Framing Faith: Street Team

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

John Lennon and Paul McCartney were on to something when they wrote “With a Little Help from My Friends.” While this may have been one of their last songs they wrote together, they both knew that life takes a village and you need help from your friends every now and then.

So here’s the thing… I need your help and would love for you to join the Framing Faith Street Team and help me get the word about my first book by fill out THIS APPLICATION.

What do you get for being a part of the Street Team?

  • An advanced copy of the book.
  • An exclusive Google Hangout with me and the Team prior to book launch.
  • An invite to a Private Facebook Group to connect with me and the other team members online.
  • A signed limited addition photo from my collection.
  • A peek behind the curtain into the world of book marketing.

What are the requirements?

  • Write a blog post about the book on your site.
  • Post a review of the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
  • Help with the launch, promotion of giveaways, purchase incentives, and a ton of other fun things I’ll be rolling out to get the word out about the book.
  • Post about the book on your social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ etc) using the hashtag #framingfaith

This is going to be really fun! If you’re interested in being a part of the Street Team, please fill out THIS APPLICATION.  I’ll choose a limited number of people that are just the right fit for the team.

In a world moving way too fast, do you need focus because you fill every “spare” moment rather than taking an intermission to be present in every moment? Get exclusive updates for my book Framing Faith.  

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful! Please check your e-mail inbox.
Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.

Distraction is the New Normal

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

Over the last year, I flew 137k miles which means I’ve spent a lot of time in airports, delayed, waiting in lines, sitting by some amazing people as we rocket from one destination to the next, but when you have that much time on your hands you tend to people watch­–or at least I do. There is no better place to check the pulse of our culture than an airport, and it became one of the catalysts for writing Framing Faith (more about that later). What I saw shocked me. People were plugged in, disconnected and unaware of what was happening around them.

They say we’re living in a time that will go down in history as the Age of Information, a time of technological advancement that has made instant access to information part of our everyday lives. With portable laptops, tablets, and phones at our disposal each and every day, we are never not connected to the world. For many of us, being hooked on technology has become our new normal, and our new way of life. However, this way of living has also brought about a great deal of distraction.

It is resistances aim to shove us away, distract us from doing our work. ― Steven Pressfield

We have so much at our fingertips ‒ social media, texting, instant messaging and email always at the ready ‒ distractions have become a major part of our everyday lives. It’s hard to answer a phone call without finishing up a text, logging out of Facebook, or sending out a Tweet; let alone doing that all at once. We are always on, always connected and completely preoccupied.

It’s the Great Distraction. The more we are connected, the more we are removing ourselves from the moments right in front of us. They are holding us captive, shifting our focus from the things we need to accomplish, whether it’s work, family life, or other personal obligations.

Distraction is virtually everywhere and while we may try to focus on one thing, such as work, we often have distractions coming from every direction. This has caused many of us to think we have mastered the art of multi-tasking, when in reality we have mastered the art of falling victim to the lure of surrounding distractions. Finishing an assignment at work has never been more difficult, with email notifications popping up in the corner, the lure of the browser beckoning at every instant, and the constant notifications coming from our mobile devices.

These interruptions add to the distractions of work, family life, your co-worker popping in for a question, the stack of paper on your desk you still haven’t filtered through, and all of the other everyday distractions that already impact our everyday lives without the impact of technology. While some praise the progress our world has made, in reality we have created a world where there are so many things competing for our attention it is almost impossible to focus on and complete anything in a timely fashion.

I wouldn’t be anywhere without my iPhone it has made things easier, kept me more in tune with the world, and has created social connections that have linked me to people from all over the world. However, in many ways, these advancements have done the opposite. Instead of creating a world that helps make life and work easier, it has created one filled with distractions that often make it harder. It’s a new way of life and for many of us it’s an addiction. Think about it the next time you’re waiting and look around, no one just waits in line at the grocery store or rides in silence on a plane; they play on their phone, check email, post to Twitter about their life, they are completely absorbed playing candy crush.

I took the time to account for how much I was really spending being distracted. Every time I would stop what I was doing to respond to a text message, answer an email, or check a notification, I put a mark on a piece of paper. It didn’t matter how long I spent on this distraction, whether it was ten seconds or ten minutes, I put a mark on the piece of paper just to see how much I was being distracted every day. I did this just one day and I had 150 marks on that piece of paper. Even when I was trying to avoid doing this, I was distracted 150 different times. Those were 150 different opportunities I had to make the decision to stay focused, and failed. This was a wake up call to me because I realized just how much I was being distracted in my everyday life.

Focus on what you need to make your life better. Do not let wants and desires distract you from what really matters. ― Leon Brown

The good news is there are ways to find focus in your life and to battle against the distraction that limits so many of us from doing the things that we want to do. However, it isn’t always easy. Finding the focus you need to block out distractions from the outside world starts with acknowledging the issue and understanding the presence of these distractions in our world today. When you are able to identify social media alerts, incoming texts, and email notifications for what they are, you are one step closer to finding the focus that can block out these distractions and help you live a less cluttered, more focused life.

There are other small, yet effective changes you can make in your everyday that can help you be less distracted. Try adding these to your everyday routine and see the power they can have on your life:

  • Turn off your phone and email notifications when you need to be productive. The average person checks their phone more than 150 times a day. Set aside a time when you check emails, instead of doing it constantly throughout the day.
  • Remove physical and digital clutter. Both of these can act as distractions. Make sure your workspace and your desktop are clean and clear.
  • Complete all your small projects right away. If you have small projects that only take a minute or two, complete them right away instead of delaying them.
  • Keep a constant to-do list. Always check off an item when you have completed it so you can track your progress and see how little distractions are impacting you.

When you are able to make small changes like this, over time they can lead to a big transformation in how easily you get distracted and how productive you can be.

In a world moving way too fast, do you need focus because you fill every “spare” moment rather than taking an intermission to be present in every moment? Checkout my book Framing Faith and sign up for exclusive updates and give aways.  

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful! Please check your e-mail inbox.
Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.

Cult of Busy

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

Have you ever had someone say that they’re ‘too busy’ to do something? Think we all have. Do you know what they really saying? They’re saying that they don’t have the time, don’t have the desire, don’t have…the list goes on and on. And if you are reading between the lines you will see if someone is claiming to be ‘too busy’ they are really saying something else entirely.

Over the course of the last few years I’ve caught myself saying that I was busy when it came to certain things and it got me thinking was I hiding negativity by being politically correct and creating ‘busy-talk’. I mean there could have been a chance that I could’ve been just using my ‘busyness’ to provide an easy excuse like: “no I didn’t really want to go to that party with you.” Then again there could’ve been a chance I could’ve been scared to free things up and experience something new. Either way you look at it, I can tell you there was a lot going on from zigzagging across the country for business, to writing a book, and being a dad and a husband. My margins were thin and I had no balance in my life.

When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves.”  ― Jack Kornfield

I realized I had been trapped in a cult of busy and it was something that had taken over my life. I think we can all say we’ve been there from time to time. We multi-task to get things done, we triple-task to stay ahead and we feel guilty for blocks of unplanned time in our schedule so we pack them to the brim. We view anything counter to this as a threat to our productivity, which becomes a threat to our very sense of hope. It turns into a way of life. It’s seductive wiles confuses us by tricking our minds into thinking that filling our time with meaning also equates to merely filling our time for the sake of filling our time. It changes the way we view and measure our own self-worth, by focusing on not on the quality of an activity but on the quantity of it. It’s as if we base our happiness off of our busy-ness and not the story that has been written for us.

We all have the same 24/7. What we do with our time becomes our priority. Choose what you do with your time and do not lead a life by default.” ― Patt Hollinger Pickett

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have things to do, nor am I saying we shouldn’t have goals and strive for success, but if we find ourselves explaining things away with the word ‘busy’ we may need to stop and think about what we are really doing with our life. We need to get honest with ourselves in these moments and take a look at what is causing us to be so busy and create balance. At the end of the day, our days are numbered, so why would we not begin building in that type of balance now?

Here are a few simple tips that helped me and could help you break out of the cult of busy.

1. Be Accountable: This is necessary in order to grow. We all need someone in our lives to help us be better. Look for someone you admire, someone who you respect, and someone that you want to speak truth into your life—no matter how hard it may be. It’s good to know that there is someone there to tell you to stop because you’re about to ‘redline.

2. Create a Time Diary: Just like food diary, keep track of what it is you actually do in a day. Create and keep a time diary and use it to see where your time is actually going and determine if it really is important or not. I was able to give myself 2 hours a day back to my family and myself by doing this.

3. Change Your Language: Stop using the word busy. Instead of saying ‘I don’t have time,’ trying saying ‘it’s not a priority’ and see how that feels. You might have the time to do something, but you just don’t have the desire to do it.  You may not feel good about it right way, but it helps you put how you spend your time into perspective.

4. Tune Out: Stop checking email, Twitter, Facebook, Google for the latest news or sports results. This is a hard one especially in the connected culture we live in, but being able to disconnect and turn off our devices helps focus your attention. When I’m in meetings my phone is face down, when I get home from work, I leave my phone and laptop locked away for a period of time—it’s all so I can focus on those around me.

5. Rest, Relax, Renew: Take the time you have been denying yourself and put yourself first. You need to call a time out and take care of yourself; otherwise we put ourselves last. There is a reason why the pause button, intermission, and rebooting exist. Just start with 10 minuets a day to give yourself room to breathe. Doing this alone I found more joy in my life. After all who doesn’t want a little more joy in their lives?

How do you stop from being busy? Do you know someone caught up in the cult of busy?  Do them a favor and share this post with them. I’m sure they will thank you!

In a world moving way too fast, do you need focus because you fill every “spare” moment rather than taking an intermission to be present in every moment? Checkout my book Framing Faith and sign up for exclusive updates and give aways.  

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful! Please check your e-mail inbox.
Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.

What is Framing Faith?

KNISELY_2013_000088

Your subscription has been confirmed. You've been added to our list and will hear from us soon.
Given email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.

Many of you know that I’ve been toiling away writing a book. It’s been an interesting process. In the beginning I felt that bringing a book to life from pixels to page would be more inclusive for many of you. Though somewhere along the way, I’ve realized that writing is had to be a solitary endeavor for me. The process was less about sharing the detailed process of story structure, timelines and deadlines and more about keeping focused on listening and capturing what my heart was revealing. I can tell you it has been an adventure filled with amusement during the deliberate, and often interrupted, transformation of this book.

A few months ago I hit a major milestone in the process when I submitted my manuscript to Thomas Nelson and HarperCollins. What followed were copyedits, artwork, and photography that were developed, submitted, and amended. In the wake of it… I realized there is a central question that everyone has, “What is Framing Faith?

Well… in a world moving way too fast, Framing Faith is a book for people seeking to focus their lives, to find a deeper knowledge of God, and a more authentic Christian faith. In this modern age, many of us fill every “spare” moment we have rather than taking an intermission to see the true works of God and realize that he is present in every moment.

So for those who thought this was a photo-book, it’s not, rather it’s a unique blend of original content through anecdote and elements of original photography that produce engaging conversations about faith. Life is like a photograph, it sometimes requires that we slow down and capture a moment in time.

This is more than a book; this is an experience that communicates truths in a fresh way, allowing one to really hear them, as if for the first time. And the questions and unexpected presentation will lead you into a place of honest self-examination, causing you to ask, “Am I listening to God?” Framing Faith provokes everyone toward reflection; it reveals God is in everything we see and do.

I cannot wait to share this book with you and the world when it releases worldwide in July: goo.gl/zVqBkz

Until then, there is going to be a lot of exciting stuff happening… make sure you follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Endings

INTERSECTION

What is it about endings? Why do they always seem to make us sad. Is it the goodbye or the end of a story that leaves us wanting more? Or could it be the fear of the unknown? Regardless, endings seem so final.

For me as storyteller, endings bring a sense of wonderment. They are these transitions filled with possibilities, hope, renewed interest, and the rekindled passion that one can learn to reach beyond unnecessary limits. These hedge-stones bring new perspectives that allow us to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. They bring focus to daily challenges and allow us to begin to understand the complex and to shape our lives. Maybe that’s why I see endings as something positive; endings mean a changed life.

Last week I brought to an end another chapter in my life’s story. Three years ago I joined Fellowship Technologies charged with changing the world by changing the church world. And in a blink of an eye we merged with ACTIVE Network a company charged with an even bigger mission to make the world a more active place. As Creative Director of Marketing I spent the last few years helping them go public, redefine and rebrand. Additionally, I helped push through the boundaries on how ACTIVE went to market and most importantly developed a strong culture of story.

The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings. – Dave Weinbaum

Though I’m at an intersection in this particular part of my story and the pages have yet to be penned on my next chapter, I’m thrilled to be joining the Gateway Church team as Creative Director. To add more excitement, I’m delighted to announce that my book “Framing Faith” will be releasing from Thomas Nelson on July 10, 2014. There will be more on all of this in the coming weeks along with a lot of other exciting things. And though this is an ending of sorts, I have come to realize while there maybe sadness, endings no matter how hard are beautiful, because they make way to wonderful beginnings. Endings are holy intersections.

30 Days of Pinspiration

 

Christmas Time is my favorite time of the year.  It seems like all is right with the world from Thanksgiving to New Years Eve.  It is a time of expectation and wonderment.  Also a time where we reflect on the things that matter in our lives.  We revive traditions and start new ones.  During this holiday season Pinterest asked me to be Day 11 of 30 Days of Pinspiration and share what inspiration means to me.

The holidays are some of the busiest times of the year.  And what inspires me is slow down, reconnecting with traditions from the past and making new memories with my family and friends. I would love to know what you cherish most about the holidays.

To see what that looks like for me visit: http://holidays.pinterest.com/#

What’s Your ACTIVE?

Really excited to share with you a video I shot and produced for ACTIVE Network. We shot this on location with my friend Trey Hill in California during May and used the Canon 7D and 5DMKII as our primary cameras. The really cool thing is I had Air Review do a custom score which really takes the whole film to another level.  The video just launched this week on ACTIVEnetwork.com. Love to hear what you think of it.

The Crazy Ones

I’m a product of the seventies. Halfbaked in the eighties. And fully seared in the ninties.

My life has been shaped by a lot of things, but one of those things is technology. The little ones and zeros. The megabits and megabytes. My eyes have been stimulated by the glow and flicker of a cathoded tube from an early age. And my mind has been massaged by information that has been displayed.

Computers have changed the way I’ve learned. Computers have changed the way the world communicates. Computers have changed the way I create. From my first computer, the Apple II, in the seventies to my MacBook Air. Apple has been the supporting character in my story.

Let me stop and say, this is not an attempt at an eulogy for Steve Jobs, but rather how an ideal to be foolish and hungry has influenced my life more than RAM and ROM. More than pixels and pixar.

You see amidst the noise. The cacophony of shock from yesterdays news. Something lerks behind the simplicity. The design. The art. The glitz and glamour. The technology of the red wires and the black is something unique. Something more than the printed circuit boards. It’s tucked away in the back, beyond reason and the expected; it’s an anthem that crusades against the norm. It’s cry shouts above the din our times to think different. To be different. To be ourselves. To create! To war against becoming a trend and to embrace “counter-culture.”

This storied perspective is more than just a company, a brand, and a man. It’s a awake up call. A look deeper, that reveals the broader view. It’s a look through the long lens. It sits there… infront of you… uncovering the human experience. Unearthing the humane. Discovering our true selves. Bringing to light character and ultimately finding our soul.

The Think Different campaign by Apple, Inc has pushed me in my daily life to look at things. To look at things differently, to look around things and through them. That’s what makes a great storyteller. They see things differently. They ask more questions. They want to know… more. This ideal. This commercial is one thing that has shaped my craft by speaking to the individualist inside of me. The silence between the words and music expressed the anxiety of the conforming nature of our world.

It’s funny how an Ad and it’s message. How a company. How a man’s brillance for seeing things different, would change a world. How it would speak to millions. How it would spark how I create. And how it would help me find myself.

 

___________

Image created by: Jonathan Mak

Make Contact

The shortest distance between two people is a well told story; I would love to hear yours.