XO: Nehemiah Fest


*Stretches*

It feels good to be in comfortable skin again.

Once upon a time, many, many years ago my favorite time of the year was the summer. It wasn’t due to school being out, pool parties, or even family vacations. As cheesy as the notion sounds, it all revolved around two events: church camp and mission trips. Continue reading

Mobile Minutes: Older


Looked in the mirror for a few minutes tonight. Studied my hairline, looked at the cut on my face from “the dark one”, and even flexed my arms a little.

I’m getting older.

Not wiser, just older.

I see it in my eyes, my skin, even my facial hair. I truly am closer to thirty versus twenty. I can’t pull off “the kid” look, even if I wanted to. I’m not upset about this late breaking news, just recognizing one of those moments in life where I’m changing.

My job is wonderful.
My wife is beautiful.
The people behind the Kansas City Shock are incredibly inspirational.

I’m optimistic with a fading past, in a body that looks it time on this planet. God has given me a life that I’ll never measure up to, and I never, ever deserved.

It’s alright not being the youngest, freshest, or forever holding on to history’s ways.

The future is bright. The world is vast. I’ll take aging skin and vanishing hair; it’s God’s way of showing that I’m living a wonderful life.

-D-

O: Loveland


Once upon a time there was a town named Loveland, Colorado.

Alright, it’s true, it’s still there.

In 2002, I along with seventy some odd other teenagers descended on the town as a ‘youth mission team’.

Note: I cannot express to you the irony of the phrase ‘youth mission trips’

In our duration in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains we hosted ‘backyard Bible clubs’ during the day and ‘block parties’ during the night (insane amount of Baptist-speak in that statement).

One specific night; probably a Thursday, we were hosting one of the larger neighborhood parties. The cotton candy machine was running, snow cones were everywhere, and the stage was set for an eventful, warm, Colorado evening.

Then the clouds started to gather. Off to the south, along the foothills of the mountains a storm was gathering. You couldn’t see the lightning, but you could hear the rumbles of thunder. The storm grew in size, gaining speed and strength. While this was going on, a group of wiser [more mature] people from the trip were in a corner of the lot praying. I kid you not, for all the teenage hormones, and crushing that I did that week I never forgot this moment…

With lightning now dancing across the sky, the wind picking up, and the thunder coming in over the voices of the people it looked like the show was going to be called for the night. Then suddenly, as the sun started to fade behind the thunderhead, the clouds shifted drastically to the east…and not a drop of water fell on that event.

Of all the random trips, and events that I witnessed in high school, this moment stayed with me to this very day. Now I know why. Even when all seems lost, we’re backed into a corner, and the very light…the hope…that we’re desperately holding onto looks to be fading away…

That’s when the impossible happens.

That’s where hope comes alive.

I tell this story, as I did to my girlfriend in the car tonight, because it illustrates the point that I was able to humbly realize last night. Things are hard right now, really hard, but even today when I ran across one of our players…that joy, that excitement, that hope just solidified my rationalization for what we’re doing. This is my mission field, and this is where my hope shall lie, and this is where my God shall dwell.

-D-

O: Lost In Communication


It’s the weekend; as stated before, I’m working through the week, and that’s alright.

I’m just spending time lost in communication.

I’m still working on a “O” draft, but for now I just want to type a bit. I’m not tired, full of sleep, and have a wonderful evening planned with my girlfriend, MC, and Jim. however, the mind never stops, it’s a raging machine always looking for answers. My girlfriend, being ever-so-supportive is always telling me not to worry, don’t stress, “God will take care of it”, and I instantly notice how easy it is to preach to someone that God has it under control [not a shot at her, but in regards to myself] and yet when it comes time for you to show your faith, and let Him have control…it feels impossible.

We were eating breakfast at IHOP a few days ago, since everything else was closed in town due to the snow, and we were talking about stress, fears, and the unknown.

From the innocent, young adult side; the Kansas City Shock is one of the scariest things I’ve ever been a part of. It’s “faith 101″, you have to have it to survive. There is literally no guarantees with anything in this business; something is changing on a daily basis, and I’m always in fear of making the wrong move.

More notably I see what lies down the road, what’s “next” for our program and I know the requirements that need to be in place, but I’m not always sure how they’re going to come about. It’s a horrible, gut-wrenching feeling. Until you take a deep breath, step back, and watch some of the things that have transpired:

  • Didn’t get the home field we wanted; ended up wrapping up into a brand new facility instead
  • Hype? Not a ton, but being able to speak at entrepreneurship conferences in Kansas City can quickly change that
  • Not knowing how to enter the program into the league; the immediate fans changed all of that
  • The group of people within the city, and within the country that send messages of encouragement
  • The talented graphic design company that was created out of nothing, but whom I’ve known for my life during college and beyond
  • Immediate player issues, and when looking back it has become a filter process for the dynamics of the program
  • Getting the news press left and right? No, instead we’re tapping into the younger, up-and-coming journalists within our area

Most of that took place in a few days time span, and of course that’s only a tip of the iceberg.

This is where it becomes hard; you start to doubt, you fear you’re in the wrong direction, and then suddenly…out of nowhere, this presence takes over and shows you something that immediately just happened without you realizing. A nugget to just hold you over and keep you patient; like manna and quail.

I guess, even though I screw up, doubt, and don’t always rest easily; in the end I can only ask this…

…whom shall I fear?

-D-

Mobile Minutes: Unknown


It doesn’t feel like Tuesday…
My mind is filled with so much stuff right now, and it really is just stuff.
Soccer is stressful and political, each I relate to well. Realistically though, it is still a game. A form of entertainment. It is an opportunity for unique people to show off their unique talents. Something that “separates” them from the rest. It’s behind the scenes that’s rough. It’s the budgets, staying honest, losing sleep, having faith that very few ever see.
It’s being filled with pride, and accepting that the spotlight isn’t on you. It’s embracing humility, and expecting humbling. Never knowing what tomorrow holds.
It’s waking up, going to meetings, trying to understand what the “next step” is.
It is painfully understanding that so many don’t understand the concept of faith, accepting it, and still trying to persuade them to give it a chance.
As I said, I’m drifting to sleep tonight with a ton of stuff in my head, trying to push life to a new level.
Where I’ll never be viewed, and glory will only go to Him.

-D-

X: Guatemala


This is not an attempt to take your money.

I repeat.

This is not an attempt to take your money.

Part of the…enticement…to church when I was in high school and junior high was the opportunity to ‘serve’ elsewhere, outside of the town that I was trapped in during my youth years.

Also known as ‘youth mission trips’…

*sigh

…After making enough tallies along my Bible to make the Red Baron blush and to intimidate most with their decadent passports [Yeah, I'll see your Ethiopia and raise you TWO tours through Branson, Missouri]; I decided to take my mission big time…international…

I was heading to Mexico…after my senior year cruise to Cozumel…

…anyone else seeing the tongue-in-cheek in most of this…

While in Mexico, I was no longer a youth, I was a adult [and a gringo]. I saw a town that had nothing [hundreds of miles into the country], but at the same time, had the world.

I spent my time there digging water wells with some full time, hardcore missionaries. It was insane [the food was so good]. It was a transitioning moment in my life, no bright lights [aside from the crazy hot sun], just a moment of maturity [aka: I didn't flirt with a single girl on the trip].

Later I would wind up in the cleanup after the disaster in New Orleans, and sadly, unknowingly; would be on the front line of the tornado in Joplin, Missouri. Factor in a few floods in other areas of the Midwest, and I’ve gotten a taste of just about everything.

The problem was that I stopped; just up and stopped. I stopped becoming involved in my local church [constant theme], and I shut the door to ‘mission’ opportunities.

It stayed like that until Joplin. I lost my house as a kid due to a natural disaster, since; I’ve had this thing for nature, weather, extremes, etc…Joplin was a quick reminder of what it is I do; help those as God has helped me [strange how everything comes back around].

Well, a divorce kind of jacked up that concept, especially a divorce from an individual who wanted to go into full-time overseas missions [ouch].

It was only about a month ago, while at MoVal, I was approached with the idea of going to Guatemala this summer.

A sinner like me?

Yes, a sinner like me.

Suddenly, we’re preparing a soccer clinic for when we’re working with the orphanage down there [Casa De Mi Padre].

Yes…my life is a whirlwind.

So, what is boils down to is this:

  • In June, I’m taking a week off from work and I will be traveling to Guatemala to talk Jesus [translated] and soccer [futbal]. I’m going to be so sore, because I’m going to get schooled like none other.

If you have any questions:

  • The cost is $1600
  • I will be gone for a week
  • I will be writing in here from Guatemala
  • We’re taking a large group of folks from MoVal [including one of my Peeps]

Anything else, even if you for one reason or another you care to give some support [not meaning giving $], please make contact through the new e-mail address: FilingThePapers@gmail.com [yes, we have a e-mail address now]

Don’t worry, much more will follow suit with this post. Consider this a…preview.

-D-

 

#getyourpraiseon


Was contacted by a kid that plays soccer with me, while I was at work today. They sent me a ‘rough draft’ of a letter to the International Mission Board on why their heart desires for them to travel and work in Africa.

Instead of cars, jeans, and everything ‘worldly’ this sixteen year old is willing to give it all up.

Each one of us ‘adults’ should look at our computers and iPad’s with eyes of tears and hearts of humbleness.

-D-