Monthly Archives: October 2008

Why I love the Phillies

The most common reason any one person follows a particular team is civic pride.  We adopt the teams that play in our cities for many reasons.  The most obvious is that their games are the ones we can most easily attend, watch on TV, listen to on the radio, or read about in the newspaper.  Loving a team is all about being a part of the team’s story, and it is much easier to be a part of that story when the local media helps tell it.  As that story of a team enmeshes with the story of the city, the two become linked in powerful ways, and the mood of an entire city can be swayed with the wins or losses of their team.  I don’t know how strong this affect is in every city, but in the two major league cities in which I have lived, Chicago and Saint Louis, this is definately the case. 

The reason I love most of the teams that I follow is the simple fact that they play in Chicago.  The Bears, White Sox and Bulls are my team because they play in my city.  I have been a part of their story as a resident of Cook County.  I have seen the Bears helmets on the lions at the Chicago Public Library, my grade school class had a Superbowl Shuffle party, I was in Grant Park with thousands of others celebrating with the Bulls and I choked back tears as the White Sox paraded through the South Side. 

But there is one team that I love that defies standard allegiance practices.  I am a Phillies fan.  People have asked me through the years, “Why are you a Phillies fan?”  I often joke, “It’s my Dad’s fault.”  I have never lived in Philadelphia.  I could not care less about the Eagles and 76ers, and I have only been to one home Phillies game my entire life.  There is no natural reason for me to love the Phillies, save one: my Dad does.  And here’s the funny thing, he has no natural reason to love the Phillies either.

He was born and raised in Southern Illinois – Cardinals country.  He listened to games on KMOX, and went to games with his Dad and brother at Sportsman’s Park.  He remembers Stan Musial fondly, yet Richie Ashburn was his guy.  The reason he is a Phillies fan, at least the way he always told it to us, was simple: he didn’t want to be like everyone else.  When he was a little kid the Cardinals weren’t very good, so he decided to pick a different team.  He thought it was cool that the Phillies dotted their i’s with stars.  Plus, he was learning to read and thought it was funny that in the words Philadelphia Phillies there was not a single ‘F.’  So he decided he’d be a Phillies fan.  He has a photo of himself, no older that 7 or 8, wearing a Phillies hat that his Aunt made for him by cutting out the “P” from white felt and sewing it on a plain red hat.

When he was a bit older he was treated to the Whiz Kids, the 1950 NL champions led by Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts.  When he was a young man he experienced the horror of ’64, when the Phills had a 6.5 game lead with 12 to play but lost the pennant after a 10-game losing streak.  He remained true to the Phillies en route to the most losses of any professional sports franchise in American history, and he raised his kids to be Phillies fans.

My brother became a fan when he was about the same age as my Dad was when his aunt sewed that P on the old red hat.  My brother watched Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton carry the Phillies to divisional dominance in the late 70’s, and was an impressionable age when the Tug McGraw leapt into the air to celebrate the Phillies’ first (and only) World Series title in 1980. 

And they raised me to be a Phillies fan.  I remember being able to stay up late to watch George Michael’s Sports Machine when Mike Schmidt hit his 500th home run.  I remember putting on a Phillies batting helmet and running around the family room pretending to be Pete Rose during the 1983 World Series.  And ten years later I was in that same family room trying to get the radio to tune into the Philadelphia station to hear the Phillies clinch the division.  And I was on a couch in that same room when Joe Carter made me die a little inside with one swing and many jubilant leaps into the air.

It was my brother that taught me how to trade away all my Cubs baseball cards to my neighbor for more Phillies cards, and it was because of my brother that I have a collection of hundreds of Mike Schmidt cards.  In 1995 my brother and I went to Cooperstown to see Schmidty and Whitey get inducted into the Hall of Fame together.  It was on that field in Cooperstown, where we claimed our spot the night before with nothing but an outstretched Phillies beach towel that I got the worst sunburn of my life, one that scarred my skin for many years. It was also the first time in my life I had ever been surrounded by so many Phillies fans.

All my life I was one of just a few lonely people in a stadium full of enemies.  Along with my Dad and brother, we would pack up some sandwiches in the cooler and go to Wrigley Field to see the Phillies, not the Cubs.  We were at the first Phillies night game in Wrigley Field on August 8, 1988. My Dad’s best friend, who was a Cubs fan, gave my Dad the tickets as a gift in the beginning of the season, before he knew he was giving away history.  It is a strange feeling to wear a shirt in a stadium that you know will make you the enemy of 30,000 people – but it’s also kind of fun.  There is nothing like being the only one in a section of fans standing to cheer a home run, only to hear in the distance another lonely fan doing the same.  I have shared many long-distance high-fives with fellow Phillies fans.

Why do I love the Phillies? Because they are a part of my family story.  The story of my Dad just deciding he didn’t want to be like everyone else.  The story of our bonds getting stronger around a common cause.  For most sports, we were just another family in the crowd.  Bears, Bulls, Sox and Illini – nothing too strange.  But every now and then we would wear the ‘P’ and be just a little different, but more importantly, we would be together.  So now I have taught my daughter to say, “Go Phillies,” and I am the only one in town to hang a Phillies flag from my house.

Last night my brother and Dad were at Game Four of the World Series.  In a way, it probably would have made more sense to go to a game in Tampa – that is part of what made being a Phillies fan fun, but they went to a game in Philadelphia. My work and finances made it impossible for me to go, but I was there with them.  From my living room I watched as Ryan Howard came to life again, and I saw those white flags waving in the night, I could see my brother and Dad finally giving people close up high-fives, and I wondered if someday we will make another trip to Cooperstown.  I knew my nephews were watching the game and I wondered if they now have their Phillies.  My Dad had Ashburn and Roberts.  My brother had Carlton and Schmidt.  I had Kruk and Schilling.  It looks like they will have Howard and Hammels. 

Tonight we will all be back at home.  We will watch with high anxiety as our Phillies try to do something special.  I am sure there will be some phone calls made, and texts sent and received.  Seperated by miles we will be together.  It will be another page in our story.  Here’s to hoping for a happy ending.


Filed under Sports

Why I love baseball

The reason we love baseball, or any sport for that matter, is the stories.  There are stories of Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson; the Cubs futility and the Red Sox redemption.  Baseball fans need only to hear the words “Bill Buckner” or “Bartman,” and we see again the ball trickle through the legs or bounce off the outstretched arm.  We honor numbers like 61 and 755, and know the sour taste of betrayal that comes with the number 73.  We know the stories of baseball.  Each season is a small story – starting in March and ending (for a few lucky teams) in October, and at the same time each season is but a chapter in the larger story.  It is a story that includes tremendous accomplishments, think the ’27 Yankees and ’69 Mets, and terrible disappointments, consider the ’69 Cubs and recent Mets.  It is a story that includes heroic figures, like Lou Gehrig and Cal Ripken, and tragic disappointments like Jose Canseco and Dwight Gooden. 

The stories of baseball often reflect the stories of America.  It is the story of Civil War soldiers with bayonets and ball gloves.  It is the story of the home front, keeping people’s mind off of the Nazis, if only for a few hours at a time.  It is the story of segregation, and the exclusion of Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige.  Baseball’s story is inexorably linked to history, from the infamous Disco Demolition Night signaling the end of a social era to the World Series in New York in October, 2001, signaling the beginning of a national healing.

Like James Earl Jones’ character Terrance Mann said in Field of Dreams, “America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers.  It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again; but baseball has marked the time.  This field, this game, is a part of our past.  It reminds us of all that once was good, and what could be again.” 

As fans, we become a part of the story of a team.  We share in the excitement and disappointment of the game as if we were on the field ourselves.  Every pitch is another line in the story, and we all desperately want the story to end in a win, and ultimately, a championship.  We never live the story alone.  We share it with our neighbors.  We share it with strangers that happen to be wearing the hat of our team.  We share it with entire cities where the mood of a community shifts with each run scored.

We share it with our sisters and brothers, with our fathers and mothers and their fathers and mothers.  They are stories that go back generations, and they are stories we want to share with generations that come after us.  These stories of baseball are linked to family stories so that our team becomes a part of our heritage.  The link between grandson, father, son is enmeshed with the link between DiMaggio, Mantle and Jeter. Or in my family’s case, the link between Roberts, Carlton, and Hammels. 

This is why we love sports, to be a part of something larger than ourselves.  This is why we care about every game, every inning, every pitch, because the next pitch is the next line in on ongoing story that we have adopted as our own.  Why do I care if the guys with the right words on their chest score more runs than the guys with the wrong words?  Because that jersey is my jersey.  That city is my city.  Those players are my players, and the story they are writing is my story. It is our story that we write together.

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This is my second blog title inspired by a number.  The first was the complete shock and awe I was hit with when I saw the big part of the scale get pushed all the way over to the right during a recent doctor visit.  This one however, is good news.

If any readers are frequent weight lifters, you might recognize the number 225 as a significant milestone.  Let me explain: when doing the bench press, which is the most basic of all upper body lifts, and the general gauge for strength, the bar weighs forty five pounds (aActually, it weighs forty five pounds regardless of what you are doing).  Free weights come in the following sizes: 2.5, 5, 10, 25, 35 and 45 pounds.  When you put one big one on each end, you have 135 pounds.  When you put on two of the big ones on each end, you have 225 pounds.  This is a real-man’s weight.  This is the weight when you are first taken seriously.  “Two plates,” is the standard test for most football players testing their strength.  A top draft pick going into the NFL can do 30 or so in one set.

When I began my lifting a couple of weeks ago I put 135 on the bar and was unable to do 3 sets of 10.  On Monday I was able to do three sets of 10 with relative ease.  On Wednesday I did a standard pyramid, adding 10 pounds and deducting 2 reps each set, and finished with 2 reps of 185.  So today I decided to test my metal, and do a good ol’ max.  So I decided to go with two of the big ones on each side – Two plates – my first try in over three years at a real-man’s weight: 225.

I stood there looking at the weight, remembering a time when that was not a daunting task.  It was mocking me, daring me to lift it.  Telling me I was too old, too fat, and much, much too weak.  With Metallica playing in my headphones, I started to get that old feeling – that feeling I loved so much when I played football – that heart-racing sense of fear and excitement, knowing that the moment of truth was an instant away.  I was confident.  I knew I was going to win, but I got a spotter anyway because I’m not stupid.  I sat down on the bench, looked up at the bar mocking me one more time and said, “Fuck you,” and lifted it not once, but twice.

For the last couple of days I have done something completely new during my workout.  Instead of counting my reps off to ten, I spell a word.  With each rep, instead of exhaling “one, two, three…” I breath the letters of my daugter’s name.  It is a constant reminder of why I am there.  It motivates me to know that I am struggling for her.  I get done with a set, and picture her at a high school graduation, in a wedding dress, holding her own daughter.  Tired, out of breath, unable to lift my arms, I smile and push back a tear.

Today I realized that I what I am doing is working.  I haven’t gotten on a scale in awhile because I’m not really interested in my weight.  I am interested in being around to see my daughter grow up, and maybe get lucky enough to know her children too.

I gotta go, she just woke up from her nap.


Filed under Fitness

“With,” not “For”

Christians love the phrase, “Jesus died for me.”  I can’t help but feel like the overuse of that phrase has led to a lot of problems.  The idea that Jesus died for my sins is certainly Biblical, and it has been the cry of Christians, Protestants especially, for many generations.  I don’t feel like I have to explain the idea of sacrificial theology too much because it is so prevelant, but here goes:  We are sinful and a just God needs redemption.  Instead of retribution, God sent Jesus, who was sinless, to be the sacrifice for the world.  There is more to it than this, and most Christians have heard this story a thousand times.  Jesus died for me because I am sinner and I need to be saved.

I have come to realize how problematic this type of thinking can be.  For one, it is incredibly selfish.  Yes, it is important to realize that God seeks out individuals.  God loves every part of God’s creation and yearns for a relationship with all of us, even you and especially me.  But if the language is all “my sins, my savior, my God,” you end up with a very small god, and a very limited idea of salvation.  The “we” is sacrificed on the altar of “me.”  As a result such important ideas like the communion of saints, systematic sin, and communal confession are lost.  Sin is reduced individal moral failing, and Jesus is reduced to a self-help guru.  (Many Christians charge other with making Jesus into a glorified teacher, but these people often make Jesus into a glorified Dr. Phil with magic tricks).

Secondly, the constant chorus that “Jesus died for me” is the first step toward a serious faith conflict.  Let me explain: If I believe that Jesus died for me, then I expect Jesus to hang on the cross for all of my sins.  Jesus is the one suffering, and I respond with tremendous gratitude because I know it could have been me on that cross.  After all, I’m kind of a jerk.  So I sing songs like “Take me to the Cross,” which thanks Jesus for stepping in and taking my punishment for me.  I adore Jesus, but am not so sure about that Father, who felt an uncontrollable desire to punish someone.  So I live my life, thankful that Jesus took away my suffering.  But then something funny happens: I suffer.

I lose a loved one, or I am diagnosed with cancer, or my child is sent to war, or I take seriously the fact that the suffering of one is the suffering of all and I see that children in Africa are dying of AIDS and boys are being kidnapped, given cocaine and machine guns to kill their parents.  So now I am faced with suffering, but all along I believed that Jesus died for me.  Now what am I supposed to do?  Jesus must not have suffered for me, because here I am doing plenty of it myself.  Yeah, Jesus might have had it worse, but this is pretty bad.  So I can either clench my jaw and think, “Well, Jesus died for me to save me from eternal punishment, but he doesn’t do much for me now;” or worse, I think, “Jesus abandoned me.”  I am left with nothing but despair.

Does this seem over-simplified?  Maybe, but I am convinced that only believing “Jesus died for me,” results in despair when faced with real-life suffering.  So what do we have?  There is another Biblical idea, one that Jesus himself believed when he told his disciples to “Take up your cross and follow me.”  The idea is that Jesus died with me.

If Jesus died with me, then Jesus is there on the cross with me.  I am still suffering.  Jesus did not take that away, and God did not put me there to satisfy some divine blood-lust.  I recognize that this world is broken.  There are biological, political, economic, and environmental forces that are outside of God’s direct control and make us suffer.  There are sins that are greater than individual moral failures.  Because of these things, we will suffer.  So when I am faced with tragedy, I know that Jesus is with me.  Instead of despair I have hope.

What makes the Christian unique is not that Jesus suffers for us, but the comfort that comes with the knowledge that Jesus suffers with us.  We know we are not alone.  We know that Jesus is there for us through the darkest days, and that God the Father is not seeking ways to punish us, but sought, and found, the perfect way to comfort us.

If we hold only to the fact that “Jesus died for us,” then the story ends on the cross.  If the story of Jesus is that he had to die for us to take our punishment away, then the resurrection is nothing more than an interesting postscript.  If Jesus’ only mission was to die for us, then the mission was accomplished on the cross.  But Paul tells us that we die Jesus’ death and share Jesus’ resurrection.  When we suffer, we know that is not the end of the story.  We know we have hope in the one that died, and was resurrected, and lives eternally with God.

So in this, my first post that is explicitly about God, I offer you this: Jesus did not simply die for you; Jesus died with you, and you will rise with Jesus.  Suffering will surely come, but know that the suffering comes with the hope of the Resurrected One.  May God’s peace and the hope of Jesus Christ be with you.

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Whoops, wrong way.

So I was all gung-ho about exercising and getting more healthy.  I am not trying to focus on losing weight, but that would be a nice.  I’d also like to lost an inch or two from the waist, so I could wear all those pants in my closet again.

Things have not gone real well thus far.  On my third day of working out I was jumping rope when I stopped I had a huge head-rush.  It was awful.  My head felt like it popped.  I was dizzy and I thought I was going to throw up.  I considered calling 911 because I thought I had a stroke.  But I drank a bunch of water, put my head down and was able to get back at it, and actually felt pretty good.

Then I went on vacation for a week.  When I returned to the gym a couple of days ago I got back on the scale. You can foget about 301.  Try 305! 

Since my original rant I have now worked out four times, but this will be my first full week.  Those were just warm-ups.  And I can feel a little difference.  When I bench pressed the other day I did three full sets of 135 pounds for the first time, so I am making progress.  My brother-in-law got me a muscle magazine for some extra inspiration. 

No excuses this week.  Up at 8 every morning (but Tuesday).  Work our for an hour, back home to start my day by 10.  I can do this, right?

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You know how sometimes you take a vacation, and when you get back you think, “Man, I need a vacation.”  My family and I just took a vacation and finally had the exact opposite reaction.  After coming home, we felt good – really good.  We actually feel refreshed.  It was such an amazing trip, and I think the only reason was that we didn’t feel like we were “going on vacation.”  Instead, we were just visiting friends.  The difference is that we didn’t feel like we had a list of things to do and see before we went home. 

Most of the time vacations seem like extended scavenger hunts.  You have a list of things you need to accomplish, and a limited time to do them.  To some, that is the fun part of traveling – to go and see as much of a place as possible.  We went to Massachusetts, so it would have been easy to have our big checklist of things to do, Basketball Hall of Fame, Freedom walk in Boston, Drive to see the foliage, day-trip to New York City, Applepicking.  Then we would have spent the week making sure to get everything in, stressing over when to go to bed and when to wake up, packing bags for the baby, and checking the weather and traffic patterns.

Instead, our list looked something like this: Go to Basketball Hall of Fame (it was really cool, but I think I enjoyed it more than my wife and daughter), hang out with our best friends, drink some Sam Addams, play some Wii Mario Kart, go to worship at my best friend’s church, have a lobster roll and clam chowder.  You see, we didn’t go to Massachusetts to see Massachusetts.  We went to spend time with our friends, whom we love more than we could ever tell them, and whom we miss everyday.

So now we’re back.  My quest to get under three-bills took a hit.  I have a ton of stuff to do.  I had 15 messages on the machine, 50 emails and a stack of mail two feet high.  I have a half week to get ready for church on Sunday, charge conference looming, a stewardship campaign getting started and Sunday school sputtering.  But I feel good.  And that’s what vacation is really all about.


<<Totally off-topic question for all you grammar nuts out there.  In the first sentence of this post, where should I put the question mark?  (I think that is the first time I have ever finished a sentence with two question marks).  Because the quote is not a question, but the entire sentence is.  If the ? goes inside the quotes it looks like I am asking “Man, I need a vacation?”  But if I put it outside the quotes, then that just looks weird.>>


Filed under Personal Reflection


I try not to talk about sports too much in my sermons.  While I believe that the world of sports is rich with metaphors that can be applied to life in general and theology in particular, I know that the overuse of sports metaphors can alienate a significant portion of any congregation.  Here however, I was up front about the fact that I am going to write about sports.

As I type, I am watching the Phillies play the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLCS.  The Phillies are down 0-1, and my emotions are going up and down with every pitch.  I have said many times that I am going to die watching a game because at some point my heart just won’t be able to take it. 

I planned on waxing poetic about the beauty of baseball and the pure joy and exhiliration of watching my favorite team in October.  The problem is, I find myself much too distracted.  I pour myself into these games so completely, it is difficult to concentrate on anything else.  So I am going to have to cut this blog short, because the Dodgers have a man on and Manny is up to bat and I just can’t take the suspense.

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On Saturday my wife and I went back to our alma mater for the wonderful event that is Homecoming.  It was a sunny fall day, a little warmer than we expected.  Our football team lost a heartbreaker to a disliked (but not bitterly hated) rival, and during the game we talked with several of my fraternity brothers who were back for their 10th reunion.

Whenever I meet an old friend who didn’t know that I was a pastor, I always hold my breath for a moment before I tell them.  I anxiously await the small-talk to progress because, “What do you do?” is always among the first three or four questions in a conversation such as this.  I’m not sure why I have anxiety about telling an old friend what I do for a living.  Perhaps it is because they just know too much.

“I’m an accountant for Bork Bork Inc. in Chicago,” says Fraternity Brother A.  “What do you do now? Are you still doing the sportswriting?”

“No, I’m a pastor of a small United Methodist Church in Chenoa.”

At this point I fear a mainly two different responses:

  • “Oh, that’s cool. So uh… Oh, there’s Fraternity Brother B, I’m going to go say hi.”
  • “Really? You’re a pastor? Didn’t you pass out in my bathtub once?”

I think most of my fear comes from the absurd mental juxtaposition of me as fraternity brother, passed out in someone’s bathtub, and me as pastor, baptizing someone’s baby.  But I know that’s not entirely fair.  We all have pasts.  Pastor or not, everyone has moments of which we aren’t particularly proud.  I know though, that I am not imagining all of the uncomfortableness.

Most people get very antsy when religion is suddenly thrust into the conversation.  It’s not that they aren’t good people, or religious, or even Christian.  It’s just that they were not expecting religion to come at them while talking in the end zone during a football game.  Luckily, Facebook has had the effect of dulling this blindside attack, but still, saying, “I’m a pastor,” is a little bit of a conversation killer.

People aren’t sure what that means.  It is one of the few jobs that has so much societal baggage attached to it.  I guess I could say, “I’m an abortion doctor,” and people would be slightly more uncomfortable (mental note for my own 10th reunion).  It is like people suddenly feel obligated to talk about their faith, which is uncomfortable for most people.  “Oh, my wife and I go to church pretty often.”  I’m not sure if they want me to give them some special blessing, or pull out some Communion bread or what.

As the initial uncomfortableness wore off (or was it just in my head because of my own fears and self-doubt), the religion stuff faded again.  We went back to a campus bar after the game, and I ordered a round of beers, and as we gathered around the golden elixir that was the focal point of so many of our gatherings in the past, the years seemed to fade away.  I wasn’t defined as “pastor” any more than my buddy was defined as “accountant.”  I was just Mac again.  I actually had a great conversation about the church and the struggles of being a new dad and a Pastor with a guy I hadn’t seen in ten years (who happens to be Jewish, and I’m not sure if that is significant).

We talked about old parties and new adventures.  And then the conversation drifted to a brother of ours who came out of the closet during his junior year because he wanted to take his boyfriend (who we all blindly believed was his cousin) to our formal.  Suddenly I remembered that I was a pastor again and said, “When he brought Jeremy to formal – without any backlash whatsoever – That was when I was the most proud of our fraternity.”

I was reminded again that I was a pastor at 9 p.m. on Saturday, when I knew I had to get going. I pulled out my favorite worn-out line, “Well, I have to work in the morning,” shook some hands, shared some hugs, and went home a few hours before I really wanted to, just when the stories were getting good.

The fact is, I certainly had many moments of which I am not proud during college.  There were things that I did and said and drank that were not highlights of my life.  But I would not change a thing.  I learned more from that group of guys than I did in four years in the classroom.  I learned about people in that house.  I learned about conflict.  The wealthy kid from the suburbs that felt entitled to everything, I knew him.  The farmer from southern Illinois with the chew in his cheek, he lived down the hall.  The pot-head wasting away on his couch, I hung out with him.  The alcoholic with anger issues, I worried about him.  The homosexual from a small town learning how to be “out,” I hugged him.  We all had stories.  We all had moments we weren’t proud of, but we learned how to live together.  We learned how to be men together.  And wouldn’t change a moment of it.  Even the night I spent in the bathtub.

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Three Oh One

That was the final motivation of why I am doing this.  Three Oh One.  As in 301.  As in 301 pounds.  As in, I went to the doctor yesterday, stepped on the scale, and the nurse had to push the big weight on the bottom all the way to the right, then nudge the little one on top over a bit.  Three hundred one pounds.  I’ve been pudgy my whole life except for about six months when I was 12 and grew about five inches.  My playing weight in high school was 235.  In college I was about 250.  But back then I was strong, not Swedish power-lifter strong, but pick up and carry a big TV or small fridge with no problem strong. 

Now though, I get winded when I climb my stairs, and my back gets sore after minimal strain.  Granted, I’m 31 years old, but that’s hardly old.  If I were an NBA player or an NFL quarterback I’d still be considered in my prime.

So yesterday I got up on the scale, with my belly making my pants to tight, and my neck making it impossible to button my shirt to put on a tie, and it screams at me THREE OH ONE.  I need to do something.  And this blog is going to be a part of it.  I feel as if keeping track of what I’m doing here gives me some added accountability.  I have no idea how many people are going to read this, but even if it is only Sarah (my wonderful and beautiful wife who loves me even though I look like I’m due in December), I know that keeping track of things here will give me added incentive. 

I’ve come up with a three step plan to become “Healthy Pastor.” 

  1. Stop eating bowls of cereal at 10 p.m. 
  2. Go to the gym everyday at 8 a.m. and work out.
  3. Keep track of it all here.

To that end, yesterday I worked out for the first time in years.  I walked/jogged .2 miles, and my heart rate was at 130 in a moment and my ankles screamed with pain.  I jumped rope in four sets of 50 and after each set I thought I was going to die.  I bench pressed 135 pounds (an amount I used to be able to do almost indefinately) in three sets: 10, 8, 6.  I also curled 25 pounds in three sets: 10, 10, 5.  I did tricep extensions of 70 pounds: 10, 10, 10.  And I did Lat pulls, 100 pounds: 10, 10, 8.  Only three years ago this workout would have been no trouble.  Yesterday I could barely lift my arms.

Today I went back to the gym and I walked/jogged .25 miles, did a a few sets of jumping rope, including one set of 100.  Then I leg pressed 200: 10, 10, 10.  Leg extensions of 100, 110, 110: 10, 10, 15.  Leg curls 60, 70, 80: 10, 10, 15. 

At the end of my workout I weighed 298.


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It’s two B’s

I have been thinking about starting a blog for quite awhile.  I have been putting it off for a few reasons.  For one, the whole idea of blogging seems a little self-absorbed.  Second, giving myself more to do isn’t a real attractive option either.

Yet here I am, tapping at my computer and carving out my own little space on the web.  It’s late, so I am not going to have a real long entry.  This blog is going to be about a few things.  From the title you can tell a couple of things:

  1. I am overweight, so hopefully this blog will detail my adventures in changing into “Healthy Pastor (that will live to see his daughter have a daughter);”
  2. I am a pastor, so this blog will also be about God, the Church, and other matters of theology. 

I have other interests, and I’m sure other things will come up.  I’ll share book and movie reviews, and a few other thoughts on topics that come to me.  I might steal an idea from a friend of mine and offer some top five lists every now and then.

I’m actually looking foward to this.  It might be more work for me, and it probably is a little self-indulgent, but that’s okay.  I realized today that I’m going to do this as much for me as anyone else (I’ll explain that more later).  If other people read what I have to say, that would be fun too.


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