What should we do now?

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There is no doubt that we are experiencing some very troubling times in America and throughout the world today. While there are many that believe that we may be in the last days, including myself, the question is what should we now do? How would Christ direct us to act?

Before I share my heart on that question, I want you to know that I am a retired State Trooper from Florida. I have been deeply affected by the recent events in Dallas, Texas as five of my brother Law Enforcement Officers lost their lives while defending the constitutional rights of Americans. But, I also know that there are communities and families that have also been impacted by the loss of their loved ones involved in incidents with Law Enforcement Officers. Their pain is just as real as those who lost loved ones in Dallas and we should all mourn for everyone that has lost any family member. My blog today is not to debate these issues but call us to a greater issue.

You see, I really don’t believe the ultimate answer to our situation is more debate and argument. It only leads to more polarization and lack of understanding between everyone. Does anyone remember the days when politicians of opposite parties actually liked each other? I think we have had enough of the great divide. Most everyone has grown tired of the current debates and arguments as they have done little to actually change our society for good. Today more than ever, we need God! What would Jesus instruct us to do if he were standing right in front of us at this very moment? I will go back to the late Dr, Martyn Lloyd-Jones and what he did when he took the pulpit in a church called located in Southern Wales called Sandfields.

The year was 1927 and the country of Wales was in great distress. The area that Dr Jones was in, Port Talbot, was particularly hard hit as there had been labor disputes for many years and the economy was as bad as it could get. There had also risen a steady decline in spirituality in the area as many believed that both the government and the church had failed them. It was a time when crime of every type was on the rise. People had abandoned the church and now they were abandoning the laws of society.  Add to that the rise of the Communist party that was looking to take advantage of this void and before long it was becoming hopeless.

While many of Dr. Jones contemporary Christian leaders were trying to bring change through the avenue of politics and social change, Jones took a different approach, one that I believe that we need to revisit today. As many continued to push for reform in the government, seeing that as the solution, Dr. Jones exclaimed that the greatest need wasn’t government reform but reform within the hearts and souls of men.

In an article written by Dr Paul M. Elliott titled Can God Change a Nation Through One Local Church? the following is stated about Jones and how he planned to approach the problems of his day.

He believed that the crying need of the hour was not reform in government, the school classroom, the economy, or even in public morality. The greatest need, he said, is spiritual rebirth among the unconverted and revival among God’s people. This can only come by the work of the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Bible. All else flows from this, he said. There can be no genuine change in the externals of society without genuine change in the hearts of men. And that change must begin in the church.

The changes that came after Dr. Jones took this position were dramatic. Many say that as the church was revived and used to change the area of Port Talbot, that God used that one local church to actually change a Nation. In fact Dr, Jones, this preacher from a small community in Wales, is actually recognized as one of the two men most responsible for saving his country from Communism. You can read Dr Elliott’s entire article here through Teaching the Word Ministries  at this link: Can God Change a Nation Through One Local Church?

Today more than ever, we do not need more debate and arguments about the issues we are all faced with. There are plenty of people doing that for all of us.What we do need is more people calling for the Power of God and a genuine revival in the church. I really believe that now is the hour for all of us that call ourselves Christian, to enlist and let our lives count for God.

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Baptism at Felinfoel, Wales

 

There are three things I believe every Christian should do during this difficult time.

  1. Turn to God. He is our answer in our time of need. Lets pray as Dr. Jones prayed, for God to save the lost and bring revival to the church.
  2. Return to Our Roots. Prayer, Bible Study and sharing the good news of Christ through word and deed. There is nothing wrong with other activities that reach and serve the community, in fact they are good works we were created for, but they can not substitute for God’s power to change lives, beginning with our own.
  3. Be Humble and Kind. Tim McGraw may have sang it but Jesus modeled it. No one wants anything from an angry or proud Christian. “It doesn’t cost anything to be kind but it really pays off” Bear Bryant. Let’s be kind, even to those we disagree with.

I really believe that one local church or even one local person can make a difference if they will start with God. Will you join me in praying for our country and the church during the month of July? Let me know if you will. I don’t know what will actually happen, only that I must do what He is leading me to do.

Blessings,

Coach Don.

 

 

 

Keep Pedaling

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As I was on my morning bike ride, I came across this sign. I’ve seen it thousands of times during my lifetime, but today it was speaking to my heart. As I was training for my next triathlon, I was praying about getting through a current rough patch of life. Nothing serious, but aggravating none the less.

As I saw this sign God reminded me that any trouble we experience has a limited lifespan. In short, it will eventually end. Like the road project in your city that may seem like it will never end, it will eventually end. The question God asked me within my heart was this “What will you do during that portion of “Road Work”? “Complain, Doubt, Quit? Or will you keep pedaling”?

I answered that I would keep pedaling because it would eventually end, and I want to enter the “Good Section” of road right on time and not a minute behind. No matter what you are going through today, Keep Pedaling. Happy 4th everyone.

Father’s Day! Neck Ties and Tea Cups

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This weekend we will once again honor our fathers on Fathers Day. Like many of you, I will hear expressions of love from my own children, while also reaching out to my own dad. It is a wonderful day full of love and admiration.

Recently, as I was getting dressed for a wedding and working on a new necktie I bought for the occasion, I had this thought about neckties. Some people believe neckties were created to torture modern man (and I tend to agree with that as well). I also had this thought: perhaps God created neckties. Not to torture everyone who doesn’t want to wear a tie, but rather to be a rite of passage between a father and a son. I still remember my dad teaching me how to tie my first necktie, as well as the first time that I taught my son. A lot can go on while a father teaches his son how to dress up and look his best.

It really is more than just learning how to tie a knot; it’s about becoming something. Just like a necktie, I believe God may have created little tea cups to help fathers develop a rite of passage with their daughters. As they are drawn to the floor to sip imaginary tea with their princess, they are teaching much more than just how to hold a tea cup. They are conveying a thousand meaningful messages without even knowing it. In these moments, children are more than just taught—they are truly being fathered.

Fathering is more than just bringing about the conception of a child. It’s really about teaching the child to know who they are and who they can become. Each one of these moments holds a special time in which worth, love and value are transferred from father to child.

The heart of fathering truly comes from the idea and desire that life should continue beyond our own lives. To have your name or your character live on through the lives of your Children is the desire of every father, including our Heavenly Father.

Like neckties and tea cups, our Father God also creates things in our life that require his involvement and time. Each time we interact with God in regards to our life, our job or our marriage, he is not only teaching us how to do it, he is teaching us who we are and who we can become.

As I work with authors that are fathers, I encourage them to write for their children, both natural and spiritual. I do this because I believe every great message of influence begins with a simple desire to influence those whom God has given us to father. It just happens that sometimes those messages are also meant for thousands of others who are just like the children you love and lead.

On this special weekend, as we celebrate Fathers Day, I would like to wish every father a very special day. May God touch you and minister to you in a very personal and meaningful way. I pray that no matter what your past experience has been as a father, you will experience the joy and significance of being the kind of father who parents many into their future destiny.

I would also like to pray for everyone who has lost a father, or never known what it was like to have a father in the first place. It’s not a cliché to say that God is a “father to the fatherless”; it is his actual word and promise. While He may not teach you how to tie a necktie or how to sip tea like a princess, he will teach you much, much more. He will show you how special you really are, and will become the father you may have never had. In him you will find more then you ever may have lost. He is not a substitute—he is the original father of us all.

Happy Fathers Day!

Article originally written for Xulon Press Publishing Company.

Diet Tip #1

 

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I have now lost over 36 pounds since I started my diet on Dec 14th. I started this journey at 286 pounds and now I am approaching 249 pounds. This is the most successful I have ever been on getting a hold on being healthy and losing weight. I am learning a lot about obtaining real victory in this area of my life. It’s been a battle I have fought for years! I will be sharing some things I am learning from my experience over the next few months as I head to my goal of being 205 pounds.

Tip #1

Quit trying to start when it’s most convenient

I started my journey two weeks before Christmas on December 14th. I had everything from Christmas Parties to College Football Game Cookouts on the calendar before me. Everything told me to wait until the holidays were over but something said if you don’t start now everything from Pro Football Games to Valentine’s Day will keep you skipping until you are back to this time next year.

We choose convenience when we should choose commitment.

I would love to tell you how I got the strength to make the choice to start then but I really can’t. All I can tell you is that I made the choice and it actually gave me strength as I won the wrestling match with my own will.

Now flash forward to January 27th and I feel invincible. Bring on the Super Bowl, Valentines Day, Daytona 500 and all the other events that would wreck me. You see when I made that choice and won that first battle it gave me strength and that strength was multiplied again as I won again. Nothing makes you as strong as one victory! It leads to other victories.

Diet tip #1 is quit trying to choose when it’s most convenient. If you’re going on a cruise this week it might make the most sense to wait until you’re back home, but if you get the strength to just say no to all the bad stuff and eat leaner while you’re floating in the sea, when you get home you will have a head start to really get into it and win this battle for good.

Champions don’t wait for the battle to be convenient

I will be praying for you today!

Coach Don

 

A New Begining

This post is just to update everyone that follows this blog that I am continuing to work on changing my life in these areas.

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Finish My First Book
  3. Pursue The Destiny God Has For Me

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I started on December the 14th to focus on just one thing. To lose weight! A good friend had come into town and I didn’t even recognize him. He had lost over 60lbs. I asked him how he had did it and he shared the following with me.

The Perfect Diet

  • Eat Paleo. There are all kinds of website you can read to learn how you can eat like a “Caveman” or a “Hunter”. I recommend this one Paleo Diet if you can’t find one. Remember even as you look at this sight there is flexibility.
  • Eat a Low Calorie, Low Carb Diet.  in the beginning. For my size, I began at 6ft 285 lbs, I needed to stay at between 1300 to 1500 calories every day and keep my carbs under 30 net carbs a day.
  • Eat Organic. From organic fruits and vegetables to grass feed beef and butter, Organic is better!
  • Drink a lot of Water! I am drinking half my body weight in water everyday. Yes, I go the bathroom a lot but honestly I have been living a dehydrated life for years. This one change has made all the difference.
  • Healthy oils make up 70% of my daily calories. From Olive Oil, to nuts to Avocado. Healthy fats need to be the largest part of this lifestyle.
  • Coconut oil. While there may not be any miracle foods that can do everything, I can tell you that Coconut Oil is a close as you can get to finding one that can change your health. Just read online or listen to what Dr Oz says about it. Coconut Oil Dr. Oz
  • Reset my body by being on a ketogenic Diet. Truly burning fat while eating healthy organic food is causing my body to use my own fat to run my body. I recommend this website to learn more. Ketogenic Diet

I have lost 21 pounds in four weeks eating this way, but the most exciting thing is that I have learned that I can eat this way for the rest of my life. Sure, I will add more healthy carbs in later on. but I am loving this food. In short I do not feel deprived. No more insulin spikes and out of control hunger at night before bed. I have replaced bad carbs with things like nuts and Coconut oil. The healthy fats keep me satisfied and keep me from having the hunger cravings that sent me into another bag of chips at 10pm.

I am getting back to my weekly blog next week. I hope this has encouraged someone to make this year the year that you change something in your life. Please feel free to comment and for those that respond that want to make changes this year, I will add you to my prayer list.

Blessings,

Coach Don

Is writing a book one of the dreams you have for your life?

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According to a survey in the USA Today, 82% of adults dream of writing a book one day. I know that statistic may seem high, but just ask yourself if you have ever desired of becoming an author? If the answer is yes, then you’re just like me and millions of others with the same common dream.

While millions may dream of becoming an author, only a small percentage of those dreamers actually attempt to write and actually have a book published. What is it that blocks most people who dream of becoming an author from actually doing it? There are five roadblocks to why people find a reason not to pursue their dream of becoming a published author. Some never start while others quit before they finish. Here are the five……

  • I don’t have time. Personally this has always been my biggest issue. Everytime I try to schedule time, something takes its place and I go another week without writing. I was starting to think I would just have to wait until I was retired and had nothing else to do. The issue of time is best solved by a simple commitment to a planned writing schedule, a writing schedule you can really keep. You may say that you only have 10 to 15 minutes every day during the week. And you may ask “What can you do actually do in 10 to 15 minutes every day for five days a week?” Think of it this way, if you can just write one page a day during that time, during that 15 minutes, then you would have written over 40,000 words in just over 4 to 5 months. Thats plenty enough for your first book! How do you eat an Elephant? One bite at a time.

 

  • I don’t know if the idea for my book is worthy. You struggle with the idea that no one will want to buy or read your book when its finished. Do you know how many authors struggled with the same idea when they began? Do you know how many famous authors struggled with the same idea? That’s not to say that every book is going to be a Best Seller or will become the next great “Summer Novel”, but you will never know for sure until you try. Talk to someone you trust, someone that knows a thing or two about writing or books. Ask them to give you an honest opinion about your book idea. “In short I would rather live with disappointment than die with regret. You can guarantee that no one will buy or read your book, or you can take a chance that someone might actually want to read it and find out for sure.” 

 

  • I don’t know if someone else has already written this book before. While I can almost guarantee you that someone, somewhere at some other time has written a book that is similar to yours, I can tell you that there is no other book around just exactly like the one you are going to write. Books are like Snowflakes, and while they all can look alike, when you get down to the details, they are all very different. Just look at the last book you read and really loved. Open it and find the line or paragraph you highlighted and underlined. You know, the one place in that book that made it worth buying and reading. I bet that story, statement or illustration is not found in any other book in the world. Only if it was a quote or if it was restating something that had been written before, that’s the only time you would see it again in another book. Plus, maybe no one from this generation or from your own regional location has written a book like yours. “Only reprints are copies, yours will be an original!”

 

  • I only want to write and publish a book that is perfect. While all artist are particular, authors and writers can be very hard on their own writing. There are no perfect books in the World! I believe that while there are no perfect books in the world, outside of the Bible, there are actually a lot of good or great books that have found their way to the audience that enjoys them the most. While the statement above does not suggest that there are no bad or poorly written books in the world, the idea of the perfect book is really nonexistent except for the Bible. While everyone should work hard to write the best book they can, including good editing, they should not let the fear of their book not being perfect keep them from writing it and releasing it. “There is a big difference between an imperfect book that is read and a perfect book that is never written.”

 

  • I don’t know where to start at. Today more than ever there are tools and services where people can get help to move their idea into a form and outline that makes sense. With a great starting point and a great map to guide you along the way, you can find the road to becoming a published author easier than you think. There are even editors that can help you through the entire writing process. I know at Xulon Press, where I have worked for the past several years as the Acquisitions Director, we have built in a system that can help almost anyone find where to start. We like to say “It’s our calling to help you get the book that is inside of you out!”

No matter what you do or how you do it, don’t let these roadblocks stop you from moving forward on your dream to become a published author. You can become a published author and no one knows who is waiting to read what you have to say, what you have to write!

Keep Dreaming

Coach Don

What are you looking forward to?

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As you look at other people throughout the day, try to notice those that either look happy or content. Now, if you dare, and if you feel comfortable, ask one or two of them what are you looking forward to today? You might even phrase it as “What are you looking forward to this year or in life in general?”

In almost every instance, you will find the most content individuals will have something that they are looking forward to, either that day or somewhere in their future. What is it about having a positive future vision that causes us to be happy in our current situation?

My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. This verse makes the point that God has thoughts that He thinks about us and those thoughts are focused on a hope and a future. So what is it about having something hopeful to look forward to you that has the power to change who we are today?

  1. Having a future hope helps us endure a current negative situation. No doubt about it, having something wonderful in your future can help you endure a current situation. If you knew that the dream job was just around the corner and you were to going to get there soon, come “Hell or High Water”, you would feel different about the job you are enduring today.
  2. Having a future hope helps us see other people differently. If we have trouble seeing our own future and our own situation ever changing, we will really struggle to believe others have the ability to change as well. The optimist not only believes that they can change and become better, but also they believe others can as well!”
  3. Having a future hope helps us to do the hard work. No doubt about it, it takes hard work to change and create a new future. Having something to look forward to in the future can inspire us to work hard and pay the price for that new future. Take the summer vacation that becomes your driving force to lose weight. No matter what it is, the vision is the fuel for the journey.

The bible states in Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint. Vision for tomorrow provides power for today. Zig Ziglar used to say “Treat every day like it’s the day before vacation, and you will get more work done!” The reason that is true is because people that are getting ready to go on vacation are happy because they are looking forward to being off and being in a place that is going to be fun. The next time you have a friend or coworker that is getting ready to leave for a cruise or for a week at the beach, just ask them how they are doing?

Today you should get your calendar out and start marking some dates to look forward to. Even if you are marking dates of events that you will have to work toward or save for, just do it! Much better to fill your life with future hopes and dreams then past mistakes and current concerns. For a Christian, the future is nothing to worry about it, it is actually something to look forward to with great anticipation.

Look Forward! It will take you somewhere!

Coach Don