Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lessons on Taking Hold - A Tight Grip

It was just this past year (2010-2011) that I served CCF. During that year, we looked at what taking hold of the cross really means.

As I reflect on these lessons, I am reminded that there are things I need to hold loosely, and things I need to hold tightly. Often I hold too tightly the things I need to hold loosely, and hold too loosely the thing I need to hold tightly.

I heard something on the radio this morning that struck me. The late Corrie Ten Boom told Chuck Swindoll,
"Chuck, I've learned that we must hold everything loosely, because when I grip it tightly, it hurts when the Father pries my fingers loose and takes it from me!"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Calling 911 - Dealing with Fear

A Quick Tangent

First, to follow-up from my previous post, Moving On, here's a picture of what looks like a cup of coffee. This is actually a cup of 24 herb tea that my mom got me from Market Village in Markham. It's supposed to be a tea of awesome :) ... helping with immunity, health and stuff. In fact, I'm going to pour myself another cup!

This was after my morning Starbucks. Yes, I know. I'm supposed to be getting off from coffee by moving away from said drink and moving towards to bigger and better things. I'm working on it :) I had a Tall Bold today, instead of a Tall Pike (Mild). The websites show similar caffeine content, but I'm led to believe that the Bold has less caffeine - so I don't feel so bad!

Calling 911

Okay, back to the main topic - calling 911! This topic was inspired by a radio show en route to work (Pastor Jack Graham, PowerPoint Ministries).

In the program, Pastor Graham talked about how to deal with fear. And to do that, he references the 911 passage (i.e. Psalm 91:1).

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
The subsequent verses talk about how we do not need to fear because God is our protector. The Christian response to fear is to run into the presence of God.

I find this interesting because I have fears too! And seldom do I run to seek comfort from God. Often, I end up running away ("No fear!"), running to get help ("Mommy!"), or running towards my fears ("GeronimoooO!"). Either way, I always end up running. It never really occurred to me that I could run to God - that I would find refuge in His presence.

As our awe for God grows, our fears diminish. Now that is truly awesome!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Moving on

How do you move on? How do you move away from something or someone? This could be a relationship, a bad habit, destructive behaviour, or temptations.

Case Study: Quitting Coffee

As a case study, I'll look at how to move on from the temptation of coffee, even though I practically survived on that drink today!

To move on from coffee, I need to avoid it - or gradually reduce my intake levels. But moving away is not enough to move on. To move on, you also need to move towards something greater. You need to be driven by a vision greater than yourself.

By quitting coffee, what is the point? What kind of lifestyle am I pursuing? Where will I get my source of energy? What will fill the void that coffee once filled?

Battling Anxiety

When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.
Psalm 94:19

Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33

Life gets stressful. Stress can sometimes energize you. A healthy amount of it inspires creativity and productivity. However, stress can also be unhealthy, especially stress that is rooted in anxiety.

I find that when I am anxious, I become less fit. I am less capable of ...
... loving 
... working at my job
... running
... etc
to my fullest potential.

The Bible tells us that God is our ultimate comfort, no matter what anxious thoughts we have (Psalm 94:19). I heard someone say that Psalm 37:4 is the "Matthew 6:33" of the Old Testament. 

We are sometimes anxious / stressed because we do not get what we desire. The Bible encourages us to turn to God for our deepest longings. What do you desire right now?
... A relationship? Intimacy?
... High marks?
... Social acceptance?
... A new PR? (PR: Personal Record - fitness goal)
... More money?

You do not automatically get these desires fulfilled by seeking God first. However, what you do get is a rewiring of your own desires.... desires that align with his awesome plans for you ... desires with a promise of being fulfilled.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Too often I think of how I can save myself. I stress, worry, and try to fix things on my own - often making things worse. In the storm, sometimes the best prayer is the simplest.

"Lord, save me" --Peter (Matthew 14:30)

Two kinds of love

At the Sunday service this morning, Jason talked about a "functional faith" (mp3 link). Yes, we have certainty of our salvation because we are with Him .. but who cares? What does this mean for our lives?

In his message, Jason made reference to Hosea 6 and talked about two kinds of love. The question for us was whether our love was a verse 4 or a verse 6 kind of love.

Verse 4
What shall I do with you, O Ephraim?
What shall I do with you, O Judah?
Your love is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that goes early away.
Verse 6
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,
the knowledge of God and not burnt offerings.
I think about my fleeting "love". My weak commitments. How my love is too often like the morning dew ... gone in a few hours. In my heart of hearts, I desire a love that is steadfast. I want to be fit to love, truly.

Fit to Play

Last night I had the opportunity to play with the Kindred Spirits Orchestra in Markham Theatre. I had a lot of fun playing some exciting repertoire. Another part of me comes alive when I play music :)

Playing music is fun. There is something invigorating about creating something - even if it's "just" music. The camaraderie is incredible. Music has this strange power to unite a variety of individuals. Passion seems to be a common universal.

Overall, everyone seemed to enjoy it. I definitely enjoyed playing again. I am definitely out of shape but hope to get back into shape again.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

100 Burpees for Time

A fun benchmark challenge - Goal: Sub 8:00
(I'll get you later 100 burpees!)

Note: While I did get sub 8 mins, I can still make significant improvements to this. I also did 20+ warm-up chest-to-ground burpees :)

Standard: The challenge was 100 hit-the-deck burpees in sub 8 mins. While I believe this is to standard, I'm awaiting approval :) If it's no good, I'll just give it another try! (Update: Approved :D)

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

"Choose this day whom you will serve."
Joshua 24:15

Our daily choices matter. Our choices today shape our future. Joshua, from the Bible, had incredible vision and held unswervingly to His faith in God. He is the man of conviction I desire to be. I aspire to have the same courage to press on in a long obedience in the same direction.

"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
1 Corinthians 1:18

A man of courage. Daring to embrace the word of the cross and being saved by the power of God. Despite this being folly to onlookers.

I care a lot about what people think about me. And to a certain degree, this is not a bad thing. But too often, I dilute the power of God so that the word of the cross is acceptable, and no longer "foolish" in appearance.


I think about the legacy I would leave and the legacy that I would like to leave. I know with certainty that I do not want to be weak in conviction. I want to know what it means to fight and love like Jesus Christ

Business trip fitness

I am in North Bay this week for work. One of the most challenging aspects of staying fit is eating well. I have been working on this by bringing my own food. There is still areas for improvement though :)

The other aspect is physical conditioning. The gym isn't really much. What follows is a general log of my daily activity to-date:

Tuesday (Nov 1)
No workout, but standing for the entire shift has got to count for something!

Wednesday (Nov 2)
100 Burpees (chest to ground) - 7:57 (pretty much the same as last time, except I have a video this time!)
~50 yard shuttle runs in safety boots throughout my shift :)

...to be continued

Looking ahead:

I am in beautiful North Bay and hope to go for a run :)

How do you stay fit when you're busy, on-the-run, or away on trips?