I think the question that should be asked to Ron Artest is why? It’s ridiculous with that video available for all to see to continue to allow him to continue to act as if it was an accident. His explanation literally sounded as if he was saying its unfortunate harden’s head was in my way.

I heard one commentator say its just looks bad in slow motion trying to make it sound like it wasn’t as bad as it looked. I think it reveals it. You can see him pull his arm back to the point of twisting his body to the degree he brought his foot off the ground. Then released it with such force it gave harden a concussion.

I thought it was right to eject him and honestly I think he should be out until next year at least, with the stipulation that he receives counseling.

I know that sounds extreme, but there was no reason. No scuffle, no mouthing, no pushing, no anger, he just dunks the ball then for no reason tries to knock out an opponent. He also should go through drug testing.

What makes less sense is his feeble attempts to explain it and act like it was an accident. What if the blow had been higher? What if it cost Harden his career? Its appalling that people are acting like its no big deal.

Something is wrong when someone does something like that unprovoked. I think it’s telling that he was ready to fight after he did it.

This is basketball, I understand aggressive play, but this is a different level.

So, why?


Home Team

Saturday my OU Sooners lost in a surprising defeat to a Texas Tech team who played the best football in their history, they could seemingly do nothing wrong. It was their day no doubt.

Yesterday my Dallas cowboys won in a route over the St louis Rams, playing like I wish they would all the time.

It’s interesting in sport that winning and losing hinges on so many things. Attitude of players. The right coaching, whether the players “came to play” that day. So much goes in to a win, and still on some days you can have it all together and another team is just better.

In life as a Christian winning really requires 1 thing. Submission to the Coach. In this case the coach is also the star player, and He has promised victory.

Like the bible says in Romans 8 “if God is for us, who can be against us?”. The answer is, it doesn’t matter. Because God wins no matter what. No matter the opponents we may face, circumstances, enemies, temptation, fear, or the devil. God is for us so victory is ours. We have the distinct “Home Team” advantage. We win!

So I encourage you, join the team, submit to the coach, and put the check mark in the win column.

Something to Say about Leading Progress

“Leading to Progress Takes Courage”

Joshua 1:6-9 (NKJ)
6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. Give it everything you have, heart and soul. Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”

Question: Why do we need courage? We need courage to be brave in the face of fear. Fear is our enemy. Any kind of fear is our enemy. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of resistance, fear of opportunity, fear of people, fear of leadership. Fear is going to raise its ugly head in us any time we face a challenge, courage is the answer to that fear. Courage is important.

In Chapter one of Joshua it says be strong, take courage, and not fear four times. God is trying to get across to Joshua that Courage is important to leadership.

Why do we need courage?

1. For the pursuit of the dream vs 6
a. Owning the dream takes courage.
b. Think about the disciples after Jesus ascended. They had to rely on the Holy Spirit to give them power to be courageous, most of them all the way to their death.
c. The enormity of the dream can intimidate you (just another word for fear)
d. The enemies of the dream can sidetrack you.
i. Distractions
ii. Procrastination
iii. Personal doubt
e. others opinions of the dream can scare us.
i. The only opinion that matters about the dream is Gods.

2. To do what’s right vs 7
a. It takes courage to be a leader because real leaders do what’s right even when its not popular. Even when its hard, even when no one else is.
b. It takes courage to stick to the plan
c. Joshua did what was right even when those following him didn’t.
d. Think of the Apostle Paul when he called Peter out for his obvious hypocrisy.

3. Fear itself vs 8-9
a. You have to have courage as a leader simply to combat fear. Not fear of things but fear itself. Fear paralyzes, it puts a pause in your purpose.
b. You have to have courage to push fear back when all your circumstances are screaming you should be afraid. God said to Joshua do not be afraid do not be dismayed. In other words don’t let anxiety rule you.

4. Fear of leading people vs 16-18
a. Jeremiah 1….do not be afraid of their faces.
b. Courage in the face of responsibility for people
c. Courage in the face of the inconsistency of people
d. Courage in the face of the complaints of people
e. Courage in the face of the imperfection in people.

Courage is the ability to look fear in the face, and keep moving forward. If we are going to lead to progress, then fear can not rule us. Opinion can not rule us. Courage must be our central charecteristic. Progress is necessary but not inevitable. Someone has to lead to it. So lets lead, and see people’s lives changed because we are not afraid to do it!

Leadership Lesson 4 while training for a marathon

Failure, beyond your control.

I haven’t blogged in a while, its been a busy time. I believe we can learn leadership lessons in just about everything we do in life, especially challenges we face while working towards a goal. Failure is hard for a leader to contend with. We would like to believe that every goal we set will result in success. Yes we will face challenges, yes there will be obstacles but ultimately we will succeed. When failure comes at times we act as if we are shocked that we could fail. The question is not will we fail, its when will we fail? Our failures should not devastate us but teach and train us.

When I begin to train for a marathon, I had some definite thoughts about how I would succeed, and when. I did have some natural concerns. I realized I’ve never run this far, at that point I’d never run 10 miles, but definitely not 26.2. I had thoughts that maybe it would be to much for me, just not have the resolve to finish,not be disciplined to push back the pain, and had I been stumped by those things I would have said I failed because I couldn’t do it and gave up, but what do you do when you have no control of the reason for failure.

I had been training, and we reached the 15 mile mark, it was hard my body wanted to stop but I kept going, I pressed through, my friend Andrew pulled me through. At the end of the run however I got extremely sick. Not just normal, felt like I had a bad flue, I won’t go into the details too graphic, but it was bad. I marked it off as a single event and kept training. I made some adjustments to help the sensitivity of my stomach and kept going. When the next long run came I think we ran 13 and I felt pretty good till the end and then it happened again. If I ran up to 10 or 11 I would be fine but every time I would get in that 12-15 range it would happen again. The marathon date we were shooting for was getting closer and closer and we were not able to get more long runs in so we had to wait and we missed the mark.

I was very upset, I thought I could deal better with just not being able to cut it rather than being stopped by something I couldn’t control. So what do you do when you fail, because of something that’s not your fault, or out of your control.

Here are some lessons I’ve learned.

1. You are only a failure if you give up entirely.
I am going to a sports doctor after first of the year see why my body is reacting this way and what I can do about it.

2. Reset the goal, missing one goal is not the end of the world.
I said I was going to be in the best shape of my life before I turned 40, well 40 has come and gone, and I didn’t make the marathon, however, I’ve never been able to run 15 miles before in my life.

3. Celebrate the accomplishments on the way to the goal.
Even though I didn’t reach the marathon yet I have overcome weight barriers, fear barriers, and I can run over 10 miles consistently.

4. Be a learner.
Serious goals require you to learn about what it takes to reach them, and knowledge goes a long way towards success. Avoiding the hard questions only paralyzes you from future success.

5. Taking more time is not a crime.
Its funny the tricks that time plays on our minds. Sometimes we just need more time. Its ok to take it. How many people have not hit a goal in the time they thought they should and just quit all together, think of how ridiculous that is. What shame is there in pushing the time back in order to succeed.

6. If there is something you can do, do it, if there’s not move on and don’t obsess.
Failure can put your entire life on hold if you obsess over it. I read an article on Michael Jordan once and he said one reason players aren’t well rounded is because they obsess over failures. If they make a mistake on the offensive end then they are thinking about it on defensive end and make another. He said, “if I make a mistake, I say to myself, I won’t do that again, and then I forget about it.”. Do what you can, then move on.

So I am continuing to run and train, I am gaining knowledge about my situation, and I am taking the time and setting a new goal.

Hope this helps, failure is only final if you give up, its just the beginning if it becomes your teacher.


Super Bowl…Super Tuesday

Wow!  What a game.  All I can say is the Giants came to play.  It is interesting, how people are motivated by being considered the underdog.  Coming from behind seems to drive us to push ourselves even beyond ourselves.  Every Giants player I heard interviewed said something to the effect of “no one gave us credit,” or, “No one thought we could beat the ‘perfect team.'”  I think they were more motivated by that, than by the fact they were playing a team with a perfect record, or that they were playing for the super bowl, the ultimate achievement for them.  It was more motivating to them to prove they should not be underestimated, they should not be counted out.  They proved it!

My dad used to always say, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.”  We can say we’re going to do this or that, but doing it, is what makes it taste so great!  The ingrediants of this pudding were exceptional.  The sweet taste of defensive domination, and the beautiful presentation of offensive prowess, kept the Pats on their heals, and intimidated.

Make no mistake, the perfect team, played excellent, they were just out played.  Simply Outplayed.  What a victory.  Its also interesting to me, that what motivated them, “the underdog syndrom”  is what made the victory so sweet.  Every interview after the game was….“they said we couldn’t do it.  Well, we did!”  I love it.

It makes me wonder on super Tuesday will there be the same effect.  Obama on one side and Romney on the other, both facing significant odds but neither giving up.  They are facing established opponents, politcally worthy, both.  Listen to their speach, listen to their tone.  “We may be the underdog, but we believe we can do this. ” Its funny, we can be motivated by what people think, or what they believe or don’t believe about us, but when it comes down to it, its about what we believe about ourselves.

What are people counting you out about?  What old mind set is telling you, “your not good enough,” or ” you’re to old or to young.”  Who’s voice do you hear saying, “the odds are to great, or you don’t have enough experience.”  Let it be fuel to your fire and flowers to your victory.  Dream, believe, act, and achieve…..defy the odds!