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Why Are You Leaving?

I believe God loves a graceful exit. As of April 1, 2011, I am leaving the staff of Lutheran Church of Hope.

Nobody likes the long Oscar speech. There will therefore, henceforth, be no matches thrown at any Hope bridges. I am for Hope. Hope is for me. It is, and remains, a place called “Hope,” which is the absolute expectation that good is right around the corner.

What am I up to next? Lots of exciting things. Namely Monk Development, the Center for Church Communication and Ideation. You’ll hear more about these in the days ahead. I promise.

And, as Forrest Gump might close, “that’s all I got to say about that.”

A World Where Anything is Possible

I posted this on my Tumblr earlier (which you can check out at www.StuffJustinLikes.com), but I wanted to bring it over here to remind you:

I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… you’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you. —The Matrix

Remind you that you have a purpose. There’s a plan for you. A reminder that you live in a world where your only fetter is your own imagination.

That desire way down, deep inside to be the best at something? That’s good. It’s holy.

I also posted this as a reminder that when you make a commitment to live out that purpose, you’ll encounter struggle, strife and flat-out evil. Nothing makes bullies feel better more quickly than chopping your legs right out from under you. They don’t hate you, they hate what your life means to them: Change.

Do whatever it takes to live out your purpose:

Read Seth Godin.
Enroll in Dream Year.
Go back to school.
Live in a tent.

Just do it. I need you to. I need to be surrounded by people who live intentionally—who don’t succumb to the doubts, fears, indecisions, bullies and cowards of the world. I need people who believe we live in a world where anything—anything—is possible.

Top-of-Mind Mondays

  • What a weekend. I know they say the Bubonic plague has been dealt a deathblow by modern medicine, but try telling that to my family. Our house feels like a petri dish. Is there such a thing as “house wash”?
  • Lots and lots of changes coming around the corner. You’ll be the first to know, right here!
  • Speaking of changes, Carlos Whittaker and his family are moving to Nashville. I feel like a cool dude because I had the inside scoop after Carlos visited the DeMo last month. Love you and yours, bro!
  • I love it when people get humbled. Myself included.
  • My friends Dave and Sarah Eickelberg just launched a new blog, 1CupAwesome.com. It’s a foodie blog and, yes, it is awesome. Congrats guys!
  • I cannot wait to read this and this and this. Bedside reading materials for months, yo!
  • I’ve talked about this before, but you must do yourself (and your sleep schedule) a favor and download Flux. If you’re in front of a computer within an hour of going to bed, it’s most likely affecting your sleep schedule. Flux changes that by altering your screen coloration based on your geolocation. Simply put, it takes away the light waves that make your brain think it’s time to wake up!
  • Lil’ Jon just became my favorite person on Celebrity Apprentice. When commenting on whether four- and five-year-olds know what “be yourself” means, he said “They don’t know who the !@#$% they is!” Classic. I laughed.
  • You must listen to this interview with author Sherry Turkle. It was on Wisconsin NPR a few weeks ago and it’s really eye-opening in terms of our use of technology. Sherry seems level-headed enough to know that no-technology isn’t an option, but she also provides fair critique of our general habits.
  • We’re getting our house mitigated. No, it’s not a law term, it’s to boot out the radon that’s building up in our basement. If you live in the Midwest, check out this post.
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world, deviants?

Use Twitter Search to See What’s Happening After the Japan Earthquake

Japan was rocked this morning by an 8.5 earthquake early this morning US time. (More specifically, the coast of Japan was rocked by an earthquake, thus triggering a Tsunami warning.) This is the fifth largest earthquake since they started recording them in the early 1900s.

One of the most effective ways to see what’s going on in real-time on the ground in Japan is by using search.twitter.com. Here’s how:

Go to Search.Twitter.com/Advanced

We’re going to need to big-gun parameters to narrow our search down to the actual location where people are being affected.

Use the “Places” and “Dates” Parameter to Search for Japan Earthquake

Narrow your search down to Sendai, Japan, the nearest large city to the earthquake’s epicenter. There was 300 dead by the initial rumble and subsequent tsunami waves.

Set the date to March 10, 2011. This will ensure you see all the tweets starting from when the earthquake hit.

View Results of People Affected by Earthquake

You may want to utiilize the “Language” parameter or translate the tweets once the results show.

You can see that people in the area most affected by the earthquake are tweeting pictures about the devastation:

Sending out signals that they are okay:

And even searching for people they care about:

Use Twitter to Pray for People in the Japan Earthquake

Most of the people who read this blog pray in some fashion or another. You can even use Twitter to stay up-to-date on how people are praying for Japan. Simply follow the #prayforJapan hashtag and you’ll see lots of results like this:

Stay up to date. Stay informed. Use Twitter to shrink the world and be aware of how people on the other side of the world are being affected! Also, if you want to donate for the victims of the Japan earthquake, head over to The Move Project and donate, courtesy of Dwolla.

Adult Bullies (and How to Defeat Them)

Sarah Palin recently called Kathy Griffin a 50-year-old bully. Seems Griffin has made a career out of harassing Palin and her kids, pushing the family around in the press and mocking their troubles. Griffin has even vowed publicly that it was “Willow’s [Palin's 16-year-old daughter] year to go down.” Classy.

Building one’s self up.
Tearing another down.

That sounds like the work of a bully to me.

(more…)

Top-of-Mind Mondays

  • Whew! What a bender. I was at Catalyst West last week—my first time ever. What a great event! Although, I think I was more inspired by the relationships I formed with new people. Did you miss it? Check out my friend Tim’s notes. He’s, like, a pro.
  • Speaking of Catalyst West, I found a new (to me) worship artist, John Mark McMillan. Awesome. He led worship on Thursday, but I’m pretty sure he was super sick. I could have sworn he ended the set early to run backstage and hurl. Can anyone in the know confirm or deny?
  • Speaking of worship artists, I’ve been humming this song since the live performance of it at CatWest.
  • The closer you get to doing what it is you want to do, the more people will try to bring you down.
  • Most of us live in a constant state of anxiety that we aren’t doing what we’re created to do. When we see people who are moving into their calling, conviction rises up and we must demonize that person to stay sane.
  • I’m selling my iPad if you’re interested. 64 GB with case and AppleCare included. All for a cool $574 OBO. Interested?
  • I still can’t get over this clip of Lady Gaga when she was still Stefani Germanotta (she’s the one in the black dress).
  • I’ll be headed down to Kansas City next week to scope out locations for the next Social Media Summit. Stay tuned….
  • Is SEO DEAD?
  • Made a switch in plans. The wife and I are postponing our NYC trip for the 99% Conference to head out to Cultivate instead. It’s too important to miss. Coincidentally, I now have a 99% Conference ticket for sale. Any takers?
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world, deviants?

Top-of-Mind Mondays

  • Is anyone going to Catalyst West this week? I am. Can’t wait. First trip to Irvine EVER. Want to know why I’m really excited? Go here.
  • Rob Bell has gone rogue. Or at least that’s what his critics (read: Calvinists) want you to believe.
  • Lady Gaga becomes more intriguing to me as the days go by. She just released her video for “Born this Way” exclusively online. (Note: This is not for the faint of heart. Use extreme discretion before watching.)
  • Here’s a thought: If you speak more highly about yourself than the community who surround you does, you’re headed for a fall. Get some perspective.
  • I married a very good woman. My wife is all the things I never knew I needed: Smart, sassy, organized and fun. Here’s to you, my Sweet.
  • Des Moines was host to capitalC, led by Chris Kretzu from Gateway Church here in Des Moines. I appreciate Chris’ desire to the see the Church (hence, “capitalC”) in Des Moines come together, free from the fetters of denominationalism.
  • Just had a conversation with Tim Schraeder about a potentially game-changing project we want to bring to CFCC. It’s fun, fresh and will get you in touch with some of the brightest minds out there. Stay tuned.
  • Speaking of bright minds, I’m helping my friend, Drew Goodmanson, gather some data for how people use (or don’t use) church websites. Can you take a look? It’s a short survey and will you have you on your way in no time.
  • My car has been in the repair shop for three out of the past four weeks. It’s almost comical at this point. For those wondering, it’s a Saturn VUE. There’s a reason why they went out of business.
  • Sometimes I feel guilty for buying almond butter that costs $11 per jar. Then I eat a spoonful of Justin’s (not me) Almond Butter and the guilt vanishes. This stuff is like almond crack.
  • Get to know Sam Mahlstadt. If you don’t know his name yet, you will. Soon. In fact, he may come knocking on some of your doors soon, and very soon.
  • Watch this. Right now.
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world, deviants?

Vultures

Sometimes the very thing you are called to do will be the hardest to put into action.

You’ll hit
Roadblocks,
Hurdles,
Bullies,
Thieves,
Cowards,
And Liars.

Like a shrub in the desert, you’ll need to dig your roots down deep into the arid soil until you find water. Until you find life.

The tragedy is that most of us give up when we’re less than a foot away from the very thing we need the most. The soil is too dry. Your roots aren’t moving fast enough. It’s too hot outside.

Whatever.

Primarily, you owe it to your Creator to dig as deep as it takes before you make it. Then, you owe it to yourself. Finally, you owe it to the people who are rooting against you—the vultures—because sometimes it just feels good to prove them wrong.

Top-of-Mind Mondays

  • Greetings one and all. I feel like it’s been forever since I blogged. Sorry for the inconsistency! New week, new perspective.
  • I had the chance to be a part of M2 LIVE here in Des Moines on Saturday. There is nothing better as a teacher than a hungry-to-learn crowd. Thank you! If you want to see my slides from the event, here’s session 1, session 2 and session 3.
  • Tim Schraeder announced the Exponential Pre-Conference Communications Bootcamp this morning. I’m very pleased to be taking part alongside Tim and Kem Meyer. Will you be at Exponential?
  • It’s been pushing the 50-degree mark here in Des Moines the last few days. For whatever reason, this bothers me. I’m a huge cold weather fan.
  • We’re starting to promote the Digital Ministry Intensive here in Des Moines on March 26. If you like social media statistics, strategy and intense learning environments, you need to be there.
  • Gmail is taking over my world. I recently ditched Apple Mail in favor of the web-based Gmail interface. So far, the change is nice. Although, the mobile version has some catching up to do, i.e. no aliases.
  • Watch as this man takes a bite of his first Twinkie ever.
  • Did anyone watch the Grammys last night? Mark my words, Twitter integration with television will be the new norm for watching TV.
  • Howard Stern live-tweeted during a viewing of his movie “Private Parts” on HBO. He gave “behind the scenes” info as the movie unfolded. He gets it. That’s how you combine the old with the new.
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world, deviants?

Top-of-Mind Mondays (Lay-Over Edition)

  • My cousin won an all-expenses paid wedding in Bowling Green, Kentucky. We went as a family to go see him and his wonderful new bride. I did the wedding. It was a glorious time had by all.
  • We went to leave on Sunday, but our flight got delayed. Then it got delayed again. Then we got stuck in Detroit. (DETROIT!)
  • I spent the Super Bowl in between terminals C 21 and C 18. My dad and I finally bellied up to the Gery Goose lounge bar and watched the ‘bowl with other stranded passengers. Not a bad way to spend the night.
  • We went from Detroit to Minneapolis early this morning. I write this post from the Skol Cafe. We’re still not home yet.
  • You see the best and the worst in people when flights get delayed. I think the true test for anybody is when they’re told their flight has been cancelled.
  • Airport food is really, really expensive.
  • There’s something disconcerting and paradigm-shattering about overhearing your pilot talk about his Superbowl party plans. I feel like they should be studying pilot manuals or figure out lift-projection angles.
  • Did I mention we’re not home yet?
  • What’s the latest and greatest in your world, deviants?
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