a physical and spiritual transformation…

August 25, 2010

A few weeks ago, I made a promise to myself and to a very close friend of mine. I promised that I would go to the gym every single day. It sucked at first, but now, a week and a half later; I am seeing results and loving it. Of course, there are days where I do not feel like going at all, but the above-mentioned friend sort of holds me accountable and reminds me that I promised myself I would go, and for that, I am very thankful.

The Incredible Hulk

Over the last few days I have been doing a lot of thinking about transformation. I saw how quickly the health (and shape) of my body has been changing from my hard work at the gym. This got me thinking about my spiritual life. If I can devote 2 ½  to 3 hours a day to lifting weights, doing cardio, and swimming, then how would my life look if I devoted this much time (if not more) to spending time with God in prayer, in reading His Word, and in serving Him?

It was a scary realization to come to. If I’m going to be completely honest with myself, I have not been growing in my walk with God lately. I have not been spending time with Him.  It has been way too long since I was truly and sincerely seeking Him and striving to grow closer on a daily basis. Sometimes going to a Christian college and having a job that you get paid to read your Bible for will do that to you. It becomes a job and not a desire. I have also been bitter for the last few months and have been completely unmotivated to work on that issue and fix my spiritual life. But that is changing.

Yesterday, I challenged myself to make it a priority to spend as much time with God (in prayer, reading His word, watching and learning from sermons, etc) each day as I do at the gym. It is going to require a lot of discipline and hard work, but so does lifting weights. I’m seeing results from my hard work at the gym, and now it is time to start seeing results from my hard work in growing in my walk with God.

Can anyone relate to any of this? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Post Script – Your prayers are greatly appreciated!

–          paulg


Texas Missions Trip: Day 3…

August 11, 2009

We have now successfully completed day three of our Texas Missions Trip. We started doing actual work today and there was lots of sweating done by all. It was another hot one today, as are most days in Texas. We spent a few hours getting the camp ready for the campers to arrive tomorrow. We spent time getting their material and paperwork together. We spent time setting up the sports equipment and what-not. We spent some time setting up the cafeteria and main lesson area. And we got all of the cabins ready to be lived in by a bunch of crazy 7-12 year old boys!

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After we were done doing all the pre-camp preparations, we came back and got cleaned up and tried to put a stop to all of the sweating. Then we went out to a highly recommended Mexican restaurant called “Chuy’s” (pronounced – chewies). I’m not sure how you get “chewies” from “chuy’s” but I wasn’t going to ask questions, I was just there to eat some good food! This was no ordinary lunch though; my students and I (along with Betsy (Keith’s wife…for those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about) back home in Altoona) were secretly planning all morning how we were going to surprise Keith by taking him out to lunch for his birthday. We purposely neglected to tell him happy birthday the entire morning, in hopes of making him think we forgot. Then when we got to the restaurant, we all text messaged him at the same time a happy birthday message. Mine said “happy birthday brother man, your lunch is on me!” He was surprised and happy that we all wished him a very happy birthday. Also worth mentioning about our lunch trip was that Jordan, Tyler, Keith, and I got sweet t-shirts from the restaurant. They had a lot of cool ones to choose from!

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Keith looking surprised the moment he got six texts at once wishing him a happy birthday...

Keith looking surprised the moment he got six texts at once wishing him a happy birthday...

After we got back from lunch, we all just hung out for the afternoon. The girls went for a run, the boys played video games and listened to music on their iPods, I attempted to nap (but was very unsuccessful), some of us played volleyball, and then we all went swimming. Some notable things worth mentioning about our swimming excursion was that Abby threw a ball and hit me in the back of the head, Katelyn and Tyler got attacked by fire ants, and we all went down this awesome blow-up water slide a bunch of times!

After we got back from swimming, the girls cooked us dinner (spaghetti and meatballs, salad, and garlic bread). The girls cooked while the guys sat around on the couches watching TV and hanging out. I felt bad so I helped a little bit (by cooking the meatballs in the microwave). So I was not entirely lazy, just a little bit! After dinner, Tyler, Jordan, and I went to put gas in the van, to rent a movie, and to buy candles for another birthday surprise we had for Keith. The girls baked brownies while we were out and when we put the candles in, they started to fall over from their bottoms melting. The brownies were still too hot! So if there is anything you are going to learn from this blog, it should be this: allow your brownies to cool down a lot before sticking thin, wax, candles in them! We then decided to put the candles in the ice cream and let Keith blow them out that way….and that was a successful plan! Now we are all relaxing and watching a movie.

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Tomorrow is our first full-day of ministry here in Porter, Texas. We have training all morning and part of the afternoon, and then the campers arrive at 3:00 pm! It will be non-stop busyness from that point on! I’ve done camp ministry before (as I mentioned in one of the previous blogs) and it is extremely tiring, but very worth it! Please pray for strength, knowledge, perseverance, stamina, and whatever else God leads you to pray for us. We will definitely need the prayers!

I have a strong feeling that God is going to use us to make a difference in these students lives, so pray that we are willing and open to be used by Him!

Until next time…

– paulg


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