I HOPE your ice is slowly melting

I HOPE your dead place is coming alive like this dead and discouraged unemployment office in Madrid came alive when a small flash mob materialized.

I HOPE you know that just as everything can go horribly wrong in only five minutes, so in five minutes your face can be lifted up.

I HOPE you know that a tiny bit of joy you contribute can go deeper and farther than you’d ever imagine.

I HOPE you see that where and when you contribute your little piece of joy can magnify it and make it mean more.

I HOPE you realize that just as George Harrison never knew a little song he created while walking in a garden would surprisingly encourage unemployed Spaniards forty-three years later, so something you do today can live.

I HOPE you know you have the power to leave any situation better than you found it. How do I know you have that power? Because you are a human being created by God in his image and that’s what he does.

Maybe I appreciate this more because there was a season long ago when I spent a lot of time in an office like this with no one to sing to me.

Please sing.

(if you’re reading this in your email or reader and can’t see the video, please click over to the blog HERE to view it.)

Your energy is a compass

Energy is like income, a checkbook, your IQ. You don’t have the same as everyone else, and you’re not supposed to.

And you have different energies available for different things.

When energy gets low you can experience stress. Then stress uses up more energy. Lower energy leads to more stress and less energy and more stress. It’s a rotten little circle.

God may give you less energy in some areas so that you won’t focus on areas where he doesn’t want you.

If you do mis-focus, you run out of gas to force you back to where you should be.

You know those times when you’re going hard but you’re not tired and you feel like you could go on forever?

Maybe that’s your true north.

This isn’t about being skinny

I tell my wife she looks skinny.

She tells me to shut up.

I say, “Here, let me take a picture.” She’s standing in the kitchen.

I take the picture with my phone. She looks at it and goes, “You did that with an app. You have a skinny app.”

I know I have her now.

I say, “Here, take my picture and see if it looks like me.”

She takes my picture. It looks like me.

I say, “So see, it’s true, that’s what you look like.”

What do you refuse to believe about yourself?

Just because you’ve repeated something to yourself for years (good or bad) doesn’t make it true.

Brutal reality has two sides. We usually major on facing one or the other.

Face both.

One side is that you ain’t all that.

The other side is that inside you is the drive to create, contribute, connect, and leave a mark. But in a way that looks just like you.

It’s hard to embrace your calling if you refuse to accept your gifting.

Two GUARANTEED ways to NEVER be bored again

Get a smartphone

No matter where you are or what you’re doing you will always be able to occupy yourself in a wonderful variety of ways.

You got your phone, email, song library, camera, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pandora, podcasts, Angry Birds, weather radar, TED videos, sports blogs, news, plus anything that pops into your head you can immediately research to discover that the movie with the circus horse that jumped off the tower into the water was called “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken.”

In line at the DMV, the Walgreens, the stop light (honk!)? Waiting at the doctors office or in the car while hubby runs into Home Depot? You’ll never complain about any long wait again.

AND, best of all, you’ve got a built in distraction to keep you from #2.


Embrace the reason you were put on this earth.

Not sure what that reason is? #1 can keep you distracted from discovering that, too.

Your very own art gallery

After Clarence died, I watched a bunch of Bruce Springsteen videos, reliving my appreciation for the band and their music. Problem was, for several days I could not get the songs out of my head. I got really sick of it. It’s not that the message of Badlands, Born to Run, and Thunder Road are bad, it’s just that once the videos are over, I’d like to think of something else.

It doesn’t work that way.

The inside of my head is an art gallery, and what I expose myself to gets hung on my mind’s wall. The longer I expose myself to it and dwell on it, the longer it hangs in the gallery. I really got tired of those paintings and wanted to take them down, but couldn’t.

The gallery is always open and something is always on those walls. All you can do is expose yourself to something new and dwell on that, so the old art is replaced with the new.

This can end up really working to your advantage – just dwell on the thing you want to be influenced by most, and the gallery will take care of the rest.

The scariest words in the world

It’s so easy to go crazy. To lose your steadiness, your discipline.

I bought a bag of Utz Salt & Pepper potato chips. For two days I gobbled them. We had friends over, but I didn’t want to put those chips out to share. Wanted them for myself.

It wasn’t just the chips, it was how I felt about them. I desired them, had to have them. Now, not later. That’s lust, right?

Then, out of my mouth came the words that have preceded the downfall of men and women since the beginning of men and women. These words have opened the door to trouble and heartache and regret for so many people in so many ways.

“I’ll be good later.”

That’s when you know you’re over the edge.

Later never comes, or, when it does, it’s too late. And just in case later IS coming early, you hurry up and eat the chips before you have time to think about it. Before your conscience can work up any momentum. “Th’ expense of spirit in a waste of shame.”

That’s the beginning. The end is at the mercy of God. And God’s mercy can be a train wreck, if the only way to stop the train you’re on is to wreck it.

It’s way easier to stay steady than to get back to steady.