"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover."  

- Mark Twain

Leaving college and going back home felt like the last chapters of my life were unfolding.  My five years in Waco had been punctuated by a rebirthing both spiritually and relationally.  The hallmark of returning to where I came from seemed like the end to both.  

Of course, it wasn’t. But it took me a while to figure that out.

I had a few lifelines:

  • a job that became a career
  • a girl that would become my wife
  • a ministry that turned into a lifestyle
  • sailing

While the first three are a little more obvious, crewing for a family that raced J class boats on Wednesday nights brought adventure, joy, and untethered me from the shore that seemed to embody so much of what I had spent my life trying to escape.  There was a level of freedom and permission into life that felt life saving at the time.

Untethered from the shore, but deeply connected to the Father.

While I do have a couple of friends who are capable sailors, I’ve spent very little time on the deck of a sailboat since.  But ten years ago, an e-mail crashed the shore of my inbox and became another rescue that I didn’t know I needed.

A man who is involved in a similar men’s ministry as mine was chartering a boat to sail from Cay to Cay off the coast of Belize.  I opened the e-mail and rejected it immediately.  Surely it had come to me by mistake.  I forwarded it to a couple of friends and indicated that I had received their invitation by accident.

How could something this life-giving and joy-inducing possibly be intended for me?  I couldn’t bear to look at the picture of the boat for more than a few seconds.

That tells you a lot about the condition of my heart at the time.

It tells you a lot about my worldview.

It reveals so much of what I misunderstood about the heart of God.

But, I was given permission into that piece of life abundant by both my God and my wife and it changed my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined.  As I was being permission’d so profoundly, I was learning to permission others to find the same.  Now, I am finding that almost every person I encounter is secretly yearning for someone to offer them the same…

  • To do more of the things they love
  • To pursue an audacious dream
  • To love boldly
  • To risk
  • To lead more generously and nobly
  • To take more chances

As we learn to trust the heart of God for us, to feel His permission into the much more abundant life, it gives us the currency to inspire the same in others.




Live and lead boldly.  Love those you employ; parent audaciously.  Believe that the Father wants good and glorious things for you and them.  Know that He delights in your delight.  Risk everything.

“…throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.”


  • What deep desire are you holding onto?
  • What injustice do you want to make right?
  • What is a bold move toward a changed life or reconciliation that you need to take?
  • What is so inspiring and invigorating to you that you almost can’t allow yourself to think about it? 
  • What does that say about your worldview and your understanding of the heart of God towards you?