Archive - November, 2010

Join the Deviant Team

Wouldn’t you like to be a deviant to?

For your consideration: A fellow Dream Year participant, jerry Miner, is absolutely killing it with his Dream Year project Gifts of Water. The concept is very simple: Give $10 and one person gets clean drinking water. For awhile. Get more people to join your team and, consequently, more people will get clean drinking water.


What the World Needs Now

Pettiness is so unbecoming.

The trap you lay for others will most assuredly be the snare that snaps your leg.

Throughout history, there’s only been a handful of people intelligent enough to orchestrate mass deception. You’re probably not one of them.

Be honest, forthright and clear today. The world needs it more than you think.

Top-of-Mind Mondays

  • Wow. What a weekend! Thanksgiving weekend was more fun than normal this year … Forgive the lack of updates! I think that’s the longest I’ve gone between updates in over three years!
  • Speaking of Thanksgiving, how was yours? What did you do? Who did you see? Was there anyone you missed out on being with that really bummed you out? What surprised you the most?
  • I added two new (to me) feeds to my Google Reader: and It’s official, I’ve graduated to full-on Geekdom. Who’s with me?
  • Speaking of geek, this little app just made my life a whole lot easier.
  • Ben Arment is firing up Dream Year again. As someone who was fortunate enough to participate in the inaugural year, I can say without hesitancy that it was absolutely worth it.
  • I bought a new domain. It’s going to rule. Want a sneak peek? “Digital lifestyle design.” That’s all I’m sayin’.
  • Black Friday is not worth it. Again, Black Friday is not worth it. Now you know.
  • Speaking of Black Friday, a better way to go is Cyber Monday. Which is today. It just so happens that the theme this blog is built on is on sale for the rest of November. 30% off. Standard Theme. Do it.
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world, deviants?

Breaking the Rules

Thank God for the people who disobey the well-intentioned but ultimately meaningless rules.

Without these people, we’d still be writing books by hand; still be using the C://DOS prompt; still slicing our own bread.

Rules are helpful to the extent that they are a means to an end. Rules are unhelpful, destructive even, when they become the destination. “Some rules are meant to be bent, others to be broken.”

Break the rules today.

Top-of-Mind Mondays

Top of Mind Mondays

  • I announced on Twitter last night that there are some big (to me) changes coming to this site. I’m really excited about the direction we’re headed. We’ll unveil the new direction after the new year. After being in business since 2004 in some form, it’s time to shake some things up!
  • I’m investing more and more in cloud computing. I think Google is onto something when they say that the browser is the platform of the future. I now weave nearly seamlessly between my laptop, home computer and iPad. This may be geeky, but I find this incredibly fun.
  • Similarly, the rise of cloud computing will be fueled by the increase of mobile workers. “The office”, as we know it, is transitioning out. Gone are the days of sitting behind a desk for 8-9 hours per day.
  • Dropbox, Evernote and Google Chrome make my mobile, cloud computing life that much easier. If you have money, invest in these companies. If you work from multiple different venues, use these apps and services. Your life will be better.
  • “Words with Friends” should be called “Words with Friends … Until You Get Five Vowels, an ‘R’ and an ‘N’.” At that point it should be called, “Words with–I Want to Rip Your Face Off.”
  • Winter is my second favorite season. Shh… Don’t tell anyone. The more snow, the better.
  • A few weeks ago I put out a call to anyone who wanted to come alongside me and learn. I’m still processing and thinking through the best way to organize the group that responded. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about you lovely people!
  • I went on a domain buying binge over the weekend. Here’s to hoping these projects pan out!
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world, deviants?

How to Find God’s Will For Your Life

This is short, but sweet. So listen up.

Finding God’s will is as easy as asking the question, “What can I not keep myself from doing?”

Before you start thinking too deeply, I’m not talking about when you start eating Oreos and can’t stop. Nor am I talking about an unhealthy addiction. This is deeper than mere habit.

I have a friend who literally cannot stop creating. He’s drawing, sketching, programming, creating, thinking–constantly creating new visual art. “I can barely go a weekend without creating something new,” he says.

That’s knowing God’s will for his life. It’s God’s call from his heart to my friend’s heart.

So the question today is, what can you not keep yourself from doing? What seems to flow out of you naturally, sometimes with little or no help?

Mark Rothko painted.
Jason Upton sings.
Shawn Johnson vaults.
For my part, I blog.

What do you do? Answer that question, and you’re on your way to finding God’s will.


Can we make our connections to Christ about something more than our emotions?

I’m trying to slant towards the positive on this one, but a disturbing trend seems to be emerging over the last 10-15 years in Evangelicalism: The more “hyped up” we get in our worship, the closer our perceived connection to Jesus is.

I think this is bogus.

Take a listen to most of the content on the popular Christian radio stations. A large portion of it has to do with our emotions towards God:

  • God, I feel this way about you.
  • God, you make me feel ____.
  • God, I am so in love with you.

Before you write me off as a crotchety old miser, I do believe there is a time and a place for this type of worship. However, there’s a reason why Song of Solomon is one book of the Bible. I can write a love poem to my wife, but at some point in our relationship I need to do the dishes and mow the lawn and help her with our taxes.

Not only do I think this gushing emotionalism is annoying, I think it’s dis-forming the basic theological assumptions of an entire generation (e.g. God is here to make me feel good). Young ones think God is Dr. Feelgood.

My antidote to this trend? Asking God what he’s like. I want him to teach me how he thinks and moves and operates. Once I begin to understand that, I can begin to relate with him as he truly is–not how emotions dictate him to be.

And how does that make you feel? 🙂


Don’t undervalue yourself.

You know more than you think.

You’re worth more than you believe.

It’s true.

Top-of-Mind Mondays

Top of Mind Mondays

  • I have been delaying the inevitable. Finally went to the doctor yesterday and my worst suspicions were confirmed: Bronchitis. Blech.
  • Could not be more pleased to send my wife to The Rockettes this week with one of her girlfriends. Merry Christmas, baby!
  • Have you ever sang karaoke at a wedding? I did this past weekend. You don’t say “no” to the bride. My song choice? An oldie, but a goodie.
  • Summit alum Sam Mahlstadt paired up with his brother Nick to launch The Move Project over the weekend. Could not be prouder of what the Mahlstadt boys are up to. They had their launch party at the West End Architectural Salvage here in Des Moines. A hidden gem as far as I’m concerned.
  • If you’re not using Google Webmaster Tools, you should be. At the very least, build yourself a sitemap on WordPress with this handy plugin.
  • I find that most of the stereotypes of Christians are true. Let’s work to change that, yeah?
  • You don’t have to like the President’s politics, but I think you should probably respect the office. Don’t you?
  • Continually amazed by the 8BIT guys. They just released the wicked-cool Live Theme, a WordPress theme for streaming video and live events. This looks like a game changer.
  • If you treat people like you’re expendable, don’t be surprised when they act expendable.
  • When you squeeze an orange, you get orange juice. Similarly, when people are put under pressure, you see what they’re made of. What comes out when you’re squeezed?
  • My wife and I just set up Netflix on our iPads. I watched “G.I. Joe” and “Zombieland” over the weekend. Don’t judge me, I was ill.
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world, deviants?

Best of the Week

Here’s a look at some of my favorite posts from the last week. The stuff I’ve read, written or watch that really gave me pause. Have a go at it and let me know what you think!

  1. Missionary Dating – Can you date people in order to get them “saved”? One girl thinks so. She even made a website about it.
  2. What Happened to Downtime? Our brains are ever-connected to bright glowing screens. How do we break free in order to center our thoughts?
  3. Sinner’s Prayer Project Plague – Turning people into projects never works.
  4. Meet Pamela Ling – My wife got the chance to meet a former Real Worlder. Turns out she’s actually doing something with her life.
  5. Zacchaeus – What this wee little man can teach you about grace.
  6. The Business of Getting Paid – In the new web-based economy, getting paid isn’t exactly what you think it might be.
  7. The Second Shift – Women have historically worked two jobs while only getting (recognized) payment for one.
  8. Your Job or Your Work – Do you have a job or do you go to work? Turns out, there’s a difference.

Which ones struck you, deviants?

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