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BrandonM.B
10%
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168 Lbs.
wt
5'7"
ht
BodySpace Member
BrandonM.B

I don't write on Bodyspace often, and haven't in some time. But I want to touch on something that I feel is important to share, especially for those who are trying to lose weight and achieve better health. This is some simple advice that will help you immensely.

 There are so many on this site, and people I know personally, who are struggling to lose weight, and get frustrated by what they perceive as a lack of results. Often because the weight is not coming off as fast as they like and as a result have trouble with consistency in their workouts and diets. If this is you listen up!


Their is no special trick to achieving your goals. Forget about supplements and finding that perfect workout and diet plan, because your success does not depend on that and if anything is a distraction and deterrent. What we have in the fitness industry is an inundation of different programs and diets and shameless peddlers of a variety of products which are scientifically developed to help you gain muscle and lose fat faster and better than ever. And very little focus on the simple facts and principles that make achieving your fitness goals possible, principles which I will share with you right now.



1) First and foremost you have to resolve yourself to the undeniable fact that it will take time to lose weight. A lot of time. Period. It took time to add weight and gain bodyfat, it will take time to lose it. You MUST accept this mentally to put yourself in a mental state you will need to see your journey through. So stop putting a time table on what you want to see on the scale when. Throw that mindset in the trash, NOW! 



2) Change your goal to one goal only. Performance. Strive to improve the quality of your workout every time you set foot in the gym or garage or bedroom or where ever you workout. I'm not necessarily talking about working out longer or doing more sets or exercises. Performance is getting better quality reps. More mind muscle connection. Better form. Performance can be pushing out one extra rep than you did last time on the same exercise. These little tiny improvements really do add up over time.



3) Simplify diet and training program! Forget about all these supplements. Unless you are getting ready to hit the stage or a photo shoot, then they are not necessary. I built almost 40 lbs of muscle in 6 years and all I use are protein powder, 1 glass mixed with soy milk after my workout. And an omega 3 capsule, since I don't eat a lot of fish. I don't follow any special diet, I just eat satisfying nutritionally balanced meals, 3-4 times a day. I don't take anything else or doing anything more complicated than that. Some people might for health reasons need special dietary considerations, but it still boils down to getting protein, good carbs, eating fruits and veggies for those vitamins and minerals; and avoiding junk food.  As for training, there is no reason to follow some complicated program with a plethora of exercises.  Doing a handful of compound, time tested moves and doing them WELL(go back to point 1) is far more productive in the long run.


  In conclusion, to succeed and STAY successful starts with mindset first. Simplification. Forget the scale. Forget checking the mirror constantly for improvements. Focus on these alone "I will do my workout today" " I get better in my workout." "I'm going to eat good food to fuel my body". It does not matter if you cheated on your diet yesterday, or missed your workout, focusing on that is a WASTE OF TIME! Wake up every morning with those three things in mind. Make it your mission.  One last thing I leave you with.



Let's say you need to lose 100lbs to get to a healthy weight. And you are consistent with those three things. And yes, you may fail sometimes, but you get back on track the next day and keep trying. And every month you lose only 1 lb. This sounds slow, and you might not consider that good progress. But after 8 years, you will be almost 100 lbs lighter, in fantastic shape and your physique will be top notch. This might seem too slow but let me finish. After a few years you have lost 35-40 lbs, not as much as you would like but you will certainly have more lean muscle, less body fat and as result you lose fat EASIER and FASTER. So over the next 3 years after that instead of another 35-40 lbs it will be closer to another 70-80lbs! So by year 5 you will be at you target weight and will look AMAZING! It may come a little quicker, or take a little longer than that, but the idea is that it is not so long is it, in the grand scheme of things? And you will absolutely without doubt being seeing some nice results well before that.



  I want with all my heart for you all to succeed. And if you follow my simple advice, you will, I promise.  

Post Squat Training Thought

I am feeling a bit of survivors guilt. You see, every time I train legs and I am still alive and breathing after the session I feel maybe I could have trained harder. Anyone else ever feel that way?

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Digging In Your Heels

Hello everyone! The last couple of times I've written training advice mainly addressed to the novice, but today I'm going to tackle an issue that faces the more experienced trainee. Someone who's put on some muscle but can't seem to progress their physique anymore no matter how hard they're working(or THINK they're working). Not that this info isn't good for a beginner who has bodybuidling dreams. I'm going to talk about digging your heels, and no that it isn't just a cute expression meaning to stick with it, but it means  literally digging your heels into the floor.



First of all, when you view pics of amateur natural bodybuilders, what parts are usually lacking compared to the rest? Look carefully. How many do see with nicely etched hams that run from the bottom point of the glute all the way down to the back of the knee? Or on a side chest pose where the glute forms a razor sharp wedge between a deep seperated ham and lateral quad? You might see that a little  more often, but still kinda rare! Everyone's got nice back detail and peaking biceps, and good quad feathering but who has show stopping hams?  Some will come in with shredded glutes but they don't quite have the quad and ham size to pull off that much leanness. A shredded physique is angular and flat when the muscle bellies aren't full and mature.  Keep in mind my hams are lagging as well, but I learned something cool that does work(I already see a little progress after 6 weeks) to give those hams & glutes a super sonic kick!



I wished I had known this technique years ago, but I did things for the most part the way they needed to be done. By that I mean employing powerlifting form on heavy deadlifts. This is to build the muscle enough that you can consciously flex it. If you cannot flex a muscle at will the technique I will teach isn't as helpful. But at some point you have to go from powerlifting form to BODYBUILDING form in order to develop a muscle further.  What is the difference?


When doing powerlifting form on a deadlift, the objective is to move a large amount of weight from point A to B with minimal effort. That means you are not consciously flexing anything, your mind is focused on moving the weight and as a result the various muscle groups(hams,glutes,forearms, lats,traps) flex on their own, but only as much as needed to complete the lift.


Now, doing bodybuilding form is much the same, point A and B are the same and the range of motion is identical. It is the same exercise. BUT...the mind is focused on flexing a target muscle or muscles and not on moving the weight efficiently.  Now, if you guys and gals want to take those hams and glute to new level pay attention!!!


1)  When you are at the bottom point of your lift in perfect deadlift form,  dig in heels and begin lift only by flexing your glutes! This takes a little practice, and you will not be using the same amount of weight as for a normal deadlift, beleive me.


2) Keeping heels dug in, simultaneously push them together as you lift up the bar. Your heels will not actually come together but maintain regular distance. Because of the pressure the heel is exerting you will feel the ham flex HARD starting with the glute/ham tie in and go all the way down the back of the thigh.


3)  Glutes squeezed the whole time! As you come up to near the top you should feel the glutes then squeezing together super hard as your hips thrust out.



Does this sound like a lot to be mindful of when doing a deadlift rep? It's not so much once you get the hang of the technique. I advice a warmup before training hams using no weight, just practice deadlift bodybulding form. Feel with your hands the outer glutes and hams through the range of motion. If you feel the flex start at that outer glute tie in and then feel the ham flex from top working down to the bottom as you come up, then you are doing it right. Hope this is helpful, I learned it from a pro. Good luck everybody!

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A Simple Formula

Sadly we've seen it before. Or maybe it's been us in that situation. A friend, aquaintance or family member finally has that epiphany and gets motivated. "Man, I got to lose this gut." or " I really need to take better care of my health." They start out on fire. Joggin at night, plain oatmeal for breakfast, ect. But it doesn't last. And months later we hear the same exact tune. " Gotta get myself in shape bro, not gettin' any younger!" And the cycle begins again. Like I said before maybe it's been us in that situation, not neccesarily in training but maybe some other area of life. Is the problem simply an issue of character, or is it deeper?


I've learned that success in every area of life (sports, career, relationships, ect)  is dependent upon the completion of the following formula


 Knowledge (Knowing what to do) + Work (Actually doing it) + Patience(Doing the work for  a certain period of time) + Faith (Believing that applying knowledge though work over  period of time will produce the desired results, even without yet seeing them)


So, if this formula applies to every area of life, why not in our relationship with God too?


  Unfortunately, I've seen this similar pattern with people's spiritual lives as well.  People who have mental torment, health issues, loneliness, depression, all sorts of problems; they come to Jesus wanting to be delivered. They start coming to church for worship, they decide to repent and be baptized in Jesus' name for the remission of sins. So far they are doing well, having the desire to draw closer to God and put their lives more in obedience to His Word.  But then the progress stops because they fall away, just like the yo-yo exerciser/dieter . Why? A lot of times the reasons break down to this.... after they made the decision to be born again they gave up when their problems didn't instantly go away over night.


  Many are aware that Jesus did miracles to heal the lame, the blind, to set free those tormented by unclean spirits, ect.  It's easy to just perceive the surface of what's written, that God can give instant cures and deliverence through His power. But were they instant for those afflicted? Many of them had to live with their problems for YEARS before they had a chance to grab hold of Jesus and get their miracle.  So many have missed out on that chance! So many start out like the woman wth the issue of blood, pushing through the crowd to get to Jesus. (see Luke 8:40-56, Mark 5:21-43, Matthew 9:18-26)But unlike her, they stop pushing when the crowd gets too thick. 


When we are born again in Christ Jesus, our problems do not go instantly.The same temptations, distractions and frustrations are still going to confront us. But God promised He would not forsake us, and He never lies! However, it's like trying to reach a fitness goal; we have to dig in for the log haul. The formula still applies


Knowledge(Knowing what God wants us to do) + Work( Actually doing it)+Patience(Doing the work for x amount of time) +Faith( Believing that doing this will yield the desired result even if you've yet to see it)


Jesus said to "seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you."  If we can apply the formula and have a successful relationship with Jesus, then how much more could we have success in whatever we choose to pursue in life?


 

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Bodybuilding Truth...A Refrefreshing Alernative!

      Listen up! Any body in that tough spot of having begun to work on their physique, but still being a long way off? Putting in the work but not quite seeing results yet, this is for YOU!


 I've been enjoying my new computer and reading through the forums and I have tio say there is some questionable stuff out there. But amid the garbage is some good stuff. Useful and practical common sense info about the art and science of building muscle and getting lean. I saw one thing though that really stuck out. It said that if you are 100lbs soaking wet  right now you are not competeing this year or the next...it might be 5 or more years of consistent hard work before you can even THINK about trying to dial in. And to that I say AMEN! Because not enough are speaking the truth, we have too many "quick fix" and "instant success"  merchants peddling their product and programs just to make a $.


The problem is, people trying to shed the fat or put on muscle see all this and think that they are doing something wrong, because they haven't made some drastic Peewee Herman to Incredible Hulk tansformation. I was once a victim once myself, being a 130-140 lbs and despite  hitting the gym hard and  consistently wondering why after months I wasn't jacked like guys in the magazines. And starting to beleive that maybe I just had bad genetics, and I was meant to be a skinny guy forever. But I wasn't going to stay that way, and if I kept it up I WOULD grow!  But nobody told me that...all I got were gimicks and plans which weren't healthy or even possible. I knew they were wrong, and the best thing I could do was stick to the basic tenets of sound nutrition and muscle building training, and learn what I could about exercise science. And most of all, be PATIENT. Without patience you will fail, period. Once we make peace with the fact that our goal is maybe miles off, and that it's going to be one day, one  training session at a time; then we stand a chance of making it to the end. And that brings me to my last point.


One last bit of advice is to not put your hope in your goal! Putting your hope of peace, joy, self-worth in reaching a fitness or sport related goal is a bomb waiting to go off in your face. Back in the early part of 2008 I was a wreck. I would check my body fat% and weight every time I set foot in the gym and would be devestated when they wouldn't change. Why? Because I thought that if I could get jacked  and strong it would make everything better. If could get the hot fitness babe or win the bodybuilding contest  I would finally be happy and feel self esteem. And everyday that I wasn't a championship athlete, everyday that I didn't have the "dream" girl, everyday that I wasn't somebody else; it was just another day not worth living through. And I don't think I am the only one who has felt this way, right?


 When I was born again in 2008, Jesus changed my heart so that I no longer saw my goals as my salvation, because HE is my salvation. And then the long road to the bodybuilding stage didn't seem so long, because I had the peace of mind to only think of one session at a time.  My being wasn't so wrapped up in the things of the flesh.  I stayed away from gimicks and quick results programs and lo and behold, I  eventually GAINED MUSCLE! And what was once 50-60 lbs away is now closer to 20-30lbs. It's been almost ten years since I started to work out again regularly at age 23, but it really doesn't feel like it. I am still about 2-3 years away from the stage but that is OK because I have God with me so every day is good(even the crappy ones). 


So if you guys get anything from this..


1. Trust the basic foundation( Train hard, eat right, get enough rest, and do those 3  consistently)


2.Be OK with not reaching your main goal for quite a while


3. Put your hope in Jesus and not in reaching your goal


If you do these three you will reach your fitness goal I promise!


 

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New Computer!

Hi everybody! I have an new computer now, praise the Lord! So the old one finally is doing the only thing it's good for now, being furniture for cats. I should be on more here more often now. Hope everyone is doing well, it's been awhile since I' been able to keep up to date. Well, that's all I wanted to say for now!

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Trimming the Fat

Hello Everybody! I haven't been up on Bodyspace in several months, been busy, busy, busy! On top of that , I have an old computer that runs super slow and and still on dial-up if you could believe that....stuck in the dark ages of technology and no way to do anything about it for now.  Bottom line is, whenever I do have free time the last thing I want to do is to start up this ancient contraption and have my patience tested by an hour+ of waiting to just get on-line, check E-mail and make a simple update. But there is a blessing in all this...


The more I have my resources "stripped", the more I seem to have success at what I do! 2 years ago I stopped going to the gym, just couldn't afford it anymore.  Going to the gym was great, met lots of interesting people and got to train heavy with all that great equipment, but in a way it impeded me. The amount of progress I made in 2 years at Gold's VS 2 years at home is not even close. I joined up with them in 2008 at 146lbs 14%bf...and in Jun 2010 left about 155 lbs and slightly leaner...not bad. But working at home w/ just  a barbell, 2 dumbells and some plates....started out 143 lbs in Sept 2011(it was a rough summer!) and now almost 2 years later at 173lbs with bodyfat just a notch higher, so what happened?


What happened is that I was left with limited options and that opened a new door of potential. I had to re-learn how to train. Utilizing tempo, using more challenging form, ect. I could no longer load up a barbell with 200+ lbs and do heavy squats, having the safety of a spotter and a rack. No more big benchs and leg press machines. So I took what I knew about exercise science and came up with ways to pump those muscles to the max. Going for a set to failure at 225 on the squat is tough, if you get parallel on each one and don't lock at at the top. But what if you make the movement harder? No more slight forward lean, keeping spine straight vertical; and you go as low as possible....even with only 115 lbs doing a set to failure this way will blow your quads up from top to bottom! I won't go into it all, but all the major exercises have form variants that are hit the muscles harder, and force you to be humble and cut back the weight. The biggest benefit is that every section of the working muscle had to work..and those little details in bodybuilding can be the difference between winning and losing.


Bottom line, the best thing that has happened to help me toward my goal is to be stripped of things that seem so essential. It's just me in my workout room, no cell phone, no beautiful ladies, no blaring music, no socializing...just me and the iron. And I can focus on every rep, every set. Perfecting every exercise and every aspect of training. Because that is what it will take. I'm still not ready to compete, those guys even at the amateur level are another tier of conditioning and density. You see,  I don't want to just step on stage, but to WIN! And I know one day I will!


Understand, I'm not knocking technolony or the gym or any of that. I just want to share a little revelation about how in life sometimes we thing we're being dumped on and things are being taken away but God is actually doing us a HUGE favor, He is opening the door to acheiving our dreams. Jesus is trimming the fat and getting us hard and lean so we can be a champion!

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Spiritual Atitude=Religious ACTitude

There is a something that is weighing on my mind, that I feel I have to get out. It's about the latest fad in new age belief, a non-religous religion that uses biblical principles and the laws of the universe to acheive our dreams and goals and have a full and rich life. We can have the blessings of God physically, financially, and great success in your career and hobbies, without religion and it totally works. And that's what makes it so dangerous! Because it is based on biblical principles, it will literally blind us with success, so that in the midst of having everything that WE could want on this Earth we forget the thing that matters the most to God; a close relationship with HIM!  There is nothing wrong with an abundant life, it is His desire for us. But in the end good without God = 0, it is of no value. 


  I think there is a mis-understanding in the general population about what religion is about, and churches that have abused, misused, and twisted the truth are in no small part to blame!  But make no mistake, doing physical religious acts with a right heart is part of being spiritual and we cannot truly be spiritual without it.  They all have to do with our RELATIONSHIP with God. 


Church- Giving gratitude by taking time to be in God's house and give Him praise. Acknowledging that it is He alone who gives us life and blessings. What is a loving relationship without appreciation?


Prayer- Taking time to speak with God, and more importantly to listen. What is a loving relationship without communication?


Fasting- Sometimes we need to make a sacrifice to obtain something better. Healthy fasting also cleans the body of toxins, making it more sanctified for His Spirit. What is a loving relationship without sacrifices?


Reading the Bible- reading the Bible teaches us about who God is and tells us of His character. It teaches us what makes Him happy and what He dislikes as well. What is a loving relationship without a desire to know more about the other person?


Service- Doing those things that please God for the simple fact that they please him. Not only spreading the love of Jesus by our actions and declaring what He did for us , but also the above(gathering at church to worship and hear the Word, fasting and praying)   What loving relationship lacks service?


The bottom line is that those things that seem like physical religious acts, those sort of things so many do by rote without any real feeling; those can be the most spiritual of all! Never in the Scripture did the Lord do a miracle without some physical action involved!  We can have it all, the riches the fame and the success; but it is possible to have them without loving God. And no matter how much we have in this life, without a loving realtionship with God; in the end we really will have nothing at all.

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I Will Compete in 2012

  Yes, I have decided that I will compete in 2012, probably in a local show sometime in the Summer or early Autumn.  I have NO idea how i'm going to pull it off, but it doesn't matter. This is something I need to do to really push to another level.  I need to have this to look towards when I train.  Something to look forward to and get excited about!!


Ideally, I would like my weight to be in the high 170s at 3-5% bf, but that is probably not realistic by next year. I will try to get around 160-165 at that bodyfat, that is about a lb of muscle every month. My main issue is geting as much size as I can so I don't come in flat. Aside from needeing to gain all around mass I pretty much know what I need to bring up; have to get more upper quad detail, deeper seperations everywhere, wider  more rounded delts, deeper ridge between lower pecs and torso...as well as bring the legs up bigger in proportion to upper body. Really need more details in hams and glutes and overall need more vascularity and density....bottom line there is a lot of work to do!


But I am optimistic and I know I will be ready to not only compete next summer but to place well too!


 

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Back in the Groove

  First off, it is good to be back on bodyspace.com and amongst this community of fitness fanatics; training is NOT the same without y'all!  Passion feeds passion, and y'all are a cut above the rest when it comes to passion and a spirit of excellence. If it were not so, you guys and gals would not have the physiques you do or the success you've had in bodybuilding, figure, losing excess , athletic performanced, personal training, ect.

 One certainly appreciates something after it has been gone awhile.  It is funny how things work out. Six weeks ago I had finished 5 and 1/2 weeks of a BRUUUTAL 8x8 volume based training regime. 8 sets of 8 reps @60%of 1RM, 20-30 seconds between sets, 2-3 exercise per bodypart. Sweat dripping, wind depleting Front Squats, Dumbell presses at just enough weight to require a clean to get them in position, towel pullups outside in the Texas sun, ect. Throw in some heavy powerclean training and by the time my friend Johnny recovered from his surgery and wanted his weights back, I was THRILLED to give them back!!! I didn't want to even look at a weight for a week! But that was the week my mom had a massive heartattack. So all that I was concerned with was helping her out, rennovating the house, visiting her when I could w/ my brother; and going to church every chance I got. So my week off became a month. And I was strating to miss the brutality of training again:(  But it was for my good. 8 months of super heavy intense traing has left my left knee and my wrist hurting pretty good, and I did need to physiologically recover.  I lost 10lbs, but my physique stayed pretty much intact and conditioning was still above the norm.

 It is good to be back in the groove. Granted, I am at the start of week 4 in my Autumn program but there is a difference between "working out" and being "in the groove" Just a few days back I started to feel in the groove again. In the groove is that sense of purpose and, where you are thoroughly prepared from wake up time till the session begins. You know WHAT your goal is, and HOW you are getting there, rep by rep, set by set, exercise by exercise; and session by session. There is no wasted time or motion, each rep is executed to perfection in form and tempo. Even a slip in concentration is quickly caught and recovered. After you are done you feel the work, and have the faith and confidence that you are a step closer to your goal. Each week the performance gets kicked up a notch, because you REFUSE it to be otherwise. Even if the only gain is squeezing out a 5th rep on the 8th set of Towel Pullups, when the week before you failed at 4, you know that victory translates into results; and you are pumped for the next session despite the soreness. THAT is what being in the groove is, and it feels awesome!

 

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The right thing, the right way!

  All things in life are done according to a procedure, a sequence of events neccesary for success. This is true for personal training, fixing a car, raising children, and so on, certain steps are taken and each must be done in it's proper order. God's plan of salvation is no different, it is very much a PLAN and follows a procedure! You can believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and do the things of God, but be doing them the WRONG WAY!! Jesus gives a grave warning about this in Matthew 7:21-23)...

  "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. For many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity"

What gives!? They were doing good works in the name of Jesus, the Lord doesn't refute this, but they are claimed not to have done His will. Why?  You can do the things of God, but not God's way. and this IS sin! The devil knows the Word perfectly, and his biggest deception is to disguise himself as a minister of righteousness, as an angel of light. Millions are being led into hellfire from right behind the pulpit!(2Peter2:1-3) How do we protect ourselves?

One thing Jesus said was to be "constant in prayer" to keep "your eyes upon Him" as well as "studying the Word to show yourselves approved"  This means understanding the basic fundamentals of God's plan of salvation, and the proper order to do them. These are important questions to ask ourselves to make sure WE are not being deceived, going through this order step by step..

Step1) REPENT OF OUR SINS- (Luke13:5) Repent means that we are genuinely sorry for sinning against God, by not living as He wills us; and sincerely turning away from those sins. Have you really repented, and decided to live according to His Word? If yes, then...

Step2)BE BAPTIZED IN JESUS NAME(Mark16:16)- After we repent we must apply the blood of Jesus to wash away our sins. This is done by being baptized in Jesus name for the remission of sins(Acts 2:38)  Baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost is not true baptisim, because it is not a name, but titles. Peter(whom was given the keys of the kingdom) reveals in Acts 2:38 that the name of all three is JESUS, one name, one God. It must be Jesus name for "by no other name has been given us by which we must be saved".  And also, it must be full immersion in water, to signify that we are completely dying to sin, and giving 100% to Christ. Have you been baptized in the name of JESUS?

So important is it that baptism be done in Jesus name, that the apostol Paul re-baptized those who had been baptized under John the Baptist!(Acts19:2-5)

Step3)BE FILLED WITH GOD'S SPIRIT-(Romans 8:9) In Acts 2:38, Peter declared you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is a promise of God! If you have sincerely repented and been baptized in Jesus name, then God will make you the temple of His Spirit. But it is no ambiguous thing, as the Scriptures state that the the Holy Ghost is receved by the"evidence of speaking in tongues" You don't feel as if you have it, God will let you know it through this physical sign! Have you received the Holy Ghost?

In one case the Holy Ghost fell on the un-baptized(Acts 10:45,46), but baptism in water in Jesus name was still required(Acts10:47,48)

You need both to be born again(John3:5)

Step4) KNOWING AND DECLARING THAT JESUS IS GOD- God saved us for a purpose(Isaiah43:10,11) To be His witnesses , to know Him and delcare who He is. He WANTS us to know Him! In Isaiah 9:6, he openly delcares that the Son is the everlasting Father, the mighty God! In John 14:26 Jesus openly says He is the holy Ghost. One name, the name of Jesus!  Our you obeying the great commandment, that the Lord our God is One Lord, and are you declaring that his name is Jesus?

Step5)CONSECRATING OURSELVES FROM SIN- No one is perfect, but are you doing your best to lead a holy, clean life?(2Corinthians7:1) Are you loving you neighbor as your self?

Step6)PERFECTING THE MINISTRY/TALENTS GOD GAVE US- Are you striving to use your gifts for the Glory of God?(1Timothy4:14)(2Timothy2:15)

Step7)ADORING JESUS- This is a culmination of doing all 6 previous steps, as well as giving Him praise and worship! Are you loving Jesus with ALL your heart, mind, soul and strength?(Mark12:29,30)

God said that "obedience is better than sacrifice". If we want to draw near to Him, not only do we have to do those things He wills but in the manner He wills them. So many are trying to do steps 5-7 and have not even had their sins washed away yet! And the Lord said that this was iniquity!  Search for yourselves the Word of God, with a heart seeking truth, and He will show you the way. 

God bless

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The Mystery of the Godhead

   Hear Oh Israel, the Lord our God is One. And you shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

 

This is the greatest of the commandments, the one on which all the commandments hinge. And what is the first word God speaks.....hear! The very first thing God is saying is to hear Him! Opening our ears is the first step to understanding who He is and what He wants us to do. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God"

The second part is that their is one God,(Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29) and His name is Jesus (John 14:9) He is telling us that He alone is God(Deuteronomy 4:35; Isaiah 43:10) No one else created the Heavens and the Earth, no one else answers prayers, no one else can save your soul, no one else is perfect and holy in all His ways; therefore no one else should be worshipped.  The Word of God teaches very plainly that God is a jealous God and will have no other gods beside Him(Exodus 20:3,5: 24:14; Deuteronomy 5:9; 6:15) Jesus said "if ye believe not that I am HE, ye shall die in your sins" (John 8:24). When we put others(i.e The Virgin Mary, saints, prophets, clergy or even family or friends) in a authoritative position ABOVE him, it is a blatant act of disobedience to His Word!!

If there is just One God, why does the Bible mention the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (or Spirit)? These are three different manifestations of the one true God  (1 John 5:7). Just as water may be a vapor (steam), liquid(water) or solid (ice)....so too, God has three aspects: a personality (the Father{John 8:41; 1John 4:8; Romans 9:13; Ephesians 4:32; Deuteronomy 4:24}), a body(the Son{Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1, John 1:14}, and an intelligence(the Holy Ghost{John 14:16-18; 16:13}).

   The third part of the commandment is to love God with all you heart, soul, mind and strength. When we love another do we not use their name? Would you feel loved if your loved ones referred to you just by a generic title? And when we talk to them, is it just to ask for things? When you tell them how much they mean to you, is it in a monotone voice without passion, or do you let them know how really SPECIAL and WONDERFUL they are?:)  Love is a verb and a noun!   And most of all, those people who are most dear to us, wouldn't we like to be with them forever? That's the relationship God wants from us!

  The greatest commandment is just a few words, but says SO much about how to live the life that Jesus desires us to live! And the key is loving Him not as how the traditions of men say to worship, but to hear HIS word intently, and to live and worship with PASSION! Don't keep silent, shout to the Lord, HALELUJAH! Shout "What an awesome God you are Lord Jesus!!" Dance for Jesus, even if you have two left feet! Sing his praises, even if you can't carry a tune; make a joyous noise, even if the only instrument you can play is clapping your hands together.....AND.. whatsoever you do in life, do it to glorify the name of our God who loves us, the God who bears the scars of His love; the name of JESUS!!!

Hear Oh Israel....

 

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A Very Special Day

 In less than one hour, it will be the two year anniversary of the most improtant day in my life; a day which changed my destiny and put me on the path to true success and truly living. June 15, 2008, the day I repented of my sins and was baptized in Jesus name.

  I had believed in Jesus as the Son of God for years before this, but the more I learned about His ways and His Word the more i came to realize i was so far away from Him. I had been training for months and making noticeable progress, but my life was going NOWHERE! Everything I had planted seemed to rot on the vine. Because i was scared to really give myself to Him, desiring the benefits and and blessings He provides but wanting to go my own way; as hooked on my sin as an alcoholic is to their acohol.  Learning the Word of God;  I came to understand that I had to repent of my sins & be baptized to get rid of that sin, because without the blood of Jesus to cover it I was doomed to die in my sin. No matter how much i progress i made or what i accomplished deep down I would be miserable and empty. Forever walking endless miles and years looking for that pot of gold over the unreachable rainbow...when all I had to do was OBEY what God had said to do. 

   I think what happened was that my fear of fear of NOT obeying God finally overcame my fear of obedience and commitment. So I came to Jesus is Lord church on that Father's Day, and learned about my Father in heaven, a Father who wanted to adopt me and care for me as His own. A Father who who would help me overcome my weaknesses, and help me achieve my dreams and give me eternal life; all I had to do was just say,"I don't want this life I made anymore, i want the life YOU will give me." All I had to do was say," God, I'm sorry for not living how you wanted me to live, I  will live by your Word from now on and trust in you alone"

And so, i donned the robe and went beneath the water, as per the words of Jesus, to "be born again of the water and of the spirit " I died in that water to sin, and rose a new creature in Christ Jesus. Light flooded the small room, and I felt like I had taken a thousand showers, totally clean!!! No, not all my problems went away overnight, but i learned how to thank Jesus for them and praise Him for my troubles as well as triumphs. I learned to be faithful in the little things, I learned that His burden indeed is light. I learned that by being faithful in those small things He asks, we can accomplish so much more in this world than great works  based on our own flawed and limited understanding.

I write this because I know there is someone out there who is hungry for truth, who is seeking the Living God. Someone who needs direction to find Him, who feel when they go to their church that something is "missing"  Someone who has read the gospels and the book of Acts and wonders, does this happen today? Yes it DOES, God is the same yesterday, today and always; His Holy Ghost still moves, gifts of tongues & healing & prophesy..and yes, His servants feeding His sheep, caring for the widow and the fatherless, and the poor....all for the glory of Jesus Christ! The miracles and stories i could tell you...God is still in the buisness of being God, amen!

 There might not seem to be not much of that now, because so many churches have taken His name away, the name of Jesus. Or they've compromised His word to gain membership & riches of this world. But if you are hungry, if are willing to repent and follow the REAL Jesus; pray and He will lead you to where you should go. God bless you all.

 

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Progress Report and Goal Setting for Spring 2010

  Let's start with praise the Lord Jesus, this last 3 months went much better than the last 3 of 2009!! While I did not quite reach size goals, I did hit 3 of my 4 lifting goals. But rather than looking at this as failures, i will see the fact that I did make progress

start weight Dec22 148.8  end weight Mar22 156.2

This is a gain of 7.4lbs, putting me slightly higher than I was before I lost weight throughout Autumn of 2009!

Thighs went up .3inches, calves up .1 ; two hard to grow bodyparts

Reached Bench, Squat and Deadlift goals, Powerclean I only brought back to PR level, but increased PR on Clean and Press by 10 lbs!

 And now for my new goals, deadline will be Jun 22.

Weight 163lbs

Thighs 22.5in.   Calves 15in.

B.b Bench- 265lbs

B.b. Squat- 315lbs

B.b. Deadlift- 340lbs

B.b. Powerclean- 215lbs

B.b. Clean and Press -205lbs

I have quite a few other performance goals but these are the main ones.

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Abdominal Challenge

 I came up with a great ab exercise today, very challenging! It requires a paralell bar station with overhead handles, usually used for hanging knee or leg raises.

1) Grip the handles as if to do hanging leg or knee raises. make sure your grip is FIRM, or else this can go badly!

2) Swing your legs up untill your legs and torso form a perfect vertical line from the ceiling to floor, as if in a handstand position. Your upper body and head will be slightly tucked in, your upper back and back of head should be near parallel to the floor.

3) Tuck your knees towards your chest, untill thighs and abs form a right angle, then thrust up to start position. This is one rep. Do three sets of 15 w/ 3 minutes rest between.

Hope you enjoy and find this to be an effective upper and lower ab move!

 

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