This Is Love

Posted in Motivational, Relationships

He is 85 and insists on taking his wife’s hand everywhere they go. When I asked him why his wife kept looking away, he responded, “Because she has Alzheimer’s.” I then proceeded to ask him, “Will your wife worry if you let her go?” He replied, “She doesn’t remember anything. She doesn’t know who I am anymore. She hasn’t recognized me for years.” Surprised, I asked, “And you have continued to guide her every single day even though she doesn’t recognize you?” The elderly man smiled and looked into my eyes and said, ′’She may not know who I am, but I know who she is, and she is the love of my life.” (Author unknown)

❤️

Shalom!

Daniel Skognes

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I Got No Complaints

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

It is pretty easy to find something to complain about these days, and some folks seem to be masters at the art of complaining. I try to distance myself from the negative folks, but they seem to chase me down at times to spread their misery and invite me into their pity party. LOL.

This past weekend I had the privilege to attend a men’s conference in Arlington, TX called Promise Keepers. The highlight of the weekend was getting to hear Nick Vujicic. Nick is a pretty unusual guy. He was born without arms and legs, and yet he has the most positive attitude of anyone I have ever heard that has a physical handicap. The truth is, Nick would tell you he is not handicapped. He has no limits.

Having been born that way, I can only imagine what life must be like for him to have grown up and having to have someone help him do pretty much everything. He had a quote that really hit me between the eyes: “God will not allow you to go through the pain in vain.”

Nick prays every day that God gives him arms and legs, but he adds, “Even if you don’t, God, use me today with what You’ve given me,” and boy has God used him! He has traveled all over the world and had the opportunity to speak to millions of people. His message is simple: God has a purpose for each of us, and He will give you what you need to walk out your purpose if you let Him. He truly has the most remarkable attitude of anyone I have every heard. After hearing Nick, I told the guy I rode with to the conference, “I don’t have any problems!”

Life is pretty amazing when you think about it. We all have problems. We all have issues to deal with. We all have pain to overcome. What makes the difference is how we look at the problems we face. Every problem presents new opportunities, and we have to decide if we are going to give up and quit, or are we willing to commit? Nick would be the first to tell you, “Don’t quit. Trust God.”

God has a plan despite what you see, what you feel, what you know, or what you hear. That is where faith comes in. The good news is even when we don’t have enough faith to sustain us, God will give us that too! I came away from the conference with a new sense of gratitude for all that God has done for me in the past, is doing for me now, and will be doing for me in the future. Now abides faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love. That about sums it up.

P.S. Did I mention that he married a beautiful Godly woman and they have 4 children?

Shalom!

Daniel Skognes

danskognes.com

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Why Life Isn’t Fair

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that life isn’t fair. Bad things happen to good people, evil people seem to thrive when you are in need, and the team that you KNEW was going to win loses! What is up with that?

I am reminded of the story of Job in the Bible. He apparently was a pretty good dude and did nothing to bring on all of the problems that hit him. He lost his wealth, health, and even his wife told him that he should just curse God and die! Kind of makes you glad you are not Job, right?

The lesson from Job is that no matter what life throws at you, God is still there with you to see you through it. In all of the trials and tribulations that Job faced, he never lost his faith. God ended up restoring to him double of everything that was taken from him.

We may never understand why life if unfair, but we can trust that God is there. He will never leave us nor forsake us. His promises are “Yes and Amen.” If you are struggling with making sense of the bad hand you have been dealt, look up and let God direct your next steps. When you are pressed upon, press in to Him.

Shalom!

Daniel Skognes

The Rut and the Groove

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships

Once upon a time there was a Rut. He was not happy. His life was boring, monotonous, and meaningless. Every day was a repeat of the day before. Nothing ever changed. He wondered if everyone lived like this, or was it just him?

As luck would have it, this particular day would change his life. As the Rut was going though his daily grind and lamenting his cursed luck, he came across a Groove. This guy was happy, thankful, and full of life. He seemed to have his act together, and frankly, that made the Rut mad! He did not like seeing others happy, and felt like everyone should experience his pain and agony.

He asked the Groove why he was so happy, and you know what he said? He said, “Life is what you make it. You choose whether to be a Rut or a Groove. You get to choose whether you see the glass half empty or the glass half full. You choose whether to embrace changes and obstacles as opportunities or whether to look at them as your enemy. You choose whether to live in fear or faith.”

The Rut was not expecting that answer. He figured the Groove had been given all of his good fortune, but it turned out that the Groove had worked hard for everything he had. This day was the one that changed the Rut’s life forever. He decided that he had control over one thing and that was his attitude. He had the ability to change how he looked at life, and he did! He started by being grateful for all the things God had done for him. He quit complaining and started praising God. He started to focus on the beauty of life and got the focus off of himself. Miraculously, the transformation began as he put aside his fears and chose to live a life of gratitude.

The lesson was simple: If you want things to change, YOU have to change. That is the secret of living a Groovy life. Here’s to getting you Groove on!

Shalom!

Daniel Skognes

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The Mountains Melt Like Wax

Posted in Motivational, Spiritual

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Leadership

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships

Leadership is a much debated topic. One thing is for sure, everyone has an opinion about what makes a good leader or a poor leader. Here is something to consider if you are in a position of leadership or aspire to one:

You’ll never lead anyone effectively until you learn to lead yourself.” Daniel Skognes

Think of effective leaders you have worked with in the past. I would wager that they share some common traits:

1. Effective leaders are good listeners. They are open to opposing points of view and don’t surround themselves with “yes men.”

2. They empower their people. They hold them accountable, but allow them to make mistakes within appropriate boundaries of authority. They don’t micromanage them.

3. They lead by example. No job is too menial and they put the needs of others ahead of their own ambitions. They lead by serving others.

4. They don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “We will do this because we have always done it this way. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” They anticipate change and embrace it. They don’t operate with a spirit of fear, but with a spirit of faith. They are willing to adapt and overcome.

5. They remain cool under fire. They allow neither their own emotions nor the emotions of others to dictate what they need to do.

6. They see potential in others and help them achieve their goals.

7. They set realistic goals for themselves and others, but always stretch for more.

8. They tell the truth even when it hurts, but they speak the truth in love.

9. They show respect for others even when they don’t deserve it because they understand that showing respect says more about themselves than it does about the other person.

10. They maintain a positive attitude in spite of the problems, obstacles, and attitudes of others.

11. They understand that nobody is perfect and they are transparent about their own shortcomings.

12. They exhibit courage in making decisions.

13. They are able to keep a confidence and they continually work on putting a bridle on their own tongue.

14. They surround themselves with wise advisors, and seek God’s help.

There is a proverb that says that a man who rules his own spirit can rule a city. Next time you observe a leader, think about what you like or dislike about them. The truth is, we all are leaders in some capacity. Whether you lead an organization, a family, a city, a nation, or just yourself, start with the attitude of a servant leader. If you start from a point of humility, you will likely grow and contribute in a positive way to this crazy world we live in. Leading with love comes at a cost, but the rewards are worth it. Don’t allow yourself to be the tyrant that you despise. It starts with you.

Shalom!

Daniel Skognes

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The Titanic

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships

Most folks have seen the movie once if not several times, and those who haven’t at least know the story from history. Many people are mistaken, however, in what caused the Titanic to sink. It was not an iceberg. It was the arrogance and pride of the Captain thinking he could force his way through iceberg infested waters.

When we ignore all the warning signs and decide to plow full speed ahead, that can be disastrous if not fatal. It might be a relationship that we foolishly engaged in, a job that we never should have taken, making a fool-hardy investment, or numerous other stupid decisions.

Things did not end well for the people on the Titanic. 1,500 people lost their lives on the maiden voyage. All of the needless loss of lives and property could have been avoided had the Captain just heeded the warnings which were all around him.

If you think, “Damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead,” and the water ahead is filled with icebergs, then you are reaping what you have sown. Don’t blame others for your stubborn pride and be ready for a tragedy that is about to sink you and your plans.

Pay attention to the warning signs and you will find life a lot less painful and much more rewarding financially. John Wayne had a great quote: “Life if tough, but it’s tougher when you’re stupid.” Learn from your mistakes and save yourself a lot of grief. You don’t want to live a life of regret, do you?

Shalom!

Daniel Skognes

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A True Hero

Posted in Motivational

In 1976, Shavarsh Karapetyan, an Armenian Olympic swimmer, had just completed a 12-mile run with his brother when they saw a trolley bus crash into a dam reservoir. The trolley bus sank 80 feet offshore at a depth of 33 feet. Shavarsh immediately dove in and swam to the bus and despite zero visibility, managed to kick in the back window, injuring himself in the process. He proceeded to save twenty people trapped in the bus, one at a time, for hours.
The combined effect of the cold water and his inquiries from breaking the glass window led to his hospitalization for 45 days after the incident, during which time he developed pneumonia, sepsis, and lung damage which ended his athletic career.
For years, his story wasn’t known, until an article about the event identified him by name in 1982. In 1985, he happened to pass by a burning building and rushed inside, again saving people trapped inside one at a time until he collapsed. He was again hospitalized with severe burns and lung damage.
He’s still kicking it at 66. Just an awesome person I learned about today and thought I’d share.
Shalom!
Daniel Skognes
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Show Me Your Friends

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Friends can make or break you. They can build you up or tear you down. They can encourage you to do the right thing, or they can lead you to destruction. This is why I tell kids that friends are so important. Be careful who you call friend, because they will influence you in many instances more than your family.

My parents told me many times as I was growing up to be careful of who I decided to hang out with. The funny thing is, I still have to remind myself that who I call friend matters…and I have Grandkids.

I am blessed to have people in my life that share my core values. They love God, love their friends, love their family, and love America. If you have one really good friend, you are truly blessed! I have several, and that makes me rich! I have men in my life that speak truth, encouragement, and accountability. I try to be the kind of friend that is there 24/7 for my friends. We know that we can call each other no matter what the occasion and we will do what we need to do to help.

I have good news for you, even if you don’t have a really good friend. Jesus said that He is our friend! John 15:15 says: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you.” It does not get any better than that. Talk about a friend in high places! Let God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit be your BFF.

1 John 4:19 says: “We love because He first loved us.”

John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish, but have eternal life.”

Proverbs 18:24 says: “A man that has friends must show himself friendly, and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”

Choosing your friends are some of the most important decisions that you will make.

Shalom!

Daniel Skognes

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A Dark Place

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

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