Five Things You Didn’t Know About Me

November 3, 2008

1. I will eat all fruit peels. I don’t know if it’s from an overzealousness for Bear Grylls, but I’m convinced that all fruit peels and skins are healthy and full of, as Bear says, “veet-tah-minhs”. Orange peels, banana peels, watermelon rines, and even those strawberry stems are all fair game. Pineapples, however, are excluded.

One of these, you don’t eat the outside.

2. I can come up with some really stupid diet plans. During college, one of my healthy-diet crazes included eating vegetable curry for every meal over the course of a month. I cooked all the curry and filled a whole large kimchee jar and for each breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I would partake from what would eventually transform into a brown goop. From this experience, I also learned a trick to counter your cravings for sweets. One week, I had a huge craving for cheesecake. My hypothesis is that your enjoyment of food only comes from what you taste in your mouth before you swallow. Everything you swallow feels to same to you, right? If you eat fried chicken or a bowl of vegetables, they both feel the same after you swallow. So with that knowledge, I attempted to counter my cravings for cheesecake, but also maintain my healthy diet, by putting a piece of cheesecake in my mouth, allowing my tastebuds to enjoy the rich delicious taste but then quickly spitting it out and rinsing my mouth. Needless to say, a very good cheesecake was wasted down the drain.

Curry isn’t very good after the 40th meal.

3. I am really into fantasy novels. When I was in middle school and high school, I loved reading books from The Forgotten Realms series and The DragonLance series. My favorite author is R.A. Salvatore. He wrote great books, his most popular about a dark elf named Drizzt Do’urden. Drizzt kicked major butt. He carried two scimitars who he named Icingdeath and Twinkle. He also had a stone that, when needed, would turn into a panther named Guenhwyvar. Drizzt would totally own Harry Potter. But really, I’m not a nerd.

Drizzt > Harry Potter.

4. I love yoga. Yoga has to be one of my favorite ways to exercise. Nothing has taught me how weak and unflexible I am more than when I started to take yoga. It is honestly a great way to build up your core strength and really fun. Try it out.

The downward dog pose. Hurts a lot pose.

5. I really like interior design and Bravo’s Top Design. One of my favorite things to do when I was little was to rearrange my room. This allowed me to be creative with the placement of my furniture, wall hangings, and acessories. I think I rearranged my room once a month. The one thing that I’ve enjoyed the most doing when I moved from San Diego, was being able to organize my room. So far, my favorite project has been making my own bulletin boards. I always wanted a corkboard for my room to post up notes and pictures. I went to OfficeDepot and saw that they were ridiculously expensive. The size I was looking for was priced at $40. So, I decided to construct my own. I went over to a supply store and bought myself a large roll of cork which costed me $8. I mounted the cork onto cardboard that I had lying around at home. I then found some nice antique looking picture frames from the local Goodwill Thrift store for $6 each. I then glued the corkboards I made into the frames and the finished product, I think, looks quite good. Plus it only costed me $20 to make both of them.

 

My finished project.

bach nguyen design©

September 7, 2008

 

Check out my recently created graphic art portfolio at:

http://bachdesign.wordpress.com

bach.n.design@gmail.com

LBC Cafe Night: Stand Up

July 31, 2008

Special thanks to David Jung for recording and uploading this.

Minor(ly Read) Prophets: a study of Hosea

July 20, 2008

As some of you may know, my favorite book of the bible is Habakkuk. From that has stemmed a heavy interest on the other minor prophets, in part due to the fact that many of these books are rarely mentioned in sermons and frankly, rarely read. This is my attempt towards an expository study of each of the thirteen books, starting with Hosea. This will be primarily for my own personal study and devotional time.

Coming soon.

Working Out to the Glory of Bod or God?

July 16, 2008

A year ago, I exited college a largely excited man entering into the life of searching for work and wifey. Little did I realize how large I would leave college.

I entered my freshman year at UCSD at a normal weight of 135lbs. I remember hearing about the horrors and terrors of “freshman fifteen”, where first year students would generally gain an average of fifteen pounds their first year of college. Unfortunately for me, I joined the Freshman Fifteen Club prematurely after my first quarter in college.

( before college 2003, in the blue)

I don’t recall learning much my freshman year in college. But what I did learn was that OVT had breakfast burritos until 1am and california burritos, pollo asada fries, and In’n’Out burgers were absolutely delicious.

I finished my freshman year weighing 185lbs and thus the Freshman Fifty Club was born.

A year ago, I graduated college weighing at my all-time-high-score of 197lbs.


Since then, I’ve dedicated myself to a healthy diet and a consistent weight-training routine. In a year I have lost 40lbs of fat and gained about 20lbs of muscle and am in the best shape since entering UCSD.

What was once a struggle to eat healthy has now become a daily routine. But what I wasn’t expecting or ready for was how exercise and being fit offered new struggles which might seem very trivial and contrite. But as a Christian, I would humbly have to deal with them. Here is what I have learned through my experience.

“for bodily discipline is only of little profit but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8 (emphasis added)

As Americans we are bombarded daily with advertising for being fit. Whether it be the newest fads in dieting or the newest gear to get you stronger, over the past few years, there has been a heavy emphasis on proper eating and physical exercise that has caused many, myself including, to examine their lifestyles. But what is problematic is when Christians become out of balance by putting too much emphasis on the physical man while neglecting the spiritual man. This is one area that I struggled with greatly. I pursued exercise so devotedly that it was my greatest discipline. I worked out everyday from 9:30pm to 11pm except Sundays. I made a schedule of when I would eat, what I would eat, how much I would eat, and even calculated the amount of fat, calories, protein, and carbohydrates I was consuming. I was so good at keeping a routine. I was so good at being on time with everything. I was so disciplined. If only I showed equal attention to spiritual things. Regretfully, while my physical body was getting healthier, my spiritual body was decaying. I put so much emphasis on exercise that, unknowingly, it turned into idolatry. Instead of worshiping God the Father, I focused my worship towards my routine. I traded in a disciplined life of prayer, Bible reading, and evangelism for a disciplined life of bench presses, barbell curls, and triceps extensions. I fed myself with a prescription of protein shakes, salads, chicken, and fish instead of feeding myself with the Word of God and the fellowship with other believers. Sadly, I loved the thought of working out more than thoughts on God.

“And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.” Deuteronomy 4:19 (emphasis added)

What was especially hard for me was acknowledging that working out was turning into a form of idolatry. I made excuses saying, “How can it be an idol when it’s good for you?”. But isn’t that where idols usually generate from? God has blessed us with so much good. We have been blessed financially, we have been blessed with family and friends, we are blessed by the roofs over our heads, we are blessed with so much abundance. Idolatry forms when we focus our attention on blessings instead of the One who blesses. In my case, my attention was predominantly on the blessings of my health instead on the One who blesses me with my health.

“Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe one with rags.” Proverbs 23:20-21(emphasis added)

The other extreme is when you are so spiritually-minded that you neglect your body by eating unhealthily, gluttony, or a lack of exercise. Gluttony seems to be a sin that Christians like to ignore. We are quick to label smoking and drinking as sins, but gluttony seems to be more accepted or at least tolerated within Christians and within the church. Why is that? Many Christians would never even consider the notion of smoking a cigarette or drinking alcohol, but have no qualms about gorging themselves at the dinner table to the point where they can eat no longer. This was especially evident my first year in college as I even prided myself in my ability to eat great amounts of food. Whether it be going to El Coti’s and eating three burritos in one sitting or setting the In’n’Out record of eating a 17×17, surely my eating habits were a prime example of gluttony.

“put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.” Proverbs 23:2 (emphasis added)

I believe that our physical appetites are an analogy of our ability to control ourselves. If we are unable to control our eating habits, it may be safe to assume that we are unable to control other habits that are sinful such as lust, covetousness, and anger. We are not to let our appetites control us, but rather we are to control our appetites. Galatians 5 teaches us of the fruits of the Spirit common to all believers. One of the fruits of the Spirit noted is “self-control”. As Christians, I believe it is important to display self-control in all things including our appetites. So does eating at a buffet not glorify God? Does that mean that if you eat over the suggested serving size noted on your food label, you are disobeying God? Clearly, each person has their own varying amount of food that their body needs to consume based on size, height, weight, and even sex. But, I do believe that we know when we have eaten too little, just enough, or too much. As I learn more about the sin of gluttony, I think that it’s more and more important to identify when you have consumed more than needed.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (emphasis added)

1 Timothy 4:8 instructs us that physical training is of value but godliness is of greater value. What it does not instruct us is that physical training is of no value. There is importance in physical training and exercise. Ephesians 5:29 states, “for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church”. Notice that we are to nourish our bodies and cherish our bodies. While this may not directly command us to exercise and work out, what it does promote is to treat our bodies with care and love “just as Christ also does the church”. We are taught to be stewards of what God has given us. This isn’t limited to our money and possessions but we are to be stewards of our bodies as well. Glorify God in your body.

So, how can I work out and eat to the glory of God?

1. Pray. Pray that you would have the right attitude when you exercise. Acknowledge God as the Giver who grants you the health to serve and enjoy. Keep your priorities in line. A healthy physical man does not make a healthy spiritual man.

2. Listen to a sermon. I find that a sermon is perfect to listen to while you work out. Depending on who’s preaching, each sermon should be around 45 minutes, the same amount of time a good workout should take. Of course, if you listen to a message by Pastor John, you may have to lengthen your workout.

3. Bring a friend. Fellowship together while you exercise. I’ve made many friendships from meeting people at the gym or by just helping someone else be disciplined in exercising.

4. Eat healthy. Fast food is no good. Cook your own food. Read the nutritional facts on what you buy at the super markets. Learn the different types of fats and carbohydrates. And don’t overeat.

5. Play basketball. Once or twice a week many of the church guys go out to play basketball. Not only is it great exercise but the ministry of sports is especially great for guys to get to know each other. There is something about playing with a ball that enables guys to build friendships. I don’t know what the equivalent is for girls. My guess is playing with makeup.