Most effective when dealing in passions…

Pastor Tom did such a wonderful job preaching yesterday, and one thing I realized about it was that how effective he was being because he was preaching about something he was passionate about.

I’d like to share one of my developing passions – this is an area I’ve been praying about maybe leading and helping others in. I’m not ready yet, but this is an area that God has helped my life to change in, and I’ve been a more effective husband, father, pastor, human being, etc….

That area is…<drumroll>…fitness! Yeah, can you believe that? Me? Fitness?

Here’s some pictures from a few years ago on a missions trip:














My physical condition was contributing to the miserable state I was living in, and it was affecting every area of my life – from being in the ministry, being effective on missions trips, being a role model for my children, and being an example of a pastor with self-control.

I certainly don’t say this to condemn anyone – these are the convictions that I am dealing with for myself. I just really came to the point where I realized that it was hypocritical for me to ignore what was a huge sin to me – a lack of discipline, self-control, and an embrace of gluttony.

To date, I have lost 52 lbs in 4 years, with about 30-35 of those lbs since moving to Florida in October of 2010. When I reach my goal weight (I have 28 lbs to go), I am going to pray about how this passion might evolve into a ministry of helping others reach the same results I have been able to reach, with God’s help and my family’s constant encouragement.

Here I am about 15 lbs ago (the most recent picture I have that is any decent):










I’m not there yet, and I have a long ways to go spiritually, mentally, and physically. But I do enjoy the benefit that taking care of myself has produced on my body and my family, and I hope to see more of those benefits positively affect others as well. Given our culture’s obsession with instant gratification without consequences, I believe it advantageous to live a life above reproach, in order to be an effective witness, pastor, father, husband, teacher, leader, missionary, friend, counselor, shepherd, etc. Ultimately, follow the model of Christ in these areas is by far the best thing we can ever do – but letting myself go for 10 years certainly had the adverse effect.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’m sorry for such the long delay. I have a hard time writing when I’m in a spiritual funk, and the last few months have been…busy, and such.


Pastor Harvey