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Posts tagged ‘Table tennis’

Remember to Remember!

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.
Psalm 143:5

Recommended Reading
Numbers 15:39-40 ( )

Part of aging is memory loss — sometimes it is significant, and other times it is subtle. So we exercise, eat right, lay off the sugar, read, do the crosswords, juggle, play Ping-Pong, and brush our teeth with our opposite hand — all proven to strengthen the brain. But the Israelites had a different memory tool: tassels. They wore tassels on their garments so they could “look upon [ them ] and remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them” (Numbers 15:37-40). Something as simple as a tassel can remind us of God, His Word, and His faithfulness.

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( )

You may not want to sew tassels on the hem of your garments, but there are plenty of other ways to remind yourself of what God has done in your life. The most permanent reminder is a written record — a diary, a journal, 3″ x 5″ cards, or notes you type on your computer. If Moses had to remind the Israelites to remember their rescue from Egypt (Exodus 13:3), how much more should we be writing down the less dramatic but equally memorable ways God has been faithful to us?

Are you keeping a record? In the challenging days of life, you will be encouraged to look back and remember how God met your needs and answered your prayers.

Philippians 1-4

By David Jeremiah.

5 Ways to Avoid the Drain of Busyness.

I did too much in 2012.

Taking stock of my schedule and activities last year, I’ve come to the conclusion I overextended myself. It wasn’t one specific commitment that was out-of-bounds, but the combination of things I took on. I assumed these activities would demand less time and attention than they did.

From the launch of The Gospel Project, to my Ph.D work, writing two books, blogging daily, and juggling speaking engagements (not to mention the time I need with family), last year left me feeling overwhelmed and at the brink of exhaustion.

In 2013, I scaled back speaking engagements and “extracurricular” stuff. And I’m already feeling the difference.

Avoid the Drain

Busyness drains you of creative potential and saps the energy you need for ministry. We all need boundaries. And we tend to be more effective when we focus on doing fewer things well.

Here are a few practices I’m implementing in 2013 as I seek to be a better steward of my time and health. I’m not an expert on this by any stretch, but these practices have been helpful.

1. Consider Input, Not Just Output

With the arrival of smart phones, we are never really “off.” Our work continues long after we leave the office. The information deluge threatens to wipe out any time for reflection.

If you’re going to maximize your effectiveness as a writer or preacher, you ought to be purposeful about what info is coming at you. Don’t let the internet determine what you put in your mind. Read, study, and browse strategically.

2. Beware of the Ping

In  The Accidental Creative, Todd Henry warns against the Ping:

The Ping is that little sensation that occasionally prompts me to check my e-mail or my social media accounts. It’s the impulse to mindlessly surf news sites instead of doing something productive. And as my number of options grew (turns out there is an app for that), the pull of the Ping became ever more powerful. The Ping wants to be my master. It wants to own me.

Here’s what happens when you let the Ping have control:

It’s more and more difficult for me to be fully in one place, to focus on what’s in front of me. I’m losing the capacity to think deeply about whatever I’m experiencing because I tend to gravitate to whatever feeds the Ping.

I’m not advising you to get rid of technology. But surely we can set parameters at home and at work as to how much we’ll allow ourselves to be driven by instant email, texts, tweets, and Facebook messages.

You don’t need your iPhone at the dinner table. You really don’t.

3. Recognize the exponential increase of energy needed for new tasks.

It’s the “little things” that add up. I learned this the hard way. Even the short amount of time needed for certain responsibilities can create a disproportionate drain on your energy.

When an opportunity or a request comes your way, never examine it by itself. Always look at it in light of all your other responsibilities. Every commitment you make affects the other commitments you make.

4. Consider the Trade Off

Every commitment costs something. Are you willing to make the trade?

One of the things I do not regret about 2012 was prioritizing my son’s soccer games. I’ve never heard a father later in life say, “I wish I hadn’t been so present for my kids.”

I was recently invited to do a series of lectures at a Bible college. I hated to turn down the opportunity because of my love for teaching and interacting with students. But looking at my calendar, I quickly realized that I would have to give up significant time to prepare. Not to mention the time away from family during the summer. It wasn’t worth the trade. Maybe next time.

5. Work way out in advance.

The best way to maintain the mental energy for your job or in your ministry is to take the long view. Work ahead of time.

Procrastination is a creativity-killer. While you may work well under pressure of time constraints, you won’t be able to consistently offer your best work if you proceed this way.

The benefit of working in advance is letting stuff simmer on the “back burner.” You become more alert to ideas and stories to incorporate into your sermon, potential blog posts, etc.

What about you?

What are some ways you maintain productivity in the midst of a busy schedule?

Trevin Wax

Trevin Wax is an editor, author and blogger at “Kingdom People.”

Texas lawmaker: ‘Ping-pongs’ deadlier than guns.


Runnnnn, Susan Sarandon (with Andre Balazs)! (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)Incoming Texas State Rep. Kyle Kacal says guns don’t kill people—ping-pong kills people.

“I’ve heard of people being killed playing ping-pong—ping-pongs are more dangerous than guns,” he says. “Flat-screen TVs are injuring more kids today than anything.”

The Consumer Product Safety Commission does warn that some sports equipment may have unexpected hazards—for instance, brands of tennis rackets have been recalled because ofpossible exposure to lead.

Also in the category of Things That Are Dangerous But Are Not Ping-pong: One model helicopter had to come off the shelves because of—yikes—“laceration hazards.”

But neither table tennis racquets nor table tennis itself appears to have hurt any children. For instance, it’s nowhere to be found in a commission analysis noting the 13 toy-related deaths and 262,300 toy-related injuries to children under 15 in 2011. (If you have time to waste, the commission’s lists of recalled sports equipment and toys make for engrossing—and sometimes distressing—reading.)

The lifetime rancher, who will take his seat in 2013 as a freshman, says that new gun restrictions are unnecessary. Kacal, who reportedly operates a hunting business, notably came out against a bill instructing Texans how to secure their assault weapons.

“People know what they need to do to be safe. We don’t need to legislate that—it’s common sense,” he said. “Once everyone’s gun is locked up, then the bad guys know everyone’s gun is locked up.”

By  | The Ticket

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