Born Again by Newsboys
Friday, August 31, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012
For sure one of the hardest things I have to deal with on a regular basis. Hopefully, others can forgive me easier than it is for me sometimes.
Check out the video about the song Forgiveness from Matthew West based on the actions of a mother who forgave the man who killed her child.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
|(Sports Reach found Robby Speer on left on recent trip to Brazil)|
Click here to learn more about Sports Reach and it's annual auction. Founder Robby Speer uses this each year as a nice fund rasier for his sports ministry organization.
I am sponsoring a table, so feel free to email me at email@example.com if you want to attend. I am not sure who the speaker will be yet this year, but the food is good and there are some really cool things you can bid on.
Thursday, September 13 at Christ Church United Methodist in Louisville, Kentucky....hope to see you there.
The Cincinnati Reds....my favorite team from childhood that I have carried over into adult hood is in first place late into the season and has me actually paying attention a little bit. We shall see how it plays out, but they seem to be comfortably in first place (6 1/2 games when I wrote this). That hasn't happened too often in the last 20 years where they have been in first for this long.
I have liked the Reds since the days of Pete Rose playing 3rd base in the mid 1970's when it seemed the Reds were involved in every post season (maybe not, but it felt like it to me). The days of Charlie Hustle who sprinted out walks, Tony Perez, Dave Concepcion, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, etc. were wonderful days to be a Reds fan (I was really, really young, but remember those seasons)
Since those days, the Reds have only had a few seaons of success with the best being 1990. The Reds have made the playoffs a couple times since that last World Championship, but have been beaten so quickly, it's like they weren't really there. Those quick defeats, the strikes and steroids have burned me on professional baseball.
To be honest, I don't really care for pro sports much and will watch some football and basketball, but major league baseball is something that has stayed with me in some form as I have aged. My Grandpa Hunter and Grandpa Jones loved baseball from its heyday as our national pastime and they passed that love onto me. Baseball is my first love, playing T Ball when I was 5 attempting to play and/or coach into my 40's. It is a love I can hopefully pass onto my own children and give them memories of their own.
I don't know if I can tell you too many of the Reds on this team other than Joey Votto and I am sure if you started naming names, I would know who they were, but I just can't seem to get past all of the issues that pro sports have had over the last 10-15 years. I hope that this season ends in an exciting way for me and to be able to share with my children.
I mean, that's what I want for this Reds team to remind me of my childhood when the Reds were good and I got excited each season. Because that is what we all want from sports isn't it? To be reminded what it was like when were children before bills and mortgages. Life is full of frustration and anxiety and if we can cheer for our favorite baseball team and lose ourselves for a couple of hours in their success we can be reminded what it's like to be 10 years old again.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
I am not going to lie. Starting this school year without being the coach of any form of basketball feels a little weird. I have been offered so many opportunities to help out programs and I am humbled by that, but I am forcing myself to take at least one year off. Who knows after that?
Being at school, it is interesting how the basketball players interact with me. They don't really know how to take me, I guess. I want what is best for them and they are starting to come around. It is neat that we can maybe have a different kind of relationship with the current players.
Coach Carmony is fitting in well here and I can't wait to see the team he puts on the court. I want nothing but success for him and the team and everyone involved. With what happened on March 2, a lot of stuff is missing, but nothing that can't be replaced. I am more than glad to help Coach in any way he needs.
I do feel a lot less pressure at the beginning of this school year. I get to just teach, "just", and hopefully do a better job at that than I have in the past. I can't wait for basketball season to begin so I can watch Henryville play, but to go and watch other teams, teams I didn't get to watch in the past. And finally, I want to go watch high school practices. I am as excited about that as anything.
Along with more responsibility with FCA, I can't wait for an enjoyable, more relaxed year....Lord willing.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Everytime I have traveled internationally, the jet lag for me is worse when coming back than going to my destination. You can imagine how bad I felt after traveling 40 hours back into time. By crossing the International Date Line, I had to go back in time 11 hours and I am feeling it pretty good today (Sunday)
Having jet lag is like having the flu. You don't feel well, but it isn't anything specific. It is an aching tired feeling. You want to sleep, a lot and usually at the wrong times. My nights and days are messed up, but I don't get the opportunity to have a lot of time to get back in sync, I have to go back to school on Monday and try to be somewhat functional (have patience students).
Saturday when I arrived and saw my family, it is always a nice feeling when the two people who love you unconditionally (my kids at least until they are teenagers) hug and kiss you and cry. You really feel what true love is all about. Some day they may feel differently, but I will never not love my children, it is true love. My wife was happy to see me, too, but I can't help to think/worry that she could always do better and though she missed me, she realizes that she could do better (Let's be honest, most men marry up, we end up with women who could always do better.) I am glad to be back to remind her why she loves me and I can help her out around the house and with the kids.
Many things have gone through my mind since I have been home. Mostly is that we are so blessed in the United States. There are government programs or private entitites that could and do help just about anybody. If you need help, you can get it. It might not be easy, it might be costly, but it can be done. In some countries, it just isn't that way. You are on your own in some countries, their hope is non existent compared to here (why do you think so many people want to come to the US?). We are the 1% when it comes to the world and the possibility for success in the future for every individual.
Traveling to Indonesia has reinforced my desire to attend Louisville Bible College and to continue doing what I can to help others less fortunate than I. I challenge us all to do that. For those of you who think we should only help those in the US because, well....for whatever reasons, then do it. I have heard many people utter those words, but don't back it up with anything other than their "patriotism". For those of you who don't believe that way and that we are all human beings, pick some place, someone and help (see World Vision and many other programs).
It was amazing in Indonesia that basketball allowed us so many opportunities over there. Before we left, we were told to spread the Gospel and when necessary use words. By using basketball, coaching and playing, we were able to do just that. Basketball allowed us to go somewhere and be what we were when without it, we just might not have been allowed to do so.
There is a place for sports ministry in the world, here and abroad. In fact, sports ministry may be the only thing accepted in some places. If it is something you might be interested, you can go to the websites of Sports Reach run by Robby Speer or Athletes in Action and get involved. You can be involved as much or as little as you desire, but I think you will be surprised what you can do in combining your faith with sports.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
We leave in the morning to head back to the USA. Here in Southeast Asia, it is the third time I have spent a large amount of time away from my family dealing with basketball. This time was different for sure, but it always causes bittersweet feelings. You are sad. You have become connected to so many new people from a new place and you learn to rely on them, but you are also happy because it is time to head back "home".
This is the last time I will probably get to write until we get home, back home again in Indiana. We have an interesting time here. We have probably experienced so many things together in three weeks that often don't happen. From broken rims to broken floors, to players and coaches being treated like celebrities to sharing our faith, it has brought us closer together.
But I cannot wait to get home. To feel the arms and kisses from Kristi, Maddie, and Brandon will surely be like every other time....it will feel like home. I hope none of them have forgotten about me and that it won't take too long to get back in the flow. I won't have much time anyway...back home Saturday, back to school Monday and dealing with an 11 hour jet lag.
I can't wait. Thank you Indonesia for your great hospitality, but can't wait, Lord willing, to get home.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
We finished ten hours of basketball coaching clinics and four hours of basketball camp in two days today. The coaches are wiped out tired. We also played our 4th game in 4 days so the players are tired too.
We played a very good pro team tonight and finished off the tour 9-0 with a W. It is very late now, but I am still awake. We are leaving in the morning for two days at some place to relax before flying home. We have been able to show our faith by the way we conduct ourselves and get along with other people and we have interacted with many different faiths. I hope that maybe we planted a seed or two here.
School started today and it feels pretty weird not being around especially this year with everything that happened and the media's coverage.
I am looking forward to coming home for sure this weekend, Lord willing. First, I will kiss the kids and wife, then a nice hot bath, then sleep as my clock will be way off.
Monday, August 6, 2012
We put on a coaching clinic today for 5 hours, then had a kids clinic for 2. Long day, but we finished the night off defeating another pro team from here.
We have had to deal with broken rims, broken backboards, messed up basketballs, broken wooden floors, and messed up score clocks. But it has been wonderful to be here and share with the people.
Sunday, August 5, 2012
I say 7ish because we have won six games and a competitive practice with UPH.
Last night, we played another college team, and I don't know the final score, but it was extremely lopsided. There were many highlights from the little kids who are so excited that a US team is in their town, to the extremely hospitality of the local people, to Fayzon Richey having one of the nastiest dunks I have ever seen.
Fayzon is 6'2 and weighs about 160 wet, but can jump. On a fast break tonight, he drove the middle and a player jumped up with him. Fayzone jumped, then seem to jump again and dunked on this guy. He is a crowd favorite for sure. When he gets to rolling and feeling it, he can't be stopped and he plays to the crowd in a positive way.
Today (Monday) and tomorrow are full days here in Bandung. We have coaching clinics from 8 AM to 3 and then player clinics from 3:30 to 5:30 and we have games both nights as well.
We arrived in Bandung this morning after a short drive. It is located in the mountains and the weather is a little cooler. The rooms are non air conditioned so mosquitos will be an issue for sure for the next three days.
This city is more Indonesian and less Western and should be an interesting experience. We leave next Friday to return home and then I can see, Lord willing, my wife and kiddos!!!!
Saturday, August 4, 2012
|(me, Denish, and Mrs. Denish)|
Here in Southeast Asia, we have been busy and involved at UPH (university) every day. The person behind our schedule is Denish Tjhie. He has dealt with our schedule from arrival to departure and everything in between. And one thing I have learned here is that all schedules are written in pencil, you have to be flexible.
Denish has gone with the flow to the point that he has excelled in helping us. We have been spoiled greatly. We have had our laundry done, we have had western food to eat, he has taken us on tours all over the area, from the best to the worst conditions. Denish is never late and never loses his temper and he has many responsibilities. He lives a servant lifestyle in his job at UPH.
People like Denish, John Bradley, Jeff Schroeder, my parents and in laws and my wife Kristi and many other people that I come into contact with make me want to be a better person. They are such an encouragement in dealing with the things we do daily in our lives. They are able to make bad situations or boring mundane situations into learning experiences if you are paying attention.
What's this got to do with sports? Everything. As coaches, the best ones are servants to others. They are serving their teams, the individuals, their communities, their schools and many, many other people. They are coaching for the right purposes, they are making the lives around them better than they were.
Coaches that are servants for the self are easy to see for many people. However, fans don't always see what goes on behind the scenes are know the heart of their child's coach. As I have said before, I have learned, already, many new things I will try and try not to do if I ever am a head coach again. I want all of you who have children who play sports or even do some other extracurricular event to take time to just think about what the coach is giving up in their lives to serve.
Many coaches are away from their family and friends for many hours. They are spending time with your child when they could be spending that time with their own children. Many coaches are trying to better your child, not just as an athlete but as a person. Think about some of the people that have influenced you besides your family and it is probably a coach if you played sports. Guys like Terry Rademacher and Dennis Holt are people that I will always have a great respect for.
Those coaches and others took the time to attempt to make me a better athlete and person. When I was a kid, I probably didn't appreciate everything they did, but as I have grown older and coached myself, I see the effect even more. They made a difference in me for sure and influence the decisions I have made in my life.
My goal, I guess, is to create ripples that can help others. Before we left AIA headquarters in Xenia, Ohio, Coach Kelly Combs gave the analogy of an apple seed. You can never count how many apples will come from a single apple seed as that seed can grow into a tree which has many apples, all with seeds spreading out even further, so you can see it is limitless.
This trip has greatly reinforced that we can make a difference. Some people think that an individual cannot make a difference, I disagree. I can make a difference, right now, right here in somebody's life and that difference could spread to more people and circumstances than I could ever know. So do good and expect nothing in return for it, I have no doubt you will be repaid some day for your actions.
Thursday, August 2, 2012
I am typing this at 9:30 PM local time and 10: 30 AM back home. I have the Muslim call to prayer going on in the background, it is something I haven't gotten completely used to, and definitely something I have never been a part of every day. I am horribly missing my family. I see pictures of my wife and she got a haircut which I love. She is so beautiful and gave me the greatest gifts of all..guiding me to my salvation and my children.
Today, we were able to head to Anyer Beach in the western part of the country. It was supposed to be a relaxing day, but the roads were awful and took a long time to get there. We stayed for a couple of hours, then headed back...another long trip back. After what I have seen here and what happened on March 2, there are so many things that we complain about that makes zero sense. Who cares about a long bus ride to put your feet in The Indian Ocean, yet we do it. It is human nature to complain about anything that inconveniences us.
So often we talk a certain way and what we stand for, but when it comes down actually following through with those words, we come up short. I am telling you, I have always believed that the U.S. is the 1% when it comes to opportunity and hope, but being here reinforces it even more. There are people living in this third world country who have lived that way for generations and will for many more unless more people like Pak James Bealdy and U.S. citizens step in to help. There are plenty of ways to help in the US and I challenge you to do that, but we are all human beings. Why is it wrong to help people anywhere? I have found that many people who say "we should be helping Americans first", rarely do just that. They are frustrated with a worldview, but do little to help in their own little corner of the world.
I challenge you and I challenge myself to do more. To whom much is given, much is expected. I know that many people in my hometown have been helped and have helped each other after the tornado and it is wonderful. But I challenge you to help whenever you can, whomever you can, wherever they are, in your hometown or in Southeast Asia. What have you done, what have I done today to give someone hope?
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Today, we went to Bidong and Leneer school to paint their basketball court and play with the students. Best day so far.
After a quick shower, we went to eat lunch at a billionaire's house. Not just any billionaire, but the one who makes it possible to have Christian schools in a Muslim country.
It definitely was from one extreme to the other today.
After another quick rest, we had a friendly scrimmage with the local college, UPH.
A couple more days here then off to another city in country.