How do you respond when you are told every day what a nobody you are?  When the people who are supposed to be your friends and co-learners in school instead ruthlessly call you demeaning names, and you feel you have no one to talk to?

Brenda Poage gets that.  And Brenda is a somebody that you need to know.  Wife and mother, author and visionary, Brenda – like most of us – is who she is because of how she has responded to some painful experiences in her life.

Brenda is a LifeVestor.

Kids can be cruel, but you don’t have to explain that to Brenda.  From the time she started school in her small Texas town, she was mercilessly bullied by other kids in school.  Having to play academic catch-up required that Brenda attend remedial classes. And she became the brunt of some pretty mean name calling and bullying.

So when educators and parents today start quoting statistics that as many as half of all school children are bullied in some way, Brenda does more than raise her hand as “Exhibit A.”  She did something about it.  And that’s how Ima Nobody Becomes a Somebody was born. [click to continue…]


Corie, Carrie, Cassie, and Kara on the Charles Bridge in Prague, 2005. All were back together again for Kara's wedding this weekend in Ft. Worth.

1.  Yes indeed, a washer and dryer will fit inside a conversion van if you take the middle seats out. 

2.  Driving said conversion van automatically lowers your driver’s IQ by about 30 points.

3.  Apparently I was right at home; Dallas/Ft. Worth was the host to an Idiot Drivers Convention this weekend.

4.  If a nighttime idiot driver in DFW makes you mad, it’s probably not a good idea to get behind him and turn on your bright lights.

5.  If you make a nighttime idiot driver in DFW mad by turning on your bright lights in his mirror, and he decides to retaliate… for 15 minutes… it’s probably best just to declare him the winner. [click to continue…]


Sometimes when God wants to reveal His heart to us, He communicates with words.  But for folks like me, sometimes he has to draw a picture.  I thought since Father’s Day is approaching, I would give you a glimpse into the gallery of my soul and show you a master Artist at work. . . . 

The Bracelet

“Hold out your hand,” she said as I entered the room to kiss her good-night.  With that, my daughter interrupted momentarily my nightly bedtime routine.  “This is for you.” [click to continue…]


Of Such is the Kingdom

by Andy Wood on May 22, 2010

in 100 Words, Photos

Laura Kate getting a kiss from Laverne. Shirley, Mary, and Martha are close by.

When play is a full-time occupation – a sign of health and strength…

When laughter and tears, courage and fears trade places in a matter of seconds…

When growth is expected,

Learning is an hourly occurrence,

Desires are unmasked and transparent,

And trust is as natural as breathing…

When love is the only commodity worth sharing,

And forgiveness is spoken in hugs and pats…

When holding – or resting in those stronger arms – are the universal symbols of peace and oneness…

When wonder and anticipation drive us toward new discoveries with abandon and imagination…

Of such, Jesus said, is the Kingdom.

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Ask an adult to define leadership, and sometimes you’ll get a blank stare, or a wad of contradictions.  Ask a child to do it, and he or she will often have a much easier time.  The leader in a kid’s world is the one who can get his friends to do what he wants them to do.  Or leadership may begin with the words, “Hey, you know what would be funny?” 

One thing adults should know that kids often don’t, however, is that anybody can lead.  That skinny, awkwardly-shy girl in third grade may be a corporate CEO or trailblazing missionary in the making.  That boy who’s always picked last for the kickball team may own a sports team one day.

Everybody is a potential leader. Leadership is not synonymous with talent or personality types.  Leadership ability is not always obvious.  And it sure isn’t the same thing as authority.

Leadership is influence.  And influence – especially good influence – can be taught.  And here’s the really cool part:  You can teach a child to influence others without them knowing that’s what you’re doing.

So whether you have kids of your own (works for grandchildren, too), or you work with children in some capacity, here are ten ideas for fostering leadership in the kids in your world. [click to continue…]


Gateway to Wonder

by Andy Wood on November 26, 2009

in Exploring the Possibilities, LV Cycle

Nobody uses this gate any more.  But when I was a kid, it was a gateway to wonder.  Just north of my grandparents’ house, across a small pasture, this gate opened the pathway to one of the most fascinating people I have ever known.

On the other side, just across the dirt road, there rested an old log cabin.  And inside that log cabin lived Bob and Pearl McLean.  It was years before I knew their last names.  To my sister and me, they were Cousin Bob and Miss Pearl.

Pearl McLean was the slowest-talking human I have ever known.  [click to continue…]


arms wide open 2It was one of those unseen transactions, and I had the privilege of being the only seer.  Even though this was a very public place, sometimes the public places are, well, too public.  People are taking care of bid-ness, and moving about in their transes; I was no exception.

Until she walked by.

She was about 6 years old and it was about 6:00 p.m. [click to continue…]

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I expected to learn some things and be reminded of some things when I made my first trip to Thailand.  I was not disappointed.  To put an exclamation point on our trip, here are some things I learned along the way…

humidityYou may think you know what humidity is, but you’re wrong.

My wife had one unending childhood adventure.

Churches everywhere are made up of humans, with human needs, human potential, and human flaws.

Pastors may not speak the same language, but the leadership issues they face are the same worldwide.

smilesIt’s amazing the trust you can gain with a sincere smile. [click to continue…]


lemonade-standIt all started with an idea in the mind of a four-year-old.  Cassie certainly wasn’t the first kid to set up shop as a lemonade business.  But she’d read about it or seen it on some cartoon or something, and she was inspired.

We were living in Birmingham.  Corner lot, pretty busy street.  But that didn’t deter Miss Entrepreneur and her twin sister.  They were out to make some money, and had just been given a sure-fire way to do it.

What do you say to a born dreamer, with stars in her eyes, and a plan for making her dreams come true?


You say, “Okay.”

That’s what Mamma said, and she went about helping the twins prepare for their first business venture.  There was a table to set up, a sign to make, and, of course, a pitcher of lemonade and cooler of ice to prepare.

And there were the pigtails.  I’ll never forget the pigtails. [click to continue…]



To see in him the image of two – an increase to my place in the world;
To shelter him, and walk at his pace until he can walk at mine;
To lend my strength until he has his own;
To model a partnership of intimacy and trust;
To introduce him to an abundant world;
To teach him the ancient ways, that will live in him beyond my lifetime;
To set him free, even from my influence;
To touch eternity by the ways I touch his life…

This is the sacred trust – to forever remain the friend of a child.

Photo Source:  Scenes from Indonesia

Photo credit:  REUTERS/Beawiharta