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One Word 2011: ENGAGE

My friend Alece is spearheading an idea on her blog called One Word 2011.

The concept is that rather than make all kinds of New Year’s resolutions that you probably won’t keep, to instead carefully and thoughtfully select “one word” to focus on for the year.  One Word that challenges you, inspires you, spurs you on, focuses you, stretches you… but just One Word.  You can read more of her thoughts about it on her blog and

While I know she’s done it before, to be perfectly honest, I don’t know if she came up with the idea herself, or if this is something people have been doing everywhere for years. But it is the first time I’ve ever heard of it.

The more I thought about it, if I were to have used One Word to describe 2010, it would have been: Awaken.

Awaken is a verb that means to rouse from sleep; cause to stop sleeping; make someone aware (of something) for the first time. In a number of ways, that is exactly what occurred in my life in 2010a great awakening from my soul’s sleep.

So, entering 2011, after some careful thought, prayer and consideration, my One Word for 2011 is…


it is active, not passive
it is proactive, not reactive
it is passionate, not apathetic

ENGAGE is an action word, meaning to:

establish a meaningful contact or connection with
participate or become involved in
move into position so as to come into operation
cause someone to become involved
enter into conflict or combat with an adversary

Embracing last year’s awakening, building on the new foundation being laid in my life, in 2011 I want to…

ENGAGE the story God is writing with my life like never before
ENGAGE mentors and others to pour into me
ENGAGE those around me and challenge them to do the same
ENGAGE in more opportunities to pour my life out
ENGAGE a pursuit of justice, understanding great justice I have received
ENGAGE gifts, talents and abilities that have been lying dormant
ENGAGE my heart in the daily battle for its affections
ENGAGE those I lead, equipping and empowering them to be great
ENGAGE the communities I am part of to passionately invest in one another
ENGAGE my fears, insecurities and limitations
ENGAGE the Gospel that I have awoken to
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith– that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on [ENGAGE] to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. [Philippians 3:8-12]

That is what I want my 2011 to look like, and I’ll blog about how ENGAGE plays out as a central theme throughout the year.

I’m excited about this journey!

You can check out others’ #OneWord2011 posts here.

Do you have One Word for 2011?



Greatest Hits Of 2010

2010 has been an unforgettable year, full of ups, downs and life-shaping moments at every turn.

I started this blog in March of this year just to start telling the story that was unfolding in my life, often on a daily basis. Many of the posts here have been painful, gut-wrenching… written in moments of both faith and fear… through hope, confusion and tears… they have unwittingly chronicled the unscripted metamorphosis of my heart.

By the grace of God, I can honestly say I am ending this year a very different person than when it began.  I am excited about what is being built on the new foundation in my life, and can’t wait to see what 2011 will bring!

With 2010 coming to a close, I’m counting down the top 5 most popular/commented posts this year on over the next 5 days. Whether you’re discovering my blog for the first time, or a casual reader rediscovering posts you may have missed, I hope you connect with something you read over the next few days.

Check back each day as I countdown to the most popular post this year.

#5 My Story: The Next Chapter (post from September 9, 2010)
#4 Rebuild In Progress (post from April 27, 2010)
#3 Pastor Barbie & Pulpit Culture (post from April 13, 2010)
#2 Learning How To Die (post from April 22, 2010)
#1 What I Thought I Wanted, What I Got Instead (post from June 4, 2010)

Thank you all for your love, encouragement and support as I have walked out my story through the posts, comments and discussions here. Thank you for walking out the journey with me, for sharing the posts with others and for bravely adding your voices and sharing your stories here as well. We are better together.

Do you have a favorite post from any I’ve shared this year?



Follow Friday 4/16/10

Last Friday I started a new feature to engage in Twitter’s popular “Follow Friday” in a new way.  Instead of listing a whole bunch of people on Twitter who I think you should follow, I’m creating a weekly blog post recommending a few of my favorite Twitter users who are worthy of your follow, as well as a blog you should check out.

Here is my Follow Friday (#FF) post for 4/16/10.


@shaunking - Shaun is the Lead Pastor of The Courageous Church in Downtown Atlanta, Director of and a 30 Year Old Husband, Father and Grad Student.  Shaun has an incredible story, his passion for people is contagious and he is spearheading a great work in Atlanta and in Haiti.
@foursquare - Foursquare is a social network that integrates the community building aspect of social media with location-based check-ins, giving you opportunities to earn points, unlock badges, discover new places, do new things and meet new people.  For example, based on my check-ins, I have been named the “Mayor” of one of my local Starbucks.  Some businesses even offer specials for Foursquare check-ins and Mayor specials. Foursquare is being hailed by some as “the next Twitter.” Today is actually Foursquare Day with people gathering at multiple events on 150+ cities. It’s a lot of fun.  Definitely sign up, follow them and check it out!
@kylelreed - Kyle is a 20-something who is blogging his way through life and looking to connect through community.  Kyle blogs at, which is one of my favorite blogs to check regularly.  I actually met Kyle through Twitter and blogs and have enjoyed getting to know him and what all he has going on.  Maybe we’ll actually meet in person one day. Imagine that! Kyle is awesome.

Blog is the blog home of Adam Smith a/k/a @Jackalopekid.  I came to know Adam through blogging and Twitter and his blog is one of my favorites… so much so that I took a flying leap and asked him if he would be my first guest blogger a few weeks ago, and he said yes.  Amazing.  Adam lives in Denver and his bio says, “I am husband to the amazing, @jasminerachel. I am a big-mountain climber who has a big dream of climbing the highest peaks on each continent. I love to play drums because it makes me feel inspired. I am a brand-builder of the jackalopekid. I am a mac user who will never look back. And most importantly, I follow the Creator. I do these things while blogging about it every step of the way. This is me.”

Are you on Twitter?  Do you blog? Leave a comment below with your Twitter name or link to your blog so we can connect with you!


Follow Friday 4/9/10

Call me a blog swagger jacker, because I’m totally swiping this idea from Travis Robertson, who got it from social media virtuoso Chris Brogan. :)

Every Friday, Twitter users the world over participate in what is known as “Follow Friday”, where they recommend some of their favorite Twitter users to those who follow them.  On one hand, Follow Friday is great because it’s an opportunity to get hip to some great new folks to follow, and I’ve met a lot of really cool new people.  At the same time, all the Follow Friday tweets can get a little out out of control.

As Brogan says,

“Follow Friday has become a bit of a mess to look at on Twitter, because every Friday, many people start posting 140 characters worth of names of people they feel you might benefit from knowing. [This new blog strategy] solves two problems: It gives you more than 140 to talk about the people you recommend, and it also cleans up Twitter so that we don’t watch a stream of @someoneawesome names rushing by all day.

I concur and will add that there are some Twitter users who consistently recommend the exact same people every week, which can be equally annoying.

So, taking a cue from Brogan, I am switching up how I participate in Follow Friday.  Each Friday I will post a new Follow Friday blog and feature 3-5 Twitter users who I feel are worthy of your follow and why.  My goal is to feature at least one Twitter user from each of my primary focus topics of Faith, Life and Culture. In addition, I will also recommend 1 blog each week that I think you should check out.  I will then send a tweet to my Twitter followers with a link to that week’s post.  Fun times, eh? Fun times, indeed.

Here is my inaugural Follow Friday post


@gritandglory – Alece is the Founder of Thrive Africa and a blogger at Grit & Glory.  I love the vulnerable way Alece communicates both the pain and hope in her story. She’s bold, honest and always has something to say that will truly challenge you.
@foodnetwork – I am a big fan of Food Network. I could literally watch it all day long, and I actually have before.  On Twitter, Food Network sends out a recipe of the day, behind-the-scenes show info, lifestyle and entertaining tips, cooking and food prep tips and more.
@LifeOnDiscovery – The official Twitter account of the new 11-part LIFE series on Discovery Channel, from the makers of PLANET EARTH.  This show is incredible and following them on Twitter is a backstage pass to additional info about the show, special offers and more information about the animals on our planet than you ever wanted to know. Good stuff!

Blog is the homebase for writer Brett Trapp. Brett blogs from the frontlines of a fast-growing, for-profit company that merges business and world-change. Brett focuses his writing on Capitalism and Grace.  He grew up in Alabama, lived in Nashville and has recently made his home in Atlanta. Brett loves having a foot in two worlds as a student of fine business and a clumsy follower of Christ. By day, Brett serves as the Lead Innovator for a world-changing, Atlanta-based company that does financial development for schools & leadership development for organizations. I met Brett not too long ago and have really enjoyed getting to know him and reading his blog. I love what he has to say and how he says it.  You should definitely check out his blog!

Are you on Twitter?  Leave a comment below with your Twitter name so everyone reading can follow you as well!


An Idol Heart – Guest Post At

I was recently asked by Justin Davis, campus pastor for Cross Point Bellvue and my friend, if I would contribute a guest blog post to a series about redemption on, the blog he and his wife Trisha write. To say that I was honored would be a massive understatement.  I actually had to ask him if he was serious.  He was.

Then I saw the lineup of who else would be adding their voices to the mix this week… Lindsey Nobles, Spence Smith and Alece Ronzino.  Good Lord!  Honestly, I quickly felt a bit out of my league in the company of these great folks who have inspired and encouraged me from afar with what they have written and shared on their own blogs.  But yet, I had an invitation to share my story.  So I did.

What I wrote for Justin’s blog is probably the most honest thing I’ve ever written in my life.  I decided to share my story in a deeper and more candid way than I have even had an opportunity to share here on my own blog yet.  It just felt like it was time.

Thank you, Justin and Trisha.  Your lives are a light, an encouragement and a reminder of the faithfulness of God.  Your story is a picture of redemption and hope to so many people. Thank you for the invitation and opportunity to open my heart and share my story. I pray that God uses it to encourage and speak to someone else in whatever they are facing in their life right now, and to draw people closer to Himself.

READ: An Idol Heart (Grant Jenkins) /// guest post at

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