Monday, January 25, 2010
Ok, no sooner do I make myself feel better about letting the big boys handle things in Haiti than Shaun King (the guy in the picture above) goes and proves me completely wrong.
Shaun is an amazing man who pastors a church in Atlanta, Ga called Courageous Church. He and many of the members of the church and local community did some amazing things to help out the people in Atlanta who were affected (in some cases devastated) by the flooding there last year. He has also become a strong voice and advocate in Atlanta.
But when the earthquakes hit Haiti and we all started to see the aftermath, Shaun reached way beyond just Atlanta to find a way to help. Using mainly twitter, he was able to do things that many of the large relief ad charitable organizations just couldn't in short time. Shaun rallied people and arranged support and supplies needed in Haiti. He got people from all over the country involved and arranged for some of them, primarily doctors, surgeons. and nurses to get to places in Haiti that no one had reached yet.
Fox News, and then other news outlets, covered the story of how a pastor in Atlanta managed to direct aid to an orphanage in Haiti were one elderly woman was trying to care for one hundred or so injured and dying infants. His efforts even got a US Army medevac flight in there.
My hat is off to Shaun. The man has been gong nonstop it seems and he is helping people make a real difference. Check him out on his blog, Shaun in the City, and on twitter @ShaunKing. If you can, lend a hand....
One programming note, I'm moving weigh-ins, and the accompanying blog post, to Mondays now. With travel and such I find that I'm often not home on Friday mornings and when I am home I am usually trying to rush the blog post so that I can go to a small group meeting. So, Monday it is...
Here's what I saw when I stepped up on the scale this week:
Whew! Happy for some more downward movement in the numbers. More importantly, I am feeling great. Thank you to all my friends and family for the amazing support you have all given me. I'll need much more of it as I go forward. 47 lbs is a lot but I'm looking at almost that much more to go. Yikes...
Monday, January 18, 2010
First, let's get the weigh in stuff out of the way. On Saturday, the scale said
Now, moving on...
I know I'm not the first one to blog about the situation in Haiti nor am I the only person to feel heartsick about what the people in Haiti are going through. But I have been basically wrecked since hearing about it, seeing the pictures and watching the videos coming out of Port-au-Prince and the surronding areas. I've tries to think of ways that I could personally help out. That included grand visions of flying to Haiti and doing all sorts of things to make the world better for the survivors.
But the reality is... I have no skills or equipment or contacts or knowledge that would really help out on the ground in Haiti right now. So my family and I have decided to do what we can to help those folks that do have all of those things that will make a difference on the ground there. And, above all, we are praying. For the survivors in Haiti. For the families of those missing or killed. For the people sacrificially giving to help the Haitian people. For the families of the volunteers putting themselves out there (and in harms way).
At first, it seemed like so little to do given the magnitude of the devestation in Haiti. As each day has passed, prayer has come to feel much more important.
I've got no incredible insights to share or great plans to unveil. All I can offer at this point is the promise that God is with the survivors and volunteers. And that God is weeping with those who have lost so much and rejoicing with the families of those that were thought lost but now have been found. (Thanks to d365.org for helpful devotional thoughts and prayers).
Photo credit to fireball45.
Friday, January 8, 2010
It was another travel week this week.
I have to say, I'm not the biggest fan of traveling for work. In the 90's I was a semi-road warrior for a while. I didn't travel every week but there were months where I was on the road almost every weekday (and a couple of non-weekdays). Over the course of a couple of years I probably traveled every other week to wonderful destinations like Washington DC, Columbus OH, Slidell LA, and Ogden UT. That was all before having a wife and kids. So I'm not trying to compare myself to those folks that are gone all the time (the real road warriors).
I was back in that groove for a while in '05 and '06 when I was going to Philadelphia every 2 weeks. That got old REAL fast. Regular business travel with a family (3 kids under the age of 6 at the time) is definitely not my thing. It didn't help that it was a very stressful time with both work and family life.
I have been traveling about once a month for the past few months. It's not enough to be a killer but it is enough to make me reflect on those other travel times in my life. A couple of things pop up. I was pretty far from God in both of those other periods and I was really focused on how the travel affected me, and just me. I think those two things go together. At least in my life.
As I draw closer to God and pay attention to Him in my life, I find that I don't focus on myself. I start being drawn closer to other people. As I increase my dependence on God, I actually free myself from being wrapped up in myself. I have a kind of independence that I don't get any other way. I like it... :-)
So what does this have to do with my regular topic of losing weight? Well, some time back I realized that my weight/health was an area of my life that was all about me. It may seem counter-intuitive to think about how you eat and take care of your health as being about other people. But when I looked at it I saw that it affects a lot of people.
Current culture is all about "my right to do what I want" and I support the rights and freedoms we have. But to quote someone much smarter than me:
"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. (1 Corinthians 10: 23 - 24, NLT)
And for me, there are a lot of permissible but not beneficial things that end up affecting or hurting my family and friends.
So that's some of why I started doing this back in September and, I think, part of why I'm being successful so far. That is, I've pretty much put this (and other things) in God's hands. I still work hard each day and make the choices I feel like are right. But succeeding or failing at this endeavor isn't really about me and it's not even the point.
I'm depending on God and letting His will direct my life. I've never felt more free....
And just to make sure I'm consistent and accountable, here's what the scale had to say this morning:
That's more money donated to Love146.org (as you can see over on the right side). Won't you join us in efforts to end slavery in our time?
Photo credit to fsc2k5.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Wait, what? Yeah, I know it's 2010 (Two Thousand and Ten? Two Thousand Ten? Oh Ten? Twenty Ten? Whatever...). For me, New Year's Day was a flash back to 2004. I got into a cleaning mood and started pulling stuff out of my closet. We try to routinely gather up things that we don't really need around the house and find new homes for them. We give stuff to Goodwill, the National Kidney Foundation, DAV, and friends and family that might need or want what we have.
Well, I obviously hadn't done that with the clothes in my closet for a good long while because I found jeans that I wore in 2004 (and some shirts from before that). I thought it would be funny to try them on and, low and behold, they fit! Actually they were a little big on me. I finally found the size on a faded tag on the jeans and was a little surprised.
Back in September when I started this little journey, I had a 48 inch waist. These "new" jeans were 44's. That means I've gone down at least 4 inches in my waist. That was a good way to start the year, to say the least....
Oh yeah. Right before the whole closet cleaning efforts began I stepped on the scale for my Friday morning ritual. I was greeted by glowing numbers that read:
That makes 42 pounds so far. As Jim pointed put last week, that puts me past half way on my 80-60-40 goal. If I can get to the 80 pound mark, I'll have travelled back in time to 1998. Maybe I can go back to 1996 when I meet my wife (well, wife to be back then) and was at 230lbs...
I want to also say a big thank you to my friends who made donations to Love146.org last week. You generousity and compassion are wonderful. Thanks for helping such a great organization. And if any of you want to help out, just let me know and I can add your pledge to the total you see on the right side of the page. Or you can donate directly to Love146.org using the "DONATE" button on the right.