Monday, December 24, 2012

Glory to God in the Highest!

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb."  Luke 2:1-21

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - A Review

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

My two cents.

Took my eldest to see The Hobbit tonight. It was very very good. I had read some reviews and was kind of looking to not enjoy it as much as I did. I didn't take my little one to this one tonight, Momma wasn't feeling well and he hadn't had a nap, so we'll let him catch it on DVD.

First, this is NOT Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit is a children's book, whereas the LOTR Trilogy certainly is not. That said, Peter Jackson took a lot of this new series from the Appendices, written to add to the LOTR world and background story. The movie isn't a children's movie by any means but there is a slightly different tone than the LOTR, especially early. If you had to compare the first of the Hobbit movies to any of the original LOTR movies, it would be the first one / The Fellowship of the Ring. Most alike in tone and story line.

Second, this movie is the first major motion picture filmed at 48 frames per second vs the traditional 24 frames per second. What this accomplishes is the "blur" we are used to seeing in the fast action sequences in movies is completely gone. The action sequences are brilliant and a treat to watch. The only con I saw, was in some of the more static scenes, those without much movement at all. It was subtle but I actually had a bit of trouble focusing on the details in those slower scenes. The first few sequences especially were troublesome. I'm not sure if sitting farther back would have helped but as the movie progressed I seemed to have adjusted to it and had no troubles after that. Peter Jackson outdid himself, the movie is a visual masterpiece. Makes me want to go to "Middle Earth, ie New Zealand" really really bad! :-)

Third, as for the movie, it is certainly worth the price of admission. I don't go out of my way to see a lot of movies at the theater but this is a must see if you are a fan of such movies. I don't know if I'd take young children but my four year old handles the original three with no trouble so he could have seen this one. The first time we watched one of the LOTR movies at home, I was worried he'd be scared (he was three then). As soon as Gollum came on, he started giggling and for some reason cracks up every time he is on screen. A few of this movies scenes were intense but nothing overly bloody. As in the first series, a lot of the action is played with a bit of comic relief.

Fourth, Gandalf is Gandalf, played by Ian McKellan. Good as always. Young Bilbo is played by Martin Freeman (of the BBC's Sherlock series) and is very good. Richard Armitage playes Thorin Oakenshield (heir to the Dwarf kingdom's throne) and is outstanding. Really does a great job. Many of the supporting characters are back with the original actors, even if just for a cameo, Older Bilbo, Frodo, Lord Elron, Lady Galadriel, Saruman, and of course Gollum. A lot of new characters, mostly dwarves but there were so many of them, it was a bit hard to follow their names. A few were memorable, some were forgettable.

Fifth, this first movie is pretty true to the original book with a few key elements apparently added from the Appendices. I've read the book, not the Appendices, so it is hard to say for sure. Most of the added sequences were merely laying ground work for the next two films, when I'm sure they will delve deeper into the Appendices. The movie goes from the assembling of the team as in the book, to the point where the Eagles rescue them from the Orcs. (Sorry, trying to avoid spoilers here). Despite most of this first movie being true to the book, it avoids some of the book's more childish elements. There were no talking animals in this movie, unlike the book. Most of the basic story line was the same but probably taken up a notch in the drama and seriousness of the scene but without losing some of the humor.

Well I've written more than I intended. I'm a fan of Tolkien and I can't wait to see the next two. :-)

I guess I gave you a $1.00 instead of two cents! ;-)


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

3 days in, 2 lbs down! :-)

Three days in, two pounds down!

Beginning Weight: 358 lbs on 12/01/12
Today's Weight: 356 lbs.

81 lbs to go! Now if I'd just start eating right!!! ;-)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

12 months to 275 lbs!

Most folks who know me have heard me referred to as "The Heavy Revy". A friend coined that nickname a long time ago, I always thought it was funny and it kind of stuck. To say I'm a big guy would be an understatement. Not just big as in fat (though yes I'm that too) but I'm a bit of a giant, even without the weight. I am 6'7" tall, I have a 60" chest, and nearly a 7 foot wing span! When I got married at 19, I was 6'6" tall and weighed in about 250 lbs. I had a much smaller frame, in fact I was about 6 to 8 " smaller, shoulder to shoulder. My frame is much much larger than it was back then.

Why is that important? Well I often hear people talking about getting back to what they weighed back when. Though I'd love to get back to 250 lbs, I'd likely have to lose both legs and all my weight to get there! I don't think if I survived a famine I'd ever make it back to that, I'm just too big even without the fat I've put on these last 22 years. So I have set out to find a more realistic goal for getting healthy. I am going to shoot for 275 lbs. I am not even sure I could lose enough weight for that but it will be my goal. IF I ever get back to 275 lbs, I will be SKINNY, believe me!

Now for a bit of background. As I said earlier, I was about 250 and much smaller in frame when I got married. I grew an inch in height but grew much more in frame. I averaged putting on about 4 to 6 lbs a year for the first 15 years or so. At 34, I weighed in around 320 lbs. No excuses, just laziness, love of food, and a sedentary lifestyle. It was gradual but steady and it sure didn't make me feel any better that is for sure. I got sick back in 2002, when I was 31. My weight didn't change all that much at first, just kept inching up. Somewhere around 2005, one of my doctors got the bright idea to start pumping me full of steroids. They didn't really know what was wrong with me but they thought it was auto-immune and figured steroids would help. Long story short, that was the WORST thing they could have done for me health-wise and for my weight.

In 2007, I started seeing a new doctor in Ft. Worth. That is when they REALLY started pumping me full of steroids! My health plummeted, my weight soared! By 2008, I weighed in at 408 lbs! I was deathly sick and far heavier than I'd ever been. By August of 2008 I was literally near death. I spent 6 days in Baylor hospital only to be told they didn't know what was wrong with me and I should probably get ready to spend the rest of my life in a wheel chair. Things were bad to say the least.

Without retelling my whole illness story, in September of 2008, I was finally properly diagnosed with Lyme Disease. All treatment with steroids stopped but by then the damage had been done, I was horribly over weight, so weak I couldn't even stand, and my health was shattered.

For the last four years I have fought the disease and kind of / sort of worked on my weight. It has been a constant journey of three steps forward, two steps back. By 2010, I was some what improved and decided to start seeing if I could get some weight off. I am blessed, despite all I've been through, to have a killer metabolism. My wife calls my "diet", if you can call it that, the "Pop Tart and Cereal" diet! :-) Since 2010, I managed to lose about 55 lbs, despite eating pop tarts and cereal every night (to satisfy my sweet tooth). I make my wife sick! :-)

So here I am, roughly two years later and I weigh 358 lbs. I'm doing better physically, I feel somewhat better but know I have much to lose. I need to get my strength back, having lost a ton of muscle over the years of being so sick. I have kind of plateaued the last few months but had kind of fallen off the wagon a bit as well. I've been border line diabetic for a while, and I've felt pretty bad lately. I don't know for certain but I'd wager my blood sugar has been elevated. I guess that adds a bit more urgency to the need to get the last of the weight off but it isn't the only reason. I'm 41 now, not getting any younger. Years of broken bones and blown out joints have begun to take their toll. Chronic pain has become a much bigger part of my life, even more than with the Lyme Disease. The two combined issues have really gotten bad. Getting the weight off can't help but make me feel better and cut out some of the pain. If you have to walk around on bad joints, weighing less can't hurt! It is time to get serious and I'm going to use this blog and Facebook to keep me more accountable.

SSSOOO if you are reading this, please say a prayer for me every now and again. I have a LOT of bad habits to break, from soft drinks, sweet tea, cereal, and that sweet tooth that flares way too often. I need to get back into regularly exercising as well. With my metabolism, it won't take a lot to get my act together. I don't need to eat like a bird, just keep it sensible and steady. Getting under 300 lbs won't be all that hard I don't imagine. Those last 25 lbs I think will be harder, because I really don't know what the lowest weight I could get too with my frame. Truth be known, if I can get under 300 I'll be thrilled. Well, I know I can get under 300, just need to do it! So this is what I'm going to post daily. As "daily" as I can keep it anyway.


High Weight: 408 lbs.
Dec 1, 2012 Weight: 358 lbs.
Dec 1, 2013 Goal Weight: 275 lbs.
Amount Still to lose: 83 lbs.

Yesterday's Weight: 358 lbs.
Today's Weight: 358 lbs.
One Day Weight Lost: 0 lbs.
Total Weight Still to Lose: 83 lbs.
Days Left: 365 days

So thanks for taking a minute to read this. Feel free to tell me "PUT DOWN THE DONUT FAT BOY!" if you see me getting out of line or slacking. Insults accepted, prayers appreciated! Thanks!

The Heavy....soon to be less Heavy....Revy!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Oven from Hades!!!!

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post to allow me to completely, utterly, and totally lose my religion!!!! AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have spent the last two hours with my oversized head, my oversized arms, and my oversized behind stuck inside of, underneath, and in front of my oven. I merely needed to replace the oven ignitor. Its a breeze Youtube says. Anyone can do it Youtube says. Its a five minute job Youtube says. Youtube is a big fat liar!!!

NOTHING about my oven is like the supposed "same model #" in the how to video. NOTHING lines up. NOTHING is accessible. NOTHING looks the same. NOTHING about the video was in the least bit helpful except for the fact that at each and every step I was reminded that there was NOTHING about my oven that even remotely resembled the one IN THE VIDEO!

Not one to be easily deterred, I trudged on. I bent, twisted, tweaked, and torqued each and every component off and out and spent twice as much time merely trying to get those same parts back where they came from when I was done. Simple? Not a chance! Why you ask? Because the ignitor I took out of my oven looks absolutely NOTHING like the ignitor I just put IN my oven! BUT I am assured that this is indeed the right ignitor for my oven! It not only looks different, it installs at a different angle. Why is this important? Because it threw each and every component I took out off by JUST enough to make putting said components back in slightly more difficult than sending man to the moon, slightly.

Being the intrepid do it yourselfer I trudged on. Two hours into my simple five minute job, I was done. Was my heart filled with satisfaction and happy thoughts about puppies and butterflies? Do I hear the theme song to Rocky echoing in my brain? Not a chance. Why you ask again? Because Murphy's Law is the bane of my existence. If I could in fact find Mr. Murphy, I'd shoot him dead and bury his body in my back yard. Why would anyone make up such a terrible thing! Sadly I cannot locate Mr. Murphy. Its his lucky day. But I digress.

My two hour ordeal is complete. My oven restored to working order I pray. I hit the button. The ignitor ignites!!! I can see its warm and hopeful glow. I hear the valve on the gas open. I remember that I read the gas would not come on if the ignitor did not reach a sufficient temperature. My hopes perk up ever so slightly but it is not to be. Murphy has quashed my hopes yet again. The ignitor ignites. The gas gasses. The oven does not oven. For some reason (I have my thoughts on this) the RED HOT ignitor is not actually igniting said gas that is gassing.

I strive with every fiber of my being not to curse my oven into the bowels of Hades and am forced to restrain myself from finding the nearest explosive material and exploding my oven into eternity. The oven is safe for now but I make no promises.

I want to thank my dear sweet wife for her words of uplift and encouragement when she says "remember dear, you really are a Murphy, not a Mauldin". AAARRRGGGHHH!!! 

Have I mentioned that Youtube LIES? If any of you happen to hear a loud explosion just south of 24th Street, have no fear. Its just me completely losing my cool and sending this cursed oven back to the bowels of Hades where it belongs.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post now in session. Carry on!


Monday, October 1, 2012

The Neglected Blog

 My Two Mini Me's

I've had the urge of late to fire up the old blog again. Outside of a few book reviews, I have not blogged in over a year! Bad blogger, bad blogger!

I'm sitting here trying to think of the things that have happened since my last real blog post. The first thing that comes to mind is that since my last post about my 20th wedding anniversary, I've had my 21st wedding anniversary! :-)

Zachary finished his regular schooling last summer and started at TAMUT last fall. He's currently a sophomore (17 years old) and doing great! He has one full year of college under his belt and is well on his way to getting this third semester out of the way. He has a lovely girlfriend and is now working at Chicken Express. Life is good for the Z miester! He plans to go to Law School after college. That is the plan of the moment anyway!

Samuel is 4 years old now, beautiful, bad, amazing, aggravating, smart as can be, and a teenager in waiting! He's growing up so fast.

My now 10 year battle with Lyme disease continues. I'm actually doing pretty well all things considered. Seizures have been my biggest hurdle this last year but they have quieted a great deal this past month. I'm sitting at seven days seizure free and very thankful for that.

I've moved my computer shop back home and the business continues to do fairly well. It has never been a huge enterprise but it is used of God to meet many of our needs and I'm thankful for it.

New Beginnings Baptist Church is doing very very well! God has blessed us with a number of new families, couples, couples with kids, and several more. Our youth and children's program on Wednesday nights is doing very well. The fellowship is sweet, the unity is beautiful, and the love abounds. I am richly blessed to serve in such a place.

I'm 15 days shy of my 41st birthday. As I reflect on the passage of 41 years, I see so many things I could have and should have done differently but see how God has used all of my life, good decisions, bad decisions, failures, successes, the mountain tops, and the valleys. God wastes nothing in our lives. I don't know what the future holds but I know who holds the future. God is good all the time. All the time God is good.

I'll try to be more consistent with the blogging. My wife has started a blog. I'll put a link below this line. I can't let her out blog me! ;-)

Thanking God daily for all He does in my life. He is my Rock and my Fortress. In Him and Him alone I place my trust.

In His Service,


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Tried Something a Bit Different.....

I LOVE books. I own somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,200 or so. I'd own a lot more than that if they weren't so expensive and SO hard to move!  I LOVE theology, commentaries, the Biblical languages and on and on. I LOVE a book with substance. Unfortunately that leaves out much of what is in the "Christian" market place. Most of the books out there today are anything but substantive. So much of the material pushed on the public today in the name of "Christ" is simply mindless, empty, drivel. I have shelves full of such books. Books I bought many years ago when I had a bit less discernment, wisdom, and just plain sense. Most of their authors meant well but in their attempt to be "relevant", they wind up being powerless and without merit.

Despite my aversion to books that are not clearly substantive, I decided to try something a bit different a while back. I picked out the book "Chazown" by Craig Groeschel. The unusual title and knowing a bit about the author, by reputation more than anything, I thought I'd give it a go. I get free books to review from time to time and thought I'd try something a bit out there for me. Sadly I should have stuck to my traditional fare.

First things first. The book is not in and of itself a bad book. The author writes well and his style lends itself to a pretty easy read. He comes across as genuine and with a strong pastoral style. That said, I was struggling out of the gate with a couple of key things. First is the incessant use of the word "Chazown" in the body of the work. Rather than introduce its readers to the word, its concept and meaning, and then moving on, the author uses the word endlessly! I found myself groaning, almost out loud every time the author threw the word at me. Can't we simply define the word and only use it when it is really necessary? It was tedious and needless in my opinion and really hurt the book.

My second and most significant issue with the book is the author's handling of the scripture from which the books title and thesis is taken. Groeschel fell into the all too common error we see today of taking a single scripture and trying to build a theology around it. I'm not saying the author intended this but unfortunately he's guilty of it. The verse as it is used in the author's thesis is taken completely out of context! What should have been seen as a simple verse about the consequences of not having God's vision for our lives, in the context of discipline, (ie the results of not having God's vision) is instead mutated into some grand calling to become a visionary! What??? This is in no way an accurate interpretation of the scripture! If I had a dollar for every time a new book comes out like this, I could retire and retire well!

Without belaboring the issue, Chazown is simply a book I could have and should have done without. It will sit on my shelf and collect dust like many books before it. Its not all bad but its not that good either. I'll chalk up this book selection to a momentary lapse of discernment.

At best this book gets 2 out of 5 stars. That just might be a stretch.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through a book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."