Devotional Tuesday – Lessons From the Leggo Movie (Courtesy of C3 Journey)

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To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. – Matthew 25:15

The star of the Lego movie Emmet was a nice guy, an ordinary guy who thought he was doing OK in his bland routine. It turned out that he wasn’t really accomplishing anything and people didn’t really think much of him. Being a good person didn’t really make him a friend.

One day everything changed and he was no longer in his routine. He had a choice to make as to whether or not he would embrace this new opportunity ahead of him and use the dormant gifts inside of him. Once he chose to use his gifts and seemingly odd ideas, alongside other people, he saved the universe!

Serving is like this. We all have gifts, things that make us passionate, some gifts are very unique to us that other people don’t understand, but they are ours and we should embrace them and pray for God to show us how to use them.

Other gifts are hidden deep inside of us, and it is going to take friends and people of influence around us to see the gifts inside of us. Many of us are reluctant to have these talents refined and shaped, myself included. (Yep, preaching to myself) But the times I have trusted the people God has put into my life, I have grown in my ability, and more importantly, my faith.

I remember the day Pastor Sunny Kane asked if I would consider greeting on the front door once a month. I felt like that was too much! She then suggested the 5th Sunday! 4 times a YEAR! I figured I could handle that. Sunny saw a gift in me that I had no idea was there! She saw my inner passion! I just had to get over my own doubts and reluctance to step out of my comfort zone.

Now I lead a team of 100 greeters and it is my mission to help people feel loved when they walk through the doors of our church! It drives me and gives me a huge sense of fulfillment, not to mention all of the wonderful friends I have made along the way, some of whom I have seen go to the altar for salvation!

So, what are YOU waiting for? Are you going to leave YOUR talents buried or are you ready to use gifts to help save the universe?

Start small if you need to, but start.

“Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team” – Lego Movie theme song

Fashion Friday – How to Properly Lace Your Dress Shoes

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Who the hell ever thinks about how to properly lace dress shoes? I sure in the hell haven’t ever wondered about it.  I just assumed there was one way to do it, etiquette be damned!

Then I came across the following illustration at The Art of Manliness and thought, “What the hell?”  Apparently there is a right way to go about this process and I was probably doing it wrong half the time.  For those of you who wear dress shoes this illustration is awesome!  Print it off and put in your walk-in-closet (I mean your girlfriend’s/wife’s/side action’s walk-in-closet) and you will never go wrong again!

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Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

How to Wear a Sweater Over a Button Down

Sweater over button down shirt look

 

It is getting to be that time of year when we can all start to layer our clothes which not only helps us stay warm in the fall and winter but also help us look sharp as hell.  So it is important to be sure you know how to wear a sweater with a button down.  It’s easy!

Please remember you can wear a button down with any kind of sweater.  When doing so, there are only two things you need to keep in mind: 1) your shirt should always be tucked in, and 2) your shirt’s collar should always be contained within the collar of your sweater (unless you want to look like an extra from Saturday Night Fever).

Still from SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER

How to Pack for a Road Trip

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While you don’t have to worry over stressful TSA checkpoints or expensive baggage fees, planning for a road trip still comes with its fair share of hassles. Choosing what stays and what goes with you on the journey can be hectic, especially when you consider that a lighter trunk means less money spent on gas. Look to these helpful tips when you’re prepping for your next road trip and hopefully all you’ll have to worry about is enjoying the open road.

What to Pack

Choosing what clothes to take with you can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be if you follow this simple rule: For every pair of bottoms you pack, take three tops.

Prevent all your cords from tangling by storing headphones, chargers, etc. in a spare eyeglass case. You probably have an old one lying around, so put it to good use!

Not considered your typical essential when it comes to packing for a trip, a package of dryer sheets is indeed an underrated one. Put a couple sheets in your suitcase to prevent your clothes from taking on any musty scents; and once you’ve taken what you needed, leave the open box in the back of your car during the entirety of the trip to keep your car smelling fresh. (Trust us, you’ll want to do this.)  Dryer sheets are also a great hack for cleaning stains both in the car and on your clothes.  Don’t believe me?  Try it!

How To Pack It

Duffel bags can be your trunk’s best friend. When it comes to packing clothing for your trip, avoid structured suitcases as they tend to take up a lot of awkward space. Soft, smaller bags can be wedged around items in your trunk.

Depending on the item, you can fold, roll, or stuff clothing into your travel bag. Note that folding is a must for your nicer pieces, however rolling is certainly an option for t-shirts or underwear.

Lastly, you’re bound to find an assortment of sweet (or tacky) souvenirs along the way, so remember it’s always better to pack lighter to make room for all your new goods.

No that you have mastered the hard parts it is time to hit the open road! Until tomorrow, make it a better day!

Devotional Tuesday – Critical Condition (Courtesy of Tony Dungy)

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“John the Baptist didn’t spend his time eating bread or drinking wine, and you say, “He’s possessed by a demon.”  The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, “He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!” Luke 7:33-34

Some people are incessant critics.

The Pharisees and Sadducees in the day of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ fit within that group.  They remind me of sportswriter Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star and some other sportswriters I’ve known.  These first-century leaders criticized John for not drinking wine or eating enough, and they criticized Jesus for eating and drinking with tax collectors, prostitutes and other sinners.  How about that for consistency!  Actually, the underlying focus of their concerns was that both men continually exposed the hypocrisy of the complainers’ “religion.”  They didn’t like what John and Jesus stood for our put into action, and as a result they did all they could do to find things to criticize them about and damage their credibility in the eyes of the general public.

I faced that at times-we all do.  Some sportswriters would take me to task for not giving second chances to players, while others criticized me for emphasizing character too heavily.  I received criticism for having a defense-led team in Tampa Bay and being too conservative, rather than developing a higher-powered offense; in Indianapolis, I was criticized for having an offensive-minded team that didn’t have enough defensive stars.

Some with criticize NFL coaches for making the playoffs regularly but never “winning the big one” – the Super Bowl.  Other coaches are criticized for selling out their future team to attempt one year of greatness instead of sustained excellence and regular appearances in the playoffs, even though they don’t have a Super Bowl-caliber team to work with every year.

Go figure.

That’s what Jesus noted too.  People criticized John the Baptist for not drinking wine and then criticized Jesus for drinking wine.  of course, the religious leaders of the day criticized both for them for other things as well – revealing the inconsistency in their complaints.

When people criticize you, it’s not always for your actions but for what you represent.  If they’re really criticizing you for your faith, it’s important to maintain your focus and continue on the pathway that God has set before you, even in the midst of criticism.

Uncommon Key –> When you feel attacked by critical remarks, ask God and a fellow believer for wisdom on how to deal with the situation.  See if you can get to the bottom of the criticism before is has a chance to snowball.