Archive for April, 2010

Lost Virtues–Truth

In our day and age, truth is a lost virtue. No longer is there an absolute truth. Truth is more of a relative term, to mean anything the believer wants it to mean. If it’s truth to them, than it’s truth. Blue Pen

Truth–noun: the true or actual state of a matter; conformity with fact or reality; agreement with a standard or original.

When we look at the word Truth, we see that it’s meaning points to something. It must point to a standard or an original idea, item or origin, otherwise, why would we need to measure for truth?

An example would be to take a blue pen, that is the original item before us. The truth of the matter is that the pen is blue. You can’t say that the pen is red, because that would not be true. However, many people, especially from my perspective in working with students, will try to argue that the pen is red. Why? Because they don’t want to believe in an absolute truth.

Taking the meaning a bit deeper, let’s use the Bible for our standard of Truth. Hopefully if you are a Christ-follower this is what you use for your standard of truth. But sadly many professed Christ-followers would admit that the Bible does not represent absolute truth for them. Truth is truth. Truth is not what you make it. Unless of course you’re believing lies.

There is a whole other angle we can come at with this subject. Many of you know my passion for truth as it pertains to freedom from insecurity. To know and believe the truth about yourself is to be free. The truth really does set you free, as the Bible says. But knowing truth, and believing truth are two separate things. Do you know the truth of who you are and who you were created to be? Do you believe that truth and are you walking it out in your life? Or are you stuck, with lies blurring your vision of the truth? No wonder we struggle so much with believing truth! We first have to believe in an absolute truth before we can believe the truth about who we are.

Truth is a lost virtue. But we desperately need truth! What can we do to get it back?

Lost Virtues–Commitment

Next week, LifeChurch.tv begins a new series called Lost Virtues. In this series we will look at a few virtues that seem to have lost their importance in our society. I won’t tell you what the virtues are, but I will share a few virtues of my own that seem to have gone by the wayside.

Commitment–Verb: To give in trust or charge; to pledge oneself, to bind or obligate, as by pledge or assurance.

I love that the word commitment is a verb. An action word! It takes action to be committed! Commitment in our day and age is a lost virtue. No one wants to commit to anything anymore.

One of the reasons I am so passionate about this virtue is because I work with volunteers. When you work with volunteers commitment is the only thing you have to motivate people. You can’t pay volunteers therefore you can’t fire them. When a volunteer is commited you know it. They show up every week, on time, ready to give what they can. They understand the world doesn’t exist for them, they exist for the world, to give back what they can. (Thank you to all of the commited leaders at N-Dub SWITCH. You enable the ministry.)

I was raised to believe that commitment should be taken seriously. That when you give your word to something you follow through. One of my favorite verses is Matthew 5:37 “Simply let your yes be yes and your no, no. Anything else comes from the devil.” Be a person of your word. Commitment is one of my core values, something I manage my life around and will someday instill in my family.

What about you? Do you believe in commitment? Do you think commitment is a lost virtue? Why?

Are You Emotionally Intelligent?

Emotional Intelligence 2.0Our staff is currently reading the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0. This book helps us understand emotions in ourselves and in others and offers tools on how to manage behaviors and relationships. This is an important concept since we are all creatures of emotion and we interact daily with other creatures of emotion. This book offers enlightenment and strategies for improvement in these four areas:

Self-Awareness–to know yourself as you really are.

Self-Management–your ability to use awareness of your emotions to actively choose what you say and do.

Social Awareness–a skill used to recognize and understand the moods of other individuals and entire groups of people.

Relationship Management–The ability to make your relationships work.

As I make it through the book I’ll share some insights and nuggets, but I highly recommend the book to everyone. Each book comes with a unique code in the back so you can take a test to gauge your personal emotional intelligence.

Freedom is a Paradox

Are you free? I guess that would depend on how you look at the question. If you live in the United States, you would the_bird_cage_escapeanswer that question with a yes, since it is a free country. But even then, would it really be true?

What I’m talking about is personal freedom. Freedom from our personal addictions, freedom from our vices, freedom from our insecurities, freedom from those things that hold us back. I’m afraid a lot of us would say that we are not free from those things. But even if we were, would we really be free?

I guess that depends on how you look at freedom. What does it mean to be truly free? Is there even such a thing? You see, freedom is a paradox. The more liberated you become of something, the more controlled you will become to something else.

Take these ideas for example:

  • Let’s say you’d like to win freedom over laziness. To win freedom over laziness the more controlled by discipline you will become.
  • What about self-indulgence? If you want freedom from self-indulgence, you’ll have to become more enchained to self-control.
  • Instead of being a slave to sin, we have to become slaves of righteousness.–Ro. 6:15-19

Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey? –Ro. 6:16

So which is it for you? Are you free in the freedom that brings life, or are you enslaved to the things that you obey?

Freedom is a paradox.

I Don’t Want to Write a Blog

BLOGYes, you read that right. I don’t want to write a blog. But here I am, sitting on my couch, writing a blog. Why? Because I have to. Because it’s what God wants me to do.

I’ve been pretty transparent with you, my readers, about my own self-sabotage–particularly pertaining to this blog. I’ve found myself again getting inconsistent in my posts. Why? Because I’m disobedient, a procrastinator, lazy. I’ll admit it. I know my weaknesses.

But I have hope. Because here I am, sitting here, writing a blog.

It’s hard to do things you don’t want to do. But usually it‘s in those things that you find the most satisfaction, the most reward.

What about you? What do you not want to do? Are you doing it, or are you letting it beat you? I promise to keep you accountable if you promise the same for me. What could be on the other side of our obedience? Only action will tell.

One Leader’s Influence

This is a very cool story about the influence of one of our SWITCH leaders, brought to you through text messages:

March 25th, 11:12pm–Thursday

Leader: That voice that you heard inside of you last night is the Holy Spirit convicting you and giving you advice on what to do. Next time you hear it, obey it and each time you obey it, it will get easier to live a godly life.

March 26th, 11:12pm–Friday

Student: Wow. I have seriously thot about what u told me. I was just offered EX (extacy) and and I was just about to take it and I heard that voice. I flushed it down the toilet. My friend asked me why and I told him that God spoke to me. He laughed. But I know I don’t have to explain myself.

I remembered that message at SWITCH too and I figured out who my true good influence is. YOU. I thought about what you would do in this situation.

Leader: I’m proud of you brother! This is what it’s all about. You have no idea what’s going through your buddy’s mind. Even though he laughed at you, your actions will make him think. God will continue to test you then bless you and use you for his glory! Keep up the good work and call/text me for anything!

This is what it’s all about. One leader’s influence on one student is changing this student’s life for Christ. There is nothing better than pouring your energies into someone who is searching for their identity in Christ. When you do, you get to be a part of shaping this person into who God created them to be.

I encourage you, please continue to pray for our students. God is moving.

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