Making Room for God

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The world moves so fast; sometimes we just need to stand still and remember what’s around us.

God's Notions

Nearly every day we have interaction with some sort of social media. Whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or some other site, it’s really hard stop moving.

We’re trying to track followers, build our audience and develop GREAT content that is going to change everyone’s life — regardless of the other inspiring, motivational, and successful people out there doing it right now with ease.

Why is it so hard for us to sit still? Why can’t we just have less regrets, not take things for granted, and enjoy what’s sitting right in front of us?

A random hypothesis? Social media.

Technology makes us impatient — social media makes us impartial. What’s a synonym for impartial? Dispassionate. Our substantial dictionary, Merriam Webster, defines dispassionate as: not influenced by strong emotion.

Hmm, that’s odd. 

Last year, I decided to take a step away from social media for lent and this year I will be doing the same. It’s time to take a step back into the real world, smell the fresh air (and coffee), and relish in the good that’s sitting right outside.


Matthew 6:16-18

16 “And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair[a] and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.


What are you doing for God this year? Today?

Baseline: Take a break from the social media junk for a while. It’s a good way to remember that there are real people left in the world and tangible life is available!

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Tech Predictions

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Even great technology experts have not made the
best predictions regarding the future.

With unprecedented access to information in our current technology era, it is hard to believe that our society could move forward without a “computerized” nation sometimes. We live in a data intensive world with packets traveling from L.A. to New Jersey and transformation occurring all over the place.

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It’s good to look at the past occasionally and notice how society has changed. Some of my favorite quotes are in what is called a “worst tech predictions” category. Below are great examples of statements actually made during beginning stages of technology growth:

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”
— Ken Olson, president Digital Equipment Corp, 1977

“Two years from now, spam will be solved.”
— Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, 2004

It looks like these were great predictions! Well, not quite. Most individuals now own a laptop or desktop computer at home and work on one at work as well. Additionally, emails still have issues with spam. Although these people might have not had the best anticipation of the future, they have still played an important role in making leaps and accepted the change as a result.

The important takeaway from statements such as these is that there has to be a willingness to change. In order to better the future, what typically seems that it is working best now may not be best for then.

Source: http://goo.gl/94MgUo

Do you desire to do something better?

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Great thinking! Time for yourself is not selfish, it’s natural.

Whits Moments

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Do you every have a wish or desire to do something better? I have and it’s been there for awhile. Having two toddlers and a husband that’s still in college makes that wish a little more challenging. I want to be physically healthy, write until my heart is content, read more from the bible, and help volunteer my time. Of course I could hire a babysitter, but then the chances of me being able to stay at home with my children would be less affordable.

Lets begin with the list of excuses:

1. I don’t have TIME

2. If I get up in the morning I will wake my kids

3. I’ll do it when _____ happens ( A change for a change)

I could go on and on because I have created all kinds of excuses for stopping me be the person I want to be. So how…

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IT Changing the World.

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  IT.

Consider how IT has changed the entertainment industry.

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Forty years ago

You had to go to a movie theater if you wanted to see a movie.

Thirty-five years ago

You could wait for it to be on television.

Twenty-five years ago

You could wait for it to be on cable television.

Twenty years ago

You went to a video store and rented it.

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Now

Anytime you are sitting on the couch and have an electronic device handy (smartphone, iPad, TV, etc) you can watch pretty much whatever you’d like.

How does this affect our generation? Obviously, this is not the biggest concern that many have against technology, but this is what so many people are used to. Having their most favorite movie right in the palm of their hands or on the tube in front of them.

This is a fascinating thought to see how information technology has evolved in such a rapid state, but let’s take the time to do some things the “old-fashioned” way.

Baseline: There is nothing better than enjoying that moment when a daughter, son, parent or [fill in the blank] gives you a beautiful time to remember. There is no replacement for those times — even a picture can’t replace it!

Nickels, W. G., McHugh, J. M., & McHugh, S. M. (2013). Understanding business. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

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5 Tips for Starting Microsoft Certifications.

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For those curious to find out a little more about what it takes to become Microsoft certified, here are some need to know facts:

Microsoft

    1. After passing your first exam, an MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) certification is acquired. This is only the beginning of a long journey. Now, you will have access to your own profile and paths to new exams recommended.
    2. Microsoft exams are heavily scenario based. Make sure you spend a lot of time studying what “happens in the real world” actually on a computer. Be sure you know technical terms and concepts as well. Setup a lab environment. Head over to
      Microsoft’s site to get an evaluation copy of Windows 8.1
      Enterprise.
    3. Head over to CBT Nuggets. They do an AWESOME job teaching the skills needed to pass these exams. Combined, their staff has an incredible amount of expertise.
    4. Make sure that you devote PLENTY of time for these certifications. Sure, it’s good if you pass, but make sure that the material is understood and can be retained for the next test.
    5. Plan ahead. Set a date on the calendar and make sure to stick to the agenda. It’s not fun pulling an all-nighter to cram for an exam. Plus, your brain doesn’t like it.

If you have a good grasp with computer knowledge and are comfortable with more advanced hardware and software configuration, a great place to start is with the MCSA Windows 8.1. It’s a two-part exam that leads to the full certification. Below are two texts that cover the exam objectives:

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Baseline: Continuing education is part of being in the tech world. If you want to keep up with technology (specifically computers), exams like these need to be taken to prove your knowledge.

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Balance

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We need to do this. We need to do that. How many times do you notice saying something remotely close to those two sentences?

Staying on top of tasks is hard. You know, if it were easy, wouldn’t
everyone do it? We try to get in front of everything we are responsible for — work, possibly kids, cleaning, juggling bills.

The hard part is trying to find that balance. What are the priorities that are going on? No, really. What are the most important things on the list that should be taken care of?

Maybe that #1 priority is spending time with your one-and-two year old children. They will not be small forever. I’m pretty sure that is just one of those sayings that everyone hears all. the. time. “It will be here before you know it” or “enjoy it while it lasts”. But we don’t. We continue to live our lives and think to ourselves, I’ve got plenty of time.

Balance what you can handle. Balance the jobs or tasks that in the upper portion of the to-do list. Those other things can wait — assuming you have classified them correctly of course.

On a random side note: You know what’s awesome? New wiper blades. Yep.

Baseline: Write down an agenda and stick to it. Balance the things you need to do with your spouse, friend, or significant other to help remember the items that need completed and to stay on track.

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Communication

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The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said. — Peter Drucker

Let’s read a short story, shall we?

This is a story about four people: Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
 
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.

Everybody was sure Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job.

Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when actually Nobody asked Anybody.

One of the worst aspects of communication is assumptions. Would you agree?

Don’t be sucked into assuming that something will be done or that someone understands you completely. Take a second to bring clarity to the conversation. For example, maybe say “here is what I heard; is that how you said it and what you meant?”

Now, especially when conversing male to female or vice-versa, our languages are different! Remember that. The bad part is that we assume and then a miscommunication or misunderstanding happens. What occurs at this point? An entirely preventable conversation.

It’s very easy for this to go on and on from conversation-to-conversation.

Baseline: Communication is key. For some reason, I do not think I’m the only firm believer with that statement. Try your best to understand the first time, rather than assuming what you heard is right. The other party will thank you.

Proverbs 25:11 (ESV)

11 A word fitly spoken
     is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

Normality

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“If you want what normal people want, do what normal people do; if you want what few people want, do what few people do.”

The above quote is credited to Union Chapel. Not quite sure if our pastor Gregg Parris came up with that on his own, but I’ll give him the credit!
normal
It really makes you think. Am I the normal, or am I the few?

When you make a change for the better, it is not the easiest feat. There is a lot of thinking involved and changing and blah blah. Here’s the thing to remember — others will still be the same! Don’t go by what others tell you to do. Follow your ways and be true to those ways. It will be of great motivation to see how others still remain in their own ways no matter what you say to them or how you attempt to persuade.

YOU CANT CHANGE PEOPLE; THEY HAVE TO BE WILLING AND MAKE THE CHANGE THEMSELVES! Sorry, I had to validate my point there — I know it was loud.

Here’s an example…

[ For those of you out there that have decided to take the Dave Ramsey FPU (Financial Peace University) or The Total Money Makeover plunge, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. ]

When first starting our journey to getting out of debt, I thought $15/week was a great “going-out-for-lunch” budget. Then it was dropped to $0/week. Yep. From 15 to 0.

All of the sudden, I became the cheap-skate. “C’mon, it’s only five bucks” or “Who can’t afford to go out?” they say. Guess who tells me that? The normal ones. Those people.

Are they bad people? Of course not. The thing is, I am willing to sacrifice more now, than later. Sure I’d like to go out and eat every day, but a priority right now is to get out of debt — that’s not normal!

Another thing that’s not normal is being a Christian. Now that’s something that will make you stand-out! Some people just do not and will not understand until they are on the few path with you.

Baseline: At the end of the day it doesn’t matter. Don’t try to look better if deep down inside it’s simply not true.  Resist conformity and being consumed by the ways of the world.

Matthew 5:11-12
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

Technology: To You It May Concern

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Thanks to a large number of blogs, I have noticed an increasing trend in “letter style” formatted posts. It has inspired me to do the same and write with a different perspective.

technology

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Technology:

Boy, you are fascinating! I can pull you out of my pocket and find virtually ANYTHING I’d like to know. Even though I use unnecessary aspects of my time fiddling with your various buttons, for a small percentage of that time I am being productive and efficient by using you.

Please do not mind the few times that you have been abused — for those could have been accidents or intentional. I have to admit and be completely honest in stating that I have a strong sense of frustration when I don’t get exactly from you what I want.

Maybe I’m being too needy. Just maybe I’m asking a lot. The bottom line is that I cannot get away from you, no matter how hard I try. Nearly eighty-one percent of people in the world use you on a daily basis and that need is rising. 

Your presence is relentless. How do I begin to relax and practice a stress-free environment while you are there?

Unfortunately, I have to bring this up. I think it’s time that we take a break. I have a great family at home that requests my attention. It’s just too much to focus on your needs and my wants at the same time. 

Although this is most likely not what you’d like to hear, it is the truth. I want to be honest with you. Would you do the same for me? The answer to that question seems to rely on my choice of search engine. 

Is this farewell? Absolutely not. I will be by your side, as you are to mine. However, as the time fades away in the distance, I know you’ll never forget me. 

Yours Truly,

Avid Technology User

Conquering Fear.

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I’m not good enough. Other people are smarter than me. I’m too forgetful to remember how to do anything. I don’t know where to start.

Let’s face it. All of us have some type of fear — whether we’d like to admit it or not.

When one finally finds their purpose, facing fears is only the start of becoming successful. Now, do not automatically assume that being successful means living in a big house, driving a fancy car, or having tons of money.

What are your fears? I’m not talking about:

  1. Automatonophobia
    Fear of ventriloquist’s dummies, animatronic creatures, wax statues – anything that falsly represents a sentient being
  2. Carnophobia
    Fear of meat (appropriate — I’m a vegetarian)
  3. Ergophobia
    Fear of work
  4. Francophobia
    Fear of France or French culture
  5. Gynephobia/Gynophobia
    Fear of women

Although these are valid fears, they aren’t the ones most of us come in contact with everyday. These include:

  1. I’m afraid of not being good at what I’m passionate about; therefore, I choose not to do it.
  2. My life is normal and I’m comfortable. I cannot take a risk outside my comfort (experience) zone.
  3. I’m good at what I do — why should I start something else?
  4. Everyone else will criticize me if I make a significant change.
  5. I see others that have already started something similar to what I’d like to do. I won’t make it.

Being scared of rejection is the reason why we don’t do things or speak up. Also, not knowing how to do something or being unsure and overwhelmed of too many tasks will cause us not to do it.

Start today by conquering those fears. Write them down or use a note-taking app like Google Keep to help you remember what they are. Once you start seeing what they are, find out how tough they really seem. I bet you find that they start occurring less in your head after facing them.

A great book you can read that will help with some of the fears listed above (as well as those rotating through your head) : Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters. Additionally, read one of my earlier posts on the topic.

Baseline: DO NOT let fear keep you from doing what you love or being successful in your own way. Face them [fears] directly and move forward in your life happily instead of negatively. Most importantly, let God strengthen you through the conquering.

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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