Bucket List
December 12, 2016

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It’s funny but recently people have been posting on Facebook and even talking at work about having a “Bucket List”. It intrigued me as I thought about it because I realized I don’t have a bucket list. I used to have a bucket list when I felt certain things were important, but realize now that they’re not that important. It’s not that I “don’t have” a bucket list now, but rather I “don’t need or want” a bucket list.

I look at my life and think, “what do I want to do or where do I want to go before I kick the bucket”? The answer is nothing and nowhere.

I guess that makes me an odd kind of creature, but in analyzing it all, its because of a couple things. First,  I think that the Apostle Paul had it right when he said, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content”. (Phil. 4:11). I feel good about that. I guess I’m content.

Second, whatever God has planned for me is ok with me, either plenty or lack. The things I really want to do and go to are whatever God has planned for me to do or go to. It’s all in the Lord’s hands. See, because the things I want to see and places I want to go are all up to what God wants of me.  Let me explain.

I want to see Benny married. I want to see my grandchildren. All of them. I want to dance at their weddings. I want to help them with their homework. Have them call me when their mommy or daddy is “mean” to them. I want to see them at their prom. I want to take them to McDonald’s, take them fishing, see the Yankees or Browns play, walk with them at Buhl Park.

I want to play in the snow with them. Walk on the beach with them,  whether it’s Lake Erie or Maui. Lay in the grass with them at night and count all the stars and tell them that God has given all of them a name. I want to teach them that their really is a heaven and Jesus is the only way to get there, and when “Bapa” is gone, they will be with me there.

I want to teach them about God. His faithfulness and His purpose He has for their lives. I want to teach them to honor their parents, be a good sport when they lose, be a graceful winner when they win. Teach them that there is nothing more important than following God, finding out about Him, studying His Word,

I want to teach them about purity, that celibacy isn’t just a good idea, but it’s following God’s laws. Teach them that the teachings of this world about right and wrong most likely don’t line up with the Word of God. Teach them that their secular teachers and professors aren’t as smart as they think. Show them about respecting and loving spouses, fighting through tough times, and enjoying the good times.

I want to teach them that alcohol doesn’t make you braver and drugs don’t make you cooler. Swearing doesn’t make you distinguished, smoking is a stupid habit, and faithfulness is all that God asks of us.

I want to explain to them that Bob Dylan is a literary genius and he was the best songwriter of their grandfather’s lifetime, that the Beatles are the best band ever, and that it’s ok to be different.

See if this is a bucket list, then this bucket list isn’t about going or doing, but it’s about being. I want to live. A quiet, peaceful, life that causes no harm to anyone. I want to positively impact my grandchildren’s lives.

I watched “Elf” with all my kids and their spouses and my grandchildren tonight. I don’t think I could ask for anything more than that. I’m perfectly content with my life and in need of nothing.

Although seeing a World Series game with Ben in Yankee Stadium would be pretty cool.

273.6/257.3

Walking To 199
August 7, 2016

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As those that follow this blog know, this whole blog started with the intent to show this amazing progress I’d be making in my goal to get below 200 pounds. A lofty goal, realizing I needed to shed around 75 pounds to achieve this task. This is a long walk, apparently.

Over the months, and probably years, I’ve had ups and downs (puns intended) in the walk as well as in the blogging. My goal was to blog weekly, but it appears I’ve blogged weakly (another horrific pun. Sorry).

My blogs about weight seem self serving, so I’ve been thinking that maybe not so much about this struggle of losing weight should be focused on, but matters of life and sometimes death. Or sometimes just random thoughts rattling through this puny brain of mine.

With this being said, I feel that for me to say “I’m going to do this or that” to lose weight, whether its exercise or diet or whatever, is a lot of talk. I’m encouraged by some of you, and I thank you, and some of you are faithful followers whom I have shared my secrets and some humor. OK, I think its humor.

I will continue to blog, but because some have asked me how the weight is going, I will be listing my starting weight and my current weight at the end of the blog (starting weight/current weight). This, so those who are interested will note the progress, but not to bore others that have little interest in weight loss and may be a bit intrigued by my weirdness. (For example, the rule is “i before e except after c”. Except for the word “weird”. Weird is a weird word).

I may sometimes mention something about weight, but not to be a “wow, look how wonderful I am doing. Send me cookies”. I continue to hope that you find these entertaining, enlightening, or encouraging. There may be some Scriptural or spiritual references as Christ is the biggest part of my life, and I’m not ashamed of that.

I will try to be more regular (at my age, again, not easy) with the blogs to hopefully bring some joy in a dark time of history. Let me say that we have to stop the hate. The media wants us divided, black against white, gay against straight, Republican against Democrats, and so forth. Can’t we all get along?

Until then, I’ll just keep walking.

273.6/257.4

Merely Mortal
July 26, 2016

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It’s been a strange couple weeks. Not “strange” as it being odd, but “strange” in being eye opening. So maybe the word shouldn’t be “strange”, but instead, “enlightening”.

First, since it’s been awhile, I have a new granddaughter, Selah Hope, who I absolutely adore. I now have three grandchildren, two granddaughters and a grandson, whom I love in a way that I didn’t know was possible for me to love. It’s like loving your kids, only different. A lot different. Hard to explain it, but its like God opens up a new part of your heart to have these little munchkins inhabit. Beyond words.

With that being said, two weeks ago Bonnie, my wife of 31 years, was hospitalized with chest pains. I was called to where she works and told she was having pain. Now my wife is a daughter of a nurse, and unless you’re dying, you don’t go to the hospital. I tell you, it was the scariest thing I’d been through. She was pale and weak. So off to the hospital we go.

They ran tests, labs, x-rays, CT Scans, the works. They decided to keep her overnight for observation. My wife, to say the least, is a very poor patient. She was in the hospital bed with a gown, refusing to take off her pink scrubs from work, and wearing her tennis shoes! I told her to take her pants off and stay in bed and she tells me there is no need for that. She believed that there was no reason for her to be in the hospital, and that the Lord had her there to pray for people. That, in a nutshell, is my wife.

It was discovered that she had a leaky valve in her heart, and that she has to wear a heart monitor for a month. Now, it’s been over 90 degrees for a week and a half and will continue to be that way, and we are helping my daughter and son-in-law move into a new home. She had no intention of  doing this heart monitor thing, however, our doctor is the sweetest woman we know, so she wouldn’t fight her. So here we are with that.

Last week, the young Princess (that’s what I call Selah), was running a fever of 101.8. She was three weeks old and the doctor told my daughter to take her to the ER. So it’s 2 in the morning, and Jo Jo, Selah, and I are in the ER. They ran tests, took blood, and I admit, was horrible to watch. The poor thing was poked and prodded, and trying to get blood from a three week old was very, well, trying.

They could find nothing wrong, but decided that they needed her to go to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, and by ambulance as her fever wasn’t coming down, and a three week old shouldn’t be having a fever. So I go home to be with the Princess (Haniah, Selah’s three year old sister) while mom and dad go to Pittsburgh. It was a crazy week.

They took tests, x-rays, couldn’t get blood so tried a vein in her head, and the nurses said that Selah was one tough girl. They were testing for meningitis and other things. She was hospitalized 4 days and mom and day got to stay at Ronald McDonald House, which is a fantastic place that parents utilize to stay close to their kids while they’re hospitalized. I will not rush by the donation requests for the Ronald McDonald House at my local McDonalds anymore..

Needless to say, all came back well, and it was a virus. Thank God for that.

These two incidents brought me face to face with the blunt reality that we are all mortal. We have a beginning and an end. From my wife to my granddaughter, thoughts of the reality of the end of life smacked me in the face. What would I do if something happened to Bonnie? Or Selah? Or, actually, anyone in my family. Are we ready for this?

I’m 60 and realize that things happen as we get older. This past month also saw my blood pressure getting out of control, and have been monitoring it closely with slight adjustments to meds. I’ve been walking nearly every day, but that is no guarantee, although helpful. of a longer life. Bonnie’s Uncle Ron, who is the most fit man in his age group (early 70’s) that I know, was hospitalized with a blood clot. It could have killed him.

There will come a day of reckoning for all of us. Some sooner than others. It is with this thought in mind that I wonder if I’m doing enough for God. I wonder if there is more I should be doing. I know God loves me no matter what I do, but what do I do that shows God how much I love Him? Do I love my fellow man and woman? Do I care at all for the poor? Am I self-centered or Christ-centered?

As I reflect on these, I realize that all that matters is that at the end, Christ will say ‘well done, My good and faithful servant’. My goal now, is to make sure that all I do is for Him, not for me.

I’m finding that it is hard to do. I’m finding that I am merely mortal, and it’s God’s grace alone that compels me to do good. To serve. To love.

I think I woke up.

Funeral For a Friend
April 16, 2016

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Yesterday was the funeral for my friend Lecie. If you saw my previous blog, she is Amanda’s mom. The service was lovely, the day was beautiful, and it was the chance for goodbye. Here’s why I think open caskets and showings are necessary, whenever possible.

Now, I’m a firm believer in closure. It’s important, I think that a person should be able to close any and all situations. Life doesn’t always do that, but I think it needs to be done when possible. Cremation doesn’t do that if it is done in place of a showing. If the cremation is done without a viewing of the body, it doesn’t give the grievers a chance to bring closure with that person.

If the family is for it and they get to see the body, and they’re ok with cremation, then that’s fine, as the family gets to see the body at rest. Or if one chooses to cremate after the showing, that’s the family’s choice. So, I’m not knocking cremation and people are certainly entitled to do as they please. I just think that the viewing of the body  gives the viewer’s senses  a reality of the passing of that person. A final touching of the hand, kiss on the forehead, a heartfelt goodbye. Even a note tucked away in the casket.

So it was with Lecie yesterday. A closure. A temporary goodbye. Why temporary?

When one is with Christ, a servant of His, then eternal life is the reward. He promises to wipe away all tears and dry all eyes and there will be no more crying. (Rev. 21:4). So as Lecie is in the presence of the mighty Christ, so we will be too, if we’ve placed our lives into His hands.

Christ is the Savior of the world. Without Him there is no hope. Because of Christ, Lecie will be seen again by those who know Christ. How glorious. The pastor yesterday said that a great way to honor Lecie is to come to the saving knowledge of Christ.  How pleased would she be if even one, only one, person came to know Christ personally because of her death? Maybe it’s you?

Maybe you haven’t fully committed to Christ as Lord and Savior. Maybe you’ve put your toe in the water and you’re not sure you want to step in. Any moment could be your last chance. And it won’t be an ending, but a beginning.

Will you come to Christ?  If you do though, Lecie will be waiting for you.

 

Surprise!
February 2, 2016

It was a rough week last week. After I wrote my blog, I was sick all night Tuesday. Had the worst case of the “chills” I have ever had. I could not get warm. Up every half hour trying to urinate, having difficulty, but strong urges to go. So I went to the doctor on Weds. and he told me I had a urinary infection and put me on an anti-biotic. Kinda painful, plus I was running a 101 fever.

Wednesday night I had a bad night sleeping. I was gasping for air all night, and I got two hours sleep by sitting up in a chair. Not comfortable, and my back caused me not to sleep. As I got up, and for the next hour, whether I was sitting or standing or laying, I’m gasping for air. The doctor’s office said go to the ER.

Bonnie came home from work and she took me to the ER. The insurance is a mess, long story short, my doctors are covered but the local hospital (about a quarter mile from my house) was not covered. So off to their competitors I go.

In the meantime, Bonnie had been experiencing severe back pain so the poor thing had to take me, sit and wait, then deal with her pain and her worry for me. I go to the ER to check in, the lady checking me in says, “There is a line in front of you, so if you remain unable to breathe, let us know.” I think maybe if I pass out on the floor, it might be a clue. Here’s your sign.

They did x-rays, CT Scan, and ultra sounds. They were looking for blood clots. Meanwhile I’m still running a fever. At the end, they found nothing more than my blood work showed a probability of blood clots, but no clots were found, thank you Jesus. The doc said it could be a sign of a heart attack, but the EKG looked good. He asked if I wanted to go home. I thought, “Isn’t that part of HIS job?”, but said I felt ready to go.

Now, not quite fully recovered but better, I thought, “Lord, I want that week back. OK, not that specific week, but maybe add a week toward the end of my life.” That brings me to another story.

Today is February 1. Today, it was 55 degrees. This is western Pennsylvania. Bonnie and I took a walk in the Park, and it was gorgeous. Did I mention it’s February 1st?

This past week has been in the fifties, and it will be in the fifties at least until Wednesday. I haven’t had to shovel snow this year. This is February 1. My grass is green. I look at the neighborhood and the park, and it’s green. On February 1st. What a pleasant surprise.

What do these two stories have to do with each other. Little else than this.

When I was picking insurance, I had to figure out if I felt I would be going to the hospital this year and pick an insurance that would benefit that if I was, or if I felt I wouldn’t be going to the hospital this year I’d pick an insurance that would benefit that. I chose the one thinking that I wouldn’t go to the hospital this year (as I didn’t go last year), and here we go, by the end of January, I’m visiting the ER. Surprise!

Then this winter has been such a blessing, never expecting to have weather like this and to save on the heating. Both of these events were “surprises”.

You can count on getting surprises in your life, some good and some bad. You can’t stop them. Whether it’s illness, losses of loved ones, financial, mental, whatever, your boat can get rocked, and whether it sinks or remains afloat, is up to you.

If you’re a Christian, this does not make you immune to surprises. On the contrary, it should make you more aware that surprises happen and to pre-empt them with prayer. While an atheist or “casual” believer will be more “que sera sera, whatever will be, will be, the future’s not ours to see. Que sera, sera”.  Basically, “life happens”.

As a Christian, our boat may get rocked, but it shouldn’t sink. If we know the Captain of our ship, we realize He and He alone gets you through the storm because He knows what the storm will do. The atheist or casual believer has no such assurance of getting through the storm, as he is his own captain. And he doesn’t know what the storm will do.

Are you ready for surprises, good or bad? I don’t know if I am, but I know my Captain is.

Death of My Heroes
January 22, 2016

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The deaths of Glenn Frey and David Bowie have me remembering about my old heroes. Glenn and David weren’t “heroes”, but definitely “influences”. But I have several heroes whose deaths have affected me greatly.

The first one was on June 5, 1968. I remember it clearly. I was 12 years old, and for the first time was getting involved in politics. I remember watching him give speeches on TV, always was told his brother was a great president, and firmly believed he’d end the Viet Nam war, cause I didn’t want to go be a part of that mess. But when Sirhan Sirhan assassinated Bobby Kennedy, it just shook my world. I barely remembered his brother John getting murdered, and was fully aware of the murder of Martin Luther King on April 4th, and here we are, two months later, and another senseless killing. I like the term “senseless” killing, as if some killings make sense. I realized, at the age of 12, the world was mad. He was 42. And I wanted nothing to do with politics for a very long time.

Oh Captain, my Captain! August 2, 1979 I got a call from my brother-in-law Tom. He said “Did you hear the news”. I said no. He said, “Thurman Munson died in a plane crash”. Now Tom was a die hard Red Sox fan and I’ve been a Yankees fan all my life. I told him, “This is sick if you’re making a joke”. He said, “It’s not a joke. Thurman is dead”. Thurman was a great guy, learned to fly a plane so he could go back and forth to his wife and kids in Cleveland. He should be in the Hall of Fame. I got to meet him after a ball game in Cleveland. I asked if I could shake his hand. He kept walking but his wife talked him into it. I shook his hand. I wish I wouldn’t have let go. He was 32.

I was living in Florida and on Dec. 8, 1980, I was watching a Monday Night Football game, I believe. Howard Cosell comes on with breaking news. John Lennon was shot outside of his apartment in New York City. He was 40. I couldn’t believe it. Of all the Beatles, he wasn’t my favorite (more on that later), but he was THE BEATLES. There would be no reunion. A part of my childhood died. I cried. It reminded me the world was mad.

On July 16, 1981 I heard that singer/songwriter Harry Chapin was killed in a car accident. He was driving his VW with the emergency lights flashing and was hit by a semi truck. The impact killed him instantly, with the police saying the truck driver pulled him out of the burning car. He was a great humanitarian and was on his way to perform a free concert. He was 38. Cats in the cradle with a silver spoon.

August 13, 1995 was when a big part of my childhood died. Mickey Mantle, my first hero, died at the age of 63. Growing up, I became a Yankees fan because of him. My entire house loves the Indians, and my dad said that it was because of Mickey Mantle I became a Yankees fan. Thanks Mick. He had a lot of issues and if he was alive today, they would smear him because of his issues. See, nowadays, you can’t have heroes. Not sure why that is. Through all the injuries, through all the pain, there was something about him that made me want to be a Yankee. I got to see him play, but I’d love to have met him.

On November 29, 2001 the rest of my childhood died. George Harrison died at the age of 58, succumbing to cancer. I was devastated. Of all the Beatles, he was and is my favorite. I had tickets to see him on his solo tour in 1974 in Cleveland at the Richfield Coliseum. A blizzard cancelled the tour, and they never rescheduled it. He influenced me in an almost hypnotic way, to the point I read the Bhagavad Gita. It’s a Hindu book, with a forward by Harrison. I was searching philosophically at the time for the answers. I had a million questions, but the answers were out there somewhere.

Now I talked of Bowie and Frey, but also Chris Farley, John Candy, Peter Sellers, James Cagney, Jim Croce, Leslie Nielsen and others were all influences. Not heroes.

But no day has affected my life like January 19,1984. It was on that day that I realized who my greatest hero was. He died around 33 A.D., and His name is Jesus Christ. Of all my heroes, He was the only one who knew me. He was the only one who knew I existed. He was the only one who lived for me. And He was the only one who died for me. I didn’t have to pay to hear Him sing. I didn’t have to pay to watch Him play ball. And I didn’t have to vote for Him for president, because He is the King of the Universe.

When my other heroes died, I was sad. But when I realized that Christ died for me, it brought tears of happiness. Joy, inexpressible joy. Peace, a peace that goes beyond human understanding.

I may never see my heroes again. I know everyone doesn’t go to heaven. But I know that I will see Jesus Christ, face to face, soon. Because He’s my hero. And He knows me.

 

Autumn
September 27, 2014

Its autumn in western Pennsylvania. I love it, in fact from September1 through Dec. 31, it’s my favorite time of year.
I’m a fall baby. Born in October. I love the smell, the taste, the feel of autumn. Leaves turning, the crispness of the autumn air. The drinking of cider, cold or hot, along with a fire in the backyard.
Even though summer is over, the autumn season gives us so much beauty. I liken it to life.
As I will be turning 59 soon, I am in the autumn of my life. I’m not focusing on death, but realize that our life is in seasons. This season may last a long time, but even so, it leads us to look at our own mortality.
The leaves turn a bright color before they wither and die. I want to be that way before I get to my winter season. I want to burn brightly, share beauty and grace, and never look back and miss summer.
That’s what I want.

The Day the Laughter Died
August 14, 2014

Of course everyone is fascinated with the death of Robin Williams. The tragic reality of all this is that this great comedian, possibly the greatest, has done the one thing he tried to spare us from. That is, he made us feel sad.

The world has enough sad. I think that is why comedians are so desperately needed in this world. The George Carlins, the Bill Cosbys, the Richard Pryors, and lets go way back,  Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Jonathan Winters, Carol Burnette, the great comedians all brought us to a place of being disengaged from this crazy world for a few seconds, a few minutes, a few hours.

I heard someone say that all comedians have a dark side, demons that they fight, and this causes the great comedy they produce. I also heard that Seth Myers said that you don’t have to have those demons to be a truly great comedian. I agree.

Robin Williams suffered from depression. If you look at the drug abuse of John Belushi, Chris Farley, and others who have died from an overdose, I’m sure they were self medicating their depression. And I understand also that Robin was raised Episcopalian and others said he became atheist. I would be suicidal too if it wasn’t for Christ. This world is nuts.

The point, the tragic reality, the painful bright spotlight that his death has caused to shine on is that our enjoyment of life is not based on others making us happy or our trying to make others happy. 

I have worked in the mental health/drug and alcohol field for thirty years. I have yet to fully understand the magnitude of depression. I have yet to get a grip on the depressed feeling that causes one to kill themselves, or at least attempt to. I have yet to lose hope that life will get better. I have yet to understand also how people use the depression to excuse their behaviors. I have yet to feel insignificant in someone’s life.

When Robin died, Jack died. The Genie died. Peter Pan died. Popeye died. And all this comedic genius that portrayed these characters died. And it left us with the thought, “how could this guy who made so much laughter now cause so much pain in others”?

But see, that’s what we think about in these times. We think not so much what he did to himself, but look what he did to me. And when we think about it, what did he do to us that would make us so mad?

He took with him some of our innocence of our childhood. And we can never get it back.

My Girl
March 1, 2014

In my “Walking To 199”, I am so blessed to have the helpmate God gave me, Bonnie Bateman Marzano. Without her help in helping me make smart choices, cooking, and encouraging, my walk would be a stand still. To her, “my girl”, I’m grateful. Eternally grateful.

This week has been amazing in that I find that I am able to do this new way of eating rather easily. It’s been a struggle at times when I get discouraged, particularly in the beginning of the week, and find my weight either is up a pound, or I am breaking even. But, in spite of discouragement, we push on. That’s what conquerors do, right?

I had a foot problem and haven’t walked at all this week. I’m not sure how I injured it, but it went from the middle of the ball of my foot, up my middle toe, then over the top of my foot to about the middle. I walked with a limp for a while, but it is getting better. I can probably walk, but am choosing to be wise and let it heal.

I’ve tried many things over many years to help me lose weight. Actually, I was rather thin, mid 150’s, when I moved back here from Florida in 1984. But I was a smoker, drinker, and druggie back then. I quit all that and food took over. I never was a good eater anyways. That’s the Mistretta side of the family. Cake eaters.

I’ve always loved sweets, and though the taste is what I liked, it was the convenience that was truly attractive. I was and still can be fairly lazy. So much easier to grab a donut, a pastry, a cookie, than take the time to cook something. It’s sad, but that’s how I’ve been. My whole life. Until now.

This Fast Metabolism Diet has changed my life. It’s changed the way I eat, the way I drink, the way I think. I’m a devout Christian, a pastor as you may or may not know, but there is a Zen saying that makes sense to me. It was “when the mind is ready a teacher appears”. That’s how this dieting thing went.

My mind was ready to lose weight. I had not wanted to diet, and the Fast Metabolism Diet isn’t really a diet, but it’s a way of life. Eating right, taking time to succeed, avoiding failure, giving myself a chance to succeed. Is it like that in your battle? You try to do what you know you need to do, whether it’s stop smoking, eating poorly, drinking excessively, or drugging. You think you can do this by tapering off.  You’re kidding yourself. you can’t. You need to change. You need to change drastically. You need to get radical.

If I can kill this Goliath of weight, then you can too. Whatever your Goliath is. You can do it. I do it with God’s help. You may choose not to use God for help, but it is truly a much harder road. Christ is my strength, a never ending source of help.

God uses people. God uses diets, books, music, to reach us, to help us, to motivate us. You don’t always have to be overweight. You don’t always have to be a smoker. You don’t always even have to be a thief. Pray. Ask God to inspire you.

I’m seeing crazy numbers on this scale. Remember this all started with me at 273. Actually, the doctor told me that last March I was 286.  Today’s number on the scale blew my socks off. This is working. You can beat your Goliath. Do it. I’ll be praying for you.

Weight: 248.0 (Isn’t that freakin’ crazy?I only have 49 pounds to go.)

Killing Me Softly
December 7, 2013

Wow.

Yesterday was one of those days. Ok, not exactly YESTERDAY, but let’s say from 6 p.m. Thursday through 3 p.m. Friday I ate eight donuts. Now, not the real large donuts, but medium size. Why? Well I’ll give you the rationale, then tell you the truth.

Rationale: With donuts in the house, other people will eat them and they’re trying to lose weight too. I am helping them.

Rationale: They’re small donuts. Not much weight in them, they’re glazed, they don’t weigh much.

Rationale: I’m supposed to eat every two hours because I’m diabetic, so a donut or two every two hours is good for me.

Truth: I’m lazy.

I’d been hungry most of the day, and, admittedly, it was an easy fix. Can’t say it was I had a “craving” for sweets. Can’t say, I “longed” for donuts. I can say that I was hungry, and was too lazy to cook anything. So, a donut sufficed. Well, really, they’re small donuts, so two at a sitting would “take the edge off”.

I’m pathetic. Truly. I look back at that and think, “whats up with that?”. Lazy. Not in the zone. Backslid diet wise. Call it whatever. A bad day.

A wonderful elderly woman at my church, Betty, told Bonnie that I’m trying to kill myself. Am I? Do I have a deep desire to just give in and do whatever I want? Of course I do. And so do you.

We all do. It’s called a sin nature. We desire the things of the flesh and even though we know better, we continue to dive into activities that are not healthy for us. It used to be drugs and alcohol. For some people it’s porn. For others it’s stealing. For someone else it’s holding grudges. To another, it’s slander. Or to some it’s smoking. Or drugs and alcohol.

If I gave into my eating desires, I’d be “Sprinting to 300” instead of “Walking to 199”. We may stumble, but we are not defeated. You know what the kicker was with this whole donut incident? The thing that aggravated my wife, my kids, and church people?

I lost three pounds! I thought, “wow, I’m onto a secret. An all donut diet”. Of course that’s not true. It will catch up with me eventually, like every sin does. But God’s grace keeps me. There’s a quote that George Steinbrenner kept in his office and I’ll paraphrase it.

“I’ve been hit. I’ve been wounded. I’ve fallen down. So I will rest. I will rise. I will fight again”. Something like that. So that’s what life is all about. How cool if we never screwed up! But realistically, that’s what we do. We mess up. But with Christ, He is able to keep us from stumbling.

But we’ll stumble at times. And even though this was a bad stumble, the times between stumbles are becoming longer and longer. That’s progress. So we move forward.

Seriously, I don’t want to kill myself. There are too many people out there who have never had the pleasure of meeting me yet. People that I haven’t had a chance to irritate yet. People I haven’t had a chance to encourage.  Let’s do this.

Weight: 260.8