Because I Just Know

Our family LOVES going to Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO!  It so fits our family-friendly, Christian-values idea of fun.  And there is so much for the boys to do.

One of their favorite areas is Half Dollar Holler.  And one of their favorite things to do there is climb through and jump around in the suspended netting of the “treehouse.”  At least, it’s one of their favorite things now.

It wasn’t always Austin’s favorite.

Last night, we sat around watching “old” home videos (from three or four years ago) with the boys.  Captured on video was Austin trying to enjoy the treehouse but with great trepidation.  It was obvious that he was unsure of the safety of that netting suspended ten feet above solid earth.

As we watched, Austin told us that he used to be afraid of the bouncing treehouse at Silver Dollar City because he was afraid he would fall, but that he’s not now.  Sure enough, were you to watch more recent videos or travel with us to SDC, you’d find him tearing through there with no hesitation whatsoever.

I asked Him if he reason that he’s not afraid anymore is because he knows if it will hold me up, it will hold him up. (I mean, I might weigh a little more than he does. Wink, wink.)  I must admit that I was a little shocked when he replied, “No, it’s because I’ve been on it enough times now that I know it will won’t let me down.”

Tested, tried, true.

Reliable, dependable, trustworthy.

Because it has never let him down before, he has unwavering faith that it will never let him down in the future.  And with that, I sat back in my seat, having been schooled in faith by my six-year old.

In Deuteronomy 31:8, Moses… the guy who led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, through forty years of wandering in the wilderness, and all the way to the edge of the land promised to the Israelites by God… looks Joshua… his successor who will actually lead those people into conquest of their homeland… in the eyes and tells him, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

Never.  It just won’t happen. God won’t let you down.  He is incapable of failing you. And He chooses to never abandon or give up on you.  He will go ahead of you and clear the path.  Then He will be right beside you every step of the way.

We can trust God because He has never let us down.  In fact, He has never let anyone down.  So unlike those investment commercials on the radio, His past results are indicative of His future performance.

This means you and I can relax and enjoy the ride now.  We don’t have to stress.  We don’t have to panic.  We can romp through life full of joy and hope and peace, knowing that He will neither fail us nor abandon us.

If you’re battling a lengthy illness, He won’t let you down.  If you’re dealing with a difficult divorce, He won’t let you down.  If you’re having trouble passing that class at school, He won’t let you down.  If the bills are stacking up higher than the paychecks, He won’t let you down.

So go ahead… climb the steep ramp of the treehouse of life… crawl into the netted area… and jump with confidence alongside Austin… because it hasn’t let him down before and it isn’t going to let him down this time either.

Neither will God.


Super Guide

Our boys crack me up!  Awhile back, they discovered on their Super Mario Bro’s game that there is a mode called “Super Guide” in which the computer takes over and completes a course perfectly without any mistakes. At any point, they can take back over from Super Guide and keep playing themselves.

So, they do what they can do on the game and then hand it off to the Super Guide to handle what they can’t.  In fact, those crazy guys will let the Super Guide play an entire level, get to the end, and then they take control back and claim the flag at the end to complete the course.

About the time I begin to think that isn’t really fair, I also begin to think… isn’t that what God does for us?  Didn’t Jesus say that He would ask the Father, and the Father would send us the Holy Spirit to be a “Super Guide” who would help us through all the difficulties of life?

So often, having done what I can do and facing something I cannot seem to accomplish on my own, I turn to my Super Guide and ask Him to get me through to complete that leg of my course.  And while He does all the work, He let’s me claim the victory flag.  It may look like I’ve done it, but really He did all the heavy lifting.

I’m glad I have the Holy Spirit as my Super Guide.  I couldn’t do this life on my own successfully.  Today, I just want to take this moment to give Him the credit for overcoming all my obstacles, defeating my opposition and making me a winner.

If you look at your life today and find yourself struggling to overcome, why not ask the ultimate Super Guide to help you succeed as well?  He knows how to help you win in life!

Need Some Light?

PR31 and I LOVE the Smoky Mountains.  I don’t think I can overstate how much we enjoy it there. We would probably live there if we could. So, needless to say, we vacation there as often as possible.

Years ago… like B.C…. you know, before children… we had rented a house in Pigeon Forge for a week.  It was just the two of us that trip and so we had the whole house to ourselves.

One night, I got up in the middle of the night to make a visit to the facilities (aka, bathroom).  And since I didn’t want to wake PR31… because that’s how sweet a husband we all know I am, ha… I decided to navigate the trip through two doorways and back completely in the dark. I was successfully halfway through the adventure, feeling more relieved and incredibly sleepy, but as I turned to go out the bathroom door and took a step, my whole world suddenly came crashing to the floor.

My foot lost its footing… I stumbled… my shin hit something solid… Losing my balance as my body lurched forward, my face slammed into something metal and my nose exploded in pain… This was followed by my face sliding down a wall of some type… ending with me in a heap on the floor… growing… and feeling a little damp.

I was dazed and confused. I couldn’t figure out where I was or what had happened.

Till the light came on.  Angela said she heard a loud thud on the wall behind the headboard and then me groaning. It startled her, and so she came to see what had happened. It was only when she brought light to the situation that we discovered what had transpired.

In my semi-comatose state, I forgot that we were on vacation… in a different house and turned to the leave the bathroom where our door was in our house.  The only problem is that where the door was in our house was where the shower stall was in this vacation rental. I had stepped on the ledge at the base, lost my balance, hit my shin on the base, slammed my nose into the hot or cold knob, slid down the fiberglass wall and landed in a pile at the still damp floor of the shower.

PR31 laughed as she helped me up out of the shower and back to bed. I did not laugh at the time… but it’s hilarious now.

The truth is… I just needed light. Even a small nightlight would have done the trick.  Light would have pointed out where I was and where I needed to go.  (In fact, if I recall correctly, we bought a nightlight to put in that bathroom for the rest of the vacation.)

We all walk into some dark spots in life.  We’re not really sure where we are or how to get where we need to go.  In the dark, we get turned around and confused.  We cling to what we have known, but that may not be where we are at the moment.

We need light.  We need someone outside of ourselves who can bring light to the situation so that we don’t stumble… and fall… and hurt ourselves anymore.  We need God.

I love what the Old Testament prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 42:16…

“I will lead My blind people by roads they have never traveled. I will turn their darkness into light and make rough country smooth before them. These are my promises, and I will keep them without fail.” (GNT)

God wants to shine the light in your dark places today and make rough country smooth before you.  He’s promised to do it… and He always keeps His promises!

Scouting Prospects


There are all kinds of people scouting new prospects with great potential in a variety of fields all the time.  There are TV channels focused on food which have contests to find their next star.  There are athletic teams looking for the next breakout player who will garner them victories and bring success to their program.  Bosses are looking for great employees.  People everywhere are searching for potential.  And… people are waiting to be discovered… longing to have someone see the potential in them.

My Personal Prospects

A couple of years ago, in my daily time alone with the Lord, I was talking with The Lord about our two boys and about how I believe in their significant potential. As I  addressed the topic with Him, I sensed the Lord stun me with this challenge to my heart and mind, “Discover your children.

Well, that didn’t make much sense to me initially.  It so took me off-guard that I was lost in the thought for a moment.  Then, it was as if the thought continued and I sensed Him explain… 

Allen, there are people in this world who are searching to discover others. There are scouts looking for the next great sports star. There are talent shows searching for the next great singer. There are companies who specialize in discovering the next standout CEO for major corporations. There are people who are looking for the next great actor… or artist… or author… or chef… or political leader.

The Lord went on to challenge me that morning to be the one to discover our boys… to discover their talents, their skills, their personalities, their aptitudes, their abilities, their strengths. I am to discover them… to call those things out in them… to cultivate those things… to challenge them… to cheer them… to connect them with the right people who can catapult them to their destiny… to give them opportunities to shine.  I’m not suppose to delegate that responsibility to someone else.  And I’m certainly not supposed to allow any random person in this world who is scouting potential to beat me to the punch with my own boys.

This concept works for me.  Maybe it’s because I feel like I have something in my heart that sees potential in people. Sometimes, I look at someone and think, “Man, they seem like they would be really good at…”.  And I like living that way. I like seeing what can be in people and believing the best for them.

The Privilege of Potential

It’s a privilege to get to be in on the spotting of potential in a person.  Sometimes, people don’t even see it in themselves, and you get the joy of being the one to point it out to them.  Other times they sense it, but lack the confidence to pursue it, and you get the joy of pushing them over the edge to go after their dreams.  That’s where the fun comes in… seeing the potential in someone else and then helping them get to the point of fulfilling their destiny.

Proverbs 22:29 asks the question, “Do you see someone skilled in their work?”  It’s not a trick question.  It’s simple and straightforward.  Yet it does beg another question…

Are you looking?

Are you looking for potential in the people in your life?  Are you serving as a scout looking for prospects?  Are you on the hunt for greatness in others?  Are you recognizing their skills, talents, abilities, giftedness, intelligence, and personality type?  Do you taste their cupcakes and say, “You ought to open a bakery!”  Do you listen to them tell stories and say, “You could be a writer!”  Do you see their doodled drawings and say, “You really should consider art school!”


Scouts are rarely thought about or talked about.  It’s the superstars they discover which shine brightly for everyone to see.  But those stars would never be seen if someone had not pointed them out.  Scouts don’t need credit.  They don’t look for glory for themselves.  And when they help someone achieve the greatness their potential holds for them, the scout goes searching again to see who else has potential out there.

Want A Job?

Hey, wait a minute… I think I see some potential in you, fine reader of this blog.  Yes, there it is… You have the potential to see potential in others and encourage them to reach for it.

How would you like a job as a scout?  It doesn’t pay any money, but the reward of seeing someone achieve their designed purpose in life with excellence is quite amazing.  You may never get any credit for discovering them, but you won’t care.  It really is quite fun.

So, you interested?  Let’s see what you’ve got.  Start with those closest to you and then begin working your way out to everyone else.

Yep, I see it clearly now… You are going to be one fantastic scout!

Who’s Making Your Supper?

It’s Simple, Really

It’s a simple concept which I choose to live by.  After all, I choose to live simply.  You don’t have to wonder what I mean when I say something because I say what I mean, and I mean what I say.  There is no manipulation or hidden meaning.  I’m not passive agressive.  I just live simply.
Rule #368

Ok, so I made up the “#368.”  See?  Simple.

And when it comes down to a simple-living tip we could all use, I like #368… “If I didn’t have to do it, then I don’t get to complain.”  I’m sure someone out there will find some situation in which this doesn’t play out, but generally speaking in life, this has worked out well for me.

It’s best illustrated by who’s cooking at our house.  PR31 basically does all the cooking.  The only time anyone wants me to cook is if she is not feeling well and unable to make it to the kitchen.  Apart from that, we love eating her cooking.  She is a terrific cook!  I’d rather eat her cooking than any restaurant around.  It’s down-home cooking, too… southern goodness with a somewhat whole-food twist.

Now you would just have to know her to understand what I’m about to say… but she wants to make sure what she cooks for us is just right.  She is not okay if something gets a little overdone on an edge… She would rather re-make something than to serve her family something less than wonderful.  It’s probably what makes her cooking so delicious.

But when she is forced to serve something she is not completely pleased with, she offers an apology for the bacon being too crisp or the cookies being a little underdone in the middle (which is my favorite way anyway).  And without fail, my response to her apology is a question…

Me: Hey, did I have to make it?

PR31: Well, no, but…

Me: (interrupting her before she can finish her reply) You know the rule… If I didn’t have to make it, then I don’t get to complain.

PR31: Yeah, I hear ya, boy.
Good For Supper, Good For The Soul

I don’t just apply this principle to meals cooked by my sweetheart.  I believe it applies to other acts of kindness by others toward me.  And it doesn’t stop with those I can see with my eyes, touch with my hands and hear with my ears.  I apply it to my salvation.

I didn’t pay for my rescue from hell… I didn’t earn my adoption into God’s family… I didn’t work hard enough or long enough to get God to bless me so abundantly.  God did it for me.  So I don’t get to complain when He gives me some guidelines to live by.  And I don’t get to complain when He asks me to say something to someone in a store… or when He asks me to do something that takes me out of my comfort zone… or when He asks me to give some money which I think I’d prefer to hold onto.  I didn’t have to do salvation for myself, so I don’t get to complain when the journey doesn’t play out exactly the way I envisioned it would.

Some people can’t fathom living this way.  They want it their way, right away.  And then they want to complain if it’s not absolutely perfect.

Leadership experts say that a good leader will hand off tasks that their team can accomplish at 50%-80% of the ability of the leader who assigned it, and the leader has to be okay with that because it freed them up to tackle tasks that were more important for them to accomplish.

It’s about having an attitude of gratitude.  It’s about appreciating those who help do something for you so that you don’t have to.  So, if your kids fold the clothes and don’t get them perfectly straight or put them in the wrong drawer… Rule #368.  If your spouse cleaned the bathroom and missed a couple spots… Rule #368.  If your administrative assistant filed something in different way than you would have… Rule #368.  If the volunteer serving at your local church didn’t get the bulletins folded perfectly, but it saved you from having to do it and you were able to spend time with someone who really needed you… Rule #368.

What if we all began to live by Rule #368?  What if we complained less and appreciated more?  Hmmmm… Seems like life might run a little smoother and people would have less stress in their lives.

The call to action today is to complain less and appreciate more.  And one simple way to implement that in your life is to apply Rule #368.

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