October 22, 2010

“May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”

No Worries

October 22, 2010

“He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.”

The Write Off

October 20, 2010

Jerry: So, we’re going to make the post office pay for my new stereo now?

Kramer: It’s a write-off for them.

Jerry: How is it a write-off?

Kramer: They just write it off.

Jerry: Write it off what?

Kramer: Jerry, all these big companies, they write off everything.

Jerry: You don’t even know what a write-off is.

Kramer: Do you?

Jerry: No, I don’t!

Kramer: But they do. And they’re the ones writing it off.

Jerry: I wish I had the last twenty seconds of my life back.

from Seinfeld

I Will Boast

October 18, 2010

Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom

Or the strong man boast in his strength

Let not the rich man boast in his riches

But let the humble come and give thanks

To the One

Who made us

The One

Who saved us


I will boast in the Lord my God

I will boast in the One Who’s worthy

I will boast in the Lord my God

I will boast in the One Who’s worthy

He’s worthy


I will make my boast in Christ alone

I will make my boast in Christ alone


by Paul Baloche

Barely News

October 17, 2010

The News and Advance
LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) – Daniel Howell walks barefoot across the cement floor of Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, past the condiment stand and public restrooms, to join his family in a booth.

Today his bare feet attract little attention, but he’s used to confrontation.

He keeps a letter in his car from the Virginia state health department explaining that it’s not a health code violation for patrons to go barefoot in restaurants.

Howell, a biology professor at Liberty University, goes barefoot whenever he can. For the past two years, he’s been on a crusade to challenge America’s cultural addiction to shoes and to raise awareness of the benefits of barefoot.

“We live in a shoe-obsessed society,” Howell said. “To our detriment.”

He recently published “The Barefoot Book: 50 Great Reasons to Kick Off Your Shoes” and devoted the summer to a 21-state book tour, staying barefoot 24/7.

Howell asserts that barefoot walking is essential to healthy feet. He likens a shoe to a cast that immobilizes an otherwise healthy foot and prevents it from functioning as nature intended.

Shoes, he argues, can lead to problems like hammertoe and knee arthritis.

“It’s getting to be quite well known that shoes change the way you run,” he said. “They also change the way you walk. They change the way you stand. They’re bad for you when you sit. They’re just bad for you.”

Howell wasn’t always a barefoot guy.

That started about three years ago, when he took up barefoot running.

At 37 years old, he couldn’t run father than a mile and was battling recurring injuries. Barefoot running was gaining traction in running communities, so he decided to try it out.

The first time he went barefoot, he ran three miles. The second time, he ran five.

“That was great except for the next eight weeks I could barely walk My legs hurt so bad, my calves hurt.”

Howell learned the hard way the importance of taking it slow. The body becomes so conditioned to shoes that going barefoot all at once can shock to the system, he said.

There were other hazards, too, such as stepping on glass or sharp debris in the road. Howell had to train himself to watch his step wherever he went.

Mile by mile, Howell weaned his feet off sneakers. His running took off, and his injuries subsided.

Howell has logged more than 2,000 barefoot miles. September marked his third time running the Virginia Ten Miler barefoot.

Soon Howell’s barefoot running began to bleed into other areas of his life.

At his farmhouse in Bedford County, he found himself playing in the front yard with his children barefoot.

He would drive to work barefoot and would even attend church services barefoot.

“You begin spending more and more and more time barefoot,” Howell said. “You’re kind of pushing the envelope in terms of where you can go and what you can do. But it was a very gradual process.”

The more Howell went barefoot, the more he realized the extent American shoe-culture and the barefoot taboo.

“The physical hurdles are nothing compared to the social ones.”

Social attitudes toward shoes have changed overtime, Howell said. In the early 20th century, bare feet were more common in the U.S., especially with children.

“You can take a snapshot from a classroom photographed in the 1920s, 1930 If not 100 percent, than the vast majority of children are barefoot Now shoes are mandated.”

About two years ago, Howell began walking into local businesses barefoot just to see how employees would react.

Though going barefoot is not a health code violation in restaurants and businesses, employees can and do ask him to leave. Beach towns tend to be more accepting of bare feet, but most of the time, business owners frown upon them, Howell said.

“You can go into Walmart one day and nobody bats an eye, and you go in another day and they kick you out,” he said. “And you go back the next day, and they don’t care again. So it’s totally random.”

Public bathrooms are one place Howell dreads.

“I avoid them like the plague,” he said. “That said, other than the yuckiness of it, it’s not a particularly dangerous place. It’s just the idea of it that’s yucky to me.”

Howell’s barefoot crusade has touched others.

At Liberty, he is known as “The Barefoot Professor.”

At races, strangers will ask him for advice about barefoot running.

Howell’s wife, Carla, has taken up barefoot running and encourages her children to go barefoot at home.

Though she supports her husband’s barefoot lifestyle, she prefers to wear shoes in public.

“I’m not as much as a public barefooter,” said Carla, a self-described “rule-follower.” “I still have to get past the social aspect of going out barefoot.”

As Howell knows firsthand, the workplace can be a place where diehard barefooters have to compromise.

Liberty University allowed Howell to go barefoot at the beginning of the semester, while he was promoting his book. Now he is required to wear shoes in the classroom, which Howell said he complies with.

Still, going barefoot has caught on with others in the Liberty community.

Jim Hendricks, a senior software developer at Liberty, met Dr. Howell last month at a race in Roanoke. Henricks is recovering from an ankle injury and is incorporating barefoot walking into his routine.

“Now that I’ve done it couple of times, it was quite enjoyable,” he said. “To me it was freeing, it was more natural.”

Caitlin Hubbard, a Liberty University graduate, got interested in the barefoot lifestyle after taking Howell’s anatomy class last spring.

“I’ve never really been a fan of shoes and (The Barefoot Book) sort of gave evidence for why I never liked them,” Hubbard said. “It’s kind of ingrained that you must always wear shoesNow I think if you’re more comfortable going barefoot, then you should.”

For Howell, an ideal world would be one where people could go barefoot when they chose, without the fear of social stigma.

“Because I go barefoot so much, people think I’m an extremist,” Howell said. “From my perspective, people who wear shoes all everywhere they go, seven days a week, every year of your life, that’s extreme. . . I’m being an extremist. You’re being an extremist. Let’s find a nice, healthy middle ground.”


Recent Generations

October 16, 2010

‘The first generation works their fingers to the bone making things. The next generation goes to college and innovates new ideas. The third generation… snowboards and takes improv classes.’


Brain Game

October 15, 2010

Ur Full Of

Screwed Up

October 4, 2010

Take from wtop:

As local lawmakers struggle with budget cuts, health care issues and easing traffic congestion, they’re also working on other legislation – like protecting families of rats and squirrels.
D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh (Ward 3) introduced the Wildlife Protection Act, which would require people who trap wild animals that get into your house – like rats, mice, squirrels, possums – to follow basic humanitarian guidelines.

According to the Wildlife Protection Act of 2009:

A wildlife control operator shall make every reasonable effort to preserve family units using humane eviction and/or displacement and reunion strategies. Wildlife captured by a wildlife control operator may be held in captivity for up to 72 hours when reunion attempts are employed. A wildlife control operator shall not knowingly abandon dependent young in a structure.

But one part of the bill had reporters asking a lot of questions at D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray’s monthly press briefing.

“If I have some squirrels or some possums in my attic, I’m not frankly concerned about preserving their family unit. Moreover, how can I identify what their family unit is? This is in the bill!” government watchdog Dorothy Brizill asked.

The D.C. Council will vote on the Wildlife Protection Act on Tuesday.

Gray would not say how he is going to vote on the bill.

Cheh has not yet responded to calls from WTOP.

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I?
[originally, For such a worm as I?]


At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.

Isaac Watts

Great Athletes

October 2, 2010

Great athletes resonate for one or more of the following reasons …

They are original prototypes.

They are breathtaking to watch.

They are impossibly consistent.

They get better when it matters.

They are transcendently great.

So, who’s yours’?