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August 2007 Training

3 – Track: Ran 2×400 w/ Meagan (2:55, 3:16), Ran 3×400 w/ Caleb (2:34, 2:10, 2:35), and ran 1×800 (3:11)
10 – Track: Ran 1×400 warmup w/ both kids (3:07), Ran 2×400 w/ Meagan (3:12, 4:04), Ran 3×400 w/ Caleb (2:24, 2:29, 2:28), and ran 2×800 (3:51, 3:57) [Total 2.5 miles]
13 – Track: Ran 1600m (8:30), Ran ? w/ Meagan, Ran ? w/ Caleb (lost records of the kids’ runs)
17 – Beat the Heat 5K (28:00)
18 – Caleb ran his mile in 13:20 (3:05, 2:50, 3:44, 3:41); Meagan ran her mile in 16:11 (3:12, 4:12, 3:13, 5:34).
24 – Office PT at Track: Ran 1.5 miles while kids both completed at least 1 mile on their own.
27 – Office PT: Ran 1.9 miles
31 – PT on our own, so I loaded the truck with 1380 pounds of household goods

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Flying Solo?

So, my job search continues and as my time in Arizona winds down I have started to become concerned that I won’t get a paying job by the time I get to Nebraska.  If I can’t find a paying job, then I may have to start considering self-employment, a thought that truly terrifies me.

I will be paid by the Air Force through November 25th, so I have a little time after we make it to Nebraska.  And even after I leave active duty, I should still be a reservist, so I will receive some income from the Air Force.  I have also started applying with some on-line colleges, thinking that if I can pick up a few courses, maybe I can get some more income.  Then the only other thing I would want to do is provide legal assistance to members of the local community.  Can I cobble together a living out of a bunch of smaller occupations?

I will tell you that what attracts me most to this idea is that I won’t be spending 12-15 hours a week commuting to work!  I can only imagine the freedom of such self-employment (even though it is really just many small others-employment relationships).  But there are also the concerns of whether all these small arrangements will add up to enough money and where do I go for insurance (health, life, malpractice)?  But this would also allow me to plug into the community faster (since I would be living and working in the community, not just sleeping there), and it would allow me to spend more time at the outset focusing on building up our farm.  The farm is, after all, a large part of why we chose to buy 83 acres.  Did we choose to buy, or did God irresistibly draw us to buy?

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Wings of Blue Tandem Jump Video

In March I had the opportunity to do a tandem jump with the Wings of Blue from the Air Force Academy. They were jumping down at Gila Bend AFAF and I got the opportunity to jump with them from 12,000 feet. What a rush! Today I finally got around to uploading the video (sorry it took me so long, Jon). The audio didn’t successfully make the move from the videotape to the computer, so I put music over the audio.

Enjoy!

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Father-Son Camping Trip

Last Thursday through Saturday, Caleb & I went camping together.  Our church was holding a men and boys camping trip, so we opted to join in on the fun.  On Thursday, I left work around noon and came home to pick up my son.  We then packed up my truck and drove to a friend’s house, where we picked up one each of a father and a son.  Then we went a little further down the road to pick up our chuch’s summer intern, a student at West Coast Baptist College.  The camping was not to take place in the valley, where temperatures reach over 100 degrees every day, but we went to Flagstaff, AZ, where the daytime highs are about 80 and the nighttime lows are near 40 (brrr)!  So we drove the 2+ hours to Flagstaff (elevation 7000 ft), arriving there at 5:00.  The first night we had a great time setting up our tent and doing a little bit of playing.

On Friday, the whole crew went out to Lake Mary for some fishing.  Many folks in our group dragged in some big pike, but we ended up throwing everything back.  Caleb spent a little time fishing, but he was using a borrowed pole that didn’t work too well, so it was a fairly frustrating experience for him.  I didn’t fish at all since I don’t have a license.  Friday afternoon, we came back to the campground to play around.  We first tried some target shooting with our 2 BB guns, but the meanest employee of the campground got really mad at us for having ‘weapons.’  So, after my blood stopped boiling, we (Caleb & I, our father-son friends, and two other teen boys) went down to the sand volleyball court and played our own distorted version of volleyball (we called it nuke ’em, and it allowed for one bounce, catching, and had strange out-of-bounds rules).

Saturday morning, Caleb & I got up early again and walked on a nature trail for a while — it was great to be outside walking around with Caleb.  I also picked up a bunch of aluminum cans to help Caleb with his savings plan.  We left the campsite mid-morning for the long drive home.

Each evening, we met and had some fellowship time, including songs, testimony, and prayer.  Pastor shared a little from the Bible, sharing the parable of the rich fool as our theme passage for the weekend.

Overall, it was great to get away from the fast pace of life here in the valley and spend time at a slower pace with my son.  He is such a precious gift from God.

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May 2007 Training

1 – 4x800m @ 8mph 3-1/2-mile run
2 – 4-mile run
4 – Fitness Month 5K (25:20)
6 – 4-mile run
7 – 2.9-mile run to PT & 1.3-mile run at PT (40:00), 2.8-mile run home (27:00)
8 – 4x800m @ 8mph
9 – 4-mile run

12 – Fitness Month Half-Marathon (2:23:36 – a 10:58 pace)
17 – 4-mile run
18 – 2.9-mile run to PT, 1.5-mile run at PT, 2.9-mile run home
19 – 6-mile long run
21 – 2.9-mile run to PT, 1.5-mile run at PT, 2.9-mile run home
24 – 4-mile run
25 – 2.9-mile run to PT, 1.5-mile run at PT, 2.9-mile run home
27 – 8-mile long run
29 – 6x800m @ 8mph
31 – 6-mile run

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A Spiritual Career?

This morning my study was in Ephesians 2:1-10, an amazingly packed portion of scripture. Ephesians 2:8-10 is a recognizable passage to most Christians, and one I memorized in grade school, and I am glad I did. In the NIV, it goes, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Such a clear and simple laying out of the plan of salvation, in just three short verses.

It is by grace we are saved — it is not something I have earned or ever could earn — it is only available to me as a gift. For that reason, I can never boast in my salvation. And good works are not necessary for salvation, but rather good works are proof of God’s grace in my life. God saved me so that I could do good works for the benefit of his Kingdom. In the words of my bible commentary, “While it is true that we are not saved by good works, it is equally true that we are saved for good works. We do not work in order to be saved, but because we are saved.”

“But the question arises: What kind of good works am I expected to do? Paul answers, Good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. In other words, God has a blueprint for [my] life. Before [my] conversion, He mapped out a spiritual career for [me]. [My] responsibility is to find His will for [me] and then obey it. [I] do not have to work out a plan for [my] [life], but only accept the plan which He has drawn up for [me]. This delivers [me] from fret and frenzy, and insures that [my life] will be of maximum glory to Him, of most blessing to others, and of greatest reward to [myself].”

“In order to find out the good works He has planned for [my life, I] should: (1) confess and forsake sin as soon as [I am] conscious of it in [my life]; (2) be continually and unconditionally yielded to Him; (3) study the word of God to discern His will, and then do whatever He tells [me] to do; (4) spend time in prayer each day; (5) seize opportunities of service as they arise; (6) cultivate the fellowship and counsel of other Christians. God prepares [me] for good works. He prepares good works for [me] to perform. Then He rewards [me] when [I] perform them. Such is His grace!” Believer’s Bible Commentary by William MacDonald, Edited by Art Farstad, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995.

How convicting! And yet how inspiring! I have been thinking through my current situation, and I am convinced that we are within God’s will in leaving the active-duty Air Force. I believe that God led us to the land that we found in Nebraska, and that He has allowed us to acquire all of the property. I believe that it will please Him for us to set up on the land and spend more time with family. I also believe that (here I am going out on a limb a bit) He would be pleased to have me have the part-time job at Offutt AFB that I have applied for. I believe that with this job, God would be providing for our family while also allowing me to have more flexibility and spend more time at home, leading the family. I could be wrong on the last point (or even all points, I suppose), but I nevertheless believe these things. Since I feel that we are squarely within God’s will, I KNOW that I have nothing to fear or worry over. God will reward me for following Him.

Lately I have been concerned about the health and growth of our baby in utero. This afternoon I was thinking about how God rewards us when we are within His will. I was thinking that we have placed ourselves back within His will when we stopped trying to control our reproduction and we got the vasectomy reversal last October. In February, we conceived, and today we are at 16 weeks and 2 days. This afternoon, we met with a doctor and heard the baby’s heartbeat for a second time. What a relief it was to hear that baby’s heartbeat. It reassured me that we were within God’s will and that our baby was still alive. In the next few weeks, Gina should start to feel the baby move! Anyway, this is part of our pursuit of the quiver-full life, something we think brings glory to God.

The final part of this long post is my thoughts on church. It is my dream to start or join a home fellowship of Christians when we get to Nebraska (Sterling Christian Fellowship?). The idea would be a Bible-believing collection of Christians who meet together weekly and are primarily characterized by our love, for Christ, for each other, and for others. Perhaps this is part of the ‘spiritual career’ that God has planned for me? I must confess that I often feel I would be an inadequate member of such an assembly, but perhaps that leadership of the assembly is not what God is calling me to.

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Filed under Bible, Farm, Work

Sports

Last night, Caleb had his awards ceremony for his winter basketball league. It was painful to sit through — they stretched what should last ten minutes into 30. But Caleb got to bring home his trophy, which he is very proud of. Monday night, Caleb & I went to the Coyotes-Flyers game here in Phoenix. Caleb took a couple pics of the game: 102_1047.JPG 102_1048.JPG

We had a good time, Caleb brought a friend, so I didn’t get to sit by Caleb. For those who care, the Flyers flew right into the teeth of the Coyotes, losing 4-0. The tickets were free to us, courtesy of a co-worker, Jeff Scoular, of Pay It Forward.

In uploading pics from the game, I came across another story I should share with you. After winter basketball comes spring baseball. So Caleb & I were out throwing a hardball a couple weeks ago. He gets pretty scared of the ball, so I was trying to throw to his glove-hand side so he wouldn’t have to miss the catch and get nailed by the ball. Well, on the last throw of the night (it wasn’t going to be the last throw), my aim was a little off and I accidentally threw it at Caleb’s head. He missed the catch with his glove, but his eye socket stepped in and made the stop, so at least he didn’t have to run after the ball. Anyway, here is a pic.

102_1039.JPG

I felt terrible for at least a week. Don’t worry — he’s all better now. He wants to do it again!

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Wonderful news

Okay, okay!  I admit it.  The pressure is getting too much to bear.  We are so excited we can’t hold back anymore.  We kept the news to ourselves for a whole week, though.

We’re having a baby!

Of course, this early we don’t know much, but we do know that the due date is November 11, 2007.  That is an interesting date, because it is also when my commitment to the Air Force is up.  So now we don’t know what we are going to do.  Should we stay in the Air Force for a few more months so we can have our baby for free?

Also, Gina really wanted to use a midwife for this delivery.  It looks like there is only one Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) in the Phoenix area that accepts our insurance, and apparently CNMs may have to deliver in a hospital, which is one of the aspects of delivery Gina wanted to avoid this time around.  Gina asked her friend about the lay midwife that she used and learned that the lay midwife only cost about $2200.  So, we can either have the baby for free in a hospital, but this time using a CNM, or we can pay $2200 to have the baby at home.

For those who are curious, this hasn’t changed our adoption plans at all.  This will probably help make the waiting easier.  Based on their current rate of referrals, it looks like we can expect a referral in the earliest months of 2008 (two years after filing).

For now, I am torn between moving to Nebraska in September 2007, at our first opportunity, and waiting until March 2008 to move, after the baby is born, the adoption is final, and my promotion board results come out.  I am starting to lean heavily in favor of the Spring move, even though I really want to be there now!  Of course, the job situation may drive this harder than any other factor.  If I don’t have a job lined up in September, I won’t want to move then.  If I don’t have a job lined up in March, I won’t want to move, either, but by then I will be running out of time.

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Filed under Baby, Family & Friends

Good story about on-farm slaughter

Today, while surfing around, I found the following story about on-farm steer slaughtering.  It was a good read.

http://www.culinate.com/content/3648?page=0&pageSize=1

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