So, the first think we’re really going to talk about, next Sunday, is hell.

I’ve been reading quite a bit. Whew.

I’m amazed at what is out there. Someone gave me this book, which in my brief flip through is quite disturbing to me.

I chose this first because someone from NFC actually asked me a month or so ago why I never talk about hell. My answer didn’t satisfy myself, so I’m trying to rectify that. We’ll see.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking so much about hell that I wonder if this idea I had really CAME from pit of hell. See, I turn 40 in a few months, and I’ve been wondering for awhile what I should do to celebrate it, or actually, what Elaine and I together should do for our birthdays. But then, last night, a thought came…perhaps from hell, I leave it to you to decide.

I had it while out for a run last night. Which was close to experiencing hell, I might add. I thought, “Hey…maybe a good thing to work toward would be to run 40 laps on your fortieth birthday.” For those of you doing the math at home, that’s ten miles. A breeze for some, but I’ve never run that far at once in my life. I think by blogging it, I might actually have to work toward it.

12 thoughts on “Hell…

  1. Ok…this is one of those few times that online communication doesn’t work for me…I can’t tell if you’re playfully scared, because of how I talked about running, or if I really scared you by something I wrote. Help!

    And thanks for the book recommendation. I am reading quite a bit that is helpful, the link I gave in the post notwithstanding.


  2. And all of the Listening Life writers said to Steve, “Don’t give me hell!” Good luck with your run – that would be hell for me too but probably more so because I HATE to run unless I have a reason (like someone is chasing me).

    This is going to be an awesome series. From last Sunday, I loved the image of being closer to people at the center who are on other petals than some on your own petal that are way out on the fringes. I have many friends and classmates that came to mind when you said that. AND, I love the idea of drawing everyone closer to the center, to Christ.


  3. Many thanks to Martin over at Quaker Quaker for providing this link. Coming from another branch of the Quaker tree (Hicksite, unprogrammed, Beanite), I was taken by surprise when I discovered the wide variety of forms of Quaker worship. I grew up thinking that not having pastors was indeed part of the Quaker tradition. So I appreciate this cyberspace opportunity to get to know the larger “family.” I would recommend that you read Deepak Chopra’s book: Life After Death- which gives a perspective on the afterlife that at least “speaks my mind”.

    Blessed be.
    Asheville, NC Friends Meeting


  4. No, it’s just the thought of trying to run forty laps on my fortieth birthday which is scary. I’ve basically given up running, not completely – I’m still better at keeping up with my kids than I used to be – but good luck to you. 🙂

    For my fortieth birthday next month, Chris and I are planning a weekend away, with the kids at my parents’ house. He turned 40 a few years ago, and he asked for a professional organizer to come and help us with our overflowing closets. It was a great investment, but I want something more frivolous. Frivolous is the wrong word. I want an investment in our marriage, not our home. Why does that feel frivolous?


  5. First off, I’m really excited about the upcoming series!

    Second off, I used to hate running until I gave myself a crazy goal and then found this great book to help me out. Now I still don’t love running, but I do it regularly and with much less agony. The book is to help beginning runners achieve a 10K in 13 weeks, but I think it could assist in your goal too 🙂 Good luck!!!!

    (Wanna climb a mountain instead?? I know someone who could help ya there!)


  6. Elizabeth, thank you for reading, commenting, and keeping an open mind! I’m sure it is quite a struggle for many in the Quaker world to wrap their minds around a blog by a “Quaker pastor”. But I’m enriched by our interaction, so thank you for the comment and the book recommendation.

    Kathy, glad you liked the image. It seems to have struck a chord with several, and it obviously has with me if it stuck around for almost 15 years.

    Robin, I’m glad for the clarification! I’ve been running off and on since last spring, but the holidays were not good for the exercise routine. I hope you DO see marriage investment as non-frivolous, and find a really good place to have time away with Chris.

    And Liz, thanks! I just counted, and I have 13 and 1/2 weeks to achieve 10 miles, not 10 k. But I’m also not staring from scratch, so there might be hope!


  7. At a fairly comfortable pace of 6mi/hr, which is really a jogging pace and not running, 10mi would be under two hours. Granted, now, marathoners run 2.5x that distance in just over two hours, but that’s just for comparison… 🙂 Gregg, I believe you can accomplish this. If there’s a way to synchronize schedules, I’d love to come along with you regularly…

    There’s a guy in IT I’ve met recently at work who runs twice a day: during lunch and after work. Each time, he runs 10-15mi in a little over 1hr. That’s pretty much a full sprint for me, which I could keep up for a block or two. He does this every day. Now that, my friends, sounds crazy. And he doesn’t do it for the health, he competes in marathons for money.


  8. Yeah, Alan’s right. If it was two hours everyday, I’d never make it. I’m running 4 miles every other day right now. Today it took me just over 37 minutes, so I’ve got some work to do. But I think I can do it, too.


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