Saturday, December 31, 2005

Dallas Road Trip.....oooh yeah.

So Christmas was and the kid (my younger brother Jake) made a trek in my friend's Explorer all the way down to Dallas, TX from Leavenworth, KS. I know you don't want to hear about it, but i'm gonna tell ya anyway so at least i can reminisce about how freakin awesome it was.

Day 1
Me and the kid depart. We make some stops in Wichita (we bought 10 tacos for 5 bucks and shared) Oklahoma City (to check out the
Me and Jake at the Oklahoma Bombing Memorial!) and at some boondock gas station to make a call from a pay phone only to realize.....i left all my numbers at home (yes....i didn't have a cell phone, but the kid bought me one for should check out my
voicemail sometime, it features a classic belch from my little bro...completely unrehearsed!
Anyway, made it to Dallas, caught up with my boo (Sam Williams - Cocounsellor at Camp....awesome guy!) and went out to eat with Steph (another counsellor at camp - she's in the

middle east right now visiting her parents, then going to Sri Lanka!!). Then, as if this day wasn't going to end, we went and met Priya and Amy, two of Sam's best friends, at Priya's mansion (that's right, we hung out in her personal movie theatre....amazing!!). By that time the kid and I were pretty was Sam, so we went back to his bro's house (Tony) and crashed. An incredible first day, but man so much more happenned. (bored yet?)

Day 2
Went to IHOP for brekkie.....can't beat that place. Then we decided we needed to get some physical exercise, so we went and threw the frizz for a little bit, then went and met up with John and Laura, Sam's old college group leaders who work at Dallas Baptist Seminary. From there we went and dabbled in some American football which the kid had never played. Once i told him it was full tackle he rode Sam into the ground on his first play! Ouch!
"And Jesus Wept"
After that we went to the William's residence and met the fam.....incredible people. From there we went to Sam's college group at his church. He asked me to help them out with their worship to which i replied "ummmm heck yes!". We met some more real
nice people there too. We met Tony's girlfriend, Christina, and her best friend Jill.......yeah, we're facebook friends now! Ok...i'll stop bein a geek.

After that we met up with Rachael, a friend of mine from school who happenned to live in Dallas, and went to Natalie's house (another Camp counsellor) and caught up with a couple of other counsellors from camp. It was a great night......we played 16 player cutthroat pool....the longest game ever invented.....but we sat around and just talked for awhile which was great. After another long night in D-town.....we hit the hay.

Day 3
Ummm Christmas in 2 days and no shopping after getting up at 12 we made it over to the Frisco mall in Dallas (which has its own skating rink! yeah.....malls like that don't exist in KS!) . We walked around for a long time - me, the kid, Sam and Rachael.....not really buying anything, just lookin for stuff we might want. Anyway, we ended up buying one thing, and paying too much for Chick Fil-A at the food court (ohhh but it's soooo good!).

That night we went to the Williams house and a party showed up. About 10 of Sam's friends came over including Christina, Jill, Priya and Garry (another counsellor from camp that i used to jam out all the time with on worship songs). We watched some basketball, ate some Sonic, jumped in the hot tub, then jumped in the pool (it must have been below 40 in there because m sure Antartica doesn't get much colder than that pool was. Jill jumped in too, she can back me up!). It was a great night....we just got to hang out and chill with some awesome people. Man i miss Dallas! Well, after all that we crashed back at Tony's place and that could only bring me to....

Day 4
Christmas Eve. We went to Fairfield, TX to catch up with Wiggy (one of the directors of the Camp Sam and I went to) and made a great day of it. Started off by gorging ourselves at
Wiggy, me, the Kid, and Sam huckin some fizz at Fairfield, TX
the buffet at Sam's resturant (no....not my boo), then went to the Big Field in Fairfield, to throw some more frizz. We must have been out there for a couple of hours, and if it wasn't for all the food we ate, we might have been blown away by the wind out
there. But it was a lot of fun.....a lot of catching up, messing around, and unfortunately, a pulled hamstring for me ( still sittin out of basketball because of it!). But it was a great afternoon. Wiggs, is one of the greatest people you'll ever meet, and if you want to work at Camp Champions this summer, he is the man to see.

That night we drove through to "Ritz" of Dallas' suburbs and checked out the Christmas lights. I don't know what was more jaw dropping.....the lights or the size of the houses! But it was a lot of fun. I drove with Sam's parents and his younger sister Shannon, and we listened to Vegetales Christmas Carols for most of the way (quite an interesting collection of music...heheheh!). Another great end to a great prepare for another great day......

Day 5
Jesus' birthday. I really enjoyed the service at Sam's church. Their pastor went through the story of Christ's birth from the Bible, then talked about how this story had impacted his life through the lives of others. We got to catch up with some of the college group people and meet some more of Sam's friends. We then did the whole Christmas thing of opening presents, which was really nice of the Williams family to include us in their day. We went to their grandparents later and gorged on some more amaizing food, and rounded off the day with a relatively early night of watchin TV and Tony's. It was just a great day to pause and remember the birth of Christ and bask in the love He has given all of us by enjoying it with family and friends. Somehow, i don't think Christmas will ever lose this.

Day 6
This day was cool. Tony has this awesome setup in his house which allows him to record music form a piano, guitar, drumset, you name it he's got it. So.....Garry came over,
Me and my Ray Charles impersonation.
and we recorded a song of his that he had written a while back, and one i always enjoyed. He let me back him up on the keys while he played guitar....but it was just so cool to be able to do all that in one afternoon. Garry and i always used to rock out together at camp with just a guitar and him singing, and it was great to be able to record something with him.....i might see if i can audioblog the song or somethin becuase it turned out really nice.

Later that night me, the kid, Sam and Tony went to see the Mavs kick the snot out of the Pacers!! It was cool to sit in such a big arena and watch basketball played at its best. Me and the kid have always loved the game, so it was good to finally see an NBA game together. Later that night, we met up with Priya, Rachael, Christina and Steven and went out to go "clubbing". Ha! If only we knew that we were venturing into a black community where all the clubs that we could go to were closed, and ended up walking around for about 10 minutes feeling like the dorkiest people that had walked the planet. We did get a sweet picture outside the Tiger Club though! So we went back to Tony's and played Texas Holdem' for M&M's and Hershey's Kisses. Was another awesome counting my blessings on this trip for sure.

Day 7
Last Day! I think we got up at maybe 1pm.....spent the whole day at Sam's parent's. Played some NFL Blitz on the N64 and "chilled in the hot tub" for about 2 hours. Sooooo relaxing, it must have been about 75 that day. Then we figured since we had eaten a lot of food at the William's place that we'd cook them all dinner. Priya, Amy and Geoff (another one of Sam's friends) came over and Sam grilled some chicken, and the kid and I made some pasta and a salad. Was a great night to
Garry singing "Hold On"
top off a great trip. We just relaxed, caught up and relaxed some more. My hammy was still hurting, and i seriously thought about callin coach to tell him i was too hurt to play, and that i was gonna stay in Dallas another week. But reality had to set in sometime i guess. The kid and I got up early the next morning and made the 8 hour trip back to LV, KS........the home of 6 jails. Hooray.

But our road trip was amazing......i think the kid fell in love with Texas, and i fell in love all over again. I love that place, and the people. Sure, they have the whole "bigger and better" complex, but most Texans i know are pretty humble about it, and very hospitable. They make you feel like you're at home.....and it least for another week.
I'd love for anyone who reads this to pray for me, and my future. Spending an incredible week like this in such a great place really makes me consider what i am going to do
Me and my boo (yeah.....its a counsellor thing)
next year. God has blessed me with two incredible options to either intern in Leavenworth, or in College Station, TX, which are both as equally appealing, and i am torn to decide where i should go. I know that God has a great plan for my life, and that wherever i choose, i will strive to do His will. But i'd ask that you help me in praying for that decision which could be so crucial for my future.

~Lord, you can have all of me, right now, in this place. None of what I am is hidden from You. Do with me what You will. You know all me, and i want to be with You always. Guide me on Your path where You would have me. Amen~

The Kid, my bro, Jakey prayin for him too. God loves him, and so do I.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

You've got to learn how to die before you learn how to live

I woke up at 10 am this morning.

That is the first time ive done that in about 6 months, and usually when something happens that hasn't for a while you get to thinking. Why did i decide to wake up so late? Usually i get up early each morning to pray, get into some Word, do some worship or go to class ( going to school IS important!). But today, the snow covered plains of Kansas prevented my class from happnening, so i was given a free morning.....but why not get up and spend some time with my Daddy?

I got on my computer and started listening to Luke's audioblog at our youth site ( He was talking about getting our lives focused back on God, and rembering Christ during this time of year where everyone seems to forget His name is actually in the season: Christmas. Had i also forgotten this?

These past couple of weeks have been particularly rough for me. I have had an incredible amount of homework that would probably rival most Ph.D's (maybe not). I haven't been getting a whole lot of sleep as ive been landscaping my mountain of work. But the biggest thing that's been on my mind is basketball.

Basketball is the thing that has followed me my whole life. Ever since i was 6 i have been basketball crazy. I can remember the day when my mum bought me my first basketball, and when it went flat after i had dribbled for only a couple of minutes......i cried! I remember the day that i was picked to play in an under 14's regional team when i was only of the happiest days of my life. I remember when i was 15 and ready to quit basketball and i asked God that if he wanted me to keep playing that he would grant me an oppurtunity to really play for Him, and that i would devote whatever i did in basketball to His kingdom. Basketball has brought me halfway across the world, allowed me to play infront of thousands of people and has formed me into a devoted and intense athlete.

But recently (the past 4 years), basketball has hit me with the rough end of the stick. I've been stuck in some situations where basketball has been less desirable, mainly because of the relationships i had with my coaches. I've felt that they haven't had the same passion and commitment i've had to the game, and as a result....i've became angry. I've turned into a different person on the basketball court. A friend of mine who had never seen me play before just recently came to a game and couldn't recognize me. My teamates have said i've looked scarey when i get mad on the court, and that they wouldn't try to mess with me.

This season i have been particularly angry. The level of basketball is considerably lower than what im used to and the conditions that which I'm playing can only be described as unprofessional. From the coaching staff, to the practices, to the games. I guess im saying, i could do a lot better...............................see.........this is the stuff i think about........the stuff that gets me mad........that causes me to wake up at 10am...........that takes my focus away from God.
I've been trying my hardest to recenter my focus, but to no avail. I'll have a couple of games where ill push all my anger and frustration under the rug, only for it to resurface greater at some point.

After listening to Luke's audioblog this morning and thinking about how my own focus has been lost (on Him), i began to remember all the times that i tried to imagine my life without basketball........i could never do it without feeling terrible. The fact is, basketball has been something that i've always had, and that i've never been able to give up. I can't remember how many times i've prayed and ask God to rid my life of all the things that get between me and Him, and can you believe that it was only this morning......before i started writing this blog.....that i've finally realized what that is.

I believe now that God brought me half way across the world to show me how much basketball could come between me and Him. I have failed to give it up to Him. Althought, i've realized that giving basketball up, and giving basketball up to Him is completely different. I'm sure that if my scholarship would have allowed it, i would have bowed out of this basketball season a long time ago, but since it hasn't, i've had to endure basketball as undesirable as i've ever experienced it.......for myself? No..........for my team? No.......for my coaches? Definately not!...........for Him? Yes Lord........I accept......and i will endure for you.

Paul says in Romans that we can rejoice in our sufferings for we know that God is moving. I've never been able to understand this untill now. I can't tell you how aggrivating and disappointing going to practices and games has become for me......but i can see how God is moving through this. He is teaching me to die to basketball, so that i may live more in Him.

Is this easy now? Definately not.....My body is still wired to get angry and upset everytime i see something i don't like on the basketball court. But Daddy God, i ask you to cut these wires.....i thank you for your patience with me and ask that one day, i may fully let go of this other personality that i have created....may i be able to live only for you in every situation. May i let go.......may i let go.....may i die to this for You. Thank you Dad. Amen.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

We all make a difference

So by now your thinking...."What!?!?! It's not possible!!! Bob is posting twice in one day!?!?! Christ's return must be soon!!! OK......well, maybe the last part was an over haul.....but lets face it. This post is much more interesting than todays previous post.
I got this in an email today, and it just really reminded me of how much all of us make a difference in this world, regardless of whether we get recognized or see a change. We are all part of God's purpose and plan, and He uses us (whether we like it or not) because He loves us so much.
~Father I praise you for using me in ways that i will never know or understand. I hope that you continue to use me for Your glory, whether i see it or not. Make me Your tool to sharpen the swords of Your kingdom. Continue to teach me and forgive me in all that I do. I love you Lord. Amen~

Charles Schultz Philosophy

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read through, and you'll get the point.
1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winner for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?
The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:
1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia." (Charles Schultz)
----- True that!!! My parents live in the future!!!!

My Leadership Style

Another day.....another paper, such is the college life. This weekend i will be putting the finishing touches to a paper on "The pastoral care of homosexual persons". Sounds like a should try writing on it!! Anyway, i'm not complaining, it really is a blessing to be able to research stuff you're interested in and get a degree out of it, and hopefully a job. God's got all that figured out though i'm sure.

Anyway, i had to write about what my leadership style was like.....see what you think. Am i telling the truth? Or am i just pipe dreaming? God Bless all of ya!

My leadership style is an eclectic mix of all the different definitions and categories that have been provided by the text, but also include a couple that haven’t been mentioned. I think the most unique part of my leadership style is the fact that I don’t like being recognized as the leader. I would much rather lead from a position where the glory cannot be pinpointed to me. I am more than willing to take the criticism and responsibility of a leadership position, but when the accolades are handed out, I would prefer them to be spread among the people that were involved in getting the job done.
I believe that this comes out of my desire to be a servant leader, the leadership style that Jesus taught us. I enjoy serving others and believe that it is a powerful leadership style. I think that this can be a hard way to lead in a society that expects something in return once they have served. I loathe this fact, yet understand when people are skeptical when something is done for them out of love. I believe to be a true servant leader, one must have a mission to love agapically, and serve with endurance and patience. Although all leaders want to see improvements and growth, servant leaders must understand that this will take time, as others need to believe they are capable of this before it actually happens. This can only be done by agapic and patient servant leadership.
When it comes to decision making, the best category I have seen that describes myself is consultative leadership. I like to hear the input of the group and base my decision on what the understanding of the group (not necessarily the majority). I would prefer, however, to learn a more empowering style of leadership, which motivates the group as a whole to come to a collaborative decision. I believe that both of these attributes of decision making, as well as authoritative, are important for all good leaders to posses.
As far as leadership moulds go, I don’t really fit into one exclusively. I would say my leadership style is reflective of a strong mix of entrepreneurial and purposeful and a weak mix of authoritative and crisis. I am committed to do the work done but have not found an organization to be strongly committed to. I enjoy change and taking risks, but I am also very goal orientated. I am not extremely systematic but I do analyze things very carefully and closely. I also see the importance in giving orders when needed, yet know when a less demanding leadership style needs to be taken, and when brushfires need to be put out.
Overall, my leadership style is a combination of many different leadership aspects, with a focus on serving. I don’t believe you are able to lead without serving, for there would be no respect, trust or motivation on the part of those being lead. A leader must prove that they are willing to work and do something for their group, and servanthood must be a part of this.