All posts by treycampbell1010

The blood of those slain still cries out

“Am I  my brother’s keeper?”1000 Tips 139 Brothers Keeper

These were the infamous words Cain spoke to God when lying about knowing the whereabouts of his brother, Abel.

“Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”

These were the words of the Lord when outing Cain in his lies.

“Am I my brother’s keeper?” These five words sting like a thousand hornets. While Cain was being a defensive and juvenile in response to God’s question, he was unknowingly setting the stage for what started in the garden with the serpent – continuing with the disobedience and general mutiny of man towards our Maker and each other.

In a sense, every man is his brother’s keeper. Cain took the low road with a barefaced disregard for his brother when he took him to the fields and killed him. His jealousy turned to hate and his hate to rage and that rage engulfed him, driving him to commit the first murder the world had known. Cain could not contain his contempt and hatred for his brother.

Is this not unlike what is still going on in the world today? So much hate… Cain gave way to his emotions – just like people still do today. Emotions are controllable. Many people don’t know this because they don’t practice it. Ignorance and hatred are controllable too. There’s also many not practicing controlling these as well.

Those who practice hate don’t know God’s love. This unrelenting love overwhelms hate. There’s simply no room for it in your heart if you know God’s love. If you don’t believe me, just read 1 John 3:11-24 and 4:7-21. It’s all about loving one another – something this world could use some more of.

This past week in the news saw some tragic, despicable, and down-right nasty examples of the evil nature that consumes humans. From the hate-violence in Charlottesville to White House staff turnover to idiotic, nonleader-like tweets and insensitive statements from the POTUS to multiple police officer shootings to the Barcelona attack in one of many disturbing incidences of vehicles being used as weapons of terror when unsuspecting crowds are gathered to the stabbings in Finland to threats against Guam, of all places, by North Korea. It just goes on and on.

bloodsplatterHere’s what I know – the blood of those slain still cry out! It did when Cain’s blood stained the ground and it does today when the cruel actions of hatemongers lead to bloodshed. People are hurting. People are fearful. And people can be dangerous when shrouded in a veil of darkness and insecurity (or a pointed hood). As individuals, we need to rise up above the hatred and pain and take a stand. You want change? Put prayer back in school. Warm up a pew at church. Dust off that Bible on the shelf. Seek Christ through community with others. Put forth an effort.

Some harsh yet true words from John:

If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers do not have eternal life within them.
– 1 John 3:14-15

For those who choose to be haters, it looks pretty glum. But… that’s why the Good News is called good news! The haters can still change their ways, their thoughts, and their hearts. God forgives and He delivers. Just like He did by delivering His Son to us, for us.

The blood of Jesus saved us. Though the blood of those slain still cry out. They cry out for social injustice. We are all our brother’s and sister’s keeper. For the sake of righteousness and justice, can’t we all practice the love that passes us from death to life?

Trey Campbell,
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My story: from confusion to clarity in a Mexican orphanage

2011 was the first year my company, Southwestern Advantage, implemented organized service projects to meet the needs of the communities we go to for incentive trips. Over the years, we’ve met some incredible people and helped some outstanding organizations. What’s special about these projects is they are entirely funded by the independent student dealers – college students who donate a portion of their business profit to make it all happen.

When you sow your seed, you hope to see your fields flourish and yield worthy crops. As such, we find local people and help so they may have resources to multiply their efforts long-term, spreading their seed to see the spoils of their own bountiful harvest take root and change lives.

While seeking out potentials recipients for our service projects, a harvest we sowed six years ago with an orphanage once again caught up with me, as it has many other times since. But this time was different.

1000 Tips 126 confusion clarityThis harvest is now a ghost of the past that no longer exists as I knew it to be… or knew it could be. It was a mixed bag of emotions. I felt like the particular bag these emotions were mixed up in was pulled over my head, sucking the air from me… slowly suffocating me. It could have been the humid, sticky, steamy summer temperatures toying with me as I melted to the floor. But when I gasped for air, I saw clearly what God was showing me. Confusion has a weird way of leading to clarity.

Here’s the backstory: Elisa (a co-worker I was traveling with) and I had a gap in time in between meetings with organizations and wanted to do something productive. So, we did what most people would not think to do: went to play with orphans.

Now, in the past, I’ve had a welcoming reception and free-reign of the orphanage. I’ve been to this orphanage over 10 times. We have painted, put on a new roof, cleaned storage rooms, deep cleaned their kitchen, bought thousands of dollars worth of clothing, medicine, food, and supplies, had a pool party, taken the kids to the beach, held the babies who live in a dark closet, bought mattresses to replace the foam they were sleeping on… Well… you get the picture.

But this time… this time, it was different. The welcome was cold and guarded. While listening to Elisa converse in Spanish, I had an uneasy feeling. My Spanish is “no bueno, es muy pequito,” but I could tell something was wrong, something was off. Body language and tone is a universal language. Suddenly and out of nowhere, I got a migraine where I started to lose my vision. I listened silently trying to make out the conversation, but could only focus on the squiggly lines everywhere. What I have come to realize over the years working with foreign organizations is there are things always going on you just don’t see. I know this and, as such, always work to partner with organizations where this is as little of the case as possible, or at least is not prominent.


Upon further reflection on the strange encounter, what I realized was how things change: people change, situations change, hearts change… and yes, memories change because they are sometimes short-lived. While I’d like to say all the people I meet are people of integrity who have pure hearts and are right with God… the reality is, this is a fallen world full of broken people. Broken people lead broken lives. They also lead organizations. Just because they get labeled as something helpful and good, it does not mean they are. You can call an orange a banana if you want, but no one cares if they are not there to correct you. And so it is when no one knows what goes on behind closed doors with bars and locks (as this organization has lots of).

In a strange, and what could be described as a not-so-positive interaction with a past organization that’s received much help from us before, I feel I was given a sign to not engage further. As soon as we walked out the doors, my sight was fully restored. I took this as a sign to put a halt to our relationship for now. My vision was clouded so my judgement would not be. It happened to Paul on the road to Damascus, so why not me in a Mexican orphanage on a much, much lesser level? I thank God for speaking to me in ways I never imagine. In a place where things go on that rock our unenlightened Americanized minds and comfortable mindset, it’s because of things like this – my eyes are wide open.

Trey Campbell,
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*The picture above is a little girl behind locked bars at the orphanage in 2014. 

So, what’s your excuse?

A lesson in the fourth and fifth grade class I serve with at church had a really good message. It made me think about excuses. We all have them. In fact, many of us limp through life because we use them as a crutch.

With what I’m about to say, this would be a good time for some self-reflection, an1000 Tips 25 internal audit of sorts. So I’ll start with this: your excuses stink. They stink like yesterday’s fish.

Excuses have been around since the creation of mankind. Take Adam and Eve for instance. Adam’s excuse was Eve told him to do it, saying “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” Eve’s excuse was the serpent old her to do it, “The serpent deceived me, that’s why I ate it.”

At some point, the time for excuses in all of our lives has to end. When the excuses come to an end, a new era begins. It’s called responsibility. This is something we all need to start in our own lives – ending our excuses and taking responsibility! Take a minute to think of the things you put on hold because of an excuse you have.


< pause to actually think of the lame excuses that are part of your life
that keep you from being the person you want to be, from reaching your potential >

< If you are thinking you are not lame because of your excuses, that is likely another rationalization you are telling yourself that is likely contributing
to a even bigger problem… so just read on >


What are things you should be taking responsibility for rather than living through your day-to-day cover ups? It may be you’re not the mother/father you need to be. Maybe you need to kick an addiction. Perhaps you need to mature and make better choices. Maybe your behavior does not match your heart’s intention. Maybe you feel like the position you are in is someone else’s fault and not yours. Maybe you just need to be present. Some of us have more excuses than sense (yeah, including me too).

excuses monument of nothingnessExcuses can be a precursor to sin. Let me ask you this question: What do your sins bring? Adam’s brought death. But through this, God promised a Savior. He promised a redeemer. His Son, who was appointed from the beginning of time, redeemed us all. That was Jesus. He redeemed us through his sacrifice on the cross so we did not have to bear the sins passed down to us alone. How are you redeeming yourself and your daily fails? Have you simply asked for forgiveness? Have you accepted your situation and taken responsibility? Change does not happen without those two steps. God forgives, but you also have to forgive yourself to move onto that responsibility thing.

Adam and Eve got evicted from their home. And because of their massive fail and excuses afterward, we are now all natural born sinners. Still to this day we are effected by their miscue. We are born into it. But there is hope! We’ve been given the opportunity to get redeemed from the sin we are born into. So, really, there should be no excuses. Jesus took away all of our excuses. It’s never too late while you have air in your lungs and a beating heart to do the one thing that can wipe away the sins of our first ancestors.

Accept Jesus into your life and allow yourself to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Lose the excuses and start down the road to responsibility. And remember, you don’t have to do this alone. You are never as alone as you may feel.

Trey Campbell,
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If you need to talk about getting rid of your excuses to get results… contact me.



You don’t have a DeLorean with a flux capacitor…

1000 Tips 10 Prepare for what is to come

We all have our pet peeves, our frustrations. I get frustrated with people who live in the past so much they aren’t prepared for the future. It’s not my only peeve, but it’s a big one.

Why? I experience this over and over with people. It’s because what hinges on the success of anything you do is how you prepare for it. Your plan, consisting of your goal all the way down to your tactics and strategies, is determined by what you are doing in the present. In fact, your future is determined by a short-lived, fleeting present. In one second, it will be the future! The results are your future. Due to your choices in the present and any unreconciled ghosts from the past, you have to deal with the reality of your future. I see people waste away their present dwelling on their past and wonder why they struggle in the future (which quickly becomes their present). I know, it’s confusing…

The past is the past. There’s nothing you can do about it unless you own a DeLorean with b to the f cara flux capacitor and hit 88 MPH. And, you likely don’t. So move on to make the most of your current and future situations.

Sometimes we spend our present fixing the past so we can better the prospects of our future. If this is done to be productive, it serves a worthy purpose. But if it’s done reactively, we only serve ourselves.

Make your future what God planned for you. Don’t dwell on past mistakes. Take advice from wise King Solomon:

Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. – Ecclesiastes 7:10

Trey Campbell,
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Control the Controllables – Vol. 2

“What consumes your mind, controls your life.”

In the second volume of this three-part blog series (Volume 1), I want to talk about how we lose controllables comsumes mindcontrol. Control is a funny thing. We often think we need it. We have to have it. In fact, we cling to it so as to feel, well, in control.

But you can’t control the controllables if the things within your control are out of control. Allow me to explain.

If you eat McDonald’s everyday and supersize the combo, you will see noticeable changes in your body, particularly your waist line. Just like your how your body reacts to the foods you choose to eat, your mind reacts to the things you choose to feed it as well. If “we are what we eat,” then we are certainly what we think as well. If you don’t control your intake of greasy, high caloric fast food, you don’t control the results – poor health and not just a muffin top, but a whole baker’s dozen! One way to feed your mind is to nourish it with positive material in the form of books and programming where you learn and grow. Entertainment has its time and place, but at what expense does it have when you feed your mind with too much garbage?

Let me throw out another example. Addiction. Specifically for our purposes, porn addiction. I know quite a number of people who have this addiction. It’s more common that you might think. The things they view consume their mind and begin to control their life. This is an example of a something within your control getting out of control! Addiction is serious and has many people living a life of lies. Back to  whatever consumes your mind, controls it. But there is always hope. Sometimes you have to get the help other others to gain back control – no matter how strong the pull is for you to take your hands off the wheel of your life, you can always be driving down the road to recovery.

We tend to lose control of the things that are 100% controllable when we lose our perspective, when we dance on the other side of reality. This happens with different people for different reasons. It might be anxiety, pressure, desire, lust, gluttony, lies, poor choices or, yes, addictions.

Any one of these things has the potential to control your mind. In fact, dominate it. Why? Because the things that are front and center in our mind are hard to escape. At some point, we let them control us instead of us controlling them. When our mind loses containment of a controllable, things tend to spiral out of control – quickly!

contol spiral quoteIf this is something you have found true in your life – here’s something you can do. Surrender it. Let it go. Give it to God. Because of his infinite, unending love, overwhelming victory is ours! We shall conquer the source of our loss of self-control just as we shall conquer the day!

“No, in all these things we are more than
conquerors through him who loved us.”
– Romans 8:37

A few take-aways:

  1. Don’t let what is out of your control interfere with the things that are.
  2. “No matter the situation, don’t let your emotions overpower your intelligence.” (Author unknown)
  3. Stop overthinking
  4. Recognize and cease (to the best of your ability) indulging in the things that consume your mind and control your life that are not good for you
  5. Surrender to God

Trey Campbell,


When the harvest finds you

Today I find myself in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Not for sun and fun, but in search of something. It’s not something I lost, but rather something I know will find me. While this has the making of a great riddle, it’s not.

With that, I gotta say… today was a good day.

Each time I travel internationally to set up service projects for a couple hundred college students for Southwestern Advantage’s annual incentive trip, I get nervous and excited all at the same time. Why? It’s because I know God is going to show up. It’s like clockwork. He always does.

Being in the tourist city of PV, the town is hopping with vacationers from all over the world. This city, like others in the country, was spawned to lure tourists and their discretionary income to enjoy the beauty and culture of the locals.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut there’s a little secret most of those on holiday are not let in on. It’s what lies just several miles outside the tourist district. It’s the dark side. Poverty, prostitution, drugs, alcohol, abuse, sex trafficking, hunger… you name it and you can find it. You see, with extreme poverty comes a whole host of other problems. But what I’ve come to learn is, in each of these places, there is a Heavenly Host present as well – an army of angels.

Not only am I protected by this army when I set out into the unknown, I also have a guide – the Holy Spirit. Every. Single. Time. He. Shows. Up. Without fail, God has come through with opportunity and people who are as missional and service-oriented as I want to be. I’ve met the most interesting people over the years.

  • There was Magdalena who was sick and made a promise to God if she made it, she was going to start an orphanage. The orphanage never took root, but she did start a school that has hundreds of students off the streets in Punta Cana, Domincan Republic who are now receiving an education.
  • There was Sonia who started La Escuelita in her home in Cancun because one crippled boy with polio was kicked out of school for defending himself. She has hundreds of students in her home each day who can not attend public school for various reasons.
  • There was Ana Concepcion whose parents were killed in a car accident. She and her siblings lived in a house that was not really a house at all because it had only three walls and a tarp for a roof.
  • Today, it was Art, Victor and Paco. They’ve started something in the poor Volcanes colonia that is impacting not only an entire community, but generations to come. Paco is in his second year of medical school and is a product of the Volcanes Education Project. He made a video for the organization that helped get him where he is and where he will one day be. He has nothing, but volunteers his time, energy, and little resources to give back to others.

Not only are all of these people life changers, but they also have had their life radically changed in order to do what they do. I can give example after example and testimony after testimony of people who have crossed our paths who we’ve been able to bless because of their efforts blessing others.

For me, both the thrill (and quite the education) has been in the chase. The chase is the scramble to locate the beneficiaries of our next blessing. The blessing we can give has grown from short-term projects to long-term vision. This started when Henry Bedford, CEO of Southwestern Advantage, challenged us to think bigger. Rather than give a family a bed, he said “Let’s build them a house.” And we did. It’s this mentality the Lord expects of his servants. “What more can be done?” is a question I find running through my head all day long.

I said earlier today was a good day. You have no idea. Myself and my friend and co-worker, Elisa Serrato, found ourselves in the presence of people who just earned a boatload of respect from us when we heard their stories and witnessed their results. This presence was also that of the Spirit moving us to them. These verses from 2 Corinthians spoke to me tonight.

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. 11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.

2 Corinthians 9:8-11

God provides. He provides every time we seek counsel and guidance on where to go andOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA who needs help. And He provides for those doing the helping on the ground level. We all have a great harvest of generosity – it’s a matter of planting the seeds. If you’re not planting, you can’t really expect anything to grow. The ultimate satisfaction is when your harvest finds you and it is good. This happened when we visited the family of Ana Concepcion today (pictured). We took the gifts to those who needed them three years ago, and today they are still thanking God. This is emotional and powerful. Words can’t even begin to describe.

I started by saying I was looking for something. I was looking to be led by the ever-present Spirit of God. I was led, and then I was blessed by the people and places I went. I was also found by a previous harvest. When we sow generosity, we reap it. Today I found the harvest – and it was more than I thought it would or could be.

Trey Campbell,
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Whether you impact an audience or impact one in an audience: mission accomplished!

The stage is not merely the meeting place of all
the arts,
but is also the return of art to life.
– Oscar Wilde

Whether art imitates life or life imitates art… it doesn’t matter much. The stage has always been a place where they both intersect.

Audience of oneAudience of One Productions, a community theater group at the Capitol Theatre in Lebanon, Tennessee, has a mission of using the arts to honor the Lord.

On their logo, the production company has Colossians 3:23 which says: Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. And that’s just what they do. All involved work with an open heart and a willing spirit.

With all of the talent in the area, founder and Director, Angie Dee, chose to double cast the current run of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. My daughter has spent the last two years with Angie and some of the best local, young talent entertaining the community. Beyond entertainment, gifts of singing, dancing, and acting are used to not only grow their passion in the arts, but their faith. I commend Angie for her vision and sharing her walk with the Lord with the precious kids who have had the privilege to work under her direction.

7 brides 7 brothers
Cast 1 of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Audience of One Productions

I would like to share a Facebook post, written by Bree Brown Reynolds, as a testament of how God heals in the most unusual of ways. This should be no surprise. God is not one for conventionality, but rather amazement. Many of His works are not through the expected, but the unforeseen. Please take the time to read this. I promise it’s worth it.

To the cast and crew of 7 Brides for 7 Brothers,

You changed someone’s life last night. 
You did.

I brought my friend’s mom with me. I had to convince her to go, by almost having to drag her with me. She’s visiting from California and doesn’t get out often.

But last night…

Last night changed her. It changed her outlook on life. She felt joy. She felt alive. She cried. She hooted. She hollered. She clapped along. She snort laughed.

She’s had to walk through a literal hell for the past three years of her life. She’s been living in an unending nightmare. Last night, she said, she “started waking up and felt joy again”.

The creative God of the universe and everything in it chose you guys to walk a woman out of hell, through song and dance and tears.

He chose cast 2 on a random Tuesday night to save a woman from drowning in a cesspool of feelings of loneliness and unfathomable pain.

She told me on the way back to her daughter’s house that she once played Scrooge in her school’s production of A Christmas Carol. She played him “because none of the boys in the fifth grade we’re good enough…so I had to do it!”

She was smitten by the theatre.

She was made fun of because she was a girl playing a boy.

She never wanted to do it again because she was embarrassed and her feelings were hurt.

Fast forward 65 years.

65 YEARS, guys. That’s six and a half DECADES later…

She says she wants to do it again! She’s ready to see if she still loves it. And if she can’t be IN a show, she’s going to go SEE as many shows as she can and support her local theatre at home.

She leaves Friday to go back to Cali.

She has a passion back for something that was shoved into the corner more than half a century ago.

She has joy back because she felt The Holy Spirit working through “a bunch of kids” who spread it.

She got to cry and grieve a love lost.

She got to clap her hands and tap her feet during the barn dance.

She was reactionary. She was responsive.

She was changed.

Because a bunch of kids, along with their fearless director, decided to obey a call that would change a life before they (and probably their parents) were even born.

This is so much bigger than the right mix of vocals, effortless choreo or a great show.

This was designed, scripted, orchestrated, and produced by the Creator of creative arts to change lives by giving life and hope.

All creation cries out for Him.

I literally watched it happen on a stage and in the seat to my right.

Bree said it best when she wrote: “This is so much bigger than the right mix of vocals, effortless choreo or a great show. This was designed, scripted, orchestrated, and produced by the Creator of creative arts to change lives by giving life and hope.”

Just like a play or musical, God has put together a life for us that has several acts and maybe a few unplanned intermissions on our part but the show must go on! Through Cast 2, a lady has received one of the greatest gifts of her life time – the ability to walk out of a nightmare and into the hope and joy that is the rest of her life.

cast 2
Audience of One Productions, Cast 2

A lot of times we don’t know why we do something or what will come of it… but God does. It circles back to Colossians 3:23. We can NEVER take for granted the impact of what it is we do when we do it to glorify God.

My hope is all the teens in both casts, the crew, the directors, choreographers, set designers, management at the Capitol Theatre, and anyone else who contributed to this musical realize how their love for the arts has renewed a love for life. Your real standing ovation is not the crowd at the end of the show, it’s the host of angels saluting your efforts.


Trey Campbell,
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The good thing about silence is it can’t be misquoted

“The good thing about silence is it can’t be misquoted.” This quote is commonly attributed to Calvin Coolidge. I think Mr. Coolidge, 30th President of the United States, was very wise in what he said. After all, a politician would know a thing or two about being misquoted. One of his nicknames was “Silent Cal” for his quiet and steadfast nature. It’s a wise person who knows the importance of being silent sometimes over the importance of speaking up all the time.

“The louder the silence, the clearer God’s voice.” Adding my own twist to the importance of silence, I believe silence can be more deafening that noise. Not in a measure of decibels, but rather in the opportunity to hear what God is telling us. Quiet time can be just what we need to wipe out the distractions that block us from knowing God’s will for our lives.

1000 Tips 90 silence clear voice

Have you ever felt like the noise in your life was so deafening you couldn’t break free from the distraction? It helps to sometimes just find a quiet place to gather your thoughts and regroup. But for many of us, the noise continues… even with the silence.

How could this be you ask? It’s the buzz in your head. It’s the roar of your inner thoughts. It’s the banging and booming, the clanging and clattering of your inner monologue. While you may be surrounded in silence, you are never really voiceless in your head. You are never truly in a free, mental state of quiet when awake.

Here’s what I’ve found to be true. The times you have found peace and quiet are often the times you need to listen the hardest. You never know, this may be one of the ways God speaks to you.

So yes, our personal silence can be loud. But it doesn’t mean it’s a terrible thing. We all want our silence to be our utopia, our bliss, a little piece of heaven – to get away from it all. But maybe we don’t need to get away from everything. Maybe, instead, we need to hear the truths God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit in our stillest moments.

Who knows? The louder your silence, the more you may hear spoken truths. Are you listening in your silence. Trust me, it won’t be misquoted.

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
– Jeremiah 33:3 (ESV)

Trey Campbell,
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Control the Controllables – Vol. 1

Today’s blog is the first in a three-part series about control.

This installment is a condensed version of what I like to call one of the Godcentric Principles of Spirit-filled Leadership. It’s about controlling the things within your control.

keepcalmcontrolthecontrollables“Control the Controllables” is a phrase we use all the time at Southwestern Advantage and something I take to heart. For many who read this blog not associated with Southwestern Advantage, you may not be familiar with this phrase. This may be new to you. It’s basically a fundamentally sound concept in which you focus on controlling what you can, rather than pouring your energy in trying to control the things you can not. 

Think about all the time wasted trying to control things you just have no power over. Things like when your favorite TV show is interrupted for weather alerts, or Baskin Robbins is out of your favorite ice cream therefore only having 30 flavors that day, or like the times you have to get your oil changed so the annoying dash light can be reset. While those are silly examples you have no control over, but can be frustrating, you never had control of the situation in the first place.

In a spiritual context, God allows us to choose, but ultimately, He is always in control. A verse in Proverbs pretty much sums that up:

We may throw the dice,
but the Lord determines
how they fall.
Proverbs 16:33

This is one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible! Proverbs 16:33 is all about control. But really, we could also say it’s about lack of control. Okay, it’s both. When I read this verse, I always come to the same realization: “Who’s in control?…It ain’t me.” No matter how much I think I am or want to be, the Lord always has a way of putting me in my place and setting me on a straighter, narrower path. And I’m okay with that. I accept it. God is, and always will be, in control. I know this because I have experienced this first-hand time and time again.

Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
Ephesians 1:11

I believe God is the Creator of all. Since He created everything, He controls everything. For all the things on this earth we are unable to control, we would be better not to waste our time with futile efforts of defiance.

Good leaders concentrate on the things they can control and influence. Good Spirit-filled leaders concentrate on letting God control things out of their control and influence.

By accepting the things God controls and not worrying about it, there is a greater allocation of attention to other things deserving of greater attention such as acts of service, leading, and loving others. Our little human minds have a hard time comprehending this because the devil fuels us with a need to be in control.

It’s okay to want to control the situation, but you have to equally be able to lose control of it (or give it away) when the time comes in order to let God do His thing.

So let God control the uncontrollables in your life. Focus on this Psalm if you have trouble letting God sit in the driver’s seat:

Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.
Psalm 131:1-2

Remember, control the things in your control. If you try to control the things out of your control, failure is imminent.

Trey Campbell,
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Both the wise and fools affect who we will one day be

“It was the best of people,
it was the worst of people.”

This take on the classic first 12 words of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens describes in a nutshell what others can show us about who we want to be. I always find it fascinating how you can learn as much about who you want to be as you can about who you don’t want to be through both direct and indirect interactions with others.

The fact is, we can always learn something from others. The Bible has a whole lot to say about the wise and fools. These are some of my favorite verses – especially the ones that come out of Proverbs. Here is but a sampling:

Honor is no more associated with fools than snow
with summer and rain with harvest. – Proverbs 26:1

Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others. – Proverbs 12:15

Fools have no interest in understanding;
they only want to air their own opinions. – Proverbs 18:2

Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;
with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent. – Proverbs 17:28

And one of my favorites:
As a dog returns to vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness. – Proverbs 26:11

In the summer of 2000, I asked to gain the skill set of  my company’s craft by the learning-by-doing method. Southwestern Advantage is like the Navy SEALs of sales. As the company’s representative to the outside world, I felt I needed to gain the EXPERIENCE we offer college students in running a business in order to have credibility with both internal and external audiences. What I came out of it with was so much more valuable.

After spending several weeks meeting with families through cold-calls and referrals, I was astounded at how much I learned from those I met. I’m not kidding when I say this… but I learned more about myself and human nature than I did in five years of college. It was an experiential education – meaning this was stuff you would never learn in a classroom. I learned through experiencing it first-hand.

1000 Tips 123 best and worstOne of the many things I saw was the best in people and the worst in people. This was very important for me. By interacting with others directly and observing them indirectly, I was able to discern the person I wanted to become. Sometimes it was positive, as I saw something great in someone: their attitude, how they interacted with their kids or spouse, the cleanliness of their home or appearance, their tone of voice and choice of language, or simply a smile. But on the other hand, I would experience the absolute worst in people: how they talked to and treated others, their deplorable living conditions, addictions, unrestrained anger or resentment, broken relationships, and the results of a life of regrets and poor choices.

This is not an indictment of those I interacted with necessarily, but it is an indictment of human nature. No matter the time or place, we can learn from others often more than we can have them learn from us. And… the future you appreciates the past you soaking it all in.

Trey Campbell, 
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