Monday, November 26, 2007

Boring Church - a question asked

For a while now, I have had in the side bar of this blog four of my bedrock beliefs. Recently a friend asked me about #4 - It is a sin to bore people with Jesus. I'll do my best to try to explain my thinking on that one.

God is the creator of all things. We have a God that exceeds explanation. Within that creativity we find nothing that should bring us boredom, especially not when it come to talking about His perfect son, Jesus Christ.

As Christians we are called to glorify and honor Christ. If we make Christ boring, if we do not use our God given creativity we dishonor Him. Following Christ is anything but boring if we follow Him as He calls us to. It is dangerous. It is full of risks and challenges. It is to live in a way that is different than our surrounding culture. It makes us aliens among men.

So making Christ boring, not utilizing all that we are gifted with, is short changing the ultimate Creator. Pursue Christ passionately. Share Him with joy and creativity!

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cooking for Thanksgiving...

Below is the recipe that I used for my Thanksgiving stuffing. For the record, everybody loved the stuffing. I'll be sending the recipe to my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. I cooked a 14lb bird, and put the extra stuffing in a separate pan in the oven.

Harvest Stuffing

Always cool the stuffing completely before filling the turkey. Makes 10 cups of stuffing, enough for an 18-pound turkey.

2 pounds well-spiced bulk turkey sausage
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2.5 cups each chopped red onions and celery
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried sage leaves, crumbled
10 cups cubed (1-inch) bread, toasted
1 Granny Smith apples, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup dried cherries
1 cup each dried apricots quartered (I used Turkish apricots)
3 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Brown the sausage in a pan, breaking up clumps; remove to a large bowl. Add the oil to the pan; stir in the onions, celery, garlic, thyme, and sage and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Add to the sausage along with the bread, apples and dried fruits. Toss well. Drizzle the broth over the mixture to moisten as desired and season with salt and pepper. Cool before stuffing the turkey.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Weightlifting and Cardio...

On Halloween day, my wife and I joined Life Time Fitness. I have been diligently working out 5 days a week since that point. I have focused on cardio, doing 30-60 minutes a day of recumbent bike and elliptical. I often warm up and cool down on a treadmill as well. Tonight I did 30 minutes of recumbent and 12 minutes on the elliptical, and then hit the weight room. I have been lifting fairly light weights the past few weeks working on form. Tonight I moved on to some heavier weights (nothing really heavy honestly, just in comparison) and I felt amazingly strong.

When I last lifted with regularity, I had maxed my bench press working weights at 395lbs (I hadn't maxed yet on that program, but I know I could bench 435 naturally for sure). That was November 2002. Since then I have gotten weak and flabby while strengthening my mind in Seminary. Tonight I did reps with 185 - 3X10. It will be interesting to see over the next few weeks how my body responds to lifting. I am naturally inclined to moving heavy things. I'm a big guy by any measurement. Additionally, I actually enjoy lifting heavy things. So we'll see how things go. I know my testosterone levels are lower than they were 5 years ago (part of the aging process) though I suspect they are still high enough to get good gains. The thing that different for me now is that I'm doing cardio like never before. Cardio was a swear word in my mind. I would play basketball or something, but never intentionally work my conditioning.

So from time to time I might post on how I am doing. We'll see what kind of body transformation I can enact. I will say I am already feeling a lot better. I can go longer and harder during my cardio sessions. I am sleeping better. I feel like I have more energy at the end of the day than before. So far so good!

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Preaching again at Colony Park Church of Edina

Tomorrow I will be preaching again at Colony Park Church of Edina. I'll be preaching from 2 Timothy 3:16, and feel I have a pretty good sermon. I need to run through it a few more times, but I think I know it pretty well. I am enjoying these opportunities to preach from time to time, and would like to find a way to make it more consistent. I have been applying for ministry positions, but seem to not quite have what everyone wants that I have spoken with. I'll make it past the initial screening, but can't make it into the interview process. It is frustrating, but I know God has a plan so I'm trying to remain patient.

We joined Lifetime Fitness on Halloween day. I've been hitting the gym hard since then, and am already noticing some improvements in the way I feel and how long I can do cardio. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but in time I will see some body transformation.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Minnesota Vikings vs. San Diego Chargers

Earlier this week I had a co-worker offer me two tickets to today's football game between the Vikings and Chargers. He was asking roughly 1/3 of face valued, and after a quick consultation with my wife I made the purchase. Oh how happy I am of that purchase!

Today we saw Adrian Peterson singlehandedly DESTROY the Chargers. Peterson rushed for an NFL single game record of 296 yards on 30 carries. He had 3 touchdowns along the way as well. Perhaps most amazing is the fact Peterson gained 253 of those yards in the 2nd half!

We also saw the longest return in NFL history to close the first half. Ryan Longwell came up short on a 57 yard field goal attempt, and Antonio Cromartie grabbed the ball just inches from the end zone line. Cromartie proceeded the length of the field, untouched, to score a touchdown. A big swing in the score, and a big swing in apparent momentum going into half time.

The crowd was less than inspiring the first half of the game, but by the end of the game it was fan fueled frenzy!

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