Faith Your Fear

Posted in Motivational, Spiritual

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There is nothing good about fear.  It paralyzes you.  It keeps you from fulfilling your destiny.  It causes you to not try things that are actually good for you.  Fear is not from God.  It causes worry and stress, and that results in all sorts of health problems everywhere from ulcers to heart attacks.

So how do we conquer fear?  How do we overcome the thing that we shudder to think about?  What do you fear?  This is a partial list of common fears that most people deal with:

  • Fear of public speaking
  • Fear of outliving your money
  • Fear of dying
  • Fear of living
  • Fear of heights
  • Fear of spiders, snakes, dogs, etc.
  • Fear of crowds
  • Fear of being alone
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of success
  • Fear of flying
  • Fear of water
  • Fear of being overweight
  • Fear of commitment
  • Fear of relationship
  • Fear of being poor
  • Fear of losing your health

You probably have at least one fear on that list.  I hope that you don’t just face your fears, but you faith them.  What I mean is….use God’s word…His promises to help you overcome whatever it is that you are afraid of. 

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you.  Do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 23: 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.  Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?

Isaiah 35:4 Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.”

Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  Lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.

Don’t focus on your fears.  Focus on your faith.  Fear feeds failure.  Faith feeds and fuels your future.


Dan Skognes

Uncommon Sense

Posted in Motivational, Relationships

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You have probably heard this at some time in your life, “Joe (or whomever) just has no common sense.”  I got to thinking about this, and I think the premise is incorrect.  We HAVE common sense; we just choose NOT to USE it.  You know how I figured this out?  Common sense!

Think about it.  How many times do we do things that we KNOW are bad for us, but we go against every red flag waving us off and do it anyway?  Don’t tell me I am the only one on this planet that has done that. It could be entering a relationship that you know is unhealthy for both of you, but you do it anyway.  It could be having that piece of pie when you just got told by the Doctor to cut back on the carbs.  It could be going out to buy that new car when you are swimming in debt already.

Am I touching a nerve yet?  I was trying to figure out why in all the world we would do some of the stupid things that we have done…and I think I figured out at least part of the dilemma.  We don’t consider the consequences.  If we DID, how many marriages would have been saved (perhaps by never taking place to begin with)?  How many health risks would have been diminished?  How many bankruptcies would have been avoided? How many wars would never have taken place?

Common sense is there for us…but we have to use it.  If you think back on some of the BIG mistakes you have made in your life, you probably had a gut check somewhere along the decision path that this was not the brightest idea you ever had.  The older we get, the more we seem to realize that decisions we make today can have life-long implications.  Boy, do I wish I had learned THAT many years ago.

When you are young and stupid you tend to think that you are bullet proof….and the excuse that everyone else is doing it seems to make a lot of sense.  Good grief!  How ridiculous is that reasoning???  But as we grow older, we see the consequences of our actions, and common sense tells us to at least warn the younger generation not to make the same mistakes we have made or that we have seen others make.

Uncommon sense is simply using your common sense the majority of the time.  It would be great if we used it all the time, but that is probably unrealistic when that piece of pie is staring you in the face. That would be uncommon, right?  But it makes common sense to do it.  Here is hoping that you and I use the gift that God has given us, and that we share the gift this with those who seem to be in the rut of making the same mistakes over and over and over. Think of uncommon sense as paving a road that is full of ruts.  Happy paving!


Dan Skognes

The Blindside

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

The Blindside dan skognes insurance finance investments motivation blogger speaker entrepreneur 

Did you see the movie with Sandra Bullock?  True story about a southern white family that adopted a young homeless black man (Michael Oher) into their family and he ended up playing pro football.  His job was to protect the quarterback’s blind side.  Great movie, by the way. A lot of wonderful life lessons in the movie about how love transforms people, and how believing in someone when they don’t believe in themselves can literally be the thing that changes everyone in the family in a very positive way.  In fact, the ripple effects continue even to this day.

We have all been blind-sided from time to time.  Perhaps it was a car accident, a relationship that blew up on us, or losing a job unexpectedly.  Life is full of blind sides, and it seems that we can do little to prepare for them.

9/11 was a blind side that we can never forget.  I heard a testimony from a man who worked at the Pentagon and was there the day the plane crashed into the building.  He was totally distraught over what had happened in New York, and to get a clear head, he went for a jog so he could think.  That was the time that the plane hit the Pentagon…right in the spot where his office was.  Unfortunately, many people were blindsided that day and did not live to tell about it.

Some blindsides can be good, like a call from a friend or relative out of the blue, or a check that you were not expecting, or like the simple act of kindness extended to Michael Oher, but those seem to be out-weighed by the negative ones.

There is not much we can do to protect ourselves from being blind-sided in a negative sense, unfortunately.  You can look in the rearview and side mirrors, but there always seem to be blind spots even then.  That applies to cars as well as relationships.  So what CAN we do?

  • Pray.  Prayer changes things. Pray for your protection and your provision.
  • Remember the promises of God.  They are always true, complete, and good. Trust Him.
  • Live today like it was your last day, because it very well may be.
  • Don’t live looking in the rearview or side mirrors.  You can’t move forward looking in the rearview or side mirrors.  An occasional glance is good…just don’t dwell there.
  • Focus on your goals, and when you do get blindsided, remember your goals.  A flat tire may be a hassle, but being able to fix it now may have saved you from a serious wreck.  Sometimes blindsides can turn out to be blessings.
  • If you have been seriously blindsided by a death, crushing debt, job loss, or health issues….don’t give up hope.  There is hope even in the darkest hours we face.  Seek God if you are at the end of your rope.  Being at the end of your rope is only hopeless if you are being hanged….literally.
  • If you come across someone who has been blindsided, be an encourager to them.  Remember that you may need someone to encourage you in the future.


Dan Skognes

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships

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Have you noticed people around you that are blooming?  Are you one of them?  I know you have people in your life that are wilting on the vine.  Are you one of them?  What is the difference?  Why do some thrive, and some just survive? Why do some literally die on the vine?

There is an old saying that the grass is always greener on the other side.  The problem is, that is a lie that we have bought in to.  The fact is, the grass is greener where you water it, mow it, and fertilize it.

That simple truth can change your life.  If you have found yourself in the cycle of surviving instead of thriving, then make the mental commitment to change.

  • Change the way you talk to yourself about your life.  If you are constantly griping about your life, your job, your marriage, your finances…STOP it.  There is great power in your words.  Start speaking affirmation over the area of concern.  “I love my job.” Or, “I have the best spouse on the planet. ”Or, “I will live free from debt….free from stress.”  This may not be your reality today…but what you plant today becomes your reality tomorrow.
  • Whatever it is that you are struggling in…your job, your marriage, your finances, whatever it is, change what you have been doing.  If you have found yourself in a hole, quit digging!  You are not a mole!  Don’t give up.  Find a different way to look at your job and find things about it that you can enjoy…then pour yourself into your work with all that you have.  Any job worth doing is worth doing wholeheartedly.  Remember what drew you to your spouse in the first place.  Re-ignite the flame and start celebrating them for who God created them to be.  Quit taking them for granted. Love them unconditionally….expecting nothing in return.  If it is your finances that have gotten out of control, tighten the belt, don’t buy on impulse, and focus on paying off the debt as soon as possible.  It may seem overwhelming…but remember how you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.
  • Don’t give up on yourself, your job, your marriage, or your circumstances.  It is very easy to get depressed when everything seems to be caving in.  Remember that the crisis you are in WILL pass.  Get proper rest.  Get proper exercise.  Then refocus on what you can do to change the circumstances you are in.  Quit worrying about what you CAN’T do.  Worry does NO good!  Sometimes all you can do is pray…but never underestimate the power of prayer!
  • Be willing to put your pride aside.  We all have problems.  We all have days that we want to pull the covers over our head and just go back to sleep, but that is just part of life.  It is the ebb and flow of life that gives meaning to our lives.  Without the pain, we would not appreciate the blessings and truly learn the secret of happiness.  Want to know what that is?  Love. Love God. Love your fellow man.  Love yourself.  Then live for God….serve Him first.  Serve your fellow man second, and serve yourself last.  Never forget that love is an action verb.

That in and of itself will sustain you through the storms that come your way, and help you bloom where you are planted. I hope you flourish in every area of your life.  When you bloom, you fulfill your destiny….you find peace….and you find your purpose. When THAT reality sets in, you will find the piece of the puzzle that has been missing.  It was right there in front of you all along.


Dan Skognes


Fat or Fit

Posted in Funny, Motivational

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Back at the first part of the year, I decided to drop some weight.  I had allowed myself to get overweight.  It didn’t happened overnight.  It was a process. I was tired of having to buy bigger pants, bigger belts, and not feeling very energetic.

What did I do?  I cut the carbs.  I cut out everything I loved for 30 days.  No bread, no pasta, no potatoes, and no candy.  Did it work?  I lost 20 lbs in 30 days.  I have to admit I have put some of it back on as I have eased up on the no carb diet…but all in all, it does work.

Here we are approaching Thanksgiving, the day of feasting and football.  I can already smell the turkey in the oven….the dressing, sweet potatoes, and don’t forget the pumpkin pie!  Good Lord, I think I put on five pounds just thinking about it!

Fat or fit is a mindset.  It is also a mind game.  We manage to tell ourselves things that sometimes just don’t make any sense.  We see that candy bar at the checkout counter (funny how the checkout counter is LOADED with candy bars).  The Butter Finger is calling your name….”Dan…buy me.”  Sometimes I can block that message with reality, and sometimes I just give in.  I am human, after all.

You know what I like, though?  When I see someone that I have not seen in some time and they say, “You lost some weight.  You are looking good!”  That reinforces what I know to be true.  Being fit may not gratify my desire for chocolate, but it does have long term ramifications that are positive.

A few of the downsides of being overweight:

  • Poor self-image.
  • Potential for heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Overweight people are discriminated against

Self-discipline with food is a huge battle for most Americans (no pun intended).  Fast food is a big contributor to our poor diet.  Even the “healthy” meals in the stores are often mislabeled.  Who knew that wheat was evil?  Concentrated OJ is bad for you?  Really?  Good grief!

Maybe it is time to go vegetarian.  I do like vegetables…at least most of them.  Brussel Sprouts are the vegetable from Hell…but other than that, I like most of them.  But what about meat?  I don’t think I can give that up. I love steak, roast beef, chicken, and fish.

Do McDonald’s french fries have to be so darn tasty?  Does Blue Bell ice cream have to be so addictive? Does chocolate have to be so satisfying?  There is a reason they call it comfort food.  It does give comfort…but at quite a cost.  OK, I am going to start acting like an adult.

It starts with smaller portions, limited carbs, and just reminding myself of those comments that I love to hear…”Dan, you have lost weight.  You look GOOD!”  What is this?  A coupon for Papa Johns?  We are trying to save money.  The battle continues.


Dan Skognes

E Applications vs Paper Applications

Posted in Business

E Applications vs Paper Applications dan skognes insurance finance investments motivation blogger speaker entrepreneur

Depending on your age and your computer savvy, you may or may not have embraced E Apps yet.  Paper Apps will probably always have their place as a fail-safe should the computer not be working….but E Apps are here…and they are here to stay, so you might as well get on board and embrace the technology.

Here are a few of the advantages of E Apps:

  • You can sell to people all over the country as long as you are licensed in the state of choice.
  • You cannot leave anything critical blank.  Who of us has not forgot to get a signature or failed to put in the date on a form?  That problem is eliminated with E Apps.
  • Some clients prefer to do business over the phone and don’t want someone coming to their house.  E Apps allows them to get what they want without have an agent come over.
  • It allows you to save gas and time.  You can do several E Apps in the time it would take you to drive somewhere and do a paper app.
  • One carrier I work with does a Pre-App that I complete with the client over the phone.  It takes about 10 minutes for me to get the basic info on the client.  I then schedule a time for the company to call him back.  They do the follow up with getting the bank info, asking the medical questions, and scheduling the physical.  I just have to follow up to make sure the call and the physical were completed.

Here are a few of the limitations of E Apps:

  • Some E Apps can be very buggy when they first come out.  I did an E App for a major carrier and it took two and half hours to finish it.  Fortunately, the client was a friend and very understanding.  I would advise you to do an E App for the first time on someone you know that will be patient, just in case.  If you can do an app on yourself, even better.
  • You lose the personal touch.  There is nothing better than sitting face to face with a client if you want to build a long term relationship.  If they are local, you can still hand deliver the policies once they are approved, which you should do if possible.
  • You are limited to products that are currently available for E Apps.  Not every carrier is up to speed here and so you are very limited with what you can currently offer.  In highly competitive situations where you know they are going to be talking to other reps you may be at a disadvantage to someone who is local and is able to shop with more carriers than you have available.

Electronic records are here to stay, so you might as well jump in and get with the program.  It is not without some pain and suffering in the process…but the end result is that you can definitely expand your boundaries and reach clients that you might otherwise be unable to talk to.  It may not be your routine every day, but it certainly is something to consider adding to your arsenal for those rainy days or those days that you are not feeling well, but still want to write some business.


Dan Skognes