Here are ten things I'm loving that will help you move the needle.
1) "Stress, Productivity, and Connection - Media Rules With Blaine" from the And Sons podcast
This isn't the first time And Sons has shown up on the list, and it won't be the last. In this episode, Blaine shares wisdom on what it looks like to put up intentional boundaries on your relationship with media to promote your soul's flourishing.
2) Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon and Thomas Johnson, Unlikely Friends on the Passage to Freedom by Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey
This book rocked me. It's beautifully written historical fiction and details the friendship between one of the most prolific pastors of all time and a freed slave who embarks on an inspiring missionary journey. Charles Spurgeon proclaimed the evil of slavery from Europe and had his sermons burned in the American South during the Civil War because of it. Thomas Johnson was one of the slaves who had to watch the paper burn. God eventually used Johnson to be an encouragement in Spurgeon's life, and the two became close friends. This account documents two men who suffer well and live from their core convictions when it would be easy to abandon them.
3) Rooting for Rivals by Peter Greer and Chris Horst
What would it look like if faith-based organizations took on a posture of collaboration instead of competition? How would we operate differently if we truly put the Kingdom of God first? Peter and Chris answer these questions with encouraging case studies and practical action steps. I read an advance copy of the book, and I'd strongly encourage you to pre-order it before the July 10 release date. Chris joined me on the podcast to discuss more about what it means to truly root for your rivals.
4) McKinney, TX
If you and your spouse are looking for a new place to get away together for a weekend, I'd strongly recommend the historic downtown McKinney. We stayed at this Airbnb, drank great wine, ate great food, and hit the bowling alley hard. Trip Advisor has a great list of restaurants and things to do while you're there. I highly recommend Landon Winery for wine and cheese before dinner at Harvest.
On our trip, we brought along a stack of TableTopics. They offer great questions to start meaningful conversations and keep the dialogue moving in new directions. One word of warning: filter through the questions first to remove any you deem inappropriate.
6) "Psalm 34" from Shane & Shane
I haven't listened to Shane & Shane in years. I dug back into their library this month and found this song that will light you up. After you worship with them, go open your Bible and reflect on the beauty of Psalm 34. "I sought the Lord, and he answered me."
I'm currently on a trial run of TextExpander and am loving it. This tool allows you to save keyboard abbreviations that then instantly expand into longer text you type frequently. If you're tired of typing your address, you can save *a to then instantly be replaced by your house number and street. There are infinite possibilities and applications I'm finding for this tool which probably warrants an entire post, but just imagine if the long things you type over and over again could be triggered automatically by just a couple characters. This is the beauty of TextExpander.
My friends Drew & Jane Worsham started an amazing candle company. My wife got their Tobacco + BayRum candle (pictured above) as a gift, and I've basically hijacked it and held it ransom in my office. It smells amazing, and burning it creates the perfect environment for deep thinking and reflection.
When it comes to running shoes, nothing beats Hoka One One. But when it comes to cross-training--weight lifting, sprints, metabolic conditioning, etc.--Hokas just aren't made for it. This month, I picked up these new Nikes and have been loving them. They're more flexible than the Metcons and more sturdy than the Frees. They provide the perfect foundation for lifting weights while also providing the give you need for running.
While we're on fitness, may I cautiously recommend you try Tabata. If you're new to the concept, Tabata is simply a way to structure your workout. You go hard for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 until you get to four minutes. Then, you repeat. During the work time, you want to exert as much energy as possible. It's simple, but it packs a mean punch. Here's an article that goes into greater detail and gives you a sample workout.