Winter
February 12, 2017

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This isn’t open to debate. I’m telling you the truth. I love all the seasons as there is beauty in them.

But what I like about western Pennsylvania is the beauty of winter. Although fall is my favorite, I truly love winter next.

There is something about winter that is peaceful. I chose this picture as its a picture I took of a beautiful February sunset over the wide open fields. The calmness and the serenity of the photo is what winter is for me. What comes to your mind when you hear the lyrics “Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright”? A beach? Nah, me either. I see a snow covered peaceful field, where shepherds heard the glorious news about our Savior.

People complain that it is too cold. Winter here is cold. But that’s ok, I’m not that much of a sissy that can’t handle some cold. This winter and last has been mild with little snow. I love snow, so it’s a bit of a disappointment to me.

Now I’m not saying I like snow on the roads. Untreated roads are nerve wracking, and troublesome, but if that’s the worst of it, I’ll take it.

I remember living in Florida and missing the cold. I went to the movies, saw “The Shining” (NOT recommending the movie). There was a scene at the hotel where it was surrounded in snow. Made me miss it.

I had a friend that lived down  there and he was from Cleveland. He said he hated the winter and that the cars were dirty, you track snow into the car. I didn’t .

I remember Christmas shopping in Florida, and you’re in the mall and shopping with Christmas music, Santa inside, place all decorated, and you go around the corner, sunshine, people in shorts, step outside and it’s 85 degrees. Not my cup of tea.

I lived in Florida twice, and when I moved back the second time, it recorded the coldest actual temperature in the history of Mercer County. This was 1984. And I remember, thinking out loud, “God, why have you brought me here”. I really felt that He said, “Because I need you here.”

That’s the point. That’s when I really fell in love with winter. Because God placed me here, then this is where I want to be. See, people move because they don’t like the area, and they don’t even ask God if this is where they should go. I asked, and He said so.

They say, “I want to live near the ocean”. “I need to live in the mountains”. “I need to live with no humidity”. “I need to live where the land is flat”. “I need to live where their are lakes and streams”. And they never consult God. I want to live where God has me.

I just realized I moved back here 33 years ago. I have lived a great majority of my life here. God has placed me here because I am needed here. I’ve gotten married, have three great kids, two in-laws that aren’t in-laws to me because I consider them my own, and three grandbabies here. And it gets cold.

I see the little ones bundled up, cute as can be. I see the blessings of being able to have a warm house and car, “winter skin” that I can put on, and, on days like Friday, open up the windows because it’s 60 degrees.

Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t like other places. Southern California, driving along Pacific Coast Highway, is absolutely gorgeous. No humidity. I like it there, but I like here better. Because this is where God wants me. At least for the past 33 years.

People that say “come to paradise” doesn’t phase me or entice me. “Paradise” for me is doing and being what God wants, when He wants. Before I was a Christian, comfort was what I strived for.

I’ve learned that when we complain about the weather, we are murmuring against God. As Paul said in Philippians, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” How? “I can do all things through Him (Christ) who strengthens me”.

I’m content here. Small little house, nice little church, great church family, great family, and all four seasons. Solomon, the wisest man ever, says everything is vanity. He had chased after fame, fortune, success, yet was not satisfied because his affections left God and focused on other things.

My focus is God. Wherever He wants to send me, I will go. And if He tells me to stay, I will stay, because there are two things I absolutely know.

  1. There is a God.
  2. I’m not Him.

 

273.6/256.2

 

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One Year Later
May 23, 2014

It has been two months almost to the day since my last blog. Various reasons, but most importantly, I didn’t want to. How terrible is that? I was going along pretty good, then “Boom”, desire left me. Not just desire to write, but desire to set boundaries in my eating habits. Not sure why, but as that famous saying goes, “It is what it is”.

I was moving along famously, particularly following the Fast Metabolism Diet, and it was good. But it was expensive to follow it how it should be. I’m no doctor, lawyer, etc., just a poor little preacher, so as it started costing more and more, I decided to follow my own plan, which is really the Metabolism Diet with different types of food, or cheaper foods. Also, I got off the routine of eating snacks, sometimes going 8 hours between breakfast and dinner. I know that is not the way to lose weight. But I wasn’t focused.

And I fell into the trap of “No need to measure out a cup and a half of oatmeal, you can eye ball it”. Well, I think my portions got a bit out of control or I got one crazy eyeball. It’s being lazy. So as I was 247 two months ago, I am 255 this morning. Up 8 pounds.

I’ve found that I’m anal in some areas, (which I’m glad for this area),  so I went back and reviewed my “Walking To 199” statistics. It’s funny when you write things down, because in your head, you’ve done much better. So how did the walking go? I am so glad you asked.

Since today, the 23rd, is the one year mark, I discovered that I have walked, or have taken walks on 99 days.  I’ve walked 200.9 miles this past year. Some days I walked twice or three times in a day (rarely). Now, this doesn’t include walks on the beach with Bonnie, walking around Lake Eustis with my sister Kathy, walking at the Outlet Mall at Bonnie’s ridiculous pace , or other walks that I’ve forgotten to log, but there aren’t that many. So I’d say to be safe, the 99 serious walks is pretty accurate. I think that is lousy, especially when I live near this gorgeous park (Buhl Park) and belong to Planet Fitness, about three miles from my house.

I lost 10 days to a rib injury in August, took two weeks off over Thanksgiving, 25 days off over Christmas, and the entire month of April off. Why? Lazy or liking that Easter chocolate. So, like, I’m looking at this and thinking, “well that explains a lot”.

When I started this blog, I figured I’d be like the guy on YouTube who lost a zillion pounds in a year, had bloody nipples from running, etc. I guess my self motivation isn’t very motivating.

During this time, I went to North Carolina and later to Florida. Vacations are excuses to not exercise. I certainly did not, except for working out a day in North Carolina.

A lot’s happened since the last blog, which I’ll relay later. Got to meet dear friends that I haven’t seen in 35 years. The big one is I found Jim Paynter. Got to meet him and spend 5-6 hours with him which was totally a blessing for me. More about that later.

So here we are my friends. Sorry it’s been so long. Am I disappointed? Yeah, I wanted to lose more. Encouraged? Well, yeah, because I’m 18 pounds lighter since I started the walk, and 28 from March of 2013. But right now, I’m counting the 18 only. So, 18 in a year, which is 1.5 pounds a month. I can do better. My goal is to lose 24 pounds this year. That will put me at 232. And, I want to walk 200 days this year. That’s the plan.

The Lord will help me. He’s the only reason I’m back on track.