Hebrews 12:1-2

"..let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." - Hebrews 12:1-2

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ridiculously Awesome Frisbee Catch

I used to play Ultimate Frisbee a lot.
I played with guys at every skill level.

Some guys were better at throwing from numerous holds.
- I could only throw 3 different ways.

Some guys were great at making amazing catches.
- I had a few (My most memorable was after a field length run I laid out for the disc and caught it inches above the ground while sliding through the mud).

And that sort of knowledge is what makes me appreciate this video so much.

First off, the throw is absolutely massive.There's no way to discount what the thrower did.

But the thing that struck me the first time I saw this video was incredible skill of the guy who caught it.
He timed his leap perfectly, his angle perfectly, his reach perfectly - and he did it off a moving speedboat.

The fact that these guys do these things to raise awareness for Compassion and children in poverty is an extra added bonus.

How Ridiculous, indeed!

Monday, November 28, 2011

My Christmas List for 2011

I have been asked to provide a list of things I want for Christmas.
Below is a little list to help those of you who are determined to buy me something.

With the exception of the running gear, everything listed here is simply a reference point to start you in the right direction. For the exercise gear, I have selected specific items for particular reasons and would prefer the item listed versus a similar one.

Man I sound picky... sorry.

You can also view it in a different format here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our Current Position Visualized

This was the front page on CNN this morning and I couldn't resist capturing it and posting it here.

To me, this is a perfect example of what is wrong with our economy and country right now.
Warning: Generalized statements are about to be made which may not be true for all parties involved.

Standing for Nothing
There is a group of people who feel entitled to something without doing anything, or whatever it is they want. (see Occupy Something)

Speaking for Nothing
There is a group of wealthy people who feel that government should place even more of the burden on the rich. The fact that this call is now also coming from a couple dozen wealthier people does not change the fact that it is just another call to redistribute wealth. The fact that Warren Buffet is being used to champion this idea is simply ludicrous. (Buffet has sheltered his wealth from Federal Taxes and has admitted that he thinks the government would not handle the money as effectively and efficiently as a private organization.)

If the wealthy are so concerned with how much they have, they should stop making so much profit (money) or start giving a lot more of it away. This is their personal problem and not the government's problem. If they truly were struggling to sleep at night because they honestly believed that they had too much money and that it could be used to aid other people who desperately need it, they would have already set into motion the actions required to reconcile that conviction on their own. There is no role for the government required here. Thus, it is a cheap political stunt.

Neither of these groups represent a majority opinion. Far from it.

How did we end up here?
Our government has adopted the strategy of the one offered by the company to the right of the page. Spend what you do not have now, pay off less than the interest later and at some point down the line you will realize you are in way over your head and you will desperately need to change your behavior. However, like most Americans, our government refuses to change its spending behaviors, even after after the cost of continuing down the same road become patently clear and the outcome unavoidable.

How do I think we get out of this mess?
- We stop catering to the minority of the population  who screams the loudest. We stop handling them with soft gloves. If you want to protest anything, you need to do it within the bounds of the law. If you go beyond the law, then you should have the entirety of that law brought to bear against you and the organization you claim to represent.

- We need to stop listening to people who claim to offer solutions that appear selfless, when the reality is that their "solution" will not solve the problem. In fact, their path only leads to people other than themselves having more money taken away from them, thus increasing the gap between the ultra-rich and the wealthy.
- We stop spending money we do not have. We force our government to work for us, as it was intended. I do not work in order to pay for a government program. I work in order to have the ability to provide for my family's current and future needs. I am planning for my own future, as best as I can. It would be a lot easier for me if the government that is charged with protecting me woudl stop attacking me financially.
- We stop putting people in positions of power that cannot balance a budget. If you cannot run a household or business without going into debt, we do not need you attempting to guide the country. If you cannot run an election campaign without bungling your finances, we don't need you "helping" solve the crisis we have placed ourselves in as a nation.
- We stop electing people because they seem nice or energetic or young or whatever. We need to elect good, strong people to lead this country in a new direction. We need politicians who see it as being allowed to offer their services to their country and fellow citizens for a season, instead of having politicians who see it as the ultimate SWAG party and ridiculous retirement plan.
- We need to stop electing non-representatives. You work for me as well as the guy who disagrees with me. I am a fellow citizen of yours, just like he is - we are not just your constituents. You answer to me, even when you don't want to. If you make a choice that I find different from my desire, I have the right to express that opinion, regardless of how it might make you feel. If you do not want to hear the opinions of those that you claim to represent, then you have no right to claim to be their representative.
- We need to throw political correctness and sensitivity in the trash can. At the moment, there is very little room in political discourse for us to skirt around certain issues on our tippy toes because you or one of your lobbyist friends might take offense. Please be offended. Be offended that it took so long for you to feel or recognize how poorly you have done your job. Be offended at the fact that many of your actions have led us to this place. If you are too sensitive to deal with these very real, very large issues without getting your feathers ruffled through a lively, boisterous and heated debate, then there is no place for you in politics. Go home and cry in your bed for a while - the country will be better off with you there. This isn't to say that we should be hateful or disrespectful, but we should get fired up about what you are and are not doing with and to our country. That is patriotic. If you cannot handle grown up conversation in a real world that isn't filled with fairies and color-blindness, then you should go write children's stories and not attempt to tell us what stories we can and should read to our children.
- See Why I Think America is in Deep Trouble

Sorry about the length of this post. I got a bit carried away here. It started out as a quick picture and ended with me getting all riled up. I do not apologize for my convictions nor my vocalization of those beliefs, merely for the length of the content.

I hate politics as they are and dream of how I think they could be.
There are so many people on both sides of the aisle that do not deserve to be called representatives or leaders of our country. I am hoping that real world Americans begin to be better represented in the Washington DC.
That starts with you in the voting booth.
Get informed.
Get fired up.
Get represented.
Get America back on track.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Virtue is Not Hereditary


We ought to reflect, that there are three different ways, by which an independancy may hereafter be effected; and that ONE of those THREE, will one day or other, be the fate of America, viz. By the legal voice of the people in Congress; by a military power; or by a mob: It may not always happen that our soldiers are citizens, and the multitude a body of reasonable men; virtue, as I have already remarked, is not hereditary, neither is it perpetual.
- Above quote is Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"

This is the fifth and final post in a series of my favorite portions of Thomas Paine's book "Common Sense". It is a worthwhile read and is available free from Amazon for download to Kindle or other device.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

An Apostate From Manhood


The Speech if it may be called one, is nothing better than a wilful audacious libel against the truth, the common good, and the existence of mankind; and is a formal and pompous method of offering up human sacrifices to the pride of tyrants.
And he who can so calmly hear, and digest such doctrine, hath forfeited his claim to rationality—an apostate from the order of manhood; and ought to be considered—as one, who hath, not only given up the proper dignity of a man, but sunk himself beneath the rank of animals, and contemptibly crawls through the world like a worm.
- Above quote is Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"

This is the fourth post in a series of my favorite portions of Thomas Paine's book "Common Sense". It is a worthwhile read and is available free from Amazon for download to Kindle or other device.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Debt Without Advantage


But to expend millions for the sake of getting a few vile acts repealed, and routing the present ministry only, is unworthy the charge, and is using posterity with the utmost cruelty; because it is leaving them the great work to do, and a debt upon their backs, from which, they derive no advantage. Such a thought is unworthy a man of honor, and is the true characteristic of a narrow heart and a pedling politician.
- Above quote is Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"

This is the third post in a series of my favorite portions of Thomas Paine's book "Common Sense". It is a worthwhile read and is available free from Amazon for download to Kindle or other device.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Present State of American Affairs

Today's quotes come from the section entitled "THOUGHTS ON THE PRESENT STATE OF AMERICAN AFFAIRS":

The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. 'Tis not the affair of a city, a country, a province, or a kingdom, but of a continent—of at least one eighth part of the habitable globe. 'Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age; posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected, even to the end of time, by the proceedings now.
Besides, what have we to do with setting the world at defiance? Our plan is commerce, and that, well attended to, will secure us the peace and friendship of all Europe; because, it is the interest of all Europe to have America a FREE PORT.
And finally:
As parents, we can have no joy, knowing that THIS GOVERNMENT is not sufficiently lasting to ensure any thing which we may bequeath to posterity: And by a plain method of argument, as we are running the next generation into debt, we ought to do the work of it, otherwise we use them meanly and pitifully.
- All quotes are from Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"

This is the second post in a series of my favorite portions of Thomas Paine's book "Common Sense". It is a worthwhile read and is available free from Amazon for download to Kindle or other device.

Monday, November 7, 2011

An Honest Man Versus the Crown

This week, I feel like sharing some of my favorite portions of Thomas Paine's book "Common Sense". It is a worthwhile read and is available free from Amazon for download to Kindle or other device.

Today's quotes come from the section entitled "OF MONARCHY AND HEREDITARY SUCCESSION":

Male and female are distinctions of nature, good and bad the distinctions of heaven; but how a race of men came into the world so exalted above the rest, and distinguished like some new species, is worth enquiring into, and whether they are the means of happiness or of misery to mankind.

Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions.
Finally, his conclusion on this topic:
Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived.
- All quotes are from Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"

Friday, November 4, 2011

Prayer for Belief in All Aspects of God's Work

"Give me the grace to believe that you really do know what is best for me and that I do not. May I cling to Your character and rejoice in Your pursuit of me." - Kenneth Boa

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Year of Running

I just realized that it has been a little over a year since I began consistently running.
To celebrate that accomplishment, I want to recap where I started and where I currently am.
Warning - Since I am recapping an entire year, this is a long post. 

On October 22, 2010, I climbed onto our newly acquired treadmill and started on what has been quite the journey. Over the course of 23 heart-pounding minutes, I ran a total of 2 miles (11:30 minutes per mile pace). My goal at that point was to actually train to run a 5k that I had run several years in a row with only a couple of weeks of "training". I wanted finish the 5k in under 30 minutes. I obviously had some work to do to get to that point.

On October 30, I ran the Eye Run For Haiti 5k in 10:28 - a pace of 10:28 minutes per mile. This was encouraging to say the least. At this point I was dedicated to running 3 times a week on the treadmill and was pushing myself pretty hard.

On November 21, 2010, I ran the Jingle Bell Run 5k in 29:00 minutes (9:29 minutes per mile). At the end of this race, I decided that I would continue running 3 times a week, but I didn't really have a new goal in mind.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Release the Beast

Over a month ago, Lisa started talking to Lydia about Halloween.
When asked what she wanted to dress up as, Lydia responded with "Belle" (Beauty and the Beast)
Then she followed that up quickly with "And daddy's going to be the Beast!"

And that is how we ended up being the Disney themed family this Halloween. Lisa reused a Snow White outfit she made and wore in high school and Lainey was dressed as a dwarf (wearing a gnome outfit that we purchased on clearance last year).

After walking the 2 nearest blocks, we headed back to our neighbors house where we sat around their fire-pit, handed out candy and talked. We all had a great time and Lydia made a candy killing.

"Tale as old as time..."