Archive - December, 2010

Top 10 Posts from 2010

I like ending things on a high note. So to cap off 2010 here on, I thought I’d walk us through the top 10 posts from this past year.

These are the posts that generated the most traffic, discussion and momentum.

These are the posts that kept your attention.

These are the posts you tweeted, shared and bookmarked.

These are the posts that made this community what it is.

Here they are:


My Three Words for 2011

Chris Brogan sent a newsletter recently where he set his three words for 2011. Chris explains why he chose those words and what they mean to him and his business:

Pick 3 words that have a lot of meaning and that you can use as guideposts for things you want to do in 2011. For example, my 2010 words were: Ecosystems, Owners, Kings. I build ecosystems (like the HBW projects), I found more owners (like Estrella for 501 Mission Place and Joe for Kitchen Table Companies) and I tried to be kingly (by  not stooping to the level of my critics – I failed at this a few times – and by connecting with other “kings” of my industry – and yes, queens but I don’t mean the word in its gender connotation.

Great idea. It sets the tone for the whole year. It says, “This is what I want to focus on. This is what I want it to be about.” It’s casting vision for yourself and for those around you. Brilliant.

Scripture is not without a similar encouragement to set a vision for your life. “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law” (Proverbs 29:18). In other words, if you don’t have a divine understanding of why you’ve been put on this earth, at least for the next year, you’ll spin your wheels going from hither and yon.

I ain’t even tryin’ to spin my wheels.

In an effort to get some “prophetic vision” for my life, I decided to take a page out of Brogan’s book and set three words for my own life in 2011. After some thought, some prayer and a consult with my wife, here’s what I landed on:


Top-of-Mind Mondays (on a Wednesday)

  • The holidays were great. Bottom line. We got a chance to be together as a family, with both sides of the family. Everyone made it back home to their respective residences safe. Life is good. How was your holiday?
  • I picked up a motherload of books I can’t wait to read: 4-Hour Workweek, Permission Marketing and Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income (all affiliate links). Enough reading material for months!
  • Really enjoying the “Things You Need to Know” email from The Business Insider. Makes me feel smart. Every morning. Not a bad way to wake up!
  • My son, Finn, is teething. We call him Dr. Jekyl/My. Hyde these days. Anyone with a toddler knows why. Any tips to help the little guy out?
  • I’ve purchased four domain names in the last month. Here’s hoping to a productive and exciting 2011!
  • We launched our online campus for Christmas Eve services. 35 states, five countries and just under 2,000 unique visitors. That ain’t bad for 12 hours of publicity. God is on the move online. Believe it. A huge thanks to Jeff and Greg at 316 for their graciousness and support. Class acts!
  • I’ve been using Seth Godin’s Ship It journal to get some of the projects I want to do off the ground. Truly helpful.
  • Got to see Black Swan and True Grit over the holidays. It was my wife’s turn to pick and she loves dance movies, so off to Swan we went. I’ll spare you the details, suffice to say it was one of the weirdest movies we had seen in awhile. Grit, on the other hand, was awesome.
  • I’ve started a new tradition. If I lend you a book, all I ask is that you write your name on the inside cover and the single biggest takeaway you had from the book. Fascinating to see what resonates with people.
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world, deviants?

Morality Cannot Be Legislated

When you try and legislate morality, it almost always fails.

Sure, you’ll get a few converts along the way. You may even get a enough people to start a movement of some sort. But eventually, you’ll fail. People will revolt and turn against you.


Because people don’t like to be told what to do. I don’t mean that in a “I’m taking my ball and going home!” kind of way. I mean that in a “people would rather be pulled along by vision than pushed by force” kind of way.

Morality is not a head matter. It’s a heart matter. We know this instinctively, but we feel it acutely when the government tells people what they can and cannot say and to whom.

“You can attract more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.” An old saying, but most certainly true. If I seek to live a moral life, it should be for the betterment of my own life and those around me. If you do not seek to live by those same morals, what business of that is mine? Hopefully, with any luck, the vibrancy and light coming from my life will speak louder than any 10,000 words I could hope to say.

A Really Easy Way to Start Your Blog

Let me help you!

Last week, I shared about a project I’ve been working on that will drop early 2011.

I’ll be releasing my first eBook on blogging.

More than that, though, it’s a story of how this site started and the mistakes (and successes) we’ve had along the way. As a special treat, here’s the first page of the book. I can’t wait for you to see the whole thing:


Top-of-Mind Mondays

  • Christmas is almost here! I love getting presents *hint, hint*. What’s the best present you’ve ever received?
  • I had the chance to sit down with DJ Chuang to do an interview for an upcoming article I’m writing. Really impressed with DJ and his ability to think forward on behalf of the Church.
  • We’re going to be launching our online campus for Lutheran Church of Hope soon, and very soon. Excited to show you what we’ve been working on behind the scenes!
  • Skitch Pro is totally worth it. I’ve never had this much fun taking screen caps before.
  • Have you ever read the E-Myth? It should be required reading for all small business owners andchurch planters. The two roles share more in common than you might think!
  • Hootsuite is slowly winning me over. I was, shall we say, less than pleasedwhen they forced people to choose between “pro” and “standard” (i.e. severely neutered) accounts. Turns out, they have the best comprehensive solution for social media management around. They deserved the right to charge for it. Hooray capitalism!
  • Holidays are always such an odd time for church workers. Such a strange dynamic. Everyone else has holidays off (for the most part), but church workers don’t. I guess that’s part of the sacrifice, no?
  • One of the ideas DJ dropped on me was the notion of “multi-churching.” You’d have a “home base” church, but be involved with activities with other churches throughout the week. Very interesting. Maybe the college kids got it right!
  • LiveTheme by the 8Bit guys is rock solid. I’ve had so much fun utilizing this theme and taking it for a spin. Dead-simple solution for a church that’s wanting to take their services online.
  • I’m contemplating taking a podcast idea I’ve had for Deviant off the shelf. We’d talk talk social media and ministry. Kind of like my online office hours. Would you guys listen?
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world, deviants?

Quantum Physics and Jesus

I got this email from a reader today:

I see that you are interested in Quantum Mechanics among other things.

Light, they say, is a wave when you expect it to be a wave and a particle when you expect it to be a particle.

So is Jesus a man when you expect him to be a man and he is God when you expect him to be God?

Light also seems to change form depending on who is watching it. Particles of light seem to know when they’re being observed.

I’m glad my readers are much brighter than me. What do the rest of you think?

Tisn’t the Season

This is a guest post from Dave Sandell. Dave is a good friend from college and he looks better in caps than anyone I know. Dave lives with his wife, Verity, in Chicago, IL. Follow him here.

Over the past few weeks I’ve talked to a number of people who are stressed out about missing the “meaning of the Christmas season.”

The stress of shopping will gut their time and joy.
Their families of origin are more Griswald than Bailey.

They will wake up on December 26th and Christmas will be over. Tidings of comfort and joy will be headed to the curb in a garbage bin. The wonders of his love will be on pause until next year.

But here’s the thing: you can’t miss it because it doesn’t happen just once a year.

The things we remember at Christmastime are true year-round. We could conceivably go our whole lives and miss them. But if this season slips away from you, you can simply pick up where you left off on the 26th.

So buy your gifts. Hang out with the family. Find a bit of pocket change from the deep recesses of your puffiest coat for the bell ringer’s red kettle. Go out of your way to worship and remember and as much as you can join in with what God is doing in the world.

Because Christmas is a time to remember and dream. Jesus isn’t being born on the 25th. We remember his birth, and all of the things that are true about our world because of God. We prepare for whatever God is doing in our lives and in our communities.

God has changed all of the rules and nothing will ever be the same.

We can’t miss it. It cannot be missed. It is the reality of the world we live in.

If You Are Watching This, Something Bad Has Happened

My friend Reid did a story recently on a man named Eric here in Des Moines who started having dreams. Eric kept having dreams that he died young; that he had to leave his family; that he was in heaven.

The dream was so real, so powerful, he woke up early in the morning and recorded his last words. He copied it to a disc, put in his family’s safe, and didn’t think about it again.

A short time after that, he and some of his co-workers died in a plane crash. No survivors. They were all gone.

After the crash, Eric’s wife went to the family safe to find his will. On top of all the papers, she found the disc Eric recorded with the words “Eric’s Last Words” scribbled on it. Those last words are in the videos below.

Take a few moments and sift through this story. Try and see where God is at work. Try and ask the question, “What was God doing here?”


Top-of-Mind Mondays

  • The older I get, the more I appreciate my weekends. Time with family, scrambled eggs, napping, football and catching up on all my reading. All nestled next to a roaring fire and the ones you love. What could be better?
  • Dude rocks the double dream hands better than anyone I know. Wonder if he’s available for parties?
  • I’m really, really sad that Dream Year is ending. One of the best investments I’ve ever made in myself. Thank you, Ben.
  • BeDeviant will be going through some changes in the months ahead. I’ve blogged about this a little bit, but I’ve been feeling the “itch” to change things for some time. There are a few options on the table, not sure which one will win out. Look for changes around the first of the year.
  • Speaking of 2011, did you see this? I am so excited for you to see this.
  • Des Moines is losing a strong, intelligent voice in Brianne Sanchez. Sure, she’s just moving across town to work in PR at Drake Universirt, but I’ll miss her influence down at Juice. Onward and upward, B!
  • “Former Hawkeye!!! wats next????”
  • I can’t get my hands on enough entrepreneurship books lately. The E-Myth Revisited, The War of Art, Making Ideas Happen, Rework. I also just rediscovered my binder from Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership conference I went to back in 2007. That was wild.
  • We had our kids program at our church this past weekend. Kerry, Finn and I were literally on our feet clapping and dancing the whole time. Why? One word: Beiber. As in, Justin Beiber made an appearance in the manger scene. I’m glad I got to a church that likes to have fun. It was awesome. Well done, kiddos!
  • We’re moving my wife from Tumblr to WordPress. Should have done that in the first place. Tumblr still has promise, but a blogging platform that goes down for days at a time is unacceptable.
  • Speaking of unacceptable, how do Internet providers *Qwest–cough, cough* get away with charging you for one speed and then radically under deliver?
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world, deviants? What are you working on? What are you learning?
Page 1 of 212»