The Blog of Darryl Dash

This blog is about how Jesus changes everything. He changes:

Our relationship with God

Our relationship with others

Our vocations - how we live and work in this world

Our ministries

This blog exists to explore some of the ways that Jesus changes everything. It provides resources and articles that will help you think about the ways that Jesus can change every part of your life.

The Lord himself invites you to a conference concerning your immediate and endless happiness, and He would not have done this if He did not mean well toward you. Do not refuse the Lord Jesus who knocks at your door; for He knocks with a hand which was nailed to the tree for such as you are. Since His only and sole object is your good, incline your ear and come to Him. Hearken diligently, and let the good word sink into your soul. (C.H. Spurgeon, All of Grace)

Filtering by Category: Life

Random Reflections from Three Weeks Away

Some random reflections from three weeks away:

I am way too connected. Maybe you are too. We camped for two weeks in Restoule, Ontario, where there is no cell phone coverage from my cell phone company — although, to my disgust, their competitor has just installed a tower. I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to get away from email and social media. I’ve barely read a blog post or tweet in a month, and I’ve enjoyed it.

Now that I’m back, I’m beginning to engage with social media again. I’ve cut back a lot, though, in what I’m going to read. Because…

A diet of blogs and tweets can lead to shallow thinking. I agree with Tim Sanders, who writes in Love is the Killer App about the importance of digesting books (full meals) rather than magazine articles and blogs (between-meal snacks or “Ideas Lite”), never mind news media (“candy and soda: fun to eat, but hardly appropriate to live on”). I need fewer snacks and soda (blogs, tweets, and articles), and more room to think and read in substantial ways.

It’s fine to read for pleasure. While on holiday, I indulged in a book by one of my favorite authors: A Place of My Own by Michael Pollan. I wouldn’t normally read this type of book, except on vacation, because it has no utilitarian value. As is normally the case, books that lack utility often end up being more useful and though-provoking than ones that set out to be useful. I’m beginning to add books to my reading list for the sheer joy of reading. Its making my reading habits a lot more enjoyable than before.

Vacations give needed perspective. I find that vacation allows time to take a step back and think about the issues that have been begging for attention. I took time to think through our ministry, some key relationships, and my use of time, all without setting out to do so. I came home with a lot greater clarity than when I began our vacation.

I needed to experience grace. I’m going to write more about this on Thursday.

A Year of Precision Nutrition

Charlene and I have been clients of Precision Nutrition's coaching program over the past year. Charlene actually qualified as a finalist. I wasn't a finalist, but I experienced some great changes.

I didn't start off impressed - in fact I was fairly cynical about this program when I first heard about it. Charlene joined PN in a support role, which didn't make me any less suspicious. I was wrong: I'm now impressed.

Some things I've been learning over the past year:

  • I love working out with my wife. It's a marriage builder. Why didn't I start years ago?
  • Restriction doesn't work. Not only isn't it fun, but it backfires. So much for most of the approaches to weight loss out there!
  • There's a lot more to this subject than eating and exercise. There's a huge emotional and cognitive component. Health is about more than food. It's about mindset.
  • Food is a gift. I think we eat less food overall, but much better food, and we're also more thankful for it.
  • Habit-based approaches, using small habits, work a lot better than trying to change through willpower or by making sweeping changes.
  • Common grace is amazing. We have lots to learn from others.

The program caps off with an optional photo session. We were surprised how much we enjoyed it. Here's a sample of one of the over 500 (!) pictures we had taken.

This isn't an ad; I get nothing for it. But I am grateful that we went through their coaching. I highly recommend the program, or something like it. It's been good for our marriage and our health. Check it out if you're interested.

If you want to do something on your own without signing up for their coaching program, you can check out their Precision Nutrition System (a book) for a fairly low cost. I also found a few other books helpful in the past year as well:  Foodist and two Michael Pollan books (The Omnivore's Dilemma and Food Rules).

Busyness — Dangerous or Necessary?

I've been busy lately, much too busy. I've had a succession of weeks that have been barely manageable, but each time I've consoled myself that next week would be better. Of course, the next week never is, and the cycle goes on.

As I've thought about this, a couple of things have come to mind. I'm thinking through what I'm doing, and whether my pace is sustainable or not. I'm not one of those people who believe it's better to wear out than rust out; isn't there a third way? I'm thinking through articles like this one and I'm resolutely taking my Sabbath this week.

But I'm not completely sorry that I'm busy.

I've talked to a couple of small business owners in Liberty Village recently. One left a prestigious position to start his own business. He's worked seven days a week to get things going, and hasn't taken a vacation since he's started. It gave me some perspective. Yes, I still need to examine my priorities and act wisely, but why shouldn't I work as hard as him? Paul tells Timothy to work as hard as a hardworking farmer whose work finally pays off (2 Timothy 2:6), so maybe I'm on to something.

I talked to a church planter yesterday who admitted that he's had a run of busy weeks like I have, and that it's a necessary part of what it means to start a church.

Perhaps Kevin DeYoung was right in his book Crazy Busy:

It’s not wrong to be tired. It’s not wrong to feel overwhelmed. It’s not wrong to go through seasons of complete chaos. What is wrong— and heartbreakingly foolish and wonderfully avoidable— is to live a life with more craziness than we want because we have less Jesus than we   need.

Hard work isn't a bad thing. While busyness can be a danger, it can also be a necessary part of what God has called us to do. I need, as they say, the wisdom to know the difference.

I'm Publishing a Photobook

Well, this is different. I'm Kickstarting a photobook on Liberty Village. This is fun. Check out the video, and then I'll give you a bit of the story.

We moved into Liberty Village to plant Liberty Grace Church in late December 2012. A week after moving in, I started a photoblog called Liberty Village 365. It's a creative and technological community, and I thought it could be a way to connect with people here. It was: I made at least one great contact through the photoblog.

I soon discovered a lot of other benefits. I enjoy it; it provides me with a hobby and a creative outlet. It helps me improve my photography skills. It gets me into the community regularly, and helps me observe what's going on around me.

I've long been inspired by Sam Javanrouh, the photographer behind A Daily Dose of Imagery. He posted a photo a day for ten years, and his work is amazing. It was fun to take a course with him last year on street photography.

This week, I'm at the Liberty Village Art Crawl with some of my pictures, and I've launched a Kickstarter.

It's been a blast. Check it out. If you're interested, you can follow Liberty Village 365 by RSS, Facebook, or Twitter. It could be a prompt for you to pray for us, for this great community, and for Liberty Grace Church.