Monday Was a Day Off – Renae and I had a day off yesterday. Finally. It’s been three weeks with no break. Yesterday was great. No phone calls. No crises to respond to. No office work. Bliss.
Spent the day working in my yard; mowing the grass, tending to the flower beds, taking care of the vegetable garden, repairing a broken pipe on my sprinkler system, etc. My back is sunburned. I also grilled a rack of ribs, chicken, sausage, pineapple, and potatoes. Very nice day.
Sugar - Still not eating sugar. Since it has been a full three months, I wouldn’t call it a fast any longer. It seems normal now; more like a lifestyle change. First of all I would say that my sugar intake is about 85-90% less than before. I avoid all the obvious sources of sugar (cookies, candy, cake, sweetened drinks, ketchup, white bread, honey butter, etc) but a little bit of sugar still finds it’s way in my meals through less obvious sources; baked beans, bar-b-q sauce, canned vegetables, etc. Since I have become so mindful sugar intake I have come to realize that sugar is in everything. The only foods without sugar come from the fresh produce department.
I am noticing changes in my body as a result . First of all I have lost 13 lbs. More importantly, I’ve lost inches around my waist, which means my body is changing shape. I’ve gone down to a smaller pant size (in Levi’s), and my kaki pants are about to fall off. Soon I will have to replace them. Something I did not anticipate is the change in my food cravings. By not eating so much sugar, my blood-sugar levels are in balance which means I am not craving food all the time. This is BIG. Not only have I eliminated empty calories from my daily intake, but my appetite is under control.
Exercise - My exercise routine continues strongly. I started jogging/running back in October – making a change from bike riding as the weather got cooler. I started out by run-walking and gradually increased to running 1 mile. Soon thereafter I increased to two miles. Now my normal running distance is 3-to-3.5 miles. I run five days a week; every day except Wednesday and Sunday. My exercise routine also includes strength training with weights - usually light weights - about two times per week.
Preaching & Teaching - I must tell you that I absolutely love teaching God’s Word to the PCC family. I've been preaching about 26 years and I still enjoy it. It never ceases to be a joy for me. I especially like teaching my way through a book of the Bible or other large portions of scripture. This style of preaching benefits our congregation in ways that I cannot fully describe; mainly it results in a healthy congregation. The most noticeable benefit is that our church family is learning the Bible – not some man-made system of theology – but the Bible itself. Plus, I also experience spiritual growth myself as I study and prepare. There are some weeks that I absolutely can’t wait for Sunday to arrive so I can communicate what I have learned.
Biblical teaching that actually “expounds the scriptures” imposes the authority of God upon His people and EXPOSES US TO THE CONTENT THAT GOD INTENDS FOR US TO HEAR AND KNOW. It goes deeper than simple topics like successful living and how to get ahead in life that we are so often exposed to today. It presumes that God intends the church to learn from both Testaments, as well as all other categories of Scripture – law, history, wisdom, prophecy, gospels, and the epistles.
The number one feedback I have received from people at PCC over the last twelve years is how they enjoy “learning the Bible.” From our earliest days up until now, it’s still the same – they are glad to be “learning the Bible.” I am glad that God has used PCC in this manner. I’m convinced it is one of the reasons that has contributed to our church’s health. When God’s people are exposed to a steady diet of milk and strong meat from God’s Word, they grow. As a result, the church will grow too.