Friday, March 29, 2013

Penny at Nana's

Showing Aunt Steph some lovin' ...

Penny watching The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh with great joy ...

Cooper and Penny playing with the mats we bought for the playroom. Do we even need to pen the packages? ...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jeff's March Madness Challenge Sweet 16 Standings

Standings going into the Sweet 16 tonight:

1. 46 - Ihavenoidea/Jorge R - Michigan St., Ohio St., Georgetown, Miami-Fla (Miami over Michigan St.)

2. 44 - carol's picks (Carol H.) - Louisville, Wisconsin, Michigan, Syracuse (Louisville over Syracuse)

3. 44 - Shari's Union Alum Bracket - Louisville, Ohio St., Kansas, Miami-Fla. (Miami over Ohio St.)

4. 43 - Jeff's Got Tiger Fever! - Louisville, Ohio St., Kansas, Indiana (Louisville over Indiana)

5. 41 - Hoop City (Sydney G.) - Louisville, Ohio St., Kansas, Indiana (Indiana over Louisville)

6. 39 - Valtool's clueless guesses (Michael C.) - Louisville, Kansas St., Georgetown, Miami-Fla. (Louisville over Miami)

7. 38 - Rann is the Man! - Louisville, New Mexico, Kansas, Indiana (Indiana over Louisville)

7. 38 - Kevin's Bracket (Kevin Hinton) - Louisville, Ohio St., Florida, Miami-Fla. (Florida over Ohio St.)

7. 38 - TiredMommy (Valerie Rushing) - Louisville, Ohio St., Kansas, Miami-Fla. (Louisville over Miami)

10. 37 - BigBelew (Cody B.) - Louisville, New Mexico, Kansas, Miami-Fla. (Louisville over Miami)

10. 37 - Cheryl's Picks - Louisville, Ohio St., Georgetown, Indiana (Louisville over Indiana)

12. 36 - Bang Biscuit Bracket (Erin M.) - Memphis, Gonzaga, Florida, Miami-Fla. (Gonzaga over Florida)

13. 27 - Bruins Commodores Bears oh my! (Scott R.) - St. Louis, Gonzaga, Georgetown, Indiana (Gonzaga over Georgetown)

Penny's peekaboo, Cooper's bubbles

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cooper and Penny at the church Easter egg hunt, pt. 1

It was very wet outside so we had to do our hunt in the gym this year, so there weren't as many kids but still plenty of eggs!

The Big Ocho

Woo-Hoo! Much better times on the scale this morning than last week! Through plenty of exercise, eating better and a strict potty regimen, I lost eight pounds! Start date - 2/11/13 Start weight - 396 Weight last week - 385 Weight this week, March 25 - 377 Weight loss this week - 8 Weight loss since start - 19 Ultimate Goal - 225 I'll have to be good food-wise for the work-week, because this Friday night and Saturday morning Val's mom will have both the kiddies, so we are sure to go to a couple of our favorite restaurants and eat something very delicious and probably not low in calories or fat!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring cleaning note: One day I am going to stop at someone's house where they are drying laundry on a clothesline. That way I can figure out what it really smells like and if it's like the can of air freshener in the bathroom.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Join my March Madness Challenge!

It's that time of year, my annual challenge! March Madness, baby, yeah! Come join the group! If you think you don't know anything about the teams, so what? Pick your favorite colors, places, go alphabetical, whatever! Guess what? 90 percent of the rest of us don't know, either! Click here to join and make your bracket!

Monday, March 18, 2013

When I Doubt My Parenting Skills

My latest contribution to GodlyDaddy.com ...

There are many, many, way too many times I realize I might not be the best father in the world …

- When my prayers at the end of the day ask for patience. And gentleness. And self-control …

- When Penny desperately wants to drink from the sippy cup that has been lying on the floor all day, and I give in, sighing, “I don’t even know what’s in here.”

- Similarly, when I let Penny down from her high chair and she grabs a handful of food off the floor that she dropped 15 minutes ago, and I don’t even make a move to stop her from eating it.

- When Cooper asks me to play with him in his room and I reply, “In a few minutes. First I have to check my Facebook messages.”

- When Penny is climbing the baker’s rack and my first thought is, “If she pulls that over those canisters on the shelf might break.”

- When I was writing the above, Darling Valerie comes in and removes a small piece from a toy castle that Penny had full in her mouth.

- When the last words I say to Cooper at night are, “Get in bed, stay in bed and if you get up to go the bedroom one more time I will take away every monster truck for a week.”

- When we get ready Sunday mornings and I at some point have to say, “We’re going to church and that’s that!”

- When I am at a place with other kids who are doing more advanced things and I say, “Why can’t our kid(s) do that?”

- When dinner takes an hour-and-a-half because Cooper isn’t getting down until he eats that last chicken nugget, for goodness’ sake.

Thankfully, God doesn’t expect us to be perfect or he wouldn’t have sent his Son to die on the cross for our constant sinning.

If I was perfect then I would be God, and nobody wants that.

When GodlyDaddy.com founder Steve Childress posted the mission statement he wrote that “There is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ father, except our Heavenly Father who is perfect in every way. Fathers carry an amazing responsibility in their home, their places of work, and most importantly, the responsibility to be the spiritual leader to their wives and children. They do this knowing that they will never reach perfection.”

Paul writes in Ephesians 2:8-9 that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

It is by grace that we raise our own children, as well. We love them unconditionally, so not cleaning their room isn’t going to keep them from enjoying your mercy, as our Heavenly Father promises us as ridiculously unworthy sinners.

So yes, He has already forgiven us, and thankfully even me when I teach my kids that certain bodily noises are hilarious.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cooper and Grams, Cooper and Penny

A couple of pictures first from Mom's visit last weekend ...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Two down this week

Monday's weigh-in wasn't too bad. I was down a little under two pounds.

I worked out all five mornings before work, but looking back at my food diary for the week, it's no wonder. Things like "chicken and stuffing" and "Mexican with cheese dip" pop out, if deliciously.

I consumed 300 calories just thinking about all the stuff I wanted.

Start date - 2/11/13
Start weight - 396
Weight last week - 384
Weight this week, March 11 - 382
Weight loss this week - 2
Weight loss since Start - 14
Ultimate Goal - 225

When I'm ready to get my calories in order and can start cutting 250-500 more a day I'll really be able to shed the pounds. I just can't let down on the workouts or I will allow myself to get lazified, to coin a word.

For most of my workouts I stick to the eliptical machine, usually about 30 minutes worth. Two days a week I'll shorten that to 15 or 20 minutes and then do 20 minutes on the various strength training machines for all the various pulldowns, presses, etc.

I've tried the stairclimber once. That lasted a minute and a half. It says I burned 22 calories, but I think when you're near death there should be more.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Sunday School lesson on 1 Timothy

I've filled in a few times to teach Sunday School class - including this past weekend - so I thought I would post my notes from the newsletter I write for the class, which includes the outline of my lesson ...

Have you ever noticed that during the sermon in Big Church, the ones most loudly yelling "Amen!" or proclaiming, "That's right preacher!" are usually the older crowd?

At what age will our class be the ones doing that? When we hit, what, 50, 60, 75, it becomes natural, you stop caring what others think and you just start letting it out?

In other news, don't forget Saturday night is Daylight Saving Time! Move your clocks FORWARD one hour Saturday night or you will be late!

This weekend I taught our lesson since Steve was quarantined, lest he and his family start "The Stand" and wipe out most of the planet.

(Hey, it's a Christian story. At the end God sets off a nuke to kill all the evil people in Las Vegas. No?)

We started Sunday morning with the new Spring Lifeway book focusing on the Pastoral Epistles, Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus.

1 Timothy was written about A.D. 62 while Paul was on a missionary journey and after he left Timothy to pastor the church in Ephesus, which is on the west coast of modern-day Turkey. Ephesus was famed for its cult worship and temple dedicated to worship of Artemis.

In his letter, Paul heartened and guided Timothy. As John Pollock (Billy Graham's authorized biographer) wrote in his biography of Paul, "Timothy, timid and delicate yet sometimes self-willed, still very much a young man in Paul's eyes, needed encouragement and care."

If you spent any time in a youth group you surely read and studied a lot of Timothy, the official book for hormone-crazy teenagers trying to make it in a world of peers, teachers and parents.

Paul wrote the letter during an unsettling time, with persecution in Rome, Judea teeming with rumors of messiahs and unrest about to explode in the Great Rebellion of A.D. 66 that all led to fomenting ideas old and new.

Pollock writes, "It was essential to build up healthy, expanding churches under local leadership, for 'God our savior desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.'

"The two letters of this period, the First Epistle of Timothy and the Epistle of Titus, quickly became classics of pastoral wisdom wherever Christianity spread. Timothy in Asia and Titus in Crete were shown how to select and train elders, instructed about church discipline and worship ..."

In this week's lesson I taught about recognizing false teaching. (Hopefully not my own!)

In Acts 20:28-31 Paul warned the Ephesian elders that false leaders from their own group would distort the truth and lead people astray, and it happened just as he said:

Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock that the Holy Spirit has appointed you to as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. And men will rise up from your own number with deviant doctrines to lure the disciples into following them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning each one of you with tears.

GOAL OF SPIRITUAL INSTRUCTION

1 Timothy 1:3-7 - As I urged you when I went to Macedonia, remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach different doctrine or to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies. These promote empty speculations rather than God’s plan, which operates by faith. Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. Some have deviated from these and turned aside to fruitless discussion. They want to be teachers of the law, although they don’t understand what they are saying or what they are insisting on.

- Paul left Timothy to oversee the church in Ephesus.

- Timothy's assignment was to confront people who were teaching a different doctrine than the gospel of Jesus Christ.

- True spiritual teaching comes from:
-- A pure heart.
-- Forges in the believer a good conscience.
-- Sincere faith, a genuine, enduring trust in Christ for everything.

- Philippians 3:7-11 - But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith. My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.

- To teach incorrectly because of an honest mistake is one thing, but to mislead from selfish motives or willful lack of understanding is inexcusable and could damage the church.

- 2 Peter 2:1 - "Damnable heresies" to teach lies and cause others to lose their souls for eternity.

VALUE OF SOUND DOCTRINE

1 Timothy 1:8-11 - But we know that the law is good, provided one uses it legitimately. We know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral and homosexuals, for kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching based on the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was entrusted to me.

- The law is good but doesn't have the power to make you right with God.

- Moral degradation was all too common in the Roman Empire as today. Teaching that leads to condoning these behaviors is not sound teaching.

- Sound teaching isn't based on human opinions; it stands on the gospel.
-- Our culture tells us that all beliefs are equally valid. Culture states there is no way to discern if one belief has more authority than another belief, even if they conflict. How many times have you heard someone talk about "my truth" or "personal belief system?"

- John 14:6 - Jesus flat out says, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father but through me."
-- There's no other way, no other truth, no other belief.

EXAMPLE OF THE TRANSFORMED LIFE

1 Timothy 1:12-16 - I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry— one who was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord overflowed, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them. But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate His extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

- Paul holds up his life as the example of the gospel's transforming power.

- Paul offers a thanksgiving for God's abundant grace that transformed him from a persecutor of the church to an apostle.

- The Lord showed mercy on Paul despite being a blasphemer, persecutor and an arrogant man.

- Paul uses the first of the trustworthy sayings (core truth from which Christian teachers must never stray): "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."

- Either teachers aren't doing their job or followers aren't believing as much anymore. The Barna Group polled protestants in 2011, and only 56 percent agreed that the Bible is completely accurate in all of the principles it teaches. That's down from 61 percent in 1991.

PRAISE TO GOD

1 Timothy 1:17 - Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

- God is:
-- Eternal - Able to give believers eternal life.
-- Immortal - He knows no end.
-- Invisible - Yet he revealed the Godhead in the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
-- The Only God - None can compete with Him, for there is none like Him.

- God is worthy of our utmost honor and glory.

- He lives to equip and enable His servants to do the work of the ministry.

BE ON GUARD

"The unattended garden will soon be overrun with weeds; the heart that fails to cultivate truth and root out error will shortly be a theological wilderness." - A.W. Tozer

The late Adrian Rogers, pastor of Bellevue Baptist for many years, wrote about five tests for identifying false teachers:

- The Source Test - Is his source the word of God?

- The Savior Test - Do they see Jesus as the virgin-born son of God, and God the son, the Messiah, God in human flesh?

- The Subject Test - Is their subject the gospel of Jesus?

- The Salvation Test - Do they teach salvation by grace alone through faith alone?

- The Sanctification Test - Do they teach and are they endeavoring to lead a holy life?

The Pastoral Epistles continue to speak in meaningful ways about life and ministry in the local church. The theme of godliness runs throughout the Pastorals.

In a culture in which church leaders are commonly caught in scandalous sins, Paul's demand that a leader set a godly example remains just as relevant today.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Penny wears herself out

Penny spends all day getting into everything, so it's no surprise that when her Granddaddy offered a shoulder to rest, she took it ...

Monday, March 04, 2013

Up is not good!

Boo, me!

OK, so maybe I was a little too generous with my portions last week, and sure, getting the beef 'n cheddar sandwich with a large fries at Arby's Saturday looks bad in retrospect, but gain a pound? Sheesh.

Note to self: Just because you go to the gym all week doesn't necessarily guarantee the weight will fall off.

This week I'm going to write down a food diary and try to keep up with calories as much as possible to see where I need to snip away calories.

This morning I started with a longer than usual workout courtesy of Cooper waking up crying at 1 a.m. Once I tried to calm him down I went ahead and drove to the gym where I did 45 minutes on the E. It makes it easier to pass the time by reading while exercising; the time flies by!

I'm not discouraged, just need to make sure I'm going to do this right.

Start date - 2/11/13
Start weight - 396
Weight last week - 383
Weight this week, March 4 - 384
Weight loss this week - +1
Weight loss since Start - 12
Ultimate Goal - 225