Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It is not the critic who counts...

It is not the critic who counts,

nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,

or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the Arena,

whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood,

who strives valiantly…

who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotions,

who spends himself in a worthy cause,

who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,

and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails

while daring greatly,

so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls

who have known neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Count your...

Count your blessings instead of your crosses,
Count your gains instead of your losses,
Count your joys instead of your woes,
Count your friends instead of your foes,
Count your smiles instead of your tears,
Count your courage instead of your fears,
Count your full years instead of your lean,
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean,
Count your health instead of your wealth,
Count on God instead of yourself.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What I Learned From Weight Watchers

"But you don’t look like you need to lose weight," said Kay as she sized up the man she had just hesitantly and cautiously let in the door to the Weight Watchers center so early on that January morning. I had arrived early for my first meeting and registration only to find that the meeting time had changed and I was way too early. Kay was in the process of opening for the day when I surprised her by knocking on the locked door.

I responded to her, "I have some weight that I want to lose but more significantly I want to get control over my out of control eating." I was out of control because of a series of events that had occurred in years past. I found I was a compulsive eater without self-control. I ate too large of portions. I ate to handle stress in my life. And I had a ‘pastry demon’ that I didn’t want to live without!

So Kay signed me up! That was January 29, 2010. I am now 30 lbs lighter and have achieved my goals of self-control and portion control. I am now at the weight that I want to maintain for the rest of my life! I am also now a lifetime member of Weight Watchers!

Here’s what attending Weight Watchers did for me:
1.It gave me the tools, instruction and accountability to achieve my goals.
2.I learned portion control and the valued ‘point system.’
3.I was accepted into a group that had common goals. (Even though I was a man! ‘Men!’ I heard often as my weight declined almost every meeting!!!!)
4.I stayed with my points daily.
5.I rarely used any of my weekly bonus points.
6.I used the WW iPhone app continuously with nothing going in my mouth, bought at the store, or ordered at a restaurant without first checking the points beforehand.
7.Followed guidelines in ‘Eat This Not That’ books, website and app to help make food choices.
8.Restaurant meals were preplanned. Most of the time I determined what I was going to eat in advance of going. As a pastor, I eat out a lot. For instance during last year’s Mission Conference I ate in restaurants 7 days in a row, twice on a couple of days and gained no weight!
9.I have a ‘pastry demon’ meaning I love desserts. I limited my eating of them and followed the ‘3 bites rule’ to be satisfied. I used WW Ice-Cream sandwiches often as a reward.
10.94% Fat Free Kettle Pop-Corn saved me many a night before bedtime so that I didn’t go to bed hungry. Mini Caramel Rice Cakes helped also.
11.I found a new appreciation and delight in eating fruits, especially oranges.
12.My exercise included treadmill work and weight training.
13.I had an encouraging, fully engaged spouse to walk through this with me, thank you Debi!

What I am doing now is maintaining the weight I lost! It has become a lifetime goal to stay at this weight. I still follow the portion control, only eat when I am hungry, and have the ‘points system’ in my mind at all times. It has reminded me that I am in control of what I eat; not my spouse, not the cook, not the restaurant.

‘A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.’ (Pro. 25.28 ESV)

I have finally rebuilt my walls destroyed by years of a lack of self-control!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Are You Obdurate?

I came across a great word the other day. It was used in reference to current politicians who are out of touch with the voters and refuse to acknowledge and respond to their wishes. People currently are rejecting obdurate politicians and voting against them!

1. unmoved by persuasion, pity, or tender feelings; stubborn; unyielding.
2. stubbornly resistant to moral influence; persistently impenitent: an obdurate sinner.

Synonyms 1. hard, obstinate, callous, unbending, inflexible. 2. unregenerate, reprobate, shameless.
Antonyms 1. soft, tractable. 2. humble, repentant.

It is a word that can define pastors, church members, staff members, employers and employees, children and parents, husband and wives, and those who fail to respond to constant pleas to change their lives and behavior.

I twittered this thought the other day, ‘If God doesn't fit your lifestyle maybe you ought to change your lifestyle to fit His Word!' One who would reject this and scoff at it is being obdurate!

This word really captures the atmosphere of our present society and how we relate to each other and to authority in general.

"God gives grace to the humble. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He shall exalt you." Jas. 4:10.

How does one keep from obduracy?
1.Refuse to be stubborn.
2.Realize you can be wrong.
3.Admit when you are wrong.
4.Stay humble.
5.Stay repentant.
6.Ask for forgiveness.
7.And above all, approach life with flexibility instead of rigidity.

Your choice- obduracy or humility!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Law of the Garbage Truck

Today is take out the trash day at our house- how significant is that you might ask? Read on...

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport.We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.

My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.

My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!'

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally.

Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so ... Love the people who treat you right.

Pray for the ones who don't.