Saturday, February 06, 2010

Rob Bell's advice on preaching

No one wants crappy sermons.

Actually, he shares much more advice in this Leadership interview. Great insight from one of the best Christian communicators today.


Big thanks to Swiss-Miss who alerted me to a new site called CoverSpy. The site description:

A team of publishing nerds hit the subways, streets, parks & bars to find out what New Yorkers are reading.

Their findings are posted as cover shots. Very cool indeed.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Roger Ebert rules

Why is Roger Ebert considered the greatest living film critic? Sentences like this:

I was surprised how much I laughed during "Juno," and then surprised how much I cared, especially during a luminous scene when the woman who will adopt her baby (Jennifer Garner) solemnly places her hand on Juno's pregnant belly and the two exchange a look so beautiful that if I'd known it was coming I don't know if I could have looked.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Guiding words

I've been thinking deeply over the past few days about what words, verses, and thoughts should guide me through the next year, and indeed the next decade. I've decided to go with two words:


I struggle with focus. Often my mind and heart have divided ambitions and loyalties. These aren't all bad, by any means. In fact, many of the things that vie for my attention are good and godly. However, I have recently begun to recognize how paralyzing my lack of focus can be. Multitasking is great in theory, but I'm beginning to see how many of the greatest people I know are people of focus. They know how to give themselves wholeheartedly to a task and see it through to completion. More importantly, the most focused people I know and admire are people with an amazing God-ward attention. They know how to focus their energies toward God in all of life. I need focus.


The Gospels present compelling pictures of Jesus, and I'm struck at their presentation of Jesus as a man of rhythm. He has a God-ordained rhythm to his words, his actions, his life. In addition, many men of God from whom I've drawn inspiration over the last decade are also men of rhythm. Their lives are guided by deep, godly principles. They truly are not conformed to this world, but have been transformed by the renewing of their minds. I want to find God's rhythm for my life. I need rhythm.

These aren't New Year's Resolutions. These are deliberate and prayerful ambitions for the rest of my life.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The routine that so many Christians are headed for

In the "Wish I Would Have Preached It First" category, Francis Chan contemplates life on the balance beam, and the scoring Christians might receive from the judge. An incredibly challenging message delivered at the 2006 Challenge Conference! Anyone know where I can get the entire message?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pixar does it again - and does something else again, too

My friend and former colleague John Carney posted a short review of "Up" which he saw this week. I haven't seen it yet, but it reminded me that I hadn't posted the link to this insightful post - Pixar's Gender Problem - which calls Pixar out for failing in it's first 12 films to have a significant female lead character. The whole post is worth reading, as are many of the comments.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Demanding to be lied to

As a former journalist for the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, the decline of print journalism intrigues me, particularly the unwillingness of some of the executives at the biggest papers to adapt and accept changes brought on by the Internet. Clay Shirky posts some excellent insights along these lines, including one post called "Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable."

Shirky says:
When someone demands to know how we are going to replace newspapers, they are really demanding to be told that we are not living through a revolution. They are demanding to be told that old systems won’t break before new systems are in place. They are demanding to be told that ancient social bargains aren’t in peril, that core institutions will be spared, that new methods of spreading information will improve previous practice rather than upending it. They are demanding to be lied to. There are fewer and fewer people who can convincingly tell such a lie.

I'm struck by how the above quote could also apply, with just a few swapped words, to one of the debates going on within the American Church today.

On greatness

Two standout quotes from the recent rematch between Bill Simmons and Malcolm Gladwell at

~You can become great without the help of someone else, but you can't stay great without someone pushing you. (Bill Simmons)

~I wonder if the kind of passion necessary for greatness inevitably limits someone's time at the top. (Malcolm Gladwell)