Monday, January 2, 2012

Live Dead Challenge Day 1: Abide

For those of you who know me personally and have been around me over the past 6-9 months, you know that God is at work in me.  I don't quite know how to describe it, but I believe that he is trying hard to do some special things through me and I am trying hard to listen to his calling.

Recently, my close friends who are all part of the Man Up project and I vowed to take the 30 day Live Dead challenge.  It is a 30 day prayer challenge to "Live Dead."  Basically, what that means is that you die to self and live through Christ.  It is a concept that interests me and my friend who brought it to me is someone I trust and look up to in many ways, so I said "Why not?  Let's see where God leads us through this."  The mission of Live Dead is to help people grow closer to God, bring awareness to the need for missionaries, and to promote prayer for many people (mostly in east Africa) who have never been exposed to Jesus Christ.

I have to admit, the whole thing seemed simple enough until I received the Live Dead Journal.  I flipped through it for the first time and I began to glance over the first day's challenge.  I suddenly became pretty nervous about it.

The first challenge discusses John 15: 4-5, 16.  It talks about how we are the fruit and God is the vine.  Without the vine, the fruit withers away, so we must be obedient to the vine (God).  We all know that Christians are called to tithe 10% of their money to church.  But, what about time?  Today's Live Dead challenge was to tithe 10% of our time to God.  That's 2 1/2 hours a day!

Those of you who know me, know that I don't typically have a ton of extra time on my hands.  With a busy job, consulting business, educating other coaches, father of 2 littles ones, and a husband, my days become pretty full, pretty quick.  How would I find this much time in my day to give extravagantly to Him?

To be honest, I'm not sure yet, but I will say that day 1 went very well.  I really enjoyed focusing more attention on Him throughout my day.  I did little things, like turn off the radio in my truck and turned off the TV when I rode my bike this morning, to spend time focusing on Him.

Another thing I did was to listen to a sermon from one of our local churches that was posted online.  The pastor did a great job of challenging people with their new year's resolutions.  Most people resolve to do "something" (i.e. eat better, save money, etc.), instead of becoming better people.  Once we become better people, then we will do better "things."

As I listened, it really rang home to me...I want to be an authentic man.  I want to be a man of honor.  I want to be a pure person.  I want to be a resilient man.  These are the types of things that will eventually help me become a better husband, father, and son.  Becoming a better person will help me be one of the best athletic trainers and strength coaches around.  They will help me become fit, healthy, and more spiritual.  Being all of these things will help me make more money to support my family, and equally as important, support those who are less fortunate. I want all of these things.

The question is...can I really do all of these things and become all that I want to be?  I'm not sure yet, but I know that I can't do any of it without His direction.  Without His vine, I will wither.  As I tithe my 10% over the next 30 days, the time I have left will be more productive than ever.  The Live Dead Day 1 Challenge is over and it was a success!

I will periodically post on the challenge as a way to share the experience as well as chronicle the events for myself.

Live Dead, Love Big!

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