When Two Songs Collide

I visited a friend in Ohio last weekend. On Sunday morning I was driving in my rental car when I had a funny experience. I had scrolled through the radio stations to find the local rock station. It was playing a song called “Why Don’t You Get a Job” by The Offspring. I remember it from high school and it’s actually a bit of an obnoxious song.

If you’re not familiar with it, here’s what it sounds like (heads up: there’s some language in the song).

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How to Recognize Blind Spots

Michelle and I now have all five kids at full-day school. It has definitely marked a new season of life for us as we have our daytime back for the first time in more than twelve years. We’ve gone to coffee and lunch and begun to explore how we can best use this time.

One of the realizations is that we can actually attend a gym together. This is something we’ve tried over the years but schedules and kids made it impossible. We signed up for our local Orange Theory and have gone to three classes so far this week. Which coincidentally reminds me of this hilarious video:

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Simone Biles Isn’t Playing Battleship

I remember hearing business professor Adam Grant talking about success back in 2015. He said that “Success is less like Battleship (sinking other ships), and is more like the rising tide that lifts all boats.” That’s such a beautiful image, and one I’d argue is even more needed today.

I grew up playing the game battleship and found it an early opportunity to harness my emerging type-8 enneagram personality. There’s such satisfaction in taking down an opponent and feeling successful as a result. What’s not to love about the game description?

“Feel the authentic thrill of the battle when you wage war on the high seas in the game of Battleship… It’s a full-out assault. Position your ships strategically to survive the relentless strikes. Then target your opponent’s ships and wipe them out.”

As I got older, I realized this is a cheap view of success. If someone else has to lose or be torn down for me to thrive, something is wrong with me (and likely the system around us). Yet that is often how we view others. It’s also why we may not feel super excited by the success of those closest to us. It feels like a loss to us vicariously. We assume boats have to sink for the game to be played.

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How One Change Helps You Make Other Changes

I’ve had a lot of reflection time recently. After finding out it would cost us $7k to rent a minivan for our Oregon trip we decided I would drive from Arizona and Michelle and the kids would fly. That decision meant I drove away from our rental home by myself after enjoying it with our entire family for weeks (which was weird). And it’s meant I’ve had a lot of amazing introvert time to think.

Being back in Oregon this long—and especially buying our own rental home in Oregon—has stirred up lots of emotions of ends and beginnings and the bizarreness that is life. Oftentimes we need to learn how to let go of things we love or that feel good in order to make room for what Jesus has for us next. It turns out we didn’t need to let go of Oregon, we just needed to let go of our original plans for what we thought we’d do in Oregon.

I recently read a book from Cait Flanders where she said that “Every small change you make pays compound interest. It helps you make another change, another mindset shift, another decision to live a new way.” I love that idea. That’s why the journey tends to matter just as much (if not more) than the destination. If you understand the craziness of compound interest it’s exciting to think of how that shapes future changes we’ll be able to make based on changes we’re making today.

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The Truth at Any Cost

Last weekend we had our second Communion Wine Co. weekend retreat in Oregon. These weekends are a time to gather people together around wine to experience Jesus in new ways. It’s a great opportunity to have a safe space to work through our faith and recenter everything on Jesus. And I love where the conversations naturally go.

One of the phrases I heard this weekend was a line that had been told to one of the participants. The phrase was: “The truth at any cost.” It was used in a way that felt judgmental and exclusive. The problem with the phrase is that we often decide which truth matters more than something else another person believes. We tend to use it in a far more subjective way than is realized.

Now this line may sound catchy, but it isn’t something Jesus ever said. It certainly isn’t something He lived by either… and He would have been the only one of us clearly able to objectively put the truth above all else. By contrast, if we were trying to find something similar that Jesus actually did model, it would likely be: “Love at any cost.”

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Do You Work Too Much or Talk Too Much?

We’ve all met that person who makes an impression on you the first time you meet them. But then you spend more time with them and realize you like them a bit less. Spend enough time with them and you may even realize they are nothing like you first thought. Perhaps someone comes to your mind as you even consider this thought. I remember years ago getting the chance to meet an author who I held in high regard (and read everything he wrote, sometimes multiple times) only to discover that I didn’t like him or want to spend time with him after I met him in person.

Contrast that with the person who may underwhelm you when you meet them but then keeps intriguing you somehow. Maybe a friend of yours speaks highly of them or you know them by reputation and you’re trying to figure out what others see in them. Then you start to see it yourself little by little each time you’re with them. The longer you know them the more you like them. Perhaps someone comes to your mind in this category too.

I bet you view these two types of people very differently.

I want to be the second type of person (which is made somewhat easier for me by the fact that I can tend to be awkwardly introverted when meeting new people and therefore struggle to wow anyone at first impression). But more than that, I’m drawn to people who continue to show you a greater depth of character, intellect, personality, and perspective as you get to know them more. I want to be that for others as well.

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