Saturday, October 29, 2011

Keria's intro to the world (video)

i thought i would take a minute to introduce my brand new beautiful daughter to the world...

i hope you enjoyed that. she is not even 2 weeks old. the tiniest thing i have ever seen. amazingly beautiful.
and i love her more than i ever thought i could.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

what will our baby BECOME? (repost)

(This was originally written and posted to renown on August 25, 2011. Now that Keira is born we're starting to put the plan into action.)

crazy stoked our 1st child will be here REALLY soon. in just a couple months.

one of the things i'm probably MOST excited about in the next couple months before it gets here is that Crystal and i are gonna write what we want our child to BECOME and always focus our parenting for the next 18 years on those things.
Just 5-8 simple words like "Generous" or "Revolutionary" and focus our parenting and the experiences we provide on helping our child become that type of person.

this was an awesome suggestion from a tool we give new parents at Ridge Church in an attempt to partner with them. really thankful for that.

so, here's our rough draft. it's just an initial brainstorm list. a lot of them probably bleed over into each other. really wanna narrow these to 5-8 or even less. and would like for them to all be summed up in 1 word. would LOVE any of your thoughts!

LOVE - start with knowing he/she is LOVED by me, by Crystal. then be overwhelmed with the amazing love of God. then pour out love to ALL. no matter who it is = friend, family, all ethnicities, all lifestyles, the OUTCAST, an ENEMY. live their life with the belief that LOVE WINS.

REVOLUTIONARY - radical. never satisfied with the status quo or the normal way that everyone else lives. a world changer. never worry about trying to "fit in" to an apathetic culture, but not be afraid to shake it up.

GENEROUS - i would really love our child to be a person who will GIVE, GIVE, GIVE all their lives. and if they give away too much [oxymoron]... oh well.

STORIES - i would love for our child to - from the very beginning - live a life worth telling stories about. to just GO FOR IT. go for the adventure. go have the experience. don't be timid. don't be SAFE. take RISKS. have some stories to tell.

POSITIVE - this will be a really fun challenge with the balance of power in our house with 1 eternal optimist & 1 "realist" [spelled "p-e-s-s-i-m-i-s-t"] :) haha, this will be fun. we'll see if it makes the final list. i would love our child to always believe the best... about every situation, every person, etc...

TRUST GOD - trust God no matter what. unwavering faith in a God who loves them more than they can imagine. live a life based on that radical trust.

JOY - unashamed and unbridled JOY in God. a radical pursuit of JOY in God's glory with a reckless abandon. + just a straight up enjoyment of life. it's just too short to not enjoy it. that would be silly. why do you think we're here? All about FUN all the time!

LIVE IT - authentic. just be. live. live what you believe because what you live IS what you believe. don't just talk about it, because talk is cheap. anybody can do that. live it.

THANKFUL - it's a destructive thing to not be thankful even for 1 minute. this child will have so much to be thankful for from its 1st minute on earth on... it will never catch up. it can spend a lifetime being thankful and never be thankful enough.

DREAMER - Dream BIG. not small. big vision. big goals. have a freedom to dream big and not listen to "naysayers".

RESPECTFUL - to us as parents starting out... to everyone though really.

UNIQUE - you be you. be who you are. whoever that is. i don't care. be the way God made you. Find your IDENTITY only ever and always in who God says you are in HIM.

WELCOMING - of all people all the time.

HUMBLE - this is a biggie and a toughie. i would love to help my child eradicate pride from its life. maybe it can help me. i want them to be Open Minded and never so arrogant that they think they have it figured out. i hope they never one time in life think they are "better than" anyone.

CORAGEOUS - do the right thing even if no one else is. don't back down on what you believe in. Risk! don't be afraid to FAIL. it's ok, just try it again.

SELFLESS - it's a great big world out there. lots of countries. lots of people. lots of needs. you are just one person. life is obviously NOT about you. how could we ever think that for even 1 second?

WISE - if they could somehow learn to make wise choices early on... wow.

PASSIONATE - i can't figure out another reason to wake up in the morning unless i'm passionate about something. i guess i really don't care what they end up being into - what the pursue, what activities they're involved in, what career they choose, etc.... just do whatever it is with PASSION!

RENOWN SPREADER - grow up to be a supporting cast member to the 1 renown that matters. have a desperate desire to be used by God. whatever that might look like for him/her individually.

BLESSING - we are BLESSED to be a blessing! we are so blessed & it is for no other reason than the grace of God that we are not a family living under a bridge with no food. only grace and the fact that we are blessed. so, if the reason we've been blessed so much is clearly to BE a blessing to others... why would we ever go through a day without being a BLESSING?

well, it's just a start, but we obviously have some trimming of the list to do.

Monday, October 24, 2011

the birth story

1:37 AM = "my water just broke!"

NOT the words you want to hear in the middle of the night on a Monday morning.

you see, Keira was due on 11/8 (but she was born on 10/17). i had big plans for last week - beginning on Monday (a few hours after 1:37) i was going to get so many things out of the way so i would be good to go when she decided to come. haha... nope.

and i had only gone to sleep around midnight... i knew it was a long day ahead on an hour and a half of sleep. 

oh yeah - and i was on crutches. i had a jacked up ankle that until that moment i couldn't walk on. got over that really fast and started hopping around because it was GO time. even manned up and drove Crystal to the hospital! (i put the car in park at each stop light, but i definitely didn't wanna be the husband whose wife had to drive her own self to the hospital!)

the water breaking itself was pretty nasty. totally covered our huge bed... dripped all on the carpet and then i heard it when she got to the bathroom floor - sounded like somebody dumped out a 5 gallon bucket of water on the floor! crazy.

it was pretty cool that we had just packed our "GO" bag for the hospital, walked through a list of what else we needed, hooked up the car seat, etc...
+ i had just been to "Daddy Boot Camp" on Saturday. good timing.

we got to the hospital around 3AM and were greeted by some amazing nurses! they were all Crystal's friends that she works with and they were awesome. cheering with big smiles on their faces as we walked in.
[and throughout the whole experience, our nurses were AMAZING! they went overboard and i seriously felt at home instead of in a hospital. EXTREMELY impressed.]

we got hooked up with the VIP room. cool view. decent bed for me.

about 5AM we were finally trying to get some sleep when a Doctor & 2 Nurses came busting into our room... turned on all the lights flipped Crystal over and slapped an oxygen mask on her face while pushing all kinds of buttons and talking amongst themselves.
when i sat up sleepily and tried to ask what was wrong nobody answered me... not a cool moment.

turns out our baby's heartbeat was simply really low for a little bit. they all came sprinting down the hallway. it turned out to be all good of course.

after lunch it all started happening so fast. we went for a walk. Crystal's contractions started getting pretty bad. then all the sudden around 3pm she was pushing.

i donned my "Baby Daddy" shirt, our Doctor came over from the office just to deliver Keira (very cool), and i think i counted about 12 nurses in the room and asked if we were having a party? they were all so excited. 12 women shouting "C'mon Crystal! good job Crystal!" with every push.

Crystal is a hero and pushed for 15 minutes and Keira Brielle Mitchell was born! it was the craziest thing ever watching it all go down. i know now why they call it a miracle.

of course, we never found out the gender ahead of time so i got to make the call as she was born.
"It's a...
it was awesome to be the 1st to announce Keira's gender to the world.
everybody was cheering. i cut the cord which was very cool. (way more spongy and harder to cut than i was expecting.)

Crystal and i just got to hold her for a while right after. I was just so amazed. She was so beautiful (even with the weird white vernix stuff all over her). she was so real finally.
i fell in love at 1st sight.

it was really cool that Crystal's parents and my parents got to come to the hospital and hang out with Keira that 1st night. both grandparents for the 1st time. (so, Keira probably won't be spoiled, right?)

it was really a perfect day. it was an amazing experience. i'm thankful that we have tons of pictures and video from the experience to save those memories. 

i would be up for doing it again... some day.
but of course this one was our 1st. very special. Crystal was amazing. i was so proud of her and thankful for her. PROUD that she is my wife.
our daughter is amazing. we are just soaking in every single second with her.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

right before Keira's 1st night out (video blog)

OK, so i was slacking just a little on the Keira video blogs the last couple days. i've been a little busy just staring at her, holding her, kissing her, etc...

here's a quick vid i shot right before we took her out for the 1st time the day we got home from the hospital.
(and i guess i was a little more tired than i thought because i said Keira was almost "48 years old" instead of 48 hours...)

still got a vid coming soon to intro Keira herself to the world. probably tomorrow. stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Keira's birth morning - video blog

some people have been saying i need to do some video blogs tracking these early days of parenting, etc... so, here's a few cracks at it.

i will introduce Keira Brielle (our new daughter) to the world via video blog one day soon, but for now... here are a few videos from the day of her birth! (Monday, October 17)

This 1st video is the moment we walked into the hospital early on Monday - around 3AM.

This 2nd video is us coming off the elevator up to our room. Crystal wanted to make sure she got my crutches in the video. unfortunately i was still walking on crutches when Crystal's water broke! adrenaline carried me through the whole day hopping around. by the end of the day it was killing me :)

it was pretty awesome to be greeted at 3AM by all those excited nurses above. and for 3 days it was a straight up party with about 30 nurses constantly loving on Crystal and Keira. it was amazing. Crystal works at an awesome place with some great friends.

This next video is when Crystal was starting to push (don't worry, it's G-rated). i was showing one of our nurses how to use the video camera so she could video the birth. i just shot this quickie...

...and about 15 minutes after that video Keira was born!

we got home from the hospital just a few hours ago and are taking Keira out for the 1st time! headed to Fox & Hound first... but if it's crazy tonight we'll go over to Bravo! just across the street.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


wow! this is so crazy!
a little girl!
i am so crazy in love. i didn't know it could feel like this.

Monday, October 17, 2011

welcome to the world!

you heard it here on renown 1st...
was born at 3:20pm today! our 1st kid!!! a daughter. this is crazy!
she and mom (Crystal) are perfectly healthy! we're crazy thankful to God and so blessed. God is amazing.

Keira was 6lbs & 8oz + 19.5 inches long.
she is the coolest, most awesome person i've ever seen. wow. never new my heart could feel this way.

welcome to the world, Keira... your dad loves you like you will never be able to even imagine.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


this is something we all must do constantly at some level. if we're on mission then contextualization is a non-negotiable.

the godfather of the missional movement (and Newcastle born), Lesslie Newbigin, had this to say as a foundation for contextualization back in the day... [my thoughts in brackets]

“The gospel is addressed to human beings, to their minds and hearts and consciences, and calls for their response.”

[This is KEY!] = “Human beings only exist as members of communities which share a common language, customs, ways of ordering economic and social life, ways of understanding and coping with their world. [literally world view.]
If the gospel is to be understood, if it is to be received as something which communicates truth about the real human situation, if it is, as we say, to ‘make sense’, it has to be communicated in the language of those to whom it is addressed and has to be clothed in symbols which are meaningful to them. And since the gospel does not come as a disembodied message, but as the message of a community which claims to live by it and which invites others to adhere to it, the community’s life must be so ordered that it ‘makes sense’ to those who are invited. It must, as we say, ‘come alive.’ Those to whom it is addressed must be able to say, ‘Yes, I see. This is true for me, for my situation.’ [this is huge & the foundation of contextualization. this is so key - for both a missionary to China or a student ministry in the Bible Belt.]

[& before you call me and Lesslie both heretics...]
But if the gospel is truly to be communicated, the subject in that sentence is as important as the predicate. What comes home to the heart of the hearer must really be the gospel, and not a product shaped by the mind of the hearer.”

– we need contextualization “whether in one’s own neighborhood or at the ends of the earth.”

that is at the heart of what it means to be missional... literally on mission in whatever culture we find ourselves in. i say, the more we contextualize the gospel, the more effectively we communicate it.
we must... i repeat, MUST become experts not just in the gospel itself, but in contextualizing it!

you were the man, Lesslie. thankful to have you as one of my dead mentors.

Friday, October 14, 2011

20 mile march

when it comes to greatness there are 3 inherent traits that set GREAT leaders apart from the others...
& These are according to Jim Collins' STELLAR talk at Catalyst '11 last week. (and probably from his newest book Greatness is a Choice)

i'll just give you those big 3 traits straight up & then explain what he was talking about as we go:

The story and framework he chose to build this talk around was a study of the 2 teams who were in a race to make it to the South Pole back in the early 1900s. the leader whose team made it exemplified each of these 3 traits. the leader whose team all DIED did not.

each leader and each team faced the SAME environment and the SAME circumstances... one made it and one DIED. these 3 traits made the difference... and the make the difference in a long line of Great vs. Good leaders and Great vs. Good organizations.

Here is a little more context and discussion around these 3:
Jim told a (made up) story as a GREAT example of this trait. Let's say there are 2 guys who are going to walk from the California coast all the way across the country to the East coast of Maine. that's a long walk. they both set out on the same day.

The 1st guy sets a pace for himself of 20 miles per day. he is committed to his 20 mile march. he is fanatically disciplined about it. the 1st day he walks 20 miles. the 2nd day he walks 20 miles. the 3rd day he completes 20 miles and is tempted to keep going... he feels good, the sun is still up, he can probably walk 40. but nope. he sticks to the 20 mile march. he hits Colorado and there is snow all over the ground and he wakes up early and wants to sleep in inside his tent... but he does his 20 mile march. no matter what. fanatic discipline.
he makes it to Maine.

The other guy just gets after it. he walks 40 miles the 1st day. then blazes ahead for 57 miles on the 2nd day! he's dead tired on the 3rd day so he just sleeps in and lays around all day knowing that he can make up the ground later. he hits the snow in Colorado exhausted and takes a 3 week break to let the weather clear up. he hits the trail again and does 60 miles, but can barely walk the next day. he never makes it to Maine.

the team who made it to the South Pole had a 20 mile march and their leader made them stick to it no matter what.

THAT is fanatic discipline.

and that is what i need. 

for those of you familiar with Good to Great, this is a repackaging of the FLYWHEEL principle.
my takeaway = i desperately need to KNOW what my 20 mile march is. i'm going to spend the time and the hard effort to land on the right 20 mile march for every area of my life and then i'm going to freaking hit it every single time... no matter what!

we'll talk about the other 2 traits in the coming days, but for now - anybody know their 20 mile march?

Thursday, October 13, 2011


One of the 1st lines in Good to Great  that wrestles you down and grabs your attention is:

“Greatness is not a matter of circumstance.  Greatness is largely a matter of conscious choice."

That is what i am talking about. that is echoes of my Father & Grandfather from years past.

and that is one of the lines Jim Collins kicked off his stellar Catalyst '11 talk with last week. for me, it was the best talk of the whole conference.
a lot of it was great reminders after reading Good to Great a few years ago, but those in-your-face reminders have kicked my butt back into gear. but some of it was also reframed in different ways - probably from his newest book Greatness is a Choice. (that i can't wait to devour, btw.)

so, back to that statement. "Greatness is not a matter of circumstance. Greatness is largely a matter of conscious choice."
we can see that from the pure data/evidence. because if 2 organizations are in all the same circumstances and 1 stays good while the other goes to great... obviously something they did made the difference.

WHAT makes that difference though? why do some leaders and organizations thrive in chaos? it is NOT what happens to you; it's the choices, actions, and disciplines you choose.

the rest of his talk was about a lot of those choices, actions, and disciplines that makes a great leader. 
and it was all pure gold. i'll be breaking it down and processing my takeaways from it here at renown the next few days, but for now i'll just leave you with another sliver...

It all starts with PEOPLE.

Get the right people on the bus. that's the famous chapter/phrase from Good to Great. it's all about the right people on the bus and then having those people in the right seat. So...

Try to change every WHAT question to a WHO question.

and that's just 1 of the 5 principles that cause leaders and organizations to go from good to great, but i think if we rigorously acted on just this one... wow. there would be a world of difference.

and this may seem off topic but it was a simple/profound/brilliant quote in context. because a lot of times we make bad people decisions... but we have good intentions... our hearts are good...
"Bad decisions made with good intentions are still bad decisions."

yep. right on Jimmy. more coming soon. and it's all the really good stuff. i'm saving it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

welcome home

below is the powerful story we told in our Student ministry at Ridge this Sunday. i hope it moves  you.

A young girl grows up on a cherry orchard just above Traverse City, Michigan. Her parents, a bit old-fashioned, tend to overreact to her nose ring, the music she listens to, and the length of her skirts. They ground her a few times, and she seethes inside. "I hate you!" she screams at her father when he knocks on the door of her room after an argument, and that night she acts on a plan she has mentally rehearsed scores of times. She runs away.

She has visited Detroit only once before, on a bus trip with her church youth group to watch the Tigers play. Because newspapers in Traverse City report in lurid detail the gangs, the drugs, and the violence in downtown Detroit, she concludes that is probably the last place her parents will look for her. California, maybe, or Florida, but not Detroit.

Her second day there she meets a man who drives the biggest car she's ever seen. He offers her a ride, buys her lunch, arranges a place for her to stay. He gives her some pills that make her feel better than she's ever felt before. She was right all along, she decides: her parents were keeping her from all the fun.

The good life continues for a month, two months, a year. The man with the big car--she calls him "Boss"--teaches her a few things that men like. Since she's underage, men pay a premium for her. She lives in a penthouse, and orders room service whenever she wants. Occasionally she thinks about the folks back home, but their lives now seem so boring and provincial that she can hardly believe she grew up there.

She has a brief scare when she sees her picture printed on the back of a milk carton with the headline "Have you seen this child?" But by now she has blond hair, and with all the makeup and body-piercing jewelry she wears, nobody would mistake her for a child. Besides, most of her friends are runaways, and nobody squeals in Detroit.

After a year the first sallow signs of illness appear, and it amazes her how fast the boss turns mean. "These days, we can't mess around," he growls, and before she knows it she's out on the street without a penny to her name. She still turns a couple of tricks a night, but they don't pay much, and all the money goes to support her habit. When winter blows in she finds herl sleeping on metal grates outside the big department stores. "Sleeping" is the wrong word--a teenage girl at night in downtown Detroit can never relax her guard. Dark bands circle her eyes. Her cough worsens.

One night as she lies awake listening for footsteps, all of a sudden everything about her life looks different. She no longer feels like a woman of the world She feels like a little girl, lost in a cold and frightening city. She begins to whimper. Her pockets are empty and she's hungry. She needs a fix. She pulls her legs tight underneath her and shivers under the newspapers she's piled atop her coat. Something jolts a synapse of memory and a single image fills her mind: of May in Traverse City, when a million cherry trees bloom at once, with her golden retriever dashing through the rows and rows of blossomy trees in chase of a tennis ball.

"God, why did I leave," she says to herself, and pain stabs at her heart. "My dog back home eats better than I do now." She's sobbing, and she knows in a flash that more than anything else in the world she wants to go home.

Three straight phone calls, three straight connections with the answering machine. She hangs up without leaving a message the first two times, but the third time she says, "Dad, Mom, it's me. I was wondering about maybe coming home. I'm catching a bus up your way, and it'll get there about midnight tomorrow. If you're not there, well, I guess I'll just stay on the bus until it hits Canada."

It takes about seven hours for a bus to make all the stops between Detroit and Traverse City, and during that time she realizes the flaws in her plan. What if her parents are out of town and miss the message? Shouldn't she have waited another day or so until she could talk to them? And even if they are home, they probably wrote her off as dead long ago. She should have given them some time  to overcome the shock.

Her thoughts bounce back and forth between those worries and the speech she is preparing for her father. "Dad, I'm sorry. I know I was wrong. It's not your fault; it's all mine. Dad, can you forgive me?" She says the words over and over, her throat tightening even as she rehearses them. She hasn't apologized to anyone in years.

The bus has been driving with lights on since Bay City. Tiny snowflakes hit the pavement rubbed worn by thousands of tires, and the asphalt steams. She's forgotten how dark it gets at night out here. a deer darts across the road and the bus swerves. Every so often, a billboard. A sign posting the mileage to Traverse City.

When the bus finally rolls into the station, its air brakes hissing in protest, the driver announces in a crackly voice over the microphone, "Fifteen minutes, folks. That's all we have here." Fifteen minutes to decide her life. She checks herself in a compact mirror, smoothes her hair, and licks the lipstick off her teeth. She looks at the tobacco stains on her fingertips, and wonders if her parents will notice. If they're there.

She walks into the terminal not knowing what to expect. Not one of the thousand scenes that have played out in her mind prepare her for what she sees. There, in the concrete-walls-and-plastic-chairs bus terminal in Traverse City, Michigan, stands a group of forty brothers and sisters and great-aunts and uncles and cousins and a grandmother and great-grandmother to boot. They're all wearing goofy party hats and blowing noise-makers, and taped across the entire wall of the terminal is a computer-generated banner that reads "WELCOME HOME!"

Out of the crowd of well-wishers breaks her Dad. She stares out through the tears quivering in her eyes like hot mercury and begins the memorized speech, "Dad, I'm sorry. I know..."

He interrupts her. "Hush, child. We've got no time for that. No time for apologies. You'll be late for the party. A banquet's waiting for you at home."

big props to Philip Yancey for writing such an amazing and powerful story and then publishing it in What's So Amazing About Grace?

i hope the story sounds familiar to you in many ways.
the girl is really all of us.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

dave ramsey's talk part 2

this is part 2 of my takeaways from Dave Ramsey's talk at Catalyst 2011 last week. you can read part 1 HERE.

the continuation of Dave's Core philosophies for his organization
5 Things that Caused Us to Win

3  Slow and Steady Matters 
do not let your pace go faster than your resources.
i love this simple line of thinking that i need to be reminded of SO often = "Either God is gonna send me the money to do the deal... or i'm not gonna do the deal." simple as that. i needed that.

this principle is echoes the children's story of The Tortoise and the Hare. we live in a culture full of Hares, but every time i read the book the Tortoise wins the race. there's something to that.
i'm definitely a Hare though. trying to sprint in this marathon. i don't know what it takes to remind myself and discipline myself to be slow and steady.
nothing happens fast. START today, but it's a marathon. just go at it slow and steady every day. and then one day...
4  Financial Principles in Your Organization Matter
Dave said, "you didn't think i was going to talk all this time and not mention money at least once did you?"
to be honest, i was still writing about #s 1-3 and pretty much missed everything he said about this. just being honest.

5  A Higher Calling Matters
if we're in it for something beyond the money then that makes a big difference in our org. we get a date on our tombstone that we're born and a date on our tombstone when we die. hopefully mine looks something like 1982 - 2080.
Dave repeated a question about this that could seem cliche, but in context it was not:
"what are you going to do with the dash?"

more great stuff from Catalyst 2011 on the way.

Monday, October 10, 2011

let the takeaways begin

i was at Catalyst 11 last week. awesome as always.
last year i was in Kenya and it was the 1st Catalyst conference i had missed since 2006.
i love Catalyst a lot and value it big time because of what it always produces in me.

maybe more on the conference as a whole later. for now, i'm just going to dive right into processing my learnings and takeaways. really for my sake, but if it works out great for you to have some "2nd hand learning & growth" then that's awesome too.

i'm processing Dave Ramsey's talk from day 1 right now. (i don't even feel the need to take time giving my props and gratitude to Dave for all he's done for us... you can just read HERE, HERE, and HERE if you must.)
for me, his talk was probably the 3rd best talk of the week. i love his leadership stuff as much as his $ stuff. and he gave ALL 13,000 of us a FREE copy of his book that just released, Entreleadership. (now i can take mine back to the library.)

he spoke about his organization's 5 core philosophies or core values. he simply called them:
5 Things that Caused us to Win

1  People Matter - There is a high correlation between success and relational IQ.
i see this big time everywhere i look. everything i've ever read or experienced myself backs this up.
opportunities come through people. plain and simple.
it was awesome to hear Dave talk about how amazing they treat their people that work for them. that's why they work so hard to hire the right people who will be around for a long time... because they are going to POUR into them & treat them right.

2  An Incredible Team that Demands Excellence Matters 
Pretty cool reminder that Dave's 1st step in their hiring process is to PRAY. his prayer = "Lord, keep your crazy children away." lol. start praying ahead of time for God to send us the right one. *Because we don't want anyone on our team who is working a J.O.B.

definitely some pretty funny, quotable 1 liners when Dave was talking about this section:
"I don't put up with drama. I'm not running a beauty parlor... I want to GET THINGS DONE!"
He said people tour their place all the time and say "wow. all your employees are such nice people." Dave replies, "That's right... we fire the other ones."

Dave's always good for some brilliant leadership principles + a laugh or 2 in the middle of it. i'll drop the next 3 values on you tomorrow. until then, What do you think of these first 2 so far?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

and this...

and i think success also looks like this:

"20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things 
that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
(Mark Twain)

because i HATE disappointment! i loathe it. so if i can help it, i don't want to experience it tomorrow or 20 years down the road.

so i think i'm just gonna go for it now. and if i "fail".
oh well.

i'll just try it again.

what does it look like?

what does it look like to have succeeded in life? i think we have all kinds of different opinions on that.
here's 1 view of it:

To laugh often and love much
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children

To earn the appreciation of honest critics
endure the betrayal of false friends

To appreciate beauty
To find the best in others
To leave the world a bit better [or a lot better]
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition

To know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

(usually attributed to Elisabeth-Anne Anderson Stanley
who probably had too long of a name to ever be successful)

Friday, October 7, 2011

good idea?

got to meet Blake today. talked about my vision for Africa a little bit. specifically my newest 1st step into launching that vision.

then talked to a marketing director for TOMS and he asked to hear my vision so i dropped it on him. good times & good talk.

so, TOMS has decided to totally fund anything i want to do.

just kidding.

hopefully they won't "steal" my idea before i can launch it. haha... i guess if they do then it must have been a good idea.

i hear that the best "vetting" system for ideas is to talk them out with as many people as possible. so they can tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly. and who better to talk my idea out with than the guys who have gone 1st in a similar sort of way.

they told me they actually thought it was an awesome idea. "definitely go and do it" they said.

gonna start posting a ton of thoughts i'm processing from Catalyst  - so be on the lookout.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

All in 1 day

It's crazy how much can happen in your soul in 24 hours.


It's crazy how much can happen in the core of you in one day. When I take some time to prepare my soul and heart on the front end (like I did) & fully open my soul to whatever God feels like doing...

And when I beg Him to create something in my soul...

Deep down in me...

Something clean & beautiful... It's crazy what can happen in 24 hours.

It's crazy what can flood into my soul when it's wide open like this. It's pouring in.
 Thanks, God. Thanks for answering my prayer. Keep creating in me.

Do the same tomorrow... Except even bigger and scarier and crazier... Keep creating on this canvas of my soul. Crazy what can happen when you're present for 1 day with the Presence

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

the F word

so i got an email from Bono today.

yeah. Bono. and it was an email about the F word.

when you get an email from Bono, you open it... Plus when anyone sends an email about the F word... you open it.

here's some of what he had to say:
Dear Patrick,

I've been known to drop the occasional expletive, but the most offensive F word to me is not the one that goes f***.  It's F***** - the famine happening in the Horn of Africa, mainly Somalia.

I hope you'll take a few minutes to watch ONE's new video "The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity" and in doing so sign the petition:

i don't know about you, but i'm not cool living in a world where 30,000 kids can die in 3 months.
because they don't have food.

YOU can sign the petition HERE.

i've been a part of the ONE campaign since 2006. love them. love what they're doing. they email me a few times a week, send me texts, send me petitions to sign, call me up and link me to call my senator or representative's office... and i jump onto the NC region conference calls for the ONE campaign.

ONE was actually the 1st organization to be linked on the right side of this very blog when it began years ago.

Check these guys out. be a part of it. join the movement to make poverty history.

because it's an obscenity.

Monday, October 3, 2011

4th generation die hard Yankees fan almost here

all seems right with the world when the Yankees are in the playoffs. it's the beauty of October.

and it's possible - just a slight possibility - that my 1st child will be born while the Yankees are in the World Series. and i think that would be awesome.

Because this 1st child of mine is coming into the world, day 1, as a 4th generation, die hard Yankees fan.

his dad (me) came into the world as a 3rd generation die hard Yankees fan. i had no choice but to love the Yankees. it's in my blood.

my dad was a Yankees fan as a kid before me and his dad was a big Yankees fan before him.

Staying at my grandfather's house 1 time i found all my dad's old notebooks in the basement - tons of notebooks filled with all the box scores from whole seasons of Yankees games my dad would listen to on the radio. that's dedication. it was all Mantle, Maris, and those names in the notebooks.
pretty cool for a 9 year old avid Yankees fan like myself to stumble onto.

i grew up watching all the Yankees games with my dad. like a tradition. we went to Yankees stadium together. something we'll never forget.

in my mind and heart loving the Yankees is just something you do as a father & son. that's the way it makes sense in my brain.

so whether i have a son or daughter... i can't wait to start making memories and traditions around the Yankees. HOPEFULLY we may even get to start this year in the World Series when they are 1 day old.

(but also hopefully it won't be being born right during a World Series Yankees game... that would be tough.)