God set down His saw

April 15, 2014 — 6 Comments

the_cross___jesus_bloody_feet“ ‘Up you go!’ They lift the cross. God is on display in his underwear, and can scarcely breathe.

But these pains are a mere warm-up to his other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during this day an unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around his nose, but his heart. He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon his spotless being—the living excrement from our souls. The apple of his Father’s eye turns brown with rot.

His Father! He must face his Father like this!

From heaven the Father now rouses himself like a lion disturbed, shakes his mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross. Never has the Son seen the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of his hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognize these eyes.

‘Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped—murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, overspent, overeaten—fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh, the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled my name? Have you ever held your razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk—you, who molest young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end! Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp—buying politicians, practicing extortion, filming pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves—relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, I loathe these things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not feel my wrath?’

The Father watches as his heart’s treasure, the mirror-image of himself, sinks drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah’s stored rage against humankind from every century explodes in a single direction.

‘Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?!’

But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply. Two eternal hearts tear—their intimate friendship shaken to the depths.

The Trinity had planned it. The Son endured it. The Spirit enabled him. The Father rejected the Son whom he loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted his sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished.

God set down his saw.”

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief…. Isaiah 53:10

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

(Book excerpt taken from When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson-Tada)

When my blog was revamped, one of my goals was to write toward health a bit. It’s been a while! I’m not into six pack abs or huge biceps necessarily (though I certainly do not begrudge them). But I’m very into being healthy, fit, and feeling spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically well. If you read the “Aboutsection of my blog (HERE) you’ll understand why. In addition, I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar II in 2004 (you can read my blog series on it HERE). Since 2009, I’ve been determined to control and/or conquer that diagnosis more naturally than chemically.

Recently, I came across a little device that tapped into the competitor in me that has been a game-changer: The Pedometer.  My dear friend, and assistant, Denise Wiggins, had an extra one and gave it to me. She set it to my height, weight, step-length, and the like, and I have been using it now for about four weeks.

Ped

Iphone shot of my pedometer

According to the studies, 10,000 steps“active.” 12, 500 steps“highly active.” Below 5,000 = sedentary.”

The first day I tested myself just to see what I might average without doing anything special. I logged a whopping 750ish steps. But that was a study day where I’m glued to the chair. The next day was a more typical day in the office. Still I logged only 1500ish steps. Unacceptable. So game on!

In the last four weeks my goal has been to get 12,500 steps per day at least six days a week. That’s the competitor in me.  However, if I nailed 10,000 steps and was just too fatigued or too busy to go further, I’d settle for the 10,000. Either way, my goal now is to land 12,500 steps three days per week, and no less than 10,000 steps six days a week.

Know this. It is tough to get 10,000 steps per day!  I workout every morning and jog or skip in place and around the garage between sets of lifting weights. I can usually log 3,000 to 5,000 steps in that hour. But it typically takes me until near bed time to hit my 10,000-12,500 step goal. During the day, I get up from my desk about every hour to hour-and-a-half and move my whole body (running in place, skipping, arms going up and down, side to side, and so forth) to get my steps and my heart rate up. This goes on all day. But again, it has been worth it, and even refreshing.

Before the pedometer, I considered myself fairly active due to working out in the mornings—jumping rope, plyometrics, kettlebell-swinging, weightlifting, and the like. But I would sit the rest of the day almost all day.  I learned from research that I was negating the positives of exercise due to my sitting at a desk all day. The pedometer has changed that in the last four weeks. I have noticed an amazing difference in my energy, my joints, and even my sleep. In fact, even as a mostly fit person, I lost a belt-size (in the first two weeks even)!  Crazy. In addition, the 10,000-12,500 steps (with full body movement) has been so effective that I no longer do cardio work. I just lift weights. Once a week, however, I will play with the kids in a way that makes me sprint and run, but that’s about it.

I highly recommend the pedometer. The key is to MOVE your body throughout the day, your whole body, and not just casually pace a room (though that is better than nothing). It gets your heartrate going too. Get outside, walk, and stretch and move your arms all around (not just a runner’s motion). Have meetings while you walk. Don’t have enough space and/or don’t want anyone watching you? Get in a stairwell and skip or run in place while moving your arms up and down, sideways, and so forth. Use an empty bathroom or bathroom stall (yes, I’m serious), or an empty office or conference room, and get moving and pedometer-ing there!

Be sure you get a higher quality pedometer because many of them are pure junk and misread your steps. Also, you MUST set the pedometer up according to the directions! My pedometer is accurate within about 10 – 12 steps. There is no brand name on my pedometer or I would recommend it to you.  A site that claims to list the top ten best pedometers can be found HERE. If you have a Consumer Reports subscription, you can check out their recommendations HERE.

To make the pedometer challenge more fun, compete with a friend about who can log the most steps per day or week (I have this friendly competition every now and then with Denise, but also with my kids).

Looking out for you!

Do you or have you ever used a pedometer? How was your experience? How did you use it? Any pedometer brand you recommend? 

13 Ways To Ruin Your Life

February 21, 2014

13-ways-to-ruin-your-lifeAre you looking for the free 13 Ways to Ruin Your Life e-book? You’re in the right place!

Just a heads up…Due to the way this site and the free e-book were set up, you will need to subscribe to my blog (free) over in the far-left margin in order to receive the free e-book. However, if you are only interested in the free e-book and not my blog posts, no problem! First, subscribe to receive the e-book in your email. Once you receive it, feel free to unsubscribe. No love lost! 

The e-book is great for men, young (teenager) and old, and great for small groups. Also, women and women’s groups (young and old) have worked through the book together too.

In case you missed it, I recently preached on what I consider the top five of the thirteen ways that will ruin your life. If you are interested in the podcast (audio or video), go HERE. The month-long sermon series is entitled, Fire & Rain #sex” (worth a full listen). But the name of the specific sermon I’m referring to is #Ruin.

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy the free e-book! Feel free to post any future comments about the material’s impact on your life and relationships on this post. I, and my readers, would love to know more of your story. Thanks again!

* The sermon will be posted no later than 2/26/14.

VALENTINES-7-Truths-Small-W

That’s only one of the seven truths from a DVD series I recently did on marriage entitled, 7 Truths that will Change Your Marriage Marathon. 

This makes a great study for churches, groups, married couples, engaged couples, and even dating couples. It comes with DVDs, and His/Her Study guides.

In fact, I just learned that a church in Washington state used 7 Truths as part of their “Marriage University.” When the study was over, everyone in the group ordered a set!

For more information (or to order), go HERE.

7 TruthsIf or when you have completed the study, would you leave your comments below? Will you share with us, 1) Your favorite Truth (the one that was most eye-opening or helpful), 2) how the series impacted you, your relationship, or marriage, and how it might do the same for others? Thank you so much! 

 

 

 

 

 

When life smacks you…

January 29, 2014

UntitledIn his book, Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, & Fairy Tale, Frederick Bueckner tells the story of a crazy Monk holding a stick in his hand before an eager searcher of Truth and asks “What have I got in my hand”? The Truth-seeker says, “It’s a stick.”  The Monk hits the man over his head with the stick and says, “no, that’s what it is.”

It’s one thing to be taught wisdom. But the crash-course of growth in wisdom mostly comes through pain. God has hard-wired reality for it to hit us over the head, so to speak, when we go against His order of things relationally, sexually, emotionally, even physically. It’s more of a boomerang effect, like hitting a wall with a stick and it bouncing back and smacking you in the forehead.

For example, we’ll know what God’s divine order and boundaries are for our lives but decide, “No, it’s my life. Life is the way I choose to live it—at least in this area.”

Then, BAM!

“No,” reality says, “THAT’s your life, if you go against God’s order and boundaries for you—even in that area.”

Hopefully, you learn. Then repent. And you grow in wisdom.