Missionary Talks 53: Bob Patterson

I enjoyed calling and talking to Bob Patterson for this interview. We were college friends and worked together one summer. Though we have never really kept in close contact, we have always enjoyed each other’s company. Bob’s older brother Bill and I were in the same freshman class at school. We sat beside each other in all of our classes (alphabetically) until I got kicked out for not paying my bill. I ended up graduating with Bob 2 years late.

Bob recently took a trip to Uganda and therefore this was the subject of the interview. Bob was there on a short term medical mission trip.

I can honestly say that this was one of my favorite interviews. If I had to choose 5 interviews to recommend to someone, this one would be on the list.

The formal interview lasted about 45 minutes, but we talked for well more than an hour. You can be assured that I will be calling Bob again and talking about his philosophy of missions. What he had to say at the end was classic. I would like to do a whole program on just that kind of information.

3 Enemies, 3 Defenses and 3 Helpers

Last week in church I preached on the three enemies that the Christian has. Along with these enemies we are given three defenses and three helpers.

The three enemies that the Christian has are the world, the flesh and the devil.

Enemy: The World I John 2:15-17
The Bible is not talking about the mud ball that we live on. It is referring to the philosophy that the world holds. Some people refer to this as a “system.” It is a way of thinking that always points us away from God.

Defense: Faith I John 5:4, 5
We overcome the world through faith.

Helper: God the Father I John 2:15
The more we build a relationship with the Father, the less we can love, or be in agreement with, the world.

Enemy: The Flesh Romans 7:18
This is our sin nature. While we can be saved for eternal life, we still struggle here on earth with the flesh. The flesh attacks different people in different ways. While I don’t struggle with certain sins that may be a constant temptation for you, I still have my battles.

Defense: Walking in the Spirit Galatians 5:16
Walking in the Spirit means allowing the Holy Spirit to control your life.

Helper: God the Spirit Romans 8:8, 9
We can please God and fight against the enemy of the flesh only when we are walking under the control of the Spirit of God.

Enemy: The Devil Matthew 25:41
Satan is the leader of all that is evil.

Defense: The Word of God Matthew 4:1-11
Jesus himself was tempted by the Devil and was able to defend against the Devil by using God’s Word.

Helper: God the Son Genesis 3:15
Since chapter 3 of the Bible we have been promised a conqueror over the Devil. Jesus is the fulfillment of that promise.

I am not much of an outliner, therefore I don’t post many of them. Most of the time I just have 3 or 4 words and a list of verses scattered on a 3X5 card and call that my sermon notes. This is such a rare treat for me to have something so structured that I decided to share it with you.

Maximum heart rate

Today was the second day that I took my new heart rate monitor out for a spin. My first day was not quite a success.

On Tuesday I was wearing my monitor strap around my belly button. If you don’t know, that is not where the strap is supposed to be. You don’t get a clear heart rate reading down there. But that is where it ended up about 5 minutes into the run. As it turned out, I was getting more realistic numbers from down there than up near my heart. When the strap was somewhat near where it needed to be I was getting readings of 254 beats per minute. That is a little outside the normal range. I think human hearts explode with those numbers. While I was breathing hard, I did not think my heart was pumping quite at that speed. When it was around my belly, and getting a reading, it read 160 BPM. But most of the time it just read 0.

Today I tightened the strap up quite a bit and gave it another try. I was doing an interval workout where I was running fast for 4 minutes and slow for 4 minutes. I did that for almost 40 minutes. My maximum heart rate was 185 with an average of 160. That is about what it should be for a run like that. Normally I would want to keep it in the 140 ish range though.

I got my HRM for Father’s day. So I am not sure I should be talking about it yet since it has not officially been given to me.

It is a Reebok Precision Trainer XT Heart Rate Monitor that I got off of Woot for a good price. As an HRM, I think it works pretty well. As a watch it stinks. There is some pretty good intelligence built into the Timex Ironman watches that I have worn for the last 2 years. None of that exists in the stopwatch features of this HRM watch. Stopwatch is either on or off. No laps to confuse you. I already know that I will be wearing 2 watches when I run anything more complicated than just a run around the block.

Still swimming

I have gone to the swim coach for 4 weeks now. I have bettered my crawl and back strokes and have learned the breast stroke and the butterfly.

My crawl was, of course, my strongest stroke (that’s the normal stroke). But I had some serious errors in my execution of the stroke. Joel, my coach, had me work on some error correcting exercises for a couple of weeks. It is amazing how much one can improve when given the right pointers along the way.

I was also given some error correcting exercises for my back stroke. Since I don’t like that stroke and don’t really know what I was doing wrong, I never asked Joel what I was trying to correct. Just do the exercises and move on.

The breast stroke, while very physically demanding, is a stroke I have always liked. I basically knew how to swim it, or at least thought I did. The reason I like this stroke is that I feel like it is the easiest one to breathe with, even easier than the back stroke for me. And, let’s face it, breathing is always a good thing.

Butterfly is by far the hardest of the strokes. It is very demanding. Coordination is everything. I am capable of complicated moves, but the learning of new moves and timing sometimes takes a bit of work. I just started working on this stroke last week. It may be a while before I am comfortable with it.

I have learned that I am pitiful with my kicking no matter what stroke it is. As a SCUBA diver you learn to kick with your whole leg. That allows you to use your biggest muscles while letting the fins do the real work. Swimming needs much more flexibility in the knees. Still learning that. I have not learned the trick of the frog kick yet to make it powerful. When I see my coach do it, it is amazing how far he can travel on each kick. When I do it, I feel like I am just going through the motions, but not going anywhere. The worst thing I can hear my coach say is “Get a kickboard and do 100 meters with the frog kick.” AAAaaaaa!

Friday Joel had me doing an oxygen depletion workout. This was the first really hard workout I have done. Normally, in the crawl stroke, you would swim 3 strokes and then take a breath, then 3 and a breath. This gets you breathing to the left and right and is about often enough to be comfortable. He wanted me to swim 100 meters while breathing 3 strokes and then 5 strokes. By the time it was over I was pretty winded.

The next phase of the torture was to have me swim constantly for much further than I have done before. Up to this point I have been allowed to swim the length of the pool (25 meters) and rest as long as I want before returning. There has never been time pressure. But Friday my task was to swim 50 meters (breathing normally), rest 30 seconds and then 100 meters and rest 1 minute. I was supposed to do 6 sets of those. Somehow I convinced myself that he said to do 3 sets. When I told him I finished, he had a puzzled look and asked if I really did 6 sets. Oops. He looked me over and decided it was safest to just do 2 more sets.

I swallowed so much water and worked harder than I normally do in a 5K road race. I was physically ill. It took me a couple of hours after class to start feeling right again. But, I am gaining endurance and learning how to breath better.

In total I swam 1100 meters during class. It normally takes me 10 to 15 minutes after class to finish swimming 1000 meters. I know none of this is very hard for someone who has been swimming a while. But I have only been at it for 11 hours of class over the last 4 weeks. I have improved my strokes and learned some new ones. Now I am getting into the meat of why I wanted to take the class in the first place which is building endurance and speed.

My swimming has cut into my running time, but I will be doing a whole lot more running starting in July when I no longer have access to the pool and I start into my marathon training program.

Teaching English

I am teaching an English class right now in a remedial type class. I was teaching about past progressive verb construction in which you use the being verb in the past tense plus the verb you want and add -ing to the ending. It would be a sentence like this: Bill was eating Rice Krispies.

I asked the class what “ing” was (meaning what is the equivalent in Spanish). One boy, who is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, blurted out “It’s a bank!” What was funny is that he could not understand why his answer was not correct.