Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best Of 2013

I'll jump on the 'Best Of' bandwagon and give you some of my picks from the past 12 months.
(These are in no way scientific rankings, just my opinion)

Sailboat - Ben Rector
Lover Of The Light - Mumford & Sons
Lakehouse - Of Monsters And Men
He Is With Us - Love & The Outcome
Freaks - The Hawk In Paris
Bruises - Train
Sacred Invitation - Seth Condrey
Magic - Leagues
Made Alive - Citizens
Awake My Soul - Chris Tomlin

The Kings Of Summer
Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Internship
Now You See Me
Robot & Frank
Man Of Steel
Iron Man 3

Deep & Wide by Andy Stanley
Love Does by Bob Goff
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
Start by Jon Acuff
The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni
Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod

Seth's Blog
Stephen Brewster
Donald Miller
Jamie The Very Worst Missionary
Jon Acuff
Tim Ferriss
Scott Dinsmore

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - December 13

Good Reads
How To Fight Afternoon Exhaustion Without Coffee from WorkAwesome
10 Lessons I've Learned From Failure from Stephen Brewster
Apple's Secret Coffee Ritual from Tim Ferriss

Tribute To A Christmas Classic

Upcoming Movie

Random Act Of... Magic

Instructional Video

Go Green Initiative

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

We've Got Some Work To Do

At 2, Christmas is still all about the presents. At least he didn't leave Santa in the chimney and just take the sack of toys!
Kai's Craft From Daycare

Friday, December 6, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Who Cares About Your Family Tree

I'd always skip over the first 17 verses in Matthew when reading the Christmas story. To be honest, I thought it was dumb. Who cares about the family tree?

But if you look a little deeper, spend a some time looking at the names that are mentioned, you'll see something that further emphasizes the gospel message.

Something you miss when you skip over the passage.

Along with mentioning some giants of the faith, Matthew includes some unusual names.

Like Tamar.

Seriously, read the story of Tamar. Why would Matthew feels the need to include her name? Leave her out and
no one would notice.

Another name that is alluded to, but never mentioned, is Bathsheba. Matthew uses some curious phrasing when describing Solomon. "Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife."


Pour some salt on the wound while you're at it.

You see, when we write stories about our heroes we leave out the bad parts.
We don't mention the affairs
We don't mention the family who leaves because dad is 'married' to his ministry
We don't mention the second set of financial records
So why does Matthew deliberately mention a prostitute and adultery?

Because that's exactly who Jesus came for.

Matthew made a point, right from the start of the story, to make sure his audience knew Jesus came for the screw-ups, the sinners, the people who have messed up so badly they think there is no hope.

I used to skip over the first 17 verses in Matthew, but now I stop and reflect on the names. I'm reminded that the story of Christmas is not about Jesus coming to redeem the righteous, but rather those who know they are not.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - November 29

Good Reads
The World's 18 Strangest Airports from Popular Mechanics
You're Not Invited from Dave Carrol
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook from Stephen Brewster

Journey Into Toyland

Hypnotising Dinner

Fixing Travel

Streetball in NYC

Millenial Response To Baby Boomers

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

So Much To Be Thankful For

I realize we Canadians had our Thanksgiving weeks ago, but in the last 24 hours it struck me just how blessed I am.

Those who are connected with us are aware of the difficult season Crystal and I went through this past summer/fall. At the time it felt like the hits were never going to stop coming, but I knew there had to be an end... eventually.

Well the last couple of weeks the tide has turned and things are looking up. We have hope again.

Last week we sold our house, less than 12 hours from posting on MLS to accepting an offer. (This may be a future blog post). And last night I had my interview for a position with the Innisfil Fire Department.

I was super nervous leading up to the interview. It's been nearly 4 years of trying to get on a volunteer department and I felt like this was my best chance. (Don't screw this up AJ) I shared this post from Jon Acuff yesterday because it resonated so deeply with me. It seemed to describe me and give me hope for what was to come.

As I made my way to the Innisfil Town Offices my phone kept dinging with texts from friends encouraging me and praying for me and my interview. It was quite overwhelming. I said a quick 'help me' prayer and made my way to the lobby where I took a seat next to a well-dressed guy named James. He was there to interview for a position as well. We chatted for a bit, wished each other luck and made our way into our respective interrogation interview rooms.

I walked into the room and as I passed threshold my nerves vanished. I took a seat in front of the 5-person panel and we were underway.

As they fired questions my way I found myself thinking "Oh, I have a story about how a situation in my life applies to that" and "I know the answer to that". I don't think I've ever participated in an interview like that before.

After my alloted 60 minutes had passed I shook hands with my interviewers and made my way out to my car. I looked down at my cell phone and there were more encouraging texts from family and friends. I started to cry.

At times I have felt alone in pursuit of this dream. Like a lone sailboat in rough seas. But last night I realized I have an army of family, friends and supporters behind me.

Thank you to everyone who has stood beside me through this journey. Crystal and Kai, my parents, siblings and in-laws.
Thank you Todd for the interview prep and coaching.
Thank you Marty, Julie, Brian, Hilary, Tim, Rosalyn, Linda, Dave, Barbara, Amanda, Dave, Kirk and everyone else who texted, prayed and offered encouragement. Your prayers really made a difference.

I can across this song while listening to WayFM, and it resonated with me at the time (and still does).

It's Thanksgiving in the U.S. but today I'm giving thanks for the people that God has placed in my life that stand beside and are on this journey with me.

I find out in a couple weeks if I 'passed' the interview, don't stop praying yet.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - November 22

Good Reads
Take A Loss by Donald Miller
Finding Waldo from Slate
Permission To Play from Switch & Shift

Baseball Game

Hunger Games Parody

Domino Display

Cover Of A Rap Song

Gum Commercial

Friday, November 15, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - November 15

Good Reads
Is It Time To Quit? from Phil Cooke (or maybe not)
Sexy Christianity from Kyle Donn
Worst Advice In The World from Mike Rowe


Way To Eat An Apple

Display Of Athleticism

Talking To Animals

Audition Tape

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dinner Party

You're having a dinner party at your house and your dining room table seats 8 people. You're putting together your guest list, who's on it?

*Invitees have to be alive. And has to be people you’ve never met.*

Who’s getting the invites?

Here’s my eight:
  1. Me (I'd hate to miss my own party)
  2. Richard Branson
  3. Scott Dinsmore
  4. Bob Goff
  5. JJ Abrams
  6. Donald Miller
  7. Seth Godin
  8. Chris Guillebeau
Who's on your guest list?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - November 8

Good Reads
Your Best Story from Jon Acuff
Turn Your Life Around from Dumb Little Man
Fear The Fear, Feel The Fear from Seth Godin

Church Campus

Real Life Superhero

Tour Of Eesti's Natural Beauty

Flying over Estonia with an octocopter from A&J on Vimeo.

Show Of Emotion

Recurring Prank

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Hawk In Paris

I stumbled on to a FANTASTIC album today.

Go buy it. 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Face Behind the Facade

Ever notice how certain themes tend to pop-up in life?
The same theme/topic comes up in multiple unrelated conversations over a number of days.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend on Saturday night. We were talking about why we enjoyed certain tv/radio shows, and we discovered we like shows that have flaws.
Shows that don't pretend to be awesome.
Shows that make mistakes and don't downplay their humanity.

The conversation soon moved on to something else, and I didn't give it much more thought.

Then yesterday a video showed up in my Facebook feed. It's an 11-minute film, based on 30 Seconds To Mars song "City Of Angels". I like 30 Seconds To Mars, so I decided to give it 12 minutes of my day.

As I sat and watched, I found myself getting emotional. I was moved.
Maybe it was the cinematography.
Maybe it was the music.
Maybe it was because it's California.
I think it was because of the interviews with LA residents.

There is something to be said for authenticity.
That's why my friend and I like those shows.
That's why this short film/music video moved me.
That's why baptism stories are so impactful.

The facade is torn down and we get to see imperfections. Scars. Hurts.

Imagine the impact we could have as the church if we stopped pretending we have it all together.
If we stopped hiding our scars.
If we stopped pretending we don't struggle with our faith.
If we were honest about who we really are.

After all, honesty is the best policy, right?

Here's the video.

*NOTE: There are a couple swears*

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Red Light, Green Light

Last night I had the opportunity to host Red Light, Green Light at the Uptown Theatre in Barrie.

side note: my favourite movie theatre in Central Ontario

What a night! Almost 150 people came out to support Voice For The Trafficked and this film. The film itself was great. Beautifully shot, compelling and very timely.

We also had the good fortune of having the filmmakers in house, so after the film there was a Q&A, which was more of a "How can we help you with this initiative?" session than anything else.

The hilite for me however, was on the street outside the theatre once everyone had left. I got to talk to Jared & Michelle one-on-one and the stories of how God repeatedly came through in the making of this film was amazing.

This project was funded by donations, so J & Michelle wanted to be good stewards of the resources given to them. This meant they weren't going to book a trip to Vegas unless they had some confirmed interviews. After a couple weeks of trying to nail down interviews and coming up empty, J felt God telling them to just book the trip. They struggled with the decision, but eventually gave in and bought plane tickets. When they arrived at their host home they were told the week they chose was the best possible week to come and shoot. "Why is that?" J inquired. "It's Sex Trafficking Awareness Week in Vegas"


They ended up getting to sit down with a number of high profile people. From ministry leaders, to ex-sex workers, to former johns. Talk about a God moment!

J & Michelle are travelling across Canada for the next 10 months, showing the film and raising awareness about sex trafficking around the world and in Canada.

With the pending changes to prostitution laws in Canada, the timing is so right for this film. Like J & Michelle said as we stood outside the Uptown, God is all over this film. I really feel like He is going to use it to impact lives across the country.

If you'd like to host a screening (I recommend it) or support this mission in any way, visit http://redlightgreenlightfilm.com.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - October 25

Good Reads
Honest Slogans
Making Your Ideas Come To Life from Charles T Lee
How We Are Stealing Ambition From Our Kids from Tim Elmore

Adrenaline Rush

Creating A Church That Unchurched People Love To Attend

Lack Of Originality

Making The Impossible, Possible


Friday, October 18, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - October 18

Good Reads
Why Entrepreneurs Should Start $1000 Startups from The Next Web
The Inverted Golden Rule from Leadership Freak
Vision And Innovation Come From Seeing Past The Map from Chris Brogan

Potential Vacation Location

Explanation Of A Seemingly Complex Concept

Behind The Scenes Look

Optical Illusion

Magic Trick

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How I Saw Jesus In A 16 Year Old Girl

Malala Yousafzai was named an honorary Canadian Citizen today.

Before yesterday I had no idea who she was. That was until a video appeared throughout my Facebook feed. When I saw it was from The Daily Show I expected it to be funny. I didn't expect to see Jesus in a 16 year-old girl from Pakistan.

The good stuff starts at 4:19

I feel like that is how Jesus would want us to react.

Don't push your beliefs on someone, but stand strong in telling them what you believe.
(We aren't pitchmen trying to sell Jesus to someone.)

I believe in a higher power
I believe in love
I believe in second chances
I believe in redemption
I believe our failure is never final
I believe you are a part of a much bigger story
I believe there is a God and he wants to have a relationship with you.
Now do with me what you will

I don't know about you, but I'm challenged.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - October 11

Good Reads
19 Idiotic (But Real) Travel Complaints from Huffington Post
Why Aren't You Fired Yet? TV Characters That Somehow Held On To Their Jobs from The A.V. Club
Better When from Jamie The Very Worst Missionary

Favourite Marketing Stunt

Favourite Mix Of Skill And Artistry

Favourite Behinds The Scenes Look At Someone I Speak With Regularly

Favourite Retelling Of A Bible Story

Favourite Advertisement

Friday, October 4, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - October 4

Good Reads
8 Common Thinking Mistakes by Belle Beth Cooper
Don't Look Before You Leap by Matt Appling
Why You Should Look Past Your Peers by Donald Miller

Favourite Places To Go On Vacation

Favourite Motivational Video

Favourite Retro Steve Carrell Video

Favourite Explanation Of Why I Make Dumb Decisions

Favourite Group Outing

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Book That Changed My Life

Wow! What a response!

This morning on The Wonderdog Show I asked for your input; "Other than the Bible, what one book has changed your life?"

Here are your responses:
The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne
No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green by Melody Green
Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul by John Eldredge
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Overcoming Through Jesus by Bill Liversidge
Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference by Max Lucado
The Saving Life of Christ by Major Ian Thomas
The Heavenly Man - by Brother Yun
Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges
Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller
To Heaven and Back by Dr Mary C Neil
Run Baby Run by Nicky Cruz
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan
The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
Knowing God by J.I. Packer
The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson
The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller
The Cross: Finding Life in Jesus' Death by Mike Cleveland
The Shack by Paul Young
Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
The Beginner's Guide to Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Too Busy Not to Pray by Bill Hybels
Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential by Joel Osteen
Can You Hear Me? Tuning in to the God who Speaks by Brad Jersak
Mamma Called the Doctor: A Mother and Child's Final Journey by Antoinette Romana
Sun Stand Still: What Happens When You Dare to Ask God for the Impossible by Steven Furtick

And the book that impacted me... The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within by Erwin McManus

How many have you read?
What book would you add?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - September 27

Good Reads
Why You Should Accept A Life Less Predictable from Shauna Niequist
8 Rules To Help You Live Long & Strong from Dumb Little Man
From Dot-Com Zero to Hero: One Man’s Story from Tim Ferriss

Favourite "Is This For Real" Product

Favourite Parenting Video

Favourite Public Service Announcement

Favourite Rap Video

Favourite First Responder

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Random Learnings From 32 Years

Last weekend I celebrated the 32nd anniversary of my birth. It's been a good 32 years. I've got some fond memories:
- High School (maybe I blocked out the bad stuff)
- Being the first of my family to go back to Estonia.
- Playing baseball as a summer "job"
- Convincing a pretty girl to marry me
- Becoming a dad

And I've also learned a lot along the way. Here's 32 random things I've learned in my 32 years:
  1. Smiles are contagious
  2. Don't take yourself too seriously
  3. People will let you down and hurt you
  4. Everyone deserves a second chance
  5. Pizza Pops and HungryMan dinners are not part of a balanced diet
  6. Be nice. You catch more bees with honey than vinegar.
  7. Take risks when you're young. The older you get the harder it gets.
  8. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. All the hell I put my parents through as a kid has returned to me with a (sometimes) defiant and energetic 2-year old of my own.
  9. The older you get, the wiser your parents get. Weird how that works.
  10. Never trust a fart
  11. When you have the choice to assume the worst or believe the best, always chose believe the best
  12. Before you work hard to climb the ladder, make sure it's the right ladder.
  13. Bad things do happen to good people
  14. When in doubt, do the next 'right' thing
  15. Your job is not who you are
  16. Volunteer, serve and give back
  17. Have some friends outside your church bubble. They will help you stay grounded in reality.
  18. That handful of close church friends are worth more than their weight in gold.
  19. Children and spouses are the best mirrors
  20. There's no win in comparison
  21. It's never as bad as you think. It'll look better in the morning
  22. Ice cream will make you feel better
  23. Never stop reading and learning
  24. Some people are kept in your phone just so you know not to answer when they call
  25. The best time to plant a tree was 25 years ago. The second-best time is today. Don't wait, do it.
  26. Surround yourself with people smarter than you. That is the only way you will be challenged to grow.
  27. Don't forget to say "Thank You"
  28. Maintaining the status quo will kill your soul
  29. Find one person who will stand in your corner when no one else will. Then marry them.
  30. Standing with your feet in the ocean can fix any problem.
  31. Balanced people don't change the world
  32. You cannot out sin God's grace
Anything you'd add to the list?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - September 13

Good Reads
Want To Make Better Art... from Blaine Hogan
Want To Be A Movie Director? from Dan Miller
Is Your Destiny Leaving You Clues? from Michael Hyatt

Favourite Interactive Art Installment

Favourite New Sport

Favourite Productivity Hack

Favourite Discovery

Favourite "You Got Me" Moment

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Race To The Ark

It's been nearly 4 years since I first applied to be a volunteer fire fighter in Essa. Over the last year or so I've stepped up my game and stopped in to visit the chief every month to make sure he knew my name and see if the department was planning to recruit. Most times the conversation went really well. They could use guys that can speak in public, younger guys that are physically fit, guys that are available during the day, etc. He told me when they do recruit, I'm at the top of the list. (SCORE!) He also said they haven't hired in 4 or 5 years so a fall recruitment was inevitable... right?


Earlier this week I connected with him and he delivered the dreaded: "We're good. No need to recruit this year."

I was bummed.

Like, really bummed.

I went up the road to Springwater and connected with the chief who told me I had a killer resume and if I lived closer I'd be a great candidate. I asked if he could guarantee me a spot if we did move, but he wouldn't make a commitment. I don't want to uproot the family for a 'chance' at a position.

[Flashback To January]
I was talking to a friend of mine about becoming a volunteer firefighter and he said he'd like to do that too. A mutual friend told him to call Oro Fire and see if they'd extend the boundaries so he could make squad even though he lived in the East end of Barrie. He called the next day and the chief said they were short guys so he could start training immediately.

Initially I was excited for him. I fully expected Essa would be recruiting in the fall and we could realize our dreams together. Well, yesterday my buddy officially finished his training and is now on the squad, while I'm floating out at sea.

I want to be happy for him, I am happy for him, but inside I'm dying. I've been trying for 5 years, he called on a whim and he's in while I'm still on the outside looking in.

I feel like a Blue Jays fan, excited about the off-season moves and the new, improved team that is favoured to win the World Series; only to have their heart ripped out and finish in last place.

While the snail made it to the ark, I'm pretty sure the cheetah had a better seat.
And you respond: "But the snail developed character"

I'm not about to give up on my way to the ark.

I'll make it.

Sometimes I just wish I was the cheetah instead of the snail.

This song has been my jam for the past couple weeks

Friday, September 6, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - September 6

Good Reads
Measuring Your Quality Of Life At Work from Fast Company
100 Day Dash from Tim Sanders
Is Work A Blessing Or A Curse? from Ron Edmondson

Favourite Surprise Ending

Favourite Leadership Lesson

Favourite Music Video

Favourite Delightfully Tacky Commercial

Favourite Retro Video

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Andrew Stanton (Wall-E, Toy Story, Finding Nemo) starts off his TED Talk by saying:

"Storytelling is joke telling. It’s knowing your punchline, your ending, knowing that everything your saying from the first sentence to the last is leading to a singular goal – and ideally confirming some deeper truth about who we are as human beings."

What follows is 20 minutes of pure gold as he goes through what makes a great story, while mixing in some of his own story.

We're all story tellers.
As followers of Jesus we've been commissioned with the task of telling the redemption story.
Telling the story of a God that is alive and at work all around us.
Telling the story of a God who is in the restoration business.

Do yourself a favour and watch this.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - August 30

Favourite Reads
#1 Productivity Hack from Dumb Little Man
Smart Logos That Make You Look Twice from 1st Web Designer
Sometimes We Build What We Didn't Plan To Build from Bob Goff

Favourite Nerdy Video

Favourite Inspirational Speech

Favourite Prank

Favourite Music Video

Favourite Scary Accurate Depiction Of Society

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Walking In Between

Crystal and I had been looking forward to the day for quite some time. The release of Ben Rector's lastest album, The Walking In Between.

It's been almost a week, 10-15 trips through the album, here are my top 3 tracks.

Ordinary Love
"I don’t live in the hills 
And I probably never will 
But that won’t keep me up at night 
Because she’s dancing like a fool 
Across my living room 
Whenever I’m with you 
My heart is singing"
Great way to start the album. Upbeat, catchy and we're off to a good start.

"Oh I’m out in the waves 
And I’m hoping and praying 
Please let this wind blow me home 
Night after night there’s an empty horizon 
My god do I feel so alone 
But sometimes life And most times I 
Feel just like a sailboat"
Seriously... Beautiful!

If You Can Hear Me
"Sometimes the devil sounds a lot like Jesus 
Telling me I’m not enough 
And I don’t believe it, no no 
But I can feel it 
And I need you so, yes I need you so"
Who hasn't felt fear and heard the voices saying you're not enough?
If you're going to chase awesome, pursue your dreams, or strive to break out of status quo, the voices will show up.

The entire album is incredible!
Other tracks worth a listen are: When I'm With You, Beautiful and I Like You.
Get it on iTunes HERE

Friday, August 23, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - August 23

Good Reads
35 Food Hacks from BuzzFeed
Ted Turner's Wealth Psychology from Robin Sharma
7 Ways To Generate Great Ideas from Inc Magazine

Favourite Laughing Guide

Favourite 'To-Do' For Summer 2014

Favourite Church Promo

Favourite Fictional Speech From A Classic Show

Favourite What It Means To Be A Brother Moment

Monday, August 19, 2013

What's The Point?

It's one of the questions I've been saving for heaven.

How'd the dinosaurs die?
Why did you create mosquitoes?
Why do we have toenails?

As far as I can tell, they serve no real purpose.

Back on our epic trip through California I banged my toe off the rail of the surfboard I was frantically paddling to try and catch a wave. (It didn't really hurt that much, kind of like stubbing your toe on your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.) The impact caused my toe to bleed under the nail, which at first was kind of cool but quickly made my nail look like it had gone goth. So I've proudly been sporting a black big toe for the past month or so.

About a week ago I noticed the nail had started to turn a shade of grey, and after further inspection I realized it was no longer attached underneath.

I wonder what it looks like under there?

I resisted the urge to pick at it, but as a new nail started to grow underneath it the dead nail began to loosen. Last night my nail finally lost its will to hang on and I got a glimpse of what exactly lurks under the nail.

Nothing much.

So, enlighten me. Why do we have toenails?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - August 16

Good Reads
5 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From The CrossFit Games from Under 30 CEO
Culture Is The Glue For Your Company from Inc Magazine
Life's Priorities from Chris Guillebeau

Favourite Guerilla Marketing Effort

Favourite North American Timelapse

Favourite International Timelapse

Favourite Marriage Tune (H/T Nadine)

Favourite Retro Video

Honorable mention if you're a Breaking Bad or Price Is Right fan.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - August 9

Good Reads
Do You Fit In At Work? from Social Hire
How To Tell Your Story In 30 Seconds from Donald Miller
Life's Unstoppable Formula from Dumb Little Man

Favourite Example Of Culture Shock

Favourite Ad

Favourite News Segment

Favourite Bucket List Video

Favourite Show Of Skill

Friday, August 2, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - August 2

Favourite Reads
Ruins Of Detroit from Yves Marchand
Achieving Goals from Dumb Little Man
Why I Avoid Drawing Lines In The Sand from Shauna Niequist

Favourite SNL Compilation

Favourite Pro-Facial Hair Video

Favourite Trailer For A Non-Existent Movie

Favourite Educational Video

Favourite Social Media Video

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Journey with Jon Acuff - Inspiration & A Challenge

I don't intend for this to turn into a "My Journey with Jon Acuff" blog, but that's kind of where I'm at now.

Today's 'homework' is to post a video that inspires you. I chose one from Good Will Hunting for a couple reasons.
1 - I'm starting to realize the importance of having someone in your life that challenges you. Someone who will keep you accountable and push you when you're settling for less than being awesome.
2 - I can identify with Will. I'm a reader, but it stops there. I read a lot of blogs, books and articles, but seldom act on it "until the time is right". In a sense I'm overfed and out of shape intellectually.
3 - Like Will I tend to see the negatives.
4 - I get sarcastic and mean when I'm challenged.
5 - I don't know what I want to do, so I blow smoke and shovel it as a defense mechanism.

This clip (and the film) inspires me to live for more.
To do the work
To chase after awesome.
To drop the B.S. and really take a look inside and ask if I'm living true to myself.

Careful, there are a couple swears if that sort of stuff bothers you.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Haters Gonna Hate

For those lab-rats people taking part in Jon Acuff's START Experiment today is "International Ignore A Hater" day.

Our task today is to ignore the haters. Ignore the email, tweet, or facebook comment that is slinging mud. The idea is to enjoy the peace of mind that comes when you disregard the haters.

I laughed. Okay, challenge accepted. I don't run into many haters anyway.

So I've taken the challenge and I'm ignoring those that try to bring me down today.

So far (about noon'ish as I type) I've run into people who have told me my dream is dumb and unrealistic.
Said my show is too worldly
Told me they want the old morning show hosts back.
Called me a false prophet.
Said I lack spiritual depth and questioned my salvation.

Oh snap!

This is harder than I expected.

Feel like hatin'?
Comment below, but I won't respond... Today.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - July 26

Favourite Reads
Mark Wahlberg On Prison, Faith & Gratitude from Donald Miller
Hipster Traps from AdWeek
Culture Of Accountability from Stephen Brewster

Favourite Athletic Showdown

Favourite Prank

Favourite Timelapse Video

Favourite Piece Of Marketing Genius

Favourite Mosquito Repellent

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Most Powerful Currency

If there is one thing I have learned in 2013 it is this:
Doesn't matter if you're rich or poor
Single or married
Wealthy or homeless
If you don't have hope, you have nothing.
Conversely, if you have hope you are rich.

Hope is the most powerful currency.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Most Helpless Feeling

At the cottage, teaching him to build a fire.
This past weekend Kyler had an intense case of "the runs", (I guess he caught some bug at daycare), which meant we ended up doing a lot of laundry. From all external appearances he felt fine, but once you opened the diaper...

I'll stop there.

The point is I felt so helpless.

I wanted so desperately to be able to fix it for him, (apparently I'm a 'fixer'), but couldn't do anything but wait it out.

It sucked.

I think having a sick child might be one of the worst feelings you can experience. Everything within you wants to help your kid. If there was a way to take the sickness on yourself, you'd do it in a heartbeat. Anything to make your kid feel better.

I guess I'm gaining a better understanding of what people mean when they talk about "a father's heart".

Friday, July 19, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - July 19

Favourite Reads
You Can Do Better Than "Sent From My iPhone" from The Atlantic
11 Benefits Of Lemon Water You Didn't Know About from LifeHack
21 Travel Rules from Tim Ferriss

Favourite News Segment

Favourite All-Star Game Moment

Favourite New K-Mart Commercial

Favourite Nightmare Inducing Ad

Favourite Marketing Stunt

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ego, Ministry and Money

Let's open up a can today.

You watched the video, what do you think?

I agree that people in traditional ministry roles should be well compensated. I don't believe the student ministry/music/kids ministry director should have to work a part-time job to pay the rent. They already have an extremely stressful job that requires them to be "on" 24/7. We shouldn't compound the stress by paying them a "ministry salary" and trusting "the Lord will provide".

Maybe he wants to provide through a paycheque?

Back to the video. I realize it was produced to communicate a certain tone. Clips may have were likely taken out of context. But the ballin' rap video vibe still bothers me.

Money isn't evil. But I think (at least from this trailer) these fellas are walking dangerously close to the line between pastor and idol.

No doubt they are all great guys, (in fact I think I'd probably be friends with the tattooed skater dude), just with some flawed theology... Like me.

Curious to get your thoughts: Pastors and their big houses/fancy cars/flashy bling.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - July 12

Favourite Reads
The Case For A Narrow Focus - from Dan Miller
Get More Business, Starting Today - from Stu McLaren
3 Signs You've Found Your Passion - from Jeff Goins

Favourite 'Creep Me Out' Video

Favourite 'Blows My Mind' Video

Favourite Nerdy Science Video

Favourite Authentic Moment

Favourite Retro Video

Friday, July 5, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - July 5

Favourite Reads
How To Cook Perfect Bacon - from The Kitchn
Draw A Line In The Sand - from Scott Dinsmore

Favourite Car Ad

Favourite Videobombs

Favourite Timelapse Video

Favourite Pro-Christian Video

Favourite PSA

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Eyes On The Prize

I saw this on Fast Company earlier this week. 
It’s called a lilac chaser. You’ve seen it before. It’s an optical illusion with a small black cross in the middle, encircled by twelve blurry lilac-colored dots. A green dot animates over the lilacs as though counting the time on a futuristic clock. Stare at the cross long enough and the lilacs disappear, one by one. But the moment you get distracted and look away, the lilacs come back.
The black cross is the work you do. The lilacs are all the things ancillary to your work. They’re the small choices you’ve made around your black cross: the time you wake up, the tools you use, what you have for breakfast, when you check your email, and so on. 

Guilty as charged.

How often do I let the small (routine) stuff distract me from doing remarkable work?

How often do I look at small decisions that don't really matter (Do I want pizza or tacos for dinner) and allow them to distract me from doing work that matters?

It's productive procrastination.

The grass never needs to be cut as badly as when I have a task I don't want to do.
Amazing how I find chores that need to be done if there's a difficult assignment looming.
You know the feeling.

Want to do work that matters? Keep your eyes on the black cross.

Monday, June 24, 2013

California - Epic Recap

We've been back from our epic "2-week California Roadtrip" for about a week and I still find myself daydreaming about how much fun the trip was.

Rather than trying to put words on a screen, I've elected to let Crystal (who is a much better writer) give you the recap.

Part 1 - Seattle
Part 2 - Orange County & Los Angeles
Part 3 - Yosemite
Part 4 - San Francisco & The Coast
Part 5 - San Diego

It was such a great trip.

Great weather.
Great memories.
With a great companion.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

California Dreaming

See you in a couple weeks!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ignite Barrie - The Video Footage

A couple months ago I had the pleasure of attending a TED-like conference at The Creative Space that my friend Justin was speaking at.

I know Justin through church, where he's a behind the scenes, media guy. (He actually runs the media department) He is not was not the guy who got up on stage to speak every Sunday, so this was a bit of a stretch for him.

I am so proud of him. I think he did an awesome job. In fact, I was impressed by all the speakers that night.

They've got another Ignite scheduled for the fall, and even if you think you have nothing to say, come out and support the people who have built up the courage to get up on stage. It's a fun night, and who knows you may just learn something.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Favorite Things Friday - May 24

Favourite Reads
22 Rules Of Storytelling, According To Pixar from iO9
The Business Benefits Of Volunteering from Entrepreneur Magazine
Make Sure Your Marketing Matches Your Market from Ron Edmondson

Favourite TV Show Moments

Favourite Communication Video

Favourite Photography 'How-To' Video

Favourite New Roller Coaster

Favourite Dance Workout

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Love/Hate Relationships

We all have those things in life that drive us crazy, those things that we 'hate'.

I'm no different. I have an intense dislike for...
  • Going to the dentist
  • Say Yes To The Dress
  • People talking on the phone in a public bathroom
  • The New York Yankees
  • Being woken up from sleep
  • Slow internet
  • Being hit in the face with just about anything... Bugs, Nerf darts, fists
  • People who don't turn off their turn signal
  • Cold weather
I don't think anyone who knows me is surprised by that.

I hope I'm not known for that though. I hope I'm known more for what I love than what I hate.

I love...
  • Crystal
  • Kyler
  • My family
  • God
  • Paddleboarding
  • The Dallas Stars
  • Documentaries
  • Wearing boardshorts
  • Mat Kearney
  • Pickup trucks
  • Summer
  • Smoked salmon
Everyone is against something, but a positive person spends more time talking about what they are for, rather than what they are against. 

As Jesus followers, let's aim for that. Let's try to be known for what we love as opposed to what we are against. Let's be known for what we love.

The church has been known for what it's against, and it is against some things. It should be. But let's try to change that. Let's talk about what we love. What we are for.

Christians should be known for their love.
"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” - John 13:35

Would you say you are known more for what you are for or what you are against?
What are some things that you love?