If you have read my book, I Got A “D” In Leadership: Anyone Can Lead… or if you’ve read this blog much… then you know that I love watching NFL football. My closest word picture for describing to PR31 how much I enjoy it is asking her if she knows how she feels when the Countdown To Christmas starts on Hallmark Channel, and they start showing the Christmas romantic comedy movies every day. When she lights up at those words, I tell her, “And that’s exactly how I feel about watching NFL games during football season.”
Additionally, when I’m traveling by myself, I enjoy listening to the NFL Network on satellite radio. One of those shows allows fans to call in late in the week and make bold predictions about how they think their team will fare in the upcoming week’s games. The only guidelines are that you have to predict that your team will win, and give a legitimate reason as to why in the form of a bold prediction. So, some callers will say their team will win by a resounding score because their defense will score three times… or because their quarterback will throw for 500 yards and four touchdowns. It’s both entertaining and inspiring.
I think Christians ought to live that way. We ought to make bold predictions about our life.. our spouse’s life… our kids’ lives… our friends’ lives. We actually have a solid foundation on which to base these bold predictions… the Word of God. God always keeps His promises, and never fails. So, we can make bold predictions when we line our lives up with Him.
We can declare:
– By His stripes we are healed.
– No good thing will He withhold from those who live uprightly.
– My God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
– God knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us.
– We will lie down in peace and sleep.
– He will never leave us nor forsake us.
– He will restore double to us for the trouble the enemy inflicts on us.
And there are a ton more bold predictions in His Word which we can hold onto. The power of life and death is in the tongue, according to Solomon’s proverb. So today, begin to speak those bold predictions out loud over yourself, your family and your friends. Because if people can call in and make random guesses about the outcome of a football game, shouldn’t believers in and followers of the eternal God be able to make bold predictions rooted in proven truth?
I love it because it gets down to what we really love doing. We all get that we have to earn money, unless you’re independently wealthy already… in which case, this post is definitely for you. But what if you didn’t need money? What if you were so wealthy that you would never run out of money? What would you do with your life?
Ok, after you’ve quit your job, slept a lot, gone on all those amazing vacations, and bought all the stuff you want… what then? What would you do with your life if you didn’t even have to begin to think about how much it might cost to go after it?
What would you go to bed thinking about, dream about as you sleep, and wake up thinking about?
What wrong would you right? What cause would you champion? What need would you meet? What lives would you purposefully impact for the better?
Mental Intermission… Stop now and really think about this for at least 30 seconds. Set a timer. And go…
Welcome back. Here’s my point…
Is it possible that this very thing that you would do then is the thing you should begin doing now? Ok, maybe you can’t do it at the level you would if money was no object. But you could start. You could try. You could begin.
Dream the big dream. Chase the big goal. Live a life so meaningful that you will never regret it, and no one else will ever forget it.
So, what’s stopping you? Are you going to let that prevent you from your destiny?
Go for it!
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!
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…
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!
Over the past year, I’ve spent somewhere in the general vicinity of at least 300-400 hours working on producing this dream… not to count the hours others have invested in helping turn the dream into reality.
Then today… that dream came true when the UPS man delivered my “author’s copy” of my debut book, I Got A “D” In Leadership: Anyone Can Lead.
To hold that copy in my hands was absolutely surreal. I laughed…. I teared up… I even jumped up and down with the boys.
If you have a dream in your heart, don’t give up on it. I believe the Lord smiles when we follow through on those ideas and dreams He places in our hearts.
I’ll be sharing more info about the book in the days to come, but for those who are interested, it will be available for purchase beginning the week of September 18-22.