7 Laps 1 to go

My times are slower and I have decided this is ok.  I realized the most important of my running is not necessarily the speed, but it is the time I am running.  So even though I slowed down but increased the distance, this means I am running for a longer period of time, which means greater endurance and hopefully great weight loss.

Monday I ran 6 laps continuously, then I walked a lap and ran two more.  Wednesday, I did the same routine with a light change.

Firstly, my time for the 6 laps was almost exactly the same as Monday, slow but consistent.  I walked my rest lap then ran two more laps.  The highlight was the two laps I ran were a full 30 seconds faster than the Monday, that made me feel pretty good.

Now, after I run my laps used to take me about a lap and a half of walking to get my breathing under control to where I felt I could run again.  It then dwindled to 1 lap and now I have noticed it is about 1/2 lap.  It’s a strange phenomena.  When I finish running all I hear is noise in my ears and feel the aching in my legs, it’s like a storm is all around me.  As I am walking, all of a sudden I feel a serenity, a peacefulness around me and I realize my heart, brain and legs have all started to recover.  This feeling is coming quicker and quicker, which again even though my times are not where I would like them, it is an indication of improved conditioning.

After walking my warm down lap after my normally final two laps of running, I actually felt like running, so I did.  I took off and ran another lap, making my total number of laps 7.  My time was just about average for all the laps I had run this evening.

I had a workout plan, one night for running, one night for bleacher running and one night for basketball/tennis.  Lately, I seem to want to concentrate on the running.  Believe it or not, I actually am enjoying the running more.  It is my guess, I am enjoying it more since I found a pace which is just a jog, not a race and is allowing me to increase my distance without torturing the my body.

So, my goal now is to constantly try to increase my distance and let the speed come with increased endurance.  The challenge right at this moment, is my shins feel a bit of pain, I want to run, but not on the basis of having to lay off too long of running.  But here is my strategy.

I will run tonight, then maybe skip two days before running again, but filling in the nights with the other activities like bleacher running and/or basketball/baseball.

So far the best part of exercising is it just seems to make something that seemed difficult easier. From getting up out of a chair, to chasing my two youngest, to simply running after a ball, but mostly, just normal walking feels like – well more normal 🙂

 

Intolerance on both sides…

It’s about midnight, I am sitting in Town Square, Southlake, TX in a court yard behind a restaurant Brio’s. I am talking with my friend Ryan Griffin. As usual, we are talking about life and learning from each other how to be better Christian’s. Out of no where, a women approaches us and hands us 1,000,000 fake bills with a cartoon picture on it. Ryan recognizes it immediately as a solicitation to talk about Christ. Trish, the women, states they are a community founded by the actor Kirk Cameron. Ryan was not familiar with the actor, so I updated him on who he was. The lead actor of a family program named “Growing Pains” and in the height of his career, he became a born again Christian and caused the show to go sideways because he tried to instill his belief onto the others.

The conversation started out ok, but things started turning wrong when Trish started telling us how she approached people using the TenCommandments as a reflection to get people to realize they are sinners. It came across innocent enough, yet very judgmental in her demeanor. She was using this fact and sudden awareness to scare people into becoming a Christian. I don’t know if I can explain fully, but it came across as though she was being very judgmental.

So, then she introduces to us to a couple of other folks in their group. She tells them we are thinking of doing open air preaching and I am reading, “The Reason for God” by Timothy Keller and Armilo supports my reading. As we are talking, another group of people come into the square, they all stopped talking and the focus went to this other group they identified as Muslims and acted as though an enemy had just showed up and they would need to get ready for battle, they showed no tolerance or acceptance towards these people

The out of the blue, Trish asks me how I deal with the liberalism of the Church I attend, women in the ministry and their acceptance of homosexuality. I said, I am not that involved in the Church to be aware of these issues and I did not care about women in the ministry because…but I was interrupted by Armilio and challenged me and my faith and whether I was a Christian. I told him just a minute I wanted to answer Trish’s question. He then interrupted me again and I said wait your accusations are going to get you an ass whipping. Now, I know what it sounded like, but I did not have a chance to let him know I meant verbally, but he continued to be insistent. His intolerance was more than I could stand. I was not going to defend my beliefs to this attack based on his intolerance. I looked at my friend Ryan and excused myself.

Ryan, however; stayed. Now, I am not sure why Ryan stayed, but this type of a situation is where I think Ryan does his best. To challenge him on his faith and worse to challenge him on his knowledge is an area not very many people can equal Ryan. So, I am guessing that this group who thought they were the preachers are now being the students. I am also guessing, they won’t change their sense of intolerance, they will be impressed with Ryan’s knowledge and possibly be humbled, they also will be more educated on what the Bible means and says. Yet, I feel there hearts are hardened and minds closed.

Ryan came back about an hour later, it was now 1:30 AM Sunday morning. In the end, Ryan realized the group in fact had formed opinions of who/what a Christian was by taking only pieces of scripture rather than applying it to the whole and seeing how scripture/the Bible was communicating overall. What went from a one or two person conversation turned into 4 to 6 of the group challenging Ryan. And instead of sharing knowledge, they attacked Ryan on his interpretation of scripture, his own personal beliefs, habits and values, which most of the personal items had nothing to do with the conversation.

I end this description of the encounter with this. Firstly, I believe this group is almost a cult, they have formed opinions which are not supported in the Bible, but they use parts of scripture to justify their beliefs. Secondly, they try and break people down to agree with them, they are not open to other interpretations. Finally, they seemed very judgemental, meaning they automatically judged you not to be a brother or sister if you did not believe what they did and finally, the way they reacted to the muslim group, showed an incredible intolerance for others as well.

Now, I just beat up on them, but intolerance went both ways. When I felt like I was being attacked by Trish, the Armilio, I showed an intolerance for their behavior. Instead of acting graciously and finding out more, I acted aggressively and then excused myself because I could not tolerate their behavior and opinions.

And Ryan, why did he stay there and talk, discuss, argue, defend. Because he was being intolerant of their intolerance. What burns him more than a non-Christian is another Christian not only disrespecting other Christian, but misusing the Bible to support their personal beliefs and values. So, he had the tools to ‘defeat’ them and I believe, whether they want to admit it or not, he did defeat them.

I did not walk away from this encounter feeling good and neither did Ryan, what we all did is exhibit our own weakness and intolerance. As I talked with Ryan about it and we were discussing our understanding that we too demonstrated equal intolerance and we felt we sinned, that the best thing we could of done once we felt the intolerance, would have been not to engage, but to disengate immediately and walk back to our bench and continue our conversation, demonstrating good Christian behavior.

What would you have done or what would you have recommended we do?

By the way, Armilio handed Ryan a card, on the card it identified Armilio as the Pastor of the Church – Ryan just defeated him in battle.

 

Do what Glorifies God…

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you,
live at peace with everyone.

19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath,
for it is written: “it is mine to avenge: I will repay, says the Lord.
20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
NIV Romans 12:17-21

To love me is to Love God…

My love and faith to Christ is not negotiable. In other words, my relationship with God resides above all others. Because I Love the Lord your God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and with all your strength, then one who also loves me, Loves the Lord. There is no separation.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, being a Christian is not what I do, it is who I am.

From the ashes. . .

You may often see Jesus Christ wreck a life before He saves it.
Some of you, if there are any of you, know I am going through some growing pains in my life. There are many factors to why I am going through these growing pains, but none of them is important, it is more important what I take away from this experience.
In some ways, I have to thank the influences, which have brought me to this place, it’s possible, if I was not for them, I would still be living in a state of hell. So, am I saying life is better than before, economically, no, family no, but spiritually yes! Do I want to stay where I am at, NO, do I want to improve and resume my full responsibilities, YES and ASAP; but I will be doing so responsibly to myself, God and most importantly to my family.
How can I say this, my family will be better off, because as I improve, the relationships and the things I draw to me will improve. Thus, before I was living a life of wants, and presenting a false sense of who I was. Today, through my faith and Love in Jesus Christ, I am stronger, and have the character to live an honest life, one that I can look back on and not evaluate on what achievements I made of which others can evaluate, but on my relationships with my family, and myself, Jesus Christ.
My value of who I am is no longer dependant on what others think, view, project; it is based on my relationships with Jesus Christ. It is my belief, my life has had a significant amount of challenges, maybe not as many as others, but surely more challenging that I ever imagined, regardless, I have been struggling between my ‘out-self’ and my ‘inner-self’, and after a significant amount of time and struggle, I have found myself and with courage and faith, follow this self. In addition, I thank those intentionally or not, who have placed those barriers in my way to help me be a better me, which makes me a better father, son, brother, husband… I found this statement below by accident thumbing through his book at Barnes and Noble, I felt then how appreciative I was of all of those in my life to help me get here.
PS – thank you to the person or persons that signed me up for Living Christian Bible Study program for my PC, it had the book I reference below as a part of the program, coincidence? In addition, the program is outstanding in bible study, so thank you.
March 24th
Decreasing into his purpose
He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30.
If you become a necessity to a soul, you are out of God’s order. As a worker, your great responsibility is to be a friend of the Bridegroom. When once you see a soul in sight of the claims of Jesus Christ, you know that your influence has been in the right direction, and instead of putting out a hand to prevent the throes, pray that they grow ten times stronger until there is no power on earth or in hell that can hold that soul away from Jesus Christ. Over and over again, we become amateur providences; we come in and prevent God, and say—’This and that must not be.’ Instead of proving friends of the Bridegroom, we put our sympathy in the way, and the soul will one day say—’That one was a thief, he stole my affections from Jesus, and I lost my vision of Him.’
Beware of rejoicing with a soul in the wrong thing, but see that you do rejoice in the right thing. “The friend of the Bridegroom . . . rejoiceth greatly because of the Bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” This is spoken with joy and not with sadness—at last they are to see the Bridegroom! And John says this is his joy. It is the absolute effacement of the worker, he is never thought of again.
Watch for all you are worth until you hear the Bridegroom’s voice in the life of another. Never mind what havoc it brings, what upsets, what crumblings of health, rejoice with divine hilarity when once His voice is heard. You may often see Jesus Christ wreck a life before He saves it. (Cf. Matt. 10:34.)Chambers, O. (1993, c1935). My utmost for his highest : Selections for the year (March 24). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.

The Holy Bible, New International Version International Bible Society Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.
Mt 10:34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
” ‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
Mt 10:36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
Mt 10:37 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Mt 10:40 “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41 Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”

Monday Aug 22nd

Ok, I almost totally got myself to drop out again last night. I have not exercised since last Wednesday, for that I will give no excuses other than somehow I made enough of them to keep me from my agenda.

 
 

Last night was no different, I so thought I would do it tomorrow as I moped around the house thinking how tired I was and the thought of being out of breath and my legs aching did not help much. But I knew if I did not go, then all the work I had done up to this point was worthless and then too, what about my commitment, I have one with myself and with you 🙂

 
 

Knowing I had to run, I made a decision on the way to the track. Tonight, I would run the full 6 laps continuously instead of the traditional 4. I figure my legs have enough time to heal, my shins were not even hinting at having any pain and I figure I had enough rest to do it without killing myself.

 
 

In addition to this decision, I did have a realization from last week. When I noticed I was able to get to the basketball quicker and the tennis ball quicker, I realized it was because of my running conditioning, I had the extra power to get to the ball. Yes, when I did get to the ball, I was breathing hard and possibly my legs felt the brunt of the sprint as well, but if I had not run, then I could not go.

 
 

My previous desire was to try and improve my speed and secondly improve my distance. Well, after thinking about this epiphany I had, I realized no matter how slow I ran, increasing the distance is mandatory in order to increase my speed in the shorter distances. I know some of you are saying, duh! But I had a strategy and, truthfully, I was hoping to short cut my getting into shape!

 
 

So I ran at a leisurely pace and the first 3 laps were a easy. My legs felt ok, my breathing was not forced and my legs did not feel like gum was on the bottom. On the fourth lap, particularly the last 1/2 to 1/3, I starting feeling the legs and the lungs some.

 
 

To ensure I had not sped up too much, when I finished the 4th lap, I purposely slowed down as to give my mind set that I was beginning all over again.

 
 

I am glad to report I did make the full 6 laps and felt pretty good, my legs were very tired and my breathing was not as forced as usual, but it was there and I was super glad to have the rest.

 
 

I walked the next lap and then ran two more laps consecutively, thus making this the fastest and shortest two miles I have run to this point. Shortest meaning I had the least walking laps in the accomplishment of actually running 8 laps.

 
 

I looked at my 6 lap time and had hoped for better but was not surprised. My second stage of running the two laps as well were slower than previous, but not over what I expected. In all I was very happy with my run because I am seeing me running 8 laps continuously soon and this means I will be gin working on my 3 mile goal. As well, today, my shins are not sore, thus this increases my ability to run more often so maybe I will be able to hit my mile and 3 mile goals…

 
 

Thinking of running again tonight, I love the pain. Actually, I love the feeling when the pain is over. Cause you do know the best thing about pain don’t you?