#65: Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!

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(Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)

1

Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!

Sing alound the name

Till it softly, slowly

Sets all hearts aflame.

2

Jesus — name of cleansing,

Washing all our stains;

Jesus — name of healing,

Balm for all our pains.

3

Jesus — name of boldness,

Making cowards brave;

Name that in the battle

Certainly must save.

4

Jesus — name of beauty,

Beauty far too bright

For our earthborn fancy,

For our mortal sight.

5

Jesus — name of gladness

Thru this vale of tears,

Till we reach the homeland

And th’eternal years.

Exalt or humble?

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From Matthew 23:

 8But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

I had a thought while reading the passage above. Any denomination that calls its priest or pastor “father” would be in trouble by the passage.

Then I thought, that this is probably an example of pulling a passage out of context to make whatever case you want.

The passage is warning about people who like to exalt themselves: such as the Pharisees and the Sadducees. It is warning us not to treat them special. Not to treat anyone as special before God.

Which doesn’t mean we aren’t to honor our parents. There are natural places of deference, but we need to avoid honoring those seeking to be exalted above others.

It teaches that to lead is to serve. Which is a good way to evaluate political candidates, for that matter. Which ones seem to be in it for themselves, and which ones to serve. Do some of them like their own sound bites too much?

No matter how much I might like some of his ideas — and I’m not saying I like or dislike any of them — the words of Donald Trump, for example, don’t give me the idea of a servant, but of an autocrat. And yet many people are willing to give him the honor he craves.

Do not give power to one who craves it. Give power to the one who would avoid it, even if he knows he should take it, for the good of others.

 

A Blast of the Past #33: First House

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Nathan0077In a previous blast I talked about our first house — but it was a rental. This post is about our first house that we owned (with the bank, of course). It will be 16 years in March that we moved to that first house.

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It was an exciting time, and we really enjoyed that house — all three bedrooms and 825 square feet of it.

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That was also the time that I  finally bought my own piano. I had always had a piano growing up, but spent my married life without one, until we moved into the house, and bought that used spinet that we still have for me to play today.

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Really should play it more than I do, but it still gets used on a regular basis.

Amazing how much fun, and how quickly we outgrew it.

Commuter cycling: not just a fairweather venture

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So far this year I’ve managed to commute to work via bicycle with no assistance from the metro bus system.

People constantly ask me if I rode the bicycle in today, as if there is always an alternative. And while I could choose other transport, they never consider that there are some people for whom the bicycle might be the only alternative. There might be some people for whom the bike is all there is.

We are in a culture that assumes the bicycle, ultimately, is a leisure option, a hobby.

Yet I try to treat the bicycle as a serious endeavour. Which is why I how far I can safely go.

Early in January there was some cold weather. This Tuesday it was rain. Wednesday was a more unique obstacle — the wind.

Tuesday I rode home eastward with a west wind at my back. Tuesday I rode to work westward with a west wind in my head. And by the time I rode home the weather pattern had cycled and it was an eastwind at my head.

The same sense takes people in their fitness goals. They plan to run — when the weather is fair. They lift weights — when they have time.  both are the question of dedication and focus.  When there is another option, the commitment to the current endeavor is harder.

#64: The Name of Jesus

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(Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)

1

The name of Jesus is so sweet, I love its music to repeat;

It makes my joys full and complete, The precious name of Jesus!

Chorus

“Jesus” — O how sweet the name, “Jesus” — Ev’ry day the same;

“Jesus” — let all saints proclaim Its worthy praise forever!

2

I love the name of Him whose heart Knows all my griefs and bears a part;

Who bids all anxious fears depart — I love the name of Jesus!

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3

That name I fondly love to hear, It never fails my heart to cheer;

Its music dries the falling tear — Exalt the name of Jesus!

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4

No word of man can ever tell How sweet the name I love so well;

O let its praises ever swell, O praise the name of Jesus!

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Ground Hog Day

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Well, today was always an important day in my family. Back in 1895, surrounded by a snow bank, my paternal grandmother was born.

Or so my grandmother explained the day of her birth. I’m not sure what the ground hog said about the day.

But it was always a special day in our family. And even now, I remember the day, her, and the lessons of her lifetime shared down the generations.

Remember the past and look to the future. Don’t repeat the same time over and over.

Fitness Update: On Track Through January

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Today starts February, so I can log my fitness progress for January. One month already done for 2016.

Last week I had a really exciting fitness moment on Thursday: I finally got all the settings correct on my Misfit Shine for my morning swim session. It told me I swam 42 laps for 1,050 yards. I intended to swim 20 laps for 1,000 yards, so I must have miscounted, and it seems to be using laps to mean lengths of pool, but it obivously knows the distance and what it means.

That puts my swim yards for the month at 8,050.

So now I have to figure out how I can sync that to an app that monitors my swim goals. I’ve looked into the Speedo Fit app, but it appears to be an Apple only app, so I cannot use it on the Kindle Fire.

The weekend had nice weather, so I got a 5K in on Friday in the 65-degree weather. My average speeds earlier in the month had been 5.5 or 5.6 mph until last Sunday, when I did a 6.09 mph average. Friday felt good, but it was slightly slower, at 5.9 mph.

Saturday was a slightly cooler day in the lower 50s. I put in a 30 mile bike trip to Tiffany Springs and back. It helped me cross the 250-miles a month goal for cycling. By the end of the day Sunday I had 271 miles in January with an average speed of 12.17 mph and total cycling time of 22 hours 17 minutes 39 seconds.

Speaking of Sunday, it was another wonderful weather day. I took another 5K in the afternoon with a temperature in the lower 50s. I have two 5K routes currently, one that is actually 3.3 miles, and one that is 3.4 miles. on Sunday I ran the 3.4 mile route in reverse of the way I have previously. That left the flatter section first and the hills for the end, but also ends with the downhill slope back to the house last instead of an uphill slope to the house.

I always start my runs wondering if I’ve set a good pace, and usually thinking why I ever got myself into this, can I really make it? It is an interesting psychological phenomenon. But somewhere in the run I get this sense of I really should be able to push myself harder, but I don’t. Today was no different.

I wondered if I was slowing a bit toward the end, climbing the hills. I noticed that I actually run better on a slightly inclined hill than on a level or even a downhill. It is also the breath, rather than the legs, that keeps me from pushing harder.

That said, when I came upon the last turn home, I saw the boy and the dog coming from the other direction on the last leg of their trip home. They ran to greet me, and then ran to pass me. Of course, they hadn’t been running the whole way, but they had the energy to sprint beyond me.

I noticed I had more energy to lift my legs higher when I ran up the front steps and into the house to hit the stop button on my run timer. I was sure my average speed would be good, but down a bit. But it was 6.28 mph. It was my best run for the year.

I have decided that I cannot compare my runs on how I feel at the end. As I improve in condition a better run, like today, might feel worse than an earlier run that felt great.

So I finished January with six 6k’s out of my 52 I set for the year, and a best average speed of 6.28 mph. Those are all runs by myself. I’m getting a bit better at the psychology of making myself run. When I actually compete I expect to pare times down even better.

I’ve noticed I’m not an exceptionally competitive person, but the presence of other runners does motivate, just like driving, to place myself in a certain relationship of passing and being passed by the current traffic. This  tells me that I need to place myself in the right section of the racing pack, people of about the same speed as myself, so I can spur myself to run slightly faster to pass them.

So far I haven’t over-estimated myself. I always have more left at the end of the race.

To recap:

  • 271 bicycle miles
  • six 5k’s
  • 8,050 yards swimming