Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I've fallen and I can get back up

Life is a series of choices.  We all make good and bad choices. When I woke up this morning, I had a series of choices to make. I had to decide I was going to get out of bed. what I was making the girls for lunch, what I was going to wear and whether or not I was going to work out. By our choices, we establish habits. Again, some of our habits are good and others are bad.

There are times when we slip into old ways or fall from making good choices. Maybe you neglect your time with God or you stop exercising and eating right. There are a variety of reasons.  Wait a second! Reasons is just a nice word for excuses. There are a variety of excuses, but we know we have fallen from our previous path.

This is where many buy into the lie. The simple lie that you've fallen and can't get back up. There are some that think God won't love them based on their choice to sin again. There are others who feel disgusted with themselves over poor health choices and think they never can lose the weight or get their strength back.

No matter how far you've fallen from your spiritual or physical goals. YOU CAN GET BACK UP! The last year has been incredible in some aspects of my life. We moved and started a new chapter of our life. With that, I struggled to establish new health habits at my new location. My routine (both exercise and eating) was drastically disrupted. I found myself sitting a few weeks ago disgusted at how far I had fallen. It would have been easy to make excuses, but I knew it was just because of bad choices.

I started thinking back to all the meals that I had ate the previous week. There was not one meal that I was glad I had ate. Sure they provided me nourishment, but I could have made healthier choices. So, I determined from that point on I was going back into what I call "Biggest Winner" mode. It was the mode that help me win two weight loss competitions. I determined to exercise and eat right again. It has been three weeks and I'm still going strong.

Don't let a temporary setback affect your future. It would have been easy for me to continue the path especially with summer coming. Summer is a busy time filled with camps, conferences and vacation. Those are hard places to stay healthy, but I've determined to not let that be an excuse for a lifestyle of bad health choices.

Is there an area where you have slipped up? A relationship? Your Spiritual Walk? Health? Or perhaps something else? Determine today not to let your past mistakes affect your future. You can get back up again!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Books I read in April

Books are a powerful medium to gain knowledge and cause personal growth. I have set a personal challenge to read at least 36 books in addition to my Bible reading in 2015. Here are the books that I read during the month of April.  The first three books are from a growth group for Rural Pastors called the Water Tower Network that I am a part of this year. 

Transforming Church in Rural America 
Transforming Church in Rural America
by Shannon O'dell

In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership
Shannon gives an insightful and passionate plea for ministry in rural communities. This book is both practical and inspirational. Shannon shares his personal story as well as principles he has learned by serving in Rural America. It is a must read if you are a pastor, staff member or church leader in a rural community.

In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership
by Henri J.M. Nouwen

This is the second of Nouwen's books that I have read.  This one had some powerful insights in regards to Christian Leadership. There are books that are easy to read because of writing style. His style is difficult to read at times, but the truths are powerful.  

Date Your Wife
by Justin Buzzard

Buzzard issues an incredible challenge to husbands to not let the pursuit of their spouse stop with the "I do's." He gives principle as well as practical advice to help husbands keep the romance alive in their marriage. I  would recommend this for all husbands.

Thrill Sequence: Living for What Really Matters
by Rob Ketterling

This is the second of Ketterling's books. The first one, Change before you have to, was such an incredible book that really challenged me. For that reason, I had super high expectations for this one. Unfortunately, for me, this book fell short of his first book. It started off slow. However, it did get better as the book went on. If you are struggling with jumping from thrill to thrill, this book is for you.