Saturday, November 8, 2014

You are what you eat....

I want to preface this entire post by saying I am not preaching or condemning those that make choices differently than mine. I am simply thinking out loud through my writing (Typing Out Loud). I have always found writing to be therapeutic and wish I could get back to doing so more often.

Physically

     It has been scientifically proven that what you ingest becomes one with your body. Even common sense will tell you that. Does everything you ingest come out of you? No. Your body absorbs much of it. Sure our bodies are designed to emit waste which we do through sweat, urine, feces. That is why I do not follow the whole IIFYM theory.
     As many of you know 2014 has been a year where I have intentionally dedicated to be a more healthy individual. Exercising regularly and eating better. Back to the IIFYM, I know many people that follow this ideology and they eat pies, candy, ice cream...well whatever they want so long as it fits within their daily macros. Those same individuals are fit and healthy and the evidence shows. However, I would rather eat some vegetables that contain "my macros" than putting in junk. Just my preference. The truth remains that we are what we eat. So those calories and nutrients are better off ,in my opinion, to come from healthy sustainable foods rather than the other.

Emotionally

     When you are around individuals emotionally distraught or in a bad place it will creep into your own. I am not saying we should not be there as a support system for our friends and family. We just need to be aware of this and be sure we also have emotionally stable and sound individuals in our lives to feed our own emotions in a positive way. Other studies have shown that you become the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Physically, emotionally, financially, etc. The list goes on.

Spiritually

     What are you feeding your Spirit with? I am not coming at this section with the angle of preaching or pushing my beliefs on anyone. God gave us free will and our government has given us freedom of choice. Regardless of your Spiritual beliefs I still love you. However, I can say with the utmost confidence that when I am reading God's word and do so regularly there is a direct correlation with my mental and Spiritual place in that time period of my life. It is encouraging and it feeds my soul. The same lies true here that what we feed our Spirits with will be absorbed and it will grow our Spirits accordingly.

Mentally

     I realize this can tie closely with the emotional aspect of things. But we need to also feed our minds. I always enjoyed school (when it challenged me). I just recently took a two week training on Lean Six Sigma to work towards becoming certified as a Green Belt. It has been a while since I was in a classroom environment being loaded down with a plethora of information knowing a test would be coming soon. I actually loved it. I could feel my brain straining as it was being exercised in ways it had not been in far too long. I believe exercising our brains is as important as physical exercise.

     This whole thing of you are what you eat can be applied to every aspect of our lives. My primary motivation is to better myself and dig my way out of the mess I created by poor choices earlier in my life. My son is the reason behind this. I have already missed out on so much of his life and I want to get to a place where I can see him more and build upon that relationship. Needless to say our relationship has suffered tremendously and he will be ten years old in just a few weeks.

     I just wanted to share what was going through my mind this morning in hopes that it encourage someone out there and maybe even helps someone to reevaluate where they are in life and motivate them to make the necessary changes for the better. And to reiterate this was not to condemn or stir up guilt with anyone. I have not been feeding these areas of my life as well as I could have been the last few weeks, maybe even months. Some due to my current work schedule and some just tied to poor choices I have made.
     

Friday, August 22, 2014

LEGALISM: How thinly do you slice the apple?

     So earlier today as I was checking out my feed on Google+ I ran across someone using Matthew 6:3 - 4 to be what I felt was condemning to Christians for participating in the ice bucket challenge for ALS. It also had a link attached to a blog pointing out all the things the organization does to "violate Biblical ethics".

     Now I agree that it is good to educate others on practices that may not align with your values and belief system, but at the same time this challenge has raised a lot of awareness and I would bet raised millions of dollars for a disease I have had ties to in my past. There is no known cure and it always leads to death. Family members have to watch their loved ones deteriorate physically while their mental awareness remains intact. It is a horrible disease.

     I am sure not everyone will agree with my opinion on the matter, but I think we need to be careful of being so judgmental and unwilling to do business with or support businesses and organizations we feel "violate Biblical ethics". Below I have attached a photo from an article showing ten companies that control a massive amount of consumer goods. I would be willing to bet everyone of those ten companies supports and contributes to other businesses and organizations that "violate Biblical ethics". Now what I am not saying is that we should just go through life ignorant of the truth, but at some point we would have to disconnect from the grid and live off the land to live this perfect life of commerce that so many seem to desire Christians live.

     The same type of thing occurred a while back when someone was asking all Christians to boycott Starbucks. Now I do not frequent there, but only because I cannot justify spending two dollars on my cup of coffee when I have the convenience of a less than fifty cent cup of coffee from home.
Besides during off-peak hours they only have Pike available; who has time for a pour over? HAHAHA I digress...

     I think both of these actions could also be considered a violation of Biblical ethics. As Christians we are called to die to ourselves daily, take up our cross, and strive to live like Christ. I fail daily, but I keep trying. It is called progressive sanctification and we should progressively be getting better in areas we struggle in. Christ came not to condemn the world but to save the world, and He did this through love. So should we not do the same? ...LOVE...

     I realize we all have different callings and different burdens we carry so maybe you do boycott Starbucks or choose to not support a particular business/organization. However, we must keep in mind others have other burdens and other platforms to reach others. So maybe that other person should give to the business/organization with faith that their money is blessed and can and will make a positive difference. And maybe the other person should go to Starbucks everyday and love on the employees there spreading joy into their workplace. Maybe even paying for the drinks of the individual behind them or even just giving an encouraging word to the person they hold the door open for on the way out.

     My point is we are called to be in the world, but not of the world. So why not get in there and get our hands dirty shake things up!


     You can also watch this video below, go ahead and skip to 2:00 to avoid the nonsense and get right to the main point. YOu will see first hand what ALS does. So tell me this. If we (Christians) refuse to donate to help find a cure because of some violation of Biblical ethics, will this gentleman or his family likely accept or reject the love of Christ?



Source: http://goo.gl/mvAQIc





Sunday, August 17, 2014

Oneness Weekend...

 

     This last Friday evening and then Saturday we had a conference at my church entitled "oneness Weekend". At first glance many may believe this to be a marriage conference. It was not...or was it? We are called to be the bride of Christ and I can assure you after this last weekend I feel closer and deeper in relationship with Him than I did when I awakened Friday morning.

     This all began Friday evening when J.T. Mlinarcik Began by giving a highly detailed medical account of what Christ went though on that bloody Sunday more than 2,000 years ago. By hearing it laid out by a medical professional it makes it all more tangible than just a story in a book. I have always known that it was much more brutal an experience than ever depicted by any movie or photo I have seen, but it still brings it to a new life.

     All of this led me to realize that I could definitely suffer more for His glory. I am no different than most Americans where I can find myself whimpering and whining over the most pathetic "troubles" I run across. I truly believe it is time I go on another mission trip to witness first hand true struggles on this earth. We take so much for granted and even in my awareness of true troubles in this world I fall into the trap of thinking I have it rough.

     Later in the evening I found a new perspective on things about heaven. Duncan Smith enlightened me that if I put all of my hope in heaven then I am putting all my hope in something temporary. Revelation 21:1 clearly tell us there will be a new heaven and earth. It also says the sea will seize to exist...OH NO! I love the beaches! HAHA On a more serious note, I am certain it will result in something much greater! I digress...

     Just as I have become one with Christ the heavens and the earth will be come one creating the new heavens!

     Other things the Lord spoke to me this past weekend were soft, almost silent, reminders that He has given me a warrior Spirit. I just need confidence going into battle, much like the confidence of Ragnar Lodbrok. He was true warrior and legendary Norse ruler in the Viking ages. He was wise in that he thought things through well before going into battle. He was patient yet he progressed through live with an incredible boldness. He was curious and open-minded to new discoveries. I feel I can be of the same stature in the Lord's army by being bold and using Spirit led discernment.

     Those are but a few of the things I received this last weekend. Many of them I am still processing. Especially an overwhelming amount of revelation having to do with fatherhood. Both in my relationship with my earthly father and and with my amazing and incredible son Andrew. Thank God for working that relationship because it has been difficult to say the least for me.

     Anyway enough of my thinking out loud for now. I need to go back and mediate and continue processing much of what I experienced, heard, and received over the last two days.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Weak progression...

     I have been consistently pursuing a healthier lifestyle for several months now. This includes but is not limited to: healthier eating, more exercise, more rest, and more "me" time. Aside from just feeling better, my primary motivation is to have better health in general for Andrew's sake. I know the time will come when I will get to spend more time with him and I am not getting any younger. I want the precious time I do get with him to be the best it can be. If he wants to go to the park for four hours I want to be able to "hang" with him. As he gets older he will likely get into other sports or active lifestyle hobbies and I want to be able to do those things with him.

     The progress I have seen in 2014 has been tremendous. It is a direct result of my dedication and consistency. This is also helping my finances, the gym comes out to approximately a dollar a day and so I can redirect money from other "entertainment" activities to chip away at my debt. My debt is another thing that disallows me from seeing Andrew more often. As frustrating as this all is I know these baby steps I am taking are still progress.

     OK I kind of got off track from the purpose of this post!

     So last week I hit personal records just about every day I was in the gym, doing different body parts. It started out Monday when I trained legs with a friend of mine. I lifted close to 50,000 pounds in just over an hour, training with a partner so my rest intervals were increased; 17 sets of nine different exercises. Two hours later when I was at home I had an itch to go running. For anyone that lifts, you know the last thing one should want to do after legs is go running. I pushed myself to go do a quick mile and quick it was! My second fastest mile ever clocking it in at 7:39! I continued on throughout the week by pushing and pulling more weight than I ever have in my life. It was a great feeling. A good friend of mine that is a personal trainer was very encouraging by stating how my body was "turning a corner". It was a great feeling to experience the progress in such dramatic and obvious ways. (Well, it was a great feeling until the DOMS set in, then it was quite a different feeling!) Progress is always a good feeling in any part of life; finances, health, relationships, etc.

     Yesterday I went into the gym to train chest and biceps. I started out with a ten minute warm-up on the elliptical. I felt energized yet tired simultaneously. I thought nothing of it. Then off to begin lifting. I was really struggling, nothing like last week where I felt like I could run through a brick wall. At first I was very frustrated but I quickly remembered that even in my weakness and struggling I was stronger than I was just a few weeks back. In that moment, the Lord spoke directly to my heart.

     Spiritually I have progressed and grown stronger than I have ever been in my life (sound familiar?). Since 2008 I have been consistent in my "Spiritual" training and as result made great strides in that area of my life; not without some falls along the way. Very recently I have stumbled in some areas I had previously defeated and I was very frustrated and discouraged. Recent history has shown my weaknesses completely exposed. But God, shifted my focus to my progress rather than my shortcomings. In that moment where I was so frustrated and confused for struggling with my lift, He showed me that both Spiritually and physically my weakest day is stronger than it was in my past. With a gentle, soft whisper in my ear He reminded me that His mercy, not my sin, is new every day.

     That is not to justify my shortcomings or sin, but rather tell me I am forgiven. To honor God through my prayers and worship and He has redeemed me. All these bunny trails just to say that even weak progression is progress.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What did you call me?

Words...

     They are powerful. More powerful than most want to admit. All of us at one time or another have had our feelings hurt by words. All of us at some point in our lives have been hurt by words and were at that time, and many of us still to this day, in denial.

     Words are far more powerful than most will admit...redundant you say? I am just trying to get my point across. Before you begin judging me just know that maybe I am writing this post to myself. As "aware" as I like to think I am of the power of my words I need help in this area. Especially in the workplace.

     For those of you that know me well, you know that not only am I very social, but I love people. Now if any of my coworkers are reading this they may be thinking that this is a failed attempt at painting a picture of myself to the world that does not truly exist. If my family is reading this they may be saying I have a strange withdrawn way of showing my love. Hey I am human and I am growing everyday. I have not been the best son, brother, nephew, grandson, cousin, father, etc. over the years. I have certainly not been a loving and encouraging coworker to everyone at my workplace. In fact you do not even have to use harsh words to hurt or put others in defensive mode. A condescending tone can do as much or more damage.

    Americans oftentimes thrive on sarcasm or "joking around". It needs to stop. You never know someones past. What if as a child they were picked on daily about their weight? What if their mother or father constantly teased them about their grades in school and how "stupid" they were. Those are the type of wounds that if not dealt with properly can have a lingering effect on people. One that even they may be unaware of. That statement you made when you were "joking around" could be salt in the wound. You may think that they should say something if it bothers them...well maybe they gave up on saying anything decades ago.

     What if we became more aware of our words? What if we spoke with more intentionality to others in our lives? What if we made it a point to be more encouraging to those within our circles of influence? Do you no believe that the world would be a better place? I do...




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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Wrung out...

Cleaning...

     It is something I actually enjoy. I find it therapeutic. Of course as a male there is also that feeling of accomplishment and the ability to check a box on my to do list.

The sponge...

     I have always been fascinated by sponges. Primarily because when I was younger my father had natural sponges in the garage for when we washed the vehicles. I thought it was so cool that this porous and insanely absorbent thing was once alive in the sea! They also work much better for cleaning than man made sponges. They wipe away the dirt and absorb all the filth that obstructed the view of the cars natural look. That is when the time comes to wring out that sponge. Grabbing both ends; squeezing and twisting with all your might as you  in order to force all the dirty liquid from it in order to fill it back up with clean, soapy water to continue the job at hand.

     This is the point I felt I had hit in my own life just a couple weeks ago. Poor decisions on my part and lack of action in other areas of my life led me to this place. Things I know I should be doing that I was not. Things I know I should not be doing yet I was. This twisting turmoil within my soul created the same effect. Poor decisions leading to self-induced issues, stress at my job, major life changes in the areas I serve in, financial woes, the distance from and missing my son Andrew...
The list could go on and on. For weeks, maybe months, it was twisting further and further until finally I was completely wrung out. Lying there empty, drained, and ready to reabsorb.

     Herein lies the new season I am entering. I am transitioning to a new church, the workplace is in transitional season, and even my home life is a bit up in the air about three months now. Much of my family are even making major changes...moving out of state, two marriages approaching, etc.

     Regardless of my past, I was wrung out and I am ready to be filled again. The choice lies within myself. Self-control will be a major part of this new season of life.

   



Thursday, May 22, 2014

The order of things...

God, family, friends, work, myself...

Why do I always put myself after everyone else? Not to say I treat everyone else as well as I should.

This is destructive behavior. Over time it chips away at my sanity. Spiritual depravity ensues. Emotional illnesses begin to take hold. Physical deterioration becomes the norm. Psychological struggles lead to numbness.

Finally I reach a breaking point...

All that was done was I realigned myself to the front of that list. The problem is that in doing so begins even more destructive behavior.

I have been told more than once I am like a modern day David...

I can relate...