Thought Thread: Map

[1] A Better Morning Routine
Over 300 high achievers share how they devise their daily tasks for optimal output. 

[2] Your Body is a Map of Emotions
When angry, do you feel it in your torso? Cartography is impacting our view of being.

[3] Maps and Women and Men
Research reveals men have better spatial awareness. Read how women can change theirs.

[4] My Thoughts: The Iraq and The Maps
Yes, this is almost twelve years old, but whenever I think of maps, I think of this incident.

[5] Free Sermon: Finding the Way
The first message in a series on the Gospel of Mark.

[6] Book Recommendation: 12 Rules for Life
It might seem common sense, but this list gets you thinking about your habits. Click here for some quotes from the book.

[7] Media Recommendation: Journey Mapping
A design strategy breaking down simple processes, creating moments for enhancement. 
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Thought Thread: End

[1] How to Win Arguments Without Making Enemies
Rather than end relationships when conflicts arise, we can be agents of peace.

[2] Breaking up on Youtube
This article opens a door to better understanding the influence of Youtube culture and how emerging generations view their personal relationships.  

[3] The World’s Favorite Number
The search engine offers a spoiler-free Easter Egg for Marvel fans.

[4] My Thoughts: A Fire for Sacred Spaces
My take on the theological implications of the fire at Notre Dame in Paris.

[5] Free Sermon: This COULD End Well
A final message of a series on the book of Ecclesiastes.

[6] Book Recommendation: The Efficiency Paradox
Our modern desire to economical can sometimes work against us. Some selected book quotes here.

[7] Media Recommendation: Team Thor
With the end of this chapter of Marvel's universe, this comedic bit is still one of their best.

Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Extreme

[1] The Pros and Cons of Perfectionism
Perfection is an extreme often pursued. But is it a healthy endeavor?

[2] Exploring Absurd Ideas is Essential to Success
It's an edgy thought, but try the other end of the spectrum.

[3] Extreme Commuting
As someone who works from home, I'm shocked at how far people live from their work.

[4] My Wife's Thoughts: Hope in the Ashes
I'm proud of the work Kelly did in telling the story of the Paradise, California fires.

[5] Free Sermon: Biblical Balance
The Teacher from Ecclesiastes warns us to avoid extremes.

[6] Book Recommendation: The Rational Optimist
In an age of rampant pessimism, try looking on the bright side of life. Here are some quotes from the book.

[7] Media Recommendation: Free Solo 
If you missed it, this National Geographic documentary shows the extremes a pursued in his rope-free climb of El Capitan. It's available for streaming on some outlets.

Thought Thread: Wealth

[1] Money Isn't Buying America Happiness
A short article reveals that we Americans undervalue the impact of societal issues.

[2] Growing Up With Too Much Wealth
A Disney heir reveals how her family's rich lifestyle spiraled out of control.

[3] How to Lose Both Time and Money
This post by an entrepreneur is almost a decade old, but is a valuable lesson today.

[4] My Thoughts: What's My Calling?
Numerous people have asked me over the years how to discern God's will in their lives.

[5] Free Sermon: Wealth is Meaningless
Ecclesiastes encourages us to adopt a counter-cultural perspective toward wealth.

[6] Book Recommendation: The Four
Scott Galloway examines the impact of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. Some quotes to see if this book interests you.

[7] Financial Poverty, Spiritual Wealth 
This article from my team reveals a great truth while highlighting an incredible ministry.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Honest

[1] How Coffee Makes You More Honest
I will always promote studies that justify my caffeine addiction.

[2] Different Kinds of Stupid
If we're being honest, if there are different kinds of smart . . .

[3] The Secret to Organizational Change is Empathy
Allowing people to honestly grapple with their feelings can be empowering. 

[4] My Thoughts: Soccer Will Soon Become America's Favorite Sport
This hot-take is pure subjectivity, but I stand by it.

[5] Free Sermon: Honest Words (Ecclesiastes 5)
The latest message from a series on Ecclesiastes endorses transparent language.

[6] Book Recommendation: To Sell Is Human
I recommend this Daniel Pink book to practically everyone. These quotes will help you get a sense of why I enjoy it. 

[7] Media Recommendation: If Coffee Commercials Were Honest
Tying a bow on this thread by being honest about my caffeine addiction.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Isolation

[1] How to Talk to People
NPR's Terry Gross is a gifted interviewer. Here are 8 tips for better conversations.

[2] Public Speaking: the Key to Success in Any Field
You can't hide it. Persuasion and storytelling are now "must-have" skills for work.

[3] Incubation, Ideation, and Editing: Beethoven's Creativity
Despite being deaf, Beethoven mastered the art of composing. Good lessons here.

[4] My Thoughts: The Fortification of the Restoration Movement
The final of a three-part series in the Christian Standard, reworked from my Forces series.

[5] Free Sermon: Isolation is Meaningless (Ecclesiastes 4)
The book of Ecclesiastes provides more insight into making sense of the world.

[6] Book Recommendation: Linchpin
Yet another short but power-packed read by Seth Godin. You need to read some selected quotes and you'll read it.

[7] Media Recommendation: The Innovation of Loneliness
This infographic video makes a strong case as to why social media is actually isolating us.

Photo by Iswanto Arif on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Work

[1] Keep Productivity Vampires from Sucking Away Your Time 
Ten ways to avoid tasks that drain energy from your best work.

[2] Four Common Business Writing Mistakes 
Sometimes our obsession with what to say keeps us from focusing on how we say it.

[3] Work from Home is the Smartest Strategy 
Our digitized society is changing the way we should view work. 

[4] Don't Work "Remotely"
Or maybe not?

[5] My Thoughts: Finance and the Restoration Movement
This is the second of a three-part series I wrote for The Christian Standard. It's focused on my tribe of churches, but even non-tribe members may be interested.

[6] Free Sermon: Work is Meaningless
Of course it is, but learn why from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes.

[7] Book Recommendation: The Black Swan
This 2007 book was voted one of the top ten influential books since World War 2. There are some terrific quotes here, so I included a sampling.

Do you have a reaction to this week's thread? Leave a comment below

Photo by Muhammad Raufan Yusup on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Happy

[1] Does Manual Labor Boost Happiness?
Yes, says this research from these neuroscientists.

[2] The Downside of Being Happy
Research shows that a little sadness can fuel your creativity.

[3] How Goldfish Crackers Took Over the World
I still snack on these things so this article warmed my heart.

[4] My Thoughts: Black Friday, Bright Sunday
I wrote this post a couple of years ago about finding happiness in a dark time.  

[5] Free Sermon: Pleasure is Meaningless
Another message about meaninglessness from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes.

[6] Book Recommendation: Trend Following
While this book is primarily about investing, it has some great tidbits/quotes for broader audiences. Here are some quotes to introduce you to it.

[7] Media Recommendation: Happiness is a Coke?
This short Valentine's video shows that love can be its own currency.

Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Depth

[1] The Genius of Learning
This unique presentation of a MacArthur Fellow's research reminds us to not overthink it.

[2] See Things From a Managers’ Perspective
A Silicon Valley engineer provides a deeper view of leadership.

[3] Repair Is as Important as Innovation
We're a culture that worships the new, but maintenance will be just as critical in the future.

[4] My Thoughts: Past, Present, & Future of the Movement
The Christian Standard is publishing a three-part series on my Restoration Movement thoughts.

[5] Free Sermon: Wisdom is Meaningless
Continuing through the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes (from Ecclesiastes 1:4-18).

[6] Book Recommendation: Thinking in Bets
Poker champion Annie Duke reveals how educated decision making influenced her craft. Try out some quotes from the book.

[7] Media Recommendation: High-Yield vs. In-Depth Learning
While this isn't a well-produced video, I was fascinated to hear how a doctor explained a philosophy of studying for medical students. It's a deeper cut, but still interesting.

Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Search

First thread of the year. Stop searching for links and get them sent to your inbox by subscribing to the Thread.

[1] 
How To Motivate Yourself To Do Things You Don't Want To Do
Welcome to 2019. Get stuff done.

[2] Searching for the Best Car You Can Buy?
Apparently the United States Postal Service has it.

[3] Are Google Searches Worse Than Fake News?
Finding truth isn't as easy as we imagine.

[4] Why Influencer Marketing Is Not All It's Cracked Up To Be
Marketers used to bet on cool to spread content. Research shows it's more random. 

[5] Free Sermon: Everything is Meaningless
A new series on the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes (from Ecclesiastes 1:1-3).

[6] Book Recommendation: God in Search of Man
This classic by a rabbi reveals a concept with which Christians can find harmony. Here are some selected quotes from the book.

[7] Media Recommendation: Sunderland 'Till I Die
As a soccer fan, I'm fascinated by the search for success in a peculiar system. This documentary on Netflix reveals a passionate pursuit.

Photo by Paul Green on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Random Threads from 2018

This is the last Thought Thread of the year. Sincerely, thank you for sticking with me in 2018. My goal with this newsletter has been to push thought-provoking content and provide some useful resources. I hope I’ve earned your trust to do so. In 2019, I'll keep it coming but, until next year, here are some links that have no thread.

Minimize Stress Before, During, & After Vacation
If you're planning on taking some time off for the holidays, this article is a good prep.

One by One the Urgent Goes Away
A simple reminder that could help us workaholics find peace.

About Metrics
This Silicon Valley start-up guru succinctly explains what we should measure.

How the Ballpoint Pen Killed Cursive
Yep, this is random but I found it fascinating. 

The Embodied Church in a Digital Age
A balanced piece on how churches should think about their online services.

Standing Desks are Overrated
I believe this and this article agrees with me so . . . that's that.

My [Wife's] Thoughts: The Waiting
A poem that encapsulates the feeling of the season. 

Thought Thread: Extraordinary

This week’s thread is EXTRAORDINARY. No, really. Get these extraordinary links to your inbox by subscribing to the Thread.

1. LINKS
The Myth of the College Drop-out
There are many paths to success, but Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are still the exceptions. 

What Stan Lee Knew About Managing Creative People
The passing of the Marvel genius has us reflecting on his extraordinary efforts.

Here's Why Tires Are Black
I never thought about this. That's why I think it's extraordinary.

The Death of a Missionary: Thinking About John Allen Chau
The murder of a Christian missionary at the hands of a primitive tribe forces us to grapple with the complexities of the tragedy. 

2. RECOMMENDATIONS
BOOK: From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology
Should Christians embrace technology? John Dyer thoughtfully approaches the issue. Here are some quotes from the book that I found compelling.

VIDEO: I Wish It Was Christmas Today (Saturday Night Live)
As a SNL fan, I believe this to be one of the best Christmas songs of this century.

3. FREE SERMON DOWNLOAD  
I know it’s difficult preaching through Christmas, so I’m giving you some of my messages. This is a unique one that is more spoken word, but it’s one that I enjoyed preaching. Feel free to customize the message for your audience.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcript of WE HAVE A SAVIOR

Thanks for reading this content. If something here caused you to think, leave a comment below.

Photo by Cody Davis on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Change

This week’s thread is CHANGE. To stay up to date with the CHANGING culture, use your email to subscribe to this feed.

1. LINKS
Prepare for a Career that Doesn't Exist
Technological change is forcing us to think about future employment strategy.  

Principles of Persuasion for Donation
With Giving Tuesday on the horizon, non-profits should reexamine their donation page.

Is the Dark Really Making Me Sad?
If Daylight saving messes with your mind, at least this article offers a scientific reason.

My Stuff: Lessons from The West
The 1996 documentary by Ken Burns left me thinking about the stories we tell ourselves. 

2. RECOMMENDATIONS
BOOK: Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
The winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics explains how to change your thinking. These quotes will give you a taste of what you could discover.

VIDEO: The Origin of a National Holiday
Do you know that states used to celebrate Thanksgiving on different days? Learn what Mary Had a Little Lamb have to do with our national celebration.

3. FREE SERMON DOWNLOAD  
I know it’s difficult preaching through Christmas, so I’m giving you some of my messages. This is one on the Isaiah 9 prophecy.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcript of A CHILD TO CHANGE THE WORLD

A few notes: 
1. All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version
2. Feel free to customize the message for your audience. Since these sermons are heavier on commentary, there is no need to attribute the content.  

Thanks for reading this content. If something here caused you to think, leave a comment below.

Photo by Yousef Al Nasser on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Give

This week’s thread is GIVE. To stay current with the Thread, just GIVE me your email and you’ll get it in your inbox. Click here to subscribe.

1. LINKS
You'll Never Get Caught Up At Work
Give up your guilt for not finishing everything on your plate.

Learning Through Giving
To get an "A" in this class, you had to give away $50,000.

The Patient Change Agent
This longer read encourages you to give plenty of time to change your organization. 

My [Wife's] Stuff: Rivulet Collective
My wife edits a writing blog. Maybe you should write for it. You definitely need to be reading it. 

2. RECOMMENDATIONS
BOOK: Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As if your Life Depended On It
One of the best books I've read in the past five years. Learn how to negotiate. These quotes will give you a taste of what you could discover.

VIDEO: Given
My recent vacation at Surf City USA left me fascinated with surfing. This visually stunning documentary on Netflix follows a family of surfers exploring the world.

3. FREE SERMON DOWNLOAD  
I know it’s difficult preaching through Christmas, so I’m giving you some of my messages. This is a unique one: here's a message I crafted from Shel Silverstein's classic book. 

CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcript of THE GIVING TREE

A few notes: 
1. All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version
2. Feel free to customize the message for your audience. Since these sermons are heavier on commentary, there is no need to attribute the content.  

Thanks for reading my links and content. If you have a thought about something here, leave a comment below.


Photo from The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Thought Thread: Keep

This week’s thread is KEEP. If you’d like to KEEP up-to-date with the Thread, sign up to get it in your inbox by clicking here to subscribe.

1. LINKS
Americans Own Less Stuff: Is This Bad?
It depends who you ask. This economist is nervous.

When I Can't See That I'm Wrong
Our biases can keep us from our best thinking.

Keeping Diversity at the Forefront
Before demanding it of others, non-profits should prioritize it themselves.  

My Thoughts: StartUp Church Planting
Last season’s StartUp podcast covered a new church in urban Philadelphia. Here is a brief reflection of my observations.

2. RECOMMENDATIONS
BOOK: Practicing the King’s Economy
An interesting read on a scriptural view of economic justice. Get a sense of this book through some selected quotes.

VIDEO: Choosing What To Keep
Maybe it's time to declutter your life. This visualized review of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up could help get you there.

3. FREE SERMON DOWNLOAD  
We’re concluding the series on the Ten Commandments, recognizing that the connection between saying and doing is forged by keeping.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcript of Commandment Ten

A few notes: 
1. All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version
2. The Smyth and Helwys Exodus Commentary by William Johnstone is the source of exegetical content in this series. 
3. Feel free to customize the message for your audience. Since these sermons are heavier on commentary, there is no need to attribute the content.  

Thanks for keeping up with these threads. If you have a thought about something here, leave a comment below.


Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Lies

No kidding: this week’s thread is LIES. If you’d like to get the Thread in your inbox, click here to subscribe.

1. LINKS
Preserving the Problems That We Can Solve 
The Shirky Principle asks if we're deceiving ourselves about our effectiveness.

You Can't Help But Act Your Age
Science is revealing that we can indeed make age more than just a number.  

The Busy Person's Lies
A deep dive into our calendar can reveal we're not as busy as we think we are.

My Thoughts: An Urban Mission Field 
A walk around a Washington DC neighborhood with my friend Joel explores the challenges facing his young church plant.

2. RECOMMENDATIONS
BOOK: Everybody Lies
The data tells the truth: we're not truthful. I collected some quotes to see if you'll like it.

VIDEO: (Dis)honesty: The Truth About Lies
This CNBC documentary examines the science behind our truthlessness.

3. FREE SERMON DOWNLOAD  
The next sermon in a series on the Ten Commandments. When you steal, you're not getting something for nothing.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcript of Commandment Nine

A few notes: 
1. All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version
2. The Smyth and Helwys Exodus Commentary by William Johnstone is the source of exegetical content in this series. 
3. Feel free to customize the message for your audience. Since these sermons are heavier on commentary, there is no need to attribute the content.  

Honestly: thanks for reading this thread. If you have a thought about it, leave a comment below.


Photo by Javid Bunyadzade on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Free

While the Thread is always free, this week’s thread is FREE. Never miss out on these links and get the Thread in your inbox (click here).

1. LINKS
How Radical Transparency Kills Stress
Or as En Vogue taught us, "free your mind, and the rest will follow."

The Price of Free is Actually Too High
As much as we love no-cost digital services, they still come with a price. 

This Article Won't Change your Mind
A longer read about cognitive dissonance. Something for communicators to consider.

My Thoughts: Five Forces of the Restoration Movement (FUTURE)
The final installment on my series about my tribe looks forward to what lies ahead.

2. RECOMMENDATIONS
BOOK: Is God A Mathematician?
This isn't everyone's flavor, but this secularist's view of math ponders if there's something bigger behind the discipline. For some quotes from this book, click here.

SONG: Free Fallin'
The Tom Petty song is legendary. Like most songs, it was just thrown together. 

3. FREE SERMON DOWNLOAD  
The next sermon in a series on the Ten Commandments. When you steal, you're not getting something for nothing.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcript of Commandment Eight

A few notes: 
1. All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version
2. The Smyth and Helwys Exodus Commentary by William Johnstone is the source of exegetical content in this series. 
3. Feel free to customize the message for your audience. Since these sermons are heavier on commentary, there is no need to attribute the content.  

Hey, thanks for combing through this stuff. If you have a thought about this thread, leave a comment below.


Photo by Jules Marchioni on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Positive

This week we're staying POSITIVE. A reminder: you can get the Thread in your email by clicking here.

1. LINKS
Prepare for the Worst Without Being a Pessimist
You can be a realist while being positive, but it takes the right attitude.

The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking
In some instances, however, a positive attitude can lead us toward failure.

Want To Be More Productive? Get Rid of Your Internet
Look, I just can't be positive about this, but there are some compelling arguments here.

My Thoughts: Five Forces of the Restoration Movement (FORTIFICATION)
The next installment of my series on the Restoration Movement. Building walls is satisfying and sometimes necessary. My religious tribe prepared for battle and never stopped.

2. RECOMMENDATIONS
BOOK: We Are All Weird: They Myth of Mass and the End of Compliance
In this short read, marketing/business guru Seth Godin advises that the weird will inherit the earth. Click here for some of my favorite quotes from this book.

DOCUMENTARY: 9/11
17 years ago today a national tragedy paralyzed us, but some fascinating stories of heroism emerged. I am still impacted by this one about one of the first NYFD units to respond the the Trade Centers.  

3. FREE SERMON DOWNLOAD  
The next sermon in a series on the Ten Commandments. Instead of fixating on the negativity of commands, maybe we should examine our willingness to obey.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcript of Commandment Seven

A few notes: 
1. All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version
2. The Smyth and Helwys Exodus Commentary by William Johnstone is the source of exegetical content in this series. 
3. Feel free to customize the message for your audience. Since these sermons are heavier on commentary, there is no need to attribute the content.  

As always, I’m thankful that you take the time to read this. If you have a thought about this thread, leave a comment below.

Photo by Maxime VALCARCE on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Respect

This edition of the Thought Thread is dealing with RESPECT. Click here to get the Thread delivered straight to your inbox.

1. LINKS
The Most Common Type of Incompetent Leader
There's a dark side to leadership, and it's important to acknowledge it.

The New Power Structure
"Once upon a time, power was held in the hands of a small elite." Not anymore.

Does a Higher Building Lead to More Risk Taking?
People take more financial risks when they're on higher floors. Who knew?

My Thoughts: Five Forces of the Restoration Movement (FINANCE)
The next installment on my series about this Second Great Awakening movement; among other things, I discuss the power of the postage stamp.

2. RECOMMENDATIONS
BOOK: Enlightenment Now
This Harvard professor, a disruptive thinker, offers some positivity about our world. This is a different read than I normally suggest; it's not for everyone, so click here to read some selected quotes from the book.

PODCAST: Seth Godin's Akimbo
Practically everything Godin makes is gold. This specific episode of his podcast discusses what people truly want in life.

3. FREE SERMON DOWNLOAD  
How do you honor your parents as you age? A sermon from The Ten Commandments.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcript of Commandment Five

A few notes: 
1. All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version
2. The Smyth and Helwys Exodus Commentary by William Johnstone is the source of exegetical content in this series. 
3. Feel free to customize the message for your audience. Since these sermons are heavier on commentary, there is no need to attribute the content.  

Thanks for reading. Have a thought about this thread? Leave a comment below.

Photo by Tiago Felipe Ferreira on Unsplash

Thought Thread: Rest

This edition of the Thought Thread is dealing with Rest. To make sure you can keep up-to-date with my biweekly list 'o' links, sign up to get the Thread to your inbox by clicking here. 

1. LINKS
The Moral History of Air Conditioning
Yes, your cooling system was once considered to be sinful. 

When Smartphones Come to Church
I don't buy this critique of tech in worship, but it's a worthwhile conversation.

A Hidden Wire Above Manhattan
I've actually seen this. A nod to ancient observances in the midst of a modern city.

My Thoughts: Five Forces of the Restoration Movement (FREEDOM)
A series about my (un)denominational tribe. Even if you're unfamiliar with our church Movement, you'll find our journey fascinating. 

2. RECOMMENDATIONS
BOOK: Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
Cal Newport offers his insight for more robust performance. I collected some quotes in this pdf.

TED TALK: The Power of Time Off
A designer's Ted Talk suggests integrating sabbath periods in your career for better work.

3. FREE SERMON DOWNLOAD  
For some Christians, the Sabbath command seems least relevant. They are mistaken.

CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcript of Commandment Four

A few notes: 
1. All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version
2. The Smyth and Helwys Exodus Commentary by William Johnstone is the source of exegetical content in this series. 
3. Feel free to customize the message for your audience. Since these sermons are heavier on commentary, there is no need to attribute the content.  

Thanks for reading. Have a thought about this thread? Leave a comment below.

Photo by Vu Thu Giang on Unsplash