Today, I reached a major milestone. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve lost 40 lbs. Praise God. He has helped me to eat right and to exercise 5 to 6 days a week. I’m right on track to reach my goal of 173 lbs. by the end of the year. Just 10 lbs to go. Woo hoo!
What am I doing? I’m trying to eat healthier. I’ve cut back on the burgers and pizza. I’ll still eat them, but not that often. I’m also trying to take smaller portions. I don’t drink any pop (that’s soda for those not from the Midwest US). I’m not drinking as much water as I should, but that is my primary drink. On occasion, I’ll have a homemade chocolate chip cookie. My wife says she makes them for the kids, but I think she makes them just to torment me.
For exercise, I walk on a treadmill 5 to 6 days a week. I wear a heart rate monitor and try to keep my heart rate at 80% of my maximum heart rate. I try to burn 1000 calories at each workout. So over the past couple of months, I’ve had to increase my speed and duration. I’m now on the treadmill for 80 minutes per workout. Praise God for my iPod.
It’s going to be a challenge to keep losing the weight. I’m headed into a very busy season in my life as we move to Oklahoma. It’s going to be hard to stay consistent with the exercise and healthy eating as we are busy with the cleaning, purging, packing, moving, and unpacking. Never mind all the fattening food that’s readily available during the holidays.
Speaking of holidays, trick or treating for Halloween is this weekend. Where did my wife hide that Halloween candy? I’ll have to try some of it and make sure it’s okay to give to the kids. Gotta go…
My youngest son, Jacob, age 5 wasn’t feeling well one morning this week. So my wife gave him some medicine. After he had taken the medicine, I had just remembered the recent news headlines about not giving cold medicine to children under the age of 6. So I asked Jacob, “Did Momma give you cold medicine?” He replied, “No, it was warm.” I’m still laughing about that.
I was reading in the book of Mark the other day. In chapter 2, the writer retells the time when four men brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus. They were hoping that Jesus would heal their friend. But unfortunately, because there was such a large crowd around Jesus, they couldn’t get their friend to Him.If I was one of those four men, the story probably would have ended right there. I would have been saying, “Well there’s no way to get in, so let’s just go home. If it was God’s will to see Jesus, He would have removed the barriers and we would have a clear path to Jesus.”
Thankfully for the paralyzed man, his friends didn’t give up as easily as I would have. They thought outside of the box. They decided to break the rules. They made a hole in the roof of the building that Jesus was in and lowered their friend down in front of Jesus.
Wow! The friends saw a barrier and went right around it. They loved their friend so much they didn’t let a minor obstacle stop them. I wish I would think more like that. I’m a “by the book” type of guy. I like following the rules and doing things the established way. But I think God’s been telling me that I need to think outside of the box. When obstacles come my way, maybe I need to look harder for a different solution. Sometimes I will need to break the rules and do things in a new way.
How about you? Are you the type that is always thinking outside of the box? Do you not even see a box? Or are you like me? One who likes to follow the rules? Do you have suggestions for how I can be more like the four friends? Let me know your thoughts.
My goal has been to lose 50 lbs. by the end of the year. I’m so thankful for the weight that has come off so far. I have another 12 lbs. to go. With only 12 weeks left in the year, I will need to lose a pound a week. It’s going to be hard. As I come down in weight, my rate of weight loss seems to be slowing down. I’ve had to increase the time I’m on the treadmill just to burn the same amount of calories that I was burning a few weeks ago.
But with God, I know I’ll be able to do this. Feel free to pray for me as I work towards this. Through this process, I’ve been clinging to Philippians 4:13 which says, I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
As many of you know, I have been out of work for the past two months. I’ve been praying for an opportunity to serve God full-time in an innovative and fast paced church environment. While I was dealing with the stress of being unemployed, what many of you didn’t know is, I was being audited by the IRS. They decided to review my 2005 taxes and wanted a boatload of backup documentation from me. Apparently, what triggered this review was the amount of my charitable contributions. Maybe the IRS doesn’t often come across people who tithe. So not only did I have the challenge of trying to find a job as soon as possible, I also had this IRS audit looming over me. Would the IRS be satisfied with the backup documentation that I sent them? Would they ask for more documentation? How long was this going to drag on for? Am I going to need an attorney? If the IRS slaps me with some penalties, I don’t even have a job to pay those bills. As you can imagine, it has been a difficult few months for me.
Everything changed on Thursday, October 4. On the morning of that day, I got a phone call from LifeChurch.tv. They were calling to offer me a job with them (which I gladly accepted.) And then, two hours later, I got a call from the IRS. They told me that they accepted all of my backup documentation. They were satisfied with the deductions on my tax return and had closed their review.
After I got off the phone with the IRS, I just sat in my bedroom and was in awe at how God had instantly taken care of two of the most stressful things in my life. These were issues I was dealing with for months and in a span of two hours, they were gone. All I could say was,”He is good to me all the time and all the time, He is good.”
I was driving through Edmond, Oklahoma a few days ago and drove past this sign. I had to turn back and take a picture. You usually don’t see these two phrases on the same sign.