Friday, May 28, 2010

I could really use a wish right now

Since an early age many of us find ourselves blowing out the candles of our birthday cake as we make a wish...There is no doubt I enjoy wishful thinking but in all reality I have issues with it. The greatest issue I have with wishful thinking is too often that is all it is, thinking. I just wander what this world would look like if we transferred our wishful thinking into acting on behalf of our wishes. The older I become the more familiar I am with living out my wishes. The brutual truth is our time on earth is brief, and realistically we don't know when our life will expire. I don't want to wait till I am on my death bed to live out my last wishes. I want to see them come to completion while I am alive and as you go about living, pause and visualize yourself blowing out the candles on your birthday cake...what are you wishing for? More importantly what are you doing to make those wishes
become reality?
Write a book? Start a business? Volunteer at a nonprofit? Start a community movement? Start a new career? Adopt a child? Get a college degree? Be a better parent?

Act upon your wishes!!!

Live to love,

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Who Will?

This week has moved quite rapidly as a result of my busy schedule that has included many different comittments. One of those being preparations for Stop The Violence. In all honesty at times I wonder does Stop The Violence even make a difference in our city? Then today I stood at the side of a hospital bed that encompassed a beaten homeless man that been my friend for a little over 12 years. He was beaten so badly that he has fragments of his skull floating around in his head,and not only that he lost one of his ears. All afternoon I have been reminded, that is why I am a part of the Stop The Violence Movement...if we don't do all we can to silence the silence and stop the violence, who will? Will you join me?

Live to Love,

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Time To Remember

Memorial Day Weekend is quickly approaching. Memorial day is tough for me, it causes me to remember. Memorial Day although it is a day that commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service, which is a beautiful thing, it also causes me to remember the pain I felt a couple of years ago, when reality set in that a friend of mine, Albert Cadena became a murder victim. Albert, as I become weary from all the preparations that need to be made for Stop the Violence this year, your legacy keeps me going. I promised you almost 2 1/2 years ago that I would help you speak against violence, and do all I can to help the younger generations see the truth. I still hold true to that promise, I am doing all I can to silence the silence and stop the violence.

Live to Love.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sea of Opportunities

Life as we know it is filled with so many beautiful opportunities. Yet one of the most tragic occurrences in human history is so many of us refuse to seize these times of beauty. A couple months back I had a vision to write a third book, I remember sitting down with my wife and sharing this deep sense of conviction. As I hesitated in the midst of our conversation I shared with hesitancy that I wanted to contact a well known sports author, to see if he wanted to collaborate in this project. Today I was able to see my vision become reality as that sports writer and I completed most of the final touches on the book. In just a few short months, I have witnessed first hand that when you step out in faith dreams not only can come into fruition, they can become a distant goal in the past. Almost a year ago I had the great honor to watch my first project come into existence, and almost a year later I am going to have the beautiful opportunity to watch my second project be published. When my life here on earth comes to a close, my deepest desire is that I am remembered for two things. The first is that I left this world a better place than I found it, secondly that I was willing to adventure in a sea of risk to see my dreams not only be accomplished, but achieved in such a way that they far exceed my greatest expectations. As you look in the mirror, I challenge you to ask yourself, "what am I waiting for, what is keeping me from chasing after my greatest dreams?" Is it the fear of failure? Rejection? Fear of unknown?

My prayer for each one of us is that we do not allow ourselves to be bound from achieving our dreams.

Live to Love,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Walking with Angels

This past Saturday night I had the great honor and privileged to not only train with the Dallas chapter of Guardian Angels but I also got to go on patrol with them in some of the worst areas of Dallas. As a result of my time with The Guardian Angels I have a completely different outlook on activism. I also witnessed first hand what it looks like when citizens refuse to accept crime and injustice in their city by truly walking the walk and not just talk the talk as many do. I am so excited that Curtis the founder will join us for Stop The Violence this year. Let me leave you with a thought that has disturbed me since my time with the angels, Are we talking about making a difference, or are we being a difference?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

May 30th 2010

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On Sunday May 30th, 2010 We are going to have a life change service. The service will include testimonies from people that have experienced life change at Mission Abilene. We will also have a day of baptism. If you have not been baptized this would be a great opportunity for that to occur. Sheri will have a sign up sheet in the foyer, for those interested they will need to include their name and contact info so we can follow up with them within the next week.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

24 Years Ago Today

The older I get the more I realize how quickly the days of our lives sweep away. Twenty four years ago today, I attended my mom's softball game at Nelson Park. My dad chose to stay at home that night for reasons I can't recall. Upon completion of her game we started our journey back to our home. As we proceeded closer and closer to our home I noticed a huge cloud of smoke in the sky. I remember as if it was yesterday asking my mom, "Hey Mom, where is that smoke coming from?" She replied, "Not sure, Chad. Maybe a house or a building has caught fire." Boy was she right, as we turned the corner to our home there the fire was, it seemed bigger than life. At that moment I witnessed an image that I will never forget the rest of my life. I watched a fireman take an axe to my roof as flames burst out of it. My mom slammed the car in a neighbor's front yard and off we ran to see if my Daddy was okay. In a matter of seconds, by the grace of God we found my Dad, he was shaken up, but he was okay. He then went on to tell us about two heroes, that I will be forever grateful for. My dad was watching TV in his bedroom when he heard the door bell ring and a lot of knocking on the door. He opened the door and two young college girls, said Mr. your house is on fire." Dad ran outside looked at the roof, and immediately went back in, gathered up our dog and what valuables he could and exited the house. Although we lost everything we owned, in all honesty it didn't matter whatsoever because my Dad was alive. Without those two young ladies knocking on my door to inform my Dad about the fire, my Dad most likely wouldn't had made it out. In the exact bedroom he was watching TV just above the ceiling in the attic the fire was birthed due to birds building a nest in the attic fan. As you go about life, remember the truest heroes are those that are everyday people doing all they can to help out humanity.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Insight from a young man

Today I got to hang out with star high school junior running back Herschel Sims. He is an incredible young man that has committed to play football at Oklahoma State University after he graduates from highschool next year.

While I was asking him different questions for the book that Al and I are writing he said some of the most inspiring words I have ever heard.

One question I asked him was, "Whoever reads this book, if you could give them any advice, what would it be?" With a short pause he said. "Learn from your mistakes, your past reflects your future, what you go through in the past, you can use for motivation, or you can use it for an excuse."

For such a young man, his words are of great depth. So many times in life I hear of people making excuses for their current situations as a result of past experiences. For instance, I am an alcoholic because my mom was, or I am abusive because that is the way my dad treated my reality Herschel's words are so rich and true. As we mature in age, we have to decide whether we are going to let our past motivate us or hinder us. Tomorrow when you wake up, look in the mirror...and ask yourself, "what do you see?" Is it motivation to become better and use your past for God's glory, or is it simply an excuse to remain in bondage?

Thanks Herschel for the insight, you truly inspired me today...

Live to Love

What I have been doing in my absence

I haven't been very faithful in my blogging recently due to the craziness of my schedule. Last Saturday my wife graduated from college, which was a huge milestone in our family's life. I also have been working very hard on completing a book with Sports writer Al Pickett. Al is an incredible sport's historian and sports writer. You can catch him on his daily radio show, or countless articles each week for numerous high profile magazines. Our book Brother's Keeper is on target to get published by the end of the Summer. I have attached the introduction to our book to let you in on a little of what we have been working on...

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother? He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?
--Genesis 4:9

For the last ten years, Coach Steve Warren has given me an incredible opportunity to serve as chaplain of the Abilene High football team. As the years have progressed, although the teams I have worked with are quite unique from one another, there are two things that remain constant.
The first thing that remains the same is each year I give the team a theme, which have ranged from band of brothers, allegiance of one, we know that you will know, and many more. The second thing is I get to meet with the team privately each week prior to their game.
This year was different; I struggled most of the summer before the 2009 football season to come up with a theme. One particular evening, as I continued in my struggle to find the perfect theme, I began to scan the Bible. About twenty minutes into my search I came across a familiar story about Cain and Abel. The story is quite intriguing.
Following in his Father Adam’s footsteps, Cain became a farmer. Although the Bible unfortunately does not give us a great detail of information about Cain, an extremely important life lesson was birthed as a result of the life he lived. Cain’s story begins with he and his brother Abel bringing an offering to the Lord. The Bible then begins to unfold a story that will never be forgotten. The story declares that God was not pleased with Cain’s offering whatsoever, but found great delight in Abel’s sacrifice.
As a result of God’s declaration, Cain grew increasing angry and jealousy oozed from the depths of his bones. His anger became so great that it led him to murder his own blood, his brother. After Cain murdered his brother, Genesis states, “Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don't know,” he replied. “Am I my brother's keeper?” (Genesis 4:9)
Am I my brother’s keeper? What an incredible thought. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. “That’s it,” I thought to myself, that’s the theme for Abilene High’s 2009 football team.
Each Thursday, prior to game day I joined the varsity football team to watch the special teams’ film of the opponent the team will play the following day. After the film session, Coach Warren releases the team to me. During this time, I share a few motivational thoughts with the team, and then I open the floor for the team to share with one another.
I remember it as if it was yesterday. It was the middle of August when I walked through the classroom door to meet with the team for the first time to start off the 2009 season. Like I had done previously for years with the team, I watched the special teams’ film of Fort Worth Dunbar, the team that the Eagles were going to play in the season opener.
Coach Warren then released the team to me; the returnees knew it was time for me to share the theme for the 2009 season. As I cleared my throat, I said, “Guys, my name is Chad Mitchell, for those of you that don’t know me, I’m the chaplain of the team. I’m here not to preach at you, not to tell you what to do, but only to be a friend to you. Each year I give the team a theme. I have struggled for quite some time with coming up with a theme for this year’s team, but I feel in my heart I have found the right one.”
With a little bit of anxiety, I said, “It is brother’s keeper. I have seen a lot of great athletes come through this program, but I have not seen a team completely sold out to their brother, willing to take care of each other both on the field and off. For you to be successful, for you to create history here at Abilene High, each one of you has to become your brother’s keeper.”
--Chad Mitchell

I have spent more than twenty years covering Abilene High football. For fifteen years, I was sports editor of the Abilene Reporter-News and wrote hundreds of game stories and features on the Eagles.
For the last six years, I have provided color commentary on the radio broadcasts, joining Chuck Statler for the play-by-play of the Eagles’ games on KZQQ 1560 AM in Abilene. Our broadcasts, which are also heard live on the World Wide Web at, are used for the audio portion of the replay of the games each week on AISD cable channel 7, too.
In addition to that, I have become the unofficial historian of Abilene High football after writing the book, Team of the Century: The Greatest High School Football Team in Texas, in 2004 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the first of Abilene High’s three consecutive state championships in 1954, 1955 and 1956. The Dallas Morning News had given the Abilene High teams of the 1950s the title of “Team of the Century” in 1999 as the top high school football teams in Texas in the past century.
As the 2009 season began and the Eagles began to roll over their opponents every Friday night, Chuck and I would ask each week after another lopsided victory, “But how good are we?” Just a year earlier, Abilene High had cruised through the regular season with a 10-0 record, only to lose its bi-district game to Mansfield. The University Interscholastic League realignment in 2008 had moved Abilene High to a new, much weaker District 3-5A, and the prevailing thought was that the new district had left the Eagles unprepared for the rugged competition that was waiting in the playoffs.
Playing Fort Worth Paschal and Haltom somehow just wasn’t the same as facing Odessa Permian and Midland Lee during the regular season.
Then there were the other question marks that always accompanies a new season. Herschel Sims returned at running back after a fine sophomore campaign. But the rest of the skill position players – at running back, quarterback and wide receiver – were all new. Quarterback Ronnell Sims, up from the junior varsity, obviously gave the Eagles their best running threat at that position since Marcus Johnson seven or eight years earlier. But could he throw the ball effectively when teams shut down the running game?
What about the defense, which seemed quick but undersized? Just how good were these Eagles? That was the question Chuck and I asked each week, right through Week 10 of the regular season and the start of the playoffs.
Something seemed different about this 2009 version of the Eagles, however. They were consistent, never seemingly having a lull, a half or a game in which they appeared flat or ill-prepared and failed to live up their potential, no matter how much they dominated their opponent.
They also were getting better and better as the season progressed. The offensive play-calling became much different from previous years, adjusting to fit the team’s personnel. The defense, which relied on all-state linebacker Chris Williams a year earlier to make the big plays, instead became an 11-man unit that was minus a star but somehow always seemed to have everyone is the right spot on every play.
But, when the season began, can I say I foresaw the magical 15-0 state championship season that was about to unfold? No, but I became more and more of a believer as the season went on.
When the championship game ended at the Alamodome in San Antonio and the Eagles had their first state title in fifty-three years, I did something I don’t normally do. I went to the Abilene locker room to congratulate Coach Warren.
“Thanks for taking me on a wonderful ride,” I told him.
It was a magical ride for thousands of Abilene football fans during a season in which a group of ordinary high school football players became an extraordinary team. From Chad’s eyes on the sidelines and his Thursday meetings with the team to my eyes in the press box, we thank you for allowing us to take you on another magical journey, reliving a state championship season in which a group of athletes learned what it meant to become their “brother’s keeper.”
The team even chose “Bro Keep,” their slang abbreviation of “Brother’s Keeper,” to adorn their state championship rings.
--Al Pickett

Friday, May 7, 2010

Revelation in the midst of turn of events

Yesterday and early this morning confirmed in my life the reality of how rapid life can turn. My day was quite busy as a result of getting all the preparations I needed to get done before I attended my wife's R.N. Nursing ceremony. As the hours of the day sped away I found myself having the great honor of pinning my wife with her Registered Nurse pin. When I first met my wife she didn't even have her GED and now I was witnessing her graduate from college. It was a time of great joy, yet even in the midst of this time of great joy my daughter started to get sick. As the hours of night continued to fade away she got more and more sick. So sick that at 4am this morning we were calling the emergency room to seek advice whether or not we should take her to the hospital. After quite some time her temperature decreased and we were able to get about two hours of sleep. As I read the holy scripture today I came across 2 Peter 3:14 which reads
"So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him."This scripture really gave me a sense of peace and a good dose of inspiration. This portion of scripture inspired me that regardless of how fast events in our life turn, the reality is the one thing that matters is that we are at peace with Him. If we are at peace with him we are able to love those we encounter properly, enjoy life the way we are suppose to, and most importantly worship our creator with our entire being. As I live each day, I am going to do all I possibly can to be at peace, and live with expectancy.

Live with Expectancy...
Live to Love

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Guess who is coming to STV?

Guess who is coming to STOP THE VIOLENCE? Curtis Sliwa founder of The Guardian Angels


Current Series: MYTHBUSTERS

Do you know someone who's seen Bigfoot's tracks? You know how it goes: someone sees something and tells someone who then tells someone else. On and on and on it goes until its hard to separate fact from fiction. This doesn't just happen with Bigfoot... it happens with spiritual truths as well.


Monday, May 3, 2010


Today is a very solemn day for me as a result of Officer Rodney Holder's Celebration of Life service. Each and every day and night there are thousand upon thousands of first responders that keep watch of our communities. While we enjoy a good night rest, attend one of our children's school activities,sit down at a holdiday meal they are still out keeping watch. Although I didn't know officer holder personally, there is no doubt that his sacrifice will not go unnoticed as I live my life. The countless hours of keeping watch, protecting our community, and his actions that pursued justice will never be forgotten. Thank you Officer Holder for truly doing all you possible could to silence the silence and stop the violence. Although your watch has now came to end, I pray your life constantly reminds us all, to do all we possibly can to stand on behalf of justice, and silence our silence.

Live to Love

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