So you got fired. Now what?

I’m less than a decade into the full time work force, but one thing I’ve learned is this:   At some point, you’re probably going to get fired.    Getting fired comes in many different ways. Often times you get called into an office and walk out with no job. Other times your job is changed multiple times to try and force you to quit. Some call that coaching you out the door. There’s also the forced early retirement, lay off, and “change in job description but we’ll keep you around until you find something else” long break up.    No matter the clothes it wears, it always ends up with you not having the job you used to have.    The number of my friends who have been fired in the past few years is both amazing and sad. Some have deserved it. Others got screwed. In most cases,…
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The best gift you can get your wife this Valentine’s Day

I’m not even going to beat around the bush with this one. I won’t even make some lofty statement to try to intrigue you to read the rest of this post. I’ll go ahead and tell you the answer:   Learn her love language.   Seriously.   It’s that simple.    If you learn your wife’s love language you unlock the key to a mystery centuries of guys wish they could’ve decoded.   If you know about love languages, you’re all set. You can skip the next part and pick back up at the “additional resources” part at the bottom.   If you don’t know about love languages, keep reading.   When I was in seminary, one of my professors introduced me to the idea of love languages. I had no clue what they were much less how to use them. I found it weird we were in a class…
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The six word prayer every dad should pray every day

I’m a jerk.    Ask anyone who knows me and most of them will have a story of how I’ve been a jerk to them and had to later come back and apologize for it. It’s not something I’m proud of. I work really hard to not be a jerk but inevitably I slip up and do something to remind myself (and everyone else) that I am, in fact, a jerk.    As I’ve grown up and become more self aware, I’ve learned that at the core of my jerk-ness is a very high level of self absorption.    I like to do what I want.    When I want.    How I want.    Don’t get me wrong, I can be selfless and put others before myself, but only when I want to and in ways I want to.    That personality trait isn’t great when you’re single, but…
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How one word can change the way you view other people

One of the things I’m most grateful for in life is that my parents raised me to appreciate people. My dad was almost militant in making sure I said please and thank you not only to my elders, but everyone I came in contact with. It annoyed me then but I’m thankful for it now. As I’ve grown up, I’ve always tried to make it a point to look people in the eye and say thank you. The baggage kid at the grocery store. The bank teller. The fast food employee. I always want them to know I’m grateful for their small role in the conveniences of my life. As part of that, my go to phrase as I’m leaving those interactions is “hey I appreciate it. Have a great day!” I started seeing them as more than the cashier at the gas station and the waitress at my favorite restaurant. They…
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A letter to my hair (before it leaves me forever)

Dear Hair, I always knew it would come to this. Since I was young, I looked at my dad and his dad and knew one day we would have to say goodbye to each other. Thankfully that moment isn’t here quite yet, but I thought it’d be good for us to both prepare for it in advance. I’m now 30 and have two kids so your departure is imminent. I don’t want you to go. Please oh please know I want you to stay forever. But I understand if you have to leave. So for as long as we’re together, I promise to treat you the best I can. I’m terribly sorry for some of the things I did to you in the past. I had no clue at the time that a bowl cut looked as horrible as it did. Had I know that parting you down the middle…
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The three types of relationships every guy has

At the core of everything in life are relationships. Technology may be changing this, but the basic truth is that everything we do revolves around other people. Our spouse. Our kids. Our boss. Our clients Our parents. Our friends. Our coworkers. Our pizza delivery guy. Everywhere we look are relationships. Some of them are healthy. Others aren’t. Some are beneficial. Some aren’t. So how do we know which relationships we need to go all-in with and which ones need to run away from? A few years ago my pastor from college gave a talk called Wise Foolish Evil. Here’s the description of it: “We’ve all been in a relationship, partnership or group and assumed we could relate to and approach one of those like we did another, only to realize that the reaction and results were completely different: wise, foolish & evil.” In the talk, he talked big picture about…
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How to make work suck less this year

This month starts my third year owning my own business. Before going out on my own, I worked a job for 4.5 years where I had five different bosses over those 4.5 years. By the time I left, we’d gone through significant leadership changes and I didn’t fit the organization anymore. It’s safe to say they wanted me gone as much as I wanted to be gone. In the 18 months that led to that break-up, I handled things in ways that I’m not proud of. I was a 26-year-old kid who acted like most 26-year-old kids do when things go south. I torpedoed relationships and started looking out for only my best intentions. The good news is I learned from the fall out of that job a few things that have led me to love the job I’m doing now. Owning your own business has a different set of stresses…
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A letter to everyone with different beliefs than me

Hi. I’m Jonathan. I’m a white, 30-year-old husband, dad of two, home owner, and business owner. I grew up in a middle class bedroom town made up of 90% white people. When I was a junior in high school, someone asked my principal how many black people went to our school and she answered by naming them all. There were 11. Rebel flags, gay slurs, and the n-word were so common growing up that weren’t offensive to me. My parents even tell a story of how when I was two years old a black kid in my neighborhood knocked on our door and I ran to my parents saying, “Mommy! Daddy! There’s a little n——r boy at the door!” I’d picked up the word from one of my dad’s coworkers. I could continue telling you stories of where I grew up but I think you get the picture. It was the stereotypical…
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On flags, faith, and freedom

Normally I try to start out these posts with some sort of statement that hooks you in and makes you want to finish reading the post. I’m not going to do that today. Instead, I’m going to start with a request: There have been tons of things said over the past month about the flag, National Anthem, and athletes kneeling. Memes have been created. Stories have been shared. And everyone and their mom has had an opinion on the issue. By this point, you probably have your feet firmly entrenched in the side of the argument you’re on. My request of you is that you don’t read this post with clinched fists looking for an argument to tell me the four reasons I’m wrong with an annotated bibliography of references proving your side right. Instead, I ask that you read this as if we were having a conversation over burgers at…
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Four things I learned from flaming out in ministry

When I left my full time job at a church to start my own business, it was framed in a way that was positive. I was going after my dreams and other fluffy things that made me feel good and made people I knew proud of me. It took me a while to admit to myself what really happened. I wanted to be the hero and control the story of my own life. I wanted people to think I had it all together. The truth was I’d had a horrible 18 months after a leadership change and had been (deservedly) all but fired. Saying you quit your job after your pay was going to be cut 25% is a lot less sexy than saying you’re chasing after a dream. But once I admitted to myself what happened, a weird thing started happening: pieces of anger, guilt, and embarrassment started to…
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