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Gaining Weight and Losing Will

We completed the Whole Life Challenge!! Hallelujah!

It was tough. It was fun. It was worth it?

Tough
It took a lot of extra time (roughly an hour) each day to make sure that we were able to complete all the tasks at hand. The hardest thing was definitely the food piece (it's amazing to see that 80% of what we eat on a regular basis has some kind of additive sugar!), but it is also difficult to carve out the time to exercise, stretch, and meditate each day.

Fun
The only way it was fun was through comradery. We had about 20 people from our church join the same team and we would all post daily about what we were learning/going through. Much of the fun was commiserating together and laughing about how deprived we were making ourselves (borderline masochistic if you think about it). It definitely made the nutrition part easier when your co-workers and family were participating in the same dietary restrictions you have.

Worth it?
Overall I gained 2 lbs through the challenge. Not that I had…
Recent posts

Running Start

"The worst that could happen is wet shoes and a broken ankle."
Those were the encouraging words Katie offered as we walked around the backside of the pond a second time.

On the front side of the pond was a little island, about 7 feet away from the shoreline. It appeared to be the home for the geese and ducks who flocked about the water that warm winter day. From a distance it looked like an easy jump to make it from the bank to the island, but the closer I got to the edge of the pond, the further the jump appeared to be. I definitely knew I wouldn't be able to make the distance from a standing jump but I felt fairly confident I could make the jump with a running start.


If it was just a matter of jumping from point A to point B, I would have attempted the jump with no hesitation, but there was some risk involved. Wet shoes, a broken ankle, and wounded pride were all fairly low risks overall, but still, it was enough to make me second-guess my parkour abilities.

So I decid…

Psalm 119

A guest blog post from Ken Read:
Scripture for Reading: Psalm 119 (v.1-16,45,105,129-130) Theme: Loving the Law Song: “Trust and Obey” Summary: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” So begins the famous poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning describing romantic love. Psalm 119 is a similar love poem, celebrating mystic romance with the Word of God. For 22 stanzas, each with eight verses, and each line within the stanza beginning with the same Hebrew letter, the worshiper “counts the ways” that he loves the Law. Perhaps each of the lines represents the eight different words for the Law that are employed throughout. In each stanza, these words come in a different order.
Nothing less than the longest psalm, the longest chapter in the Book of books, could convey the magnitude of devotion to the Law of God that the psalmist feels. Indeed, the Word of God has been refined seven times. (Psalm 12:6) It is the whole alphabet, it is all the synonyms, it is poetry, and it deserves the highest expre…

Enough to go around

WLC Day #32

I have been going through a wonderful read lately, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes. Totally worthwhile! In it, the authors mention the difference between Eastern and Western views of wealth. The Western way of thinking of wealth is that there is enough to go around; everyone can be wealthy if they just try hard enough. Eastern views on wealth are that there is only so much money and in order for one person to grow wealthy, other people have to grow poor.

I do not claim to know much about economics but I have a feeling that the Eastern viewpoint is more accurate than our Western mind would care to admit. The more wealth I accumulate, the less wealth there is available to other people (insignificantly, but still, the principle is there). Thus, if the American Dream is to become rich and famous then the underlying goal is to make other people poor and insignificant. Ouch.

Katie and I would like to grow our wealth someday. Mostly because we want to become debt-free and …

Fairness

WLC Day #30

It's been a traumatic weekend at Parkside.

A teenager in our community decided to end his life a week ago in his own backyard. He decided that the pain of death was more welcome than the pain of depression. What had started out as a beautiful weekend day in February turned into a rainy, haunting, cold night.

I was called on to help take down the tree on Monday afternoon. A group of 5 men worked quickly without saying a word to one another as we hauled away limbs and branches from the enclosed backyard. And that is exactly what it was too--enclosed.


The moment I stepped past the chain link fence I felt the gravitas of the space come upon me. The naked trees closed in upon a tiny backyard, leaning over the fence line to make a small space feel smaller. The yard was still wrecked from the spiritual battle that had occurred just two short nights beforehand. The mixture of a budding tree with the pungent smell of chain oil and 2-cycle exhaust mingled together in the air, pr…

Common or Communion?

I can’t help but wonder if we have made a bigger deal out of communion then Jesus intended for it. 
I get the impression that communion is a sacred time for most people who attend Parkside. And that is wonderful. Nothing wrong with it. Unless…communion itself becomes the object of holiness and not the one it represents; or if the time spent reflecting is too holy to interrupt, yet our personal time with Jesus daily we allow our iPhones to disrupt. I fear that we place too high a level of importance on a little piece of bread and a little cup of juice. There is nothing magical about Sunday morning communion. When compared to the other 21 (or more) meals we have throughout the week, I believe it should be treated equally as significant. Every time we have community (communion) with other Christ-followers, we should thank God for the gift of Jesus and use that time to realign ourselves with His purpose for our lives.
Now, how do we teach children (and adults) that? I don’t know. Especiall…

Ego Strength

WLC Day #22

I recently listened to an audio book called "Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts--Becoming the Person You Want to Be" by Marshall Goldsmith. It is full of wonderful advice that is practical to every person at every level. He has an easy-going conversational tone that still challenges you to step up your game and truly become the person you want to be.

We all have an ideal us. The ideal us is probably 10 lbs lighter, with a better physique, makes better food choices, doesn't binge on Netflix, meditates regularly, exercises daily, and is super tuned in for every waking moment.

Then there is the real us. We give into temptation. We lack self control. We have limited will power.

Interestingly, there have been numerous studies that have shown that this is absolutely true. We do not have an unlimited reserve of will power. Will power is like a muscle--once we use it for so long, it grows tired and we start to give in to temptations more readily. This is a relati…