Think Blue

The best time of the year – Opening Day on Sunday/Monday.  All that I ask is that I predict better than last year and that the Giants (or Yankees) don’t win the World Series.  


Here are my 2013 Major League Baseball predictions…

AL EAST 
Rays 
Blue Jays
Yankees
Orioles 
Red Sox 

AL CENTRAL 
Tigers
Royals
Indians
White Sox
Twins 

AL WEST 
Angels 
Athletics 
Rangers
Mariners 
Astros 

NL EAST
Nationals 
Braves
Phillies
Mets
Marlins 

NL CENTRAL 
Reds 
Cardinals
Brewers 
Pirates
Cubs

NL WEST
Dodgers
Giants
Padres
Diamondbacks
Rockies 

WORLD SERIES 
Tigers over the Dodgers 

Thoughts? What are your guesses? 
Think Blue

Holes

Our family is making our way through Newbery Medal Award Winners.  Thus far, we have read The Chronicles of NarniaThe Hobbit, Hatchet, and Shiloh (not all award winners – but great reads).  

Tonight, we completed Holes.  The two older children really enjoyed it. 

My favorite quote was from Mr. Pendanski who wrote, “I’m not saying, it’s going to be easy.  Nothing in life is easy.  But that’s no reason to give up.  You’ll be surprised what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it.  After all, you only have one life, so you should try to make the most of it” (57). 

Next up:  A Wrinkle In Time.  Has anyone read it?  Seen the movie?    

Holes

Courageous Leadership

As part of planting Blue Bridge Church, I am involved in a coaching network.  One of our recent assignments was to read Bill Hybel’s Courageous Leadership..  

Here are a few of my takeaways from this leadership resource:
    • What flourishing churches have in common is that they are led by people who possess and deploy the spiritual gift of leadership (25) 
    • Leaders see the big picture and understand how to help others find their place of service within that picture (25) 
    • Will men and women who have been entrusted w/ leadership gifts take their gifts seriously, develop them fully, and deploy them courageously, so the willing and gifted believers in their churches can work together to make a difference in the world? (27) 
    • People supernaturally gifted to lead must yield themselves fully to God.  They must cast powerful, biblical, God-honoring visions.  They must build effective, loving, clearly focused teams.  They must fire up Christ followers to give their absolute best for God.  And they must insist with pit bull determination (27) 
    • Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion (32) 
      • First, a leader sees the vision, sees that life-changing image of the future that makes his or her pulse quicken…then, almost immediately, comes the feeling of vision (32) 
      • Leaders are not the only ones who are energized by the passion of their vision.  Followers thrive on it (35) 
    • Please don’t miss this.  If God has given you a kingdom vision, if you see it clearly and feel it deeply, you had better take responsibility for it.  You had better give your life to it.  That’s why God made you a leader.  That’s your unique calling.  That’s what you and I will be held accountable for someday (37)
    • By God’s grace, I fully intend to pursue the vision God has entrusted to me, no matter what, no matter who comes or goes.  I will not let the opinions of others affect my own commitment to God’s call on my life (39)
    • Namely, that at a certain point people need more than vision.  They need a plan, a step-by-step explanation of how to move from vision to reality (54) 
    • Character, competence, and chemistry (80)
    • It’s management of self that should occupy 50 percent of our time and the best of our ability.  And when we do that the ethical, moral, and spiritual elements of management are inescapable (182)
Courageous Leadership

Final Four



Here are my 2013 March Madness picks. I hope it is a lot more like 2012 (where I won every group that I was in) rather than 2011 (where I was out of each competition by the end of opening weekend).  I am counting on Rick Pitino being the first coach in NCAA history to win the tournament with two different schools – but I would not count on it! 


Final Four

In a Sunburned Country

I thoroughly enjoyed Bill Bryson‘s “In a Sunburned Country”.  It kills me to say this, but Ryan Smith’s annual selections are incredibly creative and diverse.  He raises the bar on our tradition.  If only he was content to stay in the United States.

Here are a few memorable quotes form Bryson’s explorations of Australia:

  • Australians are very unfair in this way. They spend half of any conversation insisting that the country’s dangers are vastly overrated and that there’s nothing to worry about, and the other half telling you how six months ago their Uncle Bob was driving to Mudgee when a tiger snake slid out from under the dashboard and bit him on the groin, but that it’s okay now because he’s off the life support machine and they’ve discovered he can communicate with eye blinks.
  • The people are immensely likable— cheerful, extrovert, quick-witted, and unfailingly obliging. Their cities are safe and clean and nearly always built on water. They have a society that is prosperous, well ordered, and instinctively egalitarian. The food is excellent. The beer is cold. The sun nearly always shines. There is coffee on every corner. Life doesn’t get much better than this.
  • It is not true that the English invented cricket as a way a making all other hunman endeavors look interesting and lively; that was merely an unintended side effect.  

Now, how might I convince Ryan to invite me for a visit so I can see the country for myself?  

In a Sunburned Country