Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable. — Theodore N. Vail


Frank Ocean - Blonde Tribute

A tribute video from Justin West, where he uses animes like Akira to complement the mood of the songs.


Peace and Productivity (03/16/17)

It’s 5am, and I’ve been up for an hour now. I’ve spent the last two hours on the iPad, in OmniFocus (my task manager) and Ulysses (my writing app). These two apps are split in half and sharing the screen. As I plan my tasks, and as I write this post, I’m also enjoying Watchmen (one of my favorite movies), which is layered on top of the iPad, covering a corner of the screen. Behind me, is my clothes that I just got out of the dryer, and to my left, hanging under the door frame, is my pull-up bar. To the left of the door, on a little table, is my kettle and Frenchpress, where coffee will be ready in 10 minutes.

It’s these handful of things that I’m currently cycling through: check off tasks that are complete, listen to the movie, fold shirts, write a few words, glimpse at a scene in the movie, do a few pull-ups, add ideas to the task manager, fold some shorts—rinse and repeat.

I have two hours before I have to be at work. My plan is to work on a few pages in my Life book, finish this coffee, publish this blog post, and then finish planning out the rest of my week.

Each day, I want three big tasks, no more, no less. I’ve learned that simply focusing on three task each day is the perfect amount to be productive, without getting overwhelmed, or even worse, not even doing all of the tasks you’ve planned out.

Schedule and Tasks

  • Today - Work: 9-1, finish Week 7 of Life book, write blog post, vacuum car.

  • Tomorrow - Work: Off, focus on Bolivia mission trip, work on Week 8 of Life book, spend time at Mom’s, 7pm meeting with friends.

  • Saturday - Work: Off, Men’s Breakfast: 7:30am, Church: 6:30pm.

  • Sunday - Church: 9am, Work: 11-3:30, Picnic at park: 4pm.


American Gods (Official Trailer)

April 30th.


Isaiah Thomas is 5′9 and embarrasses taller players. Here’s how he does it.

Screens. Hesitations. Mastering circus shots. Sounds familiar. When you’re the smallest guy on the court, you have to find other ways to gain an advantage.


Blonde’s Ending (Seigfried, Godspeed, Futura Free)

Play these songs, it’s therapy momma. They paying me momma, I should be paying them. I should be paying y’all honest to God. I’m just a guy, I’m not a god. Sometimes I feel like I’m a god, but I’m not a god. If I was, I don’t know which heaven would have me momma.

I want to zoom in on the ending of Frank Ocean’s Blonde. These three songs capture an eerie, abstract, and inspiring sound that’s like no other. There’s precision, mixed with complicated thoughts. There’s big stories, mixed with the smallest details about a specific moment Frank is thinking of. Each song has big concepts that could stand alone, with just the main hook and verses, but midway or towards the end of each track, they switch up into something entirely different. And on top of all of this, on all of the songs, there’s additional vocals from him, layered and sprinkled everywhere, adding pieces to this abstract puzzle.

I say all of this to say this: I appreciate the complete level of control that Ocean displays throughout the album. It’s still getting better with every listen.


Breaking Bad: The Movie

Update: video was removed.

Jason Kottke:

The events and highly intricate plot lines of Breaking Bad take place over 62 episodes spanning 5 seasons, a true megamovie. Is it possible to edit all that down into a feature-length film that makes any sense? This fan-edit aims to answer that question.


Is American Gods Suddenly Our Most Politically Relevant Show?

Joanna Robinson:

When beloved sci-fi/fantasy author Neil Gaiman first set about to write his classic 2001 novel American Gods, he did so with an immigrant’s eye. This Englishman with an obsessive love for mythology went on a massive writing-based road trip criss-crossing the country from coast to coast telling chronicling the story of gods the many immigrants before him had brought to American shores. Though showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green could never have known it when they initially signed on to adapt the book for TV back in 2014, this immigrant tale has become one of the most surprisingly politically relevant shows of the Trump era. The show doesn’t premiere on Starz until April 30, but the first episode debuted Saturday at SXSW in Austin. It reveals a show both unafraid of showing its teeth and drawing its audience into a unifying embrace.


Every Legend of Zelda Game, Ranked (30 years)

18 games.


Cross Church Notes: Love Handles (Weeks 1-5)

Week 1

  • John 13:35
  • Ephesians 4, 5, 6
  • Ephesians 5:1-2
  • Ephesians 5:21

How assumptions work

  1. Assumptions affect our decisions.
  2. Assumptions are invisible to you.

A cultural assumption that affects our relationships is the assumption that relationships should make us happy.

Truths about happiness

  1. Happiness is a moving target.
  2. Happiness is in conflict with itself.
  3. Happiness is getting your way.
  4. Happiness is not a destination.
  5. Happiness is not love.

It’s the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness.

There’s relationships, some for reasons, some for seasons, and some for lifetimes.

Submitting means having a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden.

Which will you apply?

  1. Voluntary attitude of giving
  2. Cooperating
  3. Assuming responsibility
  4. Carrying a burden

What if we honored people in our lives as if they never did wrong?

If you want change in your relationship, you can’t change what they’re gonna do. The one thing I can change, is me.

Week 2

  • John 13:35
  • 1 Corinthians 7:26
  • Psalm 51:10
  • Proverbs 6:32
  • Proverbs 18:22
  • Romans 12:1

What if God intended relationships to make us Holy, not to make us happy?

You’re be more successful in your relationships when you’re coming from a place of fulfillment not for fulfillment.

Your single season should be

  1. Healthy
  2. Fruitful
  3. Intentional
  4. Pure

Healthy

  • You cannot expect a relationship to make you whole.

  • Life does not begin with marriage. It begins with salvation.

  • Transferring unmet needs of your past to a spouse will end in pain.

Fruitful

  • How fruitful is your single season?

Intentional

  • Dating is for the purpose of marriage.

  • Your dating experiences should bring honor to God, family, your testimony, and your date’s testimony.

  • Dating is a time to be real not to impress.

Purity

  • Ways to find purity: awareness, advancement, accountability, availability

  • Place guardrails in your dating relationships.

  • You must be led by your spirit in dating, not your body and soul.

  • Find accountability to support holiness in your relationships.

Week 3

  • Philippians 2:3
  • Psalm 103:10
  • James 4:6
  • Psalms 127:1
  • Jeremiah 29:13

Keys to a healthy marriage

  1. Celebrate your differences
  2. Communicate effectively
  3. Feed the romance
  4. Make time for hot topics
  5. Give each other grace
  6. Have a Jesus First relationship

There are four keys to communicating with your spouse

  • Be honest
  • Be positive
  • Be diligent
  • Be forgiving

There are five love languages

  • Physical touch
  • Acts of service
  • Quality time
  • Words of affirmation
  • Receiving gifts

Two things that hinder us from showing our spouse grace

  1. The Me” lens
  2. The Love If” lens

The thing that hinders us from giving unconditional love is pride.

Week 4

  • John 13:35
  • James 4:6
  • Romans 12:10
  • Proverbs 15:1

Book: The Good Fight

The absence of conflict does not equal health.

The difference between a marriage that grows happier and one that grows more miserable is not whether they fight but how they fight.

Arguments where one partner or the other becomes defensive or stubborn or withdraw a are particularly destructive.

The essence of a bad fight boiled down to a single ingredient: pride.

If pride can get the devil kicked out of heaven, pride can get you kicked out of bed.

The anatomy of a good fight: The Core

1. Cooperation

Good fighters fight for a win-win.

Fore more cooperation:

  • Share withholds
  • Rate the depth of your disagreement
  • Agree to disagree when necessary

2. Ownership

Good fighters own their piece of the pie.

For more ownership:

  • Apologize when you mean it
  • Practice the XYZ formula

Tips on how to say I’m sorry.”

Three R’s:

  • Responsibility
  • Regret
  • Remedy

XYZ:

  • X: In situation
  • Y: When you do
  • Z: I feel

3. Respect

Good fighters steer clear of belittling.

For more respect:

  • Don’t be cruel
  • Take a time-out if needed

4. Empathy

Good fighters step into each other’s shoes.

For more empathy:

  • Read your partner’s mind
  • Send up prayers for your partner

Week 5

  • John 13:35
  • Proverbs 16:5
  • Proverbs 16:18
  • Jeremiah 21:11
  • 1 Samuel 9:1-17
  • Roman’s 5:8
  • 1 Samuel 10:9

Pride prevents you from your promise.

What do donkey missions do?

  1. Donkey missions test your patience.
  2. Donkey missions will keep us humble.
  3. Donkey missions test our motives.
  4. Donkey missions are always about something bigger.

More leaders lose their way on donkey missions than on purpose missions.

How do I apply this?

  1. Be faithful.
  2. Don’t let anything be beneath you.
  3. Stop seeing things as pointless, and start seeing things as practice.
  4. Let God change your heart.