Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Real Hope and Change

OK, OK- I am getting a little more equipped to send my oldest to college. It has taken more than the average amount of prayer and late night sessions with the Lord.

It is remarkable though how often I hear these little tunes in my head:

I wanna go back and do it all over but I can't go back I know.......

If I could turn back time...If I could find a way....
So how am I doing it?
I am becoming more intentional in the present and more expectant of the future.

All I have is today. All I have is now. Am I using it in ways that will lessen regret?

I need to know that I have shown a willingness to love, to listen, to engage, to serve.
And I need to be thankful- I have a great girl and our time has been beautiful.
And, Lord willing, there will be much more- in quantity and quality.

And a much bigger hope is in the future.

My wife put up some baby pictures on the wall yesterday and I just stared. And those tunes started up again.

And then I thought- "One day, the Lord will say 'NO MORE DELAY' and it will all be made BETTER THAN OK." And that is our hope.

What are the alternatives? How can they live without Jesus?

So I have a heart today that rejoices in the fall sunshine and the spectacular blue and my heart cries out: Thank you O my King- O my Father- O my love- You have us in mind and our hope in You is good.

So I can't rewind and there is no need to fast forward.
I just step and pray into today.........

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Trip to Duke 2010

Friday night we had a TOUGH loss- one of those where your gut feels like its been kicked in and you would love someone just to put you out of your misery.

Right after that my wife and 1 of my daughters packed a big suburban and headed toward Durham, NC with a friend and his son. 5 weary travelers, pulling out about midnight and wanting to get just east of Knoxville. I was about as miserable as a man can be- so tired that I actually passed out for about 2 hours.
We found our hotel room for the night and grabbed a few hours and headed out again, hoping to catch a pre-game tailgate of the Duke-Alabama game and a 3:30 EDT kick-off.

We made the tailgate right at the end, but I still had a chance to get a good hamburger- and the healing had begun. It was a beautiful Saturday on beautiful campus. Because I had been to Princeton a few years earlier, I immediately sensed the similarity.

It was fun traveling with Stewart and Andrew Shoffner- and it was fun to see Stewart's son, Robert, run out of the Duke tunnel wearing #66. That had to be great for them!

It was also good to see Coach Cut. My game Friday and the Alabama game on Saturday was a real life illustration of the old coaching cliche- "it ain't about x's and o's- it's about Jimmys and Joes". Alabama has some huge and fast 'Jimmys and Joes'- it was the first time to see them live with the championship personnel they have and all I can say is wow.

I wanted to say that I was very pleased with the Duke fans- a lot of appreciation for their team and their coach. It was refreshing.
I was so thankful to see Karen Cutcliffe after the game and did get to see Coach Cut just long enough to hug his neck and commiserate a little.

We had a lovely dinner at the Club afterward and the bed felt like heaven.

Sunday- we visited the campus- got to hear the end of the Sunday service at the majestic chapel- and had a fun, story telling- over 500 mile ride back to Nashville where I lay my head down at 10:35 PM.

The weekend had been a healing getaway... I was ready to get rolling again.

I think next time I will fly- but it was a wonderful time by all.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

My Daughter is a Senior and I Can't Get Life to Slow Down

I just walked in the door about 8PM, another late night getting a game plan together- it is what I do this time of year.

Right behind me is my sweet Julie, working hard on her homework- and I just get hit by the sneak attack... she is getting ready to leave..sooner than I ever hoped.

I cannot believe it- I'm trying to grasp it- I'm not handling it very well at all.

There is this sad ache that seems to say, "Can't I just freeze frame it for a moment?"

There is so much more I want her to know- I wish I told her more with how much I love her- I wish I had been more compliant and less pig-headed.

I wish I had prayed more and stayed more.

So ready or not, here it comes. And I wonder why I get so bent out of shape about a football game.
 I'm reminded of a little poem I wrote when my senior was just a little girl......

Her Eyes

“Why don’t we even look at one another?” Emily- Our Town

“The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Matt. 6:22,23

I can’t connect eye to eye with you.
Your eyes desperately want me to.
They flicker to points of wisdom same
And slide away in pain and shame.

Some eyes look down on me.
Your eyes look up in wait.
Some eyes don’t notice me.
Some are filled with hate.

You look up for need.
Looking for me to lead
Seeking for me to fill
Looking with mold-able will.

His eyes search within.
Shining on shadows of sin
Her heart needs His leading.
Her eyes search me, pleading.

I seek other eyes’ approval
And yearn for their attention.
My soul seeks their solace
Rubles of respect - no dissension.

His eyes move to and fro
And scans the depths of hearts.
To support the loyal will
And strengthen unified parts.

Little eyes are on me still.
Desperately wanting some time.
I’m scanning all the world
Expecting adventure sublime.

Oh, Lord! - If my heart is truly yours
I’ll seek the treasures unseen.
And answer this child on my knee
And know you’re looking at me
And she will start staring...
at Thee

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Change and Big MO

Been too crazy to post. The start-up of any football season is nuts.

It has been tougher this year than any of my previous 19.

Part of it was that we re-designed the offense to better accommodate our personnel- this is what high school coaches have to do from time to time. We made adjustments in language- formations- communication- protections- so it was like starting all over. The change has been beneficial- the question will be if it is just a 1 year change or not.

We also completely re-did the kicking game. That  has been our biggest improvement. It needed new energy and new emphasis. Hidden yardage is our new battle cry.

And there were late and crazy changes to our staff. We are coaching this season with 2 guys who have never coached football... ever. One in middle school and one on varsity...and they are doing well. But we were without 2 coaches in the first week of camp and I was coaching every position in a new system.

We are building a new high school- so the daily construction issues were an unexpected thorn. We lost water- we lost part of our practice field - and took long walks to get back and forth everywhere. I called it the 'price of progress'.

We are young- we have 12 players who 'start' that are freshmen and sophomores (2 freshmen- 10 sophomores with 6 of those being linemen). That will keep you up at night.

So- it is so interesting- I have never worked harder and never had so many 'loose ends'- but I feel good. I'm running nearly every morning at 5AM with my wife and actually enjoying it. I'm keeping my weight under 200 lbs, though I'm trying to break it with stress eating. And the little attacks of the enemy to produce doubt or dissension haven't taken root.

And we are 2-0. Funny because in some ways we have played MUCH better than last season and in some ways worse. Alas, football is a funny game.

This week is huge. If we could get East Lit at our place- we start 3-0 for only the 3rd time in school history and we will be on a roll. I cannot put into words how much I want this one- but I also know that none of these games are easy... East Lit is a very quality opponent and it looks like they are better than last season- but so are we.

I'm taking the Qb's to see the Titans tonight (pre-season vs the Saints) we are going to look at coverages and concepts..have fun.

But I doubt I will sleep tonight.... the churning is growing. We are on the verge of some BIG MO.