Archive for the ‘bible’ Category

As all of you know I’ve dealt with some pretty difficult problems ever since this Sunday.  Between my beloved dog going from fully mobile to paralyzed in a matter of a few minutes to a major car repair in progress, this week hasn’t been easy on my head, my heart, or my wallet. [For those want more info: my car in the shop for a pretty major repair: heater core replacement].  Dealing with these issues really knocked me off my game so to speak.

We spent Sunday night at the Animal hospital until a half hour pas midnight- none of us has fully recovered from the combination of stress and a lack of sleep.  I probably could have started working out again on Monday but I am still carrying a feeling I can’t fully describe.  It feels like my head is in a dense fog and I just can’t seem to walk through it and find a sunny sky (or even a cloudy one that is at least cloud free).

It was just today that I confronted the question, how do I get out of this funk? (more…)

Hmmm...D-O-N-U-T-S...

Brain Goals

1. Read 30 – 45 minutes a day of Spanish.

2. Work on grammar books.

3. Read 30 books for reading list and class.

So you want one of those sexy well folded and crinkled brains?  You know that ladies find the gray matter between your ears irresistible?  And ladies, you know there is nothing hotter than a woman with a well developed cerebellum.  As I used to say, when it comes to an intellectual woman I medulla oblon-GOTTA get to know her!

Well since I am no longer single that kind of reasoning doesn’t have much effect on me.  But that is fine since I was long ago convinced of the need for a well-developed brain.  Sadly that realization came after I wasted my freshman and sophomore years of college far more interested in learning how to meet women (something I was quite successful at) than in the general acquisition of knowledge.  However, thanks to a wonderful public speaking professor and the threat of academic suspension (not to mention the loss of financial aid) I got my act together and went from a less than sterling 2.3 g.p.a. to a 3.7 g.p.a. in one semester.

Aside: If only there were as big a market for brain growth pills as for erection enhancers- both would be equally useless, but at least I wouldn’t be so pessimistic about humanity. (more…)

An anatomy chart for bodybuilders.

Well the summer is almost over for me- about seven weeks remain.  Where does the time go?  With so little time left and so much I’ve procrastinated on, it is time to catch up.  And there is nothing I love more than cramming 3 months of work into less than half the time.  From the marriage of my catching up from procrastination AND my love of extremes comes the latest challenge- “Ten Weeks to a Ripped Body…”

The Goals:

1. Drop 20 lbs in ten weeks.

2. Run a 5k (and finish in the money).

3. Complete 10 minutes of jump rope without pausing.

4. A ripped body (11% body fat or less).

5. Read 25 books on my book list & at least 5 books for each of my classes next semester.

Mykhailo Hrushevsky (1866-1934): Prominent Ukrainian historian. If I spend as much time reading as I expect, I just might look like that.

6. Keep up with my Bible studies 6 days a week.

7. Spend 30 minutes a day studying Spanish.

No. 1 RULE: NO procrastination, NO excuses.

Over the next week (starting Monday) I will post a series of articles on reaching these goals which will help me work through my planning and will hopefully help some of you who have similar goals.  I will also keep you updated on my progress over the next ten weeks.  So what is the plan?  The workout program will be no non-sense; the nutritional plan will be a no frills affair; and the reading will most likely turn me into a hermit.  But it is all worth it.  The body that is elusively just out of my reach because of about 15-20 lbs of visceral and abdominal fat; the work I’ve failed to complete all summer that is only 30 books away from being complete; and the quiet times I’ve been missing are all only ten weeks away.  When you think about it, is ten weeks really all that long?  It is practically tomorrow.

I hope you will join me on this 10 week journey of discipline, hard work, and intensity.  I could definitely use your feedback, encouragement, and input as I run through the next 2 months.  And as always if you have any questions, just ask.

Here is an example of an average day during the typical Two Week Total Transformation. I have also included plenty of links and info for those interested in starting their own stretching or running programs.

7:15 –Stretch. About 10-15 minutes is great for your mind, body, and spirit. I am amazed at how much better my day goes when I start off with a good stretch. It is the small things that change. Your steps seem lighter, picking up those keys you dropped on the floor is easier, and simple twists and turns are easier on the back. The Mayo Clinic offers some great examples (with pictures) for those of us who need the visuals.

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It is a place to share how the Lord has convicted you. Whether by his Word, through the voice of a friend or stranger, or whatever means. Share your experiences in the comments section, and I will share (as convictions arise) my own experience.

Below the page break is the content of my first post to the Convictions page.

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Solomon is a good example of starting strong and fading away as the race goes on. Tempted by foreign wives and gods, Solomon forgot his roots. Yet, his writing are enormously beneficial to us. Perhaps they are more beneficial to us than they were to him. Why? Because we have the benefit of his knowledge PLUS the hindsight to know how his life turned out.

Solomon’s pursuit of wisdom began pure and righteous:

“Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 1 Kings 3:7-9.

In Response God blessed Solomon with great wisdom:

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With day 2 almost completely behind me I am already looking forward to day 3. And when day three arrives, the plan for tomorrow involves a pretty good nutritional plan and two workouts- one for the morning and the other for the afternoon. I might even throw in a run tomorrow depending how I feel.

Coming back from being sick for almost a week I must admit that it is almost a euphoric feeling to get back into my workouts.  I can’t wait to have my body at a 100% so I can push myself all the way to the limit- and then some.  I want to see just what this 28 year old body is capable of.  After all Ninja Warrior is a tough competition and I aim to compete in it within the next two years.  [As far as I am aware no westerner has ever won Ninja Warrior]

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“God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6: 7-9.

How often do we (to use a Covey phrase) begin with the end in mind? How much would our lives improve if we thought about the possible outcomes of our actions? Not just the big ones, but our daily attitude, perspective, and actions.

Too often we sow all kinds of harmful seeds without even realizing our actions. It might be harmful habits like smoking, unhealthy eating, and excessive drinking. These actions build up and snowball over time. But what will you sow?

A life of hard drinking can lead to small things at first, things like simple regret over saying the wrong thing. In the end, after a longer season, the results can be much worse- losing your family, home, and even your life. A life of over eating can at the least lead to sluggishness and poor self-image. But given long enough over eating can bring you to the horrors of clogged arteries, heart disease, etc.

You can change this though!

Start sowing new seeds today. Live a deliberate life, think out your choices, fully contemplate your actions. This is your choice; this is your life. Take control.

“…in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

Life changes take one day to begin, and a lifetime to complete. But if you persevere you will reap a reward. If you change your unhealthy eating habits today, down the road you will reap a bountiful harvest.

Take my transformation challenge as an example. After only a week not only had my weight declined, but my resting heart rate and my blood pressure improved. In two weeks the drop in my resting heart rate and my blood pressure was significant. After a month I weighed was almost sixteen pounds less, and my waist was almost two inches smaller.

And now, here I am three months and two days later. When you see these numbers, don’t think of how far I’ve come, think of how much YOU COULD DO in just three months.

Weight then 206.3 lbs

Weight now 175.6 lbs

Waist then 41 1/2 inches

Waist now 36 inches

Body-fat Percentage then 27.8%

Body-far percentage now 19.7%

BMI then 29.7

BMI now 26.

I am not special in this regard. You can do this too. Just follow three simple steps.

  1. Visualize and write down your goals honestly and specifically.
  2. Start taking the necessary steps to achieve your goals.
  3. Persevere! Persevere! Persevere!

I love the beginning of a new week. Each new week carries with it the promise of a fresh change, a new start, a chance to get over the day you ate two donuts- the chocolate kind that are covered in chocolate frosting. But ideally, my view (our view) of each day should be the same. Heck, why not each minute?

All of us would transform and grow at a more rapid pace if we could put our shame behind us quicker. Too many of us wallow in our mistakes and end up repeating them over and over. We bear shame that is far too heavy for our shoulders and as a result we keep our faces in the same dirt that brought us shame in the first place.

For some it is that day they went overboard and had a whole pizza, with BBQ wings, regular (not diet) Coca-Cola, and half an apple pie with ice cream on the side. After that day they (possibly you) say, “Why bother? ”  That voice of shame says, “You’re not going to be able to control your appetite.”

For some it might be the lies they told or the sheer weight of their own sin, that bears down on their back. That same voice of shame whispers in our ears, “You’ll never be good enough. You don’t deserve (insert here whatever your goal might be).”

Luckily, that voice of shame is wrong. You don’t blow a whole diet by eating poorly one day- heck you don’t even blow it by eating poorly one day a week. Step back and look at the totality of your choices. You might blow it one day a week, but what about the other six? None of us is perfect. So if your life is marked (for the most part) by positive movement toward your goals you haven’t blown it.

Because it isn’t that one day, that one mistake that ruins our diet, that ruins our walk with God, or our career. Most often it is the inordinate amount of time we spend dwelling on that mistake, refusing to learn from it, and consequently repeating it over and over.

Leave your mistake(s) behind you. Don’t forget them, but learn from them, and move on with your life or your diet. There is something at the other end that is well worth the pain and self-denial. I can tell you from where I stand, right about half-way, I am so happy about all I have achieved. I am also so excited about all the mountains left to climb.

Change is difficult, change is hard on the nerves, and change is perhaps the single most important incentive to growth. Sometimes the only certain thing in our lives is change. We can encounter that change and cower in fear, we can simply roll with that change (letting it overpower us), or we can use that change to transform us for the better.

When I started this process in early February, I noticed a change in myself.

I had become intellectually lazy (I had almost stopped reading completely), I had become spiritually empty (my prayer life was practically dead), I had become financially lazy (engaged in a cycle of spending beyond our means on non-essential items), and of course I had become near hopelessly fat (my stomach jiggled when I brushed my teeth).

These things hadn’t happened over night. Each occurred gradually, the result of a long string of poor choices and bad decisions.

I took a look at myself that February day and said, “This need stop now.” I haven’t been perfect since then, I have spent money I shouldn’t have, missed bible study dates, and eaten deep fried food and calorie dense snack food. However, for the most part, 95% of how I live my life in all those areas has changed. Why did I do that?

Because I looked ahead and I saw an unwanted change coming. I looked to my financial future and I saw bankruptcy; I looked to my spiritual future and I saw the wide path that led to destruction; I looked to body’s future and saw heart attacks and diabetes. I didn’t like any of what I saw. So the choice was clear, wait for change, or begin the process of change (transformation) myself.

The process has been at times a bumpy road and at times quite difficult, but it has also been rewarding. I would advise anyone else seeking to transform their life that the change is worth it- the chance is worth it.