Favorite Quotes from A.W. Tozer

Just thought I would share some of favorite quotes from A.W. Tozer. (Aiden Wilson Tozer was an American Christian pastor, preacher, author, magazine editor, and spiritual mentor.)

“God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which he must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves.”

“Rules for Self Discovery:
1. What we want most;
2. What we think about most;
3. How we use our money;
4. What we do with our leisure time;
5. The company we enjoy;
6. Who and what we admire;
7. What we laugh at.”

“I want the presence of God Himself, or I don’t want anything at all to do with religion… I want all that God has or I don’t want any.”

“Refuse to be average. Let your heart soar as high as it will.”

“One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organization do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team.”

“When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection.”

“The man who would truly know God must give time to Him.”

“Justice is not something God has. Justice is something that God is.”

“True faith rests upon the character of God and asks no further proof than the moral perfections of the One who cannot lie.”

Set Yourself Free!!


Only in the past few years have I really become comfortable being me. Let me explain: I became a pastor in 2000. At that point – fresh out of Bible College, I felt like I needed to have a certain persona. I had to act a certain way, dress a certain way and basically be the person others expected for such a position.

Here I am 17 years later and I dress how I want to dress and say whatever I’m led to say. I use grace with my language of course but there are times when tough love is needed and I bring it. The reality is; I have finally become comfortable being me. Some people will like me and others not so much. And you know what? I’m good with that. Even Jesus had haters.

Authenticity is underrated. It’s more than being honest with the world. It’s about being honest with yourself. There are many advantages to being authentic. Most importantly, you’ll no longer feel the need to change your words and actions to impress others. You can relax and be yourself.

Before you can be authentic, it’s important to know yourself. If you don’t truly know yourself, you will basically mimic others you admire. That isn’t the true “you” either. Authenticity becomes possible when you know what’s important to you. At the very core is your values and goals.

Embrace authenticity and present yourself honestly:

  1. Give up the need to appear perfect. God made you unique… a masterpiece and that is good enough. And the great thing is, when you don’t need to appear perfect, you’re in the position to be honest. Avoid putting on a show for the rest of the world. You’ll only feel bad about yourself later or worse, you will wear yourself out with this life time game of charades
  •  It’s okay to be less than spectacular. Be the best at being yourself.
  1. Know your values and live by them. If you know your values and live by them consistently, you’re already doing well in the authentic department.
  • Make a list of your values and determine the five that are most important to you. Are you living your life according to these values? Would it be obvious to others that you hold these values? Remember: It’s one thing to state your core values…and it’s something else to actually live them out!
  • Make your decisions based upon your values. Be willing to share your values with others. This will also give you a level of accountability J
  1. Notice when you’re not being authentic. It’s not easy to be authentic all the time. You might find yourself transforming based on the situation. A first date is a good example. Are you being authentic or pretending to be someone you’re not?
  • Take note of those times your authenticity starts to wane.
  • People tend to compartmentalize their lives. They are one way at work and someone different at home. They are one way at church and then act differently at home. STOP!! That seems sooo tiring! And… it’s also fake.
  1. Know your goals. What do you want out of life? Do you know? Are you willing to let others know? By knowing your goals, you can you live your life accordingly.
  • Make a list of your short-term and long-term goals. How well do they align with your values?
  • Again it’s easy say my goal is ______ or my dream is to _______. You say it’s your “dream” but if you aren’t taking steps in that direction (forward progress) then what you have is merely a day dream that will never be realized.
  1. What are your defining characteristics? Describe yourself honestly. Now ask yourself if a casual acquaintance would describe you the same way? How about someone that knows you well? How about your closest friend?
  • What are your “negative” characteristics? Are you impatient or messy? Are you willing to allow others to see these characteristics or do you attempt to hide them?
  • Remember – nobody is perfect! Stop trying to hide all your flaws. You can actually learn to laugh at yourself. It’s ok….
  1. Simplify your life. Get rid of everything that’s sucking the life out of you. What you choose to keep will be representative of your preferences and your true self. You will find your true “you” by stripping away the non-essentials. Start with the clothes you never wear, the things you never use, and the activities you don’t enjoy. Only keep the things that mean the most to you. Wooohooo… do you feel the stress level lowering?

7. Do what you say you’ll do. Keep your word and follow through on your promises. You’ll feel more whole and live with consistency if you develop this one area. As you live it out, others will know that “what you say is what you do!” When your words and actions match, you’re demonstrating authenticity.

Life becomes easier when you’re living authentically. You’ll no longer feel the exhaustion that comes with constantly changing your opinions, attitudes, and personality to please others. You’ll no longer feel the need to protect yourself from others. Be authentic with your thoughts, words, and actions.

I hope this helps! I hope you are one step closer to being “set free” Que up Skynard’s Freebird – and know everything is going to be ok. This blog post is a wrap! Till next time. JH

Ground Hog Day Kind of Life

Do you have big plans and aspirations for the future? Do you act on those plans and aspirations each day? Exciting goals are easy to imagine. They even feel good. But putting them into action is another story. Too many people live their lives in a way that only preserves the status quo. There is status quo and then there is a type of Groundhogs Day Life! Ground Hogs day as in the movie starring Bill Murray. In the movie, he woke up every day to live the same day. On awaking the ‘following’ day he discovers that it’s Groundhog Day again, and again, and again.  He lived the same day for what seemed like years. Seeing the same people at the same places and ending the day with like fashion, exactly like all other days. He was stuck and didn’t know what to do. Many of you reading this are also stuck. Stuck in a rut. Stuck in a funk. Stuck in a dead-end job. Whatever the case, breathe…. Smile… you are not alone. So many people live the “Groundhog Day kind of Life” They just happen to think it’s normal. I can’t help but think that we were created for more than the same ole groundhog-day-ned-ryersonsame ole. Am I speaking to you? Do you feel like life has to be more than the nine to five and living for weekend?

So how do we break out of Ground Hog Day? What did Bill Murray’s character (Phil) do? He started trying new things. He started pushing himself to learn new skills, learn new languages and try new things. Here are few suggestions to help you breakout of your routine

Live each day in a way that changes your future:

  1. Imagine your average weekday. Use yesterday as an example, unless something unusual happened.
  • Consider what you ate and drank.
  • How much exercise did you get?
  • What did you do with your social life? Did you spend time with anyone else socially?
  • Did you call any friends?
  • If you’re married, what did you do to enhance your relationship?
  • Did you do anything to increase your income or advance your career?
  • Did you learn anything new that would be useful in the future?
  1. Consider your average weekend. Ask yourself the same questions.
  2. Imagine living those same days over and over for the next 10 years. Where would you end up? Based on your food intake and exercise output, where would you expect your health and body composition to look like in 10 years?
  • Do the same with your finances, social life, marriage, and career. After 10 years of living your average day, what is your prediction?

Let’s use a hypothetical example, Billy Bob.

Billy Bob is in his 40’s. He’s divorced and works as a low-level manager at a large corporation. He’s not in horrible shape, but could stand to lose 20 pounds. He’s saved some money, but he doesn’t save regularly.

Consider Billy Bob’s average day:

On Monday, Billy Bob stops at the local coffee shop on the way to work for a café latte and a muffin. Breakfast sets him back $9 and 1,400 calories, but he has a decent job, so he doesn’t worry about it too much. He figures he deserves it anyway.

He arrives to work somewhere between exactly on time to 15 minutes late. Not late enough to get into any trouble, but a little late is the norm, so people notice. He’s not setting the world on fire at work, but he does enough to keep his job secure. Like most people, he avoids work if he can get away with it. He figures he deserves to be paid more if they want more work.

He eats lunch out of the snack machine and drinks a bottle of water. Water is good for you, he thinks, so it’s not a horrible lunch.

He drives home at 5:00 and watches the news while his frozen dinner is cooking. The meal isn’t healthy, but it’s not too bad either. He eats dinner and surfs the latest dating websites looking for the gal of his dreams. He finds one woman that appeals to him and he pastes the same introduction email he’s sent to 100 women before.

He watches a little more TV and then reads 20 pages from a science fiction novel. He’s feeling industrious, so he washes all the dishes and pays some bills before getting ready for bed. In bed, he plays on his phone and texts his high school friends.

Monday through Friday are similar days. (Groundhog Day)

Where can Billy Bob realistically expect to be in 10 years?

Is your average day remarkably more meaningful and productive? Where will you be in 10 years? Are you living a day that will lead to positive changes in your life? Or are you simply passing the time with short-term comfort in mind?

As you live your day, ask yourself what the long-term implications of your current task are. Does that task matter?

Andy Stanley, a pastor in Atlanta GA has a book entitled The Principle of the Path. In the book, he has a saying that has stuck with me over the years. He writes, “Your direction determines your destination.” I live in North Carolina. If my goal is to drive to Florida, I should not be on Interstate 95 Heading north. Why? It’s simply the wrong direction. I can proclaim and decree my goal of getting to Florida all day long. I can shout it till I’m blue in the face but that fact remains – direction determines destination. It applicable to driving but it’s just as applicable to life. So… What direction are you heading? I that what you wanted in life? If not…. It’s time to change course. Hope this helps J

Grace & Peace, Jeff Hoglen




Living Consciously…Living on Purpose

Do yolife-to-the-fullu sometimes feel like you’re just going through the motions? You get up, go to work, come home, have dinner, watch television, and go to bed. The next day, the routine starts all over again.

But what if you could become more connected with your own experiences? You’d enjoy life more, feel happier and more content, and have more control over your life. By living consciously, you can get back your life! Make a decision now to live more consciously!

What Does it Mean to Live Consciously?

Living consciously involves re-gaining control over your life. Rather than doing something automatically and with no real thought, you’ll ponder what you want to do and how you want to go about it.

Living consciously means you get to see the people you wish to see and take part in the activities you prefer. When you live consciously, you consider what you want to eat and how you want to spend your hour of free time. You discover true freedom of choice.

Living Consciously in Everyday Life

You can see how living consciously ensures you’ll have a more fulfilling life. When you check back in to your own psyche, you’re in the driver’s seat. Sure, you still must arise in the morning, attend work, return home, and dine, but you give yourself more options to choose from in how you go about it.

When you live consciously, you can vary your daily routines or put in something that makes them a little more interesting:

* Maybe you can get up 15 minutes earlier a few times a week to do that exercise DVD you’ve been wanting to get to.

* Tired of eating cold cereal every day? Mix up your routine by having a piece of fresh fruit and some hot oatmeal or something else you’d like.

* Refresh your evenings by taking a walk after dinner, having a rousing conversation with your partner about something funny from the day, or playing with your kids or pets.


When you get to work, talk to the boss about that project you’ve really wanted to do. You’ll re-kindle your interests and experience the satisfaction that comes with consciously working on projects you desire to do.

As you do your routine tasks, concentrate on what you’re doing. Are you doing your best? Have you considered more effective, efficient methods for the tasks or projects at your job? The more you notice what you’re doing, the more you can strive to excel at the job. Living consciously at work can win you promotions.

Free Time

In the evening at home, ponder what you truly want to do. Maybe you want to hang out with the guys in your neighbor’s garage for an hour. Or you really want to take up beading jewelry again.

Thinking consciously enables you to discover that you have the control in your life to do whatever it is that brings you joy, pleasure, and contentment.

Putting It All Together

To live consciously is to cease wasting time doing activities you’re not really interested in. When you make a personal vow to live consciously, you’re opening the door to a new, more joyous existence.

* What do you truly seek?

* With whom do you choose to spend time?

* How can you spend leisure time in ways that re-charge you and bring special joy?

* How can you become more psychologically engaged in your work to increase your performance?

* Are you taking care of your physical self the way you want and obtaining the results you desire?

Your answers to these questions will lead you down the path of conscious living… living on purpose… living a life of purpose.

Go ahead and take the first step in your journey toward reclaiming your life today. Say to yourself: “I will live consciously every moment of this day.” Repeat it tomorrow and the day after and embrace the joys of creating the life you desire.


How to Make a Fresh Start in 2017

By Jeff Hoglen


So, here we are on the brink of another new year. The resolutions of years past seem like a distant memory. You either started and stopped or never even took the first step. This year you have determined in your heart that something must change. You’re ready for a fresh start. While your current situation may be challenging, the intention of making a fresh start is a good sign. It’s much better than giving up! Smile… take a deep breath and let’s look at a few things that can help you start and stay on track this new year!

So, what do you need to change? Is it just one area of your life or do you need a complete makeover?

You can make a fresh start in any area of your life:

  1. HOME: Consider giving your living arrangement a makeover. Instead of moving or knocking down walls, let’s start simple:
  • Move the furniture or purchase new furniture.
  • Paint the walls a new color. Maybe even just paint one room, rest and then repeat J
  • Convert a spare room into a room with a purpose. It could be dedicated to music, arts and crafts, or meditation.

2. FINANCES: Look at your current financial challenges and finally address them with a detailed, step-by-step plan you can stick to.

  • Plan for your retirement.
  • Address your debt
  • Find a job with a higher salary.
  • Talk to a financial advisor.
  • Work a second job.
  • Create a budget.

3. SOCIAL LIFE: It’s time to say goodbye to the people in your life that drag you down and replace them with those that provide a boost to your life. Remember: You become like the top 5 people you are around the most.

4. HEALTH: Sheesh….. I’m preaching to myself here.

  • Hire a personal trainer and join a gym if you can.
  • Find a diet that works for you.
  • Address any health issues you might have.
  • Visit the doctor and the dentist.
  • Try a new sport. You never know, you may like hiking or kayaking. Fun + health = win win!

5. CAREER: Here are a few suggestions 🙂

  • Ask for a raise or change jobs.
  • Grab your career by the horns and learn new skills that will make a difference.
  • Consider going back to school.
  • Take a webinar! You wont believe how much you can learn online!
  • Make yourself indispensable. Do so well at what you do…and know more than everyone else… and possess skills that others don’t and you will an asset the company or organization cannot afford to lose.

6. FAITH: Search for truth.

I have found that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and Life. Until I discovered my faith, I had no real purpose or sense of direction. Search for truth, ask good questions and find someone who you can discuss faith. I’m here if you need me. My contact info is below.

These are just a few ideas. You can also address your current relationships, attitude, or fears. It isn’t necessary to change everything at once. In fact, addressing one area at a time will yield better results.

Useful tips for changing your life:

  1. Develop systems that support your desired change. For instance, if you want to meditate daily, create a schedule that ensures you’ll be compliant. Use a timer so you won’t worry about spending too much time or falling asleep.
  2. Visualize the change. See yourself with a healthy body or bank account. Allow yourself to feel successful and proud. Project yourself into the future and enjoy the changes you’ve made.
  3. Be willing to fail from time to time. It’s not easy to change. In fact, your brain is highly resistant to change. You’re doing well enough to be alive, and that’s good enough for your brain. It views any change as potentially dangerous, so it’s not going to allow you to change easily. Expect that you’ll struggle during the process.
  • Commit to persevering. Success will be yours. 
  1. Be kind to yourself. Celebrate each victory, no matter how small. Give yourself a pat on the back when you deserve it. Any progress is great news, so enjoy it.

Making a fresh start can result in a new and exciting experience and even a whole new life. Aim high and be diligent. You’ll be glad you did.

7 Tips to Brighten a Day

7-tips-for-brightening-a-dayA little act of kindness goes a long way. Consider giving one of these tips a try. They are sure to brighten someone’s day!

  1. Send a quick note. It can be a note slyly placed or an actual card sent through the mail.
  2. Make a quick call. It’s enough to simply say that you were thinking about them.
  3. Hold the door open for someone. Instead of asking yourself, “Are they close enough that I should hold open the door?” just hold the door open. I bet you will get a smile.
  4. Send a text.  You’re sure to make someone happy with a simple “Thinking of you!” text.
  5. Give away a copy of your favorite book. You could even leave it on a vacant desk at work with a note, “Thought you’d like this.”
  6. Run an errand for a friend. When someone is busy, any help is greatly appreciated.
  7. Say something encouraging to someone. A little support is always appreciated. In a world that is so negative, encouragement is rare commodity.

Not Reaching Your Goals?


Have you ever asked, “Why do some people seem to get what they want out of life while others do not?” When I look at those who are successful and compare them to the frustrated, I can see some vast differences. My hope is this short blog post will help you navigate some of these common mistakes when it comes to reaching your goals and living your life to the fullest.

 Here are some common pitfalls:

 1. You don’t know what you want. Just because you’re unhappy with your current situation doesn’t mean that you know what you want. It only means that you don’t want what you have.

  • What is the Solution? It’s that simple. Make a list of what you want and structure your life around creating that life and attaining those things. Don’t just make the list in your mind. Write it down!

2. You need to prioritize. Do you really want to reach a financial goal, get physically fit or grow closer to God? (Whatever your chosen goal may be) Or would you rather watch Seinfeld reruns and eat Cheetos at night?

  •  What is the Solution? We all have 24 hours in a day. Maybe the real issue isn’t what you want, but what you’re willing to give up. Getting in shape requires giving up certain foods and giving up some free time. Growing closer to God also requires some self-discipline and time management. How much are you willing to give up to get what you want? Answer that question and you’ll know how much it means to you.

3. Your focus needs more focus. (Great quote by Mr Myagi in the Karate Kid movie) It’s never been easier to get distracted or sidetracked than this day that we live. Modern life is full of digital distractions. Our ability to focus has never been lower.

  •  What is the Solution? Remind yourself of your goals at least twice each day. Read and visualize your goals while you lie in bed, once in the morning and once at night. Keep your intentions fresh in your mind by reminding yourself of them daily.

4. You can’t handle the truth. (Another great movie quote haha) You need a good work ethic! Even the most prestigious accomplishments are a grind 99% of the time. Consider a professional basketball player like Kobe Bryant. There are plenty of stories of Kobe staying after a Friday night game and working with a coach all night long until practice time on Saturday morning.

  • What is the Solution? Regardless of the size of your aspirations, it won’t be exciting 99% of the time. Those that know me, know that I’m not the biggest sports fan. But I do know this: Throwing a touchdown like Tom Brady is fun. Watching thousands of hours of tape all year long is not.
  •  Accept that much of your goal requires actions that won’t be fun or exciting.

5. You’re not focused on processes. Obsessing over your weight isn’t the key to getting slimmer. Everything in life has a process. My youngest son once said – “Dad not everything is a process!” My reply was simply, “Everything is a process whether we realize it or not.” From driving a car, to making breakfast and yes, even using the bathroom has a process.

  •  What is the Solution? Define the process needed to reach your goal. Create a list of “steps” that point you toward success. Make steps toward your goal ever day!

6. You’re impatient. Success at anything takes time. Depending on your objective, you might find that your sixth month provides more results than the first five months. It’s not unlike trying to roll a boulder down a hill. It can take a lot of energy to get it moving, but it quickly picks up speed with minimal effort after that.

  •  What is the Solution? After making a plan… work the plan….and then trust the process. If you’re doing effective things each day, you’ll eventually get to where you want to go. Avoid giving in to your frustration. Be patient.

Life can be frustrating and challenging. It can be especially frustrating when nothing seems to go your way. Know what you want and have a logical plan to achieve it. Have the patience to wait for the results to arrive. You can do it.