Category Archives: Spirituality and Fitness

“Examining Your Christian Walk…” Theme for the Week of January 13th-19th

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5 NIV)

Every 4 weeks, TempleStrength has a theme. The first four weeks of this year, our theme is “Testing”. Each week has a verse and this week, our verse comes from 2 Corinthians 13:5.

We are testing ourselves in a variety of ways. Our athletes are doing 7 workouts, looking at results and then re-testing in 6 weeks to see how much we have improved.

We are also starting a Paleo Challenge and testing our own discipline, determination, and will as we strive to eat clean and natural over this 6 week period. We are taking photos of ourselves, weighing in, and measuring body fat percentage. We will see what types of changes we undergo throughout this time and I am sure that we will see great results from those who put in the time in the gym, but especially in the kitchen!

The Christian walk is very similar to this.

We must test ourselves to see where we stand in our faith.

-Do you have more or less peace in your life than a year ago?

-Do you have more patience and empathy than you did 5 years ago?

-Are you thoughts and actions pure and selfless, or at least more selfless than they were a few months ago?

-How’s your language? Do you still cuss and gossip? Has it gotten better or worse?

-Do you spend more or less time with God by reading the bible than you used to? How is your prayer life today compared to a few weeks ago?

-Do you trust God more even in uncertain times? Or are you relying upon your own strength?

I think about these things and I can honestly say that as I have gotten busier, my prayer life has suffered. My quiet times have definitely dwindled.

And boy do I feel it. I notice that I am trusting more in myself than in God by working harder, longer, and more. I can’t sleep at night because I am caught up in the whirlwind of thoughts and ideas I have to implement to be successful.

But God says “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8 NIV)

This means that I should be deep in God’s word every day. It needs to be in my heart and my mind so I obey its commands.

Wow, I sure do fall short of this…

Examining yourself is easy in CrossFit. Not so easy in the Christian life.

My prayer for you all is to examine yourself through God’s eyes. Let Him search your heart and expose all weaknesses. It’s not fun nor is it pretty but it makes you stronger in the faith.

Ask Him to search your heart and reveal to you what He needs to help you change. As always, he is faithful to answer prayers.

Every workout is a test. Here’s a photo of me after a grueling 3 workouts in one day. Do you ever feel like this spiritually? Beat down, exhausted, and nothing left in the tank?


God wants you to test yourself. See where you are. Then he can make you stronger by trusting in HIM, not you…


Every month, TempleStrength has a theme. This month our theme is “Testing”.

We will begin our testing of athletes next week over 7 different lifts and WODs. Our Paleo Challenge kicks off in a week and half as well! We will re-test in 6 weeks and measure results. This should serve as our own little proving ground that consistent working out coupled with a clean diet WORKS!!!

God often tests us in our faith. He throws things at us and let’s things get thrown at us for a few reasons…

  1. He wants to develop your perseverance. (READ James 1:3-
  2. He wants you to depend on Him, not your own strength! (Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong) 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Are you going through a tough time right now?

If so, talk to God and ask him to make you weak so His strength can take over. Only then will you experience true strength and peace.

Meditate on these verses and ask God to form you into the image of his son, Jesus.

It won’t be easy but at the end of the day, you will pass the test!!!!

Now watch this video and see if you can pass the test…

Reflecting on 2012…

It has been an amazing year for Emily and me.

Looking back on the year, I give all thanks to God for so many things…

1) The beginning of the 2nd year of my marriage with Emily…

2) Amazing parents and brother…


3) My crazy Daphne…

4) The Birth of TempleStrength…


5) Competing at CrossFit Regionals in April…

6) Finding out we are expecting a little girl!!!!!




7) My health and ability to work out!



8) Serving my country and learning to appreciate the Army more and more…

9) And last but not least, growing closer to The Lord as I follow Him through life…

I pray you all can reflect on 2012 and why it was good. Remember that God uses all things to further your growth and development, even the bad stuff! I pray that you all will grow closer to God in 2013 and allow him to invade every aspect of your life!

See ya 2012! Welcome 2013… Whatever it brings!

“Preparing for Good Health”

When is the last time you showed up to something COMPLETELY UNPREPARED?

For me, it was a military board last winter.

I was told the night before drill that I was to appear before the Audie Murphy Board, a very prestigious award given to a non commissioned officer in the Army. This award is not something they hand out every day, and many candidates spend weeks studying for this board.

Me, I was a Specialist in the Reserves and was told the night before. My Sergeant Major called me and said, “Just look up some stuff on the M-16 and know who Audie Murphy was…”

That’s it, huh?

Who was Audie Murphy?

I completely bombed the board and I believe answered 3 out of the 50 questions correctly.

Questions like, “What Army Regulation would you find information on vehicle maintenance?” and “What does MOPP stand for?” were among many that only a prepared soldier would have known.

I got one answer down pat.

“I do not know, Sergeant Major.”

I said it like 47 times.

It was an embarrassment to me, my NCO, and my Sergeant Major. And probably my parents.

Needless to say, when I was done I walked into my office along with my superiors and couldn’t help but cry. I was a grown man, very prepared in so many other areas of my life but not this one. My military preparation was glaringly lacking and this board exposed it completely.


This utter disaster cut deep into my pride and I will never forget that morning.

Preparation is key to success in all aspects of your life. As a matter of fact, it’s huge.

What would happen if you showed up to a Drivers test never having sat in a drivers seat?

What if you were give a presentation on quantum physics in 30 minutes?

I think I’ll eat these bananas to prepare.


What if you haven’t worked out in 2 years along with drinking and smoking daily and asked to run a marathon?


Well, what is the first step to preparing for good health? Diet? Exercise? Sleep?


God actually says it is to follow him by not trusting your own idea of wisdom. Proverbs says…

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:7, 8 NIV)

So, in today’s culture of “You can do anything you set your mind to…” And “I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky…” we are told time and time again to do things OUR WAY (Thank you, Mr. Sinatra).

God actually says opposite.

Gods ways are not the worlds ways. Often times, he runs opposite of what the rest of the world says.

The world says “Borrow money to buy a nice car, you deserve it!”

God says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7 NIV)

The world says, “Live with your girlfriend or boyfriend before you get married. You will see if you are compatible.”

God says, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (Hebrews 13:4 NIV)

Stats for those who live together before marriage…

stats on living together before marriage

So our verse of the week is from Proverbs and it gives us all the key to health and it has nothing to do with food intake or CrossFit.

I encourage you all to follow Gods commands and to think how He thinks. This will serve as the foundation of a good health plan. After all, God health is Good health!

“So, how do I start this?”, you ask.

My recommendation is to:

Pray to God and ask him for the desire to follow his will.
Read the bible daily and write down your thoughts.
Join a church and get involved in a small group study.
Surround yourself with people who are further along in their faith than you.

God will take care of the rest.

As you go deeper in your faith, you will start to see where God does so much of the work! It is encouraging and you will learn to depend on him more and more, especially during trials.

Want good health?

God says follow him.

Putting down that taco and picking up a kettlebell won’t hurt either…

And if you are going before an Audie Murphy board soon, I will pray for you.


Pleasing God or Pleasing Man?

November 25th-December 1st

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10 NIV)

Working out, especially in CrossFit, we often compare ourselves to others. We also compare our past times or lifts to what we can do now. This is usually how we gauge our progress.

The toughest thing to do is not worry about what other people think. As an athlete, I fall into this trap many times. Other people watch you work out and you feel you have to perform for them. People yell at you to get back on the pull-up bar or pick the weight back up and you do it.

I pick up the bar or get back on the pull-up station not because I want to but because others tell me to. If it were up to me, I would probably yell, “TIME!” and be on my merry way halfway through the WOD. I keep going because others are there pushing me.

This is accountability as it is supposed to be.

I wish all these people weren’t here so I could stop doing this…


But sometimes, we do things in life (or a workout) because we want to please others.

Maybe everyone is drinking and it would be weird to be the only one with a water in hand…


Maybe everyone from the gym is working out in Sunday but you planned on going to church…

Whatever the situation, Paul tells us in Galatians that it is revealed whom we are serving through our actions. He tells us that we cannot serve two different people wholeheartedly.

God wants ALL OF YOU, not just some of you. As a matter of fact, he doesn’t want you if you are going to go back and forth on him…

“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:16 NIV)

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24 NIV)

Whether it is money or people, God knows your heart. He desires to have a full and complete relationship with you. He doesn’t want a part time follower.

So when you pick up that kettlebell next time, are you doing it for others?


When you stare at the bar contemplating picking it up again, will you do it because the coach yells at you or because God is telling you to give it all you got?


Working out can be just like life. It gets tough, heavy, and you often find yourself out of breath and not wanting to continue.

When life gets tough, God wants you to desire him MORE. He wants you to surrender to his will and lean on him more than ever.

This is pleasing to God.

And when all you care about is pleasing to God, your life will reflect his grace, goodness, and blessings.

So this week, try pleasing God above all.

Stop worrying about others. Quit impressing man.

Be unashamed in the way you live your life for God.

Maybe along the way, you’ll set some “Life PR’s”!

Be blessed and keep your Temple full of Strength!


Describe “Fran” in Four Words


Tomorrow, my lovely athletes will experience Fran. I am so giddy that we are finally doing this workout that I will probably have a hard time sleeping.

There are four letters in Fran, so please comment if you can and in four Words, describe Fran if you have met her.

My four words are:

1. Nervous
2. Horrible
3. Can’t
4. Breathe

I use these four words because that’s how I feel the whole time.

I’m actually nervous the entire workout. Every other WOD, the nerves go away when I start, but not Fran. Before the first thruster, I am nervous about the first thruster.

When I’m doing thrusters, I am nervous about finishing the 21 unbroken.

When I am done with the thrusters, I am nervous about the pull-ups and if I will be able to finish them too.

With three pull-ups left, I am nervous and dreading the 15 thrusters.

It’s horrible from the first rep. I often think to myself during the first rep, “Why in Gods Name Am I Doing This???”

And instantly I can’t breathe the same and my heart rate goes up to 583 bpm. Thats real talk, yo…

And I can’t breathe for like 15 minutes after.

TempleStrength, meet Fran.

Fran, meet TempleSrength.

“Facing Trials”: Our Theme of This Week

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4 NIV)

Often times, we see hardships in our lives as a bad thing but James tells us differently. He actually tells us to consider it PURE JOY.

Pure joy, really?

How is this supposed to make me feel joy again???


Yeah, really.

The point James is trying to make is the purpose of our Christian walk is to become more like Christ. In order to get there, our journey must include suffering. It must have obstacles and disappointments.

Christ suffered quite a bit.


He suffered for us and now we suffer for Him.

As we suffer, we can turn to God and ask for his strength. Sometimes his love is the only thing that gets us through the tough times.

The purpose of exercise is to utilize one of our many gifts from God to glorify him. Our body is a gift and as we use it for what it is intended, we glorify God.

Our bodies are designed to move and work. God created us to be active. The stronger we are, the more equipped we are to face whatever life throws our way. And when trials are thrown our way, we should be as prepared as we can be to handle them.

So as trials come your way, know that God allows them to happen so you can depend on Him more and more. As you do this, you become more and more like Christ.

So rejoice in your trials and depend on God throughout them.

He won’t let you down…

Why Pastors and Leaders of Churches Should Work Out

A very interesting article I accidentally (or divinely?) ran into while trolling the web at 5:45 am yesterday morning.

A few months ago, I thought to myself, “Why are some pastors or religious leaders fat out of shape?

Round is a shape though, right?

Anyways, my first thought was to defend them and give them a reason for it. They are super busy doing what they have been called to do and the demands of running a church or being the leader of their community weighs on them heavily. They probably don’t have a lot of time to eat right, work out, etc.

Maybe this is the new t-shirt I should make…


But then I thought, “Everyone is busy. Doctors, attorneys, sales reps, nurses, students (they think they’re busy), business owners, etc.. Heck, in my experience over the last few years, I think the hardest job to have if you want to work out is probably and OWNER OF A CROSSFIT GYM! They can barely get there own workouts in somedays!

So here’s the article I read.

Basically it’s all the same stuff I am have been thinking but this guy is actually is a pastor and wrote it down.

Enjoy your day off!