How You Talk Affects Everything! – Todd


[These questions come from readers.  If you have a question, ask it here.]

In recent years, parts of the way I talk have bugged me.  Not my public speaking so much, but my everyday conversation.  There are times when I’m mid-sentence and I realize how negative my word choice is and how I sound more like a complainer than a Christ-follower.

The reason I’ve become so sensitive to my negative speech is it affects me, my attitude and the people around me.  Speaking about anything or anyone with a defeatist attitude drap-colors your day.  It molds your hours and heart into bitterness and keeps you from enjoying the miracles that bounce around you.  

This doesn’t mean ignoring wrong or disparity in the world, but solution-side-speaking helps with attitude, function and accomplishment.  Speaking right inherently opens your spirit to helping rather than hurting. Most importantly, speaking in the positive brightens other people and they begin to trust and respect you [read a verse on that].  

So think of your speech today.  Ask the Holy Spirit to make you keenly aware when negativity begins to creep around your conversations.  Can you turn it into something better.  

If you need help, ponder one of my favorite Super Bowl commercials in recent past.


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How to Find Happiness on $1.60

starbucks_coffeeCoffee house gift cards tend to be my favorite.  I use them up to last drop. However, the other day, I didn’t.  The barista handed me my tall half-caf and slid my used gift card across the counter.

“Can you check the balance?”
“Sure,” She said.  “There’s a dollar sixty left on your card.”
“Thanks,” I said.

My normal reaction would be well that’s not enough for a full coffee purchase but I’ll apply it to my next one.  This time, I had an idea.  Sliding the card back to the gal, I said,  “Would you apply the remaining balance to whomever is next in line at your drive-thru?” Her eyes and half-opened mouth gave away her confusion.  But then she understood and repeated back to me my request, just to make sure.

She smiled and walked the card to the hostess at the window.  I took a quick sip of my steaming coffee and walked to my car.

What happened next took me by surprise.

A feeling of happiness and exhilaration welled up inside me.  What caused it?  Was it the look on the Barista’s face?  Was it the fact that I had finished yet another gift card?  Maybe it was the kick of the caffeine.  None of the above.

What caused my heart to race and changed my attitude for the rest of the day was that I gave something to someone without any hope of getting something back.  Even though it was such a small amount, that’s how being a giver can change your attitude and your life!  Imagine what could happen if I took giving seriously!


Winston Churchill said  “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”  I believe that to be true.  Life is more than what you accumulate.   Life is made rich by the free sharing of that which you have.

I’ve become addicted by using gift cards in this way.  Several times since then, I’ve randomly paid for the person in line behind me with my gift card.  Be a giver and your attitude in the moment and your perspective on life will change.

Try it.  I dare you.




I love the documents of our country.  The statements of separation from tyranny, the proclamations of the design of our government, they are all brilliant and timeless.  As I was studying the document for the 4th of July – The Declaration of Independence – the little phrase that stuck out was

“We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Life? Yes.  Liberty? Absolutely!  Happiness? uh, nope.  We are not guaranteed happiness in this or any other country around the world.  Our declaration states that we are endowed with (or should be endowed with) the PURSUIT of happiness.

Too many in our world feel that it is their right to be happy, that we are entitled to be happy and that our governments should guarantee that we are, happy.  For me, true happiness is not something that is handed to me on a platter.  I find happiness in honoring God through personal productivity, adding value and leadership to others, and reaching the personal goals toward which I strive.

My opinion is that the world’s governments can provide opportunities and environments in which I can choose to pursue happiness, but they cannot provide happiness itself.  History shows that happiness is simply a choice found in personal responsibility and pursuit.

I’d love to hear what you think on this!  Please comment below…