brett’s morning blend (01jun10)

Who is My Neighbor — Violence in Mombasa, Kenya

I linked to William Black (of Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology) last week in Morning Blend.  But I couldn’t pass on this post.  Black resurrects a dead parable (his words, not mine) — The Good Samaritan.  And he does it in less words than I’ve been witness to in one of his posts.  But this post may not be for the weak in stomach.

Christianity a Weak Culture

Richard Beck, of Abilene Christian University, is working through a series on James Davison Hunter’s book, To Change the World: The Irony, Tradegy, & Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World.  I’ve linked to the second post in the series, though all are worth reading.  This article addresses how and why Christians, an overwhelming majority in the United States, have become culturally marginalized.  Read this if you’ve ever wondered why the Jewish community (2-4% of the population) and the gay and lesbian crowd (7-8%) tremendously influence American culture while Christians are largely unable.  So “we” choose to go the political route — seeking to legislate our ideas.

Pre Ironman Swimming

I remember waiting to get in the water in my first Ironman race.  Just me and 2000 other triathletes standing on the beach in Panama City, Florida.  Frightening.  But let me tell you — waiting is not the worst part.  I’ve been jostled, punched, kicked, pushed under, and crawled over during Ironman swims.  I’ve had my goggles pulled off, been forced to swim through vomit, and myself vomited during that miserable 2.4 miles of water.  In my first Ironman there was a death during the swim.

No idea how many of you are triathletes, or aspire to be.  And I know the numbers are even smaller when we start talking about Ironman-distance races.  But if you are planning on doing Ironman, read this excellent post on how to mentally prepare for the swim.  Then check out these videos:

Barefoot Running… with Shoes?

A while back, after reading Born to Run, I mentioned I was getting into barefoot running.  I realized soon after that the roads here are not great for such.  So I bought a few pairs of aqua-socks on sale (like $10 a pair) and had my mom mail them to me here in Tanzania.  I’m looking for the benefits of a barefoot running form without the gashes on my feet from the volcanic-like rock peppering our red dirt roads.  So far, these are my favorites: the Cudas Flatwaters.  Are any of you barefooters?

2010 FIFA World Cup Schedule

You can find this anywhere, but I’ve got this one bookmarked for easy access.  Thought I’d share it with you.  Can’t wait for June 11.



Filed under morning blend

10 responses to “brett’s morning blend (01jun10)

  1. ted

    my favorite pro wrestler, Kevin Von Erich, used to wrestle barefoot. Close as I can get on that one.

    • umn… ted, no idea who that is. but it seems like a lot of wrestlers would do so barefoot… not true?

      what about jimmy “superfly” snuka — was he naked in the tootsies? he was my favorite, and i surely don’t remember any shoes.

  2. I wanted to try barefoot running, but my need for orthotics, outweigh that desire. I have heard that these are the way to go, for about the same price as a good running shoe.

    • thanks, kit. i’ve read about the vibrams and have thought about getting a pair once i know i’m for sure going to stick with this barefoot stuff. but by then i may be used to the aqua-shoes. also i’m not wanting to order them, because they seem like the kind of shoe that would require a really specific fit. so that would mean at least august 2011 before i’d be anywhere that i could try them on anyway.

  3. David Robinson

    not a fan of “Christianity a weak culture.” I think we’re supposed to be a weak culture ALIENS AND STRANGERS-hello? I think Christianity has done its most horrific damage when it was the pop-culture. The more counter-cultural we are the better it seems in history.

    It does seem weird though that we feel marginalized as Christians in America even though we are in the majority. Maybe because so many of us are pew warmers and retreat from our classification at work and in our communities.

    Barefoot running: did you ever get any kind of schedule for strengthening your feet to be able to do the swimmy shoes? Or have you just quit cold turkey on clunky overpriced foot, ankle, and knee breaking nikes? Catherine really wants to try the flat shoes. She’s been getting knee pain just getting up to 4 miles or so. She had a friend with the vibram five fingers, but i just can’t get over the price or the fact that Barefoot Ted created that entire craze.

    Who is my neighbor was awesome. I’d like to meet that woman. I hope I would have had that kind of courage and mercy.

    • not a fan of the weak culture article? meaning you don’t think it’s true — or that you merely don’t like that the assumption that we should seek more influence and power in our country?

      i’m a fan of christianity that is counter-culture, but i’m also a fan of christianity that begins to penetrate the current culture and mold and shape it into more what God intends. i am NOT a fan of christianity that seeks to legislate morality and rules through government.

      as for barefoot running, i just started running barefoot a little bit each week — like the first 1 1/2 miles of a 6-miler. the furthest i’ve run barefoot is 3.1 (and that was my first barefoot run). the “swimmy shoes” (good name by the way) seem to be easy to run in, and they feel really natural. it feels healthy and quick. but it’s a lot more calf-work. so i’m planning on trying two short days a week barefoot or in aqua-shoes. my long runs have still been in running shoes, though i’m making it a point to wear an old worn out pair and try to run with quick steps. i wore sandals for running for a while, and just decided i had too few pairs to ruin running — when i need them other times. oh, and i walk around barefoot as much as possible — but that’s not new.

      tell rebecca catherine that barefoot ted and i say hello.

  4. Wow on the triathlon stuff. Holy cow. I’ve got nothing but awe. I doubt it will ever be my desire to try that (although you never know), but being a marathon runner, I cannot IMAGINE doing all that before I set out on my 26.2. Thanks for the videos. They are inspiring, whether you want to attempt an ironman or not.

    • whatever, you’re the stud. running marathons every weekend and in 50 states and all the continents, and on several planets… that and your husband is a pro.

      so i can float a few laps before touring around on a bike and crawling 20-some odd miles. i’ve got nothing on you and jason.

  5. JMF

    Good stuff. I read “Who is my neighbor”, incredible. I also read the comments…I am fascinated by the sin culture that y0u deal with. That is incredibly interesting to me.

    I too read Beck’s blog occasionally…but it seems I have enough to study/think about as it is, and his material just forces my brain into overdrive in a whole different direction! His concepts always leave me spinning.

    Didn’t realize you do tri stuff…man, that is nuts. I’m a (very) amateur powerlifter, so tri isn’t real suitable and accomodating for my build! But I bet we are similar in that we are constantly hurt in some way. I figure that if I’m not a little beat up, I’m not hitting it hard enough. Right now my knees hurt and I’ve tweaked my shoulder. But thanks for the comment about swimming through vomit, I was wondering what the sickest thing was that I’d hear today–I’m pretty sure that was it. 🙂

    • yeah, that william black really knows his stuff. as does beck — i read every post of his, though sometimes he gets me a little riled up.

      i am at least as amateur ironman triathlete as you are powerlifter, i’m sure. i’ve done two, but i didn’t win either of them. and right now my pain is in my calves — from switching to the barefoot form of running.

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