Top Ten Blog Posts of 2016

Life has been full in 2016.  I have tried to well document all of the twists and turns through these posts.  It’s been leaving a 25-year career, finding a new career, internal struggles/conflicts/reflections and Pokémon.  It has been life on the Rutledge.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you will take one more dive into these posts and, maybe, share them with your friends.

Don’t forget to “Follow” the blog.  That can be your New Year’s resolution!  You can follow in the right-hand column by entering your email address in the box and hitting the “Follow” button.  Don’t miss out on any of 2017.

Now, here it is… Scroll down to discover the 10 most popular blog posts from for 2016.

1. Process of Finding a Job Fit (February 11)Mason Skiing

The popularity of this post really speaks to the number of wonderful friends I have in this world.  I’m blessed.  There isn’t anything especially enlightening.  It is simply an outline of my journey and a status report on what I was doing since leaving my last job.

The post was written during my annual week skiing at Whistler.  As you can tell from the picture, it was a splendid trip.

2. The Last Page to the Next Chapter (April 26)

The real “meat” of this post is the bullet list of my thoughts from a journal I used during my job transition.  It outlines my transition plan and the questions I would ask during transition meetings.  A number of people have modeled their career transition plan after the one I executed this past year.  This blog post offers quality, applicable material to those in transition.  I’m glad folks have found it helpful.

This blog post started during a trip to Colorado Springs where I was working on the development of consulting work.

3. Terrific Time of Transition (May 22)

I started a new job and career on May 23rd.  This post was written the day before and outlined my entire transition process.  It also thanks a bunch of people that were especially helpful during this period.

4. New Year and Transition (January 5)

Written on my first day without a job in 25 years.  That will grab your attention, but it really outlines the accomplishments of the Young Life Regional Team over the previous decade of ministry.  It also shares my sense of not knowing what is next.  The blog post was Rutledges in Orlandowritten while Brenda and I attended Young Life’s All-Staff Conference in Orlando.  It wasn’t a bad deal to spend your first day “off-staff” in 25 years at a staff conference with a few thousand wonderful people.  It was a ton of fun and we were honored to be a part of the celebration.

5.  Outpouring of Sweetness (January 10)

A short post about our experience attending the Young Life All-Staff Conference as people who had just left staff.  It was therapeutic to reflect and I’m glad people enjoyed reading it.

6.  Help Me with My Scrambled Eggs (February 18)

Real life.  It’s what happens between our Facebook posts.  This post reflects on the sense that today’s church culture does not include “real life.”  We simply aren’t engaged as a faith community outside of Sunday mornings.  The post is a bit of a lament.  I’m proud of this post and it speaks well to where I was six weeks after leaving my career.  We’ve since changed churches to try and find a “scratch to this itch.”  Good luck, right?

7.  Why World Concern for Me? (May 24)

Here is another status report on my transition.  I had started a new job the day before and this blog post outlines why I landed at World Concern.

8.  Thankful Birthday on this Anniversary (December 4)

I’m surprised this blog post made the list, as it is fairly new.  Most posts collected readers throughout the year.  This post reflected on my experience of the one-year anniversary of my dismissal, which had happened the day before.  Which also happens to be my birthday.  Yes, I was let go after 25 years on my birthday.  If that don’t make you read it, I don’t know what will.

9.  In Awe of the Abundance Mentality (February 15)

Would I ever write a blog post about Taylor Swift?  Well, the answer is yes…and here it is.  It’s not just about “TSwizel,” it’s about how we respond to victories or even more so, watching other people’s victories.

I think I should get a trophy for this blog post.

IMG_283210.  Got to Catch Them All (July 10)

If you didn’t believe I would write about Taylor Swift, would you believe Pokémon?  Well, it’s true.  This is a reflection on the community created by Pokémon Go.  It was one of the first blog posts written about the game phenomenon…another trophy?

It has been a weird, wonderful year.  Thanks for spending it on the Rutledge.  It’s where we like to live and we hope you enjoyed the ride with us.  Here to 2017.  Happy New Year.


Thankful Birthday on this Anniversary

happy-birthday-meme10Yesterday was an odd mix of emotions.  I have a few of those days in my life.  It was one year ago yesterday that I was dismissed from my job; there was no longer a role.

These unusual days sneak up on you emotionally.  For example, the anniversary of my parents passing.  Those date aren’t noted on my calendar, but every year I recognize the gravity of that day in my life by my responses and emotions.  It will be the late afternoon when I’ll wonder, “Why am I just ‘off’ today?”  I’ll then recognize that it’s June 4 or September 10.

Yesterday I was “off.”  December 3 is now one of those days.  The complicating piece is that it’s also my birthday, which is a day that already brings a circle of emotions (at least it’s noted on the calendar and seen as a day of reflection).

The remarkable and great news is that almost all of the last 364 days have been wonderful.  I have developed strong, authentic, supportive friendships.  I’ve seen the provision of God in my life.  Living in and leading with grace has been a gift.  Brenda and I love each other more than ever.  I have had hundreds of people speak specifically into my life.  While I have a few pounds to lose, I’m healthier today than I’ve been in years. Most of this has been well documented on  It has been a marvelous season.  I’m so thankful.

Yesterday was challenging in feeling the emotion of the one-year anniversary against the hundreds of kind Facebook posts, messages and texts from a whole lot of you.

Those messages where limericks in a day that was more of a lament.

You all didn’t know the anniversary, you just knew the birthday.  The day was a dirge, thanks for giving it delight.

My hope was that this is just a one-year wonder.  The truth is this will always be a part of my story.  People have told me that when you are dismissed from an organization after 25 years, it’s like a death.  If so, then I know from experience that it will get better with time.  I also know that this notorious day, while not noted in my calendar, will be a recurring annual event.

Here is what I can be assured from the last 364 days… God will use it.  He will use this day, every year, as a part of my birthday celebration to make me a better person.  It’s what He’s always done.  It’s how He operates.

“Thank you” for the kind birthday wishes.  I couldn’t respond to each message, text or email with these details, so I thought I’d reflect on my day with this post.  It wasn’t a “Happy Birthday” but it was a contemplative, challenging, considerate day…but I’m not sure there is a Hallmark card or meme you could have sent me that reads, “Have an Introspective Birthday.”

Life as a Subscriber

WebsiteWouldn’t it be wonderful if instead of catching blog entries by chance through the Facebook or twitter, you actually got an email in your in-box sharing the new post with you?  Wouldn’t that be the best?  Well, it is possible.

Join the tribe of 2,700+ that has already subscribed to “Life on the Rutledge.”  We are living life out on the edge.  This is a place where we talk about life, faith, family, community, philanthropy, work, exercise, food, travel and life on the Rutledge.

Look to the right.  It should be there…on the edge.  Just input your email and hit “Follow.”  It’s that easy.  Thanks.