Archive for September, 2011

If you have ever read any of my blog before, then you know I am a guy who lost his only daughter to a heart problem when she was 12 years old. So why do I mention this again? Well, having gone through an experience like this with a child, I can tell you first hand that it changes a man…forever. I do not think in the same manner as I did before. I certainly don’t take family opportunities for granted, I soak them up with my eyes and enjoy every second of them…But why start off a blog post in this fashion? I often think about my daughter Kylie’s legacy having only been on this earth for 12 years. I remember listening and reading to the overwhelming outpouring of love and affection towards her and I was stunned at what people said about her. She made such a huge impact in only 12 years and as time has passed, I almost feel like I didn’t know that side of her. She was impacting people everyday and I never knew. But I can easily say that her life mattered because she made a difference to the people she touched everyday, myself included.

Even now, 7 years removed from her passing, I still marvel at who she was at such a young age which got me to thinking about my own legacy and what I will be remembered for. We have all heard the expression “you only get one chance to make a first impression”. Well over the years I have made many first impressions, some of which I wish I could perform a “do over” because they were so pathetic. But it is because of these missed chances that I began to wonder what I could have given that person about who I am as a believer that they never received from me. For that moment, I blew the chance God gave me and I probably will never see that person again. God intended me to give them something, a kind word, an ear to listen…and I didn’t. These examples are the kind of chances that legacy’s are born from. People like Kylie, who take full advantage of these chance opportunities without any fear as to what others might think or say about them. I believe God continuously brings impromptu moments into our lives for reasons we do not know. He knows you have something this person needs and all we need to do is to be who we are, but we don’t and that person moves on and God assigns the task to another person in another circumstance.

So we have all these chances over a lifetime that will build a legacy of who we are. There is a country song by Aaron Tippin that says “You’ve got stand for something or you’ll fall for anything” which means when you make up your mind to stand for something, that strong stance changes those encounters. Here is my point illustrated; Kylie was only 12 years old, but her relationship with Christ resembled that of an older person. She believed in Jesus Christ and she stood solid for Him so as a result, her daily opportunities to make first impressions revolved around who she was in Christ which meant if you met her for the first time, you knew who she stood for and that became her legacy.

Now I know as guys we don’t go around thinking of things like this much but as I said, I am a changed man as a result of my experience with her. But I am asking you today to consider the wisdom of a 12-year-old girl for your own future. Consider standing strong for Christ in your own daily walk and let Him guide and direct you while you build your own legacy. I can honestly say that I hope my legacy isn’t business or sports but rather how I affected the people I met throughout my lifetime. Did I impact them for Christ? Did I accomplish the task Christ intended with our chance encounter? If I can pull that off, I would be a happy guy…

All of this I learned from a crazy little girl who lives in heaven…Thanks Kylie…

Until next time guys…Live with Ironman Strength…

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When I was a kid I had a tendency to get into trouble. Things just kind of happened and I’m not completely clear, even now, why I always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Typically though, I would end up having that inevitable conversation with my father that always ended with his infamous line, “this is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you”…and that is where this story begins…

If you’re like me, and I’m sure you are, you have had to take out the garbage sometime in your life. In fact, for some of you, that particular job may still be apart of your weekly routine. Nevertheless, that job was apart of my chore list when I was a kid growing up in Phoenix, Arizona back in the 70’s. What I remember about doing that job was the long distance I would have to carry the bags just to reach the trash cans. Apparently, my parents enjoyed the daily torture of watching my brother and I make the daily journey across the desert landscape, empty the trash, and then make it back alive before we melted in the summer heat. I remember one particular day when I had gotten home from school and was starting my chore list when I noticed 5 extra bags sitting by the back door. Upon questioning my Mom, she told me “they were filled with glass jars she no longer needed and wanted them gone”. I remember groaning because this meant 2 or 3 extra trips just to finish my regular job and of course my brother wasn’t any where around to help…

Then I got a great idea and decided to use our toy wagon, we kept outside, to carry some of these heavy bags all the way out to the trash barrels which ultimately worked great. On my second and final trip, the real idea (and our story) popped right into my head…To this day I have no idea why that thought came to me, but when it did, it was just too much to pass up.

What I decided to do, was instead of just putting all the bags into the barrels like everyone else, why not throw all of the jars over the fence and try to make baskets into the cans? I mean why not take a daily, painful, chore and have some fun with it? Now I will tell you, that as an adult, I wish I would have maybe considered actually where the trash barrels were sitting on the other side of the fence as well as jar trajectory prior to beginning my glass tossing deluge but apparently I did not think that was important at the time… I began tossing small, medium and monster size glass jars over the fence and waiting to hear them fall into the cans. I should also probably say at this time being only 8 years old, I guess I also didn’t know what glass hitting the trash barrels sounded like because I just kept throwing them over the fence…

Meanwhile, my mother came to the kitchen window and happened to see my, exercise in 8-year-old fun, occurring and she erupted just like a volcano would. She burst out of the house at warp speed hurdling tricycles and the dog to frankly, break a land speed record to get to the back gate where I was. I must also say that before she reached me, her screaming for me to stop caused me to turn around from my game to witness how much of an athlete I didn’t know my Mom was. Of course, there was the proverbial, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING!” comment, but before I could answer, she moved around me towards the gate. At this point, time seemed to slow down because I remember as she pushed the gate open, being surprised there wasn’t any glass near my target but as my gaze lifted upward, then I was awestruck. All of the glass was not by the barrels, but out in the middle of the street next to our house. At the center point of the asphalt, there was 6 inches of broken glass. It was an amazing sight from my point of view but not from my Mom’s. She immediately kicked into an even faster speed and moved around me before I could speak. She yelled, “stay there!” until she returned. I heard her yell for my brother as she raced back to the house and returning just minutes later with brooms and dust pans. As we started to clean up, my little brother arrived to help. I remember him just standing there totally awestruck at the sight of all that broken glass. But then he said, “ You are in SOOOOO much trouble”, which up until that point, I hadn’t made that connection. I was going to have to face Dad about this incident and it might be bad. I decided to test the water with mom and ask her…her response told me all I didn’t want to hear…”I am so mad at you that your Father is going to have to deal with this disaster”…

We worked for a good half hour and finally got the street clean enough for cars to pass through so when we headed back towards the house, all she said was, “go to your room and wait for your father” Of course that’s just plain torture as far as I can tell because it might be hours before he came home, I mean I was 8, and had no concept of time. Of course shortly thereafter, I heard the distinct sound of his car pulling into our drive way…The car door opening and shutting, the house door opening and shutting..and then my mom yelling…KENNY!!!!!…I knew then I was toast. From my room, I could hear her talking but couldn’t understand what she was saying. I’m sure it was like, “your son did the most despicable thing ever today; he needs to be publicly humiliated or publicly flogged”…I don’t know, I WAS 8! Those are the kinds of things 8-year-old boys think…Then I heard my Dad say something and there was this really…long…pause….For a fleeting second I thought maybe I might get off the hook because the pause was still going on…Then it happened; and I still don’t know how he came all the way from the kitchen to my room with out me hearing him. Was my Dad part Indian or something? All I remember was all of a sudden, my bedroom door opened and in he walked. He was wearing his white shirt and tie. I noticed he had taken off his jacket and figured that gave him more mobility to hit me harder…(I actually thought that by the way). He sat down on my bed and looked at me and just shook his head. “Not good” I thought…not good. I decided I should say something and started to speak but he just waved me off. He said, “son, this one is just too much for excuses…You went too far…You must be punished”…He stood up and started taking off his belt. I thought, “I wish I would have put that book in my pants like my brother did once”… then he said the line, ”Son, this is going to hurt me more than its going to hurt you…” I thought, “really Dad?, really?, Do you want to change places to test your theory?” Ok, Ok, that last line is adult commentary all these years later…and had I said that at the time…well…its a good thing I was a kid and didn’t know any better…

So I went on to take my lumps and paid my dues for that days decision to have fun with my chores but as an adult, I look back on that day with fond memories and because of that HUGE lesson I learned…

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What if I had used the Magic Johnson hook shot instead?e




Please truly consider the answer to this question for your own life;

Would you rather gain this world…or live forever?

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  Matthew 16:26

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?   Mark 8:36

So let me just repeat this so I understand it correctly…you would rather sacrifice living with Jesus Christ for all eternity so you can have a few good years upon this earth?

That’s what these scriptures essentially mean paraphrased yet I am continually confronted with people who think this way. I honestly think that the writers of these scriptures found this life style particularly difficult to understand as well. You may call my statement myopic because it is true, it is YOUR choice, you get to believe what you want…but what happens when the aforementioned scripture is fulfilled and you find out you were wrong? What happens when you begin to see with your own eyes what has been in the Bible since the very beginning? Then what? Can you afford NOT to even consider what Jesus has to say?

I heard this statement recently and I it illustrates my point:

I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, then live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is…

So going with simple logic, that statement makes a whole lot of sense. Again, can you afford NOT to even consider Christs offer of salvation as an option for your life? How long do you really anticipate living? maybe 70 years? maybe +/- a few years more or less…? Even if you were the richest person in the world, does that mean you don’t have any adversity in life or any problems to solve? Not at all, in fact I think there is solid proof that money creates a whole new set of problems for people. My point is this; what does the definition of “living a few good years” mean to you? Is it having a never-ending supply of money to do what you want, when you want? Is it surrounding yourself with friends and enjoying a life of leisure? Or may be you are more of a family guy whereby your definition would be to have lots of kids and spend time with your family. Any of these options will work except for one HUGE problem…All of them are temporary. Let me remind you that this life you are living right now isn’t going to last because YOU aren’t going to last. Sooner than any one of us care to admit, we begin to feel the pains of age and the limitations of age. None of us can do what we did as teenagers or in college so even though that may have been a wonderful time in our lives, it is gone now which is exactly my point. How long are you willing to wait before you consider what Christ is offering you? Salvation means a commitment to Him while here on earth and then a reward of an eternity spent in heaven. Remember the verses I mentioned earlier…what good is it for a man if he gains the whole world yet forfeits his soul? This earth is temporary and WILL PASS AWAY…On the other hand, Eternity is a really long time…In fact, I don’t think I can even comprehend how long that truly is but that is what is in our future with a commitment to Him…

Please consider this statement…What have you got to lose?

Or, better yet, Look at what you gain?