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fI realize it has been awhile since I have made updates on the Trim the Fat Challenge.  I wish you hadn’t asked.  I’m not making much progress at all!

I’m piling up lots of BIG RED FAILS!

I’m stuck at the 5 pound weight loss without a major food plan in place.  duh!  Finding a food plan is nightmarish for me.  Well, nightmarish and overwhelming.  I have two available plans I need to study and I just can’t get into it.  So on this issue, I’ll have to paint a huge red fail!

We’ve been looking at apartments and townhouses and are getting a bit more into the land of reality.  Am I starting to pack and sort?  No.  I just can’t seem to get psyched for that job at all right now.  We’re heading into March and need to get moving more seriously on this and I just can’t get into it.  So, another big red fail goes into that column. . .as far as trimming goes!

Another area I wanted to work on in this Trim the Fat Challenge, was time management because I was struggling with it in this new retired lifestyle.  The past couple of weeks this area has been a major fail for me in the sense that I seem to be spending more time on the unimportant and frivolous things and less on the really important ones.  So there goes another big red fail beside that one.

So far things aren’t going well with this Challenge of the New Year, 2014.  So far, color me with a big red fail when it comes to this Challenge for 2014.

Some things are going well if I ignore the Challenge

There are some things going well, but they haven’t got much to do with the Challenge.  One is a project that almost dropped into my lap.  It is a blogging project that I’m very excited about, but is very new for me.  Over the next week or two it will be finishing up and I would like to ask for your prayer in completing it.  No, it won’t bring in any money.  But I would like it to be something that benefits the person I’m working with…and maybe develops a new area of ministry on my blog.  It would be very fun, as well as encouraging.

This week, tomorrow in fact, Ron and I will be going to an all day conference here in Huntsville on Community Development.  We will be helping with the logistics of the conference and our way will be paid because of it. . .as in welcoming people, registration table help, etc.  serving wherever needed kind of help.

One of the plenary speakers will be Brian Fikkert, author of When Helping Hurts.  There will be others too, as well as seminars I think.  It will be nice to meet many of the local workers in one place, as well as learn about the local organizations.  The various groups here want to work together better so they aren’t duplicating services.  That is an area we are looking forward to getting more involved in.  We’re just not sure exactly how.

Finally, the Bible study I lead is studying the life of Christ this semester.  The study is written by John Stott.  Each chapter covers one aspect of Jesus and who He was/is.  So it isn’t just from the gospels.  It has been a great study.  Not surprisingly, I’m seeing new things about Jesus and it is making the paradigm a little more clear in terms of who Jesus was and what we are to be like as a result of His coming.

On Sundays, our pastor, Jean Larroux III is preaching through the Parables with astounding sharpness…as in the Sword of the Spirit is slicing deep!  (started 1/26/14)  Ouch!  It is amazing how the sermons on Sundays and the Thursday Bible studies complement each other so well.

So, as you can see, GOD is working on me and using His means of grace to work in my life!  It isn’t happening in the way I want. . .or even planned.  It definitely isn’t happening as fast as I want, but it is happening.  GOD is working.  I am learning that He is the One who will change me.  I don’t have to be frantic to “fix” myself.  In fact, that is an impossible job!

I need to consider: Are my efforts to change/improve, really ways I’m trying to be independent of GOD in some small way?  If so, then it is good that I fail at these efforts.  Then I realize that I MUST depend on Him because I am weak.  Without Him, I can’t do well.  I can’t do the things I want to do.  Do I need to make the changes I had planned for this year?  Yes!  I do.  But maybe GOD needs to make some other changes first.  I don’t really know.

I do know that despite my brokenness and failure, change is still taking place.  GOD is still at work in my heart.  He is changing the places that are His priorities.  Maybe 2014 will be a good year after all…it’s just that the changes won’t all be the ones I had planned on. . .or at least not on the time table I had planned.

Why is it that we often feel that we need to “have it together” in order to minister well to others?

The truth is, GOD uses us, in spite of our weakness and brokenness, even in the middle of our mess, to minister to others.  Most of all, He shows us that we are weak, He is strong and whatever “success” came from the ministry was from Him, not us.

Soli Deo Gloria!

To GOD alone be glory!