Monday, December 23, 2013

M-Cubed for Christmas Eve Eve 2013

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

- Snow pack for the last month...nothing but green out our door today. We've had torrential downpours, flooding warnings, and 60F weather in the past few days but it's over now. Big temperature drop overnight and heading down into the teens by tomorrow...but less than 50% chance for a White Christmas. Yesterday, I headed out for a recovery run from Saturday's 30 and this greeted me on my everyday route:
Pardon the poor pre-sunrise quality but that's a driveway to the left and the road I ran through on the right...the rest farmland.
- When I woke up yesterday, it would make sense to the everyday common-sense person to rest after 7+ hours on muddy trails on Saturday. Ironically, though, I had a smashing run. I headed out on legs that said "Stay in bed." and within a mile, I was cruising at a faster-than-normal pace on my regular hilly route. I felt amazing..and actually ached more walking around the house. Note to self?: "Just Run." Today, though...heeding my own advice and resting so I can truly repair and get stronger. Lots of water intake today, too.

- I took some drastic steps within my own social media sphere yesterday...cutting about 100 "friends" that I've been connected to for some time..mostly runners. Like I said on there, I really dislike the term "unfriend"..seems so cold and heartless. While running on Saturday, I ran with a friend who has never stepped into the social media world and guess what...he lives and enjoys life just fine! The thought of that is very attractive to me. HOWEVER, there are some parts of my life (e.g. church, running events, marriage events) where I use Facebook to communicate in a sense, I do "need" it which is my own doing. But, I have found that much of the other chatter out there really creates a distraction for me that I don't need in my life and is sort of a "fun sucker" or "life sucker" for me. Hard to explain... Anyway, I know I ticked some folks off yesterday and for that, I'm sorry. This is a boundary in my life that I've needed to erect for awhile. The first step was recognizing and stating the problem and its negative effect on my life and then acting on it to remove it. Kinda like ripping off a scab..and I don't think I'm done, either. I do feel better, though, and have no regrets.

- I've been watching videos lately on a website called "I Am Second." In a nutshell, they are testimonies from folks you've never heard of to testimonies from the Duck Dynasty family, Steven Baldwin, the former lead guitarist of Korn, Governor Mike Huckabee, and even this former prostitute. I watched Annie's story It was the first one where I nearly cried for her. Incredibly bad background that she talks about in detail and where it led her. I highly recommend it but I caution you against watching with kids around...not appropriate. Most of their videos are fine but this one is a bit raw. Bottom Line: If you ever think you've screwed up so bad that there is no hope for're wrong. Here's Annie's story:

- Last year, I became a big fan of Skillet...a pretty loud Christian band you may have heard of. On an annual basis, typically in the Top 3 in sales and popularity across ALL spectrums of music...on the planet. You don't think "Oh...a Christian band" when you see or hear them. They'll tour Christian music festivals but then tour with the Carnival of Madness as well with their secular brethren. In 2014, they are not attending the Alive Festival as I had hoped here in Ohio but I heard last week that they are going to be in Cleveland with Third Day, Mandisa and others in March so when tickets went on sale on Friday at 10am, I snatched up two tickets..very good tickets at that! My daughter and I will enjoy a date night of dinner and a concert...really looking forward to it! (and the flame throwers, too) :) Tickets Here!

- This past week I typed up a rant for Facebook then deleted it. I have been letting the fact that people replace "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays" yet don't ever say "Happy Holidays" for New Years, St. Patty's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Father's Day, and every single other holiday out there. Christmas has a huge impact on so much: work schedules, the retail industry, travel, parties, food, Christmas tree industry, presents, and the list goes on and on...yet so many "re-name" it...all in the name of political correctness or whatever. After I typed up my rant...I deleted it. What I knew would happen would be a lashing from others about the roots of the holiday and how nearly all of it is rooted in pagan traditions...and that's true! I wasn't up for the fight...but then my pastor wrote a blog about it the next day and said it so well...and non-offensively at that. So with that, here it is. Such a well-researched post and laying out of the facts...very pagan ones at that but gets to the crux of why Christmas is so important. Here it is.

- The following video is a sort-of flash mob. Regardless, it's one I encourage you to watch. It happened in Boston this past week and is best viewed with your speakers turned to the max...especially near the end. Incredible power in this! Enjoy...and a very Merry Christmas Eve Eve to you and yours!

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