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I’m Not Home Yet

I recently discovered this folk band called The Gray Havens (thanks to Tim Challies), who borrow a lot from C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien for their lyrics. The above song titled Far Kingdom really struck me as I remembered the Pevensie children along with Eustace Scrubb riding on the Dawn Treader to the end of the ocean towards a “far kingdom,” the kingdom of Aslan.

Continue reading I’m Not Home Yet

My Reading List for 2015

One of my resolutions for this year is to read 25 books. According to Goodreads, I read 18 books last year so 25 should be attainable, especially considering I have some friends who read well over 100 books each year. In order to have a plan of attack, I compiled a list that I’d like to work on. The list ended up being longer than 25 (51 to be exact), but it gives me a framework from which to choose.

I also recognize that the books I choose to read may change. I’ve actually already modified the list a couple of times because I picked up a new book and wanted to add it. So without further ado, my (potential) reading list for 2015, organized in some fashion.

Continue reading My Reading List for 2015

2015 New Year’s Resolutions

Looking Back

2014 has been a milestone year in my life. God sovereignly transformed my life sometime around Easter in the biggest way possible… He saved me from my own self-righteousness and unbelief. What I had previously thought was the Christian life, was really a false sense of hope and a works-based religion. You can read about that in My Personal Testimony.

Consistent with being a “new man”, my desires have changed radically this year. I spend a lot of my free time reading about Theology or watching sermons online. I have endeavored to “catch up” on the meat of Christian faith that I have missed out on, and it has been good. I have read God’s Word more consistently and with more fervor than ever in my life. I am truly thankful to my Lord and my Savior, Jesus Christ for this year.

A Different Kind of Resolution

My wife read an article about closing out the year writing letters to Jesus and placing them in your stockings before packing them away for the year. We thought it would be a good tradition to try out, so we all wrote letters of resolution to Jesus. In that letter I wrote my sincere commitments to serve and know Christ. It included overall statements, such as the desire to serve God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. I also wrote practical things, such as continuing my daily time of reading the Bible, praying and studying.

So my public New Year’s Resolutions this year look more like changes in habit that I would like to implement in my life.

Continue reading 2015 New Year’s Resolutions

Personal Parable: Repentance

1) to feel or show that you are sorry for something bad or wrong that you did and that you want to do what is right
2) to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life
3) to change one’s mind

“Repent.” Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 26 May 2014.

An Interaction With My Son

This morning my son and I were involved in what you might call horseplay. He knows that I am ticklish and so he likes to tickle me. I, of course, am (for the time) much larger than my son and so usually turn the tables quickly and tickle him into submission. This continued until the playing became a bit too rambunctious; it was beginning to bother other members of the family. My son tends to take things too far, which I wanted to prevent.

Continue reading Personal Parable: Repentance

Teach Your Children Well

I just finished listening to a FREE audio series by Alistair Begg on the Truth For Life website, called Teach Your Children Well. For all you parents out there, I would highly recommend giving this a listen. There are four parts, each being 26 minutes long, and all well worth it. I’ve provided links to each of the four messages below.

  1. Teach Your Children Well (Part 1 of 4)
  2. Teach Your Children Well (Part 2 of 4)
  3. Teach Your Children Well (Part 3 of 4)
  4. Teach Your Children Well (Part 4 of 4)

You can also subscribe to their podcast and get them that way. Plus, you’ll have easy access to all their future (and past) messages from iTunes or your iOS device.

Photo Credit: Lotus Carroll via Compfight cc

18 Years: Remembering Our Honeymoon

My beautiful bride and I were wed on May 18, 1996. It is hard to fathom this reality, but we have been married for 18 years this day. It has been a journey filled with many stories, one of which I would like to share, a story from the very beginning.

Aubrey and I honeymooned in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It really is a beautiful area and we both loved the mountains. We still sometimes reminisce about the bed and breakfast we stayed at. It sat on the side of a mountain and had floor to ceiling windows with which to enjoy the views.

What better way to immerse ourselves into this beautiful, mountainous wonderland than to take a guided mountain tour… on horseback? Sounded like a good idea. So we found a place that offered this experience and arrived with much anticipation. The tour group was small and intimate, perfect! It was just the two of us and our guide. How romantic.

Continue reading 18 Years: Remembering Our Honeymoon

How Fast We Fall

I slammed on the brakes and threw the minivan into park. In moments I was kneeling on the side of the road holding onto the guard rail as I would a life preserver. My only thought was, “Oh God, I’m going to pass out and crap on myself. What is my poor wife going to do?”

WARNING: This post contains personal information of a “bodily functions” nature, so proceed with caution.

Continue reading How Fast We Fall

What Is Important?

During a recent sermon, my pastor talked about life priorities and the correlation (or lack thereof) of time and energy spent doing things. This struck a chord with me because I have been contemplating this very idea for some time now. I often find, especially at the turn of the New Year, that people (myself included) spend time deciding what their priorities are. They write these down into a list and label the list as their New Year’s Resolutions. And yes, I have done this for a number of years. Finally they (we) go about their happy lives doing exactly what they did the previous year.

Continue reading What Is Important?

Pensacola Marathon 2013 Wrap Up

This past weekend on Sunday, November 10, 2013 I ran in the Pensacola Marathon. My wife, Aubrey, also participated in her very first half marathon. We had a great time and it was, for the most part, a great day. Aubrey finished her race well and with a very decent time. I however, well, where to begin? I think a definition is the right way to start.

DNF (Did Not Finish)
In racing Did Not Finish (DNF) denotes a participant who does not finish a given race, either because of a mechanical failure, injury, or involvement in an accident.

No, I did not finish the race. More on that later.

Good Start

The Pensacola Marathon course follows along with the half marathon runners in the beginning. It is not until about the 6 mile mark that the full marathon runners split off. This was great and enabled me to begin the race with Aubrey and another friend of ours who was also running the half. We all felt great for that first 6 miles, as far as I could tell. We held conversation, though short and to the point, and were for the most part happy and smiling. The views of the sun coming up over the water are always a pleasant site to take your mind off of running. There’s also the fact that 2,700 people were running, so there is plenty to keep your mind distracted.

When we reached the 6 mile split off point, Aubrey and I stopped and said a quick goodbye. Spirits were high and I was certain that I would see her at the end. My course took me up a side access street by the Pensacola Airport and then onto Spanish Trail. We ran all the way up to Aletheia Christian Academy and then made our way back to Summit Blvd. It was at this point that I knew I was working. My feet had been hurting for a while until I ignored them enough for my brain to get the point and stop screaming at me. My legs were also beginning to hurt. Ah… this is the marathon running I remember!

Crash and Burn

So somewhere around 16 to 17 miles my body started shutting down. My legs were in full cramp and scream mode from my hips all the way to my little piggies. I stopped a couple of times and sat on the side of the road massaging my legs and stretching. I’d been through this before so I figured I could get through it with a little break and some perseverance. I just needed to keep moving. By this time I was almost up to 12th Avenue. As I approached the intersection of 12th and Bayou I knew I was probably in trouble. I was getting really dizzy and nauseated. I’d felt like this before too, and it ended with a trip to the hospital. I pushed on past the intersection but that was as far as I could go. I didn’t see any first aid stations in sight and I felt like I was either going to vomit or pass out… or both.

I sat down and pulled out my phone. I knew Aubrey had already finished. We have apps on our phones (MapMyRun) that let us track each other and which notify us when the other is done working out (running). I sent her two messages: “I’m done” and “First Assembly”. She quickly called me up and verified that I was finished with the race and was requesting a pickup. I walked over to First Assembly church, found a decent shady spot out in the parking lot and sat down. Aubrey arrived soon thereafter and took me home to recover.

Looking Back

So why couldn’t I finish the race? There are a couple of contributing factors that I can think of. First, my pace was a little quicker than I’d planned on. I was holding just over a 10 minute mile for the 16 miles that I was actually running. I’d planned on more of a 12 minute mile. It was warmer than I would have liked that day, which isn’t surprising considering past experiences with this race. There’s also my training; I hurt my left foot right before the peak of my training schedule and was forced to lay off of running for a little over two weeks. So, was it one of these? Was it all of them? Was it something I’m not thinking of? I have no idea, nor am I going to dwell on trying to figure it out. There are a myriad of factors that go into preparing for and running well in an endurance race.

Looking Forward

What I am going to focus on is what is next? Yes, I definitely will be running more marathons. My son said that the Pensacola Marathon is cursed for me. I completed my first marathon in this race, but it ended with an ambulance ride to the hospital. This time I didn’t finish. All I have to say about that is, watch out 2014! All I can do is continue to run, live healthy and try my best. We also have the Pensacola Double Bridge run coming up (15k) and there are several half marathons in this area at the first of the year. Now that Aubrey is broken in on long distance running, I’m really looking forward to running more of these with her. That’s the best scenery I could ask for.