Friday, July 30, 2010

Weigh In #45

Have you ever thought about your vocabulary? You know, the number and type of words you use to communicate regularly...

What about the vocabulary of your actions? What are the things you do saying?

I have thought about these two things a few times. You know, what am I saying? What am I doing? How are those things communicating to other people and what am I saying about myself?

But I have never thought about the vocabulary of my appetites. In fact, I never really thought about what my appetites are until I started listening to a new series of sermons from North Point Community Church in Atlanta (aka Andy Stanley's church).

Aside from the appetites that we all know, the one for food and drink, I have begun to realize the appetites that are or have been in my life. There have been appetites for achievement, social acceptance, money, companionship, food, more food, and the list goes on.

At different times in my life, those appetites have tried to, and sometimes succeeded, rule me. And mainly this is because I didn't understand that appetites have something to say. A vocabulary. Theirs is a one word vocabulary...


Think about it. Think about an appetite or desire you have. Something that you find yourself involved with, preoccupied with, or controlled by. When you feed that appetite, even gorge it and fill it to the gills, does it go away? Maybe for a short time, but it comes back soon enough saying that one word...


Eating has been one of those appetites that kept yelling at me, "More! More!" for most of my life. It still yells at me now but its voice is small and muffled and more easily ignored.

There are 2 things that I go back to in getting this appetite under control: focus on a future me and dependence on a loving God.

I looked ahead and said, what is the future that I want for me and my family? Who do I want to be? This isn't the "I'm going off to college and need to figure out what I want to be when I grow up" kind of question. This is deeper and has a lot less to do with what I do and everything to do with who I am. I decided that being a strong and healthy man would allow me to be the best husband, father, and leader for my family that I could be. I focused on those goals more than I focus on the near term, and fleeting, satisfaction of giving in to the cries of "More!"...

But I couldn't do it by just steeling my resolve and saying "No more!" It's not that easy. In fighting with the appetites I've learned that my resolve can be easily undermined or worn down. This time, I turned to God as I always should have. I am leaning on Him for strength, for resolve, for encouragement. And, most of all, for a clear vision of the man I am supposed to be. Who better than my creator, and the creator of everything, to have the correct and clear vision of my future.

So, instead of yelling back at the appetites when they scream "More!" or asking God to kill my desires. I know ask God to give me the strength to stand firm and for another glimpse at the future me.

It has made all the difference...

And this week, the difference is:


A little better than last week. A little slower than the pace I had been on. A little more towards the future.

By the way, I'm still working on raising money for as a part of "210 in 2010" and could really use your support. Even $1 helps as we move closer to unlocking the matching funds. If you can help, leave a comment, email me (, or hit me on facebook or twitter.

Photo credit to rich115.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Weigh In 44

This week we instituted "Daddy Date Night" with my 3 daughters. I got to see "Eclipse" and then "Despicable Me" twice. It was great to spend not just the "quality" time with them but also the "quantity" time.

There is a definite difference in the two types of time with people. For years, I bought into the idea that time spent on relationships could be optimized for efficiency. I did it consciously at work once I moved into formal management roles. I did it, albeit less often, sub-consciously with non-work relationships.

I lumped "relationships" in the same bucket as any other work or project items. They were all just a list of tasks to be accomplished. As efficiently as possible...

It took a little while after my oldest kids got to the age where they were interacting more and more before I realized that this "quality" vs "quantity" idea didn't really work. I noticed, with a lot of help from my beautiful wife, that they weren't really as interested in what we were doing as much as they were in the fact that we were together.

You have to put in the time. You can't just show up for the important things. All of the in between times are where the real importance is.

So, thinking over the week and the time with the girls I was reminded of chapter 15 of the gospel of John. In that part of the Bible, Jesus tells a parable about the vine and the branch (think about growing grapes).
I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.   "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:1-6, NLT)

In essence, this says to me that our relationship with Christ, and therefore God, has more to do with "quantity" instead of "quality" time. That is, if we will stay focused on Jesus in our day-to-day, we will become more like Him. And that really is the goal, I think - becoming more Christ-like.

Accomplishments and efficiency are things that we came up with in our Western cultures. They don't seem to have so much importance in the teachings of Jesus. And that says a lot right there.

So, I'm renewing my efforts to be relationship focused instead of solely task focused. I'd like to ask you, if you know me, to help hold me accountable on this.

Speaking of accountability, there is a weigh in to discuss. Friday morning, the scale showed me:


No change this week. A little disappointing on one hand but still better than gaining anything. I'm still looking for more donors/pledges to get us to the matching funds. We're still at $155 this week. When we get to $210 we'll unlock the first $210 in matching funds. Then we'll need another $210 in pledges to open up another $210 matching.

Can you help us raise funds for to help in the fight against human trafficking and modern day slavery?

Photo credit to lyng883.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Weigh in 43

14 years ago today.

I got up and went to work like any weekday. I talked with my coworkers about plans for the weekend and plans to maybe go out on Thursday night. Nothing out of the ordinary for a bunch of young 20-something professionals.

14 years ago today.

One of my friends at work told me that a mutual friend was playing on a women's soccer team in Virginia Beach. She told me that they wanted a coach and was wondering if I might be interested. I agreed to head across the water to watch them play that evening.

14 years ago today.

They won there game. Maybe 5 to nothing. The details of the game don't stand out as much as the events after the game do.

14 years ago today.

That night, I was introduced to the lady that became my best friend and then my loving wife and the wonderful mother of four amazing kids.

And it has been such a great journey ever since. I love you, Kim.

14 years ago today.

And time for a weigh in update too. 14 year ago I was at 233lbs. Today I weighed in at


Hard to believe I'm getting close to my college days...

One step closer.

Photo credit to Bahugala.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Weigh In 42

Human Trafficking and sex slavery has been moving more and more into the mainstream lately. I'm seeing more outlets run stories on the topics and I'm seeing them show up in more places on-line. But nothing really brought as much attention as Ashton Kutcher's very public comment on the subject (see picture on the left above).

Kaka (of Brazilian soccer fame) joined the fight as well - that's him on the right in the picture up there. And now John Burger (aka @AbolitionistJB) has asked for people to join the campaign and pledge to support it. You can see the details over at on John's pledge page.

So I'm asking you to help out. Go to John's page, or over to his blog, and put your support behind this campaign. Make a sign, take a picture, and post it. I'll have one up soon.

On to this week's update. I checked in with the (now) trusty bathroom scale and it said to me:


So, a little progress from last Friday. I blame the holiday weekend and my wife's BLT dip... :-)

Remember, there is a bigger goal than just weight loss here. I need your help to raise money for Every dollar that you pledge in support of 210 in 2010 will a) go directly to (100% of it) and b) be doubled by the wonderful benefactors who have put up $420 in matching funds for the cause.

So let me know what you can pledge to help out in the fight against human slavery and their work to restore those freed from bondage.

Photo borrowed from AbolitionistJB.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Weigh In 41

I haven't talked to much about the new gig since I started. I've been working for GreenWizard for 2 months now and I'm loving it. It's amazing how much different a technology startup is from just about anything else out there.

There are several differences between this startup and my previous one. But the biggest one I've noticed has been, well, me. I'm 10 years older, have 4 kids, and almost feel like a completely different person. Back in 2000, we had been married 2 years (almost to the day) when I started work. Our oldest child was 1 month old (almost to the day). I had just come out of 6 years in the DoD contracting world.

It was a whole lot of changes all at once. It was tough. Stressful. Painful at times. And working around 100 hours a week (no exaggeration) just piled onto all of that.

Now, don't get me wrong, there is a lot of work at GreenWizard. We aren't pulling the old "banker's hours" by any means. But it is different. 12 years of marriage is way different than 2 years. Being parents for almost 10 years is a different ballgame from 1 month. And having almost 20 years experience in my profession is a lot different than about 7 years.

But when it comes right down to it, the biggest singular difference in this startup experience for me isn't really based on all that. As I've shared before, I have always struggled with identity. Specifically, I have based my sense of worth on how valuable I can be to other people. The quantity and quality of my work for my employer. The financial care for my family. The leadership for my coworkers and teams. Basically, meeting the expectations (real or perceived) of all the people around me...

In the past several years I've learned where my true identity comes from. It is not that I perform activities to create my identity. Jesus Christ has given me my identity and now my activities flow from that. (sentiment borrowed from Andy Stanley)

What does that mean? It means that Christ loves me. Loved me before I knew Him. Loves me more than I can know. And loves me not because I deserve it or did anything for it but loves me because of who He is.

For a long time I didn't buy into this line of thinking. I didn't feel like I deserved it and basically wouldn't accept that I could be loved like that. Effectively, I was putting myself in charge of the situation and dictating the terms of my relationship with God. How selfish and delusional of me....

But, like I said, it's not up to me. I'm loved by God. Period. It's not up to me. It's not up to what you think of me. It's not based on the value I provide to an employer, my family, my neighborhood. Nope.

What I do and the "value" I provide should flow from the identity that God has given me.

In other words, I am not accepted and loved because I do great things. Instead, I can do great things because I am accepted and loved by Jesus.

Whew! That sure does take the pressure off... :-)

Now, on to the weekly weigh in. After my son's trampoline act on the scale, I managed to find the calibration on it and get it set properly again. So, I stepped up Friday morning and....


That's a few more pounds towards the new goal of 210. And it moves me closer to unlocking the donations for And it means I still need your help to raise the money to get the matching funds. Every little bit helps. We are at $155 of the $420 needed. If you can help out, please let me know via email (, twitter (@scbubba), facebook, or in the comments below.

Thanks in advance for any  help you can provide.

Photo credit to trazomfreak.