Friday, July 27, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Advertising

I've always loved advertising... done well.

There's something beautiful about a clever billboard, tv ad or radio commercial. Sadly, most companies simply do what everyone else does, making most advertising mediocre. 

But every once in a while, creativity is allowed to incubate and something magical happens.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

You Have A Gift To Give The World

I want you to think of a movie that moved you.
Maybe a song or album that impacted you.

That cost someone something.

Everything that moves you, impacts you, benefits you, gives you life... cost something.
That movie had to be written, pitched, financed, directed and produced.
That book had to be written, edited, printed and distributed.

For you to receive, someone had to give.
For you to benefit, someone had to sacrifice.
For one person to say: "it meant so much to me.", another person had to break themselves open and pour themselves out.

For us to receive forgiveness, Christ had to pour himself out. We celebrate this when we take part in communion.

When the Romans 12 says we are to "present our bodies as living sacrifices", could it be God asking us to break ourselves open and pour ourselves out?

I believe inside each of us lurks a desire.
A passion.
A calling.
Something you were made to do, that the world desperately needs. It is where you find your joy.

Sometimes in church world we are told if we really love Jesus, we should deny those passions. If we truly want to serve God, we need to repress those passions and desires.
You need to go into the heart of that passion, that desire, because God put it in you.

What is it that will get you up in the morning?
Is it art?
Is it justice?
Is it writing?
Is it running a business that is defined by integrity?

We need to experiment.
Try this and try that.
And discover what it is, that when you do it, you are alive.

The world needs the gift of you.

Sometimes the best way to find your passion is to ask: "What pisses you off?"
What makes you say: "Somebody should do something about that!"
Maybe that somebody is you.

You're saying to yourself, "But nobody is doing that."
That's why we need you.

There is a dream, a passion, a gift God has put inside you. Go for it.
It might be difficult.
People around you might not understand what you're doing.
They may call you crazy.
It will cost you something, but you might just change the world.

Like Walt Disney said: "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
- Henry David Thoreau

Monday, July 16, 2012

Baby, I'm Amazed

Anyone who knows me and my wife, knows I married up.

She's smart, funny, talented, compassionate, hard-working... I could go on, but I'll stop there.

One of Crystal's most impressive skills is her ability to write parodies of songs on the radio. This talent/passion has kicked into high gear since we had Kyler.

She has written a number of songs about our firstborn, most of which (despite my encouragement) have gone unrecorded.

One song stands out from all the rest, and it's a song that was one year in the making. With some help from BBR Studios (her brother), she presented Born This Day at Kyler's first birthday party last weekend.

Turn up your speakers and enjoy!

I think she's got talent. Maybe the next Weird Al?


Friday, July 13, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - YouTube

My favourite find on YouTube this week. I was laughing out loud.

Anyone else identify with this?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Being A Jerk & Perspective Bombs

About 2 months ago I signed for the AMP'd program at Barrie Athletic Club. It's a 3 month, super intense workout that the head trainer uses with the pro athletes he trains. It's tough.

Our 6am group consists of 4 guys who showed up every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. Seeing the guys 3 times a week, you start to build a relationship with them. Start to feel more comfortable with them. They've seen you sweat, struggle to breathe and curse the trainer just quiet enough that he can't hear. 

You've bonded.

About 2 or 3 weeks ago one of the guys stopped showing up in the morning. No announcement or warning, he just stopped being there. It was weird at first, but you get used to it. Before he disappeared, we'd chirp each other. He'd make comments about how sitting behind a microphone all day, had me in bad shape. He'd tell me I need to get a real job if I want to keep up with him. 

"If your legs ran as much as your mouth, you might be able to do this without passing out."

***NOTE: Guys aren't good at expressing their feelings, so we resort to sarcasm and put-downs***

Fast forward to Monday morning, and the dude was back! So naturally I chirped him back.
"Was the workout too tough for you?"
"Did you give in and do the ladies class instead?"
Instead of the usual good-natured smile in response, he scowled and politely told me to go... someplace hot.

WHOA. What got into this guy? What's his problem? I decided to just avoid him for the rest of the morning. (Something I learned from living with Crystal. If she's grumpy, give her space.)

This morning he was in a bit better mood, but I elected to forego the chirps and be friendly. He still didn't seem to be his usual, jovial self. I told myself: "Maybe he's just tired."

After our workout we're sitting in the hot tub and I find out his wife was diagnosed with cancer and started treatment in Toronto 3 weeks ago.


Instantly everything changed. I didn't see him as a crotchety old man anymore. He is a husband who is hurting. "Until death do us part" has suddenly taken on an entirely new meaning for him.

I secretly wished I could sink to the bottom of the hot tub and have the jets suck me out and transport me back into the change room without him noticing.

I was reminded how blessed I am to have a healthy wife and child.

How blessed I am that I can get up early and have the energy to workout 3 days a week.

How blessed I am to have a relationship with this guy in the midst of his hurt and pain.

Lord, I pray you'd give me the opportunity to be your voice in this guy's life. That I can be there to stand alongside him in his pain and uncertainty. I pray that I could play a small part in the redemption story you are writing in his life.

Amazing how a little perspective changes everything huh?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Little Man!

A great first birthday, complete with presents, balloons and rainbow cake!

The first year has been much tougher than I expected, but also much, much more rewarding than I expected. I hear other people's horror stories, and I think we got lucky, Kai is a great kid.

Looking forward to many more birthdays!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Favorite Things Friday - Non-Church Podcasts

Time for another edition of Favorite Things Friday.

I love podcasts. If I'm driving for an extended period of time, I plug my iPod in and listen to a podcast (or two). My car has become a learning hub on wheels. Here are my Top 3 (non-church) podcasts:

Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast
I love leadership podcasts. I listen to Perry Noble and Dave Ramsey, but Andy is my favorite. His podcast is so practical, and he doesn't come off as arrogant, like some others do. He is leading one of the most progressive churches in the U.S., so he must be doing something right.

Mike Hyatt is relatively new to the podcast game so it's not as polished as some podcasts you may listen to, but the content is great. You want a personal growth podcast? This is it. Career, family, personal health, leadership and entrepreneurship; its got it all.

As the title indicates, this podcast covers whatever Tim & Kevin feel like talking about. New technology, books, hot start-ups, food, apps, etc. They don't post very often (latest episode is from November of 2011), but the episodes are always entertaining and inspiring. I think Tim Ferriss is the most interesting man in the world. Seriously, read up on this dude.

Got any podcasts to add?

Any others we should be checking out?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Biting Off More Than I Can Chew

I've been a volunteer at the Barrie Film Festival for the past 3 years, and have loved every minute of it. It's no secret that I'm a fan of the indie, documentary and under-the-radar films we showcase each year. While I enjoy being a volunteer and helping out, I left last year wanting to do more. I mentioned it to one of the organizers and hadn't heard much until last week, when I was invited to sit on the Special Events Committee.

Our first meeting was last night at Donaleigh's Irish Pub. I walked in as the new guy (the only guy), totally unprepared for what was to come. The meeting began and it was off to the races. We started with the kickoff party, people throwing out names of caterers and musicians. We had already planned the look, feel and vibe of the night, assigned duties and moved on to the next event by the time I wrote down the date. 

It was unreal!

These people had clearly done this before.

We were barely five minutes into the meeting and I was already feeling in over my head. "What am I doing here?" The people around the table are all hyper-connected business owners that seem to know everyone!

We need a jazz band, one woman's husband is in a jazz band.

We need food, one woman owns a catering business and knows all the other caterers and restaurateurs in town.

We need decorations and flowers, another woman is friends with the owners of a floral shop.

One person would throw out an idea, and another would build on it before the initial idea had finished. These 6 women were acting as one collective entity. I wish I had taped it.

The meeting lasted about 90 minutes, and we (they) planned 6 major events. It was unlike any event planning meeting I've ever been a part of. I made some small contributions, but mostly watched in awe as the machine began to roll.

I left with my head spinning, in awe of what I had just experienced.

Over my head? Probably, but it was fun.

Ever been there?

When is the last time you bit off more than you can chew?