Speak

Photo Credit: Norm4nNorm4

Photo Credit: Norm4nNorm4

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…” Proverbs 31:8

There’s a lot of noise in our world. Televisions run 24/7 and radios pump incessantly. Pandora and Spotify play supporting cast. Earbuds are worn like permanent jewelry and headphones crown our numbed heads. Still, there is too much silence, too many folks living lives of quiet desperation. The cries of the silent are not being heard.

When I was in college, during a big injury low point, a teammate of mine, unbeknownst to me, spoke on my behalf. What he said, I learned later, valued and defended me powerfully to powerful others and ended up making a huge difference in my future. I’m eternally grateful for Tim White.

Today’s Word invites us to speak meaningfully, to add volume to others and let our voices be strategically heard. I’m so glad God champions such dialogue. Following are a few ideas to prime your pump in speaking up today:

1. Defend the defenseless. Find someone who needs defending and stand up for him.
2. Practice justice. Speak up for what’s right and who’s wrong.
3. Help the voices of the abused, the children, the widow, the powerless, the disadvantaged to be heard. Find one paralyzed by fear and become their mouthpiece.
4. Listen so well to the weak that you cannot be silent. Open your ears to open your mouth.
5. Turn a cellphone into a megaphone! Engage in conversations that champion and cheer on others. 😉

LORD, help us to raise the volume on what needs to said and to speak up for others who need support. Don’t let us leave them voiceless. Thank you for Jesus, who ever lives to make intercession for us. (Hebrews 7:25) May we follow His example well and do the same for others.

Maximum effort.
Heart for others.
Glory to God!
Coach Mo

What Do Coaches Make?

Photo Credit: Woodleywonderworks via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Woodleywonderworks via CC Flickr

I came across this great story a while ago which perfectly illustrates the life and mindset of a coach. I have been a coach for 30 years and I think this tale hits the subject right on the head. I hope that it inspires you as much as it did for me. 

———————-

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, tried to explain the problem with college athletics. He argued, “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to be a coach?”

He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about coaches: “Those who can’t play, are those who coach.” To stress his point he said to another guest, “You’re a coach, be honest. What do you make?”

Having a reputation for honesty and frankness, the guest replied, (At this moment Coach Ridder was FIRED up and getting after it!) “You want to know what I make? I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ feel like a winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor. I make kids run through 90 minutes of practice and sweat. I make kids turn dreams into reality.”

“You want to know what I make?”

I make kids wonder.

I make them question.

I make them criticize.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them cooperate.

I make them competitive and respectful.

I make them show all their work in front of hostile crowds and perfect their acts of sportsmanship.

I make them understand that if you have the will to follow your dreams, should anybody try to judge you by a mistake you made you must pay no attention because you tried and gave it your all.”

“I make teams from individuals who work together to build success.”

He paused and continued. “You want to know what I make?” I MAKE A DIFFERENCE, I MAKE LEADERS, I MAKE OTHER PROFESSIONS POSSIBLE.”

Then he asked the CEO, “What do you make?”

—————————

It makes you think doesn’t it?

Approach is Everything!

Photo Credit: Mohammed Shamma via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Mohammed Shamma via CC Flickr

“Let the children come. Don’t stop them. The kingdom of God belongs to people who come like this.” Matthew 19:14

The approach we take as we start a shot, a swing, a game, a contest, a meeting, an assignment, an interview, a season, even each new day, is important. Approach really affects outcome. Approach is perhaps everything.

Let’s not forget this when it comes to God and matters of His Kingdom. Here’s what I mean:
• The best way to come to God is as a child would, bringing perpetual wonder, abiding trust, and pure faith. Any other approach diminishes the outcome.
• The older one gets the more one must be intentionally youthful, working to keep their childlikeness before God. Keep the child in the relationship.
• Ultimate reality shines clearest and best to those who behold it like children, looking for a King and his Kingdom and a storyline that offers real hope to ‘live happily ever after’.
• Like developing athletic movements, don’t overcomplicate the Gospel and the Kingdom. It’s message is profound because of its simplicity, not its complexity.
• Don’t stop the flow. Encourage the flow of kids to God. Encourage the kid in you to come too.

How’s your approach? How well are you looking at life, at God? Like a child? Filled with wonder? Coming in good faith, filled with pure intentions and simple trust? No better approach than this!

LORD, don’t let us overcomplicate You, Your Kingdom, the gospel, life. Let us see You, come to You, experience You, delight in you as children do their Daddy. And help us bring other kids to You as well.

Approach is everything.

Maximum effort.
Heart for others.
Glory to God!
Coach Mo

Attitudes

Photo Credit: Celestine Chua via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Celestine Chua via CC Flickr

The longer I live, the more I realize
the impact of ATTITUDE, on life.
ATTITUDE, to me, is more
important than facts.

It is more important than the past,
than education, than money, than
circumstances, than failures, than
successes, than what other people
think or say or do.

It is more important than
appearance, giftedness or skill.
It will make or break a
company… a church… a home.

The remarkable think is we have a
choice every day regarding the
ATTITUDE we will embrace for that day.
We cannot change our past… we
cannot change the fact that people
will act in a certain way.

We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play
on the one string we have, and that
is our ATTITUDE…

I am convinced that life is 10%
what happens to me and 90% how
I react to it.

And so it is with you…
We are in charge of our
ATTITUDES.


Source: Charles Swindoll

Things That Make Great Leaders….

Photo Credit: Tumisu via Pixabay

Photo Credit: Tumisu via Pixabay

This article was posted by Quinn McDowell, founder of Arete Hoops. Quinn played basketball at Archbishop Moeller High School (Cincinnati, OH), 4 years at the College of William and Mary, 1 season in the NBA D-League, and 2 years as a professional in Australia. Arete Hoops is dedicated to helping people of various ages, backgrounds, skill levels, and athletic goals pursue excellence in and through the game of Basketball

Great Leaders…

  1. Make a Difference

Take Tim Duncan for example. He is a dynamic package of killer efficiency that has adapted his game to his teammates instead of forcing his teammates to adapt to his style. Duncan’s value never resided in gaudy stats or eye-popping numbers; rather his greatness was always about something bigger than himself. The real value of his game always resided in his mind numbing consistency and determination to raise the level of his team in whatever capacity he could. In this refusal to elevate his personal desires above the mission of the team he has elevated himself to one of the greatest players the NBA has ever seen. Tim Duncan never set out to be the greatest player of his generation, all he wanted to do was just “make a difference”, and that is the true value of greatness.

 

  1. Embrace Servant Leadership

Does your leader make a difference by serving others? Do they chose to use their abilities to illuminate the talents of those around them? Have they adopted a flexible leadership style that allows them to adapt to changing circumstances and the needs of their team. The bedrock of this leadership style has always been founded on a simple question: what can I do to make those around me better? One of the great marks of a servant leader is that they are remembered as great because of their leadership, commitment to excellence, and care for others.

 

  1. Draw Teammates to Themselves

By definition, a leader is someone whom other people are willing to follow. Great leadership at its most foundational level has the ability to attract a group of talented individuals to accomplish a shared goal. A leader has an attraction about them that players are drawn to. They entice other talented players to join them in working towards a common goal. They have an inviting personality and team-first attitude that encourages everyone to work for the good of the team.

 

  1. Accentuate the Talents of Others

Leaders accentuate the talents of their teammates by helping them come closer to reaching the limits of their abilities. One of the most telling signs of effective leadership is always measured by the growth of people around them. Great leaders help turn average players into good players, good players into great players, and great players into game-changing players. One of the primary goals of great leaders is to invest in the people around them and help raise their level of performance.


  1. Create a Community of Trust

Great leaders earn the respect and trust of their followers by submitting themselves to the same standards they enforce on others. Double standards, favoritism, and hypocrisy cripple healthy team dynamics and glorify the individual instead of the group. Great leaders foster an environment of where people are free to speak their minds in a spirit of collaboration and teamwork. They create a safe place for their teammates that is marked by the characteristics of trust, mutual accountability, and honesty.

The Destructive Effects of Unforgiveness

Photo Credit: Cliff via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Cliff via CC Flickr

On July 2, 1881, the 20th president of the United States, President James Garfield, was in a railroad station getting ready to board a train for the New Jersey shore, when he was suddenly shot twice by a madman, Charles Guiteau.

President Garfield was shot twice at close range…one shot glanced off of his arm while the second bullet found its way into his abdomen. He was taken immediately to Washington DC to be cared for and treated.

Over the course of the next 80 days, sixteen doctors tried their skill and techniques to try to save the life of the president. The stuck a metal probe into him to search for the bullet as well as their dirty fingers and filthy instruments.

Because of the heat and humidity it was decided that he would be moved to a cottage at the Jersey shore. Shortly thereafter, President Garfield’s temperature began to rise, so the decision was made to reopen him up and try to dislodge the bullet and again, they failed. What started out as a shallow, 3 inch wound became a huge 20 inch long, pus infected wound that leaked infection and fluids…from his ribs to his groin.

His robust weight of 210 pounds dropped to an anemic 130 pounds. Then, on September 19, 1881, President Garfield yelled out, “This pain, this pain!” He was suffering from a massive heart attack and died a little while later.

———————-

You may be asking yourself what this story has to do with forgiveness and unforgiveness. Well, this story illustrates the harmful power unforgiveness. Sometimes when a person is wronged, whether it be verbal, physical, or mentally, it can be a very difficult thing to forgive the transgressor.

In a group setting, the effects of unforgiveness can have an even greater effect on a person…and here is why. When a person (or a group of people) cannot forgive an individual…what sometimes happens is that the wronged person might begin to get teased, ridiculed, laughed at, or sometimes, sadly, even harmed by the stubborn person (or people) or cannot forgive.

The result? What could have ended a problem, a situation, or a wrong-doing in a quick, simple fashion, festered into something ugly and sometimes, repulsive. Just like the doctors who “treated” President Garfield with dirty hands and implements….harmful words and actions y others can “infect” and “contaminate” a person’s soul, which can destroy an individual’s life.

It is important to remember this…it wasn’t the bullet that lead to President Garfield’s death…it was the constant prodding, poking, and bad practices that caused him to die. Such it is when people cannot forgive..it can lead to the destruction of others.

So, remember, the next time you have the ability and opportunity to forgive someone who has confessed to you a wrong, even though it might be a hard thing to do, have the courage and conviction to do what is right…and help heal a wounded soul today!

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” _ Matthew 6: 14-15

GOD STILL HEALS AND RESTORES!!

Coach Muller

Some very interesting additional information about this story from a reader of this blog: You really struck on an important point in the history of our country for your good illustration! With very great interest, I read “Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President,” by the very talented author, Candice Millard. You are quite correct that Garfield’s physicians killed him via unsanitary treatment ~ completely unacceptable because Dr. Lister in France had already discovered the necessity in providing medical care in a completely sanitized environment; however, did you know that Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln, sent his own father’s physician, Dr. Willard Bliss, to Washington to help in the treatment of Garfield? And also that one Dr. Susan Edson, one of the first female doctors in the country, was also present? Also, very interesting, a young Alexander Graham Bell attempted inventing an instrument capable of precisely locating the bullet w/o invasive procedure? (The fully successful completion of this would, unfortunately, come later but still…)  “noblethemes”

Tough Enough?

Photo Credit: Bycfotografem via Pixabay

Photo Credit: Bycfotografem via Pixabay

“And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell.” Mark 9:47

When it comes to one’s matters of personal conduct, preparation and performance, here’s a plateful of probing, beneficial questions…
• Are you tough enough on yourself?
• Tough enough to say ‘No’ to yourself?
• Tough enough to say to self, “No, not acceptable. Do it again, right, better.”
• Tough enough not to wait for someone else’s discipline and apply it to yourself?
• Finding the right balance in what’s enough and what’s too far?
• Tough enough to call personal sin ‘sin’ and then do something about it?
• As you enter a new day, are you prepared to fight as hard as necessary so that future wins will be guaranteed?
Good discipline produces great freedom. Freedom in the future hinges on discipline now.

In Mark 9:42-48, Jesus challenges us to be tough on ourselves, for our own good. He wants us entering God’s kingdom for sure, but He wants us going in (not down) swinging, striving as victors, fighting like victors, disciplined and tough now, not just established as victors in the end. He wants both. He says it’s better that way. He’d rather we learn to be tough on ourselves than for Him to apply all the toughness. What kind of man would only allow another man to apply the heat? Isn’t toughness also applied by self a better way to live?

That’s why Jesus said it’s better to pluck out your own eye if it’s causing you to sin than leave it unaddressed and let another apply the discipline, doing the removal. So take sin seriously. Apply some heat, some urgency, and get tough. It’s a much better way to live.

For reflection:
• How good are you at saying no to yourself?
• Known enviably well for your personal toughness (or just your toughness on others)?
• Taking all personal sin seriously enough?
• Got some urgency in your toughness?
• Relying on Christ to help you with your toughness? (His example is amazing and His Spirit so powerful.)

O LORD, thank You for showing me what real toughness looks like in Christ. May I, by your Spirit, be the same.  Help me deal tough with matters of personal sin. Fix whatever eyes I have on You and this better way to live!

Be tough. Fight sin.
Press on. Eyes on Him.

Titus 2:11–15
Hebrews 12:1–12

Feel Like Giving Up?

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

“And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.”  2 Thessalonians 3:13

Why do people give up? Here are some of the most common reasons:
• No hope (no perceived chance for victory or real reward) 
• Not enough patience to keep going
• Fading interest (no sense of personal fulfillment)
• Poor fit (not enough talent or skill)
• Poor relationships kill the drive to press on
• Discouragement (criticism or lack of results has gotten to you)
Any of these hit home?

Still, there’s one more reason for giving up that should never make our list: fear of hard work. A great work ethic must mark the life of the believer, a true Christ-follower. That’s what Paul argues throughout 1 & 2 Thessalonians. As he closes his letter here, Paul challenges his ‘team’ once more, calling them to toughness, especially in regard to doing what’s right. In fact, he says that if a Christian is not known for his hard work and doing what’s right, living life of physical laziness and moral sloppiness instead, Paul argues that you should keep your distance from him. You can’t let such a one make your ‘team’ and your Lord look bad. (3:6,14)

So never fear hard work. Instead, embrace it. Let your life be defined by it. Be known for your great work ethic and toughness in doing what’s right no matter what. It supports the Gospel so well and focuses and fulfills you.

LORD, may I never fear hard work but rather be defined by it. May I advance Your Kingdom and enhance the gospel by being tireless in supporting what’s right and inspired by the perseverance of Christ. 

Be tough. 
Nothing detrimental. 
Bring honor to Christ.
Coach Mo

Freedom and Captivity

Photo Credit: Lynn Willis via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Lynn Willis via CC Flickr

“An evil man is snared his own sin, but a righteous one can sing and be glad.” Proverbs 29:6

The presence and absence of sin in one’s life makes all the difference in the world. When sin abounds within me, it’s like I’m casting a net around my own feet. Sooner or later I will stumble, fall, and get bound up in the entanglement it inevitably causes. When righteousness prevails within me, I stay on the high road, snare-free, making me smile and sing to my heart’s content. I’m lifted and there’s nothing really to hold me back. What a way to live!

Is sin a snare to you? Feeling its entanglements (yet)? Walk free. Head towards righteousness and the Righteous One. Like playing a bad game in the past leaves the heart of a true champion, let His righteousness help you put sin in the past. Then sing a song of freedom and victory. You can’t beat the feeling of being clean.

LORD, help us see how critical it is to our future to deal with sin now. Don’t let us wait and get stuck. May your Son and Spirit coach us out of captivity and into forgiveness and freedom. Keep us on the high ground and put a lifting song in our hearts.

Singing towards my freedom,

Coach Mo

Standing in the End

Photo Credit: Kalyan Chakravarthy via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Kalyan Chakravarthy via CC Flickr

“A faithful man will be richly blessed…” Proverbs 28:20

In a world where things seem to be moving faster and faster, there’s one other move we must make: slowing down and dropping anchor around faithfulness. Faithfulness holds relationships together and allows teams to really mesh and products to perfect. Faithfulness keeps so much together when Circumstances try to pull everything apart. Faithfulness demands devotion. Faithfulness lifts, holds, endures. Coupled with love, it forms an unbeatable duo. It’s what leaves a man standing in the end.

Faithfulness has its reward too. While promotion often seems to run faster in other directions, faithfulness wins far more in the end. God says so. Longevity and fidelity to both cause and people is the hidden, high virtue. Rich blessings follow the faithful man. He’s the one left standing in the end.

Faithful men:
• play out every possession, on both sides of the ball.
• hang in there.
• love unconditionally and forgive well.
• live by commitment, never feelings or circumstance.
• never run from responsibility or duck duty.
• sacrifice much and don’t cash in early.
• expect the greater reward, God’s reward.

How are you sizing up to this faithfulness profile? Running short or richly blessed? Left standing or left behind.

LORD, help us to place high premium on faithfulness and hang in there. We know the Marines do; help us to place more. Let us be known for our faithfulness to You, to others, to our mission and purpose. Don’t let us run from commitment. Like your Son, let us be found faithful, standing with Him in the end. Richly bless our faithfulness journey, just as You promise. Through Christ the Faithful One. Amen.

Semper Fidelis (‘always faithful’),
Coach Mo