Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gastric Sleeve Journey: End of Third Week

The end of my third week was disappointing. I did not see the results that I wanted to see on the scale this week. It got me down. And when I get down, I want some pizza and a mt. dew. And, when I cannot have the pizza and mt. dew, I get grumpy.

Now, there are all sorts of reasons I have thought through on why I have stalled in my weight loss this week. For instance, I have not exercised enough. I have also been told to reduce my blood pressure medication and completely eliminate the water pill that goes with it. I have been upgraded early on my diet due to the dizziness that I was experiencing, and there is no doubt that this could have effected my potential weight loss as well. And, to top it all off, in 8 days I have had one wedding and two funerals in addition to my normal worship duties. Nevertheless, I was disappointed. Did I mention I have a hankering for some Mountain Dew?

There are a couple of things that I have begun to notice at this point in the sleeve surgery game. First, the dietary restrictions in the first month of the bariatric diet have as much do to with behavioral management as reteaching eating to patients as it does to what is best for weight loss and what the stomach can handle. I wish they laid out their rationale more in their teaching and literature. Perhaps they think that the patients are too stupid or rebellious to submit to something purely out of behavior modification, but it would be better than telling patients that they cannot handle some foods that patients discover that they can.

I have also noticed that this process is so much easier when you are a part of a couple on the journey of gastric sleeve weight loss together. When we sneak food that relatives bring in the house, we do it together, and when we struggle figuring out what to eat for dinner or lunch, we understand one another. I would not want to do this journey alone, like so many have to. I am glad if I have to do this, I am sharing it with Jenny.

Well, this is not well written, but you are now sufficiently updated...until next week....

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DON'T BE IN A HURRY: Article for last week's Hot Springs Star

Don’t Be In Such A Hurry….
My daughters turned one and three in the last month. They are so beautiful. And I adore them. They are often, in many ways, eager to grow up as quickly as they can. Our oldest is excited for preschool and Vacation Bible School. Our youngest daughter is trying to climb up and over everything in sight, and wants to do everything her big sister does. These days, I try to help my oldest with something I usually assist her with, and she insists she can do it. Maturation is a healthy thing, but sometimes I want to say, “Hey little girls, you don’t have to be in such a hurry to grow up!”

The truth is, all of us hurry just a little bit too much. We are anxious to get the toys we need, and so we spend money we don’t have to get them now. We schedule and our families so we don’t have a spare minute, and then brag and pat ourselves on the back about how busy we are. We get in a rush to make everyone happy and do everything everyone wants us to, and then drain our energy and our souls in the process. We get way too anxious about too many things. We get trapped in what author Gordon McDonald calls “the tyranny of the urgent.”

It is interesting to note that although Jesus was clear about what his mission was, he was never in a hurry. He was not lazy. Neither, though, was he frantically flitting from one thing to the next. Some time people tried to hurry him up to get to the item on their agenda. He still went at his own pace, loving, serving, and caring for people as the Spirit led him to. He stopped to help a woman while he was on a way to heal a sick girl. He takes time to teach his disciples while they are journeying to see a dying friend. Jesus rose on the third day…not the third hour. Even in resurrection, he kept a consistent even pace.

I think we all need to slow down a little bit. St. Vincent de Paul says, “One who hurries delays the things of God.” The rushed anxiety that hurry creates makes us less effective in accomplishing the goals we want to accomplish. It also makes us more irratible, less grateful, and more difficult to live with. We need to remember that love is patient, and that one of the fruit of the Spirit’s work in our life is growth in patience. God brings about good things in his good time.

So, let us take a minute to take a deep breath. Let us work hard. But let us take times for rest, for preparation, for thought, and for truly savoring our lives. Let us live with the love, joy, patience, and peace that the Scripture promises for those who walk in the way of Jesus.

THE BLESSING OF BELONGING: Article for Hot Springs Star published today

When I was growing up, my mother dated a gentleman for eleven years. She was waiting until he could overcome his issues with alcohol addiction before she married him. He died of exposure after a night of drinking in the middle of winter, passing out inebriated behind a school playground. He was 39 at the time. The same age I am right now.

One of my biggest struggles in grieving this man was that, even though he had been around more than my father, I had no claim to him. I did not belong to him by marriage or blood, nor did he belong to I. And yet, even today, I wish that those bonds were there. I feel it that having some sort of belonging with him would validate my sense of loss.

I think we all need to belong to others, and have others belong to us. That is part of what we experience in families. It is part of what we experience in the practice of community. For this reason, among others, I think we underestimate what it means to be a part of a church family.

Churches are not buildings. Churches are not institutions. Churches are first and foremost communities of people covenanting together to love and worship God and each other. And they are, in my opinion, one of the greatest blessings God gave humanity.

You do not have to do life alone. You don’t have to try and figure out everything by yourself. You don’t have to feel lost, like you are wandering in the wilderness. You can find a group of people that know God, and know that God is love. You can discover a community of people who admit they don’t have it all together, and are not perfect, but are striving to live in obedience to one who is, namely Jesus Christ.

Being a part of a church family is not always easy, but it is almost always a gift of God’s grace. It teaches us patience and longsuffering. It teaches us love. The church teaches us accountability and forgiveness. Even more, it teaches us that despite our faults and our struggles, and how the world feels about us, if we are disciples of Christ we belong to God and to one another. And, that is truly a blessing.

So go out this week and find a church. A church that is filled with the Spirit’s love, the Father’s love, and is committed to following the way of Jesus as it revealed in the Bible. You won’t regret it. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Gastric Sleeve Week 3.1

After continuing to struggle with dizzy spells, I called the health coach. She talked to the doctor. They have cut me back on my blood pressure medication. My bp was getting quite low. Being without the bp medicine does seem to help me with not being so dizzy.

Being able to eat a few more things does make me feel more "normal" again. I don't always feel like I have to sit with a protein drink while everyone eats. I am still eating different things than everyone else though, which makes me feel a little sad.

A big plus is my clothes are fitting different. I even refused to wear one shirt because I felt like it was too big to wear anymore. Thies is good news.

While my waistline feels more under control, other things are spinning out of control. Attendance is down at church this summer, which is truly discouraging.

I am eager to go weigh in tomorrow. I am hoping to lose another 5 pounds since Thursday morning. We will see. A fella can always hope, can't he?

Moved to puree and some soft foods

2 shakes
froyo w/ berries
1/2 serving of grilled talapia
2 eggs
lots of water

I have also discovered the joy of Greek yogurt, as it was suggested by my health care people.

Kind of down the last couple of days, my body is feeling out of control. I feel weaker and still struggle a bit with dizziness

Feeling good. Everything is working the way it should

Total 53 this year
43 since process began
23 since surgery

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Quotes from Practicing Resurrection by Eugene Peterson--from the chapter on the Armor of God

When the tactics of fear are used in Christian communities to motivate a life of trust in God and love of neighbor, habits of maturity never have a chance to develop (p. 252)

When the church reduces its preaching and teaching to punchy slogans and cliches, it abandones the richly nuanced intricacies that bring all parts of lives into a supple and grace-filled wholeness (p. 252)

The practice of resurrection is thoroughly pacifist, but never passive (p. 263)

"Let us take the devil by the rear, and surprise him with a dose of those gentler virtues that will be poison to him, At least when the world is in extremities, the doctrine of love becomes the ultimate measure of our conduct."--Herbert Butterfield (p. 265)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Week 2.3

The Dizzy Friar and a number of other random thoughts
I have spent the last couple of days moving slower. This is because I am very dizzy anytime I try and move quickly or begin any moderate activity. This becomes more scary because, well, I am a big fella and when the room starts spinning, my eyes go up in my head, and my legs get a little rubbery there is not much anyone can do or wants to do. Luckily I have not passed out yet.

I do not know what is causing this, except to say that my wife experienced the same thing the first couple of weeks as well. She is the one that checks message boards and community circles and stuff (I just look for blogs) on the topic.

This feeds into one of my fears about the whole process....becoming weaker as I lose weight. I am not the strongest guy around, but generally I am not the weakest. Although I am happy to lose some weight, I also want to be the big strong guy, both inside and out. It is kind of at the core of who I understand myself to be and who I aspire to be. In this process, I feel like I have been weakened, and I don't like it.

Sometimes I am wondering if I am losing weight too fast. 20lbs in 10 days. Then again, every day I have to say d**n, my clothes fit a lot better.

Another benefit of the surgery, we are spending A LOT less money. Not only on meals, but on things like pop or snacks or coffees.

I was told I could have puree by the end of the week. This makes me very happy. Now to look up bariatric puree recipees.......

Coming soon....the big motivators for losing weight....the wrongheaded ways people try to motivate weight loss in others....10 things I am looking forward to after losing 100 lbs....

2 protien shakes
lots of water
4 oz instant potato

minute maid light lemonade
strawberry shake
very small bites of quesadilla and strawberry
chicken broth
very small bites of noodles

Tired and wondering when I am going to stop being dizzy


down 20 since surgery
down 50 overall

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sleeve Surgery 2.2: Rewards


A few weeks back, Jennifer and I had a conversation about rewards for meeting milestones in our weight loss journey. What were going to be rewards we were going to look at? And at what milestones.

At the girls' birthday party, one supportive member of our church slipped me a little card to encourage me approaching the surgery. Inside was a gift to go toward a new suit--I assume given the context once I have shrunken out of the old one.

So, I have been giving this some thought. When do I look at a new suit? What other rewards might I set up for myself to encourage me on the journey.

Here are my thoughts so far: (all weights are "post-surgical")

If I lose 25 lbs...not sure yet...

If I lose 41 lbs...get a new dress shirt

If I lose 50 lbs....begin to look into adoption of another child (maybe)

If I lose 75 lbs...start training for a 5k

If I lose 100 suit

If I lose 125 lbs....apply for D.Min

2 shakes
1 snow cone
1 Gatorade
1 jello
4 oz instant potato
12 oz water


tired, discouraged


Friday, June 14, 2013

Sleeve Surgery Week 2 Day 1


Today was a busy day. I ended up working until about 10:30. And, I started to the office a little before 9. Took a lot of work for one week after surgery. I have a lot to do tomorrow as well.

I said I was going to share one thing I was looking forward to after I lose some weight. The one think that I really want to do is to be able to shop in JCPenney and Fred Meyer's big and tall section again. JCPenney has a limited big and tall selection. So I usually have to buy shirts from places like Casual Male Big and Tall. My hope is that I can fit into some of their stuff by Christmas. And, perhaps, even be able to buy a suit off the rack at Men's Warehouse. I have a long way to go, but there you of my goals.

12 oz g2
22 oz shake
4 oz jello
4 oz instant potato (yum)
4 oz juice bar

40 oz water

Up and down. Very busy day.


lost 3 pounds in the last 2 days

Thursday, June 13, 2013

End of Bariatric Week 1

Looking at this picture made me think. What I started to think about was my goals from my surgery. To be honest, I don't really want to be thin, at least like this picture suggests. That is not the goal of this surgery. I know there are people that want that for me. And they are entitled to their opinion.

What I do want to be is THINNER. I want to be mobile and healthy. The sleeve surgery will take off about 60 percent of my excess body weight. I am shooting, in the end, for a little more like 75 percent. 

I am not shooting for a BMI that will make the people who do those silly charts label me as in a "normal" or "healthy" range. I personally think the whole BMI thing is a lot of BS. If I could get to a normal playing weight that I would have had in football in college, that will be fine by me. 

I anticipate wanting to eat healthier as I go along, but I am still going to want to have some of my favorite foods. Just a lot less of them.

The next couple of days on this post I think I will share some of the things I am looking forward to as I lose weight.

Some good experiences today. Clothes that I used to struggle fitting into now fit well. Getting lots of good feedback from people at church. I have been amazed how supportive people in church have been of us having this surgery. Especially since some of the expense in coming out of our medical flex. But people have been very encouraging of our decision to get the gastric sleeve, and I have felt very little judgement. I am not sure every church would have reacted this way. We are blessed. 

Experienced my first day with real fatigue today. I am exhausted. Had a hard time forming sentences or carrying through with a thought in the afternoon. Had a moment where I couldn't really feel my legs under me after I got up, they felt like stilts. That was kind of scary. But I think they just fell asleep, just in a different way than I had experienced before. 

I have developed this habit of masticating food, and then spitting it out in the dog bowl before I eat it. I know this sounds like an eating disorder, but out of context limiting myself to this few calories also seems like an eating disorder as well. I want to taste food, even if I am not allowed to eat any yet. 

I have been thinking about my surgical hospital experience. I usually do not get too attached to medical personnel. They are professionals, and I am a customer they will probably not see again. Having said that, the staff at Black Hill Surgical Center could not have been better on the whole. I really felt like the nursing staff cared, and I connected with a few of them.

I am planning on a top 10 list of things not to do to help your friends or family lose weight, and why, but I am too tired right now. Some of the medical people in church said that one needs about six months to feel completely right after being under anesthesia. I am starting to believe it. I want to sleep a lot. Now I don't have the opportunity to do it, I miss it.


22 oz protein drink
8 oz sugar free jello pudding
24 oz g2
24 oz water

78 oz total

morning good
afternoon ok
evening was a struggle
feeling worn out



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bariatric Surgery Diet Day 4

It gets old having everything you eat have to be milky and soft. I am still waiting for the day that I can have something yummy and feel normal again. These protein shakes begin to get really old. Enough complaining though, because the weight is coming off. Perhaps a little bit too fast, but at this point I am not complaining. 

I am hoping to reach my low weight (another 25 lbs or so) with weight watchers by my next doctor's appointment.

I don't really feel all that hungry. And I have found that I can tolerate greater liquid amounts than many people who have a similar surgery. 

I had my one week appointment today. It was a positive experience. They were happy to see my progress.

The first thing the nurse said was, "Your surgery was awesome. I loved being there. Thanks."

I had never met the nurse before the surgery. So her first impression of me was watching me strapped down naked on a table. with a catheter eventually jammed up my penis, exposed to the world.  My first thought is, "Let's pretend we never shared the same space during the surgical experience." My second thought was to say, "I am glad I made such a great impression. I bet you will be even more impressed with me now that you get to visit with me in person."I get it though. It was her first sleeve surgery to observe. You never forget your first time.

The appointment went well. I have been upgraded from "clear liquids" to "full liquids". By the 21st I should be able to do "pureed liquids". 

Most people have been impressed with how rapidly I have recovered. 

Before surgery, I rarely thought about food. I just ate it. Unless I was forced to think about it while dieting. Now, I think about food all the time. I dream about eating. I look at food longingly. I find it hard to be present at dinner time when everyone is eating. That is not to say that I have hunger pains. I just miss the food, the ritual, the event, the whole process. 

Anyway...that is the rollercoaster. Happy for the results. Feeling accomplished. But really wanting to grab a whole bowl full of food, and shove it down, to heck with the consequences. All at the same time,

15 oz protein drink
20 oz water
20 oz gatorade
1 cup pudding
I child size frosty ( I know, I am not supposed to)

All over the place.

Down 7 from Monday
Down 13 from surgery
Down 43 from January

Was told by medical staff to lay off the medication that gets stuff moving...thank God.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book Review of Give Them Christ by Stephan Seamands

Give Them Christ

Give Them Christ: Preaching His Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension, and Return
by Stephan Seamands
ISBN 978-0-8308-3467-9
IVP Books
Reviewed by Clint Walker

In my observation, much of preaching today either focuses on digging into a certain passage in order to communicate what that passage was saying, and now says to us today, or topical preaching designed to give helpful hints to people on how to live their lives as a believer in God and a follower of Jesus. Lately, preachers have rejected a rich tradition of theological preaching. Give Them Christ is a corrective to this error, calling pastors to a kerygmatic model of preaching.

As I was reading at this book, I was also teaching through the Heidelberg Catechism. The Heidelberg, like many other Reformed Catechisms, makes an effort to teach through the Apostle's Creed. Thus, as I read this book I found insight on not just what the Apostle's Creed was saying, but how to preach what is happening in the Apostle's Creed to a congregation who needs theological depth. I plan on resourcing this book next year during the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany cycle and the Lent-Easter-Ascension-Pentecost cycle of the Christian year. It will remind me of insights I have gained, and will infuse my preaching with theological depth.

For those seeking something technical, this is not it. What Seamands does offer in this book is some time-tested ways of communicating doctrine in a way that people can understand. He also challenges preachers to give clear instructions about what people need to hear.

Too often in churches, we as pastors have neglected teaching the theological foundations of the faith. Give Them Christ is a needed corrective, challenging pastors to help people understand God through communicating sound doctrine.

Book Review of Devil's Ink by Jeffrey Pugh

Devil's Ink: Blog from the Basement Office
by Jeffrey Pugh
ISBN 978-0-8006-9814-0
Fortress Press
Reviewed by Clint Walker

Over 50 years ago, C.S. Lewis wrote a brilliant fictional book called The Screwtape Letters. In this book, a mentor demon attempts to train a young demon on how to do his job, including how to lead certain subjects into a place of eternal torment. At once funny and insightful, it helped Lewis' generation look at spiritual warfare from the perspective of the enemy, and thus think about their decisions in a whole new light.

A few years ago, author and professor Jeffrey Pugh attempts to do a similar thing for a whole new generation. Once again, disciples of Jesus are challenged to a deeper understanding of the discipleship journey from its antithesis. Unlike The Screwtape Letters, readers of Devil's Ink will be challenged to think through many situations that Lewis did not anticipate.

Pugh makes a special emphasis to take on the rise of technology. Thus, instead of writing letters, Satan has a blog. And, the devil spends a lot of time instructing his minions on how to use technology to get people away from following the Way of Jesus. He touches a number of topics that are much easier to approach in a dark comedy about spiritual warfare. These topics include terrorism, the book of Revelation, postmodern philosophy, and the like. It really is a fun read, and doesn't have to be taken in all at once.

You may not agree with everything you read in these pages. I did not. But I sure appreciated the thoughtful and witty approach to the topic of spiritual warfare. And I hope this book gains a wide audience.

Bubba's Bariatric Adventure Day 3

Thoughts for the day: 

First, you will see some stats comparing the three major bariatric surgeries. I chose the sleeve, because it was more aggressive than the band, but not as risky and difficult as the bypass.

I think I am getting more used to the no food thing today. Yesterday was hard, in part because there was food on the table I really wanted to eat. I even chewed and spit a few times. Jennifer has moved into more food more quickly, but I think I am going to follow the doctors programs...perhaps with an occasional "cheat". I think it will be easier to do what I need to do when I have to work, and I am not thinking about the food I am missing eating right now. My one week appointment is tomorrow, and I will probably be released to do more yogurt and pudding. I try and keep thinking about how things are going to be when clothes fit better, and I can exercise more.

Right now I hate ads for pizza and burgers. I miss them still. Yum.

Food Diary
8--fruit popcycle
9--4oz protien shake
10--8oz water
12:30--8oz water
2--4 oz protein shake
5--4 oz protein shake
6-8 oz water
7--4oz water
8--4 oz gelatin

Mood Diary --positive, enjoying solitude, anxious about work, thankful for church

Loo Diary--
colace works....a little too well

Weight--no report

Book Review on Meditation and Communion with God by John Jefferson Davis

Meditation and Communion with God: Contemplating Scripture in an Age of Distraction
by John Jefferson Davis
ISBN 978-0-8308-3976-6
IVP Academic
Reviewed by Clint Walker

I love learning more about spiritual formation and transformation. There is a lot of good literature out there on the subject. This book, however, is a great read for a totally different reason. It is an academic book that offers a theological and philosophical framework for the practice of mediation of God through the Scriptures.

Meditation and Communion with God is not for everyone. It is not a how to manual for meditation on Scripture, although it does offer some practical insights. It uses a lot of big words like "inaugurated eschatology" and "biblical epistemology". In the process, though, it deepens one's knowledge and understanding of the practice of meditation of Scripture.

There were several points, as a pastor, in this book, where I blocked of a page or two and said, "preach this", or "study this more". The description and development, as well as the Scriptural references regarding a disciples "union with God" I though was especially helpful. Also helpful was the author's explanation of God's presence with us, and his relating that presence to modern cellular/wireless technology. Davis also takes several pages at different points in the book to differentiate Christian meditation from the meditation practices of other world religions, both in their worldview and in their ultimate goals.

This is a book I will return to again and again. Each time, I think I will understand it a little better. It is a tremendous asset for those who want an academic understanding of spiritual practices, and will serve as a wonderful textbook for teachers and disciple-makers in the future.

Book Review of An Unhurried Life by Alan Fadling

An Unhurried Life - Click Image to Close

ISBN 978-0-8308-3573-7
IVP Formatio
Reviewed by Clint Walker

When I was starting out in ministry, I had an interesting habit. I would start the morning reading poetry. Not biblical poetry mind you, but just good poetry. I would read the work of Rilke, Berrigan, and even Jewel as I started my day in the office. I am not sure exactly what inspired me to do this. But the reason I did it was to slow my mind down. I am not a poet, nor am I a natural poetry reader, but as I took time to read the poems, ponder them, and somehow integrate them into my thoughts, these poems helped me slow down enough to listen to the Word as I studied, listen to my coworkers, listed to those I was caring for, and listen to the Spirit leading and guiding me. Instead of a to-do list to start the day, I began focusing on the attitude I wanted to have and the person I wanted to be. I miss those poetry mornings these days. And An Unhurried Life reminded me why. If I am going to be the kind of person and pastor I want to be, I have to slow down a little, be present more, and allow God to do his work in me and through me.

This is a wonderful book, that really attacks hurry for the soul sickness it is at every level. Fadling exposes our hurried pace of life, and through quotes of the ancients shows that this hurry sickness is not unique to our generation. As a matter of fact, through the Biblical examples he cites later in the book, Fadling shows that the lack of patience and trust that fuels hurry was a part of humanity's first sin, and challenging Jesus to rush God and his timing is part of how Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness.

Fadling anticipates misunderstandings well and confronts them directly. An unhurried life, he clearly communicates, is not a lazy life. Nor is it a self-centered one. Rather, it is a thoughtful, meaningful way of living that is modeled after the spirituality of Jesus.

As I read this book, I began to wonder about how I live my life. Why am I in such a hurry to get so many things done if I have an eternal life in front of me? Why am I letting other people's anxieties and my concerns drive me instead of the grace and truth of Jesus Christ? Why I am so eager to accomplish things that only God can accomplish through me?

I will keep coming back to this book as I journey through my life and ministry. It is a convicting book, but a comforting book at the same time. As such, it was exactly what I needed at this time in my life.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Quotes from an Unhurried Life by Alan Fadling

An Unhurried Life

"To walk with God you must go at a walking pace"--Wang Mingdao (p.14)

"The one who hurries delays the things of God"--St. Vincent de Paul (p. 15)

"It is hearing the voice of God in the midst of the quiet that helps us to live and work well. Instead of being a guarantee of fruitfulness, overwork can become a guarantee against it." (p.49)

"Good work grows best in the cycle of good rest" (p. 50)

"Gratitude is one gift that gets squeezed out when we let materialism speed up our lives" (p. 64)

Bariatric Diet Day 2

Today I included a picture of what the gastric sleeve surgery does, so that people can get a better picture of what is going on.....

Food Diary
8oz g2
12oz water
8oz chicken noodle soup broth
4oz sugar free popcycle
12oz protien drink
4oz gelatin
ice chips
8oz broth

Mood Diary
doing pretty well.
get sad about not getting to eat yummy food around me

Loo Diary
still waiting....

Weight Diary
Down 6 lbs since day before surgery
Loss of 36 total this year
26 since first appointment

Thoughts from Meditation and Communion with God about technology and distraction

"In 2008 Americans were consuming three times the information than they did every day in 1960" (p. 21)

"The typical computer user at work checks emails or changes windows or other programs at least 26 times every hour" (p. 22)

The challenge of dealing with information overload in an Internet age is a very visible manifestation of a larger cultural problem: The rushed nature of modern life and a cult of speed, efficiency and production" (p.23)

The historic Christian practice of meditating on Scripture is, of course, just such an example of 'slow reading.' In the face of today's rushed lives and information overload, such slow reading of the Word of God seems more important than ever. (p.24)

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Bariatric Diet: Day 1 at home

Below is a picture of the potential benefits of bariatric surgery. Too bad it is a picture of a chick:

My current diet consists of the following. I got out of the hospital yesterday:

2 cups of Jello: 8 oz
2 cups of broth: 8oz
3 servings of protien drink: 16 oz
water: 8oz
g2: 4 oz
sugar free popcycles: 8oz
dosage since waking of liquid vicodin: 30 ml
meds: lisinopril, hydrochlorthiazide, claritin, vitamin D, iron supplement, multivitamin

emotions: frustrated, strong, accomplished, bored

total so far: 48oz
goal: 6o oz

Physical pain: It still feels like there is a lot of spasming and cramping not related to diet going on in my stomach. I can't describe it. It feels a little like hunger pangs, and a little like what my ankle feels like when I sprain it.

Getting Back Into the Groove

For a long time, I have been slacking on this blog. Sure I have been using for reviews, which is all well and good. But I have failed to use it for its original purpose, which was to improve writing skills and to find ways to "think out loud" about my life and ministry. I am wanting to get back to that. I figure since I don't have "meals" so to speak for the next month, it might be a good time to find my voice again.

Things I plan on talking about:

  • Challenges and life as a pastor/minister
  • sermons I am working on....and sermon series
  • Life after bariatric surgery
  • things about kids and marriage
  • Other random thoughts that escape me if I don't take time to articulate them and write them down
  • Pictures I have taken
  • Life in South Dakota
  • Books
  • Quotes that I find interesting
  • Current events
Most of my devotional work will be tied in with our church website. WHen I post there I will also set up a link on this blog however.

I think I need to blog more regularly again. I need this in order to be mentally sharp and to have a disciplined time of reflection. Besides, with this connected to the Twitter and the Facebook, I should get lots of feedback about some things. 

It has always been my goal as a minister of the gospel to be open and transparent. I admit at times in the last few years I have been withdrawing. Perhaps blogging will help.


Saying What Needs to be Said, But Should Go Without Saying           Racism is wrong. Violence based on racial prejudice is wrong. Christi...