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#245 Surly Brewing Co.

01 September 2017 // Minneapolis, Minnesota

Made it to Minneapolis with a good appetite and great company. Awesome catch up with Nick and Susie

Also, Surly Brewing is great and is definitely a different name than Sultry Brewing. Thanks for the recommendation, Dave!

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#245 Fargo

02 September 2017 // Fargo, North Dakota

46 of 50:

🔘 North Dakota

⚪️ South Dakota

⚪️ West Virginia

⚪️ Wyoming

⚪️ Alaska

The road to 50 states continues. Thankfully it includes a stop in Downtown Fargo during NDSU's first game of the season.

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#246 Palisades State Park

03 September 2017 // Garretson, South Dakota

I’m still totally wowed by this place. After driving through hours of cornfields, you wouldn’t think you could suddenly turn a corner and be greeted by dazzling bedrocks and shining blue waters, but hey, that’s what we got.

We got out of the car, wandered down a little trail, and started following some boulders to see where they would lead. It was just warm enough to make getting in the water perfectly refreshing.

Having this tucked away in one of the country’s least visited spots makes it feel all the more like a treat. I’m glad we came.

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#247 Big Sioux

04 September 2017 // Brandon, South Dakota

“This doesn’t mean we must ignore the duties of the world forever; that would be impossible. Let prudence be our guide. However, I do believe that it is a common mistake of Spirit-filled people not to leave the cares of the world periodically to praise God in their spirits and to rest in the peace of His divine presence for a few moments.”

–Brother Lawrence

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#248 Back to Funner

05 September 2017 // San Diego, California

Want life to be more fun? Work with what’s in front of you.

I’m always in need of reminders to do this. It can be so easy to focus on what -isn’t- there. Often, I feel like I could be making the creative stuff I was meant to if I only had the right collaborators around. Like I could be helping more people if only I had more time on my hands. Like I could be loving life a whole lot more with a few different circumstances.

The thing about the most creative, caring, and joyful people is that they work with what they have. The filmmaker who decides that cardboard can be just as good as any prop. The friend who lives a busy life but always stops to take a sincere interest anyways. The  person who refuses to let a day go by without seeing the beauty in it.

Living this way takes practice, but it’s a whole lot better than waiting around helplessly. It’s more fun.

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#249 Room All Clean

06 September 2017 // San Diego, California

Some people react more to aesthetics than others, and I think I’m one of those people. I take to a clean space like a plant to sunlight.

Aesthetics are more about the way something looks. They may start there, but they quickly turn into the way those visuals make you feel, the moments they take you back to, the dreams they take you closer to. It’s why even though I’ve never been a graphic designer, visual artist, or professional photographer, the role of visuals have always surfaced in what I do.

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#250 The Mothers

07 September 2017 // San Diego, California

“The weight of what has been lost is always heavier than what remains.”

–Britt Bennett

Book No. 36 of 2017

Truth be told, I wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually did.

It was a well-written book, I can say that with honesty. The writing style was clear but creative and characters were well fleshed out. I loved the scenes revolving around a family church in Oceanside, a pretty familiar setting.

Unfortunately, there were many points where I just found it hard to relate to the characters. Some of the choices that they made were a little bit hard for me to empathize with.

⭐️⭐️ ⭐️

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#251 Superfish

08 September 2017 // San Diego, California

Hitting the pause button this weekend so hard.

But I do have a fun new toy to play with– #superfish by @moment

Considering how big of a role photography plays in my life, I spend relatively little on camera equipment. I haven’t bought an actual new camera since 2011, and I think I’ve gotten maybe one or two lenses since.

Every time I’ve gotten something new to play with, though, it’s really opened up a whole new level of fun to the way I document life, and I notice even more good.

I guess here’s one area where I’ve been doing the buy less, buy better thing before I really thought about applying it to more realms in life. All the more reasons why I should, though.

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#252 LiNK Gala 2017

09 September 2017 // San Diego, California

Had a blast over the weekend at the Liberty in North Korea Gala and getting to see some fun people again. Plus, the Beverly Hills Hotel is like, decadent, yo.

Still super proud to be a part of the LiNK family for over five years now, which in LiNK alumni terms makes me one of the old guys. This team has done so much to help North Koreans who face the most difficult odds.

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#253 Reset

10 September 2017 // La Jolla, California

So far this week: nobody I know is going in for surgery, no new hurricanes have formed, no earthquakes have struck, I haven’t woken up mysteriously looking like I took a punch in my sleep, and things are looking a lot more calm.

I have a pretty high tolerance for crazy, but man, that was starting to get out of hand. Sundays are usually the best reset button.

I’m looking forward to a quiet week, more quality time, and a little more creative dreaming.

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#254 Sunlight Cracks

11 September 2017 // San Diego, California

I recently had a moment where I started to feel a gap in between what I had and what I wanted. I wanted to get creative and make something with a bigger impact. I wanted to be more of a connector between people. I wanted to do well at work and see a movement grow. I wanted to do well at home and catalyze a happy family.

I said a prayer that seemed to make sense. “Whatever you’ve given me, I will grow.”

What I heard back was something more along the lines of– hold up, reverse that.

I had the right idea, but the wrong roles in mind. Remembering whose hands are more capable, more in control, was a rush of freedom. “What you give to me, I will grow,” God reminded me, removed all the burdens of effort and returned all the joy of doing.

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#255 Taco Tuesday With Durbel

12 September 2017 // San Diego, California

Our director from the Dominican Republic, Durbel, is in town for a month to study English. He's our second international director I've been able to meet, and he's so much fun. Energy!

We took him out for tacos and chocolate tasting and I covered up the labels of the different samples to see if he could find the Dominican batch. Without even tasting, he picks it out right away. The darkest one, which bias aside, also happened to be the best.

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#256 Simple Sliders

13 September 2017 // San Diego, California

Mission No. 38: I went to a networking event a couple months ago. It wasn’t the most successful event in terms of meeting people, but it was worth my time because they had the most amazing sliders I’ve had to date. Simple, too! Just some buttery Hawaiian rolls, seared down burger patties, a generous block of cheese, caramelized onions and a pickle. Of course my simple mission would be to try and recreate the magic.

Results: Yes! Of course, with a food item that simple, it wasn’t the most difficult to try and reverse engineer what made it so good. Simple doesn’t always mean easy, though, and in this case, every item needed to have been made just right for this thing to be as good as its inspiration. I think I was at least close.

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#257 Shadowbahn

14 September 2017 // San Diego, California

“American faith in the early part of the twenty-first century didn't emerge at all. By the conclusion of the new century's first score of years, only those who have a stake in an American idea defined by wealth and power can still speak of that idea so shamelessly, since wealth and power is the only American idea left.”

–Steve Erickson

Book No. 37 of 2017

This book was weird!

The Twin Towers suddenly reappear in the Badlands of South Dakota. Music starts playing, but only to some people. Something about Elvis’ brother, and a pair of siblings driving across the country from L.A. - on top of that, the book resembles a book of poetry the way the chapters are written out, even though it does deliver some narrative.

I loved the creativity, but the story and its meaning were so murky that it would’ve benefitted so much from more clarity.


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#258 Before Closing

15 September 2017 // San Diego, California

Some people need to work in a quiet space, a library, or some sort of at-home sanctuary. I’m the total opposite.

Back in college, I could never do the library thing. I would take my laptop to the plaza in the middle of campus, or the student center and sit right in front of the door. Now, I’m all about coffee shops and basically the most public places I can find.

I welcome the distractions that come, the people I run into by chance, and the small conversations that I let interrupt work. I often get inspired by something totally unexpected and get better work done anyways.

Every encounter is an opportunity to serve, and an opportunity to be inspired.

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#259 Ivy & JB’s Wedding Shower

16 September 2017 // San Diego, California

This weekend, we got to celebrate Ivy and JB’s upcoming wedding with a shower that was to-scale with a lot of full-on weddings I’ve been to. Plus we had lots of family in town and my dance-floor itch was scratched.

I remember meeting JB back in 2013, and it’s been a blast seeing these two from the start continue to grow as a couple and learn from each other. Marriage is gonna have some really good things in store for them.

Weekends like this one are a good reminder why moving back to California was a right choice on so many levels. We get to be here to share moments like these.

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#260 Buko Life

17 September 2017 // San Diego, California

Some people say it doesn't matter what you believe, but I disagree. Beliefs make you. You can be open-minded to all kinds of ideas, but you should also know what you believe in.

What we’ll ultimately be remembered for will be what we’ve given our time and energy to, the way we’ve responded to life’s challenges, and the small but meaningful changes we’ve made to the world. All those things stem from what we believe in most.

If you’ve never taken a fair amount of time to think about what you believe makes the world better, what the story of everything looks like, it’s so worth it. Is power and greatness what’s important? Giving hope? Helping others?

Down that rabbit hole, I’ve play a lot of connect-the-dots, trying to make sure the my decisions make sense based on those beliefs. Beliefs shape priorities, which shape habits, and before you know it, you’ve got a legacy in the making.

These thoughts brought to you by the juice of a fresh young coconut.

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#261 Dinner With Durbel

18 September 2017 // San Diego, California

My church has sponsored a village in the Dominican Republic for several years, during which it’s seen its ecosystems restored, its people living easier lives, and spiritual renewal. The village is just about ready to graduate and enter a new phase of self-reliance.

.With Country Director Durbel in town, I got to help facilitate a dinner with him and the church’s Mission Beyond group to give an update on the process. This was such a fun night getting to connect my church and work worlds over grilled chicken while playing translator.

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#262 Hipster Overkill

19 September 2017 // San Diego, California

Deanna warned me that if I went to work with this shirt and my camera strapped to my bag I would have crossed into unbearably-hipster territory.

I doubled down and brought this kerosene lantern off the shelf to light the way.

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#263 This Child Will Be Great

20 September 2017 // San Diego, California

“Public opinion matters; if it is pointed, focused, and intense, it can turn things around. In this global age individuals are sometimes tempted to believe they have no power, not even collectively. This is not true. The public can make a difference if it is willing to take a position and stand up for a cause in which it believes.”

–Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Book No. 38 of 2017

And in the year 2017, the very first political memoir was this one– by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the president of Liberia and Africa’s first female head of state.

I learned a lot about Liberia, it’s history, it’s one-of-a-kind relationship with the United States, the cultural clashes with the descendants of repatriated American slaves, and the dictatorial regime of Charles Taylor– the latter I was only passively familiar with through travelogues set in West Africa.

Sirleaf is a more skilled leader than a writer, the storytelling style often comes across as flat and overly rigid, her life has been more than interesting enough to have this book still be a fascinating one.

⭐️⭐️ ⭐️

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#264 Chris Guillebeau at Warwick’s

21 September 2017 // La Jolla, California

I followed a burst of spontaneity on Chris Guillebeau’s book signing in La Jolla the other day, and it led to a great night.

I hadn’t been thinking of one of my upcoming projects as much of a “side hustle” until that evening, but it totally fits the bill. And I found myself gaining so much excitement for it that I feel like the night paid off in the form of all the momentum I got from meeting fun people.

Looking forward to getting to this book. Chris’ stuff in the past has always been super practical, and that seems to be especially true for his latest.

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#265 Costco Lunch Date

22 September 2017 // San Diego, California

They often say: keep on dating you spouse, it keeps your marriage sharp.

They don’t often enough say that some of the best dates are in Costco’s Food Court, going on a sample run, and then going head-to-head on their display of an at-home arcade-style basketball hoop game.

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#266 Planting Hope Gala: Seeds of Empowerment

23 September 2017 // Carlsbad, California

I got through my first cycle of Gala season and it was fun getting to see so much of the Plant with Purpose family gathered in one place. After all the numbers have been added up, it’s clear that this year’s gala was the best one yet!

I’m incredibly proud of the team I get to work with, and especially of Kirstie and Melissa for putting together such an outstanding event. Getting to go to work everyday hasn’t lost any shimmer, months after the fact.

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#267 Normal Records

24 September 2017 // San Diego, California

Record shopping is a shopping I like, and I don’t say that about a lot of shopping.

Also, Birdtalker and the latest from The Lone Bellow have been some of my most recent obsessions. So many good albums this year, I don’t think I’ve been able to give some of my future favorites enough attention yet.

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#268 New National

25 September 2017 // San Diego, California

It’s been hard to keep up with so many of my favorite artists releasing new albums this year- some after a decent hiatus. I definitely made an effort to give some intentional listening sessions the the new National album. There are few artists who’ve been such a consistent favorite of mine.

I’m sad I’ll be missing their San Diego show in a couple weeks, but this will be in heavy rotation this fall.

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#269 Caramelized Onion Flatbread

26 September 2017 // San Diego, California

Mission 39: Let me start this one with a story.

Seven years ago, I got myself lost on purpose in the middle of Siena, Italy. I walked around the old city center alone, mesmerized by everything ancient. It felt small and grand at the same time. I needed the bite and wanted the cheapest thing possible. I walked into a pizzeria on the edge of town with simple signage offering two euro slices.

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#270 November; Southeast Asia

27 September 2017 // San Diego, California

I’m excited to note where I’ll be spending a good chunk of my November– back in Southeast Asia. I’ll be visiting Plant With Purpose’s Thailand program, celebrating Ivy & JB’s wedding, tending to some geographically-challenged friendships, and doing the digital nomad thing for just a little bit.

• Seoul
• Chiang Rai(ish)
• Kuala Lumpur
• Phuket

If anyone has any recommendations, I’ll take ‘em. And if you know anyone based out of these areas doing creative, compassionate work that I need to meet, I’d love to get put in touch!

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#271 Kilowatt Night

28 September 2017 // San Diego, California

Having a great weeknight starter kit:

  • Good Friends
  • A Full Stomach
  • A Cucumber Sour
  • A Crisp Fall Evening
  • Openness to having a great time
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#272 Compassion Talks

29 September 2017 // San Diego, California

“People are hard to hate close up. Move in.”

–Brene Brown

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#273 Photowalk with Oliver

30 September 2017 // San Diego, California

Had a fun time meeting and going on a little photowalk with Oliver. The lighting at OB Pier wasn’t messing around.

Find me anyone wanting to live remarkably in a world full of templates and conventional living and we’ll have plenty to bond over.

Philippe Lazaro365