21 Tips For An Amazing 2018


Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

Every January is a divine gift of newness. No matter what the previous year brought into your life, a new year is a grace gift where you are reminded that it is possible to author a new chapter, paint on a fresh canvas, or sing a new melody.

It has been said,  “You can’t fix a problem with the same thinking that created it.” So, here are 21 practices that will clear the way to engage and create a greater future and present.

  1. Start each day with 10 minutes of meditation and/or prayer.
  2. Refuse to check your electronic devices until you have centered your soul after you wake up.
  3. Before you leave your home, ask God to make you a blessing to someone each day.
  4. Talk less, listen more. Pause and think before you respond to make sure you are truly listening to the other person, perhaps you will choose to respond far less.
  5. Commit to writing down at least one gratitude a day in a journal before you go to sleep. This will help you wake with gratefulness and less stress.
  6. Practice the ancient art of smiling every day, your soul will thank you.
  7. Own your mistakes and say “I’m sorry” quickly when you blow it.
  8. Ask yourself why you respond the way you do to people’s behaviors before you respond. I call this a moment of holy curiosity. Your reactions tell you more about you than you realize.
  9. Exercise a little every day, even if it is a few short walks during your day.
  10. Determine to get 8 hours of sleep each night, “game-changer alert!”
  11. Consider a Whole-30 type diet, eliminating sugary food and drinks.
  12. Drink water-water-water, half your body weight in ounces. Water is life.
  13. Grow in your generosity. Donate to charities and humanitarian groups that work to eliminate poverty. I’d recommend http://www.planetchanger.org  🙂
  14. Read a book every month. I like Sacred Space 🙂 I will be posting my list of recommended reads soon!
  15. Write down your top 3 goals. Post them where you can see them. Do one thing each day that connects to those goals.
  16. Choose kindness over rightness
  17. Choose grace over judgmentalism (pull that log out of your eye!)
  18. Choose to assume positive intent towards others when things get dicey.
  19. Limit your screen time. Break your smartphone addiction. You don’t need it in the bedroom. Turn it off, and check it in and leave it alone! You’ll be okay I promise. In fact, you’ll be better.
  20. Learn to say “NO” Life is full of many good things that keep you from the best things. Does the opportunity align with your top 3 goals? If it doesn’t just say no,
  21. Love. Pray daily that you motivation which fuels your actions would flow from love and compassion.

Grace and Peace to you in 2018



Late Have I Loved You

AugustineConfessionsAugustine’s “Confessions” is perhaps one of the most important works on the spiritual journey that we have. Augustine had one of those “Saul-to-Paul” conversions that transformed him and forever changed the course of his life as well as the church’s.

This small portion from Confessions reads like an intimate lovers letter found nestled beneath the floorboards of a home. Thoughts so powerful and alive with passion and repentance. Words pregnant with something more than information. Phrases of rapture and longing and touch.

The burn of love, the struggle of self and sin, the need for divine consummation, a great way to start your Sunday.


From Augustine’s Confessions

Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new,

late have I loved you!

Lo, you were within,

but I outside, seeking there for you,

and upon the shapely things you have made I rushed headlong,

I, misshapen.

You were with me, but I was not with you.

They held me back far from you,

those things which have no being

were they not in you.

You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;

you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;

you lavished your fragrance, I gasped, and now I pant for you;

I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst;

you touched me, and I burned for your peace.

A Prayer by Sir Francis Drake

Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves.

When our dreams have come true.

Because we have dreamed too little.

When we arrived safely

Because we sailed too close to the shore.


Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of the things we possess.

We have lost our thirst

For the waters of life;

Having fallen in love with life,

We have ceased to dream of eternity

And in our efforts to build a new earth,

We have allowed our vision

Of the new Heaven to dim.


Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,

To venture on wider seas

Where storms will show your mastery;

Where losing sight of land,

We shall find the stars.

We ask You to push back

The horizons of our hopes;

And to push into the future

In strength, courage, hope, and love

How Shall I Pray…

Real prayer happens when we finally get to the end of ourselves, when we stop posing and posturing; when we stop trying to impress God with our vocabulary and understanding. The moment we wonder if we can really “pray like this” is more than likely the moment when your prayer has transcended religious rhetoric becoming as beautiful as the song sung to her daddy by a three-year-old…unskilled, unrefined but infused with hope and love.

For those wondering how they should pray tonight because the burden they bear is too heavy and the nights too long…for those wondering how they should pray when words seem so impotent and deep sighs seem verbose…for those wondering how they should pray tonight, take a moment and absorb the following prayer written by Ted Loder, it’s pure gold.



How shall I pray?
     Are tears prayers, Lord?
     Are screams prayers, 
          or groans
             or sighs
                or curses?
Can trembling hands be lifted to you,
     or clenched fists
          or the cold sweat that trickles down my back
               or the cramps that knot my stomach?
Will you accept my prayers, Lord, 
      my real prayers,
           rooted in the muck and the mud and the rock of my life,
and not just my pretty, cut-flower, gracefully arranged
     bouquet of words?
Will you accept me, Lord,
     as I really am, 
          messed up mixture of glory and grime?
Lord, help me!
Help me to trust that you do accept me as I am, 
that I may be done with self-condemnation
     and self-pity
          and accept myself.
Help me to accept you as you are, Lord:
and yet to trust
     that your madness is wiser
          than my timid, self-seeking sanities,
and that nothing you’ve ever done
     has really been possible,
so I may dare to be a little mad, too.

~Ted Loder