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  • 2014 Horse Stance & Push Up Challenges are UNDERWAY!!

    So shortly before the beginning of the year I joined the fitness website Fitocracy and absolutely love the community and fellowship.
    Before the first of the year I decided it was time to set up an open fitness challenge for any takers. The challenge is to spend 2014 minutes in Horse Stance during 2014!
    You read that right, 2014 minutes. But in reality that breaks down to just over 5-minutes a day of Horse Stance training. Believe me that’s nothing. If you do 1-minute at five different times of the day you have it knocked in short order. The benefits are fantastic for your leg strength, balance and stamina.
    On weekends when things are quiet or when I am stationed in Master Control at work I have taken to doing one minute at the top of every hour for the entirety of the shift (10-hours) or the majority of the day. Now on the bottom of the hour I have am fulfilling another challenge from Fitocracy, the 20014 Push ups in 2014 Challenge. Ya’ 20014!
    I know that sounds like a lot but it amounts to 55-push ups a day. The challenge isn’t the number it’s the consistency. Doing them every day, without fail, week in and week out. Now that’s the challenge.
    If you are looking for a challenge for this year I would recommend both the Horse Stance and Push up challenges. Simply go to Fitocracy and set up a free account. Then in the search bar type in 2014 Horse Stance Challenge!, join the group and then accept the challenge. Do the same thing with the 20014 Push Up challenge and get started on a new you for the new year.

    May the Lord bless you and your house hold.
    John Roche

  • Year in Review: “Taste and see that the Lord is good”

    This is based off of a sermon I recently gave at the Wamego Family Worship Center in Wamego, Ks. Thank you Pastor Pat Green for the opportunity to preach again.

    Psalm 34: A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.

    1 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

    2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
    3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
    4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
    5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
    6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
    7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
    8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
    9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
    10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
    11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
    12 What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
    13 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
    14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
    15 The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
    16 The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
    17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
    18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
    19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
    20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
    21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
    22 The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.  Continue reading  Post ID 151

  • Monergism, pt 1

    I know, you have never heard of the word and sure don’t know what it means. Well it’s like a lot of words in theology, it is the distillation of a ton of concepts and ideas. Over the next few installments I hope to this theological stance up for your.

    The Century Dictionary: "In theology, [monergism is] the doctrine that the Holy Spirit is the only efficient agent in regeneration [the new birth] – that the human will possesses no inclination to holiness until regenerated [born
    again], and therefore cannot cooperate in regeneration."

    In today’s protestant church there is a prevailing notion that we wander through life lost and doomed until one day an evangelist comes and opens the bible you hear what he says and make a discussion to follow Jesus and turn your life around.

    Salvation occurs when you decide to respond to and "alter call" after hearing a great sermon. You go to the front and say a prayer and according to the pastor or deacon or prayer guy you have been saved.

    The problem is this, the bible doesn’t say that salvation happens like that. In fact according to the bible you have nothing to do with your salvation. You not only don’t make the choice you CAN’T make the choice.

    That very fact is why Grace is such an amazing thing.

    So until next time take time to read Ephesians 2:1-10.

    May the Lord bless you and your house hold.

    John Roche

  • Christianity and the Martial Arts, pt 8

    What about Chi & Ki (the force)?

    Chi (or ki) is the most esoteric areas of the Asian martial arts.

    For decades the Chinese have been spending mega bucks on “chi research” using everything from E.K.G.’s to M.R.I.’s. They have been using the extremes like severing the spinal columns of piglets, (1) and then using “chi gung” (2) to try and restore nerve impulses.

    Some studies have returned positive findings for mild electrical forces. But not nearly enough to do anything that chi masters are touted for.

    The elevation of chi to a universal power that can be tapped into and bring you longer life, greater health and the ability to zap a man with you death touch (3) is a sad jump.

    Chi is touted for increasing life span among other things. Yet even masters die at our national average age. The Grandmaster of Pai Te Lung was in his 60s (4) when he died of cancer. He was an avid practitioner of chi gong and tai chi.

    If you read any martial arts mags. you will find a regular flow of obituaries for dead master of both Kung fu and karate that were in there 60′s or 70′s. The national average for all Americans.(5) Chi Gong or not.

    I came from a very “new age” martial arts beginning. Chi and it’s development were high on the list of do’s. We practiced a huge amount of “chi” development exercises. Meditations, Chi Gung, Nei Gung ect.
    Continue reading  Post ID 142

  • Christianity and the Martial Arts, pt7

    But Didn’t Buddha, Confucius and Jesus teach the same things?

    Haven’t we all heard this before?

    It is an amazing fact that people who don’t know, pretend to be wise by saying things like “aren’t they the same!” “There’s really no difference is there?” or “Jesus’ teachings weren’t revolutionary Confucius and Buddha said the same things”.

    Let me be very clear — there is a cavernous gap between the teachings of Zen (1), Chan, (2)  Buddhism (3) , Confucius (4) ect.. and Jesus.

    Yes, they all teach peacefulness, kindness, generosity and the BASIC social teaching. But it is at this point that their paths diverge.

    Buddhism teach that it is by your dedication to abstinence or meditation or other “self controlled” efforts that you will be released into heaven, nirvana or the next level of consciousness. The basic premise is that through your efforts you can attain enlightenment.

    Confucianism teaches a strong ethical and social system, but leaves no room for the work of God the Creator and Jesus the Christ, due to the fact that it is based in man’s ability to behave and act according to an acceptable guideline. As can be seen in the “six ways” of Confucianism: Jen is the golden rule; Chun-tzu the gentleman; Cheng-mingis the roleplayer; Te is virtuous power; Li is the standard of conduct; and Wen encompasses the arts of peace. Continue reading  Post ID 136

  • Christianity and the Martial Arts, pt 6

    What about bowing at my instructors alter?

    Or the Pictures at the front of our school?

    This issue has brought up the ire of more than one instructor.

    In an effort to create a traditional environment many schools have set up their own little alters. When students come in to begin class they are asked to pay homage to the alter. Bowing.

    The difficulty comes for Christians not wanting to offend their instructor and maybe loose their respect. To a hungry student that is scary prospect. “If I don’t bow He might stop teaching me” “What if he makes fun of me.”

    Is bowing before statue of “Buddha” or “dragons” or “incense” really that bad?

    As a believer in Jesus as the only begotten Son of God, we know that a statue is a statue and that there is only one TRUE God.

    The question is “Why would you want to bow before a false god or idol? (1)

    • We are not as Christians to have anything between God and us. (2)
    •  Idols of any type, graven images, money, family, or even the martial arts.
    • Those around us that know we are Christians take our actions as “gospel“(3). If we give credence to idols then we have given them permission to continue in their folly. Possibly to their eternal damnation.
    • Continue reading  Post ID 134

  • Christianity and the Martial Arts, pt 5

      Aren’t Christians supposed to be pacifists?

    There are many misconceptions of Christians that abound in our day.

    • They are cowards (1) and wimps.
    • They are hypocrites. (2)
    • They are detached from the real world. (3)
    • They are militaristic right wing loonies. (4)
    • They are pacifistic pushovers. (5)

    I won’t bother going into the rest (for now) but I will for now park on the first and last.

    Contrary to what many would want to believe about us, most of us are not “weak“, “sniffling pushovers“.

    Christ did not call us to be any man’s doormat.

    In the passage commonly called to the beatitude’s (6) Jesus says:

    • Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.
    • Blessed or the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.

    The word “meek” is also used to describe Jesus and can best be defined as, “calm of temper and not easily provoked” but also implies “power under control“. (The image is that of a powerful horse controlled only by the bit in it’s mouth.)

    As followers of Christ we are to exhibit that control in our lives, to seek peaceful resolutions (7) and, as I’ve said before, show God’s mercy and grace in all of our actions. Continue reading  Post ID 132

  • Christianity and the Martial Arts, pt 4

     Surely you won’t teach it?

    Over the years this has been THE one must discussed areas of my walk with Christ.
    How can I be a follower of Christ Jesus and teach people the martial arts?

    My response: “With great joy”

    One of the major themes of the teaching of our Lord was how we as individuals behave in our daily walk. Whatever our vocation or hobbies or past times, we are to do all things as unto the Lord. (1)

    If you’re currently teaching the arts then you have been trusted with a great gift. The Lord has gifted you as the teacher. (2) Even though you teach the Martial Arts you are first and foremost a servant of the Most High. (3)

    This perspective should never be lost. If you’re salvation does not run through every area of your life (4) then you are quite simply denying the Lordship of Jesus in that area of your life. Jesus had a very straightforward teaching on this. He said in Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

    This is a tough teaching but the point is simple. In every area of our lives we are to endeavor to be witness to the life changing power of the Father Son and Holy Spirit. (5) Continue reading  Post ID 129

  • Christianity and the Martial Arts, pt 3

    Aren’t learning how to kill?

    The martial arts whether Chinese, Okinawan, Japanese or any other, are the practice of combat.

    Martial = “military” or “warring“.


    The usual reason people have for studying kung fu, karate and the like is to learn to defend themselves.  When you start any martial arts you have to start at the beginning.

    More times than not, the teacher will be giving a punch, punch. kick, kick understanding of the style they teach. The idea is to help to students to end a fight quickly and decisively using the most basic and fundamental movements of the art.

    That could mean:

    • Creating so much pain that the attack stops. Usually from being punched or kick.
    • Making it impossible for the attack to continue. Hyper-extending or Breaking arm or a leg.
    • Killing the attacker.

    Obviously, at the lowest levels the practice of most martial arts is violent. Let me clarify.

    The beginning student does not have the skills or control to execute “high-level techniques” (1) anymore than a beginning math student has the ability to do advanced

    A close look at the low-level forms and one steps (at basic levels) will show you a collection of fundamental punches and kicks and blocks, that strive to teach the student.

    But, as Christians (followers and confessors of Jesus as Lord and Savior) we must strive for, in a military term, “less lethal” methods of defense, even at the lowest levels.

    We are to use our lives to show the glory of God. (2) That can only come from a clear example of Christ in our lives. Continue reading  Post ID 116

  • Christianity and the Martial Arts, pt2

    Aren’t the martial arts an Eastern religion?

    Is the practice of Karate, Kung Fu, judo or the like a religion?

    This is a question that causes a lot of distress. For parents and children wanting to study the Martial Arts. And for those who are already studying the martial arts.

    As we look at the history of most martial arts we can easily see strong links to eastern religions. The study of Kung Fu at Shao-lin Temple, the practice of Shinto, Chan Buddhism and Zen (Japanese Chan) in many different styles.

    Today when you enter a kwoon, dojo or dojang in the US you may very well be assaulted by eastern religious ideas and philosophies. This is usually found in the form a Yin/Yang or alter us with Buddha and other Chinese immortals standing on its. Zen banners and sayings hanging on the walls.

    Most of the time the school owner is clueless about their meanings and definitely about the religious connotations. They’re usually trying to market the “Look” and “Feel” of a martial arts school. Much like local retailers to sell crystals and dragons. The only thing they see is the profit. If Christian emblems sold as well or as quickly, you can bet they would be selling them instead. Continue reading  Post ID 114