State of Politics

We've all seen the State of the Union, State of the State, and various other updates by political leaders.  But what if we take a moment and look at the State of Politics in our country right now.  I'm not in politics and am not a professional political researcher so this is just an ordinary guy's view of several issues going on in the political arena right now and my thoughts on them.

Some people are for term limits, some people are against them.  Honestly, I can see it both ways.  While the term, "career politician," has almost become derogatory, some people really are good lawmakers and use their influence to accomplish a lot of good.  But on the other hand, some people abuse that power and allow themselves to become corrupt and get out of touch with the real world and the very people they were elected to represent.  So what should we do?

What if we did what churches have done with deacons and many non-profits do with their boards?  You serve one o…

Buying a Home - Tips From the Othe Side of the Desk

The housing market seems to be heating up nationally and even in our small town.  With that being the case, I would like to share a few tips and try to offer a better understanding of the home buying and mortgage process for both seasoned and 1st time home-buyers alike from someone's perspective who has sat on both sides of the desk as a loan officer and consumer.  Hopefully, these tips will help make your home buying process go as smooth as possible.

1.  Know YOUR budget.  Yes, the bank can tell you what you qualify for based on credit and debt ratios.  But only you know your spending habits.  Are you ready to commit to a house payment, insurance, taxes, improvements, and repairs?  Or do you want more freedom for season tickets to your favorite team?  Or extra cash to rush off on spontaneous getaways?  Begin to think about how much money you can do without each month, how much you're paying now in rent, or how much you're saving towards a down payment.  Your home is an in…

Lessons From a Father - 2018 Edition

Happy Father's Day to all of the amazing dads, daddies, fathers, and as Thomas says sometimes, "diddy" out there.  I hope that we all are planning something today to show our dads how much we love them and how much they mean to us (this includes your Grandpa, Uncle, Brother, or Mom is they were also your Dad too).  Go eat a meal with them, sit and talk a little while, buy them a gift or a card.  Just do something to let them know you're thinking about them and what they mean to you, especially today.

I don't know that my Dad and I talk more now than we used to, but it seems like it sometimes because I actually listen more.  I've learned that he really does know a good bit about work, family, business, and just life in general (unlike the way I thought I knew everything during my high school years).  So as part of my gift to him and others, here are a few things I've learned from my Dad.

1.  We make choices everyday - what to wear, what to eat, etc. but t…

Perfectly 35

Over the past few weeks, I've spent a lot of time thinking about this stage of life.  About where I am at the age of 35, not always certain where I fit in, how I should dress, how many kids we should have, how much money I should be making, how many friends we should have and how much time to spend with them, and about how I feel caught in the middle of a lot of different things.  I almost began having my own little pity party trying to figure out if I'm successful, happy, or living up to what the standards are for people my age.

Then today it finally hit me.  Instead of looking at my life and letting it get me down because I'm stuck in the middle, I should be remarkably grateful to be placed right in the middle.  My perspective began to shift.

Thinking about my career...I'm not I'm not the senior person at work, but not the new guy either.  I am perfectly in the middle.  I have some good experience that I can pull from and a long prosperous future to look forward …


As my wife would be quick to point out, I have a tendency to overcommit and say "yes" to too many things.  It seems like if I sense a moment of spare time and someone comes along and asks if I can help with this or that, then the next thing I know I'm sitting in another meeting with another group of people trying to accomplish some good.  But as any smart husband will learn to do, I have gotten better at running things by my wife before agreeing to them...most of the time.

And I'm willing to bet that most people's lives are pretty similar in some aspects.  We all want to do so many things: work (or at least make money), spend time with family, spend time with friends, serve our community, enjoy hobbies, spend time with ourselves, etc. There are only so many hours in the day so how do we do it?  How do we balance work, family, friends, church, and taking of ourselves?  We don't.

Have you ever balanced two kids on a see-saw?  Or looked at one of those old balan…

A Level Playing Field: Banks vs. Credit Unions

How would you feel if we were going to race in 100 yard dash (the length of a football field) and I told that I was going to get to start at the 21 yard line while you had to start at the goal line?
Or what if I we were going to do 100 pushups?  Except for yep, you guessed it...I'll be starting on 21  while you start at 0.
Or what if I our boss offered to pay both of us $100 for doing the exact same job.  But then he took $21 from you for taxes while I kept my entire $100.
Would that seem fair?  Who do you think would win the race or pushup contest?  Who would have more money even though we both did the same job?  
It seems odd to me that in this world of 'equality for all' that businesses offering services in the same field would be treated unfairly.  Now I understand competitive advantage, market share, niche business and all of that.  But for Congress to outright give one type of business which competes directly against others a 21% advantage just seem a bit unfair to …

The Highlight Reel

Most athletes, or even us non-athletes who've played some sports, can sit around with our buddies and share stories of the biggest hits we've had or the best plays we've ever made.  We remember the good ole days whether it was Dixie Youth, Rec League, high school, or even backyard pickup games where we made some of our most amazing plays ever.  And for high school athletes looking to earn college scholarships, coaches will often go through hours of film to pull out the plays that showcase their player's talent, skill, and strength at its best.  Sportscenter has become famous for its daily top 10 plays.  We all like to see the highlights.  
But the highlight reels that we often see leave something out.  They leave out our failures.  They leave out our grind that it took to develop the skills to make those big plays.  You don't just get up off the couch one day and decide you'll go play a sport or compete in an event at a high level.  It's not as easy as the…