My life as I follow Jesus Christ, and live life as a husband, father, friend, pastor, runner, coach, and sinner who found forgiveness and favor with God.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Theological View of Running

"Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Is running an act of worship? Is breaking a sweat part of spiritual wholeness? Doesn't God care about more important things than whether or not I need to shed a few pounds?

Yes and no.

God didn't only make the spiritual side of you - he made all of you. In the Bible, Job 10 says it best:

You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. 12You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit.

Here's what I've come to realize. If I'm slothful with my body - it affects the level of my faith. I have a real hard time looking at the magnificent plan that God has for me, when my body is just sitting around the house collecting dust. There is something to be said for healthy bodies and healthy faith. Most of the pastors that I look up to have healthy bodies and a vibrancy for life...and I don't think it's coincidence.

It is true that you can excel in "body" OR "soul" OR "spirit" without the others, but I believe that when you are healthy in all three it's like a finely tuned guitar: ready to rock and roll!

So...why not make a fresh request for grace and forgiveness in your life and ask Jesus to empower you to make the necessary changes in the area that needs attention the most. The cool thing about God is that the verse following 1 Thess 5:23 is this: 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

here's to wholeness!'

Friday, January 16, 2009

FIFTY-TWO FRIDAYS: Date #2 of 52 in 2009 w/ Jenn

Well, today our date was a breakfast date. Jenn wanted Crepes so, knowing you don't disagree with a pregnant woman who is days away from giving birth, I found a highly recommended place on Alberta (a trendy area in NE Portland) called Tour De Crepes. We got there around 9:30, but found out that it didn't open until 10:00. Despite the high ratings, the place looked pretty scary, and we were both hungry so we decided just to look for another place.
Our detour turned out to be the pathway to a true treasure! As we drove down Alberta we found an amazing French restaurant called Petite Provence. It was pure chance we found this place, but it turned out to be a gem.
This place was beautiful and well designed, with an open kitchen, fresh baked breads and desserts.
Jenn opted for the Coffee Cake French Toast (yeah, take coffee cake and turn it into french toast and voila!) and I ordered Eggs Bennedict Provencal, which I would do a disservice to explainThe service was great, and Jenn and I both think this may become a regular place for us (competing with Alameda Cafe on Freemont). We then headed to Delta Park, went to BabysRus and a couple more furniture stores, and ended up back at home around noon. A quick date, but super fun and we're really glad we found such a great place!

Jenn is due Feb. 22, but the doctors say there is a 50/50 chance she has the baby a week from Monday when she goes in to have her cerclage (stich) removed a week from Monday! So the upcoming dates will have to get creative, but I'm up for it and so is Prego!

Monday, January 12, 2009

so...about those New Year resolutions....

One week in the books and as I look at my New Year Goals for 2009, I have to admit that I have a long way to go. Too often blogging can be about all the great things you do, without owning up to the shortcomings that also are ever-present in our lives. So - here is how I did in week one.

The good:
- took Jenn on a planned date
- participated in the GBF fast Mon-Wed

The not-so-good:
- only ran 11 miles (instead of 25)
- missed a couple days of my "read through the Bible plan" (but did read a bunch of other Scripture)

The bad:
- didn't read ANYTHING out of my new books...but I somehow found a way to play a lot of Mario Kart on the Wii...
- ate like a pig (as seen in the date post...but it was worse than that...I weighed in at 194.5 today, and couldn't fit into some shirts yesterday! I should be about 185 or less...
- didn't hand-write a note...

What now?!? Adjust. The goals are good and reachable. I'm really focusing this week on reaching these goals, and am uber-determined right now to work out and eat right. I renewed my gym membership at Bally's (one year/$99 - can't beat that!), and have started tracking progress again. I'm also writing in time to read and write letters into my schedule which is key.

So there you go. Far from perfect - but far from lethargic. By keeping my goals in front of me, and reviewing the progress each week, I should be able to accomplish much more than living life carelessly!

Peace out.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Under The Influence...I'd rather watch a sermon anyday.

One of my goals in 2009 is to read through the Bible in a year. Here's a bit of a Bible study this morning from my daily reading...I know quite a few of you that read my blog don't go to church, but maybe this will open your eyes (and mine) a bit to God's perfect ways and whet your appetite to experience his marvelous love and forgiveness.

Job 29 says...

21“Men listened to me and waited
and kept silence for my counsel.
22 After I spoke they did not speak again,
and my word dropped upon them.
23 They waited for me as for the rain,
and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.
24 I smiled on them when they had no confidence,
and the light of my face they did not cast down."

Wow. Talk about influence! Admittedly, as a pastor I would love this kind of attention and interest from the people who listen to me speak. It makes me wonder (and maybe you as well)...what was it that gave Job such influence? Perhaps the verses written just before these give indication....

11 When the ear heard, it called me blessed,
and when the eye saw, it approved,
12 because I delivered the poor who cried for help,
and the fatherless who had none to help him.
15 I was eyes to the blind
and feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy,
and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.
17 I broke the fangs of the unrighteous
and made him drop his prey from his teeth.

Quite simply...Job was a man of action - not a man of words. If we want to be under the influence...if we want people to listen, maybe we should be someone worth listening to. How often do we believe in standing for justice and "right" things, yet our lives are consumed with selfishness. If you want your life to be influential - perhaps we should both start creating stories with the action we take rather than continually trying to be more effective in the way we speak. I think we'd all rather watch a sermon than listen to one anyday of the week - but how about BEING a sermon yourself...that's my desire.

Lord, I want to be a man of action, not just a man of words. Convict my heart -help me to see people and this world the way you see it. May people not know me for my words, but for my willingness to go out of my way to touch those in need.


Friday, January 9, 2009

FIFTY-TWO FRIDAYS: Date # 1 of 52 in 2009 with Jenn

One of my New Year Goals is to take Jenn out on a planned date each week of '09. It doesn't have to cost much or anything, but it needs to be thought out and planned. Today was date #1!

We started out by going furniture shopping. Thanks to the grandma-ma and my parents we received a Christmas surprise with a check to buy furniture. So we mapped out our living room and went furniture shopping. We had already ordered our couch and loveseat and then went to Crate & Barrel in hopes to find a rug to go with it. We found a great deal and ended up with a 9x12 rug to go in our living room. We then drove up 217 to Ethan Allen, but didn't like anything there (at least that we could afford) and then went to Skyline Restaurant, which I found through Citysearch which is was awarded "best burger in Portland". Google maps took us on a real strange route - we ended up driving up Brynwood Lane, which is just about the most narrow, steep drive that I've ever been on, but we eventually got there - and laughed when we did. Skyline was built in the 50's and hasn't been upgraded since then...but the burgers didn't disappoint. We had two burgers (although I only ate half since mine was three times the size of Jenn's regular hamburger) and shared a milkshake. Jenn and I had a blast. We then headed back to the Eastside and watched the ever so romantic movie "Valkaryie" (insert sarcasm here). I offered to go to a chick-flick, but Jenn assured me it was a shared choice. Jenn and I had a great day, and I can't wait to plan the next one!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I never thought I'd want the holidays and snow to go away, but this is getting ridiculous. Every Sunday night Jenn and I meet with the students of Family Bible Church, but for the last three weeks we've either had bad weather or a holiday break to keep us from meeting. So, I was all pumped up to see everyone again tonight, but JUST NOW THE SNOW STARTED FALLING...AGAIN...and in Camas it's supposed to be ice and snow up in the hills, so service got canceled again. So, in my state of depression, I've created a video blog song...feel free to comment on my amazing SKILZ...