I Can’t

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Last Wednesday I did something that surprised me… I benchpressed 265 pounds.  I know what some of you may be thinking: so what, that’s not much or why are you telling us this.  It is significant because in my life benchpress was always something that I believed I would never be good at or achieve any weight that would be seen as socially acceptable for a guy my height.

For years I always told people I am not good at bench press, I am not strong in my upper body but strong in my legs or some variation of why I wasn’t good at it.  Every time I laid down under that bar, the narrative of “I can’t” blasted through my mind before I ever picked up the bar.  I heard the voice of the older players in high school basketball offseason laughing and telling me to “stop playing with kids toys” when they saw the lack of weight I had on the bar.  Fear of failure gripped me, fear of the bar dropping on my neck and a gym full of people laughing caused me to give up before I started because I wasn’t good at it.

I tell you this because this fear of failure didn’t just affect me on the weight bench but in life.  I am growing in this area, I am confronting the things that once paralyzed me.  I tell you this because I know many of you are letting “I can’t” dictate what steps you take or don’t take in life.  I have found in my instances where I thought I can’t that I actually could.  Even in the things that I still realize I can’t, I have a God who can and still does miracles every day.  I realize that faith over fear brings with it a more fulfilling life.  Does God care that I went from maxing 135 lbs. in high school to 265 lbs. today? No, he doesn’t care about my numbers but he does care when one of his children is believing the lies of Satan which cause them to sit in fear rather than stepping out to be the best and healthiest version of themselves possible. Don’t settle for the lie of I can’t, be a doer and lean on the one who can even when you can’t.

“Spirit lead me, where my trust is without borders…”

 

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Darrell Halk
Realtor ®
Brokered by ERA Cornerstone Realty
972.832.1749
darrell.halk@era.com

Darrell Day Reflections

* from 2011

Well as many of you already realize, yesterday was a new national holiday called Darrell day, August 31st, the day I entered the world.  This was the 34th annual Darrell day celebration and tons of rootbeer, burritos and celebrations were had by all.  I had a great day filled with things that characterize the joys that are a part of my everyday life: My girls (Tiffany, Rylie, Macee), friends, Chuy’s Mexican food, rootbeer(thanks for the rootbeer Sterling and Brittney), the students of Southmont Baptist Church and preaching.  All of these are things I love dearly, not to mention being humbled by the 250 plus people who took the time to say happy birthday to me via text and Facebook.  I feel very blessed to be  a part of the life that God has given me.

It is milestones like birthdays that cause us to reflect, and cause us to count our blessings.  As I look back over this last year of my life I realize I have experienced so many incredible blessings.  There have been ups and downs, but God has been faithful to teach me the lesson of contentment.

Philippians 4:11-13 11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

I wanted to end this post with ten photos that speak to God’s faithfulness to bless me this year.

TOP TEN HIGHLIGHTS OF MY 33RD YEAR (No Particular Order)

1.) The Birth of my daughter Macee- We were told that it was a great possibility that we could not have any other children, but on January 13,2011, this beautiful little girl entered the world.

2.) God opened the door for one of the greatest dreams of my life to be fulfilled when my first book “No One Really Knows” was published by Lucid Books in February 2011. www.norkbook.com

3.) Southmont Youth Group- I have seen God do amazing things in the lives of these kids this year and I feel so blessed to be their youth pastor and call them my kids.

4.) Met one of my childhood heroes and got to sit down and hang out with him for 30 minutes: Spud Webb5.) Got asked by my friend, former Major League Baseball All-Star, Glenn Wilson, to co-author his biography with him.

6.) Got to watch my daughter Rylie cheer at Upward basketball games

7.) Splurged on the most expensive meal of my life on an awesome date with my wife Tiffany to Pappas Borthers Steakhouse for our anniversary.  We try to go to really nice restaurants in Dallas twice a year for her birthday and our anniversary.

8.) Got the opportunity to join the program staff of Camp 220 and speak at both weeks as a Team Bible Study Leader.  I love this ministry and I am glad I get to be a part of the behind the scenes of all that God is doing. www.twotwenty.org

9.) Got to coach Rylie’s softball team

10.) Saw the Texas Rangers go to the World Series and the Dallas Mavericks win the NBA Championship.  Okay, this does not directly involve me, but it brought me lots of joy to see both of these events happen.

*Honorable Mention: Launched one of the worst webshows in the history of YouTube- Darandumb Moments: http://www.youtube.com/user/durkel777

Suicide in Sports

The news of former Cy Young award winner Mike Flanagan’s death by suicide is still fresh on my mind as the story was released today. He becomes another on the list of athletes from my childhood years who has taken his own life over the last five years. I will post a list at the bottom of this message of those players.

From all reports Flanagan took his life due to being upset about financial concerns.It breaks my heart to see so many who see death as the only option to rid them of their pain. If only we could go back and tell them that there was hope. If only we could go back and tell them that they were loved by their families, friends and fans.

If you are reading this and feel life is hitting nothing but deadends please talk to someone. Seek out help from a trained counselor or local pastor. There is hope, God has placed you here on Earth for a purpose. Jesus came and died to set the captives free and he came that we might have a full and abundant life. He loves you, and His love for you never wavers or changes, no matter how many times you fail.

I have helped a family walk through suicide in the past and I know how tough it can be on families. Pray for the families of those listed below, especially the Flanagan’s as this is so fresh.

Suicides

NBA
Mel Turpin 2010

NFL
Dave Duerson 2011
Kenny McKinley 2010
Shane Dronett 2009
Andre Waters 2006

MLB
Keith Drumright 2010
Brian Powell 2009
Mike Flanagan 2011
Hideki Irabu 2011

National Suicide Hotline 1(800)273-TALK

5 Reasons Why I Love Chuy’s-Denton

Not hard to believe for people that know me that I am here talking about mexican food, but I had to share my new affection for Chuy’s.  So far I have made two trips to this fine establishment since it’s opening on August 2nd.

1.) They Allow Bald Men to Live Their Dream of Having Hair

One “Dare” led to me wearing this wig to my first visit to Chuy’s on their opening day.  The hostess could not bear to look at me without giggling.  I realized this day the extent of discrimination against guys with flowing black hair.

2.) Queso Compuesto


This plus chips= Heaven in a bowl

3.) More Tasty Sauces than Should be Allowed in a Single Restaurant


Boom Boom Sauce, Deluxe Tomatillo, Tomatillo, Jalapeno Cool Ranch, Queso, Salsa… Need I go on?

4.) Tasty Chimichangas and Burritos= 5 Star Restaurant

* Best Chimichanga I have ever had, and I have had quite a few in my time.

5.) They built their Denton location right down the road from my work.

With this restaurant being so close to my church job, I am sure it is going to bad news for the pocket book and the waist line.

All this said…If you have not ever given Chuy’s a chance, stop being dumb.

Asking the Right Question

In the last few weeks I have had more than one person approach me about feeling a lack of passion or dryness in their pursuit of Christ. Many seem to associate Christ with feelings of shame and guilt, so they want to avoid Him all together. So many of us have become so accustomed to living a legalistic, rule based Christianity that when our performance fails we cannot escape the guilt of our failures. Many of the thoughts below came from what God has helped me learn in my journey, what God taught me this Summer in studying to teach Bible Studies for Camp 220, and hearing others teach this summer.

First thing I need to remind you, IF you belong to God, meaning you have a relationship with Him, then Romans 8:1 tells us there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. This verse has meant so much to me, because it promises that in the midst of our failures God in his grace and mercy forgets our trespasses against Him. It is almost as if God is telling us I do not condemn you, QUIT CONDEMNING YOURSELF. Quit living a powerless Christianity swallowed up with guilt. When God looks at you as a Christian, he does not see your failures; He sees Christ’s righteousness that has covered you.

Zephaniah 3:12-19 is a beautiful picture of the joy that God finds in who we are. God sees someone worth singing over, he has taken away his judgments over you, he fights for you and he is near to you. God says you are so worth all Jesus did.

So first we must see ourselves in the way that God sees us, but second we must ask the right questions about how to get back the passion and zeal that seems absent. Many times we begin with the question how can I pray more, how can I read the Bible more, or what can I DO to draw closer to God? I believe this is the wrong question to begin our thought process.

1.) The question is not how much am I doing to draw close to Him, it is how much am I letting Him do in me?

Does he have my whole heart?

What things in my life steal my affection for Him?

Am I living out Philippians 3:7 that everything compared to Christ seems like dung, poop, or rubbish? It is not an obedience problem as much as it is a love problem. When Jesus has all of our affections no one has to tell us to pray, or read our Bible, we just desire to do it. The prayer is not God help me increase my Bible study time, but help increase my love for you, help remove the things that steal my affections from you… Come and have my whole heart.

Many of us are like the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2, we are checking off all the duties of a Christian, but we have lost our passion and love for him in the midst of doing things for Him. The question must come what am I letting him do in me?

Have I surrendered my spiritual gifts and passions to be used by him? These gifts are not accidents, but are intended to be used by him for his church. Some of the most excited students in my youth ministry right now are those who have realized their spiritual gifts, asked God to take those gifts and use them and seen God begin to work in them and through them. It is in giving God complete control that our passion and desire to be in word and pray increases.

2.) The next question we must ask is by whose power am I living in? 1 Corinthians 4:20 says the kingdom of God is not in Word but in power. Paul tells the people if he comes he will not judge their closeness to God by what they say, but by the power which they live by.

What are you living in that takes God’s power to complete? Are you living by his power or living in what is comfortable and manageable for you? The reason most Christians never move forward in their walk with Christ is they spend their whole life walking in and praying for things they can accomplish without God.

What are you letting him do in you? Have you been just a follower in words or are you living each breath, each step by his power?

3.) How big is your view of God? What God is able to do in and through us is relative to what we believe he is able to do. So many Christians spend so much time arguing what God can’t or doesn’t do anymore. I am persuaded that if we worship a small God who has a list of things he can’t do and we have a holy spirit who is mute and serves as just a glorified conscience then we limit what God is able to do in us and through us. Check out Mark 9, part of our drawing into a powerful life changing relationship with Christ is admitting the areas of unbelief and saying God help me believe in the depth of your power.

Is your God manageable, understandable and full of things he can’t do or doesn’t do anymore or is he the powerful God of the Bible? Part of letting him do what he wants in us is having an accurate view of Him.

4.) Lastly, we will all spend time in the desert or times of dryness; it is how we navigate through that time that tells if we fully belong to Him. It was in Jesus’ time in the desert (Matt 4) that he was tempted, he responds by clinging to Scripture. In dryness we must cling to the Word, not as a duty but because we need it.

What are you allowing God to do in you?

I’m Back!!!!

Here I am again, entering the world of blogging to help release thoughts, ideas and concepts that seems to go unreleased if not expressed here.  I hope to spend more time sharing ideas on religion, sports,reading, culture, food etc over the next few months.

For my return to blogging post, I want to tell you about one of the most amazing family style restaurants in all of the United States.  Tonight, Thomas, Doug and I went to eat at Monell’sin Nashville, Tennessee.  This was my second visit to Monell’s in the last year and once again I was not disappointed but came back to my room feeling like a glutton.

Monell’s is a family style restaurant that serves home cooking style food in quantities unfit for any human to consume, but you consume it all because it tastes so amazing.  Tonight we consumed: 4 main courses (pulled pork, meatloaf, fried chicken, fried catfish), about 14 side dishes, homemade biscuits and cornbread, and topping it off was homemade banana pudding. This is a restaurant that you do not want to ignore if you plan a trip to Nashville.

To top off his amazing night we ended up sharing a table with Vanderbilt University QB Larry Smith Jr and his family.  He was an awesome guy and has great potential to succeed at the college level when it comes his time to lead the offense.  He is a red-shirt freshman from Prattville High School where he was named the state of Alabama’s Mr. Football and lead them to a state 6A title.

Great Food, Great Night

Wisdom from Mr. Magorium

 

Well here I am with another installment of the bald man ramblings.  This Sunday night I went to the movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium at the dollar theater.  Most of the movie was outlandish, maybe better described as a play-land for people with ADD. 

In spite of that, there was one quote in the movie that really made me think. It was when Mr. Magorium tells Mahoney, “Life is an occasion, rise to it.”  Although his point was about succeeding in a worldly sense, God really spoke to me in that moment.  I took it as we are only here on this Earth but a short time, life is but a vapor or an occasion, and while we are here we should rise to that occasion. 

Rising to the occasion as a Christian is not about succeeding financially or stepping up to lead a business but as Paul says in Philippians 3 that we would be found in Him, know Him, fellowship in His sufferings and lay hold of that which Christ saved us for.

I want to rise to the occasion.  I want to lay hold of that which Christ laid hold of me for.  I want my life to be about knowing Him.  I want to be found in Him.  I want my life to reflect back to Him the glory he deserves.  I want to become all he wants me to become.  I want to reach the goal for which he called me heavenward.  I want to be holy. I want to be like Him.

Philippians 3:12 “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”

Next Up: Quotes and discussion from Sam Storms book “One Thing”

A New Me

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I have never been much for the idea of New Years resolutions because rarely do I end up keeping them.  So I am hesitant to call these New Years resolutions, but I had made a few promises to myself and Tiffany about things that I want to do now that I have finally finished seminary.  These are things I have thought about for a long time and have already begun working on since my graduation on December 14.  For so long Seminary has taken a lot of my spare time that normally would be filled with recreation and hobbies.  My desires  not for just 2008, but for the rest of my life here on Earth are:

1.) Memorize more Scripture

2.) Read more for enjoyment

3.) Eat Better

4.) Make working out a part of my life

5.) Do more spontaneous and romantic things for Tiffany

6.) Start collecting autographs again

7.) Attend more events that my students are involved in

Some of these may seem trivial and some if you know me may make you laugh, but I have never felt so free and driven in my entire life. I am already working hard at 2,3,4 and 6 and plan to get on the others starting today.

Small Victories

– I have not had a Soda in 6 days

– I have not had fast food in 6 days

– I have already completed a book this year

– I joined 24 Hour Fitness on December 27 and have been working out hard

– I have been watching my calories and writing down everything I eat since Dec 27

– I have already lost 4 pounds

More updates will come as I go, please help hold me accountable

What Dreams May Come

Have you ever had a really weird dream and wondered where the inspiration for the dream came from?  About a month and a half ago I had a dream that has been intriguing me and if I am honest given me more than one chuckle.  I figured it was time to come clean before all of the world about this amazing journey of dreams.

The dream starts with me riding down the highway in a computer chair.  The computer chair is going at a high rate of speed, like that of a nice sedan or a swift truck.  As the chair rolls down the highway I am shifting gears, as you would in any computer chair, when all of a sudden a squirrel runs out in front of my chair.  If you are not aware, computer chairs do not have breaks, so I ran over the squirrel and decapitated him.  In horror I somehow bring the chair to a stop and go back to check on the squirrel.  As I approach the squirrel, the headless animal rises from the ground and begins to viciously attack my feet.  In protection I begin to furiously kick my feet to fend off the headless monster.  I awake from my dream and I am kicking the snot out of my bed and my heart was beating like no other.  Man it was so real, and so scary, to be honest it is surprising I did not wet myself.

What does it mean???

Who is Influencing the Masses?

I have been thinking about this question, and contemplating who are the top 5 most influential people in the United States? Who are the people who are truly shaping what we think, how we believe, how we function, entertaining us, affecting our way of life? Who are the voices that are being heard the loudest in our society? I would love to hear who you think the 5 people are and why you chose them.

My thoughts are: Oprah Winfrey, George W Bush, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Steven Colbert

What about for teenagers? Who are the top 5 voices they are listening to?