A tall glass of the gold stuff…


Each of us — trust me — has a little Light to give away…

The trick is to shine it where it’s wanted.

Thirty-four years now I’ve wandered this planet, and oh, how many days I’ve wasted, showering sunshine on those who wanted rain. Smoothing out the path for people who wanted to climb some kind of mountain, scrambling and slipping on loose stones…

Oh, friends, I’ve been such a fool.


So now: are you here, hungry for sun? Sit down then, and I’ll slice it wide-open for you. If you’re thirsty, I’ll squeeze it fresh into the glass.

There are places you can go, if you want to toss back a shot full of shadows. If you want to stumble home drunk in the dark. Believe me: I understand that kind of thirst, but I can’t serve it here — not today, at least. Not tomorrow, either.


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Three Viable Ways To Reduce Your Liability

“Sustaining success is only possible if you’ve achieved it first.”
In business, personal relationships, or especially in official capacities, liability is THE single most crucial qualifier to a maintaining trust.  Sadly, it’s not so much as I what we do as much as it is how we are perceived in our pursuit of success.  This is a sad truth; a harsh reality; but a necessary consideration. 

Reducing liability is akin to being perceived as successful.  Banks do not give loans to businesses that don’t look successful on their business plan.  Suitors do not accept wedding proposals without believing their nuptials will be fruitful.  Nor should we select public officials who do not already have a successful network. 


We must be mindful of our words.  It’s very difficult to retract written statements.  It’s impossible for an associate to “unhear” a malicious or otherwise inappropriate comment. But we can think before we speak.  We can write a draft before we publish.  And we can collaborate before we put our own heads out in the chopping block.  Ensure that what you say is not harmful.   It is when we fail to do this, we are liable to damages, law suits, and substantial losses. That would be a major setback.  
No one is suggesting that we refrain from speaking though. However, Abraham Lincoln once said, “It’s better to be remain silent and thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” Wise words not to be taken out of context.  Silence doesn’t not always meet our objective though.  Imagine having a question but never having the courage to ask it.  


So many entrepreneurs fail to have their ideas recognized because of their inability to develop a plan of action.  Whether it be a blueprint or a business plan, there needs to be a tangible work that can be demonstrated, displayed, and critiqued.  Put in the work!

“Faith without work is death!”   We can not wish success into existence.  To be successful we must develop our objective and convey our goal.  And then show up. 

Exposing the plan is not giving the secret away.  In fact, sharing the plan offers an opportunity for others to collaborate and offer support.  When they say that Rome was not built in a day, it must be understood that it was not built by an individual either.  Be willing to take the risk.  With hard work and tenacity, no one can steal your glory.  So show off a little!

We reduce our liability by rechecking our plan and consider the potentential for damage.  An plan that is 99% effective is still 1% likely to cause harm. Be aware!  Be careful. Plan better. 


Commit to your goal.  Own it!  Waiver only when necessary, and avoid distractions at all cost.  There will be plenty of opportunity to abandon a goal for a better one.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  But quitters never win.  That path that successful people take is not always the one least traveled.  But it is the one traveled by people who know where they are going. 

Do you know where you are going?  If not, revisit your plan.  Revise your plan. Ask for help.  When we fail to commit to our own plan, we are our own biggest risk.  Would you partner with someone who can’t commit to the plan?   Of course not.  Be the partner you wish to work with.  

Liability plays a huge role in achieving success because at any given moment in a business, personal, or official function we are offered an opportunity to communicate (or miscommunicate).  Transparency diminishes fear, wonder, or hostility because there are no secrets.  Not everyone will like the direction we are traveling, but atleast they will see our commitment. Our adversaries will always try to “throw shade” but that it merely evidence that we are on their minds.  When they are watching us succeed, it’s because we are in front of them.  Successful leaders, like ourselves, only look back to help others keep up.  

Success is not about meeting individual goals. It’s about collectively enriching the lives of those around us. Share these techniques with a colleague or friend. Each one CAN teach one.  

If you’d like to share a suggestion that helped you gain success by reducing your liability, leave a comment below.  Until we meet in the winners circle, thanks for reading!

Nouveau Trial Of Tears

Water, water, everywhere…

not a drop to drink

Tears running down parents’ faces

Brown water in the sink


From Flint, they will sprint

Politicians tried to save a buck

Colored water! Coloured faces

Did they give a fuck?


Switched the source, much remorse

Some think it is too late

School-aged children sure to die

Golden water, heaven’s gate


Urban crisis…Flint, Detroit

In our own backyard?

Children asking, “Our water too??”

Poker facing, will they see our card?


Clean water put out fires

Dirty politicians who we hire

How much till we tire?

Patience surely to expire!


That wasted water, we can’t drink

Sending fresh water, so we speak

“Mom, why are we moving?”

Tears falling, mom can’t speak


Mom’s packing our clothes

Dad is making calls

Those who CAN move, WILL

Those who CAN’T    F  a l  l


Like Katrina, government arrived late

Like Ferguson, government said WAIT

Like New Orleans, government: ” RElocate!”

Texas, here we come!!


Build a wall??

WE are coming from the North

Southern Belles, prepare your homes

You’ve been “Trumped” citizens coming forth!



Don’t you get it?

Don’t you care?!?

It’s not just in Flint!

It’s the American nightmare!


This nouveau trail of tears

Renewed death and fears

Politicians campaign smears

Victory brings no cheers…












The Power To Stay, The Energy To Leave

When we feel that lull in our lives or that too-familiar melancholy, we know it’s time to change something. We know it’s time to move.  Whether it’s been a few years or a few months, we sometimes yearn for the next chapter to begin.  

It takes an emense level of power to stay in a situation that we’ve outgrown. Prayerfully our current setting is one that we’ve chosen.  But not always.  Prayerfully when we are ready to progress, we have the energy.  But that’s it!  We may think we are ready when we are not.  It’s rarely on our own terms.  We must be provoked.  We must be motivated.  We must be propelled by an energy greater than our own. 

And when we harness that energy, it’s amazing.  It’s mystical at first, magical in it’s delivery, and…satisfying.   

The energy that it takes to move to the next level is so much greater than the energy it takes to sustain the change.  Like a roller coaster, the force needed to get to the top is slow and building.  Click, click, click gradually running out…seemingly pushed to the limit.  But then the magic!  Predictable.  Not spontaneous.  Planned, calculated, and an outcome that possessed all the qualities that we anticipated (without an once more energy than we needed).  The climax comes a nanosecond before the drop.  

Falling sometimes wildly.  Dropping quickly,  with a force exponentially greater than anything that we imagined.  But it doesn’t last. 

It’s that energy that we are addicted to.  We will wait hours for a great thrill at an amusement park.  In life, we will wait weeks, months, years…for that thrill.  

In our careers, in our relationships, in our personal goals we can endure the wait.  But how long will we wait for the NEXT big thrill?  How much energy will it take for us to leave our current situation?  

The next chapter has probably already begun. Whether we realize it or not, life is continuing regardless of our participation.  Being still and patient requires power too. It’s called restraint.  The energy we reserve is building, building, building until…we release. 

Tomorrow is here.  We are more powerful than we were.  We’ve released, restored, re-done.  We get another chance, we do it better; and with less energy.  

Harder, better, faster, stronger!

Ladies, who cleared your snow?


It’s not at all sexist to suggest that the men did it. Because they didn’t!  The Blizzard of 2016 brought with it some marvelous sights.  We were all connected by the endless stream of time-lapse photography, viral Times Square snowball fights, and winter wonderlands. But what of the other fantastic marvel?  Who is shoveling the snow?

As a man with many female friends, I have to expect that everyone of them is independent.  Not one called or texted to ask if I’d come rescue them.  Could be because my friends are wonder women.  Could be because they know that I won’t.  Either way the job got done–and no one waited for a dude to help out.  

The ladies in my life either have all-wheel-drive, four wheel drive, or front wheel drive.  The state of emergency was a mere delay.  They would not be stopped!   And when the calls began to roll in, it wasn’t to request my assistance.  It was to request my company.  Alas, this dude was snowed in.  Locked in!  Tight like Fort Knox.  No one was getting in and no one was getting out.  

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

I remember a time when the weather forecast brought about a balance of panic and comfort. The panic resulted in rushing to the grocery store.   The comfort came knowing that the family had its provisions.  

Mom cooked and baked. Dad watched the Weather Channel. And the kids played bored games (aka board games) until the snow had fallen.  And then…  Everybody went outside to play.  Everybody, but mom.  

Now mom watches enough news to know that the storm is coming.  Shopping?  Check!  Rock salt?  Check!  Shovels, snow suits, gloves, and hats!  Check, check, double check!  Dad is either playing on his phone, watching YouTube on the laptop, or consumed by the dreaded Xbox.  

Mom still cooks and bakes.  Kids still entertain themselves, except this time they are playing on their mobile devices or video games (separate from Dad). And Dad…

This year, mom didn’t wait to be rescued.  Mom didn’t even ask anyone else.  She just did it.  Women across the land dug themselves out!  And then didn’t ask for anything else. 

One of my friends suggested that if her man wanted some cookies, he’d better get there and perform his duties!  Don’t ask how that ended.  

Fellas, the ladies have stopped asking.  You are no longer needed.  If you haven’t been putting it down, she’s not waiting for your lazy ass.  

As for me?  Well, I’m single.  No complaints, no expectations, no entitlement.   And it’s cold outside…

Blessing in the Storm

This morning I sensed something above my head.  I heard scratching and then a rustling.  The dog barked, the cats scurried, and then I saw this squirrel fall from my roof. Out my window, I watched this seemingly confused creature of God hustle through the snow and climb the bark of a nearby tree.  

What could this mean?  What in the world?!?

The storm, no doubt, has changed our path. The months leading up to today caused more confusion than reason.  Heat in the west, floods in the south, blistering winds to the north, and here we are trapped in this debilitating snow!

Years ago a man gave a trial sermon that I desperately wanted to witness.  For reasons that I cannot remember, I could not attend the event.  His wife offered me a digital audio copy of the sermon days later.  I gratefully accepted and played it immediately.  I then put it aside knowing that I could appreciate it again later. 
And then I forgot about it.  Out of sight, out of mind.  

There have been trials in my life that have been a reflection of either poor decisions, failed recognition of the “signs” or a wavering faith.  Each trial or “storm” brought with it a destruction of what was.  It also brought (more than) a restoration on the other side of the storm.  

No matter how prepared we think we are, He is more powerful!  

And so as I sort through my preparations (for the next storm), I discovered this sermon amidst my emergency supplies.  When I found it a week ago, I hadn’t heard any weather predictions yet.  I did not know of the impending Blizzard.  

And yet…

He knew.  It is His storm!   He creates the devistation.  He placates the hearts that receive Him.  He restores after its done.  

Below is that sermon, prepared years ago; converted to a shareable format, and available for you on this Sunday morning that most churches are closed.  

Click the link below:

Blessings In A Storm

Do you feel me?


Can you see through my smile?

Can you feel the wind blister my face?

The grumble in my belly?

The tears well up in my eyes?
My pain is personal

But I fear that you feel my pain too. 

My misery and your company
Do not make our pain less.  

Their pity and genuine empathy…

Rage building in my chest. 

Anger fuels my passion. 

Angels calm me down. 

There won’t be much more smiling

Look beyond my frown

Dis-in-genuine concern

Mixed with patriotic patronization 
Smiles and looks of contempt…

Read, Dylan, Read!

I’m looking for innovative ways to get my preteen son to read.  A friend of mine has repeatedly declared that we are living in a  “post-literate society” which suggests that we’ve decided collectively to read less. There have been few truer statements.  Our children don’t read.  Their parents don’t read.  And there’s no resolve in sight.

Our media has been transformed. Print has become digital.  Even homes that used to have shelves lined with books are now filled with Bluerays.  Flea markets sell used DVDs for less than a dollar and VHS tapes go out with the weekly trash.  Digital content is easily obtained and as easily discarded.

You’d think that we’d be using fewer resources to create our info-tainment, but somewhere in Asia there is a wasteland of  unrecycled circuit boards.  And for every 100k gigs of digital content, there’s piles of non-paper waste.

The digital content that was supposed to enhance our lives is consumed, digested, and disposed far quicker than any books ever were.   We used to keep our books as trophies of collected wisdom.  A lifetime of first editions in the most affluent of homes are now replaced with a wall of bluerays and video games.  Those velvet paintings are no longer the masterpieces on the living room wall.  The couch is now on the other side of the room facing that big wall with the 52″ flatscreen television.

Vinyl albums, cassette tapes, and HiFi stereos that were once the source of our musical content have been replaced long ago with MP3 players and streaming content channeled through Bluetooth in every room.

And not a book to be found.

As early as preschool, we are replacing paper storybooks with tablets and digital learning games.  Toddlers in grocery store check out lines are tapping out color coded beeps and bops on a parent’s smart phone. I recall playing video games close and loud enough to trigger kicks and punches from my unborn child inside my wife’s womb.  Fascinating once. Now normal. Digital all the way!

So it really is no surprise that our young people don’t read.  Reading has gone the way of cursive writing.  Penmanship is no longer taught in many schools.  Spelling tests are a things of the past.  And fantastic tales of fictional characters have been replaced with the mandatory informational texts.  The boards of education insist that all these new standards will bolster standardized test scores.   

We are not reading to our kids. We are not reading!

Books in the pediatrician’s waiting room go untouched as juveniles grasp their parents’ (or their own) mobile devices.  Elementary school students more accustomed to sliding their fingers across a glossy screen have little knowledge of the world of paper books.

Local libraries that once offered their internet access as a viable alternative to print or media content can’t keep their doors from closing.   Their discounted books that used to sell for a couple dollars can’t be sold for cents on the dollar.   

Bookstores close–to be replaced with coffee houses with free wifi.  We read, but our content is filled with vibrant and animated images.  No match for a book.

Every aspect of our world is changing.  The way we interact with each other has evolved with social media, YouTube, and Skype.  Even with on-demand cable, the internet side of Netflix and Hulu stream unlimited content. Our smartphones parallel our televisions.  And again, no need for a book.

Owners manuals are digitized.  Maps are now navigation systems, and calculators can be replaced with scanners, apps, and Siri.

The generations to come won’t need to think as hard as their parents.  And yet they’ll rely on their parents to care for them much longer.  Colleges prepare their students for diminishing careers; student loans will likely not be repaid; and graduates will be more skilled in Xbox games, Instagram posts, and waiting skills at the suburban Appleby’s.

Our impatient young readers will develop a temperament to have the world cater to them.  I’m not as concerned with my son Dylan’s unwillingness to read as much as his reduced  desire to develop his mind in the years to come.

Read, Dylan Read!

3 Simple Ways To Start Your Day

It’s a chilly Sunday morning, and you are resisting the need to get out of bed. An hour ago, you squinted and noticed that the sun had already risen. You pulled the covers over your head and thought “5 more minutes…”

Your awakened body becomes more alert to the sounds around you.  Birds chirping, family pets stirring, or maybe traffic making its way down an adjacent street.  Ugh!  Sleep?!?

The struggle is lost.  Awaken you must.  Alas this battle makes way for endless opportunities.   Today is a new day!

The first thing to do is recognize that is a NEW day.  Everything we battled yesterday has been layed to rest. We have the option to wake those challenges up OR we can start anew.  Sadly not every unfinished project can be ignored, but we have the refreshed energy to take on a new perspective.

If you really want to maximize your day without dwelling too much on the challenges of yesterday, take this one simple step towards a positive day.  Count your blessings.  Waking up, breath in your lungs, blood rushing through your veins…   You’ve been given another chance. Another day!  A fresh perspective!

A new day starts with opening your eyes.

Now that you’re awake and brushing off the sleepy dust.  Let’s focus on the next step.  Some people get their shower at night.  Washing off the filth and aggrevation of yesterday’s madness. It’s as symbolic as it is practical.  However, the rest of us choose to get that shower first thing in the morning.  Gotta get the sleepy dust out somehow.

Because I have pets (and too many at that), I’ve got to move pretty quick once my feet hit the floor.  They know that their human is awake!  The challenge is to meet their needs before they decide to leave me new “blessings” all over my kitchen floor.

Robe and slippers on, out of the bedroom we go.  Charge!  Moving quickly towards our next goal invigorates our body.  We are as young as we feel.  The morning is that time of the day that your body has the most resources.  Get that body moving!   If you’re like me, get those pets out the door, hop in that shower, brush those teeth, oh and…don’t forget to charge up that belly with some dairy, grains, or fruit!

It’s your body!  Take care of it.

Now that hygiene and routine morning responsibilities have been addressed, what’s your next step? What’s your plan?  You’ve got to have a plan.

Sometimes my mourning routine will include taking a moment to reflect.  I’ll pick up my phone, check for missed texts, Facebook notifications, or news stories.  That’s going to be a tough habit to break.  But every day brings with it a new opportunity.  Let’s challenge ourselves to do just one thing different today.  Let’s make a plan.

Just one thing.  Make it small.  Make it meaningful.  Make it personal.  With each accomplishment, we will build confidence and determination.  You will not be alone.  For each person reading this, a new idea is blossoming.

Take a risk.  Share this with a friend.  Together we are building a better tomorrow applying our positive attitudes today. And it all started with us waking up and putting our feet on the floor.

At the end of this glorious day, there will be a feeling of satisfaction.  We will have laid one more brick on our foundation for tomorrow.  Tomorrow will be a better day because of the things that we did today.

I think Tevin Campbell said it best in this video.



 This week we get our first glimpse of the Nominees.  

Along with so many parts of our culture, the diverse groups that make our nation’s composition have something to say.  Our opinions are as diverse as our ethnicities.  We are not at all surprised at the pop culture, the current events, or the news.  Why?  Because it isn’t NEW.  Every day we accept a different slant on a “news” story that we’ve heard dozens of times.  We’ve become accustomed to the facts that there is injustice.  But our lack of action is not acceptance.   We haven’t yet determined the appropriate response.  

The rule makers are comfortable even in their own atrocities. Mistakes happen. There’ve been miscalculations and oversights.  This week Flint, Michigan.  Last week Chicago, Illinios.  Missourri, New York, Maine!  It’s not an urban issue or an ethnic issue as much as it is a human issue.  What? You think these problems are unique to our hemisphere??

And with technology and the ability to communicate firmly within our grasp, we are creating more problems than solutions.  Our discontent has become our prime time entertainment. Our reality has become virtual and vise verse.  

This week’s injustice can be summed up in the nominations that we herald as the best that our film industry has to offer.  This disappointment will certainly be mimicked in February and March when the American Music Awards, Golden Globes, Grammy’s, Tony’s nominations are revealed–only to be magnified when the final results are televised. 

Whose world is this?  

The world is yours! Who is making the rules?!?

I’d argue that the rules are wrong, but wrong for whom? The elitist revel in our discontent. They mock us when we set our own standards and create our own (award shows). When we rebel they taunt us and condemn us. When we get our own, the burn it down.  

The more I think about it, the more I realize that the system that we criticize is a system that we helped build.  Be it by forced labor or discontent, we must take some responsibility. And speaking of responsibility, it would be irresponsible to omit the hard work of OUR forefathers that have brought us this far.

But our discontent is growing and the others see the powder keg preparing to explode.  Hence the tenseness.  The others know that the status quo can’t be perpetuated.  They see the discontent, and feel it too.  We are ALL saddened by the path this road has delivered us. 

What we need is a new plan! And with great minds and our ability to form and shape our own existence, we can mold a BETTER world.  

I’m ready!!! Who’s with me?