The Joy of Writing Thank You Notes

Over the past few years as I have listened to podcasts and read the blog posts of creative and inspirational people, I have heard a number of them discuss the idea of writing handwritten notes for people.

Some of these authors, speakers, and entrepreneurs have talked about the effects that their notes have had on others and some of them have raved about a handwritten note that someone had written them.


Is There a Book Inside of You?

There is a quote that I have seen attributed to a few sources.  It says, "In their life every person should plant a tree, write a book, and have a child".  

When I first read the quote, I had not planted a tree or written a book, but my wife and I had several children.

At present, I have written a book and planted a tree (does planting veggie plants in my garden at home count?), so I have completed the list.

Now to the topic at hand.  Is there a book inside of you?

My guess is the answer to the question is YES.




Done Is Better Than Perfect

I have a confession to make.

During the past few years, I have set ambitious goals and then I have not accomplished them.

Do you want to know why?  It wasn't because I didn't have the know-how.  It wasn't because I wasn't smart enough. In most cases, it wasn't even because I didn't have the resources or money.

The reason why I didn't accomplish my goals was because I was concerned with perfection.  



Everyone Needs Reminders

As a techie, I go through a lot of information on a daily basis.  I interact with people through email, I have conversations over the phone and in person, and I read lots of blog posts, tweets on Twitter, and Facebook posts.

Since so much information goes through my brain, I often need reminders to keep up with important dates and details.

As I was reading a candid email from author Robert D. Smith few days ago, the thought came to me that we often need reminders of lessons that we have learned in life as well.


In addition to keeping up with important dates, meetings, and obligations, we also need to be reminded of important factors in our lives.

Here are seven that I constantly have to remind myself:

1.  If God does nothing else for you in this lifetime, you are already blessed beyond measure

The #1 thing that I am grateful for at this point in my life is salvation.  After truly meeting Jesus in my early twenties, there was no experience that could compare.  It is a priceless gift and one that I hope to share with thousands of people. in my lifetime.

2.  Your wife and kids love you and they show you every day

There is not a day that goes by where I am not shown love by my wife and kids.  My wife serves us faithfully at home and the kids smile and laugh with me every day.

3.  You are gainfully employed and have never missed an important payment since you started working

With unemployment rates where they are and people struggling to get by, I have been blessed to work in an environment that I enjoy and I have been able to provide for my family as it has grown.  I have to remind myself to be grateful for "the process" when I start thinking about my career advancement and my aspirations as a business owner. 

4.  Your clients think of you as a man of integrity and they trust you to share personal information

I have been able to work with people who are known by millions of people.  I have also worked with business owners who have freely given me financial information and/or passwords because they knew that I could be trusted.  That, in itself, is an honor.  

5.  You have musical talents that have allowed you to meet some great people

Since I've played the piano for the past 21 years, I have met some interesting people.  While serving as a worship leader and music minister, I have had opportunities to interact with pastors and other people I respect.  I have also had great conversations with people while providing music and community functions.  I'm not as skilled as I want to be, but I'm in a position to use my gift, so I'll take that.

6.  You have escaped death at least once that you know of and possibly thousands of times because of God's grace

When I was in college, I was in an accident where the van I was riding in flipped over a few times.  As I approached that moment, I was almost sure that I was going to die.  Obviously (since I'm writing this post), that didn't happen, but I have to remind myself that my life has been spared – not just that time, but more than I could imagine.

7.  You may not consider yourself to be an expert in lots of things, but other people do

Until recently, I didn't think of just how many people ask my wife and I questions about a number of topics.  I get questions about computers, websites, and other technical topics.  My wife is often asked about marriage, parenting, hair care, cooking, and homemaking.  It's an honor to be thought of as a source of wisdom for some of these topics.


Question:  I've listed a few of the reminders that I need.  What are some of the reminders that you often need?

I'm working on a new 5 week e-course to teach people how to blog.  Be sure you're on my email list to be informed when I'm closer to launching it.




What If?

Think about something for a moment.

What If . . .

…you were able to double your income this year – even in THIS economy

…you found or created your dream job in the next few months


We All Have a Voice

One of my goals for this year (2013) is to write something every day.  During the past year, I've sporadically written on my blog and I've seen other people that I know launch new blogs.


I have been surprised and entertained by the stories that I've read, the lessons that I have learned, and the laughs that I have enjoyed while reading the content that other people have produced.

My wife started her blog,, and managed to build a following of people who have expressed their enjoyment of nearly anything she writes.

There used to be so many barriers to expressing yourself through writing or speaking.  You had to have enough money to publish your book or start your own radio show or podcast.  Now, with a computer and an Internet connection, you can get started sharing your cause, your message, or anything else you want to share.

As much as possible, I want to encourage many people to share their thoughts with the world.  Whether it's my wife, who I think is an amazing writer, or people who I haven't yet met, I want to hear what people have to say and how they choose to deliver it.

I'm not sure how much I will write every day, but I'll give it a shot. Stay tuned!

Benefits of Waking Up Early

There is just something about early in the morning.  Even though, many times, I am very tired and could use another hour or two of sleep, I find myself being super productive in the wee hours of the morning.

In this post, I want to share 5 benefits of waking early in the morning and how they can help you the rest of the day.

1) Opportunities for prayer and meditation – if there is no other time of day when you can have the peace to seek God or meditate on His word, the morning can be that time.  If you wake up before everyone else, you can have uninterrupted time

2) Opportunities for exercise – there's nothing like getting your blood flowing first thing in the morning.  Exercise can provide you with energy for the rest of the day and if you need to lose a few pounds, a morning routine can certainly help

3) Planning for the day – if you get up early in the morning, you can create a to-do list based on what you anticipate for the day.  If you have to make phone calls, send emails, or run errands, you can make a quick list while your mind is clear

4) Catching up on emails – if you have any emails that you need to check or send, the early morning time is a good time to do it.  You can focus on what needs to be said and quickly respond or send emails.  

5)  Cleaning – by waking up early, you can sweep, mop, wipe off surfaces, or do any other easy cleaning tasks before anyone else wakes up.  You'll start off the day with a clean house and everyone else will appreciate your efforts

Though I don't always get all of these tasks completed, I often feel much better when I wake up early in the morning ready to conquer the day.  

I am doing a 30 day Early Rise Challenge and I plan to get up at 5 a.m.. every day for 30 days to develop the habit and to be more productive.  

Maybe you should give it a try too and find out what benefits you may gain by getting up earlier each day.

Question:  What are some of the benefits you notice when you wake up earlier in the morning?