Friday, July 29, 2005

Mark Richt

Ever since Mark Richt came from Florida State University, to become the head coach of the University of Georgia, my wife and I knew Georgia got a diamond. With his Christian character and positive attitude, we know he makes the right choices when challenges arise.

That said, Coach Richt has had his fair share of problem-players much like Coach Bobby Bowden. However through all these troubles, Coach Richt and Coach Bowden never let their Christian character fail. Here is an excerpt from the Atlanta Journal and Constitution's interview regarding Richt's character and treatment of players:

It was Richt's turn at the lectern during SEC Media Days on Thursday. Normally this is the time of year when coaches talk about their depth on the defensive line or the competition for the starting quarterback's job or the opener against Rival U.
But, predictably, Richt was peppered with questions from the more than 700 media members in attendance about all of the off-the-field incidents he's had to deal with and whether there's a general lack of discipline in his program.
"Things are not out of control, I can promise you that," Richt said. "I mean, I hate it. I hate it when a guy misbehaves, you know. I hate when my own child misbehaves. But the bottom line is we're are dealing with kids and we're dealing with human beings, and they are going to make mistakes, that's inevitable.
"My goal as a coach and as an educator is to help these guys understand why what they did was wrong, discipline them and love them. Then, hopefully, they'll be in position where they learn from these situations and become a better person for it."
Meanwhile, Richt's players came to his defense. Defensive tackle Gerald Anderson and offensive guard Max Jean-Gilles accompanied Richt here and said their coach is taking way too much of the blame.
"A lot of it falls on us, especially us seniors," Anderson said. "You have to talk to these young guys and nurture them. I've probably been guilty of not taking enough time to take them aside and let them know what it's all about."
"So what's really important, why do I coach? I coach because I love these players and I want them to succeed in life, and I hope that I can make a positive impact on their lives to where they can become a very good husband, a very good father, a very good employee, a very good citizen. But it's a learning process. I mean, they don't show up perfect, and they don't leave perfect, but I hope they're a better man when they leave our program then they come."

Richt shows he, and his seniors, hold themselves accountable and reflect how to discipline these players properly without blowing their cool.

Coaches everywhere should take lessons from Coach Richt and Coach Bowden. They uphold their character no matter the circumstances.

Senator Bill Frist: What Have You Done

From CNN:

I am very disappointed by Sen. Frist's decision to back federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. I have yet to read any research that states embryonic stem cells are beneficial to people with diseases or physical disabilities. None. And I have a disease!

Yet, Sen. Frist believes with the proper restrictions and safeguards in place, research can be done.

I believe that same line of thinking was done regarding abortion as well.

Will we never learn from our past?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Carjacking Advice

Yesterday, not more than 1/4 mile from my home, two carjackings and subsequent kidnappings occurred. The crimes happened around 3 pm, beginning in the parking lot of a Super Target. To view the article go to:
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According to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, the following happened:
Wednesday's first incident occurred shortly before 3 p.m. at a Super Target store on Woodstock Road, said Roswell police Sgt. James McGee.
The victim was getting in his car when another man appoached and demanded money, McGee said.
The victim was ordered at gunpoint to drive to a nearby Washington Mutual bank, where a "sum of money was obtained," McGee said. The suspect exited the victim's vehicle and got into a waiting yellow Ford Mustang.
As police were investigating that crime, they started getting calls about attempted break-ins at Wildwood Springs, a subdivision in the same area.
While officers were responding to those calls, Alpharetta police notified Roswell investigators shortly before 5 p.m. that they had a woman and her son at the Kroger store on Ga. 9 who had been kidnapped from their home on Fern Hollow Court in the Wildwood Springs subdivision.
McGee said the woman told police that she and her son were kidnapped by two men, and one matched the description of the suspect from the Super Target incident.
"The female victim was forced, along with her son, to drive the two suspects to the Kroger, where they were released," McGee said, adding that the woman's blue 2002 Ford Expedition was taken.
Please allow me to give some advice on what to do in case of a carjacking and ways to prevent them.
1. Watch your surroundings. If someone looks suspicious, go back into the store and ask store security to escort you to your vehicle. a family member to meet you at the store to assist you. Better safe than sorry.
2. When getting into your vehicle, immediately close the door, lock it, and start the engine. If someone approaches you, ignore them until you are secured.
2. If you are in midst of a carjacking, take your keys and throw them as far away from the attacker(s) as possible and run into a store or a safe place. Call for help.
4. If you are attacked and you have children, DO NOT ABANDON YOUR CHILDREN! Get your children out of the vehicle then give the attacker the keys. Better yet, throw your keys far away to give you the time to remove your children.
5. If you are attacked at gunpoint, your safety and your children's safety comes first. That said, do not allow the attacker to kidnap you. FBI statistics show if your are taken to a secondary location, there are good chances you will not survive.
What does this mean for you? FIGHT BACK! Make a scene...scream, "FIRE!", or run away. Do anything to prevent you from being kidnapped. Rarely do attackers want to make a scene in a crowded parking lot. So...FIGHT!
I have studied the martial arts for 23 years and I write this to prevent family and friends from becoming victims.
Lastly as previously mentioned, that Super Target is right near my home. I plan on stopping by there on my way home and look for these two attackers. If I just so happen to find them in midst of a carjacking, you can bet they won't be going to jail. They'll be visiting their Maker!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

God's Calling and The Church

Let me describe to you what it means to be 'called' into ministry:

God grabs a hold of you and puts His needs on your mind and soul. For instance, youth ministry. God wants you to be a youth minister. He sees what is happening to teenagers and their problems, but few people attempt to relate to them. Teens are susceptible to moral relativism and peer pressure more than any other age group. Teens need male and female Christ-like role models who are living God's will. So...God needs you!

Next, all you can think about are helping youths and discerning their needs. You begin volunteering in your church's youth ministry. Soon, you begin trusting relationships with the students, leading Sunday school classes, and fellowship activities. You even get invited by the students to go out eating or bowling. The youth ministry grows and you continue volunteering for years. But wait, there's more...

One day God says to you, "Now go and do." He even presents opportunities to become a full-time youth minister. You're excited! Your family cheers you on! Your pastor fully supports you!

But therein lies the problem.

You've never been a minister; you have worked in the secular work force for a long time. Churches, looking for a youth minister, put a high priority on ministry experience and a seminary degree.

After interviewing with several churches, you get the same answer: No experience, no seminary degree, no job. Sorry. We love that the Lord has called you into ministry, and you definitely have a heart for youths but...

Now, is it just me or is the church becoming more and more like a business? On average, it takes a church 5 - 9 months to hire a youth minister. On average, a youth minister only stays 18 - 36 months at a particular church before they move on. Does this seem strange? With senior pastors, the hiring process can last well over a year!

Are these hiring practices valid? Are they really necessary?
Committees say they're being led by the Holy Spirit when actually they're being led by the person's resume. I wonder what would've happened if Peter, Paul, James, and John all went through a hiring or personnel committee. Thankfully, we will never know.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Tearing the Lives of Children

This is a disturbing article detailing how government can't get their stories straight and hurting innocent children in the process. It involves two families who have been thrown out of one county school system to be placed in another, all due to a boundary dispute and property taxes between the counties involved.

The real issue here is poor communication and a willingness to help these families. Forget who's paying the property taxes! Leave the kids alone and let them finish in the school district they are used to. This really happened because someone wanted to get their name on the radar before promotion time. Anybody want to make a bet on it?

I wonder sometimes about our local government...

"Evil will always triumph because good is dumb."
- Rick Moranis, Space Balls The Movie

Monday, July 18, 2005

Faith and Praise

There's a great scene in the movie, The Miracle Maker, where Jesus is speaking inside Peter's home and a paralytic is lowered through the roof. The paralytic has no hope, but his friends have faith. He says repeatedly, "It's no good." Here is the NIV version from Luke 5:

Jesus Heals a Paralytic
17One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. 18Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
20When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."
21The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
22Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, "Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? 24But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 25Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today."

The scene plays out almost exactly as the Scripture states. The great part is not only seeing the disbelief and anger from the Pharisees, but the joy and praise from the healed man and his friends. (In the movie, they're dancing and openly praising God.)

In midst of my hardships, i.e. wanting more time with my family, money issues, and wanting to be a youth minister, I should always give thanks and praise to God. The movie scene ends with the people giving glory to God and Jesus looking out the window giving a joyous laugh. Faith and praise forever.