Take time to get outdoors!

Folks, it’s spring in the northern hemisphere and it’s time to get some sunshine and start taking in more fresh air.

I know that due to the pandemic many of us are having to work from home or may not be working and we are stuck in our living quarters. Some may be even working extra hours due to having a critical role in keeping our society running.

This makes taking a few minutes for a walk outdoors even more critical for our health.

Whether it’s a slow mind cleansing stroll, a brisk blood moving walk/hike or a good run or jog, get outside in the sun for a while. Even 30 minutes is enough. Break it up into two 15 minute segments is you need to. Just get outside, breathe deep, and be out of the house.

Defeat or Determination? – When Circumstances and Obstacles Remove Your Motivation

We’ve been training for a few months now. We are only three weeks away from our big run. But now the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced the run organizers to cancel. #Coronavirus #BentonvilleHalfMarathon

It’s a hard choice for the organizers. And for the runners, especially first time half marathon runners, this is devastating news. For those who have been training and weekly pushing their bodies to new distance or pace goals, their big motivation has been removed.

This year would be my third Bentonville Half Marathon, my goal was to just run it faster. Yet I have many friends that I have encouraged to run their first half, and a few are now very demotivated.

My message to you all is to focus on taming the flesh and silence the voice of the lazy flesh sack we live in.

Be determined to press on and conquer those 13.1 miles. Many races are switching to a virtual format. This means you still have to prove that you ran the miles to get the medal.

And although the lights and the camera may not be there, the action will be. When you run 13.1 miles for the first time in your life it will still move you emotionally. Don’t give up your training just because you won’t be around thousands of other sweaty faced runners.

The true goal is to overcome the voice of the quitter in your head. And prove to yourself that you can do it. This is your motivation! Not the crowd at the finish line, but the one doubting voice in your mind that you must silence.

There are not many life changing goals that have ever been reached without hard work, obstacles, challenges and/or pain. Many times those goals are achieved without a finish line and no audience to speak of. But the goal was still achieved.

Will you give up? Will you let the voice of fear and laziness win again? Or will you Run, Endure and Finish Strong?

Taming the flesh and extending the mission that God has created you for.

The Adventures of Yazoo and Huckleberry (Ch 9)

Friday:

Travel day, early morning.
Security was horrible but normal. The airport was packed in the southern city we were in. The people were heading out of town to join family for a traditional festival.

Once we got to the capital city airport after a three hour flight, we used Yazoo’s gold status and used the VIP lounge with showers and snacks. We missed the lounge when came in country previouly, we would have loved that.

While standing in the security line I noticed several things that were out of the ordinary. One thing was a middle eastern guy who apparently uses steroids or something to make his biceps and forearms swell up. Apparently this is a thing. I was certain I could poke the fake muscles and pop them.

On the 13 hour flight from this capital city to Dallas we didn’t get the good exit row seats, so the flight was much harder to relax on. This flight is the one we had to rebook. Originally we had booked a Saturday flight home. It had been canceled about two weeks before our trip.

Now as I told you previously we didn’t have any details why that flight was canceled. Also, if you remember from the last post, Yazoo had received a call about the in country financial authorities wanting to review the funding of the business.

It was in the airport here that Yazoo confessed to me that he was a little freaked out about that call from the accountant.

Yazoo explained that he was worried that the airport authorities were going to stop us from leaving the country. I said a prayer.

Yazoo said it’s all in the Lord’s hands. So, when we finally passed through security and got on the plane we were very relieved.

We theorize that the Lord made sure we left a day earlier than planned to keep us out of trouble.

On the flight. I saw at least two couples leaving with newly adopted children. One of them was very fussy, earphones required.

I only got about 30 minutes of sleep. Which was fine. It helped me sleep and adjust to central standard time once I arrived home.

I watched several movies on the retractable entertainment unit in the seat. And I got up to stretch my legs several times since I was on the aisle seat.

One odd thing was that the two small asian ladies sitting next to me in this three seat side row never got up once. It was amazing in my mind how they didn’t need to stand up or use the restroom for 13 hours.

Once we got to Dallas, we used Hayes gold status and again used the VIP lounge with showers and snacks. American Airlines has nice lounges for the gold members. But we did have to go through security again.

We only had a couple of hours layover so we just relaxed and enjoyed the current calm.

All three of the flights were full and nerve racking for a guy who tends to introvert as first nature. The worst part was that we had to go through security for all three flights. 😥

I was very relieved to be in the U.S. again. When my wife and kids picked me and Yazoo up at the airport it was an amazing feeling. I felt a joyful and content spirit. I was thankful and blessed.

After dropping Yazoo off at his house. We headed straight to Braums for a chocolate chip cookie dough shake.

Now, time to pray and plan the next journey.

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The Adventures of Yazoo and Huckleberry (Ch. 8)

Thursday was decompression day before our long flight home. I slept well Wednesday night as we were in our original hotel room.

We got up and outside and had an inaugural F3 style workout in this big city. We gave Switzer his name because he is a Sooners fan and it was his first F3 wirkout. I think we almost killed him, so we sat down for the circle of trust at the end. Yazoo did the sixth man life history talk, followed by Switzer telling us about his life.

After we all showered, we ate breakfast at a friendly traditional American breakfast food restaurant followed by another trip to a Starbucks Reserve store.

Then we toured around the big city. We toured the Flower and Fish Market and saw many interesting and colorful things. Including colored turtles and chicks.

The city was getting ready for a big festival starting that night. We didn’t stop to watch the street dances, but I took a picture with some beautiful lanterns.

After this we had a really odd encounter with a man who was very round, had long curly dark hair and no shoes. His feet were such that I knew he had not worn shoes in a long time. His old pants rolled up to his knees and he had on a knock off North Face puffy style coat covered with another traditional local style tunic. He stood out.

I walked passed him at first. He was acting odd and pacing in front of the big stage where a show was going to start in about 30 minutes. I sensed an unusual feeling when I walked by but not a harmful one. As I walked by I looked at a booth for a moment but then I turned around to glance at the guy again and he was staring at me. He locked eyes with me, fell to both knees, put his hands together and then bowed. I started walking over to him and he got up and walked to me. Fulmer came over as well and the man tried to talk to us, but Fulmer could not understand his dialect. He was definitely from a minority people group.

We tried to talk for about a minute until we decided that we could not continue causing a scene where we were. The place was covered with police due to the festival. I’m still not sure how to fully explain the encounter. Was he a beggar or possessed or a fellow brother? I may never know. But I will look for him near that location next time I am in that city.

We also went to a traditional massage place were we discovered a believer friend. They put the four of us in a room together with reclining chairs and TVs. Fully clothed except our shoes and socks.

This bucket of water was so hot. They started out by putting blazing hot stones in the water that made it boil. Then they pinted for us to put our feet in it. To say the least I was reluctant. But Yazoo assured me that they were not going to cook my feet on purpose.

It took me three tries and very slow depth transition times to get my feet to the bottom. It’s at that point that Switzer announced to the room a very important tip. “Once you get your feet to the bottom don’t move your feet or wiggle your toes.” This keeps your feet from starting the scalding process again apparently.

So I tested it. It’s true. If you move your foot it burns again. But if you leave it still the cooking process doesn’t cause as much pain.

Next, the message therapist basically dug her elbows and fists into every muscle I have while I sat in the chair hoping I wouldn’t pass out. And I won’t even describe the Reynolds wrap knee acid cream torture process.

Yet, while we were there Fulmer kicked off a conversation about faith which opened the door for one of the massage therapists. She was able share with her coworkers about the way. Seeds planted.

After the message we had to visit another Starbucks and ate small snacks while we were there. We had a plan to eat with Kevin for dinner.

After walking around a bit more we headed toward a mall we had not been to before. This mall had a train that docked right inside of it to carry people from all over the region to shop. Kevin was coming into town on the train.

Then we met up with Kevin for dinner and talked business short term and long term planning. I helped explain that we need his ideas. Similar to how Mr. Sam and grass roots ideas helped build Walmart. It really helped get him out of his shell and talking with Yazoo. Kevin sees Yazoo like the big boss man CEO.

Meanwhile Switzer and Fulmer led most of the discussion. And Yazoo laid out the overarching principles of why this business exists.

We let Kevin order for us and it was very local in nature. Wow. Great food and you eat with your hands. They did give us food grade gloves.

Yep, a chicken paw

After leaving the restaurant we sat in the mall at a DQ for another hour discussing business.

After a while I explained how I agreed with the government agriculture guy we met with. We can’t try and plant whole farms. The farmer will need short term income and a hedge on over production of the crop in the future.

The trees take 2 to 5 years to produce based on initial plant size but the farmer needs to make a living with their remaining acreage without us paying them. We also want to protect the farmer from a downturn in the price of pecans. We all agreed on that.

After finally getting ready to leave Kevin told us that he had not heard from Victor in two days and that his friends were only receiving back canned responses. This is generally what happens when the police take you in for doing the real business work in a new town. We are praying for him. (Update: he was finally released after two days)

It was a long but productive day. And we have to get up at 4:00 am to reach the airport. So we headed back to the hotel.

It was at this point as we walked back to the car that I started noticing Yazoo say some things to Switzer and he seemed uncomfortable.

It turns out that our in country accountant had gotten a phone call from the banking authorities in the country asking about our funding.

Yazoo didn’t make a big deal out of it so I said a prayer and tried to forget it as we drove back to the hotel.

Taming the Flesh and Extending the Mission God has for your life

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