No Ifs, Ands, or Buts

Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships

We seem to live in an era of excuses. I am not sure what happened to people just taking responsibility for their short-comings, but it appears to have all but vanished from our culture. Now it is your fault, not mine regardless of the facts. Now we blame the President, the Congress, our government, our spouse, our co-worker, our boss, our neighbor, etc. We have a tendency to blame anyone but ourselves. Some people have become masters at deflecting.

Admittedly, sometimes it IS someone else that is at fault. That is not the point here. The blame should go to the one responsible. My point is that when someone calls us out for messing up, we tend to make excuses. The problem with that mentality is that it is very immature. It is like we have a 5 year old kid living inside us that starts blaming everyone else when we are standing there with our hand in the cookie jar.

I have been guilty of this myself from time to time, but I am working on taking responsibility for my actions and being truthful with myself. By the way, the worst person you can lie to is yourself! I am encouraging you and those who might be around you to just grow up. Be mature in accepting responsibility for what you say and do, and quit blaming someone else for your failures. Excuses are a dime a dozen. We need to get our “buts” out of the way. Wouldn’t this make life easier on everyone? If you mess up, just fess up. Apologize where necessary and move on. That is what adults are supposed to do, right?


Daniel Skognes

My Way Or A Higher Way

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Many years ago Steve Winwood penned a great song called Higher Love. I think it is particularly relevant for this day and age. The lyrics express a longing that is hopeful, universal, and timeless.

Think about it, there must be higher love

Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above

Without it life is wasted time

Look inside your heart, I’ll look inside mine

Things look so bad everywhere

In this world, what is fair?

We walk blind and we try to see

Falling behind in what could be


Bring me a higher love

Bring me a higher love, oh

Bring me a higher love

Where’s that love I keep thinking of?

We all have to choose how we will live. We can do it like the Sinatra song, “My Way,” or we can choose a higher love…a higher way. God has a plan for each of us, and His way is the higher way. He has the love we’ve been thinking of.


Daniel Skognes

Know Thyself

Posted in Business, Relationships

Who we are is revealed in a multitude of ways: by our faith, when we face what we fear, through family and friends, through our ability and willingness to forgive others and ourselves, how we handle our finances, our time, how we handle stress, how we use power, how we face temptation, how we handle being alone, and how we treat children, the elderly, and animals. There are probably numerous other factors that we could mention, but you get the idea. Character matters. Who you are when no one is looking will be revealed when someone is looking, and someone is always watching how we talk, how we act, and if the two things are congruent.

It is a stressful time that we live in and how we handle this crisis will reveal who we really are. Don’t just tell people you love them, show them. Don’t just say you will pray for someone, pray with them. Don’t turn a blind eye to the suffering of others. Everybody on this planet has issues to face. If you are in a good place, then you are truly blessed. How you handle your blessing reveals your character as well. Find ways to encourage and help those who are unemployed, stressed out, physically ailing, and those that feel totally isolated. You may be the light in their storm. Leave the light on for them.


Daniel Skognes


Posted in Business, Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Lies are strange things in that it depends on who you ask as to what constitutes a lie. Some people would argue that “white lies” or “bending the truth” are occasionally necessary to protect someone, and I can see how that could make sense at least on the surface. The problem is, half truths and white lies are still lies. Deceit in any form is just a lie which we justify for our own purposes.

Next time you are tempted to lie to someone, think about what the Bible says:

Proverbs 6:16-19 says: “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among the brothers.”

Proverbs 12:22 says: “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are His delight.”

Proverbs 19:9 says: “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish.”

Psalm 101:7 says: “No one who practices deceit shall dwell in My house; no one who utters lies shall continue before My eyes.”

Colossians 3:9-10 says: “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator.”

Proverbs 12:19 says: “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”

Luke 8:17 says: “For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.”

John 8:44 says: “For you are of your father, the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Exodus 20:16 says: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

That kind of puts a different light on it, doesn’t it? The bottom line is, we will all be held accountable for what we say, and there are always consequences to lying. Better to tell the truth and not have to remember what you said. A clear conscience goes a long way to living in harmony with God and man.


Daniel Skognes


Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Tragedy does not have to define us, but it can refine us. Nobody wants to deal with a tragedy in their life, but it seems that it is part of life whether we like it or not. When life smacks you in the gut, how will you respond?

Whatever you face (loss of a life, loss of a relationship, loss of a job, etc.), look to God for help. He is there with us and He is for us. God is not surprised at what you are facing. He may have allowed it, but that does not mean He has forgotten or abandoned you. He has a plan for each of us.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave nor forsake you.”

Proverbs 3: 5-6 says, “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 paths.”

John 8:12 says, “Then Jesus spoke to them again saying, I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Press in to God when you don’t know what to do. The light is always on.


Daniel Skognes


Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

There Is Joy In The Journey

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Sometimes we get so focused on where we want to go that we miss the joy of the journey. This can happen in our careers, in our current situation with the Coronavirus, or in our relationships. I am suggesting that we change our focus to the here and now.

The journey we are each on is unique. Some of it is by our own choices as to where we are now, but some of it is God’s hand too…moving and guiding us in the right direction. I know from experience that I can get so focused on the end result that I actually miss the blessings along the way.

I believe the Coronavirus is a double-edged sword. Harm has definitely come from it, but I believe good will also come out of this crisis. We are being driven to rely upon God, family, and friends like some of us have never encountered before. I know this is a unique situation for me and my family. I don’t believe any of us have lived through this kind of situation before.

You might ask yourself, “What good can possibly come from this?” This is where the joy of the journey comes in. Even in the midst of a storm we can have peace. The peace of God surpasses understanding. The one thing that will trip us up is FEAR, and that is all around us. If we allow fear to rule our lives, then we are missing the blessings that God has in store for us…even in the midst of the storm.

I know there are families who have lost loved ones to this virus, and my thoughts and prayers go out to all of them. I don’t take lightly the loss of someone you love…regardless of the circumstances. The hope we have in this day and age is in God. He has our backs, He has our future, and He has our today in His hands. This is a wake up call for the world. It is time for each of us to look in the mirror and decide what we are going to do differently not just now, but in the future.

Do you remember 9/11? When that happened, the people of the US united in ways that were unprecedented. Churches were filled with people praying and turning to God for His help. What happened? Sadly, many people have short memories and they just turned back to their old way of living once the fear of the moment passed.

We need to learn the lesson, or we are doomed to repeat the test. This is a test not just for the US but for the world. We need to wake up and change what we are doing, what we are thinking, what we are believing, and what we are worshiping. I pray for that change to take place in people all over the world before it is too late. The next crisis could very well be the last one which devastates the world.

Where does all of this change start? With you and me. We have to do our part to get ourselves right before God, and we have to share the love of Christ with everyone. That is all we are called to do in the end. The rest of it is up to God. He will sort it out from there. Don’t let fear steal your peace and derail you from the joy of the journey. There is still work to be done, and we will get through this crisis with the help of God. Love God. Love one another. That is it.


Daniel Skognes