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God is For You!

God is For You!

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WE ADOPTED BOTH our wonderful kids—Micah and Ashley—at birth. Some grieve over the thought of not being able to give birth naturally, but Beth and I believe that, eight years into our marriage, it was God’s will to build our family through adoption. Like all families we’ve had ups and downs, good times and bad, but through it all they are my kids and I love them. It’s difficult for me to quantify just how much. We tell them, “You were born of our prayers.”

When I got the call that Micah had been born, I was at my office, before the days of cell phones. I did have a car phone, so I jumped in the car to go home, but was so excited that I drove in circles as I tried to get a hold of Beth and thought about what I needed from my office. I can recall details about each one. I remember the first time I held that six-pound, ten-ounce baby boy. It was love at first sight. At just two days old he stole my heart as I stared into his piercing blue eyes. From the beginning he has been alert, fun, energetic, curious, and loving—all qualities I love about him.

As I held him, I experienced a kind of love that was new and that has grown deeper and richer through the years. Although I had taught about how much God loves us before this, in that moment I began to understand the sort of love for another that is totally and completely dependent on you. He was my son; I was his dad and he was home.

Then, two and a half years later, God brought Ashley into our lives. She was born on Easter Sunday, two weeks after her original due date. She has always taken her time and it has always been worth the wait. She had beautiful brown hair, brown eyes, and olive-colored skin. When I held her, she held me back. She melted into my arms. On Ashley’s Gotcha’ Day, the day we brought her home two days after her birth, the major news was a freak April Fool’s Day blizzard in the northeastern United States that dumped rain, sleet, and snow from Maryland to Maine, leaving hundreds of thousands without power and as much as three feet of snow on the ground. But at the Holland house the major news was Ashley. Forgetting it was April’s Fool Day, I called Beth to tell her the news of Ashley’s birth. I had to first convince her that this was not a cruel April Fool’s joke. Before her birth, I was scheduled to speak in a citywide outreach halfway across the country. Because Ashley went past her original due date I canceled that speaking engagement. I wanted to be able to tell her and her brother that they have always been more important to me than even ministry and I’m glad that I did.


In a world of nearly eight billion people, only one boy is my son and only one girl is my daughter. As I held them I knew that I would love them and provide for them, but they didn’t know that.


“I love you more than anything in the whole wide world,” I whispered in their little ears as I tucked them into bed each night. Micah, holding onto his pacifier with his teeth, would shorten “I love you” and say, “I…you.” Ashley would say, “I love you mucho.” To this day we can say or text, “Mucho!” and we know it means that’s how much we love each other. Today our kids are adults, and I love them more now than the day they were born. Whatever life brings their way, whatever challenges they might face, I want them to know they can always count on me to do the best thing for them. I want them to know they are significant and my love is secure. It’s mucho!

God also adopted us as His kids. John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, wrote,

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1

We are His children. God wants even greater and better things for all of His kids, as I do mine. In fact, the more we come to understand and believe that God is for us, the more it will impact the way we think, and the more we will develop a healthy mindset. How you live is a direct response to how you think, and how you think is based on what you believe.

Choose to believe the promises of God. Those promises are for you.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” —John 15:16

To continue reading about the Power of Mindset click here:

To read more on the power of belief order a copy of my book 70 Seconds: Stop Wandering; Start Living and Leading!  For free shipping until the end of January, visit


“In 70 Seconds, Dan Holland takes a refreshing look at one of God’s seminal lessons for life and leadership. In today’s world we are often left wondering how to interpret the scriptures God has left for us, in this book Dan Holland does an amazing job of showing us a modern-day biblical perspective that is not only highly applicable, but interesting and entertaining. I highly encourage you to read it and apply these principles to your life.” Nick Nanton, Esq. – EMMY® Award Winning Director/Producer, Wall St. Journal Best-Selling Author

Free shipping until the end of January visit My book is also available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle version. 


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The Power of Mindset

I find it most interesting that God has given humans the ability to choose. Even when it seems that all ability to choose has been removed, it remains that I can choose my response. We can choose what to think, how to act, and which attitudes we will nurture. The God-given ability to choose must be given away; it cannot be taken. It must be relinquished of our own free will.  

The English Oxford Dictionary defines mindset as “the established set of attitudes held by someone.” To me, the sum of a person’s mindset comes from a person’s beliefs, and those beliefs determine our thoughts. Your thoughts are like the settings on a thermostat because they act as unequivocal set points—the temperature at which the switch is activated. If temperature is below the set point, the heater is on and the temperature rises. When the rising temperature passes the set point, the thermostat switches the heater off and the temperature falls passively.

The Christian is asked to be a thermostat, not a thermometer. We are to set the temperature, not report the temperature. Even when others are unreliable, untrustworthy or unfaithful, we are called to be reliable, credible, trustworthy, steadfast, and in a word, faithful. Why? Because God is faithful to His promise, even when we are not.

Eventually, the temperature falls below the set point and the cycle repeats. What is your setting? Is your mind set to please God or yourself? Who is Lord and Master? The Bible teaches us to take care what we are thinking, since it might, in fact, be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Our direction in life springs from our hearts, so we need to govern our hearts and minds continually. This principle is most clearly stated in Proverbs 4:23:

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (ESV).

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (NLT).

What you feel and think in your heart is who you truly are. The heart is like a mirror. You are not what you see when you look at yourself from the outside; what you truly are is seen from the inside. You are not who others think you are, but rather who you think you are. Reset your heart as you would a thermostat.

Your mindset is the beginning point for this new life.

To read more on the power of mindset order a copy of my book 70 Seconds: Stop Wandering; Start Living and Leading!  For free shipping until the end of January, visit


“Regardless of your current circumstances, 70 Seconds will inspire you by revealing sound principles and practical actions you can take to improve your leadership abilities as a Christ follower.  Dan’s book is readable, insightful and provocative for all aspiring leaders who are dissatisfied with the status quo and determined to improve their leadership skills and the lives of believers around them.”  – Bob Russell, Former Senior Minister, Southeast Christian Church

Free shipping until the end of January visit My book is also available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle version. 


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Your Life in One Day, Part 2

Your Life in One Day, Part 2

Thinking of my entire life in terms of one 24-hour day has brought me valuable perspective. Really, every day is a battle for perspective. 

That’s the point of my blog post Your Life in One Day, Part 1. Check it out here: 

I ended part one by saying: It’s time to move forward. Let’s take it one step further. Sometimes we may wonder if we are living our very best.

For example, maybe we wonder if things shouldn’t be moving faster and we may get the feeling that we’re somehow falling behind. Or we may worry that life has passed us by.  We may even find ourselves feeling discontent and saying things like, “When I get a real job, or maybe a different job, then things will be great.” Or, “As soon as I can afford to retire things will be great.” Or, “Things were great when…I was younger…I lived in a different place.” Before you know it you’ve lost perspective about the life God has given you. Whenever we lose sight of what God is doing, we can easily become worried about the future, regretful of the past or doubt ourselves in the present. 

As I worked through my life in one day, I came across a speech called Decade by Decade in which Bobb Biehl shares what we might expect at each decade or phase of life. Bobb is an author, speaker and executive mentor and has produced more than 65 tools for leadership, management, and life. I found this speech to be particularly helpful for giving me context for both my life as well as that of my adult children. I hope it’s helpful to you too! Here is my summary and if you care to watch his talk the link is at the end of the blog. 

To make it easier for you to think of your life in terms of one day I’ve matched each decade with the corresponding time of day from part one of Your Life in One Day.

Birth to 10 years old – 7:00am-9:00am

  • SECURITY is the most important thing for all children. Children need to hear “I love you” and “I’m proud of you.”

10 to 20 years old – 9:00am-11:00am

  • SELF seems to be the driving factor in the way 10 to 20 year olds view the world. If you have kids in this age range, one way he suggests to help him or her develop a healthy perspective of both themselves and others in the world is to send him or her on a mission trip to serve others. This could also be accomplished by serving others throughout your community in a variety of ways including such things as mowing a widow’s yard, visiting someone who’s lonely, or donating a blanket or coat for someone in need. 

20’s – 11:00am-1:00pm

  • SURVIVAL is the key word for those at this time of life. If this is you, you probably wonder if you can survive in the adult world. During this time decide what you don’t want to do. Spend this time of life learning about yourself and others. Start saving 10% of your income. Discover if you’re are a goal-setter, problem solver or opportunity seizer. Bobb says that only 15% of the population tend to be goal setters, 80% are problem solvers, 5% seize opportunities. If you’d like more context click on the link below to listen to his speech. 

30’s – 1:00pm-3:00pm

  • SUCCEED is the key word for those in their 30s. People in this time of life are driven to succeed, almost with a sense of urgency. At the same time that they are raising kids, they are working hard to get things done ‘before it’s too late’. It’s recommended that you schedule balance into your life and that you get a mentor. Also, embrace the struggle that’s likely to show up between the ages of 37-43 when you wonder, “Is what I’m doing making a difference?” 

40s – 3:00pm-5:00pm 

  • STRUGGLE and SIGNIFICANCE are key words for those in their 40s. Resist the temptation to define yourself by your life’s work. Understand that this is just a phase of your life and not your entire life.

50s – 5:00pm-7:00pm 

  • Now your hitting your STRIDE! Don’t waste the time! If you’re in your 50’s, Bobb recommends becoming a mentor to someone in their 30’s. Also, relax and realize that while you desire success, this will likely be the third most productive decade of your life. If you’re hiring for a position, you might consider hiring someone between the ages of 50-53 because they are just hitting their stride.

60s – 7:00pm-9:00pm 

  • STRATEGIC is the key word for those in their 60s. This has proven to be the most productive decade in terms of the greatest income and influence. Rather than slowing down, consider how the Lord might use you in ways that take advantage of your unique life’s experience. 

70s – 9:00pm-11:00pm 

  • SUCCESSION is the key word for those in their 70s. This is the second most productive decade of a person’s life. If you’re here keep your estate plan updated. Take time to write out memories and advice for your family and friends. Keep mentoring. 

80s – 11:00pm-1:00am 

  • SLIPPERY seems to be the key word because so much can happen at this time of life. As I’m writing this, I just returned from visiting with Olive, who is 96 years old. Her mind is sharp, her faith is inspiring, her attitude is contagious. If I am blessed to live another 40 years, I hope that I am just like her in mind, faith and attitude. 

I’ll conclude with two thoughts from scripture that apply to all of us regardless where we are in life: 

First, “Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” (Colossians 3:17, The Message) Regardless where you are, be thankful to God. Not necessarily FOR the circumstances, but while your IN the circumstances be thankful. Live for Jesus Christ. 

Second, “If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.” (James 1:5-8, The Message)

My big take-aways from this passage are: FOCUS! Follow One Course Until Successful. Also, BE BOLD in your conversation with God beacuse he loves to help you do what he’s asked you to do.  


Click here if you want to make a difference:

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(Bobb Biehl’s Decade by Decade –


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Impossible-Hard-Inevitable Stuff


Speak of the impossible and someone might say: “It’s not impossible – it just hasn’t been done yet.”

As true as that might be, you sometimes face situations that you feel are impossible.

Or perhaps inevitable might be a better word to describe some situations. You feel like something is inevitable and hard at the same time and you would like nothing more than to avoid that situation. Maybe you know what I’m talking about.

When you are in a hard-inevitable situation, have you ever asked God for something impossible, such as stopping the inevitable? Me too! In fact, whenever Jesus came face to face with the hard, yet inevitable suffering and death by crucifixion, he did as well. In fact, the way he talked to God in that moment has often guided the difficult prayers that I have prayed. More precisely, the prayers were not difficult, but the circumstances in which I found myself were indeed difficult.

The model I personally use in such times is Jesus’ prayer(s) in Gethsemane. To say that he was facing a difficult situation would be the understatement of all time. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” were his exact words. You’ve heard his words but have you noticed the clarity?

First read his prayer…then pray your prayer following his example.

“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36

First, pray intimately. After all you are speaking to your heavenly Father.

Second, pray expecting that God can and will answer…acknowledge his power: “Everything is possible for you.”

Third, pray specifically. Don’t be chicken. Don’t concern yourself with how it sounds. You’re talking to your Father and you are desperate! Pray! Ask! Seek! Knock!

Finally, pray better than you are. All I mean by that is this: when life is said and done you will be glad that you lived in God’s will. You will never regret asking that God’s will be done before your own. So in every bold prayer say this: “Yet (even though I have asked for some things I would like/prefer) not what I will, but what you will be done.” Accept his will above your own.

I learned from a wise woman…and sometimes it is this simple: “You have not because you ask not.”

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Posted by on February 12, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Taking Stock

ImageOn 1/31 look at Gn 1:31 “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.” (Ge 1:31)

On the final day of creation – which just happens to be the final verse of Genesis chapter one – God looked back over his handy work and declared that it was very good. It was so good that on the following day he rested!

Well, today is the last day of the first month of 2014! Stopping to evaluate the first month isn’t a bad idea. In fact it can be quite helpful.

When you look back over the first month can you say it was very good? Are you headed the direction you had hoped for? Would you grade January as average, good, or excellent? What things did you plan to do and in fact you did them? What opportunities came along that you are glad that you took ahold of? Are there some important lessons you learned that you should write down in your journal? What are some “do betters” for the month of February?

Now say a prayer thanking God for all the things that went well and ask for His help in the areas where you need it.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Phil 4:6

Try not to be too narrowly focused as you look over the past month. For example, Think about all aspects of your life: marriage, parenting, financially, friends (are you meeting new people), family, education, physically (confession: I need to step it up in this area), educationally (are you reading and learning anything), attitude (are you joyful, at peace, friendly, etc), spiritually (Are you loving God by being content and thankful to Him for where you are in life? Are you loving your neighbor as yourself?). You get the point. I have also found it to be quite encouraging to list your blessings, speak them out loud.

I’ll end with a quote from the movie The Shawshank Redemption – just because I like it – “You need to get busy living or get busy dying.”


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Strong Leader

Strong Leader01Have you ever had someone say something to you that was so true it made you stop the conversation, or at least pause for a moment, just to think about what had just been said?  I had one of those exact experiences a few years ago, and I’ve tried to live up to it since.

Here is what happened: I was on the phone with a trusted friend and mentor that lives in Miami.  We were discussing solutions to some challenges I was facing and that is when he said it.  He spoke in a deliberate tone: “If you want to work with strong leaders then be one.”

I’ll never forget that moment.  I was so grateful and at the same time I wanted to yell, “Ouch…that hurt!”  Although I agreed with him the impact felt like I had hit a speed bump to quickly.  The kind of speed bump that almost brings you to a stop while your car rolls up and over the “bump.”  That one comment stopped me cold in my tracks.  In that instance I had to slow down while I finished getting over that thought.

My friend was dead on accurate:  Leaders are people who think of solutions and act.  Leaders not only can identify a problem but feel the burden to bring a solution to the problem.  Be the person in your family, office, or team that spends the necessary time to think through a problem long enough to think new thoughts about possible solutions.  Expect the leaders around you to do the same.  The fact is that whenever you live as a strong leader you find yourself in the company of other strong leaders.  You will either attract them to you or you will be attracted to them.  It’s probably both.  Pretty cool deal for sure.

I have the privilege of working with a lot of strong leaders…and hopefully so do you.  About six months ago at one of our staff meetings we went over some guiding principles, the kind that really resonate in the heart of those who want to lead well.  If memory serves me, I think that lead pastor Justin Miller gave the list.  The basic points are his, the commentary is mine.  Anyway, here is the list.  I hope that these thoughts are helpful and inspiring.

1. There is a clear difference between processes and people.  A strong leader will fix systems and deal with individuals.

2. Planning and preparation are key to success in most anything.  Sweat before or sweat during.  The weekend is won or lost by Friday.  In other words, before you get to an event or meeting you can feel confident when you have planned and prepared well.

3. Be people focused on the weekends.  Regardless of the type of business, in the end it comes down to people business.  I joke that ministry would be so fantastic if only we didn’t have to deal with people.  Of course that would be true for most businesses.  Of course what is also true is that if it weren’t for people, you would be out of business.  My guess is that its as easy for electricians and pastors alike to forget that we are in the people business.

4. Take ownership for all we do.  Take responsibility for being heard, don’t assume people know.

5. Back of house and team preparedness sets the tone for everyone.  Remember that everyone in your organization matters.  For one thing their attitude matters because it will come through in their interactions with those you serve.  That is why it really matters for you to have conversations with everyone in your organization.  Your people need to know what matters to you.  Not just one speech to your team at Christmastime, but lots of conversations all of the time.

6. Follow up promptly, accurately and tactfully.  In other words, keep your word…do what you said you’d do. The secrets to success aren’t secrets at all: Say thank you and please, smile, show up on time, and keep your word.  Four easy things that anyone can do and there free!  Does anyone remember the red Staples Easy button?

7. Spend time on the ground with your sleeves rolled up.  Don’t depend solely on reports from those you lead.  Get into their world and understand what it takes to get things done that you as a leader expect to have done.  That is exactly what happens in the television show Undercover Boss.  Awesome…  Imagine that your boss, I mean the big dog in your company is working next to you.  Would you work, act, or speak differently then you currently do?

That’s all: If you want to work with strong leaders, then be one.

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Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Leadership, Uncategorized


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The Tortoise and the Hare


Have you lived long enough to know the value of patience and perseverance?  Do you believe that the good stuff in life comes only through endurance and long-suffering?

We like the story of the Tortoise and the Hare because in the end the improbable happens…the tortoise wins!

The slow unimpressive turtle won against a much quicker, more impressive opponent rabbit.  He didn’t win because he was slow or because he was entitled to win.  He endured, didn’t quit and eventually crossed the finish line…in first place.  He won because he applied the principle of steady plodding. 

Leaders generally agree with the importance of persistence and grit.  Yet how often have you looked for another way?  Is there another way?  Of course there is.  There is the way of the Hare!  However…

Wisdom teaches us, “Easy come, easy go, but steady diligence pays off.” (Pr 13:11, The Message).  While the principle of steady plodding applies to all of life the context uses wealth to illustrate.  This is more obvious in the NIV:  “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”

Little by little?  Frankly I would prefer “a bunch by a bunch.”  What about you?  However much you may prefer quick growth, the change that is produced usually isn’t sustainable.  The tortoise won because he used the principle of steady plodding and because the hare loses focus and interest.

Did the hare want to win?  Of course he did!  Everyone wants to win.  But because he was fast he knew he could easily win.  So he started out fast and impressive but soon grew tired.  He could not sustain the pace.  Not true with the turtle.  Mr. turtle started out at a speed that was sustainable and simply didn’t stop walking.

Where have you behaved like the hare?  Where would you like to be more like the tortoise?  Do you have areas of life where you would like to win?  Your health?  Your money?  Your energy level?  Your friendships?  Your marriage?  Your children?  Your spiritual life?  Your education?  May I suggest that you pick a direction and start walking!

Take a life lesson from Solomon: “…steady diligence pays off.”

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Posted by on August 24, 2013 in Leadership, Uncategorized


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