Monthly Archives: September 2012

“A Little More Excitement Please!” -Jesus

I was in my favorite Starbucks the other day.  Shocking, I know.  I ordered my Fall favorite, Triple Venti Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Near the door stood a man, a little shorter than me.  We’ll call him 5’11”.  He appeared to be very fit and his shirt even advertised it.  It said, “Rogue Fitness!”  And then had some added information about kettlebells and who knows what.  Honestly, I quit reading after, “Rogue Fitness!”

As usual, I started a conversation with a complete stranger.

“Hey, tell me what Rogue Fitness is all about.”

The conversation from that point was a blur.  I know I left with a business card, his name (Matt), the fact that Rogue Fitness was his gym and an offer to come and check it out.  He was so excited about his gym, I honestly contemplated checking it out.  Until I came back to reality and realized that would cost money.  Nevertheless, the fact I won’t be going by, didn’t diminish one glaring fact that was blinding me as I walked to my car.

Why can’t Christians be that excited about their faith?

If I was wearing a church shirt and someone asked me about it, would I have responded that excitedly?  I sure hope so.

When given an opportunity like this one, do we jump all over it with the tenacity of a Rogue Fitness Coach?

Do our eyes light up?  Do they get really big?  Do the veins in our neck stand out a little more?  Can people see the passion about your faith when you talk with them?  Or does your impression leave them feeling as if they would fall asleep at your church?

God has come across the cosmos and intervened in our world.  Given us a mission and purpose.  Told us that no matter what happens, we will not fail.

And yet we often times act as if we are scared little dogs, afraid to tell anyone what we believe.

So get out there you Christians.  You who claim to be followers of Christ.  You who show up on Sunday morning and sing the songs, listen to the message, take the communion and claim to live for and obey Jesus.  Get out there and be excited about your faith.  When someone is done talking to you, they should feel the excitement and passion pouring out of you.  Get excited Christians!

And unlike Rogue Fitness, there isn’t even a membership fee.  So you can tell that stranger at Starbucks that it’s all free!

1 Peter 3:15 (NLT) – And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.

That Moment When Memories Are Made!

Everyone has that moment etched in their mind.

The moment you said, “I do.”

The moment you heard the first cry from your son or daughter.

The moment you found out you were going to have a son or daughter.

The moment your first love broke up with you.

The moment you heard the words, “I’m sorry.  It’s cancer.”

The moment your team wins the big game.

The moment your team loses the big game.

Moments that seem like just that; a moment.  But the moments link together into memories that leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul.

Today, one of those moments happened for me.

Congratulations to my son, Grant Isaac Rodda, on his decision!  Love you, son!

Take It Slow!

We are almost always in a rush to get somewhere.  Hurry to the next thing.  Get to the next place.  Do it quickly because I have a “to-do list” a mile long.

But today is my day off.  So I slept in a little later than normal.  All the way to 7:15 am.  Mostly I slept in a little because of my workout last night.  I spent some time with the kids before they headed off to school.  And when they were off to school, the house was empty and quiet.  A great time to simply take it slow and enjoy the beautiful morning.

When my wife returned from taking the kids to school, we decided to go on a run together.  I absolutely love the freedom to go on a quick run with my wife.  We don’t get to do that together very often, but it’s so much fun when we can.  I guess there’s something special about having a hobby you can share with your favorite person on the planet.

The scenery was beautiful; my wife being the #1 source of scenery attraction for me.  I’ll just leave that thought there.  =)  The sun was bright.  The temperature was perfect for a run.

It was simply a fantastic morning!  I took it slow and I liked it that way.

I do still have things to accomplish today, but what a great start to the day.

So I want to encourage you to take it slow.  Find time today to slow down.  Evaluate life a bit.  Enjoy those closest to you.  Take time to enjoy the weather and sunshine.  Don’t just rush through it and take it for granted.

Get out there and slow down!

How many blogs do I really need?

It’s becoming increasingly apparent to me that when it comes to blogging, I really don’t know what I’m doing.  Oh well.  It’s all in fun and for people I know to be able to keep up with things in my life.

All that said, I started another blog.  Not sure why.  I probably could have just added the posts here, but I didn’t want to cramp my style.

I decided to journal my CrossFit journey.  What workouts I do and when.  Time results.  Nutrition and more.

So if you want to follow along, you’re welcome to join me over here.

There you have it.  Another Stan Rodda blog.  The world is so much better now.

Ashton is 8!

There are moments in life when words don’t seem to do justice to what is going on around you.  Something beautiful or tragic can’t seem to be expressed in the right words.  Your brain struggles to find the right language, vocabulary or term.  Something about every word that comes to mind just doesn’t seem to fit quite right.  Kind of like trying to force the wrong puzzle piece into place.

That’s where I’m at with Ashton’s 8th birthday.

Ashton

Ashton in the dugout!

He is unbelievably handsome (I would say cute but he might get upset with me).  His eyes can put you in a trance.  Stare into them and they keep going deeper and deeper.

He is very smart.  This he takes after his mother in for sure.  His reading level was tested before 1st grade and he was already reading beyond a 6th grade level.  And he is in the gifted program for math.  He makes us feel very proud as parents.

He is in touch with his little emotions.  He cries at sweet commercials.  His heart hurts for people who are getting picked on.  He is so compassionate to those around him.

He is energetic.  If you ask the question, you might need to prepare for a 30 or 40 minute, dissertation on the topic.  Just like the Energizer bunny, he can keep on going.

But these are all a few basic characteristics and words that come to mind.  If you get to know him more, words will begin to escape you.  The words don’t seem to have been invented yet for the kid we call, Ashton James Rodda.  He’s just himself.  He is who he is.  And boy, do we like him that way.

Happy 8th Birthday, Ashton James Rodda!

I love you, Son!

Ashton’s 8th Birthday!

The Book of Joel?

Who would have thought?  Inspiration from a small, Old Testament book, that goes by the name of the prophet, Joel.

I am reading through the Bible in one year.  Currently I am well over halfway done, but still in the Old Testament.  I will admit that there are some Old Testament books that I get to and honestly think, “What can I possibly get out of what this book has to say?  I mean, it’s so…well…old.”

And today I find myself landing in a short, three-chapter, book by a prophet named Joel.  First thought, “Here we go again.”  Not very encouraging coming from the “pastor.”

But if there’s something in a small book like Joel that can benefit us today, God can certainly show us where.  So I prayed before I began to read, “God, please show me what you want me to see in this book.  Whatever it is, let me see it clearly.”  And wouldn’t you know it, clear as day, Joel 2:12, 13 popped off the page and smacked me in the face.

That is why the Lord says, ‘Turn to me now, while there is time.  Give me your hearts.  Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning.  Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.’  Return to the Lord your God, for He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.  He is eager to relent and not punish.

There it was.

Popping off the page.

God wants more than my outward show.

You see, we all can be good at putting on a show for everyone.  We are fantastic at convincing people we are one way, when on the inside we are another.  We can show up at church, but internally not allow it to impact us in any way.

God is not interested in the outward show (tearing our clothes in grief).  When the Bible says that, we would need to hear, “Don’t come to Me (God) just by looking like it on the outside.  Don’t show up at church and pretend to be coming to Me.”

God is interested in the internal happenings (tear your heart).  What we need to hear is, “God wants more than the outward show of religion.  God isn’t interested in your record for most Sundays attended in a row.  God is interested in whether or not your heart is fully, completely, 100%, turned, focused and aimed toward Him.  Am I fully surrendered to the God of the universe?

I can be the master of this.  Putting on my show for everyone to see.  Making it appear that everything between God and I is okay, when internally, God and I are experiencing tension.  Tension over whether or not He can have all of me.

Guess Joel is urging me to continually lay down the stuff I want in life and to turn my heart completely to God.  Time to give up the tension and allow God to have His way.

Have you ever experienced that tension?

Am I way off?

Remembering September 11th!

It was a day I will never forget.  A day none of us will ever forget.

A day of terror.

Of shock.

Of pain.

Of death.

In the midst of all that, heroes emerged.

Firefighters rushing into the heart of death to save lives.

Passengers taking over a flight to save hundreds of lives, but sacrifice their own.

A nation coming together regardless of their differences.

It was a day when darkness and light collided.

Thank you to all of you who were the light!

You are what makes this an amazing nation to live in and be a part of.

Remembering September 11th.

What I Learned Today!

I had this crazy idea to write about some of the things I learn throughout the day.  Maybe transform some of the stuff I write into a journal at some level.  Whether that happens or not remains to be seen.  But to start, how about some of what I learned today.  We’ll call it, “WILT.”  Get it?  See what I did there?

Spiritually

God breathes life, but you have to be dead first!

I learned that even in a book like Ezekiel, when you seek God, there are some significant spiritual truths that surface.  God uses these to transform us, from the inside out.  You should read Ezekiel 37.  One of the moments that struck me was this one…

Ezekiel 37:9 – “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man.  Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds!  Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.'”

In the midst of spiritual death and dryness, God does His best work.  God can’t breathe life into me if I don’t die to myself first.  I must give up doing life my own way in order for God to breathe into me, true life.  If I want to experience all God has to offer me, I need to be willing to die to my own wants, desires, needs and selfish patterns.

Personally

Someone needs to know the real you!

It feels good to get beyond the superficial parts of life with someone.  It is healthy to share your hurts, pains and struggles with someone you know and trust.  For me, it’s a group of guys I meet with for accountability.  On a more personal level, it’s my wife.

There’s something healthy and great about allowing her to know what’s really going on inside me.  Sitting down for a cup of coffee and really digging in is ultimately liberating.  I was able to spend time with my wife today, just the two of us.  It was great to be able to connect with her at a deeper level.  Taking our relationship into deeper and better waters.

Physically

CrossFit hurts!

But it is such a good hurt.  I love the way I feel when I’m working out.  I love how I feel when I’m done.  I really love the energy I have the next day.  Yes, it hurts.  But it’s such a good hurt.

CrossFit

What did you learn today?

Gettysburg and Leadership!

Some of the staff guys from my church, New Life Christian Church, headed out of town for a few days this week. We left with the mission of hanging out, doing some team building, praying and trying to get a clear picture of what God has in mind for us in the coming months and year. We headed out on Tuesday and drove from Chantilly, Virginia to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Gettysburg is the sight of one of the deadliest and most memorable battles of the Civil War. A battle lasting for three days; July 1, 2 and 3 of 1863.

Gettysburg

View from Little Round Top!

Wednesday morning, we all went on a four-hour bike tour of Gettysburg. The tour was great. Watching eight pastors try to ride bikes in a straight line was downright entertaining. After the leg cramps went away from the 13-mile, four-hour ride, we sat down for some lunch and started chatting about what we learned.

Here are a couple of principles I picked up from the ride.

1 – Leadership Sometimes Means Following!

If you can’t follow the lead of those over you, it might be time for a change of scenery. Just don’t cause a scene on your way. During day two of the Battle of Gettysburg, General Sickles of the Union army, disobeyed a command from General Meade. His move to higher ground (the Peach Orchard) instead of anchoring his line where Meade had directed (base of Little Round Top), nearly cost the Union the battle. A defeat at Gettysburg would have opened the door for the Confederates to take the Capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, as well as take open routes to both Baltimore and Washington, DC.

2 – Leadership Is Making the Tough Calls!

Leaders are leaders for a reason; they make the calls that many people are unwilling to make. Sometimes the call they make isn’t popular, but the leader must make the call. Around 5:00 pm on the first day of the battle, General Lee had the Union troops on the ropes. They were outmatched and outflanked. He then delegated a decision down to General Ewell, a lower ranking General, about whether or not to pursue the already retreating Union forces. His decision? Regroup and attack the next day. Wasting two hours of daylight and precious time with the enemy on the run, the Confederates will not recover from this decision and will ultimately lose the battle at Gettysburg. Leaders, some calls are yours and yours alone. Don’t delegate away your momentum!

Of course, these are just a couple principles. There are many others. What are other leadership principles that you wouldn’t go without?

Leave me a comment and let me know.

Getting My Training On!

Two weeks ago, I started training again.  I haven’t been able to do any sort of training or exercise since I strained my ACL in a fierce game of dodgeball.  Yes, I’m only slightly competitive.  I rehabbed my knee for a few months and am now getting going again with some great fitness stuff.  What is this “great fitness stuff” you ask.  CrossFit.

My neighbor is working toward becoming a CrossFit trainer.  So I didn’t hesitate to jump in and start working out with him.  After week one, I had only worked out one time because I was so sore.  This week I finished my 4th CrossFit workout.  And all I have to say about CrossFit at this point; freaking awesome!  I love it.

But my workout will only be as effective as much as I am dedicated to the workout.

No more Dr. Pepper.

No more late night ice cream runs.

No more eating out.

No more junk food or candy.

Dang it!  Now I really want a Dr. Pepper.

Every time I workout, I’m drawn back to something the Apostle Paul said in the book of First Corinthians, chapter nine.  It goes like this…

1 Corinthians 9:27 – I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.

Now to make sure I’m also training spiritually, not just physically.

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