Welcome To The Weekend !

It’s 3 AM on this Thursday the 23RD day of May of 2019. That’s 3 AM here in South Florida U.S.A., so 8 AM in the U.K., 9 AM in South Africa, and 7 PM in New Zealand. Welcome aboard wherever you’re reading this from.

I kickoff most new weekends of blogging on Thursday at 3 AM my time, and this weekend is no different. It’s a holiday weekend here in the States – Memorial Day Weekend. Monday is Memorial Day where we honor those military personnel who died while serving their country in a time of war. I’ll have a special tribute to our fallen heroes this Monday here on my blog. That pushes my new Top 10 personal hit music chart back a day to Tuesday. So I’ve got 5 new blog posts for you this weekend in lieu of the usual 4 – starting with this one.

I’m staying in during this long holiday weekend – not going anywhere – staying out of traffic. It’ll be a sunny, dry, and hot weekend here in South Florida, so I just want to relax and enjoy my air conditioning. I’ll do my usual Bible study on Saturday, and I’ll hopefully finish writing my next sermon that I’ll preach titled “Pray & Believe”. I also want to get started on my next sermon after that. We’ll see where God takes me this weekend. Sometimes I think I know exactly what I wish to write, and then God leads me in an entirely different direction. That’s the Holy Spirit at work. I just want to go where He guides me.

I just ate a pear a few minutes ago, and it was absolutely delicious. I then Googled the health benefits of eating pears, and I found this article. I really need to buy and eat more pears. I need all of those health benefits. The results of my recent ultrasound are in. My liver, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts, and right kidney were all checked-out. There were 3 “impressions” or anomalies, but nothing to be overly concerned about. My liver is normal size, and it measures 13 centimeters in length. The “impression” there was a “minimal diffuse fatty liver”. If I improve my diet, exercise more, and lose a little weight then the fat can go away. More pears !

I’ve been eating smaller lunches at my desk at work, and then after that I’ve been using the 2ND-half of my lunch hour by walking it off – basically walking around the exterior grounds of my building. My Fitbit likes that. I’ve been walking about 0.6 to 0.7 miles in a nice casual walk after eating. Nothing too strenuous. In fact once I break a sweat I walk back inside. Today my walk after eating was 15 minutes – 3 minutes “peak”, 8 minutes “cardio”, and 4 minutes “fat burn”. My average heart rate was 130 BPM, and it peaked at 145 BPM. More exercise !

I think that most of you will agree with me that blogging peaked about 15 years ago during the mid-2000s (post-AOL and pre-Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). I started this blog in 2007 towards the end of my first year of salvation to begin a dialog online about the God I know. There’s a lot of hatred on social media today. It’s one of the main reasons why I returned to the WordPress community 16 months ago to get back into full-time blogging again. Many of you reading this blog host your own blogs. I know that because I visit them on a regular basis. Some of your blogs surely glorify our God. This is the LORD’s doing, and it is wonderful to see. Never be discouraged that you’re not getting enough visits, or likes, or comments. Keep blogging and writing about your life. Keep expanding God’s Kingdom – one blog post at a time.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Home Sweet Homestead

I’m back from vacation !  My 6-day / 590-mile / 14-county Florida road-trip has come to a close. My trek started in deep South Miami-Dade County (where my home is), and it continued northward through Broward, Palm Beach, Hendry, Glades, Highlands, and Polk Counties, westward into Hillsborough County (Tampa), southward through Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier Counties, and then back into Miami-Dade County. I also came within a few feet of touching (mainland) Monroe County for a second.

It was a fun trip. I saw a couple of current movies, I did a little bit of shopping (didn’t buy anything), I ate a lot of good food, I walked over 60,000 steps (to burn-off that good food), I did a lot of sightseeing, I visited some historical museums and animal-based tourist attractions, I went to two Christian music concerts, and I spent a lot of time at the beach.

I saw and I did things that I had never seen or done before in my life. This was a classic vacation. I get to spend the near future reminiscing about the times I enjoyed via the 140+ photos and 1 video I captured during all of the fun.

The 1 video I captured is a spectacular 3½-minute video of this past Tuesday night’s sunset on Venice Beach Florida. The video captures the 3 minutes leading up to the sun dropping below the horizon at sea as well as the 30 seconds right after that moment. I intended to post that video in its entirety here on my blog, but I realized that I can’t upload videos on here with my current WordPress plan. The video is also about 1:10 too long for Twitter, so I’ll have to figure out how to trim it down to 2:20 for Twitter.

In the meantime here’s Monday night’s sunset at 8:05 PM EDT on Venice Beach.

Sunset

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets – the name of the LORD is to be praised. (Psalm 113:3 NIV)

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Annual Wellness Check

WELCOME to an all-new weekend here on my blog. I post new blog entries on Thursday mornings, Friday nights, Sunday afternoons, and Monday nights (U.S. East Coast time). My Thursday morning blog is a free-for-all. I usually have no idea what I’ll be blogging about until I let my fingers hit the keyboard of my traditional desktop computer system. Let’s see how this goes.

Last week I had labwork done at my doctor’s office as part of an annual wellness check. I guess that’s the fancy new millennial term for “annual physical”. The labwork included blood and urine (not holding anything back here), and it checked for lots of various conditions. Today I got the results. Here’s a synopsis:

Cologuard should be arriving soon at my front doorstep in a nice white box. You may have seen their commercials on TV. Basically it’s my very first colon check – done at home. (I’m 52, and I’m somewhat overdue.) I won’t explain Cologuard here in this blog post, for some of you may be eating right now. The TV commercial does a pretty good job at that. There’s also an excellent YouTube video of the process – and it’s rather graphic.

My LDL (bad) cholesterol was a bit high – 110. That’s the highest it’s been since 2012. My triglycerides were also high – 128. That’s the highest ever recorded. My total cholesterol was 188 – the highest since 2012. My doctor told me to double my current intake of Atorvastatin (10 mg.) from every other day to every day. Fantastic. No more guessing as to whether or not any given day is an “Atorvastatin Day”. I’ll also be doubling my intake of Vitamin D (1,000 IU) from every other day to every day.

My glucose (blood sugar level) came in high at exactly 100. It should be between 65 and 99. A 100 indicates “prediabetes” which I’ve had for at least the past decade. My hemoglobin A1C has ranged from 5.5 to 6.1 for the past decade (at least). This time it was right in the middle of that range at 5.8. I need to lose weight. My weight in the mid-180s is about 20 pounds too much for my height. I should weigh about 165. I really need to eat less, eat smaller meals, and eat more nutritious foods in my smaller meals. I personally think that 165 pounds is too light. I’d be ecstatic to drop to 175 pounds instead. My diet really needs to change.

Oh yeah ! – There’s one final anomaly. My liver enzymes are elevated. My “ALT” (Alanine Aminotransferase) is above the recommended level for the 3RD time in less than a year. My doctor told me to go to the local diagnostics center to get an ultrasound done of my liver. (I don’t think I’ve ever had an ultrasound done of anything.)

So there you go. That’s what I’m dealing with here towards the end of April of 2019 – just a little over a month shy of my 52ND birthday. I need to eat better (more fruits and vegetables) – and exercise more. Oh yeah ! – Black coffee is apparently good for me in many different ways, so I should continue on with that.

This week of April marks 11 years since I quit smoking cigarettes. (I started at a very early age.) I quit drinking alcohol almost exactly 11½ years ago. Both habits came to an end forever during my 2ND year of salvation. Jesus saves.

What’s for Lunch tomorrow ?

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

The Major’s Walk-A-Thon

Date: Wednesday December 05TH 2018
Time (EST): 8:15 AM – 9:06 AM
Sky: Mostly Cloudy
Temperature: 67°F
Dewpoint: 58°F
Relative Humidity: 71%
Winds: NW 15 MPH
Barometric Pressure: 30.08″ Rising

On a cool and crisp morning of a federal holiday (“National Day Of Mourning” for President George H. W. Bush) I decided that it was the perfect time to kickoff the 12TH season of “The Major’s Walk-A-Thon” yesterday morning. I did so with a 2.88-mile power-walk in 51 minutes and 13 seconds.

I’ve been blogging about my personal fitness program since I started it 11 years ago this Christmas. It was inspired by a guy I never met – the younger brother of my Executive Pastor at the time. He walked around his neighborhood some 1,000 miles away, and he prayed for everyone. When he returned home he blogged about it. That inspired me to do the same. I intentionally walked my neighborhood for the first time in my life at high noon on Christmas Eve of 2007 to spend time with God, to pray for my neighbors, and to get fit. I had quit drinking alcohol nearly two months prior to that, and I would soon quit smoking cigarettes forever (after 30 years) about 4 months later.

So here it is – Season 12. This walk is seasonal. It generally starts in October or November and ends in April or May. I only walk in the Fall, Winter, and Spring – because I live in South Florida – where it’s unbearably hot, humid, wet, and buggy for about 6 months out of the year. Last season (11) was a bust. I only walked 6 times for a total of 15.12 miles. That was way down from the previous two seasons when I walked between 45 and 50 miles per year. Season 8 was the best. I walked over 73 miles !

Peppered all throughout the 11-year history of this blog you’ll see historical accounts of “The Major’s Walk-A-Thon”. When this blog was dark for more than half of this current decade I blogged about my walks over on Facebook. Sometimes I tweet about them. I won’t blog about my walks on every occasion, but I’ll keep you updated throughout the season as to my progress.

Finally I dedicate “The Major’s Walk-A-Thon” to my dad – William Lesley Day (1941-2010). He developed ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) – “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” – in 2006. He lost the ability to walk on his own shortly after that. God encouraged me to walk for my dad, and follow Him. I believe that my dad is cheering me on now from Heaven.

All rights reserved (c) 2018 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Drinking & Smoking

Nearly 6 months ago I celebrated 10 years of sobriety. I quit drinking alcohol during the middle of a 14-day transatlantic cruise on the Carnival Freedom (its maiden voyage to the U.S.A. from Europe). I drank for about 22 years. I was mostly a binge drinker in that I could go days, weeks, and even months without drinking a drop of alcohol, but then I’d make up for it all at once – usually while on vacation somewhere. I asked God for His help – His intervention in this area of my life. He came through for me – just as He always does.

In a few days – on the 22ND of April – I’ll mark 10 years of being smoke-free. I quit smoking after over 30 years. I smoked cigarettes from age 11 to almost age 41. I tried quitting a few times previously, but it didn’t work out for me. Quitting smoking was far more difficult than quitting drinking. Yet again I asked God for His help, and I relied on Him in freeing me from yet another addiction. Yet again He was wildly successful. He is always successful. He never lets me down. His promises are genuine. His miracles are abundant.

I quit drinking 14 months into my salvation, and I quit smoking 20 months into my salvation. God said, “Come as you are”, and I did. Whatever addictions you may have. Ask God for His intervention. Believe that He will free you from those chains.

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit – who lives in you and was given to you by God ?  You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT)

The Major’s Walk-A-Thon

Time: 6:45 AM – 7:34 AM
Sky: Clear
Temperature: 60°F
Dewpoint: 55°F
Relative Humidity: 85%
Winds: Calm
Barometric Pressure: 30.18 Rising

On this cool and crisp 60°F Saturday morning in the middle of March of 2011 I embarked in the dark and I emerged in the light. I went on my first organized morning walk around my neighbourhood since the second day of January (11 weeks ago). It ultimately became my longest walk ever recorded over the past 39 months of these seasonal walks – 49.1 minutes / 2.6 miles.

It was a very peaceful and quiet walk at the dawn of a new day. Along the way of this twilight journey there was the dude that was walking his two cute little dogs, the stray dark brown feline that was minding his own bid-niz, the duck family (momma, poppa, sista, brotha), the stray large canine wandering around alone, and the mysterious drunk or drugged driver in the old beat-up white car that nearly ran me over – twice. Other than that it was just God and I have a relevant conversation with each other as I prayed to Him about everything that was on my mind at the time. He listened to me. I listened to Him. I trust. I believe.

The Major’s Walk-A-Thon

Time: 6:07 AM – 6:51 AM
Sky: Mostly Clear
Temperature: 61°F / 16°C
Dewpoint: 61°F / 16°C
Relative Humidity: 100%
Winds: E 6 MPH
Barometric Pressure: 30.15 Rising

Sunrise occurred at 7:08 AM, so this 1ST walk of 2011 began a full hour and a minute beforehand. It began between what is known as astronomical twilight and nautical twilight. It ended during civil twilight. It was the twilight of a brand new day in this very young year of 2011.

As is usually the case my neighbourhood of the past 15½-years was peaceful and quiet at twilight. The serenity was overwhelming on this Sunday morning. As Switchfoot‘s lyrics suggest – This is home. Now I’m finally where I belong – where I belong. Yeah this is home. I’ve been searching for a place of my own.
Now I’ve found it. Maybe this is home. Yeah this is home.

This was a 43½-minute / 2.3-mile walk, so that brings me to a little over 13 miles – or just about halfway to my goal of a marathon (26.2-miles) of walking during this winter season.

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