Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Challenge: We are a powerful lot it seems. We've gotten the question to number 45 and gotten a few comments as well. All in good fun but if you read the last comment it seems we've been challenged to a cage match and since I know some of the people that have been voting I'd say that's a poor decision on their part.

But dog on it it's the little things in life that make me laugh and this is one of them.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Voting?: Are you voting? Are you getting your friends to vote? Perhaps top 9 is a little ambitious but we can at least shoot for honorable mention. How bout top 50? Vote!

Verse: God has been working in my heart lately about the foolishness of the gospel as said in 1 Corinthians. So often in telling others about Christ and in my messages I'm tempted to show people the road, tell them the way there, let them know the perks and encourage them to start the journey. Basically when I tell people about Christ I tell them about how it's worth it, it might not be easy but it's worth it. I still see value in that but I want to be careful to not water down the gopsel in the process.

I was cut to the heart this morning with this verse:

2 Corinthians 2:15-16 For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?

Who wants to be the smell of death?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ok friends I've got a quest for us all. Mark Driscoll is the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle not to be confused with Mars Hill that Rob Bell is the pastor of. Mark is a pretty controversial figure and he says stuff that gets him in trouble- so he's challenging bloggers and others to recommend questions and the top nine questions will get answered in a sermon and also published in a book.

so I have an idea and I should preface this with the fact that I don't know much about him but what I know seems raw and hard to swallow but I like him. In Mark's book Radical Reformission he says that one of his qualifications of attending a church in his life what 1. the pastor had to preach the bible verse by verse and 2. the pastor had to be able to kill someone with his bare hands.
I thought I'd ask Mark if he could indeed live up to his qualifications.

My Question

So vote- together we can get it in the top 9! You can vote 10 times a day. Ps. you only have until November 1 so vote now and vote often!

Vacation Pictures:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Vacation: I'm going away for the week to spend some time on family vacation so you won't be hearing from me for at least a week.

Deadly Viper Character Assassins: Do yourself a favor and get over to www.deadlyviper.org and buy you and 4 of your buddies a copy of this book. It's simple and straight forward. But it seems like the simple things in life can be the most ground breaking and monumental. Mike Foster (xxxchurch.com) and Jud Wilhite (pastor and author of Stripped) did a great job laying out the things that are lurking and waiting to destroy your character.

Buy it, discuss it, embrace pursuing integrity and character.

Phase Two: June-September- Phase two for weight loss went a little something like this. I decided I wanted to up my exercise. I started doing split body weight lifting and my focus was lifting as much weight as possible as many times as possible. Sound simple enough doesn't it. Yeah it was. My workout went a little something like this.
Monday: chest and biceps
Tuesday: shoudlers
Wednesday: back and triceps
Thursday: legs

One main thing I had to do was I had to start eating more food. I also started using the Elliptical for some faster paced workout but wasn't quite ready for running yet. I was worried about needless wear on my knees.

Diet: During phase two and now into phase three I consume between 1700-2100 calories a day. Most days I keep it on the low side with an average of about 1900 calories a day.

Phase Three really the only thing that has changed is my exercise, mainly my cardio. I'm now in training for a 5k and my time goal is less than 30 minutes. Training, of course, requires running. I've been running 3 days a week for 2 weeks now and have lost 7 lbs.

I think thats the key to my continued weight loss. I keep changing up my exercise, I'm not afraid to take a few days off when I need them but I always keep my food intake steady. Good clean foods and within my calorie range.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Confessions of a Pastor: Both Craig Groeschel and Mark Driscoll have written books about their "confessions". I figured I'd start with a blog entry. So here's one of my confessions.

As a pastor people tell me things. You know, big things. Things you don't really tell other people. They tell me in confidence and I gladly accept that role in their lives. Everyone has a different reason as to why I'm the man to confide it. I think sometimes confession is just so we don't have to carry the burden alone. Some tell me because they figure I have the ability to get them forgiven and I regret to report that's not a skill I acquired at Bible College. I think most people tell me these things because if you let the darkness live inside of you it starts eating at you, and it hurts. By telling someone it releases some of the pressure and alleviates some of the pain. There are those that tell me things because they want restoration. These are my favorite, I can work with these.

I'll be in one of these conversations and I can read the strain and hear the pain of their voices to bring up this topic. I never know what it's going to be but I know it's going to be serious and I know for this person the words they are saying are some of the worst words they have ever heard and they can hear the betrayal of their own voice. They tell me, they force the words out and I can see the darkness leave them. They have accomplished a great thing, they have confessed their sins to another.

Then comes the part where it's my turn. It's my turn to give them words, to encourage them or sometimes just to tell them I love them and that there is life after this. But sometimes as I speak I just want to share with them that parts of my heart are as black as what they just shared. Perhaps the only difference between me and them is that the darkness captured their actions for a short time and I've somehow stifled mine. But I want to tell them that I'm human just like them and that I don't have any magical words of healing only that God loves them and forgives. God's not exactly ok with our darkness but he wants us to surrender it to him and not submit to it.

How I did it: A comment below by "Tension" asked me how I've hopped on the road to healthier living. So here goes.

I started doing Weight Watchers with my wife start April 1, 2007. She had all the materials from doing it before so we just jumped right in. WW is an excellent tool because it makes you aware of the amount of food you are intaking in a given day. For instance at my starting weight of 339 lbs I would have to consume something like 5,000 calories in a day just to maintain that weight and to eat even more to gain and yet somehow I was still gaining weight. Do you know how much 5k calories is? Lots. The crazy thing is I had no idea how much I was consuming in a day. Really I was just eating like almost everyone else around me, my diet didn't seem like the problem.

So I got started on WW and counting up my points and keeping my points under my target for the day. The first two weeks were the hardest and I was almost constantly hungry. But we kept lots of vegetables around the house to tide us over till the next meal. I thought I was in prison; but not the American kind of prison...maybe I Saudi prison or something.

This is when i discovered a little friend I didn't know I had. His name was Will. Mr. Power and I became good friends over those first few weeks and he kept asking me "How much do you really want it?"

I lost 20lbs the first month and about 15 the next month. Results at that stage really keep you going.

Exercise: Diet and exercise, both are good things to do individually but together they almost guarantee results. I started walking with Heather. First we started at about 2 miles and then just gradually worked up to 3 then 4 then 5. Our speed picked up and it just started getting easier. I also started doing circuit training weights at the gym.

That's stage ONE. I'll post stage two tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Weight: As of today I have lost 26% of my starting weight. That's a total of 87.75lbs for my canandian readers that's 39.89 kilos which sounds a lot less impressive than 87.75 lbs. I started running more seriously two weeks ago and have seen a dramatic increase in the speed in which I'm losing weight. I don't want to jinx myself but because I don't believe in that I'll go ahead and say it. The diet thing is taken care of. By diet I mean food intake. The really bad stuff has very little if any real appeal to me anymore, I don't enjoy overfilling myself anymore, I'm aware of what I'm putting in my body and what it's going to do to me. So with those disciplines in place I know the weight coming off is just a matter of time.

So now I have exercise goals. I want to do a sub 25 minute 5k- I think I'll shoot to do that in March of 08. I want to be able to lift bigger than I ever have before but need to wait till I'm done losing the weight I want to so I can consume more calories.

So I digress. I'll try to get a most recent picture of me up soon.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Darlin': I frequent coffee shops. Every day they become my makeshift office. I've been using a new one lately and have gotten a little more familiar with the employees. There is the one lady that likes to call me pet names. You know not the sort that really mean anything...I suppose it's a southern thing but it irritates the crap out of me when the woman is my age or younger. I'm not darlin', honey, or sweatheart. Just get to know me a little and I'll debunk all those myths about me in about 30 seconds.

I'm waiting for the day that I'm called sugarbritches. After I regain consciousness I'll laugh histarically.

Jon Tal: I was working on my next teaching series this morning and I had a flashback to my senior year of college. As a pastoral ministries student we had to take 4 homiletics classes, that's fancy pastor talk for learning how to preach. The first two classes were learning how to outline, study and prepare the message and then the last two were delivery and all we did in those classes was deliver our sermons and get critiqued on them.

I have them on video somewhere and I'm sure they would be quite painful to watch. Remembering that I have pity on those two profs, the misery they must have endured to hear one bad sermon after another after another after another.

Jon Tal Murphree

Monday, October 08, 2007

Catalyst: Last week 7 of us from The Bridge went to Catalyst. I had gone two years ago and just knew our group needed to go. I knew it would be beneficial to all of us but I honestly had no idea how much. I think all 7 of us walked away with that wow feeling that can only come from an encounter with truth and with God.

Personally I felt so challenged spiritually. Francis Chan word's really challenged me to pursue my calling passionately. A lot of times I tiptoe around what I'm supposed to do. Generally I do it with the good intention of minimizing damage or damaging words in others lives but honestly I'm just worried about what people with think of me. I don't want to be labelled a jerk. But his words made clear to me that God has placed me where I am for a great purpose and my call is to passionately fulfill that calling with all the boldness that God will give me.

Craig Groeschel challenged me to hate the mediocre things in life, to desire holiness in all that I do and to be a man of great integrity.

As a pastor it was incredible to see all of us open our hearts to the worship experiences provided. We morphed right there in that stadium of people. Not too sound to hippy but like a sunflower opens for the sun in the morning and follows the sun during the day that's the best way I can describe what happened in our group.

The best part of being challenged in a group like that is knowing you're not in it alone!

Welcome Back:
Blog: I missed you man. where have you been?
Me: Sorry, I missed you too. I just sort of fell off the planet.
Blog: Glad you're back.
Me: Thanks.

Other interesting conversations I had today:
scene: So I'm brushing my teeth after my workout this morning. I always leave the water running when I shave or brush my teeth, no reason and I'm sure it's wasteful but it's what I do. Old guy comes up and stands at the sink next to me and is eyeballing me.

Old Guy: (in abrubt very loud angry voice) Do you waste water like that at home?
Me: (in slightly shocked but still brushing teeth mode) uh huh
Angry Old Guy: (in same abrubt very loud angry voice, aka ready to fight mode) Well you shouldn't do that here, we have to pay for that water...
Me: (in raging on the inside but calm on the outside mode) You know there are proper ways to ask someone to do something?
Angry Old Guy: (walking away) You should know better...rant continued off screen.

*true story

I should tell you something about me that you might not already know. I'm a gentle man...sort of like a grizzly bear is gentle.