So Laurie and I carved pumpkins last night. We didn't reveal our finished masterpieces until we were done. I had decided to "sculpt" (using that word very loosely!) one of our GTD logos (predictable, right!). After 2 hours of meticulously trying to do the perimeter of the logo our time was up. Laurie reveals her pumpkin and it's PHENOMENAL! A work of art!! A giant cat face (also predictable hahaha!). Then I had to reveal mine. Oh man, I felt like I brought a 3 year old's refrigerator art work to the Dali Museum of Fine Arts. MAJOR FAIL! After seeing her awesome pumpkin I picked up the drill and put 2 eyes and a nose in the middle of the logo and cut out a mouth. Hahahahahaha... lesson learned!! Major respect for all you pumpkin sculptors out there =)
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Sunday, October 29, 2017
1 day each week I get to eat anything I want, as much as I want, anytime I want. That day was today!
There's only so much a stomach can hold in a day so it's not as much food as you may imagine. Today I had:
- half order of biscuits and gravy
- 2 eggs
- 3 strips of bacon
- 5 carmel candies
- small snack size bag of potato chips
- medium meat lovers pizza
- 2 glasses of coke
- 2 banana smoothies
- 1 bowl of ice cream
Usually by the end of CHEAT DAY I'm experiencing sugar induced headaches and a wrecked stomach which is all the reminder and motivation I need to stick to clean eating for the next 6 days. Not all clean eaters need a CHEAT DAY, but I've found it to be indispensable to avoid the perfection trap that often leads to giving up as well as a small reward for 6 days of discipline in addition to the remotivation to keep eating healthy. I love CHEAT DAY =)
While the concept of a CHEAT DAY is great for maintaining consistency for clean eating, it doesn't work for sin binges or spurts of immorality. In those cases it's best to strive for the bullseye.
STRiVE to THRiVE!
Saturday, October 28, 2017
75 calf raises
45 leg lifts
45 leg curls
1 protein drink
Despite a ruptured disc in my back, 2 reconstructed knees from torn ACL's, early onset of arthritis in both knees from sports injuries, and 2 legs that chickens laugh at, I still don't skip leg day. I may have to hold back on the amount of weight I want to squat, but I still attack leg day.
I've got mountains to climb, trails to hike, distances to run, and a life journey to walk out. There are plenty of excuses to skip leg day, but far more reasons to attack it. Plus, just the DISCIPLINE of doing it makes it worth it.
We all have a "leg day" type of commitment in our lives that's easy to bail out on, but nothing good ever comes from skipping out on "leg day". Press on friends! It's worth it!
STRiVE to THRiVE!
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
While knowledge is the collection of data (information and facts), wisdom is the ability to distinguish the usefulness of that knowledge as well as the discernment of how to apply it in life producing ways which leads to fruitfulness (or thriving). It's possible to be smart (know a lot of information) yet be a fool (not know how to use the information in productive ways). It's also possible to have knowledge and wisdom and lack the discipline to apply it. Both of these scenarios could be called wisDUMB. The evidence of applied wisdom is fruitfulness. In other words, when we make wise choices it produces more life in our life. The opposite is also true. When we make unwise choices it produces a decaying process in our life. That's why I believe the best question we can ask to quickly determine whether or not something is a wise choice or not is, "What's the fruit?" If the choice is producing withering, fruitlessness, dysfunction, and the dying process then that choice (or something about that choice) may be foolish and unwise. It has to be assessed and possibly abandoned. But if the result is fruitful (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faith, self control, abundance, fulfillment, growth, greater health, glorifying to God, life producing) then there's a good possibility that this is a wise choice and should be leaned into. The interesting thing about wisdom is that God has not hidden it from us. In fact, He has made it plain and easy to find. He says that wisdom calls out to us. It's all around us. All we have to do is pay attention to it. Make it a priority. Appreciate its value. And be willing to forsake foolishness in order to have it. The thing is that wisdom isn't as "sexy" as foolishness. Foolishness lures you away with false advertising and tells you that wisdom is boring. It wines you and dines you while slowly killing you one choice at a time. But wisdom is often the overlooked wall flower that doesn't court you with sex appeal. She simply promises (and delivers) to you a meaningful, fulfilling, abundant life. Foolishness is a cruel mistress that never delivers on her empty promises, but wisdom is the faithful wife who surpasses all expectations and leaves no regrets. Each person chooses which one they embrace. And the fruit, or lack there of, becomes both the nourishment and the evidence of our choices.
A few easy and great sources of acquiring wisdom that I've been enjoying lately are the book of Proverbs (there are 31 chapters so you can read one chapter each day of the month), RightNow Media (it's like Netflix, but full of Godly lessons, sermons, and teachings), books, and YouTube. Pick which ones work best for the way(s) you best learn... read, listen, watch, and/or meet with wise people. You may be one wise nugget away from a life that thrives!
"Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed." - Proverbs 3:13-18
STRiVE to THRiVE!
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Don't let fears rob you of life. Fears often hold us back from the dreams and calling that God has planted inside of us. Far too many people settle for mediocre, "safe", bland, boring lives that leave them unfruitful and heading towards a head-on collision with an eventual casket full of regrets and unused potential at the end of their "lives". And it is usually unconfronted fears that cause this. You have dreams that God has planted in you! You have a calling that God specifically designed you for! You have gifts and talents and abilities all packaged within a uniquely custom made package of skin to fulfill a calling that only you were designed for. No one else can live your calling. Only you were made for that. But in order to get to who you are called to become you have to walk out a faith journey with God that will take you straight towards the very fears that try to choke out your life, your potential, and your fruitfulness for God's glory. You see, fears don't just VANISH; they must be VANQUISHED! They don't just disappear because you've got good intentions or even a great prayer life. Fears must be confronted in order for God's perfect love to cast out all fears. An unconfronted fear is an uncontrolled fear. And an uncontrolled fear wreaks havoc in your life. I've found that the best way to overcome fears is to take the fight to them. Confront each fear head-on! When I was 19 I made a poster board list of my top 5 fears, hung it on my wall, and resolved to no longer let these fears limit my life and potential in Christ. I prayed over them and then accepted the challenge from my Lord to trust Him as He was going to lead me on a journey directly towards them and through them. As my favorite author Tim Hansel used to say, "The only way out is through." One by one I confronted each one. Some were overcome immediately while others were a process. But just as important as the freedom that I experienced with each overcome fear was the actual deeper faith in and deeper closeness to my Saviour that was developed along the way. There are so many rewards that come from overcoming your fears - freedom, fulfillment, inner satisfaction, a Biblical definition of confidence, increased courage, fulfilling more potential, increased fruitfulness, less limitations in life, an authentic thrill, an unexplainable excitement, a seizing of the moment, living fully in the present, closeness to God, increased faith, breaking of generational fears, and the list goes on and on. In fact, the benefits of overcoming just one fear may lead to the same addiction I acquired - the addiction of overcoming ALL fears. But it all starts with identifying your fears. Then starting a process of confronting your fears by doing the very thing you're afraid of. For example, if you have a fear of public speaking then the only way to overcome it is by public speaking. Start small, like making a quick announcement or offering a small toast or standing up and saying one thing you're thankful for at your next family get-together or gathering with your friends. Work your way up to joining a public speaking club. Do some research. And keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Step by step you will be breaking the chains that attempt to hold you back while at the same time developing a courage to live life fully and freely as God intended you. It's an awesome thing to overcome your fears. Not many joys in life compare to it, especially when you draw closer to God as you do it. Below I've listed my original TOP 5 FEARS that I started tackling when I was 19 years old. Now, 28 years later, I still greatly benefit from taking the fight straight to my fears. God bless you in your journey!
MY ORIGINAL TOP 5 FEARS:
3) Public Speaking
5) A fear of people knowing I had fears
2 extremely healthy fears to have are a biblical fear of God and a fear of a life full of regrets.
STRiVE to THRiVE!
Friday, October 20, 2017
I used to try to fit my workouts into my day... usually after a full day of office work.
I'm a morning person so I liked to use my most productive energy for my job and then tried to find an opening later in the day for my workouts. But pushing off my workouts often lead to missing my workouts. Inconsistency doesn't achieve peak performance or fitness.
Since my motivation to work is always greater than my motivation to workout it was time for a paradigm shift. For the past 7 weeks I've made my workouts one of the first five things I do each morning and I haven't missed a workout yet.
That one adjustment increased my consistency ten fold which increased my energy, health, and productivity a hundred fold!
Don't get me wrong. I'm rarely motivated to workout... only about 20% of the time. 80% of the time my mind tries to talk me out of it. But that's where discipline comes in. Discipline is making yourself do what you should do even when you don't feel like it.
The awesome thing is that God blesses you with an inner reward and abundant satisfaction after you do what you should do when you didn't feel like it. Very few things in life compare to the great feeling that's experienced when you do the right thing when you're mind and emotions tried to persuade you to bail out.
"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." - 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
STRiVE to THRiVE!
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Ratifications, Adjustments, & Paradigm Shifts
Laurie and I are coming off of one of the most exhausting years of ministry in GTD's 21 year history. That's not a complaint. It's simply a fact. Some years just punch you in the face. It happens to everyone. It's life. The question is, how will you respond?
Praise God, we are full of Godly character. We are both fighters. We are both strivers. Giving up is a foreign language to us that we never want to understand. We get knocked down, but we get right back up again. And that's exactly what we are doing right now. Rising up. Assessing everything. Evaluating everything. Addressing everything. Applying wisdom to everything.
If something that we are already doing is wise and fruitful (such as daily seeking God first) then it is ratified and remains in our life. If something we are already doing is draining the life out of us, but simply needs to be tweaked in order for it to become life producing (such as working less hours) then we are making the adjustments. And if there is something that we are doing or not doing that is well intended, but absolutely fruitless and drains the life out of us (such as missing sleep in order fulfill obligations) then we are making paradigm shifts to wiser life giving choices. That's the awesome thing about the way God designed life... He gives us the ability to change our results simply by changing our choices.
So I'm 11 weeks into this transformation (Laurie is about 1 month behind me) and the daily progress and overall results are literally life changing. 3 months ago I was physically exhausted and emotionally drained. The workload I was carrying over the past year was overwhelming and unsustainable. We decided to call off our wedding and focus on our health. I'm thrilled to say that the recovery and resiliency that we both have experienced is extraordinary. I feel like a kid again. The fun, laughter, excitement, zeal, and child-likeness has flooded in and filled up the space that had been occupied by stress, pressure, deadlines, and endless demands. I've been learning so much... accumulating wise principle after wise principle and then applying them to my life only to see my withered leaves become green again, and barren branches produce fruit again, and a survivor become a thriver again. I'm beyond thrilled!
Laurie and I don't know what the future holds as far as our relationship, but we do know that our present is full of Jesus, life, laughter, joy, and purpose. And we are both OK with that =).
This picture was taken last night after we got into an ice cream cone fun fight at Twistee Treat. We couldn't stop laughing =)
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." - Romans 12:2
STRiVE to THRiVE!
Thursday, October 12, 2017
I'm 10 weeks into my "STRiVE to THRiVE" FULL POTENTIAL LIFE STRATEGY. I used the first 4 weeks to get some needed rest from an exhausting year of overwork (I also used the first 4 weeks to dive even deeper into my prayer life, Bible study, wisdom acquisition, wisdom application, and remotivation).
Over the past 6 weeks I've been proactively pursuing a fitness approach that I can maintain consistently in nearly every life circumstance, life situation, and lifestyle structure. Since I'm camping and traveling up to 5 months each year as well as working in a very physically and time demanding profession it is very easy to become inconsistent with fitness and nutrition.
During my prayer time God has been challenging me not to concern myself with adjusting my situation, but rather to increase my DISCIPLINE. My circumstances and situations will always be changing which makes them impossible to submit to a consistent schedule, but if I increase my DISCIPLINE then I can adjust to nearly every circumstance and situation in order to maintain consistency. So I've been doing exactly that, increasing my DISCIPLINE. And the results have been great! Despite the 10 day hurricane preparations and evacuation, my increased DISCIPLINE enabled me to stay consistent. Despite a 6 day physically demanding adventure to Colorado, my increased DISCIPLINE enabled me to stay consistent. Despite occasional days of not feeling like working out, my increased DISCIPLINE enabled me to stay consistent. So, as always, God was right. This one improvement is already yielding great fruit.
My first step in putting it all together was to take everything I've already learned about fitness and nutrition over the past 34 years and combine it with my personal situation (time constraints, travels, limitations, personal experiences, daily rhythms, past trials and errors, past successes, past failures, current opportunities, etc) and remove any hurdles that tend to derail consistency (such as driving 30 minutes away to a gym or pushing off my workout until later in the day or making a workout plan that takes up too much time). Atter I had all these ingredients I was then able to create a customized fitness program for me with the highest likelihood of consistent success. I call it: S.T.R.O.N.G. (Strength Training, Respiratory-Oriented, & Nutritional Growth). It's very simple. I workout with intentional intensity for 25 minutes first thing in the morning 6 days per week at my home office. 3 alternating days are for strength training (wt lifting), the other 3 alternating days are for respiratory-oriented training (cardio), and all 6 days are nutritional training (clean eating) since 75% of a successful workout is accomplished in the kitchen. It's all backed by good science and past personal experience. And for the times I'm away from the home office I have a collection of travel workout equipment including stretch bands, jump ropes, and information (our bodies are their own gym... go jogging or do push-ups, etc) and I have contingency plans if all else fails (such as a 10 minute workout if I can't complete my 25 minute workout) and protein shakes, Shakeology, and healthy meal replacements to keep me on the straight and narrow.
So I'm experimenting with a lot of good ideas, past successes, and wise input to create a fitness program that causes me to THRiVE and eventually become an emphasis of this ministry. Afterall, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we only get one body to journey through life with. Our closeness to God nor our level of faith overrides the personal responsibility of the management and stewardship of our physical bodies. In other words, my fitness or lack of fitness isn't God's responsibility... It's mine. He has given me every instruction, every proverb, every ounce of wisdom in His word on how the body was designed to eat and function. If I unnecessarily suffer... that's on me.
Monday, October 9, 2017
Durango - Silverton - Ouray - Telluride... these are some of the most majestic landscapes across our nation all tucked into southern Colorado surrounded by the San Juan Mountains and connected by The Million Dollar Highway. Each one is a paradise within a paradise.
We are so blessed to visit these places and even more blessed to take others to adventure in these places. I would wish this trip and these DestiNATIONS upon everyone!
We praise God for the amazing opportunity to journey to and adventure in His God-awesome creation!!
"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." - Psalms 19:1
GTD'S COLORADO DESTINATION TRIP!
Saturday, October 7, 2017
We thoroughly enjoyed The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta this morning! It included a pre dawn " balloon glow" and fired-up rendition of the National Anthem. Hundreds of colorful and creative hot air balloons lifted off over a 3 hour period.
Great times... Check that one off the Bucket List!
GTD'S COLORADO DESTINATION TRIP!