One of my goals is to be a life-long learner, which is why I really enjoyed this TEDx video on creativity, kids and hackschooling. As the parents of four children, Krista and I have tried hard to figure out the “secret sauce” for what makes each one of our kids tick. And without naming names, our four kids love school, hate school, like school and tolerate school.

But school does not always equal learning, creativity or education, which is why I hope you’ll be inspired by 13 year old Logan LaPlante and his creative approach to learning in this TEDx talk. If you have children, especially teenagers, this is a great video to watch as a family and discuss. If you have a creative team, build into their lives by having a conversation about the importance of lifelong learning. Click here to leave a comment now.

Thanksgiving is Good for Your Health

Thanksgiving Grace is an inspiring video produced by Mark Perez & Grove Films.
Click here to watch now.

No matter how much you eat this Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is good for your health. I’m not talking about massive amounts of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes or a second helping of pumpkin pie.

I want to invite you to a much more satisfying meal that’s good for your health: a Thanksgiving of the heart. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever. (Psalm 118:1) A steady diet and exercise of Thanksgiving does wonders for your heart, mind and body. And thanksgiving is essential for cultivating a beautiful life. Here’s why… Read on.

Stay Focused on Your Finish Line

Stayfocusedonyourfinishline2 Stay Focused on Your Finish Line

Two weeks ago, I had to keep telling myself to stay focused on my finish line. I was slugging it out in the half-marathon portion of the 70.3 Ironman triathlon event in Augusta, Georgia. Earlier that morning, I swam 1.2 miles and rode 56 miles through the South Carolina and Georgia countryside, but now my legs were saying, “Enough!” At least I had two legs to run on. (Don’t mock the tights…I get enough from my eighth grader!)

Whether you are in a race or not, when you’re struggling, perspective is everything, which is why you need to stay focused on your finish line. There are people in your life who are looking to you for inspiration and who need you to persevere. Read on…

I Love Being the Father of the Bride

fatherofthebride I Love Being the Father of the Bride
Last Saturday, I had the incredible honor of becoming “The Father of the Bride.” What is there not to love about being the Father of the Bride? My oldest daughter, Janae, married the love of her life, a fine young gentleman (the whole O’Connor family loves) named Jonathan Kirchner. For all of you, my Art, Life & Faith friends, you know one of my deepest desires is to help you cultivate a beautiful life. Today is my privilege to share one of the most beautiful days of my life. Read on…

A Prayer for When You Don’t Know How to Pray

whenyoudontknowwhattopray A Prayer for When You Dont Know How to Pray

Do you ever feel like you don’t know how to pray? Or what to pray? If I was sitting in church or a classroom, I hope I wouldn’t be the only guy to raise my hand. I try to make it a regular practice to get up early in the morning, make my first cup of coffee and sit in the leather chair in my office to pray and read. It’s my first step into sanity for the day because I know how easy it is for me to get derailed throughout the day. But that’s just me…

Honestly, there are so many days when I’ve got so much on my mind that all that seems to pour out of my heart to God is, “Blaaa–eeech!”  I wonder if my prayers look like me swinging a thin little broomstick at all chest-beating gorillas in my mind? If there are days when you don’t know how or what to pray, I have a beautiful prayer I want to share with you. It comes from Brennan Manning, one of my favorite authors. Read on…

I Love You Unconditionally…On One Condition! (Free PDF)

Happy Valentine’s Day! To get you in that lovin’ mood, I hope you’ll love a free PDF of the introduction of my marriage humor book, I Love You Unconditionally…On One Condition! Can love be funny? You bet! But more importantly, creating the right conditions in your marriage is essential for a long and satisfying marriage. Read on…

iloveyouunconditionally I Love You Unconditionally...On One Condition! (Free PDF)

Are You Grateful for the Gift of Friends?

[Y]esterday I had a wonderful conversation with my buddy Roy Cochran, a dear friend of mine who leads a ministry for worship leaders and artists called the Worship Mentor Network. We had just come from a Grove planning meeting with Monty Kelso and Sherri Alden (also dear friends!) at Hidden House Coffee for an upcoming Grove Worship Leader Getaway.

Celebratingthegiftoffriendship Are You Grateful for the Gift of Friends?As we stood in the gardens on Los Rios Street just talking and watching the sun go down, the warm light danced through the sycamore and eucalyptus trees. It was one of those reflective moments framed by the gift of friends and the breathtaking beauty of the waning day. After a hug and a goodbye, I got in my car to get home before dark to take my seventh-grade son, Aidan, out with some friends for Halloween trick-n-treating. I called home to check in and what I heard next broke my heart…horrors of horrors on Halloween! Read on…

3 Steps to Overcoming Perfectionism: The Ultimate Creativity Killer

[P]erfectionism is the ultimate creativity killer. Its roots, to name a few, are fear, insecurity, control, and shame that walks a thread-bare tightrope between the chasms of avoiding pain and fear of rejection. Perfectionism stalls projects. It divides people and creative teams. It increases tentativeness, uncertainty, and doubt. I said it’s a creativity killer, didn’t I?

Perfectionism stands in stark contrast to artistic excellence, integrity and wholeness. Not only has it stifled kid’s creativity, creative freedom in many careers and the joy that comes with creating, it also creates heartache in many companies, friendships, marriages, and raising children. At it’s worst, perfectionism is not only the ultimate creativity killer. It is also the ultimate relationship killer. Read on…

dontwaitforperfectconditions 3 Steps to Overcoming Perfectionism: The Ultimate Creativity Killer

Introducing Creative Coaching & Mentoring

[E]ver since I was young boy, I’ve had many, many coaches and mentors. Little league coaches. Volleyball coaches. My dad as a coach and mentor. Teachers, counselors and professors. Writing coaches. Ministry mentors. Coaches and mentors who’ve become personal friends. And personal friends who’ve coached and mentored me in many aspects of my life. If there is one word that summarizes the role of these important people in my life, it is this: Cultivate.

creativecoachingmentoring1 1024x1024 Introducing Creative Coaching & Mentoring

A Wedding and A Funeral

I hope you’re having a great summer! Now it’s my family’s turn! I’ll be on vacation and off the grid for the next eight days. I wanted to leave you with one of the most popular posts that I wrote last year. It struck a nerve with many people who read it. I’d love your thoughts too. It’s about Kelly my niece, her wedding and some things I learned after attending a wedding and a funeral. Here’s a happy little ending…Kelly and Nick have been married for almost a year now…and they’re now expecting a little baby! If you know someone attending a summer wedding…or funeral…I hope you’ll be inspired to pass it on. I think there’s little reminders in here for everyone.


[L]ast Saturday, I went to my niece’s
wedding. It was an event our family has eagerly been waiting for all summer long. Kelly Dale, the bride, was gorgeous and Nick Giuni, the groom (a San Clemente City Lifeguard) looked smashing! The next Monday, though, I attended a funeral. A wedding and a funeral in three days…that’s a whole lot of emotion! Each gathering was filled with beautiful moments, but for different reasons. Allow me to explain…Kelly Parker 228x300 A Wedding and A Funeral