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Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

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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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.

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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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Back in February of 2008 I ran the Austin Marathon, my fourth marathon in a five month period. Now every race has its ups and downs, but this one ended up being more of a roller coaster ride than normal, and I’m not just talking about the terrain in Austin, Texas.

As the race started I was feeling pretty good. Over the first few miles I ran well, felt great, and was slightly ahead of my planned pace as the race re-entered downtown after spending the first few miles south of the Colorado River. As we weaved through downtown before heading off to the northwest portions of the city, a little over 6 miles in, it happened. My left knee buckled underneath me. Fortunately I didn’t fall, but this was not good. In pain, and unable to run on my knee and 20 miles left? I walked for a little bit, maybe fifty yards or so, then tried carefully to run again. Two or three strides and it buckled again. Now I was really worried. I seriously thought for the first time in my life about dropping out of a race – getting the dreaded DNF. As I continued walking, with that nagging pain in my knee, I started doing a lot of talking to God. Praying for healing, praying for the strength to go on, or even just the will to forget the pain for the moment. Anything. (more…)

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Leap of Faith

Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer at a Christian run sports camp in Egypt. It was truly an amazing experience. In this blog post, I want to share a story you might find meaningful.

One of the things we got to do this year at the camp was to work the rock wall, zip line and high ropes courses. Now, before I go on, let me just say that I have a little bit of a fear of falling. Most people might call it a fear of heights, but truly it’s more about falling than it is about the height itself. I can be 10 feet up on something with no railing and not tied in and be scared to death. Much higher than that and tied in, I’m generally okay. That said, the first time climbing a rock wall, or doing the zip line, or standing around on a high ropes course 40-50 feet up in the air is a little nerve-wracking, and for me this was actually the first time doing any of that.

Once we got through our training, it was then our job to work on one of the sections when the kids were doing the course. We made sure the kids had their harnesses and helmets on properly. We belayed them on the rock wall, or getting on and off the high ropes. We got them on and off the zip line, and helped them around the high ropes course.

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During the week it was so interesting to see the various reactions and behaviour of the kids. Some seemed to have no fear at all – going through each obstacle and challenge with determination and uncanny ease. Others would get to a point and be completely scared. To grab another hold on the rock wall, or to take another step around the high ropes course, or to take that leap off the tower on the zip line seemed beyond what they felt they could do. Beyond their strength, beyond their confidence, beyond their faith. In those moments we’d step in and encourage them, telling them how much we believed in them and that they could do this. Telling them how proud of them we were. Telling them that we loved them. And when they couldn’t quite do it on their own, we’d be the helping hand they needed to go a little further. If we were belaying the rock wall, well sometimes we’d pull them up another foot to the next hold. If we were working up on the high ropes, we’d hold their hand and walk with them around the course. And if we were working at the zip line we’d take that leap with them. (more…)

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