The 6th man

March 6, 2008

I received news yesterday that has really got me thinking. Please allow me to elaborate.

Before I go into my news, let me just say that one of the things that really inspires me is the 6th man.  For those of you who are not big sports fans, the 6th man is the basketball term for the man or woman who does not start, and is not necessarily the biggest “star player” on the team, but they frequently come in and assert their importance in the way they play their role.  That role may be a 3 pointer, or rebounding, or blocked shots, or even scoring field goals (not through the uprights), but there is no doubt that they a)make a huge impact and b)are in the game for a very specific task.

Some examples of great 6th men are Kevin McHale, Bill Walton, Dennis Rodman (pre-skirt days), Leandro Barbosa, and others who I will no doubt be chastised for forgetting.

So yesterday I received some news that a close friend of my family had been diagnosed with lung cancer.  His name is Bob.  Bob lives in Fremont, Ohio. 

Bob is an amazing guy who always has a smile on his face.  Bob and his wife Judy helped out in the youth group at our church growing up.  They were not the youth pastors, but their impact was widespread.  They invited teens into their home and let them play and eat and hang out and be kids, and never asked anything of them.

If you needed to talk, Bob was there.
If you needed a hand fixing your new “used” red Pontiac 1000 (honestly, it wasn’t a chevette), Bob was there.
If you needed a ride when the 1000 broke down, Bob was there.
If the youth group needed a place to hang out and play games, Bob was there.
If the youth pastor needed a task to be done, there was no doubt that Bob was there.  Probably smiling.

Bob was never the star, but he was always accomplishing his role – the task God had given him to accomplish in his life during that time.  It was a great lesson for the son of a pastor in a small town in Ohio who would eventually become a pastor himself, but not before sitting in an assistant position for 10 years.  It was a great lesson for me.

Not everyone is the “star”, but the truly special people of this world are the ones who are not, yet shine brighter than everyone else.  This story reminds me of a story that Buddy told about a “6th man” in his church in New York.

Who has been an example of the stellar “6th” man in your life?

Until next time…

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Day of Encouragement

March 4, 2008

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Perhaps you’ve had one recently…Perhaps not.  Mine was the last 24 hours.  It was interesting because it had been a long weekend and I was tired.  There had been a few ups and a lot of downs. 

Without going into details about what the ups and the downs were, I think I was just tired, and so the downs were highlighted in my mind.  It wasn’t a bad weekend.  It was just a hard one.  Maybe you’ve had one of those before?

And then it happened, starting yesterday morning.

Someone wrote me an email that was so encouraging, it could have, by itself, put a smile on my face for the rest of the day.  But it wasn’t by itself.
A short while later, someone called my cell and left an incredibly encouraging voice mail.  Then I received a facebook wall comment that was encouraging while I was playing basketball last night. (My team won by the way, 48-38, with yours truly putting up 12.) 

I went to bed smiling and had a great night’s sleep, which is not unusual for me, I sleep quick and good on a typical night.  But this morning, I received a comment on this blog that was, once again, incredibly encouraging.

So I start off this day with the anticipation of readiness for a long, adventurous week, but armed with a little help from people who have communicated to me how much they appreciate me.

So I wonder who needs some encouragement today from me…from you?

Until next time…

The last shot, part 2

February 26, 2008

So I decided to write the story and show a different video this afternoon. 
So here’s the end of “the last shot.”

As you might recall, the ball was inbounded with 6.1 seconds left.  I grabbed the ball thinking that I would dish it off and decided instead to heave it to the basket from about 4 feet past the 3 point line.  It fell just short, clanging off the rim, and I ran towards the ball.  The ball flew toward my teammate Tim, who was guarded on all sides, and threw it back to me.

I shot the ball, and the ball fell through the hoop without even the slightest of touch to the metal.  If the net had a wider mouth, it would have gone through without touching the fabric too.  We jumped up in celebration.  And I was a hero once again!

But my foot had been on the line.  Which meant that the shot did not count for three points, it counted for two points.  And we lost 41-40.

So enjoy this video.  It’s 5 minutes, and you have to watch the 5 minutes to get the full effect, but I do admit that I laughed as hard as I’ve laughed in a while.  Thanks to Ragamuffin Soul for sharing this with me and his readers.  The funny thing is that I’ve sat under preaching that’s not too different from this.  Amazing!  Enjoy and have a great night!

Answer to prayer

February 16, 2008

I normally don’t post on Saturdays, but I just read this blog on a report I read yesterday.  So if you read this yesterday about Pastor Buddy from New York, you’ll love this today!  Have a great weekend!

Fellowship Church rocks!

Just One Thing!

February 15, 2008

Tragedy in Missouri

February 8, 2008

So as you can see here, there was a bit of a problem in Missouri on Thursday night as a man who lived in the town decided he didn’t like the town officials or the mayor or several police officers and began to shoot anyone in his way.  Unbelievable story of a psychotic episode.

Here’s the story in a nutshell.

Man lives in small town.
Man probably gets mistreated by a few people, including cops, along the way.
Man goes to town meetings and complains, but is not a very good communicator.
Man gets made fun of and is prohibited from speaking in town meetings anymore.
Man takes it for only a short while and keeps it inside and begins to boil with hatred inside.
Man takes matters one Thursday evening into his own hands.
Town emergency.

There’s a lot to talk about concerning this story.  You could go into a discussion of guns or politics or psychotherapy, but I think I’ll leave it at this thought:

Does one person matter?

If a group of people get together for a town meeting, and ultimately decide to exclude from their meetings, one particular man, does that matter?

I’m not pretending to answer this question because there are so many answers.  I could say, “Yes, one person matters” and get hit with several responses on how the man was probably psycho and that he was disruptive to the future of the town, and so he needed to be excluded and that would probably be justified,

Or I could say, “No, we should think about the good of the town”and get hit with the importance of the individual, and that without the individual, the town would not be in existence, also a true and justified answer.

I only know this:  That for those people, in that time, one person did matter.

And for me, today, everyone I meet and talk to and who talks to me, matters. Because eventually that person will become part of my community.

What do you think?

Until next time…

First, I want to start you off with a wink. 

 Now, What do you do when someone vanishes from your life?  I don’t mean you lose touch with someone who lives 1,000 miles away.  I mean someone who’s in your life everyday, and decides to stay away for good. 

This is a typical happening in churches, and I’m baffled by the amount it happens.  One minute someone’s hanging out, the next, they can’t bare to give you a call back.  Or email.  Or even a simple facebook back.

I don’t blame anybody for this phenomona.  It is as much a person’s right to defriend someone than it is their right to befriend that same someone.  I just wonder what you might do about it.  To me, it used to hurt.  As time goes on however (and unfortunately), it gets easier.  Easier to forget the  neglect and the possible criticism.  Easier to blaim it on baggage.  But who can know all the reasons why someone makes a decision of abandonment?

Years ago, I made this really stupid decision and abandoned many of my friends based on this decision.  But this one family would not let me neglect them.  Would not let me forget them.  And they were always there for me.

Uuugh! 

If you have someone in your life who has “disappeared,” what is your response?  I’d like to know.

Until next time…