Archives For November 2015

This has surely been an eventful week! Social media has been ablaze with discussion on whether Syrian refugees should relocate to United States. Here is my take on it. Feel free to disagree. Let’s just keep it civil.

  1. Risk.

One of the most common responses many share is the element of risk. I get it. It is risky. All the vetting in the world will not guarantee that unsavory elements bent on destruction will be kept at bay.

Yet…before we refuse help to those that need it most, please consider this. The gospel is risky. So is following Jesus.

It was risky for missionaries to go to foreign land where they were eaten, beaten and killed. They put their families at risk, many of them going to preach with a one way ticket.

It was risky for the disciples to share Jesus’ message across the world. Most died as a result.

It was risky for people in Nazi Germany to hide in their homes Jewish people. They put their families at risk of death.

There are many words to describe discipleship. Safe is not one of them.

 

  1. Responsibility.

Just because there is a possibility of harm, does not preclude me from the responsibility of loving and caring for the least of these. Pictures of that baby washing ashore eats at me every day. I have kids and grandkids. What if that was my situation? What would I do? It is my belief, and you may well disagree, that the choice is not between helping the least of these or keeping my family safe. It is between saving the least of these or following a biblical command. The more I think about it, the more convinced I am.

 

  1. Refugees.

We usually reject what we don’t know. Let’s do away for a moment with political rhetoric and posturing, tracking lists or rabid dogs analogies. These are people. Kids like yours. Women like your mom. Men like your brother. The bigger question I seldom hear asked is this: What causes people in that region to think blowing themselves up is a better choice than their lives? (thanks Yamil for that question) What is going on that they would think that putting your child on an overcrowded boat is a better idea than staying where you are? What a wonderful time to follow the many commands of Jesus regarding the least of these. Many years from now as people look back what will they say about the church? A post-Christian wrote me this week:

“You Christians are amazing. Although this is an unscientific poll,

but a quick browse through my FB pages I see that many of the so called Christians,

are the one refusing to accept the refugees, and the so called godless heathens

are the ones calling for compassion and charity to them.”

 

Somehow, we need to find a way to do better. I believe we can.

Stop eating C.R.A.P.

imprrh@gmail.com —  November 6, 2015

Stop eating C.R.A.P. That was the teacher’s encouragement in a weight loss seminar I attended. I didn’t work.

Hi. My name is Roger. I work out 6 days a week, drink plenty of water, and still struggle with my weight. The culprit?

C.R.A.P.

It stands for:

Carbonated drinks and coffee

Refined sugars

Artificial preservatives and additives

Processed foods

I want to share my story of weight loss and gain, and loss and gain, with the hopes of encouraging you in your journey.

It’s been close to a year now, since my wife and I started putting the desire to get healthier into action. We have lost around 32 pounds and KEPT IT OFF. We are exercising regularly and eating better. Not perfect. Better. Here is how we are doing it:

  1. Guilt, shame and imposition did not work.

I’ve always been a vegetarian so that part was easy. But it is perfectly common to see vegetarians that are unhealthy. I know. I was one of them. I was out of shape, and added a couple of pounds every year. That doesn’t seem like a lot, except that it went on for around 15 years. I don’t aspire to know all the answers as far as what works, but what I do know DOES NOT is shaming, guilt and imposition. I had an acquaintance who was extremely involved in veganism. His approach was to make me feel less than, stupid and incapable. I ran the other way. If you want to change someone, explain and set an example, leave the enforcing to the Holy Spirit,

  1. Desire and goals are two different things.

Desire is what you want. Goals have timelines, deadlines and are:

Specific.

Measurable.

Reachable.

We did not set out to lose 100 pounds. We just took it day by day, doing T25 this week, then the next week, then the next. We haven’t stopped.

  1. I decided.

That phrase was key. If you notice, most of the conversations with people that achieve something important, forgive, or overcome obstacles have that phrase somewhere in there. We decided to start working out. It wasn’t our anniversary. Birthday. New Year’s resolution. It was 17th of December. A day just like any other. We don’t promise. We decide. Promises keep you living in the future, frustrated about your past. A decision involves the present. Today. Whether I feel like it or not.

We are not where we would like to be. I still eat C.R.A.P. on occasion. But it’s improving. Understanding that I am after progress and not perfection, after my goals and not yours, has helped.

Pray for us. Share your story and tips about what worked for you.

I decided.