The World has Changed.

People who find it hard to except reality say, the world is changing. People who understand reality, know the world has changed. People who are ahead of their time get critized, but people who don’t change will get left behind. We have to choose who we will be. Let me explain what two intelligent businessmen explained to me recently. “The largest media company in the world doesn’t produce media; Facebook. The largest retail store in the world doesn’t own a store; Amazon. The largest taxi service in the world doesn’t own a cab; Uber. The largest hotel chain in the world doesn’t own a hotel; Airbnb.” With a push of the button you can share your thoughts with the world, get a cab, rent a hotel or buy whatever you are want and have it delivered to your doorstep. I must say all of this is cool and very helpful. It definitely increases our ability to be both productive and profitable. However there are two cautions that I have about all this convenience.

2 cautions concerning convenience.

  1. Subtly we can begin to think the world exists to serve us.
  2. All of the convenience can make us more and more impatient and that is dangerous.

If we take these mentalities and apply them to our most meaningful relationships the results can be tragic. If we come to relationships for only what we can get we will have very broken, dysfunctional and unproductive relationships. If we are impatient, we are actually unloving and love is at the center of all meaningful, sustainable and productive relationships. So it’s cool to let convenience speed us up and make us more productive and more profitable but we have to be careful that convenience doesn’t make us more narcissistic day by day. Although the world has changed and is changing there are some things that are enduring. There are somethings that will never change such as God, his word and the evidence of his residence in those who believe. Those unchanging realties give us clear reference points and help us navigate change and uncertainties with clarity and certainty.


God is Not in Control.

God is not in control and he doesn’t want to be in control. If God wanted to be in control, he would be in control. Who is going to stop him? Who has the power to stop the all-powerful? His power is manifested in that he doesn’t want to be in control. Only weak insecure people want to be in control of others. People who are motivated by fear, lust, pride and greed those are the type of people who want to be in control of others. Powerful people let other people choose their own path; they let others determine their own destiny. In fact the more powerful someone is the less they want to be in control. God is the creator and the sustainer of all things. Jesus is both the Savior and the Judge of all of humanity. I believe in the Deity of Jesus and the Supremacy of Christ. I believe in the Sovereignty of God. I believe God is all-powerful, all knowing and omnipresent. God is clearly in charge, but not in control. If God wanted to be in control he would not have given you a free will. God created all of the animals and then waited for Adam to name them. Does that sound like someone who wanted to be in control? God is a loving Father, a benevolent King, and righteous Judge, but he is not a cosmic control freak. But what about all the evil in the world? Glad you asked. The news doesn’t show us the absence of God; it shows us the presence of the devil. The devil commits a crime and then puts God’s fingerprints on the scene. Don’t believe the lies. God is clearly revealed in Jesus. Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. Does that sound like someone who wants to condemn or control you? Jesus died for everyone, everywhere through out all ages, but we have to choose to believe him. He invites us to follow him. He doesn’t control or manipulate us; he simply invites us to follow him. Will you follow Jesus? You are valuable, you cost him everything. You may be saying, “but I am an atheist I don’t believe in God”, well he believes in you. He loves you and he is pursuing you. No matter who you are or what you have done here is what Jesus is saying to you, “Come to me.”


Discover Your Strengths

If you want to discover your strengths keep reading. Strengths Finder 2.0 is extremely helpful. All of the core members of our team have taken the test and know their number one strength. One of the members of our team took the test and found out that her top strength was empathy. She was pretty surprised almost astonished. Her exact words were, “I always thought this was a weakness of mine and even my mom told me this was a weakness.” That day she learned that what she thought was one of her greatest weaknesses was actually her greatest strength. We also learned that well-meaning people who are close to us and actually want the best for us could be clearly wrong in their perception of us. Taking the test at the end of the book made her more comfortable and more confident in her own skin. Now she is positioned to be more productive. The results helped both the individual and the organization; it was a win win for everyone. Now as a team leader I am not putting anyone in a position until we first know his or her number one strength. By not putting people in positions prematurely I am protecting the person, the team and the productivity of the organization. Now the person won’t be frustrated and I want be disappointed.

Not only did strengths finder 2.0 help my team it also helped my marriage. My wife Sarah’s number one strength is belief. She is an amazing woman with strong convictions. When I married her she was a 26-year-old virgin. In todays twisted culture that is something to be proud of. Her belief in Jesus and her value for herself made this possible. Her belief is what makes many of the mundane things she does on a daily basis meaningful. We do almost everything together. I am more of a pioneer; she is more of a developer. My number one strength is strategic. Which makes sense because almost everything that I am a part of, I am leading. Since taking strengths finder 2.0 my wife and I understand one another better, work better together and get a long better because we are relating to one another based on our strengths not our shortcomings. If you want to make the most of your relationships make sure you relate to others based on their strengths not their shortcomings. Often our greatest asset is also our greatest liability. Self control is the only thing that prevents our greatest asset from becoming our greatest liability.  

For further proof that strengths finder really works check out this data gathered by a Gallup poll, here. The data does not lie. If you would like to get a copy of Strengths Finder 2.0 click here.


3 safe assumptions 

Generally it is not wise to make assumptions. Unfortunately I have learned this the hard way. You can either ask questions or make assumptions. If you want answers, ask questions. If you want problems build your expectations about reality on merely assumptions. Assumptions often lead to false assumptions. False assumptions often lead to miss understandings, which usually lead to a downward spiral. When it relates to others we should ask questions when we are able to. However there are times in life where we are relying on our own perceptions of people or circumstances and we have to move forward without all of the facts. In cases like that all we can do is go with what we perceive. In life we are always estimating and assuming stuff. We estimate how long our commute home will take. We assume that our house will be there when we get there. As we forecast reality we need to be able to make some safe assumptions. Think of it like bringing your umbrella to work when it is very overcast and moist in the morning but not yet raining. Or like a life preserving raft on a boat or a seat belt in a car. Life will blind side you so make sure you wear your seatbelt.

3 safe assumptions you can make.

  1. Things will take longer than you thought.
  2. Things will cost more than you thought.
  3. The people you trust will let you down more than your thought.

Things will take longer than you thought because there are many variables that are out of your control which can prohibit things happening exactly when and how you planned them to happen. All the planning in the world can not stop something that is out of your control. So enjoy the process and be patient with yourself and others. Things will cost more than you thought because things break, and it costs money for parts and labor. A first time home owner, a first time parent or first time Mercedes Benz owner can attest to this reality. When you buy something nice be sure to research the cost of maintenance and factor that into your decision. Also having an emergency fund is a wise way to prevent a problem from becoming a crisis. The people you trust will let you down more than you thought. This is a painful reality because you trusted them. You can avoid unnecessary disappointment by verbalizing your expectations. Once you verbalize your expectations then you can determine if those expectations are realistic or not. Unverbalized expectations almost always leads to disappointment. It is important to factor in let downs and disappointments into your meaningful relationships. Give people permission to be human. Meaningful relationships are not perfect because we are not perfect. Be merciful because one day you will need some mercy.


Are you growing?

Just because you are getting older doesn’t mean you are growing up. Just because you are getting older doesn’t mean you are getting wiser. Growth is a choice. It doesn’t happen by accident, it happens on purpose. Someone who knows they need to grow, will be humble. Someone who is humble, will be teachable. So to know if you are growing find out if you are teachable. Below are 7 ways to identify if you are growing.

7 ways to identify if you are teachable.

  1. If you are teachable you desire to learn.
  2. If you are teachable you put into practice what you have learned.
  3. If you are teachable you learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others.
  4. If you are teachable you are willing to admit when you are wrong.
  5. If you are teachable you are willing to take correction and make right what is wrong.
  6. If you are teachable you don’t just learn from your leaders, you learn from your piers and even those who you perceive to be under you.
  7. If you are teachable you are slow to speak. If you are not slow to speak usually you think you know more than you really do.

“If you don’t apply what you have been taught you are not teachable.” –Sarah LiVecchi. You are not the best one to determine if you are teachable. A trusted friend who is perceptive and emotionally healthy is better suited to tell you the truth. Your growth is determined by your ability to be teachable and accountable. Remember the seeds of true greatness only grow on the grounds of humility. When you are humble you attract the help you need to get where you are going.


Leadership Defined

Leadership is service, integrity and influence. When you serve someone they see your motives and find out that you have integrity. Then they know that they can trust you and will give you permission to influence them. In my opinion those are the basic mechanics of how leadership should work. Someone who is not willing to serve doesn’t deserve to have influence. I will not give anyone my trust before I see their integrity. Show me your integrity and I will give you my trust. Dwight Eisenhower said, “the supreme quality of leadership is integrity.” Integrity shows me they are safe and therefore trustworthy. When someone is trustworthy then and only then do I allow them to have influence in my life. Do not give someone influence in your life unless they are looking out for your best interests. Many people are disillusioned with leaders who they trusted and allowed to have influence in their lives when in all reality they should not have, because those leaders were not safe or trustworthy. Below are the 3 essential elements of leadership.

3 Essential Elements of Leadership 

  1. Service – Service is what we do for others at our own expense. We find a need and do something about it. We can use our strengths, relationships and resources to serve someone else and help them move forward in life. 
  2. Integrity – Integrity makes everything we do sustainable. Without integrity there is no real success or longevity. 
  3. Influence – Influence is granted when integrity is seen. Our service and integrity makes an impact on others. That impact is called influence.

Leadership is not just service, influence or integrity, it’s all three working together to demonstrate an example worth following.



Busyness is an enemy to what matters most. In my last blog I wrote about progress. The danger with progress is busyness. What I have observed about people who have a strong sense of direction is that they are driven. People who are driven need to be careful they don’t drive them self right off a cliff. Almost everyone is busy, but hardly anyone is getting anything done. Being busy is not necessarily bad. It’s hard to find anyone in life who is successful and not busy. However the busyness should be analyzed and prioritized. For example you could ask yourself why am I busy? Is it to medicate my anxiousness? Does being busy for busy sake give me a false sense of importance, that also gives me a false sense of security? Asking ourselves hard questions is essential for those who want success and longevity in the areas of life that matter most. Here is a thought in the form of a question about prioritizing your busyness to secure your success. Are you willing to sacrifice what money can’t buy for more money? If we are not careful in hopes of serving God we can become to busy for him. If we are not careful we can neglect our families today with the hopes of providing them with a better tomorrow. The most powerful thing you can give God and your family is you. I understand that we need to make sacrifices today for a better tomorrow. I get it. But I myself feel cautioned about sacrificing what money can’t buy for just a little more money. Slowing down may cost you now, but in the end slowing down now and learning when and how to rest will keep you fully charged so that you can give your best to who and what matters most. If you are to busy to rest one day a week you are to busy. The God who doesn’t get tired even took a day to rest. Remember Sabbath (rest) is about renewal not ritual. If you slow down now you will wind up going further in the long run. Life is more like a marathon than a 400 meter sprint. Find out what matters most and pour everything into it. Give your best to what matters most. You will never regret giving your best to who and what matters most.



Progress causes us to turn our backs on those who don’t want to move forward. Progress means change and change is uncomfortable and uncertain. The cost of progress is change. The thought of change causes us all to ask questions. If I change does that mean I sold out? Will I get the desired results of that change if I change? Part of the pain of progress is that you by default turn your back on people who don’t want to move forward. Let me further clarify by telling you what I am not saying. I am not talking about thinking that you are better than people. I am not talking about betraying your family and friends. Let me give you a visual of what I am saying. Five guys are standing and facing north. One of them steps forward and continues to walk forward. What do his friends see? His back. So they no longer see him in the same manner? Did he change? Maybe, but did they stay the same? Yes. Progress means that we are consistently moving forward. The velocity is not as important as the direction and consistency. I am writing this so that you keep moving forward. Will you loose bad habits and people who don’t want to change? Yes. Will you become more and do more and contribute more? Yes. In reality most people want more but don’t use what they already have wisely. Most people don’t have the courage to change. Do you? We can’t really change if we don’t know who we truly are. Before progress can happen we must be honest with ourselves about where we really are in life. Progress begins when we take our first step forward. Which means we will leave some things and some people behind. Are you willing to move forward today? If so what does that mean for you? Let me give you a final thought that will help you gain traction in your life. When you know your priorities then and only then can you gain traction, get momentum and really make meaningful progress. Below are 5 simple steps that lead to progress. A better tomorrow starts today. Remember this, your choices are more powerful than your circumstances. 

5 Steps to Progress 

  1. Be honest with yourself. (Be Courageous) Courage starts the process. 
  2. Who are you? (Identity) Identity gives you purpose. 
  3. Where are you? (Location) Your journey begins where you are, not where you want to be.
  4. What are your priorities? (Values) Values give you priorities.
  5. Make the choice to let your priorities give you direction so that you can make progress. (Direction makes progress possible)

Prisoners of Hope

In this blog you will find 8 reasons why you can have hope. If you are a believer in Jesus you are a prisoner of hope. In fact you are possessed by promise that is both now and forever. If you are not yet a believer in Jesus just know, he believed you were worth dying for. You are valuable to Jesus. No matter what you have done, no matter what you haven’t done. No matter what has been done to you, no matter what hasn’t been done for you. Jesus is saying to you, “come to me.” Again it doesn’t matter if you are a believer or a gay atheist, or even a terrorist. Jesus is saying to you, “come to me.” Everyone is invited, there is room in his house, there is food at his table. Your repentance (change of mind) is required, all you have to do is acknowledge your need for Jesus and immediately you have access to hope. If you are breathing there is hope. Hope has a name it’s – Jesus. In this life there are ups and downs, good times and bad times. Just know that in the roller coster of real life there is hope. Hope is an anchor to your soul. It gives you emotional stability. Emotional stability makes life worth living. Hope means you can live above your circumstances, it means your challenges don’t have to control you. 

When you have wept until you can’t weep anymore just remember one day God will wipe every tear from your eyes. When you feel like a square peg in around hole and you’re walking through life trying to find your place, just remember that Jesus himself has prepared a place for you in his Fathers house. When you have dieted, exercised and have tried your hardest and done your best and you can’t lose those last 10 extra pounds just remember that one day you will receive a new body, one that is incorruptible. I think that means no pimples or stretch marks, not sure on that one. When you can’t reconcile why planet earth is so dysfunctional remember God will make all things new. I am not saying this so that you don’t try your best in this life. I am not saying this because I believe that you are a victim who can’t have victory. I am just reminding you that we have ultimate hope that trumps the temporary and is eternal. We also have hope in this life which is the anchor for our soul. Below you will find 8 reasons why you can and should look at tomorrow and forever with hope. 

Hope in this life.

  1. Jesus will never leave you or forsake you. (Matthew 28:20)
  2. Jesus will keep you by his power. (1 Peter 1:5)
  3. Jesus will finish the work he began in you. (Philippians 1:6)

Ultimate hope, hope in the life to come.

  1. You will receive a new body. ( 1 Corinthians 15:52-54)
  2. God will wipe away every tear from your eyes. (Revelation 21:4)
  3. There will be no more pain, no more sorrow and no more death. (Revelation 21:4)
  4. Jesus himself has prepared a place for you in Father God’s house. (John 14:2-3)
  5. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. (Isaiah 65:17)

Self Neglect VS Self Denial

You have a relationship with yourself. Jesus knew that and so he said, “love your neighbor as yourself.” He also said, “take up your cross deny yourself and follow me.” So which one should we do? Both. In fact doing one empowers us to do the other. Whether we know it or not we have a relationship with ourselves. Whether we speak out loud to ourselves or not we have an ongoing conversation with ourselves so we might as well be nice. Self Neglect is not denying yourself. Denying yourself is putting away sinful thoughts, speech and actions that lead to bad habits and harmful consequences. If you neglect yourself long enough you will not have the strength to deny yourself. Let me give you a practical example. I will use myself so as to not project my issue on you. If I wait too long to eat, I will most likely over eat or eat something that is unhealthy do to the level of hunger that I am feeling at the time. If I don’t neglect myself and I prepare for my day by having a healthy snack with me chances are a lot higher that I will not over eat and that I will probably eat something healthy. So preparing a healthy snack such as cashews or almonds is a practical way that I can love myself. Because I am not neglecting myself, I am positing myself not to eat two slices of pizza while I am out and about. Sometimes loving yourself is just thinking ahead and being prepared to make better choices that you won’t regret later. The more we care for ourselves now, the less regret we will have later. I have never regretted drinking a protein shake, however I  have regretted drinking a huge milkshake.

Many people think they are denying themselves when actually they are neglecting themselves. Jesus is the most amazing example of someone who did not neglect himself, but did denied himself so much that he never even sinned once. Not in thought, word or action. He knew exactly what he needed to do so that he could do what God was requiring him to do. We need to learn from his example. There were times where the disciples were sleeping and Jesus was praying. There were other times when the disciples were up wide awake and afraid in a storm, but Jesus was sleeping. If you love yourself, you will take care of yourself and that will allow you to deny yourself in other areas of life when temptations come. This is not about finger pointing its about soul searching. Being rested and prayerful will make you better able to care for yourself and deny yourself. 

I will leave you with 3 questions that will help you turn this blog post into an action plan that will help you make progress in your own life. 

  1. What is a practical way that you can love yourself today? (This must be productive, not destructive.)
  2. Is there an area in your life that you need to deny yourself?
  3. Is there an area in your life where you have been neglecting yourself?

Remember to care for yourself, invest in yourself and deny yourserlf. You are valuable, you matter!