Monthly Archives: June 2014

Recycling procrastinations and a basket full of sin

by Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com

hiking in woodsI’ll just come out and say it… I love the planet.  I’m not really a granola-loving tree-hugger, but I do what I can to be a helpful global citizen.  Therefore, my family and I recycle.  I enjoy hiking in the woods, running the river in my kayak, or sitting around a campfire under the stars.  As such, I try to keep the planet clean so my kids, and their kids, and so on can have the same great experiences.

Our primary recycling endeavors circle around two laundry baskets in our garage neatly tucked under my work table.  If it’s plastic, paper, or cardboard, you can bet it’s probably going to see the inside of one of the two baskets. I’m not militant about the whole recycling thing, but I feel I can (and should) do my small, individual part.

When the baskets get full, I luckily have a place to dump them – a recycling dumpster at my office.  No lines.  No separation.  No hassle.  Recycling should be this easy for everyone!  I’ll load the baskets in the trunk of my little Honda Accord and off I go.

A day or two will go by and a collection of water bottles and various cardboard food boxesrecycles photo will amass on the kitchen counter.  Why?!?  Because I forgot about the baskets full of recyclables in my trunk.  I didn’t complete the mission.  For several days, I was carrying a load unnecessarily – a small burden placed upon my entire family with plastic piled up in the kitchen on what would otherwise be prime counter real estate.

We tend to do this often – but not with plastic and paper.  We do it with sin.  We carry our
sin around just like those baskets in my trunk.  Why not just empty the baskets?  Why not take care of it so as to not create a plastic traffic jam on the counter top?  I ask this because, no matter what our intention, is it not similar with sin?  Why not simply unload our sins by asking for forgiveness?  Why do we pile up our sins just like those overloaded baskets in my trunk?  I guess you can say I have the best intentions of being a “green Christian” but fail in my efforts by not getting rid of my sins as often as I should.

From Isaiah 1:18:

“No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool.”  

God takes our “baskets” and allows us to empty them.  We will undoubtedly refill them. Realizing this, I’ll be emptying my sin baskets more often.  The irony of my story… I tend to recycle my sins.  That’s my next thing to work on. How about you?

Using current marketing trends for my personal Jegenda

by Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com

buzzwordsI’m not a particular connoisseur of marketing buzzwords, but I do take notice when advertisers and marketers make up stuff.  I probably notice this more because I like to get creative in my own promotions and marketing (career with Southwestern Advantage).

Here’s a few examples of what I mean:

1) When I had my last few years of taxes reviewed at H&R Block in March, they had a sign that used the word helpth”.
help + health = helpth

2) A rival direct selling company invited me to their headquarters for some friendly brainstorming.  They used the word “coopetition” to describe our proposed collaboration.
cooperation + competition = coopetition

3) In a current Sprint  promotion, they now have a “framily” plan.
friends + family = framily 

4) Among other places I’ve heard this, Tina Fey uses the word “hangry” in a commercial for American Express.  When you are hungry and it causes you to be angry, you become… you guessed it – hangry!
hungry + angry = hangry

5) By now, you may have figured out the odd and made up word in the title of this post: “Jegenda.”
Jesus + agenda = Jegenda

In the spirit of these word combos, I had planned to triumphantly stake claim to the new word followship!  Only… this seems to not be a new word.  According to dictionary.com, it means: the practice of doing what other people suggest, rather than taking the lead.  

Rats.  I thought I was on to something here.  Regardless, I will repurpose this existing word and give it a definition of my own spin!  (This is why they call PR professionals “Spin Doctors”).

Leadership is the act of leading a group or an organization or the state of position of being a leader.  Followship, on the other hand, is the act of following by example (maybe you’ve heard of leading by example).  Leaders still need to be followers.  No one ever masters the art of leadership.  Nor does anyone master the art of followship…  To be leaders through Christ, we must follow.  Our following opens doors to allow us to be leaders through Christ.  Leaders in faith.  Leaders in worship.  Leaders of men and women. Shepherds of our own flocks.

Followship involves patience.  Many times, God has shown me it’s far better to follow and gain wisdom than to jump into leadership when not ready.  On several occasions in the past, I would prematurely engage in conversation about leadership opportunities I could grow in to.  It took me years to figure out I was doing what God wanted me to be doing and doing it where He wanted me to be doing it.  To be in an accelerated position of leadership before I was ready would likely end in disaster.  And I know it too.  But that didn’t stop me from pursuing it.  When the time is right, God will present opportunity – and when the time is right, I’ll be better prepared to take any reins I’m given.

While it may be near-impossible for us to calculate the cost due to a lack of followship, we should seek out the great sacrifices we must make for our faith.  This is what it means to have total submission for a life of discipleship.  We should be willing to give up the worldly and selfish things that contradict a true life of followship.

Are you attempting to lead when you should be following?
Sheep off cliff

Spiritual workouts require gym-like effort

by Erica Pearson, ericalovesbooks@gmail.com

I do NOT like to work out. It’s not “fun” for me. I would much rather curl up with a good book and have all that curling magically form abs! I’m not one of those people who feel exuberant after a walk. No rush of “feel good” hormones to my brain to make me feel happy. Hey, I’m just being honest. Someone is shouting “Amen” right now.

Meh FacebookI recently read a Facebook status that just further justified my negative attitude towards the cause. It read “should not have taken a few weeks off #feelingmeh.” Now, for this couch potato I thought, “See there! Three short weeks and all that work is already gone!” At that exact moment I should have ducked, because the spiritual sucker punch hit me hard! The same weakness my runner friend was feeling is the exact same kind of spiritual exhaustion I had felt just weeks earlier.

I fight a battle every single day. It is a war with something I cannot easily escape. I kind of need it to survive. My mind is not always my friend. I am often assaulted with very negative thoughts. Here recently I got in a real funk. I was just “low”. After about three weeks of trying to fight it off without any real work, I thought out loud (literally)… “That’s it Satan, I’ve had it! Today… you… lose,” and I drove myself to the nearest Christian bookstore.

In hindsight, I realize this was the very equivalent to running to the gym and picking up a weight. I have been spiritually working out long enough to know exactly what I needed and I ran right to the “M” section to find the perfect Beth Moore fit for me (pause for a woot woot for Beth). Her book Get Out Of That Pit jumped right into my waiting hands. In the intro she writes:

“I’m writing to tell you I believe God has scheduled your fight out of the pit. You’re going to need to show up for it though…”

Just like a work out… you have to SHOW up. I had stopped showing up for my spiritual health. I had been running on Sunday Sermons and great worship music without really putting in any “gym” time.

Just like my friend who took some “time off”… I ran out of steam. I might not feel good after a walk, but I do it anyway. However, my spiritual workout NEVER lets me down. This journey in which I have begun to dig out of my pit has given me fresh oxygen to breathe again and renew my MIND. Just like exercising, there is not a “quick fix.” In our “there’s-an-app-for-that” society, we often want to get a daily Bible verse and call it a day. That might last us for a moment, but real results take place when we do the hard work.