Month: October 2013


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Virgin America has taken a BORING speech and transformed it into something that passengers will PAY ATTENTION TO and even, dare I say it, ENJOY.

You know that “all-too-easy-to-ignore” schpiel at the beginning of every airplane flight? Well, you’ve never seen it done like this before!

Take a peek.


  • How can you be a CHANGE AGENT where you are today?
  • What BORING stuff can be made more INTERESTING and ENJOYABLE simply because you were a part of it? 

BOOK REVIEW: Open: What Happens When You Get Real, Get Honest, and Get Accountable

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Craig Gross, the founder of XXXChurch and Fireproof Ministries, has written a helpful book for every man and woman in need of accountability. He unpacks the myths of accountability (not just about asking questions to feel guilty) and infuses greater meaning to the approach of accountability (intimacy, honesty and vulnerability before God and one another).

The book uses plenty of references from pop culture and semi-current news — U2 & Bono, Justin Bieber, Tiger Woods, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Penn State football. He admits that his son likes Justin Bieber, though I wonder if that still holds true after more scandals that have arisen after the book was released. Only proving the need for better accountability.

These references may limit the shelf-life of Open for the next generation but is appropriate for today’s readers. 

One story stands out in particular. One of the author’s kids had learned how to break his father’s iPhone password. Instead of punishing his son or changing the password, the author used it as a teaching opportunity to guard his son’s heart and share with him the consequences of abusing the privileges. He gave guidelines and boundaries and explained that if any unauthorized purchases or downloads showed up on his email notices, then the iPhone would be taken away.

Simple. True. Gracious. I love it.

I wonder if the book would have benefited more from a discussion guide or group study questions.

Nevertheless, I am sure that this book will have an impact for people who are hungry to get real before the LORD and their communities.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

2 Lines from the Princess Bride — the one you know and the one you might not

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Actor Mandy Patinkin is struck by his own words. He almost forgot he said them.

At the end of the classic film THE PRINCESS BRIDE, his character utters these profound lines from 25 years ago. The most potent line in the whole film.

How does that resonate with you?

What other famous movie lines stick with you? 


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Soul Pancake has done it again. This video is awesome.

You won’t be able to watch it without thinking about someone who made an impact on you.

Who are you impacting? Who impacted you? Who do you need to call RIGHT NOW? Would anyone pick up their phone to call you?

Watch the video for 7 minutes. Then pick up your phone and make a 7 minute phone call.

Your health and happiness depend on it. Especially those who are least happy.

You’ll thank me for it. In advance: YOU ARE WELCOME.

20 Things to Do Before You Turn 40

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Here is a list of 20 Things to Do Before You Turn 40 — a bucket list of sorts. 



* still on my to-do

1 – Read the Entire Bible Cover-to-Cover 

2 – See Your Favorite Band Live at Least Once

*3 – Run a Marathon (or Some Kind of Endurance Race)

*4 – Watch Every Film on the AFI Top 100

5 – Pick a Country and Go Visit

6 – Speak a Second Language

7 – Write Letters to the Five People Who Have Most Impacted Your Life

8 – Watch Every Season of a Few Great TV Shows

9 – Give Away Something Really Expensive

*10 – Make Amends With Any ‘Enemies’ 

11 – Apply for Your Dream Job

12 – Take the Stage. Alone

13 – Go on a Road Trip of at Least a Thousand Miles

14 – Write a Short Story

15 – Go On a Mission/Humanitarian Aid Trip

16 – Learn to Play an Instrument

17 – Find a Mentor and a Mentee

18 – Memorize the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostle’s Creed, the Great Commission and the Beatitudes

19 – Face your fear

20 – Sponsor a child


  • Which of these remain on your bucket list?
  • What other To-Do’s would you add to your personal list? 

Pandora Founder was a…NANNY!

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Everyone learns in different ways. Some are book-learners. Others are more hands on. Some are visual learners while others are aural (audio) learners.

Every job, every loss, every weird experience is a teachable moment.

Take it from Tim Westergren, one of the founders of PANDORA. He wrote this for Linked-In and it was too good not to share.



My Road to Pandora: How I Went From Nanny to Founder

My first full time job after college was as a nanny. For five years I took care of kids, supplementing my income with a motley assortment of piano gigs (including a Holiday Inn lounge). I then began playing in rock bands, eventually giving up the “manny” gig for a more flexible part time job so I could travel. Years of rehearsing, recording and touring around the Pacific Northwest were followed by a stint as a film composer where I tried with very modest success to carve out a living writing scores. I commuted to and from Los Angeles, gradually moving from student films, to small indie projects, to finally a couple feature films. It was a patchwork life – long on learning but short on security.

By my mid-thirties, I’d developed my piano chops and could get around a recording studio, but I was essentially penniless and in many ways still treading water. If you’d told me then that I’d build a 1000-employee public company, I would have said you were nuts.

My experience with Pandora has completely changed my perspective on the notion of a career track. Having now traversed the entire arc from an idea to public company, I no longer believe that the skills you need to become a business leader can only be perfected in traditional vocations. Rather, I think the important skills are the basic ones, and those you can learn just about anywhere. I’m thinking of things like teamwork, communication, tenacity, problem-solving, creativity, etc. I don’t have an MBA or any formal business training. I learned what I needed to know by taking care of kids, managing a band, and fighting for work as a film composer.

I think for many people, the idea of starting a company seems foreign. It certainly was for me. When I first came up with the idea for the Music Genome Project it took me many months to act on it – mostly because I just didn’t have the notion that someone with my (complete lack of) professional experience was the kind of person who started companies. As I meet more and more entrepreneurs, I’ve learned that my experience is far from unique. People take all sorts of different roads to entrepreneurship. If you’ve developed those very basic requisite skills, it doesn’t matter where you honed them.

So when you start to think that you’re too old, or you didn’t make the right choices, or don’t have the requisite skill set… just remember that a 34 year old former “manny” founded Pandora.

Photo: Getty Images

BOOK REVIEW: The Total Money Makeover (Classic Edition) – Dave Ramsey

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Disclaimer: I am an unabashed Dave Ramsey Fan. I love his radio show. I watch his online broadcasts when I can. I’ve led Financial Peace University at my church twice. And I always recommend his books and class to others when the subject of MONEY comes up.

Think of The Total Money Makeover like a financial P90x or Insanity workout. With the kind of blood, sweat and tears that fitness gurus promise to anyone willing to dedicate themselves to disciplined exercise, Dave Ramsey makes the bold claims that getting financially fit with the 7 Baby Steps will get you into the best financial shape of your life! The basics include getting an emergency fund in place (Kicking Murphy Out of your life) and getting rid of all your debt using the debt snowball. Once debt is out of the picture, it’s time to invest with mutual funds (for retirement, college) and then paying off your home mortgage. The biggest baby step (and most fun) is to build wealth and give a bunch of it away!

The only negative I have is that I wish I had known about this book and FPU 20 years ago!!!! Because time matters. It seriously does. I think every high school junior needs to learn the principles in this book. I wonder what change would come about if a copy of The Total Money Makeover was required reading for every college student… and every US Senator and Congressman for that matter!

Being in my mid-30s, I’ve found that being out of debt and having control of our spending have been so empowering. We use the cash envelope system in our family and we were able to even increase our charitable giving this year.

The Total Money Makeover Classic Edition takes Dave Ramsey’s proven principles of Biblical stewardship and practical financial advice and applies them to personal economic ACTION. Where there are usually very difficult and intimidating financial terms, he distills them down into simple definitions and word pictures that even a teenager would understand. Again, I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like to have this resource in my hand 20 years ago!

Some of the best parts of this book are:

  • The true life stories of families and singles who have been transformed by the 7 Baby Steps, in their own words
  • The Myths and Truths about various financial concepts
  • The budgeting forms included in the back of the book to get started

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”