Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On

That sure was exciting yesterday. We had a moderate earthquake here in the greater Los Angeles basin! I heard they downgraded it from a 5.8 to a 5.4 though. I was at work when it occured at 11:42 in the morning. The epicenter was located in Chino Hills which is only about 16 miles from the school I work at in Santa Ana. Of course, being at an elementary school, we had to have the students get down under the desk and all that. Some of the parents chose to come pick-up their kids early too. I've gotten to where earthquakes don't scare me too much, but of course now we're all thinking about the so-called "Big One" again. So, did you feel it?

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So, I've been using this cool Nike+ gadget since July 5, 2008. There is a small chip that goes inside your shoe and it communicates with the Nike+ SportBand on my wrist. I really like it. If you are a runner I recommend it to you. I like that it helps me keep a training log, actually it doesn't "help" as much as it does it for you. I like that it is an asset in providing motivation. And, I like that it cultivates camaraderie in a big way. For instance, I have this since that I am running "with" my friends Tony and Julie Cloyd in Minnesota even though distance separates us!

I hit an important milestone with my Nike+ yesterday! You can click here to see the certificate. I am proud to have logged 100 miles in July alone!



I remember that cool evening
under the moss-draped banyan trees,
how the roots grew downward
to the ground to form new trunks.
I was there only once, yet I'll
never forget it. I neglected to tell you
how lovely you looked. I knew you
would have brushed it off, but I
should have affirmed you anyway.
The clarity was magical and
nothing's made that much sense,
before or since.
Even the immense waves
pounding against the cliffs couldn't
match the power of love
unleashed within my heart.
Would the confession, "I don't ever
want to be without you" really have
made me too vulnerable?
I read that they chopped down the
banyan trees. They're gone
forever, like you. For a price,
rich men golf upon the cliff,
contrasting with poverty in my heart,
the utter bankruptcy of my soul.

--Shenandoah Lynd


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Latourette Quote

"Not immediately, but as the months and years passed, increasingly, from experience and thought based on extensive reading, I found the Evangelical faith in which I had been reared confirmed and deepened. Increasingly I rejoiced in the Gospel -- the amazing Good News -- that the Creator of what to us human beings is this bewildering and unimaginably vast universe, so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Everlasting life, I came to see, is not just continued existence, but a growing knowledge -- not merely intellectual but wondering through trust, love, and fellowship -- of Him who alone is truly God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent."

--Kenneth Scott Latourette

I really love that quote. The more I read it, the more I love it.

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Friday, July 25, 2008


. . . . because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

--Romans 8:14-17

Okay, so I decided to look up sonship in the dictionary because it's not a word we use a lot. It says:

sonship--(noun) the relationship of son to father

This is remarkable to me! I am a co-heir with Christ! I am a son of God!

Look, okay, so I knew this already, but I highly suggest you read the above passage from Romans again right now, like maybe a half-dozen times. Why the heck haven't I been celebrating more? Doesn't this make you want to go out and buy a bouquet of helium-filled mylar balloons or something? You know, maybe a large heart one in the center that reads "Congratulations on your adoption!" or something. I know usually one would expect to give such a party favor to the new parents, but, in this case, clearly, I deserve the balloons!

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fifteen Years

As I've shared before, Chrisy and I got married on July 24, 1993. It is 15 years ago today! I know it's a cliche, but I can't believe 15 years have gone by. I still remember leaving on our honeymoon like it was yesterday. I remember how hopeful and in love I felt. I wrote the poem "Life Flight" on the plane. Today has me thinking even farther back. I remember all the memories of dating. My poem "Carousel" recounts one such memory. And, although this too is somewhat of a hackneyed phrase, I'm going to say it: I love Chrisy more today than ever! It's really true. I'm so glad Chrisy agreed to say, "I do."

This anniversary seems very special to me, not because 15 is a "biggie" either; rather, it's because of the season my marriage is in. Had you told me in 1994, 1995, 1996, indeed any of the years past, that my marriage could be this good I would not have believed you. A couple years ago I posted a song titled "Thank You For A Life" and that song certainly applies to how I feel about Chrisy Ann Lynd today. I do have so much to thank Chrisy for.

I'm not sure anybody that knows me, friends or family, really know the extent of how much Chrisy has helped me. I literally wouldn't be the man I am today without her support. She has done so many things for me that fall under the category of emotional support. For example, she spurred me on to finish college. Yes, in theory I had always "wanted" to have a graduate degree; however, I'm not certain I would have done anything about it. As much as I hate to admit it, there is a possibility that I might still be working at my father's law office, piddling around at a community college. It is amazing to me to look back and see the way Chrisy encouraged me to get my A.A., B.A., and M.A. degrees. What a journey that was. In all of my life nobody has said, "You can do it!" to me more than Chrisy.

We have had a lot of difficulties along the way, but I finally really understand what James meant when he wrote this: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:2-4). Most of all I think I have to thank Chrisy for persevering with me and for me and for refusing to stay stagnant. When I read that verse, I actually feel mature and as I sit and reflect upon my anniversary, on my marriage, I have this thought, "I am complete. I am truly not lacking anything. Thank you God for my wife!"

Happy Anniversary my love!

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

You're Free! Live Like It!

I have been reading through Romans again. This morning I was reading chapter 6 and it is really full of some remarkable statements by Paul. For some reason verses 13 and 14 are really standing out to me right now. Here is the part I am chewing on:

". . . offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."

So, I am wondering if anybody wants to chime in on this: In your mind, what does THAT look like? What are the practical implications of offering the parts of your body to God as instruments of righteousness? I'm wondering if we verbally have to say, "God, I give you my body to use as your instrument." Then, after offering it up, what do you DO?

Really that little section is just amazing. If you read the verses that come before it, Paul is saying that our old self was crucified just like Jesus was and we are no longer slaves to sin because we died with Christ and we live with Christ. Sin is not our master! He is indicating here that we can literally live without sinning! Read it again:

"For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."

I wonder if we really want that? Do I want that? If I do, then why am I not insisting on it? Later, in verse 18, Paul writes:

"You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness."

When I read that I think about the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Ratified on December 6, 1865, it stated that slavery or involuntary servitude could no longer exist within the United States. I remember reading about or hearing a speaker mention that many slaves didn't live any different on December 7, 1865! Why? Well, if you were a slave, not free, and you either didn't get news of your freedom or didn't believe it, then how would you live?

Think about this, President Lincoln actually issued two executive orders that made up the Emancipation Proclamation. The first proclamation on September 22, 1862, freed all the slaves in the Confederate. Then, on January 1, 1863, the second one named the specific states where it applied. So, free people were living as slaves in between from 9/22/1862 to 1/1/1863. What's worse, despite this, slavery wasn't really ended until 12/6/1865 with the 13th Amendment! What's the point of this?

The point is that this is us! It's you and me! We sit around waiting for our freedom when it has been granted! We pray pathetic prayers like this, "God, help me not to sin please." He already did help us! Or, "God, please forgive me." He has already forgiven you so stop living like you're in bondage and waiting for it to happen! I recently told the junior highers at church that this type of thinking is like me praying over and over, "God, please make me a male, a really want to be a male. Can you please make me a male?" If you heard me praying that, you would think I was crazy! God must think that of us because we are TOTALLY forgiven and TOTALLY set free from sin, we just choose not to accept the gift of freedom. Just look at verse 14 again, it says we are under grace. What a lovely term "under grace" is!

Toward the end of the chapter Paul writes, "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness" (verse 22). This is not future tense, as in "When you are set free." Rather, it is past tense, "Now that you have been set free." Wow! I am a slave to God and the Bible actually assumes that, as maturing Christians, we are reaping a benefit and we are becoming holy!

The whole of chapter 6 blows my mind. Seriously, I think one could do an entire study on this one chapter alone. Instead of moving on to chapter 7, I think I will reread chapter 6 tomorrow.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Webb's 3:57 Mile

This is one of the coolest things I have ever seen: Alan Webb running a 3:57.83 mile at Furman University, South Carolina.This happened way back on April 7, 2007. Roger Bannister would be proud. I am in awe of this. You HAVE to see the last TWO laps!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lake Forest 5K

I ran in the 14th Annual Lake Forest Fourth of July 5K this year. Even though it's only 3.1 miles there is something so fulfilling about running in an actual race, you know, as opposed to just doing 3+ miles on the streets around your house on any given day. I highly recommend registering for a race, paying the fee, putting on the bib, and getting in there with the pack! It's quite an experience!
This past 07-04-08 was actually the fifth 5K I've run in. Going in, even though I didn't tell anyone, I had it in my mind that I was going to run under 21 minutes. I was really counting on it. I've never ran that pace for three miles. That was my goal.
As I approached the the first mile marker I could hear the woman with the stopwatch yelling, "five fifty-five, five fifty-six, five fifty-seven . . . " and when I hit mile one it was exactly six minutes. I was thinking, "6.0 minutes, cool!" And, "If I keep up this pace I will have to call 9-1-1 at the finish!" Alas, I couldn't sustain it for three miles. I knew that too because I had done some speed work at a local track and I knew I couldn't sustain that pace. Why did I go out of the gate so fast? Well, it is the energy of the crowd. It seems no matter how much I tell myself, "I'm going out slower, an over eight minute pace for mile one, then I'll kick-it on the last two miles," I just can't seem to reign it in when it's an official race that I paid for.
Without making a choice to, I slowed down over the next two miles. One of the cool things about a race is the human interaction. See that younger guy in the foreground of the photo, the one with the iPod and number 407 on his bib? That's Matthew, age 13. Matthew and I were really pushing each other during the last mile. We kept passing each other and encouraging one another. He'd tell me I was doing well, I'd pass him and yell back, "Dig deep" or something like that. He'd pass me and say, "Don't give up" or something nice. At one point, he fell behind and was saying in my ear, "This is hell. I can't do it." I told him, "Push it, finish strong," and he would pass me again. In the end the thirteen year old crossed the finish line before me. I was giving it everything I had and he still beat me. But, not for him, my time wouldn't have been as fast. I love the camaraderie of running.
As much as I tried, when the official results came in, I didn't reach my race goal! My time ended up being 21:02.61, actually just about only three seconds over my goal! Darn. What was worse was at the race site they had my time just under my goal, but when it was adjusted and put on-line, I finished shy. What I really don't get about the results is it says I had a 6:48 pace, but wouldn't an "under seven minute mile pace" come out to less than 21 minutes? I'm so confused! Nevertheless, overall, 21:03 means I finished 66th out of 1,264 people. I was 5th in my age division. Not bad, right?
But, speaking of my age division, of course, I end up looking over the total results and I notice that this dude I know from my kids' swim team (who happens to be 39 years old like me) finished in 19:09! Amazing! Something to shoot for also. Just when I thought I was doing great too. It reminds me of the Ben Folds song, "There's always someone cooler than you!"
All-in-all, It really felt terrific to race and push myself. Even though I was unable to break 21 seconds, it was a PR for me and that's something to be proud of. I think I really like running. Or, maybe I hate it. No, I guess I love it.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Any Given Day

Absentmindedly I wandered
Through an hour
Throughout the days
Over the years
Clueless to what was important
I obsessed over crumbs while
My children pined
For boardgames and family night
Forgetting my neighbor's occupation
I moved on to more important things
Software updates
A spotless car
Clearly, managing finances
Would take me far
I busily checked off my
Grocery list while sprinting
Past Jesus panhandling at the
Exit of the store
Then it hit me as the
Doctor yelled, "Clear!"
I realized my worst fear
Rearranging deck chairs on
On the Titanic
My life had been wasted

--Shenandoah Lynd


Friday, July 11, 2008

Peters Canyon Trail Race

Yesterday evening I ran in my first trail race. It was part of the Vasque Peters Canyon Trail Run Series in Tustin. It was a 5-mile race put on by Renegade Racing. Not only had I never raced on dirt before, I had never run this course! Mentally it is always challenging to be unfamiliar with the course.

I felt like I got schooled in the ways of trail running. Almost immediately I found myself thinking, "Oh, no, there are hills!" I don't know what I was thinking, but I had not antisipated the steep inclines at all, "Duh!" Indeed, the first two miles were grueling. The first hills were like running up the down escalator! I was running about an 11-minute per mile pace for the first two miles and I found myself praying, "God, just let me not have to walk these hills." Had I been familiar with the course I would have at least known how many more of those pesky inclines I had to face. Plus, there was sand, and running downhill presentented its own challenges for my legs! It was actually quite funny, I had looked at the course map on-line, but it didn't dawn on me to interpret it as anything but flat, like running around the streets near my home. Like I said, I got an education!

You see, I had just run a 5K race on Independence Day. It was the Lake Forest 5K and I was pretty pleased with my results. I ran a 21:03 time which averaged to a 6:48 pace. Foolishly, not being a trail runner, I thought I would bust out with about the same pace for the five-miler on dirt. Like I said, hills!

Despite everything, my secondwind kicked in and I was really able to pick up my pace during the last part of the race. It felt good to pass a bunch of folks during those last two miles. My pace increased so much during the last half that I was able to run an overall 7-minute, 30-second pace. My results were as follows: 37:26 total time on a five-mile course, running a 7:30 pace, placing 51st out of 326 runners.

My sons were waiting for me at the finish line, cheering me on. Max surprised me by snapping a photo of my finish with his cell phone. It was a good evening.

All-in-all, it was an exhilarating experience. I actually totally loved it. What a rush!


Saturday, July 05, 2008

U2's Overlooked Masterpiece

There are some songs that we've heard so much we end up taking them for granted. I've been listening to U2s 1987 album, THE JOSHUA TREE, a lot lately and it's struck me just how genius, how beautiful, how meaningful their hit "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" is. I honestly think it may be one of the best songs ever written. This group of lyrics in particular really have an emotional affect upon me:

"I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colours will bleed into one, bleed into one
But yes, I'm still running
You broke the bonds
You loosed the chains
You carried the cross
And my shame
And my shame
You know I believed it
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for . . . "

I can also totally relate to this line, so much so that it gives me chills:

"I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of the devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for . . . "

If it's been awhile since you've seen the clip of this hymn, then please give the video a look!


Thursday, July 03, 2008


Surprised by your eyes
Impressed by your heart
Taken by your beauty
Right from the start
Holding you close
Pulling you near
Overcome by a grin
True love is near

--Shenandoah Lynd (08/08/92)



He breathed into me
love so freely given
taken from my sorrow
spared from a fatal tomorrow
tears of joy
for a savior so giving
Lord, I rejoice
You have made my life worth living

--Shenandoah Lynd (08/08/92)


Never 'Till Now

Never thought it would happen
Never thought it could be
Never thought even God could
Bring true love my way

Shows you what I know
Proves what God can do
Only the creator of this world
Could bring me someone sweet as you!

--Shenandoah Lynd (Aug. '92)



No fear to be found
Step onto solid ground
Ask to His will
You won't be let down
Even loneliness will pass
You only need to ask

--Shenandoah Lynd (Aug. '92)


Wednesday, July 02, 2008


With the three sisters in the background
You sent me into the field
Filling my bucket with blackberries
I'd skip home to you
The scent of zucchini bread guiding me
You'd make the jam
Spread on homemade biscuits
Tea and pickled cucumbers
The sweetness of life
Despite the sour
How I want to preserve
Boyhood recollections of you
I want to be a bluebird
On your windowsill in eternity
Willing it so, I am now
Running through the woods
Searching for signs of life
Lost in a memory graveyard
Tripping on vines
Ivy strangles your tombstone
Ravens suspended in air
Demanding payment
Reminding me: "Youth is gone.
Youth is gaaaaawn!"
It was all in my head
I'm left with a pillow
Slobber and sweat
Mason jars, empty as dreams