Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Week in Louisville

I spent last week in Louisville, KY on the campus of Southern Seminary. The week started with the normal routine of interviewing students who are interested in serving as missionaries. But, this was also Global Missions Week on campus, so there were some additional events with the seminary. The week ended with a Missions Expo, which is a new venture for the IMB where prospective missionaries come for a three day conference where they consider the strategic needs for new personnel around the world.

The Strategic Deployment team was responsible for leading the Expo. We gathered one evening for dinner at a local Italian restaurant and broke bread together. In this case that meant breaking loaves of freshly baked bread and dipping it in a mixture of olive oil and cracked pepper, awesome!

One of the deployment consultants has the knack of taking doodles to a new level. I watched him do this several times.

As a part of the Global Missions Week, the hall of the Honeycutt Center was turned into a "Hall of Prayer for the Nations" with flags from around the world and table displaying artifacts and opportunities for ministry. One of the consultants (on the left) is talking to a couple that is interested in the South America.
Another consultant is talking to a student that is interested in the needs in Asia.

The Missions Expo consisted of small group discussions, individual interviews, large group presentations on IMB strategic directions and presentations on the people groups around the world who have no opportunity to hear about Christ. Part of the conference consists of small group discussions.

The final session on Saturday morning started with praise.

One of the IMB leaders challenged the group with the decisions that they need to make.

On Saturday afternoon, the consultants discussed each participant and the skills, gifts and their potential for possibly matching one of the needs we have. The great tragedy is that the IMB cannot possibly send all of those who want to go even though they are gifted, called and dedicated.
For years I have quoted the scripture passage from Luke 10: 1-2
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
My thinking has been that the workers are few. We now find ourselves in a situation where we have truly committed, trained capable and experienced people who will not be able to go because we do not have the resources in hand to support them. My prayer is that Southern Baptists will step up to the plate and provide the resources needed to support those who are ready to go to the ends of the earth.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Weekend getaway

Charlotte and I traveled to New England a couple of weeks ago to visit with family and simply enjoy the area.
Above is Leigh's Pond in southern Main. Note, even though the temperature was in the 50's there is still ice on the pond.

That is not snow, it is ice on the pond.

It was cool enough for a jacket.
Charlotte is on the pier at Fort Foster Park. The park is the home of what was once a fort that protected the entrance into Portsmouth Harbor.
There are several beaches in the park. I found this rock formation on one of the beaches fascinating.

The multiple colors and the water movement have a unique beauty.
There is an old hymn that reflects some of my thinking:
For the beauty of the earth, For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise This our hymn of grateful praise.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Getting Healthy

Over the past several months Charlotte and I have been participating in a weight loss program through the Zaccharias Ganey Health Institute here in Richmond. The plan starts with ten weeks of nutrition lectures and exercise classes that include thirty minutes of weight training and thirty minutes of aerobic work three times each week.

The aerobic work is done on either a treadmill, a stationary bicycle or an elliptical machine. I started on the bicycle and graduated to the elliptical machine.

Before starting the program we checked our triglycerides, HDL and LDL levels. I also had an A1c test run to check my blood sugar level. The blood work was checked again after the first ten weeks.
They also measured my waist, hips, neck, as well as weight, BMI both before and after.

They also tested our VO2 levels which measure the amount of oxygen our hearts handle and different levels of activity.
During the first ten weeks I lost thirteen pounds, three inches in the waist, and two inches in the hips. My HDL cholesterol improved while the LDL improved as well. My A1c level dropped as well.
I have dealt with Type 2 diabetes for several years. During the ten weeks my doctor eliminated one of the medications and cut the others in half. The A1c is a measure of blood sugar over a three month period. That level dropped even with the drop in medications.
Since completing the initial ten weeks, we have entered into a continuation program that focuses primarily on various exercise classes. I have lost an additional nine pounds and seen continued improvement in cholesterol levels and eliminated one more diabetic medication.
Charlotte participated to encourage me. She has not seen the same amount of weight loss but she has managed to drop three dress sizes! That of course means a who new wardrobe!
Getting healthy is a matter of stewardship of the body that God has given us.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20