Monday, January 31, 2011

High School Ski Trip

I just like this picture. 

This is Ben.  He is a freshman in our high school ministry.  I snapped this picture just before we hit the slopes this weekend at Hidden Valley Ski Resort

It was a great trip for a variety of reasons.  The first and primary reason was the relationships.  There were 21 high school students and 5 adults that hit the road for a two night (1 full day of skiing trip) to PA.  Many of the students (almost half) were totally unknown to me before we hit the road.  But after a full day of skiing, riding lifts, hitting the terrain park and playing together, I had some new friends. 

I think, from time to time, trips like this are overlooked by those in the church outside of youth ministry.  From the outside, it looked like a fun trip to play in the snow (read: vacation weekend).  But from the youth ministry side, some invaluable relationships were built along with some serious credibility.  (Students look at you differently when you hit the half pipe right behind them and spend the day just riding lifts, talking about life and hanging out. Seriously... I did hit the half pipe... multiple times! Shaun White I'm not... but I can handle the half pipe!)  There is a connection that's established there that can't be established any other way. 

So... from that side... it was an invaluable weekend. 

Beside that, there were several other elements that made the weekend remarkable:
  • We stayed overnight in a fabulous lodge! 
  • The slopes were awesome!!!! Especially the 35-40 minutes that we were on the slopes before they officially opened... but the lifts were running so they let us on.
  • The snow was amazing.  The slopes were perfect... especially in the morning hours before the crowds arrived.
  • The temps were perfect!
  • It wasn't too crowded... always good.
  • We had to take one student to the hospital (poor Julie).  The ski patrol thought she might have a concussion after a spill.  After a couple of CAT scans and X-rays, she didn't.  (I got 3 1/2 hours on the slopes after getting back!)
  • My adult leaders were awesome! (thanks Andy, Megan, Scott and Erin (especially Erin... who went last minute!!))
  • The vans didn't break down (always a plus).
  • The company that we worked with in setting up the reservations (CTI Group Adventures) was top-notch and took care of us well!
It was a great weekend of relationship building, hanging out and youth ministry.  I'm already looking forward to scheduling another for next year.

And just in case you wanted to see a few videos of students crashing on the terrain park or landing big jumps, check out these videos (crashing, Brock landing, Brock jumping over Braxton). 


Daily Read January 31, 2011

Exodus 3:1-5 (New International Version, ©2011)

  1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”  4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
   And Moses said, “Here I am.”
 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”

Friday, January 28, 2011

Daily Read January 28, 2011

Exodus 2:23-25 (New International Version, ©2010)

 23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

Challenger Disaster Live on CNN

I remember watching THIS live... like every other school kid. I believe I was in 3rd grade.

Watch it HERE.


Chris Medina - Break Even : American Idol 10 Auditions !

I don't watch American Idol... but my parents do. The other night I came in and just happened to be hanging out with them while American Idol was on. And I caught THIS. Amazing story that honestly, I can say stirred my heart a bit. Well worth the watch and if this guy makes Idol, I might have to start watching.

Check it out HERE.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Daily Read January 27, 2011

Genesis 50:19-21 (New International Version, ©2010)

 19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beware of where you get your directions...

Thanks Gizmodo for the picture...
There is a sermon illustration here I think. 

"An elderly British couple is recovering today after a faulty GPS system led them to crash into a 19th-century German church, causing $37,00 worth of damage. The couple, who cannot be named under German data protection laws, were traveling Friday from Austria to France guided by their GPS system. The 76-year-old husband, who was driving, followed instructions to "turn right" but ended up hitting the chapel near Freundpolz, Bavaria."

But I read THIS today and it cracked me up.  Partially because many people get their information from unreliable sources and rather than question it, they take it without consideration.  A lot of folks in our world live this way... they watch the news or read the paper and accept it without a thought... they listen to their friends share about something they heard... they read it on the Internet...  someone emails it to them in a forward (gosh, I hate those...)... or something of the sort. 

Where do we as Christians find direction? 
God's Word (of course...)

Have you had some time in His Word today??


Daily Read January 25, 2011

Thinking about these verses today...

Joshua 10:1-15 (New International Version, ©2010)

1 Now Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai and totally destroyed it, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and that the people of Gibeon had made a treaty of peace with Israel and had become their allies. 2 He and his people were very much alarmed at this, because Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters. 3 So Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem appealed to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish and Debir king of Eglon. 4 “Come up and help me attack Gibeon,” he said, “because it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.”  5 Then the five kings of the Amorites—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon—joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it.
 6 The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us.”
 7 So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. 8 The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”
 9 After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. 10 The LORD threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.
 12 On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:
   “Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
   and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still,
   and the moon stopped,
   till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,
   as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
   The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a human being. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!
 15 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Do nothing...

THIS was actually a little harder than I thought it would be.  Check it out HERE!  What does this say about our culture that we would find it difficult to sit and do nothing for two minutes??? And that it was a little tough???

I actually succeeded the first time... But had to fail to get a screen shot...


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Daily Read January 16, 2011

Job 19:25-26 (New International Version, ©2010)

25 I know that my redeemer lives,
   and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
   yet in my flesh I will see God

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Daily Read January 15, 2011

Genesis 22:1-3 (New International Version, ©2010)

1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”    “Here I am,” he replied.
 2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”
 3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Daily Read January 12, 2011

Genesis 15:1 (New International Version, ©2010)

 1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
   “Do not be afraid, Abram.
   I am your shield,
   your very great reward.”

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cracks me up... much people freak out about a little snow...

A little snow never hurt anyone.  Now, it is slowing down my running which I'm not liking...

(picked up the image HERE)

Friday, January 07, 2011

Friday Fun - JULIAN SMITH - Pre-Blessed Food

This cracked me up...

Enjoy a little Friday fun!

Check it out HERE

Daily Read January 7, 2011

Genesis 4:6-7 (New International Version, ©2010)

 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Bible reading plan for the new year!

One of my resolutions every year is to read through God's Word in a year.  There is nothing magical about reading through in a year... there is certainly nothing Scripturally mandated about doing it... I just plan to do it every year. 

The past couple of years, I've been using YouVersion (both online and the iPhone/iPod app) to complete this goal.

Last year, I read through Chronologically (meaning the historical timeline of when books were written).  This year, I wasn't sure what to do... but I finally settled on YouVersion's OWN plan.  OWN stands for Old Testament, Wisdom, New testament.

Here is what YouVersion says about this plan:
"The plan takes you through the entire Bible in one year, with two readings per day, six days per week. The acronym "OWN" represents one daily reading from the Old Testament, along with one from the Wisdom Books or New Testament. Each day's reading is designed to balance both the amount you read as well as provide a section which is easier to understand and apply to your life."

If you aren't doing a regular Bible reading plan, YouVersion has over 50 plans ranging from all year plans to week-long plans, month-long plans or you can always customize your plan to suit your timeframe. 

If you don't have a plan to read God's Word everyday, you need to get one!!! Fast!!! You don't have to read through the Bible in a certain period of time, but you need to be reading God's Word. 

YouVersion makes it easy to jump in!


Monday, January 03, 2011

Free RunKeeper Pro??? Through January...

I like free stuff.

About six months ago, I switched my running applications on my iPhone 3GS from Nike+ (that was punking out on my runs and losing mileage... especially during my 1/2 marathon... unacceptable!!!) to RunKeeper.  And I love it.  I've logged 374 miles so far with RunKeeper!

In helping folks get started with their New Year's Resolutions... and you know I have a couple of them (Check them out HERE)... they are giving away their iPhone (and Droid if you have that phone) apps for FREE!!! (Check it out in the iTunes store HERE!) It's a $9.99 app... for free!!

And it's great!!

They are offering their free download through the month of January.  So get it on it... and tell your friends... (They didn't pay me for my endorsement... but I'd be happy to accept any payments... I just like this app!)

Once you downloaded it, add me to your street team.  HERE'S me on RunKeeper!  Let's run together! 


Saturday, January 01, 2011

2010 Running Recap and 2011 Running Resolutions

So... it's officially 2011.

I'm sitting here with my first cup of coffee in the New Year.  And I'm looking outside at the rain... which is kinda depressing since it was 60 degrees yesterday.  I'm hoping to get my first run of the New Year in today...

But I'm also thinking about the past year running-wise.  I've got a lot to be thankful for.

2010 Recap:
Lots of great things happened running-wise last year in my first full year of running.
  • I ran a total of 575 miles for the year!!!  That's an average of over 1 and a half miles a day, even on days off, over the course of the year.  Pretty good!  (Below is a picture of my running output for 6 months from RunKeeper.)
  • I ran my first 1/2 marathon!!! Akron was awesome. (2 hours 6 minutes 40 seconds)
  • I ran a handful of 5k's... Zaney Reindeer, Fireman's Festival and Susan G. Komen.
  • I set personal records in all of my 5k's... most notably the recent in the Zaney YMCA Reindeer run at a 24 minute 27 seconds.  
  • My wife started running.  (She couldn't resist after I got started!)  The picture above is Jackie and I finishing out the year running!
All in all, it was a good year of running.  I have settled into a little online community of runners in the Runchat group.  We meet online on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at 8 pm on Twitter and chat about running.  It's a fun little community that I get to be a part of.

On the downside, my running didn't end as consistent as I would have liked.  The weather has reeked havoc on my running... we've had some serious coldness here already and rain always keeps me inside.  Additionally, I've been hitting the holiday treats pretty hard.  (Which has not been good for my diet or weight.)

But... 2011 is right around the corner!!!

2011 Running Resolutions:
As the new year is getting started, here's what I'm shooting for this year running-wise:
  • My mileage goal is 750 for the year.  Modest goal considering what is below.  That's a little more than 2 miles a day or 14.4 miles a week!  You can follow me on RunKeeper where I keep track of my running.
  • I'm signed up for the Flying Pig 1/2 Marathon in Cincinnati in May (yesterday actually).  (Yes that is really the name... and no I'm not making it up!) I'm shooting to break the 2 hour mark.  Additionally, Jackie is running with me!!! Should be fun!  I'm going to hit the training a little harder the second time around in hopes of getting a faster time.
  • I'm planning to run my first full marathon (26.2 miles)... the Air Force Marathon at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.  My running "bucket list" includes all the military marathons so I thought I'd go ahead and knock one off early. 
  • Drop 15-20 pounds... get the weight down to about 220.  My weight is hanging right in the 237-245 range... which is not bad.  But I would be much faster if I could just drop another 15-20 pounds.  So, the diet tightening begins today... 
  • Finally... I would like to set new Personal Records in the 5k (sub 24 minutes) and 10k (sub 50 minutes).  On top of a PR in the half, that will give me a fresh set of PR's in the 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathon and full!  
That's where I've been this year.  And that's where I'm heading.  If you're a runner, feel free to join in the conversation.  Post a couple of your goals below.  I love to see what others are shooting for!

Happy Running 2011!

Daily Read January 1, 2011

Revelation 21:5 (New International Version, ©2010)

 5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”