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Jan 15

It’s Time For A Jump-Start

Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Spiritual, Values

Sometimes, I wrote yesterday, when our hearts are exposed we seem like a car in need of a jump-start: cold, (e)motionless and hard as steel.

I asked: How’s your character?

Does Your Character Need A Jump-Start?

Our music affects us.
Does yours lift you up or tear you down?

Our friends’ influence us.
Do your friends build your character or burden your conscience?

Our books teach us
Is  your reading list bad, neutral or helpful? Why settle for bad or neutral?

Our mentors guide us
Do you follow your mentor’s lead or make excuses and postpone progress?

Jan 14

Need A Jump-start?

Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 in Relational

I’m anticipating cold temperature this week. In the Twin Cities this week is the week that historically has the lowest low temperatures.

While I’m driving to work today I realized how cold it really was.


I’m blessed to own a running vehicle.
It’s not always been that way.

Dead in the driveway.
Freezing cold outside.
The wind blowing through my coat.
Howling, as India.Arie sang, “where the wind calls my name.”


My car was cold, hard, motionless steel.


Those words make me cringe: cold, hard, motionless steel.

Jan 1

More Than A Bucket List by Toni Birdsong

“More Than a Bucket List will challenge you to go for that hole-in-one at Pebble Beach, to become an amateur chef, to scale K2. But it will also encourage you to view these accomplishments from God’s point of view and to make your bucket list matter eternally along the way. With each page, the dream inside you will be drawn out—the higher dream of what God has purposed for you.”

The author challenges her readers to choose positive values:
Pursue laughter.
Live your dreams.
Honor the strength of others.
Fight for love.
Be a Good Samaritan.
Become a more positive person.

Dec 7

Choices Often Make Sense … At The Time

Posted on Friday, December 7, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Values

What do you do when you have one agenda, and someone else has another, but you’re supposed to be “on the same page”?

Your parent may be right.
Your parent may be wrong.
Your teen may be realistic.
Your teen may be deluded.

One principle helps me make sense of other people — even very smart people — who make stupid choices.

The principle: Most people do what they believe makes sense.

This weekend teens  will:
– Lie to their parents about where they are going
– Lie to their parents about what they will be doing
– Lie to their parents about where they will spend the night
– Lie to their parents about who they will be with

Dec 6

Volleyball & Values

Posted on Thursday, December 6, 2012 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Recently my friends and I played volleyball. It was a fun and competitive series of games.

Later that month I gathered many of the same late-night friends for another series of games. Even though it was after midnight I had the same expectations as the previous evening: I was looking forward to the same fun, competitive games.

We lost the first closely contested game. We dominated the second game as their team laughed and clowned around as they played sometimes sloppily. I prefer to win, but I actually felt sorry for one of their teammates who was evidently annoyed.

Nov 25

What Matters Most by Leonard Sweet

Posted on Sunday, November 25, 2012 in Relational, Reviews, Social, Spiritual, Values

“What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person” is a reprint of a 2004 book, entitled “Out of the Question…Into the Mystery.”

That said, this is a powerful book that needed to be re-considered for an audience, myself included, that missed it when it was first released.

“Belief can exist in isolation, but faith requires a relationship.” For without dynamic, engaging deep relationships — relationship with Jesus and then relationship with people — we cannot demonstrate love.

Oct 8

Right In Front Of Me

Posted on Monday, October 8, 2012 in How To, Relational, Spiritual, Values

I work hard.
I play hard.
But. sometimes I wonder if I’m neglecting to see something right in front of me.

Henri Nouwen wrote:

“In Abraham Heschel’s A Passion for Truth I read today the words of the Kotzker (Rabbi Menahem Mendl of Kotzk): “he who thinks that he is finished is finished.” How true.

Those who think that they have arrived, have lost their way.
Those who think they have reached their goal, have missed it.
Those who think they are saints, are demons.

May 6

To Be Perfectly Honest by Phil Callaway

Posted on Sunday, May 6, 2012 in Emotional, Intellectual, Reviews, Social, Values

Author and speaker Phil Callaway took an oath of honesty for one year, and wrote about what he discovered.

“To Be Perfectly Honest” is formatted as a year-long diary, with 365 entries chronicling the author’s year of trying to tell the truth.

I found “To Be Perfectly Honest” to be very good at exposing weaknesses in our lives; in MY life.

Though I was taught better, I grew up an insecure liar. As an adult I am committed to telling the truth, but I am amazed how often “little white lies” creep out unexpectedly when talking to a stranger in the phone who is not giving me the customer service I think I want and deserve.

Mar 20


Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 in Emotional, Financial, How To, Values

While we were in Hawaii Amy and I bought some cool souvenirs for her, my daughter Shannon, my son Josh and my son’s girlfriend Tay.

One day Amy asked, “Don’t you want any souvenirs?”  Then, before I could answer Amy answered her own question, “Oh, yeah, food is your souvenir!”  Unfortunately, based on the size of my waistline, I may have those souvenirs for a while.

Truth be told, I did come home with souvenirs.  I brought home five different blends of different Hawaiian coffees from three different plantations.

On Oahu we tasted our favorite coffee was the Dole Plantation’s Waialua Coffee.

Mar 14

Dreaming Of A Whale Watching

Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 in Financial, Intellectual, Spiritual, Values

Amy’s dream vacation — and therefore my dream vacation — was to go to Hawaii.  Not just to go to Hawaii, but to go to Hawaii and see whales.  That meant, of course, that we would have to do many things that we had never done before. 

As many of you know a very kind and generous man gave us his frequent flier miles so our airfare to and from Hawaii was free.  Thus began our scramble to do our part to make the rest of the dream a reality.