Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I was right!!

I love being right!!  Don't you!??!  Really...no matter how big or small the issue is...it is good to be right!  To have the right answer...Last night was NO exception!  I made a prediction yesterday that I would not get wet in the dunk tank!  That no one would be able to knock me into the water...GUESS WHAT?!?!  I was right!  Only it was because the seat broke in the first 15 minutes of our event...BUT still...I was right!

SERIOUSLY THOUGH...(although...that is serious...'cause I was right!)  the even was AWESOME!  We had a ton of students at our Back to School Bash and it was VERY fun!  Cool to see the students playing...listening to music...eating junk food...and more sugar...and a little more...OH...but there was bread there for the hot dogs, so it was a little healthy.  GREAT TIMES!

A HUGE SHOUT GOES TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED MAKE IT HAPPEN!!  2 1/2-3 hours of helping...prepping food...watching over the inflatables...playing volleyball...basketball...and on and on...AND I SAW SMILES ON THEIR FACES WHILE THEY WERE DOING IT!!!!  How cool!  We had a TON of adults helping make it happen...and I didn't have to twist any arms to get them there!

A very fun way to finish off our summer and kick off the school year!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Plan B!

WOW!  What a year...a year ago this day, our family didn't know where we would be going to church. I was about to go full time at Jackson Intermediate Center.  Frankly...I felt lost.  No clue where the future would take me. I was on a path in my life...one that I thought I would die being involved with...then BANG!!  Detour time!!  Shocked me really...rattled me to the core.

Crazy things happen when you are searching for what Plan B might be...what the next step in your journey will be.  I knew that God put me at Jackson for a season...that there would be students, teachers, families that I would have a chance to influence...quite cool to see that happen!

Then when we started at the Living Stones Church...started attending...Sam has always been a good friend...many talks through the years...it was good to be here. But at the same time...whenever you try to connect somewhere new it is a bit ackward...know what I mean...you just don't know how people do things...it has taken time, but boy it is good to be here! 

Then after the first of the year when Sam said...what about coming on staff at the end of the year...scary.  Not because Living Stones is scary of course! ;)  BUT because it meant stepping out again...

Well...here we are!  On to Plan B in the life of the Bouchers...and it is soooooo good!  I feel UNBELIEVABLY blessed to be able to serve in a church that is less than a 1/2 mile from my house...a church that's mission matches my personal DNA of living life for God!  A church with people that I like being around and get to serve in SOUTH BEND, INDIANA!!!!!!  I just love this city and although I opened our family up to move if that is what God wanted...I'm glad that I still get to serve here...for however long this season is...maybe even for the rest of my life...detours happen, but I'm not looking for one!!  THIS IS OUR HOME and I am thankful to God for the opportunity to be building HIS Kingdom on the SOUTHSIDE OF SOUTH BEND!

Umm.....soooooooo good to be a year down the line and see God's hand thoughout the past year...so good!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Teacher of the Year Reflections

Today I received my award for being the Teacher of the Year at Jackson...cool award and a HUGE honor...the overall award went to a kindergarten teacher...THAT is a person with A LOT of patience!!! (For those of you outside of SB...the South Bend Comm. School Corp has 34 schools...each school has a teacher of the year and then a committee picks 1 person to represent our School Corp at the state level...I was one of the Building Teachers of the Year...cool stuff!)

I was reflecting through the ceremony and on my way home...I thought back through all of my teachers that I have had that have sooooo shaped my life...teachers that sometimes I catch myself talking like them...or wondering how they would handle a situation or a student...sometimes I even want to go back and apologize to a few of them!! On my ride home I just had names running through my head...from K-12th grade...and as I'm sitting here I think of my college profs and then Mr. Beam and Mr. Dillon my supervising teachers...people that have invested so much in me...sooo grateful.

Thankful to for my students...because I love seeing them have breakthrough in their lives...love seeing them attempt more than they ever thought that they could...

And I'm thankful that I have NEVER had a bad principal...I mean it!! My principals have been AMAZING people and leaders...they make my life easy and pour belief in me!! Some teachers have horror stories of the people they work for...I don't have 1 bad story of a poor administrator!!

I was just reading a comment on Kelsey's FB page...that behind every man is an amazing women...and that is SOOOO true in my case! Kelsey is an UNBELIEVABLE teammate! She has shaped my life and my teaching in sooooo many ways! She shares ideas and doesn't let me settle...she expects me to do my best and helps me make that happen!! It also helps that she has been a music teacher...she's a GREAT resource too!!

For fear on continuing to go on and on...I'm going to go on and on!! One of the things that changed a lot of my teaching was having children...and more than that...have school aged children. Each of my kids are different...and seeing how they come home and perceive what their teachers are saying to the class...has made me be more careful in how I communicate...Also...I have changed some of my practice time homework!! Kids do need to be kids, so I cut my orchestra practice time after Chloe went to school! Kids do need time to play!!

Lots of reflection tonight...very grateful to have been so blessed to have so many amazing people invest in my life as I get the opportunity to invest in others!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Manning + Tebow = Super Bowl Ring


Tebow is an AMAZING leader and VERY SMART and talented athlete.

Manning is one of the best QB's EVER and even at his "diminishing state" is still a better QB than most every QB in the league.

So here is my thought...first...Denver is a GREAT PLACE for Peyton to play...actually...I mentioned on Facebook on the day he was released that I thought he should go to Denver. They have an TOUGH defense, so he could work his way back and not have to do it all.

I ALSO BELIEVE that because of Tebow...Peyton can focus on his health and getting back to peak performance and let Tebow be the leader of the team...No really...

So WHAT DO YOU DO WITH TEBOW?!?! Put the "kid" at RB and TE...seriously...he is a solid runner...as long as he can catch, he is big and strong...PLUS...he can throw some, so you have some trick plays!

I WOULD SAY THIS...if Tebow moved to TE...with Tebow's work ethic and Peyton's ability to make anyone into a great receiver...WATCH OUT...Timmy Tebow will be a Pro Bowl TE by the end of the season. PLUS...he can continue to lead the team emotionally too!!

AND...he wouldn't be able to play in the PRO BOWL game because Denver's Defense will be #1...Peyton will be Back and Both Peyton and Tebow will miss the Pro Bowl because they will be playing for a Super Bowl!!

So here it is and WHY NOT?!?!? Would be best case senerio for both Peyton and Tebow!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Listen up!

Doctors. We pay them A LOT of money. A LOT! We ask for their wisdom...their advice...we want them to be miracle workers...want them to heal our bodies...our minds...we want all our physical and emotional issues to just disappear when they take care of us...

Here is my question though...


You know what I mean? They tell us to take time off...to rest our bodies...and we think..."I'll be alright...I can go back to work/school/regular activities now...I'll be fine!" They encourage us to take medicine for a certain time...and we think..."probably long enough...I'm good!" They encourage us to change a behavior...even give us steps on how to do it...But somehow we think we are smarter than them!!

This really hit me a while back...Here I was...sick as I have ever been in my life...my doc tells me to take AT LEAST...that wasn't a maximum...it was A MINIMUM...AT LEAST a month off...I had the time built up...so I could do it...BUT NO...I knew better than him...SO I went back to work after about 3 weeks...worked hard...and it set my recovery back...and as I look back (because we always have 20/20 vision then!!)...it set my recovery back by months...probably by about a year!! What if I would have simply listened to my doc's advice?!?!?!

SO...why don't we just listen? For some reason we think we know better!! Good ol' human nature...we ask the experts their advice...but then we only use what makes us happy!

Same thing happens in our spiritual lives...we read the Bible...listen to people who have "been down the road before..." yet we think..."It won't happen to me like that...I'll be alright..." only to roadblock ourselves and set our development back by months...sometimes years!! And frankly...I've watched some ruin their lives and deeply hurt people around them...simply because they weren't willing to listen and act.

The book of Proverbs in the Bible has A LOT to say about listening to wisdom...LOTS TO SAY. I still have not become a master listener...but I am working harder to listen to those around me...those that have been down the path before...to learn from their mistakes...to absorb some "tips" from their successes...so that I don't fall into wrong traps...so I make positive habits and patterns in my life...sometimes this makes me go against the grain of my makeup...but when I have it is soooooo worth it...saves me time and pain!!

So let's "Listen up!" Which means we won't just HEAR wisdom...instead we will ACT on what we hear!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Be careful of your choices...they shape your life!

Finished coaching 5/6 grade girls basketball this week...I enjoy coaching...watching kids develop and working to bring the best out of them. This season was an interesting one...especially in the last week of the season...In the course of 5 days our top point guard (who could have started for the 7/8 grade team!) moved to Georgia...because of that we had a VERY TOUGH game in our final game...very tough...didn't play well...just struggled...the truth is WE DIDN'T SCORE!!! And one of the teams we played we had already beaten earlier in the season...to make matters worse on our girls...our 2nd point guard and 2nd ball-handler quit the team after that game...it was TOUGH on the girls!!

So the rest of the team had a choice to make...I couldn't make it for them...they had to choose whether they would cave in and quit...either literally or on the court...or would they step up with 1 practice left and then our tournament. I believe that although this is 5/6 bball...still patterns get set in your life STARTING NOW...so if they were to cave and give up...it would hurt their future...the next time they ran into an obstacle in their life...they likely would give up again. BUT if they confronted the adversity and disappointment...Ummm....character building stuff right there!

I couldn't wait for our last practice...to see how the girls would respond...I was excited and nervous...not because we would win or lose our games, but because their decision mattered for their lives...

Oh...to add to the drama...our last practice was to be a scrimmage between the 7/8 grade JV bball team and our 5/6 varsity team...

The scrimmage started and YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN OUR GIRLS SMILES when they made our first shot!! It was like redemption took place and a transformation on our team...we ended up losing the scrimmage by 2 pts. but OH THESE GIRLS WON! They chose to overcome their obstacles, not give up and PLAYED REALLY HARD.

Then the tourney came on Saturday...the first game was against the same team that we had not scored against earlier in the week...ONLY THIS TIME...we did score and ended up losing by 6 pts in a HARD FOUGHT GAME...I wish I had video of my girls diving all over the floor for loose balls...ripping the ball out of the other teams hands...we were annoying to play against and simply weren't going away! I was never so proud of a loss in my life! These girls bounced back.

BUT...a loss meant that we had to play another game RIGHT AWAY! We had exactly 10 minutes from our 1st round loss to play our next game against a team that had a girl taller than me and ALL of their starters were bigger than us!! NOW it was another challenge...

OUR GIRLS BATTLED...fought...played their hearts out...we were up 4 in the 4th when the other team tied it up...only this time the girls didn't get the "deer in the headlight look" instead they made the plays to end up winning by 6!!

SOOOOO proud of the girls...VERY PROUD!! They had every excuse to give up on their season...2 of our top players either moved or quit on the week of the tourney...people were playing different positions...one of our other top players injured her finger in the first game and was limited in what she could do...BUT instead of caving in...they stepped up! THAT excites me for their future...excited about how one day...they will face adversity in their life...probably MUCH TOUGHER than this...BUT they can look back and know...that although the circumstances seem stacked against them...if they pull themselves and others around them up...they can make it through...PROUD of the girls. The future is good here in South Bend because of kids like these!!

Random Stuff

Stuff that jumps into my head...and please remember that I am medicated after surgery!

-Pains meds work REALLY well!
-My wife is amazing...while taking care of me...she got our kids ready for school...did laundry...is taking care of Sadie...made the beds...is about to make our lunch...I'm tired just watching her! (Oh...she played Yahtzee with me too!!)
-Finished off Leviticus in the Bible today...lots of rules
-God is pretty serious when it comes to sin
-Thankful for Jesus and grace!
-3 months until I'm full time at church...looking forward to it
-Have some cool pics of the inside of my knee...not really sure what I'm looking at, but it's cool!
-Doctor said to not be up a lot for at least 7-10 days...what defines "a lot?"
-I'm really going to miss playing indoor soccer over the next couple of months...it has been REALLY fun to be playing again! Really fun!
-Friends...God has sure blessed me with amazing ones!
-had our final girls basketball party Wednesday...great group of young ladies...fun night!
-I love the Price is Right...watching it right now!!
-It frustrates me to see people with no health problems that don't take care of themselves...makes me wonder what they could accomplish if they did take care of their bodies!
-First small group Wednesday night...BEYOND excited about the group...I love our new model for groups...
-Time to eat lunch...so I'm out of here! Maybe I'll continue this later...did I mention what an amazing wife I have...LOVE YOU KELSEY LYNN!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hey #35...thanks, you actually did me a favor!

I'm having knee surgery today...makes me think back to the beginning of all these problems...Ol' #35...I remember being sooooo excited entering my junior year of varsity....I was SOOOOOOOO excited! I could NOT WAIT for the basketball season to start. Simply could not wait! It was the pre-season and I was starting on varsity. It was a rebuilding year for our team...we had lost 10 seniors the year before...our JV team was solid and most of us moved up. We were playing in a scrimmage...when I was driving the lane...#35 from our opposing team came over and undercut my legs...blew out my knee. Season done. Actually...organized sports were done.

I was devastated...as I posted yesterday...I simply LOVED the game of basketball...played ALL THE TIME! Honestly a lot of my identity came from sports...I hated life in 7th grade...(that's another post!!)...but 8th grade came and although our team STUNK...playing ball, I developed more friends...kinda had this "if I perform well, people like you" thing happening...So I jumped in...got involved in as many things as I could and wrapped my life around sports and stuff. Let myself wander from God.

So when #35 changed my life...I was bitter...angry...felt pretty stinkin' sorry for myself. At one point my girlfriend at the time pulled me aside and lit into me...confronted me on my selfishness...I can still remember the conversation...I was convicted. See...she wasn't just talking...she had lost her mom at a very young age...she knew REAL pain...REAL loss...that conversation shaped me...this was just basketball...sure it was important, but not devastating...that conversation was the beginning of a perspective shift...less on my and what I thought I lost...and more on what the future would hold and how God would use it in my life.

As the years have past...I have become more grateful for #35...I moved from wanting revenge to being grateful...not for the pain that is for sure...(or today's surgery!)...but for the lessons...about what is most important in life...on how to begin to handle struggles...that more than anything...my Savior is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than anything else...AND he loves to use the broken things in our lives to shape us and others.

How about you? What is God using in your life right now to shape you? What has happened in your life that God can use to encourage others? I sure don't like going through the tough stuff...but those times sure change us...make us closer and more like our Savior!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Nothing like playing ball outside!

It has been BEAUTIFUL outside the past couple of nights...at least it has been warmer and some SERIOUS wind!! So last night the kids and I were outside playing...Jaden wanted to play a game of "21." So we started our battle...QUITE FUN!!

The game took me back to when I was a kid...I used to spend HOURS on the basketball court...wind...heat...rain...even snow! (I'll never forget the night I had a bad game in High School...when I got home I grabbed the shovel and shoveled the snow off of the ROCKS in my driveway and practiced!)

I'll always remember the battles in H. S. with Deutsch, Roth and Hillrich at Deutsh's house...(I still think my friend Dave was trying to hurt me!! He believed in Rick Mahorn defense!!) I remember going to Mooney's house to play with a group of guys...and OF COURSE there were the courts by the old Nimisila School...HOURS OF TIME! Always outside...Nothing better than an afternoon/evening of playing ball with the guys...

Last night...the smell...the fresh air...the ball in the hands...just brought back A LOT of great memories! GREAT times back in the day! AND NOW...I get to do it with my kids! FUN!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

It only took 21 years!

It only took 21 years, but my High School Yearbook is finally right...The yearbook crew asked us what we thought we would be when we got older...I put..."a youth pastor"...Now after 21 years I will be! Starting in June (after the school year) I will be going on staff at the Living Stones Church as a Creative Arts/Student Ministries pastor...I AM VERY EXCITED!!!!

Ever since we had to close Grace Community back in June I have prayed...prayed for God to continue to use us where we are...and to show us what was next for our family. I prayed about moving out of South Bend...even had talks with a couple of people about church positions...We knew that we were going to be open to go wherever God wanted us to go.

During this time...we simply have not had any peace to move out of South Bend...frankly, I have felt that our work here is unfinished...that God has given us an opportunity to influence people closer to himself here...and that work was NOT done.


Sam...our pastor...talked to me about coming on staff...our Creative Arts pastor was leaving and moving to Kansas City and Sam wondered..."where I was at" with "stuff."


After A TON OF PRAYER...we really sensed that God was opening this door for us...AND...the church is a 1/2 mile from our house on the Southside of South Bend!!! HOW COOL IS THAT?!

I never would have guessed this a year ago...but God sure has a way of working things out...Romans 8:28...been my verse for years...and here HE goes again!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

2 Years Later...grateful.

2 years ago tomorrow...just about 15 minutes before our church service and my chest started hurting...hurting A LOT! I told our leaders that the service was all theirs and asked Kelsey to take me to the hospital. Found out that I was having a heart-attack...at 36 years old...one of my my arteries was 100% clogged and BAM!!

2 years later, I have a lot to be thankful for...Grateful that I didn't wait to go to the hospital...grateful that I am in better physical health than I have been in years...grateful that I get to be here to love my wife...grow old with her and influence the lives of my children...PLUS...Sadie was born 1 year after my heart attack...what a beautiful gift she is!!!!Priceless.

I am grateful for a new perspective on life. Learning a lot about where we can influence lives the best...I don't want to waste the 2nd chance on life that I have been given...and that is NOT going to happen. My perspective shift has been from performance driven to influence driven...(Maybe that should be my first book!)...but really. I have lived most of my life concerned about what other people think and trying to be the best...now...I still strive for the best out of me, but I look more for how I can best influence people toward Jesus...we can sure do a lot of stuff, but are we really making a difference in people's lives?!

Grateful is a great word for me...in fact...I'm grateful that my mom texted me tonight...because if I'm to be honest...I completely forgot about tomorrow...forgot that it had been 2 years!!!! Too busy livin' I guess! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Time for a Dog

We just couldn't wait! We simply can't!! We had our little Zeke put to sleep over Christmas Break and our house really hasn't been the same...Zeke was such a part of our lives...like part of the family...

So, it is now time...a week or 2 ago we put a deposit down on a puppy...and the litter was just born over the weekend...it is our kids (and our!) big birthday and Christmas present for the year. We are sooooo excited to have a puppy for our kids to enjoy!!

Yes...we know the work that goes into a puppy, but we just can't stand the thought of not having a dog around! AND Zeke didn't like kids very much...nay...he REALLY didn't like kids! So...it will be fun to have a pup around that the kids can enjoy and play with.

I'll get some pics up after we get some...CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sadie Lynn

A gift from God.
Precious Baby.
A gift from God.
Sadie Lynn is such a blessing from God. In February 2010, I was in a hospital wondering what my life was going to be like after having a heart attack. In February 2011, I was back in the hospital...only this time it was to welcome our new little one...Sadie Lynn...she has been such a blessing.
She is simply wonderful...in the midst of a tough year...Sadie has been a true shining light...there were times over the past 6 months especially where I would just go to her to see that innocent smile...the one that just makes every hard thing in life melt away...
Sadie...you have no idea...not even a clue what you have meant to me and your family...the joy you have brought is simply priceless! I love you Sadie Lynn and I am soooo proud to be your father.

Friday, February 17, 2012


I will never forget that night...Uncle Bob and Aunt Judy were going to take me to buy a new BMX bike...I couldn't sleep...my mind was racing with excitement and anticipation of my new bike. I simple COULD NOT WAIT!
I still remember going to the store...remember buying it (well...they bought it!)...remember riding that bike like crazy.
We toooo often lose that innocent anticipation and excitement...we can get so muddied up with hurt and pain that we don't really want to get excited...We become so guarded...at times as we grow older we have hurts that happen--times of disappointment that such the joy and fun right out of us...
What do we become though if we live that way? It is truly a depressing way to live...we must be willing to risk being hurt or disappointed again.
What is a dream that you have? Or something that you are hoping for or dreaming for? If something were to cross your path...some exciting turn in your life...would you be to calloused from past pain that you wouldn't risk stepping out?
Hey...I just prayed for you...whoever you are and wherever you are at in your life! Prayed that you would be willing to get excited again...to be willing to have that childlike anticipation for whatever turn God wants to take in your life!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Just Go.

The past couple of years have been interesting to say the least...several humbling things have come my way...things that have made me question to the depth of my being...who I am...how I make decisions...how does God really direct me.

Here is something else that I know...a good friend asked me a question back in September or early October...I told him that I didn't know how to know God's will anymore...that I was unsure about just about everything...he then questioned me (I hate it when people use my own tactics back on me!!!!)...asked me what I felt confident about...when it comes to God's direction...what did I still believe to be true...

My answer surprised me at the time...because although my dreams seemed to be shattered...I still felt confident...you know...the confidence in your gut when you just know that you know that something is right...I felt confident in the vision and direction that God had given me back with Hope Community Church...to see lives changed and to be involved in church planting...AND I still felt called live and influence lives right here in South Bend, IN.

It felt so weird to even say it...that I was confident in the call...it didn't really make sense...it has left me wondering what God is up too...and I still wonder what all he is up too...My prayer over the past months is for God to keep me influencing people right where I am right now and to make our next steps very clear...

Sometimes God answers our prayers clearly...and sometimes...he simply wants us to Just Go. To simply step out and step up. To quit sitting around waiting for him to give us some BIG SIGN that this is the next step for our lives...and instead to JUMP RIGHT IN!

I feel that I am at that point right now...waiting...seeking...wondering though if God is simply saying..."just go." In the still small voice like he did to Elijah.

How about you? Do you have something that you have been wrestling with...something that you have been waiting for a "sign from God?" Is it simply time to go...to just go forward and begin to do what it is that God wants from you?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Random Stuff

Random stuff as it pops in my head...

-Spent HOURS yesterday finishing my Teacher of the Year portfolio...been a cool process
-Spent a lot of time on it, but it sure doesn't look like it!
-Been thinking a lot lately of where I can have the most influence...how do I influence people the best
-Giants vs. Patriots...not sure who I'm rooting for
-Coach B from the Patriots...truly a story of bouncing back...he was TERRIBLE in Cleveland, but OBVIOUSLY better now. 2nd chances
-Tom Brady...leader
-Luke stayed all night at a friends house last night...just doesn't seem like he should be that old yet!
-GREAT vision messages the past few weeks at Living Stones...Just love Sam's passion!
-Quote of the morning: "Let's not be excited about a church that is doing things for God, let's BE that church that is doing things for God!" YES!!
-Love how we love the community here...been a good fit for our family...great place to heal and get recharged
-Chloe simply LOVES the youth group...she needed that.
-If I could do anything in the world what would I do...asked myself that this week
-Had a friend say...if he was given 1 million $ what would he do...asked myself that this week too
-Sad that Mr. Cabiness passed away...(read yesterday's post!)
-GREAT to see some old friends Friday...it was tough to leave Bremen when I taught there...GREAT staff...Great kids...Great community!
-Frankly...every school or job I have ever had was hard to leave...
-I simply NEVER EVER want to lose my hope in people...that they can change...that they can live up to their God given potential
-What if...
-What would happen if you got to the end of your life and realized that you focused on the wrong things? Don't worry about that...instead DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!!
-Alright...I LOVE all the pregame stuff...it is fun!! (Told you this was random!)
-I want to live the 2nd half of my life even better than the first...(assuming I am 1/2 way through!!)...I don't want to just coast...
-Ever heard Keith Green's song: "I make my life a prayer to you...I want to do what you want me to...no empty words...no white lies...no token prayers...no compromise...I wanna tell the world out there your NOT some fable or fairy tail...that I've made up inside my head...your God, The Son and you've risen from the dead! I wanna thank you now for being patient with me...it's so hard to see...when my eyes are on me...I guess I'll have to trust and believe what you say...OH you're coming again...coming to take me away...I make my life a prayer to you......."
-So many times my life gets clouded...clogged up with my own thoughts...the stuff of life but then God just does something...something that grabs me and gets my attention and focus on him...so glad God gives us multiple chances and never gives up on us...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

"Hey Mr. Cabiness...Thank you!"

It was 1997...I had been married for about a year and I was sending out applications to schools...looking for a job. I had had 2 interviews when I headed down to a town called Bremen. It was a small town...HEY...the sign as you go into town says..."Bremen...a good town."

I still remember that day like it was yesterday...I remember the 3 people that interviewed me. I even remember some of the questions!!

When I left that interview I thought..."I'm never going to get that job..." One of the teachers asking questions just didn't seem to like me...frankly...I knew I wasn't getting the job.

I was surprised when I received a call at a factory where I was working at the time...some man named Mr. Cabiness was on the other end...he was the principal and wanted to meet with me. I was excited and SCARED TO DEATH! He asked me to bring in a couple of songs to play and be ready for some questions.

I just got chills remembering that interview...Mr. Cabiness was a passionate man...he LOVED kids and demanded your best...he offered me a job that day...one of the best decisions of my life was when I said yes!! He gave me my first "real world" job!!

Cabiness was great to work for...you knew what he expected of you...he supported the arts and all of his teachers. Frankly, if a teacher had trouble with him...well...I just don't think he was one to blame!! I enjoyed going through the office and hearing him talking with students...he was tough, but then he would flash that contagious smile...that smile made everyone feel at home.

He was a strong leader...I mean come on...the man had to lead a K-8 building and in the K-4 there were 3 or 4 male teachers!! :) He also listened to his people...after my first interview, I was right...one of the teachers didn't want me. But one lady (THANK YOU MRS. WALTER!!!!!!!) went to Mr. C and said..."you need to interview this guy...just interview him." I thankful that he listened to his people!!

In a profession where MANY drop out in their first years of teaching...many simply get disenchanted with everything that you have to deal with...Mr. Cabiness gave me a foundation to build on...he breathed confidence into me and allowed me to flourish.

After he retired...Mr. Cabiness couldn't quit...he came up here to South Bend and served as a "sub" principal in a number of schools...I was blessed to see him again last year when he "subbed" at our building...it was good to be able to thank him in person for his impact on my life.

Mr. Cabiness passed away and his viewing was last night and funeral was today. When I went last night there were 100+ people ahead of me in line and at least another 100 as I was leaving...he left a lasting legacy...I will never forget his impact on my life and am a stronger person for knowing him.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Take Ownership! (Good Job Chloe!!)

Chloe came home from swim practice the other night and made my day! They have different practice groups...4 different levels. After practice she told me that she asked her coaches if she could move up to the next level. She said that she was meeting the times in the level she was in, but wanted to be pushed more...so she asked to move up. So, I asked her if mom had told her to do that...she said no...she just did it!

NICE! She is taking ownership of her development!! That is a parent (and coach's!) dream!! I am sooooo proud of her!

THEN today at her swim meet she says..."I was really comfortable in my other group, but you can't get better if your comfortable." ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!?!?!?!?!? This girl gets it...really she does.

I quickly had my mind run to the messages that Sam has been preaching on the past couple of weeks...the essence of the messages is to take ownership of your spiritual life. That YOU are in charge AND responsible for your growth...then my mind ran to how my spiritual life is going...Chloe's challenge ran deep for me...Take ownership AND go do something about it!!!!

Dear Swim Dad...STOP IT!

Chloe had a swim meet today...and I was about to go CRAZY up in the seats! For the 2nd meet in a row there is a dad there...with his own stop watch...yelling at his child and shaking his head after EVERY race!! REALLY?!?!?!? How does this HELP your child be successful? How does this make him better at all?!?!

NOW...those of you that know me, know that I'm a "little" competitive...I love to compete and LONG to have my kids and EVERY ONES kid do their best...when I'm coaching I'll talk...pry...beg...plead...SHOUT...to pull out the best in that child...NOT screaming or raving...but I can get a little fired up!!

BUT THIS PARENT...COME ON!!!!!!!! Do you want your child to HATE the sports? Worse yet...do you want them not to like you?? Your not the coach and if you think the coach isn't pushing your child hard enough...then contact them...and make time to talk to the coach. But you...sitting up in the stands as a wanna-be coach when what your child really needs is a cheerleader...COME ON!!!!

Here is the deal...there are way to many parents out there that are trying to live their sports dream through their children...let them go...let them thrive...let them develop and ENCOURAGE THEM.

PLEASE don't take this that we shouldn't push our kids...We do...we have high expectations of our kids...we expect them to perform at their best...did you catch the key word...THEIR personal best.

Hey...will someone remind me of this blog someday...when I'm sitting in the stands and no longer coaching my boys??? Thanks! (I don't coach Chloe, because she picked a sport that I have NO CLUE about!! :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Journey from here

My brother in-law Ed had major surgery today...Kelsey was down with her parents, family, and church people at the hospital. Everything went as well as it could...results won't come for quite a while.

MANY have been praying for Ed...for the whole family...lifting them up. Pleading with God for healing and for wisdom for the doctors. Begging God to help him come through...as of this minute things look very good for that! Praising God!

Now the journey really starts for him and his family though. It is from here on that they will need MASSIVE support...as a people we are VERY GOOD at being there in the urgent moments...it is in the "long haul" that we struggle. And understandably so...life is busy and if you are not in direct contact with the person who is battling...you won't have the same urgency.

This is not intended to discourage us...BUT instead to encourage us to think right now of a couple of people that you need to connect with...people who you know are wrestling through some junk...and give them a call...an email...ask them to grab some coffee or go watch a game together. Don't assume that someone is contacting them...because they might not be! YOU might need to be that person!

As for Ed...his journey is up ahead...he has a FANTASTIC support system around him...people that will walk with he and his family every step of the way. There was proof today at the hospital...and my prayers have been and will continue for his stretch to full recovery.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Random Stuff

Chloe was reading my blog tonight and said: "DAD you need to do another Random Stuff" So...being the compliant dad...here goes...random stuff as it runs through my head tonight:

-Praying hard for my brother in-law Ed...he has surgery tomorrow.
-Praying for people to have a passion for God...not just their comfortable lives
-Ever get some life altering news...the kind that you know will change the rhythm of your life forever? How did you respond to that?
-I'm glad that I know God...I'd be scary without him!
-OK...here is random stuff...I had a dream last night that I was back in High School...there was A BUNCH of former classmates...we were playing games and I was really being annoying!! It was weird! Glad I woke up!!
-Coaching basketball...5/6 girls...good group
-I JUST LOVE pulling the best out of people!
-What if...every person on the Southside of South Bend made a decision to not just say they believe in Jesus, but to live like him...MAN...the compassion...the people who would be shown love that right now think no one loves them...the kids that would have homes-clothes-time with someone who cares...
-Listened to Romans 8:28...great verse...life verse for me.
-Along those lines...one of the hardest days of my life was Pearl Harbor Day, 1989...blew out my knee...created a lot of pain over the years...Truth is...I probably NEVER would have met Kelsey and had the family I have right now, if it hadn't been for #35 undercutting my knee...so today...I'm thankful to him
-That one moment in time is still getting me...I just had an MRI...torn ACL (I knew that already), torn meniscus and "worn down" cartilage. Seeing the surgeon on Wednesday to see what is next.
-Back to Ed...my bro in-law...I don't always understand why tough things happen to good people...I know...we live in a world that sins...that has evil in it, but still...this stuff just stinks...glad God doesn't just leave us in these times...I hold on to the verses that say...although we are outwardly wasting away (our bodies our gettin' old) still INSIDE I can be renewed day by day...priceless words right there. (2Corinthians 4: 16)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Did you feast today?

Several years ago I went through a study that had pretty strict accountability...probably the best accountability I have experienced...at the end of every study the question was asked..."Did you feast on God today?" I HATED that question...cause it wasn't...did you do your token couple of verses or say a little prayer...the question was...

DID YOU FEAST on God today?

Sam preached on Sunday and the essence of his message was this same thing...he asked us what the things were that we didn't want to bring into 2012 with us...he encouraged us to grab some paper and confess...repent of...the things that we wanted to leave behind. Then we TRASHED our lists and took communion together...POWERFUL and meaningful stuff right there!!

BUT...his biggest point was that NOTHING...ABSOLUTELY NOTHING would change unless we surrendered to God. That unless we fell more and more in love with HIM...we would come to the end of 2012 and nothing will have changed.

THAT brings me back to the question...so...DID YOU FEAST ON GOD TODAY?

Deep question...and I encourage you to ask yourself that question...and to ask it when you wonder why God isn't answering you...could it be that you aren't really spending time with him? That you just keep asking for things and not looking to him as your source of strength?

HEY...the best part is...HE WANTS US! NO REALLY...he really, really wants you to talk to him and spend time with him...he wants to hear what you are struggling with...he wants you to thank him...

SO...how about in 2012 we make the choice to FEAST on the God we claim to love...I wonder and get excited about how our attitudes and life will be different at the end of the year...gets me excited to think about...