Goal Setting for Real Progress

New year, new you, right? We’ve all made New Year’s resolutions filled with lofty aspirations, only to find ourselves feeling defeated by February. You’re not alone. Setting goals that are too ambitious often leads to disappointment and discouragement, leaving us hesitant to even try again. Most of it is bull crap. If you’re nodding in understanding, then join the club.

The problem, often, lies in our approach to goal setting. We aim for the stars, only to land in mediocrity, or worse, give up altogether. It’s time to break the cycle of unrealistic expectations and set goals that are more realistic, sustainable, and lead to actual progress rather than disappointment.

Be Realistic

Remember Henry Ford’s words, “Fail to plan. Plan to fail.” Setting goals that are wildly out of reach is a recipe for discouragement. Instead, focus on incremental steps, small victories that build momentum and keep you motivated. Want to run a marathon? Start with a walk around the block. Aiming for a promotion? Focus on exceeding expectations in your current role. Remember, progress, not perfection, is the key.

Activity Based Goals vs. Outcome Based

Often, we get caught up in desired outcomes, “I want to lose 10 pounds,” or “I want a corner office.” But focusing solely on outcomes can leave us feeling directionless. Instead, shift your focus to activity-based goals. “I will walk 3 times a week,” or “I will take one online course relevant to my career goals.” Activity-based goals define the steps you’ll take, making the journey itself the focus, not just the distant finish line. This shift in perspective keeps you engaged and motivated, celebrating each step towards your ultimate goal.

Leave Room for the Unexpected

Life is a messy, unpredictable thing. Clogging your schedule with to-dos and commitments leaves no space for the unexpected, the spontaneous adventures, the moments of connection that make life truly meaningful. Schedule some buffer time, some white space in your calendar where the unexpected can unfold. Remember, sometimes the most valuable goals are the ones that emerge organically from the space we create for them. Meaningful conversations with loved ones and adapting to life’s curveballs are just as important as achieving your goals

Include Fun Goals

Let’s face it, all work and no play makes for a pretty dull year. Make sure your goal list isn’t solely composed of career aspirations and fitness routines. Include fun! Plan a weekend getaway with friends, learn a new hobby, join a book club. Prioritize activities that bring you joy and connect you with the people you love. Including these in your goals and plans will prevent burnout and keep you energized for the long haul.


Goal setting isn’t about reaching some impossible ideal. It’s about creating a roadmap for progress, a framework for intentional living. By setting realistic, activity-based goals, leaving room for the unexpected, and making sure to include some fun, you’ll be setting yourself up for a year of meaningful growth, not just empty promises. So, grab your notebook, ditch the pressure, and get excited about the journey of setting goals for real progress. Remember, the best goals are the ones that make you feel alive, not just exhausted. Happy goal setting!

Why The GOAT Tom Brady Has Zero Influence In My Life

The man that has left little doubt that he is the greatest of all time (GOAT) at playing NFL quarterback has literally zero influence in my life. 

Why Tom Brady Is Just Another Guy To Me 

I’m gonna lead with the long answer and then summarize it with the point of all this reflection at the end. 

Deflate Gate

I’m not sure if this controversy came first or later, and it doesn’t matter. If you’re familiar with the story, you know there was controversy about Brady and the New England Patriots playing with deflated balls (footballs that is) which is against the rules. 

Whether or not it made a difference in all the winning isn’t up for debate. It is against the rules and he knew it. The claims that he didn’t know it was happening or anything else that excuses this violation are just ignorant positions to take. 

It was a bad decision.  We all make em. There are consequences. 

Strike one. 

Spy Gate

I believe this one came later. The Patriots were accused of spying on their opponents sidelines in order to learn their play calling signals. If memory serves me right there was even evidence proving it to be true. 

Again, cheating. Breaking the rules. Whatever you want to call it. I don’t believe for a second that Brady and Belichick didn’t know this was going on. I believe they were fully aware and let it happen. 

It was a bad decision. We all make em. There are consequences. 

Strike two. 


I don’t know much about the lady. I don’t know much about her marriage to Tom. I know half what we hear in the news can’t be trusted. 

I do know a lot about marriage, though. I do know they are now divorced. And I do believe he holds the lion share of the selfishness and blame in this situation. 

Don’t get me started on the claims of his current girlfriend status – another beautiful supermodel except this time almost 20yrs younger than us (Tom and I are the same age).

Who knows who this guy will end up with or what he’ll end up doing other than throw a football (b/c he sure as hell can’t run it). But I really no longer care. 

Divorcing Gisele was a bad decision. We all make em. There are consequences. 

Strike three. 

He’s out in my book. 

The Thing About Influence

The point of all this is we have to be careful who we allow to have influence in our lives. 

I do not care how much ‘success’ someone has. 

I do not care how much someone has ‘won’. 

I do not care how much money someone has. 

I do not care how much fame someone has. 

I do not care how much ‘power’ someone thinks they have. 

If someone does not have strong character, they are too weak to influence me. 

The greatest weakness any of us has is flawed character. 

I’ve failed many times. I’ve been knocked down many times. I’ve tried to learn from every experience, and I will never be perfect. 

What about redemption? Yes, we all can overcome our failures and strengthen our character. In Brady’s case, we’ll see. But chances are I’ll never know. 

Where this really should apply to all our lives is in the more everyday relationships we have. 

Who Do We Allow To Influence Us? 

Look around you. What do you want for your life? Who has it? I bet no matter what you come up with there’s a deeper root of being loved and respected. Both of which are built on character. 

I’m not talking about just any character, though, Godly character – a much bigger subject than what this post is about. 

As far as being influenced by people goes, we have to learn to identify the people who not only have what we want for our life, but people who are stronger where we need to be stronger, who know where they are weak, and who are always working on getting better. 

Right now, that just is not Tom Brady. His life seems to be hot in the news right now, but I hope people are wise enough to know it is more sad than it is anything else. 

Please choose who and what influences your life very wisely. 

Social Media Control

social media icons

Imagine a typical weeknight, probably around 11:30 pm. You’ve managed to get into bed by now, exhausted from the busy day. Instead of setting a literal alarm clock for the next morning and going right to sleep, like people did back in 2005, you reach for the smartphone to set an alarm app. 

Before you know it, 30 minutes or more have passed, you’re still looking at the phone, but you still haven’t even opened the alarm app. What happened? Why is it happening so often? Why has this become the norm for so many people? Social media. 

Chances are you or someone you know has at least considered taking a break from social media at some point. You might have even tried it, and maybe even learned some things from it. I want to share what I’ve observed and experienced during my own breaks from social media. 

Social Media Sucks

Hear me out. Social media doesn’t just suck on its own. It’s actually a really powerful tool. We can instantly communicate with just about anyone, see what they’re up to, share what we’re up to, and even provide feedback about it all (likes or dislikes, etc). When used properly, it can be a great tool. But who decides what is proper? 

How we define proper use of social media for ourselves determines whether or not social media sucks. We all have choices in the matter. What content are we going to consume or post? Who are we going to interact with? How much time and energy are we going to spend on those things? 

When we find ourselves unable to reasonably answer those questions and we catch ourselves mindlessly scrolling, possibly even losing sleep, then we’re letting social media suck the life out of us. 

Nobody Cares About Your Social Media

That’s probably a little extreme to say, but you’d be surprised how true it is. The times that I’ve taken a break from social media, I haven’t done a post to let everyone know, so it was not a big deal to anyone but me. 

You’ve probably seen what I’m talking about. The post that goes something like, “Hey friends, I just want to let you know I’m taking a break from social media because I need to focus on ____ (God, family, career, something of priority).” What makes us think anyone cares so much that we have to make an announcement like that? 

I’ve taken so many breaks from social media. The longest and most recent was a six month period where I vowed not to post anything other than about my anniversary and kids birthdays, all of which took place in a 30-day window. So for all those other months, I didn’t post a single thing. 

Not one single person cared that I was virtually non-existent, or digitally. No one reached out to see if there was some reason I hadn’t been around on social media. 

This makes me believe that announcing a social media break is somehow self-serving. It seems to be a way of provoking a reaction from the digital connections so that we will feel as though they care. We’re only deceiving ourselves. 

Real Friends Don’t Need Your Social Media

The reason no one even noticed that I was inactive on social media for months is the people who actually care about me most are in touch with me regularly offline. They call me, text me, invite me, and see me where we’re doing life together. 

It is incredibly important to know the difference between actual friends who really know us and really love us despite our imperfections and those who only know of us and maybe love an idea of who they perceive us to be. 

I’ve learned that true friends don’t care what I can or can’t do, or what I’ve done or haven’t done. They might celebrate my accomplishments when I have done something, but they love me even when I’ve done nothing. 

I’ve learned that true friends don’t care what I have or don’t have. Some of my best friends in life have known me through plenty and poor and it doesn’t matter either way. They love me for better reasons. 

True friends are not digital. They’re real reel, which brings me to the next learning. 

Our Highlight Reel Isn’t Real

The beautiful profiles of beautiful people going to beautiful places and living picture perfectly beautiful lives is unbelievably deceitful. Comparing and aspiring to that is always going to be an empty and disappointing pursuit of a fantasy that does not exist. 

Life is hard, and sometimes ugly. Everyone has something they are dealing with, the kinds of things that aren’t sexy on social media. The kinds of things only those closest to us are likely to know about. 

When we find ourselves more interested in highlight-reel social media interaction than we are in real-life relationships, we’re on a very slippery slope. Anyone can hide who they really are or what they’re really going through from a digital audience. 

Becoming obsessed with highlight reels is both deceiving and being deceived. It’s leading others to believe partial truths at best, or at worst outright lies. It’s being led to believe that the people who interact with or like the highlight reel really love who we actually are when they really don’t even know us. 

Pursuing Popularity Is a Sign of Insecurity

Teenagers everywhere are competing for follows, likes, comments, or any other indicator that might mean they’re popular. Adults are doing it too. The platforms themselves are designed to prey on our desire to be accepted, which leads to a comparison contest of who is most accepted, aka popular. 

This is again a deceptive distraction from the relationships that actually matter. If we’re constantly pursuing popularity among people who don’t really know us, we will never appreciate the love we already have from those who do really know us. 

To choose the pursuit of popularity over the pursuit of true intimacy is a big sign of insecurity. It is a fear that we’re not enough. It is a fear that our real relationships are not enough. It is a fear that we might be missing out on something better, and believing the lie that digital connections are somehow better than real ones. 

Good Intentions Aren’t Enough

Many of the popular profiles on social media are well known for good reasons. Their intentions are good. Their messages are good. 

It is easy for us to believe that because our social media is good or well-received that it is needed. What will people do without our online presence to encourage them? 

The truth is our motivational speech is only as effective as our relational reach. It doesn’t matter how good our intentions are or how well-received our messages may be without real-life relationships. 

If our best relationships are social media connections we will eventually be void of authenticity, completely unmotivated, and thus unable to motivate anyone else. It just isn’t worth it to be so wrapped up in social media that we believe those connections are more important than real relationships. 

How To Take A Break From Social Media

The dopamine that fires in our brain during social media engagement is powerfully addictive just like literal drugs. The time that I’ve spent denying social media dopamine hits has taught me a lot about myself, our social media culture, and the dangers of the vortex. That’s exactly what it is if we let it be, an energy-sucking vortex. 

If you or anyone you know has a difficult time putting down social media, consider the following tips to regain control:

Remove the drug. The best way to detox from unhealthy dopamine addiction is to cut off the supply. That means take a break from social media. 

Challenge yourself to take a break from social media without announcing it on social media. Set a strong tone for yourself. Draw a line in the sand to tell yourself that you will not be controlled or dependent on social media engagement from this point forward. 

It might not be enough to have the good intention of staying off social media for some time. If we can’t resist the temptation, we have to remove it. For many people that means completely removing access by removing the apps. 

Request accountability. For some of us, removing the apps is still not enough. A really close friend of mine noticed their tendency to just reload the apps and log back in, so they asked me to change their password so they couldn’t log back in. 

Retrain the brain. The point of all these things is to retrain the brain to think differently about social media. We have to learn to keep it in proper perspective and keep our priority on the real people in our lives. 

Remind yourself that when you do go back to social media (if you do) that you will be more aware of the effects that lead to the vortex. Remind yourself that it’s worth enduring the moments of feeling left out or overlooked by the digital world, because ultimately that world isn’t as real as what’s all around you in real relationships. 

There are invaluable positive results from being diligent and vigilant in the effort to maintain a healthy balance with social media. My hope is we all make that effort not only for our good but for the good of everyone around us. 

Strengthened Faith Through Finances

It’s been a long time since I shared a keeping-it-real update of our financial journey, so I want to use this post to fill in a little bit of that gap. God is always at work – let me tell you…

In October of 2013 a side gig, a business I helped launch and worked with as an outside contractor for 5 years, came to a fork in the road that resulted in an abrupt ending.  The back-story is a long one and there’s no reason to go into too much detail for the purpose of this post. It was a wild ride full of lots of adventure and learning, and I loved it.  The parting of ways was painful not only emotionally, but financially as well.

A lot of reflection on lessons learned has helped us grow in so many ways, and clarity comes with time and patience and willingness to have open eyes to see the big picture as it unfolds.  We now realize that the Fall of 2013 was the beginning of a two year chapter in our financial life.

You see, right before the parting fork in the road situation, something very significant in mine and my wife’s journey had just taken place. We had asked God to show us what He wanted us to give generously (above tithing), and He answered. It was more than we had ever committed, but we committed it anyway – to God and to our church.

We made that commitment literally a matter of a week or two before the unfortunate parting of ways with the business. The business wasn’t a huge source of income, but it was a source of income significant enough to impact our ability to fulfill the commitment we had made.

A few months later an opportunity arose to sell our house and move into one more accommodating of our growing children’s needs. It was another test of faith. Either God wanted that move to happen or I didn’t come up with enough ‘only if’ contingencies for Him to perfectly align.  It HAD to be God because everything aligned just as we asked for it to.

A year passed and work was going ok. We were adjusting well to the new housing, and our generosity plan was coming together nicely despite the loss of side-business income. Because of the pay structure from my full-time job, the plan was to save monthly toward what we committed to give during 2014 and then give it all during 2015 on a monthly schedule. We had a plan and we believed it was God’s will.

Some months it was extremely difficult to save money for the purpose of giving it away, but we did it anyway. The plan was working. We began to realize that God will provide a way to do what He wants us to do as long as we are willing to take steps of faith and make choices of sacrifice. It is always encouraging to not only trust that God is with us but to see and feel His hand in the things happening around us and in our hearts.

The end of 2014 rolled around, business was so-so, but our resolve was strong. We were still on track with our plan. The beginning of 2015 rolled around. It was time to start giving on the monthly schedule according to the original plan. Everything was working out fine for the first three months, and then life got crazy.

Our 36yr old brother in law suddenly and unexpectedly passed away and rocked our entire families’ world. Then the company I was working for suddenly and unexpectedly went out of business. Then my wife’s grandfather died. All this happened in a two week period of time. We were emotionally down for the count AND had no income.

Between the business fallout, deaths in the family and loss of job, I had what some would consider good reason to be hurt, confused, and angry at God. I had what some would consider a good reason to back out on the giving commitment we had made. But I’m not a child of God only when I’m good. I’m a child of God ALL the time. He is with me and never forsakes me even when I don’t deserve it. How could I be for Him and obedient to Him only when things are good? So we did not lose heart. We did not back out on our commitment.

For two and a half months we had no job income, but we gave. For two months we watched our savings deplete in large sums, but we gave. And for two months we watched God pour out blessings all around us, while we gave. Friends, family, and members of our community, some who we barely know, rallied around us and contributed to our needs. We didn’t miss a single meal, and we didn’t miss a single bill. We were able to complete the giving commitment exactly as planned, and we’d go through it all over again knowing the outcome now.

All that roller coaster of events could be simply explained as life happening, but I believe it was meant to strengthen our faith. God honors our faith and trust in Him, and He always has good plans, often times plans we cannot foresee. The plans He has for our generosity is not only for the good that can be done for others with that generosity. It is also for the good that it does in our own heart and life. Our intimacy with God is deepened. Our faith is strengthened. He is made stronger through our weakness.


New Year 2016


It’s a new year. Actually we’re 14 days into it already. Two weeks out of 52 are complete, and if you’re like me you still feel in some ways like you’re not yet fully recovered from the holidays. Time flies, the great equalizer of all mankind.

Two weeks ago we had all these plans of things we were going to accomplish for the year. Two weeks ago we had all these goals and milestones set, narrowing our objectives down to very specific daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly activities that should get us to where we want to be by the end of the year.

How are we doing? How’s that workout plan going? How’s that budget going? How’s that time management plan going? How are we doing staying on top of all those tasks we set out so vigorously to maintain no matter what this year?

It’s tough! Sometimes it sucks. There are so many distractions and obstacles to overcome in the journey of becoming and accomplishing. Sometimes we have to stop and reevaluate. What is the purpose of this thing I’m doing? Is my plan really reasonable? Is my motive really God centered? Did I even really seek His will about it – what He wants me to become or whether He wants me to accomplish this or that, or by when?

Two weeks in is not too late to take some time to reevaluate, recalibrate, and rejuvenate. What are some things you really need to stop doing, or trying to do? What are some things you really need to start doing, or do them better? What are the things you’re doing to keep your motivation high, your focus narrow, and your actions precise and effective?

We’ve all heard these things before, but somehow we inevitably lose varying portions of the control we set out to have. We have to set time-bound goals, but who are we to put time limits on God’s plans? A great friend of mine once taught me when I was going through a difficult time to turn my frustration in to focus on what God is teaching me and how He is molding me and preparing me for the plans He has for me. That friend taught me to not be discouraged by what has happened in the past or what feels painful in the present, and to embrace the journey of becoming – balancing persistence and patience.

I feel like I’m adopting that mentality a little better all the time, and it certainly makes me see things differently when circumstances aren’t going my way. I believe the future is bright, and regardless of whether or not I perceive otherwise in moments of weakness, I’m counting it all joy knowing that faith produces patience (James 1:2-4).

These are all the things I’m thinking about for myself. It’s time to do a better job strategizing, prioritizing, and initializing. This life is too short not to. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).

What Stewardship Really Is

It seems to me there’s a misconception about the word stewardship among Christians.  We tend to only think of it as the management of finances according to the Bible.  The truth is finances are really just one area of stewardship.  Money happens to be the area of stewardship that gets the most attention in our culture, and unfortunately we haven’t improved much if any.  Many of us have developed a negative connotation for the word stewardship because we associate it only with giving, or more specifically being asked for something.  But this post isn’t about financial stewardship specifically.  I’ve talked a lot about how financial stewardship is balancing giving, saving, and spending according to God’s word and God’s will for each of us in our relationship with Him.  For this particular post I want to open our minds to the idea that stewardship is about a lot more than just finances – it’s about our total devotion to following Jesus.

First let’s take a look at the definition of the word stewardship.  On dictionary.com the first definition of the word stewardship is:

the position and duties of a steward, a person who acts as the surrogate of another or others, especially by managing property,financial affairs, an estate, etc.”.  

This speaks to why we consider stewardship all about finances or things very directly related to finances.  What I like best about this definition is the clear explanation that a steward is a person “who acts as a surrogate of another or others”.  In other words a steward is a person who manages stuff that belongs to others and does it for others not self.  Nothing in this definition suggests that there is anything in it for the self of the steward.  A steward manages for the benefit of others above self, period.  It’s their duty.

Let’s look at the second definition on dictionary.com:

the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving”

This definition also speaks to the duty, or responsibility, and then adds the word protection.  So a steward manages what belongs to someone else responsibly and even protects it.  Now notice the next part of the definition that says, “something considered worth caring for and preserving.”  This is the part of both definitions that struck me.  A steward manages things worth caring for and preserving.  What are things “considered worth caring for and preserving?”  This is why I don’t believe Godly stewardship is all about money, because God is so much more and blesses us with so much more than just money that we should steward for Him responsibly and protectively.

Time is one resource God blesses us with.  James 4:14-15 warns us to use our time wisely for God’s will.  We only have so much time in this life.  We should be making the best use of our time every day.

Talent is another resource God blesses us with.  Romans 12:4-8 speaks of the abilities God gifts to us and encourages us to use them for Him.

Relationships are also a blessing from God.  Our stewardship of relationships should begin with the family.  Ephesians 5:22-25 speaks to how married couples should steward their relationship.  Ephesians 6:1-4 speaks to how parents and children should treat their relationship.  Then there’s all other relationships we are to steward – our friends, acquaintances, and even strangers.  James 2:8 love your neighbor as yourself.  John 13:34 love one another just as I (God) have loved you.  1 Peter 3:8 love one another, be compassionate and humble.

Influence is another gift God bestows on us to steward for his glory.  Matthew 5:13-16 says we’re the salt of the earth and light to the world to be used for God’s glory.  That’s influence!  I hope you’re starting to see how our thoughts and attitudes about these different areas of stewardship are meant to be interwoven into how we steward our entire life for Christ.

Money of course is the resource we think of most that we all know is intended to be stewarded for God, but it seems we struggle with it the most.  Matthew 6:21 & 24 teach us where our treasure is our heart will follow and we cannot serve both God and money.  Doesn’t it stand to reason that if we value (with our heart) how we’re stewarding the other areas of our life (the non-financial ones listed above) that our treasure (how we manage money) will demonstrate that?  Does it not stand to reason that if we’re struggling to keep this focus in our heart that we might be serving money rather than God?

Let’s talk a little more about how the different areas of stewardship are interwoven…

Time is money – right?  We have to invest time in doing work in order to earn money.  Any time spent serving (working for free – from the goodness of our heart) is a sacrifice of money that could have been earned with that time.  (However, that time is NOT a substitute for giving money.  Far too many Christians are using their sacrifice of time as an excuse to not be obedient and faithful to God’s call to give.)

Time is also invested in developing talent.  Whether it’s going to school or being coached or practicing or all of the above, developing our talent costs us something – usually both time and money.  That talent is then used in the work we do to earn money (or at least it could be).

To build relationships we have to invest time, talent, and money.  It takes time to serve others, talent to perform that service, and the money it costs to sacrifice the time, develop the talent, and bless others through generosity.  1 Timothy 5:8 and 1 John 3:17 challenge us to take care of not only our own family but for anyone we see in need.  In both passages the challenge is presented in the form of questioning whether or not we’re even believers in Christ unless we steward our resources for others.

All three – time, talent, and money – should also be used for the purpose of being a good influence – key word GOOD.  There are way too many stories of resourcefulness being used for selfish, evil, or otherwise bad influence rather than good.  Despite all that bad, God has provided all of us the resources to overshadow all the darkness in the world by doing truly selfless acts of service and generosity.

As more of us steward our influence for good, we naturally develop more and better relationships with those around us.  As more of our relationships are guided by good influence, we become more united – of like-mindedness that is mentioned in 1 Peter 3:8. As more and more people experience God’s goodness working through us, an exponential multiplication of our collective salt and light floods the darkness of this world until no one can ignore or deny the glory of God.

It all starts with each of us stewarding everything we’ve been blessed with for the purpose of spreading the love of Jesus.  All these different areas of stewardship have to work together to make up how we’re stewarding our life.  They’re like cogs in a wheel, and weakness in any one of them is a compromise to all of them.

My prayer for us all is that we’re seeking God’s prompting in any one or more of these areas to know what we need to be doing to serve Him better.  Stewardship is not a way of money alone.  It’s a way of life – following Jesus.

The Ashley Madison Debacle

It seems the latest media topic to captivate everyone’s attention is the scandalous hacking and revealing of data that shames everyone who has ever used the cheating site – Ashley Madison.  It’s been a while since I’ve written about sexual immorality on here so I’m gonna weigh in on this.

Before I get too far I should make the disclaimer that I’ve only read a few articles on the debacle, and that’s all it takes to get the point.  I don’t need to know every detail about it to say what’s on my mind, but I believe that someone is gonna get something they need to out of what I feel like I need to say.

I haven’t even read many articles and I can already predict the tone.  Without a doubt the following two songs being sung loud and proud.

1- Damn all those sick detestable perverts who deserve the worst punishment.

2- Gracefully forgive all those people who in their human weakness made mistakes.


I refuse to accept either extreme because in my opinion one is too strong and the other too weak.  One is a position of condemnation and the other is a position of passive permission.  I’m sick and tired of crap like this happening and everyone having to either choose an extreme or remain silent – because our so called progressive and increasingly tolerant culture is really just increasingly polarized.  But that’s another subject.  On to the points of this post.

To the one extreme – I absolutely agree this is a despicable situation.  But I also agree with the other extreme – we should show grace and forgiveness because we’re all imperfect and all sin is equal in Gods eyes.

To the one extreme – I agree there will absolutely be judgement.  But I also agree with the other extreme that the judgement is not ours to make and we should pray repentance and forgiveness for the offenders in this situation.

Here’s what I believe both extremes want the other to acknowledge underneath all the stupid shouting:  Regardless of how much we forgive there are still consequences for our actions, and in order to forgive as God commands casting condemnation should not be one of the consequences.

Families are in turmoil.  People are being very publicly humiliated and shamed – something none of us ever want to happen with some of our own failures.  The damage this whole debacle is doing is massive, and I feel terrible for all the lives being wrecked.  But I still believe good can come from it regardless of whether we ever really know it.

The bottom line we should all take away from this:  No sin is done without harm to self and others.  No matter how secret a sin might seem it will eventually be brought to light. It’s best for us all to simply focus on pursuing righteousness in our own lives while encouraging others to do the same.

An Exciting New adVenture

From the time I was in college I’ve dreamed of owning business, and I actually have in various ways – from the mobile car detailing business I did for a couple of years to network marketing programs to consulting, speaking, and project managing as an outside contractor for other businesses (even my sales job is essentially a business of it’s own).  So I am very excited about the newest venture.

Introducing Impact Sport Events, LLC.  Created to make active lifestyle normal and fun for families – Impact Sport Events exists to provide family friendly and fun opportunities to be physically active.  Our core values are centered around faith, family, community, fitness, and fun.  Part of our excitement is also for the opportunity to support RiceBowls.org with portions of our proceeds.

Shamrock-Shuffle-3-14-15The first event we’re directing is the Shamrock Shuffle at Hartwell Dam in Hartwell, GA on March 14, 2015 – a 5k and 1mi Family Fun Run.  It will be a great day to get out and be active, and it will be an honor to have as many of our family and friends there as possible.  So if you can be there please consider coming out and joining in the fun.  Click here to register!

Making Money Management Hard For No Reason

Several months ago Shawna and I were coaching a happy young couple with their finances. They were doing great! They were giving, saving, and spending within their means, but there was a little concern that they weren’t sticking exactly to what they budgeted in some of the spending categories. One of the spouses, acknowledging the difficulty of discipline, made this honest statement, “It’s like we’re doing this just to make it hard for ourself for no reason.”

When faced with the challenge of disciplined spending it is no secret that either giving or saving is making up the difference. In this couples’ case it was saving. The underlying question they were asking is, “How do we stay focused on sticking to the budget when we seem to be doing just fine?” Here’s how to answer that question.


Saving just for the sake of saving is boring. There must be a reason, or goal, for the saving. Goals are not as likely to be reached without time limits. So one motivation for sticking to the spending plan rather than decreasing the rate of saving is so that we get to the goals we’ve set in the time-frame we set them in when we maintain our rate of saving.


Whether we see or feel the risk of unexpected challenges or not, they are there and will pop up to surprise us when we least expect them. The prospect of challenges setting us back isn’t very motivating until one actually happens, but then it’s too late.

Future Discipline

When things are going great it’s easy to fall in to the habit of spending more freely. Then when things aren’t going so great it sucks royally having to go backwards – sacrificing the freedoms we grow so accustomed to. So maintaining steady discipline all the time prepares us for those inevitable periods of time when discipline is not an option.

The bottom line – we should keep our spending disciplined so that we can maintain our priority of saving, otherwise we won’t be prepared for challenges and/or our goals might be put off perpetually. No one ever said sticking to the plan was ‘hard for no reason’ when they associate it with breaking through challenges and accomplishing dreams.

For more perspective on striking a balance with Giving, Saving, & Spending check out this ebook on Amazon – God Centered Finances

God at Work

God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Gene Edward Veith Jr is one of my favorite books of all time.  One of the most common questions Christians have is some variation of, “How do I know God’s will for my life?”  That one question leads us to wondering how God is or isn’t using us.  It leads us to thinking we have to be in a full time job (whether paid or volunteer) at a church in order to be ‘doing ministry’.  It causes us to diminish the importance and impact we can have in ‘secular’ or ‘private sector’ jobs.  That one question is all it takes to make us forget the fact that our everyday life is a constant opportunity to minister and have an impact for God.

In God at Work , Gene Veith teaches all about the doctrine of vocation.  It is the idea that God is at work in all things and he chooses to work through human beings serving each other in ordinary life.  There is a wealth of information in this book about the history and purpose of the doctrine of vocation, how it started and how it has changed.  There is tremendous insight about how the doctrine of vocation is alive and applicable in so many different areas of our lives – at work, in the family, in citizenship, and at church.  We all have more opportunity than we can imagine to serve our neighbor and experience the transforming presence of God through our everyday lives.

I give this book 5 stars and highly recommend it for everyone to read.