It Feels SO Good!

Photo Credit: Kyrre Gjerstad via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Kyrre Gjerstad via CC Flickr

“An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.” Proverbs 24:26

Sometimes the most kind and loving thing to do is to say it like it is. It could feel as good as a kiss planted squarely on the lips. Still, we tend to avoid that, just like the way we do in most countries and cultures – we kiss but never directly.

What hurts most often is not the truth we bring. What hurts is the intended ambiguity, indifference, or silence we offer, not wanting to let others really know where they stand. What hurts is when these others discover that we’ve leaked our candid thoughts to still others instead of the intended ones. We veil our thoughts, feelings, and opinions, believing this is a better route to go…but then end up unloading this content on third parties instead…way too freely. This is not kissing on the lips. God’s Word teaches something better. And it stands above culture.

As long as grace accompanies truth, say what needs to said, speaking the truth with confidence and God’s blessing. Love others enough to tell them what’s up. Care about others’ futures enough to humbly let them know what you see coming. When we talk like this, it’s like receiving the best of kisses. The words land well and folks live well. It feels so good. 😉

The other day was my 26th wedding anniversary. How about that! 🙂 My really lovely and wonderful wife, Kelly, really does a pretty good job of practicing Proverbs 24:26. I love her for her kisses, even the spoken ones. 🙂 I wanna kiss more like her.

LORD, help us to love like we ought, to speak like we want to be kissed. O may we let love win. When Love wins, it feels so good.

Maximum effort.

Heart for others.

Glory to God!
Coach Mo

Don’t Get Trapped!

Photo Credit: Stefano Mortellara via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Stefano Mortellara via CC Flickr

“The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life.” Proverbs 16:17

Good basketball players avoid being trapped. They back-dribble away from an advancing trap to create space. They pivot out of pressure. They make two passes beyond the trap to break the pressure it causes. They never pick up their dribble early. They never turn their back to the defense. They answer aggressiveness with aggressiveness.

What route do you take to avoid evil? What’s your plan? What’s your means of attack? Evil will eat you up if you don’t have proven ways to beat its choking, deadly pressure. It always seems to trap its opponents, albeit hard or soft pressure, if its opponent is not prepared and committed to break the press.

Today’s scripture offers great clues about how to break Evil’s pressure. Here’s some keys to breaking the press:
• STAY ON COURSE. Cruising on Upright Highway keeps one off Dark Alley. There’s never an exit for evil off that interstate. Stick to the high road.
• MAKE SPACE. Keep your distance from Evil. Evil works best when the gap closes and then draws you in.
• KEEP YOUR HEAD UP. Be on guard. Then a trap coming will never surprise you. Face up to evil. See the pressure coming before it sees you to the bench.
• GUARD YOUR WAY. Guarding your way guards your life. Being vigilant on a daily basis pays off over a lifetime. Never take a vacation from this. It could be disastrous.

LORD, let me see trouble coming before it gets upon me. Don’t let me get trapped and ensnared. Keep coaching me to guard my way so I can make plenty of space for You and avoid evil. Help my vigilance to be strong. I don’t wanna turn the ball over to the Enemy of my soul.

Remember how to break pressure. It will do you good for a lifetime!

Be strong.
Stand for truth.
Live for eternity.
Coach Mo

The Beautiful Side of Sports

Photo Credit: Paul L. Dineen via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Paul L. Dineen via CC Flickr

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32

It was once said that sports and the competition that is found in each athletic contest is much like life…every emotion that you find in sport competition are the same ones that you find in everyday life. Joy, happiness, fulfillment, discipline, hard work, endurance, perseverance, anger, frustration and sportsmanship…just to name a few.

In today’s blog, I would like to share a video of a great story that shows us the beautiful side of sports. Sportsmanship and the belief of having a mind set of helping others, despite when things do not go our way, it a tremendous attribute to possess. It is my hope that you will be inspired by today’s video.

Coach Muller


Make That Run!

Photo Credit: Raul Gonzalez via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Raul Gonzalez via CC Flickr

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10

Here’s a simple exercise… Thumb through your list of contacts. A flood of memories will likely pop out as you scroll. Some you will pass by quickly because they carry either little weight or much pain. With others, you will give pause, savoring a good memory or great story, wondering of their welfare and wanting to reconnect. Then there’s that special category of names that come to mind when real wisdom is needed, refuge is sought, urgency is felt.

Does the name of the LORD fall into those last categories for you? To what tower do you run? Do you voice dial the LORD and speak His name? Do you ‘call audibles’ that include His name at your line of scrimmage, your critical daily moments? Do you speak His name, make that run?

Those that call on the name of the LORD are safe, saved, strengthened. The Bible gives evidence to this over and over again. He is a strong tower, worth the run. Speak His name. Call on Him. Hide in Him. Make that run.

Be strong.
Stand for truth.
Live for eternity.
Coach Mo

Watch Your Appetite!

Photo Credit: Bruce Tuten via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Bruce Tuten via CC Flickr

“One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.” Proverbs 27:7

The greatest reward for success may simply be peace of mind, the satisfaction of a job well done, ‘knowing that you’ve done the best you can to become the best you’re capable of being’ as Coach John Wooden would say. It’s the kind of feeling you get when you put down a great meal, are truly full, and find there’s no real need for dessert. The meal in itself was reward enough.

On the other hand, Scripture warns us here that if we’re not being well fed, being left empty of real substance with no peace of mind, we will eat just about anything to fill our craving for nourishment, even if that stuff is not good for us. We get quietly reckless, and even the bitter could seem sweet to us…for a time.  We ingest what’s not good simply because we grab for whatever’s at hand instead working and waiting for the best.

Let’s not settle for cheap desserts or bitter shortcuts just because we’re hungry. The main meal is what’s worth fighting for, what’s worth waiting for. Hang in there. Eat right. Live right. Feast on the good fare God’s Word and His truth serve up and don’t settle for cheap meals and bitter desserts elsewhere.

How’s your life diet, your baseline appetite? Ingesting what’s best or settling for desserts, what’s easy? Feeding on truth or wandering from cheap snacks to bitter fillers?

LORD, help us to feed on Your Word and to fill ourselves here. Satisfy us with You. Don’t let us get tricked into an appetite for bitter things that taste sweet but bite hard. Sustain us in Your truth and help us to trust that You nourish best. For our good and Your great glory, Amen.

Eat right.
Live well.
Expect the greater reward, God’s reward.
Coach Mo

Anchored in the Antecedents

Photo Credit: David Blaikie via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: David Blaikie via CC Flickr

“The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 15:33

The word ‘ANTECEDENT’ is defined as ‘a PRECEDING circumstance, event, object, style, phenomenon, etc.’ That means that there are some things that must come before. If we want certain things to happen, we must recognize and master the prerequisites. Some things must come first. Here, in this verse, God shows us two critical antecedents: one for wisdom and one for honor. Let’s take a look…

If we want to grow in wisdom, the fear of the Lord is the primary place to start. God becomes our core instructor and best teacher on this subject. Learning to approach Him properly builds the bridge to wisdom for life. We can’t get a full cart of wisdom without the fear of the Lord.

If we want to see honor come our way, we must see our way to humility first. Honor can’t grow in any other soil for very long. Only humility will allow a man to keep growing in honor without falling. Humility is prerequisite to sustained growth and lasting honor.

LORD, I know we all deeply desire wisdom and honor. Remind us again today regarding where they are truly found. Anchor us in the antecedents. Don’t let us look for them in other places or try to manufacture ways to get them apart from You. Coach us to wins in these two areas. Show us how to fear You and humble ourselves before others. This will be our first wisdom and best honor. Thank You for such direct evidence of such wins in Jesus. Amen.

Anchor yourself in the antecedents to wisdom and honor. And leave the results to God. 😉

Nothing detrimental.
Bring honor to Christ.
Coach Mo

Winding Up Dead

Photo Credit: Andrew Kuchling via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Andrew Kuchling via CC Flickr

“A man who strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead.” Proverbs 21:16

Here’s a tough one for today…

What does it mean to ‘stray from the path of understanding’? I’ve gotta know this answer so I won’t wind up dead…or as good as dead. I don’t wanna kill a season, a life, a godly dream or great opportunity. This question deserves good pause and a solid answer.

For starters, here’s what I believe it means, what it looks like to stray from the path of understanding:
• pursuing dangerous relationships, ones based on flesh not spirit, lust not love. (Don’t play one on one here.)
• making life decisions based on feelings more than facts and faith. (Push feelings to the curb instead.)
• freelancing my way along without solid principles or smart plans to guide my moves. (Sometimes freedom becomes foolishness.)
• thinking freedom brings reward, not discipline that does it. (Truly, the fruit of discipline is freedom.)
• avoiding maturity and responsibility, believing that’s for older guys, other men. (Maturity and responsibility are timeless virtues.)
• living largely unsure of what to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to in life. (Setting good definitions and wise boundaries always produces wins.)
• spending on what I want now more than patiently saving for later. (Live for eternity. Invest there.)
• seeing my time/talents/treasures as mine, without spiritual implications or social responsibility. (Steward my gifts.)
• seeing my body the same way, as mine. (Is it not the temple of God too?)
• seeking an end to the flow of good advice from others, believing this slows me down or keeps me from being my own man. (Wisdom never take shortcuts.)
• running through a stop light that says, “Nothing good ever happens past midnight.” (Too often that line is true.)
• viewing pornography as innocent and ‘safe sex’ as safe. (It’s all lethal.)
• believing it’s better to learn from experience, from one’s own mistakes, than from the mistakes of others. (The wise man learns from others.)
• shelving prayer, Bible reading and church attendance for the same reasons. (My experience should lead me to God, not away from Him.)
• thinking that good is evil and evil is good. (Wear the right glasses.)
• thinking that developing pride is more important than cultivating humility. (It never is.)
• living in disobedience before God, thinking I can get away with it. (I never can.)
• following what the world says, how it defines success, instead of what God’s Word teaches. (God’s way is best.)

What do YOU think ‘straying from the path of understanding’ means, what this looks like? Whatever you come up with, you better make sure you’re both right and steer clear. God says you could wind up dead otherwise.

LORD, help us to see straight and stay on the path of understanding. Hedge us in. Going astray could cost us dearly. We want to win for You and through You and live.

Be strong.
Stand for truth.
Live for eternity.
Coach Mo

Cheerful or Crushed?

Cheerful or crushed

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

I watched a team in Perth, Australia get crushed yesterday, completely overwhelmed. The game was Australian football, an aggressive, 18-men-to-a-side, continuous action, contact sport on a large, outdoor, oval pitch. The first quarter score alone was 49-4. It didn’t get much better. A sell-out crowd of 60,000 fans endured witnessing a massacre at home. I sure don’t wanna see that team stay down.

How do you recover from life’s crushing blows? Like yesterday, they do come. They crack the beach of our spirit like a huge ocean wave, stagger us like a punch from a champion prizefighter, and level us like a blindside sack of a football quarterback.

The answer? Apply the good medicine of a cheerful heart. It is balm to the mind, revives the soul, and resets the spirit.

And where does cheerful heart medicine come from? How do we find this merriment ointment? How do we get joyful recovery? All over the place scripture points to three things.

  1. A GREAT DELIVERANCE. God delivers. It is His way. He delivers men from the crippling inner tyrannies of sin, self, guilt and shame. The Deliverer is Christ. Our deliverance awaits. Our Deliverer has come. He stands before us to fight to insure that our past will not condemn our future.
  2. A GREAT PURPOSE. Great purpose gets a man bravely off the canvas. Such a man refuses to be beaten because the purpose for which he lives and fights is too great, too strong. He knows somehow that purpose will prevail, that victory will be won. Great purpose produces great fight.
  3. A GREAT TRUST. When trust in deliverance and purpose truly forms, anxiety and fear must flee. This allows room for good cheer to grow and healing hope to enter. Trust in truth. The truth will prevail. And remember, Truth is a Person…Jesus. Trust Him.

Don’t stay crushed. Be of good cheer. Take some good medicine. Realize the great deliverance, purpose and trust we have in and through Christ.

Be strong.
Stand for truth.
Live for eternity.
Coach Mo

A World of Difference

Photo Credit: Steven Guzzardi via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Steven Guzzardi via CC Flickr

“Righteousness exalts the nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” Proverbs 14:34

A man’s moral behavior creates a much bigger effect than he thinks. Choosing to live a righteous life somehow blesses others and even lifts a nation. God says so. So never minimize the influence a commitment to righteous living can have. Righteousness has power. One Righteous Man changed the world. His followers can too.

Sin also has a strong, multiplied effect. It brings shame to the group, not just the individual. (Just ask UK after their loss to UW Saturday night.) The reproach and loss of confidence that results stains others. Like one turnover or bad shot can lead to another, a bad apple really can spoil the bunch. So stop sinning. Disgrace spreads.

Look to the Righteous One to inspire your righteous living and belief that living His way makes a world of difference. May God grant you His resurrection power to pursue righteousness passionately and overcome sin heroically. Not only personal wins but corporate wins await.

Nothing detrimental.

Bring honor to Christ.

Coach Mo

A Matter of Life and Death

Photo Credit: Mick C via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Mick C via CC Flickr

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

As a kid, I was raised with the frequent line, “Watch your words!” Were you? It wasn’t just a matter of respect I needed to show or self-control I needed to demonstrate. The bigger picture my parents wanted me to see was an awareness that my words carry power. They hold the power of life and death.

Indeed life and death are in the power of the tongue. We can destroy dreams or paint dreams-to-life through our words. We can kill friendships or grow them. We can instruct or destruct. To confess is to confirm. Even our eternal salvation rests around our confession. (Romans 10:9-10) Spoken words are power.

That said, here’s 5 ‘word scores’ to ‘scrabble’ your way to powerful, life-giving living:

SPEAK LIFE. In a world that is constantly dying, be known for speaking life, bringing life and renewal to others and self. (John 6:68, Acts 5:20)

SPEAK TRUTH. Find the highest and best truths and declare them with confidence to self and others with no hesitation. Introducing truth takes us to the high ground, away from entangling speculation and muddying debate. Truth told delivers us from being stuck. (2 Timothy 2:15)

SPEAK TACTFULLY. To speak tactfully is to speak appropriately, bringing good mindfulness, awareness and proper context to the conversation. To speak tactfully is to speak with grace. Adding grace to our words really helps others become friends with the truth. Grace helps us get there. (See Colossians 4:6)

SPEAK HOPE. Sometimes the best gift we can give others are words of hope. Such gifts land with power. Learn to gift others by speaking hope. (Psalm 119:43)

SPEAK HEALING. Since life and death are in the power of the tongue, use this gift to heal. Heal people through words. Ask the right questions. Offer the best prayers. Write the best cards, emails, texts. Represent the right thoughts. Get others to admit their pain and brokenness and offer confessions to God and others. Speak healing words. (Proverbs 12:18)

Indeed, words are power. Taste this fruit and grow skillful in their use. Master the art of words fitly spoken. Love this journey. It’s a matter of life and death.

Lord bless your words today!

Maximum effort.
Heart for others.
Glory to God!
Coach Mo