Are We Losing our Ability to be Creative?

I recently started a new book.  “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman is about a man that’s almost 60 years old.  His wife died recently, and he was recently laid off (forced to retire) from his job.  He is bitter, doesn’t like it when people don’t “follow the rules” however arbitrary they may be, and isn’t too fond of his neighbors.

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While there are a lot of great little one-liners in the book, one stood out especially.  The book describes his morning routine, and how he percolates his coffee each morning rather than buying a latte; and it talks about the value of a hand-written note.  Ove critiques modern culture as having forgotten how to do anything for themselves, and today it’s all “computers and espresso machines.”

I pondered that for a bit.
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Be Still and Wait

Last night my 74 year old dad fell in his bathroom.  For most of us that wouldn’t be a big deal.  But a unique set of circumstances turned this into quite the ordeal.  Because he has had his knee replaced, there is a metal rod that is embedded several inches into the bone in his femur.  That metal rod provided a sturdy structure against which the rest of the bone pivoted, and the result was that the femur snapped in two.

Despite his ailments, he is still tough and strong.  He managed to crawl out of the bathroom, through the bedroom, down the hall, and into the kitchen (probably around 75 feet of crawling).  He pulled himself upright and found his phone to call me.  Long story short, he is now awaiting a pretty big surgery to put his leg back together.

His recent health issues have reminded me of an important verse; a promise that God has given us.

Renew your strength, writer in Billings

“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31 ESV More »

The American Stupidity Epidemic

There is an epidemic in America.  It’s not one of obesity; although that is a problem and has been a problem.  It is not an epidemic of political polarization; although our viewpoints are becoming much more dichotomized.  It’s not an epidemic of violence and violent crimes; although violence is still a huge issue.  It’s not an epidemic of a decline in morals; although many would say that the country has lost its moral compass.  It’s not even an epidemic of Godlessness; although many believe that the US is no longer a Christian nation, and that certainly is a factor in the epidemic we are facing today.

The American Stupidity EpidemicThe epidemic that we are facing is that we are growing stupid.  Despite the fact that American adults are better educated than ever before; we are collectively becoming stupider.
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Prayer has Become a Lost “Art”

One of the easiest aspects of life is communicating with our Savior.  As we drive we can have a conversation.  While we shower, we can talk with Him.  In the stillness of the morning, we are able to praise Him, offer thanksgiving for what He’s given us, and make our requests known to him.

If it’s so easy, why does it get pushed to the side so often?  If all we have to do is talk with Him, not even out loud, then why is it that we go through many days with only a short “thanks for the day” in the morning, and a “sorry for not doing enough for you, help me to try harder tomorrow” at night?

Let’s make it a habit to pray; let’s do that over the next few weeks.

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Winning Doesn’t Mean they Lose

Whether you’re a business owner, a manager, or a professional, you are competing for business with someone else.  Most people believe that in order for their business to succeed, their competitors should fail.  That, however, is a fallacy.

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“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,” Proverbs 24:17 ESV.

In the book of Proverbs we learn about being a good sport.  It’s a great way to make sure your heart stays kind, and it’s a great way to ensure that your life remains stress free (not to mention you show the love of Christ).  But we can extrapolate this to more than just being a kind person.

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What I no Longer Believe

Not long ago Ramit Sethi posed an interesting question.  The question can be used as an icebreaker.  It can be used to learn more about people with whom you interact.  And it can be used as a way to look inside yourself and learn more about who you are.  The blog post was pretty short, and simply asked, “What do you no longer believe?”  I took a few minutes, and came up with three things that once shaped who I was, and now I have a totally different worldview.

A change in your worldview

Naturally these viewpoints might change again throughout the course of life.  But these worldviews shaped who I was, and who I turned into.  As you read, think about what you no longer believe and why.

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How to Overcome Pain

I’m in a couple of business groups.  One, Elevate Leadership, is designed around helping me grow to become a better leader and business owner.  The other, Biz to Biz, is designed around helping me grow the business and ensure that there is plenty of money coming in to take care of employees and family.

A friend and former colleague, Jeramie Meadows, was in both of those groups, and recently gave a talk at Elevate.  He made reference to something his father-in-law used to say all the time, something that on the surface sounds a bit silly, but when you dive into it, it really isn’t.

Time heals all wounds content writer in Billings

It will feel better when it stops hurting.

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S.T.E.M. Enhancement at Home with Kiwi Crate

A few months ago I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I came across an ad for Kiwi Crates.  I don’t remember the exact ad, but it was created well enough that I was intrigued.  I clicked to see what it was all about, and ended up ordering a crate.  The reviews I could find online were mixed, and most were over a year old, so I wanted to see what it was all about for myself.

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Here’s the bottom line: if you want to have great projects that help your child think, explore science, technology, engineering, and math, and you don’t want to have to try to come up with all of the projects on your own.  Then these are for you.

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The Never Ending Quest for a Better Home

A couple of years ago I did a post on how I was working hard to update my old house.  We had a hail storm come through Billings in 2014 that did significant damage to the roof and to the siding.  The result was that an insurance claim provided enough money to not only fix, but also to upgrade parts of the home.  Doing a lot of the work myself made the money go further.

Updating my old house in Billings

Before and After… except not quite done.

In the previous post I had only gotten as far as the roof.  Now, a little over two years later, there are some major improvements that have been made.
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Keep Your Eyes Open to See Success

There are a lot of people out there that love to complain.  They complain that life has dealt them a bad hand and blame fate for their problems.  They complain that they can’t get ahead in their career and blame others for their lack of success.  They complain that nothing works out for them and blame just about anything they can.  Sometimes they complain loudly, other times they complain quietly.  But often, they don’t blame the party that’s responsible for their lack of success: themselves.

Sure there are times when you truly have been dealt a bad hand.  There are events that are totally outside of your control.  But we can always control our response to those influences, and we can always change some aspects to adapt to those that we can’t change.

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“Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.” Proverbs 20:13 ESV

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