Thursday, November 29, 2007


In my quest to read the bible from cover to cover, I am currently reading the Book of Wisdom. I'd like to discuss the following quote from Wisdom 12,7.

“For in the things through which they suffered distress, since they were tortured by the very things they deemed gods, they saw and recognized the true God whom before they had refused to know”

In chapter 12 of Wisdom, the author is explaining God's providence over his people specifically during the time of exodus. If you recall in exodus, the people of God often found themselves doubting God only to find themselves begging for forgiveness and mercy in times of crisis. They made idols of golden calves and put their faith in worldly things. Today we may not idolize golden calves, but we do often place so much importance on worldly things that they almost become "gods" to us. The lesson being taught over two thousand years ago still applies to us today. Let us break down Wisdom 12,7.

"For in the things"
What does the word things consist of? I remember when I was young and I didn't know how to describe something I just called it a thing. It's a broad term for any material object without life or consciousness.
"Through which they suffered distress"
The author notes that some of these "things" cause distress in people's lives. If you read the two quotes together, you'll see that he is speaking only of those things that cause distress. You will also note that he uses "suffered" as a description. Obviously these "things" are causing problems in the lives of those who use them.
"since they were tortured by the very things they deemed gods"
This is the line that probably caught your attention. I know it did me. Speaking of those who suffer from these "things," the author explains to us that these things were deemed gods in the eyes of the possessor. They were "tortured" by these "things (lifeless objects)" that they deemed gods! These were not things they cared little about. He's not talking about a rock or a stick, but about prized possessions. Hes talking about valuable material goods that are highly valued by the people of the time whatever that may be. These material items that were once so valuable and precious are now the very things that cause the most pain. Ironic and often times very true.
"they saw and recognized the true God whom before they had refused to know”
Often times it takes times of serious distress for us to realize what is missing in our lives. Why is it in times of tragedies such as 9-11 there are record numbers of church goers? Why is it that often times, a dying person will ask for a priest so that he can confess his or her sins? It is a natural reaction in times of torture and distress that we turn to God. Unfortunately, it takes life changing events before many come to recognize God. Fortunately life changing events do take place in people's lives and they do eventually come to recognize God. They had once refused to know God. Refused to know are interesting words. It does not say that they couldn't have known God before, but rather it was a conscious decision to not know God. God is present in the Holy Spirit and in each and every person. If you look closely at anyone, you can see the presence of God. It may be hard to find in some cases, but he is present in each one of us. The Holy Spirit guides our conscious, but we do not always listen. Sometimes we think we know better or we'd rather ignore God's whispers in our ear because we'd rather not hear them. We'd rather satisfy ourselves with "things" than live a life of giving and thanksgiving to God. The important lesson to learn is that these "things" we think are valuable now, may be the very things that are causing us distress and refusing us to come to recognize and worship God. God is Lord. God is good. Praise God.

Monday, November 26, 2007

New Hotel Amenities

Hotel Room Bible's Disappearing

Hotels across the country are choosing to do away with bibles, which used to be available in nearly every hotel room, and are choosing to include new amenities that are said to cater to younger, perhaps less religious clientèle. Such new amenities may include new electronics like ipod docks or flat panel televisions that seem harmless enough, but that's not all hotels are including. Things such as "intimacy kits" are appearing in more hotels. Such kits encourage promiscuous behavior that is becoming widely accepted in our society despite the obvious damage it causes both mentally and spiritually. The shift in amenities is said to be in part due to the fact that leisure trips are becoming more frequent and business trips are declining. One other concern for some hotels is the fear of offending people of different faiths. So what does all of this mean? Is hotel spokeswoman Lori DeBlois right when she justifies not having bible's in her hotel because "society evolves"?

If this is the way society is truly evolving, then I want no part in the evolution. I am not naive enough to think that certain lifestyles I disagree with are not present. Promiscuous lifestyles are present all around us and can almost feel overwhelming. The general sense is that this lifestyle is normal and simply a societal (sexual) evolution. It's not just promiscuous lifestyles that are cause for the change in hotel amenities, but a change in lifestyles in general. Even those of us who choose less promiscuous lifestyles are confronted with much more options than generations past. Before the industrial revolution and more recently the technological evolution, there were less electronics and gadgets consuming our time. Everything now is a rush, and everything has to be new and exciting for the younger crowd (as well as much of the older crowd it should be noted). Reading in general is frowned upon by many in the younger generation. We just don't have the time or patience for books. Ipods are way more fun and if that gets boring we can turn on the tv and watch just about anything we want.

I can't entirely blame hotels for this move to reduce the number of bible's available. It is our own fault that these changes are occurring. How often did we open the bible when we went to stay at a hotel? If we did notice the bible, did we let the hotel management know that we appreciated that the bible was included or did we focus on how large the tv was? Hotels are a business and many clearly don't think that a bible is an amenity that their customers require. Before we go and blame others and raise an uproar about how bibles are no longer in hotels, maybe we should look at ourselves and the people around us. What are we doing and how are we living? Have we fallen into the trap of "societal evolution" and forgotten God?
There can be no positive change without God. If we are moving in a direction that eliminates our closeness to God and our reliance on him, than we are moving in the opposite direction. Progression toward the elimination of God in our lives is regression. We are responsible for keeping God in our own lives, but we are also responsible for spreading the word of God to others. Unless we do this, we can not expect to see bibles in hotels or any other place and we can expect more action taken to eliminate any public display of religion. We must not let "evolution" take us into a world that ignores God. We must continue to trust in God and follow Jesus' teachings regardless of the changes that we will always encounter. We must be leaders in pushing for positive changes that include God and refuse to follow a movement that discourages God in our lives.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

2007 Duquaine College Football Pick'em

The 2nd annual Duquaine College Football Pick'em has just been completed. I started this game last year because I really enjoy watching college football and I wanted to share my love of the game with my family. I was really uncertain about how the game would turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised at the reaction I got from family members who really enjoyed the game. Word got around about the popularity of the game and this year there were 13 participants (up from 8 last year). Unfortunately, one had to drop out early in the season, but there were still 12 active players. This season was full of excitement both on the football field and in our football spreadsheets. In the end, my Uncle Dave narrowly edged my Uncle Don to win the 2007 Duquaine College Football Pick'em (I won last year). The game brings out a friendly competition and I feel brings our family loser together. I look forward to the Bowl season when we start our 2nd annual Duquaine Bowl Mania Challenge. Below is the email that was sent out to all the players in this year's game.

Congratulations to...
UNCLE DAVE. Dave wins the 2007 Duquaine Family College Football
Pick'em, winning by the slimmest margin in the two year history of the
game. He very narrowly defeated Uncle Don by just 4 points! Dave won
the bonus 25 points for the best record, which turned out to be the
difference in the game. I can only hope that future Duquaine Pick'em
games are as exciting. Get ready for the Duquaine Bowl Mania. I will
send out the spreadsheet when the bowls are announced.

I am looking into buying a plaque for the Football Pick'em winner and
the Bowl Mania winner. Dave, I hope to get the plaque to you sometime
before the end of the year if possible. The plaques will be engraved
with the previous winners and I plan to make these traveling trophies.
Dave will hold on to it until next year's winner. I'm asking that
each of you consider contributing $5 - $10 to help pay for the plaques
but your contribution is completely voluntary. I am really hoping to
make a website that will have all the stats and news about the
Duquaine College Pick'em game as well as photos (David, I'd really
like to get a picture of you holding the plaque). This is all a work
in progress so I will let you all know when it's up and running.
Thanks again for a great season!
I am also planning on starting up my sports blog. Check back with MyFavoriteBlogs links at the top left corner for my other blogs. Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and I look forward to posting more frequently in the coming weeks.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Below is a good thanksgiving prayer that was in my church bulletin this morning.

"Lord, give us grateful hearts and keep us mindful of the needs of others. We give you thanks and praise for food and all the gifts of love. Look on us with mercy, Father, and bless us all our days. Amen."

Next week we will celebrate Thanksgiving day. Most people think of two things when they think of Thanksgiving: food and football. Thanksgiving is all about the "f's", family, food, and football. Most of us are pretty good at giving thanks on thanksgiving day. We are thankful for family, food, and football. The word thanksgiving suggests that we should not only be thankful, but also be giving. Food baskets and food donations are a couple good ways to give to those less fortunate. We could also give our time. Sometimes the gift of time is more valuable than any material gift. Often times the church will set up events to make it very convenient to help. Even modest gifts can make a big difference. My boss does not have a thanksgiving dinner because he delivers food baskets on Thanksgiving day. We should always be mindful of our many blessings and be selfless as opposed to selfish. I am very excited to go back home and see my family for Thanksgiving. I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving! God bless and happy eating!

Friday, November 16, 2007


It was a long and hard season, but we got it done. Many of the 60+ in attendance for the Championship game today didn't think we had much of a chance. We were playing the #1 seed that beat us by double digits in the regular season. They had the best player in the league by far, 6'6 Sam Hines, who currently plays professionally overseas! He even has his own website! We were the #3 seed and went 8-4 in the regular season. What we had that no other team could match was the most balanced team and the team with probably the best chemistry. It was a wild atmosphere. When the game tying three bounced off the rim and the buzzer sounded the celebration began Rockets 55 Bulls 52.

This may sound funny, but A LOT of guys in our basketball league take it very seriously. After the win, some of the guys were so happy they were almost in tears. Some had been playing for many years and had not yet won a league championship. It made it all the more special to win it with a great group of men. Each player on the team had an integral part.

Early in the season I got plenty of playing time. We started 7-1 and we were feeling good. Then our point guard and second leading scorer had surgery on his right knee and was out for the season. It looked like our season was over. We were able to pick up an extra player who was not quite the point guard, but he did an adequate job. We had a difficult stretch on the schedule and proceeded to lose our next three games and I was getting almost no playing time. The new guy was not player real well, he had a bit of an attitude, and our team chemistry was off. I was getting upset because I saw that I could come in and help, and it was tough watching us play bad. After our third consecutive loss there was some finger pointing and some frustration unleashed. The new guy started blaming himself for the team's collapse although he was just part of the problem. We came together as a team and won the final game easily. Our players were starting to get healthy and we still were the #3 seed out of 12 teams which was pretty good. This is a competitive league.

Our first match up was against the Hawks. They were not as bad as the Atlanta Hawks. In fact, we should have lost to them in our regular season game in a game that turned out to be the highlight of my basketball league career. We were down by 2 with 6 seconds left in the game and we just put one of their best free throw shooters to the line for a one and one. Normally we have one guy back at half court, but we needed to get the rebound if he missed the shot, so I told our guy to get on the blocks and crash the boards. I blocked out the free throw shooter. He missed and I got the rebound and sprinted up the court. I was amazed that I was all alone. I actually had enough time to take it to the hoop for a layup, but I knew time was running out and the 6'6 Royal Maxwell would be hot on my trail. I pulled up for a three and drained it with no time left. We had just completed a double digit comeback, with no subs, and beat one of the best teams. It was a really great feeling, but I made sure the guys knew that it was a team effort and if it weren't for some of their plays I wouldn't have had the chance to take that shot.

We had another tight game with the hawks in the playoffs and won just barely. Our semifinal game was against the Nuggets who beat us by 10 in our regular season game and had come fresh off an upset of the #2 seed. They were playing great but we got some interesting news before the game. They would only be able to have 3 players. We could have forced them to play with 3 but we decided as a team to let them pick up a player as long as he wasn't above average. It turned out we were the team with a short lineup. Our new guy Cliff couldn't play because he was at a funeral and Dan couldn't play because of work. All 6 of their guys showed up! It was 4 on 6 against a team that beat us with a full squad. It turned out to be our advantage. I did not get to play more than a minute the first time we played them, but I had to play the whole game in the playoffs. I had the game of my life. I started 4 of 4 from 3 point range and the crowd was going wild. They did not respect my shot and it was probably the difference in the game. By halftime they put their best defender on me and it freed up our other two scorers who went to work. I finished with a career high 19 points and we won by double digits.

For the Championship game, I spent most of the time on the bench rooting on my team. I did get 4 or 5 minutes in the first half and made some good plays but I did not score. That was fine by me. I was over on the sidelines cheering and coaching and doing what I could to support our team. The game got a little physical and you could definitely tell it was the championship game. Everybody was focused and it turned out to be a great game. We were the underdogs again and we won again. We won as a team and we won with classy guys. Not everybody in the league is of great character, but our captain made that his first priority when picking. It worked. We will be receiving trophies at the post season banquet. I told you this league is a pretty big deal! We are PCW Basketball League Champions and it feels great!

Check out the League Website

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bonds Indicted

Undoubtedly we will be hearing much more about this story for the following week, months, and probably even years. Career home run record holder Barry Bonds was indicted today for perjury and obstruction of justice, charged with lying when he told a federal grand jury that he did not knowingly use performance-enhancing drugs. This indictment comes as a surprise to few people. There has been plenty of evidence against Bonds and he has been the target of possible steroid use for several years now. He has also been investigated on possible tax evasion charges, but that has not been pursued. This is a huge sports story, but it is more than just a sports story.

Growing up I always looked at professional athletes in awe, but I've come to realize that they are just people like you and I. Barry Bonds is arrogant and selfish and he is now in serious trouble. When the feds issue an indictment on perjury charges it is serious business. Unfortunately, athletes and other people in the position of power often think that they can get away with anything. Bonds also gives the impression of being extremely selfish especially as he was chasing the home run record. He is always trying to turn the attention to himself and belittling the accomplishments of others around him or before him. He is always trying to persuade us (or himself) that he is the greatest player of all time. He is always trying to get us to love him, while at the same time doing things that prevent us from loving him. This sort of arrogant and selfish character is becoming more and more common and it is getting old fast.

The Bonds story is just beginning. We will be hearing more information about Bonds and his involvement in performance-enhancing drugs. As much as I am against the fact that Bond's used steroids, I'm more upset at his arrogance, his lying, and his selfishness. I'm not naive enough to think that Bond's is the only one to use performance-enhancing drugs. His greatest fault was not his using drugs, but his constant denial and his ego. We are a forgiving people and we will forgive mistakes and give people second chances. I will forgive Bonds, but it will not be easy. It's so much easier to forgive those who are apologetic, honest, and sincere. Bonds has not been apologetic but hostile, he has not been honest, and he has been anything but sincere. This act of arrogance and selfishness may appear to exist exclusively in sports, but it exists in every industry at certain levels. Bonds is the perfect example of a bad example. Hopefully this story will change the arrogant and selfish culture currently seen in sports. Hopefully, we will be able to once again look up to athletes for the positive impact they can and have had on numerous lives.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Following up on my previous post, we must be moral and ethical in our quest for knowledge and discovery. We can not let our desire for knowledge block our better judgement on moral issues. When human life is endangered, not to mention garunteed to be destroyed in the name of research, the moral and ethical line has been crossed. The issue of stem cell research has been brought up by one of my readers who commented on my previous post on knowledge. He or she who wished to remain anonymous suggests that we as Christians should not even talk about the issue of stem cell research. This seems hypocritical to me. If you go around pushing for this idea of scientific advancement, why would you at the same time suppress dialogue? I'm sorry, but when the issue is the destruction of human life it is our responsibility as good Christians to talk about the issue.

It has been suggested that we are uneducated about the issue and should therefore stay out of the picture. It is true that I am no biochemist and couldn't tell you the difference between various human body tissues, but I do know a couple of things for a fact. I know for a fact that a human embryo is a human life. I know for a fact that in order to "do research" on human embryos involves the destruction of the living embryo. I know for a fact that there are alternatives to embryonic stem cell research that do not threaten human life. Still don't believe what I'm saying? The following link will take you to an interview with Dr. Fazale Rana, an accomplished biochemist. He discusses the issue of embryonic stem cell research and answers some of the tough questions regarding this issue.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Knowlege is Bliss

I used to buy into the popular saying that ignorance is bliss. People tend to be happier when they have no idea what is going on around them right? I mean if you simply ignore all the bad things in the world and only focus on the good things in life then you are sure to live a life of happiness. It's simply better to be clueless than to have a clue. After all, if I gain knowledge I'm bound to not like what I learn and once I learn it there is no going back. I'm better off never knowing and living in bliss right?

We are not called to live a life of ignorance. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone thought that ignorance was the way to supreme happiness? Nothing positive would ever get done! I seem to remember another popular phrase: knowledge is power. We should learn something every day and put that knowledge to good use. We should never be afraid of knowledge. We can not possibly make a difference in this world without knowledge. The more we know, the greater understanding we have about this world we live in and the gifts God has given to us. We owe it to ourselves and the people around us to gain as much knowledge as possible and to go out and be a teacher. We can change people's minds and hearts with knowledge. With knowledge and determination we can do miraculous deeds.

Saint Thomas Aquinas (perhaps my favorite saint) is known for his popular writing Summa Theologiae. Summa Theologiae was a thirteenth century summarization of theological teachings of the time. It was a time when faith and reason were brought into question and Saint Thomas Aquinas eloquently and reasonably defended the existence of God. He did not resist knowledge, but welcomed it with open arms and used this knowledge to reinforce his faith as opposed to tear it down. His common sense approach to explaining the existence of God and the importance of the connection between faith and reason was badly needed in a time of cynicism.

We must be like Saint Thomas Aquinas and continuously search for more knowledge so that we can strengthen our faith and improve the lives of those people around us. Ignorance does us no good. We may think that we are happy living in our own fairytale world, but this world is real and there are real issues in this world. We do not live in a bubble and we can not possibly live a fulfilling life through ignorance. Knowledge gives us the power to make changes in our imperfect world. Knowledge provides us with satisfaction. Knowlege when applied to make positive changes, can be a bliss that the ignorant will never feel or know. Hunger and thirst to know God more closely and completely. We should make it our life's goal to know, love and to serve God.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Brownback Endorses McCain

Well known evangelical Pat Robertson recently endorsed Guliani for president which comes as a shock to most because of Guliani's stances on abortion and gay marriage. I have never been a Pat Robertson fan. He always seemed to be extreme like blaming Americans for 9/11 and natural disasters. His move to endorse Guliani is another mind boggling move, but I don't think it will sway christian conservative voters. Guliani is not on our side on the most important social issues. Brownback was also courted by Guliani. Guliani had a meeting with Brownback in the hopes that Brownback would endorse him for president and perhaps bring over some of the christian conservatives who currently don't support him. Brownback spoke with Guliani and said that Guliani expressed a different attitude about abortion and gay marriage in the meeting then that which he portrays in public. Guliani was unable to persuade Brownback.

Brownback gave his endorsement to fellow senator and friend John McCain. This should come as no surprise as I stated in my earlier blog when Brownback pulled out of the race that he would either endorse McCain or Huckabee. He chose his friend McCain who has a strong pro-life background because he is the "best pro-life candidate to defeat Hilary Clinton." Despite Mike Huckabee's recent surge in the polls, his underdog status surly had something to do with Brownback endorsing McCain. His endorsement for McCain is no way a slap in the face to Huckabee and the decision to back McCain and not Huckabee was not due to a disagreement with Huckabee on the issues. In fact Huckabee aligns more closely with Brownback on the issues, but it was a political decision.

So what's my take on Brownback's endorsement? It definitely gives me reason to look closer at McCain. I have a lot of trust in Brownback and if he thinks that McCain is the right man for the presidency than I will definitely take McCain into consideration when casting my vote. I won't say however that this means I will definitely back McCain and jump off the Huckabee bandwagon. I still think Huckabee is a great choice and that Brownback would also endorse Huckabee if it weren't McCain. Honestly, McCain and Huckabee are the two guys who I see myself backing. I will need to do more research on both before I make a final decision, but I don't think we could go too terribly wrong with either one of them. Of course we want anybody except Hillary Clinton, but I have to hope and pray that the US citizens are smart enough to realize what a disaster Hillary Clinton would be. There is a long way to go so the best thing to do right now is just stay posted and learn as much as we can about the candidates so that when the time comes to vote we make the right choice.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Lakshmi Story

If this story doesn't convince you that every life is precious then I don't know what could. Lakshmi is a two-year old Indian girl who was born with a defection: she has eight limbs! That means four arms and four legs. I have included pictures of Lakshmi and they are simply amazing. She is well known in her poor Indian town and is considered a goddess by neighboring Hindus. A circus made an offer for her that her parents thankfully refused. She is a human not some animal to be placed in a circus. I will simply say that she is a miracle.

As a baby in her mother's womb, Lakshmi absorbed her twin fetus and gained extra organs as well as limbs. It is miraculous to me that she has survived this incredible birth defect. I can hear pro-choice people making their argument about how inhumane it is to let a baby with such a horrible defect live a miserable life. Well guess what, Lakshmi recently underwent a successful surgery to remove the extra limbs and organs, and there is hope that she will be able to walk like a normal girl. The procedure was extremely dangerous (there was a 25% chance Lakshmi would not survive the surgery) and expensive (over $600,000), but the hospital paid for the procedure since the family could not possibly afford the procedure. Says doctor Patil, "this girl can now lead as good a life as anyone else." She has a beautiful smile and she is a precious gift from God. She has already brought many people great hope and joy. When you hear someone say that their life or someone else's life is worthless for whatever reason, think about Lakshmi and explain to that person that no life is worthless. God performs miracles to this day and every life is precious in his eyes. Stories about people helping save lives and stories about life are so refreshing. What a great story!

Monday, November 5, 2007

10 Minutes A Day

Everybody knows that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. I have discovered another daily practice that is even more beneficial: 10 minutes of scripture reading a day. I have been going to church my whole life, but I have never read the bible all the way through. In fact, I have never even made it half way through. I guess I didn't think I needed to read the bible since I heard readings every Sunday. I still have quite a ways to go, but I am well on my way to completing something I should have done long ago. I already feel like I have learned a lot more about the bible than ever knew before just by reading. Ten minutes of prayer or scripture reading has been a blessing that sort of happend to me by accident.

I love my car and it works about 97% of the time, but that 3% of the time it won't start I have to wait 10 minutes before it will start. Don't ask me to explain that, but it's just the way it works. I have always been thankful to have a car, because I know that not everybody has one and it makes my life a lot easier, but the first couple of times I had trouble starting it I found myself a little frustrated. I found that it usually didn't matter that I was 10 minutes later to get started to wherever I was headed, but what if I had to be somewhere quick and it didn't start? This would be a big problem. I thought about what I could do to solve the problem. The answer I came up with has been one of the best decisions I have made.

I brought my bible to my car every morning and in the case that the car didn't start, I decided I would say a prayer and read scripture while I waited. I had nothing else to do for 10 minutes so I figured I might as well use my time wisely. What I have found is that I never really was in as big of a rush as I always thought I was. I always used to be in a hurry to get everywhere, but knowing that I might have to wait 10 minutes has made me get ready earlier and provided me time to pray when I used to think I didn't have time. I have since bought a second bible so I can keep one at home and keep one in my car at all times. I now see those 10 minutes when my car won't start as a blessing in disguise. It has brought me closer to God and relieved me from my stresses much more than it has caused me stress. God sure does work in mysterious ways!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

It's Only A Game

The Patriots just beat the Colts in what is being called by some the game of the century. This is a perfect time to take that great advise I've heard probably a thousand times: it's only a game. Even though I think it is ridiculous to call this regular season game the game of the century, people will undoubtedly be talking about this game for the next several weeks. My team lost the game, but there are worse things in life.

Sports can bring out the best or worst in people. One of the positive characteristics sports often produces is competitiveness. In order to be successful in sports and in many of life's endeavors a competitive edge is necessary. I have been competitive since my little league days, and growing up with four brothers who like to play games doesn't hurt either. I still stay active in sports with a softball league that just ended and a basketball league at work that is nearly year round. When I'm not competing in sports or games, I'm competing in a different way. I call it competitve sports watching. That's right. I don't even have to be playing to be competitive, but I can simply be an observer. Fantasy sports and my now famous College Football Pick'em game are two ways that I keep competitve off the playing fields and courts. These are fun games, but I sometimes need to be reminded that they are just games. Shelly does a pretty good job of keeping me in line. It helps to have someone there for me to give me a voice of reason when for whatever reason it is eluding me.

I'm sure that I will hear people talk about how great Tom Brady and the Patriots are tomorrow morning and it will be the opposite of music to my ears. It will probably sound more like cats fighting, but I will survive. The Colts will survive. The Patriots may have won the game of football, but they do not win the game of life. I am not disappointed that the Colts lost to the Patriots. It does not bother me that people speak highly of Tom Brady's football talent. What bothers me is that people place guys like Brady as model citizens because of their sucess on the football field. For those of you who don't know, Brady recently had a kid out of wedlock. ESPN and a large section of the public saw this event as another moment to praise Brady.
So Brady wins the game and can go home happy with the victory, but Manning will go home to his loving wife and family as a winner in my book. Afterall, football is just a game.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Friday Night Lights

Jason Street is the star quarterback for the Dillon Panthers. He has everything going for him until a freak injury after making a tackle paralyzes him from the waist down. This is how the first season of the NBC show Friday Night Lights kicks off and it leads to numerous dramatic storylines.

Friday Night Lights is a show about a Texas town that loves it's high school football. The show does a good job of balancing the football action with the stories of the players and the town. The show is more about the lives of these kids and their families and friends than it is about football. Each character has different issues and personalities. Most characters face serious decisions and many fall pray to immorality, but there are also many moments where characters show moral backbone and strong character. This show does a good job presenting many of life's difficulties from many different angles, and it does a good job explaining the background for these characters and their choices. Many times the characters make the wrong choices, but the show does a good job of showing the consequences of these actions.

I like this show for a number of reasons. Firstly, I like it because I love sports and football is part of every episode. I also like it because it brings up many life issues in a real and honest way, and allows the viewer to think about these issues sometimes in a different viewpoint than we usually would. The characterization is so good that I imagine myself in each of the character's shoes and wonder what they are thinking and what I would be thinking. For me, I know when a movie or show is good when I am emotionally attached, and Friday Night Lights has me emotionally attached. When one of the "good" characters makes a stupid decision I find myself frustrated with them. When one of the characters makes a good choice and shows humility I find myself cheering for them.

I have not found the show to take sides on issues so much, but rather present the issues through the characters lives and let the viewer decide whether or not the character made the right or wrong choice. This show may not be for everybody, but for me it presents an opportunity to see issues through different characters and helps me think about my own positions on important issues. I think that when issues are brought into question it provides an opportunity to strengthen our positions on life issues as opposed to weaken them. Overall, I would highly recommend Friday Night Lights to the late teen and up crowd. So many issues come up in this show that it is very likely I'll be posting about some of them in the near future.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

All Saints Day

Today we celebrate All Saints Day! All Saints Day is often overlooked because it falls one day after Halloween day, but we must not overlook this day. We know that the saints in heaven were people just like us and they did not lead perfect lives. Each of them had their own struggles. Each of them were sinners, but they recognized their sins and overcame them. They came to realize that although they were not perfect, they were called to live a holy life. When we ask the saints to pray for us and with us we know that they were not perfect. It is no different than asking a friend to pray for someone who is in need of prayer. In church we join with the angels and saints in celebration of our Lord.
All Saints Day is more than a celebration for those saints who have gone before us, but it is a day for us to reflect on our lives. Are we living saintly lives? A while back I asked myself this and wrote down two questions on a piece of paper. What does it mean to live a saintly life? What can I do to lead a saintly life? I thought and prayed about this. We are all called to be saints. A saint is a person who is of great holiness and virtue, and one who models his life after Jesus. Jesus is our example of how we should live our lives. We are not perfect and so may not always be able to follow in His footsteps, but we are called to be more like Him. We are all called to be diciples of Jesus. Our mission is to reach heaven and in order to do this we must live a saintly life. We must not think that saintliness is something that is unattainable to us. You and I can be saints. We are not perfect, but we can be saints and we are called to be saints. Live for God. Praise God.