Friday, September 30, 2011

Blog moving

To all my wonderful readers (and those who found this blog by searching for Zombies), I am slowly moving it over to wordpress. Please find me at

The Force of comfort

I've always thought that Lucas' idea of midichlorians in the bloodstream to explain the Force was always a cop out. It was a bad attempt to explain something mystical. Very bad. But now it's part of it all. I've always wondered if a Jedi had a blood transfusion with a non-Jedi if the recipients midichlorian count go up or not. But that's not what this Spiritual Sci-Fi Friday is all about.

In A New Hope (spoiler alert) Ben Kenobi became the mentor martyr to save Luke and the rest. He was dead. Yet, in the final battle, Luke hears Ben's voice coming to him loud and clear. In The Empire Strikes Back, Obi Wan is all blue and sparkly. At the end of Return of the Jedi, Obi Wan, Yoda and Anikan (first the older guy then Hayden Christiansen) were all blue and sparkly. The Force allowed them to come back. The midichlorians were strong in them and held them together.

In many ways, this gave us all hope and comfort. They weren't dead. They were still around by the power of the Force. The midichlorians were still mystical after all and things were good to go. The battle has been won! The unblinking primitive Ewoks helped defeat the massive Empire. And all is good with the world.

I think we're all like that. We love the victory. We love the ability to overcome adversity. We love those highs that we get in knowing that all things are working out for our benefit. And it's great. It's wonderful. And we want to live in that moment forever.

And then Heir to the Empire comes in. I can't believe I've never read this book. I bought it for my brother back when it first came out. But I never read it. Until now.

And it's all different (spoiler alert). At the start of it, Luke's depressed. Hahn and Leia are married and are stressed. Wow. That sounds like my life. And even ol'Ben Kenobi is fading away, no longer able to stick around. Where's the comfort after death? Where's the happy ending?

So many times this is more of our reality than it is the Battle of Endor. The emperor may be defeated but we will always have our Grand Admiral Thrawn. And the battle continues. With all these attacks and battles, where's the comfort of the Force?

What about us? What about our comfort. There's this thing called the Heidelberg Catechism. It's a great document. It starts out with this question: What is your only comfort in life and in death? Not what is your greatest, what is your best, what is the one that you like. What is your only comfort in life and in death.

The answer: That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. Dude. Now that's epic.

Midichlorian counts don't matter in this. It doesn't matter how the count is, you can only be blue and sparkly for so long. Yet we have so much more in the long run with Jesus being our only comfort.

I can rattle on and on about this. Honestly, yes, I've laid at wake at night thinking about this stuff. That and what ever happened to Qui-Gon Jinn.

What about you? Where's your comfort?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Take your pic

I'll be honest, it's been tough. I'm having a hard time relaxing. I used to relax, refresh, renew and recharge by hitting the gym. I'd blast the music in my ears and the world would disappear as I did my squats, bench press and curls. I'd focus on the movements of my traps, my lats and my triceps. I'd focus on my stance and on my technique. Nothing else existed outside of that room. Nothing. I set up my heavy bag in the back yard and later in the garage on a stand. I'd go at it. Just me and the bag. Nothing else. Just me and the bag. And the world disappeared. I was able to find that moment where I could just exist and refresh, renew and recharge for the day and be ready for, work.

But over the last two months, this hasn't happened. I'm going stir crazy to tell the truth. I haven't been able to get that recharge I so need to keep on keeping on. I'm not able to get that moment where nothing else exists. The physical activity hurt my lungs and left me short of breath. I wasn't resting to get better like I was supposed to.

It was suggested to find something else. Something that can still take my mind away and be able to renew, refresh and recharge without the intense physical activity. I have an old dusty guitar that was given to us my my in-laws back in '03. I dusted it off. Popped in Guitar for Dummies and have been torturing my fingers since.

It's harder than I thought. My left hand hurts and gets cramped. My finger tips are getting all tingly and weird sometimes. My fingers just don't know how to fing, as if my phalanges on my left hand never realized that, yes, they too would eventually work one day.

I was told that it takes time. It takes time for the fingers to develop the callouses needed to play. The pain is the muscles in the fingers learning something new. The pain and the callouses, though they hurt and tingle now, will make the music come out more clearer here soon.

I also have to remind myself that when I picked up weight lifting in high school, I was sore for days on end. It hurt. And when I started using my heavy bag, I could only go a few minutes at a time.

And so, I solider on. I'm gonna cowboy up and I'm gonna find a way to get relaxed. I don't think I've worked this hard to relax in a while.

What about you, how do you refresh, renew and relax? How have you had to change things up or at all?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Point Break

I've been doing Weight Watchers (for Men) since July. I've lost 20lbs. The last 15 have come off even without much activity on my part. This lack of activity is not from trying. Trust me. I tried skipping rope. I tried going at my heavy bag. But this blasted walking pneumonia has taken me down a few pegs.To tell the truth, in many ways, it has humbled me. I don't like admitting it, that's for sure.

I've learned that, no, I cannot do it all. I've learned that I must rely on others when attempting to do something. I've learned that I must accept the generosity of others when they are trying to help. And this has been hard.

I've also learned that I eat a lot of crap sometimes. I went to Pizza Ranch last week to celebrate my kiddos' birthdays (they're born right next to each other three years apart). Last week I had a max of 66 points for the day and 49 wiggle room points. I knew I was going to Pizza Ranch that night so I did my best to conserve points. But I still went over the top and hit 90 points that night, being left with 27 wiggle room points. I looked through what I ate. Did I really need that second piece of fried chicken goodness? Did I need to eat a second Bronco Pizza slice?

Where did my control go? I do great that day, even turning down a slice of warm apple crumble with vanilla ice cream at my classis (regional governing body CRC's in this area) meeting on Tuesday so I could go to Pizza Ranch that night.

The rest of the week wasn't any better. Too much cake. Too much ice cream. Not enough rest to get over my walking pneumonia. Yet, God has been good to me. Smiling down on me and allowing me to break through the weight limit when I got below 310. Okay, so it's 309.8 but still. It's better than what I was worried it would be.

So, this week, I begin with new vigor. I am recharged to keep at it. Now, I just gotta do it. I need to place my own pride to the side and keep moving forward. I'm even trying to not emphasize the "For Men" part. But it's hard. It's like carrying around a murse. Of course, I call it a satchel. It's a satchel until you put chap stick in it.

In my own spiritual health, I'm trying to do my best with putting aside me pride. And it's hard. I know I need to place my self second before God, to humble myself before him and admit that I can't do it all myself. That is hard to do when you're someone who is used to plowing forward on your own and doing it by yourself.

Next week is communion at church. We'll be taking the Lord's Supper. I'm spending this week reflecting on that. And the question that came up for me this week too is how many points is communion anyway? I've decided that it's 0 points for the grace we have in Jesus and also listed as a power food because it fuels us to go forward.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thor and Peace

I'm worried that I've lost points on my geek card. I didn't get a chance to see Thor in the theaters. I didn't get to see Captain America in the theaters either. (Bought a blue '08 Dodge Avenger and named it Captain American though. Might be able to save some geek points on that one.) But I have been watching Disney XD's Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

I've learned a few things from Thor on that show. In the comic books, (and movie I'm told) Thor is cast out of Asgard (the home of the Norse gods) and sent to Midgard (earth) because he is cocky, stubborn and arrogant. And he is cast out of heaven and sent to live amongst the mortals to learn humility and the need to put others first.

But Thor in Disney XD's version is different. He values honor. He also has a heart for the people of Midgard. He wishes to protect them. He wishes to help them. In fact, he voluntarily leaves Asgard when asked to stay behind during Odin's yearly Odin Sleep. He refuses and goes to Midgard to battle and protect. Yes, he's a bit misguided. yes, he's a bit arrogant about it. But still he wants to do his best to help others.

I like that about him. And honestly, I try to do the same, of course with out Mjölnir of course (his hammer). I also try hard to push forward and to help and to do what I can. I have a great heart for the people out there in need of help. It's not a messiah complex or anything. I'm not out to save the people. But I want to make a dent to help those in need. Those who are hurting. Those who are struggling. Those who are in pain and can use the healing found in the Great Physician Jesus. (This is a Spiritual Sci-Fi Friday, remember). And I push hard. I give my all and I still falter.

The one thing about Thor is that he realized that he needed help too. In the Disney XD version, he sees that he needs to team up with others to fight off the baddies. And this leads to the formation of The Avengers (Wasp suggests that name because to her, it just sounds cool.). Alone, the Avengers can do okay. But together, they can do so much more.

And I have to remind myself of that. I'm not at this alone. There are others with me. There are others who are able to work with me to help those in need. Not only that, but in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the teammates help each other out personally. They encourage one another, they have fun with one another. They have each other's backs. And we all need this for our own spiritual, emotional and physical well being. We all need a team of people to help us, encourage us and fight the good fight with us.

I have that team with me here at my church I serve. I also have that team with me with my good friends all over the place. We encourage and help one another.

What's your team? Who encourages, supports and fights the fight with you?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

When I am weak

I'm not liking this. I'm not liking being told I can't do something. Whenever I've been told "You can't" to me that's a challenge not a deceleration. I was told I was physically unable to learn Hebrew due to language aphasia. Guess what I did? Yeah. I learned it. Spent hours working on it. But I did it. When I was told that I couldn't win against Apollo Creed, guess what I did? Wait, that's Rocky.

But now that I've been sick for the last month, I've been told I can't push myself to hard. That I can't lift weights. I can't go all ape poopy on my heavy bag. I can't even jump rope. I said watch me and guess what happened? I nearly passed out. This walking pneumonia is one big bad word.

So, I have to accept my weakness. Which I hate. I really do. I mean, c'mon, I have to actually admit that I cannot do something! You gotta be kidding me? I can't do something? I've always been able to do what I put my mind to. Yet, this one time, I can't. And it bugs the frak out of me, to tell the truth.

So, what do I do? I think of these words from Paul who had a thorn in his side that wouldn't come out. He begged and begged for it to come out and it didn't. Then Jesus said to him

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

So, I will live in this weakness. For when I am weak then is He strong. Now, I just gotta keep telling myself that over and over again. I have to stop. And admit I can't do something. I need to stop and trust that Jesus will do what he said he would. He is the Great Physician so why can't use medication to heal me. So, I must rest and wait. I'll maybe get my geek on with reading some Full Metal Alchemist. That might work.

What about you? What weakness/es are you struggling with right now?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The sins (I mean geekiness) of the father

In the Bible it says that the sins of the father will be passed down to the third and fourth generation. From a psychological/family systems point of view, what this is saying is that the bad habits of the parents are passed down to the child. In many ways, one of the goals in life is to break the cycle of that negative behavior.

Yeah, way too heady for me right now so I'm not going much into it. One things for sure though, my son's been picking up on my geekatude. He's heavily into Transformers now. He loves Star Wars, he even knows what a Sarlaac pit is. Yeah, he's cool like that. He is getting his identity from me. He is learning from me what it means to be a man. And I so don't want to fail him on that.

But this got me thinking about another father I grew up watching. Grew up watching and saw how he felt he had failed. Saw how his son felt he had failed. Yes, I'm speaking of Worf and his son Alexander.

Worf son of Mogh, lived a life of failure in many ways. He was a strong Klingon. To tell the truth, he in many ways is more Klingon than Klingons. In my mind (and of fans) he is the epitome of what it means to be a Klingon. Yet he still lived with the shame of being raised by humans. He lived with the shame knowing that his father was blamed for the destruction and massacre of the Kithomer colony outpost.

After the death of his babymamma (that is what Alexander's mother basically was, no offense), Worf attempted to raise his son Alexander. The shame of the father was passed down to his son. His son did not take a Klingon name. Maybe this could protect his son. Maybe. But soon Alexander was sent to live with Worf's adoptive parents and was raised amongst humans, even taking their last name Rozhenko (Row-shank-O). Sadly, we do not see the child Alexander again until the war with the Dominion. And then, he comes in attempting to be a Klingon but keeps the surname Rozhenko. Again, shame for Worf that his son fighting on a Klingon Bird of Prey knows nothing of his own Klingon heritage, the honor, the valor, the philosophy of what it means to be Klingon and Worf is teased because of it.

As a father, I fear failing my son. I fear that I will bring him shame, that I will create in him some wound that will take years of therapy (and in turn tons of money) to deal with. I don't want to pass down my shame to him. I don't want to pass down my own personal demons, my own failures as a man down to him.

Instead, I so want to pass down to him those qualities that are good. Are honorable. What I like about the relationship between Worf and Alexander is that Worf, after some struggles of his own, is able to welcome back his son into his life and Alexander is able to welcome his father back into his life too. Worf is then able to begin passing down the honor, the valor, all that it means to him to be Klingon down to Alexander.

I want to do this for my own son too. I deeply want to teach him what it means to be a man of God. I want him to know the importance and honor it is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I want him to know that he is strong in Jesus. I want him to know the honor and valor and responsibilities that are required to be a man of God. I want him to have what I had to learn.

If Worf can do it, so can I, but by the Grace of God go I.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!

How does that saying go? The only way to kill a zombie is to blow off its...head, right? Okay, so why zombies? Well, honestly, the majority of people find my blog by searching for zombies. Seriously. I get hits on my blog with search words like: zombies, pics of zombies, zombie Jesus (yes, seriously, say it with me: Zombie. Jesus.), zombie apocalypse, etc. And they all stem from one post (which you can read here). I wrote it sometime back for a Spiritual Sci-Fi Friday. (Which, by the way, this isn't, just to let you know).

So why Zombies? Well, they're in popular culture right now I guess. Real big too. Now, with Zombies, you have rules. You can find these rules at And rule number one: Cardio. Yes, that's right. Cardio. (Of course, Rule 21 is stay away from strip clubs, but if you ask me, that should be a no brainer if zombies are attacking, that's like the last place you wanna go to tell the truth.)

And now here's the kicker, recently from a tweet from Think, I saw this video and fell in love. Check it.

Honestly, I just gotta say wow! Now that's a way to put a passion, pop culture and exercise to a great fusion together.

Now, of course, I'm not going to make any Zombie Jesus jokes (again, say it with me: Zombie. Jesus.) Jesus, of course, isn't a zombie. That's a whole 'nother raising from the dead thing that deals with the power of the Holy Spirit and is probably a Spiritual Sci-Fi Friday someday.

But right now, what I like about this video is that there's some fun and play in getting encouragement to run. I'm not a runner and I'd probably be that idiot who some how survives. But what I do like is that encouragement that's given.

And honestly, getting over this blasted walking pneumonia (my Megatron right now if you will) I need all the encouragement I can get. I'm looking forward to the all clear to start lifting again and hitting the heavy bag. Getting ready to maybe not be the idiot that survives or the idiot that survives by punching zombies. I'm not sure.

What about you, how do you get encouragement in working out?

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Epic Battle that Never Was

I'm ill. I've had this blasted walking pneumonia so long that I don't need spell check to help me spell pneumonia (and for a dyslexic that's pretty long). I keep getting told that I need to rest to get better. But I need to get work done. And of course, I get myself all outta breath and then can't do nothing.

And then I think of Indiana Jones. Well, more like Harrison Ford to tell the truth. And not in that way. Dude. No, during the filming of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy is running through Cairo and comes upon a dude with a sword who does all the cool sword moves. Indy on the other hand, just finished running for his life and quite in a foul mood, pulls out his gun and shows the guy.

Now, there's a story behind that. Apparently Harrison Ford was quite ill that day. But they were on a very tight schedule. In a moment of improv, he just shot the guy and kept going. This has become one of the most classic scenes in the movie.

Since I've been sick, I've hardly been able to work out or exercise. Before I knew I had this blasted walking pneumonia, I was trying to go at my heavy bag and do some basic calisthenics to stay in shape because I was so busy. But I'd get outta breath real quick like. And then I was told by the doc to rest and not push it.

So, I've been improvising. I've been doing what the doc has told me to and to stick to drinking lots of liquids. But I've also stuck to the Weight Watchers (for Men) very tightly. And I've been resting. And I've been getting better. Yet I also know that I can't push myself too hard because Friday I felt better so I went for a walk and that made things worse.

So, I'm thinking WWID (What would Indy Do?) of course, it'd be more like Harrison Ford but of course that wouldn't make sense either.

But I've also been using this free time to read through my Bible and stay in prayer. A healthy body needs a healthy spirit to keep it going. So, I'm making sure I'm focusing on my spiritual health as much as I am on my physical health. And with this free time, It's been helpful. I've spent a lot of time in prayer these last few days. Now I just hope I can get this blasted pneumonia kicked and get moving on with things.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

They said me said

So, I wasn't planning on posting something just because I've been sick. I mean, really sick. Apparently there's something called walking pneumonia. And right now with how tired I've been even my illness is more active than I (can you hear the rim shot or is that just me).

One thing I've been noticing while I've been sick is how many people tell me so many different ideas of what I should do while sick and what I should have done to prevent being sick. And I'm not saying these are suggestions but instead they come across as absolutes, as if this is the only way I should go.

"You should have had more Vitamin C"

"You should have had more fresh air."

"What you need now is less dairy and more juice."

"You need to think positive" (okay, trying that, nope, still sick)

Honestly, this doesn't just end with being ill. It's also in parenting:

"Put the kid on your schedule because you're the parent." "Just let them cry." And then parents look at me weird when my kid falls down and smacks their knee I tell them "Shake it off, walk it off, throw some dirt on it." Okay, not always the best thing but now when my kids fall down they get right back up and keep playing.

I hear it when trying to loose weight and exercise:

"Stop having so much dairy." (and I love this part) "No other animal above infants drinks milk after being weened like humans do. It's just a conspiracy by the diary companies"

or "So many people are anti fat and anti meat, you need more of that not less"

or "What you need to do is exercise in the morning because that's the best time you're bodies ready for it."

or "High reps low weights." or "high weights and low reps" or "split the routine."

You get where I'm going, right? These are all opinions. And if you, the reader, have told me one of these before and might be grumbling to yourself (you know who you are, right?) please don't take offense. You aren't the first nor the last to tell me as such.

Now, don't think I'm getting all wishywashy on health and stuff. There are some absolutes. 1)Lift with your knees, not your back 2)Low caloric intake with high exercise is the optimum way to loose weight 3)weight training is a vital exercise in improving muscle size and quality.

There are time tested medical and scientific absolutes. When working on being healthy, please keep these absolutes in mind. When being spiritually healthy, please keep the notion of an absolute truth in mind as well--God through Jesus Christ. Yes. I went there. You didn't see that coming? Sorry.

Opinions are out there and there are many. But there are also important absolutes you need to know. If being healthy mind, body and soul is important, then seek the great physician who is the great healer. Okay, I can go more into this and some might just be frustrated that I stopped there but this is a blog, not a book. More sometime down the road though, I promise.

Until then, stay healthy my friends, stay healthy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Apologies, Out Sick

My apologies for not blogging this week. It appears that I will be out sick for this week. Thank you for your readership.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Don't Even Blink

What is fear? It's worrying about the unknown. It's not wanting to take steps forward because you don't know what will happen if you make the decision. It's being worried that as soon as you blink that angel in the corner who looks like it is weeping will attack you and steal all your potential life energy sending you decades into the past.

Okay, that last one is a reference to the totally freaky Weeping Angels from Dr. Who. The weeping angels are an alien race who only exist outside of recognition. If they are being looked at they do not exist. And so, they instead are stone statues who are non-existent. But as soon as you look away, as soon as you blink, the move and move quickly. This Dr. Who monster taps into that fear of what you see out of the corner of your eye. This monster taps into that fear of the unknown and the unseen.

Not only that, but this monster doesn't just take your life, it takes what you could have been. If you were to live for 80 more years, then this monster kills you by sending you back 80 years in the past and living off of what you would have been 80 years in the future. This monster taps into the fear we have about what we want to be and what we could be and eats it up.

Fear can make us do one of two things: 1) Runaway in abject terror trying to find your happy place or 2) use that fear to fuel you into action. The weeping angels forces you to focus. To focus on the fear and not let it over take you. To focus on what makes you want to flee in terror and instead stand firm, staring it down. With the weeping angels, you have to face your fears or die.

To be healthy, to be physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy, you need to face your fears. To stare them down and allow them to fuel you in moving forward.

You have a fear of failure and so you don't try to exercise. You have a fear of failure and so you don't pursue that relationship with someone you care about. You fear failure and don't even want to try to enter into God's presence. You fear rejection and don't want to even approach God through Christ. If everyone else has rejected you so will God you think. Or you fear rejection of family and friends as you step forward in faith to serve.

To run away from fear is to allow fear to win. You become a traitor to yourself, turning from what will benefit you and running away. Turn fear into a tool to allow you to step forward in faith, to step forward in making yourself healthier, to make yourself grow in the Spirit, to make yourself Grow in the knowledge of Jesus and God. To make yourself healthier mind, body and soul.