Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Holidays are a bit nutso for us. It's mostly just the travel. Driving to NW Ohio on the 20th, back to Columbus on the 23rd, to NE Ohio on the 24th, back to Columbus on the 26th, then to Indianapolis on the 27th, and then back to Columbus on New Years. This was fine and actually never felt like much until we started popping out babies.

If you could pray that we would use the car time wisely, we would appreciate it. Melissa and I always seem to have good conversations in the car.

I'm giving a seminar at IndyCC (the 4 day retreat in Indianapolis with around 2000 students from all over the region), so that has been what I've been working on the last few days as students have vanished with finals. I'm doing it on an overview of the story of scripture. Been a blast preparing. Mainly I'm working from three books: "The Mission of God" by Christopher Wright, "God's Big Picture" by Vaughn Roberts, and "The Drama of Scripture" by Bartholomew and Goheen. Great books; pick up all three if you can.

I've asked almost exclusively for books for Christmas, and man am I pumped for it.

Back to reading!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

MaKenzie came through her surgery

Everything went really well! Praise the Lord! The doctor said it was worse than she thought but they were able to fix it. She's in a lot of pain but she's doing well. She's at the Cleveland Clinic for the next couple days. She's such a trooper. Please pray for her as she recovers. She'll be at home and will need to make a decision in the next couple weeks as to if she can return to school in January. Hopefully the road to recovery isn't super difficult. Please pray that she'll rely on the Lord through this process.

Thank you all for your prayers!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Random Shadle tidbits

-Noah is ginormous. Dude is doing all kinds of fun stuff. He has begun creating sentences which is quite fun for us. Last night, he let me throw him around for about 20 minutes which was quite the breakthrough; usually he just doesn't like "roughhousing." He has been a great brother too.

I ran 3.75 miles today. Felt really good. I'm starting to run again after my 26 day rest (1 day for each mile!). I'm leaning towards the Cincy Flying Pig marathon on May 1st. Yes, I'm hooked.

Ministry has been amazing. Really. Amazing. We have 16 guys coming out to the small group in one dorm and around 9 or 10 to another. In my ten years on south campus I've never seen or heard of anything like that. These aren't just regular dudes either; they're already actively sharing their faith and trusting God to move on their floors and in their dorms. This is gonig to be a fun year.

And the guys in my Action Group (older students that are leaders of those small groups) are, to a man, having just great years. So much has changed from last year sometimes I just pinch myself. God is seriously on the move on south campus at OSU.

We're heading to staff conference this weekend. We're excited because the hotel we stay at has an indoor water park which will be just a blast for Noah. I'm pumped.

I'm reading "Eat, Pray, Love" right now. Don't laugh. I've been gaining moe interest in these super popular books since reading "No Impact Man." I think if I'm to be reaching out to a community with the rescuing hope of Jesus it should be good to know at an even deeper level where exactly Jesus wants to penetrate. The book has actually shed some light on a few things for me: women, depression, and the way the world thinks about "purpose in life" just to name a few.

Leah is an angel. Seriously, she is just about the best baby ever. Was sleeping through the night I think even before one month, eats great, and is just all smiles. I love this house. My family rocks.

The Browns have got me excited. Peyton Hillis plays football the way it's meant to be played. The last few years I haven't cared much about the NFL because of the league rules and guys like Brady and Manning have turned it into a wierd sort've track and field with a ball. Hillis brings that old school smash mouth stuff back and it's quite fun to watch.

Monday, November 15, 2010

MaKenzie update

Well, MaKenzie will be having surgery on November 29th. Thanks for all of the prayers. She can certainly use more prayers as she tries to finish up classes 2 weeks early and prepares for the surgery. The doctor was quite shocked that she could even function. She said her condition is normally determined when the tissue is 5 mm below the skull (this is all layman's terms of course) and most people have trouble functioning if it's 7-8 mm. Well, MaKenzie's was actually 20 mm! Praise the Lord that things haven't been awful for her! She has been having terrible headaches and has dizzy spells. She's fallen a few times and is having trouble focusing, but it's really awesome to know that there is an end in sight.

Luckily the recovery is 2-3 weeks so she won't miss winter quarter at all. That is another huge answer to prayer. She is such a trooper. We're so thankful that she's getting answers and that everything is seeming to fall into place for her to be able to get better. Please also pray for her time at home as it can be very stressful with her family. Her parents are divorced and things tend to get sticky sometimes when she's home. Thank you all again for your prayers. We'll keep you updated as things progress.

On an unrelated note, we enjoyed some time home with the family. Todd (Bart's brother) and his wife Niki are having a baby, so we were able to be home for the shower. The kids did really well traveling the 2+ hours to their house and enjoyed the time with the grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. We head out for Indianapolis on Wednesday until Sunday, so we're hoping the kids do well traveling the 3 hours there and back. Plus, not to mention, sharing a hotel room with 2 little ones will be a new fun adventure for all of us. Hopefully we'll all get some sleep!!!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Please pray

This is such a fitting picture of MaKenzie.....always happy!

So I (Melissa) have been meeting with a student at OSU named MaKenzie for the last year or so. Well, recently she found out that she has Chiari Malformation. Basically what that means is that a part of her brain is descending out of her skull and putting pressure on her spinal cord. As a result, she has serious headaches and cries very easily. After 6 years of headaches that have become worse and worse, she finally decided that she needed answers. She had an MRI this week and that is when she became aware of this. It breaks my heart that she has to go through so much at such a young age. She has tremendous faith in the Lord and I trust that God can heal her of this. Even if he doesn't, he is still good.

At this point, she has to see a neurologist and figure out when she needs to have surgery. They would probably need to enlarge the hole at the base of her skull and potentially remove something in her spine. We don't know all the details yet, but I want people to be praying. She is such a great girl and I'm blessed to have her in my life. I'll continue to update as I know more. What a crazy thing! To have brain surgery at the age of 21. It just blows my mind!

Thanks everyone for your prayers. We're blessed to have wonderful people in our lives. Our CCC fall retreat is happening right now as I type this. Right now, around 300 college students are gathered to worship the Lord in unison. How awesome is that?!?! Please pray that this retreat would be a catalyst for change is people's lives. We all need to grow and we pray that this would just be one more avenue. I'm excited to get to go tomorrow for a bit and connect with students. We'll update more about retreat later.

Thanks everyone!!! We are excited for what the Lord has in store for our future, MaKenzie's future and the movement at Ohio State!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Marathon recap Part 3

I haven't yet decided if I will post a fourth recap. One entailing the week or so following the race. Scroll down a bit to see the beginnings of the marathon and what has been going on up to this point.

Mile 23 - I am absolutely dragging. For the last few miles I've been trying to get into some sort of running rhythm but it just hasn't happened. All the walking (1/4 of every mile at this point) is just tearing me apart emotionally. My time is ticking way higher than my goal of under 4 hours. You can still get under 4:30 with a good last 5K, Bart. Continue to push yourself. This will all be over soon. Brian is still with me and it is super encouraging. One of the many things I like about Brian is that he is not super preachy or pushy. He wasn't yelling at me or in my face, yet he was still pushing me enough to keep it going. "You can do this! This is a good pain! Only three more miles!" Stuff like that was super encouraging. At this point, though, he said something that hit deeper. He didn't sound irritated, just urgent, and he said "Do you want to finish?"

Oh man. No, actually. I don't even care at this point. Just get this thing over with. But I did care. I did want to keep pushing. And so I tried. The almost complete difference between what was going on in my head and what was going on in my body was funny to me and not something I enjoyed. I really did want to keep going, but I just couldn't stop telling myself to stop and walk it out. To be honest, I think at this point, if not 8 or 9 miles before, I had lost the mental battle. I had stopped fighting.

Tony Plouck, another student I do ministry with joined us at this point as well. I love these guys. Tony grew up a runner, and was the son of a cross-country coach. Tony immediately starts the usual cheers: "You got this! Head up! Keep fighting your almost there! Head up, Bart!" I did not receive these well. I was super encouraged and actually they did boost me quite a bit, but I just wanted to throw him off the bridge we were crossing or into traffic. I just didn't want to fight anymore.

Mile 24-25 - It wasn't all doom and gloom. I'm just trying to paint an accurate picture. Actually it WAS doom and gloom but it was also clinging to hope and attempting, in whatever way I could, to persevere. It's hard even to write about these last few miles because I was just emotionally spent. And, oh yeah, pretty physically spent as well. Two more miles Bart. This is a quick jog out to the library and back from our house. Two miles is nothing! But my legs would just not work. My dehydration at that point was crazy and my leg muscles were going bananas. I had been drinking a lot in the last 10 miles but it was to little to late. You can't start drinking halfway through a marathon and expect to be ok. Those two miles felt like they took forever. But the mile 25 sign made it all worth it. Last mile!

Mile 26 - I tried to run this whole mile but just couldn't. I ran maybe 200 meters before my cramps went crazy and I walked the next 200 meters.
I ran the remainder. This was really tough but I just wanted to finish as strong as I could. My legs flared up like crazy. I didn't want to hurt
anymore and knew that the next mile was the only way through the pain. This whole mile is a blur. I remember turning a few times and thinking I thought this was over, why are we still turning? Where is downtown? Why is this lasting so long?!

Tony and Brian give me one last pep talk, and it actually worked this time because I WANTED to do what they were saying this time. They turn off before we turn the corner for the last .2. These pictures are that last little bit. Boy was I happy this is a downhill. All I really had to do was pump my arms and try and lengthen my stride, and at that point that was about all I COULD do. Then the sweet finish.

I actually remember reading to take advantage of the picture at the finish. Like, stick your arms in the air or something; let it be memorable. I actually think I tried to look good but just ultimately didn't have it in me. I was done. You did it! Yes! It's over!

Hmm, 4:32 was much better than I thought it'd be. Good job! Now where do I go? I kept walking.

I actually almost walked right past the medal people. I don't think they would've let me pass, but I nearly did. It was a little strange having someone place a medal on your neck when you can barely stand. I think I would've liked this more about fifteen minutes later, but hey, it was still pretty awesome. Lots of cheers and encouragement.

My medal picture is kind've funny. You can almost tell what was going on in my head. Really? I appreciate the gesture really I do, but I can barely hold myself up and you want me to pose and strap on a memorable smile?! I sort've succeeded, as you can tell, at bringing out a smile.

The end was awesome. It was over and that brought sweet relief to my legs and heart. Especially my heart. The inner turmoil throughout the race was almost to much to handle. I think I had always thought the toughest part of a marathon would be the actual running of 26.2 miles but, at least for me, that wasn't the case. It was the struggle. The "can I push through this cramp" that happened about 20 times. The voice in my head yelling "just give up!" and my ability/lack to listen. That was the tough part.

What an awesome day! This picture made it worthwhile. Nate finished a bit after me and we celebrated and laughed quite a lot.... then we hurt a lot. Welcome to marathon recovery...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Marathon Recap Part 2

Ok, I'd like you to imagine a situation:

It's early Monday morning and you're on your way to work. You have a long work-week in front of you, at least 60 hours. Problem is, you have no energy. Your newborn baby decided it would be a great time to cry all night; so you're running on about 3 hours of sleep. Plus, your hungry because your 4 year old threw one of those typical tantrums of kids that age that lasted right through breakfast time. And you're going to be late.

Add up all of those feelings of fatigue, crankiness, frustration, and irritability and you've got me at mile 15 of the marathon.
Well, and the rest of the way.

Mile 15 - We've passed the South Campus gateway. That was a welcome sight, and I think I said something like, "Ah, home." Brian laughed. He was also talking a lot. I would love this any other time but even trying to listen was expending energy I didn't feel like I had. I really hope Brian doesn't think I'm a jerk if I don't respond; talking just doesn't seem like something I'd like to do right now. We walk around the turn from Chittenden to Indianola. This was really tough for me, and I almost feel like recapping it here quickly doesn't quite do justice to the way I felt about this. It was really hard for me to stop and walk with Brian right beside me. See, I'm ok with personal failure (and that's what it continually felt like) because, well, I'm just familiar with it. But openly and publicly failing (and yes it felt like total failure - did I already say this?) by walking was really emotionally tough for me with Brian. He didn't say anything.
We actually have a pretty decent pace going despite what is going on internally. I'd guess about a 9:30 per mile pace. Ok, Bart, you've ran 11 miles before and that's all we have left.
Imagine the first half of the run never happened. Yeah right, good luck with that one.

Mile 16 - We swooped back down High st. and turn onto College Rd right on South Campus beside the new union. I had a thought at this point about how cool it was to be running right in the middle of the road. How many times do you get to run right in the middle of busy streets?
I also grab some gatorade. And another gatorade. I realized at about the 15.5 mark that I was thirsty. If you've never ran a marathon then you probably don't know that it's terrible if you ever get thirsty because that most likely means you're pretty significantly dehydrated. I haven't felt much in my muscles but my thirst worried me. Brian was telling me a story about seeing security guards or something during his class because President Obama was visiting the oval that night. Good for the President but at this point I wouldn't have cared much if he was coming to hand me keys to the oval office. You're still in good shape, Bart. Even though you've walked a bit, 4 hrs is absolutely within reach.

Mile 17 - No! No, No, No! An absolutely debilitating muscle cramp brings me to a total stop. It was like Forest Gump in Vietnam. It felt like someone shot me (or bit me, according to Gump). My right hamstring just knotted up. We stopped by the side of the road and I stretched for probably a couple minutes. This was not good. Stopping 17 miles into a 26 mile jaunt is never a good idea because you just lose all rhythm, and in a marathon getting into a good rhythm is imperative. Oh man this is not good. 9 miles to go and my legs are just totally failing. But only 9 miles left. But that's so far. But I've done that before. But I feel terrible. Flip-flop, flip-flop. That was seriously my mind for the duration of the race. I'll try to expound on some specific thoughts, but putting every single one of my thoughts on here may be enough to make the reader bipolar. But this whole mile was trouble the whole way.

Mile 18-20 - Brian is still with me. It really means a lot to me. I'm not quite sure I expected to be as emotional as I was about the race. I was spent. My strength to contain myself emotionally was totally void. At this point I was walking about 300 meters (or 1/5 mile) for every 1300 I ran (or around 4/5 mile). My hamstrings were perpetually tight, but the real problem was every time I ran about 1/2 mile my quads cramped and would just refuse to work. I was doing a bit of limping. Every time I stopped to walk (again, every 4/5 of a mile or so) I just felt totally defeated. I just can't do it. I just can't run. I wonder how long it would take to just walk the rest of the way? I actually start doing the math. If I walk the remaining 7 miles at 20 minutes per mile then I'll be done at 5:30 or so. Who cares, at least this'll be over! Ok, so I wasn't desperate enough to settle for a 5:30 but I wasn't far off.
I see my parents around mile 19 I think. Mom came out into the road to give me a high five. After we pass Brian asks who that was. "Do you know her?"
"Well, it was my mom. So yeah I know her." We both chuckle. I know it's not funny but after running for 3 hours straight you'll laugh at anything.
You'll notice in the picture to the left that Brian is not with me. A bit past mile 19 I saw a girl pull off to the side of the road in shambles. She was crying pretty hard and just looked in total despair. I know the feeling. "Hey, go talk to that girl," I say to Brian.
"Huh? What girl?"
"The girl over there, just see if you can help her and then come back."
Brian turns around and talks to the girl and I continue running. Immediately I feel alone. Maybe I can walk these next few moments with no guilt since it's only me? Nah, let's push really hard so when Brian catches up he'll be impressed at how far I've gone! Sheesh, even writing out my thoughts makes me feel silly. Who needs alcohol to remove all your mental/emotional inhibitions? Just run 20 miles I promise it'll do the same for you. Brian catches back up a bit before mile 21 I think. He stopped and prayed with her for a while. What a stud.

Mile 21-22 - When I passed my parents mom mentioned something about Melissa being up ahead on Grandview. This nearly broke me. Melissa and I had talked quite a bit about her being there and just both decided that it would probably be to hard with the kids. The timing issues (of naps, me running etc) just seemed to difficult to navigate. But she was coming! I love my wife so much. It's ridiculous how much she means to me. I would finish this race on fire if it meant I could make her proud of me.
I see them at about 21.5 and it's awesome. Noah looks confused and a bit overwhelmed but he gives me a high five. I'm pretty sure I sprinted the next 200 meters or so just from my enjoyment of seeing them.
The miles feel longer and longer at this point. You can do this! Cramps, cramps. Who cares, just stop! No, push through! Oh just walk the rest. The mental struggle is driving me bananas. I wasn't prepared for that at all. My long run of 17 in training I thought had prepped me for it, but I was totally wrong.
At mile 22 the crowd begins to get a little more excited. The streets definitely aren't crowded, but the ones that are there know how much us runners needed encouragement at that point. If I remember correctly, you can even see the city from atop the hill and it was quite a relief. Just four miles Bart! You're a light training run from finishing!

Conclusion coming up...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Marathon Recap

Warning: this is a long post.

In the days leading up to the race I was quite nervous. Could I actually do it? Was I going to disappoint myself or others? Two things in particular had my insides in knots: First, I had not run any sort of race whatsoever since track in high school, and even then the longest race I ran was the 200 meters! and Second, I missed a huge chunk of training with a bum knee.

At the very b
eginning of August my left knee just would not cooperate. I had to shut down altogether. My long run at that point had been 17 miles. And boy I was cruising. I was
getting closer and closer to 8 minute miles even in training; the time just kept coming off. My goal of a 4 hour marathon began to look not only attainable but perhaps to high of a goal! But, boom, there goes the knee. For the next 6 weeks I did literally nothing physical and the two weeks following that did only walking and some light lifting. Two months of no running.

I was really bummed about this. A few times I almost withdrew from the race, or at least changed it to the half-marathon instead of the full. Could I really expect to run a full missing two months in the peak of training season? I'm not a runner, after all.

What the heck, let's try anyways! So, having not run at all from the beginning of August, to the beginning of October I decide to have a go at running. The legs feel great. Well rested and strong. My knee is in great shape. I run 11 miles 8 days before the marathon as a sort've test. It's a great run. I pass with flying colors and get really excited. I ran the 11 in 1:35 which is an average of about 8:40 per mile. Great! Under 9 minute miles will get me well below the 4 hour marathon mark! I begin to taper down and rest for the race.

So leading up to the race I trust my knee and my legs, now I'm just mostly worried about the actual distance. 26 is a lot further than 11. 15 miles more!

Race day is just beautiful. Probably around 50 degrees at the 7:30 AM start. Nate (my brother) and I are nervous but ready
. It's really a lot of fun to be in an atmosphere like that; just so much anticipation and excitement. We took some pre-race pictures but hey didn't turn out. Bummer.

I really hope I don't have to stop and poop during the race.

We eventually make our way to our corral (the 4th, and last, corral because neither of us had run any race that could register us nearer). The fireworks go off and the line starts moving. My stomach is in knots.

Is this really happening? Are we really about to run
26 miles? I'm a bow-legged 200 pound football player. Nate, are you sure this is a good idea? I wish I was in the crowd right now...

We're funneled like cattle to the starting line. Oh boy here we go. And we take off. Well, sort of.

Mile 1 - Nate and I ran together this entire mile. It was about a 9:30 mile. We passed one dude with a "Today is my 67th birthday shirt on" and I told him congratulations and good luck. Nate and I both cracked a few jokes, I think as a way to ease our tension a bit. It's so packed here! How is my form? We see mom and dad on the right and it's fun to high five as we pass. We continue to bob and weave our way through a great many runners. The first mile
flag comes up quicker than I thought. The butterflies cease for the most part; running has that affect.

Mile 2 - I tell Nate good luck, we fist bump (for about the 5th time) and I speed up a bit. Time to rock and roll! Let's go Bart, you can do this! Man it is S
O crowded! I swoop across the road (we were running down the right side) to the left curb. This is where I run the next couple miles. I'm really enjoying this! I feel really good, the bands have been fun, and it's really cool to be cheered on by random people! I feel so encouraged! Under a bridge we pass a guy that's playing bagpipes and I applaud.

Mile 3 -
The first turn is at the end of this mile. I feel like I'm really starting to get into a rhythm. I wonder how fast I'm going? Boy I wish I would have seen the second mile flag to have a better gauge on my pace. Don't push. Don't go to hard. Long way to go yet, Bart. The picture on the left is, I think, about 3.5 miles. I'm starting to get a little irritated at the other runners at this point. You people have some nerve running in MY marathon! I wish that wasn't what I was thinking but it definitely was. I felt like I kept getting cut off and nobody was really holding a pace so we had a lot of speeding up and sl
owing down to weave in and out. Oh look, here comes the mile 4 flag! I'll be sure to check my time and see my pace...

Mile 4 - Those last two miles were really good! 26 minutes through 3 miles means 8:15 per mile the last two. Good work! If I can just hold this pace I'll be set up really nice. Am I going to fast though? The picture on the right is me about mile 4.5. At this point I jump up on the sidewalk and in the grass on the left. I'm just tired of weaving in and out of other runners. The problem with this is that at this point the curb is fairly high if I'm remembering correctly. It's about a six inch jump to the grass, which doesn't sound like much but if you have 22 miles ahead of you every
little bit of energy exerted elsewhere hurts the cause. I still feel great. I'm just really enjoying the whole thing. The atmosphere is incredible.

Mile 5-6 - These two miles were pretty much the same. I was just trying to take everythin
g in and really enjoy what was happening. Make sure that you are taking the turns tight Bart! I remember reading somewhere that you could add up to 1/4 of a mile in the race if you take the turns wide. It's funny that a little thing like that consumed me. We merge back onto Broad St. and I know that that means mile 7 is coming up. I'm still in great spirits. At every water station they give away tons of paper and plastic cups holding water and gatorade. Mile 6 was the first time I grabbed something to drink, gulping it down while I ran. I made a joke about all the people stomping on the cups and how it made me want popcorn. I got a few courtesy laughs. I check my watch.

Mile 7-10 - Good pace. Just keep this up and we'll be outta here in about 3:45! I think I was averaging about 8:20 per mile after the first mile until this point. To fast? Am I going to be able to hold this pace? I spend a lot of time theses miles looking for people I know. I see Justin and Hannah Mast, and Claire Green, who are on staff with CCC at OSU with me. Nice to see them. I don't see my parents though and wonder why. They talked about seeing me at about the 8 mile mark. I wonder how Nate is doing? Mile 11 means back onto Hight St, and here it comes!

Mile 11-12 - This was when things started t
o fall apart for me. I hear a conversation from a couple guys. "Hey, have you stopped to walk yet?"
"Not yet, you?"
"Yeah, stopped a couple times for about 40 seconds."
This was the beginning of the end for me mentally. Really?! People are stopping? I thought this was a race! Well, if everyone else is taking short walk breaks then I may as well join in! That wasn't quite my exact thought pattern but it was sure close. It's sort've like when you see people doing something that you would rather not, but get swept up in it anyways. So, yeah, I do stop and walk. For about 60 seconds about halfway to mile 12. I really didn't even need to stop at this point, I just felt like it'd be a good time to catch my breath and relax. I see my parents shortly before I stop and walk.
Things really start to pick up about halfway through mile 12. This is when the crowd is pretty large and their enthusiasm seems to push me a bit. Runners that are stopping at 13.1 are beginning to pick up the pace and I can tell. People begin to kick. Not on purpose, but I begin to pick up the pace a bit to much; not that I'm kicking with the half-ers, but I don't think I was far off.

Mile 13 - After 13 we pass the half marathon turnoff point. This is an emotionally crushing mile for me. I sure wish I could turn off with those guys. 13.1 more miles? I'm really only halfway there? My legs are already starting to feel like jello. Generally, to be honest, I'm fairly ok at this point. I run the half marathon in 153:55. Good pace and something I was pretty excited about. The street thins out a bunch with all the half-ers gone and I like that a lot. Then this guy runs with me for about a half mile. Who is that dude? Why does he keep blowing that horn? This guy begins to drive me bonkers with his horn blowing. He is actually running a full marathon blowing that horn the entire way?
Yep, he sure was. I laughed for the first 30 seconds; then it just became irritating. I think I thought about Dumb and Dumber and the most annoying sound in the world. I laughed again; then got irritated again. Thank goodness he is moving faster than I am because I may have tackled him.

Mile 14 - I was joined by a great friend. Brian Kuric, one of the guys that I lead on south
campus ministry decided to join me. The picture on the left is actually Brian and I at around mile 21, so a bit further down the race. Brian was waiting for me at mile 14 and it was really great to see him. I needed some serious encouragement at that point.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chilean miners T-shirts



The story behind the Chilean miners' Jesus T-Shirts

As miners were being pulled from Chile's San Jose mine Wednesday, most were wearing tan T-shirts over their coveralls. The Chilean government told reporters the green coveralls were designed to help absorb the sweat as they ascended to the top.

But Wes Little, a CNN editor/producer in Atlanta, wondered why the miners were wearing the T-shirt over their coveralls. He noticed a logo on the T-shirt's left sleeve for the Jesus Film Project.

Here's what we found:

The Jesus Film Project is a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International, the massive Orlando, Florida-based evangelical ministry.

The Jesus Film Project tells us they have translated the film into 1,105 languages and that it has been seen in every country. You can watch or listen to over a 1,000 of the translations here.

The main goal of TJFP's ministry is to create and distribute effective media in every language, says Berry Fiess, the group's director of field information services.

Seventeen days into the mine accident, CCCI country director for Chile, Christian Maureira, started contacting public officials to see if they could send the miners a copy of the film. Fiess said Maureira was able to reach a daughter and a brother of miner Jose Henriquez.

Through that family contact, the group was able to send an MP3 audio version of the Jesus film and an MP3 audio version of the New Testament in Spanish to Henriquez down in the mine.

The Jesus film explains that the New Testament tells how Jesus is laid in a tomb-like cave after his crucifixion. Three days later, Jesus is said to have risen from the dead. In the Jesus film, women come to the tomb and find the stone that blocked the entrance has been rolled away, the cave empty.

It is unclear if the miners saw the resurrection story as a parallel for their hoped-for rescue, but Jose Henriquez passed along a letter to CCCI's Maureira from inside the mine. Fiess shared the English translation with CNN:

Thank you for this tremendous blessing for me and my coworkers. It will be good for our spiritual edification. I am fine because Christ lives in me.

We have prayer services at 12 noon and 6 pm.

"At the end of the letter," Fiess said, "(Henriquez) said goodbye with Psalm 95:4, which says, 'In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him.'"

A few days later, Henriquez asked Maureira to get them special T-shirts.

"The T-shirts were a gift from Campus Crusade for Christ Chile," Fiess said. "In the front you can read, 'Gracias Senor' – 'Thank you Lord.'"

And on the back, Psalm 95:4.

"Apparently, all the miners liked them," Fiess said. "It kind of solidified them."

Monday, September 27, 2010

No impact man?

This was the book I just finished this weekend. Great read. I'd recommend it to anyone for multiple reasons.

I've discussed the premise before, but essentially this guy is chronicling a year of his life in which he attempts to have no impact, environmentally, on the planet. This means no carbon emissions (no car/airplane/train/even elevator! travel), no electricity, no trash (think of the difficulty in buying food!), amidst other things.

It's a rather funny book at times, and Melissa and I found ourselves thinking some funny things while reading(more on this tomorrow I hope). This guy starts with the idea that to be someone that constantly complains about the environment's demise, perhaps he should actually DO something instead of just commenting. I wish this were true of so many others and commend the author for his action.

It felt like essentially reading a series of blog entries, and it well may have been, but they were a fun read. He deals with questions like: Can one man really make a difference? Is the care for our planet really worth it? and probably mostly, Is it practical at all for us to happily live in such a way as to have minimal impact on the environment?

Ultimately, I think he'd say that no, one person can't have that big of an impact; though he may inspire others. He would probably also push back on the individuality of the questioner and get us all to see ourselves as more of a unified group than individuals. We can make a difference.

And what makes happiness? My favorite part of the book was his mining for what ultimately leads to happiness and fulfillment. Do we consume more and more things (trash, cars, other waste) because we truly belive it will make us more happy? Do we eat more and watch more tv because it actually does lead to a happier life? Throughout his year on the project, it seems, the answer to personal happiness is in relationship. I agree with this, to a point. The author gives no straight answer, but the hints would say that the way to find satisfaction and peace and joy in your life is to cherish better the close people in your lives. Turn the tv off, put the ipod down, talk more, play more. This is close to the mark, but still will leave us wanted, I believe. What if we find the very people we're seeking our fulfillment from are the very people bringing us the most pain? It's because of his line of thinking many young women want to have babies, or get married. Life is about relationships, they think. I just need to find the right guy, or after they find a guy and realize while he may be a fine fellow, he is not the pinnacle of creation; so, now I just need a baby! Life is about enjoying family, right? To many moms then find themselves desperately wanting. I'm not in bliss! Why isn't my husband and my baby making me the joyful, happy person they're supposed to? Maybe the problem is with them? Maybe divorce is the best option? Should I just try again?

No, tv isn't what makes us happy. Eating inordinate amounts of crappy food won't make us happy either. But I submit that neither will asking our families to be something they're not designed for give us ultimate happiness either. Yes, we should value relationship, and we should cherish our friends, but I think we're missing the bigger story. I wonder if the author is asking us to replace a few things we use to numb the pain of our lives (tv, food, etc) for another (family/close friends)?

We were created specifically, and for goodness and joy. We were told to be stewards of the earth and care for it. We abandoned the creator and forsook the earth. We went our own way in rebellion. Now we are on a constant path to try and reclaim that missing joy, that emptiness that everyone feels to some degree or another; and we look anywhere we can to fill it. All options leave us wanting except the option to return, again, to the creator. He has been ever near, never leaving. God is not distant and remote, but is active and present. He has never turned us over, but has always remained passionately close, despite our rejection. We have continually turned to other things and spit in His face, yet he remains steadfast with his lovingkindness towards us. Let us go to Him now! Let us finally throw up our hands in our seeking after worldly gain and worldly pleasure! Let us look Him in the face. In Him we find joy and peace. He will never fail us; He will never leave us. He has come to rescue His people and taken their just punishment upon himself. He has begun a new day with His new people to reclaim the earth, to be stewards once more. He sets our hearts to singing at His faithfulness and goodness. He has set the captives free! He brings peace to the brokenhearted and will wipe away every tear.

Join me in true joy!

Friday, September 17, 2010

We're diseased

Yes I know that many of the pictures I put on here have nothing to do with the entry that follows. I'm cool with that; the kid is just cute and I can't NOT litter this blog with pictures of him.

Melissa and I are getting really excited for the beginning of the school year. We have a friend who has graciously been offering to babysit for us everyone now and then and last night we spent a few hours over some coffee and hot chocolate just talking about the next couple weeks and preparing our hearts for what is to come. I think maybe what we both didn't anticipate was that God had plans to search our hearts and dig deeper as to certain fears that we both have and how we can allow Jesus to minister in those areas.

We spent significant time talking about father/daughter and father/son relationships and how we've been affected by those. See, we know that all people are affected in huge ways by their relationships with their parents, but, at least for me, I just don't think about it very often. We just don't spend enough time trying to become more aware of the patterns and thoughts of our hearts. We sort've just live without much thought. Last night God allowed us to dig really deep and expose certain things about the ways we work and think and love. It was great. I love my wife and know her to a far greater extent this morning than I did yesterday morning. And I was quite smitten with her already!

That God allowed us to have that time was perfect timing. A huge part of ministry is just an outpouring of our hearts into the lives of students and this university. We meet with students to just allow our love for Jesus and our zeal to overflow into their lives. We want to let them see our love and get infected with it. Through working through some of our deeper issues, God allowed his light and love to penetrate. Today we feel a greater awareness of him and a greater care for the world and its people that we did before. Let's hope it's contagious.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Transition time

Still can't believe that little man is 2 now.

I've started spending a lot more time with some of the guys that are in my Bible study and man has it been refreshing. It's just great to come along side and encourage them in their depth of understanding and their faithfulness. It's also super encouraging personally. Statistically things you teach you remember (and affirm) 90% of the time while things you hear only 10% of the time. I've definitely found in ministry that the more I pour things out (teach) the more I remember and affirm them in my own life. The more I talk about faithfulness and service and love the more I want to do those things better personally.

I've mentioned that I'm reading "No Impact Man." Good book so far. This guy has set out as a goal to live one year, as close as he can, with virtually no impact on the environment. No trash, no electricity, no carbon means no cars, no tv, and no toilet paper to name a few. I'll probably talk more as I get further but one thing in particular has been on my mind as I read, well, besides the obvious that we (our family) uses tons of trash and waste tons of stuff and are generally terrible stewards of the family. I've been thinking about his goal and the way he goes about it. He basically starts with a simple assertion, "I need to take care of the earth," and then he actually goes out and does it. For whatever reason, I seem to talk way more than I act. This guy begins something that is pretty hard, but he starts it nonetheless. Contrarily, I seem to talk about the Kingdom (Of God) life and how great it is, but sadly I just don't find myself acting like I truly believe it. I'm a commentator on truth rather than a partaker. I think I downplay my capacity to engage and make a difference; I fail to believe (outwardly) that it truly is more blessed to give than receive. I fail to act in like with the claim that "the least is the greatest." Not only do I just fail to live the kingdom life, but some days I just don't even try. Consider this a corporate confession.

Now I choose to act.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Noah's birthday!

We can't believe the little dude is two years old already! You know, I always thought those 'older' people that would say things like "cherish every moment because it goes so fast" were just people with misplaced priorities. Honestly. I just thought they didn't spend much time with their kids and they just look up and poof! their kids are bigger and they regret the time missed.
I've had a change of heart over the last two months, since Leah's birth. The thing with babies/toddlers is that almost every day they learn something new. It's just hard to keep up with. Daily Melissa says something to me like, "Did you know that now he says "hey dude?" Or "Yeah he has been doing this lately. You didn't know that?" NO, actually, I didn't because I can't keep up!
The little man is just awesome. Just plain awesome. A rather large part of my heart gets sad at school starting soon and "papa" having to spend more time away. I just don't want to miss a single thing.

What's he like now? Well he is quite a cautious little man. When we take him anywhere around other kids he usually just stands beside us for a good 10-15 minutes just taking everything in. I'd love to hear what's going on inside his head when he watches kids go bananas at the library or at a park. Eventually he'll join in buts its never the full-flight craziness that other kids seem naturally inclined towards.

He loves cars and trucks and points them out all the time. Big trucks or big cars especially get his attention.

The little man is really cuddly which is great for us! Hes like that with Leah as well, always wanting to give hugs and kisses. Mostly it's because he mimmicks everything we do, which is also quite fun. Also humbling, to be honest. Sometimes when I'm sitting there watching a game or something he'll just come sit beside me and watch. Not quite the family heirloom I'd like to pass down. Nothing wrong with tv, don't get me wrong, but I'd love the boy to have better/more constructive forms of rest. I'd like this big boy (me) to have better forms of rest as well.
He got lots of toys from his little birthday shindig yesterday. Last night he particularly liked the baseball bat and ball. We let the no throwing balls rule slide a bit last night and he had some fun with it. He also got cartrackthingamabob that he enjoyed. Hes sick today and was yesterday as well so hes pretty mellow but we could tell he liked all the new stuff. Man do I love that little guy.
On a totally different note: I've decided to start using a handkercheif. I'm fairly certian reading "No Impact Man" is going to make me a hippy. More on this soon, I just thought Noah's birthday warranted this post.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Staff reconnect

I am increasingly finding that the more I get older the more introverted I become. That, to me, is strange considering I work with students all the time and I'm under pressure to become MORE extraverted. I just find myself longing for that alone time a little more than in the past. I just long for time with the Lord and perhaps my journal and my thoughts. Life just comes at us so fast and I desire more and more solitude and quiet.

We have started staff meetings again. We've spent a good amount of time in the Bible and in prayer for the upcoming year and just the unity and peace on our team. We've also had a fair amount of just community hangout time. I love these times. They also drain me quite a bit. Put me with 3 or 4 other people and I'm great. But put me in a situation with 20 or so people and I can become a bit drained after a time. With all the staff stuff recently let's just say I've been trying to fight to get alone. Also a difficult task with two kids under two.

I started a book that Melissa has been reading called "No Impact Man" and it's been pretty intriguing. His desire is to live an entire year having as little impact on our environment as possible. I've been dwelling on one thing in particular about the book that I'll talk about tomorrow.

I've heard the Buckeyes looked great last week. We missed the game because we don't have the Big Ten Network and with work starting up we all needed some family time. The transition to much more child-care has been ok for Noah but it seems he just really wants to soak up his mama and papa time more because he gets less of it. As for the Buckeyes this weekend should be good. Melissa has family that are Miami Fl grads and I'd like nothing more than bragging rights. One uncle continues to adamantly declare OSU's national championship in 2002 was a cheat because of a pass-interference penalty in overtime.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Big girl

Leah had her 2 month appointment today. 90th percentile for weight. Girlfriend's putting on some pounds. That's ok. It'll be easier to stay warm this winter. Dr. said she's looking good. It's always tricky trying to figure out if they're growing/eating ok when they're exclusively nursing, but now we know! Either way, she's beautiful. People tell us all the time.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The prodigal children

I just finished "Prodigal God" by Tim Keller and it was quite refreshing for my heart. In it, he dissects the two lives of the brothers in Jesus' parable in Luke 15. Both seek and try to find freedom, life, and joy. The younger brother turns to selfishness and debauchery. He turns to "popular" sins like money, sex and rebellion. The older brother's err is not quite as mainstream but probably even more common. He tries to find his joy and significance in his own goodness. He is the good church man. He is the moral one.

Both are base and decrepit and I find both within myself to degrees that frighten me. I am the younger brother in my selfish attitudes and life choices. I am the older brother in my having the audacity to find my fulfillment in the father's tasks rather than the father himself.

I am thrown upon the grace of the gospel once more; and I am very pleased by this. Join me, please, in finding your joy and being in Christ rather than your good deeds or your moral life like us older brothers so often do. Join me in dwelling in Christ alone rather than the flighty joys this world promises to us younger brothers.

-We start staff meetings tonight. I am very excited to reconnect with the team and trust God for big things this year. I'll keep you posted about these times.
-One of the things that is difficult with our job is diving deeply into our church community. The time/travel restraints often just don't allow us to do that. Yesterday we had a great time at our church picnic and Melissa and I both grieved this reality on the way home. We love the people at our church and don't get nearly enough time with them.
-Tonight will be Noah's first of many childcare visits for the next 9 months or so. He normally does great with babysitters but the frequency of them, we fear, will bring a not so pleasant transition. Pray for him if you get the chance please.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Learning to jump

The little man doesn't quite have the hang of jumping quite yet. He does more of a leaning walk thing. Off this stool, at grandma's house, he wouldn't budge until someone stood close enough for him to grab onto for help. It's fun watching him turn less baby-ish and more boy-ish each day.

One of Melissa's big hobbies these days is garage sales. She gets amazing deals on lots of kid stuff and it's way cheaper than some of my hobbies (running for instance). Plus one of the things Melissa loves doing is just being generous and giving what gifts she can and getting cute/good stuff for people with babies is a great way to do that. I love that about her by the way.
I mention this because we're heading to a church garage sale tomorrow morning. I say "we" because the church sales are the only ones that I can really get excited about. We've been to a few churches that have been selling some awfully good books for dirt cheap. You have to know what you're looking for, but we've found some good stuff.

I got a chance to connect with one of the guys I have mentored/discipled for 2 of the last three years and it was really fun. I've missed these guys a lot over the summer. This guy spent a significant part of his summer on a study abroad trip. It was really fun for me to hear him talk about the awesome gospel centered conversations he was having with so many people on the trip. When I think about where he has come from in his freshmen year to now on the verge of his fourth it makes me smile and be in awe at God's work and grace. Just like Noah is learning to jump, this man has learned to live a missional life.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Life update

I'm still feeling a bit under the weather. Really just a lack of energy. Praise Jesus for java juice. Melissa is still on the verge; it'd really be great if she could avoid it as this is kind've a busy week. We've got lots of things to plan and order before we start our staff planning stuff on Monday.

I'm continuing to get ready for the year by bathing in the book of Acts, and somewhat less in Luke. I love Luke; and have for the past couple years. I just can't move on. I'm jumping around elsewhere every now and then (besides my regular 4 NT chapters a day to read the NT twice each year) but mainly I'm letting Luke/Acts sweep over me. I've begun work on my first four or five bible studies with the guys and I'm pretty excited about it. I really believe that one of the best things I can pass onto any student I come in contact with is a deep love and adoration for the Bible. If these students can fall into and live in this book I'm confident the kingdom of God will breakthrough in any sphere they enter. When the kingdom comes, so comes healing, so comes life to the fullest, so comes joy and peace and sacrifice and love and compassion. I pray all the time that they would love this book.

Other random Shadle family info:
-We gave Leah her first bottle today. Went really well. Still going to breastfeed but once school starts we'll need the flexibility.
-I finished my 17 mile run on Saturday. Ran the first 13 (a half-marathon!) in 1:45 and needed a bathroom pitstop which ruined the flow of my run. Originally that sentence said "needed a bathroom pitstop that ruined my flow" but I though perhaps that could be misunderstood:) All 17 I ran in 2:24. Running the full marathon in October in Columbus.
-We got out Noah's tricycle yesterday and he didn't quite get it. Maybe he's not there yet. He sat on it but couldn't figure out the steering or the pedaling; both of those are pretty important in riding!
-Staff report August 30th. Lots of community time, prayer, preparation, and connecting with God to ready our hearts for the storm that is Fall quarter at OSU. I hope to blog a bit about this.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cacth-up day

We've just returned from a trip to Melissa's parents. It was pretty fun. Melissa and I eat like cows when we're there and it was sort've a last hurrah before we buckle down about our diets. She is determined to lose that baby weight and I could stand to lose 10 or 15 lbs as well.

I have a cold right now so that's not a whole lot of fun. Noah does as well. Melissa is bound to be next. I seriously hate being sick. It just saps everything out of me. Most especially it just saps my heart. I don't feel much of anything, and let me tell you, when your job is to be passionate about Jesus and encouraging to everyone around you and you feel dead to the world it's not a very nice combination. I have a feeling today is just going to be one of those days that we try and buckle down and remain faithful despite how we feel. It's drag yourself to work day.

Add and illness to a quasi-significant amount of catching up/procrastinated work (which always happens when we go home) and we could really use your prayers. The schoolyear doesn't start for another month or so, but we both have quite a few things we were hoping to get done this summer that haven't yet been finished.

Noah loves grandma and grandpa Grover. He was more huggy and kissy there than we've ever seen him. It was cute but we're just waiting for the other shoe to drop with him now being back home. They pay him constant attention and he always gets what he wants, but when we're home he doesn't have that luxury and doesn't always transition well.

We started tackling drills! Grandma got him this penguin punching bag thing that bounces up everytime you knock it down. We would run (me on my knees and him prancing, ha!) at it and spear it together and commence with 10 seconds of laughter before we had another go at it. It was seriously fun. I really love that dude.

Melissa and I had some seriously needed connect time as well. I'm afraid I haven't done a very good job at romancing her now that we have two babies. That few hours was precious to me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This blog thing

Good friends :)

These are from the "touch a truck" carnival thing we went to one weekend.

This blog is so tough to keep up with. Not sure why, it just always gets lost in the shuffle. Here are some pictures of us as I try to limp my way back into making this a discipline of mine.

Friday, July 02, 2010


Leah Noel arrived on Wednesday, June 30th at 9:00 pm! After having contractions on Tuesday night and going to the doctor on Wednesday morning, labor officially started around 10:30 on Wednesday morning. Baby Leah arrived late enough that Melissa's sister, Deb, could be there to help coach the harder labor. She (Deb) was great! She encouraged us to walk around and be active, which is what allowed Leah to be born so early.

Aunt Deb helped a TON through the labor and delivery process...
what a great big sister she is to Melissa
Right after delivery
Noah already loves his little sister
So happy about the toy Leah got for him!

We're in the hospital until this evening and everything is going well. Noah has enjoyed some time with his sister, but of course, probably doesn't really understand that she'll be coming home with us. He's enjoyed playing with toys to distract himself from the reality of his sister, but he does enjoy "crying" back at her when she cries. They're already "talking!"

I'm sure we'll have more to post as time goes on. It should be an interesting transition going from one to two kids. We'll find out. We're looking forward to seeing Leah's personality and how Noah handles being a big brother.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's begun

So we're 37 weeks pregnant and I (Melissa) went to the doctor today for one of my normal appointments. Everything is as usual. I'm measuring a little small still but within the normal range. I'm dialated 2 cm and she said I could go really any time. I've been experiencing cramping for the last week so I know my body has been getting ready, just like it did with Noah. I'm not really sure I'm ready for labor again though....

And speaking of which, they informed me today that the hospital requires a doctor to deliver me as opposed to a midwife, which I'm not a fan of. Midwives are always so much more personal. Plus, probably 5 of the 6 in the practice would let my sister actually deliver the baby, so that would be fun (since she's a midwife...just not in Columbus). So please pray that all the details of labor/delivery would get worked out so that I can have a midwife again like I did with Noah. It was such a good experience and I'm hoping for a similar one with this baby.

It's hard to believe that we're 3 weeks away from our due date. Where did the time go? I think the baby's room is ready and the car seats are ready as of today, but what on earth? How do you really prepare for things like this? I have no idea. But we have decided on names. Levi for a boy and Leah for a girl. It was a pretty easy decision once we finally sat down and talked about it. Bart's kind of picky. :)

So please pray for us. We need it. We need grace to approach this new journey we're about to embark on. And Noah will have a transition as well. We're praying he handles it as well as a toddler can. He's a champ though, so I think he'll be ok. We're not too sure about ourselves though.....haha

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Taking the plunge

I'm going to purchase a Mac. I think. Pretty sure. Pretty hesitant, but I'm going to do it! Maybe. Yes. Perhaps.

We've been having all sorts of computer issues lately and we're both just kind of tired of it. A couple weeks ago we got the "blue screen of death" on our laptop, which, in the following days, became more frequent. Sometime last week the machine decided to just stop starting up all together. We start it up and get nothing. It's pretty irritating. It also puts a damper on quite a few things we were doing/planning to do including working on our support raising a little bit. Sort've a bummer that we had this month to raise support for our ministry (and probably this month only with a new baby coming in a few weeks) and it's halted by computer issues. It's also tough to do my current job, which is coaching one year missionaries on their support raising when I can't keep anything organized because our machine is falling apart. Thank you Lord that you are sovereign and all this will turn out fine; it's just irksome in the meantime to have our "control" taken away. We're growing :)

I promise I will talk about outreach week because it was a great week. I'll do that soon.

Greek is going well. It's starting to sink in a little bit more and more each day, and its becoming quite fun to see words that I recognize quite frequently in the New Testament. The language really isn't that hard. I find it easier than French and Azerbaijani.

Monday, June 07, 2010

All boy

I like to rough house with Noah, so why wouldn't we swing nice and high?

As you can hear at the end, Melissa wasn't super thrilled about it!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Random thoughts from this morning:

Great time in the Word this morning. I read Acts, yeah all of it. Then Galatians. Then James 1-3.

Spent a significant time with the Lord trying to work out the "faith v works" stuff that's been going on in my head lately. I've been having a few discussions with Hop (our neighbor and fellow staff member) about NT Wright and the "New perspective on Paul" and I've just been trying to get a grip on the entire debate/discussion really. I'm not going to jump in because frankly I just still don't know much about it.

Here's what I've been gathering this morning (and part of yesterday's study as well). I think Paul wrote Galatians around 49 AD, which is significant because it was before the Jerusalem council in Acts 15. It's significant because Paul seems to be on the defense of his apostleship/gospel validity a great deal in Galatians. Also, a commentator I was reading from yesterday even made a hint that seemed to say that he believed probably even James wasn't sure what to think of Paul or this perceived new gospel that he seemed to preach. Perhaps the "judaizers" and "men from James" were the same people? Perhaps they just went a little further than James gave them instructions to do?

I think the heresy Paul is addressing to the Galatians is not so much "Do good works to make yourself right with God" as it is "Do good works to remain right with God." These Judaizers or "men from James" seemed to think that once you were redeemed by grace for free, to remain "in Christ" means to live lives in accordance with the law. Make sense? Paul's answer is, no! You're made right gracefully by placing your faith in Christ. You remain right by gracefully placing your faith in Christ which works itself out in acts of love. It is in Christ alone that we are redeemed, so add nothing.

Then looking at James it seems he is in agreement. He essentially says, "Want to know if the faith you profess is genuine? Look at the works." James doesn't adhere to a "faith by works" system, but one that starts and ends with faith as the thing that makes us right. He is simply clarifying what that faith is, namely, that it's not just profession.

So what pierced my heart is the goodness of God this morning in giving himself to be the redeemer of a lost people. Having redeemed us, he then gives us the privilege of being His witnesses. I get to live out that goodness in being a loving witness, both to those inside my circles (family, friends) and those way outside.

I hope my writing is adequate enough to convey theological truth with any hint of clarity whatsoever, but fear that it is not. Oh well.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Our current lives

More on the spring outreach tomorrow. For now I'll catch anyone that reads this up on our lives.

Noah is huge. Around 30 pounds and the dude knows how to throw it around. We're starting to have a lot more son/daddy roughhousing and I'm a huge fan of that. He is nearly 2! He's saying all kinds of stuff and getting much better at communicating. He has this big truck that tows other cars around and that's been his favorite toy lately; he loves stacking the cars on there and towing them around. Also loves eating rocks.

Our summer assignment is coaching our interns and stinters (those going on one-year mission trips abroad) on their support raising. It's a job I rather enjoy actually. It's fun to have a front row seat during this process of their lives and watching God show up. Our movement is sending 13 students overseas for the next year to plant ministries! In total we're coaching 21 students throughout the summer. It's keeping us pretty busy. We're actually not even quite done with school yet, OSU's finals week is next week, so we've been pretty busy lately trying to begin to coach those in support raising and simultaneously finish up the year.

We're due July 12th for baby number two. Pretty sure it'll come early and we're ok with that solong as it's not really early.

I'm training for the columbus marathon and sometimes I think I'm nuts. Just got back from a 3 mile trek. Also started up Koine (New Testament) Greek and I've been loving that lately. Seriously.

We just spent our 5th anniversary getting a hotel in Lima this past weekend. Sad, I know, but it was actually quite a good time. We went there because we could drop Noah off at Melissa's parents and already be at our destination. We didn't want to have to spend our little time together traveling or anything. It was awesome to have about 36 hours of unhindered Melissa time. Man I love my wife.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Outreach week

Check out the article in the Lantern:

This was on the heels of our outreach week surveys. "Young people are moving away from religion toward a more open spirituality."

46% of students said they believed in something other than monotheism.
67% gave a secular answer for the purpose of life (ie to live for yourself)

This is what we run into all the time. I'm going to talk a bit in the next couple days about our outreach week in more detail but suffice it to say that students at OSU and in the midwest are becoming more and more "spiritual" (interested in spiritual things, though mostly with an eastern religious bend) than they are "religious."

Start out by checking out the article. More later as I try and reenter this blog-world and update you into our lives and ministry!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


We had our Real Life spring formal last night. For us old people, it wasn't that exciting to dress up and get our groove on. But what was pretty exciting was the fact that it was held in one of the rooms in the Horseshoe. Yeah, that's right. Noah got to experience The Ohio State stadium for the first time last night. He liked roaming around and stuff. He might have even liked the field. I tried to "let" him go out on the field (which we weren't supposed to do), but Melissa didn't let him get that far....something about setting a bad example for the students. I'm not sure what she was talking about.

Is there a better place for a family picture?

Go on buddy, right down onto the field....I just couldn't stop him.
Not sure how my 7 month pregnant wife could though. Hmmmm.

We had a good time. Noah enjoyed playing with all of the balloons and stuff and had a few dances. All in all, what a great location to be at, right?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Our new place

It's hard to believe that we've been in our new place for a month now. It has flown by. We're still unpacking and rearranging things slowly but surely. Overall it has been a pretty good process. I don't think we realized how nice it would be to have the extra space. Noah has adjusted pretty well and I think he considers it home.

Speaking of Noah, he's now in his toddler bed. We had it in his room kind of for lack of options to put it and he would climb in and out of it and play but we didn't think much of it. Well, one night last week as we were getting ready to put him down, he climbed in and we thought, why not? So we layed him down and left him there and he's done a great job ever since! Ridiculously easy so far. He did have one night where he was apparently tossing and turning a lot and rolled out of bed twice. Ouch! Sorry dude. There are rails on the sides for a reason but if you lay at the wrong end of the bed, there's not much we can do. But apparently he hasn't been too tramatized by those experiences and has continued to sleep just fine in there. We're really grateful. He's such a trooper.

So that means we took the crib out of Noah's room and put it in the baby's room to get ready for the new arrival. So weird. To think in the next couple of months we'll have another person in our house with us and occupying our time. So the baby's room is slowly coming together. Not much else to do. Melissa doesn't really get into all the decorating junk so I think she's going to hang some pictures and call it a day. I'm ok with that.

On another note about our new place, I actually have an office space. It's in the basement and isn't separated off in any way, but it's my space that I can retreat to in the wee hours of the morning to get stuff done before everyone wakes up. And I need that space now that I'm making coaching calls in the mornings. That will get busier once school is done, but for now since it's on top of my current workload, it's enough. One more advantage to having the extra space is that I now have a work area. So handy.

That's all for now. Blogging hasn't been super high priority lately with how busy things have been. This is outreach week so God has been doing big things on campus. I'll try to post a couple of stories this weekend. We're using a new tool called Perspectives and partnering with OSU's newspaper, The Lantern, to do spiritual surveys with people, so it's allowed us to have some pretty cool conversations so far. More to come on that.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A bit behind

It's been a little while. Things have been busy. We've moved and are feeling somewhat settled. We still have boxes here and there but we're definitely able to live and function quite well. Our summer assignment has started so the next few weeks will be extra busy since school hasn't ended, but it will go fast, maybe too fast. Either way, hopefully we can keep this blog a little more updated with what's going on. Plus, in a matter of a couple months we'll be a family of 4 and life will only get more busy! But here are a few pictures of our little dude....
We haven't had a family picture taken in a while, this was the weekend after Easter
We enjoyed trying to capture his facial expressions when he would find an egg

I found one!

Baseball season started

Need I say more?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

On the road again

We headed out yesterday from our place at 8:30 for Florida. We had to stop on campus to meet up with some students and figure out who was riding with who. Around 9:45 we were finally on the road in the suburban with 4 college students and our family. There was another car of 3 students following us.....

Well, about 45 minutes into our drive the suburban started acting funny. The speedometer was jumping all over the place. The cd player stopped working. Then the gas pedal just stopped accelerating all together. As Noah would say, "uh-oh." So we pulled off the side of the road and the hazards wouldn't even work. We popped the hood and everything looked fine so we thought, well, we'll just try again. Then it wouldn't start. Double uh-oh. Phone calls galoure. Call AAA, call Melissa's parents (it's their vehicle).

So then a tow truck was going to come but could only fit 2 people. We had 7 people. So luckily Melissa's mom was at our place (she offered to come pack up some of our stuff....we're moving....another story). So we had her come pick up those of us that wouldn't fit in the tow truck. So after 45 minutes of playing in the dried grassy ditch and trying to pass some bags off to the other car (oh, and Melissa peeing next to the suburban cause, well, she's pregnant and drank a smoothie on the way), the tow truck arrived and then Melissa's mom arrived.

So the tow truck left with Bart and one of the guys. Then we had to fit 4 adults and Noah's car seat in a vibe. Not enough seats. As we're getting 2 guys in the front seat cause we don't have enough seats, we hear the familiar sound of the a police siren behind us. Look back. Yup, a cop car pulled up right behind us. He runs our plates and then walks up to the car asking if everything was ok. Luckily everything was and we explained the situation and he just let us go and told us to be safe. Phew. No ticket.

So I went to the car shop and we watched some March Madness. Melissa and everyone with her went back to our place to get lunch and watch March Madness (well, the guys at least), while they waited for Melissa's Dad to get there with another vehicle (they're pretty sweet, but that's a whole nother blog in and of itself). Her Dad arrived, they all loaded up, and then came to pick us and the bags up at the car shop.

Somewhere around 2:20 in the afternoon, we got on the road again. After squeezing all of us in a slightly smaller suv and figuring out how to fit all of our bags, we were on the road again. Not exactly how we had planned the day out. Noah (and Melissa) did surprisingly well considering. He didn't really get more than an hour nap in the car. We stopped for dinner in KY and then drove to Alabama to our hotel. We arrived somewhere around 10:20 pm and Noah was a hot mess by then. He of course didn't sleep well last night and ended up in our in our bed (actually this was our first experience of him sleeping in bed with us). He was up at 7:00 local time, not exactly what we were hoping for, but what can you do?

We're leaving here in a bit. We all got breakfast and now it's just a matter of getting back on the road. Melissa says we only have another 6.5 hours, so hopefully by dinner time tonight, we'll be in sunny Florida. Let's hope the rest of the trip is uneventful. We'd like that a lot. Would you pray for that? Please?!?!

Other than that, we're looking forward to Florida. It should be a good time of meetings, outreach on the beach and community with around 60 OSU students. Let's hope Noah sleeps well and this is a good week. Then we move the week after we get back. We definitely need prayer for that as well.

More later. Sorry for not posting more lately. It's been an interesting winter.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Hobbit

You didn't think I would leave out sci-fi/fantasy did you?

This was my third time through this Tolkien classic and each time I think I love it more. I'll spare you the plot. What I seemed to mull over this time was something about Bilbo that seemed to resonate with me as well.

Bilbo is half Took and half Baggins. The Tookish side of him has the adventurous spirit (obviously because Took's are quite known amongst hobbits as a bit queer), while the Baggins side loves nothing more than the quiet and comfort of home. Often in his journey with the dwarves Bilbo would think of his hobbit-hole longingly. He was continually torn. "Why did I come on this dratted quest!"

I related to this split quite well. Parts of me want nothing more than to grab some hiking gear and just trek across the globe with my family. I'll hunt our food, we'll camp wherever we feel like stopping, and we'll share the gospel with anyone we meet. Even as I think about this I get excited. Yet I love the comfort and confines of home as well. I love coming home after a long, hard day and debriefing with Melissa. I love waking up in our pajamas and throwing some eggs in a skillet.

The adventurous/homely split made me think about lots of other things as well. I'm afraid in to many aspects of my life I allow the Baggins side of me to lead me toward inaction. That part of me fears being exposed, so I'll just remain apathetic. Anyone relate?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Fun times!

So I know this is technically Bart's blog, but I just wanted to post a couple of fun things. I've been feeling the baby move and kick the last couple of weeks. Well, last night, Bart actually felt the baby move a few times also! It was fun for me for him to be able to experience a little of what I experience. And it's crazy how it doesn't even matter that it's our second child, the feeling is still pretty amazing. To think that God designed this whole process is just mind-blowing. So cool. And our little dialogue after he felt the baby move went a little like this:
Me: Cool huh?
Bart: Uh, it's a little scary actually.
Me: Scary, like, you're going to have another child and you're not really ready for it?
Bart: Yeah.
Me: Or scary, like you're going to have another child and you're not really ready for the first one? :)
Bart: Yeah, that too.

It's such a funny process trying to figure out how we're going to be parents of 2 kids. Life just changes so much but it's good that we're honest about where we're at. Then shortly thereafter, the following dialogue happened after I turned over in bed and moved the covers:
Bart: Hey, stop stealing all the covers.
Me: Sorry, my fat butt just needs more blanket now.
Bart: Well, we both know it's not your butt that's fat.
Me: Yeah, I know.
Bart: It's your ears.
Giggling ensued. He loves to mess with me. And sometimes I let him.

Also, one other fun thing.....Bart will be giving his first talk at Real Life on Feb. 25th (we think that's the date). He's pretty excited about it. Giving a talk/sermon in front of potentially 700 people would be a little unnerving for me, but he's pretty pumped. So if you're in the Columbus area that evening, you should come hear him speak. I'm sure he'll do an amazing job. Let us know if you need more details.

Noah has been pretty sick lately. His temp was 101 yesterday but he's recovering nicely today. And it seemed as though he got behind in his talking in one day and just started busting out new words today. It's fun to try to translate what he's saying. But he now says somewhat coherently, shower, eyes, mouth, nose (this however sounds like no) just to name a few. And he says please in sign language all the time cause he wants something. What a fun age! We're excited to see how he responds to the baby.

Monday, February 01, 2010

The Sacred Romance

Another great book I just finished is "The Sacred Romance" by John Eldredge and Brent Curtis.

One of my new year's resolutions was to read 26 books this year equaling one every two weeks. I'm way ahead of the game at this point and will probably discuss the others I've finished. Reading for me is a pretty addicting thing, but I feel I've been fairly balanced in my priorities.

This book was dear to my heart. The gist is that throughout history God has been in a massive pursuit of our hearts because of His great love for us. Just as He pursued Israel despite her continual betrayal, He pursues us. But we are wounded. We are hurt by the realities of living in a fallen world. People forsake us and deep down we begin to accept that we're just not all that unique, we're not at all lovable. How could God love a person like me if He knows the things I've done or the thoughts I've had?

The authors go to great lengths to woo the reader's heart by giving a true picture of the awesomeness of God's love for us. It surpasses our pain and doubt. It is true. They point out this love in the telling of the world's story. All of creation and everything throughout history has been about God radiating His love to a fallen, rebellious world.

They get the meta-narrative and it grabbed my heart. Thanks Lord for being the author of all things. Thanks for writing yourself into the story to redeem a fallen world and restore this man.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sacred Parenting

This was a great read. The main thrust is laid out in the first chapter, that the goal of Godly parenting is to raise Godly parents.

Yep, you read that correctly. Just as marriage is more about making us holy than it is making us happy, parenting is the same way. God uses the reality of kids in our lives to make us holy.

Our culture tells us something quite different. It tells us that having kids and getting married is the key to happiness, or at least a piece of the happiness puzzle. The Bible tells us that the key to everlasting joy is found in the person and beauty of Jesus. God uses our kids to raise and sanctify (grow) us into the kind of people he wants us to be.

The rest of the book then talks about the reality that true joy is found in Christ and different aspects of parenting that can help us find our joy in him. This is a great read. I've not read many (perhaps not any?) other parenting books, but I'll guess this would be my favorite regardless. So many parenting books are to-do lists that only burden us with guilt at not being the perfect parents. This book is not like that and that puts it at the top of the list for me.