30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Your Job as an Assistant Basketball Coach

1. Understand that you are not in charge.

2. Whatever the head coach tells you to do.

3. To not bring extra problems onto the head coach.

4. To be positive with the players if the head coach is negative.

5. Understand that you are not in charge.

6. Don't let the head coach allow important details to slide.

7. Be honest with the players, but not overly negative.

8. Never undermine the head coach to community or players.

9. Whatever the head coach tells you to do.

10. Understand that you are not in charge.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Struggle is Real (Parent of an Athlete)

I have coached sports for almost 30 years (I struggle with that truth, but hey...I'm old(er)).

Before I had children, I was not as good of a coach as I was after having children.

It changes you.

You go from coaching children in the way that you think parents should discipline their child in a certain way before you have children, to understanding a little bit more once you've created your own human being.

When I had kids, I understood, better, what parents go through with their children and I wanted to be both a coach who I would want my kids to play for but also one my players' parents would want them to play for.

Then my children go involved with sports.

And I can guarantee you that your IQ drops when it comes to your own children and playing time, discipline and other aspects that other coaches do that's part of their job.

One thing I try to hold true, though, is that I know that my IQ has dropped, that I am biased and that I'm no different from every other parent except for the awareness of my shortcomings as a parent of an athlete.

I try, but I struggle with how my kids get coached by anyone other than me.

It's not right, but I'm trying...but man oh man is it hard.

So you can imagine parents who have never coached a sport, played a sport, or who have never had to deal with parents in a position of leadership will react in similar situations.

As coaches, we need to understand that.

But still...coaches jobs are hard enough.

If you are a parent and you get angry.

Step back.

Take a breath.

And talk to the coach when you are calm.

Oh...and stay off social media with your complaints; it doesn't help all.

Friday, December 9, 2016

"Well, the 5th Grade is Pretty Good"

I remember when I first started coaching sports,

I just knew that through my sheer will and hard work, I could turn any team into a winner.

I just knew that I could even turn around a perennially losing program into a winning one.

As I have aged and become more experienced, I realize that there are very few coaches who can actually do this.

I know of 3 out of the many, many coaches I know that can do this or who have done it.

There is just something about changing the mindset of kids who have grown up and never won.

They've never won and they've heard from their elders how they never won and no one will ever win from their town.

I was lucky, I took my first head coaching job at a school that was relatively competitive and was through my 7 years, but some coaches aren't so lucky.

Some young coaches will take any job they can get because they just want to be in charge.

The problem is that if there are not players that can help you win, you won't be in charge for long.

So if you want to take a job and the players don't look that skilled and someone says "Well, the 5th grade is pretty good", or the 3rd grade, or the 6th, or any grade other than one about to enter high school, you probably won't be around to see them.

Because you will either tire of losing, or you will be fired.

If I were giving advice to a young coach, I would tell them to be very careful about the first job you take.

Not only do you want to be successful, but what you do in those first two or three years could very well follow you in trying to get your next job.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Gettysburg Address

Visiting Gettysburg last year, we ended up where the address was given by President Lincoln. On the other side of the fence by the large tree in the middle of the picture.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Coaching Effort and Toughness...Why?

This is going to sound like an "I remember when I was younger" post, but it I guess it sorta is.

This isn't a new phenomenon, but one we are dealing with more this year.

At what point did coaching and teaching basketball skills like dribbling, passing and shooting morph into coaching and teaching effort, toughness, competitiveness, playing hard and pride?

I really believe that execution has become less important as being tough, playing hard and competing, and we seem to have to coach that more and more each year.

I had this discussion last year with one of our assistants who played in the 70's and at first he didn't agree with that statement, but when I explained that kids being tough, playing hard, etc was a given, so execution was the difference.

But not today...if a team plays harder than their opponents, no matter how well they execute...they have a great chance of winning.

What caused this?

Fewer practices? Softer society? Officiating? AAU? 

I think it's an amalgam of all of these things, I guess.

But what do I know? I'm just an old guy complaining about how it used to be.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What Toughness Brings to the Game

You CAN be tougher than your opponent AND make shots and you will win most, if not all of your basketball games.

You CAN be tougher than your opponent, NOT make shots and you will win some and lose some, but still be relatively successful.

You can NOT be tougher than your opponent and MAKE shots and you will win some some and lose some, but still be relatively successful.

You can NOT be tougher than your opponent and NOT make shots and you won't win many, if any.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Whoa is Me! #1stWorldProblems

My natural inclination is to be a sarcastic, snarky, elitist, "you're stupid" type of person when encountering social media garbage.

When Facebook started, I shared everything and I felt the need to let everyone know what I thought about their opinions. Then I realized how stupid that was and it did nothing for me and my mental state. All I did was get into arguments that could never be won that would go on and on.

I started unfollowing people and it has worked, but the occasional comment or post shows up and I lose my mind.

So I have seriously considered deleting it all together.

If I weren't friends with so many people I have met through the years in foreign countries, I would do it.

I am stuck.

Keep and continue getting upset, or deleting it and maybe missing out on an opportunity in the future with someone from around the globe or here at home.

Whoa is Me! #1stWorldProblems

My natural inclination is to be a sarcastic, snarky, elitist, "you're stupid" type of person when encountering social media garbage.

When Facebook started, I shared everything and I felt the need to let everyone know what I thought about their opinions. Then I realized how stupid that was and it did nothing for me and my mental state. All I did was get into arguments that could never be won that would go on and on.

I started unfollowing people and it has worked, but the occasional comment or post shows up and I lose my mind.

So I have seriously considered deleting it all together.

Why do I feel the need to get involved with every single argument I read?

Why do I feel the need to get involved with every single comment whether I agree with it or not?

Why does every post have to turn into a political stance?

I'm not the social media police, but neither are you and I have my share of "accountability" partners online. You know those that respond to your stuff, it's almost like they your posts sent to their notifications.

And when they do, it's sarcastic, snarky, and elitist and it just kills me not to respond, yet I am learning to do so.

I can guarantee you that if you have a worldview, belief, opinion, you will not sway anyone by coming off as if they are ignorant, it just won't win you supporters.

If I weren't friends with so many people I have met through the years in foreign countries, I would do it, I would get rid of it completely.

I am stuck, but I have gotten it off my phone and it felt great.


If I delete it all together, I very well could miss an opportunity for me or my family, so I will continue to be in misery, but I'm trying to not allow it to bother me.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

I Fear For Our Future (But Not Why You Think)

After any presidential election, the supporters of the candidate who lost are not happy. In fact, in today's age they go to social media and air their opinions over...and over...and over. And I believe that it can be good for people to do so, it can be cathartic. I mean, I have a blog that I write to do just that very thing, and I am about to do it some more.

As Generation X adults, we often complain about the new generation, the Millennials, it is a rite of passage, I believe for the older generation to complain about the younger generations. We talk about how Millennials aren't as tough as we were or are. We talk about how they complain about opinions different from their own. We talk about their "safe spaces" on college campuses and how pathetic it is. Yesterday, I heard and read about college professors allowing students to skip exams or miss assignments or miss school because they were so emotionally distraught they could not function.

Gen X has done a great job in allowing the type of behavior in Millennials that we complain that they have.

I do understand the disappointment when your candidate, someone you were so vested in loses. It hurts.

And because of Mr. Trumps rhetoric, I do understand why minorities or Muslims would have some concerns, maybe even huge concerns over his taking office.

But that's not who I am around.

That's not who I read extreme posts from on Facebook.

They are, for the most part, middle class white people.

If Donald Trump tries to impose some of his extreme comments, he has to deal with Congress and ultimately the Supreme Court and if he even tries, he will be the first President in my lifetime to try and fulfill his promises.

I read where our "poor little girls" have lost all hope in this country and that we have set women's rights back 100 years. That the poor little girls are depressed.

I'm not a woman, I'm not a girl, but I do know that many, many women voted for Donald Trump.

I have a 12 year old daughter who is not distraught over the presidential election. She has an inflamed tendon and is out of sporting events for a month...that has caused her tears, not having Hillary Clinton lose the presidential election. She paid attention, she read and listened, she knows what Mrs. Clinton stood for and she understood what Mr. Trump said and did.

She has not lost hope.

She has an Aunt that had a heart transplant when she was two and has fought for her life every single day of that life.

She has a mother who donated a kidney to that Aunt.

She has a grandmother that takes care of her disabled sister many times during the week in another town.

She has a grandmother that continues to work and is a shining example to other people in her community.

She has another Aunt that works a 40+ hour job to help take care of her family.

And I don't know this for a fact, but I am willing to bet that none of them voted for Hillary Clinton.

I have a daughter and what do I tell her after this election? Work hard Maddie, dot every I, cross every T and do things that will make you successful, but understand that does not guarantee success. And Maddie, you are going to deal with hardships, some that will drop you to your knees, but you get up and go to work the next day. Life is hard, it is horribly unfair most days and for every day of happiness, you may experience sometimes more that are not full of happiness.

So, you don't whine, complain, call the world unfair (it is) and cuddle up in a fetal position.

You go to work.

My daughter lives in a different world than her great grandmothers and I have no doubt that she will see a woman President some day, but it wasn't this year and I think it says more about who the person was than what gender she is.

I fear for the future, but for different reasons.

We are teaching our children that it is okay when you don't get your way to quit, to sit in a corner and throw a fit and maybe, just maybe you can get a day off school or from taking a test.

But what do I know? Maybe I am just venting on social media about something I don't know anything about which would not make me much different from most of America.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Drinking From the Same Pool Differently

I have written often about how great I believe that the United States of America is. I believe there has been no greater country than here, but I do know that we are not perfect and have many "black eyes" from our past.

One issue that rises to the level of media coverage from time to time is that of racism.

As a white man, I can only sympathize and explain how I see this issue from my perspective. My perspective is so much different from African-American people and I should never believe that I know more about their lives than they do

But as a history teacher I know that much of this country was built by black slaves.

As a history teacher I know that many of our current race issues go all the way back to theat "peculiar institution".

As white Europeans wanted cheap labor that would be easily recognizable, they decided to work with Africans there to enslave their fellow men and women. When brought here, they were beaten, raped and stripped of their pasts and history, and so much more that I could write books about it and there have been. And after many generations, black people in this country were brain-washed that they were not equal to white people and taught fear to stay on the plantation.

Black slaves were not often chained, there were no fences up on property and they fought to live, yet as not only non-citizens, but as non-humans.

When this institution was ended after The Civil War, black people in the South were freed. Free to do what? They knew nothing but their current surroundings and if they did decide to leave they were entering a depressed economic area post-Civil War with little to no hope for even the local whites.

If they chose to stay on the plantation, they were entered into legal slavery of sharecropping where they went into debt to farm part of the old plantation to never be able to pay that debt off. If they left and went North, they encountered racism there and were often treated as badly as in the South.

Black people in the US were slaves. Once slavery ended, they entered an area with no jobs, entered legal slavery in sharecropping, or went North where they were discriminated against.

As they fought for their rights in the late 1800's and early 1900's, they were jailed, beaten, and murdered. Black men couldn't find jobs, couldn't take care of their families and often turned to illegal ways to make money. If they were caught their punishment was often more stringent than for their white counterparts because of racism.

As the mid-1900's occurred, African-Americans fought for equality and were fought in every situation for their "inalienable rights". It wasn't until the civil rights bill of 1964 was passed that black people here were guaranteed their rights as US citizens, and yet they still encountered severe racism and inequality that exists still today.

What has occurred in the black community is they have been held back economically (every single sociologist will tell you that poverty is generational), educationally and to overcome these struggles, they have little hope to improve their current situation.

Because black people who are struggling economically want to have the rewards of their white cohorts, yet cannot do so (generally speaking), they resort to illegal activity to get the spoils of the Capitalist economy. Because of this, they have more interactions with law enforcement.

This creates mistrust on the part of both parties. African-American citizens feel they are harassed, and police officers feel they are surrounded criminals and the support of their communities of those criminals. (I am not speaking of the clear cut violation of laws by law enforcement that should be investigated and conviction)

I read recently that when black people see that a police officer has killed a black person, they see it as a sign of the system. White people see it as an individual act. Black people see this horrible occurrence and believe that there will be no recourse for the crime that the law enforcement will win more often than not.

Black people grow up fearing the police.

White people grow up thinking the police are here to protect and serve.

So when something happens, it is a divisive issue strictly from the experiences of both parties.

What I don't understand as a white man who has never had issues with the police, never been followed around a store, never been questioned because I "fit the description" is when illegitimate issues occur (there are many legitimate for sure!) that these "criminals" are pushed as some sort of civil rights martyr.

Because we as white people see each situation as individualistic, we don't understand how they can hold someone up to such high esteem. Black people don't see it that way, they see it as the ongoing corrupt system harassing and further violation of laws against black people.

I regret that these conversations cannot be had between our people on a regular basis. That our emotions get in the way of learning why each side feels the way that they do.

Why do black people not seem to get as upset about the systematic destruction of their societies through abortion, drug addiction, crime, and murders, usually by other African-Americans?

I grew up in Henryville, IN.

I was not really friends with an African-American until I started working at United Parcel Service in Louisville, KY, but I did broach some of these ideas then much to the surprise of my new black friends. I did not do it in a way that I tried to tell black people how to behave or how to feel, but in a way that I wanted to learn. I wanted to and still do want to learn and try to understand how black people feel compared to how I feel.

Racism occurs in this country way too often and the only way to overcome it is discuss with an open mind why it still occurs. Why, as the rapper Lecrae has stated, is Sunday the most segregated day of the week? Why can we not step outside of ourselves and try to understand our fellow man?

African-Americans experience an overall lack of better life in our country than white people do and its roots go all the way back to slavery. If you have an open, intellectual mind, you will see and comprehend that.

However, at some point you must take responsibility for your actions individually and as a group.

But what do I know?

I can only speak from my experiences as a middle class, white man from Southern Indiana.

So I MUST listen to my African-American brothers and sisters.

Though I believe that there is still some manipulation of black people in this country of how they think and who they support, they know better about black issues than I or any other white person could ever know and they should be listened to from all different angles of members of the black community.

We owe it to the present, but we must improve this scourge of racism for future generations. We must learn to get along, and Lord willing, love one another.

I'm Pro-Life

As a Christian, I am trying to live my life from a biblical worldview standpoint. I often feel that in the US, we have an American Christian worldview and that, I believe, is not how Jesus would want us to see the world.

Pro-life as a biblical worldview is for the unborn. It's for refugees from Syria and northern Iraq. It's for the justly imprisoned for both them and their victims. It's wanting and fighting for cheaper/easier adoptions.

It's for helping orphans and widows. It's caring for the sick and elderly until the end of their lives.

It is not limited to borders, believers, or the deserved.

It is not limited to race, culture, gender or experience.

God loves each of us, created each of us, sent his son to die for each of us.

For you and the person who has done you wrong.

For you and people that are non-white in foreign countries.

For you and serial killers.

For you and ISIS.

For you and all other sinners...all of us.

Christianity is so much more than our little country church made up of people similar to me. And it is so much more than the hip, cool church where I can go and hide and be entertained.

The church is all of us non-believers doing what we were called to do, share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I'm not perfect and my family and friends can tell you quickly of my shortcomings in my actions, but my beliefs must align with the Bible and I must strive to reach them.

I'm trying to live in such a way that I have to answer to my children and wife in this life and to my make in the next.

And I can say with zero hesitation, that I'm not perfect by any means...but I'm trying.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Kids...and Basketball

She's my all time favorite girls' basketball player and boy did she play well last night. I wish she understood how good she is and how good she could be and quit playing the other 45 things she does, but're a kid once, let her be a kid.

And Brandon, I could not be more proud of him. He is in the 2nd grade and plays with a group of 4th graders and does very well.

My Time with The Speaker of the House of Representatives

Okay, the title is a little misleading, I didn't really spend time with The Speaker, or I guess I did, enough to beg him to run for President and wish him well and get a picture.

I went to a campaign event for Trey Hollingsworth who is running for Congress in my 9th District of Indiana. I still haven't made up my mind about him, but I could not pass up taking a personal day to see the man who is 3rd in line for the Presidency of the United States.

Paul Ryan, Congressman from Wisconsin, was in Sellersburg at Happ's Airport stumping for Hollingsworth and Todd Young who is running for the open Senate seat in Indiana.

I just cannot pass up as a high school Government teacher, the chance to see and hear someone of his high ranking. And it wouldn't matter to me which political party he belonged to.

It is inspiring to be around someone like that, everything that they go through, but I really admire Mr. Ryan, so it made it even better.

And who knows...he very well could be President some day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My Time With George W.

I have seen three Presidents live in my life.

I saw George Bush at a Redbirds baseball game in 1989, 90ish. The Redbirds were a Triple A baseball team for the St. Louis Cardinals in Louisville, KY. They played at old Cardinal Stadium and he was attending for a canned food drive.

Then I saw Bill Clinton, twice. Once early in his run for President at the Steamboat museum in Jeffersonville and the race riots in LA over the Rodney King incident had just occurred and he gave a speech about race relations in a small crowd.

Later, once he had the nomination, I saw him in Louisville KY in front of what is now the Yum! Center where U of L basketball is played. Much larger crowd and he was running then for real and there were supporters and people against him.

Finally, I saw George W. at Silver Creek High School where he was giving a speech for a local person running for the House of Representatives.

This time, I shook a President's hand.

No matter what your politics are, that was cool and this picture was taken just before I shook his hand.

I am glad someone got it...if you look, I am further down the line right before I shook the President's hand.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Christian...What is Your Worldview?

I recently found out that some countries in the world are sending Christian missionaries to the United States.

At first, I was appalled, then I understood because it sort of reinforces what I believe about US Christianity. We aren't the "best" Christian country in the world today and we have not been for many, many years.

Here, we have an American Christian worldview. We put "America First" or we celebrate the US before we think about the church or any celebration we might do there.

It is the patriotic thing to do.

Now don't get me wrong, I love this country and we are supremely blessed to live here and from an economic and freedom standpoint there is none better than us.

But we have been losing our way for many years and it is culminating because of materialism, growing secularism and humanism, our being too comfortable, and sexual immorality that has existed in some form here since the beginning of our country.

We have a capitalist economy, mostly, and it has been great to us. We are one of the richest countries in the world and most of us have economic opportunities people are willing to die to attempt getting here. But that has helped us become somewhat heartless. We usually rely on God only when we have experienced a health or death issue. We don't have to think about our faith, in fact, our faith is usually one of convenience and not of necessity and a private thing that we don't feel comfortable sharing.

We have removed God from almost all avenues when it comes to government, schools, etc. We remove God and biblical morals from schools and as much as we can in every way and then wonder why the country continues to descend into an immoral crevasse. Child abuse, molestation, shootings in neighborhoods, schools, and for vengeance, etc are on the rise. Why? We are a miserable country for having so much, why is that? Because we continually try to fill a hole that we all have in our soul with things that are worldly and it never accomplishes our goal which causes more misery.

We have justified sin for so long in this country that the sexual immorality from pre-martial sex to divorce to other sexual sins are having the stigmas removed and even worse, glorified. And we do not show love for those who have done these things using judgment or condemnation without affection.

We want to be comfortable, I get it, I really do. After church, I cannot wait to take my nap after eating a lunch that costs more than a weeks wages in most of the world, but we have got to strive to be better. I have got to strive to better.

We have to rely on God every day and try to remove ourselves from being God because we are nothing without him!

And sadly, I have found this truth not here in the USA, but in third world countries where our arrogance looks at, points, and says "poor things have nothing" when in reality...they have so much more than us.

Total reliance on and devotion to God.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sponsor a Child Today

I am permanently linking World Vision to my site.

My family and I have been sponsoring a girl, first from Indonesia, then from India and it has been a good thing for our family to do.

We hope and pray that it has been a blessing to these young girls also.

If you don't believe you do enough or you ask what can you you go...$39 a month to make a child and his family better off somewhere where they know little of what we have here.

Click here to Sponsor a Child Today

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Our Trip to the South

University of New Orleans practice

Selma, Alabama

New Orleans

My girl

Thursday, September 29, 2016

She Competed

The other night my daughter's volleyball team had a match.

There was a little bit of "Loser's Limp" on display.

But not by her.

She has shown it before, but not the other night.

It's something we have talked with her about, gotten on her about and she doesn't do it often.

But not at all the other night...and I was very proud of her.

And I told her with as much heart as I would in talking about anything else with her.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

See You At The Pole

The annual day of prayer where students from schools all over the country circle around a flag pole and pray was today.

We had 75ish students from Silver Creek MS and HS, but this one was super special.

It was the first of many I got to share with my daughter.

Monday, September 26, 2016

I Can't Help It

I can't help it...

I worry too much.

I get worked up about too much.

I let the smallest things bother me...too much.

I know this, I try to be better, but it seems that I have to be reminded too often with big events that what I worry about is really nothing.

And in those big things that occur, I learn and then with time go back to my flaws.

I can't help it...

I worry too much.

I get worked up too much.

I let the smallest things bother me...too much.

And then I watch a coach get on his son for a simple mistake during a 9U baseball tournament.

I watch my son as he has a look that he let me down during his game.

And in these little things which may just be the bigger things, I realize how much this stuff doesn't matter.

But then...

I can't help it...

I worry too much.

I get worked up too much.

I let the smallest things bother me...too much.

I wish I were better.

I wish I could be what I want to be as a person, husband, and especially a father.

I wish I didn't fail so often.


I can't help it...

But I am trying, and I promise I won't give up working to be what I want to be.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Divided We Stand

It is amazing how divided this country is.

It probably has been that way, but social media has either made it worse or pulled back the curtain to reveal it.

Whether it is race relations, religion, presidential politics, school boards, relationships, etc. we rarely in large amounts agree on anything. Sure, we have those on our "team" that have our backs, but when it comes to getting along, we just can't compromise.

"I'm right! You're wrong! And if you disagree with me, you're a bad, bad person maybe even some word that ends in i..s..t."

And in this world where we have access to the Internet, we can always, and I mean always, find some info, some data that will agree with what I believe making it seem justifiable to have my beliefs.

Even numbers, items that shouldn't be able to be manipulated or looked at different doesn't work. Because I can find some group of numbers that support me.

And the lack of knowledge of anything past the last few years only compounds the problem. People post online what they "heard" or what they were told by someone or even create their own stories from what they just feel in their gut is right about the past.

Even thought it's wrong.

Or is it?

Sigh....I long for the days where opinions were often kept to ourselves or shared in the local barber shop and never got any further than that.

I have often said that social media + opinion =  expert in our country today.

And it just isn't so.

To be an expert and share your opinion, you have to have your own blog. (That last line is completely sarcastic in acknowledging my hypocrisy of criticizing social media through an online outlet)

Now...what was I talking about and how can I express my opinion as fact?!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Little Too Comfortable

John 15:18 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”

When Brother Richie first arrived at our church, he and I had a brief discussion about how little we know in the United States about how the world actually works (not that I do either). We know little about the complete backwards way those in most of the world live as opposed to here.

He asked me if I had read “The Insanity of God”, I hadn’t so he gave me a copy to read. I put it to the side because I felt it was another book like many I had read and I was reading about 3 or 4 books at the time.

Then I heard that Lifeway was putting out a onetime showing of the movie named after the book and it piqued my interest. So I picked it up and started reading.

And it was a very good read.

The book was story after story of Christians persecuted and told from by Nik Ripken (a pseudonym). It started with he and his wife’s work in Somalia and the obstacles they faced there and then story after story from people living in China, Russia, Afghanistan and other countries.

There was the story of the Chinese house church meeting illegally and asking if anyone had heard of Jesus outside of the United States.

It was the story of a Russian who thought his wife and child had been killed by authorities and The Holy Spirit speaking to him letting him that his captors had lied to him.

It was story after story where The Holy Spirit was speaking and living in the lives of these people. It was The Old Testament and New Testament stories coming alive. God is still working in the lives of people today, though we often feel that He isn’t here.

There were a couple of pieces in this book that really stuck with me.

  1.     These people did not want prayers for the end of their persecution, it is what has      grown their faith.
  2.     Will persecution come to the USA? Why would Satan want to “wake-up” the richest,  most powerful Christian country in the world? We are asleep.
  3.     We shouldn’t ask why is there persecution in other countries, but we should ask why  there is none here?
Why are we not persecuted?

There are stats that say very few people who are born in the church, raised in the church and die in the church will ever share their faith in Jesus Christ with anyone.

The more we feel potential persecution, why do we cower? Why do want to stay in the relatively safe, comfortable Christian lifestyle?

Why aren’t we a little crazy? A little insane when it comes to our love for God?

We’re comfortable…we’re asleep.

It’s time to stay awake.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

We Are Asleep

I have tried to take some time recently and write about experiences I have had that have changed my perception about my life in this country. I have written about conditions and places that exist outside of the United Stated, but they exist here, too.

When we visited the Apache Reservation in Arizona, I wanted to give back a little bit while we were on a vacation, but I also wanted my two children to see the differences in their lives versus others.

And again, while we were there "giving back" we were able to witness Americans living in not good conditions while feeling a sense of joy that I feel we miss in the 1%.  Drugs, lack of male leadership, and many other horrible conditions are created on this Reservation and many throughout the country, but they have a love for Christ we seem to miss out on.

They are forced to rely on their faith every day whereas we...don't.

Many of us are asleep in this country when it comes to our faith and, really, our lives. What can we do to numb ourselves to the perils of this life?

There is something for everyone to do so.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Really Smart Uneducated

Educators in Indiana are under attack more than any other time in my teaching career. 

The West Clark Teachers Association has a Twitter feed and was recently questioned by someone, I have removed the name but wanted to answer the comments here.

This response came after I asked a simple question, how do we measure an effective teacher? If by testing, it would show that Carmel teachers were better than Northwest H.S. teachers and that's probably the complete opposite. Socioeconomics as well as other issues cause problems with education.

I have invited any critic of public schools to sit and attend class and hang out. Our hands are tied, more and more either by government red tape or the threat of lawsuit by the general public.

ability to educate when I was a student teachers wanted to be teachers they were not in school face booking

I agree with this comment in essence, but "face booking" can be done in seconds via cell phone and during planning, lunch, using the restroom. Again, I agree 100% that if a teacher is on Facebook excessively during the day, it will hurt teacher effectiveness. But if a teacher posts on social media during the school day, it doesn't rule out that they can still be effective.

I can tell a decent teacher when I meet them they are dedicated not just going through motions

Again, I 100% agree with this comment, but that's not an objective way of measuring teacher effectiveness, it is subjective. If we are going to base teacher pay and jobs on effectiveness, somehow what this person wrote can be brought in a long with a test. However, I am against testing as an objective measurement because of all of the causations that could hinder test scores that have nothing to do with the job of the educator.

a good teacher teaches for life not just encourages memorization they teach life skills

100% agreement again, but what life skills? By whose ideals? Are we crossing over into values? Whose values should be taught? Again, this is a subjective measurement that I do, however, believe many teachers do a great job with.

we both know balanced calendars and common core is a joke if teachers were good homeschooled kids would not

score better on test and students may be prepared for college instead we have non career ready sheep

I would disagree with the first comment about a balanced calendar. I do believe that with students having less time off in the summer, it could help with carryover, but, I do agree that a balanced calendar creates more starting and stopping which hurts the elementary schools more than high school.

Home school does a wonderful job! One on One is the absolute best way to teach students, but that is not feasible in most homes, so they have to go to the local school, or private, or charter...whatever. I'd argue that the problems with schools have less to do with what goes on in my four walls than what goes on in "your" four walls.

I will attest that most students are not "sheep", and if they are, it has less to do with what we do in the classroom and more to do with what they are exposed to at home and online.

and silver creek has become a joke c rating too many transfers pay substitutes nothing embarrassing

The only comment I strongly disagree with. SC test scores (but really, they shouldn't matter) are competitive with all schools in the area including the Charter and Private schools. SC is highly successful both academically and athletically. The "C" grade and the grading of schools is kind of a joke.

Transfers are funding all of the programs that the state legislature is forcing on public schools and without that money, consolidation would be more imminent...the pay for substitutes is a board issue and is low, I guess. I haven't subbed in many years.

After checking out this person's Twitter feed, he seemed to lean to the Right politically.

What I don't understand is that most (not all) people from that side of the spectrum believe that society is going down the tubes, and are against big government, yet want a government institution to solve all of our societies ills.

Public schools feed, counsel, provide needs, provide goods, teach life skills, and teach what we are contractually supposed to teach, but it's us, teachers, that are the problem.

I beg to differ.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Power of The Internet and Mark Pangburn

Yesterday, I was at home getting ready to go and watch my daughter play volleyball when my cell phone buzzed. 

I looked down and I saw that there was an email sent to my school email. I get that often and usually the email isn't of much importance.

But yesterday was different. I received an email from a Clyde Carlson who had Googled my friend, Mark Pangburn, who passed away a few years ago. I had written a small article on Mark and his influence on me and Mr. Carlson came across it.

The email was a nice read for me, but I forwarded it onto his wife and one son who I had cell numbers for, and his kind words reminded them that his life is still touching people today.

Below is the email:

Ever wonder how far your blogspot can reach.  Well, this afternoon it touched me down in Decatur, Alabama.
My name is Clyde Carlson, and I am an engineer with HCS Engineering in Decatur, AL.  I am starting a project for Daikin America here in Decatur, and it involves a storage tank that was designed in 1992 by Mark Pangburn.  For whatever reason, I googled Mark’s name and your blog was one of the first hits to come up.  I was sorry to hear of his passing in 2012.  But I guess I just want to thank you for the write up in his honor, and even more for your strong story of faith.  Your words both encouraged and blessed me this afternoon.

By the way, Mark’s tank design is doing just fine after 23 years of service.  My project just involves setting up some temporary storage in order to de-inventory the tank for inspection.  From the looks of his hand calculations, I would say Mark was a fine engineer.

Take care,

Clyde Carlson

Thanks again Mr. Carlson for taking the time out of your schedule to send this note. It is appreciated more than you could know.

Click on this sentence for the article I wrote about my friend, Mark Pangburn.

Friday, September 2, 2016

To Honor and Protect

Authority figures are under attack in our country today, I fully believe that.

No group like law enforcement, though, has it worse right now.

They deal with violence and law breakers every day and the wrong move (and sometimes the right move) could put their face on CNN, lambasted by the media and could cause riots or even worse.

I support Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers and his right under the 1st Amendment to express himself legally. Though, I may not agree or understand, I do applaud him and this country for allowing it. I've often said that when something like that happens, you know that our country is not as evil as sometimes portrayed because he's not been arrested for his freedom of speech.

Recently, a friend of mine who is a white police officer (I won't name him here because I don't want to bring unwanted attention to him) saved a a minority woman's life.

He found her in an alley out from a drug overdose with no pulse in the neck or at the wrist. He did not have to do anything else from that point after calling for an ambulance.

But he did.

He started CPR on her and kept doing so until the ambulance arrived.

She lived.

Because of my police officer friend.

Her family is thankful that he did this thing and he will receive recognition from the police department.

He should have done this and many would and I believe he would have no matter what because that's the kind of guy he is.

But you won't see it on the news, and because he has kept it quiet personally, he won't hear all the positives from the community, but he deserves it.

Maybe it's the idealist in me, but I believe that the overall amount of police do not get up in the morning looking to kill or arrest minorities. They want to do a good job and make it home to their families at night.

I'm not so naive, though, to believe all law enforcement are good people. There are some bad ones like in any profession and there are some who make mistakes while trying to be good.

Both of those should be held accountable for their actions while another Constitutional Amendment, the 6th amendment, being used which guarantees due process.

I guess my point is, thank God for people who are willing, like my friend, to go out every day and enforce the laws.

They really are the only thing that separates us from anarchy and they allow most of us to live good lives in this greatest country on God's green Earth.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

My Time in Prison

A few years ago, I went on a short mission trip to a Florida prison.

I was nervous, very nervous.

We were going into a major prison and there were rapists, murders, etc. and behind multiple locked doors. I have never been around large groups of people like that. I did not grow up in place that there are people like that nor do I engage every day with people convicted of crimes.

What I found was amazing to me.

There were many times I was surrounded completely by some really bad dudes, yet I felt safe.The main reason was because of the appreciation those guys had for us.

They appreciated so much that we would take time out of our schedule, travel to Florida and spend time with them.

I have been to some places "upscale" and did not receive the graciousness that I received on that trip.

And as I thought of some of these guys and their situations what was the difference between them and myself?

They were born in some places where they had no chance to score a run, and I was born on, at least, 2nd base.

Also, there were men in there who had killed people because they were drunk while operating a vehicle and the only difference between them and me is that, for some reason, I was lucky throughout my stupid phase of life.

It changed the way I saw people that are incarcerated.

It changed my belief on the death penalty.

As a Christian, the greatest thing we can do is to share the Gospel and see a person give their life to Christ.

If we execute them, we have taken that away and given a sentence much worse than living behind bars, but being separated for eternity from God.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

We Are Different, But So Much Alike...Colombia

The difference in cultures when I travel over seas are so overly noticeable to me because that's one of the greatest parts of traveling globally to me.

I mean, if I wanted to see trees and hills every day, I'd stay in Southern Indiana and never leave, but I want to see the world, both here and abroad.

When I recently traveled to Colombia, I wasn't there but a few days, but long enough for me to notice some similarities to other places in the world.

People are hospitable.

Sure, those who are in charge of taking care of your needs like room and board, but so are the people you come into contact with.

Some part of it, I'm sure, is because I am a basketball coach in a basketball world where the US is respected greatly.

But some of it, I think, is because people often who have less worldly goods, seem to have a joy that we miss here. I think that speaks volumes to our murder and suicide rates, and to our alcohol, and drugs addictions here in the good ol US of A.

But a couple things that I noticed in Cali the night we drove from the airport to our hotel stood out the most.

First, it was about 1-2 AM in the morning.

Second, we went well over the speed limit through downtown not stopping at stop lights. We were told that when you stop at the lights, or you go too slow you will be in trouble. Either the policia think you are doing something wrong, or people will run out at the lights and rob you, possibly worse.

Third, everything was locked up. I mean houses, businesses, everything had fences around them and were locked up and the fences were not the kind you would want to climb over either or you would be injured or worse.

Fourth, on the second day of our basketball clinic, I pulled out money to pay for something, and when I did, I was told quickly to put the money away, to never do that again in public or around strangers.

Though the people were considerate, there seems to be a crime issue. Maybe the joy from those who have less is nice, but they are also striving to have more whether legally or illegally.

And I am in no way naive to think that Colombia or other countries do not have drug or alcohol issues. I am in no way willing to think that other countries are some perfect utopia and I would be much happier there than home in the US.

But I am willing to make the statement that you can be happy other places and I often wonder if Capitalism (the best form of economic structure that exists) isn't responsible for some of the worst things in our world.

And really, it's not Capitalism's fault, it's our sinful nature of wanting, desiring more.

That's something, I'm not sure I would have fully understood unless I had been overseas.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Very, Very, Very, Very Different Culture (Indonesia)

In 2012, I visited the country of Indonesia. We stayed at Universita Pelitas Harapan, a Christian university in Tangerang district.

I went with Athletes in Action and when we landed in Manila, Philippines, I could tell this place (Asia) was like no place I had ever been.

Before I left, I would see, smell, taste and experience things that you do not see in the West.

The bathrooms were not western, you had to squat over them and my first experience with this was in the Singapore airport bathroom. I didn't have to use it, but I saw one there like that.

When we landed in Indonesia, the language was so hard to distinguish words than I had done in Eastern Europe and Iceland (Icelandic may have been just as hard to understand though).

The food was, well, I am a picky eater and I ate a lot of rice and chicken while there if that explains anything.

But I saw children playing by large dumps of trash with rats close by on their property living in the median of an Interstate.

I saw huge, multi million buildings housing schools for rich people and children right next to some of the worst slums I have experienced.

The contrast in the two worlds there was different, distinct and not separated.

Here, we have poor people, we have slums, we have some of the worst conditions in the world, but we tend to hide them, if possible, so that we don't have to see them.

They didn't worry about that there.

I also felt a little more reserved in walking down the streets.

First, I looked different. At 6'0 and white, I stood out in a group of people.

Second, when it came to our faith, we were not allowed to even mention it unless asked about it first. Because Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world and with Christians being the minority, they are not allowed to proselytize.

Again, the people were warm and caring and a consistent feeling I have gotten outside of this country is much more warm.

I very much appreciate my experience there and the friendships I formed, but seeing some of the things I did there, changed the way I see my every day life here in the USA.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Traveling to a More Secular Country...Iceland

(Iceland in June)
I've decided that I would write about experiences that have really changed my outlook the last few years on my travels both home and abroad.

Yesterday, I wrote about Macedonia, today is a more general feeling when I traveled to Iceland.

Iceland is a beautiful place (really, to me, everywhere is), and some of the sights I saw, I had never seen and may never again.

The people were wonderful also. They were accommodating, they were helpful, kind and wonderful to me and the other coaches that were there working a basketball camp.

Western Europe and especially countries like Iceland have grown more and more secular over the last few decades. Their feelings and beliefs on God or religion have grown more and more cultural and less personal, at least that's what I read about Icelanders.

I can't explain what it was, but it felt different there. It felt as if there were no real connection with faith and because it is important to me, I felt disconnected. Religion was ridiculed around me, and I had a couple of conversations that started hostile, but turned into respectful disagreement when it came to Christianity.

I really don't have anything to put a finger on because the people were so good to me and you can tell they love and care about their families and their country. I'm not sure.

Maybe it was me and my pre-conceived notion of what I would encounter when visiting.

But I am still confused sometimes on my time there.

I met some wonderful people that I still am in contact with today, but I felt something different about my experience. The people were not poor or struggling and did not "need" me or anyone else.

Would I go back?


I often wonder if it was what I was going through at the time and very well could have been, as I had my first real panic attack and had a full heart work out before leaving.

I pondered my mortality more during that time and as I needed the comfort and support of close family and friends, I was in this wonderful, cold country, but not getting that attachment.

Who knows, but I would be willing to bet that my experience there has more to do with what I was going through than the country.

I'm not sure.

And it's something I can't let go of wondering.