Author Info: Blane has served on staff at AU Chi Alpha for several years and became the Director in the Fall of 2014. This New Mexico native is a proud graduate of the University of Alabama but has fallen in love with the big city. He and his wife (Hannah) moved to DC to complete the DC Chi Alpha CMIT Program under Mike & Jen Godzwa. They are parents to a pretty amazing toddler, Jeremiah. You'll find him biking around DC in search of a coffee by day and pouring over a book by night. You can find him at, and connect with him via our AU Chi Alpha Staff Page.

*Originally published at:

(Posted after TEDTalks had 1 Billion total views)

What an incredible milestone! I can’t even began to wrap my mind around the number of servers required to make this happen. As people are being encouraged to tweet their favorite TEDTalks, I thought I would share four incredible ones that you may have not have seen yet.

Susan Caine: The Power of Introverts
Lately, my wife has been trying to convince me that I am an introvert like her. I’m still not sure if that’s true as I tend to be as loud and engaging as a used car salesman at a Christmas party. But the more I read the confessional and heartfelt comments on YouTube, the more I thought I should at least take a look. This talk is inspiring, eye-opening and empowering, whether you are an extrovert or introvert.

David Blaine: How I Held My Breath for 17 Minutes
Where has this guy been? I’ve missed him! Anyways, in this personal talk about one of his biggest failures and accomplishments, we are given the privilege of seeing inside the mind of someone passionate about their craft. He is willing to make history despite the cost and so whether you are a fan or not, you will find this video worthwhile.

J.J. Abrams: The Mystery Box
If you’re like me, you miss LOST and there doesn’t seem to be a fitting replacement in sight. I even tried to get into Revolutions, but alas, it was not for me. I have probably seen this talk a handful of times but I continue to come back to it as I think about the importance of mystery as a communicator and creative.

Malcolm Gladwell: Choice, Happinness & Spaghetti Sauce
Who doesn’t like spaghetti sauce? Okay, there are probably lots of people. However, this talk demonstrates the brilliance of Gladwell and gives us insight into our desires, preferences and tastes.

What is your favorite TED talk? Which of the ones above did you most enjoy?

Originally published on December 1, 2012 • Short Link:

AuthorBlane Young

Joel Kimpela is a recent graduate of Georgetown University. He was captain of the football team, but more importantly, led the Transformers men's Life group for 3 years. He now works for Oracle in Northern, VA and is volunteer staff for Chi Alpha. You can follow him on Twitter

I met my fiancé in Chi Alpha at Georgetown University. As an 18 year old freshmen in college, it's not as if I went to school looking for a wife but God granted me a “good and perfect gift” (James 1:17)  when He introduced me to Kimberly Portes. She was beautiful, loving, caring and most importantly she loved Jesus. 

During our Chi Alpha Mission trip to Atlanta, Georgia freshmen year, I witnessed Kim love, serve, and pray for the people we came across. Her passion for Jesus and people attracted me in ways that I could never have imagined. Over the course of our spring semester, I watched Kim’s faith grow tremendously. Her passion for justice and equality challenged my way of thinking about the world around me and the kind of role our God played in all of it. 

The more I got to know Kim that semester, the more I was drawn to her. We began to spend a lot of time together that year and our conversations, whether serious or silly, always flowed with such ease. Kim and I started dating our sophomore year of college. As the very first Georgetown Chi Alpha couple, we prayed that God would make us examples of a healthy relationship on our campus. Funny thing is, I believe God answered our prayers when He allowed us to be interviewed by Georgetown University’s Take Back The Night campaign this past semester. When asked what a healthy relationship looked like we said:

"A healthy relationship is selfless. For us, a healthy relationship is centered not around the other person, but around God. We find it easier to love one another when our value is found in God. In our relationship, we are reminded we must love one another similar to how Christ loves us--selflessly and completely. We learned that the more we seek and fall in love with God, the more we have the capacity to love each other in a way that honors our own stories." 

I think that generally some people may have a skewed image of marriage. The thought of being committed to one person for the rest of your life may scare some folks. I know that it scarred me at first. But I learned that in marriage, “God calls you to display the love that God has shown you to the precious person made in his image that he has joined you to.” Marriage is the best picture that describes how God's love for us looks like despite our sinful nature. 

Kim and I are now engaged and on June 16th, 2018 we will become one with the name Mr. & Mrs. Kimpela. Our prayer is that God will continue to teach us both how to best love one another in the way that He loved us. With a love that is persistent, sacrificial, and forgiving. 

Published August 2, 2016 (Updated at 4:23pm) • Short Link:

Author Info: Blane has served on staff at AU Chi Alpha for several years and became the Director in the Fall of 2014. This New Mexico native is a proud graduate of the University of Alabama but has fallen in love with the big city. He and his wife (Hannah) moved to DC to complete the DC Chi Alpha CMIT Program under Mike & Jen Godzwa. They are parents to a pretty amazing toddler, Jeremiah. You'll find him biking around DC in search of a coffee by day and pouring over a book by night. You can find him at, and connect with him via our AU Chi Alpha Staff Page.

Originally a guest post on

NOTE: If you are reading this on another day of the week, you have two options. You can pretend that it is Monday or plan to redeem the upcoming Monday.

Everyone hates Mondays. Almost as much as they hate lines at Wal-Mart or having to go into the bank to make a transaction or losing their keys. It’s like it is an unwritten rule of the universe that humans and Mondays don’t mix. But think about it this way: If everyone has a low expectation for Monday, then strategically, it is a great time to shine when it comes to productivity. Here are a few tips to redeem Monday:

Do Something Before Checking Your Email
The dreaded yet important tool (or beast) of our day. Do something that is on your task list before you check your email. Because email will always take every minute of time that you give it and then ask for seconds. (A cheesy pun, I know) 

Plan Your Week
Look at your upcoming tasks and projects and prioritize them based on deadlines and importance. Don’t forget to reconcile this list with the to-do’s that just didn’t quite get done the last week. The key to this tip is to be realistic. If you over plan or have ridiculously high expectations, then you are setting yourself up for a guilt trip.

Think About A Game-Changer
Take at least ten minutes to think and dream about a project or idea that would be game-changing. Particularly, something that would benefit both your organization positively and yourself positively. For me, I am working on a way to use Flickr as a hub for all of our volunteers that love photography to upload and store their files. (I stole the idea from Phil Bowdle and his sweet project called Exposure for Frazer UMC ) You don’t necessarily have to execute this idea or dream today, but start thinking about what has to happen for it to actualize.

Celebrate A Win

It doesn’t matter if it is big or small, celebrate a win from the previous week. Remind yourself why you took this job in the first place. And remember these simple but true equations:

Vision + Action = Running
Action – Vision = Crawling

Originally Published on October 11, 2010 • Short Link:

AuthorBlane Young

This post was originally published on Thanks for allowing us to share, Alan! 

If I were in my 20’s again, there would be some practices and disciplines that I would build into my everyday life as The New Young Christian.  I would execute these disciplines regularly that it would become natural for me decades later.  


1.  Journaling. When I became a Christian at 22 years old, I didn't want to forget what God was telling me.  So I bought a notebook and began to write Scriptures down.  From there, I also began to write short prayer phrases down.  From there, it has become a discipline where I don't go anywhere without my prayer journal.  Let me tell you what this was not:  A "Dear Jesus Diary" where I share my heart secrets and talk about what I want in my future spouse.  Nope.  Although that's not wrong by any means, for a dude in his 20's like me at the time, that was not what I was aiming for.  For me, this was and has become, a daily practice where I simply have a blank page in front of me and I ask God to "speak to me."   I write down verses that stand out to me, I write down impressions that I believe God is speaking to my heart, worship song lyrics that "I can't shake" that I believe is the song of God to my season, etc.   Impressions in prayer that seem to come to mind that I keep praying.  God commands us to write what we see and hear and run forward with it (Habakuk 2:2).  I have realized journaling what I see and hear in devotions, sermons, conferences, etc, are "vision reveals" where God pulls back the curtain of his plan to reveal to me who I am, what I'm doing and where I'm going.  I have also developed a part of this habit that I say, "speak Lord" and whatever I perceive God speaking to my heart, I write it down.  This has allowed me to develop a listening ear to hear God's voice regularly and most importantly recognize that voice so when I'm out with others (leading, loving, speaking, encouraging, etc) I recognize God's counsel when it comes (John 10:27).  Because of this habit that I started at 22 I now have a collection of journals that I will give to my son and daughter as part of my spiritual legacy.  My children will have years of journals to see what God spoke to their father not only about me, but our family and about them!  

2.  "Tribing." This is my own word that I use to define and rally those relationships that are meaningful to me, that champion my current season and that dream with me for my future.  Seth Godin, from his book Tribes, says this about these relationships, "A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader and connected to an idea....  A group needs only two things to be a tribe:  a shared interest and a way to communicate."   I break my tribes down into some of the following categories:  Inner Circle (those who I am most real with), Mentors (mature relationships who have permission to speak into my life), Models (who is doing what I am doing ahead of me and doing it well), Timothys (those who I can speak into, encourage and inspire who will outlast me) and The Prayer Circle (those relationships that I can share prayer needs with who I know pray and hear from God), to name a few.  Friendships often start early. And take work. In my 20's, my relationships seem to have deeper meaning and importance to me. I need people who can speak into my life who know me well.  So make sure to surrounded yourself with the right friends.  Let those in your tribe be from all walks of life.  They may or  may not be the people from your 20’s, but be on the lookout for relationships that have potential to inspire you and for you to aspire to be....

3.  Giving. You can never be too early to start giving.  What are those areas of your life that move you to tears, move your heart and go make a difference in your family, community and world?  I have always been drawn to ministries and causes that help those who are orphaned or alone.  Now my family and I have developed and give weekly to our  "Cause Cooperative."  Our family Cause Co-Op funds our personal causes and charities that have an intentionality in developing the heart of the fatherless, orphan and the abandoned.  This includes child sponsorship, monthly cause support and even a generosity fund that we can give from if we encounter someone with a need.  Not only does this allow is to diversify our generosity but the singular cause focus is leaving a memorable legacy for my family that we can look back on that my children will always remember.  I have realized generosity is one of the most rewarding parts of my life.  To own and champion a cause that is close to you and your family's heart will establish a legacy of generosity that starts with you that will outlast you.  Let your Cause Co-Op become a staple in your friendships and family. I highly recommend starting this discipline early before the world and all its demands attempts to take the ability from you.

4.  "IDing." Specifically here I’m referring to understanding your identity by who God designed you to be and living out this identity in the world.  Mark Batterson, mentor and friend to me, has always said to me, "No one can worship God like you or for you."  That means that when you are truly yourself in the Kingdom, that's when the Kingdom of God is being the most complete and most recognizable as Jesus.  There are many versions of me:  the ME others want me to be, the ME I want to be, the ME I don't want to be, etc.  But there is a version of ME that God wants me to be and that's what I'm desiring to become.  This me is not mass-produced like a greeting card in a Target with multiple cards exactly like it, each behind one another at every target in the nation.  No...I'm not a mass-produced creation but a masterpiece creation.  Unique, one-of-a-kind, valuable and ready to be shown off to the world (Ephesians 2:10).  Because I live in Arizona, what it takes to grow a cactus would kill a Marigold.  This is why comparing yourself to others is never healthy.  What you need to make you grow into who God wants you to become is going to be different than what it's going to take others.  Discover your gifts and talents.  Take spiritual gifts tests and see what hits the top of the list and also be aware at what's at the bottom.  Take the Strengthfinders test to highlight what makes you flourish.  And always remember, all of this means nothing unless you start with your identity as a "son of God" or "daughter of God" first.   Start there and see what God will reveal to you about your gifts, talents, calling and place in God's Kingdom.  This discipline of identifying who I am regularly will cause me to be more secure the older I get and the result is a greater confidence to do what God wants me to do.  When you discover who God wants you to be you won't want to be anyone else.

5.  Honoring. This discipline of honoring others is rare.  It seems one of the biggest battles the next generation has to fight against, is the feeling of being entitled.  Now, I think it's easy to make sweeping statements like, 'this generation is entitled' and point the finger at others and not really understand the deep rooted issues.  Entitlement is the belief that I am exempt from responsibility an I am owes special treatment.   I think the best way to battle feeling entitled is to honor others.  Honor says I am going to take responsibility and esteem , give respect and special credit to the other person with distinct worth.  Find those around you who have wisdom,  accomplishment and leadership and recognize what they have done with sincere gratitude.  Most of the time these individuals will be older and have some expression of authority so not only submit to them but pray for them.  Hebrews 13:17 says this about honoring those around you, especially those in spiritual authority,  "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.  In life, there will always be those who will have authority over you and experience beyond you.  Don't be jealous of their position or place but celebrate them.  When you’re young you can be guilty of thinking you know more than you really know.  The older you get, the more you realize how much you don’t know. There is always something to be learned from another person’s experience you don’t have.  The experiences and wisdom from others you collect over the years from honoring others will add value, inspire you and make you wiser.  

Any you would add to my list?

Originally published on June 3, 2016  • Short Link:

Author's info: Sam Murphy will be a senior at American University. In addition to serving as the President of AUXA's student club, he is passionate about cooking, sports (especially pro-football and the New England Patriots), joining as many fantasy footballs leagues a person can handle, and having deep gospel conversations with his peers. You can connect with him on Facebook.

So I'm at work and my boss is coming down hard. Nothing is good enough, nothing is sufficient, everything must be better. I watch day in and day out as my work is pulled apart and burned like a moth in flame. I'm frustrated and I'm starting to panic every time I hear my name. That's when I remember Blane Young saying, “Make sure you aren't complaining about your miracle.”

Online fundraising for Reach the City - 2016

You see I'd been praying that God would make me a better worker for several weeks by that point. I'd been struck by how inefficient I was and wanted to work in a way that uplifts Jesus. I wanted to work in a way that made me a good witness that reveals the glory of God.

So as I sat there at my desk and recalled Blane's words, it dawned on me that my prayer had been answered. Yes my boss was riding me like a small horse, but my work quality was steadily improving, my apathy rapidly dropping. So my grimace was quickly overtaken by a grin and I got back to work.

Prayer is such a profound gift that the only fitting adjective is magical.

In Chi Alpha I have learned an incredible amount about prayer. I used to pray before the occasional meal, when I was broken hearted, when I was confused,  but I never really "got it." Prayer is such a profound gift that the only fitting adjective is magical

Through prayer we are able to seek God and to see his profound grace in our lives. We are strongest when we draw near to Jesus, alone or together, standing or reverently bowed, laughing or weeping, we are strongest when we pray.

Published on July 28, 2016 • Short Link: