5 THINGS I LEARNED IN 2010

Posted: December 22, 2010 by kylejackson10 in CHRISTIAN, CRAZY LOVE, FCA LEE COUNTY, Uncategorized, YOUNG ADULTS

2010 has been a year full of work, family, church, friends, trips, football, conflict, love & did I mention…Work!

Looking back over the course of the year there were 5 things that really stood out to me as I reflected on what a great year it has been.

1.) MINISTRY IS EVERYWHERE: Working in the construction world can sometimes beat down on you. There were times where I just wanted to say, “Screw It” and walk away. Then I discovered a principle that has changed everything I do daily at work. “Know what your passion is and find out how to merge it with your daily work.” My passion is people. Selling construction supplies does not have me jumping out of bed every morning (No offence boss) but the people I work with and the customers I serve have had a tough couple of years due to the economy in SW FL. Now I look for any opportunity to build someone up I work for or work with. There have been countless conversations with superintendents, project managers and co-workers that have been the highlight of my week! Serving others is such a fulfillment. Ministry is Everywhere! 

2.) Change of Pace + Change of Place= Change of Perspective: In June, I went to Peru and hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. One of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. On the 2nd day of the hike (the hardest day of the 4) we were about 1/2 way to the top and one of the guys I was hiking with made this comment, “Don’t forget to look back to where we started!” I turned to look and I could see our base camp miles and miles away. In that moment I realized that sometimes we get so caught up in where we are headed that we forget to look at where we came from. It is OK to look back into the past. It shows you how far you have come. For me I realized how far I had come personally in the past 3 years. What a great moment in 2010!

3.) MARRIAGE REQUIRES DAILY WORK: Today is my 3rd anniversary with my beautiful wife, Jennifer Jackson. She is my best friend! That does not mean it is always easy, mostly because of me! One of the best things my wife and I have done since we have been married is taking a personality test and then getting as much information as possible about that personality. We also found how each others personality meshed with the others. We have learned how to handle conflict better and how tough conversations can be made a lot easier. There is a way to have healthy conflict! I would recommend anyone to read the book, “Make IT Amazing” by Scott Drummond. (www.makeitamazingbook.com) This book transformed the way Jen and I communicate daily! Our marriage is stronger than it has ever been!

4.) ACCOUNTABILITY IS ESSENTIAL: I meet with 3 of my best friends every Tuesday morning and we have a very intentional accountability group. The key word is “Intentional.” Our meetings are not a time to just sit and chat and joke around, we have other times we can do that. We meet and go through specific questions that we created after we sat down and “Backed the Truck Up,” or told each other everything about our pasts: Pains, Personal struggles, Ugly Moments, Temptations…etc. The Good, Bad and Ugly so to speak! This has allowed me to get things out of my heart (darkness) into the open (light) and wow does it take a load off your shoulders to know that others are dealing with the same junk! I am a better Husband, Son, Friend, Co-Worker, etc. because of this group. If you are interested in the questions we ask please email me at kjack210@gmail.com

5.) KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CALL & THE SEND: We all feel “called” to do or be something in life. That is how God created us. The biggest thing I have learned on this in 2010 is, “Not all open doors are from God!” There have been some really tough decisions made over the past year concerning Mine and Jennifer’s future. There have been opportunities presented that some people have told me I was “crazy” for turning down. I know my calling is in the ministry and for lost people. I also know God has prepared a plan in advance for Jen and I. After prayer and some long conversations with my wife there was just not a peace in my heart about taking any of the opportunities presented. It was tough! I know what God has “Called” me to do, I am now patiently waiting for the “Send” moment where I have peace in my heart. The peace that passes all understanding!

And last but not least: IT IS GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER! #1 BABY!!!!!!!!!

2010 was an awesome year! I hope you take time to reflect on moments where God has taught you something that only he can!

Merry Christmas!

-Kyle

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Stick With It Or Chase Fantasies?

Posted: July 13, 2010 by kylejackson10 in CRAZY LOVE, FCA LEE COUNTY, Uncategorized

Proverbs 12:11 says, “The one who works his land will have plenty of food, but whoever chases fantasies lacks sense.” 

This is something that I have felt strongly to write about for a while now. At 27 years old I have already made a drastic career change from coaching college baseball to sales in construction. I am hoping soon I will have the opportunity to be in full-time ministry. So more than likely I will have made 3 career changes before I am 30 years old.

In 2006 I chased being a college coach. I worked hard! Recruiting, practices, scouting reports, field maintenance, player development…etc.

In September of 2008 through the present I have been chasing $ in the business world doing Sales. I work hard at it! Calling, appointments, quoting, re-pricing, arguing (its construction people)…etc.

But nothing satisfies me as much as the ministry does. Pouring into others and watching life change happen for them.

For 3 years I chased “fantasies” so to speak. Now I know what my “calling” is and I plan on “sticking with it!”

I wanted to write this because I see a trend in my generation, the 30 and younger crowd in the working world. (Sorry if you are over 30…you are not old, just older than most!!) I have friends in different states that I have watched jump from job to job for different reasons. $5,000 raise, better benefits, company car, cool office, etc. My generation chases the fantasy and as a result we have become the expert in nothing and are still looking for the next upgrade. We are not happy at work. Every little thing seems to get us frustrated and we are always on CareerBuilders.Com at work.

My generation wants the nice home, nice car, nice savings account and the best clothes but we want to work 1/2 as hard as the generation before us to get it.

Here are 3 steps to help from the above mentioned verse:

1.) What is your “Land” or What is your Calling? Because until you know that, no fantasy you chase will ever satisfy you enough.

2.) Once you know your calling, work as hard as you can to become the Expert in your field. It is hard to be the expert when you are learning a new trade every 10 months because you got  a $3,000 raise for your new job. Eventually you will become the expert and everyone will call you and you will make more $ than you will by taking small raises for 5 new careers over the next 5 years.

3.) Finally set goals within your calling and have a group that keeps you Accountable for those goals. There is no greater thing for our generation than accountability.

Go chase your calling, “Stick with It” and become the best you can be in whatever field you are in for God!

-Kyle

8 days in Peru, 4 Hiking the Inca Trail to the city of Machu Picchu with one of my favorite author’s, Mark Batterson (In a Pit with a lion on a Snowy Day, Wild Goose Chase & Primal) is one of the highlights of my life! Me, My father-in-law and 20 other men backpacked through Peru on what was one of the hardest physical challenges of my life to end up at 1 of the 7 Wonders of the World!

The Theme for the week was, “Change of Pace + Change of Place= Change of Perspective.” I found this to be so true. When you are out of the daily grind of whatever it is you do, in God’s creation, your life can change dramatically!  The 1st 2 days we were in Cusco, Peru climatizing at 11,000 ft above sea level. I could not even take 10 steps without breathing hard! We went white water rafting on day 2 to get out and get some exercise.

Day 3 started our hike. We had porters with us to carry 1/2 of our weight (25lbs) the other 25 lbs we carried on us. I have never seen scenery like Peru. We were surrounded by mountain ranges the entire trip. Snow caps in front of us as we climbed…Amazing! Day one was a 6 hour hike that was tough but was nothing compared to days 2 & 3. Day 4 we reached our destination of Maccu Picchu. Camping at night in a tent with your father-in-law was a cool experience! We got the opportunity to know each other on a deeper level. (Listening to him fire people in his sleep was pretty funny too.) Each night we would circle our chairs up in the cold and Mark would lead us in a devotional. It was so surreal to be sitting with someone you follow and has influence on your life. Mark was so down to Earth and easy to talk to. He really was just “one of the guys.”

WHAT I LEARNED WHILE HIKING: 

DAY 1: Our porters and cooks would fly by us on the trail with 1/2 of our weight and another 25-30 pounds of food, tents, tables, gas tanks….(yes grill gas tanks!) and other items needed for the trip. They would beat us to the lunch camp by an hour, set everything up, have food waiting for us and would smile and cheer us in. They did this for lunch and the final camping spot of the night for 4 days! We woke up every morning at 5:30AM to hot tea at our tent and breakfast made! They were amazing!

As I related this back to life I thought of how God has gone before us and prepared a place for us. He sent his son to die for us so the burden (weight) could be lifted off our shoulders. He is always a step ahead of us and knows exactly what he has planned for me and you. “For I know the plans I have for you…” And even though we make God wait sometimes to get through our own selfish ambitions he is always there smiling and cheering us in! 

Day 2: Hardest part of the hike. 5 hours of straight up and straight down. 14,000 ft above sea level! It was hard to breath but what a feeling of accomplishment when we were finished. “One foot in front of the other” was kind of the theme for the day. What I learned on day 2 was crucial. As we were hiking I heard someone say, “don’t forget to look up every once and awhile.” The hike was on trails of nothing but huge rocks, we were going straight up and straight down so my head was looking at my feet most of the day.

2 things happened to me on that day. First, I realized that if we don’t take a second to look up during our busy days, weeks, months or years life will pass us right by. We will miss what God puts right in our path so to speak because we never took the time to look up. Secondly, I realized I had not turned around to see how far we had come since that morning. As I turned and looked some 5,000 ft below me from where we had started the day at 9,000 ft I had a huge awakening. I have heard my whole life “Don’t look back at the past…only look ahead to the future!” I know you can not change the past, but I think we should look back, see where we came from and see how far we have come since then. The only way to learn from your past is to stare back at it and see how far you have come to this point in your life. Looking back on day two, 2-3 hours into our hike made me realize how far I have come in my life. How the pains and struggles have gotten me where I am today.

Day 3: Another tough day of constant uphill climbing followed by a long downhill hike to finish the day. We switched scenery a little going into the jungle a little. I spent much of the morning hike with Mark Batterson talking about “Competitiveness.” I caught up with Mark on the trail and asked him, “How do you take away the competitive nature you have for sports so it does not hurt you in ministry?” (Mark played college basketball) Mark answered it exactly how I needed to hear it. He said, “Kyle, years ago I asked God to crucify my competitiveness because I thought it would hurt me in ministry. After praying I heard God tell me, ‘Mark, don’t pray that I will take your competitive spirit away. Pray that I INTENSIFY it for your use in ministry to take on the world you live in and you will use it to conquer the world for me.’ ” 

WOW! I have such a competitive nature. I hate to lose. In High School I was not the most liked individual. I played football, basketball and baseball and I played as if every game was my last. I hate to lose! Knowing God can intensify that gift of competitiveness to further his kingdom excites me!

Day 4: The last day of the hike ended up at the city of Maccu Picchu, 1 of the 7 Wonders of the World. It was amazing as we came to the sun gate and looked down onto the city. It was one of the easier days of the hike. Although the site was amazing all I could think about was how hard the last 4 days had been. I did nothing leading up to the hike to prepare myself for the physical challenge it would bring. On day 4 when we got to our final destination I could not even fully enjoy it because of how sore and tired I was. 

I heard God tell me, “Kyle, prepare now for what the future holds for you.” There are opportunities that people have to turn down all the time because they were not ready when God presents them with their dream. Whether it is financially, spiritually, mentally, physically or character issues, you have to be prepared so you can enjoy the opportunity God has planned for you!

Overall, what an amazing trip! I will never be the same. I will be a better man of God, husband, friend, co-worker, son, son-in-law, brother & leader because of this experience!

-Kyle

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru

Posted: June 22, 2010 by kylejackson10 in Uncategorized

 

FCA BUZZ

Posted: April 15, 2010 by kylejackson10 in FCA LEE COUNTY

The last several weeks have been full of incredible stories from all around Lee County from students and coach’s about FCA. Cypress High School Huddle leader Rick Beckler is continuing to grow his FCA club. This past week there were 6  Cypress students from FCA that attended Collide (Next Level Church Youth Ministry) for the 1st time. Rick leads a small group on Wednesday nights at Collide. It was really cool to see him interact with the students outside the school. Will Hutcherson (Youth Pastor at Next Level) continues to pour into leaders at South Ft Myers HS. He is going into his 4th week of teaching leadership to some of the core student leaders at SFMHS.

This past week Devon McDonald, former Notre Dame team captain and Indianapolis Colts/Arizona Cardinal player came in town and teamed up with FCA to speak at over 12 events. Monday night Devon spoke at the All FCA event that takes place once a month at Studio G (McGregor Baptist Youth Center) to all Lee County FCA Huddles. There were several schools present (Ft Myers, S Ft Myers, Riverdale, SFCA, Naples, Cypress…) Coach Jimmy Roberts (Ft Myers HS) continues to lead a strong group of kids at Ft Myers High and continues to put events on like “Backstage” at Studio G where all schools can come together and team up to fulfil the vision on FCA!

Tuesday morning Devon spoke at Cypress High to their football team. 40+ players, 3 coach’s and 2 Vice-Principles filled the weight room to hear Devon present his story! Coach Thorton (Cypress Head football coach) has met with Jeff Leatherman (Youth Pastor at 1st Assembly) and Jeff is going to be Cypress football team’s “Character Coach.” After Devon spoke coach Thorton has created a Leadership Council of 8 players, 2 from each grade that he is allowing Jeff to meet with them once a week and go over basic leadership principles! The athletes loved it!

SFCA is on schedule to have their 2nd FCA meeting at the end of April. Jason Smith (Youth Pastor @ Safe Harbor) will be speaking and has agreed to be the huddle leader for the school.

ECS is on schedule to have their 1st FCA at the end of April. We are meeting with a group of students Friday 4/16 to discuss what FCA’s vision is and to train them on how to start their FCA!

Fort Myers HS is doing a phenomenal job with their FCA. They are having over 50 kids attending their FCA events! Dan Royal (Asst Basketball coach) has taken over the Camp ministry there and has several Ft Myers Athletes signed up for camps this summer!

Island Coast HS in Cape Coral is meeting with students leaders this week lock down a date for their 1st FCA. Kurt Thoreson (Asst Football Coach) & Halie Hurt (Cheerleading Coach) are going to be the FCA Huddle leaders for the school! last week at the school Kurt and I ran into the principle of the school, told him who I was and that I was with FCA, His response: “Man we have to get that started here! Kurt, you should be the sponsor!”

Wednesday I met with Josiah Ravish (1st Assembly Youth & College Praise and Worship Leader) and he wants to team up with FCA at North Ft Myers HS and be a team Chaplin. Josiah is an amazing guy! He has a heart for investing in students! I am really looking forward to seeing what he is going to do at North!

All that to say, God is moving in Lee County Schools! FCA is opening the door for powerful people, youth pastors in our town to be able to come into a public school and present the message of Jesus Christ to coach’s, students, athletes and administrators ! Thank you for believing in FCA and please continue to pray for this ministry!

-Kyle

FCA 3/16/10-3/26/10

Posted: March 26, 2010 by kylejackson10 in FCA LEE COUNTY

It was another amazing couple of weeks with FCA! Our annual FCA banquet at the Hyatt in Bonita Springs on 3/18 was a huge success! Tommy Bowden did an amazing job! There were over 45 students who showed up to volunteer for the event! We celebrated what God had done over the last year through the coach’s and athletes in SW Florida!

Earlier in the week we had an amazing meeting at Island Coast HS in Cape Coral. Kurt Thoreson, teacher and new asst. football coach gave me 1st class treatment by taking me around the school and introducing me to over 10 coach’s! We are looking to start a huddle there in April!

The week of 3/22 was amazing! Jon Pritikin, who has his own ministry called “feel the power” came and spoke all over SW Florida for FCA! Jeff Leatherman (1st Assembly Youth Pastor) was kind enough to let FCA use him in most of our schools! In Fort Myers Jon spoke at Cypress High School to their football team, coach’s and 2 administrators in the weight room at 7:30am! Jon does all kinds of amazing demonstrations using strength! (breaking bats, rolling up frying pans, bending metal bars in his mouth, blowing up hot water balloons, breaking blocks of ice…) The football team, coach’s and administrators loved him being there. Will Hutcherson (Youth Pastor at Next Level, Collide Ministry), Josh Homan (Children’s Pastor at Next Level) Ruben Loor (Middle School Next Level, Morph ministry), Dan Royal (FCA Board) & Jeff Leatherman (1st Assembly, Kaio Ministry) were all at Cypress to connect and support their players, coach’s and Administrators!!

Jon then spoke at Southwest Florida Christian Academy (SFCA) for their 1st FCA huddle group! Over 60 students came! Amazing # for their 1st meeting! Ben Fleming (Youth Pastor McGregor Baptist, Merge Ministry) put it all together! Jason Smith (Youth Pastor Safe Harbor) has jumped in as SFCA’s FCA Leader with Bill Catto, Athletic Director.

Monday morning I had a meeting with Larry Gritton, ECS Athletic Director about starting a FCA at the High School. Larry was all for it and we are looking to have our 1st meeting in April!

Monday night was the All FCA Backstage event hosted once a month at Studio G on Mcgregor’s Campus! Again Ben Fleming opens up their facility for all Lee County FCA’s to come together! There was dodgeball, basketball, pool, ping-pong, Pizza and great connection between Lee County athletes and coach’s! Jon opened up with some strength feats and Charlie Mitchell brought the message for over 100 students!

Ben just recently committed to being Ft Myers High School’s Team Chaplin for their football team!

Tuesday over at South Fort Myers High Will Hutcherson (NLC) teamed up with Coach Joe Hampton to teach leadership principles to his 4 leaders in FCA. Will is doing a 4 week session once a week at South on Leadership!

Wednesday 3/24 Rick Beckler and the Cypress High FCA through a Feeding FT Myers Party for all students after school! Rick had hotdogs, chips, drinks, games and giveaways for all students in attendence. Feeding Ft Myers is an event at Next Level where together all over town NLC is trying to raise over 15,000 cans for the soup kitchen in downtown Fort Myers! Kids from Cypress brought over 50 cans, enjoyed some games, food and give aways!

What an exciting 2 weeks for FCA! Our 1st FCA at SFCA. 2 new FCA’s starting in April at Island Coast and ECS! An amazing speaker in Jon Pritikin, and youth pastors from all over Ft Myers teaming up to serve the coach’s, connect with the athletes and Pray for Administrators at different Lee County Schools!

“You can do ALL things through Christ who gives you strength!” -Phillipians 4:13

LEE COUNTY FCA

Posted: March 12, 2010 by kylejackson10 in FCA LEE COUNTY

This week was my 1st official week with Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). I am still working through the details of my full time job that I have in Fort Myers as I take on FCA in Fort Myers and Cape Coral part time. What an amazing 1st week!

Monday I swung by Cypress High School in the morning where I met with their head football coach Mike Thorton who is doing a phenominal job in just his 1st year at the High School! We have set up a regular meeting time with his football team where twice a month He is going allow FCA to bring in speakers for his football team! Mike and his wife Jessica (vollyball coach at Cypress) just moved from Tampa a year ago and are really plugging into the Cypress family. They will be attending the anual FCA banquet March 18th in Bonita!

After meeting with Coach Thorton I swung by to see our FCA huddle leader at Cypress, Rick Beckler! Coach Beckler is the rock behind FCA at Cypress High. He has been our huddle leader for several years there now and has regular meetings with the FCA at Cypress! Rick and his wife will be attending the FCA banquet as well! Thursday afternoon his FCA group had a prayer walk meeting after school where students walked and prayed for Cypress High! John Moran and his wife came into speak to the group on the vison of getting God back into the schools! Jeff Leatherman, youth pastor at 1st Assembly in Fort Myers and Will Hutcherson, youth pastor at Next Level Church in Ft Myers have attended Cypress Highs’ FCA over the last month and are excited about getting involved! Charlie Mitchell will be speaking to the football team this upcoming Monday.

Lehigh High School was my next stop where I got the opportunity to meet with Coach Pete (head football coach) for LHS. He is doing an awesome job at Lehigh! We talked about upcoming events and some really cool ideas he wants to implement before the end of the year! After meeting with Coach Pete I met with Coach Anderson (Head Baseball Coach) and Coach Nick (Asst. football and baseball)! Incredible guys!

Later in the week I got the opprtunity to meet with Southwest Florida Christian Academy’s Athletic Director Bill Catto. Bill was very excited about the opportunity to start an FCA at SFCA. We are looking to have our 1st meeting at the end of March during lunch! Ben Flemming, youth pastor at McGregor Church in Ft Myers is already killing it for FCA at Ft Myers High and is willing to help get things started at SFCA!

I have several meeting next week with more schools and I am truly amazed at the doors FCA is opening in the High Schools of Lee County. We are blessed with an amazing Area Director in Gretchen Shelton, great Coach’s passionate Youth Pastors and incredible Business Men who are willing to change lives!

“You can do all things through Christ who gives you strngth!”

Have a great week!!   -Kyle