Run Onto The Field

IMG_6098Last weekend I ran on the field after a Clemson football game.

You didn’t see it on the news. I wasn’t streaking or trying to tackle one of the players. It’s actually part of the tradition at Death Valley for students and fans to be able to run onto the field and celebrate with the home team after every victory.

We joined arms with the sweaty players who had just busted their tails for 4 quarters to secure a Tigers victory and sang the alma mater alongside them. We even got a selfie with Coach Dabo in the background. It was a fabulous end to a perfect day of tailgating and college football.

Now, I grew up a Tennessee fan and I never thought I’d see myself pulling for another shade of orange on Saturdays. But my wife’s family’s affection for Clemson is pretty infectious. The way the team treats it’s fans is a big part of that. Continue reading

How To Be A Living Hand Turkey

photo-5Hand Turkeys are not high art.

Surely you crafted a Hand Turkey in your younger days. Perhaps your child or grandchild made one for you. Or maybe you created some other elementary artwork as well – a Christmas ornament made from an ashtray, a picture frame glued with glitter and macaroni, etc.

You worked hard on these crafts. Spent afternoons in a grade school classroom perfecting the placement of buttons and stickers onto an oddly adorned flower pot to give to your mother or father on a special occasion.

But these crafts weren’t art. You were 7 when you made them. Continue reading

Celebrate Like A Mascot

(Click Here if you can’t see the video above.)

It’s Friday.

There’s a new NBA Season right around the corner.

But who cares about Lebron James or Derrick Rose when there’s inflatable mascots dancing around at halftime? That, my friends, is where the joy is.

I can’t explain to you why mascots make me smile so much. They just do. Hopefully this video of ridiculous inflatable NBA Mascots wobbling around the court will make you smile too.

Celebrate the weekend, the fall weather, basketball, and all your many blessings with the same abandonment to joy as a mascot.

Happy Friday.

Sing Like A Second Grader

(Click Here if you can’t see the video above.)

It’s Friday.

Whatever you’ve been through this week, it’s time to sing.

You may be afraid to let your voice be heard. You may be ashamed of how you sound. You may think you have no musical ability.

You need to go back. Go back to elementary school. Go back to the place where sunny days sweep the clouds away. Go back to a world where cookie monsters and people coexist. Go back to a time where you couldn’t get kicked out of chorus no matter what noises came out of your mouth.

Let the doubts and voices in your head drift away. Abandon yourself to childlike joy.

Take a page out of Jimmy Fallon’s book. Grab a kazoo and let it all out. Roll down the windows and sing like a second grader today.

Happy Friday.

(If Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, and the Sesame Street cast can’t put a smile on your face, here’s a couple of other classroom renditions from “Late Night” featuring Carly Rae Jepsen and Robin Thicke.) Continue reading

A Lesson On Being Joyful From Grover and Dave Matthews

(Click Here if you can’t see the video above)

Are you feeling a feeling that’s not a very good feeling?

Do you have a friend who’s also feeling a feeling that’s not a very good feeling?

You can’t always be happy. Even if you live on Sesame Street.

That’s ok. God never asked us to be happy always.

Instead He calls us to be joyful in Him always.

There’s a huge difference.

Like Grover and Dave Matthews, we won’t always get what we wish for. 

Sometimes that make us sad. Sometimes we need a friend to come by and remind us even though we don’t have a rocket ship, we’re still living on Sesame Street, and that in itself is pretty amazing. 

It’s Friday. Your weekend may not have gone like you wanted. You’re not the superhero you want to be. But look around. Take just 60 seconds to count your blessings. You’ll be overwhelmed. 

Find a friend who’s feeling the same feeling as you. Call them. Text them. Sit with them. Sing with them. Rejoice with them. 

Happy Friday.

Ahem. I mean Joyful Friday. 

 

60 Seconds Of Gratitude

Sometimes when I hear the alarm clanging on my iPhone I dread the idea of getting out of bed. But I can’t keep hitting the snooze button.

IMG_0572There’s a dog in my face who needs to be walked. He doesn’t care how late I stayed up or how hard I’ve been working lately. He expects me to take him outside as soon as the alarm goes off whether I like it or not.

Turns out walks with Roc are exactly what I need to kickstart my morning.

Those 10 minutes walking outside with no distractions give me a perfect chance to pray. Morning walks with Roc are a daily quiet time to take account of what’s in store fore the day. They’re also a time to give thanks to God for His many blessings.

You may not have the luxury of a morning walk time to get your heart in tune with God. No worries. Here’s another way you can get the same benefits:

Try this exercise today when you feel overwhelmed. Stop whatever you’re doing and put a timer on your phone for 60 seconds. Get out a pen and a piece of paper. Start the timer and begin writing down as many things you’re thankful for as you can in that minute.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly your perspective can shift. 60 seconds of gratitude can turn your day around. Taking register of all you have to be thankful for can be the boost you need to get over the hump of frustration.

Try it out. Take a minute. It’s not an exercise I do everyday, but it’s one I go back to whenever I lose perspective on how lucky I am.

No matter where you are in life I bet you can fill up 60 seconds with gratitude. I also bet doing so will change your entire day.

Happy Friday.

The Importance Of Being Ernest P. Worrell

(Click Here if you can’t see the video above.)

Ernest P. Worrell may be the most earnest man in the world.

Yes, he’s always interrupting Vern at the most inopportune times, causing chaos along the way. But he’s just trying to help.

Ernest is easily inspired with awe for the wonderful deals and products he discovers. He wants Vern to share in these blessings.

Be as earnest as Ernest today. Don’t be afraid to interrupt someone’s life with a surprise blessing. And try not to close your life off to the Ernests who bring cheer into your day.

An interruption of blessing is not an interruption. It’s an intervention – a rescue mission to recover the possibilities of the day the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice in that day with the spirit of Ernest. Know what I mean?

Happy Friday.

Everything Is Amazing And Nobody Is Happy

(Click Here if you can’t see the video above.)

Where has the joy gone in our lives? We live in a most incredible time, and yet we find ourselves complaining and worked up over the most menial problems.

The technology we have in this time is beyond incredible. Yet, as Louis C.K. perfectly puts it, if our phones take a minute while going to space we become ungrateful brats. The miracle of flying through the air has become an incredible burden.DSC_0068

Think about this: if all the “things” in your life were taken away, all of your possessions, everything you have, even all the people you love, would you be able to be joyful? Would you still be grateful?

God has called us to be joyful always. But how? How can we exhibit joy in all situations? Continue reading

A Lesson From Elmo On Happiness

My favorite verse in the bible is Philippians 4:4. It reads:

Rejoice in the Lord always; I will say it again, rejoice!

Some people, including myself, have a hard time living this verse out. Take Elmo, for instance:

Our furry friend seems to have some serious emotional problems. One second he’s ecstatically happy, the next he’s nearly suicidal with despair. And why? All because the green frog won’t play with him right that instant.

We’ve all acted like Elmo before, haven’t we? Much like Kermit promises Elmo everything he wants, God promises us everything we could ever desire. Yet we complain because we want it all right now.

Elmo is guilty of an error many of us make in life. Elmo is not finding his joy in the right place. Continue reading

Everything Counts

darkness on the edge of town“Springsteen aims for moon and stars; hits and moon and stars.” – Rolling Stone review of Darkness On The Edge Of Town, 1978

At the age of 29, Bruce Springsteen was receiving incredible praise like the quote above on a regular basis for his latest album, Darkness On The Edge Of Town. 

Amidst all the accolades though something is missing. What the reviews don’t say is that before reaching for the moon and stars, Bruce Springsteen was nearly dropped from his record label on a couple of occasions because his first three albums failed to light up the charts.

Before he encountered those problems Bruce Springsteen paid his dues for years serving as an opening act for of-the-moment bands who rode a quick wave of success before falling by the wayside. Bands like Sha Na Na (Yes, really – these guys).

Before those problems Bruce Springsteen struggled to find his voice in a number of local New Jersey bands like Steel Mill, Earth, and Dr. Zoom and The Sonic Boom (Yes, really).

Before that Bruce Springsteen got kicked out of one of his first teenage attempts at a band after two days because he just wasn’t good enough.

Success that hits the moon and stars never comes without pain and failure along the way. In fact success only happens because of the opportunities our failues allow us. Continue reading