Note: I encountered the following posting earlier today and it makes a lot of sense. For those of you in churches, these will make sense. If you want to read more, visit Dave Rudd’s blog (link at the bottom).
Each of these “truths” about Michigan’s football program is somewhat true in many churches. I’ll leave it to you to connect the dots.
1. They want to apply yesterday’s solutions to today’s problems.
- Hiring a “Michigan Man” seems to be the number one priority of most Michigan fans. No one seems to care about hiring the “Right Man.”
2. They think it’s important to make sure the “important” people get what they want.
- It seems to me that everything about UofM coaching decisions, from firing Rich Rod to hiring whomever, has been driven first and foremost by making the right people happy.
3. They aren’t willing to pay the steep price for healthy change.
- Rich Rod probably would have turned the program around had he been given more time and not been resisted from day one. And his forward approach probably would have set them up for the future better than anyone would have anticipated. But even though he turned in progressively better seasons each year, no one was willing to pay the price.
4. They’re stuck in the past.
- Bo Schembechler’s style of football wouldn’t work today. Tressel would own him also if he didn’t change. Anybody know why Joe Paterno continues to be so successful? BECAUSE HE CHANGED!
5. The program is being destroyed by “factions”.
- Too many different groups have too many different ideas about the direction of the program. No one is willing to be flexible, and no one is willing to give anyone else freedom to set a direction. No one is willing to submit their own will to the wisdom of another person.
Yesterday, I shared a blog entry about a …well vision isn’t the right word but it is the only one I can come up with at the moment…vision of heaven. I have had some comments and feedback and so I feel a need to go back and clarify a few things in the post.
First, I am not claiming this is a true vision of heaven nor do I think I am a prophet. I simply experienced something and for one brief moment, I felt a sense of the divine. Instead of being a specific vision of heaven, I think this was an answer to a prayer I offered earlier in the day. I felt God was showing me that no matter what, everything is going to be okay. It was a simple and brief feeling that I still cannot put into words.
Second, I was surprised that people felt I am a fatalist of sorts. I am not really. I believe that we have this life and we have been given this creation to enjoy to the fullest (though not exploit lest people misread those comments). If God didn’t want us to live in this life, why did God create such a beautiful creation. Instead, I know that one die I will die and enter into eternity, heaven, paradise, whatever you want to call it. I know it will be beyond what I can imagine but I am patient and living this life until my time is up. I am not in a rush to die so please don’t think I am a fatalist or anything. I was simply sharing a feeling.
Third, I want to offer this thought. Think of a time when you felt the divine presence. Perhaps it was in a church. In the wilderness. Watching a sunset or sunrise. Perhaps you haven’t experienced a divine presence. For one brief moment, I felt pure joy and happiness for just a brief moment. It didn’t last but it was enough to catch my attention and make me aware of God again. It truly was an answer to my prayer. I pray that you will have such an experience but I am not reading into this one so please don’t either.
Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.’ –Joshua 24:15 (NRSV)
If God had not offered the invitation, the choice could never have happened. That’s the way it is when we speak about our capacity to choose for God. Without God taking the initiative, choosing for God is something that we can’t do on our own. God is beyond our capacity to grasp. We cannot choose to love God on our own. We cannot choose to serve Him with our whole heart and mind and soul on our own. The Scriptures say:
The [hu]man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and [s]he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” -1 Corinthians 2:14
Simply stated it means that in things spiritual, a person not led by the Spirit of God just doesn’t have a clue. If we are not led by the Spirit of God, we will never be able to even begin to grasp an understanding of God let alone make a choice.
In our nation, far too many are tempted to seek a well-deserved entitlement. The poor believe the government owes them a home, a jon, a secure retirment, and health care. The wealthy expect tax breaks, the government’s ear, and a luxurious lifestayle. Those well-deserved entitlements can destroy a nation.
Whoever loves pleasure will suffer want; whoever loves wine and oil will not be rich. –Proverbs 21:17
The Book of Proverbs also debunks the entitlement mentality: “whoever loves pleasure will suffer want”. Those ignoring the example of industrious ants are sluggards who sleep their way to poverty (see Proverbs 6:6-11). “Whoever loves wine and oil will not be rich.” The fact is that before God we are all sinners. Only by God’s mercy are we blessed with anything good. When we are filled with God’s grace, any urge we have for entitlement is converted into contentment. Paul reveals us to us the contented life:
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances, whether living in plenty or in want. –Philippians 4:11-12
Living a contented life rather than an entitled life should be our goal as well. May w ebe content with what we have and expect nothing in return.