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Eastertime

It’s Easter. Today we celebrate the single most important fact of life: we have hope! For those who knew him, it took a while to understand. The implications of Jesus, who was clearly dead, but is now alive again, were slow coming. There has never been a...

Don’t Worry, Kid. You’re Not That Special.

In Grit to Great, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval discuss the components of success. They boil it all down to one key factor. It’s not brains or privilege or even passion. It’s, spoiler, grit. Or, we might say, perseverance. It’s a great book. In...

A Working Man

I used to think that if I was willing to follow God, that he would show up and do all this stuff. It’s as if my willingness was where my part ended. I’m writing a series right now the Subtly of Fear (see other posts here). There’s an overt way fear works (fear of...

When Little Dreams Win

There are a lot of books on breaking out. Things like how to get a big promotion at work, or how to land a critical interview, or how to finally get to a place of financial security. And these things are good. These are goals. But if this is where we start, then we...

If the Scorpion has a Tail, this is it.

Comparison. First, not all comparison is bad. I work with non profits to help them move their humanitarian aid cargo overseas. The whole process starts with a plan.  We figure out how much cargo they have and where they need it to go. When the food or clothing or...

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The Ballad of My Toaster Oven

Many moons ago when scientists first invented the toaster oven, it was simple.  Blessedly simple.  It was like a toaster turned on its side. But now…things are different.  Now these things have switches and buttons and this ridiculously detailed little LED...

Two Kinds of Hard

We all know real work is hard.  And conventional wisdom tells us that’s a good thing. But not everyone who works hard gets ahead. One reason, I believe, is because there are two kinds of hard work. There’s the up front work of performing.  This is what...

Goals are for Losers

That’s the advice of Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic and writer of the book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. After years of failure, he concludes that success is not about goals, it’s about systems. Adams knows something about not...

F+ …the bright side of failure

A few months back, Graham, my two-year-old, touched the stove.  It wasn’t too bad.  He’s alright.  But it was enough to leave an impression on him.  Now he knows: the stove is hot. I’m 28 years older than Graham.  And I’m just now starting to...

Do I have what it takes?

Ever noticed how some things are set up to fail from the start? Asking myself “Do I have what it takes?” is often one of those things. It’s as if, by asking, I’m implying the answer is: I don’t. Follow this with me for a minute. How am I...

The Virtue of Halloween

Would Jesus trick-or-treat? Or really, would Jesus let his kids trick-or-treat? I know this is stacking hypotheticals.  But what I mean is should parents who want to be followers of Jesus let their kids trick-or-treat? And if I do, am I supporting some ancient pagan...

Why the Ashely Madison hackers failed

There seemed to be something Edward Snowden-y about the Impact Team--the hackers who exposed Ashley Madison's customer list.  Taking down big corruption.  Not stealing a dime.  All for the purpose of exposing hypocrisy. But that's too bad. I wish they would have taken...

Why is God so quiet?

I’ve been learning a lesson recently. All my adult life I’ve claimed to ‘trust in God.’  But recently, it’s as if God’s been calling me out on that.  It’s as if he’s been saying, really…are you really trusting me? Trust, in it’s most basic, is an expression of...

2 Things I’ve learned about Leading Teams

This past week I had the opportunity to work on a big project with a group of colleagues. It was hard, stressful work.  And a fair amount of the time it didn’t look like we were going to succeed.  Our biggest enemy was time. But in the end we did it.  And as I...

The art of a bad scam

Here’s an actual email I received. There are so many great things in this email.  Like, how it opens with “Beloved” (who says that?) Or using spiritual guilt–which by the way isn’t much different from those...

Jesus never seems to address the issue at hand

Ever notice this, reading through the Gospels? Take for instance, John 11.  Jesus tells his disciples that they are going to travel back to Judea.  Are you sure that’s a good idea, they ask.  After all, people there are actively trying to kill you. To this Jesus...

Brand on Porn (safe for work)

If you haven’t seen this, it’s worth the watch. Here actor and comedian Russell Brand talks about porn and what’s it’s doing to our society.  Bizarrely, he and the Bible have come up with very similar opinions. Two answers before you start:...

Only the hurt counts (Getting things done, part 2)

Mohammed Ali once said, “I don’t count my sit-ups.  I only start counting when it starts hurting.” The point he was making was that the sit-ups before the burn aren’t really exercise.  They’re only preparation for exercise.  The real exercise happens when the...

The key to finding motivation (Getting things done, part 1)

Boots on the ground. Until there’s friction, you’re not doing anything. It’s good to think things through, but that’s not the same as actually getting things done. Sometimes, prudence balloons into inaction. Other times, preparation becomes procrastination.  Draw the...

The Value of not Losing face

I fail at this enough to know it works.   For the past 79 years, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People has continued to be a best seller.  The reason?  Because what he writes is true. His premise is this: you get out of a relationship what you put...

My toddler is a terrible driver

Photo Credit: OpenIcons from here via CC. Having a kid has helped me to see a little bit of what God must be seeing when he looks at us. I put Graham in his stroller the other morning, and we went for a tour of our neighborhood. About half way through, he decided he...

2 things Real friends always do.

There are some people that I don’t have anything in common with, yet I can’t help but like them.  There are other friends from years back, that I can somehow just pick up with instantly, though I haven’t talked to them in years. I’ve noticed, all of these people have...

The Religious King [cake]

Photo Credit: Caitee Smith from here via CC. In New Orleans today, it’s Mardi Gras.  Well, I suppose it’s Mardi Gras everywhere, it’s just celebrated heavily—heavily—here. That means streets have been shut down for a solid two weeks now, people are collecting tacky,...

Sometimes comparison is the devil

Photo Credit: Stux from here via CC. We’re just too unique, and our situations–just too different.  Yet, it still happens. Maybe, instead, just do what God’s put in your heart.  Be the person he’s made you specifically to be. This is, I have found, the...

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Would you do me a favor? Would you mind share this article on social media? It sounds like a little thing, but that's the primary way I'm able to connect with new people. Thanks in advance! Joe