Top Ten || February

Here are ten things I'm loving that will help you move the needle.

1) "Build My Life" from Housefires

I will build my life, upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust, in You alone
And I will not be shaken

This song is an anthem of the stability found in Christ. Housefires successfully blends authenticity, truth, beautiful instrumentation, and catchy melodies to make good music. Here it is on Spotify.

2) The Topo standing mat from Ergodriven

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If you use a standing desk, join me in owning one of these. More than just a comfortable place to stand, the fine folks at Ergodriven incorporated elements designed to help you feel great and keep your feet occupied. One of my favorite features: a piece on the back that allows you to stretch your calves. They make a mini version, which is the one I have. I'll probably upgrade to the bigger edition at some point--it's that good.

3) Why You Should Organize Your Life With Lists from Stephen Guise

As David Allen says, "your mind is for having ideas, not holding them." Stephen Guise makes a great case for why you should make more lists. "The human brain isn’t designed to store information," he says. "I mean, it can certainly do that to a point, but the brain’s differentiating strength and value is in analyzing and skillfully manipulating information." For the record, I advocate for Todoist over Wunderlist.

4) The Logitech K380 keyboard

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This thing is just cool. Connect up to three devices to your keyboard at once (iPhone, computer, iPad, etc.) via Bluetooth and switch between them with ease. If you use devices that span multiple platforms, you'll be pleased to know it automatically recognizes which one you're on and adjusts keyboard shortcuts accordingly. One downside I'm currently experiencing: with iOS 11, apparently there are many Bluetooth keyboards that occasionally become unresponsive when connected to an iPad. I imagine Apple will fix this in a future software update, but for now--you have to restart your iPad to get it working again.

5) The Case For Locking Up Your Smartphone from Marcel O'Gorman

Many are recognizing the need for protected time and space away from their phones. This is driving growing demand for lockers and pockets that force people away from their devices. "It might be difficult to imagine a future where digital-abstinence products are recognized as emblems of moral fortitude (let alone as something cool) rather than as artistic provocations or as thieves of personal liberty. But I’m willing to make a case for it."

6) Pocket

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Did someone just send you a 3,000 word article? Instead of feeling like you need to read it now or leave the email in your inbox, just save the link to Pocket. Pocket turns webpages and articles into a simplified reading experience and allows you to access them on any device and offline. Save things for later and get to them on your own schedule in a cleaner and less distracted environment. Genius.

7) What I Learned About Deep Productivity from a 30-Day “Digital Declutter” from Nick Wignall

What lessons does someone learn by shutting off all unnecessary digital distractions for a month? Nick Wignall sums them up well in this post. He also makes a lot of references to Cal Newport's book, Deep Workwhich is one of my favorites on staying focused in our world today.

8) Leuchtturm1917 notebook

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Back in September, I recommended Moleskine's dotted notebook. At the beginning of the year, I wanted to try something new. Because I use a modified and simplified bullet journal system with my notebook,  I needed to stick with dots. The Leuchtturm1917 is a bit wider than the Moleskine, has pre-numbered pages, and includes an index. Plus, I'm enjoying the hardcover for a change.

9) this KINGDOM from Eliot Rausch

Eliot Rausch has always been one of my favorite filmmakers. This particular film came out seven years ago and impacted me deeply when I first saw it. This month, I found it again--and it continues to move me.

The Kingdom of God has no limits.

10) Why I hate being a foster parent (and why we will do it again) from Peter Greer

Peter Greer offers raw, honest reflections on the challenges foster parents face while remaining committed to its importance. Whether you're interested in foster care or not, Peter's words will give you better clarity around how it feels to be confident of your calling while wrestling with hard realities. "...And we know that no matter how difficult it might be, it’s the right thing for us to do.