Check Out My New Blog

For those of you that are following my blog, well, it’s been a while since I’ve written a post here, hasn’t it?  I am happy to announce that, a week ago, I started a new a blog.

Please check out and subscribe to my email list there as this is the blog from which I will be blogging from now on.  Please subscribe to the list, and I would love to read your comments there.  Please feel free to share it with your friends.  Thanks.



Saying No to Say Yes- Day 51


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Okay, so here’s the deal…I’ve been off the radar a little lately!  Well, I guess you could say that I have been missing in action for about 25 days and it’s time to face the music!

If you have followed my LifeWorkout Challenge since I started 51 days ago, you will notice that I have not posted anything since day 16.  Some have asked me if I have abandoned the journey and the answer is no!  While I have not thrown in the towel, I can say that I have not been entirely successful in achieving the balance between my faith, family, fitness, or finances that I originally hoped for. 

Here’s why;

I can say that I have been able to still maintain focus on my faith, family, and finances.  The only way that I was able to do this was by saying “no” to my fitness for a little while.  Yes, that means that I have been AWOL from P90x for a while.  While it pains me to say it because I am a passionate about fitness, I had to pay special attention to some other things that required laser focus.

I know…

Some of you are going to say that is a cop-out.  Some of you are going to say that it is an excuse to get a little lazy about doing the P90x thing.  I am not going to completely argue with you as P90x is a very challenging 90-day commitment.  On one hand it is very intense and provides clear results to the disciplined person, it is also a regimen that I am not used to at all on the mental side.  Tony Horton says that P90x offers a way to shut off the mind and just follow his lead.  However, when I go out for a long run or a long ride, being able to let my mind wander is one of the joys of endurance sports.  Some of my greatest inspirations for sermons or even blog posts occur during these long jaunts.  I love these moments.  So, while I am going to get back on the fitness journey, I am seriously wondering if P90x will in fact be the fitness vehicle versus starting my training for my next marathon or triathlon.  I don’t know yet.

However, the reason I chose to say no to fitness was because I am in the middle of preparing to launch a new business.  This means marketing, networking, studying for licensing exams (I have one more to go), and frankly, it got overwhelming.  I felt that I needed to refocus on the fitness because it is a part of me that can be addictive to the point of diminishing other priorities.

Honestly, some of you may not buy this reason, but honestly, I don’t really care.  It’s my journey and I know myself.  I know my tendencies and I am beginning to understand the boundaries that I need to set for myself.  I am passionate about working out each area of my life, but not at the sacrifice of those that are most important.

My faith comes first.  My family comes second.  My career/vocation/finances comes next.  Then, my fitness pursuits needs to come last.  I have seen that when fitness starts to inch up the priority list, things start to unravel.  I started to see that happening so I pulled back a little, but now I am going to start going out for run and rides and we’ll have to see about P90x.

While I may not be terribly concerned with whether you agree with this rationale, I AM interested to see if you have had to make similar decisions in your life.

So, let’s talk about it.  I certainly hope that my frankness and transparency about my journey encourages you to be real to heal.  My last post about “cheating” represented the most read post to date which indicates to me that people can relate with real issues and with people who are not afraid to be real.


Are You Cheating On Me?- Day 17


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I couldn’t believe what I was reading, but there it was, a five-word text from my wife that shook the foundation of my world!

“Are you cheating on me?”

Did my wife actually write that?  I was at a cancer fundraiser launch event in Orange County, California.  This was going to be the first of about twenty straight Saturdays that I was going to be dedicating to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society mentoring and training for the Rock ‘N Roll Marathon in Seattle.  But this text, did she really think that I was cheating?  I mean, I knew that things could be better in our marriage, but cheating on my wife? Really?

Well, I immediately called her.  She asked where I was.  She was frustrated and frazzled by my schedule among other things.  As we discussed this over the subsequent days, I learned that she didn’t really think that I was cheating on her sexually or emotionally with another woman, but that she was trying to get my attention because she didn’t know where I was.  But, that is not the type of “attention-grabbing” statement that you take, or even make, lightly.  In one of our later conversations, she said, “you say yes to so many things and so many people, but I need to say yes to me and the boys”. 


Talk about facing the mirror of my marriage!  I realized that something seriously needed to change in order for my marriage to be healed and healthy again.  I realized that deep in her heart my wife didn’t think that I was cheating on her with another woman, but that I was cheating on her and my two boys with other priorities

You see, I am a visionary and a goal-oriented person.  When I set a goal, I pursue it passionately whether its my career, my ministry, or training for a marathon or triathlon.  I had become so “hot and heavy” about these other passions that I had left my beautiful bride to be an unwilling spectator to a race that had nothing to do with her anymore.  The athlete she once adored cheered for didn’t even know that she was there.  She had enough of it and she was crying out to me.  I finally got the message.

Honestly, this question made me mad.  First, it made me mad that my wife would actually question me about this.  But, then I become so mad that I had allowed my marriage to get this point.  There were elements of dis-connection, dis-trust, and dis-satisfaction; all symptoms of Dis-ease.  Thirdly, I became so mad that I decided that I wasn’t going to allow this to continue and that things were going to change.  It had to.

Step #2- Make a Choice to Change

In an earlier post, I discussed Step #1 of the LifeWorkout Principles which is “Face the Mirror”.  Many of us realize that the mirrors of our lives are reflecting very painful realities.  It is then that we are faced with a choice.  We can either choose to change our lives, or we can choose to settle for it.  Either way, we make a choice. 

If we want to experience the life that we dream about, we must #1- Face the Mirror, then #2- Make a Choice to Change.  Some of you may say, “I have faced the mirror but I am powerless to change what I see”.  Well, then you are in the perfect position to ask Jesus to help you.

My wife and I both made a choice to re-invite God into our marriage.  We have a renewed understanding that God is in control and that He is a Healer; a healer of lost faith, unhealthy marriages and families, financial stress, and broken bodies.  I am happy to say that Michele and I are now experiencing new-found strength and intimacy in our marriage.  We are learning every day and working through our doubts about life and our faith in an amazing way.  A love tested is a love preferred.  There is hope for your marriage, for your finances, for your fitness, but most of all, for your faith.

How would you respond if you were texted this same question of “Are you cheating on me?”  Are there things in your life that have you chosen to focus on that have left your LifeSystems lying on the side of the road, collateral damage to your misplaced pursuits?  Whatever had caused you to cheat on your faith, your family, your finances, or even your fitness, remember the words of Jesus when He said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” (John 10:10, NLT)

Trying to be real in order to heal,


Balance Versus Priority-Day 16


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Have you ever tried Yoga?  P90x has a workout called YogaX and it is all about strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance.  Is it possible that YogaX has some life lessons baked right into it that we may not even realize?

The 90-Day LifeWorkout Challenge that I have embarked on is based on the LifeWorkout Principle which states that unless we have health and balance in our LifeSystems (i.e. Faith, Family, Finances and Fitness), we have the potential of suffering from Dis-Ease.  Balance should absolutely be a goal in our life, but the test of being balanced every day is something else.  We are faced with the question, “balance or priority?”  I have one friend who recently said, “Balance is over-rated, I choose to prioritize”.  When I first heard that, I wasn’t sure I agreed, but over this last week, I have become a believer.

However, before I came to terms with this principle over this past week, I had made it my goal to take care of each LifeSystem every day during these 90-days to develop good habits and mindsets and a healthy overall life.  My pastor preached one time that the profitable things in life sometimes start as a duty, then they become disciplines, then desires, and finally delights.  I am not naïve enough to think that delight in every LifeSystem will be achieved in a mere 90 days.  In reality, it will take a lifetime, but I do expect to see some significant progress and that is the goal, isn’t it?

Well, back to the balance versus priorities question.  I made it a goal to have at least an hour of devotion every day, do P90x 6 days a week, spend good family time every evening, and make good financial decisions every day.  Whew, it’s a great goal, but sometimes life gets in the way, or at least, we allow it to.  I became very stressed and maybe even a little overwhelmed in this last week because I came up to the end of my days and found that I had not yet done something in one or two of these areas.  Sometimes I forced myself to do it anyway, but felt bad doing it out of duty versus delight and the quality suffered because I was up until 1 a.m.

In other cases, I realized that to give a quality effort in the most important areas of my life, my faith and my family, I had to say “see you tomorrow” to P90x.  Over the first 14 days of P90x, I missed two workouts.  I didn’t like, I got a little anxious about it, but I knew that I needed to focus on the priority of my faith and family.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t bat 1.000 with my faith and family every day either, and those were days where I realized I had misprioritized.

Now, placing myself accountable to all of you that read this blog and follow my LifeWorkout journey has been a huge motivator.  I am trying to be real with my journey because too many times people only talk about their successes in life.  While I know that my blessings and successes in life are very much present today and are yet to come, I am very much aware that many of those are born through the travail that I have felt by working through my challenges. 

During this week, my wife and I were able to reflect on these words of James when he wrote in James 1:2-4, “Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. 3 For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.”

So, what’s the point of this post?  Strive to be balanced in your life, but when you are faced with life, choose to prioritize it; (1) Love God, (2) Love People, (3) Trust in God as your Provider, and (4) Take care of your body because it was redeemed by God at the Cross.

Look out for a new post coming soon that addresses the question, “Are You Cheating On Me?”

Pressing toward the mark,


Feeling the Burn- Day 11


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Today, I feel great!

However, over the last couple of days I have been really feeling the burn.  Going through “P90x”, the extreme exercise regimen, I am challenging my body to test the outer fringes of my capabilities to the point that my muscles burn from the strain.  During the AbRipperX session, I am doing abdominal exercises that I hate to do, but I know that I am going to love the results.  In Plyometrics session, I am leaping, shuffling, and jumping my way to the point that my lungs are gasping for mercy.  However, the burn that I am feeling in other areas of my life has been even deeper over these last couple of days.

Several months ago, I started on a journey that I knew didn’t make sense to most people.  On the surface, people would look at my decision and say that it was foolish.  However, I knew that they had not heard the voice of God in my life in the way that I had, so it didn’t matter to me if they didn’t understand.  This was MY life and God had spoken to ME!

I felt that God was speaking to me in the way that He spoke to Abraham when he said, “Then the LORD told Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1)  I knew that God was challenging me to take a serious step of faith by giving up some “certainties” in life and pursue some “uncertainties” because of a promise.  The promise that God had for Abraham was, “I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and I will make you a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:2-3)  Do I think that God is calling me to be a father of a great nation?  No, but I do believe that He has a blessing waiting for me that, in turn,  will be a blessing to those with whom I come in contact.  What does that mean and how will it happen?  I don’t have a clue,…yet.

My wife and I did some major praying before we took this step.  I knew that once we made this decision to allow God to direct and transform us that this decision would be tested and, boy, has it.  Abraham himself was tempted to force the God’s hand and timing of His promise by having a child with his wife’s handmaiden, I have found myself at times doubting the plan that God has for our family by worrying and stressing about finances and timing.  I have been tempted to get frustrated about the time that it has taken for God to bring things to light.  My father-in-law keeps telling to “keep tilling the land because the rain is going to come”.

For the most part, I find rest in that message, but there are moments of weakness when I begin to worry, doubt, and lose sight of what God has in store for me which I know are plans for good and not for bad.   I have indeed stepped out of the boat like Peter did when he saw Jesus walked on the water, but at times I have also allowed myself to get distracted by life and have taken my eyes off of Jesus.   But then, I am reminded of what the writer to the Hebrews said when he wrote, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary and give up.” (Hebrews 12:1-3)

I have shared my heart and the process that I am going through with some friends and these godly people have poured words of strength and encouragement with me.  Some that have heard God’s call for them to “step out of the boat” or to “go to a place that I will show you”. They made a decision still holding on to a lot of questions, but armed with the call and promises of God.  They have all seen God’s hand of strength and transformation in their lives that left others in marvel and in awe.  I want that.  Wait,…I DO have that!

Whether you are working out your faith, your finances, your family relationships, or your fitness, know that you will have to feel the burn.  It seems cliché, but the adage of “no pain, no gain” is absolutely true.  I am excited about the process however uncomfortable it may seem at times.  I know that if I keep my eyes on Christ, He will continue to give me the grace to do it.  Andy Stanley once wrote, “What God Ordains, He Orchestrates”.  I am giving God the orchestra wand, the steering wheel, the control so that He can finish the work that He has started in my life.  so, let’s be real, becoming what God has called us to be is not easy because it is contrary to our human nature, but when we allow Him to workout our lives, watch out, because blessings are on the way!

I leave you with this last verse that keeps me encouraged, “Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” (James 1:2-4)

Feeling the burn and loving it,


Facing the Mirror- Day 8


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Today is Day 8 of my LifeWorkout Challenge.  This first week has been a blast and, obviously, quite a challenge.  Trying to tackle my life in terms of faith, family, finances, and fitness is a huge task.  I don’t think I realized what it was going to be like to intentionally workout these areas.  I had a nice video clip that I wanted to share with you yesterday, but my video editing software crashed on me so I have to switch gears.  Another life lesson!

As I reflect on the process of LifeWorkout, or of life transformation, I have seen there are some steps that we all need to take in order to obtain the life that we desire.  I have seen that there are seven steps that we can take regardless of whether we are talking about our family, faith, finances, or fitness.  I used to think that there were different guiding principles for each area, but I am now starting to realize that they are all the same.  Imagine four sprinklers that water four different areas of a lawn.  On the surface, it may seem that they are all independent of each other.  However, when you dig under the surface of the ground, you find that they are all connected by the same pipe system receiving water from the same source.  That’s the way these principles work.

So, today, I want to share with you the first of the LifeWorkout Principles, or the 7 Steps to Workout Your Life;

Step #1: Face the Mirror!

How many of us like facing the mirror every day?  In the morning, we are presented images of tired and crusty eyes, a lopsided bed head, and a steamed up mirror in response to our morning breath.  Not always a pretty sight, right?  A mirror literally, and figuratively, is an honest, sometimes brutally honest, reflection of our realities.  It reflects all the good in our lives and reveals some of the areas that…um…need some attention.  I know, facing the mirror is not our favorite activity of the day, is it?  Although for some, a literal mirror can get a lot of positive attention because there may be an image of a person with a beautiful exterior but also the avoidance of facing the mirror reflecting other areas of our lives.

In the area of our physical fitness, we might avoid facing the mirror or stepping on the scale.  It’s almost as if we take the attitude of “ignorance is bliss”.  We may think, how can we not know how unhealthy we are?  I was watching the “Biggest Loser” this week where a contestant said that after suffering through a period of deep emotional trauma, it was as if she woke up and was finally confronted with the image of her own fitness mirror, physically and emotionally.  Another contestant, a cancer survivor, told herself in realization, “you didn’t have a choice in whether you had cancer, but you do have a choice of being obese”

In our finances, we don’t like to think of budgets and checkbooks.  I talked to one friend this week who said that she finally looked at her checkbook for the first time in her life and the result was appalling!  She realized that she had spent $2500 on…nothing!  They were things like $10 at target, $15 at Abercrombie and Fitch, $30 at Wal-Mart, things that she really didn’t need.  Another friend told me that she knew that she needed to make some changes but because life had thrown her some curve balls that she wasn’t willing to make those changes.

In our family relationships, we don’t like to have those hard conversations, do we?  Either one, we internalize our feelings, hurts, and bitterness because we don’t want to rock the boat, or the emotions become so great that we have outbursts that cut and wound.  Then, we assume that only time will heal so we brush the thoughts and feelings under the carpet…never facing the mirror.

And in our faith, we avoid this area like the plague.  We find that the word of God is like a mirror into our soul.  Scripture is a living book that cuts through all the “bull” of our lives and pierces straight to the core and roots of our thoughts and intentions.  And you know what?  We don’t like that!  We don’t like having our lives being exposed or revealed.  We don’t want to face the realities and voids in our lives.  And if we do, we medicate it with other things like our work, hobbies, vices, goals, and even relationships, some of them toxic, to fill these gaps or cloud our reality.

I don’t share this to invite a cloud over your life, but in an effort to make you mad enough about your situation so that you say, “This has to change!”  We say that often enough, but in reality, we have determined that the pain of change is far greater than the pain of settling.  Sometimes we have to face the mirror and recognize that we are losing our lives by settling for them.  We need to change!  Tommy Tenney once said, “you cannot conquer what you don’t confront”.

I share this thought with you because I want to point you to the source of abundant life.  A life of health and wealth, a life of passion and purpose, and ultimately, a life of hope.  Jesus said, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal , and to kill , and to destroy : I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)  That is exactly what I want, don’t you?

So, I invite you to continue following my journey as I face my own life mirrors.  Please feel free to comment on these posts as my goal is to establish an ongoing dialogue about these topics.  As Tony Horton of P90x says, “Decide, Commit, Succeed”.

Bringing it,

Steve (

Day 3- My Four LifeSystems


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Welcome to Day 3 of my LifeWorkout Challenge. 

In my Day 1 video blog the other day, I gave a short introduction about this journey of transformation that I have chosen to undertake over 90 days.  Here is a little more about why I have taken this challenge;

You see this picture…?

…this is exactly how I intend to feel at the end of my 90 days.  I want to obtain a life of victory; a life that is so rich, so full of health and wealth, a life driven by passion and purpose that I may not have ever dared dream of it before.  Do I expect to stumble here and there?  Yes, but I also expect to find the strength to dig deep because the goals and visions that I have are far greater than the pain that I will have to endure to achieve them.  Still not sure what I am talking about?  Let me explain it like this;

Our bodies consist of many systems.  For example, we have our reproductive system, our digestive system, our circulatory system, and our muscular system to name a few.  In order to avoid sickness and disease, its important that our body systems are healthy and in balance.

Accordingly, it is important that our LifeSystems are healthy and working together.  Any LifeSystem that is that is not properly worked out to achieve health and harmony is in danger of causing suffering or what I call Dis-Ease.  Dis-Ease can cause discontent, disconnection, and dissatisfaction.  While there are many LifeSystems that we can focus on, I am choosing to focus on what I consider to be the four most important being family, finances, fitness, and faith.

Lately, I have reflected on these four areas of my life and I have determined that there are deeper depths that I want to experience.  I want to experience more wealth in my life, not because I want to accumulate more, but because I want to give more.  I want to achieve greater physical fitness in my body, not for vain reasons, but to be stronger, to endure longer, and to have more energy to enjoy life.  I want to workout my family and other relationships so that I not become an energy taker or waster, but to be an energy giver.  And lastly, I am hungry, thirsty, and desperate for a deeper walk with God; not one based on works but rather one drenched in His grace and His presence.

As I take this journey, I will share my thoughts and reflections about this process of transformation.  I urge you to join in on the discussion.  I know that I am really putting myself out there and there are reasons for that which I will discuss later, but for the most part, I am hoping that you will be able to identify with the challenges that I may face. 

So, I ask you…what life have you always dreamed for?

Working it out,


My LifeWorkout Challenge- Day 1


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Well, the day has finally arrived!  Today is Day 1 of my LifeWorkout Challenge; a 90-day journey of transformation in the areas of my family life, my financial life, my fitness life, and my faith life.  Check out this video for more:

Over the next 90 days I will be talking a little more about what led me to take on this challenge, the four LifeSystems, and the 7 Steps of the LifeWorkout Plan. 

I need a host of supporters to encourage me along the way, so you can comment on and subscribe to this blog by clicking on the “Sign Me Up” button at the top left of this page, follow me on Twitter (@LifeWorkout), and go to my website at

I looking forward to this great ride and I hope that you might be encouraged, empowered, and inspired by my journey!

Working it out,


My Proudest Daddy Moment


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I couldn’t have been more proud as a Daddy than this moment right here;


Obviously, there is a story to this picture.  About five weeks ago, my wife and I  began teaching our four-year old son, Ethan, principles of finance via a “commission” plan.  Every day he was responsible to complete four chores; make his bed, set the table, put away his toys, and throw away the trash.  For each completed chore, he received $0.25, or a $1 total per day in ‘commissions’.  Gone was the concept of allowance which we felt could breed a sense of entitlement, even at this age.  With commissions, you get what you earn.  On top of the earned commission, he was also subject to “fines” of $0.25/occurrence if he misbehaved or threw his toys.  He had been telling us that he wanted a Lego Zurg which is a character from Toy Story which had a cost of about $28.  So, if he was perfect, he would earn enough to earn his prize in four weeks.

After seven days, Ethan was doing very well.  He had earned $6.75 in commission but had also incurred a couple of fines for throwing toys.  So, with $6.25 to his name, he was a very happy little guy.


It was funny because a teaching moment occurred when he saw another little toy that he liked.  It only cost about $4 or 5 and I told him that he was free to buy it but that only meant that it was going to take longer to buy his Lego Zurg.  He decided against it because the Lego Zurg was his goal!  Nice!  Instant gratification averted, but I was still praying that this was a principle that was being burned into his value system.

Well, Ethan did really well with this commission plan.  Every Sunday evening, I got such a kick when Ethan would look for me in the house only to say, “Daddy, I want to get paid”.  I was proud every week as the principles of saving, delayed gratification, and the value of money were being absorbed.  One time, as he ate a McDonald’s happy meal, he got distracted by whatever was on TV.  He wanted to leave his hamburger after only two bites.  I explained to him that I had spent money to pay for his Happy Meal and asked if he was going to pay me for what he didn’t eat!  He jumped back in his chair and finished his meal.  Was this manipulation?  Not at all.  I was trying to teach him the value of money and I think that was was catching a little of the concept.

After five weeks, he had earned $34.   Part of this was a $5 gift from his great-grandmother, but it didn’t matter because Ethan was learning some valuable lessons.  He was very excited on pay day last night.  Today, at his grandparents’ home, he emptied out the piggy bank and counted his money.


After saying good-bye to all the family, we made our way to the mall.  As we exited from the car, Ethan was about to burst he was so excited.  I was careful to set some expectations that the toy may not be at the store and, if so, we were going to have to order it online which meant a little delay.  I said this a couple of times praying that the toy would be there.


Well, here is what we found;


Ethan, was ecstatic!  He kept repeating, “See Daddy, I was right!  It is here!”  My wife was laughing at me saying that I was going to make a big ceremony out of this simple purchase!  “You got that right”, to me this was a big deal and I was going to chronicle it!

Ethan took his toy and waited in line.  When it was his turn, he placed the toy on the counter and waited to pay.  He took out $27.25 and handed it to the cashier.


It was apparent that she didn’t appreciate how momentous this occasion was for the both of us, and she was distracted as she was being relieved for break.  It didn’t matter to Ethan or I.  Ethan grabbed his Lego bag and we headed for home.  Of course, I had him stop for one more picture!


When we arrived at home, we started right away on building the toy.  Of course, my help was NOT needed because Ethan is a great builder.  He especially didn’t need the assistance of his two-year old bother.  After one hour, the Lego Zurg was completed and free to fire his fire balls!  I have never seen Ethan so excited.  He even had me put on the “Toy Story 2” DVD to honor the occasion.

I tried to explain that I was very proud of him because he worked very hard and learned to wait until he had all his money.  I told him that it is very easy to want things right away, but it is more fun when we can save for it and buy it ourselves.  I don’t think Ethan really understands how proud I am about this occasion.  I don’t think that he truly understands the principle that I am trying to teach him, but its a start, and I am okay with that.  Still, it is my proudest Daddy moment so far!

Now, on to the GIVING lesson!

Ethan’s Dad and Financier, Steve