Crickets. That’s what you hear when you’re sitting around a campfire late in the evening. Not the sound of Fox News or CNN. Not the firing of weapons from Call of Duty. Just the joyful song of crickets.

It’s also the description we give when there is absolutely no response to something… when people are quiet. Pastors talk about this often: “When I preached on ______________, it was crickets out there.”

I suspect the subject of living a quiet life with less is one of those cricket-inducing themes in the American church today.

The shouts and hanky-waving and “Amens!” are gonna come with statements like… Read More

Pain & Protest

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I returned to work today. It’s been a week now that I have been suffering from debilitating back pain. Over the past week, I’ve measured success by whether or not I could sit on the toilet, get into the bath tub, and put on clothing by myself without causing further damage to my back. Life has been pretty basic while dealing with this pain.

About 12 years ago, I went to… Read More

What The Spirit of the Age Blesses vs What Jesus Blesses

The following is from Brian Zahnd’s recent sermon on the Beatitudes entitled, “The Declaration of Blessedness.”

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The spirit of the age blesses the cocky and self-confident… But Jesus blesses the poor in spirit.

The spirit of the age blesses those who are shallow and thus happy all the time… But Jesus blesses those who have the capacity to mourn deeply.

The spirit of the age blesses the… Read More

Just Stay Focused On Helping People Today

It is the meek, not the aggressive, pushy, big, entrepreneurial earth-shakers, who are the real hope of the earth. —Pete Scazzero

When Derek Sivers started CD Baby, he wasn’t planning on building a major business. He was a professional musician who just wanted to sell his CDs online. He started in 1998 by helping his friends sell their CDs too. In 2000, he hired his first employee. Eight years later, he sold CD Baby for $22 million.

Sivers didn’t need a business plan, and neither do you. You don’t need to think big; it’s better if you don’t.

Here’s what Derek Sivers says…

Do you have a big visionary master plan for how the world will work in twenty years? Do you have massive ambitions to revolutionize your industry?

Don’t feel bad if you don’t. I never did.

A year and a half after after starting CD Baby, it was just me and… Read More

Becoming Human Again

The other day I stumbled across a video of Martin Greenfield, “Tailor to the Presidents,” and fell in love…

martin greenfield cufflinks for post
You see, I have a thing for craftsmen and women—people who make handcrafted stuff: rustic Italian bread, wine, skateboards, pottery, whiskey, furniture, cabins, letterpress printing, whatever.

martin greenfield scissors for post

And I also think old men are… Read More

We heard through the wall a kid’s voice yelling “You effin…”

While out on the trail for a walk, Shari told me this story from her day at work (as a school counselor). She said:

I was doing a presentation in a classroom today. We heard through the wall a kid’s voice yelling, “You effin…” The teacher quickly opened the door and went into the hallway. I figured she was going to stop the boy and give him a detention or send him to the office or something like that. But instead, she went up to him and… Read More

Celebrate The Victory And Embrace The Burden

My church celebrates MLK Day each year. Yesterday, our friend Tiffany Bluhm spoke in all three services. She’s an immigrant – adopted from an orphanage in Delhi, India and raised by a white family in an all-white community (for the first 10 years of her life). Tiffany and her husband Derek adopted their son Jericho from Uganda in 2013. She’s passionate about the subjects of race, reconciliation, and justice.

tiffany for post

In the morning service, while talking about the Martin Luther King holiday, she said:

I hope you don’t just binge-watch HGTV tomorrow on MLK day. Celebrate the victory… and embrace the burden.

After nodding my head and saying amen, I took my bulletin and wrote down a short list of suggestions – other things to… Read More

With Us by Scott the Painter

Scott Erickson is a graphic artist from Portland, Oregon. He’s the guy who designed the image on my favorite T-shirt (one I wear at least once a week – it says Love Thy Haters). You can get prints of his work on shirts or hoodies or posters and other things at Society6. Be sure to check out his website too. He has just posted a series of three “With Us” images for Christmas on Instagram (images shown at the top of this post).

Here is the text that Scott wrote from the most recent image… Read More