As I was about to go to sleep last night, the quote in the pic above drifted into my mind.  Not sure why, or how, or where from, but I felt like I should share it today.

So, whoever you are… wherever you’re at… know this… Your best days are still in front of you… IF you make sure they are.  Quit living as if what has happened to you in the past will always be what people remember about you.  Set aside the thought that your past actions will always determine what you are or can do.

Face forward.  Make plans for a brighter future.  Determine that what you do today will outshine anything you’ve done previously.  And then press toward making what you do tomorrow make today pale in comparison.

I plan to live long, and go out strong.  My glory days haven’t happened yet.  My childhood was great.  I had some terrific teenage years.  I loved my time in college.  The early years of our marriage and ministry were wonderful.  But right now, I’m having the time of my life.  And yet I wholeheartedly believe no one- except God, because He knows the future- has seen my best yet!

I plan to be a better husband and dad!  I plan to preach better messages!  I plan to write better books and blog posts!  I plan to learn new tips and tricks to be better at fixing and building things!  I plan to catch more fish!  I say, “Look out world, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

What about you?  Which glory days of the past do you need to set aside so that you can look ahead to bigger, brighter glory days?  Is it your high school football stats?  Is it your raises and promotions when you were working?  Is it the health and fitness of your twenties?

Whether you have a week, a month, a year, a decade, or most of your life still ahead of you… determine today that what people will remember most about you, what they will say were your greatest moments, are those that are yet to come!

I am officially a fan of American Ninja Warrior.  We picked up the season part-way through, but watched the season finale of the finals in Las Vegas aired last night on television.

I can’t seem to help myself.  It’s exhilarating!  It makes my hands sweat just watching.  I mean, I don’t plan to compete myself, but I am mesmerized by the level of competition… how long and hard these people train… the unbelievable feats they make their bodies accomplish.

Then there are their personal back stories.  Some of these people have overcome extreme life situations to compete at this level.  Some are facing tough situations even as they compete.

But what I love most is the way they both challenge and cheer for each other at the same time.  Each athlete goes out there trying to not only do their own personal best, but outdo every other athlete competing.  They are competing to win.  And each one who does better, challenges those coming behind them to press past that mark.

Yet there is no smack-talk between competitors.  It’s often difficult to determine whether they want to win more themselves, or want one of their competitors to win. While waiting to make their attempt at a course, or having made their attempt… successfully or unsuccessfully… they stand on the sidelines cheering on the very competitors trying to beat them.  Most of the competitors have a shirt or symbol that represents them, and it’s a common sight to see the competitors wearing the shirt or symbol of the person making their attempt at the moment. They stand on the sidelines cheering loudly, giving advice, telling them how much time they have left.  When a competitor succeeds, they roar with excitement, jumping up and down, cheering loudly, high-fiving and hugging them.  When a competitor fails, they moan and hug them, speaking words of encouragement about how far they got and how they will succeed the next time.

To quote the old song, “And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”
Why can’t we all live like that?  What’s wrong with pushing each other to excel by our own efforts at excellence… while at the same time cheering on the very people who are competing alongside us?  I’ll tell you what’s wrong with that… NOT A THING!

That’s the way we should live.  Just because some people are self-centered and think life has to be win-lose, doesn’t mean we have to sink to that level.  The Apostle Paul challenged the believers at Thessaloniki to cheer each other on… to encourage each other as they each strove to do the best they could in living lives that honored Christ.

We can do that.  We should do that.

We should each press to do the best we can.  We should try to set the standard higher.  We should work, and train and compete in such a way that we plan to win.  We should show those coming behind us a better way… a simpler way… a clearer way.

And we should also cheer for those competing alongside us.  We should cheer for the person who gets healed, even if we’re not healed yet.  We should cheer for the person who gets an “A” on the test whether we do or not.  We should cheer for the person who creates something awesome… or breaks a record… or achieves their dream… whether we do or not.

To compete against does not have to mean that we cannot also cheer for.  It doesn’t have to be win-lose… It can be win-win!  This is not something restricted to American Ninja Warriors.  It is a culture they have created.  And we can create it where we live… work… serve… shop… IF we want to.

Last thought… you know what else I noticed about these athletes?  Because of this kind of culture they’ve created, there are lots of smiles. And when they fail to complete a course, because there are smiles, and support, and a cheering section, they simply dry themselves off and determine to do better next time.

What a concept!  I plan to live like that!  Will you join me?

Author’s Note:  Beginning this week, I will be writing this blog five days per week instead of six days per week.  Look for it Monday through Friday each week!

As we unpacked the groceries the other day after  PR31 got home from shopping, I pulled the eggs out of the plastic sack to put them in the fridge.  They caught my attention because they were a different brand in different packaging.  The ones we normally get are in a cardboard package, and I knew that PR31 had planned to do a craft with the boys using the next package we got.  These were in a plastic package which wouldn’t work for the project.

So, to satisfy my curiosity, I asked, “Why the different eggs?”

She knows I love a good story, and so she told me how she had come to buy this brand…

She started to get the brand we normally buy, but when she opened the lid to make sure none were cracked, a couple eggs were indeed cracked.  She picked up another package of the same brand, and found cracked eggs in that dozen as well.  There were only several packages left of that brand, and each one she picked up had at least one cracked egg in it.  So, she put them all back, and bought the other brand of eggs.  She told me that she didn’t really want to get this brand, but at least they weren’t cracked.
As she finished the story, she said, “Oh, my word!  It just hit me… All I had to do in order to get the brand eggs I wanted was to swap out the cracked  eggs in one carton for un-cracked eggs in another dozen, and I could have had a complete dozen of the ones I wanted.”  It was one of those slap-your-forehead moments that made us both laugh.  It was such a simple solution, but it just didn’t come to mind that day.

Now this was obviously not a crisis in life.  Most of us are not worried about which eggs we get.  We’re just glad to be able to get eggs.

Yet each of us face challenging situations in our lives which we approach with the same thought process PR31 approached buying eggs that day.  We think, “Well, everything I try is messed up.  I guess I won’t be able to get what I want.  I suppose I’ll just have to settle for something lesser instead.”  And we end up disappointed with our lives because we feel like our choices were limited.

But I serve an unlimited God who can think outside the egg carton.  James… Jesus’ half-brother… wrote to believers and told them in the first chapter of his letter to them that when we lack wisdom, all we have to do is ask our unlimited God.  And He goes on to say that God will gladly, generously help us to think outside the egg carton, too!

What challenge is it that you are facing today which seems to have you stumped?  What are you ready to give up on because you can’t seem to find a way to make it work?  Before you give up, let me encourage you to think about it differently.

Still stuck?  Why not do what James suggested and ask God for wisdom that goes beyond your own natural abilities?  Couldn’t hurt. Could only help.  Go ahead, give it a try.  Who knows, you might be able to get the eggs you want!

Yes!  300th post!  A little over a year ago when I started this blog, getting to 300 posts seemed daunting.  But look… here we are!  Thanks for making the journey with me.


Tonight’s post is short, sweet and maybe even easy to beat…

Tomorrow is going to be a great day!  And do you know how I know that?  No, I’m no fortune teller.  I’ve just made up my mind already that tomorrow will be great.


I can make up my mind like that because I know that God has already been tomorrow… so, He’s got it all under control and knows what’s coming.  And He’ll be there with me to make it great.  So, I can go to bed tonight believing that I will wake up to a wonderful tomorrow.  The secret is… it’s not up to me… it’s up to Him.  All I have to do is believe it and accept it. He will take care of the rest.


So, y’all have a good night’s sleep tonight, and then get ready… because it’s about to be a phenomenal weekend!

Not sure what to do now that you’ve read this encouraging post about how great the weekend is going to be?  Well, just think about it for a few moments… I’m sure something will come to mind…


Talked with a friend today who told of his struggle to blog consistently.  Granted, this guy has more than one absolutely legitimate reasons… not excuses, but genuine reasons… why he has not been able to blog like he wants to.  And I love that he’s bold enough to say he wants to keep going for it.

But he asked me… as have a few others… what my key to blogging six days per week for the past year has been.  And truth be told, this really applies to more than blogging.  It’s really what it takes to be consistent with anything in life.  If I could narrow it down to the three biggest contributing factors, they would be:

1) Make it about something bigger than the action itself.  For me, writing the blog daily was originally about all the people I could encourage, and about me learning to write daily so that I could author books.  Find a cause that gives you a bigger motivation to stay committed day after day.

2) Make yourself accountable.  When I launched my blog, I told a crowd of leaders at a leadership event that I had started a blog and would be writing it six days per week.  And when I started the blog, I announced it to all those who read it that I would write it six days per week.  Now that all those people had heard me say it, I had to be a man of my word and maintain my integrity.  Sometimes, I would be busy and realize at 11:30 at night that I had not blogged yet that day. I would determine that I would write quickly and post by 11:59 because I committed to write six days per week.  Knowing that someone might call me on it has kept me writing.

3) Just do it today.  There have been times I haven’t had anything to write for an entire week, but I would just try to find something to write for that day, and not worry about the days ahead.  All I have to do is check today off the list. Little by little, a little becomes a lot.  Tomorrow, I will write my 300th blog since starting.  That didn’t happen all at once.  It happened one day at a time.

It’s about consistency, but cut yourself a little slack.  Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t always succeed.  Just put one foot in front of the other, and take that next step in the right direction.

One last suggestion… ask God to help you do what you’ve committed to do.  He wants you to succeed.  And He knows how to help you.

Now, having kept my commitment today, I’m going to bed… but I’ll be sure to write again tomorrow with the Lord’s help!

I don’t know what it feels like to be strapped into the seat at the top of a rocket or space shuttle about to launch, but I feel like maybe what I’ve experienced today as I have wound down the last 24 hours toward the launch of my first book… a dream thirty plus years from inception to reality… might be close.

What started in my heart all those years ago, turned into passionate pursuit about a year ago. Blogging, writing, learning, researching, creating, building a team, testing, editing, re-writing… re-writing… re-writing, marketing, and more.

And today has been spent hanging out with friends and family who have been so sweet to cheer me on.  I feel like one of those astronauts walking out and waving to the crowd as I prepare to board the spaceship for the trip of a lifetime.  Now, in less than an hour, the countdown will hit zeroes, and this thing will take off… blasting me toward my celestial mission.

Special thanks to all those who have played a part in getting me to this point.  And special thanks to all those who will believe in me enough to buy the book.  And special thanks to all those who will leave reviews, recommend to friends, and share with their own team what they learn.

I don’t know if this is a big deal to most folks, but I know that I’m excited to share… to encourage… to help… to boost… to inspire someone else to grow into all they can be and go for their own dreams.

I know that God has set me up to enjoy this wonderful experience.  His Word says that haven’t seen, heard or even imagined all the good stuff He has planned for us!

So, I may have butterflies in my stomach, but I have anticipation in my mind and joy in my heart as I buckle in for this ride that I once thought was reserved only for others.  And oh, what a ride this is going to be… in T minus…

Today marks two years since we welcomed our pet Schnauzer, Sugar, into the family.  The boys had prayed for at least weeks, and probably more like months.  And while we were on a trip to visit my parents, the boys and I “stumbled across her” at a pet adoption day in a local pet store there.

Sugar wasn’t much to behold that day.  Scraggly, not entirely clean, trapped in that kennel.  But that didn’t stop us from adopting her.  Today, she is clean, regularly bathed and sensibly groomed (albeit not professionally, but pretty dog-gone good).  She never runs out of food or water.  She has her own kennel… with her own bed… and her own toys with which to play.  And she has a fenced-in yard.  On top of that, she doesn’t have to wait for the humans to take notice that she needs to take care of business… she has a doggie door and can go outside at her heart’s desire.

I’ve got to admit, this dog has it made… and so does Sugar.

You see, I too, was once pursued and brought into a family.  I didn’t look like much when God found me.  But He cleaned me up (& keeps me clean).  He provides for me and protects me.  I am free to live a life full of joy and peace within the wonderful boundaries He has set out for me… boundaries which keep me near Him.  It really is a great life.

I love that quote from Dick Foth in his book, Known… “Pursuit affirms value.”  It reminds me of the three stories Jesus told in Luke 15 about the lost coin, the lost sheep and the lost son.  The pursuit of those in each story point to how God pursues us.  And it is that very pursuit which declares about each of us that we are of value to Someone… the most important Someone in the Universe.

It’s nice to be wanted.  Wanted means we have value. And you do.  You have value… You ARE valuable!  Don’t forget that.

I sat at the small, stained wooden desk in my bedroom, trying to fill the first page of the spiral notebook’s blue-lined paper with the initial chapter in my first book.  Stuck because of writer’s block and the sense that I had no business writing a book like that at that point in my life, I put the pen down, and closed the cardstock cover on my dream.

Today, the family joined me in the guest-room-turned-makeshift-writing-studio with video cameras capturing the moment as I sat at another small wooden desk and this time tapped the screen on the iPad to tell the publishing company to begin making my dream… which had been shelved for about thirty years… become reality.  And this Wednesday night at midnight in the Central Time Zone here in America, people will be able to participate in a dream that I had thought might never be.

Oh, it’s not the book I would have written thirty years ago.  In fact, it’s not the book I would have written five years ago. But it IS the first book I’ve completed and had published.  And so I continue to go on and on about this because I want those of you who read this blog to understand how big of a deal this is to me.

And I write about it because I want to put a shining example out there that says, “Hey, regardless of your age or stage in life… whether you think you have what it takes or not… whether you think anyone else will care or not… whether you have dropped the ball once or a thousand times… NEVER LET YOUR DREAM DIE!

This book is a victory in so many ways for me, and I want to be an encouragement to you that you can still accomplish your dreams.  If you’re still alive, then you need to know that God has not given up on you.  So don’t give up on yourself!

I’ve had to learn so much just to be able to do this.  And now I’m about to put this dream to the test in the real world.  But I am more excited than I can possibly explain on so many different levels.

I want you to experience this… this joy… this energizing lift… this sense of completing a quest… this anticipation of what could happen next!  This is the place I believe God wants us to live in… not in the mundane, but in the majestic. He designed us to walk out here in this place of trust and obedience so that we could enjoy life to the fullest.  In fact, in John 10:10, Jesus said that He came so that we would be able to “have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”  (Amplified Version)

That is exactly what this moment in my life feels like, and I want you to experience it in your own life.  Late Wednesday night into Thursday morning, as people begin to visit this site and buy this book, they’re going to be adding fuel to the fire of the dream that nearly died at a little wooden desk in the bedroom of a teenage boy thirty years ago, but was resurrected all these years later.

So, what’s your dream? And how long have you had it?  Are you going to let it die?  Or are you going to let a little spark from the fire of my dream land on the tinder of your own dream and begin to set it ablaze once more?  Oh, how I hope you allow it to spring to life once more and chase after it with all you have!  I know that would make God smile.  It would make me smile.  And take it from the guy grinning as he types these words, it’ll make you smile, too!