Fat man in a Small Coat…

1 Cor 9:23, “I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.”

I have a confession to make to you: I had come to realize that I was becoming a fat man. 

Okay, now I’ve admitted it. I know that some of this extra weight was related to genetics, but this isn’t the only reason. I know that some of the weight was due to my daily activity of sitting to study, counsel, talk, and pray, but this isn’t the main issue. I know that some of the weight was due to a diet that was based more on convenience than on making healthy choices, but I can’t blame this, either. These are all excuses, of course. No, for me, the weight problem was a personal discipline problem.

As a result of this poor discipline, I realized that I was becoming a poor testimony of God’s work in my life as a fat man. Now, please hear that I’m not saying that all people who struggle with weight are poor testimonies. I’m also not saying that you are a poor testimony. What I am saying is that I have been a poor testimony because I knew my own self and my own shortcomings.

Last Spring, I went to the doctor’s office and found out that I weighed more than ever before- 250 pounds (ouch!). I had problems going up stairs, walking long distances, even tying my shoes. Because of my wife’s own food issues with red meats, I decided at that point that I would change my diet and begin exercising. It was hard and time consuming, but I felt strongly that if I took better care of myself, that I would be more effective for the Lord as a testimony for Him and as I serve Him with more energy.

I am happy to report that at this point, I have lost 30 pounds, with a goal to lose 30 more. I can do push ups, sit ups, leg lifts, burpees, etc. and still have energy to spare the next day. I have cut down my carb intake to around 100 grams a day, and I eat a diet high in lean protein and vegetables. My wife, Teresa, has had a similar change. She is going to be running her first half marathon next month, and she writes about her health progress almost each day in her blog.

We both feel great, and we feel motivated to share this with others. We feel that a person effective for Christ should be able to be disciplined in a variety of areas, of course, with a healthy view of God’s grace when we don’t quite make the mark. Starting in January, I feel led to make a temporary change and depart from the Isaiah series for a few weeks to do a five part series called, “Making Changes for God’s Glory.”

In a time when people are talking about weight loss, exercise, and resolutions, I think it’s appropriate to see what God has to say about all of this. Each week, I will present a different aspect on how you as a believer might make a change in your life to grow, serve, and share Christ in your daily life. We will explore how to grow in areas of your life such as dealing with the emotional, growing in your mind, connecting in the spiritual, serving in your daily ministry, and of course, the overcoming the physical.

I pray that you will be ready for this fresh new series to learn and grow in Christ. The sermons will also be posted on YouTube each week. Starting in February, my wife, Teresa will lead a study on Wednesday nights from Rick Warren called The Daniel Plan. You will learn more and grow in five areas: faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends. If you are local to Cincinnati, I hope that you can plan to join this group and begin making changes in your life for God’s glory.

God is not done with me or with you yet- we are all a work in progress! Many of you have been supporting and encouraging me- I hope and pray that you can keep doing that. Be ready to make changes as I have, and together, we can do all things for the sake of the gospel, as Christ changes us and we give Him glory!

Pastor Fran

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