Friday, September 30, 2005

A New Arrival to the House

Well, she's here. We brought home a 7 week old puppy on the 28th. And let me tell ya, she's a bundle of energy. We were lucky enough to find a cockapoo breeder who lives in Queen Creek. Our new puppy if an all black female cockapoo and her name is Haley. The first night she howled and cried for about an hour before she settled down and went to sleep. But she did much better the second night. Let the puppy training begin. I'll try and post some pics soon.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

5 Years Sober

Well folks, to be quite honest, I am blessed to be able to sit here in this chair in front of my computer and type this entry in my blog this evening. The reason being, it was 5 years ago today that I was almost dead, literally.

Today is the day I celebrate my 5 years of sobriety. I must say that they have been some of the best 5 years of my life. This is all due to a loving Saviour who still heals today. I thank Him more than anyone else for my sobriety. I also thank my lovely wife who stuck with me even when the times were bad. My daughter has also stuck with me. My parents never disowned me.

Another miracle is that I heard from my other daughter in California who will be 21 this October. I posted an entry about this not too long ago and asked people to pray. Well prayer works folks.

I would like to share something from the Twenty Four Hours a Day Meditations book I have that is put out by Hazelden.

A.A. Thought for the Day
"We had but two alternatives; one was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could, and the other was to accept spiritual help. We became willing to maintain a certain simple attitude toward life. What seemed at first a flimsy reed has proved to be the loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been given us, a design for living that really works. All of us establish in our own individual way our personal relationship with God." Have I established my own relationship with God?

Meditation for the Day
Make it a daily practice to review your character. Take your character in relation to your daily life, to your dear ones, your friends, your acquaintances, and your work. Each day try to see where God wants you to change. Plan how best each fault can be eradicated or each mistake be corrected. Never be satisfied with a comparison with those around you. Strive toward a better life as your ultimate goal. God is your helper through weakness to power, through danger to security, through fear and worry to peace and serenity.

Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may make real progress toward a better life. I pray that I may never be satisfied with my present state.

I thank you again Lord for Your mercy and grace and Your healing power. Thank You for making me the person I am today. Amen!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Another Year Older

Well I am officially 44 years old now. Wow! But what can I say? It's just another year, and a blessed one it has been. I am thankful for my lovely wife who is also my best friend. I am thankful for my lovely daughter who is growing into a young woman. I am thankful for my parents who were always there for me. I am thankful for our church, Vineyard Community Church, where we have found a church home and have entered into new friendships. It was hard to leave our old church, but we have been blessed beyond measure where we are now. I am thankful most to my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. For His grace and mercy. Thank You Father for the many blessings you have blessed me with this year. Thank You for always being there, even during the tough times.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Are you wise?

Proverbs 9:7-10

7 Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get a smart retort. Anyone who rebukes the wicked will get hurt. 8 So don't bother rebuking mockers; they will only hate you. But the wise, when rebuked, will love you all the more. 9 Teach the wise, and they will be wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn more.
10 Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in understanding.

How well do you take criticism? Instead of responding with a quick put-down or clever retort, listen to what is being said. Learn from your critics; this is the path to wisdom. Wisdom begins with knowing God. To know God, you must have a personal relationship with Him.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Chevelle rawks The Venue of Scottsdale

What a fantastic show tonight. Patty and I went to the Chevelle concert with Ben & Mandy. We went out to eat at Chipotle then headed to Scottsdale for the show.

None of us had been to the Venue of Scottsdale before. I guess it used to be called The Cajun House. It was kind of an intimate place. It was set up sort of like Bourbon St but you were indoors. Kind of a unique place you caould say. Anyhow, we got there about 10 minutes before the opening band and were down on the floor for this part. The place was pretty packed and they announced that it was a sold out show. The opening band was called The Black Maria and they were from Toronto Canada. They were actually very good. Band was tight, vocals were good. We didn't know any of their songs but I think all of us were pleasantly surprised. They played for about a half hour. Before the second band came on I noticed people heading for the balcony. The floor was packed so we decided to head up there which turned out to be pretty cool. We could see everything from there and you had a great view of the mosh pit.

The second band was Taproot from Ann Arbor MI. I really liked the new stuff from their new CD. Some of the older stuff that I wasn't familiar with was okay, but I didn't know the songs. They were pretty good, but I was here for Chevelle tonight.

Chevelle is a trio of brothers from Chicago IL. Well they replaced one brother. Don't know the whole story but apparently the bass player was tired of the road. So a guy from the band Filter was filling in. Chevelle did not disappoint. They rocked the house. Played all the songs I wanted to hear and then some. I guess if I had to pick a highlight for me it was when they played Comfortable Liar from the Wonder What's Next CD and Emotional Drought from their latest CD This Type of Thinking Could Do Us In.

Well my ears are still ringing and I'm out for the night. Have the day off tomorrow so I get to sleep in while everyone else goes to work. Catch ya'll later.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

A 4 day weekend

I am really kind of liking our new schedule at work. I work many days in a row but get several days off in a row in between. Yesterday I cleaned up the kitchen a bit and went to the gym. Then Patty and I went grocery shopping together and just spent the evening in last night. Shannon went to Zacs and I picked her up at midnight. Today I'm going to run about 4 miles. My official training plan starts in mid October so I am building up my base slowly. Tomorrow night I am REALLY looking forward to. Patty and I, and Ben and Mandy are going to see one of my favorite bands, Chevelle. They are from Chicago and I love their musical style. Kind of melodic but with a hardcore kick to it.

We are finally getting a new puppy. Right now she is only 4 weeks old and is in Queen Creek. She is still being weaned but we should be able to bring her home in early October.

I have a prayer request. Many of you do not know that I have another daughter from a previous marriage. She is 20 years old now and lives in California. Through earlier mistakes in my life and my alcoholism, we have been estranged from each other. I am seeking to establish a relationship with her again but I have to face the fact that she may not want anything to do with me now. My parents have a relationship with her which is good, and they are visiting with her this weekend. I guess my prayer request is that God's will be done in this situation. That He would heal her heart and that He would allow her to forgive me for my past. Father, I leave this in your hands. I pray that Your will be done in this situation. You may not give me the answer I want to hear, or may have me waiting for a reason. But I am okay with that. I will wait on You and serve You know matter what. Thank You for all that You have done for me up to this point in my life. Thank You Father for Your healing power, Your grace, and Your mercy. Amen!

Friday, September 16, 2005

We Reap What We Sow

Galations 6:1-10

1 Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2 Share each other's troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody.
4 Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are responsible for our own conduct.
6 Those who are taught the word of God should help their teachers by paying them.
7 Don't be misled. Remember that you can't ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest at the appropriate time. 10 Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially our Christian brothers and sisters.

We all stumble. It's getting back up that's the hardest. As Christians, we are encouraged to help others get back up when they fall. Not to show that we are better than anyone else, but because we want to show them the love of Christ. We should guide those that don't know Christ into a personal relationship with Him. But we are ESPECIALLY encouraged to help our own brothers and sisters in Christ when they stumble. Folks, we are ALL sinners. The only difference between those that have a personal relationship with Christ and those who don't is that we are saved by His grace and mercy. May we show it to those who do not know HIM.

Blessings to you all and have a great day and weekend!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Running mileage

I keep an online running journal on so that I can keep track of my weekly mileage. It also has tools to use for shoes so you know how many miles you have on each pair. Shoes are important in that when they get worn out your legs can tell. Experts say that running shoes should last 300-500 miles depending on your size. I tend to wear mine out at around 350 miles or so. Anyhow, since Jan 1st I have run 241.3 miles. The month of August I ran 41.98 miles and so far to this date in September I have run 13.8 miles. I took a month off in July just to take a break so I did no running at all then. My mileage for the end of 2005 will show a significant increase due to tha fact that beginning in October I will be starting official training for the Lost Dutchman Marathon in mid February. The peak weekly mileage in the program I will be using is 40 miles and that will occur in late January of 2006.

On another note, PM has a topic going on in his blog that is very interesting. A subject that a lot of christians tend to shy away from. S-E-X! Check it out. This guy is an awesome Youth Pastor at the church I attend and a man I truly respect and admire.

Good day everyone and keep on running!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Judging Others

James 4:11-12 says

11 Don't speak evil against each other, my dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize each other and condemn each other, then you are criticizing and condemning God's law. But you are not a judge who can decide whether the law is right or wrong. Your job is to obey it. 12 God alone, who made the law, can rightly judge among us. He alone has the power to save or destroy. So what right do you have to condemn your neighbor?

Examine your attitude and actions toward others. Do you build people up or tear them down? When you're ready to criticize someone, remember God's law of love and say something good instead.

I am so guilty of this myself. I'll get upset if someone cuts in front of me at the grocery store and goes to the express lane with 13 items instead of the allowable 10. I'll be more upset with the cashier for allowing it than the person with the 13 items. My gut instinct, my flesh is wanting to stop this and say something that really would not be too nice.

Father forgive me where I fail to show love to others. Help me to be more like You. Even when I do not agree with someone's lifestyle, or the way they talk, or the views that they have, Father please let them see You in me.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Listening and Doing

James 1:19
19 My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

When we talk too much and listen too little, we communicate to others that we think our ideas are much more important than theirs. James wisely advises us to reverse this process. Put a mental stopwatch on your conversations, and keep track of how much you listen. When people talk with you, do they feel their viewpoints have value?

I have to admit that I struggle with this. I have been involved in some heated discussions in my office at work regarding the disaster in New Orleans and Mississippi. My office is full of diehard liberal Democrats. I found myself arguing with them over this whole FEMA thing. I did not want to hear their viewpoints, but wanted my own to be heard. I found that if I prayed about it first, and listened to their viewpoints, without interupting them, in other words "listening" to them, they were much more interested in hearing my views. Therefore, there was really no arguing and the heated discussions turned into friendly discussions.

This was a tragedy beyond imagination. All of the finger pointing and blaming going on between the Republicans and Democrats will not solve a thing. Father I pray that Your Holy Spirit will fall on these people that are suffering. That you will touch the hearts of all of the people that are working down in New Orleans and let Your love shine through everyone. We don't know why these things happen but You do.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Activity and Rest

By John Bingham.

It takes a while to learn and to accept that a training program has two components:activity and rest. To be successful, we have to find the balance between activity and rest that is appropriate for us. No book, no chart, no friend or coach can devise a plan that is as well suited to our hopes and dreams as we ourselves can. We may be able to find general guidelines from these other sources, but, in fact, only we can decide what is just right.

During the activity phase, we ask our body to do things it hasn't done, or to do them longer or faster. If we are new to running, the activity phase may be as simple as making ourselves get out the door and move on a regular basis. In the early weeks and months of running, just doing something, anything physical wll make enormous new demands on our bodies.

Later, as our bodies begin to adapt to the new activity level, we want to push past what is comfortable. We want to challenge ourselves. We want to feel the satisfaction that comes in doing more than we ever have. At any stage, this constant search for that which lies just beyond our abilities can be a potentially dangerous mind-set.

Because we take great pride in counting the minutes or hours that we engage in activity or in logging the miles that we cover, we are tempted to focus exclusively on the activity phase. Because we feel so good about the days that we engage in activity, we can easily come to see those days as the only ones that matter.

The result is that we often ignore the need for rest. The rest phase, those days when we don't run, is seen as wasted opportunity. It is torture to take a day off, especially when everything is working well. Missing a day prompts a mental message for some people that they are not as disciplined or committed as they should be.

Part of the problem is that our rest days often are imposed on us by lack of time or the imposition of other responsibilities in our lives. When we miss a day of activity because we can't fit it in, we tend to view the rest phase as unproductive. It's very hard to take pride in having done nothing.

But resting is not doing nothing. Resting is giving the body a chance to recoup, to renew itself, and ultimately to rebuild itself into a body that will move faster or farther. The rest phase is the only time that the body has to bring itself up to your expectations.

The training effect that we all want, the changes in our body's ability to handle the stress of running occurs during the rest phase, not the activity phase. The adaption process takes place while you are resting. The days when you don't run are the days when your body incorporates the new strength for the next run.


"Falling" by Staind

You, in your shell
Are you waiting for someone to rescue you
From yourself?
Don't be disappointed when no one comes

Don't blame me you didn't get it
Don't blame me you didn't get it
Don't blame me you didn't get it

I already told you that falling is easy
It's getting back up that becomes the problem
(becomes the problem)
If you don't believe you can find a way out,
you become the problem (become the problem)

You, all alone,
Are you waiting for someone
to make you whole?
Can't you see?
Aren't you tired of this dysfunctional routine?

Don't blame me you didn't get it
Don't blame me you didn't get it
Don't blame me you didn't get it

I already told you that falling is easy
It's getting back up that becomes the problem
(becomes the problem)
If you don't believe you can find a way out,
You become the problem (become the problem)

I already told you that falling is easy
It's getting back up that becomes the problem
(becomes the problem)
If you don't believe you can find a way out,
You become the problem (become the problem)

Falling is easy
It's getting back up that becomes the problem
(becomes the problem)
And if you believe you can find a way out,
Then you've solved the problem, you've solved
your problem

Sunday, September 04, 2005

It's Been Awhile

As I approach my 5 year anniversary of sobriety this song from the group STAIND comes to mind. To me, it is exactly what an addict goes through in his or her mind. People get sober by different methods. I chose Jesus. He was my healer. He is the reason I am sober today. Oh, and let's not forget running. I think this is a powerful song and I DID edit the dirty words so as not to offend anyone. I thought about leaving them in, but the words I replaced them with mean the same thing really. He could be talking about a girl, or the needle, or the bottle. But to me it is the hell of addiction that comes to mind when I listen to this song.

"It's Been A While"

And it's been awhile
Since I could hold my head up high
And it's been awhile
Since I first saw you
And it's been awhile
Since I could stand on my own two feet again
And it's been awhile
Since I could call you

And everything I can't remember
As messed up as it all may seem
The consequences that I've rendered
I've stretched myself beyond my means

And it's been awhile
Since I can say that I wasn't addicted
And it's been awhile
Since I can say I love myself as well
And it's been awhile
Since I've gone and messed things up just like I always do
And it's been awhile
But all that crap seems to disappear when I'm with you

And everything I can't remember
As messed up as it all may seem
The consequences that I've rendered
I've gone and messed things up again

Why must I feel this way?
Just make this go away
Just one more peaceful day!

And it's been awhile
Since I could look at myself straight
And it's been awhile
Since I said I'm sorry
And it's been awhile
Since I've seen the way the candles light your face
And it's been awhile
But I can still remember just the way you taste

And everything I can't remember
As messed up as it all may seem to be I know it's me
I cannot blame this on my father
He did the best he could for me
And it's been awhile
Since I could hold my head up high
And it's been awhile
Since I said I'm sorry

Young Adults

Today Patty and I attended the Youth service. What an awesome experience it was too. Ben prayed for people that needed prayer and then he asked for two people to come up in front of the group to pray for the people in New Orleans. Darian was called up and so was my daughter Shannon. Shannon prayed first. What a truly awesome moment for me, her dad, to see her and listen to her praying in front of a group of people. Now if you knew Shannon, you would know that one of her number one fears is public speaking. But she did not hesitate or look nervous at all. Father God I pray that you would be with Shannon. Put a hedge of protection around her as she develops into a young woman. Bless her as she seeks you. I pray that she will turn to you when things get tough. I pray that you would strengthen our relationship. I was not the father I should have been when she was younger. I pray that you would bring us closer together.

Darian then prayed for New Orleans. What a great kid. I don't know him all that well yet, but I sensed a strong faith in the Lord in him. A true leader. Father I ask that you continue to bless Darian. I pray that you would develop his leadership qualities so he can lead his peers into a relationship with You. I pray that you will protect him from injury during football season. I pray that you would bless this entire Youth group as they get ready to go on mission trips to serve. I pray for all of the Leaders. Ben, Mandy, Obie, Jen, Susy, Robert, myself and any others I have not mentioned. That you would give us the strength to serve these kids and bring them into a true relationship with You. I thank you for bringing myself and my family to this truly awesome church and restoring us from the hurts we have suffered in the past.

Well I get to work 1 more day (Labor Day) after tonights shift and then I will get 3 wonderful days off. 7 swing shifts in a row have turned me into a sourpuss. G'day to all and many blessings to ya!

Friday, September 02, 2005

The bad of society

What is wrong with people? I just cannot believe that people would take advantage of a bad situation like some have in New Orleans. The looting and what not going on just "because they can" is unbelievable. I can understand those that need food and water and things to survive. But TV sets? Expensive Jewelery?

Then there are those bad mouthing the government. What has occurred in New Orleans and Mississippi is beyond our comprehension. The devastation that has affected these people is itself beyond our comprehension. I mean think about it. New Orleans is basically destroyed. I'm not even sure they will be able to rebuild it all. I am sure the President and our leaders are doing all they can at this moment. Like I said, the devastation is unlike anything our country has ever experienced before.

Father, I pray for all of those affected by this terrible situation. I pray that they will find peace in You. Father God, I do not know why this had to happen, but I do know that You are in control. I pray that you would comfort those that have suffered losing everything they have. I pray that those that are trying to get into the areas that are unreachable at this time. That you would protect them and keep them safe and would direct them to where they need to go. I pray Father for those that are taking advantage of a bad situation, those that are looting out of greed and not necessity. Send your Holy Spirit on these people as they have nowhere else to turn but to You.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Living to Please Others

Romans 15:2 says We should please others. If we do what helps them, we will build them up in the Lord.

What have you done today to help someone? Have you encouraged someone today? This will be my own goal for today. To give someone an encouraging word. Have a wonderful day everyone!