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Breathing Holes…by Marty Kaarre

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Marty’s book has arrived and is available for purchase! $19.95 plus $4.95 shipping and handling equals a grand total of $24.90 and gets you a signed copy of this entertaining and uplifting collection of stories. Please send a check to:

Marty Kaarre
12676 Pinkham Creek Road
Rexford, Montana 59930

Since this website is under construction we will include an online way to order in the future. We will let you know when that happens, so keep coming back!

The Best Bad Call

Story of the Day for Monday July 1, 2013

The Best Bad Call

If your adversary is hungry, give him something to eat.

Romans 12:20

The decision of the umpires was later found to be in error, but I’m so happy that they got it wrong.

Central Washington University was hosting Western Oregon University in 2008 in the last game of the season. The winner would earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament in Division II woman’s softball.

Western Oregon sent Sara Tucholsky to the plate. With two runners on base she hit a home run – the first one of her career. She was so jubilant that she forgot to Listep on first base. Realizing her mistake, she spun around so quickly that she tore the ACL in her knee. As she lay writhing in pain, her teammates were helpless. If they touched her, that would constitute assisting a base runner and she would be called out.

After conferring on the rules, an umpire told Western Oregon’s head coach, Pam Knox, that a pinch runner could come in for her, but it would be credited as a single, and her home run would be taken away.

It broke the coach’s heart to erase the only home run of Sara’s career, but she was clearly unable to tag the bases on her own.

At that moment, however, Mallory Holtman, the star player for the opposing team ran up to an umpire and asked, “Would it be okay if we carried her around and she touched each bag?” The ump shrugged and said there was no rule against it.

So, Holtman, and her teammate, Liz Wallace, gingerly picked her up and started walking her around the bases. When they came to a base, they would gently lower her good leg and tap the base with Sara’s foot.

As the three girls rounded the bases, the crowd gave them all a standing ovation.

This caring act for their opponent ended up costing Mallory and Liz’s team the game – ending their hopes of getting into the tournament. But no one seemed to care.

Mallory Holtman viewed Sara Tucholsky as her opponent . . . until she was overcome by compassion for her need.

We are so easily angered by the behavior of our enemies. But what if we focused more on their hurts. Their needs. What if, when we noticed how hungry they were, we gave them some of our food?

The NCAA later said the umpire’s ruling was in error. A substitute could have run the bases and Sara would’ve been awarded a home run.

I’m so glad, however, that the umpire got it wrong. Far more important than a correct ruling was what happened to our hearts when two brave women helped their opponent when she was hurting.

Have you ever been glad when a ruling was wrong? What hurts, needs, wants do your enemies have that you could focus on instead of their obnoxious behavior? Have you ever helped an opponent when they have been hurting? Tell us about it.

(text copyright 2011 by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

(image: http://www.internetmonk.com/wp-content/uploads/Carrying1.jpg)

The Main Thing

Story of the Day for Tuesday June 18, 2013

The Main Thing

David’s conscience pierced him after he numbered the people. So David told the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in doing this.”

2 Samuel 24:10

Rory Sutherland, a British advertising guru, likes to cite the maxim: Any metric that becomes a target loses its value as a metric.

Much to our relief he explains what he means. Businesses seek ways to measure their progress toward their company’s goals. But once the focus becomes improving any certain statistic, the measurement is no longer reliable.

And, since my explanation is even more confusing than Sutherland’s maxim, let me give some examples.

A good goal for a shipping company would be to make a profit by providing timely deliveries of packages. So far so good. But suppose the company looks at their delivery times and focuses on improving this statistic? Once quicker delivery time becomes the goal, the best way to reach this objective is to cancel delivery to more remote areas. The result: the company’s statistics improve. But profits and service to the customer declines.

Sutherland gives a similar example with airline companies. How can an airline measure improve service? One way is by an increase in on-time departures. Departure times are measured from pushback — when the jet begins to move from the terminal. Once companies make it their goal to increase on-time departures, passengers often find themselves sitting on the runway for longer periods. But now latecomers are unable to board the flight. Again, by shifting the focus from the true goal of the company to improving the “numbers,” the statistics become a false indicator of progress.

Seeking to measure success, in other words, can sometimes make us less successful.

http://www.badassoftheweek.com/kingdavid.jpg

David should’ve known better. He had witnessed how God took a young shepherd boy and used him to defeat a fearsome warrior named Goliath. David saw how God blessed a valiant warrior — even though his followers were few and he was always on the run.

Now that David was anointed king, he should’ve learned that God had chosen him for his purposes, and that he would prosper as long as he trusted in the strength of the Lord.

Instead, David wanted to measure his strength. He focused, not on the power of God, but on the strength of his fighting force. David orderedJoab, his army commander, to number the people. Only afterward did he realize he was relying on the wrong measurement for success and asked for God’s forgiveness.

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

How do you keep the main thing the main thing in your life, in your business, in your relationship with others and with God? All suggestions will be helpful for others as they also strive to keep the main thing the main thing. Thank you for sharing your ideas!

(text copyright by climbing higher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

A Little More Vibrato

Story of the Day for Monday June 17, 2013

A Little More Vibrato

Tell them not to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which only end in speculation instead of God’s work, which is done by faith.

1 Timothy 1:3-4

Every year our family hosts an open house. My wife cooks mountains of food, but holds the family under the inflexible rule that we can’t scarf down all the food before the party. This, obviously, places us under an undue hardship. And so, as my daughter, Elly, and I savor the aroma of baked cookies fresh from the oven, we decide the time has come to undo the injustices we have suffered.

We hatch a plan, which revolves around the standard magician’s trick of misdirection. While I occupy my wife’s attention in the living room, Elly will sneak into the kitchen, make the heist, and then we will retire to a private corner of the house to enjoy our bounty.

In the living room, I hold my wife spellbound by singing “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. The key to making this song memorable (as my sister taught me) is to sing it like Elmer Fudd, and then to pinch the skin over your Adam’s apple — jiggling it to create a vibrato.

“Cwaa-zy, I’m cwazy fo’ feewin’ so wone-wee . . .”

My wife rolls her eyes and heaves a big sigh. This song always gets to her.

“Cwaa-zy, cwazy fo’ feewin’ so bwue . . .”

When the Nazis overran France in World War II, French resistance fighters continued to oppose Hitler, but they were forced to live in hiding.

In 1943, they decided to come out of hiding and celebrate Armistice Day in the town of Oyonnax. The French holiday, which observes the Allied victory over Germany in World War I, was banned by the Nazis — who were not amused to find posters plastered throughout the town of Nantua, announcing a demonstration on Armistice Day.

On the morning of November 11th, the police from Oyonnax flocked to the neighboring town of Nantua to help authorities arrest the demonstrators.

Once the police left Oyannax, French freedom fighters swept down from their hillside hideouts and easily captured the police station. After shutting down the telephone system and blocking all traffic coming in or out of town, the cheering and weeping citizens welcomed the freedom fighters as they presented a floral cross of Lorraine to “the victors of yesterday from those of tomorrow.” After leading the citizens in a rousing rendition of the “Marseillaise,” the freedom fighters disappeared again into the hills.

The Bible says we can get misdirected from doing what God would have us do. We get embroiled in debates that just aren’t that important and neglect to focus on what we should be doing. The goal is our life in Jesus; a life of faith and love.

I do wish, however, my wife could be more easily diverted from preserving her baked goods for parties. We got nabbed before we could enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Next time, I think a little more vibrato will do the trick.

Do you ever get misdirected or embroiled in debates that aren’t really so important? What would God have you do? How does your life of faith and love show itself? Let us know what you resist the ‘little more vibrato’ in your life?

(text copyright 2012 by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Encouraging Each Other

Story of the Day for Monday August 6, 2012 

Encouraging Each Other

 

                 Let us consider how we can spur each other on in love and good works – not neglecting to meet together, as some are in the habit, but encouraging each other. . .  

                                                                                       Hebrews 10:24-25

 

 One of the greatest moments in a grade school teacher’s career happened by mistake.

In his first year of teaching, Jaime Escalante had two students who shared the same first name, Johnny.  But they were so different.   One was an excellent student – happy and well-behaved.  The other was a goof-off and did not take his studies seriously.

At the first PTA meeting of the year, a parent asked how her son was doing. The teacher raved about her son Johnny and what a delight he was to have in the classroom.   But he was mistaken.  He was actually talking to “bad” Johnny’s mom.

The next day, the problem child approached the teacher.  “My mom told me what you said about me last night.  I haven’t ever had a teacher who wanted me in his class.”

From that day on “Problem Johnny” completed his assignments and became a model student.

 

Even though the teacher’s praise was unintentional, it demonstrates how powerful our encouragement of others can be.   People are capable of doing so much if we can make them believe they can.

Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, in their best-selling book, In Search of Excellence, describe a psychological experiment where every adult is given the same ten puzzles to solve.   Half of the exam takers were told they did well, getting seven out of ten correct.   The other half was informed they did poorly, getting seven out of ten problems wrong.

But, in fact, the psychologists made the test scores up.   And when they gave each group another round of puzzles, they discovered that those who were told they did well the first round did better on the second, while those who were told they did poorly did worse on the second test.

Encouragement is urging others to believe – to believe

in what the Lord has done for them, to believe in what God has made them capable of, to believe they are loved.

But here is the important point: encouragement is what we do for another person.  We need each other.   That is why the Bible urges us to get together – not only for the purpose of corporate worship – but to encourage each other in love and good deeds.

 

Encouraging others is not always our first impulse.   We are avid fans of employing criticism to improve behavior.  And don’t get me wrong – criticism has its place.   There are times when we must point out someone else’s faults.   Yet, if we are not sensitive in our criticism, we can decrease rather than improve another person’s behavior.   The test takers who were told they did poorly are proof of that.

There is more power in encouragement than we often imagine. Every since Cheryl Pruitt was four or five she would hang around her dad’s country stores.  Every day the milkman would arrive to stock the store.  And every day he would greet little Cheryl and say, “So, how’s my little Miss America?”

In 1980, guess who became the new Miss America?

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

In the Field

As climbinghigher.org is the teaching/education arm of Athelas Outdoor Ministry, Inc. and summers are our very very busy time of retreat ministry; we are presently in the field.  The Story of the Day postings will resume as soon as possible…we will be visiting Glacier National Park with our group tomorrow and white water rafting on Tuesday.  Please pray for the groups safety and that the spiritual principles to be learned from these outdoor adventures will refresh and renew our guests from Illinois.  See you soon!

Asking is Good Policy

Story of the Day for Monday July 16, 2012 

Asking is Good Policy

 

                    Ask, and it will be given to you. seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.

                                                             Matthew 7:7

 

Our family was bone weary from driving across the plains. We found a cheesy hotel and asked if they had a nonsmoking room. They assured us they did.

When we entered our room it reeked of cigarette smoke. But, to make things far worse, it smelled like someone had just emptied an aerosol can of heavily-perfumed air freshener in the room.

We soon discovered that it was, indeed, a nonsmoking room because all the ash trays had been turned upside down.

But I’m the meek sort and didn’t go back to the hotel clerk to sort the matter out.

 

I found an article by Tim Gard, in the book, Humor Me, especially intriguing. Tim is on the road a lot and stays in hotels 200 days a year. He always makes reservations for a non-smoking room.

Yet, often, as he straggles into a hotel late at night, they have given away his non-smoking room.  When this happens, Tim asks for a free upgrade to a nonsmoking suite.

Normally, the hotel clerk tells him, “Our policy doesn’t allow upgrades based on smoking preference.”

To counter this, Tim wrote his own policy book. When he meets with objections, he pulls out his official-looking policy manual, finds the specific policy he needs, and then reads it to the hotel clerk: “If Tim Gard requests and reserves a nonsmoking room at any hotel and that hotel gives his nonsmoking room away prior to his arrival, then that hotel is required, by law, to provide Tim Gard with an upgrade to a nonsmoker suite at no additional cost.”

“It’s my policy,” he tells the clerk,

“Well, that’s not our policy. You need to talk to the manager.”

“Unfortunately,” Tim responds, “my number one policy is: I don’t repeat my policies. Once I’ve said the policy, I’m forbidden to talk about it any more. I’d like to help you, but . . . it’s a policy.”

“Sir, it’s not our policy.”

Tim then demands to be shown the hotel’s policy manual. When they, invariably, fail to produce a manual, he tells them flatly that they’re going to have to go with his.

Tim usually gets upgraded to a suite at no extra charge. Even when he doesn’t, he claims he has a fun time.

 

Just as I’m afraid to ask for nonsmoking room upgrades, I’m reluctant to ask God for many of the things I desire. Well, it looks like I’m going to have to be bolder. Jesus tells me to ask, to search, to pound on doors.

Franklyn Broude said, “You don’t always get what you ask for, but you never get what you don’t ask for . . . unless it’s contagious!”

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Dashed Dreams and a Higher Plan

Dashed Dreams and a Higher Plan

Story of the Day for Monday June 11, 2012

Dashed Dreams and a Higher Plan 

                    . . . Moses named his son Gershom, explaining, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.” 

                               Exodus 2:22       

Moses’ life is curious in that his personal tragedies set him on the road to a higher purpose. Persecution forces his mother to float her baby away in a reed basket. But then he’s discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter.  Moses is raised in the shadow of the pharaoh, yet is later is forced to flee into the desert. In Midian, he marries and raises a family and learns the peaceful, nomadic life. But then God makes him go back to Egypt as a vocal, public figure. All of the major disappointments in Moses’ life are the prelude to a higher plan.  

 

David Thompson, born in 1770, was raised in poverty. Yet, due to this, he found a steady job in Canada with the Hudson’s Bay Company when he was only fourteen. His work as a fur trader, unfortunately, was disrupted when a serious leg injury forced him to convalesce for two winters.  

This setback, however, enabled Thompson to spend time with surveyor, Philip Turnor, who refined young David’s skills in math, astronomy, and surveying. When Thompson recovered, his company promoted him to the position of surveyor.  

 

In 1797, David Thompson left Hudson’s Bay to work for the North West Company. After surveying 4000 miles – which included Lake Superior and the headwaters of the Mississippi River – Thompson was sent west. The North West Company had heard that their American rival, John Jacob Astor, had sent a ship around Cape Horn to claim the Columbia River for his fur trading empire.  

Thompson was sent to discover, and map, the route of the Columbia River before Astor’s ships arrived. Ironically, Thompson found the Columbia River twice, but didn’t know it. At its source, the Columbia flows for two hundred miles in a northerly direction – the opposite direction it was “supposed” to flow. Thompson and his men took an arduous 600 mile detour through my present stomping grounds in Montana before they discovered the Columbia as it flowed southwest.  

The confusion cost Thompson two months. When he finally reached the mouth of the Columbia, he learned that Astor’s ship had beaten them . . . by two months.  

 

David Thompson didn’t know at the time that rights to fur trading were trivial compared to what he accomplished. His seemingly futile wanderings caused him to map 2,340,000 square miles – more than any geographer who ever lived. He visited Edmonton, Calgary, and Portland before these cities had even been invented. Though he failed in his attempt to ensure beaver pelts for his company, he accomplished something far greater: he mapped and defined a nation.  

Dashed dreams which initiate a higher plan – do you think that was only true for Moses and David Thompson? Or do you believe God is doing the same thing in your life? 

(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

 

 

 

 

Missing Posts for Story of the Day!

Dear Readers,

Since climbinghigher.org is the educational arm of Athelas Outdoor Ministry, Inc. and since the author and the techy person are adventure leaders and planners for the adventure retreats we will often be in the field during our busiest season of summer.  Last week was our season opener retreat with a group of 6th graders on their annual outdoor education retreat titled “Rock On’.  Thus the reason for no posts for four days.  We hope you will not give up on us but be patient when being in the outdoors away from high tech stuff does not allow us to post.  Thanks for your faithfulness and encouragement in reading and responding to the posts.  We will be here as often as possible.  Enjoy! Image

Group picture on last day of Rock On retreat…’Rock On’ t-shirts made by one of the fathers as a surprise!