Faith dominos

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I heard a sermon over the summer about faith dominos.  The speaker described these as people or situations in someone’s life that led them over the course of time to encounter God.  She went on to say God uses the elements of the world he created with perfect timing, falling one against the other like a string of dominos.  Each domino moves a person closer and closer to their encounter with God.  We were challenged to be a single domino in the string of many in the life of someone who may be struggling.

“A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” 1 Corinthians 12:7 NLT

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Couch to 5k: hitting the trail

forest-2248607_960_720Less than two weeks of training remain.  As it turns out the 5k fun run I’m participating in takes place on a cross-country course.  I downloaded a map of the course and printed out a copy.  Thursday afternoon I decided to hit the trail.  Unfortunately I neglected to bring the map with me and wandered off course as I tried to visualize the route from memory.  On the positive side, it is a good gravel trail.  However, much of the race is run in the woods on crisscrossing trails.  Despite my inability to navigate the course, I was able to jog continuously for 20 minutes, which near as I can tell is about 2k.  Part of that time amounted to retracing my steps so I could live to tell about it!

Saturday morning I returned to the 400 meter track for another training session.  I jogged four laps (4:15 pace) and took a quick water break.  It was getting hot quickly.  Immediately, I resumed jogging for another five laps (sub 4:00 pace) and took another water break, this time walking a full lap.  Since I still felt good, I decided to jog another two laps (3:30 pace).

It became apparent that if I hold my pace to about four minutes a lap I can run for an extended period of time.  Jogging at this pace has done wonders for my confidence.  I’m trying to put out of my mind the 5:45 laps (per mile) I ran in college.  Oh well.

My weight loss over the past two weeks plateaued so I decided to shake up my diet by switching to eating chicken and a salad for supper for several days.  Sure enough I began losing weight again.  After my Saturday workout I touched 199.8 pounds on the scales.  It didn’t matter that I was partially dehydrated and would gain back some of it later.  It’s a milestone accomplishment and a great feeling to be able to say I’ve lost 25 pounds!

 

Couch to 5k: pace yourself!

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I had an epiphany after my last couple of workouts.  Walking and jogging every other lap was not going to get the job done.  I wondered what would happen if I slowed down my jogging pace.  Would I be able to jog for a longer period of time?  I headed back to the track after taking four rest days excited to try an experiment.

Since I walked to the track from home, I started jogging the moment my toes touched the rubberized surface.  Several times during the first lap I forced myself to slow down my pace, almost to the point of what seemed like I was jogging in place.  I still managed a 4-minute lap.  Amazingly, I was not tired or winded when I finished the first lap.  One lap turned into two, two to three and I kept jogging.  All told I finished six laps without breaking into a walk.

I walked the seventh lap very slowly then jogged the remaining five laps of my workout.  My pace this time was slower from fatigue and complaining thighs but my mood was upbeat, as if I had discovered some secret potion for success.

Three days later I jogged about twenty on the fun run course.  Near as I can tell it was close to two kilometers.  It seems I am headed in the right direction.

The Knowledge of the Holy: part 2

IMG_0057In the second chapter of his book, Tozer poses the question, “What is God like?”

“When the Scripture states that man was made in the image of God, we dare not add to that statement an idea from our own head and make it mean in the exact image.  To do so is to make man a replica of God, and that is to lose the unicity of God and end with no God at all.”

Tozer goes on to say:

“Left to ourselves we tend immediately to reduce God to manageable terms.  We want to get Him where we can use Him, or at least know where He is when we need him.  We want a God we can in some measure control.  We need a feeling of security that comes from knowing what God is like…”

Tozer adds that the answer to the question, what God is like, can be answered in the person of His son, Jesus Christ.

“In Christ and by Christ, God effects complete self-disclosure, although He shows Himself not to reason but to faith and love.  Faith is an organ of knowledge, and love an organ of experience.  God came to us in the incarnation; in atonement He reconciled us to Himself, and by faith and love we enter and lay hold on Him.”

We can only begin to understand what God is like if we study what Tozer regards as God’s attributes, which he addresses in the rest of the book.  A divine attribute he says, “is something true about God.”

“A man is the sum of his parts and his character the sum of the traits that compose it.  These traits very from man to man…The doctrine of the divine unity means not only that there is but one God, it means also that God is simple, uncomplex, one with Himself.  The harmony of His being is the result not of a perfect balance of parts but the absence of parts.  Between His attributes no contradiction can exist.”

When we look at God’s attribute of love, using the above above quotation, it is not something He has, love is who he is.  Tozer goes on to discuss many other attributes such as the Trinity, His self existence, eternity, infinitude, omniscience, sovereignty and many more.

It is a great book, which I highly recommend reading.  For those of us with a casual view of God it will shake up our perception of Him.  As you progress through the book, you will be acquainted with the depths of God’s love and the height of His holiness.

Check out this song by Addison Road, “What do I know of holy”.  It certainly captures a desire to know what is God like.

 

Couch to 5k: Time is running out!

athletics-2480965_960_720Labor day weekend has come and gone.  That means I’m inside the thirty day window for my goal to participate in a 5k fun run. It is scheduled for September 29th.  Forgive me if I’m not jumping up and down with excitement.  I’m clearly not ready to participate with all the setbacks I’ve experienced this summer.  Sounds like I’m making excuses doesn’t it!  To make matters worse, in a moment of weakness, I registered for the event!  What to do?

Last Saturday’s workout showed promise.  I raised my workout to eleven laps on a 400 meter track.  Of those eleven laps, I jogged five of them.  I pushed my Labor Day workout to the full five kilometer distance (thirteen laps).  Of those 13 laps, I jogged 6 of them.  So far my ligaments and knees have not complained about the prolonged jogging.

My good friend Hastey, who as your remember challenged me to participate in the fun run, informed me that the course we will be running (let me rephrase that, walking/jogging) is available for viewing online.  Since the fun run is being held across the street from my house, next week I plan to scout out the course.

On the bright side, I have continued to lose weight (24 lbs), which has been my motivation for getting myself into this mess in the first place.

A visit from a stranger

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This is not my dog, Lucky, but it looks remarkably like him!

Another quote from my upcoming book:

” Without warning a loud noise erupted in the kitchen. The door leading to the garage burst open and slammed against another door immediately behind it. A troubling scratching sound followed, made by claws searching for grip on a ceramic tile floor. A low growl grew in intensity. Thunderous blows, like the beating of drums filled the air as youthful feet stuck the floor with the force of an adult twice their size.”

The Knowledge of the Holy: part 1

IMG_0057I look forward to summer for a variety of reasons.  A favorite reason, I get a chance to catch up on my reading.  This summer a neighbor lent me the book, “The Knowledge of the Holy,” by A. W. Tozer.  Its an older book whose content is timeless.

One of the first things I noticed about the writing of A. W. Tozer is how large his  vocabulary is.  That being said he says he writes for the common man.  The material is very rich in both ideas and content.  I found myself rereading each chapter to absorb the full meaning of what is being said.  That shouldn’t discourage anyone from reading this book.

The main idea Tozer is trying to convey is Christians have lost their perspective on the holiness of God.

In the opening chapter he defines idolatry:

“Among the sins to which the human heart is prone, hardly any is more hateful to God than idolatry…Idolatry substitutes for the true God one made after its own likeness.”

Just in case we rush to rationalize away idolatry as described in the Bible, believing it doesn’t apply to twentieth century Christians, he writes:

“Let us beware lest we in our pride accept the erroneous notion that idolatry consists only in kneeling before visible objects of adoration, and that civilized peoples are therefore free from it.”

Tozer summarizes idolatry this way.  The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of him.  Idols, then, can be fashioned not only with our hands but in our hearts as well.

The first step down the slippery slope of idolatry occurs when we surrender our high opinion of God.  When we believe God can tolerant sin, that the holy scriptures lack relevance in today’s culture, we rob God of his holiness.

To be continued…