Podcast notes

It takes 15 words of encouragement to overcome one criticism (Made up statistic, but 56% of all statistics are made up)

What words of discouragement do you speak to yourself

Instead of trying to be the stage, become the stage

Author and sportswriter Mitch Albom’s novel Five People Who You Meet In Heaven spoke about Albom’s Uncle Eddie. When asked why his Uncle Eddie was so important to him, Albom responded:  He used to greet me with a punch to the arm. He called me “Buddy Boy,” and he tousled my hair. When I got older, he would strike up a boxing pose and dare me to swing. Then he’d smile and turn it into a hug. I glorified Eddie. He was the champion in my family tree—and stronger than anyone I knew. But as I grew older, I saw my uncle differently. For all his strength, for all his grizzled, whiskered toughness, he was sad and incomplete—a person, like many people, for whom dreams had fizzled young and life had become a dull routine of low expectations. In my childhood view, he had been a hero who did things I could never imagine; but in adulthood the roles were reversed. I became the man who traveled. I achieved success as a sportswriter. I made friends in many places. I felt almost embarrassed that so much opportunity had come my way while Eddie slogged through his days with a quiet resignation. He, of course, felt differently. Typical of relatives who truly love you, he held no envy of my achievements, only joy. At his funeral I delivered the eulogy. I broke down halfway through and started crying uncontrollably. It was sadness, yes, but also regret. I had never said those loving things to his face.  We all have wonderful people in our lives—but when they’re gone, it seems all we can do is miss them. I have never met anyone as magical as my uncle seemed to me as a boy. He should have known that. And I wish I had told him.

They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me sad to realize that I’m going to miss  mine by just a few days.   – Garrison Keillor

How good are you at spotting potential.

Several years ago when I was just starting out in youth ministry, I had a kid in my youth group that I’ll never forget.  He was a great kid, but what I remember the most was that he had the squeakiest voice I’d ever heard.  He used to talk like this.  He had Peter Brady voice, but he had it all the time.  As a youth pastor, I wanted to be sensitive to this kid, so I tried to overlook his shortcoming.  However, I was at a ball game with Chris and some other kids when one, insensitive kid said, “So Chris, whats wrong with your voice.”  He told me a story I would never forget.  He said that in junior high he was on the baseball team and before practice the team would warm up on the field by running around the track.  Chris was faster than the rest  of the team so he raced ahead.  Unfortunately he did not see the steel cable that had been set up to keep motorcycles off the field.  Chris ran into the cable at full force and the cable hit him across the neck.  His vocal chords were damaged and doctors thought he might always talk like that.  Let me ask you a question.  If you knew Chris, would you see his potential.  Would you see him through the eyes of God and realize that the skies the limit?  That’s what God calls us to, because he’s capable of anything.  After I left that youth group I heard a stories about Chris.  When he was in high school he got a cold and things went from bad to worse.  He lost his voice completely.  When he got over the cold, however, his squeaky voice had been replaced by a big, booming voice.  Several years after that Chris graduated with a degree in, get this, sports broadcasting.  He was one of only a handful of students chosen to work on an announcers team at the Olympics