Friday, November 30, 2012

Photo Friday Frenzy - 89


Category: Restaurant Signs

Instructions: Vote on your favorite two photos. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote closed. Winner: Read menus carefully

Mobile Phone Users - Click HERE to see & vote on the poll.

Click on images to enlarge them.


Good to have options


Meow


Strict Policy


Prophetic


Updated Logo


I read that book.


Effective Marketing


Read menu's carefully!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Week Fifteen Weigh In

As promised, this is the last official post for the weight loss, public accountability mission.  A total of four, myself included, decided to put their bodies to the grueling challenge of dieting and exercise in effort to reach their goals.  I want to not only thank Mike, Pony, and Ryan for participating but I want to thank the readers for supporting/putting up with posts like these since they are a bit off script from my normal offerings.

Here is how everyone ended up:

Name: Mike C.
Starting Weight: 238
Goal Weight: 218
Current Weight: 208

Recap: Mike set out to lose 20 pounds and ended up losing 30.  He dedicated himself to two-a-day workouts and met his goals well before today's post.  He was also brave enough to share his victory of sobriety on a post or two hoping to inspire anyone out there that might be struggling with similar addictions.  Suffice it to say, Mike has a much healthier outlook on all fronts and I couldn't be more proud of him.

Name: Jim
Starting Weight: 211
Goal Weight: 180
Current Weight: 184

Recap: As reported last week, a stomach bug helped me get down to my lightest weight thus far...which WAS 182.  Then Thanksgiving happened.  I really intended to be good and for the most part I was on the actual day.  The problem is I had four total days off and I slacked just a little bit every single one of those days and spiked back up to 186.  Though I tried kicking it into high gear from Sunday till today, I only managed to get back down to 184.  It's a bit disappointing not to finish this fifteen weeks at goal but I am not going to let that stop me.  In fact, I will do a final victory post in the near future when I finally meet the mark.  That will continue to help motivate me to keep running in this ever cooler weather.  My run just two days ago was in 45 degree conditions.  For me, that's dedication.

Name:  Pony P.
Starting Weight: 139
Goal Weight: 122
Current Weight:113

Recap: Another overachiever in our group was Pony.  She is 9 pounds under goal despite suffering from a back injury and a bladder infection that prevented much of the exercise routines she engages in.  She joined our efforts having already lost the bulk of her weight so her main focus was maintenance, especially during the holiday and winter months.  I have a feeling she will continue to meet and/or beat her expectations.  For more details on her progress from week to week be sure to check out her blog located HERE.

Name: Ryan K.
Starting Weight: 258
Goal Weight: 220
Current Weight: 250

Recap: Ryan joined the effort about halfway in and therefor didn't have the benefits of a full fifteen weeks like the rest of us.  Combine that with computer problems since his exercise routine was an online venture called Insanity and his numbers are actually very good.  Like me, he isn't at goal weight yet but plans to keep the effort moving in that direction until he makes it.

How about you? Can you stand to drop a few pounds and get into better shape? Though this particular challenge is over, feel free to go through the archives and relive our progress as an encouragement to your efforts.  And who knows?  Perhaps another challenge will be issued in the coming months that you can participate in.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The "Half Man" Finds God


It's always interesting when a celebrity becomes a Christian.  There's lots of buzz and speculation surrounding their sincerity and how this may or may not affect their career.  Well we can add Angus T. Jones to this list.  You may know him best as Jake on Two & A Half Men.  He has been on the show since age nine, when the "half man" title made more sense.  Just a few days ago on Youtube he released a testimony video through Forerunner Chronicles confessing Jesus as Lord and pleading that we not watch his filthy show.

Under part two and up-rated 981 times (as of the posting of this blog) was this comment:

Agree or disagree with him, I give him all the credit in the world for taking a vocal and public stance for what he believes in, especially when that stance will more than likely have a career-ending consequence for him.

I must agree with that statement, especially in light of his $300,000 per episode salary and a particular detail revealed in this testimony video about Angus joining a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church.  Ultimately I agree with THIS article about how I view SDA but its not without a bit of concern.  You see SDA doctrine has placed them quite often in debates over whether or not they qualify as practicing Christians or a cult sect like that of Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses.

I highly recommend that you read the article for yourself but here is a direct quote that sums it up:

Though Martin sees the SDA as standing very near to the edge, in the end, he equates them with Arminian evangelicals.  His reason for doing so is that in the official documents of the SDA, chief of which is Questions and Answers, they affirm key doctrines such as the inerrency of scripture and salvation by grace alone through faith alone.  Martin is convinced that the SDA affirms these things in an evangelical manner.

If God is waking this child actor up and bringing him into salvation, I have no doubt that He will finish the good work He began in Mr. Jones. That may just be through a denominational practice that is pretty foreign to me, or it may mean Angus eventually attends another, more Bible-centered Christian congregation.

One thing is very clear in his testimony.  He is sincere.  He is willing to sacrifice his job and he is truly seeking and learning as much as he can about God and how to please him.  For me and for you, I believe this is a personal challenge for us to evaluate what we are doing for God.  How much are we sacrificing?  What are we willing to give?  I don't ask from a legalistic, salvation through works angle.  But rather from a "no idols before God sell all that you have and follow me" angle.

Thoughts?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Perfect Gift?


I'm rarely baffled by ads and marketing schemes these days.  But I must admit this newest Sears commercial got my attention and was noteworthy enough for me to rant about on the blog.  I'd love to say that's because its an excellent marketing ploy that has my once-upon-a-time-Sears-employee-behind running back to the store for all my Christmas purchases.  Alas, I cannot say that.

And as a previous employee I do have a certain appreciation for this retailer.  But let's face it, Sears is not known and probably will never be known for its apparel or in this case its costume jewelry.  I am not sure who should be insulted more by this spot: Us men for being portrayed as bumbling fools, losing our children while self absorbed on the tool aisle that upon noticing the missing child manages to flirt with a group of ladies before catching "Jack" as he topples a display of earrings.  Or perhaps the women should be more insulted for having married said bumbling fool and saying, "How did you know?" as she excitedly opens her fake Sears jewelry at the end.

Perhaps its a toss up.  Suffice it to say, if this ad successfully lures any man on this planet to buy his wife this particular gift, I will pray for his soul.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Elf On The Shelf

At risk of sounding like an old geezer...In my day, we didn't need Elf on the Shelf to remind us to be good.  That Santa was aware of our behavior.  We all knew the song lyrics:

You better watch out.  You better not pout.
You better not cry.  I'm telling you why.

Later in the song we learn...

He sees you when you're sleeping.  He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.

But nowadays  we do have this little elf helper who sits on a shelf as a very real, physical presence for our kids to see and be reminded that behavior is important...at least during this home stretch toward Christmas morning.  I must admit, this being the first year we've utilized such a silly tool, that it has its advantages.  As one of my six year olds begins to whine or display overt frustration, we have only to nod in the general direction of "Edwin the Elf" and they self correct.  They now think a little bit more about what they are going to say and do.  They now try much harder to discern good behavior and tighten up on quality control before just speaking and acting.

Yet, this lifeless, stuffed figure has no power at all.  It merely represents an idea.  There is only one that has the power to literally know when you're sleeping, know when you're awake, and of course see ALL of your good and bad deeds.  But how many of us just act or speak without even thinking?  How many of us just function as nerve endings, reacting to everything life throws at us...only being positive and "good" when our circumstances are within certain parameters?  How many of us need a physical reminder sitting on the shelf that God is watching?  How many of us would tighten up our quality control process or think twice before letting anger burst to the surface?

Thankfully salvation rests in the completed work of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  But I want to challenge you and  myself to remember our actions are the vehicle by which we shine our light into this dark world serving as an act of worship and love as we follow our example and Lord.  You don't need an elf for 45 days to be a living and holy sacrifice.  You just need to remember who you belong to and who's example to follow!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Photo Friday Frenzy - 88

Category: Black Friday

Instructions: Vote on your favorite two photos. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote closed. Winner: Shoppers Logic

Mobile Phone Users - Click HERE to see & vote on the poll.

Click on images to enlarge them.

Even Captain Kirk is scared!

Stitches not included...

But that was yesterday.


Shopper's Logic

Protester or mad shopper? Hard to tell!

Blue Saturday is born!

Stay classy.

Black Friday Parking.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Week Fourteen Weigh In

For those of you that might be wondering, this weekly update will not continue indefinitely. While it has served a valuable purpose of keeping me and others accountable, knowing that our stats will be publicly displayed to keep us from slacking off, we have two more weeks until it's over. That will be a total of 15 weeks and 15 posts. Hopefully we will all be at or near our final goals by then and I thank you, the readers, for following and supporting us on this journey.

If you want to find out what's going on and perhaps join in on the fun and accountability, click here for details.

Here are the stats for this week from those that are currently participating:





Name: Jim
Starting Weight: 211
Goal Weight: 180
Current Weight: 182

Recap: With the added push that a stomach bug afforded me, I managed a three pound loss this week putting me withing two pounds of my goal.  And since next week is the last post, I can definitely see light at the end of the tunnel.  I've kept up the running and usually do a 3.5 to 4 mile route.  The strength training is still where I need emphasis.  I look skinnier but not well toned. As I hit my weight loss goal next week and enter into maintenence mode, less cardio and more weights will make more sense.


Name: Pony P.
Starting Weight: 139
Goal Weight: 122
Current Weight: ?

Recap: Report Pending. For more details on her progress from week to week be sure to check out her blog located HERE.


Name: Ryan K.
Starting Weight: 258
Goal Weight: 220
Current Weight: ?

Recap: Report Pending.

How about you? Can you stand to drop a few pounds and get into better shape? Want to be brave enough to post your stats publicly on this blog? If so, read the requirements in this kick-off post and submit your information by Wednesday of next week.

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Twinkie Madness


The last box!
What's the big deal?

Yes, its sad that a company closed its doors and people lost their jobs.  Unfortunately that isn't an unusual headline these days.

Yes, its sad that a product line most of us enjoyed as children will no longer be available.  Although there is much speculation about companies buying the recipes and continuing the line under another name.

And yes, its a bit scary that Twinkies (although not nearly the best product Hostess makes) are no longer the butt of Apocalyptic jokes.  It seems like roaches and Twinkies were supposed to be the only thing left after the nukes went off.

But seriously folks.  We have let this headline be more important than Benghazi on our care-o-meters and that is pathetic.  Twinkies are just part of why America is one of the most obese nations in the world.  Not having them any longer is not a global tragedy of earth shattering proportions that should make it possible to auction them off on Ebay for thousands of dollars.

And even IF...no other companies buy the recipe, and even IF...Hostess doesn't somehow restructure and make a comeback run, let me restore some hope and present FIVE currently available options for you and yours that you can literally go buy for less than $1000 from your local supermarket.

I found these five alternatives with minimal web browsing, so perhaps there are many more than this.  Of the five, the top three are identical products at least in that they are yellow sponge cake with a cream filling.  I cannot vouch for the taste of any of them but my assumption is they're probably accurate enough to fool your taste buds   I personally might go for the Little Debbie Cloud Cakes.  They're a brand name, top competitor to Hostess, and most likely to manufacture an equal product.  Bingles looks intriguing having substituted sponge cake for red velvet and then Tastykake substitutes a creamy filling with an icing topping   Either way you get your dose of sugary glaze to accompany the cake.

Tragedy averted.  You're welcome!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I'm Guilty


I enjoy humor as much as just about anyone I know.  Granted over the years, what I find palatable has changed but there's nothing better than a good belly laugh.  You know the kind where it feels like you've done a thousand push-ups?  Typically on Facebook, I post at least one funny status update and photo each day.  We have plenty of reminders all around that are discouraging and difficult to deal with.  So humor is just one positive tool I like to use to lift my own spirit and that of others.

Those of you that follow my Youtube productions also know that I have created several videos that poke fun at Atheists.  All done in fun, not to be mean.  I offer these to get a chuckle...not as an apologetic meant to convince skeptics of my world view.  Turnabout is only fair play though.  So when I stumbled across this video today, I had to share it and admit to standing guilty.  I hope I am not nearly so obnoxious as these guys come off but I have said and will probably continue to say many of these phrases.  

So if you're an atheist, enjoy at good laugh at mine and other Christian's expense. And if you're a Christian, look in the mirror and have a good laugh.  It'll keep you humble!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Thankfulness Incomplete


I realize its possible to have an attitude of gratefulness even as a non believer.  So its no surprise that both secular and religious celebrate Thanksgiving each year.  We all tend to be thankful for similar things.
  • The people in our lives (family & friends)
  • The country we live in
  • The freedoms & rights we still have 
  • Our homes
  • Good food
  • Ability to earn income
  • Clothes on our backs
  • And a warm bed to sleep in at night.
The more globalized our community becomes with the Internet, the more we know just how fortunate we are to have such things and in plentiful numbers.  Yet something seems to be missing if all we are doing is having an attitude of thankfulness.  Where are we aiming this attitude?  To whom are you grateful for those family and friends you've come to love and appreciate?  To whom are you grateful to live in this nation and experience the freedoms it provides?  

Yes, you can be thankful to your fellow man to some degree.  Men fought and died to make this a nation.  But again, the picture seems incomplete.  Maybe that's just me though.  I am most thankful that God is a real, living Father in Heaven, that has made me very aware of His existence and hand on my life!  I am thankful that He sent His son to die for me, paying the penalty for my sins, and allowing for eternal life with Him.  And I am thankful that I can direct my grateful attitude and praises His direction...where it belongs.  For me...that completes the process.

I pray that you and yours have a complete Thanksgiving celebration!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Photo Friday Frenzy - 87

Category: Clever Inventions

Instructions: Vote on your favorite two photos. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote closed. Winner: Cookie Storage;

Mobile Phone Users - Click HERE to see & vote on the poll.

Click on images to enlarge them.


Noodle cooler.


For toast and chapped lips!


Cookie storage.


Measuring tape belt.


No more burnt toast!


Baby Mop


Strata-Tendo


Pizz-ork

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Week Thirteen Weigh In

For those of you that might be wondering, this weekly update will not continue indefinitely.  While it has served a valuable purpose of keeping me and others accountable, knowing that our stats will be publicly displayed to keep us from slacking off, we have two more weeks until it's over.  That will be a total of 15 weeks and 15 posts.  Hopefully we will all be at or near our final goals by then and I thank you, the readers, for following and supporting us on this journey.  

If you want to find out what's going on and perhaps join in on the fun and accountability, click here for details.

Here are the stats for this week from those that are currently participating:

Name: Jim
Starting Weight: 211
Goal Weight: 180
Current Weight: 185

Recap: With just three weeks of blog posting left, I must sadly report no weight loss this week.  I have managed to run or do an indoor workout just about every day last week.  However, I have gotten very loose with my snacking again.  Instead of zero snacks during the day or after dinner, I have been indulging a bit.  It's especially hard when there is a three gallon container of Halloween loot that my band of Star Wars Jedi's confiscated.  I may have to get a bit extreme in the next two weeks to make my goal.  Your support and prayers are appreciated!

Name:  Pony P.
Starting Weight: 139
Goal Weight: 122
Current Weight: ?

Recap: Report Pending.  For more details on her progress from week to week be sure to check out her blog located HERE.

Name: Ryan K.
Starting Weight: 258
Goal Weight: 220
Current Weight: 253

Recap: A recurring back injury set me back two pounds this week as I was unable to do any workouts.  Combine that with some failures on the calorie counting front and I suppose the weigh in results should not be a surprise.  I hereby vow to be down by five pounds next week and I predict my final weigh in two weeks from now will be 145!

How about you? Can you stand to drop a few pounds and get into better shape? Want to be brave enough to post your stats publicly on this blog? If so, read the requirements in this kick-off post and submit your information by Wednesday of next week.

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Doomsday Obsessed?


For the better part of a decade now, I have kept a close eye on global events and a keen interest in End Times prophesy.  I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with that but do want to warn you of some pitfalls that I personally have encountered.
  • It's easy to become overly obsessed about it.  
  • Temptations to seek solutions will encourage prideful, man-made options instead of learning full dependence on God.
  • You can become inwardly fearful.
  • You can stir up fear in your home with your spouse or children.
  • You can embolden evil and darkness by emphasizing and/or worrying about End Times plots instead of standing in the knowledge that God is victorious.
  • You can fall victim to false prophets who are intentionally or unintentionally misleading people.
  • You can become discouraged.
I am pretty sure I could list another half dozen bullet points but my hope is you get the idea.  It doesn't help that we now have a media rich Armageddon culture that is 2012 focused, making countless movies, TV programs, and even reality shows like Doomsday Preppers.  But I would like to encourage you to find a healthy balance in accordance with God's will and Scripture.  We are to keep watch and be ready.  In today's You-tube video, I challenge you to seek God for how exactly that is supposed to play out in your life.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

YOU Hear God's Voice

Its somewhat taboo for a person to claim they hear the voice of God.  Yet I make such claims fairly often and will even go a step further to claim that you hear Him as well.  Yes, that includes the unbeliever.  The only debate is (a) whether or not you give God the credit for the instruction and (b) properly discerning that it was Him and not your own internal voice or that of the enemy.

Obviously guys crashing planes into buildings are listening to a voice but improperly assigning that to God.  But because guys like that exist, just about anyone that says they can hear from God is automatically thought of in the same way.  Let me share two different Scripture references to illustrate my point.

Hebrews 10:16 - This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord.  I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.

Romans 2:14-15 - Indeed when Gentiles, who to not have the law, do by nature the things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of that law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.


Here we plainly see that the battleground is in the mind and that we have a factory installed program called our conscience from God to help us understand what to do.  That voice that we often depict as an angel on our shoulder calling out in your mind to stop a bad habit or to act out of generosity is quite literally God's voice.  Watch today's video production below for more elaboration.

 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Knock, knock...God's Calling

For every time that we hear a knock on our door where the guest on the other side is a welcome sight, we have many other times when we'd rather have not answered.  Be it a salesperson or a cult preacher, not everyone that comes knocking is welcome.  At best, they are invading your time by demanding you stop what you are doing to listen to their pitch, never seeming to care that they are uninvited and undesired distractions.  At worst, they are trying to convince you to depart with your money or your belief system with high pressure, manipulation techniques so they can get a notch on their belt and earn themselves reward.  Sometimes we are glad to see this person and happily depart with some cash in exchange for Thin Mints.  Most times we'd rather turn off the lights, hide behind some furniture, and remain absolutely quiet until the intruder goes away convinced of our absence.

But how do we respond when God calls?  Whether its His call to come to Christ in the first place or to become a missionary in Africa...we all tend to treat him like a vacuum cleaner salesman, don't we?  He knocked on the door to my heart for quite some time before I understood the Gospel message.  He looked through the peep hole to see if anyone was home as I ducked for cover, certain the cost of answering the door would be too overwhelming and inconvenient.  Answering the door when God is on the other side will cost us something, right?  If nothing else He will demand obedience to His will when it conflicts with mine...and who wants that?

It took me a while to humble myself to a point where I realized my will is worthless and His is divine and more desirable in the first place.  And though that lesson began when I asked Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior, its a lesson that I continue to learn as He keeps calling me into obedience. Just recently He called me to get healthy and to repent of my various habits of excess.  This video is my testimony to that journey and technically its one that I would still classify as "in progress".  Even when I make it to my goal weight, I must stand firm and not let old habits take me right back where I started.  The video is a bit longer than the average attention span and for that I apologize.  But I hope and pray that it encourages you and that it helps you to identify the next step God is calling you to.  Don't ignore the knocking.  His rewards are much more delightful than a box of thin mints!

 

Friday, November 09, 2012

Photo Friday Frenzy - 86

Category: US President

Instructions: Vote on your favorite two photos. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Place votes here ===============================>

Mobile Phone Users - Click HERE to see & vote on the poll.

Click on images to enlarge them.


Rushmore's ugly side.



Hipster-Ham Lincoln


Badges & Birth Certificates. Who needs em?


United States of Irony


Protect the oil...er umm...find the WMD's!


Gone MAD.


Ask me again in five minutes.


Define dress code!