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Being a Christian

Being a Christian… Is not about drinking beer, but about whether or not you are drunk. Is not about dancing, but whether that leads you to regretful behaviors. Is not about smoking, but about…

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Being a Christian

Being a Christian…

Is not about drinking beer, but about whether or not you are drunk.
Is not about dancing, but whether that leads you to regretful behaviors.
Is not about smoking, but about whether you value the body God gave you.
Is not about hunting or fishing on Sunday, but about whether or not you spend time with God’s family on Earth.
Is not about following the rules, but about developing self-discipline.
Is not about quoting chapter and verse, but about knowing God’s story.
Is not about politics, but about knowing right and wrong and doing right anyway.
Is not about divorce, but is about making the marriage you have work.
Is not about the music you listen to, but about whether you also give God the same effort in worship.
Is not about four letter words, but about whether one of those words you use is ‘love’.
Is not about driving over the speed limit, but about respecting the authorities God places over us.
Is not about quibbling over who gets into heaven, but being extremely grateful about how diverse the body of Christ really is.
Is not about whether we sing or play instruments in worship, but it is about lifting up God’s Name in praise.

Just my beliefs folks.

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Well, no actually, you won’t find that information here. I joined LinkedIn about four years ago because of a lost job.  Allegedly, LinkedIn was the supreme way to get noticed and locate …

Source: How to get the right tech job from LinkedIn

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Today is Thanksgiving and I am sitting on the couch at my wife’s parent’s house enjoying being around everyone.  Our kids and grandkids will be here later to enjoy food and family.  Yes, this is a cliché Thanksgiving post.

Not everyone is here though.  There has been loss and there is also separation. So, it is not always as easy as it seems, but then for many, holidays are never as Hallmark-y as they make it out to be.

In our bible class at church we are studying John’s gospel.  He’s that “other” guy in the group.  The one that didn’t write like all the rest.  One of John’s repeated motifs is the “I AM” statements from Jesus.  “I AM the Light that has come into the world,” Jesus says.  “I AM the Bread…”, “I AM the Good Shepherd“, and “I AM the Resurrection and the Life”, are also statements of Jesus.  I suppose these hearken back to when Moses was at the burning bush asking God what His name was so that the Hebrews would know whom it is that Moses is talking to them about.  God’s only answer was, “I AM THAT I AM“.  He needed nothing more.

I think that at this time of year, it is good that we see that same simple statement in ourselves and the kind of spiritual power those small words have.  I am…

I am…thankful.  That is the biggest thing for this year.  It has not been easy for me or my family.  Since losing my former job in 2012, I was finally hired after five months of searching by a nearby hospital.  I am thankful for being able to keep a roof over our heads and food upon the table.  My new situation doesn’t allow for much more than that, but we have still been blessed and cared for every day of this past year.  Regardless of how little we had in our pockets, God provided for us all year.  I am thankful for these blessings because I know that others have even less and are still thankful.

I am…a runner.  Didn’t think I would stick that in here, did you?  No matter what has happened this year in other ways, I am still a runner.  I still get up twice during the week to run before the sun is up, and every Saturday I still go out for my long run.  My only race of the year will be in a week at the Dallas Marathon, where I am running the half.  I was fortunate to register back in the Summer and I am looking forward to the race. Yes, I am still a runner.

I am…a cyclist.  Well, we have to keep it going don’t we?  Cycling  is an expensive sport.  However, it can also be simple.  I managed one organized ride in May, but I have still been riding.  I have friends that have gotten up early on Sundays to ride a few miles and when they aren’t available, I realized I could still get up early and ride for myself.  While I don’t ride as many miles as in past years, I still ride and have made a few good routes around town.

I am…a triathlete.  Well, this one is just on faith.  I stopped swimming about a month ago just because it got very boring.  I did manage to make my distance up to a mile a week for a while this year from mid-Summer until Fall.  However, 1800 yards in a 20 yard pool can get very old.  So, I will just sit out for a while until I just have to go back.

I am…still in ministry.  I thought that when we started over at a new church that I would just be “around”.  That isn’t the plan I see.  There have been opportunities all year for ways that I can serve and I have been glad of the opportunities.

Yep, it’s been quite a good year after all.  And, just think: Christmas is just around the corner and many new adventures await.  Happy running, and happy thanksgiving!


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Tonight it’s Friday evening, but I am ready for Saturday morning. My shorts and socks are laid out. My shoes are at hand. My water bottle is freezing to death in the fridge. The weather is irrelevant, but rain would be nice. I am ready.

Why? There is no race tomorrow. My distance is not special. There is no one waiting to run with, just myself. Why all the prep? Why the ritual? Because it’s Saturday. It’s my long run day.

Saturdays are important to me as a runner. It’s the day to run long. The day to run slow. It’s the day to run and see everything wake up. It reminds me of why I run. It maintains the idea that I am just a little insane.

Not every runner runs long on Saturdays. Some run long on other days and at other times. Long is relevant only to each individual runner. Our distance may even change over time and season.

I run long on Saturdays not to race others. I only have three people that I have to do my best to beat, me, myself, and I. Tomorrow is Saturday again and those three will be running. I better be also. Happy Running.

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I hadn’t done any serious cycling since last Summer.  Though I had gotten out on the bike a few times this Spring, it’s been difficult trying to find time and place to do everything.  I was concerned whether or not I was ready to ride 60 miles at the Head for the Hills rally this past weekend. But, I was anxious to get out on a really long ride.

This ride is in Cedar Hill, TX; very near where I live.  I think this was my fifth year to ride it, but I’m not sure. It has always been a fun ride that is not too challenging.  I even got lost year before last and ended up in Mansfield, TX and had to make my way down a major highway just to get back to Midlothian.

I checked the weather the night before because wind can be a major factor on this ride.  My Weather Channel app said that the wind would be out of the north-northeast at 10 to 15 mph.  That didn’t sound bad.  However, the weather man ( or my weather app) lied about the wind speed.

I actually ran into a couple of folks I knew and lined up with them for the start.  They were talking about riding together, but when the start happened, there was too much waiting, so I took off.  Times a wastin’, ya’ll.

The whole first 35 miles or so was not only good, it was scary great.  We were moving fast.  I knew we had the wind at our backs, but it was only 10-15 mph, right?  We must just be moving well.  NOT.  The wind was at least 20 mph, and probably gusting higher. On some descents, it made it white-nuckle scary.

The back roads around Cedar Hill and northern Ellis County can get pretty narrow.  Many of these are chosen for the Head for the Hills ride and they are chosen well.  The twists and turns make the ride fun.  However, when you are dropping into a tight downhill turn on what is really only a one lane road at about 24 mph, the fun dies back somewhat.  I was fortunate in that I was in a large group of riders and could depend on them hollering back if any cars were coming.

I ran across one lady rider that was down just after a curve.  She had a lot of help around her, but I still thought it appropriate to ask if she was alright as she was being helped to the side. “Nope, not really.  Everything’s not quite alright,” was her answer as I peddled away.  I saw another guy go down in front of me.  I still don’t know what happened to him.  He was about 100 yards in front of me with his partner when he just flipped out and went down; on a straight road.  He was OK too, so I rode on.

When we made the turn back to the north, all the fun stopped.  Facing a 20 mph wind on a bike is a chore.  But, I’ve done it before and the ride still had to be finished, so I dropped the gears and the speed and just kept it up.  We made it up to the 40 mile rest stop fairly soon after the turn.  I decided it was time for a good rest before tackling the wind and the hills back to Cedar Hill.  This is a good rest stop because it is at a glider airport.  This time I got to see a glider get pulled up into the air.  It was a good day for gliding.  Lots of wind.

The last 20 miles or so were uneventful.  Just slow gutting it out against the wind.  Did I mention it’s all uphill back to Cedar Hill?  But, near the finish of the ride, things picked up. One guy near the finish that said he was going to draft off of me for a while.  I thought that was funny.  I’m not usually fast enough to draft from.  I also got a crack out of the two ladies that had just decided to stop at the Dairy Queen at the highway and have some ice cream before finishing.  Then there was the group of guys that turned back into the ride about a quarter mile from the race.  They had stopped to have lunch at Babe’s Fried Chicken before they finished.

I finished up in 5 hours even.  Certainly decent and typical for me at 60 miles.  However, we took off at 8AM and I was at 20 miles at 9:12 and 40 miles at 10:40, so you can get an idea of how much the wind slowed me down.  Five hours put me back in exactly at 1 PM.  You can see that it took from 10:40 to 1 PM just to get the last 25 or so miles done. Whew!

Cedar Hill is always a good ride.  I’ve hardly ever had any rain beyond just a few sprinkles.  It is often windy in one way or another.  A north wind in May is unusual and its a little better on this ride to have a south wind.  In addition, this ride helps a lot of folks in their area with the proceeds.  I’d recommend this one to anyone in the DFW area, especially because it’s close to us.  Most rides are much further out.

I’m probably going to be writing less for a while.  I’ve got several things I would like to work on besides just this blog.  I’d like to get a tech blog going and see how that works.  I’ve lost some of the motivation I used to have for writing, but thankfully, people keep actually reading what I write.  That always helps me remember that there is a good reason for what I’m doing.

I think I’ve finally gotten together a workout plan that works for my new schedule.  I run on Monday and Thursday mornings before work.  I spin on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to take off a little of the pressure from running.  I am doing my long runs on Saturday mornings (unless I have a ride).  That has helped in getting the longer miles in without getting up at 4 AM.  Now, I ride on Sunday afternoons when I can by taking the bike to Campion Trail.  I’d rather ride out myself, but the traffic just doesn’t work well.  I round this off with one or two evening swims, if I can.  That schedule should keep me fit and ready for whatever I want to do.

That should be enough for now.  My next ride is the Tour de Pepper in Dublin, TX in early June.  I’ll probably write again after that ride.  Happy running and cycling!

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Yes, I know.  I haven’t written a post in a couple of weeks.  It’s been a little hectic around here.  So, I’ll make up for it today.

I have a job, finally.  After a little more than four months of searching, I got a call this week.  However, even that turned out to be a little weird.

Back at the end of November, I interviewed at a nearby hospital.  Most of my experience is doing facility work (electrical, air conditioning, mechanical, etc) in hospitals.  After really striking out looking for IT work, I turned to my old faithful.  However, even that proved to be slightly difficult.  Yet, this job that I applied for seemed to be a bright spot.

It didn’t take them long to call me after I applied on-line and set up an interview.  I went out and met the engineering manager and his foreman.  We talked for a good while.  I say “we” talked.  They did most of the talking.  I just responded when needed.  They seemed fairly impressed with my experience and the three of us got along well.  They were looking for someone to handle the HVAC systems (heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning) for the hospital as well as the refrigeration needs.  No problem.  That’s right up my alley.

My little area of the crew would consist of myself and another technician.  They were interested in someone that could help mentor and train the other tech as he was fairly new to the trade.  There is also a tech that takes care of the preventive maintenance.  It’s a small-er hospital so there is a good deal of cross over in trades and work.  I kind of liked the environment and walked around with the other tech and got to know him.  It sounded like a very good fit.

The only drawback to the job was that it was at a much lower pay rate than I have had.  But, I was willing to work there and see how things went.  I waited for them to make a decision and even called back a few times.  The manager said on my last call that he thought I was number two for the job, but he wasn’t sure if the other guy would take the job.  Since I heard nothing more, I blew it off and kept looking.

Near the end of December, I applied at an electrical contractor I knew of and another local hospital.  The other hospital job sounded promising and would have been a better paying job.  I was hopeful, but wasn’t hearing back.  I received a call from the electrical contractor last week to come in and start orientation.  With no other prospects, I decided to start.  I went in and did the paperwork, safety training, and my physical.  I would be assigned to a project manager the next day.  When I got home, I put all my tools together that I was going to need and starting getting ready to go back to construction.  Then the phone called.

The lady on the phone was from the first hospital I applied for, the one with the HVAC job.  She wanted to offer me the job and it was a little better pay than the contractor.  I said yes and called the contractor back that I wouldn’t be able to work for them.  There is nothing wrong with electrical construction, but when you haven’t done it for about 30 years, it’s not the best idea.  I was glad to be called by a hospital.  I hoped the other hospital would call back, but I checked their on-line employment thingy today and the other guy had been selected.

I believe that’s just how God has answered my prayers.  I needed a job and wanted to be where He needed me.  Though I don’t know what or how that is supposed to turn out, I know now I am going to work where He has ordained.  It will be hard.  New people and new places.  New things to do.  The finances will be a struggle, but that’s nothing new either.  I know He will provide what I need.

My racing and rides for this year might be off.  There doesn’t seem to be a way those are going to happen just yet.  However, I’ll still be out most days doing my runs and riding as many Saturdays as possible.  I’ve become too accustomed and too obsessed with those two things to just give them up.  During this past four months, they’ve been very important to have as part of my regimen of keeping things as “normal” as possible.  So, your just going to have to put up with me coming up with other things to write about for running and cycling.

I’ll keep you posted on how the new job is going  and how I’m fitting my riding and running into all that.  I’m already thinking of how can I work out a route to the hospital.  It’s further away, but it’s still possible.  Thank you all for your thoughts and concerns while this period of my life had to happen.  I sure hope that it doesn’t have to happen to any one though I know it happens every day.  It’s a new year and there are new things to do.  Happy running and cycling, ya’ll!

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