Sunday, June 26, 2011

Nick Charles–A Different Fighter

I only heard of Nick Charles a few months ago while watching television. He was CNN’s first sports-only broadcaster, if not the industry’s first. He was going up against a little know network at the time of ESPN.

He loved all the sports he covered; however, he had an infinite passion for boxing. He loved the artistry of it and he could describe a fight with such passion.

A few years ago, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Bladder Cancer. He was told that it was incurable. His focus from that point on was to live life to the fullest. He wanted to spend more time with his family as they were planning their dream home near Sante Fe, NM.

He started making videos for his daughter when she reaches certain birthdays and proms and her wedding day. His wife would hold the camera when he made the video diaries for his daughter.

He became a Christian in 1992 as his wife led him to Christ. When he got the word of this disease, he thought God was calling him home so he could get heaven ready for when his wife and daughter come home too. His focus was that this was God’s plan and he accepted that this was not his home on earth.

What an awesome example of how we should all live. A great example of Christ doing all we can while we are here for our friends and family before it is our time to go. Most of us do not know when that time is coming. Nick knew his time was short, especially these past few months.

Nick died yesterday morning, June 25th, 2011 overlooking his landscape at his dream home in New Mexico. It was overlooked that day by most as it was the second anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death. But I think that is how he would rather have gone. Do not focus on him and be sad for him. He is home. It is where he preparing his Heavenly dream home for his wife and daughter.

Thank you Nick Charles for being such and inspiration through this incredible fight. The fight is now over and you are home.

To read more on the Nick Charles story on CNN, click here.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day

I have been really trying to figure out what I am going to write for this Father’s Day blog for a few weeks now. I usually let God take over as I type these things and let the honesty type its’ way out. But then, God hit me while driving in my car a week ago.

I am heading into work and a song comes on the radio. I nearly had to pull over because it was a perfect example of my dad. The song is by a band named Sanctus Real. I had heard their song, “Lead Me” before; however, they were explaining what the song was about and who it was written. You hear what he is crying out for, probably what every father is crying out for, to be a better husband and father. And we cannot do this alone. So we have to turn to the Lord and ask for guidance and strength. This is the part that made me want to pull over: My dad does exactly that.

What an incredible leader of our family growing up and what a great example for me to strive to be one day. He fought, tooth and nail for our family. He not just walked the walk by telling us he loved us, he showed us he loved us. Whether it was picking me up from a 8:30pm baseball game on a Tuesday night during the summer or calling me a few months ago to check on me to see how I was.

If I had to choose a part of the song that hits me is when they talk about not being left hungry for love and being left out. My dad never did that. He was showed his love for us. He let God lead him so that my brother and I could be led by him.

Sanctus Real–Lead Me

The lyrics are as follows:

I look around and see my wonderful life
Almost perfect from the outside
In picture frames, I see my beautiful wife
Always smiling, but on the inside
Oh, I can hear her saying
Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, but what about us?
Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone
I see their faces, look in their innocent eyes
They're just children from the outside
I'm working hard, I tell myself they'll be fine
They're independent, but on the inside
Oh, I can hear them saying
Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?
Show me you're willing to fight
That I'm still the love of your life
I know we call this our home
But I still feel alone
So Father, give me the strength
To be everything I'm called to be
Oh Father, show me the way
To lead them
Won't You lead me?
To lead them with strong hands
To stand up when they can't
Don't want to leave them hungry for love
Chasing things that I could give up
I'll show them I'm willing to fight
And give them the best of my life
So we can call this our home
Lead me 'cause I can't do this alone
Father, lead me 'cause I can't do this alone

I have always said I want to strive to be like my father. He is an incredible husband, loving father and unbelievable grandfather. I thank him for his leadership of our family and for leading us the way a father should lead his family. I have a lot to live up to with my 15 month year old. But I think with using my father’s leadership and guidance of looking towards God for help, I think I will do just fine.

Thanks Dad for being the leader in our family that we needed. Thank you for being the example of how to be a terrific father. Thanks.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Liked Player on the Miami Heat???

I had to head into work for a little over an hour last Saturday morning and was listening to sports talk radio. They were doing a segment on the station about a player for the Miami Heat that has been having to deal with a large family issue over the past few weeks.

Actually, the story starts about four years ago when Miami Heat player Mike Miller and his wife donated one million dollars to a hospital in his home state of South Dakota. They donated the money specifically to a NICU unit for babies who have struggles when they are born. They had a child of their own already who had a very healthy entrance into the world and wanted to give something back to those who did have struggles. Very cool so far right??

Fast forward four years and now Mike Miller is now on the most hated team in the NBA. They had acquired now the most hated player in the league (LeBron James) and was now headed to the playoffs. More importantly, he was about ready to have his third child, a baby girl. She was due near the end of the playoffs and he was not sure how he was going to handle that along with the playoffs if they got that far.

Well, they did and she was born right around the Eastern Conference Finals. The Heat were playing the Bulls and he was flying back and forth between Chicago and Miami to be with his wife. Unfortunately, the baby girl was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. She was losing oxygen fast. The family that donated the million dollars for towards the hospital four years ago now needed the same need the donated too. A little crazy how God works.

Jaelyn Miller has been released from the hospital now. She may have more surgery in the future due to a potential hole in her heart. They are not out of the woods yet; however, seeing what this family has gone through, I am praying that the see the little at the end of the tunnel.

For a more complete story on this topic, click here.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

What exactly is GMC??

So the other morning, while getting ready for work, I saw a commercial for Channel 338 on DirecTV. The title of the channel is GMC or Gospel Music Channel. It was introduced a few years ago on DirecTV. It had a lot of selection for Christian music and had programs that were uplifting as opposed to a lot of the stuff out there now.

So as I am watching this promo for the channel, not once did they mention God, let a lone the official title of their channel. It kept referring to having to look up… on your channel guide. The music that plays in the background is that of either Creed or Switchfoot. Now, Creed has long since been referred to as a possible Christian Rock band, but played on many secular stations. Switchfoot is a Christian band that has received a lot of airtime on secular stations. I will give them credit for using Switchfoot. However, why are we scared to reference God or even the word Gospel on the GOSPEL Music Channel? Then it really made me think.

How many times, do us as Christians, hide behind something that “excuses” our faith? When someone asks what church we go to, we answer with the church name and that is that. Are we ashamed to use the name of God? Are we like Peter when someone asks if we know Jesus and we say we have nothing to do with Him? I know comparing the Peter incident in the Bible is a different than the issue with GMC; however, does it come with the same result? Matthew 10:33 “But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven” (New International Version).

I need to watch what I do in all situations so I do not sit back and analyze a conversation. The last thing I want to do after a conversation or commercial is reference Matthew 10:33.

Just a thought.

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

20:28–More than just a day of serving.

Yesterday was a day for our church to serve the community of St. Louis by doing various acts of volunteering. Some people were out there fixing bicycles at a church, some people were assisting local schools in cleaning up their properties. Our group had the great opportunity to go and clean up the yard of a woman mid-town St. Louis.

The church gets the name from Matthew 20:28 which talks about how were not brought to this Earth to be served, but to serve. It does not matter who you are helping when you are serving because in the end, you are serving the Lord. I have done this the past two years and loved every minute of it. It shows how working together you can really do something amazing for someone.

We were out in the yard as soon as we got to this woman’s house. I met some amazing people who were also giving up their Saturday to help this woman. She was unable to care for her yard herself as she is elderly and in hospice care. We had people raking leaves that had been there for quite sometime. Several were pulling roots out of dead plants and re-mulching. A lot of people were doing some clipping of branches, including myself. Then I got a little ambitious.

I decided to knock down a tree that was growing into another yard. The only problem is I did it all with sheers, which I do not recommend! After I got it down, a neighbor looked over and kept thanking me. She told me that she was sure the woman we were helping appreciates all we were doing. I hope so, but if not, that was okay. Her and her husband kept coming out thanking us over and over. It was so crazy to witness that.

We finished up after several hours there and prayed. We all left and went our separate ways. I drove to pick the family up lunch. The wife had been serving by watching the kids of the volunteers all morning. She took control of the group to make sure they were all taken care of while the volunteers were out serving.

So I get to pick up some lunch and while waiting, I am reading a friend’s social media network page. Man was that a punch in the gut and a well deserved one. See I had given him a few jabs for what he was doing with his project. It was not meant to hurt him and we joked around about it. At the time, I thought, no big deal, right? WRONG! He really challenged me in my thinking, which was needed. He learned that a child he was serving complimentary BBQ too had just a cup of noodles yesterday for lunch. What he was doing was giving that child food that their family could not afford. At that moment, I realized it does not matter what you do when serving. What matters is that you are serving and learning and experiencing how we all can help each other. Whether it is cleaning a yard or holding a door for someone or feeding a child who has not had a solid meal in at least a day, it all glorifies Christ.

I thanked him for sharing that because I needed to see that to remind me that every single one of us worked our tails off yesterday for Him. 20:28 is something awesome to experience once a year. The experiences from it need to grow roots and continue throughout the rest of the year.

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