I have often said that I grew up a proficient sinner. My context encouraged it, and I was gladly spurred on by peers. I grew up in Maine, where cultural Christianity died a long time ago. It wasn’t until I was a 21-year old in the Navy when I first turned from that sin and trusted Jesus.

The first 21 years of my life could have been very different. When I consider the path of my life, there are things I’m proud of and things I regret. One thing I sorely lacked was any kind of gospel mentor, and I deeply needed someone to sit me down, get in my face, and impart some wisdom.

Now, I’m half a century old, and I know there are young men and women out there who need exactly what I needed: someone to give them a map that will guide them to paths of joy, faithfulness, and godliness. My 50 years have taken me a little further down those paths, and I want to show the way to a full, bold, intentional life that counts for eternity.

That’s why I wrote Live Smart, to give young people some of the advice I so desperately needed. I don’t want countless young men and women full of potential to miss on God’s good promises for those who embrace the gospel. I want to pass on wisdom that I’ve learned from Scripture and from life, wisdom that I hope will save others from regret.

“I want to pass on wisdom that I’ve learned from Scripture and from life, wisdom that I hope will save others from regret.”

Even though it took 21 years for me to get moving in the right direction, it might be taking you longer. If not you, there are probably people in your life who lack any direction. Maybe they don’t know Christ, or maybe they’re immature and haven’t been taught. And maybe you’re the means God wants to use to change those people.

It’s my hope that he will use this book for the same purpose, to wake people up to see that we only get one life to live, and we can’t leave it to chance. We’ve got to get wisdom while we can, and build a life the matters with the years God gives us.


Live Smart by Dan DumasDan Dumas is the senior vice president for Institutional Administration at Southern Seminary. He came to Louisville from Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, where he served as elder, executive pastor, executive director of conferences, and pastor of the Cornerstone Fellowship Group. In addition to his roles at Southern, Dumas is also an elder at Crossing Church in Louisville and is the executive director of the Center for Christian Preaching at Southern Seminary.

Dumas’s new book, Live Smart: Preparing for the Future God Wants for You is available now.