Join me on a trip

I would enjoy, let me say, love, it if you would join me on a trip in a relationship with Jesus Christ…

If you know me, I am not one to preach the bible down someone’s face, however it is important to me that first of all my loved ones walk briskly to a relationship with Christ, and that I pour as much love and wisdom into my children as possible while also making a positive impact in the lives of others for the Cause of Christ. So, if you are reading this and have read this far, may you please consider in the scope of eternity your immortal soul. You may say you do not believe in all this “religious stuff” well you know what I do not believe in much “religious stuff” either as for me it is not about religion it is about a relationship with Father God Almighty, the Creator of all Whom loved us so much that He became man to pay a horrific price of an extremely painful death on a cross for each and every one of us. Besides the church was never meant to be a museum for Saints & artifacts, but a hospital for sinners to heal, repent, worship, get equipped and go out.

Now you may say I do not know what I am talking about, or even that I may be a fool to believe as I do believe. However, if I am wrong, I lose nothing but gaining a life striving to live by a moral code of love, empathy, compassion and passion, but if you are wrong, you lose everything for eternity.

I do not claim to know it all. I also do not claim to be a prophet, but I can read, I can see, and I can feel, and what I read, see, and feel is that much of the end times are most definitely unfolding at a rapid scale. Please make sure you are ready, most certainly ready, and you have your Bug Out Bags packed.

If you are uncertain, a bit doubtful, hesitant, even a bit or a lot perplexed about it all, I get it. So was I. I will walk beside you, guide you, answer any questions, and listen to you empathetically along the way.

Blessings & Shalom.

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Excellence and Perfectionism

Excellence and Perfectionism

So what is the difference between having a pursuit of excellence verses perfectionism? Please allow me to share my perspective, thoughts and how I believe the Holy Spirit leads and is leading me.

First of all, we know it is impossible to be perfect. No human being can be perfect. You may get straight As in your coursework. You may be the top 1% in your career field. You may go to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, visitation Thursday, hospitals on Tuesday, or more… however none of this makes any human being perfect. We are imperfect beings in need of a Savior, that serve a perfect God. We inevitably will make mistakes, and yes, fail. However, you do not truly fail unless you do not get back up, or learn from your mistakes.

Let’s start with “Perfectionism”.

The Dictionary defines it as: noun: refusal to accept any standard short of perfection.

Here is what the magazine, Psychology for Today, states:

“Perfectionism is a trait that makes life an endless report card on accomplishments or looks. A fast and enduring track to unhappiness, it is often accompanied by depression and eating disorders. What makes perfectionism so toxic is that while those in its grip desire success, they are most focused on avoiding failure, so theirs is a negative orientation. And love isn’t a refuge; in fact, it feels way too conditional on performance. Perfection, of course, is an abstraction, an impossibility in reality, and often it leads to procrastination. There is a difference between striving for excellence and demanding perfection. The need for perfection is usually transmitted in small ways from parents to children, some as silent as a raised eyebrow over a B rather than an A.”

I must confess I was somewhat of a perfectionist in my younger days. I was very driven, and chased the “Corporate Ladder”. In my home, the family room / living room had to be spotless. Most of my clothing had to be ironed or starched with the dress shirts in a certain aligned crease. Dishes had to be arranged in the cabinets in a certain order. I didn’t only prefer to do well at work, I worked and did whatever it took, well above and beyond, to be the very best. Number one. I worked out 6 days a week. If I was not in the gym each of those days, I was in the Karate Dojo training. Even with church, I was there not just Sunday morning, but Sunday evening, Wednesday evening, Thursday visitation, and often Tuesday hospital visitation. My efforts bordered on an obsession with perfectionism or performance. I was not just prepared, I was overly prepared.

Now reading the above paragraph you may either think this is borderline Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or you may say all of that sounds good, or what’s wrong with it? I am here to tell you that regardless of your perspective, it is a prison and thinking that you may perfect something or become perfect is a failing endeavor.

First of all time is priceless and you can never get time back. Wasting it on the pursuit of perfectionism is not a good investment of your time versing investing it with loved ones. Being obsessed with things or activities that do not make a true positive impact, help build the Kingdom, or truly grow in your relationship with others, and most especially with God, can be a wasteful pursuit. I am not saying all of those things I confessed are bad. We should take care of our body, mind and spirit. We should work hard at what we do, or anything we set out minds too. We should worship, serve, learn, grow and go out in church. However, God did not design us to be “workaholics”, or “churchaholics”, or “perfectionists” There is a difference between perfectionism and the pursuit of excellence. And I do believe God designed us to pursue excellence.

The pursuit of excellence is not perfectionism.

Just because you are a fallible human being and not perfect, it does not give you permission to not pursue excellence, or a license to be a sluggard. It does not give you permission to be a sloth in your work, leading and loving your family, and striving to serve Jesus Christ. We are all wonderfully, fearfully, and miraculously made for a purpose. As believers, many others, not just the lost will look to, and up to us as an example. If you are a born again believer, part of your responsibility is to fulfill the Great Commission. It was the last things that Jesus said before He ascended unto the Heavenly Father.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matthew 28:18–20 NIV

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might,[a] for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going” — Ecclesiastes 9:10–12 English Standard Version (ESV)

A job or career is both a blessing and a privilege. Many do not even have a career, or able to choose one. It should be done well. A person should strive to be excellent at their job, as long as it is not first in their lives. Meaning, give your work your best during the hours you are assigned. Your employer extended trust in you in hiring you to do the work. Do it with the best of your ability. Learn more, listen well, and do your best, then let God take care of the rest. The bible says a man must work, and not be a sluggard.

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[a] serve the Lord.” — Romans 12:11 English Standard Version (ESV)

“Spiritual maturity is a quest for character for which there will be little progress without the pursuit of excellence. Without pursuing excellence, life will remain bland, very vanilla, lukewarm at best (see Rev. 3:15–16).” — Charles Swindoll.

“And this I pray, that your love may abound (i.e., excel) still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” — Philippians 9:1–10 (NET)

If you are a father or a mother, do you instruct your children to give their endeavors little effort? Do you tell them that they do not have to show up for school, or church? That is okay to be late, that their time is more valuable than the teachers or coaches? Do you allow your children to sign up for an activity in which they lead, or a sport to then accept them quitting after a few practices or games? Do you get concerned when they get poor grades or sleep in too late? Do you as an adult show up on time or even early demonstrating not only your respect for the person or employer in Christian maturity or as a responsible adult, or are you habitually late for work, events or activities not only disrespecting the other person or employer’s time, but disrespecting yourself in your faith and as an Ambassador of God?

O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you[a] and watch.” — Psalm 5:3 English Standard Version (ESV)

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” — Proverbs 6:6–11 English Standard Version (ESV)

Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you may excel still more.” — 1 Thessalonians 4:1 (NASB)

I have several friends who either are in the military or who were in the military. They are some of the most punctual, dedicated and persevering people I know. If they were late, it could not only cost a unit member their lives, it could cost civilian lives. Some may say, well that is for times of war, or for when we are at war. Readers, we are at war. There is a Spiritual War waging all the time and all around us. We face three enemies: the world, our flesh, and the devil

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” — Ephesians 6:10–12 (ESV)

Allow me to expound on another personal example. What about your “Sir name” Your character as it is associated to your lineage or legacy? Is it okay to do activities, work or something you have been assigned or responsible, half way? Is it okay for you, your character and Sir Name to think that it is acceptable to just throw anything together without much thought and work? Is it okay for your children to do the same? Your children are observing you, and will learn to be a responsible adult, citizen and eventually a parent from your example. In addition, God and His Son, our Savior, is also observing. Are we living our legacy in the way of striving to do well, and pursue excellence in all that we do, and say?

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” -James 2:14–18 ESV

The pursuit of excellence is a good thing. It is also not proud, nor boastful. It is not a quest for superiority. It is all done with love, love of others, and love for God.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” — 1 Corinthians 13:4–8

But as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, and in all eagerness and in the love from us that is in you — make sure that you excel in this act of kindness too.” 2 Corinthians 8:7 (NET)

And may the Lord cause you to increase and abound (excel) in love for one another and for all, just as we do for you, so that your hearts are strengthened in holiness to be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.” — 1 Thessalonians 3:12–13 (NET)

If you love and respect your parents. Or let’s say you have or had an amazing boss or coach. Would you not strive to please them, to honor them? Would you not strive to do your best for them? What then shall we do for our Heavenly Father? We are His son’s and daughters. We are all adopted by salvation through Jesus Christ. We are also Jesus Christ’s apprentices. Should we not pursue excellence as a good son or daughter? Should we not be the best apprentices that we can?

Life is a gift. Time is priceless. We should strive to make the most of it and seize each day with purpose, navigate with principles and explore with passion. Are setting back, and observing life from a cozy recliner, or are we getting in the game of life and giving it our best? Do we look forward to each day that the Lord blesses us with, in thanksgiving, striving to honor not just ourselves, our children, but our Heavenly Father by giving Him and those other loved ones our best? Are we getting to up and out to not just work, or events, but to life on time, or better yet early with enthusiasm and optimism?

Seize life! Eat bread with gusto, Drink wine with a robust heart. Oh yes — God takes pleasure in your pleasure! Dress festively every morning. Don’t skimp on colors and scarves. Relish life with the spouse you love Each and every day of your precarious life. Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange for the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one! Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it, for there’s neither work to do nor thoughts to think in the company of the dead, where you’re most certainly headed.” — Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 The Message (MSG)

I say, we should pursue excellence in all that we do and say. To do our best, and let God take care of the rest. To look at life as an adventurous expedition, launching each day with purpose, navigating with principals, and exploring with passion!

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Top 10 Daily Activities to Improve Your Day & Your Life

Some things I do that improve my days, & over time improve my life that I would like to share with you:

1.) Rise early to seize the day for me time while realizing each new day is a gift from God.

2.) Have some Daily Word, Prayer & Inspirational music time

3.) Exercise, whether it is my scheduled muscle group for progressive overload in the gym that day, or cardio day, or a simple 1 to 3 mile brisk walk.

4.) Provide someone with a genuine & authentic compliment

5.) Learn something new

6.) Call, or visit, a loved one to check in with them and tell them how important they are to me

7.) Count daily blessings, even write them down/post them up, and thank God for them

8.) Read, research, and play with my toys or enjoy my hobby like riding my motorcycle, riding my bicycle, writing, visiting a park, exploring remote areas of quaint/dive restaurants, videography/photographer, blogging, podcasting, youtubing,

9.) Set a new goal and/or measure the progression of a current goal

10.) Drink plenty of water, eat healthy & try to get adequate rest

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It’s Not Magic, It’s Diligence…

It’s Not Magic, It’s Diligence…

I made a commitment for the New Year as part of my New Year Resolution on 12/31/19 to get more fit and lose weight. To get healthier for not only myself, but for my children, so that they can enjoy having a very active, healthy, long living dad. So that I can actively engage and play with my future grandchildren and their children.

I have revised and updated this article from when I originally posted, to now Nov. 11th, 2020. Which is eleven months into it. As I am re-writing this article, I have lost over 30 pounds while maintaining it, then gaining 10 pounds in muscle. I am down three waist sizes. Muscle increase from 1″ to 2″ in size. I returned to karate, earned another Back Belt, and back to instructing classes. I sleep much better, and lowered my Resting Heart Rate by over 20. I feel much younger, nearly like I did in my twenties.

So you may be wondering how I did it, or how I am continuing to do it.

This is how…

The journey began after my son and I completed the 1000 New Year’s Day Kicks at our Karate Dojo with some other students as an Annual Tradition.

I started out with the Personal Mission Statement saying and cliche of,

Getting Lit and Fit, while saving plenty in 2020.”

The Fit part was obviously referring to my fitness plans of exercise and healthier eating habits. The Lit part was to use my talents, time, and treasure more to make a positive impact in the lives of others and honor my faith.

Saving plenty was the commitment of completing Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey and strive to be a better steward of my finances, get completely out of debt, and save money for emergencies, vacation, and a better future for my children and I.

For my “Fitness Challenge”,

I initially chose the #75Hard Challenge. However, I seen that it was not reasonable to launch into something so arduous right away. So I created conditioning phases that divided the plan into thirds. The first phase was called #21Start, and the second phase was called #40Medium. The 21 and 40 meant the number of days of the challenge just as 75 is 75 days for #75Hard. Here is what the #75Hard mandates for 75 days straight. With the #75Hard if you miss a day, or cheat on anything, you have to go right back to day one and start the 75 days all over again:

1.) Choose an Eating Plan and stick to it to the letter

2.) Drink 1 gallon of water a day

3.) Exercise/Workout twice a day for at least 45 minutes with one of those workouts being outdoors

4.) Read 10 pages of a non-fiction self improvement type book a day

My “Conditioning Challenges” were simply 1/3 of the #75Hard for the 21 days for the #21Start, and 2/3 of it for the 40 days for the #40Medium with the exception that if you slip with one of the 4 items in a week you do not have to start back to day one unless you miss two or more.

I did fairly well with my challenges and in the process have developed a healthy routine that I feel as if I can make it a away of life. In other words, something I can manage and maintain for the long term, most likely the rest of my life, verses a certain amount of days or weeks of a challenge. Here it is:

1.) “Mediterranean Diet” (with cheat days on special occasions) with Intermittent Fasting (16/8) beginning 3/2/2020. My 8 hr window is 2pm to 10pm

2.) Drinking 1/2 gallon (2000 ml) of water a day

3.) Daily exercise and/or work out routine with Sunday being a complete day of rest. (see Daily Plan below)

4.) Reading 5 pages of a non-fiction/self improvement book a day

Below are the details of my eating habits, diet, workout/exercise programs. Again, it is not magic, it’s diligence. You must make a decision, and a commitment you can follow not just for an interim, an amount of time, or period of days, weeks, or months. You must dedicate yourself and be diligent about a different lifestyle to accomplish your health goals. You are not only worth it, your children and their children are worth it.

My Workout/Exercise Program:

Workout/Exercise Weekly Program Schedule

The above plan isolates certain muscles groups each day giving them at least a day to two days off to recover while working a different set of muscle groups.

Sabbath Sunday

Now let’s talk a little bit about Sabbath Sunday. I set this day aside to rest, relax, up-plug, and re-charge. I strive to make sure most devices are off, and not often in my children or my hands. Especially at the table. We unplug to more plug into not only our relationship with God and His Son Jesus Christ for church services, but in to one another. We enjoy a nice breakfast, lunch and dinner with one another, friends and family. If it’s nice, we grill out on the back deck, and enjoy one another’s company, and some good music. If I am alone, I still grill out, listen to music, read, and watch the son sit.

Sometimes we also have what I call, “Sabbath Sunday” with our Men’s Ministry or other church group where we have a pot luck dinner, or dine at a restaurant together with my Men’s Ministry Group, or other Church Group. During football season, we most definitely like catch the games together whether at one another’s home, or out.

I do not work out at all on this day. It’s a time for my muscles to re-charge and rebuild. Although, with my children, we walk in the park, go to the beach at a lake, or to the indoor or outdoor malls, my focus is not to exert myself, but to relax, enjoy relaxing, reflect, and re-charge.

Mediterranean Diet:

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. While there is no single definition of the Mediterranean diet, it is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nut and seeds, and olive oil.

The main components of Mediterranean diet include:

  • Daily consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats
  • Weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans and eggs
  • Moderate portions of dairy products
  • Limited intake of red meat

Other important elements of the “Mediterranean diet” are sharing meals with family and friends, enjoying a glass of red wine and being physically active.

The foundation of the “Mediterranean diet” is vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans and whole grains. Meals are built around these plant-based foods.

Moderate amounts of dairy, poultry and eggs are also central to the “Mediterranean Diet”, as is seafood. In contrast, red meat is eaten only occasionally.

Healthy fats are a mainstay of the “Mediterranean diet”. They’re eaten instead of less healthy fats, such as saturated and trans fats, which contribute to heart disease.

Olive oil is the primary source of added fat in the “Mediterranean diet”. Olive oil provides monounsaturated fat, which has been found to lower total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol levels. Nuts and seeds also contain monounsaturated fat.

Fish are also important in the “Mediterranean diet”. Fatty fish — such as mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon and lake trout — are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat that may reduce inflammation in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids also help decrease triglycerides, reduce blood clotting, and decrease the risk of stroke and heart failure.

Intermittent Fasting:

(IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It doesn’t specify which foods you should eat but rather when you should eat them. In this respect, it’s not a diet in the conventional sense but more accurately described as an eating pattern.

Common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16-hour fasts or fasting for 24 hours, twice per week.

Fasting has been a practice throughout human evolution. Ancient hunter gatherers didn’t have supermarkets, refrigerators or food available year round. Sometimes they couldn’t find anything to eat. As a result, humans evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time.

In fact, fasting from time to time is more natural than always eating 3–4 (or more) meals per day.

Fasting is also often done for religious or spiritual reasons, including in Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism.

There are several different ways of doing intermittent fasting — all of which involve splitting the day or week into eating and fasting periods.

During the fasting periods, you eat either very little or nothing at all.

These are the most popular methods:

The 16/8 method: Also called the Lean gains protocol, it involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to 8 hours, such as 1–9 p.m. Then you fast for 16 hours in between. This is the Fasting method I have personal selected as of 3/2/2020.

Eat-Stop-Eat: This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.

The 5:2: With this methods, you consume only 500–600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.

By reducing your calorie intake, all of these methods should cause weight loss as long as you don’t compensate by eating much more during the eating periods.

Many people find the 16/8 method to be the simplest, most sustainable and easiest to stick to. It’s also the most popular.

Around the 1st of March, 2020, I have also added Rule 1 Protein mix after my workouts, and a Extend Post Workout Recovery mix after my work outs. In addition, I drink a pre-work out mix before some workouts. I add raw honey as a sweetener if needed. I also add a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in a mix daily with EmergenC powder mix.

Non-Fiction / Self-Improvement Book Reading:

There are so many nonfiction and self improvement books out there. I chose books such as the bible, devotionals, health and fitness books/magazines/articles, sales training books and other motivational books. You should choose what you feel is best for you. Just commit to reading a certain amount of pages a day. I chose 5 pages a day.

Supplements and Vitamins

I mix Emergen-C (1000 mg vitamin C), 3 to 5 mg of Creatine, Apple Cider Vinegar into my Gold’s Pre-Gym workout drink. I also take 50mg of Zinc, a B-Complex, and Ahwagandha on a daily basis. I also try to take a Vitamin D, Calcium, and invest about 5 to 8 minutes in a tanning bed every other day in the cold and dark winter months to help produce vitamin D.

Remember, there is no magic pill, no quick fixes here. If you are out of shape or over weight, you didn’t get there over night, therefore do not expect to lose weight and get fit over night.

It will take commitment, dedication and diligence. It will take developing a habit, and I do not think 21 days is logical or proven to develop a habit. I believe and have experienced it takes at least 45 to 90 days.

This plan has and is working for me. However, not every person is alike. We all have different bodies, and metabolisms. ALWAYS first check with your medical physician before launching into any exercise program, diet, or change in eating habits.

~ Bro 24, Blessed Dad, Writer, Christian Biker, Sensei, Mental Health Class Facilitator, YouTuber, Business Catalyzer, Encourager, Business Cloud, Digital Marketing, & Telecommunications Specialist, .

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“I can’t lose weight or gain muscle…”

Often people will say to me that they go to the gym a couple times a week, and also invest about an hour on the treadmill a couple times a week and they see no weight loss, or muscle gains, or muscle definition.

Then I ask them what they eat, and their answers are typically junk like double cheeseburgers, deluxe thick crust pizzas, bags of potato chips, french fries, lots of soda, sweets, craft beer, plenty of deep fried foods, and white bread…

Then I ask them how long have them been working out, and often their answers are 2 to 3 months.

Here’s the deal, a person didn’t gain the weight overnight. Why would they expect to lose that weight that took many months to years to gain, to even be possible to shed in a mere 2 to 3 months? In addition, no matter how much a person works out, a person cannot out work a good healthy eating habit. These are physiological, medical, and statistical facts! Results are 80% or more in diet.

First of all if you want to lose weight you MUST be in a calorie deficit for a measurably period of time. Consume some good, proven, and scientifically tested supplements and vitamins. Eat until you are adequately content, and not full. Stop the sugary drinks and sodas. Eliminate most, if not all white enriched breads, step away from fried foods (go grilled, roasted, or baked, with no breading if possible), and processed foods as much as possible if not almost entirely for a while. Step away from the regular pastas and go with veggie pasta. It tastes nearly the same. If you cannot give up pizza, then go with thin crust, and minimal meat, or opt out of meat, and do a veggie thin crust pizza or better yet go with a cauliflower crust. If you love your cheeseburgers, and other red meats, then choose as lean as possible (i.e. 90% lean), remove the bun, go light on the condiments, and try leaner types of cheese. Choose Almond Milk, instead of regular fatty milk. Choose Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, and honey, instead of ice cream. My favorite way of eating that I am often able to maintain is the “Mediterranean way” using the “Mediterranean Diet” foods. Test out Intermittent Fasting (aka “IF”). You have to make healthy eating a way of life, not a temporary fix.

Two days a week is not enough to get good results. If you are over weight, or obese, and want to cut, increase muscle size, and strength; I recommend 4 to 6 days a week and isolate muscle groups every other day such as this example: Mondays= Chest & Triceps, Tuesdays= Legs & Core, Wednesdays= Back & Biceps, Thursdays= Legs & Core, Fridays=Chest & Triceps, Saturdays=Back & Biceps, Sundays= Complete Day of rest and recovery. Do cardio at the end of your weight lifting but not every day. Choose maybe 2 to 3 days a week. You often burn more calories with heavy weight lifting than you do on a treadmill (except for “HiiTs”), especially with leg work outs. You also want to save your glycogen for the weight training, verses expending it all on the treadmill, bike, or elliptical. Use the treadmill at the beginning for a fast walk for about 5 minutes for a warm up. Do light dynamic stretching and not static for a warm up. Start also counting your steps, calories and Macros with a Fitbit or other similar tracking device and start with getting 3 miles (6k steps) for the first month or so, then work up to 5 miles (10k steps) a day and strive to maintain 5 miles (10k) a day, every day. It is important that when a person is working out in this manner, or up to this manner, to stay well hydrated (no less than 1/2 to 1 gallon of water a day), and consume a lot of protein. No less than .80 per pound of body weight. Many trainers suggest 1.0 to 1.2 of body weight.

Now you may be thinking this is all impossible. Although you should most definitely check with your medical doctor and get his approval before launching into any exercise routing or eating habit, however I assure you it is possible as I do it. Now I am up there in years, broke 15 bones in a motorcycle accident at the end of 2016, tore my rotary cuff and dislocated a shoulder in karate tournaments, hyper extended my knees several times, including my elbow, in karate, told by my doctor I have arthritis in my hips… However, since my new years resolutions of #getfitstayfit started on 1/1/2020, I have lost over 40lbs, and kept it off. I am down well over 4 waist sizes, gained 1 to 3 inches in muscle size, lowered my resting heart rate by over 20 pts., and feel nearly as I did in my 20s.

To be candid, you will have to embrace the suck, and suck up the pain due to sucking up too much junk foods, and being sedentary for too long and/or too often. You will need to stop making excuses, or talking about what you need to do such as lose weight, get in shape, etc… And do it, right now, and stay with it to make it a way of life. You deserve it, and so do your loved ones. You can experience the pain of discipline, or experience the pain of regret. It is your choice.

Write out a plan that you can measure, get an accountability partner, or hire a personal trainer; then act upon that plan right away, and make it away of life for a longer, healthier, and more fulfilling life. Start right now. Getting fit and staying fit is a lot more fun with a friend or family member. They can help motivate you and you them, as well as keep you accountable. Consider hiring a personal trainer that is certified, and not only gets results but lives out their own results.

Be patient, determined, diligent, and disciplined. Please keep in mind the results will not be overnight, not even over 3 months, but in about 6 months you will start seeing some results, and at about a year you will be doing much better, and possibly hit near your goal. In 2 years you should be there or at least almost there. But don’t stop then, make it a way of life. You and your loved ones are worth it.

In addition, getting fit and staying fit is biblical. So for those whom believe in the bible, and it’s foundational truths, or anyone of most any faith that thinks it is vain, selfish or narcissistic to get fit and stay fit would be inaccurate. Yes we are to love God, love people just as we love ourselves as the bible verses and even commandments dictate. However, do you catch the we are to love ourselves. Remember, we are God’s creation, and our bodies are referenced as temples in which we are to take good care of maintaining. We are also not just physical beings, we are also mental and spiritual. We should keep all three aspects healthy and fit.

Here are some verses that support getting fit and remaining fit;

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” — 1 Corinthians 6:19–20

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 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 12:1–2

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” — 1 Corinthians 9:24–27

“Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ “ — Deuteronomy 1:13

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,” — Hebrews 12:11–12

“Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.” — Isaiah 35:3 “A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might,” — Proverbs 24:5

“At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food.” — Daniel 1:15

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“I don’t have time for exercise!”

I’ve had many people tell me that they have no time to exercise, workout with weights in the gym, or even do 10k steps a day. The fact is that people will find time for what’s most important in their lives. Some times they also have a misconception or possible delusion on how much time good fitness habits take.

First of all 10k steps is achievable even by the most busy or even sedentary occupations. A simple 1 mike walk takes about 20 minutes. Check that off in the morning. There is 2k steps. A good portion of sedentary jobs you will get steps in by walking into work, getting up for bio breaks, lunch & possibly a snack which may typically reap 2k to 3k steps. . Why not stop by the gym on your lunch & get 10 to 20 minutes in the treadmill or walk in the park as part of your lunch? That’s 1k to 2k steps right there. Why park so close to the doors of your destinations unless you are in a rush or it’s storming? By the end of your day you may most likely be just 3k to 5k short of 10k. Simply wrap your evening up with a nice walk around the neighborhood, park, or at a mall or museum or on the treadmill?

Your main workouts do not need to be over an hour. Focus, stay on schedule, and focus different muscle groups on different days. Leverage your 1 minute break by walking around to achieve more steps and keep your metabolism and blood flow up in between your sets.

You could easily achieve 10k steps and your exercise routine by investing 1.5 hrs a day. I know it can be done because I do it and I’ve got a full time job, very active minor children, and serve or lead in charities and/or ministries.

Isn’t your better physical, mental and spiritual health worth 1.5 hrs a day? How much time are you spending on Facebook, or other social media? How much time are you spending on binge watching TV, or unnecessary drama?

Instead of scrolling, how about putting the devices down and go strolling? How about putting limits on your tv watching, screen time, and instead reach your limits and goals by lifting weights in the gym? Instead of getting pulled into or participating in unnecessary drama go for a hike, walk with people who inspire and love you or learn yoga, meditate, pray or listen to an audible book while going for a long walk?

Not starting, reaching and maintaining your fitness goals by saying you are too busy and/or don’t have the time is usually just a misappropriated excuse. A person can and will find time for what’s most important. Your health is important and important to your loved ones.

#getfitstayfit

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“Christians don’t dance…”

“Christians don’t dance…”

So it is rumored that someone, or several, I attend church with, or have attended church with, saw me dancing at a local Lodge. It seemed as if they felt I shouldn’t be dancing or carrying on as I may, being a Christian who serves in church and a ministry leader….

Allow me to expound upon my perspective and thoughts: First of all I am who I am whether in church or out of church. No matter if it is Sunday, or any day thru the week. I do not put on a fake facade. I am consistently me, and I know who I am, what I am about, where I came from, what I do, why and to Whom I serve, and it certainly isn’t the thoughts or opinions of mankind. Besides what someone else thinks or says about me is none of my business.

Everyone has an opinion, and many assume. However we should know what assume does. Yes, I am a Christian, an imperfect human in need of a Savior Whom is perfect. Many Christian have a variety of convictions, and there are many denominations of churches in which have a variety of covenants. Some churches mandate certain behaviors, “codes”, or conduct. In fact, some churches would never let me lead, teach, or preach because I am divorced. Some would consider it unacceptable to wear jeans in church, listen to rock music or dance music, and only sing traditional hymns and have no instruments in church other than maybe an organ or piano…. I believe the church was never meant to be a dry or dismal museum for saints, artifacts, and statues, but a hospital for sinners to learn, repent, worship, serve, get equipped and go out; and we are all sinners.

Personally I care very little about human made church rules and regulations, and what people whom are not very close to me think or say. I care what the bible says, and strive to chase the Beautiful Outlaw in Jesus. I try not to assume what the bible does or doesn’t say, only what it does say, and the context in which it says it.

Now if you have read thus far, allow me to share my perspective and thoughts even more with some biblical references…

I don’t necessarily adhere to a strict interpretation of a specific church’s denominational “rules” and “regulations” that tend to be man made. Jesus set us free to live life with passion.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” — John 8:36

Not a life in bondage of a specific rule to where we may be “judged” if we watch certain movies or listen to certain music, or dance. I’m not “fundamental” in that aspect. I like good music, good movies, much of the arts, theater, and dancing,… and I don’t wear a tie or suit to church. I often go to church in shorts, sandals, and a T-Shirt, or an old pair of jeans and Harley shirt or leather jacket. Some denominations may be strict on those things. However, I am me, and I know who I am, what I am about, and to Whom I serve. I do not need humanity to define me, or place me in a box. My Creator has told me Who I am, and has set me free to be me, and strive to be the best man He is continually molding me into.

I believe that God wants us to enjoy the creative. He is the Creator by all means. We were built to be creative. There is some great music out there, thought provoking theater performances, and good movies to watch, and if you feel like dancing, do it, I say. King David danced with gladness. I believe we should be passionate about what you do and who you are. We just should be respectful, and be guided by principles in our passion focusing on what is good, and acceptable to our Creator.

Psalm 150:1–5

“Praise the Lord.

Praise God in his sanctuary;

praise him in his mighty heavens.

Praise him for his acts of power;

praise him for his surpassing greatness.

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,

praise him with the harp and lyre,

praise him with timbrel and dancing,

praise him with the strings and pipe,

praise him with the clash of cymbals,

praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.”

Psalm 149:3, “Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp.”

Ecclesiastes 3:4, “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,”

Jeremiah 31:13, “Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”

Ecclesiastes 3:9–13 NLT, “What do people really get for all their hard work? I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.“

Yes, I dance and enjoy it, especially with my loved ones. I like a variety of music including rock music. In fact, I do a lot of things that may not be agreeable by some churches and church denominations. I am okay with that as I serve God, and not mankind. I have also had more near death experiences than I care to count. I was in a wheel chair for a month after breaking 15 bones, and thought I may not fully recover as the doctor told me, let alone be able to dance again. I’ve lost a lot in my life, and grateful I have lived through it all, and built much back up. As I experienced all that I have experienced in my life, I celebrate the gift of each new day the Lord has blessed me with Purpose, navigating with Principles, and exploring with Passion. So yes, I dance.

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Mind over mediocrity…

You were not made for mediocrity

Mind over mediocrity.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Mind over matter”? This cliche is more profound than some may realize…

Maybe you are thinking your are too old or too young to achieve your aspirations, dreams, and goals. Maybe you think you are too obese, too skinny, or too uncoordinated to get fit and stay fit, or to accomplish that athletic goal. Maybe you think it’s too late in life to accomplish that goal of building a business, achieving below 80 on the golf course, a black belt in karate, hike that trail, be in the gym 4 to 6 days a week, or lose those pounds of weight? Maybe you think because of an injury, illness, or financial status you can’t achieve something spectacular?

I wish to express to you from personal experience, and experience with working with and alongside others, that those ways of thinking are you nearly believing lies, and are often self defeating excuses. Time to uninstall self doubt. Please do not get me wrong, a person should always check with their medical doctor before proceeding into an exercise program, diet, or changing a eating habit. That is wise. However, a person can achieve the spectacular, at least often more than they thought they could initially achieve with the right mindset, and attitude.

The challenge with the average human psyche is that we tend to self talk ourselves out of a change, or challenge when either we think it may be too difficult or when it does become difficult.

The thing a challenge is called a challenge for a reason. It’s not meant to be easy to achieve. It is supposed to be tough. It takes hard work, discipline, and diligence over time. Look at it this way if you are over weight, did it happen over night? Did it happen in months? Most likely it was over a year or more, why would you logically think losing that eight could be done in months, or sometimes even a year? If you have not worked out in the gym in months to a year, or jogged those miles in that amount of time as well, why would you think you could build muscle, stamina and strength in such a short time? That is not reasonable, nor logical.

If it were impossible to achieve financial success, a high level of fitness at an older age, or after an injury or illness, then why are people achieving it, including myself?

May you fail? May you have a setback? Most likely, but that surely is no reason to not try, or give up. Besides, you do not truly fail unless you do not get back up, and learn something from it. Most if not all of your top producing professionals, CEOs, and famous athletes failed more than they succeeded. Look at their true biographies and authentic interviews. Granted some genetics does play a role, or coming from a family of wealth. However, that is not the majority, it is the minority. Most of these high achievers had these actions and characteristics in common;

Guts, Resilience, Initiative, Tenacity (G.R.I.T.)

They had a dream, developed goals, wrote out a plan, and worked that plan with determination, diligence and discipline. You can do this too.

However, you cannot do it if you keep making excuses, pointing fingers, or blaming others for not achieving your aspirations, and goals. The finger is on you. If you fail, so what? As shared most, if not all of your top producers, and athletes failed many times, but they learned from their failures, and mistakes. They got back up, got back at it, even if they had to revise their plans and take more time. They also did not stay stagnant once they reached their goals, or reached the top, they did and do what it takes to remain successful, or fit, or being a top athlete. They made good practices and good habits a way of life. Many also taught it to others as well.

If I were to list out all of the most famous people, higher achievers, and top athletes that persevered through adversity, against many odds, setbacks, injuries, and illnesses, this article would be nearly a long novel of pages. However, since you are reading this article this far, let me share a bit of my own personal story being a man that didn’t come from financial wealth, or superb genetics.

I have had failures, setbacks, possibly similar to many whom may be reading this article. whether from financial set back, illness, and injuries. I have had near death experiences, several injuries, and in a wheel chair for months to where doctors have told me I may never recover, and that at my age and incurred injuries my days of working out in the gym, or going back to karate training and karate teaching may be over. I have had financial set backs so severe that I wondered where I may reside, or how I may be able to not only meet my obligations, but to afford meals. My heart has been broken from divorce, plans shattered, and faith rocked to it’s core from these adversities and life events.

Have I ever wanted to give up, of course I did, and you may have too. However, I realized there is no giving up in life, and I already knew from my parents, is that no one owes me anything. A person earns hat they have and that failure and setbacks are a part of life. You must treat them as learning experiences and grow and become wiser from them. You must also realize that goals are meant to be set in small steps, not gigantic unrealistic leaps. And once you hit each step of these goals, celebrate them and strive to accomplish the next step.

In addition, after a few heart wrenching, and large setbacks I decided to do some deep self reflection, and self discover of who I am, what I am about, what I do, why, and to whom I serve. I took classes, researched, read many books, studied high producing respectful mentors, did a new Meyers Briggs Typology, discovered my Love Language, met with Life Coaches, got a certification and then set new goals. I changed my circles of influence, developed a plan and worked that plan. Most importantly I celebrated victories, developed good habits, and made much of this plan a way of life.

So what does my plan look like you may ask? well here is just a brief outline of what it is and what it looks like;

I strive to think positive every day.

Every one has bad days, bad months, and bad years for that matter. However, most often you can discover something positive and good in your days, months, and years. I count my blessings, sometimes say them out loud or write them down. Rising each morning the gift of a new day is something to be positive about at any age. I also strive to take a logical, and less emotional approach, to some things such as realizing there are things I can control, and there are things I cannot control. I cannot control what people will say, think and often do. However I can control what I think, say, do and how I influence others. I prefer to influence others positively.

I am eager to learn, and really enjoy learning and then teaching it to others. It is said if you listen to something you may learn a little, if you listen and write it down you may learn more, if you listen, write it down, and teach it to others you will learn a lot. I have a saying in a reply when people ask me, “How are you doing?”, my typical reply is, “I am living, learning, and serving, because if you are not learning and serving, then you aren’t truly living.

I have tightened my circles.

I have a very small inner circle for several good reasons. First of all it is not about the quantity of good friends, it is about that quality. Remember this statistical fact that you become the average of your five closest friends. So I strive to choose wisely.

Besides times is the most priceless thing there is. You cannot get more time back, and you certainly cannot buy more time. Once it is gone, it is gone. So by investing your time wisely for what you do as a career, what you do to take care of your body, mind, and soul, and what you have for family and friends is only so much. Spreading your time in actions, activities, and behaviors that are not productive, healthy, and conducive to those above, is not only unhealthy, it is unwise. No one on their death bed will say I wish I spent more time in the shop or office; or on binge watching TV, or sitting on the couch and in the recliner. I personally strive to give me employer my best for the 8 hours a day they compensate me, my health in regular exercise and diet, my loved ones my attentive and engaging time, and my top goals the due time that is needed to accomplish them. with that, there is not a lot of time left over for too many “friends” that may not be true friends, or unhealthy, and unproductive activities.

So what does my typical day look like you may ask, and how is good physical, mental and spiritual health achieved? Here is a good brief summary of my day:

  1. I typically rise early in the morning. The first thing I try to do is thank God for the gift of a new day. I then crank up some inspirational music, eat something light and healthy such as egg whites, ezekial toast/oats, or a fruit smoothie with a good cup of fresh coffee. I then get in a brief devotional and try to get 30 to 45 minutes of exercise even if it is just a walk outdoors, on the treadmill or set-ups/push-ups/burpees/leg raises. I do all of this before my work day starts at around 8am.
  2. I give my employer my best and leverage all of my knowledge, skill sets, and experience to achieve high results. I help others at work when asked and always encourage those who work for our with me. Then once my work day is done, it is done, unless I get an urgent pressing call that requires me to address or resolve it. After my work day is done, it is family, friends, and me time.
  3. I work out 4 to 6 days a week. So before dinner I work out for at least 45 minutes, and often with my son and/or with a friend. I use a progressive over load system for strength building and cutting. I training in karate and/or the treadmill/HIITs/bicycling 2 to 3 days a week for cardio.
  4. I strive to eat what I call, “The Mediterranean way. It is basically the Mediterranean Diet to where I have made it a way of life to where it is pretty much the way I have been eating since January 2020.
  5. I strive to get .80 to 1 grams of protein per pound of weight, and take well researched, good supplements, and vitamins. I would like to get to 1.5 grams of protein to 1 pound of weight. So I often eat 4 times a day, but keep my calories in a deficit to lose weight. My maintenance calories are currently about 2800, so I am typically below 2300 to 2000 calories a day on average.
  6. I invest my free time in addition to exercise with loved ones, reading education/self-improvement books, research fitness, watch good movies, work towards another certification, or finishing, or writing another book.
  7. I strive to go to bed at a reasonable hour to get 8 hours of sleep. I have always struggled with getting enough sleep. However, I have improved and now reaching nearly 7 hours of sleep a day. Proper sleep is good for you. It is required for muscle recovery, healthy weight, and improved mental health.

So you may ask what has this daily habit achieved for me since I started this plan since January 1st, 2020? Here is a brief summary:

I have lost about 40 + pounds. Gained 10 lbs in muscle and gained 1″ to 3″ in muscle size. I lowered my resting heart rate by 20+. I am down at least 4 or waist sizes. I sleep better, and feel better. In fact, I feel similar as I did in my mid to late 20s. I gained another black belt, and should have a new book published early next year. My relationships with my inner circle, and loved ones are deeper and stronger.

So, can you do all of this? I would say first check with your medical doctor, but then I would say you may certainly be able to do this and enjoy the process to make it a way of life. I can say with confidence, “It’s better to attempt the spectacular, and possibly fail, than become an expert at the mediocre.”

Prove the doubters wrong, including any of your own negative self talk. If people doubt you, or talk about you negatively, whether to you, or behind your back, well that’s not your people. Remember, you cannot control what people will say, think or often do, but you can certainly control what you say, think and do while possibly influencing others for the good.

I will close with one of my one personal sayings, “The good life is not about how many toys you have, or money you make, it’s about how many lives you touch, and good your create.” And remember that good, is also the good you create for yourself.

Shalom.

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You are one of those weak Christians…

I remember many years ago as a new Christian and years proceeding that some people, especially those without a deep relationship with Christ thought being a Christian meant being timid, mild, weak. I remember these people saying that Christian’s were easily led, “brain washed”, or even children, as well as immature adults, use the word “sissy’.

However, don’t think for a moment that a Christian is weak, mild, timid, or simpletons. Some of the smartest, wisest, and toughest people I know are on fire, blood bought, wide eyed, sanctified strong Christians. Even in the bible, Kingdom work had to be accomplished and achieved by some of the most violent men of God that would make many men tremble these days.

Some if not many people see or think of Jesus as this soft, mild young man with feathered hair blowing in the wind while petting sheep ,and telling stories to children. For those people, I am not sure if they read the same bible I do, understand the times of those days, and how Jesus truly spoke, taught, led, and loved.

Of course Jesus was humble, he loved well in not just words, but in actions and deeds. He had great empathy, and compassion. However, He was also had great passion, strength, and a carpenter’s son over 2000 years ago. Walked mostly wherever He went. Taught, led, and kept in line a bunch of men from varying backgrounds including tough, wild, and tough headed fishermen. He also spoke with great authority and called the Pharisees & Sadducee a descriptive name that fit well under that engagement he was having with them at that time, which was “Vipers”. He also threw over some tables and chased the greedy money changers with a whip. And there are not too many people, or any at all that I know that could have handled the beating, 39 lashes with a whip of sharp stone, shards, and glass, and the crucifix on the cross while telling our Heavenly Father to “forgive them for that know not what they do.”

Johnny Cash’s quote much more profound than some may realize.

“Being a Christian isn’t for sissies. It takes a real man to live for God – a lot more man than to live for the devil.”

I know this to be true. Think about it. It’s easy to slip into the ways of the world. Be tempted by sin and fall into it. It’s easy to skip church, not attend a bible study, not read your bible. Not make time for prayer or think it is trivial. Basically replace striving to seek a relationship with, or live for God, and not fulfill the Great Commission by making Disciples who make Disciples.

I have been ridiculed, called names, and at work at one point I was given the name “Preacher Boy”, and “Alter Boy”, and called “Jesus Freak.” I was not invited to events, parties, and even passed up for several promotions in my younger days. I have also been called a Hypocrite, and a Heathen not just by those who didn’t know Christ, or wasn’t churched. This would happen by “churched folks” Yes, unfortunately in all our humanity, some “Christians” and “churches” can have a tendency to “eat their own.”

Now I grew up in what people have called, “a rough part of town”, or “the other side of the tracks”. So I have been called many names, been in my fair share of self defensive fights, and developed a rather thick skin at a young age. So much of these words, or actions by others I treat as if I am a Bobble Head Duck. I simply nod, and let them roll off my back. Besides, I considered it an un-worthy honor to be even called a “Preacher Boy’, “Alter Boy”, or “Jesus Freak.”

However, if my life, livelihood, family, close friends, loved ones or humble abode is threatened, I am capable, well trained, and well equipped of unleashing some violence that has not been seen by many, maybe no one at all. I like much of what Jordan Peterson speaks upon, and this is one of my favorite quotes by him, “A harmless man is not a good man. A good man is a very dangerous man who has that under voluntary control”. Now this is biblical, and I have plenty of scripture to support if you do not believe me.

Yes, being a Christian is not for sissies as Johnny Cash spoke. It takes more of a man to take a stand for what he believes in. To take a minority position for what is moral, sound and true verses what is popular, even by the majority. To strive to walk in a relationship with Christ every day, make disciples who make disciples. To be courageous in the midst of a world that ridicules him, discounts him, and passes him up, or tosses him aside for being foolish, timid, or brain washed…

However, although it isn’t easy, or isn’t for sissies. It is good. It is joy. It’s eternal salvation. It is blessings more than our minds may be able to comprehend, and sometimes may never until we are home with the Creator, Father God Almighty. We were created for a relationship with God. It is our free will that chooses to or not.

And my answer to some whom may say it’s foolish, or fantasy. My answer is that I would rather be a fool, believing a fantasy while living a good life, with morals, integrity and living by an admirable Code, and be wrong in my beliefs when I die, than believing contrary, or otherwise, and be wrong when I die. You see if I am wrong, I lose nothing when I die. If the other is wrong, they lose everything for eternity.

Personally, I like, and will take my odds, I love my life, and I love God, love people, and live on mission.

Shalom.

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Men’s Ministry?…

“Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.” ― John Eldredge, Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul.

Through my many years in my walk in faith I have either been a part of, helped lead, or have led Men’s Ministries at & in a variety of churches. Unfortunately not many hit the mark of what I believe & think is a “real men’s ministry”. Now those whom know me, or have, or do attend church with me, don’t get all offended. We already live in a way too easily offended society. Think about it honestly. What do men need these days? What are they truly looking for? What makes them come alive, builds them up, challenges them to be better men at work, in the home & in the community? Unfortunately men & fathers seem to be made out to be weak minded buffoons on most television shows. And many churches say that men are suppose to be “good” or “nice guys”. Maybe “seen, but not heard.” “Don’t be overly masculine, someone may label you as rebellious, defiant,” or a “wild card”.” Not sure if those that think that men are to be quiet, reserved, or the sub-servant “nice guy” read the same bible that I do. Men are to be raised to be leaders, defenders, protectors, providers, and the example of Christ in the home, as well as violent men of God whom are dangerous, but have it under voluntary control. There is a difference between being a “good/nice guy” and a man of character, integrity, and valor.

Churches have it wrong if their ideal of a real “Men’s Ministry” is to sit around every time they meet to sip coffee and read a few bible verses, without a take away or challenge, then call it a men’s gathering until next week, or worse, next month. Men need challenges, because without challenges there is no growth. Young men need to learn from wise strong men. Men come alive when they are put out of their comfort zone, when they achieve and excel. Sitting around a fire, watching wood burn at every meeting, doesn’t do it either unless there are a bit of a nudge, or challenge, to ask and answer tough questions in an effort to grow, while leveraging the Word of God as the compass.

In my life time, a few, very few churches, got it right, or at least somewhat right. Some that come to mind are those whom utilized outlines from authors, pastors & speakers like John Eldredge.

Personally I am looking for a Men’s Ministry that does similar. That talks real talk, and walks that talk. Leaders that do not operate out of the fear of offending a person or two. (Trust me, Christ & all the Disciples offended many.) Those that challenge men to learn, apply, amplify, and exemplify G.R.I.T. with Grace. Whether it be a rugged Men’s Outdoor Group where we camp for days & nights in tents, Men’s Motorcycle Group where we take long rides, attend bike shows, bike nights, & camp near the side of roads, or Men’s Fitness & Sports Enthusiast Group where we push ourselves mentally, physically & spiritually, etc…

Men need to learn to be men from the bible, from the example of Christ, His Disciples, and other Men of God in the bible. And trust me, none of these men should be determined as weak, simple minded, or “Simps” …. Don’t believe me, truly read the bible, and about all the men in it, for yourself, and while you are at it, grab a copy of “Beautiful Outlaw”, and “Wild at Heart” by John Edredge.

We need men whom love God, fear God; that gave Guts, Resilience, Initiative, and Tenacity. G.R.I.T.

Shalom.

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