Friday, June 30, 2017

There are Two Kinds of People

You don't have to answer this publicly.  I thought it might be fun fuel for thought.  One of my biggest pet peeves is tardiness.  The real challenge is dealing with others who may have an opposite view.  If you can understand why they behave the way they do, you may find a greater sense of peace.  It's also a good idea to share why you do the things you do so others know where you're coming from.  If they understand you place a high value on promptness as a sign of respect, maybe they won't be an hour late at the next family gathering.

For the record, I like to fill up just under the 1/4 tank mark.  I consistently fill up at the same place and prefer not to refuel any sooner for time management purposes.  For me, refilling at the 1/2 way mark means gassing up twice as often – no way Jose.  Whatever your daily habits are, take a look at what you might be able to do to improve.  Think about this the next time you look at your fuel gauge.  Have a great day.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Hope is Your Advantage Against Adversity

Your actions are a dead giveaway.  They speak loudly about your beliefs, hopes and dreams.  Choose wisely.  And whatever you do, don't ever give up.  Not ever.  Fear cripples.  Hope inspires.  You will always have adversity.  That's okay.  It's part of life.  If adversity were a language, I'm fully bilingual.  In order to overcome it, I needed to expand my vocabulary.  Here are some words embedded deep within my soul that may be helpful.  Make sure to add them to your resume...


Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Men's 18+ 4.0 Team Offered Wildcard for Oklahoma

We're in the regional playoffs in Oklahoma for a second straight year.  Our hopes faded earlier this month when we lost our state championship match in a thriller 3-2, but it looks like we're getting a mulligan.  Our team captain reminded us after our loss that last year's regional champion entered the playoffs on a wildcard entry. 

There are seven other strong teams we must overcome in order to earn a national berth in Surprise, Arizona in October.  Don't count us out.  This is a gritty team that plays with heart.  The practice schedule will be rigorous and that's the way I like it.  I would love the chance to go to nationals and be reunited with friends and family members in Arizona.  Stay tuned.  Our mulligan is in play.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What's Behind Door #1?

Congratulations!  You just opened door #1.  Here's your prize...

"May joy and peace surround you,
Contentment latch your door,
And happiness be with you now,
And bless you evermore."

I keep this on my nightstand to remind me the door is always open.  Have a great day.

Monday, June 26, 2017

If You're Going Through Hell, Keep Going

We all have days where we feel like we're in Hell.  It might be an injury, a sickness, the loss of a loved one, or a difficult situation we have no control over.  I've been through Hell enough times in my life I don't even need navigation to find it.  Sometimes Hell finds me, even when I'm standing still, like the time a wildfire consumed my California neighborhood in the middle of the night.  We played dodge ball with the fireballs during our escape.  I know one thing, standing still is not a viable option lest you're willing to settle on permanent residency.  Keep moving.  Any direction will get you out of trouble.  Whatever you do, don't look back.  Have a great day.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Stinging Defeat Fuels Desire for Self Improvement

Losing stinks.  We got the same results yesterday in the championships that we got two weeks ago, a 3-2 team loss.  It came down to a super tie breaker and the other team closed it out.  We are still waiting to find out if we advance as a wild card team and won't know until Wednesday night.  All I can say is the fight isn't over.  It's time to step up the training.  I can do better.  The silver lining is that my caveman food experiment is helping me with my endurance.  It's really fun to compete at this level.  Now it's time to get back to the basics and learn how to play better in the wind.  I applaud our opponents for their great play yesterday.  Have a great day.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Another Date with Destiny

Today is the first time since joining the men's Iowa USTA tennis league that our team has home field advantage for the state championships.  I plan on savoring every moment on the court with my doubles partner who has a wing span like no other, except maybe his son who plays college tennis and sometimes practices with us.  The weather will be cool and breezy.  A couple of family members are coming out to cheer for us as we defend our title and I'm feeling better than ever, even though I'm one of the oldest players in the 40+ division.  We are still awaiting word about a possible wild card spot in the 18+ division where our team came up short by one match in the finals.  Today's showdown is against many of the same opponents we faced a couple of weeks ago.  These are the kinds of days that take my breath away.  Today's match is dedicated to my Aunt Peggy who will be watching from the grandstands in Heaven.  One of my favorite memories is being on the courts with her and a couple of other relatives for a tennis lesson.  If you live in the Iowa City area, stop by and say hello at the University of Iowa tennis courts.  We will be playing all morning.  Have a great day.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Got Joy?

Some things are meant to be deferred.  Joy is not one of them.  If you believe you can't have joy until a later date due to something you need to cross off your check list, I have a feeling you may not ever find it.  I encounter joy in the daily process of living no matter the circumstances.  It really is an attitude.  Ask yourself where the joy is in your life.  Stop looking for it on the calendar.  Have a great day.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Cleared for Take-off

My doubles partner for Saturday's match was out of touch for a week.  He booked a four day tennis camp and came back a new man.  Last night he shared newfound wisdom from some of the best doubles players around and all I can say is, "wow!"  We played for two hours and it was action-packed.  I believe we're cleared for take-off in our playoff match on Saturday morning and the weather is looking good.  I'll let you know how it goes.  Have a great day. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer Solstice Today

If you like sunshine, today is a great day.  This is the longest day of the year.  The sun will still be shining when I hit the tennis courts at 7 pm for my final practice before our big showdown on Saturday.  My biggest hope right now is that the sun doesn't set on our dreams of advancing to the Midwest championships.  What separates us from the crowd is our willingness to practice regularly.  I love being around people who pursue excellence.  Enjoy some time in the sun today.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Can You Survive When Your Body Declares War on You?

The most dangerous kind of illness is the one you are unaware of.  Sadly, many of the modern day afflictions in our world today come from the foods we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe.  Our own bodies are responding in a way that actually make us sicker.  How can that be?  Aren't our natural defense systems supposed to make us better?  Keep in mind most doctors are trying to solve the problem by prescribing pills that only treat the symptoms.  It's difficult to find the source of the problem when your own body is fighting itself and nothing shows up in the tests.

Odds are really high you know someone, maybe a relative, who is under siege and they may not know the attack is coming from within.  Here's a partial list...

High blood pressure
Crohn's disease
High Cholesterol
Alzheimer's disease
Parkinson's disease
Heart attacks

I'm a survivor.  I discovered my own body was attacking me by cutting off the supply lines of the foods that were the source of my problems.  At the time, I was totally unaware what these foods were or if food was the cause of my high blood pressure.  I will never allow my own body to attack me again.  I will also do my best on a daily basis to help others understand how to win a war declared by their own bodies.  Masking the symptoms only prolongs the war and makes the drug companies richer.  Winning the war comes from understanding what causes the body to attack itself and making changes.  Have a great day.

Monday, June 19, 2017

How to Tip the Scales in Your Favor

You really don't need to be a calorie counter.  I find it unnecessary as long as I make the right food choices about 90% of the time and avoid eating anything on my danger list.  It's all about balance.  An ideal month for me is eating out no more than 3x.  Dining at home consists of mostly fruits, veggies, nuts, beans and seeds.  Small amounts of fish, chicken and red meat are okay as long as the portions are light.  Dairy is permanently off my list.  So are all processed foods.  Other banned foods are soda, canola oil, flour and artificial ingredients.  I've been doing this for nearly two years and it's been smooth sailing.

The next major test is on Saturday, 6/24 when my men's 40+ team plays in our state championship match.  My secret weapon is my down-sized waistline.  What a difference shedding 30 pounds makes.  Tip the scales in your favor today.  You can do this.  Have a great day.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day

My dad's spirit echoes throughout the invisible walls of cyberspace, reminding me my role is to pass the baton to the next generation just as he did with me and my siblings before departing.  I'm fortunate to be a dad.  It's the most challenging assignment I've ever had and also the most rewarding.  Savor time with your dad today and if he's no longer with you, savor a memory.  Happy Father's Day to all the dads.  Have a great day.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Got Peace of Mind?

Your peace of mind isn't on some remote island or over the rainbow.  It's much closer than you think.  Others may try to steal it from you once you find it.  Don't let them.  It's one of your greatest assets.  Consider it your football.  Hold onto it.  Become a master of maintaining possession, especially in critical situations.  Your teammates will rally around you when you display calmness in times of stress.  Peace of mind is contagious.  So is anxiety.  You can't have both footballs at the same time.  Choose the one that will get you in the end zone repeatedly.  Have a great day.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Your Life

Like it or not, you're a living, breathing, walking billboard.  It's not the words you say that advertise your life to others, it's your actions.  Plan your daily steps carefully.  They world is watching.  Your children may not always listen to your words but they learn from the choices you make.  Be bold.  Send a message that can make a difference.  Have a great day.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Beware of Self-made Roadblocks

Self-made roadblocks are manufactured in your brain.  In my opinion, they are the most difficult to overcome because no one knows you better than your own mind.  If good ideas are your seeds for success, doubts are the manure.  Yep.  Fertilizer.  You don't need to bother paying for it either.  It's free and the supply is nearly unlimited.  Most others can't stand the smell of it so they turn around and run away.  Why not look at all your brain is doing for you and decide you're going to produce a bumper crop this year?  What good is all that manure without some of your ideas the world hungers for?  Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How Much Time Do You Need to Complete Your Assignment?

This isn't a trick question.  You don't need to share your answer.  It's for your eyes only.  I'm referring to your life's purpose.  Everybody has one.  I don't know how long it will take you to complete your assignment but I do believe you have exactly the right amount provided you don't squander it.

If you're unsure about your assignment, consider what you have planned for today and ask yourself if your to do list coincides with your mission.  If not, it may be a good idea to change your priorities.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Something for Your Refrigerator

I never worry when I open my refrigerator door because I know there's always enough inside and that's just the beginning of my day.  Everywhere I look, there's enough good things to savor.  There are enough people to thank for the contributions they make.  There are enough projects to keep my hands busy.  It all comes down to gratitude.  Those who lack it will never have enough.  If you're a daily visitor to this site, I have a pretty good idea you're someone who already has enough and you really don't need one more quote for your refrigerator.  I'm offering it because I want you to have something to remind you I'm thankful for your presence in my life.  I'm especially grateful for the friends I have and you are at the top of the list.  I'm putting this on my refrigerator today to serve as a reminder of our friendship.  Thank you for being a part of my life.  Have a great day.

Monday, June 12, 2017

It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady Sings

My uncle Mike read an excerpt from dad's final letter before losing his battle to cancer.  It's not over until the fat lady sings but I think I hear her humming a few bars, dad wrote.  She was humming again at our state championship battle on Saturday in Waterloo.  The winds were also howling in our showdown.  We came up short as a team, losing 3-2.  Our only hope of advancing is a wild card invitation based on our season record.  I would like to thank all the friends and family members who supported me during this amazing year.  My team-mate, Fred, and I eked out a win at number one doubles, winning the super tie breaker 11-9 but it wasn't enough to defend our Men's 18+ state title and we will have to fight extra hard next year to take back the crown.

There's no rest for us.  We will see many of the same players again in the Men's 40+ state championships on Saturday, 6/24 at 8:30 AM at the University of Iowa tennis courts in Iowa City.  Friends and family are welcome to come cheer for the home team.  Will someone please tell the fat lady we're playing in Waterloo?  Thank you.  Have a great day.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

It's a Mac-less Day Today

Hold the phones.  Hold the computers.  I'm Mac-less today.  This story has been prerecorded.  I'll be back live tomorrow to share the results from yesterday's playoff match in Waterloo.  I'm also playing in the Men's 40+ state championship match on Saturday, June 24 at 8:30 AM with many of the same team-mates from the 18+ division.  The showdown will take place on the Hawkeye tennis courts in Iowa City.  If you're in the area, come cheer for the home team.  Have a great day.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Move Over, Napoleon – We're Invading Waterloo Today

There are rumors we drive on the right side of the road because Napoleon wanted the upper hand against his mostly right-handed opponents.  I don't have any evidence to support the rumor that Napoleon was a lefty, however, I do believe my left-handedness will be an asset this morning when our team plays for the state championships.  In fact, there are a couple of lefties on my team who love to shake things up in a mostly right-handed world.  My team-mates enjoy playing against us in order to prepare for future opponents who go against the grain.

I'm hoping my season won't end as Napoleon's did in Waterloo.  We may not be fighting with swords, but we each have our favorite tennis weapons.  Wilson will be at my side and he's sporting some new strings I've been experimenting with.  I need all the help I can to win our battle in Waterloo today.  Have a great day.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Tennis Battle in Waterloo Tomorrow

The temps will be in the 90's tomorrow when our men's tennis team plays for the state championships.  That's the way I like it.  The winds will be blowing and the humidity may hit the 50% mark.  The more elements the better.  I have a feeling a few bugs may also join the fun.  The way I see it, the conditions are the same on both sides of the court.  It's how each player deals with the situation that makes the difference.  These are the kinds of days I live for.  In order for my team to advance to the next level, we need to win three matches out of five.  The format is two singles players and three doubles teams.  Our team is well prepared.  I will be off-line until Monday morning and will let you if our Cinderella story is still alive.  Have a great day.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Would You Consider Writing to the Younger You?

MercyMe inspired me to think about today's question with their song, "Dear Younger Me."  Click on the YouTube video above for more.  I'm pretty sure I won't be receiving any warning letters from my future self because I already know all the situations and obstacles I would prefer to avoid are what I need to grow in wisdom.  There are no easy solutions.  If I did get an opportunity to write to the younger me, I have a feeling my letter would look something like this...

Dear Younger Me,

Every choice you make from this day forward will affect me, the future you.  Your choices also affect others.  I know what a deep thinker you are and I'm well aware of your competitiveness.  Sorry, you're reading this letter, scanning for ways to avoid all your future mistakes, but you won't find anything specific here.  The trials ahead of you are part of the journey.  I only have one morsel from your future to offer you.  Here you go...

There are only two teams on the planet – those who are on God's side and the other side.  Remember this, God created every member of each team.  You are not here to judge any of the players.  You are not here to destroy the other side.  In fact, your assignment is to help the other side.  When this game of life is over, you will be judged not by how you treated the players on your team but how you helped the other side.  You are the recruiter.  The other side has been duped.  Many of the players are forbidden to know about the One you follow.  It's not their fault.  You won't win them over by hating them.

Are you concerned about your assignment?  The truth is everyone on your team is called to recruit players for God's side.  If you need help, call on the Holy Spirit.  He already knows the future and He can give you Divine assistance if you're willing to ask.  Make good choices and take it one day at a time.  I'll see you at the finish line.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Seeking Shelter?

I discovered a great place for rest and relaxation.  You can find it in verse one and two of Psalm 91.  If you have time, check out the entire Psalm for the complete package.  Here you go:

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Have a great day.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Is 90 the New 40?

Last evening, my wife and I watched "If You're Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast," an HBO documentary.  I'm inspired by all the 90+ people featured in the show, some of them who claim they are just getting started.  There are three key takeaways – keep moving, get connected and find something to contribute, especially when it's something you're passionate about.

If you're looking for something entertaining to watch packed with great tips on how to live better, check out this documentary.  Have a great day.

Monday, June 5, 2017

How Editing Applies to Life

There's only one way I'm going to be able to get this next book out of the birth canal – heavy duty editing.  That's why editing is on my mind every morning when I wake up and I see how overdue my baby is.  The situation prompts me to ponder how editing applies to life.  There's no way to rewrite your previous chapters but you do have the ability to seek forgiveness for prior hurts or mistakes.  All you have to do is ask.  If you're seeking a fairy tale ending, resolve all the conflicts with your main characters.  Seek peace.  In tennis, the game always starts at love.  Begin today's chapter of your life with love.  You can edit your future by taking care of important business in the present.  Have a great day.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

How Do You Feel About Change?

Your attitude about change can help you or hinder you.  I'm certainly no change expert but it's a topic I have a great deal of experience dealing with in my personal life.  Change is like a drop of water hitting a large pool.  The ripples hit your family and loved ones like a tidal wave and continue to friends, classmates, work peers, even enemies.  The bigger the change, the stronger the reaction you will observe.  Some ripples transcend time itself. 

One of the most important lessons I learned about change is that it's best not to try to change others.  The time and energy you expend is better used changing yourself.  If you're satisfied with your life as it is, there's no need to make any changes.  That doesn't mean you're off the hook because someone close to you may hit you with one of their own ripples when you least expect it.  How are you going to handle it if someone you love says, "I'm dying"?  This happened to me fifteen years ago with my dad.  Yep, the ripples are still rippling.

When dealing with others, consider change as chapters in a book.  Some are further along in their reading while others may only be on the first chapter.  You will most likely relate best to those who are on the same page as you but that's a small number compared to the general population.  Be patient with the ones who need more time to comprehend the reading material and ask the speed readers ahead of you to give you more time to grasp all the emotions you're feeling.  Have a great day.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Got Challenges?

It's in your DNA.  You can thank your ancestors for what you have.  It's that quiet voice in your head that's always nudging you to push a little harder and venture outside your comfort zone.  Be careful what you do with your challenges.  If you limit them, your dreams will wither and die.  But if you challenge your limits, you will discover what you're made of.  There are other voices out there to be wary of – the voices of the naysayers.  These voices are afraid you will win and render them speechless.  Remove the contraction from can't and you have the power to do anything you can dream.  Do you accept the challenge?  Have a great day.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Stay the Course

 A goal worth setting is worth achieving, no matter how long it takes or how challenging the course.  My friends stopped asking me when my next book will be delivered.  Perhaps they see the labor pains in my expressions.  I'm now a month overdue and I still can't see the finish line.  That's okay.  My sails are up.  My ship will come in.  So will yours.  Just don't give up.  Have a great day.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Life-changing Quote

Today's quote from Thomas Edison is also a challenge.  This is the story of my life.  Accept this challenge and your life will never be the same.  Sorry.  I don't know the solution.  It's up to you to discover a better way.  This applies to every area of your life.  Time to get busy.  Have a great day.