What Do You Do When It Hurts?

Everything hurts.

This is a thought I’ve had many times in life. I was an athlete my entire childhood and on into my early adult life. I remember the aches and the pains of two a days, sprained ankles, broken bones, and surgeries. Those times when you just didn’t have anything left to give though your coach/trainer/whoever demanded it of you and you had no choice but to find something and give it.

I’ve had to rehab myself back. I’ve had to give what I didn’t have. I had to fight to get back. To overcome.

I have felt the physical pain.

But nothing compares to the pressing, crushing blows of soul pain. The pain that is felt so deep inside, it shakes you to your core. The pain that feels like it’s all over and it can’t get any better. The pain that wrecks you to your soul and leaves you crying out for mercy from the torrent of an inundating sadness. It feels like you’ve been stabbed in the heart.

THAT’s when everything hurts.

I’ve faced it many times in life. More than I’d like to h…

Do You Know Your Influence [Part 2]

I have no influence. I'm too young for that.

Or maybe...
They're too young. They can't influence me. 

We often categorize the ability to influence someone by age. We tend to think those who are influential are the those who are older and the younger crowd must just follow in accordance. The reality is that while age can give you more wisdom and insight than those younger, no matter what age you are, if you’re leading something or in a position to be seen as a leader, you have someone looking up to you, i.e. someone under your influence.

This was something I didn’t understand when I was in that position as a college student even though I had looked up to college students when I was younger.

I remember going to volleyball matches where I would idolize the girls on the court. I watched them in awe. I shied away from talking to them because they seemed so untouchable, something I never thought I could be.

But then I found myself in their shoes. And I remember stopping and look…

Where Am I?

Where am I?

This is a question I ask myself every year around my birthday in assessment of the previous year of life. I'm an analyzer, assessor, and goal oriented type of person. This time can be encouraging. This time can be eye opening. This time can be insert just about any range of emotions or thought processes possible.

As I look on this past year, I see so much joy and so much pain. I see so much God.

There's times I sit and think about the deep desires of my heart that haven't necessarily manifested in my life, but that doesn't really get me anywhere. Those moments look like me taking inventory and continuing to place those things in the Lord's hands, knowing that if this is a desire He has placed inside of me, He will fulfill it. If it isn't a desire from Him, He will transform it.

The most important, deepest desire in my heart is to know the Lord intimately. I truly believe that if that's my sole desire, it'll never go unmet. Even if I never ge…

Do You Know Your Influence?

Have you ever contemplated to impact you can have on someone's life?

Over the many years I have played and coached sports, it's become clearer and clearer that coaches have an amazing opportunity and access to make, break, encourage, etc. the trajectory and course of their players' lives.

I've played for countless coaches, having played sports basically my entire life. Some of them encouraged me and made me feel invincible. Some of them broke me to the core of my being, at least that's what it felt like. Some of them told me I wouldn't make it, that I would never be good enough.

The words, "You won't survive the next level," rang in my ears for many years. They had the power to motivate me, as I worked to prove that coach wrong, and the power to cripple me, as I came into agreement with them.

Well where does all of this power come from? There's an old saying that says "Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.&qu…

Have You Ever Just Sat And Stared at Your Skin?

Have you ever just sat and stared at your skin?

It's fascinating stuff.
It's the largest organ in our bodies.
It regenerates itself.
It's the most "flaky" organ in our bodies.
It's also seemingly the most deadly organ in our bodies.

I don't know the stats but too many people have died because of the color of their skin.

And for what?

I'll never understand the motivation. I'll never understand the plight. I'll never understand most of it.

Have you ever sat and just stared at your skin?

The different wrinkles. Spots. Scars.
It's the organ that most readily shows age. Battle wounds. What life has brought you to and through.
It gets dry. It gets ashy. It gets oily. It gets burnt.
Some try everything to make it darker. Some try everything to not let it get darker.
We paint it. We pick at it. We cover it up. We show it off.

Everyone has it.

Yet every society has used the shade of our skin to divide and define a person's worth.

I understand h…

Ocean Thoughts

All our lives we're looking for love.
We look for it from our parents first.
They created us so they must love us. Especially our fathers.  If they aren't there then we tend to look to others. ...we look to bottles. ...we look to needles.  ...we look to... anything but Jesus. 
Why? To what end? Can they save us? Can they love us?  It might feel like love but what may feel like love can be disguised as death. If we look to our parents first for love because they made us then why do we so quickly turn away from the Creator?  Do we really understand love? It doesn't seem like it. Can we really understand love? Jesus died for us.  Gave up His life for us.  If the greatest love is that one should lay down his life for his friend, then there's no greater love than found in Him.

Reasons to Not Lose Hope

As I watch the news and read articles about recent events regarding racial tensions, terrorism, shootings, I can't help but think of a few things...

I wish sin never entered the world.

I wish humanity would love one another unconditionally.

I wish it didn't feel so hopeless at times.

It's hard to watch the news and see the brokenness that plagues society, that plagues our hearts.

BUT there are reasons not to lose hope:

Jesus came to Earth and lived the sinless life.

     God didn't give up on us even though we turned our backs on Him. He still came in pursuit of us. He has so much love for us that He humbled Himself to the point of denying His divinity and came to Earth as Jesus. There is plenty of historical evidence that a man name Jesus of Nazareth lived during the first century outside of the Bible, but the Bible includes four eyewitness accounts of His life on Earth and His sinlessness. He even experienced everything we'll experience on this Earth yet remained …