Map My Run

One of my buddies turned me on to a cool website. If you are a runner, biker, hiker, etc. and are curious about how far you actually went on your outdoor journey, you can go to At this website, you can trace your route on a map, get your distance, see your elevation, etc. It is pretty cool. Yesterday, I did a 3.33 mile hill interval workout. I hit a maximum elevation four times of 277 feet. And had a minimum elevation of 153 feet. Check it out.

Until the next post…

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Thanks to a generous man from our home team (small group), I took the kids to see the Reading Phillies play the Erie Seawolves last night. The Reading Phillies are the Double A League farm team for the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Seawolves are affiliated with the Detroit Tigers. Shane Victorino (the Philadelphia Phillies right fielder) was on a rehab assignment here, so there were lots of cheers for him.

If you’ve never been to a minor league baseball game, I would highly recommend trying it. It is so entertaining. Besides the game which the Phillies won 8-6, there is literally on the field entertainment between every half inning. We saw the crazy hot dog vendor throwing hot dogs in the stands from his ostrich, inflatable blow-up bobble head people dancing on the field, vegetables racing around the field, people shooting foam baseballs into the stands via sling shots, people shooting t-shirts into the stands via train/air cannon, etc. The food is reasonably priced. We didn’t have to pay for parking. And we arrived home just 40 minutes after getting into our car.

What’s best about the whole thing is that I got to spend six solid hours with my kids (counting the car ride to and from the ballpark). I look forward to making more memories like this.

Until the next post…

Legs for Lindsey

Last Wednesday evening, I journeyed to Evansburg State Park along with 250 other crazy people to brave the extreme heat and humidity for a good cause. We ran a race called Legs for Lindsey, a 5K that has been set up to raise money for Sebastian Riding Association. Sebastian is a club that gives disabled kids a chance to ride horses for fun and therapeutic purposes. Lindsey was one of the club’s members until a couple of year’s ago when she lost her battle with leukemia. This 2nd annual event was a great way to pay tribute to a girl who brightened many faces.

I look forward to running this one again next year on 08/08/08.

Until the next post….

Googling God

This week our church started a four week sermon series entitled “Googling God.” Basically, the congregation was asked to write down any question they would ask God or want to hear more about from the stage. This week’s question: Is the Bible Real? Our adult ministries pastor (Frank) did an excellent job addressing the question. Here are the questions for the next three weeks: Week 2-How Can I follow Someone I Can’t See? Week 3-Evolution vs. Intelligent Design Week 4-Why Does God Allow Suffering?

It should be an interesting sermon series.

Here are a few of my notes from today:

There is internal evidence that the Bible is real:
– The Bible claims to be inspired (by God) 2 Timothy 3:16
– The Bible speaks with authority John 7:46
– There is unity of the writings
– All the books address the fallen state of mankind
– All the books address one solution – God’s grace
– Prophesy
– Many of the prophesies in the Bible have already been fulfilled
– Reliability of the text
– There are ~500 original manuscripts that all support each other

There is external evidence that the Bible is real:
– Historical accuracy
– You can actually go to many of the places described in the Bible
– Unsurpassed worldwide distribution and influence
– The Bible sells between 30 and 50 million copies a year
– The Bible has been published in 1200 languages
– The Bible changes lives Hebrews 4:12
– Look around and see the lives in our own church that have been changed

Here are a few questions that I might ask God:
1. Why can’t the Phillies (or any team from Philadelphia) win a championship?
2. How can we reach so many people who are far from God in our area who have everything?
3. Why does there have to be so much disunity among followers of Christ?

I’d be curious to know what some of your questions would be.

Until the next post….

Kids Camp Adventure Island Video

Here’s a highlight video from Kids Camp Adventure Island hosted by our church a few weeks ago. It provides a small look into the fun time that 750 kids and 350 adults had during this three day adventure. Hope you enjoy!

Gifford Pinchot State Park

For the past six years, our family has been camping with three other families who were connected through my church in Mount Holly, NJ – First Presbyterian Church. Usually, we camp over Labor Day weekend at one of the state parks in PA. This year, we decided to move it up to this weekend.

Despite setting up in rain on Thursday night and dealing with high humidity Friday morning/afternoon, we had a blast. It is always great to see each other and see how much the kids have grown over the past year. It is also incredible to share life’s up and downs with each other knowing that we are cared for in the thoughts and prayers of each other. We have dealt with a kid going to college, a child being diagnosed with autism, families moving, families wrestling with church related searches and issues, kids being struggling to fit in, adults being challenged with job situations, adults training for big events, etc. We seen our kids learning to ride bikes, learning to read, learning to make wise choices, learning to deal with not-so-wise choices, etc.
I feel very blessed to be in the company of these friends, and I look forward to next year when I’m sure we’ll have more to share, more memories to create, and more to look forward to in the years to come.

Until the next post….

Indian Lake Christian Camp

This past week was a big week for the Stolpe family. Hannah went to Indian Lake Christian Camp for the whole week. The camp which is located in Darlington, MD is a summer camp sponsored by various Independent Christian churches.

We dropped Hannah off last Sunday and helped her get setup in the Nazareth cabin where she stayed with two other girls from our church. Honestly, I was a little concerned when we left; but Hannah was more than ready to be on her own. She had an incredible time swimming, playing water games, doing skits, going to chapel, attending classes, eating from the canteen and the dining room, and just plain having fun.

When we picked her up, she looked about 2 years older and 2 inches taller. One of the things that was really exciting to hear was that she decided on her own to attend a special class on baptism. She hasn’t quite stepped over this line in her faith journey yet, but we can sense that it may be coming.

Hannah can’t wait to go again next year.
Until the next post…

AEX/GCC visitors…

Yesterday, we had the honor of a visit from the Hackworth family. John “Hack” Hackworth was my roommate for two years at Grove City College and was also the best man in our wedding. I am so grateful for our friendship.

I’m quite convinced that the reason this friendship has lasted despite the years and miles apart is because of our bond in Christ. We were both part of a men’s Christian housing group known as AEX which stood for Adelphoi En Christo – Brothers in Christ. It was as part of this group that we wrestled with subjects like holiness, stumbling blocks, and unity.

We also had a blast making up hall games like Plinko, Bathroom Ball, Power Oblate, 17 Ball, and others to be sure. We also had are fair share of on and off campus fun – returning books to the Buhl at 3 AM, playing NBA Jams outside the GeeDunk, going on Kings runs and midnight County Market runs, climbing into dryers at the Grove City laundry mat, and getting in a quick round of frisbee golf around the self-designed GCC frisbee golf course.

I will hold on to these memories forever.

Until the next post….

Stretch Video

This is my first time trying something like this, so bear with me. I think that I’m putting in a link to our church’s Stretch camp video review. The video provides a small glimpse into how cool the event was. Imagine 250+ kids enjoying this and more.

Ain’t No Rock

Yesterday, I planted three of four shrubs/trees at our house. This turned out to be quite a task. For one, it was in the mid 90s and humid. Secondly, it hasn’t rained here for a while, and we have some of the worst soil known to man. The soil is filled with rocks for at least the first two feet. Despite the effort required to tackle this task, I enjoyed my time outside working with my hands. Times like this give me a chance to think and pray about the things going on around me.

One thing that I was reminded of through all this digging was a passage from Luke 8:1-15 which describes the Parable of the Sower. In this story, Jesus tells about a farmer who sows seeds. Some lands on good soil. Some lands on rocky soil. Some lands on a path. Some lands on ground surrounded by weeds. The seed which fell on the rock grew up but then withered because there was no moisture.

In reflecting further on this passage, I realized that we cannot always control how our “seed” will be received. But just like a farmer works his soil, removing the rocks, adding key nutrients, providing moisture, and making it fertile, we can be diligent in working the soil. Encouraging one another. Providing instruction and teaching. Correcting and rebuking with great patience. Watering with words of wisdom.

Just a few thoughts from a few hours of digging.

Until the next post….