100th post

I don’t know in the blog world if there is a threshold that you pass through when you get to your 100th post. Granted about 1/3 of my posts were put in here from journals that I kept but those thoughts were private but now shared with the world. Or as I like to call now my “dark days” — I am sure at some point on my junior year of college I was in some sort of depressed state but I never admitted to it. Perhaps I was in one on and off throughout my time at Luther. who knows? All I know is that I am at a better place now which is good.

Back update– My back is feeling better which is good. It is not 100% and I have my moments when I feel like I am going to collaps or like last night after I read Logan his bedtime stories….I was lying on our bed and then when I went to bring him to his bed I could not move. I had to have Katie come and help me up. But overall it is okay.
I went to the doctor’s on Monday and I was sent for xrays and from that I was told that the spacing in my lower back are closing in. This can be helped by losing weight and doing physical therapy. As most of you know I am trying to lose weight and I start physical therapy next week. The biggest issue is finding a place where my crappy seminary insurance doesn’t pay for much so we will see what I can do and how long I can do it for.

Cinch update- I can say with certainity that I have been doing good on Cinch so far. I am eating what I need to be eating and I am not cheating. The only two obsticles I have found is night time eating and taking my 3 in one boost. I am not good about remembering to taking my cinch vitamin for breakfast and lunch. I take all my vitamins at dinner time and I can remember that, so that’s were I am with that.

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I would like to end with a brief outline of my baptismal and church unity quiz. We had to write about John the baptist and his role in the formation of Jesus’ ministry. It was 45 min of typing which was good, but not finished work. I was happy with how it came out.

In the opening verses of Mark we read about a proclamation from the prophet Isaiah about the coming of Jesus. As we know from scripture Jesus is the New Adam – the one who is coming to us to cleanse the sins of the world. This proclamation is not only found in Scripture but we are introduced to John the Baptist, who is also proclaiming “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”(Mark 1: 4) John the Baptist was making a name for himself and people from all around Judea were coming to see him and hear what he has to say. We read in the Gospel of Mark that John started to talk about the difference between him and the one who is to come (Jesus). While John baptized people with water, Jesus will baptize them with the Holy Spirit. While people were elated about this news, the coming of the promised Messiah, early Christians find this news disturbing. This news raised questions by early Christians. The ministry of Jesus was originally connected with the preaching and baptism of John. Does this news negate all that John had done? Is Jesus a replacement for John? Of course we know the answer to that, Jesus is the Son of God but what does Jesus’ baptism say about the ministry of John?
What intrigues me is the interaction (or lack thereof) between Jesus and John. In the Gospel of Mark there is no interaction told between Jesus and John. We read about John and what he has done and what he is doing. Then we jump right into the actual baptism of Jesus. The next thing we read about is Jesus going into the Wilderness where Satan tempts him. Was this to show the power of baptism in our lives? Whatever happened between Jesus and John? I would think that Jesus would have been grateful for the gift that John has given him. Perhaps he was but from Marks point of view we are not sure.
We get a little more interaction between Jesus and John in the Gospel of Matthew. It seems that Jesus knew the hesitation that John would have had baptizing him so Jesus said to John “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.”(Matthew 3: 15) Jesus knew he had to be baptized by someone and he knew it had to be John. Later in Matthew, when Jesus is giving the “great commission” we find the Trinitarian formula (granted the church could of put this in at a later date but that’s another essay). Jesus tells his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Here baptism is seen as a process, something that we are all to go through. Jesus uses this Trinitarian formula for the first and only time. When Jesus talks about all nations he is opening up the world to see baptism and faith in general beyond the walls of Jew and Gentile. Jesus is inclusive in his message to men and women, children and adults, old and young. This is a new beginning and a new commitment to faith.
In Luke John links the baptism of Jesus with the coming of the Kingdom of God. John’s baptism is a rite of moral purification designed to prepare those submitting to it for the approaching kingdom of God. This is different than the other Gospels. We can see Luke’s focus on the poor coming out in what John was preaching. He was emphasizing the need for repentance and this was shown by how we treat the poor.
In Luke chapter 12 verse 50 and following we see that Jesus is talking about baptism in a different way. We see that Jesus is angry in this section and he talks about baptism in dividing families and that the pure are left behind. At this point in the Gospels Jesus knows what he is facing and he is talking about a new baptism – a baptism on the cross of Calvary. This is where the complete cleansing comes; this is where Jesus is asking for a total commitment, this is a new beginning for everyone.
In the Gospel of John we see more of a disconnect between John and Jesus. We clearly see in verses 30 and following in chapter one that John is talking about the baptism and how important it was and then the next thing we know, John’s Disciples left John and became the inner circle of Jesus. This brought disconnect between the two and even perhaps started a “rivalry” between John and Jesus. In the other gospels, we have water, which is from John and the spirit with Jesus. But in chapter 3 verse 5 we have water and spirit that is directly associated with Jesus’ teaching. We have a major shift or emphasis towards Jesus, and nothing about John baptizing. When we read about Jesus baptizing the disciples we see that this is different than the other Gospels because they are not in the river Jordan and there is no mention of the trinity or really any information to give us a closer view of what was happening.
The biggest element for me when looking at John’s baptism and the baptism of Jesus is how all of this culminates to the cross and especially communion. If through baptism we are lead by the Holy Spirit to Christ we are one in the church. The communion that is the church can be described as a communion in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit given within baptism. It almost seems like we cannot have one (baptism or Communion) without the other. The biggest symbol of this found in the Gospel of John is in verse 34 of chapter 19 when the soldier came up to Jesus and pierced his side with the spear and blood and water poured out of Jesus. Blood and water – the elements used in baptism and communion. One might think that they are found in the human body but for this detail from the writer of John is used because of the sacramental symbolism.
We have lots of scripture to use when we talk about baptism in the church. I only hope that as a united church we can use this scripture not to divide us but to unite us in one baptism through Jesus Christ. Perhaps one day we can see the significance of a united church with a total commitment to proclaiming the Gospel, we can see a cleansing of the church between our indifferences and we can start from a new beginning united in the love of God and we can work together for the greatness of the world.
Amen.

Pain in my back

For the last few weeks I have had a major pain in my lower back. It happens every six months or so. The last time it happened was last november. I remember because it was during the Luther Bowl. I played anyway but I was useless because I was in a lot of pain. I went all out with Physical therapy and basically I was told that I had to wait it out before it got better.

Now it has been two weeks and my back really hurts. I got up this morning and I could barely walk. I finally broke down and I called the doctor and I am going to see them in a little bit. I don’t know what will happen. I will most likely go to the hospital and get xrays. It just makes me fusterated becuase I have plans for the day. I have things that I need to get done but I can’t because I have to go to the doctors now and then perhaps the hospital.

I guess this is a good lesson on self care. I don’t know if it would of made a difference or not if I did this whole thing earlier or if I should not worry about class and choir and all the other things that I need to do today and I should worry about myself.

In other news the Patriots once again beat the Bills yesterday hands down. It was a great game (from what I hear) and I am excited that they are doing so well. They have scored 38 points in their first three games. Brady and Moss have connected on over 100 yards a game. If they keep this up they both will be running for MVP for this season. I know it is too early to tell but I can see it going that way.

An international sting operation broke this weekend called Raw Deal. It has to do with steroids. I guess there are ten countries involved with this operation and it was an undercover operation from the DEA. The main drugs taken in this operation were
Anabolic steroids
• Human growth hormone
• Human chorionic gonadotropin: used to stimulate natural production of testosterone
• Insulin growth factor 1: A protein that enhances muscle growth

There are going to be a lot of names named from this scandel. If I was a professional athlete I would come clean before I was a name on a list. It is better to do this now then to feel the wrath of what will happen once this comes down. The amount of drugs they took was crazy and I am sure this is just the start of it. I guess we will find out later today what happened and who was a part of it.

Keep me in your prayers today for my back. I just pray that it is nothing serious.

My Weight Loss Journey

I have realized alot of things the past year or so. One of the things I have realized is that I am addicted to food. Yes, that is hard to admit and to post on a blog, but it is true. The reason that I post this is that I feel I need to come to terms with it in order for me to move beyond this and to get healthy. As most of you might know I am in love with a company called Shaklee. We use their cleaning products because they work and they are all non-toxic and they are friendly for the environment. We take their vitamins and they help keep us healthy and we don’t have as many colds. We even (thanks to my parents) have an air purification system in our apartment. The kids had this cough for weeks and once we put that in their coughs went away, there is no more dust particles in the air and Logan’s Asthma is much better. However, the one thing that I have struggled with is Shaklee’s weight loss “system”. works for so many people including my family but I have not had long-term success. I have lost inches but because of this addiction I have not been able to maintain the success. But I have decided that I need to change and that I need to live a healthy life style. So I am back on it.

I started this morning with a shake and a banana. I had a power bar for a morning snack and now I am about to have a shake for lunch. One of the things that I need to do for myself is to have a weeks worth of a menu so I know what I am going to eat when. If I walk into the kitchen without a plan the next thing I know I am cooking up a storm and it is stuff that I should not be eating.

I will post the menu that I am eating under writings. I will also keep specific updates on this Shaklee blog. So bookmark this blog and keep track of how things are going.

I would love to get a weight loss group started. A support group committed to living healthy lives and getting fit together and supporting one another through the process. Let me know if you want to do that.

Well I am off to make another shake. I am glad that they taste good and they actually fill me up!
My Cinch Meal Plan

Cinch the third time

I have realized alot of things the past year or so. One of the things I have realized is that I am addicted to food. Yes, that is hard to admit and to post on a blog, but it is true. The reason that I post this is that I feel I need to come to terms with it in order for me to move beyond this and to get healthy. As most of you might know I am in love with a company called Shaklee. We use their cleaning products because they work and they are all non-toxic and they are friendly for the environment. We take their vitamins and they help keep us healthy and we don’t have as many colds. We even (thanks to my parents) have an air purification system in our apartment from Shaklee. The kids had this cough for weeks and once we put that in their coughs went away, there is no more dust particles in the air and Logan’s Asthma is much better. However, the one thing that I have struggled with is Shaklee’s weight loss “system”. Cinch (the weight loss system) works for so many people including my family but I have not had long-term success. I have lost inches but because of this addiction I have not been able to maintain the success. But I have decided that I need to change and that I need to live a healthy life style. So I am back on it.

I started this morning with a shake and a banana. I had a Cinch bar for a morning snack and now I am about to have a shake for lunch. One of the things that I need to do for myself is to have a weeks worth of a menu so I know what I am going to eat when. If I walk into the kitchen without a plan the next thing I know I am cooking up a storm and it is stuff that I should not be eating.

I will post the menu that I am eating under writings. I will also keep specific updates on my Shaklee blog. I will post some of the highlights on this blog from time to time.

I would love to get a Cinch group started. A support group committed to living healthy lives and getting fit together and supporting one another through the process. Let me know if you want to do that.

Well I am off to make another shake. I am glad that they taste good and they actually fill me up!
My Cinch Meal Plan

Number 756

Sorry for all the sports talk for those of you who are not as interested in sports say vs. theology but it is one of my great interests. I think what is happening with Barry Bonds 756 homerun ball is kinda sad. Barry has not been convicted in the court or the senate or wherever it is right now….so why are we trying to tarnish his image? Has he admitted to using steroids? Have the Giants told him that he is no longer allowed to play? Pete Rose was convited of betting on baseball and he was kicked out forever!?!? But not Barry…..do I personally think he used? I am sure he did, but until he is convicted I don’t think that a piece of history (the ball) should be cast aside.

At the top thre is a banner to vote on what should happen with the homerun recording breaking ball. I personally think it should be in Cooperstown, but I guess when you spend shy of $800,000.00 for a ball you can do with what you want.

But my personal opinion is please don’t mess with history, don’t take your personal opinion about Barry Bonds and ruin something special. I think in a few years we may have a new homerun kind (A-Rod perhaps?) but for now charish this special event.

Cheating

I can’t keep my silence any longer. Given that football is my favorite sport and that the Patriots are my favorite team I can’t keep my silence about the events that happened the past week.
For those of you who do not follow sports – A week ago Sunday when the Patriots were playing the New York Jets, one of the security officers caught an employee for the New England Patriots video taping on of the defensive coaches giving hand signals to the players. His goal was to capture this video for further review so in future competitions between the two teams the Patriots would know the hand signals and know what the defense would be. This would give them a competitive advantage.

Roger Goodel reviewed the tape and a fine was given to Bill Belichick ($500,000.00) the New England Patriots ($250,000.00) and they lose a first round draft pick.

Given all of this for a tape that is pretty harsh and there have been mixed reviews about it. I don’t know about you but all this for a tape? Now this would be considered cheating, and that is wrong, so I am not saying they should not be punished but in this case I believe the punishment deserves the crime.

Now, after this came out there have been “reports” that the Packers and the Lions caught the Patriots doing this last year and they did not do anything about it. There are people saying that the Patriots have done this and have done that and that there should be an * next to the Super Bowl wins!!! That is CRAZY!!!! Now I have lost some faith in the team because of all of this. I have seen the Patriots the last few years at the best team in the league no matter what their record. They have been able to take “troubled” players and they have been able to “rehab” their careers. They have had more wins in the last 5 or 6 years than any other team. They use their salary cap wisely so they can have a big year getting all these high-class free agents. But now this kind of changes everything. There is a little doubt deep within side me that maybe they have won a few games here and there because of the taping, but nothing I would admit in person.

I think though if they had the number on different teams, why would they be up more than 20 points in last years AFC championship game and then lose it? I believe you can have all the right calls and you can make the right predictions but you need the players to pull it off. That’s what I believe separates the Patriots from other teams. I am 100% positive that the players had no idea this was going on, so why punish them? It is their coach who screwed up and he is getting punished from it. Why punish the whole team by suspending him or making the team lose the game?

This trickles down for me to my own life and what I am teaching my son. He is just starting to learn how to play games. There is a part of me who wants to sick by the rules so he learns what is fair and what is not fair. But when we play goldfish he does not care if we keep going until we run out of card because then “WE BOTH WIN” Am I teaching him wrong? Should I stick by the rules? Or is it better at this point to just play the game and have fun with him? In the long run will one damage him and the other make him shine? I really don’t know to be honest.