O Me of Little Faith

What did you do this weekend? I’ll tell you what I did:

1. I met the Coulombe family. Several months ago, faithful reader-of-this-blog Ken Grant emailed me to introduce me to a cool family he’d just spent time with in Delaware at the home of Terry Foester (of “Give Herman One Dollar” fame). He told me he’d met them at Terry’s house and I should check out their website. I was impressed. Andy and Serenity Coulombe used to live in Oregon, in a house, in the suburbs. He taught high school and was a wrestling coach. She was a homemaker, raising their three little kids. They were pretty normal.

But after reading books like Shane Claiborne’s Irresistible Revolution and re-reading the Gospels, they became convinced that their lives (and faith) needed to take a more radical slant. With their kids in tow, they got involved in ministering to the poor and homeless in downtown Portland. Before long, they knew God was calling them to do that full-time — but not in Portland. So last summer, Andy quit his job. He and Serenity and their kids sold all their stuff. The five of them are now traveling the U.S. in a 1993 Holiday Rambler RV, converted to run on waste vegetable oil. They drive from city to city, where they get involved with various churches and ministries. Their work is flexible and always-changing, but mostly it involves showing love to people on the margins of society. They’ll stop in a city for a week or two, find a way to get involved for several days, and then move on to the next town.

They’re in Amarillo through next weekend, and we’re hosting them (and the RV) in our driveway. Check out Andy & Serenity’s blog to read more about their work and ministry. And thanks, Ken, for the introduction.

2. I swam 1.875 miles in 60 minutes. One of my new year’s resolutions for 2009 was “participate in another single-category race/competition” in addition to the three sprint triathlons I intend to do this year. I decided to get this resolution accomplished early this year by competing in an event called the “Xtreme Swim” at our local gym. It’s pretty simple: swim for one hour straight and see how much distance you can rack up. I finished with 3300 yards (66 laps) and got 2nd place in the non-competitive division. (The competitive-division participants were the hard-core triathletes and high-school swimmers and went way past two miles.)

For non-swimmers, that distance sounds like a lot, but the truth about distance swimming (and I assume it’s the same for long-distance runners) is that once you build up the endurance and find a steady, even pace, swimming for 30 minutes isn’t much more difficult than swimming for 60 minutes. The biggest problem is boredom. Unlike running outdoors, the bottom of the pool doesn’t change much along the way.

Here I am during the early minutes of the event:

3. I finished up a new website for the Pocket Guides. Nothing fancy — it’s not interactive at all — but just something to showcase all the books in the series as we begin marketing efforts for the release in August. So check out and let me know what you think. If you see a typo or something dumb, please let me know. I don’t think there are any mistakes, but the first person who finds a legitimate one and tells me about it gets a free signed copy of Pocket Guide to the Bible. Ready? Go!

Please note: It is not every weekend I swim long distances, welcome strangers into our home, and create a website. Most weekends, I just sit around with the kids and play Uno. But all those things just seemed to coincide this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so I figured I’d better blog about it.

It was either that or the Academy Awards, and I didn’t watch the Academy Awards.

You know how it is.

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