Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Random Thoughts... and mocking on the sidelines.

I am not a professional blogger, so I am unsure of the protocol of talking directly to readers or if I am to ignore the reader and tell the story in most excellent  grammatical fashion.  I choose, seeing as I am my own boss on this issue, to speak directly to my largishly small  group of followers.  First, I would like to give you the update on my Couch to 1/2 Marathon struggle; the struggle is real.  I am approximately 4 weeks into this, and I completed a three mile run last night.  This is almost my first step goal.  I need to run the three miles in an average of nine minutes a mile, but Mr Couch potato is running an average of 12 minute miles, give or take some spare change.   The Next Step that #1 and I will embark, will be running 5K's.  I have walked a few 5K's and even, while in the Air Force, was forced to run one or two.  I hated them... not walking them but the running.  I have a question for any runners reading this blog.  Now, I am not asking the runners who have been runners their whole life and love running, but those who began running later in life.  Is there a Magic Mile that you reached and began to not hate running anymore.  Is there a certain level that can be obtained where running becomes joy and fun, not pain and anger?  I want to like running.  I want to be able to run long distance.  My first mile is like physical abuse to my whole body.  However, once I enter into my second mile I notice the pain of the first mile has numbed, other than the burning pain through the muscles that are actually working.  At that point, my breathing regulates as well and it becomes easier, other than the fatigue of having just ran a mile.  Also, for all long distance runners, do you recommend a camel pack or anything of that nature to hydrate as you are running?  #1 fears this will hurt the mile time.   On to other thoughts.  Last night as the sunlight was transitioning into the grayness of dusk I heard duck calls that appeared to be much closer than the pond in the distant field.  As I squinted to see beyond the disappearing landscape, a fire-team of flying quackers, in perfect formation focused into view.  As they flew over I tried to make Phil proud and speak to them in their language; I was running backwards at this point.  I believe with all my heart, the lead duck commander of this flying formation looked over at me and shook his head.   This was the second time last night I felt mocked just a little by animals.  My first two laps, up the gravel road of pain and suffering I chose to endure, I was mocked and made fun of by a few school bull-ies... or pasture bull-ies.  Well, they were calves.  But I will testify until my dying day they were making fun of me.  I will one day learn Cow-anese so that I can in fact know when I am being mocked by little bull-ies, but for now, I know in my heart.  Some of the calves would run away from the fence line as I would trudge by at the great speed of one mile per twelve minutes, or five miles an hour.  But through my blurred vision, because of the physical abuse of the first mile, I glanced over on separate accounts and would catch a calf, or three, or four running along side me and then passing me.  I finally yelled at them... "EveryBody Knows you Got Four Legs and Can run Faster than Couch Potato... You Ain't Impressing No-Body!!!"  That is almost exactly what I yelled with a few artistic indulgences, but exactly word for word.   God has sense of humor.  It shows through all of his creation.  You and I may disagree on several things and we may find theological differences or even belief issues, but God loves us so much and He let's us know, even through the humor of mocking animals.  As a Matter of Fact, He loves us so much that He sent His one and Only Son to Die for us... The Bible even tells us, even though there are some who refuse Him, or don't want any part in Him or His ways, he still died for us all, that He longs for us all to be reunited with him and will give us a new start and a new life.  I hope and pray your day is well and that you will just look around you and see the greatness and beauty of all things created.  God is Good... All the Time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Taking Off The Mask...

Hey there.  I wanted to give a shout out to all of my followers; thank you for following.  We tripled our number of followers since the last blog, there are now three of you.  You guys rock!  Soooo... Anyways, I will just start this off with a little info on the work-outs up to this point.  If you have been praying for me, thanks.  If you have not been praying or if you are praying to see me fail, shame shame shame. I have been pushing through and the day after running out of fuel, I fueled up properly and completed two miles with no stopping.  Some of you may think, "No Big Deal!!!"  I will remind you, two weeks ago I was doing more sitting, and certainly no running.  I am now working towards getting three miles under control.  My body hurts all over.  It reminds me of the "Good ole Days (?)" when football season would begin and the coaches would make us practice twice a day.   Pain.  Pain in my shoulders.  Pain in my ankles.  Pain in my... well, Pain everywhere.  One of my 3 followers commented on my picture that I have above this blog.  I was advised that I should change the picture, because it didn't represent me well.  I agree.   I created the Blog so fast that I did not think about the picture that was left to reflect who I am.  If you look at the blog and don't really know me, you may think this guy is some big time city fella who is important or presumptuous.  But the reality is the above picture is a false mask.  (I am leaving the picture up this week for emphasis of this point.  I will make it "more me" next time)  Sometimes, we wear false mask.  Often, I put on a fake smile and greet people as though everything in my life is, good, ok, or even great. Inside I may feel like the world is collapsing around me or the storm is about to overtake me.  God tells us not to worry.  He places worry in the same status as carousing and drunkenness.  However, when we are worried or stressed, He does not give us these masks.  The Mask is just another form of worry. We are worried what people might think if we are struggling with life, marriage, addiction, doubts, hurts, or any other slew of arrows the Devil throws our way.  King Saul tried to get David to wear his Armor, but David insisted that it was not him.  The Armor was not what God had equipped him with.  He went out on to the battle-field just as David, as God created David.  He had his sling-shot in hand and found a couple of rocks on the ground and killed that giant.  God killed that Giant.  David was... Just David.  God saw him through.  Today, you be you.  Don't wear a mask, just be real.  This Sunday... Don't put on the perfect Christian mask and force the "I am Doing Great" speech.  Be You.  Who knows God may just kill that Giant that has been taunting you.  I hope and Pray your Easter is a Day of Rejoicing, because our Lord has already beat the biggest Giants of them all, Death and Sin.  Happy Easter.      

Luke 21: 34-36
34“Be on your guard,bh so that your minds are not dulledbi from carousing,bj drunkenness,bkand worries of life,bl or that day will come on you unexpectedlybm 35like a trapFor it will comeon all who live on the face of the whole earth36But be alert at all times,bn praying that you may have strengthbo to escapebp all these things that are going to take place and to stand before theSon of Man.”

Fuel Light On...

Hey, I'm Harry'O. Some Call me Pastor, Some call me Brother Harry, and a couple even call me Brother Pastor. The most important people in my life call me Dad or Daddy. So My oldest daughter, we will refer to her as #1 , asked me to Join her in training to run a half marathon. Just so you know, I am not a runner. I detest it. Even during my fit military years, (11 years Air Force) I hated to run and would do everything in my power to do it as little as possible. So, as we begin this journey together, you need to know that this is a couch to 1/2 marathon story that is being written over the next year. In 2018, February sometime, #1 and I will join some more friends who want us to run the Cow Town 1/2 marathon, in Ft Worth Texas. Last night we were running at the local track. I have finally worked up to running a full mile and walking another, during my normal workouts. I was hoping to work on a full two mile run last night but after the first full mile, I felt as though I may black out. The world was spinning and I couldn't even walk the second mile. I realized that I had not fueled up properly. I began thinking of my dietary intake all day and realized, I had only consumed 3 cups of coffee, and one portion of Crawfish Alfredo. That was it. I had not put enough fuel into my system to power the engine. As I lay there on the High Jump Pit I began thinking this is often my walk with Jesus. In 1 Corinthians, Paul tells a group of followers that they are not mature enough to eat solid food. He tells them he is needing to feed them milk, that is for babies. How many of us claim to be followers but only show up for the milk feedings instead of fueling up on the solid foods of the Bible. How many us believe we are Followers of Jesus but only get fed once, twice, or maybe three times a week and expect to run the race to win. Paul tells us later in Corinthians to run the race to win. Just like in Track and Marathons, in order to win the race we have to fuel up. We must Study as much as possible, we must Worship as much as possible, and we have to Show up to the Weekly Feedings at Church... IF WE WANT TO WIN THE RACE

 1 Cor 3: 1-3 1 Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. 2 I gave you milkto drink, not solid food, because you were not yet ready for it. In fact, you are still not ready, 3 because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife, among you, are you not fleshly and living like unbelievers?

 1 Cor 9: 24-27 24 Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. 25 Now everyone who competes exercises self-controlaa in everything. However, they do it to receive a crownab that will fade away,ac but we a crown that will never fade away. 26 Therefore I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beatingthe air. 27 Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.