Category: Leadership

LOVE. Well, sort of. What is bad about The Bachelor/Bachelorette

Bachelor quote by Jimmy kimmel


OK I know I’m playing with fire here.  It’s like telling kids Santa Claus doesn’t exist.  But I have to do it.  I had only seen a couple episodes of the Bachelor/Bachelorette (from here on “BB”) from the first 8 seasons.  I had never watched it maybe because everyone was so dang good looking.  I don’t know.  But then a couple of years ago I got home from a long trip and plopped onto the couch and was flipping through channels and landed on The Bachelorette.  I don’t know why but I watched it.  Maybe it was because it was so strange to see all these guys on a date with one girl.  I mean, I’m insecure when I’m on a date with one girl.  Can’t imagine having 8 other guys with me trying to impress her.  Maybe it was because Dez was cute.  Whatever it was I watched it.  I was intrigued.  On that episode, Dez made out with 3 different dudes.  That was surprising to me because she was suspposed to be “old-fashioned” or something like that.  So I secretly DVR’ed the last 3 episodes and starting piecing together the season.  I was out of town for the finale so missed the big ending but I know what happened.  My friend Susan was live tweeting/texting me the results.  Then it occurred to me.

This is wrong. 

It’s all wrong. 

I put myself in the place of asking someone to marry me and spending the rest of my life with her.  Imagine if she had been with another guy THE NIGHT BEFORE!  ALL NIGHT!  And she had been with another guy 3 days before that.  Making out, having intimate dates, hot-tubbing, etc.  And I’m about to ask her to marry me.  While we “dated” I was exclusive but she wasn’t.  Not even close.  Maybe this is why the vast majority of these connections utterly fail.  Only 6 out of the 30 couples are still together.  See which ones here.

That lucky crew includes Jason and Molly Mesnick, even though Jason had originally chosen (and proposed to) Melissa Rycroft over Molly on The Bachelor 13 finale.  Also a couple of the couples are still very fresh into their relationship.  Only time will tell.

Less than a one in 6 chance?  No thanks.  Everyone wants to find love.  Everyone wants to be loved and desired.  But not at the expense of having to imagine a girl I would propose to was having sex with another dude the night before.

With Valentine’s Day one month away I thought it would be fitting to have a theme of love for a while.  Upcoming posts will include:

–Is there one person you are meant to marry?

–Do soulmates exists?

–What is wrong with the Bachelor/Bachelorette

–Why is the Bachelor/Bachelorette so popular?

I know that teaser can’t compete with the B/B.  But there will be a little sizzle.  I promise.  Sorry to have a several month hiatus.  This fall was crazy.  I hope to post once a week going forward.  Look for it on Thursdays or Fridays.  May the force be with you.



Should we treat all jobs and people with dignity? (What I learned at Disneyland Part 3)




The last couple of weeks I’ve highlighted some things I learned at Disneyland.  Thoughts 1-3.  Thoughts 4-5.  How about 2 words you will never hear a Disney employee say:  “bathroom” and “restroom”.  When we were with them, it was always a “comfort break.”  We got a lot of mileage talking about feeling “serious” comfort breaks coming on.  Guess how many rooms were available the opening night of Disneyland?  7.  Guess how much it was to stay?  $9.  Times have changed huh?  It’s tough to get a pack of Skittles at Disneyland for under $9 now.  Here are a couple more things I learned while at Disneyland, and the ones that had the biggest impact on me:

6.  The mission was important but seemed to be secondary under “telling the story.” (or maybe telling the story was the mission…)

a. “We don’t just make cartoons, we change the world.”

b.  I asked one Disney veteran what he liked best about his job and he said he loved making people’s dreams come true. That’s a pretty exciting job.

c.  They want to capture your heart first. They believe this is the core of humanity.

7.  All people have dignity. All jobs have dignity.  I was reminded of the CEO of Ritz-Carlton who said no human being is any more important than another human being.  The mission statement of RC is “ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.”

  1. Disney valued everyone. They honor their people really, really well.  At the very first dinner, towards the end, the main chef came out and introduced his “team”—the servers and a couple other chefs.  That main chef highlighted one of the beginner chefs and said he was probably going to take his job next year.
  2. I noticed that they had a vision for who people could become.  One of my mentors always says we should hold a crown above others and let them grow into it.
  3. Always be replacing yourself.
  4. Spoil people. Gifts every time we got back to the room—chocolate strawberries, big cookies and cupcakes, and then the last night—a framed Thomas Kincaid print for my friend.

My favorite Disney movie is Aladdin.  I actually had an Aladdin poster in my college dorm room freshman year.  It lasted all year but I do wonder now what people thought.  That movie has so many things that make movies great:  A lovable underdog, adventure, power, struggle, a love story with a gal that’s out of the guy’s league, a tiger, a genie, ethical decisions in situations, compassion, “what would you wish for?”, and much, much more.

What’s your favorite Disney movie and why? (if it’s not Aladdin, that’s OK.  You’re just wrong).



What I learned from Disney Part 2

D23 costumes


Disney is a juggernaut.  They own Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC, ESPN, and your house.  I’m serious, check into it.  They might own your house.  But that doesn’t stop them from putting personal touches on their conferences.  Every night when we came back to the room, there was something special.  Chocolate strawberries, cookies, a note, cufflinks, a gift bag, cheesecake bites, etc.  Did I mention that we ate well?  Check out last’s week post here.

One highlight of the D23 conference was the costumes.  I estimate about 10% of people were wearing a costume to this deal.  Now I believe in the dignity of every human being, and that everyone is a prince and princess.  In one respect.  But that does not mean that everyone should be dressing up like a Disney character.  Check out some of the top costumes here and here.  Some things are not meant to be seen.  And once you see them, they cannot be unseen.

I tried to sneak in pictures with odd costumes.

I tried to sneak in pictures with odd costumes.


3 more things I learned hanging around Disney:

  1. You must build momentum and excitement in order to sell. Disney is a master of cultivating excitement.  The President of Marvel brought out the guy who plays the Falcon who is very funny and charismatic.  This was a great surprise and they made it seem like he was the celebrity guest.  But then they introduced Captain America.  The crowd went bonkers.  They followed this pattern several times where the director or producer would tease something, deliver, but then have a surprise at the end that took things over the top.  They saved the best for last.  The last announcement of a session was that they are opening 2 14-acre Star Wars attractions.  The crowd went bezerk.  So did I.  We will be able to drive the Millenium Falcon.  Are you kidding me?
  2. Wonder is closely related to surprise. Surprise is a key factor of wonder.  We rarely had one without the other.  Everyone loves surprises, especially when they shatter your expectations out of the water. Disney seems to be masterful at the “wow” experience.
  3. Story is king and emotion is queen. If a story wasn’t emotional (good or bad) then it wasn’t worth much.  In America right now, story is king.  If it’s not true for you, then it’s not true.  Experience is the judge and jury of all truth.  Disney said “We want to tell stories, stories that deserve to be told.”    Every film is emotional. And everyone can relate to it.  “A tear for every laugh, and a laugh for every tear.”



What I learned from bigwigs at Disneyland

D23 Mickey and minnie dancing

Where else can you watch the Rock hype up a crowd, Ellen taunt a director, Broadway stars who played Mary Poppins, Tarzan, and the genie from Aladdin perform, Dancing with the Stars champions waltz, Johnny Depp throw grapes at the crowd, and Ed O’Neill sing “Let’s Get it On”??  Disney’s D23 expo.

One week ago I got home from California.  I got to meet some of Disney’s bigwigs.  This is because I am friends with a bigwig named Josh.  He was the one being thanked, and I was his +1.  But it was a great +1.  We were basically insiders and got to do all the crazy fun things you hear of other people doing.  We went to D23, Disney’s superfan conference that only happens every 2 years and where they share what is in store in the future.  It’s basically like an Apple announcement meets a Ted Talk meets the Emmy’s.  It was a blast.  And hilarious.  Some of the sessions were so secret and we got to see brand new clips of movies that weren’t coming out for a long time.  You had to put your phone in this sealed bag.  Lots of security were walking around and when the lights would go dim, they would have night vision scopes to make sure no one was recording. (all pics in this post were taken by yours truly)

D23 piracy slide

I think 20,000+ people go to this and only 8,000 get in to the D23 presentations.  You can guarantee to sit in the front section for $2000 and up.  I believe that group of people is called the “sorcerers.”  People camp out to get in.  We talked to one mom and her son who waited in line for 4 hours and didn’t get in.

I learned a ton seeing how the Disney peeps think.  So for the next 4 weeks each week I’ll give you a highlight of the conference and then a couple things I learned while there.  I already mentioned some of the highlights so let’s go right to the stuff I learned:

  1. Everyone wants to be on the inside.
    1. Everyone wants to know secrets, the stuff that no one else knows. Or to get a “first look” or an “exclusive sneak peek”.  They even went so far as to show us a part of the movie that the actual actors hadn’t seen.  The new revamped Jungle Book kid who plays Mowgli (I had to look up the spelling of his name) was shown a clip of him with a tiger.  He was blown away.  He said “Wow.  That was me!  Are you kidding me?”
  2. It’s more fun to spoil than it is to be spoiled. The service was over the top.  People really seemed to care about other people—their co-workers and the customers.  And they loved it.  One of the Disney execs said “It’s actually really fun to spoil people.”
    1. Food is good. We should eat it.  Just kidding.  Everything was spectacular.  We ate at Ruth’s Chris Steak House for lunch one day and it wasn’t as good as some of the Disney food.  (I mean it was really good but…)
    2. I asked one Disney veteran what he liked best about his job and he said he loved making people’s dreams come true. That’s a pretty exciting job.

What have you learned from being around Disney?  The parks or the movies?

D23 Mickey and minnie


The trip of a lifetime is coming to a close…

all camp pic

This is a guest post by our incredible Young Life College Council stud Liz Ferguson:

Visiting Jerusalem was packed, full of people, holy sites, and messages of scripture shared. We visited the Pool of Bethesda, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden tomb, the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, just to name a few. With the takeaways that we learned in Jerusalem strongly in mind, we have been seeing the love, sacrifice, grace, power, mercy, and servanthood of the cross come full circle here at Young Life camp. About 125 Palestinian kids, their local leaders, and an assortment of passionate people from all over, have come together at the beautiful Camp Murad for lots of sunshine, pool-time, soccer games, program skits, and most importantly the truth of who Jesus is.

At camp, every leader must cross a rickety wooden bridge in order to get to the Leader meetings every night. As I walk across the planks that are each different sizes, shades of wood, and ages, it is hard to understand how the bridge still stands. Every time we cross the bridge it bends and stretches more and more. Yet, it stays strong and sturdy because of the one, strong, reinforcement beam reaching to the ground. The bridge stands as a symbol for us JMU folks, and the Young Life Leaders from the Middle East, who have come together with the central focus of Christ as the reinforcing beam. Like the planks of the bridge, each leader has been stretched these past few days, expanding and growing in incredible ways. Even though we speak different languages and come from cultures on the other side of the world, we rest on one bridge, as planks side by side held up together by the Truth of the Gospel and the desire for our friends to know Christ.

As Jake Johnson, our lone non-JMU (so sad!) team member for these past weeks mentioned yesterday, it is a humbling and surreal experience to serve alongside the Palestinian leaders. Every time we cross the beaten down bridge here at camp, we can rest in the love of the Father and know the planks are held together with a strong reinforcement, just as God’s love is our continuous reinforcement.

With confidence we know that the Lord has been working in kid’s hearts as the week progresses. We are able to witness the message of the gospel changing lives- as kids cross a different bridge. The most life-changing bridge- the bridge from Death to Life! The rest of the week we will pray for the kids to cross that bridge and we will celebrate in the scripture of Romans 6:11 “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

From Pete:  This is the last post of our trip.  We leave tomorrow night.  Thanks for going on this adventure with us.  Many blessings to you in your spiritual journey.