Friday, July 9, 2010

7 Leadership Lessons Learned from Cleveland Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert’s Embarrassing Letter about LeBron James | Live Intentionally

Excellent take (IMO) from Living Intentionally about the Cleveland Cavaliers owner's response to Lebron's leaving. Good lessons here.

7 Leadership Lessons Learned from Cleveland Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert’s Embarrassing Letter about LeBron James | Live Intentionally

Please, God

Say a prayer. This needs to stop.

New cap, ships could contain Gulf oil leak by Monday - Green House -

Putting The Fun In Your Friday

People of Walmart the book is coming!

If you're unfamiliar with where this originated from, then check the original blog site out (I'm sure you will bookmark it for your continued viewing pleasure).

You're welcome.

People of Walmart Coming to a Bookstore Near You

Another Great Gmail Addition

Now if they'd only make the Conversation threading OPTIONAL!!!

Gmail finally adds rich text and per-address signatures

Enough Said

“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.  And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession- to the praise of his glory.”
- Ephesians 1:11-14 The New International Version 


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Help Rebuild Three Schools in Haiti

Recently a good friend of mine was able to go to Haiti to offer aid and support to that devastated country. I would love so much to be able to do that. I followed his blog religiously while he was there ( Haiti is in dire need of virtually everything, and it was such a poor country lacking any type of infrastructure to begin with. There are a lot of ministries and agencies doing a great job with relief right now, but there is still so much that needs to be done.

I read Relevant Magazine religiously. I listen to the Relevant Podcast religiously. I listen to the Relevant Drop religiously. I listen to RelevantFM religiously. In short, I love all that the Relevant Media Group does. Right now they are leading an initiative to rebuild three schools in Haiti, and it will only cost $50,000 total to do so. That's only $10 per person if 5,000 people give, and Relevant Magazine has way more subscribers than that. I wanted to pass on the article below for you to consider. Just don't go to Blockbuster or Starbucks a couple of times and give to this opportunity instead. It will be a blessing to you and the people of Haiti.

RELEVANT Magazine - God. Life. Progressive Culture. - Help Rebuild Three Schools in Haiti

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Anticipation For The King

At 9 PM EST on Thursday July 8th millions of people will tune in to ESPN to see where "The King" - NBA free agent LeBron James - will play basketball next year. In a broadcast called "The Decision" LeBron will take a one hour time slot to announce which team he has chosen to help him become "the first billion dollar athlete." Apart from the World Cup this has been the most followed and anticipated sports news story in the world. Basically, LeBron has been holding out for the most money and the best chance to win a title. It would appear that LeBron has three choices: 1) Get the most money ever; 2) Get a lot of money and find a team ready to win immediately (which may only be for one year, but it's not a guarantee); or 3) Go to a team and make it his own and make it a winner - thus securing his legend - regardless of whether or not he makes the most money (which he no doubt would anyway). I recently read an interesting article on this very subject on the New York Times Freakonomics blog. It is a good read and worth checking out. For the record MJ did number 3 back in the day with the Bulls, and the money certainly came for him as well as the legend. Certainly LeBron James is a marketing force. But I don't know if he's more interested in the money or in a legend/legacy. He appears to be trying for instant success rather than doing it the old fashioned way (again - ala MJ). All that said, the thing that I think most strikes me about all of this this is the media frenzy and circus that surrounds LeBron James - "The King." The anticipation is palpable. No matter what he decides, I will still enjoy watching him play.

Even as I've followed this story I couldn't help but wonder about another King. Of course the King that I'm referring to is the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible in many places calls him "the King of kings" (Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16;). I wonder, do I have as much anticipation for him in my daily life - especially for his return?  

James 5:7-9 says, "Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!"

1 Peter 4:7 says, "The end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.” 

Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Hebrews 10:37 says, “Yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry.”

1 John 2:18 says, “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.”

1 John 2:28 says, “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.”

1 Thessalonians 4:15, 17 says, “We who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord . . . . we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”

Titus 2:11-13 says, "“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

And there are other texts to consider as well (1 John 3:2; Colossians 3:4; 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4).

The point is - Christ will return. It is prophesied. It is imminent. But is it anticipated in your life and mine? If so, I certainly hope it blows the anticipation surrounding King James out of the water. 

Even so come Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Have We Already Forgotten?

I blogged about the oil spill quite a bit in recent weeks, but I confess I have said very little about it in recent days. I have not thought or prayed about this horrible situation as I was not so long ago. The article below highlights that I am not alone. It contains humbling statistics concerning how quickly our short attention spans have moved away from this tragedy on to whatever else is the latest news (like the latest failed Bachelor relationship).

Are We Losing Interest in the Oil Spill? [STATS]

This isn't going away any time soon. How I wish that it were different. How I wish that I could make a difference. For now the best thing I know to do is to continue to raise awareness. Because I'm tired of seeing this:

"The Elusive God Particle"

In my various readings recently - be it scripture or otherwise - I've come across a lot of texts dealing with creation. As a person of faith, I do not wrestle with issues of origins - the universe, the earth, mankind, wildlife, plant life, etc. I have a foundation and a framework tried and true that answers enough questions for me, and when I do not find the answers that I may want I find God's sovereignty is bigger than God's silence on a matter. I find it to be sufficient, because I trust enough of what I do know about God - his character, his name, his existence, his word - to remove all doubt about what I do not know. That is faith according to Hebrews 11:1. Nor do I get upset over scientific or inner-faith debate and dialog over the young earth/old earth argument. In my mind either way is amazing and miraculous (although I lean toward a young earth because of how specific the original language is on the matter). Don't fool yourself - to be an evolutionist in the Darwinian sense requires faith as well. In that way it is quite religious. But it is a religion that, in large part, goes against the teaching of the Bible. And since I believe that faith is a gift from God and not from man, I have faith in God in matters of the physical just as I have faith in God in matters of the spiritual. I do not have that kind of faith in something man-made and man-centered. I know this is a lightning rod topic, but I refuse to fight about it because I think much can be learned through science, and I embrace science. But science has limitations. Faith does not. And it is important to recognize that where science ends faith has to begin. It is also important to recognize that true faith and true science need not and will not contradict.

I was reading recently in the UK's Telegraph about the Large Hadron Collider. If you are not familiar with it let me explain. It is a particle accelerator being used for experimentation taking place right now in Geneva. It is the world's most powerful "atom smasher" which is buried 100 metres under the French-Swiss border. Here scientists are trying to find the "elusive God particle" otherwise known as the 'Higgs boson'. Finding this Higgs boson is the main goal of the LHC. It is a quest to find a subatomic particle which has never been discovered even though this quest is in its fifth decade. It is believed to be the reason why we are all here. Noble laureate Leon Lederman is the one who came up with this theoretical boson ("the God particle"). He believes its discovery could unify our understanding of the universe and help us "know the mind of God" (at least he mentions God). I'm not surprised that this particle has not been found. Genesis teaches that God created all things "ex nihilo" - or, out of nothing. He spoke the worlds into existense. But even if it is found, my faith would not be shattered. Rather, it would be even more affirmed. It would truly be a great triumph for science, but all it would show to me is just one more layer into the depth of God's power to create something as magnificent as our universe and to allow us to discover this. This, in turn, would only serve to give God the glory.

I can't help but think that so many are missing God because they are so consumed with the quest to find his "particle." If one wants to "know the mind of God", one only has to open his word. And in his word he reveals all that is needed to truly know him and his creation. The following are some verses I've read recently on this subject:

Jeremiah 32:17 (ESV) "17 Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you."

Psalm 135:5-7, 13 (ESV) "5 For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. 6 Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. 7 He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses. 13 Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages."

Psalm 19:1-6 (ESV) "1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat."

Romans 1:20 (ESV) 20 "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." 

A few weeks ago NASA captured the rising sun lighting up the midnight sky. "The International Space Station snapped a particularly beautiful photo of the various layers of our globe's atmosphere with the rising sun peeking out to say hello, while touring over the Greek islands around midnight. NASA's Earth Observatory, which posted the photo, pointed out the polar mesopheric clouds, or 'night-shining' clouds as they called them, which are seen at twilight. Usually the clouds are only lit up by the sun when it's setting, however this particular shot shows the rising sun inking its rays across the low clouds." (image below)

Why would anyone want to find just a particle of God when one can know all of him - through creation; through his son; through his word? I love science, but I love God more. Science is great, but not as great as God. Science is good, but not as good as God. Science is glorious, but not as glorious as God. I would rather spend my next 50 years pursuing him than a particle that most likely does not exist.