Greatest Joy

I may have said this once or twice before, but my greatest joy in ministry is raising others up and releasing them to fly in their own gifting.

It was a joy yesterday to watch Precious open our worship and to hear Mongezi preach later in our Gathering.

But what I really loved was hearing another church member saying how they were blown away by the way Precious' opening tied in with the rest of our worship and Mongezi's word.

That's when you know the anointing is flowing.

Had circumstances been different and my brothers and I had been able to live with our dad I know he would have introduced us to boxing from a young age.

Dad came from a notable line of amateur boxers in his hometown of Hawick in Scotland and even through the dark days of his illness he was always passionate about the sport.

So I'm quite chuffed with myself for having finally gotten around to taking up boxing, but I'm supper chuffed that Joel has now joined me and is also boxing at the same gym. That is a proud dad moment!

These pics are of dad as RAF Biggin Hill's boxing champion in 1953 whilst doing his National Service there. 

My health and fitness journey continues and I'm feeling very pleased with myself having lost 15kgs, gone down a couple of waist sizes and smashed my cholesterol down to a healthy 3.1. My blood pressure is absolutely normal and I'm enjoying the little things like not getting out of breath walking up a hill and generally having a lot more energy than I have had for a long time.

It's taken a lot of hard work and dedication to not only keep going with the Boxing and Crossfit but to make the necessary lifestyle changes to back up the exercise.

I've always thought all diets are little more than fads and now I've demonstrated that by simply reducing portion size, reducing sugar and fat intake and balancing what I eat against my exercise plan anything is possible.

If this can inspire just one person to get up off the couch and get fit I'll be thrilled.

Go on, go for it!

Baptisms

At The Gathering we've been trying to have a Baptism Gathering for a while now but the prolonged drought and lack of a suitable venue were problems. However, we finally managed to baptise seven of our members last night at Waterworld in the Strand (thanks Carl & Claire!).

It was a great time of worship and celebration as each of those being baptised declared their faith in Jesus and the rest of the church rejoiced with them.
It was great to see The Gathering's Homework Club back up and running on Wednesday & Thursday this week, and it promises to be another great year.

The kids were really buzzing about the restart with many of them hanging around The Gathering for a day or two prior to the restart and it was great to welcome so many familiar faces back and to meet a whole load of new ones..

The late start was due to it taking a while to find the right person to be our Facilitator, but once Marie was appointed the final admin went in to full swing to get everything ready, and it was so good to be back doing what we love.

Boxing Clever

I'm rather pleased with my training schedule over the last two weeks and I'm certainly feeling very good for it, not to mention the amount of weight I've lost. Let's just say that I'm under 15 stone for the first time in many years!

I'm really enjoying my fitness journey and am having more fun than I could have hoped for and have a set of coaches who are so ready and willing to offer instruction, advice and help, they really do make my gym experience a class above any gym I've ever experienced before.

Engaged

Thirty years ago today this beauty said "Yes!" when I asked her to marry me in Greenwich Park.

It was to be another two and a half years before we got to tie the knot but it was worth every second of the wait! Not to mention how amazing life has been ever since.

I love you more than words could ever say!

I am the most blessed man on the planet.



Health Update

As I said in a previous blog post, I knew that after 8 years of inactivity it was time to get fit again (hitting almost 103 kgs was quite motivational) and so I took up boxing and haven't looked back.

So, for the first time ever I'm really enjoying the exercise. I used to like cycling but it was never this much fun and I never saw such dramatic changes in my body or general health.

However, exercise is only half the story.... at the point of deciding to make some positive changes the BBC News website published this article: The lifesaving food 90% aren’t eating enough of. So as well as exercising I made two big dietary changes, firstly I radically reduced my sugar intake (six Cokes a day isn't good!) and secondly, I began having a minimum of 60g of All Bran for breakfast, that's double the amount recommended by researchers at the University of Otago in New Zealand and the University of Dundee.

Whenever I hear of the latest dietary fad I'm always sceptical, but I'm convinced that the biggest reason for my cholesterol level being more than halved is my fibre intake. My body is obviously making the most of the health benefits of fibre and my desire for snacking has reduced massively, so it's win win, especially as my BP is back to normal as are my blood sugar levels. It really does keep getting better and better!



Three weeks ago I committed to getting fit again and decided to give Boxing and Crossfit a go. This was no new year resolution, I don't do them, rather it was something that has been a long time coming. I knew that having given up cycling (yes I was very very fit back then and you can read my story here) I had to do something but wasn't sure what. Anyway, long story short and I'm now boxing twice a week and doing Crossfit once, and when Paula returns home I plan to box three times a week.

So three weeks ago I weighed in at 102.7kg, my shirts were stretching over my gut and I was generally feeling pretty lousy. Just three weeks in and I've lost 4.6kgs and am feeling great. I've got more energy than before, I'm falling asleep on the couch a lot less and I'm finding I'm a little less forgetful, all of which is brilliant.

Having given up cycling about 8 years ago I knew I needed to get back in to a regular exercise programme, but until now had no idea as to what that would be given that enjoying it is very high on my list of priorities.

Let me be honest, I find the regular gym mind numbingly boring and I'm always amused by the thought that some people get stuck in traffic on their way to the gym to ride a stationary bike. I think it's fair to say that regular gym is definitely not for me.

However, I've been piling on the weight, eating and drinking way too much and starting to suffer for it, so it's time for change.

Knowing I wouldn't do regular gym and being too scared to cycle again (4 particular incidents killed that for me), I put some thought in to the matter and decided to give boxing a go.

Three sessions in and I'm loving it!