Sunday, March 21, 2010


I'm done, I'm out! My bracket completely imploded on Saturday afternoon with the huge UNI upset win over Kansas. I had Kansas winning the National Title Game and for the first year in recent memory I only filled out one bracket!

This is an upset win for UNI. I have spent time reading on the net and read where one rube said that this win was to be expected because of the "unfamiliarity" factor! WHAT!!!! Are you kidding me ... this guy really believes that Kansas, who plays in arguably the toughest conference in the nation and was the overall #1 seed in the tournament got beat by UNI because they had never seen them play before. Are you kidding me?!

UNI path does not get any easier as they will face the winner of the Michigan State and Maryland game today. Neither of these teams will be a walkover. But I'm sure that UNI will give either one a run for the money!

Any way you look at it Saturdays win over Kansas was perhaps the biggest win in school history and moved UNI into the Sweet 16! As a UNI alum, this tournament just got way more interesting even though my bracket is DEAD - it was so worth it to watch a huge Panthers win!

Friday, March 19, 2010

NCAA March Madness

"It's the most wonderful time of the year"!

I love the NCAA tourney, the brackets, the drama and the upsets. Speaking of upsets - - we are now into to day 2 and my brackets are a hot mess! As much as I love this process, I'm not a great NCAA Bracket Mind! I'm not dead in the water but my motor is sputtering!

Hope your enjoying the tournament and your brackets are in better shape than mine!

I'll be back soon!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Iowa Basketball - What a Brutal Season

The 2010 Iowa Basketball season is over as of this afternoon. After taking an loss to Michigan in the first round of the Big Ten Conference Tournament in Indianapolis. A tournament that Iowa HAD to win if they were going to the "Big Dance", the NCAA Tournament. That is not happening now!

This is the end of just a brutal year. One commentator said the Iowa mens' team were "just a bunch of clompers - clomping up and down the court with very little athleticism". As much as I enjoy Iowa Basketball, I'm wondering what the fix could be for this awful product.

To the Powers that be: please step back and take a long look at this situation, the player & coaches, the University and the fans deserve better. Frankly, the University of Iowa is better than that and must produce a better product!

That is the way I see it!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Brett Favre On With Jay Leno

The other night Jay Leno on the "NEW" Tonight Show gave Brett Favre a gold watch to celebrate his retirement from NFL Football. To which Favre responded that there has been no decision made on his future with the Vikings. That response got to Leno to announce that Brett was returning for sure and as well began the chant "one more year!"

And so begins the "Will He / Won't He" saga for another year. I think I can figure a solution to this drama.

If the Vikings organization would just tell Brett that he did not need to arrive for any of the OTA's (organized team activities) or mini camp or any of training camp. He could just show up in time to practice a bit before the first or second preseason game and play. Given that scenario; I think he would commit right away.

I know that the knock on this plan is that everybody else has to go to the OTA's, mini camp and training camp why should Favre get a pass? My answer to that is as soon as all of the other player put together a body of work in the NFL that is even close to what Favre has done then they may have a pass as well!

IMHO, Brett Favre has earned the right after all of these seasons to pick and choose when he arrives with the team. And if the only response at this point is that it is not fair ... tough! Life is not fair and who ever told you is was lied! So get over it!
So the saga continues......

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Issues In Biblical Counseling: Interpersonal Conflicts

One of the issues that is a main-liner in Biblical Counseling is the source of interpersonal conflicts. No matter who you are or who you surround yourself with, it seems that we all have interpersonal conflicts from time to time.

So where does this conflict come from? To find the answer to this question we, as always, go to the Word of God.

James 4:1-2 says: "What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel..." (ESV)

The reason for interpersonal conflict is that we are trying to feed our own selfish desires or lusts. We want what we want and frankly, we're willing to sin to get it.

Once we get our heads around the truth that "we do what we do because we want what we want" and according to James we are driven by our selfish lusts and desires, we can begin to make real lasting change.

We must ask ourselves BEFORE speaking or acting - Is what I'm about to say or do pleasing to God, Christlike, glorifying to God and helping me to diligently seek after God?

The key is a change in thinking and that is a topic for another time!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

An Incredible Opportunity

Susan and I have been invited to go to China in May to visit the orphanage at Langfang.

Here is the support letter I've put together:

Greetings from Clear Lake!

I’m writing you to let you know of  an opportunity that has been presented to Susan and I this coming May17-27. We have been invited to go on a trip to China, to the Philip Hayden Foundation Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village Orphanage in Langfang, China.

The Philip Hayden Foundation (PHF) was formed in 1995 to honor the memory of Tim and Pam Baker’s good friend whose untimely death inspired them to continue his passion for China’s orphans. Though PHF’s original purpose was to assist local orphanages by donating needed items and helping to arrange surgeries and treatment for at-risk orphans, this limited theireffectiveness. In 1999, they moved to a foster home model focused exclusively on special needs orphans.

This trip is the brain child of John Kamberger. John and his wife Mary have adopted 6 children from China and 2 of those children came from the orphanage in Langfang. Over the years John has developed a heart for these children at Langfang and has desired to go back on a missions trip to work and help out at the facility.

On our trip there will be a great opportunity to help around the orphanage with a number of odd jobs from cleaning to painting and cooking to construction. In a letter I received from the SFCV, they requested that we plan for lots of time to just play and be with the children. At this facility there are at any given time over 100 special needs children.

The purpose of this letter is to ask you if you would stand with Susan and I to raise $4,500 for this missions opportunity. This trip is not sponsored by any mission agency or our church, this is something that we are stepping out by faith, scrimping and saving and asking a few select friends and family to consider helping us accomplish.

What’s next? If you could help us financially that would be incredible! Checks can be made out to “Steven Cox” and sent to the address below. Once again because this missions trip is not sponsored by a mission agency or church, your gift will not be tax deductable. It will simply be just a gift that we will use to impact lives. Whether or not you able to help with the financial aspect of this opportunity, I would implore you to please stand together in prayer with us. A mission trip of this magnitude has the potential to change many lives!

Thank you for your prayerful consideration,

Pastor Steven Cox    &   Susan Cox

Well, that is what is going on! Should you be interested in getting involved with this opportunity please feel free to e-mail me at:

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!
Pastor Steve       

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Checking In ... I'm Still Alive!

Just wanted to check in and let you know that I might just survive this head/chest cold! I'm finally feeling better and starting to think I'm going to outlast this thing.

Life and ministry continue to move forward. Last weekend Lynn, Susan and I spent part of our day at the Botanical Center in Des Moines getting Susan's senior pictures taken. Our good friend Donna Bryan was the photographer and there is not a better back drop that the Botanical Center. Amy was able to join us and after the pictures were finished, we got to spend some time with my Mom at her home and that was GREAT!  Then back to Ankeny to get Philip and off to Famous Dave's for supper with Nick Oliver and Jessica Paige. It was a great day, long day but worth every minute.

Ministry wise, in January we unveiled a new ministry through our church, the Clear Lake Biblical Counseling Ministry. This is growing very fast and we're quickly approaching the need to begin a waiting list. At this point I'm the only trained counselor on staff, although Lynn has finished her training and is ready to get started very soon. Both of us are working on our certification through the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors.

The National Association of Nouthetic Counselors is a fellowship of Christian pastors and laymen who have banded together to promote excellence in biblical counseling. NANC was founded in 1975 in service to Christ to address several needs in the biblical counseling community. NANC is first and foremost a certifying organization.

Lynn and I have completed our training and are now working our way through the certification process.

This has been an incredibly stretching experience but I'm learning and growing and that is what the Christian life is all about!

More to come.....