Sep 22

How I Lost over 20 Pounds – For Now!

scalesSome have asked how I lost over 20 pounds recently.  So I thought I’d give you the skinny (pun intended) on it.  The catalyst really was a friend of mine that is always doing life experiments much like myself.  He ranted about how much better he felt due to his change in eating habits.  Notice he didn’t say “diet”, because diets are proven not to work.

Lifestyle changes do.

Not long thereafter I was reading about a triathlete who was laughing about how many triathletes would spend thousands extra on a bike to lose just a pound or two for a carbon fiber frame.  He believed, as I do, that it would be cheaper just to lose the weight himself. I quickly made the jump to my long distance running.  Why am I carrying all this extra body fat for all these miles!  Viola, now it made since.

I already knew that belly fat is the killer of many people.  I realized as I get older it’s harder to lose weight. Knowing that I love a good life experiment… Knowing that I’ve tried “diets” before and they didn’t prove effective for the long haul… Why not try a lifestyle change experiment?

So how about the lifestyle change already! Primal Blueprint eating lifestyle. Specifically I’m doing the Primal Endurance option for athletes. Yes, I did buy the book!

Basically I’ve cut out bread, desserts, soft drinks, most grains. Know that I’m not ultra strict.  If I’m doing long runs on any given week I will eat pizza!  Not giving that up.  But In the last 2 months I’ve had one soft drink and probably 2 deserts. I’m also pretty liberal with condiments.  Just because ketchup has sugar in it doesn’t mean I’m gonna kick it to the curb!

I eat a lot of red meat, fish, chicken, eggs and bacon, and SOME grains but very little.

So I’ve found this very doable.  I also realize I can cheat periodically and still go back without falling off the wagon.

I must say that I feel better than ever.  My belly fat is lower than it’s ever been.  I weigh about what I did in college.

So far I like this lifestyle change with the Primal Endurance idea with the modifications that I have made (Pizza!).

I also continue to go to the gym 3-4 times per week and run on a regular basis.

If you need to lose a few pounds without dieting, I’d suggest you give the Primal Blueprint a try.

Mark’s daily apple website is a good site to learn more if you’re interested.

I don’t follow EVERYTHING suggested by the Primal Blueprint and I don’t take any supplements other than a daily vitamin (when I remember to take it!)

I also may revert back to old eating habits at some point but for now I’m really enjoying what I believe is long term lifestyle change.

For the record, yes I will periodically drink a coke, eat a dessert, and a piece of bread! I’m not legalistic about it but it will be done sensibly.

Sep 13

Becoming an Amazing Volunteer

volunteer2Who doesn’t like the idea of becoming amazing – at anything!  This week I was researching various ways one can become an amazing volunteer and thought I’d share a few of my findings… Most are from, specifically Michael Lindenmayer

Here are some one liners from the article

-The standard volunteer is insufficient

-A mediocrity is lethal

-Amazing volunteers DO EXIST

Volunteers are crucial in the church environment.  They are often the first people a guest sees.  Volunteers change the entire atmosphere.  Volunteers have the capacity to change a persons day! If they are amazing.

Here are a few traits of an AMAZING Volunteer

1.Results driven – An amazing volunteer wants to accomplish something.  It could be a simple as making someone laugh or smile…

2. Passionate – An amazing volunteer brings their best every time because they want to make a difference.

3. Make no excuses – An amazing volunteer sticks to their commitments! They do their best to make it happen.

4. Champions – An amazing volunteer are champions for the cause.  They are cheerleaders. They thrive on spreading the word.

5. Energizers – An amazing volunteer is the original energy drink. They are amped about what they are doing and people notice.

So if you’re not an amazing volunteer, become one today!  You do make a difference.  For many, you may be the difference.

Sep 07

Remembering 9-11 in 2016

911This week most Americans will take time to remember the horrific tragedy of 9-11.  As most of you can, I too can remember where I was when I heard the news.  I was driving my youngest daughter to her elementary school.  Rick and Bubba were on the radio and brought me the news.

You could easily argue that things have never been the same since.

The same is true of the Christian church in general.  Weeks after that event churches were packed.  Some believed that the wave might continue and we’d see a resurgence in the faith.  But one who’d believe that must not have known or ancestors the Israelites very well.

Scripture notes:

Jeremiah 5:23

‘But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; They have turned aside and departed.

I wonder how many people that were in church on the Sundays following 9-11 will be in church this Sunday on 9-11?

I hope a lot but I also know our ancestors.

I hope you’ll be a trend setter and start a new trend this 9-11 by being present in worship as we worship God together.  He’s the same one you prayed to the weeks following 9-11 and He’s still on the throne today and this Sunday and all the Sundays that follow.

Invite someone to church this Sunday and reverse the trend – “They have turned aside and departed”.

See you Sunday as we remember all those whose lives were forever changed that day.

Aug 31

Becoming a Dream Employee

BossThe majority of people would like to succeed in their place of employment.  Most would like to advance.  Most want anything but a dead end job.  One of the ways to succeed and become a rising star in the workplace is to be a dream employee. If you’d like to become that dream employee, that go to person, then wait no longer.  I recently read an article that offers 7 ways to do just that. Numbers 4, 5 and 6 are guaranteed winners!

Aug 23

Going Deeper Part 1

crossesPaul warns against those that claim they want to go deeper in their faith when they’re not ready. “I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.” But there will come a time when you are.  If you feel you are ready and you want to go places you’ve never explored in your faith, then you might begin with the Spiritual Disciplines.  While they have been around for what seems like forever, there was a resurgence with the writings of Richard Foster and Dallas Willard.

If you’ve never practiced any of the spiritual disciplines you may want to give some a try.  In Richard Foster’s book, Celebration of Discipline he notes a few that you may find worthwhile.

Here are many of them, enjoy…

Inner Disciplines
The Discipline of Meditation
The Discipline of Prayer
The Discipline of Fasting
The Discipline of Study

Outer Disciplines
The Discipline of Simplicity
The Discipline of Solitude
The Discipline of Service

Corporate Disciplines
The Discipline of Confession
The Discipline of Worship
The Discipline of Guidance
The Discipline of Celebration

In this Going Deeper series I’ll be sharing ways for you to go deeper in your faith.  But as Paul recommends, be sure you’re not choking on the the milk.

Aug 11

More Tips to Becoming a Better Wife

CoupleWant a strong marriage?  Who wouldn’t – right? Well if you do then we need to always be doing, trying, new ways to become a better spouse.  These tips may be just the trick to becoming a better wife.  Number 8 is one that I think both husbands and wives eventually forget.  But I think number 9 is key for all marriages.  While these are tips for being great wives, I think many are transferable to husbands.  If you’re interested then go read about them here.

Aug 03

Become a Better Parent – Right Now!

Parent1Well, it’s that time of year again – time for the kids to go back to school. This can be avery stressful time as a parent. So to help alleviate this concern I found 19 ways to become a better parent right now!  Now if you are already a superstar parent and have it all together then I won’t waste anymore of your time.  But if you’d like to learn some parenting hacks that will make you a better parent, then look no further.  You have arrived, just read and try a few of these tips.

Jul 21

Pokemon Go Explained!

pokemonSurely you’ve heard about Pokemon Go by now.  Yes it’s only a few days old yet it’s all the rage apparently.  But do you know anything about it? Neither did I until…  Until I heard this podcast explaining it all in less time than you can say Pokemon Go!  If you’re interested then you can check out a really awesome podcast where the game is explained but also how a church is leveraging it to reach their community.  What are you waiting for go check it out here!

Jul 20

10 Tips for Becoming a Better Husband

husband1While I’m always encouraging husbands to step it up, this list is really, really good.  But before you check it out, note that number 6 will get you a lot of points but will go against your nature men!  If you want to become a better husband try a few off this awesome list!

Jul 19

Cowart Venture Part 1

cowart1Cowart Venture Part 1…

Several months ago at Friendship Church I cast a 50 year vision for the adoption of Cowart Elementary School.  At the time I wasn’t sure exactly what that would look like, remember it was a vision and not a plan!  As the months have passed the vision is slowly becoming a plan.  We still don’t have all the answers but they are unfolding.  With a vision like this it takes time.  All the answers will not always be readily available.  You see that’s what happens when you do hard things.  To resolve hard things takes time because you want to get it as close to right as possible, the first time!  At Friendship Church we’re not afraid to try hard things!  I recently read that we shouldn’t allow hard things to keep us from doing something great.  When one attempts to do something hard in hopes that it becomes something great, it takes time and patience.  That’s why so many of society’s issues, remain issues.  Because hard things aren’t something many prefer to do or have the patience it takes to see them done well.

So as we proceed, there will still be questions that are left unanswered, but for now here is what we do know about our Cowart Venture…

Thursday, July 28 @ 6pm and Sunday, July 31 3pm – In the Sanctuary

Please attend if you are interested in changing someones life by:

helping tutor

drive a van

serve on the organizational teams

work with the parents.

This meeting is being held to see who will be available to help so we can build a successful development program.

So if you’re someone that doesn’t mind doing hard things, and would like to champion a great cause, attend one of these two meetings and make a difference.

Previously we met with all Lifegroup Leaders and presented this information to answer the question, what now? This update related to the adoption of classrooms…

Classroom Adoptions

Thank you so much for your interest in adopting a Cowart classroom. If your group chooses to adopt a classroom it will be for the 2016 – 2017 school year. Below we have listed what a classroom adoption will require.

  • Prayer – First we ask that you pray daily for the teacher, students and their families, and the school. As you develop a relationship with the teacher, we hope that he/she will reach out to you with prayer request.
  • Support and Encourage the Teacher – It is so important that your group encourages and supports the teacher. Your group could send cards or a small teacher gift. It would be great to do these not on the major holidays because this is when they receive gifts from the students. Instead sending a small gift or words of encouragement during testing week, at the end of grading periods, birthday and the just because we are thinking of you. This will help your group build a relationship with the teacher. By forming a relationship with the teacher, your group will be the ones he/she turns to when there is a need in the classroom. It could be classroom supplies, helping in the classroom or a specific need for a student.
  • Help Meet the Needs of the Students – This is a vital part of the classroom adoption. We want the teacher to come to your group when the students have needs. Example of needs could be school supplies, clothing, hygiene supplies, and snacks for testing or field trip funds. Also, a student could have a major need after a disaster such as a fire. In this instance, you may need to work with the Cowart Venture Team to help meet the student’s needs.

Please know that every class will be different and have different needs. We ask that you prayerfully consider your group adopting a classroom. Adoption sign-ups will begin August 14 with the program launching September 11.

* For questions, please contact Kirsten Kelley at 256-232-4906 or email

So know that we have been hard at it, for months, trying to figure out as many details as possible so we can do a great job in the adoption of Cowart Elementary School. Remeber we’re tackling some hard stuff and that takes time and patience.

Friendship Church – where we Love God, Love Others, and Serve

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