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My Struggle with Weight, Health, and Gluttony.

Background:

My Daughter Haven was born in the fall of 2010. Around then I decided that I needed to get healthy. I had run in a 5k, well I tried. I was amazed at how poorly I did. I decided that it was time for a change, so I changed. I start running, I dieted, I counted calories, I worked out at the gym, and I saw results.

I felt better, I lost over 20 lbs, I completed half marathons, then a marathon, and most recently a Tough Mudder. However, my weight has fluctuated. Though I’m 20 lbs lighter than I was when Haven was born, I’m also 17 lbs heavier than I was when I completed my first Marathon in November of last year.

Asking for Help

Recently, I did what I often recommended to other people but found hard to do myself. I asked for help from a professional. I met with a dietician and discussed my progress and lack of success on maintaining a healthy diet or normal weight.

One of my major struggles is snacking late at night. (I opened up about this on Facebook about a month ago and got some good suggestions, including “see a dietician.”) The dietician helped me see that by trying to keep my calories low through the day, which I can do pretty well, I starve myself and set myself up for failure in the evening.

In addition to the Physiological reasons, there are psychological (I’d add spiritual) reasons that I snack. Nicole has helped me see that I am prone to stress eating or emotional eating. If I have a difficult counseling session, I’m worrying about someone’s progress in discipleship, dealing with conflict, or merely feeling overwhelmed (pretty regular in ministry) I am much more likely to choose poorly when it comes to food.

While the physiological reasons are easily worked out with some good info and new habits, the emotional and spiritual will require patience, honest confession, prayer, and God’s grace and truth.

This is where you come in.

Asking for YOUR Help

As I work on this, I need to be held accountable to the process. Like an addict needs meetings and accountability partners to stay sober long enough to figure out why they choose their drug of choice, I need accountability to make healthy decisions while I find the dysfunction that continually brings me back to this struggle.

My dietician has asked me to keep a food diary. Don’t worry, I didn’t go buy a pink book with a locking clasp on the front. I’m keeping it on my phone, but I plan to post updates and portions of it here each day. You can find it here. I don’t need you to subscribe to this in your feed reader or sign up for email delivery. It will be very boring material. However, if you could check occasionally to see if I’ve been doing my homework, that would be great.

If I’m slacking, send me a message.

You can find me on Facebook and twitter.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

GCC, My Alma-Mater, to Close after 2013 School Year.

Tonight the members of Gateway FWB Church voted to suspend the ministry of Gateway Christian College.

Gateway Church started the ministry of GCC in the fall of 2003. This was their 10th year.

I got a flurry of phone calls and text messages 2 weeks ago (and since) informing me that a vote on the closing of the school had been announced. I was stunned but not surprised, if that makes sense. Because GCC is/was a ministry of a local church and I am an alumnus of the school, I have been in a strange position of “indirect connection” to the school. I attended the annual Bible Conference every year and served as the treasurer of the Alumni Association. I (and a handful of other alumni) even met with the then president 5 years ago to voice concerns and to suggest ideas and solutions.

At times I’ve felt like someone privileged enough to witness a NASA shuttle launch from a safe distance behind the fence. At times I’ve felt like a bystander who comes upon the scene of an accident- concerned and willing to help, but afraid to get in the way of the very busy first responders.

I love/loved GCC. It helped shape me as a Christ follower and as a pastor. A couple of memorable quotes will help give you an idea of the atmosphere of school I attended.

As clear as if it were just moments ago, I can hear my homiletics professor saying, “I am not training you to preach like me or any of the guys who wrote these books. I simply want to help you be the preacher God made you to be, who He gifted you to be.”

Other iconic moments were when my theology and pastoral ministry professor stated, “I don’t expect you to minister exactly like me.” and  “You will ALWAYS have our support.”

Gateway has long been known for its unique approach and philosophy of ministry, but GCC was not a school dedicated to a certain approach to ministry. What was instilled in me and my classmates was a dedication to the gospel and to ministry.

Though short, GCC had an incredible run. I am very proud of the fellow alumni that have graduated in only 10 classes. In only 10 years, graduates have been sent out to serve in ministry as teachers, pastors, church planters, and cross cultural missionaries in several states and overseas. GCC grads have already served with NAFWB commissions, State Association leadership, Truth & Peace, FWB21, as well as Home & International Missions. I am excited to see how God continues to work in their lives and ministries. I believe He is just getting started.

I’d like to thank anyone who served in, prayed for, or supported GCC in anyway. God used you to impact my life.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Appreciate. Highlights of 2012

Every year on the final Sunday night of January, our church holds an annual budget meeting. It’s a time to look over the finances of the past year and set a plan for the next.

We also look at what the number can’t tell us, and we pray for what the numbers can’t produce.

This year I put together a video of ministry highlights from the previous year:

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Toy Trucks & My GoPro

For my birthday I got a new toy, a GoPro camera. For Christmas, Haven got a John Deere truck and tractor. The other night while Nicole was leading a Soul Detox discussion group, Haven and I combined the toys and had some fun.

Here is the result:

 

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Letter to Faith Church

As we look toward Christmas and the end of the year, there are a few things I want to make sure that everyone knows about. 

Christmas Party

I always look forward to our annual Church Christmas Party. The food is great, the games are fun, and I enjoy our simple evening together. We would love for you to join us this Friday at 6:30. If you are able to attend, please bring a finger food and a dessert. There is an optional gift exchange with a $10 limit.

Gifts for Jesus Offering

Every year through the month of December we collect a special offering. In past years this offering has gone to support efforts like an Orphanage in Mexico, families with large medical bills, purchasing Bibles for a church plant, and rice for a mission in Haiti. You can give to this special offering during any of our services by using a “Gifts for Jesus Offering” envelope or by placing your gift in the collection box placed at the rear of the church.

Christmas Services

You do not want to miss our services on December 23! At the 10:30 service we will have music from Toddler Church, Children’s Church, and a couple of our talented adults too. We will even have a Christmas video starring our Children’s Church kids!

The 6:00 PM service will be a candle-light service with carols & scripture. These candle-light services are truly special and this one will set the tone for your Christmas week.

Soul Detox

2013 is just around the corner, and we will be starting if off in a special way. For the four Sundays in January our series will be:

Soul Detox – Clean Living in a Contaminated World

You and I are surrounded by “stuff” that is toxic to our spiritual health, so we will be talking about getting it out of our system and keeping it out. I want to drive this study home, so in addition to covering it in our Sunday morning services we will also  host discussion groups & offer corresponding Bible Study plans. 

Plan to jump into this study with both feet in January!

God Bless!

Pastor Daniel

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tips for Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School is a big part of our outreach every summer. It has proved to be an effective way to connect with new families, many of which have no home church. We just wrapped up our 7th VBS here at Faith Church in Chandler, so I thought I would share some things we have found effective.

Tip 1: The VBS Store

This can be as simple as a room of tables with trinkets and toys that are purchased with VBS dollars or points or some other type of reward system. Think along the lines of the counter at Chuck E Cheese where you get stuff in exchange for your tickets. This makes it easy to incentivize anything you want to happen during the week. At a Faith Church VBS you can earn “VBS Bucks” for pre-registering, attending, memorizing a verse of Scripture, bringing a Bible, bringing a friend, and bringing mom and dad to the program on Sunday.

Each year we make an order of stuff from Oriental Trading to stock our store with items that fit with that year’s theme. The kids love the stuff, and it is pretty cheap.

Tip 2: Online Registration

We ask people to sign up for VBS on our website and we give 10 VBS Bucks to every kid who pre-registers. This makes everything run more smoothly when the kids arrive on the first day, and it also ensures that we get contact info for follow up and mailers for future children ministry events.

We do this with a simple form on our website, but you could probably build something with SurveyMonkey.com and put a link up on your homepage.

Tip 3: Photographer

Volunteers are a precious commodity, but you will find that it is a worthy investment of manpower to have someone who does nothing other than take pictures. A mom with a point and shoot digital camera would be fine.

When you have photos of the events of every day, you have something you can show parents that will communicate just how much fun your VBS is. Some kids tell their parents all about the day when they get home, others will simply say something like “it was okay” and run outside to play. The photos of kids with huge grins going down a slide or listening intently to a story will close the gap between perception and reality. If you have worked hard to put together a good VBS, you will want parents and grandparents to know.

Take the best photos and videos and put together a 5 minute video of highlights to show during the program on Sunday. Speaking of which…

Tip 4: Closing Program During Sunday Service

Doing a program on Sunday targets families without a church since those that have a church will be at it on Sunday. More importantly, it gets mom and dad in the door to experience your worship service, meet your people, etc. A program during the Sunday service also makes VBS something that the entire church is a part of, not just the children’s ministry volunteers.

Here is our highlight video from VBS this summer:

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Letter to Faith Church

A couple of Sundays ago I poked my head into Children’s Church & one of the boys asked me, “How come I’m not wanted!?” I was stunned. I couldn’t imagine what would have made him think he wasn’t wanted at our church. I explained that he was very wanted & welcome. “No” he said, ” I want my picture on a wanted poster in the hallway!” That’s when it clicked. He was talking about the posters lining the hallway for Vacation Bible School.
There may not be a wanted poster with your picture on it in our hallway, but you are wanted and welcome! In fact, we are making more room for you and your neighbors, friends, co-workers, and family. We want them all!

Our church has enjoyed steady growth over the last few years. Over the past 6 months we have been thrilled to watch God increase the rate at which people have decided to call Faith Church “my church.”

Of course the increase of people has meant an increase in cars. We had several Sundays that we ran out of parking. I apologize if you struggled to find a parking space or parked in the grass when you worshipped with us recently.

On Sunday, June 24 our membership decided to expand our parking lot. We hope to move forward immediately! The paving company has been contacted, and they have updated the estimate which was originally written in April of 2011. Hopefully, by the end of the week we will have a date set for the work to begin!

God Bless,

Pastor Daniel

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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