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Top 7 = picture etiquette + beautiful chaos

blog top 7 Jun 13, 2022

So we're officially into summer now, with the first week behind us-- the first week being the subject of this week's Top 7...



Fitness = Detox time

So this week I decided to do something I’ve been kicking around for a few months… namely, working through a detox. 

Full disclosure: Beth did this first, and has gotten great results— even kicking a few health concerns to the curb. 

So, why not? 


Since Covid I’ve not quite gotten back into my “optimal self,” in terms of what I eat / drink and how I exercise + rest + Sabbath… 

I mean, I’ll hit one or two things— and get them right— at a time. But, never quite ALL of the elements. 

No time like the present. 



BTW, one of the food choices I’ve made is to slide back into the low-carb pattern I used a few years ago— and even wrote a book about.

Finding Keto recounts my journey into the world of low-carb / high-fat— by which you effectively transform you body FROM a sugar burner into a fat burner. The result is more energy, weight loss (without going hungry, without growing tired, and without getting irritable).

We found a stack of the books in our garage when we were setting up the shipping for some of the resources I’ve developed over the past year— and marked those (and the audiobook) on sale. 

Learn more or grab one of the copies of the book / audiobook here: 



Finance = Stallions football tickets free, but… not all free doesn’t cost anything 

Saturday, we used the last of the free tickets to go to the Stallions game. I’ve taken Levi and Judah— a few times. This time, Beth and Salter rolled with me. 

I think Salter went because of— 

⭐ïļ the prospect of unlimited snacks (he tried a cheeseburger, fries, Sprite, dippin’ dots)

⭐ïļ a possible Stallion plush (he loves stuffed animals, and has a dozen or so around the house)

⭐ïļ Beth is (literally) his favorite human (he refers to her as such, as well)

Here we are at the entrance— 

Then, in the stands— at the 50 yard line, about halfway up in the center section (fantastic seats).

Around halftime we left Beth to hold our seats while we went to get a snack and look for a stuffed Stallion.

Salter quickly found a hat— and opted for that instead. 

And then, spent the rest of the night dancing + sending tweets with the appropriate hashtags, to see if we could make it on the big screen (no luck).

I placed this under “finance” for a few reasons.

First, we were given the tickets. Free. And were so grateful for them. 

Second, I’m trying to explain to the kids that free isn’t always “totally free.”

We still— 

💰 paid for parking (that actually used to be free— until the City figured out they could make $20 per pop off all those cars)

💰 bought snacks and more snacks

💰 purchased two (slightly above average-priced) hats

Would I change it? 

Not at all. In fact, I would do the same thing again.



Family = Jump parks, practices, stuff

Everyone was under the roof this week, which meant, lots of wrestling and chaos. For instance, these two— even in 4,500+ square feet of house— can’t ever keep their hands off each other.

It also meant lots of bouncing around. 

👉 Mini had basketball practice— every morning from 8:30 until 11:30.

👉 Levi + Judah had wrestling practice at the high school— a few afternoons.

👉 Isaac had basketball camp + football camp.

Salter rode along. Left shot below = with his pen and paper (all in a journal, with a pen holder he nabbed from me). Right shot below = he found a friend at the “practice games” (who has a brother on Isaac’s team).

It was a great week, but incredibly busy. 

At some point I told Beth, “I’m not sure how people who work 9-5 jobs and have to be in the office all day every day actually get anything done.”

It, again, made me grateful for some of the incredible people with whom we work and the opportunities we have to work AND handle the kids at a high “hands-on” level.



Field = Lunch w/ Bob + Ieremia 

Ieremia is part of the Crosswinds cohort— and leads a church + seminary in his home country, Romania.  He flew to the States from Bucharest to meet supporters, colleagues, and more. 

Bob and I met with him and a web developer this Wednesday, then took a bank shot of to PF Chang’s.



Faith = Purpose is almost ready 

This week, Beth finished the cover design + uploaded the resources to the printer for the next book.

Purpose is the distillation, the introduction (of sorts) to LifeLift.

Over the past few months I completed the 20-lesson LifeLift workbook and companion videos… as well as the 4 books that take that book into more detail, and make it highly practical…

Each book tracks with 1 of the 4 parts (5 lessons each) in the workbook: 

💙 Identity (book 1, covered in part 1 of the workbook) = understand who you really are, who God says you are— as opposed to what the world says (everything flows from here, because if you don’t stand secure in who God says you are, you’ll seek to find that identity in the things you do OR in what someone else declares)

💙 Presence (book 2, covered in part 2 of the workbook) = walk with an awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit… that is, the same power of God that raised Jesus from the dead which now lives in you. However, more so than just “power” the Holy Spirit brings presence and nearness and intimacy… 

💙 Expression (book 3, part 3 of the workbook) = explore how the Holy Spirit uniquely moves through you to make your mark on this world. This includes your personality, your talents and created design, as well as your spiritual gifts.

💙 Perspective (book 4, part 4 of the workbook) = handles many of the common questions we receive, as well as ties everything together….

Oh, and I competed the audiobooks for each of these, as well…



I knew the book and video series was long— and knew it would be. But, I figured— 

👉 I would rather go ahead and create the “most robust” version of the discipleship framework as possible 

👉 then come back and make an intro, and easy on-ramp… 

The result is Purpose, which was created by pulling info / content from everything above. 


Purpose includes: 

⭐ïļ 234 page book (5.5 x 8.5)— don’t let the length overwhelm you— it has 80+ graphics throughout the book

⭐ïļ a 6-lesson workbook (meaning you can read it on your own using the book OR study it as a 6 lesson course)

⭐ïļ an audiobook (which I will be reading THIS WEEK!)


Here’s the first look at what’s coming… 

I love this resource because it zones in on one of my core “purposes,” which is to help other people find and fulfill their purpose. 

And, as a result, we’ve included FREE video access with both books…


⭐ïļ if you’re reading the “book” book, at the end of each chapter you can take a deeper dive (or a review) by watching me teach the content

⭐ïļ if you’re rolling through the workbook, you can study with a teacher (or lead a group) using the slides OR you can actually— at no additional charge— watch the videos… and learn along.



Friends = 20+ people in and out of the house this week 

I ran the numbers. We have a hotel. That’s free.

And everyone who comes over eats all of our food and uses all of our toilet paper and sucks down all our Wi-Fi. 

And we love it.


This week, Beth and I didn’t  have a chance to spend a great deal of time with our friends. In fact, we didn’t have time for that at all…

… but the kids’ brought all their friends in full force to the Hilltop. 



Fun = Good bye, Seasons 52

Last Sunday after church we did the thing we do about half the time, and went out to eat.

“What about Seasons 52?” one of us suggested.

“You can always get right in over there,” the other replied.

That should have been clue one. If you can ALWAYS get right in, even with other places are slammed, it’s not a great sign.

We tried it anyway.

Suffice to say…

❌ “Fishy” lobster soup

❌ menus with “sticky stuff” all over them (who knows what that was?!)

❌ a few interactions that were, well… maybe clueless is the right word (I dunno?!)

We decided…



We’re done.

It was a good ride, for a seasons. But there won’t be a Seasons 53…

Not for us.

We weren’t angry, upset, mad…

… nor did we even issue a complaint.

Just. Done.

(But it was still fun.)



Besides, when we started dating I created a list of 50+ restaurants we wanted to try. Someone were fancy; some were quick and easy. None were fast food.

We decided to take a crack at them all…

… and, then, just continue knocking some off the list.

We’ve made it through.

And even added some. 

There are so many more fun places to explore. And that list reminds me that when one that you thought COULD be an easy “go to” falters, there are so many more good things waiting ahead of you to try and explore…



That’s a wrap…

Well, that’s the Top 7 for last week. If you’ve followed along on here at all, you know that each night I sit down and record 3 things from that day I’m grateful for. Then, at the end of the week, I review my 3 things for the past 7 days… 

… then bring them together one from each of the key areas of life, the one that was my favorite, and drop them, here…

💙 Fitness

💙 Finance 

💙 Family 

💙 Field (career, work)

💙 Faith 

💙 Friends

💙 Fun 

Full disclosure: I was hoping for a great pic of this chair to post above… 

As we left the stadium, Salter virtually BEGGED to go see the big chair— to show his “versatility” and coordination. 

“OK,” I said. “We’ll grab a pic.”

We waited patiently while a Mom took a photo of her three girls. 

But then they wouldn’t budge over and let us grab a pic. One of the culprits is in the pink shirt on the bottom right.

(No picture etiquette ðŸĪŠðŸĪ”😂. By the parents. There’s no way the kids would no better.)

We literally waited 5 minutes.

Finally, other people started bounding up, so I just told Salter to step the front and I’d snap what I could.

So, here’s the pic— as an honorable mention. And, as a reminder to me to teach the kids some of the basics…

✅ stand when an adult walks in

✅ greet people and say their name

✅ open the door— always 

✅ leave things (cars and houses and everything else) better and cleaner than you found them— especially when you’ve borrowed something)

And, besides a bunch of other stuff…

✅ don’t walk in front of someone else’s picture and, if you’re at a photo-op and you got yours, afterwards, move out and let other people take a shot!



BTW, you can download the planner I use— totally free— at

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