Saturday, April 28, 2007

my favorite pic so far

the view from Trump Golf Course on Palos Verdes...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

greetings from Cali :)

Today was my third full day in California. The weather has been the same everyday - 75 and Sunny - which is such a great change of pace from the gloomy Michigan weather.
My time here has been really good so far. I've discovered a great little diner that opens early. So my morning routine has consisted of going to the diner at about 7:30am, getting a cup of coffee, and walking down to the beach.
This morning I went for a run along the beach (on the sidewalk, NOT in the sand!) and it was great. I really do like it here. Southern Cal seems like it'd be an easy place to live an active lifestyle. There's surfing, kayaking, you can hike all along the cliffs, and the weather is nearly always great.

Yesterday Kerrie and I drove around Palos Verdes, which is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. We went to Trump Golf Course and discovere a trail that led down to the ocean. It was a great moment for me because I realized that there are very specific types of scenery and activities that really refresh me. At one point on the trail down from Trump Golf Course, you pass a sign that basically says "proceed at your own risk". From that point, the trail is very rocky, as your near the bottom of this huge cliff. The beach isn't sand. It's rocks and boulders. And it was - thus far - my favorite part of the trip. Don't get me wrong, the sandy beaches and landscaped walkways are beautiful. But I'll take rocky paths, hugh cliffs, and waves crashing over boulders any day!! It was spectacular!

Today we went to an all-glass church on PV that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Also very beautiful.

Though I'm only half-way through my week here in California, I've had some good, significant moments. Yesterday, when we were looking at all the beautiful scenery, there were several times that I wished some of my friends from Michigan were there to enjoy it with me. I suddenly realize that I'm less interested in where I'm living and working than in who I'm living and working with. On the one hand, I'm glad to know that my friends and co-workers have become such an important part of my life. On the other, I'm not thrilled with the possibility that I could be in Michigan for quite a while longer. So it's a bittersweet revelation, though more sweet than bitter. It's been a while since I've gotten close enough to people for them to mean as much to me as the people do who are in my life now. That was a long sentance... did it makes any sense? No matter... I know what I meant. :-)
OK, I'm off. Hopefully I'll have pictures to post tomorrow! :-)


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I will not go quietly
into a world as black as coal.
No, the shadows of apathy
are not found easily on my soul.
Though the angels of the darkness never rest.
They will try to keep me blinded and oppressed.
As long as there's a beating heart inside this chest
I will rage against the dying of the light.
I will wage a war of mercy and I will fight,
Until conviction drowns the weakness that is darkening my sight.
I will rage against the dying of the light.

I see the cold and silent stares.
I'm sick and tired of fighting back.
They're unaffected and unaware.
Without a reason to attack.
I believe it's time to wake up from my dream
If this world is every bit as lost as it would seem.
So I will rise up.
I will kick and I will scream
And I will rage against the dying of the light.
I will wage a war of mercy and I will fight
Until conviction drowns the weakness that is darkening my sight.
I will rage against the dying of the light.

Rage Against the Dying of the Light
-by The Cross Between

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Where's my peeps at?

gotta share this video that my church ran during our Easter services.
what's it got to do with Easter?... well... nothing really. but it's funny! :-)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

running the race

about 6 weeks ago, I started running. I've started and stopped many times before, but this time I've managed to stick with it long enough to start building some endurance and enjoying it.

I'm following a training schedule that's supposed to prep someone who's never run before to run a 5k in 3 months or less. A 5k seems like a good first goal.
The first few weeks started out pretty slowly and it wasn't too tough. But a couple weeks ago, the training started getting hard as times and distances increased dramatically. In fact, they doubled.
As I was running these longer distances, I began thinking about the Apostle Paul's charge to fellow believers "run the race...". Because the times and distances that I'm running have increased so quickly, I've noticed that there's a definite difference in how I approach running a short distance as opposed to a longer distance. When I'm running a short distance that I know I can handle, I run faster, and I pay a lot less attention to my form and my breathing. But when it comes time for long distances, my approach is completely different. My pace is slower. My breathing is deliberate. And I'm careful to maintain good form. All these are necessary or I get tired too quickly and am sometimes unable to run as long as I'm supposed to.

It's caused me to stop and consider what it means for me to run my race of faith at a pace that will allow me to run for the rest of my life. It's a delicate balance, I think. On the one hand, if I run too quickly, I'll "burn out". On the other hand, if I run too slowly, I won't be forced to stretch. My endurance won't increase, and I won't get any stronger.

Paul told us to "run the race" of faith in such a way that we "win the prize". But I think, more often than not, we don't run with the whole race in mind, but only our current leg. We sprint, eager to reach the finish line, but then we burn out before we even begin the final leg of the race.

I think the right pace is slower than most of us are used to, especially in Western culture. I think we like to believe that if we don't do it all now, it's not going to get done. We think that having a panicked sense of urgency is noble and shows how much we care. But I don't think God has a sense of urgency about things. I think He knows just how and when things are going to happen.

And I often wonder if Jesus felt a sense of urgency. He was certainly far more sensitive to the hurts and the darkness of this world than we will ever be. But did He feel anxious? Did He feel like He could never stop to take a break? I don't think He did. There are so many passages that refer to Jesus spending time alone praying or retreating somewhere to be alone. Maybe He knew that He wasn't supposed to "do it all". Maybe He knew that, even though He was the Son of God, He couldn't do it all. And if He couldn't, why would I think that I could? And moreover, why would I try?