Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Active Recovery Day

I am sore. 

No getting around it. Paradoxically, it feels ever so good for the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) that you get after a marathon. So today it was time for what's called "active recovery" -- light exercise a day or two after your race to get the blood flowing in your muscles again. 

In fact, I think walking is the best active recovery out there. 

Plus, the farm is so lovely this time of the year. 

I think Ishi agrees. 

Return to the Gym

Today it was back to the gym after a 6-day hiatus, working mostly on the upper body, including pull ups -- both machine assisted ... 

... and regular. 

Sometimes I hate to write about the gym because the subject is so loaded, yet it is such an important issue, especially for runners. In my opinion, it becomes a slippery slope when people run to lose weight, because a sensible weight loss/management program will also be balanced by healthy eating and weight training. Be honest. Do you see yourself as healthy? What needs to be looked at primarily is your relationship to food. Is it out of control, compulsive, and obsessive? Or is it balanced and treating your body in a way that makes it happy? Be proud of your body regardless of the flaws you see. Always keep fitness as a goal. Maintain a healthy view of eating (food = fuel). It is truly all about moderation. 

Monday, February 27, 2023

Cowtown Marathon 2023 Race Report

Howdy pardners! Well, I had a hog-killin' time in ol' Cowtown. I ate so much barbeque I got as full as a tick, right thuur right thuur. 

Mom and I yarned the hours away when we wasn't eatin'. 

Good ol' Fort Worth gave me another marathon, she shore did. When I finished the race I looked like a marionette whose puppeteer had been electrocuted. No, I wasn't fast, but I dare you to stand at the finish line of a marathon and tell these back-of-the-packers their marathon don't count. 

I, a lazy beach bum from Hawaii, had somehow just completed my 20th marathon. Ain't the Lord good!

Here's somethin' else. Over at Southwestern Seminary they've got quite a collection of ancient books. The librarians had everything arranged for me when I arrived. 

I couldn't believe I was actually handling the Complutensian Polyglot.

As well as Erasmus's Greek New Testament. 

I spent an hour reveling in revelation. However, by far the most significant part of the weekend was the "Blue Mile" at the marathon, where Fort Worth's KIA are honored. 

I practically bawled when I read their names and their ages. Here's the thing. We're running a silly race for fun. They gave their lives for a cause. 

Last night after the race all I was good for was kicking my feet up and chillaxing in mom's living room as we jabbered about life.

Marathons always hurt. It doesn't matter who you are, once you get to mile 20-ish, things start to go downhill rapidly. If you do end up finishing the race (there were a bunch of DNFs), it's only because you are better at coping with that discomfort mentality. I accept this as my fate as a runner. I am 70 and have been running for 6 years. I know I'm limited, but that doesn't mean I can't go out there and compete with the big (cow)boys. I love watching people dig down to the deepest recesses of their souls to complete that 26.2 mile distance. Stay tuned as I continue to experience the highs and lows of running and work toward a goal that may or may not be achievable. Maybe I shouldn't care so much. After all, it's just a race. But when I see average people like me crossing that finish line, I cheer myself hoarse. 

Grateful to the Lord,


Thursday, February 23, 2023

The Race of My Life

The theme of this website, you might say, is "going on" in the Christian life. Moving forward. Persevering in the face of hardships and our own inner inertia. A host of things conspire against us to distract and discourage us from persevering in our walk with Christ. This is perhaps why I love Heb. 12:1-3 so much. It will not surprise you that this was the text for my morning devotional. 

In chapter 11 (as you all know), we read of great men and women of faith who went the distance. They endured. Now it's our turn. Some were great people. Most weren't. All were flawed. And what kept them all going was not so much their great faith as their faith in a great God. (I know these are trite and cliche-ish musings, but they are true.) And now, in Heb. 12:1, we are immediately plunged into a powerful metaphor designed to shake us out of our complacency and drive us forward. Frankly, this passage is one reason I love endurance racing so much. Five truths come to mind, and I think I have just enough time to mention them before leaving for the airport. 

1. The Christian life is a gruelling race. As I said on Tuesday, we're in the Roman arena. It's intense. It's challenging. It's demanding. Sometimes it's agonizing. Marathoning demands the utmost in self-discipline, determination, and perseverance. It takes all you've got. It's not a stroll. It's a race to the finish. The imperative in our passage is "Keep on running!!!" An occasional jog will not do. We have to become committed runners. This weekend's marathon will remind me again that, spiritually speaking, I'm in the race of my life.

2. The race is "marked out for us." For every marathon there is a detailed course map telling you where to go and how to get to the finish line. I find it so encouraging to know that my spiritual race is already marked out for me by God. He has prepared the way for me, for my good and his glory. Furthermore, I can't run anyone else's race. I can't be so preoccupied with the performance of others that I lose focus and stumble. As someone has said: in the race of faith, we're not judges. We're runners. We're competing only with ourselves. 

3. The race has been successfully run by others -- those in chapter 11 who lived and died in faith. They're now saying to us, "We've finished the race, and you can too." They are surrounding us with their encouragement and applause. "It can be done! By faith it can be done!" Yes, even my Becky is doing that. 

4. The race requires -- boy oh boy does it require! -- discipline. We are to run with hupomonē -- perseverance, endurance, spiritual staying power. And so we need to throw off encumbrances  -- anything that would trip us up or distract us. (Yes, I've been obsessing about what to wear on a hot and windy day in Fort Worth. Probably a singlet and light weight shorts.) "Throw it off," says verse 1. Deal decisively with the sin that so easily besets you. 

5. Finally, the race has been run by Jesus himself. He is our pioneer, our trailblazer, the very designer of the race. I like to think of him as the pacesetter who's already run the race and knows the course inside and out. 

Jesus alone brings our race to ultimate completion. Victory is a gift we humbly and thankfully receive from his hand (see Heb. 13:21: "God works in us what is pleasing to him"). If I finish Sunday's race, God must get all the glory. 

It's so inspiring to chase the dawn. I hope that sharing my journey with you will make you cling all the tighter to your own "shred" of hope, pushing you forward not to give up but to keep on grinding until the Pioneer and Perfecter of your faith welcomes you at the finish line. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Race Day Weather in Cowtown

If you know anything about marathoners. you know that we obsess about the weather coming up to race day. If you're running indoors, weather is never an issue. Running outdoors is a different story. I know nothing about meteorology, but growing up in Hawaii I know a little about various kinds of weather conditions. I learned a whole lot more about weather when I moved to California. But now that I live in Virginia, I think I finally understand the difference between good weather and really bad weather. I'll never forget my first harsh winter. The wind was so cold it would freeze the tears on my eyelashes. Oh how I yearned to live someplace where I could wear shorts all year long and a t-shirt to school (aka, Hawaii). Alas, marathoners have absolutely no control over the weather. 

There's a race in Greenland called the Polar Circle Marathon. 

It boasts temperatures as low as minus 59 degrees Fahrenheit. You run past glaciers, across an arctic desert, and through the habitats of musk oxen. Course organizers put up the following sign for your safety: "Because of the danger of falling into a crevasse, it is strictly forbidden to leave the marked route on the ice sheet." Man alive. If the temp doesn't scare you to death, that warning sure will.

So what's the forecast for Fort Worth this weekend? Thought you'd never ask:

What? 76 degrees in February? What? Wind gusts of up to 41 miles per hour? To be honest, I've never run in a hurricane before. If you're like me, you had better watch where you spit during the race. The silver lining, of course, is that at some point in the race you should have the wind at your back, not to mention the fact that if it's a hot day the wind can cool you down. (I'm trying to look on the positive side.) I guess the bottom line is: Fair weather running is awesome. But insisting on perfect weather is cowardly. So ...

  • Man up. 
  • Shut up. 
  • And remember: when you're running into the wind, you have to lean forward

There are worse things in life than a windy race. 


My Bible time in Romans this morning was so exciting! Jesus Christ is the most exciting person I've ever met! His word is the most exciting book I've ever read! If you want adventure in your life -- if you're bored -- if you want to be challenged -- if you want to be different -- spending time with the Lord will do the job. It will take the boredom out of your life. It will challenge you like nothing else can. If you would dare to be different, Jesus will give you that and more. In short, if in one single hour of your life you want excitement, adventure, daring, the unusual, freedom from boredom, challenge, and a life that's different -- just spend some time in the word and see what happens.

This morning I saw a Greek word I hadn't noticed in years and years. The Greek word is hupernikōmen. It's found in Rom. 8:37. 

It's a word of superlative force that requires 5 English words in some translations: "We are more than conquerors." By contrast, the Vulgate has simply superamus. Love it! 

Paul is saying, "Dave, don't just survive adversity. Don't just stick it out. By God's power and purpose, adversity can actually be turned to your advantage. You stand secure despite everything suffering can throw at you. Be a super-conqueror!"

If you really want to be prepared for adversity, there's nothing like Bible reading to put you right there. This is where you find a complete disassociation with the world and a knowledge that goes beyond plain knowledge. Somehow I find that reading God's word, and getting completely absorbed in it for an hour or more, can be some of the greatest worship time of my life because as I read words like hupernikōmen I have no other choice than to worship God to the fullest extent of my being. This is that sacred time in your day when God reveals so much of his plan for your life and when our relationship with him is at its very peak. Praise God! The instruction manual is easy and glorious to read! HalleluYah!

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Should Christians Draw Lessons from Sports?

Aliens: Let's invade the earth.

Aliens: Watching the Super Bowl halftime show.

Aliens: Invasion is cancelled.

It's an old joke but it does make a point, doesn't it? Sports have always been known for their less than noble aspects. In ancient times, the Jews in particular were leery of sports. In 1 Maccabees we read how the evil Jewish Hellenizers encouraged Jewish young men to participate in the Greek games. Sports was associated with worldliness, even idolatry, and it didn't help that most sports were performed in the nude. Jewish boys belonged in the synagogue, not in the gym.

And yet, there is a lot to admire in sports, wouldn't you agree? You don't get to the Super Bowl without extraordinary commitment. When I think of elite athletes, I think of their work and pain and endurance and self-denial and sacrifice and total focus and extraordinary single-mindedness. Athletes, in a word, are known for their passion. No passion? Forget about achieving your goals. "Going for the gold" -- that's the deepest passion of the world's elite athletes. To stand on the podium, to hear your country's national anthem played, to win the prize makes all the effort worthwhile. 

And that's Paul's theme in Phil. 3:12-16, my text for this morning's Bible time. 

Not a day goes by when I don't spend time with the Lord before spending time in the gym. 

When Paul speaks of "straining to reach the end of the race" (3:14), he's alluding, of course, to the ancient Olympic Games. When the New Testament was being written, the Olympics had been around for about 800 years. And though Christians had reservations about the temple and the idols and the altars and the cheating and the violence and the ungodliness associated with the stadium, none of those reservations stopped them from drawing big takeaways from the Games. Learn spiritual lessons, says Paul, from the Olympics -- lessons about persevering, about self-sacrifice, about determination, about getting and staying spiritually fit. This is what sports get right. That's what draws us to the Super Bowl or to the Olympics. It's this passion, this going for the gold. Can we all just take a moment and thank God for bringing into our lives other Christians who have modeled such spiritual passion for us? The Christian life is not a spectator sport. It demands active participation by all of us. Paul's question is, "Dave, do you have that kind of passion for spiritual things? Is God the all-consuming reality of your entire life?"

More about that in subsequent posts. In the meantime, let's not forget the imagery Paul uses here in Phil. 3:12-16 -- the image of an athlete in the stadium, running to win. That's why I'm happy to use athletes as role models when I blog. 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Holy Shoddy

"Holy shoddy is still shoddy." Elton Trueblood, The Idea of a College

Sunday, February 19, 2023

I Love Giving Extra Credit!

Remember when I published this book? 

I don't. But I went back and reread the book and gave it a scathing review on Amazon. Turns out it's actually one of two books I require in Greek 2 (in addition to my beginning grammar), the other being Using New Testament Greek in Ministry. These books, and about 20 other books I've published, will be on full display tomorrow in my Greek class. You see, I give away books to my students. Oh, they are not free. You have to earn them. If you get a perfect score on next week's exam, and if you get all 10 points of the extra credit correct (= translating a simple English sentence into Greek), then you will earn the much-coveted 110 AWARD -- a free copy of one of my books, any book you like! I've been doing this for at least three decades and I love watching students picking out their books. Giving away books is just a little "extrinsic" motivation to help students learn their vocabulary both ways. Of course, to be perfectly honest with you, if I had my druthers, I would do away with written exams completely. Quizzes too. The only criterion for grading would be an individual oral exam with me personally at the end of the semester. I would ask you to read and translate simple Greek prose. You can either do it or you can't. I recall in Basel that we doctoral students had to go through something similar. At the end of a seminar on "Reading Greek and Latin Fathers," Professor Reicke gave me a private oral exam over those two languages. Let me tell you, you couldn't pump sunshine with him. He knew right away whether or not you were ready to proceed to writing your dissertation. 

I'm not saying that quizzes and exams are a waste of time. And I do hope that the ones I give during the semester are fair and accurate assessments of a student's progress. Unlike in Europe, it is an unfortunate fact of life in the American college system that we are bound to written quizzes and exams. This will probably not change any time soon. That being the case, why not at least give extra credit points on each and every quiz and exam you require? 

Surprise, Surprise

Well, I have to admit that I never saw it coming. I'm talking about this "invitation" (= business ploy) to get me to come to the 2023 USA Triathlon Nationals in Milwaukee this summer. 

I'm not sure exactly how I "qualified." I only did three triathlons in 2022. I guess they just figure there aren't that many 70-year old triathletes out there, so why not scrape the bottom of the barrel. So here I am, a guy just trying to keep active (*creak*) in his dotage and they think I'm going to fall for their sales gimmick. 

On the other hand, Milwaukee is a lovely city .... 

Saturday, February 18, 2023

A Visit to the Petersburg Military Park

As you know (if you keep up with stuff I do), one week from tomorrow I will be participating in the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth. Finishers will be given a medal, a blanket, Gatorade, and free counseling for lunacy. You will waddle back to your car. You will sit down and take your shoes off. Your feet will be black and blue --  and blistered. You are done! 

Today, 7 days before the race, I was feeling good enough to get in an easy weight training session. 

Next thing you know it, someone will be telling me that I need to do more stretching. Oh -- problem solved! 

Nureyev, eat your heart out. 

Afterwards I did something very un-me-like. I visited, yes, another Civil War battlefield. I am obsessed with U.S. history, and besides, the day was too beautiful to go back to the farm and nap. Without even trying or thinking about it, I knew I should drive to the Petersburg National Military Park. The visitor's center looks as dull as my elementary school back in Hawaii. 

It's located near Confederate Battery 5 and formed part of the defences around Petersburg for 9 long months. The visitor's center is small but it has some pretty interesting displays, mostly dealing with trench warfare or the use of artillery during and after the siege. 

There's even a canon the Confederates captured at the Battle of Reams Station and then turned on its erstwhile owners. 

Pardon my French, but the defenses of Petersburg were placed under the command of -- the name is unforgettable -- Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard. (I have to chuckle. Beauregard was the name of a famous wrestler in Hawaii who was a colossal braggart -- partly because he always won the rigged matches he was in.) Then there's this sign about the battle of the crater. 

In case you didn't know, the plan was for Union coal miners to dig a long tunnel underneath the Confederate breastworks, stuff it with gunpowder, and then blow a gigantic gap in their defences. Talk about audacity. After spending about 20 minutes in the visitors' center, it was time to begin my driving tour of the battlefield. Here's what's left of Fort Stedman. 

I think I read that 30 such forts dotted the Union siege lines. Then I reached the site of the crater. There weren't any trees or grass back in 1864, just a moon-like landscape. 

The tunnel entrance has been re-created, sandbags and all. 

The tunnel mockup does, I think, a good job of giving you a case of claustrophobia. 

Despite the audacity of the plan, the attack utterly failed. "The saddest affair I witnessed in the war," was the way Grant put it. 

There were other forts to visit, but it was getting late and I had chores to attend to at the farm. As I left the park, I realized I had been on this road before. 

The Petersburg Half Marathon uses it on its 13.1-mile circuit around the city. Of the 40 halfs I've done, one of my favorites was definitely the Petersburg event, partly because it was here that I set my half marathon PR. 

Wouldn't you know it, when I got home the daffodils were in full bloom. 

Every year I look forward to this day. The renewal of life in the spring is reassuring. None of us knows what the rest of 2023 holds. But we do know that getting outdoors and appreciating God's nature is good for the soul. 

So folks, there you have it -- the results of my Wanderlust. On any trip there are a thousand moments that grab you. I always try to travel with an openness to learning new things. One thing that impressed me today was the humanity of the battlefield. As the two armies faced each other like pit bulls along the entrenchments at Petersburg, their soldiers often experienced the most unlikely comradery. Tobacco was exchanged for sugar or coffee. Riflemen on the skirmish lines went out of their way to tell soldiers in their sights to get their heads down. There is just something in human nature that makes people do things like that. I think of how Paul referred to Epaphroditus as his "brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier" in Phil 2:25. Paul and Epaphroditus had not only shared salvation as Christian believers. They shared the work --  and even shared the danger. I think of those men in my own life who've been more than just brothers to me. We labored and struggled together for the faith of the gospel. I'm thankful for every one of you. God is on the march, and we are not to watch it from the sidelines. It is a scandal for a Christian man to let himself be entertained when he should be enlisted. 

Friday, February 17, 2023

Defining "Kingdom" and "Church"

We sometimes have a hard time coming up with a one-sentence definition of important concepts. Take "church," for example. In Ph.D. orals I will sometimes ask the student for a one-sentence definition of this vital New Testament term, and they struggle to do so. Usually they say something like, "The church is a group of believers who have gathered to listen to the Word of God preached and observe the sacraments/ordinances." All well and good. But that's not what the church is at its core. 

Or take the term "kingdom." Jesus announced that the kingdom of God was at hand. The kingdom was central to Jesus' teaching. I wonder, if I asked you to define it, how you would reply. In Romans, Paul uses the term only once: 

The kingdom of God is not food or drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

That's what you and I stepped into when we received Jesus Christ. So if we were asked to define the kingdom of God, we would say that it is the rule of God through his annointed King Jesus in the lives of his subjects. It is a kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. This is what Jesus meant when he said that he came "preaching the kingdom of God."

And what is the church? In one sentence? The church is the living presence of Christ in the world through his followers. This means that the purpose of the church is to make Christ's presence in the world both real and tangible

So there you have it -- two very simple definitions you can use any time:

  • The kingdom is the rule of God through his anointed King Jesus in the lives of his subjects. 
  • The church is the living presence of Christ in the world through his community of followers. 

The next time you read "Jesus Christ" in your New Testament, think: Jesus the King. And when you see "Christ Jesus," think King Jesus. He is the Head of his body, the church, and therefore in ALL things (even our titles) he is to have the preeminence. 

P.S. Tonight's sunset. Glory to the Creator, King Jesus! 

Diet and Exercise

After my Bible time this morning I spent 1.5 hours at the gym with a new(ish) routine. 

It felt good to be doing something different and to be challenging myself in new ways. It may sound crazy, but exercise feeds my soul. There is nothing so pure and simple as training for a marathon. Despite being the lazy beach bum that I am, I've embraced the discipline of regular training. I do feel great after my workouts though I am also hungry as all get out. Today I felt in the mood for Mexican food, and my server was a new hire at the restaurant. She hails from Nicaragua and speaks very little English, which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. We could communicate quite well between Spanish and hands and feet. 

If I haven't said so already, I've been trying to eat clean in 2023 without obsessing about my diet. Although exercise is an important component in weight control, the experts tell us that diet is even more important. There's nothing magical about it. Eat quality foods (like arroz con pollo). 

Eat consciously. Watch what you put into your mouth. Consider food as fuel. Lastly, hydration is the key to flushing out out your organs and moving nutrients to your cells. Aim to drink at least 60 ounces of water every day. Cut out (or back on) sodas and fruit juices if you can. 

How is your exercising coming along?

How is your diet -- good, bad, or so-so? 

Thursday, February 16, 2023

You May Not Know This

My my. Isn't this an interesting chart? I found it over at the Cowtown Marathon website on their expo page. Fascinating, no? 

Notice how women outnumber the men. Nothing too surprising there. The percentage of female marathon runners in the U.S. has increased over 20 percent since 1986. In Iceland, 59% percent of runners (of any distance) are women. The U.S. is close behind at 58%. Contrast that to nations like Switzerland (16%), Korea (21%), and Japan (17%). 

In the past two decades, completion times have also gone up for both men and women. The average marathon finish time for women is 4 hours and 51 minutes. The average for men is 4 hours and 21 minutes. At the same time, marathoners have never been older. 

He's merely 100. 

Baby Boomers (like moi) are going to the gym, doing yoga, cycling, and running. 80 percent of marathoners have a college education. 75% report a household income of more than $75,000 a year. 75% are married. As it's grown in popularity, marathons have become increasingly commercialized. Again, no surprises there. Today there are marathons for everyone, including the bucket-list types. As more and more of us embrace the healthy benefits of running, marathon sponsors are sure to see their coffers get fuller and fuller. I have no problem with that. It's good old capitalism at work. 

If you want to see in-shape people, go to a marathon expo. Ostensibly we're there to pick up our race bibs. But I always end up buying something, even if it's only the official marathon sweatshirt. Think of an expo as one big gift shop, and you'll understand exactly what I'm saying. 

Pre-Marathon Worries

Lord willing, one week from today I leave for Texas and the marathon. Yes, I am beginning to get excited -- and a bit nervous. If you're among the 250,000 U.S. runners who will finish a marathon this year, that places you among one-tenth of one percent of the nation's population. Will your training pay off? That's the question. And you never know what will happen until the race starts. You can play a pickup basketball game without practicing. You can play in a church softball league without taking lessons. But you can't fake a marathon. It requires months of training. Marathoning is the purest of sports. You're not competing for points against an opponent like in football. You're competing against yourself. The race doesn't even start on race day. It started months earlier when you signed up for the event. Whether I finish next week's race or not is already determined by what I've done (or left undone) in training the past many weeks. It's too late to change anything. If all goes well, the marathon will be like a graduation exercise. It will be a celebration of the training that made this day possible. You took on the beast and fought the good fight. 

My last week of training will be limited to short and easy runs. Get another massage. Get active rest. Pray. Then leave the results with God. 

Cowtown Marathon course map.

No Ego Lifting

Here are a few pics of some of the exercises I did today. A simple life hack: It doesn't matter to anyone but you how heavy (or light) you lift in the gym. 

Or how many pull ups you can do. 

Or how many leg extension reps you can complete. 

Follow the right strength program that meets your needs. Fitness gets a lot easier when you listen to your own body and not someone else's.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Chesterton on Education

"My own political philosophy is very plain and humble. I can trust the uneducated, but not the badly educated."

Mark 16:9-20 -- Scripture or Not?

It's amazing, really. While driving to the gym this morning, I actually listened to a sermon on the last twelve verses of Mark. The caveat? Before he started, the speaker make it clear that "these verses are not Scripture." For the life me, I don't know why anyone would preach on a text that isn't Scripture. I think it's fair to say that the speaker had a shallow grasp of the facts. He said that the best Greek manuscripts do not contain Mark 16:9-20. The truth is that only 3 Greek manuscripts (and only 2 of these are "early") end Mark 16 at verse 8. Over 1,600 Greek manuscripts (that's 99.9%) support the long ending of Mark. He then went on to say that the contents of Mark 16:9-20 differ dramatically from the rest of the Gospel -- an assertion that's been falsified over and over again by numerous scholars. 

Anyway, if, in your mind, a passage in the Bible is not Scripture, then don't preach it. It's as simple as that. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Witness to History

I don't know what I'm supposed to do with this book. 

It came by FedEx today. For crying out loud, I haven't even finished my book on Lee's retreat and surrender. In case you don't know, Hugh Aynesworth was a reporter for the Dallas Morning News on Nov. 22, 1963. He is the only person to have witnessed the assassination of Kennedy, the arrest of Oswald, and the shooting of Oswald by Jack Ruby. Should make for an interesting read. 

BTW: Hoping to visit the Sixth Floor Museum when I'm in Dallas. 

When Heaven Touches Earth

It's been a terrific Tuesday so far. My Bible time was in the Great Commission of Matt. 28:16-20. Here's an outline based on the word for "all" in the passage. Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful text! 

I also want to thank the Lord for giving me such a great workout at the gym today.

There's only 12 days to go until the marathon. Soon I will be racing again! Totally exhilarating! 

Yep, it's always good to have goals in your life and to train hard to achieve them. 

After today's workout I discovered that a restaurant in town that had recently closed has actually reopened in a different location. They serve the most scrumptious cheeseburgers this side of heaven. Suffice it to say, I indulged. 

Let's see, what else? Oh, a huge shout out to Miss Lucy, who became a mama for the first time yesterday. 

The Lord gave her 8 little Valentines! 

Lucy belongs to my son and daughter who love Shelties every bit as much as I do. 

But back to exercising. My goal is to arrive in Fort Worth fresh, fit, and healthy. It doesn't seem to matter how successful we have been at other things or how much we've achieved in another arena. If we don't have new goals and new challenges, life becomes boring and stale. I am not a very good runner, but I am a runner nonetheless. I am learning to face the challenges of growing older in the same way that I face the challenges of running. In life, as in sports, there will be good patches and bad patches, but neither seem to last forever. What a wonderful thought that here, in the winter of my life, the joy that I felt when I first entered the classroom is back through the experience of racing. I feel so blessed to have a family that has been unquestioningly supportive of all my running adventures. They have never questioned or discouraged any of my running aspirations. I couldn't imagine having any other family! I'm also thankful to God for the opportunities he places before me. I'm thankful for the body he has given me. I'm thankful that he allows me to still feel the earth beneath my feet, to breath fresh air, and to experience the beauty of his creation. 

These are the moments when heaven truly touches earth.