Spiritual Walk

Avoiding Ruts

12 July 2012

rutsWhen you drive down a road with wheel ruts, the ruts really pull you in. It is much more difficult to drive outside the ruts.

Before we left on vacation a couple of weeks ago, I felt like I had been stuck in a rut for a while. The same old things over and over.

Coming back from vacation, without even thinking too much about it, I found myself trying to stay out of those ruts. I was trying to do things differently just to keep things from going back to the ruts. I came home after ten days of no ruts and wanted to try and keep that as long as possible.

One small example, I usually listen to sports radio. I am not a big sports guy, but I liked listening to it. Since coming back home, I have not changed the channel off of Christian music. I  guess a small part of me is worried that is the ruts trying to get me.

The ruts are powerful. They are the easiest place to live and they try to pull you back into them.

I am going to keep trying to stay out of them. Maybe even create some good ruts.

My Current Favorite Song To Run To

14 June 2012

Here are the lyrics. I change a word in this song as I listen while I am running. You can see it below…

Never Once by Matt Redman

Standing on this mountaintop
Looking just how far we’ve come
Knowing that for every step
You were with us

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever [run] alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Kneeling on this battle ground
Seeing just how much You’ve done
Knowing every victory
Was Your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Yes, our hearts can say

Never once did we ever [run] alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Scars and struggles on the way
But with joy our hearts can say
Never once did we ever [run] alone

Carried by Your constant grace
Held within Your perfect peace
Never once, no, we never [run] alone

Never once did we ever [run] alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Every step we are breathing in Your grace
Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise
You are faithful, God, You are faithful
You are faithful, God, You are faithful

Knee Injury

28 October 2011

imageLast Saturday, I hyperextended my knee while playing football at our 5th & 6th grade retreat. Actually, it was ultimate football which is the same as ultimate frisbee, just with a football. I was in a lot of pain when it happened, but since then, it has not been too bad.

I have been really bummed about it. I have never really had an injury like this. Here are some things that went through my head as I was thinking about it…

  • I just got built back up to running 5k non-stop. Now I am going to have to stop running for who know how long and I will be back to where I started. I don’t like running, however, I don’t like not running.
  • Getting around is going to be a real pain.
  • We were suppose to go camping at the Canyon for Michael’s birthday the next Friday night, I doubt I will be able to do that.
  • Do I go to the doctor? It does not hurt real bad. We have a high deductible insurance plan so a doctor visit can get real expensive, real quick.
  • If I don’t go to the doctor, how will I know when it is okay to run again?
  • Even after my knee heals, will I ever be the same? Will I go out at a retreat and play football, or will I think that it is just not worth the risk? Am I going to be scared about this for the rest of my life?

By Sunday night, I was really down because of this list. Monday morning I decided I had to go to a doctor and got an appointment for Wednesday.

As it turns out, the doc suspects that I have a strained PCL ligament. He said most of the time this heals on its own and does not require surgery. That is good news. However, most of my list above is still not addressed. Hopefully more will be address when I go back in two weeks.

My other issue is that I have used this injury as an excuse for eating badly. So not only am I know less active because of the injury, I am eating more calories than normal and that is the recipe for weight gain. I plan to fix this real soon.

So that is where I am at. I have told myself numerous times that God has something to teach me through this injury. If I figure out what that is, I will let you know.

Running With Jesus

6 October 2011

imageI have been back to running three times a week for several weeks now. I am still not up to where I was when I stopped at the beginning of the summer, but things are coming along.

Towards the end of my last two runs, I have been pushing myself a bit. The first time, the song “I Will Follow” by Chris Tomlin came on in my playlist.

Where you go, I'll go
Where you stay, I'll stay
When you move, I'll move
I will follow

All your ways are good
All your ways are sure
I will trust in you alone
Higher than my side
High above my life
I will trust in you alone

I then decided to imagine Jesus was running right ahead of me, and basically, I said those words to him.

Course, that introduced a problem. How do you picture Jesus running? I mean, have you ever pictured Jesus is a t-shirt, shorts and a pair of Asics? It is also difficult to picture him running in a robe and sandals. Anyway, I got over it.

So I told him, basically, if you keep running, I will keep running. If you start to walk, I will walk.

You may ask, “How exactly does that work?” It is me creating a mental picture of something. Don’t I have control over if he walks or not?

My answer is only this, I don’t know. The first night, I did this towards the end of my run and it helped me make it to the end running. The second night, I started it about mid way through and I did walk some. I really cannot explain how it helped me, but it did. I guess maybe with Jesus right there, if I was going to stop running and walk, HE would have to be convinced I needed to. It would not just be me thinking I was tired enough to walk.

This may not make a lot of sense, but oh well. It’s my blog, I’ll write what I want. Winking smile

Why Do I Believe In God?

18 August 2011

imageThis question popped into my head the other day. After thinking a while, I don’t ever remember myself answering this question. So, I thought I would give it a shot now.

1. First thing that came to mind is “Why not?” Yeah, I answered a question with a question. But it’s true, why not believe in God? Are their any negatives? If I did not believe in God, is there really any way that my life would be better? I can’t think of anything.

2. It just makes sense to me. Some say that all creation just happened? I think that takes more faith than to believe in God the creator.

3. I believe the best possible life is a life of believing in God. Kinda like my first reason, I cannot imagine life being better not believing. Loving God and loving others. There is no better life than that.

4. I have seen evidence. Of course, even the evidence I have seen requires faith. Lives changed, lives saved, miracles, answered prayer. A non believer could say it was all coincidence. I choose to believe otherwise.

That is all I can think of right now.

So tell me, why do you believe in God?

God Works Through My iPhone

14 April 2011

I use the Couch25k app on my iPhone for running and have a playlist of music I run to. I use a pair of Bluetooth headphones for listening. When I first got the headphones, the forward and back buttons on the headphones did not work with the iPhone. The other day, though, I realized by accident that the buttons now work (I guess an Apple update did it). So I can now easily skip a track or replay a track.

Last week I was out running. I was building back up to running 5k and that night I was to run 25 minutes. When I got to 25 minutes I decided to keep going and replay the last song I heard. Well, I pressed the wrong button and the voice control thing on the phone came on. Apparently, my heavy breathing sounds like “Call Tyler Cutshall” because the phone told me it was about to dial him. I frantically was pressing buttons to try and cancel and finally did. However, my music was gone and I have lots of trouble running, especially at the end, without music.

I stopped running and began my cool down walk back to my house. I started to pull the phone out to see what was going on when a song started to play. It was a song I have never heard and was not on my playlist.

My first reaction was “What in the world is this?”

My second, “Maybe I am suppose to hear this song.”

The song was “Savior, Please” by Josh Wilson.

Here are the lyrics…

Savior, please take my hand
I work so hard, I live so fast
This life begins, and then it ends
And I do the best that I can, but I don’t know how long I’ll last

I try to be so tough
But I’m just not strong enough
I can’t do this alone, God I need You to hold on to me
I try to be good enough
But I’m nothing without Your love
Savior, please keep saving me

Savior, please help me stand
I fall so hard, I fade so fast
Will You begin right where I end
And be the God of all I am because You’re all I have

Everything You are to me
Is everything I’ll ever need
And I am learning to believe
That I don’t have to prove a thing
‘Cause You’re the one who’s saving me

While I am sure the meaning of this song is quite different to others, I instantly applied it to my running and weight loss journey. Did God lead me to this song on my iPhone? I believe so. It is now on my playlist while running and since I plays at the end of my run, you better believe I am singing along in my head.

Trusting God

1 April 2010

Couple of significant things going on in my life right now…

One is baseball season. I am coaching Stephen’s baseball team. This is significant because I cannot stand to coach, yet, I cannot stand NOT to coach. I love coaching baseball. I really love getting to be involved with Stephen in this way and enjoy getting to know the other kids. I also really love being part of the game. What I do not like about coaching is that I feel totally inadequate. I do not know enough and I fear letting down the 11 kids on my team and their families.

The other significant thing right now is my truck. Last week I went out to check our practice field to see if we could practice (It at rained/snowed the night before). Things looked good until I drove on the dirt road and my truck sunk in the mud. Not wanting to pay for a tow truck to drag it out, we worked for an hour (Stephen was out pushing) to try and get it it out. About 25 feet from being out, something broke in the transmission and it would no longer go into gear. Now, not only did I have to get a tow truck, I am now looking down the barrel of paying to get my transmission fixed. By the way, car problems are one of those things I always struggle having peace with. Not only because of the costs, but also the inconvenience.

So now, I have two things to keep me awake at night. You cannot believe how much baseball can consume my mind at night. Things we need to work on. Things I need to remember to teach them. How to deal with certain situations. And on and on. These things will even invade my dreams! Sometimes I wake up and half asleep I think about them.

Course, the truck repairs are also worrisome. How much will it cost? When will it be completed? Where will the money come from? What will we have to give up to pay for it?

Monday night I found myself not wanting to go to bed. I purposefully stayed up late (little after midnight) watching TV to make sure I was very sleepy when I went to bed. It helped, but that is not really a long term solution, is it?

So is all this worrying helping anything? Is it solving anything? Of course not. This worry is caused by not trusting God enough. I know in my head that I can trust Him. He has proved it over and over and over. I just need to let the trust infiltrate my heart.

Testing My Patience

3 March 2010

In my previous post, I stated how well things were going and that I was down to 208 pounds. Not two days after that, my patience was tested.

For some reason, I went up two pounds to 210 in one day. I track all my eating and looking back on that day, I had eaten well. Nothing out of the ordinary. I was on my plan. But for some reason, I went up two pounds.

I was okay, I figured it was just an anomaly and it would quickly fix itself as long as I stayed on track. I was wrong. I went even higher up to 212 the net couple of days.

Are you kidding me? I am doing everything right and my weight is increasing. This was testing me. Am I gonna freak out, get angry and give up? Or am I going to keep going on and trust that it will work out. Honestly, my thoughts went back and forth between those two things. But in the end, I stayed calm and patient.

As of today, I am back to 209. Still needing lots of patience since I am not even back to where I was two weeks ago. But I am good.

So my question is, was God behind this testing or was it just something that happened? I guess I do not really know the answer to that, but I do know this… God is using this time to help me grow (I mean spiritually, not physically).

My prayer for a long time has been to take my desire to eat away. I would much rather be in a place where I had to eat rather that constantly wanting to eat. I fear, though, that this is my “Thorn in the flesh” that I will have to deal with the rest of my life. Right now, I am at peace with that and this recent testing helped a lot.

I have the rest of my life to lose the weight. My battle is not the weight, but the control food has over me. Only God should have that kind of control. The weight loss is simply a side effect.

Does Prayer Work?

8 June 2008

Last Sunday night, I went to bed with a headache. Typically, sleep will take care of it and when I wake up, it will be gone. Sunday night was different. I woke up early Monday morning and my head was still pounding. I decided to act by doing four things.

First, I went and drank a bottle of water. Headaches can sometimes be caused by dehydration. Second, I took some Excedrin. Headaches are from swollen blood vessels in my head, Excedrin has aspirin which is a blood thinner and caffeine which helps restrict blood vessels. Third, my headaches are always on one side or the other of my head, so I decided to sleep on the opposite site with the idea it would help pull blood away from the painful area. Fourth, I prayed that God would take it away.

I woke up again maybe only an hour later and my headache was gone. So my question is, what do I do with that? Did God heal my headache or did one of the other three things do it? Now the typical thing to say is God healed it and he may have used one (or several) of the other things to do it. That is fine but my first thought went to if I had a lack of faith by not relying only on the miraculous power of God.

After wrestling with this for awhile, I realized my faith was not in how he was going to heal it, but whether I believed He would heal it with whatever means. It came down to the fact that I don’t care how it was healed. All I know is that I asked God for it and it happened. So God gets the credit and the glory. What will I do next headache? Probably all the same things, but especially the prayer.

Listening To God

25 May 2008

I went to a database conference last week in Houston. I was in a class there and the instructor was a young man that worked for the database company who obviously struggles with food as I do.

A thought popped into my head that I should contact him and offer him something. Of course, he lives in another state so I don’t feel I have a whole lot to offer other than sharing my weight loss story with him. I kinda put the thought aside and did not think much about it after that.

It came back to my mind while I had a couple of hours to kill in the airport. Of course by this time I was questioning the whole idea. I can only image being contacted by a complete stranger to talk about my weight. So I was questioning if this was from God or just some idea that I came up with. So I asked God, “Is this something you want me to do?”

What came into my mind this time was “You already know what you are suppose to do.” So I did it. I wrote him an e-mail and just offered what little I have. I don’t know if I will ever hear from him, but I feel like I did what I was suppose to do.

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