28 May 2009

On the Run


I ran this morning, and I made my first mistake before I even left the house: I decided to leave my cell phone behind. My reasons for doing so were two-fold. Firstly, I liked the idea of getting out of the house, completely unencumbered by any connections with the outside world. Secondly, and more importantly, there was no room for the phone in the pocket of my shorts. OK, I guess that technically there was room, but not much room, and I would rather have the phone left at home for a few minutes than have it bounce out onto the street and be crushed by a Mack truck because of insufficient pocket-space.

Why, you may ask, was it a mistake to leave my cell phone at home? Because, I respond, I have the time sense of an especially slow-witted jungle sloth. Which is to say a very bad time sense indeed. Consequently, I have need of some time-keeping device for my workouts, and my cell phone is the best choice, because I am a chronic loser of watches. (But I need my cell phone, so I manage to find it each time it becomes lost.) Thus, deciding to leave my cell phone at home threw me upon the tender mercies of yet another stunted faculty in my possession: my sense of distance. This, my dear reader(s), was my second mistake.

If possible, my sense of distance is even worse than my time sense. Really, it reminds me of the passage in one of Peter's epistles where he talks about how a day is as a thousand years to the Lord -- to me, a hundred meters is like a 5K, and a 5K is like a hundred meters. It should be no surprise, then, that I got it into my head that a certain main intersection not too far from my house was about a mile off, when actually the distance was a lot more like two miles. I had intended to give myself a fairly easy run (two miles, round-trip) since I haven't been running much lately, but instead, I ended up giving myself a run that was very nearly four miles. I arrived home about 35-40 minutes later (I didn't know exactly because I seemed to have forgotten my cell phone), panting with exhaustion and vague imprecations directed at my belly in specific and the universe in general.

My knees are killing me at the moment -- I'm used to running three miles on a treadmill, not four miles over terrain -- and I'm worn out. So that's the reason for the "Ouch" at the beginning of this post. I can only hope that my pain has brought you some small amusement at my expense. If, perchance, it has, I shall count it well worth the anguish I have borne this morning.

Happy Thursday! :-)

26 May 2009

Yet Another Reason to Love Mrs. Luaphacim

Excerpted from a conversation we had this evening:

Me: ...as you are aware, my love, past performance is not an indicator of future results.

Mrs. L: Yeah, but how else would people decide how to invest in the market? Seriously, you have to rely on past performance.

Me: That's true -- I suppose it's just an elegant fiction created to ensure that investors won't be able to say, "Wait, wait, I totally didn't know this wouldn't make money."

Mrs. L: Which reminds me... I've been seeing a lot of commercials on TV lately where companies are telling people how they've been around for years, and they're still doing things the way they've always done... so we should trust them.

Me: Yeah?

Mrs. L: I don't think I'd trust them - "Come buy from us! We've been around since the 1890's!" I'm not sure it's very profitable to barter goods and services for cows.

Me: *snorting with laughter, I try to prevent the nachos I'm eating from being forcibly ejected through my nose*

23 May 2009

Peter the Great

I'm at a coffee shop right now, and there is a free computer with internet access. On it is someone's project on Peter the Great. I thought you might enjoy learning some more about this most fearsome of Russian czars... enjoy. :-)
Peter the Great was born in 1672 and died in 1725.
Peter was Tsar of Russia from 1682 until 1725 when he died. His self given title was Peter the Great even though he was officially Peter the I.
Peter Centeralised government, Modernised the army, created a navy and increased the sublugation of the peasants.
His domestic policy allowed him to excute an agressive foriegn policy.
Peter the great was massivley powerful, "loud-mouthed, violent,ruthless, and impetus."
Peter always wanted to learn how to learn,and was very actice.
Peter learned to be a carpenter,talked to mathmetisians and learned how best to train soliders, including how to torture people.
Peter formed a small army out of his servants and used them to play war games.
Peter personality has been the cause of much debate and discussion in the 300 years since his death.
Its been said the peter is a very cruel unliked man.

21 May 2009


It has been a really difficult few days. Thanks to all who called, e-mailed, and generally showed sympathy. I feel very blessed to have so many caring friends!

My older sister learned on Tuesday that she lost her baby -- I believe she was about 16 weeks along. It was especially hard for them because she had also lost a baby during her previous pregnancy.

Early Wednesday morning, as my younger brother and I headed back from our hometown, where we had been celebrating another brother's birthday, I wept for what seemed to be a very, very long time.

I mourned for my sister and brother-in-law, two of the nicest people I know, and for their children, who wouldn't have a chance to hold, care for, and get to know their new little brother. I mourned for the fragile life, so quickly snuffed out, and for my own fragile life, which could end just as unexpectedly. I mourned for lost potential, lost affection, lost time. I mourned this world's injustice, its needless pain, and the suffering it brings to the innocent.

Christ says in Matthew 5 that those who mourn are blessed because they will be comforted. But in the middle of the anguish, the doubt, and the hurt, those words are difficult to comprehend, and even more difficult to believe.

I suspect that a good portion of the comfort that is promised in Matthew 5 comes from realizing how much goodness still remains in our world. Wednesday, as I went to work, and played in the park with my nephews, and drove them to the hospital to see their parents, I was overwhelmed by how painless most of my existence is, how blessed I am with material things, and how much love surrounds me.

I know that this experience will remain with my family and me for the rest of our lives. Every time we receive an invitation to a baby shower, every time a baby cries in church, every time a child takes his first steps, we will remember the one who didn't make it. In September, when three of my sisters-in-law have babies, we will be painfully aware that we had been expecting a fourth one to be born in October.

Nonetheless, in the pain of this experience lies an opportunity for comfort. In my mind, it mirrors my spiritual redemption: If I had not realized my sinfulness, become keenly aware of how it was hurting me, and mourned the death and destruction that it brought, there would have been no repentance, no salvation, and no commitment to choose life instead of death, blessing instead of cursing. My mourning of my sin has brought me salvation, and continues to bring me closer to God.

Despite my lack of understanding of the sufferings of the past few days, I do have genuine hope that God will use them to strengthen and encourage my sister and her family. It still doesn't make any sense to me -- my sense of justice cries out that they, of all people, didn't deserve to have this happen. I know that God has control over the universe, but this seems like some kind of cosmic mistake. In the end, though, I still have to believe it will all work out to the good of us who love God and are called according to His purpose.

Death and pain are in the world because of sin, not because God wanted them to be here. And yet, through His divine alchemy, God transforms sorrow into comfort, fear into strength, ashes into beauty. My prayer is that my sister, our family, and I will be able to trust Him more each day, and to seek our strength from Him alone.

20 May 2009


It is a curious thing:
right smack in the middle of my life
something happens
to make my heart
feel it wants to stop
and I don't know whether it will
start again.

Now, for example.

I have a favor to ask of you...

Please pray for me and my family, if you pray.

If not, please do whatever you do that is closest to that.