Let me start off by saying thank you!!! Thank You!!! Thank You!!! Thank You!!!! Your support throughout Christmas in 25 Minutes was overwhelming, uplifting, and special. When I write my blog, I am writing for an audience of one, my Lord and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I would be lying though, if I didn’t tell you that knowing people actually want to read what I have to say is amazing. You have given me confidence to write what God has laid on my heart and for that I am eternally grateful.
So this section is dedicated to everyone. I am going to post any number of topics on here. Topics about being a dad, a pastor, a teacher, a child of God, and all of the struggles and funny moments that go with Life. Life happens whether we are ready for it or not. We just need to learn to slow down and live our life minute by minute, day by day. Otherwise, we stand to miss the blessings that God has given us, whether its kids, a great job, or a special somebody. So, I hope you join me as we take Life: Minute by Minute.
For my first post, I am going to post something that, in some circles, I have apparently gained some notoriety, albeit very little. I am a rules guy. I have been for some time now in my life. Rules are good, rules are in place to help. The term does not leave us with a very good taste in our mouth because we have been cultured into a society that teaches us to question everything. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t keep an eye on the lawmakers in Washington, but c’mon man, must we question everything? My students at school firmly believe that we make rules to make their lives miserable. In all actuality, rules are not just pulled out of a hat, a lot of thought has gone into most of them. There are rogue rules every now and then that need to be looked at, but they are the exception not the norm.
I got the notion for the rules from watching NCIS. Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs. He has a list of rules that began with meeting his first wife and they have been added to and on occasion, amended throughout the show. I decided that it was a good idea to have rules to live by. Country music start, Aaron Tippin wrote a song that said, “You’ve got to stand for something, or you will fall for anything.” Well, consider this what I stand for. It is not a complete list and it certainly isn’t meant to govern anybody but myself, even though people have adopted many of them for their own lives. I get so many requests not only to put them down in writing, but explain my thought process behind each. They are not in a particular order, I put them down as they come to me. For those of you familiar with the rules, I am introducing #16 tonight. So here they are, my rules and explanations for each:
1. Don’t poke the bear
2. By all means feed the bear
3. Don’t mess with the bear’s cubs
These first three rules came about when I started youth ministry. They were created all in good fun, but they are a solid start to the rules. Obviously, I am the bear (for some reason, when I am associated with an animal, everybody and I mean everybody relates me to some kind of bear- I don’t get it). I am warning them not to make the bear angry. The second one is self explanatory, I like to eat. The cubs in rule #3 refers not only to my two sons, but those in my youth group. I am a very protective bear. **SIDE NOTE** Someone once asked, “what about your wife?” In which I told them that she didn’t need my protection and heaven help anyone who crosses her 🙂
4. Never sit with your back to the door
This rule comes as a direct result of my history background. Wild Bill Hickok was murdered by a Jack McCall when McCall, drunk after being beaten in poker by Hickok and some others, came into the saloon in Deadwood and shot Hickok in the back of the head, killing him instantly and without a chance to defend himself. This was abnormal for Hickok, who usually sat in a corner to protect his back.
5. There is no such thing as a coincidence, everything happens for a reason
There is not truer statement in my system of beliefs. God has a plan, a unique blueprint for each and every one of us. Everything that happens, happens in accordance to fulfill God’s plan. Whether we take the easy way or the hard way is up to us.
6. You are always better than you deserve
I got this one from listening to Dave Ramsey. This is his common response on his show when he is asked how he is. I loved it and adopted it. He backs up his statement out of Psalms, but mine comes from Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death.” I am a sinner that still lives, therefore, I am better that I deserve.
7. Say I love you as much as possible, but mean it.
We live in a world where we are either cold as ice, afraid to show the least bit of emotion because we think it will compromise who we are as person, where we’d rather be seen as icy and distant than caring and compassionate, or we throw the L word around to whomever as a compliment only to get what we want and then toss the person aside and move to our next prey. Love is a very important expression, but it must be used with care. I can assure you that if I have told you that I love you, it was meant.
8. Never take anything for granted
This happens too many times. It took me losing my best friend to a drunk drive to realize that I need to appreciate what and who I have in my life as much as possible. Ironically, its the event that made me start telling people I love them all the time. Meaning it of course.
9. Never go anywhere without a knife
This is the same rule #9 as Gibbs in NCIS. This is so true. They are so handy in various situations. I use my constantly.
10. Don’t assume, always double check
This is here for two reasons. First, people simply lie. It is important that you know what you are talking about or doing. I make it a point to not open my mouth unless I am fairly positive I am right- I do slip up occasionally. Secondly, people are mistaken. Your friends won’t lie to you intentionally, but they are human and they make mistakes.
11. Saying you’re sorry is a character reference, not an apology. If you need forgiveness, apologize
People nowadays believe that saying I’m sorry will automatically get them out of trouble. My 7 year old says, “but I said I’m sorry,” to which I reply, I know, now you get your punishment. Saying I’m sorry has really lost its meaning to me over the years. Saying I apologize, means something, because you have to be thoughtful and usually reflective to come up with that phrase.
12. I will not lie for you….so don’t ask.
Lying is useless, It’s a waste of time, you will get caught eventually, and I absolutely HATE IT!!!!!
13. Don’t make excuses. Accept responsibility when you’ve made a mistake.
I have a deep respect for someone who can stand up and say, “my bad, I’ll fix it.” Society teaches us to blame someone else.
14. I keep nothing from my wife- so don’t ask me to.
One of the reasons my marriage works so well, is that we are open with each other and tell each other everything. This has a couple of exceptions though: I will keep presents and surprise parties from her for obvious reasons, and she does not ask about my Pastor conferences that I must keep confidential.
15. Asking for forgiveness instead of permission is NOT OK. Ask first!!!
This is self explanatory and this drives me crazy. 99% of the time when someone says we will ask for forgiveness, they already know what they are doing is not ok.
AND THE NEW ADDITION TO THE RULES…….RULE #16
16. Never compromise your beliefs unless they contradict with the truth of Christ.
Be solid and courageous in your beliefs, but be wise enough to amend them when you contradict what God’s word says. The truth of Christ MUST BE your compass.
Well, there you have it, the rules with explanations. The posts in this section will not normally be this long. I reserve the long posts for the Mindful Minute. I hope you enjoyed and I hope you follow this new outlet for my writing.
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach