Why?

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Why?

Why do you do what you do?

This is a question I believe we don’t ask ourselves enough.

Ultimately, as Christians, our faith provides an answer to this vague question.

God should be the center of our lives and no matter our calling, no matter our task. He should be the one that drives it all.

In essence, He is the answer to our “why?”.

Martin Luther King Jr. describes what I believe to be the best answer to “why?” in his sermon, “The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life”:

When I was in Montgomery, Alabama, I went to a shoe shop quite often, known as the Gordon Shoe Shop. And there was a fellow in there that used to shine my shoes, and it was just an experience to witness this fellow shining my shoes. He would get that rag, you know, and he could bring music out of it. And I said to myself, “This fellow has a Ph.D. in shoe shining.”

What I’m saying to you this morning, my friends, even if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go on out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures; sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music; sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry; (Go ahead) sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, “Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”

If you can’t be a pine on the top of a hill
Be a scrub in the valley—but be
The best little scrub on the side of the hill,
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.
If you can’t be a highway just be a trail
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or fail—
Be the best of whatever you are.

The answer to “why?” is in who we serve.

Dr. King’s favorite shoe shiner woke up every morning and set out to be the best shoe shiner he could be.

No matter who you are, God has blessed you immensely.

Maybe it’s with a great talent, maybe it’s with a great personalty, maybe it’s with a great mind.

Why waste it today?

Wake up every morning and strive to be the best you can be.

Let all the host of heaven and earth pause and say, “Here lived a great doctor”, “Here lived a great mother.”, “Here lived a great father.”, “Here lived a great teacher.”, “Here lived a great student.”, “Here lived a great friend.”

Dr. King reminds us that no matter our calling, we are God’s children and that is “why?”.

Quote of the Week: Earl Nightingale

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.

- Earl Nightingale

The best things in life are truly worth waiting for. This period of waiting can be extremely difficult, but the end reward is immensely greater. Don’t be afraid to wait.

Hands-on with OS X Yosemite: Mac interface rebuilt for Retina

Jason Snell writing for Macworld:

In the past year, though, it’s become clear that Apple no longer believes in that approach, if it ever truly did. iOS 7 took big, bold steps in one direction—and OS X Yosemite takes smaller steps in a different one. After spending several days running Yosemite (on a Retina MacBook Pro provided to me by Apple and pre-loaded with the first developer release), it’s clear that Apple has a very clear and distinct future in mind for the Mac—even though some of today’s Apple hardware might not be up to delivering it.

Jason’s hands-on experiences with Apple’s latest version of OS X, Yosemite, confirm what many have believed is the next frontier for Apple in desktop computing.

It’s safe to say that the transition to Retina on the desktop has been much slower than many have expected, but it is increasingly apparent that Retina will soon make an appearance in the MacBook Air line and possibly in Apple’s main consumer-desktop line, the iMac.

I think Yosemite brings a much needed design tweak that brings OS X up to speed with the “flat” design of iOS.

Book Review: Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship by Joshua Harris

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“Courtship is a time to see the good, the bad, and the ugly in the one we love. Then our emotions and decisions about the relationship can be based on fact.” – Joshua Harris, Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship

I first heard about Joshua Harris’ book Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship in a video produced by YouTuber Dani Austin. Dani mentioned that she was reading a new book that suggests the somewhat-lost art of courtship as a viable alternative to traditional dating. I was instantly intrigued.

Growing up in a Christian home and aligning my own values with Christ’s teachings in the Bible, I have always viewed dating as a broken system.

Although dating is an obvious step towards marriage, teens and adults alike treat dating as a time to enjoy the company of an individual while escaping the total commitment of an engagement or marital relationship.

Only minutes after finishing Dani’s video I launched the Amazon Kindle app on my iPad and began searching for Harris’ book.

Although it took me a month or two to get around to reading it, that was time I shouldn’t have wasted.

Only days away from my twentieth birthday, it seems as if my time as a “young adult” or teenager is fleeting. It’s time to step in the real world and begin to prepare myself for the plans God has in store for me. Through the teachings in his book, Joshua Harris opened some amazing and thought-provoking doors in my life.

Harris presents his thesis of courtship as an alternative to what we know as dating extremely early in the book. Seemingly from the first page I was hooked into this idea that seemed almost taboo compared to our culture today.

Harris does an excellent job balancing Biblical teaching with real life examples to create an easy-to-follow, engaging storyline that even weaves the relationship between him and his wife.

In fact, some of the stories are so engaging that I felt I was reading a romance novel instead of an informational book about courtship at times.

Harris’ extensive knowledge of the topic and personal experiences with the art of courtship shine through on every page. And although this is could be viewed as a “courtship for dummies” guidebook, his writing style allows the reader to escape into an engaging introspective journey.

Although this book is probably best-suited for those who are entering or are currently seeking a marital relationship, I truly believe anyone could pick up this book and learn a thing or two on building Godly relationships.

Harris provides some amazing advice on a wide-array of topics including the best physical practices for a couple in a courting relationship to one of my favorite chapters entitled “If Boys Would Be Men, Would Girls Be Ladies? How to Embrace Your God-Given Role As a Man or Woman.”

Final Verdict: 4.8 ♥s out of 5

Please don’t ask how I come up with these ratings, because I honestly can’t tell you. I just assign a number value based on my enjoyment and recommendation value of the book.

It was extremely hard to not give this book a perfect score.

I came into it expecting to learn a lot, but nearly be put to sleep with extensive references to scriptures and “the do’s and don’t’s of courtship.

Although these were present in the book (and are extremely important), they were presented in an easy to digest form and I applaud Joshua Harris for that.

It is obvious that this book wasn’t written for theological professors and instead for anyone who is willing to pursue God’s will in their relationship.

One of my favorite parts of the book is a bonus inclusion at the very end. Harris maps out eight great ideas for courtship dates. I will have to admit, they are extremely creative and sound like a blast!

I would be lying if I said I’m not eager to try a few of them out!

Joshua Harris is a pastor at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He has written several books on relationships including the popular personal account I Kissed Dating Goodbye and his latest book, Humble Orthodoxy: Holding the Truth High Without Putting People Down.

SEC Sports Roundtable 119: He Doesn’t Play Football

I joined Shane, Brittion and Blair to discuss some of the pressing topics in the SEC world this week. We track Johnny Manziel’s fall through the first round of the NFL Draft live, give our instant reactions to some of the first round picks, talk a little SEC Baseball and even sneak a little basketball talk into the mix!

SEC Sports Roundtable 118: Pros Throwing to College Kids

Shane and I redact some of our previous statements about SEC basketball and break down the SEC’s surprising success in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. We also discuss the recent decision by Northwestern football players to unionize and breakdown Johnny Manziel’s pro day. Oh, and of course, there’s a little bit of Bruce Pearl talk as well.

The Supervisor’s Prayer

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Lord, when I am wrong, make me willing to change. When I am right, make me easy to live with. So strengthen me that the power of my example will far exceed the authority of my rank.

One of the biggest influences in my life, Dave Ramsey, mentioned this prayer in passing on his radio show several months ago.

Many view Dave simply as a “personal” financial coach. Although he has made a name for himself as a financial coach, he has made some waves over the past couple years as a leadership coach.

His book, EntreLeadership, teaches those in leadership positions how to be efficient and Godly examples for their team members.

Although I am not a supervisor, I do manage a team of volunteers on a weekly basis at our local church. Every week I have to check myself and make sure that I am being a Godly example to my team members in everything that I do.

Even if you aren’t in a leadership position people still view you as a leader. Whether you stand up for something you believe in or simply show Christ to someone today, you are a leader.

This prayer is for all of us. We are all leaders. No matter the scale, no matter the platform.

SEC Sports Roundtable 117: SEC Basketball Tourney Preview

I joined Shane, Blair and Jon to talk about the first and second round games of the SEC Basketball Tournament and predict our big winners. We also discuss our proposed changes to the one-and-done rule in college basketball and offer up some suggestions for the NBA D-League.

Using FaceTime Audio for Podcast Recording

Skype has long been a thorn in the side of podcasters who frequently feature remote guests or co-hosts.

Although there are many alternatives to the Microsoft-owned VOIP client, it is still regarded as the gold standard in podcasting circles.

Several podcasters have turned to Google Hangouts, but many feel that the platform still has packet loss issues that can greatly affect audio quality.

Stephen Hackett, host of The Prompt on 5by5, has done some extensive testing with Apple’s new FaceTime Audio product.

Although FaceTime Audio has been a feature in iOS for several months now, it recently was added to Mac OSX.

When I first heard about FaceTime Audio I was extremely interested. FaceTime Video has always provided amazing quality, in my testing, even over 3G and LTE networks.

Stephen and his co-hosts use a very fool-proof setup that he calls “double-ending”. This technique allows for the highest quality recording possible and isn’t reliant on the overall quality of the Skype call.

Although Stephen and his co-hosts use this technique, he still tested the recorded quality over FaceTime Audio.

His consensus is a bit underwhelming for those looking for a true alternative to Skype.

At this point, I think it’s best to think of FaceTime Audio as a good backup for Skype, but I won’t be moving to it anytime soon.

I wouldn’t write FaceTime Audio off just yet. Although it may not be up to Skype quality, it still offers some advantages including built-in integration with iOS right from the call screen.

SEC Sports Roundtable 116: Not Having A Crawfish Boil Will Get You A Show Cause

Shane, Drew and I continue to express our discontent with the state of SEC basketball. We chat about possible coaching replacements for Anthony Grant and Cuonzo Martin. We wrap up by breakdown the performances of the SEC’s top players at the NFL Combine.