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Meet The Authors

UPENDED is written by Jedd Medefind and Erik Lokkesmoe.

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Jesus remakes our stories

We argue and lecture, give facts without meaning.

Jesus remakes our attention

We're distracted and divided, listen only as necessary, leap at the chance to speak.

Jesus remakes our rest

We dare not miss out, have a moment to spare, or spend much time in thought.

Jesus remakes our authenticity
and our ambitions.

We seek praise and promotion, accumulate "friends" and followers.

Jesus remakes our worth
and our longings

We're the most connected but unknown, popular but lonely, expressive but empty, engaged but uninterested culture the world has ever known.

Jesus remakes our words and
the way we convey them

We're surrounded by the most message-saturated marketplace in history.

UPENDED invites the follower of Jesus to become an apprentice to Jesus—particularly in the choices that shape our lives more than any other: how we communicate and connect. Join this exhilarating exploration of the often overlooked, often over-simplified character of Jesus' and his unparalleled way as a communicator. Study and learn, echo and embrace the ways of the Master. How you live and love and influence will inevitably be upended—not always how you'd imagined, but certainly for the better. Much better.


Jedd Medefind

Jedd Medefind led the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives as a Special Assistant to President George W. Bush. In this post, he oversaw government-wide reforms that made local nonprofits and faith-based groups the central partners in major initiatives to elevate the needy, from prisoner reentry to Global AIDS. As described by the Harvard Political Review, this initiative "fundamentally changed the government's strategy for improving the lives of the downtrodden."

Jedd now serves as President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans. The Alliance unites a coalition of more than one hundred respected Christian organizations in joint advocacy campaigns that ignite and equip Christians for adoption, foster care and global orphan initiatives.

Previously, Jedd held a range of campaign and political posts in the California State Legislature. He also helped establish the California Community Renewal Project, which strengthens nonprofits in some of the state's most challenged communities. He has worked, studied and served in more than thirty countries, with organizations ranging from Price-Waterhouse in Moscow to Christian Life Bangladesh.

Jedd has written numerous articles and two books. He and his wife Rachel love the great outdoors and live in California with their five children, Siena, Marin, Eden, Lincoln and Phoebe.

Erik Lokkesmoe

Erik Lokkesmoe is founder and principal of Different Drummer, one of America's fastest growing, most forward-thinking entertainment marketing agencies. Introducing a new strategy of "social mobilization," Different Drummer mobilizes fans and audiences within the movie, documentary, publishing, music, cause, and sports industries.


Erik began his career in entertainment with Anschutz Film Group/ Walden Media/Bristol Bay Productions as the Project Manager for the film Amazing Grace, the story of 18th century abolitionist William Wilberforce.

Erik's political experiences began in 1996 when he started a ten-year career in Washington, D.C., serving as a communication advisor for the National Association of Broadcasters, a press secretary on Capitol Hill, a speechwriter for American leaders, and the head of communications for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Erik also launched the arts non-profit organization, Brewing Culture, to fund artists and to create space for new conversations around the arts. Erik earned a MA in Public Communications from The American University in DC, and a BA in Political Science from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. Erik lives in New York City, with his wife, Monica, and three kids, Kolton, Skylar, and Sydney.


UPENDED is a beautiful reminder of the principles found in the "upside down" Kingdom of God, in stark contrast to the values and motives prominent in today's culture. As followers of Jesus, we seek to share his love through our attitudes and actions. I highly recommend this book to anyone who sincerely desires to become an apprentice of Jesus Christ … better equipped to place their faith into tangible action in a hurting world.
Wess Stafford, President
Compassion International
Upended does anyone who reads it a great service. It shows how an authentic, reflective, engaged faith -- the revolutionary faith taught by Jesus -- can result in a life of meaning, purpose, compassion and significance.
Michael Gerson,
Columnist for Washington Post
Former Chief Speechwriter for President George W. Bush
From the mid-level manager to the busy mom with small children, the rhythms of a day sometimes feel as glorious as a dirt clod. With grace and realism, UPENDED helps us recognize how small choices can have impact in the midst of ordinary moments. Most of all, UPENDED shows us how we can aspire to be more like Jesus in ways that infuse eternal significance into our daily life.
Kristen Howerton, Rage Against the Minivan
As we seek Jesus' Kingdom, God's shalom takes tangible form where our influence is felt. This is the promise of which UPENDED reminds us. And then it shows us how. As an apprentice to Jesus, I need this book. So do you.
Gideon Strauss, Executive Director
Max De Pree Center for Leadership
Most of us know that the life we are living now is a full size less than all that God has cut out for us. So, good for UPENDED, grabbing us where we live, knocking us on our religious assets and pointing to the daily, right-sided revolution of grace Jesus always intended.
Geof Morin, CCO
American Bible Society
Remarkably, one of the hallmarks of expanded media connectivity is its superficiality. We have more communication but less of it is substantive; more relationships but fewer that are meaningful; more interaction but less intersection with anything significant or transcendent. Writing with uncommon clarity, Medefind and Lokkesmoe explain how the strength and depth of our relational influence flows from both authentic discipleship and choices in how we communicate.
Frank Wright, Ph.D., President & CEO
National Religious Broadcasters
UPENDED arrives at just the right time, in just the right tone. The reader is invited back to a simple, yet sacrificial devotion to Jesus — in an area few ever think about: the way we connect with others. This is a must-read book for every leader who finds herself broken-down, stressed-out, and giving-up.
Lori Wilhite, Founder
UPENDED will inspire you to recognize that our lives begin to have tremendous meaning when they are turned upside down. This book is filled with simple truths that compel us to follow Jesus into the places where the simplicity of the gospel transforms everything around us. Turning the first page will begin a journey that will change your life for eternity.
Tom Davis, President, Children's HopeChest
Author of Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds, Scared: A Novel on the Edge of the World
UPENDED is an encouraging, thoughtful, and challenging read. If you are in need of a fresh look at Jesus Christ and what He came to do in and through your life, then you've found it. Medefind and Lokkesmoe not only invite you into the greatest adventure a person can ever experience, but they skillfully guide and equip you as you continue the journey. If you take UPENDED seriously, you are going to be a much better person because you read it.
Dr. Dennis Rainey, President, Familylife
Host, FamilyLife Today
Most 'leaders' never step on a stage, stand behind a podium or pulpit, sit on committees or run corporations. Rather, true leadership shows up in the small and subtle moments of life — in the daily grind where it equally matters. UPENDED gracefully elevates Jesus' love and lessons for those who live outside of the spotlight: the parents, the friends, the employees, the seekers, and visitors. Eric and Jedd have created a timeless resource for the everyday leader.
Brad Lomenick, Executive Director
UPENDED delivers savvy and heart. Woven with story and insight, UPENDED is for anyone who wants to become a more skillful apprentice of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Scott Todd, Lead Architect
58 Campaign
UPENDED will help any leader's message penetrate the noise. As we all experience information bombardment, Medefind and Lokkesmoe breakdown the lessons every one of us must remember to have our voice be heard amidst the competition of busyness, social media and information overload.
Gabe Lyons, Author of The Next Christians
Founder of Q Ideas
Following Jesus isn't a slow march through a haze of spirituality. Following Jesus is an adventure. In fact, following Jesus wrecks your life, in all the right ways. In this book, Jedd Medefind and Erik Lokkesmoe capture the adventurous joy of Christ following. The book is, like following Jesus, both deep and joyful. Read this, and see where Jesus wants to upend your life.
Russell D. Moore, Dean, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Author, Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ
Right from the beginning I was struck by the heft of life experience in these pages. Jedd and Erik have been writing this book all of their lives. If culture is a rushing river, this book is a steady swim upstream, or an encouragement to get started. I was refreshed in my desire to be fully congruent with the Gospel of Jesus, and to integrate, integrate, integrate his words and work into my daily words and my daily work. Apprenticing Jesus... Brilliant!
Sara Groves, Singer-Songwriter
Winner of Christianity Today's
Album of the Year
Medefind and Lokkesmoe represent two highly important voices from the rising generation that will not be satisfied with mere talk. This younger generation has a new and fresh authenticity not seen in my generation. Whether you are a student, half-timer or senior statesman, you will see that UPENDED crackles with insight and energy, offering a masterful exploration of the unparalleled ways of the Master—and what it looks like to learn as his apprentice.
Bob Buford, Founder
The Leadership Network
Author of Halftime and Finishing Well


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