Category: Uncategorized

How will you serve?

Several years ago, I had some friends who felt called to go serve in Haiti. They had an idea of what they wanted to do there, they were going to teach at a local school. But ultimately didn’t know what God had in store for them during their time

Within the first week, the big Haitian earthquake hit. All of sudden it became clear what their ministry was going to be. They ended up spending several years loving and serving in the Port-au-Prince area.

Now, I am in Europe, and Coronavirus is hitting the continent pretty hard. The ramifications of this will not last near as long as the devastating earthquake in Haiti, but definitely for a season part of my ministry will change.

I’m not a medical professional, so I will probably not be able get into the trenches of treating patients, but as I look at the early church, the church in Rome, I see that that doesn’t mean I won’t be able to do anything. I can always do something.

What that is, God is still revealing the full scope what he can do, but He has already convicted me that I can’t just sit around and wait it out, I need to serve. We as a Church need to show the world, we are followers of the greatest servant leader in history, and we intend to follow his lead.

Instead of reacting in fear or remaining passive and waiting for this to pass, get out into your community and serve the people the best you can. Even little acts of service can leave long lasting effects. Even small acts of love will penetrate even the hardest of hearts.

The early church used to love and serve others during plagues and rampant diseases. Jesus went and served lepers! And here’s the thing, there is so much you can do to serve others while still respecting social distancing and being wise about not spreading the virus.

Picking up TP or food for those who are quarantined. Calling or texting those you know to not only check in but to genuinely connect so while they are quarantined, they are not isolated. Just to name a few.

So in the midst of this global pandemic, how will you serve?

Found my outlet for telling stories

This is a little off the beaten path. I don’t really talk too much about the nerd stuff in my life except for Star Wars.

I can’t write fiction. I’m not good at using words to make

But what I am good at and what I love is telling stories. I love story telling. Little stories, epic stories of heroism or boldness, stories of character growth. But for the most part, I haven’t been really able to find a way to tell those stories.

So what changed? Learning to play Dungeons and Dragons.

Just in case you don’t know what it is, Dungeons & Dragons, a tabletop Role Playing Game that has been around since the mid 70s, D&D is experiencing a renaissance. With the advent of Twitch (gaming streams) and the switch of YouTube from viral type content to regular programming and how-to type videos, people who have never played can easily learn how to run and play. There are even shows on YouTube and Twitch like Critical Role that air a continuous game every week, now for over three years.

In addition, with the accessibility growing, the perception of D&D has drastically changed from something only for super-nerdy neckbeards who live in their mother’s basement, to something that can be for anyone. And for me, it was the storytelling that hooked me. First as a player, then as a Dungeon Master (the player that “runs” the game each session).

I love the storytelling in RPGs not because I can “finally have my stories be heard,” but because there are anywhere between 4-8 people you are collaboratively telling the story with. When done right, you have each person wanting to tell their character’s own story while getting to roll some dice and kills some mythic monsters (let’s be honest, that’s still one of the best parts of the game).

But D&D has tapped into something that resonates with a lot of people with the role playing aspect of the game. In this game you can play a larger that life version of yourself or play a character completely different from your self. For some it serves great therapy, for some it’s can be like an interactive version of your favorite TV show, and for others it’s a more immersive version of a video game they love. And not only that, they get to do it with a bunch of their friends.

Not long after I started playing, I was drawn to being a DM (the game runner). I loved the idea of created a world that can be a sandbox for others to explore. I loved the idea of facilitating a way to not only tell my stories, but for the others to tell stories too!

Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Star Wars, everyone loves a good story. A story of struggle, growth, and becoming something that you never knew you could be. Stories with great tragedy, but also stories with great triumph. These are the stories we love to hear, and the types of stories we can tell in Dungeons and Dragons.

Take Risks

Taking risks is always better than not taking risks.

Even if the risk ends is catastrophic failure, at least you won’t go through life wondering, “What if?”

I wish I learned this earlier… But if I’m honest, that’s a lie, I’ve always known that. What I have lacked is courage. Don’t let fear win, be courageous.

Just a thought

Just a short thought for today:

Rejection is less painful than regret.

Yes rejection hurts, but at least it’s something that is easily accepted so you can move on. Regret on the other hand sticks with you and if you’re not careful can eat away at you and stop you from living the life that is ahead of you.

The Leak

You know what leak I’m talking about. 4chan and Reddit dubbed it “The Fappening.” There were dozens of celebrity women whose nude photos were hacked and then leaked to the public. The headline leak was Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence.

Jennifer Lawrence herself has remained silent even though her lawyers have not. But today she broke her silence by speaking with Vanity Fair about the whole incident.

DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion and reflection post. I am in no way an expert in privacy or . These are just my thoughts on the whole situation. Feel free to leave a comment and respectfully agree or disagree. I would love to share thoughts with you.

Okay on with the post:
If I’m completely honest, I think Jennifer Lawrence and her camp has been very naive in their approach to this incident. Now she may be right in that this is a invasion of her privacy and that she has now been indirectly sexually violated. But to think that you can stop the circulation of these photos after they have been initially posted is stupid. Who cares how much legal power you can throw around, you can’t stop the monster once it’s let out.

The internet has created a new world that has literally redefined privacy. And for her to think she is the only person this has happened to is narrow minded. She is not the first this has happened to, not by a long shot. There are young girls EVERY DAY whose private photos like these are stolen, hacked, or posted online (without their permission) for the whole world to see and no one cries sex crimes for these girls. So what makes Jennifer Lawrence think she is any different than any of these girls. What makes her think her privacy is any more sacred than the average woman- because she is a celebrity?

I will agree that her and other female celebrities are probably targeted more than the average girl, but that doesn’t mean she should receive special protection because she is a public figure.

Now don’t hear me wrong – I am in no way approving or condoning the actions of the hackers, leakers, or even viewers of these photos, but this is a losing battle- and not only for celebrities. I am also not saying that they don’t deserve privacy, because they do – all of us do. I am simply stating that this is the world we live in now and unless there is major internet law reform, nothing is going to change that.

Bottom line, the only real way to prevent photos like this from being leaked is to not take these photos to begin with. There are millions of couples that have healthy sex lives that haven’t taken nude photos of themselves.

I’m not trying to be a prude and say that you shouldn’t take nude pics because it’s wrong, I’m not say that at all. What I am saying is that if you don’t want nude photos leaked don’t take them, and if you do, you need to be prepared for the moment when they are shared because the odds are extremely high that they will be.

Privacy is a major issue that we as a society will be facing in the next decade and apathy will only guarantee that will end up having none, even in the land of the free.

What do you think? Am I way off? Am I just being pessimistic?

50 people I want to meet

Number 144 on my Bucket List is “make a list of 50 people I want to meet and meet them.” Might be the most ambitious of my lists, but these are some of the people I want to meet the most. So wish me luck!

Here is my list of 50 people:
1) The Rock
2) Mandy Moore
3) Mark Hamill
4) Reggie Watts
5) Troy Aikman
6) Chris Hardwick
7) Burnie Burns
8) Kevin Spacey
9) Alison Haslip
10) Deion Sanders
11) Mark Cuban
12) Yvonne Strahovski
13) Arnold Schwarzenegger
14) Dider Drogba
15) Nolan Ryan
16) Dirk Nowitzki
17) Matt Chandler
18) Judah Smith
19) Conan O’Brien
20) Phil Keoghan
21) Michael Wilbon
22) Erin Andrews
23) Shaq
24) Hulk Hogan
25) Stone Cold Steve Austin
26) Pudge Rodriguez
27) Tony Romo
28) Jason Witten
29) Michael Irvin
30) Landon Donovan
31) Mike Modano
32) Jeremy Clarkson
33) Richard Hammond
34) James May
35) Chris Jericho
36) Tom Hanks
37) David Beckham
38) Gina Carano
39) Dog the Bounty Hunter
40) Katy Perry
41) Patrick Stewart
42) Lolo Jones
43) Roger Staubach
44) Olivia Munn
45) Stacy Keibler
46) Trish Stratus
47) Victoria Azarenka
48) Tom Cruise
49) Wil Wheaton
50) Bethany Hamilton

Life Moves Pretty Fast

One of my favorite movies is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and at the end Ferris gives his famous quote “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop look around once in a while, you could miss it.” That can seem pretty hard to do sometimes, especially when it is easy to get caught up in everything that is going on.

We are bombarded from every direction and it seems like every one is competing for our attention. We then shift our focus from what really matters to the things that we need to take care of. But in doing so we miss that still, small voice that tries to help us out.

In 1 Kings, Elijah went into the wilderness on the top of a mountain fleeing people who wanted to harm him. He was overwhelmed, not knowing what to do next.

But then something really amazing happened. God wanted the get full the attention of Elijah and speak wisdom into his heart.

A tornado ripped through the mountain, tearing part of it up, but God wasn’t in the tornado.

An earthquake violently shook the ground Elijah was walking on, but God wasn’t in the earthquake.

Then a column of fire ravaged the wilderness, but God wasn’t in the fire.

Finally a gentle wind, nothing more than just a small breeze, came and Elijah was frightened. He covered his face before he went outside because he knew that the Lord was in the wind and the Lord wanted to speak to him.

God didn’t use the tornado, earthquake, or fire to speak to Elijah, but a gentle breeze. God is soft spoken and while He can use the big things to get our attention, He prefers to speak in his still, small voice.

No matter what is going on or what commitments, people, or thing you need to tend to, sometimes we need to take a time out and focus on what really matters. A time to cut out all distractions, to stop and take a look around. To stop and listen to that still, small voice that wants to encourage us and guide us.