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What It Takes to Be #1

 

Vince Lombardi turns 100 today.

“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that’s first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don’t ever want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.

Every time a football player goes to ply his trade he’s got to play from the ground up – from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That’s O.K. You’ve got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you’ve got to play with your heart, with ever fiber of your body. If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second.

Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization – an army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win – to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don’t think it is.

It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That’s why they are there – to compete. To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules – but to win.

And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.

I don’t say these things because I believe in the ‘brute’ nature of men or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”

- Coach Vincent T. Lombardi

Opportunity

Opportunity is missed by most...

Best sports quote of 2013

From the Associated Press

It was a product of dramatic, side-by-side racing with the new Gen-6 car that Bowyer credits with creating “more of what we love about NASCAR.”

And if tempers flare sometimes, so be it. Bowyer doesn’t think it’s gotten to the point where change is needed.

“We haven’t reached that,” he said during a trip promoting next month’s Talladega race weekend. “Obviously Denny got hurt, but that wasn’t an intentional crash. We’ve all seen intentional crashes. Jeff Gordon was an intentional crash. Now, if I would have crawled out of that thing or got helicoptered out of that situation, it would have been a game-changer, because that was an intentional crash and if it would have hurt me the repercussions would have been bad.

“What I saw was good racing in California, and that’s healthy. It’s side-by-side racing and oh by the way they were going for the win. You can’t ask for a better situation on a two-mile race track than to be coming off of four with three cars going for the win. And if they can have that on a two-mile race track, what’s Martinsville going to be like this weekend? Look out.”

Bowyer jokes about last year’s incident, which he calls “just one of those deals.”

“We’re not the smartest people in the world,” he said. “We go down the straightaway and turn left. That’s literally what we do.”

Happy 4th of July

My feeling about the United States is this. To live alongside this great country is like living with your wife. At times it is difficult to live with her. At all times it is impossible to live without her. -Lester Pearson, Prime Minister, describing Canada-U.S. relations to French statesman Charles de Gaulle.

The Americans are our best friends, whether we like it or not. -Robert Thompson, Canadian statesman, former Social Credit leader.

We worry when you look hard at us, but we are also touchy about being overlooked. -Lester Pearson, Prime Minister, commencement address at Indiana’s Notre Dame University (1963).

It might be said we all live in one big house. Welcome to the attic. -Gordon Pinsent, Canadian actor, addressing U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan at an Ottawa gala (1981).

For some reason a glaze passes over people’s faces when you say Canada. Maybe we should invade South Dakota or something. -Sondra Gotlieb, columnist and wife of Allan Gotlieb, Canadian ambassador in Washington (1982).

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. — Mark Twain    

Stupid Quote of the Week

Well there has  been a lot of them but this one seemed stupider than the rest I have heard.  It is some marketing executives talking about Old Spice and Axe.

“Before [Old Spice] discovered its purpose,” Mr. Stengel said in his Cincinnati talk, “we were, frankly, chasing Axe. … It can be a very sexy brand, a very provocative brand, and Old Spice was kind of trying to mimic that.”

What is the purpose of Old Spice you ask?

OLD_SPICE_M.JPG A manifesto from Old Spice’s brand team goes: “I didn’t have an older brother to steer me down the aisle to the Old Spice shelf. Needless to say, I spent my formative years watching a lot of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ on Friday nights. Now I have the chance to be that older brother I never had. I want to help the kids of today become the men of tomorrow. I want to sell them some Old Spice.”

Wow.  There are those that make a difference in the world and there are those who just want to sell some Old Spice.

Too busy

"We can talk on the phone as we eat fast food while using the ATM. Not only are we better at multitasking and becoming more productive and efficient, along with the increased pace, more is required of us. And so we hurtle through life faster and faster, becoming busier and busier. The result is that in our busyness we are becoming increasingly efficient at leading meaningless lives."

Don Whitney, professor, Midwestern Seminary

Poverty

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.” — Mother Theresa

Is this working?

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. – Winston Churchill

Simpsons Quotes

  1. Homer: D’oh.Ralph: Me fail English? That’s unpossible.
  2. Lionel Hutz: This is the greatest case of false advertising I’ve seen since I sued the movie “The Never Ending Story.”
  3. Sideshow Bob: No children have ever meddled with the Republican Party and lived to tell about it.
  4. Troy McClure: Don’t kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he’d eat you and everyone you care about!
  5. Homer: Oh, so they have Internet on computers now!
  6. Ned Flanders: I’ve done everything the Bible says — even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!
  7. Comic Book Guy: Your questions have become more redundant and annoying than the last three “Highlander” movies.
  8. Chief Wiggum: Uh, no, you got the wrong number. This is 9-1…2.
  9. Sideshow Bob: I’ll be back. You can’t keep the Democrats out of the White House forever, and when they get in, I’m back on the streets, with all my criminal buddies.
  10. Homer: When I held that gun in my hand, I felt a surge of power…like God must feel when he’s holding a gun.
  11. Nelson: Dad didn’t leave… When he comes back from the store, he’s going to wave those pop-tarts right in your face!
  12. Milhouse: Remember the time he ate my goldfish? And you lied and said I never had goldfish. Then why did I have the bowl Bart? Why did I have the bowl?
  13. Lionel Hutz: Well, he’s kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace “accidentally” with “repeatedly” and replace “dog” with “son.”
  14. Comic Book Guy: Last night’s “Itchy and Scratchy Show” was, without a doubt, the worst episode ever. Rest assured, I was on the Internet within minutes, registering my disgust throughout the world.
  15. Homer: I’m normally not a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me, Superman.
  16. Homer: Save me, Jeebus.
  17. Mayor Quimby: I stand by my racial slur.
  18. Comic Book Guy: Oh, loneliness and cheeseburgers are a dangerous mix.
  19. Homer: You don’t like your job, you don’t strike. You go in every day and do it really half-assed. That’s the American way.
  20. Chief Wiggum: Fat Tony is a cancer on this fair city! He is the cancer and I am the…uh…what cures cancer?
  21. Homer: Bart, with $10,000 we’d be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things like…love!
  22. Homer: Fame was like a drug. But what was even more like a drug were the drugs.
  23. Homer: Books are useless! I only ever read one book, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds! Sure it taught me not to judge a man by the color of his skin…but what good does *that* do me?
  24. Chief Wiggum: Can’t you people take the law into your own hands? I mean, we can’t be policing the entire city!
  25. Homer: Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from the animals…except the weasel.
  26. Reverend Lovejoy: Marge, just about everything’s a sin. [holds up a Bible] Y’ever sat down and read this thing? Technically we’re not supposed to go to the bathroom.
  27. Homer: You know, the one with all the well meaning rules that don’t work out in real life, uh, Christianity.
  28. Homer: Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.
  29. Homer: Here’s to alcohol, the cause of — and solution to — all life’s problems.
  30. Homer: When will I learn? The answers to life’s problems aren’t at the bottom of a bottle, they’re on TV!
  31. Chief Wiggum: I hope this has taught you kids a lesson: kids never learn.
  32. Homer: How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?
  33. Homer: Homer no function beer well without.
  34. Duffman: Duffman can’t breathe! OH NO!
  35. Grandpa Simpson: Dear Mr. President, There are too many states nowadays. Please, eliminate three. P.S. I am not a crackpot.
  36. Homer: Old people don’t need companionship. They need to be isolated and studied so it can be determined what nutrients they have that might be extracted for our personal use.
    Troy McClure: Hi. I’m Troy McClure. You may remember me from such self-help tapes as “Smoke Yourself Thin” and “Get Some Confidence, Stupid!”
  37. Homer: A woman is a lot like a refrigerator. Six feet tall, 300 pounds…it makes ice.
  38. Homer: Son, a woman is like a beer. They smell good, they look good, you’d step over your own mother just to get one! But you can’t stop at one. You wanna drink another woman!
    Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!
  39. Mr. Burns: I’ll keep it short and sweet — Family. Religion. Friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business.
  40. Kent Brockman: …And the fluffy kitten played with that ball of string all through the night. On a lighter note, a Kwik-E-Mart clerk was brutally murdered last night.
  41. Ralph: Mrs. Krabappel and Principal Skinner were in the closet making babies and I saw one of the babies and then the baby looked at me.
  42. Apu: Please do not offer my god a peanut.
  43. Homer: You don’t win friends with salad.
  44. Mr. Burns: I don’t like being outdoors, Smithers. For one thing, there’s too many fat children.
  45. Sideshow Bob: Attempted murder? Now honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel Prize for attempted chemistry?
  46. Chief Wiggum: They only come out in the night. Or in this case, the day.
  47. Mr. Burns: Whoa, slow down there, maestro. There’s a *New* Mexico?
  48. Homer: He didn’t give you gay, did he? Did he?!
  49. Comic Book Guy: But, Aquaman, you cannot marry a woman without gills. You’re from two different worlds… Oh, I’ve wasted my life.
  50. Homer: Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen.
  51. Superintendent Chalmers: I’ve had it with this school, Skinner. Low test scores, class after class of ugly, ugly children…
  52. Mr. Burns: What good is money if it can’t inspire terror in your fellow man?
  53. Homer: Oh, everything looks bad if you remember it.
  54. Ralph:Slow down, Bart! My legs don’t know how to be as long as yours.
  55. Homer: Donuts. Is there anything they can’t do?
  56. Frink: Brace yourselves gentlemen. According to the gas chromatograph, the secret ingredient is… Love!? Who’s been screwing with this thing?
  57. Apu: Yes! I am a citizen! Now which way to the welfare office? I’m kidding, I’m kidding. I work, I work.
  58. Milhouse: We started out like Romeo and Juliet, but it ended up in tragedy.
  59. Mr. Burns: A lifetime of working with nuclear power has left me with a healthy green glow…and left me as impotent as a Nevada boxing commissioner.
  60. Homer: Kids, kids. I’m not going to die. That only happens to bad people.
  61. Milhouse: Look out, Itchy! He’s Irish!
  62. Homer: I’m going to the back seat of my car, with the woman I love, and I won’t be back for ten minutes!
  63. Smithers: I’m allergic to bee stings. They cause me to, uh, die.
  64. Barney: Aaah! Natural light! Get it off me! Get it off me!
  65. Principal Skinner: That’s why I love elementary school, Edna. The children believe anything you tell them.
  66. Sideshow Bob: Your guilty consciences may make you vote Democratic, but secretly you all yearn for a Republican president to lower taxes, brutalize criminals, and rule you like a king!
  67. Barney: Jesus must be spinning in his grave!
  68. Superintendent Chalmers: “Thank the Lord”? That sounded like a prayer. A prayer in a public school. God has no place within these walls, just like facts don’t have a place within an organized religion.
  69. Bill Gates: I didn’t get rich by signing checks.
  70. Principal Skinner: Fire can be our friend; whether it’s toasting marshmallows or raining down on Charlie.
  71. Homer: Oh, I’m in no condition to drive. Wait a minute. I don’t have to listen to myself. I’m drunk.
  72. Comic Book Guy: Human contact: the final frontier.
  73. Homer: I hope I didn’t brain my damage.
  74. Krusty the Clown: And now, in the spirit of the season: start shopping. And for every dollar of Krusty merchandise you buy, I will be nice to a sick kid. For legal purposes, sick kids may include hookers with a cold.
  75. Homer: I’m a Spalding Gray in a Rick Dees world.
  76. Dr. Nick: Inflammable means flammable? What a country.
  77. Homer: Beer. Now there’s a temporary solution.
  78. Comic Book Guy: Stan Lee never left. I’m afraid his mind is no longer in mint condition.
  79. Nelson: Shoplifting is a victimless crime. Like punching someone in the dark.
  80. Krusty the Clown: Kids, we need to talk for a moment about Krusty Brand Chew Goo Gum Like Substance. We all knew it contained spider eggs, but the hantavirus? That came out of left field. So if you’re experiencing numbness and/or comas, send five dollars to antidote, PO box…
  81. Milhouse: I can’t go to juvie. They use guys like me as currency.
  82. Apu: Thank you, steal again.
  83. Homer: Marge, you being a cop makes you the man! Which makes me the woman — and I have no interest in that, besides occasionally wearing the underwear, which as we discussed, is strictly a comfort thing.
  84. Ed Begley Jr.: I prefer a vehicle that doesn’t hurt Mother Earth. It’s a go-cart, powered by my own sense of self-satisfaction.
  85. Homer: How could you?! Haven’t you learned anything from that guy who gives those sermons at church? Captain Whatshisname? We live in a society of laws! Why do you think I took you to all those Police Academy movies? For fun? Well, I didn’t hear anybody laughing, did you? Except at that guy who made sound effects. Makes sound effects and laughs. Where was I? Oh yeah! Stay out of my booze.
  86. Homer: Lisa, vampires are make-believe, like elves, gremlins, and Eskimos.

Legality

Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.Martin Luther King, Jr.

Rehearing Colossians 1.1–14

Rom Targum 1: Rehearing Colossians 1.1–14 in the Context of Disquieted Globalism

But here is the rub. Everything in this monolithic culture of McWorld globalization is allied against you and will try to keep your imaginations captive, stripping you of the courage to dream of alternative ways to live. So may you be strengthened with all strength and empowered with nothing less than the weighty power of God in this disempowered culture of unbearable lightness. May your vision, your stubborn refusal to allow your imaginations to be taken captive, have an endurance, an ability to hang in there for the long haul and a patience that doesn’t need to aggressively and triumphalistically realize the kingdom of God now because it has the faith and trust to work and wait for a miracle, for the coming of God’s shalom to our terribly broken world.

From Colossians Remixed

Exiles

This came from a friend of mine in response to this post.

Amma Syncletica said, “We ought to govern our souls with discretion and to remain in the community, neither following our own will nor seeking our own good. We are like exiles: we have been separated from the things of this world and have given ourselves in one faith to the one Father. We need nothing of what we have left behind. There we had reputation and plenty to eat; here we have little to eat and little of everything else.”

The Simple Way

Shane Claiborne writes this in his book, The Irresistible Revolution. (good book BTW, worth reading)

Not too long ago, those of us at the Simple Way were about to speak to a congregation. The person doing the introduction said, “These folks are a voice for the voiceless.” And something inside me hurt. I gently corrected them. Everyone has a voice. I know many amazing people who have used the old “voice for the voiceless” line (Oscar Romero, Mother Teresa, even the book of Proverbs). But it just felt strange. Perhaps we are too quick to assume folks cannot speak for themselves.

We are not a voice for the voiceless. The truth is that there is a lot of noise out there drowning out quiet voices, and many people have stopped listening to the cries of their neighbors. Lots of folks have put there hands over their ears to drown out the suffering. Institutions have distanced themselves from the disturbing cries. When Paul writes in Romans 8 that the entire creation is groaning for its liberation, he goes on to say that “we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly (v. 23). This is the chorus of the generations of seemingly voiceless people we have joined.

And God has a special ear for their groaning regardless of who is listening.

It is a beautiful thing when folks in poverty are no longer just a missions project but become genuine friends and family with whom we laugh, cry, dream, and struggle. one of the verses I have grown to love is the one where Jesus is preparing to leave the disciples and says, “I no longer call you servants….Instead I have called you friends” (John 15:15). Servanthood is a fine place to begin, but gradually we love toward mutual love, genuine relationships. Someday, perhaps we can even say those words that Ruth said to Naomi after years of partnership: “where you go I will go and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried” (Ruth 1:16-17)

And that’s when things get messy. When people begin moving beyond charity and toward justice and solidarity with the poor and oppressed, as Jesus did, they get in trouble. Once we are actually friend with folks in struggle, we start to ask why people are poor, which is never as popular as giving to charity. One of my friends has a shirt marked with the words of late Catholic bishop Dom Helder Camara, “When I fed the hungry, they called me a saint. When I asked why people are hungry, they called me a communist.” Charity wins awards and applause, but joining the poor gets you killed. People do not get crucified for charity. People are crucified for living out a love that disrupts the social order, that calls forth a new world. People are not crucified for helping poor people. People are crucified for joining them. Pg 127 – 129

He later writes this…

Almost every time we talk with affluent folks about God’s will to end poverty, someone says, “But didn’t Jesus say, ‘The poor will always be with you’?” Many of the people who whip out this verse have grown quite insulated and distant from the poor and feel defensive. I usually ask, “Where are the poor? Are the poor among us?” The answer is a clear negatory. As we study the Scriptures, we see how many texts we have misread, contextualized, and exegeted to hear what we want to. Like this one about the poor being among us, which Jesus says in the home of a leper and after a poor marginalized women anoints his feet with perfume. The poor were all around him. Far from saying in defeat that we should not worry about the poor, since they will always be among us. Jesus is point the church to her true identity — she is to live close to those who suffer. The poor will always be among us, because the empire will always produce poor people, and they will find home in the church, a citzenship in the kingdom of God, where the “hungry are filled with good things and the rich sent away empty.”

I heard that Gandhi , when people asked him if he was a Christian, would often reply, “Ask the poor. They will tell who the Christians are.” Pg 159-161

I have been reflecting on what he wrote lately in the context of what do I want to do with the rest of my life. A couple of weeks ago I had to weigh a career offer that would have provided a tremendous amont of security to me and my family. It would have required moving and the end of my involvement at the Church of the Exiles. As I thought through my options, I realized that the last year of working and living amongst the poor has really changed me. Security and money may be worth something but as Clairborne writes, it also comes with a cost to living in conflict with a large part of Scriptures which I never hear as part of the discussion in most local churches.

What pastors need to be reading by Leslie Newbiggin

Bishop Leslie Newbiggin writes this as a suggestion for what pastors should be reading…

The second difficulty is to decide what to read. There are thousands of books published every month. Even if we can find the money to buy a few, how shall we decide what to read? On this I give these four suggestions which I think are sound.

(a) Always try to have one big book on which you are working. It may have to be read a few pages at a time over many months. You may have to read each page several times. But’ just as the physical needs of the body cannot be met by a continuous series of snacks, so your mental and spiritual needs cannot be met by a continual series of little devotional books, sermons and booklets.

(b) Try to read original works rather than summaries and digests. Read the people who were really struggling to say something fresh, even if you finally disagree. You will learn far more by doing so than by reading the second-hand opinions of those who came after.

(c) Always keep some Bible work going. Try to take one book of the Bible and work through it with commentaries slowly and thoroughly.

(d) Keep on always reading something which is not theo-logy. Salt needs to be in the food, and theology needs to be in contact with the secular. Have some secular interests of your own which you keep up and develop. Your theology will be kept fresh if you do so.

The aim of it all is that we and our people may grow in wisdom, understanding, discernment, that we may be no longer children tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, but may grow up into mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.