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Archive for July, 2007

Physical Accountability

This week, as an extension of Sunday’s message, (link will be posted later) we continue talking about taking care of our physical body.

One of the things that can really help you to stay committed to your decisions is accountability. Regardless of what you have committed you need someone that can ask the question, "hey, what about ___________?" This is never more necessary than in the area of consistent exercise.

My workout time of choice is early AM for a number of reasons, biggest of which is it is the only time that I can consistently KEEP in my schedule (and if you can’t be consistent, what’s the point?). Consistency is key in developing good habits so find something that really works for you.

(side note: I HATE getting up in the 5am range during the school year to work out – I JUST HATE IT! However, there is no other time that fits into the busy schedule that I keep. Any other time, at least in this period of my life, cuts into something that is more important to me; ie: my family, you, my ministry, etc…)

Because of the time that I have to work out, I have a hard time finding (and then keeping) workout partners. Most people don’t have to work out that early and thus, when it gets real hard to continue, will quit on me (for a variety of reasons) which makes attending EVEN HARDER. I like having a partner for the purpose of accountability; On those mornings that I am having a hard time rolling out of bed, it makes it easier to make it happen when I know that I am standing someone up.  But even though I can’t seem to find a consistent partner I continue, because as I said Sunday, I DO have a plan for my body. It’s important to me so I sacrifice time that I would rather be in bed to do what I know is beneficial for me both physically AND (in many ways to me, most importantly) spiritually.

This is part of my plan along with trying to make better eating choices daily – QUESTION: Do you have a plan designed yet for you? What does your plan look like?

Sunday Nite

WOW! Tonite i feel as if I have spoken 100,000 words (literally!). 3 services back 2 back can be brutal – I feel it tonite! However, I’m pumped because…

  • I believe 6 people received Christ as Savior today in our services! I think it is AWESOME that we can speak a message about a persons plan for their "Physical Life" and people hear the message of the Gospel, are convicted of their sin and decide to do something about it.
  • The music was tremendous today – Rhonda does a great job leading worship. It was pretty wild to "just sing" this morning while she led (i enjoyed it).
  • I thought Brandon was great on the video today – our Creative Communication Team gets better by the week! (I’ll try to get the copy for you to see on YouTube today)
  • We are only 1 week from our biggest VBS ever.

Before I close, here’s some stuff that i’m thinking about:

  • On Father’s Day weekend, Paige Strackman shared with me that caffeine dries out our vocal chords – this was seconded to me this week SO I decided that today I would not drink the amount of coffee that I normally do on Sunday (i drink A LOT of coffee *SOMEBODY OPEN A STARBUCKS – PLEASE!!!!*).
  • it didn’t help – if anything, my voice felt worse than normal… go figure?
  • Did you do my "workout test" today after church? :)
  • We’re probably gonna take a group of people from our First Impression team to NewSpring Church on Sunday afternoon, August 12th – that should be awesome to let them experience what NewSpring does so excellently.
  • We’re looking for help in the Audio/Visual ministry – Interested in doing one of the coolest  & most important "behind the scenes" jobs at hyde park?
  • I’m also looking for a really friendly people person who is sold-out to the vision of hyde park to handle some 1st time Guest follow up on Mondays (probably evenings – call from home) – does this sound like you?

You know on Friday…

…things are just different – i have an opportunity to "clear my mind" (seldom happens) – but the change-up in my schedule is way healthier for me than the schedule i was running prior to this year.

Here’s what’s stirrin’ around up there:

  • I am really excited about speaking this Sunday! (i know that i probably just lost half the crowd by announcing that i’m speaking ("uh-oh honey, pack the car – AND HURRY – just read that Pastor isn’t speaking so we CAN miss church!")
  • I’m praying for those of you who that would really be a consideration. :)
  • I am constantly amazed at the wisdom of our Pastor – it’s why he’s been such a great mentor to me and why I continue to learn about my future through him.
  • Our Creative Communication Team is the bomb! The stuff that God is planning through this group is going to mean so much to us in the near future. If you are creative with any of the following: graphic design, web design, photography or video filming and/or editing THERE IS DEFINITELY A PLACE FOR YOU on this developing team.
  • Looking forward to you seeing the intro video this Sunday (it’s really funny – at least, to me! :)).
  • I wish that you could actually take a trip into my mind (i know that sounds scary) to see the stuff that I believe God shows me about my future – I BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE NOT EVEN BEGUN.
  • The message series that begins the Sunday after Labor Day will perhaps be the most challenging message series we’ve ever experienced – start praying now, PLEASE – God can use us in the most amazing way if we remember that we are in a battle for the souls of our region.
  • UNCP students will be back in 3 weeks! I’m believing that we are going to see a major breakthrough with them! (by the way – we need about 20 people to assist with move-in days at the university, Monday, August 13th and Tuesday, August 14th – What a great opportunity to make a favorable hyde park impression on them. Let me know if you will help here!)
  • I am so thankful to be a part of you and look so forward to worshiping JESUS with you Sunday!

Who’s your Master?

if I ask you that question, how would you answer? Most everyone who reads me is a follower of Christ, so naturally they will answer with the "stock" answer, "Jesus is my master". Of course – I would expect you to say that.

"where there is no vision the people perish" Proverbs 29. You know, I can honestly say that when it comes to my body and health, the word vision has never entered into my thinking prior to Life Development Plan. Do you have a vision for your health?

But really, who’s pulling the strings in your life – you or JESUS? In your physical life, who is in control of your body – have you allowed it to become a spiritual issue yet? What if I told you that, if you struggle with doing the right things with your body, neither JESUS or you are in control?

"Then who do you think is, mike p?" Thanks for asking; most people are slaves to their desires. There’s a word that brings up pictures, huh? Most of us are slaves to our pleasure – our likes and habits – living a life that constantly craves to fulfill our wants. Many people would rather do "what they feel like doing" than to do WHAT THEY KNOW THEY SHOULD and will make conscious decisions to do the wrong thing to fulfill that desire.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:12, "Everything is permissible for me-but not everything is beneficial… I will not be mastered by anything." To be mastered by something refers to you being a slave to something – in other words, you have no control over what ever you are mastered by – almost as if you have NO say-so in the matter. What is it you just can’t get a grip on?

  • maybe it’s saying no to that late night snack (you know, the small one I gave in to last night – I was "STARVING"!)
  • maybe it’s turning off that tv and deciding to read your bible for a while…
  • maybe it’s pushing away that last little bit on your plate ("but I’m not "stuffed", I could eat that!" Yeah, you could OR you can be in control of your body, telling your desire, "I’m in control here, and I feel fine.") An exercise in self-control.
  • maybe it’s praying instead of surfing the net or playing that video game…
  • maybe it’s talking to your spouse and/or your kidz INSTEAD of checking out the game.

Honestly, Who would you say is your master? Surrender your desire to JESUS – it IS a spiritual issue – if you do this in your power you will get YOUR results; do it in God’s power and you can get more than results – you’ll get power, strength, mercy, love, forgiveness and a better direction for your life. Most importantly, you can find His vision for your body.

Like a City…

…whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. (Proverbs 25:28)

How’s the Life Development Plan actually coming for you? Are you doing something? Followin’ through on the suggestions made? Gradually making changes that are going to impact your life? Are you praying your way through this, keeping it a spiritual issue and not an issue of "will-power"?

Today, we’re talking about you – well, your body to be exact; here’s my question for you today:

Where do you think God wants you to be physically?

For me, this is an issue that I really struggle with. Many years of bad choices with my body have me personally feeling like I’m fighting an uphill battle. It seems that, in many areas of life, I just don’t know when to stop and you know the old saying, "too much of even a good thing can be bad." Although today I’m talking about our physical body, truth is, this is really an issue of self-control.

We have to realize that the way we take care of our body IS a spiritual issue – I have noticed a direct correlation between my management of my body and the depth of my prayer and bible reading schedule – ie. when I’m consistently working out, my spiritual life is better. Why?

I think it’s because I’m making myself do something that I don’t wanna do, and as I do it I purposely make it a spiritual issue, praying to God and saying something to the effect of, "Lord, I’m doing this to take care of Your body; I know that I have allowed ME (the spiritual word is my flesh) to be too strong, often allowing the ME side of me to be dominant over You and Your Spirit in me. I pray that You will increase in me, that I will decrease…" Self-Control IS a fruit of the spirit – He gives it to us as a tool; the problem is that we have to actually use it. According to the scripture above, the person who lacks self-control has no protection; self-control is the wall that keeps "bad things" out. Think about that…

Question: HOW MIGHT YOUR LIFE BE AFFECTED IF YOU MADE THE CARE OF YOUR BODY MORE OF A SPIRITUAL ISSUE THAN A VANITY/SELF-ESTEEM ISSUE? HOW MIGHT YOUR LIFE BE CHANGED, BEGINNING TODAY, IF GOD WAS INVITED TO HELP YOU IN THIS AREA? I look forward to hearing from you.