Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Another B2B

Chris B2B '06
Originally uploaded by Chris Winkler.
Some of you may recognize this "costume" from an entry from last year. For the second year in a row, this was my outfit for the infamous Bay to Breakers road race, which took place this past Sunday.

Once again, it was a great time, and I somehow survived (and had a very strong kick during the last half-mile) despite not training at all. Whenever I finish B2B, I think to myself, "Wow, if I just did that without training, surely I could run a marathon if only I applied myself." Someday, I think that will happen.

Or, I could continue to run the crazy-busy lifestyle I've led over the past several years and then before I realize it, I can't run anymore. I'm hoping for the former.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Priorities in SF

Did I mention that I love the food scene in San Francisco? I just got back from some early morning shopping at Trader Joe's, a store not yet found in Florida, but hopefully soon! I did almost all of my grocery shopping at TJ's when I lived here, and today I stocked up on things that I just can't find organically and/or cheaply in Orlando.

Honey, sugar, jelly, Clif Bars, cereal, nuts, dried fruit, etc. Now I just need to figure out how I'm getting it all back to Orlando!

And like I mentioned in my previous post, there's also the matter of where to eat meals when here. I think I decided to pick up a burrito at one of my favorite taquerias on the way to the baseball game. Hurray for super burritos!

Smells and Sounds

San Francisco is a special place. Every city is unique in its own way, but there really is something about SF. When I flew into Oakland last night, I could see the sun setting behind the City (SF) and this warm feeling let me know that I was back home (at least, in one of several places I call home).

Riding BART from Oakland to SF, there is a very distinctive sound that the train makes (a friend of mine absolutely can't stand the sound). For me, it conjures up good memories--mainly going to A's games. The busses also make a unique sound, particularly the electric ones. I'm staying at my old house, and there are several bus lines running down our streets (we're on a corner).

The smells--not counting pot, of course--cannot be described on a blog. You just have to be here to experience it. Maybe it's simply because I lived here for a while, but I urge you to come and check it out!

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. A's/Giants baseball game this afternoon, dinner with a large group of friends tonight, Bay to Breakers and church tomorrow morning, then informal visits with folks tomorrow afternoon. The one issue, though, is that it creates the dilemma of so many great places to eat (Mexican, Indian, Thai), and so little time. I'm thinking Mexican for lunch today, Indian for lunch tomorrow followed by a Thai dinner? You can see my issues with this! :-)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Prayers Answered

Isn't it amazing when prayers get answered in a way we never would have dreamed? For weeks, I had been praying about setting up a particular appointment, which was just not happening. Presumably, God's response was, "Wait." Eventually, I gave up trying to call/e-mail, and left it to God.

Then, out of the blue, I got a call yesterday that changed everything. In a flurry of phone calls over the span of about 15 minutes, I was able to nail down the appointment--aligned perfectly with another appointment in the same area.

Praise God!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What if...

Many of us in the Christian world talk about what certain people could do if only they were Christians. "Wow, he would be an excellent preacher, if only he knew Jesus." People outside of the Christian community have skills and talents which could be put to use just as well for the Kingdom as they are being used in the secular world.

I had a thought today, reversing this idea. What would I be doing today if I was not a follower of Jesus? I recently met a pastor who, after a few minutes with me, said, "You seem like a sharp guy. You could be making a lot of money somewhere else, if you weren't in the ministry."

Whether he was right or not is debatable. However, I was talking with a friend today and I wondered aloud where I would be working if I were not a Christian--and God had not called me to be a missionary. She said I'd be good at sales. I suppose I'd be interested in making a lot of money, so maybe sales would be the way to go. I very easily could have gone down the business/accounting route in college, which possibly would have landed me a good job. Travel would probably still have been a passion, so I may have used my wealth to see the world.

However, Jesus came into my life, and now I try to live how I think He would have me live. And I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Not Your Typical Luau

The generational minister at our church, Christie, was thrown a surprise birthday luau on Saturday night. I was asked to be her driver and videographer for the scavenger hunt that would bring her to the party. When we arrived, we were BOTH surprised by what we found.

Two of her friends, Tim and Lee, put on the most elaborate themed party I've ever seen. Beyond the tiki torches and Hawaiian shirts, there was food, decorations and musics to go along with the theme.

But the kicker came after we ate. Christie was blindfolded and led to the "volcano" on the back porch. It was actually their in-ground pool, died entirely red. Just before Christie came out, they poured in dry ice, making the whole pool churn and bubble, and covering it with smoke (seen in the picture).

Describing the rest of the scene would not do it justice, so I won't even try. Just be sure to contact Tim and Lee if you ever need a party thrown!