New Blog

I've decided to move over to wordpress and sort of start a new blog.

You can find my new stuff here: https://montepilgrimage.wordpress.com

I'll most likely copy all my old posts over there so if you are the kind of person who reads old things you don't have to go to two places. But I won't be posting any new things here. I of course love your readership (all like 5 of you) and would love to still have you on the journey with me in the new blog!


All the Books (of 2016)

Each year I decide to read a certain number of books throughout the year. Everything from theology to fiction to children's books to books of the bible to graphic novels. I did this in 2014 reading a total of 32 books and 7,982 pages. Then again in 2015 where I read 52 books and a total of 6,816 pages (lots of books of the bible are less than 30 pages each).

So here I am again to share with you the new (and some old) books I am reading this year. Click the link to head to the goodreads profile where I've rated (and sometimes reviewed) them. Onto the reading adventure!

Total Pages: 619 pages
  1. The Middle of Somewhere by Sonja Yoerg (336 pages)
  2. Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi (187 pages) 
  3. Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Disney by Diane Muldrow (96 pages) 


Sam the Wise

I am working on Urbana reflections. Like any conference there is much to process. But since Urbana tends to be full of more than I expect and physically exhausting it is usually difficult to process anything in a timely manner. And then writing about seemed doubly hard.

So I watched Lord of the Rings instead. I was reminded of how much I love the character Sam. Sam reminds me of my best friend Sol. They are always there for those who need them, no matter the cost. Even as Sam watches what the ring is doing to Frodo, even as Frodo turns from Sam, even as others don't believe in him, he stays by Frodo's side until the very end.

It's because he believes in something worth holding onto.

Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

2015 had a lot of rough moments for me and for our world. There were a lot of times when we just couldn't see the good in the world. But Sam here reminds me that there is a reason to not give and keep going - that there is good in the world worth fighting for.

I hope that in 2016 it is marked by a year of holding onto the good - holding onto the goodness of Jesus and fighting for it. There are many places in our world who don't see it or feel void of it. It's not a call to avoid those places but to go into them and bring hope and God's goodness into them. It's difficult and as Sam says there are a lot of chances to turn back but we don't because we hold onto that God is good throughout it all.


May the Course Be With You

Ran my second Run Disney race today. Once again I was privileged to run with Team AFSP (American Foundation from Suicide Prevention). It was Star Wars which I loved! It's my favorite movie franchise (I have seen The Force Awakens five times in theaters). I even dressed up as a X-Wing Fighter pilot for the race. It was just fun to see everyone dressed up and the Star Wars music playing throughout the park.

So glad I decided to do a 10k instead of the Half-Marathon (6.2 miles compared to 13.1 - oh yeah much better decision). Running is great and I love it but I'm not sure how much I love it to do a second half marathon. I think I'm done with "marathons" unless they are preceded by the word "Netflix."

But here are some photos of the race:

At the Health and Fitness Expo - playing with lightsabers.

Team AFSP 10k runners

Watched the sunrise since we were up so early for the race. 

Running through the park and saw some storm troopers.

My cheer squad.

My awesome medal.