Life

A Surprising Key to Motivation: Why some Teams, Orgs & Individuals have more of it

As a pastor, I’ve watched a lot of people start the process of change, but only a few follow through on their goals. Whether your goal is to work out, parent better or eat healthier, over time, you’ll see that some people are simply better reaching their goals. But why? Why do some teams, organizations,…
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What White Folks Often Miss about Racism

Honestly, ever since I heard the news of Philando Castile yesterday, my heart has been trembling. Part of it is because it happened right on the heels of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge… and our city still hasn’t gotten over Jamar Clark, nor should it. And when you add snipers in Dallas – murdering innocent…
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How your Marriage can Survive while Parenting Young Kids!

Being a parent with young kids can be one of the most chaotic seasons of life. And if that’s you right now, don’t give up! It only gets better. To make things even more difficult for my wife and me, we made the decision to plant a church (while having 3 kids under the age…
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Study finds: The Quickest Way to Increase Job Happiness is…

When life gets tough, we all have a tendency to condition our happiness upon things that, according to research, simply won’t change our happiness all that much. After writing an entire book hitting some of the statistical causes of happiness, I continue to find more “research gems” that blow my mind. According to the May/June…
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Are you TOO Busy – How to Think in Busy Seasons – Part 2

If you’re feeling busy or weary, lets talk. In part 1 of this blogging series, we discussed the idea that: Success in one area of our lives won’t compensate for failure in another. The happiness of professional success will never make up for a lack of success in our marriage, friendships, parenting, etc. So, if…
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Are You TOO Busy? – How to Think in Busy Seasons – Part 1

Most people think that their busy pursuit of success is fine, until their lives melt down. I meet a lot of middle aged people who thought their marriage, kids, and physical bodies’ were fine (amidst the busyness of their careers) until all-of-a-sudden, they weren’t. CRASH. Your marriage falls apart; your kid does the unthinkable; or…
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Why You Never Win the Lottery…& Should be Glad about It!

Have you ever asked God to help you win the lottery? Be honest. You got that one piece of junk mail saying: “You’re a winner!” And as you looked in the mirror with wide nostrils, you thought: “Doggonit. I AM a winner, aren’t I?” Of course, a day later you realized, you might be a…
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God makes Special Promises to Those Who Fast: Why I love Fasting!

If you’ve come to Substance in the last few years, you’ll know that we start out every new year with a season of fasting. Of course, nobody “has to” fast; but, when you understand what the Bible teaches on fasting, you’ll realize: we “get to” fast.  It’s actually an incredible opportunity. In both the Old…
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How to Have the Best Year of Your Life: 4 Ideas to Revolutionize your Resolutions!

My wife and I have always been obsessive planners. And after having made a million failed plans, I’ve discovered a few tricks that can give our goals a bit more traction! So before you make another frail and disappointing resolution, consider these 4 principles that can place your dreams in the fast lane: (1). Don’t…
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Thoughts on Marriage on My 20th Anniversary!

I married Carolyn 20 years ago today. It almost doesn’t seem real. When I think about how blessed we are compared to most people, I almost feel a little sad. Our culture is robbed by the toxic idea that marriage can fill our God-shaped voids. To many, marriage has been reduced to a ‘right’…a tool…
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