I’ve been thinking…

For whatever reason, I’ve been doing a pretty good amount of thinking and reflecting lately.

Maybe it’s because I turn 40 next month. Maybe it’s because Thrive Church turns TWO on October 4th. Maybe it’s because my kids are becoming teenagers.

For whatever reason, I’ve just been in a pretty reflective state the past couple of weeks.

I’ve been thinking about August. We’re not even done with it yet and for Thrive Church, it’s been one of our best months ever! Not so much when it comes to some of the data that churches track. Our attendance hasn’t been off the charts (except for our baptism Sunday!!) or either has our giving. But, when it comes to impact. Wow! 

  • We kicked off a 31 Day Prayer Walk and it’s been so awesome to see people post photo’s from the their prayer walks online.
  • We kicked off a series called ‘I love my Church‘ and I think it’s been one of our best series yet!
  • We baptized 63 people!
  • Facebook literally blew up for several days and thousands of people looked at the photo’s that were posted online.
  • Our One Youth interns have been posting update videos and their second video ever had more than 700 views!
  • We hosted a night at the HUB where my friend Dr. Tom Rundel from Liminal Leadership taught on the Gospel and it was just stupendous. Plus, he poured into our staff and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room!
  • Today, our Church leaves the building and serves schools all over the place! Yeah, we cancelled our experiences to do this! It’s kind of nuts! The worrier in me wonders if people will come back next week! Hah! But, this is going to be AMAZING!
  • This Wednesday we have our Volunteer kick off or Vollapalooza as we call it and we’re making and making huge steps towards training and encouraging our volunteers.
  • Then, on Saturday, we send out teams of Thrivers to pass out waters to a concert in downtown Mt Pleasant. And at the same time, a group of Thrivers are going to be passing out frisbees and other fun stuff at MainStage, an event that welcomes CMU students.
  • And finally, we finish our ‘I love my Church’ series on August 30th! If that wasn’t enough, we introduce and pray over Thrive’s new Elders! Plus we’ll watch our baptism highlight video! Whew!

What a month! 

Needless to say, in my humble opinion, Thrive’s impact this month has been Off the Charts! We’ve been a little too busy for my liking, but I’m praying like crazy that all of this momentum is setting us up for a truly tremendous fall launch!

I’ve been thinking about turning 40. I looked forward to turning 30 and welcomed it. I don’t have a crazy aversion to turning 40 and my world doesn’t seem to be falling a part. Am I where I want to be? No. Do I get stuck in the rut on ‘what if I would have done things differently’? Sure. But, I’m excited to turn 40. I’m excited to welcome my 40’s and finally make some of the changes that I’ve known for a long time need to happen.

I’ve been thinking about my kids. We have a 10th, 8th, 6th and 2nd grader. I just can’t figure out when that happened. It really does seem like yesterday that they were toddlers and we were filling up strollers and wagons. Don’t get me wrong, I love this age. But, wow, we’ll blink and they will be done with high school.

I’ve been thinking about Jesus. Gosh, I just want to know Him more. I want people to see Him in my life. I want to spend great amount of time with Him. I want to be hungry for the ways of God. I want to be covered in the dust of my rabbi.

I’ve been thinking about the future of Thrive. We’re just turning TWO. We’ve accomplished so much and yet, I believe with ever ounce of my being that the best is yet to come! We have some giant goals this next year for Thrive and I can’t wait to lay them out in September during our REACH series!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. I’ve been reflecting. I’ve been talking to Jesus about it all. I don’t have many answers. I actually have more questions. But, I’m just trusting. Just reflecting.

The battle I can’t seem to win

I’m a fighter. I think the people who know me best would say that I’m a fighter. Of course, I’m a lover. But, I’m talking about fighting through struggles and the hardships of life.

I believe I’ve always been a fighter. I’ve always tried to walk towards the fight. I’ve tired to not turn tail and run. Yes, are there conflicts I walked away from? Yes. Not proud of that.

But, I hope it’s true that I’m a fighter.

The battle I can’t seem to win

But, there is one area of my life that I just can’t seem to get any traction, get any footing on and I just can’t win. I’ve battled this fight for most of my life.

It’s my health.

Plain and simple, I’m struggling to get healthy. To be healthy. To live in a healthy way. I’m obese. I’m overweight and it affects everything. My well being. My leadership. My self image.

I’ve listened and read everything. I’ve tried and tried. And, I have a new group of people in my life who are holding me accountable. But, wow, this is a battle that is almost to hard to win.

2012 was a pretty horrible year for me personally. That’s kind of an understatement. The year sucked! I left a job sooner than I anticipated and attempted to start a non profit. We had no money. In the stress of leaving and starting, I was stressed, anxious and mad. So, I worked out. I fought through my back pain and in literally no time, I was down 50 pounds. I felt amazing. I felt confident. I felt awake. I felt alive.

Then, the weight slowly came back. 

In the fall of 2013, I made great changes to my life and again, 40 pounds fell off. Again, I felt great.

Then I started a church and I experienced the most amount of stress I’ve ever experienced. As soon as I started the church, my back went from the normal pain I’ve been experiencing for years to a def con 5 kind of pain.

Living with P A I N Sucks. 

Everyday. Most moments of the day. Most movements have caused pain. In Jan. 2014 I had back surgery. I was praying I would rebound quick. I didn’t. I moved slow. The pain was just too much. I fell deep into a hole. In the midst of living with excruciating pain and then not being able to do all the things I love…playing catch with my kids, going on walks…I gained weight like it was a hobby.

At the start of 2015 I was killing it. Eating the way I know I’m suppose too. Working out 4 days a week. I still couldn’t run or do any time of physical movements (jumping jacks, jump rope), but I could use the Elliptical and swim. And, it was going well.

Then, in mid February I made the stupid decision to play racket ball with a few friends. I paid the next 2 months for that.

I’ve gotten use to not bending. I don’t pick up anything that’s on the floor.

But, I have found a great chiropractor and my back is getting stronger and better everyday. I still wake up with great pain every day. But, with a massive amount of stretching and walking, it’s so MUCH better.

 

Getting out of the hole

 

Have you ever been so far in the hole that you give up hope that there’s anyway out?

That’s the land I live in with my weight.

I know better, that’s the deal. I have read so many books and articles on health. I know I should eat more salads. I know I should stop drinking pop. I know leaders take care of their bodies. I know I’m an awful example to my kids and to my wife and to my church and to my friends.

I know.

But with the pain and with the stress of starting a church and the stress of our own family stuff, I’ve fallen deeper and deeper into the hole.

It’s half way through 2015. I turn 40 September 22.

That’s enough to give me the kick in the pants I need.

So, here goes. I’m going to fight this! I’m going to give it my all.

Would love your prayers!

Ever wonder if anything good can come from your failure?

Today we finish our #FAIL series at Thrive Churchfail

I have loved this series! Like…absolutely LOVED this series!

Talking about failure is one of my passion areas!

In week one we looked at how our worst days don’t define us.

Week two was learning that God’s grace is bigger than our biggest failures.

And today, well today is the big daddy!

Can BEAUTY can from PAIN? 

Yeah, that’s a tough one. But, believe it or not, God has something pretty amazing for you even in the midst of pain.

So, come to Thrive Church today. Head to Celebration Cinema at either 9 or 1015 and let’s finish this series together!!