The Future-Me Decisions (Guest Blogger: Segun Aiyegbusi)

15 years ago in college, I made a decision that I was fairly certain future-me would look back on and say, “Thanks so much Bro! Way to look out for us!”

 

I chose to take a few classes that had nothing to do directly with my major at the time. My impetus was the question, “What might I do today that my future-self would thank me for?” At the time, I wasn’t certain about my post graduation plans/career, but I had a strong inkling that wherever I was headed, digital imagery would play a huge role in how I engaged people with my message.

 

Looking back, I’m so grateful for that decision younger-me made. My background in graphic design (a skill I’ve continually honed over the years) has opened up incredible doors of opportunity for me, and is in fact one of the primary skills that I use in my present line of work/calling.

 

So, what about you? What is one thing you might begin doing today (or are already doing) that your future-self would thank you for?

 

Be careful not to answer this question simply by generating a busy to-do list of activities that you’d probably end up doing anyway sometime in the near future. Instead, think 5, 10, 15 years down the line. Where do you want to be? Where would you like to be? Then work backwards. What is one thing you can do today that will inch you closer to your end goal? What is one thing you can start doing today that 10-years-later-you will say, “Thanks Soooo much! Way to look out for us!”

 

Whatever it is you decide, write it down, then impose on yourself a deadline for when you need to start implementing your ONE thing. (Trust me, deadlines are your friend).

 

Your hard work and effort might not bear any immediate fruit, but that’s okay, it’s not intended to. You’re looking out for future-you!

 

So, get going and do something today!

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Segun3Segun Aiyegbusi is a teaching pastor at Grace Church on the Mount in Netcong, New Jersey. He has a Masters of Divinity in Theology from Nyack Alliance Theological Seminary in New York. Segun is a passionate Bible teacher and is married to Modupe. They have 2 little boys, Nathaniel & Ethan. Segun blogs weekly on www.shegznstuff.com.

 

Website: http://www.shegznstuff.com

Instagram: @segunaiyegbusi

Twitter: @SegunAiyegbusi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/segun.aiyegbusi

Faith Without Action Is Dead (Guest Blogger: Wodline Hippolyte)

The other day my son decided to lock the door to my work room. I was angry and frustrated because it was the week of two upcoming events and I needed my supplies. What made things worse was I didn’t know where the key to that room was…long story.

I felt defeated which caused me to wait two days before I made an actual effort to do something. The night before I needed to get access to my supplies I decided to ask my dad for help. He brushed me off and told me to call a locksmith.

That night I was determined to pick the lock, but I was unsuccessful. My only options were to call a locksmith or face my fear of heights by getting a ladder to climb through the room window. That following morning I was determined to face my fear to get inside that room. As I walked outside the front door I was greeted by my dad who asked me where I was headed. I told him what I was planning to do and with the help of my youngest brother he ended up climbing the ladder for me to get into the room.

Won’t He Do It!

That week I learned it is with that same determination we are to pursue our God-given dreams. My dad came through for me because he saw the effort I made to “get my stuff” and many times God does the same with us. God has always come through for me when I allow my faith to be greater than my fears.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. – James 2:17

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View More: http://marjoriedatuin.pass.us/wodlineWodline is a mompreneur, wedding planner and savvy startup specialist who loves the Lord and is passionate about empowering young people to follow their dreams.

Website:          www.wodlinehippolyte.com

Twitter:           @WodlineH

Facebook:        www.facebook.com/wodlinehippolyteofficial

Instagram:       @wodlinehippolyte

For Your Good (Guest Blogger: Elvis Gyan)

“You’re from the hood, you’ll never amount to anything” was one of the many phrases I’ve heard when I was younger. Yes, I am from Newark, New Jersey, an area known to be filled with much violence. Yes, I was considered a statistic. Yes, I was looked down upon and was thought to die by the age of 18. Yes, my environment had many negative influences on me. But, you know what? God had bigger and better plans for me. He kept me safe. He protected me. He guarded me. He allowed me to encounter a variety of people with authentic spirits who have walked with me during this journey. It amazes me how God has transformed my life to what it is now. I give Him all the praise and glory.

I am here to illustrate to you today that no matter what your past or present may look like, God has better plans for your future! What the enemy has meant for harm, God has intended for your good. Never let anyone tell you you’ve fallen so far from God’s grace. Never let anyone tell you, you cannot change for the better. Most importantly, never allow anyone to keep you stagnant. All you need to do is be bold enough to make the most important decision in your life. What decision you ask? The decision to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior. Speaking from experience, I guarantee He will open your heart, mind, and sprit and elevate you to another level! It’s not about what man says to you or perceives you to be, its about what God says about you. Be well. Be thankful. Be positive. Be blessed. Most importantly, be ENCOURAGED! 

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ElvisGyanElvis Gyan currently serves as one of the Young Adult Leaders at Christ Church. In addition, Elvis works at Montclair State University as the Coordinator of Transfer Experience/Adjunct Professor. He has received is received a Bachelors in Biology, Master in Org Leadership and Higher Education, and is set to pursue his Masters of Divinity Fall 2015 at Alliance Theological Seminary.

Facebook: Elvis Gyan

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/Mrgyan1

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/1_more_phase

The I in Relationships (Guest Blogger: Ruth Joseph)

The I in Relationships
Relationships are inescapable. In world of 7 billion people,1 we spend our entire lives in a repetitive cycle of forming, nurturing or ending relationships. Some are good, some are bad and some are just “ehh ok”. But no matter the status, our lives exist in relationships.
When relationships are healthy, we thrive. However, when our relationships become unhealthy, we are deprived. Scripture tells us that, “bad company corrupts good character (1 Cor. 15:33).” This verse tells us not to hang around “bad company” because they corrupt the “good character” that Christ is forming in us. While this is true, there is another meaning that strikes closer to home.
 
What corrupts healthy relationships is not only the bad company of others, but also the bad company within one’s self!
We can’t ignore the “bad company” in our genes, family, and everyday lives. It’s easy to deflect on others what we are reluctant to identify in ourselves, but we need to stop deflecting and start reflecting. 
Here are two lessons that I learned.
 
1- I was created for relationships. Relationships were not created for me.
In a world that is so individualistic, Christ calls us to a higher standard than self-service. He modeled REAL relationships with His family, His disciples, His enemies, and people in society. In each relationship He didn’t come expecting to be served, but rather to serve in hopes that many would be won to the good character of the Father (Mk 10:45). 
 
2- I grow into a better me when I am in a healthy relationship with you.
We are called to “love one another” as Christ has loved us (Jn 13:34). This kind of love is not of convenience, but rather a free-willed choice. Healthy relationships thrive best when we freely choose love and sacrifice our pride. We are always transformed for the better, when we love through Him.
So take time to reflect on your existing relationships and the bad company that may be hindering all the good God wants you to enjoy.
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RuthJoseph2015Deaconess Ruth Joseph is an emerging young adult leader at Christ Church. Most Sundays, she can be found at the West Campus helping to lead worship or at the altar joyfully dancing during worship. Whether it’s on or off the altar, Ruth has a heart of worship that extends beyond just singing. She is a 316 person that is committed to service (passing love on), as a Community Service Coordinator, Life Group leader and a Bible Study Facilitator for the Quest/College & Young Adult Ministry. Last June Ruth it was an honor to have one of our very own be ordained into the Deaconate Ministry. (Deaconess) Ruth welcomes the opportunity to continue to model 316 within the walls of the church and beyond.

Three S’s of Spiritual and Emotional Refreshment (Guest Blogger: Dr. Ron Walborn)

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RonWalborn

Somebody commented to me the other day about the pace of my life. They were genuinely concerned for me when they asked the question: “How do you recharge spiritually?”  I was actually thankful because it gave me a chance to reflect on whether or not I am taking adequate time to recharge and refresh myself on a regular basis. Here is what I came up with that I practice and seems to work for me most of the time. I call this plan my “Three S’s of Spiritual and Emotional Refreshment:” 

 

1. I regularly take Sabbath SeasonsIt is no secret to anyone in a busy life and ministry that there are some weeks you just don’t get a true sabbath day. I have learned that if you work three weeks in a row without a Sabbath Day, you need to plan a long weekend or extended period of time for Sabbath rest. God did this for the land when the Israelites neglected to give the land its 7 year Sabbath rest for 490 years. As a result, God took them into captivity for 70 years (you do the math) so that the land would have its rest. A Sabbath Season. If the Lord was that serious about the land, how much more concerned is He for us?

 

2. I also guard my Secret Life with God very carefully:  When you are constantly giving out and speaking to other people, your temptation is to use everything you get from God in your public ministry.  If you have no reservoir of Secret Life with God, it is a recipe for burnout.  Furthermore, if your entire relationship with God is shared publicly, you are an exhibitionist not a lover. I have to have times alone with God where I foster an intimacy and friendship that does not get shared publicly. The busier I get, the more I value my solitude with Him.

 

3. Finally, I have learned to love a variety of Spiritual Disciplines:  The Disciplines are just intentional practices that are designed to make space for God in our lives: reading, prayer, fasting, silence, journaling and many others allow us to slow down and be refreshed by His presence. Don’t be afraid to read up on the disciplines and add some variety to your times with God. We often get stuck in a rut and need something new on the menu.

 

I want to thank that brother who asked me how I get refreshed. We bless each other when we ask the heart and soul questions of life. Those are my “Three S’s of Spiritual and Emotional Refreshment.” What do you do to refresh your soul and recharge spiritually?

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Dr. Ron Walborn is the Dean of Alliance Theological Seminary and the College of Bible and Christian Ministry at Nyack College. He has been on faculty at Nyack ATS since the fall of 1999. Ron also serves on the Board of Directors for the Christian and Missionary Alliance and has served on the Theological Issues Committee for the denomination.

Ron is originally from Western Pennsylvania where his father was a Christian & Missionary Alliance pastor in several churches. He holds a B.A. in History from Nyack College and a M.Div. from Alliance Theological Seminary. He completed his D.Min degree at Fuller Theological Seminary. Ron has pastored C&MA churches in Connecticut and California. He planted Risen King Community Church with Dr. Terry Wardle in Redding, CA in 1989. While living in Redding for 10 years, he taught part time at Simpson University.

Ron has spoken at numerous Christian and secular colleges across America, and at churches and conferences throughout the US and internationally. He has written a book on stewardship, Stewardship & the Kingdom of God, published by the Christian & Missionary Alliance and chaired the committee that wrote the C&MA position on Spiritual Gifts, Expectation Without Agenda.

Ron has been married to Wanda (the Director of Spiritual Formation at Nyack College) since 1984. They have four adult children: Kelly, Brice, Karis, and Karly, and one granddaughter, Isabella.

Website: http://www.nyack.edu