This blog is a compilation of life lessons involving ministry, life, family and pretty much anything I feel like sharing.
Life's best lessons are learned from the trials and errors of yourself...and those around you. Hope you can learn from mine!
What a week! When I started Monday I knew that it was not going to be an easy week. With our little Anniversary getaway it was time for some celebrating. Which means bread, sugar and higher fat intake. This week was blown in the diet arena. I didn't eat like a pig...however there were moments I decided to go ahead and scarf down a cheesecake. Ah well...back to it next week.
I had stitches removed from my foot this week hoping that I would be able to get back to the new gym I joined, but the doctor recommended another two weeks from exercise for fear of reopening the incision. I'm going to have to hit the dieting hard next week with that little bit of news.
This past week I was talking to someone (don't remember who) about dieting. They mentioned that it's hard to diet and that really you just need to balance your eating. I agreed with that thought, but then I remembered the feeling of hopelessness I had when I attempted to balance my eating. No progress was ever made. It's a little easier "balance" when you're not 266 lbs. When you're as big as I was...drastic changes have to be made. To take a quote from Dave Ramsey...there must be "Gazelle like intensity".
This week I recalled the year 2004 and when this whole weight losing journey began. There was a moment I saw myself on video and then...the punch in the gut
(no jokes here please). I didn't view myself the way I truly was. I
couldn't believe how far I'd gone.When I saw a friend begin to lose weight back in 2004, it hit me...I can do it too. There's nothing stopping me from losing weight. It's all a matter of making it a priority
to be healthy and staying alive longer for the sake of my family.
This week I gained a pound. Lately I have been thinking a lot about being that man 4 years ago. That guy who just felt at times like I had no choice but to be the way I was. I've pondered why this week in particular why God has been laying that on my heart recently. I think maybe God wanted me to do more this week than just post my weight. For folks out there who might be following this little weekly weigh in...it's possible...with a little encouragement and strength in all those small decisions (eating a Krispy Kreme, ordering the fries, scarfing a burger). Don't listen to the enemy who wants to keep you in misery, wallowing in your self-pity making you ineffective for the kingdom of Christ. I've been there...you CAN be set free. Hearing people who've never walked the road you've been down sometimes doesn't help. I've walked it....heck I might have even eaten it!
I HATE when I gain back what I've lost. So to help me remember that one pound is NOT the end of the world, I posted some progress pics from 2002 to 2006.
If you want to join me, please drop a note here or shoot me an email with your weigh in.
Thanks for the encouraging words I've received from folks this week. It means a LOT! Now...here's the weigh in...
Now before I begin my confessional for yesterday's service, I must say to my wife...HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Yep...12 years of wedded bliss was celebrated yesterday for Addie and I. Addie is my partner in life and ministry. Love you darling!
This week was another rocking worship time. You folks can't seem to get enough of the new tune "Mighty to Save". It was again an incredible time hearing your voices from the stage. A friend came up to me after service and mentioned to me that today was the first time she'd heard all the men singing really loud. I didn't notice the difference from the stage, but it was definitely loud. Those moments are just glimpses of what we'll see in eternity. I had goosebumps and I know Camelia took out her ears to hear all of you singing out. Thank you for bringing it again this week Gracers! I can't forget to mention the five baptisms! Man it's sooo cool to be a part of being able to celebrate these moments. We've had so many folks wanting to get baptized that we're having to spread them out over the weeks. Wonderful problem to have! Keep 'em coming!
Brian Gann kicked off a two-weeker called "What's in a Name?". I love that we're doing this series. Understanding who God is gives us more reason to worship our God. If you've never taken time to study the various names of God in scripture, you should. You'll get an even bigger picture of the nature and personality of our Lord. Thanks Brian for doing this series! Check it out on the Grace resources page here.
Another packed house. About 900 people were in the hizzle (that's for my friend David). We'll see what Labor Day weekend brings by way of attendance next Sunday. Here's our worship set list from yesterday. Don't forget, you can click the titles to purchase these songs on iTunes:
Holding onto You by Paul Colman (not available on iTunes)
This week I'm stretching across two areas in my life to nominate a person who is involved in both. Keelie has been an official/unofficial member of the WST for over 2 years.
In 2005, Keelie took on the Stage Manager role overseeing our transition from the school to our facility move in April 2006. Even when she stepped away from that role, she continued coming early with Jim often times lending a hand here and there when needed. But there's something Keelie does that nobody knows about.
About a year ago I assumed the role of Communications Director at Grace. That meant I had the privilege of overseeing the website, the graphics, the marketing, and all things communications related. One area that needed attention was the information connection to people at the church apart from the website, worship guide and service announcements. Once the Grace website was overhauled, we rolled out the GraceLink eNews in December of 2006. A couple of people (non Grace people) told me a weekly eNewsletter was way too aggressive and next to impossible to keep up with. I disagreed and felt the need was too great. I eventually became burried from Monday - Tuesday coming up with content for the weekly newsletter. I guess they were right...but still the need was too great in my mind.
I remembered that Keelie expressed great interest in editing and marketing in general. I asked if she'd be interested in composing the content while I kept the graphics side of the newsletter and thankfully she accepted. Keelie has been a huge blessing to me. She is thorough at what she does and spends much of her time not only inserting content, but viewing the newsletter from the consumers point of view. She's always looking for ways to improve the newsletter while keeping within the parameters established in our ever changing communications strategy at Grace. Honestly, she does so much for me in this area. Each Wednesday I get an email in my inbox that says "The Newsletter is ready". All I have to do is review, drop the graphics in and push "send". She's a master at editing!
Thank you Keelie for your heart and desire to help connect people to the church. You are another reason why I love serving on the Grace Communications Team!!!
If you see Keelie this week, thank her for the eNewsletter and tell her she's SUPER COOL!!!!
You can sign up for the GraceLink eNewsletter that goes out Wednesdays here.
Each Sunday during audio checks the kids of the Grace Weekend Service Team hang out in the auditorium. My wife and kids arrive around 8:10 a.m., 50 minutes before worship time, while others arrive even earlier around 7:30 - 7:45. I thought I'd give just a little glimpse of what the kids have do playing in the aisles and hanging out at the foot of the stage. I love hearing my youngest yell "Daddy!" while we're running through the audio checks.
And I'll just take a moment now to honor the spouses of the WST for their work at having to go it alone
getting the kids ready each Sunday while the band and AVL workers are up there early. It's no easy task getting kids ready alone. I wouldn't know exactly...because I NEVER have to deal with it. Thank you spouses for your brave work of getting the kids out the door each Sunday.
Wow. That...was...awesome. What a rush today. This was for me one of those Sundays that the presence of the God was overwhelming. It's so amazing to hear all those voices singing in unison to the Lord. Just amazing. To both services, you all were awesome.
Both services were packed out today. Just so everyone knows...it's coming for sure. When? Don't know. But we WILL be going to three services sometime soon. We're beginning to outgrow the room in both services and it's not even September yet. So my question is this...where would the best place be to add a service? Saturday evening? A third consecutive service on Sunday? Or maybe a Sunday evening service? It's going to be a tough decision considering all the factors including volunteer schedules and what not. I'd love to hear any feedback on this issue.
Here's our worship set list from today. You can click on the song title to purchase on iTunes: