911… What’s Your Emergency


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I once knew a kid named Josh.
Josh called 911 one time because he lost his Scooby Doo DVD.
That’s one thing I remember Josh for…
his moment of panic.
Josh was was in kindergarten.

Panic.
It’s a terrible feeling, huh?

Last night… I experienced the feeling of panic.
Severe panic.

I was at the gym at an hour that I normally try to avoid.
I had gotten there at 4:30 pm…
I usually avoid this time due to the large amounts of people that
flood the gym as they get off of work at 5 pm.

As I was leaving the gym around 6 pm is when that feeling of panic hit me.
I knew where I had parked… that wasn’t the issue.
The issue was that I had forgotten which car I had driven to get to the gym.
So when I looked in the parking spot that I knew I had parked in and didn’t
see the car that I thought I had driven…. I PANICKED!

The key above is a picture of the key to my wife’s car.
It’s a Mitsubishi Outlander.
The black box is called a fob… its all you need to start the car.
As I noticed that my wife’s car was not at the gym…
I immediately looked at my keys.
No fob!

Now… the gym that I go to has lockers… but I’m too cheap to pay for one.
So I put my keys on a little counter while I workout.
A lot of people that are cheap like I am do the same thing.
So… as I looked at my keys and notice the fob is gone… the car is gone…
there is only one possible conclusion…
SOMEONE STOLE MY WIFE’S CAR!!!

Now stop for a moment and ask yourself…
“What do you do when your car has been stolen?”
“Who is your first phone call to?”

I knew who mine was and it wasn’t my wife…
it was 911!
When panic sets in and you think you have an emergency…
just like Josh did when he lost his Scooby Doo DVDs…
you call 911!
Okay… maybe if you’re 5 years old…
but not when you’re 34!!!

The 911 operator was great…
she asked me my name…
the kind of car it was…
the plate number…
then she said she would have someone out to the gym ASAP.
That’s supposed to ease the panic right?
It did NOT.

Then I noticed the trainer form the gym walk out to his car…
“Michael… you’ll never believe what happened! Someone stole my car!”
He said… “WHAT?!?!”
And right about that time…
I turn and look…
to see MY CAR!  Not my wife’s car!
I hit my lock button on my keys just to make sure…
only to see that tail lights light up
like the sky on the 4th of July!
Never had I been so relieved!
The panic was gone… except… OH SHOOT… THE COPS ARE COMING!
“Michael… do I call 911 again or just the police station?!?”
Michael gave great advice… “call 911!”
Here is my call log from my phone…
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Not one but two… 911 calls.
Notice the “9” that was dialed..
ya… that’s how fast I wanted to call 911 back
to tell them I had found my car.

Turns out the 911 operator wasn’t as excited to talk to me.
I started to tell her what a fool I was…
when she interrupted me to say…
“Adam… did you find your car… I’m on another call!?!?”
I said, “Yes, Ma’am.”
She said, “Bye” and hung up.
She didn’t have time for my stupidity.
That’s exactly what I want in a 911 operator!!!

At that moment I thought…
well… I guess I can just leave.
So I left and called my wife.
Which is when she said…
“Adam… if you ever think the car as been stolen again…
CALL ME FIRST!!!!”
Lesson learned, honey.

Since my moment of panic a thousand thoughts have gone through my head.
One thought has been… “Wow… you’re dumb.”
Something I say pretty often…
don’t worry… my ego can handle it as long as it comes from me.

The second thought is…
Adam… how do you really feel about humanity!?!?
Do you have no faith in humanity any more?
Is this the world I live in?
And so today… I pledge to humanity that I WILL have more faith in you!
I’m sorry for thinking you were capable of doing something so low…
At the gym of all places!

Finally… I think…Boy am I glad that cop never showed up!
Can you imagine if he had!?!?!
I’d never be able to set foot in that gym again!
But thank goodness… even if a police officer had shown up…
I believe grace would have won… because grace always wins…
and even though people may think I’m a bit silly…
they’d always welcome me in…
because that’s what grace does.

So today I wanna say this to my friend, Josh…
who is now in high school…
I know how you feel, bro.
Panic is a terrible feeling…
but thank the good Lord we have 911!!!

911… What’s Your Emergency

Unplanned Adventures


Yesterday morning I decided to have a little adventure.
Well… maybe I should say an unplanned adventure.
Have you ever had one of those?
Unplanned Adventures?
You know… those unplanned adventures like searching
for your missing shoe when you had to be out the door for that
appointment 5 minutes ago.
THOSE unplanned adventures.

I was fortunate enough to be able to get a picture of my
unplanned adventure…
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You can’t see it in the top photo…
but my car is running…
and yes the car is locked.
That was my unplanned adventure.
But really… that’s only the beginning.

Naturally… we discovered that I had locked the keys in my running car
about 5 minutes past the time we should have left in order for the kids
to get to school on time.
My son who is a lot more like his left handed… type “A” personality…
obsessive compulsive… beautiful mother than he is his dad…
started to freak out… “WE’RE GONNA BE LATE!”

Yes… yes son… we are gonna be late.  But it’s okay…
I’ll figure something out… go inside and get warm.
After they went inside I decided to do what I normally do when unplanned
adventures arise… “TANYA!!!!!!”
Yeah… remember that “left handed… type “A” personality…
obsessive compulsive… beautiful mother”… she’s my go to!
God really balanced me out with her.

I sent her a text at work (a doctor’s office)…
She called, “YOU DID WHAT?!?!!”
Okay… it really wasn’t like that at all.
In her calm voice she said… call our friend, Liz.
See if she can pick up the kids.
Just get the kids to school.
Oh… and call the school and make sure you tell them
our kids are going to be tardy.
So I called Liz… and the school.
Liz is a great friend!  She’s definitely
come through in a pinch on a number of things in our life.
Everyone needs a friend like Liz!
However this day… (long story short) she was tied up.
But I didn’t panic… I called my work (a church… in case you have forgotten).
I spoke with my wonderful co-worker Stephanie… she’s our children’s minister…
and she’s great at everything she does!

Stephanie agreed to pick up my kids and take them to school.
Then I called the school and told them Anna and Graham were going
to be late and I think I said something like…
“If you’re gonna be late for school… it may as well because of an  adventure.”

The kids got to school and didn’t get in trouble…
and my beautiful wife came to my rescue.
She brought our spare keys to the house and unlocked my car.

But shortly after the kids left…
Anna’s iPod started quacking.
She had a text from my sister’s husband, Troy.
Here is what it looked like…
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The… “Did she text everyone?”
Was my response.
Then my wife got home and said…
hey, check this out…

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The Emoji use was impeccable for an 8 soon to be 9 year old.
I didn’t know if I should cry from pride or cry from sadness.

When I got back to the office and Stephanie returned from her
heroic mission of school delivery… she informed me of Anna’s
words on her way to school…
“I text everyone… well except for Daddy and Bubba because they
were already there.”

Yes… she did tell everyone!
Thank goodness it’s only family she has contact with on iMessage.

These unplanned adventures always remind me of one thing…
how much more God knows than I know.
Many people would blame God for something like this.
Not me.
God didn’t lock my keys in my car.
I did.  That was my bonehead mistake… not God’s.

Isaiah 55:9 says this… “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

I’m so glad that God knows so much more than I do…
and I’m so glad my life is in His hands… not my own.

Unplanned Adventures

Making Old Ladies Laugh as They Pass Me By


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Yesterday was beyond a case of the Mondays…
it was just one of THOSE days…
it was brutal.

There wasn’t one bad thing that happened that made it a bad day…
it was just one that seemed like nothing could go right.

Well… something happened yesterday that I have to share…
for one… because of what it taught me…
for two… it is something that I have to laugh about… now.

My wife gave me some checks to cash totaling $70.
She also gave me a card to drop off at the Post Office.

Well… I stopped at the bank to cash the checks…
normally we just deposit our money…
but yesterday she specifically asked for cash.
I went through the drive up since I was in such a hurry.

When I got the cash I put it on the inside of my cell phone case
that looks kinda like this…

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My wallet / phone case doesn’t have a spot for cash…
so for the time begin… I just put it on the inside and threw it in the console.

My next stop was the Post Office.
Which is where the story gets exciting.
When I got out of the van that I was driving…
I dropped my phone…
the flap flung open…
right as a gush a wind hit my money sending it flying down US 51 South.

This was a one way street…
and I just so happened to find myself running toward on coming traffic…
chasing $70…
3 twenty dollar bills and a ten dollar bill.

Every time that I bent down to grab a bill,
I had to sandwich it between
my hand and the concrete so that it wouldn’t blow away…
and every time… I had to take my eyes off the other bills to concentrate
on that one I was trying to capture.
All while trying not to get hit by a car…
that would have been a REALLY bad day.

Thank the good Lord…
there was little traffic at this time…
all except for one little old lady that seemed to find my
chase of money down the center of US 51
hilarious as she passed by.

When it was all said and done…
I caught $50…
$20 got away.
So if you find a $20 bill in Centralia, Illinois…
please don’t bother sending a Thank You card.

My biggest fear wasn’t losing the $20…
my biggest fear was letting down my wife…
that had given me a simple task to do.
So you could imagine how I felt telling her this story.
But when I told her…
her response was…
“Oh well… someone needs it more than we do”.
Thank you Lord for a beautiful and understanding wife!

As I left the Post Office…
God reminded me of something…
The day before at church I had received a card…
with $20 in it.

God knew the wind was coming.
He knew I would lose that $20…
so He took care of it before hand.

I know that I am never going to be rich.
I’m completely okay with that…
for I am rich in many other ways than money.
But yesterday God reminded me…
if I’m not happy with that…
then… well…
I’m just chasing the wind.

Making Old Ladies Laugh as They Pass Me By

Let it Grow – 5 Stereotypes of Bearded Men


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It’s been too long since I’ve written a blog post.
I’ve noticed that I haven’t been writing much lately.
I’m sure you’ve noticed it too.
For my few loyal readers…
I apologize for leaving you hanging so often.
I’m going to try to get back into this blogging thing…
and in an attempt to revive it…
I thought I would start off with a very serious topic…
Bearding.

I’ve recently discovered the art of bearding…
and I’ve discovered that I am actually good at it!
I’m not good at many things!!!

This was my look for this year’s See You At the Pole about a month ago…
BeardedAdam

Since my discovery of awesomeness that oozes out of my face…
I’ve learned some things about bearding that I feel the need to share.
You see… bearded men have been labeled certain things…
and some of them are indeed true…
but others couldn’t be further from the truth.
I hope that this blog post can clear some of these things up for you.

Stereotype number 1…
and it’s the worst one…
I’m a terrorist.
When you see a man with an amazing beard… please… do not call him Bin Laden!
In fact don’t say the word “terrorist”… like ever!
They get too much air time in the media… they don’t need air time from you too.

Stereotype number 2…
and it’s the second worst…
but really… it should be a tie for the worst…
I do NOT have a Duck Dynasty Beard!
Seriously… that’s insulting. I mean don’t get me wrong… I love the Robertsons…
but they have no style.
They don’t even want to have style.
I cut my hair… they do not.
I shave my neckline… they do not.
“You can always trust a man with a well groomed beard.
When it comes to taking care of my beard… that is my motto.

Stereotype number 3…
Yes my wife lets me have a beard!
“A man that shaves his beard for a woman deserves neither.”
Tanya loves my beard!  This should not be a surprise to anyone.
In fact she just posted this on my Facebook page yesterday…
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Ladies… be proud that your man can grow a beard!
Reward him with caressing his face.
(Notice I did not say petting… your man’s beard is NOT a kitty).
I promise… you’ll want to go back for more!

Stereotype number 4…
No I didn’t grow my beard for hunting season!
I grew my beard for style.
Hunting season last what? 2 – 4 months?
Bearding season last ALL YEAR LONG!
Someone once asked me…
if my beard made me hot in the summer…
I told them my beard made me hot all year long.

Fifth and finally stereotype…
YES… bearded men are THAT awesome.
The beard signifies the courageous;
the beard distinguishes the grown men, the earnest,
the active, the vigorous. So that when we describe such
we say, he is a bearded man.” – St. Augustine

Do I really need to say much more
to convince you that bearded men are THAT awesome?

What do beards have to do with procrastinating tomorrow?
Absolutely nothing.  But beards are always welcome.

Are you a bearded man?

Do you like or love a bearded man?

Tell us what you like about having a beard
OR
Tell us what you like about your man’s beard.

Let it Grow – 5 Stereotypes of Bearded Men

The Anomaly of Grace


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Grace.
It’s an anomaly.
It’s not normal.

I’m convinced that people do not know what second chances are.
Maybe it’s because they’ve never been given one.
Maybe it’s because they won’t give themselves one.
Whatever the reason… second chances just don’t seem to exist these days.

We live in such an instantaneous world…
that second chances never have the opportunity to be born.
We live in a “guilty until proven innocent” world.

Everyone wants a second chance.
But no one wants to give one.

I often daydream.
When I daydream… I dream of a world that fully embraces grace.
I wonder what the world would look like
if not only we gave second chances…
but we capitalized on the second chances that we’re given.

Second chances are a rare occurrence…
so when we get them…
we should not waste them.

This anomaly called grace…
it’s radical.

You see… a guy that hits his wife… doesn’t deserve a second chance.
You see… a guy that runs a dog fighting ring… doesn’t deserve a second chance.
You see… a guy that sets a bomb at a marathon… doesn’t deserve a second chance.
There are just some things that you cannot do… ever.

THAT. IS. THE. WORLD. WE. LIVE. IN.

But that is not the world God created.

Ephesians 1:7-8
He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with
the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
8 He has showered his kindness on us

God is so rich in His kindness…
that he has the grace to give.
To Ray Rice.
To Mike Vick.
To the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Grace is a tough pill to swallow…
when it’s given to others…
but often times goes down so much smoother when it’s give to us.

Don’t procrastinate showering kindness on others today…
especially those it’s a little more difficult to shower with kindness.

The Anomaly of Grace

Culture and the Christian


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Recently I did something that I never thought I’d do…
I joined a gym.
I’ve been going for a week now…
and in my week of going to the gym I’ve made a few observations that
have inspired me to write a new blog post.

My observations can really be reduced to one word…
Culture.

There is a definite culture that exist in a gym.
If you’ve ever been to a gym you know exactly what I am talking about.
It’s a culture that can very quickly become “me centered”.
That is a natural occurrence when you push yourself to mold and sculpt your
body into what you want it to be.
Most people go to the gym for themselves…
and because of that the culture can appear to be selfish.

But there is also the macho side of that culture…
that often times turns people off from going to the gym.
The macho side is what motivate Planet Fitness to implement the “Lunk Alarm”.
Here is a video to illustrate the “lunk alarm”.

Basically anytime someone grunts too loud our drops the weights an alarm sounds.
No one wants to be intimidated at the gym…
but the culture itself can be a bit intimidating.

These are just two cultural observations that I have made over that past week.
There are plenty more…
but I don’t really feel the need to write a book about gym culture…
I’m sure it’s been done.

While I was at the gym this morning I met the owner…
a very nice guy.
As I was talking to him…
I introduced myself as “the youth minister at Orchardville Church Centralia”.
Something that I do no do very often.

His response was “good… I would like to get more Christians coming in”.
A very “Midwest” response.
But his statement got me thinking about the culture that I have observed over
the past week and the Christians role… not just in it… but in culture in general.

I have found no better response to this question
than what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9…
Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone,
I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order
to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists,
loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever.
I didn’t take on their way of life.
I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things
from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in
my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life.

Paul’s response is to become a servant.
Something that is the direct opposite of most cultures.

The Christians response to culture is simple… serve it.
Don’t procrastinate serving the culture you find yourself in.
Who knows… just maybe the culture around you will begin to change
because of Christ in you?


What is so difficult about being a servant?

Culture and the Christian

“Let’s Shatter The Silence”


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The notification from my USA Today App on my iPhone read…
“Actor Robin Williams 63 years old dies.”
I said… “NO!”
But really… that was only the beginning of the grief.

There are different levels of grief…
and because of that I hesitate even using the word.
I grieve for the death of Robin Williams…
but I grieve nothing like his daughter is grieving.

As if the news of his death wasn’t shocking enough…
even more shocking was the cause.
An apparent suicide.
WHAT!?!?
But he had so much!
He was so funny!
He could grow an amazing beard!!!
How could someone like Robin Williams be so depressed?

I thought about that… a lot.
Then I remembered a TEDx Talk that I recently watched
by 19 year old comedian Kevin Breel.
It’s brilliant…
and sometimes bloggers just need to shut up and let someone else
say what they are wanting to say because they can say it so much better.

So here it is… Kevin Breel’s TEDx Talk…

People need people.
You are not alone!
Let’s stop procrastinating when it comes to depression…
and let’s shatter the silence.

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“Let’s Shatter The Silence”