The "Undecided" College Major

Did you know one of the most popular majors in universities right now is “undecided?”

There are thousands of college and career-aged students trying to discover what they want to do with their lives. I desire to help people find where they are uniquely called. Research is showing that college aged students who get coaching, get results and save lots of time and money that they would have spend in the “undecided zone.”

If you like these types of coaching and mental health tips follow this blog and check me out at alexanderdolin.com. I can help coach you with other similar techniques. College and career-aged students, call me for a free consultation today.

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Having trouble making a decision?

Having trouble making a decision?

Use the Three H Technique:

1. Heart – How do you feel about the problem/possibility?
2. Head – Have you thought about/ looked at the core values?
3. Holy Spirit -What is God telling you? Have you prayed about it?

If you like these types of coaching and mental health tips follow this blog and check me out at alexanderdolin.com. I can help coach you with other similar techniques.

Take a deep breath

If you scour the internet for Cognitive Behavioral  resources, you will find a simple breathing technique in almost every website, article and book. It has many names and variations from Deep Breathing, (Deep) Relaxation, Mindful(ness) Breathing, Centered Breathing or Calm Breathing. The activity is almost exactly the same no matter which one you choose and these techniques have been proving themselves to be effective to fight against stress and depression. If reading texts is not helpful there are also many websites (and apps) that offer mp3 audio files that walk you through this activity peacefully – here is a collection of mp3s, here is another collection and here for Android apps by Excell at Life which also include similar exercises and tools.

The wonderful thing about this breathing technique is that anyone can do this anywhere. It is most effective laying down or sitting comfortably on a chair or bed or other comfortable setting but you are not limited to this. If you are about to take a test, enter a stressful situation or go into a house or room that you know will be stressful you can do a simple variation of this breathing technique to lower your blood pressure, prevent against damage stress can take on the body  and lower anxiety levels quickly. It is used to help people suffering from depression and studies are proving its effectiveness.

Here is the long and the short of the activity if you have not clicked on all my links and already mastered it. This version could be used in almost any situation.

1. Get as relaxed as possible, it may not be possible.
2. Breath through your nose, a long deep breath, count to four in your head while taking in oxygen.
3. Take an even longer deep breath out of your mouth. If you can count to eight (in your head) while exhaling.
4. Repeat this two or three times before approaching the stressor.
Close your eyes if it helps and focus solely on taking that breath. Push out any distraction that comes your way. Also Imagine your belly filling up with air. Experts suggest placing a hand on the belly so you get practice doing it properly. This shouldn’t just fill your chest but actually be deep belly breathing. It may take some practice and it may only occur for you in a peaceful, comfortable place.

If you like these types of coaching and mental health tips follow this blog and check me out at alexanderdolin.com. I can help coach you with other similar techniques.

Dwell on these things

Over a week ago, I started digging deep into the Greek words for the action verbs in Phil. 4:8. I addressed the Greek words associated with the “Whatever is” statements in Phil 4:8. 

 
Finally, brethren, whatever is true (αληθη), whatever is honorable (σεμνα), whatever is right (δικαια),
whatever is pure (αγνα), whatever is lovely (προσφιλη),
whatever is of good repute(ευφημα), if there is any excellence (αρετη)
and if anything worthy of praise (επαινος), dwell on these things.

In this post I wanted to conclude with some reflections on overall themes.

English Word
Greek Word
(transliteration)
Definition
Themes/other definitions
True
 ἀληθής (alēthḗs)
Without a lie
Honest,  not concealing, integrity, upright
Honorable
σεμνός (semnós)
Dignified
Faithful, honorable, clear conscience, sound
Right
δίκαιος (díkaios)
Right/Just
Upright, innocent, holy, righteous
Pure
ἁγνός (hagnós)
Free of impurity
Blameless, innocent, clean
Lovely
 προσφιλής (prosphilḗs)
Friendship/love
Beloved, acceptable, pleasing,  companion, one who does what is good, kind, dear
Good Repute
εὔφημος (eúphēmos)
Good reputation
Praiseworthy, laudable, well-spoken of, respected,  “good rumor”
Excellent
 ἀρετή (aretḗ)
Human virtue
“Highest good,” morality, ethical, merit, honor
Worthy of Praise
 ἔπαινος (épainos)
Commendation
Worthy of praise, object of  praise/fame

Paul in this one verse, not one, two or three times but eight times calls Christians to think good thoughts, thoughts that are upright, blameless, good, noble and worthy of our time and praise. This could be thought of as almost Christian pop-psychology, long before the existence of pop-psychology. But it is not that, it is so much more. Ever since I was in Middle School I have reflected on this verse a lot. I did not realize the Greek definitions in middle school but I had a general understanding that I should dwell on thoughts that good and pure. Instead of focusing hours of time on video games, I wanted to serve at church and I wanted to study the Bible. Even today, this verse guides me in my daily action. Every day I can fill this brain of mine with pleasing, pure, positive, blameless, upright, righteous, God-given dreams, purposes and understandings or I can just choose to fill my brain with the troubles and understandings of this world. It is a choice I have to make. We are to evaluate all of our actions and thoughts according to the themes of this verse….”Am I thinking pure thoughts before I go to bed?” “When I am near that person I cannot stand to be around, do I think excellent and praise-worthy thoughts then?” “I told my friend/wife/whoever about my day, did I tell that person the honest truth? Was I thinking it?”

Okay, (so how could I resist?) to get the full meaning across for the word ‘dwell,’ let’s look at the Greek word:

The Greek word for ‘dwell’ is λογίζομαι (logízomai). The word means to ‘reason,’ ‘reckon’ or ‘account’ for something. Honestly, this surprised me. I was guessing the word would meaning to ponder, reflect or contemplate but  Paul goes a step further than just ‘consider closely’ or ‘to ponder’ (which would be κατανοέω). Instead Paul says to ‘put this as reason’ or ‘put this together!’ Or to ‘let this occupy your brain!’ Another way of saying this is ‘count this as important because you will be held accountable to this!’ (Zodhiates, 2000). These are some strong words, it is not a happy-go-lucky journal or reflection but a lifestyle that must be lived out. Now go and dwell on these types of things.

Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

Whatever is Praise-Worthy

This post is a continuation of my series examining the Greek words associated with the “Whatever is” statements in Phil 4:8. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

Today I examine the Greek word for “worthy of praise” which is ἔπαινος (épainos).


This word has two definitions. The first is a noun for “the object of praise” and the second definition is “something praiseworthy” (Zodhiates, 2000). Another word for it is ‘commendation’ (Swanson, 1997).

ἔπαινος appears 11 (once as ‘fame’ and 10 times as ‘praise’) times in the NASB:
Romans 2:29 –
But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
1 Corinthians 4:5 –
Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
2 Corinthians 8:18-
We have sent along with him the brother whose fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the churches;
Philippians 4:8-
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.
Romans 13:3-
For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;
Ephesians 1:6-
to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
Ephesians 1:12-
to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.
Ephesians 1:14-
who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
Philippians 1:11-
having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
1 Peter 1:7-
so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Peter 2:14-
or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.

Paul and Peter are the only authors who used this word in the New Testament. As you can read there is an interesting variety for how the word is used it can be praise given by men to other men (1 Pt. 2:14).  It can be praise to men from God (Rom. 2:29). It can be praise given to God by men (Eph. 1:6).
Then in an altogether different meaning or definition it is used in our verse (Phil 4:8) meaning ‘a thing worthy praise’ (Arndt, 2000).

                                                                 References:

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed.) (357). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

Whatever is Excellent

This post is a continuation of my series examining the Greek words associated with the “Whatever is” statements in Phil 4:8. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

Today I examine the Greek word for “excellence” which is ἀρετή (aretḗ). 

The general definition is “human virtue” (Zodhiates, 2000). The English definition for virtue is ‘morality’ or ‘conformity to a standard of right living’ (Merriam-Webster, 2003).

The Greek word is used 5 times in four verses (Phil. 4:8, 1 Pt. 2:9, 2 Pt. 1:3, 5). This word is used outside of the New Testament more often. It frequently indicated “the highest good,” for both secularists and religious people alike (Silva & Tenney, 2009). So in a secular sense it meant ‘merit’ and ‘honor.’ While for Paul and Peter, it meant ‘excellence in character’ (Logos, 2011).

The theme that Paul has established in this verse earlier continues…..for living with uprightness and blamelessness. He is saying to think excellent thoughts. Dwell on virtuous thoughts. Live in a virtuous manner.

                                                             References:

Logos Bible Software. (2011). The Lexham Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament. Seattle, WA: Author.

Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.

Silva, M., & Tenney, M. C. (2009). The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 5, Q-Z (Revised, Full-Color Edition) (1032). Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corporation.

Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

Whatever is of Good Repute

This post is a continuation of my series examining the Greek words associated with the “Whatever is” statements in Phil 4:8. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

Today I examine the Greek word for “good repute” which is εὔφημος (eúphēmos).
It means that something or someone has a good reputation, they are well–spoken of, of literally a “good report”, praiseworthy, laudable and/or well acclaimed (Zodhiates, 2000).

Like with the Greek word for lovely which is προσφιλής (prosphilḗs), this Greek Word only appears once in the New Testament, right here in Phil. 4:8 by the Apostle Paul. I also found it interesting that Paul took the word for ‘good’ (eú) and combined it or compounded it with the word for ‘rumor’ (or better in this case ‘fame’) which is phḗmē (Zodhiates, 2000). It is not often that you ever hear of a “good rumor” but in this case it is having good PR spread about someone. They have a good report or good fame known about them. these types of people do everything they can with integrity and attempt to do everything correct and their record speaks for it.

Think thoughts that are good. Dwell on things that are of good repute. Focus on the positives and blessings in life. Find people in your life that have a commendable reputation. Feed on their knowledge and model how they live.Try to live with a good reputation. This person is honorable. When you think of this kind of person, you think of only good things, there is nothing bad to take away from the good (Loh & Nida, 1995). This person is not likely going to easily or intentionally offend other people.   If we take nothing else from the overall theme, we have to continue to see that this fits in with all of these characteristics Paul is challenging believers to be, which is upright and blameless. That is a noble challenge. But the calling continues.

                                                           References:

Loh, I., & Nida, E. A. (1995). A handbook on Paul’s letter to the Philippians. UBS Handbook Series (134). New York: United Bible Societies.

Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.