Showing posts from 2016

Do the Wise Thing 24 Hour Challenge

Up for a little challenge?  This may seem a bit simple, but I have a feeling it might be tougher than you think.  Give it a try and let me know how it goes for you. Pick a 24 hour period of time, and write the date down in advance. Pray once in the morning, noontime, and night. Do something for someone else without compensation of any kind. Speak only the truth, and show compassion in your speech. Choose only healthy things for the mind, body and soul. Be humble all day. Be patient, and peaceful all day. Be productive as possible. Exercise 45 minutes. Encourage someone. Here is a quote from Emanuel Swedenborg that may help you with this: Some people live good lives and believe that the Lord governs the universe; that he alone is the source of all the good embraced by love and charity and all the truth espoused by faith; that life itself comes from him; and consequently that from him we live, move and have our being.  The condition of these people is such that they ca

A good view from the lowly bunk bed

One of my good fortunes is the opportunity to travel a lot in my lifetime, and more so in the last few years.  One interesting thing in common in the most important of those travels sounds a bit odd, but I would have to say is the bunk bed.  A bunk bed actually implies group travel, and most often with altruistic intentions.  I’ve visited a number of bunk beds in various places this year, and all of them have been a delight to the soul. My latest adventure was with a group of students from Indiana State University on a trip called Alternative Fall Break.  We visited the Indiana Dunes National Learning Center to provide some community service.  Staying at a group camp run by a non-profit and working with the National Park Service doing some land reclamation projects.  Day one was simply cutting down weeds in what was once the Good Fellow Youth Camp.  The National Park Service, specifically Ranger Ted is working to restore parts of this camp that was operated by U.S Steel’s Gary W

Why we should get out of Syria Now

Aleppo Syria is often in the news these days as it well should be.  What’s going on there with the civil war is certainly a catastrophe of the worst order.  If that is the case, why do I believe the United States should get out of there post haste?  Sit tight, the answer starts a few years ago … As recently as 2005 Aleppo had 2.5 million citizens and was among the oldest cities on record.  It had multi-denominational churches and mosques that coexisted.  In 2012 however it became a chief battleground of the Syrian Civil War.  Massive protests against the government of Bashar al-Assad spilled into Aleppo with rebel fighters from a variety of groups battling the government forces to this day.  If it was only Syrian rebels against the Syrian government it would probably be long over.  However Islamic extremists and foreign fighters joined the battle.  Followed of course by foreign countries who supported one side or the other.  The end result is an ancient city reduced to rubble. 

Fountain of Youth Found

This past weekend they had the first official opening of the lake jump at the Griffen Bike Park.  It was also just a couple of days before my 58 th birthday so I was thinking birthday present to self.  However, the day was one of endless rain showers so I pretty much talked myself out of it.  Just then I got a text from Mike telling me he was getting ready to go.  Well, can’t say no to that so to the park we went. You would think a group of hard-core mountain bikers would be in line for the jump, but not so much.  It was kids, early twenty somethings, and a couple of middle age types with life jackets on and in line for the jump.  Lots of people there to watch as well.  Mike and I both surveyed the jump, watched a few other brave souls go before we got a life jacket, and got the courage up to join in.  They had bikes strapped with “noodle floats” attached so you just had to fetch the next one out of the lake and get in line. I walked the bike up the hill and asked the first g

Your Value as a Human Being

Your Value as a Human Being Genesis 2:7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. The Body We indeed are made of the common earth elements (the dust of the Earth): 65% Oxygen 18% Carbon 10% Hydrogen 3% Nitrogen 1.5% Calcium 1% Phosphorous 0.35% Potassium 0.25% Sulfur 0.15% Sodium 0.15% Chlorine 0.05% Magnesium 0.0004% Iron 0.00004% Iodine Total worth about $4.50 The Mind Yet on closer examination just looking at the human brain which contains 100 billion neurons, each with about 10,000 synapses.  It has been estimated that the brain of a three-year-old child has about 1 quadrillion synapses.   In fact if you considered all complexity within multiple, interconnected systems that are within your makeup, you are beyond imagination. God turned common dust into the most complex system on earth.   The Spirit The spirit/conscience/soul

Being Gracious in Defeat

Going into the 31 st annual Terre Haute Triathlon I had a single goal of winning my age-group (55-59).  Bottom line, I didn’t win it, or get second, but got a close 3 rd .  I’ve had plenty of experience in regional and national level events to know I’m by no means an elite triathlete.  So you would think I would take 3 rd place easily.  Ah, not so.  In a lot of ways I felt like all was lost.  Why?  I guess I haven’t defeated the pride issue just yet. Had the good opportunity to talk with the Robert Smrekar who did win my age group just after the race.  Seemed like a really nice guy, and if I had to lose it didn’t seem so bad to lose to him.  Yet the next day I was thinking about how to go just that much faster to not let it happen again.  I’m still debating in my mind if that is a good thing or not. As a person who doesn’t like to sit still, loves a challenge, and exercise this sport was made for me.  I’m not a talented swimmer, but have a reasonable amount of talent for cyc

ISU Visits the Country of Panama

A group of  16 students and 2 chaperons from ISU spent a week in Panama as an Alternative Spring Break (ASB).  ASB offers students a chance to spend spring break doing service projects.   What follows is more notes from the trip rather than a story, but if your curious about Panama, or an Alternative Spring Break trip you might find it interesting: We stayed in a guest house in Paraiso owned by a nonprofit Christian organization.  They work with SCORE Missions all the time.  Had a nice upstairs we stayed at with bunk beds on each end, and a common area in the middle.  Food was served downstairs just below I another common area with a kitchen.  Another group from a church was there, but maybe 8 or so. David, Mariaanella Bueno, and their boys Danny and Ezekiel were out hosts/tour guides for the trip.  Both from Uruguay, and had worked there with SCORE for around 6 years.  David was a professional soccer player before becoming a missionary with SCORE.   Roomed with Tyle

The Beach, My Mother In-Law and Smokey the Cat

So we decide to go on vacation to the beach with my wife’s family including my mother in-law who doesn’t like the beach.  One particularly beautiful beach day my mother in-law decided she wants everyone to go shop for antiques.  I don’t like antiques.  I’m told me I need to leave the beach right this minute and go spend it in at the antique shop a two hour drive away. Walk into the large antique shop just livid that I’m missing my swim and spending it here.  I lean up against a table, knock over an oil lamp and accidentally set the store on fire.  The place is full of smoke and everyone runs out.  They had a sleeping cat appropriately named Smokey that comes running out last with his hair half singed off.   Picture of the cat goes viral. Needless to say a lawsuit ensued and sure enough I go before a judge name Judy, same name as my mother in-law.  The judge, also a cat lover, sees Smokey with half his hair singed off and was equally livid.  I get one year hard labor, an

Privilege and the Caribbean Supermarket

On the last day of a medical team trip to Mountain Top Ministries in Haiti we had the privilege of visiting a school they built near the village of Dumay.  The school itself stood out with its modern structure and brightly colored paint.  Yet it sits on the edge of a large industrial gravel pit with a serious dust problem back in the village.  Just a foot out the door of the van we were greeted by a swarm of preschoolers.  Want to feel like a rock star, come for a visit.  If only I was this popular in high school.   The work being done here is nothing short of amazing.  These people have zero creature comforts, little to eat and numerous other problems, yet hope and joy was abundant.  Mountain Top Ministries is doing a serious good work here. After a good 30 minutes of hugging kids we finally were freed up as the kids returned to class.  We then got the tour of the complete facility.  Several co-workers from the ISU Library, and members from our church collected some funds