Don’t Questions Drive You Crazy?

Sadly, our world has learned to answer almost everything with a question.

In my (too) many years in cooperate life, I can’t begin to tell you how many times during seminar after seminar, I was taught to NOT answer a question directly. Instead, the “rule of thumb” was to answer a question with a question. We all experience it every day; What makes you think that?”, “What does that mean to you?” or the obligatory “Why do you ask?”. Perfectly crafted responses to open the conversation up by not being answerable by a simple yes or no. More importantly, purposely asked to give time to gather thoughts for the unavoidable response. Is that manipulation or just smart? How does that make you feel?


Eventually, it seems that the practice of “question everything” seeps into our sub-conscience thinking and we question every step and action of our life.

If you’re like me, all the questions spinning around in my head are perplexing. So much so, it seems that my thought process is more akin to a Sherlock Holmes mystery, than a straightforward path through life. If life is truly the culmination of all of choices made in life. Aren’t the decisions made everyday extremely important and impactful? Yes!

One of my favorite lessons during my corporate years was when I learned that the people who ran businesses were sometimes driven by a separate set of rules. In my experience, the bulk of people working in middle-management of those corporations were motivated by similar things. Make ME look good, make MY job easier or make ME more money. The leaders, or at least the successful ones, were motivated to “reduce costs” and “streamline efficiencies”. On the surface, both practices seem cold and calculated. Ultimately, they were all about the people working for the corporation. Two simple practices that would grow the company, providing better wages, more jobs and improving the lives or their employees.

I oft watched as the CEO’s, Presidents and leaders, of some very large corporations, concentrated on only those two questions for anything that would cross their desk. Simultaneously, the throngs of their middle-managers scurried around asking question after question, thinking they were in control, and ALL powerful. So many times, I would hear the leaders ask, “Why can’t my team get focused?”. Through it all I learned that questions can be necessary, and often a requirement for understanding. However, for the most part, too many (vague) questions create chaos and confusion. Thankfully, I was blessed to work with several very decisive leaders that were not bogged down by questions.

Think of being decisive in your life. Why do you think most of us aren’t very decisive? Oh, there I go again with the questions…

Basically, I believe it is very similar to those leaders and their managers. Most middle-managers I’ve had the pleasure to work with were SO busy, their world was a whirlwind. Being busy made them feel like they were accomplishing a lot. It always seemed to me that their entire corporate life was to create more questions. If you ponder that thought, you’ll quickly see that it was all about SELF preservation.

On the other hand, the successful CEO’s, Presidents and leaders that I knew, were pretty laid back, calm and stress free. Their days were filled with questions as well. Albeit, truly impactful. Each response carried the weight of responsibility for the lives and well being of thousands. So how could those leaders maintain that laid back, calm and stress-free lifestyle? Focus.

Having presented a lot of questions to these leaders, I soon saw a trend. For every query, they would simply distill their decisions down to the two simple questions. Will this “reduce costs” or “streamline efficiencies”? If the answer was no. The consideration was over. If the answer to either question was yes. The answer of how they would accomplish one of the two points would light the path for the next steps.

Recently, my wife and I have been faced with some major life changing decisions. Something, quite frankly, we haven’t experienced for a while. The choices we make will impact others, and will set new paths in our lives. Like any major decision in life, all the questions pop up, one after another. Most are about the unknown. “What if… This and That?” Uncertainty of the future can be daunting.

We both have been taking our concerns to God through prayer. Practically non-stop. This morning, I woke up before the sunrise, tossing and turning. Waking up, there was a single word burned into my morning consciousness. Something I have come to know as God’s answer to prayer. The word? “Puzzled?”.

There I was, no Sunshine breaking through, toasty under my covers, on a brisk 40°+ morning. I really didn’t want to get out of bed. Yet, all I could think about was PUZZLED? Sleep was just not happening. At the same time, there was a song running through my head that I couldn’t stop. Usually, I can hit the “next” button on the playlist in my head and change songs instantly. Not today!

Then, understanding that God does have a sense of humor, I started thinking how much this was like a frigid Iowa School day, when Mom would work to roust me out of bed. There I was anticipating the “Divine Chuckle” that usually accompanied the prodding for me to get up. Then it hit me. The word and the Song! “Puzzled?” followed by the name of the song… “Love is the Answer”. “Ha! You’re funny” I acclaimed as I reluctantly rolled out of bed and found my keyboard.

I had my focus. Just like those CEO’s and leaders, God gave me the focus to distill all the questions that my wife and I were facing.

As every question pops up, the answer needs to either proclaim our love for God. Or, spread God’s love to others. Simple. Every question that can’t be resolved through Love, are no longer considered. Hallelujah!

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” -2 Timothy 1:7

Puzzled + Love = Answers

“Love is the Answer” by Rumor

Carry On ‘Til Tomorrow…

“In the confrontation between the Stream and the Rock, the Stream ALWAYS Wins… Not through strength, but through Persistence.” -H. Jackson Brown Jr.

In this frenzied world, I often get the impression most of us wish life was effortless. If only we could accomplish all our dreams. Without problems, barriers and disappointment. Really? Think how boring that would be.


Making it through all the problems and barriers thrown at us while persevering, fortifies us with a deep sense of accomplishment. At the same time, it builds our character, and prepares us for more barriers and tough times.

So, the next time you are overwhelmed with trouble or hard times, be thankful, and know that you are getting stronger!

Think of how our bodies were created to deal with stress and injury. The first time you grab a shovel and head to the backyard for some Gardening. Typically, what is the first thing that happens? Blisters! Just saying the word brings pain. You work hard all day long to provide some food or beauty, and what’s the result? Your hands and knees are covered in those bubbles just under your skin. If one pops, you know the pain that follows. In addition to the blisters, the muscle throughout your body feels like you just finished a game of Football, and you were the Football.


You’ve changed your routine and started using your hands and body for physical labor. Your body is simply protecting you from doing major damage. While your blisters and muscle slow you down for healing, your body is recreating itself to endure your new activities in the Garden. God didn’t promise that there would never be pain. Instead, God designed our bodies to become what we need them to be, to handle the task at hand. The circumstances of our lives are no different. Sure, there are times when we feel like we can’t take one more step; that there is no clear path to a good ending. Like the blisters, it hurts. Sometimes the pain feels unbearable.

God knows your pain. Like any loving Father, He would do anything to eliminate your agony. Akin to how our body uses pain to slow us down while it recreates stronger, more resilient, skin and muscle. So too has God created us to become stronger and more resistant through tough times.

Story after story in the Bible depicts how the weakest were favored, blessed and honed by God. Often through extreme trials. At the end, all were given everything they needed to persevere.

Reading the plight of the Israelites during their four hundred, thirty years as slaves to the Egyptians. I oft wondered, how could that be? After all these were Gods Chosen People. Imagine, an entire culture enslaved as “sub-human”, manual labors for over four hundred years. Every dirty, sweaty, job too lowly for the oppressors, forced on the Israelites. Was God punishing them?

Understanding how God created our bodies to get stronger in adversity, it follows that the same regeneration was happening to the Israelites. After over four hundred years of toil and hard work, what shape do you think the Israelites were in? I’m confident that they weren’t starving, as that would not serve their master’s needs. Four hundred years of getting stronger every day, physically and spiritually. Is it no wonder that they became conquerors? Just as God will provide What you need, When you need it, He refined the Israelites, body and soul for the mission ahead. The vision of scraggly, starving slaves just doesn’t seem to fit God’s purpose for His people.

We all have those times when we are overwhelmed with trouble or hard times. Experience has taught me, that it is at those times, God is making me stronger and more resilient. Physically and spiritually. Sometimes I need new tools to move on, other times I just need to slow down. Whatever the need, I know God has a plan, and will provide all that is needed. When trouble comes, be thankful, not fretful. God is making you better.

Have faith in God; listening for His still, quiet voice for direction, and Persevere!

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” -James 1:4

“Carry On” by Badfinger




Just like the ecstatic, proverbial, “Kid in a Candy Store”, aren’t our lives simply one choice after another?

We’ve all been there… Amid everything we have, or do in life, what are the right choices? Deep inside, we know, the right and wrong choices. A good friend always said, “There’s Two things you can do in this life, the Right thing and the Wrong thing. No one wants to do the Wrong thing. Right?”

Still, we oft make the wrong choice. Even when we know, we’ll regret certain decisions. Like the kid in the Candy Store, we eat our hearts content, only to spend the night in bed with a severe stomach ache. What were we thinking!

How is it that we know before we make a choice that it’s not a good step? Where does that quiet whisper come from? Some would say it’s intuition. Others will mention their “Gut Feeling”, a “Conscience” or “Third Sense”. Through all my bad, and good decisions, I’ve come to know the almost inaudible prodding, as the still, loving voice of God.

Most of my time on Saturday mornings growing up were spent watching Cartoons. Not the slick toy advertisements that propagate kid’s TV today, but the classics, like Looney Tunes and Popeye. While parents today would be appalled with the physical violence and seemingly cultural in-sensitivities, most of those early cartoons carried some robust moral teachings. Regularly, when faced with the Right/Wrong dilemma, a devil and an angel would appear on the characters shoulders whispering into alternate ears. Isn’t that kind of how it seems? When facing a tough choice, you are pulled in two directions that somehow you know to be Right and Wrong. Why do we choose the wrong thing so regularly?

In my experience it seems that most of my bad decisions come from “overthinking”. Instead of turning to God in prayer, I dwell on the decision, weighing ALL the potential outcomes. Like I really know what’s going to happen. If that were the case, the choice would be simple. Right?

Choice is a Gift from God. The core of who we are, is the totality of the choices that we have made in life. God has a plan for your life. Your steps were ordered since before you were born.

With that in mind, it seems to follow that the Still, Quiet Voice of God is pulling us toward those divine steps. Experience has taught me that following a path I know to be wrong, will not end well. Like the kid in the Candy Store reeling with pain.

Throughout my life, when my stubbornness prevails, and I work to force one wrong, albeit well thought out, decision after another. Inevitably, the pain of those bad decisions and the tough lessons learned, point me to the right path.

What was I thinking?
This Is the Way, Walk In It!

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” -Isaiah 30:21

“God-Trying-to-Get-Your-Attention” by Keb’ Mo’ -Enjoy!

Fear? NOT!

“Knowledge Is Power”…            Right?

In my life, Faith has provided more “Power” than knowledge. Not only in the spiritual sense. Faith in things unknown, or unseen, can move mountains.

For example, the Farmers of the World have Faith in abundance. While there are multitudes of farmers that are devoutly spiritual in their quest for righteousness and eternal life; not all are spiritual nor religious. Farming, as an occupation, requires extreme faith. Sure, agricultural science and knowledge are imperative to increase harvest, and streamline efficiencies. However, every day, the world’s Farmers wake up with an unshakable faith that the rain will come, and the sun will shine. All the “Knowledge” in the world will not ensure sunshine nor rain.

One of the greatest, and oldest, stories about the quest for Power through knowledge is Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Tempting Eve with equal Power to God, the serpent conned Eve into believing she could gain absolute power through knowledge; and it seems that the scam lingers today. So often, academic bigotry sets the tone for how humans treat one another.

A key consequence of knowledge, is Fear. That’s right. Fear.


Would you be as afraid to climb out on a limb if you had no concept of Gravity, and what might happen if the branch snapped? Isn’t it really the “Knowledge” of what could happen, that drives our fears?

We have two wonderful Dogs. My “Princess”, that can do no wrong, is a tall, short-haired Border Collie mix. My wife’s dog is a a Terrier, Dachshund mix; that we lovingly call “Tank”, as she’s thick and solid as a rock. Both dogs are best friends, and being the same age, a lot like sisters. My Princess is noticeably smart. She understands a lot of words and has been known to answer questions by shaking her head yes, or no. On the other hand, “Tank”, is either too stubborn to let on that she’s smart, or she just isn’t. We’re not sure.

My Princess understands what happens when things fall and that she can get hurt if she doesn’t pay attention. Tank, doesn’t care. With all that Knowledge, my Princess lives in constant fear and is vigilant of her surroundings; jumping and running at the first sign of perceived danger. Tank, doesn’t care. Instead, Tank lives a blissful life and fears nothing.

Just like Adam and Eve, the first response my Princess has with all her knowledge, is fear.

God loved Adam and Eve so much that He didn’t want them confronted with the fear that knowledge brings. By telling them to not eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, wasn’t He protecting them from constant fear? Well, you know the rest of the story.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.” -1 John 4:18-19

Exercise and growth of your faith in God, will lead you back to the Garden; and the bliss that complete faith brings.

As the World continues to profess it’s, “Knowledge is Power” scam; take a lesson from our Tank, don’t let Knowledge of the World, Build Fear in you.

“Face Your Fears” by Ben Sidran

Guard Your Heart!

Roses, Chocolate & Love?

As we get ready for what my Son calls “Another Hallmark Holiday.”, Hearts have been on my mind lately. Go figure…

Guard Your Heart-2

Like many words; Heart can mean so many different things. A physical Heart keeps the human body alive, and in rhythm. “The Heart of the matter” is a description we all use for getting to the essential fundamentals. While putting your Heart into something, demonstrates extreme commitment.

Clearly, at the Heart of most of these definitions, is that “intangible” Heart; the core of who we are.

We can all feel it. Sometimes it manifests as our “gut feeling”. Other times, as our “conscience” or “intuition”. Aren’t our definitions of the non-physical Heart, and our Soul, wholly interchangeable?

So many times, our Heart is in Direct Conflict with our Head. We think we know What we should do, but our Heart challenges our Brain. Which way do you lean when it’s Decision Time?

Popular Culture would tell you to Always follow your Brain. After all, knowledge is power, and humankind wouldn’t be where it is today without the Brain. Right?

Heart vs. Brain always reminds me of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame. The Sci-Fi embodiment of Heart against Brain. Was Kirk the fool for always following his Heart?

What of all the commitment, bravery and resilience of those that have gone before us? Did they rely on their Brains?

If there is one part of us that is truly connected to all things, isn’t it what we call our Heart, or Soul?

The Power of the Heart, is not just as a receptacle. The Heart is how we connect and communicate with all things, and, each other. Shouldn’t your Heart broadcast good things? Like, Patience, Kindness, Peace, Joy and Love?

Just like your music player can only broadcast what is in it, so does your Heart.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” -Proverbs 4:23

Every time that you let Anger and Hatred in your heart, it replaces Love. Every time you let Fear and Doubt in your Heart, it’s replaces Faith. Negative thoughts are from the Brain, not the Heart. Fill your Heart with Love, in All things. The foundation of a true “Walk In Love”.

Therefore, be mindful of what you let in to your Heart. When your Heart Overflows with Love, it can only broadcast One thing. Love!

Guard Your Heart!

“Let Your Love Flow” by Bellamy Brothers


People, Get Ready…

The Anticipation is Palpable.

Almost every day lately, someone says, “Something Big is about to Happen.”

The expectancy appears throughout communication, culture and spiritual beliefs.

People Get Ready-1

Some construe the feelings negatively. While others rejoice.

All seem to recognize something; not by knowledge, more intuitively. Much like the feeling you get on a Roller Coaster right before you reach the top. You become full of anticipation, fear and joy. All at the same time.

Before getting on the Roller Coaster, what do you do? You get ready. Front seat, seat belt, etc. Some, get ready by not getting on at all.

Seems everyone knows what’s going to happen at the top, some embrace it, others don’t.

So many let the knowledge of what could happen, fuel their fear. While others take a leap of Faith.

You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” -Luke 12:40

Do you feel the anticipation? Will you respond with Fear or Faith?

Here’s one of my favorite songs, “People Get Ready” by Eva Cassidy, written by Curtis Mayfield


He Had a Dream

Always Love…

Hate will get you Every Time!

2017 was a year of hatred, divisiveness and Vitriol on all sides of our culture, and Political landscape.

On this day when we celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King. Let us All put aside the hate and loathing that Dr. King so detested; and commit 2018 as the year of Unconditional LOVE throughout the world.


Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness!

“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.” -Isaiah 54:17

Much like free speech does NOT give us the freedom to falsely shout fire in a public theater, our Constitution does NOT allow us the freedom to incite violence through despicably hate filled speech.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Dr. Martin Luther King

There is a reason that the framers of the Constitution chose these words to start the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence:


Our God does not see a world of White, Black, Green or Purple People. He sees only his beloved, perfect creation.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. -John 13:34

ALWAYS LOVE! by America -Enjoy