A Message to H.S. and College Graduates

What you do today determines your level of happiness tomorrow. I sure wish this was my graduation speech. View the full transcript below.

I’m going to tell you young men and women today that life sucks.

You may think it sucks now, but it gets worse. You are probably going to be unhappy in your life.

Here’s the thing. We’re all kind of bred into this society where we’re taught that if you work hard enough and believe enough, that you’ll become everything you want to be. That’s not true.

Something that all young people need to learn is that nobody cares about you. Your mom may, your dad might, maybe your brothers and sisters, but outside of that, no one cares for you. If my best friend were faced with the choice of his family getting blown up in a bomb, or me getting shot in the head, he’s going to choose me getting shot in the head. Because nobody cares about you. When you get a job, your boss is not going to give a crap about you.

Oh, and by the way, you’re going to be about 30 times smarter than your boss and much more educated. They’re going to make the dumbest decisions, and you’re going to scream and yell and say, “You know what? I can do a better job!” But nobody cares. Nobody cares! The only thing that’s important is that that comfy chair in the corner office is filled. Oh, and by the way, there’s a line of people waiting to be next, waiting to be next.

I hope you don’t end up like me, where you get into a company after company after company. You work hard and you set high expectations for yourself, and you run into the glass ceiling every time. Every time. Every time.

You know where I’m heading now? I’ve got this suit and this tie. I’m looking real nice and fancy. Well, I’m heading to a Sam’s Club to sell therapeutic back massagers. Yup, I’m that guy that’s gonna pull you aside and try to get you to buy something that you don’t want. Do you think I like that? Do you think I go to bed every night looking forward to another day of making hardly any sales?

You know what sucks most about life? We all have one chance. It’s crazy when you think about that. It’s like, you’ve got one chance to pick one career out of the millions that are out there. You have one chance to pick a place where you love to live. Pick a passion. One chance to set up a life for yourself that you love to live.

I wish… I don’t know. I wish I could do it over again. And maybe…. maybe you can. Don’t, don’t find yourself in this position where you’re sitting in a Sam’s Club waiting to go inside to be rejected time and time again because nobody wants to buy the product that you’re selling. Don’t. Don’t do that.

I guarantee you that you’re going to look back one day and you’re doing to wish beyond anything else that you can redo it. Consider this your redo.

Let’s just say you’ve already lived my life. Let’s just say you’ve already been on the streets. Let’s just say you’ve already struggled. You’ve already lived an unhappy life. Pretend that you’re already living your second chance!

Pretend that you are your future. That you don’t like what you do, that your job makes you miserable, that the glass ceiling has beat you black and blue! Pretend that you’ve been through it all. Pretend that you’ve been through the thick and the worst of it. And decide today at the start of summer vacation, that you are going to fix it!

You’re going to make a good life for yourself. You’re going to set up a life that you love! No matter how much hard work it takes. Start today. You’re going to have the rest of your life to do anything you want. But you’re not going to if you’re stuck at a 9-5 where you’re working for five different managers who don’t give a rip about you.

Guys, figure out what you want to do. And figure it out now. Now is your time to invest in what you love. Forget the sports cars, forget the money, forget the girls, for now. Take all the money you have and put it in what you love. What do you love to do? Get good at what you love! Don’t put yourself in a position where you’re working for five different bosses. Because you’re not going to get their seat. You’re not going to get their offices. It’s not going to happen.

No matter how good your intentions, no matter how honorable your ideas are, you’re always going to be told no. Well, this is the biggest yes you’re going to get in your life. Go for it. Go for whatever it is you want to do. Make it your life. Make it your passion, and do it. It’s going to take a lot of work, but I really think it’ll be worth it.

Now you probably need a laugh:

APP Developers Needed

app-icon-finalHistory is funny.

Different ways to use fire.

So many uses for cotton.

Thomas Edison and his bright ideas.

Steel. Want some? It’s a steal!

Coal. Cool.

You PC? iMac.

And now we’re all scrambling to come out with the next best app since Angry Birds. I’m no different. I’m in talks with a contract supervisor about an idea that we have started working on. We have the idea, the artist, an eager audience, and we even have a possible contract agreement with a provider.

The only thing we’re missing is an app developer.

I apologize for the lack of detail. But due to the competitiveness of the field, it would not be in my best interest to divulge too much.

If you are an app builder, or know of one, please email me at andrewtoy1208@aol.com. Please put “App Developer” in the subject line, and in the body of the email, please include:

Your name

Your location

Previous apps: names, sales, companies, etc., and any samples you might be able to give.

I will be conducting online interviews for the next week or two.

We are seeking a long-term partnership for more projects down the line.

Thank you for your time. Spread the word. Get in touch.

Gloriously Redeemed

This is a guest post that one of my best friends and brother-in-law wrote for this blog. He and his wife, Sarabeth’s sister, moved to Southeast Asia nine months go to fulfill mission work for the Lord.
We have the honor and privilege to serve cross-culturally with friends that are all over the world.  This post is the convictions, testimonies and stories of two of our dearest friends serving in India. We hope and pray that this will allow you to experience world missions the way many people do throughout the world.  We pray this will be an eye-opening post and will change the way you view missions as a whole. Read, enjoy and please pray for our friends as well as people all over the world that are bringing the gospel to the unreached.  This is their experience…
Imagine living in a place that is vastly different than the place you call home. Imagine a land that looks like that one area of town that everyone stays away from, the dump. Try to imagine experiencing this mysterious place with all 5 senses. A land of 1.2 billion people with no concept of the green movement or environmental conservationism leads to lots of trash and pollution. Imagine smelling all of those things as you travel by public transportation or are walking home with your groceries. Imagine seeing people contribute to those smells by polluting it with their own human waste. With no concept of shame related to bathroom habits, many people take any and every opportunity to use the bathroom no matter where they are and no matter how bad it will be. Imagine hearing car and bus horns consistently as you try to walk down the street or ride in a car. With no concept of enforced traffic laws, the roads are filled with drivers that pull out into oncoming traffic and cut you off at any chance they get just to get to their destination a couple of seconds faster. Imagine feeling the exhaust from a bus pour out onto you as it pulls away from the stop light, leaving black soot on your skin and clothes. Imagine tasting both exhilarating and disgusting dishes that you know will have you struggling with the dreaded “Delhi Belly” as you succumb to cultural pressure to eat whatever is put in front of you while in a national’s home.

If you can begin to imagine these things, then you have only begun to skim the surface of what life in south India is like. Life in south India is extremely difficult. Cultural norms and social mores are completely different than anything I have experienced in America. What is considered normal and acceptable to Indian culture would be absolutely frowned upon in the culture which I grew up. These experiences don’t lend themselves to creating a warm and fuzzy feeling inside of me. Oftentimes, these feelings culminate in anger and ethnocentrism.

So, why did I come to India? My wife and I lived in a very nice apartment in a very nice neighborhood in Louisville, KY. We would go on walks with our dogs almost every day and enjoy cooking food from scratch. We would get in our car many nights and just go for a ride with our windows down. All of those things are gone now. The life we once lived is completely overshadowed with chaos, dirt, and everything else associated with India. Again, why did we come here?

Without sounding cliché, God brought us here. And the truth is, he brought us here more for the work he would do in us rather than through us. As Balaam very well knows, God can use anyone or anything to carry out His work. Gary Thomas asks the question, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?” I have often thought of that question about missionary work: What if God brought me to India to make me more holy than to make me happy. The concept behind this question makes even the most devout Christian tremble. It is the one thought that prevents many believers in taking that “next step” to surrender to God’s will for his/her life. The idea of giving up temporal happiness for the opportunity to be made purer through the fires of various trials is something that shakes most believers at their core. However, there is so much glory that the Lord receives when the trials we face produce endurance (James 1:2-4). This has been a key verse that my wife and I have focused on to get us through the hard times.

Many of the presuppositions I had behind missions have been completely obliterated since coming to India. John Piper coined the phrase, “Missions exists because worship does not.” I used to understand missions as the necessity to see as many people saved as possible because that is the most loving thing to do as one who knows and is a messenger of the truth of the Gospel. While that is true, it is incomplete. God has to be the reason why we go. We cannot get the two greatest commandments out of order. An overwhelming love and devotion for God is the first and greatest commandment. If I came to the field first and foremost to save Indians, then I would have left after arriving in the Delhi airport and dealing with the unfriendly customs agent. But, God brought us here to conform us more into the image of Christ. He brought us here to rely on His grace every day. He brought us here to, by His grace, make worshippers of Him.

The road has been terribly hard, and I have contemplated giving up many times. However, it has not been in vain. God is doing a mighty work in me and my wife. He is stretching us in a way that we never thought we would be stretched. But, it is producing endurance. What once was anger and resentment towards God is now turning into a complete reliance on His daily grace. At the end of verse 4, James says that the endurance that is the product of these trials will make us “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” That is what we are shooting for. I would rather have that right now than the comforts of complacency.

I think our time in India will not be long-term. We believe that God has brought us here for a season. Our main focus is that we would not squander the season that He has given us. We want to leave this place emboldened in our faith and see the fruit of our labors from the seeds we sowed here in India. We want to see people come to repent and believe in the Gospel. We want to see churches planted. We also want to live and act a lot more like Jesus than when we came.

I’m not one of those that tries to guilt people into doing missions by giving statistics or using depressing stories. The only advice I would give is to live out the Gospel in your own life. Love God first. Love you neighbor second. All that will culminate in you being a great commission Christian. You can do that anywhere. But, if you think that God is commanding you to be a great commission Christian beyond the borders of America, then you cannot ignored that either. God wants to do a sanctifying work in us. For me, that involved moving me to the last place on earth that I would ever want to live. For you, it may be different. All I know is that I would rather be sitting on the shores of Nineveh knowing that I submitted to what the Lord was commanding me to do, then laying on the shore in the great fish’s vomit.