Covid- Teachers Perspective

Featured

Covid is taking its toll on schools, students, parents and teachers all across this great country we call America. It is ravaging the world as well, but for my purposes I will write about what I witness on a daily and weekly basis as a local career educator and coach. Different states, cities, towns and districts all have different standards and protocols in place. This inconsistency has gotten things all jumbled up and out of sync. Governors are putting in mandates while others are leaving it up to the local school board to decide. Some washed their hands of it due to political reasons while others are doing what they want regardless of the polticial consequences.

Covid is very real and I am a survivor of the sickness. Last December right around Christmas while I was at home ordering food in, staying out of the public, wearing a mask, being careful and teaching from home online as directed by my school district I contracted the sickness. Within five days it had ravaged my body and put me in the hospital. I could not breath, walk or hardly talk as it took its toll on my lungs and body. I fought back and survived and Thanks to God I came home. It took 30 pounds off me quickly, messed with my lung function and put me at a high risk of other issues. So as I write about Covid I do so as a survivor that nearly died in the hopsital fighting to breath and not give up.

I see schools are trying to return to normal and have implemented mask mandates, staying six feet apart and other guidelines to protect their students, teachers, staff and families. But is that enough and are those simple little guidelines realistic to stopping the spread of Covid and saving peoples lives? I am not for nor against a mask and other guidelines. I am simply saying this Covid thing goes much deeper and farther than a guideline. If a person is exposed the guideline says this. If they are vaccinated it says this. If they are not it says this. All of this means nothing because when it comes down to it Covid scares many people and even others that will not admit it.

If you are a teacher you know that it is true that kids come to school all the time sick with colds, coughs, flu and other things. Parents send them to school to make sure they do not miss any work time or even do not have to keep the kids at home. I have seen the stress Covid is putting on the staff at schools and the anxiety it gives many of the students. Some act as if it is no big deal, but to others it is real because they have had it, seen someone fight it or even worse lost someone from it. Covid does not care if your young, old, healthy, fat, skinny, diabetic, sick, not sick, etc. Covid attacks us when we are weak and takes it toll on the body.

I know of several people I would conside fit as a fiddle that died within a week of it. I have seen case after case at school, exposure after exposure at school and your told look at the protocol. What they do not understand is a person that has a mother, father or older person at home does not care about a damn protocol. They are worried they may take it home and give it to someone else that could pass away. A paper of process cannot replace lives lost due to protocol. Covid will not be going away soon and will continue to ravage as it wants to.

How we react to it is what matters. Do we live scared? Do we live free of it? Do we proceed with caution? What do we do? Is remote learnig best? Is alternating weeks best? Is face to face with spacing and masks best? These are the things the politicians, school boards, administrators and leaders must face. But for the front line people, the teachers, nurses, police, firemen, and other civil servants it is more of how do we face it and move forward. I see people taking time off, stepping away, leaving the field and doing safer occupations. I see people on facebook talking about “if you do not like what you do or are scared then do not do it”. That is easier said than done when it comes to leaving a profession you love, giving up an income and not taking care of the family needs and wants.

Covid, you suck and need to go away. Our kids need to be in school. Our teachers need to be teaching them. Our kids need to play football, be in the band, hang with friends and live life. We need you to go away as quick as you came. Wishful thinking yes, but it sounds good to me for it to go away. As for me I will be at work, be as safe as I can and take care of my students, my family and myself. Prayerfully I can teach, coach, mentor and survive this thing called Covid.

Spirit Chronicles: Darkness Fell on the Land

Featured

I had a dream about the darkness rising in America and the fall of America as the greatest country in the world.  Big cities have begun to plunge into turmoil due to anarchy and lost ethics and morals. This is also spreading into the suburbs and small towns across the country.  I saw people in suits surrounded by $$ signs (big tech) helping to spread the ideals of darkness on people.  I saw sin in the form of a beautiful woman that turned into a demon as a symbol of the sinful nature of mankind and how the desires of flesh and sin have become normal and acceptable. 

I saw men and women of power with black eyes representing darkness as Government leaders are not of the light. These people were deceptive leaders full of deep rooted darkness led by a desire for power, greed, money and control over all aspects of citizens.  I saw darkness fall upon the land sending it into a modern day fight for the survival of the country.  But this one is fought using social media, news outlets, the internet and other web based activity that Americans have become addicted to. 

I saw young people with blinds on representing the mind sweep that is going on with social media and the lack of respect being taught to them by parents. A new generation of kids that cannot think for themselves was being formed and will be used as part of the great deception that will continue to occur. Social media shows it and they believe it. I saw a virus released on mankind represented by a viral bug and a man standing there with a lab coat with dark eyes. He was part of the release of some type of global virus yet to come.

I saw free signs and people then fighting, rioting and hurting others when all the free ran low or was no longer available. I saw homeless people, streets on fire and drugs representing part of the demise of America. The plans for social change and social control fail and the country becomes chaotic.  I saw a huge light at the end and people going towards it. That represented the people that turned away from the darkness that fell on America and were still faithful and true to God and his word. I saw an Angel, the US Flag and a Family standing near each other. These represented the union of good and the light force that will eventually win the battle over darkness. God, Country and Family for life!

Faith- What To Do When You Need Patience

Featured

Today as I am trying to pack to go on the yearly summer vacation I find myself needing patience. I am generally laid back and a pretty patient person (exceptions traffic and drive through Windows). I am not sure why but those two things tend to get under my skin especially a drive through if the people in the car with me do not know what they want or keep changing their mind. I get to the point of “just flipping order something”. Patience is required in life as we spend lots of time waiting at the doctor, stores, drive throughs, traffic, restaurants and in my case waiting on a woman (my wife and two daughters). Seems like it takes them forever to make up their mind on clothes and getting dressed.

Then when we go shopping it takes forever to go in the store and grab stuff. That turns into an all day shopping excursion and I have things to do at home. God wants us to be patient and patience in mentioned in his word in both the new and old testament. I have to exercise patience as a public school teacher and coach with teenagers. I have to get better at being patient and the only way I can do that is to work on it hard. Focus on it and ask the Lord for patience and grace in that process. Being patient is kind, loving, friendly, helpful, avoids stress and anxiety. Being patient is what God expects us to be when dealing with our family and friends. Being patient requires us to submit to Gods plan in our lives and live the best we can and “wait”. For me that is the hard part!

James 5: 7-8; Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Psalm 37:39; Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

Faith- Doubting God

Featured

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.

Featured

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!

Featured

Leadership 101- 12 Effective Habits of Great Leaders

1- The very best coaches motivate, inspire and lead the organization with intention, purpose, dedication, discipline, desire and an create energy around them constantly. 

2- The really effective coaches never use intimidation, power, embarrassment or other negativity to teach the required skills needed to be successful in life, sports, work and play.  

3- Great coaches are great life teachers that lead by example, share their history, success, failure, wins and losses to grow the team, individual and build life long relationships.  

4- The best coaches keep the game in perspective and know that winning, losing, upsets, setback, victory, injury, goals and are all about life after the sport and game has ended.

5- Great coaches never let their ego, pride or willingness to win override team goals, personal matters and individual accomplishment.  

6- Great coaches understand the individual strengths and skills of each player and how they can be developed for the overall improvement of the player, staff and team.

7- The best coaches coach the individual, team and staff with intention of growing their skills and winning.

8- The best coaches are always flexible and fir the players into their system of success growing the team skills constantly. 

9- The great coaches are communicators that lead with their voice, actions and behavior.  

10- Great coaches listen to their players, staff and parents actively to gauge where they are in relationships and overall growth of the organization.

11- Great coaches just do not talk the talk, they walk the walk.

12- Great coaches teach life skills, winning, losing, integrity, hard work, dedication, discipline, team work, overcoming, and so many other needed life skills for adult success after the game iv over.

Featured

Life Hacks 101- 10 Things Coaches, Managers and Go Getters Look For

Today we are talking about traits that coaches value and look for in their student athletes that cost nothing but time, energy and work ethic.  These traits also are what business owners, companies, managers, leaders and other people looking for talent expect. These traits set you apart from others and can make you a great player, worker, leader, parent, teacher, business owner and whatever it is you want to be.  If I can get my athletes to learn these by my actions, behaviors and results then as a coach I have accomplished my goals and the rest will take care of itself.  

1- Time management skills- Are you on time, are you early for class, practice, work and ready to go when the bell, alarm or clock strikes and its go time.

2- Great work ethic- Do you exhibit a work ethic that people cannot deny and one that shows you are a true go getter.

3- Positive energy- Are you a positive person that exudes positive traits and thoughts. Do people want to be around you and grow with you.

4- Positive attitude- Do you see the glass half full or half empty.  Does your attitude reflect goodness, kindness, love and respect for others.

5- Being prepared- Are you prepped and ready for completing tasks, work assignments, school work and other demands life throws at you.  Do you do what it takes to be ready to roll, ready to work and ready to win.

6- Passion- Are you passionate about your family, friends, job, sport or life.  Passion can override talent and lots of other traits many times.  Give me  passionate learner and I will take that over talent any day of the week.

7- Discipline- Do you show discipline in your actions, behaviors and life.  Do you have what it takes to be disciplined to work out, lift weights, run, manage your weight and help the team out.  Are you disciplined to get out of bed and get to work and produce for your family and to meet your goals.

8- Communication skills- Can you openly communicate with people in a positive and meaningful way.  Can you talk business like and not use slang and street terms in conversations.  Are you a good listener and have positive skills people see when you communicate with them.  Do you sound educated (I am not talking college educated).  

9- Good body language- Do you carry yourself in a positive manner.  Do you sit upright, keep good eye contact and other positive body language.  Do you know how to present yourself, shake hands and make people feel relaxed around you.  Are you too chilled at times and can you turn it on and off as needed.

10- Coachable- Lastly and most important to me.  Are you coachable, teachable, and able to be mentored. Can you accept feedback and loss with dignity and respect.  Are you part of the solution or part of the problem.  Do you take advice from someone much older, more knowledgeable and experienced and apply it to become better.  Or are you a hotshot know it all that will eventually fail because you know more about a 30 year veteran coach about your position or saw it on a video game.  (believe me folks, this is a reality nowadays)!

There are other things you could put on this list.  But these are the things that cost you nothing but time, energy and work ethic.  These are the basic skills needed in sports, work, life and play that can make you successful whether you are a backup, first string star or do a common job.  These skills will make you stand out in the crowd, rise above others and set you on a path that others envy and want to be on.  They may not admit it, but ultimately they see your success and skill set and desire to be like you.

Americana- July 4th Fireworks, Family and Friends

My family has been celebrating the fourth of July for many years at a pool party with friends, family and lots of fireworks. My dad loved fireworks and would always drive down to South Carolina or have someone bring some back from the beach to shoot off at the party. He would sit on the diving board at the local pool we were members of and watch us boys (me and my brothers) fire off the fireworks. He took pride in his family, friends and that pool party. The highlight at the end of the night growing up was to see those booming fireworks going off.

Once dad got a bit older and could not set them off himself as I stated we would set them off and he and mom would sit and watch and celebrate. I can see him smiling now as the beautiful colors sparkle and bang in the air. My dad passed away on 2009 and we have continued to make sure this family tradition continues. My nephews have now become the firework setter off leaders. One of them is a fireman so he is the perfect person for the job. If he sets something on fire he can grab a hose and put it out.

I was helping them this time and we were spending some time talking and I looked both of them in the eye and told them that myself and their dads were getting a little older and will not always be here. I asked them to take it and run with it every July 4th. Family, Friends, Fireworks and food are a staple of my families July 4th and I cherish every memory made all of these years. I have been hit by random fireworks, ran from them, nearly got my fingers blown off and all kinds of trouble due to setting them off.

We celebrate a day that signifies life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the greatest country in the world. I am thankful for all of my family, friends and the fireworks and hope you had a great July 4th celebrating our independence. Americana is apple pie, holidays, baseball, fire works, summers at the lake, toys, traveling and so many other things. Enjoy and make your own Americana memories and tell your story. I hope you enjoyed the story of my dad, mom, our family and how important fire works is to us and our family bond.

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!

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.

Spirit Chronicles: The Dark Wave

I dreamed I was fishing in a very nice lake and was catching fish that looked kind of like a flounder but they had human like faces. I caught them one by one and they got bigger each time. I would reel them in, take them off the hook and throw them back into the beautiful water. My dad was with me and I do not see him very often in my dreams but the is one of my guardians and shows up when things get hard for me or something bad is about to happen. He was always a huge supporter of me and continues to be in spirit. I knew him being in the vision had a meaning that a storm or hard choice may be coming soon.

I continued to fish and and we baited the hooks and caught fish after fish. Then a huge wave appeared in the east of us and it was about one hundred feet high and very dark. It was muddy colored dark brown almost black and was getting bigger and bigger. I saw it coming in the distance and wanted to continue to fish but I knew it was time to step away from the shore and seek safety. Dad looked at me and I knew it was time to reel the bait in and get away from the impending wave. My dad does not talk to me in dreams, but I can sense and know what he is telling me when he appears.

As we walked away the first of two large waves hit and the shore line crashed with muddy water and it rushed towards me but did not touch my feet. It went around me because I was protected from that storm and the ones that are coming by my dad and God’s spirit. Another larger wave hit soon and it passed as well with no damage or feat from it. The water began to clear and I woke up. My dad is with me right now as I write this vision and dream to you. He us touching the top of my head and letting me know that he is here for me.

He was a strong man in life. He was a leader of people. He took care of my mom, brothers and myself. He now does the same in spirit. I am so proud of my father and the person he was. I am so glad to have him in my life daily guarding over me. Thank You dad for being my guardian, father and spirit guide as I continue to transform spiritually into the best Christian I can and use my God given gifts to help others as you helped me.

Matthew 6;33; But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

James 1:6; But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.