Monday, September 29, 2008

Coach Mike Gold

Every once in a while people come into your life that you know will have a lasting impact on you and how you choose to live. I often hear people say, "so-and-so is like a father/mother to me...". Well, I have incredible parents, and no one will be able to take there place; but I do have people in my life who have helped to make me who I am today.

One of these people was my High School Basketball Coach...Coach Gold.

Now, I have to set the scene for you. Coach Gold is a legend. He's originally from New York so he has this deep New Yorker accent that you don't know whether to be intimidated by or just mock! He's confident, but humble; serious, but funny; God-fearing, but willing to push the envelope; and, and incredible teacher, but able to get his hands dirty right there with you. What a man.

When I first came to Augusta Christian and found out he was the Varsity Ball Coach, I wanted to do nothing more than impress him; had to get on the team! He would call me 4.0 because "JP, you make the team's g.p.a. look good!"

Before every game he would take the opposing team's name, make an acrostic out of it, and preach the word using the acrostic as a tool. He taught us what it meant to be a family and to be accountable to others. Before and after every game, and during games you could hear the Lions chant..."1,2,3...FAMILY". But, a downside to the whole family atmosphere was that when one got in trouble, we all ran for it! We were always taking care of "Family Business" as Coach Gold dubbed it. He used Basketball as a tool to reach people for Christ and to improve Christians relationship with Christ. He would run us until we wanted to pass out, and then we would give glory to the Lord for giving us the opportunity to glorify Him through Basketball.

I would call him the greatest coach of all time. Likely, Coach Gold could Coach at the collegiate level, no questions asked. But, he still coaches in the Georgia Independent School Association-that's what the Lord has seemed to call him to.

At a time in my life where I was being shaped into the person I was going to become, Coach Gold was there to guide me-and my teammates-in the right direction.

So Coach, you have had a huge impact on my life. Thank you for being at the 7 am devotions, or the 6 am Saturday morning workouts. Thanks for giving your time, your knowledge and your life!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The N-A-U-G!

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go HOME...for the first time in a long time! Working retail hours has it's pros and cons; one of the cons being that I don't often get 2 days off in a row. But, last weekend at 5:30 on Friday I headed to the house! There is just something about being at home that is so good. I have time to "recharge my batteries" and get away from the responsibilities I have in Greenville.

The memories, the friends, the restaurants, the ball games, the church, the school...all the stuff I did for 18+ years kind of comes swarming back when I'm at home.

I got to see my sister Kayla play in a volleyball tournament at Augusta Prep-a gym and school that I spent a good deal of time at while I went to Augusta Christian.

I also had the awesome opportunity to hang with my old High School Basketball Coach-a legend-and I will blog about him later, so stay tuned!

I was able to spend time with my family and just kind of chill.

And, I was able to see good friends and high school buddies that I haven't seen in a while.

So, all-in-all, it was a remarkable trip home that did not last long enough. I love North Augusta because of the history I have there, my family, and the fact that I grew up there. But...I don't live there anymore. I've grown up, pay my own bills, drive my own car, have my own credit card, in Greenville. I now call Greenville my home-actually I refer to it as "home for now". I don't know if I ever want to stay in one place for long enough to consider it a home as we define it in America, but Greenville is great for now.

My weekend trip was great in North Augusta,'s always nice laying your head on your own pillow at night!