Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Something Strange Happened Sunday

I have been a life long Detroit Lions fan and thought that I had seen it all, but Sunday, something very strange happened. Now, you might be saying to yourself..."yeah, the Lions won" and you would be right. That is strange. But HOW they won is what I am talking about.

For years and years, the Detroit Lions have been on the bad end of things. Bad calls always go against them. "Freak" plays always happen too them. Miracle comebacks, are always with the other team making them. Gritty performances are always with the other team and never someone that is on the Lions. That is just how it has been, and for better or for worse, it was expected after so many years.

So, when the Lions were down 24-7 after the first quarter to an equally bad team Sunday in the Cleveland Browns, I thought "Just another classic Lions disappointment."

But then something strange happened. The Lions started to come back. When I heard they were coming back, I thought, "they'll still fall short, after all they are the Lions."

Due to black out restrictions, hardly anyone saw the game. There were lots of empty seats, so the game was not televised locally. I had to get updates from ESPN while I was in my car working, or from CBS Sportsline while in front of the computer screen.

It was 37 -31 with Cleveland in the lead with just a few seconds left. Detroit was about 40 yards away from a TD, so in a last second desperation throw, Matthew Stafford scrambled around the pocket to avoid a pass rush and then unleashed a long pass to the end zone. Cleveland was flagged for a pass interference call as the pass went incomplete. Detroit's ball at the 1 yard line with one play left.

That in itself was amazing for Detroit Lions fans. To be on the right side of a game changing penalty for a change. But the truly amazing part was going on behind the scenes.

On that pass play, Matthew Stafford was hit as he threw the ball and was slammed on his left shoulder, later is was discovered that it was dislocated on that play. Cleveland had called a timeout to try to regroup, which gave Stafford enough time to avoid all of the team physicians and force his way back onto the field to finish what he started. He then, with a dislocated left shoulder, took the snap and threw the game winning TD.

Are you kidding me?!!

This is the type of things that legends are made of! And, it happened, in a good way, for my Detroit Lions! Now, I am not saying that Stafford and the Lions are on their way to the playoffs this year....or even next year. But, I think a few years from now, people could look back on this moment and say "this is where it all changed for the Lions"

By the way, Matthew Stafford was wired for NFL Films during the game. Steve Sabol, president of NFL Films, listened to the tapes recorded from Stafford and called it "The most dramatic player wiring ever!"

Finally, Lions fans might have something to be excited about other then Barry Sanders highlights.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Adopt A Family and The Homeless Shelter

This morning, I posted on my Facebook page a Haiku. Here it is: God is with the poor----And God is with the broken----Let us be with God.

So, in the spirit of that post, here is an opportunity for all of us to impact Michiana.

There is a family in the inner city of South Bend that I was contacted by earlier this week that is in need of food for Thanksgiving and Christmas along with gifts for Christmas. This is a single mom that is on disability. She has 4 kids that are her own and 2 addition kids that she has legal custody over. The kids are ages: 12, 10, 9, 5, 5 and 4. One of the 5 year olds is a boy and the rest are all girls. I thought that it would be awesome to help this family out.

The other opportunity to impact Michiana is through the homeless shelter. Here is a list of the shelters current needs:

Aspirin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Diapers, Swimmer-all sizes, New Socks and Underwear for both Men and Women, Feminine Hygiene Supplies, Towels and Wash cloths, Cough Drops, Laundry Soap, Umbrella's, Children's School Uniforms, x-large to xxxxl shirts, Ear plugs, Interview attire/clothing for women (sizes 18 and up), Interview attire/clothing for men (xl & xxl shirts and pants larger than size 46), Women's Dress shoes (sizes 8 and up), Men's shoes (size 9-14)

This project is something that a group of people just decided to do. It is not company sponsored in any way shape or form, so feel free to help out where you can with what you can. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

For how to donate or help, you can contact the following people in the following ways:

Barry Skalski 574-370-8156 or by email
Michelle Zarobinski 574-876-8674 or by email
Bill Calahan 574-310-0011

Starting on Monday, there will be a drop off station located inside of the building located at 202 Lincoln Way East in Mishawaka. It is the building that National City Bank, Prudential One Realty, Wells Fargo and Metropolitan Title occupy.

If we collect enough, we may be able to sponsor more than one family!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension and Changes

Today, in a vote of 403-12, the House passed a bill that the Senate had already passed that extends the Homebuyer Tax Credit and also makes some changes to the existing tax credit. Now, before I go ANY further, I need to throw out a disclaimer that President Obama still needs to sign this into law to make it official. Although that should just be a formality, it is in fact not law until he signs it. So, this is just to inform of what the bill is and what some of the changes are.

Ready? Here we go:

The proposed new law will extend the current first time buyer tax credit from November 30, 2009 to April 30, 2010. However, it only has to be under contract by April 30, 2010. It actually has to close by July 1, 2010. This will help out with short sales tremendously!

Also, current homeowners are now eligible for a tax credit upon purchasing a home, up to $6,500. The catch here is that existing homeowners have to have lived in their home for 5 of the last 8 years in order to qualify.

The proposed new law also extends the income limits. Under the old credit, maximum income for the full credit was $150,000 for a married couple. Under the new law, the maximum would be raised to $225,000 for a married couple. The maximum purchase price on a home is $800,000.

There is also a new anti-fraud rule where the purchaser must attach documentation of the purchase to the tax return.

First time home buyers are still considered someone who has not owned a home in at least 3 years.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me and I will do my best to answer any questions that you may have. My cell is 574-370-8156.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Decisions, Decisions and more Decisions

Every few weeks, it is my turn to lead discussion for my Friday morning men's bible group. This is my Friday, so I thought I would share:

We are all faced with decisions on a daily basis. Some are more basic like: What do we wear for the day? What do we eat for lunch? While others take more thought like: What kind of haircut to get next week? What do I attack first on my to-do list? And still others are more complex like: Should I go buy a new car or house? Should I get married? Should I go on that vacation? Etc…..

So, I thought we could talk about decisions that we all have to make, how we make these decisions and where does God fit in to all of these decisions.

Ronald Reagan once said: “America was founded by people who believed that God was their rock of safety. He is ours. I recognize we must be cautious in claiming that God is on our side, but I think it is all right to ask if we are on his side.”

1. When making a decision, how do you know that your decision is your will or if it is the will of God? Which do you listen to more, your will or God’s?

2. Seems like sometimes, we make our more important decision the same way we make our more basic decisions….more out of habit or with the flow of the day. What process(es) should be used on decisions? Should there be a difference and why? How do you decipher what is a major or a minor decision?

3. Do you believe that God sends you signs in your attempts to make a decision? If yes, how do you know? What do you look for?

4. You have made a decision, you are moving ahead with it, but you keep coming up against major road blocks. How do you handle that? Do you re-assess your decision or do you keep plowing ahead through the road blocks? Do you see these road blocks as a sign from God that you are on the wrong path or are they put there to make you stronger?

5. When is it wise to seek the council of others when making a decision? Do you see this as a sign of strength or weakness when you seek the advice of others? How do you look at the person that is asking for your advice? Do these opinions effect you when you ask for someone’s advice or not, in other words, do you care about what the other person thinks of you when you are asking their advice?

6. Is there a right time to interfere with someone else’s decision making? How do you do that without coming across as judgemental?

James 1:5-8 (New International Version)
5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
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