Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Great Speech, Great Movie

Ray, people will come, Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway, not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. "Of course, we won't mind if you have a look around," you'll say. "It's only twenty dollars per person." They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it; for it is money they have and peace they lack.

And they'll walk out to the bleachers, and sit in shirt-sleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game, and it'll be as if they'd dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they'll have to brush them away from their faces.

People will come, Ray.

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


As I type the name Derek Redmond, most of you probably have no idea who he is. Most people have no idea what his story is, until you hear it or read about it. Then, it all comes back to your memory.

Derek Redmond trained most of his life for one moment. That moment was to take place in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain. Derek was a world class sprinter who was one of the favorites to win the 400m sprint race. And that moment is what he will always be remembered for.

You see, Derek did not win the race, nor did he come in 2nd, 3rd or 4th place. But instead, he finished dead last....way behind everyone else in what could be the slowest time ever ran in the Olympics. So why is this so memorable?

About 150m's into the race Derek heard a loud "pop" and then fell to the ground in excruciating pain. His hamstring had tore. There was a groan from the crowd and then silence from it as everyone stared wondering what had happened.

The rest of the sprinters had already passed the finish line, and people with stretchers were on their way out to carry Derek off the track. Then, Derek got up and started to hop on one leg to finish the race that he had started. Suddenly, from the crowd, emerged Derek's father on to the track to help him get to the finish line to a standing ovation of 65,000 people.

This my friends, is perseverance.

What is there in our lives that we have been trying to accomplish that seem so close yet so far away? Are we seeking help? Are we leaning on God to get us to that finish line? Sometimes, it is not about finishing in 1st place. Sometimes, it is just about finishing the race.

Here is the video version of what happened that day in Barcelona:

Monday, October 19, 2009

10 Things I Don't Get

1. Sushi

2. Jon and Kate plus 8


4. Coffee Drinkers

5. The Ped Egg

6. Sky Diving

7. The Running of the Bulls

8. People that say "You just have to eat/drink a few of them, then it starts to taste good."

9. Churches that hate on other Churches

10. The X Games

What don't you get?

This was inspired by Tony Morgan

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Teamwork, Leadership and......Ducks?

I just got back from a 2 day leadership meeting in Bloomington that was put on by the Indiana Realtors Leadership Academy (IRLA). One of the presentations, oddly enough, was about what we could learn from the teamwork and leadership that is displayed by ducks. That's right, Ducks. I really found this interesting and thought I would share it with you along with some of my thoughts.

Did you know, that as each duck flaps it wings, it creates and "uplift" for the bird following? By following in a V formation, the whole flock adds 71% more flying range then if each bird flew alone.

Some thoughts on this were: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier they are traveling on the thrust of one another. As Leaders, we need to cast vision in a passionate way to encourage others to share in that vision. As teams, we need to help one another and to offer encouragement and support. How would this look in business? In my church?

Did you know, that whenever a duck falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone? It quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the duck immediately in front.

How often do we let ego get in our way? This "I can do this on my own attitude" will not only isolate us from others that can and want to help, but it puts that goal off into the distance and makes it harder to obtain. It is usually better to stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go.

Did you know, that when the lead duck gets tire, it rotates back into the formation and another duck flies at the point position?

How often, as leaders, do we not recognize how many other leaders we have behind us? Leaders that want to share in our burdens. Leaders that, if given the opportunity, may be able to take our group to another level not yet obtained. How often do we get so burned out, that the only way to fix our burn out is to completely step away from the situation? I see this happen in church leadership frequently. I myself have even experienced this. Sometimes, true leadership is knowing when to step aside and letting someone else lead for awhile. Then, stand by that new leader and offer support and encouragement.

Did you know, that when in formation, the ducks quack from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed?

How often do we encourage those that are leading us? We need to make sure that our "quacking" from behind is encouraging----not something less helpful or damaging.

Did you know, that when a duck gets sick or wounded, that 2 ducks will drop out of formation and follow it down to help protect it? They stay with the duck until it is either able to fly again or dies. Then, they launch out on their own with another formation or catch up with the flock.

Are we standing by the people around us when they are in need? Or, do we turn a blind eye and say "too bad that happened"? Being part of a team is being there in the good times and the bad.

Friday, October 9, 2009

An Odd Way To Wake Up Today

What an odd way to wake up today.I opened my eyes to see a news report about us bombing the moon. Huh? Then a special report about President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Huh?!

I thought I was in some sort of dream or something.

But, after thinking about it for a while, I thought I would share some of my thoughts about these news stories.

I guess I am still struggling to understand why we, meaning our government which means our tax dollars, spent 79 million dollars in an attempt to find out if the moon has water on it. The questions that come to my mind, I guess, are:

What if it does have water, then what? Are we going to spend more money to transport it here? Does that mean that we are going to send people there to colonize it? If so, I have a few I would like to send....which is not very Christian, but the truth. Why would we want to colonize the moon? Isn't there a better way to be spending our money right now? Who's idea was this anyway?

To me, "bombing" the moon just does not make a lot of sense. And I have always been pro space exploration and such. I don't know, maybe there is more to this then what I have heard etc., but it just leaves me shaking my head and shrugging my shoulders a little.

Now, on to Obama and the peace prize. This is a weird one for me as well. I have made no secret that I am an Obama supporter. But the Nobel Peace Prize? Really? Hasn't he been in office for about 9 months or so? It really had me scratching my head this morning.


He has started to change some very controversial policy that was created over 8 years that made the rest of the world pretty angry.

He has started dialogue with our perceived enemies in a non threatening way.

He withdrew a very controversial defense missle project in Europe that had Russia in a tizzy under the prior administration. And, by withdrawing it, convinced Russia to disarm more of their nuclear and missle program.

He continued withdrawing troops from Iraq.

He INCLUDED most of the European leaders in confronting Iran's secret nuclear program. And ASKED and SHARED intelligence with those countries in reaching a conclusion that Iran needed to be confronted.

He seems to have staved off a possible depression, that probably would have led to a world wide collapse of economic systems.

Now, to sort of use a Chris Rock line, I am not saying he should have won the award.....but I understand. There are many in this country that see our president as week, or a socialist, or a communist, or un-American, or even a nazi. But the rest of the world seems to see a guy that is trying very hard to create peace. And I think that is very cool.

Maybe he has not done everything that he said he was going to do, but again, it has only been 9 months. The people that seem to be complaining the most about President Obama not doing everything that he has promised, also seem to be the same people that say he is trying to do too much at one time. The same people, that if Obama created peace in the middle east, would complain about how he got peace instead of being happy that he got peace.

So, for the people that are saying that he has done nothing........ I disagree, because he clearly has. To say that he should have won the award........ I disagree, because I do think that it is too early in his presidency for such an award.

But I can see why the rest of the world is excited that we elected this man as President, maybe we should be a little more excited as well.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Full Credit Bid

I recently attended a continuing education class in Michigan and was taught some very interesting information about Foreclosure that goes against the common thought about having your house taken back by the bank. And, this applies to both Indiana and Michigan.

When your house is officially taken back by the bank is when it is sold at the Sheriff's auction. The bank does this by making a credit bid against your house. This "credit bid" is where things get interesting because of the belief out there about being sued for a deficiency judgement. The common belief, is that if you owed $100,000 and the bank takes your house back and sells it for $60,000, then the bank can sue you for a deficiency of $40,000. But that is not necessarily the true.

If the bank makes a "Full Credit Bid" on your home, then you owe nothing. A full credit bid is when you owe $100,000 and the bank makes a credit bid at, or above in most cases due to fees, the amount that is owed. This effectively negates the bank coming back on the homeowner for a deficiency judgement. Even if the house is then resold by the bank for $50,000 causing a $50,000 loss!

So, if you are in the process of having your house taken back by the bank, find out what the credit bid is on your house. This might relieve some anxiety about possible lawsuits.
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