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superman

Why Trying to Be Like Someone Else is Stupid

I remember one day as a kid, I’d had enough with my mediocre life. I decided I wanted to be Superman. He was everything I wanted to be. So I woke up one morning and made myself just like Superman. I put on my jeans, and then I put on my underwear. I figured that would be enough to do the trick.

As I gazed at myself in the mirror, I had a realization that this might not be the best idea. Copying Superman’s style might not be what it took to make myself as cool as him.

My story might be a bit silly, but I think that’s what happens when we look at others and try to be like them. When we try to make our outer persona like someone else. When we adopt someone else’s methodologies without knowing what went into making them who they are. It’s copying that ends up making us into a bit of a fool. (more…)

controlling-critic

Dealing with Manipulative Critics

I love Christians. I love the Church. But believers can be some of the most manipulative and controlling people you will meet. Not all. Not even the majority. But there are enough of them and their actions so heinous that they seem to be everywhere.

I’ve had worship leader friends see this. One in particular decided to introduce a new song to his worship team. It was a little different than their usual songs sounded. And one of his singers didn’t really like the choice.

But instead of simply stating that she didn’t like the song, she decided to control the situation. She actually said: (more…)

lavish-creativity

Scarcity Mentality

Do you have a scarcity mentality toward ideas? I used to.

When I first began blogging, I was also working full-time at my church. I had to come up with great ideas at home and at work. I was frankly worried I’d run out of good ideas. So I hoarded them.

I had an idea journal. Whenever a project or blog post came along, I took some tweezers and extracted the smallest idea I could find. After all, I didn’t want to waste all my good ideas. I had to keep my million dollar ideas for projects worthy of their brilliance. (more…)

part-to-play

Make Sure You’re Missed When You Die

The harsh reality is this: many people won’t be missed when they die. Sure, their friends and family will miss them. It’ll be weird that they’re no longer part of their life. But will society miss them? Probably not.

And I think the reason for this is that many people are trying to be somebody they’re not. They’re trying to fulfill a role somebody else was called to play. Because two people were playing the same role, one won’t be missed when they die.

Does this sound harsh? It feels harsh. But this is the reality we face when we don’t play the unique role God has called us to play. When we try to be somebody we’re not, we have no unique part to play in this world. (more…)

planting-seeds

The Guy I’m Jealous Of

I have a friend who seems to have all the luck. He gets floor seats to Laker games. He’s been on TV multiple times. People fly him all over the country just to hear what he has to say. He’s not really a public figure, but he’s treated like he is. It’s hard not to be a little bit jealous of the guy.

You could try attributing the good things in his life to a few things: his magnetic personality, his good looks, his talent and unique insight… You could name any combination of those things as the reason so many good things happen to him. But there are people just as magnetic, just as attractive, and just as talented who don’t see nearly the success he sees.

I’ve noticed something different in his life. Every single time I’ve hung out with the guy, he’s invested in me. The first time I met him; he reached out to me and bought me coffee. He asked me loads of questions about myself and didn’t ask for a single thing in return. In fact, he’s never asked anything of me. (more…)

do-the-right-thing

The Misery of Doing Good

On Sunday, I decided to take a few weeks and give up coffee—all caffeine, actually. A friend at church actually begged to buy me a cup of coffee because he thought I looked horrible. Apparently I’m more addicted to coffee than I might care to admit.

That manifest itself further on Sunday night when I got a horrible headache. I felt like I was dehydrated—though I’d never been more hydrated. And that headache turned into nausea that built and built.

The ordeal climaxed with my head in the toilet, as solids and liquids streamed from my throat. Between heaves, I called to my wife through the bathroom door to reassure her I was fine. She was skeptical. But I eventually emerged and was ready to go to sleep—hoping the next day of caffeine withdrawals wouldn’t be quite so traumatic. (more…)

story

Risk or Regret

Have you noticed the difference between people who have followed their dreams and those who live with regrets? Sit in a room filled with retired people. You’ll instantly be drawn to the ones who share the risks they’ve taken. You’ll generally avoid the ones with regrets over all the things they didn’t accomplish.

Let me illustrate. Which story are you drawn to? (more…)

a-god

I Am a God

In a sense, I am a god. Before you pitch stones at me, let me explain.

I am the center of my universe. Everything I do is about me. I receive prayers in the form of emails and tweets—people asking me to do things for them or thanking me for things I’ve done. If someone says or does something I don’t like, I have the power to strike them down either with my words or with my Unfollows. I can sit on my throne at Starbucks and judge the world or be merciful however I choose.

So you see; in a sense I’m a god. And in a sense you are too. (more…)

speak

Your Voice Must Speak

One of the biggest myths I’ve seen perpetrated in people’s heart is this: The things that break my heart break yours. Now, I’m not talking about genocide or poverty. Those things should affect all of us. I’m talking about a passion unique to you. I’m talking about your unique voice.

It’s easy to think everyone feels the same way you do. You see an injustice or problem and assume everyone else sees it. You expect someone else to act upon that injustice or problem. Then you get upset that nobody has done anything yet. (more…)

your-voice

Where is Your Voice Going?

On Friday I told you that you have a voice that needs to be heard. Here’s the next question you need to ask yourself: Who’s hearing my voice?

My voice is primarily one of encouragement and counter-intuitive thinking—with a few nuances here and there. And I’ve been working hard at writing from that voice. At speaking from that voice. At meeting over coffee from that voice. That’s good. But one of the things I frequently forget to do is to use that voice when I’m speaking with those who are closest to me.

Am I speaking with encouragement and counter-intuitive thinking to my wife? My friends? My pastor? My church? (more…)