If “personnel is policy” …

Very happy about this, and working for better things.

If personnel is policy, then biography matters, and work ethic matters, and character matters. Without going into too much detail at this point, I want to talk about the transformation that I’ve undergone in the last 18 months or so.

The photos nearby tell a bit of the tale. The photo on the left shows me and my belly in July 2014. That was a natural development, the result of being married for almost three decades, raising six kids, working, eating the typical American diet. The photo on the right shows me about a month ago – 20 lbs trimmer, while having added a lot of muscle. (Which means that I lost more than 20 lbs of fat!)

What the photos don’t show is the sorrow and grief I experienced when my wife died in June 2015, and that I experienced for much of the year afterward. I started walking a lot to try to ease the pain – I have always walked a lot – but there was no easing the grief except through time, and even that has its ups and downs.

I joined a gym in October that year. For a while I worked out in the evenings; after a few months, I switched to 5:00 am workouts. There are fewer people in the gym during those times, and it’s easier to stay on a regular schedule.

More recently, I’ve been on a kind of “Younger Next Year” plan – working out or doing some form of walking and jogging six days per week. According to the authors, “six days a week” is the only way (and the best way) to maintain and even improve your quality of life as you enter into your 50’s and beyond.

Nothing comes easy in life, it seems. Still, it is possible to say with Tennyson’s Ulysses:

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

5 thoughts on “If “personnel is policy” …

  1. First off John, allow me to express sincere sympathy over the loss of your wife in 2015. May the Lord continue bless every facet of your life with his omnipotent grace.

    Given your expertise in early church history, I wondered what you might direct me to read that I may understand an accurate genesis of the RCC, knowing of the significant differences held between Protestants and Catholics. I recently heard from Kenneth Samples (Reasons to Believe) suggesting “The Christian Tradition: a history of the development of doctrine, vol1.” (in the words of at least one modern theologian, that body today has become an “apostate body”.) I suppose I am wondering if that’s an accurate descriptor since it’s inception?

    I also suspect that many evangelicals et al feel the tension between that church’s ‘works of mercy’ around the world over against its (mal)treatment of believers, e.g., in Chiapas , Mexico.

    Thanking you John if you have time to answer at your convenience. I appreciate your contributions to Triablogue.

  2. Hi Barry, thanks for your kind comment. How do you mean, “an accurate genesis of the RCC”? It was of course a long process, with a lot of different things happening. The biggest was the uniquely Roman identity of the papacy, which claimed more and more authority, beginning primarily with the mid 300’s. I would not say it was “apostate since its inception”. More likely after the Reformation at the council of Trent.

  3. Hi John, I am sorry to read of your wife’s passing. Your name actually popped up on a FB page where a group of us have gathered to discuss our journey with CMML. Would you be interested in joining the group? Your words have already been an encouragement to many of us. Adding you to my prayer list…

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