Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I am poaching off of a topic my friend wrote on his blog page "Prone to wander". This friend of mine is smart. Very insightful individual, and very dedicated to Christianity. He wrote about fear. He is at a point where he needs to make an important decision in his life about an aspect of his job. He is a coach and every year it seems that coaches do have to make decisions about their job.
They have to reflect on their seasons past, and decide whether or not they will continue to do what they do. Understand this is the High School level. The pay is not that of "high profile" coaches, and the time put in is after work hours. We still teach as our main job. Coaching is supplemental. However, coaching can be more stressful than any other job out there, and a lot of times requires the coach has to wear many hats within the program and dealing with the athlete and the public. We coach because of our passion to do it. So, where does fear come into this equation? Coaching can consume you.... at any level. It can come between you and your family, friends, and even yourself. It can come between you and your relationship with Jesus. Once you are consumed with something, how do you walk away from it? There is the fear. You put yourself into something and you are competitive with it, and how do you walk away from it. How do you turn it off? How do you move past it after it has become a part of who you are?
In actuality should it be who you are? What should define you? 5-10 years ago I would have said my ability to be a successful coach should define me. I have found through maturity that isn't at all what should define me. It should be a part of my identity, but not my identity...
My relationship with Jesus should be a bigger part of my identity than any job or career that I do. I will say this though my relationship with him suffers during my coaching time. As does my relationship with my family and friends. I push back the amount of time I would like to spend with Jesus. I push back the time I would like to spend with my family and friends. SO why is there fear in giving up coaching? Sounds like a no-brainer.
Well, why do I coach? Passion. Sure, I have Passion for my family and friends, and Passion for my relationship with Jesus, and I have Passion for coaching. It is not just the wins and losses and the preparation for the games that I have Passion for.... It is the teaching of things beyond the sport I have passion for..... The relationships with the players that are formed when chasing the same goals. The life lessons that are taught through competition... All these things go into why I coach, and to just not do that would be tough. Not being able to identify with some athletes I would have coached, or not being able to identify with my peers in situations would be tough to do. However, not at the expense of my faith, family and friends.... To move out of one's comfort zone is scary..... I need to work on balancing myself. Being able to not put my relationships on the back burner during coaching.....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

From the mouths of babes....

Again, it never comes when you expect it. Had a rough couple of weeks, and kind of put that out there yesterday on this blog. My frustration with things coming up, and only being able to talk and walk with Jesus about problems. So, what does he do....
He brings a lesson in FCA this morning that pretty much answers my problem. Practice. If you want something to be what you want it to be. Practice. In the famous words of Allen Iverson: "We talkin' bout practice!" He knows that my goal is not going to be just handed to me, and that while a relationship with him is easy to start, it is going to take practice if I want the walk with him that I crave. I have to practice. I have to be able to let him handle the things he is going to handle, and relax and trust that he will provide guidance in those. If I want to just talk to him, then I just need to talk to him. Practice being able to let go some of the stresses in my life to him and just talk to him. If I don't want that to dominate my conversations with him, then don't. Practice just having a conversation with him and not obsessing on the stress in my life that I want guidance. He will handle that... Practice enjoying time with him, and walking with him.
Today I start practicing......

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stressful times

These have been stressful days. Not only the normal everyday stress of life, but other things that have been brought into the mix as well. This is the time I find that I come to Jesus with just questions and complaints. It is like I have asked him "Why?" everyday these last two weeks. Outside of my wife's neck issue, none of them have to do with life or death. They are just added stress on life. So, this is where I feel having a closer walk with him would be better. Now, I feel pretty selfish for saying that, because really who or what would be better? Well, ME!! I would feel better about these times, and would handle situations better if I was in a close relationship with Jesus. I do feel over the last 3 weeks, that I have gotten closer to him, and that I have had conversations that I didn't think I would have with him... But it seems the more I want to just talk with him and build that strong relationship, more things come around that leave me just asking him for answers to questions. I am not looking for pity from him, or him to step in and take all the stress away.... I just want to talk.
So many times that is the way it is with friends and family. Sometimes you just want to talk and enjoy time with each other and there is always something that gets in the way. Some problem or stress that ends up taking over the time. They say the best times are not planned. I feel like that is where I am at. My first conversation that really hit me wasn't planned at the FCA breakfast. Yet, it was great. I have stated earlier that I am a routine guy, and my walk with him I don't think can be a routine. I don't think he wants to be part of a routine, he wants to be a part of my life. That is my struggle. To not just put my walk with him as a routine thing. Because if I do that I will be short changing it, and shortchanging my relationship with him.

I am working on this...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Here I am..

This is not the most enjoyable time for teachers and teachers who are also coaches. I am here at my school desk at Parent/Teacher conferences. Why you might ask is this not an enjoyable time?
It really isn't the sitting and talking with parents. I am a people person, and so having the time to put some faces to some people and interact with them is not bad at all. It isn't the time. Yes, I don't like the time away from my family and home, but this is the job I chose, so I have to live with it. The thing that really makes this unenjoyable is the expectations part, or the differing expectations. Some parents have higher expectations for their child. Some WANT higher expectations for their child. Some have lower than what I think they should have.... I know as a coach this is a tough time because you are taken away from your routine and schedule, and so are the athletes, so you wonder the effects of it. Also, I really enjoy the practice part of my coaching. If I have had a long day at school, I look forward to practice. A chance to get out and work on stuff.
Anyway, the tough part is the expectation gap and the not being able to do what you really look forward to doing during the day. So, when I sit down with the parents, I already have my mind in different areas, and then we talk about the student and child. What I see as an issue, or what I don't see as an issue, is not always the same on the other side of the conversation. You feel kind of stuck then. The reactions are all different, and you are not sure where they are going to go. Now, most times expectations are relatively the same and the conversation is right where you think it should be..... There is always that time when it isn't. Then it starts. The conversation is forced a little, and there is conflict. I haven't had really any trouble during conferences, but I have gotten some confused looks sometimes, and you just wonder.....

Do you think Jesus had things he didn't look forward too, or didn't enjoy? Did he think like that? Did he let his mind wander sometimes when he was doing something? Was he so focused on his mission, did he think in terms of enjoyment? How did he deal or approach people that didn't meet his expectations? How does he deal with it now? After the sacrifice he made for us....

Monday, February 1, 2010


Well, I think when you try any new venture, you think that it will be this eye-opening fantastic new thing that "POW" just hits you and it is all a rush. Or, it is the opposite and everything just goes south. My conversations with Jesus have not been either. Have I felt some changes or some things as I am trying to build this relationship. Yes. I have both good feelings, and some not so good feelings. I have noticed a more even thinking and a general feeling of well-being. Not many know this but I struggle with depression. I have my good days and my bad MONTHS!! I seem to be a little more even keel with that, and things are not sending me spiraling into despair or sending me into an over blown state of euphoria only to have it come crashing down. It is more of control, or a trust in Jesus that whatever is coming or I am experiencing that he has control of it as well, and is able to guide me through it. I like this. I have wanted to get off my medication for depression the last year or two, but it really hasn't gone well. Maybe this can be the very early stages of trying again. It really isn't about that being a goal or anything, I think it is just a good feeling of being in more control of my emotions, and being able to turn things to him and know that I feel closer to him and not just turning them over to a stranger to help me through a problem or control my excitement.

I think about this with the football program. I strive for this kind of confidence and maturity in the football program. To be able to control the highs and lows of a season or even a practice. To know that one great practice or game or bad practice or game will not have much bearing on the next day. That every day will bring something new with challenges, successes, or failures, and that in the end how you deal with them out weighs having them.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Good talk

So, now I know not only does he listen, he speaks too. I think there are several ways to have a conversation with Jesus. Through meditation, reading, prayer, etc... I have been looking for those ways that will give me the best conversation with him. I am sure that each of those ways and others will allow me to have great communication with him. This weekend, I got my first response.
We had an FCA breakfast for teams at the basketball tournament in Colby. They had been looking for a speaker for sometime, and were running into road block after road block in getting people to speak. They found a speaker by the name of Gary Green. He was a football player for Kansas University, and became an ordained minister in October. As I sat down to listen to him I was amazed at the age of Gary and how well he was able to talk to this crowd of people. Then I listened.... As he talked, I heard the conversation with Jesus. Now, I am sure that I was not alone in understanding how good his message was and how important the things he was saying could help in life. I just know as he talked, I had my conversation. Jesus was talking, and I was listening. A guy who I had never met before, who was talking to a large audience..... I was getting a response to questions I had asked and thought about these last 3 or 4 weeks. I was getting advice from a friend. I was tuned in to everything he was saying. After he spoke I went down to him to thank him for coming and for his message.... Really, I just wanted to thank him for the conversation.

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's a start....

It has been a few days, since I have written on the blog. Two reasons for that. 1. It is a very busy week. 2. I needed some time to start my conversation with Jesus and see where it would lead or go.

How is the progress after 6 days? Well.... hard. I really had trouble with the starting of it. Every night I pray the Lord's prayer. I started this during my Senior year in High School. I had attended a church service in North Platte, and the sermon was on prayer. I listened and decided that every night before I fell asleep, I would say the Lord's prayer, no matter where or what is going on in my life. It is a routine. I am very much a routine guy. But that is what it has become a routine. I don't want a routine connection with Jesus. I want a friendship. On my way to school, more times than not I pass this person that is on a walk. (Unless the weather is bad etc.. ) Anyway, I wave to them everyday. At first I got no wave back, then a reluctant wave, and then a kind of "good to see you again" wave. Now, it is almost like I worry a little bit if I don't see them, and get the wave. I wonder if they are hurt, sick, or maybe they think I am a stalker!!!

Do I have a relationship with that person? Yes, a little bit. It is a very routine relationship. I don't know their name, they don't know mine. We have probably run into each other at other places throughout town, and don't know it. But, I worry if I don't see this person walking in the morning. I almost need to see this person and wave to start the day. It is almost like a reassurance that the day is running smoothly!
That is how I felt about my prayer with Jesus at night. I said the prayer, and I then went to bed. If I didn't say it at night, I felt I was missing something. It is a very routine relationship with Jesus.
I want a better relationship with Jesus then just a wave and a reassurance that everything is still running smoothly. To do that is to start more of a conversation with him rather than just pray his prayer. I started that this week. I started with the just sitting down and closing my eyes and talking to him. I have read some verses from the bible on my computer. We'll see.
There is a lot of catching up to do, and some things to clear the air about. But, it's a start.....