Sunday, December 25, 2011


In January I will reach a milestone. The mail I receive will have a tone of reverence and support, as well meaning organizations will welcome me to the ranks of those that have completed a half a century on earth. The congratulations will be obligatory, and the tone one of resignation. There will also be the celebration of the inner-circle. Some will resort to jocularity and others to thanksgiving. Many will e-mail me through the social media outlets that have become my platform of communication and some will post versions of humor on various "walls." I will marvel at the friendship of some, befriend some new ones and unfriend some who have crossed the line. This is the speed of the world we live in and the rapidity at which milestones are met. I will reflect on the new that is yet to be while using the old as a foundation.

Fifty was just a number when I counted. It was monumental when my parents celebrated their golden anniversary. It was remarkable when my brother crossed that threshold and funny when my friends did. I am now going to be as old as the destination date set at a Zig Ziglar seminar in October of 1991. Two decades ago I wrote down some wild ideas about what would transpire in my life if I just applied myself. I was at the crossroads of doubt and at the very intersection of uncertainty. A successful man got down in his trademark one-kneed stance and asked if I believed that there was a destiny of difference for me. He asked me to search within the depths of my identity to find the newness that could ring in hope and a freshness that could foster change. I believed. I set many goals that day including desires for promotions, success as a speaker and validation from the nation of my birth. Some goals were articulated while others were placed just within the boundary of my imagination

As numbers they would read 50-50-50-5-5. I wanted to see all fifty states and go to fifty countries on at least five continents and have written five books by the time I was fifty. Self-praise has often been equivocated to being half-scandal. The next paragraph is to quantify what a qualitative search has allowed.

With the grace of God and the support of those who did not allow me to wallow in my failures much of this life has been lived. I hope as you read further you will sense the truth in the statement that when a student is ready the teacher will appear. My teachers were the likes of Dr. Ravi Zacharias, Zig Ziglar, Adrian Rogers, Paul Horgen, Dr. Ramesh Richard, my bride, my son, and a list too long to mention. Newness came in the form of advice, betrayal, death, addiction, divorce and many of the things we all deal with on a daily baisis. But as Zig Ziglar said over and over to me-"the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing at all times."

As of today I have been to 47 states, written or collaborated in the outcome of five published works, and have been to 55 countries on six continents. I have shared the stage with two former Presidents and a former first lady, titans of industry, award winning entertainers, captains of enterprise, super bowl winning athletes and dignitaries from every walk of life.  What seemed improbable is now probable. What seemed unreachable is now within grasp as I have a whole year to visit the last three states, as technically I will still be in my fiftieth year. I cannot wait to ring in the new of another year, the familiarity of another birthday or just the chance to set and achieve more goals.

What will be the sound of your bell in 2012? Who will you become as the calendar declares that you have lived another year? Why should you look forward to the next birthday or New Year when they seem to come every twelve months? Remember friend, yesterday ended with last night. Today is a new day and is the first day of the rest of your life. Happy New Day to You!

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