Your Big But

17 Jan

At dinner tonight our friends were talking about how their church is going through a series about making the most of 2012 and how everyone has their “buts.”  People are constantly waiting for ideal circumstances.

-“I would work out too, BUT I don’t have the time.”

-“I would be doing better at work, BUT my co-workers slow me down.”

-“I would work on my blog, BUT my wife’s blog has more hits than me, what’s the point?”

-“I would stop eating Nutella all the time, BUT it makes me feel better about myself”

(Okay, that last two are really me.)

Your success isn’t dictated by others and if you are waiting for the perfect time and perfect circumstances to start trying to do more with yourself, than you will never start.  You may even ask yourself “Why haven’t I started already?”  It’s because you put YOUR BIG BUT in your way. (Ok, now it’s just fun to say)

I don’t stand here in my ivory tower to tell you I have it figured it out, but I stand here as someone who has seen God’s blessings cascading over everything they do.  You have heard the cliche – “Every moment is a gift.”  Take away the cheesy cards and videos you have seen it on and REALLY think about it.

All of the “buts” in your life aren’t walls, they are obstacles.  They aren’t whats really keeping you from getting better and accomplishing what you want.  They are excuses.  In a faith aspect, I was a Christian.  I believed in God, but I wasn’t living up to the potential that God sees in me.  The person that he knows I can be.  Are you?

15 Jan

Honored and humbled by my wifes kind words.

Living Proverbs 31

Her husband is known at the gates where he sits with the elders of the land. Proverbs 31:23

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I loved everything about yesterday morning, especially cuddling/snuggling/fighting for space on the couch with these three fine gentlemen. Right before I snapped this picture, The Flash said to Rowdy, “It’s okay, little fella, I’ve got you.”

I think that really speaks to the kind of father Matt is to The Flash & Ariel. He’s the kind of Daddy who says, “Come here, buddy. Sit with me. You’re safe, you’re warm. I’ve got you.”

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I’m Gonna Uke Out

14 Jan

I recently purchased a ukulele.  By recently, I mean last night.  By purchase, I mean bought with Christmas money.  I wanted one for several reasons.

1. IT’S A UKULELE.

2. It was part of my moving forward plan (in my mind sometimes referred to as “Don’t Be A Gob”)

3. We had me on guitar and my friend Lauren on flute Christmas Eve day and it got me thinking what other uncommon instruments I could use on stage.

I was worried because it has different chords than a guitar, but from the moment I picked it up, it’s like it BELONGED in my hands.  It was awkward to get used to because the frets are SO close together but once I got used to it, I couldn’t put it down.  Everything sounds cooler coming out of ukulele.

Observe:

 

Over the next few weeks I will list my goals for this year.  If you couldn’t guess already, one of them is Learn A New Instrument.  I can scratch that one of the list.  Plus I am going to be part of something SUPER awesome next month and when I can share more I will, but be prepared.

Also this is too cute NOT to share.

 

So is this:

If you haven’t had a chance to read my wife’s blog, now is the time. But be aware, there is no uke playing over there….YET.

Arrested Development

12 Jan

Me and my wife don’t just watch television. We dive in full throttle.  If we decide to watch an episode of Seinfeld than that usually means for the foreseeable future we will be watching it EVERY NIGHT till we see every episode.  Don’t get me wrong, we love this about ourselves.  We are currently doing that with Arrested Development, which is my favorite show of all time.  (Still in the running: Community.  Honorable Mentions: Seinfeld, How I Met Your Mother, UK Version of The Office {Yeah, I’m that guy})

Re-Watching the show is hilariously awesome.  And to the people who love it and get it, it’s impossible not to remind them of the funny things you laughed at together while watching the show.

Observe:

Watching it though has reminded me of a hard truth.  After getting married and then having kids our lives had started to be in Arrested Development (Not that I was a magician thrown out of the alliance), we were stuck into a certain way of being.  We were living, but not thriving.  Some of this was us in time of transition with me changing careers, some of this was us having kids and being a growing family, but a lot of it was me.  I had become complacent and satisfied.  I had no goals or aspirations beyond  what I needed to accomplish day to day.  I thought “this” is all their is.  I was holding Carrie back.

Starting at a new church became a time of renewal for me.  I sat back and analyzed what I had become.  We started on a weight loss journey together, a budget system that worked for our family, and a re-organizing/re-structuring of our lives.  There are still a lot of areas that need to be worked out, but to look back at our lives 6 months ago to now you wouldn’t know we are the same family.

I am not worried about what needs to be fixed because I know that we are committed to become better.  To growing. Thriving.  We are in a constant state of re-evaluation.  Why do something that doesn’t work?

I challenge you to do the same and see if you have become complacent.  Your dreams will never be realized until you start succeeding at what’s right in front of you.

But be careful not to touch the cornballer.

Weight Loss Wednesday

11 Jan

As I have mentioned in the About Me section, my wife started a blog.  She decided, TOTALLY her idea, for us to do a joint blog weekly about our weight loss or as she calls it Weight Loss Wednesday’s.

Quick back story:

Last year at this time I weighed 60lbs more than I do now.  I was in the mindset that 280lbs was what I was going to weigh forever.  I had trouble buying clothes because I was large and short all at the same time.  I hated buying them and never felt comfortable with how I looked.  Then in June, Carrie started Body By Vi and her weight started falling off.  I already felt like I playing out of my league before the weight loss and I was concerned I would be the really fat guy with the hot wife.  So I started in August on my journey that I am still continuing to this day.

I talked a little about falling in love with biking, but over the next Wednesdayssssssss or so, we will talk about what we have been doing and what kind of things have been successful for us.

Let Me Grab My Bike

10 Jan

This past year me and my lovely wife became avid bikers. I mean she biked before from time to time and I hadn’t biked since the great crash of 2005 (Ok, I fell hard trying to pop a wheely, lesson learned), but over the summer we fell in love.  We started to fall in love with everything bike related. I bought a hat with a bike symbol on it, our ornament for the year was a bike, it was the year of the bikes.  We also purchased Rickshaw Bags.  Let me tell you, Best. Decision. Ever. They have taken everything that was wrong with previous bags I have owned and fixed it.  We also won a free bag from a contest the had.  Exhibit A:

When they annouced they were having a contest I told my wife there was no way we could JUST make a dancing video, it had to be more than that. We had to tell a story, I told her there needed to be a visual narrative (she might have rolled her eyes at that comment). Lucikly, we got enough likes to win and everyone was happy. However, because we loved Rickshaws so much we thought we would make another video just for fun.  Exhibit B:

I wish I could say this post has a point other than to talk about how awesome Rickshaw Bags are, but that would be a lie.  I carry mine with me wherever I go, even if it’s just running to the store just to get some milk. Scratch that, ESPECIALLY when I go to the store just to get some milk.

I slay dragons.

8 Jan

Every once in a while a game comes a long and grabs my attentions.  I have always enjoy videos games, but since getting married and then especially after we had kids, it has become increasingly less likely for me to play them.  However, I have become obsessed with a game recently.  I have sacrificed nap times, late nights, and convinced my wife (which wasn’t very hard) to let me play this game.

 

This. Is. Skyrim.

 

 

 

It’s the type of game that actually get’s better as you play it.  It seeps into everything I do. I have find myself looking for potions at gas stations, looking overhead for dragons while driving, and ….okay it’s not that bad, but my addition is fierce.  There is so much to do! I haven’t had a game hold my interest quite like this since Halo and before that, the best RPG of all time….CHRONO TRIGGER.

 

Behold.

 

 

 

Maybe one day Skyrim will be the kind of game I can play on my iPhone. I can only hope.

Faith In A Box

6 Jan

I recently stumbled across an ad for my-faithbook.com.  This, and not to get snarky, blatant facebook ripoffs goal is to connect believers with believers, church members with church members, where they can get the support they need. I think it is a grand and noble goal that most assuredly will not succeed. For several reasons, mainly the “style” of the website seems very generic.  Influential Christians will take one look at it and write it off right away.  My wife instantly said “It further perpetuates the myth that Christianity is only for the lame.”

By the way you can read her blog here.

My plan isn’t to rip down someones “faith” effort, but in a larger context why would we want to put our faith in a box away from other believers and more importantly non-believers.  Isn’t facebook the perfect venue to be examples of our faith?  Facebook can be just as much a negative as it is a positive, but I think it is what you make of it.

As created beings from the ultimate Creator we shouldn’t be picking up the scraps of the secular world.  As seen so often in Christian music, “They are like this ‘MEGA POPULAR SECULAR BAND’ only Christian. (Note: Christian is said with too much perky enthusiasm)”   We need to be on the forefront of creativity.  I don’t want a watered down version of an awesome band.  I don’t want Diet Coldplay. I want to listen to Coldplay.

Soapbox aside there are several groups that are creating music that is art and not regurgitated sound, some of them being:

Gungor

Seryn

Josh Garrels

What examples do you have of Christians that are on the forefront of creativity?

What’s Wrong With Pew?

5 Jan

I have led worship with a variety of seating choices, including the floor itself, however I still think pews often cause the most “traffic.” It seems like our members have the same seats that usually sit in, which are often on the edges, which means new people have to cross in front of people to get to their seats.  And I know this seems like a minor inconvenience, but for a first time church goer it’s awkward to have to say “Excuse me, person who is obviously more experienced than me, would you mind letting me cross in front of you while you sing a song I don’t know.” More over, people don’t know the acceptable “buffer” space between each other.  With chairs, the measurement is easily calculated. Space+Other People=One Chair.  Without a defined space people get confused and there are huge unneeded gaps and awkward closeness.

It may be a small issue, but we can either help or hinder worship and I think that it can be distracting for people and be a hinderance into entering worship 100%. Do you have seating issues at your church?