Posts Tagged With: weight loss

linvilles in Love with m&ms, the intro

Weight update: oh yeah!

I’ve reached my goal weight!

I thank all those who prayed and supported me!

Tip#1: think first, then eat. Tip#2: embrace the unique pain of muscle soreness. It’s never enjoyable, but it’s a friend.

The past 18 days have been very exciting. We stand in awe of the miraculous power of Christ and his faithfulness in sending to us the Holy Spirit to teach us all things and bring to our remembrance all that Christ has said to us (John 14:26). Time has revealed the purpose for this, and it is because He desires to be loved and worshiped by our neighbors across the hall.

So now without further ado…

The Intro

This beautiful family, the M&Ms, have given me permission to share the following, but to respect their desire for anonymity, their names have been changed:

Mekhi, Melanie, and Kayla found themselves in an entirely new environment as 2011 came to a close. The bright lights of the city of Atlanta had been replaced with the moon’s soft glow; all the buildings they once knew were now swaying trees on every side; and instead of the blaring sound of traffic below they now heard a new-born baby’s cries.

Mekhi needed to get out of Atlanta. He needed a better, safer life for his family, but leaving would be hard. Deep roots held him there: knowledge of the streets, his reputation, easy money–but not fast money. Despite the pressure, Mekhi knew the difference. Unlike many, he could wait for it. Unlike most, he used his brain. But Mekhi enjoyed more than just good common sense. Working numbers was second nature to him and as a teen he was awarded a position in the Future Leaders of America Foundation (the parent foundation of the Washington Scholars Fellowship Program). As a teen, when Mekhi called New York City home, all he wanted to do was ball. Dominating the basketball court was his past time, something that took most by surprise since Mekhi looked more like a lightweight boxer, and to be sure the man could box, but basketball was his first love. In New York he had everything. Life was easy. The future was easy: play ball, get scouted to play for some school, get better and go pro; but that future disappeared overnight. In one day it was all ripped away, but that’s another story. Atlanta was his home now and for him those streets were made of gold.  He could stay and maybe continue to prosper, but then there was death, which was always too close for comfort, and getting closer.

Melanie had to grow up fast. Home was not the easiest place to live, but it was better than being homeless, although sometimes she wondered. If only loyalty and kindness could be cashed in, she’d be rich. Unfortunately, strong character didn’t pay the bills and she had Kayla to care for, so she worked a job like the rest of us, well, maybe not like Mekhi with his streets of gold. It’s likely that Melanie wasn’t fooled by the strut or the swagger when he came waltzing into the gas station while she worked behind the counter. That time she didn’t even notice him, but he noticed her. Eventually, she took a good look and yeah, she liked what she saw. Mekhi wasn’t about to turn down the attention of a woman as beautiful as Melanie, so it probably wasn’t long before they were seeing each other exclusively.

Little Kayla was too young to remember meeting Mekhi, but to his credit he didn’t let the fact that Melanie already had a baby keep him from pursuing her. Mekhi didn’t realize it right away but deep down he was a family man at heart. When he had to make the choice of whether to stay in Atlanta or leave, he left. Melanie and Kayla could survive Atlanta with him, so it was something else that pushed him over the edge, something that meant so much to him that he was willing to give up everything else for it. What was it? It was his baby, Mekhi’s first child: Hope.

It all happened so fast. Life is like that. At first, life just goes on as usual, nothing changes for months, even years, and then everything changes all at once. That’s the way Mekhi’s move to Atlanta was, and the move to Wake Forest, NC was no different. He wanted to be out of the city before Hope arrived and, sure enough, the day he signed the lease for the apartment across the hall from us was the day Hope was born. Mekhi was a family man. His family was safe. He had dodged the bullet, escaped the trap, and put some distance between himself and death, or so he thought.

…To be continued in Act 1

Categories: linvilles in life, linvilles in prayer, linvilles in scripture, linvilles in sharing the gospel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

linvilles in Love with gravity

I recently heard the most amazing analogy by Pastor Art Azurdia for how Christian love, God’s love, simultaneously anchors us down and sets us free. The interesting part…I head it on a rap album. Please click HERE to listen to Art Azurdia wax eloquent on this marvelous illustration and check the description for how you can download this Christ honoring rap album for free. Otherwise, I’ve painstakingly transcribed what he says below, but it’s way better to hear it, in my opinion.

Let’s suppose that a kite could come to life and develop its own personality. On the one hand it would feel the exhilaration that comes from the surges of wind that direct it through the sky. On the other hand it would almost immediately take notice of something…annoying: the tugging of a string at its center. A feeling of constraint, a resistance; and soon the kite begins to think to itself: ‘If only I could…detach; then I could really FLY!’ To the kite, you see, it seems that the string is limiting its full experience of freedom, but as any boy or girl who has ever flown a kite knows: were that string to suddenly…snap, the kite wouldn’t sore freely for very long. It would dart to and fro for a minute — maybe two — but very soon thereafter it would end up on the ground in a pile of broken sticks and torn paper, never ever to fly again. Rather, you see, it is the taut line between the kite and the one holding it that enables the kite to fly; that allows all the principles of aerodynamics to come into play so that the kite might achieve its full purpose! Christian love performs the very same function as a kite string. You take away the stabilizing force of Christian love and every towering gift, every supernatural power, every sacrificial act, every musical performance — you name it friends — it will all, ALL, end up in the ash heap of eternal insignificance……without love.

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. My friends would call that “strong sauce.” I find strange pleasure in finding/creating good analogies. It’s like remembering something funny and getting the pleasure of laughing at it again.

So, as most of you know, my wife, Lexi, is utterly amazing. She’s amazingly Christ-like, amazingly intelligent, amazingly creative, amazingly beautiful, and amazingly thoughtful. What follows certainly reveals all of these qualities, but I believe it showcases her thoughtfulness. To thank her for this amazing gift that she bestowed upon me for no reason whatsoever…”just because,” as she put it…I made a video of it, which you may view HERE. Enjoy.

In other awesome news, I fulfilled a childhood fantasy on Friday when I got to fly in a helicopter for the first time! Shortly thereafter, I fulfilled another childhood fantasy when I got to PILOT the helicopter!

Yes, I recently completed my first helicopter flying lesson and it was spectacular and insanely difficult…in a good way. My unending thanks goes out to my lovely wife, Lexi; my parents, Chris and Lisa; and my Uncle Tim and Aunt Sandy (and their 6 kids) who made this fantasy a reality. Thank you so very much! Best B-day gift ever!

Finally, I must share a change in plans regarding our overseas deployment. Unfortunately, due to my present lack of medical clearance, Lexi and I will not be able to attend the October training session and January deployment. We must postpone for another three months, putting us in the January training session and the April deployment. If we had discovered this last week, we would’ve been quite upset, but God prepared us for this news by revealing to us just how unprepared we are to go. Three more months will enable us to devote ourselves more fully to the Word of God and prayer, seek greater intimacy in community with Treasuring Christ Church, disciple those we’ve been sharing the Gospel with a little longer, raise support for missions classes (“donate” button works great!), and lose these last 7lbs. Yes, it’s 7, not 9. I’ve lost two more pounds since the weekend, all glory to God! Thank you for your prayers!

Stay tuned for more incredible stories, videos, and updates!

in Love

the linvilles

Categories: linvilles in life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

linvilles in Love with weight loss

Many people have been asking us for specifics regarding how things are going with our preparations to leave, so here’s a little more detail about where we are in the process of going overseas.

PTL we were finally approved by our local fellowship, Treasuring Christ Church, for missionary work, which was monumentally important to us; more important than anything else. I’ll soon post a blog explaining why. We also recently finished our agency’s application paperwork, which is a huge relief (the missions agency we are going through has a wonderfully extensive application process). The next step for us, which comes before the agency will even look at our application paperwork, is medical clearance.

Now, you may be thinking, “Why didn’t you do that first since they won’t look at your application until it’s done?”

A logical question, and the answer is this: I tried. In truth, Mrs. linville and baby linville are already medically cleared. As of this morning, my medical clearance is pending because of nine things, namely, nine pounds.

I had hoped to weigh within my Body Mass Index (BMI) before we finished the application paperwork, but losing weight has been far more difficult than I expected.

So yeah, at this point I need to lose nine pounds before we can move forward to take the Gospel to the nations. In a nutshell, that’s where we are in the process of going overseas. After I’m medically cleared we will have an in-depth interview with our agency recruiter (who’s been working with us the whole time) over our extensive application paperwork and then, if we are approved, we will be presented to the agency’s board member committee for further questioning (if necessary) and, if again approved, we will be officially employed by the agency. All of which cannot happen yet because of nine pounds.

Now, I realize that some of you understand this to be a legitimate deterrent and some of you see it as a rather trivial stipulation. Please share your opinions in the comments!

When I was first informed of this, I didn’t have nine pounds to lose but 35lbs (I’ve lost 26lbs since Feb), so the reason for it was far more…obvious.

hint: I’m not the one on the left.

Recently, as I draw closer to my target weight (199lbs, which is the top end BMI for a 5’8 male), and as it gets harder and harder to shed the pounds, I’ve caught myself being quite frustrated and tempted to consider this a trivial stipulation, but from whence does this frustration come?

It comes from selfishness; the me-monster. Being healthy often means not getting what I want.

It comes from laziness. Being healthy definitely requires consistent healthy choices which means: daily exercise and eating right. Eating right often means pre-planning meals and preparing them, forsaking drive-throughs,  fried food, most desserts and regular sugary drinks. Instead, I now must eat the colorful foods that have not the flavors and textures that I’m comfortable with.

Seeing this I realize: I’m not frustrated with losing weight, I’m frustrated with the selfishness and laziness that my efforts to lose weight have revealed to be in my heart. What might losing weight be like for me if I didn’t have that selfishness or laziness there? Exciting? Enjoyable? Yes!

As a Christian, I am in Christ and thus a recipient of all that is in Him! Indeed, I can receive grace and faith with which to repent (turn away) from selfishness and laziness and walk in God’s forgiveness and love!

Walk? Why not run! Why not bike! Why not swim! To God’s glory I am repenting of these sins and finding incredible encouragement (and dare I say enjoyment) in eating my spinach and running those miles because I have found these efforts to no longer be mere exercises of the physical, but also a conditioning of the spiritual.

There should be nothing that we do on a daily basis that cannot be done with a Christ glorifying, worshipful attitude, for God is never far from anyone of us, “for in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)

This process of losing weight revealed sin in my life, and after repenting I realized that these sins were not just affecting my efforts to be healthy, but had grown stealthily into many other areas of my life. What a blessing to have learned and repented of my sin sooner than later (“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:14&15)!

We thank everyone who prays for us and I ask for continued prayer that I keep losing this weight as a means to testify to God’s love in drawing us closer to Himself through all things, whether they appear trivial or not.

Categories: linvilles in life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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