Faith- Lukewarm Spirituality

I am 100% convicted of the title of todays faith based lesson. I have been a spiritual person since I was just a young boy but have had times in my life when I was lukewarm at best. In fact, I have been less than lukewarm at times in my journey with God. The bible refers to this as non being mindful or watchful of God’s work in your life. Life throws all kinds of curve balls at us and the Devil loves to step in and get between us and the Lord. Lukewarm spirit can be compared to lukewarm work habits, relationships and family matters.

If we are lukewarm we will face things that we are not prepared for and those things will take us down. We have to constantly be in prayer and seek guidance from God to make sure that we stay Red hot for God and not go lukewarm. You do not have to church every week to be red hot on fire for God. We choose our relationships with family, spouses, co-workers and God. We build habits within ourselves that determine how we do in these areas of our lives. Laziness creates lukewarm behaviors and lukewarm results.

God wants us to be more than lukewarm for him. He seeks us daily and consistently watches over us and wants us to reach back to him. We must not just seek him in bad times but at all times. God is never lukewarm and we should not be either. If we are lukewarm in a marriage then it will suffer. If we are lukewarm at a sporting event or when playing then out performance will suffer. If we are lukewarm at work then out performance will suffer.

I had to look at myself and think about my Luke warmness in life at times. I had to look at myself in all aspects to make sure I stayed on fire for God and that he can continue to influence me and lead me to what he wants me to be. Avoid be lukewarm by doing the following things in your life daily. This will keep you on fire in your relationships, career, outside activities and most importantly with God himself.

1- Pray everyday without fail. Failure to pray is failing to seek God in your life.

2- Check yourself to see where you stand in all aspects of your work life, family life and spiritual life.

3- Change what is broken. Get rid of old habits by creating good ones that are productive and never be lukewarm in anything you have passion about.

4- Work hard at all aspects of life and go for red hot in everything that is important to you.

5- Pray, Pray and Pray some more and watch God become red hot in your life.

2nd Corinthians 13:5; Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Faith- What If

Today I was reading the word of God and was thinking about “what if”. As a parent I have always been a “what if” kind of person. What if we do this or do not. What if the kids do this or that? Everything we do in life has good or bad consequences and that also applies to our faith in God. It applies to our relationship with God. What if a person chooses to look away from Gods grace? What if they choose to think that there is no God? What if they die and have not accepted Jesus into their hearts? These are the questions many people ask and have been talked about for hundreds if not thousands of years in churches, revivals and Christian culture.

So I am using Bible verses to show people the value of answering the question of “what if” you do not know Jesus and God and pass away. According to the Bible it states that a person that dies will have two outcomes for their spiritual journey when they leave their physical body.

Daniel 12:2; States that “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt”. 2nd Corinthians 5:10; States that “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil”. These tell us that after the physical life of the body ceases the spirit continues to live and based on the decision of knowing God or not we get what we get. So I ask then to you. Are you willing to take a chance on the “what if” of passing from the physical into the spiritual world and facing purgatory or heaven.

It is a simple choice that we must make and live and die by. Choose God and choose life. Choose to not believe and you choose a fate that is horrible, unkind and like nothing you could ever face on the earth. We all have a good dog or a bad dog inside of us. We make choices to be a good dog or bad dog in life. And with those choices come the consequences of life everlasting in a heavenly way or facing the devil in hell. I once spoke with a dear friend that was dying of cancer and he asked me about God a day or so before he passed.

I told him what I thought about God and how he was very important to me in life and after life. I asked him if he knew God and he told me he wasn’t sure about all that stuff. But then he told me he wanted to know. So I asked his “what if” you accept Jesus as your savior and die soon and go to heaven to see your family and friends that accepted him. Or the other side of the story which is “what if” you choose to take a chance on dying without knowing God and really do go to hell for eternity. We prayed and I read him some Bible versus and asked him to seek God and see what happened.

His wife called me and told me he wanted me to come see him the next day so I went by and we talked. He knew his time was short within days and he had to take the opportunity to see “what if” I accept Jesus as my savior. So we prayed and he asked Jesus into his heart, mind and soul. The chaplain also prayed and counseled him and we talked, cried and laughed for a few hours. Later that night about four hours I was driving home and a street light popped on and off a few times and I sensed that he had died and moved on. I called his wife and she told me that he had just taken his last breath and passed away after a long sturggle.

She thanked me and told me that just before he died he looked up and smiled and said “God” and his life ended. His wife had no doubt that God had come and taken him to heaven for everlasting life. It was a wonderful ending to a good mans life. He was a loving father, son, brother and husband. He was what God describes in the Bible as a good man. However, prior to him deciding to take the chance and roll the dice on the “what if” I die and do not know Jesus all of that would not have mattered for his eternal life. I pray anyone reading this, whether you agree or not seek God’s council.

Give it a try by praying, reading the word and talking to those that know God. It is your choice to choose which “what if” and your consequences to that choice. I choose God because I know his miracles, his power, his grace and his influence in my life. Thank You Dear God for helping me see the “What if” factor and helping others to potentially see it as well!

John 5:24; Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

Romans 6:23; For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Revelation 20:14; And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Spirit Chronicles: 9000 Feet Fall

I dreamed I was in a gigantic hotel that was as tall as the skies. I entered the building and could not see the top floor it was so high in the air. I went into the elevator and the door closed and I saw the number 9000 appear before me and the elevator began to travel upwards at a very high rate of speed. I looked across from me and a woman was also traveling in an elevator at the same rate of speed. She smiled at me and I could see that the distance between us was like a fog of sorts that I could see through and stick my hand into. It was very warm and inviting so I stuck my hand into it and a series of beautiful lights began to flow around my arm.

Suddenly the elevator stopped and we were on the 9000 floor in Heaven. I looked at the woman and she smiled at me and waved. I did not recognize her but felt like she was very nice and a kind soul. She motioned for me to step forward into the mist and when I did the floor fell out from under my feet and I fell 9000 feet to the bottom floor. I was surprised but was not afraid of the fall and knew that I was not yet ready or worthy to be on the 9000 floor with the likes of an ancient soul like that woman.

I came crashing to the ground landing on my feet and felt no pain and was amazed that I was unharmed without a scratch or muscle ache. I looked up and the elevator was gone and the sky was blue with white puffy clouds (my version of heaven) and all was well. The lady was gone and there was no sign of any building, elevator, sidewalk, woman or anything. Just beauty and peace surrounding me everywhere. I was calm, relaxed and knew that everything was going to be OK. I have been struggling a bit with things not knowing exactly how my gift will be used and what is about.

It is like giving candy to a kid and then telling them to wait until later and be patient. I struggle with patience at times and have to sit tight, pray and wait for God to truly reveal what he has in store for my life. The elevator was a sign that I am climbing up the ladder. I am making moves in my transformation as a Christian. I am growing my skills as a gifted lightworker. I am forging a deeper relationship with God almighty and have to trust him completely. I have to know that no matter what comes my way, it is what God wants for me and how he wants me to use the gifts he gave me.

I also learned in this dream that a fall from grace can happen as quickly as it takes place. I must know that grace and mercy are part of how God deals with us and we live and learn by our mistakes and choices. I chose to reach out and step into the unknown and God made sure I landed on my feet. I was told earlier this week by a spiritual guide that I had a big storm coming and God has been preparing me the whole time to deal with it. It will be the AHA moment in my life that shows me the true gift and how I can use it to help others as a light worker find God. I look forward to the battle and know God has my back!

1st Peter 4:12; Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

Faith: Christian Character

Being a person of faith requires us to be committed to a cause of good and right. We must stand firm, stand strong and be faithful in life. Today I was reading the Bible about good character and being a good person. Character is defined as the actions, reactions, morals, views and mental awareness of a person. God defines character in Galatians 5: 22-23; as “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law”. Lets take a quick look at each of these characteristics of a good person as given to us by God. These are his expectations for life and being of good character.

Love- Loving others is the first step to building relationships, managing relationships and living your best life. We have to love one another through the good, bad and ugly.

Joy- We must live a life of joy. We must have inner peace and joy in our lives to maintain a healthy relationship with people and God. God is joy so live life with joy.

Peace- Living a life that is full of strife, anxiety and craziness does not offer peace. We need peace in life to have a healthy attitude and mental outlook.

I could go on and on about all of these virtues, characteristics God calls us to have. I only ask that you sit down, do some thinking, do some research and reading about what it takes to be of good character. If you follow this simple verse from God’s word you can live your best life and meet his expectations along the way. Submit yourself to being kind, patient, loving, faithful, gentle and good. Read the verses below for more word of God on how to live your life and be the best character you can. That will let your light shine to others and make the world a better place for all.

Philippians 4:8; Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Romans 12:2; Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

1st Corinthians 15:31; Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Spirit Chronicles: The Demon Temptress of 11A

I dreamed I was at a motel on the 3rd floor on a nice vacation with my wife, family and friends. The entire time we were there my wife was not paying any attention to me and only hanging out with the friends and family. I got bored being alone so I started walking down the steps to go outside and see the beach and get so e fresh air. My phone rang and it was a number I had never seen and before I could touch the phone to accept or deny the call the phone call went active on its on. On the other end I heard scrambled voices, screams, and scary people talking to me. A lady said “you don’t need her anymore”. A man said “just walk away from all that”.

I knew the voices were demonic and told them to go away and leave me alone. I told them I was happy and had no intention of leaving my wife. As I went down the final step a door appeared out of nowhere blocking my path to the front door. I felt an urge to knock on it. One of my relatives that is a prayer warrior was in the dream and he touched me on the shoulder and told me not to knock or open the door. I felt the urge so I knocked and a large black lady as big as the door opened the door and I am around six feet tall and was staring at her breast plate. She had to be over seven feet tall and as wide as the door.

She looked at me and said “I can take care of you, leave her now”. My family prayer warrior grabbed me and said get away from her now and then my wife stepped down the steps and told me to get away from her. I knew as soon as she opened the door she was a demonic temptress sent to try and mess with my mind. I told her I was not interested because I knew what she was and why she was there. I was also not interested in here physically so I told her to go away. She tried to grab me but I pushed her off and then the door slammed shut and I was thrust back upstairs and around my family.

I awoke and wrote down the dream and began to process it. The devil tempts all of us with physical, emotional and spiritual forces trying to tap into our biggest fears, needs, wants and desires. We have to stand strong and not allow him and his minions to win our souls. Being a light worker (a person that helps) people find God and the light this comes with the territory. The battle of good and evil rages on and some will fall to the devils trickery while others will defeat it and be of the light. Choose the light and stay strong for the darkness the devil offers is bleak, scary, misguided and deceptive.

Are You Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Yesterday on the way home I was thinking about the past 15 months and all this Corona 19 mess and the health issues that not only myself but hundreds of thousands of people have faced this last year. We had no idea the Corona Virus would take such a toll on us physically, mentally and at times spiritually. Corona Virus did lots of damage, took lives, damaged the body and left all those people missing someone or working hard to recover from the stupid cough, headaches, lack of energy and other lingering effects. I was talking to a co-worker about this past year and she made the comment that she was “sick and tired of being sick and tired”.

That made me begin to think about my own journey this past 15 months and the health related issues I faced due to Covid 19, its lingering effects and the reasons it may have taken such a hold on me. I was the classic candidate if you follow the “so-called” experts. I was in my 50’s, overweight, diabetic and had a previous heart condition. All of those things combined put me at a higher risk and unfortunately Covid 19 struck my family and me. It made me very sick and put me in the hospital. Like so many others I spent time recovering and for a few days I was not sure I would leave the hospital at all, breathing that is.

I came home and after a long recovery and some continued lingering effects I had become tired of being tired. The struggle was real and then I became sick and tired of being sick and tired. So I sat down with my wife and we decided together to lose weight, become healthier and live our best life. Life and the things that happen in it will make you become tired of being sick and tired. No energy, headaches, achy joints and back aches become a nuisance to people. Then they become a habit or something you just get used to living with. However, to change the past we have to redirect our intentions, habits and behaviors to overcome the same old sick and tired.

When you become sick and tired of being sick and tired you’ll make the decision to change your life and press forward. I am now down 54 pounds, 5 or 6 pant sizes and into a brand new shirt size for the first time in forever. I feel better than I have in thirty years and am working hard and consistently to overcome the past mistakes, break old habits and live my best life. I say ask yourself, are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Seriously, are really sick and tired of being sick and tired? When you decide you are then you will attack life and go after it so you then begin to feel better than ever because you feel better than ever.

Step one is to become sick and tired of being sick and tired. Step two is now that you realize your sick and tired. Take action towards fixing what made you become sick and tired of being sick and tired. Step three is to change old habits, go hard, work hard and overcome. Step four is to feel better than ever and know that you never have to once again, be sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Spirit Chronicles: The Elevator to Hell

I have a crew of demons that have been assigned to me to try and make me turn from God. As I have begun to transform and become closer to God everyday they have on occasion came at me trying to tempt me into their bidding and to use my ability and gift for bad. God gave me a gift and I fully intend to use it for his glory and to help people, not hurt them or destroy lives. Last night his four henchmen showed up in my dream again trying to mess with me. They taunt me, tease me and laugh at me. They know I am of the light and a light warrior for God and it pisses them off. They know who is in charge and that they will never see Gods glory as they have chosen a life of sinfulness and destruction that lead them to be demonic entities.

The leader is about 5’10 and 240 pounds. He appears to be about mid 40’s and dresses in a gray suit with a vest. He is a heavy smoker and a real smart ass. His two henchman are about mid 30’s and wear all black suits with black shirts and black glasses. Sounds like men in black, but these guys are mean and nasty. The last one is the muscle, he is the scariest one standing over 7 feet tall and weighing in excess of 500 pounds. He never talks, but looks mean as hell and uses his body to block me from trying to see good light when dealing with them. He has also appeared as a coach in a dream, a security guard and as a genie type character. He is big and mean and the muscle of this demonic crew.

I saw people walking towards a freight elevator like you would see in an old building back in the day. One by one they entered the elevator. The doors would open, the two guys in black would lead them in and the leader would just stand there and eat and smoke and laugh. The big guy was on constant watch trying to make sure the people did as they were told. I knew who they were and that they were bad so I backed away and tried to tell some of the people to not go to the elevator. The cop like guy looked at me and blew smoke out and told me he would get me at some point. He pointed at me and said, the “only way to become what you want is to meet the master”. He is obviously referring to meeting the Devil.

Those poor souls were stepping into the elevator and it only went down. It was dark, lonely and isolated and they had fallen for this line he was given. I have no intention of ever meeting the Devil much less working with or for him. I told them to stay away from me in the name of God and that made them even madder. Demons will laugh at you, make fun of you and tease you. When you name God as your primary defense and call on him the get very mad and will go away. God has control over all Demons and the closer you get to God the farther they will distance themselves from you. The further you stray from God the more they will come at you trying to break you and make you a lost soul. I sent them away and as they left they laughed and moved on. I backed away and woke up.

The world is full of evil and good. It is in a constant battle for souls and people. The spiritual realm is there and not for the weak to mess with. It takes all a light warrior has to fight these things off and dispatch them back to where they came from. I pray that God lift me up, protect me and keep me safe and secure. I am a light warrior, a dreamer, a visionary and it is all for God because he has a plan for my life and wants me to help others. Keep your eyes on God, keep your heart on good and fight evil or it will take your soul.

James 4:7; Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Ephesians 6:11; Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

Spirit Chronicles: The Demon In The Closet

Last night I dreamed that I was in my nanny’s house that I have not been into since back around 2000. Many of my dreams about spiritual warfare between myself and demons takes place at this location. It seems to be connected somehow to a spiritual realm through a portal. When I lived there for several years after my Nanny passed we encountered several odd things that happened to us. Not that it seems to be a house that shows up a lot in my dreams and visions tells me that it has a connection of sorts to both good and evil spiritual realms. As I am making my transformation into doing God’s will and using a gift he gave me I seem to get harassed by demons, malevolent spirits and lost souls. The devil sends them to us to attack us when we are strong and weak.

When God gives us the gift of showing people the light the devil steps in and does what he can to fight that off and turn you away from God. He uses his various types of demons and evil spirits to attack you, bother you, fight with you and try to scare you into not believing in what God is doing for you. The stronger the gift and the connection with God the more they will attack you until you reach a point where they back off. Then they come every now and then to test your will, strength and determination to stay the course and do what God had willed in your life. This being I fought last night was pretty common and is routinely a low level but strong spirit given authority to ruin lives by the Devil.

These generally look quite normal until the ugly side comes out. Last night I was in the old house and near the front door is a closet that even when I lived there never felt comfortable to me. I walked into the front door and sitting on a bed were two women. One of those was my older spirit guide (my great grandmother) and another woman I did not recognize. They were there to support me but were not speaking to me, just sitting and looking at me smiling with a reassuring and calming look as mothers would do to a child in need or in fear. I sensed a strong spirit close so I opened the closet door and inside stood a blond headed male over six feet tall with dark blue eyes. He looked harmless due to his nice blond hair and good looks, but inside of him I sensed an evil presence and realized it was there to attack me or harasses me.

The spirit started laughing at me, mocking me telling me I was weak and should give in. I knew it was trying to attack my bit of fear and self doubt that we all have at times. So I immediately put my hands out into a blocking formation like I was the karate kid (that is how I muster my life force) to push things away from me. I began to push it back using my spiritual force and it pushed back and the harder we pushed the madder and louder it got. It just kept saying “your weak, give up”. Then it escalated when the thing took a few swipes at me from inside the closet and I was just a few feet away. It couldn’t leave the closet but was trying to push its way through the open door. I had a strong block on it but it was strong and came on hard.

That is when my guardians tried to stand up and assist me but I knew I was strong enough to beat this thing. I had faced three the night before and a few much stronger than this one before and defeated them. I looked at the ladies and told them to stay there that I had this and would handle it. They smiled and nodded there heads in agreement which told me I was strong enough to defeat this tall dark thing. Its face then turned crazy and warped which always signifies to me what I am dealing with. This shows me they are a lost soul, demon or evil spirit with bad intentions for myself, family or others. So I pushed even harder and began to demand it go back to where it came from. It laughed, contorted its face and pushed against me.

I got a hold on it and gave a big push and yelled “by the power of God, I command you to go away” and it slammed to the back of the closet against the wall shaking the house. I then stepped just inside the door because sending it away didn’t feel enough so I physically pinned it to the wall with my left arm and suddenly I was strong enough with one arm to hold it off. It tried to bite me, spit on me and snarled and screamed a deep and dark growl and started to flail around wildly. I took my right hand and wetted my pointing finger with my saliva and began to draw a cross on its forehead as it fought me off. I did the down swipe and its eyes changed dark black and it screamed so loud it shook the room we were in as if it was calling for help. When it did this my guardians stepped over to the doors entering the room, one at the front door and the other at the hallway door to block any help that may have been conjured.

I took my saliva once again and while literally fighting it from biting me like a crazed zombie did the side ways swipe completing the cross and when I did that it yelled even louder a bone chilling yell no one could ever forget and it began to stop flailing, fighting and contorting its face. The power of God and his overwhelming spirit is too much for any evil to withhold and the process of placing the cross on the forehead and telling it to go back to where it came from instantly sent it back to hell. I looked to my right and left and the ladies smiled at me joined hands and walked off into the clouds towards heaven and faded into the sunrise. I was in the room but could see the clouds and sky and have on many occasions. I believe that is my version of heaven, a beautiful blue sky, partly cloudy with white clouds and just peacefulness everywhere.

I stepped away from the door and no longer felt the thing that was there and slammed the door shut. I woke up and began to write this scary tale of good versus evil that most people would never understand until they lived in it. God has given me a gift from heaven and I use it to fight off bad spirits and show lost spirits Gods light. I am a light warrior that battles things in my dreams, has visions and am visited by the other side frequently. I am growing spiritually in a positive way, changing from the inside out and praying for God’s guidance, wisdom and grace as I continue this journey and transformation.

The bible is laced with many verses and stories about good versus evil and how the spirit of God and good always wins in the end. We as humans have to choose which way we will go and how we will live our life. We can live life with God in it or the devil in it. Be careful what you choose for there will be consequences for those thoughts, actions, behaviors, and beliefs. This is my story and I am sticking to it. People can criticize, not believe, throw shade or just generally disagree with me and my dreams. However, actual experience always outweighs someone’s opinion. If God had gifted you, tapped on your heart and you realize the spiritual realm is much bigger, wider and stronger than anything we can imagine. Then stand strong, tell your story and do not be afraid of what others think.

James 4:7; Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Ephesians 6:11; Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

Faith: Teach Me Lord To Be A Role Model For My Student/Athletes

Today I was reading about how we all serve in some capacity as a teacher. Whether we are a school teacher, Sunday school teacher, coach, mentor, boss, manager, trainer or parent we spend portions of our time teaching. As a veteran teacher my goal is to consistently model the behavior, actions, language and professionalism that I would expect a teacher to model for my own children when they attended school. Keeping a focus on that can be challenging on some days, especially when the week is grinding to a halt and you have been dealing with teenagers and teenager things all week. The same applies to managers, parents, bosses, coaches and others as our patience, leadership and example is tested daily as we fulfill our chosen career paths and dreams. I pray for God to guide me and inspire me through his word to be the best possible husband, father, brother, friend, family man, coach, teacher and mentor I can be.

More importantly I want to be the best Christian example I can for my student athletes. That does not require you to cross the lines between religion and schools to accomplish this goal. If you model the best behavior, speak, listen, guide and lead your organization, team or classroom with a sound fundamental set of biblical values then they will see the light in you. They will know who you really are, what you are about and what you value. I have recently been working with a young lady that has a really bad home life and she has been challenged for sure in her life time. The parents are not role models for her and she has began to follow their lead. As her teacher I have taken on the task of modeling behavior for her that she needs to understand about real life when she becomes an adult.

Over the period of a few weeks I have already seen a difference in her thought pattern, language and attitude. She ask me one day why I was always so cheerful and happy. I could only say to her that I was blessed to be here working with my student athletes and peers. I told her that we all choose our path of life and can overcome challenges laid before us. I told her we can change our lives for the better and break the cycle of poverty, drugs, violence, single mom issues and other things that she witnesses daily. She smiled and said I beleive I can do that Coach. That is what we do as teachers, we work daily to inspire our people to build a brighter future, face obstacles head on and challenge life. We can do this by modeling the behavior we expect from them as if they were our own children.

It is not my job to tell them how to think, live or act. It is my job to show them that living a happy, healthy and fruitful life will reap them the benefits they deserve and desire. John Maxwell wrote that “God uses ordinary people who are obedient to him to do extraordinary things”. That quote sticks out to me and I like to seek Gods grace, guidance and mercy as I pursue being extra for my kids, family, friends and community. You can be extra in a good way if you are obedient and model the behaviors God expects of us.

Coach B!

Coaching: Five Ways to Identify A Quitter

Quitting in life is a habit that people learn from an early age. As they get older and grow up they learn that it is OK to quit sports teams, school, jobs and on family. There are signs that will give you an idea that someone is about to quit on you, your company, your relationship, your family, their kids, their job and life. I talk to my students about this a personal dilemma they may face in life. As a wrestling coach I see it every year. Kids quit mostly because wrestling is hard, practice is tough and it requires a winning attitude to face down all the potential serbacks it offers. I had a kid quit this week after a few minutes. He asked me to join the team so I let him come out. We warmed up doing some tumbling and exercises and within 20 minutes he asked to go to the bathroom and never came back.

I saw him today and asked him what happened and instead of just telling me it was hard or he didn’t like it he gave me a bunch of excuses about he had to go home, his mom called, etc. I asked him to come back and well, he must have forgot because I have not seen him since. I know why he quit because it is hard. Wrestling is a very mentally and physically challenging sport. It was hard so he walked away. He gave up on it. He quit without a good effort. He gave into his self doubt. He was lazy and wasn’t used to the effort required. I am not sure which one of these is the real answer but I do know that this kid has quit more than one sport, quit on clubs and other groups at school. He has learned a behavior and built a habit that it is OK to just walk away.

There is a likely hood that when he becomes an adult he will quit on jobs, family, friends, and give in when life gets tough. Quitting on life blocks people from being there best. They think it is the easy way out, but reality is it just makes things worse. Quitters show signs and could see them in this kid as he was stopping during team activity, wanting to go get extra water, sitting around while the others were standing up. I saw the signs but still tried to save him. I wanted him to stay, overcome and be a better person and athlete. But he choose to quit, walk away and give in. Below are some signs that someone may be getting ready to quit on you.

1- They stop working hard or hardly give an effort.

2- They quit attending functions, events, meetings and required activity.

3- They have a change of attitude about work, life and play.

4- They want it easy and desire instant gratification.

5- They show weakness physically, mentally and spiritually.

My dad always told me that winners never quit and quitters never win. That still stands for me today and I hope more of the younger parents begin to teach their kids to stick with things. Give things a fighting effort. Work hard and work smart for what you desire. Not just give up, quit, walk away, shut down, run from problems and be a quitter.

Coach B

Sports: Breaking Up Your Unplowed Ground- Bobby’s Story

Ever reach that point in life where you are not reaping the product you are desiring. Not getting the results you wanted to achieve? Many times in life we find ourselves cultivating our dreams, goals, desires and visions in a field of thorns. In the bible Gods word tells us; that we often reap what we sew. In Jeremiah 4:3; it states that we should “Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns”. Addictions, self loathing, deceit, anger, resentment, sexual desires, self doubt, crime, hate and so many things often get in the way of what people want or desire. I am preparing for another wrestling season and as I was reviewing some notes I had my guys send me about what the wanted to accomplish this season it made me think about a wrestler I had several years back and his plight.

This young man came out as a freshman and like most typical first year kids he was learning the ropes of the sport. That involved building a base of basic moves, counters, and take downs that he could use to try and win as much as possible. He worked his tail off in practice but was just a little heavy for his class so he had to wrestle bigger, stronger and older guys. That frustrated him but he never quit, kept working and understood the value of gaining experience whether it was a win or a loss. Every second in the practice room and every second on the mat during a match made the difference and could help him close the gap. His 9th grade goal was lofty and it was to have a winning season. Well, he fell short of that goal and had a record of 6-14 overall. He finished the season with a couple of good wins and knew his one main weakness was strength and being on his feet in what wrestlers call a “neutral position”.

Along comes off season workouts and camps and “Bobby” decides he will have a winning season his 10th grade year so he kept working on moves and getting better but didn’t focus on his glaring weakness which was strength and neutral position. For those not familiar with the sport, when you are neutral you and the opponent are on your feet and both have no advantage and can score a take down. Takedowns was Bobbies weakness. He did not have the confidence to go for it and didn’t work at it because of that lack of confidence. 10th grade year comes along and now Bobby is 10 pounds heavier and moves up a weight class. Many of his opponents were once again bigger, stronger and older and his year goes against his plan. He keeps working hard and wrestling hard and gets much better. However, his failure to attack his weaknesses in the off season come back to bite him once again. Bobby finishes his 10th grade season with an improved record of 13-18 overall.

Junior season is now on the horizon and he is really frustrated so I sat him down and explained to him where he was falling short and gave him some ideas to improve in that area. If Bobby was a better neutral wrestler he probably would have been 18-13 instead of 13-18 as a 10th grader. He had spent two years getting better at everything other than his weakness of strength and neutral wrestling. Bobby had been sowing his seeds into the bushes and briar patches and was reaping a limited crop because of it. I gave him some specific workouts to do at home, took him to a great local summer camp, got him to summer football weight training and off season workouts. Now Bobby is working on his area of weakness which was his strength and feet movement. Bobby came to workouts, lifted weights, ran and went to a summer camp to learn more moves.

11th grade season comes along and Bobby grew a few inches and is now a 215 pound kid that was a skinny 160 as a 9th grader. He is in a class where the boys are big and strong and can weigh up to 220 pounds. Bobby set his goal of getting his weight down to 195 so he could wrestle in that class. As football season is coming near an end Bobby starts what I call Sunday running. That is going out on Sunday afternoon and running five to ten miles to shape, strengthen and make the body lean and ready for wrestling. Bobby has a good football season but at 5’9 215 he was limited to what he could do with that so he turned his focus on wrestling and his new goal. That new goal was not to have a winning season, but to actually make the regional and state tournament. Big goal in a tough class in our area. Bobby ran, did body weight exercises and cut out all sugary drinks.

11th grade wrestling season comes and Bobby has been on a three week running binge, doing body weight exercises and eating right and now he is a lean and mean 192 pounds at weigh in. Bobby also found time to pull his teammates and friends over to roll around in the yard or wherever they could find a place to get better. Bobby has a great 11th grade season with a winning record of 35-7. Bobby also met his main goal of placing in regions and making the state tournament. He finished 3rd in regions and 8th in states. He was disappointed by that last lost in what we call “blood rounds” in the wrestling world. Once you lose once you then have to battle all the way back to the medal rounds without losing an match. Bobby battled all the way back to the consolation semi-finals and lost in overtime 6-5 to the eventual 3rd place state finisher; Bobby like most people was highly upset and distraught over losing out. I coached him up, told him to be proud and use that feeling to inspire him going into his senior season.

Bobby did just that and he kept plowing “unplowed” ground learning new moves, technique and built his ability as a neutral wrestler to his advantage. He refused to keep going back to that infertile briar patch and instead choose to sow good seeds in fruitful producing land. Along comes 12th grade and wrestling season comes along. Bobby comes out of the gate 5-0 the first week of competition and in the process beat a real good kid from a higher division in the 220 pound bracket. Bobby now stands 6’0 tall and weighs every ounce of 220 pounds. He is strong, agile on his feet and loved to attack the other wrestler. All that work, time, patience and energy was now paying off. Fast forward to the end of the season and Bobby is on a tear with a record of 41-0 and has whipped everyone he wrestled. He had become very dominant and a great wrestler on his feet in neutral position.

Bobby won every tournament we entered, became a conference and regional champion and a 2X state qualifier. Difference is this time he was regional champ and went into the state tournament 44-0. Bobby wrestled well and worked his way through the field in route to the state title match. He was now 47-0 and sitting right at the verge of that goal he had set way back when he was a 9th grader. His opponent was a stud also with a 51-0 record and was the defending state champion. Bobby and this kid beat on each other for three rounds for a tie at 1-1 each. This kid was just as big and strong and great on his feet also. Here comes overtime and the first person to score wins. The referee blows the whistle and they go after each other. They are wore out, sweating, breathing hard but still attacking one another. Bobby now a confident take down wrestler attacks that other kid and goes for a take down and as they get close the out of bounds line the other kid counters Bobbies move and finds a way to score two points winning the match 3-1.

Bobby was heart broken but what a great year he had. He had a great career and is now part of history and did something through sowing good seed and working hard that few can accomplish. As I said above, if we sow good seeds in good ground we will reap a healthy, happy and prosperous crop in life. Those that choose to sow the same seeds over and over with addictions, poor decisions, bad behavior, crime, hate, anger, resentment will continue to get limited crops until they change over to the unplowed ground. There is so much potential in that unplowed ground just sitting there waiting to be plowed, sewn, cared for and reaped.

God Bless! Coach B!

Americana: Testing Your Patience- Me Versus a Weed Eater

Yesterday I needed to go and purchase a new weed eater to keep the yard work done. I have a gas powered weed eater that has seen its better days and a battery powered one as well. We have to maintain five acres of land and that requires lots of weeding, spraying and mowing. After getting about halfway through the weeding and the battery powered weed eater dying twice I got really frustrated so I decide it was time for a trip to the store to get a new gas powered weed eater. My wife had been telling me to go get one for awhile (don’t tell her she was right). I get to Lowes and go back and start looking at weed eaters and they have like five brands, gas powered, different motors, different attachments and all those hard decisions. So I enlisted the help of the expert nearby and a few other guys standing around like me doing the same thing, getting a new weed eater.

As we were all talking, comparing and giving one another advice two major themes came to light. 1- Weeding and maintaining a yard sucks. 2- The frustration of a weed eater or small engine is nerve racking. So I make the decision based on best price, best power, best line and best adaptation of the weed whacker. I bring it home brand new in the box with five gallons of pre-mix fuel oil and am ready to knock the rest of the yard out. I had accomplished part of the process by getting a new weed eater to take care of this big yard. I get home and take it from the box and begin to assemble it. I actually read the directions and put it together based on that 1-4 step process.

Bam, weed eater is assembled and fueled up. I again follow the directions on how to fuel it, prime the fuel line, check the line and follow the process to start it. Put it in position #1 and pull five times, check. Put it in #2 and pull three to five times- check. Put in #3 and pull until it starts. Once it starts let it run for two minutes without pumping the gas handle to engage the cutter. I follow the directions and after building a complete sweat, about passing out from pulling on the darn cord for five minutes I have no weed eater power. Now my frustration is setting in and my patience is being tested really hard. I once again as the directions say do the 3 step process and this time it almost starts.

I go to the internet for help now and see the hacks available to check it out. I check the fuel and it is good. I check the muffler and it is good. I check the carbonator to make sure it is set to factory specs. My wife is over there mowing away and I am trying to get this darn thing started. I continue to follow the directions without it starting so now I had said several choice words that I feel bad about saying (had to tell God I was sorry). I have gotten all red faced and pissed off over this freaking weed eater not starting. I am thinking, great now I have to take it back to Lowes, exchange it or get a return. So I sat it down and walked away for a few minutes. Came back after calming down from losing the war with the weed eater and followed the process one more time. Bam, it finally started and ran about 10 seconds but it showed me there was light at the end of the tunnel.

I tried to stay calm, patient and watch my tongue and about an hour into this battle the darn thing starts and ran like a charm. It weeded the yard like a monster and did a great job so I was thankful it finally started. The moral of the story is that starting and maintaining a weed eater or small engine is like life. You have expectations and ideas. You go head into it with hope, aspirations and focus. Then bam, life decides to take a different direction and give you a hard time. And during this time you might lose patience, get tired, frustrated and even get a few blisters (I have three today and they are sore as crap). We keep pulling the string in an attempt to start the motor of the weed eater and life motor. Walk away, clear your head and stay with it and eventually you will be able to weed out the issues of life just like that new weed eater gets rid of those unsightly weeds in the yard.

Patience, Understanding, Attitude, Focus, Determination and Dedication will get that weed eater going every time.

Proverbs 15:18; A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

Coach B!