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

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I Never Wanna Forget

So here are the words of what happened after the March 2 tornado in 2012.

I dealt with a lot of PTSD after that and it felt like I had an open wound on my mind.

I know that sounds weird, but it really felt like when you had a skinned knee and it was exposed.

And as time progressed, I could almost feel a scab forming over that wound and then eventually it healed all the way.

But still...there are moments when an old wound gets hit that you are reminded of that open wound.

That's how I would explain it.

Sounds weird.

Don't know how to explain it any other way.

So there you have it.

Monday, December 11, 2017


I've been sick.

I had the 24 hour stomach virus from Saturday morning until...well, now on Monday.

I still don't feel well.

It's funny how you can not feel well, but you are really sick you just want to feel like you normally do.

I have a lot of respect for people who are ill and continue on with their lives.

I can't.

I guess I would if I had no other choice, but when I feel like this, I really can't do much of anything.

It sucks.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

I'm Tired

I'm at a loss for words.

I know that those who really know me know that I talk too much, but I really am at a loss for words.

The hypocrisy of society and what they will support as long as their is the correct political label by a name is mind numbing to me.

Watching good people take the fall for something they really don't deserve is mind numbing to me.

Watching life taken away in the whisp of a second is mind numbing to me.

Being surrounded by so many people who have no depth to their lives is mind numbing to me.

When I am talking depth, I am speaking of how they speak a certain set of ideals, but live differently. And I get's hard to do.

I am surrounded by so many angry and sad people living in a country that has so much "stuff".

But maybe it's me.

Maybe I'm the angry and sad person.

I believe there is a difference in happiness and joy...and lately my joy has been lessened as I watch and read how cruel and rude human beings are to each other.

I'm tired.

I do have my hope in Christ still, so I know....

It's gonna be ok.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Little Boy from Henryville

I've had an Indonesian man fix a Pizza Hut pizza for me based on his knowledge of English from movies.

I've had a Macedonian man so excited over a $5 tip, he waited on me hand and foot next time I was in his restaurant.

I've run in 45 degree weather in June in Iceland.

I've been scared to death at the Serbian/ Kosovo border crossing as a guard took a double take after seeing my American passport.

I've been in the back seat of a car in the middle of nowhere Belgrade with a Lithuanian as my driver took their time in their home before driving us where we were going.

I've been in some of the worse slums in Indonesia, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

I've seen burned out military trucks on the side of the road in Ethiopia.

I've seen people getting food from a trash pile in Nairobi.

I've been in the back seat as we ran red lights in Cali, Colombia because stopping would allow us to be robbed.

I've been surrounded by mothers trying to get food for their malnourished children in Addis Abbaba.

I've had a coaching clinic suspended due to lightening in Colombia.

I've drank water running from a mountain stream in Iceland.

I've discussed American foreign policy with a Macedonian who witnessed the American bombings of Belgrade.

I've been in the presence of Al Shabab in Eastleight Nairobi.

I've seen a man riding a camel in the city.

I've seen people living in mud huts in Ethiopia.

I've spoken with gypsies in Macedonia.

I've walked the mountains of Serbia.

I've stopped at a gas station, afraid that the police were after us in Kosovo.

I've seen little girls with huge smiles in Kenya and Indonesia.

I've seen people all over with less than me, but with a joy I seem to miss.

I've shared the Gospel on 5 continents.

I've seen "Third World" conditions on an Apache reservation.

I've been treated like royalty by almost every person I've encountered in all countries.

I have so many memories that I could share more, but they aren't memories, they are part of me.

Monday, November 13, 2017

To Keep for All Time: Brandon at the Buzzer

Or as long as there's an Internet and Blogspot.

This is my son in 3rd grade playing on a 6th grade travel team.

Thing is...he practices this shot all the time.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Sidewalk Prophets...You Love Me Anyway

Every time I hear this song, I get emotional especially at the end with the following lyrics.

I am the thorn in your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas' kiss
But You love me anyway
See now I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground
Yes then I turned away with a smile on my face
With this sin in my heart, tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night I still call out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life

Check out the video:

Held to a Higher Standard and That's All Right

Matthew 12:36 "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.

Do my life and my words align with my Sunday attendance at church?

Of course they don’t, no one does because even as we are saved, we still sin…too often.

If you’re surprised by those words, then you are not being honest with yourself and ultimately to God about your own behavior.

Too often, we claim to be something and behave differently. We all do, me more than others I fear too much.

But one difference between us and non-believers should be that we are aware of our hypocrisies. Yes, we are all hypocrites about something.

But we should be aware of ours.

And we should try to minimize them.

And apologize, yes, we should apologize when we notice them in ourselves towards ourselves or towards others.

Growing up as an agnostic, I could not handle the hypocrites in the church, then one-day Brother Mike Abbott explained to me how Jesus did not like them either…an amazing epiphany for me at the time, and really still today.

So I’ve tried to be more like Jesus in all aspects of life. You say “yea, so that’s what you should do”, but then I see so many not Godly things posted on social media and wonder what non-believers think about hypocritical behavior.

I can hear them; “See…those Christians are a bunch of hypocrites, they post things to make other people look bad, make other people angry, make fun of people, and then they have scripture or a picture of a cross in their profile pic…. geez.”

And Satan wins a small battle at that moment.

I’m not judging you, I’m trying to hold myself accountable.

Sure, coaches and superintendents and teachers and bosses and school board members and other parents do make mistakes. They may not always do what you agree with and you feel that venting on social media is the best thing to do, but I will ask you one question:

If your child, or spouse, or good friend was in one of these positions and you got on social media and saw unfounded or exaggerated statements, heck even true statements because we all want our actions splashed on Facebook, how would you feel?

I’m asking because these people in leadership positions are not super human.

They are people just like I am and even more so…they have spouses and children and parents that hear and read these horrible things too often from people who have a biblical scripture tied to their identity.

We are all hypocrites about something, we can’t avoid it in our sinful nature, but are we as followers of The Nazarene aware of those hypocrisies?

And are we attempting to lessen and hopefully someday remove them?

I know I have a long way to go and I would appreciate your prayers because I sin and fall short too many times.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Yes or No

West Clark schools have a $95 million referendum up for vote in November, and as a Henryville graduate, former Henryville employee and current employee of Silver Creek with children at Silver Creek schools, I am voting "yes".

Here's why.

1. It's the right thing to do.
Every building in West Clark has had considerable improvements over the last 15 years except one...Silver Creek H.S.

2. School choice.
The Indiana legislature a few years back, passed school choice. Any student in Indiana can go to any public school they want if there is room. Because of this, there are some things that need to be done to maintain your own students, or their families will take them elsewhere (it's already happening at SC). Many millions will be spent on sports and theater at SC which again will allow SC to keep its own students and could bring in more transfers.

The Indiana assembly changed how schools get tax money. The money follows the students, so by bringing in transfers, that money benefits all West Clark schools.

3. WC is actually looking ahead 10-20 years.
West Clark is historically a conservative corporation which as a tax payer, I appreciate. But it seems we have always done today what we needed 5 years ago. This referendum actually looks into the future.

4. It will cost more in the long run.
Sure, a Plan B is pure speculation, but you can make many informed decisions on speculation. The referendum will raise everyone's taxes by .23, but a piece meal, it will end up costing us an increase of $1.00. That will be done on people not capped like me and my mother and father. Many people on fixed incomes will not like this.

Plan B will happen, in my opinion, because this current board was elected after a 500 signature paper was signed stopping an increase of over $60 million.

5. The students.
All West Clark students deserve better. Yes, SC has many transfers, but isn't that a good thing? But even without transfers, SC is over capacity.

6. Safety.
There are many issues that will be fixed when it comes to safety at each building in West Clark. From entrances to cafeteria issues to over crowding will be remedied.

7. These things need to be done yesterday, a "no" vote pushes the can further down the road.

8. By passing this referendum, within 10 years we can have much of it paid down and then refinance allowing for a possible referendum in the Henryville area if said growth occurs.

9. I believe in community schools.
I believe that by voting "no", we seriously would consider consolidation of all three schools or the shutting down of just one school. I believe that students within West Clark and outside should decide what type of school they want to attend. A larger school will be available under a "yes" vote, as will a medium sized school and a small school.

And I fully believe that there will be some transfers to Borden because of the smaller school feel and experience.

10. Voting "yes" has a known result. Property taxes will go up .24 on everyone. All three schools will remain open for the next 10-20 years giving each of us our community schools.

11. A "no" vote puts the all three schools in limbo. Will plan B be implemented? Property taxes go up more. Will Silver Creek withdraw from West Clark? Property taxes go up. Will consolidation occur? Property taxes go up.

Consolidation was tried before and was over turned by a school board that was elected ONE YEAR later. This current board will have THREE YEARS to do what they see fit.

There will be no way to over turn a school board ruling three years later because the damage will be done.

12. Finally, be careful what you believe. Did you start from a point of "no" and then allow the facts to follow your opinion? Were you "yes" and then allowed the facts to follow your opinion?

I was a "yes" from the get go, but I listened and my cousin-in-law helped me realize that "yes" (if we want three separate schools) is the best option.

He started as a "no" but after reviewing the data, changed his mind to a "yes". That impressed me.

Does that mean I started from a "yes" and then found the data that supported me?


But I want you, if you read this, to understand a few things about my decision and yours.

I want you to vote your conscience.

I don't think you're an idiot if you vote "no".

I don't think you're immoral if you vote "no".

I don't think you're a bad person if you vote "no".

I just ask you to be informed and not Facebook informed, talk to someone from both sides of the issue...face to face.

And realize that either vote has ramifications and dependent on how you vote vs. how you feel, it could very well have serious, serious ramifications.

I'm from Henryville (I love that place and call it home), I attend church in Borden (I love that place and enjoy my time there) and I live Sellersburg and work at Silver Creek High School (I feel welcomed and accepted here) so I appreciate the love and affection that each community has for its local school.

This isn't about emails, trust of the board, etc., it's about the fact that a vote is going to be taken on a referendum and the result of that vote could very well keep three schools open for the foreseeable future, or close one, two, or all three.

That's the decision I have to make, and I vote "yes" because I believe that will keep all three schools open.

Good luck and I wish us all well as we get to the vote and the days and months that follow that vote.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

To Give or Not to Give....?

Image result for help the least of these image

That awkward time during service when the idea of giving money is brought up...

You know, that part of the service where the church asks for our money and it sorta seems like they are guilting us into giving money to them.

In my opinion, televangelists have not helped this because of their seemingly constant asking for our money, but anyway.

Remember that God has told us to help, to give a portion of what He has blessed us with back to help further his work. But my own personal experience with giving has gone in three seasons.

  1.    I will give, but not that much, just enough to look like I’m doing something, but really, I’m not.
  2.    I will give obediently because I have been commanded to love the least of these.   
  3.    I will give out of appreciation, not because I have to, but my gosh, the Lord has given me so much, this is the least I can do.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Don’t give if you will not do so cheerfully. If you do not truly feel and appreciate all that God has done for you, do not give back a portion of his blessing upon you.

You might be shocked to read that, but I believe that. Thankfully, during my stubborn giving time my wife was more advanced in her faith than I was. But our loving God wants a true relationship with us, he wants genuine affection and genuine giving to further his work here on this planet.

Luke 11:28 “He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Jesus commands us to love God and love people. To do that in this world, money is a necessity. It isn’t the most important necessity, but it is really close to it.

You cannot go, give, or help often without spending some form of money.

So you hear/read that Jesus has told us to be a Good Samaritan, then we must obey and help the church and other Christian organizations by giving our funds to help more than just our little inner circle.

Mark 12:41-44 “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

The Lord gifted me with life before I knew Him.

He gifted me with Godly people that reached out to me before I knew Him.

He gifted me with my wife who led me to Him.

He gifted me my children, my job, my talents, my friends, my family, my house, my furniture, my ability to enjoy life, to have my heart broken for what breaks his, for an ability to communicate, for breath, for my heart beat, for my good times and for my bad times.

He gifted me everything; how could I not willingly and lovingly give back a portion of my finances to show even an inkling of appreciation?

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sensory Overload

Can bad events or potential bad events and the coverage of these events cause sensory overload?

And not just any type of sensory overload, but a burned out type of overload.

A burned out type of overload where you lose empathy and compassion because you are inundated with images and video over and over and over.

But not where you actually lose true empathy and compassion, but become frustrated because you know you should do something, you want to do something, but it is so overwhelming, you freeze and do nothing.

You do nothing because you don't know what to do.

You don't know what to do because you are used to taking of problems that are reasonably solved because you can control them somewhat.

These last few weeks, you can't control.

You can't control the weather.

You can't control the forest fires.

You can't control North Korea.

You can't control the suffering of the peoples involved in these events.

You can pray, but you can't control the situation through just prayer.

You can't control anything, it seems.

But more importantly, you can't control the indifference that your fellow man seems to have.

No happy or motivating ending...just an awareness of sensory overload, and the awakening by so many the last few weeks.

The world has been messed up before this.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Pray for _______________

In the last few years, we have had a mixing of horrible events and the idea of prayer.

It seems that every time we turn around there is a new natural disaster or human made disaster and with social media, it can be overwhelming.

I believe that some of why we know so much more than in the past is because of the instantaneous ability to have everything happening right now known by us right now, and it's a global as well as local phenomena.

Whether it's Hurricane Harvey slamming and staying over the Houston, TX area or some terrorist attack where everyone changes their profile pic for the victims, we are bombarded by bad news.

Which gets me to the "pray for__________".

Prayer is a good thing, no, it's a great thing, but if that's all you do, you aren't doing much.

It's as if we are overwhelmed and don't feel we can do anything, so we say we will pray and that is at least something...and I guess it is.

But as more of these horrific events occur, it is ringing more and more hollow with me.

I'm not saying to stop praying, I'm saying back it up with action.

Do something!

Send money, send stuff, go and do work yourself, send cards or letters to the victims, but don't just "pray" about it on social media.

Because the cynic in me wonders if you are really even doing that.

Are you praying or is it the knee jerk thing to say when you feel you can't say or do anything.


Please continue to pray, because I do think it matters, but are you backing it up with action?

Have you ever backed it up with action?

Will you ever back it up with action?

Our faith isn't a passive "pray" and do nothing faith, we were called to do something.

I hope you do.

I hope I do.

Best Athlete in the Family

Friday, August 25, 2017

From The Attitude of Gratitude by J. Carl Newell

How far you go in life depends on your being 

tender with the young,

compassionate with the aged,

sympathetic with the striving,

and tolerant of the weak and the strong

because someday you will have been all of these.

George Washington Carver

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Top 10 Excuses I've Heard as a Parent/Teacher/Coach

1. It's not my fault.
2. I didn't know.
3. I didn't hear you.
4. I'm not as bad as _________. (insert name)
5. I'm entitled to....
6. I will just quit.
7. You just don't like me.
8. ___________(insert name) is your favorite.
9. I have something else to do today.
10. I need to focus on another sport/activity etc.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eyes Up

Today, at certain given times there will be millions of people looking up at the "sun" with smiles and awe as a solar eclipse occurs.

It should be a reminder that we should look up everyday with smiles and awe at the "son" who came and made things new.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Man, I Was Skinny

I remember this picture and this day.

I was walking through the GreenTree Mall in Clarksville, Indiana when I passed then U.S. Senator Dick Lugar.

I could not believe it.

I made my mom turn around and we went into Walden's books where he was signing books and I bought one and had it signed.

I remember telling him that I was going to take his job one day....ahhh the brash ignorance of youth.

I did not take his job or get involved in politics at all, but I do teach Government in high school....sorta similar.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Informed Ignorance

Where I live, there have been a few things going on and made worse by social media (shocking, I know).

Many, many complaints have played into stereotypes or accepted beliefs when dealing with certain issues.

The problem is that the issues are attacked from an angle that leaves out all information and some logic; it's being played out by emotion.

Because of bias or anger, people are led to believe what they want to believe and then they share that belief with others.

It's an unfortunate thing because it helps no one and even hurts those that they believe they are helping.

It is sad to say, and maybe it's because I can be arrogant, but it seems with more information comes less knowledge.

With more information, you wonder if there really are any "facts" anymore because we all can find some decent information to back up our opinion as, what we believe to be, a fact.

If you are frustrated, be frustrated at the right not blame a political institution and when you realize how far off you are stay with that story just because you are stubborn.

Admit you're wrong...and beg those you are misleading for their forgiveness because it is you that is hurting more people even under the guise of helping.

And maybe, just maybe, I am wrong, but I doubt it.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Not All Free Speech is Popular

I don't agree with Colin Kaepernick showing his disapproval of this country before each game.

So much so, I chose to not watch one single NFL game last year, OK, I did watch the Super Bowl.

I'm not saying I do not understand where he's coming from, I just don't think he picked an appropriate time to show/express his opinion.

I believe that his team or the NFL should have stepped in, or at the least played the National Anthem while the teams were in their locker rooms.

But the calls to ban him from the NFL because his beliefs are different than mine, I do not agree with.

Kaepernick should be allowed to play in the NFL if he is good enough...period.

Unfortunately, we are getting to a weird time in our history where opinions and belief systems are to be banned especially if the politically correct crowd does not agree with you.

But I truly believe that I may not agree with what you say, but I would die (figuratively) for you to say it.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Building Mental Toughness as a Younger Person

When I think back on what I've done to get where I am today, I think about the jobs I have had.

Some of these jobs were cool and I met wonderful people, some of them...well, not so much.

I've been sitting around trying to figure out all the jobs I have been paid to do and here is a list that I can think of right now.

Car washer
Baby sitter
Christmas tree trimmer
UPS package sorter
Grocery store stock/bag
YMCA sports camp worker
Bob Evans kitchen prep
Military tent maker in a factory
Golf course keeper upper
Retail sales stock
Athletic official
Substitute Teacher
Education Aide
Athletic coach
Professional educator

Friday, July 28, 2017

Christian Extremist

1 John 2:2 says, "He [Jesus] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."

It seems that every time some other religion commits an act of atrocity, Christianity is thrown under the bus along with that religion.

It is frustrating, to say the least, and I do not really understand why it happens. Well, yea, I do, but that’s a political post I want to stay away from.

To be fair, Christianity throughout history has not always been so nice in dealing with people and following Jesus’ example.

From the wars fought in the name of God, to our own hypocrisies, Christianity deserves some of the stones hurled at us.

But often our “extremists” are mentioned along with the extremist of the religion that has done the horrible thing, and they mention Timothy McVeigh or the KKK as well as other perceived “Christian” extremists from the past.

However, I think those critics are getting it all wrong. I believe that an extremist takes the words and actions of its leader and puts them 100% in action.

So what does Jesus say and what would a Christian extremist look like?

We should be humble.
Philippians 2:5-8 describes the extent of Jesus' humility: "Our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!"

We should serve.
Matthew 20:28 says, "…The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

We should glorify God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

We should pray.
Mark 1:35 says, "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."

And we should sacrifice.
Romans 12:1 says, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship.”

I am not the greatest Biblical scholar there is, but I would bet it impossible to find Jesus saying or doing anything like blowing anything up or terrorizing a group of people based on anything.

A Christian extremist is not a person who spreads violence or hate, it is someone we should aspire to be.

A Christian extremist gives up everything including and ultimately his life for the glory of God, not by violence done by him, but possibly violence done to him.

How to Use Social Media if You Really Don't Care About People

Image result for social media

1. When emotional, ALWAYS post immediately, do NOT take time to calm down.

2. If you have a problem with a group or person, POST the problem or question before contacting them. That way other people who are less informed than you can post their opinions, too.

3. Post, Re-tweet, etc any article that agrees with your viewpoint before checking on its authenticity. Then make sure after it gets tons of comments and likes and you find out it was wrong, just delete, don't apologize or post a "fix".

4. Comment on any post that emotionally gets you charged up (see 1) before you know any of the facts or even the other side of the story.

5. Use it to manipulate people and situations before ever attempting to do it as a responsible person by doing so face to face.

6. Assume everything you read on social media to be the truth, especially from people you like and generally agree with.

7. Make sure to bend the truth or use stats to justify your belief system.

8. If you really want to stir the pot, make anonymous posts so that you can say and do anything without accountability.

9. Be as snarky and rude as possible.

10. Depersonalize every situation that you read so that you can forget how you would feel if someone used social media in a similar way towards you or someone you cared about.

Lastly, I guess you can write a blog entry and sort of "subtweet" everyone, but let me tell you, I've been guilty of many of these things, I just haven't always posted.

Type, type, type....back space, back space, back space.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

What You Do Matters

(This is my dad, he is a great man, he has helped me become who I am and I hope to pass much of what he taught me to my son)
Most of us have the ability to do something today to make our little world better.

Whether it is monetarily, saying a few words, spending some time with someone, we have that ability.

It's not like in the US that most of us have to worry about water or food, so that gives us a lot of "free" time.

So what have you done today to make the world better?

It can be as big as supplying a well for a village in Africa.

It can be as big as providing medical help for people in South America.


It can be hugging and kissing your wife and kids.

It can be putting your hand on a co-worker's shoulder who is struggling and letting them know you care.

And it can be smiling at someone you pass and saying hello.

I challenge myself  every day, to get up and make a difference.

It doesn't have to be 100% of the time, but do something because if we aren't what's this all really for?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Good Day With My New Mates

Last week, I got a text message from a friend, Shane Howard.

Shane runs Custom College Recruiting, a business that is helping boys and girls from many places around the world to come to the USA to play sports.

But Shane called and said that an Australian team was in Indianapolis and needed some help with a gym. I couldn't find one, but the next day I got another message from Shane. The team needed help with the book or clock.

I was free for a day, so I headed to Fishers and hung out with the my new friends from New South Wales.

The coaches and I clicked almost immediately.

Nathan Kirwan, the sort of Director of Ops was who I talked to first and who I spoke to first when we met up.

The head coach is Shannon Seebohm.

Seebohm was the U17 women's coach for Australia that handed the US their first loss ever at that age. Australia went on to win the FIBA championship, so Coach Seebohm is a world champion coach.


Watching their team play and hanging with them and talking basketball was unbelievably refreshing.

They get it.

They get what basketball should be about.



Great shots.

Not dribbling too much.

In actuality, they get what USA basketball is supposed to be about more than many American coaches, especially AAU coaches get what it's supposed to be about.

It was a pure joy and also kind of depressing.

The USA is the greatest basketball power on the earth, but because we too often lose our way, many foreign countries have perfected our old blueprint and are using it to beat us.

Which is hard for this Yank to take.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Life is Hard, It is Easier with Hope

Life is hard.

The more you are aware, the more you care, the harder it is, it seems.

If you want to get up, indulge in self, and go to sleep at night thinking about no one or nothing other than yourself or your little world, you can probably watch the news, yell at the t.v., go to bed and live a relatively pain free life.

Sure, we all have our problems, many, many of them are serious problems.

From drugs to death to sickness to financial issues, many people in the USA struggle every day.

They struggle within the confines of their homes and their hometowns.

But there is struggling going on too outside of those confines.

From inner cities to reservations to foreign countries people are dealing with the same struggles and issues that you are. It may surprise some, but people of different colors, religions, and regions are not too much different from each other.

I have found that people want to work, they want to have a family, they want to make life better for their children, they want to love and to be loved, they want to be appreciated and they want to live a life of meaning.

It's no different here than it is in Indonesia, Kenya, Iceland or Macedonia.

Life is hard; here and there.

Before I became a follower of the Nazarene, I looked for fulfillment in many things from alcohol to women to many indulgences of self.

And they never provided long lasting fulfillment.

Sure, I had some fun but it was so fleeting and the hollowness following was not worth it.

I am here to tell you that Jesus provides hope and hope is a strong anchor for our lives.

He provides hope when you are dealing with horrific situations or living in a way that seems like there is no future.

I promise, He provides hope.

He turns drug addicts into counselors and he puts smiles in children who live in slums.

Jesus will not cure all ills, he will not fix every problems in a moments notice, but he will provide that hope...


Life is hard.

It's is easier with Jesus Christ and the hope of this life he provides, but also for the hereafter knowing that this is not our final destination.

Monday, July 3, 2017

You Went Where?! "Yes, Eastern Africa"

It has been a couple of weeks since I returned from my mission trip with Athletes in Action to Kenya and Ethiopia and every time I come back from abroad, it takes me time to wrap my mind around everything I experienced.

The first couple of times when I came home, I was not a very nice person to my family or to other people (others would argue I still am not nice, but that is another story) because of the guilt that I felt living in such a wonderful and bountiful place.

This time I have tried to not be that way.

Some of it is because even though I do feel guilt, as I have aged (I guess), I really enjoy many of the things we have here that do not exist over seas or even south of the border.

So I have tried to take time and ponder some of the many, many things that have gone around in my head.

First, we are blessed to live in this country. I'm not saying other people are not blessed to live in their countries, but I'm speaking for me. We are often so covered in blessings, we just figure this is how life isn't. It's like a fish just assuming that everything else is wet until it isn't one time and then it really appreciates what it has the other 99% of the time (if fish can think or be appreciative).

I believe that you have to travel overseas or to some places here in the U.S. for many of us to truly appreciate what we have on a daily basis.

Ranging from quality healthcare at a moments notice to haagen-dazs ice cream, we are quite spoiled and yet, many of us are unaware of that. We complain about what we don't have instead of seeing what we do which is more than the average human being on this planet.


Think toilets and toilet paper; I don't think I have ever had to use a hole in the ground and been in a public bathroom with no toilet paper...but I digress...

Second, I realize that we get to see the best in people when we are traveling. You would have to stay somewhere longer than two weeks to see some of the "warts" of a country, but the people in Eastern Africa were so nice.

It is almost embarrassing, okay, it is embarrassing how much they tried to help us maintain our lifestyle in a country that doesn't allow that for a large amount of people.

It is embarrassing that when you go through security (there is security to enter anything there, think airport security then put that on entering church, the mall, a small grocery store, a cafe, etc.) they seem embarrassed that they have to do their job and search you, and many times they don't.

But the people...

We do have so many more luxurious things in this country, so much so that many people "over there" want to come "here", but those people "over there" have many things that we don't have here.

We've have often lost our way on what people living together should be.

The handshakes and hugs, the genuine faith, the giving of your best when you don't have much so you can help someone with less, the caring and giving of self for others that seems often missing from here, is visibly prevalent there.

Sure, they have issues between tribes and the upcoming election in Kenya could cause violence afterwards dependent on the result, but you ought to see how people where traffic laws are recommended and rarely enforced get along so that everyone can use the roads.

Again, I realize that if you stay somewhere longer than a couple of weeks, you will see more and more of the imperfections that seem to be so noticeable in this country, but I can't help to think that us thinking we know everything about the world, have forgotten some key and important points.

So what do I do?

How can I wrap my mind around what I have seen and experienced?

I don't know if I ever will.

But I know that there are loving, caring people "over there" on the front lines fighting the good fight against some of the worst issues you can imagine.

I know that I can offer some financial assistance, but more often I can support spiritually, verbally, and physically to those who would grow weary.

I know that I can live a life of more gratitude for what I do have, and strive to work towards that which I don't have and cannot be bought by money.

I am so blessed to have gone to Eastern Africa and I am so blessed to be back.

I am so blessed to have experience and seen some of the things I did, and I am so blessed to live here.

I am so blessed to be shown my downfalls as I work to help others' in theirs.

I am blessed to leave the secure borders of my small town and see how much of the world is like us and different.

Where did I go?

Eastern Africa!

And I cannot wait, Lord willing, to return again some day.

Friday, June 23, 2017

I Stopped Posting Every Day

It was becoming too tedious with slow wifi, but I do have some good articles in me to remember my time in Africa.

Here I will leave pics of the 5 continents I have worked camps on.

Africa (Ethiopia)

South America (Colombia)
North America (USA/Arizona)
Europe (Macedonia)
Asia (Indonesia)