You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2007.

I’m excited about the new series of “Heroes” starting this evening. But I’d like to know why this show is so big. Why are heroes popular? I assume that it’s because everyone wants to be able to make a difference or have a positive impact on humanity. I’d like to say it’s because of the storyline. But, try to explain the story to someone who doesn’t watch the show without making it sound ridiculous. I have and it did. My explanation sounded as ridiculous as a friend’s explanation of the show “Lost” which I have never watched.
True heroes don’t need super powers. Actually, if a person has a super power that say prevents them from getting hurt, does stepping in front of a bus to save a child qualify as heroic? If there is no risk, is someone acting brave? Dictionary.com defines a hero as, “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities” (it carries the same definition for heroine so as not to leave the females out). Wikipedia defines a hero as, “
From the Greek ρως, in mythology and folklore, a hero (male) or heroine (female) usually fulfills the definitions of what is considered good and noble in the originating culture. Typically the willingness to sacrifice the self for the greater good is seen as the most important defining characteristic of an hero.”
By being a Christian and conducting ourselves accordingly, we have an opportunity to impact individuals, people and humanity in a positive way. None of us have super powers like “Heroes” characters but can have an impact on something greater than one’s life on earth.
The website heroes.com lists a few heroes in a few different categories. One such category is sports, which actually only a small percentage care about or remember. Another category is Activists/Humanitarians. This group contains ordinary people, many of whom are or were impacted by their faith and all of whom sacrificed the self for the greater good.
Another site, MyHero.com, allows people to post people they see as heroes and why. Take a minute and go through that site. None of them have super powers either.

Advertisements

Tonight is the first time, since the birth of our son over 8 months ago, that we are without him in our house. We leave for a short vacation tomorrow morning and he went to his grandparents a little early so we don’t have to wake him at 0500. It’s a little strange not having him around. Frankly, I miss him already. The true test will come tomorrow night as we are out of the state and hours away from him. I’ve traveled with work since his birth, but my wife hasn’t. We’ll see how this goes tomorrow.
Through this I can’t help but think of how our Heavenly Father longs for contact with us – constant contact – prayer without ceasing.

Admittedly, I didn’t find this. A friend’s blog has this and thought it was enough fun to share.

 

Find out the religion of your favorite superhero.

It’s about time someone actually punished the out of control NFL players. It’s by no means only NFL players, it really starts in high school when athletes are treated differently by school officials. (In case you are wondering, yes, I was a HS athlete in several sports.)

The NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down sentencing to Adam “Packman” Jones (not sure I want to know why he’s called Pacman – the game wasn’t even popular when he was born.) Jones is suspended for the season which means he will lose $1.3 million. I think that’s great. Jones has had 10 encounters with police since being drafted by the Tennessee Titans two years ago.

The other player to receive recent applicable punishment is Chris Henry of the Cincinnati Bengals. He’s suspended for 8 games and stands to lose more than $200,000. Henry was arrested 4 times in the past 14 months.

While this is good, applicable punishment, it doesn’t quite fit the real world just yet. If I were arrested for DUI – I’d be unemployed and looking for a new job. If I were arrested 4 times in the past 14 months, I’d be looking for four new jobs…

Perhaps one of the best aspects about this punishment system and severity is that it is endorsed by the NFL Players Associaion. That means players can’t appeal to their union. And they can’t appeal to the Commissioner as he’s the one leading it. Also if actions continue, suspensions, loss of salary and fines will increase. If it continues, teams could also be disciplined for player violations.

While I’m on sports, I can’t help but talk about Barry Bonds (Mr. *) approaching Hank Aaron’s home run record. I read yesterday that Aaron doesn’t plan to be at whatever ballpark Bonds could break his standing record. Aaron said, “I’d probably fly to Wst Palm Beach to play golf.” He says this because he’s “…had enough of it. I don’t want to be around that sort of thing anymore. I just want to be at peace with myself.”

Personally, I’m not going, not watching and trying to ignore him as much as possible (wasn’t just Bonds, Canseco and McGuire included). I’m even trying to ignore professional baseball all together. It’s hard as it is relaxing to go sit at the ballpark and watch a relatively slow game progress through the afternoon. Plus, I’m a Braves fan (they are doing well so far) and a Rangers fan (they aren’t really – which has become usual). My reasoning is based on the sole fact of the rampant illegal use of steroids and the public knowledge of it without any ramifications. Their non-medicinal use is illegal for reasons. One is it is unhealthy. The other is that it can really through off one’s anger management…ever wonder why there are so many fights in sports? Anyway, I’m trying to boycott baseball until it’s cleaned up (completely clean will be almost impossible) and Barry Bonds and others are out of baseball and their records not only listed with an “*” but removed from the books.

That completes my rant about professional sports.

One aspect of my personality that I need to work on is my self-restraint. At times, I just go on out there and say things I shouldn’t; do things I shouldn’t. Not really out of anger, but out of frustration. I can handle anger; but frustration – not being able to fix/correct something – really, well, frustrates me.

As we have just “celebrated” Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and anticipate Easter, self-restraint tops my mind every year. The self-restraint it took Jesus, both God and man, to not simply command the mockery, the torture, the pain to end is amazing. This act is the most powerful expression of love.

I continued reading The Jesus I Never Knew by Phillip Yancey this morning I looked at my son who was eating from his bottle and looking up at me. “I have marveled at, and sometimes openly questioned, the self-restraint God has shown throughout history, allowing the Genghis Khans and the Hitlers and the Stalins to have their way. But nothing – nothing – compares to the self-restraint shown that dark Friday in Jerusalem. With every lash of the whip, every fibrous crunch of fist against flesh, Jesus must have mentally replayed the Temptation in the wilderness and in Gethsemane. Legions of angels awaited his command. One word, and the ordeal would end.”  For me as a father to not stop the torture of my son – unimaginable. As much as I care for and love other people – no one would get away with torturing my son even with my limited power and even if it meant others would die in his place.

Imagine going through Good Friday and Saturday without knowing what happened on Easter morning. We read the story in light of the outcome – not as how people lived it. Your friend, your Lord, mocked, tortured, crucified, dead. Your thoughts, your actions, your life would be impacted on a greater scale not knowing that you will see Him again on Sunday morning.

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.” Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.“Jack, did you hear me?”

“Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said.

“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him.

“I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said.

“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said

“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important…Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture….Jack stopped suddenly.

“What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.

“The box is gone,” he said

“What box?” Mom asked.

“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,'” Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

“Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. “Mr. Harold Belser” it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside.

“Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

“Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser.”

“The thing he valued most was…my time”

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. “Why?” Janet, his assistant asked.

“I need some time to spend with my son,” he said.

“Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!”