Category: spiritual health


I have been spending the past few days in my Proverbs journal for my devotions then I read a chapter from Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson.  I am challenged all around right now.  While Provers gives daily wisdom Wild Goose Chase is challenging my to step out of my cage and go after the God-given desires of my heart – because no one else can chase them for me….only I can chase them for myself.  It has really been a great book.  I am going to recommend it to a few people (probably loan it out)  when I get done with it.  It’s so good.  The ‘wild goose’ is the Holy Spirit which is the English translation of what the Celtic-Christians call the holy Spirit  ‘An Geadh-Glas’ which translates ‘the wild goose.’  I love Marks candor in the book.  Mark is the Pastor of the National Community Church in Washington, DC.  Once I am done with the book I will give a full review on it – but for now I don’t want to spoil the book other than to say it is good – really good.

The one thought I have really been challenged with was when Mark was talking about the parable of the ‘Good Samaritan.’  Here is what he said;

Hurry kills everything from compassion to creativity.  And when you’re in a hurry, you don’t have time to get out of your routine, do you?  No room for Spirit-led spontaneity.  No time for Wild Goose chases.  Here is the great irony: the priest and the Levite were probably on their way to the temple.  They were so busy loving God that they didn’t have time to love their neighbor.  And that is when our routines become counterproductive.  Let’s be honest.  We can get so busy doing “ministry” that we don’t have time for ministry.

This is so true.  I’ve seen it in my own life over the past 6 months.  I have been asked to do things and have become so busy doing “ministry” that I have forgotten to do ministry.  God has really been convicting me of that big time.  So I made a phone call and apologized for not being as proactive as I should have been in some things that I said I would do.  There is freedom in forgiveness and freedom in seeking forgiveness.  How have you gotten so busy doing “ministry” that you haven’t been able to do ministry or have become so STUCK in your routine and so GUARDED with your time that you have blocked things that God wants for you?  I know I have but I am trying hard to undo those things.

I am looking forward to journaling through Proverbs and finishing the Wild Goose Chase over the coming weeks.  There is something more satisfying than pursuing spiritual fitness than physical.  Without both we will die though – that’s something to think about.

I joined our gyms ‘Winter Meltdown’ this past week.  It’s a 12 week contest to lose weight and get in shape for summer.  The winner gets the entry fees from four different Anytime Fitness clubs in the area.  Honestly even if I don’t win I’m already a winner.  It will definitely help keep me motivated to drop the rest of the weight I want to lose by summer.  I’m down another 4lbs this week.  That’s pretty exciting for me.

What’s even more exciting is pursuing God the way He wants me to.

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!

Stats…

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 have been wanting to keep updating my blog audience of my progress with my getting back into shape.  Since I completed my goal of losing 100lbs I didn’t want to keep blogging about my journey to 100.  So I have been giving it some thought lately and I’ve decided to blog once a week, or every other week, about living healthy both spiritually and physically.  I will still be giving updates on weight-loss but I am also planning on sharing Scriptural thoughts on living healthy spiritually.  I have no idea what it’s going to look like yet – but this is a new series for 2010 and I’m sure it will develop through the year as I go.

My goal for fitness this year is to drop another 60lbs from where I’m at then re-evaluate how I feel/ where I’m at and go from there.  Spiritually I am planning on doing the B90X program a few times this year.  I would like to do it through at lest twice.  I’m really looking forward to that actually.

So here’s where I’m at physically:

Last update: 298
This week: 290

Total: 111 (since January 17 2009)

I feel really good about the 8 pound drop.  My last update was about 3 weeks ago.  The week of New Years Eve I went back to my parents and ate…and ate…I did ok but man I ate a ton.  This past week I’ve been sick with the flu and an abscessed tooth so I’ve just mainly had soups all week.  I love soup but I am really looking forward to moving away from soup this next week.

So here we go on a new year long series of living healthy: spiritually and physically.

I wrote a post a few days ago on how my singleness hit me like a ton of bricks one night last week while I was driving home from working out.  I have had some really good discussions from it.  Both through my blog and through email – even a few in person.  So I thought I would do a post on my response to singleness.

Right now I’m really enjoying my singleness.  Do I have a desire to be married with kids someday?  Sure I do – but I have come to the realization that it will happen when God is ready for it to happen for me.  I’m ok with being single.  Last Wednesday night completely caught me by surprise.  I wasn’t ready for it and didn’t see it coming.  My post wasn’t aimed at anything in all honesty.  It wasn’t a response to anything besides my desire and what was frustration last Wednesday night.  I’m really ok with where I am at.

Singleness is a gift and a curse all wrapped up in one.  As singles there are times we really love being single and there are times we really don’t.  The thing about singleness is that it’s not about us.  It’s completely about God and what he wants for us.  God will call some of us to be single and some of us to be married.  For those of us he calls to be single it’s not because he’s punishing us – it’s just that he knows we’re more effective for him single than we would be married.  We have to come to a place where we are comfortable with that.  Honestly I’m there.

On the whole attraction thing.  Attraction comes in various forms.  It isn’t based solely in the physical appearance of a person at all.  Someone can be unattractive physically by the worlds standards but yet be attractive becuase of their walk with Christ.  For me when I first meet a girl who is attractive physically I pray and ask God to make her unattractive to me until I get to know her for who she is in Christ.  I know it sounds odd but when you find the true beauty of a person in their identity with Christ the beauty they hold is far more beautiful than anything that a physical attraction can bring.  Does that mean I don’t ind girls attractive physically?  Not at all – but it does help me keep things in check.  The physical aspect does play a part in why I am back to working out and trying to get into shape again.  I’m doing it more for me but I know it will also help down the road in relationships.  It is superficial but it is what it is.  I have to struggle through these things myself and I’m not void of them.

I like the freedom singleness brings but at the same time I look forward to a day to have a spouse who fully supports me in the ministry I have.  I look forward to someone cheering me on and vice versa.  I’m not focused on it though.  God will work how he chooses when he chooses to.  I know that.  I’ve been through enough and have seen God do enough really amazing things to know that he can make anything happen – and he will because he is God!  He can do that.

I’m reminded of Pauls words in 1 Corinthians 7:32-34,

” I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him.  But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife.  His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit.  But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.”

I want to be concerned about God’s work and what he wants me to do.  I need it to be a discipline of my life.  I don’t want anything to take away from that.  Granted Paul isn’t trying to say marriage is bad at all.  He’s just pointing out the obvious.  There are so many more things to be concerned about in a marriage with a family.  Right now I get to be concerned about God’s work and his will for me with little or no interruption – for the most part.  I’m ok with that.

One resource that I found a year or two ago is Boundless.  Boundless is an online singles resource and ministry of Focus on the Family.  Don’t let that fool you – it is incredible.  So much wisdom and the articles are not cheesy.  I absolutely love it.  It’s helping me to become a better man who is striving to be Godly as well.  Don’t get me wrong while I’m content with where I am at in my singleness – I am currently studying and reading books on becoming a better man both in my relationship with God, others and yes – even girls.  Right now I’m reading Elisabeth Elilliot’s The Mark of a Man: Following Christ’s Example of Masculinity.’ It has been a great book and is really stretching me.

I’m in a good spot and I do have some amazing friends and I tell them that.  Sometimes I think they think I’m odd for telling them that – but it is what it is.  I like to give verbal encouragement.  I guess that’s my love language.

I love where I’m at.  I love chasing God.  I’m really in a good spot.

a prayer…

God I come to you recognizing I can do nothing on my own.  Even when I try – I try knowing full well I can’t do anything aside from you.  So why do I try?  I try in my flesh because deep down I think I can do life on my own.  Deep down my will is too strong.  I know you’ve been breaking it – 33 years and counting you’ve been breaking it.

I know I have come so far form where I was.  I am closer to where you want me – closer – just not where you want me.  Or is this where you want me?  In a position to full and whole-heartedly depend on you even through my failures…I want to be moldable and teachable.  Break my will.  Make me into the Godly guy you want me to be – whatever the cost.  Even through pains and heartaches – continue to break me.  Continue to mold me.

I love you more than anything – or at least that’s what I tell myself.  How am I really doing with that?  I know I don’t love you sometimes like I should…help me with that.  Draw me close to you.  Pull me up into your lap never letting me go.  Break me.  Mold me.  Comfort me.  Bring into my life the things you see fit and take the things that aren’t fit for me.

Thanks for loving me the way you do.  I know I don’t make it easy.  Still – you love me.  Keep pulling me – drawing me ever closer until I turn into the man you see in me.

 

IMG_3071

Major boost of energy today.  B90X has got nothing on me – I’m owning this thing left and right.

b90x: day 1

Today was the first day of b90x for me.  I absolutely loved it.  Read from Genesis 1:1 – Genesis 16:16 today.  It only took me about 45 minutes to complete it.  Last night at BSM I challenged our students to do it with me.  We’ve now got about 6 students who have committed to doing this along with me.  I even convinced our staff to do it.  Now I’ve got some guys through Twitter and Facebook who are doing it as well.  After talking with Jay I think once we complete it (should be around January 20) we are going to challenge Bethel to do it and do it along with them.   It’s never too late to start.

The whole Bible in 90 days.

Here’s the chart. If you’re doing it let me know.

note takers bible

IMG_3070

This past weekend I decided to break down and buy another Bible.  It’s not that I don’t have one – I do.  In fact I have about 12 of them.  Maybe more…probably more.  This past Friday I bought a Bible that I’ve been wanting for a while now.  It’s the NIV Noteworthy Bible.  So far I love it.  One page is full of text and the opposite page is blank for taking notes/ journaling.  I’m looking forward to read through and making notes/ journaling.  I traveled with a guy to Poland and he was explaining to me how he marks in the margins and takes about 2 years to get through a Bible – then he wraps it and gives to to one of his kids for graduation.  I thought that was a pretty cool idea.

So although I’m not married and I don’t have kids – I’m starting now.  It’s a great idea.

This past week our pastoral staff went to the RHMA Pastors Conference.  The them was “Seeking Revival in Rural America.”  Overall it was pretty good.  I will be posting a few different posts on the pros and cons of the conference form my perspective.  The two heavy hitter keynote speakers were Dr. Henry Blackaby and Dr. Walter Kaiser.  Both men are amazingly brilliant – there is no doubt about that.  My favorite was Kaiser by far though.  I think that comes from the story I have from the conference about hanging out with him…I will share that in a post on it’s own.

The really cool thing about the conference was their bookstore.  Almost all of the books were 50% off and some 75% off.  It was amazing.  I walked away with some great books for $60!  Below is the list of books I bought for $60.  Seriously.  I still can’t believe it.

The Messiah In The Old Testament – Kaiser

Revive Us Again – Kaiser (he actually gave us all this one for free)

What Does The Lord Require: A Guide for Preaching and Teaching Biblical Ethics – Kaiser

Is God on America’s Side – Lutzer

Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire: What Happens When God’s Sprit Invades the Hearts of His People – Cymbala

Fresh Encounter: God’s Pattern for Spiritual Awakening – Blackaby & King

Future Israel: Why Christian Anti-Judaism Must Be Challenged – Horner

Future Grace: The Purifying Power of Living By Faith – Piper

Your Ministry’s Next Chapter: Restoring the Passion of the Mid-Career Pastor – Fenton

I’m pretty excited about reading them all.  Man it’s going to take me a while to get through these.

This weekend we went to Dare 2 Share and had an amazing time.  Our students had a blast as we learned about becomin ‘invincible’ and putting on the armor of God.  They used a lot of the imagery from ‘Iron Man’ throughout the conference and it was awesome.  I think all of our students are taking the 5 Friend Challenge – in trying to share their faith with at least 5 of the non-believing friends.

One of our girls was at Wal-Mart today with her mom and her mom ‘dared’ her to go over to this random guy and share the Gospel with him.  So she did AND he accepted Christ right there in Wal-Mart!  How cool is that?  God is already using our students to reach Buena Vista County one life at a time.  So cool to see this happening.

Of course the highlight of the weekend for me was the youth leader training by Greg.  He talked about how we can help our students live out and share the Gospel with their friends and how it HAS to start with us as leaders.   If we aren’t actively sharing the Gospel then our students won’t either!  That is so true.   After the training I went up and talked to Greg and introduced myself to him as the guy who wrote a post about having a ‘man crush’ on him.  It was great to meet someone that I really admire.  The cool thing is that I have a few friends who know him so we talked about our connections with them as well.  The coolest thing about Greg is that he is down to earth.

I am excited to see what God does with our students as we move from here.