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No-Value-in-Consulting-Opinions

Why I Don’t Value Your Opinion

Have you heard about the latest scandal involving President Obama wanting to lower the minimum age for buying cigarettes?

Chances are your opinion falls into one of two camps. Either (1) you are outraged at the idea of it, or (2) you assume he has a good reason for doing this. And your opinion’s probably more wrapped up in what you think of Obama than it is on the issue.

But now to the title of this post. Why don’t I value your opinion on this and many other things? (more…)

The-Only-Bridges-I-Burn

The Only Bridges I Burn

When you’re self employed, you learn very quickly the importance of connections—even the ones you assume will have no value to you.

Recently, one random connection turned into a few thousand dollars worth of ad revenue. He approached me and said, “I have some people who want to advertise on your sites. Let’s hook it up.”

I liked the guy and had some good conversations, but I assumed that was as far as our working relationship would go. And I was okay with that. But then he brought all this business to me out of the blue. That’s the power of relationships: Even when you aren’t trying to get something out of them, you inevitably do. (more…)

They-Dont-Have-To

When People Can’t See Your Dream

When I was six years old, my dad moved my whole family to a third world country. Guatemala. We were going as missionaries. At the time, the country was in the middle of a long civil war. People were frequently disappearing in the mountains and guerrilla attacks were common.

My dad was taking a pay cut. We barely knew the language.

It didn’t make much sense to other people. He was leaving security. He was entering uncertainty. And he was losing position. But it was his dream. (more…)

when-you-criticize-the-church

When You Criticize the Church

It’s popular nowadays to criticize the Church. It’s filled with hypocrites and bullies. I admit, it’s true. And every time I hear a story of someone who was hurt by the Church, I can’t help but be heartbroken for them.

So it’s popular for millennials and bloggers to turn their nose up at the established Church. Are you one of those people?

As pure as your intentions might be, you put yourself in a dangerous position when you do this. You’re putting a wedge between yourself and Jesus, and you’re opening yourself to a wave of criticism coming back to you. Let me explain.

(more…)

Trying-to-Broaden-My-Voice

Trying to Broaden My Voice

When I first started blogging, I was certain I’d become the expert on all creative thought. I named my blog “Faking Creativity” based on a book I wanted to eventually release.

Within a few short weeks my blog started getting 10′s of 20′s of people visiting. But when my blog hovered at that for a few months, I realized I might have tried for more than I could tackle. That’s when I started ChurchStageDesignIdeas.com.

I owned that niche. It was a very specific niche without much competition. So it wasn’t exactly difficult. I very quickly realized, however, that wasn’t the full extent of my passion and my voice. I had a love for all things creative—especially in churches. (more…)

Why-Culture-Must-Change

Why Culture MUST Change

“It’s okay to take the cross off your stage.” Whenever I chat with churches at conferences or in person, that’s one of the big thoughts I challenge them with.

I always smile a little watching people react to this statement. For many it feels like heresy. Or at best it makes them a little bit uncomfortable.

The Bible never really told us we need the cross in our churches. In fact, for the early church, it would have been pretty weird. The cross was a torture and death device. It’d be like our churches commemorating someone by putting a statue of water boarding in our church. Or the electric chair. That would feel more like the latest Saw movie than a religious ritual. (more…)

multitude-of-sins

The Best Way to Build a Platform

I follow a bunch of people on Twitter and Facebook. I truly wish I didn’t. Because every time there’s a new scandal or news story, I see hundreds of opinions. World Vision hires gay employees, I see 200 opinions. Noah’s about to release, I see 300.

You name the story, you’ll see hundreds of people trying to build their platform by criticizing or offering their wisdom on the topic.

The problem is, all of this is just noise. I want to hide everyone. Because none of it comes from a position of love. Or if it does, I certainly can’t see it. There are far too many haters in the world spewing their opinions. (more…)

I-Make-People-Lazy

I Make People Lazy

I’ve realized nearly everything I do is to help people become lazier. CSDI gives people stage designs and shows them how to do it. They don’t have to do their own research, they just get to build. Lazy.

Mopho.to makes it easy for people to get blog photos. They don’t have to take their own and edit them. They just cut-and-paste. Done. I’m even starting a new feature in Sunday| Mag that provides discussion questions to my readers, so they don’t have to think up their own to chat with their team about.

I’m realizing the key to my success is in making things easy for my readers. My job is to spoon feed content to them and even help them digest it. Yes, I make people lazy. But I’m not sure I’m okay with that. I worry I’m making people less successful by giving this all away. (more…)

I-Got-White-Plates

I Bought White Plates!

I bought white plates! I’m so excited! I’ve been wanting white plates for the longest time. My old dishes were fine… I frankly got lots of compliments on them… But they made my food look dull. They took the attention away from what I was cooking.

You see, I love to make beautiful meals. I love vibrant colors and cool textures. It’s one of my favorite parts about cooking—making food that looks as good as it tastes. And my old plates, while beautiful, were taking attention away from my work.

I think it’s something that happens to all of us who make things. We spend so much time crafting something beautiful. But then we surround it with distractions that make our work look dull. (more…)

When-a-Herd-of-Bulls-Attacks-You

When a Herd of Bulls Chases You Down

I was twelve and living on a ranch. Ya, it was a weird time in my life.

One day after school I was walking in a fenced-in field with a friend. We were chatting and enjoying the beautiful day. That was, until we noticed five bulls heading in our direction. The bulls began walking faster. Then they started running. Pretty soon they were barreling toward us at full speed.

That beautiful day turned into a stampede nightmare at that moment. I grabbed my friend and yelled, “We need to get out of here!” We b-lined to the fence. (more…)