Why I Prefer Insanity Over P90X

This is no dig on P90X. 

I know with P90X you can get excellent results. And I am positive muscle confusion and cross training is one of the best ways to get fit. Insanity is mainly max cardio interval training.

Though I have never tried P90X, I personally know many people who have earned great results with it. I’m only a week into Insanity thus far.

But here is why I prefer Insanity over P90X:

I’m Fat

I recently weighed myself at 236 pds. I haven’t been that heavy since I was playing OL/DL during my HS football days; and unlike now, much of that was muscle. So I consider this a pre-emptive strike against love handles and man boobs, before my beautiful wife starts throwing up in her mouth when she catches a glimpse of me naked.

So I need the cardio badly. Instead of “getting ripped” I’d rather be able to run around the yard with my son without pulling a hamstring. Functional fitness is what I want. If I’m walking down the street and random flash mob pickup ultimate frisbee/touch football game breaks out I will be physically ready to dominate.

Shaun T is Not Annoying

Shaun T (Insanity) and Tony Horton (P90X) are both encouraging, intense, and informed. They both work for the Beachbody organization. But this is what separates Shaun T from Tony Horton: He is not annoying. If an intense program is going to push me to the brink of puking near every vid I don’t want to add to that the emotional anguish of a goofy drill instructor. If I am going to invite someone into my home by DVD every night his voice shouldn’t be a jack hammer to my last nerve. 

Left: Stallion Right: Dork

If I wanted to endure an entire hour of bad jokes I’d simply watch George Lopez.

Shaun T is like the cool big brother you never had, if your mom was black and your dad played middle LB for the Pittsburgh Steelers of course.

I Don’t Want My Son to Bust His Head Open

P90x calls for bands, weights, mats, pull up bars, etc. All you need for Insanity is gravity. It is not rare for my Insanity workouts to be conducted in nothing but a pair of sneakers and boxer briefs. When I want it to go away I just hit the stop button on the remote.

My son, Josiah, will even playfully attempt to join in during Insanity. I’m just glad I don’t have to worry about him cracking his head open on some dumbbells, or the frame of my door crashing down on him because of the crushing weight of my fat butt.

I’m ADD

Insanity guarantees results in 60 days; P90X is a 90 day program. I’ve never been one for longterm goals, so the shorter the payoff the more motivated I am. Insanity workouts are also a little shorter than P90X workouts. Something this action packed and intense has to melt the fat off.

I’m Fat

Whoops, already mentioned that one.

I could probably add “I’m vain” to the list. I guess there is always that bent towards superficiality in the human nature. So I’ll add it here: I’m vain.

 Have a blessed and healthy summer!

Bryan Daniels

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Dear Harold Camping: Repent and Believe the Gospel…

Well, that was anticlimactic…

The worst mathematician to ever charade as a false prophet...

 

The obvious and timeless words of Christ still stand as a rebuke to all false prophets (Camping), cults (Jehovah’s Witnesses) and date setters in general:

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” Matthew 24:36

So we may need to put off worry about canker sores, gold rushes, and lonely cats for another day. The loony meanderings of an old man aside, Jesus’ eternal call to the world (including Camping) still stands as clear and concrete as it ever did:

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

Unfortunately, Harold Camping has no part of this repentance in his personal life for being so tragically and publicly wrong.

One retired couple budgeted their entire life savings to last no later than May 21st so they could move to Orlando and live as Camping “missionaries” the past couple years. Others spent every last dime on donations to Family Radio or its propaganda literature. Millions of dollars have been spent by many average gullible American citizens to prop up May 21st as Rapture Day. Harold Camping is solely responsible for the fleecing of thousands of his sheep.

Word out of his radio ministry was that as May 21st ensued uneventfully Camping was “flabbergasted.” But just two days later his message changed again. Now, in order to save face with his most maniacal followers he will just keep conveniently changing the date. Third times a charm I guess!  

Until our next Rapture Ready countdown (October 21st!) God bless you and keep you.

Bryan Daniels

If The Rapture Happens This Saturday (A Brief Survival Guide For the UNbeliever)

(This post is not a dig on my brethren who subscribe to a pretribulational rapture; just a dig on cooky old men who twist Scripture)

Harold Camping is certain this Saturday, March 21, will be the day of the rapture-an event that supposes millions of Christians (the church) will be caught up in the sky with Christ so that God can pour out his wrath on the world in judgment for the next seven (or so) years. This awful period will be a time of great worldwide war, famine, disease, and death on an exponential level. Upon completion of this “great tribulation”, Christ returns in a final Coming with the church to set up His millenial kingdom of righteousness.

Despite Jesus testifying “no one will know the day or hour” or that the day “will come as a thief in the night,” Camping still claims absolute perfect knowledge concerning the secrets of the end times. He uses his “Family Radio” program to spread his end times propaganda. Not surprisingly, he’s been wrong about the rapture before. In 1992, he published the book “1994?” which posited that date as a rapture possibility. Being  sadistically fixated with numerology, Camping just chalked up that little miscalculation to his math being off a bit.

Why can’t the ole guy just use those retired engineering math skills for nursing home Sudoku competitions instead of a global wide heretical conspiracy theory?

Camping, 89 years old (!), used to be a member of the orthodox Christian Reformed church. The Octogenarian prophet had a sharp departure with that church in 1988 and immediately claimed all organized churches to be apostate. Like his spiritual kinsfolk, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Camping has an insatiable thirst for “date setting” and deciphering the “hidden” meaning behind every biblical text.

But, in the off-chance Camping is right(he’s not!) I have compiled a brief rapture survival kit. This three point list is for the benefit of non believers in the next seven years.

Don’t get canker sores….on your privates….

From the formidable e-files of “Rapture Ready” I have gleaned this gem regarding the mark of the beast:

If you do take the mark (of the beast) then nothing can be done for you—you will suffer the malignant ulcer making the rest of your life almost unbearable. Did you ever have a canker sore in your mouth? If so, then you know how painful that one little canker sore was. Now think of having canker sores all over your body, on your genitalia, in your mouth. Think how painful and unbearable your life will be.

Yeah, think about it…unless you’re eating something right now.

Buy Gold…lot’s of it…NOW!

From the same source (Rapture Ready) we get these economic insights for those left behind:

Save up for yourself gold; gold has always had value as money and always will, even in a cashless society. Identify one of these profiteers and seek to purchase food and living supplies from him. However, don’t ever disclose to him how much gold you have and where it is. You want to be more valuable to him as a dealer than as a bounty. By the way, you will have a price on your head for not taking the mark. Obviously you won’t be living an open life, as you will be in hiding somewhere at a remote location or in the forest on the outskirts of a large city. Your only goal will be to eat to live and hope to escape the militia hunting for you and those like you. Should you get caught, your fate will be either death or slavery.

You better buy gold now, otherwise you will be buying it from Glenn Beck and Gordon Liddy then. The American dollar will only be good for toilet paper…if it was softer…

Or you could just link up with this lone ranger named “Eli.” Dude will go straight gangsta on every militia and cannibal family on the Armageddon landscape.

Also, Take Care of Miss Priss for me

As if you didn’t have enough to worry about with genitalia canker sores and a starving family you can also opt to be a pet caretaker for those whisked away by the rapture. “After the Rapture Pet Care” is a real service that ensures all Christians pets will be taken care of by an unbeliever post rapture. The site also has a hilarious selection of shirts, coffee mugs, bibs and random crap with pictures of cats and dogs peering out windows with a worried countenance.

Even if you can’t afford such a responsibility, you can always use the service as free source of meat. House pets will no longer be restricted to Asian cuisine in the tribulation.  

I leave you with this chilling video piece made by our friends at “After Rapture Pet Care.” 

Dementia induced prophecies aside, I hope to see you in the Lord’s house this Sunday. God willing of course. ; )

Bible Contradictions: How to Hate Your Mom While Honoring Her (Luke 14:26)

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26

I’ll admit it. This isn’t one of the few verses my wife and I have tried to commit to my three-year old son’s formative sponge like memory.

I don’t remember it being stressed by my parents in my early childhood either, though I do recall a reference or two to the fifth commandment: “Honor thy mother and father…” (Exodus 20:12)

I imagine many parents wouldn’t appreciate the questions an inquiring six-year-old mind could muster up with a reading of Luke 14:26. But six-year olds who refuse to eat their greens aren’t the only ones with questions regarding this verse.

Many skeptics would make the claim that Luke 14:26 is a direct contradiction of Exodus 20:12 and Ephesians 6:2:

“‘Honor your father and mother’ — which is the first commandment with a promise.”

(To read my first post on Bible contradictions go here)

Skeptics and Six Year Olds Unite!

The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible tries to make the point for six-year olds. The SAB commentary says the command in Luke 14:26 is a blatant contradiction, “against family values”, and cruel in its intent. It is interesting how so many contemporary minds with no theological training claim exclusive interpretive authority when dissecting the meaning of verses. I wonder if they give the same respect and authority to pastors who may have an opinion on the origins of life (I digress).

To assume this skeptical stance on Luke 14:26 one would have to assume the word for “hate” in the Bible must only be restricted to its modern meaning: to despise, loathe or detest.

If “hate” is only restricted the 21st century understanding of the term, then Jesus never practiced such abhorrence against his madre. In reality, Christ ensured his mom was fully taken care of as he hung on the cross in his waning moments (John 19:25-27).

Jesus refused to subject his mother to a tired life of shuffleboard and Old Testament crossword puzzles. He loved her.

When the Rich Young Ruler inquired of eternal life one of Christ’s commands to him was to, “honor your mother and father” (Matthew 19:19).

How can we reconcile the command of Christ to honor our parents on one hand with the command of Christ to hate them in the other?

I Love Your Guts Less

A little historical language study would do the skeptic well here. It is well known that in ancient Jewish idiom, hate could also mean “love less.” Genesis 29:30-31 is a perfect example of this:

“Jacob also went in to Rachel, and he also loved Rachel more than Leah.” Yet, in the next verse the Bible says, “And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, He opened her womb” (29:31, KJV). Jacob did not despise, detest, and treat Leah like an arch-enemy, as in the modern use of the word “hate.” Instead, he simply loved Rachel more than he loved Leah.

When  the love/hate contrast is paired together in ancient Eastern literature many times it is speaking not in terms of affection/disdain but of greater love/lesser love.

Numerous Greek scholars have added their combined years of study to the discussion to testify that the word “hate” (miseo) in Luke 14:26 does not mean “an active disdain,” but means “to love less.” For instance, E.W. Bullinger, in his work, “Figures of Speech Used in the Bible”, described the word “hate” in Luke 14:26 as hyperbole. He rendered the word as meaning “does not esteem them less than me.”

The point is not about actively hating one’s parents, it’s about loving Christ more than anyone or thing in the world, even the most intimate relationships we share on earth. If we love our parents more than we love Christ then we make them an idol. To make anyone an idol of our affection is not real love since it is not putting first the God who is Love.

Jesus clarifies everything

The “love less” sentiment of Luke 14:26 is found in the words of Christ in Matthew 10:37:

Matthew 10:37:

“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”

Luke 14:26 is a shocking way to say Christ should be supreme in all things, even in a child’s natural affection for his mother. Christ graciously used such radical statements to awaken us out of our hard hearted stupor. Such verbosity was necessary to penetrate our darkened dull hearts.

Luke 14:26 is simply another way of stressing the greatest commandment to us: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).

When we love Christ above all, we point people to Christ and His undying love in the gospel. And in this way we truly honor people…especially our moms.

Bryan Daniels

Doghouse Diaries: My Escape From The End of Year Madness

Doghouse Diaries is becoming one of my favorite internet humor stops.

I believe there is a lot of e-wisdom expressed in the above illustration. I have found internet scuffles rarely have an edifying effect on either party. In many cases the general rule before commenting on anything of substance should be asking yourself this: “If I read this same comment from someone else would I feel the urge to punch them in the throat?”

And I also relate to the sentiment in this graph (DD has a hilarious plethora of such graphs):

I don’t know how many ultimate frisbee/pick up football games I participated in college but I do know how many I have participated in since: not much more above 0. I am sure this fact has actually worked to protect my pride in some self-serving way so I should be thankful. I am alot more fatter and slower than I used to be.

Regardless, I’m looking forward to this summer where I may be able to offer more to this blog than just sporadic random musings. But for another week at least my life is focused primarily on loving a wife, taking care of two baby boys, teaching linear equations to seventy kids, and coaching spring football (I’ll be joyfully doing the first two items for the duration of my life I assure you).

In the meantime, don’t take yourself too seriously.

Peace.

Bryan Daniels

Bible Contradictions: To Answer Or Not To Answer A Fool (Proverbs 26:4-5)

‘Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.’ Proverbs 26:4-5

(Note: Hebrew terms of “fool” and “foolish” describe a person who does not believe in God and is ignorant of wisdom based on God’s moral standard.)

Some modern critics assume the ancients were flat-out stupid. Case in point, after a brief glance at Proverbs 26:4-5 an objection may be raised along the lines of: “Look! An obvious contradiction in the very next verse! The Bible cannot be trusted…” And so a superficial argument has been framed.

But the ancients were not stupid.

The author of Proverbs actually intended to pair these seemingly contradictory verses together. And what these verses propose is not a logical contradiction, but a dilemma for the reader. It is a proposal of two choices. Proverbs 26:4-5 reveals two wise and effective ways to deal with a fool given the specific circumstance, and either way could be pertinent when the options are thoughtfully weighed.

‘Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him’

Some will outright reject any claim of the historical authority the Bible. Because of their contemporary secular presuppositions, some critics assume any argument with Biblical foundations must be deemed ridiculous.

When the debate format has been framed without using the Bible (evidential apologetics), the Christian has already conceded that the critic’s apologetic approach is a valid ground to start. It’s not. Secular critics may cry for objectivity and neutrality when debating; but they are neither objective nor neutral. No one is. Neither should the Christian be in an attempt to appear amicable.

Objectivity is a myth.

If a Christian takes up the approach of his critics the debate will spiral downward in to an incessant match of evidence regurgitation. After both of sides have exhausted all the contemporary arguments for and against evolution, the resurrection, and bible validity, still nothing has changed.

The critic leaves satisfied, because the Christian took the bait and accepted the game even though the deck was stacked.

In that case a fool was answered according to his folly. Or, to borrow the words of Jesus, the Christian has casted his pearls before swine (Matthew 7).

In this case, silence is preferable. A closing of the mouth may speak volumes of godly rebuke.

 ‘Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.’

Again, this seems to be a surface level contradiction when compared with v. 4. But remember one of the principles of the book of Proverbs is this: Wisdom only comes to those who diligently and desperately seek it (Proverbs 2:1-5). Wisdom does not come to those who would lazily cherry pick a verse as cheap ammo against bible authority.

It should be noted that there are many interpretive disciplines to employ when taking up Scripture, such as grammatical nuances, historical context, literary genre, and authorial intent. The secular critic rarely employs any of these when reading into the meaning of alleged contradictions.

Verse 4 may also be presented like this: ‘Answer not a fool according to his own presuppositions, lest you be like him’

When both sides apologetic foundations are addressed it may be time to proceed with debate. When a critic believes his arguments are above reproach then the Christian should expose his subjective presuppositions with the only unchanging foundational truth: the Bible.

For example: If the critic believes they evolved by chance (unguided natural process), then the Christian may need to point out that their processes of logic also evolved by chance. So ultimately, the critic can’t be sure they are even asking the right questions. Even more, they can’t be certain they are capable of knowing with certainty the answers. The critic has no ground to stand on but the randomly programmed chemical reactions of the 8 pounds of tissue between his ears.

How can the Christian be certain their logic has ground in historical reality? The Christian appeals to something outside of self. To the true abiding eternal word that has never changed and reveals the design and mind of God. The Christian stands on the firm foundation of God’s word. The pinnacle of the Bible is the glory of God as revealed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When the fool’s error is exposed using God’s living word he is forced to an impasse: submit to it or scorn it. If there is a softness of heart and open door to a clear presentation of the gospel you have been right in answering the fool according to his folly.

Without the goal of the biblical gospel, apologetics becomes nothing more than intellectual one upmanship.

Defending the faith should always be done humbly and boldly (1 Peter 3:15).

So there are times you should answer a fool and there are times you shouldn’t. It depends on the nature of the fool.

Is there evidence of grace in the fool’s words, demeanor, and person? Answer him according to his folly. Is there only an insulting scorn and hardness in the fool’s discourse? Do not answer him according to his folly.

How can you discern when and how to answer a fool? That takes Holy Spirit-born Bible-saturated wisdom. This divine wisdom must be prayerfully and intensely sought before God.

Such wisdom doesn’t come cheap or easy. But the truth is neither cheap or easy. Otherwise it would be an easy sell.

As wise Solomon once said in Ecclesiastes 3:7: There is a time to speak and a time to shut up. There is a season for everything.

Bryan Daniels