Monday, April 29, 2013

Drive Time Reflections

Yesterday, Sunday, April 28th, Deb and I drove to Omaha for AJ's Athletic Banquet for Midland University Seniors.  I had a lot of reflection time in the car thinking about our family, in particular, I was thinking about our kids, what might be in store for their futures, and where they're at right now.  

AJ is graduating in 3 weeks with his education degree.  Next year is a little bit up in the air for him at this time, but he has an interview at a school in SWI on Thursday.  No matter what, he's taken the Gordon attitude of not worrying too much about it.  I know that he has that feeling that God will provide and His timing will  be perfect.  He has an idea about what he (AJ) wants, but I know that he knows there's a bigger plan and a bigger God that will place him where He wants him.  I'm grateful for his attitude.

Abby just finished her first semester at Mercy in Des Moines and will now wait to see if she gets into the program that she feels like she wants to be in as the fall semester resumes.  If not, she knows there will be some other options and she'll be fine.  We're happy that she just got a job at Hobby Lobby just a few miles from our house and will start there this week.  We're thankful for her being a loving mother to Parker and know God will bless her future.

Nicole, Brett, and Jonathan are doing very well in Salt Lake City working with Impact and the ministry there at the University of Utah.  I just feel like they are exactly where they need to be at this time, and I know they are feeling the same way.  We're very proud of them.....and look forward to time with them in a few weeks in California and then in July back here in Carlisle when they are here for a couple of weeks.

There's no better feeling than feeling like you are exactly where you are supposed to be in the middle of God's plan.  God can change that plan anytime that He wants to, but I know when we seek His will and surrender ours it's a beautiful thing.  God has worked so many times in our families lives as we've moved and it's cool to see Him working in the individual lives of our kids now.

I did a little bragging about our kids this week, but when you have 5 hours of drive time with some great worship music tuned in on Spotify and a great wife by your side, it makes for a fantastic time of reflection so that's where I'm at today.  Grateful and Thankful.

God is continuing to lay out His plan for us all.  It's good for us to tune into it, with or without the windshield time.

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".  Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, April 22, 2013

Different School + Different Church = Same God

I was just reflecting today about the different churches that we've been a part of in recent years as we've moved to a few of our different jobs.  We've been blessed to be in some churches who have been seeking to be the church to the communities they are a part of, and not just be a church by name only.  We've been in churches of 200-2,000 but the best ones have been about being the church, not only to the people who come to it each Sunday, but also to the people of the communities they are in.

Along with that, I was thinking about the different preaching ministers I've been able to learn from and how different they've been style wise.  The best ones we've experienced though have all had a couple of things in common.  They've all preached the Bible and you could tell it was genuine.  It didn't come at you as judgmental and it seemed like every Sunday you were able to relate real life to what they were preaching.  I think that's been pretty cool the more I thought about it.  Different styles, but all from the Bible, and each have been effective in speaking to the heart.  The one constant?  The Bible.

Besides the preaching minister's, I've been doubly blessed to work with some fantastic worship leaders.  Again, each with a different style of leadership and preparation, but with hearts that want to help lead people to worship not only on a Sunday morning, but also give them something that can stick with them through the week and be an encouragement when thinking about a certain song or lyric. Being a part time worship leader once in awhile I can tell you that's a God thing....It's a God thing when you do a song that you think has one reason, but come to find out it speaks to someone else in a totally different way because of the place they are at in their life.  That's cool stuff.  God stuff.

So, I guess here's where it's at this week.  Find a church that preaches truth, is genuine, speaks to you from start to finish of the service and gives you something to apply to your life.  Not only that encourages your life, but prompts you live life with everyone you come in contact with.  That's the church.  

Pastors, keep it real. Keep Preaching the Word.

Let's all pray for each other, encourage each other, and let the church be the church the way God intends it to be based on His Word.  It's a tough world right now, we need God in it more than ever.

Live Out Loud!!


Monday, April 15, 2013

God Still Reigns

     Things have been very busy and sometimes in this weekly commitment to writing I also put it off.  I had been in an afternoon of interviews and hadn't looked at my phone (very rare) and when I did I see the text from Sportscenter saying there had been a bombing at the Boston Marathon.  I don't know in this day and age if we ever can get totally comfortable going on about our daily lives, but maybe we had, and this is another reminder that we live in a fallen world.  

      I just can't get my human mind around the fact that an 8 year old boy went to a sporting event today and was murdered by an act of terrorism.  My heart aches for the family as I look at a picture of my 2 1/2  year old grandson and just played with my 18 month old grandson.  Life is good and we're blessed, but it can change in one instant.  Life was normal for the family of the little boy who didn't go home tonight.  I don't mean to make light of the others who were killed and I my heart is heavy for their families too.  There are others who have/will lose limbs and whose lives will never be the same because of the trauma.  I pray for them as well.  

     I know a woman who ran in the marathon and had just finished but was away from the blast site.  Glad to say she is OK.  

     I really can't think of anything intelligent to say in times like this, so I will pray.  Will you please do the same? 

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. 
(Psalm 46:1–3)

Monday, April 8, 2013

When Opportunity Arises

This week I'm sharing the same blog on both of my blog sites.  I was just so moved by this.  I can't imagine the feeling of the little boy, the tears from the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even fans.

Most sports fans have seen by now what happened last Saturday at the Nebraska Spring Game.  What a moment for young Jack Hoffman.  What a moment for the Nebraska players and coaches who made it happen.  Now, I'm not a Nebraska fan, but I'm a fan of the value of participation in athletics and for that reason, I applaud the University of Nebraska.

20 years from now when they get together to reminisce some will talk about a tough win they have during next fall's 2013 football season.  Some may talk about a tough loss and how one got away from them.  A few may talk about a prank or two they pull on a teammate. But, they ALL will talk about the touchdown that 7 year old Jack Hoffman scored in Memorial Stadium that afternoon on April 6, 2013.

It's moments like these that make me do what I do and why I think the world of athletics is so special.  The important thing is to be ready to act when the moment presents itself.  Sometimes we only have a brief window to respond when that opportunity arises and I think we need to be ready to act.  It may take a little extra work and a little extra time, but be on the lookout for how you can help make a memory for someone else.  In the end, you'll be making a memory for yourself too.  One that means a whole lot more than any championship game you might ever win.

Make a difference. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Busy, But Reminded What's Important

Man, what a busy day.  It was a great day though.  I accomplished a lot.  In fact, I was came home for a few  minutes in the middle of the day to tell A.J. good bye and told Deb I'd already done so much today I should be keeping track.  So as I sit here tonight writing this blog I got to thinking about today's day in the life of the Activities Director. 

1)  Solved eligibility issue of student.   
       a) called state athletic association to ask them.
       b) communicated personally with the coach regarding the issue. 
2)  Communicated several times with soccer coach regarding opening match of season. 
3)  Visited with Human Resources Director in her office. 
4)  Had a visit with a coach regarding a couple of ideas. 
5)  Responded to multiple e-mails. 
6)  Returned phone call to concerned parent. 
7)  Sent out Bid Sheet to vendors to purchase athletic equipment. 
8)  1 hour of lunch duty. 
9)  Began to formulate worker list for the 5 track meets we host. 
10) Communicated with golf coaches regarding upcoming meet and practices. 
11) 15 minute meeting. 
12)  Cover first soccer match of the season.  

That's most of the big stuff.  So then, I get home, grab some supper (Thank You Abby) and sit down to start writing my two blogs, both of which took a different turn than what I thought I was going to write about.  I'm in the middle of writing the blog for Carlisle Activities and it seems like Parker wants my attention.  I balk at first, but then my wise wife reminds me that it looks like he wants some Grandpa time.  So, off to Grandpa time. 

I was just reminded again that the most important thing we can give people, the people we love, those we work with, and even those we may just come in contact with on daily basis, is our time.  People don't need a blog, a Facebook post, or an e-mail to know you care.  They need us to be physically and mentally present and giving our time and attention to them.  The busyness and all of the stuff will be there.  We need to take advantage of the time we have wisely and not just use it to be busy. 

It was a good day, a day filled with accomplished tasks, and a day of being reminded again. 

In Luke, Jesus gave an excellent example on what we should be about first and foremost: 

Martha and Mary
38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her,“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things.