Posts Tagged ‘WotD

19
Nov
10

time and focus (part II)

There is another dynamic at work in the process of growth. In relationships, “quality time only comes out of a quantity of time.” Not the easiest truth for soon to be lawyers, but a genuine fact of people is that you cannot sit down for five minutes and expect those isolated minutes to yield a quality relationship. Spending an evening with a friend may result in five quality minutes. Relationships are built through a quantity of time, provided you capture and explore the quality moments that get sprinkled in.

So where does this leave us? Growth takes effort and relationships take time. Time and Focus are our two most precious assets in law school; mainly because they feel so scarce and so over taxed. Time and Focus are easy when hanging out with friends you enjoy and while engaged in activities you love, but are hard to muster on a daily basis.

Consider your time and focus as they relate to your spiritual life. Are you contributing the inputs required and are you getting the results.  If so- wonderful!! If not- ask God for further desire. As was stated in part I,  “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

Alternative example: At the gym, getting past a lifting plateau is tough.  You have to push the weight to what feels like an exponentially greater degree to break into a new level.  Lifting the same weight you did last week will not get you through the plateau, there must be greater focus to change the status quo.

18
Nov
10

Time and Focus (part 1)

time and focus (part I)

Internationally acclaimed violinist Midori still practices 5-6 hours each day and is quoted saying, “It is not really the hours, but the quality of the work that needs to be done. I see with students, that they play and they call it practice, but they are not listening and not watching. If you have your textbook open, it doesn’t mean you are studying.” Many of us law students understand this truth. Sitting at your computer with open books does not increase your understanding- purposeful examination of the concepts and cases are what drive valuable studying. Our struggle is often to find the will to push, the will to want to learn one more subject, the will to look-up what we do not understand rather than gloss over the details.

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

I sometimes pray that God will give me the desire to want to grow deeper with him. The desire to desire. Growth takes effort and passive existence will not do. Thankfully for me, God is our resource for the will as well as the effort.  “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

to be continued . . .

17
Nov
10

Thankfulness

“The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love. 
. . . he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.”
Psalm 103:8, 10
In this season of Thanksgiving, it is good to remember what we have to be thankful for.  When it is difficult to find things to be thankful for, it is especially helpful to take the Lord’s perspective.  Instead of telling ourselves: “I don’t deserve this difficulty.”  “Why is life so hard on me?”  “I have a right to be treated better than this.”  or even “I’ve earned this through my own accord.”  Take a second look.  We are only here because of God.  We would not have breath in our lungs if it were not for the Lord.  Far beyond that and out of God’s incredible love for us, God sent his only Son to die for OUR sins.  We deserve far worse than we recieve.  God has been nothing but good and faithful to us, even when we are not good or faithful to Him.  Take the Lord’s perspective this Thanksgiving.  Then, remember to thank Him.
16
Nov
10

“God I Promise . . .”

John 13: 36-38

Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.

I’m not sure if you guys fall into this, but I find myself often attempting to make promises or bargains with God, when even I doubt I will
follow through on them. I know this is silly intellectually but don’t get to see it this blatantly illustrated. I think in this case Peter really did believe he would lay down his life for Christ but a mix of fear in the moment and reliance upon self got the better of him that very night. This should be a call to humility but also exciting in that God still used Peter in such incredible ways to start the church. God’s love and use for us is not dependent upon our batting percentage when he he sends us opportunities and through our failures he teaches us new things, and even pure motives in self-reliance can lead to embarrassing sinful situations. With finals approaching and holding value based measurements I think it’s important to remember we’re not here to make promises to God or earn things for God, but rather live life in dependance on him seeking to make the most of the opportunities we’re given.

– Mitchell

 

15
Nov
10

Obedience

1 Samuel 15:22.  “Does the lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrafices as much as obeying his commands? Behold, to obey is better than to sacrifice.”  In other words, obeying the Lord is more important than worshiping Him.  Which makes sense because if we obey the Lord, we will be worshiping him according to His commandments. The whole point of worship is to express gratitude to God because He saved us from our transgression of His law. So why would He delight in worship that is in violation of His law?  Jesus said, “if you love me keep my commandments.” Love is the motive, and obedience is the action. Love bears fruit of obedience.  Does a mother delight in her boy who crosses a busy street to pick her flowers? In the same way, how much more does our Father, who knows the eternal consequences of our disobedience, delight in our worship that is not accordance to His commandments?
11
Nov
10

New Strength


Isaiah 40:29-31: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

In these tiring, busy times, may we all be reminded that God “knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” He knows we need strength and inward renewal each day, and he is faithful to provide it.
05
Nov
10

Late-Semester Motivation

Often, it becomes difficult to remain motivated in our scholastic pursuits late in the semester.  Our initial, eager ambition wanes as our exhaustion mounts, and – especially for those of us who are upper classmen – our efforts may even begin to seem futile (as anyone who has survived the seemingly arbitrary law school grading process can attest).  We may question the value of our labor and fail to recognize what consequences it may have on our futures.  In graduate school, where grades typically have a direct bearing on professional prospects, some may reflect on the current economic climate and wonder what the point is, reasoning that hard work will not result in a job that does not exist.

However, we must persevere.  The Bible instructs us of the necessity of fully employing our talents and applying them rigorously and honorably in service of God.  There are more reasons to work hard than hopes of a fruitful career: we may inspire others, show them we serve a higher purpose than self-interest, prepare ourselves to do God’s work, and generally operate to God’s pleasure.  That said, here is a sampling of motivational Bible verses that remind us of the foregoing.  (Yes, some are plucked out of context, but they are nevertheless meaningful as applied here.)  If any of you guys are feeling burned our unmotivated, let me know – I’d be glad to talk to you about what’s going on in your life and offer you encouragement.

-Brent

“Above all else, guard your heart, / for everything you do flows from it.”  Proverbs 4:23 (NIV).  (Don’t let yourself despair or be seduced by laziness.)

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”  1 Corinthians 15:38 (ESV).

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13 (ESV).

“In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.”  Proverbs 14:23 (ESV).

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”  James 1:22-25 (ESV).

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”  Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV).

“The plans of the diligent lead to profit / as surely as haste leads to poverty.”  Proverbs 21:5 (NIV).

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.”  Galatians 6:4 (New Living Translation).




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