10 Rounds: A Review

Disclaimer: I’ll admit … I have no idea how to write a product review and make it interesting and fun. So here’s to giving it a shot … and hoping it’s not too dry and boring. Thanks for reading!

I revealed to you last week that I finished an online, at-home workout for the first time ever. This was (and still is) a huge deal for me. After years and years of trying and failing to finish, after so long of thinking I was a failure, I was finally able to complete a program. It’s a big deal not just to my body, but also to my spirit.

I thought I’d write up a little review of the program that finally got me over the hump.

Soulmate Workout?

If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years through my attempts at physical fitness, it’s that there are just some types of workouts you enjoy more than others. I’ve heard it called your “soulmate workout.”

For me that type of workout has been weightlifting. I can get more excited for and more enjoyment from a good weightlifting workout than I can almost any other kind of workout.

Side note: I’m a secret bodybuilding fan. I actually follow some bodybuilders and watch their YouTube channels and for a while there even got into watching some competitions. There’s just something about bodybuilding that motivates me. Now granted I don’t have the genetic structure to be able to do what they do, but the motivation is there nonetheless.

I think if I had to pick a second favorite workout type it would be something with punching and kicking. I remember back when I was trying to do P90X that I really enjoyed the Kenpo workout. That one was fun.

Outside of punching and kicking, I’ve never really enjoyed any other form of cardio. I don’t enjoy running, or swimming, or jumping, or … you name it. I know cardio is important. I want a healthy heart after all. But none of it interests me.

One thing that my wife has taught me is that you need to find the things you like and that keep you motivated to do them over and over again. That’s when fitness will “stick” and you’ll be more likely to continue to do it for a long time into the future.

Enter 10 Rounds

As the title of this post suggests, the workout program I completed is called 10 Rounds. It’s made by Beachbody, the same company that produced the world famous P90X, Insanity, 21 Day Fix, and many others.

When I read up on the program before purchasing it, what I found was a boxing-inspired workout program with some weight training. As we just discussed, I like lifting weights and if I’m going to do cardio, I might as well be punching, right? This program sounded like a win from the beginning.

What is the Program Like?

10 Rounds is a 6-week program in which you workout 5 days a week. 3 of those days are boxing and 2 are weightlifting. No two workouts are the same. Every day is something different and you never do the same workout twice. This is great for all of you who get bored doing the same workout over and over again.

Over the course of the 6 weeks you learn all the basic boxing moves. You’ll learn 6 basic punches that you will use in different combinations over and over again. You’ll put those combinations together with movement as well. Stepping forward and back, stepping side to side for starters. Then shuffles, fans, slips, rolls … you’ll learn it all.

It’s important to note that this is a progression. You build up slowly over the course of the program. They don’t expect you to know it all from the opening bell.

Boxing Days

The boxing days are, like the name of the program implies, broken up into ten 3-minute rounds. The rounds go like this:

  • Warm-up
  • Boxing
  • Boxing
  • Conditioning
  • Boxing
  • Boxing
  • Conditioning
  • Boxing
  • Boxing
  • Core

Now the boxing rounds are where you do your … well, boxing. 😄 The conditioning rounds are basically just cardio. But it’s boxing-based cardio. So that’s helpful. And each workout ends with core work.

Weight Training Days

You do 2 weight lifting workouts each week. One is upper body and the other is lower body. The workouts vary from week to week. Some weeks it’s one body part at a time until your done and then you move on to the next. Other weeks it’s supersets. Sometimes it’s a circuit. I found the variety of exercises and types of workouts to be fun.


I did want to mention that there is no modifier. A lot of Beachbody’s programs have one … this one doesn’t. Everyone in the cast does the full workout the entire time. Joel (the trainer) does explain and demonstrate any modifications should you need them. This usually happens in the conditioning rounds and during the weight lifting workouts. Boxing is just boxing. Throw those punches!


This program is so much fun. Coming from a guy who has always wanted to be fit but never really wanted to work out all that much, that’s saying a lot. If you like punching and weight lifting like I do, this just might be the program for you. Here’s a trailer for the program so you can see just what you’re getting yourself into:

If you think 10 Rounds might be something you’d like to try and haven’t already got a Beachbody coach or account, you should contact my wife. Heather has been a Beachbody coach for a long time and can help set you up with all the things you need to make it happen and answer any questions you might have. She’s @intentionallyft on pretty much all the social media things. Also, you can find out more information about the program through this link. Note that this is an affiliate link and if you sign up to do the program from here you will be automatically assigned to have Heather as your coach. Which is definitely not a bad thing. She’s awesome.

What’s Next

Rest assured, I enjoyed this program so much that I will do it again. I do think I’m going to try something else before I go back to it though. Right now it’s looking like my next program might be LIIFT 4. This is a combination weight training and HIIT (high intensity interval training) program with the same trainer as 10 Rounds. I think I’d like to give this one a shot.

So if you get going and do 10 Rounds now then in 9 or 10 weeks we could both do our second rounds of it together! Who’s in?

A Fight to the Finish

In my life, I’ve come really close to finishing a lot of things. It’s just been my M.O. to be that guy that almost finishes stuff. I’ve pretty much accepted it as my identity. I’m a really great starter but not that good of a finisher.

A couple of examples:

  • When I was in Boy Scouts I was 2 merit badges and a service project away from being an Eagle Scout. So close and I just couldn’t finish.
  • When we tried to redo our bathroom at our house in Macon, I was really great at demo, but really poor at the construction part. We never finished the bathroom before we moved. We lived in construction for what amounts to years.

And then there’s the health and fitness part of my life.

When it comes to fitness, I’ve always wanted to be fit, and would start something only to see it all fall apart somewhere around half way through. I’m the guy that wanted to buy some dumb exercise video from an infomercial that ended up being the reason why my wife is now a Beachbody coach. I never finished it, but she did. And it changed her life.

I don’t know what it is about me or my life but I can’t seem to finish anything.

That is … until now.

Yesterday, I became a finisher.

I Identify as a Finisher

For the first time since we started buying Beachbody workout videos (back when Power 90 was a thing) I finished a program.

I never thought I would see this day. I never thought I would be able to say that from start to finish I did something like this. I think I’m a little emotional about it.

Yesterday I finished a workout program called 10 Rounds, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve learned so much about myself over the last 6 weeks. I’ve learned that I can do hard things. I’ve learned that in the right environment and with the right motivation and the right community I can do just about anything.

But bigger than even those things, I’ve learned that I am not someone who starts things and cannot finish them. My identity has changed.

I know that my life no longer has to be defined by incorrect labels and lies. To say that I am not a finisher is a lie. I don’t have to live with that lie anymore.

It doesn’t even matter what my final “results” are. It doesn’t matter what the scale says or if I did everything perfectly. What matters is that I finished. And in finishing I have proven to myself that I am not what I once was. That I am better than I’ve always thought I was.

I have what it takes to be a finisher.

And So Do You

This isn’t just for me. It’s true for you too.

You might be believing a lie about yourself today. You may have labels on you (whether from yourself or others) that you have bought into and you’ve made your identity. There’s probably something in your life that you hate about yourself but you have no idea how to change it.

I hated being the person that never finished a workout program. I feel like it became a joke any time I would try to start one because we all knew (myself included) that it wouldn’t be long before I wasn’t doing it anymore.

This is your moment. You can change whatever that thing is that you hate. You no longer have to be defined by lies and labels that hold you down. You can rise above.

Don’t kid yourself though. This will not be an overnight transformation. It will take time. It will probably involve some pain (and not just the physical kind). It will be hard. But hard things are worth doing.

This is a fight. Stay in it until the end.

I promise you it’s worth it.

Where Do We Start?

The ceiling fan in my daughters room hadn’t worked in a while. Well, the fan part worked but the lights didn’t. I know next to nothing about ceiling fans but being “the man of the house” I felt like it was my job to try to fix it.

The first step was to do what any real man would do who had no relevant experience or knowledge about how to fix a thing: Google some relevant terms and watch a number of YouTube videos about how to fix the particular problem.

After doing this I felt pretty confident that I knew what the problem was and how to fix it. All the videos I watched said basically the same thing: “If you’re having this problem, do this and it will be fixed.” Great.

So I did exactly what they described in the videos. I pulled the part of the fan off that needed fixing. I cut and spliced wires. Everything looked just like the videos told me it should. Can you guess what happened when I put it all back together?

Yep. The lights still didn’t work.

Frustrated, but not ready to give up quite yet, I gave it another go. I googled some more. I watched some more videos. I ordered a part from Amazon. I followed the videos and replaced that part just like they said.

It still didn’t work.

So with no other ideas left to try and no where else to go, I reluctantly gave up and ordered a new ceiling fan.

I accepted defeat. I walked away with my tail tucked between my legs. I felt defeated and very much less of a man than I did before I started. If I can’t fix a stupid little ceiling fan, how am I going to rescue my family if they ever needed anything really important? Not being able to fix something as simple as a ceiling fan has me questioning my manhood yet again.

It’s Not Just Ceiling Fans

There are so many places where I don’t feel like I measure up. So many times when I feel like I am failing as a man.

I have a weed eater that won’t start. I have no idea why. And no skillset from which to pull from in order to fix it. So you can almost bet that I’ll just order a new one when I need it.

I want to build a bigger shed so that I have a place to store things (and maybe keep the snakes out). But I have no building skills. I have no idea where to start. I’ll probably just end up ordering one of those prefab ones and have it dropped off. Or … more than likely … I’ll just live with the one I have because who wants to admit they can’t build it themselves?

Oh … and then there are the snakes I just mentioned. I hate the snakes. Why do we have snakes? Why am I afraid of them? Why can’t I just “man up”?

No Retreat, No Surrender

And there it is right there. Why can’t I just “man up”? When life calls for me to be a man, I retreat. It’s easier for me to play video games or eat or read comic books then it is to learn and lean into what it means to be a man.

Again, I’m not just talking about ceiling fans here. This is in pretty much every area that requires something of me. I mean sure, it’s in the fixing things I have no idea how to fix. There are parts of life that just call for a man to step up and do something. And it’s in those moments where I feel like I fail all the more. I run when I should step in.

Why do I retreat? Men, why do we run when we’re called up to something higher?

There are many reasons we don’t feel like men. I think a lot of them come down to things that feel a lot like incompetence. “I don’t know how to do this or that” but feeling like we should.

We most feel like men, like we have it all together and are at the top of our game when we know what we’re doing.

Men in Media

There are 2 types of men I see portrayed in media. There are those men that don’t know what they’re doing. These are the men that are on the sitcoms we watch. They are the ones that get made fun of for their incompetence. We laugh at them because they don’t know what they’re doing but deep down we realize we are those men.

The second type of man you see is the “man’s man”. The man who actually has the “know how” to do just about anything. They can fix a sink, dig and pour footers for a building, and raise animals. They love their wives, spend all their time with their kids, have enough money to take vacations and live in giant homes and never have to worry about budgets. They do all of this while still getting 8 hours of sleep a night, finding time to look like a Greek god, and hang out with the boys for poker night every week.

This is the example we’re meant to strive to, isn’t it? So it’s easy for us to fall into the trap of believing that to be a man of any value (and to not get laughed at) we need to be this way too.

Even David, the “man after God’s own heart” in the Bible, could write songs, lead armies and countries, and knows how to take care of flocks and herds … killing lions and bears with his hands.

Let’s be honest: I can’t sing, I’ve never really led much of anything, we have a dog that doesn’t really listen, and the last thing I killed was probably a fruit fly.

How can any guy measure up?

You Can’t

I think it’s best if we just take off the mask, put away the pretense and come out with it right now:

That will never be us. At least, that will never be me.

And that’s okay.

I don’t have to be able to do all those things in order to be a man. I don’t have to know how to fix a ceiling fan. I don’t have to know how to raise herds. I don’t have to know how to fix my car.

What you see portrayed in front of you as a “man” is really more a myth. It’s Hollywood. It’s someones dream of what a man should be. It’s not real.

I don’t think they exist.

So What Do We Do?

I think where we start … what’s important right from the beginning is that I listen to God and follow Him into what He has for me “as a man.”

Since the dawn of time God has been offering us an invitation to follow Him into masculinity. It looks different for each of us. There’s no one size fits all way to be a man. But I think we find it when we open our hands, our hearts, and our lives to God and ask Him to father us and show us how to be a man.

I could be terribly wrong. Remember, this is a journey. We’re headed into unknown territory. There might be twists and turns in the path. We might get a little lost and need to backtrack. All of that is okay.

But I think if we’re going on a journey to manhood then that’s where it starts. It’s been my experience that it’s always a good idea to start with God.

If you’re struggling with what it looks like to be a man, may I humbly suggest that you start by asking God what manhood looks like for you and asking Him to father you. I think we’ll all learn some pretty important stuff as we surrender our idea of manhood to what God says it is. I hope you’ll join me and head out on the journey.

The Desire to be a Man

Some videos just know how to get you, you know?

You’re just watching this thing and then all of a sudden you’re crying or you’re mad or you’re ready to go charge the enemy. They just know how to twist that one emotion inside of you that’s aching to come out.

That happened to me the other day while watching a commercial for a knife company. A freaking commercial. Watch it below.

Obviously they are trying to advertise for their company and sell you a knife or two. But the story they are telling isn’t just about a knife. They are reaching for something primal. Something deep within. Much more than just “buy a knife,” I think what they were really saying was:

“If you have one of our knives, you can be a man like the men we’re showing you in this video. You see these men? These are MEN. If you have a knife like they do then you could be a man too.”

That speaks to me. It speaks to a core desire I have within me. I want to be a man. Many times I don’t know how, but the “want” is there nonetheless.

What that video said to me was that they know the secret to being a man. And they will sell it to me.

So now I want a knife.

Not because I need one. I literally have no reason for buying or carrying a knife. I’m a web developer and a writer for goodness sakes. I work on lines of code all day. I write words in my spare time. What could I possibly need a knife for?

I want this knife … no, I need this knife because something deep inside of me is calling out to be a man.

At the end of the day, it’s not the about the knife at all. It’s about the desire to be a man.

I think just about every man, if he were to dig deep down inside himself, would say that he has a desire to be a man. To be able to stand up and do what men do. But I think there are two things standing in the way.

What is the Definition of a “Man”?

One is that we don’t have any earthly clue what “being a man” means. We get mixed messages from the world around us. We get messages “from men for men” and “from women for men” and they couldn’t be further from each other. Like complete opposite poles.

Is it the burly bearded guy who knows how to work on cars and can build things with his hands? Or is it the guy who is in touch with his emotions and can be emotionally present in relationships?

Men say “Hunt. Fish. Wear flannel. Bleed.” Women say “Sit still. Don’t get so dirty. Be careful. Don’t play with guns. Or axes. Or anything that might hurt people.”

Men say you’re not a man unless you can start a fire, fix a sink, or win in business (wearing that suit and power tie, you dapper man you). Women say men should be more like women.

Which one is it? We don’t know. And that’s the problem.

Where is Our Heart?

The second thing is that even if we did know the definition of “manhood”, we’ve hidden our hearts so far down and away from us that we couldn’t do anything with it if we wanted to.

When we watch videos like the one for the knife company, there is something inside of us that stirs. A little inkling of something dangerous inside of us that brings an emotion we’re not familiar with. I don’t think I could name it. But for just a brief moment something is there that isn’t usually there. And it scares us. What was that? Where did it come from? I better hide it before someone else sees it and accuses me of being too macho or tries to insult me for being “manly.”

So we do. We push our hearts further down and try to hide anything even remotely resembling manhood - by whatever definition we use to define it.

We don’t know what our hearts are telling us because we don’t know where our hearts have gone. They’ve been hidden and starved. They’ve been stolen. They’ve left the building.

If we had our hearts perhaps we could process what we’re experiencing. But we don’t. We’ve been told that we can’t be vulnerable so we push our hearts down a little. We’ve been told we can’t cry. So our hearts go a little deeper. We’ve been chastised for being too loud, or brash, or wild. In response we stand up on top of our hearts and jump on it, shoving it down as far as it will go.

Things just seem to go smoother when we don’t bring our hearts into our life. Less people get hurt. Less arguments abound. These are true. But also … less life happens. Less living from the thing we were meant to live from and more deadness of our souls.

We need our hearts if we’re ever going to understand this desire deep within us to be a man.

I Know Nothing

I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even really know where to begin. But I am going on a journey. To discover the heart of what it means to be a man. To find where my heart went and how to get it back. To learn what we think a man is and then to relearn what God says a man is. Then to see if I can’t put some of that into practice in my own life. Intentionally.

Maybe I’m just getting old. I’m past 45 now so maybe this is just a mid-life crisis. Like I should be further along in “manhood” at this point. But I don’t think so. This is a question I think a man of any age would ask … or better, is asking. I hope we can all figure it out together.

Working From Home

My Desk

Have you ever dreamed of working from home?

I have. I’ve thought about it a lot over the years. What my ideal day would look like, how I would spend my time … you get the idea. I’ve even imagined in great detail what my office would look like.

There have been many variations of this “dream office” over the years.

  • A huge office filled with dark wood, animal heads, a giant wall of bookshelves and a big, stately wood desk. I call it “The CEO”.
  • A giant office filled with monitors, video game consoles, and all the techie gear you can think of. I like to call this one “The 64-bit”.
  • A big room with a desk for work, a giant TV (and giant speakers) for watching all the things, with sports memorabilia along the walls. Obviously, this is dubbed “The Man Cave”.

I could go on, but you get the idea. I’ve really put big thought and effort into this. I’ve never had a job that allowed remote work, but I’ve dreamed about it a lot.

Now, because of the global pandemic we’re experiencing, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to give it a go. I don’t have the giant office I’ve dreamed about (we just don’t have that kind of space in our home) but I’ve got a little corner in the front of the house that serves as my “office.” That’s the picture you see above.

It’s not much, and it surely doesn’t even come close to my dream scenarios, but I actually really dig it. It’s calm and peaceful. There are windows all around me. I can focus here.

How Has Working From Home Been?

Two of the saddest days of my life were the days that I had to go back to work after my son and daughter were born. It broke my heart to know that I wouldn’t get to be there to see them do all the things that kids do for the first time because I had to be at an office in a chair to do a job that I could easily do from home. Granted, that was almost 20 years ago and the technology wasn’t what it is today. The internet wouldn’t have supported that plan. But the sense of loss I felt was still just as real.

I’ve been working from home for 6 weeks now and I absolutely love it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my team at NewSpring and I really do want to see them all again but … I love my family even more. It’s been so great to be able to live and work and do all the daily things right by their side day after day.

For the past 6 weeks I’ve gotten to experience what it would have been like back then. And oh man, do I love it.

The day that they tell us that we have to go back to the office again I think I might experience that same sense of loss that I felt all those years ago. Except this time I know that things can be different.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with those emotions honestly. It’s going to take some time to process all of that. There are just so many benefits to working from home for me. The freedoms that remote work provides are huge.

Benefits of Remote Work

It seems rather obvious at this point but getting to see my family more is the biggest benefit for me. But there are other things that stand out as perks too.

A more flexible schedule.

Last Thursday I was able to go give blood in the middle of the day. I knew I could work a few hours later that day and/or over the weekend to make up the hours so taking a few hours in the afternoon to go do something good was amazing.

Granted, I know NewSpring would have let me go do it anyway (because they’re awesome), but so many employers just want their people in their seats for 8 hours a day. It’s about being in a chair not how productive you can be. Those people couldn’t go do things like this.

I know that if my family needs something at 1:30 on Tuesday that I can be with them and not think twice about it. If I’m getting my work done, it doesn’t matter when and where I do it.

Shorter commute

I also get my commute time back. Working from home means that my commute is as quick as walking down the stairs from my bedroom to my desk. I live about 30 minutes from our office so every day without the commute gives me back an hour of my time.

I used to use that time to listen to podcasts … something I have yet to find time for in my new schedule … but now I get that time back for other things I’ve been wanting to do.

I could sleep in and get an extra hour if I wanted to. That’s a possible perk, right?

Personally, I’ve been getting up and exercising before work which is something that benefits my whole day.

Plus I have time to write daily if I want. A daily writing habit is something that I’ve wanted to create for a long time and I’m just now starting to put it in place.

A 30 minute workout and 30 minutes of writing time sure beats the heck out of driving to and from work every day.

Bonus: I’m saving a LOT of money in gas right now. I used to put gas in my car once a week. I haven’t even driven my car in the last 6 weeks. I know gas prices are cheaper because of the whole oil price thing, but at it’s previous price I’ve saved at least $180 just on gas for my car. Come on, that’s just too good.

Casual dress

Every day is sweatpants day.

Haha. I know some people say that you should get up and get dressed every day like you’re going into the office anyway. It keeps your routine and gets you ready for the day. In the beginning I thought that was true for me. I wanted to not lose the rhythm of the office. I got up and put on the same clothes I would normally wear to work. I was proud. I thought I was doing this thing the right way.

Then one day I didn’t get up and get ready before work. I wore sweatpants instead of jeans. And you know what? My day didn’t fall apart. I was just as productive as I was when I got dressed for work. So it’s been sweatpants day every day since.

Now, it’s not like I’m a slob. I’ve been getting up and working out and taking a shower every day just like normal. I just don’t have to put on my “office clothes” to work.

I’m not even a little bit ashamed of it.

Focused time

I get so much more focused work time than I did before.

When you work in an office, in particular an “open work environment” like I do, there are distractions everywhere. People are constantly talking around you. Because there are no barriers they also feel the freedom to come up and talk to you for any reason, no matter what you’re doing. I’ve even noticed that the international sign for focused work time (putting on headphones) doesn’t always help. The ease of access to individuals makes it extremely hard to get any real work done.

I’ve heard it said that every time you’re interrupted from being in focus mode (or, “the zone”, if you will) that it takes 30 minutes to get back to where you were when you were focused. If someone comes to chat or ask a question or buzzes you on Slack and you take the time to answer, you not only lose the time you are talking or Slack-ing, but you also lose an entire half hour of productive work time. All it takes is 8 small distractions and you’ve effectively lost an entire day.

We think we are a productive people because we sit in an office for 8 hours a day when that couldn’t be further from the truth. We are a distracted people who happen to sit in the same office with other distracted people every day.

I’ve found that I have been more productive since working from home than I ever have been in an office. Ever. I’ve had the opportunity to think deeper and have a clearer head while doing so than I ever have before.

There Are More

These are just the biggest things that have been a benefit to me since I started working from home 6 weeks ago. There are others. For example:

  • I’m eating healthier because I’m not “forgetting” to bring my lunch to work. Which you think would be saving us money but I think our grocery bill has gone up. 😂
  • Meetings at work seem shorter. Everyone just gets through what we need to get through and then we’re done. There’s not the standing around and chatting … which, don’t get me wrong there is a place for, I’m sure. As an introvert though, I love it when there doesn’t have to be a ton of chit-chat for the sake of chit-chat.
  • I can get a hug from my wife or kids just about any time I want or need one. Going around the house hugging my family at 3:30 in the afternoon might be the next routine I put in place. I like how that sounds!

Working from home has been a blessing for me in this season. I know a lot of people don’t have the ability to do that so they are just out of jobs right now. That’s sad and scary and I am praying for you. I know I am very blessed to work where I work and have the ability to do what I do. I’m extremely grateful that I get to do it from home right now. I am hoping that once everything return to “normal” that there will still be a possibility of doing the work from home thing at least some of the time. It can work, and it’s awesome.

P.S. Also, being able to go to the bathroom by yourself and not 5 or 6 other people at the same time … that’s reason enough for remote work right there. 😄

A New Creation

In my writing app, I keep an “Ideas” list.

It’s a whole separate folder with half-started documents, one sentence descriptions, or even just titles for things that I thought at one point were a good idea to write about.

It’s sort of like an eventual to-do list. Whenever I struggle to come up with something to write about, I can go look at this list and pick something that sticks out to me and move it forward.

The problem with this list is that for a lot of these topics, the “muse” has left the building. I had an idea and was excited about it at one time so I wrote it down. Over time though, these ideas have lost their glittery shine and they don’t stand out as much as they used to. I really have to dig to find one that has a sparkle anymore. That doesn’t mean that they won’t ever shine again. It just means that I have to take them out and clean them up a little before I can remember them for the beauty that they were when I created them.

Something old can be beautiful again. Just because it’s covered in dirt and a little worn down doesn’t mean that it can’t be restored to it’s former glory.

I love shows like Fixer Upper for just this reason. Obviously Chip & Joanna are ridiculously talented, and that helps a ton. But they are known for taking something that no one else would look at and turn it into something that everyone wants to look at. They are fantastic at taking something old that has been neglected and worn down by time and restoring it to it’s former glory. They are great at taking an old piece and displaying it in a way that allows others to see the beauty it still possesses.

And so too it is with God.

God is the master at taking old things and making them new.

During my sophomore year of college, I had a couple of friends (one who would eventually become my wife) who, on purpose, started talking about Jesus around me. Eventually, the whole Christianity idea had peaked my interest so I began to explore it myself. Over time I began to see my need for a relationship with Jesus in my life. Then on March 22, 1994 I gave my life to Jesus in my dorm room. All by myself in the middle of the night. Just like any good introvert would do. 😄

(Side note: That paragraph just reminded me of the 3 steps in relationship that Donald Miller talks about in his book Marketing Made Simple. There’s curiosity, then enlightenment, and finally commitment. Haha, my friends, without even knowing it, were using a sales funnel on me. That’s hysterical.)

God took me, a 20-year-old kid with a decent amount of baggage and changed me that day. He took the “old me” and turned it into a “new me”.

Stop. Scripture Time.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.

– 2 Corinthians 5:17

When we become Christians, God takes the old us and makes a new us. The old me becomes a new me. The old you becomes a new you.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.

Ephesians 2:1-5

Worse than just being an “old me”, I was a “dead me”. I had no hope and no future. Jesus came along and not only made me a “new me”, he made me an “alive me”. I was a dead man made alive through Jesus. He gave me a hope and a future.

He can do the same for you.

I might be able to take dying and dead ideas and give them new life through writing. The Gaines’ for sure can take dying and dead things like homes and give them new life through restoration. But only Jesus can take dead people and literally breathe new life into their lungs, making them alive again.

He can take and old me and turn it into a new me. He can take a dead me and make me alive again.

He can do the same for you.

Just ask Him. “Jesus I believe you are who you say you are and did what you say you did. Make me new. I want to live again.”

You feel that? That’s new, fresh breath in your lungs. That’s you becoming a new creation. Just like that.

Breath deep.