Monday, February 22, 2010

Weigh In #23

My 14 month old son got conjunctivitis (aka pink eye) last week. If you've never had a bad case of it you don't know that the gunk that your eyes produce to try to get the infection out continues to build up even when your asleep. The result in the morning is that your eyes are effectively glued shut. The first time I recall that it happened to me I was about 12 years old. It freaked me out for a couple of seconds and then I, painfully, pried open an eye and made my way to the bathroom where I then rinsed up and took care of the other eye.

But my boy, only a year old remember, really freaked out when he woke up and could not open his eyes. I'm talking blood curdling, top of the lungs, makes a parent cry to hear it, screaming. It took a few minutes of my wife and I working together to get his eyes cleaned up and opened. It took him longer to get back to a somewhat calm state.

I've been thinking about what he was feeling some this morning because I think I react like KC did a lot more often than I care to admit. No, I'm not talking about screaming and wailing until someone rushes in to take care of me. I'm talking about reacting to a short term situation as if it was permanent. KC didn't know what I knew on Saturday morning. He didn't know that he would be able to see again in a few minutes. He was confused and his world had changed in a way that he didn't like and couldn't control.

And I did the same thing this morning. When I stepped up on the scale to do my weekly weigh in, I had a one year old's reaction. I saw the number was 2lbs higher than last week's number. It was


What?!? No! It can't be? What about all the hard work I've put in? This is a disaster! I was doing so good. Now I'll never get to my goal. I'll be right back where I started! This is the most terrible thing that could happen....

Like I said, the reaction of a one year old. Not rational. Not mature. Not even rooted in reality.

And I felt like that for a while. My temporary condition taking hold of me as if it was the only thing in my world. But then, as I was doing my daily inout and review on, I looked at the graph of my weight over time (the image at the top of this post). And the reality of the situation began to assert itself.

This is a small blip. It is a temporary thing. I can move forward from this with out a loss of all my progress. The graph helped me frame today's events in a large scope of vision. And it really helped.

I know there's a lesson in here somewhere about letting today's trials overwhelm a lifetime of blessings but I can't seem to crank the words out right now. I'll leave off writing today with the knowledge that God's got a much broader scope of vision than I do and I would do well to depend on His view more than mine.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Weigh In #22

Well, this one is actually a weigh in post (even though I am a day late - but I was busy doing some reading). I got my battery problem resolved and we are back in action with a working bathroom scale. Now, on to solving that world peace thing....

For those of you that followed (that is, got spammed by) my facebook and twitter feeds last week you know that I was doing my best impression of a USAirways airplane inspector for the Southern region. I did the math on the trip last week and it came out something like this:

6 planes to 5 cities in 4 states over 3 days is 2 much for 1 man = 0 energy left

I woke up on Tuesday morning in Charleston, SC and went to sleep on Tuesday night in Clearwater, FL. I woke up on Wednesday morning in Clearwater, Fla and went to sleep Wednesday night in Austin, TX. I woke up on Thursday morning in Austin, TX and, after some wrangling with the airline about changing my tickets, went to sleep on Thursday night in Charleston, SC. It was really good to be back home.

I got home just in time for my middle daughter's 8th birthday. I love other people's birthdays (especially my kids) but it did make it hard to stay on track with my diet over the weekend. I did have some cake on Saturday with the birthday girl and enjoyed some really great pork ribs at her birthday dinner (thank you Sticky Fingers). Of course, there was some snacking on the cookies and candy that made it to the party as well but I tried to keep it light.

All in all, I feel like I broke even for the weekend. It's hard to tell since I didn't have a weight for last week and I'm comparing to 2 weeks ago. For what it's worth, here's what the newly powered scale showed me this morning:


That brings me to a total of 55lbs lost since I started back on September 10th, 2009 - 22 weeks ago. And it adds to the total amount of money pledged to help out the wonderful work of the folks at

Please, if you haven't ever thought or heard about the realities of present day slavery and human trafficking, go over to the site and look into it (Note - the linked pages contain adult themes and actual accounts of sex slavery). But instead of cursing the darkness, help light the candle of hope by helping You can contact me (by commenting below, emailing me (, or finding me on twitter @scbubba) and pledge any amount you like (most folks pledging do $1 per lb I lose). Or you can donate directly to by using the DONATE button over on the right. You can also pray for the people working around the world to rescue the victims of human trafficking and restore them to a real life.

What ever you choose to do, thank you in advance.

Photo credit to mvcosta.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Book Review: Crave - Wanting So Much More of God

I first "met" Chris Tomlinson via email a couple of months ago. I noticed an email in my inbox that mentioned a book review. So I opened it up thinking it was just another form letter email pitching a book. Well, the email did kinda pitch a book but it was really a personal note from the book's author. He had obviously spent the time to read through my blog and write a personal note asking if I would be interested in reviewing his forthcoming book. I agreed.

Now that I've finished reading the book, I know a lot more about Chris. But, most importantly, I know a lot more about myself. That's because Chris digs deep as he compares what God wants of us and what we want, and don't want, of God.

First, let's take a look at the book's structure. Crave is pretty easy to read. The author's style is very conversational and he easily and smoothly includes Scripture and literary references into the flow. There are copious notes at the end that provide the references and sometimes extra context about some topic or quote. There are 15 chapters split up by topic. Each chapter has a small icon associated with it. The icons appear on the cover, in the table of contents, and in the heading of each chapter beginning. I nice touch for recalling where you were in the book after you set it down, for checking your progress through the book, and for also providing a little extra chuckle as you compare it to the chapter title and topic.

On to the content. Chris' aim with this book is to help the reader understand a couple of things: there is so much more of God that we were made to desire and satisfying the cravings for God can't happen without God.

Chris mostly covers his adult life as a Christian and his more recent frustrations at the "comfortable" nature of his faith. As he says in the book's intro:
I realize I am a comfortable Christian, one who believes in God and wants to do His will but isn't ready to truly become a fully committed disciple of Jesus. And I hate being a comfortable Christian. Because of this hatred - or my fear of staying comfortable in my faith, or simply God's mercy ...[a] furrow in my path is centering my steps and revealing my cravings for Jesus.

I have found myself in this state of mind a lot lately. How quickly does the flame of enthusiasm about God flicker and die because I'm either chasing something else or what God is calling me to do is too far out of my comfort zone? Too often it seems...

All in all, I really enjoyed Crave and some of the resources the publisher and author have made available online. For example, Chris has a website call Crave Something More where he continues to blog about topics from the book as well as other things that come up. You can also connect with him on facebook or twitter. He's usually pretty responsive.

And if you're not sure about the book, go ahead and grab a sample of it online here or over here.

The book publisher, Harvest House, was nice to supply me with a copy of the book to review here on the blog. Thanks!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weigh In #21

Um, I guess I shouldn't have titled this one "Weigh In" since, well, I didn't weigh in this morning. I mean, I tried to weigh in this morning but I was stymied (that's a real word, right?) in my attempts by the smallest of things: a battery.

The one little battery in my bathroom scale completely foiled my attempts to find out how much I weighed this morning. Something that weighs less than 1 oz! Seriously...

Unfortunately, the battery in my scale isn't like the one in the picture above. Instead of a AA or even a AAA (even a good ole 9 volt would have helped), my scale has one of those round, flat oversized watch batteries in it. I don't even know where to go buy one right now (but since I watched the Superbowl lat night I might try that "Google" thing out...).

So instead of going on (well, going any further) about my scale and battery situation, I'd like to point you to someone who isn't letting small things stop her. Say hello to my friend Rose... She has decided that she will do what she can to help the people of Haiti even though there are a lot of things that might stop her (money, age, travel, etc).

Please jump over to Rose's blog and find out about the Read-a-thon that starts Feb 12th. All of the proceeds are for Compassion International's efforts in Haiti.

Go ahead and commit a little change to the cause too....

Photo credit to amab7.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weigh In #20

I moved weigh ins to Monday so that I would have time to write a blog post without rushing or crowding out other things on my schedule and I'm still late... Mercy!

Anyway, I was pretty encouraged with what I saw this week on the scale. Especially after declaring Friday night and all day Saturday as "free" days. And by "free" I mean Five Guys cheese burger and fries (but with a Coke Zero!), 12 buffalo wings with blue cheese, a few handfuls of Jelly Belly jelly beans and an unknown number of helpings of other "bulk candy", a chocolate praline and a regular praline, a heaping bowl of shrimp and grits, and hot crab dip in a sour dough bread bowl. I stopped journaling Saturday's food when I got to 1000 calories over my daily goal. So I stepped up Monday morning and...


I will definitely take that. And, given the way I felt after the Friday/Saturday binge, I think I'll be skipping the over indulgence next time. It is amazing how things can change. In the past, a day like Saturday wouldn't have phased me. I mean, I probably would have felt just as bad afterwards but I think I was so used to feeling that way that I expected it and just figured I had to live with it.

These last 20 weeks have really brought clarity to what living intentionally means. I'm not nailing it in every aspect of life by any means. But in this area, I have been (and still am) making very intentional choices about the things I eat, the things I don't eat, and many of the things I do related to my diet and health. It's an area of life that I do have a lot of influence on, if not some amount of control as well.

I noticed that I am 2 lbs away from hitting the 50 mark (271). That's something I wasn't convinced would happen many weeks ago. But now I'm so close...

So I'm making this challenge to you, dear readers (both of you...): I challenge you to do one of two things today. Either comment below on how you are (or have been) living intentionally in some area of your life OR make a pledge to by leaving a comment below. If you choose to donate to (by clicking the DONATE button on the right) between now and whenever I post a eight at or below 271lbs, I will match it dollar for dollar!

I believe that it is only by having the intentions and then following through with them that we will put an end to the living hell that is slavery. So, please, go check out and see what they are doing and find a way to help....

Photo credit to ede_design.