A story to make you smile; or why I’m not winning husband of the year

A story to make you smileNicole had a meeting at 7AM on the morning of Wednesday, September 24. This meant she had to wake up around 6AM to get ready for work. I generally wake up with her but, seeing as this was at the butt crack of dawn, I turned over and went back to sleep when she got out of bed.

A few minutes later – Nicole says five; I wouldn’t know because I was asleep – I heard Nicole say, “Hey. Hey!” to wake me up. I turned over in the dark room and she was holding her phone with the flashlight shining on something.

“Hey. Look at this.”

Being half asleep and completely groggy, I had no clue what she was holding. I asked what it was and she just told me to look at it. I still couldn’t see it so I asked her again what it was. Continue reading

Two words that can change the world; or why you should eat a burrito for lunch

two words
There are two things we all know not to talk about in public: politics and religion.

A couple weeks ago I did both.

Nicole and I were out to eat lunch one day and somehow got on the topic of the rapture. Totally random, I know. So there we are, talking about Jesus coming back while eating burritos and queso. As we’re going back and forth, I realized pretty quickly that our opinion on the subject as different. We questioned each other, genuinely interested in what the other believed, and went about eating the burritos.

A little while later we started talking about what’s been happening recently in politics. Again, we disagreed. And we kept talking and asking questions while genuinely listening to each other.

We didn’t agree.

We didn’t get mad.

We didn’t raise our voices.

We talked, asked questions, and agreed to disagree.

On the drive home from the burrito place, I started to process the conversation. How were we able to fundamentally disagree about things but still talk about them? I was looking for a giant existential revelation about how smart we were and how we were better people than most. Instead, it came down to two simple principles: Continue reading

The least sexy blog post you’ll ever read

least sexyThere’s been a cool thing that’s happened over the past couple years: chasing your dreams has become sexy.

We’ve become people who aren’t content working 9-5 just to pay the bills. Instead, we want to feel like we’re making an impact. Or we want to actually make an impact.

Millenials, for all their shortcomings, are a generation who would rather take less money and do what they believe in than make more by working a job they hate.

And that’s awesome.

What we tend to forget to talk about is the unsexy side of chasing your dreams.

The times we get told no.

The ways negative news tends to come all at once.

The emotional roller coaster of the process.

Last week I had a hard day. The reality of losing half my income in three weeks started to hit home and I got scared.

Continue reading

The biggest risk I’ve ever taken and 3 ways you can help

biggest riskA crazy thing happens when you write about chasing your dreams: you end up remembering what they are.

A few weeks ago I wrote about walking in the middle of the road to create space to dream. On the day I wrote that post, I had a thought pop in my head while walking the dog:

What would it look like to be a freelance graphic designer working with churches and people to impact the world?

By the time the dog and I got back to my house, I’d pushed the thought to the back of my head as a dream that could one day happen.

Over the course of the weeks after that intial thought, the idea kept coming back over and over. For the last 20 months or so, I’ve had an uneasiness within me saying there was something more out there for me. I never could put my finger on what exactly it was, but I always knew it was there. Maybe this idea, this dream, was what was next.

I processed things with a lot of people to see if there was even a market for my idea. To my surprise, every person I asked said the same thing: there’s definitely a market for it. I’ve just got to find the right people to partner with.

About a month ago I began conversations with the leadership of my church. As I told them my ideas and my dreams, they were on board with them. I remember my executive pastor telling me he knew there was a higher calling on my life and this idea would let me reach it.

So what’s the idea? Continue reading

The challenge of my cracking voice

VoiceThis was originally posted August 22, 2011.

This week at FUEL we’re kicking off the school year with a brand new series called Radical: A Life Of Fanatical Faith. Over the next four weeks we’re going to talk about what it means to live with radical faith. It’s going to be a super practical series and should challenge our students in some awesome ways.

It started challenging me before it even had a chance to start challenging them.

I normally get “challenged” in a very routine way: I hear a talk on a topic or read a verse on a topic. I realize I’m not doing what that talk or verse says I should do. Then I realize I need to be doing what that talk or verse says. After that I think to myself, “Challenge accepted” and go about trying to conquer that challenge.

This one happened in a different way.

This one happened through my living out that fanatical faith in a way that I never had before. Continue reading

How to know if you’re a real Christian

Four ways to know you are a real ChristianFor as long as I can remember, I’ve been a Christian. It’s what I’ve identified as since I was in elementary school. I was raised in the south as the grandson of a preacher. I didn’t have much of a choice other than to call myself a Christian.

I sometimes wish I had a great conversion story where I fell in a giant hole of sex, drugs, and rock and roll only to be saved by Jesus. Instead, my story is like many of yours. I met Jesus as a kid, did my own thing in high school and college, then reconnected after college. Now I’m here as a 28-year-old trying to figure out how to do this whole grown up thing.

My idea of what a real Christian looks like has changed over the years. As a kid, it was saying the sinner’s prayer 37 times a day and wearing nice clothes on Sunday morning. In college, it was not drinking or doing drugs while not going to church. As long as I wasn’t publicly acting like a hypocrite, I was okay. In seminary, being a real Christian meant getting involved in every possible thing I could inside the church. The more I did and the better the experience, the closer I was to Jesus.

For you, being a real Christian could mean something similar or different. We all have our different view of it. Continue reading

A letter to the baby in my wife’s belly

baby letterHey little buddy.

We don’t know each other, but I’m going to be your dad. Yeah, that sounds weird to me too. I haven’t met you yet, but I did get to see you the other day. You look a lot like a little chicken nugget growing in Nicole’s belly. You’ll grow out of that phase soon and hopefully look a lot like your mom. We also got to hear your heart beat. That thing’s pumping away getting you ready to come out here and be with us. The doctor says you’re right on track and we should get to see you in just over six months.

Before you get here, I want to take a minute to tell you a few things. You won’t remember any of them, but they’re things I wish I would’ve known when I was your age. Continue reading