Category Archives: Faith

Keeping Him First in the New Year

Happy New Year!

A little late; I know. All of the action and thinking and messages about the holidays are all but gone – short of us who have not taken down our Christmas Lights and tree yet.  (Update: I did get those done!)

I’ve wanted to blog, but have been absent for quite a long time with the happenings of life that have been going on. But then, this morning, I read Jeremiah 17:10 and, to be completely open, the Holy Spirit came upon me and showed me something. Easy; short, but it made an impact. And, again even though the “Happy New Year / You are starting a New Year / think about those resolutions” messages are now concluded, this seemed like a perfect last hurrah.

This verse says, using my words, that God searches your heart and mind and rewards you appropriately. So, I started to wonder – I’ve kept my heart pretty darn pure.

LOL; funny I wrote that that way – I was going to edit it out but decided to leave it. With the kind-of-swear-word there, it goes to show my heart isn’t pure and perfect – but that’s okay – that’s who we are as humans in a fallen world. 😃

Also, in that moment, I said to myself, “I focus on doing good at work, and being good and of service to my family.”

So, in my groggy 4:50 AM brain I muttered, “So, Lord, though you certainly have provided for my family when we had none – and have blessed me with an awesome wife, kids and house, but why do I feel like you haven’t rewarded me?”

And that’s when the Holy Spirit stepped in. He said, “because you don’t put God first.” He pointed out that I had mentioned family and work. But I had not mentioned God – let alone put Him first.

One might think that in that moment you would feel commended; a failure; let down. But, our God is a good God all the time. The Holy Spirit brought a warm feeling over me; He made me smile. I think God was smiling on me. I was thankful for the reminder and wanted to write it down. I know I honor God. I pray continuously nowadays. But, this was a great reminder from Him to keep Him first. Then, I believe and can expect because it’s in His Word, that he will reward.

For what it’s worth, keeping him First isn’t easy and has to be a constant, intentional action. Heck (there I go again), I wrote this post six years ago – I was struggling then like I am now. But, just like the definition of the word “Gospel,” we have the Good News in our lives to keep us going – as long as we focus on it.

Happy New Year, everyone. Keep this Good News in your heart this year. It’s going to be a great year.

Pause and be Thankful


I’ve been like over the top busy working on BrewStream.  I haven’t blogged in three months.

But, thanks to a gentle reminder from Pastor Matt yesterday at church, I’ve paused a couple of times to stop and be thankful.  Could you imagine living in a country being oppressed and not allowed to worship the way you want?  To be told how to live? What you can have? And, you don’t even have to “look back in history” – it has happened, and happening, our our life times.

So, I’m pausing now, and will again a few times today to be thankful to those who gave their lives, and those today who are serving, or have served.  Thank you all!

Patience is a Virtue

Hourglass by Rachel

That is a phrase I have heard and used for a long, long time.
Before my Faith, it was more of a cliche I used.
Coming into Faith, I saw it work in my life more and more. Many times completely Faith based where I saw Him work in my life. Many times, just in everyday life.

Next time you are waiting to turn left, across traffic, without a stop light, and you feel like you are not getting a break – just tell yourself “patience is a virtue” and watch what happens.

Now, I’m fully exercising this as I am really reaching out to Him, and giving it all up to him. At times, me being without a job is very unnerving for me and Beautiful. But, He and Faith have come through before, and we know He will again.

And Now for Something Completely Different

Cupid’s foot, as used by Monty Python’s Flying Circus – Courtesy of Wikipedia

Yesterday was my last day at Improve Group.   And, as Monty Python’s Flying Circus use to say….

And now for something completely different.

What is that?  Well…..

A Break

The last nine months at IG were a “long row to hoe.”  My amazing wife (who I loving refer to as Beautiful – because she is in so many ways) has been holding down the fort in North Carolina while I’ve been working in New Mexico.  I miss her a lot and I’m looking forward to spending time with her.

Charlie, my two year old son, has been tearing up the fort – that little turkey!  But I sooo miss him also.

My girls, now young ladies, have given me so much grace and understanding during this time that I’m looking forward to more attention for them.  And, they got me and Beautiful Imagine Dragons tickets for Father’s Day / My Birthday!  Woot Woot!

Oh, yes – and me.  At first “doing nothing” sounded good.  But, my brain on day one of this new chapter is spinning.  So, when the time is right during this break, I plan to get my ducks in a row for the prose of that chapter.  I’m not 100% sure what those ducks look like yet (hence, see my post).  However, this has been a new test for me – to test my Faith and see what He brings.  Stay tuned; more to come.

Job Wanted


After six years with Improve Group, I’ve decided it is time to start a new chapter in my life and I will be leaving Improve Group at the end of the month.


I’m working on a potential new software venture.  But, in the meantime, I have to make a living.  If you know of, or know of anyone who knows of any opportunities, please let me know.


My goal is to find something part time-ish or flexible where I can do what I love and get excited about; Helping people with obstacles getting in their way of their business or organization by using technology.


My related goal is to put all of my focus on one project and make it really take off for you.


I’m available to work anywhere geographically.


Give me a shout with any questions or ideas.  (


Thanks and a big thanks to Improve Group.  It has been a great run!


(Photo Credit: neetalparekh via Flickr)

Evernote for Tasks

As many know, I wrote an add in for Microsoft Outlook to help with task management for business users.  Alas, that’s water under the bridge.  So, now I use Evernote for this task.

I love Evernote.   I love that I can:

  •  Capture everything.
    • Mobile – if I’m out and around, the Evernote for Android client let’s me get things into my Inbox quickly and off my mind, especially:
      • Receipts using the Page Camera.
      • Quick notes to remember to do something.
      • Sometimes an audio note if I’m driving.
    • Email – I use Outlook for work and Gmail for personal.  Both have Evernote add-in’s that let me quickly throw an email into the InBox.
    • Web – If I’m browsing the web in Google Chrome and see something I want to keep, Evernote Web Clipper let’s me capture it in a form that will work for future reference.  Sometimes I send these to my InBox, or sometimes I send it straight to my Reading notebook for future reading.
      • I like to cook.  I will look up or find recipes and throw these right into my Recipes notebook.

You may have picked up on “InBox.”  Yup; I use David Allen’s GTD.  And, if you want a step by step “getting started” guide, go buy David’s “Evernote for Windows Setup Guide.”  It’s worth the $10.  I had things fairly figured out, but I picked up some tips and tricks from this, as well as simple motivation.

Prior to this, I had started with (okay, don’t laugh at the title), The Secret Weapon.  It brings in lot of good GTD concepts and is a great jump-starter as they did everything in videos.  (Make sure to check out their About Page for an overview.)  I ended up not staying with this system.  The issue – everything is more “priority” based, but as David says, and as we know, priorities shift on an hourly basis.  I was finding that keeping priorities set was a struggle.  Everything always went to urgent.  Other stuff never surfaced.  So, I’m pretty much on David’s guide’s method now.

Struggle is a good word to wrap up with here.  I again love (just no better word for it) Evernote as I can search (anywhere, on my phone, jump on a web browser in a hotel), organize, have everything protected up in the cloud, share.  Once you really start putting everything in Evernote, it’s very powerful.  But, overload and priorities are where I’m currently struggling with task management (not Evernote the tool).  I have things coming at me every minute of every day in my day job (home too).  I don’t feel 100% in control and that’s very stressful.  Alas, as I write this, I remember a couple of things:

  • If you are a person of Faith, well, then you are not supposed to be in control – He is.  Let Him control it and he will guide your way.  If you try to control it, you will just screw it up. 🙂
  • I had the opportunity once to attend a GTD class David ran.  After words, I asked him about the over load and he said something to me that was profound (and, sadly, I forget from time to time until moments like this) – “You have to get comfortable with the fact that you have a lot of things on your lists.”  You have to just let it go and trust that the system will bring you back around to these things at the right time and place.

“Mind like water.” That’s where we have to get to.  Evernote has proven to be a great tool to let me “cast things off” and work on getting to that state.

Rich in Faith

Living Word Bible Church, Mesa, Arizona

A repeating theme in my life lately is that wisdom is critical.

Personally, I believe in being a Life Long Learner to help gain that wisdom, and, I believe that teaching is one of the best ways to learn.  So, I wanted to exercise that and share what I learned today – that it’s a huge myth that God and Jesus wants you to be poor.

Today, in church we looked at Luke 19:1-27 NKJV.  In the first part, it shows how Jesus didn’t look down on the rich tax collector; instead, he embraced him.  As Dr. Tom said, “Jesus had a choice – he could have gone and hung out with the poor and have porridge (which, of course, all kidding aside, he certainly would and did), or, go hang out with Zacchaeus and have a steak.”  Turned out that the tax man was an okay guy.

Next, he related a parable where basically he (Dr. Tom says the guy in the parable is Jesus) gave ten minas (about $9,000) to each of his ten servants and told them to “go on and do your business,”  or, in other words, use this money and make it grow.  When he came back later, only three decided to show back up with the money.  You can read it below; he praised the two that grew the money and let them keep it (they grew rich).  The one who thought he should just “stuff the money in his mattress?”  Jesus said, “you goof ball – why didn’t you grow it?  Give it to the first guy!”

A related theme today was “you grow in your blessings as you grow in Faith.”  All goes hand in hand and was very impactful and meaningful to me today.

Luke 19:1-27 NKJV

Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there  was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.  And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”  So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;  for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.  So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’  But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’ “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.  Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’  And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’  And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’  Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’ “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief.  For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’  And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow.  Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’  (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’)  ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.  But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ”

You have to look for the Cross


I was on the road awhile back and having a really low moment. As I sat in my hotel room, despondent, I was looking at all the squares, or boxes, in the pattern of the carpet. At the moment, it felt very iconic of how I was feeling – boxed in, trapped, frustrated. Then it struck me – for a fleeting moment; instead of boxes, I saw crosses. I felt really moved. I suddenly realized, thanks to the Holy Spirit, that one has to “look for the cross” and focus on that. You have to proactively remember to have Faith; you have to move forward.

I use the word “fleeting” because, just like in life, your brain can quickly shift back away; back to the negative; back to the boxes. It takes constant effort to keep focused on and see the cross; the positive. I’ve been working on keeping that focus. It has been hard, but, improving and paying off.

Keep your focus. If you are a Faith based person, keep it on the Cross; on Him. If that’s not your cup of tea, keep your focus on moving forward; being positive and not focusing on the past. Either way, it will be very rewarding.


Faith is relatively new to me; I became Born Again seven years go.

I was 180 degrees in the opposite direction.  I always thought “Born Again” was a bit crazy.  I’m now 180 degrees in what I think is an amazing direction.

I’m not going to “try to convert you” here.  Believing in God and Jesus is a very, very personal choice.  But, it’s been such an amazing thing in my life that I want to share if you are interested.