Dallas & Corinthians – a Perfect Match

Lebron James.  Dwayne Wade.  Chris Bosh.

The Miami Heat had an offseason to remember as they combined two of the most highly sought after free agents together with one of the best players in the NBA.

The result – the Heatles. The Big Three. Multiple Championships.

All was going as planned until the Heat met Dirk Novitzki and the Dallas Mavericks. In the end, it was the Mavericks who claimed the trophy and put an order in for rings.

The Mavericks did not have the best players, but cumulatively, they were the best team.

Kind of like 2 Corinthians 5. Doesn’t contain the best verse in the Bible, but cumulatively, it may be the best chapter.

There are better, or more flashy verses, out there. You’ve got John 3:16 and the 23rd Psalm. You’ve got the Romans Road and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

But do you have a chapter better than 2 Corinthians 5?

You have an all-time great verse – 2 Corinthians 5:17 – kind of like the Mavericks have an all-time great player. But is 2 Corinthians 5:17 better than the aforementioned verses?

Is Dirk better than Kobe? Lebron? Wade? Durant or Howard? Rose?

It could be debated, but probably not.

Here’s a list of why 2 Corinthians 5 is the best chapter out there, with specific verses tied to specific players:

  • Jason Terry – 5:5 – The Spirit makes a deposit of what is to come, just like Jason Terry and his trophy tattoo (which he got before the season started)
  • Tyson Chandler – 5:7 – We live by faith, not by sight.  There had to be times in Chandler’s career that he was living on faith alone.  Could you imagine playing with five different teams in a six year period – especially when those teams included Charlotte, New Orleans, & Oklahoma City.

  • Shawn Marion – 5:10 – We will all face the judgment seat of Christ when this life is over and at that point we can assess our life, our talents, our treasures, and see how we did.  In the same way, we will have to assess Shawn Marion’s career when his is over.  He doesn’t have the prettiest shot or the smoothest game or the best hops, but he excelled given his talent.

  • Jason Kidd – 5:14 – Jason Kid compels, or wills, his team to victory just as Christ’s love compels us to share his love with others

  • Dirk Novitzki – 5:17 – All-time great verse and all-time great player

  • JJ Barea – 5:20 – JJ Barea – the pride of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.  His home people take great pride in watching him play – as they should since he is their ambassador to the NBA, like we are Christ’s ambassadors here on earth

  • Brian Cardinal – 5:21 – Brian Cardinal, the “Enforcer”.  Dude has two fouls before he ever enters the game, yet he never does anything wrong.  Doesn’t bother him, he just keeps on going about his business – unfazed.  Sounds similar to Christ, who had no sin, but became sin for us.

There are still other verses that could be included – we didn’t even touch on the section about reconciliation (maybe we could write a follow-up using the NFL labor negotiations using that one).

So – do you agree? Is 2 Corinthians 5 the best ever?

Music Friday – Letter Number “B”

I can’t blame the numbers and symbols – just not enough of a portfolio to find solid music…

Some tough decisions were made regarding Letter ‘A’ – like which songs to leave off the list. There were some great ones…

Letter ‘B’ – it leaves me fealing “eh”. I spent more time trying to decide which song was the worst…

Barbie Girl? Butterfly Kisses? Born in the USA? – admit it, the song actually speaks out against the USA and just involves a screaming Springsteen – overrated…

But in the end, I went with Blame it on the Rain by Milli Vanilli. The song is classic ’80s, which means at best it will be mediocre…

Here’s this list:

Best Song – Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison

Honorable Mentions:

Worst Song – Blame it on the Rain by Milli Vanilli (or whoever actually sang it)

Song I Wished I Owned – Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

‘C’ has to be good, right? I mean Clemson starts with C…

How Now Shall We Live?

I often wonder what causes someone to choose Christianity. Is it the claims of the Bible? Is it a social status? Is it our parents? Is it the actions of others?

Do our actions lead people to Jesus Christ? Do they drive them away? Do they move them at all?

If I were to be the best father I know how, would it cause someone else to go to church? Maybe, but would it make them choose Christ? Probably Not…

If I were to be the best employee I know how, would it cause someone else to go to church? Maybe, but would it make them choose Christ? Probably not…

If I were to be the best husband I know how, would it cause someone else to go to church? Maybe, but would it make them choose Christ? Probably not…

(Does me being a Christian even have any bearing on my abilities as a father, employee, or husband? Maybe some, but I know non-Christians who are better fathers, employees, and husbands than I am or ever could be…)

If our actions are unable to change someone else life, then why should that be my primary method of evangelism? Why should my behavior be the focus of me living out the Great Commission?

Would we be better off knowing more about our faith and less about how to live? Would we be better off worrying more about the lost than how we are viewed by others in the church?

Take CS Lewis & Lee Strobel. Two extremely smart fellas who were not wooed to Christ by the actions of others. To further the point, Strobel’s wife was a strong Christian while he was a staunch atheist…

Lewis & Strobel came to know Jesus personally due to conversations with others. Lewis was heavily influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings dude) and Strobel through discussions with leading Biblical scholars…

It was never because their neighbor refused to drink or handled their money properly or was a doting father…

Makes me wonder what I need to learn more so than how I need to live…

Music Tuesday – Letter Number “A”

After struggling through the numbers & symbols, I finally found some decent music strolling through the ‘A’s’.  It left me feeling good about the endeavor and the future letters to come…

Best Song – Arms of a Woman by Amos Lee

Can’t say that I am at ease in the arms of Janet – mainly because I’m afraid the moment will turn into those what are you thinking or feeling moments and I will say the wrong thing and screw it all up…

Honorable Mentions:

Worst Song – Achy, Breaky Heart by Billy Ray Cyrus

Song I Wished I Owned – American Pie by Don McLean

I once bought the entire CD of Don McLean’s Greatest Hits after only knowing American Pie. After learning every word to every lyric of this masterpiece, I figured the remainder of the “Greatest Hits” would be just as awesome. Boy was I sadly mistaken. He had a small hit with Vincent and everything else was forgettable. So much so I must’ve given the cd away…

Two down – 25 to go…

Could the Bible Becoming Truer?

Is the Bible true?  Can we believe everything it says and teaches and tells us?

Do we believe the world was formed in seven literal days?
Do we believe Noah built a huge boat and God flooded the entire earth?
Do we believe Moses parted the Red Sea?
Do we believe God made the sun sand still for Joshua?
Do we believe Jonah spent three days in the belly of a giant fish?

I could go on and on – and we could have a lot of fun debating the validity of these stories…

But how do we handle these verses:

Matthew 6:34 – “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Let’s be honest.  Today is full of plenty of worries.  How to pay the mortgage.  Will the NFL come back.  How to raise kids.  How to deal with your neighbors.  How to deal with USC winning back to back NCAA baseball titles…

Romans 3:23 – “for all have sinned”

Have we all really sinned?  Well – let’s figure it out by eliminating folks who have sinned and see how many are left in the end…

Let’s eliminate everyone all women in the world.  James 5:12 says to let your yes be yes and your no be no.  Ever met a woman who didn’t changer her mind?  Me neither…

There are approximately 6.95B people in the world and just over half are women.  That eliminates 3.5B people and leaves 3.45B remaining…

Ever met a man who didn’t struggle with pride, greed, lust, or anger?  Me neither – current company included.  That should eliminate everyone else…

If not – ever met a kindergartner or adolescent?  I rest my case…

James 1:19b-20 – “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

We’ve learned from first hand experience the power of our response.  When we respond with kindness or compassion or fairness, it diffuses the situation and puts everyone back into their proper place.  However, when we respond with anger or frustration or sharply, it only causes things to escalate.

You know this is true too, don’t you…

James 3:8 – but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison”

Who hasn’t said something they regret?  The Bible says it is impossible to completely tame the tongue.  We’ve all said something we later regretted.  We’ve all toed while teasing or pushed the limits while telling a joke.  The tongue can’t be tamed…

So how do we handle the Bible.  Clearly there are verses we must deal with – verses which we know are true.  Verses we can’t deny or explain away or argue over…

And if these verses are true, how do we handle other portions of the Bible?  Shouldn’t we at least give them their proper chance?

I sincerely hope verses like the following are true:

  • John 14:2-3 – In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
  • 1 John 4:4 – You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
  • James 1:12 – Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
  • The Beatitudes:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

This is probably not a very strong argument in favor of the believing in every word of the Bible, but the thought that I can’t shake is that if even just a few verses are true, it causes me to think critically about the rest of it…

Motivation Comes in All Shapes & Sizes

mo·ti·va·tion/ˌmōtəˈvāSHən/Noun
1. The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
2. The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

Most of us have goals in life – be successful, raise solid kids, retire, etc…

I now have a new goal – be like Miguel Angel Jimenez – golfer from Spain who is known as “The Mechanic” and “The Most Interesting Man in the World”

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:6772380

Know your strengths and play to them, be true to yourself, enjoy life, and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks…

P.S. – check out this shot of his from last year’s British Open – he’s got a little creativity as well…

Music Tuesday – Letter Number “Non-Letters”

As we begin the journey through the alphabet, we start with the dreaded numbers & symbols. Unfortunately, folks haven’t jumped on the random symbol train. Or if they have, it doesn’t fall into actual listenable music…

As such, here is the list of the best song from my library along with a few honorable mentions. I’ve also included a song that I wished was in my library and finally, what I consider to be the worst song…

Best Song – $2 Kite by Jake Armerding

Honorable Mentions – 12 West Front Street by Steven Delopoulos, 3 Minute Song by Josh Wilson, 40 Acres by Caedmon’s Call, 1000 Things by Jason Mraz, 8th Grade by Chris Rice

Worst Song – 500 Miles (I’m Gonna Be) by the Proclaimers

Song I Wished I Owned – 409 by the Beach Boys

None of the songs in the symbols blew me away. In the end, the best song is a whimsical take on love and heartbreak. In $2 Kite, the man is torn waiting for the girl of his dreams to make a decision – him or someone else. The worst song has to be the Proclaimers 500 Miles. Also – any song covered by Steven Curtis Chapman has some serious hurdles to overcome…

Let’s hope the remainder of the letters give us better music…