I was talking to a friend recently. He’s at something of a crossroads. Ready to move forward, but stuck where he is. Wanting something different, but not sure how to define it. Caught somewhere between disappointment and desire, he hears the lament of the Grouse.

That’s a voice I’m all-too-familiar with. And I suspect you’d say the same thing. When I hear the Grouse speaking, the voice sounds exactly like mine. And when you hear its moody whine, it sounds like yours.

The Grouse often sounds logical. Sometimes fearful. Sometimes it takes on a protective, caring tone; at other times it mocks you. Sometimes it whispers, sometimes it sings. And sometimes it screams like a spoiled child.

Crazy thing is, nobody can hear the Grouse but you. But it’s as real as Minnesota snow in January.

The Grouse is an internal voice that stays quiet so long as we play it “safe,” and never attempt to change anything. But let a man dare to dream in the wake of big disappointments, and out comes the Grouse. Let a woman turn her wishful thinking into bold action, and the Grouse will start sounding the alarm.

The goal of the Grouse is to get you to do nothing. Stay comfortable. Don’t offend anybody. Avoid disappointment at all cost. Don’t embarrass yourself or make anybody else uncomfortable either.

Just. Don’t. Change. [click to continue…]

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Made an amazing discovery the other day.

Did you know that not everybody is filled with joy when you decide to step out in faith, or take your relationship with God seriously?

Did you notice that the whole world seems to push back when you decide to make a major change for the good in your life?

That spiritual excellence irritates religious people?

That our slip-ups, foul-ups, and whassups are nothing new – we’re even creatures of habit with the devil?

That your biggest enemy is often yourself?

Opposition (pause here to sigh).  Come on, Lord!  Why can’t something be easy?

Truth is, some things are.  [click to continue…]

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runner-painI went to the Fred Flintstone School of Golf.  Simple philosophy:  when in doubt, hit the ball really hard.  When not in doubt, hit the ball really hard.

Maybe you’ve heard that old saying about golf – “You drive for show, and putt for dough.”  Suffice it to say, I’ve never made any money hitting a ball in a hole with a stick.  I have, however, put on a show or two by hitting a ball off a stick.

All of that is fine and fun, so long as you’re dealing with woods and wedges.  Life, however, is a different story.  A mere proverb in the Gentleman’s Game is brutal reality in the real world:

It’s not how you drive, but how you arrive.

Not how you start, but how you finish.  Magilla Gorilla and Fred Flintstone need not apply.

Life is filled with real and proverbial stories of people who started well, but finished poorly.  Rather than leaving a heritage, with inspiring and ennobling footsteps to follow, their names and stories are relegated to footnotes and questions that begin with, “Whatever happened to…”?

It’s up to you.  Will you be a driver, or an arriver?  I must warn you, if you decide to go the distance, the deck is stacked against you.  This is a marathon, not a dash, and you’re surrounded by gloriously mediocre runners and a grandstand full of fat critics.  But you do have a Coach – the Lord Jesus, Author and Finisher of your faith. Under His direction, you’ll learn to identify these six fool makers and finish breakers: [click to continue…]

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