August 2012

(Note: This post is written just as much to myself as it is to anyone reading this, and maybe moreso)

I had a couple of ideas for what I wanted to write about today, and those ideas will likely pop up on blog posts in the near future (one thing I’ve learned is to write down an idea or I lose it). The problem? Distractions! Not all of them are bad; for instance, cleaning my desk off yesterday gave me some room to work and a space to read, write, create, work on any of the various projects that are on my laptop (or the ones that are still bouncing around in my head, which sadly outnumber the ones I have saved in digital form), or do any number of other things, and eliminated one excuse for not doing those things. It’s also not a bad thing that I spent a few minutes cleaning up the garage today. (Here’s a freebie for you: if you’re struggling with cleaning/organizing, set a timer for 15 minutes, or 10, or even 5, and do as much as you can before the timer goes off. Do this at least once a day. For more great cleaning/organizing/decluttering tips and ideas, check out But then, there’s also the distractions that maybe aren’t so good: the inordinate amount of time I spend online (I’m working on this one, or at least that’s what I tell myself), watching TV (a subject unto itself), not to mention a gorgeous Havana brown named Savannah, and a handsome red tabby named Keo (my two cats; petting one of them leaves me only one hand to type with). And, to be honest, I’m sure I could go on with all the distractions that surround me just inside my own home.

So what do we do about it? Well, I touched on one solution above: clean up your space! I’m not saying your home has to be ready for the pages of Martha Stewart Living (and frankly, that woman scares me sometimes), but as I said before, take 15, 10, or even 5 minutes a day, and spend that time focused on cleaning up and decluttering. Clutter is distracting; getting rid of it gets rid of a distraction. As for TV, don’t be afraid of missing a show; it’ll be in reruns sooner or later, and you can very likely find the episode you missed online via Hulu or the network’s web site. Phone ringing? Let voice mail get it. It’s highly unlikely the world will end while you take a little time for yourself, or to focus on something important. Time spent online? Well, I admitted above that this is one that I struggle with too, but the best solution I can think of is simple will power and determination. The Internet will still be there when you get done with whatever it is you’re working on. If you connect via a wireless network at home, you might check to see if there is an option on your router to limit the times you can access the Internet (I discovered this feature when my old router died and I swapped it out for a new one).

Bottom line: deal with your distractions or they’ll deal with you, and you’ll be left wondering where all your time went. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I received two Words with Friends requests while I was writing this…


I learned (or rather, was reminded) this week why communication, and over-communicating, can be so important, especially in ministry, even moreso when you have a part to play in the service. This week, I had to be at my primary job on Wednesday night (when we have our youth service). Not a big deal, right? Well, it wouldn’t have been if I had taken the time to make sure more people knew I wasn’t going to be at the service; the problem was compounded by the fact that I’m usually the announcements guy (along with another member of the volunteer staff, who, incidentally, also was not at the service).

Long story short, a couple phone calls and a few texts later (when I’m not even supposed to have my phone with me at work!) my fellow staff members knew I wouldn’t be there, but making sure they knew beforehand would have saved them wondering and worry.

Bottom line: if you’re not going to be there for an event, be it a regular service, a special event/outing/overnight trip/whatever, make sure several people know, not just your youth pastor/leader. It’ll save a lot of wondering, worry, and stress for everyone involved.

Excellent post from Joel Mayward today with some sage advice for the Class of 2013 (and really, for students at all levels).