Merry Christmas and a Heart-Warming Story

Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

To my family, friends, and clients!

I just wanted to take a moment to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas!  Jen, the kids, and I are fortunate to be spending time with my sister and her family as well as my parents.  Over the past couple of days, we have been texting, talking, and leaving voicemails–making plans of what to do, meals to eat, and where to open presents.  The anticipation continues to build, even as I write this email to you!

But…through it all, I find myself focusing on things other than the true meaning of Christmas.  Does anyone else feel like this?

Then, as I was taking my kids to school today, I heard Paul Harvey’s Christmas broadcast from 1965, “The Man and the Birds.”  It hit me in the gut.  It instantly reminded me what this season is all about.  As I was nearing my house, I looked out the window and saw a sign on a motel I pass every day.  It says, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” (See picture above)

After hearing Paul Harvey’s 1965 Christmas broadcast and seeing the motel’s sign, I realized that God is constantly pursuing me.  He will even use the radio and motel signs to connect with us.

If you are in need of a reset on this Christmas Eve Eve Eve, I invite you to listen to Paul Harvey’s Christmas message, “The Man on the Birds.”

You can check it out here:

Merry Christmas!  

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Tide Turners Kids Summer Sizzler Program 

Guest Blog: Cardiff D. Hall

Now that your kids have been out of school for a couple of weeks, you might be hearing a few, “I’m bored,” “I don’t know what to do,” or “I’m already tired of doing that,” comments from your kids.

If you, like me, are looking for creative ways to slow down the “summer slide” from school with a fun and creative way to continue your children’s education, my friend and fellow author, Cardiff Hall, has the answer.

Cardiff Hall is an author, coach, and speaker. Recently, Cardiff’s book, Tide Turners, hit the shelves and has helped countless men and women take back control of their lives and achieve their life goals.

However, having a 7-year old of his own, he wanted to create a summer project for his own daughter.  In doing so, he realized that he could help serve other kids (and their parents) as well.

I will let Cardiff explain the rest! I hope to see you and your kids in the program soon! P.S. It’s absolutely FREE!

Tide Turners Kids Summer Sizzler Program (for kids ages 7-14)

Do you remember your summer as a child? Ok, it’s mostly like been some time ago however, take a moment to reflect back on your summers. I can remember riding my bike, of course without a helmet and leaving my house in the morning and returning home by dinner time. I had a small job on Friday’s washing a food vending truck and loved making my own money.

I’m sure when you grew up, there were not many distractions in the summer. Today, there is the internet, video games and other “shiny objects” which can draw kids into possible binge activities.

Now, if you did not have a computer with games, remember how fun it was to play all day? Well, not in my house, playing on the computer all day never occurred.

I agree summer should be about fun given school is out and I believe kids can still learn in activities they do, which will broaden their scholastic skills.

Earlier this year, my first book was published entitled: Tide Turners which helps individuals gain clarity, increase their joy and sustain achievement. Having a seven year old daughter it was apparent to me, kids can be Tide Turners!


So, for the past few months, I’ve been developing a Tide Turners Kids program, where they can utilize the summer to start their own business in seven days!

Here is how the program came to life. Click the link to hear about this amazing program – Summer Sizzler Program. If you’d like your child to be a part of this program visit the Summer Sizzler Program website.

My mission for the summer is to have kids all across the country startup their own summer business. In fact, I set a goal of having 500 kids participate in this program and be TIDE TURNERS KIDS!

Tide Turners Kids Entrepreneurs Summer Sizzler Program overview:

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5 Ways Single Moms can Celebrate Father’s Day!

As we approach Father’s Day 2017, so many of us look forward to this weekend of celebrating fatherhood. Whether it be our dad or celebrating our own fatherhood with our family, many of us are looking forward to Father’s Day.

But recently, I was asked a question I had never been asked before, and honestly had never even thought of before.

KROC-FM Radio Host Danielle Teal asked me a question that caught me a bit off guard–a true sign of an excellent host! Danielle asked me what advice I might have for Single Moms this Father’s Day.

As many of you know, I have been focusing my content almost exclusively on dads and how to develop deeper relationships with their kids. But Danielle, a Single Mom herself, pressed on, knowing firsthand that Father’s Day can be challenging for Single Moms.

So, I took what I have learned from my experience coaching dads, asking other Single Moms I know, and came up with 5 Ways Single Moms Can Celebrate Father’s Day!

Please know that I do not claim to be an expert on this topic, but felt convicted to answer this question as respectfully and as humbly as possible.

If you are a Single Mom or have a friend or family member who is, I would love to hear your thoughts on these 5 Ways or, better yet, share your own ideas!

I pray that this post might reach a Single Mom who is struggling with what to do this Father’s Day, and that one of the 5 Ways helps her to celebrate a day that may normally like to forget.

5 Ways Single Moms can Celebrate Father’s Day

Here is the post Danielle Teal shared on KROC-FM 106.9 Rochester, Minnesota

Mark LaMaster and I continued the conversation and discussed the dynamics of a single parent mother that might not have the father involved. He gave some great insight on how you can make the day special for your child and their father regardless of the circumstances. In the end what matters is the child’s happiness.

1. Celebrate your children’s dad by sharing the good memories, his good qualities, and which of his traits you see in your kids. This will honor him and show your kids that you appreciate fatherhood.

2. Rise above and honor your kids’ dad, even if the same was not done for you on Mother’s Day.

3. Point to the positive male role models in your children’s life. Celebrate this man, whether it be an uncle, family friend, grandpa, just as you would their own father.

4. Don’t go it alone! If you have joint custody and your kids are with their dads this Father’s Day, make sure to make plans of your own. Take advantage of this day, invite a friend or two, and do one thing that you wouldn’t be able to do with your kids at your side.

5. Do a “dad thing” together. If you don’t regularly do any of the following, try something that a dad might consider doing on Father’s Day. Take in a local baseball game, go fishing, or barbecue some ribs on the grill together. Make sure to let your kids know that all of these activities can be done with Mom as well!

A huge THANK YOU to Danielle Teal for asking me this tough, but necessary question, that I hope will help Single Moms this coming weekend!

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The Work/Life Balance Radio Show

Community of Dads-Mark LaMaster

My nationally syndicated radio show debut!  A huge thanks to Rick A. Morris, host of The Work/Life Balance.  You can listen to the show now by clicking on the play button below OR listen to it later by downloading it from iTunes HERE

Make sure to save your seat for my next Community of Dads Webinar now!  Click HERE to grab your seat!

Rick is also the author of No Day But Today, which hit the press earlier this year!  I highly recommend this book to all parents as it gives a template of all the roles we have in our lives.  You can order your copy by clicking on the book cover below!

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30-Day Dadvotion Challenge

Devotions for Dads written by Dads

Dads, Are You Up For the 30-Day Dadvotion Challenge?

In only a few minutes a day, for the next 30 days, these Dadvotions will challenge you to reflect on your fatherhood: past, present, and future.

Each Dadvotion will help you discover or rediscover why you chose to become a father and will empower you to become the dad you always dreamed of becoming.

Through inspiring real-life stories shared from dads from all walks of life and daily verses from scripture, you will be motivated to “Be a Dad Today!”

Take the 30-Day Dadvotion Challenge NOW!

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Parenting Life Hacks with Mark LaMaster

KROC 106.9 and Danielle Teal

A huge thanks to Danielle Teal and KROC 106.9 FM in Rochester, MN, for doing a story on my book and coaching programs!

In the article, Parenting Life Hacks with Mark LaMaster, Danielle shares how I started on my journey to become an author, coach, and speaker.  She also describes the Game Day concepts of my book, Friday Night Lights for Fathers and Sons.

The most powerful portion of the article includes one of my favorite father and son transformative stories that resulted from a dad who went through Game Day 1 with his son.

Click HERE to check out the article, Parenting Life Hacks with Mark LaMaster, by Danielle Teal.

Thanks again Danielle and KROC!

Besides being a radio host for KROC, Danielle Teal is also the founder of the Random Acts of Kindness group in Rochester.

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Help Me Create Parenting and Family Content That Serves Your Needs

As we begin 2017, I want to ensure that I do the best possible job of meeting your parenting and family educational and learning needs! To serve you best, I need to know more about YOU!
In order to do that, I have created the Playoff Parenting 2017 Reader Survey.

Would you please take a few minutes to fill out the survey? By doing so, you will ultimately be helping yourself. Why? Because you will be helping me create content even more interesting and relevant to you.

Your input is important to me. The survey is easy to fill out, and the results are completely anonymous. I can’t tell who said what. And you can finish in five minutes.

Click HERE and take me to the survey now!

Thanks in advance for your help!

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How to Cultivate a Faith-Filled Family Plan

Are you satisfied with your family's 4G plan?

Parents, I want to ask you a question—Are you satisfied with your family’s 4G plan?  No, I don’t mean your 4G wireless plan.  In this 4G plan, there are no coverage maps claiming one network’s plan is better than the another.  You won’t see Jamie Foxx citing studies to sway you to switch networks or a ‘normal Joe’ pitching, “Can you hear me now?”

No, the 4G Family Plan I am talking about involves Growing, Giving, Gathering, and Gratefulness.  As consumers, we have now officially entered the Christmas shopping season.  Store aisles are filled with Christmas decorations, toys, and big red bows.  Black Friday ads leak out day-by-day and force us to focus on the best deals and how we can plan out our early morning shopping sprees.

On the contrary, Thanksgiving is becoming the forgotten holiday.  As a society, the traditional, family-centered Turkey day has morphed into super-early bird sales that start when we should be sitting down at the family table giving thanks.

Here’s the good news—you don’t have to get caught up in the hype.  As a parent, you can begin to upgrade your family’s 4G plan today!  What a better time to start than during the season of thankfulness!  Over the next 4 weeks, I will help you upgrade your family’s 4G plan so that you can enjoy this Thanksgiving season rather than skipping it and going straight into Christmas.

Growing Your Family’s Faith

As we begin to upgrade our Family’s 4G Plan, we must continue to grow in our faith.  Growing in faith requires an openness to grow.  As parents, we must model this openness and provide a loving and supportive home which allows our children’s faith to grow.

I love how Jesus’ “Parable of the Sower” illustrates growth using the imagery of soil and seed.  In Luke 8:4-15, Jesus describes what happens to the seeds that a farmer spreads on his land.  Remember, these fields are not the flat, mega-farms you see in the Midwest!  The terrain in which Jesus described was most likely rugged, rocky, mountainous terrain.  Here is a brief summary of where the farmer’s seeds fell:

  • Walking paths
  • Rocky ground
  • Weeds
  • Good soil

Well, the seed that fell on the paths was trampled on and eaten by birds.  The seed that fell on rocky ground did not survive because there was not enough moisture.  The seed that fell in the weeds was eventually overtaken by the weeds.

But…the seeds that fell in the good soil produced a crop 100 times more than was planted!  Did you catch that?

As parents, we control the richness of our home’s “soil” and can add “water” by reading His Word, apply “fertilizer” by professing our faith, and shine “light” by sharing our stories with our kids.

If I may, I would like to share a quick story about how I am enriching the soil of our home with my son, Lincoln.  As many of you know, I wrote Friday Night Lights for Fathers and Sons to help me develop a deeper relationship with him.  Faith is one of the Game Days that I developed as part of the 10-Game Season.

Lincoln and I just started Game Day 4: Chariots of Fire Faith.  Lincoln filled 4 red Solo cups with different kinds of “soil,” which included 1) Bird seed, 2) Rocks, 3) Weeds, and 4) Fertilized potting soil.

In the picture below, you can see that the birds (maybe squirrels) knocked over the bird seed Solo cup, the weeds have withered, and the rocks have no nutrients to grow the seed.  But, the Solo cup with the fertilized potting soil is still standing, is retaining moisture, and is getting the sunlight it needs.


The seeds have yet to sprout, but Lincoln and I both have faith that the seeds will grow and produce more than was planted.  Lincoln knows the story of the Parable of the Sower and I know that Lincoln’s faith is growing.


Let me know how you are enriching the soil of your home to cultivate a growing faith in your family.  I invite you to take a moment to share your thoughts and ideas in the Comments section below.  Share this post on Facebook or Twitter if you feel this would benefit any of the parents/families you know-I would be honored to serve them too!

Make sure to stop back next week!  I will be announcing the Playoff Parenting Power Pack for 2017 GIVEAWAY (worth over $400!).  You won’t want to miss your chance at the amazing parenting resources I am giving away!

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Do You Have Parental Nearsightedness?

Parental Nearsightedness


Growing up, I dreamed of becoming an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon). My uncle Virgil was a well-respected ophthalmologist and an even more respected man. I can only imagine how many eye exams he performed during his career and how many lives he touched by improving their gift of sight!

Many of us would list the gift of sight at the top of our five senses. And that is where I want to focus on today. (No pun intended!)

You see, only about half of us have 20/20 vision, or vision that doesn’t require glasses, contact lenses, or LASIK surgery. The rest of us need a prescription to correct our vision. About 40% of us are nearsighted, 30% have astigmatism, 4% are farsighted, and the rest of us have some other refractive issue.

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