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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

I recently wrote my 2010 review, so I guess it’s time to talk about major plans & goals for 2011…

Spiritual/Faith
I have to admit I’ve never read the Bible in it’s entirety. All the New Testament and portions of the Old Testament, but there are certainly significant portions of the Old Testament I haven’t read. So one of my goals is to read the entire Bible (meaning the 66 books of the Proterstant canon).
I’ve gotten to where I really like going on mission trips. I’m not 100 percent sure, but right now I’d like to get back to Egypt. In light of recent events there I really want to make it back over there and see my friends and encourage them.

Relationship
As I mentioned in another post, I am dating someone. It is an incredible experience – exciting and happy, yet humbling and not without its challenges at the same time. I pray often that God will continue to mold me into the man He wants me to be and the man she needs me to be. I don’t know where it will all lead, but I hope somewhere amazing. And I continue to thank God for her prescence in my life!

Training/Races
Here’s where you may think I’ve lost my mind. I’ve decided that in 2011 I will train for and race an iron-distance triathlon. Yes, 140.6 miles – that’s 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles biking, and then 26.2 miles running (a marathon) – all in one day (actually 17 hours or less). I’ve done some arguably crazy things, but this definitely takes the cake. I’m expecting my training load to average between 10-15 hours per week. I’ll try to blog about it, so you can follow the journey. So mark your calendars for October 29th, 2011 – the day I hope to become an “Ironman” at the Beach2Battleship Triathlon.

So those are my goals. I’d appreciate your encouragement and prayers this year.

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Well, it’s mid-February which seems like a little late to do a review of the prior year, but I’ve been busy with other stuff and I’ve been a bit lazy about blogging. So, here it finally is:

2010 Training/Races

  • Miles run: about 857
  • Miles biked: about 600
  • Spin bike sessions: 10
  • Yards swam: about 53,500 (over 30 miles)
  • Races completed: Houston Marathon, Austin Marathon, Rodeo Run 10K, Hog’s Hunt 50K, Big Sur International Marathon, Tejas Triathlon (Sprint), Vineman Ironman 70.3, Rocky Raccoon 25K (more…)

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Wow, what a year or so it’s been. My birthday is coming up soon and that tends to move me to reflection, especially after this past year or so. In the past 12-18 months or so I have:

  • Led a very fulfilling mission trip, then left the church that was with to join a different church.
  • After joining that church (which I still love) and being greatly blessed by the preaching of our gifted senior pastor, seen him follow God’s call to a new ministry opportunity.
  • Taken the leap of faith to finally sign up for a triathlon, then got in a bicycle accident and broken my hand.
  • Set two new personal records for race distances completed (a 50km/31mile ultramarathon and a 70.3 mile triathlon), and set two new personal worst times for marathons.
  • Experienced the let down of finishing difficult races with no one there to greet you afterwards, and the high of getting to see friends afterwards (particularly Austin, and most special to me – the Vineman 70.3).
  • Said goodbye to old friends that moved away from Houston, and tried to make new friends at my new church.
  • And welcomed two beautiful baby girls into this world (daughters of two couples who are like family to me), then laid to rest one of my closest friends.

Like I said, what a year. It’s easy in those circumstances to get down at times, and I certainly have. It’s easy to be mad at God, and I’ve had those moments too. And it’s easy to feel like life just might be pointless or to lose faith, and I even had a few of those moments. But somehow, when everything is said and done, while my faith may have been shaken it has not been broken. Instead it has been strengthened. I’m more convinced in my heart and soul that God is in control, even when it seems like our world is spinning out of control. I can’t really explain it, or even take any credit for it, but simply say “Praise God for working through these events to change me.”

So, what’s next? Well I hesistate to claim I have much if any idea of what God may have in store for me, but in the next 12-18 months I’ll be going on a mission trip to El Salvador, and I’m planning on a series of races including a 25km trail run, a marathon, a 70.3 triathlon, an iron-distance aquabike (swim, bike – no run), and a 140.6 (iron-distance) triathlon. Is it a little nuts? Probably. But why not give it a shot.

Pray for me!!! 🙂

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This is a follow-up to my last blog post about my recent ultra-marathon. You can read that post here.

One of the things I like about endurance sports is that they’re such a great metaphor for life itself. In fact, frequently the Bible uses that metaphor in both the New and Old Testaments in two key aspects – the race analogy itself (see Jeremiah 12:5, Acts 20:24, 1 Corinthians 9:24, Galatians 2:2, Galatians 5:7, and 2 Timothy 4:7), and the concept of perseverance or endurance (Romans 5:3-4, James 1:2-4, and 2 Peter 1:5-9). In Hebrews 12:1 we see the great union of these concepts:

“Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.”
– Hebrews 12:1-2, HCSB

(more…)

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As Christmas approaches this week I want to share a few messages with you regarding the spirit of the season. To do this, I’d like to draw from a number of songs. Most of these you’ll know if you’re familiar with Christmas carols.

The first song is the old carol, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, which deals with an important topic which we way too often ignore. It’s easy to recognize once we get over the distraction of materialism and glitz in the Western world that we live in a world that is still darkened by war and genocide. A world in which hatred and violence seem to be prevalent, and evil appears to rule the day. The heart despairs over the horrible state of this world, and it becomes tempting to dismiss Christmas and dismiss God as some sort of fantasy. (more…)

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Seasons

I was in St. Louis this week for work, and beyond the normal events of work something special struck me. See, it’s October now and while in Houston it still feels summer-like on most days, fall has arrived in all its splendid beauty to most of this country. There in the hills of the St. Louis area the leaves of the trees were no longer the green of summer, but rather the vivid tapestry of yellow, orange and red of fall foliage. A wonderful reminder of the changing seasons of the year that we so easily forget on the Gulf Coast, where our seasons consist simply of the tolerable part of the year, and the really, really hot part of the year.

stl_arch-2

On my way back I was thinking about various things, and the thought of the seasons made me think of that famous passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes: (more…)

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Remembering Ike

Just over a year ago, on Sep 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike hit the Houston, Texas, area. For those of us who were affected by it, it’s something we will certainly never forget. And while it’s easy to look back and see what we may have done wrong in preparing for the storm and to point fingers at others, and to blame the government, the power companies, and insurance companies for the response afterwards, that’s not what I want to address at all here. I want to take a moment and think about the deeper meaning of Ike and what it reminds us of. (more…)

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