Day 8 – 10 (of 63): Catching Up

Links:

Link to Day 1, Link to Day 7

For those who followed my previous crazy journey’s, here’s the post the Friday before I started this one, which puts it in the context of this blog as a whole: Christian Influence Peddling.

Welcome Back

Welcome to Wednesday. As anticipated there will be days when I just can’t get something posted (even though I’ve given myself permission to post less than perfect copy b/c it’s a blog after all). I’ll try to give a fast update of the last 3 days. Then a quick section on the topic for week 2…the Spirit.

Feel free to skip down to the update section if you’re all caught up on this blog.

Quick Recap of this Blog Series

I’m a writer (fiction/non-fiction/copy) who’s turning 50 in June. When I have a season of big changes to adapt to and big projects to take on, I like to combine it all into a plan I call a journey. I’m calling this journey Spring 2021: Cleric Journey – (It includes such things as turning 50, remodeling a house, expanding my writing business to include entrepreneur & life purpose coaching). I typically journal me progress, big wins/big flops, but this time I’m blogging it so I can…

  • Inspire or help some folks facing similar life situations.
  • Share tips I’ve learned or that people suggest to me that I decided to try out.
  • Stay committed to progress by stating to all my readers what I’m doing and if it’s working or not.
  • Eventually turn it into a written resource for the Creative Christian Entrepreneurs I coach.

Note: The thinking behind journeys is this. When facing busy seasons in life, we need to impose some routine on life, and be flexible other places. We need to decide what our life is about, that authentic to us, and not lose site of that while taking on those big projects of crazy seasons that happen to all of us in life.

Goal Recap

My goals/priorities this season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
– Losing weight & getting younger, (soon auditioning new diet/exercise plans).
– Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5 AM every weekday and spending time with God (which includes writing this blog).
– Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and faithfully stewarding opportunities with my church.
– Remodeling a new home so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.

Update

Monday woke at 6 AM, weighed in at 298.6 lbs (I really hope that the couple pounds back is water weight or something.) Work began, I had a lot of trades in there all at once–concrete guys, plumber, HVAC. Holy cow. I’m blessed because it can be really hard to get that many people doing that many different things all at once on one project.

Tuesday woke at 6:30 AM, when my daughter tapped on my back and said she was hungry. Weighed in at 298.6 lbs. Managed to get to the chiropractor. Lots of sun this week, which is a miracle. Bought some tools I need for this job. And supplies. Holy cow materials are expensive right now. My buddy Bruce is a retire contractor, and he flew up to visit his daughter, and he’s been kind enough to show me the ropes on many of the skills I need to know. He’s startled how many trades we’ve got working and right at the start of the project. We have a lot of favor going.

Today woke at 5 AM, thank God, and prayed for strength since I only got 6 hours of sleep, got out of bed at 5:20 when my daughter tapped on my back and asked, “is it morning?” weighed in at 298.8 lbs. last day of sun, maybe, for a bit.

Spirit

Argh I’m so out of time... I’ll try to come back and update this afternoon.

Day 7 (of 63): The Week Ahead

Links:

Link to Day 1, Link to Day 6

For those who followed my previous crazy journey’s, here’s the post the Friday before I started this one, which puts it in the context of this blog as a whole: Christian Influence Peddling.

Welcome Back

Well it’s Sunday or should I say Monday. I couldn’t get this cleaned up in time to hit publish yesterday. I meant to lay out my plans for the upcoming week and I’d written that much so I’ll throw that on and move onto day 8. Let’s dive into my plans for week 2.

Goal Recap

My goals/priorities this season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
– Losing weight & getting younger, (soon auditioning new diet/exercise plans).
– Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5 AM every weekday and spending time with God (which includes writing this blog).
– Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and faithfully stewarding opportunities with my church.
– Remodeling a new home so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.

Update

Saturday was an awesome painting party. My friends showed up and really helped us move the project along. Here are some pictures of the progress.

Dining Room Before and During Remodel

The Week Ahead

Aside from the new health plan, which I’ll detail below, most of the plans for this week are about the house reno.

The HVAC guys and concrete guys start work on Monday. My carpenter flies in Monday and will start Tuesday. I still don’t have a start date for the plumber, and I haven’t found the roofer or the exterior painter.

I have a day/time, location and committed participants for the grief recovery class but not quite sure which could mean Monday it’s starting. Maybe this today, that would be something wouldn’t it. AAAAHHH!

Focus

The blog so far has focused on very tactical things–the soul and body lever of being. I’m going to shift this week and talk about the Spirit level more. For more details on the levels to a human you can read my book “On Becoming a Man.”

Level 4 Environment: We can impact our environment but we don’t control it. We often spend a lot of time trying to control it, but we can’t. We have authority as restored beings through Christ, to impact that world–what Genesis calls “Fierce Mastery,” but the free will of others also has authority. God himself established man’s authority on Earth and He doesn’t violate His own command.

Level 3 Body: We do have a lot of control over our bodies. It’s a level where we interact with the world around us. We control our actions and reactions. Our bodies suffer age, illness, and injury, but we don’t have to give into all the effects. Joshua claimed in his 80’s that he was as strong as he had been in his 40’s. Was he simply bragging? I’d like to think he wasn’t.

Level 2 Soul: Our Mind, Emotions, and Will. Our personality and perspective live here. I often call it the battlefield of the soul, or the wilderness of the soul. I’m not being dramatic. This is the place of deeper clash between the outside forces trying to define us and the inside forces of true identity. We have near total control here in Christ if we choose to engage with it. This is the place the scriptures mean when they speak of the renewing of the mind. But it’s not the deepest, truest part of our being.

Level 1 Spirit: This is the place of our true identity. Before the God set the world in motion He dreamed up who we would be, uniquely. When Christ died in our place, he restored us to that intimate walk with God. He made a way for God’s original vision to come to pass. We were Spiritually dead and then we became Spiritually reborn. Our spirit is like an infant and the Spirit of God comes to dwell with us in our hearts–the thrown room of our lives. Our spirit carries the authority God intended for our lives, but we don’t know how to rule so the Spirit of God acts as an advisor, and teacher. Together we can carry out God’s plans on Earth. Binding and losing what is in heaven and on Earth.

The effective human existence on Earth is only possible when a redeemed person lives from inside out. That’s one part of three keys to reigning as a son/daughter of God in this life. I have so much more to say on this topic but I’m out of time. More later today in Monday’s official post…

Day 6 (of 63): Week 1 Review

Links:

Link to Day 1, Day 2 Link , Day 3 Link, Day 4 Link & Link to Day 5

For those who followed my previous crazy journey’s, here’s the post the Friday before I started this one, which puts it in the context of this blog as a whole: Christian Influence Peddling.

Welcome Back

Welcome to Saturday. I’ll try to give a fast update of yesterday and lay out plans for next week. Last week I gave details on my research and thinking for the health initiative portion of this journey. As promised, I’ll cap that off today with the diet & exercise plan I’m committing to the for the rest of this 63 days. Then I’ll intro my topic for week 2.

Quick Recap

I’m a writer (fiction/non-fiction/copy) who’s turning 50 in June. I’ve been journaling for a few years, but my attempts to blog come in fits and spurts. Personal blog that is, professionally I manage a blog for a car inspection service with joy and ease. Since I’ve got a huge Spring ahead of me, with turning 50, remodeling a house, expanding my writing business to include entrepreneur & life purpose coaching I’ve decided to move a large part of my journaling online.

My hopes for this is two fold:
First that my readers can glean some tips on how to handle these seasons in their life. If nothing else you’ll learn some things not to do.
Second just writing what I did, what worked and what didn’t, will keep me accountable. (I once read that people dieting were more successful simply by keeping a food journal. This is sort of that, only for my entire life for one season.)
Bonus Hope: If this is at all successful I’ll turn this blog into a resource for people I coach.

Note: The thinking behind journeys is this. When facing busy seasons in life, we need to impose some routine on life, and be flexible other places. We need to decide what our life is about, that authentic to us, and not lose site of that while taking on those big projects of crazy seasons that happen to all of us in life.

Why 63 days?

Because of a book by Dr. Leaf that recommends taking 63 days to change a habit. 21 to move the habit from short term memory where it takes active effort to do it, 21 one to move it through mid-term memory and 21 to make it stick in long term. Some of the changes I’m making are simply projects that will get done by hook or by crook, but some of these are changes I’m making to my lifestyle.

Change happens in life in two ways. Most of the time it’s thrust upon us and we must recover from it. That takes a grieving process which I’ll be learning a lot more about when I start the Grief Recovery method in early March.

Sometimes change comes by force of will. We decide to alter our way of doing life in the hopes of changing life’s trajectory. There is a few thousand methods and theories around doing that from Alcoholics Anonymous to the Genesis Process. Studying change is a passion of mine and during this 63 days I’ll be taking a journey to put into action my theories on intentional change management.

Goal Recap

My goals/priorities this season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
– Losing weight & getting younger, (soon auditioning new diet/exercise plans).
– Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5 AM every weekday and spending time with God (which includes writing this blog).
– Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and faithfully stewarding opportunities with my church.
– Remodeling a new home so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.

Last Week

Last week was about what I expect from a big transition week one. Monday and Tuesday were pretty glorious. Wednesday was bumpy, Thursday was grumpy and Friday we pulled out a win, or win-like outcome.

I mentioned that my wife lost her keys, got our daughter to school late and ultimately found her keys at the new house. I’d fallen behind on some paid writing gigs and meant to catch up Friday morning but ended up doing a bunch of other stuff first including running Kristin to get her keys. What’s funny is that my wife loses things about once for every five times I do, but when she does it’s a whopper.

We started prepping and painting yesterday, and I remembered in the early afternoon that I CAN’T PAINT. I hate doing it AND it hates me back. I also couldn’t find my grungy cloths so I ended up getting pain on one of my favorite shirts. Don’t tell my wife but that probably won’t stop me from wearing it. LOL.

We made great progress though, thanks in large part to the fact that my wife is an amazing painter. She has a steady hand and doesn’t bother to tape things off. It’s crazy, but my wife is exceptionally good at nearly everything she tries to do. I think God had her marry me as a cosmic version of a golf handicap.

We also got some great news from sub-contractors yesterday and several aspects of the build are going to happen on time and on budget. But another big reason we got back on pace yesterday is that my buddy Jeff came over to help paint and knocked out the stairwell that we weren’t even going to be able to do, because my wife and I can’t be trusted on ladders. Gravity is a cruel mistress.

So from the clutches of disaster our project is on pace. Jeff is one of my inner circle, BTW. My team. I haven’t mentioned my team yet but I have 5 guys I’ve been doing life with for more than a decade. The last few years we’ve been getting on a zoom call every weekday at 7 AM to check-in and pray for each other. The weekend between announcing this journey on this blog and starting it we ran to coast for a two day retreat, just us guys. What’s amazing is that our wives. get along and tend to go to the beach together not long after we do.

On the health front, I should mention that I’ve been on a diet this week that isn’t the one I’m moving forward with. I had lost more than 25 lbs on Optivia in January 2020. It was successful and doable, but brutal. I’d try it again sometime if I could modify it some. I had some of the food left, which I kept in case I ever weighed over 300 lbs again and in phase one of this year I popped up to 302. So I ate the rest of what I call my punishment food. I actually have 3 “feedings” left to eat today. I jokingly call them feedings because I had to keep my heart light on that diet. (Lightheartedness is a key to losing weight no one talks about).

My Health Plan

After the giant posts explaining why I think the way I think when it comes to health, this will seem a bit short and simple. But simple is a key to any health change. Most of what makes a health change work is the stuff that doesn’t involve diet and exercise–it’s the mental game. Another key “commitment”–declaring you goal publicly and having friends and family on board to support you. You may even need to cut some people who wouldn’t support your goals out of your life temporally.

Another key is faith. We need to believe what we are trying for is attainable and attainable by us. We are going to succeed at trying even if it falls short of the goal or takes more effort than anticipated.

The final key planning. Here’s my plan:

Schedule is a big part of it. Going to bed and getting up at a consistent time is a key life success in every arena, because getting enough sleep is important brain function, attitude, self control, and eating schedule. There is a rhythm to life and we need to find our stride in that rhythm or lose creativity, focus, and self discipline.

I’m a fan of intermittent fasting and no matter what else you do, eating in a window (10 hours or less) will empower a diet. I’m committed to doing just that on weekdays.

I’ve also started Thrive by Level. I can talk more about that later but it’s basically a network marketing company that separates the water soluble vitamins into capsule 1st thing in the morning, then a probiotic shake for the fat soluble vitamins 20 minutes later. This prevents me from delaying any foods first thing in the morning like a true iFast. However, it works well with the five fueling theory in Optivia. So I will be using that as my first fueling from 5 AM to 5:30 AM each weekday.

BTW My weekend will vary mostly in schedule as I try to take Saturdays off from labor. I also allow myself a cheat meal on any diet so I’ll be doing that Friday or Saturday night.

Other fuelings consist of both broth, a food bar under 200 calories, a slice of cheese or jerky, avocado/apple/banana, or a protean smoothie. I will continue to drink coffee each day, but I ad collegian powder to it, and only flavor with half-n-half and monk fruit.

I’ll be very active during the construction phase on the house so I’ll be eating both lunch and dinner. My wife makes great dinners so I’ll just have to be vigilant for lunches. Both of those meals will be keto compliant. I’ve found that if I want to control carbs the key is fats to fight cravings and lots of fiber to cushion the carbs I do eat. So lots of salmon & avocado.

I like to increase protean but not by adding a lot of meat. I’m a fan of meat, but I have to try for more veggies (legumes), cheese, and eggs. My wife and I like to use a local butcher during diets since the quality of the meat we do eat is SO much better.

That’s most of it on the diet front. Clearly I’m counting on the house remodel for both activity and exertion. If I wasn’t getting that, or on days when I end up writing instead, I do a morning round of Ti Lo Han (a type of lunge and squat from martial arts) and push ups. Then I set alarms for each fueling during the 5 times a day, and I attach some sort of walking or push ups to that fueling.

That’s about it. If I forgot something I’ll add it as I go. If this isn’t working to take weight off I’ll pivot in week 3.

Day 5 (of 63): Details on Health-Diet

Link to the Beginning, and Link to Last Post

Welcome Back

If you are new to this blog feel free to click back to the beginning to see where it all begins. I’ll keep the intro & recap short as today is another smoking busy day, LOL.

Quick Recap

My goals/priorities this season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
– Losing weight & getting younger, (soon auditioning new diet/exercise plans).
– Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5AM every weekday and spending time with God (which includes writing this blog).
– Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and faithfully stewarding opportunities with my church.
– Remodeling a new home so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.

Health Plan (Part 3)

As promised, details of my current health plan. I want to ad a big disclaimer here. This is the plan I made for me and the thinking behind my plan. Don’t do things with your health unless you consult a doctor first.

Diets! I’ve tried most of them and in future posts I will highlight the best and worst in my experience, based on effectiveness and difficulty. Most diet’s fall into one of four categories, based on their focus. Before choosing which diet to do, I recommend reading “Think and Eat Yourself Smart,” by Dr. Carolyn Leaf. She lays out the foundational thinking changes that will make almost any diet work–well without which no diet will work. After that it’s more about finding a diet that fits your temperament than finding the “right” diet. the “right” diet is the one that you can do.

Category 1 diets I call “Elimination diets” which focus on avoiding foods that you’re sensitive to or that may not be compatible with your blood type. There’s a lot of science behind this method and many version of them get results. They can also be simple to stick to because you have a list of what you can and can’t eat and there isn’t much you can so it’s hard, but not complicated.

Category 2 diets I call “Control diets” which focus on how much you eat more than what, although they still care about what you don’t eat. These diets can also be effective, but they require a lot of self discipline and they are complicated. It might sound like I’m being critical but weight watchers is a Control Diet and is one of the longest running weight loss systems out there and there’s probably a reason (probably the support groups is the reason).

Category 3 Diets I call “Fasting,” which could be thought of an extreme form of Category #1 or #2. Fasting has been scientifically shown as beneficial in many ways, including benefits to insulin issues, as well as the obvious–weight loss. It’s also biblical in that Easter, Danial and Jesus all fasted in extreme fashion, and Paul spoke of it in combination with prayer as a tool of focus. (Note that two of the four people who fasted for 40 days went directly to heaven without dying.) The recent fad of intermittent fasting has had great results and the benefit I like personally is that it shrinks you stomach, adjusts your taste buds and fast starts other methods of dieting. Intermittent fasting (iFast) requires discipline but its the simplest (and cheapest) of all diets. I still recommend reading a book and consulting a doctor before doing it as it’s a pretty big step. (Danial Fast is probably the one I’d recommend).

Category #4 Diets I call “Supplement Diets,” which focus on adding nutrients not found in modern foods. This is where Dr. Leaf’s book is key. She makes the case for “eating clean” among other things. What’s unique about her argument, is that it comes from a balance of science AND faith, which often make for strange bed fellows, but work in this case. I rate Supplement Diets generally more complicated than difficult. You need to research what’s missing and which source of it is truly a good source. Or just trust the MLM/network marketing company that is hawking it. (If I sound cynical I’m not–I think most of them have great products.)

Category 4 diets are best when combined with one of the other diets as you can seldom rely on adding vitamins, stimulants (and mainly pro-biotics) to your old habits and get good results. I favor a combo of these diets across the board. It’s a lot of work up front making a plan, and it can add expense to diets that are naturally cheap, ad time to diets that would be fast and easy, and ad discipline to diets that don’t have to be, but the key is finding what works for you. If you try for three months to lose 30lbs and you only succeed in losing 10lbs it’s still better than gaining 10lbs, which is easy to do if you aren’t doing anything.

Tomorrow’s post will detail the plan I made for this season based on all this research and study.

Update

Slept in to 6:30 AM this morning. Which doesn’t trouble me the way it did yesterday, because my wife took today off work to start painting, so this is more a remodel focus day than a normal weekday. Ironically, I have a bunch of writing work to catch up on, so…

My weight was down to 297 this morning–awesome–I knew yesterday was a fluke. (I weighed-in at a different time, but even if that wasn’t the case many times when dieting you’ll plateau, or even bump up by retaining water or something, for a day. We shouldn’t stress too much about that. In fact, I usually try to only weigh-in every three days to have more of an even average. I only started weighing every day because when I did Optivia last time because it’s such a fast drop, and this time because I’m blogging this every day.)

My wife left her car keys at the new house last night so we had some panic this morning trying to get my daughter to school. Then it took some time to retrieve things. It ended up with a delay, but in truth I got some reno project management things ironed out so I feel like we’re on track over all. We are both pretty worn out from this week and plan to keep our regularly scheduled pizza/movie night with Olivia (daughter). We need to stay fresh and give Olivia some familiar traditions during this process.

One last, quick rant–what the heck is with light bulbs. We’re replacing every bulb in the new house because they’re like 40 watt candles. I like to see what I’m doing and the bulbs you get these days in America are terrible. You can’t see, they don’t really last longer, and they create an environmental mess when you throw them out. That is such an example of modern environmentalism to me. If you disagree please comment on this blog post, or if you agree. And if you know where I can get some black market incandescent bulbs let me know…

Day 4 (of 63): Details on Health-Exercise

Link to the Beginning, and Link to Last Post

Welcome Back

Welcome to the edge of oblivion! Okay it’s not that bad. LOL. Yesterday Kristin (wife) and I went over after work and tried to map out some of the remodel. It was fun, cold, and oddly tiring. Thankfully my sister had to pickup some things from our house and brought us dinner so we made it home in time to eat and put our daughter to bed. This is just a sample of things to come and it already derailed our usual routine enough that we overslept this morning.

I hate getting up late. I needed the sleep but holy cow my morning was chaos. Thankfully we got Olivia (daughter) to school and managed to do the things that had to be done.

Quick Recap

My goals for this season are to buy a house, build an ADU for my mom to live with us, move into the house, and launch my coaching business, without losing ground on my writing business or gaining a bunch of weight. I’m also turning 50 in June and processing all that comes with that. FUN.

Did I mention that I sprained my knee last November and re-injured it in recent snowfall a couple weeks ago. I mention it because I’m getting around much better and I thank God for that.

Health Plan (Part 2)

As promised, details of my current health plan. I want to ad a big disclaimer here. This is the plan I made for me and the thinking behind my plan. Don’t do things with your health unless you consult a doctor first.

I divide fitness into Diet and Exercise. Exercise has two components being active and actual exertion. Your baseline level of activity is super important and the most overlooked aspect of most fitness efforts. They assume if you are a warehouse worker, or an accountant, you have roughly the same regular daily caloric burn. Recent studies show that being sedentary is terrible for our health. No matter what we need to be active each hour.

Exercise #1 –Activity. One solution I discovered while developing my silly rules program. Based on two books, “The Power of Full Engagement,” (Loehr & Schwartz) and “The Coaching Habit,” (Micheal Bungey Stanier) I’ve been able to come up with some pretty cool ways to kick simple things I do every day up to another level. Imagine if, every time you ran to the bathroom to release some pressure, you did 5 push-ups leaning against the counter. You can increase your workout by 30 to 50 push-ups a day without sacrificing much time or burning up much willpower. If your job is sedentary, this is a big tip to level the playing field with people who actually burn calories while getting paid.

Another important habit to incorporate is walking at least 10 minutes at a shot. I used to write at coffee shops pre-covid. During the silly rules project I developed the habit of walking whenever I got stuck. Rather than sitting and thinking, I walked and pondered. It was revolutionary. Walking is fantastic for your digestion. It also get’s you breathing fresh air which gives you energy without caffeine. It also breaks up your time sitting. And as a bonus I got unstuck much faster while ponder walking than I did staring at the screen.

Exercise #2 –Workout. It’s vital that you break a sweat at least 3 times a week. In addition to just being more active we need to raise our heart rates. You can pay someone a lot of money to teach you how, and I’m not putting that down, but it’s not rocket science. You just need to elevate your heart rate. The more you do it the better you’ll get at it, which actually means you’ll have to do it a little more to get the same results next time.

However, this is great news. It means starting a new exercise program isn’t the big deal you’ve probably been making it out to be. Most of us out of shape types tend to over do it our first time and then quit because of the pain. At some point you’ll exercise until it hurts and have it still be healthy, but that’s probably not day one. (If you are young it could be day one, I used to go out and over do it with decent results when I was more resilient–now that’s not an option.)

So their are two easy ways to start. The best is to take up a hobby or sport. Get into a dance class, finally learn to swim, buy a bike and hit the trails on a weekend, or join a softball league. If you’re having fun and others are expecting you to show up, you’re more likely to stick with it. The other way to do it, if you are really out of shape, is to get a fitness tracker and join a gym. Go work out and pay attention to your heart rate. Know your resting heart rate and if you can, use a machine to work out until your heart rate elevates to the fat burning zone. Subtract your age from 220 to get your maximum heart rate and then try to get your heart rate to about 70% of that number of beats per minute. In the beginning keep your heart their for as little as 8 to 12 minutes–less if your feeling short of breath. You should almost be able to hold a conversation while working out without grabbing for air.

Update

Woke at…well, at 11:50 PM, 3 AM, & 3:50 AM, but I got out of bed at 6:30 AM–90 minutes behind schedule. I’m not saying this to complain, just want to be accurate in showing how journey’s go. They are sometimes inglorious. Also I missed my consistent weigh-in time. (Consistent weigh-in is important because it fluctuates so much across the day. I try to weigh myself 1st thing in the morning every day–naked.) Today I weighed in after my shower, after breakfast, etc. so I have an inaccurate number, 302 lbs.

Today…

I have copy-writing to do, at least 4 items.
Then I will meet the concrete guy to get an estimate.
Then lunch with friends, get my mom and head back to meet the HVAC guy for an estimate.
Then take my mom to an appointment.
Then go back to the house with my wife to prep for painting the downstairs.
Then play with my daughter for a bit and finish the writing I didn’t get done this morning.

Don’t forget this blog isn’t spelled perfect, etc. not because I’m an idiot but because I’m just journaling my attempts to do all this without losing me in the process. God has big plans for me and I’m not going to get caught up in urgent stuff. I don’t have very long to blog this morning so I will keep it short. Hope your day is going more smoothly than mine.

Day 3 (of 63): Details on Health/Fitness

Link to the Beginning, and Link to Last Post

Welcome Back

Welcome back to my journey, where I’m sharing my efforts to move toward physical and financial fitness before I turn 50 (despite some pretty big life events that could derail a person). When I call this a journey I’m being intentional about that name. I believe life is an intimate adventure with God, your family and your tribe. We have seasons we walk through, whether we engage with them or not, but when we choose to be intentional with them (what I sometimes call “living an examined life”) then we can engage with the season as a journey.

A journey could be…
An effort to remove a heart wound, or
Replace a bad habit with a good one, or
Lose weight or
Find a new job.

I know some of you are probably thinking I’m actually having some sort of mid-life crisis. I really don’t think so, but you can label it however you like. I tend to have my freak-outs at odd numbers. I remember waking up on the morning of my 25th birthday thinking, “every day from here on, I’m closer to 30 than I am 20.” It weirded me out for months. Then when I eventually turned 30 it was no big deal at all.

This time, turning 50, feels like a positive. My beard has gone grey, I finally know what I want to be when I grow up, I’m overweight but happily married…people are starting to take me serious. There is more good than bad in life. I just see an opportunity to take stock and address some of things I’ve let go, and let go of some things I’ve been addressing.

Quick Recap

My goals/priorities this season, which I’m addressing in one project (One Big Thing), include losing weight, getting up at 5AM every weekday and spending time with God (which includes writing this blog). Also, it includes launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and I’m also remodeling a new home we bought yesterday so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.

For several years I’ve been journaling, which is a massive help to me in planning my day and staying sane. I follow a specific style I call AM Pgs, based on Morning Pages which Julie Cameron created in her book, “The Artists Way.” As a writer, engaging that part of my brain helps me clear (defrag) my brain. Because AM Pgs have been so successful for me I’ve decided to blog out this journey instead of just journaling it. The goal is to share it to help others while doing what I already do for me. (I’m not holding myself accountable to do that right now, since I’m throwing time at this blog but I hope to do both before this 63 days is up.)

Health Plan (Part 1)

As promised, details of my current health plan. I want to ad a big disclaimer here. This is the plan I made for me and the thinking behind my plan. Don’t do things with your health unless you consult a doctor first.

I divide fitness into Diet and Exercise. I’m going to have to do a post on each this week and then one detailing what I’ve ultimately decided to do for my health plan on this season (look for that on Saturday ish???) But in the short run, this is what’s happening.

I mentioned that I’d gained some weight during phase one of this year when I helped my Mom (age 81) sell her house and move in with my family, and I mentioned my “punishment food.” January of 2020 I took on a journey (one big thing) that included getting certified as a entrepreneur coach and auditioning a diet called Optivia. I was both impressed and repulsed by that diet. The results were phenomenal, I lost almost 30 pounds in 5 weeks. I was also hungry almost ever second of every day, my complained of my body odor (side effect of ketosis) and I hated the taste of a lot of the food. I ended up making it through the 5 weeks I’d committed to with a little help from a great coach (who also sold me the food). I even got my wife to join me for the last week.

We have about 5 days of food left at that point and I’d picked through the best they had, so what remained was the worst of the worst. Thanks to Optivia I finally got under 300 lbs, which had been eluding me for four years. (At my heaviest, I was working at my first real job with benefits and everything and I was stressed so bad I hated waking up in the morning–thank you Vancouver Housing Department. I weighed 375 lbs developed sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and bombed out of college. But that’s another story.) I’d fought my way down to 315 lbs but Optivia got me down to 289 lbs in a little over a month. I was able to stay between 290 lbs and 295 lbs for a year.

Want to know my secret for keeping the weight off? I promised myself that if I ever broke 300 lbs again I’d have to eat the rest of the Optivia food. I put the rest of the food in the garage fridge and everytime I went of 295 lbs I’d go look at it, shutter, and drop a lbs or two on the spot.

Well, I got so distracted moving my family upstairs so mom could have the main floor master in our rental, and packing mom, and selling her house, etc. I popped to 302.8 lbs. So I kicked off this 63 days with my “punishment food.” I gotta say, it’s not as bad as I remember. Of course its only day 2 of 5 so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. God is with me and whenever my wife is tempted to lose her temper with me she just looks at what I’m eating and shutters. I’m being punished enough.

Update

I woke up at 4:55AM but didn’t get out of bed until 5:40. I’m not sure how to score that. I was able to pray so it didn’t put me behind schedule much, but I really don’t want to lay around in bed unless it’s the weekend.

My weight today was 300.6 which is great, Day 2 was 301.2, Day 1 was 302.8, so I’m still trending the right direction. We got the keys to the new house yesterday and we took my daughter, Olivia, to see the inside for the first time. We tried to get some measurements and go over our reno plan…and we discovered places we’ll need to change things up. Glad to find out now rather than later.

I also met with my pastor and made a plan for the grief recovery class I need to take to move ahead with that side of my career. As soon as we finalize things that will start, hopefully soon. I’m also trying to learn a new writing deliverable at my copy writing business. It’s something a major client asked me to take on, and I’m eager to add that modality, but it’s more challenging than I had anticipated. I may give some details about that in a future post–it depends on how challenging it turns out to be.

Today…I have writing business to catch up on, and I really need to meet with my Mom and my Wife to firm up our reno plan now that things have shifted a bit. I also need to start buying supplies and take them to the new house. My daughter has early release from school today, and it’s my turn to get her. I wonder if schools have a concept of how much it blows up a parent’s schedule to have these short days.

I’ll look forward to writing again tomorrow, when I’ll give some details about my “this season” plans for either wealth/income, wisdom, or productivity/organization. Soon I’ll start posting some pics of the reno work at the new house. This is our 3rd house but our 2nd big remodel–very exciting.

Christian Influence Peddling

Isn’t influence peddling a crime? What are you on about this time, Andy? Influence means power. I believe Christians have an unhealthy relationship with power, and therefore an uncomfortable relationship with influence.

Another word for it might be, persuasion. When I was an English major back in college, writing to persuade was all the rage. It was technically one of five styles of writing, known by the lofty term “rhetoric,” but most of my professors were of the opinion that there wasn’t much other reason to put fingers to keyboard than to persuade the reader of something. It conjures up images of cynical people saying things like, “everybody is selling something.”

The other day I had the pleasure of interviewing a young lady named Jessica Kriegel, who helps companies create growth through aligning their corporate culture with their values and strategy. She mentioned that companies all have a culture whether they intend to or not. They either let it happen organically and then end up fighting it every step in order to reach goals, or they intentionally pursue a culture that communicates and reinforces the companies vision and keeps employees engaged and pulling the same direction. It made me wonder, what if Christians have an influence whether they mean to or not?

It doesn’t sound like a bad thing to be influential. That makes it sound like you have a reputation you’ve earned for being able to get things done, and therefore people are more apt to get onboard with whatever you’re doing next.

These days, I see it used as a job description–a “social media influencer.” That’s when someone has a following and they’re paid by people (with something to sell) to recommend their products or services. We don’t feel manipulated by this concept until we really sit down and think about it. Let’s face it, the world has grown very complex and we’re drowning in information. Nine out of ten people consult reviews before making an online purchase, and 84% of shoppers trust an online review as much as a friend’s. Social media influencers can be a professional reviewer who acts as a sort of tour guide to the possibilities. Of course, many are just accidentally famous or a swimsuit model, or just someone who’s built an audience.

The price an influencer charges depends on the number of followers they have, i.e. the number of people they influence. If I’m right, you influence people every day. What sort of influence are you having?

God has been speaking to me about this topic for a while, although I didn’t know this is where He was going with it. All good things come from the Father of Light (James 1:17). God put the 1st couple on Earth in His image to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28) Since Jesus was the second Adam (Romans 5) we are restored to that purpose. Which means all that “good” coming from God to us in Christ is ours to do something with.

1) Be fruitful
2) Multiply
3) Dominate the earth

What does it mean?

What is are we here to be and do, as a people and individually?

I’ve been pursuing the answer to these questions for a decade and I have a lot of answers. The 1st part of my discovery I put in my book, “Primacy of God,” which makes the case that we don’t receive the answers to a lot of our questions because we won’t let God be God. God didn’t put it on us to be holy and redeem ourselves. He knew we’d fall and He planned for His son to pay the price. We must embrace that mystery. It’s beyond us to do some things and if we hold God out of those we won’t receive the substitutionary power of God. Can we nullify our salvation? I doubt it. But we can constrain God’s ability to bring transformation in our lives by insisting, “we’ve got it from here, God.”

But I made the case in Book 1 that there is a path out of the wilderness into our personal Promised Land and I said I was on the banks of the Jordan across from Jericho listening for God’s guidance. I promised that when I found out how to cross into and lay hold of my Promised Land I was share it with you, so you can lay hold of your own. I get emails from readers all the time asking when I will finally write book 2. I believe I’m ready to do that. I have been fighting and searching hard for an answer and I believe I have it.

When I wrote book one, “Primacy,” I blogged the rough draft and then cleaned it up to publish. My readers got to follow along for free. I want to do that again. It’s not a simple process. You’ll have to let me blog each day wherever it goes. I can’t promise that it will come out in perfect order. This is frantic and often messy process, but I’m committed to it.

Starting Monday, 2/22/21

Starting Monday, 2/22/21 I’ll be blogging every day, for 63 days or until book two is complete. So join me as I draft “Authenticity of Self,” and discover with me what it looks like to march around a walled city declaring that the land is yours in the name and authority of God.

What’s all this got to do with Christian Influence Pedaling? Well, if I’m right, everyone has an impact on the world around them. We can let it be our reactions to our circumstances that only declares the pain of our situation in the context of what we’ve been through in life (our scar tissue/experience), or we can be intentional about what we’re putting into the world. If we choose the latter, we can be a conduit of something that runs counter to our circumstances. We can choose to be light in the darkness.

Things happen to us. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. Blessing or curse often depends on our perspective. A farmer likes rain, a home builder not so much. What if every circumstance in your life were engineered by God to bless you if you could find the right perspective. What if choosing to live in that perspective influenced how the people around you view what’s going on around them.

What it God wants you to be a Christian Influence Peddler?

It’s scarier than that even. What if He has a plan for you to serve others so you earn the right to speak into other peoples’ lives? What if He wants you to learn something about persuasion so that when you have right to bend someone’s ear you are effective at it? What if God has a plan to make you worthy of a larger audience, but it involves getting purged of your dark places?

Or maybe you’ve been dreaming of that your whole life. A mentor of mine, Pedro Adao, once told me he suffered from ministry idolatry. He knew how to make money but he wanted to do something really great, which meant saving kids in Africa or something. Long story short, Pedro learned that doing business right makes it ministry. Business is about solving problems and when you do it in a manor that lines up with the Kingdom you can witness about the King.

The secret we’ll discover in “Authenticity of Self” is how to be a conduit of Kingdom by receiving Good from God, Being Transformed by it, Taking authentic Actions to hand it to others, and Having Kingdom Results. It’s about living inside out in Authentic Vision and Rhythm. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll see you all on Monday.

PS If you have questions you can reach me by replying to my posts on my FB page or LinkedIn or posting a comment on this blog. I’ll respond to any of these and I check them often. If you’d like a free half hour clarity call with me reach out to me at sirbunch@talescribe.com and ask for a link to my schedule. God designed me to be a guide to the wilderness of the soul, which means in addition to writing I help people through business and life purpose coaching.

Journey Plan: Healthy Balance

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(Note: This season physical health journey will focus on balancing my endocrine system through diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. Other Journeys this season include True-Up/Sharp Ax and the Eve & AM Journey. )

Welcome…

I’m excited to start this journey. A little history: I’ve always been pudgy but I wasn’t really unhealthy until I got a high-stress job about ten years ago. About the time I needed to start focusing on my health because of age I let it go almost entirely. It’s been an uphill climb since.

The reality is, even if you don’t struggle with your weight, our western diet and lifestyle don’t lend to health. We fight a two-front battle with our own bad habits/lack of knowledge and our culture’s lack of nutrition and physical activity. In truth, I’m not the only reason I’m fat, but if I don’t take on responsibility then I’m not empowered to change it.

My Goal…

I’m not a fan of traditional goal setting. I don’t find it innately motivating the way some people do. That may come as a shock given that I’m in the self-improvement arena with this blog and the books that are coming. I just know that goals can take my focus off what I really want (abundant life) and make it about one thin aspect of that (dropping x lbs. in x amount of time).

I do find goals helpful as benchmarks to make sure I’m not doing something unhealthy and that I’m still on track.

I’ve lost 70lbs in that last 5 years, then hit a plateau. Last year I broke through and lost another 15 lbs, hurrah! Which I gained back over winter, boo! So my first goal this season is to drop 5lbs a month for June, July, & August.

I can tell you what has worked:

Thrive by Level helped a lot, but was pricey, so I’m searching a for good replacement for it (probiotic/prebiotic/metabolism boost). I focused heavily on the gut when I lost pounds last time and will again.

Sitting less. I was able to add more activity throughout the day, which I will again. I love to “ponder walk” now, and whenever I hit a roadblock at the laptop I get up and walk around the block. I come back with answers and better health.

I worked out in the gym 3 times a week. Again that got expensive and after my initial boost, it leveled off effectiveness. I shifted to home workouts and that’s the direction I’m going to stick with this time. I read somewhere that 7 out of 10 people who lost weight and kept it off worked out at home or within a block of home.

I got sick…by that I mean I literally came down with the flu, pneumonia, then bronchitis during the winter of 2017. It shrank my stomach and I didn’t stretch it out again until the holidays. I’ve been really healthy this year even though my wife and daughter got sick this last winter. I’m going to use portion control & intermittent fasting techniques, described below, to reproduce a smaller appetite.

My Conclusions from Last Years Experiment

It may seem like a disappointing list but I learned two valuable things. First that some of the most significant things we do for our health can be quite simple and obvious. The other thing I learned is that there are saboteurs in the mix that cause failure no matter how hard you try. I think I identified that saboteur.

Although recently you’d think that fad diets were equal to men and women, for decades mainly they were aimed at women. I don’t think we get quite the right balance of nutrition while trying to eliminate everything that could or does cause problems. That combined with our current load of chemicals, stress, and sedentary lifestyle creates a hidden logjam guaranteed to derail our health efforts by running us out of willpower.

My Plan at this Time:

I’ve been pouring over research and testing ideas on myself for the last couple years and we need a two-pronged approach. First, self-control is actually part of God’s nature. It’s listed among the fruits of the Spirit… (Gal 5:22 & 23)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 

So we can’t divorce our Spiritual walk from our efforts to become healthy, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need a plan. My friend Chriss Skaggs once said, “God supplies everything you need, like salvation, but if you want something in this world you’ll need to fight for it.

So step two is an effective plan. That means we need a flow of actions that address a wide variety of physical, emotional, and lifestyle needs.

In the past I’ve looked at the areas I need to cover as Sub-Categories:

  1. Diet – What to eat/not eat
  2. Exercise – strength training, aerobic
  3. Lifestyle – Sleep, active habits, etc

It can be helpful to list my research that way since it’s the widely accepted way to do it. I’ll include both my own experience/research and also what I’m learning from Ben Levi’s course on building testosterone without supplements.

  • Diet – What to eat/not eat
    • Basically paleo (+ legumes & relume grains)
    • Eat Brazil nuts before bed
    • Supplements: Creatine & Magnesium (Probiotics, Prebiotics & Digestive Enzymes)
  • Exercise – strength training, aerobic
    • Basically CrossFit (eventually)
    • Starting with Home workouts, resistance, and isometrics
  • Lifestyle – healthy habits
    • Sleep,
    • Active habits, (Don’t sit so much)
    • Stretching, balanced (tai chi)
    • Stress reduction

I have a new take on the categories this time based on a balanced approach. Since I’m amazed by the mileage I’ve gotten from simple changes, I believe we need to conquer this incrementally. So I’m going to break things up into stages as you’ll see below.

 

The List So Far:

Lifestyle – Start here if you want to have success

Sleep – when your body repairs and builds hormones

Sleep in a dark, quiet, cool room. (Red light okay, Blue light is bad). Eliminate electronics an hour before bed. Get at least four 90-minute increments (6 hrs) 7.5 hours is best. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning (even weekends). Train your body.

Ponder walking – (Stop being sedentary)

Get up and move, look into standing desks, park farther from the door, find a fun activity like hiking, swimming, or bike riding that you can do with friends and family. Get one of those watches that reminds you to get up and move.

Stretching – Not what you’re thinking

We need a full range of motion. Static stretching is good too, and I will start doing it every night before bed. But the big need here is activities that require us to work the support muscles. I’m eager to find a good tai chi (or hsing ha), teacher. This way I can de-stress at the same time.

Stress Reduction – Live inside out, and loved

We need to a balanced approach to handling both the urgent needs of the day and making progress toward our life goals. I’m writing a book later this summer on ways to be more organized.

Frankly, there are seasons in life when we need to just survive, or work our way out of a corner. This doesn’t mean we aren’t loved by God. I’m writing a book to address this concept right now.

For the purposes of this journey plan, we need daily devotionals before bed and first thing in the morning. I recommend Graham Cooke’s audio teaching on rest and the Daily Battle section of my book, “Primacy of God.”

Drinking – (Reduce liquid calories, add water)

Increase water intake by having some on hand at all times. I’m allowing bullet coffee every morning (occasional red wine in the evening).

I’m supplementing my food with a morning smoothie of almond milk, protein powder cinnamon & turmeric. I’ll add more on this later.

Things in moderation: Alcohol (Mainly red wine) & caffeine (coffee once a day, never pop).

Eating – (Basic diet is my take on Paleo which I call the caveman diet)

Portion Control – The toughest thing I’m going to do by far. I’m going to eat from a smaller plate, take home half of any restaurant meal, reduce protein size and add veggies to lunch & dinner.

What I don’t eat: No processed sugar or artificial sweetener, pre-prepared foods with more than five ingredients, gluten, MSG, or things I’ve learned I’m sensitive to (milk). For now, I’m giving up mint (anti-testosterone).

I can’t worry about everything all the time, so I’m not stressing about sodium or fats.

What I do now eat: I’m not strictly low carb; to paleo, I add,  dried fruits until lunch, rye bread or ancient grains or steel cut oats during breakfast okay.

I specifically try to eat fish & avocado! Salads or veggies with lunch & dinner. Eat more garlic, onions & basil. Brazil Nuts before bed snack! (Contains selenium, vital, but only eat 3 or 4 nuts)

I take supplemental vitamin D3/K2, Creatine, Magnesium,

Things in moderation: Dark chocolate.

Core – Balanced Health begins in the gut

Diet –

I’m supplementing my food with probiotics (kombucha/kevita/pills/fermented foods). Digestive enzymes capsules.

Work out –

Squats (Ti Lo Han), Sit-ups, Push-ups, front & mule kicks (while balancing)

Intensity – (to be added in phase three)

Diet – supplement with EGCG (green tea extract) sometimes.

The big add here is intermittent fasting. There are several ways to accomplish this, but the method I favor is skipping breakfast a few times part of the week. There’s good research to support the benefits of fasting on insulin sensitivity, but the big goal here is to shrink my stomach and keep my body in it’s place.

I’m going to skip breakfast on Tuesday/Thursday.

Work out- Break a sweat and lose your breath

In addition to the other maintenance workouts I’m doing, I need to break a sweat at least three times a week. Rip a little muscle and raise your heart rate. This triggers my metabolism to burn and my endocrine system to balance. It’s also true that having more muscle results in burning more fat. Men need to labor, it’s in our DNA.

I’m going to try to find productive ways to get this workout Monday/Wednesday/Friday, like yard work, but I’m willing to hit a gym sometimes with a focus on my arms and shoulders.

Cheat Days –

Might sound crazy to include this here instead of the lifestyle section, but really it’s just dealers choice. The idea here is to increase willpower by giving yourself a break once in a while.

I’m going to combine this with a weekly date night. Want to reduce the feeling of being deprived by knowing there is a day when I can enjoy what I’m craving. It’s not gone forever, it just has to wait until I decide to do it.

An added bonus here is that if I screw up early in the week, I simply need to count that as my cheat day. The other big advantage here is we often discover that eating that thing you thought you wanted wasn’t worth it compared to how your body feels later.

 

 

Any resources I’m leaning on God to help with

All of it! I wish I had someone to tackle this with me, but I’ll manage.

Specific places I predict challenge (prayer requests)

I’m concerned because when I take on something big like this it often derails something else I’m working on…and I can’t let the other journey’s I’m on fall off my plate. I’m trusting that if I go moment by moment God is faithful to take care of things.

Estimated Start Date: June 10th (the day after my birthday)

 

Journey Plan: True-Up/Sharp Ax

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(Note: This Journey Plan addresses this Seasons plan to clean up loose ends and gain effectiveness. )

Welcome…

Not unlike the HouseFix Journey, this will list a lot of things I need to do. I’m also hoping that by explaining my reasoning you might get insight into my organizing system, which will be a subject of a journey and ebook in 2019. Sharp Ax/True-Up might seem a strange name for a journey, but it’s one of those cool combined action efforts, like the Eve & AM Journey. It’s actually short for four concepts that fit together so interconnectedly that it’s easier to track them together.

Sub-Categories:

  1. Sharp Ax – things I do to automate or improve efficiency
  2. LEARN – seeking out more understanding, more skills, better ways
  3. True-Up – Leftover or undone items needed to finish a project
  4. Finish Strong – The other 1/5th of the project that’s hard to do

What it is:

We can’t just do things to improve our lives, we need to also improve our methods of improving ourselves. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying something like, “if I had three hours to chop down a tree I’d spend the first two hours sharpening my ax.” That’s what inspired the name of that sub-category. If you take a course on speed reading, for example, you’d save time on everything you do every day, especially the process of learning. (I intend to take a course by Ben Levi on Udemy called, Become a Super Learner very soon.)

LEARN is actually one of my strengths and also a lifelong addiction of mine. I simply don’t feel right if I’m not ingesting new information.

The Big Difference between True-Up and Strong Finish…is nuanced. True-up is something God has put on my heart this season. I tend to get frustrated with a lack of progress and complain to God that I’m not making progress. God asks if I’m really out of actions I can take. It’s humbling to realize that I’m begging God for step 5 and 6, actually throwing a tantrum and refusing to take steps 1 thru 4 until He shows me the whole plan. Well, this category is for things the steps I can take.

Strong Finish relates to a core concept/desire I have for the Cleric Path. It’s something Mike Q. Pink calls spontaneous wealth. Most creative types get what I’m about to say, but I’ll try to explain. When you get a flash of brilliance that transcends what you could do in your own power. Most of us live our lives in a way that is too busy to even record those epiphanies much less take action on them. I call them Blessons, (Blessings + lessons) and I’m determined to take advantage of them.

What I’ve learned in trying to set aside time for these Blessons is that I tend to capture and use about 80% (4/5ths) of it before life rends me away. Finish strong is about being faithful to complete the remaining 1/5th in order to really receive what God is handing out.

 

The List So Far:

Sharp Ax – things I do to automate or improve efficiency

Laptop Clean up (renew virus protection, clean up junk files, esp pics in DBox etc)

Mobile office: incorporate my tablet so office/writing functions are more portable

LEARN – seeking out more understanding, more skills, better ways

Udemy class on balancing the endocrine system – current (link for more info)

 

True-Up – Leftover or undone items needed to finish a project

Laptop Clean up, delete old desktop notes & add new–(mission/vision/values/battle/message, etc. )

Finish Strong – The other 1/5th of the project that’s hard to do

Pea Gravel project in the backyard

Water heater run off

Make Daughter’s tablet kid-friendly

 

More to come…

 

Edited this far

Steps I’ll take and What I’m hoping God will do

While watching a kids show with my daughter, I heard a character mention mechanical advantage as connected to incremental efforts. It hit me like a rhino at full speed. Part of the reason change is difficult for us is that we need to know we’re working on grand things, but we’re seldom able to do more than just crawl to the next line. We’ve lost sight, well, I’ve lost sight, of the nobility inherent to surviving against all odds.

It’s not just the knight in shining armor who makes victory in a battle. It’s usually the human cockroach who knows how to keep himself and his friends alive through impossible odds that end up doing all the fighting on the front line.

My point here is that most of my victories didn’t result from my excellence as much as my obstinance. Most of the finish lines I’ve crossed in life weren’t danced across, they were crawled across or stumbled over.

I want that leverage that comes from focusing on the next step. I believe that one thing that will help is celebrating the ugly wins. Getting excited over the tiny victories. The same God who can give me peace in a storm can give me joy over the underwhelming successes.

 

Any resources I’m leaning on God to help with

God’s got to come through with joy.

Specific places I predict challenge (prayer requests)

I’ve got to remember that there is no negativity in God and no matter how busy I am, nothing is more important than fighting the battle over my attitude.

Estimated Start Date: Underway.

This Season Plan (Spring 2018)

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(Note: for more about This Season Plans, including how I produce them and why see the explanation at this link. )

This Season Spring 2018 Plan:

New Season Spring 2018

May 2018

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”— Isaiah 43:16, 18-19 (NIV)

Current Situation:

I’m fearing that I’ll arrive at the end of the summer in the exact situation I’ve been in for the last two years. I don’t see the chess pieces God is moving to back my desire to monetize my calling. My wife and I have a secret adventure planned for this fall and I don’t feel progress toward it.

Seasons Recap:

2012 God clarified my glory: bringing life to dry bones. 2013 God simplified my life through shameless humbling/shaking the agreements from me, like my craving/fearing my heart’s desire to be recognized for my talent. 2014 God reframed my understanding of risk and hardship. I needed to embrace that God was pushing me out of comfort to explore shameless humility: my deep water. 2015 God showed me that finding my deep water (what I pull up short of doing) was the key to finding my calling and that my resistance to that indicated disparity between my flesh and the new man. 2016 I spent trying to apply “The secret to abiding in Christ as a cleric”–living in dependency and wonder (I worship what I fear), externalized obligations (in the light), and imagination (my unique gift). 2017 God refined the topic of applying my calling to helping others and earning a living, then He began healing my boldness. 2018 God lead me to find focus (single purpose) on my calling/mission/message etc. He also healed my fear of public humiliation, pushed me to launch unprepared, and declare my desires as His plan for me.

Bringing it all Together:

If I boldly believed my current project is going to be successful, I would rise early and work on it before anything else. I would do anything I needed to get rest each night and I’d approach my day rested in the knowledge that I can do all things in Christ. I’d stop believing that I need to figure out how to make the project successful and remember that only God knows the outcome He wants for it. I should just finish it!

Daily Battle:

  1. Choose the light side of the paradox.
    I trust God to catch me if I fall and would rather die serving my purpose than live a slave to fear.
  2. Declare who God says I am.
    I’m an adventure writer pursuing wisdom as I adventure. I believe Jesus came that we would have life abundant. My mission is to wake the walking dead Christians who waste the gift of life trying to be safe.
  3. List 3 – 5 things I can do, even if I can’t see how they’ll fix things.
    Skip all TV, bed by 8:30 pm & up by 4:30 am, be intentional about everything I do (eat or say).

Who is God being for me this season? I’m built in his image, what part of His Glory is He restoring in me this season? If I reimagine my circumstances as part of a redemptive plan, what’s God trying to accomplish with them? Is there a theme to it all? What gift or superpower would result from me being healed?

God wants to restore in me his image as a Providor and Giver of Good Gifts.

The New Season:

A) Looking at the crossroads of my answers above, what do I feel God is saying right now about this season?

He wants me to stay the course. He wants to show me that I’m doing more than I think and He can be trusted to come through at the appropriate time.

B) What outliers did I think of during this process? What things did God speak to that I wanted to ignore because I couldn’t see where they fit in?

God wants me to work on receiving supernatural rest, physical health and fitness, & cleaning up unfinished projects so I’m ready to move when things change.