Archive for October, 2011

Predictive Affirmation

// October 27th, 2011 // No Comments » // Advice, Getting biblical, Leadership, Reflections

What is predictive affirmation?  These are words that foresee and encourage others towards a future filled with hope and expectation.  Backed by another’s stated belief in oneself, one’s skill and virtue, a person will often go forward in life fulfilling those statements like some sort of prophesy.  This is the idea behind predictive affirmation: more than just a positive attitude or a belief, or speaking fluff into someone’s life, predictive affirmation takes stock of a person’s character qualities and lays out a roadmap of where those could lead in the future.

On a recent trip to Orlando I got to use a little bit of this with a global organization which was setting goals for the next year.  Knowing the mission, the vision, and the values they had at their core, I was able to speak truth into their organization that by getting back to those roots and applying some fundamentals of success (things that they already owned) they would not only find the success they were looking for, but that they would be a stronger community in the process.

Since we were near Disney World I took advantage of the gift store to bring home two little Minny Mouse dolls for my twin daughters.  Disney characters had been a staple for me in my youth and I wanted my daughters to share in the joy that I had also found from the Magic Kingdom.  With boxes of toys, however, how would I get these little mice to stand out or stand a chance?  Predictive affirmation.  I found that by giving Minny Mouse ownership of some human traits and abilities, and then sharing those in a special way with my daughters Minny has not been out of their grasp, and has become the go to doll of choice.  When Minny arrived in our home I told my girls that she was special, that she loved them and travelled all the way from Florida to see them.  I told my girls that Minny wanted to play with them, sleep beside them, dance with them and be a friend.  It has all come true.

What I have learned is that if I speak that same way to my daughters they more than likely will become those things too – friends that love each other, look out for each other, are polite and kind with grateful, courageous, adventurous and laughing hearts.  My hope is that if I can speak of my girls as I did Minny Mouse, that they too will be loved because they first loved others.
Are you speaking this kind of affirmation into the lives of others?

Have you ever had the blessing of someone speaking this way about you?

Can the cycle of of negative affirmation be broken?  I know it can by the promise of Jeremiah 31:3 …I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving -kindness.  I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt… .  Also 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

May your future be bright and filled with hope and expectation.

Sweat for Greatness

// October 24th, 2011 // No Comments » // Hiking

Sports Illustrated and Gillette have partnered to support three courageous people who are not letting setbacks in their lives set them back.  The link here is to a page that will allow you to see three inspiring videos and then vote for the person you would like to see win the grand prize.

All three are worthy of the win and each of these guys is very special, but one of them is a friend of mine that I have been climbing with for almost ten years.  John Olson has struggled with a seizure disorder for most of his life.  The seizures became so severe when he was young that he underwent a surgery to separate the left and right hemispheres of the brain.  John has been on and off a number of medications and recently underwent another surgery to have a nerve stimulating device implanted in his shoulder to further reduce, if not eliminate, his seizures.

Throughout all of this John has not let epilepsy get the best of him.  He competed on his  high school’s swim team, volunteers for the park service, holds a part-time job, is an avid cyclist and skier, and really has a passion for getting out into the high peaks of Colorado.  If John should win he would like to go and achieve a dream of his which is to climb a volcano on the west coast – Oregon’s Mt. St. Helens.  There is even the possibility that he might attempt a ski descent.  Please watch these inspiring videos and then please vote for my friend John.  Each person who votes can vote once each day until the contest is over at midnight on November 14th.  This contest is affiliated with Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the year award and the winner will be announced the same evening of that award.  One lucky voter will also get a framed SI cover of their choice.

John On Torrey's Peak


The Summit in iBook Store and Kindle

// October 21st, 2011 // No Comments » // books

Just taking a minute with my camera to announce that my book The Summit is now available in the Apple bookstore iBooks and also for Kindle at

If you like reading electronically or want an easy gift idea, this is a fun new option.

Canon D1X – New

// October 18th, 2011 // No Comments » // Gear

Today canon announced their new flagship camera.  Amazing specs and sure to be an amazing workhorse for serious photographers.
Check out more at



Long Road to Nowhere

// October 17th, 2011 // No Comments » // Reflections, Stress Free Moments

As my friend Eric Peters writes “…it’s a long road to nowhere…I’m pretty sure I’ll get there” in the song that accompanies this brief video, he struck a chord with me.  If we don’t set goals and set a course for some of the desires of our heart it is pretty easy to arrive at that nowhere place you never wanted to be.  This clip is meant to be a 30 second stress relief for those that take a look, also maybe a chance to look forward to that destination in the recesses of your mind of where you DO eventually want the Long Road to take you.

Music by Eric Peters

Time-Lapse video taken on iPhone4 with time-lapse app


// October 14th, 2011 // No Comments » // Getting biblical, Other

An alpine start is necessary in climbing, but who knew it was also necessary in film production.  Getting up before the sunrise is critical for capturing the best light and the best shots.  Just a few days ago I had the opportunity to help out Eli Pyke with a shoot for his company Zion Pictures –  Eli called me and told me he was doing a shoot close to where I live and that he could use some help.  I immediately offered knowing this would be a great opportunity to learn, and that I had enough skill to be of some value to what he was doing.  A pastor, who is a friend to a lot of people I know  in the Vail Valley and has just recently written a book called Replenish, was putting together a DVD to compliment his teaching aimed at church leadership.  Lance Witt was the executive pastor at one of the nation’s most visible and influential churches called Saddleback in California.  There he pastored under Rick Warren – the guy who gave the Benediction at President Obama’s inauguration – and was in charge of a staff of 400 (just a little country church).

The shoot went well, the weather was outstanding, and I learned a lot about production.  What I didn’t expect from these few days of work was to come away from a work project having been ministered to by the content.  It is so easy, no matter what we are doing, to be so ingrained in the mechanics of the workflow that we miss out on the words being spoken – not just into the microphone, but to our hearts.  Lance brought out a team of people whose work in ministry is to see to it that those who care for others take a little time out to care for themselves and maintain a healthy relationship with Jesus.  The focus of the Replenish series is to do just that – keep people on track with priorities and work, to not get to caught up in the mechanics, and keep an ear open for the Lord’s voice.

You can find out more about pastor Witt and his wife Connie and their work here:

To learn about Mindy Caliguire  from Willow Creek Community Church and her work at SoulCare go here:

To meet Pastor Shaun from a church deep in Detroit who has no interest in Rock Climbing but is helping others climb out of trouble go here:


Brigantine Beach

// October 11th, 2011 // No Comments » // Events, Leadership

A trip east to the Jersey Shore was not at all what I thought it would be. Though I have not seen the reality tv series, I still had a perception of what I might find. What I did find was an area rich in history, a beach bustling with activity, and a welcome as warm as the sun-soaked sand.
I would be the keynote speaker of Brigantine islands first community prayer breakfast.

As an outsider looking in, it is often difficult to quickly assess the culture of a place and know how a community might receive such an event and how they may receive me and my words. People from diverse faiths and backgrounds would be in a attendance and my goal was not to offend nor was it to celebrate this diversity. My goal was to encourage people to step out in courage to serve and to live in community celebrating what I see as unity (Colossians 3:15). It appeared that this was happening right away. With the meeting taking place in the grand hall of the islands Catholic church, I wrongly assumed the attendees would all be catholic, what I saw instead was a great many denominations represented, all coming together to eat, and to hear testimony of what God has done in my life. What was far more inspiring than anything I could say however, was to see what God was doing in that room because a few faithful people took a chance to organize this event seeing a route instead of roadblocks.

The vision of a guy named Paul Powers made it happen and after the hard work, days of rain, and a great gathering we were all blessed by the appearance of a full rainbow from sea to sky to sea x 2 = a double rainbow on the Jersey Shore.


// October 10th, 2011 // No Comments » // Events, Leadership

A presenters worst fear: to painstakingly prepare with visuals, notes, attire – the works, only to take the stage and find that no one can see a bit of what has been prepared. Not only could my audience not see my AV, but half of them decidedly had their backs turned to me as they sat at their round conference room tables. Had I offended them? No. Were they being rude? No. Was the room improperly setup? No. Then what… nearly all 600 attendees were blind. I had been invited to share some inspiration with the National Association of Blind Merchants at their annual conference in Nashville which serves to educate, update, and challenge entrepreneurs who happen to be blind. I did what I could telling of my stories of going to the edges of the earth with people who are blind and I do think I was able to inspire many of the attendees since they gave me a rousing standing ovation when it was all said and done. Honestly however, I was the one who gained the most inspiration that day. I saw one woman carrying an infant on her chest as she navigated the venue with a white cane, I saw innovators who were redefining blind technologies, but mostly I saw a spirit of brotherhood and an attitude not of brokenness, but of boldness that still believed, in spite of lifes circumstances that this day was dawning new with hope and possibility. It is that spirit which left me feeling invigorated and uplifted and made my job easy in spite of the fact that no one there saw me or my dialed AV. I wasnt there to lift them up, they had already done that, I was there to merely reflect back that same sense of hope and encouragement I had just unexpectedly received.