Category Archives: Christian

Playing Catch Up

Like I said in the new welcome message, it has been so long since I have written anything, but I think the best way to tackle all the new stuff is to start from today and then look back.

Currently, Jess and I are living together in Columbus with our rescue dog, Moka.

Moka watching me work

Moka watching me work

She is working on finishing up her 4th year of medical school and I working on finishing my Master’s of Public Health. (Currently procrastinating by writing this!) Outside of moving and both of us getting new cars, not a whole lot has changed yet…

The biggest change is actually just about to occur with Jess being 8 months pregnant!

Knowing that I will soon be a father has been a source of a lot of introspection and anxiety. I have been reading books and watching videos and praying for guidance. I hope that all of that reading and thinking will be a constant source of material to keep this place updated on my walk with Christ and my relationship with my daughter and wife.

I have a lot more thoughts on the back burner to write about, but I need to get working on some papers before the end of the semester so I hope this holds you over for a little while!

This is the best article I’ve read all week. I encourage you to read it as well.

“Friendship.

Support.

Sexuality.

Family.

Recreation.

That’s why you get married. That’s why God created marriage.

Here’s the problem—that’s not why most people get married.

At least, that’s not why I got married. I got married to be happy…”

The Promise you Can’t Keep in Marriage

Resolution Time

Here I am over a week after our fast has ended and I’m bordering on breaking one of the resolutions that I spent so much time mulling over!

Now you might be saying, “Hey man, it’s February! You missed resolution picking by 30-some days.” You might be technically correct. However, knowing that January 17th is historically the point at which most people give up on their resolutions I decided to not even start mine until after that.

So here goes – The resolutions I planned while on my fast:

    1. Blog Related Goals
      • Write a blog post every week. (starting this week)
      • Redesign this site to be more reflective of the content and more reader friendly.
      • I also want to get my readership up to 500 followers. Why 500 you say? Because I think I can do that in the next year.
    2. Personal Goals
      • Stick to a monthly zero based budget. Spending within my means, Saving a lot, etc.
      • Lose weight. Isn’t this always on the list? I think I can lose about 15-20% of my body weight so that is what I am committing to.
      • Clean up and consolidate everything I own. Living minimally is my new mantra.
    3. Hobby Goals
      • Program an app/webpage. This one has been hovering over me for a while and I think I know what I will be writing. Luckily it goes well with the class I am teaching.
      • Learn the 25 most used chords on guitar and piano. Play 3 songs on each.
      • Read 2 books a month. I have my entire library (Yes, I have that many books!) in a list already on the organization website I use. I just need to put them in some sort of order of how I want to read them.
      • Complete a Half Ironman and possibly a marathon. I almost did a Half Iron once and this is the year I am going to succeed.

And last, but certainly not least

    1. Spiritual and Relationship Goals
      • Spend time reading the Bible every day. Maybe 10 minutes, maybe an hour. I’m not shooting to speed read through it, but at least a couple chapters a day.
      • Tithe! Almost every Sunday I get to church and realize that I never stopped at the ATM. This is the year I change that.
      • Practice regular prayer. I don’t spend enough time thanking God for everything I am blessed with.
      • Work on being a leader for my (soon-to-be) wife and a role model for all those around me.
      • Start fostering friendships with other men so that I can learn how they treat their wives, how they do their jobs, and how they live their lives. Plus, I need more accountability in my life.

So there they are, all the goals I see fit to post on here. I know I can’t measure all of them so that makes my “successfulness” metric pretty subjective. But, if nothing else, I have a goal to keep my eyes on. I’m hoping you all will help me stick to them and that I will be able to post positive updates on them soon.

Now an update on the fast –

I find it amazing how clean I felt the days near the end and right after the fast. We did not spend as much time reading our devotional or praying as I would have liked, but I still spent a lot of time in thoughtful introspection. I may not have been speaking to God, but he was speaking to me. Through the time spent preparing my meals to the quiet time I spent before getting ready to start my day or going to bed.

As you can see in the list of goals above I found a lot of things that I can improve on and I plan to do just that this year. My fast directed me and focused me better than I have been in a long time. Already this year I have started working on many of my goals, not the least of which is feeling the presence of the Lord in my daily life and I couldn’t be happier.

I hope you are off to a great start to your resolutions for the year and I hope you will share this post and blog with your friends.

Welcome to the new year

Here we are at the beginning of a new year and it is probably the biggest year of my life!

Not only will I be getting married in 6 months, but I am also transitioning to a new role at Cerner and I am teaching a class at the community college. And in the Fall, to kind of join ranks with Jess, I will be starting an educational journey to get my Master’s in Public Health.

And you thought moving back to Ohio and getting engaged last year was a big deal?

Near the end of December I decided that I wanted to spend January preparing myself for the coming year and getting back in touch with God by doing a Daniel Fast. After extending the invite to Jess we decided to start our fast this past Monday and go for 21 days.

What we do is called a Daniel Fast because it is based on the fasting that Daniel did in the Old Testament. By refusing food blessed for false gods and eating only fruits and vegetables. Essentially, we eat vegan with more restrictions. No sweeteners, no leaven breads, only water to drink, nothing processed. If you can get it from a garden or produce section you can have it. (One exception I make is coffee. My caffeine addiction gives me a wicked headache when I don’t get it so I have to have a cup a day to stave that off!)

Now you might be scratching your head, asking yourself why we would do something so crazy. The truth of the matter is it forces us to focus on our relationship with God.

I am happy in making the sacrifice of forgoing a quick meal to honor Him. I make the conscious effort to make food that is wholesome and pure. I get to spend the mornings (that we both wake up in time) reading a devotional with Jess and grow closer to her and God.

I also find it to be the best way to get myself healthy fast. After all the holiday feasting, it’s like a month long detox to get me started on one of my New Year’s/Wedding resolutions. Even if I don’t lose any weight, I do feel far better just eliminating the processed crap.

This is the second time we have gone through The Daniel Fast by Susan Gregory and it is a great book. If you have any interest in feeling better, eating better, and growing closer to God I recommend picking it up.

So thanks for reading and I hope you stick around for a lot more in the coming year!

One of my biggest fears

I think it’s strange how I can sense God urging me to notice something. It may take days or months or years, but he always ends up showing me what I need to see. (Like how I needed to come back to Ohio.) In this case I am talking about one of my fears over an issue that I will face as a husband. I know I will face it, not only because so many others do, but also because I know who I am and how much I struggle with it now. So let me take a step back and explain what I saw Him urging me to see.

There have been a rash of posts on Facebook, either sent to me or just on my news feed, that seem to linger for days on end. Not the normal memes or videos, but the heartfelt writings by some guy that was on the way to or did screw up his marriage. I read all of them. Some more than once… He stopped holding her hand. He took her for granted. He was selfish. He stopped cooking her dinner. The list goes on and on.

Somewhere buried in their anecdotes is one of my greatest fears for any relationship I have or anything I do. I am afraid that I will lose interest and stop being motivated and I know that is one of Jess’ fears too. Just take this blog for example. I started it months ago and my posts only number in the teens. If I were truly motivated I wouldn’t have taken the near two month hiatus from writing and I would be networking with other bloggers all over the place.

I think my biggest problem is that I don’t recognize when it is happening until I am already in the thick of it. I get comfortable and stop striving to do better or to even keep doing what I was doing. This is why I haven’t completed that marathon yet. It’s the reason why I’m studying for the GMAT for the third time and still haven’t taken it. It’s why I bail on commitments I have made. I am afraid of what will happen to my marriage if I lose that motivation to be a great husband. Even now i’m anxious over the thought of how I could screw it up.

I don’t have proof that this will happen after we say our vows and I sincerely hope it does not. I have no interest in writing a post about how I could have had a better marriage or how I could have salvaged mine. I would rather keep it to the posts that show how I avoided that all together. How I kept the romance. How I made her the only thing that mattered. How my motivation to be a better husband and man made her want to be a better wife and woman. I want to give every guy out there the inside scoop on how to be happy by leading and loving his wife and I am basing those skills in my pursuit of Christ as my leader.

I’m going to leave you with a piece of advice that I received from a very intelligent man at a point in my life where things were coming apart. He and I would speak about everything going on in my life including my relationships and one day I expressed fears to him that were similar to this and his reply has stuck with me since. He told me to find everything, no matter how mundane, insignificant, or inconsequential, that my girlfriend/fiance/wife did or said to be the most fascinating thing that I had heard all day. Being an active listener makes me more involved in her day and her life. (I suppose this could be used on nearly any relationship. Who doesn’t like to be listened to?) I may not live it every moment, but I come back to it frequently and it does nothing but make my relationships better.

I hope you can take this with you and live better because of it too. Stay motivated.

Oh. And spiders. Spiders are one of my other biggest fears.