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Showing posts from 2013

Glance Back, Focus Forward (Year End/Beginning Thoughts)

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2013 began with a challenge from a 99 year old (now 100) preacher, Linvel Arington, to not do what I've always done: make resolutions, then break them or forget them.  Linvel challenged me, and our entire church congregation, to "not make a resolution, but make a decision!"  And that's what I did.

I made the decision that 2013 would be a totally different year for me.  I set out to make specific decisions, set specific and measurable goals, and begin a game-plan for success.  For reflection's sake, here's a quick look at what happened in my life due to a little focus and a whole lot of strength from God:
--I decided to read the Bible completely through in 2013.  Using the Youversion Bible app, on the "Eat This Book Plan," I finished it up last week.
--I decided to spend 2 hours in prayer, 3 days a week, during the Summer months. This carried over into longer prayer sessions during the Fall & Winter.
--I decided to work at eating healthy (not die…

Just call me Pastor Fitness Instructor Party DJ Shiny

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This afternoon I taught my first official class as a certified Group Fitness Instructor.  A group of 8 joined me for WAR (Workouts Achieve Results), a crossfit style workout class, and I gotta say they were awesome!  So much fun working out with others, all working at our own level toward our own goals - yet, doing the work together!

At 44 years old, I'm continually amazed at the things God is still teaching me through this life journey!  Back in the day (late 80s - early 90s), I spent a few years playing around as a Party DJ, and DJ'd in a club called Cellblock in Shreveport, LA, for a short time.  In 1998 I completed my degree in Pastoral Ministry at Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City, and began working in vocational church ministry, attaining my ordination in 2001.  My whole life I've been athletic, but in 2012 I started to really take my physical health seriously.  2013 began with a challenge from my good friend, Linvel Arington, who is a retired preache…

BOOST Camp 6.0

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This week begins BOOST CAMP 6.0 at FBC Fitness.  The idea is to boost your health to the next level by setting personal goals throughout a 60 day challenge.  Every area of personal health are included with opportunities to BOOST the number of fitness classes you attend each week, BOOST healthy food options in your diet, BOOST the amount of time you spend reading Scripture, and more!  This year I have discovered that a challenge, and group participation/accountability, motivates me to press on to the next level.  All of us participating are filling out cards listing at least 5 specific BOOST goals for the 60 days, and posting these cards at the gym for accountability.  I thought I would take it a step further and post mine here.

1.  I currently eat 2-3 servings of fruits & vegetables a day; my goal is to BOOST this to 6 servings a day.
2.  I currently run 1-2 miles per week (typically accumulated in the fitness classes I take); my goal is to BOOST this to at least 6 miles a week.

Surf

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Hi. This is not a real blog entry.  I simply needed a place to put my team logo for my fantasy football league. Have a great season! WHO DAT?! and GEAUX TIGERS!

smaller version:

God, what do you want to change in my life?

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In February, Shelly & I attended a network gathering with Healthy Growing Churches.  Each day we filled out index cards with thoughts, questions, observations, etc.  These cards were collected and mailed to us randomly over the past few months as reminders, and as a way to keep the spirit of the gathering alive within us.  A few days ago, I received my last one.  At the top was this question:

"God, what do you want to change in my life?"

With prayer and refection, this is what I wrote:

* DREAM big Kingdom dreams, not big selfish dreams.
* DRAW closer to God than ever before.
* DEVELOP leaders, not only by teaching, but by modeling.
* DIRECT everyone I have an opportunity to, to Christ.

What a great opportunity to reflect on the goals and aspirations that came out of that season of training and prayer!  In the months since the network gathering I feel that I have really begun to dream again... BIG dreams... BIG KINGDOM dreams!  We should be thankful for the ginormous King…

Breathe in

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Early this morning I had a great moment with God… and it was because I was out of breath.  As I was running the laps that were a part of my workout of the day, I became (as usual) breathless.

The word “inspire” means to breathe in, while the word “expire” means to breathe out.  During my workout, I felt like I was about to expire!  As I slowed my pace down, I felt my chest heaving at an almost violent level.  My heart was racing, yet I was most definitely not excited!  I didn’t want to keep on.  In all honesty, I wanted to quit, go home, sit down, and say “phooey” on all this hard work to get and stay healthy.  My breath was so far gone from me that I needed to be inspired.

I feel like we sometimes get to that same place of breathlessness as followers of Jesus, and even as a church.  “Denying yourself” and “taking up your cross” can wear us out!  Doing the good works that God prepared for us in advance can bring us to the point of exhaustion.  The danger is that this goes …

Pray For Your Pastor

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A friend of mine recently told me about a dream she had that involved me.  I found it pretty interesting, so I thought I would share it.

In my friend's dream, she and a few other people from the gym where we work out, were riding in my car with me driving.  We were returning from a pastor's retreat (although I am the only vocational pastor in this group).  Suddenly a tornado appeared, sweeping us high into the air, spinning around and around. My friend said that at this point of the dream she began praying like a Pentecostal preacher (although she is neither), shouting out to God for deliverance with her hand on my back, as the other passengers shouted, "Amen!" and "Yes, Lord!" from the back seat.  As the tornado weakened, the car sat down with all four wheels on the road, and we continued the trip home without further incident.

I'm no an interpreter of dreams. Not at all. But I can't help but feel like this means, "pray for your pastor!"…

Passions & Dreams

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You could say that I'm a guy with a wide array of interests.  There a few things that I am consistently interested in, even passionate about.  But then, there are "seasons" where I tend to go all in with a new interest, which lasts for a few months or a few years. 

Examples of interests that I have really gotten into for a "season" would be: blogging, rock climbing, laser tag tournaments, bowling, tennis, snorkeling, disc golf (that's Frisbee golf for you novices), and Zumba.  Yes, Zumba.  Don't judge.  From time to time, I may find myself engaging in these activities, just not with the passion I once exhibited.

On the other hand, there a few things I can't remember not being interested in: music, poetry, football, animals, the ocean, and professional wrestling.  That's right, I'm that guy. Again, don't judge.

Then there's this weird caveat with music. I have gone through seasons of really enjoying, and spending money on, various gen…

The RACE of Life

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I'm not a big NASCAR fan.  OK, so I'm not even a novice fan.  OK OK, I don't get it. I did always like Speed Racer, though.

But today I was thinking again about racing, as a metaphor for life.  And for some reason (maybe because I was so close to the Daytona 500 last week), I started thinking about car racing. 

My main beef with NASCAR being a "sport" has always been, "what's so great about driving around and around really, really fast?" Today, it dawned on me - they aren't just driving around in circles, but they are running the race with a purpose.  That purpose is to win. What does winning look like in a car race? Finishing first, being the fastest, not crashing & burning... mainly, finishing first.

In the RACE of Life the purpose is also the win, but as a follower of Jesus, I have to realize that "winning" looks a lot different when you run the race His way.  The purpose isn't to beat other people so I can be first, but t…

Lost & Found

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Say my kids were missing.  They're not, don't worry. 


Just for a moment, consider this scenario.  You get a carton of milk (remember those) and you see a photo of a missing child.  That face! You know you've seen it recently.  The more you examine the photo, the more you are convinced, you know EXACTLY where this lost child is.

What do you do?  Would there be any hesitation at all in getting my lost child reunited with me?  I hope not.  I feel like most of us would immediately do whatever it took to reunite a lost child with his or her father. 

This would honor me greatly!  This would bring me tremendous joy, even if my child has been rebellious; even if my child had run away of his own free will.  If any of my children were lost, I would want to not only know where they were, but I would want more than anything to be reunited!  Wouldn't you?

What about God's children?  Isn't it true that most of us someone who is a lost child?  They may be a lost child, but th…

A few thoughts on a new year

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I think resolutions get a bad rap.  For the past few years, I've asked from the pulpit, "Who has made any New Year's Resolutions?" and have zero hands raised.  This year I've heard, "Resolutions were made to be broken."  But, they're not... are they?

Over the years I have made numerous New Year's Resolutions and set goals for the coming year, and I have never made one of them with the intent of breaking it.  Actually, the word resolution is akin to being resolute, or resolved.  To be resolute or resolved is to make up one's mind and stand firm in that decision. 

I don't think resolutions are the problem. I think comfort is the problem.  I think laziness is the problem.

This year, as I have for several years, I ended/began the year asking God what is HIS will for not only my year, but for my life.  Did you know that you can know God's will for your life? Ask Him what it is, and He will begin to answer.  Be ready, because His will for…