Christian Self Motivation

(Link from Part 1 & Part 2 of this series)

We don’t do anything unless our hearts and minds agree. 

On this topic, there are two types of internal conversations between heart and mind – ones initiated by the mind and ones initiated by the heart. 

Following the tree metaphor of life outlined in other posts, we get energy to grow from our roots (inside) and from our leaves (outside). The source is always God, the only question is, how are we receiving it. Whether a friend buys you lunch or you find a winning lotto ticket, it’s external provision. If God gives you an idea, or a talent and you use it to create massive value which attracts wealth, that’s an example of internal provision. (man does not live by bread alone). 

Mind to Heart Conversation

A fact is observed. The fact is neutral. Like tools (money/power/etc.) they aren’t innately good or bad. It’s who has them and how they use them. However, facts tend to be both good and bad. Like two sides to a coin. The observer (frames) or tags them as good or bad. Our attitude/lens/ etc. causes the fact to stimulate a belief, either Faith or Doubt.

Faith is the belief that I’ll get a desired outcome. Doubt is the belief that I will get an undesirable outcome. 

When the mind initiates the conversation the heart responds with Anticipation or Anxiety based on whether the fact has been framed by faith or doubt. 

Heart to Mind Conversation

God wrote desires in your heart. He gave you talents and authority. Your design doesn’t depend on whether or not you’ve been saved. Anyone can look at their design and see signs of their purpose. 

Your heart is also your place of connection to the Father. The Father is inviting sons to have experiences with him that will reveal their purpose. 

So when the heart brings up a topic the mind asks, “how are we going to do this?” We often lack the 10,000 hours of training and practice that would enable us to accomplish our hearts desires. 

Experiential Learning

How we frame things tends to come from our lens/mindset. The heart always asks, “why are we doing this?” So the mind must answer based on experience. New age would have you believe you can reprogram your lens through will power. The truth is you need new experiences. 

Sources of new experience include actually having the same circumstance result in better results. This requires faith in who God is and who he says you are.

Story is a powerful tool, because it exposes our heart to an experience outside our own. It introduces the possibility of a different outcome. 

We must also take apart our own personal stories because we’ve often filtered an experience through a negative lens and recorded only the negative. While examining our stories we have the opportunity take action to redeem these events, nullify their impact on our current story and see positive aspects that were repressed by the title “negative experience.”

So the answer is…

Graham Cooke is famous for saying, “If all of your thinking has brought you to a place that you do not like, it’s time to have another thought!”

It’s a bit obvious, that if you keep doing what you have always done you’ll get the same results, but it seldom gets applied to motivation and growth. Here, with the context we’ve laid out in three posts, this becomes a ninja shortcut.

If your will is locked inside a set of thoughts and feelings, then every effort to heal and expand your thoughts and heal your feelings will result in more abundant life. This is why we must surrender our will to God, because he’s got a better lens. His thoughts are brilliant. We must subject each area of our life to someone who’s experiences empower us to do what we would not do based on our experiences.

Then go out and seek to replace your experiences. God is always handing you opportunities to move in the opposite of what your circumstances declare. If you’re stressed, it’s an invitation to receive from God, the opposite of stress. Imagine the positive that is the reverse of your negative circumstance and focus on that until it uproots the negative.

Apply hope to your troubles and you can persevere, persevering builds character. It allows you to grow in Knowledge (relationship with the source of wisdom) and Grace (the person Jesus Christ).

Graham Cooke would say, what is God teaching me that he can’t teach through any other circumstances. It often comes down to how we view God and how we think he views us. These are disciplines that will take time. I invite your to contact me and we can talk about your next steps.

Here are some great resources for this series of posts.

Myron Golden  

Topic: Motivation, Influence, Resistance, Procrastination,

John Garfield Blog/Podcast

Topic: Flowing from your heart

Dallas Willard

Healthy Mind, Body, Soul

Hey Christian: Is the Whole World Bad?

Andy Bunch

We need to decide if we believe the world is basically bad or basically good. As Christians we have a ton of bible verses, especially in the Old Testament that would indicate that the world is most assuredly evil. 

I’ve heard Christians say things like, the world belongs to the devil. I certainly can’t defend all the wrong doing, greed, and selfishness we encounter on a daily basis, but I think this is a really important point and we Christians get ourselves into a lot of trouble when we sort of skim through the instructions on topics like this. It hides prejudices we apply to others which they use as an excuse to hate us and the God we represent. 

But Andy, if the Bible says the world is evil then it is, right?

Well, yes, but is that all it says? 

1st where do we get the idea the world is evil. We know the world is fallen. We know the world is one of three things we Chrisians battle in spiritual warfare, but the other two are Satan and our own flesh. We don’t have a problem saying our own flesh is a little nuanced. Satan is clearly evil and in my opinion, beyond redemption, but my flesh is something to be circumcised from the new me in Christ. So is the world something to be redeemed or something beyond redemption? 

We need to answer this question because it determines who we are fighting. We’re told that we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with spirits and principalities (Eph. 6:12-13).

Where do we get the idea that the world is beyond redemption? 

Frankly it serves organized religion, past and present, to keep people focused on Salvation as a get out of jail free card. One day we’ll go to heaven and our suffering will end forever, right? Yes, except we don’t spend eternity in heaven. Jesus brings us back to a new Earth. I won’t take time to proof text poker that one out, but it’s one of the top bad three bad theologies believed by most Christians that’s crippling our transformation and our ability to take up our purpose. (Two others are the rapture and believing that humans are only body and soul, ignoring the Spirit.)

The truth is that all of nature groans in eager expectation for the Sons and Daughters of God to be revealed. Not so we can tell them how wicked they are, but so we can lead them to the feet of God as an act of worship. 

They don’t follow you if you aren’t blessing them. How do you bless something you think is unredeemable? 

How you see people:

I think seeing the world as fallen and without any good has more to do with ourselves than biblical teaching. 

Most people either believe others are better than them, worse than them or about the same. We do this with God too, by the way. I think the modern Christian willingness to write off everyone who doesn’t philosophically align with them comes from a similar life lens, so baked in as to be an unconscious bias. 

Not since Calvin came up with predestination (which can’t be disproven BTW) have humans been so eager to embrace a superiority complex. Let me tell you my story and this will make more sense. 

How I started pondering this:

I woke up a few weeks ago hearing God say, “everyone who knows me is your brother or sister and everyone who doesn’t know me is your friend.” 

I had to ponder this and it led me on an awesome wild goose chase. 

I remember when I reconnected to God after my father died. I’d been raised a Christian but I didn’t get serious until my father died and my pain was so great I couldn’t do anything until I asked God to be my father.  When I asked that and God affirmed that he would, he showed me all the times in my life he’d pursued me. Like a movie, my life flashed before my eyes and he pointed out all the times when I was living in depravity and he’d sent me encouragement or guidance. 

If God was pursuing me when I was out of relationship with him, does God pursue everyone, even those he knows won’t ever choose him? 

I believe so. Its in God’s nature to love. He is love. He created Adam and Eve knowing they’d fall and his son would have to pay the price. 

We know Jesus endured the cross for the glory set before him (Heb. 12:2) and that he died for us when we were not his friends (Romans 5:8). 

We also know we are saved by Grace (Ephesians 2:8). So can God apply Grace to someone who hasn’t accepted it? There are Christians who will say yes. I’m not sure I’m going that far, but there is more going on here than the religion I was raised in represents and I’m determined to look at the details with God’s help before coming to a conclusion. 

Many people have wrestled with questions about the salvation of babies that aren’t born, or remote tribes that never heard the Gospel. I don’t have answers that can be proven, only my own beliefs based in part on who I know God to be. 

But regardless of how God applies grace in those circumstances, the question at hand is more about how we treat people now, not where they’ll end up. 

Ask yourself the question this way:

We don’t have a problem with the idea that God is love and unchanging before the Earth fell, and we don’t have a problem with any of that after the world is restored at the end of time. But isn’t there a ton of confusion about it all in this time of paradox. 

Adam and Eve sinned, and died for it, but not right away. Even in that moment of failure and judgment, there was restraint. God made a way. He knows the end from the beginning and exists outside time. Christ was crucified while God was forming the first couple out of earth and giving them dominion over it. 

1 John 4:7-12 says…

 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

That’s a lot to digest. I notice it doesn’t say our love is contingent on their salvation. We don’t know whether or not they are saved. God does. Does that mean God doesn’t love the ones that aren’t saved? This is a tough thing to ponder.


Graham Cooke says,”Grace is the power to work in the opposite of the natural.” 

What if it’s not about their status in Christ, but ours. If we are saved by the blood of Christ, then we need to apply to them the fullness of Grace, not from our own strength, but as a conduit of God’s ability to love them.

I know some of you think I’m conflating “the world” and “the yet-unsaved people of this world.”

Am I though? 

We Christians give ourselves a lot of false grace when we say, “I’m just a sinner saved by Grace.” 

This is more than just “hate the sin and love the sinner.” The worldly institutions that we see clearly in the unsaved are also at work in us. It’s hard to see the people and not the worldly ideology driving them. When the world looks at us they recognize it in us. They think we’re just uppity sinners. Sometimes it’s true. 

When I drive by two demonstrations, one in front of an abortion clinic and another in front of a prolife clinic I do see a lot more peace in the first. I see a level of transformed soul. But I can’t fault someone for saying, “I see two groups of angry people trying to force their will on others.” 

No cats were harmed in the writing of this blog…

Is this a cosmic version of Schrodinger’s cat? If you’re not familiar the scientist/philosopher proposed that if you put a cat in a box with no way out and poison, you didn’t know if the cat was alive or dead until you open the box. This meant that both possibilities existed in that moment. The cat was alive and dead in a manor of speaking. 

He didn’t do the experiment, by the way, it was a thought experiment. 

If we say that everyone on Earth is under God’s mercy and anyone who chooses to be is under God’s grace, I assume we’re all okay with that statement. 

Of course there are distinctions between our trust level with people we philosophically align with versus people who are perpendicular to our own values and worldview. There is a difference between a brother and a friend, but we can’t automatically say one is more reliable than the other.

For me, I come away from all this pondering valuing the idea that we’re all under God’s mercy and some of us are also under grace. I repent of seeing us and them. It’s all us, functionally. 

Feel free to disagree with me. Let me know. Use the contact me form or reply to this post. 

Until next time…

My Current Journey Q3, 2022


Andy Bunch

I’ve posted for a while now but I haven’t taken the time to explain to you, dear visitor, who I am, what this blog is about or why you should care to read it. There is a reason for that, but I want to be transparent, so let me explain.

I’m One of You: Intro to this Blog

When you study marketing, blogging, etc. you run into lots of advice from experts and its a good idea to pay attention so you don’t have to make all the mistakes yourself. However, their advice is often conflicting, for example…

Rule #1 is don’t be interesting, be interested. 

This blog is not about me. It’s about you, my readers. I desire to seek out the best ways to improve my quality of life so I can share it with you. I’ve made the mistake in the past of focusing on my journey so you could glean lessons with me. I’ve discovered a lot of people would rather just posted things like “do this not that,” or “5 things to avoid about X,” and skip the idea that you’re reading my journal or something. 

Rule #2 find your influencer persona and be authentic to it.

A persona is your approach to sharing things in your blog. There’s four to eight depending on who you read, but they include these two extremes…

  1. I am an expert who’s carrying your next breakthrough and I offer precise hacks to those who follow me.
  2. I’m a seeker trying to find X, and my audience can follow my journey and learn alongside me.

Of the two, I lean toward B.

Types of Prophet

There is a similar convention when you study your prophetic gifting (how you hear God for yourself and others). There are prophets (like Elijah) who proclaim what God says and let the chips fall. Others like Samual live with the people so long they earn a position of respect and can speak truth to people. Then there are the Nathans–those who are in the pit with you and because everything is chaotic and they have the most reasonable and calm idea of what to do next, people will give it a try. 

I definitely fall into the Nathan camp, which lends itself toward persona ‘B’ above. 

So I’m on the horns of a dilemma!

I’ve tried B and I love it. I see the advantage of it, but I think most of my audience (or potential audience) just wants the results of the journey. I’ve got a lot of breakthroughs, I’ve invested thousands of dollars and years of my life to get those breakthroughs and I’m happy to help you get there faster, for less money. 

So I’m stuck doing both. I don’t mind. I just feel like I should let the readers know what’s up. It could feel confusing, or like I don’t have a single voice, if I speak with authority in some posts and vulnerability in other posts. 

I have tremendous breakthrough and authority in certain places and I intend to give you the straight answers as best I can in those areas. Other areas, I’m still learning and paying the “hard knocks” price to gain the wisdom and breakthrough. 

I’m going to put all blog posts in a category called success when I’m sharing my breakthrough. And I’m going to share my journey in a category called My Journey. I’ll also mark all these posts according to what they most apply to like “Health,” or “Time Management,” etc. but you’ll soon notice that most of my journey is health related and most of my success is everywhere else.

I’m Officially Sorry (Not Sorry)

So there you have it. I apologize to those of you who need your mentors to be bulletproof purveyors of unassailable truth. Everything I know I learned by making mistakes or by sitting at the feet of fallible humans. 

I apologize for those of you who like the informal life updates about what’s working and what’s not, and wish I wouldn’t come off like I have all the answers. There is more than one way to win but if I find a way I’ll probably preach it as fact so you don’t waste time trying things I tried that didn’t work for me at all. 

Welcome to my blog, Wisdom Seeker. I hope you are informed and entertained. It’s going to be a wild ride. 


Andy Bunch

Mike Row, of dirty jobs fame, tells a story about filming an episode of Wicked Tuna, when a giant storm rolls in. Mike shouts to the Captain of the ship over the storm, ever have run-ins with OSHA? The Captain shouts back, “It’s my job to make you rich, it’s your job to get home with it.”  

What if it’s really safety third?

Mike’s reaction was to think, “What if I’ve been wrong all this time? What if it’s really safety third?” 

I remember in college, learning about ancient Polynesian cultures where a young man would have to build a boat, sail from one tiny dot in the ocean to another, navigate by the stars, fish for his meals, impress a father and bring home a bride before he could be treated as a man in his village. There was a very real chance of death, and that was seen as a healthy thing for a young man. 

These days the enemy of society has become “risk.” Not pain, not disaster, not death, just the fear that any of those things could happen. They just shut down everything over a disease with a similar death rate to the flu. I swear they’re going to put pool noodles on all the curbs and require us to wear helmets to walk outside. Sometimes people die as a result of trying not to. (Vaccines adverse reactions.)

I’m not advocating for taking foolish risks, but I believe a life with the core motivation of safety will lose everything worth living for. 

Albert Schweitzer said, “the tragedy in life is what dies in a man while he lives.” 

You cannot have Love without Risk

When God was forming Adam with His own hands and breathing life into him, He was fully aware that it would cost Him his son. Our example from God the Father, in whose image we’re made, is that you don’t let a potential bad outcome stop you from loving. 

You cannot have Faith without Risk

Hebrews 11:1 defines Faith as, “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” 

You must at least risk being wrong to believe in God. In fact many people who don’t believe in God make faith statements all the time. There’s a prevailing thought out there that the Polar Ice Caps are going to melt and flood the Earth. They can’t prove it, they just believe it. 

Faith without works is dead, so if you’re like me you believe we need to take action on our beliefs. What compelled Abraham to leave home for Ur? Or David to take on Goliath? Or Moses to confront the Pharaoh? The scriptures are full of commands to do things that are very dangerous. 

You cannot have Freedom without Risk

Consider the scene in Braveheart, when William Wallace is speaking to the men before the Battle of Stirling. He asks, “fight and you may die, run and you’ll live. But dying in your bed someday, would you be willing to give all the days from this day until then for just one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell the British that they may take our lives but they may not take our freedom.” 

The moment your enemies determine that you will not put your life on the line to stay free, they will take your freedom. They offer you peace only under condition of slavery. 

Everyone seems to have a beef with “Millennials”. We’ve raised a generation intolerant to risk and in doing so, we’ve raised them with a stunted experience of Love, of Faith, and of Freedom.

Second Hand Lions

 Clip ( )

Boy: Those stories about Africa are true aren’t they?

HUB: Doesn’t matter.

Boy: It does too. Around my mom all I hear is lies. I don’t know what to believe.

HUB: Dam, if you want to believe in something, then believe in it. Just because something isn’t true doesn’t mean you can’t believe in it.

HUB: There’s a long speech I give to young men, sounds like you need to hear a piece of it. Just a piece. Sometimes…the things that may or may not be true are the things that a man needs to believe in the most. 

  • That people are basically good.
  • That honor, courage, and virtue mean everything.
  • That power and money, money and power, mean nothing.
  • That good always triumphs over evil. 

And I want you to remember this, that love…true love never dies. 

You remember that boy, remember that. 

It doesn’t matter if they’re true or not, you see. A man should believe in those things, because those are the things worth believing in. 

Set your Biological Clock Back

Who doesn’t want to be younger? For one thing it means you’re further from death, but what most of us get excited about isn’t living forever, it’s living while we’re alive. I personally want to feel good. I want energy to do more stuff. I want less painful joints, less sick days, better sleep, less stress, I want…vitality! 

I know daylight savings time tends to have the opposite effect. Especially when we spring ahead. Well, what if you could set your biological clock back an hour, or a day, or maybe a year or two? 

I ran into this batch of research on Telomeres and it might be the fountain of youth. Better than that, it’s completely free and there’s no risk for trying it. Let me explain how it works, but first a quick explanation about this upcoming series on the blog. 

Disclaimer and Shameless Explanation

Let me start by saying I’m not a scientist. I don’t specialize in aging. I’m a writer and a nerd who likes to read about things that improve our lives. My goal is to help people so I started this blog to share what I learn that can be beneficial to others. I’m by no means the expert with all the answers. I’m in the cave with you. But when I find something that works, I’m going to put it here from now on. You can save a lot of time, energy, suffering and money by following my exploits.

#2 I’m not selling anything…this time. I reserved the right to make an offer should I come across something I want to endorse or promote. 

What is your Biological Clock? (scientifically speaking)

Your cells are dying all the time, and being replaced. Aging is when your cells don’t replicate fast enough to keep you freshly stocked with plump healthy new cells. Telomeres are non-coding DNA at the ends of your chromosomes that protect them. Think of them as the hard plastic bits at the ends of your shoe laces that keep them from fraying out. 

An enzyme called Telomerase is responsible for keeping the telomeres nice and long. When they get short your cells are closer to the end of their ability to keep replicating. 

We know all this from the work by Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD,who won the Nobel in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 for discovering the molecular nature of telomeres.

Blackburn is the  President of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA. Her 2017 book is entitled, “The Telemere Effect: A revolutionary approach to living younger, healthier, longer.” 

Here’s the amazing, fountain of youth secret: Blackburn’s on record as saying, “your Telomeres…listen to your state of mind.”

In fact in her books Blackburn Identifies 5 unhealthy thought habits that could be speeding up the rate at which you age, based on reviewing thousands of studies. 

They are…

Cynical Hostility – high anger and thoughts of mistrust of other people

Pessimism – leads to cancer, heart disease, earlier death

Rumination – unable to let go of conflict or anxiety, effects immune system

Thought Suppression – trying not to think about negative things instead of resolving them (it’s impossible to not think about something, it takes constant energy.)

Distraction – inability to focus or stay in the present 

Blackburn’s Answer…

…to potentially reversing damage to Telomeres and thereby reversing your age. She suggests meditation, long distance running (meditation while burning calories) and though awareness (realizing that you had a thought and thought it isn’t necessarily true or beneficial. 

Andy’s Answer…

I notice in all of the five negative thought habits, but especially in Rumination and Thought Suppression, how it’s not just having a thought that’s a problem–it’s not dealing with them. 

In our culture we’re trained to acquire things, not to lose them. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a promotion, a great marriage, or a happy family, but loss is inevitable. 

In fact you’re probably going to blow it several times before you learn how to succeed at anything. No one who you think of as successful got there without blowing it badly, many times. 

There are three life skills that will help you succeed more and faster.

  1. Find ways to leverage the hard earned experience of others, because you won’t live long enough to make all the mistakes yourself.
  2. Develop tools for dealing with your failures and losses so you turn them into wins eventually. 
  3. When you encounter a loss for which there is no win to be had, have tools that let you process that and move forward without it. (One mistake can plague you the rest of your life if you let it.) 

To acquire the tools to move past your grief and loss I recommend the “Grief Recovery Method,” by John James and Russell Friedman. In fact, I’d recommend walking through it with a certified grief recovery method specialist. I’m certified in this method, but find one in your area by looking online at the Grief Recovery Institutes website. 

Closing Truth

I make no attempt to hide my faith. I call this the Cleric Blog. I try not to force anything on anyone, and I believe anyone will benefit from following this blog. I’m going to review all sorts of books and self improvement programs, some from Christians sources but most will be what’s topping the lists of pop culture past or present. 

Occasionally I’ll interject some of my own discoveries or biblical truth that applies to the topic at hand…

Proverbs 23:7a “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”

Philippians 4:8 “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self control.”


Dr. Jonathan Liu WRote a post on April 4th entitled Nobel Prize Winner: 5 Things that Speed up Aging, and 1 Anti-Aging Secret.

Day 2 (of 63): It Begins

Link to The Beginning and to Yesterday’s Post


Welcome to my journey. Yesterday I laid out my life goals for quarter 2 of 2021, which is the time between now and June 9th when I turn 50. This tends to be the point in life when men and women take stock of where they’re at in life, in relation to where they thought they’d be. This is especially important for me because as a coach I’m a big believer in context:

We need to know who we are
Where we are
Where we believe we want to go, and
The plans we believe will take us there.

I try to do that thinking two to four times a year, but what sets this time apart is my 50th birthday. This could be the pinnacle of my life in many ways. I don’t mean because I’m cresting some hill and it’s all downhill from here. I just mean that my youthful physical strength hasn’t gone yet, but I’ve lived enough to gain some wisdom. Many philosophers comment that it takes 40 to 50 years for a man to figure out where to begin. We can lament that life is half over before we figure out what’s going on, but I choose to take heart. Warren Buffet built his fortune starting in his 50’s. Sometimes the big work of our lives doesn’t reveal itself until we’ve walked far enough down the road that we can see it.

Quick Recap:

I like to group my life goals so because we can’t work on everything all the time and we can’t really do one thing to the exclusion of everything else. That’s not to say we don’t benefit from doing an 80/20 purge. It’s good to prioritize things that we do well and delegate or delete things with low yield. But by grouping my goals into quadrants I can balance be intentional about moving the things forward evenly and not neglecting something that later caps my growth. (Think of a half barrel filled with water. It won’t hold more water than the height of the shortest slat.)

Whenever I can, I pick a single project that moves several categories forward–my one big thing of the season.

So I use the classic categories:

You’ve heard the old saying, “Early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise?” Well, I think that brilliant. I’m not the first to find it so. Craig Ballantyne started an awesome challenge called ETR (for Early to Rise), which lets you set your own goal in one of those areas and then puts the winners in a raffle to win $10,000. He has some great resources and I love his journey to success story.

I see 4 categories in the old saying. Health and Wealth are self explanatory. Wisdom, to me, is about Spiritual Health because “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom” (Prov. 9:10). I also see the Early to Bed/Rise part as indicating schedule and organization being a value. (I include things like doing an 80/20 efficiency/effectiveness audit). Yes its saying that the action of maintaining a good schedule is key to success in the other areas, but I think engaging with each of these 4 quadrants on a regular (daily or weekly) basis will help the other quadrants. It’s possible, even common, to exclude one of these quadrants in our daily life, but it will end up making it harder to succeed in the other areas.

So my categories are (2) Health, (4) Wealth, (1) Wisdom, and (3) Organization. I give you priority numbers (#) because I rank them in order of my values.

The Plan:

I spoke of my priorities in My One Big Thing Section of yesterdays blog. Build an ADU into our new house & move in, without losing ground on my health or career (both of which had already started to stall out because of Covid and Phase 1 stress of selling mom’s house/finding a house). I also announced that I’ll be blogging nearly every day for 63 days as a way of maintaining perspective during this busy season.

I haven’t yet shared the rest of the One Big Thing Plan. Starting with Schedule. I’m going to rise everyday at 5AM and go to bed and read at 9:30 each night. The first 5 hrs belong to God–I worship, shower, cartoon breakfast with my daughter*, journal (AM Pgs**), men’s prayer call, and writing a blog.

I don’t start the career/income portion of my day until 10AM (unless I have a special circumstance and this is for 63 days remember, some seasons have different rules). I say career/income because as a self employed person/independent contractor it’s not a simple thing to describe and mostly nothing you’d want to read about. What is worth mentioning is that I’m following my own advice, which I’ve given many times on blog posts, coaching session and speeches, that entrepreneurs should set a work schedule and protect the time they allocate for family and personal time. For this 63 day season, I have between 10AM and 5PM to deliver value and earn income.

My evenings belong to my family. This will shift a little as I can justify remodeling our new house as time spent for my family, but I’m still going to draw a circle around specific date nights with my wife and with my daughter.

Tomorrow I’ll go a little deeper into my diet and health plans for this season and/or my plans to make gains in my career/income too. But this post is getting long so I’ll end with a quick update (some of which will make more sense after tomorrows post).

Quick Update:

I got up this morning at 4:50 AM (10 minutes early) My time with the Lord was great, no new revelations. Time with my daughter and my men’s prayer call. Everything went to plan which I’m not assuming will always be the case, but I’m off to a great start. I’ve been doing well at eating my punishment food, LOL, which is something I’ll explain tomorrow.

We signed papers yesterday on the house and it recorded with the county this morning. So as soon as I complete some work projects and take a meeting with the pastor of my church, I will pick up my daughter at school and meet my wife and mom at the new house! WOOOT! I can’t wait to start the reno over there later this week.

Day 1 (of 63): Plan & Prep

Link to Post #1

Quick Recap:

I haven’t blogged in quite awhile. I’ve had some big wins and I’ve hit some walls, but I’m entering a new season in life–I’m going to turn 50 on June 9th and I want to be physically and financially fit by then (more on that in a minute).

I’m returning to this blog as a way of processing externally. I hope my readers will be encouraged, entertained, and pick up life hacks along the way. My life is an adventure seasoned with moments of deep insight and hours of whackado fun. This is your chance to watch what I’m doing and judge for yourself what might work for you, while avoiding the pitfalls I stumble into.

About me (in three sentences or less):

I’m a writer. I write marketing copy professionally and I write books, both fiction and non-fiction (Christian self-help style). I also coach Christian creatives and Entrepreneurs in writing/publishing, or conquer work/life obstacles.

How This Blog Works:

For those new to this blog, here’s how it works–I’m not a wise old man yet, but I’m half-way there. I’m still in the trenches with you but I’ve figures some things out that I want to leverage to reach my goal of being physically and financially sound by 50 years old. I need you to keep me accountable and to compensate you for that help, I’m willing to be vulnerable and transparent so that you learn along with me.

One of the things I’ve learned is that a key to mastering change is to find you one big thing. Remember in the movie “City Slickers,” when Curly holds up his index finger and says, “life is about just one thing?”

The Premise: One Big Thing

The story of Rocky illustrates my life philosophy well. Rocky is nice guy and an enforcer for Pauli (a low-level, mob-connected bookie). Rocky is in love with Pauli’s sister, Adrian, who abhors violence. This could have been a tragic romance, but thank God Stallone was brilliant. Rocky knows he must remake himself to win Adrian’s heart but wise enough to not leave his lane. He channels his abilities into fighting in the most socially acceptable venue and uses his feelings for Adrian to fuel his efforts–even though he isn’t assured that she’ll accept him.

There’s so much to learn by that movie. Adrian doesn’t train Rocky into becoming husband material, he refocuses his talent and goes for the brass ring because he sees a away to change his whole life for the better. He moves how and where he does what he’s good at so that he can earn a living and get the girl. Adrian still has to decide if that’s what she wants.


Your one thing is always rooted in your identity. Some of the people like me call themselves warrior/poets. I call myself a Cleric, because I’m deeply connected to God, I fight for what I believe in, and I guide other adventurers who are taking the same journey I am–to find a way to live inline with my values that is effective an authentic. A cleric is also a writer, and that’s one of my primary ways of processing life.

One goal of this blog is to shorten the cycle between input and output–between having experiences and sharing them with fellow adventurers who might need to glean lessons from my hard knocks.

I’ve found journaling essential to processing my life events into usable wisdom and publicly committing to goals essential to following through with challenging things. So another goal of this blog is to hold myself accountable to you, dear reader, for living an examined life.

Why Should you Read this Blog?

If your journey is similar to mine (at least for this season), you will find encouragement and inspiration, hope and commiseration, in following along on my trek. What’s my journey?

As I mentioned, I’m turning 50. I need to deal with the things I thought I’d have by now but don’t, and figure out how to steward what I didn’t expect to have, but suddenly do. I’m married to my dream lady, which only took 40 years, and we have one brilliant daughter who is turning seven very soon. My father passed away in 2003 and my mother has reached an age where she’s done living alone. So we’ve decided to buy a house together and live multi-generational.

In 2019 I finally struck upon the best use of my talents and my BS in business. I pursued training and certification as an life and entrepreneur coach, which I love but have not been able to scale as a business yet due to a little pandemic we’ve been having lately. My career also includes copy writing for a friend’s digital marketing company, which has saved my bacon. I’m so grateful for Threo. I’ve added skills and experience that radically improved my writing income.

Phase 1 is complete. Mom’s house is sold and she’s moved into the place we’re renting. My certification is in place and LLC exists. I’ve also been honored by my church with ordination, which opens up some sacerdotal counseling opportunities. I’m eager to explore some of the modalities that will offer. I consider it a good fit with my vision for coaching–I help people get clear on their goals and what’s holding them back, then make a plan to move toward their goals, and I get to walk with them (Cleric/Adventure Guide).

Phase 2 starts today when we sign at the title company for our new home. Then we will do some remodeling to accommodate a main-floor living space for mom, which we call the ADU (Additional Dwelling Unit). After that we all move into it, and I get to refocus on building my coaching and writing business.

Other important things that must happen during this season:

I can’t let go of my health. In January of 2020 I lost 25 lbs (of 65 I hope to lose) and I kept it off for a year. Then during phase 1, I gained back 10lbs. So my emergency protocol is activated. I have to go back on the diet that I lost all that weight with for about a week to get back on track.

In order to steward my new opportunity with my church I need to take a class called grief recovery method, which I’m looking forward to because I have some hurtles of my own to address. I don’t need to be perfect to help others, but I’m a hypocrite if I’m not at least working on my own stuff.

Also, I can’t go backwards at my brand new coaching/writing business, while I’m remodeling a house and moving two households into it. Some of you are probably tense just reading about this. Yeah, it’s…very exciting…I’m blessed to have a lot going on in this season. Did I mention I’m also unpacking a lot of stuff because I’m turning 50 this year? Of course I did.

Do you see why I need your help?

Writing this blog is kinda my one big thing.

I’ve now laid out for you, dear reader, my list of important and urgent things. In this blog you can follow along on this season of my grand adventure. I will unpack details of how I intend to pull off each area of my goals and I’ll tell you how it’s working. Writing each day will be my therapy and my accountability to continue pushing.

Stay tuned for the next installment…as soon as tomorrow.

Penny Library – Jan. 2020

Portrait of a Native American

He waved her off, shook his head, and said, “No thanks. I’m fine already.”

Bella smiled and offered him her hand. “I’m Bella Squire.”

He shook her hand and said, “Pete.”

I’d also seen Pete Bowyer before. He was Native American, of the Klickatat tribe. His ex-wife was a waitress at this diner. Pete was semi-traditional, most of his family danced or drummed for a show at a casino just North of Vancouver Town, but Pete liked to hunt and fish. His other hobbies seemed to be drinking coffee and keeping tabs on his ex-wife. 

Poor Bella was chasing a branded bull with that one and her eyes narrowed when she realized it. So she turned her attention back to Mani.

Pete took a pouch out of his pocket and crumpled some tobacco from it onto a rolling paper. He licked the edge of the paper and rolled a cigarette with one hand which he stuck behind his ear.

Penny Library – Dec. 2019

Portrait of a Cowgirl

The moment Mani took his seat she left her’s and approached him.

“Is this seat taken?” she asked, resting her hand on the back of the chair to Mani’s left. When he shook his head, she sat and offered her hand, “Bella Squire.”

“Nice to meet you,” said Mani, good-naturedly.

Bella smiled. She had shoulder-length blond hair tucked up, under a cowboy hat. Her shirt bore as much filigree as the fabric might hold and her jeans were tight enough to prevent her from putting anything in her pockets, even her hands. But I knew from past encounters that she rode barrels in the rodeo for a living. I’d also seen her sing Karaoke on a few occasions and I knew that she did that as well as she rode a horse. According to the wall in the men’s room she rode everything well, but I have no reason to believe it or not.

When Michelle freshened up her coffee, Bella brought out a small flask and spiked it. She offered some to Mani and he gave her a wink.

She poured a dash in his cup as well and then turned to offer some to the man on her left.

Penny Library – Nov. 2019

Portrait of a Fighter

I parked up front and shouldered my laptop bag. It was cold, but not so cold I needed the coat I wore. As I reached the entrance, a vehicle pulled in and parked next to mine. I paused with my hand on the door handle and looked back to see who it might be. A Toyota pickup someone body-lifted three feet, twenty years ago, rolled to a stop and its owner stepped from the cab.

He wore a camouflage jacket, rugged work pants and boots. He wore his face clean-shaven and his hair short and flat. I knew him by reputation, Manual Salazar, or as they nicknamed him in the octagon Mani Scar.

I held the door open and stepped back to let him pass. He gave a short nod and crossed the foyer where he returned the favor and held the inside door for me. We both headed for the counter. I let my bag drop into a swivel seat and sat near the cash register with my back to the door. Mani removed his coat, revealing his signature tank top that bore an American flag and accentuated his bulky chest and arms. As he sat in the seat on the end, by the restrooms, I noted the tribal tattoos that began at his elbow and patterned nearly to his neck over his left shoulder. The pattern parted around an earlier tattoo that read “I bleed for my country,” and a large scar from a bullet wound.

I knew from seeing one of Mani’s MMA fights, that the shoulder facing the bathrooms bore another tattoo reading simply ‘Army Ranger.’ Outside the octagon, Mani had fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia.

I could stare at him no longer without being weird so I took in the next patron, already seated at a booth in what had once been the smoking section.