Scuba Diving

We were blessed to be able to visit friends in Hawaii last winter, and happened to be on island with some of the guys that went through the Liberty youth group. I used to lead summer and winter retreats called “Manathons” each year. We would camp in snow caves or canoe through the Boundary Waters. Whatever we did, we ate lots of strange things and had a great time. These four guys all participated in them. Upon arriving in Hawaii, it was their turn to plan the Manathon!

It was an amazing opportunity to be with these friends and I will never forget swimming with the sea turtles.

Rolling your eyes…

“Always there are the right people, there are the suitable people, there are the smart people, and then there are (lower your voice) those others. And the way you signal to other right, smart, and suitable people that you are one of them is to roll your eyes when the wrong people and places are mentioned.

We want others to think of us as capable and intelligent, and we often seek to establish this identity not through respectful, diligent argument but through ridicule and disdain. People are not merely mistaken but out of step, regressive, intellectual midgets. Nathanael could not believe that somebody from a place like Nazareth had the answers to the big questions of our time. “You’re telling me he’s got the answers—and he’s from Nazareth? Uh, I don’t think so.” He’s rolling his eyes. “He’s from there? Really?

If you have this view of Christianity, or know someone who has this view of Christianity, that is no surprise. Many people today view Christianity much like Nathanael viewed Nazareth. Christianity was from Nazareth then, and it is still from Nazareth today. People love to roll their eyes at their idea of Christianity and its claims about who Christ is and what he has done and can do for them. The knowing people, the suitable people, all say, “Christianity—been there, done that. I grew up with it, I realized early on it’s not for me, and I’ve made up my mind.” So Jesus is still from Nazareth. If that is your attitude toward Christianity, I have two suggestions for you, because I think you have two issues before you. The first is that this kind of dismissiveness is always deadly. It absolutely kills all creativity and problem solving, not to mention any hope of a relationship. Tara Parker-Pope, in her book on marriage called For Better, cites eye-rolling as one of the definitive warning signs that a relationship is in serious trouble. Marriage counselors look out for it because because it signals contempt for the other person. A successful marriage can handle disappointment, disagreement, pain, and frustration. But it can’t handle complete dismissal of the other; contempt literally kills the relationship. A more concrete example is one where you have misplaced your keys. Once you’ve looked for them in all the places where they “can” be and haven’t found them, you’ll have to start looking in places where they “can’t” be. And of course, that’s where you’ll find them. So there’s nothing more fatal to wisdom and good relationships than rejecting certain ideas—or certain people—out of hand.

Your second issue is more substantial. By despising Christianity, you sever the living taproot to what are probably many of your own core values…”

Keller, Timothy. Encounters with Jesus: Unexpected Answers to Life’s Biggest Questions (pp. 5-7). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

The Big Run

In September I finished my third Superior 100 Ultramarathon. I have written about the first finish here. The essential information is:

  • The race takes place on the Superior Hiking Trail.
  • It is 103 miles long.
  • Runners start on Friday morning and finish sometime on Saturday.
  • Four of us ran: Tim, Forrest, Jill, and myself.
  • Amanda and Jillian crewed for us (they made sure we had what we needed to treat our feet, our stomachs, our water bottles, and our emotional instability).
  • Nate and Dad came and paced us for the second half of the race (they made sure we were eating and drinking, didn’t follow our hallucinations, and kept moving when we wanted to die).
  • It took us 33 hours, 53 minutes, and 48 seconds to finish.
  • You do stop along the way to get food and water and use the bathroom.
  • If you stop too long you get kicked out of the race.
  • It is hard.
  • Most of it is not enjoyable.
  • All four of us finished.
  • When you finish you get a belt buckle to wear and a star patch to sew on your Superior hoodie.
  • I made a blood pact to never run it again (the blood mostly came from wiping out on the trail).

Below are pictures taken throughout the race from others who were running, crewing, or pacing.

To the finish line

Visiting Colorado

We were able to spend a week near Colorado Springs and then a weekend up with friends in Longmont. We loved the mountain views! On our way south we stopped at the Four Corners Monument. We decided to let the kids explore a state on their own.