Parents, 3 Ways To “Instagram” In The New Year With Your Kids

Ok, let’s keep this simple.

Most parents and grandparents want to create some cool memories this New Year with their kids …

Most kids want to be on their phones in this New Year  …

So, let’s combine those things!

  1. Call a family meeting.
  2. Tell everyone to get out their phones.
  3. Open Instagram.

Then …

Give Thanks – Ask everyone to look back over the year and find one picture they are thankful for, ask them to read the caption and explain why they are thankful.

  • The only pushback here is going to be your kids saying, “Just one picture?”

 

Offer Prayer – Look back over the year in pictures and find one person or family that your family can pray for as this New Year begins.

 

Send Encouragement – Find a person in your past year’s photos that you can send a text of encouragement to today.

  • Maybe send them the picture, too, and let them know you are thinking about them!

 

To create your own 2016 Best Nine (like the photo at the top of this post) go to www.2016bestnine.com

The Jerome Jamboree XXV

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This past weekend me and my son traveled to the 25th Annual Jerome Jamboree. This is one of the largest gatherings of VW Bus enthusiasts in the country. From the moment we arrived we could feel an odd kinship with these strangers. This post contains a few short stories and about 40 of my favorite buses from the jamboree this year.

Our passion bound us together. 

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(Above) This is our bus. It’s a sealing wax red 1961 SO 23 Westfalia Camper bus that I now use as my mobile office. Her name is “Jetty.” As soon as we pulled up and parked three guys walk up to Jetty and wanted to climb inside. They asked about 41 questions that I could not answer about her and concluded their impromptu, self guided tour by just saying … “sick bus bro” … which was a huge compliment!

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(Above) Jetty has super cool safari windows that allow a cool breeze while you are driving across the country.

(Below) The safari windows will do this to hair at 50 miles per hour!

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Continue reading “The Jerome Jamboree XXV”

Check out the new VW MOBILE OFFICE!

Over the past two decades of my life I have owned three vintage VW buses. The last one was at Discovery Church in Simi Valley, California. I literally had “mobile office” lettering put on the side of the bus and would spend many Thursday afternoons parked at Zuma Beach in Malibu. If you wanted to meet … I was at the office … in Malibu.

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Fastforward to this week when the newest version of the “mobile office” arrived at our casa in Phoenix, Arizona. After many months of searching Craigslist, TheSamba and Ebay I was finally the high bidder. Yep, that’s right. I bought this baby off eBay.

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It is a 1961 VW Westfalia 13 window camper bus. It has been mostly restored and has the original interior / work space / office! Including a bed, table, sink and fridge.

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This fall, when it cools down in Phoenix, I plan to office out of this baby several days a week at beautiful Lake Pleasant … only 11 miles from my house.

Stop by and see me at the lakeside office!

Live Curious.ly Friends.

 

Should A Pastor Own A Porsche?

I don’t know how you would answer that question, but I am a pastor, and I own a Porsche.

To live curiously and collect curious things does not always make sense to everyone.

Twenty years ago when I was a youth pastor in Indianapolis, I wrote three books for youth pastors:  Things They Didn’t Teach You At Bible College But You Really Need To Know and Creative to the Max – Volumes One and Two.  I started receiving royalty checks each month. These checks were small,  just a few hundred dollars a month, but I was wise enough at 23 years old to know that if I didn’t do something proactive with these resources, I would spend them on CD’s, soccer shoes and steaks at Outback, and have nothing to show for it.

So I decided to make an investment.
I decided to route these resources toward something that would appreciate in value and be fun to own at the same time.

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I found this 1973 911 Targa Porsche with a for sale sign in the window one day coming home from work. It lived in a neighborhood near me. It had only had two previous owners, and the current owner was ready to sell. I got a loan at the bank and purchased this car for $9,100, and every single royalty check that I received went to pay off that loan.

The same week I bought the car, I put a BOSTON boston boston tape in the green glowing Alpine deck, and that has been the car’s only soundtrack for the past 20 years!

The car, since being purchased in Indiana, has also lived in Kentucky, California and Arizona.  I can tell you that driving the 911 in California was more acceptable than driving it in Kentucky. There is a big perception difference between owning a Porsche in the Midwest and owning a Porsche on the West Coast. Which leads me to believe that whether or not a pastor should own a Porsche has as much to do with geography as it does theology.

I purchased the car with 51,000 miles, and over the course of two decades, I only nudged the odometer a bit past 65,000 miles.  Driving this car sparingly down old country roads in Kentucky, up the coast in California and around the cactus in Arizona has obviously helped the value of the car.  It is not worth $9,100 anymore. It is now worth north of $40,000.

I can remember the week I bought this car, I was 23 years old, thinking that it could one day pay for my kids’ college tuition if I would take care of it. It has been a blast to drive and care for this car.

So, here is my advice to those who want to own curious things whether you are a pastor or not.

1. Own things that you appreciate and that appreciate in value.

And own as few things as possible that depreciate in value. But if it appreciates, whether it is a classic Porsche, a mustang, VW bus, Gibson guitar or a first issue of a Spider Man comic book … if it appreciates, it may be a good thing to own.

2. If you won’t loan it, don’t own it.

If you own something that you won’t loan to a friend, you don’t really own that thing – it owns you! Whether it is a Porsche, nice DSLR camera, pair of boots or golf clubs … if you won’t loan it, don’t own it!

3. Collect experiences not things.

Ultimately, things will let you down. No matter how nice the clothes, car, computer or television … it will soon be old, out of fashion or unfulfilling. It is better to collect experiences with people than to collect things. Experiences will be cherished long after things have left your garage.

By the way, today is a BITTER / SWEET day.
June 4th, 2015.
I just sold the Porsche this afternoon.

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PS – Don’t worry, I remembered to take out the Boston tape.

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Live curious.ly friends.

 

5 Leadership Lessons From Last Nights U2 Concert

IMG_7796Last night I took my 14-year-old son Cole (@colelclark) to his first U2 concert. It was a gift for me as a dad to spend a killer night at a concert where I knew the band would not violate my trust. It was an amazing adventure, and, as expected, there was zero profanity and no sexually explicit, inappropriate innuendoes from stage. Bono and the Edge stuck to iconic guitar riffs and vocals that seemed to soar straight through the roof, out of the building and into the stratosphere.

Here are five things that Cole and I learned at the concert:

1. Causes Count.

Midway through the concert Bono and band made a powerful promotion for (red).

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Bono talked about how 600 babies a day are born with HIV Aids, and all it takes to stop this cycle is 2 pills a day. Two pills a day stop HIV Aids from spreading from moms to newborn babies. The tag line for the moment was …

Where you live in the world should not determine …
Whether you live.

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A Curious Life: Ruby Clark

It was a year ago when our 15 year old daughter told us she wanted to do something different for her 16th birthday.  Rather than receive gifts, she wanted to give to someone in need.  She didn’t want to receive any birthday gifts but instead to ask family and friends to donate money that would build a house for a needy family.  By partnering with 1Mission, Ruby was introduced to the Godinez family in Nicaragua.

Ruby began a partnership with 1MISSION and CIY with a goal of $8,000 and ended up raising over $11,000.

The day after Ruby’s 16th birthday, to her surprise, she and I boarded a plane and took off for Nicaragua with a 4 person audio/video crew to capture the curious adventure.

What a humbling and future-altering experience. 

 

Here is the short film that was created during her birthday and our trip to Nicaragua on Spring Break last year. This film has been shown to over 25,000 students through ciyMOVE and ciyENGAGE camps. There have been thousands of students pledge their birthdays the past 12 months.

Here are some photos I captured on our trip.

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Let’s Go To The Dominican Republic This Summer!

I’m excited to announce that I will be leading a trip to the Dominican Republic this summer with CCV and GO Ministries. I have been to the Dominican Republic about a dozen times and I’m stoked to take a small group of 15 people to see the impact that’s being made long term. We can contribute for a week, but make an eternal impression on the lives of men and women and families in extreme poverty – and they’ll teach us something powerful.  Join me this summer as we live curiously for the sake of Jesus.

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A Curious Life: Jeremy Cowart

037_africa_manThis blog is as much about art and inspiration as it is information.  So, I have decided I will share with you stories from some of my favorite photographers, artists, entrepreneurs, creators and innovators. They inspire me to see the world, what God is doing and what God has already done in unique, fresh ways.

jeremycowartThe first in this series is Jeremy Cowart. He is simply one of the most unique humans I have ever met. His heart for his family, friends and the world is unmatched. And his curious perspective on people, objects and ideas inspires millions of people. Over the years he and I have had some unique dream sessions together at Starbucks in Los Angeles. Jeremy was instrumental 4 years ago helping me to launch Eat Art.   Photography has taken Jeremy to six continents. He traveled with Britney Spears in 2009 as her “Circus World Tour” photographer and he documented seventeen countries with the Passion World Tour in 2008. He has photographed dozens and dozens of celebrities such as Tim Tebow, The Kardashians, Sting, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift. You can view some of those images here.

Jeremy is also a founder of “Help Portrait” in 2008. The mission is to empower photographers, hair stylists and makeup artists to use their skills, tools and expertise to give back to their local community.

Help-Portrait is about GIVING the pictures, not taking them. These portraits aren’t for a portfolio, website, or sale. It’s about giving people who otherwise couldn’t afford photography, a chance to capture a moment, a memory… and a whole lot more.

In 2014 alone over 10,000 people volunteered and 44,240 portraits were given to people in over 28 countries!

This is a short selection of his photos from his “world” portfolio.

Continue reading “A Curious Life: Jeremy Cowart”