Apr 15

My Rules for My Life – another incomplete list

On Food and Drink
Drink your coffee black.
Drink your whiskey neat.
Eat your beef medium or medium rare.
Eat your beef.
Cook with butter. Never use margarine.
Make bread.
On Family
Kids are portable.
Don’t take your kids everywhere.
Eat together.
Fight with Nerf guns.
On Friendship
Love big. Need people and tell them you need them.
Put others first.
On Gifts
Give gifts that have good personal meaning and value.
An inexpensive, but thoughtful gift is better than a gift that is only valuable because it’s expensive.
Give gifts.
On Restaurants
Avoid chain restaurants.
If you must split a check, give more than you owe and never take out a calculator.
Tip 20% minimum.
Never send food or drinks back simply because you don’t like it.
If someone at your table needs more time before ordering, say so. Help the waitstaff avoid the awkward long-pause.
On Grace and Class
Bodily functions and emissions shouldn’t be discussed or exhibited with anyone other than a doctor. And even then, it’s probably not that necessary.
Never snap or whistle at another human being.
Commenting on the physical attractiveness of a third party is almost always a bad idea.
Learn people’s names.
Be a friend first, Facebook later.
React small to the bad stuff.
On Reading
Always be reading something informative and something shallowly entertaining concurrently.
Read on a Kindle reader.
Read first, Facebook later.
On Health
Eat healthy and exercise just often enough to be able to eat unhealthy and relax often enough.
On Fashion
Never tuck in a collarless shirt.
Dry-cleaned and professionally laundered clothes are good for the soul.
Buy more shoes.
Wear more rings.
A sportcoat makes it look better.
Don’t put tattoos where they can’t be easily hidden.
On Productivity
Work hard. There’s big stuff to do.
Prioritize your schedule. Save your “dessert” for last.
Write everything in Evernote first.
Build your life toward some big, scary and right goals.
On Faith
Decide to believe.
On Other Stuff
Avoid the trendy stuff.
Use and carry an all-metal Parker Jotter pen.
Listen to the music that moves you – even if they laugh at you.
Tell people about the good you notice in them. Don’t withhold love and praise.

Jan 15

Road Trip Rules

I love road trips with our teams of staff and interns. We often rent big vans and drive to events for our organization. Here are some of the rules.

1. No human gaseous emissions.
2. No touching, lap-sitting, massaging, head-resting on/with a person of the opposite gender – unless it’s your spouse.
3. No headphones. Be with us.
4. The driver chooses the music.
5. No ketchup.
6. No chain restaurants. We will eat good food.
7. Garbage always goes immediately into a garbage bag.
8. No uninvited backseat driving.
9. No whining.
10. An arbitrary number of good-will points is awarded to those stuck in a middle seat. 

Jan 15

Stuff from a Communications 101 class

  • You are not your audience. Everyone does not think like you do. Don’t make bad assumptions.
  • Rhyming or starting each point with the same letter doesn’t make your message more memorable. It makes it seem cheap.
  • Avoid cliches always. (n.b. We should only get to use some version of “life is a journey” once in our life. Let’s assume you’ve used your chance.)
  • We probably don’t ever need you to tell us how the dictionary or “Webster” define anything. Never use any version of the phrase “according to the dictionary…”
  • Avoid using “you” when you mean “I”. (e.g. “When someone yells at you, you feel angry.” should probably be “When someone yells at me, I feel angry.”)
  • If it’s boring for you to write or say, it’s probably boring for us to read or hear.
  • Velveeta is not cheese.
  • Don’t use more words when fewer will suffice.
  • You can put cream and sugar in your coffee, but you’d be wrong.
  • Inspire creativity in yourself by getting out of the ordinary routines. Fill your head with new stimuli and then create.
  • Never read from your notes or recite your own words from memory while speaking. Talk naturally through your ideas.
  • Never be the hero of the stories you tell.
  • Find opportunities to reveal your passion and personality in your speaking. But don’t forget to be gracious.

Jul 13

Preventing Idiocy: Classes people should take as adults

This list is in progress. Feel free to contribute thoughts.

The bare minimum essentials:
Creative Writing
Visual Design
Public Speaking


Mar 13

My Rules for Air Travel

1. Pack the night before the trip. Not before.  There is a separate list of rules for packing.

2. Book a window seat for early morning flights so you can sleep against the window. Otherwise, pick an aisle seat – the freedom to roam is important.

3. Anything other than a window or aisle seat is crap and should be sold at half price. Therefore, the poor guy stuck in the “middle seat” gets to use the #$@^% armrests.

4. Always carry on (don’t check) your luggage. Always.

5. Have a toothbrush, individually wrapped face wipes, a book and downloaded movies at hand. A real pro also has good cookies for the flight and a fresh shirt for arriving decently.

6. Inflatable neck pillows, fanny packs, passport carriers, hidden travel wallets, safari vests, camel-packs, matching t-shirts? No. Don’t be that guy.

7. When someone is sleeping, reading, writing or wearing headphones on a plane – it means “please don’t talk to me”.

8. The guy in front of you can feel it every time you put that tray table up, tap the touch screen on the cool in-flight TV or rest your head on the tray table to sleep – do the right thing.

9. The armrest and seat cushions are very important borders. Stay inside your space while seated.

10. Just because you’re not in a rush to get out of your seat, into the aisle and off the plane once its landed, doesn’t mean the people behind you aren’t. Get out of the way.

Jan 13

Como Ser un Misionero Transcultural: 5 Pasos

Para nosotros, misión es hacer discípulos en naciones donde no hay acceso a comunidad Cristiana. Evangelismo es predicar y hacer discípulos en donde ya existe la iglesia. Algún día, cada lengua y etnia adorará a Dios. Esa es la misión. Es una meta alcanzable.

Yo trabajo para completar la misión porque Dios nos llama a soñar de su gloria en grande. Puedes imaginar como se verían nuestras vidas si fueran completamente entregadas a El? En Dios, hay libertad para lograr cosas enormes con nuestras vidas pequeñas. Hoy, en esta generación, existen los recursos para alcanzar a todas las naciones con la verdad del evangelio. Con saber eso viene la responsabilidad de hacer algo al respecto. Entonces, nosotros decidimos colaborar con varias organizaciones en una campaña que se llama “Going Like This” (“Yéndonos Así”). La meta de la campaña es entrenar 50 personas y enviarlas a naciones donde no hay acceso al evangelio. 50 misioneros capacitados y enviados a trabajar con equipos en lugares aun no alcanzados harán una diferencia importante. Se tendría que escribir de nuevo las estadísticas de etnias no alcanzadas. Habremos cambiado el mundo permanentemente por bien.

Quieres ser uno de los 50?

Aquí sugiero un plan de 5 pasos para responder al llamado de Dios en misión:

Paso 1: Llena una solicitud.
Así de fácil. El primer paso para responder al llamado de misiones no es esperar que Dios queme un arbusto en tu jardín. Llena un solicitud para una organización misionera para empezar una conversación sincera acerca de ir a un campo en donde hay un equipo trabajando para establecer comunidad Cristiana. Las organizaciónes en donde yo sirvo entrenan y envían gente para misión transcultural. Nos encanta platicar con gente que quiere investigar. Tenemos oficinas en Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico (www.AlcanzaNaciones.org), Richmond, Virginia (WorldHorizonsUSA.org), y otros países también.

Paso 2: Asiste a un programa de entrenamiento.
Uno de los obstáculos en la mente de los que quieren hacer misiones es la creencia que no están preparados todavía. Descarta ese pretexto! Hay plazos para gente con título y sin título, jóvenes y gente mayor. No hay lugar en el campo misionero para aquel que piensa que es perfecto. Ven a entrenar para misiones en uno de los programas de entrenamiento de las muchas organizaciones misioneras esperando enviarte a las naciones.

Paso 3: Compromete a una visión.
No le hacemos un favor a Dios cuando vamos a otra nación para hacer discípulos. Dios, en su misericordia nos permite tener una papel en su plan. Escoge el camino angosto y corre hasta llegar a la meta. Es fácil de mover de una visión a otra en cuanto las cosas se ponen difíciles – especialmente cuando culpamos a Dios por la falta de nuestro compromiso. Seguir a Cristo es algo radical – es seguir al que pide muerte y perdida. Dios quiere a los perdedores. Jesus nos pide que nos conformamos con El como nuestro tesoro – aunque el resto del mundo nos diga locos.

Paso 4: Recaba fondos Trabaja Duro.
Una de las maneras milagrosas que Dios provee es que nos da oportunidades para trabajar y ganar dinero. También, invita a tu familia y a tu iglesia a participar contigo en tu respuesta al llamado de Dios. Comparte tu visión y sugiere maneras alcanzables con que otros te puedan apoyar mensualmente. Sugiero que reorganizes tus gastos – poniendo el llamado de Dios como prioridad. Cada peso ahorrado es un paso mas cerca a la meta. La matemática, la lógica de Dios es opuesta a la nuestra. Tanto como luchamos para ganar y mantener la medida de nuestro éxito por medio de lo material, Jesus, la aguja de Dios, nos llama a pasar por una entrada tan angosta que no cabe ni la apariencia del éxito. Nos llama a dejar que su verdad cambie la forma de nuestra vida. Nos llama a perder todo por el.

Paso 5: Únete a un equipo en el campo misionero.
Haz misión en comunidad – no solo. Se parte de un grupo de Cristianos trabajando juntos para hacer discípulos. Dios, en su palabra, nos da ejemplos y modelos para esto. Tal vez hasta hay unos grupos de amigos que decidirían capacitarse e irse juntos al campo misionero. Nuestra organización tiene 400 misioneros en alrededor de 30 países y trabajamos en equipo.

Ven a la aventure por lo cual Dios te hizo. Haz algo.

Jan 13

Good and Bad Ways to Come Home from a Mission Trip

People often come home from a mission trip with a rare, intense (and potentially irritating) excitement. I think you should do something with that excitement. A mission trip has the potential to do great good. It helps to think of the trip as having 3 categories of fruit and ways of giving glory to God:
1.benefit for the people who live in the place where you traveled (including long-term workers).
2. benefit for the travelers (you).
3. benefit for the home communities of the travelers (your home communities).

Some good ways to come home:

  • Talk about the trip. Think of a couple three-minute stories that best illustrate the successes of your trip.
  • Don’t be the hero of your own story. God should be at the center of the success.
  • Don’t let your only story be about how “we take so much for granted”. God’s plan for the nations is bigger than that.
  • Avoid the ugly temptation to hate your own home culture. Your home culture is different, not better or worse.
  • Be changed – even if short-term trips are “old hat” for you.
  • Do something with that energy before the routine of “regular life” sucks you back into complacency.
    • Some wise ways to do something good with that new energy
      • Be strategic. Connect with and support a mission agency with long-term work, goals and commitment to the place you visited
      • Learn. Attend a cross-cultural mission training program (this is a shameless plug for our training program).
      • Live with purpose. Make a five-year plan for your life – let the plan be influenced by the new knowledge and perspective you’ve gained on your trip.
      • Be a good steward. Find ways that you can decrease your monthly expenses in order to support mission work in the country where you’ve traveled.
      • Be a disciple. Let the truth of Christ truly transform the shape of your life. Even when the emotions diminish, exercise the disciplines of faith, joy and purpose.

Some bad ways to come home:

  • Subject everyone who asks “How was your trip?” to the 30-minute story of your plane ride.
  • Make your stories all about how you survived great adversity and single-handedly saved the country you visited.
  • Make everyone feel guilty for having hot water at home.
  • Say “America sucks. We’re so selfish.” to everyone who will listen to you.
  • Be unfazed. Say “It was no big deal” when people ask “How was your trip?”.
  • Do nothing with the compassion and energy you’ve gained on your trip. It will go away eventually. Let the excitement subside and go on being ordinary.

I’d love to hear your mission trip story. Share it with me here?