Thursday, July 30, 2009

Heaven

Last Sunday we had Randy Alcorn speak at our church on the topic of Heaven.



Randy Alcorn is a really cool guy, author of over 30 books and a phenomenal Bible scholar specializing on the topic of Heaven.


From his website: He is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM), a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching biblical truth and drawing attention to the needy and how to help them. EPM exists to meet the needs of the unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled and unsupported people around the world.




His book Heaven is a 480 page book describing what the scriptures tell us we can expect about going to Heaven. It's a fantastic book that I highly recommend. I read it a couple years ago and it literally changed my understanding and my expectations about Heaven. There's so much written in God's word about it, and I'm so thankful that Randy has taken the time to put all the Scriptures and his biblical understanding into a book for me.

I lent my copy to someone who will remain nameless, but I also own the smaller, condensed version. And there is an even smaller version of his condensed version that could slip in a purse or Bible if ever someone wanted a quick reference.

On Facebook a couple months ago I wrote 25 things about me in the Notes section. One of the things I wrote about myself was that I love talking about Heaven and get excited just thinking about it. And why shouldn't I? I want to go someplace where the weather is perfect, the food tastes out of this world delicious, nothing hurts (physically or emotionally), the land is gorgeous, and Jesus is sitting next to me making me and my friends laugh. Wonderful.



Here are a few topics that are covered in his book:


  • The Present Heaven and Future Heaven
  • Will Heaven (the new Earth) be an Actual Place?
  • What Will Heaven Be Like?
  • What Will We Look Like in Heaven?
  • What Will We Do for All Eternity?
  • What Will Our Relationship with God Be Like?
  • Won't Heaven Be Boring?
  • Will There Be Animals on the New Earth?
  • Will We Have Our Own Homes in Heaven?
  • What Won't Be in Heaven?
  • Will Time No Longer Exist in Heaven?
  • Will We Know Everything When We Get to Heaven?
  • Will We Remember What Happened on Earth?
  • Can Those in the Present Heaven See What's Happening on Earth?
  • If People in Heaven Are Aware of Bad Things Happening on Earth, How Could It Really Be Heaven?
  • Will We Be Reunited with and Recognize Our Loved Ones in Heaven?
  • Will There Be marriage and Family in Heaven?
  • How Can We Know For Sure That We'll Go to Heaven?

And let me give you a hint that all the answers to these questions will make you happy.

I don't think I'm alone when I say that Heaven is going to be: ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!

I'll see you there! Right? :)

2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bad Boys Bad Boys --- Watcha gunna do when they come for you?

UPDATE: I feel kinda dorky now.
It wasn't until I read Youthful One's comment that I realized I was interpreting the word Vandalism with Theft. Really. This whole time I've been thinking that they were guarding against THEFT, not graffiti or careless aim jobs by boys, etc.
I'm sorta retracting this post because now I understand.
Sheesh.

I don't get it.
In case you can't read it very well, it says:

Due to continued vandalism, the men's restroom will remain locked. Please see
staff member for key. Thank you for your assistance. We apologize for the
inconvenience.


This is posted at the Redmond Public Library.

Really. I was there last week and took this picture.

But I don't get it. The women's bathroom did not have this sign and was not locked.

Continued vandalism... I'm assuming of books, right? How do they know it is only men stealing books? Are all the books on How to be a Boy missing? And after a gentleman sees a staff member for the key, couldn't he still steal his manly books and walk out with the key, too?

Is someone stealing toilet paper?
Maybe. Times are tough. That would be sad.

And perhaps if someone had to look face to face at a librarian and ask for a key to go in and steal TP, he'd be less inclined to for fear of being recognized later, I guess. Right?

I don't know.
Hm.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I call myself a runner.

Remember I mentioned I had a half marathon coming up?

It was last Saturday on the 4th of Julie. I mean July.

This is the second one I've run this year, actually. I ran a half marathon with my two goody friends Rachel and Donna on May 3rd. We had such a rockin' time training together because we spent hours running roads chatting non-stop, stashing water bottles in bushes, countless emails and fun 3-way calling phone talks. Then the over-nighter of actual race day was hilariously fun.








Here we are on my porch after a nice long run.








Here we are in Eugene after the race and back at our hotel.






Those of you who train for something that requires endurance, persistence, dedication and physical exertion know that having an accountability group makes it sooooo much easier and actually DO-ABLE! Way to go girls, we did it!

However, I was not satisfied with my end time results. I ended up running very poorly and came in at a surprisingly slow pace. I had trained much better than I raced which is backwards! Most people are shocked at how the energy and excitement of race day can make your legs fly down the course and make you feel like you're Speedy Gonzales! And having run many runs (some big some small) I've always done better on actual race day. But with my friends that day, something came over me and I couldn't get my legs to go.


I wasn't sure I was ever going to run another marathon or half marathon but I didn't want to end my running "career" on a slow note. So I set off to run another one 2 months later to beat my time and come in at a more respectable time. Hence, my 4th of July run.

I told Dad about it and he wanted to run it with me! And the awesome thing is that he decided to run it to help me make my goal! He did also want to get off his duff because this multi-marathoner hadn't run in 3 years. So it was a great way for him to get back in to running and help me meet my goal.












He is a great running partner, always positive, constantly telling me stories to keep my mind off my aching body. Distraction is key!

He would meet me at my house at 7am, we'd go for an 8 mile run and then he'd drive straight to work for the next 10 hours. Wow. And we were running at a GREAT pace. Far better than my Eugene pace and an impressive pace for me. I was excited and geared up for the race on the 4th.

However, come race day, try as he might to get me to run faster, I was just dragging. The sun was out early, the heat was setting in, and I just couldn't find my groove. Dad tried all his tricks... jokes, work stories, work gossip, funny stories, pace/goal reminders... at one point he even ran ahead of me with his arm stretched back making me catch up to him. He was a fantastic coach. My body was not cooperating with me.

In the end, I beat my time by 2 only minutes. I wanted to beat it by 5 minutes. Because I know I COULD HAVE. I've run that fast plenty of times before and all through this training. But it didn't happen.

Oh well. I'm not going to let it get me down. Nor do I think I want to run another one this year. I don't think. :)




Dad is planning on running the Portland Marathon this year! Wow.

And look what my cute family did for us! Isn't this sign Absolutely Fabulous!?


















Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We would have been in it every single day.

A few years ago when Dad and I were training for the marathon, we would run by a neighborhood pool just a few blocks from my house.

There was never anyone in it.

Granted we started our runs at 7am, so really, who goes swimming in an outdoor pool in Portland at 7am? Even in the summer.


Though it is only a few blocks from my house, I rarely see it because it's tucked in a neighborhood that I don't drive through to get to my house.


I'm running again (have a half marathon this coming Saturday, in fact) and I remembered that pool. So I ran by it and sure enough, no one was in it! And this time it was in the middle of the day on a close to 80 degree day! There SHOULD HAVE BEEN PEOPLE IN IT.

For privacy, I'm going to make up street names here.

The pool is on Maple Dr.
I, too, live on Maple Dr, but on the other side of First St.

First street divides Maple. I'm on the North side, the pool is on the South side. But if I get on my roof, I bet I can see the pool. Or at least the very trees that hide the pool.




So today...a close to 90 degree day...on my way home from an errand, I drove over to the pool.
There was one guy giving swimming lessons to 2 little kids. That's it!

There were plenty of chairs lining the pool, some in the shade, some in the sun. The pool was smallish and only 5 feet deep. Perfect for my 3 little swimmers!

The swim instructor looked at me.
I said:
Hi, is this pool open to the neighborhood? I love on Maple st.
(Remember, the pool is also on Maple st.)
Yes it is, he replied, as long as you live in Shadow Hills. Then you'll be a part of the neighborhood association, pay your dues, they'll give you a key and you're welcome to swim!

Hm.
I stood there trying to look like a Shadow Hills neighborhood association member who has a key in her back pocket, and said: Ok.

He said: Otherwise, you have to be friends with someone in Shadow Hills.

I said "Hi, what's your name? Wanna be friends?"

He chuckled.
I left.




On my way out I noticed a phone number on the pump house.
I used my telegraphic memory (?) to remember the number and promptly dialed it as soon as I got in the car.

On the microspic drive home I called and left a detailed message about how I lived super duper close by the pool, even on the same street but on the other side of First. And if I was willing to pay a due, would they allow me to bring my three young daughters in for a dip in the refreshing pool this summer!?

I tried to be really nice sounding and emphasize my close proximity and that I have three very young children (not roudy, noisy teens!) and that I'm willing to pay... pretty please?


The pool lady called me back within 5 minutes and said: No.


Fine. I didn't want to go swimming in that dumb ol' pool anyway.