A Full Day of Eating Keto (vlog)

What do people who follow a ketogenic lifestyle actually eat all day? I had that question when I was researching and considering trying this for myself.

Since then, I’ve made multiple vlogs documenting normal days of eating keto. Sometimes I plan the day before what my meals will be, this was not one of those times.

Check out this day in my life where I ended up going out to lunch, forgot to do all the things I wanted to do, and still managed to end the day with near perfect macros!

Prepping for the Promise

prepping

When I was in college down at Florida Atlantic University I was horrible at studying. By horrible I mean I never did it. Actual studying consists of consuming and reviewing new knowledge over increments of time. Who has time for that?! I was incredible at cramming everything in the night before and sometimes even the day of. I would try to figure out the most important ideas, grab better notes from someone else in the library, and ultimately fake my way through it. If passing college classes is what I had to do to prepare for my future, I was amazingly bad at it.

For most of us preparation equals stress. In all areas of our lives we need to prepare; work, school, parenthood, leadership, ministry, coaching, marriage, etc. In all those areas stress can get added to our preparation. We are uncertain of the outcome and some of us force ourselves to cram in every nugget of information  [insert the What to Expect When You’re Expecting book here] while others get so overwhelmed that they throw their hands up and cash out.

I’ve been reading my way through the She Reads Truth reading plan for the Bible in a Year, which means I’ve spent a lot of time lately in Old Testament books like Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, etc. [For the non-Bible readers, these are the books with all of the commands and instructions, and pretty much no one jumps there for a good daily inspirational reading.] In these books we see the Israelite people get constant instruction from God regarding how they are to worship Him, celebrate, cleanse themselves, basically live, etc. In the same books, over and over again we see the Israelites mess up, breaking God’s commands.

The people of Israel were so stuck in their current situation (wandering around the wilderness) they couldn’t see that in the midst of it, God was preparing them for the promise. The promise in this case was land, a special place for the people to call their own. In these books God doesn’t say “If you make it to the land do this….”, He says “When you get there….” God knew the plan and promise He had for His people. He also knew they weren’t ready yet to receive it and would need some prepping along the way.

Is He prepping you along the way right now?

Sooner than later I will be taking the biggest and riskiest step in faith I have ever taken; leaving my established home church and helping launch a church plant in Toms River, NJ where I will be leading worship. Terrifying. Exciting. Unqualified. Sufficient. The mix of emotions is intense and real. My pattern of “cramming for exams” will not work in this situation. However, I have been given a promise. It is written that those who take delight (follow, love, trust, walk with) in the Lord will be given the desires of their hearts. That’s a promise. Never in a million years when I walked around aimlessly with the promise out of sight did I think God was preparing me for such a role. I can rest in the assurance that if God has promised it, He will be in it, and He will help to prepare me for the promise He has given.

The desires of our hearts vary, as do our life circumstances, but can you take a moment to look back and see how God has been shaping you for your future? The shaping is not easy, it can be painful and messy. It can be extremely long (think 40 years in the wilderness long).  It is through both the victories and trials that God prepares us for His plan, His promises, His Kingdom building work [all night coffee cram session not needed].

 

Risky Business

risky businessI heard/read (I can’t remember) someone say that their church was doing something merely because it is what church visitors expect. As I finished reading through both Genesis and the Gospel of John, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this comment. What church visitors expect.  Continue reading

Worship; Here, There, & Everywhere

Blog- Here ThereAn “aha moment” as Oprah has so called it….that’s what I had. A couple months ago I attended Sunday evening chapel at America’s Keswick in Whiting, NJ. This place is something that I have taken for granted. The mission of this place in the middle of nowhere on a lake, to the outsider a summer camp, is to reach men who are struggling with addiction. While they do hold conferences and miscellaneous Christian events, the heart of America’s Keswick is for these men who are stuck in their substance addiction. 

Their chapel is actually more in the middle of nowhere than their main campus is…Jon and I got lost. Once we found it though, we found a tiny white church with one room, a dirt parking lot, wooden pews, hymnals, and the friendliest people I’ve been around in awhile. The people that filled the pews seemed to be a mix of regular congregants, men going through the addiction program, their families and friends, and staff members. We were all gathered there for different reasons, yet still acknowledging each other as brothers and sisters of the same faith. The pastor stood up, asked us to grab our hymnals and directed us to a page number.

Continue reading

139

139

I am always busy. Too busy for friends. Too busy to play with my kids. Too busy to cook a real dinner. Too busy to read. Too busy to think a real thought. And way too busy to talk to God.  “I can’t right now, I’m too busy.” should be the name of the fourth child I will never have. In a world where we can be reached via text, email, call, Facebook, Skype, twitter, all at once on one device, we are left with little time to sit quietly and chat with the One who made us.

 Today was different. I am blessed to be working at Bayside Chapel. Today the second half of our day was scheduled to be a half day of prayer. Intentional time to remove ourselves from our “busyness” and privately chat with our Father.

 It was in this time that I realized my conversations with Him, while limited have also been one-way, leaving Him no room to speak. I found that I tend to speak with Him about the needs of others and never mention myself or my heart. Does anyone else tend to do this?

 A true conversation happens when we are open and honest, both to the person we are talking to and ourselves. After praying for a little while I could almost feel that awkward moment. The moment when you’re done speaking but the person you’re talking to is clearly expecting more from you but you don’t know what to say. It was as if God was saying, “….Uh…Is that REALLY all you’ve got?…What’s going on with YOU?….” So Psalm 139 is where I began, because honestly I didn’t know where to begin and I saw Psalm 139 written down on a piece of paper near me, so I thought, “Sure, why not?” The whole Psalm is awesome, but the part that hit me, that broke me, was

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

When was the last time I prayed this? When was the last time I asked God to really search me? My response became an open conversation. One where both parties were heard. One where I was able to speak like me, because really, who else should I be speaking like? Our Father loves us each, individually and personally. He made us unique, with different callings, and different voices. Why in the world should I be keeping myself from Him? As if to what, hide my true self from Him….as if He doesn’t already know? I read this Psalm, I prayed this Psalm, and then on my stereo a song began to play by Gateway Worship titled 139. Guess what? It’s based on Psalm 139…how did I not get that before? Oh right, I was too busy.

I long to know my Father as intimately as He already knows me. I asked God today to be the desire of my heart, above all others. I pray that as God answers me, I can continue to be real with Him. I encourage all of us to take time with God today, talk to Him about the important things, about the silly things, about the things hidden in your heart, and leave some free air space for Him to speak too.