Faith- Doubting God

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Today as I was riding around the yard mowing and listening to some good Christian Worship music a few songs came on that really hit me hard and the message I got was that we often have doubt in God and his promises. I have had my times when I doubted God, mostly when things were going bad, getting hard and tough to deal with. We want things and want it our way but that is not how it works with God. When we ask for something or pray for something we do not always get the answer we want. We get what God wants us to have as he controls all things human, spiritual and in between.

As I was thinking about this and listening to the words in these songs the thought of God being constant and always with us, guiding us and helping us hit me hard. I have had a very spiritual evolution of late since I had a near death experience back in September of 2020. I had faith in God but had slipped in that faith and how he has handled me and dealt with me since then has shown me that his love, grace, mercy and care are like no other I could ask for or expect. In the bible its tells us that faith in God is the foundation of life.

Faith in God is the rock by which we build a solid foundation. He is the way, the light, the miracle, the past, the present and the future. Human nature leads to doubt. We are emotional creatures and that emotion can take a toll on our faith on people and the Lord. We struggle at times with mental, physical and spiritual battles. These things create anxiety and fear of the unknown. These things can separate us from God and drive us to carry baggage that God wants us to get rid of.

When things get hard sit down and pray. Make a list of the ways God has blessed you and your family. Making this list will bring you back to the understanding that God is omni present in our lives and is leading us the way he wants us to go. We put ourselves in bad situations and that makes us doubt not only what we believe but our belief on God. We win some, we lose some, we tie some. God always wins and we have to see the wins in these situations to remove doubt. We lose a family member and doubt comes crashing in. Know that God has that soul now and they are fine.

We lose a job, a house, a spouse and other things we have. This throws doubt, anxiety and tests our faith. Hold strong and know that God has this. He is in charge and will take care of things. He will carry us through it. I put together a list of things that I think help me stay stronger in my faith. Things that can help you get closer to God and know that his support and love in constant and always present. We must first overcome our own doubt to overcome the doubt we have in God. Life can be disappointing at times and in those times we must not doubt God, but find strength in his words and actions. God is awesome, caring, loving, supportive and patient. We must be the same to be a person of confidence and not a “doubter”.

1- Do not rely on your own emotions, confidence and actions to try and overcome the big challenges in your life.

2- We adopt worry, anxiety and fear as our way of dealing with things.

3- We question Gods goodness and grace in our lives.

Reading Isiah 26, I found these three ways to cast any doubt we have about God in our lives away.

1- Seek God and his everlasting power when times are tough.

2- Know that God promised us safety, grace and mercy in the Bible.

3- Know that God never doubts us and we should never doubt him.

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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- Finding Courage In Challenging Situations

You will be put in challenging situations and at times feel overwhelmed and let down. Life will let you down at times and often it is when we are either at the top of our game or at the lowest point.  When we are facing our darkest moments and weakest moments due to life events we must focus on God and look for an outcome that is positive. To make it positive we have to have faith and believe that the process of overcoming challenging times is going to be dealt with head on and with courage.

Challenging events in our lives are part of the process of growing, becoming more than what and who we are.  God wants us to be strong, have faith and walk through life with his light shining.  Life will knock you down and beat you up bad if you let it. We live our best life and know that the things we face in life such as losing a job, losing family, broken families, health crisis and other things make us stronger. God will never put us through something we cannot handle and is right there by our side helping us with it. He is carrying us through it and knows the outcome if we follow him and trust in his process.

The bible tells us that God will not put us through anything we cannot handle, but doing it on our own often leads to more trouble, anger, strife and fear.  Ask God to help you, guide you and lead you and he will.  These times cause us to have all of these emotions and can make us mentally and physically sick. Tough times can also make us spiritually sick which allows the Devil to step in and cast doubt, anger and frustration. When times get hard, we must fight back and seek God for his grace, guidance and mercy.

You will look back and laugh at those times knowing it was all a step forward in your spiritual journey.  Even though it may have felt like a step backwards at the time. What seemed like a step in the wrong direction can often be the steps forward that propel us to become stronger in our faith and relationships with family, friends and God. When it gets tough, fight back. When times challenge you, push back. When a crisis happens in life, step up to the challenge. When life kicks you in the teeth, call on God and overcome!

Faith- Life Lessons #1

God has a plan for all of us, we have to ask for his guidance in the process and be obedient to him. There are two plans in life. Our plan and Gods plan and often the two are not the same. God is all knowing and has already planned our role in the world. We plan our own role as well and it often clashes and we somehow see things constantly getting in the way or progress towards our plan. God will not shut you down, but he can offer help if we seek his guidance in the process.

Humans tend to need and want things, it is a natural part of living.  What we often do not think about is what God needs for us to have.  Everything we own, work for, have, buy and accomplish is because we have a loving God that permits it. I look at my career, family, money, hobbies, health and other parts of my life as borrowed from God. We are all on borrowed time and with his blessings we will have the things we desire, need and want. Until those things get in the way of right, good, and just thinking, actions, behaviors and living.

He needs us to have a relationship with him, he wants us to honor him.  Honor God by honoring your commitment to him because he is 100% committed to you. Seeking a daily relationship with God is a must for me. I cannot imagine living without God interacting in my life, my family life and work life. I probably should restate the title of this paragraph to “We need a relationship with God” and that will honor him. Do everything with good intention, honor, commitment and faith and you can conquer the world in the process and achieve all your goals and dreams.

The bible speaks about desires of the flesh, getting lost in our way and being greedy.  Often, what we need is really not what we want.  I broke down and bought a new truck last week, well actually a good used truck bit compared to the old 1997 paid for truck I had it was a bigtime upgrade. I didn’t have to buy a truck but the time had come to where the old red one was starting to see its better life gone before it. I wrestled with the fact of spending money, buying a newer vehicle and using credit. Those are things I do not like to do. So I prayed about it, thought about, made a list of pros and cons about it and then made a decision.

Pray to God and ask for his guidance in buying, pursuing and having things. Ask God to show you the way. Be patient, observant and diligent in the way you pursue things using sound Biblical principals of finance, thought, behavior and work ethic and the world will treat you well. God will bless you, guide you and lead you to his plan and an ultimate victory for you. May God bless you and Keep you!

Faith- The Power of Prayer and Miracles of Healing

Today I am writing about a recent incident that happened lately to my wife and I. She was diagnosed with a torn tendon or ligament in her hip a few months ago and and had gotten to the point of almost struggling to walk at times. An MRI and x-Rays showed that she had a tear in her hip that was causing all the pain and discomfort. We scheduled surgery this week and immediately called in our prayer warriors at local churches, family and friends to lift her up in prayer. We were covered by prayer and the surgery took place. When the doctor went in to check the damage and fix things he seen that the tear was completely healed and gone away.

He told us after the surgery that all he had to do was clean the area up and did not have to fix anything bad. My wife was amazed and asked me what happened, how did this take place when the tear was clearly there a few weeks ago. I told her God was the great healer and when you are lifted in prayer by many God hears that and answers prayer. I firmly believe that my wife was healed by God and the prayer he heard from all my prayer warrior friends and family. There is power in prayer and miracles happen daily because of it.

I where a bracelet that says “I am with you always”. I truly believe that God is with me and my family all the time walking with us and talking with us. I encourage you to seek him, seek his counsel, seek his grace, seek his mercy and believe that God can and will help you. In your moment of weakness, doubt, fear, anxiety and obstacles call on God and wait patiently on his movement in your life. We later found out that my wife has a mass and had we not had the surgery for the tear that was not there we would have not found out about that.

That my friends is God at work. He does things his way, on his time and how he sees it working for us. We do not know our future, but we can know that if we ask we will have God in that future taking us in the direction we need to go to find ourselves and learn to believe.

Amen and Thank You God!

Mark 11:24; Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

2nd Corinthians 12:9; But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

James 5:14; Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

Relationships: Married 28 Years and Counting

Today my wife and I celebrated twenty eight years of marriage together. We met back in 1992 and got married in 1993. June 5, 1993 we became one, exchanged rings and began our journey as two merged as one. My wife is my ride or die. My wife is my boo. My wife is my best friend. My wife is my accomplice in life. My wife is my inspiration. My wife is my why! It has not always been easy to make it that long and we had many bumps in the road along the way. We have seen our fair share of health issues, financial issues, job loss, job gain, good income, bad income, poor times, rich times, fun times and tough times. Below I am creating a list of exactly what it took for us to make it the full 28 with prayerfully 28 more.

A healthy marriage involves the following principals to be strong, survive and thrive:

1- Marriage is a union of two souls.

2- Marriage requires giving and serving of your spouse.

3- Marriage requires a solid foundation of faith.

4- Marriage requires sound financial management of what God has provided.

5- Marriage requires spouses that are supportive and pray for one another.

6- Marriage requires dedication, discipline and determination.

7- Marriage is not to be taken lightly. It is to be seriously at all times.

8- Marriage is ride or die. No quitting allowed regardless of how hard it gets.

9- Marriage is for life and your spouse is your one and only. You never seek out, look for or consider other sexual activity outside the marriage.

10- Marriage requires God’s grace, guidance, mercy and will. Seek him and your marriage will be blessed. A great marriage is built on the foundations of rock that creates success and not on sand that will wash away with high waters.

Spirit Chronicles: Transformed Near Death Experience

Back in September of 2020 I had a heart issue that lead me to having a surgery procedure. I went into the hospital to get a reactively simple procedure that is completed daily all across the world to fix clogged and sealed off arteries in a persons heart. It all started with breathing issues, chest pain, and a miracle from Heaven that saved my life. I was given a message from a family friend that is very gifted that my mom from heaven had shown her I had chest and heart issues. She told me that I had two blockages with one being in my main artery and another small one. The average person might think this to be crazy or out there, but for me it was a clear sign that I needed to go to the doctor. Long story short, I went to the doctor and was immediately scheduled for a heart procedure to see what was happening and fix anything.

I had told the doctor the reason I was there and who advised me (a message from heaven) that I had heart issues that needed to be resolved immediately. Imagine telling your doctor that when they ask who referred you to see them and why you think your having heart issues. The doctor picked at me a bit about it in a kind way and scheduled the procedure. I reported to the hospital, was prepped and went into the surgery that morning. That is when the :Transformation” happened. During the procedure something happened and I remember the event vividly to this day. I was under a local anesthesia and was able to talk and hear what was happening around me. During the procedure I remember a brief time when I was suddenly looking out at the ceiling just staring and felt so light and calm. I was not seeing the ceiling tiles or lights. Instead I was seeing the beautiful blue sky and wonderful clouds.

This went on for several minutes and during that time I remember seeing myself lying on the table and being worked on. I also remember the doctor asking me “Mr. Bowers, are you with us”. Mr. Bowers, can you hear me”. Mr. Bowers, talk to us”. I didn’t pay this much attention until later on when I realized after talking to my doctor that I had somehow either died or had some type of near death experience on that table. His exact words were “you scared the shit out of us for a short time:. He then said “did you leave your body”? This triggered me to realize that I had “transformed” that day. God had given me a new gift at the time and used that opportunity to awaken something in me that I felt was always there but was not sure about.

I left that hospital a different person, with a changed soul, with ability that I did not understand. I could suddenly see things, sense things, fell things and hear things that I could not before. I had changed or “transformed” and God had used his spirit to change me and allow me to help others change. I titled the name of this blog Heavenly notices for that very reason. God had allowed my mom (one of my spirit guides) to communicate to me an issue with my heart. Oh, by the way the doctor also told me that everything I told him in the interview prior to the procedure was 100% accurate down to the actual clots and where they were located.

Soon after going home all the dreams, visions, messages, and spiritual activity began to come along. It grows daily and I am guided by God and his spirit as I patiently learn to use what I was gifted when I died or “transformed” on that table. All the many instances I have written about on this blog from the early age of nine to my mid fifties wrapped back to a gift I had but did not know how to use. I thank God for the gift and what it will develop into. I thank God for my guardians and Angels that guide and protect me. I will continue to write about my dreams, visions and experiences as they happen. Embrace the gifts God give us and flourish in life.

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!

Sports: Football Memories

Today my cousin stopped by school and gave me a present that he found at home. It was one that brought back some great memories of long ago. He brought me a football that I played with in the 5th grade and I was in the 5th grade a loooooonnnnngggggg time ago. It looked very good for a ball that was lets say 45 years old or so and still had some air in it. My cousin Greg that brought me the ball was my first football coach and he taught me lots about the sport. He was a young man and I was in elementary school and he loved football and was a really good high school player. Cousin Greg and his brother Bruce along with my two older brothers all coached me in little league. They were mentors to me all of my life and some of my biggest supporters as I grew in the sport to middle school, high school and eventually to college.

It was a very kind gesture that came from a great man that loves his family, friends and God. He could have sent me a message and I could have went by his house and picked it up. Instead, he took the time out of his day to bring it by school and deliver it to me. As he was leaving he told me he was very proud of me and what I had accomplished as a coach. That along with the old football made my day much better and brought back so many memories of practicing on that old football field with hardly any grass. MY friends and I beating on each other tackling, running, jumping, blocking, catching and just being kids. Greg and his coaching staff were my inspirations growing up. I would go over to the high school on Friday nights and watch them play. Then on Sundays at my grandmothers we would play some more and I got beat around pretty good by the older guys.

It toughened me up and made me love the game at an early age and created a love affair with football that lasted as a player, coach and fan for over 45 years. 30 of those coaching at different levels including some little league time working with those kids to give back what my cousins and brothers had given to me. Many childhood memories include playing football, sports and hanging out with our friends. I now have that football to add to a collection of many. I have a ball from every level I played or coached except middle school. This football memory will sit on my desk at work, proudly displayed for me to look at, smile and think about playing ball as a kid and the joy and success it has brought my life.

We all have memories stowed away and sometimes we just need that trigger to bring them back after many, many years. It made me think about practice, spending time with friends, going to McDonalds for a cheeseburger after games. It made me be thankful for all the football skills, life skills, memories and future opportunity I may pursue with the game that helped shape who I am today. Coach Greg (cousin Greg) helped shape me into the man I am today also. Thanks Greg for the football and the football memories it brought back.

Coach B!

Advice: Life Skills That Prepare Kids for Real Life

I have been teaching for a long time and one thing I have observed more lately than in the past is that teenagers are not learning life skills that they will need as an adult. These life skills are needed so they can function and be productive as they get out of school and pursue their dreams and goals. Lots of people joke about it, but you would be surprised at the amount of kids that do not know how to do many of the things listed below. For those that teach your kids these life skills. Good for you and congratulations on teaching them how to be responsible, accept accountability in life and grow their life skills. Below are things my mom and dad taught me growing up and these skills are still needed for our current kids and teenagers.

As they get older, give them more and more responsibility and teach them how being accountable is important in life. You will not always be there, be around or be able to do it for them. Help them grow up knowing basic life skills needed for a successful life. These activities build confidence and grow their level of success by having transferrable life skills for the 21st Century.

1- Teach them how to cook. When I went to college and moved out I could cook more than Mac and Cheese or Ramen Noodles. Cooking requires the use of memory, measuring and other life skills. It teaches them to adapt, make changes and fix things as they go.

2- Teach them to do their own laundry. I know moms hate to do all that laundry (until their kid goes off to college). Teach them to do laundry, to fold and sort laundry. Teach them to take care of their clothes because they are expensive.

3- Teach your children and teenagers to be fiscally responsible with money. They need to learn to save money, learn about spending habits, how to manage credit and other financial matters. Worst thing a young adult can do is go into the world and not manage money smartly. Teaching them now will help them to be more financially sound as adults.

4- Teach them how to type on a computer, laptop and write a letter. They need to know the difference in text talk and actually professional talk required to complete a resume for jobs and careers. LOL, IDK, Yo and all that other text talk does not cut it on the job or on an application.

5- Teach them how to be active and healthy. Being healthy is important and is part of an active lifestyle that will allow them to have the energy and wellness to be successful in life. They do not have to be a gym rat or real fit. Just have good exercise patterns and activity in life.

6- Teach them the value of hard physical labor. Get them off the video games, off the couch and into the yard to cut some wood. Cleanup the yard, mow, pick up trash, trim the bushes and other things that will teach them that hard physical labor and the ability to use tools is a good thing. Many young people can make a great living with tools, trades and good labor skills.

7-Teach them accountability. Your kids must learn to be held accountable in life for their thoughts, actions, comments, reactions and behaviors. Not teaching them discipline and accountability will disable them later in life. Enable them by making sure they understand every action good or bad has a life consequence.

8- Teach them to dress correctly. There is a time and place or flip flops, chill clothes and shades. There is also a time for dressing to the occasion, having clean and neat clothes on. Like going to get a job, an interview and going to church.

9- Teach them how to do basic repairs and maintain a car. Teenagers need to know how to change a tire. How to fix a lose screw. How to use a drill, a hammer, drive nails, build things and tear things down. This can spur an interest in a career and save them lots of money as adults when they need to do basic repairs at home.

10- Teach them good time management skills. Do not be that parent that is always late and getting your kids to school right when the bell rings. Get them out of bed early, get them off to school, sporting events, practice. dance class and all that other stuff on time. Teach them to be early 15 minutes so they do not build a habit of being late for school, work, and appointments.

11- Teach them how to clean. Cleanliness is important and a life skill they will need when they have an apartment, condo or home, Untidy and unclean homes breed disease and laziness. Make them do the dishes, clean their room, wash clothes, mow yards, and other stuff adults assume they cannot do. If they do not do their chores then discipline them.

12- Teach them to do volunteer work. Work with them to develop the skills to help others, serve the community and other people. Serving and helping others is becoming a lost skill and one that everyone needs at times. This teaches them to put other above themselves and will humble them to see that others have it worse than they do.

13- Teach them manners and respect. Teach your kids to be nice, thankful, gracious, kind hearted and positive. Teach them to say yes sir, yes mam, no mam, no sir, please and thank you. These words will get them respect, impress people and help them find and keep a job. Nobody likes a disrespectful little brat!

14- Teach them the value of family and friends. Kids need to know that family and friends are the number one source of help, support, and well being. We all need some type of family “blood kin or otherwise” to help guide us and take care of our emotional needs.

15- Lastly, teach your kids that setting goals, working hard, acting in a positive manner, being nice, being helpful, being a go getter and other life skills is needed for them to be successful at whatever they want or desire. Nobody owes your kids anything in life so make sure they are equipped with the life skills to pull it off and pursue their dreams and goals.

Your kids, teenagers, sons, daughters, siblings, cousins, friends and family will likely exhibit the behaviors that you model for them. What is allowed will persist is an old saying a great coach and mentor once told me. What he was saying to me as a young coach and teacher was “Coach, if you let them do what they want, do not teach them about accountability then you are modeling bad behavior, ideals, actions, thoughts and speech”. They in turn will act the same way and fail at life until they figure it out, hopefully not before it is too late.

Blessings on a skilled and wonderful life for your kiddos!

Coach B

Health: Coping Skills- 10 Life Hacks to Cope With Stress and Anxiety

We all face daily bombardments of stress in life. We have stress from relationships, family obligations, work, and other commitments. These can build up over time and eventually shut you down emotionally, physically and spiritually. We must deal with stress and anxiety on the spot so it does not build up and overcome us all at once. Some stress we bring on ourselves with worry and life goals. Other stress comes from the people we work with, live with, talk to, love and communicate with daily. They may not know they are a stressor for you unless you let them know. I tell kids at school all the time, hey do not let them stress you out. That is much easier said than done. Today I was talking with a student and he was stressed out about some family stuff so I did some research to give him some ways to try and deal with it.

Below are some life hacks for dealing with stress and anxiety that may help him and you out a little bit. It may not take it away, but it can alleviate the stress and anxiety for a little while as you seek to heal and move forward from the stressor in your life. I hope your living a stress free life and do not need any advice, but if your stressed as most working adults are with kids, jobs, family, and friends that take up most of our time each day. We can attack the stressors we are facing and slowly get rid of it one little bit at a time. Take the small wins in life and the small movement towards becoming stress and anxiety free.

1- Go for a long walk, take a run, go swimming, go biking or whatever form of exercise you like. It can help you cope and getting out in nature always helps calm your nerves.

2- Find a calming place and just chill out. Sit under a big tree, lay on the ground and stare at the stars. Climb a tree and just chill out. Go to your calming place and chill out for a couple of hours.

3- Go sit in the car and listen to your radio. Put on some upbeat music and just relax and enjoy the music coming into your ears. Sing along, dance a little and just have some fun.

4- Read a good book. Whatever genre it is you like, go get a good book or buy a cheap one at the dollar tree and read. You would be surprised how a good book can take you away for a little while.

5- Go shopping and get yourself something. Do not go crazy, but stop by the mall or your favorite store on the way home and get a little something. Maybe that good book to read.

6- Travel to another small town close to you and hang out for a day on Saturday. Shop locally, eat out and see what it has to offer. You never know, it might be your next home and you didn’t know it.

7- Get rid of negative people and situations in your life. If your in a bad relationship move on. This is hard to do but you have to so you can have good relationships going forward.

8- Call or text an old friend or college roommate. Talking to long lost friends lifts us up and gives us an opportunity to renew a relationship. Meet them in between and go out for dinner or a movie.

9- Read the bible, pray and seek Gods guidance on your stress and anxiety levels. God will always listen and be there for you. Be open to the relationship, be patient and see what happens.

10- Make a list of must do’s that are bogging you down. Take that list and look it over again to make sure nothing on their is put of “your control”. You can control you, not other people, your boss, your children, your friends, sickness, disease and other things. These are life events that you just have to attack and overcome one day at a time.

Most important thing is to do you. Get rid of the stressors and replace it with positive energy, relationships, spend time with loved ones and live your life the best you can. Handle the stress the best you can using whatever hack helps (no alcohol or drugs) and go after life.

Coach B