Thursday, July 31, 2008

Productive

There is just something about being productive just makes my day. This week has been like that. I've been trying to do so many things around the house that it's a little stressful how much has piled up. With the soccer season over and a forced break from Bible study, I've found myself with 3 extra days to do whatever I want. After having something planned every day for like 3 months strait, my first day off I actually made plans to do nothing and by myself. I took a nap, watched cartoons, went out to eat (so I wouldn't have to cook), and was generally useless. Once I had the desire to do nothing out of my system, I've taken to the tasks that have been haunting me for way too long. Just in the knickers of time (if you catch my drift), I did three over full loads of laundry. I vacuumed my house, washed the dishes, put away random junk that was laying out, and made a large batch of chili to last me for the next 4 work days. More importantly then all that, I was able to write notes of appreciation to those who helped support my Guatemala trip. If you are reading this and fall into that category, I'm sorry it took so long and thank you so much for your prayers and support. It really means a lot to me to know I have friends who care and would support me when I am in need.

There is still a lot to do but thankfully I've been given an opportunity to get it all done. I just wonder how long it will last. I guess the good and bad thing about this stage in my life is there is pretty much something going on every night of the week. While it's good to stay busy, I just wonder if we could be a little more efficient with our time. Anyways, I digress. I'll just be thankful for the time we've been given.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Bumper Sticker

I My Dog: At least he doesn't the poor thing.

Vitamins

Don't forget your vitamins. Yep, I'm staying healthy by gummies. My mother would be so proud.

Chili tonight

Tonight when I get home I plan on making some chili. I really can't wait. A trick most people know is to put sugar on tomatoes to make them taste better. Most people put it in their spaghetti sauce but I plan on putting it on my chili. To be a little different though, I'm going to use brown sugar to be a little sweeter. The only thing is you have to put it in 30 minutes before you're done. Otherwise it will boil out and caramelize.

Runners Update for the Month

I hope this is OK to post. If any one is interested in joining us running, here is the schedule.

August Running Schedule
After a brief summer hiatus, we have a new schedule and a new group run format in place. We are now attempting to plan our group runs on a monthly, rather than a weekly, basis. Hopefully, this will give you more advance notice so you can plan to run with us. If you're interested in hosting a group run, let us know by email at colonialrunners at gmail dot com.
Tuesday Night Runs
All runs are at 6:30 p.m.

August 5, 12, 19, 26, All runs are at 6:30 p.m. at Lake Johnson. Meet in the parking lot on Lake Dam Road across from Lake Park Apartments. Lake Dam is off of Avent Ferry Road and runs between Avent Ferry and Tryon.
Thursday Night Runs
August 7, 14, 21, 28, Umstead Park. The North Carolina Road Runners Club is sponsoring free Thursday night group runs in Umstead Park during the month of August. You do not have to be an NCRC member to join in on the runs. To confirm dates, times and the meeting place in Umstead Park, visit the NCRC's Web site at: www.ncroadrunners.org
The NCRC also has one more group run in its July series this Thursday, July 31 at Fred G. Bond Metro Park in Cary. This week's run is a 10K distance starting at 6:30 p.m. from the Boathouse located inside of Bond Park. Bond Park is located at 801 High House Road in Cary. Door prizes and a social outing follow the run. For more information, visit: http://www.ncroadrunners.org/Series/JulySeries2008Flyer.pdf

Saturday Morning Runs
All runs are at 7:00 a.m.

August 2, Shelly Lake from Crabtree McDonald's. Meet in the parking lot on the backside of the McDonald's behind Crabtree Valley Mall. From I-440, take exit 7 (Crabtree Valley Mall/70W/Glenwood Ave). Turn left onto Blue Ridge Road. McDonald's is at the intersection of Blue Ridge Road and Crabtree Valley Avenue.

August 23, Shelly Lake from Crabtree McDonald's. Meet in the parking lot on the backside of the McDonald's behind Crabtree Valley Mall. From I-440, take exit 7 (Crabtree Valley Mall/70W/Glenwood Ave). Turn left onto Blue Ridge Road. McDonald's is at the intersection of Blue Ridge Road and Crabtree Valley Avenue.


The Power and the Glory

The Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China are just over a week away and one of the more compelling stories of this year's Games is that of U.S. marathoner Ryan Hall. In advance of the upcoming Olympics, Runner's World online has a feature-length article on Hall, chronicling how he has relied on his Christian faith to become a 2:06 marathoner and an Olympic favorite. Read the story titled, "The Power and the Glory," by clicking the following link: http://www.runnersworld.com/cda/microsite/article/0,8029,s6-239-473-0-12789-0,00.html
At the Races
Following is a list of runners from Colonial who are training for a variety of upcoming races. Please remember to encourage and pray for them during their training and race preparations. If you're running an upcoming race and don't see your name below, let us know about it by emailing us at colonialrunners at gmail dot com.
  • Chad Austin: Aug. 10 -- UNC Wellness Super Sprint Triathlon; Aug. 31 -- Rock-n-Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon; Sept. 20 -- Air Force Marathon (Dayton, Ohio); Nov. 2 -- City of Oaks Marathon (Raleigh)
  • Marcie Bogner: Dec. 13 -- Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon
  • Koren Borchers: Aug. 31 -- Rock-n-Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon
  • Ashely Clark: Oct. 5 -- Portland (Ore.) Marathon
  • Mark Fisher: Nov. 2 -- City of Oaks Half Marathon (Raleigh); Nov. 9 -- Outer Banks Half Marathon
  • Lisa Richardson: Oct. 12 -- Chicago Marathon
  • Stacy Zotter: Nov 1 -- Beach-2-Battleship Half Ironman Triathlon (Wilmington)

Birds

Look closely to the picture. What do you see in the grill? Since this is a camera phone, you can't really see in detail but while most people hit bugs while driving, this guy hit a bird. Yes, that is a bird lodged in his grill. And now I've seen it all?

Blog Updated

I've been given warning that I haven't been updating my blog enough. It's been a busy month so I've not had a lot of time to not only reflect on what I've been reading but also put it into words. Hopefully with summer nearing end I'll start having a little more time to do the things I enjoy. Reflection being one of them. In the mean time, I'll try to post one or two articles at least once a week and hopefully more.

Vista not so bad

I read this blog article on a computer website. Yeah, I'm a dork for enjoying reading computer and technology blogs but I just find it interesting. Funny that most people think they don't like Vista. I've found it to be a great OS although my one complaint is that it does use a lot of resources. I still prefer XP even though you don't have a lot of the functionality that Vista offers. This particular article comes from a site called themacsucks.com.

According to InformationWeek, Microsoft tried an experiment on a group of users (http://www.informationweek.com/newsletters/daily/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=209800457) who were not going to purchase Windows Vista under any circumstances. They were told they were watching a demonstration of the forthcoming Mojave operating system and asked their opinions. Reactions included: It's awesome The speed is incredible I'd give it a 10 Later, they were told the OS they were looking at wasn't Mojave but Windows Vista, the operating system they claimed they were unwilling to buy under any circumstances. Prior to the experiment, they gave Vista a 4.4/10 rating. After the experiment, the rating jumped to 8.5.Based on this experiment, Microsoft believes that much of Windows Vista's problems are in users' heads. They've hired a marketing firm to help change users' perceptions of Vista.

Beauty Overboard

Women who spend too much time thinking about their apperance are generally unattractive to most evangelical males. Granted men are visual while women are relational but too much time spent on looks (dubbed high maintenance women) is seen poorly even by the most visual among us. I just read THIS article which I think really puts a finger on what is wrong when a man or woman spends too much time on appearance. It's about being good stewards. We should be good stewards with not only our bodies but also with our time and our thoughts. The article says

As you suspect, you can go overboard in both directions. A woman with abundant natural beauty who piles on the makeup and dresses seductively is just as poor a steward as a plain woman who "detests" all efforts to make the most of her appearance.

While the article was written mostly for women, it made me think about what guys do that may be similar. We may become health nuts and spend all our time in the gym lifting or running. We could buy the nice clothes or drive the new cars. My question is where does keeping myself up turn to being too ascetic? When does temple maintenance become gaudy decor?

Marcie has been encouraging me to run and train for a marathon. She's also trying to get me to eat healthier (I drink a lot of soda). I try to dress decent when I'm around her and keep my car clean for when we go out on dates. All of these things are healthy habits but I have to be careful to remember the most important thing is my pursuit of God and the characteristics that come about because of that pursuit. These characteristics or "fruit" are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness...

If I had to sum up what I took from it, I'd leave you with this paraphrase: Worldly manliness is fleeting but a man who fears the Lord is to be praised. Where am I on that pendulum?

Biased Media

I read an article called "NBC’s Andrea Mitchell Blasts Obama for ‘Fake Interviews’" located at http://www.breitbart.tv/html/136003.html. If you try to look at it now, it appears Obama supporters have had the article pulled but his fake interviews have not been seen favorably even by the most liberal press. This seems to explain Obama's seemingly "overwhelming" popularity even among evangelical circles. The press paints him in the best light then interviews only those who support him. No wonder "everybody" likes Obama in their opinion. I'm not trying to persuade support for one candidate over another. I just like to point out how biased the press is towards the democratic party. They do everything they can to poke fun of and belittle republicans. Probably the best example I've seen recently is when they had an expert from both parties on the air live. The first trick they did was fine a male democrat and female republican. Even in our PC world, men typically will overpower women in interviews. Next, they kept a tight zoom to the democratic expert while the republican was kept zoomed out. This was another trick to make her seem less confident and competent then the democrat. Finally, when it was a split screen, 60% of the screen went to the democrat and 40% went to the republican. All these little tricks will subconsciously give a preset opinion of the experts represented. Combine that with cutting off the republican expert when she was making a good point and do anything to interrupt her flow of thought and you begin to see how biased things are. There is no such thing as impartial media and now you know.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Picamas

In Guatemala we put this hot sauce called Picamas on everything. I saw it in the store the other day so I decided to try it out here. In case you can't see what it is, I made a breakfast burrito with egg, cheese, and sausage. That's always good but with the sauce, it makes it even better.

Pencils

If a guy in a clown outfit asks if you would like to see a pencil disappear, say no!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Dark Knight

I picked up my ticket today for the North Hills 12:01 AM showing of The Dark Knight on Fandango. Since I'll be gone this weekend, I'm forced to watch it the night before. Darn!

Seriously, I can not wait to see this movie. One of the blogs I read has been giving small updates throughout the past year making me want to see it even more. This is going to be good.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Seeing God

Last night we had a service for the Guatemala trip. It was pretty cool to meet with these people again and talk about the trip. We watched a video and laughed about some of the things that went on down there. One of the songs we heard in the video says open my eyes lord because I want to see you. In Sunday School, Mike spoke on the Lord's prayer or rather the Disciples prayer in Luke 11. Jesus continues after the prayer with a promise that if we seek him as the song says, he will give us His Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit comes many things. There is the fruit of the spirit which is love for the unlovable, joy even in trials, peace in chaos, patience through difficult situations, kindness to all, etc. Then there is discernment and wisdom. The Bible promises wisdom for those who seek it and with wisdom comes the ability to understand God. We can then see Him thus we can praise Him and worship Him. We will obey him and be sanctified (1 Thes 3a) which brings us more joy and gives us direction in life. When you experience that like I did last night, it's an exciting thing and you look forward to being there again.

video

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Duke Stadium

More on how crappy Duke football is.

UNC trunks

I was at Surf City this past weekend and I saw some swim shorts that caught my attention. If you're a Carolina fan, you might notice these are similar to the shorts the Basketball team wears. I didn't get them because I've already got a swimsuit and that white would get really nasty but I thought about it.

Loyal

I was reading turning point today and it talked about being loyal to God. Reading that, I am reminded of THIS article on why guys don't like church, I can't help but laugh at the "Jesus is my boyfriend" music comment that was made. It's a funny thing but all I hear now is what I would call fluff. I am all about worship but not singing. What I think a lot of people miss is that worship does not equal singing therefore it would be incorrect to say you are having a worship service if all you mean is there will only be singing that service. I can worship God with my praise, my prayer, my time, and my actions. Singing is just one small way we can worship. Ok, off my soap box and back to my point. Has something happened to transform "here I am, send me" to "here I am, send my sister?" We all need encouragement in our Christian walk. Loyalty and obedience is something I value but can forget so why can't the songs we sing speak more on that? I mean what ever happened to the "Onward Christian Soldier" type of songs? Do men have to become metro to be a strong Christian today?

So, how do you know if a song is guy friendly? That's actually easier then you think. Just write down the lyrics on paper and try and picture William Wallace from Braveheart saying them to his Scottish friends. If you can't picture it, then it's probably written for the ladies.

ps, I should leave the disclaimer that I am not saying guys who love singing praise and worship are always metro nor am I trying to point fingers. This is just a lighthearted statement where I thought I was the only one who thought this but evidently there were others based on the article I read.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Guatemala Day 1 - Arrival

It's 4 in the morning and I've gotten 2 hours of sleep. I slither out of bed and feel my way to my car. We're off to the airport for the trip.

Not much to tell about the flight. Since I signed up late, I didn't have a seat but thankfully God provided me a way to get on that flight. Other then that, it was like any other flight I've taken. I flew down with the team and arrived at the Guatemala City International airport. It was small but was actually really nice. They had just rebuilt it that year so it felt American.

Since our team all came in at different times, we sat outside the airport for a while waiting for everyone to arrive. That was nice because our team was pretty much getting to know each other for the first time there. I knew Andrew and I had met the leaders but that was about it. Everyone seemed really nice and we all clicked very quickly. Finally, everyone arrived and we were ready to leave. The Agua Viva school bus picked us up and took us to the Children's Home.

As we were leaving, things didn't look that bad. It actually reminded me of down town LA. There were small old looking shops all with bars on the windows. The roads were good and there were a lot of people there. Guatemala City isn't what I would have expected from a 3rd world country.

Next we came to the country part of Guatemala. It was beautiful and very green. The warm climate and rich soil made everything look really peaceful.

Finally we came to some of the smaller cities. This is pretty much what you think of when you picture third world countries. A lot of the houses had all 4 walls and the roof made from tin. Just the slightest wind and they looked like they would blow over. Every house had a ditch in the front of their house where sewer and other things were dumped. It was really sad to see the conditions but even there, you saw kids running around with smiles on their faces.

We arrived at Agua Viva and were assigned rooms and given the rules. Agua Viva was nothing like the city outside of it. It had sturdy block walls and western utilities. The only difference is you can not flush toilet paper. Evidently that is common for most Central and South American countries.

Ok, after all that, here is our first interaction with the kids. I found out later how excited the kids get to have Americans come in for a week... I'll talk more about that later. They prepared a special welcoming service for us which included a song by the kids and a dance. The kids aren't the only ones who enjoy the brief energy we provide. The missionaries enjoy the energy that groups bring and are left encouraged in their work. Culture shock can be tough so having a small taste of something familiar can be a good thing.

After that, we were all tired so we pretty much went to bed. The next day would be a day of manual labor and we needed to be prepared.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

TLC - watch your eyes women

I read THIS blog the other day and it really made me chuckle. I guess I never thought that women even looked at other women but even more that it was something they should work on. Just one more reason for women to dress modest... to protect your sisters in Christ. lol, now that's funny.

clarification

I think I scared Marcie a little bit with my last article. When ever I read an article that describes some bad habit guys have, I always try to ask myself if I have some quality of that in myself. Often these articles come across as brash and asking if I should change something is the best way to keep myself from wanting to be defensive. Blanket statements about guys are never good because there is always an exception. In this case, I would say pretty much all of CYC was the exception but what can be taken from it?

I've always believed it is a guys responsibility to protect his sisters in Christ. A Godly man should not knowingly lead a woman on and always remember they are not us. My goal with Marcie is to show her my sincerity and treat her the way I would have wanted her previous boyfriends to have treated her. That is to always show her respect and treat her like the gift she is. In seven days God said his creation was good several times. Man with out women was the first thing God said was not good therefore Eve was created. God gave man creation to study and rule but it was woman that was presented to him directly. She is to be cherished over all of His creation and without sounding too new age, she is to be his equal; A helper through out all the tasks God has given him. In the article, the men described treat women as someone to rule over or a conquest which even to a small degree should be avoided. How might that look? I was reading a book that talked about gender differences. It said the biggest complaint was that guys did not value the person they were with. They wouldn't ask but rather just expect things. Being single for so long, I've become accustomed to making plans on the fly however as my partner, I should ask Marcie before committing to things for us.

...And that is what I was asking myself. I hope that is more clear.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

yikes, that is depressing

Wow, I read an article today that is a bit scary. No, actually it's depressing. Reading through it, several things began running through my mind. My first reaction is that of sorrow. How can anyone live through that day by day? We all have masks but feeling like you have to live a lie just doesn't seem right. At one time men knew and like that every girl dreamed about the day they would become a bride. Are those days gone?

After my initial reaction, I go stereotypical and try to figure out how to fix this. It seems that the women spoken of in the article are to blame early on however now that the life actions have been taken, what would be the next step? It seems the solution lies with the men who are dating around just for fun or who have all the weird habits built up over the years. The general idea from the article is that as we get older, we gain all the control therefore we tend to lead women on by asking them out and expecting them to give of themselves with out giving anything in return. I wonder if I'm that kind of man. I don't think I am. I believe most of the men in CYC would not fall into that category in general however American culture does have a strong hold even on men in the church. Perhaps we should keep our eyes open for this and keep each other accountable.

Women who are reading this shouldn't think they should have to hide their desire for marriage. A guy shouldn't ask you on a date unless he believes you could be his path to that end. If you're in a local church that has guys who are growing, they will begin to notice your walk with God and that will be attractive. No matter the outcome, at least we're growing closer to God who gives peace and comfort in times of trouble. Wow, that is really cliche.