A Springboard for You

For a better life and a better eternity

Things You Don’t Say to Your Wife by Tim Hawkins

I know I rely pretty heavily on Tim Hawkins for these fun days, but I just think he is hilarious. Check out this clip on what not to say to your wife that comes from his DVD Full Range of Motion.

Have fun.

November 14, 2008 Posted by | A Springboard for Fun, Making Mistakes, Marriage, Relationships, Videos | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Farkle Principle: How I Lost Millions because of My Big BUT!

Don’t worry, this isn’t a post about any gross or humorous bodily functions.

I learned how to play Farkle, a dice game, when I was five years old, maybe even earlier. That was way back in 1978. Since then I have taught almost every friend I have how to play. It’s a very simple dice game.

If you want to skip the rules of the game and go straight to the point of the post skip the italicized paragraphs.

The only equipment you need is six dice, a piece of paper and a pencil. Ones equal 100 points. Fives equal 50 points. Three of a kind in one toss of the dice equals 100 times the face value of one of the dice. Thus, three fours is 400 points. If you role four of a kind that doubles. Thus, four fours is 800 points. Five of a kind doubles it again. Thus, five fours equals 1600 points. If you roll six of a kind in one toss, you automatically win. Since a single one is already 100 points, three ones is 1000 points and each additional one doubles it. If you roll a straight with all six dice, that is 1500 points.

You start with six dice and roll. You pull out the point dice you want and keep rolling. If you end up with all six dice having points, you then pick them all up and keep rolling. Before you can actually start recording your score for the first time, you have to get to at least 1000 points. With a 1000 points you can get on the board. Then you can quit at any time. Beware, if you toss the dice and have no points, then you lose all the points you have earned that turn. Once you are on the board and it comes to your turn again, you can then stop at any point you want, whether you have 50 points, 500 points or 5000 points. 

The first player to 10,000 wins. However, once one person crosses the coveted finish line, the dice makes one final pass around the table to see if anyone can surpass your score. So, if folks are close, you want to go out big. If someone goes past you, you don’t get another chance to beat them.

That may sound confusing, but it is really quite simple. It is also extremely fun. I could tell you some great gaming stories about my family and friends playing this game over the years. However, I’m not writing this just to teach you to play a simple but fun game for the whole family. I’m not writing this to share family memories with you. I am writing because for years, I have occasionally thought, “You know, I ought to figure out a way to package and market this game.” But I always came back with, “Yeah, BUT you don’t know anything about breaking into the game market.” Or “Yeah, BUT who would want to spend money on a game that really only needs six dice, some paper and a pencil?” There was always this little nagging part of me that thought I should do something about it, however, I always let my big BUT get in the way.

Just a few weeks ago, while perusing Barnes and Noble, I passed the game table and something incredible caught my eye. A packaged game entitled Farkel. The rules were slightly different and they  spelled it differently than I always had but it was the same game. Search the internet and you will find Official Rules and all kinds of other stuff. Someone even came up with a party version. How cool is that?



Because I always let my big BUT get in the way. 

I have now learned the Farkle principle. If it’s a good idea, someone is going to capitalize on it. Might as well be me. Now I just need to have another good idea.


August 5, 2008 Posted by | Making Mistakes, Our big BUT, regrets, Success | , , , , , | 5 Comments

More Tests Should Be Like an Eye Exam

I took Ethan, my eight year old, for an eye exam today. This whole experience proved how uptight I am. Ethan was sitting behind that crazy contraption hearing, “Which looks better? One or Two?” and “Can you read the smallest line?” I was sitting on a chair in the corner upset because I could see the smallest line projected on the wall and he was getting the questions wrong.

Can you believe it? For a brief moment I was sitting there thinking, “Oh my goodness, my son is going to fail his eye exam.” I know, I have issues.

Very quickly it hit me. You can’t fail an eye exam. Eye exams aren’t about pass and fail. The eye exam doesn’t say, “You can’t read the bottom line? You are a loser and a failure.” Rather, it simply says, “Here is where you are and here is how to get you where you need to be.” 

Getting an accurate assessment of exactly where a person is with this exam is pretty important. In fact, we had to have this exam because the new glasses we just spent hundreds of dollars purchasing didn’t work right because the prescription was too powerful. It made his distance vision extremely clear, but he couldn’t read. With school starting up next week, we had to get that fixed.

Plus, since this exam is not about pass and fail, there is no need to cheat. In fact, cheating is detrimental to the process. Cheating will give us the wrong prescription again. 

It dawned on me. Maybe more tests, even in school, need to be more like an eye exam. Instead of testing in order to determine pass or fail, how about we start testing just to see where everyone is and what they need to work on? Instead of saying someone has failed because they can’t read the same line as someone else, how about we just learn where they need to work and then prescribe a plan of action for them. 

Maybe that approach won’t work at school. I don’t know. After all, it will really be hard for one teacher to tailor the teaching to the 25 different levels on which his/her students find themselves. It is just a lot easier to try to get them all on the same page, fail them if they can’t keep up and then shunt them off to the remedial class. 

I can’t fix schools. But I can work on me. My kids and I would have been spared many heartbreaking nights and altercations if I had been taking this approach every time I helped them with their homework. Instead of viewing them as failures because they didn’t get some principle yet, I should have recognized the homework and tests merely showed where they needed to work. It was actually a good thing to learn about the questions they missed. Then I get an accurate assessment of where they are and then I learn how to help.

It also helps me personally. When I mess up and get something wrong. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure or a loser. It just means I have to do some work on that particular spot. That means I don’t have to cheat to impress anybody. I just need to figure out where I am and work to grow from there.

Let’s work and learn together.


July 31, 2008 Posted by | Making Mistakes, Success | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

You can learn a lot from a knee brace

I guess I should have known when I opted not to wear my knee brace while playing Ultimate Frisbee on Sunday that I would be learning a life lesson on Monday.

But “Hey,” I thought, “my knee hasn’t hurt in a really long time. I’m having trouble finding that stupid knee brace and, frankly, I don’t really like wearing it. So why worry about it?” Well, today, my knee hurts. I guess I should have known, but I am an idiot. Wait a minute. No I’m not. I’m just a human that makes mistakes. But I hope I learn from them.

This is so much like the accountability measures and self-discipline habits I put in my life. I have my readings, my prayers, my accountability partners, on and on the list goes with the measures I have put into place to help me stay healthy spiritually, mentally and emotionally. The problem is after a while, I get tired of doing those things. They take too long. They aren’t all that exciting. Some of them are a bit embarrassing. Some are downright hard. Besides I’ve been doing great on whatever the issue is. Perhaps just this once I can get by without them. But every time I do, I fall. Sometimes hard.

Let me encourage you to grab your knee-brace and put it on any time you have an inkling of a thought that you might need it. Let’s think of it this way, it never hurts to wear it. But sometimes it really hurts if you don’t.


July 8, 2008 Posted by | Being human, Making Mistakes, Success | , , | 1 Comment

The U-turn Epiphany

I had an epiphany the other day and have had daily reminders ever since. I have come to realize I’m really hard on myself and on other people. I’m so full of negative self-talk it is no wonder success is an uphill climb.

Just the other day I was driving in Nashville, planning to turn on to I-65 to head back down to Franklin. I was mentally sidetracked and passed my turn.

“You idiot!” 

Surely that’s what I was. Only idiots miss turns; normal people don’t do that. Life is tough for idiots like me.

Then it hit me. I’m not an idiot. I just missed my turn. All I have to do is U-turn and then I will do it right the next time. What an epiphany. It reminded me of my favorite scene in Disney’s The Kid when Russ Duritz (Bruce Willis) excitedly hollered, “I am not a loser!” I had that moment. Despite some of my friends’ repeated reminders, I am not an idiot, loser, moron or any other thing. I’m just a human who makes mistakes sometimes (sometimes frequently and repeatedly).

I can’t tell you how many times I have caught myself saying things like this since then. I publish a blog only to find a misspelled wrod and immediately castigate and berate myself. I answer a question incorrectly or fumble a sentence in a sermon and the names start internally flying. Some of you are saying, “Yeah, but Edwin, you really are an idiot.”

No, actually, I’m not. I’m just a human that makes mistakes.

Now, when I catch myself shaming myself, I remind myself. “Nope, I’m not an idiot, I just missed the turn. I’m just a human who makes mistakes. I’ll make a u-turn and just do it right on the second pass.” 

Have a great 4th of July!


July 3, 2008 Posted by | Being human, Making Mistakes, Shame | , , , | 5 Comments