Lessons From a Seventeen Mile Florida Run

August sunrise at Juno Beach, Florida
I took this photo when I was into the third mile of my run.

Seventeen miles wasn’t my goal. I was determined to get nineteen miles in. But after seventeen miles, there was a drawbridge between me and my goal. It looked like a mountain. I had been training in Ohio. But now I was in Florida. It was 10:00 AM and 91° Fahrenheit. My water bottles were nearly empty. I decided to call it off and get a ride.

Next month (September 2017), I plan to run The Air Force Marathon in Dayton, Ohio. It will be my first marathon and I have been training for the race. I was determined to keep to my schedule despite the change of locale. 

Three days later, I am thinking about what the run taught me. Continue reading “Lessons From a Seventeen Mile Florida Run”

Stealthy Vacation Bible School

Cartoon of a boy yelling to a teacher, "Hey Mrs. Petersen! VBS is almost here!"

The plight of children’s pastors everywhere is when to begin planning for Vacation Bible school. Christmas takes precedence in December. Easter dominates late winter. Then before you know it, summer is here and there isn’t enough popsicle sticks empty toilet paper rolls or school glue to satisfy all the VBS planning needs!

So be kind to the person that is organizing your local VBS. He or she is probably searching frantically for enough cookies and punch to feed a devouring horde of elementary appetites!

I drew this for the April 2016 CHOGnews.

1/14/16 – Finding Your Internal GPS – Career Connectors

On January 14, I was the guest blogger for Career Connectors. The speaker was Paula Shoup of Internal GPS and it was on using your internal GPS to stay positive during difficult times. Continue reading “1/14/16 — Finding Your Internal GPS — Career Connectors”

What a Vehicle Breakdown Taught Me About Creativity

Recently, my family moved from Indiana to Arizona. For the first half of the trip, everything seemed to go according to plan. But as we were about to enter the Texas Panhandle, one of our two vans just lost it. Of all things, the power steering pulley broke.

We stayed two days in Shamrock, Texas while we waited for repairs. and we thought everything was fine. Then the same van overheated from Amarillo to Tucumcari, New Mexico. Once again, we found a garage to repair the ailing van. Alas, we limped through Albuquerque until the van gave up the ghost in Grants, New Mexico. It all sounds so simple now. But it was quite an ordeal. And guess what? I know next to nothing about cars!

Besides a great story for Spear family lore, this episode taught me a few things about creativity. Continue reading “What a Vehicle Breakdown Taught Me About Creativity”

Things rarely go according to plan

As I write this, it is late March, 2014. Spring has been with us for five days, but it doesn’t feel anything like spring in Indiana. Yesterday, it snowed. Let me tell you, friends, it’s been quite a winter for Hoosiers. Maybe you balk because you’re from Minnesota or Siberia. But We aren’t use to  extended  single-digit temperatures and relentless snow storms!

These beach figurines have been freezing all w...
These beach figurines have been freezing all winter. They’re ready for the thaw! #winter via speartoons

Things rarely go according to plan. We know what a typical winter is for the area we live in. But how many times do we see an “average winter?” Usually it’s above normal or below normal temperatures. When we have the average winter, we start to wonder if there is something wrong. Could it really be that perfect? Could it really be so average that it’s unusual? Continue reading “Things rarely go according to plan”