Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Observations - Apr 26

- Congratulations to Felisha Garren. The former North Henderson athlete and Western Carolina freshman ran on the 4x400m team that won the Southern Conference Championship this weekend at Georgia Southern. Their time was 3:44.99. Fe also placed 4th in the 400 and 5th in the 200.

- I went to a presentation from the Grace team that went to Uganda in February. Pray for me and see if that's something that is in God's will for me in the future. In the meantime, check out the video:

- Please go to this website and sign the e-petition if you support it. The proposed trail would go along my backyard. When I first bought the house 7 years ago, the train ran twice a day. It hasn't run for at least two years. Here's more info:

- Quote of the Week:
"Somalia is what happens when you let teenagers run a country" - Paul Larate

- Quote of the Week II (While at a cookout at Laura's on a beautiful spring evening):
Sara: "Why would anyone want to leave Asheville?"
Ruth: "The better question is: Why would anyone want to leave us?"
True, so true...

Song of the Week:
It showed up on my TV last week and then was used at Grace this morning.

Crush of the Week:
When I was hired at North Henderson, David Pierce was teaching in my room. He was moved so I could be next door to the great Dot Case. Coach Pierce was also the girl's track coach. When he retired, I was asked to fill his position. Coach Pierce was an avid outdoorsman who liked to fish, bike and canoe/kayak and we often talked outdoors adventures.

He retired from teaching but continued to coach track at rival West Henderson. Two years ago, during a windstorm, he went to his favorite spot to fly fish. On his way out, a large tree branch fell and hit him, causing severe head injuries. A friend found him when his wife called because he had not returned. He spent several weeks in hospital because of his head injuries and several more weeks in rehab. For a while, it was a huge question mark if he would regain all his motor skills because of the head trauma.

Here are some of the Times-News articles:
Pierce Returns to Role of Starter for WHKP Relays
After Severe Injury, Pierce Back at West
Pierce Remains in Critical Condition

Good news is that Coach Pierce is back. He was the starter for the WHKP Relays that we hosted before spring break and again this past Tuesday for the County Meet. The photo above is him working as starter for the Mountain to Seas meet at Western Carolina a few weeks ago. Two years ago, many wondered if he would even walk again for how productive he might be. Truth be told, he looks pretty good.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Observations - Apr 19

- Spring Break is over. It was low key, but it was good. I mean, I got in 3 bicycle rides, 2 motorcycle rides, 2 rounds of golf, 1 night of Quizzo, 1 College Football Spring Game, 2 pounds of crawfish, a great cookout and 1/2 of my house cleaner than it was before.

- Speaking of the Spring Game, made it to Atlanta for Tech's T-Day game. Gold defeated White 31-28. It was a sloppy game. First play was a fumble. It kinda of set the tone for the rest of the game.Offense made some good plays, even without Josh Nesbitt playing and Jonathan Dwyer Demaryius Thomas getting limited reps. Defense was okay. Special teams atrocious. The Spring Game is just a glorified scrimmage, but for a fanatic like me, it's a fabulous football fix in between the bowl games and the start of the season in August.
- Part of my weekend in Atlanta entailed going to the High Museum and seeing the First Emperor exhibit. China's first emperor, Qin Shihuangdi, was a brutal tyrant who basically conscripted an entire nation to either work on his Great Wall, his Burial Tomb inside manmade Mount Li, or a vast army of clay that were to guard his tomb in the afterlife.
Despite being a ruthless despot, Qin managed to unify feudal China, standardize writing, weights, and measure. Qin (pronounced chin) left a lasting legacy through his unfication of China and this incredible terra cotta army.

- If you are in Midtown Atlanta, you have to eat at the Flying Biscuit. It has been a longtime favorite of mine.
- I sat at the bar in the Flying Biscuit and talked to a guy from Colorado named Richard. He worked in the tea industry was in Atlanta for a coffee convention. How do you get a job where you fly around the world tasting coffee? Sign me up!

- Did you know that the NBA is having a playoff? It's dumb that their first round games are best of 7 series. The whole thing takes to long. Make the first round best of 3. Then it would be more interesting!

Crush of the Week:
Read this entry from my friend Kate. I agree. Michelle Obama does the whole role of first lady well. She's classy, smart and was a hit with the Queen Mum. I like her. She's this week's crush.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Chains are Gone

This was a message I sent last year to our FCA officers, with some recent additions:

Easter got me thinking today. Over the last few years, God has revealed big themes to me as far as my faith. A few years ago it was the idea of brokenness, that I will not allow God to use me until I am broken in spirit. Then came "redemptive suffering" or suffering for the sake of others. Recently, I've been learning more and more about freedom. We talk about it all the time, especially in the context of war and terrorism and oppression. But what does freedom in my faith mean?

Read Romans. Romans is a book about freedom. It's about Freedom from sin through grace but also freedom from the law through grace. If we choose to obey the law we are slaves to righteousness. If we choose to sin, we are slaves to our sin (Romans 6:15-18). Either way we are slaves; we are not free "So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin" (Romans 7:25). Through Christ we are free. The law, whether it is God's, man's or sin's, cannot save or condemn us. In freedom is redemption, peace and joy.

"For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14)

Easter is an empty tomb. All of the cosmos, in it's mighy, vast and infinite time and space, converge in this singular moment in history, in an ordinary and empty tomb.

Cross = Forgiveness

Tomb = Freedom

On Friday, we celebrated the forgiveness, the Passion, that Jesus had for us. We rejoice in the suffering that he endured; He became the Lamb that was slain (Isaiah 53).

Today, we celebrate the resurrection and the freedom that came in that empty tomb. No chains, no stone, no tomb can hold us. Not even our sins, death or the judgement of man. Sin cannot enslave us, the law cannot hold us captive. The tomb is empty, we are free.

Amazing Grace, I've been set free
My God, My Savior, has ransomed me
And like a flood, his mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing Grace

Happy Easter

Sunday Observations - Apr 12

- Congratulations to the Tarheels. Dominated the Spartans. Way to represent the state and the ACC.

- As the game was be ginning, I get a call from my buddy Doug: "Did I just see Christina Storm on TV? She's got a pink jacket on."

Christina was one of my runners and a sophomore at UNC. So I send her a text:
"Are you wearing a pink jacket? I think you were just on TV."
Her reply, "YEAHHHHH! whoooaaaahhhh go heels!"
Can you find her among the sea of baby blue?

- We had a murder on Thursday here in Hendersonville. The victim was a friend of the community who's wife is the bookkeeper at West Henderson. She was there when I was a student there. There are three in custody, one was a student-athlete at the school I work at and another was on my homeroom roster (though he never showed). Here's a link to the article.

- I saw Godspell at the Orange Peel last night. It was put on by the Highland Acting Company, which is part of Highland Christian Church that meets at the Peel on Sunday mornings. It was a great show. Directing was excellent, choreography and singing superb. Neat modern twist on an old show with it's Asheville tie ins and the original Resurrectio scene. The original show ended with the cruxifition, the Highland Actors added a new ending with the resurrection.

It was a very appropriate show for Asheville, because I think Jesus would have loved the diversity of Asheville a lot more than most churches have loved the people of Asheville. Also, it was a reminder that it was religion that killed Christ. Some things just never change.

- Good job Angel. Cabrera, that is. Way to stay in there and not quit. Although Kenny Perry winning at Augusta would have been a nice story.

Crush of the Week:
I watched V for Vendetta this week. Loved it. There's so much going on at both cinematic and thematic levels. It was both eye catching and though provoking, drawing many allusions to George Orwell's 1984. It really was a great movie that also featured my longtime celebrity crush: Natalie Portman.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Good Friday

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

Isaiah 53:5-7

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Observations - Apr 5

- The talk is weather. It was nearly 70 degrees today. Weather forecast calls for snow on Tuesday. Welcome to spring in the mountains...

- Tom Izzo can coach my team any day.

- I went from the 98th percentile in my ESPN Tournament Bracket two weeks ago to 82.52% today. Really? The rest of the country must stink if I am ahead of 82% of them. I only got half the final four and one finalist (UNC). I do have Carolina winning, however.

- Next time you see a law enforcement officer, thank them or give them a hug. What happened in Pittsburgh breaks my heart. These are men with families that put their lives at risk every single day.

- Here's a great article on repentance and forgiveness:
One man's ambivalent retreat from his racist past

- I made it to Western Carolina yesterday and got to see my former athlete Felisha Garren run a collegiate meet. Fe was a state champion for North Henderson last season and now a freshman at Western. She ran a 56.38 to place 3rd in the 400m dash and ran the 3rd leg on the first place 4x400 Relay Team [3:48.15]. Not bad for a girl who spent most of the winter in a boot because of stress fracture in her foot (note the high wrapping on her left foot).

- My fellow blogger and friend, Brent, likes to use the word "glorious". It's a great word. Today's teaching at church was from II Corinthians 4:7-11. The words "glory" or "glorious" are used 10 times in those 4 verses.

And here's Scott Stewart's, the pastor at Grace Foothills, blog post today:
“Everything Glorious” by David Crowder Band

Crush of the Week:
Gloria (there's that word again) "Glow" Nock is one of my heroes. She works as an officer for the Henderson County Sheriff's Department, primarily with the D.A.R.E. program. Her husband, Bill, is an policeman with the Hendersonville Police Department. They both work hard in service of our county and I appreciate what they and their colleagues do for all of us.
Glow also is the mother of my "son" Wayne (above left, who's finishing his 3rd year at Elon), and my buddy Natalie (who in the picture just shaved her hair because she met a goal to raise $2000.00 for cancer). Also in the family is Allison, the oldest and not pictured because she's off doing theater all over the country. Glow is well known in the community as an advocate and role model for children. That makes her awesome. The amazing kids she has raised makes her even more awesome.