4 Steps to a Spectacular 2015

Millions of people are looking forward to the first days of 2015 like a child looks forward to a new school year.  Remember the anticipation? The slate was clean. A new chance to get better grades, make new friends and take hold of exciting opportunities. Why then did so many of those years slip by without change?  What could have been done differently?

The 2015 New Year’s celebrations are over. The lights have dimmed and the smell of fireworks has drifted away. But opportunity and hope did not disappear with the smoke. Here are four steps to help make this year one of your best!

Clues to Beating the Holiday Blues

Mike Lahouti and granddaughter Lexi

Mike Lahouti and granddaughter Lexi

Not everybody anticipates the coming holiday season with giddy excitement.  For many, the holidays are a time of emotional distress and depression.

Mayo Clinic has some very helpful information on beating the holiday blues and I have provided some of them here. However, it was my friend  Gloria Gaither who provided perhaps the most brilliant insights about beating the holiday blues in a devotional she did at a Christmas party.

Here’s her advice, Mayo Clinic’s advice, and advice from the greatest power source of all. 

Five Essential Words for every Parent, Leader, Lover and Friend.

What words are good good leaders, lovers and parents quick to say?

What words should good leaders, lovers and parents be quick to say?

While doing research for my book “How To Live with Your Kids when You’ve Already Lost Your Mind,” I surveyed 600 teenagers and asked the question, “What are the words you most want to hear from your parents?  Of course their first choice of words were “I love you.”

It was their second choice that made the most impact on me and made me a better dad, husband and leader.  Take a guess at what the second choice of words were and then read on.

Strategy for Fighting Fatigue

Half Asleep Woman With First Cup of CoffeeDo you want to remain emotionally healthy?

Do you want to be physically capable to handle what this day brings?
Do you want to maximize the creativity that permeates your soul?
Do you want to be all that you were created to be?
Do you want to enjoy life to the fullest?

If so, you must identify and do battle with the enemies that can keep you from achieving those goals.  Here comes the first one now!!

No one Can Take This Away!

IMG_2503For the past week I have been secluded in the wilderness listening to the screaming bugles of elk and the frantic yelping of coyotes welcoming the morning. Climbing winding game trails through high timber, I feel a sense of freedom. Even my mind is free to wander. Of course my mind rarely does anything but wander.

Today I said a prayer of thanks for the privilege of experiencing the spectacular beauty I have seen in this place. Then my mind wandered from that ecstatic moment down a sadder, darker path.  A path with a nagging question that needed an answer.

I was reminded of the alarming world wide trend to remove all vestiges of faith in the God I just thanked from public life.  The trail grew more ominous as I pondered what my personal response to this travesty should be. The creator of everything I was seeing, The Hope of mankind, is often treated in our society with the same disdain we once held  for despicable things, while despicable things are often welcomed on public display.

What am I to do?

Will the government eventually remove all vestiges of God from our/my life?

Can they?

Then I looked up and realized the answer!