2013: A Year Surveyed

After taking a few years off from this tradition (2010 - 2012), I've decided to pick it back up again. If you'd like to compare this to past years', you can click for 200920082007, and 2006.

1) What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Lost a former mentor and friend (same person) and helped people all over the world celebrate his life through the wonder of technology, led my home church in a night of worship, started a photography project with an action figure, received a widow's mite, spent Easter with someone else's family, toured the Ryman, celebrated 100,000 miles, tried schawarma, helped fund a movie (Veronica Mars) on Kickstarter, took a four year old to the movies for the first time, joined a new church in my home town, went deep sea fishing, ate at Motor Supply Company, read a book a friend wrote, spent the weekend at the beach with one of my best friends and his family, ran Folly Beach, ate some Cotton Candy Grapes and authentic British food, battled a chicken home invasion, took a month long sabbatical from social media, celebrated my great aunt and uncle's fiftieth wedding anniversary, hung out with three friends from California in South Carolina, started a new job, and celebrated my friend becoming an elder at his church.


I Turn Everything Over

My birthday was in October.

For me, it's become a time of year when I pause to reflect on my life. Typical questions that come to mind are: Did you accomplish what you wanted to in the past year? Did you make "progress"? Do you like who you are becoming? What changes need to be made for the coming year? Where do you want to go next? What's the plan to get there?

But this year was a little different. And it was all because of a number.

This year I turned 33.


Would You Sell Yourself To Buy the One You've Found?

Right now, I'm sitting in Starbucks.

I've been coming to this same one every day this week to work on a questionnaire for a church I'm interviewing with. Even though this has only happened for three days in a row, I've already developed a routine. Here's how it goes: Arrive around 9am. Order my drink. (Grande Soy Toffee Nut Triple Shot Latte) Find a table and sit down. Do my morning devotional.

After that, I get to the questionnaire. But, you know, first thing's first.

Right now, my devotion includes two things: First is a Bible reading plan from youversion.com. After that, I read a devotional guide from my church.

This morning, in that devotional guide, I was reminded of something that God has been speaking to me about for the past few months.


Josh Pease and The God Who Wasn't There

Way, way back in the year of our Lord, 2008, I met Josh Pease.

I think that it was Allison that introduced us. I remember her saying, "I really like him. And you guys are a lot alike. So I really want you to meet him. Mainly because I think you're so alike, you'll either become best friends or archenemies."

I'm only slightly bummed that we didn't become archenemies.

Instead, he's become one of my favorite humans on earth. (I'm not counting the 6 people who are currently in space.)


Another Shift and My Social Media Break

(Blows dust off of blog)

Hello there, old friend. It's been a while...

Since I know that most of my readers have drifted off to much more populated (and active) blogging harbors by now, I'm going to assume that I'm writing this mostly for myself. (Which actually works out pretty well, since I think all of my best writing was done when I was doing just that.) And since I'm writing this for myself, I don't need to feel the burden of being weighted down by the need to explain what's happened since the fifth of March, when I last posted.

That being said, there are two things I want to say.


The Widow's Offering

About a month and a half ago, we had a big leadership meeting at our church. We gathered all of our leadership (deacons, teachers, ministry leaders) together for most of the day on a Saturday (yes, coffee and donuts and lunch were provided) and, as a staff, each took turns sharing with them a little about what we do, how we do it, and where we'd like to go in 2013.

Our pastor (@EGCoakley) shared first and, what he shared was pretty powerful. And do you know why? Because he used a prop. Who knew we could learn something about preaching from Carrot Top?



Confession: I love taking pictures.

It's something that I've enjoyed since I started college (way back when I was using Kodak Advantix). My junior year, I was able to buy a nice Canon Rebel that I used to cling to 35mm film photography until I began graphic design and had to make the switch to digital. I bought my first digital camera in 2006 (6 megapixels for, like, $300). Then, when I got my first iPhone in 2011, I went mobile. I began taking all of my pictures using my cell phone (which was a 5 megapixel camera). With my recent (December) upgrade to the iPhone 5, I've now got an 8 megapixel camera in my pocket at all times. (Booyah.)

So, needless to say, I'm on Instagram.

I could write pages about how much I love Instagram. But, for the purposes of this post, I'll limit my love to one thing.

During the month of February, I decided that i wanted to participate in one of those "photo a day" things. The one that I chose was created by FatMumSlim. But, here's the thing. I didn't want to do it in any normal way. I wanted something that would make it different and creative. Not to mention fun.

While hanging out with my brother one Sunday, I found one of my old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures in his room. It was Casey Jones. It was then that an idea (not to mention a #hashtag) was born.

Each day in February, I had a word or phrase to theme my picture with. Each day in February, Old School Casey Jones had an adventure. And I documented it on Instagram.

Click the jump to see the photos...