Category Archives: Personal

Small Things Added Up Become Big Things

Everyone wants to accomplish big things but few people want to do the small things that add up to that result. How many times have you hoped that a job would open up somewhere where you could get paid to do what you love? For that job to exist the way you conceive of it requires someone else too do the the work to create a platform to offer you the job doing what you want to do. Who created that platform? Chances are they aren’t any smarter than you are. They were just willing to work and risk it to create something themselves. It probably took them years, not hours. It won’t be much different for you.

Do the things no one else wants to do and do them repeatedly. Everyone wants the result but few want the result enough to do the small things every single day, a million times in a row, and to the exclusion of other options. This is focus and intention sustained over a long period of time (+ discipline) that can help get the hard things done.

If you want to do something meaningful you are usually going to have to do things that are difficult. There are exceptions, of course, as we do meaningful things every day without even thinking twice about them. I am talking about living your life with purpose and vision. It takes discipline. It takes being selective of how you use your time and resources. It takes focus. Unfocused people cannot maintain what it takes to persist on a single task until it is finished.

Think about faithfulness with me for a moment. Faithfulness requires day in and day out commitment to a set of values. It requires a zillion small decisions every day in line with those values. Unfaithfulness in marriage is like this. Breaking marital faithfulness doesn’t often start with something big (jumping into bed with someone else)…it starts with many smaller compromises with the other person. Small things matter and they add up to become big things over time. Do the small things well. Don’t turn your nose at them because they seem small. They add up.

We all know things that we should be doing but we aren’t. What is stopping you from starting? Maybe it is fear of failure. Well, never starting is automatic failure. So risk it.

Be different. Work hard. Focus on what is most important. Get to work. Make it happen. Live a life of purpose. Purpose calls for our best.

Reflections on My First 40 Years

A pivotal moment in our lives can happen any day of the year and any day of our lives. But there is something about a milestone that gets our attention. The milestones encourage us to reflect. They prompt our memories to dislodge moments that are otherwise nearly impossible to retrieve but are in the recessesContinue Reading

What Keeps You Going?

My answer to this question has been developing and changing my whole life. When I was a kid, the excitement of learning kept me going. I was and still am to a large degree inquisitive. There was always more to learn and that drove me to seek out answers to all kinds of questions. InContinue Reading

James D. Dabbs (1936-2017)

It is hard to believe that just a few short days ago we buried our father. Everything went by so quickly and while we expected he didn’t have much time left none of us saw him passing as quickly as he did. He will truly be missed and the impact he has had on ourContinue Reading

How to Put the Guard Spring Back in a Ryobi 10 Inch Miter Saw

After searching high and low for the answer to my question and finding very little help online, much less pictures of how to do this I thought I would post this here for anyone searching for help. I was changing the blade in my Ryobi miter saw this morning and what should have been aContinue Reading

Settling into Auburn

Over the last week we have made the move from Bakersfield to Auburn. It has been challenging and exciting and I can see God’s fingerprints all over the process. The people at both churches have been a tremendous blessing to us as have been both of our families. We are excited to see what GodContinue Reading

Looking Toward 2016

Another trip around the sun and another chance to look at life from a new perspective. As the New Year rolls around it reminds us that we always have an opportunity to start afresh, to turn the page and write something on the next page that hasn’t been written before. Maybe the opportunity isn’t forContinue Reading

Resurrecting Evangelism…Here is One Missing Piece to Viable, Intentional Outreach in Our Churches

I just posted something over at Wineskins that I think you may find helpful. If you have a couple of minutes you might want to give it a read Resurrecting Evangelism…Here is One Missing Piece to Viable, Intentional Outreach in Our Churches

How I Told My Kids the Truth About Santa Claus

A few weeks ago our 4 year old son Elijah asked a question that was profoundly insightful and forced an important conversation. Here is what he asked “What did Santa Claus do to God? He knows everything about us…what did he do to God?” Kids need plenty of room to have their imagination. At theContinue Reading

Asserting Our Rights

We had a busy weekend…so busy that there was one event we had to drive separately to because Missy had to be at something else before that and we just couldn’t drive together. On the way home Missy was driving her car right in the right lane and I was in the left. I noticedContinue Reading


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