Compass vs Map


“Godin calls himself a teacher. He’d rather give his students a compass than a map. ‘I’m trying to say to people, just for a minute: Put on a set of glasses and see the world as I imagine it,’ he says. ‘Does it work for you? Does it feel right? Does it make sense? And, if it does, don’t do what I just said to do–that’s a cookie cutter. Invent your own next chapter.'” –Seth Godin in Entrepreneur Magazine, Feb 2013

Most people like to have a specific plan of action to follow. What’s the fastest way to get from point A to point B? So, we fire up Google Maps, type in our destination, then hit get directions.

This is fine much of the time. But life isn’t meant to be lived this way. We might know where we are, but we have no clue where we will end up later in life. And we often might be heading toward what we believe is the right destination, but one day we find out the place we are going to isn’t where we should be. Or, worse, that destination might not have ever existed in the first place.

A better approach to life is to live life by the compass. You know where you are. You have a good sense for the direction you should be heading. But you’re only desire is to move that direction. Figuring out the “right” or “best” path to get there isn’t important. It doesn’t matter.

Life is a journey. And it’s a short one. It’s better to enjoy the ride while you’re on it than to let life pass you by while you’re too worried about getting it right.

Jadon Drew Rossen

Brea and I had our first son (third child) on Tuesday, August 30 at 3:42 am. We pulled into the hospital parking lot at 2:40 am, so we just barely made it in time. Brea didn’t start having contractions until 1:00 am. I’m glad I didn’t have to deliver the baby in the mini-van because […]


Some things come easy for preschoolers. Some things do not. In the case of our three year old daughter, pooping fits in the latter category.

It’s not that she can’t poop. It’s just that she won’t. At least not where we would like her to start pooping.

It’s not that she’s afraid of the toilet. She takes care of her other business easily on it. She’s been doing that for a LONG time.

We’ve tried offering incentives (that’s parent-speak for bribing). We’ve tried not cleaning her pants for a while after she goes in them. We’ve tried leaving her walking around the house kind of like a hippy. We’ve tried to ask her if she’s afraid. We’ve tried begging. We’ve even come close to yelling at her.

All for naught.

She’s 38 months old. It’d be great if she took this next step any day now.

Maybe this experience just teaches me a new saying. “You can lead a toddler/preschooler to water, but you can’t make her poop.”

Anyone else feeling our pain?

I Love Being a Dad

Before Brea and I had our first child, I was kind of worried about how having kids would change me. Three years later, I love every minute of it. Well, maybe I didn’t love getting puked on at Mimi’s Cafe or kissing puke on Lilyana’s face when I couldn’t see in the dark of the middle of the night, but I’ll take those few low moments in exchange for the absolute joy that these girls bring into my heart every day.

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Pace of Life


There are some days that I wonder what our culture is doing to us. The other day was one of those days.

I was having lunch with a man from my church. He has four kids, three of which are teenagers. None of them are involved in a ridiculous amount of extra-curricular activities, but their lives are still chaotic. They’re involved in a sport that requires early mornings, extensive travel, and a large chunk of time. Their story is not unique, nor is the sport that takes up a HUGE chunk of their time.

The unfortunate byproduct of their lives the way they are now is that they have very little margin left. Almost of their time is devoted to going. Going to and from school, sports, work, internships, jobs, and . . . church.

One of the things that I love about this family is that they are devoted to their faith and the church. It’s rare that they miss a Sunday. But because of the pace of life that has been thrust upon them they’re not able to connect with others in the church at the level they want and need. And since they can’t connect the pace of life takes a harder toll on them and creates more stress. It’s a vicious cycle.

They seem to be victims of our culture’s crazy pace of life. They’re busy living life, but don’t feel fully alive.

Where do you see this happening in your life? I the lives of those around you? Is there anything that we can do to combat this?

Image by flickr user Éole

Sunday Night Unfiltered

Lots of action today!
  • Today was a great day. Busy for a lot of people around me, but really good.
  • I don’t think I’ll ever get used to my alarm going off at 5:00 am. It’s always worth it for me, though, since I get to spend a few hours of uninterrupted time studying Scripture.
  • Preached through the entire chapter of Revelation 21 this morning. It’s been a long time since I’ve covered that big of a chunk of text. Was it too much?
  • Had some great positive feedback after worship. I hope the impact of my message lasts longer than the 10 minutes following the service.
  • As usual, I had to cut some stuff out. One of the things I wanted to dive into more was the statement “It is done” in Revelation 21:6. It parallels so much with the last words of Jesus on the cross, “It is finished.” I wish I had more time to dive into that parallel and the similarities and differences between the finished work on the cross and the ultimate finished work at the resurrection. Cool things to think about.
  • I talked a little about Joseph Kittinger’s space jump. You can read more about his crazy story here.
  • Didn’t mean to, but I got an almost two hour nap this afternoon on the couch holding Lilyana. Woke up 15 minutes before Connection Group, so I ended being a little late (sorry everybody).
  • Gooey butter cake will change your life. I could get used to this dessert at Connection Group every week thing.
  • The insights of my group always impress me. I’ve got a great bunch of people in my group.
  • Will Warfel pulled one of these this morning. And then after service he pulled this. I think he’s Jon Acuff’s alter-ego.
  • I bought the most expensive electric razor I’ve ever bought yesterday. I’m tired of dropping so much cash on razor blades. I hope I get a few years of use out of this one.
  • I’m pumped about going to Catalyst Conference again this year. I’m even more pumped that Brea is going! Watch out Atalanta!

Alright, that’s it for this week. Sleep well everyone!

Sunday Night Unfiltered

It was a great day today! Here’s some reflections on Sunday and other thoughts from this past week (in no particular order):

  • One of my daily highlights is Bible Heroes Story time with the family. It’s a cool book that comes with songs for each story. Emory LOVES to dance to every song. I’m gonna miss these times later in life (and it will come WAY TOO SOON).
  • Played guitar in worship for the first time at BridgeWay. I forgot how much of an awesome thing it is to watch people worship.
  • Speaking of worship, I don’t really miss my old guitar that got stolen any more. My new one sounds really, really good.
  • Tried out YouVersion Live again for sermon notes and bible verses in worship today. I only tweeted/facebooked about it. Didn’t mention it during the service. Did you try it?
  • Got linked to by ChurchCrunch yesterday. Thanks John!
  • Started working on a site of what I think is going to be one of the coolest things I’ll ever create. More on that on a later date.
  • I wonder how many Cowboys fans still want to get rid of Roy Williams and David Buehler?
  • Had a great Connection Group again tonight. Love those guys and gals!
  • The weather was so nice today!
  • Next Sunday I’m preaching about the New Heaven & New Earth. Probably going to focus most of my time on Revelation 21. Got any ideas for me?

That’s it for this week!

Sunday Night Unfiltered

This is my second week of random reflections of my day at church and a look back at the past week. I’ll be doing this every Sunday…or until I get bored with it.

  • It’s a weird feeling to drive by an ambulance then find out you know the person who it’s there for. I’m praying that Zach doesn’t have any major injuries and that he will be completely healed.
  • Our new tool The City allowed us to spread the word for people to pray for Zach really efficiently and it was really cool to see people responding that they were praying (over 18 people said they were praying within the hour!!!).
  • Skipped out on the 11:00 service today to go to the Bears game (since they won I can say it that way for sure now). I didn’t like not seeing everyone at that service.
  • Information and conversations happen so rapidly before and after services. I need to tweak my system of collecting info to keep up. I can’t seem to type fast enough into my iPhone to capture everything I need to remember.
  • Art had a great start to the sermon series on heaven this morning. It’s going to be a great next six weeks looking at what the Bible really has to say about heaven. Check out Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven if you want to get more out of the series.
  • The Cowboys Stadium is an awesome venue for football. I’m glad I didn’t have to spend $1.4 billion on it, though.
  • Even though we only had one other couple at Connection Group tonight we still had a really good time. Great insight from Scott tonight about how mind-blowing it is that the New Jerusalem is about 1,500 miles HIGH. That’s crazy tall and you can get a perspective on it by remembering that airplanes only fly 6-8 miles high. Crazy!!!
  • It was awesome to get out of town for a few days with Brea. Chicago in late summer is really nice. Wrigley Field is a really cool venue for concerts. The John Hancock Observatory has much better view of the city than Sears Tower.

That’s my thoughts from today. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.