My thoughts on life, love, and other things not so serious.


Compelled to Action

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Hello Friends,

Here’s how I’ve spent the majority of my past two weekends: Standing behind a table.

Why you ask? Well, I’m glad you did.

I’ve spent the past two weekends at Youth Conventions in Ohio and Kentucky. The purpose for my being there was to serve as the face of Catalyst Resources International.

If you know me at all, and likely you do if you’re reading this, then you know that I have a significant history with this organization and the work they do in Guatemala. And it is great work. We build homes and churches. We provide clean water to villages. We comfort the afflicted, and clothe the unclothed. We rescue beautiful girls from tragic situations, and bring them into the comfort of Mimi’s House. We provide a safe environment for them that includes: healthcare, education, nutrition, and emotional nurturing.

What you may not know is how all of that great work gets accomplished. It requires partners. You see, there is no magical money tree that funds the work of the Greene family in Guatemala. These wonderful people who serve as missionaries there have literally sold everything (multiple times) in order that they might see this great work through and the vision of CRI fulfilled. The Greene’s have given everything, and in turn they need people like you and me to give something.

The past two weekends I’ve stood behind a table for hours, and stood on 4 different stages in front of 1,300+ people to share the vision of Catalyst Resources International. My hope in doing this was to spread the word about what we were accomplishing in Guatemala, and to ask people to join us in this effort.

I figured; what’s one more pitch. This blog is now my digital stage. I stand behind this table, full of information and brochures, faces of precious girls, and videos displaying the work in progress. I stand behind this table and ask you to join us. Partner with us.

Do it now. Read the website, explore the links, ask me how you can become involved. I, like Paul in Acts 20 have been compelled to action. I pray that you may be as well.

I’ll take your Facebook “Like” or Comment as your intention to partner with CRI.

Thanks for reading.

This past January  Jenessa and I had the incredible opportunity to attend an event in Nashville, Tennessee called Dream Year Weekend. Dream Year is a year long program that my friend Ben Arment started a couple of years ago to help people turn their dreams into sustainable realities. Dream Year Weekend is a 72 hour, fire hose on full throttle, condensed version of this program, designed to be done in community with others in the room and around the table.

The next Dream Year Weekend is June 3-5 in Washington D.C. The event will be hosted at the ultra cool Ebenezer’s Coffee Shop (recently voted best coffee shop in D.C.). Attendees will be navigating, dissecting, clarifying, and monetizing the dream that is floating around in their hearts and minds.

My experience at Dream Year Weekend was pivotal. It gave me the clarity I needed to pull off an amazing event, and the confidence I needed to know that I can survive in the world as an entrepreneur someday.

No matter the size, scope, or context of your dream, I can’t encourage you enough to find a way to make it to Washington D.C. in early June to learn from Ben and several other incredible leaders. Act fast. The event is limited to 70 attendees, and the cheapest registration rate ends this Friday (April 29th). Visit the Dream Year website to learn more and register today.

*This was not a solicited post. I mean every word of what is written above. So don’t go getting any wild ideas.*

Last night Jenessa and I watched the documentary Food Inc. via our newly available Amazon Prime unlimited streaming account. (Off Topic: For what it’s worth, it was a great viewing experience in terms of ease of use, quality, etc… Just hope they ramp up the content soon!) I know, we’re a year or so behind the curve on the hype of the movie. In a way, I’m happy that we didn’t watch it amid all of the promotion and controversy… it made the viewing experience and our response less emotionally charged.

A few things about the film. First off, it was a wonderfully made documentary. It’s no wonder that it was an Academy Award nominee. It was everything you’d hope a documentary to be: informative, engaging, and inspiring of change.

If you’re not familiar, the movie essentially tells the story of how America has become slave to the fast/junk food industry. The movie peels back the layers of an onion showing how nearly every american family is negatively affected by a food production and marketing system that is controlled in every way imaginable by a few key multi-billion dollar corporations. It was simultaneously stunning to see the connections, and discouraging to see just how manipulated the system is.

The difficult part to manage is the reality that it is decidedly more expensive to avoid participating in “the system”. Whether that means eating organic, shopping locally, or avoiding cheap calories. It is seemingly easier and cheaper* to grab a double cheeseburger at McDonalds than to whip up a whole food alternative. *(The idea of “hidden cost” explored in the film would argue otherwise. Here is a great article discussing this issue in brief form.)

After finishing the movie and before going to bed, I convinced myself that my eating habits would change. Then I woke up, accomplished a few tasks, and enjoyed a ridiculously unhealthy nacho dish at a local burrito joint that was likely loaded with ingredients I was unaware of, and were referenced in the documentary. Ashamed of my behavior, I come to confess to my blog readers and ask for you thoughts.

So I pose a few questions:

  • Why is it so difficult to change out eating habits? I suppose it’s really no different than other habits we wish to change/add/subtract, but it would seem that our eating has a special hold on us due to the natural and unnatural “drugs” involved. Namely, the big 3: sugar, salt, & fat.
  • Have you seen the movie Food Inc?
  • If so, has it changed your eating habits? Your grocery buying habits?
  • Finally, for you parents out there: Do your kids regularly eat fast/junk food? If so, viewing this film may curb some of those dining habits. The statistics about teenage obesity and type 2 diabetes are beyond alarming.

So, what are your thoughts? Are you the type to just chalk it up to “liberal agenda” that should be ignored, or are these real issues affecting countless generations? Please share…


The Power of a Person

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My friend Jennifer Scroggins wrote a wonderful post on the American Catholic blog today. In it she gives a glimpse of some of the tales that were told at LoveStories last Monday night. Here’s a snippet of her post. Please click here to read her complete thoughts. They really are wonderful.

The world is full of amazing people.

You get up, you battle traffic, you work all day, you head to the gym, you make dinner, you check Facebook, you go to bed. And somewhere in that daily routine, you can lose sight of the remarkable power of a person.

Each individual component of your day has a way of seeming both huge and infinitesimal all at once. Read More…

So, who are some of the everyday heroes in your life? Share with us.

The word adventure has been on my mind a lot for the past 2-3 months. Not just on my mind… but in my soul. I can feel myself longing for adventure in a way that I never have before. Am currently reading a wonderful book by Donald Miller that is feeding this fire. In the book he waxes poetically about taking in the world around you. This year, I hope to widen my horizon and take in much more of the world around me.

The beauty of thinking about past and future adventures is the realization that most often don’t unfold alone. Adventure happens in community. My adventures have and will happen with my wonderful wife, and the wonderful group of friends who surround me and serve as co-adventurers.

In this vein, I stumbled upon this photo essay (here for slide show. here for list.) that I linked to off of the Cincinnati Enquirer’s website. It’s a collection of 101 things to try in 2011 in the Greater Cincinnati area. I thought it would be a fun blog and/or Facebook exercise for everyone to share the list of the things they’ve done, and the things they’d like to do in 2011. After all, if you can’t adventure in your own backyard, how will you do so in any other context?

Here’s both of my lists and a quick nod to the friends whom accompanied me on the journey.

The Things I’ve Done:

3. Ski the slopes at Perfect North (church friends)
9. Ooh and aah at the Riverfest fireworks (dozens of friends)
11. Experience Cincinnati Reds Opening Day (mikey, noah, and the guys from MUM!)
13. See the zoo light up at the PNC Festival of Lights
32. Race go-karts in Lawrenceburg (brian and phil)
37. Splurge at one of Jeff Ruby’s restaurants (jenessa and many friends)
41. Beef up your chili with a 5-way (minus the onion… I hate onion)
42. Take an out-of-towner to Graeter’s (the in-laws)
45. Canoe the Little Miami River – and then camp (SWOA camps)
47. Devour the view at Primavista (amanda gilmore… among others)
51. Start your Reds bobblehead collection
53. See the Red River Gorge (austin, peter)
62. See the butterflies at Krohn Conservatory (jenessa)
67. Have a hot drink at Blind Lemon (gilmores, gibbs)
68. Taste Cincinnati (many many friends)
77. Beat the corn maze at Niederman Family Farm (church peeps)
88. Hang out with the penguins at Newport Aquarium (jenessa and waidelich family)
89. Eat late at Shanghai Mama’s (NYE, 2011 – table of  6)
90. Sit in the nosebleeds at a Reds game (countless friends and BSM teens)
97. Pull up a stool at Tucker’s Restaurant (larry and christopher)
101. Eat a smiley face cookie from Busken (jenessa, jess, brian)

The things I’ve always wanted to do, and hope to make happen in 2011.

1. Run (or watch) the Flying Pig (run)
17. Shop Findlay Market
18. Tree lighting on Fountain Square
19. Frolic with the beasts at Zoofari
28. Brave the crowds at Terry’s Turf Club
44. See a show at the Southgate House
46. See the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra perform
52. Visit Big Bone Lick State Park
60. Hit up Bargain Tuesday at the Esquire
63. See stars at the Cincinnati Observatory
70. Visit the Ludlow Bromley Yacht Club
71. Climb Carew Tower
73. Hike Cincinnati’s parks
82. Run Like Hell
83. Ride Anderson Ferry
84. Make friends at Party in the Park
91. See a Cincinnati Shakespeare Company performance

I showed you mine… now show me yours!


LoveStories Recap

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The following is an email I sent to the attendees of LoveStories. I thought I’d post it here as well in order to provide a brief recap of the event, and to invite others to help us in our final fundraising push.

LoveStories Attendee,

We wanted to say thank you for your presence on Monday night at LoveStories. Each of you truly made the evening something to be remembered. We want to take a moment to update each of you on the financial goals, and applaud the sponsors and storytellers.

First and foremost, we are thrilled to report that together we raised $700 for Mimi’s House! $500 is the direct result of your dinner tickets, and $200 is the result of a few generous contributors who gave above and beyond. After sharing these figures with friends of the event, we have been encouraged to raise the bar and shoot for a final LoveStories total of $1,000.

A $1,000 gift from LoveStories would enable us to participate in the tile program at Mimi’s House (click here to read about the tile program). This will give LoveStories a permanent presence on a wall inside the house where these young girls will experience love and opportunity in a way previously unimaginable. Do you want to contribute towards the final $300? Have you told a friend about your LoveStories experience that might want to join the cause? Please reply to this email for further instructions on how to give.

We also want to make sure that our sponsors and storytellers are well recognized. Please take a moment to read a little more about each person and organization below who helped make LoveStories possible.


  • Event Producer – Luke Dooley: Read Luke’s blog here. Follow him on Twitter. Attend his next event which will be announced soon!
  • Photographer – Jessica Agee: Jessica has offered to give a discount to any LoveStories attendee who books a photography session with her. View Jessica’s work here. Email here at the following address to book her services: Jess [dot] Agee [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Chef – John Schwab: John is available for all types of catering and food services. Contact him about your party or special event by calling his assistant cook at: (phone number removed for blog post. contact me to connect with john.)
  • Decor & SuppliesJourney Church and Monroe Church of God generously donated printing services, sound equipment, room decor, and much more. Visit their websites which are linked above.


  • Christopher Gilmore – Read Christopher’s insightful and witty blog here.
  • Julie Bauke – Visit her website to read about her career consulting services and to buy herwonderfully helpful book.
  • Larry Renner – Follow Larry on Twitter. You’ll appreciate his insight, and love his heart!
  • Jennifer Scroggins – Read more about Jennifer’s paradigm shifting story of her travels to Lebanon by reading her feature report on
  • Doc Wieland – Catch up with Doc on Facebook. If you live in the Lakota corridor look for Doc’s beautiful family on a Journey Church mailer in your mailbox next week.

Thank you again to everyone who made LoveStories such a success by helping, giving, sharing, and attending. Until next time.

“Have a Story Worthy Week”

LoveStories Organizers

P.S. If you were unable to submit your payment at the dinner due to the inability to process credit cards, please reply to this email and we’ll help you get squared away.

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