Category: my life

I am excited about a few things:

  • we have had one or 2 students complete B90X with me and we are starting it again
  • I am going to start journaling as I spend time reading through Proverbs for my personal study time
  • things are going really well both physically and ministry wise right now

I started this new series after completing my goal of losing 100lbs.  So why a new series and not just continuing the journey to 100?  Since I have completed my goal I thought it was time for something new and something that focuses on the spiritual and not just the physical…bot or hugely important and spiritual health is way more important than physical health.  Don’t get me wrong physical health is very important but spiritual health trumps it.  It would be easy to think I’m all about fun and games and physical accomplishments but I’m really not.  While I like to have fun and love accomplishing things physically I enjoy a good theological conversation far more.  I always have hands down.  So I’m hoping to bring that to the mix this time around as well.

I worked out hard this week but I don’t think I ate enough and so it’s reflected in my weigh-in this week.  Overall though things are going really well working out.  I crave going to the gym now.  I used to look forward to going to the gym and it’s now one of my favorite things to do again – which I am excited about!


Last update: 290
This week: 286

4 pounds is 4 pounds and I’m proud of it.  Down one more notch on the belt again.  It has definitely been a confidence booster.  I’m looking forward to summer – I’m hoping to be lighter than I was as a sophomore in college.  I’m glad to be able to be a better steward of the temple God has given me – spiritually and physically.


I am pretty excited about the progress I am making in my journey to lose some weight.  More people are starting to come up and tell me how they can see that I am losing weight.  Honestly that feels pretty good!  I’m doing this for ME though.  For years I have put others first and have not taken care of myself as far as being in shape.

I am excited this week though.  As of yesterday I am officially down 2 pant sizes and 1 shirt size.  I was needing some motivation and that’s just what I needed to keep it up.  Now that I can really start to see the fruits of my labor I am wanting to achieve my goal of 80 pounds lost by summer.  I think I’m going to reach it easily actually.  I am just pretty excited about all of it.

Some of you have been prayng for me as I do this and I GREATLY appreciate it.   your continued prayer through this is also greatly appreciated.

I just got back from working out today. I thought for sure this would be a bad week since I have been fighting with shin splints and not able to do as much on the treadmill.  It wasn’t a great week but it wasn’t bad either.  I ran for 10 minutes yesterday and for 5 today.  It’s slow progress but still progress.

Last week’s weight = 367

This week’s weight = 363

That’s a 4 pound loss this last week and 37 pounds lost in 5 weeks.  I think it’s going pretty good for now.  I’m looking forward to bumping up my cardio this week now that my shin splints are gone.  I did also fudge on a few snacks this week so hopefully next weigh-in will have a  better number.

journey to 100: weigh-in 4

I missed two days of workouts this week.  I missed Sunday becuase of our Super Bowl Party.  I didn’t go in Wednesday because I was drained from the week.  I hadn’t been sleeping very good but got it figured out that it was becuase I was getting home around 11pm from my workouts and my body was too wired to go to sleep.  So I switched to morning workouts and now I’m sleeping like a rock again.

I have been eating a little more this week – basically making sure I get my snacks in to hit 2100-2300 calories in my day.  I have also been drinking a little more water.  I was a little worried about stepping on the scale this morning when I got home from working out.  I just wish I hadn’t missed those two days this week.

Here  are my last 4 weigh-ins starting with the first;

  • 400 (starting weight) [technically doesn’t count as a ‘weigh-in’
  • 390 (1st ‘official’ weigh-in  working out)
  • 380 (2nd week)
  • 374 (this past Saturday)
  • 367 today.  That’s 7 pounds this week and I MISSED 2 DAYS!  I’m pretty excited about this.

Total weight lost to date: 33 pounds in 4 weeks.

I would say things are going alright with my weight loss so far.  I’m hoping for a double digit week this week.

my banner

This is the banner that New Hope had made for me.  I thought it was a really cool idea.  It’s now hanging in my office here at Bethel.

Today I’m starting to fill the rest of my boxes.  Tomorrow night I will take all of the rest of my stuff out of my office to my apartment to be loaded on the truck Saturday night.  This is an exciting time but also a sad time for me.  Tonight we are having a b-b-q as a final chance for the students to say goodbye to me if they want to.  I’m sure it will be emotional and bittersweet.

I will definitely miss New Hope and the things God has allowed me to be apart of here.  Some things I will miss and some things I won’t.  It’s funny how the rumors have been going around since I announced my resignation.  Here are a few;

  • I was going to be asked to resign anyway
  • I was being forced out
  • I am leaving becuase of the merger
  • I can’t get along with anybody

I find it funny these things are going around and for the record they are all FALSE.  Are there things i wish were different?  Sure.  But I will run into the same thing no matter where I go.  Are they things that are worth resigning over?  Nope.  I am leaving simply becuase God is leading me to Newell.  I know some people (possibly even some who read this) will choose to believe otherwise and it’s simply not true.

I am grateful for being here over the past 6 years.  I am grateful for the things God has allowed me to be stretched through and the things I have grown through.  Leaving will be tough but that’s when you know you’ve put everything you have into something.  When it hurts the most.

Candidating weekend…

On May 8 I left for a 4 day candidating weekend with Bethel Baptist in Newell.  It was quite the weekend.  Thursday night I had dinner with the junior high leaders.  Friday morning I had a 3 hour meeting with the deacons.  Friday night I hung out with the young adults group.  Saturday bright and early I had a meeting with the church board then went to lunch at Gary’s house.  Saturday night I did an event with the students where I lead worship, gave my testimony and played dodge ball and some other games with them.  I had a blast.  Sunday morning I had a question and answer time during Sunday School and then preached the sermon during the service.  After that I went out to lunch with a few families and then hit the road to come back to Ogallala.

Can you say exhausting?  The weekend was just one big whirlwind.  Overall I felt it went really good.  The board had to meet that Monday night to decide whether or not to bring me in front of the church for the “official” vote.  It was unanimous to go ahead and let the church vote on whether or not to “call” me as their next youth pastor.

The vote was May 18.

I received a call at 12:30pm on May 18 from the chairman of their search team telling me the vote was approved by 95% and they were calling me to come and be there next youth pastor.  I hung up and called my family first.  They are all pretty excited I’ll be back in Iowa.  Then Eric (our sp) called and I told him the news.   He then called our board and I started the process of telling everyone this past week.

  • I told our students on Wednesday.  There was a lot of weeping and some went away mad at me.  I understand.  It’s all part of the grieving process.    I was glad to be able to tell them first.
  • I told Celebrate Recovery Thursday night.  Nothing like dropping a bombshell.
  • I told our congregation Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

This is a really bittersweet thing for me.  I am excited about starting a new phase of my ministry in Newell and am excited about being closer to my family.  I am sad to leave Ogallala.  I have grown a lot over the past 6 years and really feel like this is really just an extended family here.  I know God is in this as it has been so clear to me.  So what’s next?

I’m finishing boxing up my stuff so I can load up and be ready to leave THIS Sunday after church.  Then Monday @ 9am I head out to Arkansas on a mission trip with the high school students at Bethel.

So after my phone call with Jay I sent my resume in.  I really didn’t think I had much of a chance at getting the position.  However I am a firm believer that if it looks life God is opening a door you need to get in the doorway and look around.  This is exactly what I did…and what God did as a result has blown my mind.

I sent my resume in on January 21.  A few weeks after sending it in I received an email asking if I would fill out there pastoral candidate questionnaire and send back my personal doctrinal statement as well.  So I took a few weeks and did the questionnaire and the doctrinal statement and sent them in.   The questionnaire gave me the chance to be brutally honest about my past and any hangups I have had in life.  So I was brutally honest thinking if anything it might disqualify me.  A week after I sent that in I got a phone call telling me they wanted a phone interview.  I was floored.   At this point it was explained to me that Jay didn’t want anything to do with the process (as far as it concerned me) until he absolutely had to.  He didn’t to taint or sway the search team’s opinion of me.  As he put it, “I already like you and know what you’re capable of.  They need to find this out on their own.  If this is going to be from God they have to agree on you without my opinion.”  I agreed.

So I went through my phone interview.  I felt it went really well.  The next morning in my “inbox” I had an email from them telling me they wanted a face to face interview.    It was at this point that I told Eric (our senior pastor) about the whole ordeal.  I explained to him my reasons for sending my resume in and that I wasn’t unhappy at New Hope.  In fact I really like working here.  I really do.  I told him that I just wanted to be obedient and see this through to see if God was really in this.  He even agreed to be a reference for me.  So I compiled my list of references and sent them to their team so they could check my references before the face to face.  I got word back that they didn’t have one bad reference and honestly it was kind of shocking to them that all my references had nothing but good things to say about me.

So I left for Newell, IA on April 11 for my face to face that night.  It went really well (I thought).  I got up the next morning and made the 7 hours trip back to Ogallala to be back in time to lead worship.  It was a quick trip.  I got word the following week that it was unanimous that the search committee would be telling the church board that they were recommending to bring me out to candidate.

It’s still a little surreal to think that I am moving away from Ogallala at the end of this week.  I wasn’t looking for a new job but sometimes God has this way of moving you where he wants you.  Some seasons are longer than others and I full well know that.  So some are asking me, “How did this happen?  Why Iowa?”

So here’s my story…

About 5 years ago I met Jay Lindstrom.  He was the youth pastor at the E-Free Church in Sidney, NE.  Jay and I met through our pastors cluster meeting we have once a month.  Being youth pastors we had an instant bond.   Over the years we called each other.  Met for lunch and prayed for each others ministries.  We even did a few ski retreats together where he would teach and I would lead worship.  It was always a great time working with Jay.   Two years ago Jay moved to Bethel Baptist in Newell, IA.  We continued to keep in contact with each over the last 1.5-2 years as we always did.

Shortly after moving to Newell the youth pastor at Bethel had resigned leaving the position vacant since.  So I have actually known for over a year that this position was open and available and never once thought about applying for it.  I was traveling to my parents this past Christmas break when I got a call from Jay while driving through Des Moines.  We talked about various things.  Life.  Family.  Work.  Never once did we talk about me applying for this position.  (This is an important piece of information).  I got to my parents and they asked if I would ever think about moving back to Iowa and told them, “If I knew of a position available and I thought I would be a good fit I would apply.”  I woke up the next morning and shared my phone call with my dad and began to wonder if this was God opening a door for me to be closer to me family.

I went through periods of guilt thinking about sending my resume in so I prayed about it for a month.  I overheard a conversation one day in a car about having your resume out and seeing if God would want you to stay where you are or go.   This gave me a huge peace about the whole process.  When I got home that night I called Jay.

When I talked with him he shared 2 things with me that blew me away;

  • that him and his wife had been praying since December that if God wanted me in Newell that I would initiate it becuase Jay felt like he shouldn’t call me and pull me out from under my current church.  I completely respect that.
  • that he and their associate pastor had a conversation that morning (the morning of the day I called Jay) where Gary (the associate pastor) asked Jay if he knew of anyone he would like to apply for the job and Jay told him about me and the fact that he didn’t want to call and ask me to consider applying for the job.  So Gary told Jay they should pray about it together that morning.  Which they did.

When he told me this on the phone I was blown away.  It was pretty clear to me at that point that I should send my resume in and see where God would lead.  Little did I know the things that God would do…

6 years ago I move to Ogallala, NE to be the youth pastor at Faith Evangelical Free Church.  I felt like I had to world by it’s tail. i was walking into an established student ministry.  Most of the leaders were staying on staff as I transitioned in.  The students were really receptive.  The honeymoon period came and went.   Gaining people’s trust is never an easy thing.  I found that out quickly.  There was some still being felt about the “other guy” resigning as I came on board.

Over the first year and a half I grew to love Faith E-Free and the people of it.   What were once thoughts of leaving were far far from my mind.  I felt accepted and loved and I was gaining the trust of my leaders and the other staff.

6 years ago I never would have even dreamed about leaving here.  My parents would often ask, “Would you ever move back to Iowa.”  The first few years I always told them no.  Sometimes they would say, “You never know what God has in store for you though.”  They were right.  You never know.

God always has a funny way of getting you where he wants you in life.  More on this in the next post…