Life Posts

How to Revive a Dream When it Becomes a Nightmare

Each one of us wakes up in the morning brimming with dreams and aspirations. We might attribute the source of those dreams in all different directions, but as followers of Christ I believe most of them probably come from the Spirit living and dwelling inside us. Having a dream to accomplish something significant, start something new, or try something out of the ordinary makes you part of the human race. But learning how to bring those dreams to fruition sets you apart from the rest.

The was the shed kit we found on Costco.

This was the shed kit we found on Costco and used to develop our plan.

Last year Michelle and I moved into a new home with no landscaping in the backyard. We factored this into our purchase price and had the opportunity to build a yard based on the needs of our family. In those conversations my wife Michelle stunned me by suggesting we should build some type of shed for me to have a place to write and work from home. As you might imagine, trying to work from home with the gentle hum of our five-child-chaos can make efficiency difficult. I thought this was a terrific idea but as we looked into it we realized our HOA didn’t allow for this type of structure. But once we tasted that momentary dream it felt difficult to let go of it so easily.

After discussing it more, our idea escalated to the next level and we decided to “sink” the shed a few feet into the ground so the roof would match the height of our walls. Crazy right? But dreams don’t listen to logic. As we started to landscape the backyard we had a hole dug where we wanted the shed to go.


The Surprising Sexiness of Moderation

The Surprising Sexiness of Moderation

I’ve loved the chance to talk about my book Redeeming Pleasure with all sorts of people in a variety of settings. Many of them have already read the book in full and have specific questions about points I make in the book. But as would be expected, many of them haven’t read the book yet and see a conversation with me as a chance to hear my arguments in a Cliff’s Notes version. Some of the questions go like this:

“Is it okay for a Christian to drink alcohol?”

“What’s the deal with tobacco?”

“Are R-rated movies a guilty pleasure or am I okay watching them?”

“Am I supposed to only listen to Christian music?”

“Why do desserts taste so good if they aren’t good for me?”


Top 20 Quotes from Blessing Ranch (Fall 2015)

Top 20 Quotes from Blessing Ranch (Fall 2015)

This is part of a series of posts on 20 quotes. Click here to see others.

I had the incredible chance to spend the week in Florida at a place called Blessing Ranch. It’s a ministry for pastors, and lately they’ve been gathering groups of people from across the states to join up in mentoring groups. That meant I had the opportunity to dive deep into rich conversations with three other guys in ministry along with an incredible mentor named Dr. John Walker. While these conversations weren’t planned out, they were absolutely profound in what ended up being discussed. Normally I save my “20 quotes” posts for conferences, but this week brought so much for me to think about that I’m adding it in.

Below you’ll see my 20 favorite ideas shared throughout our time together. All of these are typed into my paraphrase of what was said and some of them are just my personal thoughts in response to something another guy said. Many of these are probably quotes from famous authors and leaders but which may not have been attributed as such in our discussion (although I’ve attributed the source if it was mentioned). They also include a few ideas from Perry Noble, the Senior Pastor of Newspring Church and the author of a number of books. We had a chance to FaceTime with Perry and allow him to speak into our conversation as well. All that to say this list is my best attempt at capturing some of the incredible insights I received from this week in hopes it can be a blessing to you as well.


What Have You Found?

In the video above you can watch my three-year-old daughter Adelyn tell me the story of the witch she recently saw at a store. I’m obviously a bit biased, but I think she’s adorable. It’s only a few minutes to watch it (and I’d encourage you to stop and do that before you read on), but the point is that she really wants me to go to the store and see this witch myself.

And so, a few days later I went to see the witch with Adelyn. Notice her face in this photo.

Adelyn and the witch


When Does Your Passion Become Official?

When Does Your Passion Become Official?

I can feel an anxious excitement brewing inside me. As I write this I have slightly more than a month left until my second book hits the shelves. It’s called Redeeming Pleasure, and I’d love to have you read it and spread the word about it. Here’s a bunch of really nice things some incredible people said about it.

For a lot of people, it will be their first exposure to my writing.

But it’s not my first book.

I wrote that book back in 2012. My first book was a labor of love and didn’t always work out the way I envisioned. I tried to find numerous publishers for it but couldn’t. I was told all sorts of discouraging “facts” in the process. My idea was bad, my writing was bad, my platform was bad, etc. Instead of not writing it, or holding onto for years, I instead self-published it. It was met with very moderate success (a nice way of saying it won’t do anything to help me put my kids through college). But it was one of those things I felt like I had to do no matter what results it brought. It was a subject geared at a very niche audience. But it was a book I felt I had to write.

Ever had a feeling like that?


Sonder: The Realization that Everyone Has a Story

One of the people I work with sent me a link to a very cool video series. It’s called The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. It’s a bit of a bizarre name but an incredible idea. The creator makes up new words to describe unique parts of everyday life. Some of them are moving, some thought-provoking, some even a bit sobering. But they each capture the essence of what it means to be human and are thus beautiful in their own regard.

Above you can watch the video for the word “sonder,” which according to John Koenig represents the realization that everyone has a story. I love what this video highlights as it reminds us that although we see ourselves as the main protagonist of every moment in our lives, we are but a character in the stories of everyone around us. Do we care about their stories? Do we embrace the part we can play not in our world, but in the story of others?