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Archive for January, 2007

Christianity needs Judaism

Posted by jbharp on January 24, 2007

I heard a commentary on talk radio one day (of course it was Dennis Prager) discussing the desire of extreme Muslims who want to kill Jews and Christians, yet they disregard the fact that Islam would not exist without Judaism and Christianity. Prager went on to remark that Christians at least acknowledge their faith stems from Judaism and they don’t desire to destroy Israel.

I’m not, nor ever have been anti-Semitic or an anti-Zionist, but I didn’t fully recognize the role that Judaism played in my faith. So, this last year I began reading about Judaism and the Jewish lifestyle. I’ve been extremely intrigued by it and the logical, rational thoughts that Judaism offers.

Judaism is not a religion of laws and rules to help you obtain favor with nonrelational God. Judaism is not a cluster of commands to appease an angry God. Judaism is not a ritual of useless customs and traditions that have come from obscurity and nonsense.

Judaism is a lifestyle that faithfully responds to the life and freedom that came from God.

Just as God gave life and freedom in the Torah (Old Testament), He also gave life and freedom, through Christ, in the New Testament. Thus, Judaism and Christianity are about how the Jew and Christian respond to the gift that was given by God. The gift is not earned; rather it is free for the taking.

I want to learn much more about Judaism, as I’m convinced that it will make my faith in Christ more solid. So, I figure what better way to learn than to immerse myself in Judaism. This weekend I will be attending Shabbat services at a Synagogue here in Colorado Springs. I am greatly looking forward to it.

Here are two books that I’ve found helpful. To Be a Jew by Hayim Halevy Donin and Essential Judaism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs, and Rituals by George Robinson


Posted in Religion | 5 Comments »

The pursuit of a simpleton

Posted by jbharp on January 21, 2007

It seems as though some think of the Chrisitan (religious) community as low brow, middle American simpletons.  Yet I’m convinced that the pursuit of God is one of the most highly intellectual adventures anyone can task of their mind.

I came across this statement in J.I. Packer’s Knowing God, which helps depict the reality of seeking God.

What makes life worthwhile is having a big enough objective, some thing which catches our imagination and lays hold of our allegiance;  and this the Christian has in a way that no other person has. For what higher, more exalted, and more compelling goal can there be than to know God? (ch3 pg34). JI Packer, Knowing God.

Posted in Religion | 2 Comments »

Fractured Ribs?

Posted by jbharp on January 15, 2007

Here’s some info strait from webmd.com.

What is a fractured rib?

A rib fracture is a crack or break in one of the bones of the rib cage. The most common cause of a fractured rib is a direct blow to the chest, often from a motor vehicle accident or a fall.

What are the symptoms?

Fractured ribs are painful in the area of the fracture, with the pain ranging from mild to very severe. Breathing is often very uncomfortable. If your breastbone is pushed, especially while you’re lying down, you will often feel pain at the fracture site, rather than where your breastbone is being pushed.

These are the exact symptoms I’ve been having over this last week after snowboarding last Monday (1/7/07). Specifically after I took a fall on my second to last run. That’s one of the causes – a fall. Although I have taken several direct blows to the chest area, not from a car accident, but from one of two older brothers. It makes me wonder if I ever had any broken/fractured ribs growing up after some of our wrestling. Hhhmm??

I’m not completely sure if I have a fractured rib or ribs (I’d be willing to bet so though), and I’m not in enough pain to warrant a visit to the real doctor. So I’ll just follow webmd.com recovery plan. It seems to be doing it’s job so far.

How is a rib fracture treated?

In the vast majority of cases, treatment revolves around relieving pain while the fracture mends. Pain relief not only keeps you comfortable, but allows you to take deeper, more effective breaths. Ice to the injured area, rest, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, and prescription pain medications such as Tylenol with codeine are helpful to relieve pain. You should also cough or take the deepest breath you can at least once every hour to get air deeply into your lungs. This will reduce your risk of getting pneumonia or a partial collapse of lung tissue (atelectasis). Chest wall injuries, including rib fractures, heal slowly. Your chest wall never gets a chance to completely rest because it is always in motion as you breathe, and this slows down the healing process. Rib fractures generally take about six weeks to heal.

What?!?!?!? Six weeks. The snow won’t stay around forever. And my snowboard doesn’t like being stuck in the closet all winter. Whether it’s a real doctor or a web doctor…they still don’t know what they’re talking about. I’ll be fine. Six weeks…yeah right.

Posted in Outdoor | 1 Comment »

The real dogs in my life

Posted by jbharp on January 14, 2007

Charlie & CJ

I just want to put up a picture of my dogs. This was taken back in September on a hike here in Colorado up Mt. Shavano. CJ is the most loyal dog I’ve ever had. That’s a typical trait for a mutt. Charlie is a good dog too, but she tends to wander a bit more. She always comes home though. She may not ever admit it (even if she could talk), but she couldn’t stand life without me or CJ.

I’m sure I’ll be making more post about these pups in the future.

Posted in Outdoor | Leave a Comment »

Marathon delayed

Posted by jbharp on January 12, 2007

I was hoping to run my first marathon of 2007 near my home town in Arkansas. I was eyeing the Hogeye Marathon in Fayetteville on April 1. Normally I my training begins at the suggested four months prior to race date, which was the beginning of December. Now I’m sitting near the middle of January and have hardly done adequate running for a marathon. And since the winter weather won’t produce a temperature above freezing for the next six days, I doubt I’ll get much running soon.

Regretfully, I’m going to give up on the Hogeye for this year. Besides, I’ll be to consumed with snowboarding for the rest of the season. Which is an activity that leaves me in recovery mode and difficult to run, at least the way I board.

After coming to grips with not doing the Hogeye, I’m revamping my marathon schedule for this year. I have already discussed doing the Portland Marathon in October with a fellow Stick Horse Improviser. In addition, I know people in Dallas which hosts the White Rock Marathon in Decemeber. I’ve ofter wondered about doing marathons with little time in between. This would be only a two month gap. My training would be cut in half!!!

As I was making my considerations during lunch today, a coworker mentioned her intention of running the New York Marathon in November. She said “Come on. Do it.” That was enough for me. Thus completing my new 2007 marathon schedule. Here it is –

Portland Marathon – October 7

ING New York Marathon – November 4

Dallas White Rock Marathon – December 9

Feel free to come along with me for support – or better yet, come along to run. Half marathons are also available for half the enjoyment.

Posted in Running | Leave a Comment »

The Wind Blows…

Posted by jbharp on January 11, 2007

I was in Copper Mountain this weekend snowboarding. The wind was viciously cold on Sunday. It was nearly one of the coldest experiences in my life. Though, it did not beat out the time I was camping near Winter Park in between two days of skiing with my Colorado roomie JP. When we woke in the morning it was too cold to even fold up the tent. Instead we took out the poles, wadded it up and threw it in the back of my car. We knew it was cold, but was shocked to find out that it reached -12 that night. Buuurrrrr.

I would have went on a few more runs this Sunday but I finally called it quits when the neck of my coat was frozen stiff. Just before I unloaded from the lift, I realized the collar on my jacket was frozen stiff. I had to pull it off my chin and mouth.

Monday turned out to be a beautiful day to be on the slopes. Not much wind at all. However the wind did cause problems for me on the way home. I was about 45 minutes down the road of my 2.5 hour drive back to the Springs, when I had to change my route because high winds had closed the roads. Well, CDOT should have also closed Highway 285 into Denver because the wind conjurred up a challenging, drive. I was driving 10 MPH, guided by the reflectors on the side of the road. There was so much snow blowing that I could harldly see the lines on the road in front of me. It took me longer, but I kicked in the 4WD and managed to stay on the road.

I did notice a BBQ joint about 30 minutes from Denver called Hog Heaven. I’ll make a trip back to that area sometime to try it. But on a warmer day that’s not so windy.

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Hello New Blog!

Posted by jbharp on January 7, 2007

Hey everyone. Harp here on my brand new blog site. I was over at harp.townhall.com but it always seemed to be slow. Most of the time I’m a fast paced guy, so it wasn’t suiting me well. I hear lots of good things about this wordpress place.

I plan to do more blogging this year to keep some of my friends and fam up-to-date on all the things going on in my world and in my head.

That’s it for now. Got to get some sleep, cause in a few hours I’ll be heading up to the mountains for a few days of snowboarding. Oh pain. Oh joy.

Posted in Outdoor | 2 Comments »