Posts

Afraid of the Thunder!

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This week Kim and I have been caring for Odin, Joanna and Dan’s greyhound. He’s a really good dog, but has one major issue that sometimes makes it a bit hard to care for him: he’s deathly afraid of the sound thunder—or fireworks or any other loud noises for that matter. Our dog Sadie gets nervous at such sounds, but not like Odin who will end up shaking in a corner and/or simply freeze. At that point, he won’t eat, sit with us, or go for a walk. The poor dog becomes completely dominated by his fear and anxiety.   Odin chilling..no thunder! In fact, just yesterday morning as we were waking up, a thunderstorm rolled in. Predictably, with the first clap of thunder, Odin ran up the stairs and ended up in our bedroom in a panic. It is always so sad to see how frightened he becomes. Again, Sadie is as well afraid and will start to pant a bit, but Odin was shaking and would not move. Thankfully, the storm didn’t last long and we were eventually able to calm him down enough for him to eat and

What Stands in Your Way? (The Beaver Dam!)

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Once again Kim and I spent a couple of weeks on Lake Pleasant in the Adirondack Mountains with some of our family. Each year, while there, we take a canoe ride from our lake to another lake through a channel that is about three-quarters of a mile long. It’s a beautiful ride filled with water lilies, duck families, fish that pass under the canoe, the sound of bull frogs, and this year a young heron and it’s mother. This year, however, we never made it to the other lake. You see, about two-thirds of the way through we found our way completely blocked by a beaver dam!  We’ve seen the beaver dams in the past, and now and then even the beavers themselves. However, we have never seen a beaver dam like this one. It extended across the whole channel giving us no way to get around it. The water on the other side was 4 to 6 inches higher than on our side. And it was amazingly strong made with sticks and logs cut and shaped by the beavers and sealed together with mud.  It was an engineering feat

Keys to Running a Good Race!

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As many of you know, I have been somewhat of a runner for the past few years. I began with running a mile or two on our local boardwalk.  Since then, I’ve run a number of 5K races, seeking to run a somewhat respectable time. The longest I’ve ever run is 10 miles. Currently, I’m finishing off the second week of a 12 week training plan to run a half-marathon at the end of September. Needless to say, the running metaphors of the New Testament hit home with me.  As I’ve read the scriptures and thought about both my physical running and my spiritual race of faith, I’ve realized that both require of me the same thing. In fact, recently I’ve honed in on four keys to running a good race both physically and spiritually—and in other aspects of life, as well. They are discipline, perseverance, pacing, and focus.  I’ve learned that, in order to run a physical race I need to first of all discipline myself multiple times per week to get up and run, even when I don’t feel like it. I then need perseve

A Full House!

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Years ago there was a TV sitcom entitled, “Full House.”  Well, this past week, Kim and I have had the ultimate full house.  Visiting with us as been our two grandsons, Jesse and Jack; their parents, Jonathan and Danielle; our daughter and son-in-law, Joanna and Dan; our son, Nathaniel, and his fiancĂ©e, Sarah at various times; and, as of last night, Kim’s cousin’s son, Josh. Oh, did I mention the added dog, Odin, and Sarah’s rabbit, Lizzy, who has as well visited this week? Yes, it’s been a full house!  Of course, most of the time Kim and I are alone in the house and have our routines and ways of keeping things. Add that many people and a dog or two to the mix and things can become a bit crazy. The schedule gets thrown off. Stuff seems to be everywhere. And the questions are endless: Who is sleeping where? What will we eat for dinner? Who’s going to be around for dinner? Can someone help with the crying baby? When can I go play with Jesse? Etc.  For sure, a full house has its challenges

A Celebration of Freedom!

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This weekend we as a nation will celebrate our freedom. Independence Day (The “Fourth of July”) is first of all a celebration of our independence from England’s rule over us. But the day is also a celebration of the freedoms that have come with that independence. Those freedoms are listed in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. They are the freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and the right to petition the government. One person wrote, “Together, these five guaranteed freedoms make the people of the United States of America the freest in the world.”  (“7 Things You Need to Know About the First Amendment” online page of the Free Speech Center)  Although we are grateful for our freedoms as Americans, I think we would all agree that one’s freedom can be used for either good or bad. For example, some think that because we have been guaranteed freedom of speech, they can then say whatever they want to or about others, no matter how hurtful or untrue their words might be—at t

Making New Friends!

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It seems that over the past few months, I’ve been meeting people in some new and different ways and making some new friends along the way. There’s the young guy in the supplement store next to the gym, where I buy my protein powder. His name is Tom. We connect about three times per week, just to chat and keep up with each other. Recently, we even exchanged phone  numbers.  There’s the neighbors who came into the neighborhood about a year ago, Diego and Iva. They even recently visited our church. And, last week, Kim and I met a couple on our bike ride around the Manasquan Reservoir, Gene and Dawn. By the time we were getting ready to leave, we were as well exchanging phone numbers and talking about doing a bike ride together. Oh, I ought to mention our neighbors Amir and Ansa and their sons who originate from Pakistan and are relatively devout Muslims. This year we brought them gifts on Ramadan and they brought us gifts for Easter. Amir now calls me, “brother.”  And, talking about frien

A New Day...A New Race!

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This coming Saturday, June 18, is the Red Bank Classic 5K with over 1,000 runners participating.  In fact, this is the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19 that the race has taken place in full. (The last time was June 2019).  So it’s only natural that people are excited about getting out into the community and running together again. I know I am. After all, for many people, being able to run a 5K race like this signifies that we have turned a corner and that it is in some ways a new day and thus, we might say, a new race.   Once again, we will have a team from our church, Shrewsbury First Assembly, made up of about 10 runners (well, maybe a few walkers!). It’s a great way for us to participate with one of our neighboring communities. We will all be wearing our “Caribbean blue” t-shirts with the words, “It’s A New Day!”  Our hope is to not only run well, but to send a message of encouragement to the other runners, to let them know about our church, and most of all to let them know