Category Archives: ReThink Normal

An Adoption Adventure: The Dennehy Family

I Like Adoption.

Another inspiring story from

Thanks Mr. Chris Hill for sharing.

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Filed under Faith, Get Involved, Leadership, ReThink Normal, Reviews

Inspire to Aspire

Ruby & Alex have started an organization in Austin, TX they call the HourSchool.

It is a unique and creative concept where individuals teach others something for free. How to roast coffee. How to live more efficient. How to build a website. Whatever.

The genius of the idea is that anyone can be a teacher. They aren’t just hiring teachers or convincing professional teachers to teach for free, they are convincing practitioners to be teachers.

Teaching is a skill. Some are truly better than others. But HourSchool is seeking to turn students into teachers. Breaking out of the traditional lecture to large group model, they are making teaching a social experience that is interactive and real.

Their mission is to inspire people to aspire. To realize they have something to offer.  Alex says in the video that “community is better off when it’s members are engaged. When it’s members are not just receiving, but giving.”

Alex is so right!

Did you know the church should be, could be like this?  Did you know it used to be?

In the 1st Century everyone taught. In fact the local priest had everyone on a list and what passage they were suppose to teach on. Everyone!  The list was made years out.  So you would know today that in 47 weeks you were teaching on a specific piece of Isaiah. Or your wife a year and half from now was going to teach everyone from Psalms.

Not sermon stuff, but 5 to 6 minutes of what this verse has taught me, meant to me, maybe how it has changed or challenged me.

Right after Alex says that above, Ruby says “When you ask a lot of people what they want to learn, they don’t know. That’s almost as hard of a question as asking them what they can teach. And I feel like they don’t know what they want to learn because they are so boxed in to what they currently know. What they think their lives are about. They don’t aspire to be more.”

So HourSchool is going after people with inspiration and is expecting the result of people’s aspiration.

Inspiring them to not only learn, but to teach. To learn from each other, not just a select few. To not limit teachers to teachers, but to allow all doers to teach.

I love it. I hope they truly succeed. And I hope local churches learn from them.

Thanks Herman for sharing this video on your blog.

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Filed under Let Me Introduce You, ReThink Normal, The Church, What I'm Learning

The Religious Equation


In the South people begin with the assumption that you Believe in God. Whenever they meet or talk to anyone, new or old, this is a subconscious belief for most. So much so that it is not really talked about at all. You would have to specifically mention that you don’t believe in God for anyone to think different.

If you are a Christian, then what you hope to add to Believing in God is Trusting in Christ. We want people to believe He is the only way. The Savior of the world.

And if you add those two things together, what you get is Saved from Hell. It is a pretty simple equation really. Actually it is too simple.

I don’t think this was Jesus’ equation. (assuming he had one.)

If Jesus had an equation I think it would look more like this:


In this equation we start at the same point. Where we begin is not the problem here.

The additional part is where we go wrong. Trusting in Christ is too simple of a calling for us. Jesus was not looking for his disciples to only believe in him, he wanted them to become like him. And that is exactly what the disciples wanted for their lives as well.

And obviously not going to hell is a good and desirable thing, but that is such a given. We are so forgiven that should never be a concern of our hearts.

Jesus didn’t say to his disciples, “All authority on heaven and earth have been given to me, therefore you are saved from hell!”  He told us to go make disciples of all the nations. 

The disciples had spent over three years with Jesus, over 10,000 hours, trying to become like him. Jesus was endorsing that they were like him and that he wanted those men and women to go out and make people like them.  By those new people becoming like Jesus’ disciples, they would be becoming like Jesus because Jesus’ disciples were like Jesus.

Trusting in Jesus to be Saved from Hell is easy and obvious.

Becoming Like Jesus and getting to Build the Kingdom is an honor and an adventure.

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Filed under Culture, ReThink Normal, Theology

Only 100 People

When we talk in Millions and Billions it is hard to grasp reality.

When we talk about 100, break that down into reality, it is a little easier to grasp.

Miniature Earth has done this for us. I want to do one of these for Memphis. I think it will be healthy for people to see.

(Somebody hold me to this.)


Filed under Design, ReThink Normal, What I'm Learning

Sunday Chronicle – 05.20.12

  • Last Monday we celebrated the City Leadership 2012/2013 Residents. Strong crop of young talent. They will be missed.
  • Was asked to Coach MCS Principals this year in Leadership & Management. Trying to figure out how many we can get on the calendar.
  • Charis graduated Kindergarten. Man they get old quick.
  • Rob Thompson is a stud. I love what he is doing for MCUTS and for Memphis.
  • If you know anyone interested in teaching, you have to tell them about the Memphis Teacher Residency.
  • I will compete in the Memphis in May BBQFest at some point in the future. #BucketList – Until then I will go every year. So fun.  Thanks Scott!
  • Met a talented young man from Missouri on Friday. Looks like he is going to Choose901.
  • Got to explain the difference between Opportunity & Ownership to Intervarsity on Friday. Does your organization know the difference?
  • The Miranda Lambert concert was really fun. (Yes, I said that publicly)
  • The Wilco Concert was very impressive. 26 songs in a little over 2 hours. Two 5 song Encores! Yes, the allusive Double Encore!

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Filed under About John, Bucket List, Chronicle, City Leadership, Friends & Family, Leadership, Let Me Introduce You, Memphis, ReThink Normal, Update

Not Wasted

What time are you not wasting?

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Filed under Bucket List, ReThink Normal

Digital Education

Free Education!

Did you know you can classes from Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and more on your computer, phone, or iPad?

It is crazy how much they are giving away that supposedly costs so much. So where is the true value in learning?

It has to be in context of community right? The library has always had more knowledge than we ever wanted, but no teachers. Now you have access to all the teachers, but no classmates.

What would it look like to start a “school” where you got your friends together and watched these classes and held each other accountable to learning?  Would this education not be nearly as effective as a semester in Boston?

Obviously companies are still looking for the degree. But that is today.  When will companies stop caring about degrees and care about what you can do with what you know?

Here is the secret….They already do!

Would you do a semester of podcasted classes?

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Filed under Culture, Let Me Introduce You, ReThink Normal, Strategy, Technology, What I'm Learning