Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Time Lapse of Wrigley Field makeover

For some time the players have complained about the playing surface at the Friendly Confines. Watch this video and see how the new field is put together...


Thursday, February 21, 2008

FPU - Off and running

Haven't had much time for blogging this week. Seems like life is running at a bit higher speed for some reason.
We met for the first FPU (Financial Peace University) class last Sunday evening. There were 11 in attendance. 4 of us were at least second timers. There were 2 couples that did not make it. One returning and one younger married couple. Two things that excite me about this group:
  1. There are some in this group who have never done anyting in the church outside of attending worship. This is a HUGE step for them to grow.
  2. There is the biggest diversity in ages of all the classes I have hosted. This will lead to good things as we continue our accountability and discussion portions of the class.

This group seems as serious as any of the groups I have led to date about winning financially. I have already had some honest discussions about the regret that some have over their past decisions and the hope they have in doing right from here on out. God is preparing to do some awesome things in these people's lives!

I am heading right now to prep for the next session. It is about learning how to relate to money and how to start preparing a monthly zero based budget. This is vital to those who have just made the decision to stop losing with money. I'll be honest, the monthly budget is our personal weakness. We tend to deal in generalities at our house. We need to get better at this so our winning process gets accelerated. I am already excited for Sunday evening.

What steps have you taken recently to win with finances?

Something to ponder...

"In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination."

-- Mark Twain

Lent -- Part 16 -- TRUST GOD

JEREMIAH 17:5-10

LUKE 16:19-31

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Something to ponder...

“It’s true: Winning breeds winning. What people forget to mention is that winning also breeds complacency. My observation is that complacency is the more common offspring of winning.”
--John Wooden

Lent - Part 11 - REACH OUT

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Book #4 - I Was Broke Now I'm Not by Joseph Sangl

I believe that I have been reading Joe's blog for about a year. There are 2 reasons that I enjoy what he has to say so much. 1 - He is passionate! 2 - He is practical. These are two powerful attributes to succeeding with money. As a FPU coordinator, I have enjoyed his perspectives and have found insipirations for my personal finainces and to pass along to those on the journey with me. When I heard that he was writing a book, I was excited to get a copy.

Folks, this is just the type of book that everyone needs to read about their finances. The two attributes I mentioned above are in this text in extreme doses. It is the inspirational story of how he and his wife have succeeded with money. Therein lies another key to winning wuth money. LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUCCEEDED. Everyone has an opinion. Joe has gone through and is living what he teaches.

This is not an in-depth scientific or technical text on money managment. It is clear, basic steps that every person can, and should put to use. Anytime you read a book and it motivates you to action, it is a good thing. This is one of those books. You can get a copy HERE. Honoring God by handling your finances well is as liberating a feeling as there is. This is a book that will be in my personal "toolbox" as I encourage others to be good stewards and win with their finances.

Something to ponder...

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."

--Sir Winston Churchill

Lent - Part 9 - PRAY BOLDLY

Is there anything that you are afraid to take to the Father?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How Many Germs on Your Keyboard??

2,606,520How Many Germs Live On Your Keyboard?

Meet Ohio Singles


Resolve is vital to winning!

Financial Peace University - Week 1

We were scheduled to have our first class this past Sunday evening. Unfortunately, the temperatures dropped to around 0 degrees with blowing snow and awind at 50 MPH. This obviously caused some unsafe conditions and forced us to postpone the first lesson. This was adissapointment because I am pumped about this class. When I look at the group who are going through, I cannot wait to get together and begin, and continue in the case of the returnees, working the plan to financial life change. I am VERY anxious to get at it this Sunday.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lent -- Part 7 -- JOIN GOD"S PLAN

Link Dump - Lots O links Edition

5 Inspiration Hacks for Creative People
She Lies About Her Weight (and other online activities of women)
Scholars Find Treasure Trove of Early New Testament Manuscripts
Hardcore Baptist Pick-up Lines
Credit Card Companies Are Like Drug Dealers
Preaching Sites - great list of study resources
Average American Christian: 9 Bibles, Always Looking for a New One, and Hardly Reads the one He Has
Dobson: If McCain is the Nominee, I Won’t Vote
Essential Reading: In the Name of Jesus
Good Coaching Questions
Never Forget an Item at the Supermarket [Grocery List]
Get Over the Flu Quickly [Health]
Why You Should Read Ebooks [Ebooks]
Save Money While Spending Freely with Reverse Budgeting [Personal Finance]
Verify Campaign Claims at [Politics]
Markee Dry Erase Paint [Stuff We Like]
Are you STUCK? - Part One
The Most Beneficial Health Supplement You've Probably Never Heard Of--CoQ10!
The Church: Flawed and Finished (1)
Another Osteen Rant
Dr. BBQ’s Top 10 Tailgating Tips
Scary Newspaper Headline: 'Super Bowl Massacre Averted at Last Minute'
Tim Keller in Newsweek
Sometimes Only God Can Feel Hope
Big Green Egg -- Im really considering one of these...
Firing A Volunteer
Pastoral Leadership during Potential Conflict 101
Our Faith Inside and Outside the Church
Yep, Evangelicals Prefer Clinton to Obama
The Blind Hypocrisy of Just Doing Church
Fetal Twins Save Mom's Life
Questions about Music and Church
Union University Tornado - video footage and testimony
N.T. Wright on Heaven
Mohler: Top 10 Books Every Preacher Should Read in 2008
Ice from airplane potty crashes through Calgary roof
2008 Persecutor Of Christians Rankings
10 Ways to Improve the NFL
Irish Blarney: Peering into a football future
Attack of the Marijuana Ministers Part 3

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Game of the Week -- Ant Buster

Place cannons to protect that picinic cake!

Lent -- Part 4 -- GET RESULTS

When we put personal action in motion joined with God's direction, we Get Results...

Book #4 -- Confessions of a Pastor by Craig Groeschel

When I orginally added this book to my reading pile I thought that it was an inside look into ministry life based on the title. I had paid no attention to the sub-title, "Adventures in Dropping the Pose and Getting Real with God". While there is a great deal of sharing about ministry life, that is not the focus of the book.
Craig uses his transparent and honest style to mark a path through many of the big hangups that Christians face. With chapters like "I can't stand a lot of Christians", "I hate prayer meetings", and "Sometimes I doubt God" the reader is led places that most are at the very least wary of going in today's culture.
At the end of the book I personally felt hope. Hope because I can see some areas of my life that need addressing and it can be done. Also hope because I realize that many of the doubts, fears, and concerns I have and have had in the past are actually shared experiences rather than something weird.
When we recognize that it is a lie that we are odd and no one is like us we can step to freedom. The key is having the guts to stand up, speak up, and unite with other believers (who have their own issues) and walk toward personal victory in Jesus. No more going it alone, no more trying to do it on your own without God. Being honest with yourself, God, and others around you is the way to pull your head from the sand.
This book may not be for everyone; it takes a willingness to face the man in the mirror to get the most from the book. Thankfully Craig has written in an honest, open style that intives rather than bashes the reader into those personal journeys.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Something to ponder...

"Communism doesn't work because people like to own stuff."
-- Frank Zappa

Lent -- Part 3 -- TAKE ACTION

A great Michael Barrett photo

Thanks to the FAIL Blog...

An Athlete to root and pray for...

In THIS article we see that young up and coming star Josh Fields is willing to quit if it does not put him where God wants him. This is refreshing and someone I can point my sons to who is living the right way in the midst of great success. Here is a quote from the article:

"When I got my first taste of the big leagues in 2006, it was everything that I had dreamed about," Fields said. "But the further I got into my professional career, the more I had to deal with everything else that goes along with being a professional athlete. There were so many things going on in the clubhouse that I really questioned if professional baseball was for me. However, I prayed about it and realized there is nowhere I could have more influence
right now than in that clubhouse."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Lent -- Part 1 -- Adjust Your Attitude

Our church has provided a booklet this year for Lent. As part of my personal processing each day I will be posting the Scriptures that we have been provided along with each day's theme.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Something to ponder...

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Baseball & Life -- Part 2 -- PLAY WITH HONOR

There are only 8 days left until the pitchers and catchers of 6 teams report to training camp. In part 2 of the Baseball & Life series we look at the principle:


Always hustle, run out every ground ball and pop up, encourage your teammates, especially after an error, bad pitch or strikeout. Carry yourself with pride and dignity. Do not in frustration throw equipment. Do not ridicule another team or opposing player's name, physical appearance, or skill. Do not taunt. Do not distract an opposing player with low-level antics. Be positive with teammates. Never ridicule or criticize them. They need your rencouragment the most right after they make a mistake. Show your teammates, opponents, and the entire world the values you hold dear by how you play.

This is one that the most competitive of us love to give good lip service to. Especially when we see someone else exhibt poor behavior. When we engage in the poor action, there is always an excuse. We love to point out when the coach or player on the team we love to hate does something that is considered poor sportsmanship. If one "our guys" does something, we are quick to justify that behavior. And don't think for a minute that the ones we are leading and teaching do not pick up on it. A child who knows that they will be backed and supported no matter their behavior is a disaster in waiting. There is a huge difference in providing an expalination and giving an excuse for an action.
Especially in the eyes of God, how we win and lose is more important than whether we win or lose. How we carry ourselves both on and off the field of play determines how we are viewed by the world. Look at the lives of any handful of great baseball players you can think of. Is your personal reaction to them based solely on their on-field abilities and contributions? Doubtful.
To play with honor seems like a lost art in our culture. It is definately there if you look for it. It is often unfortunately not the normal behavior. I am hard pressed to think of the last time I watched a game and there was no yelling at an official, equipment thrown, taunting of the opposition, or some other ridiculous behavior. It has become accepted on the field and in the stands. Parents and fans are a whole other long discussion. Just because something has become widely accepted does not mean that it is the right thing to do. Those who choose to play with honor not only represent themselves, their teams, families, communities, and in some cases country well; they represent their God as a Christ follower well.
We let outside influence change our behavior and resposes too easily. Remind yourself often that the next bad throw, missed swing, or mental error could be your own. That should be enough in itself to give us more grace with our teammates. In this I am referring to real life situations. When co-workers and ministry partners fail to meet our expectations would the future outcome be better if we came alongside in support rather than making an assault on the problem?
This is where the principle of letting the coaches do the coaching comes to play. Contructive criticism (coaching) should come from the proper source. Just because I have an opinion on an issue does not mean that I have a duty or a right to share it with a teammate. That is for the coach to do. I have watched a number of baseball teams approach this from both directions. The most successful ones have all of the players pulling for one another and anything corrective or instructional comes from the coaching staff. Even the most talented teams fall short when this is not the case.
Two verses come to mind that apply:

7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
Ephesians 6:7-8

28He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen

Ephesians 4:28-29

NEXT UP: Be Relentless.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Manning Wins the Super Bowl

Ok. The above statement doesn't seem too out of place; until you realize that it wasn't Peyton. Anyone who says that they saw this coming even a month ago is probably being a little less than truthful. A few things came to my mind...
  • It was cool to watch a brother root for another in such an authentic way
  • Could the dynasty over the next few years be how many Manning SB wins there will be?
  • How unfulfilled must the Patriots feel?
  • that play where Eli escaped the sack, and then heaved the ball to Tyree (who made and incredible catch) could be a career defining play
  • was Belicheck leaving the field before the game was officially over an act of emotion or of poor sportsmaship?
  • The Pats offensive line had the worst game of theor careers I think
  • Congrats to the Giants.
  • I'll probably watch the Pro Bowl; because thats it for football until August!

Something to ponder...

"Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip."
-- Will Rogers

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Happy Groundhog Day.

Just wanted to wish everyone a great day. Make it a good one in case it repeats. Any predictions on the shadow sighting?

Remember most of all, DONT DRIVE ANGRY.