Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mixing It Up

Learning is a Drug and I must say that I am addicted.  Some get a rush or a high from drugs, adrenaline, art, or travel but for me its Learning.  I get a rush from Learning something new and I love it. 

I started writing this blog over a year ago and I have Learned a ton.  After writing 130 posts or so it is time for a slight change.  When I started this blog I planned to write about whatever I was Learning at the time.  This sounds good in theory.  The problem is I'm pretty random so therefore my Learning is random which means my writing is random. 

I have Learned that successful magazines, radio stations, and channels on TV have a target audience.  This is why you will find similar topics and articles in your favorite magazine and similar songs and shows on your favorite radio and TV stations.  The same is true for blogs.  The most popular and successful blogs have a laser focus on a particular field, which is what I am going to attempt.

I will no longer be writing on  I've launched my new blog Learn. Live. Lead.  The focus will be threefold:

1.  Learn.  As a teacher, learner, addict, and assistant principal, learning will always be a major part of my life.  These posts will primarily be about the learning process.  It will be for educators, spouses, parents, and anyone else that is interested in the process of learning.

2.  Live.  I don't know about you but I love life.  These posts will be about living life to the fullest and some will be about my personal life and experiences.  Because I live for Christ, many posts will be Christian in nature.  These posts will be for anyone that is alive.

3.  Lead.  Many posts will be on the topic of leadership.  Leadership is not about a title but about leading people (employees, families, friends, students, etc...).  These posts will be focused on ways to take people from where they are to where they want to be.

Thank you again for reading my blog.  Check out my new one at:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How To Implement Change

Change is tough.  Changing your behaviors and habits is hard.  Changing the behavior and habits of others is even harder.  Or is it?

The book Switch shows how to create environments, emotions, and triggers that promote change.  Here are 3 quick principles:

1.  Create New Environments - Changing your environment makes changing your behavior much more likely.  If you're trying to eat healthy, your environment should include more fresh fruit and vegetables and less candy and chips.  You need easy access to healthier food choices in your refrigerator, pantry, and even office/desk at work.  The less choices you have to make the more likely you are to make better decisions.  As a leader, it is important to develop environments for success.

2.  Appeal to Emotions - If you have ever watched Biggest Loser, Intervention, or any other show that involves someone making a big change in their life, you know that people rarely make changes for themselves.  They are always making changes for their kids, spouses, or family.  The more you appeal to your emotions (or as a leader the emotions of others) the greater your chances for change.

3.  Develop Action Triggers - It's not enough to say that you're going to change behavior, you need to set up an action trigger to remind you.  Craig, a friend of mine, prays for his wife everyday at 4pm.  Each day an alarm on his watch goes off and he stops what he is doing and says a prayer for his wife.  The alarm simply reminds him of what he wants to do and dramatically increases his chances of doing it.  As a leader, develop action triggers to remind others to make successful choices.

How do you successfully implement change in yourself or in others?

Monday, July 25, 2011

There Is No Place Like Home

Breckenridge, CO
At the beginning of the summer I was super excited about all of the traveling I was going to do.  Vacations, visiting friends & family, and conferences filled over half of the summer.  I enjoyed my time away and all of the learning, conversations, new experiences, and memories.  However, I must agree with Dorothy that there is no place like home!  

Here I am with one week left of the Summer before I head back to school (most people call it work).  I'm so thankful to have a Summer Break and I do cherish it.  And although there really is No place like home, sometimes it takes trips, vacations, conferences, and the land of Oz to realize it.

Remember Me?
Lazy River

Fence in Saledo, TX

Pine Cove in Tyler, TX

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

5 Ways to Beat The Heat

It is ridiculously hot outside!  Here are a few ways for you and your family stay out of the heat, stay out of the house, and stay out of debt doing it!

1. Wake up early.  We can learn from roofers and construction workers.  Change your personal hours during the summer to wake up earlier to get outside work done before it gets too hot.  You can go for a jog, work in the yard, chip and put on the practice greens at your local golf course, or take your kids to play in the park all before 8am. 

2. Go to the Library.  The library is one of the most under utilized resources in America.  Not only is it fully air conditioned, but you can also check out books, audio books, DVDs, and CDs all FOR FREE!  If they don't have what you want you can request it and they will usually get it for you.  Let me say that again.  You can read any book or magazine, watch almost any movie, and listen to almost any music absolutely free.  Do you understand what that can do for your budget?

3.  The Mall.  People watching, mall walking, and window shopping are classic mall activities.  You can also Google mall scavenger hunts and come up with a ton of other fun ideas.  Also, many places offer extremely cheap matinee movies and some stores like Apple offer free training sessions. 

4.  Day at the Museums.  I know museums can be boring but everything can be boring with a bad attitude.  If you really want to stay out of the house and stay out of the heat then check out your local museums.  It's a great way to learn about local history and expand your mind. They usually cost money but there are always discount coupons online.

5.  Serve.  Ever wonder who puts all the pens and envelopes on the back of every chair at church?  Or who puts the extra insert into the bulletin?  It could be you.  Small tasks like that effect everyone and can make a big difference to a secretary or to a volunteer who needs a break.

[For more ways to beat the heat, ask the Dallas Mavericks.  :)  ]

What are some free/cheap ways you like to stay out of the house and out of the heat?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Can You Be Trusted?

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much..." 
                                                                  - Words of Jesus in Luke 16:10

I am learning that this biblical principle has a ton of applications.

What does your refrigerator look like?  Is it filled with month old leftovers, empty soda bottles, and unopened ranch dressing that expired in 2009?  Or is it organized so that each shelf has a purpose and everything is still edible?

What does your closet look like?  Do you have a large pile of shoes at the bottom, your kids presents from 2 Christmas's ago, clothes that you haven't worn in years that are jam packed so tightly that when you pull out one shirt you get three or four?  Or are your clothes separated by long and short sleeves, organized by color like a rainbow, with shoe, jewelry, tie, and belt racks?

When was the last time you washed and cleaned out your car?  Is it covered with bird poop and filled with fast food wrappers and other trash?  Or do you have a regular routine for washing and cleaning it out?

What about your desk?  What about your garage?  What about your purse or wallet?

Am I saying that the more organized you are the more money you'll make?  Its possible. Or the cleanliness of your refrigerator or garage has something to do with your bank account? Maybe a smidgen. Is cleaning out your closet or organizing your desk going to make you a better person? Who knows? 

All I know is Jesus said, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much."  I think I need to pay more attention to the little before I think about the much.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Church Diversity

I recently finished the book Church Diversity by @ScottWilliams.  The subtitle and one of the inspirations of the book is based on a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that says, "Sunday is the most segregated day of the week."  Unfortunately, this has always been my experience.  I was raised in a Christian home in the Bible Belt by Christian parents, my Grandpa was a Christian Minister, and I attended a Christian university.  Throughout that time, I visited dozens of churches and all but one would be considered a "white church".

As both a Christian and an Educator, this is very strange to me.  Throughout my public schooling, sports teams, college, and now at work, the majority of my day is spent with a diverse people made up of different races, political and religious beliefs, and social classes.  Yet on Sunday, the vast majority of the people at church are white and middle class.  As both an Educator and a Christian, it would seem like the Church would have been the group that pioneered desegregation.  Professional sports, public schools, local businesses, and even the government made strides 50 years ago but the Church, the group of people that one would think to be the first to gladly join together with other brothers and sisters in Christ, is still not there.

Church Diversity is challenging.  @ScottWilliams does a great job of not only describing the issue but providing solutions.  In fact, this book is full of wisdom from multiple leaders of churches that are ahead of the game when it comes to Church Diversity.  More importantly, reading this book forced me to truly examine my life, my background, my beliefs, my actions, and my perspectives.  My eyes were opened and I now see the world a little differently.  I believe the same will be true for you.

The best part about this book is that it reaches far beyond "church world".  You could easily substitute the word Church for School, Workplace, Team, Organizational, or Office Diversity.  I would recommend this book to the leaders of any organization. 

Finally, I want to give props to @ScottWilliams for all of the creative marketing surrounding the release of this book.  I mean who promotes a book with blog tours, book trailers, poetry, and t-shirts?  And what kind of weirdo does so much social media marketing that he uses his Twitter handle on the cover of his book?  I guess someone who 'Dreams Big and Thinks Bigger.' 

Pick up Church Diversity from pretty much any store, Amazon, or your local library. 
Check out @ScottWilliams blog and follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Power of Keys

There is something powerful about keys.

I remember the excitement of buying a house or a car or getting a new job. You get excited when your offer is accepted, when the closing date is set, when the loan goes through, when the appraisal comes back, when you get the phone call, and when you sign your name thousands of times. But you never really feel like that car or that house or that job is yours until you have the key.

I recently resigned from one job and changed positions in another.  In doing so, I had to turn in my keys to my offices, all the classrooms, and to get into the building.  Although ready to move on, each time I was always reluctant to turn in my keys.  It's not that I needed those keys anymore, but there is something about keys that makes you feel important. 

The same is true when selling a house or a car.  You may be ready to move out or ready to get a new car but there is just something about physically giving up the key that says, "this house, car, office, classroom, school, ___________ is no longer under my control."

At the same time, there is something freeing about giving up your keys.  Its a great feeling when people call you for something and you can say, "Sorry, I don't have keys to that anymore."

Weird how responsibility, power, freedom, and so much more can come from a single key. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My New Job!

Putnam City Pirates!
I am pleased to announce that I will be an Assistant Principal at Putnam City High School!!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time this past year at Kenneth Cooper Middle School as an Intern Assistant Principal.  And I will always cherish my 4 years of teaching at Western Oaks. (Once a Warrior, Always a Warrior!)

I am excited about this new opportunity to work at Putnam City High.  I look forward to building new relationships with teachers and students.  With a bigger school and more students come bigger challenges and more responsibilities and I gladly accept!  It's going to be a great experience!

(See LeBron, that wasn't so hard.  It doesn't take an hour.  :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Importance of Companions

I have been recently reminded of the importance of companions.  Here are 2 examples:

1.  My wife was out of town for a week, learning new things so that she can continue to excel as a leader of college students.  Not only did I miss her cooking and cleaning (I was reminded of how much she does that I don't even see) but I missed her voice, her conversation, and most of all her presence.  Sure we talked on the phone everyday, Facebooked, sent texts, etc... but there is no substitute for the real thing.  I just missed having my wife, my companion with me on a daily basis.

2.  I'm currently doing the exercise program Insanity.  If you have seen the infomercial or done it yourself you know that it really is Insane.  My Insanity partner is @ChadMcKamie and we are doing our best to make our schedules work for 60 Insane days.  Some days we can't make it happen and we have to do the workout alone, which makes it so much harder.  There is something about looking over and watching someone else struggle through the same thing with you that makes it easier, or at least more doable.  We are also able to encourage each other through words or actions as we go through this insane process.

Regardless of the context, I have found that nearly everything is better with a companion.  (This is crazy coming from a loaner, only child.)  The conversations, accountability, memories, stories, encouragement, and fun is at least double with someone to share them with.

Who are your companions?  In what areas of your life could you use one?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Never Say Never

I recently watched the movie Never Say Never which is the story of Justin Bieber's success.  I must admit that I really enjoyed it and after watching it I developed theory (with the help of my wife) as to why this kid is so insanely popular.

Justin Bieber is so popular because of his wholesome, uplifting music.  Every one of his songs is positive and is something that everyone can, will, or would like to relate to.  His lyrics clearly value girls.  How many songs on the radio talk about love without mentioning sex or being degrading to women?  Not too many.  He is not singing about girls, he is singing straight to the hearts of girls.  Songs with lyrics like "When I smile, you smile", "One less lonely girl", "I just need somebody to love", "Your world is my world, my fight is your fight, your breath is my breath", etc...  I could literally list lyrics from every single one of his songs. 

Add this to the fact that he is talented (he plays the drums, guitar, and piano), young, and most would say good looking and you have the pandemic of Bieber Fever.

Thanks for keeping it classy Justin Bieber.  As you mature as a musician, don't think your lyrics have to mature as well.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

After A Tornado...

There have been some major tornadoes in Oklahoma, Missouri, Alabama, and other parts of the United States.  The damage has been devastating!  Neighborhoods, towns, and cities completely destroyed.

After watching people and families being interviewed on the news I have noticed that they all say the same thing.  They are standing in front of what used to be their house and all they can say is "I'm just glad everyone is safe.  That's all that matters."

I think that is a perfect answer.  It is a great reminder to everyone that your house, cars, tv, clothes, computers, and other material things are not very important when it comes down to it.  The important things are relationships, friends, family, and for some people their pets.

Knowing this, lets all make sure we spend our time, energy, and money on the things that are most important to us. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Old Dog, New Tricks

You try something new.  It doesn't go as planned.  What do you do?  You have a few options...

a) Never do it again. Complain to everyone you know and brag about how you knew it wouldn't work.
b) Keep trying until you're blue in the face, without making changes, determined to make it work.
c) Evaluate, learn from your mistakes, make adjustments, try again.

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks...but it will take time.  Be patient. 
(By the're the dog.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Graduation: The Beginning

Being an educator and living on a college campus, I have the privilege of attending many graduations.  To be honest, I used to hate it.  It's a formality.  It's not required.  You don't even get your diploma on that day.  As a spectator, you sit and listen to people talk for over an hour until your friend/family has their name called as they walk across the stage for 5 seconds.  What a way to spend an afternoon!

My Sister Ashley
However, the farther I get into the field of education the more and more graduation is growing on me.  I might even say I enjoy it.  I like to imagine all of the amazing things that are going to be accomplished by the people in the caps and gowns.  I like to think about all of the problems that could be solved by the people with the tassels and cords.  I like to think about how far each has come from their freshmen year or even middle school years.

Graduation itself is not a life-changing experience.  It is a celebration of the life-changing events that graduates have experienced. 

Another reason I like graduation is that it serves as both an end and a beginning.  The ceremony is often called the commencement.  The root of that word being commence, which means start or begin.  As people graduate from high school, college, or graduate programs, they may be finished with their degree but they are beginning something new.  They now have new knowledge, new perspectives, new goals, new opportunities.  How exciting to be a graduate!

As you attend graduation ceremonies as a participant or a spectator, remember that you are not there for entertainment.  You are there to celebrate, support, dream, and begin!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Faith & Freedom

The biggest story in the world right now is the death of terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden.  If you know me, you know that one of my least favorite topics is politics.

To be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about the whole situation.  I have more questions than answers.  I'll supply the questions because I certainly don't have the answers.

Do religious beliefs and national pride conflict?  

Is it okay to celebrate Justice?  Is it okay to celebrate someone's death?  Is there a way to do both?  Is that okay?

What is the difference between Justice and vengeance?

Does killing the leader of unreasonable terrorists make them more or less reasonable?  More or less angry? More or less passionate?  More or less hateful?

Is killing the best way to stop killers?  OR Is killing the only way to stop killers?

When the 10 Commandments, Jesus, and even Mohammad said that killing was bad, were there any exceptions?  You know like for terrorists? 

The foundation of these questions is the battle between my faith and my American pride.

I am so proud to be an American.  I am so thankful for our troops and their families.  I'm so thankful for those who have given their lives so that I can have mine.  I'm so thankful for Justice.  I am so thankful for Freedom that it breaks my heart when others don't have it. 

At the same time I am so thankful to be a Christian.  I am so thankful for Peace.  I am so thankful for Life.  I'm so thankful for Grace that it breaks my heart when others don't have it. 

Do I celebrate when a terrorist dies because he is a terrorist?  Or do I mourn when a terrorist does because a sinner refused Grace?

Should I ask God these questions tonight when I talk to Him?  Or should I Google it?

Thoughts? Comments? More Questions?    

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Father Fiction

I recently finished a book by Donald Miller called Father Fiction:  Chapters For a Fatherless Generation.

I picked up the book because as an educator, I work with so many kids that do not know their dads.  Or if they do, they are in prison or live far away.  Although not what I expected, it is a fantastic book...especially for young men.

There are some things that you typically learn from your Father.  Small things like how to fish, tie a tie, or play a sport.  Big things like friends, work ethic, dating, sex, and integrity.  For the record, it is more than possible to learn all of these things from one's Mom, but for young men it is better to learn from Dad.

Miller learned all of these things later in life in his 20s.  However, he thought if he had a dad he would have learned them as a young teenager and been better prepared for the world.  This book is simply about how he learned these things.

Although I am very fortunate to know, be raised by, and learn from my Dad, I learned a lot from the book.  Comparing sex to inflation, choosing good friends or prison, and respecting authority to airplane traffic, Miller does an excellent job of creatively explaining tough topics and I have already shared many parts of it with other young men.

I highly recommend Father Fiction to any young men or anyone who lives or works with young men.

Here is another post I wrote about this book:  What's The Weather Like?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Music Monday

For Music Monday I typically post the song that has been in my head the most the past week.  This week is certainly no different.  This is a remix to a very familiar song by my good friends Jonathan & Michelle.  They are ridiculously creative!  I'll be surprised if the new words to this old song aren't stuck in your head!  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I Love My Wife!

To help celebrate my wife Katy's birthday, here are the top 10 reasons I love my wife!

10.  I love her competitive nature.  She was the basketball player that dove for loose balls and never stopped hustling.  Just today she wanted to see if we could clean the bedroom during one commercial just to see if we could.  I love that!

9.  I love her simple nature.  Katy is the opposite of high maintenance.  She is so grateful for everything that she has and does not take anything for granted. 

8.  I love her financial discipline.  She does everything she can to save our family money and prepare for the future.  Whether its clipping coupons, buying generic brands, shopping at ROSS & TJ Max, keeping our family budget, or always splitting an entree at restaurants, she is putting her MBA to good use in our family.

7.  I love her encouragement.  Regardless of the situation, Katy always builds me up with her words.  She makes me feel more confident and know I am a better man because of her encouragement.  This isn't reserved just for me.  Katy writes encouraging notes, sends encouraging texts, makes encouraging calls, etc. to as many people as she can and it makes such a difference.

6.  I love her servant's heart.  Katy is always serving someone in some way.  She has an eye for it.  She naturally looks for ways that she can help people and does it without waiting to be asked.  I have never seen someone serve with such a positive attitude.
Courtesy of Michelle Meisner Photograpy

5.  I love her leadership.  I get the opportunity to see Katy to lead many college students at SNU.  She leads by example, always modeling the behavior she expects of her staff.  She is loving but firm, relaxed but serious, sweet but straight-forward.  I learn from her leadership.

4.  I love her followership.  Although Katy is very capable of doing everything on her own, she always follows me and supports my decisions as her husband.  We discuss everything and sometimes we agree to disagree.  Knowing that I have her support at the end of the day makes gives me so much confidence.

3.  I love her friendship.  Katy is my best friend but what I love more is the way she makes friend with others.  She knows everyone and loves meeting new people.  Spend 5 minutes with her and you have a friend for life. 

2.  I love her voice.  Katy always has a song in her heart and is constantly singing.  I love it when her voice wakes me up as she's practicing for singing on Sunday mornings.  Watching her lead worship with such passion makes me proud to be her husband.

1.  I love her relationship with Jesus.  Although I am her husband, I know that the #1 man in her life is Jesus Christ.  She is such a Godly woman that speaks life into people, serves, and loves as Jesus did.  As her husband I have the wonderful opportunity to watch Him work through her on a daily basis.  It is a marvelous thing!

There are so many other things I love about you Katy Bradley.  I'll save some for later.  I love you!

Two Hearts

The Chic Suite
To celebrate Katy's birthday, we went on a romantic getaway at the Two Hearts Inn located in Edmond, OK.  This was our first time to stay at a bed and breakfast and I must say it will not be the last.  The room was spectacular.  The breakfast was delicious.  The library of DVDs, quiet outdoor sitting area with swings, chocolate covered strawberries, jacuzzi, fireplace, complimentary tea from the Inspirations Tea Room, and the gracious hospitality of the hostess were all top notch. 

Delicious Breakfast!
The best part about this place was that it provided a quiet evening for relaxation, conversation, and restoration.  We left feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.   We will definitely go back again and I recommend the Two Hearts Inn to any and everyone.

For more information, customer reviews, and photos check out their website

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Artwork

Video of Easter Artwork in Dallas

This is a great video of an artist describing his painting of Christ rising from the tomb.  Take a couple of minutes to check it out.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's The Plan Stan?

I was in the gym the other day and my friend Andrew asked me what I was doing.  (Obviously I was working out but he was asking about my exercise routine.)  I briefly told him about the 4 week plan that I am currently doing from Men's Health Magazine.  Andrew said, "You're into plans aren't you?"  I quickly answered yes but I have been thinking about it ever since. 

I am into plans.  In my experience, plans work.  And even if plans don't work, you are probably better off than you would be without one.  I like workout plans because they remind me what to do everyday so that I can push myself to get better.  When the plan is over I am able to see its effectiveness based on my strength and endurance.  Without a workout plan, I would just go hang out in the gym and not get any stronger.

I like plans for other areas of my life. 

I have a plan for my finances (combo between Dave Ramsey and Robert Kiyosaki).  I have a plan for my education (read 2 books each month until I begin my PhD).  The purpose of this post is not to tell you about my plans but rather to say that I have learned that the old saying "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" is definitely true.  I have a plan for my marriage, career, health, life, future, and pretty much anything you can think of. 

Do my plans always work?  Absolutely not.  And when they don't, I simply check out the situation and make a new plan. 

Unfortunately, many people spend more time planning the wrong things. 
People spend more time planning their wedding than their marriage. 
People spend more time on the plans for their new house and than the plans for paying for it. 
People spend more time planning a week long vacation than they do the next 5 years of their life.  People spend more time planning a meal than they do planning their health.
People spend more time planning a toddler's birthday party that they won't remember than planning to develop their character, let alone their college fund.

Plans work.  What's your plan?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Music Monday

In honor of my wonderful sister-in-law Lauree, Ben Rector is this weeks feature on Music Monday.  She is seeing him in concert twice in one month (obsessed much?).  She left a CD in my car and I must say that I've been listening loudly ever since.  Here is a clip of his song called "The Beat". 
If you like what you hear, check him out on YouTube, iTunes, Twitter, etc...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Daniel Fast

I just finished a 3 week Daniel Fast.  What is that you ask?  Fasting is going for a period of time without food.  Fasting has been around for thousands of years and is typically a religious practice.  Fasting is basically denying yourself physical nourishment in order to satisfy spiritual hunger.
Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. - Matthew 4:4
A Daniel Fast is based off of scripture that says Daniel (you know the guy in the lions' den) was mourning in the wilderness for three full weeks and ate no pleasant food, no meat, no wine, no sugar, no dairy, no potato chips, no coffee, no Dr. Pepper, etc... 
In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks.  I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. - Daniel 10:2, 3
This is my first experience of fasting (other than 24 hours) and it has been surprisingly wonderful.  I assumed I would pray, read my bible, serve, etc every time I was hungry.  I thought I would be starving for 3 weeks but that has not been the case.  The good thing about a Daniel fast is you can eat as much as you want so hunger hasn't been an issue.  However, there are times when I have been weak since I haven't been eating much protein.  It is in those times that I am reminded where my strength comes from.

My biggest struggle has been temptation.  There have been chocolate chip cookies, cups of coffee, Freddy's Frozen Custard, juicy hamburgers, and gigantic bowls of cereal seductively calling my name.  It is in those times I am reminded where I find true satisfaction.  

I don't have crazy explanations.  All I can say is this is the most I have felt God's presence in my life in a very long time.  My eyes have been reopened and I can see His work, His beauty, His grace, His love, in a way that I never have before.  I can sense a boldness that has been lacking and a strength that is not my own.

Do I think I feel this way because I changed my diet for 3 weeks?  No.  I believe it is due to a sacrificial pursuit of Jesus Christ.  Fasting does not make God love you more but it has made me love God more.  Fasting is not a magic formula for blessings to appear in your life but it has made me more aware of the many blessings I already have.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. - Matthew 5:6
Edible shoe made from fruits and vegetables.  :)

If you want to find out more about the Daniel fast check out

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What's It Going To Take?

What is it going to take for you to make a change for the better?  

Are you going to wait until you get a doctor's diagnosis before you start exercising & eating healthy? 
Are you going to wait until you go bankrupt before you start living within your means? 
Are you going to wait until you get fired before you look for the job you really want? 
Are you going to wait for the divorce papers before you work on your marriage? 
Are you going to wait until the funeral before you apologize?
Are you going to wait until mandatory rehab before you face your addiction? 
Are you going to wait to get hurt again before you ask for help? 
Are you going to wait until you're good enough before you ask God to change your life? 

I mean I guess you could wait before you make the change.  Or you could save some heartache, pain, tears, and time and go ahead and make the change now. 

Why wait for good health, financial security, purpose, great marriage, freedom, safety, and Love when you can make the choices to change for the better today!

Monday, March 28, 2011


I'm VERY EXCITED about the new book coming out by Craig Groeschel.  The book is titled WEIRD: Because Normal Isn't Working.  

If you know me, you know that I am weird.  I recently had a student say to me, "Mr. Bradley, you are the weirdest principal I have ever had." Thank you very much!  I take that as a compliment because being weird means standing out.  And in my opinion, it is better to stand out (be weird) than fit in.  (I think that is from Cinderella or something.)

If being weird is standing out then weird people land the job, weird people get the girl/boy, weird people eat healthy, and weird people impact lives.  Because normal fits in with the stack of resumes, normal doesn't get noticed, normal is overweight, and normal waits for their life to be impacted.

Weird people run marathons, save money, recycle, and fight for freedom. 

I don't know if I'll get the quote exactly right but Groeschel says something weird like: "Normal people are broke, divorced, and unhappy."  Unfortunately this is true if you look at the statistics of our nation and the world.

be WEiRD!

btw, Don't take my word for it.  I'm just a weirdo.  Check out the definition for weird.  It may not be what you think.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Beiber Fever?

Great song by Justin Beiber.
I know he's got the whole teenage heartthrob thing going on but I like where his heart's at.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Recharge Your Batteries

Ft. Gibson Lake
My wife and I recently spent a few days with my parents in my hometown.  They live by Ft. Gibson Lake, out where the cellphone reception is non-existent.  We went on daily walks & jogs, explored, saw plenty of deer, breathed a ton of fresh air, and waved at everyone we saw even if we didn't know them.

We didn't hear sirens, traffic, airplanes, or our ringtones. 

It's funny how I used to be mad about not getting cellphone reception on vacation and now I enjoy it.  It is important to unplug, disconnect, and recharge every once in a while.  What good is reception if your battery is dead?

I'm back living city life and doing what I love.  My spiritual, physical, and mental batteries are recharged and cellphone reception is in full force...if you don't count the ridiculous amount of dropped calls.

Where do you go to unplug, disconnect, and recharge your batteries?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's The Weather Like?

My wife and I had dinner with some friends of ours tonight.  Yes, they are old enough to be our grandparents but they are funny, wise, kind, great Christian role models.  We like to hang out with them when we can. 

We have a lot of people we like to spend time with but we make sure to spend time with people wiser and more experienced than us so that we may learn from them.  They also claim that we help keep them young but I think they do a pretty good job on their own.

Two paragraphs from Donald Miller's book Father Fiction paint a wonderful picture of why this is necessary.

I was on a plane a few years ago, flying from Chicago to Portland, and happened to plug my headphones into the jack on the armrest.  On a plane, you can sometimes listen to the radio transmissions coming in and out of the cockpit.  I was curious about what pilots say to each other so, like a good geek, I listened for a while.  It turns out, most of the transmissions are about weather and whether or not the plane is heading for choppy air.  The pilot would radio to a plane that was en route an hour or so ahead of us and get a report on what kind of turbulence they were experiencing; then would turn and radio the plane that had just taken off in Chicago to explain what sort of air we were fling through at the moment.  They system was primitive, but intelligent.

It occurred to me, listening to the pilots talk to each other, how much this is like life.  I could see it clearly, the fact that in life there are people being born, just as others are passing away.  And all the way through life, the guys who are twenty years ahead are teaching the guys twenty years behind what kind of weather they will be encountering at whatever stage of life they happen to be living in.

Do you have older, wiser, experienced people speaking into your life?  If not, I challenge you to find someone by next week.

Life as a Principal

I love my job!

I am a middle school assistant principal.  It is safe to say that my job is never boring. 

On any given day I could be...

a judge making decisions regarding consequences for poor behavior.
a crime scene investigator, checking survilliance cameras.
a detective questioning witnesses and doing background checks.
a teacher covering a class if there is not a substitute.
a janitor cleaning up the cafeteria in between lunches.
a bouncer breaking up physical altercations.
a counselor mediating girl drama.
an instructional leader providing strategies to teachers...I wish I could do this more :(
a mentor helping students make better life decisions.
a coach giving kids pointers during lunch recess.

And all of this could happen before lunch! (except for the lunch recess one of course)

Of course, there are also things I don't like about my job but I think this is true for everyone and every job. You have to choose to focus on the good, invest in those around you, and keep showing up. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Give It Up

What are you giving up for Lent? 

Not sure what I'm talking about?   Lent is a Christian tradition in which believers pray, fast, give, or sacrifice something for the 40 days before Easter.  Lent officially begins Ash Wednesday, which is this week.

Why participate in Lent?  It is a great way to prepare our hearts, minds, and bodies for the greatest day of the Christian calendar, Easter. 

Lent is not about simply giving something up like a New Year's Resolution.  Lent is about doing (or not doing) something that interrupts your daily life that will cause you to pray, remember what God has done, and grow closer to God.

Here are a few things that people have done (or not done) during Lent.

- Give up caffeine to remember that God is the source of all strength and energy.
- Give up walking on grass.  Great for those that live on college campuses.  When everyone else cuts through the grass, say a prayer while you're taking the long way.
- Give up complaining or negative comments.  
- Give up television.  Read the Bible or a daily devotional instead.
- Give up video games.  Read the Bible or a daily devotional instead.
- Give up listening to music in the car.  Take the time to have conversations with loved ones or with God.

- Read the Bible and/or pray every day.  
- Write 40 encouraging notes to people who have made a difference in your life.
- Run or walk everyday.  Less about physical exercise and more about time alone with God.
- Give something away everyday.

These are just a few ideas.  You know what would work best in your life.  What you do or don't do is not important.  Participating in Lent will not make God love you more or less.  Participating in Lent will develop your relationship with God as you catch a small glimpse of the sacrifice and giving God has done for you. 

You Are More

You are more than the choices that you made.
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes.
You are more than the problems you create.
You've been remade.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

God is Bigger Than _____________.

God is bigger than __________. 

Fill in the blank with whatever you're up against. 

God spoke the universe into existence.  I'm pretty sure God can take care of ______________.

This does not take away from the difficulty of your ______________ but rather display God's immeasurable power and ability.

Prayerfully ask God.  He is more able than you could ever ask or imagine!

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Growing Closer To God

Like most Christians, I have a desire to grow in my relationship with Christ.  The most common ways of doing this are going to church, praying, and reading the Bible and other Christian books.  All of these things are good but to be honest they somehow don't always make it into my schedule.  I've tried daily devotionals and reading plans.  I've tried to have a set "quiet time" in the mornings, during the day, and at night.  In an attempt to grow closer to God, I feel obligation to check it off my list and guilt when I don't make time for it. Does this sound familiar?  I hope I'm not the only one.

Here are 3 different perspectives that have helped me develop a deeper relationship with God.  

1.  GET to vs HAVE to - My friend Braden said that he has learned to look at spending time with God (reading, praying, listening) as something that he gets to do rather than something he has to do everyday.  This way if he misses a day he feels as though he missed out on spending time with the Creator rather than guilty for not being a good Christian.

2.  Quality vs Quantity - Spending quality time, sharing joys, pains, conversations, and doing life with someone is better than spending a planned quantity of 15 minutes each day.  Christianity is about having a relationship with the Living God, so maybe that relationship should look more like our relationships with our loved ones.  I don't talk to my best friends or parents for 15 minutes everyday but we are still close. 

3.  Read For Change, Not Completion - I used to read the Bible like any other book.  I just wanted to finish so I could get another book.  I have learned to read for understanding, clarity, and most importantly for change.  I have been reading, studying, and understanding the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-8) for about 6 months and it is rockin' my world.  Our church has been studying the book of Ephesians for months now.  Sometimes its better to take your time and figure out how it applies to you before you move on.

What has helped develop your relationship with God?

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Man In The Mirror

1.  Fantastic song with a fantastic message!
There are so many things in the world that could use some change but we have to start with ourselves.  The principle of this song can impact marriages, organizations, schools, governments, etc...

2.  In case you forgot how HUGE Michael Jackson really was, the size of the crowd and their actions will remind you.

Is there an entertainer that draws this big of crowd and has this affect today?



Friday, February 25, 2011

Laughing Is Contagious

There is something about laughter that is contagious.  Take this video for example.  I have no idea what is being said or why this guy is laughing but I cannot help but laugh with him.

I bet you a nickel that you can't watch this without laughing!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chivalry or Equality?

There are many controversial issues in the world today.  I usually avoid such issues at all costs but I found this particular one interesting.  Its been around for a while but I've never heard it this way.

Scenario:  A wrestler made it to the state tournament and his first round opponent was a girl.  The boy respectfully forfeit because he was raised not to physically harm a girl and would not feel comfortable in some of the holds.

Since his decision, the male wrestler has been called chauvinistic, sexist, and chivalrous.

To be honest, I would probably have done the same thing.  Obviously this girl is a good wrestler because she made it to state but in my opinion that does not give me the right to wrestler her.  However, I understand the Women's Rights Movement was intended to make women equal to men.  Therefore, it would be disrespectful to treat this female wrestler differently by choosing not to wrestle her.

If this is the case, what is the balance between Chivalry and the equality fought for during Women's Rights?

As a man, I view it as choosing the lesser of the two evils and I will choose the one that does not involve potential physical harm every time.

What do you think ladies?
Is it more respectful to treat a girl as an equal and wrestle her as an opponent or to respectfully decline the match?
What would you want your son to do?
What would you want someone to do to you?

Please leave a comment below or on the facebook post.  I am curious to hear your perspective.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Music Monday

This is one of my latest favorite songs.  It is by the band The City Harmonic and it is called Manefesto.  The video is a little on the cheesy side but the song is great and has a little bittersweet symphony sound to it.  Share it with someone if you like it. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Education Reform

Interesting thoughts on Education in the 21st Century.

What do you think about it?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Decisions, Decisions

As a young leader I definitely have a lot to learn.  There is one thing that I am realizing every leader deals with.  Among other responsibilities, it is the leader's job to make decisions and making those decisions is always harder than it looks.  Some decisions require a lot of thought while others have to be made in a split second.  Either way, you take all the information you have and make the best decision you can and move on.  Some people question you.  Some people support you.  You wish you could explain everything to everyone but you don't always have time.  Not to mention, it is difficult for people to understand if they are not in your position.  No one likes to hear that but often times its true.

Every leader deals with this.  Parents make decisions that kids will never understand.  You could take the time to explain it but most of the time kids won't understand until they are parents themselves.  Teachers make decisions that students don't understand, and they never will until they become teachers.  Principals make decisions that teachers don't understand, superintendents make decisions that principals don't understand, etc...  The same could be said for any employee and supervisor combination.

Decisions rarely make everyone happy and sometimes you have to agree to disagree.  The important thing is to keep that line of communication open to prevent assumptions from being made.  This way people will have the opportunity to see where you're coming from and at the very least be upset for the right reasons.  :) 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


There is something in human nature about being first.  I realized this as I went outside to explore in the snow in attempt to help tame my cabin fever.  I only wanted to walk in the snow that people had yet to walk in.  I wanted to be the first one to explore in a particular patch of snow.  For a moment I pretended to be Lewis and Clark as I walked around the block in the untouched snow.

The same is true for most other areas of life.  It feels cool to be the first to eat at the new restaurant in town.  There is an odd sense of pride about being the first to discover the latest hot musician.  It feels cool to be the first to ___________.

In all of these cases being first is not about winning.  Being first is simply about being the first to experience something and for a moment being the only person to have that experience.  Or you can stay at home and watch the latest sitcoms and get sucked into the latest TV drama while you watch and read stories about other people exploring and discovering.

Get off the couch!  You were created to explore!

Dress For Productivity

As I've been snowed in my house for over 36 hours it has been difficult to be motivated to accomplish anything.  Then again, it is difficult to accomplish anything considering the fact I haven't gotten dressed in 2 days.

If you want to be productive and get things accomplished it is probably wise to get dressed for the day as if you are going out, even though you are snowed in.  Ask people that are home schooled or work from home and I think they would agree.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

While You're Snowed In...

If you live in Oklahoma or anywhere in the Midwest you are deathly aware of the "blizzard" that is keeping most people home.  While this could frustrate people and cause some cabin fever there is one question that can change your perspective and keep you productive. 

Rather than watch the news of people driving around on the roads telling you to stay home ask yourself "What does this make possible?"
So I'm trapped in my home either alone or with my family,
What does this make possible?

Here is what this snow storm makes possible for me:
finish a book
write some blogs
do my taxes
watch a movie I've been wanting to see
create some new ringtones
organize my closet
spend some quality time with my wife

This snow storm can make possible for you:
write some thank you cards
write some encouraging notes
clean or organize your home
spend quality time with your family
get in touch with an old friend
put that photo album together
start a blog
finally create a Twitter account
exercise...there are plenty of exercise videos on iTunes and Youtube

What does being snowed in make possible for you?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'm so old...

I'm only 27 but things have changed in my lifetime.  Let me know if you can relate...

I'm so old that...

1...I learned to type on a typewriter. first gallon of gas cost 88 cents.
3...I switched from cassette tapes to CDs to mp3s.
4...I switched from VHS tapes to DVDs (not yet to Blu Ray).
5...the sound of dial up internet made my day.
6...MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, and NKOTB were the hottest musicians until Nirvana, Tupac, & Biggie. was cool to french roll my jeans.
8...Facebook was only available to select college students.
9...I wore Reebok pumps.
10...both Ken Griffey Sr and Ken Griffey Jr played in the majors at the same time.
11...Michael Jordan retired from basketball, baseball, and basketball 2 more times.
12...I watched the game that Christian Laettner made the half court buzzer beater.
13...The Spice Girls, N*Sync, and Backstreet were as big as Justin Beiber.
14...The Simpsons, Fresh Prince, Full House, Family Matters, Beavis & Butthead all started.
15...I recorded my favorite songs from the radio to a Cassette. friends had JNCO Jeans with leg openings bigger than your whole shoe.
17...I had a No Fear t-shirt for every sport.
18...I collected Beanie Babies, baseball cards,
19...I didn't have a cell phone until college!
20...I had a Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega, and Gameboy until I moved up to a Playstation 1.
21...I will never forget up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, select, start!

What are the things you remember?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quit or Get Better

I have to confess something.  I'm not very good at basketball.  I would like to be because it is good exercise with good friends but unfortunately I used all my athletic ability on baseball. 

This leaves me with 2 options.

1.  Quit.
2.  Get Better.

Quitters never win and Winners never quit.

I guess I'll have to get better.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Emotional Bank Account

Everyone has an emotional bank account. 

Every time you say or do something positive for someone you make a deposit.  A compliment, words of encouragement, thank you card, act of service, and the like are all examples of making a deposit into someones emotional bank account.

However, when you say or do something negative you make a withdraw from their emotional bank account.  When you speak harshly, use sarcasm, make rude comments, gossip, lie, or hurt someone in any way that would be a withdraw. 

In life, withdraws will happen.  You are going to have to speak the truth in love or make a tough decision that may hurt someone's feelings.  The important thing is that you have made enough deposits that the inevitable withdraws don't cause emotional bankruptcy for someone.

In 2011 I challenge you to enrich the lives of your family, friends, students, coworkers, and even strangers by making numerous deposits in their emotional bank accounts.  You can make people rich without spending a dime!

(Emotional Bank Account concept by Steven Covey)