Posts

Showing posts from 2009

Five Finger Discount

So I’ve dealt with the topic of stealing for a long time in my Ministry. Youth steal music and computer stuff quite regularly. No matter how much I convey what God wants us to do, many of my students choose to do the wrong thing. This week the theft that permeates my students lives was very present and in my face. I had a student go Christmas shopping (lifting) at Wal-Mart. Although many kids are tempted by getting something for nothing I was sure this child would never do this. I’m disappointed with the choice this youth made, very disappointed.
I’ve been thinking about this for several days and this morning at breakfast I was talking with Kirsten about poor choices we had made as teens. I thought it was interesting and decided to share my thoughts about theft here on my blog.
It’s not what you get it’s about what you give.
This holiday, Christmas, is about the gift given to us through the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. We give gifts to each other to remember it is Christ’s birthda…

The Snowcuzzi

Image
So today I decided to play with the kids in the snow. I put on my heart rate monitor and figured I would monitor and log the workout. This was officially the best workout I’ve ever had. I burned 2445 calories in 2 hours and 45 minutes. It’s hard to see from the picture but the inside of this snow structure has seating. The top is open so we can look at the stars tonight (I haven’t figured out the igloo thing yet!). It is about 4 feet tall and 12 feet in diameter. Its the biggest I’ve ever done. The kids were a huge help.

New Beginnings

“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” Today I will start a new youth group for youth who are interested in making a change. They have seen the road they are headed down and desire something different. For some of them it may be health or weight issues, for others it may be a desire to live a healthier more active lifestyle. Today as you read this I ask that you consider making today a new beginning for yourself. Maybe you have avoided your weekly workouts or you ate a bit too much this weekend. Maybe you just need a change from the path your headed down. Maybe God has been working on you for awhile now and you need to decide to follow his lead. Let God change your life today and seek his guidance.

God Can Change Your Life

Image
I’m so excited to share with you that on November 9th at 5pm I will be leading a brand new Youth Group. This group will be very different from our regular Helix Youth Ministry. This new group will focus on the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. God has been preparing me for this ministry since I was in grade school. Let me tell you how. As a child raised in a Christian home my parent put a large emphasis on a personal relationship with God. My parents were good parents who loved us very much. My mom taught me how to bake and cook. My father taught me how to use tools. I learned at a young age that food was good and I could make anything I wanted, in large quantities. I could also fix just about anything. My mom and I always struggled with food and our weight. I’ve never been able to fix that. I have tried every diet with my mom. In high school I worked very hard to be at a “normal” weight but I never achieved that goal. I was depressed through most of my adolescence and my weight was at …

3000 Calories

So today my goal is to burn 3000 extra calories. I got up early and went for a 4 mile walk. I burned 1000. I’m taking a break for breakfast then I’ll jump on the elliptical and do 30 minutes of aerobics. I should hit 3000 if I push myself. I’ve never burned 3000 extra calories in one day so this should be fun. Below is the path I walked on.
View Larger Map

Fit For The King

Image
I’ve spent some time reading through this resource and found some great pieces of information. I really like the commitment part of the book. You’re asked to sign a contract to honor the Lord’s possessions. You are one of His possessions. The day you asked Jesus to take the wheel, you gave yourself to him. We are temples of Christ. My temple is a little more shabby than chic. I know I need to be committed to restoring this temple for the Lord, whether it takes 40 days or 40 years. One of my favorite pieces included with this 40 day faith based weight loss book was the DVD workout. Thomas Hundley has a great rhythm and really makes you want to workout with him. I’ll be trying the workout routine this week. I’ll let you know if it kicks my butt. My Concerns about this book:I have a couple. The calorie range of the days meal plan left me feeling hungry just reading it. I know men burn more calories than women but that isn’t accounted for in this plan. Some days of the week men will eat o…

First Place 4 Health for Teens

I’ve been in the process of forming the Faith based fitness and nutrition group for teens. One of my thoughts is to use my technology gifts by creating an Audio/Video daily bible study. Below is a rough concept sample. I know in our adult FP4H group we struggle at time to do the daily study. I know if an audio version was sent to my e-mail daily I would take time to listen and reflect. I think I can use the video to reinforce the bible topics and keep things interesting. This is a concept that I’d like to pursue. TEENSIf you had a choice between a short video lesson with music or a paper version, what would you prefer and why?

Youth Faith Based Weight Loss Program

Many of you know I have lost 120 lbs over the last 18 months. I’ve been very involved with the First Place 4 Health program. I’m currently developing a program for teenagers and college students. One of the aspects of this group will be teaching about proper nutrition and healthy choice alternatives. We will reinvent some our most favorite snacks during our time together. We all love snacks and learning how to make good choices is key to a healthy lifestyle. I’m going to spend the next few weeks immersing myself in the teen diet resources available from Amazon. I’ve ordered a lot of books and I plan to step away from the computer and absorb all I can about teen nutrition. My hope is to create a small group of dedicated students that will explore how God can radically change our lives. I have to say it does take work, but I know It will be fun. If you are between the ages of 14-25 in Freeport, IL and are interested in hanging out with us as we start this journey, please send me an emai…

Rally Day 2009

One Plants

This sermon is by far the best Sermon I have heard preached at St. John UCC. If you missed it or just want to hear it again here it is. Please share this with friends and family. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this message as well. Please leave me some comments. http://stjohnuccfreeport.blogspot.com/2009/09/one-plants.html

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Image
They are coming to our area on September 9th. Kirsten and I signed up to help. Volunteer spots filled up in 5 hours. I can’t wait.

My Fathers Creations

I just finished making my dad a blog for all his custom wood working creations. Check out his work. If your looking for some custom creations drop him an e-mail. www.davideckert.blogspot.com

September Youth Ministry Calendar

Image

Rally Day 2009 – Hallelujah Hoedown!

Image
This is going to be quite a memorable Rally Day. We will have a pig roast, Corn Boil, and awesome Hoedown activities. Save the date in your calendars. Sunday, September 13th following Sunday School (noon). Please join us. All food, beverages, and fun provided. All you need to bring is yourself and the family. YEEHAW!

iServe Geico Spoof

This is one of the latest creation from the Helix Film School. I have a few students who join me each Thursday to learn how to use the Adobe video editing tools available. This is there second commercial.  Keep up the great work guys.

Disc Golf

Image
We went to play disc golf at Krape park today. We had a great time and I have to say we will be going back soon. The course went through the woods and we had a lot of laughs along the way. If you haven’t tried the Krape park coarse please give it a try. It’s great fun.One of the highlights of our park exploration was this beautiful expression of empty Beer containers. I had to laugh.

VBS Website

I finished the VBS Website for this year and it is now accessible. Stop by each night to see new content uploaded starting July 20th. VBS is from July 19th-23rd. www.campvbs.blogspot.com
Image

Jane Addam’s Trail

Image
I found my favorite new spot to ride. I took the kids on a short ride up the Jane Addam’s Trail. It is very nice. I loved hoe it felt like I was just riding through the woods. The trail is solid but not paved. I’m looking forward to riding it with some of the youth group kids tomorrow. I’m hoping Kirsten will enjoy riding with us. We borough a bike for her and we just bought her a helmet. I made a few adjustment to our bikes after the first ride and I can’t wait to go riding again. Maybe today if the rain hold off.

The Raging Bull Stole my Soul UPDATE!

Image
Well, long story short, I'm still too fat. It's not the update I was hoping to share but it is what it is. I'm still a work in progress and God isn't done with me yet, that's for sure. I'm motivated to reach a normal BMI and that will take time and commitment on my part. This trip made me know I'll get there but I still have work ahead of me to do all that God has in store for me. I wish i got on that ride but God was loud and clear, Its not time yet. I tried five rides (the big ones) and then decided I had enough and we left. I'm not leaving defeated this time. I'm leave determined and re energized. For the next 100lbs that need to go. I knew this was a possibility but it's still a little disappointing. What I know is that God is at work with in me and all things happen in His time.

My New Rig

Image
So I’m in the process of picking parts for a new home PC I’m going to build for my video editing/gaming needs. I’ve been looking at cases to get me excited about the new build. I’ve found the NZXT. LEXA Ultra light Aluminum Midtower.I’m not sure how much this new pc is going to set me back but hopefully I can build it this fall. Until then I’ll continue to choose parts for it. If you have any suggestions let me know.

Helix Film School

Image
I had a good time yesterday sharing my video gadgets with my students. We looked at the difference between standard definition and HD. We will be looking at editing software next Thursday. If you ever wanted to learn how to edit your family videos feel free to join us. Thursdays 2-4pm.

Larger Than Life Video

Image
Leaving walmart and didn't have lunch yet. This is just cruel.

Tonight’s Lock-in

Image
Well, after months of preparation, Tonight is the night. From 9pm till 7am we will have about 25 kids enjoying themselves at our Helix youth ministry overnighter. It’s been a lot of work and I still have to put the finishing touches on some of the games. Kirsten and I were talking and most often my Lock-ins require more mental planning. I create games and write up rules and instructions. (Survivor, Amazing Race). This lock-in I was building game pieces and moving stuff throughout the church. This lock-in required the most amount of setup I’ve ever done. I will post a video of the nights activities here soon.
Image
YOU SUNK MY BATTLESHIP.
Image
Setting up for larger than life lockin.
Image
We decided to do some jenga research.

Battleship

Image
So I just finished the first Battleship piece for the Larger than Life lock-in. It's the largest piece. This lock-in is going to be alot of fun. I hope I get some rest before that night.

The Raging Bull Took My Soul

Image
So here is a little story about my past. Back in 2003 I was about 430lbs. Maybe more. I wasn’t really weighing myself so it’s a guess. My wife wanted to take her little sister to great America for a day of fun on the rides. I was excited because I totally enjoyed the rides as a teen. I went to Six Flags Great Adventure in NJ. Well, we went to the park and we waited in line for several hours to get on the raging bull ( I think). Well we got to the place where you sit in the roller coaster and I plopped into the seat. I didn’t fit. I pulled down on the harness hoping for at least one click. My brain was racing thinking oh lord now what do I do. Everyone is looking at me. I got up and was devastated, mortified. I think I left a piece of my soul on that ride. I know it sounds stupid but I’ll never forget that moment. Maybe you can relate in some way. Maybe you didn’t fit into a group or into a normal seat like me. I was changed that day. I remember feeling like I needed to leave the park …

Large Jenga

So this is one of the upscaled games that we have put together for the Larger than Life Lock-in. A big shout out goes to Teresa Green for putting all the boxes together for me, I really appreciate it.
Image

Date Night

Image
Kirsten and I went out on date night last night. We haven’t gone out on date night in a few weeks so it was the perfect time to use a gift card to Applebee's. We also went to see Star Trek.All I can say is, WOW. This whole franchise has officially been recharged. The movie was awesome. The soundtrack was killer. I can’t wait for the next one. This movie is a must see.

Jumping From A Moving Car

Image
Have you ever jumped from a moving car or tried to step onto a treadmill that was moving a little too fast for comfort? We’ll that is what coming back to work feels like today. Too much to get done and I’m not quite up to speed yet.
Image
We just put in the new table my dad made us. It will work great for B@KH.
Image
So Kirsten and I just picked up some StarBucks. W decided to drive the rest of our trip home, today. We will hit Chicago during rush hour but thats ok. We will be back in our own bed tonight.
Image
Image

Kalel at the Liberty Science Center

Image
Kalel was playing in the light room with a flashlight and his hardhat.

The Video for Mom's 60th

Mom's 60th B-day

Image
Mom'S 60th is a huge hit. The place was packed. Over 80 people stopped by for the party.

Playground

Image
The kids are loving the playground. We will be in NJ in about 3 and a half hours.

Lunch

Image
Stopped for lunch. We are playing with the ducks in Carlisle PA.

Morning Workout

Image
I tried the life fitness stepper. It was horrible so I switched to the True Recumbent bike. It was a great workout. I burned 620 calories.

Day Two, DS Stress

Image
So we arrived to the hotel in Pennsylvania. Not sure exactly were. The hotel is nice. I’ll be jumping into the pool in a little while. I checked out the Fitness room and I’m looking forward to trying the lifestyle stepper.So back to this morning. We packed up and loaded the van for the second leg of our travel to NJ. Kirsten began to flip out because the kids misplaced the DS bag (2 units and 12 games). She went through everything in the van and the hotel room. It was no where to be found. I decided to go look through the room myself. It was under one of the blankets on the bed. No big deal. We haven’t experienced much stress today. We are getting ready for the pool. Hopefully its not as cold as the last pool.

My Weight loss So Far

Image
Here is my starting pic and one from November. The next one is from today, April 29th, 2009. I weighted in at 354 lbs. I can’t believe how far I have come in one year.

First Day of Vacation

Image
Well, We are having a good time. It was a stressful morning though. We went to pick up an I-Pass device and we found out that our rental van had toll Violations on it to the tune of $87. The toll way customer service center at the Belvidere Oasis decided that because  we were driving a rental and didn’t have our personal car with us that he couldn’t sell us an I-Pass device. I got a little miffed at Enterprise and decided to see if I could get them to straighten the situation out. After three calls I headed back in to just pay the fines on the rental and get my I-Pass device.I figured I could get Enterprise to credit me for the trouble at the end of my trip. I went back to the toll way Service counter and the gentlemen at the counter refused to let me pay someone else's toll violations, out of principal I suspect. He was astonished that I was even considering it. He then said get me your personal license plate number and I'll set it up on your car. I had a neighbor get my lice…

I’ve Reached 100

Image
I’ve made it so far this year. Hard work pays off. I’m really happy I’ve reached this point before my vacation. I was so close at the beginning of the week and now I can say I did it. I lost 100lbs in the last 12 months. It feels great. It will be even better next year. My Goal is to drop another 100lbs.

St. John’s Work Camp

Image
Mark your calendars we will be holding the first St. John UCC Helix Work Camp. We will be taking requests for work for the next two months. Please drop me an E-mail and we will get you on our work schedule for the week. We home to assist as many people as we can. Do you have a job that needs to get done but need extra hands. We can help. kevinstjohn@aeroinc.net Let Helix be your A Team.

Larger than Life “Overnighter”

Image
So I proposed an idea for our next lock-in and many of the youth were very interested. I’m in the process of up scaling several board games. One of the games is called Rumis.Above are pictures of the original game. Each block is quite small so I have created pieces that are LARGER THAN LIFE! This game at its tallest reached about 4 inches now it will be 5 feet. I have boxes that are the size of Jenga pieces as well. These boxes upscale Jenga from a game tower of about a foot high to a game towering seven feet. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures the night we have the lock-in. I’m hoping for a June-July lock-in. If you have any other game ideas that I could upscale please let me know.

First Mobile Blog Post !!!!!!!

Image
I love the new FiberPlus bars.

Been too Busy.

Image
I've been off the blogging grid for a few weeks. I've been using all my "free" time to work on a big photo/video project. It will be released here the first week in May. Check back for more details.

Home Stretch

Image
So the FHN fit challenge ends in a few weeks and I want to meet my weight loss goal by then. I need to up my burned calories from exercise from 450cal a day to 1500cal. I managed to burn 10,000 calories from exercise this week. I will keep this pace up for the next few weeks until the end of the fit challenge and the beginning of my vacation. I'll be working out on my vacation but not to this extent.
I also joined a contest through NutriMirror.com that runs until april 27th. They are giving away this really awesome portable resistance band home Gym. Check it out.

I've been using my resistance band for a couple of months now and I love it. I could use this setup so I'm really working hard to shed the pound. If your looking for a weight loss program that works please check out First Place 4 Health and NutriMirror.com. It's working awesome for me. It wont be long before I hit a big milestone in my weight loss. I'll keep you posted.

Homemade Almond Butter

Image
So I've been on this crazy health kick and I heard that peanut butter has some toxicity. If your interested in doing the research just Google it. If not enjoy that PBJ, you only live once. I heard this and thought, are there other options. Is there a better choice I could make? I heard on Digg Nation that Almond Butter was delicious and full of antioxidants. So I thought I should try it. After looking at Walmart, Sullivans and Cubs we managed to find a 12oz jar for $8. I enjoyed it but I eat it every day. So I tried to make my own about a month ago but it just wasn't creamy enough. I did some more research and managed to make Almond butter with no added ingredients. That's right folks, Sodium free. Take a look at your peanut butter jar and tell me how much sodium you find per serving. If you decided to chart your sodium intake I bet you would be surprised. I know I was. It took alot of sacrifice to get my sodium under control. My homemade Almond butter is helping me enjoy …