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It Takes a Village to go Back to Back…..to Back to Back!

Never before in the history of the UIL, (the University Scholastic League is the organization that creates rules for and administers almost all athletic, music, and academic contests for public primary and secondary schools in the state of Texas. It is the largest organization of its type in the world.) has any Texas high school’s athletic teams won back to back State Championship Titles in two separate sports. Never before, that is, until this past weekend in San Antonio when the Canadian Wildcats  won their second consecutive State 2-A Championship in basketball…..to go along with their two consecutive State Championships in football!

Consider the fact that every public school in the state of Texas competing in a variety of sports for no less than 106 years….this feat has not been accomplished. A few others came close, but just couldn’t close the deal. Understandable!!

■ Dumas: Class 3A 1961-62
■ Duncanville: Class 5A 1990-91
■ Southlake Carroll: Class 3A 1992-93
■ Everman: Class 3A 2002-03
■ Cayuga: Class 1A 2009-10
■ Idalou: Class 2A 2010-11

Last year when Canadian won their State Championship in football, and then followed that with their basketball championship, they became only the 7th team in 105 years to accomplish that feat. In the past two years they have amassed a 24-0 (Football & basketball combined!) playoff record on the way to their titles. 

The highly regarded Harris Ratings System that has been ranking every football team in Texas since 1963, tagged the 2015 Canadian team as the greatest in small school football history. In sharp contrast their basketball team got off to somewhat of a slow start this season losing two games to district rival Stratford. But they peaked at just the right moment to do what’s never been done before!

“It Takes a Village”, a book written by a certain current presidential candidate, focuses on the impact individuals, and groups outside the family have, for better or worse, on a child’s well-being, and advocates a society which meets all of a child’s needs. And while I disagree with the book’s premise that a ‘village’, or community, has more of a responsibility to raise up a child than a family (totally disagree!). I would agree that in the case of the Canadian Wildcats….it has literally taken a village to produce this amazing group of young men!

Canadian has been behind their young people (not just the athletes) maybe more than any town I’ve ever seen. That didn’t recently just start happening….It’s been going on for awhile! And while it takes a high-level of athleticism to accomplish what they’ve accomplished….it can’t do anything but help when you know you’re not just competing for a trophy….but an entire community.

I’ve written a couple other blogs about the Wildcats and each time I’ve deliberately left out the names of individuals who are the ‘standout’ athletes in terms of yards gained, or points made. I’m stickin’ with that here, too. You can look ’em up and make them heroes if you want to. Nothing wrong with that, in fact. But in my opinion, if you’re going to start recognizing individuals….you’re going to have to recognize several thousand who have had a profound effect on the success of these teams. 

So, I’m congratulating the whole Village! The athletes, of course, coaches, all the support staff, but also parents, grandparents, pastors, churches, school board, school administration, teachers, student body, merchants….and an innumerable number of fans, many of which don’t live in Canadian and never even went to school there!

The whole ‘Village’ has made an incredible investment in these teams,(if nothing more than their sheer support)…..to the degree that we all consider them “Our Team”

Click here to read Amarillo Globe News Report

You’ll want to check out my other blogs @ the Wildcats, too:

Fist Fightin’, Pool Shootin’, Gun Fightin’…and Bull Ridin’! …….and I Guess, Now, High School Football!

All-Time Favorite Sports Franchise – Canadian, Texas Wildcats

Canadian Wildcat Update

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Gun Fightin’, Pool Shootin’…and Bull Ridin’! …….and I Guess, Now, High School Football!

I’ve been making my list for years now and I thought I pretty much had it down. But I had to add another element to it a few days ago. You may wonder what that list above is all about. Well, that’s my list of things that, if you’re going to do any of them, …….you better not get cocky about it!

I’ve seen quite a few fights down through the years and there were several who had the reputation that they couldn’t be whipped. I’ve seen some of them go down….and it wasn’t pretty! *(how about that Ronda Rousey?!) And pool shooters…same story….someone who could just ‘run through’ everyone meets up with the right guy and gets humiliated. I’ve seen that a time or two. Granted, I’ve never really seen a gunfight in person (not hoping too, either!!) but I have seen plenty of them in the movies….and a few real ones on TV news shows. Now bull riding, I’ve seen it happen more times than I could count. Some guy with plenty of talent and a mouth to match gettin’ just a little too big for his britches. In all these cases, you better watch out if you’re gonna do ’em, ’cause the next one might just be the one that’ll get ‘ya!

Well, I had to add to my list last week. I added High School Football. Had to,…and here’s why: I’ve been a faithful follower of the Canadian, Texas Wildcats for a good long while now. I’ve been to nearly all their playoff games for the past 6-7 years. They’re just a fun team to watch.

The suspense had been brewing for over a year now because of some very public ‘trash talking’ on social media (FaceBook, Twitter, HS Football Forums) by downstate football power, Refugio. In fact, they made plenty of remarks around this time last year when Canadian won the State 2-A title. Refugio had lost to Mason, who in turn lost to a great Canadian team. But Refugio fans and players continued the ‘talk’ saying that it would’ve been a totally different outcome had they played Canadian instead of Mason. More recently, one of the key players (I’m withholding names on purpose) for Refugio had plenty to say about a ‘certain’ All-State selection from Canadian.

So, when the two teams squared off in NRG Stadium in Houston last week for the State 2-A Championship there was an added element of competition on the table. Refugio won the stat tally the first quarter and looked strong, athletic and determined to take the State Champ trophy home. But early in the 2nd quarter Canadian found their rhythm and it was to the ‘woodshed’ for Refugio! They dominated Refugio like they’ve dominated 30 other teams over the past two seasons. Final score: Canadian 61, Refugio 20! It’s just my opinion but I believe they could’ve easily scored 80 had they left the starters in the game.

The lack of character of the Refugio team really showed up in the second half. The trash talking continued throughout the entire duration of the game. I don’t want to be too critical here,….’cause I’d hate to be judged on my conduct at 17 or 18 but, personally, I’d write it off as a coaching issue.

The Canadian team maintained their composure and handled themselves with a great display of character in the midst of it all. They’re to be commended! They’re a classy bunch! I expect they’ll be some great contributors to society with their lives.

So, if you’re gonna fight (with fists or guns), shoot pool, ride bulls or play High School Football….you best watch your mouth….’cause the next one……well the next one might just be the one to get ‘ya!

*You’ll appreciate this video clip (click highlighted link). Keep in mind that this took place when the score was 41-13! It appears the Canadian player just said, “Look at the scoreboard!”

Check these out:

Canadian Wildcat Update

All-Time Favorite Sports Franchise – Canadian, Texas Wildcats

Character Matters!

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Now, If I Were a Lawyer…..

…..which I ain’t…..but I almost was. I went to college right our of high school on a rodeo scholarship to Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. My grades were good enough but It was mostly all about college rodeo at the time and not much about education. Looking back…not very smart but it was what it was. We did have a very competitive team at Eastern. I was second in the bull riding in the  region with a lot of good bull riders….and our team was 3rd nationally at the College Finals in Bozeman, Montana. But after a year there I’d had enough of college life and headed back to the ranch and to rodeo full-time.

I started thinking about what I would do after rodeo. Actually, looking back, not many of my rodeo friends gave much thought of what they’d do ‘after’! Again, not wise, but it was mostly a fact. I had always had an interest in law and the whole legal system, even as a young adult. I remember watching every episode I could of Perry Mason, then later Barnaby Jones and every other TV show or movie about lawyers. So, I set my mind to pursue that kind of career. My plan was to get a business degree and then on to law school. I put rodeo on the back burner, for the most part. Got another rodeo scholarship to Southwestern State in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Took some summer school classes so I’d be eligible for the fall college rodeo run. All was going right on schedule, made the Dean’s Honor Roll in both my summer and fall classes. 

When the PRCA winter rodeos cranked up I went; Denver, Ft Worth, San Antonio, Houston. I could do that and not miss too much school. I rode good, but didn’t draw good at all and up until the Astrodome Rodeo in Houston I hadn’t won a dime. But the week following Houston I ‘hit a lick’! In rodeos in Montgomery, Alabama, San Angelo, Texas and Phoenix I brought home over $5000, which was quite a bit in those days (1976). It positioned me to make a good run to go to the National Finals Rodeo. I never went back to another class at Southwestern! Again, pretty dumb (seems like I keep saying that quite a bit!), but it was what it was. My run for the NFR was squelched when I got injured at Sidney, Iowa on August 12, resulting in major shoulder surgery.

I never again pursued a law career for a number of reasons. I still think about it every week, …..sometimes daily. I still watch whatever I can on TV and movies, I read nearly all of John Grisham’s books up to a point, and I have a few friends who are lawyers. I still enjoy picking their brains about their career, it still fascinates me.

I think I would’ve made a decent lawyer. and when I’m having a bad week it does still go through my mind to go back to school and get that degree. (dumb again! Way too far behind the curve now!) But, I guess, I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Although there’s plenty of people who don’t think so……and at times I really wonder, myself. But, God has a way of getting us where He wants us to be.

So, in the meantime, I’ll just have to live that life vicariously through the few I know that are actually doing it. So, David K, Abby C., Michelle R., Deb M., James W., Lynn F. or Brian H…..if I get on your nerves (it could happen!) questioning you about what you’re doing….you have my permission to tell me to ‘back off’!

*Some great timing; finishing my blog and on the Today Show there’s a story on Dickie Scruggs, a lawyer who took on Big Tobacco…and won! I’ll be busy for a few minutes!

*You might like this one too! *(click on the highlighted link)

August 12… “A Day That Lives in Infamy”….at  Least For Me!

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Virtual Reality

We only started hearing that term around ten years ago. Now we hear it fairly often. “Virtual Reality” is a term given for ‘an artificial environment experienced through sights and sounds generated by a computer that mimics an actual experience’. The technology has come a long way in a short time and is advancing at warp speed. You can, with the computers help, fly a plane or a helicopter without ever leaving the ground, or even take a visual trip through the human body. Pretty amazing stuff, huh?!

But as amazing as the technology is……when I hear the term, ‘virtual reality’, it makes me want to give my own definition. My definition is simply this: “Almost real”.It appears real. It feels real. It can cause the same emotions and reactions as the real thing……but it’s just not real!

We should be careful these days to make sure that the church is not just a church of “virtual reality”! Most everyone wants their church experience to be without problems, snags and negative happenings of any kind. That’d be great with me too……but it ain’t reality!! The truth of the matter is that there’s all kinds of problems in any church. As people…..we’re pretty flawed (sorry if that hurts your feelings!), and in our process of being ‘renewed’ we make all kinds of mistakes and blunders. And when we come together on Sunday, there’s a whole house full of messed up people. 

We could try to fake it (…and most do!!) and act like we don’t have a problem one,……but that would be “Virtual Reality”, almost real. Or…..we could see it, and live it out, as it really is. You can always look around the room (in church) and find somebody more ‘messed up’ than you. Although most of the time when I do that….I can’t seem to find anyone that fits the bill! But you know what?? It’s REALITY!! 

Next time you go to church (hopefully that’ll be soon) and look around and everything appears wonderful, meticulous with everything just ‘oozing’ perfection, “Heads up!!” …….you’re experiencing “Virtual Reality”. If, on the other hand, everyone is obviously far from perfect and both you and them have problems that look like they’re too big to overcome……

Congratulations!! You have found the “REAL THING’!!

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Some of It’s ‘Taught’……But Most of It’s ‘Caught’!

After observing for over half a century, and looking even closer the past 20 years or so it just seems to be a fact. We can spend a good deal of our time teaching or being taught…..and I’m definitely for that. I’ve committed myself to be a ‘learner’ up until my last day on the planet. And so far it seems to be working. It’s easy to be a learner if you want to be one. And, if you are really serious about being a learner it’s wise to understand that you can learn a little something from just about anyone.

Learning comes in a lot of different packages. (Experience is a great teacher. I’ll write about that later.) Some of our learning came in the classroom. Especially, early on, we learned from teachers (or our parents) how to read, how to write and basic things like that. So, obviously, a lot of what we have learned in our lives has been taught. But as I look at myself and my life it’s clear that much, maybe even most, of what I know, and what I’m actually living out….I’ve ‘caught’ from others along the way.

When I look at how I think and reason, how I behave and how I react to different situations it becomes pretty clear that I picked a lot of that up from my folks growing up and then being around them as an adult. I admire them to a great degree. I see them at least a few times a week (they’re in their 80’s) and I’m still ‘catching’ things from them. We have a tendency to ‘catch‘ things in life from those that at are ‘over’ us; parents, teachers, coaches, church leaders, etc.  It’s especially true when those people have been ones that we trust or admire.We can even ‘catch’ things from our friends who are on an even level with us. I think that ‘s a good thing. Even Paul in the Bible said, “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ.” 

So, from here on out, I think we should commit ourselves to both….what we’re ‘taught’..….and what can be ‘caught’. As I write this I kinda wonder what people might say they ‘caught’ from me.

I really hope some of it’s good.

If you liked this one….I think you might like these too:

*Click on highlighted link to read.

There’s Just So Much of This Stuff in Life We’re Gonna Have to Learn the ‘Hard Way’!

Listen More …….. Learn More!

There’s Something To Be Said For Not Knowing Anything!

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Listen More …….. Learn More!

Someone said it this way, “We have two ears and one mouth, therefore we should listen twice as much as we talk”. I don’t think that’s bad advice. It’s actually some advice that I should take myself. I’m a ‘talker’. That can be good …..and bad. Because of what I do I’m expected to talk in a lot of different situations. So, in that respect, talking can be a good thing. But there are times when the ‘talkers’, like myself, need to pipe down and just listen. It’s something I’m working on.

I’m actually a decent listener when I’m in a personal counseling session. It’s important in spiritual counseling to discern what the real issue is so that we can pray specifically and strategically. Oftentimes a person will talk all around the issue without ever disclosing the ‘real’ problem. A good listener is able to discern what’s at the core and then, with the help of the Holy Spirit, approach the solution.

My achilles heel is when I’m in a room with several people and the discussion is in full swing. I have a tendency to talk too much. I’ll cut people off sometimes in the middle of their conversation; sometimes I’ll talk over people. I don’t mean to be rude or disrespectful. It’s really a bad habit….and like I said, “I’m working on it”. Communication, and being a communicator can sometimes collide. Healthy communication involves a good balance between talking and listening.

I want to be a lifelong learner. I even encourage others to be learners. It think it’s important. I know that if we’re learning….we’re growing. I don’t know that it’s impossible to learn while you’re speaking, but it’s a no-brainer that it is much easier to learn something if you’re listening. Listening is an art! It’s something that we can all work on to improve. So, I’m going to commit myself to “Listen More – Learn More”!!

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Posted by on July 31, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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By The Numbers

I was thinking a few days ago about what I do and just wondered how many times I’ve preached a message, how many funerals I’ve presided over, how many ‘corporate’ prayer meetings I’ve led, how many ‘ministry’ school sessions I’ve taught in, how many conferences I’ve spoken at, how many civic events I’ve been asked to speak at, how many marriages I’ve performed, how many different churches I’ve spoken at, how many ‘small group’ meetings I’ve led, how many youth camp services I’ve led, how many graduations I’ve spoken at, ordination services I’ve been a part of, etc. So, I thought I’d try to count it up. It’s a ‘ballpark’ guess at best and I’m trying to be conservative.

Sunday/Wednesday Messages:  2125  

Funerals:  350

Prayer Meetings Led:  1144

Ministry School Sessions:  60

Conference Messages:  60

Civic Events:  35

Marriages:  100

Different Churches:  60

Led Small Groups: 100

Youth Camp Messages: 100

Graduations:  20

Ordination Services:  40

Misc.:  25

Grand Total:  4319  

……in addition to that…..

Newspaper Articles: 550

Blogs: 125

Small Group Lessons: 100

Radio Shows:  85

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