Mobile Minutes: #Sike15 Part III

What day is it,
And in what hour?
The clock never felt so alive.

I’ve completely lost track of time down in southern Missouri. I’ve given up on tracking the days and instead I’ll just go with the flow.

The group had a unique opportunity on Tuesday. Down the road is a city called Poplar Bluff. Here one can find a halfway-house situation for women recovering from addiction (addiction to drugs and alcohol is a serious pandemic in the area). We have several female youth with us, and they were beyond thrilled to be able to work with this home called “Recycling Grace”. A few ladies were kind enough to share their stories, and a few hugs, with the group.

At “Recycling Grace” the organization has been allotted several rental properties throughout the community. Our crews main task was to work with paint scrapers and wire brushes on the porch of one of the rental properties.


The. Amount. Of. Paint.

To show you how skiddish some people are, we had started on the porch of this duplex when this woman, in nothing but a towel, steps outside in broad daylight fearing she’s being robbed by us (paint scrapers near windows do that I suppose).

I’m still amazed at how easy it is to pack up, grab a passport, and disappear to another country as a missionary, when in so many ways, the same problems plague our own communities.

We’re mulching again tomorrow. The heat hasn’t stopped us yet.


Mobile Minutes: Hamming It Up

Hamming It Up

It’s the only positive phrase I could think of for the moment.

Across the street from the track that I train at is a rather large, paved hillside. It’s a street that isn’t too frequently occupied with moving traffic. Because of this, and looking at the need to continue to increase in strength and health; I felt today was a great day to concur the hill with some self-satisfying sprint work.

My body did not agree.

I haven’t “sprinted” 100% since my sophomore year of college. During which time I suffered a nasty hamstring injury (from not warming up mind you), and lived in fear of ever approaching that mark again. That was until today, after my first successful series on the hill I came down to refocus. I took off the second time and felt good, so good that without thinking I just kicked in another gear and started sprint up the hill… Continue reading

XXXI: Strength

I get to play a rough game during the standard work week…

Wake up.
Quick protein bar.

I’m still trying to get used to the concept, but trust me when I say that it isn’t easy. Sacrifices are made, plans get rearranged, and planning ahead was never so important.

All for the sake of running. Continue reading

Mobile Minutes: 15…what?

I just took a quick peek at the numbers of the growing views at FilingThePapers…

We’re three views away from 15,000.


I mean…is anyone else out there nearly as amazed as I am at this number?

Thank you all! The messages, thoughts, reactions, comments, and opinions have truly turned this former outlet of hope and strength into something bigger then I would have ever imagined.

Here’s to the next 15,000…



To the fans, the followers, and the friends. Thank you all so much for the past year! You are huge, wonderful, and so loving! My growth and advancement one year later from the moment my wife left, would not have been possible without each one of you! As I finish this letter, I am getting ready to board for Houston, Texas on our way to Guatemala!





   [ree-bild]  Show IPA verb, re·built or (Archaic ) re·build·ed; re·build·ing.

verb (used with object)

1. to repair, especially to dismantle and reassemble with new

parts: to rebuild an old car.

2. to replace, restrengthen, or reinforce: to rebuild an army.

3. to revise, reshape, or reorganize: to rebuild a shattered


It was nearly six years ago when I found myself standing among weeds and death throughout the 9th Ward of New Orleans. ‘X’s’ covered the houses, making sure that all life, or lost, were found and documented. The Walmart was gone, the gas stations vacant, and the homeless were running the French Quarter.

There was nothing ‘easy’ about the Big Easy.

For a week in 2006 and again in 2009, I was able to spend time assisting in the recovery of New Orleans after the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It was painful, including a very nasty eye injury that almost left me blind, and the crawdad’s were fresh…as always, but it was hard to believe the progress that had taken place each time I visited the city. In one trip, nothing but death littered the roadway, in another trip the buildings had paint, the weeds removed, and traffic was…well…traffic. New Orleans was rebuilding itself, slowly, but surely.

In 2012, the population and economy of New Orleans isn’t what it was in pre-Katrina days, but the steady process of the devoted few have paid off; with Superbowl Titles, city unification, and an overall idea of pride in what they went through in order to become who they are today.

As I’ve watched the clock throughout the day, getting closer to midnight this evening, packing up items for my departure to Guatemala tomorrow; I can think of no better way to sum up the challenges of the past year, aside from comparing it to our beloved down south.

Each day I woke up, it was a struggle from the git-go. Some days I wouldn’t get out of bed, even when I relocated up north, it was guaranteed that if I had a nightmare of the past; I wasn’t going to work that day. However through friends, family, and connecting to the rest of the world; I found reason to move on, on a daily basis. Whether it was an activity of MoVal, or working with a bunch of U-8 kids on the soccer field; I had a reason to live, I had a reason to succeed, I had a reason to rebuild.

It’s when we overcome the reality of the pain that we must go through, that we can finally begin to do amazing things with our lives. No matter the pain and frustration; death, divorce, taxes…whatever the case, when we choose to move forward; anything is possible.

Similar to ‘E’, and encouraging those around you with your unique story, rebuilding is the same. How can a person justify a man being homeless, broke, and divorced; in one year would be content, compelled, and the owner of a professional sports team?


As I continue to move ‘dirt’ and build up what God desires my life to be, I accept the idea that the rebuilding process of my life, it never ends; it keeps moving. If I’m desiring growth, then like my beloved cities in Simcity; the game never ends, the goal is never reached, and my life will never be enough.

And honestly; I’m OK with that.




   [en-kur-ij, -kuhr-]  

verb (used with object), en·cour·aged, en·cour·ag·ing.

1. to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence: His coach

encouraged him throughout the marathon race to keep onrunning.

2. to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.: One of the chief

duties of a teacher is to encourage students.

3. to promote, advance, or foster: Poverty often encourages


Truly the most useful tool I’ve discovered [that the rest of you knew about already]; encouragement. Not just the, “Go get ’em tiger!” encouragement we hear soccer moms and baseball dads yelling [and I do mean yelling] on Saturday mornings, but providing evidence to your encouragement.

There are several times in the recent year that I’ve attempted to motivate, to encourage those around me.  I mean, why not? When you go from homeless and borderline hungry to…this? You have no excuse not to encourage. However, that is where I found the catch to be in the encouragement process.

People don’t just want happy words, they want evidence to support it. That’s when I decided that frankly, I’ve got a fun story to share. In many ways I’ve got the ‘rags to riches’ Disney movie in the making going on [that is mainly tongue and cheek, of course]. However, there is some fact behind telling people a story. Many in our culture still enjoy an oration from time to time, and I can also tell you this; when you vow to some honesty, and tell it as it is, and be honest with your experiences; not only do you shock the world, but you make a world of difference to them.

To this point, I think out of the entirety of the past year; the story with Darco stands to be the testament of what encouragement is like. This very day if you met her, and you had met her once before even last year; you would not have been able to place the two together. She doesn’t look the same, act the same, even talk the same. It is a 180 difference in the fullest extent. And watch this pattern:

I encourage Darco:

Darco encourage _____:

_____ encouraged _____:

The list goes on, slowly but surely there are more and more people rocking the pews at MoVal. How can you not be encouraged? How can you look at a Christian who is divorced, another Christian with a questionable background [best way to word it], and see that they’re just encouraged at the new life they’ve been given.

Isn’t that what it is all about in the end? Sharing with people the difference between then and now? Being able to share a message of encouragement, getting people to ask what changed, and then being able to just look at them and say:

I rebelled against my selfish desires, then I eliminated the stumbling blocks of my life. I started connecting to the people of this new life. I started to obey the guidelines of a life in which was humbled, by practicing areas such honesty and vowing to set the life straight, and then I started to take my message, my story, and encourage the masses.

Are you encouraged yet?