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.