Saturday, May 30, 2009

proverbs 13

I was going to write about just one verse, but the whole chapter is so good. Here are just a few verses that jump out at me:

Proverbs 13:1 (ESV)
1 A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

Proverbs 13:3 (ESV)
3 Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Proverbs 13:13 (ESV)
13 Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.

Proverbs 13:20 (ESV)
20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

These are all so huge for me in my life right now. Sometimes it can be so hard to do what's right, but ultimately what's wise is best. I hope one day I can have real wisdom, but my dad used to say it won't happen until I'm 35... that's the legal age of wisdom. (According to Article II of the Constitution anyway... haha)

Friday, May 29, 2009

a christian revolution

I tweeted earlier about a frustration I had paying 9 dollars for a movie ticket. Almost immediately people were commenting to express their frustration as well. This struck me as a little ironic. I mean of all the things to be upset about, we as humans, or more specifically Americans, choose a couple extra dollars at a movie theater to be angry about.

As I think about this, I realize I've spent a lot of time motivating people to be upset about things that really don't matter. First of all, I love Seinfeld. When you boil it down Seinfeld is pretty much just a show about characters getting mad at pointless things... and then arguing over the significance of it all. Then you look at me during basketball games. I bet I've yelled at more people for not cheering at basketball games than anyone in the history of high school sports, and even more at the referees. In the same category, I was apart of turning a nice, civilized community of Rossview students into complete savages before the Warfield Game. I've stopped eating at restaurants, stopped getting my haircut at a certain place, stopped reading books, stopped taking family photos, etc, etc, etc simply because I was frustrated. I recognized a problem of some kind, complained about it, and eventually began attempting to convince others to share my beliefs.

To quote George Costanza, "What kind of sick society are we living in...?" We seriously allow ourselves to become completely infuriated with stuff like cars double parking? Or waiting for 3 hours at a court room... or worse... the DMV? We are so fast to voice the ridiculousness that exists in paying 9 dollars for a movie ticket, YET, at the same time, in the midst of all that purely insignificant crap, we claim to have a faith in Jesus Christ that SAVES US FROM ETERNAL DAMNATION, and we do nothing? Seriously? What are we doing?

Can someone please get pissed off about something that matters?!? Can someone please get pissed off about the fact that the world is in absolute desperate need of rescuing?!? Can someone please get pissed off about the fact that there are children being sold into prostitution by the millions all over the world?!?? Can someone please get pissed off about the fact that in Africa millions of people lack one of the most fundamental ingredients to existence on planet earth??!?

I'm so sick and tired of watching people who carry the solution to all of those problems get frustrated over movie tickets, and I'm one of the biggest ones! Honestly, I'm such a huge hypocrite in so many ways. I've spent so much of my high school years wasting opportunities to share the solution with so many people who need it. So much so that I'm fully convinced that in order to find true satisfaction in this life you have to have given everything you have towards sharing the solution.

Please, if you are a believer, stop being consumed with desires to fulfill your earthly needs, and start moving in the direction of surrendering everything you have for the ultimate purpose of sharing the solution with the rest of the world. Until we as believers begin doing that, nothing we say or do will carry any weight with nonbelievers. If we say we believe in something as big as the movement of Christ, how can we not focus our lives around that belief? Equally as important, how can nonbelievers even take our faith seriously if we aren't willing to surrender everything we have for the sake of what we believe?

"If I am killed, it will be while I am speaking. Believe me, I will not be silent." -Haik Hovsepian Mehr, Iranian Missionary and Martyr

It's time to embrace a revolutionary spirit as Christians. Taking the solution to the rest of the world through love.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

fight negativity: asg two

Principle: Productivity is greater than negativity.

Regardless of the leadership position, there's going to be negativity. In fact, if you're an exceptional leader, you probably even bring a lot of it to the table yourself, especially before vision casting. Since negativity is inevitable, how do you deal with it?

As a leader you know that there's not a more vulnerable moment for you then when you have to explain your new awesome idea to a negative person for the first time. As soon as you experience negativity, take it head on. Don’t be discouraged by questions you can’t answer. Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know”, even if you’re ridiculed for it. It’s much better to say that then make excuses, even though it’s easier to make excuses.

If you have a great idea, there’s always going to be someone who questions it to death in the early stages of the idea. Just because you don’t know the answers doesn’t make it a bad idea, even though you’ll feel embarrassed and idiotic after the conversation is over. Include POSITIVE thinking people in the process of working out the details. If you try to do it all on your own you’ll end up stressed out and 3 weeks will pass before you do anything with your idea. DON’T GET DISCOURAGED!

Instead of letting the negativity go to your head, just work on the idea. Negative people lose credibility at the door of a successfully completed project. In fact, productivity slams the door in negativity's face.

Productivity is greater than negativity.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

wisdom or knowledge?

I asked a question earlier this week: Is there a difference between wisdom and knowledge.

I think now the answer is yes. A person who is intellectual could tell you facts, answers, and probably make a lot of smart remarks, but a person who is wise has the ability to bring insight to a situation. A person who is wise is able to make good decisions in the midst of uncertainty. I think this would explain why so many smart kids at school are the same ones who make poor decisions outside of school. A truly wise person realizes how his decisions affect him.

Throughout high school I was so frustrated that a person who would choose not to participate in stupid stuff was constantly looked at as no-fun and no-nonsense. Sure there's a time for silliness, but isn't there a greater purpose to life? As Christians, shouldn't we have a greater standard than the standard of the world? What if the passion so many teenage Christians put into goofing off was put into living a life worthy of the calling we've received?

Ephesians 4:1 (NLT)
1 Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.

That is the wisest thing I could do.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

think big: asg one

Principle: Think Big

Before you can make a difference, you have to know what needs to be different. Today in church world there are tons of people thinking big and outside the box, but in the school setting there's hardly anyone. If you think church is bad about establishing routines and traditions, you should try going to high school. Plus, at high school you have a bunch of "leaders" (or at least people in leadership roles) who don't even want to be there. Think about trying to convince a bunch of teachers who are already over worked to get behind your student project.

Despite those initial struggles, continue to think big. Even if there’s no one else who has a vision for what can happen where you are, continue to imagine what can happen. Everyone would love for things to improve, they just don't even realize anything needs to; don’t worry about it. The sky is the limit. Don’t shoot small because you’re afraid you can’t pull off the massive or because you feel like no one else gets what you're doing. Shoot big and if you miss and come up short you’re no worse off than if you had just shot small to begin with.

Think Big.

Monday, May 25, 2009

asg principle series

Now that graduation is over, my reign as Student Body President at Rossview High School is also over.(And I say that with much satire). You can read about the goals and vision for the year HERE . Unfortunately we didn't accomplish everything I had hoped to, but we still did an awesome job and definitely paved the way for creative leaders in years to come.

The biggest problem facing our team this year was that we were the first who ever wanted to really try and accomplish anything. The fact that we pushed the envelope is going to save leaders in the years to come a lot of trouble, because we've already fought a lot of their battles. That being said, I learned a TON from this experience. So over the next few weeks I'm going to be posting the top 10 principles I've learned from ASG. They will be short and hopefully applicable to anyone doing Student Council stuff, kind of like Bill Hybels' book Axiom.

Stay tuned! The first will go out tomorrow!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

adjusting leadership roles

Now that school's over, almost all of my leadership roles are over as well. It's definitely proving to be a weird adjustment for me. Before when I would read books and blogs and listen to talks and podcasts about leadership, I had a place where I could try and apply the information right away. As I read or listened I could think, "How can that be implemented in (blank)?" Now that I don't really have a leadership (blank), I don't know how to apply leadership principles to my life.

What do people do when they don't know where to use their gifts?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

coach mang

I finished my first period Government exam this morning, successfully completing high school. (Assuming I passed the exam..) Coach Mang is the US Government teacher at Rossview, but probably most importantly he's the Defensive Coordinator for our football team. He's well-liked by all the students, and is definitely respected.

Coach Mang and I have had somewhat of an interesting relationship this year. He was always extremely encouraging to me with everything I wanted to accomplish this year, and I would like to think he respected me for trying to get people behind the football team. That was all during the 1st semester, though, and I didn't actually have him as a teacher until the 2nd semester.

I've always been self-motivated, but the 2nd semester of my senior year proved to be problematic when it came time to wake up every morning. I ended up being tardy to his class a lot, which caused me to have a few detentions, and I also missed his class a bunch too. So much so that last week I had no more days left to miss, and no more tardies to give.

Despite the fact that I knew all of that, I was late to his class one day last week. Just based on the rules Coach Mang had to write me up. After he did so, however, he called me up to his desk and said, "Mr. Edmondson, give me one good reason why I shouldn't turn this in." I responded with, "because you are an extremely knowledgeable government teacher, and I respect you a lot." That must have been a good enough answer, because he ripped up the tardy note.

So I'd just like to say thanks to Coach Mang for cutting me some slack even though I didn't deserve it. That's what grace is, and I really appreciate Coach Mang doing that for me, especially since we all know he is extremely capable of executing justice. Haha, thanks coach Mang. Good luck next year, and try to keep that Shield!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

he is coming soon

I probably shouldn't be up this late on a Sunday night.. but... what's it really matter? I can't go to sleep right now because I have to keep listening to this song over and over. It's called The Saints by Josh Wilson. Listen to it HERE. In the bridge of this song it says,

He is coming soon, He is coming soon, He will take his bride he will make her new. He is coming soon, He is coming soon, to carry us home.

The powerfulness of those lines cannot be explained. When I hear that I can't help but just raise my hands and jump up and down. As Christians that is our entire hope. That is all we can look to in this world, because if those lines are not true our entire faith is stupid. If it is true, though, I can't help but hate myself for all the things I've put above that hope. Every day is an opportunity to live out that hope, and I need to do a better job.

Go listen to the song.