Dear Game of Thrones, I want my life back

I’m five years late to the Game of Thrones series. (Also, I recently watched this amazing series called Breaking Bad. Heard of it?) Since discovering the GOT books late last year, it has consumed my life.

My first GOT experience was with the audible book. George R.R. Martin’s first book Game of Thrones read by Roy Dotrice comes in at 34 hours long. That may seem long until you consider the 3rd book which is 48 hours long. I’m currently eleven hours into book 4 of the series, A Feast of Crows. Add it all up and I’ve spent 130 hours or 5.5 days listening to Game of Thrones books.

I listened on my five minute commute to work, while I showered, while…

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The beauty in the thing you feared

Hiking in the rain in New Zealand in 2002

This rainy morning as I hustled out the front door and into my car, I thought about the freedom of hiking all day in the rain.

You go through life avoiding getting wet. And when you’re hiking and the rain starts, you do the same. You get out your poncho, you jump over the mud puddles, you hide under a tree, but then you slip on a rock and your shoes get wet or you realize that the rain isn’t stopping and you no longer fear getting wet. At some point you can’t get any wetter.

When the rain saturates us there…

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“Are you a Christian?”

I was at a faith-based university and had talked for 50 minutes on our global and local connection with people around the world who make many of the things that we take for granted. I talked about global poverty and introduced the audience to Arifa in Bangladesh who earned $24 per month. I showed pictures of a dump in Cambodia where barefoot kids pick through trash for 25-cents per day. I shared the story of my friend Amilcar, who risked his life for his family traveling from Honduras to the United States riding on top of trains and outrunning bandits who wanted to hold him for ransom.

And “Are you a Christian?” is the…

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I’m that annoying dad who teaches his kids to despise Wal-Mart


(Photo: Outside a WalMart in China.)

Harper was with my brother’s family as they pulled their van into Wal-Mart.

“WalMart,” Harper, 5, said. “We don’t shop there because they don’t treat their workers right.”

Kyle, my brother, thought this was funny when he told me. But I can’t help but think it’s a bit annoying too.

Let me say this. I’m not better than you because I don’t shop at WalMart. I just can’t do it. I have friends who work at WalMart and I’m glad they have jobs, but still, I just can’t do it.

I wrote the following in the Huffington Post (how annoying am I?! I even write about WalMart in the Huffington Post!) right around the time Harper and I had our…

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Connecting with Germany

 

I’ve been to Germany. I spent one night sleeping in a subway with a group of homeless folks in Frankfort.

So, really, I’ve barely been to Germany, but my words are there.

A few years ago a German textbook publisher adopted an excerpt of WEARING or of an article I wrote on WEARING. I don’t really remember. Now each year I get emails from German students asking follow up questions to the story. At first I tried to answer them all, but that became a bit like work. Now I offer to Skype with the class.

I just got off Skype with the enthusiastic students above, one who reached out to me on Twitter.  They stayed after school…

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