Sunday Summary – October 16, 2016

I’ve recently started sending weekly updates to our Sunday Life Group that include a summary of the Sunday sermon and a summary of our Life Group lesson. The goal is to keep everyone in the group in the loop even if they can’t make it to church every Sunday.

I know it’s tough for a lot of people to make it to church every Sunday so I thought more people may benefit if I post my weekly updates here on the blog. Feel free to check in each week (I’ll try to get them posted by mid-week) or if you’d like to get added to my weekly email list, just shoot me a message – I’ll be happy to add you!


Title: “Positive Living, Part 3” (Matthew 11:28-30)

The sermon on Sunday centered around stress management. Clay started the sermon by reviewing the hardships of Paul’s life on earth and the immense amount of stressful situations he was put in. He noted that Paul still lived a positive life because he was able to handle is stress well.
Matthew 11:28-30 lays out 3 ways to handle stress in a positive way
  1. Jesus says, “Come to me.” Often, prayer is our last resort instead of our first response to a stressful situation. By going to God in prayer we take our focus off of our problems and instead focus on God.
  2. Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you.” In the Bible, yoke refers to someone (or sometimes a country) who is under control of another. Here, Jesus is saying “live under my control” – in other words, be more concerned about pleasing God than pleasing other people. This resonates well today as we have become a society with “approval addiction” – we are constantly thinking about what others think of us. We are in search of human approval. This creates a lot of unneeded stress. Instead of focusing on what others think of us, we should focus on what God thinks of us. Make it your mission to please one person – God.
  3. Jesus says, “Learn from me.” The New Testament is filled with many stories about Jesus but there is never a time where Jesus is panicked. Learn from Jesus but keeping a calm disposition – whenever you hear a frantic voice in your head, know that it is not the voice of God.
Key Action Items:
– When dealing with stress make prayer your first response
– Do not be an approval addict, instead focus on seeking only God’s approval
– Follow Jesus’ example – refrain from panic

Title: “Unstoppable Mission” (select verses from Acts 1)

The point of our life group lesson this past week was that the Holy Spirit empowers us to spread the gospel. The scripture is set during the 40 days Jesus was on Earth after he arose from the dead. He is encouraging the disciples to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower them as they spread the gospel to the ends of the Earth. Although Jesus was returning to Heaven, the Holy Spirit would remain with believers – living in them – and enabling them to accomplish God’s mission.
It is important to remember that the Holy Spirit is within us as well. We are charged to spread the message of the gospel just like Jesus’ disciples.
The scripture concluded with all of the disciples praying together. The power of group prayer is strong and helps to reinforce God’s purposes as opposed to personal agendas.
Key Action Items:
– Accept the Mission – commit yourself to be His witness where you go and wherever He sends you.
– Embrace the Gift – Begin each day by submitting to the Holy Spirit. Pray for wisdom, strength, and guidance.

Thanks for reading! Have a great week!

Attention! New Accountability Group – The Fight Club!


I’m beyond excited to host a new group focused on empowerment, mindset, and fight club style sweating!
This 30 minute a day program is inspired by MMA and kickboxing. Just 30 minutes a day to feel like a bada$$ and create knockout results. Our app-based accountability group will last just 5 weeks including a prep week so that YOU will be set up for success. We will focus on mindset, menu planning, healthy meals and of course MMA style movement!
I guarantee to provide the support and accountability to motivate you into the holiday season. Don’t throw in the towel and let the holiday pounds creep on. Fight back! Enjoy the indulgences but feel great about yourself and your body so you can rock your holiday parties with confidence
Here are all the details of this exclusive Core de Force Fight Club Group starting November 14, 2016!
First, it starts NOW with YOUR commitment! I am personally committed to supporting up to 20 fighters so grab a spot now!
For 30 days we will focus on becoming stronger mentally and physically! You will go into the holidays HEALTHIER, HAPPIER, and more physically FIT!
It is my honor and pleasure to help you reach your goals and become the best version of yourself!
Here’s what it will take:
💥 I need 30 minutes per day from you for exercise. That’s it. You can do this in the comfort of your own home. NO equipment needed, just a small space.
💥 I will provide you with the healthiest breakfast imaginable. It’s easy to make, quick to consume and tastes delicious
💥 Meal plans, portion control help, and easy recipes will be provided
💥 I will provide personal and group-based accountability and support.
💥Our EXCLUSIVE and PRIVATE app based accountability group will allow you to log your results and track your progress. This will help us all stay focused daily and bring our best FIGHT!
💥 The exclusive knockout “holding group” is already set up and ready for you now. As soon as you commit, I’ll add you to this group (prior to Nov 14). This will get us prepped and set up for optimal success when we launch on the 14th.
Imagine going into the holiday season (before New Years) in the best shape of your LIFE. Wouldn’t that feel great? Feeling confident and fit instead of miserable and bloated. How awesome would that be!
This is definitely the most excited I’ve ever been for a new group. Don’t put this off! 30 minutes is all it takes. You have time. You are worth the change! The time is NOW!
Please send me a message saying “I am IN” if you’re interested in being one of 20 and hearing the details!
Can’t wait to fight side by side with you!

Sunday Summary – October 9, 2016

I’ve recently started sending weekly updates to our Sunday Life Group that include a summary of the Sunday sermon and a summary of our Life Group lesson. The goal is to keep everyone in the group in the loop even if they can’t make it to church every Sunday.

I know it’s tough for a lot of people to make it to church every Sunday so I thought more people may benefit if I post my weekly updates here on the blog. Feel free to check in each week (I’ll try to get them posted by mid-week) or if you’d like to get added to my weekly email list, just shoot me a message – I’ll be happy to add you!


Title: “Positive Living, Part 2” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) – Herb Hartso (Youth Pastor)

The sermon on Sunday centered around Attitude and was a great follow up to last weeks lesson on encouragement. In the scripture, Paul is encouraging Thessalonian Christians and describing the type of attitude they should have. Ultimately, an attitude that is joyful, prayerful, and thankful is God’s will for you too.
The ability to maintain a joyful attitude “always” is rooted in faith. Although our circumstances change and may affect our happiness, our joy is rooted in Christ and therefore should not be impacted by circumstances. Herb noted that joy can be reflected in how often we smile. Spreading our joy (and our smile) to others will spread the joy of Christ.
We should also have a prayerful attitude. While the scripture notes that we should pray “continuously,” Herb pointed out that this does not mean literally pray every second of the day. Instead, we should be in a spirit of prayer.
Lastly, a thankful attitude is crucial to maintain perspective. Again, the scripture calls for us to give thanks “in all circumstances.” This can be tough because on the outside, it doesn’t seem like “all circumstances” are good; however, we must maintain the belief that God is in control and he is working things together for the good even when we can’t see it.
John Maxwell says, “People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” As believers, our attitude impacts others – it’s important that impact we have reflects Christ.
Key Action Items:
– Smile more often – spread a joyful attitude
– Stay in a spirit of prayer – 2 specific items we can continually pray about are the racial divide in our country and that lost people come to know Christ.


Title: “One Great Task” (select verses from 2 Timothy 2: 1-10)

The point of our life group lesson this past week was each of us must share the gospel. The scripture focused on Paul’s letter to Timothy as he helped him understand the Christian life and his role as a minister.
In life, there are tasks that are important and tasks that are urgent. Rarely does something fall in both categories. Our call to share the gospel with others does fall into both categories as important andurgent. We should not hoard the good news but instead share it with others – openly and often. As a group we talked about modeling a Christian life and building relationships with others as avenues to share the gospel. Since this is one of the most important things we can do in life, we should be putting more time and energy towards this goal.
Key Action Items:
– Pray for an opportunity to share the gospel with someone else and the boldness and wisdom to take advantage of that opportunity.

Thanks for reading! Have a great week!

Sunday Summary – October 2, 2016

I’ve recently started sending weekly updates to our Sunday Life Group that include a summary of the Sunday sermon and a summary of our Life Group lesson. The goal is to keep everyone in the group in the loop even if they can’t make it to church every Sunday.

I know it’s tough for a lot of people to make it to church every Sunday so I thought more people may benefit if I post my weekly updates here on the blog. Feel free to check in each week (I’ll try to get them posted by mid-week) or if you’d like to get added to my weekly email list, just shoot me a message – I’ll be happy to add you!


Title: “Positive Living, Part 1” (Acts 11:19-26)

The sermon focused on Barnabas and how his encouragement of others helped grow the church. Like Barnabas, we should also be encouragers of others.
An encourager sees potential in others. We should not show favoritism but instead assign EVERYONE a high value – treat everyone as a “10.” Clay referenced Proverbs 15:23 which says: “How good is a timely word.” By placing value on others and providing encouragement along the way, we can leave a positive impact on the lives of others.
In addition to seeing potential in others, an encourager also makes investments in others. As Christians we should strive to make our biggest investments in the lives others. Our goal should be to impact people (as opposed to merely impress people).
Key Action Items:
– Join the “Compliment Club”: Give 1 sincere compliment to 2 people every day.
– Write a hand written note to someone with the intentional effort to encourage them.


Title: “One Great Commitment” (select verses from Romans 10)

Our life group lesson focused on Paul’s concern for Jews and their possible misunderstanding of righteousness and how to be saved. This concern is still valid today as many people still believe they can earn God’s favor.
Paul noted that to become a Christian we must declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead. Both the inward conviction (believing with the heart) and the outward expression (confessing with the mouth) are important. On a day-to-day basis these two play out in how we center our lives and decisions around Him.
Key Action Items:
– Make time this week to asses your relationship with Jesus. Are you growing closer to Him? Are you studying His Word? Are you sharing the truth of the gospel with others?

Thanks for reading! Have a great week!

7 Reasons Why I’ve Been a Coach for 7 Years

...mostly I like it because I get to drink beer on peddle taverns in Nashville

…mostly I like it because I get to drink beer on peddle taverns in Nashville

This week marks my 7th “anniversary” as a Team Beachbody Coach.  Over the past 7 years there are dozens (if not hundreds) of times I didn’t think it was for me and I seriously considered quitting… but I’ve stuck with it and here’s why:

  1. It Keeps Me Accountable: As a Coach, I’m responsible for helping other people reach their health and fitness goals but here’s the secret – I’m really the person who benefits most from this! I want to be fit and strong (really strong… it’s a short person complex I think) but I’m not super motivated on my own. When I’m helping others, it literally forces me to “practice what I preach.” I don’t think I would be obese if I wasn’t a coach, but I certainly wouldn’t be in great shape… and I wouldn’t have energy… and I would probably be a little depressed – because that’s how I feel when I’m not staying accountable to my goals and to the things I’m “preaching” to others. If I get nothing else from coaching besides the fact that it keeps me accountable to my own health and fitness goals, I’d stick with it for 7 more years.

  2. It Literally Transformed Blake: Of course I have a “transformation” story… Beachbody helped me lose the 12 pack of beer I carried around my midsection and helped me gain a 6 pack (although I’m still working on getting that back after baby #2) BUT Blake has an amazing transformation story. He went from being an overweight, pothead, smoker (sorry babe, it’s true) to a smoking hot fitness fanatic (see… I made up for the overweight/pothead/smoker thing there 🙂 ). I didn’t make him do it (we weren’t even married yet… barely even dating)… he saw me working out one day, asked what I was doing and then made the change on his own. He literally swapped super unhealthy habits for the healthiest of habits. I knew Beachbody fitness programs worked after they helped me but it wasn’t until I saw what they did for Blake that I truly believed in how much they could literally transform someone’s life. If I get nothing else from coaching besides the fact that it allows has given me a healthy husband, I’d stick with it for 7 more years.

  3. It Helps Me Set The Best Example: As a mom of 2 girls, I know it’s my responsibility to show them how to respect their bodies and to feel strong and capable of doing anything they want. My mom was a yo-yo dieter – she never seemed completely happy with how she looked or felt… I paid attention to that and while there are a TON of things I want to do exactly like my mom did, yo-yo dieting is not one of them. Carter is not even 2 years old yet but she gets that mommy and daddy work out. Health is never something that should be taken for granted – Beachbody Coaching lets me show that to my girls. If I get nothing else from coaching besides the fact that it allows me to set a great example for my girls, I’d stick with it for 7 more years.

  4. It Pushes Me: I know this is going to sound a little cocky but I feel like I can do really great things… like BIG things. But I have a lot of self-limiting beliefs that keep me from even trying sometimes. My biggest fear in life is not realizing or reaching my potential (I know… kind of deep, right?). Beachbody Coaching has pushed me so far out of my comfort zone but in doing that, has taught me how to overcome some of those self limiting beliefs (I’m still working on some). With Coaching, there is a HUGE emphasis placed on personal development… something I’d never heard of before becoming a coach. Learning about myself and learning how I can be better and accomplish those BIG things is one of the greatest blessings Beachbody has given me. If I get nothing else from coaching besides the fact that it pushes me to be a better person, I’d stick with it for 7 more years.

  5. It Allows Me to Help Others: Helping other people is one of the greatest feelings ever! Outside of coaching, I have a full time job as a sales and marketing manager… not exactly a position of “service.” I want to serve others. Coaching gives me an outlet for that desire. A lot of people have a negative view of multi-level marketing business because their representatives pressure/hassle/push them into buying something they don’t want or need… a very fair assessment. I try really, really hard not to do that. I always want to come from a place of service, of helping. Obesity is an epidemic in the United States. HealthCare costs are absurd. I feel like everyone can stand to invest a little more in their own preventative health care by exercising and eating a little bit better. I want to help others find a way to stay accountable to their own preventative health care and for it to actually be FUN! If I get nothing else from coaching besides the fact that allows me to help others feel better and actually BE better, I’d stick with it for 7 more years.

  6. Shakeology: Yo, Shakeology is legit. Shakeology alone can be transformative in your life…it has been in mine. I don’t have any health issues… it’s not because I eat well (I don’t!! I lived off Ramen noodles for years!),  I swear it’s because I drink Shakeology. I’m not going to make this a sales pitch on Shakeology, but it is hands-down the best health decision you could make for yourself (unless you’re a smoker in which case… stop smoking first). It has the highest standard in ingredients – you would be amazed at the crap they put in most protein/health drinks to make them taste like ovaltine or fruit punch or a milkshake… Shakeology doesn’t have that crap. The integrity and quality behind it is unmatched. If I get nothing else from coaching besides the discount I get on Shakeology, I’d stick with it for 7 more years.

  7. It Helps Takes the Pressure Off Blake: When I started coaching, I didn’t even know Blake so this reason didn’t become relevant until the second half of my coaching life. We’re now a family of 4… we have 2 kids (and 2 pups) to support! It’s expensive. I have a great, full time job which I love. Blake has a growing landscape business. BUT still finances are TIGHT. Blake has done an amazing job growing his landscape business but when the cash flow isn’t… flowing, finances become stressful. Coaching provides that extra boost to take some of the pressure off of Blake. As our girls get bigger, they will undoubtedly get more expensive. We don’t live an extravagant lifestyle but we both want to provide a good life for our growing family. With a growing family and a growing landscape business the stress over finances could get out of control. Thanks to the income coaching has provided, we can usually keep the financial stress in check. If I get nothing else from coaching besides the ability to take some financial pressure off of Blake, I’d stick with it for 7 more years.

  8. BONUS REASON- I Get To Go on Peddle Taverns: Ok, I’m going into a bonus reason only because I came up with 8 reasons in about 5 seconds so I felt like it should be included. Coaching is FUN and I get to hang out with FUN people and learn from FUN people. I’m a natural introvert so it’s hard for me to “bond” with others but coaching has given me a team of like-minded people to bond with and more importantly learn from. (One of the ways our team bonds is to go on Peddle Taverns in Nashville… I like our style!).

Sometimes coaching is a struggle for me. Sometimes I’m unmotivated. Sometimes I go months without working out (see: the past 7 months). Luckily you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic or a constantly motivated/positive person to be a coach. I’m looking forward to what the next 7 years of Beachbody coaching brings to me and my family. I know it’s going to bring BIG things.

I’d love for you to join me if you can relate to any of the above or if you just want to start some preventative healthcare (a regular/fun workout & nutrition program)… that’s a “salesy” as I get. I promise if you stick with it, you won’t regret it either!! If you’re interested at all (even just a little tiny bit) – shoot me a message or an email!


Marriage Isn’t Hard – Reflections on 4 Years of Marriage

About a week ago, Blake and I were in the car after church and Blake asked “Do you think marriage to me is hard?

My first thought: “That’s a loaded question”

My actual response: “No.”

I still stand by my response, here’s why: Marriage is a, a covenant I made to Blake (and to God) on August 4, 2012. Promises and especially covenants aren’t made to be broken.

Making the decision to get married was hard. There were multiple times while Blake and I were dating and even while we were engaged that I seriously considered not marrying him; but when I did marry him, I was sure of my decision. In my head, once I made the decision (and promised before him and God many things including “until death do us part”), I would never reconsider.

Marriage isn’t a decision I make every day… it’s a decision I made once but one that I won’t change. Really, that’s a freeing thought.

If I had to “decide” on marriage EVERY day, I wouldn’t stay married long. I don’t think anyone would.

When we were in the car that day, Blake asked for further explanation on my response. This was my further explanation: “Marriage isn’t hard. Getting along with you everyday is hard.” Luckily Blake is a guy and the didn’t ask for further clarification there. The conversation ended. He knew what I meant.

Getting along with each other is hard. I’m hard. I’m hard on him. I’m sarcastic and harsh sometimes. Blake would probably have a gentler life with someone else but he chose me. He probably doesn’t choose me every day, but he doesn’t have to… he chose me once and he committed to that decision. Even when he doesn’t like me, he loves me and he is married to me. And vice versa.

Full disclosure: Blake annoys the shit out of me sometimes. We don’t agree on a lot of things (namely: how to assemble anything – crib, bookshelf, kegerator, Dr. Browns bottle…anything). But we made the decision to get married and we both honor that decision. No matter what we say to each other, how harsh we are toward each other, or how much we annoy the shit out of each other – we are married. We have to figure it out. If we don’t agree with each other, we figure it out. If something about him annoys me, I usually let him know… why? I’m married to him. If it annoys me now, it will annoy me more in 1 year or 10 years or 50 years so I better go ahead and let him know now. Every argument is worth it. Every disagreement is worth it. Every hard conversation is worth it.

The covenant we made to each other and to God is worth it.

We’re only 4 years in, so this whole blog could be naive, but I really hope it’s not.

(pic above is from our joint bachelor/bachlorette party…still one of my favs!)


When the Phrase “Agree to Disagree” Doesn’t Sound Hostile Enough


There are a lot of ways Blake and I differ in personality. To name a few:  I’m calm under pressure, Blake is… less calm; I’m not great at showing emotion, Blake wears his emotions on his sleeve. In most ways these basic personality differences complement each other and make us stronger as a unit.

While we definitely have differences in our personalities, our view points on most major issues align. We share the same religious, spiritual and political beliefs. We have almost identical priorities. In fact, off the top of my head I can only think of two areas of disagreement (although I’m sure we will stumble upon more throughout life).

The first point of contention is relatively minor. It involves the importance of condiments to overall food taste.

I am not, and have never been, a fan of condiments. No ketchup, mustard, mayo, dressing or hot sauce for me… ever. Recently I’ve accepted barbecue sauce in limited circumstances but generally speaking I’m not a “dipper.” I don’t need the flavor enhancement and I don’t want it. I can taste a hint of mayo in the cheesiest of pimento cheeses.  I cannot handle the hot of hot sauce.

Blake, on the other hand, puts sauce on EVERYTHING. A $50 steak NEEDS ketchup. We buy hot sauce by the gallon. In my opinion, it’s a little ridiculous BUT we agree to disagree. No big deal… very little impact on our relationship.

The other point of contention is substantially larger.

Blake is a UNC fan, I am a die hard Duke fan. Still to this day I don’t know how we’ve made it work.

I was born and raised a Duke fan. The walls of my childhood bedroom were literally covered in Duke memorabilia and posters. One of the my biggest disappointments in life was when I found out it actually did make the most financial sense for me to attend UNC-Chapel Hill for college (gasp!)… yeah it was dramatic. Throughout my 4 years at UNC I stayed strong to my roots and continued to pull for the Blue Devils. I will NEVER change.

Blake moved to NC when he as in elementary school. Unfortunately, his russian roulette method of choosing a NC team to pull for landed him with the Tar Holes Heels. Tragic. While he hasn’t been a life-long fan, he does have a solid 20 years of fandom under his belt and seems uninterested in changing his allegiance. Sadly, he most likely will NEVER change (although I haven’t given up total hope)!

When we started dating, we were aware of this glaring difference in opinion. We found out quickly we could not hold a calm conversation where either team was involved… if the conversation was about both teams it ended in a heated and unresolved argument every time.

When college basketball season starts I can feel the tension build. Duke and UNC are guaranteed to play each other twice per year… sometimes three times (thankfully they have yet to meet up 4 times in any given year).

When we got married we knew this huge point of contention needed to be addressed.

I promise to honor and embrace our differences as I do our similarities/ even if that means we have to watch the big game in different rooms. ~ Excerpt from our wedding vows

We do have to watch “the big game” in different rooms. We’ve tried to watch it together, all attempts have been unsuccessful.

We are both logical and fairly grounded but when it comes to The Rivalry, neither of us are graceful in our disagreement. The phrase agree to disagree doesn’t seem hostile enough.

Tonight will be tense. I will watch The Game upstairs, Blake will watch The Game downstairs. If it’s a close game we may not speak until morning. But we will stay married… after all we love each other more than we love our respective teams (most of the time 🙂 )

Go Duke!