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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Inspiration leads to a triathlon

After getting to know a little about Todd Storch (sound familiar? Todd is Terry Storch's brother- one of the guys that inspired me to blog), through some emails I found out he was a pretty cool guy and a rock-star wannabe like myself. I also found that we shared an interest in triathlons, (though Todd seems to be quite the athlete compared to me!), and it turns out that he inspired me to join an upcoming triathlon.

I have done two triathlons before, way back in 1999, so it has been 6 years since I particapated in one, and at 39 years old it is going to be a rude awakening. I have 6 weeks to train before race day. Whew.

Here are the events for the triathlon:
-- The swim (500-yards / 457.2 meters).
-- The bike (18.5 miles).
-- The run (3.1 miles).

Not too tough, but no walk in the park either. Not to mention, these are not events I have a natural physique for, I am 6", 230 lbs, and although I like to play all sports, my athletics have consisted mostly of lifting weights, and playing racquetball. Neither known for their endurance quotient.

So, after work today, I will jump in the pool at
Lifetime Fitnesss and make my first steps in preparing for this very cool event. Between my mariage, work, and school, it will be an interesting 6 weeks.

I want to say big thanks to Todd for just being himself and motivating me.

Have you ever been involved in a triathlon, or similar events? It would be great to hear your story.

If you're interested to particiapte in this triathlon yourself, go to the Texas Man Sprint Triathlon web page for registration and other info, and we'll see you there.


Friday, July 29, 2005

This Day's Thought

Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.

-- Paul Boese

This Day's Thought

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Screams from hunger

CNN has a Behind The Scenes series where CNN correspondents share their experiences in covering news.

Excerpt from article:

For a journalist who has covered refugee camps across Africa -- from Darfur, Sudan, to Eastern Congo to Liberia -- each time there is the haunting feeling of a desperate child staring up at you with big, brown eyes.

The feeling is one of helplessness, but there is nothing one can do. We're just here to tell the story. But at the end of the day, the experience is heart-wrenching and very draining.

My friend Steve touched this subjest in his (( ardent )) blog recently.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

each new day's promise!

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in Him." Lam 3:22-24

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A good church is worth . . .

. . . driving a long distance; changing houses; changing jobs; turning down a good job; relocating, if necessary.

I truly feel blessed that my wife and I belong to what we know is a great church, Fellowship Church, and, according to this recently published poll in Church Report, it is one of the top 50 most influential churches in America!!


Saturday, July 23, 2005

I.C.E. - A Good Idea!

In light of the bombing in London, a British paramedic had a great idea. When a person is injured (either in a case like this, or an auto accident, or illness), the rescue personnel wouldn't have a way to contact someone for you. His idea is to include an entry in yourcell phone quick dial labelled "ICE" for In Case of Emergency". The rescue people would be able to reach someone who may even have information needed to help you.

Here's the information:

A campaign encouraging people to enter an emergency contact number in their mobile phone's memory under the heading ICE (In Case of Emergency), has rapidly spread throughout the world as a particular consequence of last week's terrorist attacks in London.

Originally established as a nation-wide campaign in the UK, ICE allows paramedics or police to be able to contact a designated relative / next-of-kin in an emergency situation.
The idea is the brainchild of East Anglian Ambulance Service paramedic Bob Brotchie and was launched in May this year. Bob, 41, who has been a paramedic for 13 years, said: "I was reflecting on some of the calls I've attended at the roadside where I had to look through the mobile phone contacts struggling for information on a shocked or injured person. Almost everyone carries a mobile phone now, and with ICE we'd know immediately who to contact and what number to ring. The person may even know of their medical history."

By adopting the ICE advice, your mobile will help the rescue services quickly contact a friend or relative - which could be vital in a life or death situation. It only takes a few seconds to do, and it could easily help save your life. Why not put ICE in your phone now? Simply select a new contact in your phone book, enter the word 'ICE' and the number of the person you wish to be contacted.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

taking flight

encourage one another Hebrews 3:13

Steve Dilla is a pastor at my church, Fellowship and somebody I really enjoy serving alongside with in ministry at FC. He recently posted a picture I sent him of an F-22 in flight on his blog, (( ardent )), and he also took the time to share a comment I sent him in an email about being authentic in ministry.

I am not sure if what I said was wise or not, but it really made my day that he took the time to encourage me, it put serious wind underneath my wings.

Thanks Steve.

Thank You Jesus for using your body to build us up and draw closer to you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Now, Discover Your Strengths

I have been listening to this book on audio CD (the book wasn't in stock at the Barnes and Noble in Grapevine).

The basic premise of the book is that we should focus on what we are naturally good at, talents, (our strengths), and not our weaknesses.  Great concept.

They offer an online test from the Gallup Organization to see what your strengths may be.  Among many great points they make, the one I have seen to be very true is that your natural strengths are transferrable no matter your career.  I have seen my strengths flow through differing career choices.

I took the test yesterday, and my top 5 strengths (out of 34) are:

- Self Assurance
People strong in self assurance theme feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives.  They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence that their decisions are right.

- Learner
People strong in learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve.  In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

- Responsibility
People strong in responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do.  They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.

- Activator
People strong in activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action.  They are often impatient.

People strong in WOO theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over.  They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.

Ever take this test?  Do you think it portrays you accurately?  What are your strengths?

Friday, July 15, 2005

Yes, Yes, Yes. No.

Are you surrounded by "yes" men and women? They say "yes" to everything you say, and they never disagree.

Howard Hendricks says that a good teacher needs to be F.A.T., faithful, available, and teachable. Same goes for leaders. And if you are going to be teachable, i.e., learn anything, from the people you lead, you'll learn more from people who learn to say more than "yes" all the time.

I found this subject discussed in an brief article on Leadership Wired:

If the most common answer you get from your people is "yes," you may not be getting all the information you need to assess business ideas accurately and make critical decisions, according to Michael Roberto, Harvard Business School professor and author of Why Great Leaders Don't Take Yes for an Answer: Managing Conflict and Consensus.

read the rest of the article on Leadership Wired

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Jesus Among Other Gods

"The reality is that if religion is to be treated with intellectual respect, then it must stand the test of truth, regardless of the mood of the day. This book is a defense of the uniqueness of the Christian message."

Thus begins Ravi's most important work to date in which he contrasts the truth of Jesus Christ with the teachings of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. In his latest book, Jesus Among Other Gods, Ravi examines the truly unique message of Jesus in distinction to other major religions of the world. Is Jesus Christ really that different from other religious teachers? Aren't all the major religions basically the same? Ravi looks at six vital questions that Jesus answered in a way that no other claimant to divine or prophetic status would have answered. Some may resist Jesus' answers, but, as Ravi states, "antagonists will not be able to challenge his uniqueness."

Buy Jesus Among Other Gods

I read this book a few months back, and Ravi is excellent at synthesizing different religious beliefs, and the athiest viewpoint as well, to really bring out the uniqueness and transforming truth of Jesus Christ. I highly recommend reading this book.

Incidentally, I am facilitating a DVD study of this book with our lunch time Bible study at work,
LM Aero Bereans

- Mark

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Jesus at G8

Normally, the G8 summit elicits about as much evangelical interest as moss growing on trees. But this year evangelicals are joining the ranks of activists at the annual gathering, held this year in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Their shared goal is to change government policies that will save lives in Africa.

read full article here

Monday, July 11, 2005

No Dull Disciple

No Dull Disciple

The most critical issue facing Christians is dullness. We've lost our astonishment. The Good News is now just okay news. Christianity is no longer life changing, it's life enhancing. Jesus doesn't change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore, He changes them into "nice people."

What happened to the un-nice brand of Christianity that turned the world upside-down? … To the gospel that spread through the first century like wildfire and was considered (by those in power) dangerous? … To the kind of Christians whose hearts were on fire, spoke the truth no matter the consequence, and weren't afraid to follow Jesus wherever He went?

Is that all Christ died for is to make us really nice, smiley, easy-going and fun people to get along with?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Fellowship and fireworks

Baptisms at Fellowship during 1st Wednesday

Folding chairs, blankets and ice coolers covered the lawn on the FC Grapevine campus last night when more than 7,250 people attended our First Wednesday outdoor service. Families showed up early to get a good spot in front of the stage, and be first in line for the several bounce houses that were set up for the kids. The warm Texas afternoon cooled off quickly as the sun set behind Fellowship Church.

When is a Pastor not a Pastor?

(I am not a Pastor, but believe the Lord will move me to that some day soon)

I heard some disparaging remarks on a blog recently about who should be called a Pastor, and this article sheds some light on the subject...

The most common title in the modern church apart from priest or minister, which are often confined to the more traditional denominations rather than evangelical or free churches, is 'pastor'. Yet, it is the least common in the New Testament, apparently mentioned in passing just once. Nevertheless, the context for its mention has become the proof text for the doctrine of a five-fold ministry. The reasons for a preferring of the term 'pastor' are many but historically include the Protestant and Lutheran reaction against the Catholic priesthood and the more recent evangelical distancing from the terms vicar, rector or minister, and their associations with the established church.

read the rest of the article

LM Aero Bereans

Created the LM Aero Bereans blog to communicate ongoing, different Bible studies, meetings at Lockheed Martin Aero, in Ft. Worth, TX.

The one I am currently facilitating is 'Jesus Among Other Gods', a DVD presentation by Ravi Zacharias.

We meet every Tuesday at 12:00 PM in c/r 5/2/H35.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Google Earth!!

You have to check out Google Earth

The entire globe is mapped in 3-D via satellite imagery so when you punch in an address it shows you the location in 3-D on the surface of the Earth. You can also configure it to look at street names, coffee houses, entertainment venues, etc.

The closest thing to this on the web used to be terrafly, but this is the next revolution in digital imagery and will have applications too numerous to list.

Very cool!


Must watch

This is a Tribute that has fading in and out photos of our troops in action in the current action in the Iraq Desert region. It is set to soft music and will touch the hearts of the greatest generation and those who were born to them and worshiped them and what they lived and died through. American youth is such a tremendous resource. Young men and women have changed the world during the past 230 years and for the most part have made it a better place to live in. Please take a moment to view this site and reflect on the current contribution that American youth is making in the pages of history.

Say a prayer for them and for a result that will advance the progress of mankind. Please pass the web site on . . .

Saturday, July 02, 2005

BBC Live 8 Blog

Thousands of people are at concerts around the world.

BBC reporters are at the Live 8 concerts around the world to bring you all the gossip and atmosphere from the big day.


Friday, July 01, 2005

how is your flywheel?

Do you know what a flywheel is?

Do you know how important it is to your automobile?

My first car was a 1969 Pontiac Gran Prix LT. Silver with a black top, and black interior, 400, 4 barrel, dual exhaust. It was in bad need of a paint job, but the interior was in excellent shape, and there was minimal rust (this was in MI, and that is rare!).

The owner wanted $850.00 for it, but was willing to come down on the price because he thought the flywheel needed to be replaced. My friend knew better and thought we could just tighten it up, not replace it. I ended up paying $700.00 for the car. I tightened the flywheel pretty easily and never had another mechanical problem with the car.

Anyways, I found out that the flywheel is pretty important to running your car.

Have you ever thought about your flywheel? Is it possible that your flywheel needs an adjustment or replacing?

Check out this movie where one guy finds out what kind of shape his 'flywheel' is in . . . .