One of the most precious commodities a pastor has is time. Ministry always beckons us to do more than time permits. I once heard a researcher state that most people have 35 hours of unfinished work ahead of them. However, if we use the time we have most effectively, we’ll become more fruitful for the Kingdom.
Preparing sermons, at least for senior pastors, is one of the most time consuming Kingdom commitments. Although I don’t preach every week, I still must prepare over 35 original messages each year. Each week I study 15-20 hours to prepare one sermon. That’s a good chunk of my week which requires concentration.
A year or so ago I purchased a $2.99 iPhone app that has proved invaluable to help me concentrate when I study. When I fully concentrate, I make much more progress than when my mind gets distracted.
That app, Ambiance, is a simple collection of natural (and man-made) sounds that I play on my iPhone through my headphones. In case you are wondering, I don’t make money on the sale of this app and I’m not connected in any way to the company.
The standard iPhone headphones work ok, but I purchased a pair of noise canceling headphones (Philips SBC HN060) that block out most ambient noise. You can purchase more expensive ones, but this set works great for me.
So when I study at Panera or MacDonalds ($1 cokes there) I plug in, play a repetitive waterfall or beach sound, and become totally oblivious to the people and sounds around me. My ability to concentrate skyrockets.
As Paul the Apostle wrote in Ephesians 5.16, … make every minute count. (CEV) This simple $2.99 purchase has helped me put that command into practice.
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