Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Can World's Strongest Dad

[From Sports Illustrated, By Rick Reilly]
I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay For their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.

But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.

Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in Marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a Wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and Pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.

Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back Mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. On a bike. Makes Taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.
This love story began in Winchester , Mass. , 43 years ago, when Rick Was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him Brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.

"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him And his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. ``Put him in an Institution.''

But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes Followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the Engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was Anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was told. ``There's nothing going on in his brain.''

"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a Lot was going on in his brain. Rigged up with a computer that allowed Him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his Head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? ``Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the School organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, ``Dad, I want To do that.''

Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described ``porker'' who never ran More than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he Tried. ``Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. ``I was sore For two weeks.''

That day changed Rick's life. ``Dad,'' he typed, ``when we were running, It felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''

And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly Shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.

``No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a Single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few Years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then They found a way to get into the race Officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the Qualifying time for Boston the following year.

Then somebody said, ``Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?''

How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he Was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick Tried.

Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii . It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud Getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you Think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? ``No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for ``the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with A cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best Time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world Record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to Be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the Time.

``No question about it,'' Rick types. ``My dad is the Father of the Century.''

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a Mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries Was 95% clogged. ``If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' One doctor told him, ``you probably would've died 15 years ago.'' So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass. , always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

``The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, ``is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.''

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Mars Hill

Hey there, followed a link from another friend's blog and came across this place: Check it out! You may know of Rob Bell from the Nooma series, he's a pastor / teacher here and you can get some great teaching mp3's to listen to in the car or on the mp3 player. Just listening to a series on 'Calling all peacemakers' - absolutely awesome!

Friday, January 26, 2007


Is it only me? I feel like this year's Australia Day was more patriotic than ever. Dunno if it's just the 'Big Day Out' thing of 'No Flags', which now smells more like reverse psychology than anything, or it could be the claiming Australia for who we are as opposed to some of the radical religious leaders that we have seen on the news lately. So I dunno, did you feel more patriotic this year or is it just me feeling funny?

Friday, January 19, 2007


Well it's a word that I have often used in the past when speaking but it really is such a crucial factor for the church and Christianity. Matt 6:21 talks about our treasure and where our heart is. Where our passion is, that's where we will put most of our effort and time, basically, that's what we'll worship.
So . . . what do we worship?
This is one of the hugest issues I see with the local Christian church today, authenticity and passion. For some reason other religions leave the local church for dead when it comes to passion, there are people who don't follow Jesus who are willing to die for what they believe. Often the general amount of passion that oozes out of the average Australian Christian is left for being bothered to get out of bed on a Sunday morning and singing a few songs, if you like singing that is.
So what does this mean for me as I ask myself if I'm passionate about a life with Jesus? Well, I have to say I am finding it really hard in the local church at the moment. I see the programs and people going through the motions of 'doing church' and I find myself really struggling to see the purpose of Sunday mornings.
I have to ask this question though, what exactly is a Christian?
If a Christian is someone who just goes to church on Sunday and serves the purpose of the Church alone then I would question whether or not they actually are a Christian.
I have come to believe that a Christian is someone who follows the authority, teaching, values, morals, life of Jesus Christ. Sorry, but I didn’t see Jesus in the NT just going to church every Sunday. Neither did He just hang out with those who followed Him or believed in Him, as a matter of fact none of those who followed Him to begin with were ‘Christians’. (might want to just let that soak in :) )
So, a Christian, as I have learned, believes that Jesus is the son of God (Yahweh) who came to us in human form. They believe that because of humankind’s inherited sin, Jesus paid for the penalty of that sin in dying on the cross. He proved then that he has conquered death by being raised from the dead and is coming back. A Christian then understands that they are made right, not by anything they can do but simply through Jesus’ forgiveness and the mighty mercy and grace that God has shown. Romans 9:10 says something like, if you believe this in your heart and then speak it out then you'll be saved. Simple as that! This is awesome! It is in this that my passion emerges!!
Now it’s important to be encouraged and to encourage and learn more with other Christians and that’s where church comes into things. However, if this becomes more important than following Jesus and being his messengers, then we start to lose the passion and the purpose of being a follower of Christ in the first place. Not only that, but we become irrelevant and religious, we lose the real meaning of following Jesus and when we lose that we lose our passion and when we lose that, then why would anyone else want to be a Christian?

The thing is I think we have been so programmed to be passionate in certain ways that we've lost what it means to be really authentic about our love for Jesus all the time.
Read this the other day by

  • Hamo
  • "I would gaurantee an institional church full of people radically devoted to Jesus will always be more impactful than a new expression where the Jesus factor is dispassionate."

    Like it!


    Friday, January 12, 2007

    Back to Study

    Well, yep loved it so much I can't get away from it! BTW early last year finally received that bachelor degree that means I can finally be a pastor in a church, just as well huh?
    Anyway, now I'm back to the building thing with the Master Builders Association SA. Doing 5 modules and by the end of the year, because of my trade and my business I'll have my building supervisor's / contractors license and can build Timbercrete homes as well as make the bricks. I'm excited!

    Incarnational V Attractional Mission

    This is a good thought provoking read about mission and the local church by Andrew Hamilton. It's a bit old (2005) but here's a taste, click on the title to go to the link.

    If Jesus were alive today and his mission was still to ‘seek out and save the lost’ what might he do?…

    Would he hire a building, set up a sound system, develop a music team, drama team, and then do local letterbox drops advising people that they could come and be part of his church on Sunday? Frankly I don’t believe this approach to mission would rate a blip on his strategic radar.

    Saturday, January 06, 2007

    Oh! Gravity.,

    Just received the new Switchfoot CD via the US via Ebay. This is awesome! I have a couple of new additions to the CD pile courtesy of a recent birthday and then Christmas. (The other way to add to the pile is to buy CD’s you like for the kids. :) so they received a couple for Chrissy as well. :) :) ) Anyway, has anyone ever listened to a CD and drawn closer to God without it actually being a ‘God is the king of the world’ type lyric? (not derogatory, I hope you get the drift) Today while listening to the Switchfoot CD, it really impacted me. Their lyrics are so rich, there’s also heaps of them, lyrics that is. They jam a lot of lyrics in a very short space, mainly I think as they have such a powerful message to tell. I’m still trying to understand them all and what I get out of them probably won’t be the same for others or maybe even Switchfoot intended. There’s a lot of focus on getting our eyes off the world and what it offers and on to higher things, in my view and maybe their’s, eternal things. The title track, ‘Oh Gravity’, I reckon is saying that we as people are so stuck to this earth that we can’t see past it to what is real and how we can make a difference. That really echo’s with their last CD Nothing is Sound and in particular the song ‘Stars’. It’s the last song of this CD that really caused me to shift my focus toward God, ‘Let your love be strong’ here’s an excerpt:

    Let your love be strong, and I don't care what goes down
    Let your love be strong enough to weather through the thunder cloud
    Fury and thunder clap like stealing the fire from your eyes
    All of my world hanging on your love

    Let the wars begin, let my strength wear thin
    Let my fingers crack, let my world fall apart
    Train the monkeys on my back to fight
    Let it start tonight
    When my world explodes, when my stars touch the ground
    Falling down like broken satellites

    All of my world resting on your love

    The song really made me think, that if all crashes around me then the love of God is always there ever sustainable.
    These guys rock, they have a lot of guts and they really have the best lyrics I have ever heard, so thought provoking. The other best part is their style, I love it.
    The other CD I was given and wanted was Guy’s new one. Loving strong vocals I was really keen on this. It’s good as a cheap listen but as far as depth goes, let’s just say Switchfoot rock!

    Tuesday, January 02, 2007


    Well I've been thinking about this for some time now and it really is an important issue to think about. Thanks to those who responded to the last small one on

  • This Link

  • I think Nickers has some extra good stuff and I reckon we could call it subject closed but i'd like to take it a bit further coz it's my blog and I can :) Success was a huge theme that came out of the latest Timbercrete conference and it was sooo good to hear about success from a Godly point of view.
    The cliche` 'Christian' view of success is probably something like, success is found in God and not man. Now I'm not saying this isn't true coz it is, but how many Christian's say (or think in their head) God is their success, yet continue to find true success in other area's of this life on earth.
    It's important at this time to recognise the fact that I think we as people still need to do our best on this earth in whatever God places in our path, but to say that we are a failure because we didn't meet a deadline, broke something, cost someone lots of many, didn't get a job, didn't finish study or don't have much money etc etc, I believe is a down right lie that needs to be rejected. To also say that someone or a business is a success for making or having all those things I just listed, is also a lie but it is the benchmark that everyone on this earth rates themselves with.
    Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 clearly states that the wisdom of God is different than people's wisdom. We weigh everything in something tangible, something we can see, feel or touch, God doesn't. Because of this, true success, I beleive, is not found in what I can see, touch, feel, hear etc It's what I have faith in, what I believe God says is true success. The closest example of God I know is Jesus. In Matthews writings about Jesus He said don't worry about anything else just seek God first and everything you need will all fall into place. Does that mean if I put God first my business will go banana's and I won't have to worry again about finances!??? er . . nup, coz in the last book of the bible in the letters to the seven churches, Jesus says to them something like if you be obedient, listen to me . . you'll . . . sit with me on my throne . . . have my name inscribed on them . . . not be hurt by the second death. The reward is in the kingdom, it's eternal, it's spiritual not necessarily earthly.
    So, here's what I reckon. God say's your a success and loves you simply because He made you with His very own hands, not because you do anything (Eph 2:8). If we can then understand that success is in that belief and follow God's path, and not people's measure of success, then our reward is far beyond anything this world will ever offer, the reward is eternal. This is so comforting to me. I get bombarded with people asking me all the time how business is going, sometimes it's because people care, sometimes it's just something to talk about but I know others are probably measuring me to see if I'm a success or not. I feel when people ask this, that if business isn't going great, I am a failure to them. Thankfully, through the eye's of Jesus I'm not. My prayer is that as business picks up I don't fall into the trap myself of thinking I'm successful just because business is going good, you know what I mean?
    I was reading the first chapter Mark the other night and saw this spot in verse 37 where Jesus' friends were hastling Him to go to the people but Jesus was foccused and wasn't going to just please people and he stated that we have to move on fella's there other places I have to go as well. His focus was on His Father's plans not the plans of others.
    If anyone has ever seen Jerry Macguire there's a dude at the end, I can't remember his name, and he says 'I love my life and I love my wife, I wish you my kind of success'. Jesus says; love God and love the people around you.
    I wish you His kind of success for 2007 and beyond.