The Power Of Thank You

The other day I was looking on my son's soccer league website to see at what age they start playing with more people one the field and with goalies and that kind of stuff. I noticed a contact us tab, clicked it and saw that I could send an email to the commissioner of the league. I figured that most of the emails he gets are ones complaining, so I shot him a quick email that said
Tom -
I just wanted to let you know that playing soccer is the highlight of my
son's week. He loves his team, his coaches, and his games. Thank you for
providing a way for him to have fun and fall in love with the game.

A couple of hours later I got this reply

On behalf of the SCCYSA Board and Office staff I must thank you for the
e-mail you sent me regarding your son's developing 'love of the game'.

More often than not all we hear are the negatives and your response and
support is very much appreciated and quite frankly a breath of fresh air.

I hope your son continues to grow and develop not only his soccer skills,
but his social skills as well and we appreciate the time and effort you as a
parent are providing for your son to enjoy our services.

Then this morning I was copied (accidentally) on this group email that had two replies on it
Letters like this make it all worthwhile, Tom thanks for sharing!!


The email that I originally sent took me no longer than 60 seconds from start to finish. The thing is, nobody stops to say thank you. Nobody takes the time. So here are some guys working at trying to provide a quality product to their community, and because of their leadership level the only things they ever hear are probably complaints. They're constantly being bombarded with the things that are wrong, even though it is probably such a small percentage.
This kind of stuff makes me want to take the time to say "thanks" more often. It's not like it's hard.


Noah Plays Soccer

The greatest joy in Noah's life right now is playing soccer. It's really cute to watch him. They have no idea what they're doing, but they're 3-0. Noah has scored 7 goals already this season. It's pretty funny to watch. The team we played yesterday had a kid that just "flew" around the field the whole time with his arms outstretched in airplane fashion. Sorry, no video of that, though. Here's two short videos of his first game. Watch and be amazed. (He's the one with the big blonde hair)



This is easily the saddest story I saw today. Click through, but the article talks about how 3 babies in China have died and 6,000 are sick, some very seriously because of tainted formula. It makes me sad and mad. I can't imagine what that must be like to watch your baby suffer all because you did what you were supposed to do. Sad.
Processing that a little bit further, it kind of makes my stomach churn that I kind of go like, well, that's in China. As if it were here it would mean more to me. Like God values us more or something. Maybe it would just mean more because it's closer or more regulated in my mind. I hope so.


I really wish somebody would remake this song and make it more current. I'd love to use it sometime, but the sound is just dated. I really like the words and the overall feel of the song, though. The first time I ever heard it I was at a bible study in college. I was an atheist at the time, but I had grown up in church. I remember they played this song and had us like journal during it. It was weird for me to do, but God kind of used that song to speak to me, or at least try.
The video is great, though. Love the mullet. JM



My wife said that she might want to run a half-marathon. She was talking to somebody at a party the other night and this girl was like we should totally get some couples together and go run the Country Music 1/2 Marathon. So I got really excited. I love to run, but have trouble focusing unless there is like something out there looming, like a race. The race is April 25, 2009, so I have 34 weeks until the race and tonight was my first run. I did 3 really slow miles, but it felt great. I figure I'll spend the first 10 weeks just getting my mileage up and then the next 24 training for the half-marathon. Should be fun.
I've run a half before, but it wasn't a lot of fun for me do to some intestinal issues, if you know what I mean. With like 8 months to train, I should be able to run it and do alright on time.
(This post dedicated to Kelly Stephens)

Hurricane Gustav

I love watching the weather channel when Hurricanes are making landfall. I find the information really interesting. What I don't like as much is watching the idiot stand there in the wind and rain trying to convince me that it's really bad out there. I realize that. I can see that the wind is blowing at 50 mph and that it's raining. Please don't yell at me over the wind and say it's getting really bad out here now while showing me video of branches blowing down the street.
What's even crazier is when they're disappointed at the lack of damage. I was watching tonight and the dude literally said "Gustav didn't cause the damage that was needed...I mean expected." Yeah, sorry you didn't have your flashy video moment that would make you feel more famous. JM

Hurricane Gustav

The fear was that Hurricane Gustav would tear apart New Orleans again. New Orleans still hasn't recovered from Katrina. But New Orleans did well. It looks like they got minimal damage and flooding. They got 95% of the city to evacuate. That's awesome. What's great is that it totally shows that we learned our lesson from Katrina.

For now.

I bet next time they make a mandatory evacuation order, they get fewer than 90% of the city to evacuate. And the next time it will be less than that. Until eventually they either won't make a mandatory evacuation order, or under 25% of the city will leave. That can't really be our concern, though. We just need to do it right every time. Set up shelters, provide transit out of the city, provide emergency relief assistance, etc. The temptation will be to stop doing that as time goes on. To slack off on it because it doesn't get used. Or we feel like it's not needed, or a waste of time.

That's how we are. In ministry there is this temptation to slack off if we don't have big numbers. I see it all the time when I go to an event and they didn't get the number of people that they wanted. They slack off on the program. You can tell their disappointed. That they don't care as much.

But the thing is God gave them the people that are there. They're there for a reason, and they deserve the best that we can do. I hear people talk all the time about how it's okay for them not to focus on quality because they only have 12 kids or whatever. I think that makes God mad. Don't those kids deserve God's best. I could easily look at other ministries and be like, oh well, we only have 75 here today. Let's just get this over with. Or I could thank God for giving me the kids that are there and pray that he would use the event to impact their lives. Sorry this is so long. JM