Although I agreed to lift weights with my friend (the same guy who I studied the bible with yesterday) early this morning, I should have known that “me lighting weights” and “him lifting weights” were two very different things. I am a skinny man who probably weighs 150 pounds if I were soaked to bone with water while Branden is a well-built former starting running back at Princeton University who weighs about 220 pounds. Oh and did I mention that he also played semi-pro football over in Germany. Lifting weights for him is about as naturally as breathing is for me. After picking him up at 6:00 am (yes, it was extremely early) this morning, my friend, Branden, started me out on a workout routine that worked muscles in my legs and parts of my body that I didn’t know existed.
After some light warm-up stretches, we did lounges down a 50-yard track three times. To say that I was hurting was an understatement. The crazy thing was that Branden did all three sets of lounges down the track as if they were easy and he even carried two dumbbells weighing 25 pounds a piece in each hand as he lounged through each set. The only thing I carried in my hands was my dignity and humility because after doing such an exercise both these character traits of mine were gone. After the first set of lounges, I thought I was going to die. Somehow I made it through. After finishing the exercise I thought we were done for the day but then came the bouncy ball-hip exercise. The goal of this exercise is too move a bouncy-ball underneath your body by only using your ankles and your hips. One starts off this exercise by lying on their back with their ankles pointed to the wall over the ball. They then force the ball to move with their ankles by making a 90 degree angle with their body. Branden once again did this exercise as if he invented it while I couldn’t even do one set of the exercise correctly. It was so pathetic! Thankfully after this, we finished up with some lighter exercises that were easier for me to do. However as a result of a lower body workout with Branden: I felt like I could no longer feel my legs. Pray for me and for my legs to be able to move tomorrow.
After working out with the Incredible Hulk, oops I mean my friend, Branden, I took a short nap and then went over to Pierce College to have a “Seeking God” bible study with a friend of mine. The study went great and my friend says he wants to seek after a relationship with God! Amen! When the study was over, I then went out to lunch with my friend Ryan Novak who a member of the Singles ministry in Tacoma. We went to McDonalds (I know they are not the healthiest food around but boy are they good) and talked about what strengths and weaknesses we saw in each others characters. Ryan encouraged me by saying that to him I was a leader who did a good job of leading the Singles/Teens/Campus groups in Tacoma but that he has felt that I am a bit too structured in my decision-making as it related to leadership. I felt grateful for his input because he reminded me that I need to be more open to thinking outside the box and not be so technocratic as a leader.
Following lunch I went home, made some phone calls, and then met with my co-leader, Marquia Verrett, to discuss the Teen ministry. Marquia and I lead the Teen ministry here in Tacoma and we usually talk about how things are going with the group every other week. After our meeting, I then went to our church’s weekly Midweek Service. Daren Overstreet (Evangelist of the South Sound Church of Christ and my boss, I mean great, wonderful, awesome, and patient boss if he is reading this) led us in a great devotional about how we as disciples of Christ always need to think of things in our lives that need to be changed to be more like Jesus. Using John 15, he challenged us just as Jesus did that we need to be constantly pruned in order to be effective servants for God. After listening to him speak, I discovered that the areas of my life that need to be pruned the most were the following: 1) Leadership—prune shying away from confronting others (especially other leaders) on pertinent spiritual issues, 2) Faithlessness—prune my lack of faith of what God can do as it relates to evangelism, 3) Patience—prune my lack of patience to see God produce fruit and also learn how to be more patient with my fiancée, Naomi, 4) Purity—prune away my double standard about absolute purity regardless of my up-incoming wedding this June. How about you, what needs to be pruned in your life? Well that’s it for my day. I may not be able to feel my legs but thank God that even though I am sinner, he still loves and cares for me. This is something that I must never forget.