This summer, the Apple App Store will turn 11. It launched in July 2008 with 500 apps. As of the end of 2008, the Apple and Android apps stores both feature over 2 million apps. It's hard to even remember life before smartphones, with an app at our fingertips for just about anything we might need or want to do.

Now the struggle is, which apps are worth the precious storage space on our phones? I'm always on the lookout for apps that can help me be more organized, productive, connected, and informed. I look for apps that are well-built, visually appealing, stable, and fun to use. I'll often download an app, use it for a week, and delete it.

Occasionally I find one that sticks. Here's a quick list of some of the best apps I've found that I'm happy to recommend.

Here we are, already more than a week into 2019. How many times have you already been asked about your New Years' Resolution? I'll bet more than a few people have brought it up. Every new year presents a natural opportunity to break old habits, form new habits, and make yourself a promise or two for how you'll become a better person over the next 12 months. That's the dream, right?

A few years ago, I stopped making resolutions. Why? Well, research overwhelmingly shows that when it comes to following through on resolutions, the vast majority of people don't last very long. I've always been squarely in that group.

Instead, I started setting goals for the year. You might be thinking, "What's the difference?" Well I'll tell you.

As a student of leadership, I'm always on the lookout for ways to grow and better myself for the benefit of the people I lead. I've always heard it said (and I believe it's true) that good leaders are readers.

The problem is, I've never been a good reader. Like many people, I have a bad habit of starting a book, making it a few chapters in, and then losing interest and moving on. I've started into dozens, maybe hundreds of books in my lifetime with good intentions, but rarely do I make it to the end.

I want to increasingly use my time wisely and productively, so this past year I decided it was past time to change that pattern. I set a goal of reading 24 books cover-to-cover in 2018. In the end, I actually wound up reading 39 books this past year (more on that in a future post).

What do you do when it starts raining and then it never stops? Somebody asked me that question yesterday. I was sitting across the table as this friend poured out the details of some really difficult things that are going on in his family right now. Really difficult things that I honestly can't understand or relate to because I've never been there myself. So for that reason, I wasn't sure how to answer his question. What do you do when things get dark and there's no light at the end of the tunnel? Actually, let me ask the question this way, because this gets right at the heart of things: What do you do when you pray, beg, cry out for Jesus to step in and calm a storm in your life, and then you wait and wait and wait for the peace to come and it just.....doesn't?