Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Tri-fecta!

Well ok … here’s an attempt to tackle 3 things in 1 blog:

1. Beard – Some history for ya … Since my Freshman year of college at Southeastern University, I’ve ALWAYS had a “5 o’clock Shadow” …. Always. That’s roughly 7-8 yrs of always have a constant “Shadow”. Well, I’ve tried many-a-time to grow out my facial manliness … but at times … IT’S TOO ITCHY! HA! I know I sound like a wuss when I say that .. but really .. it itches ah! Plus my wife isn’t a fan of the beginning stages of beard growth .. it’s “prickly” she says … and I don’t blame her … SO! Im on week 3 of not shaving .. I’m past the itching stage, onto the “Why is my mustache hair growing into my mouth” stage … not my favorite … because I’m finding myself tonguing around the corners of my mouth and the top of my lip … it feels like I have a piece of food stuck to my mouth, constantly .. but I’m excited .. Here’s a vid of the progress … and no worries I’ll have updated info as we go … not sure how long this road will travel but so far … its kinda fun!

2. Diet – I’m going to take you back to my senior year of High school. It went something like this. 140-150lbs. at the beginning of the year 200ish by the end of the year … I was 200lbs. easy my last semester. When I went off to college (SEU – pre “5 o’clock shadow”) I was self-conscious about myself, my weight and just things in general. So through the first semester I was really just trying to get used to this “new” body. I didn’t get used to it … so I dropped 60lbs the last semester … A LOT of working out with friends and, in some definitions, starving myself … it wasn’t healthy. I eventually ruined my metabolism. I would eat small SMALL portions and I would/could feel my body responding negatively .. it was slightly depressing … So I slowly (over the course of 6 years) worked my way to eating right, eating better, working out, becoming healthy … I believe now im at a point where I am the healthiest I’ve ever been. 3 days a week a run 3-4 plus miles, cycle, eat healthy(ish), and am constantly active. BUT for some reason there is a constant “tire” around my midsection that is stubborn enough to stick around through 1 round of P90X, mile after mile of running, and constant activity … so I’ve decided … its my diet. My morning consists of coffee and more coffee … my lunch is either pigging out on pasta, pretzels, tuna or chicken salad sammys … dinner is usually late (8-9-10) and its sushi, pizza, pasta haha (we don’t have a lot of $$ to BUY healthy foods) … maybe if I eat more fruits, veggies, chicken, fish, and natural foods … I can burn this tire off …. Yeah.

3. My Wife – well this one is a bittersweet writing. My wife is an exceptional dance and choreographer. This is her first year at USF. She graduated from State College of Florida with her Associates, and is pursuing a bachelors in Dance. Her passion has always been dance and more recently the teaching of its beauty. If you know my wife and I, we’re ridiculously close. Best friends, lovers and we aren’t without each other for more than a handful of hours. We live in Bradenton, and she commutes every morning to USF’s Tampa campus. The courses are incredibly hard, and have been challenging her in every part of her dance. Maybe the most challenging thing has been her absence. I know this might seem sappy, but I love my wife dearly. We’ve been married for 2 years, which I know is infant to some, but I don’t feel myself without her there (even in the heated times hehe J) While she wakes every morning with me and I drop her off to carpool with some school mates, or I leave the house to cycle into work. She also, on top of this schooling, works at a local dance studio and teaches 5 classes. So Monday through Thursday she leaves the house at 7 and gets home around 9:30. I commend her for her commitment. And its just like me to encourage her as she pursues this love, this dream. It’s a bittersweet commitment we’ve started. We will see it through to the end and the moment she walks across that stage, all of the frustration from school assignments, heartsickness, lazy day moments of just laying on the couch because that’s the first time in the week we’ve been able to just BE … will be worth it!!

Until Next Time -

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Irresistible Revolution:

So there’s this book, my wife and I have been reading for a few weeks now. The author, Shane Claiborne, is a somewhat tall, lanky, bandana wearing nomadic man, it seems. He, along with friends and the homeless they literally fought (nonviolently) for, started an organization or more rather an organism called “The Simple Way”.

To say it simply … this book changed a lot in my wife and I. Not in a “guilt-trip, conviction, pointing finger” manner … but rather exposing the flaws, tears, rips and frailties in the fabric of the (and I hate typing this because I feel like a judge) Americanized Church, or rather the modern interpretations of ancient scriptures, that we knew were there already. A lot of which my wife and I struggle with at times. (Name Is/Claim It, Prosperity Gospel, Kingdom Theology, ect.)

An amazing things, that I myself over looked when reading, are some of these illustrative verses in the book of Acts. Acts 2:42-47 is an amazing illustration of contextual, cultural and Christ centered community. See the apostles, in a loose explanation, had their own “bank” .. it was a community pot in a sense that all of the believers of The Way (what early Christendom called itself) would place all of their possessions, and money from the sales of their possessions, in to a community pool so whenever someone need something … there was money for all … not worries about “themselves” per say .. because “themselves” were each other, the betterment of their brothers and sisters …

It’s a cool thing to see, Christ, after he’d been peppered by the Pharisees, He’s then cornered by the Sadducees, do you remember the question .. "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" (Matt 22:36) Of course Jesus, without missing a beat. “The most important is “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Matt 22:37-38; Duet 6:4-5) but then He goes on and says “The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." … and this theme of LOVE your neighbors, your enemies, those who curse you ect. Is profoundly more repetitive than anything of reward, prosperity, and self satisfactions .. if anything .. its opposite. But here is the joy .. and the “Cherry on Top” of all of these things … In Mark 16 before he ascended to heaven, told them to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all nations and peoples” or some translations say “Go Ye (you) into ALL the world Preaching the Gospel that I’ve given you to everyone and make them Disciples of this Gospel” … Let’s take a step back. Have you ever thought … “When I die, I want to leave my mark.” “I want to go guns blazing!” … ect … these are THE LAST WORDS Christ, Himself leaves us with are “GO into ALL the world and MAKE Disciples of THIS GOSPEL” … amazing. Truly Amazing and in some ways … stressful HA!

So let’s break it down again …
1. Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is to

“Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength"
2. Matthew 22:39-40 Jesus tells us that the SECOND greatest commandment is to

“ Love your neighbor as yourself" ..and that LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR

is in fact concurrent with LOVING GOD!
3. Mark 16:15 Christ commands up to GO and make followers (disciples)

of this Gospel of Loving God and Loving others … simplicity

It seems easy when its broken down …. Love God, Love others over yourself, SHOW/TELL people Christ’s Gospel..
HA! I LOVE IT! Amazing … and I pray this helps you, edifies you strengthens you … because it did and has done the same to me!