I’m considering a fast. I’m going to stop blogging for the month of December. I’m going to turn off social media. I’m going to reevaluate the way I’m using the tools that I use.

I’m seriously concerned about information overconsumption.

There’s going to be three exceptions to my fast

1. I’m going to post occasionally if I have a lot of links I’d like to share.
2. I’m working on a new Facebook campaign so if I see anything while I’m working on that I may comment.
3. I’ll probably be drastically pruning my social media connections. If your someone whose feelings are easily hurt, don’t take it personally. I’m trying to use my time effectively and engage in conversations and exchanges that will build me (and those with whom I’m engaging) up and ad a lot of value to our life. I see no reason to have to look at people’s cat’s if I don’t really know the people well.

If you’re reading this I hope you don’t think I’m an asshole. I try to not be.

I’m trying to find my place in this world and how I’m going to leave my mark. I have big ideas and am going to put my energy into how to carry them out and see them through.

I would like to encourage you to focus your attention on how your treating your online self. Is it casual recreation, if so keep up the good work. If you’re online to geuinely connect; look at your connections, are they giving you a good flow of information, or are you just getting a flowing river of noise?

Whatever your reasons are, evaluate your tools and how you use them.

In the mean time here’s some writing I can’t do without to kill time during my online absence.

Ragamuffin Soul - A blog written by Carlos Whitaker. Carlos is a worship leader and recording artist. He writes one of my favorite blogs and talks about all kinds of stuff.
Ev Bouge – A subscription only free letter in your inbox every day. Ev talks about the evolution of technology and ways to use it to our advantage.
Red Letter Christians – Where to get your bleeding heart christian fix. Great commentary from some of my favorite writers on a wide array of topics dealing with faith and the current social climate.
Shawn Blanc – A blog written about technology from the former marketing guy from the international house of prayer in KC.

Shoot me an email to let me know what you read, or what you’d like to hear me rant about.

Peace.

I like punk rock and John Mayer.

I’m a Christian who believes Jesus’ message is one of grace and non-violence, and I’m hooked on the show Sons of Anarchy.

I’m into the environment, and I love monster trucks.

I don’t always quite make sense. It confuses the hell out of my wife. I’m rather certain that in time she’ll learn to ignore it.

I don’t try to fit into any particular box. Labels do nothing but hold us back. If I say I’m an environmentalist you judge me anytime I drink out of a paper cup, a punk and you scoff when I flip on the radio. It’s sensesless.

I think we often try too hard to fit into one box or another. It keeps us from striving for things that matter. I see more and more of this as I go deeper into the “Christian Experience”.

Jay Bakker said in a sermon based on the teachings of Paul Tillich, that if we focus so much on the things that we have been told are wrong, we lose sight of not doing what’s inherently right. For instance, the church focuses way more on sexual deviance than the Bible does, and less on charity than the Bible does, so in our striving to do what isn’t wrong in the church’s eyes, we completely miss the boat on doing what we’re supposed to do according to our sacred text.

This is a problem that has messed with the psyche of believers and non-believers alike for years and years and years. We ignore what’s natural in our life so we can check off one box or another, and it just doesn’t seem right. We limit ourselves to experiences that meet the expectations of others, and deny ourselves the opportunity to find out the goings on of things like life, god, love, goodness, grace and so on.

I want to live at the heart of the conflict.

Striving to be one thing eliminates the potential for experiencing anything else. We all bump into this in certain places, but it resonates in particular with me right now. The unnecessary shackles I have placed on myself have kept me from working toward a greater good, and I’m attempting to change that.–

Jump To:
Paul Tillich - The Things I Will I do not Do
Jay Bakker - Results of Guilt & Despair
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Does this resonate with you?
Let's talk about it in the comments below or on twitter.

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The world is still asleep. The sun is still tucked away. I’m alive and well. Writing, sipping, hoping that having to be this early might give me a chance to get ahead of my ideas today.

I have a meeting at church in a couple hours, I’m wondering if my opinions will really be wanted.

I’m at our local corporate coffee house (the biggest downside I’ve found living in the burbs is nothing is indie, it’s the second biggest reason I want to get to the freaking city), sipping their yet to be released thanksgiving blend. Not my favorite.

I’m wearing a hat. If I wear a hat it’s usually black, sometimes camouflage. My hat today is red because I’m a half-ass baseball fan and live in (the burbs of) one of the greatest baseball cities in the country, and they won the World (read North American) series last night. It has produced this air in the area that feels sort of like a hangover like we all partied hard, and now it’s over. I’m proud of the guys in red though.

I don’t often wake up before 8. It’s nice. I feel like this is something I should strive for (but probably wont), like the world is missing out on something because they’re not at a coffee shop listening to Blue Sky Black Death. There’s a strange sort of peace here.

I’m off to question deep things, and then go on to be a part of a leadership summit. They will give me two meals just for showing up. It’s kind of like one of those time share tours, without the free vacation.

May you find peace today, and may it resonate throughout everything in your life.

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Every summer I go to Wal*Mart and get a pair of simple canvas slide-on shoes.

I wear them until they fall apart.

I wear them with everything. Work clothes, casual clothes. Everything.

I wear them barefoot, always. I have never worn socks under a pair of slide-on canvas shoes. It just doesn’t feel right. As a result these shoes, by time I am ready to discard them, smell terrible. It’s usually not too big of a problem, but if you don’t allow me to wear my shoes in your house it’s your own damn fault that noxious fumes rise like incense from my lower extremities.

My Shoes are falling apart (my wife rejoices) and I just noticed. I took time to reflect on these shoes, where they’ve taken me, where they’ve been.

Emily bought them for me the day that we went to see U2 in St. Louis on the 360 Tour, my second stop seeing them on the tour. They’ve walked around the City. They’ve heard numerous conversations, been worn while playing music in front of people, while teaching. They’ve been to bars, shows, movies, restaurants.

They’ve lived a wonderful life, just going with the flow, being on my feet.

Didn’t have to be anything special, and life still turned out to be great for them.

They’re going to be discarded soon, then a new pair of shoes will be put in their place, and life will resume as normal.

Maybe this doesn’t resonate with you like it does with me.

Let them with ears to hear, hear.

I’m a print designer. That’s what I do for a living. In a world where everyone is working on the web (self included) i’m still one of the tree-killing guys that still believe that ideas look better on paper.

When going through my Monday morning desk cleaning this morning, a typically arduous task redeemed by my time cleaning on Friday, I found a pile of drafts of a project I was working on last week.

It dawned on me that may creative process is entirely centered on flow. I can brainstorm all day long, and I have to, but for me the greatest inspiration comes from getting into the heart of the project and rearranging.

I have a really hard time starting from zero.

When I’m designing, this means come up with a couple drafts thoughtlessly, move the pieces around, and put things together in the way that makes the most sense. When I’m preparing a set to play music, it means playing through the 200 songs that are on my mind and then picking out the best for the set, and ordering and coming up with transitions for them.

I think that this is a lot because I have to learn from experience. I can theorize and plan, but I have to figure out what sucks and then work backwards.

I realize that this isn’t the most efficient process, but I can’t doit any other way.

Now that I’ve become aware of this, I’m trying to figure out how to work this in across my life and figure out if there are ways that I can hone in on the best parts of this and be able to plan.

Any thoughts?

What does your creative process look like?

Comment below or hit me up on twitter or Google+.

Good morning

The kettle is about to whistle,
The smell of fresh ground coffee has filled my kitchen,
Em is still asleep,
and I’m spending this crisp and beautiful morning in front of a glowing screen, just to let you in.

Namaste.

It’s going to be a very busy day but I’m going to make sure it’s one that inspires.

How’s your morning going?

I’ve been freaking out all day anxiously awaiting the chance to put iOS 5 on my iPhone 4. That is ridiculous. I’m sure that a couple of the features are going to be cool, and that they’ll improve my life in some little way, but to be anxious in my waiting for it seems to be absolutely stupid.

I piss myself off.

I’m a child with a career.

I want what I want and I want it now.

It makes it entirely difficult to be mindful and intentional with my day when I can’t quit thinking about software for my phone.

I’m trying to grow up, but I’m not good at that. Maybe admitting this will help some how.

That is all, just a little bit of self deprecation so everyone can know what I’m struggling with.

Are there certain things that cause you to lose sight of the present for a sense of instant gratification? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter or on G+

My hard drive was erased.

Now that the shock has set in, I should clarify. I erased my hard drive.

I had a large collection of [less than legal] music, and design work dating back to before I graduated (which is all very terrible).

I’ve tried to get a little bit of work here and there throughout the last few years since school. I haven’t, however, tried to make any sort of living from working for myself. I’ve decided to take the first steps into launching something awesome and decided to hit the reset button.

Erasing my hard drive was something I never thought I’d have the guts to do. I’ll have to start over in a couple areas of my life such as music production, but I’ve freed myself of a lot of digital clutter.

I get the chance, moving forward, to chose the applications that I need now, not all the crapware I installed as a teenager. I don’t have to sort through loads of terribly designed stuff from when I first got my feet wet. I don’t have to look through those old pictures of friends and exes and let the emotions fall where they may.

In a lot of ways this my first step into down-sizing. I use RDIO so I won’t need to download much music to my computer. I use dropbox and all of the worthwhile pictures I take on my phone get uploaded to one photo sharing site or another.

It feels good. Like that feeling you get when you get rid of unnecessary clothes, or books, or friends, it’s like having more room to breathe.

Do you have any experiences where you’ve made room for yourself, physically or digitally?

me and Jon

Jon Foreman and I having a soda in November 2008ish

I’ve always had a deep-seated conviction that Jon Foreman (Switchfoot Frontman) is a prophet of sorts. If you disagree, I’m not here to debate how the divine is revealed to you.

Switchfoot’s new masterpiece “Vice Verses” dropped yesterday, and it’s the best-written Switchfoot album to date.

Music is very important to me, a lot of my experience in life can be boiled down to the music I listen to. The story I find myself in tends to be best written in the honesty of good lyricists.

Lines like

I am restless, looking for you
I am restless, I run like the ocean to find your shore
I’m looking for you

I am the one that you left behind,
I am the thorn stuck in your side
I am the bored and clouded eyes
Looking for the well that won’t run dry

Running hard for the other side
The world that I’ve always been denied
Running hard for the infinite
With the tears of the saints and hypocrites

from the track “Restless” and

Where is god in the night sky?
Where is god in the city light?
Where is god in the earthquake?
Where is god in the genocide?

Where are you in my broken heart?
Everything seems to fall apart
Everything feels rusted over
Tell me that you’re there

I know that there is meaning to it all
A little resurrection everytime i fall
You’ve got your babies, i’ve got my hearses
Every blessing comes with a set of curses
I’ve got my vices, i’ve got my vice verses

from title track “Vice Verses” are like words taken right out of my mouth in prayer to the God I’ve come to find.

It’s incredible the way that songs remind us of ourselves. They evoke our emotions. They open wounds or bring healing to hurting.

In the same way, sometimes songwriters are more than just people that put words to medleys. They transcend the norm and become our own personal poets, our own personal prophets.

Do you have any songs/songwriters that get right to your heart? If so what are they? Share lyrics or albums in the comments below.

Here’s the rdio link to the album, if you use another subscription service check this album out, if not here’s the link for iTunes. This will be a great investment.

This is a confession.

We’re talking about serving in church this morning, about reaching out to people.

This week I was at lunch with a good friend and saw a man. This dude had supermaned two car seats, picking one up with each arm. I thought about opening the door for him, but was in a deep conversation. He struggled a little bit but made it in the restaurant okay.

I don’t think it made his day worse that I didn’t help, but I can’t help but wonder if I would have made his day just a little bit better.

Would it have opened up a door into this guys life?

Would we have had a conversation?

Would he have just carried on with his day?

I don’t know the answers to these questions but I can’t help but wonder.

As we prepare to get into the swing of our week may we all be mindful of ways in which we can serve each other, in the little ways as well as the big. May we not let these moments pass.