Plenty of Room

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Playing slow pitch summer time softball after high school is a great outlet for competitive athletes. Personally, I started playing at the age of nineteen and quit at forty. The pitcher on our team was fifty, when I quit playing, and he gave me lots of flack for hanging up my cleats at such a young age as he used to put it.

One summer night, as I was playing center field, a long fly ball was hit to my right. I thought I had plenty of room to make the catch. As I hit the warning track with my feet, my first thought was to stop running so hard, but the rover on my team yelled out, “You’ve got plenty of room!” So I kept running. As I raised my left hand to catch the ball I collided with the chain link metal fence at full speed.

When I came back to my senses, the rover was standing over me saying, “Are you okay?” I said to him, “No, I am not okay and I thought you told me I had plenty of room?”

How close can you get to something before it hurts you? How close can we get to sinful things before we get burned? Is there a warning track in our lives that tells us beware trouble is close at hand? Sometimes our friends tell us, “Its okay, don’t worry about it, everyone else is doing it.”

We do have a built in warning track within us. Those of us who believe in Christ it is our conscious and the Holy Spirit. Those who don’t believe in Christ have something also that the Bible says is clearly perceived.

Romans 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Proverbs 3: 21-23 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.

The Truth about Men and Church

One of the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord teach us to pray.” Jesus responds, “Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

In my own life, my parents taught me the following night time prayer as soon as I could talk, “Now I lay me, down to sleep. If I should die, before I wake, I pray the lord my soul to keep.” This prayer ‘Now I lay me’ was written by Joseph Addison and was in ‘The Spectator’ a daily publication in England that only survived for about a year in 1711. The prayer has lasted a lot longer than the publication and I am so glad it did.

My job as a Dad is to teach my children to pray. The first prayer my wife and I taught our kids was, ‘Now I lay me.’ But we also pray at each meal that we sit down to eat, which is usually supper. Now when you pray for the meal you can also add in some other things. Here is how that might go, “Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we are thankful for the opportunity to be here together as a family. We miss Sam and Evan and we pray for your blessing upon them and for a safe return home. Please bless the food that we are about to partake of, to the nourishment of our bodies. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.”

Dad your job, which was given to you by God the father, is to take your kids to church and to teach your kids to pray. Research shows that if Dad does not go to church, no matter how faithful his wife’s devotions, only one child in fifty will become a regular worshipper. A link to the article I took that quote from is at the end of this article.

When I first read the article it made me angry. I feel as though I am on the front line fighting against the enemy and too many men are slipping away to go golf, watch the NFL, get drunk, sleep in or whatever else they do instead of going to church and teaching their children to pray.

“Our Gracious Heavenly Father, I come before you today with heavy heart. After reading the article below, I was convicted in my soul for the times I have bailed out on my fellow man that stayed engaged in the fight. Please forgive me. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and give me the guts to stand and fight against the enemy, satan, and to tell him, ‘Over my dead body, will you ever get my children.’ In Jesus precious name we pray this in expectation of it, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.”

The Truth about Men and Church

Father Kapaun

I saw this video recently and thought you might like to see the quick five minute story of a great American hero who happened to also be a Kansan.

I think we still raise young men in Kansas, just like this today.

(The pronunciation of the name of Father Kapaun  the speaker uses in the video is correct.)

Hiking the Grand Canyon


Years ago, when I was a young guy, a friend asked me if I wanted to go on vacation with him. I asked, “Where you thinking about going?” He said he was thinking about Los Angeles, just to put his feet in the Pacific Ocean. I told him yes, I was interested and a few days later off we went.

Now for me, the high point of the entire trip was the Grand Canyon. In person the Canyon is beyond description and is way more impressive than any picture. Before you start down into the Canyon there is a sign that says, “Hiking the Canyon is just the opposite of mountain climbing. When you hike uphill on a mountain you are fresh and excited and when you are tired you turn around and go downhill. Unfortunately, at the Canyon you go down into the Canyon while fresh and excited and when you are tired you turn around to go back, and then you must hike a mountain to get out of the Canyon.”

The sign also said to take plenty of water with you. Of course it was summer time and the temperature was forecasted to be over a hundred degrees that day. So we grabbed a couple of water bottles and down into the big Canyon we went. At first we thought we would go all the way to the bottom, to see the Colorado River, but decided after working our way downhill maybe we should not attempt a ten mile hike down with a ten mile hike back out. Instead we decided to go six miles in to Plateau Point and then six miles back out of the Canyon.

After we made it to Plateau Point, which is 1,300 feet above the river and a stunning view, we decided it was time to go back to the car and drive on further down the road. We had no idea how difficult the next several hours were going to be.

Like I said earlier, the temperature was well over hundred degrees. We were drinking water like crazy and the water was only available in certain places. We took nothing to eat with us and we were hungry. The trail slowly got steeper to where it felt like we were going straight up. The last part of the switchback trail is actually called, ‘Heartbreak Hill’ because you are so close, but yet so far from the top. It took hours to move up the trail. There were so many people coming into the Canyon and plenty of mule riders that you had to move to the side of the trail constantly.

When going through difficult times, around other people doing the same thing, you make friends easily with others experiencing the same thing. We made great friends with a couple of nineteen year old guys walking with us. One was a Frenchman and the other was an Israeli, who was reporting for his six months of required duty in the Israeli Army in ten days. We laughed, talked, sat by the side of the trail and we couldn’t believe how foolish all of us were for taking off down hill so unprepared, after they had warned us at the top of the Canyon.

Sin in our lives is just like hiking in the Grand Canyon. God warns us about sin. Our parents warn us about sin. The pastor or priest warns us about sin. But we want to do what we want to do and what others are doing and look at all these people going down the hill, into the Canyon, and into the sinful ways of man. The problem with sin is someday you may want to quit and then the devil has you in the bottom of this Canyon and you are going to have a difficult time getting out by yourself. Remember Jesus and call out to him even in your unbelief.

Romans 8:39 Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

December 2, 2014 Rankings


As Don Meredith used to sing, on Monday night football, when the game was over and usually before the clock was out of time, “Turn out the lights the party’s over.” That is exactly how I feel about the season when it is over. The party is over!

The preparation for the party is beginning now, for next year’s party. Sure, take a couple of weeks off to renew but make no mistake about it the party is coming and is only about six or seven months away.

All the other sports we do doing the off-season such as basketball, wrestling, tennis, golf, track etc. just get us ready and keep us in some sort of shape for the real sport of football. The greatest game man ever invented.

Why is football the greatest game ever invented you ask? Because it takes all kinds of young men to play the game. Big, small, tall, short, heavy, not so heavy, fast, slow, kickers, punters, tacklers, blockers, holders, throwers, catchers, hitters and if you don’t want to actually play the game, we need trainers, managers, stat takers, kids that want to film, ticket takers, program sellers, band members, cheerleaders, drill team members, chain gang, This game can involve everyone if you can see the big picture and get involved.

Okay, I will get off the soap box. The final rankings of the year are in and posted on the website. The biggest surprise during the playoffs was Hutchinson, Ell-Saline and Halstead. These three didn’t spend much time in the rankings during the regular season, but finished well.

In the overall rankings Bishop Carroll almost overcame SM East to win the overall Super State Championship but SM East hung on to that position and is our overall State Champion. Congratulations to Coach Delaney and his Lancers!

Thank you for visiting our website. Thank you to the Kansas Media Team that sends us their rankings each week. Thank you to the refs that never get the proper thank you like they should. Thank you to the principals and athletic directors for all their hard work putting on the games. Thank you to the coaches and of course the players. And finally thank you Mom and Dad for allowing and encouraging your kids to play the game, from which they will gain much by participating.

State Championship Weekend Games


6A Title game Shawnee Mission East vs Hutchinson. SME is coached by Dustin Delaney who used to be an assistant coach in Hutchinson just a few short years ago. Hutchinson is coached by first year head coach Ryan Cornelsen. The Kansas media ranking team picked SME as our top team in class 6A and expected SME to win it all. Hutch was not even ranked at the conclusion of the regular season. My first thought on this game, it is a close contest.

5A Title game Bishop Carroll vs St. Thomas Aquinas. Bishop Carroll is coached by long time coach Alan Schuckman. Aquinas coach is Randy Dreiling who is in his first year at Aquinas but sent many a team to the state championship game from Hutchinson. My first thought is Bishop Carroll wins big. Check out Bishop Carroll schedule here and there isn’t a close game anywhere.

4A Division I Title game Bishop Miege vs Hayden. Bishop Miege is coached by  Jon Holmes. Topeka-Hayden is coached by Bill Arnold. My first thought is both schools play in leagues with opponents that are from classes 6A and 5A. They are both used to playing schools with enrollments much larger than themselves. If anyone can give Bishop Miege a game it is Hayden. My second thought is, it is to bad we couldn’t have one more game the week after Thanksgiving week and call it the Catholic School Championship of Kansas and have the winner of 5A and 4A Division I play each other.

4A Divison II Title game Andale vs Columbus. Andale is coached by Gary O’Hair. Columbus is coached by Dan Grundy. Andale was the preseason favorite to win this classification and they have lived up to the preseason billing so far. Columbus defeated Holton in the playoffs and the Holton Wildcats were who everyone else thought would be in the finals. Columbus has been ranked all season long. This looks like a good game on paper. Guess we see how it plays out.

3A Division Title game Rossville vs Scott City. Rossville has finally won the Eastern State Championship over Silver Lake. That is quite an accomplishment for Coach Derick Hammes and the Bulldawgs. Scott City is coached by long time coach Glenn O’Neil. Both teams last weekend played really close games where either team could have won or lost. My first thought on this game is both squads will be tuned in to their coaches this week and that this game may be the most competitive of all the classifications this Saturday.

2A Title game is Ell-Saline vs Olpe. Ell-Saline is coached by long time coach Terry King. Olpe is coached by Chris Schmidt. Preseason rankings did not have Ell-Saline on the map. After the nine game regular season Ell-Saline was still not in the rankings. The Cardinals are the team that know one was thinking about on the way to the championship. Olpe has been ranked all season long. My first thought is I would have picked Ell-Saline to lose the last three games they have played, if I was a betting man. I think I will keep my money in my pocket this week and just watch to see what happens because I don’t have a clue about this one.

May all the teams play the game as violently as the rules allow and may the hitting be ferocious, and we pray that God would keep every single football player safe from serious injury. Blood and Bruises and Soreness only last a little while, but the memory of the state championship game will last a lifetime!

Scott City & Halstead have something in common

Scott City will visit Halstead Saturday game time is 2:30 p.m. The Stadium is directly behind the high school on 6th street.

Scott City and Halstead have something else in common besides a football game this Saturday. We both have Jason Evert of coming to our communities to give a talk.

Jason will be giving a talk to the parents in Scott City on December 17 in the commons area of the high school at 6:00 p.m. Also on December 17, Jason will give a talk in the auditorium at 7:30 p.m. that is open to the public. We are encouraging leaders to bring their youth groups (7th grade and older only) from around the area to this talk, but it is also open to the general public. (Call the First United Methodist Church in Scott City to tell the church how many people you will be bringing please.) The next day, December 18th, Jason will give a talk at 9:00 a.m. to the students of Scott City 7-12th grade.

After that talk a private pilot from Scott City will fly Jason to Newton where Halstead school officials will pick up Jason and take him to the Halstead schools for a talk that afternoon.

Jason is still available for more talks in the Halstead and Wichita area, Thursday night and Friday morning and afternoon. Contact here and do it quick if your interested. (7th grade and older only)

Here is a sample of what Jason talks about in this video.

Here is another sample video also.


Children and Trust

Several years ago, my youngest daughter was watching me as I worked out. One of the exercises I was doing that day was kipping pull-ups on a bar outside. My daughter said to me, “Dad, that bar is going to break.” I told her, “It was not going to break” and continued to do my workout. After another couple of sets of pull-ups, while at the top of a pull-up the supports holding the bar broke and I landed on my back. My daughter, ever so stoically said, “I told you Dad.” I would have answered her, most likely in anger, but I couldn’t, since I had knocked the wind out of myself!

Children see the world differently than adults. As adults we need to watch and listen to our children more. Instead of automatically thinking we know everything about everything.

Matthew 18: 1-4 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Little children depend on others for everything. God wants us to depend upon him in a simple and trusting way. People of faith rely upon God instead of themselves.