30 November 2010

Been doing some thinking...

After a lot of hard prayer, consideration, and downright hard work, I've decided to pass on the Tough Mudder this year. Two major points play into this decision. 1. It's January 29th, two weeks before I complete my Bachelors, and I'll have to be training (about 2hrs a day) between now and then to do it and do it right. I need to be putting that time into my studies, not this personal goal, but to the goal that benefits the family the most. 2. I'm preparing for a move at the beginning of January. between School and Work, I barely have time to move, much less train for something this intense.

So I'm going to delay for a year. Tough Mudder is a great benefit and it'll be around in 2012, and I'll be more ready for it by then. Anyone feel like getting on board for a year long training schedule with me? It will include Insanity, Running (street and broken field), Biking, and anything else I can think of...(anyone know where I can find a public obstacle course? Parkour? Any other ideas?)

25 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! What are you thankful for today?

I am thankful for a loving family and for God's plan taking shape. Let me know what you are thankful for.

23 November 2010

A Challenge to Men.

So... if you read my blog you know that last weekend I competed in the Warrior Dash. I could tell you about it, but if you really want to know, just look me up on facebook and check out my photos (Laura took them), or check out warriordash.com While prepping for this run I trained harder than I have since I got out of the Army, and I'm going to be pushing myself even harder over the next 2 months getting ready for the 10 miles that is Tough Mudder.

I know a lot of you are asking yourself, "What does this have to do with me?" Well, the fact that I've done this and am continuing doesn't have anything to do with you. What does have to do with you is the question, "What can I do to make myself more ready to stand up and fight on God's front line?" Every one of us has a different job in this, and each of us has the same job as well. The specifics of what God has called each of us to do is known only to you and God, but there are some generals I'd like to point out to you.

First, as men, we are given the mission to be the spiritual leader of our households. This means you need to stand up and be a man. Lead your family, not as a tyrant, but as a servant leader. Jesus led his apostles (called ones) not with an iron fist, but with loving guidance. He showed them the Word, just as you should show your family. He led them into dangerous situations and protected them through the danger. His guidance of 12 men led to you and I being able to receive his salvation and have everlasting life... don't we owe the same to our family? He knows we don't deserve it, but we know they deserve it as much or more than we do. Leading your family also means stepping out of your comfort zone, going to church, and taking on challenges that you're not sure you are ready for. If you don't, how can you expect your children or wife to.You don't like your church? Step up and take a leadership position to help it become a place that is friendly to Men.

Second, we are tasked to be the provider for our family. This has always been a rough one for me. I'm not sure how money figures into this one. Am I failing if my wife makes more than me? No. God does not tell us to be the earner, he tells us to be the provider. This means that we take the task of being the provider and giving our family what they need. Your wife can work and make more than you, but if something were to happen and she was unable to bring home that paycheck, make sure you have plans in place to replace the income or do without. Spend time ensuring that you are not in debt and that you are free of the chains of financial burden to others. Teach your family how to manage the money you have, and help them to reach their goals. Use the provision that God has given and be a steward, not a scrooge. Continue to make yourself a better leader in this area and in the spiritual realm.

Third, man is called to be the protector. Does this mean you have to have a gun? Nope. It means you have to have the plans in place to protect your family. If something happens, what do you do to protect them. What is the first thing you grab when your home catches fire? Your computer? Your car? Your family? If you said anything but family, you need to reevaluate your priorities. American men are taught from a young age it is all about our "stuff", but the Bible teaches us differently. Jesus even challenged the rich man to give everything away and follow Him. Would you? If the answer is no, you need to look at what you are holding on to. Protection is most important when we look at this from a spiritual view. There will always be things that we can not protect against, but the one thing we can protect from is Hell. If we lead our homes as God has called us, we lead our loved ones to His side, and thus to everlasting life.

Okay, so how does the Warrior Dash play into this for me? I found that I was becoming increasingly unhealthy and lazy, sitting in front of the TV, XBox, or PC all night, every night. In stepping up and dedicating myself to do a 5k and later a 10 mi run, I gave myself goals. I made a plan and I stuck to it, even with the bumps in the road. That is how it played into God's calling. I followed a plan, just as we must follow a plan that God has given us.

So here's my challenge to you, Men. This Advent, Step up and make a plan. Read the Gospel and Paul's Epistles. Look at and study what we as men are called to be. And then make a plan to do this. Not just a goal, but a written plan. You don't have to share it with anyone, just stick it in your wallet and look at it every once in a while. If you follow this plan, you will find out amazing things. Your family life will improve. You will grow in you understanding of God. You will grow in your self confidence. And you will achieve in ways you never dreamed.

Remember, the difference between a dream and a goal is a plan. So make a plan and see how deep the rabbit hole goes!

17 November 2010

Warrior Dash... 3 Days to go...

Well, you are all aware by now that i am running my first Adventure Challenge on Saturday. I have to admit, I am starting to feel nervous. It's 3.1 miles and 11 obstacles, so why am I so nervous? I've been doing Insanity for about 2 months (though I haven't been able to keep up on month 2 and had to restart it with month 1) and I have seen remarkable change. But the difficulty remains, I haven't pushed myself to conquer something like this in more than 5 years. Do I still have what it takes? Will my friends show me up? Should I even be worried about that? I'm taking this challenge because I don't know what my limits are. I have pushed myself before, but I never reached my limit. Basic training, Air Assault, Sapper Leader Course, Expert Field Medic, Iraq, Eagle Scout, the list goes on and on. Why am I worried about this showing me my limit? Age and wisdom perhaps? I read somewhere that the male frontal lobe develops around the age of 25. That's the area of the brain that directs self preservation. Is this little tinge of fear from that? I don't know. I could rely on the often quoted scripture, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength,(Phil 4:13,NIV)" but does that apply here? Paul used it to talk about withstanding suffering, and while I know my body will suffer as I push myself to new highs, I don't feel like it is the same. I'll just rely on the tried and true to survive this, prayer.

Lord, I worship you and know that you are the most high. I ask that you would give me peace and dedication as I seek to give you glory through my efforts this weekend. Let me carry your name with me as I run and help me to give others help and fellowship as we conquer these obstacles together. In your son's name I pray. Amen.