I was on the Dave Logan Show today on 850AM in Denver, yeah, a Sports Talk Show! (And you thought only my brother could talk sports! Though I did confirm some of my facts and get a few corrections via text from him while on hold!)
The topic was great memorable wins you will never forget. I was on my honeymoon, and yes, Sara and I were watching basketball!
As I said on Facebook: Yes, I’m sad. The Broncos lost their first game after a 17 regular season game winning streak. However, just as I am not responsible in any way for their loss, it reminded me that can take no credit when they win either. I am merely an observer. That’s all a fan can do. But then, why the emotion? It’s so stinkin’ fun to be the home town of a winning team! My heart goes out to… (oh, I won’t pick on any of my friends who feel like this every week, it’s not their fault either.) But I must say, if we HAD to lose, what better place to lose? It was moving to see the “enemy” stadium express such love and respect for OUR quarterback. And yet, “Luck” was on their side, and as much as they love the guy Denver has grown to admire, they wanted to see their new guy triumph over the old champion – and I gotta admit, as painful as it was to watch, I am happy for them. So we dry our tears here in Denver and look forward to seeing Peyton continue to amaze us as the season unfolds. So much for replacing 1972 however!
However, I had a few observations I wanted to note here on my blog:
Peyton Manning is such a classy guy. He left Indianapolis is such a way, that when he returned as the opposing quarterback, the opposing team’s stadium was filled with opposing team’s fan wearing his jersey. Granted, they wanted their team to win – but they showed him honor and respect. How do you leave a ministry? Do you burn bridges? Or do you leave in such a way that if or when you cross paths again, you will be greeted with honor and respect?
We do a lot to cheer on the work of God in our world and in our life – but there is another sense in which we are mere observers. When things don’t go our way – and we don’t want the blame for when things go poorly (and start to make excuses) it may be a reminder that we can’t take as much credit as we’d like for when things do go our way. There may be others and even just the will of God that made them go well. Humility is called for in both cases – success as well as failure.
Everyone is making their opinions and predictions about Peyton Manning and the Broncos. I love listening to the “talking heads” on sports shows. My dad used to do a mimic of them when I was young that cracked me up. Instead of saying, “the other team was better today” or “we lost” – they always have to over-analyze and micro-criticize from their arm chairs. Which is easy to do, since they aren’t on the field. I named my new doggie after Theodore Roosevelt because he was a man who didn’t mince words and was a man of adventure. I just checked a children’s book about his life from the school library to read to my son so he would know why I chose that name. If you haven’t read his life – do it – it will amaze you. Guess what he said about critics? I love it:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is not effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” – Theodore Roosevelt
I think Peyton and only player may laugh at the arm chair “experts” because they are the ones out in the field – and all we can do is watch, cheer, groan – celebrate or despair. But they get to play. And at the end of the day, win or lose – they are the ones who played. In life, are you playing or talking?
My dad used to say there is a reason “if” is in the middle of “LIFE,” because “life is what happens while you are making other plans.”
Life is full of disappointments, set-backs, detours, and surprises. Happiness is not determined by how well life sticks straight to our plans and dreams, but by our attitude along the way as it twists and turns.
As the old saying goes, we can look at the cup that is at 50% and say:
It’s HALF FULL!
It’s HALF EMPTY!
Or just be stuck wondering…
What will your choice be today? You may not be able to change your circumstances… but you can always change YOU!
I’d love to hear in the comments what you have done to turn things around when you have felt stuck, discouraged or off track. Encourage others!
This summer my family and I traveled to Okoboji, Iowa where I did the children’s teaching for the Okoboji Bible Conference. It’s a super conference that families travel to from all over the country to enjoy not only the conference, but the family activities in the area from the lake to the amusement park and more. I taught mornings and evenings and then our family had fun during the day too.
One evening a sweet little girl came up to me, gave me a hug and slipped me a note “to read later.” One side was a picture of her holding my hand and the other was said, “Carl, you are the dest mijishan I had ever met. LOVE Ellie.” She even drew two linking rings unlinked, followed by an arrow and then they are magically linked!
(Click to view full size)
Of course, this simply note made my day, and her creative spelling only added to the charm. Out of a gymnasium full of children one little girl took some time to get some paper and crayons and make me a little note… a note I shall be saving. It reminded me of an encouragement note I got the last time I spoke at the Okiboji Conference in 1996 that I still have and blogged about long ago from the mom of Phil Vischer.
Simple acts of appreciation mean a lot to people. We often assume people get lots of affirmation – but usually this is a false assumption. When was the last time you got out a piece of paper and wrote someone a note of encouragement? A word of thanks? Have you let someone know lately you think they are the best? In an age of tweets, ‘likes’ and text messages a snail mail letter or hand written note means even more than it ever did.
Just marveling how my “little boy” is growing up! I went back through my iPhoto and grabbed the first day of school pictures since Luke started pre-school and it’s fun to see him growing up:
Luke going to first day of preschool…
Luke going to first day of Pre-K:
Luke going to first day of Kindergarten:
Luke starting 1st grade this week:
On one hand – I am amazed at how BIG he is, it seems only yesterday I had my first Father’s Day with a little baby:
But on the other had, it hasn’t gone quickly. I know parents are always saying “the time flies” but it hasn’t seem to fly for me. I have been so enjoying each and every day and the unique aspects of Luke’s personality at each age, and what he can do, and what he is learning, that I feel like it’s been going at a pace that I’ve been truly enjoying.
I’m sure when I’m at his wedding, I’ll join the chorus of “how did it pass so quickly?” But for now, it’s going at a great pace. There are things I’m eager for him to be older and able to do with me, and there are things I miss about him being younger. So along the journey of fatherhood I am just enjoying each and every day and making time every day to enjoy him.
As I have just spent the last two days driving across the “fruited plains” I have had time at the wheel to think again about the rich (and sobering) history of this Great Land. And I love to day dream about what life would have been like for myself and my family had we lived in a time when crossing it wouldn’t have been in an air-conditioned mini-van with cruise control and fast food stops or look-a-like rest areas on paved Inter-states – but perhaps along the Oregon or California Trails of 1840? A time when it took months at walking pace to travel hundreds of miles into the unknown leaving all comfort behind and going forward with only hope and courage.
What would “Karl the Pioneer” be like? I have often been called a “Pioneer of the Internet.” In today’s definition of a pioneer I suppose that is true. If being a pioneer is to ‘bravely go where few have gone before,’ then sure. O.K. I was a pioneer. I was building webpages in HTML when most people didn’t have an e-mail address and “blogging” before WordPress or Blogger existed. I survived the “Dot Com Crash” because I built my “Dot Org” on a membership model instead of advertising model before PayPal existed and before AOL even had the World Wide Web. So sure, I guess I “pioneered” the Internet.
But please. The more I learn about the Pioneers of our country, the more insulting it is to them to call anything we do today “pioneering.” We claim to “pioneer” a field of science or sports or entertainment or music. But do we face sickness? Starvation? Or death by some other horrible means if we fall short of our destination?
I’ve been enjoying the AMC series Hell on Wheels on Netflix. Now, I know some of my dear Christian brothers and sisters just choked on their Testimints because I typed the word, “hell,” and if so, they’d better not watch the show. It is a pretty gutsy and probably fairly realistic portrayal of a post-Civil War America that struggles to balance racial tensions, religion, national expansion and good ‘ol American entrepreneurism in the gritty railroad town of “Hell on Wheels” where the railroad is pushing West through Indian territory. It centers around a rough and tough character named Cullen Bohannon, and he ain’t no Roy O’Bannon. (If you know what I’m sayin’ – bonus points in comments if you know who that cowboy is!)
You’ll need to put down your “it has to be Sunday School pure” grid in order to travel back to a time where life was rough and God was hard to see. While certainly not a Christian show, there are glimpses of grace at work in several of the toughest characters and you can see God working if you look carefully. It’s interesting to see that woven in even as the “preacher” isn’t one of the most redeeming characters. It’s a raw show, but then, so was life back then. So it accomplishes it goal of pulling back the curtain on a time that shaped our nation, for better or worse. As the iron tracks made their way across the beautiful pure land, greed and impurity and the worst of fallen human nature came with it. Driving these roads today, it is amazing how much we have “cleaned up” after ourselves, to some extent.
But when I watch things like this (and The Patriot, one of my favorite movies) – I can’t help wondering, “How would I have coped in those times?” Who would I be? How would I have survived and gotten by? What would my occupation be? If I am considered a ‘pioneer’ today, would I have what it took then to be a pioneer?
What you have been? A business owner? A law man? A gun slinger? An outlaw? A farmer? A pioneer? One third of the people heading West were women. So this isn’t just a question for men!
Would have left the security of the East Coast and headed West in search of gold and a promised prosperity? (People expected to pick up gold just lying on the ground in California!)
Would you have what it took to be a Pioneer when the word truly had meaning?
As mentioned on my podcast this week, my son and I spend a great deal of time each day playing Angry Birds… but not on an iPhone or iPad… but with real birds and pigs and blocks, and I might mention they are Star Wars themed too!
We take turns building towers and placing our pigs, and then trying to knock them down with the birds via the little sling shots.
There is a bit of strategy to how we build, but for the most part you are building something you know is going to be destroyed.
So while we may spend a great deal of care and creativity building, we can’t get too attached to our masterpieces knowing the whole point of the building, was to knock them down! We have to remember the real joy isn’t in the building, it is in the playing together. In fact, the whole point of the game isn’t what we build or even the shooting of birds to knock it down – it is Daddy-Son time. At the end, when the floor is a mess, it is a sign that we had a great time.
It’s kinda like kidmin. It reminds me of the effort and energy we put into building our ministries and how frustrated we can get when people mess with what we are trying to build, or when we watch what we’ve built be torn down by others or messed up, or become ruins after we leave a ministry. We must never forget – it was never about the building in the first place! It was never about creating great programs or even running great programs… It was simply about the relationships at the time, the kids, the volunteers and the parents.
So when you see things get knocked over, or find yourself needing to build all over again. Smile.
And remember, it’s all about the people and the relationships. The building is just what keeps us busy and brings everyone together.
I’m back from my 6th Yosemite Summit – and what a fantastic year it was. We had beautiful weather and did some fantastic hikes in Yosemite National Park.
These guys joined the elite group known as Summiteers! Tom was a four time repeater. Dave, Patrick, and Chris were there for the first time. (No, that is not our cabin; that is an old trading outpost found along the trail to McGurk Meadow.)
I will soon be putting together the annual report and highlight video, but I’m also back into the midst of the busy work schedule I unplugged from, so going though the 2,407 photos, plus editing and creating the video always takes me a few weeks. But I’m also working on a new surprise for this year’s Yosemite Summit Report, so be sure to watch your e-mail for the news when it breaks. (Be sure you are subscribed to the Kidology Newsletter.)
What can I say about this year now?
Well, we did a lot of hiking along with just spending time enjoying the Creator and His creation. This year, I decided to wear a pedometer for fun, starting out with my shopping day:
Friday (the day Dave and I arrived), I walked 4371 steps for 1.63 miles. That was just a little more than an average day for me based on the week before. Saturday saw a lot more action with 10,456 steps for 3.89 miles. There was a lot of prep to do! We left on Sunday, and that included our first short hike and introduction to Yosemite, bumping me up 14,856 steps for 5.64 miles for the day. But then came the real hikes. The day that included the trail to Dewey Point racked up 29,199 steps for 10.98 miles followed on Tuesday with 19,203 for 7.32 miles (Murphy Creek to the Poly Dome Lakes.) Then two of the guys really wanted to hike the Panorama Trail from Glacier Point around the rim and down to the Valley passing Illilouette, Nevada, and Vernal falls – what is typically a Day One hike. The other two opted to have some solitude time in the Valley with less than the 27,267 steps I put down to conquer that 10.09 mile day. (Remember, this is all day, not just the hikes themselves.) On our last day, we went down to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, but I took it easy and only logged 10,095 steps for 3.76 miles. Friday I flew home, so I returned to my average day clocking 4,587 steps or 1.68 miles.
Of course, this may not interest many, but I had fun logging my total of 100,831 steps, or walking 44.99 miles. (Wow!) We don’t typically hike that much, but it was such a beautiful year, and adding on the Panorama Trail was just plain fun.
My feet may have been a bit sore for a day, but my soul was refreshed and renewed! I’m posting from my iPad mini at the airport, so I’ll add more pics later when I am at a computer.
While I am glad to be back, there is a part of me that never leaves Yosemite. But right now, I have some catching up to do!!
We still enjoy sending out a traditional Christmas Card greeting to a select list of family and friends – though it is a challenge every year! But it is a great opportunity to get updated addresses on people you know and love.
But it also forces you to make tough choices too.
Have we heard from them in while?
Do they still live there?
Are they still married?
Have they ever written to us?
Who are they, again? LOL
Often you see a name and such fond memories come back. A smile appears on your face as you remember years of ministry together. Once in awhile you crack up laughing over something that happened. Sometimes sadness sinks in. They’re divorced. You were at their wedding. What went wrong? Other times you wonder, why haven’t we heard from them? What’s changed in their life? You hope they are doing OK. Life happens. Other people’s addresses change and their cards come back. You wonder if you’ll ever reconnect. Then there are those who pass away. Memories are all you’ll ever have. Until heaven, of course!
Relationships and networks have only grown with the Internet, e-mail, and facebook and Twitter! (I suppose I should include circles on Google, though I only dabble there.) It’s hard to manage them all! Life is too short and too busy to keep up with everyone we have ever worked with, played with, laughed with, liked, loved, or been related to!
But at Christmas we try to catch up… even if it’s just a card, or letter or a blog post or a video or even just a quick e-mail.
That’s one comforting thing about being a Christian and belonging to the Family of God. We will have all of eternity to catch up with all the people we feel behind on here on earth. A new heaven and new earth without the pressures of work and deadlines and a calendar that reminds us we are getting older and no hurry that pushes relationships aside because of things we tell ourselves are more pressing. (When they probably really aren’t most of the time.)
We won’t need Christmas to play catch up. We’ll be able to walk and talk and catch up all the time. I’m looking forward to it. But in the mean time… I’ve got to get some Christmas Cards in the mail. If you don’t get one, don’t be offended. I’ll be posting a video and blog post as well soon, but “catch all” strategy. And no worries, I take no offense at those who ‘forget’ or skip me. I’m planning to spend some quality time with all of you Someday. Let’s make a point of it!
Image from Sandy Hook Principal's Twitter account, Yesterday
I am the father of a kindergartner. I can not fathom the feelings and emotions of those who lost their children today. I have cried today. I have struggled to focus. I suppose in one sense I feel sympathy, which by definition is an extension of empathic concern, or the perception, understanding, and reaction to the distress or need of another human being. But at the end of today, I will get to cuddle with my son, while those parents will somehow try to sleep without their child, with Christmas decorations throughout their home and hidden presents that will never be opened. How can I possibly understand their agony? How can I possibly answer why?
Politicians will resume the “gun control” battle, as though any laws could have prevented the events of today. Perhaps there is some merit in addressing guns… but that does little for those families. Others will decry the lack of prayer in schools or the decline of morality in our culture. Still, empty words to address empty beds tonight.
Many have e-mailed me today or messaged me on Facebook asking what to do on Sunday at church. To that end, I started a thread on Kidology.org. I’ve collected links and letters and sources all day and posted them there. Perhaps you will find some help there, and I encourage you to post your own thoughts and resources there as well. Many have shared helpful thoughts. It’s become a great source of collective wisdom.
But still I grieve. But at the same time, I am renewed in my passion to reach children – and families, and to look into the eyes of those around me and look for hurt. Adam Lanza, the alleged murderer, needed help. To do this, he had to be a lost and broken young man. Society or the Church failed to rescue him. While he is responsible for his actions, we share some responsibility for failing to reach people in need. He is a victim as well, a victim of a broken world. I am not making excuses for him, nor excusing his crime. He is guilty. But had someone reached him or realized he was slipping, perhaps 20 children and 6 adults who cared for and loved those children could have been saved.
So our mission remains clear – love the children and reach families. And always be seeking who around us is flailing and struggling. We never know who we may save when we reach out and share God’s love with the lost around us. There are people losing hope and don’t know there is Hope.
Hug your children, but don’t stop there. Spread God’s love to everyone around you. More people need it than we realize. We don’t need more laws in America, we need more of God’s Love in America.
I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer” in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.
~ Stephen R. Covey