Famous (And Not-So-Famous) Last Words

“You have won, O Galilean”
Emperor Julian, after his failed attempt to reverse the official endorsement of Christianity by the Roman Empire.

“No, you certainly can’t.”
John F. Kennedy to Nellie Connelly, wife of Governor John Connelly, who commented, “You certainly can’t say that the people of Dallas haven’t given you a nice welcome, Mr. President.”

“Thomas Jefferson survives…”
Former U.S, president John Adams, commenting on his former political nemesis (actually, Jefferson had died earlier that same day).

“Is it the Fourth?”
Former president Thomas Jefferson (he and John Adams died on July 4, 1826).

“I am about to—or I am going to—die: either expression is correct.”
Dominique Bouhours, French grammarian, d. 1702

“Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”
Revolutionary Karl Marx to his housekeeper, who urged him to tell her his last words so she could write them down for posterity.

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Jesus Christ (Luke 23:46)

My (Not-So-Famous) Last Words

At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, this blog post is the final post, at least in this format.

January 1, 2010, I launched A Daily Bible Conversation, inviting family, friends, and anyone else who might be interested, into reading through the Bible in a year. Within weeks, readers from all over the world were responding to my invitation.

People like Elna Dreyer became friends, although she lived on the other side of the world in South Africa. Murray Downie from Australia joined in on the conversation. Soon, the blog attracted readers from Saudi Arabia, Bolivia, and England and beyond.

And my world grew smaller.

A Quick And Easy Way To Burn Out

Reading through the Bible together was fascinating, but by June of that year, I was running out of steam. Try writing 800 words a day 150 days in a row. That’s insane!

Fortunately, my co-pastor Eugene Scott came to the rescue. He offered to write two days a week and advised me to combine Saturday and Sunday. Suddenly, writing four days a week became much more manageable.

By the end of the year, I had written around 360,000 words. That’s the equivalent of over seven books! I also wrote a book with an author that year, which brought my total to eight books. Ridiculous.

The next year, Eugene and I decided to rename the blog The Neighborhood Café and write once a week. Then we added other writers who contributed once a week. Thanks Michael Gallup and Brendan Scott!

Two Options For The Future

As this last summer progressed, Eugene and I discussed our dreams for taking the blog into the future. After realizing we wanted to move in different directions, we amicably decided to bring this blog to a close and follow our dreams.

Eugene’s blog is entitled Living Spiritually. If you’d like to subscribe, click here. Thank you, Eugene, for pulling me out of the deep waters when I was drowning in blog posts. You are a valued colleague and friend.

After today, I’m inaugurating a new blog which I’m calling God Meets Culture. The purpose of the blog reflects the title:  discussing the intersection of God and culture. I’ll offer various thoughts on the subject as well as a book, video, quote, or website of the month.

As time progresses, I’ll offer resources for aspiring writers as well.

To subscribe, click here and then click on “Follow blog via email” in the right-hand column. Please bear with me as I pull the website together.

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings. Hopefully in some way they made a difference in your life.

Michael J. Klassen

Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, Colorado with Eugene Scott.

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What Do You Do When Life Spins Out of Control?

When a small airplane goes into a spin, the worst thing for the pilot to do  to try to muscle it back on course. The harder you grip the stick and the more you wrestle against the spin the worse it gets. Or so I’ve been told.

Pilots know that stopping a spin is counterintuitive. You have to power down and point the nose of the plane toward the ground. Yikes.

So too when our lives spin out of control.

In my last blog I asked how you fight spiritual entropy, that state all of us fall into where, no matter how hard we grip the controls of our lives, the slow spin begins and takes our spiritual breath away.

The Fallacy of Self-discipline

At one time severe self-punishment was considered a mark of spirituality or godliness. Famous are the men and women of faith who starved, beat, and even mutilated themselves as a form of discipline, as a way to fight off the creep–and sometimes even the tidal wave–of sin and shame and guilt in their lives. The belief behind this was that they could flagellate the disobedience or evil out of themselves.

Martin Luther, before his “Tower Experience,” practiced such discipline fiercely. He felt God’s justice demanded he punish himself to pay for his sins. No matter that Jesus had already paid his–and our–bill. But Luther discovered that no amount of shivering in the snow all night long in February, nor climbing up and down the Scala Santa (Holy Steps) on his knees in Rome reduced his shame and guilt.

Luther wrote, “I was myself more than once driven to the very depths of despair so that I wished I had never been created. Love God? I hated him! … I lost touch with Christ the Savior and Comforter, and made of him the jailor and hangman of my poor soul.

The real goal of all this pain was not mere punishment, but rather self-discipline. And maybe even to get God to love them. Luther–and others–wanted to better themselves and believed self-punishment and deprivation would help. It didn’t.

How Do You Punish Yourself?

Spiritual self-punishment is not as popular today, nor as severe, as it once was, thank God. But still many of us practice mild forms of it, maybe subliminally. Today we may only force ourselves to watch several hours of the TV show Jersey Shore, or watch one of television evangelist Benny Hinn’s “Miracle Crusades,” or–if we have really sinned–relive any of the New England Patriot’s Super Bowl wins.

But seriously, now that I’ve probably offended you, how do you punish yourself? In the extreme, self-cutting and eating disorders are well documented problems in the modern world. These painful, heartbreaking disorders are, in part, echoes of those ancient, ubiquitous drives for perfection. And they are just as ineffective at producing perfection.

The other extreme is quitting. Maybe you have just quit trying to grow spiritually.

Many of us, however, simply grab the stick tighter. We work harder. If at first you don’t succeed try harder. That works when cleaning a floor or driving a nail. It does not work so well in matters of the soul.

Rest: The Counterintuitive Answer

What do you do when your life spins out of control? Neither a tighter grip nor giving up is the answer. Irish poet and singer-song writer Thomas Moore wrote, “It’s important to be heroic, ambitious, productive, efficient, creative, and progressive, but these qualities don’t necessarily nurture the soul. The soul has different concerns, of equal value: downtime for reflection, conversation, and reverie; beauty that is captivating and pleasuring; relatedness to the environs and to people; and any animal’s rhythm of rest and activity.”

In the Christian world we call this Sabbath. “Sabbath is that uncluttered time and space in which we can distance ourselves from our own activities enough to see what God is doing,” says Eugene Peterson.

Without planning it, my recent backpacking trip with my son, Brendan, and some close friends from Oklahoma, turned into just such a Sabbath. On the mountain there was not even a control stick much less an opportunity to grab it tighter. No cell coverage, no internet, no bad political news. Only eating and sleeping and fishing and talking and praying and stars. There was work to be sure. Pumping water, gathering firewood, cooking, the constant watch against the weather. But it is a different kind of work. Work sans worry. It is the work of letting go.

And in so doing the small plane of my life righted, pulled out of its spin, and leveled off.

Sabbath, I’ve rediscovered is powering down and letting go of the stick. But more than that, it’s releasing control of life to a bigger, more capable hand.

We’d love to hear about places and times you have found rest.

Today is my last blog post here.  It has been a pleasure to be a part of this blog for the last several years. Thanks, Mike. And thank all of you for your listening ear, wise comments, funny responses, challenging ideas, and your on-line friendship. Please consider, if you have not already, joining me on my Living Spiritually blog. Click here and subscribe. Eugene

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In The Wild

When 11,200 feet above sea-level, sleeping in a tent, living like the early man, fishing, cooking over a fire, it is easy to feel uncomfortable and a little challenged.  Unless you’re this guy:

If you have been following my blog, you know that I spent the first week of August up in the Pecos Wilderness.  I’ve talked about wandering around lost and how hard the hike was, but what about what happened in the wild?

I went into the wild on a search, for fish, a fresh night sleeping on my new sleeping mat, and friendship.  What I found might have been a little different.  Heck, I shared a tent with the older version of the man pictured above, so how could my adventure turn out the way I expected?

Life in the wild is therapeutic for me.  I love backpacking because it gives me a chance to leave my normal life and leave it all behind.  Computers. Smartphones. Jobs. Stress.  I love being off the grid.

Guatemala was off the grid, or at least I was off most everyone else’s grid.  Living off the grid can be a challenge, especially not knowing the language, something unexpected could always be expected to happen.  But now that I am living in Colorado, I feel the need to get away, go backpacking, so that I can be challenged and refocus on life.

And so, up in the Pecos Wilderness, off the grid, we were attacked by a hungry heard of chipmunks.  Those little rodents were aggressive.  We had to lock away our food, even so they unzipped my backpack and chewed through three layers of plastic bagging just to eat three raisins.  They were telling me that the Stewart Lake campground was their home turf and I better show some respect.  Maybe they’d grown too used to backpackers and I could see why.  As I packed my backpack a troop of 15 teenagers hiked into our area to set up camp.

After a little fishing we packed our tent and trekked up to Lake Johnson.  If Stewart Lake my first step into the wild, albeit a little crowded, Lake Johnson was truly off the grid.

Other than the Rices, our backpacking partners, we didn’t see another human for a couple days.  It was just me, my dad, and the wild.

The fishing up at the high mountain lake was great, but then again, not great.  But maybe that was part of the challenge.  When I can’t just walk up to the closest Chipotle for a burrito to feed my hunger.  Providing food for myself isn’t meant to be easy.  Sometimes the fish just don’t bite.  And when they don’t, what’s going to calm the hunger pains?

Fortunately, I packed in enough food and really, caught plenty of fish.  I spent most of my time out by the lake, casting my line.  It was a beautiful time, but also invigorating.  Each night on the backpacking trip, we lit our stoves, boiled water so we wouldn’t get sick, and then hoped our food would turn out edible.

In the wild you can’t rely on your own strength, just ask Aaron Ralston.  He got stuck and lost an arm.

In the wild it can rain or not rain.  Too much one way or the other and you could be dead.

But in the wild you can also find life.

In the wild, up at Lake Johnson, I reconnected with my best friend.  Philip and I grew up going to church together, but because we live in two different states, hadn’t been able to talk in several years.

At night around the camp fire, with no computers or iPhones, we were able to engage in each other’s lives again.

Philip is currently stepping out into the wild in his own life.  God has called him into the full time ministry.  He has left his job, just months after becoming a father, and is placing his trust in God to provide for him.

There is nothing wilder than living on the edge for God.

On our last night around the fire, Sid, Philip’s dad, asked us to talk about what we’d experienced on the trip.

We’d talked about fishing, joked about all the deer that’d wander through our campsite (they would wander through and nibble on our leftovers knowing they were safe as it wasn’t hunting season).

But my favorite part was was talking about faith and community.  I don’t think these conversations would’ve happened if we hadn’t gone into the wild.  I felt focused on life, as each morning and night, around the the camp stove, we shared our hearts.

As I packed up my tent to hike out of the wild, I knew I didn’t want to stop sharing my life with the people around me.   It took going into the wild to see that my life needs true community.

This year, while I pursue my masters in teaching, I don’t want to forget what I learned in the wild.  I know that my studies will be challenging, but I’ll get comfortable. I know I’ll be connected to the grid.  But I hope that I stay connected to the community around me and not stop living in God’s wild creation.

I would like to thank all of my readers here at the Neighborhood Cafe.  I hope you guys continue to be challenged by God and that each day you see how much he loves you.  God will provide for you, just put your faith in him.  I believe a life connected to our creator is life out in the wild, even if that wild looks like a city street.  Again, thank you all for reading my blogs over the last several months.  I would love to keep you all as part of my blogging community.  If you want to continue to read what I write, click here, and follow me over to my blog.  I hope you all subscribe so we can continue to build a faith community.  

Brendan Scott

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Why You Want To Live Scared (At Least A Little)

“Stand back,” the man behind the counter instructed me. “Hold out your cone and I’ll throw you the scoop of ice cream.”

People in the ice cream shop fixed their eyes on me as I focused on the man behind the counter. Knowing my lack of hand-eye coordination, I knew I was taking a risk. Everyone in front of me had opted for ice cream served to them in a cup, but that day, I decided to live dangerously.

All Of Us Want To Live Meaningful Lives

“The abundant life is not a comfortable life, it’s a meaningful life,” wrote author Donald Miller in a recent Facebook post.

Nor is it a pain-free life, I might add.

Reflecting on an uncomfortable (to say the least) summer filled with disappointment, frustration, and pain, I think I’ve gleaned at least one gold nugget that I hope to carry with me into the future.

While on vacation in another state, our family was trying to make the most of the week, despite the fact that my wife had broken a bone in her ankle. We were renting a house on a large lake and whiling the day away water-skiing and tubing.

A family that joined us had four children. One of the kids pursued his passion for fishing while two of the others learned to water-ski. One kid, however, did her best to avoid any activity that involved risk or the potential for pain. Occasionally I was able to coax her into riding on a tube behind our boat—but she jumped off whenever I drove too fast or too crazy.

At first, this girl’s pursuit of the safe, pain-free life irritated me. But then I began to realize that she isn’t alone. In many ways, I tend to live like her. Perhaps you do, too.

I think the solution boils down to living scared.

If You Want A Memory, You Have To Risk Something

“Do one thing every day that scares you,” Eleanor Roosevelt once said.

Obviously, we shouldn’t live every day paralyzed by fear, as I discussed in a previous blog post.

But living scared means taking risks. John Ortberg once wrote a book entitled “If You Want To Walk On Water, You’ve Got To Get Out Of The Boat.” Too many of us want memories of walking on the water without taking the risk of dipping our toes in the water.

What does it mean to live scared? For me it means planting a church–which I did four years ago with my good friend Eugene Scott. It means working at becoming a better water-skier, standing up to someone who intimidates me, or sharing my faith with a friend. It also means the possibility of dropping my ice cream on the floor.

In the end, I caught the flying ice cream…sort of. After it hit my shirt, I wrestled it into my cone. Walking to my table to join the family, I sat down with a feeling of accomplishment–and the chocolate stain served as my trophy.

No longer do I want to live scared.

What does it mean for you to live scared?

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:1 (NLT)

Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, Colorado with Eugene Scott. His most recent venture into living scared was volunteering to provide leadership for a local school district mill levy and bond issue.

One note: The Daily Bible Conversation blog is shuttering its doors at the end of August…at least for now. The blog has run its course, so Michael, Eugene, and Brendan will direct their energies in other areas. Beginning September 7, Michael will begin a new blog entitled “God Meets Culture” at michaeljklassen.com.

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Fighting Entropy or Spiritual Failure

Entropy is a constant. Entropy is that force that moves life from order to disorder. It takes a newly cleaned room and shuffles keys, books, pillows, and clothing out of their given places and into spots we never dreamed of. In its mildest forms entropy musses freshly combed hair and scatters dust bunnies under the bed.

But it can be a tornado tearing through our  goals and desires, our best intentions, turning them to rubble. It is the force that resists and defeats our New Years resolutions. It is the sad pull of gravity that takes a shiny new community and turns it to a ghetto.

Entropy is constant and powerful and often wears us out.

So too our spiritual lives. Spiritual entropy wears us out. Or it does me.

Shortly after Christmas of 2011, my son, Brendan and I decided to call 2012 The Year of Living Spiritually. 2012 would be a year of actively looking for God in daily life. We would notice things we had before brushed over. We would listen better for God in the usual places like Scripture and worship. But we also decided to look for God in art and music and nature and even in pain. In people. We then recorded our discoveries in daily journals and reported them in blogs and our Living Spiritually Facebook page.

It was exhilarating. God was everywhere. I filled my first journal in three months. I felt alive and awake as never before. I prayed more, listened better.

Then came spiritual entropy. I misplaced my journal and missed a day. Then two. Then more. Scripture reading became spotty. People in line at Wal-Mart once again became hindrances to my agenda rather than unique creations of an incredible God. I turned my back on glorious sunsets much less the smaller artistic touches God often puts on a day.

My eyes glazed over (spiritually and physically) and I ceased to see. I’ve failed spiritually. You ever been there?

But I want what I had back. I don’t want entropy to win. I want to wake up again.

So, how does one fight spiritual entropy?

At this point, I’m not sure. But I do know fighting spiritual entropy is different from fighting physical entropy. Cleaning up the messy room is a start but it’s not the ultimate solution. Spiritual entropy gains strength from our puny efforts to tame it or force order into it.

Unlike physical fitness, spiritual fitness does not come from lifting ever heavier weights.

In spiritual living there is this contradictory concept called rest. Jesus said it this way, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

It’s a letting go. It’s counter intuitive. Hard to define. Tough to live out.

So in coming blogs we will try to define it.

And I’d love to hear from you. How do you fight spiritual entropy?

***** As you probably know, we have decided to discontinue writing the Neighborhood Cafe blog. It has been a pleasure to interact with so many of you and I have grown in my faith and life simply by writing and reading the posts and comments here. I hope you have too. I will miss it. But we need not so goodbye. I will continue to write my blog, The Year of Living Spiritually. Click here and look for the “subscribe” button on the right side of the blog. Please join me there and let’s continue to explore what it means to grow into who God created us to be by living spiritually.

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All Who Wander

“Dad, you know the Tolkien quote,” I started hesitantly.  My dad and I were about 45 minutes into our hike up to Lake Johnson and the trail had just vanished in an open meadow.

“Yeah, the one where Frodo sings, ‘The Road Goes Ever on and on, Down from the door where it began.  Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with weary feet, Until it joins some larger way, Where man paths and errands meet.  And wither then?  I cannot say.'”

Fortunately my dad did not sing, but unfortunately he’d said the wrong quote.  “No, Tolkien says, ‘not all who wander are lost.'”

“Yeah,” answered my dad.

“We’re wandering and we’re lost.”  Roads might go ever on, but ours was dead in the grass, consumed in the wild.  And if we wandered much longer, my 40 pound pack was going to be the death of me.

My dad pulled out his map and I plopped off my backpack.  It looked like the trail was supposed to be leading to the West, but the fire road we’d tried after the original trail petered out was going East.  After a brief discussion about what we should do, I walked ahead, sans my pack, to check and see what was ahead.  The path vanished again, only to reappear a little higher up the hill.  After five minutes I knew this was no good.

We turned around and tried a trail that cut a sharp edge up the mountain.  Sadly, as promising as this trail seemed, it was the wrong one.  An hour and a-half in to what was supposed to be a 12 mile hike, my dad turned us back around and walked us back to the trailhead.

It was annoying to be back at the start, but I didn’t want to wander around and not reach Lake Johnson, so I followed.

Tolkien’s words repeating in my head, “All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost.”  There are things unseen in the seen world, which I believe is a key part of Living Spiritually.  If I take everything for face value, I’ll miss the grand adventure God has for me.  Unfortunately, I didn’t want to see the deeper meaning of wandering.  I just wanted to be on the correct trail and to see my friends.

Maybe what the quote is really saying is, the point of life is in the journey, not just the destination.  Maybe we can wander if our goal isn’t the destination, but loving the moments we are in while we are wandering and feeling lost.

I took a deep breath and placed one foot in front of the other.  Quickly the trailhead slid behind us.  The sun was hot and my mood was still low.  We turned left at the fork in the trail, which meant taking the trail up to Stewart Lake instead of Lake Johnson.  We knew the trails should meet up, but that hadn’t been our plan.

As I moved mindlessly over the ground, passing Aspen trees and beautiful meadows filled with wildflowers, a quote from Jack Kerouac sprang to mind.  “Try the meditation of the trail, just walk along looking at the trail at your feet and don’t look about and just fall into a trance as the ground zips by . . . Trails are like that: you’re floating along in a Shakespearean Arden paradise and expect to see nymphs and fluteboys, then suddenly you’re struggling in a hot broiling sun of hell in dust and nettles and poison oak . . . just like life.”

Keep your head down and just keep going, I thought.

With my eyes glued to the trail I smacked head first into my dad’s pack.  He’d stopped for some reason.  “Hey!” said a familiar voice.  It was Philip, my friend we were hiking up to see.  He was on his way down the trail to pick up his brother from the airport.  He’s no nymph, but seeing him was very other worldly.  I’d felt lost and dejected as I hauled my pack up the trail, but he confirmed that we were going the correct way and that we’d see him the next day at camp.

Kerouac is dead wrong, I countered.  I can’t live life with my eyes closed to the magical world around me.  I don’t want to glide along until the trail ends or my life is over.  I want to keep my eyes open, even if what I see let’s me down.  Even if I get lost along the way.  After running in to Philip the trail opened up and the hike became easier.  And definitely prettier.

And so the road went ever on, to Stewart Lake and then to Lake Johnson.  My dad was right, though we were lost, we were still on the same road that led out of our front door, we were connected to the grater adventure along the way.  And while we hiked I kept my eyes open and saw covey of grouse, Indian Paintbrushes, and a friend who I hadn’t seen in several years.

Tolkien is right, not all who wander are lost.

As the Neighborhood Cafe closes down at the end of the month you can keep reading what Brendan Scott writes on his Adventures in Guatemala blog.  Just make sure you subscribe by selecting the subscribe button on the right hand side of his blog!  He writes regularly about his adventures and how he saw God working through his daily life and would love for you all to be a part of his adventure.  He is very thankful for all of the readers here at the Cafe.  

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The Secret To Finishing Well

A few years ago, Kelley and I flew to Los Angeles to see our oldest daughter Anna, who was a sophomore at Westmont College in nearby Santa Barbara. And since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to run in the Los Angeles Marathon. This was Kelley’s second marathon and my first.

Obviously, this wasn’t a last minute decision. We had dedicated ourselves to training the four months leading up to the race.

Running a marathon is probably the third hardest thing I’ve ever done—after writing a book (16 and counting) and being married. Here are a few thoughts that hit me during the run:

Every Person Runs A Different Race

Despite running the same 26.2 mile route, all 26,000 people ran the Los Angeles Marathon with different concerns in mind. I was concerned about re-injuring my calf (which I tore two weeks earlier). Kelley was concerned about aggravating the plantar fasciitis in her heel. Everyone was concerned about finishing. Ironically, my calf never bothered me while Kelley’s heel refused to cooperate. Nevertheless, I sustained a painful foot injury on mile 13 and hobbled the rest of the way to the end. During a marathon, weird injuries can materialize out of nowhere.

Whatever race you’re running, avoid the temptation to compare yourself to others–because they’re running a different race than you.

Injuries Happen

Days before the race, I explained my concerns about my calf injury to a veteran marathoner. She told me, “Everybody who runs a marathon is dealing with some kind of an injury.”

Most of us begin our lives injury-free, only to sustain bumps and bruises along the way. We all get knocked around in the course of our lives. How we respond to those injuries determines how we finish the race. So don’t be surprised when pain hits. It goes with the territory.

Everyone Who Finishes Wins

While training, veterans advised me, “Don’t try to break any records on your first race—just make it your goal to finish.” When my foot injury materialized out of nowhere, I asked myself, How can I  run another 13 miles with this kind of pain? Everything within me wanted to quit. I actually considered spending the $20 in my pocket to pay for a cab that would transport me to the finish line.

In the middle of my pain, I ran past a café, where a man sat at an outdoor table enjoying his breakfast. When he saw the grimace on my face, he looked at me, pointed at an empty chair next to him. His gesture was an apparent invitation to join him for breakfast. I shook my head, fixed my eyes on the road in front of me, and kept running.

I couldn’t think about mile 15 or mile 21—all I could think about was finishing. But in order to reach my goal, I would need to run one mile at a time. When I completed mile 13, my next goal became mile 14, then mile 15.

Although my time wasn’t as fast as I had hoped, I was relieved once I crossed the finish line. At that point, my time didn’t matter. I finished. Sometimes life is painful…but you just keep going on.

We’re all running in a race, but the goal isn’t to beat everybody else, the goal is to finish. Sometimes you just have to bear down and grind through the pain. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13). Sometimes the most courageous thing you can do is stand. You don’t have to look victorious–all you must do is not give up.

We all run in a race. We all sustain injuries along the way and we all can come up with excuses to quit.

So what will you do?

Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church in Littleton, Colorado with Eugene Scott. He tried running a second marathon a year ago, which didn’t go nearly as well as the first. After a 15 month hiatus, he’s getting back into shape and focusing on running 10k’s.

One note: The Daily Bible Conversation blog is shuttering its doors at the end of August…at least for now. The blog has run its course, so Michael, Eugene, and Brendan will direct their energies in other areas. Beginning September 7, Michael will begin a new blog entitled “God Meets Culture” at michaeljklassen.com.

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