Distracted

In our culture today, we face so many distractions. In fact, one of the largest distractions in our generation today is in our pockets and in our hands almost all the time – our phones.

Truth is, our phones can be such an incredible tool. All the information we could ever want is at our fingertips, and communicating with friends and family is possible within a split second. But if you're anything like me, you've also found yourself staring into your screens, spending hours and hours refreshing your social media page to see the latest news, latest updates, latest tweets, and to see how many "likes" your latest post got.

If you're anything like me, social media has become a huge distraction in your life.

If I'm honest, if I spent half as much time with God and reading scripture as I did scrolling my social media feed, my walk with the Lord would be at whole new levels.

And if I'm honest again, I don't think I'm alone. I don't think I'm the only one that has realized the technology and activities in my life has largely distracted me from the work of God in my life.

And so on November 8th, we will be doing something as a ministry that we've never done before – we will be taking a Social Media Fast.

Fasting – The willing absence or reduction of food, drink, or activity in one's life.

Our hope at BSM North isn't to tell our students and leaders that "social media is bad!" Truth is, I really enjoy social media. I love getting to see what my friends are up to, what's going on in the world, and posting a few things myself.

Social media isn't the problem. We are the problem.

Our hearts have such a tendency to get distracted from the work of God by all sorts of things – school, family, homework, sports, hobbies, money, jobs, and on and on I could go. And so it's vital in our lives to slow down, take a pause, and refocus our attention on God.

That's why, from November 8 to 15, we're doing a Social Media Fast. 


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The cool part? Instead of telling students to simply delete their social media apps and do their best to focus on God for a week, we've actually written our very first BSM North Devotional that our students will take home with them on November 8. Each chapter of our Devotional is written by one of our BSM North Leaders, and includes daily scriptures for our students to reflect on each morning and night, as well as a section for students to answer questions.

Our greatest desire is that this would be a transformative time in our lives, where we press pause on the distractions in our lives, and refocus our attention back to where it belongs – on Jesus.


Do you have to be involved in BSM North to participate in the Social Media Fast? Of course not! We'll be posting our Devotionals each morning and night on our website so you can join with us!

 

WRITTEN BY: BRADEN COLLUM
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3 Ways to Avoid A Wasted Summer

Summer is quickly approaching (collective sigh of relief and group high fives)! But before you submit that last assignment and walk down your hallway for the last time this school year, remember these three things so your Summer won't be wasted.

1) Stay Connected to (Real) Friends

Keyword, 'real'. This Summer, you're finally going to have a ton of free time. And truth is, this could be really great for you! But it could also be really bad for you. One of the best things you can do this Summer (and every day) is to stay connected to a 'real' friend. A fake friend will tell you what you want to hear, push you into situations you shouldn't be in, and encourage behavior that could be damaging to you (and others) emotionally and physically. But a true friend loves at all times, will tell you what you need to hear (even when it's uncomfortable), and wants what is best for you. 

So ask yourself honestly, "Do I have any friends like that?" If not, reach out to someone. You've got a lot more free time this Summer, but don't spend it alone. Stay connected to a real friend.

But you know what? Don't just stay connected to 'real' friends – BE a 'real' friend to somebody this Summer.

2) go on an adventure

We get it. Netflix is an endless oasis of entertainment, and sometimes vegging on the couch until your eyes fall out seems like the best post-school cure. But instead of waiting for the next season of New Girl to drop, take a trip outside. Call up one of your (real) friends and go on a drive. Go explore Buffalo Gap. Take a lunchtime adventure to Clyde Pizza House (seriously the best pizza on the planet. It's scientifically proven). Hike the trails at the state park. Hammack under the trees of ACU, McM, or HSU. Whatever it is, ditch the isolation of your room and go breathe the fresh Summer air!

3) Go to BSM Camp!

We're SO pumped for BSM Camp this Summer!! Not only is camp a BLAST each year (we're talking zip-lines, volleyball, swimming pools, massive games, epic lip sync battles, and more), but it also provides an amazing environment for you to go outside, unplug from the routine of life, deepen your love for Jesus, experience Him in new ways, and spend a week together with some incredible people who turn into (real) lifelong friends. Is there any better way to spend a week of your Summer? We're not totally convinced that there is. So what are you waiting for? Let's go!


There are a million things to do this Summer that will be pulling at your attention and time. And what you decide to do will make or break your next few months. But if you stay connected to your (real) friends, go on an adventure or two (or ten), and come hang out with us at BSM Camp, we promise your Summer won't be wasted.

 

WRITTEN BY: BRADEN COLLUM
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The Least of These

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For the past 3 weeks at BSM North, we've been in our "Do Something" series, where we've been examining and discussing the realities of our faith and the calling we have as Christians to turn our love for Jesus into action towards others. Last night we wrapped up the series by looking at Matthew 25:31-46 – where we see Jesus on the Mount of Olives with his disciples.

The story that Jesus brings up is one that most of us are familiar with: Jesus, at the end of time, has every nation, tribe, and tongue standing before him. He has sorted some of them to his left, and some of them to his right.

34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

The scene quickly shifts to those on his right who answer him, saying "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?"

40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Now, for those who are unfamiliar, a few weeks ago we posted a blog about one of our North Campus high school students Britni, who approached me with the desire to start a food drive for her birthday. Along with the blog post, I quickly spread the word throughout our student ministry and social media to join in and help stock the shelves of our Beltway Park Food Pantry.

Then, without anyone's prompting, Pastor McQueen announced the following Sunday morning that both of our campuses would be taking donations up for our Beltway Food Pantry in honor of Britni's birthday food drive. 

The response was simply astounding.

Over 70 food & personal items Donated
+
Over $13,000 Raised
 

I remember sitting in my office when I first read those numbers in an email, and I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed.

You see, this is about something greater than cans of food or dollar signs. This is about people. This is about a community coming together to do what Jesus has called us to do – love our neighbor and to take care of the "least of these."

The thing I've realized in my own life, is that I tend to over-spiritualize "loving thy neighbor." But the remarkable thing about Matthew 25:31-46 is the fact that Jesus is talking about actions that aren't inherently spiritual at all. Jesus isn't calling out to those who prayed for the hungry. Those on the right aren't described as people who led some massive spiritual crusade or revival.

It's actually much more simple than that. Jesus is talking about people who:

Fed the hungry.
Gave a drink to the thirsty.
Clothed the naked.
Cared for the sick, the stranger, and the needy.

You know what I love about that? Though seemingly unspiritual they may be, when we do those basic things for the "least of these," we are actually doing them directly unto Jesus.

And so we can all "ooh" and "ahh" about $13,000. But that's not what this is about. This is about people. Because do you know what 70 food and personal items + over $13,000 actually does?

Feeds the hungry.
Gives a drink to the thirsty.
Clothes the naked.
Cares for the sick, the stranger, and the needy.

So, to the countless strangers who dug into their pockets or into their pantry, and to those who daily give of yourself in order to take care of the "least of these" – Thank You.

You are world changers.

WRITTEN BY: BRADEN COLLUM
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