Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Blog Post- A most wonderful time of the year

It is a glorious time of the year. I know you are probably sweltering in mid summer heat index that just feels wrong. At FT Bragg I think they actually have a mechanism to actually increase the heat and humidity here just to make training soldiers more miserable. But while it is heating up in our environment something else is heating up too. With September just a mere month and half away, young boys, middle schoolers and high schoolers all across our land are sweating through this unbearable heat with the hope of a 100 yard field, cleats on their feet and shoulder pads and helmets strapped and its time to go to war. Football is almost here!

Football, a purely American game in itself, is also a game for warriors and warriors in training. I cannot tell you how many of my soldiers in the very special community I work in tell tales of Friday night lights and epic games that they played in as young men. This tradition has been reliving itself out every fall for generations, I did it some 30 years ago, so did my brother, my best friends and now my son Jack is prepping for warfare on Bermuda grass.

Jack played one year in elementary school, but this year is different, he's in middle school now. The kids are bigger, faster and stronger than the 4th grade team he played on. Its a little more serious now, a little more intense. And that is a good thing. Just as life gets a bit more intense, a little more serious as we grow up, so do the games we play, mimicking that life.

Football is more than a game of brute force. Its a game of suffering together through forced running, sled drills, and speed work. Its game of taking care of the guy on your left and on your right. Its a game that individuals stand out, but without the rest of the guys the touchdown makers would be toast. its a game of strategy, a high speed collision infested chess match if you will. Its a game where you line up against the guy across from you and every play its "Alright, lets see who wants this more!" And at its purest form its glorious. It is warrior training....every society has had this in some form since the dawn of time.

So today when Jack called me and said, "Hey dad, guess what?" (He does this every time he has good news)
"I can't guess Jack" (My usual response)
"I got got my position today, I'm playing center!"
"That's awesome son, you know I played center back in the day, I'm proud of you"
"Thanks dad! I got my helmet and shoulder pads too"
"That's awesome Jack...can't wait till your first game!"

He's a warrior in training

And I'll be there come hell or high water at that first game cheering him on and making sure his mom doesn't collapse...it really is a most wonderful time of the year!

Friday, July 08, 2011

New Blog Post-Crossroads Summer Camp and Jack's life decision!

In 1996 my friend Clayton King started a camp for teenagers at Gardner Webb University in Boiling Springs NC. What started as small one week event for a couple hundred kids has now stood the test of time, trends and culture. I began taking groups of kids from the church that I worked at in 1997, those kids are all grown up now, in ministry, have jobs, families and kids. Over the years I've observed hundreds of young people see, hear and receive the Gospel in their lives. To be forgiven of their sin, set free to really live. I've also seen hundreds stand before their peers and proclaim that Jesus is worthy of everything that they can give back and commit their lives to missions. It truly has been an honor and a blessing to be both on the board and an occasional speaker with some dear friends in this ministry.

This week though was especially good as my kids, both camp age, joined their friends from our church for another week at Crossroads. My daughter in her 4th year and my son now going on his 2nd trip. My son Jack came back from camp and boldly asked me, "When are we going to Nepal?"

You see over the last 15 years, one of the priorities that I have made is going to other parts of the world to share the news that I received about 18 years ago about Jesus. The Gospel changed me and I know this good news can change anyone! It has long been a dream of mine to have my family accompany me on one of these trips. So when Jack asked, "When are we going to Nepal?" part of my dream was realized...having a child who wants to go.

This week when the opportunity to say, by way of public proclamation in front of all their friends, students rose to the their feet and indicated that they would make the mission of the Gospel their life's focus. My son Jack was one of those students!

I could not be prouder!

Lots of parents want their kids to grow up to be successful, and I certainly want that for my kids...but even more...I want them to be faithful, faithful to the calling of God, to sharing the Gospel, to reaching the lost, to healing the broken, setting captives free...faithful to what God wants them to do and not the world's idea of what it means to be a success or even mine!

So many thanks to faithfulness of Clayton, Charie, Matt, Seth, Brittany and the rest of my friends at Crossroads Worldwide. You can find out more about their ministry here.

The songs of life- Thanks to mom

My home was filled with music and people growing up. Mom loved music and can play an assortment of instruments but her favorites are th...