Candle In The Wind

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

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Remember the title of the famous song by Elton John?  It was about the short and brilliant life of Marilyn Monroe.  The lyrics talked about the tragic loss of a beautiful, yet troubled woman.

Life is precious, and fleeting.  Like a light on a candle it remains lit as long as there is wax and wick.  However, sometimes the wind (circumstances) of life blows so hard that the light goes out.

It is always tragic when someone passes prematurely.  I can’t think of anything harder than for a parent to bury their child.  Common sense tells you that is not the way it is supposed to be, and yet it happens daily.

Also tragic is someone that did not fulfill their destiny.  Their journey was cut short before they reached their full potential…before they fully blossomed into what God intended for them.

How do we ever make sense of this?  It is truly beyond our comprehension.  In fact, if we dwell on the question, “Why?” it can drive us crazy.  There is no explanation that will satisfy this mystery, so why even mention it?  Because we have to face this in our lives at some point.

There will come a day where you and I will face (if we have not already faced it) a time where someone we love and care about is taken away from us prematurely. It will come at an hour that you don’t expect and in a way that feels like someone kicked you in the gut.  What do you do, knowing that you have to deal with something like this at some point in your life?

There may not be the answers for you…I can only speak for myself, as I have had to face this already in my life:

  • First, hold fast to God in times like this.  He loves us totally and is there for us even when tragedy comes.
  • Second, don’t isolate yourself.  Seek to be with people who love you.  Be with people of faith that will pray for you and encourage you.
  • Lastly, let go of “Why?”  There is no explanation that will satisfy the question.  Tragedy by definition defies explanation.

My thoughts and prayers are with each of you reading this. I pray that when the wind blows out the candle on someone close to you, that you are able to hold on to love, let go of blame and unforgiveness, and that you learn to live each day as if it is your last.  Tell people you love them.  Encourage people that are hurting.  Give freely to those less fortunate. Live for God.

This life is fleeting.  The candle is burning for all of us.  We just don’t know when the wind will blow for us.


Dan Skognes


Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Change dan skognes insurance investments finance motivation blogger speaker entreporeneur telemedicine

How do you feel about change?  If you are like most people, you don’t really like it.  Why?  We are creatures of habit.  We like to know that some things are constant.  The problem is, change is coming, like it or not. We tend to fear what we do not know.

If you want to see a funny thing happen, sit in the chair or pew at church that someone else always sits in.  They will look at you like you have committed the unpardonable sin.  I have done this accidentally on more than one occasion.  All I can say is, “Awkward!”  They give you that stern look to make you know that you should be ashamed of sitting in “their seat.” I don’t go to those churches anymore, by the way.

Almost everything around us is changing.  Our minds, our bodies, our environment, our socio-economic status, the weather, our health, our influence, politics, the stock market, you name it….it is changing.  You notice I said almost.  There is one constant, thank God.  And it IS God.

He is the one thing that never changes.  He is the one thing we can count on to be there for us.  There is an old saying, “There are two things you can count on, Death and Taxes.”  That is true in this life, but does not take into account eternity.  God has eternal perspective and is timeless. The one thing that you can truly count on is God.  He does not change.

How do you cope in a world full of change?  How do you keep your feet planted on ground that is always shifting?  How can you rely on anything or anybody in this world when everything is changing?

Well, not all change is bad. Much of the change we go through is good.  If we become a kinder person, if we start taking our job more seriously, if we start taking care of our bodies (eating right, exercise, proper rest, etc.), if we treat our family with love and respect, if we start honoring God with how we live, if we stand up for what is right and take a stand against what is wrong, all of those are examples of changes that are good.

Next time you get offended when something changes, step back and ask yourself why you are reacting that way.  Look at the change objectively.  Is there any good that will come out of it?  Is there any good that will come out of your stewing over it?  Change is coming, but you get to choose how you will respond.

You have an incredible day ahead of you.  I can promise you this, it is FULL of change. I hope you are energized by the changes that lay before you.  With change comes opportunity.  When opportunity knocks, open it.  You just might find that the change you are facing is what you have been praying for.  You just did not recognize it at first.


Dan Skognes

Legacy to Destiny

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

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On the way to fulfilling your destiny, you are leaving a legacy.  You get to choose what you are remembered for.  You can’t always control what happens along the way, but you can control how you respond to it.

How will you be remembered?  What will people say?  I recently attended a funeral of a fraternity brother of mine that went to school with me 45 years ago.  First of all I was struck by how old everyone there was.  Good grief.   Was it really 45 years ago? Good thing I had not changed.  ;o)

Louie Duck was a man with flaws, but what he gave to others will live on for generations to come.  He was known for his keen business mind, his giving nature, his tender heart, and his humility.  He served God first and foremost and his family a close second.  He had friends in high places, but you would never know it because Louie was just Louie.  He truly left a Duck Dynasty…and yes, he really did have an Uncle named Donald.

Contrast that with a man I know who died at the age of 32.  He was a rebel and hated any type of authority.  One of the funniest things he ever said (unintentionally) was when he got mad at his Dad.  He said, “Nobody is going to tell me what to do!  I am going to join the Army!!!”  LOL.  Wow, what an ironic statement when you look back at it.  He was a rock and roll wannabe and was determined to be a rock star.  He lived a loose life, and on his deathbed, his last words were, “What a wasted life.”  How tragic is that?  He was incredible artist, but he never used that talent.  He was a very good singer, but he neglected using that ability for God.  When he died, there was no memorial service; nobody to sing his praises for what he accomplished or what he gave.

When I die, I have decided I just want to hear someone say, “Look, he’s moving.”  LOL.  Seriously…I hope that the footprint I leave is one of love and grace, and that I gave God my best.  None of us know when our ticket will be punched for the last time.

Live today like it was your last.  More people are watching than you realize.  Forgive others.  Forgive yourself.  Be a giver not a taker.  Leave a legacy of love and laughter.  Give people grace and mercy.  You get to choose what people will say about you.  What will be on your tombstone?


Dan Skognes


Posted in Business, Motivational, Spiritual

Destiny dan skognes insurance investments finance motivation blogger speaker entrepreneur (303x320)


Stepping into your destiny is both exciting and unnerving, as we don’t know what the future holds.  I had a colleague say to me this week that God brought me into his life “for such a time as this.” That is a Biblical reference from the Bible when Esther stepped into her destiny to become the Queen, and in doing so, she had the power to help a lot of her people.

I believe this year IS a year of destiny not just for me, but for many others whom God has been preparing.  I believe that all of us have the opportunity right there in front of us, but we have to step up, not give up.  We have to believe, persevere, be diligent, continue to sow, and work like crazy, because this is the year of harvest.

Last year, I was given the word Shalom as my word for the year.  That word is incredible.  It means completeness.  Complete health, complete wealth, complete peace, freedom from stress.  Freedom!  Is there anyone on this planet that does not need that?  It also describes the characteristics of God.  How cool is that?  That word came in pretty handy at many times for me this past year when I found myself in the storms of life. My problems did not go away.  In fact, some of them escalated.  What changed was my reaction to them….my peace in the eye of the storm.

This year, the word that has been given me is harvest.  I am about to experience the harvest.  All of the years of sowing, the years of labor, the frustrations I have faced, are now coming to bear fruit.  I see it happening in the relationships I have, in my finances, in my work, and in my very relationship with God.  I believe I had to understand and experience Shalom before I could truly appreciate the harvest. The harvest, by the way, is not for me to just keep for myself.  It is to bless others and it will.

Maybe you have been in the same situation.  Maybe you have wondered if things were ever going to change.  I am just telling you, don’t give up!  The harvest time is here but you have to go to work.  It does no good to be at the harvest if you refuse to go to work and bring in the crop. Get up, get focused, get to work, then get ready…because God is going to do some incredible things in you and through you that will be beyond your wildest dreams if you let him….but it won’t just be because of you and your work, oddly enough.  It will be because God is allowing you to participate, but it is He who brings the harvest.

You may be thinking that I am mistaken here.  Well, let me give you the analogy of the farmer.  He has to do his part.  He has to prepare the soil, sow the seeds, and tend the crop until harvest time.  But he does not make it grow.  He did not create the seeds, the sun, or the soil. God sends the rain and the natural nutrients necessary for the growth to happen.  He is the one who actually brings forth the fruit of our labors.  We just have to do our part, then He allows us to reap the rewards.

Don’t let the trials and tribulations of the past keep you from stepping into your destiny. The harvest is here.  Who knows, but perhaps you are where you are today “for such a time as this.”

What are you going to do?


Dan Skognes