A recent article in the New York Times asks the question why so many people in their 20′s are taking so long to grow up. In the article, Robin Henig proposes: “It’s happening all over, in all sorts of families, not just young people moving back home but also young people taking longer to reach adulthood overall. It’s a development that predates the current economic doldrums, and no one knows yet what the impact will be — on the prospects of the young men and women; on the parents on whom so many of them depend; on society, built on the expectation of an orderly progression in which kids finish school, grow up, start careers, make a family and eventually retire to live on pensions supported by the next crop of kids who finish school, grow up, start careers, make a family and on and on. The traditional cycle seems to have gone off course, as young people remain un tethered to romantic partners or to permanent homes, going back to school for lack of better options, traveling, avoiding commitments, competing ferociously for unpaid internships or temporary (and often grueling) Teach for America jobs, forestalling the beginning of adult life.” [...]
I’m not a big fan of the “there are only two kinds of people” breakdown of humanity, and yet in the past few years, I’ve found myself wondering if, well, there are only two kinds of people. I’m not talking about people who either like Neil Diamond or don’t, I’m talking about How and Why thinkers. Let me explain: We all live life asking questions, questions about how to get ahead, how to make life more meaningful, questions about how to survive or help people survive. The question how is an American question, and it rests on the presupposition that we know what life is really about. Some friends and I were walking down the street in Vancouver, BC last week and I stopped our group and asked them to look around and count the ads that they noticed. We were downtown in a major shopping district, and even though we could see for blocks, we found only two billboards or posters advertising stuff. If we’d been across the border in the states, we’d have counted, perhaps, hundreds. The difference was striking. Advertising is part of the reason we have become a how culture. Commercials make us think we need [...]
The Living a Better Story Seminar is just over a month away and we already have more than 350 people signed up! We couldn’t be more excited. More than 500 people entered our contest to be flown out for the seminar, and we will be announcing the winner on September 1st. In a way, the seminar will be like a reunion of people who have never met, if such a thing is possible. Fans of the books and blog along with folks who are just looking to energize their story are descending on Portland September 26th and 27th. If you haven’t registered yet, please sign up today! If you’ve already signed up, prepare to closely analyze the major decisions and turns of your life as a way of exploring how God wired you so that, together, we can discover what the best story for your life might be. God used the stories of peoples lives as His primary way of communicating to the world, and we will be looking at the way God interacted with characters such as Joseph, Paul, Moses and a few others who will join me on stage. In the Seminar, you’ll learn to see how God [...]
Every so often I have nothing to say and therefore nothing to write about. I may have some opinions, but they don’t seem important and they certainly aren’t worth sharing. It’s not writers block, it’s more a feeling that my inkwell is dry. Writing is not like painting in that a painter can sit down in front of a tree and paint, and when he is done, he can turn his chair around and paint some other tree, or building, or waterfall. Ideas aren’t so plentiful. So what do I do when the inkwell runs dry? I fill it up. Or at least I try. Here are some tips: • Don’t panic. As a writer, you are good at processing and communicating ideas, but you didn’t come up with the ideas. They existed before you and will exist after you. You are simply the filter through which ideas get poured and processed. There are more ideas out there. • Get some rest. Your filter is not a fixed mechanism, it’s a living brain, and it needs rest. Take a break from all things philosophical for a while. Attend a movie, read a book, take a nap, but let your mind [...]
I’ll be out of cell phone range and won’t have internet access all week, so I’m featuring the “best of the blog.” Of the hundreds of entries, these are the ones that got the most comments, twitter shares and facebook shares. I’ll be sharing three articles each day this week. I hope you like perusing the archives! What Women Really Need from Men Here is an excerpt from my book Father Fiction. It made quite a splash when I released it. Apparently, lots of people have opinions on what what the opposite gender should do to be a good mate. What Men Really Need from Women And of course, turning the question around seems to get a lot of interest, too. What is it that men really need from women? Can I Tell You a Story If you’re not telling a story to and with your family and friends, somebody is. We are all consuming stories, and if we’re not telling one, we are living a story somebody else is dictating to us. Scary stuff! Time is running out to register for the Living a Better Story Seminar, the antidote for a boring life.
I’ll be out of cell phone range and won’t have internet access all week, so I’m featuring the “best of the blog.” Of the hundreds of entries, these are the ones that got the most comments, twitter shares and facebook shares. I’ll be sharing three articles each day this week. I hope you like perusing the archives! Does Your Personality Influence Your Theology? We all seem to think the particular theological positions we hold are true, but are there other factors that are leading us to believe so? Are certain personalities drawn to certain theological positions? Are we defending the truth, or our identities? Is Telling the Truth More Important Than Selling the Truth? This article explores the temptation to not be honest about our struggles because we fear people might not “buy” our religion if we do. Why Doctrine is Only Half the Message I believe it was Ghandi who said “I like your Christ, I don’t like your Christian.” This popular article explores the idea that right theology espoused in arrogance is, effectively, wrong theology. Time is running out to register for the Living a Better Story Seminar, the antidote for a boring life.
I’ll be out of cell phone range and won’t have internet access all week, so I’m featuring the “best of the blog.” Of the hundreds of entries, these are the ones that got the most comments, twitter shares and facebook shares. I’ll be sharing three articles each day this week. I hope you like perusing the archives! Commercialism and Faith, The Effect of Commercials on the Human Brain This article is part one of a three-part series on the cultural language we speak here in America, and how it affects our faith. The average American encounters three-thousand commercial messages every day, which has caused us to think of Jesus as a product we consume to make life better. If it Weren’t for God, You’d be More Efficient This blog entry calls into question our efficiency-addicted culture of success, asking us to consider why it is God has put so many systems in place that slow us down, cause us to stop and rest and attack our ability to accomplish great things. The Single Most Powerful Question You Can Ask What may be better than this blog entry are the comments that follow, in which people inspire themselves and each other [...]
I’ll be out of cell phone range and won’t have internet access all week, so I’m featuring the “best of the blog.” Of the hundreds of entries, these are the ones that got the most comments, twitter shares and facebook shares. I’ll be sharing three articles each day this week. I hope you like perusing the archives! A Response to Pat Robertson’s Comments about Haiti Perhaps the most popular blog entry with more than 500 comments and 8600 Facebook Shares, I wrote this in response to Pat Robertson’s offhand comment that Haiti was hit by an earthquake because Hatians made a pact with the devil. Robertson’s people never apologized for the statement, but rather issued a press release saying that Robertson was not referring to the earthquake. In other words, Robertson’s people added to injury by spinning the statement. Robertson was, of course, talking about the earthquake because that’s what the entire segment was about. But my guess is none of that is why this article was so popular. The article may have taken off because it’s really about controlling people, and why they say and do the things they say and do. Living a Better Story, an Alternative to [...]
My friend Angela Todd is an interior designer who read A Million Miles a few weeks ago. The book caused her to reflect on her story, and because she has something of an entrepreneurial spirit, she decided to start telling a better story with her life. Specifically, she decided to start creating more memorable scenes. Some other friends were at the house and we were working on a video and Angela told us of her weekend visit to a local fountain with her nieces. They were all playing in the fountain, and Angela was sitting on a chair, wearing a sundress and a large hat, reading a book. Then she decided to do something a little crazy. My friend asked Angela to sit down in front of the camera and recall the story. I thought the story was pretty great. I hope you’re creating some memorable scenes in your life, too. Here you go: Angela from Donald Miller on Vimeo. A friend reflects on creating a memorable scene. On September 26th and 27th, about 400 folks who’ve read A Million Miles are descending on Portland for the Living a Better Story Seminar. We are pretty excited about the event, and [...]
A good friend and I were hanging out the other day and she asked about church, if I went, where I went and so on. That’s a blog for another day, or perhaps a book, or perhaps a few slips of paper put into a wooden box and then buried. My friend had recently had a baby, and I asked her if having a child made her want to attend church more. I was surprised when she answered that it did not. My friend grew up in an extremely conservative family in a conservative small town and attended a conservative church. She said, rather surprisingly, that she didn’t want her child to grow up constantly being taught how “other people” were different, learning to see the “unlike me” in the people around him. In part, I completely understand how my friend feels. But I’d not lump that characteristic in with the church as I’d lump it in with all of humanity. There are pockets of people who do not seem to make a big deal out of the differences in others as much as the similarities, but those pockets are few, and some of them are part of the church [...]