Monday, September 22, 2003

September 22, 2003

7:04 PM Can you name the top ten hymns of all time? Hint: “Blessed Assurance” is # 2 and “Just as I am” is # 5. 7:00 PM Steve Boisse makes a sobering point:

Without giving too much power to TV, I think we have new evidence that our moral thermometer is going downhill here in America. Evidence: TV titles over the last 50 years-Father Knows Best to Three’s Company to Coupling (the new show that is about nothing but sex). I wonder where it will all end?

3:44 PM My friend Prosper Wang asked me yesterday what I liked to do for relaxation. When I was growing up, my answer would have been, “Playing basketball.” Over the years I’ve played volleyball, ping pong, gone hiking, and I even tried running for a brief while but gave it up as soon as possible. Once upon a time, I took a few karate lessons—not enough to do me any good. And when I came to Calvary, I started walking a few miles every day. That ended when we moved from Mapleton Avenue in 1994 to our current home on Wesley Avenue. I had never played golf until Dan Hoeksema and Len Hoppe talked me into going on a Golf Retreat in 1991. Len loaned me a driver and Stan Utigard gave me a set of clubs. I had quite literally never played at all until that trip to Cincinnati. My first round, played in drenching rain with Butch Novak as one of my partners, turned into an endurance contest. I think I broke 150 for 18 holes—but I’m not sure. In the years since then, I’ve played golf with Paul and Bruce Lavenau, Fred Most, Dick Baer, Dick Jahns, Don Childs, Pastor Bob Gray, Bob Bruce, Paul Knudson, Chuck Csakai, Wayne Watkins, Johnny Teasdale, Jim Clayton, Kent Magnusson, Skip Olson, Bob Boerman and Vern Henriksen, to name but a few who have chased the little white ball with me. I had the pleasure of playing with Mark and Nick and Craig Hammond most recently. Since I only play once or twice a year, it would be fair to say that my game has reached a level where practice does not make any difference at all. It is what it is. But even then, golf is only an occasional diversion. Readers of this blog know that my main passion, the guiding force of my life, is bike riding. As of today, I’m at 2703 miles for the year—woefully behind schedule to reach 5000 miles—but ahead of the pace from last year. Biking is truly relaxing for me except when I get hit by a car (which happened in January) or when someone shoots at me (which happened two weeks ago in Oak Park). I was at the intersection of Oak Park Avenue and Jackson in Oak Park when a van pulled up behind me. As I crossed the intersection, I was aware that the van was not passing me for some reason. Just as I got to the other side, the van passed me and pulled in front by about 15 yards. I looked up, heard a pop, and felt something hit my shorts. Then the van sped off. They shot me with something like a pellet gun or a BB gun. If it had been a real gun, I would have been in the hospital. But that’s the way it goes around here. I still ride every day and I do wear a helmet. The rest of it is in God’s hands. And I am a much better person when I ride than when I don’t. More relaxed, able to focus, and I use the time to pray or to sing or just to think about things. So that’s what I do to relax—as long as they aren’t shooting at me. 3:42 PM Cisco Cotto wrote the Living Sacrifices devotional for today based on Matthew 25:15, “To one He gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability.” Here’s an excerpt:

Today’s passage shows us that Christ expects us to use our gifts for His glory no matter what they are… . In His sovereignty, God gave us the skills and resources that He wants us to have. Our job is to joyfully use them so He will be glorified.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?