F3 Knoxville

God Is Perfect

THE SCENE: Hot day, blue skies, temps in low 90s.

25 Side Straddle Hops, 10 Plank Jacks, 10 Tempo Merkins, 10 Windmills, Stretches, Little of This and That
Mosey to the stop sign of the northeastern corner of the Admin Bldg.  There will be five cones set up with one of those cones in the middle and the others extending out to shaded areas outside the middle cone.  Men will run from four outside cones to the middle cone, do 10 Merkins at the middle cone, then run to the next outside cone.  We will do this so that we go to each outside cone twice.  There will also be exercises to do at each outside cone:

  • Cone 1:  1. 20 Star Jumps       2. 20 Smurf Jacks
  • Cone 2:  1. 20 Hello Dollies (4 ct)   2. 20 Box Cutters
  • Cone 3:  20 Bobby Hurleys   2. 20 Squat Jumps
  • Cone 4:  20 Flutter Kicks (4 ct)  2. 20 Gas Pumps

Mosey to the Admin Bldg Porch.  We will do run up steps on one side and down on the other ten times.

There will be a Water Cooler on a picnic table close to the Admin Bldg.  After drinking from the cooler, we will Indian Run to Area 51 via the roadway.  The man in front carries the water cooler and switches off to the man running from the back to catch him.

At Area 51 we will go to the shady eastern side of the Facilities Bldg.  We will do Doras with one partner doing exercises in shade while other partner runs to shaded area of parking lot that is east of the Facilities Bldg., does 10 Diamond Merkins, then runs back.  The partners then trade places.  Here are the exercises that each team does in the shaded area by the Facilities Bldg:

  • 100 Big Boy Sit-ups
  • 100 Carolina Dry Docks

Mosey south of the Facilities Bldg in shaded area towardthe Northshore Park Entrance Gate, then circle back and go around the Facilities Bldg toward the northern side of the bldg.  We will run through the grass to the perimeter trail as it head north.  Men will trade off carrying the Water Cooler in pairs as we run.  Next, we will run uphill toward the Admin Bldg, stopping at different shaded areas under trees to trade off who carries the water cooler.  Once at the roadway near the Admin Bldg, mosey to the AO.

Eight men with one FNG, Walker Higgins, whom we dubbed “Dog Paddle.”

God Is Perfect

Throughout time, the leaders of countries have promised their people great things.  But they mess up.  Every president of the United States runs on a campaign full of promises.  What happens to all of those promises?  Many are fulfilled but many are also broken.  In all other countries, the same things occur.  We search for a great leader, thinking of heroes like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, or Abraham Lincoln.  But if we look back at history closely, even these great men had their failures.  We look for heroes in this world, often times in sports figures or some person we see on television or read about that we think is awesome.  Then we read of their transgressions, their sins, and we are hurt because we realize these figures are not the people we had hoped they would be.  In our fallen and failing world, who do we look to?

Fortunately, as proclaimed in the first verse of Psalm 19, “the heavens declare the glory of God.”  He is the one we can look to for absolute perfection.  We humans mess things up, we pollute, we take from others, we falter.  But God does not fail.  That is good to know, good to count on when we think the world is just going to crumble.

Verses 7 through 9 of Psalm 19 speak of God’s perfection:

The law of the Lord is perfect,[c]
    reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
    making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
    enlightening the eyes;
 the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
the rules[d] of the Lord are true,
    and righteous altogether.

God, help me see and have faith in your perfection, your truth, your purity, your righteousness when human failings and my own shortcomings lead me to doubt.  Help me to trust in you.  Amen.
Prayers for our new member, Dog Paddle, whose wife has decided she wants to divorce him.
CSAUP at JUCO on July 2.

God’s Identity Papers

THE SCENE: 70s, clear but humid

20 Side Straddle Hops, 5 Burpees, 10 Mountain Climbers, 4 Burpees, 10 Twisties, 3 Burpees, 10 Windmills, 2 Burpees, 10 Tempo Merkins, 1 Burpee, Stretches
Mosey to parking lot close to the Brolympics Field.  Turn around about 1/3 of the way along the parking lot and Bernie Sanders to the curb. Mosey to the flat fields where we hold the Brolympics. There will be 8 cones set in a perpendicular line.  In single file we will serpentine between those 8 cones.  Then sprint to 2 cones set parallel to each other.  Do a broad jump at the imaginary line between those two cones.  Then bear crawl to the last cone.  Rinse and repeat two more times.

Run up to the Coliseum, stopping at the top of each hill to do 3 Burpees.

In the courtyard od the Coliseum we will do 20 American Hammers ans 20 Hello Dollies.

Next, we will run counterclockwise around the loop that goes by the Admin Bldg.  We will stop at each quarter to do the following exercises:

  • 1st quarter:  20 Diamond Merkins
  • 2nd quarter:  20 Calve Raises on Steps of Admin Bldg.
  • 3rd quarter:  20 Wide Merkins
  • 4th quarter:  20 Decline Merkins off benches in Coliseum Courtyard.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Mosey to bat cave.  We will run in a counterclockwise route stopping to do the following exercises at the following locations:

  • 20 Star Jumps at Bat Cave
  • 20 Carolina Drydocks at bottom of stairs.
  • 20 Incline Merkins on final summit od Mt. Everest.
  • 10 Dive Bombers at tip of summit.
  • Rinse and Repeat.

We will do 20 4 ct Baby Crunches.

Mosey to Rock Pile just below Coliseum.  Each man picks up a large rock.  Mosey with rock above head to next rock pile.  We will then do the following exercises with the rocks:

  • 20 Curls
  • 20 Overhead Presses
  • 20 Rows
  • 20 Chest Out Pushes

Mosey back to other rock pile and relace rocks

Mosey to nearest cone on Brolympics field.  We will Bear Crawl to parallel cones, then do a standing broad jump, then lunge to the next cone, then serpentine sprint between the last 8 cones.  Rinse and repeat.

Mosey to parking lot bt the Brolympics field.  We will sprint halfway down parking lot then Bernie Sanders to curb.  We will do the same thing back.  Then, mosey to AO.

We will do 20 Side Straddle Hops, then Bernie Sanders the length of the parking lot and sprint back.


13 men and one fine dog.

God’s Identity Papers
With the war in Ukraine, with the long list of public shootings occurring over the past two months, including those in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, with the inflation we are coping with in 2022, with the continuing Covid numbers that faded but now seem to be rising again, it is easy to lose sight of God.  We worry about the state of the world and continue to hear from news pundits and politicians about what should be done or, even more often, what isn’t being done.  God, where are you in this process?
Maybe this is a time when we should slow down . . . in order to allow our senses to hear God, to see Him, to feel Him, to taste and discover Him.  Where is He?
Let me read you a poem that my pastor, Shaun Slate told our congregation about.
I Wake Close To Morning by Mary Oliver
Why do people keep asking to see
God’s identity papers
when the darkness opening into morning
is more than enough?
Certainly any god might turn away in disgust.
Think of Sheba approaching
the kingdom of Solomon.
Do you think she had to ask,
“Is this the place?”

I am often guilty of failing to see God when the evidence is there before my very eyes.  The world spins in the same pattern daily, the days of the year remain the same, each season returns, the stars gaze at us from the sky, the birds in the air, the animals of the earth, the mountainous majesty, the waves of the ocean, all speak of the majesty of God.  Is it harder to believe when we see wars and shootings?  Maybe so.  But remember when Christ came to Earth over 2000 years ago?  What was the state of the world then?  Wasn’t their war and bloodshed then?  The Romans ruled much of Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia through a bloody and deadly war campaign.  The Romans were often vicious, using people as slaves, hanging people on crosses in public areas to remind people to fear the Roman Empire or else.  And Christ, the one who Christians like me believe is the loving representation of God, was hung by those very Romans on a cross for all to witness.  It was hard for Christ’s disciples to believe.  But Christ showed Himself to them.

Where is God in these uneasy times we face?  Allow God to show Himself to you.  His identity papers are all around us.  Let us open our eyes and see.

Prayers for all those impacted by the war in Ukraine and by the recent shootings in the United States.  Prayers for Steam’s safe travels to Kentucky next week and for all our brothers who are traveling.
F6 and Del Monte are performing in the musical, Something Rotten at the UT theatre.  F3 Knoxville has a convergence at Juco on July 2.

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THE SCENE: Blue skies, temp in low 80s.


Motivators, starting with seven.  10 twisties.  10 Cherry Pickers.  10 Windmills.  Michael Phelps and a Little of This and That.


Mosey to the southeastern corner of the Admin Bldg.  We will stop to do 20 Dead Bugs (4 count) and 20 Flutter Kicks (4 count).

Mosey to the parking lot that is east of the Utility Bldg.  We will do Doras.  While one partner runs to the other end of the parking lot and does 10 Merkins, the other partner works on the exercises.  Partners then switch.  Here are the exercise the partners do as a team:

  • 100 Iron Mikes (both legs = 1)
  • 100 Box Cutters
  • 100 Big Boy Sit-ups
  • 100 Bicycle Kicks (four count)

Mosey to the perimeter trail by the gate at Northshore and head north on the trail to the shady area past the Utility Bldg.  We will stop to do 20 Jump Squats and 40 Baby Crunches.

Next we will run north and then west on the perimeter trail.  We will run for 4 lights and lunge for one light, continuing that process until we reach the area where the trail splits.  We will stop there to do 20 Hello Dollies.

Next, we will run up Roadshow Run.  Men should do 10 calve raises at each set of steps and do 5 Burpees after each set of steps.  Those getting to the Bat Cave first should do Baby Crunches until the six arrives.

Slow Mosey and then Bernie to big tree that is northwest of Admin Bldg.  Then, sprint to parking lot.  Then slow mosey back to AO.

10 Squats, 20 Leg Raises.
15 men with an FNG whom we dubbed “Woodstop.”  His hospital name is Mac Whipple and he is the son of Rooney.



In F3 we talk about having each other’s back. We talk about connecting with our brothers in time of need.  To me, that is one of the beautiful things about F3.  I consider you guys my brothers and I know that if I am down, I could call on you and you would respond. I hope each of you know that you can call on us if you are in trouble and we will try to figure out a way to help.  I want to say something about this, however, as I don’t want anyone to have false expectations about what your brothers can give.

As a therapist, I have seen clients of mine make the mistake of making faulty presumptions about what good people can give them.  I have seen patients get injured, lose jobs that they were at for years, have life changes that put them in a bad place.  Certainly, after life altering injuries, these folks can use friends.  Some of these patients get mighty depressed . . . in their depression they may get hopeless . . . and, in their hopelessness they may get cynical.  I hear some of them say that they thought they had friends, but after their lives took a spiral downward, they found they had no friends.  They complain of no longer getting phone calls or visits from others.  They start thinking of people as selfish and cold.

While I believe that there are some self-interested and cold people out there, I also believe that those who say they have no friends, those who say people are disinterested, are themselves a major part of the problem.  They themselves are not responding to the people reaching out to them.  I have seen this difficulty occur not only with some patients in my practice but amongst a few brothers in F3.  When I reach out to brothers in a time of crisis or pain, how AM I RESPONDING to them?  That becomes critical if my brothers are going to help me.

First, when in need we should realize that our friends have lives of their own.  They are managing their jobs, their families, and lives that may be just as difficult as our own.  They cannot be there for us 24/7.  Respect that. Set up a time to meet with your friend.  Respect that he or she may be busy and may only have an hour or two for you.  Don’t always expect them to call on you.  They have other people to think about.  Call on them.  I remember living in Dallas and calling on my pastor at a time of great difficulty. He was a very fine man, someone I truly admired.  But, I also realized his time was limited.  We set up some time on a Tuesday night to speak to each other at a place of his convenience.  That hour I spent with him has stuck to my ribs to this very day.  I am so thankful for it.

Second, we need to realize how we are coming across to the people we call on.  Are we listening to what they have to say to us or are we just moving on with our own agenda?  Those we call on need to know that they are being responded to.  Why should they give their time to someone who shuns their advice, their coming to see us, their friendship?  If you’re depressed, you don’t need to be jumping for joy when they speak to you.  But, thank them for their time with us.  And, if you want them to continue to be there for you, listen to what they say.

Finally, show an interest in them.  I ask some of those complaining patients how their “friends” are doing.  They often don’t know.  When in need, it is natural to focus on ourselves, but don’t exclude others by taking no interest in them.  No matter how wounded we are, we can still care for others.  Heck, our pets DEMAND that we show interest in them.  I remember times when I was so sad or mad that I didn’t want to be bothered by anyone or anything.  Along would come Ol Jasper Dog, placing his paw on my knee and demanding to be petted.  I would think, you should be rubbing my head fella.  But, scratching his head or belly for a few minutes, I was usually feeling better.  The act of reaching out itself helps to cure us.

Finally, remember that while your friends have their own lives and cannot be in two places at once, God can be everywhere at once.  Call on your friends but also call on God.  He is Ever Present in our time of need.
Prayers for Pop A Top’s friend whose wife recently passed away; for the future mother-in-law of Steam whose cancer is now in remission but who is having a difficult time with radiation; for Pusher in his travels to the Philippines where he will visit for his father’s 85th birthday; and prayers of praise that Mr. Jinxy’s automobile accident related lawsuit settled.

Convergence on July 2 at JUCO.

We Choose What We Think

THE SCENE: Insert info about the weather, etc.

25 Side Straddle Hops, 10 Mountain Climbers, 10 Windmills, 5 Baby Arm Circles Forward and 5 Wide Arm Circles Forward, 5 Baby Arm Circles and 5 Wide Arm Circles Backward, 10 Twisties.

Mosey to the Pavilion.  We will do a Pyramid of Bench Pull Ups and Decline Merkins, starting with 10 of each, then 15 of each, then 20 of each, then back to 15 of each and finally 10 of each. 

Mosey towards by the pitching cages near the ball fields and down to the start of the Cardiac.  We will do 20 American Hammers.  Next we will run to the second curve of Cardiac.  There will be a cone farther up cardiac as the trail approaches the benches.  We will go on the grass to that cone by alternating between 10 Count Bear Crawls and 10 Count Lunges until we reach the cone.  Then we will do 25 Bench Dips at the benches. 

Mosey on the trail towards Lyons Bend.  We will stop on the trail as it turns towards Lyons Bend and do 20 Flutter Kicks and 20 Hello Dollies in the grass.  We will then run on the trail as it approaches the entrance to the park on Lyons Bend. Before we get there we will see a cone in the grassy field.  We will go to that.  

Men will split into teams of two.  We will do Doras. While one team member runs uphill toward the roadway and touches the tree by the roadway, the other team member will do exercises.  When one partner comes back, the other does the exercises.  Each team will do the following exercises:

  • 100 Merkins
  • 100 Squat Jumps
  • 100 Big Boy Sit-ups
  • 100 Iron Mikes (both feet forward = 1)
  • 100 Raised Legs Toe Touches

Mosey back to trail and then go to the beginning of Roadshow Run.  We will stop to do 25 Dead Bugs (four count) and 50 Baby Crunches.  We will then run up Roadshow Run and stop at the bat cave.  However, we will do 3 Burpees after climbing each set of steps to the bat cave (there are three sets).  Those getting to the bat cave will do Baby Crunches until the six arrives.

Mosey to the front porch of the Admin Bldg.  We will run around the sidewalk loop stopping at each quarter of the loop to do exercises.  Here are the exercises at each quarter:

  • South quarter:  25 Carolina Dry Docks
  • Benches at Coliseum:  25 Bench Dips
  • North Quarter:  25 Bobby Hurleys
  • Steps of Admin Bldg.:  25 Calve Raises
  • Rinse and Repeat.

Mosey to Haslam Boulder.  We will do 20 Squats.

Mosey to AO.

We will line up along the curb of one end of the parking lot.  We will Sprint to the other end and sprint back.  We will then Bernie Sanders to the other end and back.  We will then Skip to the other end and back.  We will then Sprint there and back.
13 Men, no FNGs.

We Chose What We Think

Since this is the end of May, a time of graduations and commencement addresses, I thought I would examine a commencement address that might teach me some lessons about life.  I had heard of a famous commencement address by the American writer David Foster Wallace that was given to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College.  I listened to the speech, found it to be a very good one, and indeed learned some valuable life lessons.  I then found out that David Foster Wallace committed suicide three years after he gave the commencement address.  And, I thought, how much credence can my brothers and I give to life lessons taught by someone who has committed suicide?  I talked to my wife, Jan, about it.  She reminded me of a wonderful phrase by Bryan Stevenson in his book, Just Mercy:  “A man is so much more than the worst thing he has ever done.”  Another thing Jan said to me, and this is also very true: “People often write about what they aspire to be versus what they are”. With those proclamations in mind, here are some of the lessons I learned from David Foster Wallace’s commencement address to Kenyon College:

  1. We have the freedom to think and what we chose to think about is of the utmost importance.  How we interpret data is important.  Two men can hear the same truth, yet have very different interpretations of it.  Wallace, who I do not believe was a fan of any particular denomination of faith, used the example of a religious person and an atheist speaking to one another.  In explaining his disbelief in God, the atheist commented that he put faith to the test one time in a snowstorm and what happened showed there is no God.  It was such a bad snowstorm that he yelled out, “God, if you are truly there, save me from this snowstorm”.  He said God did not come to him.  The religious man replied, “now wait a minute, you lived through the snowstorm, your being here is proof.  Doesn’t that show God exists?”  The atheist said, “I lived but it was because of a man on a snow sled led by a pack of dogs that found me.”  Brothers, we choose how to think.  We chose how to interpret the truths before us.
  2. What we choose to think about, what we choose to focus on applies to the mundane portions of everyday life.  Wallace talked about the long drive home from work.  You can get upset about the traffic jam, the noise, and the pollution.  You can scream at the guy who just cut you off as you were trying to shift your car into a faster moving lane.  You can be annoyed by the massive gas guzzling car in front of you, spitting out fumes and eating up precious fuel resources.  Yet, you can also contemplate what you want to do for your family when you get home.  You can think that maybe the guy who cut in front of you is just as anxious to get home to his family as you are to yours.  You can think about the possibility that the guy in the massive car perhaps wanted to get a larger car to carry his kids around in and keep them safe.  You can even see the roadway as a beautiful picture of fellow humans, making their way home after a hard day at work.  You have the choice.
  3. With our freedom to think we can choose what we worship.  We can worship money and never have enough.  We can worship power and continually drive to have more.  We can worship the intellect and castigate those not as brilliant as we are while somehow wondering if we, with our college educations, are actually frauds.  We chose what we worship.

David Foster Wallace, I don’t know the reasons for your suicide.  Perhaps some of the life lessons you spoke of in your commencement speech were not embedded enough in your psyche.  You aspired for what you wrote about but you were not yet there.  But, this fellow here in Knoxville thanks you for those lessons.  I have the freedom to think and I will choose to try to follow those lessons.  I choose to think about good and purposeful things.  I will try to remember to do so even during the mundane moments of life.  And, I will choose what to worship . . . and what I choose to worship is God, the God of love, the God of mercy, the God of all existence.

Prayers for the families and people impacted by the school shootings in Buffalo, NY and Uvalde, TX.  Prayers for those planting flags at the Veterans and for all Veterans who have served our country.  Prayers for F6 in his search for a new job.
Flag planting this morning at the grave sites of all Veterans buried at the Veterans Cemetary across the street from the Asylum.  Rampart Launch this Monday at 7 am.  Some of us are meeting at the Starbucks at Northshore near Pellisippi Parkway at 6 am on Monday and will Clown Car to the Rampart AO shortly thereafter.

Wondering Where The Lions Are

THE SCENE: Sunny and warm, temp in low eighties.

20 Side Straddle Hops, 10 Burpees, 10 Twisties, 10 Rockettes, 10 Cherry Pickers, 10 Little Baby to Big Wide Arm Circles Forward and 10 Backward

We will mosey past the stop sign at the northeast corner of the Admin Bldg and go to the grassy area by the perimeter trail.  We will do 20 Flutter Kicks in the grass.  Next, will run west on the perimeter trail, stopping every ten lights to do ten of each of the following exercises.  Those arriving to the tenth light first will rinse and repeat until the six has done ten of each exercise.  Here are the exercises for each tenth light:

  • Merkins, Big Boys
  • Squat Jumps, Lunges (each leg = 1)
  • Carolina Dry Docks, Hello Dollies

Next, we will run to Area 51.  Stop at the area by the parking lot on the right.  We will split into teams of two.  While one team member does an exercise, the other runs to the curb at the end of area 51, does 10 jump squats, and runs back.  The partners then switch.  When each partner had done an exercise twice, they shift to the next exercise.  Here are the exercises:

  • Gas pumps
  • Rocky Balboas
  • Diamond Merkins
  • Iron Mikes

Next, we will run up the hill above Area 51 to roadway above the big tree.  Those getting there first will do bench dips until the six arrives.

Mosey to AO by running to gravel parking lot area, walking along the parking lot area, then running to AO.

Next we will do sprints to sign by parking lot and slow job back to where we started.  Repeat sprints three more times.  Then slow jog back to AO.


35 Baby Crunches
15 showing, no FNGs.
Wondering Where The Lions Are

Have you heard or do you remember the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den from the Bible?  Daniel was a Jew who was serving Darius, the King of Babylon or Prussia.  Daniel was an excellent administrator and King Darius liked him.  The other administrators and officials of King Darius were jealous of him.  They did know how strongly he worshipped his God.  They planned a scheme where , supposedly to celebrate the king, they convinced King Darius to issue a decree that any person in the kingdom who prayed to or worshipped any God or human for the next 30 days, other than King Darius, should be thrown in a Lion’s Den.  Daniel worshipped his God daily and continued to do so after the decree.  Caught, he was thrown in the Lions Den.  The next morning King Darius rushed to the den to find Darius alive, the ferocious lions acting tamely beside him.  King Darius, who cared for and admired Daniel then proclaimed:

“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and he endures forever”.

As a psychologist, I see many people who suffer from anxiety.  I recently had my first session with a mid-thirties woman who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (anxiety that occurs after one suffers from a trauma), Social Anxiety (anxiety about being in social situations), and Agoraphobia (condition where a person panics if they leave their household). Ten years ago, she could hardly leave her home without breaking down. She even had difficulty answering phone calls, too anxious to talk to strangers.  Fortunately, she met a therapist who helped her out. He talked to her about how anxiety can be incredibly crippling but that some anxiety can be gradually overcome through something called exposure therapy.  If people, who have been frightened in the past, can expose themselves to the situation they fear and see that nothing disastrous happens, the anxiety can, over time, decrease.  He used a metaphor with my patient.  He said if we were to open a door and have a ferocious lion attack us, we would be very frightened of ever opening that door again, even if the lion was taken away and people tried to rationally convince us there was no lion there anymore.  We may panic trying to open the door and our hearts might pound like crazy.  But, each day, if we continued to open the door and see that no lion was there, we would gradually be less anxious about doing it.  We might not ever fully wipe out the anxiety but we would be better off.  That is what has happened to this lady.  She still gets nervous when going into public settings but can now do so.  And she wants to continue that process so that in the future, she will be even better at it.

In life, we face difficult and challenging situations.  We get burned sometimes in these situations or we fail at them.  We then fear trying similar situations.  We worry about the consequences.  We worry that we can’t face up to the situation.  But, if we can expose ourselves to the challenging situations and learn from them, we grow.  If we can trust that God is on our side, we can tame the lions we fear.

One of my favorite songwriters, Bruce Cockburn, wrote a song that talks about the ecstasy that comes with belief in God and His eternity.  He also talks about about how fear is diminished with the knowledge of this belief.  I will finish my message with some lines from that song which is entitled, “Wondering Where the Lions Are”:

Sun’s up . . . looks okay
The world survives into another day
And I’m thinking ’bout eternity
Some kinda ecstasy got a hold on me

I had another dream about lions at the door
They weren’t half as frightening as they were before
But I’m thinking ’bout eternity
Some kinda ecstasy got a hold on me.

And I’m wondering where the lions are
I’m wondering where the lions are
I’m wondering where the lions are.


Prayers for safe travels for Pusher and Rusty on their vacation.  Prayers for Thunderstruck and his family after the death of his mother.
CSAUP tomorrow night at Haw Ridge, 9 pm.