Thursday, March 29, 2012


(be sure to check out the podcast on iTunes or on the RSS feed)

I don't really  have a lot more to say/write about this topic. I do encourage you to be sure to listen to the podcast on this last part of the series and be sure to follow through with the steps lined out to help you focus in on what your priorities really are.

Remember, belief without ACTION gets you nowhere (faith without works is dead). So, stop talking about what you WANT your priorities to be and start doing ...let me emphasize that word DOING...whatever it takes to get YOUR priorities as YOUR priorities.

Here's a thought you won't find in the podcast and one that I believe to be true: "Priorities are like a lot of other things in your life. If YOU don't pick them, someone else will!"

That should be a sobering thought.

So, once again, if you've not done so, go back and AT LEAST listen to and read the series on "PRIORITIES" from this week. However, I suggest you go back to the series on "TIME" the week before to tie all of these things together.

And then...


Be sure to join me tomorrow for a podcast/blog for a completely unrelated topic! You'll be glad you did! And, until then, be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


(be sure to check out the podcast on iTunes or on the RSS feed)

We actually began this journey in last week's podcast and blog when I began talking about our use of time and the need for us to "re-purpose" some of our time so that we can use it for what is really important to us. I even had you make a list of all the things that you would do IF you only had the time and, we all discovered that the time was actually there all along.

Along with that I had you make a list of your daily activities and encouraged you to carry that out for at least a week so that you could get a pretty good picture of what was really important to you in your life and to also find those "time bandits" that most of us have in our schedules. By finding those "time bandits" and "re-purposing" that time for something more important and of more value we can actually "get more" out of the same 24 hours that we all have.

The natural connection is this: we FIND the time or TAKE the time to do what is important to us and, that being so, we FIND the time or TAKE the time for those things that are PRIORITIES in our lives.

So, this week, as I have been discussing priorities, I've asked that you go back and use that same daily schedule to pinpoint what your priorities actually are. What are they? The things that we have found that we spend most of our time doing in a day. I also asked that you make a heading on a piece of paper that read, "What I WANT My Priorities to Be" and then to list all of the things that you WANT to be of importance or a priority in your life.

Most - if not all of us - will find that what we WANT and what we HAVE are not always the same thing...even in this area of priorities. So, here's where the real work begins...we have the tools before us to discover what our priorities actually ARE (and we may discover that they are not even OUR priorities!) and how to compare them to what we WISH they were.


As usual, that is up to you. Oh, wouldn't it be easy if I could just fix it for you or if you could go to bed and, in the morning it be all corrected? We know better than that yet, many of us still expect it to happen without us actually having to DO anything or make any decisions that require action on our part.

But that, my friend, is NOT reality. Now that we have been able to take a look and see what IS as opposed to what we wish WAS, it's now time to get busy and decide how important (how much of a PRIORITY) it is to get our PRIORITIES straight!

It's easy to talk about and even exciting to SEE what CAN be but, friend, if you don't TAKE ACTION then you will stay right where you are. It is IMPOSSIBLE to move forward by standing still.

So, YOU decide. Re-purpose whatever time you need to in order to start getting these PRIORITIES at the top (uh, that's what MAKES them a priority, right?) and stop making excuses.

Be sure to listen to the podcast for some more insight on'll be glad you did!

Get on with this thing called life and make it YOUR life with YOUR priorities. Again, you'll be glad you did! Until next time, be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


(be sure to check out the podcast on iTunes or on the RSS feed)

Have you ever received an e-mail that was marked as "priority"? You know, the ones with the red exclamation marks by them indicating that this is something REALLY important (a priority, right?) that you MUST open right away! And, friend, how many times has this actually been true? Yeah, hardly ever - IF ever - for me, either.

Have you ever had a friend call you, text you, e-mail you and tell you that they had an emergency and that they needed your help RIGHT AWAY only to find out it was nothing of any major least to you? I'm sure most - if not all - of you have had someone in a position "above you" at work drop something on your desk telling you that this needed to be done A.S.A.P. and that it was of "utmost importance". And, have you rushed to get it done while leaving a lot of other things UNdone only to find out that it sat on that person's desk for a week after you got it to them "A.S.A.P."?

I have a sign somewhere that used to hang in my office that reads, "Lack of planning on your part does NOT mean an emergency on mine."


As you go through that list that shows your daily activities and as you begin to see what your priorities actually are (not what you WISH they were) you need to also begin to ascertain something else. How many of these priorities are actually YOURS? (By the way, if you've not done these lists, go back and listen to yesterday's podcast and read yesterday's blog and get going on it!).

I hate having to do so many "disclaimers" but I feel that I must because there are so many people that are just waiting for someone to give them "permission" to feel good about their wrong ideas (even if that "permission" is a twisting of what is actually said). So, here we go...

DISCLAIMER: The fact that you'd rather be doing something different does NOT mean that a particular priority in your life is not necessary. EXAMPLE: Sure, I'm guessing ANYONE would rather be doing something else besides changing a diaper and wiping up drool but, if that is where you are in your life right now, it IS a priority and it IS necessary. DO NOT take that to mean that it is someone else's priority and think that you shouldn't be doing that particular thing.

There, now are we on the same page?

Here's the point I'm trying to make about all of this...don't let someone else determine the size of your dreams (one of my "7 Daily Affirmations") and don't let someone else determine what is to be of importance in your life.

For example, many may try to convince you that you need to be working as many hours as possible while you can and that your children won't mind because you'll be able to furnish them with all of the "cool STUFF" that so many other kids wish they had. Don't buy into that! I often heard it said that no one, at the end of their life, ever says "I wish I had spent more time at the office" but many DO say, "I wish I had spent more time with my kids!".

Our oldest son and his wife recently had their first baby (our first GRANDbaby) and she is now almost 4 months old. They cannot hardly believe that she is already that age. JUST WAIT (and yes, I've told them), it goes by SO fast...WAY too fast. No matter how young your children are please get this - YOU ONLY HAVE A FEW YEARS TO MAKE A MAJOR IMPACT ON THEIR LIVES! Do not allow anyone else to convince you that something else is of more importance than this.

Hey, even take a look at your career. Is it something that is important to YOU or to someone else? (Again, I'm not giving you "permission" to back up an idiotic idea that you should quit work and go sell shells in a shack by the sea shore. Wow, that was almost a tongue twister!) But is this something YOU wanted to do or is it something someone else decided (and put pressure on you about) was what you needed to do with your life.

Notice the last two words in that last sentence...YOUR LIFE!

So yeah, you have some more homework to do going all the way back to that original list showing your daily activities. Now, go through your "priorities" that are made evident to you and determine how many of these are actually YOUR priorities.

Makes you think, doesn't it?

Until next time, be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Monday, March 26, 2012

PRIORITIES: What's Yours?

(be sure to check out the podcast on iTunes or on the RSS feed)

PRIORITIES...some have them, some don't, all should! However, if the truth is to be known on this matter, we ALL have priorities whether we realize it or not. Even if you don't think you have them, take a moment and think about choices you made today that would indicate otherwise. Or, just take a look at your bills and ask yourself why you pay them in the order that you do. Or, if money is tight, how do you decide which bill to pay and which one to wait on until later? PRIORITIES!

The word "priority" is defined (as a noun) in the following way as found on ... 1. the state or quality of being earlier in time, occurrence, etc. 2. the right to precede others in order, rank, privilege, etc.; precedence.  3. the right to take precedence in obtaining certain supplies, services, facilities, etc., especially during a shortage. 4. something given special attention.
When you look at the adjective definition you will find the following... "highest or higher in importance, rank, privilege, etc.".

As a matter of fact, you made reading this blog a priority over doing something else, right? Sure you did!

Here's something to think about: PRIORITIES and PROCRASTINATION have a very close - but not healthy - relationship with each other. Many of our PRIORITIES fall to the wayside due to PROCRASTINATION. Again, to continue this thought, even procrastination is a way of prioritizing what actually IS important to us in our lives.

Here's a couple of things to get you started for this week as we prepare to go through this series...
     1. Get a new sheet of paper and write this across the top: "WHAT I WANT MY PRIORITIES TO BE IN MY LIFE"
     2. Just like last week, brainstorm - NO WRONG ANSWERS - and honestly write down what you really want to have in your life as far as priorities.
     3. Now, go back and get that list that shows your schedule (what you actually DID during the day - not what you PLANNED to do) and try to carry that out for at least a week if you haven't done so already
     4. If you carry this out for a week it should give you a pretty good idea of what your priorities actually have been over this time period. EVEN IF you haven't done it but for a day or two it will still give you an idea of what your PRIORITY was for those couple of days.
    5. Now, on the back of the sheet you started in #1 (or on a new sheet), based on what you have discovered from looking over your "daily activities/schedule sheet"...write this heading: "WHAT MY PRIORITIES CURRENTLY ARE IN MY LIFE" and write down what you have found to be true.

Don't beat yourself up over this, o.k.? You may discover that, out of necessity, one of your main priorities right now is your young child(ren). That's not a bad thing at all and, by doing this exercise, you will actually discover if that actually IS a priority or if it's what SHOULD be (but it's not) a priority in your life right now.

Please take the time to do this - it will mean so much more to you and FOR you if you will!

PRIORITIES..we all have them whether we think we do or not and they are not always what we want them to be. Join me again tomorrow as we delve into this topic a bit more. But, until then...

"Be sure to make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Friday, March 23, 2012

TIME for Spiritual Growth

(be sure to check out the podcast on iTunes or on the RSS feed)

Perhaps one of the things you put on your list of things you would do if you had more time was to pray more and/or to read the Bible more. Many people have this desire and, from my experience, this is one of the main "New Year's Resolutions" that many believers make. And, like most other resolutions, this one lasts for a month or two (at most) and then it goes by the wayside with all the others.

But now that you have discovered that there IS time in your daily schedule to be "re-purposed" then why not use it to spend more time in prayer and in the Word? That is, of course, if it is a desire of yours.

I heard a guy on the radio the other day ask the following question, "Why don't you pray more?" After he asked that he stated that he would not take, "I don't have time" as an answer to his question. Why? He continued by saying that we MAKE time for what is important to us. Again, we can't "make" time but we DO "take" time for what is important to us. It's called "priority".

How much of a PRIORITY is spending more time in prayer and in the Word to you? Only YOU can answer that question.

So, this blog entry is short and to the point. The time is there. The it really there? If so, then you have nothing holding you back. Especially when you consider all the technical devices available to us today to make "reading the Bible" (getting INTO the Word) so much easier for us. Hey, if you have a smart phone you can access a Bible app and read while waiting in line to pick up your kids or while waiting at the doctors office, etc. Right? If you have some sort of an audio version of the Bible you can listen to it just about anytime, anywhere. Right?

And, as far as prayer can do that anytime and anywhere as well. Right? (Just don't close your eyes doing it while driving, o.k.?)

No more excuses. What better purpose than to "re-purpose" your time for this type of activity. Do'll be glad you did!

Thanks for joining me for this series! Be sure to join me next time and, until then, be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

TIME: Where Did THAT Come From?

(be sure to check out the podcast on iTunes or on the RSS feed)

As you are discovering, it's no magic trick to start finding time that you thought didn't exist. We're NOT pulling something "magically" out of a hat even though it may seem to "magically" appear.

Hopefully, by following through with the lists I have asked you to put together this week you have been able to see that, although you are not gaining any EXTRA time, you are finding that there is time available to you that can be "re-purposed" and used for something better than it's current use.

Magic? No. Smart and productive? Yes and yes!

So, now let's go back to that first list I had you put together at the start of the week that had you list what you would do IF only you had the time. Get it out - go on - and now take a look at it along with the schedule of your daily activities. (I'll wait.)

Now then, when you look over your daily activities, did you find that you had some time that you could "re-purpose"? (Go back and read yesterday's article on this). How MUCH time did you find that you could actually re-purpose for something that would be more productive for you?

Add up how much time you found that could be re-purposed...go ahead, add it up. Did you find one extra hour? Two? Three? Maybe even more? Again, some of you may say that you are busy from the time you get up until the time you go to bed. I'm not doubting that some of you are very busy but - let's be honest - very rarely does anyone actually have NO time during their day.

But, if you are one of those that believe that to be true about your day then consider the idea of getting up an hour earlier or staying up an hour later. Hey, it's just a thought for those that feel that there is absolutely NO time in their daily schedule to be "re-purposed".

Now, go back to that first list of the things you would do if you had the time. BINGO. You have found the time (that was there all along), now what can/will you do with it? Listen, I realize that you aren't going to be able to take an extra vacation by finding one or two hours available during your day. I mean, it's not like you can accumulate them and use them like vacation days at work, right?

But, WHAT IF you used that "extra" time to research and get involved in some sort of home-based business that would bring in the extra income you'd need to take that vacation? (Be very careful - DO THE RESEARCH - before deciding on such an opportunity). Maybe there is even something you can do "in person" as opposed to being on line that could bring you some extra income.

Perhaps you put on your list the desire to get a college degree. Again, do the research and see what is available for you - even on-line.

HERE'S THE POINT: Now that you realize - and actually SEE it for yourself - that you have the time available, it is now up to you to DO something with that time. It is now time for YOU to decide what PURPOSE you will now dedicate this time for during your day. It does no good at all to "find" this time and not re-purpose it for something useful and valuable.

GET SERIOUS about this and DO SOMETHING that will make a difference in your life. Hey, if nothing else, you have realized that time DOES exist in your day. Now it's up to you as to what you plan to do with it.

Well? Stop talking about it and start DOING it and LIVING it. I know this is going to sound corny but...THE TIME IS NOW.

Be sure to join me tomorrow as I look at another purpose for which we all can use this "re-purposed" time in our day. But, until then, be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


(be sure to check out the podcast on iTunes or on the RSS feed)

So far this week I have asked you to write up two different lists... one was a list of the things under the heading of, "If I had the time, I would..." and then, yesterday, I asked that you make a list of your daily schedule. Here's an important note on this last one - don't write down what you PLAN to do but, rather, what you actually DID do.

Why have I asked you to do these things? To help you realize that you DO have the time to do more than you think you do. It's already there! I've already emphasized the fact that we ALL have the exact same amount of time available to each of us even though some get more out of their day than others.

We're not talking about "making" more time but, instead, "re-purposing" the time we already have. Think about that phrase, "re-purposing" and combine that with the topic we discussed in last week's articles and you will see that we are talking about deciding to use certain blocks of time for a particular "purpose" other than that for which it is already being used.

It is deciding to CHANGE the purpose for that particular block of time. Remember, the time is there but you may not be using it in a productive way. "If I only had more time..." That just isn't going to happen but it IS possible to FREE UP some of the time you already have.

Let me say this so that no one misunderstands: There is absolutely NOTHING WRONG with taking some time for yourself and relaxing in whatever way you choose. Sure, it may be watching a soap opera or something else on television. It may be just kicking back on the couch and doing absolutely NOTHING. However, the problem comes when that one television show turns into two or three and that thirty minute "nap" turns into a two hour "sleep fest".

What time is available for you to "re-purpose"? Look at the sheet that I asked you to start putting together that shows your daily activity one hour at a time. I can't answer that question for you and only YOU can answer it honestly IF you are actually wanting to accomplish more during your day.

You may decide that even that one television show is not really worth that chunk being taken out of your day. You may decide that instead of sitting mindlessly in front of the television that you will read something of value instead. You may decide that the time spent on a social networking site could be better spent researching and developing a home-based business. **NOTE: Be careful any time you are on the computer. It is very easy to allow yourself to become distracted checking e-mail accounts and still thinking you are going to check that social network site out for "just a couple of minutes" and then end up getting nothing done that you actually set out to do.

Want to read your Bible more or pray more? Take a look at that daily activity (schedule) sheet that you have filled out and be amazed at how much time is actually available to do just that. By the way, LISTENING to the Bible on audio is a great way to accomplish this AS you do something else at the same time.

CHALLENGE: Take an honest look at what you actually do during an average day and see how much "extra" time you find available for you to use in a different much time you can "re- purpose". You will likely be amazed as long as you are being completely honest with what you wrote down as you went through the day. (Chatting with a friend on-line is NOT an "on-line business meeting").

Oh, and the title, "Time Bandits"? You've already begun to discover and unveil them in your schedule. Time Bandits are all of those "things" in your day that take up your time and give you nothing in return. They TAKE - even STEAL - from you and your desire to accomplish and/or do more.

We'll touch on this some more tomorrow but begin to think about that you are finding time to be "re-purposed", what things from that first list ("things I would do if...") can now be done?

Find the TIME BANDITS in your day and "put them in jail" and throw away the key! Hey, it is YOUR day, right?

Think about it and join me again tomorrow as we continue this discussion. But, until then, be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

If I Only Had MORE Time

(be sure to check out the podcast on iTunes or on the RSS feed)

Time. If we had more of it we'd accomplish SO much more, right? Or at least, that's what we think. But, would we? My guess is that, if we had more time, we'd use it exactly the same way that we use the time we DO have right now.

In other words, if you are the type of person that squeezes everything possible out of the time you have each day then, with more time, you'd do the same and accomplish even more. If you are the type of person that seems to never have enough time to get things done then, as much as it hurts to say, you'd likely not get any more done with extra time.

In yesterday's article I asked that you get out a piece of paper and write these words across the top: "If I had the time, I would..." I asked that you make a list of all of the things that you would do if you only had the time. Again, this is NOT a trick - I promise - and I'm not about to bash you over the head for what it is that you write down. This will all come into play in the next article or two.

But, for now, either get another piece of paper OR use the back of that sheet that you used to make that list and write out your day. What do I mean? Start with what time you get up in the morning and, hour by hour, write down what you do or did during that time period.

For example, if you get up at 5:30 then make a slot for 5:30 - 6:30 a.m. and write what took place (or will take place) during that time period. Be as detailed as possible and be HONEST with yourself! No one else is going to see this and it is imperative that you be honest about this or this exercise is a waste of that precious commodity that we are discussing - TIME!

Do that - even as you go through your day - from the time you get up until the time you get to bed. Don't worry about looking over that as you go to bed... you can, but it's not necessary since I'll be discussing your findings in the next article.

But remember, the time is there for all of us. It's simply a choice of what we TAKE time to do.

Thanks for taking the TIME to join me today and I hope you'll continue with me tomorrow via this blog as well as the podcast (the links can be found at the start of this article). Until next time, be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

TIME: Don't Have vs. Don't Take

(be sure to check out the podcast on iTunes or on the RSS feed)

"I would but I just don't have the time!"

How many times have you either SAID that or HEARD that said? As a matter of fact, take a moment and try to think of when the last time YOU said this phrase occurred...was it sometime today? Yesterday? We likely say something along this lines way more often than we realize.

Many times we say this to our kids when they are seeking our help and/or attention but we are busy with something else..."Mom! I need you to help me!" "Not now honey, I don't have time!" We don't want to sound like bad parents by saying what is actually true which would be, "Not now honey, I'm not going to TAKE the time for you right now."

Is that bad? No! Listen parents, there is no way in the world that we can devote all 24 hours a day to our children - IT'S NOT POSSIBLE! Now listen, if you're sitting in front of the t.v. eating Cheetos and watching a soap opera when your kid asks for your help and you say you don't have time - SHAME ON YOU! That's right... I said it.

But, if you are busy with something that helps the family (cleaning the house, balancing the checkbook or paying the bills, etc.), then there is nothing wrong with actually saying, "I can't take the time right now."

So many times we say we don't HAVE the time when, in reality, we simply choose to not TAKE the time. So, the question actually is this: What are you TAKING the time for during your day?

This SHOULD be obvious but it still needs pointing out - we ALL have the same amount of time every day. We ALL have 24 hours a day, divided up by hours, made up of 60 minutes, made up of 60 seconds each. It doesn't matter how rich or poor you are and it doesn't matter where in the world you live - TIME IS THE SAME FOR US ALL!

Here's what I want you to do to start this series off for the week - get out another piece of paper like you did during last week's series. Go ahead, get that paper and something to write with and write this across the top of that paper....


Do that and then start writing things down - WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Don't over-think this, o.k.? Just write down what you would do IF you "had the time".

No, this isn't a trick. Take a few minutes and do this and feel free to add to it as you go through your day. DO NOT THROW THIS PAPER AWAY! Hang on to it - I will be coming back to it later on in the week.

Many times we don't want to hear the truth behind this fact but it's still true: THE TIME IS THERE!

I hope you'll join me the rest of the week as we go though and discover the time that is already in our day that we may be able to use for those things that we've always wanted to do.

Be thinking about that - fill out that list on that piece of paper and, in the meantime, whatever you do, where ever you go, be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Friday, March 16, 2012

Purpose Without Apology

(be sure to check out the podcast on iTunes or on the RSS feed)

Let's kick this thing off BIG and BOLD right off from the start today...make NO APOLOGIES for living a life OF purpose and ON purpose!

If people around you don't like it and/or ridicule you for doing so - rid yourself of such people. If they have that type of attitude about living a life of purpose then, obviously, they do not desire to be involved in living a life of purpose. And, that being so, why would YOU (someone that is now determined to live such a life of purpose) desire to have that type of influence in your life?

MAKE NO APOLOGIES for deciding that life is better spent in service to others rather than focusing on self. MAKE NO APOLOGIES for desiring to follow in the steps of Jesus by being a SERVANT rather than one being served). MAKE NO APOLOGIES for choosing to live a life that is full of happiness as one that is full of loneliness.

Get the point?

Hey, if you are a "stay-at-home-mom" DO NOT MAKE APOLOGIES for choosing to live that life! Society as a whole may try to make you feel as if you are not really living up to your full potential or "pulling your own weight" but, understand this - if you have chosen to be at home with your kids then you have chosen to live a LIFE OF PURPOSE! And that purpose is to be there to love, teach and train your children to grow up to be people focused on living a life of service and purpose.

If you are a single mom (or dad) and you're doing everything you can to provide for your family - MAKE NO APOLOGIES for doing so! Many may try to make you feel guilty for working two jobs trying to provide for your family while they stay with someone else. But again, understand this - if you are FORCED to be in this situation then MAKE NO APOLOGIES for doing what you have to do to provide a home and a way to live for your children. **NOTE: Notice that I emphasized the word "forced" in the previous sentence. Why? Because there is a difference in someone doing what they have to do and someone that is choosing to put themselves and their career ahead of their children. There is a BIG difference and I want to make sure you don't miss that.

DADS...make NO APOLOGIES for being a man of PURPOSE in being the kind of DAD that is not afraid to teach a boy to be a man and to show a daughter how a TRUE MAN loves a daughter without the fear of any kind of warped abuse. Let me tell you, I can get pretty worked up on this one! Let your children see that you are a DAD that is a great example of a MAN that knows how to love and respect the woman that they call "MOM" as well as all other women. Let them see in you a determination to provide for and protect their precious family. MAKE NO APOLOGIES for allowing your children to see you cry tears of joy as well as sadness. Bottom line: make NO APOLOGIES for BEING A MAN!

(The same is true for women but, hey, since I'm a guy I can speak more boldly and with some idea of what I'm talking about to men!).

Teens...MAKE NO APOLOGY for being one that stands out from the crowd by being one that has determined to focus on being a person of CHARACTER and one that shows respect to your parents, teachers and ALL adults that you come into contact with in your life. MAKE NO APOLOGY for purposing to live a life of honesty and integrity instead of someone that is always looking for the easy way out.

I could go on and on, but I won't. I think you get the point, right?

Decide to live a life of PURPOSE and do so WITHOUT APOLOGY!

And, as you do so, be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Purpose in Life

(be sure to check out the podcast on iTunes or on the RSS feed)

We've been talking about living a life of purpose and what that means for each one of us in our own individual lives. We've talked about the fact that living a life of SELF is NOT living a life of purpose and that, in reality, this is a very lonely way to live. We then discussed the fact that we need to be living a life of service and that we don't need to be waiting for the opportunity to serve to's around each and every day right where we are.

Today I want to discuss the idea of there being "A" particular purpose in life for you. Know what I mean? Sometimes when people have "near death" experiences they feel that God saved them and kept them here for "A" purpose and they try hard to try to discover what that purpose is. And, from my experience, these people get very frustrated trying to figure out what that one, singular purpose is for their life.

Let's compare it to this example: Have you ever heard the idea that some have that there is ONE "true love" out there (where the heck is "out there"?) and that they will be happy ONLY if they find that ONE true love. Hey, what happens if that person dies before you have a chance to meet them? What happens if that person lives on the other side of the world and you never get the chance to meet them? Does that mean that you can NEVER be happy? OF COURSE NOT!

I believe it to be the same when it comes to having a purpose in life as opposed to living a life OF purpose. "A" denotes one, singular purpose and the idea that this is the ONLY purpose that fits you and your life. I really don't believe that to be true. Let me share a personal example of the struggle that can come from this type of thinking.

Back in the summer of 2009 my wife had a heart attack - a "one-in-a-million" type of heart attack that has nothing to do with cholesterol or bad eating habits, blockage or ANYTHING like that. She had a vein split in her heart and she nearly died. I'm not exaggerating - she had to be "shocked" back to life on two different occasions during this horrible ordeal. To make this short, she not only survived but she is doing extremely well, has had NO after effects of the heart attack and no damage to her heart at all. Yeah, I DO believe in miracles.

She, like many in situations like this, felt that God kept her here for a reason - a particular purpose - and, in her emotional state following this "near death experience" she became very frustrated trying to figure out what this ONE particular purpose might be for her life. She kept trying to figure out what it was that God had planned for her - what it was that she needed to do to fulfill this purpose that he saved her for. I finally got through to her (or at least I think I did) when I told her that maybe she needed to stop thinking of some BIG purpose and to maybe consider that God kept her here because I needed her, her children needed her, her parents needed her, her friends needed her. We ALL needed her to be with us and to continue to be a blessing to us and to continue to bring joy to our lives. I think that finally hit home to her...the idea that, perhaps, her purpose was to be a blessing anywhere and everywhere she went.

That's living a life OF purpose ON purpose.

I want to encourage you to do the same. Don't wait. Stop waiting. Realize that you have an opportunity to live a life of purpose each and every day. Live life ON purpose and PURPOSE (determine) to do this everyday, everywhere.

Remember that list that you put together yesterday? Don't forget that and don't forget to approach each and every day ON purpose and as your purpose for life today.

Stop waiting. Start doing, start sharing, start living.

And, as you do so, be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Purpose in Serving

(be sure to check out the podcast on iTunes or on the  RSS feed)

We've already discussed the fact that living a life of SELF is NOT a life of purpose and, more than likely, it is a lonely life.

So, no need to discuss that further, right? Let's move on now to what living a life of purpose DOES consist of in our lives. SERVING OTHERS! I've already talked recently about the importance of taking our eyes off of ourselves and noticing those around us and using our God-given talents and abilities to reach out and help. I've also recently shared the emphasis given in the Bible about not being here to BE served but TO serve.

Please, whatever you do, don't wait until ___________________ (you fill in the blank) happens before you begin to live a life of purpose through serving others. Some are waiting until they get enough money (rich?) to be able to do BIG things before they start. Some are waiting until this and that.....and, all the while, opportunities to serve pass them by every day.


Don't miss the opportunities you have right before you with your family - especially your children. Let them see - TEACH BY DOING - you involved in serving others and help them learn the importance of living a life of purpose that involves something/someone other than themselves.

Look at those around you - yes, even your coworkers and brainstorm ways that you can PURPOSE your time with them to be a ENCOURAGEMENT. On more than once occasion my wife has begun working a new job to be warned about different people (especially in management) that were grumpy and that never smiled. My wife would actually take that on as a challenge with a determination (a PURPOSE) that she would make sure that she talked to them, was kind to them and got them to smile at LEAST once every time she worked. And, guess what? She did and they did. She did what she set out to do and they DID smile at LEAST once while working with her. As a matter of fact, one female manager who was known to be a "sour-puss" got to where she would light up with a smile every time she saw my wife at the start of a shift and she even ended up knitting my wife some sort of a "throw" to be used while lying on the couch or sitting in a chair.

Pretty cool, huh?

Now, on Monday I asked you to be jotting some things down on paper as to what this whole idea of living a life of purpose meant for you in your life. Here's where you can get down to the "meat" of the matter. Make a list of as many people as you can that you normally come into contact with on an average day. Your family, neighbors, co-workers, bosses, garage attendant, your child's school bus driver, teacher, etc. Make as an extensive list as you can and then take a moment and be amazed at how many people you impact each and every day. Then, take some time - maybe do five at a time - and write down how you can PURPOSE to be a blessing in that persons life beginning NOW.

Hey, some of you will, some of you won't but it doesn't change the fact that ALL of you (us) CAN and, quite honestly, SHOULD be seeking ways to serve more.

Yes my friend, there IS purpose in serving. And, if being selfish is a life of loneliness then I would think that SERVING would be a life of happiness!

Check it out. Put it to the test and see what you find to be true. Let me know - I'd love to hear from you!

Join me tomorrow as we continue this discussion but, until then, be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Selfishness Is NOT Purpose

If you haven't done so, be sure to go back and read the blog from yesterday as I began this discussion on "Living a Life of Purpose" before you go on with this one. Well, go on.  Well, I mean, you don't HAVE to do that but it might help as you read today's blog entry.

In tomorrow's blog I'm going to begin talking about what a life of purpose really is but I thought I'd spend a little time today talking about what it is NOT. And, as you can tell from the title of today's blog alone with the graphic at the top, a life of purpose is NOT about SELF!

We definitely live in a self-centered world, don't we? Oh, I know - and am thankful - that there seems to be a shift among many in our world today toward understanding the need to live a life of service. But I'd suggest that for every person - especially younger person - that is beginning to understand the importance of this fact, there are maybe five that are still focused on themselves.

I've recently discussed how this may come about by never helping our children understand that, as a matter of fact, they really AREN'T the cutest kid in the world and they really AREN'T the smartest one, either. Again, I get being proud of our kids but, at some point, we MUST help them make that transition over to reality and a more meaningful purpose for their existence.

Me, me, me, me. Just listen to those around you as they talk and you will likely hear this word (or "I") more than just about any other. Wow, I get really tired of listening to someone that does that, don't you? As a matter of fact, I will usually tune them out rather quickly and move on to someone else for a conversation with some actual substance.

Many times self-centered people will try to convince you that they are happy and, hey, they may even have all of the"bling" to make you think that this may even be so! I mean, they have focused so completely on themselves that they had NOTHING to stop them from doing anything and everything necessary to collect all of the "stuff" that many want to attach to mean "success".

However, I truly believe that no matter how much they try to convince you or others that they are happy, they really aren't. Of even more significance is the fact that, regardless of how much they try to convince THEMSELVES that they are happy they are, more likely, very lonely and miserable.

Living a life of self is a lonely life. Why? Because there is no one else in your world but YOU. Oh sure, there may be some people around that enjoy getting the perks of being your "friend". But as soon as those perks "dry up" or you try to test them to see if they are there because of those perks or because they actually LIKE you... well, get ready for the echo of your own voice.

Listen friend, we are all here for something bigger and better than ourselves! Please - PLEASE - if you have any teens still at home (or even in college and still coming to your home) spend some time "picking their brain" to see where they are in this process. So many do nothing and expect EVERYTHING given to them. Oh, I do know that there are some exceptions but I'm talking about what I have seen as the majority.

And, while you are at it - do a little self-examination, too and see what you find. Hey, it's easy to get caught up in this "me" thing. But remember - a life of purpose is NOT a life focused on self.

I hope you'll join me again tomorrow and that you'll remember to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Monday, March 12, 2012

Living Life On Purpose

"The purpose of life is a life of purpose."

pur-pose [pur puhs] - noun     1. the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc. 2. an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal. 3. determination; resoluteness. 4. the subject in hand; the point at issue. 5. practical result, effect, or advantage: to act to good purpose
                                                                                                                                                                verb (used with object)  6. to set as a aim, intention, or goal for oneself.  7. to intend; design.  8. to resolve (to do something): He purposed to change his way of life radically.                                       (                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
I wanted to be sure to include both the noun and verb usage of this word because of the importance of these meanings in this discussion. I'll be referring back to parts of this definition throughout this article but I want you to take another look at it and put some thoughts into it in connection with the title of this article, "Living Life On Purpose".
Purpose is the "reason for which something exists" - we ALL have purpose in life. Notice I didn't say "a" purpose? We'll get to that in a bit. But here's what I want to discuss for now...are you living a life OF purpose?

You know, sometimes it's nice to not really have anything to do and just "wander aimlessly" through your day or even week. I'm not sure how often you've gotten to do that but, after a while - as good as it sounds - that can get OLD! We're really not "wired" to sit around and do nothing. We're really not "wired" to not have focus and direction.

That being said, we need to be living a life OF purpose!

Why do I keep emphasizing the word "of"? Because there is a big difference between living a life OF purpose and having A purpose in life. But, for now - TODAY - I simply want you to ask yourself if you are living a life OF purpose.

Again, go back to the definition above and ask yourself if you are living a life of determination and resolution. A life of FOCUS. You might want to take out a notebook (old school, I know) or whatever way you choose, and write your thoughts down as they come. Don't worry about organizing them for now - just write down what comes to mind.

The thoughts, the questions, the discoveries...write it all down and then join me tomorrow as I continue this discussion. One final thought on a life of doesn't matter WHO you are, WHERE you have been or WHAT you have done. Remember, your past DOES NOT determine your future! You can still live a life OF PURPOSE!

Be sure to join me tomorrow as I continue these thoughts and, until then, jot down those ideas and, whatever you do, be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Friday, March 9, 2012

Choice Three: STRENGTHEN

I know that what I'm about to say is an over-simplification but consider it anyway: "Life is a series of choices."

Now, again, I didn't say you had to AGREE with my statement, I just asked that you consider it which, in and of itself is a choice, is it not? Your consideration is a choice and your agreeing or disagreeing is a choice. You made a choice to read this article right now instead of doing something different. You have a choice to either keep on reading this article or to go on and do that "something else". You made a choice to get out of bed this morning or, if you are still in bed for whatever reason, you still made a choice to do something besides just lay in bed sleeping or watching television at this moment.

Yeah, I really COULD go on and on with this pointing out how many choices we make each and every day several times a day - but I won't. It was a choice that I had and I chose NOT to follow through with that. (There I go again!).

And, yes, when bad things happen in our lives we have choices that we must make. Among those are how we will allow this "bad thing" to impact us. We can either let it DEFINE us, DESTROY us or STRENGTHEN us. We've already talked about the first two and, today, I'll discuss the last one as I conclude my thoughts on this topic.


I've said it many times in the discussions on this topic but I feel the need to say this again - please do not take it that I am "making light" of any tragedy that may have taken place in your life or the life of someone you know. Perhaps you are going through that that tragedy right now and NONE of this will make any sense to you at all and, likely, may even make you angry. BOTTOM LINE - I understand that what I am saying is over-simplified. But, even in the midst of crazy events in our lives it still all boils down to the simplicity of choices.

Oh, believe me, I understand that the fact there are choices to be made is a simple fact but the CHOICES TO BE MADE is what makes it all so difficult.

Don't let bad things define you or destroy you - we've covered that already and, as always, if you haven't had the chance to read those, you might want to read them BEFORE you read this installation. So, WHY NOT let even the bad things in life STRENGTHEN you or make you stronger?

Anyone that has done ANY type of strength training can tell you that it is NOT easy! Hey, anytime I (you, them, whoever, right?) have tried to do ANYTHING that was some sort of change to my habits (diet, exercise) it was NOT easy to do! And, when you start talking about trying to become stronger (which usually incorporates diet AND exercise) you have to stay with it and fight the pain knowing that the strain and resistance against your muscles will make them stronger.

The apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 4:13 said the following, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Now, again, I realize that all of you reading this may not be believers but I feel the need to share this anyway because, for many people in our world, their FAITH is a HUGE FACTOR in their ability to keep going and to gain strength even in the midst of these "storms".

But, beyond the powerful thing that Paul said in that verse is what is found in the preceding verses describing some ups and downs that Paul, himself had experienced. Notice this in the same chapter, but in verse 12..."I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

FAITH - FRIENDS - FAMILY...the cornerstone for many people and especially when bad things happen in their lives. Have you utilized these resources in YOUR life recently? If not, maybe you need to do so BEFORE the "storms" hit (we talked about the need for preparation in one of the earlier articles in this series).

You CAN do this! You CAN make it through and you CAN survive another day and then another and then another. YOU CAN! YOU MUST!

"As long as there is breath, there is hope!"  Don't ever forget that!

Again, always feel free to contact me at any time ( - I'd love to hear from you. And, whatever you do, where you go, be sure to...

"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Choice Two: DESTROY

As always, if you haven't done so, be sure to go back and read the past two articles that lead up to today's discussion. Also, be sure to listen to the podcasts that go along with these topics as well. (iTunes: or RSS feed: )

de-stroy [dih-stroi] 
      verb (used with object)    1. to reduce (an object) to useless fragments, a useless form, or remains, as by rending, burning, or dissolving; injure beyond repair or renewal; demolish; ruin; annihilate. 2. to put an end to; extinguish.   3. to kill; slay.   4. to render ineffective or useless; nullify; neutralize; invalidate.   5. to defeat completely.  (from
Wow! Take a moment and really look at this definition for the word, "destroy" and then attach it to  the words found in the graphic at the top of this article. I've already discussed, "When Bad Things Happen" and in the last article/podcast I talked about "Choice One: Define" and the need for all of us to understand that, as bad as something may be that takes place in our lives, it DOES NOT have to define us.
"Choice Two: Destroy" - When bad things happen it can define you or DESTROY you. Take a look at that definition again and apply it here. You and/or your LIFE would be that "object" talked about in the first definition. Bad things CAN reduce your life to useless fragments and cause it to be a "useless form".  But, how sad if we allow this to happen! I know that many of you may even feel that your life has been injured "beyond repair or renewal" and that it is nothing but "ruin" (need I go on?) - BUT IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!
Too many people in this world have allowed bad things to put an end to and even "extinguish" what once was a vibrant, productive life. Again, please understand that I am NOT making light of whatever it is you or someone you know may have gone through or may be going through even now. But, the fact is, it is important for me to do all that I can to encourage you and anyone/everyone else that either IS or WILL BE going through these potentially crippling "bad things".
"As long as there is breath, there is HOPE!"
Hey, listen, whether you want to believe this or not, Satan himself wants to do all he can to make your life miserable, insert doubt into your mind/life and absolutely DESTROY you!  In John 10:10, Jesus Himself says this about the devil (the "thief") and what He (Jesus) offers - "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
A "bully" wants to kick you while you are down, right? We all know that (at least I assume that we all know that) and I want you to understand that Satan IS a bully and that he wants to kick you while you are down and to keep you down. Why? Well, I could go into a LONG discourse on all of this (but I won't!) but let me just tell you that he does not want you - or anyone else - giving glory to God or even BELIEVING in God for that matter.
Friend, PLEASE DO NOT GIVE UP! Do not allow any "bad thing" in your life to defeat you completely (definition #5). You have so much more to offer, you have so much more LIFE to LIVE and you have so much more LOVE to share with others that are just waiting for it even now.
Please feel free to contact me at any time ( if you would like to or need to discuss this further. Whatever you do - DO NOT GIVE UP!
Tomorrow we will look at the best option available when bad things happen - Choice Three: STRENGTHEN!" - and how you CAN actually come out stronger than before. A little "heads up" before we get ain't going to be easy!
Stay strong, my friend and, whatever you do - where you go - be sure to...
"Make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"