terms “acceptable losses.”

Fortunately, in 24 everything wraps up nicely and nothing bad happens to the main characters or to the US! Life isn’t always like that, just ask the families of our soldiers or the families of those who have died in Iraq and other conflicts around the world.

What does all of this have to do with Jesus? In some sense, God saw Jesus as an acceptable loss in order to save the billions of lost souls wandering around His earth. Acceptable loss seems like a weird term to use and I’d agree. We are more familiar with the idea that one dies so many may live (Romans 5:15 and 2 Corinthians 5:14f).

When Jesus went to the Cross He carried all of our sins, so that we could have eternal life. The Perfect, Loving, Creator God had to turn Himself away from His Son because God cannot be with sin. (Matthew 27 and Mark 15) Yahweh was willing to sacrifice His son for you and me.

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” John 3:16-21 NIV

Oh, but don’t forget the best part about the story of Jesus…

That’s right, Jesus Christ, the one who came to be a sacrifice so that we may eternal life, arose from the dead so that we many spend eternity with Him. He now sits there and vouches for your entrance into the pearly gates if you believe upon Him and carry Him inside your heart!

How exciting!!

Thank you Jack Bauer, and our soldiers for saving the US. But THANK YOU JESUS for saving my soul!

We began reading this book shortly after our honeymoon. Everything was going great until this quote in chapter 3 (pg 30-31):

Eventually, however, we all descend from the clouds and plant our feet on earth again. Our eyes are opened, and we see the warts of the other person. We recognize that some of his/her personality traits are actually irritating. Her behavior patterns are annoying. … Those little traits we overlooked when we were in love now become huge mountains.”

Not the best reading for a couple still very much in “euphoric love.” But as we continued to read through this short book, it became powerful as we saw ourselves in the stories and ultimately identified our individual “love languages.”

Gary Chapman uses stories from his many years of marriage counseling to drive home his point that marriage requires work, and that if we want a long lasting marriage we need to do what makes our spouse happy. He simplified the multitude of things that can make our spouses and ourselves happy into 5 phrases or love languages:

  • Quality Time
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

I would recommend this book to any couple (with the above caveat about newlyweds) and encourage you to dialogue, understand your love languages, and begin working to meet those languages!!

Finally, from the back cover:

He sends you flowers when what you really want is time to talk. She gives you a hug when what you really need is a home-cooked meal. The problem isn’t your love-it’s your love language!

Dr Chapman has expanded upon this best-seller and created a whole “series” of love language books. I would speculate that they are all similar ideas and we actually spent some time contemplating the love languages of our nuclear family, so maybe we can love them better too!

More information can be found by visiting their website.

PS My primary love language is Acts of Service and hers is Quality Time!

Since yesterday’s post 27,000 children died around the world. That is according to a website called Global Issues.

Around the world, 27–30,000 children die every day.

That is equivalent to:

  • 1 child dying every 3 seconds
  • 20 children dying every minute
  • A 2004 Asian Tsunami occurring almost every week
  • An Iraq-scale death toll every 15–35 days
  • 10–11 million children dying every year
  • Over 50 million children dying between 2000 and 2005

The silent killers are poverty, hunger, easily preventable diseases and illnesses, and other related causes. In spite of the scale of this daily/ongoing catastrophe, it rarely manages to achieve, much less sustain, prime-time, headline coverage.

Anup Shah, Today, over 27,000 children died around the world,, Created: Sunday, May 06, 2007

Large numbers are always hard to put into perspective. I’ve used this website in the past to compare the cost of universal education to the amount spent on cosmetics, etc.

The G8 is getting ready to meet again and they/we must be held accountable for letting this atrocity continue. Governments and organizations have made promises, some have followed through, while others are completely slacking off and not living up to even simple promises.

DATA provides some great information about the failure of governments to fulfill their promises and outlines some new information:

Bono, Bob Geldof, Herbert Grönemeyer, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) call for an “emergency session on G8 promises to Africa and credibility” and outline:

  • new evidence that effective aid works in Africa
  • alarming new data about low levels of forthcoming aid
  • a new path for G8 countries to avoid a crisis of credibility and keep their commitments

DATA’s press release also highlights some great news:

The DATA Report 2007 demonstrates that aid is effective in poor countries and improving the lives of millions of people. Because of assistance to global health programs, every day 1,450 Africans living with AIDS are put on life-saving medications. Due in part to debt cancellation and increased aid, 20 million more African children are going to school for the first time in their lives.

Visit ONE to find out how you can take action on this crisis.
Also visit this interesting website for an interactive approach.

Today is actually Hunger Awareness Day. Click here to help America’s Second Harvest FOR FREE!!!