i have the best readers ever :)

it's crazy to see something like this. thanks for sticking with me. you guys are awesome, even if you do google things like "mullet for your butt" to get here haha :)


there was a night last week where I couldn't sleep, and I found myself checking out this season of Biggest Loser. I've seen bits and pieces of it before; I knew the general idea- morbidly obese people get yelled at, work out, and become skinny-minis. that's what i knew. and after watching one episode, i was hooked and changed.

see, there's this woman on their named Shay. Shay is gorgeous- she's unbelievably kind and supportive of the rest of the group, and her spirit is mind-boggling. Shay started out this competition weighing in at 476 lbs, and over the course of 6 weeks, she's dropped 65 lbs.

i am the queen of excuses when it comes to exercise and health.
"there's always tomorrow."
"i can't do it."
"i don't have time."

In the first episode, Shay tried to convince Jillian that these same excuses kept her from working out, kept her from pushing and reaching her potential. And during that moment, something resonated with me. Something clicked.

Friday, I went to the gym and ran 4.33 miles. Saturday, I went to the gym and ran 3.48 miles. 7.81 miles in 24 hours, from a girl who dreaded running the mile during high school gym.

Today, I ran 5 miles in an hour. Today, I proved to myself that those excuses are just head games. And when I got tired, when I wanted to quit, when the excuses popped up, I reminded myself- Shay's doing it, so don't you dare quit. Everyday people inspiring everyday people.

I've noticed some things changing. Yesterday I didn't get a chance to work out because the gym and my job have the same hours, and I was in the worst mood this morning. After I hit the gym, I felt so much better. I've also discovered incredible things like Jenny-O's turkey in a bag [i can cook this!], MetroMint's Chocolate Mint water [sounds gross, but tastes awesome;a chocolate fix without the calories], and greek yogurt [LOVE- plus oodles of protein].

Life is about choices, guys, and we're not guaranteed tomorrow, so we've got to make the best of today. Obesity kills 26,000 people a year. 26,000 preventable deaths, and I'm refusing to be one of them. I'm inspired by Shay. Watch her story below to see why.


Say Cheese

I'm getting my picture taken for our new church directory in about an hour. At first, I considered bringing Cleo in, and I came up with some pretty creative ideas for our picture:
- Cleo in a hot dog costume, me in a mustard bottle costume
- Cleo in a lobster costume, me dressed as a sailor
- Both of us in matching Cosby-esque sweaters

Then I remembered that my dog is a heathen at best. She's earned the nickname "Rosemary's Puppy" lately, and that's the last thing I need in this picture.

So it will just be me and my argyle sweater, looking incredibly professional and slightly boring. Maybe they'll let me do this Glamour-shots style... somebody get me some Aqua Net and a bedazzled jacket...

we're all in this together.

interesting conversation over on Steven Furtick's blog:
My friend, who is a senior pastor, had been praying that God would bless his church in a big way. Something like this:

“God, may we reach our city with the love of Christ. May tens of thousands come to Christ through our ministry. May millions of dollars be given to this community through our ministry. May governments and businesses and educational systems be turned inside out for the glory of God through this ministry…”

And my friend felt like the Lord responded to him with a challenging thought:

“What if I do everything you’re asking me to do in your city, but I do it through someone else’s ministry? Would you still pray as passionately? Would you be okay with that?”
What are our motives in ministry? Why do we do what we do?

Our reasoning seems easy enough to explain: we want people to know Jesus. we want people to experience that life-altering relationship. we want to meet the needs of those around us, since we're all in this together. But we have to be careful when we expect that the weight of ministry in our community lies solely on our own church's shoulders.

every church in your community is God's, whether they baptize by sprinkling or dunking, whether they have homemade bread for communion or wafers, whether their pastor wears a robe or jeans. they all belong to God. He's serving your community through all of them. My ministry alone cannot reach every student in Whitley County. That's why I get so excited to hear the awesome stuff happening at other churches, because I know kids are coming to know Christ- and that's the most important thing.

we're all in this together. ministry is not for lone wolves. Church is not for lone wolves. we're a pack- traveling together, working together. and that's a capital C church, as in the global Church, not just the individual churches we attend.

what would ministry look like if every church lived this out? if the competitive nature dropped out? if we started praying for other ministries in our community, not just our own?


Has it really been three weeks?

Sorry guys... I was fairly certain I had blogged more recently than Sept. 30. Oops.

Here's a random list of catching up between you and i:
... a great article on Where the Wild Things Are, and how it ties to our humanity
... i've been following the Ingrid Michaelson tour on twitter [consisting of Ingrid, Allie Moss, Bess Rogers, Chris Kuffner, Dan Romer, Elliot Jacobson, and Greg Holden for awhile]. Great group of people, incredible group of musicians.
... Allison Weiss's new album is coming out soon. She's playing in Chicago on Dec. 21, and Alecia and I are making the trek.
... Lauren Zettler has a Christmas album coming out, too.
... apparently I have been drowning in good music while i've been gone.
... Harrison Ford [my car] got backed into two weeks ago, and he's going to be getting some reconstructive surgery this week. A facelift, if you will.
... my students are incredible. they never cease to amaze me, uplift me, challenge me. they're absolutely wonderful.
... we skipped fall and moved straight into winter. then back into fall. then we had a spring spell. Indiana weather could not be more ridiclous.
... I'm looking at furniture all day, because we're giving the youth room a makeover. it's probably a health hazard right now, and if we don't do something soon, we're going to have to start charging the mice rent.
... i'm looking for a graffiti artist in the Fort Wayne area to push us over the edge on the cool factor. i've got a lead, but it's going to take some digging. i'd love to get some local students in working on it.
... i challenge any dog toy manufacturer to give me a soft dog toy that Dogzilla won't be able to destroy. I got her a new one last night, and she had the stuffing ripped out in less than a minute. She loves soft toys, but i'm paying $2/minute for her to play with them, and thats not financially responsible [or something]
... my office is still not finished. maybe this week? [two month project haha]
... my dad is turning 60 next month! and as my brother will tell you, my dad's moustache is turning 41. exciting times, guys, exciting times.

alright, back to the grindstone [or whatever].