Power to Speak

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I have been doing CrossFit for about two years now give or take. In the sport of CrossFit, it is normal for a person to go that extra mile to be even 1% better. Whether that be a double day, staying after class for accessory/technique work, reading books on efficiency, taking classes for gymnastics or Olympic lifting, asking the coach for advice and tips on a daily basis, going to bed early to wake up early, saying no to unhealthy foods, prepping meals for the week to stay on track, etc… You get the point right? SO much time, effort, energy, and money get poured out to get even 1% better.

Seems like some serious dedication right?! The sad truth is that all of that dedication and time is getting put into something that can be taken within a few moments. I know this from experience. I was WAY overdoing it. Doing CalStrength Olympic programming, Misfits Crossfit Programming, AND a Russian squat program. To make it worse I wasn’t taking the proper recovery time with my training, wasn’t eating right, was getting 4 or so hours of sleep, etc… During some strict Hand Stand Push Ups, I tweaked my shoulder and BAM… During a set of squats, my hip got SUPER tight. To the point of not being able to do an air squat without pain. Set me back 6+ months. I couldn’t bench the bar, couldn’t fully extend my arm overhead, could hardly Power Clean, etc… It was bad. Thank the Lord it was nothing serious, but it still set me back.

During this time of having to take steps back, God really started to work on my heart. I was putting SO much effort into something that doesn’t make a difference. Training anywhere from 90-120 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week. I really felt the Lord calling me to ask the question about where my spiritual fitness was and if I was putting in that same amount of effort into growing as a man of God. That was a HARD no. I definitely was NOT putting in the time I need to grow in something that has ETERNAL benefits.

I sat back and started thinking about how deep my knowledge of God and my security in Him could have been VASTLY changed if I put the effort I was putting into CrossFit into Him. If I went the extra mile to be even 1% stronger in Him, to save just ONE more person, to have just ONE more conversation with someone, give just ONE more percent to the church, etc…

Where this is all leading to is the point of a coach. For a vast majority of my walk with God, I have not had a coach, and I have not had any athletes to coach. In Christian terms it goes like this, I have had no one mentoring/disciplining me and I have not been disciplining anyone. Jesus was very clear when He gave us all the great commission. You see, the verse today is about testing who we are letting pour knowledge into our lives. To test if they have the spirit of God in their words. We SHOULD have people in our lives that test POSITIVE for the spirit of God in there lives, and they pouring it out into our lives. How can we know if the words they are speaking are Godly words if we don’t know what the Word of God says?!

WHICH leads me to express the simple fact that until we KNOW what the spirit of God sounds like in a person life, we will be VERY vulnerable to false prophets speaking into our lives. We will be gullible to whatever tickles our ears and fits our lifestyle.

Take the time today to see where you are going that extra mile to grow. Is it in something that will last into eternity? Or is it into something that can be taken at a moments notice? At the end of the day, none of us want to wholly and fully devote ourselves to something that can be taken without notice.

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You Must Commit

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“Commit your work to the Lord , and your plans will be established.” 

How much time have we spent living in a state of disappointment over NOT getting the results we want. I know for myself I have felt this state of multiple times… Whether that be with my diet, my workouts, my walk with God, my finances, etc… Almost every time this disappointment comes from a lack of commitment on my end.

I cannot think of any times in my life that a goal has fallen through purely based on something outside of my control. Yes, there are things in life that happen that are outside of our control but when we are committed to a goal we make the necessary adjustments. It’s with that Godly COMMITMENT that we are able to accomplish so much. When we commit to things that truly matter to God and truly matter to us we are able to make incredible changes in our lives.

The bible says we must count the cost before we commit. (Luke 14:28)

Let’s talk examples:
When it comes to dieting there will ALWAYS be temptations around. Sadly, we do not live in a world where overindulging in foods we do not need is rare. It’s actually the complete opposite. Our culture today is VERY well fed and typically within a 5-minute walk, we can get something that is absolutely terrible for our bodies, but so very good for the momentary satisfaction. It’s easy to make excuses as to why you can’t eat healthily, but although the upfront cost is MUCH less, the return is much more costly. If we would put the effort into eating good healthy foods & say no to things that are not good for our bodies, the return would be AMAZING. Losing weight, feeling better, energy levels being normal, strength going up, endurance going up, adding years to our life, etc… So although it may cost more upfront when needing to put the effort into meal prepping, saying no to things you shouldn’t eat, fighting off cravings, having to order something healthy from an amazing dinner place, etc… the results listed above are SO worth it.

When it comes to your workouts! One of the things I absolutely LOVE about being involved in Crossfit is that all gyms operate in a similar manner. In a 1 hour class, you have a coach that tells you what to do, how to do, how long to do it, and gives you advice along the way. It’s as simple as the walk in, do what you’re told, give maximum effort and walk out feeling amazing. Recently, I have had a desire to push myself a little bit harder! So I started to follow “CompTrain” for my workouts. I have seen some great results so far, but there was an upfront cost. In order to not obstruct the 5 am class, I need to get up at 3 am, get to the gym and be warming up by 3:30 am & be ready to start the workout for the day by 3:45. Waking up that early means I need to get to bed early. Pushing myself harder means I must be better about my recovery. There are countless sacrifices that need to be made, but the results from the commitment are UNREAL.

When it comes to our walks with God. The upfront cost of denying ourselves and our selfish desires is rough. There are a lot of things our flesh wants us to do. There are a lot of things this world tells us to do. The way the world tells us to live is completely counter to the way Jesus says we need to live! The upfront cost cannot be compared to the end result of that commitment. Whatever that commitment may look like for you, that does not matter. What Jesus has to offer us at the end of the commitment is not something we can count.

Whatever it is you are doing with this “new year”. Commit it to God. Commit to yourself. Commit to making sure NOTHING will hold you back from your goals. I can assure you that the promises of God are worthy of holding onto. Even in the midst of the darkest of hours, His light will continue to shine brightly.

Through Him

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“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” 

 

This is originally what I wanted to post about this morning when I was starting to pray for what someone needs to hear today. Each morning I wake up and pray for what God needs to be said through this blog. Whether this blog is only read by one person, or by one million people. That does not matter. It’s vital to me and to my heart to fully express myself here. So, instead of doing my normal post on the Verse Of The Day, I decided it would be best to express myself on the idea of hurting… Because in a world full of social media highlights, blogs and overall this idea that this world has put on us.
This world has come to selling a lie of “positivity”. You know, work hard, hustle harder, if you dream it you can achieve it, if you focus on the positives enough you will get through it, etc… I don’t believe that at all be the truth. Yes, we should not dwell on things or actions outside of our control BUT we should acknowledge that at times there will be pain. We should acknowledge that there will be days where you just feel gloomy. And you know what? That’s perfectly OKAY. You can hurt with hope and get through it in a Godly manner…
Let’s set this straight… You can’t do ALL THINGS. This verse has been butchered over & over again as a motivational verse. Although it is incredibly encouraging & amazingly refreshing to read we must remain focus on what this verse is REALLY saying…
Yes. Anything THAT JESUS calls us to do CAN & WILL be done. The part that is commonly missed is that it is things that are THROUGH Him.
Here are some examples.
It doesn’t matter how hard you try a job. If it is not where God wants you, you will not be fruitful. It doesn’t matter how passionately you love a person. If that is not the relationship God wants you in, you will not be fruitful. It doesn’t matter how hard you workout each day. If God doesn’t want you to be a Crossfit Games Athlete, you won’t.
On the flip side:
If you are at the job God wants you to be at, your hard work will be compounded to be far greater. If you are in the relationship God wants you to be in, your heart & soul will be full of joy. If you are meant to make it to the Crossfit games, your results will be unreal to the “norm”
I say all this to simply get a point across to all of us who give our absolute best. There are many times we put SO much effort into something that God doesn’t want us to put effort into. Many of us are living a frustrated & defeated life because we are focusing so much time, energy, passion & love for things that we shouldn’t. We live a life feeling so defeated because nothing ever seems to go our way!
We all need to try and understand that there is freedom of God! That we can pursue HIM with all we have & instead of ending up feeling lost & defeated we would see the glorious life He wants for us. No person, thing, career or hobby will ever satisfy you. We can do anything through Christ.
We can have a fruitful marriage. We can have a fruitful career. We can have a freedom to walk without shame & regret.
These things can only be achieved THROUGH Christ.

 

Choices Show What We Value

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“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them shout for joy forever. May you shelter them, and may those who love your name boast about you.” 

All throughout the word of God, it is plainly shown that we must choose. There is a choice to be made, that shows what we find valuable. That choice for what we find valuable ultimately leads to an outcome.

One of the best examples of this is found when Jesus speaks about the parable of the lost sheep and the lost coin. In Luke 15 we see a story about a man who had 100 sheep and one came up missing. We also see a story of a woman who had 10 silver coins and loses one. Both of them sacrifice something to seek that one lost “thing”. Why? Because they see value in it! The man leaves his 99 sheep to go and find the one. The woman lights a candle stops everything she is doing and diligently searches her entire house!
After the sacrifice is made and the valuable thing is found they both celebrate! They rejoice over finding that thing of value. All of their friends and family knew how important that thing was by the way they sought to find it.

Same goes for us in our lives. People should know what we value in life by what we seek after and the results that come from it. If we seek to take refuge in God in the midst of trials, people will know. If we seek to have healthy body & minds, people will know. If we seek financial freedom, people will know. If we seek after community, people will know. If we seek after a loving relationship, people will know. If we seek long-lasting friendships, people will know.

Seeking a healthy body & mind is one that many of us attempt, especially around this time of the year. People will know that we value it because of the sacrifices we are willing to make. For myself, I get called “grandpa” by my friends at times because I am in bed at 9! But I value my rest, I value my body, and I wake up at 4 am! It’s obvious to those around me that I value my health because of the way I sleep, the way I eat (or attempt to), and the way I get up early to make it to my local Crossfit gym. I see value in it so I sacrifice for it.

Seeking financial freedom is also noticeable. People will know if we value financial freedom if we are tithing, saving, and paying off debt (or staying debt free). They will know that we value financial freedom because we take the time to set up a budget, and stick to it. We monitor what we spend, we say no to things that aren’t in the budget, etc… I see value in it, so I sacrifice for it.

If we value community we seek after it. We will make the choice to go out of our way to help the community around us. We get involved in the local church. We volunteer our time. We feed the homeless. We serve at church. We get passionate about those around us and do whatever we can to help. We see value in the community so we sacrifice for it.

We all want a loving relationship. It’s apart of us all. When we fall in love we make the choice to love them with all our hearts. We take risks. We learn to change. We learn to forgive. There are many sacrifices that are made for the one that we love. We’ll go above and beyond to show them that we love & appreciate them. People will notice the love we have for the person that they are with by the choices they make for that person. Not out of obligation, but out of love. They find value in a loving relationship so they sacrifice for it.

Long lasting friendships are by far one of the most noticeable things. If we value a friendship, we go out of our way to continually invest time into that friendship. We make the effort to hang out, to help, to travel, to talk, to be there in times of need. Like many things in life, friendships take effort.

The Psalmist expresses such a beautiful truth in this passage. The psalmist see’s value in taking refuge in God. He knows that when someone takes refuge in God, that the benefits are incredible. He knows the Father’s heart. He values his relationship with God, so he invests. It’s apparent throughout all the psalms! The Psalmist is desperate for God and because of that choice to seek God, there were sacrifices made….

Where ever you are at today in your life. Remember that our choices send a message to the world around us. The choices we make send a message to those we love. The choices we make send a message about what we find valuable in life & someday those choices will be shown to the world with the results…

You’ll have the healthy body and mind.
You’ll have financial freedom.
You’ll see a vibrant community around you.
You’ll have an amazing marriage that portrays Christ.
You’ll have a consistent group of friends that are family.
Most importantly, God’s light will shine to the world in the darkest moments of your life…

God sent His one and only Son for you. He loved and adored you so much that He bankrupted heaven JUST to have you. That’s your value. He didn’t need to, He made a choice to. 

Cravings Never Satisfied…

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“For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.” 

Have you ever sat back and thought to yourself about how amazing it has felt to pursue something you hoped would satisfy you, but didn’t… Silly right?

Let me rephrase…. Have you ever truly found yourself at the point of doing something that you know isn’t good for you, but feels good in the moment? Shoot, I know I have! My thing has always been eating more than I should.

This silly cycle that leads towards absolutely nothing good or edifying for my long-term mental or physical health. Where I say I am going to commit to a diet or cut things out from my diet but the cravings overpower me. I then give into the craving thinking the same, “one last cheat” or “just one bite” or the best one of all ” I’ll start tomorrow”…

You see, John (Son of Zebedee, not John the Baptist) wrote this around the 90s AD but it still speaks to us today. I would even argue that it speaks to our generation even more! We have grown up with instant gratification, get what we want, hustle hard and you’ll make it, blah, blah, blah… We have been fed this lie that we can pursue what we want and then we’ll “make it.”

That is the furthest thing from the truth! It’s never enough money, never enough “likes”, never enough “followers”, never enough sex, never enough alcohol, never enough religion, etc… We need to get to this point where we realize that NOTHING this world offers us will ever truly satisfy the depths of our souls. It will only feed the CRAVING.

Things that come from our Father in heaven do satisfy and He is the only thing that can truly offer what our hearts desire. How many of us run from diet to diet, workout plan to workout plan, relationship to relationship, addiction to addiction, and so on but never truly feel at peace? I know I’ve had my fair share of running from one thing to the next. Desperately seeking to find that next thing that will offer me a moment of satisfaction. Desperately seeking to find the easiest way to make the pain go away. Seeking to make my heart not ache. Seeking to be able to look in the mirror and be at peace with my body. So on and so on.

But the truth is, we will never feel satisfied. I know people that look INCREDIBLE and have absolutely TRANSFORMED there bodies but still aren’t satisfied. I know people who have chased there dreams, “made it” and still aren’t satisfied. I know people who have run from thing to thing, only to feel the deep regret of making that decision.

If there is one decision I would plead with all of you to make this year, it would be to pursue God with all your hearts. Put all the time, effort, money and passion you can into Him. Take the same effort you have given to your job, to your fitness program, to your diet regime, to your relationship, etc… to God. I can PROMISE you that the return you get back from God is INFINITELY better than anything you could ever get from other people, things, careers, hobbies, or desires…

Let the fullness of God’s presence make you into the person He has always desired for you to be… Give the pain a purpose. Make the hurt impactful. Make the growing pains worth it….

Comfortable being uncomfortable

One thing I️ hear constantly from my friends at my local box (Crossfit Gym) is that I️ avoid getting uncomfortable. When it comes to pushing towards that point physically where things hurt, where I️ can fail, where I’m outside of that “safe” comfort zone, I️ back off.

Over the last few weeks, I️ have come to realize that it’s a pattern in my life. The risks I️ take are always calculated. The chance of failure is always minimal & the damage done if I️ do fail is pretty much non-existent…

Not anymore. God has done some amazing things over the last 4-6 weeks & is calling me into an entirely new & extremely uncomfortable decision to leave my comfortable, salaried, steady & safe position to be a Financial Advisor.

I’ve gone back & forth over this for a while & at first, it started off as a slight joke. I️ reconnected with one of my first mentors, he referred me & within weeks the job was being offered to me by the grace of God.

At first, I️ thought it would take months so naturally I️ wasn’t too nervous. I️ had a few months to “help” God out and try to save some money just Incase, BUT…. that’s not what God had in mind. He made it loud and clear to me that He is going to push me out of the boat and leave Himself as the only option for survival…

This journey is by far the biggest leap of COMPLETE faith I have ever taken… Pay cut, extra costs for medical, cell phone, etc… I’m excited to see what impact God will have on the financial industry through this situation.

#VOD: Romans 8:6

“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” (Romans 8:6 NLT)

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VOD

Man… This verse is one of those verses that challenges me to my core.
My mental game sucks. BAD. When it comes to Crossfit, discouragement, confidence, etc… my mind is my worst enemy. My mind wanders places it shouldn’t at times and takes me down that rabbit hole that makes small problems into massive ones.

Now, I know some of you instantly are going to peg me with judgment and I’m okay with that. I know that weaknesses are not always “glamourous” or something worthy of praise, but I REFUSE to live a life acting like I have it all together because I DON’T. I have a lot of things that God is constantly working on in my heart and in my life. Is it discouraging? NOPE.

Ya, you read that right. I am not discouraged and ashamed of the fact that God is still working on me. When times of discipline and challenge come into my life I think back to what the writer of Hebrews talks about in chapter 12 about God disciplining those He loves. Funny story, that’s actually the next message I’ll be preaching at a local Faith RX’d meeting in my home town. Learning to let the spirit guide and direct our lives, thoughts, choices, etc… is in a process. One that will never fully be completed here on earth. I’m sure there are pretty that has an amazing track record and are faith-filled, passionate, fiery believers, BUT they have even had moments where they struggled.

One thing that stands out to be about this passage is the concept of “letting.” Both in the spirit be in control or the flesh. I think the main part of that is which one we are feeding the most. If we are constantly thinking about worldly things, I would imagine the flesh would be stronger and take control. If we constantly focus on God and the beautiful blessings in our lives, then the spirit will be stronger. The main point I am trying to make in this entire post is that we have to feed the thing we want to be in control. According to the Word, if the spirit is in control then there is life & peace… So realistically, let’s go with life and peace, shall we?

Love wins ya’ll…. Grace wins.