From Vision To Provision

Posted in Business, Motivational, Spiritual

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It is one thing to have a vision for your life, but how do you get it to come into reality?  It seems that birthing a vision is a lot like child birth.  It takes time, patience, and it is extremely painful at times.

I don’t know why we think that we can bear fruit instantly. Our microwave mentality screams out “I want it, and I want it NOW!!!”  You would think that as adults we would understand that the world does not revolve around us as individuals (as much as we would like to think it does), but for some reason, many folks just act pretty childish when it comes to being patient.

I am not referring to you, by the way.  I am sure you know of someone who has a problem with being patient.  I will freely admit that I am a work in progress when it comes to being patient.  Just when I think that I have mastered the ability, I get stuck behind a knucklehead who is driving 45 in the fast lane.  COME ON PEOPLE.  HANG UP AND DRIVE!

There, I feel much better now.  LOL.  Seriously, you know what I am talking about.  Perhaps you have a vision for what you want your company to become, but it has taken years and it still is not what you envisioned.  Or you have been working to get out of debt, but still are just barely able to make ends meet. How can you have the provision in your vision?

  • Realize that patience, like it or not, is required.  Fruit does not grow overnight.  If it was worth beginning the vision, it is worth working for the provision.
  • It is a lot of work. You have to till the soil, tend the garden, keep out the weeds and the critters, and harvest the crop at the right time. Be willing to work and work hard at what you love to do.
  • There is a Biblical principle called abiding that would be good for everyone to understand and incorporate (whether you believe in the Bible or not).  Abiding in the vine is necessary to produce fruit.  If you are a branch of the vine, you have to stay connected.  If you isolate yourself, you will wither and be of no use to anyone including yourself.  Stay connected if you want to produce fruit. Connect to God, to your family, friends, and business colleagues.  Be intentional in connecting to others. Staying connected will produce fruit! If you don’t abide, God won’t provide.
  • Don’t give up on your vision.  You will eventually reap what you sow as long as you endure and continue to sow.
  • Don’t pray for patience. I learned that the hard way.  I used to pray that God would give me patience.  Then I found out that the way He does that is through trials and tribulations!  What was I thinking?  Be careful what you ask for.  You will get plenty of trials and tribulations in life without praying for more of them.

I do pray that God help you endure the race to see your vision through to completion.  The provision is there for you. You may feel like the harvest is never going to come for you.  Don’t believe that lie!  This is your year of abundance.  This is your year of harvest.  God did not give you a spirit of fear, so don’t accept that into your heart.  Don’t worry about tomorrow.  Give thanks for the provision of today, and stay focused on the prize.  Stay engaged in the game.  Stay connected to the vine.


Dan Skognes

Finding Your Niche

Posted in Business, Motivational, Spiritual

Man with magnifying glass looking for coins

Isn’t that what everyone on the planet is searching for?  Where do I fit in?  What am I here for?  How do I fulfill my destiny?

The answer to a seemingly complicated issue may be simpler than you think.  Finding your niche is simply identifying and utilizing your God-given talents.  Every one of us has gifts that make us unique.  I know that I have the gift of administration, encouragement, a sense of humor, giving, and the gift of creative writing.  I thought I had the gift of dancing, but my wife said, “Not!”  LOL.

How can you know what YOUR gifts are?  Several ways:

  • Go online and take a Strengths Finder test.  There are many companies that help you identify your talents, but Strengths Finder is one of the more reputable and accurate ones.

I have taken several personality and talent tests, and they all come back highlighting the same areas of strengths for me.  That is just another good indication that these are indeed gifts to be used.

  • What is it that you do really well?  What makes you come alive when you do it?  Whatever it is, this is a gift that you need to be exercising regularly.
  • What do you do that gets affirmation from friends, family, and even strangers?  That also should show you that you need to be doing more of whatever “that” is.

If I said Michael Jordan, George Washington, Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, or Jesus….just to name a few famous people, you would probably have no problem identifying their niche….the thing or things they were (or are) really good at; but what about you and me?  We don’t have to be famous to have the opportunity to change the world!  What you do with your life matters.  Find your niche, use it, and come alive.  Bless others with your gifts, and fulfill your God-given destiny.

Don’t allow mediocrity, laziness, or fear to hold you back from using your gifts. Your life will never have its full impact until you unpack your gifts. Your gifts were not meant to be kept to yourself. Your destiny awaits you….and you get to choose the outcome.  I pray you run into the fullness of what God has intended for you.  Expect delays and obstacles…that is part of the character building we all have to endure to reach the finish line.  But run with joy, with perseverance and hope, while always trusting God along the way.  The human race awaits your participation.


Dan Skognes

Baby Steps

Posted in Business, Motivational

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If you have watched a baby learn to walk, it is really quite cute and wonderful.  The baby simply decides it is time. He or she just begins to realize that crawling is not such a good way to get around.

Perhaps it is observation that becomes the motivation.  Seeing people all around them walking and running around, the brain clicks in…”Hey, I can DO this.”  The next thing you know, the baby is pulling himself up on anything he can grab.  His legs are wobbling.  He is looking around like “Is this OK?”

If he is lucky, Mom or Dad is there to catch him and encourage him.  But even if he is alone, he takes that first step.  That is usually followed by a quick fall.  Fortunately, he does not have far to fall, so he pulls up again…and takes another step, then another, and another.

With each step, his confidence grows.  At first he wants to hold on to someone’s hand to be steady, but it is not long before he realizes he has what it takes.  The first time he runs, he thinks, “Wow, this is fun!”

Have you noticed that kids are born to run?  If only we could bottle that energy!  Once they start running, you can hardly get them to slow down.  But it all began with that thought, “Hey, I can DO this. I WANT to DO this!”

I have news for you.  Every great thing that ever was accomplished began with a baby step.  Whether it was a great athletic accomplishment, a great sale, a great relationship…it all began with one wobbly step…and the determination that “I CAN DO THIS.”

What do you have on your table of things to do that is a burning desire, but you feel overwhelmed? It begins with one simple wobbly step.  You may have to get help to stand.  You may have to have someone hold your hand for a while, but do it!

We have all been created for great things that are unique to us.  One of the greatest tragedies in life is when a person fails not because they fell, but fails because they never took their first step.  Falling is rarely fatal.  We learn from the falls.  It is the bumps and bruises that help us learn what not to do.  But what a joy we get from taking that first step!  What a thrill we get when we learn we can RUN.

I am encouraging you to take a baby step today in whatever it is that you have been created to do.  You will find great joy in literally stepping into your destiny.


Dan Skognes

Hope Is Where The Heart Is

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

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One thing I love about kids is how hopeful they are. Think about Christmas.  They hope to see Santa.  They hope there are piles of presents under the tree.  They are so excited and hopeful they can hardly sleep! The adults just hope they are going to have enough money to pay for it.  The adults just hope that everyone gets along this year.  See the difference?

Both have hope, but one is positive and has great expectation. One is alive and exuberant, the other is deflated.  It is almost like the glass is half empty for us adults.  We have lost the wonder of living.  What we need is to get that child-like wonder back.  How do we do that?  What happened to our hope along the way?

Principle 1.  Hope and joy are related.  If you want to have more joy, allow yourself to have more hope.

Principle 2.  Hope sustains us through difficult times.  It is the ability to take one more step forward when you don’t feel like it.  Don’t lose that.  Hold on to it.  Embrace it.  Keep hope alive.

Principle 3.  Hope is where the heart is.  Protect your heart.  It is a tender thing, and yet a powerful thing. Guard it as you would a great treasure, because it is one.

Principle 4.  Hope is the father of faith. When you start to believe you receive.

Principle 5.  Faith, hope, and love endure….but the greatest of these is love.  Don’t lose sight of the priorities.  It is important to hold on to your faith and your hope, but never lose love.

Pretty clear, isn’t it?  We were born with it, but many of us have simply lost it. Maybe you are full of hope, but there are people around you that you know that are at the end of their rope.  Be the one to extend the hand of hope to them when they need it.  We all need to be reminded from time to time that hope endures.

Here is hoping you give yourself and others the blessing of hope today.


Dan Skognes