Your Story Doesn’t End in Pain

running-sunset

I’ve considered myself a runner for most of my life. Whether playing soccer, running track or cross country, or jogging through the forested hills of Oregon, it’s something I’ve done from the time I could walk. There’s something liberating about putting on shoes and heading out the door.

Which is why, at nineteen, I was devastated when a leg injury kept me from running more than a mile at a time.

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What I Learned From Thinking I Might Lose My Dad

death

You never expect it to happen to you. But, of course, it does. It happens to every single one of us.

I’m talking about a recent phone call from my dad. He’d been battling an infection for several days and it was only getting worse. So bad, in fact, that he needed to admit himself into a hospital.

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Don’t Let Your Calling Get Derailed

secret

Not too long ago, a friend resigned a high-profile position in the government. Not because he wanted to spend more time with his family, or find a lower-stress job, or change career paths.

He resigned because of a public scandal that exposed a series of lies. There’s much that saddens me about my friend’s downfall. What’s perhaps worst is the insignificance of the crime. My friend derived little benefit from it, yet for it he risked everything.

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The Worst Dating Advice I Ever Received

couple

It’s hard to believe it was just over one year ago that my life as a bachelor came to an end. Although there was much about that lifestyle I enjoyed—the sense of freedom, the lack of responsibilities, the ease of decision-making—there’s more about it I don’t miss. In fact, there’s one particular aspect I’ll never regret leaving behind.

Dating.

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Don’t Just Talk About Faith—Live It!

living

One summer while in high school, I attended a two-week conference in the mountains of Colorado. For ten hours a day, we listened to lecture after lecture about topics relating to our faith. From a Christian perspective, we heard about the Bible, apologetics, comparative religions, cultural issues, politics, and science.

At the time, I enjoyed the experience, living among those who agreed with me on the fundamentals of life and learning about my faith. But now, nearly 20 years later, I wonder if those two weeks could have been better spent.

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The Remedy to Cynicism

cynical

There’s nothing worse than cynicism—the feeling that nothing you do matters since life is meaningless and everything’s falling apart anyway. I should know, because for several months in my early twenties, I struggled with such thoughts.

Fortunately, this season didn’t last long. Not because I had a sudden epiphany and pulled myself out of it. But because of something God did.

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Turning Down the Volume of a Noisy World

focus

Every day it seems the world is noisier than the day before. There are so many voices vying for our attention, so many demands on our time, so many concerns shouting in our ear. The volume is constantly increasing.

Focus is not only difficult to find these days, it’s only getting harder. Yet focus is an essential ingredient to channeling our passion and creativity into art.

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I Was Wrong About Jesus

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For the first eight years of my life, my family attended a Baptist church. So every Sunday I crafted felt cutouts of Jonah, Moses, and David, sung about the walls of Jericho crumbling down, and acted out stories of Jesus and his many miracles.

As a child, I liked this version of Jesus. But now that I’m an adult, I find him somewhat boring and irrelevant.

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How to Approach Relationships

talk

The other day I ran into an old friend. I hadn’t seen him in a few years and was eager to catch up. For ten minutes, I peppered him with questions about life and marriage and work. With enthusiasm, he responded to every single question.

I expected my friend to eventually direct the conversation toward me—a lot had happened in my life since we last talked. But he didn’t.

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How To Be Successful At Everything You Do

success

When I was a kid, I played little league baseball. Somehow, I usually ended up on one of the best teams in the league. Although I obviously liked winning, I didn’t like the pressure it created.

One year, we vied for league champions against another team. The last game of the season saw us competing for the title. As expected, it was a close game—so close, in fact, that by the final inning, they were only up by one.

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