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Category Archives: Blog

ketchup

Are You Swallowing Bull?

I came to a scary realization the other day while I was writing. I was outlining a book, and was ready to start writing, when I realized I didn’t actually believe the premise of the book I was about to write. I could have written all 30,000 words, published, and not meant a single word of the thing.

On a smaller scale, I can do this every day on Twitter. I could write a pithy quote that sounds amazing, but may be complete bull crap. I see it all the time on Twitter. People write something and I stop to think, “What?! That’s not true.”

Just because someone has a platform… Or just because someone can succinctly and cleverly say something… Doesn’t mean what they’re telling you is true. (more…)

part-of-the-crowd

You Can’t Afford to Be Part of the Crowd

Do you ever feel like you get lost in a sea of people who are exactly like you? You’ll experience this intensely if you go to a writer’s conference. You might think you’re something special—that you have a unique gift to give the world. But then you go to a writer’s conference and find out there are thousands of people who are almost exactly like you (seemingly).

Or try going to a creative church conference. It’s a similar situation. You think you’re the hipster bit of awesomeness on your church staff—that you’re unique. Then you show up to the creative church conference and feel like a small fish in an overstuffed pond. It’s hard to feel unique.

Or imagine a casting call for a movie. You hear about a role and realize you’re the perfect candidate. You have the look, the personality, and the acting chops. But then you show up to the audition and realize there are 400 people who are perfect for the role too. (more…)

empathy

The Key to Getting Along

Gun control. Oh, snap. I’m about to talk about this. Unfortunately, I think very few people actually empathize with both sides of the debate.

Pro: The US was founded from a general distrust of the government. We were escaping what we thought was a tyrannical government. So we didn’t want the government to be able to subjugate us again. A government can’t easily subjugate their people if the people are carrying submachine guns.

Con: People are dying every day because of people who own guns. Innocent individuals get mowed down by people owning legally obtained guns. It’s a tragedy. Seriously…a tragedy.

I challenge you right now to stop. Don’t take a stance on the issue just yet. Look at both of these arguments with a truly neutral stance and feel the emotions of both sides. (more…)

risk

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…)

creative

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…)

hope-creativity

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…)

to-do-list

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…)

fly-on-the-wall

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…)

identity

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…)

one-time-shots

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…)