Why This is the ONE Thing I Feel Called to Share with the World

Why This is the ONE Thing I Feel Called to Share with the World
Photo courtesy ajmac via freeimages.com

Can you narrow your life’s purpose to one simple phrase?

We all have a calling. That thing we can’t help not doing. It draws us. Compels us. It gets us up early in the morning and keeps us awake at night. If we could abandon everything else, we would quit our jobs and dive into it with every ounce of energy we possess.

Calling.

Our Purpose.

God’s will for our lives.

It doesn’t matter what you call it. We are all talking about the same critical concept that affects our future. What is that ONE THING you need to give, share, or create for the world? (By the way, my spell checker wants to me to change the phrase to “in the world.” But we know the difference, don’t we? We are creating something for the world!)

Photo courtesy ajmac via freeimages.com
Photo courtesy ajmac via freeimages.com

I’ve had a pretty good idea of my calling for several years now. I want to write. I want to speak. I want to create resources that help people grow deeper in their faith, love their families better, and discover their purpose. That took me months and years to uncover and form in my own life. But honestly, it is still a little vague. But three weeks ago, I had a break through!

My oldest daughter, Ellie, lives in a different state with her mother and step-dad. (I was married and divorced by the age of 25. We will talk more about that story another time. Or you can learn a little more about it in my free ebook. You can get it here.) Ellie visited with us over spring break, and I was taking her back to meet her mom. It’s a 2.5 hour drive each way, so it gives me plenty of time to myself on the drive back home. I usually listen to music, podcasts, think, and connect with friends. This time, I called my friend, Jason, to share with him some of my thoughts and dreams for Phosphorus. During the conversation, he asked one key question. I instantly knew it was critical.

What is the ONE thing you want to share with the world? What is your mantra, your story, your specific platform?

For years, I had been working towards this goal without realizing it. People would ask me, “What is Phosphorus?” and I wouldn’t have a good answer. I narrowed down my passions to helping people grow in their faith, I love being a family man, and helping people discover their true purpose. I can give my life to these three areas. But that is still pretty wide open. Faith alone is a huge avenue filled with a million different angles and opinions.

Could I narrow it down more? If I were standing in front of an audience for one night and could only share one thing, what would it be? What would I want to leave them with? I couldn’t possibly talk about every aspect of Faith, Family, or how to discover their Purpose. So, given 15 minutes to speak, what would my topic be? (more…)

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The Three Key Roles of Husbands and Fathers

The Three Key Roles of Husbands and Fathers
August 2014 with Baby Sophia

Family first.

I believe it. I love it. I live it. Being a family man is my favorite job. It’s my #1 calling.

Yes, I am driven to create something beautiful in this world. I am an entrepreneur at heart and love to build, move, and progress forward. I want to look back on my life and see the fruits of hard work and dedication.

August 2014 with Baby Sophia
August 2014 with Baby Sophia

But investing in those closest to me, my family, stands head and shoulders above all else. I refuse to sacrifice my family on the altar of my career, my portfolio, my influence, or even my ministry. I hope to succeed in each of these areas, but my family will not be left behind.

The Foundation

Before we dive in, the three roles require some explanation. Each of the three words used to describe the roles can be twisted. While I truly believe these three areas are important for every Christian husband and father, I know of many men who have distorted these words for their own purposes.

Actually, it is so important that we don’t use these three words in the wrong way that I want to give a quick foundation that should be the basis of all biblical masculinity. (Taken out of context, these three words have been used for all sorts of verbal and physical abuse. That is why this is so important. Every good thing has the potential for darkness. My worst fear would be that my words, which are meant to encourage, would be twisted for evil.)

The foundation of biblical masculinity is humility. (more…)

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8 Provoking Thoughts on 8 Years of Marriage

These eight lessons have helped me develop the strongest relationship of my life

Earlier this week, my wife, Kristen, and I celebrated eight years of marriage! It was exciting to look back over the time we have been together and see how we have grown. It’s crazy because we have experienced a LOT of life in those eight years.Kristen on our wedding day

It was only nine months from the time we met until we were married. Yes, you read that right. And no, the nine months didn’t mean anything. But, we did get pregnant about six months after our wedding! That was NOT a part of the plan. Also, in that first year of marriage, my dad died unexpectedly. Over the next two years, that entire side of my family disowned me, my mom, and my sister. Kristen and I have moved four times, and we are moving again in a month. This is just a taste of our years together. Yet, through it all, we have only grown closer. This is a big deal. Many relationships crumble under this amount of stress, anxiety and change. So, what is the secret?
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Sometimes (God’s) Love Hurts

Sometimes (God’s) Love Hurts
Photo Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/57583311@N07/8217695324/">gulfman1</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

Deep down, we live with this belief that love will give us everything that we want. It will fulfill us and tell us what we want to hear. Love will guide us to positive emotions and mornings filled with perfect cups of coffee and heart shaped pancakes. Love…

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The Three Phases of Life That Will Help You Take Control of Your Future

Our culture has a “busyness” problem. I would even call it an epidemic! There are not enough hours in the day, yet our schedules keep filling up with items that stretch us thinner and thinner. It doesn’t take long before you snap! But is there anything we can do about it? I believe there is.

There are some great resources out there on how to best use your time. I have used many of these in the past. You could:

  1. Use a timer to help you stay focused.
  2. Create a “stop doing” list.
  3. Get up an hour earlier each morning.

These are great tools, and I have tried them all. But sometimes they still don’t work. Why? Because I can’t even figure out where to begin!

As crazy as that sounds, I bet you have had the same problem. It should be easy, right? The more tasks we have to accomplish, the more options we have to begin with. But the opposite is true. We get overwhelmed and end up spinning our wheels working on a little bit of everything.

Hands down, the MOST frustrated I feel is when I am busy the entire day, but HAVE ALMOST NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT! As you can tell from my serious ALL CAPS, it makes me want to scream. I would rather have a day doing nothing because at least I would have gotten some rest.

But there is hope! (more…)

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6 Questions to prepare for 2015 that I learned from Ken Coleman and Dave Ramsey’s Entreleadership podcast

6 Questions to prepare for 2015 that I learned from Ken Coleman and Dave Ramsey’s Entreleadership podcast
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/7869472@N03/1425485329/">MyHandboundBooks</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147">cc</a>

It’s that time, again! Another year is coming to a close and 2015 is fast approaching. Time for your New Year’s resolution! Ugh.

Do resolutions ever work? NO! In fact, studies say that 25% of people ditch their New Year’s resolution after the first week! After three months, that percentage more than doubles. That’s over half of all people who want to change something in 2015, but won’t. But there are options!

MyHandboundBooks via Compfight cc
MyHandboundBooks via Compfight cc

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What do you do when you see injustice or abuse right in front of you?

What do you do when you see injustice or abuse right in front of you?
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/82763263@N00/4600671702/">B Rosen</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">cc</a>

Sadly, we see it all the time. It’s on the news. Public service announcements. Advertisements for charities. Abuse and injustice is so widespread in our world, it is overwhelming. Almost numbing because we don’t know what to do, how to help, or if our small action would even make a difference. I have seen it overseas in Uganda. My sister is faced with it every day in South Africa. But what about when it isn’t on the news? What about when it isn’t in a foreign land? What do we do when it is staring us right in the face?

This happened to me just a few days ago…

B Rosen via Compfight cc
B Rosen via Compfight cc

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The Most Powerful Weapon for Making Positive Change in Your Life

The Most Powerful Weapon for Making Positive Change in Your Life
Photo Credit: Mattox via Freeimages.com

Each of us has an area of life that we are wanting to improve. You already know the one I am talking about. It immediately came to your mind- that “thing” you just can’t shake. It’s like an itch you can’t seem to scratch. You’ve tried over and over, but so far, it’s mostly been met with disappointment. But what if there were something that helped us to finally find success in this area? I believe there is!

I was inspired this morning by my son as he was getting ready for school. He’s in kindergarten, so he is can get himself dressed for the most part. But he always needs a little help with something. This morning, it was his shoes. (Hey, some days are just easier than others!) After I took out yesterday’s double-knot, I handed Noah his shoe and said, “This one goes on your left foot.” He thought for a second, and then reported out loud, “This is my left foot.” Then he paused, looked up at me, and said, “Right and left are hard!”

That one simple statement hit me. Yeah, for a 6 year old, right and left can be hard at times. But I bet everyone that reads this has no problem with right and left. If you were getting directions, and someone told you to “hang a right”, you wouldn’t have to think about which way to turn. As for Noah, the more he works on his right and left, the more it will become second nature. (more…)

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The #1 Reason I Still Have Hope for the Church (and it’s #1 problem, too)

The #1 Reason I Still Have Hope for the Church (and it’s #1 problem, too)
Photo by @dinsdale courtesy of freeimages.com

There’s a lot of talk about the church these days. Sadly, most of it is pretty bad. Our culture is changing faster than ever, and many people are having major doubts about whether or not a 2,000 year old institution can keep up. According to the Barna Group, nearly one-third of Millennials that grew up in the church have walked away at some point, church attendance has been declining for a decade, and the mantra of young Christians is quickly becoming, “I love Jesus, but not the Church.”

Photo by @dinsdale courtesy of freeimages.com
Photo by @dinsdale courtesy of freeimages.com

I get it. I really do. I have struggled with some of these very thoughts. The Church is broken and wounded. In some areas, it is on full-blown life support. The church is seen as uncaring, unloving, judgmental, and hypocritical. Not the best report card.

Yet, in spite of all of this, I have hope for the Church!

“The local church is the hope of the world!” -Bill Hybels, founding pastor of Willowcreek Community Church

(more…)

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You Don’t Have to be Rich or Famous to be Interesting

You Don’t Have to be Rich or Famous to be Interesting
Photo courtesy diamondjoy (freeimages.com)

You don’t even have to drink Dos Equis.

Vanilla is great in ice cream, not in life.

My wife, Kristen, and I have an ongoing argument that involves ice cream. This argument goes beyond “What is the best flavor?” It drills down to the very heart of the matter… the ice cream base. She loves just about any flavor that begins with chocolate. Even her Dairy Queen Blizzards have to be made with chocolate. Having chocolate simply in the ice cream is never enough. It must be made with chocolate ice cream to begin with. Me on the other hand, I love all things vanilla. Cookies and Cream? Yes. Cookie Dough? Yes! Butter Pecan? For the love of God, yes!

Photo courtesy diamondjoy (freeimages.com)
Photo courtesy diamondjoy (freeimages.com)

But… As great as it is in ice cream, vanilla kind of sucks in real life.

No one wants to be just “vanilla”. Even in the ice cream world, I rarely choose plain vanilla, unless I have some warm peach cobbler to put it on! (Can you tell it’s almost lunch time!)

Vanilla equals plain.

Average.

Mediocre.

Vanilla means anything but INTERESTING! (more…)

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