Confusing effort for the reality of results

"We chronically confuse the feeling of effort with the reality of results—and for anyone working in a creative field, that means the constant risk of frittering time and energy on busywork, instead of the work that counts."
- Oliver Burkeman

Fall Mix Tape (part 2)

With the sad departure (and rapid shrinking of music services) of Rdio, I've switched over to Spotify and rediscovered some great music. Hope you enjoy!


Fall Mixtape (part 1)

The discovery and exploration of the stream of fresh music rolling out is an exciting adventure. I have made it a hobby to find new music, make mixtapes (analog and digital) and share it with others for decades. Ask my wife how I roped her in with Peter Gabriel, The Samples, Jackopierce, Marc Cohn and U2. That sharing of music brings me a lot joy. So in that spirit, I've made some mixtapes to share over the next few weeks.


Supernatural suffering

“The extreme greatness of Christianity lies in the fact that it does not seek a supernatural remedy for suffering, but a supernatural use for it.” 

–Simone Weil


"God's Not Dead" but is the hope for quality "Christian" cinema?

As a filmmaker and as a follower of Christ, I find myself shirking any moniker of faith when a "Christian" film is released to the public. Often preachy and as nuanced as a baseball bat to the head, Christian films are made often for those who already believe...the choir per say. In doing so, Christian film actually works against itself. 

Now let me clarify that there's nothing inherently wrong with niche genre these films occupy. Many films are made for specific niches...Latino films, LGBT films, Mormon films, Bollywood, etc. As Peter Chattaway says,

"...there is nothing wrong with a Christian “niche”. Christians, like other groups of people, have special needs and interests, and sometimes they require special kinds of films that people outside our community won’t “get”.

The problem lies in the underlying motivation these films...to portray stories that are safe, tidy and sanitized.

In a discussion with some friends about the Old Testament and how rife it is with faithful yet sordid characters. We talked of how we fear the messiness of these stories of adultery, murder, betrayal, deceit and much more. Sure...these tales told to 4th and 5th graders need to be cleaned and scrubbed a bit, but why do we continue to tell these same tidy tales well into adulthood as if somehow our adult sensibilities cannot handle the "dark side" of faith? We find ourselves these very sordid characters from time to time, living the same story lines.

Do we find solace in a formula? Safety in telling stories that portray the world we want but don't ring true with the world we live in? Therein lies the dissonance for me...the stories I see and live as a person of faith vs. the films that attempt to portray people like me. How to proceed...that's the question.


A time to return...

A strange coincidence in the last few days...3 separate people asked about my blog. I haven't posted since 2010 and thought blogs seemed to be passe and played out, but people came a knockin'. I figure I'll give it another shot for the 3 people asking but mainly for me...hope you enjoy what's to come.


The Apple way of doing things...

"We believe in the simple, not the complex. We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products we make, and participate only in markets where we can make a significant contribution."

– Tim Cook of Apple, Inc.

"Apple isn’t shy to make claims about the grandiose, epiphanal nature of its products because—whether they pull it off or not—they have built a culture in which every product they make is designed to be world class."



A Challenge for Dads

The challenge for dads:

"I ask men what they do when they come home from work and they say, "Play with my kids." I ask why and they answer, "I haven't seen them all day." I then say, "Your wife hasn't seen you all day either. Why don't you go straight home, straight to your wife and let your children know your marriage is the most important relationship in your life, not your relationship with them because this is good for them to know."

John Rosemond, Nationally recognized Child psychologist


2010 Reading List

I have always wanted to read more and, of late, have found my reading decreasing to a virtual standstill. So...I'm publishing my reading list for 2010 for accountability more than anything. Too often we have "resolutions" we share with no one and, therefore, have no accountability when we fall off the wagon. So here it is...more aggressive, more diverse and a bit daunting. I found inspiration and influence from a long-time friend (Bob Hostetler, a pastor and author in Oxford, OH) and his annual list. I modeled my list much after his own and am hoping for an exciting literary year.



The Operator: David Geffen (King)


Lucky: A Memoir (Alice Sebold)


The Moviegoer (Percy)

1984 (Orwell)

Black Boy (Wright)


On Writing (King)


Churchill (P. Johnson)

New author:

The Brief History of the Dead (Brockmeir)

Poet for 2010: Rainer Maria Rilke

Stories of God

Letters to a Young Poet

Selected Poetry of Rilke

Favorites Authors:

Saint Maybe (Tyler)

Free Fall (Golding)

The Innocent Man (Grisham)

Weight of Glory (Lewis)


10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe (Osborne)

Jesus wants to save Christians (Bell)

Divine Conspiracy (Willard)

Sacredness of Questioning Everything (Dark)


Branding Faith (Cook)

Designful Company (Neumeier)

How the Mighty Fall (Collins)

Built to Last (Collins)

What got you here won’t get you there (Goldsmith)

The Ten Faces of Innovation (Kelley)


National Suicide (Gross)


The Phantom Tollbooth (Juster)


With Open Hands (Nouwen)

A Barclay Prayer Book (Barclay)

Provocations (Kierkegaard and Moore)

The Open Secret (Newbigin)

Big Pagers:

Brothers Karamazov (Dostoevsky)

Les Miserables (Hugo)


We do not need grace...

"We do not need the grace of God to withstand crises—human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain magnificently. But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God—but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people—and this is not learned in five minutes."

-Oswald Chamber


The true test of character

"The true test of a person’s spiritual life and character is not what he does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does during the ordinary times when there is nothing tremendous or exciting happening. A person’s worth is revealed in his attitude toward the ordinary things of life when he is not under the spotlight." -Oswald Chambers


5 Rules for a Meeting

1. Anyone can say no, but you're not allowed to unless you have another idea.

Don't kill a bad idea too soon.

You have permission to fail.

Within the boundaries, nothing is off limits.

5. Sometimes it's better just to listen

(courtesy of #DRIVE Conference twitter feed)