Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
But the new laziness has nothing to do with physical labor and everything to do with fear. If you're not going to make those sales calls or invent that innovation or push that insight, you're not avoiding it because you need physical rest. You're hiding out because you're afraid of expending emotional labor.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Sour Play of the Week: Reaching overtime for the second consecutive week, the Buffalo Bills, the NFL's sole winless team, faced fourth-and-7 on the Kansas City 40. Should Buffalo attempt a 57-yard field goal by Rian Lindell, one of the league's best place-kickers? Jacksonville won a game last month on a 59-yard field goal. Or should Buffalo go for the first down? Wait -- the league's only winless team cannot be punting in opposition territory in overtime! Boom went the punt, and it took Kansas City just two snaps to pass the point where the ball would have been had Buffalo gone for it and failed. Earlier in the contest, the league's only winless team punted on fourth-and-inches.I watched the game, too. And when I saw the punt team coming onto the field at the moment Easterbrook described, I forgot I didn't care about the Bills this year. I screamed my head off at the coach, "You haven't won a game! Why are you punting?! You don't deserve to win!"
Buffalo has not reached the postseason in 11 years, and in that time had a succession of headmasters -- Gregg Williams, Mike Mularkey, Dick Jauron -- who coached as though terrified of their own shadows. TMQ started the Preposterous Punts item after Williams, with the Bills trailing in the second half, ordered a punt on fourth-and-2 from the New England 32. Now Chan Gailey is coaching afraid, too, and you can't reverse years of losing psychology by running scared. In Buffalo's preseason opener, Gailey's first game wearing a Bills headset, Buffalo was down 21-3 and facing fourth-and-inches at midfield: Gailey sent in the punt unit. Sure, that was just a preseason game. But the message to players was "nothing has changed; we expect to lose just like last year and the year before that." And so far, Gailey is coaching as though he expects to lose.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
We recently discovered—but then forget—the incredible phenomenon of NASCAR-themed romance fiction, stories filled with passion and grease and beautiful people being driven swiftly to ecstasy and Victory Lane alike. What follows is a brief selection from one such tale.
From Shades of Love, by Dorien Kelly & Barbara Dunlop:
"When was the last time she had kissed a man with more than just a quick, casual brush of the lips? Claire knew the answer to that question the instant Derek's mouth settled against hers: it had been far too long. She had nearly forgotten the pleasure of having someone so close, of learning someone new."
Friday, August 6, 2010
"That said, though, if it’s true leaders are readers, than it’s easier than ever to be a leader. In fact, if you’ll commit to reading a single book, you’ll be, approximately, in the top 50% of all Americans. I’m not kidding. If you’ll read just one more book before you die, you’ll leave half the people around you in the dust.
According to Para Publishing, 1/3 of high school graduates never read another bookfor the rest of their lives. And 42% of college graduates follow suit. 70% of U.S. adults have not stepped into a bookstore in the last 7 years and 80% of American families did not purchase or read a book last year."
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
- 230,00 killed
- 1 million homeless
- 2 million in need of aid
Here's what World Vision has been able to do (thanks to partners and donors):
"Gifts from partners like you are bringing hope to quake-affected children and families. World Vision began providing help within hours of the disaster. During the first three months after the earthquake, you helped us distribute food to more than 1.5 million people, and provide blankets, tarps, tents, hygiene kits, mosquito nets, and more to over 100,000 people.
World Vision was in Haiti long before the quake — caring for 300,000 children. With the help of generous donors like you, we’ll be there long afterward, too."
While things are definitely not great (check out The Big Picture's post: Haiti: 70 Days Later), it is great to hear good news coming from the country.
Doug and I will be there in five weeks.
(Image from World Vision's Twitter profile.)
Monday, April 12, 2010
This is from our spring retreat weekend.
I think my favorite part is the fact that the teens are out there with their friends in the freezing cold (40 degree) water, just to be a part of the event and show their support. Awesome stuff!
(By the way, if you're not familiar with baptism, Wikipedia has a pretty good description.)
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
The thing was, after I left, I didn't stop sneezing. Not in the few hours after, not the next day, nor the day after that. It just went on through the entire weekend. Now as I type, my eyes itch, my breathing is wheezy, and I have a box of Kleenex next to my desk. Hmm... it must be allergy season.
Let me tell you, I absolutely love springtime. For anyone who lives in the Northeast, you know how great this time of year can be. The snow/sleet/rain/hail/ice cubes from heaven have stopped falling. You can't see your breath in the morning and you fingers don't feel like they're going to fall off in the time it takes to walk from your front door to your car.
Up here, spring is an event. People start wearing shorts and flip-flops once it hits 50, even though it's still probably about a month too early. Red Sox jerseys and sun dresses re-enter as wardrobe staples. Bikers pull their motorcycles from storage (note to Sonja: think how glorious it would be to take that first scooter ride of the season? Can I PLEASE get one?). Everyone gathers outside to hang out in driveways and on front porches while soaking in the sun's rays. It's glorious. It's a total "winter's over" reawakening, and I love it. I celebrate it. I flip-flop and short it. I even played nine holes on Saturday (so I could repeatedly four-putt it).
Everything would be perfect if I could just breathe.
My goodness, is this time of the year awful for fellow allergy sufferers. The majority of you won't get what I'm talking about, but with the flowers blooming and trees budding, it's like two weeks of hell on earth for people like me. The worst thing is that I shouldn't be outside, but it's so nice that I just can't avoid it. I want to swing the clubs. I want to run 15-20 miles a week. I want to go for walks downtown and sit on the side porch. And, ideally, I'd like to do it without feeling like my head is going to explode.
Still, it's a small price to pay for spring. See you out there! I'll be the guy with the surgical mask on.
Photo from Kleenex.com
Friday, March 26, 2010
To be completely honest, these events never resonated with me. Oh sure, I watched the news and maybe contributed a few bucks to the Red Cross, but once the news cycle moved on, so did I. Katrina probably had the most impact on me, but that's only because I visited New Orleans for a conference a year later and saw the city still struggling to recover. Even then, I wasn't really moved to do anything more about it then tell a few people what I saw.
The earthquake that hit Haiti, though, was different. Like most of us, I watched the news coverage--but it grabbed me the way other stories didn't. I saw the devastation, watched the Haitian people scream and cry in the streets for help, and my heart absolutely broke for them. I really couldn't tell you why. Maybe it was a combination of things:
- These photo essays from The Big Picture, which captured the pain and suffering and reality of what happened: Earthquake in Haiti, Haiti: 48 Hours Later, and Haiti: 70 Days Later
- The fact that Haiti is only 600 miles from the U.S. (about the distance from Boston to Buffalo) and yet malnutrition and poverty run rampant there.
- Some of my earliest memories of church involve listening to a Haitian congregation sing, laugh, and pray noisily as their congregation met in a room below the sanctuary in our building.
- A slow realization that I had a chance to really do something to show love and help those in need.
Plans fell into place and I can now let you know that this May (the 23rd to the 29th), Doug and I will travel to Haiti with Adventures in Missions--an organization that's dedicated to helping deliver support and relief to some of the most impoverished areas of the world.
We really don't know what to expect. The country, which was impoverished before, has been completely devastated in the capital city of Port au Prince and surrounding areas. There are so many needs--food, water, medicine, rebuilding, rehabilitation--that we don't know yet what area we'll be helping in. All we know now is that we're going and we're going to help however we can.
But we can't do it alone. We need help. Maybe help from you.
- We need prayer... neither of us have ever done anything like this or put ourselves into a situation like this one.
- We need awareness... not for what we're doing, but that Haiti needs help. Recovery will take years, but the news cycle has already moved on. Please don't forget.
- We need help... again, not for us, but for Haiti. If you want to help support our trip, you can do that by donating through eventbrite or directly. Know that we plan to use any money we raise beyond our own costs to buy supplies to send to Port au Prince in advance. (Other great organizations you may want to support include CharityWater.org, the Red Cross, and Yele Haiti)
Thank you for listening and thanks in advance for helping.
(Here's a video Doug sent me from the blog WhyIsMarko. It was shot recently in Port au Prince.)
(I wrote this post while listening to "Blood Bank EP" by Bon Iver)
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
This morning, I thought about death. Good times!
I wanted to share the chapter's intro with you and see if you started thinking about mortality, too. And, if you did, how do you feel about it--scared or inspired?
"You could die before you finish reading this chapter. I could die while you're reading it. Today. At any moment.
But it's easy to think about today as just another day. An average day where you go about life concerned with your to-do list, preoccupied by appointments, focused on family, thinking about your desires and needs.
On the average day, we live caught up in ourselves. On the average day, we don't consider God very much. On the average day, we forget that our life truly is a vapor.
But there is nothing normal about today. Just think about everything that must function properly for you to survive. For example, your kidneys. The only people who really think about their kidneys are people whose kidney's don't work correctly. The majority of us take for granted our kidneys, liver, lungs, and other internal organs that we're dependent upon to continue living.
What about driving down the road at 65-mph, only a few feet away from cars going the opposite direction at the same speed? Someone would only have to jerk his or her arm and you would be dead. I don't think that's morbid; I think it's reality.
It's crazy that we think today is just a normal day to do whatever we want with. To those of us who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money,' James [the brother of Jesus] writes, 'Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes' (4:13-14)
When you think about it, that's a little disconcerting. But even after reading those verses, do you really believe you could vanish at any minute? That perhaps today you will die? Or do you instead feel somehow invincible?
Frederick Buechner writes, 'Intellectually we all know that we will die, but we do not really know it in the sense that the knowledge becomes a part of us. We do not really know it in the sense of living as thought it were true. On the contrary, we tend to live as though our lives will go on forever.'"
Sorry guys, I don't mean to be a total downer... but when I read this, it got me thinking: what if today really matters? What if we lived every day as if it were a gift or our last one? What would we do differently?
(And would we blog about it?)
Photo credit: CrazyLoveBook.com