Archive for July, 2007

“Fair Vanity” is what Bono wanted the editor’s of Vanity Fair to call their July 2007 issue.  That was asking a little too much according to one of the articles.  It seems Bono was pretty lucky to get the editors to devote this issue to his favorite topic – Africa. 

You see Bono is the first ever guest editor of Vanity Fair and also this is I believe the first ever thematic issue.  It is a great issue and interesting to see a different perspective on the trials and hope of Africa. 

This issue of Vanity Fair is a part of Bono’s continuing effort to raise awareness about the condition in Africa and what can be done to end the needless deaths of millions.  Bono is co-founder of Product (RED) an innovative idea linking corporation’s marketing budgets to helping spread the word by (RED) branded products. Staying focused on Vanity Fair – they are donating $5 to the Global Fund to to fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria for every subscription to Vanity Fair in the month of July. One subscription would purchase 41 single-dose treatments for mother and baby to prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child, according to (RED):Impact Calculator.  Additionally you can find Vanity Fair Africa on Amazon and pick one of your favorite covers out of 20!

Cover images include Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Bono, George W. Bush, Don Cheadle, George Clooney, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Barack Obama, Brad Pitt, Condoleezza Rice, Chris Rock, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Oprah Winfrey, and more!

I really enjoyed Vanity Fair’s perspective and unique flavor to the topic of Africa and would greatly encourage you to purchase a copy. You can do that by clicking on the box below.  


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On a relatively cool morning, at least for the Fourth, about 125 runners and walkers from around East Central gathered to take part in this 16th annual 5K and 10K tradition starting near the Millcreek Civic Center in downtown Chesterfield, IN.

I ran a decent race, considering my pre-race preparations (eating ribs and staying out until 1:30am watching the midnight parade!).  My time was 43:05, with my splits being 6:25, 6:26, 7:27, 6:36, 7:26, 7:00, 1:45.  Don’t get too excited about my uneven looking splits.  I was told that the overall race was exactly 6.2 by GPS, but the individual miles weren’t marked correctly.  So those middle couple miles where my times varied by a minute were long, short, and long respectively!

The course overall is pretty flat.  10K runners start with the 5K group, running through Chesterfield and down the hill to the river level.  The 5K group then runs into the Greenhill (?) addition up a hill and turns around.  The 10K proceeds through “Deadman’s curve” before heading up a hill.  The 10K had 3 water stops and a 4th “rouge” stop!  The only other hill of significance is right before the 6 mile mark, although there are some smaller hills leading into that.

The race started approximately on time and was supported well by the Chesterfield Police force. Each mile mark was marked and had someone reading off overall race time, which was appreciated. At the finish there was water and making the short walk back to the Civic Center they had water, bananas, cookies, apples, and WATERMELON to rehydrate and replenish your body!!

Unfortunately, we waited a long time after the completion of the race it was around 10:30 (8:30 start), before the awards started.  This was actually better than last year, so that is encouraging! All winners received plaques.

I haven’t done this for other races, but click here to see a map of the actual course. I’ll post overall results when I get them.

Cross-posted at Run Central IndianaTeam Cros Runs.

Forgiveness is never easy. Webster defines forgive as giving up resentment of something or to cease to feel resentment against an offender.

It is easy to forgive someone who accidentally does something to you, or to forgive a loved one for something.  But to forgive an enemy or someone who has done something horrific?  That is scandalous.  Stan Guthrie in a January column in Christianity Today talks about this scandalous forgiveness.  Using the example of the 10 Amish girls killed last year, Ted Haggard’s unfaithfulness and cover up and finally Corrie ten Boom’s forgiveness of her former Nazi guard. 

Quick forgiveness is sometimes called cheap grace, it is important to forgive though, because Jesus has provided forgiveness for us, and it didn’t come cheap.  We can never pardon a sin or change what has happened, but we can change our circumstances and perspective by beginning the process of forgiveness and allowing redemption to flow from us.  I like this from Guthrie’s article, he is actually quoting Lewis Smedes’, a Fuller Theological Seminary professor of theology and ethics, definition of forgiveness: “forgiveness is an inner response to evil that (when possible) finds fulfillment in outward reconciliation.”  

I like that because it notes the two dimensions of forgiveness, the inner and outer.  We can offer forgiveness, but true and ultimate forgiveness includes reconciliation.  Our world needs less cheap grace and more reconciliation.  When Christ reigns supreme in our lives we can offer forgiveness and reconciliation that will change the world.  The Amish massacre was a great example of a community offering forgiveness and grace, and the world noticed. 

If we continue in the same way, we can impact and change our relationships and community, through forgiveness.



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In this bestseller, James Dobson attempts to help those going through pain or struggles in life, understand a little bit better what God is thinking!

The age old question addressed by many pastors, theologians, and individuals about “why bad things happen”, is answered, to a degree and in a way that is easy to understand.  I don’t know if it is enough to really help someone struggling with questions of their faith, but it is definitely a great tool and starting point for someone who doesn’t know where else to turn. 

Using a variety of writing styles, the book begins and ends with the premise, that we will never truly understand why bad things happen, because we can never understand God’s planning process.  We should have hope and faith that God will take care of us who believe in Him.  Dobson shares lots of stories from his vast experiences with people in turmoil.  He also looks at the Bible as a reference tool as well as the source of hope and inspiration during trials.  Finally, he also dialogues with the reader during 2 Q&A sections, which is similar to a FAQ, posing a question and then answering it for the reader.

A quote from the end of the first chapter (pg 21) details some of what Dobson hoped to accomplish with the book:

For the heartsick, bleeding soul out there today who is desperate for a word of encouragement, let me assure you that you can trust this Lord of heaven and earth.  There is security and rest in the wisdom of the eternal scriptures.  We will discuss those comforting passages in subsequent chapters, and I believe you will see that the Lord can be trusted –even when He can’t be tracked.  Of this you can be certain: Jehovah, King of kings and Lord of lords, is not pacing the corridors of heaven in confusion over the problems in your life! He hung the worlds in space.  He can handle the burdens that have weighed you down, and he cares about you deeply.  For a point of beginning He says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)

I think Dobson does a great job of not just providing pat, “Sunday School” answers to this serious topic, but shares from his own pain and struggles in an attempt to persuade others that they should not give up hope.

I really like this quote from page 196: “God is not against us for our sins. He is for us against our sins.  That makes all the difference.”  Think about that for a minute….

In the final pages of the book, Dobson summarizes his potion (pg 236):

If you were sitting before me at this moment, you might be inclined to ask, “Then how do you explain the tragedies and hardships that have come into my life? Why did God do this to me?” My reply, which you’ve read in previous pages, is not profound.  But I know it is right! God usually does not choose to answer those questions in this life!  That’s what I’ve been trying to say.  He will not parade His plans and purposes for our approval.  We must never forget that He is God.  As such He wants us to believe and trust in him despite the things we don’t understand. 

My final thought, if you are in a point of pain or struggle, take some time to read this book and use it as a stepping off point for your understanding of what it all means and also read my recent post about Hope.



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