Monday, February 28, 2011

Blacksburg Classic: A Humbling Experience in Running

Hi Friends! 

A big CONGRATS to everyone who ran in the Blacksburg Classic yesterday!  Also, I huge word of thanks to everyone who encouraged me around mile 5 and then again at the very end on the last of the killer hills.  I needed you desperately as you could see on my face.

I think it was so cool for people there to see us all in the same shirt, too!  Huge thanks to Jesse and Hannah!  Also, when yall were cheering for me at the Huckleberry gazebo area...  I feel like that was memorable for the other spectators right there too because overall there weren't that many cheering fans at this race.  Yay!

The part further down the Huckleberry totally kicked my butt.  But it was a great reminder in humility.  I don't really struggle with needing to be humble about running because I know that I'm not the best ever; however, I do get a prideful area in my spiritual life sometimes.  So this race is making connections for me in that area as well :)

My final time was around 1:53, I think.  Honestly, compared to how I was feeling, I am pleased with that.  The results aren't posted on the website yet and my watch messed up.  So we'll see once they post them at

I really want to get your feedback, all of you who were there.  Let us know your time and thoughts!

Love you all!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Almost Missing the Lesson...

Is anyone else out there as hard headed as I am?  Recently, I've realized that I have been so hard headed that I've been thinking that I'm not hard headed for a good couple of years.  Can anyone give me an amen?  Anyway, Praise to our merciful Savior for breaking through to me the other day. 

Around last September or October I began doing a Bible study written by Priscella Shirer called "Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted".  Many of us have heard the Sunday school rendition of this "whale of a tale" for many years.  Actually studying the book seriously proved to be much more intense and than I could have imagined.  I'd even say it was deeper than the blue sea, if you know what I mean.

Well much of the study focused on viewing life's interruptions as divine interventions.  The whole time I was doing the Bible study I really thought that God's calling for Alex and I to go on a long-term mission trip after we are married was my interruption and that I was being really great because I am happy to do it (unlike our dear Jonah).

Coming back after Christmas break, I had just one short week left of the study.  After coming back from break I began having a weird attitude about engage groups.  I'll be totally honest.  I have really been mourning my old home group.  They have been my family for a year and a half.  I've never had a community that I trusted and loved so intensely.  I didn't anticipate being so sad, but once a week or two went by without home group I got really sad.  The kind of sad where you hear a special song that reminds you of the sad thing and it's all you can do not to wreak the car because your eyes are filled with tears kind of sad.  Perhaps I'm the only weirdo who does that ;-)

So one innocent morning before work I opened up my Jonah study to the very last day.  You may not remember that the book of Jonah doesn't end with Jonah frolicking in a bed of roses.  It ends with him mourning the loss of a dying plant that he didn't even plant and being downright angry at God about it.

If you're not making the connections, let me spell it out for you.  I had been acting like Jonah.  It slapped me in the face with the weight of ten cinder blocks.  I was mourning the loss of my own home group that I didn't even make great.  God had grown Pendulum and made it great.  Candice didn't.  Now I was moping around because this running group wasn't at the same level as my old group.

It all became clear.  This running group is my divine intervention and runners are my Nineveh.  It's not me who is going to make any of this good or bear fruit; it is Him and Him alone.  Otherwise at the end of the semester I'm going to be sitting under a little dying branch.  On page 147 Shirer writes, "Jonah found himself face to face with the reality of God's perspective: Jonah care about a plant.  God cared about people".  Friends, you could have subbed in Candice for Jonah in that sentence.

Since that time, I can't say that I have been a total saint about the situation, but I have been so inspired by that morning in God's word that I am convinced we are not laboring in vain.  God's grace is carrying me through this process and I know that that he who began a good work in you (or this group) will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6b).

What more is there to say?  Praise be to God!  Maker of Heave and earth!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Hi Friends!
Just a reminder that Engage.Together. is tonight at 8pm in 130Jackson.  We offer a lot of opportunities to get involved.  Many of these are just fun, extra activities.  However, our Thursday night Bible study times, engage togethers, and intentional out times are very important/ central to what NLCF is having us do.  I hope to see you all tonight.  If you can please join us for some dinner at Owen's just before 7pm.

Lots of love!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Running Today

Hey All,

Emily and I will be going running today at 5 pm.  Meet the at entrance to the Huckleberry if you're interested!

Happy Friday!

-- John

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Top 5 Reasons to Run and Attend the Pancake Breakfast Saturday Morning

Hi Friends!
Saturday morning the Honduras mission team is holding a pancake breakfast to raise money for their Spring Break trip.  You may recall the spaghetti dinner that they had last semester; same team but different cuisine this time.  Jesse and I are going to run together beforehand at 9am on the Huckleberry then walk over to the BCM (corner of Washington and Kent).  In case you're feeling a little non-committal or like $5.00 is just too much to ask... let me persuade you with 5 fabulous reasons to join us.

1. Running before eating pancakes means that you can devour more pancakes without feeling bad about the number of calories and also get your money's worth.

2. According to there is ZERO percent chance of parcipitation in Blacksburg on Saturday.  When does that EVER happen?!  Let's take advantage of running in that.

3. Like Mike talked about in Sunday service a few weeks ago, this $5.00 will be a true investment.  Helping people go on a mission trip where they will be inspiring others has a return so great that we can't even begin to quantify it.  Praise the Lord for these people who are going to spread Jesus' Name!

4. My inside sources tell me that they coffee that they are serving with the pancakes is Starbucks brand... need I say more?  Actually I do need to say more because usually for just a drink at Starbucks you pay $5.

5. I will personally pat you on the back and give you a round of applause for showing up.  You'll feel like a rock star.

Alright... I'm glad we got that settled.  See you Thursday at 6:30pm in the War Memorial Gym lobby for our group "out" run.  Then again Saturday for the run and pancake breakfast.  Enjoy hump day!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Running Wednesday

Hi Friends,
I am planning to go running tomorrow (Wednesday) at 4:30 pm at the Huckleberry. My past two solo runs have been really horrible with weird upper abdominal pain that I've never really had before. So hopefully that doesn't happen this time since I would love to run pretty far. Try not to blow away today ;-)

Peace out cub scouts.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Chilly Run

Yesterday was so beautiful! It was 50 degrees during the day, but come 5:30 the temperature still dropped quickly. Folks (other than Josh) were adding layers as we waited for others to arrive. We had a 2 miler and 4 miler group today. At the end I think everyone was ready to get inside to warm up, but we did it. Props to the those who did it!