It’s been more than 40 years, but the scene hasn’t changed all that much.  Downhill run, dirt road, just north of the family farm.  Back in the day I was driving my Granddaddy’s pickup and my grandmother was in the passenger seat. I don’t remember the occasion, but most likely we had taken Lucy or Dot or some other domestic help back to their house, and we were headed back.

Just as I cruised down the dirt road, flexing my pride in the manly art of driving, the pickup slipped off the road into a shallow little ditch.

“Ditch” is too harsh a word.  More like a little soft trough where rain water would gently ease down the hill. Really wasn’t that big a deal.

“Oh, no, we’re stuck,” Grandmother said immediately.

Ridiculous!  It wasn’t deep, we were doing downhill, and all I had to do was give it a little gas, turn the wheel, and…

Well crud.  We were stuck. [click to continue…]

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James Harrison

This is James Harrison.

He was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.

He does pushups with a 300-pound man on his back. Lots of them.

I want him on my team.

Which team?

Whichever one needs linebackers who can do pushups with a 300-pound man lying on his back.

james harrison 2

James has a few tattoos. One says, “PEACE” and has a cross next to it. Others are very sentimental – one for his grandmother, his sons, his mom and dad. He also has one that says “Colossians 1:16.” Here is what Colossians 1:16 says, in case you’re wondering.

“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”

I am NOT a tattoo dude. Not my thing. But I want James Harrison on my team.

Which team? [click to continue…]

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Yacht TeamI’m a huge believer that the quality of your life and leadership is the direct result of the quality of the questions you ask. Ask good questions, you get good answers and good direction. Ask lame questions, you get lame directions. Ask no questions at all, and you’ll soon be the blind bleeding the blind.

Here are seven daily questions any leader, parent, or achiever can ask quickly to zero in on the most effective use of your time and life. Answering any three daily can quickly shape your day and your influence.  Aligning the answers to all seven daily can revolutionize it.

This little collection uses the classic “five W’s and an H – who what, when where, why and how – with an added little bonus – an “if” question. [click to continue…]

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Davidson High School, Mobile, Alabama.  Circa 1974.  My freshman year.  I’m standing in the cafeteria line, waiting to decide whether I was going with the hamburger or whatever today’s chef’s choice was.  It was there I spotted her, headed toward the faculty dining room.  This was worth losing my spot in line for.

She was our school guidance counselor, and also an experienced English teacher.  She was wise about things I was ignorant of.

She also happened to be my great aunt.

“Aunt Helen!” said I.  “I wanted to ask your advice about something.”

“What’s that,” she replied.

“Well, see, I’m writing a book – a novel – and I wanted to get some advice from you about how to get it published.”

(I should pause here to interpret what “novel” meant.  I probably had about five chapters, about five notebook pages hand-written each, about a tough-guy high school kid who winds up dying for the girl he loves, who happened to have the same name as the girl I was fixated on in the ninth grade.  Anyway…)

Her advice was sage – way wiser than my 14 years.   She didn’t write off my dreams and tell me that 14-year-olds don’t get published as novelists.  She didn’t boggle my mind about query letters, agents or publishing houses either.  She offered me words of encouraging truth. [click to continue…]

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Someone once told Matt he was like the man with the five talents in Jesus’ parable.  He was not limited to just one ability, but was blessed with multiple skills.  It was a bad interpretation of the word “talent,” but Matt appreciated the sincerity of the compliment.  And truth be told, Matt is that kind of guy.  Smart.  Articulate.  Funny if you catch him on the right day.

But lately Matt hasn’t felt like a man with one “talent,” much less five.  The tough economy has him working three different jobs to make ends meet.  And while Matt is good at shooting from the hip, lately he’s been handed a fist full of criticism in just about every area of his life.

“God,” he says, “You’ve picked the wrong guy.  I need you to find somebody else to do this.  Or You fix this.”

“No,” comes the reply from heaven.  “It’s not my job – it’s yours.  It’s not somebody else’s job.  It’s yours.  Now stop trusting yourself.  Stop looking at the problem.  Watch Me. Trust Me.  And do it.”


Teri always referred to John as her rock.  But little did she know how much she really depended on him until the weeks after his sudden death.  [click to continue…]

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Time for full disclosure. 

In the previous post I shared ten false beliefs that lead to shame.  You may have your own variation, and probably do. 

Those are mine.  Every one of those came right out of my journal.

Not that I actually believe them, but they are the lies the enemy hurls or has hurled at me over the years.  And given the right set of circumstances, they can be very persuasive.

Maybe that’s why Jesus revealed Himself as the Truth (John 14:6).  God knew it would take a personal relationship with Truth-as-a-Person to ever set us free from the lies of shame. 

Stop. [click to continue…]

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The 10 False Beliefs of Shame

by Andy Wood on September 22, 2010

in LV Alter-egos, Pleasers

Feeling worthless lately?  Like you’re living under a cloud of futility or failure?  Chances are, it’s because you’re being lied to, and you’re choosing to believe the lie.  Below are ten hidden rules – ten lies – that, when we take them to heart, leave us knee-deep in a life of shame (and shame-based behavior).  They are beliefs, using lies, leading to shame, hopelessness, ineffectiveness, and turmoil.

See how many have seeped into your belief system:

1.  If I do it, I must do it reasonably well.

It doesn’t have to be perfect.  But it certainly should be awesome.

2.  If I do it reasonably well today, I must do it even better tomorrow.

Growth and improvement lead to better performance, which ultimately leads to perfection. [click to continue…]

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(This is a piece I wrote a few years ago after meditating on 1 Corinthians 15:10.  It amazed me how quickly the words came, and it always seems to get a surprising (to me) response.  I recently received a very nice note about it from someone I’ve never met.  Since I’m traveling today, I thought I’d share it with you.  I hope it’s an encouragement.  And, of course, if you are encouraged by it, I would be encouraged if you would encourage somebody else with it by clicking “Share This” below.  Most of all, I hope you can say it’s your testimony, too.)

I am a product of grace.

No measure of performance could ever achieve in a lifetime

what the grace of God performed in an instant.

No failure to perform could erase

what the Spirit of God has completed for all of eternity.

I am a product of grace.

No nod of any human’s approval could compare with the fulfillment, the joy,

the wonder of knowing my Heavenly Father has turned His face toward me.

No amount of mortal rejection can change the fact that my Lord God

has made me accepted in the Beloved.

I am a product of grace.

No sin of the past, no matter how grave,

can resist the transforming power of a Risen Lord.

No future failure can change the fact that I am an heir of God, a joint heir with Jesus Christ.

I am a product of grace.

No situation, no pain, no frustration can rob me of my hope.

No force without or within can deny or change the fact that I am a new creation in Christ –

that every old thing is passed away and everything has become new.

I am a product of grace.

And grace never sleeps.  It never gets tired or weak, old or crippled.

It’s as new as the sunrise, and as powerful today as it was the first Easter.

Grace is my testimony and I its trophy.  There is never a time when grace is not

covering my sin or revealing me as God’s work of art.

I am a product of grace.  And I have a story to tell.

Once I was lost, but now I’m found.


Once I was blind, but now I see.


Once I was afraid, now I am at peace.


I am what I am.  That’s grace.

But I am not yet what I will be.  That, too, is grace.

Oh, how amazing!


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