Monthly Archives: October 2014


Do you ever get bored during football season? My guess is no, the competition is coming every Friday night during the season and there is so much to do to be prepared.

Years ago I read General Norman Schwarzkopf’s book It doesn’t take a hero. Something that really stuck with me, when he was in command of an Army unit in Germany; he wanted no boredom and drift of his soldiers. He said it was easy to motivate the troops to do the physical workout each morning. He would take his unit to the wall that separated the two Germany’s and would tell them, “Men, we are the first line of defense if the Russians decide to come across this line.” The enemy was so close you could see them.

Typically in our day-to-day lives, we can’t see the enemy. We don’t see the need to read the Bible, we don’t see the need to pray, we don’t see the need to go to church on Sundays and we can’t see the enemy, so why prepare for the battle?

Lots of church going people don’t even believe in satan anyway, so why do we need to prepare for spiritual combat?

2 Corinthians 2:11 “Lest satan should take advantage of us, for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

The football coach studies the film of his opponent and may go watch them in person if possible. The coach does this so that hopefully nothing the opponent does is a surprise to him or his team.

The opponents of our football teams are studied in great detail, but do we do that in our own lives against the greatest enemy man kind will ever know? Do not be ignorant of satan’s ways and devices.

The enemy is close at hand. We should be preparing for combat everyday, with our own workout with God each morning or evening. The workout is not easy, that is why most folks won’t do it. It takes work to read the entire Bible, it takes work to memorize scripture and it takes work to carve out fifteen minutes of quiet time to walk and talk with God the Father. It takes work to get out of bed and get those cranky kids up, dressed and fed and to church on Sunday mornings. It takes work to go to Bible studies and Sunday school.

Just like General Norman Schwarzkopf did with his Army unit, may God open your eyes to the dangerous adversary we face each and every day.



October 28, 2014 Rankings


The Top five in the Super 10 did not change at all from last week. Olathe South was the number six team a week ago and they have dropped completely out of the rankings due to their loss to Blue Valley. O South dropping out moved everyone else below up a notch or two.

Class 6A rankings have Olathe South dropping out and Topeka reappears in the Top 5. Big game this week is Wichita Northwest at Hutchinson.

Class 5A did not change one bit since last week. Salina Central reappears in the others column. Big games this week: Pittsburg @ Aquinas and Kapaun @ Wichita Heights. Just as a side note, last week my wife and I went to Pilsen, Kansas the home of Father Kapaun and went to see his statue and home church, magnificent and worth the trip.

Class 4A D-I changed a little this week. One of the toughest districts in the state has Hays, McPherson, Buhler and Abilene. McPherson reappears in the rankings after going 2-0 in that district. Big games this week: Hays (1-1) @ McPherson (2-0) and Buhler (1-1)  @ Abilene (0-2). What will happen if Hays and Buhler win? Somebody is going home unhappy.

Class 4A D-II the only change was Frontenac defeated Columbus last Friday night and so Frontenac moves up to number three and Columbus falls to number five. You know there is another War on HWY 24 and that is Colby @ Goodland. Throw out the win-loss records you never know who will win this game. These two teams need to play like they are playing each other every week of the season against their every week opponent and then they would be even a tougher out each week.

Class 3A No change in the rankings and now we finally get that matchup we have been waiting on, it is round one of a heavy weight matchup. Silver Lake @ Rossville. Do you think anyone will show up to watch this one? Other big games are Hesston @ SE of Saline and Conway Springs @ Chaparral. Conway and Chapy two years ago had a wild game in which Conway wins 84-56. I look for another shoot out this year.

Class 2-1A saw Meade lose to Elkhart 28-27 and Meade falls to the number five spot in the rankings causing everyone else to move up. Big games this week are Smith Center @ Phillipsburg and Lacrosse @ Oakley.

Class 8-man D-I saw Spearville defeat Hodgeman County so Hodgeman drops out of the Top 5 and in comes Peabody-Burns. One of the biggest and most anticipated games by many in the state is Osborne @ Hanover. Number one vs Number two in the rankings. I personally have picked Hanover since pre-season to win it all and want to see what happens. Another game out west that will be a good one is Hodgeman County at Ness City, the old league WKEA rivals.

Class 8-man D-II had no change last week and the Big game this week is: Beloit St John/Tipton @ Northern Valley. N Valley used to be the team way back when and then they went on a yearly struggle to win games. Today they are 6-2 and it is good to see them in a Big Game again.


I moved to Scott City in 4th grade. My next door neighbor was my age and had moved to Scott City two years before. We hit it off immediately and became best of friends.

We built several things together, including a tree house along the alley and the only way to get in was a fifteen foot rope climb. We built a zip line between two trees along our property line that started twenty feet up in the first tree. We also built a very sturdy fort made from old pallets and old cross arms from electrical power poles.

One day as we were building the fort my neighbor jumped off the top of the eight foot tall structure and landed on a board with a nail sticking out of it. The nail went through the bottom of his tennis shoe through his foot and then through the top of his shoe and was sticking above his foot and shoe about two inches!

When it happened, my neighbor let out the most incredible blood curdling scream. I ran up to him, realized what had happened and told him to sit down so I could pull the board off the bottom of his foot.

He instead started walking home, which was only about twenty five feet away, with the fifteen inch board and nail attached to the bottom of his foot. But with every step on that foot, he would scream again.

As kids we were in awe of what happened to my friend and every kid that heard his story of the incident was in awe also. Just to remind you the definition of awe is: an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear. Awe is exactly what we felt when we thought of nails, boards and my neighbor’s situation. I have told that story hundreds of times over the years and so has my neighbor.

The lack of awe in today’s church is because of the lack of testimony by people who have experienced God. God saved you from a life of sin to be a testimony to someone else. It is like we are stepping on nails and not telling anyone about it. Can you imagine having something that traumatic happen to you, but remaining silent about it?

Have you told your story, your testimony? People are experiencing trauma all around us because satan has his yoke around their necks and he controls their lives. They are addicted to drugs, gossip, alcohol, pornography, sports, computers, knowledge and lots of other things.

Satan does his best to keep folks out of churches on Sunday and if people do go to church he wants them to get out of the church quickly and only go once a week. Why does satan not want folks at church? They can hear testimony from others who have experienced God. In my experience, the places where you hear testimony from others at church is in bible studies or Sunday school classes. It isn’t usually in Sunday morning worship services and maybe that is also why there is a lack of awe in our churches.

We need to tell our story, our testimony, not only inside the church but outside the church. God will help you to figure out where, when and how. But you must listen to the Holy Spirit and obey when the opportunity comes along.

Revelation 12:11 They triumphed over him (satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

October 21, 2014 Rankings


The Super 10 has a new leader. Shawnee Mission East has finally caught Olathe North and passed them by 5 points. SME has lead O North in the 6A rankings and now they do in the Super 10. Bishop Carroll only trails O North by one point so we might have more movement at the top of the Super 10 in the next week or two. There are many changes in the Super 10 so click the rankings button above and check it out.

Manhattan falls from the 6A top five into the others.  Derby moves back in to the top five. Big games in Class 6A this week are Olathe South at Blue Valley and Lawrence at Olathe North.

Bishop Carroll still leads Class 5A by unanimous choice. Pittsburg lost last week to BV West and Pitt dropped to number five in the top five. Blue Valley West moves back in to the others column. Big games this week in Class 5A are Bishop Carroll at Maize South, Aquinas at BV West and BV Southwest at Pittsburg.

Class 4A D-I is still owned by Bishop Miege unanimously. Hays falls from second to fourth after losing to Buhler 55-21. Hayden moves to the second spot. KC Piper moves into the number five position. McPherson appears in the others column after defeating Abilene who falls out of the rankings. Big games this week are Abilene at Hays, Buhler at McPherson, Bishop Miege at Louisburg.

Class 4A D-II has Andale at the top unanimously again. Only change here this week is Wichita Trinity falls out of the top five after losing to Andale. Holcomb moves into the number five spot. The big game this week is between Top 5 members Frontenac at Columbus. We also have Holcomb at Pratt which is an interesting game.

Class 3A still has Silver Lake at the top. Nothing changes in this classification except Centralia dropped out of the others column even though Centralia beat Nemaha Valley 35-6. The guys can only vote for the top five of each class and I don’t count any others they list. So the top five have kind of solidified. Big games this week are Hutch Trinity at Kingman, Beloit at Norton.

Olpe is the new leader in Class 2-1A after defeating Lyndon 36-28. Olpe leads Meade by two points. This classification has the closest voting of any class. Lacrosse only trails Meade by six points and is in third. Of course Lacrosse opened the season by defeating Olpe. So who knows who should be first. Guess we will decide here in the next month or so. The Big game this week is Phillipsburg at Ell-Saline.

Hanover is your leader in 8-man D-I and has been for weeks. Nothing changed in this classification. The game we all have been waiting for is finally here, Spearville at Hodgeman County.

8-man D-II is still lead by Chetopa. Victoria beat Thunder Ridge last Friday night 58-34 so T. Ridge drops out of the Top 5 and Victoria moves up and Argonia-Attica moves into the number five spot. Big game this week is Thunder Ridge at Beloit-St. John’s/Tipton.

Just as a side note I heard that Bucklin broke a 54 game losing streak last Friday night. I like to hear that kind of stuff. Read it here.


Striving for a Crown

I had a friend in college who had been a very good wrestler in high school, but at college his freshman year he stopped working out and started drinking lots of beer and gained a bunch of weight. When intramural wrestling came that winter he signed up and represented our fraternity house. He won a couple of matches then was pinned quickly in round three. After the match he was so angry that none of his friends could talk to him.

The next day I approached him and said, “So how you doing today?” He said, “Not quite as angry as last night but the fire is still burning.” So I asked him, “What are you going to do about that smoldering fire in your belly?” He told me, “I am not sure just yet.”

About a week later he approached me and said, “I know what I am going to do about that fire burning in my belly about losing that wrestling match.” I said, “Oh yeah, what are you going to do?” He said, “I am going to do 1,000 pushups and 1,000 sit-ups everyday for a year and next year I am going to pin that guy that beat me!”

Well every time I saw that kid after our conversation he was doing pushups and sit-ups. He broke those 1,000 pushups and 1,000 sit-ups into hours of the day and did between 70 and 100 every hour all day long for the next year. One year later he did pin that kid who had beat him and went on to win the first place t-shirt in intramurals.

Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 talks about runners running to win the perishable crown and how we should run to win the prize. It is not easy to be a champion in any sport at any level it takes real work! To be a Christian striving for the imperishable crown takes work also. Are you doing the equivalent of 1,000 pushups and 1,000 sit-ups in your daily walk with Christ?

Open your Bible and read one chapter a day. Discipline yourself that you must read one chapter a day before breakfast and or one chapter before bed at night. Personally, I started in Proverbs when I made my vow to read one chapter a day. If you are a brand new Christian you should go to Matthew after you read Proverbs and read the New Testament.

After you read one chapter think about what you just read. You will always have questions of why, how, where, when of the Bible. Let those questions lead you into prayer. Start with a quiet prayerful time of five minutes after you read your Bible.

My wrestling friend’s problem was he wanted to be a champion without the work it takes to be a champion. Once his opponent showed him his folly in thinking he got himself back on track to be the champion he really was.

Let me encourage you to be the Christian champion you were meant to be. The question is though are you ready to be that Christian champion striving for that imperishable crown with all the work that it takes?

1 Corinthians 9:24-27


October 15, 2014 Rankings


Olathe North stays on top of the Super 10 rankings, but they lead SM East by just one point. Bishop Miege trails SM East by just seven points. There was some shakeup after Topeka lost and fell completely out of the Super 10. Derby who was not in the Super 10 last week, jumps clear to number six position. Lots of movement in the Super 10 just remember the Super 10 is a completely different poll from the other rankings so we can have some teams ranked higher in the Super 10 than in their respective classification and vice versa.

Class 6A SM East leads O North by two points and Topeka dropped to the others section and Manhattan moved to number three with Blue Valley going from the others to number four. Olathe South stays at number five. Big game this week is Topeka at Manhattan and Olathe South at BV NW.

Bishop Carroll is number one by unanimous choice in class 5A. Pittsburg moves to number two and Wichita Heights up to number three with Salina South dropping a couple of spots and Aquinas dropping one spot. Several other teams showed up in the other column this week that we have not seen all season long. Big games this week are Bishop Carroll at Maize; BV West at Pittsburg; Salina Central at Salina South.

Bishop Miege is number one in Class 4A D-I and this classification did not change one bit from last week. Ulysses did drop from the others this week. Big games this week are Hays at Buhler; McPherson at Abilene.

Andale is again the unanimous choice in Class 4A D-II and I can see it now…………………towards the end of the season everyone will be wishing they could see Andale vs Bishop Miege. In other movement in this class Frontenac and Wichita Trinity exchanged places. Big games this week are Andale at Wichita Trinity.

Big news in this classification is that another member of the ranking team has selected Rossville for the number one spot. Rossville trails the number one team, Silver Lake by 27 points so The Lake is still number one by quite a ways. Other than that Centralia dropped to the others and Collegiate moves into the number five spot. Hutch Trinity and Hesston showed up in the others column after the big loss by Centralia to Rossville. Big game this week is Centralia at Nemaha Central.

Meade is number one in Class 2-1A and everything stayed the same in the Top 5. Troy is back in the others listing. Remember it takes at least two members of the ranking team voting for a team to make the others column. Big games this week are Olpe at Lyndon; Smith Center at Lacrosse.

Nothing changed in the Top 5 of 8-man D-I so that means Hanover is number one. Peabody-Burns showed up in the other column after demolishing Madison last week. Big game this week is Quinter at Oberlin.

Chetopa is leading the way in 8-man D-II this week just like last week. Beloit-St John/Tipton falls out of the Top 5 and moves to the other column. Victoria moves up to number four and Stafford moves out of the others listing to number five. Big game this week is Thunder Ridge at Victoria.


When my two youngest girls were in grade school, I was their basketball coach in the local recreation league. One night we were working on catching a pass and quickly shooting the ball. Most of the girls were doing okay, but one girl was just struggling. She was not my daughter and her mother was at practice watching my every move.

I wasn’t sure how mom was going to take this, but I sent the rest of the team with the other coach to the other end of the gym. I did keep one other girl to be a defender. The girl who was struggling to do the drill was going to see just how quick the defense could be on you, close to the bucket.

I put the struggling girl on one side of the lane and myself and the other girl, my defender, on the other side of the lane. I told the defender, “As soon as I throw the ball across the lane, you go play defense and block her shot.”

Well that is exactly what happened. If the girl caught the ball cleanly, she would always try to dribble once before shooting. As soon as she started up with the ball to shoot it, the defender would knock it out of her hands.

After several attempts at catching and shooting, the girl was very frustrated. So I sent the defender to the other end of the gym with the rest of the team. I then asked the girl if she now understood why she must catch the ball cleanly, not dribble once, but get ready to shoot immediately. She said, “Yes.” So we started to work just on that, catching the ball to immediately shooting the ball.

Several years later during a middle school basketball game, the girl who used to struggle to do the drill in fifth grade, caught a pass about four feet from the basket and immediately shot the ball and scored. Her mother was sitting in the stands about ten feet away from me. The mom stands up and points at me and yells, “You taught my daughter that, thank you!”

Now when that girl was in fifth grade I could have given her a book on basketball and told her to read it. I could have sent her mother an email to a youtube video and told her daughter to watch it. I could have told her daughter to just practice that drill at home. But when you have direct experience at something average retention goes up to 80-90%. If you only have spoken or written communication average retention is only 5-10%. So most of you, when you come to read these devotional messages, will only remember 5-10% of it, if anything at all.

Your faith must be active. You must get involved with active learning. Jesus, at the Last Supper, washed the feet of his disciples, which was a job for a servant. When Jesus came to Peter, to wash his feet, Peter said, “Lord are you washing my feet?” Jesus said, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”

That last sentence has great meaning. When we get ready to do an experience a lot of the time we don’t get it at first, but afterwards that experience might have been the greatest single teaching moment of your life. Let me encourage you to get some experience with your faith. Get out of your own little world and reach out and be Jesus’ hands and feet in the life you are living.

John 13:7

October 7, 2014 Rankings


The Super 10 has a new leader, Olathe North has jumped over SM East by one point. Last week the two teams were tied for first place. Now in the 6A rankings SM East still leads by one point. Remember that the Super 10 and the 6A rankings are two separate polls and so we can have a split decision by the ranking members. Bishop Carroll is edging closer to O North and SM East each week as we vote and may someday take over the top spot. Carroll only trails SM East by five points.

The 6A rankings did not change. Nothing new to report. SM East leads O North by one point. Blue Valley will play Aquinas this week and that may lead to some movement in the 6A and 5A rankings.

Bishop Carroll is still number one by unanimous vote in Class 5A. This week BV West drops out of the Top 5 and Wichita Heights steps back into the number five position. Salina South will be at Derby this week. Derby is in the other column in 6A so we might have a shake out.

In class 4A D-I Bishop Miege is number one by unanimous vote. Miege is actually the number four team in the Super 10 and most of the guys by their vote think Miege could play and beat most everyone in the state except the top three vote getters in the super 10. KC Piper drops out of the Top 5 and Abilene steps in. Abilene may be the sleeper team nobody was thinking about to start the season.

Andale is the unanimous number one in class 4A DII. Wichita Trinity drops one spot and Columbus moves up one spot in the rankings. Other than that no other changes. Wichita Trinity takes on Conway Springs this week so we will find out who belongs and who doesn’t. Although my first guess is a close game so they both still belong in the rankings in their respective classification.

In class 3A there is no change. Silver Lake is number one. Not by unanimous vote, no we still have one guy voting for Rossville. This guy usually gets the rankings just right and he keeps me wondering if I should join him. Big game in this class this week as Centralia and Rossville will play each other in regular season play. This might be just what we need to shake up the rankings in 3A. Scott City will play Ulysses this week in a big rivalry game which dates back to 1935 and ended 0-0. We can be sure that won’t happen Friday night. Ulysses is in the other column of 4A D-I.

In class 2A we have stabilized with Meade as number one, but only by one vote over Olpe. We actually had 6 different teams receive a vote for the number one position in this class. Phillipsburg plays Sedgwick this week. P-burg is ranked number five and Sedgwick is receiving some love from the ranking team, so this will be a big game.

8-man D I did change slightly. Spearville drops to number five and Hodgeman County moves up to number four. In a couple of weeks these two teams will play each other and then we will know something!

8-man D II did not change one bit. We still had four teams receive number one votes but nothing happened to change up the ranking order. Victoria will be at Beloit-St John’s/Tipton in a very big game between ranked teams in this classification.

There is no better way to tell who belongs in the rankings than head to head competition. These are the games that young men play the game for. Best wishes to all squads this week for every game is important.



“Have you never read…..”

Have you ever seen the football coach yell at a player because the player goes the wrong way on an offensive play? Ten guys get it right, but that one player screws up because he doesn’t know the play. The coach will usually say something like this to the player, “Have you read the playbook?”

Several years ago when I first met the new head football coach of our town, he said something that kind of shocked me. He told me he did not give the playbook to his players. He had one playbook for himself and gave each coach a copy but the players would never get one. So I asked him, “Why don’t the players get one?” His answer was, “Because they won’t read it and they won’t study it like they should so why give them one?”

Jesus saw the same thing in his day with God’s playbook. Two thousand years ago when Jesus was walking the earth the Old Testament was available to read but it sounds like not many people read or studied it much. Even if they had read it they did not know the meaning of what they were reading. (Now remember that the New Testament was not around until Jesus died on the cross and the disciples started writing the New Testament.) There are several passages in the Bible where Jesus asked the people, “Have you not read……?” So let’s get into some of those scriptures where Jesus questioned the people. All of the following are quotes of Jesus.

Matthew 22:31 says, “Have you not read what was spoken to you by God……”

Mark 12:10 says, “Have you not read this scripture…….…..”

Matthew 12:3 says, “Have you not read what David did….…..”

Matthew 19:4 says, “Have you read that he who created……….”

Matthew 22:31 says, “And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read…..”

Matthew 12:26 says, “And as for the dead being raised, have you not read….…”

Matthew 22:29 says, “You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor……..”

Sometime ago I wrote the story of my own conversion when I was convicted by the Holy Spirit to start reading the Bible for the first time. After the story was published, people started to approach me to tell me they really liked my story. At first I wasn’t sure how to respond to their comments, other than to say ‘Thank you.’ Saying ‘Thank you’ did not seem like the proper response. So I started to ask people, if they had ever read the Bible cover to cover?

My unscientific research of those who answered in the affirmative was less than ten percent of those who talked to me. Most folks told me they had read portions of the Bible but never read the whole thing cover to cover. Also many of them would follow that up with why they never had read the whole Bible. Does the coming up with an excuse mean that the Holy Spirit is working on them and trying to motivate them to read the whole Bible or playbook?

Go on-line and check some of this research that I have looked up but here are some of the shocking numbers on Bible reading in the United States of America from the year 2000:

Roughly 90% of Americans own a Bible with the average home having about 4 Bibles.

16% say they read the Bible daily.

21% say they read the Bible weekly.

12% say they read the Bible monthly.

41% say they rarely or never read the Bible. (We could add the other 10% of Americans that don’t own a Bible here also.)

So what kind of football team would you have if you had the same number of players reading and studying the playbook for football from the above numbers?

Now if Jesus was your football coach and you were getting ready to run a play from the playbook would Jesus be yelling at you after the play, “Have you never read the playbook?” or would Jesus be complementing you, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”