Top Ten || May

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

1) The Castles of Burgundy

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This board game seems complicated when you first take it out of the box, but it gets simpler and more fun the more times you play it. Think Settlers of Catan, but a blast to play with two people and there's no angst from a wheat trade gone bad. If your limit is tic-tac-toe, you'll hate this. But if strategy games are your thing, this will also be your thing. Here's a YouTube video to give you a preview of what you're working with. Board games continue to be a great analog way to connect with the people you love.

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2) "Is modern society making us depressed?" from the Ezra Klein Show

Ezra Klein may not be someone I agree with on every issue, but he is a remarkable interviewer. He doesn't let guests get away with abstract answers and plays the devil's advocate even when a guest is saying something he probably agrees with. This episode features an interview with Johann Hari, the author of Lost Connections. Johann makes the argument that the astronomical rise in depression is due largely to our cultural context. It's a fascinating interview that leads to many questions, one of which is this: are you driven by intrinsic or extrinsic values?

3) "What is screen addiction and what is Relay doing to combat it?"

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My friend Kyle Yawn sent me this article, and it fascinated me. Republic Wireless created a phone for kids with no screens. Essentially, it's a walkie talkie with a network plan. From this article: "Relay helps families stay connected in a safe and fun way. It has all the range, reliability, and technology that you love about your smartphone with 4G LTE and WiFi. You can keep an eye out from an empowering distance with optional GPS tracking via the Relay companion app. And without the screen, it cuts out all of the risks we were talking about earlier—it keeps kids connected without exposing them to apps, internet, or screens." Very cool.

4) United? We Pray

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Trillia Newbell and Isaac Adams host a challenging and encouraging podcast about racial reconciliation in the church. They tackle issues with love, great care, and prayer. This is an eye opening, convicting, and gracious conversation about a topic we all could think and pray more about. 

5) Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren

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Tish Harrison Warren brings a refreshing perspective on the mundane aspects of life by reminding us in a beautiful and compelling way that each and every moment is a potential to see the goodness of God and choose to practice faithfulness. In every email, time you brush your teeth, and minute spent in traffic is an opportunity to bring glory to God. Her message will be a breath of fresh air to those feeling like the daily grind is losing meaning. 

6) The Daily Plan Bar

I've been experimenting with this daily plan this month. At the start of each day, you map out how you're going to spend your time. You do this using a bar that represents all the hours in the day. Mike Rohde created this simple yet effective way to be more intentional, and he does a great job documenting the process in this article.

7) Assault AirBike

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This thing is no joke. If you go to a gym, look to see if they have one of these. It's a simple machine built like an old-school stationary bike, but the wind resistance created by the fan for a front tire will make any new-school fitness fanatic drip sweat in no time. Use this as a step in interval training and watch as your heart rate goes through the roof.

8) The Book of Acts

I've been slowly moving through the book of Acts, and I'm continually blown away by the stories and wisdom found in the Bible. I invite you to be refreshed once again by the power of God moving through the early church. Commit to just a handful of verses a day and consider what's actually going on in what you're reading. It's remarkable. 

9) Grayscaling my phone

Tristan Harris has a great way to make your phone less appealing: remove the color. In this step-by-step article, find out how you can easily grayscale your iPhone. Worried you'll need color for photos? You can turn on a setting that allows a triple click of the home button to toggle the B&W on and off.

10) The YNAB podcast

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My family uses YNAB to manage our day-to-day personal finances. It's a remarkable tool. Jesse Mecham, the company's founder and fearless leader, hosts a weekly, short-and-sweet podcast about managing money better. You should subscribe to it for many reasons, one of which is the way Jesse delivers practical money issues with a conversational tone.