Monday, August 19, 2013

M-Cubed for 8.19.2013

M-Cubed (Monday Morning Musings) for August Nineteenth, Two Thousand Thirteen...a random smattering of thoughts that end up here on Monday morning.

- I debated whether to post or not to post today. Some days, I feel like I don't have much to say and others, I feel like I could talk/type forever. Today is the former.

- It was a weekend of zero miles. Instead, I enjoyed sleeping in and doing some hiking with my kids. Back on Saturday, we headed down to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and enjoyed breakfast at Fisher's Cafe and Pub right along the Cuyahoga River. They only serve breakfast on the weekends and back a few years, it was a staple for me post-long runs in the CVNP. It was great to share it with them and laugh a little in the early morning hours. Awesome breakfast, too.

- Shortly after our breakfast, we headed to the gorgeous Brandywine Falls and hiked the short loop to end at the Falls, themselves. Along the way, due to little rain as of late, we spent quite a bit of time in the creek bed downstream of the Falls. I took a lot of great photos using different shutter speeds which I've shared at the end of today's post. I've also posted my favorites at Arms Up and Out Photography.

- May I be blunt for a moment? Well of course, I can. It's my blog! Unlike the lynching I would take on Facebook, I'd like to just state something for the record. I believe in Jesus Christ. I don't only believe that He died, was crucified, and rose again, but I believe He lives today and leads me intimately on a daily basis. I do not subscribe to any "universe" that controls anything. I believe that He created the universe (God, that is) and has perfectly knit everything together. I also believe that the Bible is the perfect, spoken Word of God. It is not missing anything and needs nothing added to it. It has everything we need to live and live for Him. I say all this because I think it gets lost in the translation quite often. Online on Facebook and Twitter, for example, I believe living a life REAL and TRANSPARENT. I don't believe in Bible-thumping and hitting people over the head with my "beliefs." Do I think they are absolute? Yes. Do I recognize that many will disagree? Yep. MANY have broken all ties with me under the banner of "intolerance" which is the ultimate in irony. I've blogged about it countless times, stomped my foot about it, and preached to the choir that I'm very tolerant of all...I really am. Tolerance, though, does NOT mean I agree, condone, or support whatever "it" might be. Those who blast me in the name of intolerance are the king of hypocrites as they embody the very intolerance they preach against.

So yes, I am a Christian. Yes, I follow Christ above all else. I do my very best (failing often) at living the life I am called to live and always will. I wish those who call themselves Christians the world over would do the same and let their actions speaker louder than the words which they DON'T speak nor live out. We are in a serious moral decline in this country and we simply must step up. Service over self or self over we serve others or serve ourselves? We are a country of self-service and it doesn't ever seem to stop getting worse. We must turn that around! {soap box end} :-)

- T minus 4 days and counting until my annual Amish funnel cake at the county fair! WOOT! Bring on the powdered sugar and artery-clogging carbohydrates. Gimmee some "fair fries" and a fat sausage sandwich with grilled peppers, too, please.

- Dr. James MacDonald is a pastor/leader/author who is well-known in this country and around the world. His daily radio show/podcast, Walk in the Word, is very well-known and is really good...and raw. Often, he hits you right between the eyes where you need it. Over the past week or more, he's been talking about promises. With so much "yuck" in this world, it's easy to lose sight of what we can actually count on. Turning to absolute truth and promises is a way to make it for me. This recent series couldn't be more timely as I've really been having some tough times as of late. The series is called "Always True" and can be listened to here.

- Almost the end yet no talk about running?! Say it isn't so. Not about me today, though. I want to give a huge shout-out to my bride and one of our best friends who ran with her this past Saturday at the Biggest Loser Half Marathon. They both set personal records and did AWESOME! They also both recently drank the "Brooks Pure Project" Kool-Aid and are running in Pure Cadence shoes. So proud of them both for setting their goals and not only crossing the finish line but crushing their own records. One must have the courage to start in order to finish. Kudos to them for awhile back for having the the sweet flavor of success. "Great job, ladies!!!"

- Moving forward for me: the big one on the horizon is the West Virginia Trilogy in mid-October. Camping, mountains, and away from civilization. I can't wait but I've got some work to do beforehand. I need to get back to the trails soon and get my trail legs back and spend several hours out there getting my head wrapped around the challenge. I have zero doubt of my ability to do it but I just need to get ready.

- I guess I did have a few things to say, eh?! I guess so. Well, here are a few of my favorite photos from the weekend. Click on any one for a full screen view. Enjoy!

Some camera fun.
Have a great week, everyone and Run Happy!

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