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Enterprise, Alabama - City of Progress
Enterprise, Alabama – City of Progress

I was fortunate to be able to attend the Mayor’s State of the City luncheon last week. I am grateful for that opportunity to visit with friends both old and new, enjoy a good meal, and learn about the state of Enterprise, The City of Progress, through a presentation by Enterprise Mayor Kenneth Boswell.

In case you were not able to attend or did not see the reports in the Enterprise Ledger Friday and Sunday, the state of Enterprise is very good. Continue reading Partly Cloudy

Reading and Writing in 2014

Have you made any New Year’s Resolutions for 2014?

If so, have you broken them yet?

If you have, give yourself a break and pick it up again tomorrow.

Reading and Writing

I have set a couple of goals and what you are seeing here is one of the results. My challenge – not really calling it a resolution – is really officially just for the first 31 days of the year but I hope, if I can persist for that long it will become a habit I can continue. If you are a regular visitor and reader here you will know how I fare in this endeavor.

A couple of authors I follow and happen to have a great deal of respect for invited their followers to participate with them in a couple of challenges to begin 2014 and I signed up for both. I believe they will complement each other but the proof will be in the execution.

30 Days of Hustle

First was Jon Acuff and his 30 Days of Hustle Challenge. This challenge has no specific subject or topic except for the hustle. For those near my age I suspect you have a song stuck in your head right now…sorry about that. The hustle can and should be unique for everyone who participates, although some will likely be similar, the requirement was only that it be your own goal.

My Hustle Goal is to read for two hours every day. Chances are I was already doing this but I am trying to be more intentional and read more books during these 2 hours and I am trying to time myself. I had a goal last year to read 25 books. I only read 21 but if I add the audio books I listened to that does put me over 25 at 27 so I did pretty well.

Reading for two hours is the WHAT of this goal. The WHY of this goal has many facets. I wanted my goal to be a positive goal and not a ‘NOT’ goal. If I do follow through with this one though a lot of positive NOTs will materialize.

First the positives

Reading is how I learn so I expect this to expand my knowledge and also give me new ideas to share here on my blog, as well as help me on my job and in my personal relationships. Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “In five years you will be the same as you are today except for the books you read and the people you meet.” I don’t want to remain the same. I want to improve a little every day and be a much better person in five years. Reading is one activity that should help me accomplish that goal.

The Positive NOTs

Some of the positive NOTs reading for at least two hours a day will accomplish are NOT wasting time browsing the internet, Facebook and twitter, waiting for the next “You’ve got mail” notification, and NOT wasting time browsing channels on the TV trying to find something to watch, which would probably be a waste of time if I found something.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

My 500 Words

The second challenge I signed up for was started by Jeff Goins. If you have read some of my earlier posts (See A Peculiar Perspective Begins!) you would know that Jeff is the reason I call myself a writer.

This challenge was pretty simple, to write 500 words a day for 31 days. That is what I am doing now and if I continue should provide many posts for your reading pleasure or consternation during 2014.

I have no aspirations or goals to publish a new post every day as some bloggers do. I don’t think I have that much to say. However I do want to be more consistent in 2014 and publish on a more regular schedule instead of just randomly as I did last year. I would like to publish at least one new blog a week on the same day and then will sprinkle in others, probably regarding current issues, as they arise during the year.

Well, there you have my goals for the first 31 days of 2014. I think breaking the traditional New Year’s resolutions down into smaller units like this is a good approach to help them seem more achievable. My expectation is this approach will be better than just breaking New Year’s resolutions.

If the first month is successful then you can either continue, since you will have built a new habit, or come up with something totally new for the next month. Time will tell. As I said earlier, the proof will be in the execution.

Midway checkpoint

I wrote this several days ago as part of my 500 word challenge. Since I am publishing now at the halfway point I can report I am batting .733 for both reading and writing so far this month. If I was a baseball player I would be in the Hall of Fame.  I would like to be 100% but am not going to beat myself up about that. I have accomplished much more both reading and writing than I would have without these challenges. I have read three books so far this year and published three blog posts, counting this one, so my year is off to a good start. Starting today I plan to get back on track and finish January strong.

If I can do it anyone can do it so you can start today and finish January strong yourself. I hope you choose to do just that.

Whatever your goals are for 2014 I hope you are off to a good start and are able to achieve them and make this your best year yet.

If you like any of what you see here or it makes you think, which is one of my goals, enter your email address in the sidebar on the right and subscribe. If you do you will receive an email in your inbox whenever I publish a new blog. I know many of you see these when I share them on Facebook or twitter but if you subscribe then you will be sure to NOT miss a single publication, another positive NOT. Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time…

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I don’t run marathons…however

I have never run a marathon, never really had any desire to. To me running is not fun or something I want to spend time doing. However, I do know people who have run marathons and half-marathons and I am amazed by their drive and persistence in accomplishing this feat.

I was reminded of this again this morning as I saw some tweets on twitter about the Walt Disney World Half Marathon being over today. This brought back memories of last year at this time when we were there.

My wife, Sharin,  completed her first half-marathon.2013-01-13 05.07.44

On the next day my daughter Amy, running with her friends Meggie and Anne, completed her first marathon.2013-01-13 12.45.48

I am still amazed and in awe of these achievements as I know they are far from easy and often painful and discouraging. The thrill and sense of achievement one feels after achieving this feat should never go away.

If you have completed one of these events and have lost that feeling of pride in your accomplishment, go back and think about all the sacrifices you went through to get there, days you did not want to get out and run, days when you were unable to run due to a nagging injury your doctor recommended you rest until it got well, days when it was raining and cold, or both, and you ran anyway. Look at any pictures you have of you with your medal after you finished and just be proud of what you accomplished.

Regarding those tweets I found myself congratulating people I didn’t even really know. I have followed @runDisney on twitter since last year and saw the posts and just felt like congratulating them. They deserve it. That is the thing I wanted to emphasize with this post. Even if you, like me, have never even considered running a marathon or half-marathon I encourage you to go watch one. Find a spot near the finish line and just watch. I guarantee you it will be something you will not soon, if ever, forget.

You will see all different types of people and all different types of stories. Everyone has one. You will see young people, middle aged people, and older, seasoned, people. Seeing them push through those last few steps and yards to reach the finish line will inspire you. Some will make you laugh. Some will make you cry. All will make you cheer and by doing so you can share in their accomplishment.

If you are considering running either a half-marathon or marathon I read a book recently called You Can Go the Distance by Bruce Van Horn. I recommend this book to runners and non-runners alike. You will probably learn many things about how to prepare and run a marathon. You will also learn many things about how to run this marathon we are all running called life. One of the quotes from the book makes this point, “Marathon training is like life; it requires that you train in all conditions for all situations.”

I am not going to suggest or recommend you start preparing to run a marathon since I have no direct experience or desire to do so myself. If you are considering it though I say go for it! You will be glad you did. If you are looking for a good first marathon experience check out Disney does know how to make anything fun and interesting and they don’t disappoint with these events.

If running is not your thing, I do understand that. I do recommend you go watch one sometime though. It will change your perspective for any future marathons you see in the news. Find someone you know training or running one and go support them.

Congratulations to all runners running this weekend or if you have run and completed one of these in the past. Be proud of your accomplishment and use the lessons you have learned about running and yourself in all other areas of your life.

Until next time…

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Don’t believe Phil…or me either

Unless you live under a rock you have heard about the GQ interview where Phil Robertson was asked for his beliefs about what sin was. If you want you can see the entire interview here What the Duck? Read it and draw your own conclusions regarding the attacks on Phil and response by the A&E Network and others.

That is really the point of this post…Get your information from the source and form your own conclusions. Don’t just accept what you hear any news organization or supposed experts or group say about anything. Chances are they are reliable sources but there is a better chance their information is slanted in favor or their own beliefs and life experiences or agenda.

Here is the question and answer from the article

What, in your mind, is sinful?

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Below is the passage from the Bible in I Corinthians 6:9-10 in the English Standard Version. You can see many other translations at the link above.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Go to the source

It looks like a pretty good paraphrase to me but don’t believe me either. Go the source; your Bible, or the link at the scripture reference above and read it for yourself.

I try to do this with anything I share on Facebook, twitter, Google+ or here in my blog. I click on the link and read or view the information being shared to make sure it is what I thought it would be because I don’t want to share anything I haven’t seen. When I am expressing my thoughts and perspective as I am now they are based on what I learned by going to the source and, of course, my beliefs.

My thoughts based on what I read

If you read the entire GQ article it appears to me that Phil was sharing the gospel with the reporter as he was showing him around his property. There are some things Phil said that are a little coarse but the reporter also used language in the article that Phil would not have used or approved if that was his place to approve it, which it wasn’t.

What GLAAD did was to pick out one of the sins listed, homosexuality, and focused on that when there were numerous examples of sin listed in the scripture Phil quoted from. What GLAAD and others either do not understand or choose to ignore is when a Christian is describing what sin is and who sinners are we always include ourselves in that list.

Lying is a sin just as stealing is a sin just as any sexual act outside the confines of marriage, which God defines as between a man and a woman, is sin, and that is where homosexuality and adultery come in.  If someone has an issue with that it is with God and not Phil Robertson.

What they do understand

People say they don’t read the Bible because it is too hard to understand. There are some parts that are hard to understand. However I believe it is what they do understand that really bothers them. They use the “too confusing” excuse to not read it for themselves. I believe if they did read it for themselves they might find there is more there they do understand and believe than they thought, and they will see that God offers forgiveness for any sin except the sin of disbelief.

There is a lot in the Bible I don’t understand. I do not claim to be an authority. That is where faith comes in. However, the things I do understand are very clear even when they do convict me of committing a sin or “step on my toes.” That doesn’t mean they are not valid or important or not applicable today because they are outdated. It means I need to change.

Get the facts

Those are some of my thoughts and my perspective on this subject but my challenge to anyone who is caught up in this “controversy” or whatever the controversy of the week is next week is to go to the source and then base your opinions on facts and not someone else’s interpretation.

Never Judge Someone by the Opinion of Others
Image courtesy of Billy Cox –

For this one, don’t believe Phil. Don’t believe me. Don’t believe GLAAD, Don’t believe A&E. Read the article and read the Bible. I expect you will possess a different perspective after doing so.

If you really want to understand what Phil Robertson believes get his book unPhiltered, which was published after this article and controversy.

Until next time…

Originally posted on Peculiar Perspective on 01/09/2014