God’s exact science and plan is “wonderfully complex’

Have you ever wondered just how precise God’s planning and design is? I mean, just think about your own body.

“The raw material, the basic chemicals in our body, can be found in the ‘dust of the ground’. However, these chemicals cannot arrange themselves into cell tissues, organs and systems. This can only happen with an input of intelligence,” wrote Joseph Paturi in a past article in Creation magazine.

Here are some other things to think about:

  • Your DNA: it programs and informs cells. It’s like computer code. There are three billion of four chemicals in each cell. Three billion!
  • Your brain: It can process more than a million messages per second. It filters the data and sorts by importance. It has the ability to reason, elicit emotions, dream, make decisions, translate your senses, and communicate to all other organs among so many other things.
  • Your eyes: They can make sense of around seven million colors. They have a constant auto-focus setting! (Insert bad pun: You see where I’m going with this?)

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.
– Psalm 139:14

Here’s why I bring this up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This past weekend I was hiking and camping at Virgin Falls in Tennessee. I was in awe of the amazing creation I was walking through: the changing leaves marking the change of the season, the leaves raining down on me with every burst of wind, the sunlight sneaking through the trees, the sounds of the river and woods, the outcropping of boulders in the hills, the dark caves and spilling waterfalls, the hidden underground rivers, and… a stick.

Yes, that last one was the thing that kept my mind on what an awesome Creator we have. As I hiked the trail that was labeled “a strenuous trail” on the sign at the trail head, I kept balance and stride with a simple stick. My overarching thought was this: “Was the tree this stick came from made with the plan that a branch from it would one day help me get through the rigors of this “strenuous trail?”

It’s not a question really meant to be answered, just to be contemplated. Even though a sample of brain tissue the size of a single piece of sand contains 100,000 neurons and one billion synapses, which by the way all communicate with each other, the stick question is of no consequence. With a God who clearly intelligently designed intelligence, His design is not just science, it’s exact science. 

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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Finding 3 positives can change any attitude

Have you ever had a moment when you let emotion overcome you? Or have you ever felt you were a mixed bag of emotions – like you could pull any one of several out and it would suit the particular situation? Or what about this: have you been in a situation where you didn’t know if you should laugh or cry?

We all have. Lots of times. It’s funny because, for me, I have some emotions that will roll off me like slime off off a snail, and others I succumb to like a nerd in a library. I know, those were both weird examples. So I’ll quickly move on.

I’m tend to be very patient in difficult situations – mainly with people. I hold my emotions until the right time, but I try not to show my true emotion in the heat of the moment. I’ve learned these skills by handling thousands of situations in which people were the problem. Having a career in PR is like having an PhD in managing difficult people. In addition, I serve as a volunteer mediator and arbitrator which allows me to help disputing parties work through their emotions and get to the heart of their conflict to seek possible resolution. Through what I do for living, I get an insider’s glimpse into real, raw human emotions on a daily basis. We all have these emotions from time to time.

Maybe that’s why I’m hard on myself in this regard. Recently, I really messed up. I was backing out of my garage in my Toyota Tacoma. Being a truck, I must pay attention to the Accordside mirrors so I don’t hit the side opening of the garage when backing out. What I didn’t do was pay attention to my daughter’s car in the driveway behind me. Yep. I backed straight into it. My emotions grabbed a hold of me like a snake choking it’s prey. I was upset for a few minutes. Not at the situation, but at myself because I should have caught it. I went in the house boldly (maybe huffing and stomping a little like a child) and loudly announced how I was the first to wreck the Honda Accord. I kind of thought my daughter would be the one to damage it first because she just turned 16 and this was my hand-me-down car. For 11 years, I managed to take care of that car!

My wife and daughter went outside to survey the damage. Kim was calm and said it was okay because it was an older car. Madison was even calmer, despite it being her car. I was the one who was not calm. The thing that made me upset was I had just damaged not one… but two cars I own.

But, here’s the deal: it was really no big deal. Emotions are controllable. I chose whether I was going to have a bad rest of the day or not. And I didn’t. I quickly got over my initial anger at myself, surveyed the situation, and did what we so often do at Southwestern Advantage when bad things happen: look for three positives.

  1. No one was hurt.
  2. I backed into the oldest car we have and not my wife’s car.
  3. Other people have bigger problems.

What I did was internally reason to change my perspective, which, in turn, changed my attitude. It’s not our emotions that get us into trouble. It’s how we let those emotions control our reactions and words that get us into trouble. 

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
– Proverbs 29:11

The next time life challenges you, remember the rule of three: find three positives in every situation.

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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Whether you are wise or an idiot… well, that depends on you

Look around and notice who you spend most of your time with. Generally, you will find four categories:

  1. Individuals who are generally wise and serve as a positive influence.
  2. Individuals who are total idiots and serve as a negative influence.
  3. Individuals who are borderline on the wisdom and idiocy, but more wisdom.
  4. Individuals who are borderline on the idiocy and wisdom, but more idiocy.

1000 Tips 134 idiots

Clearly, over time, you begin to get a pretty good read on the people you spend the most time with, the people you are closest to. And, there’s a plethora of reasons why you spend time with them – though some of them cross the line from a reason to an excuse.

Walk with the wise and become wise;
associate with fools and get in trouble.
– Proverbs 13:20

Proverbs 13:20 is succinct but powerful in its message. You want to fly with eagles? Don’t hang out with the crows. You want to hunt with the predators? Don’t mix with the prey. The people you associate with will make or break you. They will also define you by association.

If you have to pick and choose, try 1, 3, 4, 2 from the order above from best scenario to worst. Realize which one is your current situation and change it if you need to. Seek counsel and company from the wise – or at least the best your circle has to offer. If there is not much wisdom to be had in that circle, find another that builds you. Soon, a one- dimensional circle will become a three-dimensional sphere.

You can never underestimate the power of those who influence you through proximity and reach. If iron sharpens iron, don’t be a butter knife. Sharpen others as they sharpen you. Just like the title said: you decide if you are wise or foolish by the company you keep.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
– Proverbs 27:17

*Note: for the purposes of this blog, the word “idiot” is used similar to how “fool” is used in the Bible.

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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Lies Satan Tells Vol. 2: “You Are Worthless”

How you see your self-worth falls in one of two categories: worth it or worthless

I’ve seen this over and over in all of the capacities I work with people – from leading youth groups to life groups, in mediations and arbitrations, from college students to my own kids, from my friends to my own reflection. The truth is, how we see ourselves is ultimately determined by us, not others. The tough part is self-confidence plays a large part in our self-worth. Our confidence can be eroded over time by others who tear us down, make rude comments, bully, or are negative towards us as they try to make themselves feel better by putting others down.

1000 Tips 78 worth it or worthless

In reality, when we look at the reflection staring back at us in the mirror, we may not always like what we see. Do not let the flaws you’ve been led to believe you have by others lead to faulty self-worth. You are beautiful inside and out. One’s worth is not determined by what others believe or say. That is their opinion. And you know what they say about opinions… everyone’s got one, but it doesn’t mean it is backed up with intelligence! Plato said, “Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.”

This is another arrow in Satan’s quiver. Making us feel worthless makes us vulnerable. When we are vulnerable, we are susceptible. When susceptible, we are weak. And this is just where he wants us. And through our need to have the approval of others, we feed in to his lies. We’re fat on the words of others. Yet our strengths lie in the words we tell ourselves. This is a double-edged sword, as our weaknesses also lie in the words we tell ourselves. Leonardo da Vinci said, “The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” 

Rajneesh said, “The greatest fear in the world is the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd, you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.” If you haven’t heard that roar of freedom in your heart before or in a long time, you are missing something special. Don’t let the devil deny you that freedom.

The opinions that lead to your self-worth may be planted by the very things Plato, da Vinci, and Rajneesh spoke of: ignorance, deception, and fear. Satan is the gardener in this case and these are his seeds of self-destruction. Be aware so you can build your true net worth. God gave you life, so make it worthwhile. After all, you ARE worth it!

 

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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Best friends

Have you ever had someone in your life that was a complete collision of clarity? They just appeared one day and understood you like no one else ever has?

What I mean by this is someone who compliments you and helps you get where you want to go. It’s a person who has similar interests and cares about your well-being. They know your dreams and support you without fail. They know you like a family member and you can talk to them without holding back. They aren’t afraid to pray for you and be prayed for. They advise and offer wise counsel even when you don’t ask. They are available. They are a human GPS to help you get where you want to go, become the person you are called to be. They lead you to greater clarity of your life’s goals. Not only that, they help you reach them.

1000 Tips 96 collision life goals

We all need someone like this in our lives. Why? Because there is community in Christ. Just like we should carry each other to victory, we should carry each other’s burdens. Community between two people is not a fair-weathered friendship of convenience. It’s taking the good with the bad and making the bad become good.

Carry each other’s burdens,
and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
– Galatians 6:2

When you collide with the person who sets you on fire for life, you become more alive. When that collision is based on a mutual, shared faith in Christ, the fire rivals the sun’s heat and radiates it’s light.

Can you be that person for someone?
Can you allow a person to be that for you?

What ever your life’s goals – find a best friend you can bless and who can bless you. Your direction will be where God has planned for you. 

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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You can’t measure heart

In countries where corruption can be as rampant as the poverty, there are often things that go on behind closed doors that make you question if you really want to open that door.

I’ve opened these door many times – up to this point unafraid of what laid in waiting behind them. I have become all too familiar with the reality of the places I go in 1000 Tips 138 spoonful of hopesearch of those who need help for my company’s annual incentive trip’s service projects.

I’ve been asked before how I deal with it – especially with children involved. What I say to that is this: one spoonful of hope can feed a child for a lifetime. For me to expose myself to another’s misery may temporarily relieve them of that misery. It’s not what you do for the small amount of time – it’s the hope you offer. And hope is way more valuable than anything consumable. This will never make me or anyone else a hero. But perhaps a messenger of hope is something better.

The Holy Spirit has always led me where I need to be. He has always led me to those who have hearts of servants. It’s refreshing to know there is someone fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves. Some of the areas I’ve been to do not always take care of their own. But, then some do.

One of those places is in Puerto Vallarta, Centro de Capacitacion y Convivencia para Silente. Translated, it means Center for Training and Coexistence for the Silent. We always called it the Center for the Deaf & Mute.

I first came to know of this organization in 2011, as it was one of our first corporate service projects. Since it is government-sponsored, high ranking officials and the local media covered our presence and what we were doing to help. Honestly, it was positive PR for the politicians, but, hey, that’s okay!

While there, I met Juan Carlos Pena Guitierrez. While setting up our service itinerary for 2017, I was able to revisit the center. Juan Carlos is still there! This time, I got his story.

deaf and mute 2011-2017
Juan Carlos and I reunited: in 2011 and again in 2017

He has a passion for the deaf in the community. In fact, so much so, he was fired from his position because he stood up for his principles. But then he was hired back a year later when his successor failed to be as successful. He refuses to let the children’s hearing disability define them and be used as a social crutch or excuse. He believes they need socialization with those who can hear in order to acclimate to society and be productive contributors. In fact, he has fought the notion of the center becoming a school because if that happened, the students would not be able to go to the local schools. Being a “center,” the students get additional tutorials in sign language and help with social skills and school work.

What makes Juan Carlos special beyond his leadership and love for helping those who are disadvantaged by their disability, is he gets it. When meeting with him, he could have asked for anything. He didn’t ask for money or a new building. He simply wants supplies to teach with. He wants the tools the school needs to maximize their impact with those who they have been given charge of, giving a few more cards than the hand they’ve been dealt.

And for that, I have the utmost respect. Juan Carlos is on the ground, building hope for those who can’t hear everyday. He is the hero because the hope he delivers can’t be measured by the spoonful. You can’t measure heart.

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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What it takes to break the rocks in your life

This past week, I spent hours and hours speaking one-on-one with college students from all over the states while at a key-persons meeting for Southwestern Advantage. I love this time together because I always feel like I learn more from them than they do from me, yet I still feel I make some sort of connection that makes an impact. It’s rewarding.

Each time though, I realize the reality of where they are in life. At any given moment we are at different levels in our lives because of many varying factors including past experiences. For young people, they are in their formative years where they are beginning to form habits and opinions that shape who they will be. Of course, these can change, but the foundation is being laid. Those habits and opinions happen to also be shaped by things both in and out of their control. Therefore, some of the habits and opinions they have are formed by past negative things that have been out of their control. These are the rocks in their lives they must remove because they are blocking progress. Enough rocks, you have a mountain. Enough mountains, you have a range.

With all of the stories, memories, testimonies, and laughs we shared, I was drawn back to something I had written in the past: The courage we muster is equal to or greater than the strength we possess. When confronting past demons, overcoming obstacles, or preparing for change, it seems like both our courage and strength are hiding under the rocks in our lives that need to be moved.

1000 Tips 85 courage we muster

These students possess great strength and courage. I’ve seen it firsthand with how they conquer their fears with their summer business. What they sometimes need is a push in the right direction for the courage part. While they are some of the most confident people you will find when it comes to running their business, there are other aspects of life they are seeking a cup full of courage to maximize their strengths.

Isn’t our faith like that? Don’t we often lack the courage to “move mountains” when all along we always had the strength to do so? Rather than move mountains, we get buried in a rock slide. Then we have even more rubble in our life to dig through.

Courage is a necessary first step to breaking the rocks in your way. I love when the college students find the courage they need to carry the next boulder life presents them. And I love having a front-row seat. Sometimes, you just have to encourage others in order to see courage develop in others. 

Here is are some verses to turn to when you need courage to smash rocks and move the rubble out of your life:

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
    so why should I tremble?
When evil people come to devour me,
    when my enemies and foes attack me,
    they will stumble and fall.
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
    my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
    I will remain confident.
– Psalm 27:1-3

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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No such thing as an integrity thief

Integrity is one of those words most people know what it means, but may struggle to describe it. One word often used to describe integrity is moral. You may have heard of having a good “moral compass?” This means you are leading an honorable, just, and ethical life, one of principles. The question here is, whose principles? Yours or God’s?

Another definition of integrity is the state of being undivided. If you are undivided in1000 Tips 150 self driven God given your principles, you are deemed a person of integrity. Again, are these your principles, or Biblical principles? There’s a distinct difference. God’s principles are given to us through His Word. Our principles are often self-driven rather than God-given, selfishly desired rather than divinely inspired.

Getting through the day with our integrity intact is a challenge for all of us. It’s hard enough working against ourselves with our flaws and sinful nature, but we must also work against the dark powers around us. The enemy mounts a constant assault against us. He knows if our integrity is compromised, he has breached our spiritual armor. We choose whether this happens or not.

Integrity is one thing that no one can take away from you
but you can take it away from yourself.

1000 Tips 140 integrityIntegrity is focusing on what lies ahead, approaching anything that shows up along your path with a sincere and authentic desire to do the right thing. Look ahead to see what’s coming your way and be prepared to defend yourself against our enemy’s plans.

Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. 
Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. 
Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
– Proverbs 4:25-27

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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Lies Satan Tells Vol. 1: “You Are Useless”

Recently, my Life Group enjoyed some extended, shared prayer time. Just prior, my friend made a comment for which I took note. He said Satan was feeding him a lie, and in his ravenous hunger, he was eating it up. Satan is a liar. A good one at that. Over the useless watercourse of time, I want to break apart the lies he is telling those in my life I care about. I have a feeling many of you reading this will be able to relate too. I know I do.

I thought about this because Satan is always force feeding us lies. In fact, the devil’s lies are one of his greatest weapons against humanity. Why? Because we’re buyers. We buy what he is selling. We fall for all the lies because he and his hoard of demon lackeys are experts in penetrating our soul through our insecurities, vulnerabilities, and desires.

This particular lie was: “You are useless.”

When you hear this, how does it make you feel? Being told you are useless is a big-time slam. It’s being told you are good for nothing. You have no abilities to make anything worthwhile happen. You are weak. You are worthless. You are a pimple on the butt of society. Well… that’s a little harsh, but nonetheless it’s how you perceive being told you are useless. This is a statement that cuts to the core of our insecurities – if we begin to believe it.

Paul had a take on this. God gave him something: “a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.” This was a weakness Paul said he was proud to boast about. He was told by God how grace is all he needed because His power works best in weaknesses.

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
– 2 Corinthians 12:10

Get it straight: You are strong in your weaknesses! This is when God works his wonders. And hear this: don’t associate weaknesses with uselessness. No one is useless. Each person is important in God’s eyes and was created with purpose. He loves every hair on 1000 Tips 149 Gods eyesyour head and cell in your body. You are strong in God’s eyes even if you are not in yours. Let your weaknesses turn into strengths that make you useful rather than useless!

Useless is one sock. Useless is the white crayon. Useless are shoes for a snowman. Useless are male nipples, or your tonsils. Useless is talking to your cable company’s customer service. What is not useless: you. You have a mind to think, a voice to be heard, and hands and feet to be productive. You may not control the messaging of Satan or others who try bring you down, but you do control whether you accept it or not.

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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Should you choose to accept it: the 7 day service challenge

I’m issuing a challenge to anyone who thinks they have a heart big enough to accept it:

For seven days in a row, I challenge you to do
at least one act of service for someone else.

Here’s the rules:
1) There are none – other than performing this intentional act at least once a day.
2) There will be no regulation of how big or small your act of service can be.
3) There will also be no prize or recognition. An act of service is a benefit to someone else and has no strings attached.

It doesn’t have to be something that will make headlines… it can be something simple because all the simple things add up to something really big! Greatness is not made up of one great big thing, it’s a combination of many great little things. Tom Brady is not the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) because of one game. It’s the preparation and practice that leads to the precision of execution that makes him great. And so it is with having a servant’s heart.

Jim Johnston vehicleWhy a service challenge?
Let me start from the beginning. I was inspired recently by one of those simple, little things someone else does while putting others first. Each Sunday as I drive up a hill, around a curve through one of the entrances to my church, I see a lone vehicle. You see, Executive Pastor Jim Johnston parks in the parking space farthest away from the building. It’s not because he enjoys the walk, but rather he enjoys serving others.  Though on nice days, I’m sure the walk is not bad either.

This is a small way in which Jim serves others – he selflessly gives up a closer parking space so others may benefit from not having to walk in the heat or inclement weather. He didn’t do this for recognition or so someone would write a blog about it. He did it because he has a servant’s heart.

Another example that caught my attention was that of one of the college students I workAlex Szymanski post card with and invest in, Alex Szymanski, a student at the University of Central Florida. When I met with him in August, he gave me a post card addressed to my wife. Through his words, he shared the impact I have made on his life. He didn’t just share this with me, he went the extra mile and shared it with someone important in my own life. He didn’t have to do that, but it was because he realizes the value of making others feel special. (And I don’t include this to brag… I just think this was a thoughtful gesture from a college student that goes beyond a plain thank you).

For me personally, I have a self-imposed service challenge of 30 days. My personal service efforts have ranged from the small and seemingly insignificant to bigger things that take lots more time and effort. All in all though – they are each as important as the one the day before. 

Examples have included:

  • Taking letters to the post office for someone short on time
  • Donating clothing for a clothing drive
  • Helping a stranger unload a refrigerator at the dump
  • Taking the kids to school so my wife could sleep in
  • Participating in a county-wide service day with my church: painting, cleaning, weeding at a local school
  • Donating to the Texas flood relief
  • Helping a friend move furniture
  • And the all-important gesture of love: Giving my daughter my last Chick-fil-A fry

I encourage anyone who reads this to do a little self-reflection and think about all the ways you can serve others for the glory of God rather than the glory of self. I have found my attitude and heart change significantly when service is at the center of the love I show others. We are all God’s people. Show His compassion. Share His love. You will be amazed what comes out of your efforts.

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
– Hebrews 6:10

Trey Campbell, treycampbell1010@gmail.com
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