Sunday, March 1, 2015

The 7 Essential Elements of Leaving A Great Legacy

I'll never forget when my dad gave the eulogy at his dad's funeral. My dad is a highly experienced public speaker, but it's no small thing to try to sum up the life of a great man. And as I sat in the pew of the Lutheran church where the funeral was held, I realized that that's really what a legacy is - it's the summation of your life. When it's all said an done, your legacy is what your life boils down to. 

Photo courtesy of mbell1975 at
So how do you leave a great legacy? Is there a formula? Can you even be intentional about it, or do you just do what you can and hope for the best? And if you are able to be intentional about leaving a legacy... how would you go about it?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

3 ways to give teenagers the respect they need to become mature adults

Alura was 12 when I married her mom and became her dad. At first, her need from me was simple. She needed to time to build trust. Now she's 16 and we've built a lot of trust, but her needs have changed too.

As a teenager, she still has lots of needs. But, in my mind, one stands above the rest. Like all teenagers, Alura needs to be respected by Allison and me.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

7 Things every son needs from his dad to become a man

Raising boys isn't easy. We live in a world that's increasingly designed to derail their lives and hurl them into a darkness futility, or worse. And the problem is compounded by the fact that our society doesn't have a unified definition of what it means to be a man. If you look around, manhood seems to be defined by who can make the most money, buy the most toys, and score with the most girls.

What doesn't add up is the fact that many of the world's richest playboys couldn't be more obviously unqualified as real men. Our sports figures are undone by their own wealth; getting into trouble with drugs, drunken driving, and domestic violence. Our politicians are undone by their influence; falling into incredible scandals. And our rock stars... well, we've learned not to expect too much from them.

Regardless of where you look, our culture doesn't present a solid example of what it means to be a good man, let alone a great man. So what are boys growing up in our world to do?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

How to tell if a recovering addict is about to relapse

One of the scariest parts of recovery is the anxiety that comes with worrying that you or someone you care about will relapse after they've gotten a foothold in sobriety.

Photo courtesy of Michael Dunn at

It happens commonly. In fact, it's a statistical probability. And it can happen to anyone at any point in their recovery. I remember an old school teacher who once confided in me that he was brokenhearted over a close friend who had relapsed after 15 years. He said his friend had gotten married and even had a couple kids during his stint without drinking. Then one day, for no apparent reason, he started drinking again and brought his whole family into a world of darkness that he had worked so hard to leave behind.

Stories like those leave a lot of people (addicts included) wondering Is there a way I could have stopped this? Is there anything I could have done? Well, there's good news and bad news.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dads and grandpas, here's why you're losing our respect

If there's anything a man wants to leave behind when his life is over, it's a great legacy. We're wired to want to be great and impact the world. It's the reason we build large businesses, strive to be great husbands and fathers, do scientific research, overcome impossible odds, and never stop working to become better.

Photo courtesy of Nicholas at
Many men have left incredible legacies behind. By working hard to stand for something more than themselves, men like Ghandi, George Washington, and Martin Luther King Jr. have left us asking what we're capable of.

And even beyond them, there are great men who never reached celebrity status who are shaping the world and leaving great legacies. They're husbands, fathers, and career minded men who become living examples of excellence to everyone around them. But as time and technology reshape our world, many men who might have once been great are proving themselves incredible fools to everyone around them.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thankfully, I pranked my daughter until she cried

Parenting isn't an exact science... In fact it's not a science at all. It's more of an art. An art where the rules and methods change every day. Sometimes you screw up and it's bad. Other times you screw up and somehow it turns out good.

A few days ago I played a prank on Scarlett that left her in tears, but with the way things turned out neither of us would have it any other way.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Taking the guess work out of finding God's call on your life

Have you ever met those Christians who are really confident in God's calling on their life. They say things like, "I just really sense his leading in my spirit." And then you smile and nod, all the while thinking, What? How come I can never sense anything in my spirit? Is this guy full of it, or is there something I don't know?

Photo courtesy of Hamed Saber at
Maybe you don't feel like you have the same highly refined spiritual sniffer that some people seem to have, but that's okay because you don't need it. God has already given you everything you need to know what exactly what direction he wants you to go.