Thursday, March 29, 2012


If I said to you, “You are a winner.” how would you respond?  What would you feel inside?  What would you say that only you hear inside?

What trigger words would make a difference for you?
What words would you love to hear said to you about you?

Words abound in our lives.  The average man speaks over 7000 words every day and the average woman over 20,000.  That is staggering.

What about the “could be” words that we hear and read, words that speak to our nature, our soul, and our inner core?  What words have the potential of making a difference in your life, your mind and heart?

Ah, that is the heart of what I’m talking about. 

If I could speak Words of Could Be to you, here is what I would say:

-You are a great possibility in progress.

   -You have the potential to do whatever you desire.

      -Your future awaits you.  Move toward it with confidence?

         -You are SOMEBODY.

         -You are special.

       -You are important to God.

    -You have a touch of divinity inside of you.

-I see a spark in you that I find magical.

-You are never too old, too poor, too feeble,
   too clumsy, too uncoordinated,
   too ugly, to matter.

It all boils down to your response to and your belief in the words spoken to you.

But you have to believe in the words spoken. 

Do you believe?
Do you see yourself as worthy of a good word?

Today’s thoughts have no ready answers.  I don’t have a three-step program that needs to be followed in order to become accepting of wholesome and positive words.

But I would encourage you to read some good books.  Listen to some good and knowledgeable speakers.  Find mentors and learned men and women who are trustworthy, and have a spirit of helpfulness about them.  The last thing you need is another sermon, another put-down, or another negative comment telling you what is wrong with you. 

You DO need a good dose of up-words, words that are positive in nature and nurturing to your soul.  You need some source that will lift you up. 

There is an abundance of material available.  Seek it out.  Read and listen.  Take what applies to your life.

And above all

Above all believe in your own goodness, and your own self-worth. 

Believe that you are a POSSIBILITY IN THE MAKING.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I recently read about a man named Maxcy Filer who wanted to be an attorney so badly that he took the bar exam forty-eight times. 

Forty-Eight Times!!!


He spent $50,000 in testing fees and 144 days in testing rooms.

Guess what. 

He persevered and he passed.

He proved that hard is not hopeless.

Gen. David Petraeus used this quote in 2010 before Congress when describing the conditions he found in Iraq.  He said:    

Wilma Rudolph was nothing but a wanna-be small black girl in the late forties.  She saw other girls running and jumping and she longed to join them, but she wore heavy braces on her legs.

Against her Mother’s orders, she began taking her braces off around the house and learned to walk without them.  It hurt … a lot.  She suffered some of the worst pain of her life, but she persisted.

And her leg muscles gained strength.

Soon she was able to walk, and leap, and run.

In time she tried out for sports and was noticed for her quick speed.  She was invited to train for the Tennessee Tiger Bells track team, and in 1956 she won a spot on the US Summer Olympics track team.  She won a bronze medal that year, however, that was not good enough for Wilma.  She vowed that she would do better next time.

When the 1960 Olympics came along, Wilma found herself standing on the winner’s podium in Rome receiving three gold medals.

Here was a young lady who came from a small town, wearing braces, with crooked legs, and facing a life of despair and limitations.

But she overcame.

Was it difficult? 
Was it painful? 
Was she looked down upon? 
Did she want to give up?


-But she didn’t give up.
-She endured the pain.
-She fought every inch of the way.

Life was hard for Wilma.  But it wasn’t hopeless.

She faced the obstacles and WON!

What do you face?

I have a new friend named Chad Hymas.  Eleven years ago a one-ton bale of hay fell on him, paralyzing him from the chest down and leaving him with very limited use of his arms and hands.  The days and months after Chad’s accident left him wondering and questioning.  He was in a hard spot in life.  But he soon learned, as many of us do, that hard is not hopeless.

I’m reading his book “Doing What Must Be Done” and I’ll be blogging about it soon.  Buy it at Lifelines Book Stop.  Click here to order your copy of "Doing What Must Be Done" Now!

Chad has since become one of the top motivational and inspirational speakers in America.  He is a much-sought-after speaker inspiring thousands of people every year.

What are you finding that is hard in your life at the moment? 

A job that is less than wonderful?
A boss that is the ogre of the year?
A spouse who is the poster child for “Loser’s Anonymous”?

Life can sometimes be hard.

But hard is not hopeless. 

The question is always this:  “What else am I willing to do to conquer this opportunity that I’ve been handed?
Are we willing to hold onto hope regardless ?

<>Sometimes we stop three feet from the finish line.
<>Three feet from finding gold.

There is an abundance of information available to us today through libraries, colleges and universities and the internet.  Work your network.  Do your part as only you can do, and then talk to people with more experience and more expertise than you, and ask for help.


From God
From friends.

Take heart, my friend.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Has Love Let You Go?

Has Love Let You Go?
Have you ever had a love that let you down?  I mean it just flat ran out the door and left you stranded?

I hope not, yet I live in this world as do you, and deal with people of the human kind and I know how we humans can be sometimes. 

But the love I’m talking about is of a different stripe.  I have a video I want you to watch at the end of this blog, so stay tuned.

Remember Mary Magdalene in the Bible?  Some historians say that she was a prostitute, a hooker, a street walker, but when she encountered the Christ, Mary experienced a whole new dimension of love.  It was a love that accepted and forgave her.  She wasn’t judged.  She was loved with a God kind of love.

After she washed Christ’s feet with some expensive perfume and dried them with her hair, He simply said “Go and sin no more.” 

Christ didn’t judge her.  He didn’t lecture her.  He didn’t put her down.  He didn’t call her names. 

He loved her.  He simply said, “Go, change your ways.”

This was a love that would not let her go.

Remember a story in the New Testament about a man named Zacchaeus?  He was a tax collector, a despised one in his day.  No one wanted anything to do with him.  He was looked down upon, and not just because he was short of stature.  He was a low life.  And he was cut off from social life because of his profession.

Yet when Christ walked by and saw Zacchaeus sitting out on a limb of the Sycamore tree, He invited himself to Zacchaeus’ house for dinner.  Christ actually wanted to spend time with him.  Zacchaeus was shown love that day, and it changed his life.  It was a love that would not let Zacchaeus go.

Remember the story of the Prodigal Son?  He asked for and received his inheritance early so he could go out and live a life of reckless abandonment.  He sought a life of wine, women and song, and he got all he asked for.

He basically said to his dad, “I want my money now, which means to me you are as good as dead.”

He took the money and ran.  He fulfilled every physical pleasure he could, and then it all ended. 

He ran out... 
He ran out of money.
He ran out of friends.

But mostly he ran into himself.  He realized what a sorry state he was in, and he did what everyone should do in that case.  He came home to his senses and to his Father, who still loved him.

Remember how the story ends?  “And when he was a long way off the Father had compassion for him, and ran to him, threw his arms around him and ordered the best robe, the best food.”

The father loved him. 
The father welcomed him home. 
The father treated him as a cherished child. 

The Father’s love never let go, never lost its grip, even though the son rebelled and wandered far from the embrace of the Father.

What a picture of God.

God’s love is continually reaching out to us.  It is a love that will not let us go.  It is a love that constantly says, “Come home to Papa.  Come to Abba.” 

That, my friend, is a love that will never let go.

Now, watch this 4:40 video.  Wear headphones to hear all of the nuances and musical colors. 

And remember to revel in the Love of the Divine!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Great Loss

Last Saturday twenty-five of us gathered on the pier in Edmonds on the Puget Sound for the sprinkling of the ashes of my neighbor.  Carolyn and I were more than speaking acquaintances with Rick.  We engaged in conversations, and Carolyn would occasionally take him some fresh peaches from the market.  For the past two years he allowed us to use his parking space on top in exchange for our garage down below. 

Though his death is painful for his kids and close friends, I wonder at the greater void that was lost with Rick’s passing.

Steve Jobs died recently.  He and his team of innovators gave us the Apple computer, iPhone, iPad, iPod and so many other life-enhancing products.  We have to wonder at what else his fertile mind could have brought us had he lived another twenty years.

Here’s the point.  John Maxwell and Les Parrot made this comment in their book 25 Ways to Win with People

“Death is not the greatest loss.
The greatest loss is what dies
inside of us while we live.”

There are still:
  Books to write
    Blogs to post
      Songs to compose
        Poems to rhyme
          Children to teach
          Spouses to love
        Sermons to prepare
      Houses to build
    Lives to live
  Speeches to deliver

And on – and on – and on!

Actually, the point is already made. 


The BIG questions we need to ask are these:
-Am I afraid of my dreams?
-How seriously do I desire whatever it is I desire?
-What if I fail?  So what?
-Do I have a plan for launching my dream?

Or maybe you’ve said, “Before my life is over, I want to try my hand at ______.”

When we come to the end of our days may we be able to say …
“I wrung the towel dry.”
“I got my music out.”
“I brought my dreams to the light of day.”

And then …

And then, when we do come to our earthly end, we will be able to look back over the landscape and know that we have lived life well – very well indeed.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sometimes Ice Skaters Fall Down

When I was a kid, roller skating was something that seemed to come naturally to me.  My first skates were the old clamp-on kind.

And then I tried my luck at ice skating while living in Albuquerque. 

It was not a pretty sight.  I spent more time on my bottom than on my feet.

You see, sometimes ice skaters fall down. 

Peggy Fleming and Michelle Kwan are two ladies who epitomize grace and beauty on ice skates.  They each glide across the ice with ease and do their flips and spins and twirls with the greatest of ease.  They are such a joy to watch perform! 


However, both ladies have fallen down on the ice. 

It’s not a matter of how many times we fall down, on the ice, at a particular job, in piano practice or singing a solo.  The telling difference is that we get back up and keep going. 

During my music ministry days we would feature a small child either singing or playing during our Sunday night church time.  Cheryl was one of the kids I featured regularly and it seems that every time she would get up on stage she would make a mistake and have to start over, sometimes two and three times. 

I was encouraged to stop using her, but continued, knowing she was in front of people who loved her and supported her and we would look past the temporary blunders to participate in the musical development of this young performer.

Years later, she came up to me at a church reunion and profusely thanked me for the faith I had shown in her during those maturing moments and how she used those fumbles and stumbles and was singing professionally and having a marvelous musical career. 

What a moment.

Sometimes we fall down.  Sometimes we sing flat.  Sometimes we make a wrong judgment call.  If we are attempting anything of worth we will make mistakes. 

Ah, but what do we do with those mistakes? 

“We pick ourselves up
Dust ourselves off
And start all over again.”

Let me close with this:
There once was a small boy who was given a pair of ice skates for Christmas.  He was eager to use his skates so his mother took him to the nearby pond.

It seems he fell more times than he successfully skated around the pond and his mother was fearful for his safety and kept encouraging him to stop before he hurt himself.

His response:  “Mom, I didn’t get these skates to give up with.  I got them to skate with.”

What determination. 

What a marvelous attitude.

Sure, we will fall down, we will miss the mark, and we will make a miscue or two.  But we get back up.  We keep trying.  We keep going. 

We have sticking power. 

We get back up and we start all over again.