Passionate Believer

Passionate Believer by Daniel Elfers

Passionate Believer by Daniel ElfersWe all have passion in our life in some regard, whether burnt out or inspired. We chase after crazy dreams with this insane desire to make them happen. Passion is a wonderful thing when inspired because passion can really make things happen, but what happens when passion and obsession is misplaced?

It’s been on my mind lately because of things in my life. Ninja Warrior (as many know I competed in this last season) was an obvious obsession of my passion. It’s not bad to be passionate about something, but what happens when you realize your passion has taken you away from things more important. Passion has faded in my faith. While still ever present in my life, and it was a constant strength to me during training and for my two weeks in LA. I felt the fires die down a little as my desires for Ninja rose. I’m sure most Christian have been here before. When something consumes their life, and faith becomes a back burner. Not that we ever truly lose the faith, but we lose the passion we had for it.

I suppose the big question to kick this off is, “What is passion and where does it come from?”

Non-Christians would probably tell you it a powerful drive that comes from inside ourselves. That is comes from a place so human we can’t help it (not to say all do, but I’ve heard that before). As a Christian though I have the belief passion comes from the spirit. Passion to me comes from an externally place. We don’t wake up one morning suddenly passionate about something. We are inspired. People who create are inspired in their works. Art inspires art. Athletes inspire athletes. But what is that fundamental moment in time when someone decides they want to do something or be something?

For me it started after watching one episode of Ninja, but that wasn’t passion then. That was a notion that I wanted to do it. After starting training I developed passion over time. Same thing for most of the things I am passionate about. It took time and dedication before passion really started to grow. We are drawn to things and passion starts to develop the further we delve into them. We are all inspired at some point in our life (many times most likely) and somethings click so we start to dedicate to it. These moments are something deep in the spirit, something that calls to us from a far. Sadly some people may be inspired to do terrible things, while others inspired to greatness (I believe this another discussion regarding the influence of the devil, which perhaps I will cover another time).

From my perspective God is at the center of creativity and passion. True inspiration starts in the world that he created. True creativity all around us. He created us to be inspired to be passionate. He created us in his image, like the creator he is he made us to be creators and shapers of our lives. We have a certain freedom to choose, and he has given us inspiration and passion in life to chase after dreams. But finally reaching my point, what happens when our passions are too much? What happens when God becomes less?

Well we lose the connection to that spirit and that creator. We lose our inspirations. We replace inspiration with fear of lose. Our work which perhaps we once enjoyed becomes like a chain we feel we are tethered to and can’t escape. The things that were fun became painful. Returning to the center of our passion. Returning to God is how we can be reinspired to seek after these things, but the big conclusion is be passionate first for the one who created passion. Delve into him. Like with all things if you are not passionate towards him make him an every day routine so he can be an everyday obsession. We fight through bad days for passion to train or learn, now let’s find our way back to being passionate believers.

I want to encourage Christians and non-Christians to seek after God. If you don’t know what this means find a church, read the bible, find a person in your life who has that such joy in Christ! Let other help you! If you are a Christian and feel burnt out like I have been do similar. Get in a church community, get into the word and Seek after God till you find passion and don’t stop. Be inspired to seek after him and find passion through him in your spirit so you can be passionate and wise in all the other adventures of life.

In my life I want God first. I want to seek him out till nothing else matters, and then and only then can stand firmly in his ways and with wisdom, strength and confidence I can take on all the things of the world he calls me to!

Road to Ninja Warrior

Road to Ninja Warrior

Road to Ninja WarriorI have a dream and I’ve watched more dreams than I can count fade away. Not this time. This time I’m pushing harder and giving everything to be on American Ninja Warrior! It’s been a long road so far and maybe this is just part 1 of the actual adventure to come. Whatever happens I’ve started this and I intend to see it through, because this has become something I absolutely love.

I have every intention of traveling the long trip and waiting in the long “walk on line” to prove I have what it takes, but it seems to me I may need a little help. It won’t be cheap to pay for that trip, for food, and all the other needs that may arise. I’m asking my friends for help.

It’s not always easy for me to ask for help, but in starting this journey towards Ninja Warrior I’ve realized how many wonderful and supportive people are in my life and I shouldn’t go at this alone. The passion I share inspires others and it’s not just my journey anymore and I need to let others help me get there.

It’s not been the easiest of years for me. I’ve been through a lot (health, financially and emotionally) and I’ve not seen a lot of light at the end of the tunnel. Little victories have kept me going, but now I’ve found a goal and it’s so much bigger than just this. It all starts here. Extra money by the end will go towards my career and the future in fitness and graphic design. Building obstacles, building websites, and creating community and all the other things to get people inspired.

“Being confident of this, that he who has begun a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1:6

My thanks to everyone! Whether supporting financially or through encouragement and prayers! You are my tribe and my family!

American Ninja Warrior Season 8 2016 Submission Support

Ninja Warrior in Training: Week 2

NinjaTrainWeek2At the end of the second week of Ninja Warrior training I’m once again exhausted, but in a way that thrills me. As of last week I learned my weaknesses (read about it here) and now I’ve started to conquer them. Pushing my limits just a little farther. Little steps to start accomplishing bigger steps. This isn’t just about my fitness journey, but my journey through life. When I decided I wanted to do this it was a notion. More of an idea than a real decision, but I wanted to do it, and I made the effort to do so. I’ve had plenty of chances to give up, and still I haven’t. What started out a thought became a practice, and a practice is now becoming a passion, and from a passion to a dedication. Passion is proven by how we act in the effort to achieve.

Ninja Training Swings VideoIt can be overwhelming at times and I feel it too. I see where I need to be, and I realizing where I am, and knowing I’m not there yet. I take this journey one step at a time, enjoying the little feats gained knowing that it takes little feats to reach the bigger feats. I can already see my strength growing. Making swinging leaps from bar to bar was something at first that scared me (click the link on the right to watch). I didn’t know I could do it till I tried. I fell a few times trying, and then I found myself able. Then I started going farther and bigger. It may not seem like be a big thing (but sure was tough), and in truth they weren’t huge leaps, but it’s these small leap that will make the way for bigger ones. I’m training my practice to feel confident and comfortable on the small scale so when I hit the real thing I’m gonna be ready physically and mentally.

There’s been a lot of falls (fortunately not from too high). There’s been cuts and blisters. There’s been pulled muscles and pains. I’ve given so much already, and I know there will be more chance to turn back and give up, but I’m not turning back. I’m not going to give this up. I’m going to keep fighting to be someone stronger. I’m changing here and now. I’m becoming someone a lot more driven and determined. From a boy who thought life was so hard, to realize that it takes effort to achieve anything, and there is a lot to achieve. So much more than just being on Ninja Warrior, and I aim to achieve it all. Train like a champion, live like a hero, and give everything to get where I’m going. So maybe I can’t do everything, but I can give everything I have to be the best I can be, and if I give my best that is enough. I’m putting in the hours and achieving more with each new week. From weakness to little victories, and next I start to take this higher! Time to start cranking up the intensity even more!


Set in Motion


I don’t know where all this is going, but I know the Lord has a plan and he has set it in motion from the start. He will take me where I’ve never gone before and beyond my imagining. I am not afraid of the future. Nor do I fear the past. I am not going to be held back by fear or doubt.

The things that lay ahead are not certain and are bound to hurt. It’s a part of living to hurt, but it’s how we endure the hurt that will change us. The things that have hurt me fade with time. The people who’ve left the deepest scars don’t even care, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t forgiven them. It also doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten how they hurt me, but in forgiveness I’ve moved on.

I will not let the world consume me with tricks or bribes or pretty things. I have aimed my sights and sails for the distant shores of what people tell me time and time again is impossible, but I choose a no compromise attitude. Though I may stumble. Guaranteed I will get tripped up, because I’m human, but I will always stand up again and continue on.

No matter what happens to me in this world I am exactly where I belong. Pain is temporary for the sake of greater things. What has been torn from my hands, shredding the skin with it may hurt, but my hands will heal. When my heart has been beaten, and I feel I have nothing left that is when I find I have everything.

It’s not everything I wanted, but it’s everything I need. And every let down is a new path that takes me away from a path of destruction. Like being pruned the Lord may prick me, but in an effort to produce the best fruit. I’ve learned through ever challenge and every loss I gain new perspective and new strength. And the things lost may seem so sad at the time, but then as the distance forms I find I’m better off.

I don’t always know why challenges befall me. Some things long past I still don’t know the reason for, but I know I’m on the right path. I trust God with the journey, because he hasn’t let me down. He’s let hardships challenge me and always seen me through. He’s moulded and continues to shape a man with a heart of passion and strength. I can give more than I’ve ever given. I can love others more than I ever could before. I can live more. I can see the vision in my head of world change.

Without all the hardships I would never have become somebody so bold and so caring. I never would have been able to understand the gifts I’ve been given. I would never be able to interpret the dreams and the visions God has given me. I do my part every day little by little. It’s to inspire a class of people, or help just one person, but I won’t stop there. I won’t rest until I’ve changed the world.


Point of No Return

PNRthumbHere I am at the point of no return. I’ve come so far. I can’t go back now. I’m on the edge to new uncharted frontiers. What lays ahead is uncertain, but I know it must be great. Not to say it wouldn’t be easy to go back, the choice to turn tail and retreat back to the familiar is still an option, but since when did I choose the easy way. I am not the type of man who looks back (stubborn and proud? Yes… just a lot) and I made a choice long ago that I would press on, so that’s what I’m doing. I made a commitment to God that I would do his will, and that I would follow him. I am taking the initiative and setting the pieces in motion so I can’t look back, I must press forward. The time of for greatness is a stones throw away.

Since the initial choice for all the wrong reasons and a hundred recommitments I can’t go back now. I made this choice to serve God, and it’s not been easy. Fact is it’s brought upon me the hardest choices I’ve ever made. Every day a new obstacle, but every day I rise up, or I stumble momentarily to rise again. Sometimes it feels like two steps forwards and one step back, or I prefer the imagery of one giant leap up a down escalator. It’s kind of hard to gain ground when the ground is moving backwards, but I am trying. Course I am the type of person who would book it up a down escalator, cause why not. It’s a show of challenge conquered, maybe a lame example of challenge conquered, but it’s definitely not the easy way to get to the next level. I can’t help myself in the face of challenges. I step myself right into them knowing perfectly well what I’m doing. I will take the opportunities to get myself into situations that are complete madness just so I can sort myself out of it, cause it makes me stronger. It give me perspective. It breaks me of my usual for something new.

Foolish maybe and I work hard to minimize my foolishness (mostly), but without a challenge, without the stepping forward and falling back I would remain forever at a stand still. I like challenge, yet I dislike the pain of it. I love to overcome, but hate to fail. Unfortunately as I was taught, and have learned through experience the rule to success is fail often to succeed sooner. I may fail many times, but I’m gonna try try try till I succeed. Not to be said that there aren’t foolish endeavors. We all can get stuck on an idea or a quest of our own creation that we chalk up to be so important (I’m number one here frequently), and without reason we pick up our swords at the challenge of a gunslinger. Good luck beating that gunslinger with that sword (have you seen Raiders of the Lost Ark? Doesn’t go so well…) If it’s not of God then of course failure is gonna happen no matter how much we put into it. If it’s not part of my calling then I shouldn’t be trying so hard at something that will inevitably fail. So maybe it’s hard to know the difference. That is where I feel the rule of discernment becomes key, but discernment (and that so called “gut feeling”) topic I’d like to discuss another time.

I look ahead at the path I’m on, and yes I’ve thrown caution to the wind and jumped from the airplane once again. I can’t turn back now, there is no gravity reversals or return ropes to the airplane. The things I have set in motion can’t stop till I touch down. It’s time for me to step up, and start doing what I’ve been talking about for years. It’s time to begin the effort that God has called me to, and move as quick or slow as God desires. In the effort to change the world it’s on his timeline, not mine. What he has laid on my heart is the need to inspire a generation. To change the hearts, and minds of those who would rather be lazy or allow their moral compass to go wrong.

God has called me to be a leader so I am taking the given opportunity to lead a Christian men’s media team. I was gung-ho long ago to do this, but the Godly man and the good leader in me wasn’t ready. What God has set in motion in me is a preparation to serve him and not myself, and to lead in the area I am not only talented, but passionate about. To take men and build them up as a team ready to inspire a new generation with me. God has trained me in the ways I need to lead these brothers, he has given me the skills in which I can help them develop and continue to develop myself with them. He has given me natural talents and patience I will certainly need. Most of all he has opened the doors of opportunity for me to create these men I want with me to change the world, even if they don’t know it yet. The men I’ve chosen for this group are those who I know share the passion as me to be creative and who love God. Together we will bring a different voice to a world that only hears the voices of evil. Together we can preach through our talents and if we change one heart that is enough, but I believe God has chosen us to spread his message to the world.

The things about to happen will reshape the way we view society and they must. No more compromise or lack of values. We must give our best. This is the message I want my brothers to know. We are not a new voice, but one that is very old, we are the surround sound and booming bass for the voice of God. This is what I stand for, and I want others to know that I will never walk away from this path. I will never sell my soul for a few pretty pennies, but I will follow the calling no matter the cost. No matter the outcomes today or tomorrow. I made a choice to serve God, and he has given me a dream to change the world!

Luke 9:62 says “No one who puts his hands to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” So I shall not look back at what was or could have been, but take hold of my calling and serve the kingdom of God with all my passion to see the dreams I’ve been given made reality!


Living in Dreams

For those who know me you know I am a dreamer. Not just dreaming of the future when I’m awake, but like clockwork every night when I go to sleep I start dreaming all night long. It feels at times like living in two realities. The real one when I’m awake, and the one in my dreams. Yes, it does get kind of confusing sometimes, but I’m really not crazy. Least not that crazy. Ok, I’m a little crazy, but my dreams aren’t always like living in a horror movie or psycho like (only sometimes). I kid, most of my dreams tend to be based on a grounded reality. Related to things that I am dealing with in a normal life, and hoping for in my future.

As of late my dreams have been very pleasant. So pleasant in fact that real life has been feeling like a drag, and all I’ve wanted to do is go back to sleep so I can live in my second reality. It’s been a struggle every morning dragging myself out of bed. I’m the first to admit the challenge of life, the challenge of just getting up in the morning, but this has been a different ordeal. I’m not really tired. I’m just under so much pressure, and I’d rather just live in my alternate reality of pleasant dreams, but I have pressed on. “Dragged on” might be a better way to phrase it. It feels like the weight of the world on my shoulders when my hopes and dreams seem so far away, but let me tell you about the week I’ve had. I’ve been put in on average 15 hours a day this week. Between work, workouts, and my own projects its a lot. I was ready for the week to be over on Tuesday. I had people coming down on me about my work when I’m doing the best job I can. And I had (still have) so much work to be done. This was not the week to want to be a lazy quitter.

This week I taught a demo for BodyCombat on top of my regular teaching schedule, plus subbing extra classes. Then I’ve done 4 video shoots (2 more to go) for work. Between shooting interviews and getting awesome shots I also participate in the Firefighter Stairclimb charity event at our gym, which I got to help put together and produce video for (video is below if you want to check that out). And next week I’m going on a work trip (ok, maybe it’s only 5 hours away, but still something really cool about being sent out of town for work). It’s like you know you made it somewhere when your job has you traveling on business trips.

It’s amazing what my life has become. To think a few years ago I was going to college still with no clue what I would be when I grew up, and now I’ve decided not to ever grow up, but right now just enjoy the crazy, and learn everything I can in a chaotic awesome job. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and creative mind. I wanted to make movies since I was in 7th grade when my friends and I attempted to make our first movie (notice the word “attempted”). Now 12 years later I am getting paid to producing video content. This is truly a dream come true. Beyond the video I am also learning so many valuable skills. A year ago I was still working at Pizza Hut, and I thought being a delivery drive was tough. And it was a lot of work, and I did what I always do by giving it everything I got. I had no idea working full time and dealing with people how tough work can be, but it is so worth it now.

While on occasion I am ready to throw in the towel, and just call it all off, I’m not gonna. If I walked away from this opportunity it would be the dumbest move of my life, because I have been called by God to do great things, and right now I know I’m exactly where I belong. Even when things get tough. No, especially when things get tough it teaches me how to endure, and how to take initiative. How to grow. I am amazed by what God is doing in my life, and how he’s transforming me. The who and the how I live is what he’s repurposing, and he’s showing me how to be a great man. A man of passion, discipline, challenge, and drive. Never giving up, but accepting the areas where I am weak, and learning to grow in them.

Like in the Stairclimb event I didn’t give up. I may not have beaten the firefighter’s time (those guys are amazing btw), but I did go the distance. Not just because I’m a fitness instructor did I feel obligated to go the full distance. I can’t quit because I am glorifying God, and who he’s made, and making me to be. It’s the accomplishment that makes me feel strong, but its proof of what God has allowed me to do, and the strength he gives me. So as I woke up this morning I am not feeling like going back to sleep, and back to my dream reality, but I feel like making my reality how I dream it to be. Changing myself, and changing the world. Call me crazy, but I believe the world can change, and I know I am meant to be part of changing it.

Here’s God open a new chapter in my life. I can’t wait to see what will happen next!



Blessed Pain

Since the beginning of the year my life has been a string of defining moments. Opportunities to redefine the way I live and think. In my choosing to be a better man in the new year it has not been without it’s challenges and need to overcome them very frequently. This Sunday was no exception. Healing service in Church and I was miraculously not healed. Now Friday I look forward to a very exciting medical proceeder due to my disorder (nothing major, just a routinely needed examination of my innards) and over the weekend of healings for many others I had nothing special happen to me at all. Now before you go saying “How does this define you? This just sounds dreadfully boring.” I must explain. Backstory GO!

Since I was very young, about 10, I got really sick with this disorder that is known as Ulcerative Colitis (bleeding of the intestinal track if you care about the details. Usually caused by stress, certain foods, or too much of a strenuous life style). I had it flare up again when I was 13. Again when I was 18. Again when I was 21. And again when I was 23. And truth be told those are the worst occasions when I was in so much pain I could hardly move. I’ve honestly never fully healed. The pain and symptoms are always there to a degree. My bowels never cooperate like they are supposed to. It’s been what I considered a curse for a very long time, but at 23 that was the most important occurrence when I was old enough to realize I had to take responsibility for this. It is something I’ll probably have to deal with the rest of my life and so I began to really put into effect a healthier, stronger, and more faith driven way of life.

Previous to the last incident I got involved at a gym as a fitness instructor (that is a long story for another time) and also into the greatest church ever (seriously, Garden Assembly. Best. Church. Ever. I’d argue that). So between these two walks of life I grew stronger physically, mentally, and spiritually. I developed healthy habits. I developed a faith, and a real trust in God. Also new understandings. I became less stressed (although I stepped into a much more strenuous life style). So many people I’ve heard from who have UC can’t handle stress of any kind, yet for me with God I do the impossible. I teach fitness classes regularly, and am pushed to my limits on a regular basis in a very busy and chaotic life. Now its not 100 percent. Nor am I. I could probably live healthier, less stressed, or less chaotic, but truth me told I deal with life as it comes. All the chaos and all the pain and living still doesn’t defeats me. This pain has inspired my life, and made me stronger in so many ways, and I can’t imagine it’s done doing so.

So back to the present! This past weekend was amazing. People getting miraculously healed. So many people were talking, and saying how they could now do what they thought was impossible, but not me. My gut still hurts. My pain is still there. Now don’t you dare pity me. For this is not a curse on my life. This is a blessing. This is my blessing. Though I might have considered it a curse myself it makes me stronger. It keeps me at the top of my game. It keeps me living healthy and living faithful, because when I do I feel strong even with it. It is a miracle in itself to be doing what I am doing with such a thing present. I am doing the impossible.

For anyone who’s seen the movie Amazing Grace or knows of the historical figure William Wilberforce they would probably know of his efforts and succession in abolishing the slave trade, and his efforts to changing the culture of his time. He also has colitis, but he strived to changed the world anyway. So shall I strive, and so shall I likely be in pain. If that’s not inspiration I don’t know what is. So when I say I wasn’t healed I mean to say I wasn’t healed so I could understand that my pain is what really defines me. It makes my life an inspiration. I can say I’m challenged and I overcome. Though it is painful I would not do without it because it brings glory to God. I have been so blessed in my life. I have been given a perspective and understanding that is unique to the world. And I believe that if I can do the impossible, and live with this pain. Then I can also change the world.

“We are too young to realize that certain things are impossible… So we will do them anyway.”
-William Wilberforce