Take me to your Leader

Posted: August 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

Who would you turn to if you saw this?


Some people don’t think they are leaders. Whether it’s leading your kids in making sound decisions, your spouse in planning your vacation, or just simply your own life.The truth is we all lead something.

Last week I joined a quarter million other leaders at the annual Global Leadership Summit. There are video sites all over the world so you can join no matter where you live.


It’s always a life changing experience and provides a mirror into where you need to grow in your personal and professional life.

Here are some of my favorite one-line zingers that I captured while there. If any of these grab you, here is a summary all my notes separated by speaker – Leadership-summit-2015  I encourage everyone to go next year and you won’t regret it!


Founder & Senior Pastor – WIllow Creek Community Church

Armed with enough humility leaders can learn from anyone – 

Vision is not going to take care of leadership, self-sacrificing love is!

What separates toxic organizations thriving ones? A Genuine leader with deep personal concern

Don’t be a Chief “fill in the blank” Officer, be a Chief Meaning Officer


Nationally Acclaimed Business Thinker – Best Selling Author

Ego driven level 4 leaders have people follow them. Level 5 leaders have people follow a cause, not them. –

Great leaders focus on their unit, not their career

Life is People


President / Foundar Pixar Animation & Disney Animation

Every great (fill in the blank) starts as an ugly baby

Art isn’t about drawing, it’s about the ability to see

If you spend too much time on any project / task, it will zap the energy out of you

The best work + passion doesn’t always end the best for that person, the company, and the product

Adam Grant

Professor – Wharton School of Business – Best Selling Author

Most people project the future motives of others by their own personal history

Re-define giving. Be a successful giver by doing more 5 min favors

Ask for help as a leader. Give people a way to ask\


Research Professor – Univ of Houston Graduate College of Social Work – Best Selling Author

We are not thinking beings that sometimes have emotion, we are emotional beings that sometimes think

You can choose courage or comfort, but you can’t have both


Don’t leave it all on the field (workplace) otherwise you go home with nothing

Don’t live for your resume, but live for your eulogy


Don’t come to work, to work. Come to be excited and to serve others

When you manage anything you forfeit the right to make an excuse

It’s immoral to hire someone for a function , hire them for a dream


Feedback is how leaders make better workers, and how workers make better leaders

93% of all American workers feel under-appreciated

Feedback might be 90% wrong, but the 10% right might be exactly what you needed to hear

When you learn to receive you will transform your personal and professional life


It’s not what you know – it’s how fast you can learn

When you lack resources you become resourceful

Comfort is a stealthy being that becomes your master

If you want your team to be relevant? Lead them into the unknown


There is way more in you than you imagine

You might be 1 relationship from changing the course of your destiny

Talent can get you to the top, but only character can keep you there

If you delegate tasks, you’ll create workers. If you delegate authority, you create leaders

You’re only as strong as you are honest

Story Time

Posted: July 31, 2015 in Wicked Pissah

Some people can remember everything from their childhood. I happen to fall in this camp. Whether it’s flying over the handlebars on my new scooter Christmas morning, or hitting my first over the fence home run against Brian Lavoie at Simon’s Park,  or even simple moments like waiting for the bus to pick me up for 1st grade with my Mom and Grandpa. Others  can barely remember anything. My wife falls into this camp. Although she also can’t remember what we did yesterday, and we joke that our life is like that movie “50 First Dates”.


Back to that 1st grade mention, I can remember my favorite part of the day was Story Time!

story time

I loved hearing both fictional and non fictional stories. Our lives, themselves, are stories. I often hear people say “I should write a book about my life story.” The truth is OUR stories are the untold stories of the Bible. Just because the Bible is done being written on paper doesn’t mean it’s done being written out in our lives.

In my last blog I talked about becoming a new co-host for a podcast that is about Christian faith and board gaming with an interest in bridging thew gaps between world views.  We told OUR stories on that episode so people could get to know us, and our perspectives better since we will be tackling some tough subjects in future episodes. It broke the single day download record for that podcast’s history!

Being a video creator, I’ve always wanted to create a video of my story. Knowing I was going to be telling it on the episode inspired me to finally break down and spend the inordinate amount of time it takes to produce one.

It’s story time, but instead of being the listener, it’s my turn to be the story teller. So here is MY story. What’s yours?


What’s Your Punchline?

Posted: July 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

Recently a comedian named Michael Jr. came to make us laugh at our church. He is deemed “The comedian that can speak to everyone”. After making us laugh for 45 minutes, he told the story of how he used his own passion (telling jokes) for his purpose in life.


He had a life turning moment before going on stage one night. The Holy Spirit probed him with this thought. Instead of trying to get laughs from people, what if you gave people an opportunity to laugh. That changed everything.

Comedy is simple. There is a setup, then a punch line. If you hear a setup, but never experience the punchline, there is an uneasiness, and unsatisfied feeling. But when/if that punchline comes, all that work turns into something glorious.

In your own life all your talents and skills are part of your “setup”. You have been being prepared to do something great in advance. But if you don’t do anything with it (no punchline) life will feel uneasy and unsatisfying no matter what you try to chase in order to fill that void which God has instilled into all of us.

Last week I was honored to be interviewed on the 2nd highest downloaded podcast about board games in the world. I was asked how I got started reviewing board games. The reason went back to an amazing human interest / community involvement story which you may remember (Operation Aloha).

The feedback I got from how that transpired me into becoming a well respected board game reviewer was amazing. The day it went live, I received a call asking if I would help re-launch and co-host a podcast on the Dice Tower Network (the largest board game media outlet that I produce my reviews for). But this isn’t just a podcast about games. It’s called the Dice Steeple and it’s about using God through our hobby of board games to touch the lives of both Christians and non-Christians alike. Within a few hours there were already people writing blogs about this announcement!

The last handful of blogs I wrote were about how God used my passion (board games) to do some cool things for others. Those all used my “setup” in life (passion about board games) to deliver a “punchline”. This most recent podcasting opportunity continues to develop and refine that punchline.

To spin Michael Jr’s “ah ha” moment into the world of board gaming, what if we stopped trying to get fun from the games, but gave the people playing an opportunity to open up? To build those relationships and learn about their fears, failures, accomplishments and dreams? Then walk with them through all of this? I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have fun with the games, as I believe our heavenly father is crazy about us and delights in seeing us have fun and finding enjoyment (just like you do to your own kids). But what if that wasn’t sole reason for bringing the games out in the first place?

I hope this inspires you to begin thinking about your own “setup”  knowing that no person’s gifting is better than anyone else’s.It’s never about the games, but always about the people and building long lasting, meaningful relationships (not the social media type of “friends”)!

Question of the Week

What’s your “setup”? What skills / talents have you been gathering during the course of your life? More importantly, what are you doing with that setup to make a difference in others’ lives? In other words, what’s your punchline? It’s ok if you don’t know. But it’s not ok to not wonder, think, dream, and pray about what yours is. So get dreamin!

What’s the best advice about life that you’ve ever received?

Last year while at the largest board game convention in America, I got invited to a press only event where one of the largest publishers showed us a sneek peek of their upcoming games. I got to meet some of the most well known designers in the world, including Bruno Faidutti from France.


This week and interview with him was published and this was the last question he was asked. What’s the best advice about life that you’ve ever received?

Here was his answer.

Life is not a game. You don’t know the rules and the goal, and you better not try, since it’s more fun this way. That’s why I despise religion, and why I’m terrified by it – religious people act in life as if it were a game with a game designer, a set of rules, a goal and a victory point systems. Life is not a game, it’s a mess – and it might be better that way.

I must say that since I was about 16 up until just over 7 years ago, I felt the same way Bruno does. What changed? For the first time I learned what having a personal relationship with God was like. I realized that rules are just rules, and they constrict you like a straight jacket. But in contrast the Holy Spirit will guide us through conviction in freedom through Christ. Without adhering to a laundry list of do’s and don’ts for the wrong reasons, we are filled with energy and passion in which we make a difference in the world for the right reasons. Love. It’s that simple. The love of Jesus Christ for all of us sets us free from religion, and from being religious.

This is why I no longer see life as if it were a game with the game designer with a set of rules and a goal as Bruno mentioned. But instead I see it as an open canvas, with no “rules”.  Removing the rules removes any judgmental tendencies and I now see life as an all encompassing life of love and passion guided by the Holy Spirit.

Formula of the Week

Jesus > Rules & Religion

Question of the Week

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Drop a comment and let us know.

Diamond in the Rough

Posted: February 6, 2015 in Wicked Pissah

Before every board game convention that I go to I always pray for God to show me the “real” reason for going. I know it’s not about the games, but it’s really about the people and the relationships with those that play them. Last November I went to Dallas wondering what will happen this time. Previous to this convention I had gotten a game to review called the Game of 49. I hadn’t gotten a chance to play it before the convention, but I reached out to the publisher and hoped to meet them and play it with them there.

This was a small independent publisher and it was their first game designed and published (the designer was the self publisher). Think of it like someone self publishing a book and selling it next to the huge publishers that are sold Barnes & Noble, but all in one hall.

My friend had gone out to dinner since my game was running long. So I was standing in the lobby of the hotel by myself and I saw the publisher of the Game of 49 walking my way. I knew what he looked like from some videos of him showing off the game so I introduced myself to him and his wife and asked if I could join them for dinner. Even in the 10 minutes before our food came, I could tell these were genuinely two of the nicest people I’ve met. When the food came, I did something I rarely do (pray for strangers at a meal). I prayed that our relationship were to grow, and that they would be blessed  in one way shape or form at this convention.

The next day I finally got a chance to play the Game of 49. I was a little nervous because I wanted to like it, but quite honestly just by the looks of it, it’s something that I would normally pass by.



It’s such a simple game where you try and get 4 chips in a row through bidding in auctions. But there are cards that allow you not only put your chip in 1 of many spots (like a wild) you also get $7 for each  chip you have on the board. So it’s like a little economic building game. I liked the game so much that I announced it my “surprise hit” of the convention on the live podcast that was recorded there in front of a couple hundred attendees. Later that night they had sold a ton of them. The “celebrity” of the convention (Rich Sommers form TV’s Mad Men) told me later that he bought a copy on my recommendation and loved it!

The buzz that I started flowed through the convention and they sold out all the copies they brought. I later got this message from the publisher:

” I sold out my copies at BGG Con. Pretty good odds that the shout-out you arranged on the Dice Tower podcast contributed to that. Anytime we’re attending the same con, I’ll have to make it a point to have dinner with you the first night, as a good luck charm. Ruth and I had a outstanding weekend, and it was genuine pleasure meeting you. “

It also became my family game, surprise hit, and made my top 10 games of the year.

This was truly a diamond in the rough that may have been passed over by gamers. When I prayed for them to be blessed during the convention I didn’t realize that I was personally going to be used to assist them in their blessing. Blessings come in many ways and most often don’t come in monetary form, but in this case I believe it was. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer couple.

From this I learned that even when you pray for someone else, don’t be surprised if YOU are part of that story. I think sometimes we pray for someone and hope that it will get handled without us. But sometimes we are actually the most qualified to help that prayer be answered whether we know it or not.

Is it a coincidence that the game has the number of the bible squared (7 x 7) in the title of it? I think not! 🙂

Space Sheep to the Rescue

Posted: January 23, 2015 in Wicked Pissah

Since I review many board games, sometimes mix ups in logistics can happen. In this case I accidentally got a 2nd copy to review of a game called Space Sheep. I told the publisher about the error, and they were very gracious and said I could give it to someone that would like it.




It’s a co-operative game where you all work together and thereby win or lose together as a team. It’s a very puzzly game and really is a brain burner. If you are curious as to how this game is played, you can watch my review here.

Since no one in my game group was deeply into the logic of this game, I had the game up for trade and I was contacted by someone who was interested in it. His email said this:

“I don’t actually have very many games. I like games, but mostly I just evaluate them as learning and therapy resources. I once taught special education and a stroke has prevented me from returning to that occupation. However, I have since developed an interest in using games to help people recover from traumatic brain injuries. When I fist began working with the disabled it never occurred to me that I would ever be one. My inner geek was in love when I first saw Space Sheep, but the $50 after tax and delivery for bits of card board was too much.”

I was so inspired to hear not only of someone doing great things through a bad situation, but also having it be through board games. So I sent him the game without him knowing.

Here was his response:

“I was away for a few days, but I received a box from you today. It’s still in the shrink wrap. I really wish you had sent a used copy but it will be put to good use. Thank you. Many years ago someone told me that when you get a gift all you have to say is, “thank you.” I always thought that was an odd social convention, but I’ve never really come up with anything better on my own.”

So in the end I did end up trading the game. But instead of getting another game in return like usual, I received inspiration from someone else and a heart warming feeling knowing that disabled people are learning through the game. That’s better than any game I could have received. Yes, even better than Five Tribes (a reference to the first blog in this series about board games being used by God).

This is God’s M.O… Using a bad situation or event to bring greatness through it. Sometimes we don’t understand why we are going through what we are, but if we continue to keep our eyes focused on God, He has better things in store. He doesn’t just want to restore us to what we used to be, he wants to redeem us to something better than we ever were!





Down for the Count

Posted: January 16, 2015 in Wicked Pissah

Last week I gave the background of the the largest board gaming convention in America called Gencon. The day after the Five Tribes event that I described in that blog post, this event happened. I was talking with my PR contact at one of the largest board game companies when a woman about my age collapsed right in front of us. We got her up on a chair and she told us that she has been having severe problems with her ribs lately and they were Ace bandaged up. The PR contact apparently was also a personal trainer and she started massaging her. I acted as security (which is a stretch) and tried to block all the people walking by from seeing what was going on. I then went and got some Gatorade and snacks for her to try and consume. I felt so helpless for this poor girl. She was in so much pain she was in tears.

I offered to go get her car and bring it around for her, but she wanted to try and continue walking the convention floor. Her and her husband did ask where a specific booth was and I was able to at least walk them down towards that way helping her along the way. I gave them my card and told them if there was anything else I could do for them to call me.

I didn’t feel like I helped much and I wish I could have done more.

However next day I got this voice mail from her (click here if you don’t see an embedded audio player below)


I also got this email from her:

“Please know you guys did more for me on Saturday than I could have ever asked for. It is so very kind and appreciated. Thank you so much again for everything you did. Literally, I could get dressed on my own this morning and get out of bed on my own as well. This is a MASSIVE improvement. I literally rolled over in bed and just knew. I went, “Oh my God” and scared my fiancé to death! Lol I was so happy I could just even breathe, so again… Thank you, thank you, thank you. 🙂

Casey Martin”

Sometimes just the effort of asking what you can do for someone is more than they expected. The fact that you care about them is more than enough. From this I learned that nothing you do for anyone in love is too small, even if it might seem so.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of God’s Love.

Five Tribes – One Spirit

Posted: January 9, 2015 in Wicked Pissah

Indianapolis gets its city taken over each August by a horde of geeks. by Horde I mean 60,000 of us! All for the largest board gaming convention in the USA called Gencon. The lines to get in are crazy and the smells of that many geeks in one place are even crazier 🙂 I am blessed to get a press badge so I get in early and through the side door.

One of the hottest games was being released there this past year and there was a production delay so instead of having no copies to sell they air lifted 200 copies in. 60,000 people and 200 copies. You don’t have to be an engineer to do that math. Chances are you weren’t getting a copy of the $59 game called Five Tribes.



One of the reasons that I really wanted this game was it is designed by by favorite game designer Bruno Cathala from France.



On the first day they sold the 50 copies in 10 minutes (rationed by day) . The next day using my press badge I got in 30 minutes before the doors opened and I was 5th in line. People were lining up hours before the doors opened to try and sprint to the booth get one of the 50 copies to be sold that day.


After I purchased my copy I noticed one of the guys that I demo’d  Five Tribes with the day before was in line. He said he had been in line well before the doors opened and it was going to be close to see if he would get a copy. I proceeded to walk the convention hall with another game reviewer and within about a minute I was overwhelmed by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I remember hearing (not audible) “Go give him your game”. I tried to ignore it, but I kept hearing it over the next few minutes. My heart then broke for him. I told my reviewer friend that my heart is telling me to go give him my game. He said “Are you nuts? Ok then, I’ll meet up with you later”.

I went back to the line and he was about the 10th person back. I told him what I was feeling and wanted to give him my game. He told me to wait to see if he would get one. The guy behind him overheard and bullied into the conversation and offered me $100 for it. I told him it’s not about the money and my heart felt for this guy since I had a connection with him from playing the game with him yesterday. I gave him my card and told him if he didn’t get a copy to call me and I’ll come give him mine.

With the loud convention noise I didn’t hear my phone ring, but 10 minutes later I received this voice mail (Click Here if you don’t see an embedded audio player below)

Due to the poor audio quality from the loud convention here is what he is saying.

“Dan, It’s Tim Hunt here – the guy you played Five Tribes with yesterday. I got my copy, I thank you so much for your generosity. I know that you will be blessed for that dude. Thank you so much I really appreciate it and I had a really good time playing with you guys and keep on doing what you do because you are bringing people into this awesome hobby. Thanks.”


So in the end I didn’t end up giving him my copy, but I was real happy he got one. It actually was my “Game of the Year pick for 2014”. See for yourself in my top 10 video. I was even more pleased that the one thing I would be hard pressed to give up at the convention was called on by the Holy Spirit, and that I was able to look past the material object for the opportunity love on someone that I barely knew.

God can use anything to show His love through you, even if it’s something as silly as a board game. We should never underestimate what God can do with anything if we are willing to listen and adapt.



Games Games Games

Posted: January 2, 2015 in Wicked Pissah

In a previous post  I talked about how the uniqueness of our desires and passions (board games in this case) can be used in amazing ways to spread God’s light (love). Even when it seems that people who don’t know you, or even ourselves for that matter, think that your passions aren’t good enough or powerful enough to be used in a meaningful manner, God shows us differently.

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing stories around my passion of board games, and how God’s love shined through. The purpose for this is not to brag or boast, but to inspire you to embrace your passions even if they seem un-purposeful at the surface level.


Little Things Are Big Things

Posted: December 19, 2014 in Wicked Pissah

Have you ever found a treasure at a garage sale? They say one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Denise loves to take our tandem bike to garage sales on the weekend and try to find something cool. Before you ask….yes she does pedal, but only because they are locked into my pedals 🙂



A couple year’s back many people from our life group and community helped change the life for our “adopt-a-family” for Christmas. You can watch this secret HGTV makeover here:

This year we took that same family to Zoolights since we were at their house furnishing it last time (see video above).



I had been to Zoolights before and even though it’s a fun thing to do around Christmas, it’s not something that had blown me away in the past. However to see the kids eyes light up the whole night gave me a different perspective. They were so  excited to see everything!

Sometimes seeing something from another’s perspective can help change your own.


Question of the Week

What or who are you struggling with these days that you need a different perspective of? Drop a comment and let us know.