This is Just the Beginning!

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about my final days of teaching, and what I hoped for the future. It was a hard article to write, and really made me put down on paper the things that I have been dreaming about and meditating on all year.

Right before I left for my month-long graduate school session, I got a call from my current congregational chairman. He said the congregation had voted and extended me a one-year call to serve as their staff minister!

It was a lot to take in, especially because I was also mentally preparing for a wealth of knowledge to get poured in my brain. But it also took a big weight off my shoulders. For five months I had been completely in the dark about my future after June. But now the future was simple: I was staying where I was and working with people with whom I was familiar!

Starting tomorrow, I begin my work. When I listed off some of my primary responsibilities to friends and family, they went, "Wow, that's a lot!" But to me, it is all …

Tokyo 2020 Lottery Results!

The results are in!

On Monday and Tuesday thousands of people were overjoyed and millions of people were upset when the lottery results for Japan and the United States (and others) appeared. Some started immediately planning for Tokyo. Others started counting down to the next time they could attempt to purchase tickets. And others are getting ready to view rhythmic gymnastics...and that's it!

What about me? And what's next? Let's dive in!

Tokyo 2020 Prep

This day was a major milestone in my planning. Once this day came and went, I could begin to think seriously about getting to Japan, making lodging reservations, telling my new bosses about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the need for some vacation time, and more.

The first reminder came from Ken Hanscom on Twitter:

Following this tweet, I checked my email:

The pressure was mounting. I logged onto my CoSport account. After the ticket request phase closed, they made sure we were all aware of it by sticking it right …

Olympic Day 2019: Channeling My Inner Merida

So I am 2-for-2 on my Olympic Day choices!

Last year I spent Olympic Day kayaking on a river, and had a ball. (I still want to buy a kayak!)

This year? It was a little harder to pick something. What sport do I pick?

After some inner digging, I realized that the choice was staring me right in the face:

Brady Ellison just won the world championship.Out of all the YouTube Olympic channels worth following, archery was the most fun to watch.I love all the characters that use bow and arrows. (Especially Legolas.) So I chose archery!
The hardest part was finding a place that would accommodate my tight schedule. Many state parks offer archery classes, but at specific times of the week. There are sportsman's clubs that have both archery and gun ranges. But as much as I looked, I couldn't find anything that worked.
Finally, I found a Yelp review from a girl who went with her husband to a place called Michiana Archery for a small lesson and had a blast. Turns out that shop wasn't too …

World Cups and the Olympic Link

The FIFA Women's World Cup and the Olympic Games have a very close relationship. Because of the sport's popularity in the world and the close proximity that the two have on the calendar, they are linked to each other.

Even though football is very popular, the women's events in both the World Cup and the Olympics are pretty young. The official Women's World Cup didn't begin until 1991 while women's football didn't get a place in the Olympics until Atlanta 1996. Since then, the popularity of women's football has increase, though unfortunately it will likely never reach the prominence of the men's sport.

There are differences; while the World Cup offers a place for 24 nations, the Olympics can only have room for twelve due to the time constraints. The World Cup qualification is a three year ordeal, while the Olympics get their nations from confederations cups, except for Europe! They actually will get their qualifications for the Olympics if they plac…

Why Do You Run?

Wednesday was Global Running Day.

Not "National" Running Day. Global Running Day! The world celebrates running!

To celebrate, the social media for USA Track and Field tweeted this out:

It made me consider why people run. For Olympians and Olympian-caliber athletes, they run because they want to compete at a high level and win. That's easy. But why do others run? Those that aren't capable of running fast times are running for some reason, right?

Let's even broaden the question even further to include more people: Why do we exercise?

In our history, there was never a copious need to run because people in the world were too busy trying to survive! They grew crops, worked in factories, and ran businesses while eating whatever they could afford. If they didn't make money, they didn't eat. If the crops didn't grow, they didn't eat. Treats and snacks were few and far between, because the need was just to get something in the stomach.

Nowadays, much of th…

Is This It?

It has now been ten years since I first received my call as elementary school teacher. Back then, it
seemed like I had my whole career ahead of me. I knew exactly how it would go:

Teach in a school while doing a little bit of music stuff,
Teach in a school and do a bunch of music in the church and school, Be the music person in a church and school full-time, Compose a bunch of stuff while being the music person in a church or school, Be published in a hymnal that will be sung by thousands of people for years to come, and Conduct a really, really good choir at the WELS Worship Conference before retiring. Spend the rest of my years RV-ing around the country.

But God has other plans. I mean, God knows everything, so he knew my plans were futile. As a matter
of fact, he probably laughed at my plans when I would think about them!

God knows best.

And after ten years of thinking I was on the right track, I realized I wasn’t.

So how can that be? Didn’t I get a divine call?

Well, if you’re unfamiliar wit…

The Mixed Relay Debate

Last weekend the IAAF World Relays were held in Yokohama, Japan. This was a track-only event where different groups of athletes, from men to women and mixed, participated in many different disciplines.

For those who watched, they had a ball watching "normal" relays, like the 4x100-meter and the 4x400-meter relays, as well as specialized events like the 2x2x400-meter (one man and one woman alternate running 400-meters twice) and the 4x100-meter mixed shuttle hurdles.

The World Relays aren't held every year, and it's a special treat for many. However, these relays are now bleeding into championship events, and not all of the athletes are pleased about it.

However, the response from the fans that watched were pretty positive. At least, those who thought it was cool took to social media to talk about it:

As I've often said for many years, I adore the aspect of men and women competing together. I understand completely that men and women have different bodies and comp…