Tuesday, January 6, 2009

“Saddle Up”

It’s been two months to the day since I last blogged. I initially wanted to take a break from all internet activity. Then I went on vacation, and found myself without an internet connection. Then I found myself just not thinking about it. Then next thing I know, it’s been two months. Ever noticed how the things we do daily are the things that happened gradually over time?

I once heard that bad habits are not formed over night, nor are they broken over night. You may be able to stop for a few days, but it’s not truly broken until you’ve taken the time to gradually make it a daily lifestyle. And we find ourselves at the time of year where most gyms receive their members, where most people vow to not eat sweets, and where most people read Genesis (the first book of the bible), but never make it through to Leviticus or Numbers.

[So are you saying we shouldn’t make any New Years resolutions Rich?] Im glad you asked. No I’m not saying that. But I am saying that in order to achieve any desired lifestyle, you can’t give up the first time you fail, or the 100th time you fail. There is truth in Proverbs that says no matter how many times God-loyal people get tripped up, they get back up, but those who are wicked end up flat on their faces...and stay there.

It would be so much easier for me to not blog today. But like anything in life, when we get off track...no matter how long...we gotta saddle back up. Saddle Up!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

“You got served”

Today I want to focus on the letter “S” of our campus ministry name, which stands for Service. We value service to our campuses and glocal communities. People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. So we feel serving people is the best way for us to show we really care.

Sometimes serving is seen as an entry level position in the church. Some may think, “I cant preach, sing, or lead in “important” stuff yet...so I’ll just serve until I graduate from this position.” Simple service and greatness are not contradictory.

In fact, Jesus implied that the greatest people are those who serve others. So we recognize that our call to greatness is a call to servitude, especially to those outside of the church. Serving those in need, means you get to walk in the supernatural power of God. When John the Baptist was in jail, he began to question his belief in Jesus so he sent some guys to find out for sure. As evidence to His divine origin, Jesus told these guys to tell John that the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, the dead are raised, and the gospel is being preached to the poor. Now the preaching of the gospel is not just in word, but in deed as well, but notice how SERVING THE POOR is in the same breath with other supernatural acts.

Serving is supernatural. Keep praying for the blind to see, and the dead to be raised. But with the same fervor and hopeful expectation, serve someone. Hopefully you can tell someone, you got served.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

“The Bible is Rated “R””

Almost finished with our THIRST blog series. We just recently rolled out a name for our GCC campus ministry, that also happens to be an acronym for our values. Today I’m focusing on the letter “R”, which stands for Restoration.

Restoration is pretty much at the core of everything that we do. By the fourth chapter in the bible, we see that due to our own actions there is an immeasurable gap between humanity and God that wasn’t always there. And the rest of the bible is pretty much God walking out His plan to restore the relationship He once had with us.

The exciting yet humbling thing is that we have a part to play in this restoration process. Paul said it like this, “We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” That’s a pretty sobering thought huh? Are we living our lives in a manner worthy enough to possibly be the only appeal from God to person?

Since I believe that the end goal of EVERYTHING Jesus did was to restore us back to Him, I believe we should have that same focus with everything we do. This is why as a campus ministry we value restoration between God and students, and within the student body.

So if “R” stands for Restoration, technically the bible is Rated “R”.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

“There’s no “I” in team, but there is an “I” in THIRST”

There’s no “I” in team, but there is an “I” in THIRST. The “I” does not reflect an individualistic ideal, it stands for Intentional Building. We value laying strong foundations for students to build their lives on. And we feel there’s no better foundation for greatness than a biblical one.

The reason its intentional, is because for some reason, people tend to think that this will happen naturally. But nothing in life get built by accident.

I like the story of the “Three Little Pigs”. It’s a great example of what happens when you build wisely, as compared to not building wisely. And just like in the story, when the Big Bad Wolves of this world come huffing and puffing...will what you have built fall down? Jesus also told a similar story. He said if you build a house on sand, it will crumble when the winds and storms of life come at you. But if you build on solid rock, it will withstand any storm in life.

What kind of house are you building? Hopefully you’re building wisely. Because when you build, others benefit. Just ask two of the three pigs whose house fell down. There’s no “I” in team, but there is an “I” in THIRST.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

“ Non-recyclableficated?”

Yesterday I wrote a little about what we are connected for. Today I want to focus on our commitment to that connection. It’s one thing to be connected to people in healthy family relationships, and a whole other thing to stay committed to those relationships.

Many people look at relationships like hotel staff. They wonder, what can you do for me? How much is it gonna cost? And do I really have to tip when I can carry my own bags myself? This may sound a little extreme, but I believe this is popular mindset in our culture regarding relationships. The what can you do for me/if you act up I’m gonna upgrade you mentality.

Just look at some popular tv shows in the past few years; Joe Millionaire, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, the fifth wheel, Next, etc. The only way any of those relationships last, is if the main partner is 100% completely satisfied. And the second they’re not...someone gets kicked off the show.

I’m so glad that we have a model of how relationships work from how God relates to us. The bible tells us that God will NEVER leave us nor forsake us. I hope and pray that we would be committed enough to be able to say that to people who really need to hear that...and then follow through with it.

At THIRST, we don’t believe in disposable relationships. And since we don’t practice disposable relationships, I'm not up on the current terminology. But I like to say our relationships are.. non-recyclableficated?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

“Connect For”

So lately I’ve been focusing on our campus ministry values, which happens to be an acronym that spells out our name...THIRST. This week I wanna primarily look at the letter H, which stands for Healthy Families.

Now I think I was a little to young to actually get into this show, but I looked it up online the other day and watched a full episode of The Lone Ranger. I’ve heard so many people refer to this show, but never seen it. I got caught off guard, cause I noticed something. The Lone Ranger had a side-kick! His name was Tonto. Maybe someone in hollywood read the part of the bible when it said, “It’s not good for man to be alone.”

I don’t believe God designed humans to live life alone. If he did...we’d probably grow in cocoons. And I’m not just talking God’s plan for natural families, but also for spiritual family. No matter what kind of family background you come from, there are other people out there in the world who God wants to connect you to. At one time, Jesus connected one of His followers to His mother. He said, mother this is your son, brother this is your mother. Even though they both had great healthy natural family relationships, there was still a need for them to be connected to a broader group of people.

I once heard someone say, “If you find your people, you find your purpose.” Me, I just like being connected to people who are called to do similar things that I feel called to. What do you connect for?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I can’t believe it’s been 10 days since I’ve blogged. I guess I need to reread my old blogs about time management! Anywho, I’ve been thinking a lot about our campus values, especially “The Gospel Expressed” one. In my previous blogs, I wrote about how we can uniquely EXPRESS the gospel, with the individual gifts that God has EQUIPPED us with. Today I want to write about our Emagination.

Now yes, I know how to spell imagination. I just wanted to give you an opportunity to use your imagination! (also cause it looks cool to have all my points start with the letter E)

Seriously though, I think that sometimes as Christians, we limit our creativity because of tradition, fear of failure, or sheer laziness. We shouldn’t be afraid to use our Emagination. Think about it. That’s how the bible started out! “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.” God used His Emagination to create something from nothing. Imagination is the faculty or action of forming new ideas, images, concepts of external objects not present to the senses. How can you present the Gospel in ways that have yet to be acknowledged by our senses?

I love tradition, as long as I know the why behind it. But we shouldn’t do things the same way just because it’s always been done like that before. If we’re gonna reach people that no one is reaching, we gotta do things no one is doing. I’m not encouraging anyone to reinvent the wheel. Just make it better. Just use your God given Emagination.

Friday, October 10, 2008

“The Polarized Express”

Continuing on the letter T for “The Gospel Expressed”, I believe we all have a unique expression when it comes to communicating who God is and what He’s done. On the last blog, I talked about how everyone has a gift and talent that comes naturally to them that was placed there by God. And I think we should use them to express the Gospel.

The key is being yourself. We’re called to express, not impress. As Paul was writing a letter to the Corinthians, he was telling us that collectively we are a body, but that the body is made up of many different parts, and each part plays a critical role in the overall being of the body. He then said that we all can’t be the same part. Think about it. If everyone was a mouth, we’d have no eyes to see, ears to hear, etc. Our culture has become obsessed with trying to be like someone else, instead of just trying to be themselves.

When it comes to communication, its a two way street. One is giving and the other is receiving. Im glad we all don’t express ourselves the same exact way. Because not everyone receives the same way. Im also glad everyone’s not like me! Don’t be afraid to express yourself, even if it’s the polar opposite of other people you know. We’ll just call that expression “The Polarized Express”.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

“Become the Gift That Keeps on Giving”

What talent or gifting do you have that comes naturally? This is the question I asked last week at our campus meeting. The best answer was that someone said they are naturally good at smelling things. I guess you had to be there. One of the main reasons I asked this question was so that we could begin to discover how God has created us and how He created everyone with unique gifts. The best part about the night was that everyone was able to point out a gifting that they have... everyone.

THIRST is an acronym for our campus ministries values. The letter T stands for The Gospel Expressed. Our ministry believes that God’s love can be expressed through many facets, like speaking, singing, dancing, writing, kindness, etc. The key is doing it in a way students can connect the expression back to God.

This is why were talking about gifts. We all have natural talents and gifts that we’re born with that we'll always have. And if you’re a Christian, you’re called to express the Gospel. The good news, is that you don’t have to express the Gospel like everyone else all the time, because we all have different gifts and talents. So feel free to use what what you got. Cause when you do, you truly become the gift that keeps on giving.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

“Thirsty Anyone?”

We started a series on campus last week based on our new ministry name: THIRST. So this month, I want to focus this blog in the same area. I think it’s so apropos that we kick off these blogs with an introduction that we are using for our website/brochure. Let me know what you think.

“Many students come to college with hopes to “start their life”. Some of life’s most important decisions are made in college. [Scary huh?] Things like what kind of career do I want, where will I live, who will I marry, & what will I give my life to. Now, we don’t want to tell these young adults what to do, but we do want to help them become the type of person who makes wise decisions in all facets of life. Its like that whole give a person a fish or teach them how to fish thing. We give them tools, but at the end of the day, they gotta choose. Popular ideas say the bible tells people what to do, but it doesn’t. It shows them & leaves the the decision up to them. We want to transform our colleges & universities, not by telling, but by showing. Were tired of seeing freshman not making it to sophomore year; of students leaving school because of pregnancy; of students catching STD’s; of students living life depressed; of seeing students hungry and thirsty for more than what they're getting out of life. Jesus said that if we drink from the water that He gives, we will never thirst again. The last thing we want to see is this young generation dehydrated. Thirsty anyone?”

Thursday, October 2, 2008

“In one ear, out the other” (How we Hear- part 5)

Isn’t it interesting how you can listen to a speech, message, or movie with a group of people, but everyone for the most part has their own interpretation of what they just heard? Im betting that the person(s) that were speaking had only intended to communicate one thing, but somehow the message was lost in translation. And when I say lost, I mean ignored. :)

I believe when it comes to how we hear, sometimes we only hear what we want to hear. It’s not that were incapable of the latter, it’s just that we naturally gravitate to what sounds pleasing to us in particular. In fact, we are so good at this, sometimes we can listen, block a few words, and continue listening without missing a beat… but in actuality, we missed a few beats.

It’s like the time when God was warning Pharaoh (The Ruler of Egypt) to set free the people he was enslaving. But because it didn’t quite line up to Pharaoh’s plans or what he wanted to hear, he pretty much CHOSE to ignore God all together. So basically God hardened Pharaoh’s heart by asking him to do something he didn’t want to do. Oh, and if you don’t the rest of the story, God eventually got what He wanted.

We have to make the choice to hear the things that we sometimes don’t want to hear, and not let it go in one ear, and out the other.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

“Horton heard a Who!” (How we Hear- part 4)

In keeping with the theme of how we hear, I wanted to blog about how we sometimes hear too many voices. I know this is true in my life. There are times when I’ve asked too many people for advice, when one was sufficient, or times when people offered unsolicited advice… those are always the best :)

But most importantly, we are all typically overwhelmed with so many voices in our lives. Voices from friends, family, society, television, and our campuses just to name a few. We even hear things that come from our past or present insecurities, fears, and worries. So when all of these voices come at us at once, we miss the one voice that we desperately need to hear in our lives… the voice of God.

I love how God made it a point to show us in the bible (Matthew 17:1-8) that the voice of Jesus should be amplified above all other voices, even other good voices. I know it’s just hard sometimes to hear the voice of God in a noisy world. But I love how Dr. Seuss, in the movie “Horton Hears a Who!”, captured the heart of being able to listen to a small faint voice and follow it, in spite of the fact that no one else can hear the voice, and everyone seems to have advice that contradicts the voice.

Man! I wish we could all be like this. Good ol’ Horton heard a who!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

“Not for the Future” (How we Hear- part 3)

I remember how when I was a kid, my father would “ask” me to take out the trash. We all know it wasn’t a request, but a directive. Now although I knew it wasn’t a suggestion, I still took the liberty to wait until I felt ready to take out the trash. Instead of acting immediately, I would wait until it was convenient for me.

I think this is how we sometimes hear things. We hear for the future, but not the now. I think we hear for the future for two main reasons. The first one, is that we’re to lazy to act on what we’re hearing immediately, so we put it off as long as we can. The second reason, is that we may think we are currently unable or unqualified to do the very thing we are being told to do, so we push it of until we think we’re ready. Well, for the most part, you ARE ready now, and stop being lazy! :)

Jesus was encouraging His disciples at one point to basically do what God has called us ALL to do. But after saying that, He put an extra emphasis on not waiting until the moment they thought was the best time, but that the time to start walking in our purpose was right now! 

My hope is that when we hear God or someone tell us something (great or small), we try to listen for the now, not for the future.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

“Here to Hear” (How we Hear- part 2)

In keeping with the theme of how we hear, I started to think about how people hear. And although I came up with a few ideas, I realized that the very thing I was doing was the fundamental truth behind today’s blog. I was looking to how others hear, instead of first looking to how I hear myself. Which brings us to our point for the day.

Sometimes we hear for others, not ourselves. Have you ever been in a class, or even in church, and you hear the speaker say something, and your immediate thought is how one of your friends needs to hear this! Now grant it, maybe your friend does need hear it, but it doesn’t mean we should dismiss stuff because we don’t necessarily think it’s for us. Jesus said it best when he asked, "Why do you try to clear the speck out of someone else’s eye when we have a plank of wood in ours?" He didn’t say there was anything wrong with helping someone see the error of their ways, or point them in the right direction, but that we should be sure to examine our own lives first.

I gotta be careful with this as well. Sometimes when I read the bible, all I see is what I can preach on campus, and not what’s for me. I think we all have to remind ourselves from time to time that God wants to speak us first and foremost, not just through us. So the next time we’re at meeting, let’s remember that were here to hear.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

“The Great Suggestion” (How we Hear-part 1)

I went away a few weeks back for our annual Fall Retreat. We had a great time. One of the highlights of any conference for me, is when students hear a speaker say something that I’ve been saying time and again, but they actually “hear” it for the first time. I always sit back and laugh, because I recognize that God is continually speaking to us, but for so may different reasons, we either don’t hear it, or we don’t hear it in the way we should.

This one particular nugget was about purpose. So many people, especially college students, are always trying to figure out their purpose in life. What person will I marry, what career will I have, where will I live, etc. And although God has unique paths in life for every person, we all share a corporate purpose that is laced throughout our individual lives. It’s simply to love God and love others. Jesus puts it another way in what Christians call “The Great Commission”, by saying we should go make disciples of all the nations. And a disciple is someone who is following Jesus, and helping others follow Jesus.

So if we are ALL called to do this, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know who your future spouse, employer, or home address is, as long as you’re fulfilling your greater purpose. Some Christians don’t feel “called” to reach out, because when they hear a directive, they receive it as a suggestion. Just remember, it’s called the great commission, not the great suggestion.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


You gotta watch this video before you continue to read :)
(click HERE to view it)

First of, let me say this: I love the fact that these guys love God so much, that they’d be willing to do something like this. But I wanted to use this as an example of how we Christians can sometimes be out dated when it comes to sharing our faith. Even today, it always seems like the Church is one step behind pop culture. I always love to see men and women living for God setting trends, not copying them. Especially when it comes to how we “do” church or “do” campus ministry.

I’m not saying that we should reinvent the wheel every other month, but that we would be sensitive to recognize when our current approach isn’t so current. Just because something has worked in the past, doesn’t mean it’s gonna work in the present or future. Now, I’m not talking about timeless truths like “God loves you” or “Love your neighbor” or “treat ALL older women like mothers and younger women like sisters”. The word of God NEVER changes, but how we present and communicate that word can. What’s the point of sharing something with someone if they can’t understand what you’re sharing? Instead, we should attempt to share in a context in which they can understand.

So how do you communicate your relationship with God to others? Do you ever use current movies or tv shows? Whatever your medium is, I believe we are called to be practical and relatable. Not consistently reinventing, but constantly contextualizing.

Oh, and pay attention the video at the 1:56 mark…. ZAP!

Friday, September 19, 2008

“Don’t stop ‘til you get enough”

I came across a little factoid this week that was pretty intereesting. There’s a Guinness world record for the longest lecture, which lasted for 120 hours and was achieved by Jayasimha Ravirala who lectured on personality development concepts in Hyderabad, India, from 24 March to 29 March 2007. And I thought I was long winded.

A couple of weeks ago, I talked on campus and blogged about how awesome it would be if a bunch of students were able to communicate the underlying message of the bible in 30 seconds, using terminology that ANYONE can understand. I think seeing this world record reinforces this train of thought. I can’t help but wonder how many students/people (other than the guy officially timing the event) actually stayed throughout the whole lecture. And out of those, I wonder many actually retained or even stayed awake for the whole lecture.

I’m not knocking this guy, because I used to be him! Back in college, if anyone even mentioned the word God, I would run over to them and try to preach the WHOLE bible to them in one sitting (or even standing on the sidewalk). Relating your relationship with God to someone is not a bad thing, all I’m saying is, it shouldn’t be a long thing, unless of course they want you to expound on what you’re saying.

We have windows of opportunities… I just hope we don’t miss the moment by trying to plant a whole tree, when all you need or have time for is dropping a seed. Don’t be like Mike...and “Don’t stop ‘Til YOU get enough”.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

“Trick or Retreat”

This past weekend our campus ministry took a trip down to North Carolina for our annual Fall Retreat with over 15 different colleges and universities from North Carolina. We had a great time! However, it was very sobering to get back to DC, because everyone was hit with the reality that they were getting back to the grind of campus life.

There are so many benefits to taking time away from our busy lives to get perspective on things. Our surrounding circumstances can be so loud and overpowering, it can sometimes drown out what’s most important in our lives. Maybe that’s why most retreats that people go on are in secluded settings, where it’s quiet and disconnected from the noise of our lives.

Even Jesus would go on mini retreats. His life was so hectic, that He would sometimes wake up extra early to spend time with God. It’s not that God only speaks in the morning, or that His voice is louder in the morning, but that everything else is quieter. Every time we take students on a retreat or to a conference away from campus, students seem to have genuine encounters with God, and seem to be changed in ways they never thought. I think it’s because it’s quiet enough for them to hear God speaking to them.

Although that’s huge, I always try to encourage the students with the fact that God can speak in their life on campus in the same exact way as a a retreat. The trick is, they have to learn how to retreat every day. Trick or Retreat!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

“Time Managers”

So a few weeks ago, I started a 5 blog mini series on time management. Afterwards I asked some college students to send me some ways in which they manage their time. So here are the top five.

The first one comes from Kaleah Merrieweather (American University). Her tip is to simply schedule things using her gmail calendar. She seems to love, but advises that it may be addicting, so be careful!

The next two are very similar, but they are such good ideas, I gotta mention both of them. This tip comes from Valeria Palacious and Kat Rendon (Both Georgetown University), and it’s multitasking. Valeria likes to do things like combining school work with simple tasks, such as outlining a paper while doing laundry. And Kat likes to combine exercise with studying.

The fourth one comes from Russ Greene (Georgetown University). His is to practice stuff that I care about every single day, even if just for 5-10 minutes I’m able to make slow but steady progress rather than slacking off for too long and then trying to cram at the last minute.

The fifth one comes from Nicholas Mathis. His is to pray when he starts to feel pressed or anxious. He said when he takes a breath/moment and prays, he feels refreshed and organized, along with the faith that gives him strength to finish his assignments. (Philipians 4:6-7)

I love all these ideas. Nothing better than getting practical advice to help us on a day to day basis. If you have any more tips, just leave comment. Until then, let’s all bask in glory and wisdom from these five time managers!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

“Around the bible in 30 seconds”

I think I may be on to a new trend, explaining the whole bible in 30 seconds or less. I’ve done this before at our campus ministry meetings, but the past two nights I asked the students to give it a try. I think they all did great! It was interesting to see how some look at the story of the bible as a whole. Trying to explain all the stories in detail is impossible, but explaining the consistent heart throughout the stories and letters are a different thing. How awesome would it be, if a bunch of students were able to communicate the underlying message of the bible in 30 seconds, using terminology that ANYONE can understand.

Here’s my 30 seconds typed: “God created everything, including us. He loved us so much that He made us in His image, so that He could enjoy relationship with us. Because of our own actions, the relationship between God and mankind was broken. All this happens at the beginning of the bible. From there on out, the rest of the bible is all about God reestablishing the relationship that He intended for us to have in the first place. From Moses to Jesus to the disciples, it’s all unfolding God’s redemptive plan to restore our relationship with Him. That in a nutshell, is the bible.

What do you think? How would you describe the bible in 30 seconds? I’d love to read/hear your rendition. Let’s play “Around the bible in 30 seconds”.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"No Strings Attached

This past weekend there was an event in DC called Convoy of Hope. Our church, along with over 120 other churches, joined together at RFK Stadium to bless the Washington, DC community with no stings attached. Families lined up as early as 7:30am to get groceries, help with resumes, job interviews, haircuts, root canals, dental work, health work, and prayer. And the best part, they didn’t have to pay a cent! The only expectation we had of the people was that they would be blessed.

It seems to me that in our culture, we are taught to only give away or do things that have a positive return on investment. I agree with that, but I may have a different perspective on what a positive return is. Typically it’s money, but I want to say there are many things to me that are considered a positive return. For instance, a life changed is priceless. Jesus told us several times to feed the poor, give money without expecting payment, and to look after orphans and widows. This type of work doesn’t make money for you. In fact, it does the opposite. I’ve heard of a few churches that focus on reaching the suburbs. Not because they feel called there, but because they know those people can give money to the church. But reaching the inner city, or low-income/poverty areas are gonna cost you a lot money. But the return on investment is enumerable!

That’s why I love things like Convoy of Hope. I think they get it. I hope we get it too. Love God, love our neighbors, and give to the poor… with no strings attached.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

“timePOD" (5 of 5 time management tips)

I hope these time management tips have helped you so far. But I’m sure you’re wondering what happens when you apply all the tips, but still don’t have enough time. I’m glad you asked. This last tip is the one you use when all other tips don’t seem to cut the mustard. It’s prayer.

Sometimes in life things don’t go exactly as planned, no matter how much you prepare. Someone forgets to tell you important information, you get sick, or a hurricane comes and shuts everything down. There are so many variable to consider when managing your time. But when all your plans fail, pray! There’s a really cool story in the bible, about a guy named Joshua. God told Joshua to do something. Click here to read it. Joshua immediately went to work, but still couldn’t find enough time in that day to do the all that God told him to do. (You ever feel like that?) So instead of getting worried and nervous, Joshua talked to God in front of everyone, and asked Him to stop the sun and moon from moving. God answered his prayer, and Joshua was supernaturally given more time to finish his task.

Even though we know it wasn’t the sun or moon that stopped moving, but instead the earth had stopped rotating, the point is that sometimes you just gotta ask God for supernatural strength, grace, and even time in order to finish things you gotta do. Nothing wrong with asking God for help! I just wish Apple, with all of their cool technology, could create a device that freezes time. Maybe they can call it a timePOD?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

“Everyday is training day” (4 of 5 time management tips)

Some of my most dreadful moments in life came two weeks before football season started in college. I originally went to Bridgewater College to play basketball, but wound up being apart of a Championship football team my sophomore year. As most athletes know, two-a-days are a training period where you do nothing but train and prepare for two weeks for the upcoming football season, and you have at least two major practices every day. Not fun, but definitely important and needed.

The reason why it was so hard, was because you don’t always see the benefits of this rigorous time immediately, so it becomes difficult to justify all the hard work and strain you put your body through. But sometimes you just gotta look ahead to the future, and have faith that your current sacrifices will produce great rewards in due time. Now as we talk about time management, I know for myself, one of my biggest issues has been laziness. I used to put things off to the last minute, and then either not finish tasks, or finish them in ways that didn’t represent excellence.

So this tip is pretty short and straightforward: Discipline yourself, work hard, and don’ let laziness make your life stressful. Click here to see what Paul says about this. Self-control, discipline, and sacrifice, are not feel good practices. Neither were two-a-days. But in order to be focused, strategic, and productive with our life and time-management, we need to develop the mentality that everyday is training day.

Monday, September 1, 2008

“Don't forget to eat your A.M's” (3 of 5 time management tips)

Hey everyone, SO SORRY I couldn't update my blog these past few days. I was out of town, and the hotel didn't have wireless internet. I mean c'mon! No wireless? Anywho, here's tip number 3 out of 5. Hope it helps.

Growing up, my mother never had problems with me finishing lunch or dinner, and every snack in between. However, she did have a hard time getting me to eat breakfast. For some reason, I just didn’t like eating early in the morning. (It’s still a struggle of mine) But as a kid, I always thought that as long as I ate the same amount of food as three meals throughout the day, I wouldn’t need to eat breakfast. Basically, I ate more food in less time. Looking back, it wasn’t the best strategy.

I think our schedules are like this sometimes. In the same way we need a balanced diet, we also need a balanced schedule. I see so many students with “top heavy” schedules, meaning nothing in the morning, everything at night. And all they do is run ragged all night long, sleep in, and do it again. Stressful huh? Even if you’re not the type to sleep in late, I want to encourage all of us (myself included) to become more productive throughout the whole day, not just in exhausted spurts.

The bible is full of examples of people rising up early in the morning to do things. Click here for a few examples. Even in His busy schedule, Jesus would get up early in the morning to pray, because it was the only time of day He could be alone. What does your day look like? Do you feel crammed with stuff to do? Do you feel like there isn’t enough time?

The bible says there is a time for everything. Maybe we just gotta use the time that’s given to us more wisely. Spread it out, not trying to do everything at once. And just like my mom always reminded me to eat breakfast, maybe I’ll remind you, “Don’t forget to eat your A.M’s”

Thursday, August 28, 2008

“You better count your chickens before they hatch” (2 of 5 time management tips)

Growing up, we always heard that we shouldn’t count our chickens before they hatch. Well, I looked up where that saying originated, and I don’t agree. You can read the origin here. It’s basically a mother telling her daughter to only plan and make decisions for the now, but not for the future.

Jesus said that if someone wants to build a tower, doesn’t that person see how much it’s gonna cost them (time and money), and then decide if they’ll be able to complete it or not? It’s the same way for us in our lives. How many things do we say yes to, only to find out that the cost of that things is way more involved than we thought. And so we wind up pulling a couple of all-nighters or canceling prior commitments we’ve made.

One the best ways to manage your time, is to only take on things that you know you’ll be able to complete without loosing sleep for weeks. I’m not saying that you should only do easy stuff all the time to make sure you get them done. But if you decide you want to do something that’s going to take a lot of your time and effort, make sure you don’t sacrifice that big great thing at the expense of bunch of not-so-important things.

So plan ahead, plan wisely, don’t fill up your schedule too quickly, and don’t forget, “You better count your chickens before they hatch.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

“First things first” (1 of 5 time management tips)

Everyone thinks they need a little more time in their day. And I’m sure there are occasions when it’s true, like when your on vacation, or spending time with family and friends. But why do we try to jam so much into our already busy schedules? Why are we so hard pressed to join every campus group that will make our resume look good, or too afraid to say no to that professor or advisor who asks you to join a committee that you’re really not to enthusiastic about?

What do you think is best for you and the things you commit to? Is it being mediocre at 15 different things? Or is it being GREAT at 2-3 things? Some people may be great at more or less that what I just said, but the point is that we prioritize what is most important, and give more attention and energy to the things on the top of the list. In fact, I’m sure we can do away with some “good” things for the sake of some “great” things in our lives.

Jesus pretty much said the same thing. Check this link out. He said don’t worry about all the things in you gotta do. But the first thing on your list should be to spend time with Him, and just plain old live right. And in doing those things, all the other things (which are important) will come to you. Jesus is showing us, that if don’t prioritize our relationship with Him in our busy filled days, there’s a good chance we may not find time for the most important thing in our life, Him!

What have you done today? Whatever you do, make sure the first things first.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

“Got Time?”

Class is back in session! And I’m sure students across the country are ecstatic! (I say that sarcastically) The truth is, so many students are freaking and stressing out. And dare I say that a lot of that stress doesn’t necessarily come from our workload, but from how we manage the workloads we have.

Time management can be vital to success and greatness, but so few are actually taught it. Even I need a lesson or two in time management every now and then. Now even though I’m no expert, I want to share some things I’ve learned from the bible and my personal experiences, on how we should spend our time. Isn’t it crazy that the bible actually has some practical applications about how we should live?

Many people know that were supposed to be good stewards of what we’ve been given, and many think that it’s only talking about money, property, etc. But did you know that it also includes time? It’s really not a far stretch, cause everyone’s heard the phrase, “time is money.” So how you spend your time is very important!

College should prepare you for “real life”, whatever that means. Not just in the areas of your future profession, but in areas of character, habits, and overall lifestyle. I believe that the way you leave one thing will determine how you enter another. So instead of waiting for after college to start learning how to manage your time efficiently and effectively, over the next five days, I want to give you five different principles on time management that I hope will help you as you start this school year. Got time?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

“K.I.S.S. it (Keep.It.Simple.Stupid)”

Felt a little nostalgic earlier tody as I played kickball with a group of friends. Besides the fact that I slightly sprained my ankle carrying a tub of bottled water, I had a great time. This afternoon, I really felt like a kid again. Tonight, I definitely feel like an old man.

As I was playing earlier, I was thinking about the three different times Jesus said we SHOULD act like children! I always wonder about that statement, and I think I get new perspectives on it all the time. Today as I played kickball, I realized, in the middle of all the rules we adults put on the game, it really is a pretty simple concept. Roll the ball, kick the ball, and run run run.
You know what else is a pretty simple concept? The Christian faith. Although it will take eternity to grasp how wide and long and high and deep the love of Christ is, it’s still pretty straight forward. Jesus said follow him, love God with all your ability, love everyone along the way, no matter what. 

We need to stop searching for the next “new deep” revelation, “new deep” theological truth, or “new deep” experience. We need to become like children, and keep it simple. And I say this in the most endearing way possible, “Just K.I.S.S. It (Keep.It.Simple.Stupid).”

Friday, August 22, 2008

“Hidden Potential”

Earlier today I came across this show on TV called Hidden Potential. This show basically shows homebuyers and viewers what their dream home could look like before they buy it. It was pretty amazing to see what the finished product COULD look like with a little bit of help.

Maybe we should start our own show about campus ministry. Too bad the name Hidden Potential is already taken, because thats a big element of what we do. So many students have no idea what they are capable of until someone comes along and helps them grasp a vision for their life, especially the ones that have an extremely poor self image. It’s always exciting to call greatness out of the hidden places in people’s lives, and even more so when they begin to see it themselves.

Maybe this helps a little in answering a question I often get, “Why on earth would Jesus die for me?” Well, maybe it’s because you’re worth a lot more to Him than you think you’re worth at all. I think, just like the show, he can look at you and see how truly great and amazing you are. Can you see you’re “Hidden Potential?”

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

“ Lighting CAN strike more than twice”

Now that Phelps is done swimming, is anyone watching Usain Bolt dominate the 100m & 200m? He already has the gold medal for the 100m, and is hoping to be the first since Carl Lewis back in 1984, to win gold in the 100m & 200m. The way this guy runs is just like the way Phelps swims, naturally amazing, but relaxed.

Those runners were clocking speeds close to 30 mph, but their faces looked so at ease. You could even see their bottom lips just hanging and bouncing as if they were falling asleep. I remember someone told me that they can actually run better when their bodies are relaxed as compared to rigid and stiff.

So many analogies can be drawn between athletics and the Christian faith, and this is no exception. Jesus often encouraged us to not worry. Not to worry about life; what we’ll eat, wear, or even say in the moments when we’re asked questions that we may not be confident to answer. For me, when I worry I get all tensed up, and when I chill, I’m relaxed. Now it’s not that Jesus was telling us to not care about anything, and just chill all the time, but to do the opposite of worry, which is to have faith.

So if these runners run better relaxed, maybe we should run our lives relaxed. And if you run your life relaxed, not worried all the time, maybe we can be as great as Usain Bolt...maybe lighting CAN strike more than twice.