Monday, September 24, 2007


Well, I did it.

It took me around twenty years to reach this goal (I took about 17 years off!), but I finally reached Shodan (1st degree black belt) in Karate. Getting my black belt means something to me. Part of what it means is very personal, and I don't expect everyone to understand it all, so I will not share that here. What I will share is that to me it means that I kept at something and didn't quit. And that feels GOOD.

The 2nd part of the test was harder than the 1st part. The 1st part was just an ordeal that I had to get through. But the 2nd part involved having to stay sharp, focussed, strong, alert, etc., even when I was exhausted and under much scrutiny.

And as I was presented with the symbol of my rank and accomplishment... I was reminded by those conferring it upon me the black belt meant that I have a box of tools, and that I really don't know how to use them yet. That is the aspect of training that lies ahead.

Still, I was feeling pretty good about it all until I got home and checked my email to find in my inbox something that made my stomach hurt. I don't care to go into any detail. But I will say that one thing that seems to me to be prevalent in Reformed circles, and perhaps especially in Reformed Presbyterian circles, is the tendency to shoot (the wounded) first and ask questions... alot of questions... grilling, relentless questions... later.

Why is it so hard for some people to just be friendly? Kind? Nice? Why do some have to be so jaggedly formal, cold, unfriendly?

Black... on my belt, makes me smile.

Black... on our hearts, makes me sad.

In other news: I had a migraine earlier today, and after it passed (as usual) I felt like I was dreaming for the rest of the day... in a fog. I feel much better now, thanks for asking.

Please pray that my friends don't move to Texas.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Standing before God, clothed in Christ's Righteouness

May I by faith be enabled to enter within the veil, even through the rent veil of a Saviour's flesh. Give me to have full liberty of access through the Son to the Father. Clothed upon with His righteousness may I stand with all the security of my conscious acceptance before God. O may I delight myself in this abundance of peace, and be enabled to lead others, more especially those of my own household, to delight along with me.
~Thomas Chalmers, Sabbath Scripture Readings (on Mark 15).

Friday, September 14, 2007

Part one, tomorrow

Part one of my Shodan (1st degree black belt) test that I've been spending so much time preparing for is tomorrow. At 8am tomorrow morning I expect I shall be doing the following (the Good Lord willing):

100 pushups

100 situps

75 tricep dips

5:00 minutes sitting at the wall like I'm on a chair, but I'm not on a chair, with my knees together.

5:00 minutes at the wall with the legs apart.

2 mile run.

That might seem easy to some of you, and that might seem impossible to some of you. For me, it is neither easy, nor impossible. It'll be very difficult, and I'll be in pain. But I aim on getting it all done. I've done too much work end up failing this test.

Part two (actually demonstrating my stuff) is next Saturday.

I'm having some serious test anxiety today, and feel a bit funny in the stomach. I'm also very excited.

Thank you for your support.