Who’s riding along with you?

If you squint your eyes hard enough (I mean really hard!) you might to see a young boy fishing on the stern of the windsurf board while his dad used the wind to navigate to the other side of the bay. It reminded me that people are tied to our journeys in life. Those people can be those who are close to us. Those people can be those we have never seen before.

The fact is that we all have influence on others. Some are directly affected and some are indirectly affected. Are you intentional about who and how use your influence? Yes, you do have influence whether you accept it or not. As you are heading to your next destination or goal who are you bringing along with you? Who gets to fish at the stern of your board?

Who Do You Trust?

I caught myself thinking that life would be way easier if I had things figured out earlier. Yet, the more I got things figured out the more I realize that I don’t have things figured out. Are you with me?

Even though there are events in our lives that are naturally out of our control, most challenges and disappointments in life are self-inflicted. Do you agree?

Are you a victim of a lack of knowledge or is it a lack of guts to make the tough decisions that have a personal cost?

The good news is that the God of this Universe is a God of second chances. He yearns to be in relationship with us. He’s not driven by neediness. He is driven by love. His love includes a care for our welfare in both good times and bad.

If you have read the Bible before, you may know about David. Once a shepherd boy who became a mighty, yet soap-opera-ishly flawed king of Israel. And being a king meant that his decisions would affect a region of the world and all the people in it. His decisions would shift world history.

For all that David would get wrong, he knew who to go to when he was in trouble. He wrote,

“I look up to the mountains- does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!” ~Psalms 121:1-2 NLT

Whenever I’m close to the mountains, I tell myself that my trust isn’t on my own wits and skills. My trust isn’t on the little wealth that I have. My trust isn’t in man, whether it’s my employer, the stock market, my healthy lifestyle, my prescriptions, my political leaders, nor my news media. My trust is in God first and foremost. My help comes from the One who made heaven and earth! How about you?

I still get to…

With one kid already a grown-up and 2 more just about to enter their teens, I am milking up the moments I have with them in this stage of their lives. I recently went with my ladies to the closest beach to catch a sunset. As I watched them let the end of the shorebreak touch their toes, I realized that I still get to the watch them play.

I was formulating my list of “still get to’s” to maintain a thankful heart. I don’t know of any scientific studies to support the benefits of being thankful. I just know from experience that having a grateful heart is good for the soul. I know you have experienced the same thing.

I still get to see my children play at the beach. I still get to sit with my wife and talk about a tv show. I still get to drive a car that works. I still get to eat a couple of fish tacos with a co-worker because that means that I am employed. Since I do have a job, I get to get ready for work and take a shower as warm or cool as I want it.

You get where I am going with this? Having a healthy perspective of your life means you’re likely to have a healthy soul. A healthy soul contributes to your overall well-being. God’s Word says so in 3 John 1:2,

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

Now it’s your turn. What are your “I still get to’s?”

Making Time That Matters With Those Who Matter Most

What matters most to you? I’m guessing that you are about to tell me to change the wording to, “WHO matters most to you.” The things that matter most to us are not things. It’s people. It’s the people we love. It’s the people who love us. My Top 3 goes like this: God, family, then friends. Even though my priorities are set for life, everything and everyone under the Top 3 challenge the Top 3 for position.

These challengers may not necessarily be bad things. Work isn’t a bad thing. You have to work. If the people you love depend on you to provide for them, then work is a necessary thing. At least I have to. Hobbies aren’t necessarily and usually aren’t bad. Many hobbies are refreshing and fulfilling. Relationships and even business ideas are birthed out of our recreational activities.

Even noble endeavors can try to find ways to displace your Top 3. I’ve been attending the same local church for over 25 years. I discovered that volunteering is an investment into not only other people, but expresses a faith-life that journeys in something that is much larger than me as an individual.  Still, this endeavor shouldn’t take over my Top 3. It shouldn’t take over yours.

How do you protect your Top 3? I don’t subscribe in the idea of a fixed “balanced life.” There are seasons when we all juggle a little or a lot more than the usual.  Also, life is full of unexpected turns and detours. Even with all of the surprises, how do you manage to spend time and attention to the relationships that matter?

I believe that one of the things you must do is to make time. Even if that means to put times down on a calendar (that you commit to) then that it is what you must do. I’ve been guilty of telling my friends, “Yeah, let’s catch that game soon.” SOON can end up being weeks, month, and even years. I can tell my kids that we will catch a movie when “things aren’t so crazy.” If I don’t set a date, then it isn’t going to happen.

If you can make your appointments with a God you cannot see, how faithful will you be to be consistent with spending time with your loved ones who you can see. That Day Runner thing wasn’t working for me years ago. Thank God, my calendar fits in my pocket. Even my years-old phone allows me to make an appointment by talking to it. I have no excuses. I can make excuses, but they aren’t valid; not with those who matter most.

What does your calendar look like over this week? What does it look like today? Are you making time that matters most with those who matter the most to you? Chime in. Be heard.

The Life Equation

A couple of years ago, I injured my shoulder surfing and was not able to surf for several weeks. I continued going to the beach and took photos instead while my body healed. I remembered watching the local high school surf team this day as they shouted, laughed, and scored really great waves during a winter swell. What stood out the most was watching some students stylin’ on cheap foam boards that are sold at the local Costco.

I heard a preacher on the radio say that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. I have heard this saying recycled and re-quoted many times in different forms like, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” but is it not true? Anything “awesome” or “epic” usually depends on how you participated in it. The kids who surfed with the foam boards were carving out waves as good as the other kids who had boards that cost 10 times more.

Times have changed and now people reject sound wisdom and will react with, “What if I don’t like lemonade?” and “Why am I getting lemonade when those people get Arnold Palmer’s?”  The victim card is way overplayed nowadays. It is time to put that card down and take that 10% of crap that has been thrown your way and turn it into fertilizer for the 90%. Grow something. Change something. Overcoming obstacles in life is not easy nor comfortable. Stop wasting energy on leveling the playing field and just play. If all you have is that cheap foam board, then use it and make it awesome. The 90% is yours.

The Importance of Doing the Mundane

Almost every time I come to this beach before the sun comes up, I watch this man in his tractor level the sand on the beach. It seems like an mundane thing to do. He goes from one end of the beach to the other in his rolling machine turning the bumpy beach into a smooth one and stopping every once in a while to pick up a beer bottle or large object. My friends and I reaped the benefits of an easy walk through the beach to surf for a couple of hours. We didn’t have to worry about stepping on trash that the previous beachgoers left behind because of this man’s work.

The word ‘mundane’ is usually used in a negative context, yet the the dictionary says that it relates to the ordinary and commonplace. We all have the mundane every day tasks that we have to do at work and home. That could be taking out the trash. That could be reading the revised employee’s handbook. That could be leveling the beach. Keep in mind that as we consistently complete the ordinary tasks that we have to do day in and day out, most likely someone is going to benefit and even if that person is you. Someone is going to get to walk on the sand you just smoothed out.

Speaking of the mundane, I listen to music while doing chores to help the time go by. Which genre of music you like to listen to when you are tackling your to-do list? Share below and thanks for reading.

Blue vs. Red

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Blue vs. Red
Diametrically opposed
We want it our way
Even if it comes to blows

I’m on the right side of history
So it’s my way or the highway
Not only will I school you
But I’ll also make you pay

Wait a minute!
Is this what we have become?
Sworn enemies for life
Wishing death to some?

Who don’t agree with us
Nor sing the same tune?
We easily call them foes
And insult them as buffoons?

Isn’t unity better
To agree to disagree?
Listening to one another
Knowing it’s not all about me?

If you take some steps back
You’ll see that it was really a trap
To allow the ones on top
To take the best and leave us with the crap

To fight over and ruin
What we worked hard to build
To destroy close bonds
We allowed hatred to kill

Peace at all costs
That should be the goal
Building up one another
And valuing the soul

Optimism to a fault
If no one will follow
Yet the alternative is bleak
And our world will be left hallow

This world we can fix
Our words must change course
And choose life over death
Leaving our world better; not worse.

I am disappointed as member of our adult generation. We refuse to see beyond the rhetoric (is it even rhetoric anymore?) as our children watch and learn as we hurl insults at each other and end relationships based on political views. That’s not what we taught them. Actually, that is what we are teaching them right now; that it’s ok to hide our prejudices behind self-righteousness, and it’s ok to harm people and property when our world is not aligned like we think it should be. Our younger generation deserves better. Don’t you agree?

Advice for Hearts

A word to the young,
Yours can be fooled
Usually when you’re foolish
Reckless and never ruled.

A word to those who are gray,
Before you lay to rest
Stop pining for yesterdays
And make today your best.

A word for the lonely,
Don’t be offended by my tone
Sharing your journey is a choice
So is staying alone.

A word to the lost,
Open your eyes
And commit to find your way
Instead of living on lies.

A word to those who are filled,
Help us sift the truth from the tales
Warn us about chasing after empty dreams
And remind us that love never fails.

The journey is not alone

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”~Ernest Hemingway

Many of you will agree that the journey is what counts the most. This is a consistent theme, yet I can still get so consumed with the destination that I forget that it is what happens in the process that makes me who I am.

When I took this picture of a young man walking his mother to a wedding ceremony, I was reminded that we don’t do this journey alone. People’s journeys and destinies are tied to mine. The ones most affected by my journey are the ones I lead, that is, my family.  I set the direction. I set the pace. I define the boundaries. I speak the dreams. I share the victories and the disappointments.

Many parents have dreams for their children to become a wildly successful lives as adults. Let’s not forget that it’s the process that happens on the way to the destination that makes the child become who he is.

Remind everyone on the journey with you that it really is the journey that matters, in the end.

Get some “Alone Time.”


This man managed to be left alone to his thoughts while looking out at the infinite expanse of the ocean and sky. He seemed so content. Fishing like this looks very therapeutic. What is your version of fishing?

If you don’t have a version of fishing find something that you like to do. For some parents, the only alone time is hiding in the bathroom from the kids to catch up on the FaceBook feed. Sorry, that doesn’t qualify as alone time. If you cannot get out, put all the kids to bed (another reason to have a clearly defined lights out time) then find a place that can be your space in the home, and play on one of those Sudoko puzzle books you can get at the grocery store. Do something that gets to you to unwind, relax, and smile.

Play a guitar, ride a bike. If your budget is tiny, then walk. Are you creative? Break out the drawing paper and pencils. Do whatever it takes. I’m on a device or a computer most of the day, so I say do something that requires you to put that phone down. It may be difficult for most folks to fish multiple times during the week. Maybe this dude in the picture only gets out once in a while, but who knows. He might have his own Sudoku.

My computer seemed laggy a couple of days ago. I restarted the thing, and it was back to being snappy and responsive. Getting rest and doing something to unwind is like a restart. Getting your “me” time will help you lead your family. What is your version of fishing?