serve austin sunday

August 31, 2009 | Leave a comment

Before we moved to Austin, one of the local church planters I had contact with was Brandon Hatmaker. Brandon had planted Austin New Church in the year before we moved. Brandon offered ongoing help before, and since, our arrival through prayer, encouragement and some on the ground perspective.

ANC was started with an emphasis on active service.… Read more (phase one)

August 28, 2009 | Leave a comment

Yesterday morning, we went live with phase one of a new website for Help End Local Poverty I’m very happy with how it turned out, and hope it will serve well to shape the movement Chris and company are pulling together.

I built the site on the framework of a fantastic base template my friend Todd Hiestand has been working on.… Read more

scrivener to go

August 28, 2009 | 4 Comments

Like most apps, Scrivener updated this week to get ready for Snow Leopard. The new version is 1.52, but it’s not just about Snow Leopard. It also includes a nifty little feature to import notes from Combine this with WriteRoom for iPhone (iTunes link), and you have a seamless way to capture content or research on your iPhone for use in Scrivener.… Read more

philly in october anyone?

August 27, 2009 | Leave a comment

I would love to be heading up to Philly in October.

Of course, there’s a good chance the Angels will be facing off against the Phillies in the World Series. (Yeah, I know. Yankees blah blah blah.)

The main reason, though, is the The Scripture and Culture Seminar. This event being sponsored by two churches in the Ecclesia Network: The Well and Renew, pastored by my friends Todd and JR respectively.… Read more

yes please

August 27, 2009 | Leave a comment

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the delightful results of obedience

August 26, 2009 | 1 Comment

In light of the thoughts I had on Matthew 5 last week, I emphatically underlined this quote this morning:

The focus, then, is not so much on the rules themselves, but on the kind of people we want to be. Moreover, the motivation lies not in the rules as laws for behavior, but in the positive invitation of God’s grace and in the delightful results of obedience.Read more

textexpander on the iphone!

August 26, 2009 | 1 Comment

It’s been a long time coming. In my case, it’s been 653 days…

I don’t want to take all the credit for this happening (a significant portion will do), but TextExpander Touch has arrived! If you’re not familiar with TextExpander, see this post. Go on…we’ll wait.

I installed TextExpander Touch last night and started putting it through the paces.… Read more

recent reading

August 25, 2009 | 2 Comments

Aside from some of the publisher’s reviews I’ve been doing, I’ve not posted must about some of my recent reading. Here are a few books that I’ve read in the last few months that stand out:

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan
The choices we make as individuals have a greater impact on culture and creation than we usually recognize.… Read more

site launch (soon): helponenow

August 24, 2009 | Leave a comment

Sshh…this isn’t completely public yet, so don’t tell anyone.

I’m excited to show you the new website for HELPonenow. HELPonenow is an initiative of Help End Local Poverty focused on finding financial partners to cover the monthly needs of orphaned children at a home in Zimbabwe. (And once those children’s needs are met, I’m sure we will find more.)

I spent much of the spring working on this website, and I’m excited that it will finally launch publicly in the next few weeks.… Read more

contexts: meetings

August 24, 2009 | Leave a comment

This is part of an ongoing series on Contexts where I explore some of the unique contexts I’ve been working with in my GTD system.

I’ve added a new context to OmniFocus. This one seems kind of obvious, but it’s not one I’ve thought to use before. In fact, some of you GTD’ers might already use this one.… Read more


August 23, 2009 | 1 Comment

I started this blog five years ago to share things I was learning and thinking about, mostly from my reading. However, my five year review reminded me the first few years of this blog really were more of a lifestream. Yes, there were lots of thoughts from books, but there was a lot of wondering aloud and life updates.… Read more


August 21, 2009 | 2 Comments

Though I love the extra time with my daughter that summer offers, I’ve been looking forward to school starting again. This summer was busy and chaotic…who knew moving 2 miles could cause so much disruption? I’m looking forward to having a little bit of regularity return to our life rhythm.

I’m not looking foward to one thing, though.… Read more

we are not alone

August 20, 2009 | Leave a comment

I know, I know. From the title, you were expecting aliens. Finally, you thought, we are going to hear John’s views on Roswell, Area 51, and all things big headed and bug eyed.


This post is about something more important, I think.

In the last few years, one of my most important learnings has been that Christianity as a world religion is not marked or defined by my experience as a white male growing up in an Evangelical North American background.… Read more

toward goodness and beauty

August 17, 2009 | 2 Comments

We had a great dialogue around Matthew 5 last night in our Austin Mustard Seed gathering. Some of these thoughts came out of that…

For some, the Sermon on the Mount can be troubling because it might seem that Jesus is setting the bar even higher than the Law. One perspective is that Jesus point is to prove that we need grace, because we can never attain to the standards God has for us.… Read more

hands on with pdfpen

August 17, 2009 | 1 Comment

Let me begin with a mild disclaimer. Everyone once in a while, I get an email from a software developer asking if I’d like to review their software. I enjoy reviewing software, but I often turn down those opportunities. I try to limit my reviews to those pieces of software that I would actually find useful and that fit within the direction of this blog.… Read more


August 15, 2009 | Leave a comment

I am drawn back to watch this every 3-4 months and it’s time for me to watch it again.

Maybe it is for you too…

Sigur Rós – Glósóli from on Vimeo.… Read more

deadlines can be lifelines [the creative habit]

August 10, 2009 | 1 Comment

This post is part of an ongoing series of reflections on my reading of The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp.

It was February 24 of this year that I began this series of reflections on The Creative Habit. Fresh off of reading the book, I had quite a few ideas I was looking forward to sharing and I said so: “In the weeks to come, I will offer some of my own reflections from the book.”

That was 24 weeks ago.… Read more

creativity is an act of defiance [the creative habit]

August 7, 2009 | Leave a comment

This post is part of an ongoing series of reflections on my reading of The Creative Habit, by Twyla Tharp.

From time to time, I look back at some notes I collected from The Creative Habit to find inspiration for more reflections to share here. The quote below is one I see every time, but have failed to write anything about.… Read more