Elephant Foot

When everything’s urgent and demands attention now…

And everywhere you turn invites stress at best, frustration at worst…

It’s hard to think, much less act, positively.

So remember again how you eat that elephant… [click to continue…]

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AvoidanceImagine you are going into an office that has two points of entry.  Either door leads into the same large area.  It’s during office hours, so you know both doors are unlocked.  The first door you come to is closed.  The second, a little further down the hall, is open.  Which door do you go in?

I actually had that conversation with someone who challenged me.  We were going down the hallway and I passed the first door – the closed one, and walked in through the open door.

“Why did you do that?” Krista asked.

“Do what?”

“You walked past a perfectly good door to go through the second.”

“Because the second one was open,” I said, a little baffled that someone would actually question that.

“But the first one was closer,” Krista said.  Krista was a high school senior, our next door neighbor, and wonderful babysitter.  She was also literally a genius.  We had lots of deep conversations like this back in the day.

Then I blurted out this little gem of wisdom that revealed a lot more than I planned: [click to continue…]


A couple of years ago I played around with the idea that maybe there are spiritual gifts – those unusual abilities that are so beyond-the-natural they had to come from the Holy Spirit – that aren’t mentioned in the Bible. The possibilities included gifts such as the gift of dogs, cough, receiving, and criticism.  You can find the whole list here.   

Good news, friends!  The SGC (that’s Spiritual Gifts Commissary for you uninitiated) has announced a fresh, lively shipment of new models for 2011.  I feel most certain you know at least one person with each of these. And who knows?  Your search for understanding of your own supernatural endowments just may end right here. 

Here in no certain order (except alphabetical), are ten MORE spiritual gifts you won’t find in the Bible… but maybe-just-maybe, when the Spirit (or something) is moving, you’ll see these manifestations: [click to continue…]

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So many random thoughts or snippets of wisdom (or something)… so little time.  Here are seven more ideas that are still in my “oven”.  And if you’re a sucker for these kinds of things, and just can’t get enough from Facebook or Twitter, check this out.  Or maybe this or this.

Not long ago I read about this great procrastination test on the Psychology Today website.  The test helps you target patterns of procrastination, then do something to change them.  I clicked on the link and left it on my browser for a couple of days until I could get to it.  Yes… I procrastinated taking the procrastination test.  Until the browser locked up and I had to restart it… and lost the test.  Ugh.  The good news is, I found it again (thanks, Google).  The bad news is, I’m still procrastinating.  If you’d like to load it up and procrastinate taking it with me, you can find it here. [click to continue…]


BestBuyblackfridayQ. – Dad, why do you wait until Christmas Eve to do your Christmas Shopping?

A. – Because the stores are closed on Christmas Day.

Christmas has its own unique mashup of truth and myths, and every year somebody ultimately brings up both.  I was asked on one occasion what my favorite Christmas myth was.  I’d like to share my reply with you.

My favorite Christmas myth has nothing to do with Nativity scenes, jolly little fat men, or reindeer with nuclear sinus infections.

It has to do with people. [click to continue…]


fox-and-rabbitWhat gets you to mash on the gas?  To run, not walk.  What gets you to turn off the TV, marshal all your forces, or move to the front of the line – even if you, like me, are a procrastinator?

There, I admitted it.  I’m one of those people who dances with deadlines and lives by the motto, “Only do today what you can’t put off until tomorrow.”

But that doesn’t mean I never hurry.  (After all, even the hare hurried when he woke up from his nap and found out he was losing to a tortoise.)

Yesterday I got a kick in the quick.  It wasn’t so much a Jesus-jab in my procrastinating rear end as it was a moment of conviction that really captured my attention.  More on that in a minute.  As a result of God’s little attention-getter, I did some thinking.  I’d like you to do the same:  What do you hurry to do?

My Hurry Points

I found five things that get me to “grab a gear.”  [click to continue…]


Here’s a little exercise we actually take worship service time to practice occasionally.  Follow the instructions carefully (yes, I mean I want you to actually do this):

  • Take a deep breath
  • Let out half of it.
  • Hold
  • Smile
  • Repeat the following out loud, in a calm soothing voice:


Repeat this exercise regularly, just for practice, and as needed in live game situations.

Not, “No because…”

Not, “Maybe later…”

Not, “Let me pray about it…”

Certainly not, “See if you can find somebody else, and if you can’t, I’ll see what I can do.”

Learning to graciously, kindly refuse is one of eight steps to building or rebuilding margin in your life.  Margin has to do with creating gaps – cushions of time, money, energy, or spiritual strength that act as living shock absorbers for those who have them.

Imagine how it could revolutionize your attitude, relationships, productivity, and health if the next time somebody says, “Got a minute?” you actually do! [click to continue…]


This is about a talking doll house.

No, I’m not referring to a cartoon, and no, I don’t need a trip to the you-know-what.  This doll house didn’t come with audible voices.  It was a symbol for about six months – an imposing, silent, unfinished structure that would sit in front of me and remind me of unfinished business.  Here’s the story:

Somewhere around Carrie’s eighth- or ninth-grade year, she became really interested in doll houses and all things miniature.  So we loaded her up one Christmas with the house, furniture, shingles for the roof, and other assorted stuff.  Over time, she lost interest, and needed space in her bedroom for other pursuits.  The unfinished doll house wound up in a room we used as both study/office and a family room of sorts.  It was en route to the attic, but was apparently on the scenic route to get there.

For months the doll house sat there, looking like the result of a tornado that ripped through Dollville.  (Truth is, Joel had knocked it over one day, and just crammed everything back into it.  So the bathtub sat, along with the bed, in the living room near the toilet.)

Children have passing interests that they outgrow; that’s part of living.  What haunted and taunted me was what the doll house didn’t have. [click to continue…]