By In Small Thoughts

Meet Andrew & Andy. They’re Helping Hamilton Love Jesus.

These two men are Christian leaders in Hamilton, helping people connect with God (Andrew on the left, Andy on the Right).

Both are doing simple, but fun things to bring believers together, train them in spiritual disciplines, create spaces for worship, and build up the church in Hamilton. And both men are just getting started, although they’ve been working for a while now. (more…)

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By In Small Thoughts

Gritty Faith

Why are most Christian magazines so cheesy?

In the process of writing a profile about a local Christian leader, Jade was helping me look for Christian magazines that might run the article. She messaged me while at work about how cheesy it all was. I usually try to defend Christian media, but there’s no defense for this. Christian media is typically cliche, predictable, buried in fluff, and straight up cringe worthy.

Am I wrong? (more…)

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By In Small Thoughts

When Waiting Looks Like Working

If there was a test at the end of this life-course, I’ve failed. “Waiting” and “Rest” were repeated themes over the past few months. In the time that I was given to rest and “learn of Jesus,” selfish ambition and weeds of worldly worries strangled my peace. (more…)

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By In Short Stories

What He Couldn’t See

** This short story was written for a Writer’s Digest Prompt: When a man takes lunch to his wife’s office, he’s told that she hasn’t worked there in weeks.**

White hot anger oozed from his eyes like puss. A small piece of paper quivered in his hands. Why hadn’t he noticed the signs? They showed up a couple months ago.

* * *

(more…)

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By In Essays

What the San Bernardino Shooters Share in Common With the Zuckerbergs

When someone my age decides that massacring co-workers is the logical next step in their life, I wonder at how drastically different their life must be from mine.

Sayed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were married and had stable jobs. They left behind a 6 month old baby girl when they gunned down 14 people at a Christmas party.

My wife and I are about to have a baby. What would have to happen in our lives to leave our brand new baby behind, destroying our family and 14 others? (more…)

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By In Essays

Creating a Horcrux

Become a parent. Become immortal.

You can live forever by splintering your soul and placing the shards into objects or other people so that a portion of you will always live on.

If you’ve amassed enough power for yourself, you may even be able to come back from the dead.

There’s horror though. Tearing your soul apart requires murder. You must take someone else’s life if you want immortality. But it’s not a guaranteed plan and you loose your humanity in the process.

There’s another way. It’s more like an investment, like planting a tree. But it still requires a death. I discovered this when my daughter was born.

If my little girl is going to grow up in love, a part of me has to die.

Part of my soul is sacrificed to water her little soul. Everyday, a part of me is given to her. Affection, kisses, smiles, concern, time, critical thinking, problem solving — all use my life to enrich hers.

There are immediate rewards. Her smiles. Her laughs. Her gazes. Her snuggles. But she has my soul. Or a portion of it anyway.

Then there are the indirect expenditures that happen. Cleaning up after her. Spending time away from her. Working to keep her in a cozy home.

Dreams and ambitions have to take a back seat for a little bit. Some days I can dream a little more because she isn’t as fussy. Other days I watch her while wife cleans the spit up off her clothes.

Mornings are often our time. Some mornings she sleeps in, but when she’s awake early, my wife needs an extra hour of rest to feel human. Normally I get some writing or research done early. But that can’t always happen when the little one is so cute and smiley. Who’s going to resist the excitement of a baby fully awake to the world?

Here’s the deal. Nothing is lost. NOTHING.

Part of my soul is forever in the hands of my daughter. She will carry my heart after I’ve passed on. My life waters her reality right now, but it’s creating rivers under the surface of her heart that she can always draw on.

This is what it’s like to create a horcrux. The right way. It must be. It sounds awful, but a horcux is just a container for your soul. This is natural immortality, without a spell or murder.

No, this is love. Sacrificing your own soul to bring another fully into life.

Some say that it’s not a sacrifice at all. That love doesn’t hurt or that it’s not inconvenient.

I say love without sacrifice is a shallow emotional experience.

Love is my immortality. Everything I’ve poured into people will carry my soul on after I’m gone. There’s been no greater extraction than what I’ve imparted to my daughter.

It was involuntary. She pulled me apart the moment I laid eyes on her. And I will give her more. I ask for nothing back.

If this is how I feel, I can’t imagine my wife’s experience.

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By In Essays

Passion That Death Can’t Match

God is passionate for you. Or more accurately, he is jealous for you.

Ever been jealous of a friendship, wishing you were a part of the inner circle? Ever been jealous for someone’s attention — a crush, falling in love while it feels like they barely notice? It’s a desperate need that bullies your thoughts.

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By In Open Sky Copywriting

Inside the Marketing That Powers GoWrench Auto’s Industry Disruption

GoWrench Auto is a Hamilton company that’s disrupting the auto repair industry. They’re expanding to other cities and building an app. Referrals, content and digital marketing power their expansion.

Getting your car serviced is like going to the doctors. You need to take time off work or out of your family life to get it done. You’re either sitting in a waiting room for 45 minutes or driving to the shop, getting a shuttle back to work, then getting a shuttle back to the shop, and driving home or back to work. Inconvenient. But that’s how it is. (more…)

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By In Open Sky Copywriting

Twitter’s influencer pipe dream

Influencers are millennials trying to cash in on their social media followers.

Twitter wants you to believe that influencers drive purchase decisions.

This social media exec says otherwise.

“Just because photos look good and have 200,000 followers means nothing. You can’t rely on content creators all day long.”

(more…)

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By In Open Sky Copywriting

What is Facebook Instant Articles?

Have you seen the links on Facebook with the little lightning bolt icon in the top right corner yet?

Tap the link and, woosh, the article swoops in from the right. It was quick and you didn’t have to leave the Facebook app. Scrolling is smooth, images, videos and ads fit perfectly, and liking or sharing is only tap away.

This is a Facebook Instant Article. Last year Facebook invited a handful of publishers to test Instant Articles. Today (Tuesday, April 12th, 2016) Facebook is opening the platform up to everyone. (more…)

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