Coaches Tip for Guys: Coaching guys with the Father's heart

If you are a guy with gray hair, I’m talking to you.

If you have heard me tell my story of God putting a coach in my life and your heart has been stirred to coach a young man with the Father’s Heart, I’ve developed this blog and Facebook page to help you get started.

Read the invitation to participate...


Effective ministry is a puzzle

February 1, 2013 | by

I have a friend who dramatically came to Jesus while serving a prison sentence for murder.  He tells a story of how the prison officials gathered a number of in-mates together in the dining room one day.  They were all seated at tables of 8 and each prisoner had an envelope placed in front of him. The officials explained that they were not to communicate with one another; no talking, gesturing or signaling one another in any way. They were told that inside the envelope were puzzle parts and their task was to put their puzzles together in as short a period of time as possible. They were also instructed that some of the parts in their envelope belonged to someone else’s puzzle and that some of their puzzle parts may be in someone else’s envelope as well. Under no circumstances were they to ask anyone else for any parts that could help them complete their puzzle.  As the exercise began, each prisoner started putting his own puzzle together and discovered the parts that were missing.  At that point each prisoner was trying to figure out how to get their missing pieces from the others around the table. 

As my friend prayed about the dilemma, he sensed God telling him to stop looking at his own puzzle and the parts he was missing and to start looking at the extra pieces he had in front of him; ‘use your extra pieces to help complete someone else’s puzzle.’  As he surveyed his extra pieces, it was readily apparent which puzzles they belonged to and he simply slid his extra pieces to the individuals that needed them.  After a couple of those simple moves the others at the table caught on and began moving their extra pieces to the puzzles that needed them. Not a word, gesture, or signal was communicated but the table successfully completed the task before anyone of the other tables in the dining hall.

All too often, we as leaders of valuable and effective ministries spend the greatest part of our time looking at the pieces that we are missing; financial resources, personnel, volunteers, church support, clients, public awareness, etc.  Seldom if ever do we take the time to survey our areas of abundance and then look around the community, nation, or world to see if we can help someone else by passing our “extra pieces” along to help them complete their puzzle.

Coaches Tip: It’s time to take a stand

November 21, 2012 | by

Ok, it’s been long enough to finally say this out loud. We’ve all gone through two years of pretty intense presidential campaigning.  For me, the rhetoric has taken its toll.  I have spoken to a number of people over the last few days and their mental state has ranged from disappointed to depressed.  Talk show hosts are busy tearing apart the GOP campaign efforts and are now offering all types of solutions that “must” be adopted if they are ever to succeed in getting a national candidate elected.  One of those “musts” is that the GOP become more inclusive and to appeal to the demographic diversity of the country.  I’m ok with that basic statement but what they follow up with goes something like this, “it’s time to separate from the radical tea-party, Christian, pro-life, traditional marriage crowd that wants to get into the reproductive lives of women.” 

In 2008 the GOP appealed to that crowd by nominating Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential candidate.  This year the GOP told us that we shouldn’t abandon the party because the greater good was the removal of Barak Obama as president.  So we went along with the plan, we got behind a candidate that really wasn’t the best representative of our core values and approach to economics and government. How did that work out for us?  Well the primary objective wasn’t met.  In fact, the GOP candidate was soundly defeated (again).  And now we are part of the problem?

I don’t think so.  There are approximately 50 million of “us” out there and we need a voice.  I think it’s time to begin dismantling the “two party” system.  I’m ready to start nominating and electing members of Congress who hold my core values.  If we don’t have the numbers to elect a President, so be it; Congress is where laws are passed and policy is made.  Congress is also the place budgets are passed (if they’re ever presented) and where federal judges are confirmed.  The solution to our struggle for representation is found in having congressional representation, both in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. 

In some ways the Tea Party was a good start but by its own admission was never intended to be a 3rd party.  Judeo/Christian values, a strict constitutional interpretation based on the founder’s principles and ideas, a pro-life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness philosophy toward the citizenry, a pro-marriage definition of one man and one woman for life, limited government, free enterprise capitalism, free exercise of religion (which includes Christianity), a much simplified tax-code, a restored constitutional republic, and the needs of the poor being met primarily by the church rather than the government are the core values that I feel need representation.

I really don’t care about who sleeps with whom; guys and guys or women and women, but I do care what you call that.  The God I serve, the God of the Bible, defines what we call marriage as  the relationship between one man and one woman for life. If it isn’t one man and one woman for life it simply isn’t “marriage.”  You can call it something else or even legalize it, just don’t call it marriage.

Personally, I tend to lean toward Libertarian thought when it comes to our liberty and freedom.  We all should have the liberty to exercise our “Creator endowed inalienable rights” up to the point where they begin to infringe on those same rights of another individual.  That is where our liberty stops.  A woman carrying another human being in her womb should have the liberty to exercise her “Creator endowed inalienable rights” up to the point where they begin to infringe on the rights of the individual she is carrying in her womb.  Imposing her right to pursue happiness or “privacy” at the expense of the other individual’s right to life is simply unacceptable; it is a breach of liberty and an act of tyranny. 

The Constitution clearly intimates that Congress shall have no authority to pass any law which prohibits the free exercise of religion.  The founders clearly wanted no meddling or interference by the government in the affairs of any church or in the exercise of religion by any citizen.  Yet through the tax code as well as through the prohibition of free speech and free association, Congress is in fact meddling, interfering and prohibiting the free exercise of religion in a number of ways.  I really don’t concern myself with imposing my “religion” or “faith” on anyone else because I know that it isn’t even possible.  I walk in a personal, intimate relationship with the Creator of all things and He doesn’t impose himself on me.  He certainly doesn’t encourage me to do that which he is opposed to. True Christianity is an invitation not an imposition.

Compromising who we are out of fear is a deception of our enemy.  We must continue to love others as we love our God who first loved us.  We must be bold and intentional about expressing that love and we must love empowered by the love we have received. 

So get filled up by our Daddy and be bold in living it and giving it to everyone who crosses your path. 

We are not the problem, we carry the cure!

You can coach a guy with the Father’s Heart

June 15, 2012 | by

Coaching guys with the Father’s heart
“I wouldn’t be here today except for a man with gray hair who coached me
into manhood.”—Rev. Phil Holsinger, President/CEO

I am often asked why a guy is involved with a pregnancy resource ministry; after all it’s a women’s ministry isn’t it? My short answer to that question is pretty simple; for every woman that walks into the front door of Blue Ridge Women’s Center or any other pregnancy resource ministry throughout the country, there is at least one guy involved.  For every woman who makes the decision to abort her child, there is at least one guy involved.  The reality is that guys play a significant part in those decisions. 

Coaching Guys with the Father’s Heart is a unique approach based on the experience of a young guy who found himself searching for what it really meant to be a man; not the kind of man the world promotes but the kind of man God had created him to be.  He learned that as a guy, God had created him to carry his “Father Image” of provider, protector and prophet into every aspect of his life.  Being a man wasn’t about the sexual ability to father a child, it was about protecting, providing for, and speaking God’s word into that child’s life.  The key to manhood is knowing and demonstrating the Father’s Heart.

Young guys in their 20’s and 30’s today; whether they’re walking through the doors of a pregnancy resource ministry, an abortion clinic, an office, or the doors of a church need real answers about being men.  They need to know what it takes and how to meet the challenges they will face. They need a coach who can demonstrate the Father’s Heart to them.

The man who coached me into this journey said this; “you will never father well until you have been Fathered well.”  Those words are key to coaching guys with the Father’s heart.

If you are even the least bit intrigued about what I have shared, if you think the guys in your church might be interested in finding out more, let me know.  I’d love the opportunity to share how Guys with gray hair can coach younger guys into the journey of a lifetime.  Call me or send me a quick e-mail and we will arrange a time to talk about it more.

There is hope for the next generation of men and it can start with you and the men of your church. Contact me at 540 362 3007 x 210 or philh@supportblueridge.org to set up a time to learn more.

Choosing well when choosing a guy; an open letter to my daughters:

October 24, 2011 | by

My 4 daughters range in age from 13 to 22 years.  All 4 of them are well aware of guys and are attracted to different aspects and traits.  I don’t pretend to know what those specific attractions are but I do know they exist.  I’ve heard the comments and seen the Facebook postings. 

Functioning as the CEO of a pregnancy resource center has exposed me to all kinds of relational issues that affect both guys and girls.   I have firsthand experience with both the elation and devastation an unplanned pregnancy can generate. 

As I equip older men to be coaches of young guys I also see the lack of preparation most men and young guys have regarding the responsibilities of fatherhood and what it really means to be a man.  This letter won’t deal directly with those issues but there will be references to the observations I have made over the last 20 years as a man, a father and an executive.

I hope that this letter will give you some insight and wisdom from which to make your decisions about guys. 

The 1st and most important aspect of choosing a guy is to understand a few important things about your father.  Not your earthly father but rather your heavenly father.  He created you and you were in his heart before any biology occurred.  Scripture tells us that before we were formed in our mother’s womb, Father knew us and had a plan and purpose for us.  A lot of emphasis is put on the circumstances of conception.  But you should realize that the circumstances and biology associated with conception were only the tools Father used to get you here.  This one simple fact should totally change how we think of people; their skin color, their abilities and disabilities, their socioeconomic surroundings, and even their family history.  All of those things are tools Father uses to shape us but they don’t define us.  By definition we’re made in Father’s image with a purpose and a plan that he is fully aware of, and we are precious to him.  You are precious and valuable to Father regardless of your height, weight, hair color, or any other description that anyone may use to describe you. 

Of course the Gospel message is a part of this.  He sent his only begotten son so that each of us could become his adopted son or daughter.   Grasping this truth in your heart will change your life.

It is important to understand that Father isn’t requiring you to perform for his approval.  As your earthly dad I have expected or required you to perform well.  All too often, you could have thought my love for you was conditional and based on your performance.  I apologize for sending that message.  Please forgive me for making you feel that way and for actually putting that condition on my love for you.  I have learned that Father loves me unconditionally and that his love for me is never subject to my performance.  I can disappoint him but his love for me is unconditional.  I must learn how to father my children the way my Father, father’s me.  You must learn that what I am saying is absolutely true.

The next thing for you to grasp is that Father has a “best” for you.  His instructions in what we call the Bible are not the rules and regulations for making him happy with you.  The bible is a book filled with rules and regulations as well as wisdom and insight.  The rules and regulations were given to us so that we learn that they are impossible to keep.  They are not there to modify your behavior.  Behavior modification is the way most people who call themselves Christians see the Bible.  But Father’s intent was for us to attempt to keep those rules and regulations until we became frustrated and defeated in the attempt.  The rules teach us that they are impossible in our own strength.  They also teach us that they were written for only one man to keep.  That’s right, only one.  Jesus was that one man and he kept them…fulfilled them.   He was the only one capable of that and our only hope is to let him do it for us.  Some teach that because Jesus fulfilled those rules and regulations we now have the power to keep them if we are empowered by his spirit, the Holy Spirit.  That’s a great discussion for a later time.  But for now, suffice it to say that even those empowered by the Holy Spirit are fully capable of failing in the keeping of the rules and regulations.  And I dare say we all have.  The guy you choose will have as well.

A number of years ago, when we were young in our faith and had just started home-schooling our children, we thought that if we could introduce you to Jesus, teach you the principles of purity, and make sure you chose a Christian as your husband, all would be good.  Don’t get me wrong, those are all good accomplishments but I have learned that they are woefully inadequate.   Because of the previous paragraph, I understand that you are capable of making bad decisions.  Every Christian is capable of making bad decisions, and every guy is capable of making bad decisions.  One purpose of this life is to teach us how to make good decisions.  But making good decisions takes practice and one way we practice is by making bad decisions.  As we make bad decisions and walk through the consequences, we learn how to make good decisions.  As we make good decisions and experience those consequences, we are motivated to make more good decisions.  In either circumstance, good or bad decision making, the opportunity to grow and make future good decisions exists.  But the most important aspect of this process is experiencing the full consequences of our decisions.  Whenever someone protects us from those consequences or reduces them we learn a very bad lesson.  We learn that someone will rescue us when we make a bad decision and that we don’t have to experience the consequences that result.  We also learn to expect Father to rescue us from the consequences of our bad decisions as well.  There are times when Father does reach his hand to us and rescues us, but that is not his normal modus operandi. What he normally does is walk with us through the consequences.  His love for us dictates that he will never leave us or forsake us.  So, he will be present with you regardless of what you are going through, even if it is of your own doing.  He is a forgiving and redeeming God.  Don’t ever forget that. 

Please start with the question, is he a Christian?  Saying one is a Christian is pretty easy to do.  Proving one is a Christian is a considerably harder task.  Is there enough evidence in his life to convict him?  It will take time and a lot of careful observation to find the evidence.  Standing night after night in a garage doesn’t make you a car any more than going to a building called a church makes you a Christian.  Has he come to Father through the son, Jesus?  Does he know Father?  Has he fully embraced the gift Father has offered, free and without his own efforts?  It might be a good time to ask yourself these same questions.  After all, it will be impossible to identify qualities in someone else that you yourself do not possess.  By the way, no one can meet the real Jesus and avoid being passionate about him.  If there is no passion for Jesus it is probably because there has been no genuine encounter with him.

One of the hard lessons I had to learn years ago was that those who were important to my children had to be important to me.  You always defend your friends and people you value.  Since you are valuable to me, I need to value those things that are valuable to you.  This is a real important character trait in a guy.  Does he value what you find valuable?  Does he value your family?  Does he value your friends?  Does he value your goals and aspirations?  Do you reciprocate?  This plays out hundreds of different ways.  Perhaps he’s all about himself.  Maybe he wants to monopolize your time.  He may think your ideas and plans are unimportant.  You will not be in agreement 100% of the time and your personalities may be polar opposite, yet you should make each other better together than you would be alone.  This takes a lot of time to discover and work through so don’t expect to know all of these things immediately.  Observe carefully and gently.

Does he recognize the value of hard work?  Does he have a job?  Does he support his own activities?  It doesn’t matter if he comes from the wealthiest family in the country.  Hard work is an essential element in life.  Paying one’s own way is valuable because lessons are learned in the process that cannot be learned elsewhere.  Is he generous?  One of the greatest aspects of Father is generosity.  He is giving and loves to lavish us with his love.  He also allows the rain to fall on the just and unjust.  In other words, he is lavish toward all of those he created.  His blessings fall on those who love him and on those who despise him.  Why, because he is generous.  So look for acts of generosity in the actions of the guy who has caught your eye.

Is he becoming mature in his actions?  In many ways I am still pretty immature so I’m not suggesting that the guy you think is “Mr. Wonderful” will be totally mature.  I am suggesting there are ways to measure his maturity.  Does he blame others for his circumstances or does he take ownership of his faults and shortcomings?  Does he initiate conversations with those who are older than him or that he doesn’t know?  Does he take responsibility for his actions?  When he says he will do something, does he do it?  Is he on time or is he late?  Does he know how to apologize for his own actions when they are wrong?

How does he interact with the girls and women in his life?  Does he respect his mother and consider her advice and wisdom?  Does he speak kindly too her?  Does he treat his sister(s) gently and respectfully?  Does he protect them from those who would do them harm in any way?

On the flip side, does his mother make his decisions for him?  Does she rescue him from the consequences of his own bad decisions?  Is he a mama’s boy in the bad sense?  Does she give him everything he wants?  Is his mother his best friend or is she his parent with his best interest at heart?

Who was his last girlfriend?  What is she like?  How does he speak about her?  Did he have sex with her?  ASK!!!

What is his dad like?  Is his father a hero to him?  Does his father encourage him or does he constantly correct him?  Are his mom and dad married?  How long?  Is it their first marriage or is there divorce in the past?  Does his family share his faith?  What is that story? 

My general experience has been that most guys have no idea what it means to be a man or what is required.  Most guys are doing many things that they think will prove them to be men; things like risky behavior, multiple sexual conquests, drugs or alcohol.  It can be any combination of these things but the bottom line is that they are all efforts to be recognized as a man.  None of them however, prove he is a man.  Only another man can confirm him as a man.  And only a man who knows what it means in Father’s sight to be a man can really accomplish the task.

For Father, manhood is all about fatherhood.  It doesn’t take a man to have sex with a girl or to conceive a child.  All that takes is a guy who is biologically mature enough.  It takes a man to understand that sexual intimacy is a gift from Father and that one main component in that gift is the creation of another person, a baby.  A man will act as provider and protector of that life and the one carrying that life regardless of what it costs him.   A man won’t turn his back on the mom or the child, he will provide and protect as long as he has breath.  A man will speak to Father directly and courageously.  A man will learn how to be a father by learning how Father, father’s him.

A boy will avoid your father but a man will get to know your father.  A boy will have sex with you and make it all about pleasure without any understanding of the gift it is and the purpose for which it was created.  A boy will listen primarily if not exclusively to a woman in his life rather than having a man direct his path.  Manhood is not taught it is caught and you can’t catch something from someone who doesn’t have it.  Try as she may, a single mom cannot turn her son into a man; that takes another man.  Just as single mom’s lead much of the time to girls who become single moms, on their own, single moms raise old boys rather than mature men.

Guys will tell girls they love them in order to have sex with them.  Girls will have sex with guys because they want them to tell them they love them.  Both of these motivations are full of trouble.  Guy’s and Girls who get to know who love really is will know that no human experience can even come close.  Love is a gift given from the one who calls himself love.  That love is then given to others by the one who received it.  The best expression of love is to live loved and love others the way you have been loved.

Mom and I have been married for nearly 29 years but we didn’t start out with the wisdom of this letter.  We have struggled with many difficulties over the years and many of them can be traced back to wrong decisions we made.  We do live in Father’s forgiveness and he has redeemed us and our past experiences.  However, we do live with those consequences; they are a part of our struggle and our journey with Father.  I am learning to be thankful for them even when they hurt.

With all my love,

Dad

Discernment is necessary for the Coach

September 9, 2011 | by

There are times when availability requires immediate action. Discernment will allow for a quick response.  Discernment differs from wisdom or an evaluation of the circumstances because it is only given through the Holy Spirit.  Since the Spirit is aware of all the factors influencing a situation, only he can really guide the coach’s response without error.  A coach that allows himself to be matured in the Spirit’s discernment will respond with supernatural insight.

How does discernment differ from wisdom and knowledge?  How do you get it?

Availability isn’t always immediate attention

September 2, 2011 | by

Availability is more than just being there.  Availability is an attitude…a willingness.  Sometimes availability is subject to timing issues.  We can’t always drop everything when someone calls or stops by.  There may be other things going on in our lives at times that make it impractical to stop what we are doing and refocus our attention.  Children often interrupt us and demand immediate attention.  That is normally driven by an immature self-centered motivation.  We can aid in the maturing of those we coach by helping them learn the difference between availability and immediate attention.  But that lesson should never be taught at the expense of our willingness to be availabile.   When availablity can’t be immediate, take the few seconds necessary to give an explanation of why and then follow up as soon as it is practical.

Coaching Young Guys With Success

September 1, 2011 | by

Over the next few postings I will share many of the wonderful concepts of successful coaching that my coach demonstrated to me.  I have to admit that I still don’t have it all mastered but the reminders will be good for us both.

“Availability”

As I think about availability the first thing that comes to mind are the first comments my coach made to me.  As he introduced himself to me he told me that if there was ever a time that I needed to talk to someone or to pray with someone or if I needed to have a question answered, he was available.  All I had to do was contact him.  Now most of us have heard those words before and we have probably said them to someone as well.  The difference was that he showed his words to be true.  2 days after he said he would be available, he called me and invited me to breakfast.  It was during that breakfast that he took the first step of showing me that when he said he was available, he meant it.

Availablity means that when you say you will be, you prove it to be true.

Chapter 2 of Golf’s Sacred Journey (rediscovering the joy of your swing)

March 29, 2011 | by

After a week of vacation, I find myself sitting at the keyboard looking over the 2nd chapter.  Sometimes it’s great to just check out for a while.  Much like our golfer, who finds himself wandering away from who he is, our lives require us to do the same.  For me, the last week was a time to enjoy the warm weather and do very little.  Yet there was an element of discovery in it as well.

I preach, teach and proclaim a lot of things in my everyday life as I lead a ministry; God’s faithfulness, God’s orchestration of divine appointments, God’s desire to use us as instruments in the lives of others are just a few of the topics that I regularly speak about.  But there are times when those topics just seem like words.  Have you ever felt that way?  You believe what you are saying and you have seen it in action but…

Many would say that is where faith comes in.  After all faith is believing something in spite of the fact that the circumstances look otherwise.  I used to believe faith operated that way but I have come to discover that it is far deeper and profoundly simpler than that.  Just as our golfer found himself renewed at the range of Utopia, we can find ourselves renewed in the simplicity of faith.

As we travelled south for spring break, Cindi and I, along with three of our daughters, found ourselves in the middle of a traffic jam in Orlando.  We were still 4 hours from our destination when the right rear brake of our car began to make a lot of noise; the metal to metal kind.  Fortunately it was a rear brake and I was confident we would make it to our destination.  I also knew that it would have to be repaired before we made the fifteen hour journey home.  All I could think of was how expensive the repair was going to be during peak tourist time.  That is if I could find someone who could get the job done while we were there.

As the girls left for the pool on the first day of our vacation, I stayed behind to try to find a repair shop.  After a dozen calls I had a pretty good idea of what the price range of the repair was going to be ($500-$1000) and there were at least 6 shops that seemed pretty eager for my business.  One even offered to come get the car from me right then.  But as I looked at some of the reviews on-line I was amazed at how negative many of them were.  How could I find a reputable repair shop in a vacation area that I was totally unfamiliar with?

The answer of course is to pray.  You know, stop what you are doing, drop to your knees, fold your hands, close your eyes and plead with God to make one of the shops miraculously pop up on my computer screen.  Well I didn’t do that.  In fact I don’t really ever “pray” like that anymore.  What I did was deeper yet simpler than that.  I simply sat back in my chair and asked my Father if he had any suggestions.  No kidding, a few seconds later I remembered that the friend we were going to see on Sunday had mentioned that he had recently had to have brake work done on both of his cars.  Dave would surely know a reputable shop and he might even know a Christian mechanic.  A simple text was all it took to find a name and number.  But what about the cost; how was I going to pay for this without it messing up our vacation?

It was already after five o’clock on Friday and the shop was closed on Saturday so I decided I should start enjoying the warm weather and make the call first thing Monday morning.  Sunday afternoon Cindi and I met with Dave and his wife Diane at the open house for their ministriy’s new location.  We spent a couple hours hanging out there and as we were helping them close down I lent a hand to a guy who was folding up the canopy they were using.  As we talked I learned that he used the canopy for the ministry he was involved with.  He and his wife were retired and were pretty involved with the large Baptist church in the area.  The church actually owned the canopy and Ed used it to park cars under while he was repairing them.  Ed had an auto service ministry to widows and people of the church.  As I told Ed about our brake dilemma, he suggested I come over to the church on Wednesday morning so he could take a look.  He though we might be able to just replace the pads if the rotors hadn’t been damaged too badly. 

On Tuesday evening, Ed got word to me that he would have to look at the car on Thursday instead of Wednesday so I rearranged my schedule a bit.  On Thursday morning we got the rear wheels off and Ed didn’t look too hopeful about the rotors.  Fortunately, when he ordered parts the day before, he included rotors, just in case.  I learned a long time ago that car repairs seldom go smoothly and this one was no exception.  It seems the calipers were frozen as well so Ed sent me home and told me that he would call me later in the day.  When I heard from him next it wasn’t good news.  The rotors were not repairable and new ones would have to be ordered.  None of his regular suppliers, including the dealership, had the parts on hand but they could get them to us in two days.  The only bad part about that was we had to start our 15 hour trip home early Saturday morning.

Both Ed and I started calling every supplier within a hundred miles to try to find the parts and someone who could get them to us by Friday morning.  At 5:30 Thursday evening I called Ed to get an update.  I got his voicemail.  After leaving him a message I shared my concerns with Father again and asked him if he had any suggestions.  At 5:59 Ed called and said that he was at the counter of a local parts supplier with the calipers in his hands.  They had somehow gotten them delivered from their warehouse in a matter of hours instead of days. 

I felt the way our golfer felt as he hit the golf balls from his trunk on the range at Utopia.  It was as if the simple precision of my Father’s care for me had returned.  I knew that faith wasn’t believing in something in spite of the fact that the circumstances look otherwise.  Faith is trusting that my Father loves me and will care for me in any and every circumstance regardless of what the circumstance seems.  That is the deeper and simpler truth of faith.  We have a Father who loves and cares for us so much that no detail is missed. 

When our golfer relaxed and simply swung the club trusting in both the club and his body, the results were dramatic.  When we, as coaches of young men, learn to trust our Father and his ability to work in and through our lives, the results will be dramatic as well.

Well Ed, this minister of Father’s love, got the car back together Friday morning.  When I picked the car up I asked him what the bill looked like.  He looked at me with a smile on his face and told me I only had to reimburse him for the parts.  Seems the suppliers charge him below wholesale to support his ministry.

Our golfer had to return to the simplicity of just swinging the club without thinking about the swing.  He had to stop “noodling it” so much.  He had to find the enjoyment of the swing.  We too have to return to the simplicity of believing that Father loves us; he isn’t impressed with our performance.  He wants us to find the enjoyment of just being his child.

Please share your experience and comments.  I’d love to hear how you found your swing.

Coach from your experience of life unravelling before your very eyes.

March 4, 2011 | by

A Fork in the Road, the 1st chapter of “Golf’s Sacred Journey

 

Let’s relate the circumstances of our golfer to our own lives.  Have you ever faced a similar situation?  What did you do, what did you say, what did you think as it was all unraveling? 

Honestly, to coach a young man with the Father’s Heart requires these kinds of circumstances in our lives.  Just as the golfer’s circumstances opened the door for a dramatic change, the same holds true for us as well.  It is from these experiences that we draw from the reservoir of hope.

In my life one of these experiences happened back in 1990.  I had been working for a small transportation company that was owned by a group of public warehousemen.  As the Vice President of Marketing and Sales, I had been fortunate to put together a new stream of income and business.  At the annual meeting of our Board of Directors, they had voted to make me the President and CEO of the company.  All of my past experience and hard work seemed to be paying off.  I had a golden parachute and it looked as though my aspirations were about to be fulfilled.

On the way home from that meeting I experienced a great deal of pain that I couldn’t understand.  I thought I may have injured myself playing tennis.  The flight home was extremely uncomfortable.  Later in the week I made a visit to my physician who examined me and treated me with a course of antibiotics and steroids for the inflammation.  After 2 weeks of that treatment my symptoms remained and my doctor referred me to a specialist.  Within the first 5 minutes of my visiting the specialist he was arranging an ultrasound examination at the local hospital.  He sent me there directly and an hour later I found myself sitting at the nurses station waiting for my doctor to call me.  When the phone rang I heard the six letters that bring fear to every heart.  I had a tumor that was most likely cancer.  Surgery was scheduled and the worst fears were confirmed.

 

I had finished the front 9 with a 36 but I had to press on the back nine to make something happen.  Cancer was not going to stop me.  I had worked too hard for too long.  Victory was in my sights and I was sure that I could make it happen.

As I recovered from the surgery I was scheduled for radiation therapy.  Two weeks of daily treatments and it would all be behind me.  But the radiation nearly killed me and the Board of Directors began to get nervous.  What would happen to the company if I didn’t recover?  Who would follow through on the new business that was being developed?  What was their down-side, worse case?  It all began to unravel.  The golden parachute, the business, the pay-off for all the work; all were falling through my fingers like sand at the beach.  

Over the next 4 months I would try everything I knew to keep it all together.  None of it worked.  I found myself in a church pew 6 months later looking at the bulletin.  An ad for a development director at a local ministry caught my eye.  It was my trip to the “Links of Utopia.”

That trip was a new beginning for me and it is why I am writing this blog to you today. 

How about you?  Have you been to the Links of Utopia yet?

As you read the next chapter, “The Links of Utopia” allow yourself to return to your own goat field.  Think about what it was like, how it felt, how it confronted you.

Add your comments to this post as you go.

The first of many questions

March 1, 2011 | by

There are a few questions that people ask me as I challenge and encourage men to be Coaches with the Father’s Heart.  Over the next few postings I will be answering one of those questions.  For most of you, what I say won’t seem all that complex.  Much of it we have heard before.  My hope though, is that it takes on a new freshness for you.  I know that it has for me.

It seems like every time I talk with the man who has been my coach for the last 21 years, he brings a book or books to my attention that will help me understand how to live out the call on my life to Coach Men with the Father’s Heart.  Last week was no exception.  Both of the books he suggested are important elements of the life of a coach.  We will discuss both of them as well as a number of others in the weeks to come.  Today I would like to make the first recommendation to you.  It is a small book that is easily read over a couple of days.

 

Golf’s Sacred Journey by Dr. David L. Cook has been a pure joy to read.  Even if you are not a golfer, it will give you some invaluable insight into the life of a coach.  You can order it on-line or pick it up from your favorite bookstore.  Or if you’re like me and tend to forget to do things immediately and then remember weeks later, you can go right to Amazon and download the Kindle version.  By the way, you don’t have to own a Kindle; there is a free download of the Kindle reader for your computer or smart phone.  My wife and kids think I spend too much time on my Blackberry as it is, but now I can read books on it as well.

Regardless of the version you choose, there are places for you to take notes as you read.  Please do that.  We will be reading and reviewing a chapter at a time and those notes will be important as we walk through each chapter.  There is a study guide available but I won’t be using that for our coaching discussions.

Please read the 1st chapter “A Fork in the Road.”  As you read this chapter, write down any similar experiences you have had in your life.  Get pretty detailed about the one that first comes to mind.  What were the circumstances that led up to the event(s)?  What was going on in your life at the time?   Who were the players that were involved?  What kind of relationship do you have with those people today?  How do you see yourself at the times you fail?

Keep these answers close so you can elaborate on them when they come to your mind later in the day or week.  Please feel free to post comments about how this chapter is challenging you.  I look forward to reading them and getting a dialogue started.