Time to Start Writing for Me

I miss you all.

That should be said first-thing, as it seems my endeavors to blog through what has become a series of rapid-fire transitions in my life were a bit overzealous. It doesn’t mean I didn’t miss you though. On the contrary, I thought about you almost everyday, as if blogging was an old friend that went away on a dangerous journey and wouldn’t return for about four months. One of the few running themes of my old posts were that time passes and people move on, but I never had any intention of the same fate befalling my blogging career. Blogging was supposed to be my steadfast friend who follows me no matter where life takes me, like Sam from Lord of the Rings, but even I suffered from the affliction that strikes even the most prudent of democratic denizens. I got busy. Like really busy. And I make no promises that it will never happen again.

I think now that I’ve come to the point of acceptance about that, I can quit looking at blogging as my ticket to freedom to one day engage in creative art day in and day out and start looking at it at what it is, an act of passion. And if one day in the far-flung future that passion gets noticed, that’s terrific. But for right now, I simply wish to blog about what I want. No business plan, no daily schedule, no strategic guides, just posts that will be ready when they’re ready. I have no idea if that will take the form of daily short posts, weekly dissections, or month-long epics. I just know that the desire to formulate some kind of blogging get-rich plan prevents me from writing to my full potential, and I’m finally at the point where fulfilled potential is all I really want. I do enough audience planning and strategic evaluation while working in the field of public relations. I really just want a place to write, and for two, twenty, or two million people who are interested to read and comment on my posts.

At this point, it’s about minimizing. When trying to lead a life of emotional and spiritual fulfillment, complexity is your enemy.

Finals are Here! Help!

finalsarehere

Well, here we are folks. This happens twice a year; three times if you’re taking summer classes. That’s right, it’s the mad rush of finals

This is intense stuff. It really couldn’t have a better name, because a student feels like he or she is finally going to go crazy from stress. Also, if you flunk your finals, it could be the final day you’ll be enjoying college. Then you may be the person taking orders on the other side of your favorite fast food drive-thru. 

I’m convinced that worrying about finals takes years off of your life, so I’m here to help make things a little better. Each of these tips deal with the psychology of the situation, more than the actual studying aspects. There are plenty of tips out there for that. 

Divide and Conquer. Finals come in all shapes and sizes, like presentations, exams, and research reports. Most college students will either procrastinate, or will simply have a full work-load at every possible moment. The trick is to make smaller objectives for yourself and meet them. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and smaller, more attainable goals. Instead of saying I’m going to finish this report today, divide it out like this:

  • Finish Point 1 by 10:00 AM
  • Finish Point 2 by 2:00 PM
  • Finish Point 3 by 6:00 PM
  • Revise by 8:00 PM

Prioritize. Take a look at the big picture. What classes are you doing well in. What classes need improving. What assignments are worth the most points. Which assignments are due the soonest? Rank each assignment from 1-10 in priority, and get the 10’s out of the way first. 

Take Breaks. This is the most important. Take big swaths of breaks where you eat a meal, talk to your significant other, take a power nap, or play a video game. This is important because a person does his or her best work with a fresh mind. Breaks should always prioritize as a 10.

Celebrate. Even if you don’t feel like you did as well as you wanted to on your finals, celebrate. Going through this is a lot of hard work, and you want to get as many of those years back as you can. 

Above all, do not stress out about finals. Stress is the biggest enemy standing between you and a good grade. Just do the best you can, and everything will work out. 

TOP FIVE [Distractions from God] — #1

Sorry for this blog having absolutely ZERO jokes. It’s too serious of a deal to really joke about.

#1 — CHURCHES

You read correctly. The number one distraction from God on my list is none other than the places that supposedly represent God the most. Please note that this doesn’t necessarily apply to ALL churches, but many churches are so wrapped up in politics, traditions, and pointless theological debates –not the least of which is Calvinism, which seems to be rearing it’s ugly head lately for some reason—that they completely forget the God they claim to love in the first place.

This leads to a ripple effect. The components of the church, the people, begin to think that the way to serve God IS to be a part of the complicated political agenda of most churches. Preachers will lambast those that don’t serve in growing what is nothing more than a business. They will use Scripture to “prove” how people should be donating large amounts of money to a corrupt cause.

In some churches, you may well have better luck looking for God in a bar instead. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!  People who think they are serving God are dying and going to Hell because of selfish motives of so-called church leaders.

My love for my God is not based on church practices. It is a relationship with Him. I talk to Him and pray to Him. I read His word, and I serve Him with my life. I love my God with my whole heart. This is not conceit or arrogance. I mess up all the time. I sin all the time. I am a creature of sin, only saved by the grace and redemption of Jesus Christ.

But I am only one person. There is no excuse for a church to be caught up in the collective sin of greed, power, and pride to this extent. Each church that exists like this only weakens the body of Christ.

This topic may be expanded upon in the future. See you on Saturday for a full length blog, probably less harsh, of course.

 

TOP FIVE [Distractions from God] — #2

#2 — Facebook

Didn’t expect this one, did you!


“I’m just going to look up some verses on the computer…”
*Three minutes later…
“Hey! I got a notification. Crap, it’s just a game request. Oh, look at what this guy posted. Aww… they’re so cute together! Look at her new pictures.”
*and of course…
“There’s that Matt again posting those stupid Facebook pictures advertising his stupid blog!” 🙂 

Yep… I’m not one to say Facebook is the downfall of civilization but I am certain it is the downfall of the quiet time. Want to get close to God? Put your laptop up, put your phone up, don’t EVER use your iPad Bible app (ever) , and just exist with God by yourself for a while.

Ready for tomorrow’s big reveal of Number 1 on our list? It may surprise you! See ya then.

TOP FIVE [Distractions from God] — #3

#3 — Location

What I want to know is why I can do schoolwork and write blogs in the noisiest locations you can think of. Buses, restaurants, doctor’s offices- these are all fine if I’m just doing stuff. But set a Bible in front of me and I’m like, “Could you keep it down, I’m trying to talk to and read about my creator you goron!”

There are two reasons to NOT constantly study the Bible just anywhere.

1. You don’t want to come across as an over-religious freak.
2. Even if you did, you couldn’t, because you’d be too distracted.

I have the longest attention span of anyone I know, and even I wonder what my friends are doing at any given time (see tomorrow’s blog). And if there’s no friends around, Satan almost always has someone or something to divert my attention from God.

Case and point, study the Bible and talk to God in private unless you are at church or with friends just for the purpose of studying the Bible. Nobody is impressed with you acting like you are SO FIXATED on the big Bible you’re reading in the middle of science. More than likely, you’re just doing it for show.

[FUTURE TOPIC!!! — TOP 5 PRIVATE PLACES TO TALK TO GOD!]

 

TOP FIVE [Distractions from God] — #4

Hello and welcome back. If you haven’t’ read number 5 yet, click here. If you have, read on! 

#4 — Dating Relationships

Yep, you knew it was coming. But I promise, I am definitely pro-dating. I should be, as I’ve been dating my wonderful girlfriend for 3 years. But that doesn’t change the fact the some relationships can be devastating for fellowship with God. How? Glad you asked.

— Relationships are very time consuming (time on phone, dates, thoughts, etc)

— Relationships tend to focus on the immediate rather than the eternal

— Relationships can easily lead to sin (sex out of marriage, lies, lack of witnessing)

This is what leads many Christians into thinking that dating itself is wrong. I disagree with that, but I can see where they are coming from. I, however, think that relationships don’t HAVE to be a distraction if…

— The couple both allots time for each other to worship God individually AND studies the Bible and prays together

— The couple put’s God’s desires above each other’s desires

–The couple actively avoids getting into situations that could cause them to sin.

My last word on this… If a relationship you are in distracts you from God, you simply don’t need to be with that person. If that person doesn’t share and respect your beliefs, it’s not worth it to you. It doesn’t matter how much you love that person, God should always be first in your life.