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.

A Star Wasn’t Born

My Hollywood acting debut hit the big screen nearly ten years ago today as Walt Disney’s Mr. 3000 opened up in theaters nationwide.

 Sitting with my wife and boys in that small theater, my heart was pounding. I wondered, “Will people around me recognize that I’m in the film?” “Will this lead to other acting opportunities?” “Will I be able to drink this mega-soda without a poorly timed potty break?”

Nope. Nope. Aaaand, nope.

The director clearly defined my role from day one, “Your job is to allow Bernie Mac to shine. He’s the star. Less of you, more of him. Less of you, more of him.”

Job well done, I guess.  (If you pause the DVR and squint, you’ll see me from time to time. Rats.)

True leadership occurs, not while being IN the spotlight, but by HOLDING the spotlight.

Who are you “leading” today? Shine on, my friends, shine on! (137 words)

EXTRA: I enjoyed my time with Bernie and liked the movie. You can get a glimpse of the story via the trailer. If you don’t see the trailer below, click HERE



That Thing You Do

You amaze me. What you do for a living, for work, is something I’m quite certain I couldn’t.

Our trash collector, Donny, wakes up each day and does his thing. If I was a garbage man, I’d live in San Diego. He battles the snow, rain, and bad drivers while smiling. Seriously.

 Redd cuts our trees. He’s half monkey, I swear. Hard, sweaty, dangerous work. He loves what he does and is grateful for the opportunity.

Those reading this today are financial planners, insurance agents, stay at home moms, teachers, musicians, construction dudes, factory workers, truckers, pet groomers, realtors, fry cooks, environmental educators, health professionals, telemarketers, farmers, territory managers, administrative types, counselors, day-care providers, plumbers and more.

On this day, I raise my glass to you and say, “I need you to do what you do. Thanks for making life work.” (140 words)

From This Day Forward

 I, Brent, take you Becky, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part. (06/13/1987)

On that warm, June day, I wanted my girl to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I was “all in”. Our vows didn’t include an escape clause.

And, neither does gratitude.

Those who are thankful when life goes their way are a dime a dozen. Grateful people, on the other hand, stand out like sore thumbs. They speak of good times and challenging times in the same breath to describe their journey, and how “for worse”, “for poorer” and “in sickness” have helped them grow and appreciate all that life brings.

Are you blending in or sticking out when it comes to a heart of gratitude?

As with marriage, business ventures, friendships, family relations, employment and leadership…if you’re not all in, you’re missing out. May your heart be full of gratitude, in all times, from this day forward. (140 words)

Action Step: Becky wanted to hang a word from our fireplace mantle that would serve as a daily reminder of what our lives should portray. After a few days of pondering, we both came to the same conclusion, (after my choices of “Lingerie” and “ESPN” were soundly defeated), we want to live and be known as people of gratitude.

So, we turned our weekly, Friday “Date Night” into “Craft Night”, and this now graces our mantle, not just for this season, but for life.

Stealing Thanksgiving

As of this posting, Christmas is only 46 days away. Don’t believe me? Click HERE!

Anxiety starts setting in for many folks as they hear of others already buying Christmas presents and advertisements pleading, “Don’t wait ’til the last minute…your son doesn’t want tube socks, again, this year.”

To preserve the richness of Thanksgiving, maintain our sanity, and focus on the real meaning of Christmas (insert “Jesus”), we adopted a gift giving policy in our home that has worked well and relieved stress for many years.

Each person receives four presents:

  • Something to Read (e.g. novel, magazine subscription, devotional)
  • Something to Wear (e.g. sports cap, gloves, ugly sweater)
  • Something to Eat (e.g. favorite candy, beef jerky, bucket o’ cookies)
  • Something to Do (e.g. sled, board game, soccer ball)

It is always enough, and there’s a unique peace and comfort, for both giver and receiver, of knowing what will be under the tree.

May gratitude overwhelm your stress this holiday season. (135 words)

Your Story: Do you need to simplify and regain control of the holidays? What ideas/strategies do you implement so you don’t long for Jan. 2nd? Comment HERE!

*This video might help realign your Christmas list priorities. Or, just make you smile.

(if you don’t see the video player, click this link HERE)