November 24, 2009


READY8 “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

AIM8… While on a recent ‘holiday’ to England, I made some observations about the United States. Sure, there were the obvious language accents and different use of words in England, however, I had many more insightful revelations about us Americans.

Food portions in America are obscene. No matter where we ate our meals in England, the portions, while they appeared small because we are used to heaping plates of food, were perfectly sized. Strangely enough, we were quite satisfied after our meal and realized the food we were given was more than enough to fill our stomachs. Do Americans really believe more is always necessary?

Customary tipping rates in America start at 15% for obligatory service and 20% or more for truly excellent service. In England, tipping is not expected by each person who provides a service for you. In restaurants, if you want to tip your wait staff, 10% is customary and quite satisfactory. Why do we, Americans, always have our hands out?

Hotel rooms, hallways and living arrangements are quite modest and in some cases quite small in England. In America, it appears that bigger is better. People are building and buying mammoth houses that they can’t afford for the social “wow” instead of the practical use of space. Does more love exist in a 10,000 square foot mansion than in a modest 1200 square foot home?

Until we stepped away from our surroundings, we didn’t realize the importance Americans place on living a life of excess. There comes a time when you need to be satisfied with where you are in life. True happiness lies in your relationships with God, your family, and your friends. Guard your heart, dear friends, because there will be moments of weakness where the more you have, the more you’ll want, and eventually the more you’ll expect. I have never seen a U Haul following a hearse, right?!

As we enter the holiday season, be grateful for your circumstances and beware of the trap of living in excess.

FIRE!8 Choose to share your “excess” with someone less fortunate. During this Thanksgiving weekend, make a point to do one of the following: 1) while grocery shopping, buy extra food or a gift card for a family in need and leave it on their doorstep or in their mailbox, 2) help serve a Thanksgiving meal with your church or the local soup kitchen, 3) collect your extra change and drop some into each Salvation Army red bucket you pass when shopping on Friday, 4) use your excess down time to play games or read stories with the children in your family, 5) give God thanks for the blessing of excess in your life.

Be Excellent!

November 19, 2009

Just A Taste

READY8 "Taste and see that the Lord is good.” ~ Psalms 34:8 NIV

AIM8 As Americans, we have been taught over the years that vegetables are an important part of a balanced diet. When I was a child, our family’s rule at dinner was that you had to eat one spoonful of each item on the table…including the vegetables. Even as a young kid, I knew that vegetables were good for me. But even a simple spoonful of peas was often times hard to swallow!
God gives us a bountiful table to feast upon His word in the Bible. There are times where we want to stuff ourselves with spirit-lifting scripture. There are also moments when even just one spoonful of God’s word is difficult to swallow, much less digest. As we journey through life, we encounter situations where we are faced with making life-altering decisions. It is during those teachable moments when the messages in the Bible remind us to make excellent choices in life. Some days, it’s easier to accept those words of guidance. Ultimately, however, God knows what is best for us and what will nourish our souls – just like those dinnertime vegetables.
So remember, if you haven’t been getting the proper amount of nourishment for your soul lately…a daily spoonful of the Bible might be all you need to begin feeling healthy again. Oh, and by the way, if you need to eat more vegetables, that simple spoonful of peas isn’t so bad when you mix it with your rice or potatoes!

FIRE!8 If you haven’t read a Bible in a few days, months or ever…make it your challenge to pick it up and simply read a few verses in the book of Proverbs. You will find God’s wisdom in those messages is truly the food for your soul.

Be Excellent!

November 10, 2009


READY8 "Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin’…into the future." ~ Steve Miller Band - “Fly Like An Eagle”

AIM8 We are given twenty-four new hours every single day. What do you do with your time?
For most of us, our careers absorb a large portion of that time; for some of us that may mean up to twelve hours are immediately spent at our job. Additionally, we should be getting our eight hours of sleep, or at the very least resting and hopefully recharging our body’s batteries. So…what are we doing with the remaining hours in our day? We can figure that some of our time is spent bathing, getting dressed and undressed, eating meals and driving to and from work. Alright, that’s probably another three to five hours total. Therefore, we are left with any where between one to six hours of unaccounted time.
It’s what we do in those unaccounted hours that speak to our priorities. In those few remaining hours, do you: play with your children? Exercise? Read the newspaper or books? Watch television? Shop? Enjoy hobbies? Pray? Surf the internet? Put in more hours at work? Spend time with your family and your friends? I know we barely scratched the surface of all of the millions of things we are obligated to do, asked to do or choose to do with our free time. What does your free time say about YOU?
Time is a precious commodity. Use it wisely!

FIRE!8 Set aside fifteen minutes to sit and just talk to your spouse, one of your children or one of your parents or siblings. Ask them what they are excited about in their life right now. The connection made during those invaluable fifteen minutes will be time well spent.

Be Excellent!

November 6, 2009

Exciting News!!

I am SO excited! I just had to share my good news with all my friends and loyal readers.

This week, Arrows of Integrity will be featured in a official publication! Recently, a dear friend of mine was reading her weekly Arrows of Integrity message and thought it was something that other people could benefit from reading. It turns out, she is the co-publisher for Cape Fear Parent magazine. She talked to her editor and they decided they wanted to include my message in their bi-monthly magazine. When asked about the opportunity, I was shocked and flattered all at the same time! Of course, I said YES! So this week, at newsstands all around North Carolina in Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Pope Air Force Base and Cumberland County, people will be reading Arrows of Integrity!! Once the publication is distributed, you can access the articles online at

Thanks for being such amazing friends and Arrows readers. Maybe, just maybe, we'll be helping other people become excellent too!

Be Thoughtful Before You Speak

READY8 "A knife-wound heals, but a tongue wound festers." ~ Turkish Proverb

AIM8 “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." That famous childhood saying made us all believe that no matter what someone said about us, it shouldn’t hurt. Sadly, that childhood adage lied. Words DO hurt!
A stick or stone may hurt us physically, but those cuts, bruises and breaks heal, and we eventually forget the physical pain we endured. Words, however, echo in our hearts and minds for days, weeks, even lifetimes. Hurtful words can reverberate years down the road when we think we’ve long forgotten their impact. One simple reminder is all it takes for the pain to suddenly come rushing back.
Have you ever said something you wish you could have taken back? Deep down, you knew what you said may have hurt someone. Unfortunately, once those words left your lips, they could not be taken back. Yes, you can apologize and ask for forgiveness. However, it now depends on how easily the other person forgives you and how quickly she can forget what you said in order to determine the real damage.
Take time to really listen to yourself and the words you say to others. Be thoughtful before you speak! Use your words wisely to build people up, not to gossip and tear people down. Yes, “sticks and stones may break my bones,” but words will always hurt you AND me.

FIRE! 8 If you’ve hurt someone in the past with your words, send her a note of apology today. Better yet, send a note of encouragement to a friend who needs it.

Be Excellent!