Fitness Update: sparse

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55 miles biked. No swimming. No running.

Need to start practicing my running. Need to get a mile in under 6:51 before the January PR mile.

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#244: Let Jesus Come into Your Heart

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

1

If you are tired of the load of your sin,

Let Jesus come into your heart;

If you desire a new life to begin

Let Jesus come into your heart.

CHORUS

Just now your doubtings give o’er,

Just now reject Him no more;

Just now throw open the door –

Let Jesus come into your heart.

2

If ‘tis for purity now that you sigh,

Let Jesus come into your heart;

Fountains for cleansing are flowing nearby,

Let Jesus come into your heart.

CHORUS

3

If there’s a tempest your voice cannot still,

Let Jesus come into your heart;

If there’s a void this world never can fill,

Let Jesus come into your heart.

CHORUS

4

If you would join the glad songs of the blest,

Let Jesus come into your heart;

If you would enter the mansions of rest,

Let Jesus come into your heart.

CHORUS

Riddle me this: I am a Wondrous Thing

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It was back at World Con in 2016, in our hometown of Kansas City, that we met author Rob Howell and I started reading his books. For a review of his book A Lake Most Deep just follow the link I placed in the book title.

Because today’s post is going to be on his book I am a Wondrous Thing. It is in his same World of Shijuren universe, but tracks a different part of that world. There is a connection to the characters in A Lake Most Deep, but it is indirect and not necessary to read that book to understand any of the context here. The book stands alone, but also paints with a well-defined palate another interesting piece of Shijuren.

I became intrigued with I am a Wondrous Thing at LibertyCon this past June, when I heard Howell give a reading from the book. It was a very poignant section of the book that totally intrigued me, and totally misdirected me about the core of the book. I thought the reading was from much earlier in the book than it turned out to be. His painting of Irina and the loss/death of her husbands was a very poignant reading.  Later, reading it myself in the context of the book, it was just as poignant, and also imbued with much more meaning than Howell was able to bring out in the isolated reading of the passage.

Like all of his writing, Howell paints very solid characters that ring true and believable in their world. No one is too good, too perfect, or too evil. There are no stock characters.

Irina before and after her time as Velikomat is an especially well-drawn character. Her ability to live two lives, but also how they can or cannot be totally untwined is an interesting element of the plot. One which leaves a lot of potential for future stories, and a lot of unanswered questions, while leaving the reader satisfied at the end.

Howell shows his true Puckish nature in the writing. The best example comes from page 163, the last line of chapter 26: “The idyllic time ended in a night of blood and fear”. Once you read description, later in the book, of that “night of blood and fear”, you will be ready to strangle him for the setup and misdirection that one line gave you. And then plunge back into the book to see where it leads next.

Howell has definitely improved his craft since the writing of his first book, which I found quite satisfactory, and I look forward to reading the other two books of his I currently have in possession. If only life gave me more time to read for mere pleasure.

And when you do read this book, let me know if you understand the prologue.  It is a very fascinating scene at the beginning, but if it links to something in this book, I did not find it. Perhaps the explanation is in a future book that will shine light on how it links to this one. Howell’s threads are often deep, but they always connect.

BTW, the title of the book can be found in a riddle at the end of the book (don’t flip forward to find it, read until you get there — it will have a better impact that  way). Howell doubtless understands that Riddle. I don’t — yet.

A Blast of the Past #122: Rocky

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Hard to realize that it has already been 8 years. Sept. 12, 2009 we went to Wayside Waifs and adopted Rocky (called Devito at Wayside, after Danny Devito, because of our dog’s short legs). Here are the pictures when he first came home.

We were warned we couldn’t leave him out in a back yard, that he would dig and is an escape artist. And though the escapes have gotten less frequent, the most recent one took place this Tuesday Morning. So he’s still the same ole Rocky, though perhaps the world old does apply more than it did to our frisky pup.

#243: Room at the Cross for You

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

1

The cross upon which Jesus died

Is a shelter in which we can hide;

And its grace so free is sufficient for me,

And deep is its fountain – as wide as the sea.

CHORUS

There’s room at the cross for you,

There’s room at the cross for you;

Tho millions have come, There’s still room for one –

Yes, there’s room at the cross for you.

2

Tho millions have found Him a friend

And have turned from the sins they have sinned,

The Savior still waits to open the gates

And welcome a sinner before it’s too late.

CHORUS

3

The hand of my Savior is strong,

And the love of my Savior is long;

Through sunshine or rain, through loss or in gain,

The blood flows from Calv’ry to cleanse ev’ry stain.

CHORUS

 

Halloween or Winterfest?

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With today being Halloween, I thought I would post some photos of the final day of the Haunt season at Worlds of Fun. I will start with a video of one a great new live show they had in the International Plaza: The Skeleton Crew. But the rest of the pictures are a lot more looking forward to Christmas and the park’s upcoming WinterFest season.

 

And once the show finished, they wasted no time in taking the staging down…

The entryway to the park looked a lot like Christmas:

 

Though the boneyard had some of its Halloween up:

But the Row of Shops in Americana had a new name:

While Deja Vu was getting its makeover:

 

 

It was also the last Day for the Finnish Fling, which is being replaced next year:

The Steel Hawk is no longer a ride, but a 300-foot tree.  We got a lot of pictures from a lot of different perspectives.

#238: O Jesus, Thou Art Standing

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

1

O Jesus, Thou art standing Outside the fast-closed door,

In lowly patience waiting To pass the threshold o’er:

Shame on us, Christian brothers, His Name and sign who bear,

O shame, thrice shame upon us, To keep Him standing there!

2

O Jesus, Thou art knocking – And lo” that hand is scarred,

And thorns Thy brow encircle, And tears Thy face have marred:

O love that passeth knowledge, So patiently to wait!

O sin that has no equal, So fast to bar the gate!

3

O jesus, Thou art pleading In accents meek and low,

“I died for you, My children, And will ye treat Me so?”

O Lord, with shame and sorrow We open now the door;

Dear Savior, enter, enter, And leave us nevermore!