Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sandcastles...I mean sandholes…

Little failures hurt big successes...
If you are not willing to work hard on the little things in life, then the big successes will never come. Changing the paper towel roll when it is empty, putting the toilet paper roll on correctly (always flows over the top - never under the roll), picking up clothing, keeping your phone screen clean, learning new things every day, etc. (you add your own to this list)

Monday, January 30, 2012

DUI’s and great hair…

You may have looked at the title today and thought, “Craig’s been arrested and he’s sharing his mugshot!” I am sharing my mugshot, but it’s from a long time ago and it’s an incredible picture of me - I mean, just look at it - have you ever seen such a great photo (faded and all)? I should have been in television, or on billboards or some other very famous career.  Awesome ends with "ME!"
That’s why I called this blog “DUI and great hair…” 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Be thankful - you've got a minute...

Are you grateful? Take the next one minute and list some things you are thankful for...Go!

First of all, I’m amazed that God would love me the way He has and does! Why would I possibly deserve His love and grace in my life. That the Creator of the universe would send His Son to die for me and that He put me in a home that allowed me to hear the Gospel is truly amazing. The other part of that amazing, is that God not only saves us, but wants to be a regular part of our lives. He actually cares about my every need and wants me to share those needs with Him. That’s truly AMAZING!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


People watch you...and you influence...
Most of us have heard the thought that, in a crowd, you influence at least seven people around you. We do have an influence on people and sometimes we don't even realize it. It can be a good influence or a bad influence, positive or negative, but like it or not, it's there. People watch us, no matter how little notoriety we have. The simple things, in life, that we do, are seen by those around us and by those we serve with, work with, are part of a crowd we are in, or are part of our family. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Small coffee...long way...

By now, you know my love of all things coffee, and in particular, all things Starbucks coffee. If you're a new reader, look at these two posts - they will help you have a tremendous understanding of my coffee addiction. Disaster & Sadness or you could even look at my magical Starbucks video, if you like.

I came into the office one morning a week or two ago and was getting some of my list done, when one of my guys walked in and said, “Hey, I have something for you.” He turned and handed me a cup of the Bucks (again, rookies cannot use that word for Starbucks). He knew I liked their coffee, and my small city doesn’t have a Starbucks, while his does. He even paid attention to the type of coffee that I liked and made sure to have it set like I would enjoy it. He didn’t spend a ton on it and it wasn’t a huge thing, but it made my day and I enjoyed it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Boggle and ketchup…

Sometimes, in life you miss the obvious. If you've ever played Boggle or any word search game, you know this already. You look and look and search, but just don’t see the word you’re looking for or the easy word that’s right in front of your face. It’s right there, but you miss it. You open the fridge and look for the ketchup and you have to ask who hid it, even though it was on the opt shelf right in front of you.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Broken Turtles…

The picture that you see is one that I took a while ago, when I was taking a walk in my neighborhood. This is not photo-shopped or edited in anyway. It’s what I saw and I had to stop and watch for awhile. I had a bunch of considerations come to my mind when I saw Mr. Turtle:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spiritual blankets...

Have you ever wrapped something up in a nice spiritual blanket to make it seem really nice? But you were really just using spiritual terms or concepts to express your idea to someone and make yourself look better. 
These blankets come in many styles and shapes...

Monday, January 23, 2012

Strange Dreams...believe in them...

Once there was a giant beaver trying to bite my big toe. 
I have some odd dreams sometimes and I’m sure that all of us could come up with stories of crazy dreams that we’ve had. Sometimes these dreams even happen in my sleep. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ministry should not be in economy...use all your resources...

Enjoy this repost - Sunday is a great day for ministry...BTW - do you see the end of my nose in this picture? Just kidding...

I have been able to reconnect with a number of old (used intentionally - not me, just them) college friends, over the last several months. This has been awesome and we have reminisced about our time in school together and have shared some very humorous stories on our FaceBook reunion page - now these are only funny to those that were involved in the situations, but to us, they bring back great memories and many laughs. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Did you do your best?

A few months ago, I was in a restaurant on another business trip in Texas and went out to eat for supper. When I sat down there was a napkin folded nicely around my silverware, neatly placed and ready for me. It's nice to walk into a restaurant and have it already set up for your meal, so I was impressed. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sing along or Laugh Out Loud!!!

Happy Friday! 

It's like a car wreck - you don't want to look, but you just have to...

Just could resist sharing this link...I like some good old Gospel music, but this guy beats all...

Use the link below if you can't see this on your mobile device...

Singing Machine...


Stinketh! (pronounced [stingk]-[eth]

That’s one of my favorite words. I say it a lot, because I fail a lot. It's also what I said when I came out of my Denver hotel to see my car like this...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Amazing sight...

The picture you see in this post is one that I took while flying (wait, you probably figured I was in the air - had a Madden moment there). The picture is unlike I have ever seen while flying before. I’ve seen cool sunsets, crazy clouds, other planes, weird cloud shadows on the ground, but this one was different. It was the sun glowing off a cloud below and putting the plane’s shadow right on top of it. It was a sight that I had to point out to the person sitting beside me, because it was amazing, cool and likely once in a life time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Time to get busy...

Some of you know I read Jon Acuff's blog. He's a good motivator.

He motivated us to awake early to get the day off to a good start...check out his post. 

Here's my time...not every day...but morning is a great time to get things done...

Roller coaster life. Is that bad?

He's getting ready for the ride!

I often hear people say that their life has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. I understand what they are saying, in the fact, that they have positives and negatives occur regularly, creating the ups and downs. You also have some around and arounds on a coaster and even stops and starts, depending on the type of roller coaster you are riding on. 
Roller coasters are interesting to some and scary to others, depending on the person. They provide a thrill, or some fear, or some anxiety, or a challenge, or just plain excitement. This is what got me to thinking about why we look at the roller coaster ride as a negative. Why do we do that? Are the turns, ups, downs, stops and starts always bad? Do we have a fear of the unknown that lies ahead? Are we afraid to try new things? Do we look for the easy road in life? Does a shift or rattle in life, throw us completely off course? 
So, could it mean that life makes you sick?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mini-heart attacks...

We've all had them...nothing major. Just those little scares in life where you feel your heart stop or rapidly beat or something strikes fear into you, for just a moment, but enough to take your breath away. I was thinking about these and realized that they happen more regularly than I realized. I wonder if they actually hurt our hearts, or if they act as a recharge and give the battery a boost of energy for the rest of the day or week? I'm going with the recharge, because it's more positive and I really don't want to know if it's the other, anyway.
You know what I'm talking about...
When you sit in a reclining office chair just a hair too far back!
When you look up, while driving, and someone cuts you off!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Are you kidding me?

That's my immediate reaction when I have someone do something, or say something to me or someone else that is wrong (and I mean wrong in a bad, mean spirited, unkind way). It may be the girl that cuts me off in a parking lot, or the guy that says a snide comment in line to someone for no reason, or I see a man enter a building and let the door shut in front of an elderly person, or I see a mom being unkind to their child, or when someone cusses in front of a child or in public, etc. I am in shock when I see people being inconsiderate to others - not in the jesting way, but in the "I don't care" kind of way. It's just wrong, and it bugs me.    

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ouch that smarts...

It’s so easy to fail. I know that I tell you failing is okay, but it still hurts when you fail, and in failing sometimes you hurt others.  I don’t mind failing when it just hurts me, but when it causes pain to a loved one, friend or colleague, I'm not so happy. Sometimes you don’t even realize that you’ve hurt them until it’s too late. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Don't cry...

No, this is not one of my daughters, nor did i pinch this little girl...

I had to fly from Nashville to Denver a while back and as I boarded I was able to observe two different families board with their young children.  One of the children was so excited, she jumped right up and gave the boarding passes to the gate attendant and then said "Thank you!" and "Have a nice day!" in the cute little voice only a 3 year girl could have.  Her smile could have taken over the entire plane. She was very sweet. The other child was not happy and didn't do anything but grunt, stomp, scream and then punch her Dad while entering the plane. It was a great fight, but the little girl won in a split decision. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

StarBucks truly is magical!!!

Check out this video - I always thought StarBucks was a magical place. Even the umbrellas get energy from the coffee.  There isn't any important sound (just coffee making and people gabbing), so just watch...may need to go to a non-mobile browser to view...

Sadness, Gas and coffee...

I know what you’re thinking. This blog is about a road trip to some faraway destination, where I had to drive all night, truck driver style, and ran out of gas and coffee at the same time.  You got me - it has nothing to do with that at all...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Got a new shirt...being different is good...

This shirt is too small, however it’s one of the coolest shirts I have ever received. No offense to Aunt Sally, but this one is way cool. It’s an example of being different. Different is good and different is how God made us. We are not the same and we all like different things and have different ideas. I used to wear a button (back in the eighties, when it was cool to do so - or was it?) that said “Why be normal?”  I was never normal and I’m still not - I don’t want to be normal or like everyone else. In a not big-headed way, I want to stand out in the crowd (not because of the Hawaiian shirt though). God made me and I’m proud of what He accomplished - you see He is too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

“Officer, I didn’t do anything...really.”

I attend a church in Robertson County Tennessee. It’s a great church and we really love it, and love to be involved in ministry there. We are growing, and that brings me to todays blog. We only have one entrance and exit to our church campus and it can be a real challenge to leave church after the Sunday morning service. It’s slow going as you try to get on the highway that runs through the center of our city. We have asked our local police and county sheriff’s offices to help us by directing traffic from our little street out onto the highway. They do a great job for us, when they can help us, and we really appreciate the better traffic flow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


We all fail a lot, and #failalot is just a way to encourage you to keep going.

(I noticed that some have read this, but not selected the link - to read the post, select the link by clicking #failalot at the bottom, or any one in this post)

At the bottom of each post I have #failalot. It's always linked to something and right now it's linked to a post, specifically about failure and connected to a couple of great quotes that impact failure...click #failalot and enjoy. 

I will update this link every so often, so hit it once in a while. The logo will also sit on the upper right corner of my page, and you can click it anytime too...hopefully, these posts will encourage you.

"Never Fail - what I mean by that, is #failalot"


The H1N1 virus and church announcements...

A couple of years ago there was a big virus scare across the United States and, even the world, for that matter. It was a flu virus strain that was beyond the normal and several people died from it. It was a true concern for lots of folks and, rightly so, since many folks got sick that season and the antidote was scarce compared to the normal flu shot. I often look at these things as overhyped and beyond what we need to worry about, and I don’t get a flu shot normally, so this didn’t make me start getting a shot.  
Enough with the history lesson about a past virus strain...wake up - sorry I made you dose off for a minute.
The big story, that I really remember with this virus, has nothing to do with the virus itself, but with a Wednesday night service at our church. We normally have a prayer sheet with requests on it and then people add to a list in the vestibule (did I really just type that? Did I have a flashback to 1627 in the jolly old mother land?) - I mean lobby. The new requests are read in front of the congregation and we add them to the list.
The person who read the requests that night mixed up the virus title and called it the HINI virus (they put I’s (pronounced - eyes) instead of 1’s (ones)) - great spreadsheet formula I just typed, with all the (brackets). So the virus was not H1N1 virus, it was HINI virus - pronounced hinny (yes, rear end, bottom, derrière, buttocks, etc.) virus. This brought so many funny connotations to mind, that most of the group there that night could not contain themselves, as they thought of Montezuma’s revenge or other issues. We had to have our church laughs going, since we could’t just burst out laughing at the “hinny virus” prayer request. The person who added the request just melted in their seat...
Finally, that story, reminds me of the time, when I was a youth pastor intern, just after college, for a summer at my home church. I was responsible for announcements on Sundays and enjoyed getting up to share the info for the week, but one time, as I finished the announcements, I was completely distracted and closed the announcements like this...”Saturday’s youth activity will be at 4:00 PM, Sunday we will have prayer meeting before the service, tonights service is at 7:00 PM...in Jesus name Amen!” 
Yes I did! I closed the announcements “...in Jesus name, Amen!” I got distracted by some shinny thing and thought I was praying, so I finished praying like I normally would, "in Jesus name, Amen."
The worst part of this is that no-one noticed! I asked several people afterwards and not a single person was paying attention, so the next week, I reminded people to wear their pajamas to church on Sunday morning...
Lessons Learned: Keep up-to-date with current events or be sure to clarify what you are reading. Make sure you know what you are doing in public.
Thoughts: Have you ever read an announcement incorrectly?


Monday, January 9, 2012

Ya give up?

It’s been about a week now. Do you give up? Did you give up? 
I mean, on your New Year’s resolutions, or goals, or plans. Have you stopped your diet? Have you not even cracked the page of one book? Have you completely forgotten about your Bible reading plan? Have you stopped working towards that new endeavor to create something? Have you tuckered out on P90X? Did you add 3 pounds instead of lose them? Did you stop writing that book? Did you throw your hands in the air because your goal was loftier than you thought or something huge got in the way? Do you feel like the Israelite army as they faced Goliath, before David came along?
Don’t do it! Don’t give up! You can still accomplish the goals you hoped to and goals don’t just have to start on January 1st (remember my blog “A fresh start...really?”). Goals can start on any day and in any month, so if you didn’t get the start you hoped to, just hit the restart button (especially if you use Windows - sorry to offend, but I couldn’t resist - too easy a metaphor). 
You can do it! Like the little train engine, just keep saying “I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!” 
Get the ball rolling with something small and then simply add little bits to it, like a snowball rolling down a hill, so you can get the final goal accomplished. Set smaller short-term targets that are attainable and when you hit them, just set a new target. Don’t set 52 goals for the year, set just a few and finish them. You will be motivated to keep going and to go farther, as you succeed. 
Have someone help you. Get someone that can work with you on the same or similar goals. Tell them to keep you accountable and tell them how you want to be kept accountable, so they will do it. If they fail, in their goals, or fall behind, then you help them. Teamwork makes the dream work (don’t hate me for using that, because it’s true).   Maybe you can pick someone who failed (remember, failure is good) in the first week, just like you.
Keep on! Look at your target and keep on going towards it! 
If I can help, just let me know.
Lessons Learned: We all struggle with goals and we all fail. Read the top of my blog page and do what Samuel Beckett and I said.
Thoughts: What goal are you struggling with right now?


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Redo an oldie...

Sometimes on the weekend, I will post new items, and sometimes I will refer you to past blogs that I think can be a help to you, or to other sites that I think you could use. Today, I am referring you back to one of my first blogs...I hope it's motivating to you...

Inbound the ball...

Make it a great day!


Friday, January 6, 2012

P.F. Chang’s and...a foot?

Took my wife out to eat for lunch at P.F. Chang’s. My oldest son gave us a gift card for Christmas - he surprised us and it was very thoughtful - you see the tear dripping down my cheek right now - sorry I got all emotional there. Back to the meal. It was delicious and we enjoyed the atmosphere (crowded, busy, lots of hustle and bustle and our table was right by the door, so I jest a little about the atmosphere). Really, it was good for us to get away and have some time together and we planned to go to a bookstore, Starbuck’s and to an antique store afterwards, just to be together.
We ate, and filled ourselves with lo mien, chicken cashew, egg rolls and, most importantly, chicken lettuce wraps - they are awesome. In fact, I really liked everything I ate. It was a really good meal. At the end, our waiter boxed up left overs and gave us the bill. We were pleasantly surprised at the price (forgot the lunch menu was cheaper) and began to unwrap our fortune cookies. 
I usually just get a kick out of the messages in the fortune cookies, and I actually like the taste of the cookies - a shocker, I know. Often, the fortune cookies include your lucky numbers and a word in chinese that you can learn how to say. Of course, you have to be able to read and speak chinese to be able to learn to say the word, so I never fully understood why these were on the little paper slips. 
My wife opened hers and it said “plenty” for her chinese word. Immediately, I thought about the meal and how full we were, and then how blessed we were as a family, and about how our lives have just “plenty” in them. It was a good word for us and I liked it.
I was kind of excited to open mine, thinking it might say “genius” or “greatness” or “success” or some other fantastic word describing me or my life or my family. The suspense was killing me, so I broke my cookie and grabbed the paper. It said “Foot!” are you kidding me? Foot - what does that describe about me? Was it a premonition that my toe surgery from two weeks ago would lead to something worse? Was the table about to collapse on my foot? Was there something I was going to trip over? Was I about to get the boot out of the restaurant? Was it a joke about the meat in my meal? Was it meaning that I should read Dr. Seuss later in the day? Left Foot. Right Foot. Small Foot. Big Foot. Foot. Foot. Foot.
I guess it was to humble me and to help me focus on the little things in life, or the parts of life that are way down low, or the importance of the unconsidered areas of life. It was probably just to make me and my wife laugh, just like we did. I will keep this memory forever.
Lessons Learned: I need a laugh every day. I need to get a foot massage.
Thoughts: What funny saying have you had in your fortune cookie?


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Still failing? I hope so...

What a Jerk!!! Who would say such a thing! I hate me for saying it...
I probably made a few people angry with this title, but I really mean what the title says. I expect you to fail in 2012 and, unfortunately for you, I’m cheering on the fails. I hope you have a hard time with something in your life this year, and you struggle to finish a project or goal. I hope that some small failures happen this year, so you become stronger than you are today. I’m not hoping for something big, but something that will teach you and prepare you for bigger challenges.
I don’t expect you to plan to fail, because that’s not actually failing anyway - that’s giving up. You can’t fake a failure. That’s not how it works. Failure is not expected, in that way, but it is expected to happen. Planning to fail is also foolish, so don’t do that. Can you imagine a bicycle company that made their bikes with wheels that fell off on purpose or a car that’s airbag shot out the window, instead of towards you to protect you? It would be crazy to try and fail, in advance of starting something.
I’m talking about the reality of failure. You will fail and when you do, pick your self back up and move forward towards the goals you have. You don’t quit and you don’t plan on failing again - you just get going and get better.
By the way, the picture today is an example of a finial fail. This finial was made correctly, but it’s over 4 feet tall (as you can see). The home owner wants a two foot finial - a finial is a tall pointy thing that goes on a roof - very technical, so sorry if you don’t understand...years of training goes into learning these types of big words...
Lessons Learned: Failing is good for you - share it and learn from it. I will use #failalot in my tweets and on Google+ regularly, to remind us failing is okay. Add your tweets and + updates to the list with that hashtag, so we can all learn.
Thoughts: What have you failed in recently? Share it - you may encourage someone.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Absolute devastating disaster...

I lost my Starbucks Gold rewards card! 
I checked in my wallet, in my drawer, in my office, in every nook and cranny (what exactly is a cranny, anyway?). I looked everywhere and it was gone. I thought I left it at a restaurant, called, and it wasn’t there either. It only had 49 cents on it, but it had my name on it and it was cool...my membership was ruined and I was in a panic. I sat all my children down under a bright light and questioned them, to see if it was a practical joke. I called the local police and had them question my wife to see if she had stolen away one of my most valuable items. It had to be an inside job.
Then I realized, I just had to order another one online, so I did. I didn’t even lose my $.49. Think I made too big a deal about it?
Obviously, I exaggerated this story just a smidgen, but it did bother me that it was gone and I couldn't figure out where.  I hate that kind of thing, and lose things very rarely, so it bugged me.
It also reminded me that some things in life are not that important and I need to relax.  I will have new shinny gold rewards card in my possession soon (likely, by the time this blog posts). I have to sit back and breathe and realize there are many other important things in life. 
I breathed and then went and played Sorry (yes, that old time board game) with my youngest daughter and had a blast.
Lessons Learned: Life is not about coffee. It’s not about rewards on earth, either. It is about time with my children. It is about not stressing out.
Thoughts: What have you lost that felt big at the time? How did you react? 


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Finish Year 2012...

This quick post has nothing to do with a scandinavian people or that the end of the world is this year...it is simply some goals I wrote out to accomplish in 2012. Just a few, but I am putting my best foot (that's my left foot - look back at Big Toes and you'll remember) forward to get these done this year. I plan to make it a Finish Year, and not just a start year...

Jon Acuff recommended that we write them down to make them permanent and take a photo to show others we are serious, so there it is, and since you can't read my writing, mine are below too. with the Lord's help, I want to see these goals accomplished in 2012!

Finish Goals 2012

1. Finish by continuing the blog I started two months ago all year in 2012. 
2. Finish by learning new technology this year.
3. Finish by writing my first book in 2012.
4. Finish by leading the best Mission's Conference yet the first full week of February 2012.
5. Finish by creating a second source of income in 2012.

What are your goals for 2012?

Bike seats and mayonnaise...

The easiest route in life always produces the most satisfaction - no Sir. The hardest route in life always produces the most satisfaction. Hard roads are not fun and seem to add frustration and pain to our lives. Sometimes we take those routes accidentally and sometimes we do them on purpose. Either way, they are tough, rough, hard and not often liked. However, when you finish them you are always more satisfied and you usually have a good story to tell, or at least, an exaggerated experience to share.
In high-school, in my youth group, my Youth Pastor would have us “earn” the privilege of riding 500+ miles on a bicycle trip each summer (not over the whole summer, but in 6 days!). We would have to earn enough points during the school year to be able to attend the bike trip for free. We had to be consistent in several areas: Bible reading, prayer time, scripture memory, church attendance and youth activities. Obviously, his focus was to help us become consistent in our Christian walk, which is a great thing.
We would have to prepare for the trips by riding by ourselves regularly and then ride three Saturday team trips each increasing in length from 25 to 50 to 75 miles. You heard me, miles, not feet or yards. We had to ride on a small bicycle seat for lots of miles in preparation and then we had to ride up 90 miles in a single day on the trip. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Everything would hurt by the time the first day was done and we would literally be just diving into a bed - wait, we slept in sleeping bags in church auditoriums and gyms on the trip. We would get so hungry as we rode, that I ate mayonnaise straight up from a spoon several times, when we stopped for breaks. They were very tough.
I went on three of these trips and I had pain each time, but the lessons I learned have helped me the rest of my life. Not only did I learn o be faithful to the Lord during my everyday life, but I found out that the hardest route truly does bring the most satisfaction. 
How many people can say they rode on three 500+ bicycle trips?
I learned how to lead, on those trips. I learned how to earn rewards, because of those trips. I learned how to endure, because of those trips. I learned how to be focused, on those trips. I learned how to be determined, on those trips. I learned that you don’t give up, because of pain, on those trips. I learned how to work as a team, because of those trips. I learned that we all go through trials, and we can get through them, because of those trips. I realized rewards come at the end of the tough route - we always went to something really cool at the end of each trip - white water rafting one year, jet boat ride another and Cedar Point amusement park on my final trip.
Lessons Learned: The hardest route in life ALWAYS produces the most satisfaction. 
Thoughts: What is your hard road right now? Have you looked back to see what you learned form the last hard route?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Thanks for failing with me...

It's quite enjoyable, for me, to write down thoughts in each of my blogs, and I sit in amazement that anyone would be interested in any of the thoughts that God gives me, as I write. I do know that it's important to take failure in stride and learn lessons each time you make that next mistake. It's encouraging to see that people are reading and following this blog and, my hope is, that the stories that I share are the same encouragement to each of you. 
Failing is cool - I didn’t say that by accident. It’s a privilege that we all (everyone of us) get regularly and we can either do it and grow from it, or we can bask in it and wallow in it without moving forward in life. I’m choosing to move forward and grow and change, so that I don’t repeat it, or if I do repeat, I do it better the second time. I’m not done failing and I will become the best failure I can be (rereading that last line, sure makes me sound like an idiot, but it’s true). I can only improve from my weaknesses, flaws and fails.
I hope you fail a lot in 2012 and that each failure hurts (if it doesn’t hurt, then you really don’t care about what you’re doing). If it doesn’t cause you pain as you fail, then you might want to try something different that you really like to do, and you truly respect. 2012 will either be the year that you take what you learn and move into something better, or you keep rolling down the same path you did before. It’s up to you.
Lessons Learned: Failing will make you better each time you do it, if you let it. You have something big in store this year, if you don’t give up.
Thoughts: How bad do you hurt when you fail?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year?

Like every other blog on the planet, I am wishing you a very Happy New Year and I hope this year proves to be your best yet, in every way...spiritually, physically, in your church, with your ministry, in your work, with your hobbies, in your goals, in your career (possibly different from your work) and, especially with your family. 

Really, I hope you have an incredible 2012, and that you have success in your endeavors, however you measure success.

Most of the items above are completely your choice, so what you choose to do this year, with each of those items, will very much impact how they turn out by the end of December 2012.

Make important choices, but make them wisely and put every possible effort into making this year your best ever. Set plans and goals and don't give up on them. Find someone who can help you, encourage you, punch you in the arm when you need and, just simply, keep you accountable as the year goes on.

Lessons Learned: Wise choices bring the best outcome. A true friend will help you meet your goals and help you know if they are right goals.

Thoughts: What choices are on your plate right now? Are you thinking and praying through them carefully?