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9/26/17 : Sports Sports (Politics?) Sports

D-Wade is gettin' back with Bron Bron! He gave 8 million of his remaining deal with the Bulls back to them so they could reach a buy-out the day training camp started, and then signed with the Cavaliers today for 2.4 million. This has been the most exciting off season in the NBA as long as I've been alive, BY FAR. A few months ago I said, The dominance of the Golden State Warriors is no good for the NBA. It's not competitive and people don't wanna watch and it just makes players want to form more superteams.

Well, I was wrong. This is incredible. SO MANY ALL-STARS SWITCHED TEAMS! It's like we are all just watching some teenager control the NBA like he's on MyGM mode, 2K18 style. The NBA is fun. 

Meanwhile, in the NFL...

So the players, coaches, and even some owners responded to Trump's comments Friday evening with varied forms of familiar silent protests during the National Anthem, and some fans seem to be pretty upset about it. 

It seems important to me to remember what is being protested, specifically.

It seems important to me to recognize that everyone has the freedom of speech: players, presidents, AND fans. It doesn't seem important to me to use my freedom of speech to tell others that they need to find a different, equally peaceful/non-violent way to protest.

It is important to me to pray, to listen, to understand, and to love.  

8/30/17 : Spotify

Couldn't post this last night 'cuz my internet was being spotty (TWC stinks..), but listen to the Project Impact: Worship playlist on Spotify! 

For some reason I can't attach a link, so just search "project impact : worship" on Spotify and you'll find it. 

8/15/17 : 50 Days of Blogging

I missed a couple days here and there, but golly jang wabbit, 50 days in a row is, like, the best I've ever done! I'm very happy about this!

However, I'm a little sad because it feels like 50 is a big number, and then I realize that a full year is 315 more days. I have no idea what I'm going to be blogging about all those days, buuuuuuuut I have a feeling there will be quite a few more NBA gifs that tell my story of marriage, a few rants here and there, a bunch of my favorite rockin' jams, some super professional-grade pictures taken on my iPhone, and if we're all lucky there will be some posts about what I'm doing with the lottery I win. 

50 first days were a Slam Dunk.        #amirite

50 first days were a Slam Dunk.        #amirite

Day 47: I Hate the Internet

Today I spent an hour and a half writing about Charlottesville and racism and hate and love and Christianity and how all of that is related. 

Then, I waited til Morgan could read it because I run everything by her first to make sure it's on point. 

But THEN, the internet decided it had waited long enough, so it deleted everything I wrote without posting it. I tried rewriting it, but it just isn't the same. Earlier I was passionately writing about overcoming hate with love, but now I'm passionately wanting to do this:

I'll finish the stuff about love vs hate tomorrow. 

Day 45: Don't "Blair Walsh" This!

Ironically, the thing I've written the least about the past 45 days is probably the thing in my life that dominates the most of my time and energy. I'm surprised when I read those words, because honestly I can talk for hours and hours about Union College and Christian education (and that's probably why I get paid to). 

Today was kind of the last day of "summer" for us in the enrollment office. There are already a bunch of students back from whatever their summer adventure was, but tomorrow truly marks the beginning of a new cycle. All year long I recruit new students, pushing a campus visit, giving tours, talking about finances, and sharing my experiences in hopes that some young kid will relate to them in a way that can help him/her make a decision about college. For the past few months, I've been praying and hoping that enough of them end up deciding to come to Union that we can actually grow (which is unusual in Adventist higher education right now). 

Now, we get to see the fruits of all our labors! It is pretty stressful. In fact, I'll compare it to being a kicker in the NFL. You practice, warm up, stretch, and maybe kick a few extra points or field goals, but then all of a sudden the game is on the line, and everything depends on you. Check out how dramatic the difference is between making the kick and pullin' a Blair Walsh:

Needless to say, I'm praying for a game winner at Union College. I know I will write again sometime about the various reasons I will support Union and Adventist higher education 'til I die, but in the meantime just know that the college deserves a win and I hope that our enrollment team can give it to them. 

Day 32: End of the Week

I'm very grateful that I work for an institution that allows me to leave work at noon on Fridays. For those of you that have to work a full work-day on Fridays...what I'm about to say may be annoying to you. 

Friday afternoons are too short.

All I want to do is get everything clean, groceries bought, car washed, bills paid, and clothes washed so I can enjoy one day stress free! I pick Saturday because of reasons I'll probably post another day, AND because Sunday is my day to be productive as a mug (read about it here). But alas, there doesn't seem to be enough time. 

Then again, there IS enough time. The problem is that when I'm off work I just want to do this. 

It's like the end of the week can be literally personified as a brick wall; you just hit it and you're done. I gotta say, today I powered through that wall, and I'm SO looking forward to a day of complete stress-free rest and relaxation. Now I'm going to go do that thing on my bed. ^^^^

Day 27: Sundays

Sundays have become increasingly full of productive expectations that I set for myself. I go into it thinking, I'm going to start out this week getting SO MUCH STUFF done! Rarely do I check every box on my to-do list.

Today, I even got up early to play a game of basketball in the Cornhusker State Games (I played horrible-we got worked, in case you're wondering). Then I went home, did dishes, had a delicious breakfast, (THANKS MORGAN), did dishes again, and got started on my list. The sun was out. For the first time in a week it wasn't 95 degrees out. 

But I was inside, writing addresses on Thank You cards from our wedding gifts.

By the time I finished this first task on my list, I realized everything else on my list was to be done indoors. My whole afternoon would be spent indoors. Also, I was getting tired. I wasn't motivated. But I had stuff to do! But it was so nice out. But I was tired. I needed a break. But there wasn't any time for a break. I only get one Sunday a week! I NEED TO MAXIMIZE. But I'm feeling lethargic and lazy.

Do any of you relate to this inner struggle on Sundays? Any tips to squeezing every last drop out of the productive window that is a Sunday? Please, hook a brother up. 

Day 19: Hand-in-Hand

When talking about Christianity, it seems like the description-of and love-for WHO Jesus is should go hand in hand with conversion and a change in lifestyle as we learn to obey Him more. However, if you believe something going "hand-in-hand" means it is simple, then you're probably wrong.

Watch.

The high five has some very complicated nuances that, if missed, can make for some pretty hilarious highlight reels on YouTube. You've got to consider several key elements. 

#1 

Make eye contact BEFORE reaching out your hand to initiate "the five".

#2

Make sure you clearly have an open hand. It's not rock-paper-scissors.

#3

You must be clear on whether you're "up-high" or "down-low". Don't be Ronny Turiaf.

I'm only scratching the surface here. Anyways, my point is that even with "hand-in-hand" (high fives) there's an order to things. I know this analogy is a stretch, but its way more entertaining than just me talking about it.

Most sermons you hear fall into one of two categories: either they are all about Jesus and who He is/what He has done OR they are about you/what your life should look like as a follower of Jesus. Most people would say these go "hand-in-hand". This means you can't get one without the other, as they are equally important/interchangeable... but if you watched the videos above, you know it is just not that simple.

There absolutely has to be a clear focus on one specific part, and the rest falls together. In the high-five, I believe the key to nailing it is to lock in some good eye contact while yelling "HIGH-FIVE". That's it. 

When it comes to Jesus, the key to nailing it is to talk about Jesus' unconditional, unfailing, unchanging, all-encompassing, never-tiring, infinite, personal, indescribably selfless love, and that's it. The lifestyle change, the obedience, will undoubtedly follow. 

However, if you have the privilege to talk about Jesus to someone and your main focus is on that lifestyle change and perfect obedience, you have now set an expectation that no human being can ever maintain. You've set them up for failure. They may obey for a time. Shoot, they may obey for a LONG time. 

But it's for the wrong reasons. And it's unsustainable.

Last analogy- It's like balancing a broom on your hand. If you look at the bottom of the broomstick, where it's touching your hand, you cannot balance it very long. However, if you look at the top of the broom, way above where the point of contact is, you can balance it til your arm gets tired. Where you put your focus determines your success.

In your mind, and with your words, ALWAYS put your focus on WHO JESUS IS. Plain and simple. The rest will fall into place. 

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
— 2 Corinthians 3:!8

Day 10: Motivation

I read once somewhere that a successful person doesn't believe in motivation. They don't sit around waiting for it to strike. They don't read inspirational quotes in the morning to get them going. They don't rely on successes of others to drive them away from their own failures.

They just do. Whether or not they feel like it, they just do whatever it is they are determined to do. 

Well, I guess I'm not one of those people. It certainly feels to me like motivation is something I either have or I don't have. 

And when I don't, I write something like this.  

Day 1: 364 to go.

I feel like I just need to write! So here it goes. I'm gonna write SOMETHING each day for 365 days. I have no clue what each day will be about, but I'll write something. 

If you know me, you know I try this kind of stuff ALL THE TIME. So if you're reading this, and care to bookmark it and make it a part of your daily ready for the next year, leave me a comment saying you expect me to see this through, and I'll put your name down on The List. The List is a list of people I just decided I will pay a dollar to every time I miss a day this year. 

So I guess this first post is just about me posting. I've got a lot to write about that I've been learning. Probably tomorrow I'll tell you about my wife.

WIFE.

I'm married.

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Comment! Not only to get on "The List", but to engage. I'm big on making friends, relationships, talking and that kind of thing. 

I think this is going to be challenging for me to see through, but really rewarding. 

#WriteOrWrong