I deleted an app from my iPhone this afternoon.
It was a good app, and free when I got it. But, as I read through Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions, as I do every year, I became instantly convicted that this app—which I just downloaded yesterday—has already wasted too much of my time.
Edwards, regarded by many as the finest American theologian ever, jotted down 70 resolutions over the course of several months in 1723, and these have stood the test of time as some of the most brilliant, yet simple resolutions a Christian can make.
Several of them cut like a boning knife through my flabby heart, not the least of which is Resolution No. 5:
Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but to improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
Not one moment wasted. Not even when I’m waiting at the airport or stuck in traffic. Not even when I’m early to an appointment—a rare event in any case—and have 15 minutes to kill. To Edwards, a truly godly man, those 15 minutes didn’t belong to him in the first place, and therefore, were never his to kill or make alive.
I love this resolution of Edwards, not only because it sounds ambitious to the point of heroic, but because it is so squarely biblical. It’s nothing more than a simple restating of the Apostle Paul’s instructions to the church at Ephesus:
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
I want to imitate men like Edwards and Paul, who understood and embraced the gospel so wholeheartedly that every moment became an opportunity to capitalize upon and make the most of, for my ultimate joy, for the good of others, and for the glory of God.
Step 1: Cut out the Fat
The first step to capitalizing on the precious opportunities that each moment represents—to really redeem the time and make the best use of it—is to prayerfully quit doing things that do waste time. There goes that iPhone app. Is Facebook next? Pinterest? Maybe.
That’s what Edwards means when he resolves to “never lose one moment of time,” and it’s what Paul is shooting for when he warns his readers to watch how they’re walking, “not as unwise, but as wise.”
Can you picture Jonathan Edwards, the third president of Princeton, frittering time away on Facebook or Twitter? Or, can you picture the Apostle Paul, commissioned by Jesus as a servant and a witness to the resurrection, burning time on his cell phone while he waits for the bus?
Step 2: Capitalize on the Moment
Following the pattern set by Paul in Ephesians 5, Edwards counters his negative goal (to not waste time) with a positive objective: “to improve (each moment) the most profitable way I possibly can.”
This “improvement” starts with the heart. Are we actively seeking Christ where he is to be found—in his Word and among his people, the Church? Are we actively seeking to embrace the gospel so that we can say with Paul, “the love of Christ controls us”? (2 Corinthians 5:14)
This is what Paul means by “making the best use of the time,” and there is no app for it.
This kind of living takes discipline, study, and Christian community. And this is the kind of living that will really make a difference in the world, including the people you interact with on an everyday basis.
How can you improve each moment in the most profitable way you possibly can in 2013?
If so, then consider the Heartbeat International Academy, which currently offers 50 courses, as well as Life Affirming Specialist training and certification.
Geared toward life-affirming leaders, staff, volunteers, and supporters within the pregnancy help movement, the Academy offers just the kind of training you may need in order to make the best use of the time you’re given in 2013.
In the meantime, be choosy about your apps.
by Julie Parton, Ph.D.
To: Jesus Christ, Commander-in-Chief, Spiritual Armed ForcesSubject: Request for Transfer
I am writing this to You to request a transfer to a desk job. I herewith present my reasons:
I began my career as a private, but because of the intensity of the battle, You have quickly moved me up in the ranks. You have made me an officer and have given me a tremendous amount of responsibility. There are many soldiers and recruits under my charge. I am constantly being called upon to dispense wisdom, make judgments, and find solutions to complex problems. You have placed me in a position to function as an officer, when in my heart I know I have only the skills of a private.
I realize that You have promised to supply all I need for the battle. But Sir, I must present you a realistic picture of my equipment. My uniform, once so crisp and starched, is now stained with tears and the blood of those I have tried to assist. The sole of my boots are cracked and worn from the miles I have walked, trying to enlist and encourage troops. My weapons are marred, tarnished, and chipped from constant battle against the Enemy. Even the Book of Regulations I was issued has been torn and tattered from endless use. The words are now smeared.
You have promised You would be with me throughout; but the noise of the battle is so loud and the confusion is so great, I can neither see nor hear you. I feel so alone. I'm tired. I'm discouraged. I have battle fatigue. I would never ask You for a discharge. I love being in Your service. But, I humbly request a demotion and transfer. I'll file papers or clean latrines! Just get me out of the battle, please, Sir.
Your faithful, but tired,Solider
To: Faithful but Tired Soldier, Spiritual Armed ForcesLocation: The BattlefieldSubject: Transfer Request
Your request for transfer has been denied. I herewith present my reasons:
For this reason, I am setting aside a place on the battlefield that is insulated from all sound and fully protected from the enemy. I will meet you there and I will give you rest. I will remove your old equipment and “make all things new.”
You have been wounded in the battle, My soldier. Your wounds are not visible, but you have received grave internal injuries.
You need to be healed. I will heal you. You have been weakened in battle. You need to be strengthened. I will strengthen you and be your strength.
I will instill within you confidence and ability. My words will rekindle you with a renewed love, zeal, and enthusiasm. Report to Me tattered and empty, and I will refill you.
Enter Academy | Upcoming Webinars | Featured Courses | Live Virtual Classes
Heartbeat International Academy offers life-affirming leaders, staff members, volunteers, and supporters with access to online webinars and courses on a wide variety of topics. In the Academy, you'll find trainings on our core foundational materials, as well as on topics on everything from the history of abortion in the United States to fundraising basics, and prenatal diagnostic tests to implementing STI testing in your center.
Essentially, with Academy, we hope to offer a one-stop shop where pregnancy help leaders can access sector-specific training that will help them and their organizations continue to serve their clients and communities with excellence. We recognize the difficulty of trying to research where to go get training on raising funds, leading organizations, and serving clients, while simultaneously doing all of those things so our goal is to come alongside you to make it a bit easier. With our new learning plans feature, it’s even easier to identify what you need to know about any given topic and locate those trainings and resources that you need to raise funds, lead your organization, serve clients, etc.
It doesn’t take much effort in today’s age to find a piece of information or training video online, but what sets Academy apart is our training goes beyond social work, Christian counseling, and nursing education, instead offering training and information through a Christian worldview specific to our pregnancy help community. With the expertise that we tap into through our faculty, we’re able to provide sector-specific training which means we’re not just training nurses in the physics and technical stuff on ultrasound, but training nurses to perform ultrasound in a pregnancy help organization as part of the process of building a relationship with that client. Not just the latest information on chemical abortion, but how best to respond to clients in this shortened window of opportunity. Now with our learning plan feature added in, even if you don’t know where to start, and don’t know what you don’t know you have a built-in guidance system of sorts to help make sure you find the right training for you.
When Heartbeat Academy was first launched, we focused on building the online piece, that was what we were missing, but we’ve been working really hard over the last 9 months to bring those virtual and in-person worlds together so that now by completing the surveys offered onsite you can receive credit for the training you’re doing in person with Heartbeat as well as online, recorded all in one place in the Academy. So for example, the individuals who attend the Heartbeat International Annual Conference or attend Pregnancy Help Institute not only receive LAS credit but also now have progress in their related learning paths to keep track of what they’ve learned so far and other areas to be aware of or look to for future training.
Have you noticed? With each webinar in the Heartbeat Academy, we now include an affiliate bonus registration for another member of your staff! Each registration gives you access to the live presentation for yourself AND access for 1 additional person from your affiliated organization to access the recording through Heartbeat Academy! That recording access includes all the benefits of the webinar, including any CEUs offered. Just register for yourself, and when the recording becomes available, you'll have the opportunity to enroll your additional staff member. That's one more benefit of being a Heartbeat International affiliate!
Tuesday, February 20 at 12 p.m. ET
Presented by Leann Clink BSN, RN, SRAS
Affiliate - $ 9.95 | Non-Affiliate - $ 12.95
Help your clients have a healthy pregnancy from their first visit to your center through the postpartum phase! Leann will discuss each trimester and what your client can focus on to keep her and baby healthy throughout the entire pregnancy. From doctor visits, nutritional requirements, and exercise to postpartum emotional and physical care, you'll learn what you can do to walk through this journey with each new mom. Local and state resources will also be discussed for follow-up care and support.
Operating in Love with Transgender, Non-Binary, and Gender Fluid Residents
Wednesday, February 28 at 12 p.m. ET
Presented by Valerie Harkins, Director of Maternity Housing Coalition for Heartbeat International
Affiliate - $ 7.95 | Non-Affiliate - $ 9.95
Valerie Harkins dives into the topic of serving residents in the maternity home who identify with a gender(s) alternative to that which they were born with and those who are choosing to parent their children with gender-fluid identity. This webinar will provide a general understanding of gender indenture and practical suggestions for serving transgender residents with excellence.
And remember, you can always access our recorded webinar archives by clicking here.
Use the links below to explore the different ways you can use the Academy to enhance the knowledge and skills of you and your organization.
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