Can you drink from this cup? Phil. 2:14

How many of us could drink coffee from a mug with this verse decorating its surface without feeling a pang of guilt?

Do everything without complaining and arguing,   Philippians 2:14 NLT

The world is watching.  So are fellow Believers in Christ.  When we complain we expose our faults to onlookers.

so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Philippians 2:15

Choose to be a beacon of light.

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Couch to 5k: on indefinite hold

Here is a quick update on my couch to 5k experience.  As of now I am staying away from all forms of exercise until I get and understanding of my cardio system.  I say this because a continuously elevated blood pressure and lightheadedness landed me in the ER.  When you are 60 you can’t fool around by trying to dodge symptoms.  I am hoping that some test will reveal the source of the problem and that it is treatable.  Until then…?

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Couch to 5k: Week 4 summary

For starters I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful it feels to walk anywhere and everywhere with a normal gait.  The tightness in my legs has abated.  Hallelujah!!

During my brief sabbatical I purchased a pair of Asics gel running shoes.  Unfortunately, there was virtually no arch support in them.  My wife will tell you I’ve been known to watch an infomercial or two on the TV when I’m bored. Being bored, I managed to find one for a pair of Copper Fit balance insoles designed by an orthopedic doctor.  A couple of clicks later on the computer and they were headed my way.  I found them to be a nice compliment to my Asics.

Down to more serious business.  Summers here in western NY are known more for their humidity than their heat.  This past week we had a 6 day stretch of temps in the mid 90s.  I walked four of those miserable days;  Day 1 (4 laps); Day 2 (5 laps); Day 3 (6 laps); Day 4 (8 laps).  The last day I pushed myself on the second and third lap to test my legs.  My best lap walking was 3:48 (minutes:seconds). I still have a long ways to go before I’m running like the wind.

jogging-2343558_960_720Perhaps the best news involved no more setbacks.

Guarding your thoughts: Philippians 4:6-7

After an exhausting day at work, I peeled off my sweaty clothes and tossed them on a pile of laundry.  But before I could take up residence on the couch, there were a few household items I needed to take care of.  Feeding “big boy” (our parrot fish) and walking Jake and Brody (our two dachshunds) topped the list.

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After finishing a relaxing walk with my pups, I grabbed the stack of dirty clothes and tossed it in the washing machine. A couple hours later I transferred the load to the dryer.

I grabbed a fresh towel and a wash cloth from the dryer the next morning as I prepared to start my day.  While taking several gulps of coffee, I noticed wads of paper scattered across the floor.  I recognized the fragments immediately.  They were “scraps,” thoughts I collected for chapter 8 of my upcoming book, which interestingly enough dealt with the issue of distraction.

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Accusing thoughts surfaced–Brody!  It’s a proven fact he loves to shred anything made of paper.  But how did he get ahold of my precious thoughts?  Yet, he didn’t look guilty as he rested quietly head in paws.  I didn’t know what to think.

Moments later, I visited the dryer again.  This time rummaging for a pair of socks. More wads of paper appeared among the clothes.  As it turns out, this was my doing!

If I had taken the time to capture these thoughts in my manuscript instead of carrying them around for weeks in my shirt pocket, this calamity could have been averted.  In my moment of anxiousness I was reminded of this verse of scripture:

“In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7 ASV

You may be wondering what losing scraps of paper has to do with this passage of scripture.  I had the same thought and considered putting this story on ice.  I decided to ponder the matter for further and pray about it.  A thought came to me this morning.  The source of most of my scraps used in this blog find their origin in bathing myself in the peace God provides.

I have to chuckle.  From now on, whenever I see, “guarding your thoughts,” (as in folded scraps of paper in my pocket) it will remind me of my washed and dried scraps of paper.

Couch to 5k week 4: Reentering the fray

Over the past several days the pain and stiffness in my leg  decreased dramatically.  I continued to do stretching exercises to loosen any tightness in my legs and stayed away from the track.  Saturday morning I got out of bed without having to gimp around the house.

Encouraged, I earmarked Sunday as the first day of my comeback.  It was time to reenter the fray.  (Yes, I could hear the theme song from the movie, Rocky playing in my head as I walk over to the college and stepped onto the rubberized surface of the 400 meter track.  My Rocky fantasy lasted for about one lap before I reminded myself to take it easy!

So, with some soothing contemporary Christian music playing on my iphone, I walked a total of 4 laps.  To my delight, I felt no tightness.  In fact, my legs were begging me to pick up the pace the whole time.

The following morning I was relieved to be able to walk around the house with a normal gait.  I intend to add a lap of walking each day until I reach 8 laps.  Then I will work on improving my time.  Stay tuned for more updates!

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Philippians 2:3 served with coffee

When I am with people who share my views, am I striving to advance my own ambitions, or can I set aside rivalry and conceit and put the the interests of others ahead of my own?

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,”  Philippians 2:3

Strive to humbly be of service to others.

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Couch to 5k: Standby

Well, prudence compelled me to make another trip to the chiropractor.  Since I could not shake the stiffness and pain in my left leg, I wanted to get his take on my situation.  Attempting to train with what he called a tissue injury turned out not to be a good thing.  Sore muscles can be worked but sore tissue needs rest.  So I am spending the next several days on the sidelines.

In the meantime my dogs, Brody and Jake, will miss going for a walk.

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