Sunday, April 12, 2009

Weighted Vests + Wiii Fit + Walking = Weight Loss!

Yesterday I took advantage of a huge sale at Big 5 Sporting Goods (sorry, the sale ended yesterday) and bought a ten-pound weighted vest for $20 (they're usually $50). The Danskin vest is very well designed and sturdy, unlike so many other ones I've seen (and left in the stores).

I've already walked 72 blocks wearing the new vest and what a difference it makes. I've lost ten pounds over the past month or so with the Wii Fit and walking, so didn't think that putting on an artificial ten pounds would "stretch" me much... but it's amazing how quickly the body responds to weight loss, because wearing the vest causes my heart rate to go up noticeably, and my "dogs" are again feeling the way they did when I first decided to walk the lard off: they are barking at me for carrying around so much extra weight! I look forward to walking off another ten pounds in the next couple of months.

When not writing, or looking for writing projects, I have been out in the back yard cutting the brush from the periphery of our property to the east and north. (It's only on the east and north, thank God!) Decades' worth of dense, dead, dry blackberry bushes blocked our view in both directions, and numerous downed trees on the north side weren't even visible because of them.

Now we can see in all directions and have massive amounts of downed detritus to get rid of somehow. It's illegal to burn it, so we'll either have to rent a chipper, rent a truck and haul it all to the dump, or stack it up and wait for it to turn into a compost pile over the years. There is one spot on the property where a compost pile was started by the previous owners years ago, so I could just add to it, but I took so much down that the pile might rival Mt. Rainier in height by the time I finished, so composting isn't my first choice!

You ought to see my legs. Even though I wore heavy jeans, I got stabbed hundreds of times by dead, dry thorns from the berry bushes. I also got bruised all over because I was using a big limb cutter to take down limbs and sometimes I had to use other parts of my body -- my chest, sides, legs, etc. -- to use as a "fulcrum" when exerting enough pressure to cut the limbs. So, when I'm naked, I look like I've been in a bomb blast, with shrapnel markings all over the place. I stopped the project for the long weekend on Thursday, so now my body is beginning to recover after numerous sea-salt-and-essential-oil soakings, but for a while I looked like a survivor from a war!)

Last weekend we went on a 12-mile bike ride on the Orting trail for the first time this spring. It was chilly but it didn't take very long for all of us to peel down to one layer of clothing and start drinking water.

I'm loving being active. My Wii Fit "fitness age" fluctuates between 34 and 49 years old (depending on how tired I am when I finally decide to check it out), which is pretty phenomenal since I'm 30-35 pounds overweight and 58 years old. It's in the genes and in my background -- I grew up very active and it's hard for me to sit still for long. (In fact, I feel crappy when I do forget the time and write for 4-5 hours without a break. Human bodies weren't created to sit still for hours at a time.)

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I went to church this morning for the 9 a.m. Bible study and for the 10-11:30 a.m. Easter Sunday Celebration. Loved the Bible Study, loved the praise and worship segment... but had I known that the sermon was going to be such a fizzle, I would probably have driven to the Lutheran church two miles away where the rest of my family worships and was celebrating Easter.

I worship where I do (http://www.churchforallnation.sorg) because it has a marvelous Bible study and the sermons are usually more alive and challenging. Now that I'm quite knowledgable about Biblical matters and my relationship with Christ is solid, enduring and passionate, I no longer resonate to "ritualistic" worship. I require evangelical or Pentacostal underpinnings -- with their passionate worship styles -- to keep me fanning the flame. If the service doesn't get me all fired up for God, I'm prone to skipping it. Because for me, God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit is why I'm there and what it's all about. I want to interface with God in church beside fellow believers, or else what's the point? Otherwise I could just stay home and share intimate time with the Creator. I don't want to just show up, "do my duty," and leave unchanged from week to week.

My love for God is a passion and a privilege, not a duty. That's why ritualistic worship leaves me feeling robbed -- and wondering how it can do anything at all to deepen one's relationship with God.

But I know that millions of people wouldn't have worship any other way than the way they have always known it. God meets each of us wherever he finds us. If in ritual, so be it. There's nothing "wrong" with ritual. I just don't feel that I'm connecting when a church is too ritualistic. I need "space" where the divine can reach in between the notes of the music and the words being spoken and captivate me in the same the way a lover discerns the right time and the right way to embrace his beloved and carry her to the secret place where they enjoy each other totally.

God is love. He loves us, and He longs for us to love him very bit as passionately.

Pastor Braaten was saying -- in Bible study this morning -- that the reason we don't see our Christian brethren being raised from the dead, or their lameness healed, or their blindness cured, is because "we don't love them the way Christ loved us. If we did, we could do everything Jesus did while he was on earth. In fact, he told us we would do even greater things than he did. So why aren't we doing it?"

We love lamely. We love selfishly. We love "just enough" to get by. We wear love masks. We usually love too selectively to be able to call ourselves genuine image-bearers of Christ.

We don't love the way Jesus loved -- enough to lay down our lives for others. Only some parents, lots of soldiers, and a few other souls love that deeply (and many of them only love their own tribe, their own kids, their own nation that much). The rest of us don't want to get involved enough to really make miracles happen in the ways that Jesus did.

And God can't grant the ability to just anyone because some would abuse the gift and take all the glory for themselves.

I'm so glad we're forgiven. If any of us tried to get to heaven on our own merits, we'd all be staring into the open gates of hell, gasping in horror at what we, ourselves, have managed to "achieve" -- a trip no one wants to take and a destination no one wants to arrive at for all eternity!

Without a Savior, salvation is bogus.

With a Savior, all things are possible -- even miracles like those He accomplished 2000 years ago and like those He accomplishes every minute of every day... even now.


1 comment:

Womanwarrior said...

Kris...Your church looks interesting. My church as a website, too, if you'd like to take a look:

For me it's the best of both worlds...liturgical and free flowing!

Mary Doman (aka Womanwarrior)