Archive | June, 2014

All Around Us

23 Jun

God is at work all around us … Our job is to find where He is at work at JOIN HIM!!!  That principle from Experiencing God (a GREAT discipleship study written by Henry Blackaby, Richard Blackaby, and Claude King) is one of the TRUEST things I have ever read.  (Is THAT possible???  TRUEST??)

I have watched that consistent principle play out over and over again in my life and in the world around me.  EVEN when I was running from Him.  EVEN when I did not want it to be true.  GOD is at work, and if (and when) we open our eyes and LOOK AROUND, we will see Him.

I see it in a huge way every time I look at Ebenezer.  I see people He is moving to accomplish His purposes.  I see grace, mercy, and love in the lives of Ebenezer.  I see God growing all of us to do what seems impossible and moving us beyond the limits to new heights.  And all of that THRILLS me.  And challenges me as well.

A week of vacation and reflection will give you a fresh “bite” on life … And I am reminded how exciting it is to be a part of this great family of faith.  And challenged to make the right moves in leading this flock on God’s path for us!!

Yes, I am on a VBS high right now … Pray for me and I will pray for you.  And even if you are not a member of Ebenezer, still pray for me and I WILL pray for you too!!  Have a great week!

A TRUE Theocracy

4 Jun

I looked up the definition of “theocracy” today.  It is a nation that is ruled by a religious leader.  But today I make an argument for ANOTHER definition, one that is more fitting and that should be true of EVERY Christian church.  The TRUE Theocracy that I see is a church, ruled by GOD.

We Baptists are a funny lot.  We have a rich history of priesthood of the believer, of resisting government oversight and tyranny, of not being a “credal” people … The list can go on.  Baptist churches are also known for each church being responsible for it’s own direction.  Every Baptist church is a little different from each other.  We each have our quirks and we each govern and operate a little differently.  If you are an old school Dr. Pepper fan, we are PEPPERS to the core!!

Ebenezer is a committee-led church, and this is written into our constitution.  We rely on different teams to accomplish different tasks and each team is accountable to the church body as a whole for doing their jobs.  When it comes to church government, every member has a vote and a say in every decision.  Through ALL of this, we operate in a very American way!!  But it is time we move to more of a theocratic way…

What I am trying to write here is this:  Any church in this situation should work hard, NOT to make decisions based on our personal preferences, but on what God desires for us!!  EVERY VOTE we cast should be one in which we have sought HIS face about the particular issue, and are willing to vote what HE says is best!!  NOT WHAT WE LIKE OR WANT!  NOT OUR AGENDA, but HIS!!!  If every Baptist church would approach things this way, there would be NO SPLITS … There would be NO UNDERCURRENTS … There would be NO DERISION or DIVISION … And there would be NO FIGHTS over the color of the carpet, or the toilet paper, etc …

So in every decision, big or small, we really should commit to vote GOD’S will and NOT OURS!!  Last night at Ebenezer, I saw this come together in a way that makes me think “God REALLY DOES KNOW WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT!!”  More to come on that later, but it is awesome to just take your hand off of the wheel and watch God steer the ship EXACTLY WHERE HE WANTS IT!!

I hope we at Ebenezer are ALWAYS a TRUE THEOCRACY.  Because when we all allow God to work, He accomplishes far more than we ever could!!!

The last quarter

2 Jun

Ok, so the last 27 pounds are proving to be the hardest.  I guess that is always the way it is.  I am at 75 pounds right now and still working hard!  In fact, I am writing this blog because Keith White encouraged me to share it.  The kitchen part of this diet, for the most part, is in a good place.  The workout routine is getting there, and one of the first things of which I am reminded is that it doesn’t need to be a ROUTINE.

I am very much a creature of habit.  I think that is why I migrated towards IT and did so well in it before I surrendered to ministry.  When I talk about comfort zones, I am very much talking to myself FIRST and FOREMOST.  I like consistency and normalcy in everything in my life.

HOWEVER … to keep my metabolism off guard, there HAS to be a level of variance.  The experts around me tell me that if I work myself into a rut in my workout, my body will adjust and will not burn calories efficiently.  They are correct.  I lift weights three days a week and, due to my left arm, I cannot vary that too much.  But I haven’t mastered that by any means, so I am guessing that one is okay.  On days that I lift weights, I do 40 minutes on the elliptical machine as my cardio.  Again, I can vary speed and resistance to help with that.  On my non-workout days, I do speed interval (alternating between walking and running) on the treadmill for 45 minutes.  Again, I can vary the times I run within that workout so it seems to be helping.

AND THEN … Lane Johnson of Anytime and I were talking a few weeks ago about how to help the gut situation I have.  The ol’ gut it getting smaller, but I need to work on it.  I know you cannot target train for fat loss, but what I’ve had going on in that area is not good and has not been.  We talked about the crunch machine, a machine that I can use every day.  Lane challenged me to get to the place where I could do 100 crunches a day.

The first day, I did 40 and thought “NO SWEAT!!”  The next day I did 60.  On day three, I literally could not do ONE.  It was so sore I could barely move.  So I took a day or two off.  That led me to the following Monday, where things seemed to turn a corner.  I was able to do 100 that day but it took forever.  From that point on (it was several weeks ago), I have been able to do 100 a day for six days (I do take Sundays off from workout to allow my body a day to rest.  Plus, there is so much else going on every Sunday that I just can’t pull it off).  In the last couple of weeks I have increased the weight and I constantly vary the number of crunches in a single set.

So, I am still working on all of this.  I have gone from a size 44 in pants to 36.  And I am still working on it.  Slowly, but surely.