my life as a student minister


Day 11: I’ve been preparing mentally for this day since I began the whole30 challenge. Laura and I made the decision that we would give a little and enjoy some good ole Thanksgiving food WITHOUT going crazy. I think for the most part we did this, although, I did splurge tonight on some awesome pumpkin cookies/icing my wife makes. Going back to the grind tomorrow. ENJOY!

Thanksgiving Lunch (I took the fat/bacon out the green beans):

Turkey, Ham, Green Beans, tiny spoon of potato and cheese casserole, 2 eggs, tiny spoon of dressing, roll.

Thanksgiving Lunch Dessert:

Small Brownie/Water



Don’t you love it when you try to show someone that you care for them and they get all weird and upset? Just happened to me. That got me thinking about how much communication impacts who we are and how we function. It gets even more complicated when the other person communicates totally different. How do we deal with it? How does this impact our student ministry? My communication with other parents? Think about it.

Have you guys ever had an idea that you think would make a lot of money but would also cause people to stumble. Well….I’m that guy. For some time, I’ve had the idea of creating a couple Christian t-shirts to spark conversation and help witness for Christ, but I know they would cause a lot of controversy. Neither are “wrong,” but both carry with it an idea that certain people just couldn’t handle. I’m sure I would be labelled a “Christian crazy” and my my get a free dinner at the Incredible Pizza company card would be taken away. Oh well….snap! Now that I just typed that, I remembered that I can’t even use that incredible card because it’s not “whole30” compliant. Fail!

This past weekend, I went to a state youth conference called ICYC. Let me tell you…it was the hardest thing ever eating wise! I wasn’t able to prepare any of my meals (or more accurately stated, my wife). We had to eat out every meal and my options had to be between several fast food restaurants so the students could have a choice. On the bright side, I found out that Subway will make you a “sandwich salad” without the bread and anything else you don’t want. I had two of those, a salad at Panera (without all the junk), and actually had a steak one night. I managed to find a couple restaurants near an Applebee’s. The students made fun of me when I broke out my nuts to eat during one of the main sessions, but heck…I was hungry!

Two of our friends decided to drop out of the challenge due to extra money being spent of the food. They needed to lower their food budget even more to save some money and that took out the super healthy stuff. Our food budget has cost more, but it hasn’t been that bad. Tonight I broke down and had a drumstick–my only cheat of 9 days. It was good for about 2 minutes and then I tasted all the chemicals in it. Needless to say, I probably won’t be having one of those for awhile. Clean eat has really changed my view on that type of stuff. No chemicals =’s a healthier Nick. I praise God that he took away the greatness of that ice cream!

Whole30 Recipes

Turkey Sausage
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 apples, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, cut in strips
2 TBSP extra virgin oil
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 lbs cooked Italian sausage

1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray pan with non stick spray.

2. Combine all ingredients except sausage. Coat evenly.

3. Bake in covered pan 35 minutes.

4. Add sausage and continue cooking covered 25 minutes. Until sausage is cooked and potatoes are tender.

Didn’t get a chance to blog yesterday about my meals and experience…it was a really busy day at work. So, I’ll update Day 5 & 6 at the same time. The past two days have been really interesting. What I mean by that is I continue to be amazed at how I’m not craving certain foods that have also been a “crutch” in my life. My mind is still clear although I’ve had some dizzy spells the past two days. The dizzy spells weren’t crazy, but just enough for me to notice. I’m still eating a lot of food so I know I’m doing good calorie wise. I am learning to balance out my protein during the day.

One thing though…I know I’m not supposed to weigh myself on the Whole30 challenge, but I did today and I’ve lost 9 pounds. WOW! 9 pounds and I’m eating 4-6 meals a day….crazy!

Here are a couple pictures of my recent food.

I had a friend take me out to lunch the other day at Qdoba. Here is what I got. They call it a “naked burrito.” No Cheese, No Sour Cream, No Corn/Beans

Laura also made a meal that was introduced to us by our friends. When we looked at the ingredients, we were so happy it was “clean.”  Turkey Sausage, Sauteed Onions, Apples, Sweet Potatoes…this meal was AMAZING!

“Whole30 Challenge” Day 4

Day four of “eating clean” is finished. Wow…today was a transformative day. First, my general cravings for “junk” is almost gone. I do have my moments, but unlike before, I’m not always thinking about eating. Today my mind has really cleared up and allowed me to process things much easier. I don’t feel as if I’m in a sugar daze anymore. I had a steady level of energy today too. Typically, around 2:00 I want to fall asleep. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel that today. Yesterday was pretty rough with stomach cramps and going to the bathroom every five minutes, but all of that is gone now.

People keep asking me if I’m eating healthy. I just laugh. I really believe some people thing that I’m starving myself. To be truthful, I’m eating a lot of food, just clean, chemical-free food. I’m taking pictures of my meals so that you can see that my food is healthy and substantive.

Since my mind is clearer, I spent some time today just thinking and reading Scripture. Today, one of the things I read was from 1 Peter 1:13-16. These verses are our student ministry theme verses for next year. As I re-read them, the words “prepare your minds for action,” “self-controlled,” and “grace” stuck out to me. Through this process my mind is becoming clear to think without unnatural chemical interaction. My glutenous behavior is being “controlled” and finally, God is showing me even more so his grace. Romans 12 comes to mind too. I’m trying to offer my body as a living sacrifice to God. I’m allowing him to work through hunger and desires created by this world (m&m’s, diet coke, etc) to renew me. In the process of all of this, he’s opening up my eyes to HIS greatness in all situations. If you’re reading this, I urge you to challenge the beast of over eating, not respecting our bodies, and reclaim control. Proverbs 22:7 and Romans 13:8 talk about owing people or being a slave to something. I don’t want to owe my happiness to eating certain foods or be a slave to a taste, etc.

Ok…here is my food for the day:

2 hard boiled eggs
1 chicken breast (different seasoning)


El Rodeo-Fajitas (without sour cream, cheese, or the tortilla)

Assorted Nuts

Fajitas (Same as above but including lettuce)

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