Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My 100th Post!!!


As I was logging in a few days ago, I realized I was approaching my 100th post on this blog. I must confess; I didn't see that coming. While I have attempted to ramp up my posting frequency, my goal was not to reach any set milestone. I just wanted to continue to better my craft and encourage those who enjoy my ramblings.

On that note, I would like to ask you a question. If you're a consistent reader, what post that you've read here comes to mind as having the most impact on you? That's not meant to be a rhetorical question. I would really love for you to go to the bottom and use the (new and improved) comment box and share your response to that question.

In recognition of my 100th post, I thought I would list the Top 10 posts so far. Keep in mind that this blog is getting up to 800 views a month. So this list changes almost monthly. If you're a consistent reader, I hope the time you give to read my musings is adding some value to your day. I decided earlier this year that I wanted my life to be a tool in God's hands to help connect people to Him and help them leverage their lives for His glory. This is one of the tools that help me accomplish that goal.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

How to Run a Half-Marathon without Training, Part 2

My wife recently ran a Half-Marathon without one mile of training. It wasn't that she set out to show how this could be done. It was more about a spur of the moment decision to do attempt something she has wanted to do for a while.

This is the second installment of "How to Run a Half-Marathon without Training." I am sharing the components of her story as they unfolded during our weekend trip to Myrtle Beach. If you would like to backtrack to the beginning, here's a link to How to Run a Half-Marathon without Training, Part 1.

5) Encouragement that matters...
When she announced that she was going to run, immediately, the others in the group began to say, "You can do it." I must confess. I wasn't as optimistic. It wasn't that I thought she could not do it. It was simply I did not think anyone could do it. Seriously, how many people just up and decide to run 13.1 miles without any adverse consequences? In years past, I had seen countless runners walking back to the Starting Line after just a few miles of race under their feet. I had seen numerous people receive medical care, even airlifted to hospitals. And these were people who had trained for the race.
I soon recognized Angela's resolve. I also sensed that the encouragement she wanted the most was mine. Keep in mind that just a few hours earlier she had been challenged to create change in her life. Who was I to disrupt that notion? I relinquished my hold to common sense and said, "You should do this and I'm going to do it with you."
 6) You never leave your partner in a fire...

Monday, February 20, 2012

How to Run a Half-Marathon Without Training, Part 1

Half-Marathon T-shirt at the Expo

I just returned from one of the annual highlights of my calendar year. Angela and I traveled down to Myrtle Beach, SC for the Myrtle Beach Marathon/Half-Marathon Weekend. We look forward to this trip as we join three other couples close to our age for food, fellowship and fun. Preparations begin in late October as we all begin our training regiment to prepare for the long and taxing 13.1 mile run along the coastline of South Carolina. Angela has never joined the running aspect of the trip. While running a 5K (3.1 miles) is on her "Bucket List," finding the time to train for a race while tending to our family is nearly impossible.

So you can imagine the thoughts dashing through my mind when she announced on Friday afternoon, the day before the race, that she thought she just might sign up to run the Half-Marathon. That's right, the 13.1 mile race...without ONE mile of training. She didn't even have running apparel. (She did happen to have her shoes.) Let me go ahead and give you the punch line in case you need to move on to something else: She did it! She got up on Saturday morning, put on her shirt, shorts and shoes and ran 13.1 miles in less than 3 hours (2 hours, 45 mins).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Question: How does a kid who is 5'8" tall, growing up in an abusive home, surrounded by poverty make it into the NBA?

Answer: He has a dream and he has someone who believes in him.

Meet Melvin Adams. He's a former NBA player and Harlem Globetrotter who travels the nation encouraging kids and adults to embrace the challenges in their lives as opportunities to grow and move toward success. He says it all started when a guidance counselor at his school began to tell him he was "Awesome!" He shares that she said it every day and soon, he started to believe it. That simple act of reaching out to a kid to create value in him made all the difference in the world to Melvin. It actually changed the course of his life.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Are You Cheating?

I'm sort of an unusual bird when it comes to running with an iPod. Where most people listen to up-tempo music to help keep their pace strong, I choose a much different genre. I like to listen to podcasts that range from ministers to marketing. It's just another way I can continue to grow as an individual. One of my favorites is Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA. His dad is Charles Stanley, the popular pastor of First Baptist Atlanta.

Recently, as I was on a run, my iPod finished the podcast it was playing and rolled right into the next one which was Andy's popular sermon, "Choosing to Cheat." This was a pleasant surprise as I had heard him mention this sermon (and book) on a previous Leadership Podcast and that he had re-branded it as "When Work and Family Collide: Keeping Your Job from Cheating Your Family ." It had been a while since I heard this sermon, so I was anxious to get refreshed.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Are You Speaking Your Sweetheart's Love Language? [online tool]

As Valentine's Day is approaching a lot of effort is given to picking out the right card or the perfect gift. We want to find a way to express our love to the object of our affection. But have you ever stopped to consider that you may be giving a lot of time and energy to say "I Love You" and the person to whom you're saying it never hears it? The reason for this is simple. They have a unique way they perceive love.

Dr. Gary Chapman is credited with the notion of every person having their own Love Language. The concept is that we give and receive love in one of five primary ways. The following is a list taken from Dr. Chapman's website, http://www.5lovelanguages.com:

Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
Quality Time
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
Receiving Gifts
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
Physical Touch
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

Once we know our sweetheart's Love Language, we can begin to say "I Love You" loud and clear.

If you would like to discover your Love Language, here is an on-line tool that will reveal it and give you a few tips. I suggest you and your "sweety" take this test and sit down and talk about the ways each of you like to receive love from each other, based on the results.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Is Your Life Fulfilling?

I'm going to show my age here, but there's an old Steven Curtis Chapman song entitled, "More To This Life."  The chorus of the song goes:

But there’s more to this life than living and dying,
More than just trying to make it through the day;
More to this life, more than these eyes alone can see,
And there’s more than this life alone can be.

You can listen to the entire song here (5:00)

Do you ever feel that way? I know I do. Just like the beauty queen who wants to end world hunger, we all want see our lives accomplish more than recycling oxygen into carbon dioxide.  Author, Paul David Tripp suggests that we can't help it. "There is woven inside each of us a desire for something more - a craving to be part of something bigger, greater and more profound than our relatively meaningless day-by-day existence."1