So, the journey of building strength off of the DETOX phase began on February 22nd. Just a reminder, in this phase, my hope is to build strength on top of the the foundation that was recovered through the DETOX phase. I believe that the foundation and the pillars that I need to focus on in the strengthen phase are:
- Spiritually – I did some heavy lifting in the area of reading: The Doctrine of God, New Testament History, Introduction to the New Testament; A Theology of the New Testament, and Let the Reader Understand. I spent over three months in 1 Peter. I used several study ‘tools’ the major one has been meditation, concentration and prayer. I used for my study guides the following: The Cross of Christ, The Message of 1st Peter, Desiring God, Blue Letter Bible, ESV Study Bible, and again, mainly meditation, concentration, and prayer. I’ve posted my study in this broken down manner: 1 Peter 1:1-2; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 Peter 6-9; 1 Peter 1:10-12; 1 Peter 1:13-21; 1 Peter 1:22-2:3; 1 Peter 2:4-5; 1 Peter 2:6-10; 1 Peter 2:11-12; 1 Peter 2:13-20; and 1 Peter 2:21-25. I’m still working on the rest of 1 Peter
- Community – To build strength in community I focused on: (1) Family: I have focused on this by demanding a stop-time for me in my work and studies – the kids and Sarah get me (focus and attention) after 5pm – period. I have focused on this by even scheduling (yes, I said scheduling) wrestle time with my kids. Sarah and I have begun working with other couples in our Restore Community to have a baby-sitting co-op, in other words, each couple keeps all the kids, once a month so the other families can date their spouse and not have to spend money on a babysitter, but I have to say, most of this has been deepened and strengthened by my prayer life over my family – men, it is a must – I know we all know it, but this needs to be a demand for us (2) Friends: we have decided that they get Sunday nights, unless there is something that is way too necessary and can’t be allowed, but I had to stop saying, sure we can hang out, and just make it happen. (3) My Restore Community: The bible tells us that as a church we are the ‘family’ of God, you could have described my Restore Community as many things, family was not one of them. So, we asked, “how can we become a family?” We have created environments that allow us to stay connected way more than a twice a month meeting. In fact that meetings have turned into a conversation, we meet together once a month with no other agenda then to eat and enjoy each other’s company, and we have created a facebook page for our group that keeps us communicating.
- Physically – All I can say, is I have been doing P90X for the last 100 days, and it is every bit, if not more than, what they say on television – dang!
The strengthen phase was great. I feel God shared lot with me, and has begun to strengthen me in ways I didn’t expect. However, while this was great, I do feel a bit beat up and ready for the SIMPLE phase. This will affect the way I eat, train, read/study scripture, and spend time with people. I plan on starting this on June 1st, and carrying it through August 31st.