Greener Pastures: Rare Leadership, Peace and Global Witness, Body Transformation

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Things have been pretty busy in my world lately.  In June I began a new chapter of my professional life, when I accepted a new position as a software applications manager in the fenestration industry. 

The charge to wrap up my bachelor’s degree at SUNY Empire State College continues.  It seems my senior year at ESC insist on being filled with twist and turns.  The benefit to that is boredom hasn’t had a chance to settle in.  However, that doesn’t make the situation less than frustrating.

I’m hungry to settle my academic commitments, receive my degree, and focus more fully on other areas of my life.  Due to a breakdown in the relationship I was trying to establish with my professor during the Summer term, I was forced to withdraw from his course (Quantitative Methods for Management).   Despite your best intentions there are some people who you will just not be able to find common ground with.  This is just an unfortunate reality of living on planet earth.

On to greener pastures.   I’ll be retaking the final course in my degree program during the Fall (with a different instructor), and if all goes well complete my studies at the end of December.  Merry Christmas to me!  Although I’m frustrated with having to retake this study, my overall experience at ESC has been overwhelmingly positive and very satisfying.  So I’m taking the upset in stride.

As final note on my academic life, I’m also continuing to tie up a couple of loose strings in my Database Systems course; a study that has proven to be challenging and informative.

These are all things which have been occurring in the foreground of my life, there are of course a number of adjustments being in my family life too.  Chiefly the start of my children’s new academic year, and the addition of a new puppy to our home.

 

Daily Reflection On Leadership

One of the challenges of pursuing an education at a state university, as a Christian, is to maintain a balanced world view throughout your studies.

Our public universities are secular by nature, and their curriculums reflect that fact.  That in itself is not a bad thing, but it has led me to me to be more proactive about seeking out literature with a Christian voice; in an effort to development a more complete understanding of the topics I’ve studied.

That same mindset also transformed my approach to professional development in my career path, and ministry.  One of my current focuses, springing from both my latest career move and my ordination as a Ruling Elder with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), is leadership development.

This has resulted in me pursuing a study of Rare Leadership:  4 Uncommon Habits for Increasing Trust, Joy, and Engagement in the People You Lead (Warner & Wilder, 2016) during my personal devotional times. Rare Leadership is an 11-chapter tome that masterfully melds the best of our psychological understanding of leadership and its spiritual counterpart; it addresses their application in the real world, teaches you how to revive your leadership, grow healthy teams, and experience great results.  I’m only on Chapter 4, but so far I’ve found the book to be insightful and illuminating.

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Faith

Since my ordination and installation in the Spring I have been serving on session as a Ruling Elder at Stone Presbyterian Church in Watertown, New York.  It has been an eye opening season of growth and discovery as my ministry has developed.

Presently I’m working diligently with my fellow presbyters to prepare our congregation for this year’s Season of Peace and partake in the 2016 Peace and Global Witness Special Offering.

The period of the church year dedicated to the Peace and Global Witness Special Offering is designed to allow Presbyterians to explore their individual commitment to peace and justice in the world, while presenting the opportunity for them to express their witness through financial offering.

The funds collected through the offering are used at both the local, and global level by individual congregations (and the Presbyterian Mission Agency) to advocate for peace and justice in cultures of violence, including our own, through collaborative projects of education and Christian witness.

We at Stone Presbyterian Church will be kicking off our campaign, fittingly, during Sunday Worship on September 11, 2016.

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Fitness

As my journey of Physical Rejuvenation continues I’m happy to report I’ve continued to make healthy progress pursuing my goals.

Early this week I checked in with the scale, and my OMRON Body Logic Body Fat Analyzer to determine if the trend of improvement I’ve seen in previous weeks has continued.  It has!!!

When I began this journey back in early Summer I tipped the scales nearly at 250 lbs., with 27.3% body fat.  College, and my desk job had been good to me.  At my last check-in I discovered that I now weighed 228 lbs., and my body composition had shifted to a significantly lower 19.5% body fat.  That’s a total loss of 22 lbs., and 23.79 lbs. of fat.  While gaining 1.79 lbs. of lean muscle.

As I’ve traveled this path I’ve been slowly increasingly my cardio endurance, and explosive speed, through a progressive running routine.  To support development of muscular strength and endurance, and maintain lean muscle, I’ve also integrated a high repetition Bowflex strength training routine.  Gains all around.

However, to meet the metabolic needs imposed by the steadily increasing strength and endurance demands of my program I’ve recently added a protein supplement to my nutrition plan.  Muscle Pharm’s Combat Protein Powder product.

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In addition, Le-Vel Thrive continues to be my base system for maintaining the nutritional needs of my lifestyle, and provide the energy I need to face each day’s challenges bright eyed and bushy tailed.

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