Another week

Another week is upon is and wow what an action packed few days

Tried to go to bed early last night after doing the math and realizing that in the 5 nights before sunday i/we had some sort of emergency that meant NO BED TIME before at least 1am. hmmmmm NOT COOL.

Strangely enough they all revolved around emergencies.

Late Tuesday night… an equine emergency with one of our horse (chapala) who had a large abscess that needing lancing off. That was NOT fun to watch. And WOW did that stuff stink

Late Wednesday night… the weather emergency which was documented in a previous post

Late Saturday Night… a medical emergency, when one of our Common Sole/Soul folks accidentally cut her wrist (no really it was an accident) and so had to take her to the ER.

Then last night arrives and the thought of an early night only to be foiled by a corner of the screen on CNN announcement that President Obama had some big announcement. Not about Libya, but something else. Which was supposed to be announced at 10.30pm. There goes the early night. When 10.30 turned into almost 11.30.

We found ourselves trying to guess what it was, the best that i could come up with was a Giant meteor was going yo crash into earth. As we texted with friends in Alabama, they were predicting aliens. No joke, are we silly!!!

Still “that” announcement was huge. However i did read today that some former…. thinks that this was all “too hollywood” like to be true.  Not saying i believe that comment, but something to think about for sure. Ever see the movie “Wag the Dog”. That this was too perfect, too this…, to that… He could have died from getting a fish bone stuck in his throat.

Anyways… Tomorrow is BIG run day, need to knock out at least 3hrs. We have a 30 hr race not this, but next weekend. With some of our biggest rivals… “WEDALI”, “I’m On Point”. should be fun.  We did land a big sponsorship deal today, which our team owner has been working on for months. New clothing, jerseys, helmets, packs… SWEET!!!!

And today has been filled with 40 public school kids all morning, moving canoes this afternoon, to get attacked by fire ants. First fire ant bites of the summer… YES!!!! to draining another abscess on a horse with vet late this afternoon.

And to think its only Monday

the damage

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This photo was taken on Saturday about 5 miles from our house/camp. it’s a fork lift company that was totally destroyed.

I also rode my bike yesterday in another part of the county and saw unbelievable damage everything from peoples homes… gone
trees… cut in half or bent over 90degrees
power/utility lines up rooted

really powerful hand of weather and nature and so close to home

Rough couple of days

It has been a rough couple of days. Before the storms last night we lost one of the horses in our equestrian program yesterday morning. This was not taken well by everyone including our over 50 volunteers than MAKE that program work. However i do understand that reaction. THey are a very committed bunch of wonderful people.

Then last night we had the storms. Yeah, that was something else. Damage here is minimal with a few big trees down (but not on any buildings etc.) however a tornado did touchdown literally right down the street. With a lot of damage and at least 2 people dead that i know of. And to make it even more exciting we had 40+ women on site for a conference and i had to run down there at 12am and wake them all up and stuff them in  emergency rooms. It wasn’t fun waking a lot of middle-aged women up at midnight. Saw way too many people in their pyjamas. But none the less a real emergency and one i’m glad i did what i did.

But then to be greeted at breakfast with the words… ” we have a major problem, my air conditioning won’t work”. hmmmmm

I can laugh it off, but really????

2 in one day

Yes  the thoughts a flowing tonight. Maybe its becuase Robin isnt here and i can only talk to Cora (our dog) for so long, although i know she loves the attention.

I saw my 1st snake of the year today. In fact i saw 2, but the 2nd was moving too fast and before i could get off my bike it was gone

Also on another note… TODAY WAS ANZAC DAY!!!!!

will write more about that some other time

Forget ADD or ADHD, its RDD

Before i moved to America from NZ i lived in Japan for one year. This was a richly wonderful time (not for $$$ or should i say Yen) but for every other reason. I moved there because…. wait that’s another post another time.

Japan is a very diverse country and straddles a fence of tradition, history along with technology. Technology that moves quicker than their famed ‘Bullet Trains’. Japan isn’t all lights, technology and gadgets. However one observation i did have was…

How seemingly over-employed the country was and maybe still is. And by this i mean overkill on staff. Everywhere you turn there seems to be workers, staff, employees, there to do whatever when ever for whom ever. Now this may have changed with recent economic downturns and natural disasters. But there seemed to be a job for everyone, especially government jobs and 2-3 people for every position. Somewhat of a false economy.

I write this because there were often times when one would just say out loud “sigh…. oh Japan…sigh” at the sight of 3 workers standing on the sidewalk wearing enough safety equipment to survive a small disaster. All protecting a tiny hole in the sidewalk that could more than adequately be highlighted with a cone and some caution tape. And might i add the huge sense of pride they would get when the foreigner would approach the “hole” and rather sarcastically react with fear and trembling at what was one to do. Only to be pacified by the now immensely fulfilled Japanese worker who had not only averted a “huge calamity” but a foreigner from that same potential misfortune. I joke and perhaps i shouldnt but it made for entertainment on one’s way to work on more than one occasion.

ANYWAYS… why do say this. Well when one is ‘not from around here’ one has the ability to gain and observe certain insights into local culture.

And this week i had one about America. I can see Robin shaking her head even now. My observation was this

RDD……………… Royal Deficit Disorder

And by that i mean the way in which many Americans are just eating up this royal wedding stuff that happens this Friday!!! They or many of You (if you are American) note i said many i  didn’t say all (that’s very strong language… that’s another post). As i was saying many Americans are just falling over themselves, lapping this stuff up.

Which leads me to another point. For a country that prides itself on being soooooooo independent, and the land of the brave & free. Along with the importance it places on liberty and self-determination etc. it strikes me as a little strange that many look over ‘the pond’ to the former motherland and are eating this stuff up.

All the TV networks are clambering for the right to say “we have the best coverage” & “on Friday we will begin our coverage at 4.30 am”. 4.30am are you kidding me. who gets up @ 4.30. well i do but that’s to run. Or watch live Rugby

Maybe America (dare i say it) misses a little bit of the monarchy, or wishes it had a good ol royal family of its own. The closest America gets (i’ve heard) are the Kennedy’s. For a country that goes all out to promote its freedom (& don’t get me wrong I’m all for that) it sure does vote with its TV coverage, TV remote, water cooler conversation etc etc etc when it comes to a good royal wedding.

Maybe suffering from a little RDD or Royal Deficit Disorder don’t you think

Risen

Its Easter Sunday.

All around the world people celebrate the Risen Saviour, Jesus Christ. About to head out to church to do so myself… not that you need to be in a square, box shaped building to celebrate anything to do with Jesus. That’s a post for another time.

I did end my Lenten Practise with a cookie or 2 or 3… i made it. it really got easy after a while, i knew it was something that wasnt part of my diet. i did run also this morning for 2 hours… pain free of course, well apart from the normal aches of running for 2 hours.

Did enjoy riding home from the Easter Egg Hunt @ Church yesterday afternoon. While i did have a head wind, i am very thankful of my abilities to even ride a bike home. Which got me thinking…

i rode about 26 miles give or take a 1/2 mile and completed it in a little over  1hr 20mins. Here’s the thinking part. that bloke Mr. Mutai who ran the Boston Marathon last monday in 2hrs 3mins for about the same distance was only about 40mins behind what i did on a bike.

Either he’s really fast, or i’m really slow.

Enjoy your day

More than Just Dumb Luck & My Bad

In the few days i have written about am array of topics that all seem to be related. IMO it HAS to be more than luck. I really do believe its got to be providential… Do you know what that means (“Involving divine foresight or intervention”.)

Anyways… between our experiences at the Antiquities Center, hearing a theory on mental health, suicide, and visiting a grieving mother, its in the past 24hrs that more ‘providential’ experiences have called even more thoughts into question. For all the right reasons of course.

I plan on writing more however here’s 2 more pieces of the puzzle that intersected my life yesterday.

First i stumbled across this piece written on the CNN Belief Blog yesterday. It’s all about none other than Judas. see link below. I often check out this site, as it has some good pieces on it

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/21/my-take-is-judas-in-heaven-or-hell-god-only-knows/?hpt=Sbin

And second, last night after coming home from the Maundy Thursday Service at Church (which Robin lead REALLY WELL) we were tooling around channels on TV and found a show called The Lost Gospels  which included a piece about the supposed Gospel of Judas…. yes Judas. The story went on to talk about the controversy and supposed history of why it wasnt included in the New Testament. Several times Robin and i found ourselves staring at each other counting the hairs on our neck standing up.

More than just dumb luck.

Oh in case you wondering about the ‘My Bad’ part. i rode my mountain bike for the 1st time in 2 1/2 months this morning. lots of reasons why… ultramarathon training, road riding only, injured etc. AND about 1hour into it i rode over a decent sized limb and bent my back bracket, shifter, and hanger. All of which cannot be repaired, and will have to be replaced.

MY BAD!!!!!

Throwing Stones & Good Theology

Today I went to visit a family this afternoon with Robin who’s 22 year old son took his life 3 1/2 weeks ago!!!

Griff Parrish was a talented young man with many gifts including that as a singer/songwriter. he has even released an album

we both attended the memorial service just 2 days after this tragic loss and were very moved by all the people present including young adults

Robin as part of her ministry at Friendship Presbyterian includes a Prayer Shawl Ministry where she and the women of the church knit/crochet prayer shawls then deliver them and pray with the individual. naturally I gave never been to one of these occasions. They are usually delivered to folks who are in need, sick, or have lost a loved one

Several weeks ago Robin suggested that we take one of these shawls to Emily Parrish, Griff’s mother. we were in LaGrange and coordinated a way to stop by.

WOW… it was a very moving experience to sit with Emily and listen. She poured her heart out and did not hold back one little bit. I felt very moved to be able to sit and hear many of the stories, the pain,the what if’s everything. Needless to say Emily was very touched by the prayer shawl and all 3 of us cried our eyes out as we layed it around Emily’s shoulders and as Robin prayed the prepared prayer. Even now as i sit and type this blog i think of Emily sitting there admiring this beautiful shawl.

Not to be in a hurry to move on. however our original reason for being in La Grange today was to visit the Antiquity Center. this place is amazing and seeks to re create the phyiscal setting of Jesus’ time period and more

The Explorations in Antiquity Center in LaGrange, Georgia, is a living museum of life in ancient times. Through archeological replicas, Biblical meal presentations, lectures, and other personal experiences, ancient Middle Eastern life becomes real today.

http://www.explorationsinantiquity.com/

We went with program staff from Calvin Center and ended with a Seder Supper meant to recreate The Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples. It was very moving and we were treated to a traditional meal for the time period. But what struck me most was how the guide put the actual meal into a historical context. Everything from the food to the order in which they were seated.

We also learned about the traditions, and the way people (when the ate) reclined around a meal and the order they sat in meant order of importance. The person next to the host that was Judas, directly next to Jesus. The most important seat next to JC’s of course. Yes Judas, that Judas who goes on to betray JC. The person next to the host or Jesus gets served 1st after the host. That would be Judas, yes that Judas. The person who gets the best choice of food, would be directly next to JC, that would be Judas, yes that Judas. The person who gets the best piece of lamb (the food choice of the time period) would directly next to JC, that would be Judas, yes that Judas. And JC even leans over and feeds some of it to him.

This is hard to put into words, and i find it hard to contain my excitment.

JC then turns to Judas and tells him to go and do what he was supposed to do and do it quickly. Knowing full well that he was speaking to Judas about betraying him. The story continues and Judas is full of sadness, and knows he has made a mistake. Tries to give the money back-they refuse to take it, as its ‘blood money”. So Judas throws it in the temple and goes and hangs himself in a field.

Why do i tell you this.

  • Judas was mentally ill and wasnt thinking straight when he made the decision to betray JC.
  • Judas had remorse, he knew he had done wrong and tries to fix it, cannot and see suicide as his only option. Remember he is mentally ill and therefore isnt able to make rational decisions.
  • JC knew what Judas was up to, and in feeding Judas was already telling him that he is forgiven. “Take eat this is my body, given for you, do this in rememberence of me… this is a new covenant sealed in my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins…”.
  • That’s some good theology. BUT ITS MORE THAN THAT!!!
  • It’s hope for all those who need it, whatever their situation.
  • Even for those who a mentally ill.
  • That’s some good reformed theology… it tells us that Jesus Christ, has already paid the price. In feeding Judas, all of them on that night he took care of it FIRST.
  • Jesus already knew, he already in effect said… its ok, i know, your sins are forgiven.
  • For ALL of us struggling with what ever, even mental health. Jesus knows an has already forgiven us.

Even when it drives us to do the unthinkable… take our own life. If nothing else but that message of forgiveness remains that gives us HOPE.

So all those who judge, condemn, ‘throw stones’ from the sidelines about choices people make, even life ending choices for the mentally ill. Put down your stones, because we are no better.

Have you ever sat with a mother who grieves her son’s decision…

I have and you would not be able to sit there and still ‘throw stones’

The new sub 4 minute mile

The Boston Marathon was run today. the 11?th edition i think and therefore one of the oldest marathons in the world. Kinda weird to see a marathon ran on a Monday but i’m sure theres some reason for that.

Anyways there was a few world record of 2hrs 3mins & 2 sec (3.02:03) WOW!!! and this gets better… it lowered the old record by a whopping 58 secs. The winner was Geoffrey Mutai. Congratulations, thats amazing. Can someone say “will humans run under the mythical 2hr mark for the marathon?… it appears to be only a matter of time.

Is this the new magical time & distance that the worlds elite runners will aspire to? Similar to that of being the 1st human to run under 4minutes for a mile. Which was achieved almost 60 years ago in 1953 by one Rodger Bannister. A record that many believed was beyond a human ability and would never be broken.

BUT WAIT, hold the press, or should i say blog

The record was NOT ratified. Yes really!!! because of an unfair advantage. “Because Monday’s race had a strong tailwind on a downhill course, Mutai’s run is not recognized by track’s international governing body as a record.”

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/more/04/18/boston.marathon.ap/index.html#ixzz1JvbnECC3

Oh come on, are you serious. This guy just busted his butt to run this time and its deemed ineligible. i dont understand. i get the whole arguement about the wind being too strong. But the course being too much of a downhill course and thus creating an unfair advantage. Are you serious!!! Please explain this to me… when then IS a marathon course not too hilly and or just enough? And what about if its really hilly do they take 30 seconds off your finishing time or credit you with 1minute less that what you crossed the line with.  Especially when EVERY marathon course IN THE WORLD is different. No two are the same.

I get the wind advantage argument, how that may create an unfair advantage. It applies in the 100 meters track event and that makes sense. But then again 100meters is 100 meters its the same sort of track, way its laid out, number of lanes (in  most cases) and even running surface. I get all that

But the hilly course argument i dont get. i feel sorry for Boston Marathon organizers who i’m sure are well aware that the course (on its current )they designed most likely will never have a world record set because they made it with too many downhills and thus created an unfair advantage. I wonder when the ‘powers that be’ that create these rules and regulations last ran a marathon.

Marathons hurt, they arent fun, and the speeds that these women & men run them at is in my opinion a work of art. At least Boston Marathon has a long history and that alone draws thousands of runners each year. And i’m sure the $200,000+ dollars for winning will help calm Mutai’s disspointment.

almost out of the woods

as promised I ran this morning for 60 mins…& it was pain free. Now all i have to complete is a ride later today and with this weather should be easy to do.

While i dont think i’m back to 100%, i do feel fairly confident that things are going well.

On another note, got to sit at Lakeside last night with a group at camp and enjoy this view. it was cooler temps too, after storms rolled through on friday night. This is why i love my job!!!

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