Saturday, December 10, 2016

Famous Last Words

We have all heard the expression "famous last words," right? Mike Roux's famous last words the week of the first Illinois gun hunting season was, "Someone is going to kill a big deer out of the tower blind this weekend." By now, I have learned that every stand on the farm we hunt can produce an opportunity at a world class trophy buck.

11 Pointer

I passed the comment off as a word to the wise. It was the pep talk telling the men he guides to pay attention at all times because you never know what will walk up on you. I didn't realize how prophetic he would be.

Friday morning, November 18th, 2016 was opening morning. It was windy and the temperature was to begin dropping by thirty degrees over the next twenty four hours. Of course, I selected the tower blind across the field from a well known bedding area for does, as my spot for the day. I settled in for a long morning hunt.

As the sun rose, it happened just as planned. Five does came west from the woods out into an open field to eat. They stayed for about fifteen minutes and then meandered into "Crappie Hole." This is the famous bedding area in the center of the farm. It is a marshy, low lying area that has excellent cover.

I thought to myself, "I am in business when they decide to come out on my side. I will have an opportunity at taking one." You guessed it, nothing happened. I waited for three long hours without seeing a thing.

I saw the land owner, John Caldwell, walk out of the woods from the east and then Mike Roux came riding his four wheeler down a dirt road from the north. It was ten thirty and the hunting crew was pulling out for lunch. At that moment, everything that I had learned from Mike came through my mind. Something told me to hang around for a big buck to move. So I decided to sit for one more hour. It was the best hunting decision that I have ever made.

At ten forty, just ten minutes after the hunter passed by, I saw a doe on the south edge of Crappie Hole. She look distracted and uneasy. Within two minutes she came directly across the field toward the tower blind. I pulled my gun up into shooting position. As I looked through the scope, I saw him, head down chasing her. I could not believe my eyes. He was huge!

In a split second, he was at fifty yards, I bleeped and he stopped. I was able to shoot him in the right shoulder. He ran twenty yards and dropped. It happened so fast. My patience and remembering what Mike told me earlier in the week, proved to be the difference maker. God is good!

Could not do it without this fellow! 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

When God Shows Up

How about some good news.... God was at our house last week. I know... I know, what you are thinking.  Shouldn't He be there all the time? Unfortunately, it isn't that God suddenly shows up but rather an issue of me recognizing His presence.

We have a Maytag dryer that began having problems during the summer. Our repairman told us that the timer had gone bad. He looked everywhere for a replacement but was having a hard time finding one. We took laundry to the laundromat to dry for about a week. Then someone in our house thought they would try to dry something and the ole Maytag began to work again.

Fast forward to November... the dryer stopped drying clothes. Lisa and I knew that it was a moment for decisions. The first time around we could not have the machine repaired because the part was not available. We were going to have to replace it.... right?

This is where some crazy stuff happens.... We had decided on the day that the dryer stopped drying that we would purchase another one before the following Thursday. This would give us a little time while we burned through our wardrobes. Wednesday was the day that I decided to make the purchase.

On Wednesday morning, I received a phone call from the repairman, yes the dryer repairman from back in June. He said, "Bob, the strangest thing happened today. The part that I was looking for to fix your dryer showed up on my front step this morning. I don't even know if you still own the machine, but I thought I would call and check."

I couldn't believe it. The very day that we were going to buy another one and this happens! I told him if he could come right over and put in the new part, we would take it. Five minutes later he showed up and within a couple minutes we were back in business. 

He said because it took him so long to get the part, he wouldn't charge us for the service call. It is amazing when things happen. People are quick to give karma, luck or coincidence the credit. I reject those ideas and embrace God's sovereign care for us. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Thank You to the Quincy High School Coaching Staff

I just hit a milestone in my soccer life. I have successfully completed my tenure at the Adidas Summer Showcase in Burlington, Iowa. At closest count, I have been to that tournament 24 times over the past twelve years. We moved from Ohio in 2004 and I joined Quincy High School's coaching staff. I have had the privilege to coach both the girls and the boys over the years.

I have coached with Matt Longo, Eric Stratman, Ron Bridal, Andy Hoskins, Chad Hoener, Dick Stewart, Mario Camacho, and Travis Dinkheller. All these men are special friends. We have so many memories together. We have experienced the highs and lows of life on and off the field. These men have coached three of my children: Matt, Madison, and Michaela. Last month was my last trip up to Burlington as parent, with Michaela playing. 

Our children have benefited greatly from the team sport experience. I have seen them grow in confidence, loyalty, work ethic, team work and dedication. This has helped them grow into young people who are better prepared for adulthood. I want to thank these men for their time and efforts.

Many people miss the importance of the slow process of success, as they are focused on the immediate gratification of winning. Winning is great in the moment, but I would trade winning a soccer match any day to see people living successful lives. Because of these coaches, my kids have won in a big way by being Blue Devils.

Dink and I - Livin' the Dream
I will probably make my way back to Burlington in the future, but it will be different. The Burlington tournament was more than soccer to our family. It gave us time to be together as a family and time to be with people who became very special to us!

thanks for the memories....

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Kidzone Playground Rehab

It is always amazing to see the volume of work that volunteers can do in such a short amount of time. This morning was no exception. In just three hours, we were able to rehab our church playground. Here are a few pictures from our morning together.

Out with the old ! 
In with the new !
A handsome young man
Kathi is going to kill me !
Many hands make for lite work!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Great Soup and Song with the Joyagers

Great Turnout!

Great Chef Donovan

Great Friends

Great Times

Sunday, April 24, 2016

United In Christ Weekend

Some Pictures to capture the impact!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Contribution Challenge

Are you up for a challenge? Taking the contribution challenge for one week could revolutionize your thinking, attitudes and actions!

So what will your contribution be? When most people are asked that question, they immediately think of a financial contribution, but most of the time we  give much more than money. Contributions happen every day in marriages, families, businesses. Every good relationship has to be filled with many selfless contributions.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die." I am reading a book entitled The Art of Possibility by Rosamund and Ben Zander. There is a chapter in the book entitled, "Being a Contribution." The authors do a wonderful job explaining how a person, who is acting as a contribution, thinks.

When you become a contribution, you move away from self-concern and self-focus. You will engage in relationships with others in a way that produces results way beyond your imagination.

The authors give two steps in practicing being a contribution:

  1. Declare yourself to be a contribution.
  2. Throw yourself into life as someone who makes a difference, accepting that you may not understand how or who your contribution will impact.

Here is the challenge for one week of your life;

Describe yourself in light of contribution for one week. Then cast yourself as a contribution into the week ahead. Imagine how that will create a ripple effect beyond your sphere of influence.

This applies to you marriage, family, friendships, work, church, neighborhood, community, nation and world. Who are you contributing to and how?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Experiences vs. Things

St. Louis Blues Hockey
Creating memories through experiences is a great idea. My wife, Lisa, and I have been creating experiences for our family from the very beginning. We have made many memories, and this Christmas was no exception!

Spending money on stuff is appropriate and acceptable, but creating experiences provides countless valuable opportunities to discover, interact, and share with family members.

Local Coffee Shop Games
I read an article this week entitled, "People Who Spend Money on Experiences Instead of Things are Much Happier." The article provided research which indicated that people devalue many of their purchases after having made them. It also revealed that people get caught in the trap of following buying trends and ultimately make purchases that they later regret.

Sky Zone 
Lisa and I have found that using our resources to create and provide new experiences with our family is invaluable. We have no regrets in foregoing expensive purchases in order to make memories. We look for activities, events, and experiences that we all can enjoy. Our family has sat many times at the kitchen table planning and preparing the next experience.

If you start the practice when your children are young, it will carry through adulthood. I know this because I learned from the best, my father-in-law. He created experiences for his family by way of work opportunities and family vacations that brought them all closer. These experiences were so impacting and beneficial that I wanted to continue on in a way that uniquely fit within my own family.

Socks for Jumping 
Every family is different. Some people like to travel; others like games. Are you making memories, or merely buying stuff? Are your gifts and purchases for all to enjoy, or are they individual and can only be used by one person?