What I Meant to Say: Mother’s Day

Yesterday was a fun day – I’m glad we got to celebrate the women of our congregation the way that we did. You’re all wonderful!

A brief recap of yesterday’s message:

* It wasn’t an accident that God chose Mother’s Day, 1979 to birth a new move of the Spirit that we now call the Vineyard. God’s Spirit is attractive and tremendously effective at bringing people to Christ, but God wants to make sure these converts are brought into a family, not left as orphans with an instruction manual.

* Women carry the Presence of God in a special way. We see that with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and in Mary Magdalene, the first witness to the resurrection. Women are an essential part of God’s plan to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.” And they aren’t relegated to “just” the multiply part. 🙂

* We saw that, at the end of his life, Paul’s primary concern was for his spiritual son to grow, mature and step into his calling. For all the work Paul did, all the churches he planted and letters he wrote, when push came to shove, Timothy was forefront on his mind. I think that is a tremendously powerful lesson. Are we taking our role as spiritual Fathers and Mothers seriously and pouring into the next generation? If not, we may need to rethink our priorities.

* We have amazing women in our congregation. I took the time to honor a few by name, but that list wasn’t exhaustive by any means. I’m really thankful to have such wonderful women in my life – thank you for being who you are, you inspire me to be more than I am.

I realize I didn’t say that as concisely yesterday as I did here, but this is what I meant to say. I think you guys are great. I love being your pastor!

Happy (belated) Mother’s Day to you all!

Ben

A Case for Women Lifting Weights

How is this for a totally off-topic blog post? It isn’t often that I weigh in with a strong opinion on something that is outside my professional experience, but I had an interaction with an administrator at my local lifting establishment that left a bad taste in my mouth and this is my respectful response. I’m posting it here for the benefit of my women readers, not to make a big stink about anything. The guy I talked to means well, but appears uniformed.

To the women:

If you bear a child, it will come out of your womb between 8 and 10 pounds. By age 1 s/he will probably be around 25 pounds. Over the course of the next 5 years, your child will grow to be, on average, about 50 pounds by age 6. During these first 6 years of life, image how much lifting, carrying, holding, swinging and squating you will do with this little bundle of joy. Countless hours and repetitions, and thats if you only have one child to juggle during those years. Add in another and you’ve effectively doubled your work/weight load.

So why do you believe the myth that if you lift heavy weights (i.e. anything over 15 pounds) you are going to get huge and ripped? You carry grocery sacks, car seats and open doors that weigh about that much and I don’t see any moms shredding their t-shirts from that.

The purpose of going to the gym is to give you a strength advantage for everyday life. You train harder/heavier so that your everyday tasks are easier. You don’t want to grunt, sweat and have your arms shaking where you pick up your child and lift them overhead, so use weights heavier than your kids so that you can enjoy playing with them and they can enjoy being enjoyed by you. No child wants to feel like a burden and they don’t understand why you can’t. But they will understand “you are too heavy” and how do you think that will set them up to feel in adolescence?

Moms, you do great work. I am not here to criticize you, I here to (hopefully!) bring enlightenment. People in the fitness industry are profiting from your fear and that makes me angry. They perpetuate myths and lies that keep you in bondage and from enjoying life with your family and setting your kids up to succeed.

The truth is that you wont get big and bulky, you don’t have the genetic makeup for it. Even guys, who have 50x more testosterone and growth hormone than you can’t workout once and wake up the next day looking like the Hulk. It just doesn’t happen, as much a some guys wish it did.

The truth is that you lifting heavy (heavier) weights will build strength and bone density and a little lean muscle mass. Lifting heavy weights will allow you to enjoy your kids and even grandkids because you won’t be crippled with osteoporosis. You will have strength and endurance to love and live and you will be free from the fear and marketing machine of the fitness industry. I want that for you and that is why I’m writing. Please start a heavy weight rebellion. Tell marketers and fear mongers to take a hike as you press your 35# dumbells overhead and pull 135# off the floor.

If you want help, message or email me and I’ll get you connected with people I trust and who have my same values of wanting you to succeed and get stronger so you can enjoy life and family more.
Until then, power to you my friends.