A Weekend Outdoors with Friends


This weekend I’ll be spending every minute with good friends that I love and care about. We’ll hike, swim, shoot, eat, drink, zipline, ball, laugh, and revel. Don’t expect anything out of me on any social media site, I’m going to be fully present and in the moment. It’s incredible that 26 of us have carved out a weekend to flee to the mountains together, and I’m going to enjoy it fully.

Here’s a cool photo to send us in to the weekend, via Cold Splinters

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Have a great weekend!

What to Look for this Week, and a Reading List


Good morning everyone, I’ve been in Chicago the past few days, enjoying deep dish pizza, dueling piano bars, and the Field Museum. Pictures to come! Ok, 1 picture now.

Cloud Gate aka "The Bean"

Here are the books, sites, and articles that have been speaking to me this week, hope you find something here that speaks to you as well. I’ll be back to regular posting on Wednesday, working on the topic of Jesus and simple living.

For today, here is what I’m reading:

The Thank You Economy: I’ve just started, but am really diving in. How we communicate with our clients and treat them as people is the most important aspect in business today. Even in a down economy, people will pay more for the same product/service if the customer care is better. I know I do. Will keep you updated.

7 Remarkably Simple Ways to Become a Stronger Runner (and maybe even enjoy it)!: I’ve been reading a lot of Matt’s work lately, during my own foray in to vegetarian and quasi-vegan eating habits. I always thought as an athlete, I need large amounts of meat to perform my best. Now, being 90% meat free for a month now, I don’t really miss it. When I do eat meat, I feel pretty bad (though it is delicious). This post isn’t about nutrition, but a good primer in kick-starting your running.

What You Need to Know Before Starting a WordPress Blog: I came across this post because I’ve been researching the transition to a self-hosted WordPress blog. This post is one of the best for quickly covering the basics of your launch.

50 Centuries of Work = 5 Important Lessons: This is really a short book review, but Dan offers us enough meat to tell 1 important fact – “Choose a career for intrinisic rewards, not the financial rewards”. This looks like a book I may be reading in the future.

Is Liberal and Conservative In Our Hard-Wiring?: Richard Rohr is always thought-provoking, and in an election year he serves up this basic question of political nature vs. nurture. A good read that takes a couple minutes.

Failure is an Option: Great advice from Vern, who speaks about failure in the context of athletics, but is applicable across many disciplines. A great quote in the article is “failure sucks but instructs.” If you are an athlete I highly recommend adding Vern to your permanent reading list.

Dating Advice from 1944 – How to Pick Your Right Girl:

Good ol’ Art of Manliness, digging through the archives and coming up with this gem. If you are a guy navigating the world of dating, give this a read, and give a lot of thought to what truly matters to you in the long run.

I’ve already found my right girl, and she’s under Marilyn Monroe’s dress…

Well that’s a good list for the week, what have you guys and gals been reading? I hope that your week is full of blessings and challenges. We need them both to stay sharp!

New Years Eve Hike, Screwtape Letters, & Siri gets Moralistic


Yesterday I got the urge to hoof it up our mountain to it’s highest point, roughly 4000 feet. I wanted to see the last sunset of 2011, it was a beautiful, clear day, and I knew the Lord would make it worthwhile. As I was lacing up the shoes, I had a brief but intense inner struggle of even going. It was getting cold, it would be dark, and the hike down is treacherous in bad (or no) light. What’s the big deal about this one day anyway? a voice whispered. I ended up pushing it away and embarking, as I went to the trailhead I thought of The Screwtape Letters, and a particular one where the Senior Devil, Screwtape, encourages his nephew, Wormwood, to keep his human from experiences and situations where may attain any type of natural pleasure, or something he enjoys just for the beauty of it. Because those are times humans may glimpse a bit of God’s wonder and beauty.

As I was hiking up, I started running on a flat section, and quickly hit stray branch, making an elongated and awkward fall to the ground. Now, I don’t fall very much, but when I do, it’s spectacular. I had my iPhone in my backpack (for emergency and photo purposes), and fell with such force that somehow Siri activated. I faintly heard the two-tone beep as I was yelling, “SHIIIIIIIITTTTT!” and writhing on the ground. Siri then politely said…

and I, frustrated and confused, yelled back, “I said SHIT!” (apologies to any family that reads this and hasn’t yet realized I curse from time to time, especially while in pain and surprise). To which Siri replies…

Thanks.

Anyway, I made it up to the top, was able to write and reflect as the sun was setting, and snap this picture before I headed back down.

It was beautiful, and yes a small glimpse of God’s handiwork. How much more amazing is he when fully experienced? I’m finding out day by day.

Happy New Year!