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Top 7 = DIY headlights + Super Mario is a "middle movie"

top 7 May 01, 2023

Each weekend I sit down and prep for the upcoming week. I look at the big meetings I have, the projects with due dates, and the fun things I want to fit in…

I also have a small “perfect week” template I created a few years ago (it’s been refined multiple times) that designates when certain repeating processes always drop in…

For instance,

πŸ”‚ I know that I ALWAYS do certain things on Monday mornings.

πŸ”‚ Thursday mornings look the same, too.

πŸ”‚ And, there are specific emails and phone calls and other touch-points I make throughout the week.

While I’m at it, I LOOK BACK at the previous week, which is where this mostly-weekly post comes into play. Every weekend, I look back at EACH DAY and do a rewind of the “top 3” things I wrote that I was thankful for that day…

I bring the “best of the best” into my weekly review (and preview)…

And then I post it here.

(You don’t have to post your stuff, but I do encourage you to do a daily and weekly review. I show you how in the Advance Planner— and in the accompanying video + audio course.)

This week, aside from the roses and wisteria blooming across the arbors atop the #TinyHouse, the other stuff rolled in and made my highlight reel.



Fitness = Sunday run

Sunday morning I did my usual weekend routine— I went for the early morning, long, easy, slow, however fast or smooth I feel like running jog around our neighborhood. I wrapped around the fitness center, past the grocery store, a few shops… and then through the abandoned golf course.

When I’m running…

πŸ’™ I’m generally able to think about things I don’t have time to think about… even without trying to think about them. Some of my best ideas come while I’m out running.

πŸ’™ I rejuvenate. As odd as it sounds, I feel “more rested” and “relaxed” throughout the day once I’ve put a solid effort in at the beginning.


For those who’ve asked…

Exercise is part of my morning “power-up” routine. A few years ago, I figured out that rather than rolling out of bed at the last possible minute and then getting on with the day, I was not only more productive, I felt better when I leveraged the first few hours to do whatever I wanted… such that, even if nothing else went as planned throughout the day, I would STILL have “won” the day.

Your routine will be unique for you— and mine is different, totally- than Beth’s. But, for me…

βœ… Wake up, brush teeth, etc…

βœ… Immediately go exercise— before I eat or drink coffee or anything (I drink a little water before I get started, but I’ll go run 8-10 or more miles, or do an intensive HIIT workout without eating or drinking)

βœ… Shower, get dressed for the day

βœ… Coffee at the coffee table, with my Bible, journal, notes, day-timer, etc…

βœ… Roll into whatever is next…

I talk about the “power-up” / “power-down” morning routine / evening routine here…

Go here to watch the 11-minute video explanation: 


Finance = Levi’s DIY headlights 

Levi paid cash for a car about six months ago.

It turned out to be a lemon. πŸ‹

No way he could have known. Sometimes that stuff just happens.

Shortly thereafter, someone who knew the story reached out and GAVE him a car— a much better vehicle than the one he originally had.

(It’s almost like he had to go through the process of losing the other one, to get to the blessing of something better that he would have struggled to afford.)

He’s been taking car of the second— just as he did the first.

Last week, he ordered some new headlights. The only ones on the Accord were a bit hazy, and needed a few bulbs. He was at the place where it wasn’t much more to totally replace the entire settings than it would be to buy new bulbs + purchase gear to clean assemblies.

I grabbed my tools and we spent about 90 minutes pulling the old bumper off (had to be done, found an easy-to-follow tutorial on YouTube).

Here’s the pic where we pulled the entire part off…


It looks more daunting than it was…

And, here’s Levi with the new assembly in-hand, prepping to place it back in the frame of the car.

Total cost…

I dunno.

But I do know we saved a ton of πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’° by taking the time to watch the tutorials, figure it out, and then running the project on our own.


Family = In-laws + others over

Wednesday, Beth’s parents ran up to town (they live in Freeport, just north of 30-A, near Destin).

That night, Michael (my father-in-law) rode to North Italia— our usual routine. The gals and kids stayed behind… whereby Beth found an old blanket, snugglie, wrap kinda thing…

Thursday, George and Ann (brother-in-law, sister-in-law) joined us and the kids and cooked out…


Field = Advance-cast goes live, third week in

This week marks episode 3 of the new Advance-cast, a project I’ve referenced a few times on this blog.

Here’s the short version:

For about 4 years I helped lead an repeating event for men. Hosted twice a year in a different city, we empowered men to define their dreams and then move from where they are to where they’re designed to be…

… in multiple areas of life.


Advance was named “advance,” because it was meant to be *DIFFERENT than a retreat. Rather than pulling guys BACK… we wanted to equip and encourage them to move forward.

The event, then, was the springboard to—

πŸ‘‰ connecting with who you really are

πŸ‘‰ connecting with the dreams God placed inside of you— for you and your spouse / partner, your family, your job, your health… so much more…

πŸ‘‰ connecting with a community of like-minded people who would hold you accountable to walking out your purpose and fulfilling your destiny


I created the content for each event…

… and helped create the stage schedule for each event…

… until life jumped the tracks.


It’s a longer story, that I’ll tell in the near future (again)…

But, I always felt like the project wasn’t done. In fact, I felt like when I stepped away from it, it was just about to begin to truly grow.

For the past few years, I worked on the content even more— developing the book, revising the day-timer, updating the courses…

In other words, I’ve been working “on it” without working “in it.”


There’s so much more to come. The purpose of this post is just to set a marker and say, “Hey, yes, we’ve begun… we’re doing some things related to this project again.”

To learn more about Advance, you can visit the following:

πŸ’₯The website = 

πŸ’₯The podcast = 

πŸ’₯The bridge, a document to outline HOW to move from where you are to where you’re designed to be (free PDF download)= 



Here’s a look at the podcast logo—





And a page on the website where we outline WHAT the Advance is— 

And, of course, the PDF download from  



Faith = Trudging through the Old Testament

Like I mentioned above, part of my morning “power up” routine is to sit at the coffee table, coffee beside me, Bible and journal in hand.

I’ve been reading through the Scripture— starting at the Old Testament and pushing forward. This week, I found myself smack dab in the middle of Leviticus.

I know…

Reading through parts of it is like chewing on a blue jean jacket.

But, if you push through, you find some of the most beautiful passages— parts of the Bible that truly show us the heart of our Heavenly Father.

Like the passage in chapter 19 that prohibits tattoos.

I have nothing against them. At least FOUR of our kids— that I know of— have them. And, whereas I don’t understand it…

… well…

As I was reading through the historical notes, this week, wondering WHY tattoos are such a big deal in the Old Testament— such that Moses FORBIDS them— I came across the following. Namely, people were tattooed for two predominant reasons:

🏴‍☠️ Reason #1 = false worship, swearing their allegiance to a false god (which the Old Testament says is either a “block of wood” or a “demon”).

Yeah, I don’t want that…

🏴‍☠️ Reason #2 = slaves were tattooed in the same way that cattle is branded— to denote servitude or ownership to another.

Now, mind you, the Children of Israel had JUST COME OUT OF SLAVERY— 400 years of it— when Moses gave this command.


“Don’t get a tattoo because you don’t worship a block of wood or a demon… and you’re certainly not a slave. Don’t even let anything thing you’re either of those. You have a much higher calling… you’re FREE!”

That makes so much more sense…

And it reminds me of some of the great stuff that’s buried “on the surface” waiting for us…


Friends = Jack (finally) got to meet Bob

Jack (one of my nephews) finally got to me Bob.

Bob is the founder and Executive Director at Crosswinds. I’ve been working with him, in various capacities, for the past almost 5-years.

He’s a collector of comic books— and so much more. And, Jack is, as well…

Bob gifted Jack some comics at Christmas…

And, since then, the legend of Bob’s generosity and grace has (rightly, I must say) grown.

Jack was finally able to spend some 1:1 time with him this week, whereby Bob taught him how to negotiate with store owners, what to look for in comics, and how to tell their condition.

Here’s a copy of the “thank you” letter Jack sent to Bob, BTW… notice the “comic style” he’s used.


Fun = Super Mario w/ Salter

Salter and I rolled over to the Vestavia theater last weekend to watch Super Mario Brothers. I’m astounded that—

πŸ•ΉοΈThe movie will somehow reach $1B in sales, and

πŸ•ΉοΈThe nostalgia I felt watching it…

Salter’s assessment is that the movie is a “middle movie.”

“What does that even mean?” I asked him.

“It’s not the best and it’s not the worst?” he replied. Then, after bouncing around a bit— “I’m so glad we went to see it. I liked it.”

“Me, too.”

He continued, “I’ve seen some better ones, though… and I’ve seen a LOT of worse ones. This one, again, is a middle movie.”

That’s a new designation for me…



That said, that’s a wrap… the highlights for the week + grab your planner

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