Category Archives: Growth

Younger Today

You may have observed that one of the big books last year was “Younger Next Year“–changed my life.

Every day I feel the tug of oldness at me –and if I hesitate, I feel eve older.

But when I get up and move, eat less and no crap dead food, and connect with someone–I have a little kick in my step.

Today is this hot, humid, pasty day.

I feel like laying in the cool.

But a short run, lifting and a bit more running–I am set.


Be Fearless for Me

I have one of those nights last night where everything seems sideways when I awake. Like my greatest loyalties have turned on me and I am awash in fear and isolation. Not cool.

So I turn on the radio at 4:30 and it is pushing sides–one side says bad words and the other side calls them bad words for saying bad words and the other side just stands there smiling–too many sides and no listening or love.

I don’t want to get up, but exhaustion is better than this.

So I read about Jesus showing his guys how to pray–and tells them that they will just get the Holy Spirit–so I just breathe in and I get the gift. That was easy.

So I pick up “Barking to the Choir” and read this:


And I laugh for 20 minutes–I guess the Holy Spirit decided to show up for work. I laugh to tears over and over. So much for that sideways business.

So build a cathedral right here in the dark on my Illinois couch.

[Sorry Greg Boyle for gritching your pages–but I figured you would agree if some fool like me used your story]

Larger Love

Why do I write this?

Why do I live?

My main line in college at Tarkio was “What are we here for?”–much to the delight (sic) of my Vietnam era compadres…actually I just misspelled that “coma padres”! Ha!

Any way this morning I read a line from Father Greg Boyle how in his writing he “aspires to connect us to a higher view and to participate in a larger love.”

That is a good purpose line for this LSJ blog–for my so called hodgepodge life.

To scramble up a bunch of rocks to get a higher view. To listen, change radically, hang in there relentlessly so as to receive and give just a gram of love if possible.

Sometimes –actually really often if I am willing, my life gets changed forever.

Am I the Skeptic?

I am sitting in a hotel room in El Paso and I just laughed out loud at myself and asked GOD a question–“Am I the skeptic we are discussing things with?”.

I realized just a minute ago, that I am often talking through the issues of existence of God, human suffering and pain, history, Jesus, other religions, True Truth, evil, etc. And I am talking the part of the orthodox Christ follower–and I think that is who I am.

But am I? And is this sort of doubt healthy if not essential to the conversation and growth as Tim Keller implies? Is it a good thing to be an El Paso hotel room skeptic?

I never want to get left out of the conversation. Or ignore the discussion. But somehow I think I need to be sure and be on the believing side of it–or at least the healthy agnostic side of it.

Is it adult thinking to doubt enough to honestly handle the tough questions?

Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 1 Cor 14:20

Bird’s Nest in my Hair- NO!

Yesterday I came to midafternoon and did not want to work out or run–just wanted to get a beer and coast toward the end of a good day.

But often now I refocus on the “against the tide” reality presented in “Younger Next Year” and I get up and go.

It was a grind. I ran without feeling like it. I ran a couple of miles, then did a mile of sprints, setups, etc. at the track. Then to Refinery in Champaign for weights which were hard to complete. Then ran a mile home. It all took about 1.5 hrs. Good workout.

Today I fell like going again and this happens every time.

This morning while rereading “Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren, I came across the old Martin Luther quote. “You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”

I love keeping moving, shaking off the stiffness and doing new things, pushing back against the tide.

It is a key part of pursuing “Your Best Third Third“.

I am headed for that 50 miler at Run Rabbit Run again in 11 months–and I am going to better my time! Reasonable  and healthy goal.

It’s a bit of a grind but I am headed back to Run Rabbit Run.

The Message

Proverbs 4:23 this morning:

  • Its ok
  • I am here
  • I am close
  • I love you
  • You’ve got it
  • Do not be afraid
  • Follow me
  • I am getting a place ready for you
  • I’ll be back…soon
  • Yes

This last one came from son Joel as we were sitting at the fire the other evening by the barn. We were talking about his future.

Joel said quietly, “God says yes all the time”.

“God speaks to me every time fire like this”  —Joel Hensleigh

The Barn

This old barn out at the woods along the Middle Fork is our dream.

It just has not really ever been lived in or even used that much. Its empty–I mean it has our junk in it–but it has no soul to it yet. But it is in this stunning and perfect location–as if someone had an idea about sitting in that barn and gazing and the majestic woods and creeks around.

So it is now like a distant image of a real home… time, weather and the abuse of the environment have taken a deep toll over the years.

The place is run down and beaten up–siding worn and full of holes, doors don’t work well, some rotting, sagging. But it has these bones that wont quit–poles, trusses, solid cement floor.

It never was really finished–there is no proper lane up to it, the windows aren’t quite there, no plantings around. But someone had a plan back there about 50 years ago. They started an idea and put it in place.

The connections to this barn never quite got made. There is abundant artesian water, good electricity, a sewage system underground, and natural gas along the road out front–but none of it is effectively connected to it.

We are going to change all of this. We have a vision, a plan for renewal, the money to do it all, and some skilled guys who will work for us to make it happen. It will be reshaped, renewed, fully fixed.

And one day we will call it home.

It will be fully repurposed and will be the site of days of joy, love, and family.