Welcome in the New Year

It Doesn’t Have to be Scary

Here we are at the start of another new year. It’s hard to believe that it’s 2024 already. It’s amazing how quickly a year goes by. It seems like it was just yesterday that we welcomed 2023.

The unknown of a new year can be scary. Wouldn’t it be great if we could look forward and know exactly what the future holds? It would be nice if it were that easy. The problem is that there would be no need for faith or to trust God if it were all mapped out.

The best way to prepare for a new year is to be intentional in what you want to accomplish.

So, how do you prepare for the unknown?

I think the best way to prepare is to look back at the past, at what you’ve learned up to this point. Reflecting on the things that went well and the things that didn’t. With this information you can make wiser, more informed decisions going forward into the new year.

As you look back through the past year, I’ll bet you’ll be surprised at how many of the things you wanted to accomplish…you actually did!

The next step is to look forward. What do you want to accomplish in 2024? This is where faith comes in. You can set some pretty big goals for the year, but they need to be realistic. I could set a goal of owning a NASCAR team in 2024, but that’s not very realistic.

However, this doesn’t mean that I can’t begin taking steps in that direction this year. We’re told in Mark 11:23-24 that we shouldn’t be afraid to dream big. Luke 1:37 says nothing is impossible for God. So we need to have faith.

The other part of this is…

Our dreams and goals need to be in alignment with God’s plans.

There have been a lot of new things happening at Tisdale Church throughout this past year. We disaffiliated from the UMC. We got an amazing new Pastor. We’ve seen an increase in attendance.

Looking forward, we have some pretty big dreams and have set some big goals for 2024!

We can’t see the future, but if we align our plans with God’s, have faith, and do the work…He’ll take care of the rest.

This brings us to the remaining piece of the puzzle.

Learning from the past is good. Looking to the future is good. The thing we need to be careful with is not getting stuck in one or the other.

We need to remember to live in the present.

This can be hard if we dwell on the mistakes of the past or are only looking forward. This leaves us missing out on the important things around us every day.

This past Sunday, Pastor Lisa had everyone randomly draw an individual word for the year. These words, specific to each of us, should help us to bring all three areas together. This word is something that we can use to help us learn from the past, look to the future, and live in the present.

I’m excited to find ways to incorporate my word of the year.

Here’s to a great 2024!

How Will You Live This New Year? It’s a Choice You Will Make

Don’t Live Your Life in a “Leftover World”

There was a comic strip cartoon of a man and his wife in a new car show room. There was a year-end sale taking place. The husband was sitting in a chair looking a little tired and grumpy. Above him on the wall hangs a sign that says, “Leftover model”.

Do you feel like a leftover model as we end 2022 and begin 2023?

As we look back on this past year, we can focus on all the negative. This can make us feel like a leftover model. Or we can choose to look forward to the opportunities and possibilities of this new year.

It’s normal to have things left undone at the end of the year. The thing to remember is that we are the ones who choose what we wanted to get done. We get to choose what we will put on the “to do list” in this coming year as well.

We often read mystery books in our book club. Like all stories, they have a beginning and an end. What makes some better than others is what happens in the middle.

Life is like this. It has a beginning and an end. It’s the story we write in the middle that makes the difference.

Here is The Dash, a poem written by Linda Ellis, that speaks to this point.

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own —
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more,
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
with your life’s actions to rehash,
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?

As the new year begins, a lot of people will be taking down their Christmas decorations and moving on to the next thing. We shouldn’t be in such a rush to leave Christmas behind. Christmas is the celebration of God coming to us as a human.

Jesus is called Emmanuel. Translated, this means God with us. He is not only with us for a few weeks at Christmas time. He is with us all year long.

Don’t live your life like it’s a leftover but be intentional and choose to live it to the fullest.

Remember to write your story well and include Jesus in it every day.

Write a great story in 2023!

Every Year is a Great Year, Some Are Just Greater Than Others

And What Makes a Year Like 2020 so Great?

Some people would argue that there was very little about the year 2020 that was great. 2020 was certainly not what I expected or had planned for. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t great.

Often, when asked how my day’s going, I will pause briefly, review the day and answer, Good, but then…

Every day is good. Some are just better than others.

While writing in my journal yesterday morning, I was enjoying the fire burning in the wood stove as I looked out at the falling snow. It was so peaceful and quiet. I don’t think life gets much better than this.

Not everyone would agree with my assessment of the snow. This is fine, we are all made different. The important thing about any situation is to look for the blessings. Just as some are not fans of cold and snow, I’m not a fan of heat and humidity. But in every situation, I work to find things to be thankful for.

The focus of this journal post was my annual life planning. Reviewing the past year and looking forward to the new year. As I thought about the coming year, I wrote…

2021 is going to be a great year, but then…every year is great. Some are just greater than others.

As I wrote this, I realized that this mindset was the same years as it was for days.

The new year is a natural time for stepping back and reviewing the past and planning for the future. It’s common for new year’s resolutions to be made and then be abandoned once the busyness of our daily lives takes over. This annual process is great, but it needs to be done more often if it’s going to be anything more than a fleeting resolution.

It needs to be done more often than just annually. It also needs done quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily. This is hard to maintain. We get into daily routines that become weekly, that become monthly, that become quarterly and the next thing you know another year has gone by.

We look up and realize we didn’t accomplish the things we wanted.

Several years back I broke my year down into these smaller increments as an effort to not loose track of my year’s goals. It worked really well until the past few years when I gradually neglected to keep it up. It’s up to me to not let this happen.

This is where my need for focused intensity comes in.

I have control over a limited number of things, but those things are directly connected to how great this new year will be.

Things I can control:

  • What I say yes to
  • What I say no to
  • My schedule
  • My attitude
  • My perspective

I’m going to be intensely focused on my plans and the choices I make in 2021. This will make it a great year. Breaking the mountain down into shovel size amounts makes it movable.

As I review 2020, what made it great?

  • I joined a mastermind group. Never before had I done anything like this. The friendships, personal growth and opportunities from this have been life changing.
  • The personal and business connections from this mastermind opened up the opportunity to take a digital marketing training that have expanded my abilities and skills for growing my business.
  • Substantial business opportunities that have and will come from these connections
  • Opportunity to build an audiovisual booth in the sanctuary at church without causing disruption to worship service during the weeks we didn’t have live worship.
  • Our Pastor’s willingness to start recording, broadcasting and sharing his messages virtually when we weren’t having live worship. (We had been trying to get him to do this for a few years.)
  • Realization of how fortunate I am to have a loving family that is close both emotionally and geographically.
  • A clearer understanding of who God made me to be and the skills I have and the opportunity to help others with them.
  • The fact that I’m alive and haven’t completed the work that I was put here to do.

2020 was a great year, but then…every year is great. Some are just greater than others.

Here’s to your having a great 2021!

Happiness Is…A Choice

"Choose Happiness"




Choose to Be Happy


As the new year begins, we start filling up our already busy lives with more things to do. I think reviewing the past and looking to the future is a great plan and the new year is a fitting time for this. What we need to be clear about is what we’re going to spend our time doing and what makes us happiest.

We can choose to be happy or not.

“…happiness is not an emotional phantom floating in and out of my life. Happiness is a choice. Happiness is the end result of certain thoughts and activities, which actually bring about a chemical reaction in my body. This reaction results in euphoria, which, while elusive to some, is totally under my control.” Andy Andrews, The Traveler’s Gift.



“This is the day that the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad today!” Psalms 118:24. Everyday is a day that we’ve been given, we have the power to choose if we’re going to be happy or not.

Happy is a much better way to spend our time and energy.

Not only is being happy a benefit to us, it also spreads to those around us. It’s contagious. Surrounding ourselves with happy people is much more enjoyable and productive.


Make choosing to be happy one of your goals for this new year and spread it around.


Getting Inspired for A Better New Year

Some New and Exciting Plans for The New Year

I don’t know about you, but I get excited about planning for the future. Looking forward is exciting. It feels a little like the expectation of Christmas morning. The possibilities and opportunities of the New Year offer similar exciting feelings of anticipation.

If all your goals are always reached, then they aren’t big enough. They need to be big enough to stretch you, make you work harder at building a better you. I’ve never been short on big ideas and plans. To this point we didn’t reach all our 2018 goals. This doesn’t mean that we’re going to quit. God has too many big things left for us to accomplish.

One of the goals was to help more people find solutions for building their dreams through growing the number of people following these weekly posts. We missed it…by a lot. So, what are we going to do? Are we going to quit?

No. We’re going to try some new things because, failure only exists for the person who quits. I DO NOT QUIT!

As we have been discussing ideas for growing our community in this next year my financial assistant/sister had a suggestion. She thought I should share the weekly email that I currently send to my Sunday school class (which she receives).

What a good idea. I have always written these blog posts from a perspective that God is the Architect of our lives and we need to build our lives accordingly. This fits well with the mission of Solution Building to help you “find the solutions you need to build your dreams”. This second “Weekly Solution” posting will be mid-week and have an inspirational focus. I’M EXCITED!

Read the first one of these posts here.

Looking forward we’ve got some new and exciting things that we’re going to implement in the coming year. We want to develop our community and expand our circle of influence. We hope this addition will help with that. Keep watching for other new and exciting things.

One of the important parts of community is communication. Please share this with others who you think would enjoy or benefit from it and give me feedback by replying in the comments below.

Getting Back to the Core

Ideas Without Actions Don’t Do Anybody Any Good



“My future is immediate. I will grasp it with both hands and carry it with running feet. When I am faced with the choice of doing nothing or doing something, I will always choose to act!”

Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

From the book “The Travelers Gift” by Andy Andrews

We are already almost a month into the new year. It is crazy how fast time goes and there are so many things that I want to do this year. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were celebrating Christmas and beginning the process of looking forward to the new year. I have some big plans for this year so we have to get to work.

I was a dreamer at an early age. I had big ideas and plans for my life. Then there was a portion of my life where I became disillusioned and accepted that my dreams were just that…dreams that couldn’t and wouldn’t come true. I decided that I was just kidding myself the whole time. Then in 2012 I had “A Life Changing Wakeup Call” and realized that I had gotten sucked into the world of doubt. I had given up and quit dreaming. I was just accepting what life was giving me and that was just the way it was. Since the accident I have become reenergized about dreaming and about life. It’s great to be excited about life again!

One of the conclusions that I came to after this accident was that dreams are just dreams if there isn’t any action taken. It can be hard for those of us that are dreamers to move things from ideas to doing. This is where the ‘rubber meets the road’ or in builder lingo where the nail meets the board. I told you in a previous blog, “Using Core Values as My Life Filter”, that I would come back to the ‘Core Values’ and here we are. One of those core values is “Intentional Action”. This is a simple, straight forward value, but it requires me to move things from the dream to the action. This part is critical to the outcome. It is like seeing a beautiful picture of a dream home, but never being able to live in it if you don’t start nailing boards together.

Another self-realization that I discovered was my tendency toward planning. I like to plan. I can plan things to death if I’m not careful. It’s good to have a plan to avoid as many problems as possible, but finding a balance in planning and doing is important. Planning is like dreaming, nothing is built until you physically move some boards and swing the hammer. Like dreaming, planning requires action to get things accomplished.

As I was recovering from the accident I had time to reflect. I discovered things about myself that I naturally knew, but hadn’t slowed down long enough to evaluate. This time of self-discovery was a big help to me and was one of the Intentional Actions that I then began to implement regularly. I know that everyone of us is different and we all have our own individual strengths and weaknesses. This is why it is important to give some time to knowing yourself. It is easy to get sucked into the daily routines of living our lives, but if we hope to achieve our purpose in life we need to be Intentional in our Actions. In the next Life blog, we will discuss “Finding and Maintaining the Balance in Everything”.