What is the STRENGTH Phase?

We now move into about 10-11 weeks of the STRENGTH Phase.  This is NOT in opposition to the DETOX stage, rather, to build on top of it.  There is nothing better to build on top of, than a pure foundation. As many of you know I have spend the previous 6 weeks DETOXing myself of junk in my life.  It is now time to add STRENGTH.  When I began DETOXing, I weighed 210, at the end of the DETOX stage I weighed 196.  We’ll see what happens from here, either way, I plan on STRENGTHening the following ways:

  • Spiritually – The way I see this happening is a primary focus on prayer and scripture study.  I am going to continue to focus on 1 Peter on a deep level.  I plan on slowly reading through The Doctrine of God, it is a very deep academic book, in other words, it is heavy, which is often (not always) used to strengthen us.  I plan on beginning to be much more intentional with my prayer life.
  • Communally – or relationally.  I want to strengthen the majority of the relationships in my life.  I want to challenge the majority of the relationships in my life; not all of them, just most of them.  I want to help form relationships in which iron truly does sharpen (strengthen) iron. So, for (1) my relationship with Sarah, this is going to be about who God wants and needs me to be for and to her as her husband and friend. (2) my relationship with my kids – again this is going to be based around who God calls me to be as their father, shape, and role model. (3) my friends, I have always been the guy who doesn’t have a lot of friends, but the friends I have are pretty deep, so I think it may be time to go deep with some people. (4) My Restore Community – it is time for us to STOP being a group that primarily meets once every other week.  It’s time to be strengthened as family members who are missionaries in our cultures, and servants to this broken world as we learn to live in, see through, and invite others into the Story of God! (for those who don’t understand the Fight Club picture, ask me about it, but I believe this is one of the best movies on the idea of community – sure it is a jacked up movie, but it’s one of the elements that the Holy Spirit used to convince me to be a pastor)
  • Physically – now that I have dropped 15 pound, I am going (hopefully) continually to drop weight, but much slower, while at the same time begin to STRENGTHen my body.  I see this happening in two distinct areas: (1) Nutrition, I will keep up with my DETOX program, but will now add white meats, protein powders, etc to feed my muscles, while continuing to lay off of the carbs and dairy. (2) I will slow down my running for more intense resistance workouts. I have decided to go with the P90X idea.  I start this skeptical of a TV workout, but we’ll see.
  • Mentally: I want to deepen my understanding of what is going on historically, culturally, and contextually in the New Testament.  So I am dedicating time to studying two different books: New Testament History & An Introduction to the New Testament.  I want to grow stronger and deeper in my understanding and working in Justice, especially begin to ask, “How does a white suburban church TRULY engage in justice….”

This will be my life for the next 100 days.  I hope you enjoy the journey!

Matthew

p.s.  I am going to close this out with a thought from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers:

If it takes about 10,000 hours to master something.  That means you would need to spend 2.74 hours a day for 10 years to get it.  The questions is, “In 10 Years what will you be a master at?”

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