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- 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!

Health: 10 Ways To Improve Your Physical and Mental Health

Today we are looking at ten ways you can improve your physical and mental health. I have been a on reboot of sorts the last several months due to some major health issues and two close calls with death. I actually did many of these during my adult life but had let some things skip and after a heart issue and nearly checking out with Covid I have put much thought into my emotional, physical and spiritual well being going forward. I have as I stated rebooted my systems, hit the reset button and am pushing forward with life to accomplish my goals and dreams. I had to ask myself “why” am I where I am at and “why” should I make the needed changes to get to where I wanted to be. My “why” is that I want to enjoy my retirement years coming up sooner than later. I want to be healthy of mind, body and soul. I want to have the energy to live my best life. That is my “why”. Check out these simple changes or things to do to live your best physical and mental healthy life and give them a try. Then write down your “why” and find a way to make it happen.

1- Eat healthier foods. It is OK to splurge on occasion but unhealthy eating habits will eventually take a toll on your health. If it taste really good, chances are it is not so good for you. Make small changes to your diet and watch your energy levels and overall health improve.

2- Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol and drugs. Do you but be careful as to how much you consume. I never was a big drinker and have not once put a drug into my body. But that is me and as I said do you but do it with caution and an end goal in mind of enjoying it and not using it as a tool to cope or just feel high. Best scenario is just not doing it at all.

3- Stop smoking, vaping and chewing tobacco. These things are very dangerous for the body, have chemicals in them that are addictive and will eventually take a toll on your health. Relying on them to relieve stress and anxiety will not fix your emotional stability.

4- Manage stress- Keeping a check on your stress levels is important. Stress takes its toll on you physically, emotionally and spiritually in life. Mange it the best you can without turning to drugs, alcohol. addictive’s substances and bad decisions. Find a way to get rid of it by walking, hiking, sleeping, running, listening to music, traveling, etc. When you are stressed those around you know it and feel it also.

5- Activity and Exercise. Be an active person and find ways to use energy to create energy. Walking is a great way to do that. You do not have to be a gym rat or the most fit person. Get a bike and take bike rides around the neighborhood. Go to a park and take a mile or two walk. Go to the gym and go hard. Do something active and watch how good it makes you feel.

6- Do something you enjoy. What are the things you enjoy doing outside of family, friends and work. Find a hobby that relaxes you and allows you to just chill and be you. Solve puzzles, draw, write, cross stitch, build things, work in the shop, work outside, have a garden, hang with friends, go shopping. Find your “why” and go do it.

7- Connect with family and friends. Do not get caught up in the day to day busy lifestyle that leads to boredom and the same old thing. Yes we have to go work, go to the store, clean the house and all the other responsibilities. But finding time to text, talk, hang out with or just visit with neighbors is important. Having a solid inner circle of people around will help you be more emotionally and physically safe and stable.

8-Volunteer/Serve Others- Find a local charity, church, community out reach program to get involved in. Helping others will help you. It fits the bill for many of the thing listed above. Being active, giving, living a healthy life and doing something you enjoy. Serve food a a food bank. Serve on a church council. Raise money for a good cause. Coach a ,little league team. Use your talents and skills to serve others and the payback is much more than any paycheck can offer you.

9- Ask for help. Do not be afraid to ask for help from your loved ones, friends, family and mentors. Those people have resources, experience and background to help you. It might be just to talk to someone. It might be to reach out to a friend that you highly trust. Ask for help, do not try to do it on your own.

10- Pray, Pray and Pray. Connect with God on a daily basis. Seek his guidance, grace, mercy and leadership in your life. If another entity is your thing, then seek it and do it wholeheartedly. Enhancing your spiritual life enhances all the other parts of it.

Find your “why” and go after it. Make small changes and live your best life!

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

Health: Physical, Mental and Spiritual Impact of Tragedy

Today I am writing a brief post about one of the hardest times in my life.  I was coaching at a local high school and halfway through the season our head coach and my good friend passed away suddenly and unexpected.  This was a huge loss for his family, students, athletes and the community as a whole.  I am going to go into all the details of what happened, but instead will talk about the loss of a dear friend and coach and how the coaching staff and team responded to that loss.  Losing important people in out lives is never easy and brings a rush of emotion that we deal with for sometimes months or even years.  I was the offensive coordinator at the time so when my friend passed I was asked to continue the season as the interim head coach.  I remember the conversation with the principal when he asked me to take things and finish the season.  

I gladly took the responsibility not because it was a chance to take the program over.  It was the right thing to do in honor of my friend, players, community and school.  I went home that day and just prayed and cried about it.  This was a really bad situation and I had to find a way to step up, hide my emotions and feelings and stand tall for my players.  I sat down and came up with a plan that I wanted to use to try to manage the coming weeks activity which included a memorial service, a funeral, practice. planning, teaching, counseling crying and overcoming the fact that I was not Coach C.  My goal never was to replace such a great man, it was simply to honor him.  I will leave the football story at that and move into the emotional, physical and spiritual impact that this loss and the events that followed took on my mental, physical and spiritual help.

As you can imagine, by the end of the week I was broken in all three areas.  I was wore out, tired, emotional, couldn’t sleep and many other things that were going on.  I was trying to manage life at home, life at work, coaching, grieving and supporting the players, coaches and staff.  When tragedy strikes we often are tasked with the responsibility of stepping up and leading through these tough times.  We do not expect it or ask for it and without warning bam, we are now sitting on the toughest situation of our lives.  I have always been a person to step out front when needed and do what I can in whatever capacity.  I willingly took the responsibility with a goal of just keeping things as normal as possible as we all worked to overcome the loss of our coach and friend.

1- It is in tragedy and strife that we become our strongest.  It takes courage, strength, internal fortitude and drive to keep going when things are really bad.

2- It is in tragedy and strife that we realize just how important people were to us when we tell them goodbye one final time.

3- It is in tragedy and strife that we learn to overcome the physical, mental and spiritual beating we take by just moving forward.

4- It is in tragedy and strife that we see how pushing emotions, grief, anger, and all the other emotions to the side can build us up, but also tear us down later on.

5- It is in tragedy that we honor those we love, help their family, our community and friends out who are in need.

6- It is in tragedy that we look to our faith in God, family, friends and community to make it, to deal with it and to adapt.  We seek counsel and grow in our faith in all things good through the bad.

We all face tragedy, especially the lose of loved ones in life.  We fight the emotional, physical and spiritual burdens brought on by that.  But we also step up, rise up, battle, fight and eventually overcome all of it and live with the precious memories of our dearly departed souls we miss everyday going forward.

Coach B 

Career: Professional Growth and Career Direction

Creating awareness of your current professional career growth and direction begins with knowing your own routines, habits and results.  We go to work and before you know it the day has come and gone with the results we may not have desired or planned for once the morning started.  There is only a set amount of time in a work day that we can devote to getting work done, doing our jobs and getting the results that both we and the company desire.  Finding ways to become more productive both at work and in your personal life will benefit you and make you more productive at both.  Thinking back to some of the things you have learned through the years from parents, teachers, coaches, mentors, leaders and friends that you once did is a good way to see where you currently stand.  

Have you changed, backed off of how you used to be, are you as driven, have your priorities aligned differently now from where they once were.  These things can get in the way and many times it is a new habit we have formed or an old habit we got away from.  Getting into somewhat of a routine can help you balance work and home, but staying at the top of your game, whatever that is and how it applies to your life is not always easy.  Below are some simple techniques or changes you can make, realign to or begin to practice to get you back on top of your A game and add balance to your work and home life while allowing maximum productivity. These will help you grow in both areas as a professional and at home as a person.

1- Form habits and routines that are productive for you and those around you.  If things are getting in the way, make some minor changes and move back into a more productive mindset.

2- Time Management and Focus. Are you losing valuable time at work and home with things that are just a distraction.  Can you better manage your time, energy and focus to get better results.  

3- Team, Family and Co-worker Buy-in.  Do you have complete buy-in from those that are your biggest supporters.  Are they onboard with your goals, dreams, aspirations and work ethic.  Are you onboard with theirs?  Find a way to support them and get that in return and you can become more productive in the process.

4- Be Proactive and less reactive.  Are you seeing the big picture, what things are getting in the way of your best productivity at work and home.  Have you went from proactive about things to just reacting and fixing them when they arise.  Allowing known obstacles to rise up on a daily or weekly basis will limit your time to be the best you can.  Stay on top of those things and get out ahead of problems when you see them coming.

5- Manage conflicts with communication and strong social skills.  Conflicts arise constantly for some people, its like they are a magnet for it.  Manage conflict, resolve it and communicate your needs and care for the needs of others to avoid the setback of time off work and home tasks to fix things for yourself and everyone else.  

6- Accountability for work, life and play.  Be accountable and hold those around you at the same standard.  You can manage your life better by working on accountability and avoiding setbacks.  Be the one that steps up when you are wrong, learn from mistakes and move on.  This is a growth process and a required professional tool you must have in your box.  

Work hard, work smart, set goals for work, family life and play and be productive when you need to and just chill when you can!

Education: Parents and Teachers Guide- Surviving and Thriving in Covid Times

Today I am writing about remote learning and giving some basic ideas and tips on how as parents we can not only survive but thrive during this Covid 19 mess.  As a career teacher it has been a daily learning experience for myself and my students.  It is up and down roller coaster ride of positives, negatives and in between.  With the various stages of Covid, spikes, slow downs and the gaps in between kids have learned 100% online, hybrid learning, and some even in class fulltime.  It is frustrating as a teacher and parent as it has added even more stress, anxiety, and tasks to our daily schedules that are already jam packed.

I did some research and put together a simple list of things that have worked for me as a teacher and have helped the students and parents I teach to do a good job of maintaining grades, assignments, and online schedules.  It has been very challenging and is not the best option for most kids, but it is what it is for now.  As parents and teachers our options are limited to whether we are at home or in the schools because those decisions are generally made by school boards, health departments, governors and others we have little to no control of.  I decided a while back that I would do as I always do and work hard to be the best teacher I could and adapt to the current way things are going and trending.  

Below is a list of things that can be done to help manage some of the stress, anxiety and demand of parenting, teaching, helping, working, and all the other stuff not listed.  As a parent it is tough to have to do this right now, but as parents we owe it to our children to do our very best for them during tough times to show them that standing tall, working hard, staying focused and having faith in ourselves will in the end win out over all.  It will make us better parents, teachers, coaches, mentors, friends, family members and grow our skill set of adapting to change.

1- Create a designated learning space- Do your best to find a learning space for you and the student that is comfortable, well lite and safe.  Our students more so than ever need a good space that allows them to learn, focus, complete work and participate in class. Students do not need to be laying in bed while completing work or attending class.  That can lead to them falling asleep or becoming too relaxed in the learning process.  Know that the teacher is online and cannot see what the student is doing (especially if they have their microphone or camera muted).  So having a space that helps the student learn is key.

2- Set a Routine- Make a schedule and stick to it.  Monitor the situation to make sure the student is attending class and participating just like they would be in regular school.  Give them some time to be kids, teenagers and relax also as part of that schedule.  Teachers would be there making sure they are in class on time, attending to work assignments and as parents we need to do that also.  We cannot assume or just take the students word for it.  

3- Go Over Your Expectations as well as those of the teachers- Email, text, call or zoom meet with the teacher to check on their expectations, what they want from the students, schedules, assignment dates, etc.  This is important as communication between parents and school staff are huge and a student can get lost in the shuffle if this is not taking place.  

4- Encourage Participation and Monitor it- Make sure you child is checking email, grades, assignments, websites and other school related task daily.  Do not assume the kids are doing as they are supposed to. Teenagers will go to other sites, play online games or sleep during class.  They have a a daily routine at school of doing these things and it should be a standard at home as well.

5- Lastly, recognize that we are in a different setting and time right now.  Griping, fussing, venting, and complaining in front of your student is not productive and will not help them stay focused and on task.  Hold yourself accountable and your student accountable to grow, manage life and work through this pandemic until it clears up and the powers that be decided to go back to some normalcy.

Never assume that your student or teacher are 100% in sync with one another.  If the teacher is not doing their job contact them or the the school.  If the student is doing the same, then make sure as a parent you are on top of them.  It is not a students job that is staying home due to Covid to baby sit siblings while you work, work a fulltime job or just not participate at all.  Not all students have internet or as tech savvy as you may think they are.  If you do not have internet or a computer then reach out to the school and ask for help.  They may have options for you such as internet hotspots, loaner laptops and other programs. 

Be encouraged, lift up your students, guide them, mentor them, hold them accountable and most importantly do not take their childhood or teen years away by giving them additional responsibility such as baby sitting, working or chores that they normally would not do.  Regular duties are fine, but giving them additional is a recipe for disaster.  Monitor, Monitor and Monitor some more to make sure they are completing assignments, testing and working like they would in school.  

For my teachers, these are just a few of the ideas I have used to maintain a high percentage of attendance, assignments completion and activity in classes online. 

– Collect parent emails, phone numbers and other contact information.  

– Email the students and parents daily and weekly with updates, assignments and schedules.  

– Invite and encourage the parents to attend classes (as long as they respectfully) stay quiet in the process.  

– Have a parent orientation before the changes go into effect.  Have a google or zoom time parents can log into and speak with you as needed.  I have a designated time two days a week for about a half hour for parents to log in and speak to me.  

– Stay on top of things, keep your grades updated, check attendance and work hard and smart.

– Take time for yourself, if you are not careful you will find yourself sitting at the computer for 10-12 hours.  You must have “you” and “family” time.

– Lastly, remember that as allowed by your administrator, district or state guidelines, have grace before grades.  Show empathy to your students and parents.  Adjust, adapt and overcome the challenges and be that teacher you want to be.  Take care of your kiddos, love them, teach them, mentor them and everything will work out in the end.  

Expectations, Commitment, Excellence, and Discipline are required during not only Covid times but all the time for students, parents and teachers to be more successful in class, life and work!

Coach B

Americana: Losing My Dad- My Hero

I was coaching at my old high school in 2009 and in the middle of the season I suddenly lost my dad. My dad was a 30 year retired police officer who also served over 30 years volunteering at the local high school as president, vice president and secretary of the boosters club.  My mom and dad along with several great parents had helped raise millions of dollars and build most of the very nice athletic facilities the school has today. 

They loved to go to football games home or away.  For over thirty years on Friday night if they were not rotating in the concession stand they sat in the same seats at home games every Friday night. My dad sat on the top row, on the brick at the corner.  I can see him now sitting there watching me, my brothers, cousins, and nephews playing football on Fridays.  

Dad and mom were road warriors and followed the football team wherever they played.  They went to every game home or away for a minimum of 30 seasons. Even when their health started to fail them, they continued to go to games. Dad has become legally blind and could barely see anything much farther than six feet away.  He mostly relied on voice to identify who he was talking with.  Dad would sit in the car and watch the games with his binoculars and enjoy it the best he could with what little vision he had.  

Someone in the family would drive them to away games and mom would drive to home games.  My wife Cindy was a road warrior and drove them a bunch and she has so many special memories from all those away trips to watch me coach and the team play football.  The opposing school would always graciously make arrangements for mom’s car to be pulled into the stadium so he could have the best possible view of the games from the car seat.  Dad had gotten to the point where he could barely walk, working so hard all his life supporting and taking care of his family had finally caught up to his knees, ankles and feet.  

I am not sure he could see very much, but he was determined to not miss a game. With this background you can imagine what he meant not only to me, but to the local community and county as a whole.  He was a very respected man, great father and leader of people.  I often say “If I end up half the man and father my dad was, I will do well in life”. At the time of his death, I was coaching at the high school I graduated from as an assistant when dad passed away.  He was a mover and a shaker and even with his struggles to walk he was determined to live his life to the fullest and he always wanted to try and walk out to the mailbox to grab the mail. 

He knew it was a struggle, but did it anyways because he didn’t want my mom to have to do it herself.  He took a bad fall Oneday trying to go to the mailbox and busted up his ribs.  My dad was bigger than life literally at 6’4 and 350 pounds he was a man’s man.  As he stepped out into the yard he slipped and fell, busting his ribs up and it caused some internal bleeding and breathing issues that the doctors were struggling to find and fix.  Due to his size, they had trouble seeing his internal organs to access the damage and correct it.  He was in tremendous pain so my mom called me and I called the ambulance to have him taken to the local hospital for treatment.  

His injuries were really bad and before the hospital could figure out what was going on, he died due to the internal injuries a few days later while getting some x-rays.  Losing anyone close is devastating, but to lose your hero was literally a gut punch for me and my family.  I was in shutdown mode emotionally and was helping my mom with all the funeral arrangements, flowers, and service arrangements. 

Obviously, I couldn’t find the time to go to football practice that week and we had a huge game that Friday night with playoffs on the line.  We buried my dad and I was just staying away from life, thinking, grieving and recovering mentally, physically and spiritually from the loss of my dad, mentor, father and hero.  My mom told me all week that daddy would want me to be at the ball game and I needed to go.  But I felt like I couldn’t do it. 

I feared looking up and not seeing him sitting there beside mom watching me coach and the boys play.  It was enough to shut me down, the fear of facing reality that he was gone and I would never be able to hear his voice again giving me the best advice.  Mom kept on me all week and I had told the head coach on the day I buried my dad, a Thursday that I would not be attending the game Friday night..  The funeral had over 400 people come through the line and instead of ending up at 8pm, it was almost 11pm before we got done and home. 

That speaks volumes for who my dad was and the impact he had on people’s lives.  The team and coaches showed in force to support me and I will never forget that, it was very supportive and special that they thought that much of my dad and family to do that.  That is what being a part of something special is and what makes it a memory I will never forget.  Game day came and about 5:00pm a dear friend of mine called and said, “hey, get dressed we are going to the ball game”.  I told him I couldn’t and he said I am on the way, so get dressed buddy.  I reluctantly dressed knowing that I was about to face reality and try to coach without my dad watching for the first time in years.  A few minutes later he picked me up and we took a quiet long 45 minute drive to the school.

As we arrived I could feel the emotions swelling up inside me and did not want to face reality that my dad was not going to be at the game for the first time in my life.  I had buried him the day before and knew he was gone, but to accept that was a different story.  We pulled in the parking lot and the Athletic Director was standing at the football field gate.  He opened the gate and motioned us through.  My friend and head coach had made arrangements to get me to the game and knew that for me to move on and begin the process of healing, I had to go coach that night.  As I got out of the car and walked towards the field, the team came over and we all hugged and they walked me onto the field.  

As I write this I am tearing up as this was a memory I had put away and not thought much about since 2009.  I realize now that it was a gesture of love and compassion from my team and part of the healing process we go through when we lose our hero, parent or dear loved one.  I could feel him with me and we went to work and the boys played hard and I coached as hard as I could.  I knew my dad would want me to be on the field, coaching and getting results.  Not sitting at home feeling sorry for myself.  I am forever thankful to my friend, head coach and players for the awesome contribution they made in my life the week I lost my dad. 

Life Lesson- Even in death, our loved ones are right there with us protecting and helping outMy dad and friends helped me to overcome fear of the unknown.  Dealing with the loss of a loved one is a terrible thing and we must rely on God’s word to get through it.  Being part of something bigger than you like a team is instrumental in that process. I give thanks to God for all his mercy, grace and strength he sends us.  Ask him to take our fears away and know that in his word our loved ones are safe and with us.  Dad was a strong spirit in life and now in his heavenly form.

Spirit Chronicles: Vision of a Cleansing Storm

A great storm has come upon mankind. One that has sweep over the earth and consumed all of mankind. One that has divided them into two sides with ideals driven by good and evil. Millions have chosen good and stayed strong in the biblical principles stated in Galatians 5:22-24. While many millions of others have chosen evil as described in Galatians 5:19-21. I recently had another dream about a great storm of biblical proportions such as Daniel did in the old testament.

A storm like man has never seen and one that will shake the foundations of all people. A storm that was very scary and made me sit up in bed and pray to God. A dream that I thanked him for showing me. A dream that I must share to the world and hope that it gets to as many people as possible. For this great storm is coming as predicted in Daniel. God had already been revealing himself to the world in small ways in preparation for this coming storm. He was giving people the opportunity to switch to the good side. A chance to be saved from the impending storm of cleansing.

In this dream the sky turned very dark and a massive cloud that covered the sun formed on all corners of the earth. This cloud was thousands of miles long and wide and it created a scare among the earths population like no other had. This cloud storm floated for weeks and lied dormant until the Angels of heaven invoked it to take action and cleanse the ungodly from the earth.

While it lied dormant, millions found God and asked him for forgiveness of their sins. They realized God was the only way to be saved. While many millions of others kept their course of sin following the devil and his minions that had control of them. They refused to give up drugs, violence, wickedness and hardness of the heart. They chose a life of despair, ignorance and damnation.

These lost ones had failed to heed the warnings of those that were anointed by God to spread the word that the end was near. They continued to hate, murder, rob, rape and pillage in the name of idolatry. They fought the good and attempted to take all they could until the storm unleashed. For they were mislead like goats by a great deception (deceiver). The world had fallen into disarray and it was time for all things made by God, given by God and commanded by God to take account for their behaviors, thoughts and actions. For the world had turned upside down of its original divine purpose.

The storm hit with a might that was indescribable. It wiped out everything in its path as it cleansed the earth of the lost. The clouds began to swirl out of control and thousands of tornado’s began to hit the ground. Wiping out everything in its path along the way except God’s chosen ones. Power was lost all over the world, water was polluted and food was scarce. When the storm began the Angels of heaven descended upon the earth and protected those that had tuned to God and confessed their sins. They protected the saved with open wings from the wind, flying debris and carnage that resulted as a result of chaos from fear, no food and water.

Those that had failed God and were living a life of sin were swept up into the storm, blown away into oblivion. Those that had not confessed to God that Jesus is the savior and God owns all perished at the hands of the storm or at the hands of the lost. They were swept away along with the dark demons that had controlled them for so long.

You see, they had chosen a life of bad decisions and a life style that forsake good morals. Instead choosing a life that they created and ran without the influence of God in it. Their of time retribution had come and it was terrible for them. A price paid for failing to acknowledge God. A price paid for claiming there is no God. A price paid for living a life of sin, selfishness and destruction.

No demon or devil could fight this storm so they began to turn on their own kind. They promoted many minions as souls were lost in an effort to take a stand. All in a failed effort as God is and always will be in control of all things. These devilish agents had accomplished their goals and served their purpose. Which was to breed hate, despair, anger, malice and ill feelings among people. The devil loves all of those that do his bidding and knows that he is giving them eternal damnation.

He doesn’t care because he hates God and fights works as a great deceiver with humanity to steal as many souls as he can. One sin at a time that goes unaccounted for multiplies his desolate core of Hell and gives him satisfaction. The devils doers wrapped their prey in wings and took them to hell as they were banished by God and his holy Angels.

The devil, his minions and millions of lost souls were destroyed, banished and sent to damnation forever. Never to seek souls on earth again, never to disrupt God’s plan and never to see the light of God. For God had won, good had won, the light had won and peace had come to earth. After this storm times were beautiful, people were nice, friendly, caring and loved one another.

They valued life, nature and all of God’s creations. They sought God’s peace, grace and mercy in their life’s. The devil had been defeated and God’s kingdom had become forever as it was told to be in the Old Testament. An eternal time of glory, awesomeness and love. Those that stayed true to God prior to the storm had been spared and lived eternally with God.

Those that were of sin lived with the devil in Hades paying the ultimate price of deception and misery. The dream ended and I awoke to a racing heart, sweating and smiling. I knew that God had sent me a clear message that the time is near. A time when man will be held to account for their ways.

God had given mankind the option of making choices and unfortunately way to many had chose chaos, desires of the flesh and other abominations in God’s eyes. God seeks to have people of pure heart, people that love, people that desire him and people that want everlasting life. One of the hardest things to figure out and come to an understanding is that God truly is in control.

He created all things, mankind, nature, beast and even the smallest speck of sea sand and dust. Stepping into a relationship of giving it all to God and acknowledging that Jesus came and gave his life to set things straight. I have been a Christian for many years, but had failed until recently to truly realize that God owns all, he owns me, he owns nature, he owns the bugs and anything given to us. We may work for human needs and wants, but God gives and can take away. He is the beginning and the end, he is the Alpha and Omega.

I pray that this message is taken seriously by all. Daniel was criticized, called names and told that he was crazy. I bring this message to you on an attempt to help save the lost and enhance the relationship of the saved. A storm is coming and it will cleanse the earth and make it whole again. As God created all, he can set it straight just as quickly.

Lord, I pray that your people receive the word. I pray that they heed warnings and turn their eyes upon you. I pray they seek your grace, mercy and forgiveness. I pray they drop the ways of sin and seek you. Amen

Galatians 5: 19-23. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 

Football: The Final Drive

Below is a peak at the final chapter of my book about Football, Faith and Family. This is some of the last chapter that discusses the close to my career as a football coach. Enjoy and please go take a look on amazon or kindle it you want to see the other twenty four chapters.

Chapter Twenty Five- The Final Drive

My coaching career all started with an severe playing injury that I thought was the end of the world. I had lost the one thing I held near and dear to my heart. The game that I had worked so hard to be the best I could was done. No more helmets, no more hits, no more pre-game national anthems. However, in reality it was the beginning of something even bigger and many more Thursday and Friday night national anthems. I started coaching as a college volunteer assistant line coach in 1989 and ended my career as a high school coach on a cold Friday night over 25 years later in 2019.  Through the process it was rewarding, fun, challenging, frustrating, hard, never easy and so many other words I could write. 

After that last game I knew it was time to go, time for another generation of coaches that I had been part of mentoring to take over and run with it. It was time to seek other opportunity. That last loss hurt me more watching the seniors cry about losing and playing their last game as a player than the sting of taking a loss as a coach. I may step back out there one day, but it will be on my terms.  My family spent many years on Friday nights sitting in the bleachers watching me coach, watching the boys play and waited at home for me until 8-9 o’clock every night to get home from practice and 1:00-2:00am on Friday nights.  

I had lived my dream as a player and coach and it was time to walk away and spend time with my family.  I loved the game and it had loved me back.  It had given to me ten fold, what I had given it. I am grateful for the opportunity it provided me as a player, coach and fan.  But I am even more grateful for all the Godly men that coached and mentored me through the years.  My teammates, players and peers are what made the game special.  God is the one that made it all happen, he put me where I needed to be in my career and I tried to always honor him in everything I did.  There were ups and downs along the way, but it was exciting as each season came and went.

I am sure I failed at times, but it was all in an effort to be the best person I could be.  I prayed daily to the Lord to guide me, lead me, mentor me and give me grace beyond all understanding.  For my coaching friends, never forget where you came from and how you got where you’re going.  Winning is great, but making sure our young men and women know how to win in life, battle through tough times and push onward towards goals is our main purpose.  As my dad once said, “find something you love, do it with passion and purpose” and all the other stuff will take care of itself.

I want to thank my wife, daughters, family and friends for always being there and supporting my football playing and coaching career.  I want to thank my brothers and cousins for whooping on me and breeding the passion for the game in me on those Sunday afternoons at Grandma Smith’s house.  Those hard hits, tackles, bruises and breaks gave me the foundation to play the game and later coach it.  I love you and look forward to the many years of family time, travel and relaxation.  

Lastly, I thank God for his grace, guidance, mercy and forgiveness.  Without his eternal heavenly love I would not have made it through any of the situations life as a coach, teacher, parent and husband presented me.

The End or is just the Beginning!  Time will Tell, Only God and I know!

Coach B

Americana: Spiders vs. Me- Bathroom Battles and Facing Fear

Today I am writing about an experience I had this morning in the bathroom as I was preparing for work. I assume that your bathrooms are equipped like ours with nothing to kill a spider with other than toilet paper. We don’t have a fly swatter, shoes, sticks, etc. to face those mean little creepy crawly critters. The standoff with these little mean monsters began after I had entered the bathroom to get ready to shower. As I am getting ready to step into the shower, a mean looking spider about the size of a dime decides to walk across my foot. Once I realize what it is I panic and about fall over dead right there in the bathroom.

Sorry for the visual but I am in my birthday suit preparing to bath and in no way prepared to face down a spider attack. So I feel the little monster on my foot and kick as hard as I can, well that worked to get him off my foot, but didn’t work so well as my foot bounced off the toilet bowl (ouch). So now I am trying to be hold my tongue and not curse up a storm while trying to relocate the creepy little spider I just sent flying across the bathroom like a sling shot shooting a pebble. After I ask God to forgive me for saying some words I shouldn’t have to combat the toe pain from kicking the toilet and having the crap scared out of me by the surprise spider attack. I look around and finally locate the little spider crawling across the floor and man he is fast.

I grab an empty toilet paper roll (only weapon I could find) and sat it down on top of him thinking it would trap him. Well, you have probably already thought this through and yes creepy spider knows how to crawl and he comes right up the tube and onto my hand. I panic and sling him off my hand again, this time bouncing my hand against the door. Same scenario as before, I am trying to be a Christian spider killer and not say bad words while locating the little monster. I settle down and see him on the mirror crawling. So I grab the next available weapon a roll of toilet paper.

I roll a bunch off so I can grab that little spider and yes, once again he escapes my grip and lands on my hand where I sling him off again. This time I got lucky because he landed on the toilet seat. This gave me a chance to knock him in the water and flush, he is gone. I just hope he doesn’t find his way back through the pipes, my wife or daughters will have a fit if they see him in the toilet. So I am now just sitting on the toilet with the lid down trying to make sure my stints from a recent heart procedure don’t explode or get pushed out of where they are since my heart is racing ten thousand miles an hour.

Finally, I get settled down and as I attempt to get in the shower again, another one that looks just like that one comes scurrying out of the shower right at my feet. I jump up and that is hard for a big boy to do. I have about had enough of these darn things and thought about hollering for my wife to come kill it. But that wouldn’t be a very manly thing to do, since I am the appointed spider killer in our house. So I let her sleep and reached for the toilet paper again. Well this one is faster than the other and scurries over and under the cabinet. Again, I am stuck in the thought of “heck with this, I will just let them little monsters go free” as long as they stay away from me.

After careful thought, once again I am thinking the wife and daughters may not like that so I attempt to subdue little spider #2. I grab the deodorant spray and attempt to immobilize him with it and spray his little tail real good. It slowed him down so I once again go for the toilet paper roll and get a bunch wound off. As I again grab at him he decides to run and jump to avoid capture and the fate of his brother, sister, or whatever they were. So as he runs under the bathroom door, I grab my towel and throw it on him. This seemed like a good idea at the time and it worked. Yes, you have already thought it through that now I have got to find him on the towel.

I now have a dark brown towel with a brown spider somewhere on it. So I think about it and come up with a plan which was to put the towel over the toilet bowl and shake it until the little monster falls off. Well, my plan worked and he fell off because I was shaking the “you know what” out of that towel. I was done with these twin spiders and meant business. Hang with me, I am almost done telling the story. I shook the spider off, but unfortunately he didn’t fall in the toilet, instead he fell out and ran down the lower part of my leg.

So now my heart is about to explode and I am stressed, panicking and about to have a fit over this little bity spider. As he hit the ground running, I thought just quit and let that sucker live. Then I am once again thinking what if he crawls on my wife or me tomorrow? That wouldn’t be very good for me so I do what I don’t want to do and use my foot to squash him. Yes, my barefoot and it was gross and I just knew it was going to bite me and kill me or something. I got what remained of it wiped off my foot, cleaned up with some toilet paper and sent him down the hatch to meet his friend.

Moral of this story is that fear can overtake you and even the smallest things in life can cause you to doubt yourself and be afraid. I have told my family on more than one occasion “it is just a little spider” kill it when they hollered for my assistance. I ended up eating those words as I battled the spiders today in my birthday suit. After cleaning up and getting dressed I read in the bible about fear and came up with this thought. God tells us throughout the bible to fear not for he is with us. He is always there and will help us face the big and little challenges that we face. Trust in him, fear not and live life protected that he is walking with you. I hope you enjoyed the story and stay away from creepy crawly spiders is my best advice.

1- How do you face the little spider attacks in your life?

2- Do you always trust in God or do you just call on him when you face a spider attack?

Matthew 10:26 So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.

God Bless! KB

Faith: Torn Down and Built Back Up

Torn Down and Built Back Up

In my reading today I made note of how as a coach I work my wrestlers out to tear them down, so they will be built back up stronger, faster, and tougher.  They lift weights, run, practice moves and stretch to get in peak physical condition.  They do this so they can battle and compete to win matches and be the best they can.  Every coach has a plan going into the season, each competition and practice.  If not they are planning to fail as the old saying “failure to plan is planning to fail” applies.  God is the same way when working in our lives.  God  has an ultimate plan for us and that is salvation and eternal life in heaven with him. He wants us to be successful in life, be of a servant mindset and help people while here on earth.

Our walk with God compares to having a coach.  He works us out, tears us down, breaks barriers and coaches us through these live events. For us to get to where we want to be and meet our goals, we have to work hard, pray, read his word and prepare ourselves to be torn down and built back up stronger.  Doing this breaks down the barriers in our connection to God and makes us better christians and servants of others in small increments.  We tear down and build back up with the knowledge that God loves our small wins and improvements.  Just like a coach, he pushes us to get better in our craft, develop as better humans and ultimately be a light to him for others.  

I wrote down some questions to check myself and see where I may be falling short as a Coach and Christian.  :

  1. Am I doing what I need to do everyday to tear down so I can build back up?
  2. Am I being the person I am called to be in God’s eyes?
  3. Am I willing to put myself out there and risk ridicule, personal attacks and persecution for my beliefs?

I wrote these three questions down and put them on my computer so I would see them daily.  I looked at my goals not only as a coach, but as a christian.  What do I need to do better and where can I improve daily to be “Torn Down and Built Back Up”.

Corinthians 2: 9-10 “No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him”.  But, it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit.  For his spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.

Lord, help me to seek you by tearing myself down and building back up with small improvements everyday.  Help me to become a better husband, father, brother, coach, mentor, teacher and most importantly a Christian.  Amen, Amen and Amen.

God Bless! KB

10-16-2020