Hills and Valleys

The Hills & Valleys Have Taught Me A New Type of Faith

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” - Psalm 23:4

Right now, I feel like God is far from me. 

Last year I went through a season of, I would describe as, being on the mountaintop with God. Once I got to the top, I took another step, and I fell off and into the valley of darkness. 

This is the valley I am walking in now. I am grateful, I have not had to walk it alone. 

I keep moving, and I keep walking. 

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February 19th 2014: Best Content Of The Last Week

In case you missed it, my last post was on fighting, Click here to read it...

I just finished reading Start by Jon Acuff. I am now reading The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.

Here is the best content I consumed this past week...

Best in Sales & Marketing

The Justice of Price Premiums

"When you neglect to provide options, the client goes in search of something against which to compare your offering and its price point. It might be past experience, similar services from other firms or a host of other comparison points. By offering options, you move the question from “how do I know this is good value?” to “which of these is the better value?” The latter question is the one the brain is equipped to answer; the one you should be enabling your client to answer. (If the enormity of this point hasn’t hit you, you had better read these three paragraphs again.)"

Best in Decision Making

Deciding Not to Decide by Pete Wilson

"Making all of the decisions does nothing to help develop other leaders or make them feel like they’re an important part of the process and furthermore it continues to feed your self deception that you’re actually the smartest person in the room."

Best in Giving

Video: What would you do with $25,000?

Best in Wedding Proposals

Video: She thought they were making a fun video... Instead he proposed



Fighting On Different Hills


The other day I was watching our two oldest children, Madison and David. Madison decided to stake claim to the fact, the Ipad was her toy and she was playing with it. 

"It's my toy." She proclaimed.

Apparently, her announcement made David think she was talking about the toy train he was holding, so he responded. "No, it's my toy!"

They proceeded to go back and forth saying to each other, "No, it's my toy!"

This unraveled as they both became angry with each other. It was as if they thought the other was staking claim to their toy when, in reality, they were talking about two different things. At this point they were so distraught, they seemed to fear the other taking their toy away.

Have you ever been in a fight with a team member, spouse or a friend just to realize at the end you were talking about different things? Were you operating with different definitions of the same word? How many of these arguments and fights would be prevented if we sought clarity before we started? 

I remember several years ago debating with my father-in-law for hours only to realize at the end we agreed on what we were arguing about. It turned out we were arguing because we had a few misunderstandings early on in the dialog. Afterwards, I felt like we had wasted so much time. All this effort and energy expended only to realize we were fighting on different hills. 

As I have learned many times over, it is important to seek clarity and seek it early. When we do this, we have a better foundation for our relationships and interactions.

Where do you need to seek clarity to prevent unnecessary discord?

February 12th 2014: Best Content of the Last Week

In case you missed it, my last post was on procrastination. Click here to read it.

Here is the best content I consumed this past week...

Best in Marriage

Why Your Marriage Needs Fighting, and Lots of It by Selena Frederick

"Sometimes it’s easier to not fight. It’s easier to ignore the problem(s) and just try to get through the day. But this tends to leave us divided and unable to fight for our marriages."

Best in Thinking Different

...different people differently by Seth Godin

"A very long time ago, shoe salespeople realized that shoes that don't fit are difficult to sell, regardless of what you've got in stock. Today, the people you serve are coming to realize that like their shoe size, their needs are different, regardless of what your urgent agenda might be."

Best In Eye Opening

Could Your Brain Be Hacked? by ASAP Science

Best In Learning

The Power of Empathy by RSA

Best in Short Films

PROXiMITY (A Short Film by Ryan Connolly)

Why We Procrastinate


We procrastinate in life. 

It could be doing a chore, pursuing a dream, starting a business, or writing a book.

Why do we do it? If we are honest with ourselves, it seems we can boil it down to three fundamental reasons. 

  1. We believe if we wait long enough, it won't need to be done. 
  2. We believe if we wait long enough, someone else will do it.
  3. It is not a priority.

Truly facing reality can be difficult, but it's our first step in being proactive.

What, in your life, are you procrastinating? Which is your reason?

February 5th 2014: Best Content Of The Week

Here is the best content of the week...

Best in Faith

How I (Malcolm Gladwell) Rediscovered Faith (link no longer active)

"I wanted to know where the Derksens found the strength to say those things. A sexual predator had kidnapped and murdered their daughter, and Cliff Derksen could talk about sharing his love with the killer and Wilma could stand up and say, “We have all done something dreadful in our lives, or have felt the urge to.” Where do two people find the power to forgive in a moment like that?"

Best in Fishing

Near World Record Lake Trout - YouTube

Best in Sports

Slam Dunk Edition

Best in Self Awareness

8 Common Thinking Mistakes Our Brains Make Every Day and How to Prevent Them - The Buffer Blog

"I was seriously shocked at some of these mistakes in thinking that I subconsciously make all the time. Obviously, none of them are huge, life-threatening mistakes, but they are really surprising and avoiding them could help us to make more rational, sensible decisions."

Best in Leadership

Pave The Way

"What would it take for a leader to feel pride when an employee resigns? It would take a leader who had decided to be intentional about living out his legacy, which then inspired one of his employees to do the same. We made the claim last week that unexpected things can happen when someone lives out their legacy, and a “Lyceum casualty” could be one of those things."

Instead of Pork Barreling Desires, Let's Communicate What We Want

"Where do the conflicts and where do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, from your passions that battle inside you? You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask; you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions." James 4:1-3

a pig standing in wet muddy brown water

There have been numerous seasons when sharing my thoughts, ideas, desires, and feelings have been difficult for me. Somewhere along the way, I was made to feel guilty, crazy, embarrassed about what was in my mind and heart. So, instead of sharing, I pushed these thoughts and feelings deep down inside.

As my hesitancy to ask for what I wanted increased, my desires did not decrease. This meant I  had to get creative in getting what I wanted. One of these creative methods I employed was the idea I now call, Pork Barreling Desires.

Pork Barreling is a term used in our government. When lawmakers in our government add financial "bonuses" to laws for their local districts usually having nothing to do with the actual law. By piggybacking on others' desires we realize we can get what we want and avoid a potential conflict.

How does it play out in real life?

I love Chick-Fil-A, and I love the Spicey Chicken Sandwich. This desire used to come with a guilt about wanting something for myself. I felt I was being selfish. I also wanted to maintain a certain image to the world and to my wife so I couldn't come across as selfish.

Out of my own self-righteousness, I got creative. I knew she loved the vanilla milkshakes, and I knew if I offered to get her one she would not turn it down. I would go to her, without disclosing my own desire, asking if she would like me to go get her a milkshake. She said yes, and I went.

Then, while I was at Chick-Fil-A getting my wife a milkshake, I went ahead and ordered that Spicey Chicken Sandwich while I was there. I served my wife, and I got what I wanted. It all worked out well, right?

My actions looked clean, but my heart was tainted. I was attempting to maintain a certain image of myself and get what I wanted secretly. In writing this, it seems silly to think I behaved like this.

What do I do now? I'm upfront and honest. I say I'm heading to Chick-Fil-A to get some food. Would you like something while I am there? Easy and open. No confusion. No hiding desires. No facades.

What desires are you pork barreling at home? At work?

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Grow Your Life With Jason Scott Montoya, Atlanta Georgia
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