Thursday, May 27, 2010

Know thyself

So, I'm paying for it now. I pushed really hard yesterday and I think a number of my muscles are hurting.. but hopefully in a good way.

Last night, sometime after my workout, as I sat on the couch, muscles hurting a bit, I thought of the line from Hamlet. In the beginning of Hamlet, the adviser to the King named Polonius is giving fatherly advise to his son. He tells him a number of good solid proverbial lines and then says to him "Above all else, to thine own self be true." Why was that going through my mind? Well, first of all, I'm a weirdo and have read Shakespeare's Hamlet about 8 times.. but also because I was wondering if I was really being true to myself.. did I really know myself in my exercising... in other words, did I overestimate what I could do or did I do right by pushing myself.. right now, my muscles are picking the first one over the second one, but I won't really know until a few days down the road.

I think a lot times when we exercise, especially when we're first starting out, we don't know our limitations and we don't know how hard we can push past them. I honestly think that when someone firsts starts exercising (and from what I've read on Yahoo! health, this is correct) you need to start slow and work your way up. If you push hard and not know your limitations, you can burn out quickly and become discouraged or worse, you can seriously hurt yourself in the process. Start small, build yourself up, do short tests to see what you can do, step back, review and then push forward again.

I think this happens a lot in our spiritual walk too. For some just starting out, they go overboard and get involved in so much, get into so much and then get burnt out or worse yet, get hurt spiritually and walk away. In our spiritual walk, we need to understand our own personal limits. The Holy Spirit will lead us and guide us. That is His job, that is what He does. Listen to the Holy Spirit, let Him tell you when to push hard and when to back off. Pray that God helps you see where you need to move forward... and allow God to push you past your limits, don't do it yourself. When we allow God to push us past our limits, then we know we're safe.. but if we push ourselves.. we can get burnt out or worse, spiritual hurt and walk away.

Where in your life does God need to push you past your limits and where in your life do you need to take a step back and review what you're doing and how you can keep things in pace with how much you can do.. but physically in exercise and working out.. but more importantly in your spiritual walk

Monday, May 17, 2010

Encouraging each other on

Today at the gym, I bumped into someone from church. We started talking and catching up a bit (hadn't had time to talk and connect for a little while). Then he said something. He said that I'm looking better than I was a year ago. That compliment felt good. In fact, I've had a couple of people in the last five months tell me that they can tell I've lost weight and am looking healthier than I have in the past. And you know what, this has given me energy to keep going. I know I'm doing well. I know I'm on track in staying healthy and being active. And also, each time someone tells me that they think I'm doing well, it makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something.

There's a verse in the letter to the Hebrews that says just that. "Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." (

But this doesn't apply to telling someone that their exercise routine is doing them well. It's more than that. When we spur each other on in love and good deeds, we're encouraging one another to keep doing what' their doing for God and His church. It's encouraging each other to keep doing what we're doing.

I think sometimes we forget that it's hard work at times to help and serve others. We can get burnt out. Sometimes we get so focused on what we're doing that we forget why we're doing it.

For me personally, I'm lifting weights because 1) I enjoy it and it's a good way for me to recharge but most importantly 2) for me to be healthy and in good working order so I can be there for my wife, kids, and others. There are times when I just focus on getting the routine done and get going home. Which is kind of where I was this afternoon until someone reminded me why I was doing what I was doing.

Why are you doing what you are doing? Don't forget it. Where are you serving in church, helping someone out, being there for a friend or a family member, don't forget why you're doing it. And encourage one another on in love and good deeds.

Food, Fitness, Faith--Spur each other on!

Food--if you are dieting with someone else, encourage them to keep at it. Tell them what they're doing well and where they're succeeding.

Fitness--If you're exercising with a friend encouraging each other to keep at it especially when it's tough or tiring to keep on going. (as Tony Little says)You can do it!

Faith--the author of Hebrews says it best really "Consider how you may spur each other on in love and good deeds. How can you encourage others in church, in your faith walk to keep doing what they're doing. Build each other up, help each other serve and love others.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Serving with Joy

This is video from the Bethel CRC Spring Break Mission Trip to Biloxi, MS I wrote about back in March. It's more promotional and more fun. There is still a great need for work to be done down there. Check out, and for more information

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Refresh, Refocus, Renew

Refresh. Refocus. Renew. I came across these words this last Sunday morning at church and it struck me. These words come from the daily devotional called Today ( As I looked at these words, I started thinking about how I can do just that--refresh, refocus, renew. And then I realized, I'm working on that right now. When I first started exercising, I did so for my health. When I first started lifting again, I did so for my health. But then I started realizing that lifting did something for me. It helped me recharge, it helped me take a step back and allow myself some time away from everything else. It gives me the opportunity to refresh, refocus and renew.

After looking at these words, I started thinking about other ways I take time to refresh, refocus and renew. Lately, I've been doing devotions from the Today devotional but also from reading through the book of Matthew in the Bible. It's been a time to step back and focus on who God is. To focus on what God is doing in my life. To refresh and refocus on what Jesus has done for me and how I want to be more like Him in every way.

One of the things I'm starting to see is this: God takes care of me. He takes care of His people. I know in my heart and deep in my soul that God has called me to be a follower of Jesus, to be one who preaches His word. To be one to live my life in a way that helps others live more like Jesus as well. But He won't let me do this alone and he won't let me burn out. He has given support through people I know and through a small daily devotional called Today. He also helps me find a way to stay healthy and to help me refresh, refocus, renew.

How are ways you can take time during your week to refresh, refocus and renew?