The Secret

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” the Apostle Paul – Philippians 4:12

Ask me what I want for Christmas, and I’ll respond with the same answer I give my wife and my children: “Nothing. I have all I need.” While not very helpful, and likely a tad annoying with Black Friday just days away, it’s absolutely true.

Daily reminder in our kitchen.

My heart’s desire is to be grateful and content in all circumstances. While I fall short more often than I’d like to admit, when contentment is at my core, freedom and generosity rule the day.

When you and I learn and live out the “secret of being content”, grateful at all times, everything looks different:

  • Health concerns are real, but not defeating.
  • Job security/fulfillment doesn’t dictate joy.
  • Financial goals become rightly ordered.
  • The welfare of others trumps our own. Every. Single. Day.

May this Thanksgiving set the tone for a life of contentment, peace and joy. (139 words)

VIDEO CLIP “It’s Just a Foot”: Charlie’s perspective is one I’d like to have and be known for…give it a quick view.

If you don’t see the video player, click HERE to view.

Why “Looking Back” is Trending

While all alone the other night, I had the option of watching football, hockey, the news or any number of my fav cooking shows.

Instead, I watched a cartoon. Why would a 50 year old do such a thing?

Because, I’m tired.

Though I’m a forward thinker and embrace change of all kinds, I sometimes find myself needing something familiar.

I believe it’s a key reason why pictures and memories of “days gone by” are so popular on social media today, including 250 million photos tagged with “ThrowbackThursday” or “tbt” hashtags on Instagram alone.

With so many unknowns in our life (insert Ebola scares, the economy, political landscape, health issues, job security, relationship navigation, etc.), we’ve grown to long for the expected. It requires no thinking, no adjusting, no surprises…just familiarity.

Delight in your future, but make time to relax in your past.

Your mind and heart will thank you for it. Happy Halloween! (140 words)

Is It Just Me? Am I just getting old, or do you notice your mind needing a rest? (I sure hope it’s the latter)

To Try: Establish holiday traditions that give you familiarity and comfort. Browse through your photo albums and take your time telling stories about the pictures with family or friends. Watch an old sitcom from your youth and try explaining to your kids why it was funny back then.

Here Goes Nothing

True story…

Church Elder (via phone): Hi, Pastor, how are you?

Pastor: Good, thanks.

Elder: Say, we’re launching a new prayer ministry Thursday night, and would love for you to join us. What do you have going on that evening?

Pastor: Nothing, actually.

Elder: Great! So, we’ll see you around 6:45 pm at church, then?

Pastor: Nope.

Elder: Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you said you were doing nothing that night.

Pastor: You’re right, and that’s what I plan on doing that night…nothing.

Elder: Humph. (click)

Your busy lifestyle and schedule does not impress anyone or cause others to feel sorry for you. Stop responding to “How are you doing?” with, “Good, but busy.” Everyone’s busy.

What we need out of you is a rested mind, body and soul so you can be at your best when called upon.

Schedule NOTHING on your calendar today.

*I may or may not have been that pastor. (136 words)

My First Jr. High Dance

I’m now a World Cup soccer fan, all because of a girl named Sue.

In 1977, my friends and I had barricaded ourselves in a booth near the dance floor at the Holy Rosary Catholic School (pictured), site of our first Junior High dance. Sue approached our booth, grabbed my arm and yanked me onto the gym floor under the streamers and mirror ball.

I remember two things: 1) Andy Gibb singing, “I Just Want To Be Your Everything”, and 2) I enjoyed dancing!

I danced 21 times with 18 different girls that night.

Interestingly…

  • I loathed running, until I tried it.
  • I hated avocados, until I tasted guacamole. (recipe below)
  • I mocked Country music, until I listened to it.
  • I was scared of girls, until I dated one.
  • I despised soccer, until I finally watched it.

Certainty can limit you. Try stuff. (140 words)

Bonus: Andy in action (add screaming girls here)

Double Bonus: My Wife’s Guacamole Recipe

Total Time: 10 min

Prep: 10 min

Yield: 3 cups

Level: Easy

Next Recipe

Ingredients

4 ripe Hass avocados

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (1 lime)

1/2 cup small-diced sweet onion (1 small onion)

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced

Directions

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl (cube). Immediately add the lime juice, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.

Eat as a dip with chips.

Causing Fiction

I like keeping it real, especially when it comes to my reading material. However, I would like to escape the information overload this  summer, so I’m leaning on you for some suggestions. I rarely (ok, never) read fictional books, and not sure where to start.

My nose is currently in these non-fiction gems:

The Mrs. says “50 Shades of Grey” is not an option. Buzzkill.

Reply below with your favs and spread the literary love! (91 words)