F3 Knoxville

God Is God

THE SCENE: Insert info about the weather, etc.

20 Side-Straddle-Hops, 10 Pinto Twists, 10 Tempo Merkins, 10 Windmills, 7 Baby Arm Circles Forward and Backward, 7 Wide Arm Circles Forward and Backward.
Mosey to Northeast Corner of Admin Bldg.  We will do 20 Hello Dollies.  Mosey to CMU Pile.  Each man grabs CMU and places it on east side of Parking Lot.  Cone 1 is at that side of parking lot.  Cone 2 is on opposite west side.  We will do one of the listed exercises at Cone 1 with CMU.  We then
Bernie Sanders (without CMU) to Cone 2 and do one of the listed exercises.  We then run up mini cardiac to crosswalk and run back to Cone 1.  We will repeat this sequence with the next set of exercises.  We will have run up and down mini cardiac three times by the time we are finished. Here are the exercises at each cone:

  • Cone 1:  1. 25 Overhead Presses.  2. 25 Curls.  3. 25 Rows.
  • Cone 2:  1. 20 Flutter Kicks (4 ct).  2. 20 Bicycle Kicks (4 cts).  3. 20 Hello Dollies (4 ct.)

Replace CMUs.

Mosey to parking lot that has islands on the other side of ball fields.  We will run around the parking lot stopping at each island to do 10 Merkins.  At island that semi-circle that we semi-circle around we will bear crawl instead of run.  Once around the parking lot, we will do the same thing but do 10 Big Boys at each island.

Mosey to beginning of Pickett’s Charge.  We will Pickett’s Charge to Northeastern Corner of Parking Lot.  We will stop at each hill of Pickett’s Charge to do 5 Hand Release Merkins.  We will also bear crawl up each hill.  After finishing Pickett’s charge we will do 20 American Hammers.

Mosey to Bat House.  We will sprint from Bat House to Parking Lot.

Mosey to AO.

23 men, no FNGs.

The Kingdom grows, because the kingdom is already planted.  It grows of itself and in its own good time.  Above all, it grows we know not how.

–Robert Farrar Capon

Difficult times, like those we are facing with the coronavirus, racial protests, and our very heated political situation, test our beliefs and faith.  Our faith in our government, in other people, in ourselves, and even in God is being put to the test.  At a time like this we may be asking questions such as:

  • God, how can you let this happen?
  • God, where are you in all of this?
  • God, do you have any power to stop this?
  • God, what is your purpose?

We look to solutions to this world problem as if we know the answer, as if we know how the world should be run.  We do that individually and corporately, blaming the whole state affairs on others or claiming that surely us Democrats or us Republicans are in “the right.”

At such times of angst, of confusion, of bewilderment, it is reassuring to know that, as Robert Farrar Capon proclaims, the kingdom is already planted and it grows of itself in its own good time.  It is good to know that God is in control and that is the truth whether we like it or not.  Look at history, at humankind’s treatment of one another, at the devastation of war, of slavery, of corruption, of pollution, and we can see how we botch things when we play God.

One of my favorite songs is “God is God” by Steve Earle.   In discussing fate, uncertainty, miracles, and life he proclaims both that “God ain’t me” and “God ain’t us.”  But through the mystery and uncertainty he believes in God:

Every day that passes I’m sure about a little bit less.
(But) even my money keeps telling me it’s God I need to trust.
And I believe in God, but God ain’t us.

If we believe in God then we must accept that he has a plan that goes beyond our understanding.  His plan is a mystery but one that we must trust.  God is God.  And that is certainly reassuring in difficult times like these.  Personally, it gives me hope.  And, it gives me comfort to know that neither I nor the rulers of this world have the final say.

I will close with the last stanza of Steve Earle’s song which puts in better words than what I can say this mystery, this miracle, and our need to accept it.

God, of my little understanding, don’t care what name I call.
Whether or not I believe doesn’t matter at all.
I receive the blessin’s.
And every day on Earth’s another chance to get it right.
Let this little light of mine shine and rage against the night.
Just another lesson
Maybe someone’s watching and wondering what I got.
Maybe this is why I’m here on Earth, and maybe not.
But I believe in God, and God is God.

Prayers for Sparkler’s son and daughter-in-law, whose son, who died last Christmas Holidays, would have been two today.  Prayers for Jinxy’s wife who has surgery on September 17, for Lilydipper’s wife, and for Thunderstruck’s mother.  Prayer’s for Lulu and Doubtfire whose mothers died this summer.

The Fake Gloomers will be building two obstacles for Hardship Hill.  We will get started the weekend of September 19-20.  Talk to Sparkler for details.  Be at Asylum PM this Thursday because Pusher will be on Q and is bringing Filipino noodles (made by his mother-in-law) for our board meeting!

In His Mansion

THE SCENE: Insert info about the weather, etc.

20 Side-Straddle-Hops, 10 Burpees, 10 Plank Jacks, 5 Burpees, 10 Cherry Pickers, 10 Imperial Walkers, 10 Windmills, Michael Phelps


Each man picks up a pair of bricks from my truck.  We then run to parking lot by entrance to Northern Ball Fields.  There will be exercises posted at each corner of the parking lot.  Do the exercise listed, run around the parking lot, then do the next exercise listed.  Always have bricks when running.  Once exercises at one cone are complete, go to the next cone and do those.  When a man is done he will have done 12 exercises (3 from each cone and run around the parking lot 12 times).  Here are the exercises from each cone:

  • Cone 1:  1. 50 Overhead Presses with Bricks  2. 20 Big Boys  3. 50 Curls with Bricks
  • Cone 2:  1. 50 Rows with Bricks  2. 20 Big Boys  3.  50 Wings Up with Bricks
  • Cone 3:  1. 50 Wings Out with Bricks  2. 10 Mini Man-makers 3. 50 Wings Down with Bricks
  • Cone 4.  1. 50 Punches with Bricks.  2. 10 Mini Man-makers  3. 50 Triceps with Bricks

Mosey with bricks back to the truck and replace them there.

Mosey to stop sign at Northeastern corner of admin bldg.  We will do 20 American Hammers.

Mosey down steps to small alleyway.  Pick teammate. We will do Doras.  Teammate runs up stairs, around to beginning of alleyway and back to teammate while teammate does exercises.  Teammates the switch off.  Here are the exercises:

  • 150 Squats
  • 150 Big Boy Situps
  • 100 Merkins

Mosey to Parking Lot that semi-circles by soccer fields.  We will Bernie for 20 fence stakes then lunge for 10 tent stakes and repeat that pattern to the end of the parking lot.

Mosey to beginning of mini-cardiac.  Bernie to park sign, then sprint the rest of the way back to the AO.

13 Men, no FNGs

Thomas Merton:  “Creation isn’t something that just happened in the beginning and then God walked off and left us to our own devices.”

Imagine if that were true.  God created this universe and everything in it and then said, “Good luck everybody, I’m going to sleep.”  Would the creator do that?  I don’t think so.

Thomas Merton:  “Creation is going on all the time.  That creation is absolute and perpetual.”

That creation is a gift and a miracle.  It surrounds us and is within us.  Yet, we so often fail to see it.  Some of the great church hymns have God saying to us (or use to Him), “Abide in Me”, knowing that we so often fall short in doing so.

James Finley describes this failure to see God’s gift to us in this way:

What if all along you’ve been living in this incredible mansion all your life but through a tragic mental condition you think you’re living in a little tent behind the garage?  And every week your psychotherapist comes over for your weekly session, and your therapist says, “Look, I wouldn’t, honestly, I wouldn’t lie to you on this one.  You’re in a mansion.  You’ve been living in it all along.”  You say, No.  No.  I . . . as a matter of fact, I don’t even think I deserve to even try to get in there, actually.”  In God, we live and move and have our being.  We’re living our life in the vast interiority of God pouring Himself out and giving himself away as every breath and heartbeat, as every passing moment of our life.  This is confusion.  Jesus called it blindness.  Buddha called it ignorance.  We don’t see the God-given, Godly nature, the boundary-less generosity of every blessed moment in our life.”

To abide in God is to accept his gift, to recognize His beauty, to breath it in what John Eldredge calls “The Sacred Romance.”  Other spiritual writers call it the “Sacred Dance.”  To abide in God is to ask him to abide with us.

I will close with some lines from the song “Abide With Me”:

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies
Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Prayers of praise for Lillydipper’s wife (done with double masectomy surgery) and Choir Boys’ wife (does not have lymphoma and is getting rehab for the pain she is experiencing); prayers for wife of Mr. Jinxy who will have surgery on September 17; prayers for Lulu and Doubtfire who both have lost their mothers this past month.

The Essential Isn’t Imposed

THE SCENE: Misty and humid, temps is 80s

20 Plank Jacks, 10 Burpees, 10 Windmills, 10 Toes Reaches, 7 Wide Arm Circles Forward, 7 Backward
Mosey to stop sign at northeastern corner of Admin Bldg.  20 Hello Dollies.

Mosey to perimeter trail and head west.  We will follow the perimeter trail north to the shaded tree by Lyons Bend.  20 American Hammers.

Mosey to Mt. Everest.  We will do 40 Baby Crunches, then run up to large tree, circle around it and return.

Mosey to shaded area by water bldg.  20 Flutter Kicks.

Mosey to North Shore gate and head east on trail.  There will be cones in flat grassy area to the right.  We will divide up men to start at different cones.  We will go counter-clockwise to each cone. The cones will list exercises.  We will do circle the cones three times doing the first exercise listed the first time there and continue in sequence the next time there.  However, before starting into the next sequence of cone exercises we will make a full circle around the cones.  Here are the exercises for each cone:

  • Cone 1:  1. 20 Bobby Hurleys.  2. 20 Smurf Jacks.  3. 20 Star Jumps.
  • Cone 2:  1. 20 Big Boy Sit-ups.  2. 20 Squats.  3. 20 Bicycle Kicks (4 ct)
  • Cone 3:  1. 20 Iron Mikes (both legs = 1).  2. 20 Mountain Climbers (both legs = 1).  3. 20 Shoulder Taps (both shoulders = 1)
  • Cone 4:  1. 20 Merkins.  2. 20 Carolina Dry Docks  3.  20 Diamond Merkins

Mosey to beginning of parking lot at Area 51.  We will Bernie Sanders to the curb by the grass, then run back to the starting point of the parking lot, then Bernie Sanders back to the curb again.  Next, at curb we will do 20 Toe Taps (4 ct).  Then we will run to the road up top where there is a shaded tree.  There, we will do 30 Second Leg Lift.

Mosey to bat cave.  From the bat cave we will sprint to the administration parking lot.  Each man walks back to bat cave after the sprint, then sprints to parking lot again.

Mosey to AO.

20 Hello Dollies, 20 Tempo Merkins.
20 men, no FNGs.

Quote from James Finley, a theologian and former monk who studied under Thomas Merton: “That which is essential never imposes itself for love is always offered, it’s never imposed, and that which in unessential is constantly imposing itself.”

God created us in His image.  He made us for communication with Him.  We fall short in life if not with Him.  We are in need of Him.  Without Him we are thirsty.  Without Him there is something wrong in our lives.  His love is Essential.  And, as James Finley says, his love is offered freely to us.  It is not imposed, it is not forced upon us. It comes to us in so many ways: the playfulness of a child, the chance for rest or Sabbath, the words of the Bible, the laughter among friends, intimacy with a partner, the love shared by a neighbor, the smile of a stranger, the songs of the birds, the beauty of the mountains, the plains, the wind, the sky, God’s creation.  Notice how these Essential things hang back, they do not force their will on us, they do not impose themselves.  Notice how we have to truly look, to truly listen, to truly observe in order to appreciate them.  It is like pulling over to the side of the road to really enjoy a sunset.  You sit there in your car and our blown away by the beauty.  And then, after you start the car up and drive on home, you think to yourself, I need to do this more often, I need to truly take this beauty in each day.  It is like when you hear a great song that makes the hair rise on your skin and you think, how beautiful, how powerful, this song makes me want to be more than what I have been.  Or, it is like when you are at worship and hear a particular sermon that makes you almost want to cry and you think, man, I need to remember this, I need to take this into the fiber of my being . . . and, a few days later you kind of forget what the sermon was all about.

A problem we humans face is that, like Finley claims, “the unessential is constantly imposing itself” on us.  What are some of these unessential things?  Wealth, power, fame, success, popularity are examples.  Think about our daily lives.  Think about what the world says we should be.  We are constantly bombarded by shoulds in our lives. “I should do more to rise to the top at work.”  “I should work more hours so that I can make more money.”  “I should get a bigger home.”  “I should get a nicer car.”  “I need to participate in more organizations so that I am doing more with my life.”  “I gotta make that deadline.” “I should be slimmer and more fit.”  “I should spend more of my time working for charities so that people see how much I am giving to others.”  “I need to be the top salesman in my region this year”.  “I need to belong to that country club because it is populated by some of the most notable people in Knoxville.”  I am not saying that any of the above things are unworthy.  But, they are unessential.  These shoulds are often what we pay the most attention to.  And by doing that, we lose sight of God’s creation, God’s love.  We miss out on what God has made essential for us.

Lord, help us to spend more time focusing on the essential.  You have given these essential things to us because you love us.  You don’t impose them on us.  You give us free will to accept them because you know that true love cannot be forced upon us.  Help take our eyes away from what is unessential and keep our eyes on you.


Prayers for Title -9 as he adjusts to living in Oregon, for Lily’s wife who will have double mastectomy surgery on Wednesday, Augut 19, for Thunderstruck’s mother as she faces chemotherapy and blood transfusions, for safety of the F3 dads and kids at camp this weekend, for the AO in Morristown that we helped start.  Steam will be going to the Morristown AO workout to support them this Saturday and welcomes anyone who would like to go with him.

Press On

THE SCENE: Insert info about the weather, etc.

20 Side-Straddle-Hops, 10 Burpees, 10 Windmills, 10 Tempo Merkins, 10 Tempo Squats, 10 Wide Arm Circles forward and 10 Wide Arm Circles backward.
Mosey to the stop sign at the Northeastern Corner of the Admin. Bldg.  We will be moving to different cones on a counterclockwise route past the admin bldg and back to where we start.  The cones will tell us the exercise and how to move to the next cone.

  • Cone 1:  20 Hello Dollies (4 ct).  Sprint to Cone 2
  • Cone 2:  20 Big Boy Sit-Ups.  Bear Crawl to Cone 3.
  • Cone 3:  20 Jump Squats.  Run to Cone 4.
  • Cone 4:  40 Shin Lifts on steps.  Run to Cone 5.
  • Cone 5:  20 Flutter Kicks (4 ct).  Run to Cone 6.
  • Cone 6:  20 Dive Bombers.  Run to Cone 7.
  • Cone 7:  20 Merkins.  Hop to Cone 8.
  • Cone 8:  20 Iron Mikes (both legs = 1)  Bernie Sanders to Cone 9.
  • Cone 9:  20 Bicycle Kicks (4 ct).  Run back to Cone 1 to rinse and repeat.

Mosey to plaza at Outdoor Colosseum area to gander at East Tennessee.

Mosey to semi-circle area close to soccer fields and housing area.  We will do following along each small fence pole along the semi-circle:  Bear Crawl for 3 poles and do 3 hand-release merkins, lunge for 3 poles and do 3 squats, run for 10 poles.  Then start again until semi-circle is finished.  When semi-circle is finished, complete a full circle by going to street and going back to starting spot to Rinse and Repeat.

Mosey to Playground. We will do elevens at benches, starting with 1 Bench Jump and 10 Bench Dips.

Mosey to Pavilion.  We will do 20 Picnic Table Pull-ups, 20 Decline Merkins and 20 seconds of regular Pull-ups at the Baseball Dugouts.

Mosey to CMU pile.  Each man grabs CMU.  We will do 20 Overhead Presses, 20 Curls, 20 Squats, and 20 Rows with the CMUs.  Replace CMUs.

Mosey to start of Mini Cardiac.  Bernie to Park Sign, Sprint to top crosswalk, then walk to AO.

19 men, no FNGs.
J.K. Rowling’s book, Harry Potter, was rejected by 12 different publishers before being accepted by Bloomsbury Publishing.  Can you imagine being one of the reviewers who rejected Harry Potter?  Talk about regretting a decision!  John Grisham’s first novel, a Time to Kill, was rejected 30 times before it was published.  Still, it wasn’t widely read.  After he published hits like The Firm and The Pelican Brief people finally read Grisham’s first book, A Time to Kill, and people ended up loving it.  Stephen King’s first published novel, Carrie, was also rejected 30 times.  Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner was famously rejected by many publishers.  He kept every rejection he ever got.  Now he is considered one of the greatest authors of all time

The message we can learn from so many authors is this:  Don’t Give Up.  Keep pursuing your vision.  Our brother, Crawdad, has already received praise for what he has recently written.  I hope he keeps on writing.  For those of you who have important goals ahead, whatever the task, don’t let falling short get you down.  Maybe that is what it takes to finally get to your goal.  Myself, at age 62:  I have never mastered the pull-up!!  I am pretty good at push-ups but, perhaps because my arms are so darn long, I can’t do a pull-up.  I recently bought a pull-up bar that I have wedged between two slats in my basement.  I figure that doggone bar may reject me 100, 200, maybe 1000 times but one of these days I am going to do a pull-up!!

When times get tough we sometimes can lose faith in ourselves and faith in God.  As a Christian, I love these words from Paul in the bible.  From Philippians 3: 13-14:

Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Don’t lose faith.  Press on toward your goal men!

Prayers for Choir Boy’s wife and Lillydipper’s wife, prayers to end racism and dissension in our country, prayers for Mermaid’s friend who hurt his back.
Workday at 8:45 am, August 8 at Mooreland Heights Elementary School.

Hold Thy Tongue

THE SCENE: Rained heavy immediately before the workout and ended up with dry but humid conditions, temp in low 80s.  The AO was at northern ball field parking lot due to rainy conditions before we started.

20 Plank Jacks, 10 Pinto Twists, 10 Tempo Squats, 10 Rockettes, 10 Cherry Pickers, Little of This and That
Mosey to parking lot with islands on south side of northern ball fields.  Do 20 Hello Dollies.

Next we will do Christmas Candy Canes in July.  We start on one end of parking lot and go around and 1/3 of the way back down.  Thus, the diagram of the travel is in the form of a candy cane.  We will do the following runs with stops at each island to do the following exercises, running back to the start of the candy cane once the full route is complete:

  • Sprint, stopping to do 3 Burpees at each island.
  • Bernie Sanders, stopping to do 10 Squats at each island.
  • Sprint, stopping to do 10 Merkins at each island
  • Grapevine left or right stopping to do 10 Big Boy Sit-Ups at each island.

Mosey to Pavilion at northern ball fields.  Do 25 Picnic Table Pull-ups, 25 Bench Dips and 25 Decline Merkins.

Mosey to CMU Pile.  Each man grabs CMU.  We will do the following exercises.  We will Sprint to end of parking lot and Bernie Sanders back after each exercise.

  • 20 Overhead Presses
  • 20 Curls
  • 20 Rows
  • 20 Squats with CMU at chest

Replace CMUs and mosey to center of parking lot.

20 Flutter Kicks (4 ct) and 40 Baby Crunches.
13 men, no FNGs.

Proverbs 10:14

Wise men store up knowledge,
But with the mouth of the foolish, ruin is at hand.

Proverbs 13:3

The one who guards his mouth preserves his life;
The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Some of us are extroverts and some of us are introverts.  Some of us are talkers and some of us prefer to say little.  I tend to be on the talkative side and sometimes get in trouble because of it.  I haven’t experienced the ruin talked about in the verses above but I have sounded mighty foolish at times.

In groups settings, it helps me to listen closely to the words of those who generally keep silent.  I find that, if they do speak up, what they have to say is usually doggone important.  Back in my college days, I belonged to a fraternity.  We would have fraternity meetings weekly.  All members had the opportunity to speak.  I don’t mean to tell you that those who spoke often did not have good things to say. But, members who seldom spoke often gave us wonderful pearls of wisdom when they did.  I particularly think of two fraternity brothers:  Mark Williams and Blair Jones.  They were some of the shier guys in the fraternity.  When they did speak at our meetings you could sometimes her a pause in the air – that was because our guys were truly contemplating what they said.  What they said was on point and meaningful, frequently giving us perspectives we had not considered.  Mark Williams is one of my best friends today. I still can count on him for advice and council.

Why do I bring this up?  Partially for my own benefit.  Being a guy who sometimes speak too much, I need to remember to store up knowledge and guard my mouth, as the aforementioned Proverbs allude to.  But I also say it for the benefit of those of you who are not extroverts, who are not likely to speak before large groups.  Don’t be afraid to share what you have to say when we gather together at the end of our workouts.  Don’t be afraid to Q a workout and give a message at the end of it.  You are the wise men who have been holding your tongues and storing up knowledge.  Give us the benefit of your words of wisdom.  We will grow because of it.

Prayers for Pacman and his daughter.  Prayers for wives of Lilydipper and Choir Boy.  Prayers for the City of Portland and the peace that is needed there.  Prayers for Title 9 who is now in Eugene, Oregon.