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Category Archives: Blog

job

This is What I Told a Guy Who Was Dissatisfied with His Job

I was at a wedding recently, talking to a guy who was dissatisfied with his job. I had just met him, and I’m not sure how the conversation got that deep so quickly, but it did.

He’s a mechanical engineer, but his current job doesn’t really allow him to use his full set of skills. Instead, he’s the only one on his team doing a monotonous task of designing one, simple, boring device for oil companies.

He was frustrated, because he just graduated. He needed to get some experience in this job before he could move on to a better position. I encouraged him with the fact that the average person changes careers seven times throughout their life. That’s the new American way.

But I also gave him another piece of advice. I asked him what else he was interested in. (more…)

overwhelmed

Overwhelmed?

We bought a house last Thursday. And someone got the bright idea to paint the whole thing—ceiling and walls. I don’t remember if it was my wife or me, but I’ll go ahead and take the blame.

Well, it’s taken far more time than we thought it would. We started Friday, worked all weekend, and hopefully will have it done by the time this post goes live.

But I woke up Monday morning with that deadline looming over me, a two-week vacation driving the east coast ahead, and a move on Friday. My email inbox was piled high with emergencies and I still had to work ahead so I wouldn’t go broke somewhere south of Seattle. (more…)

extra-effort

Looking for the Third Option

I personally believe creativity is not really about painting a picture or playing an instrument or writing a song. Those are all creative endeavors, but creativity isn’t necessarily art.

Instead, I believe creativity is about looking for a third option when it appears there are only two. In fact, I’m getting a chance to present this concept at a conference in Detroit in September.

But how does this creative thought help you in your life? I think of marriage. Imagine a guy is having trouble with his marriage, feeling like things just aren’t working with his wife. What are his obvious options? (more…)

grace

The Scary Thing About God’s Grace

The scary thing about God’s grace is this: it’s never-ending. Now, on the surface that sounds like a good thing. But I believe this is something a lot of Christians don’t actually like.

The truth is, the same grace that’s available for the Christian on the beach about to get his head chopped off for his faith in God is available to the ISIS member holding the sword. That’s a crazy thought to me. And I’m not sure I like that thought.

I envision grace like a party. And I know I arrived pretty late to the party. But I still made it, right? Unfortunately, I don’t want anyone who arrives after me to get admission to the party. I mean, I know I was late, but I wasn’t as late as that guy.

Unfortunately, everyone who accepts the invitation to the party gets in. That’s the scary thing about grace.

I’m not saying everyone will get into the party—into heaven. You still have to accept the invitation.

But the thought that God’s grace is available for a guy holding a sword mid-swing is mind-boggling. Even in the middle of the very worst moment in that guy’s life, God’s grace is as available and as full as it will ever be.

Grace like that is completely out of our control. And I don’t know if I like that. It feels completely unfair. God’s grace surpasses politics and morals. It was available to Hitler just like it was to Mother Teresa.

That doesn’t feel right, but that’s the way it is.

So why would I dare not extend that same grace to others. If God can extend his love to the worst of the worst of ISIS, why shouldn’t I give grace to the person who thinks differently than me? Shouldn’t I give grace to the person who lives differently than I do?

What’s scariest about grace is that we’re called to extend this unending grace ourselves.

[Blog photo from Mopho.to]

personality

When Do You Become an Adult?

In ancient times, boys became men around twelve or thirteen. Girls became women when their bodies were capable of bearing children. But in modern times, we don’t consider someone an adult until much later. Maybe it’s when a boy gets a career. Maybe it’s when a girl gets married. I know I didn’t really feel like an adult until I was married, but even that was a stretch.

This gap in life is called adolescence. You’re no longer a child but you also aren’t an adult. Adolescence has become widely recognized as the time of self-discovery. Every child goes through this search—the search for a unique identity. They make mistakes, try new things, and challenge norms. Then at some point, self-discovery is achieved and they become an adult. (more…)

where-youre-going

What’s Your Why?

I just put the last periods on two new books I’m writing. Now comes the editing process.

I’ve noticed an interesting thing that happens when I write. I notice I drift away from my original goals. I get so lost in the flow and my thoughts, that I completely forget about what I really want to talk about,

So for so much of the editing process, I’m consulting a single sheet of information that will help keep me back on track. I have questions like: (more…)

too-busy

Want to Impress People with How Busy You Are?

I’ve had the chance to connect and hang out with some pretty high powered individuals. They’re the movers and shakers in the church world or in industry. I’ve also had the chance to meet up with some up-and-comers who are working on doing big things.

Every now and then, I get reached out to by some of these up-and-comers who’d love to meet up either by Skype or in person. The exchange goes a lot like: “Hey, I’d love to meet up with you. Any time you’re free in two or three weeks?”

That’s when I respond, “I have time today. Let’s meet up now.” (more…)

the-journey

Don’t Go Chasing Eagles

Did you see the Lord of the Rings films that Peter Jackson directed? I love the movies, and I love talking to others about the movies.

One of the common conversation pieces that comes up about the films (and books in general) is the problem of the eagles. At one point our hero of the story, Frodo, meets up with some gigantic eagles that rescue him from peril and take him part of the way to his destination—Mount Doom. From there, Frodo continues his travels to the still distant volcano where he can destroy the ring that is polluting the world with its power.

So many people are frustrated with the stories, because they wonder why the eagles didn’t just take Frodo to the mountain. Essentially, the third book would be completely unnecessary, because Frodo could just land on the mountain and throw the ring into the molten lava. Book complete.

But Gandalf, the god-like wizard who arranged the meet-up with the eagles, chose Frodo to have the finish the journey by himself. Why did he do that? (more…)

entrepreneurs

The Fear of an Entrepreneur

I’ve got a friend who wants to flex his entrepreneurial muscle. He’s a starter at his core. But he doesn’t know what idea to follow. He doesn’t know what his “one thing” is.

That’s a problem many entrepreneurial minds have. They have so many great ideas, they don’t know which one to go with. And the fear is that they’ll miss out on the huge idea and follow the small idea.

It’s a somewhat valid fear. If you’re wasting your time doing “good” things, you won’t have time to do the great things. Fortunately, though, I don’t know of any entrepreneur who has just one thing. (more…)

maintaining

Are You Developing or Maintaining

In ninth grade, I attended a great private school. It was one of those smaller, Christian schools that taught Latin. And it was the type where a teacher could smack you on the back of the head with a ruler if you weren’t doing your schoolwork during the assigned time. All of the faculty and parents seemed to be okay with that. Fortunately, I never had a problem with any of my teachers or the administration. I was a straight-A student and all of my teachers loved me.

But one day, my Latin teacher asked me to come by his office after class. He sat me down and said, “I don’t think you’re living up to your full potential.”

Frankly, this baffled me. I mean, yes I was getting a 95 on my test when I could have gotten 100, but that was still an A. Those extra points don’t matter. A 95 is a 4.0 on the GPA scale. A 100 is a 4.0 on the GPA scale. And guess what? So is a 90. (more…)