Furnished or Unfurnished? by Dan Case

I have had a lot of fun this year getting to see a lot of really cool homes. I find it interesting what people prefer while viewing a property that they might purchase. Obviously cleaning the place up is a good starting point, and one that is often skipped for some reason. But what about personal items and decorations? Should you "stage" a property to draw in buyers?  While in homes this year I have FOUND some interesting items! Below are a few pictures I took while walking through homes with clients this year. I've seen interesting decorations, strange pets that make terrifying noises, the smallest plunger ever made, and many amazing portraits!

My question for you is the: When viewing a home or condo is it easier to imagine your stuff in a place when it's furnished or unfurnished? Are you more of a blank canvas person or does it help to see how a couch or table fits in a certain area? Leave a comment below to let me know.

The importance of being Pre-Approved.... by Dan Case

In the current Central Ohio housing market being pre-approved is vital. With the market being saturated with buyers and the home inventory low, getting a great house at a great price takes great timing. May homes that hit the market are going into contract within days of being listed. In many situations buyer have a few days to present their highest and best offers to see if they can get a contract signed. Being pre-approved is going to help you be ready to make a great offer and get the home of your dreams. Here a few reasons to get pre-approved for a home loan.

1. Lets you know how much house you can afford. Being pre-approved will help you know what houses to look at. Although you may like that $440K house your budget can only stomach one in the $220K price rage. When you know what you can spend you can focus your home search and spend time looking at homes in your range.

2. Lets sellers know you are serious. In a multiple offer scenario, submitting an offer with your per-approval letter attached helps the seller see that your offer is legit. Compared to an offer that says "proof of pre-approval to be submitted in 3 days" your offer would stand out and move towards the top of the list. 

3. Lets you know the type of loan you qualify for. You might want to get an FHA or VA loan to help with a lower down payment. Knowing whether or not you qualify for one is something you need to know in the beginning of the home buying process not after you start looking at homes. Also if you are looking into a condo some condo associations are not FHA approved. Once your agent knows what kind of loan you want they can help you find the perfect home to fit those requirements. 

The pre-approval process is pretty easy, Jon and I have some great lender contacts if you are wanting to get some more information about getting pre-approved. Let us know what questions you have and we can get you started!

The art of buying a condo... by Dan Case

Buying a condo may seem like an easier process than buying a single family home but that's not always the case. Technically speaking when you own a condo you own the right to the "air space" in between the walls. That sounds nice and maintenance free doesn't it?  In a lot of ways it is but before you buy a condo here are a few things to consider and look into. 

1. Get a hold of important Condo Association Documents.

Be sure that your agent builds in time for you to look over documents like the Rules & Regulations, By Laws & Declarations, Financial Statements, Articles of Incorporation, & Insurance Declarations when writing a contract on a condo. There is a lot of valuable information in these documents that you will want to know. These documents will let you know what your condo fee covers and if it's been increased in recent years. A look at the financials may show a dip in reserves as well they could warrant special assessments that you might become liable for. Also you will see what is truly your responsibility, may times things like windows and doors are not covered and would be your responsibility if a repair was needed. Spend the time and read the documents.

2. Get a Home Inspection.

While it may seem that owing a condo will limit your responsibility as a owner there are still major home components that you will be responsible for. Examples of these would be heating & air condition units, kitchen appliances, and electrical & plumbing issues. If the condo has a basement you will also want to get a Radon gas inspection. These are important steps to never skip even thought there is some cost involved in getting the inspections done. Even though many of the structural aspects of the building would be covered by the association there are a lot of items you would responsible for as the owner. 

3. Get information about Financing Options. 

If you need to get a loan for a condo it's important to know a few things about the association that you will be a part of. First of all if a low down payment mortgage is what you are after you must make sure that the condo association in question is FHA approved, if not there are some other low down payment conventional loans available as well. Also you will want to know what percentage of the condo's in the association are rented rather than than owner occupied. Your lender may have specific guidelines and percentages that associations must stay under for your loan to be approved.

All in all owning a condo can be a great experience and in many cases a great investment. Just be sure to do your homework and enlist the help of a Realtor that can guide you step by step in the process. The condo market is heating up in Columbus, OH and in many cases you can be an owner of a condo for the price that you are paying in rent. Let us know if we can help your start a search or answer any questions.

It's a Seller's Market, how to be ready as a Buyer.... by Dan Case

image.jpg

In Columbus, OH the home inventory remains low (6,010 active listings at the end of 2015/down 30.5%) which has caused a very competitive and challenging market for Buyers. One of our first clients of this year experienced losing out on a condo that had been on the market less than a week. We submitted a clean, full price offer and still missed out!

This kind of market can cause a number of challenges for prospective buyers. With sites like Zillow and Trulia being delayed (sometimes up to 3 days) with thier listing information you could easily miss out on the home of your dreams. So what's the quickest and most effective way to be on top of what's on the market? Let a Realtor® go to work for you. Being a member of the Columbus REALTORS gives me access to the MLS (Multiple Listings Service) which is the fastest most accurate way to know what is happening in the market. It has tools that allow me to set you up with daily emails to keep you up to speed with what's going on in the Central Ohio housing market. 

If you are seriously looking for a home let Jon and I help you navigate a market that is starting to heat up. Home inventory is going to be growing as the weather turns to Spring, be ready to find the home you have been dreaming about. We can have you prepared to be seeing homes and getting showings as soon as they hit the market. We can also help negotiate contracts that protect your interests while making solid offers that can't be ignored by Sellers. Don't realize a escalation clasue should have been used after the home you wanted is already in contract with another buyer. Let our team help you find "Home."

Customer or Client? Which are you? by Dan Case

Most of us know what's it's like to be a Customer. As I started writing this blog post I was sitting in a restaurant waiting for my food to be brought to my table. While there I over heard my server greet the customers at the table next to me. It was a husband and wife probably in their mid 60's. As the server approached the table he said "How are you two ladies doing today?"....... Now in his defense the husband was wearing a white sweatshirt with a wolf portrait on it and he had curly white hair. We know what's it's like to be a Customer don't we? Many days it seems like customer service is a lost art. I don't know about you but I enjoy and reward excellent customer service, I notice it and try to verbalize my appreciation when it's done well. In real estate there two main designations that are given to buyer's and seller's in a real estate transaction. Customer or Client. The designation you have depends on the type of Agency relationship you have with a real estate brokerage. If you are a Client you know it. You would know that you were based upon documents that you would sign early on in the listing/buying process. Being a Client means something significant in real estate, it's a special type of relationship not found in many other professions. In a moment we will talk about the differences between Clients and Customers in real estate and I hope this post helps you better understand how important it is to know the difference.

Sometimes when buying a home you may not realize that the designation of Client is even available and what it means for you. A listing agent (the agent selling a home) truly has only one Client in regards to a particular listing.  The listing agent's Client is the homeowner. If you were to contact that agent about buying that home the listing agent would treat you as the Customer. This is an important things to know going into a transaction because real estate agents treat Customers and Clients VERY differently. Lets look at the difference it makes being a Customer vs. being a Client. Here are the responsibilities a real estate agent has to each:

Customer: Fairness & Honesty

Client: Obedience, Loyalty, Disclosure, Confidentiality, Accountability, & Reasonable Care/Diligence

Now as you look at the differences between how a Customer and a Client are treated in a real estate transaction which would you rather be? Remember that buying/selling a house is one of the biggest decisions you will make. Again I ask, which would you rather be? If Agent Sally was the listing agent for 123 E. Main St. her Client would be the homeowner, if you approached her about buying that house you would be her Customer. That means that while she will be fair and honest with you her main goal is to take care of her Client, the homeowner. Which means your wants and needs are not the listing agent's concern. If you were the buyer would this be the best way to buy this home? Do you think you would get it for a good price? Would you feel comfortable about the process at all? If you buy a lot of houses you might be, but if this is your first or second time buying a house you probably wouldn't feel great about the situation. 

Here's some good news for those of you thinking about buying a home. The commission for a buyer's agent is built into the listing costs for a property. That means that if you use a buyers agent to buy a home their commission is paid for by the seller! It comes out of the proceeds the homeowner would get when the house is sold. So you can go from being a Customer to a Client for no additional cost to you. That changes everything when trying to buy a house. Now like the seller, you have an advocate working on your behalf to make sure the price, condition of the home, and terms are what you are comfortable with. You are no longer a Customer, you a now a Client. It doesn't make sense to go through the the home buying process alone, let a buyer's agent go to work for you. If you are starting a search for a new home give us a call, our team would love to go to work for you. What are your thoughts or questions on this? Post them below. 

The story of a Realtor®.... by Dan Case

image.jpg

Life has a funny way of keeping you on your toes. This past year was filled with a lot of change. But really a lot of my life has been filled with change, some good and some bad. This past year I found myself in a career change. The circumstances surrounding my job change this year were difficult. In the midst of a failing marriage I stepped away from a position I had held for a few years as a minister at a church in southwest Columbus. The combination of financial pressures and the stress of ministry were causing added strain on a marriage that was struggling to survive. I hoped that stepping away would maybe be the "Hail Mary" my marriage needed. Unfortunately it wasn't. After that I spent a few months working at a Goodyear retail store as a general maintenance tech. While I enjoyed the work I quickly realized long term this wasn't where I wanted to be. While working out at CrossFit Clintonville I met Jon Lange (jon-lange.com) and one day overheard him talking about an opening he had for an Admin in the real estate office. I thought it sounded like a job I could do well and it was in an industry that really interested me. So I reached out to him via Facebook Messenger (I know that's so 2014) and asked about the job. After a beer and some chips and salsa I was in. Goodyear tried to keep me with big promises but they couldn't follow through. So in July 2015 I started working at RE/MAX Resource  in Grandview with Jon. In September our Broker told me about a scholarship through Hondros College that would pay for 100% of the cost to get my pre-license classes completed. When I started working with Jon the idea of becoming a Realtor was on my mind but I felt like it wasn't a reality right now. I decided to apply for the scholarship and see what happened. Well what happened was I won the scholarship in late October! I then took my classes through December attending classes from 8-5:30 M-Th for 3 weeks. Once I completed my classes I registered with the Ohio Division Of Real Estate, got approved to test on December 30th, and passed my test on December 31st!

So here I am. I'm very excited to still be working with Jon as his Buyer's Agent and I can't wait to see what 2016 brings. Although new to the industry I feel like the main role of my job is helping people. That's something I've dedicated my life to, something I've been doing since High School. It's something that challenges me everyday and motivates me to grow and learn. I think my life has been shaped in such a way to bring me to this exact point for this exact job. Having Jon's 10+ years of experience backing me I believe we can provide excellent service for all of our clients. So here's to 2016! If this is the year you are looking to buy or sell a home we would love to have the opportunity to earn your business. Feel free to call/text/email me anytime. And I can't say thank you enough to all of the people that have loved on me and supported me through this journey. I won't let you down! 

 -Dan

What Rev Run would CrossFit in..... by Dan Case

I have said for a while that the Reebok Nano U-Form was the best overall CrossFit out there. I still believe that. Personally though I have struggled with ankle mobility and proper squat form for quite a while. In my quest to correct this issue I bought a pair of Reebok CrossFit Oly Shoes ($125) & a pair of Adidas Power Lifters ($100). Neither were very comfortable or seemed very helpful. I didn't see the improvement in my ankle mobility and hated the oly shoes for most CF WODs. 

About 6 months ago I heard about wodLifts (http://wodlifts.com) and how they can turn any shoe in an "oly" style shoe. I bought a pair and put them in my U-Form Nano's. They helped my mobility but they made the shoe feel very unstable, like i was about to roll my ankle every time i moved. Then I got on the high top shoe kick and bought the Reebok Power Lite TR's. Really cool shoe and the wodLifts fit well in them. Only real negative to them was they were terrible to run in. Even on short 100m runs. I actually bruised my heel a few times in these while running and coming off the rings from muscle-ups. Then there was the quality issue. The front of both of my Power Lite TR's started coming apart after only a few moths of CF in them. Even though they were only $90 (cheap when it comes to CF shoes) I expected more.

Enter the Run DMC's (as Tim R. called them). While visiting an Adidas Outlet about an hour from my house I found these old school basketball shoes on the clearance rack. The price? $15!! As soon as I tried them on I knew they would be a great CF shoe. Once I got them home I dropped my wodLifts in them and it has been squat paradise ever since. These shoes have been great for every WOD I have tried AND every barbell movement. Dare I say, I may never buy a pair of mainstream CrossFit shoes again. The sad part about that statement is that CF is becoming mainstream. But then again maybe that's a good thing, wodLifts wouldn't exist if CF hadn't become what it is. Don't be afraid to go against the norm and try something different, after all isn't that the essence of CrossFit? So for $55 you can build some great CF shoes, what do you WOD in?

THIS changes me. by Dan Case

image.jpg

Had the privilege of attending CIY Move in Holland, MI (Hope College) this past week with some of the high school &  college age students from our church. I organize these trips becasue it helps our students learn a lot about Jesus and their relationship with Him. Leading up to the trip can be stressful for me. There are a lot of details that go into taking a trip like this and lining them up this year was a struggle. Also financially it is a big undertaking. This year more than years past was very difficult. I was close to canceling this trip on a few occasions for various reasons. Despite the road blocks we made it to Michigan last Monday, and I'm so glad we did. Not only did I get a chance to baptize 3 awesome students in Lake Michigan but God challenged all of us this past week. 

I miss my wife while traveling, I don't sleep well in a college dorms with no a/c, the food isn't that great, and I carry a lot of responsibility while taking students hours away from home. I would do it again in a heartbeat. 

THIS changes me. It does every year but more so this year. To be honest I needed this week more than my students did this year. The theme this year at Move was "This Changes Everthing" and we walked through the book of James. The "this" in that statement is the Resurrection of Jesus. What a great reminder that the ressuerction changes everything. And it needed to change me. Daily it needs to change me. 

I miss hanging with our students already and I know the changes I want to make will be difficult once "regular" life gets rolling again. But THIS really does change everything and I want to remember THIS everyday. Jesus overcame the grave, in Him I can overcome as well. 

 

The Bearded Leader. by Dan Case

When I first saw this last year I thought is was funny and pretty accurate. As I have had opportunity to travel to some regional ministry conferences you get to see may of these facial hair styles in person. The definitions they provide here seem to fit well with the leadership styles projected. Personally I like to think I fall somewhere in between the Neo-Reformed & Spurgeon. 

The sad part about this is that these categories exist at all. The Christian faith is built on the idea of unity through Jesus, this shows we have developed the exact opposite of that. Our culture has such a hard time defining a "Christian" because there is a dozen different concepts on what it means to really be one. A short drive just about anywhere in the city of the Columbus shows this to be true, on opposite sides of the street you will see 3 or 4 different churches that are all "Christian." That is strange isn't it? How is someone who is not Christian figure out how to be a Christian? Where does the process even start? Do you just shop churches like you would a grocery store? Compare the services and goods and see which one fits best? Many people do that and they can be left feeling put off by the idea of church. Is that really all this is? As a church leader it is frustrating to feel the need to out do other churches so people will come to my church. Is our website as nice? Is our services as good? Do we have better music? Do our kids programs stand out from the rest?

To be honest it makes me sick to my stomach. The truth is in the 10 or so years I have been involved in ministry I have never been a part of a growing church. Most of my church experience has left me with battle scars. It's been hard on my wife, made me move more times that I've wanted too, broken up friendships, & given me anxiety. So why even bother with it right? I don't know if I will always be employed by the church (I struggle with that a lot) but I WILL always be part of the church and here is why: 1. It's the Bride of Christ, although sometimes it looks like a toothless wild gypsy throwing hubcaps from the top a trailer, it's still His beautiful bride. 2. It's part of the redemption plan to bring Jesus to a lost and dying world.

I believe in the church, I believe it can still be what it was meant to be. I am thankful to be a part of a church (Eastland Christian Church) that is trying to figure it out. We still make mistakes and miss the mark, but we are giving it our best shot. We try to follow the Bible and allow Jesus to be the center of all we do. I'm also thankful for the leadership team at ECC and their willingness to seek truth together. 

Hopefully one day churches can join together and be the compass that our culture needs. Until then use this facial hair guide to give you an idea of what you might be in for the next time you visit a church. Ever encounter any of these characters? Would love to hear about it. 

Making a comeback. by Dan Case

image.jpg

Everybody loves a good comeback story. It's the plot of many best selling books and top money making films. We want to see the underdog turn the tides on the favorite and get the win. To me life is all about our personal comeback story. I've heard it said that it's not what happens to you in life that matters but rather how you respond to it. Life is hard and it does its best to knock us off our feet whenever it can. When we get knocked down the question is "Will we make a comeback?"

I believe we can respond two ways to the battles we face in life: 1 - We can allow them to run us over and we can become victims. Victims can allow the past to ruin the future. 2 - Or we can allow them to strengthen us, refine us, and make us overcomers. Overcomers are the kings of comebacks. 

What areas in your life are you in need of a comeback? Your marriage? Your family? How about your job or school work? Realize that failure is just an opportunity for a comeback, it's a chance for a victory to be had. Big or small a comeback always feels good. 

This time of year is a great reminder of the greatest comeback there has ever been. For 3 days evil had thought it had won, the world was dark and full of despair. But then the Light broke though and made a comeback that changed the history of the world. Jesus won the victory for all of us. This Easter remember the comeback that tops them. Remember your battle has already been won, Jesus is victorious. He is the key to every comeback you will make in your life. In need of a comeback?? It's time to make one. 

 

The Open is closed. by Dan Case

image.jpg

Well my 2014 CrossFit Games season has ended. Although it was a good year I didn't quite meet all of my goals. I DID Rx the Overhead Squat WOD, but a score of 22 was not what I wanted on that one. However, I DIDN'T beat Bob Harper this year. Head to head I took 3 out of 5 WODs but my low score on 14.2 (OHS fail) gave him a higher worldwide ranking. Oh well, congrats Bob. 

This is actually my 4th year doing the CrossFit Games Open which is crazy to me. While I'm proud to have posted a score for every Open WOD ever done I realize that after 4 years I still have a long way to go. The closest I came to not completing a WOD was back in 2011. 11.3 had a 165# squat clean and jerk. At the time my max on those lifts were no where near that. They allowed you to clean the barbell, then front squat it and you could get 1 rep, which was 1 point, which I did. So with a score of "1" I completed the WOD. Although I watched the video I submitted for that WOD a few months ago and I was no were near full squat depth. No one tell the Dave Castro!!

As another Open season comes to a close I came away with a lot things that I learned. The Open exposes weaknesses, so we all know what to spend extra time on this year. It also gives us great victorys. It was fun to see people getting lifting PR's, first C2B pull-ups, first T2B, and realizing that many burpees and thrusters won't kill you. For me my highlight was getting a (single) muscle-up on 14.4. It hurt so gooood!!! The biggest lesson I learned is one that I already knew but that I often forget. And that is this - The Black Magic of CrossFit is Intensity. 

Intensity is what makes CrossFit. The Open takes you to a level of intensity that most days we don't go. More than ever I realized this year what I am capable of when I raise my intensity. Daily at my home box, CrossFit Future, I don't bring the intensity like I did during the Open. Intensity changes everything.

As I have been able to Rx more WODs I've noticed that when I have to modify something my intensity drops. Mentally I check out. My biggest fix this year is to bring Open WOD intensity everyday in the box, whether I'm the Mayor of ModCity or not. (I see a t-shirt idea!!) I want to attack every lift, skill, and WOD with maximum effort. Excited to see what next years brings!! 

Also excited to see my CF2 family continue to rock it at regionals! It's going to be fun in Cincinnati. How about for you? What's your biggest lesson or victory from this years Open?

 

The power of music... by Dan Case

image.png.jpeg

What is it about music that just speaks to us? I love when springtime hits and you can put the windows down in the car and turn the dial up on the radio. And man, when that one song comes on it just takes you to a different place. 

When I was a senior in high school I decided I wanted to play guitar. I had spent some weeks at a church camp the summer before and thought it would be cool to lead songs around a campfire. One of the first songs I learned was "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd. Something about that song has always resonated with me. Still love to play that song.

I'm thankful that God put people in my life to encourage me while I was first learning to play guitar. When I started it was rough and my dad heard hours of bad renditions of songs coming from my room. But I stuck with it and God has used it to do some pretty cool things. I love helping teens learn how to play and use their new found skills to worship Jesus. That will never get old for me. It's fun to see students that I have shared the stage with over the years now leading and bringing others along. Music has the power to shape lives. It's one of the greatest tools we have to connect with God. Think about some of your favorite songs, why are they your favorites? What truths do they hold? I think when you break them down most songs that we really connect with (secular or "Christian") they come back to the beauty and truths of God. After all He is the one who created music. How about for you? What's your favorite song and what's its main message? 

 

 

Reebok CrossFit Lite TR Review: by Dan Case

image.jpg

I have had these shoes for about 3 weeks now and have put them through the paces a bit so I wanted to share some thoughts on them. When I first saw them I loved that they were high tops, I've owned a few pair of high top chucks over the years so these fit the bill. I drove down to Rogue Fitness (yeah, being close to Rogue is sweet) and picked up a pair. I have tried just about every kind of WOD and lift in these shoes. Here are my likes and dislikes when it comes to these shoes:

*Side note - I use a pair of WodLifts in these. I bought the wodlifts to go in my Nanos. I need the raised heal because of mobility issues but I have never liked Oly shoes. Highly recommend wodlifts if you are in the same boat.

image.jpg

Likes - Super light and low to the ground. Great for deadlifts, squats (front, back, & goblet), presses, cleans, KB swings, box jumps, d/u's, rope climbs (grip really well) and snatch (power & split). The combo of these shoes and the wodlifts give you a very stable and grounded shoe. The high top is also very comfortable and gives you the sense of added support on your ankles. The price is also great at $89.99. 

Dislikes - I really don't like running in these. The Reebok Oly Lifter is more comfortable to run in and that's not saying much. I also don't like them for HSPU's. I have to be aggressive in my kip to do HSPU's and the back of my heels get a little beat up from hitting the wall. Not much there to absorb the impact. I also don't like to Overhead squat and squat snatch in these. These are my two worst lifts and even with the wodlifts these shoes don't help much. My best combo for these two movements are Nano's + wodlifts for me. I think in this situation the high top limits my ankle mobility a little. 

Overall I love these shoes. 8 out of 10 days in the box they are perfect. They would make a great addition to any CF shoe collection. And did I mention they look freakin awesome. Just did. Give them a try and let me know what you think, I'm already excited to see a 2.0 version of these. 

 

 

 

 

Too busy to be busy. by Dan Case

image.jpg

I had the opportunity to attend a Youth Specialties Team Training this past weekend. It was a great opportunity to spend some time with a few of the youth leaders from our church and to get challenged by some great leaders. 

My my biggest take away from the weekend was the realization that I am way too busy. We often wear busyness as a badge of honor and for many years I have done that. It just doesn't feel right or like we are doing all we can if we are not busy. I've also felt for some time that if I wasn't busy with something I was wasting time. It's almost like free time isn't free at all, it comes with a dose of guilt because there has to be something else I should be doing. The analogy they gave this weekend was that when we constantly race around at full throttle in life there are two outcomes: A wreck or we run out of fuel. 

At times I feel like I have experienced a little of both. Ha, and my response or way to cope was to DO SOMETHING ELSE!!! Crazy. Thankfully the YS Team Training was in Westerville, OH so it was just a few minutes from my house. While driving to it I passed the place pictured above. This is the Hoover Reservoir located in Westerville, OH. Over the years this place has been a place of refugee for me. I started running out here on the bike paths in 2009 and I dealt with a lot of stress and disappointments by these waters. There is just something calming about water to me. Miles of pavement, fresh air, and view of God's creation helped me run my way out of anxiety and stress.

As I drove by this place today I stopped and took this picture. I realized that it has been far too long since I have been out here, mostly because I'm too busy. It's time for that to change. The next few weeks I need to make some changes, it won't be easy but it must be done. Busyness isn't a badge I want to wear anymore. It's time to slow down, enjoy the journey, and find rest in the One who offers it. 

Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

 

Daily Bread... by Dan Case

image.jpg

The Bible. 66 books, 40 authors, written over a period of 1500 years, originally written in 3 languages, on 3 different continents, and one singular theme from cover to cover - Jesus. 

It's a book I often take for granted. I have been in ministry for 10+ years. I have 4 or 5 Bibles in my house, an app on my phone, and I work at a church that has 100 of them in the building. I read it, honestly most days I do because it's my job too. I prepare lessons on a weekly basis and that keeps me in it. I've always struggled with making time for Scripture because I want to, not because I need too for a lesson or sermon. Reading has never been something I just enjoy to do. It's always been a battle. I've started reading 30+ books and finished maybe 5 of them. I've been really trying to "schedule" time to just sit, be still (tough), and spend time reading my Bible. 

No other text brings life to dead bones like Scripture can. I truly belive the Bible hold the answers to all questions and it's the primary tool God uses to speak to us. He has something to say to you as well, pick up a copy and have a listen. 

The Open. by Dan Case

image.jpg

This is actually my 4th year competing in the CrossFit Games Open (games.crossfit.com). It has been a life changing experience for me. In 2011 when workout 11.1 was announced I learned what a Double Under was. Had never heard of it before. After a jump rope cram session I managed to get 152 reps in 2011. The first workout of this years Open is a repeat of that WOD. On Friday I performed the WOD at CrossFit Future and hit 292 reps. Pretty excited about what I was able to accomplish. 

The Open has made me fall in love with CrossFit. I've never participated in something that has pushed me to my limits like the Open has. In 2011 I cleaned 165# for the first time (11.3). In 2012 I got introduced to 7mins of Burpees and Snatched 135# for the first time (12.1 & 12.2). 2013 I was able to hit 10 Muscle Ups at the end of a WOD and realized how brutal a 4 min WOD could be (13.3 & 13.5). 

It it feels good to have a WOD complete and # on the leaderboard.  I'm really excited to see what the next 4 weeks brings. You don't have to be a regional caliber athlete that have a great experience in the Open. You just have to show up and give it all you got. 

Beard Scaping. by Dan Case

image.jpg

I would like to make a moment and share what I've learned over the past few years when it comes to managing your beard. Now before the "no trim" purists freak out let's consider something. When your beard dips into your bowl of chili at the dinner table it maybe time to scale back Jed. 

So how do you properly trim your beard? These "beard & mustache trimmers" on the market are pretty worthless. If you have ever used one you may have experienced the sadness of a whacked beard that must be restarted. Over the years I have been perfecting the art of free hand trimming with hair clippers. I feel that the wide head on the clipper makes it easy to keep your beard perfectly sculpted. It takes some time to master and I have lost a few good beards in the process. Practice makes perfect.

So next time your beard is getting caught in the barbell during cleans or dipping in your Cheerios, work on your hair clipper beard scaping skills. Grow it big, keep it beautiful. Any good tips? Pass them on. 

 

Believe.... by Dan Case

image.jpg
image.jpg

One of the coolest and craziest parts of my job as a pastor is taking students to conferences like Jr. High Believe. This past weekend myself and 2 other adult leaders took 12 jr. high students to Northen Kentucky for an awesome 2 day conference. Christ In Youth (CIY) puts on a great program. Great worship, great teaching, great comedy acts, and great activities geared towards middle school students. There were close to 6,000 middle school students there. That is crazy. I love watching students from our church and other students worshiping God. It's an awesome thing to witness. 

Ministry is all about planting seeds. A trip like this doesn't solve all of these students problems, it doesn't make issues at home or in school go away but it plants seeds of truth. Truth like: you are persued, you are included, and you are sent. Seeds like this can take root and change not only their current situation but also their eternal destination. I've been in ministry for over 10 years now, working with students for most of it. There is no greater investment in my experience that helping students believe. Believe in who they are, in where they are going, and most importantly that Jesus loves them.  

I've been blessed to be able to do what I do. It hasn't come easy. I have less hair on my head and grey in my beard to prove it. But it has always been worth it. I've been under qualified for the job since day one and I will continue to be. Thanks be to God for his grace to use broken vessels.  

If you have a chance to help a student succeed make the most of it. You won't regret it. If you want to know more about how God feels about you read this story about a father and a son (Luke 15:11-32). You are son/daughter in this story and God is the father. He's pursuing you. Questions or comments? Please post below. 

 

image.jpg
image.jpg

CrossFit Perspective.... by Dan Case

image.jpg

I've kinda felt like I'm stuck on a plateau recently. More so with CrossFit but in other areas of my life as well. The last few months at CrossFit Future (best box in Ohio) I've hit some PR's and improved on some benchmark WODs. But I've been stuck on a few lifts an even regressed on a few previous Open WODs. This morning the WOD was "Karen" a WOD I've done a few times. Today I was :30 secs slower than my best time and it got me thinking about my CrossFit Perspective. 

One of the best parts of CF to me is the opportunities to surprise yourself. Many days at the box people end up doing something they never thought possible. Nothing brings a smile to your face like doing something you thought you couldn't do. Another part about CF I love is the opportunities to push your limits, to see when you stand and how you have gotten better. I believe we find ourselves at our limits. But what do we do when we fall short of another PR or a faster WOD time?

Personally I get frustrated. Recently I've started to understand the gift that movement is. I often take it for granted. But simply being able to show up and WOD has new meaning to me recently. I've been slowed buy a few sore spots here and there but overall I haven't had to take much time off from CF in the two + years that I've done it. What an honor. What a gift. Life without CF would be hard for me, it teaches me a lot about faith, life, and myself. It really is a previlage that I get to do it at all. Many people don't have the opportunities that I have had and I'm thankful for them.

So the next time you miss that PR or stink up a WOD you've crushed before, just smile and remember the gift you have be given to attempt it again. 

 

Beard Patina? by Dan Case

image.jpg

I come from a long line of red beards. My dad and my uncle both have red beards. The past few years as my beard has grow it has started showing some white and gray patches. I've had kids ask me if I had toothpaste in my beard. Others have asked why I haven't dyed it. Here's my thoughts:

When you find a vintage car in a barn that has a natural patina that has occurred over years of oxidation do you repaint it?? No!! You slap some clear coat on it and enjoy it. It's a design that cannot be reproduced. I feel the same way about white and gray patches in a beard. It's a design of the Creator, why would I change it? To look younger?? No concern about that here. If you rock some salt and pepper just own it. And that goes for the music as well, Shoop......