Annie’s New Harness
While I accept grace from God rather than karma, I am happy to see the animal world in my house get a little karma. That is, what comes around goes around. Or rather, what you send around comes back around to you.
Annie, as you know from previous posts, is terribly neurotic. This is entertaining, but what you may not know is how much she barks. The list of things which send her off barking grows every day, and some days it drives all of use crazy. About five days ago this began to change.
One night she couldn’t stop coughing, and this continued into the morning. It subsided for a couple days but resumed later until we took her to the vet. The vet says she has a collapsing trachea, something common in small dogs as they age. When Annie gets excited, like when she’s barking, she starts coughing and gagging. It is harmless, if not a bit annoying, but we couldn’t have come up with a more effective remedy for the barking! The vet also recommended a harness rather than a collar; less pressure on her throat when she tries chasing the neighborhood cat or the egrets in the backyard.
This made things even funnier. She won’t hardly walk with this harness on. I’m not sure if she’s embarrassed or confused, but it slows her down to almost a standstill. We know there is nothing wrong with her, so this has provided a new level of entertainment.
In a week or two this will probably all be past, but it has been a gratifying relief from the barking while it lasts.
[Update 7 Dec: Yep. It wasn’t a collapsing trachea after all. Probably just kennel cough. The barking has resumed to previous levels, but Annie is back to her old self again.]
Thanksgiving with Friends
There is much for us to be thankful for today as we stop and think about how God has blessed us.
We are grateful for things we experience everyday but don’t always think deeply about; our family, our friends, our health, our work. Most significantly we are grateful that God saved us.
There are other things for which we are grateful that we think of more often; the conveniences of life here in the U.S., times with friends, and most significantly the team of people who are behind us in our ministry.
Finally, there are things we thank God for because He told us to be thankful in everything; all the positive things we left behind in Budapest, including our friends, the new challenges we face here in the U.S., and the loss of a cold winter (for Cathy and Andrew).
Andrew recruited his friends and youth leader to try surfing, so today there were seven of us on rented foam surfboards. The waves were better, and we all got to stand up on at least a few of them. Compared to last attempt, these waves were easy to navigate. But catching a wave and then standing up while riding it is a lot harder than it looked. This trip gave us progress, but we still have a lot of learning to do. And the water keeps getting colder, so we’ll probably need wetsuits next time.
I’m selling my Nikon FM2 (on Craig’s List). In the process of getting the camera out, it made Audrey curious about how it worked. I gave her a short photography lesson and told her about a cool photo I remembered seeing of Pablo Picasso drawing a minotaur with a flashlight in the dark. We never could find the photo online, but we decided to try the technique ourselves. It was a lot of fun, and we made several interesting photos. You can see a few more here.
Hanging Out at the Trace Camping Trip 2006
After a three year break from the annual Trace Academy Camping Trips, we returned this weekend. This time there were a lot more families, and we had perfect weather. The same things have happened each year; school on Friday and Saturday mornings, camp fires, football games in the afternoons, China Crossing (flashlight tag) at night, camp fires, cooking out with friends, hanging out with friends, and camp fires.
Highlight of this year’s trip (for me): 1. playing football and not getting injured, and 2. seeing a 10′ alligator just a few feet of the dock on the lake.
Today Lance Armstrong ran the New York City Marathon and finished in under 3 hours. Granted, he didn’t train for this race like he trained for his Tour de France victories, but he did give it an intentional effort, according to Runner’s World Magazine. After the race he gave marathon runners a generous dose of vindication.
For the level of condition that I have now, that was without a doubt the hardest physical thing I have ever done. – Lance Armstrong after the New York City Marathon
It was nice to hear that even one of the world’s best athletes found this event a grueling experience, too. It’s been seven years since I ran a marathon, but this is how I remember feeling just after finishing.
Learning To Surf
Surf was up this weekend, so Andrew and I tried to learn how to surf. My last experience at this was back in 1991 the day before Hurricane Andrew hit Florida. Conditions were better today, but we both found surfing more than we could master in a day.
The waves look small from the boardwalk. As your feet get wet they begin looking bigger. As you paddle out and bob over the first two footer you realize that four foot wave you saw earlier is bigger than you thought. Finally when you’re on your belly paddling toward a roaring, foam capped, five foot wall of water rushing toward you, it begins to feel like the ocean doesn’t want you to pass. It looked so easy from shore.
By far the hardest part was trying to get these big blue foam boards over the final break of waves. With a smaller, fiberglass board you can push them under the big breaking waves and keep your forward position. The purpose of these big foam boards was to keep 165 pound bodies like mine afloat on top them; no going under. And there is really no going over a five foot breaking wave either without getting pushed back to the point where you began the ascent.
So neither of us got past the point where the big waves were breaking such that we could catch them on the way back in. Instead we caught the smaller waves as they reformed closer to the beach and practiced standing up on the boards from there.
We were both exhausted before our two hour rental period was over.
And we’ll be out there again next chance we get!
This just in from our internal communications department:
The CBS film crew just finished shooting at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The focus of the story is the increased spiritual interest of college students and their involvement with Christian groups.
CBS shot the entire UW weekly meeting with fantastic footage of a classic Crusade gathering with students streaming in and hanging from the rafters. They also filmed an entire freshmen girls dorm Bible study. Two students were interviewed sharing how they left the party scene when their lives were changed by Jesus. Now they are leading Bible studies.
The feature is tentatively scheduled to run on Wednesday, November 1, on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. That is subject to change.
Tune in tonight to see our work in action!
[Update 9 November 2006 from CCCI’s staff website]
“With the election returns and now Donald Rumsfield’s resignation, CBS postponed the feature until next week.
It will likely air on Thursday, November 16 and will run as the first in a two-part series. The second part on Friday will focus on how youth ministries – mostly high school church based – are addressing changing technology and styles.
If/when CBS starts advertising the series around next Tuesday, we’ll have high confidence the feature will actually run on the November 16.”
[Update 19 December 2006]
CBS News called the series Wired for Faith. It aired Thursday, December 14 at 6:30 p.m. EST.
The two-minute segment was titled “Praying Not Partying.” Watch the video on the right side of the screen or read the transcript in the main column.