I remember distinctly the summer of 1988 – I was interning for my home church and the legendary student pastor, Hugh Kirby. We had our huge camp, LifeWeek, that was coming up soon and I was playing a summer collegiate baseball league in Atlanta and had a full slate of games. On a friday night Hugh informed me that he was leaving the next day for a camp at West Georgia College called Impact and that I was going to go with him to help him. I kindly shared how much had to be done back at the church and my schedule and he kindly shared that he would see my on Saturday morning and to pack lots of red shirts for our color that week.
I had no idea what I was getting into but quickly learned that Impact wasn’t for the students that were arriving but rather it was for me. I met tons of incredible leaders and made friends from all of over Georgia. Now, here I sit today awaiting year 29 of this amazing camp. I have watched thousands of lives changed and influenced during this phenomenal week (both of students in my student ministry to students from NorthStar to my own children). There is something special about what God does here that I have not seen anywhere else.
I come back to Impact to pour into students and leaders but even more – I come back because I need it. I need what God does in my life here. Some of the top 10 moves of God in my life have occurred during this week. Praying the same again this year!! Now both of my kids are leaders here and I pray that their experience is a great as mine!!
Impact 29 – here I come! Not as young as I was but ready for whatever is in store!!!
I was driving in this morning listening to the news and a quote was made about the weather that really caught me off guard……
Sometimes the test comes before the lessons
In school we always get our “lessons” before the test comes but in life, many times the test show up and the lessons come later. There are times that we have to really “hang on” so we can actually determine what the lessons are from what we have gone through!
You may be in the test right now – hang in there – the lessons may be right around the corner!
Last week Allatoona High gave our their 2015-2016 yearbooks. Under each photograph the seniors are able to give their favorite quote to share with other others. I was humbled that two of our pitchers actually quoted me – both made me laugh. One of our guys quoted my line for calls I don’t agree with made by umpires “that was brutal” ….sad that is now stuck in his head for years to come!! The other one however is one that has a lot packed in it, “trust your stuff kid”.
Any pitcher that steps on a mound has a million things swirling their minds and lots of fears ready to overwhelm you at any time! There are a lot of things that you are not going to be able to control (defense behind you, who is hitting, the weather, the umpire) but there is one thing that you can do……trust your stuff. The work that you have put in has prepared you for what you are going to do – don’t doubt it – trust it!
This is so true of life as well……God has gifted you and many times taken you through challenges to prepare you for where you are at and what you are doing. Fears and doubts surround you…discouragement waits for you….what do you do – TRUST YOUR STUFF. God has given you and will give you what you need to get through it – don’t doubt – TRUST IT and keep walking!
There is a tendency within all of us that when life knocks us down, we want to stay down. Failure is always easier to remember than success and comes to our mind super quickly when something goes bad! However, there are those (on the field & in life) that choose to never give up…..no matter the circumstance.
The reality is, you can’t beat the person who never gives up. They go down but they don’t stay down. There is no tougher competitor than the one who will not yield and you know that they will scrap & claw until the final seconds. Teams of these individuals are special because collectively they thrive on adversity and no lead is ever safe against them. There are other teams however, that once they are down they are done. They have no fight and no grit.
I don’t know about you but I want to be the “never give up” category. How do we do that:
- Choose in advance to get up before you go down
- Settle that your circumstances will not dictate your feelings & emotions
- Focus on where you are going and not just where you are
- Surround yourself with others who “get back up as well”
- Remember to not put a period where God has only put a comma….Keep living and let God choose the ending!
“You just can’t beat a person who never gives up”!
As we each begin our week and focus on the things that we know have to get done, it is easy to forget to zero in on the things that really matter! The best of intentions can quickly fall away and we can lose ourselves in the pursuit of getting things done! How do we conquer this challenge….how do we stay focused on what really matters?
Maybe we begin by asking this question: “What does someone that I meet need from me today”? Not monetarily but with your energy, your ear & your heart! Is there maybe someone that God is sending your way that needs something that only you can provide!
Are you ready? Are your eyes open? I hope so – because you just never know when ONE conversation can change a life!!!
There are often times that a quote has a lot packed in to it! A great quote can transcend industries, sports and even age!
Greatness is a lot of small things done well, stacked up on each other – Ray Lewis
You don’t arrive at greatness. You don’t magically learn greatness. The great one’s typically do not even realize that they have achieved or accomplished what they have – they just tirelessly work at their trade or craft for years & years! It does not matter if it is speaking, selling or playing a sport – you arrive when you do the small things really well over a long period of time!
I know, I have a LONG ways to go, but my goal is to daily do the small things really well and see where I end up!
I have led a blessed life in so many ways!! As I look back at the incredible role my mom (Ann Linch) played and the unbelievable wife & mother that (Anne Linch) my wife is….I began to think about what it is that makes them both so special in their children’s lives!
Here are a few of their common traits:
- Self-less……Always the last to eat making sure that everyone else is taken care of before they are. Always the last to join the family after a meal because they are cleaning up after everyone.
- Safe……I always felt growing up that my mom was the safest person in the world for me to share my life with. I have watched my children pour their hearts out to Anne and her sit for minutes & sometimes hours listening to their joys and their hurts and feeling every emotion with them. She has been and will always be their safe place.
- Simple…..Both my mom & my wife are simple people. No frills…not complicated…easy to please. Their simplicity caused them both to never make life about them but rather always about others.
- Sharing…….Generosity is a part of both of their lives. Whatever we have is open & willing to be shared with other people. Blessings are meant to passed on not to be held on to! Whatever is shared will always come back another way!
- Saved….The greatest gift these two ladies to their families was their faith. There is no way that I could measure or count how many times my mom shared her “faith” with me and talked about how that played in real life. My children have been so blessed to have a mom that has not only prayed over them but also was there all along the way to share her faith with them!
Thank you mom and thank you Annie for being the greatest moms on the planet!!! I am so thanfkul that my life been blessed by the two of you!!! Happy mothers day to my two Anne (s)!!!