Why my employer should be required to pay for my speeding tickets: A case against Hobby Lobby

080108NS-SPEEDBUCKS-1_t607I like to drive, and I like to drive fast.  It is such a rush, and it feels so good.  I mean, can you really blame me?  Pretty much everyone drives over the speed limit sometimes.  It’s a natural thing to do.  However, driving over the speed limit certainly includes the risk of getting a speeding ticket.  This is why my employer should be required to pay for my radar detector and my speeding tickets.

You see, speeding tickets are expensive.  An unexpected ticket could really put me in a difficult financial situation.  Plus, getting a speeding ticket can cause significant burdens such as dealing with court dates and even difficulty getting a job.  But more than that, this is a health issue.  Driving without a radar detector creates unhealthy anxiety—causing one to constantly worry about getting a ticket.  Also, I’m much more likely to get in an accident and physically injure myself if I’m looking out for cops rather than keeping my eyes on the road.  Therefore, my employer should be required to buy me a radar detector for my car.

Now, even with a radar detector there is a risk of getting a speeding ticket.  No radar detector works perfectly, and there is no guarantee that everyone will know how to use a radar detector correctly every time.  This is why my employer should not only pay for my radar detector, but also for any speeding tickets that I happen to get while driving.  Again, this is a health issue.  If I were to get a ticket and have to go to court there are psychological and physical health risks.  Courts are certainly stressful places, plus I run the risk of dying in a car accident on my way there.

My employer should be required to pay for my radar detector and speeding tickets.  Don’t try to tell me that I should just drive the speed limit.  It’s my car, and I’m free to do with it what I want.

Verso l’alto,

triathletewithacollar

 

Disclaimer:  This article is satire and is not meant to perfectly equate speeding tickets with unplanned pregnancies.  All children are beautiful gifts from God whether they are “planned” by us or not.

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Experience the Moment, Don’t Just Capture It

cameras-at-a-show Have you ever noticed how at a tourist attraction everyone seems to have to get a picture?  Or how during a fireworks show or concert everyone has their phones out capturing each second to be stored on their memory card?  It’s like everywhere we go we like to have something tangible to take home with us in order to help us remember the event.  There is certainly something beautiful about saving a memory in a photo or video, but perhaps in our attempts to capture every moment we are really missing the intrinsic power of the experiences themselves.

I recently overheard the conversation of two parents discussing if they should bring their two year old son to Disney World.  In the end they decided that it would be best to wait until the child was older so that he could remember the experience.  They would hate to waste so much money on a trip that their son would not remember later in life.

That got me thinking though—is the only valuable thing about an experience our memory of that experience?  If we were to have no recollection of the significant events of our childhood, would that render those events meaningless?  Of course not!  Experiences are worth more than the memory they leave behind; experiences existentially change us.

Sure, that child may not have the tangible memory of seeing Mickey Mouse in front of the Cinderella Castle or of floating down the river listening to the incessant drone of “It’s a Small World,” but the joy of those experiences will permeate through his soul and transform who he is.  If tomorrow you were to wake up with absolutely no memory of your past, all that you’ve experienced, all you’ve seen and heard and thought throughout your life, have still molded you into the person you are today, memory or not.

So perhaps we should focus less on capturing each moment into a tangible memory and instead be more open to letting the experiences pervade and transforms our lives.

Verso l’alto,

triathletewithacollar


Biking for Babies

This summer I will be biking over 1200 miles from St. Augustine, FL to Chicago in order to raise money for crisis pregnancy centers throughout the country.  Please consider donating and sharing our mission with your friends.

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Easter Beer

I recently got into the hobby of brewing beer.  It generally takes about six weeks to brew a batch, so I figured what better way to observe the Lenten season!  You see, when you brew beer you boil a bunch of stuff in a big pot to create this nasty concoction called wort.  Then, over the next several months, the yeast slowly eats away at the disgusting wort and transforms it into something beautiful.  In the same way, Christ eats away at our sinful nature and transforms us into something beautiful through his death and resurrection.  That’s what we celebrate at Easter, and what better way to celebrate than with a beer!

This beer is a honey pecan brown ale that I named Pond Scum.  Here are some pictures and short descriptions of the brewing process:

First we steeped the grains in hot water for about half an hour.

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Next we boiled the extract for several hours and added a variety of hops.

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At this point we added fresh honey and pecans from the Abbey property.  I decided to name the beer Pond Scum because of the clumpy brown layer that settled on top of the wort.

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This is probably the hardest part of the process.  We had to cool the wort down as quickly as possible by putting the pot in a sink full of ice water.  Then we added the yeast and siphoned the wort into a big bucket to ferment.

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After several weeks, we added some more roasted pecans and siphoned the fermenting beer into a carboy to begin clarifying.

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Next we bottled the beer so it could carbonate for several weeks.

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Finally, I made some simple labels with a picture of one of the ponds at school.

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Pond Scum is definitely the best beer I have brewed so far.  It has a mild, but pleasantly sweet flavor with a nice pecan aftertaste.  I popped open the first one after my Easter dinner yesterday.  What better way to celebrate the resurrection of Christ?!

Verso l’alto,

triathletewithacollar


Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Several weeks ago I was blessed to travel to the Holy Land to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.  It was incredibly moving and truly life-changing to visit the various sites throughout Israel.  With images of Bethlehem, the Sea of Galilee, and Calvary locked in my mind, I will never read the Gospels the same way again.  Here are several videos that we made in order to share our experiences with those back home:

Verso l’alto,

triathletewithacollar


The Ultimate Endurance Challenge

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Over the last several years I’ve raced countless triathlons, run an ultra-marathon, climbed mountains, biked across the country, and hiked long days through rain and snow. All of these were great tests of endurance—tests of the mind and the will just as much as the body. However, one challenge stands out over all of these as being the most difficult and the most rewarding test of endurance in my life. The ultimate endurance challenge is prayer.

Now before you roll your eyes and go back to browsing Facebook, hear me out for a second. I’ve devoted thousands of hours of the last several years of my life to my training and to my prayer, and while I’m certainly no expert in either, one thing I can tell you is how much they have in common. I learn more about training from my prayer and more about prayer from my training.

It’s 5:50 and the alarm goes off. I peep my head out from under the covers for just long enough to feel the cold air hit my face and to hear the rain pattering on the window. Guess what I don’t really don’t want to do? Go for the grueling 20 mile run. 30 minutes later I’m flying down the trails, splashing through the puddles and having a great time. In training, sometimes the hardest part is convincing myself to get started. This is where the real test takes place: can I convince myself to commit to that 20 mile run? Likewise, can I convince myself to commit to my prayer for the day? Usually the hardest part is getting started.

New scenario now: I’ve been out biking all day, I’m running low on food and water, but I planned to stay out for another hour. Do I call it a day and head home early, or to I stick to my original plan and push through that last hour of riding? In training it can be easy to cut workouts short when things are not going well. These are the times that it’s important to remember what it is that I’ve committed to do and to stick to the original plan no matter how much I feel like stopping early. Likewise in my prayer, when I feel tired, distracted, or bored, I must stick to my initial plan knowing that God cherishes my commitment out of love of Him more than my ability or skill. Often the most difficult moments of training are the most rewarding, and so too for time devoted to God in prayer.

One last scenario: I’ve been training for a big race for months and I go out for a run during which everything goes wrong. I get back to realize I averaged a minute per mile slower than I had intended. Maybe all this training I’ve been doing is futile. I’ve put in the training but I’m not seeing the results I’ve hoped for—maybe I should just take some time off and forget about this race. The times when I can’t feel the benefits of my training are often the times that I’m making the most improvement. If I stay devoted to my training, no matter how difficult the fruits of my work are to see, I’ll continue to improve and be prepared come race morning. Likewise when my prayer feels dry and distracted, when after months of dedication I don’t feel any closer to God, and when I begin to question whether prayer itself is pointless, these are the times that God is working silently within me to draw me closer to Him.

My training molds my heart to more effectively receive oxygen to be spread throughout my body. My prayer molds my heart to more effectively receive God’s love to be spread throughout the world.

Each day is the race, prayer is the training, and heaven is the prize. This is the most important race you will ever run. Shouldn’t you train hard and often? Shouldn’t you do everything in your power to win the prize?

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” – 1 Cor 9:24-25

Verso l’alto,

triathletewithacollar


A Love Letter to My Past-Valentines

Dear Past-Valentine,

It’s been a while since we’ve last spoken, but you deserve to hear this from me even if it is a little late.

First, I want to thank you for the time we had together.  You were an important part of my life and made a significant impact on who I am today.  I thank God for every day we had together—every good we did, every joy we shared, and every mistake we made.  Together we walked the path of life, and no matter how far apart we are now, we will always share that common past.

I also want to offer you an apology.  I did not love as I should have, and for that I am sorry.  You are a beautiful daughter of God and deserve to be treated as such.  I was selfish in the way I treated you—I used you out of my own pride and insecurity, and you deserved much better.  I know there is no way that I can make up for the mistakes I’ve made, but I do want to offer you my love now.  I can’t offer you the flowers, the words of affection, and the self-sacrifice that you deserved in the past, but I can offer you an even greater sign of my love: my prayers.

This is my gift to you, my Past-Valentine.  I pray that you realize your great dignity as a beloved child of God; I pray that you get the flowers, the words of affection, and the self-sacrifice that you deserve this Valentine’s Day; and I pray that you continue growing closer to God each and every day.

God bless you my Past-Valentine,

triathletewithacollar