Archive for January, 2015

Seattle Seahawks….Ummmmm….Can you say NEVER GIVE UP!!!

Monday, January 19th, 2015

I would be remiss if I did not write a blog about what I just witnessed this Playoff football Sunday. I am stunned. I just watched the football game of the year in my opinion and the best finish in a playoff football game I have ever witnessed. I am in shock. The Seahawks have been my team since the 80s and I was rootin for them big time. I did not enjoy the game. The thing is they played a horrible football game right until the end.

They were behind 16-0 at halftime. In particular QB Russell Wilson played the worst he has played all year. By the mid of the 4th quarter he had thrown 4 interceptions.

The announcer I heard kept saying that after each interception we were going to find out what was in Russell Wilson’s character. And find out we did.

Soul is what it takes to fight through all the nagging thoughts and doubts that tell you that you are going to lose and to just give up. Someone with Heart sets all those thoughts aside to keep the mindset on the next play, to let go of the mistake and focus on the task at hand. The way that Wilson was playing it became a monumental task because he was not doing well at all. His 1st quarter quarterback rating was 0.0, His 2nd quarter quarterback rating was 0.2. When good QBs get in the triple digits it’s easy to see that it was not going well.

But Wilson did not GIVE UP. He continued to fight and play even as he was melting down. I imagine He had to repeatedly say to himself something like, “I don’t care what’s happened. We have a plan. Stick to the plan. Don’t give up.”

When they were behind 19-7 with about 2:09 left my stomach did not feel good. My wife who has started watching football with me asked me a bunch of questions of why they had done so bad and if it was possible for them to win. This prompted me to think of the possibilities and I admitted it did not look good but it was possible. I was prepared for this to be their last game.

But in these last minutes Russell Wilson first threw an amazing pass then ran the ball in for a score, his first of the game. The Seahawks then incredibly captured the onside kick and amazingly scored again. Wilson threw a rainbow like pass to get the 2pt conversion. In Overtime He threw 2 amazing passes including the last play that won the game: a 35 yard TD strike to Jerome Kearse- the only pass received by Kearse.(I think the 4 interceptions were intended for him) The Seahawks won! They did it! They did not give up and they won!

Russell Wilson openly cried on national tv and thanked God and also his teammates for having faith in him, even though he had thrown 4 interceptions.

For me this game was a picture of not giving up in spite of mistakes, misfortune and the score being against you. I did not enjoy this game, except for the last 3 minutes. It just felt like Green Bay was going to win. When the Seahawks went ahead I had the thought, “This game is like your life.” I was thinking of the setbacks and the pain that has caused the negative voices in my head to tell me to just give up. But I haven’t given up and I won’t. You should not give up either.

This game was another reminder to me that the mindset of NEVER GIVE UP is crucial to outcome. Let it be a reminder to you. Remember this week as you face your opponent. No matter how bad it looks, it can be turned around. NEVER GIVE UP.

GO SEATTLE SEAHAWKS!!!!

I lost my voice and yet speak louder than ever before.

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Here is my first post for my blog.This blog is something that has been on my heart for years. God has sewn so much into my heart and I have wanted to share it. My heart is for those who have lost children and need hope, people struggling with illness and others who are struggling with life and trying to have faith that tomorrow will be a better day.

The people that have brought the most comfort and ministered to my heart are those that have gone through the things that I have. They don’t even need to do that much of solve anything, just their sharing their experience has ministered in a way that nothing else has. I desire to do that. The people I have had the honor of being there for in their struggles and pain has been an amazing and deep thing and I have wanted to do a blog to see what may come of it.

Finally I made a plan and invested time and effort to start this blog. Great aspirations; the NEVER GIVE UP WARRIOR BLOG. It is ironic that the week that I was going to “go live” and start publishing this blog 2 things happened.

1.The stress and grief of the holidays finally culminated into a 1st of the year breakdown, complete with a profound and deep marriage conflict followed up with a shouting match with one of my adult children. My family struggles a lot during the holiday. The weather change in Oregon brings gloomy days and it was when my daughter’s cancer came back for the 3rd and final time. She went to Heaven 3 days after Christmas so the holidays have never been the same. This year the pain helped to fuel conflict between my wife and I and was particularly painful.

2.I got a mild cold which resulted in me completely losing my voice.

In the midst of all this emotion the blog and the deadlines I committed to just went up in smoke.

To be completely honest…

I wanted to give up.

The Never Give Up Warrior Blog seemed to be something I was extremely unqualified to marshal.

Here I am wanting to blog to encourage others to have perseverance and to never give up and I am filled with the emotions of wanting to just quit.

I wanted to quite the blog, quit my marriage, quit my job, quit my life. The pain of the holidays finally overwhelmed me and the minor conflicts between family members escalated until they boiled over into a massive flaming ball of “I can’t do this anymore.”

This is not new either. Have you noticed this pattern as well? Whenever a quality decision is made there always seems to be an odd resistance that comes against your will, sometimes it almost seems ominous and taunting…It did for me.

The cold resulted in me losing my voice and I learned something extremely valuable. When my wife and I came back together to sort things out ,I could not yell or raise my voice but rather had to whisper like I was in the library. Any effort to raise my volume any higher caused me to cough uncontrollably. The product of this condition was that I didn’t cause my wife’s protective walls to come up or engage her flight response. We were able to discuss a myriad of issues that were hurting us both. How freaking easy is that! Just whisper! How many disagreements would this have come in handy!

Because of the way I was communicating I was heard. It was powerful and yet my voice was not. The meaning was heard even though my voice could barely be made out… God you are funny.

So right out of the gate, with my very first post on my “NEVER GIVE UP WARRIOR” blog I am very in touch with 2 things. The first thing is that I am a human man with many frailties that life has necessitated that I overcome. Writing a blog about not giving up is about courage and about perseverance but courage is unneeded in a vacuum. Courage is used in the time of fear; Fear and the very real possibility of giving up.

It is a lie that courage is the lack of fear. My recognition of my wanting to give up does not disqualify me from writing at all, rather it makes me eligible to speak on a very familiar topic.

John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.”

Nelson Mandella said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” The person who taught me the most about courage was my 8 year old daughter who fought the misery of Cancer and yet coined the phrase, “Be strong. Never Give up. Just Believe.” I learned so much from her attitude and it has changed my life. It was not that she had and absence of discouragement or fear, she just chose to focus on not giving up and she shared that with her other friends who were fighting cancer.

I want to share those things with the world in the book I have written about our experience with Cancer and death and how God and our 8 yr old warrior changed our perspective and taught us to Never Give Up. In reflection right now I realize, I don’t need to be an amazing man with amazing mettle and bravery. I just need to tell the truth. I need to speak of my fears as well as my defeats. Because as I learned with losing my voice, IT MATTERS HOW YOU SAY IT. I want to say it so it is heard. I want to encourage those who need that courage to let them know that there is another day. God is supporting you. I think part of my speaking of strength is in speaking in humility and speaking of my weaknesses. Hey if I can do it anyone can do it.

I have seen how the events of the last few weeks have discouraged me to stop what I was planning when a change of perspective actually showed these experiences to be strength. What is it that you know you need to do, perhaps even made a New Year’s resolution about? Do you need to make a phone call to an estranged parent or child to say sorry and the discomfort of life pushes you away from it. Perhaps you know losing those 10, 20 or in my case 40 pounds would make your health much better. Push past the resistance. Recognize that resistance will come but take courage. That voice of courage in your spirit will not make the discomfort or the discouragement go away but listen to it anyway. Don’t be surprised when resistance gets worse but be courageous anyways. NEVER GIVE UP.

Leave me a note of what you need to do and I will trade you prayers.