★ Thought for the Day – What Does Your Schedule Look? ★

What Does Your Schedule Look?  That is a question that I ask, and that I am asked everyday, several times a day.  Scheduling is critical for the success of any project.  However too often, additional time is required in order to get things done.  Whenever talking with younger staff, I always try to steer them in the direction of “work–life balance.  ” You ask, what is that, right?

In today’s technologically advanced workplace processes, the notion of having balance between an individual’s work and personal life seems impossible.  Emails, laptops/iPads, and cellphones, enable us to accomplish work beyond the physical boundaries of the office but simultaneously makes a personal life almost non-existent.  If you’re not careful, responding to emails or voice mails after-hours or during the weekend can wreak havoc on your health because you don’t have focused or sustained “down time.”  Lack of balance can also jeopardize your relationships with your friends, spouse and/or children.

Bill Hybels made this profound statement in regards to this,

“My schedule is far less about what I need to get done and more about what I want to become.”

I could not agree with that more!  We all have to decide for ourselves, what will our schedule look like, because in the end what you choose to allow to dominate your schedule will affect everything and everyone in your life.

★ Thought for the Day – How Important is Integrity? ★

Roy E. Disney once said:

"It's not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are."
“It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are.”

Throughout my career, I have had bosses who wanted me to lie to our clients, to misrepresent what we had done in the past, and to “fudge” how much further along on the project then we really were. It’s moments like that, that will define who you are, and ultimately, what path your career will take…Regardless of whether you have to misrepresent yourself in a “BIG way” or “just a little white lie,” once you compromise you integrity, it WILL become the “new normal” and will be expected to be repeated.

Zig Ziglar puts a fine point on this thought…

“If people like you, they”ll listen to you. But if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”

So I pose the question in a different way… how important is your integrity?


★ Thought for the Day – Following Fiercely ★

Have you ever followed behind someone while driving to somewhere you’ve never been before?  If you are like me, you made sure that there was no room between their car and yours so that you did not get cut off right?  My brother in-law once got into an accident from following too fiercely.  
I would like to pose this thought to you, that we should be following God fiercely, regardless of the cost.  I Peter 2:21 (NLT) says,
"For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps."
“For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.”

There is an incredible song from Jon Guerra called “I Will Follow,” which declares this: 


When the sea is calm and all is right

When I feel Your favor flood my life
Even in the good, I’ll follow You

When the boat is tossed upon the waves
When I wonder if You’ll keep me safe
Even in the storms, I’ll follow You

When I see the wicked prospering
When I feel I have no voice to sing
Even in the want, I’ll follow You

When I find myself so far from home
And You lead me somewhere I don’t wanna go
Even in my death, I’ll follow You

I love this song because it covers the gambit..in the good times…in the bad times, when evil people are succeeding and I’m not.  Even if it costs me my life, I’ll follow God no matter what!!  That is what it means to follow God fiercely!  Jesus came over 2,000 years ago to show us how to serve God and others.  And He did so unto the point of death…now that is following fiercely.  Can the same be said of you?

★ Thought for the Day – Experience is the Best Teacher ★

On numerous occasions, I remember my mother saying “Experience is the Best Teacher.”  I did a little digging and found that the great Roman leader Julius Caesar recorded the earliest known version of this proverb, “Experience is the teacher of all things,” (c. 52 B.C.).  But my favorite rendition of this expression is from the J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece, “The Fellowship of the Ring,” where he penned these words that I have quoted over and over…

“The burned hand teaches best. After that, advice about fire goes to the heart.”
“The burned hand teaches best. After that, advice about fire goes to the heart.”

I am a firm believer that “the burned hand teaches best,” experience; especially the mistakes are the best teachers.  I have learned far more from my failures then I ever did from my successes.  I think that is because, when embarrassment, disappointments or pain happens in our lives, the brain registers, and remembers that emotion much clearer than our greatest victory.  Mistakes and failures are going to happen, and sometimes we may have to take a couple steps back, and regroup in order to move forward again, but the key is, don’t miss this…that if we learn from our “burned hand,” we will end up becoming far wiser and stronger had the failure never happened!

The question is, what will you do when failure happens?



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★ Thought for the Day – The Holy Spirit is Our Spider Sense ★

Since 2002, Hollywood has given us several variations of the comic book classic Spiderman. First portrayed by Tobey Maguire and more recently by Andrew Garfield, the silver screen offerings of the Superhero Spiderman, have been saturated with high-tech special effects bringing Stan Lee’s creation to life. Long before these movie adaptations, I was a fan of the Spiderman comic books growing up. If you are not familiar with the story line…Peter Parker, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities after being bitten by a genetically modified spider. He eventually uses these abilities to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family. One of the side effects of the spider bite was a “Spider Sense” that would be activated whenever danger was near. One of the classic phrases that Spiderman would think was…”My Spider Sense is tingling!” (Personally I think the movies fell short of really capturing that part of his abilities as pictured here, but I digress).

Have you ever had a “feeling” that something bad was going to happen, or that something was not right about a person, only to have those concerns confirmed? I think we all have a “Spider Sense” of sorts, which came to me as I was reading 1 Peter, Chapter 5. I thought about how when I have had these feelings, it was the result of the Holy Spirit working within me to be an “early warning system” about the activities of the enemy. If you will pardon the parallel, The Holy Spirit is Our Spider Sense. Spiderman had many enemies, and so that early warning detection was critical. As a follower of Jesus, we too have have many enemies…the chief enemy being the Devil, but he also has many servants that war against as well. In Peter 5:8-9 (NLT) it says.

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.”

The sobering part of these verses to me is the, “looking for someone to devour” part. Our enemy does not care who it is, so long as he can destroy you!  But before despair sets in, re-read verse 9…all we need to do is “Stand firm” and “be strong” in our faith, and “remember” that other believers around the world are facing the same kind of struggles we are. For me though, the best part of Chapter 5 is found in verse 10, that assures us of what will happen is if we persevere…

“In his kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” (1 Peter 5:10 NLT)

Don’t miss this…if you are suffering today, if you are under the weight of massive attacks from every angle, God wants to speak into your circumstance and let you know that:


Just trust Him and listen to His voice!!

★ Thought for the Day – Talent vs. Integrity ★

If you were asked…What is more important to have, talent or integrity, what would you answer?  Depending on the audience you were in front of at the moment, perhaps the answer would be different.  By the world’s standards, the resounding response would be “TALENT” unequivocally.  There is clear belief that to make it in this world, Talent is preeminent, and your “Integrity” needs to be laid aside.  Mark Batterson said it perfectly,

"Our culture celebrates TALENT more than INTEGRITY.  We've got it backwards."  
“Our culture celebrates TALENT more than INTEGRITY.  We’ve got it backwards.”

You don’t have to look too hard to see this played out…from America’s Got Talent, to American Idol, to the adulation that professional athletes and celebrities receive, Talent is everything, and integrity or character…well…that takes a backseat.  The John Maxwell Company posted a blog called, “Why Talent Won’t Cut It,” and they made this astute observation that “Character Protects Your Talent”: :

“Figure skater Tonya Harding, golfer John Daly, sprinter Marion Jones, and cyclist Lance Armstrong…each of these athletes had dazzling ability, but lacked the character to sustain it.  Overcome by jealousy, Harding hired a hitman to attack her rival, Nancy Kerrigan, thereby sacrificing her shot at Olympic stardom.  Daly won the PGA Championship as a rookie, and the British Open a few years later, but his off-course drinking problems kept him from winning as much as his talent merited.  Both Jones and Armstrong gave in to the temptation to supplement their natural talents with performance enhancing drugs.  While the decision brought them victories in the short-run, each eventually got caught and suffered a fall from grace.”

Integrity is the glue that unites talent with success.  Without it, eventually all the talent in the world will not stop the house of cards from collapsing!  Integrity…It matters!


★ Thought for the Day – Never Fatherless ★

Father’s Day is for honoring dads, and for celebrating fatherhood and the influence that fathers have on society.  It is also a day that can bring up painful memories of abuse, or abandonment, or absence due to the wrong priorities.  In this day and age, most people have not experienced a father like these pictured in Norman Rockwell’s iconic illustrations of fathers at their best.  Truth be told, when he did these in the early 19th century, many people probably did not have these Paragons of Fatherhood either.

02 - Daily Dependence - Never FatherlessI grew up a product of divorce from the age of 5.  When I was 12, we moved 3 hours away from my dad which severed any connection I had, and lasted for most of my adult life.  My father was a hard man, who was an alcoholic and far, far from God.  Two decades later, I called my him to reconnect and restore our relationship.  After years of heavy drinking, several strokes and heart attacks, my father was given 3 – 6 months to live.  I spent several months talking with him about my relationship with Jesus and how God had changed my life.

On Saturday, August 13, 2011, I had the honor to partner with God, as I lead my Dad in a prayer when he accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior!  I cannot express how incredible it was, not only that he made that eternal decision, but to be a part of God pouring out His mercy and grace was truly amazing!!

God is faithful!

Throughout my life I have had many different feelings about my Dad, from love to hatred to anger to pity.  Growing up without a father was difficult to bear, but when I accepted Jesus, everything changed.  My understanding of who God was completely changed.  He was not  an all-powerful, disconnected killjoy, but a loving. compassionate father who cares for me far greater than any earthly father could ever.  Psalm 68:5 (NLT) says,

"Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy."
“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy.”

I may not have had a dad to read to me a story, or help me swing a baseball bat, or go to church with, but I have a Heavenly Father who healed all my wounds and made me whole.  My identity is in God and God alone.  No matter what has happened to you, always remember you are never fatherless.  God loves you and He is just waiting for you to reach out to Him!

★ Thought for the Day – I Hate Religion and I’m a Christian… ★   

Does the title of today’s Thought surprise you?  One day in the office, a co-worker said to me, “I hate religion.”  He was surprised by my response when I said “so do I.”  Knowing that I am a Christian, he naturally assumed I was “Religious.”  I told him that “Religion” is just “Man’s” way of understanding or attempting to connect with God.  Unfortunately though people are hurt and oppressed by “Man-made” rules and then they blame God for what people say or do to them.  Mark Twain once said:

That is so true!  He gets blamed all the time for what people do in “His name,” but what God really desires is to have a personal relationship with us, through His Son Jesus, where we include Him in all aspects of our life.  I truly believe that you can “Hate Religion” and be a Christian too!  Or maybe a better way to describe myself would be a “Christ Follower.”  I may say that I am a Christian, but above all else, I desire to be more and more like Jesus and that only happens through me pursuing a relationship with Him and God daily.  Hence the name of this blog…“Daily Dependence.”  I read somewhere this amazing quote that expresses how I feel perfectly…

So the question I have for you is…

Do you have a “RELIGION” or do you have a “RELATIONSHIP?”  There is a huge difference!

This contrast between religion and a relationship is critical to understand.  Don’t miss what God wants to speak to you today!

Click here if you would prefer to listen to the Podcast of this blog post.

In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NLT) of the Bible, The Apostle Paul talks about what Jesus did to have a relationship with us, he said,

“For I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed to me.  Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.  He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.”

God’s rescue plan for you and I was to send Jesus, His One and Son just in case we would decide to have a relationship with Him.  Imagine getting this text from God?

It would be pretty great huh?  But I would submit to you that we have that in the form of the Bible which is God’s love letter to you and I.  He desires a relationship with us not empty religious rituals or just following some “made man” rules.  When you have a relationship with someone it is out of love not coercion or obligation.  And to prove how serious God was to have that relationship with us, He sacrificed His Son as payment for our sins, who He then rose from the dead 3 days later (which is commemorated on Easter Sunday,) so that IF ANYONE believes in JESUS they will be saved from the consequences of their sins and will have eternal life in heaven, (see John 3:16).

Romans 10:9-10 (NLT) says:

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.”

The relationship I have can be yours too, all you need is to pray a simple prayer and ask for forgiveness and acknowledge that you are a broken sinful person (which we all are, especially me!)  And then tell God that you accept Jesus as the payment for your sins; or another way of saying it, that you accept Him as your savior.  If you are ready to start a relationship with the God, our Heavenly Father and His Son, below is a prayer you can pray to start you on the journey.  The words you say really don’t matter, there is nothing special about them, but the emotion and belief in your heart does.  Make this your prayer today:

God take this broken, sinful person and change my life.  I confess I have made mistakes and acknowledge that I am in need of a Savior.  I want a relationship with you.  Please forgive me.  I believe that Jesus came to die for my sins and that He is the bridge that brings me to eternal life with you forever.  Today I accept the free gift of eternal life and know that I can never do enough good deeds to earn that salvation.  In Jesus Name I pray!  Amen!

If you earnestly prayed that prayer you are a new creation, (see 2 Corinthians 5:17!)  God will honor that prayer of surrender and will do incredible things in your life! 

Please contact me DailyDependence@gmail.com if you have any questions about your new life in Jesus Christ, I would love to discuss your decision more.  God Bless!


If you are interested, here is another post that further develops this Thought called: 

★ “Back to the Basics” – I Hate Religion and I’m a Christian…Part 2 ★