There is Something Great Ahead of You.

“You have amazing things ahead of you!”

These were the words spoken to me many years ago. Not just from one person but many. They all said it in their own way and they all said at different times. The baseball coach, basketball coach, the English teacher, the history teacher, the mom, the dad, the swim team coach, the pastor and even friends! I can’t get over how many people have spoken into my life and still do to this day.

When is the last time you looked at someone into their eyes and said, “You have amazing things ahead of you!?” Isn’t it up to us to shine a light on their path to make that possible? Shouldn’t we be hopeful for the future by knowing we have a part to play in it?

Hey, the future of our country and children do not rest solely on them. It’s up to us to plant the seed that will one day grow into something more than we could ever ask or imagine.


An Open Letter to Mike Rowe. Let’s tear up the white and blue collars and start over.

Dear Mike Rowe,

You don’t know me and I know you. That’s ok, I won’t hold that against you. Nor would you hold that against me. Maybe that is what makes us alike. In fact, when I look at what I do and what you have done, maybe we aren’t far apart as some want us to believe. You see, society wants us to believe that a senior marketing professional and a ‘dirty jobs’ resume represent a great divide possibly as large as the Grand Canyon itself.
I don’t buy it.
The root of these two tracks may begin differently but the success of those who travel both provide an insight into what makes them successful. Passion, knowledge, poise, swagger, inspiration and humility…to name a few. I have seen these characteristics from my humble upbringing in a small city in Vermont all the way to the financial districts of Tokyo. As a result, I appreciate the man slinging trash from our bin as much as I appreciate the young professional writing the 29th press release of the week when it is just Tuesday.
In an ode to dirty professions let us both declare that there are many dirty professionals in which society wants to make a hierarchy of, yet, we know better. Pouring over data can be burdensome and tiring and so can  sifting over hours of unknown recyclables and discarded items forgotten by the many and revisited by the few.
No, I won’t accept that dirty jobs are somehow divided by the color of the collar. White OR Blue. Instead, let’s recognize that the jobs no one else wants to do and the successful measure we weigh them by is about the same common ingredients. Passion, knowledge, poise, swagger, inspiration and humility…again…to name a few.
I love what I do and so should everyone else. I am thankful for the many that help to make my life work in the way it does. There are so many I don’t know; from the person who sprints among the homes reading my electrical meter to the woman who decides that it is time for my taxes to have their audit. These are not people we necessarily hope for, yet, they are people that make our lives turn for the better.
Mike Rowe, thanks for making clarity and purpose out of roles we often dismiss. We appreciate your stories that acknowledge these people. We appreciate you elevating our own, seemingly, meaningless tasks in a world that only reward those on TV. I am glad we acknowledge those who make a difference and serve a purpose.
Keep it up Mike.
~matt gosselin, a purposeful marketing professional

Your Direction, Your Story.


According to Nike+ the life of my current running shoes is just about over. On a recent run along a beautiful bike path in Florida, I noticed a harder-than-usual impact on my feet. Thanks to Steve Jobs and the folks at Nike, this is the first time in my life that I have been able to source my shoes’ mileage. My app showed them clocking in at just under 400 miles.

As I ran, I began thinking about the great number of stories these shoes could tell.  They would speak of half marathons, the Disney Marathon and unforgettable landscapes in Hawaii and Colorado. They would remember the treadmill on the 28th floor overlooking the Miami cityscape. They would reminisce of sand crabs running back into their holes on a dirt-packed trail in Vero Beach, FL.

Yes, shoes tell great stories.

  • The sturdy Keds shoes of Grandma Gatewood are on display at the Appalachian Trail Museum telling the story of her 2,170 journey becoming the first woman to thru-hike the famous trail at the young age of 67.
  • It is estimated that the sandals of Jesus walked over 20,000 miles during his lifetime (from the ages 4-33).
  • A new pair of shoes are crowned king as the smelliest shoes in America in a Rotten Sneakers Contest, a contest that began in 1975 in Montpelier, Vermont. The shoes are owned by kids 13 years-old and younger and the winners often reveal amazing stories about their journeys in their tattered and rotten shoes.
  • The famous red ruby slippers that can be seen at the National Museum of American History of Washington D.C. These shoes represent much more than the Wizard of Oz film. They speak of a journey in search of finding your heart’s desire only to discover that you don’t have to look any further than your own backyard.

What would happen if we envisioned what stories our next shoes would tell next? After all, Jesus knew where his sandals were going and Grandma Gatewood was ready to hit the trail before she laced up her Keds. What if I determined where my shoes would take me instead of strapping them on and seeing where they led?

This is your season. Choose your direction and run.

Plant. Water. Grow.


We are co-workers in God’s field each with but one purpose.

One plants the seed. One waters it.

God makes it grow. (1 Cor. 3:7)

There is beauty in understanding that we serve a great purpose in God’s kingdom.  As I read through 1 Corinthians I thought of the small garden boxes we built in our backyard. I made each of the 4-foot boxes out of cedar boards, filled them with soil and each season our family decides what we are going to grow. Occasionally our 5-year-old, Emma Grace, uses a small tin can to help me water them. Aiden and Evan will help to pull weeds.

We are still learning. We tried growing corn and cucumbers with minimal results. Our carrots and any herbs we plant not only thrive but we get great use out of them. Since we began doing this four years ago we have both success and loss. Yet, there is still a sense of accomplishment in it. There is a sense of purpose that compels us to plant the following season.

A farmer I am not, but any farmer will tell you that it takes faith to plant, water and wait. It takes spiritual wisdom to understand that while grains of dirt become stuck under the beds of our fingernails, it is our Creator that makes it grow. We are reminded in Genesis 2 that at one time no plant had sprung up on earth because God had not sent rain to the earth. Once he created Adam,  God planted the great Garden of Eden and the great partnership began.

There are times in my career life when I have been planting and watering and have had great joy in doing so. There have been seasons when the planting and watering simply felt like, well,  just work. Then, there is waiting. Waiting for God to make it grow. This is not only the season I am currently in but its characteristics–patience and faith–need the most growth. In this realization, I have joy in knowing that I am exactly where I need to be.

Many are in this same season right now. We are faced with two choices. We can choose to listen to the world and its direction for us. The world will tell us that we aren’t good enough, we are failing, we aren’t loved and supported. The world will give us reasons to doubt and to show anger in place of love and forgiveness. We are not perfect, so we will experience times of doubt, temptation and loss of purpose. However, I don’t serve a god of doubt, temptation and loss of purpose.

I serve a God of love, hope and purpose so that in Him, we do not have to “grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)  I will choose a path of greater spiritual gain. This path produces perseverance, character and hope. Let our purpose and faith in God guide us into our next season.

Lord, let us find purpose and faith as you guide us into our next season.


Further Reading:

  • Genesis 2:4
  • Isaiah 61:3
  • 1 Corinthians 3:7
  • Galatians 6:9
  • Romans 5:3

#grow #purpose #purposedrivenlife #donotgrowweary #beautyfromashes #transition #transformation


What’s Your Problem?

Inspiration concept crumpled paper light bulb metaphor for good idea
I once heard that people with small souls have small problems:

  • How do I get rid of my wrinkles?
  • What do I do about my pesky neighbors?

People with big souls look to solve big problems:

  • How do we end hunger in impoverished countries?
  • How do we stop human trafficking?
  • What is the proper way to place the new toilet paper roll? (Just kidding)

Have you paused your life long enough to sit down to think about exactly what problem you are trying to solve? There are no wrong answers. Yes, this is the ‘why I am here?’ question. Yet we aren’t waxing philosophy here. It is steeped in a desire for action. Are we set on solving problems bigger than ourselves? Are we working toward solutions that have a lasting impact? Have we found others to collaborate with and keep us on task?

I ask again, What’s your problem?

To accomplish these monumental feats in life, keep these points in mind:

  • Passion is only noticeable when action is applied to it
  • Many will aim for consistency and endurance but most drop out of the race
  • Those we surround ourselves with look a lot like our progress (or lack thereof)
  • Take a deliberate and quarterly look in the mirror
  • A golf ball hit centimeters away from the club’s sweet spot can land a ball many yards from the hole
  • Calculate and agree on the possible side effects of less-than-perfect execution. These mistakes often make the best lessons

Enjoy your problem-solving journey. We will all be better off for it.

#problems #inspiration #solutions #legacy

Move Me

Not many people know the name of Ananias. He was a disciple of Christ shown to us in the book of Acts, Chapter 9. Jesus told him to restore the sight of Saul (Paul). “But Lord, I have heard many reports of this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people,” he said. As if Jesus didn’t already know. Guess what Jesus said?


I wonder how many times God has told me to “Go!” but I stayed just where I was? I can easily count dozens of those times. Hey, I had plenty of excuses like “that doesn’t make sense,” or “the world is telling me differently” or my favorite ‘go-to’ excuse, “that is not a comfortable or convenient move for me right now Lord.”
I wonder how many opportunities I have missed. We serve a God of amazing change. He wants us to be a changed life so we can change lives. He loves us to meet us exactly where we are but changes our hearts so he can move us to where we should be.
Thank you for never giving up on me Lord.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24

#DontStayTheSame #DontWait #ChangedLives #bookofacts #changedlives 

Look at What God Told Me on This Resurrection Sunday

“When you walk, your step will not be hampered; and if you run, you will not stumble.”  – Proverbs 4:12

I decided to go for a run just a little while ago. Running has always provided me with an opportunity to pray, yet I’m no marathoner like I want to be. You can take that literally or figuratively. 

On this run I apologized to the Lord for thinking about some of my own issues on a day that is really about Him. I turned the corner, walked a block and looked up. The picture on the left is what I saw.


I wish you could have seen it from the angle I first did. It was even better defined then what the photo shows. Then it was gone. We have been here for 5 years and I had never seen that shadow cast before.

It could have been His reminder that today is exactly about my issues. And yours. Or it could have been a reminder that in everything He is with us.

Our kids often ask us if we can see God. I love this question. There are so many scriptures to point to, so many things in life to reference and creations of this world to point to. I love this question because it tells me they are searching for Him. Just yesterday, Nicole was in the elevator at Real Life and Pastor Justin Landrum got in.

“Is that Jesus?” Emma Grace asked. Nicole was somewhat prepared for the embarrassment as we had seen Justin walked past us earlier and Emma Grace shouted “Jesus!”

It is a tough thing for a child to understand the spirit of God. It may be even tougher for an adult to understand. Or maybe we just want Him to physically be with us all of the time; I’m not saying He doesn’t visit with us in that way from time to time.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16

I’ve really enjoyed these moments over the last five years when God has personally spoken to me. It seems to be happening more and more lately; or at least I hope it is happening more frequently. Maybe He is not speaking to me more at all. Maybe I am simply a better listener. I am hoping we are all learning to be better listeners. After all, we have a lot of questions but He has even more answers.

Either way in this case, it is what I needed to ‘hear.’ Maybe seeing IS believing.