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Risks Don’t Have Backup Plans

When I was making the leap to self-employment, I always convinced myself that it wasn’t much risk. Worst case scenario, I’d call up my parents crying and ask if I could live with them for a few months. Then I’d get a normal job and recover from my financial crisis.

To be honest, that would be quite a bit of humiliation. My parents would never shame me, but I’d definitely feel like a failure. So while I say there wasn’t really any risk…there was serious risk. That’s what made it a risk, and it’s what made it all the sweeter when I succeeded.

But I know many people who try to take the risk out of their dream. They create plan-B’s and plan-C’s so they won’t ever have to rely on someone else if their idea doesn’t work out. (more…)


Binary Salvation

Science tells us humans are born with a sort of binary response system when it comes to conflict. It’s fight or flight. Black or white. Off or on. When something bad happens we either run away or turn to fight it.

Even sin and salvation in the Old Testament was a sort of binary system. You either obey the law, or you die. There was no third option.

But then Jesus comes along and presents that new option. It’s no longer obey the law or die. There’s now the option to accept Christ’s finished worked on the cross and live. It was a completely new option that we could have never seen otherwise. (more…)


Creativity is Hope

We live in a hopeless world. People are faced with problems and they can often only see one or two options in the middle of their chaos. Either fight or flight.

But one of the coolest things about Christianity is that we are able to find hope in all situations. We know that there’s more to the situation than just what we see. We know there might be a third or even fourth option—and our God already has the solution in His mind.

That’s why I believe every Christian should be creative. Creativity looks for that third or fourth option when it appears there are only two options. Creativity is filled with hope, knowing there’s more to this world than just what we see. (more…)


5 Great (Top Secret) Uses of a To-Do List

To-do lists aren’t at all sexy. But all the sexiest jobs require them. I rely on mine as much as I rely on my laptop.

To-do lists help me dump all the tasks out of my brain, onto digital paper, and focus completely on the task at hand. It’s my only sanity while I deal with over seven websites, simultaneous book projects, and dozens of advertisers/contributors.

It’s pretty obvious what a to-do list is good for. But I think there are a few things I use mine for you that you might have no considered before. I thought I’d share those give things. I think it just might streamline and simplify your life a bit if you start incorporating these things into your work life. Here they are: (more…)


Success is About People

I always feel a little guilty at Starbucks when I’m on my laptop, looking at Facebook. I feel judging eyes on me as they look at my laptop and think, “This guy’s taking a whole table just to check his Facebook.” At that point I’ll usually pull up my to-do list on the screen so they see how important I am… though I know that doesn’t change their opinion of me.

The thing is, though, that Facebook is a vital part of my business. Keeping in contact with people, knowing what’s going on in the church world, just listening… That’s so much of what I do. I use social media to grab a glimpse into what all the church workers I follow are doing. It’s amazing what you can learn by just being a fly on the wall. (more…)


God Must Have Spent a Little More Time on You

You were fearfully and wonderfully made. God says that about you in the Bible. He says He watched as you were formed in your mother’s womb. He even had plans for you while you took shape. God even reached down and guided that formation of your body—to make you exactly who you are.

As David was writing this under God’s inspiration, he couldn’t even believe it. He said, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” Yet it’s true.

The wonderful philosophers of N’Sync said, “God must have spent a little more time on you.” And that statement is entirely true of you. God took time and effort to make you unique. So why do we spend any time comparing ourselves to other people? (more…)


When “How?” Is a Useless Question

Let’s say you want to do something. Something big. The natural question you’ll probably ask yourself is “how?” The problem with this question is that there’s rarely a single answer to this question. And if you’re looking for the right answer to “how”, you’ll probably never act.

You can get stuck on the “how” so much that you never actually do. That’s why I propose we ask ourselves “how” less, and instead simply act.

For instance, I want to show my wife I love her. Should I buy her a gift? Should I just tell her? (more…)


The Next You

Everybody wants to be the next Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Seth Godin, etc. The problem with wanting to be the next __________, is that everyone wants to be the next __________.  So you join the echo chamber of people wanting to be the next ___________.

Sure, one or two of you in that group might become the next __________. But most will be nobodies.

They’ll be nobodies because they weren’t intended to be the next _________. They were intended to be the only them.

You’re the only You there will ever be. Embrace that. You be you, then let other people come after you trying to be the next you.

*Mic Drop*

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Your Ugly Can Be Beautiful

I have ugly handwriting. There, I said it. That’s a huge weight off my shoulder.

My dad tried to correct it early on. He’d sit me down at the kitchen table and force me (gently) to write through the alphabet a few times each night. It improved marginally. But I never fully developed that motor skill.

So imagine my distress, years later, when I’m asked to sign copies of my book, Created for More. People not only wanted my sloppy signature, but also a nice note in the front of the book that was personalized for them. My own anxiety meant that each signature also included trace amounts of sweat from my nervous palms. (more…)


When Getting Yelled at Is the Best

I had just given major attitude to a new pastor who had come on staff. He wanted me to do something that I didn’t agree with. I didn’t think it matched the vision of the church, and it wasn’t the best use of my time. So I told him. Maybe I was rude; maybe I wasn’t. I didn’t intend to be.

But from then on our relationship devolved. A few times he yelled at me from the hallway outside my office as I returned verbal jabs. (I was particularly proud of my ability to seem calm and make him seem like the immature one.)

Eventually it came to an apex of tension and my pastor (also my dad) sat me down in a room with the guy. There I was, a 25 year-old facing off with a 50 year-old who had far more experience than me. (more…)