Day 4: The Art of the First Impression

So… I’m pretty bad at first impressions. I’ve had multiple friends, colleagues, classmates, etc. say to me, “When I first met you, I thought you were really cold/standoffish/uppity/mean.” I was also regarded lower for a college scholarship because I was “really quiet, and didn’t seem to like the other candidates.” My MO in a new situation is to stand back and observe first, and to only enter the fray later. Walking into a new place and then immediately retreating to the wall or the corner by myself isn’t a good first impression. The problem is that first impressions often dictate how a relationship will develop (or whether it will develop at all).

I’ve been listening to The Art of Charm a lot lately, hoping to grow in this area of my life (i.e., first impressions and charm). As I was listening to Episode 406, I was surprised when they pinpointed the moment of the first impression. It’s not your first interaction with a person, which was my expectation.

Your first impression is not what you say, but when you become a blip on other people’s radar.

Continue reading “Day 4: The Art of the First Impression”

Better Every Day: My 31 Day Challenge

So I've been at my job for 3.5 months and I'm really enjoying it. I love my work, my coworkers, and everything that I'm learning two that I can do my job well. Frankly, I love almost everything about my job except one thing: my commute.
In an effort to make the best of a tough situation, I've been listening to a lot of podcasts lately, and I've really been struck by one recurring theme that has popped up in a lot of the podcasts I listen to: never stop learning. I love learning. I often describe myself as a deep learner, or I'll say that learning is my hobby. But these podcasts push me to go a step beyond learning to start creating.
It's really easy for me to make excuses. "I don't know that much." "I don't have time to tell others what I'm learning." "No one is going to be interested in what I have to say." But ultimately, they're all just excuses.
Tomorrow is August 1st, so I thought that I would challenge myself with 31 days of sharing what I'm learning. Some days I'll give my thoughts about what I learned. Other days I'll just post the lesson itself. My goal is to share something every day for one month, and I'd love for you to join me on my journey of getting better every day.
Here's a bonus lesson from today to pregame for the 31 day Better Every Day Challenge:

Everyone knows something that you don't know. ~Bill Nye

See you tomorrow!

Welcome to Tarsus

Welcome to Tarsus

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about myself, so I thought I’d give you all an update on my life and talk a little about what’s been going through my mind.

I’m in a weird spot in life these days. To most, it just looks like a time of transition, a change in life direction. To some, it looks like an opportunity to move in a new direction. To me, it looks like waiting on God’s direction while doing my best to bloom where I’ve been planted.

Let me explain.  Continue reading “Welcome to Tarsus”

Joy and Seriousness

This past Sunday, I was visiting a church and the guest speaker was sharing something that God had impressed on his heart recently: The mark of Christianity is the permeating joy of Christ.

As he affirmed over and over, there was nothing surprising or new to his message. However, it was still a message worth sharing and worth pondering. How can my show, even when I’m not talking about it? His assertion was that it’s deep-seated, situation-independent joy. People should be able to look at us and recognize an inexplicable joy.

This reminded me of an experience I had a couple months ago. My small group was meeting at a local burger joint, and we were taking time sharing what God had been teaching us recently.  Continue reading “Joy and Seriousness”

God’s Grand Narrative and WCCC

Over the past few weeks, my Bible Study has been going over Stephen’s story in Acts 6:8-7:60. In his story, we see that Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, has to deal with opposition. Well, not just opposition. He’s arrested and put on trial, facing false accusations, and forced to defend himself. In the face of this opposition, Stephen relies on God and confidently responds, confounding and infuriating the Jews.

Stephen was accused of speaking against the temple and the law, both of which were held to be very sacred by the Jews. When asked to defend himself, Stephen gives a sermon about the work of God through the nation of Israel. He showed that God did not dwell primarily in the temple, and that He actively sought a relationship with His people. This culminated God the Son becoming a man, namely, Jesus, whom the Jews had killed. Enraged, the Jews drag him out of the city and begin to stone him. And with his dying breath,Stephen prayed that God would have mercy on his murderers.

Stephen’s confidence came from knowing that he was a part of the work that God had begun thousands of years before. During his sermon, Stephen traced God’s work, starting with Abraham, and he derived a confidence and security from the eternal perspective that this gave him.

If you’re a Christian, have you ever taken the time to trace God’s work all the way up to you? Not only does it give us a new perspective on everything, but it’s also kinda fun.

I wanted to do that for our group at West Covina Christian Church. It’ll start out with things that are applicable to every believer, but as we get closer and closer to our time, each of our stories will begin to diverge. And that’s the beauty of it. God has been weaving our threads together since the dawn of time, creating an immense tapestry that we can just barely glimpse if we really try. So let’s try! Continue reading “God’s Grand Narrative and WCCC”