A Valuable Planning Tool For 2020 and Beyond

According to Dan Miller, author of 48 Days to the Work You Love, “there is considerable evidence to indicate that expectations of your future do, in fact, tend to create your future. People usually end up pretty much where they expect.

It seems reasonable then, to spend some time determining specific, worthwhile expectations that will make your life more meaningful. If you don’t have a written plan for your life, it may feel like you’re driving a car without having your hands on the wheel.

Are you a goal setter? Do you typically set goals at the first of the year? If not, why not?

Goals are not written in concrete and unchangeable terms but they do give you a starting point and a destination. The important thing is that you are in charge when working on your goals. It is the easiest way to put yourself in the driver’s seat of your life.

Your life has meaning only when you are working toward goals that you have decided on.

In order for your purpose in life to be fulfilled, you must set goals in multiple areas. Success is not just career or financial – family, physical and spiritual are equally important areas of achievement. They are part of the same whole, balanced person.

Any stage in life can be an exciting time with many opportunities, or a dreary time of confusion and entrapment. You may not be able to change your circumstances, but you can decide that the circumstances won’t dominate you. You do have choices.

There is something magical that happens when you write down your goals.

Here’s the framework for this entire process.

  • If we were meeting three years from today, what has to have happened during that three-year period for you to feel happy about your progress?
  • What are the biggest dangers you’ll have to face and deal with in order to achieve that progress?
  • What are the biggest opportunities you have that you would need to focus on and capture to achieve those things?
  • What strengths will you need to reinforce and maximize, and what skills and resources will you need to develop that you don’t currently have in order to capture those opportunities?

Begin with the three-year goals and then work backward to what you need to do today to make deposits in what you want your life to be three years from now. Be specific, creating quantifiable benchmarks to track your deposits of success.”

2020 Goal Planning Guide

I’d like to offer you the opportunity to grab a free step-by-step 3-year planning guide compliments of  Dan Miller. Miller asks, “If nothing changed in your life over the next 3 years, would that be okay?”

You can also download Miller’s 2020 Goal Planning Guide at my website Wisdom-Matters by clicking on the “Free Resources” tab.

You can use his detailed guide for vision-casting and goal setting in what Miller calls “the 7 main aspects of life”.

As an added bonus, feel free to download a copy of Andy Stanley’s 20 Building Blocks for a Vision.

Lastly, no matter what stage in life you are, my prayer is the use of these tools will help put you on track to the future you’ve always dreamed of.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Wisdom For The New Year!

New year greetings to all,

I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and you have fully recovered from any and all new year’s celebrations.

After a long rest, I’m ready to ring in the new year with more wisdom-filled blog posts each Sunday in 2020.

I originally posted the content below in January 2018. It was my very first post! I’m re-posting this wisdom at the beginning of each new year as a fresh reminder.


I drafted these nuggets of wisdom below in December 2018 to share with our amazing and talented grandchildren. I put a copy in each of their Christmas stockings and encouraged them to read the one corresponding to each day of the week. Not a very exciting stocking stuffer, I know! My hope and prayer is they will take this wisdom with them, apply it to their lives as they grow, and even share it with their friends.

It didn’t take long to realize these nuggets of wisdom might also be beneficial for anyone desiring to make positive changes in their lives, no matter their age.

I can’t think of a better New Year’s resolution than to read and meditate on these daily nuggets of wisdom each week and committing to live by them. I believe the world would be a far better place if each of us just started here!

Full Disclosure: Each of the daily quotes below are from sources other than my own pea brain! I cannot take credit for originating them, however I did add some content to each.

So, even if you don’t believe in the power of prayer, you can’t go wrong making the “Sunday Prayer” below your very own every day of the week, let alone on Sundays.

It’s a prayer written by General Douglas MacArthur to his only son during World War II. I’ve reworded it a bit to personalize it.

ENJOY!


Daily Wisdom For 2020

Sunday:      O Lord, make me strong enough to know when I am weak and brave enough to face myself when I am afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

Make me a person whose wishes will not take the place of good deeds; who will know Thee, and that to know myself is the foundation stone of knowledge.

Lead me, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let me learn to stand up in the storm; here let me learn compassion for those who fail.

Make me a person whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; who will master myself before I seek to master others; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are mine O Lord, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that I may always be serious, yet never take myself too seriously. Give me humility, so that I may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, and the weakness of true strength.

Then O Lord, I will dare to whisper, I have not lived in vain.

Monday:       Job security is your ability to produce. Never stop learning and giving your very best effort every day.

Tuesday:      Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard. Don’t take your God-given talents and abilities for granted. No pain, no gain!

Wednesday:  Moral & ethical character is the will to do what is right, as God defines right in the Holy Bible, regardless of personal cost. Sometimes, doing the right thing hurts!

Thursday:    What’s popular is not always right, and what’s right is not always popular. One bad decision can lead to a lifetime of regrets!

Friday:         You can never be at the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, if you’re with the wrong crowd! Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.

Saturday:     Run from evil and hold onto what is good. Sin has consequences!


Parents and grandparents, please bless your children and grandchildren with a copy of this daily wisdom. Encourage them to use it as a moral compass as they grow and navigate through this crazy world we live in.

You can grab a downloadable copy of “Wisdom for Daily Living” by clicking on the “Free Resources” tab.

Please share this blog with your circles of influence because…Wisdom Matters!

And, please take a minute to sign up for future emails and blog posts HERE. Thank you!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Happy Labor Day!

The History of Labor Day

I must confess, I never knew the history of “Labor Day” or why we celebrate it until I read the information below sent from a friend of mine.

ENJOY!


by Bob Lupton on

Workers on strike leave the Pullman FactoryWorkers on strike leave the Pullman Factory

Labor Day – It’s always the first Monday in September, the final party day of the summer that ushers in the autumn season. What benevolent politician should we credit for coming up with a free day off (long weekend actually) in recognition of our nation’s hard-working labor force? A patriotic statesman, perhaps, who understands and appreciates the sweat and toil of those who have built our great nation?

Well, not quite. President Grover Cleveland may have signed the decree, but it was motivated much more by political pragmatism than altruism.

In the summer of 1894 (when Labor Day became a federal holiday) the nation was in the midst of a deep economic depression. Unemployment was reaching alarming rates and those workers who could find jobs faced long, exhausting work hours and drastically reduced wages. Labor unions were organizing strikes and business owners were forced to shutter their plants. This was a time of tension and strife, hardly a time for celebrating workers.

In Chicago one prominent industrialist had devised a creative plan to keep his business operating and his employees working during these difficult times. His name was George Pullman. He had built one of the premier manufacturing companies in the nation – The Palace Car Company.

Inspired by the faith-motivated garden city movement that was reforming employment practices in Europe, Pullman had built an entire self-sustaining town around his railroad car factory. (He named it Pullman!) It provided his employees and their families all the amenities of healthy community life – attractive housing, convenient shopping, recreation facilities, even a church for worship.

George became convinced that a well-run company town not only fostered loyalty among employees but increased profitability as well. Cadbury, Lever, and other industry leaders in England had proven this.

But unlike Cadbury and Lever whose guiding value was “love of God and neighbor,” Pullman saw this garden city strategy primarily as a profit-making tactic. Company housing, stores, even the church building, were income producing cost centers. And it worked – for a time. But as the depression dragged on, Pullman maintained company profitability by extending work hours and cutting wages.

His employees might have understood these measures as necessary tightening of the corporate belt had he eased rental rates on company housing or reduced prices on basic necessities at the company store. But he did neither. He continued to operate these amenities as profit-making enterprises. Consequently, employee loyalty evaporated.

The final straw, however, was when it was discovered that Pullman and his stockholders were making handsome earnings while workers sunk deeper and deeper in debt. Workers quickly organized a strike, bringing production to a halt.

Striking Pullman workers were soon joined by other labor union members in sympathy strikes. This cascade threatened to bring national rail transportation to a standstill. Riots ensued, then violent eruptions. Train cars were burned and engines destroyed. Police and armed security guards fired on the surging mobs of demonstrators, killing and wounding several protesters, which further inflamed the violence. Ten thousand state militia and federal troops were sent in to quell the uprising. More deaths occurred. The outcry went national.

President Cleveland had to do something drastic. Deploying more troops was not the answer. That failing strategy was costing him serious losses in popularity polls. Giving beleaguered workers a long weekend off could help calm the tensions, he reasoned. A special day of recognition, an olive branch of sorts, might soothe some of the wounds that hard-working citizens were experiencing.

And so Labor Day became a day “dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers…a national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

A worthy tribute, yes, but mostly a day to pause from conflict and toil, to play and relax, to eat and drink, to enjoy family and friends. And now, more than a century later, it remains a day of thanksgiving for the God-ordained role of work.

(By the way, President Cleveland lost his re-election bid)


Praying you and your families will have a relaxing enjoyable day off tomorrow playing, eating, and giving thanks for “the God-ordained role of work” in our lives.

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

NOW Is The Time For Much Needed Change In The U.S.A.!

All Anti-Semites and Socialists In the U.S. Congress MUST Have a Profound Change of Heart and Mind or Be Voted Out! Here Are Some Individuals To Consider For Starters.

The SQUADIlhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – “The Squad”

Many would agree that every Democrat currently running for President can also be added to this group. There are certainly too many more to mention, but this is a good start.

The bad news is the constituents who voted these individuals into office obviously like them and must also like the way they think! Birds of a feather……

Sadly, many of us won’t be able to vote for or against these individuals since we don’t live in the states and jurisdictions they represent.

That leaves us with only one other way to potentially change minds or remove these individuals from Congress where they are currently working daily to divide and destroy our nation with their hateful rhetoric and Socialist lies promising utopia for all. . .PRAYER!

We can start by praying daily that some or all of these individuals would experience a miraculous conversion to Christianity. We would know this conversion is real because their entire worldview would look and sound much different than it does today.

They would now espouse a genuine love for the God of the Holy Bible, a new found love for America and our Constitution, and a new found love for Israel including defending its right to exist as a sovereign nation with Jerusalem as its capital.

I realize all this sounds impossible but Matthew 19:26 reminds us, “With God, all things are possible.”

We can also be praying Psalm 109:8 daily for all these individuals, “Let his (or her) days be few (as Congressmen/women), and let another (who loves God, the U.S.A., and Israel) take his (or her) office.”

Additionally, the one thing we can never forget as we pray is that God is sovereign over all His creation. Psalm 75:7 reminds us, “But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.”

It’s easy to get angry and bitter if things don’t turn out the way we want them to or the way we’ve prayed for God to answer! I’ve found the only way to have prayerful peace is to end my prayers like Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane when facing the reality of His death on a cross. He asked His Father God to take His death sentence from Him praying, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)

“Yet not as I will, but as You will.” God’s will is perfect, ours is not! We don’t always understand the outcomes of our prayers and petitions to Him, but we must trust that in some way it is for our own good in the greater scheme of His plans for our lives, and to glorify His Name. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

All we can do is pray for God’s will to be done, not ours. We must faithfully vote and be ready to give a defense of what we believe, who we believe, and why we believe what we do.

Once the votes are in, we must accept and honor the outcome as God’s chosen leaders of our nation whether or not we like it. There is no place for violent protests in a civil society and they must not be tolerated at all costs!

The Bible in Romans 13:1,2 makes it perfectly clear what our mindset must be, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”

Start praying now, without ceasing, for God’s will to be done!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

The Height Of Hypocrisy!

Have You Seen This One?

If you don’t think Google has become “the” major player helping to drive the agenda of left-wing think tanks working tirelessly to help elect a Socialist Democrat to the White House in 2020, check this out, then guess again!

I’ve taken the liberty of re-posting articles written by By on July 30th and Chris Enloe on July 31st. I have also added some of my own commentary in various places.


World famous celebrities take more than 100 private jets to Google-hosted climate change summit…highly ironic, and totally hypocritical!

Google CelebsStephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images (left), Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for National Geographic (middle), Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images (right)

“World famous actors, leaders, and business titans have flocked to a luxurious Sicilian resort this week to discuss climate change at a Google-hosted summit — but will undoubtedly leave their mark on the climate in the process.

Former President Barack Obama, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and even Prince Harry are expected to attend the summit, which has been dubbed “Google Camp.”

“Everything is about global warming, that is the major topic this year,” a source told the New York Post of the summit’s agenda.

In a palpable turn of irony, Italian media reported officials expect attendees to bring 114 private jets to the summit; 40 had already arrived by the weekend. Climate change advocates claim jet airplanes expel tons of ozone-eroding greenhouse gases, which they say contributes to global warming.

According to calculations by the Post, 114 jet flights from Los Angeles to Palermo, Italy — where the Falcone Borsellino Airport is located — would expel an estimated 100,000 kilograms of CO2, a known greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.

Many of the attendees are even expected to stay on mega-yachts.

“Google Camp is meant to be a place where influential people get together to discuss how to make the world better,” an attendee told the Post. “There will likely be discussions about online privacy, politics, human rights, and of course, the environment, which makes it highly ironic that this event requires 114 private jets to happen.”

Others who are expected to attend include Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, Mark Zuckerburg, Tom Cruise, Bradley Cooper, among a host of other internationally-known influencers. Past attendees include the likes of Madonna, Oprah, and Michael Jordan.

All attendees were personally invited by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The duo have hosted the private summit since 2012, according to Forbes.”

A Sneak Peek at Google’s Top-Secret “Billionaires Summer Retreat” in Sicily

Fishing Trawlers in Sciacca Port, Sicily, ItalyThe Verdura Resort is located near the city of Sciacca (pictured) on the south coast of Sicily, Italy. Tim Graham/Getty Images

“This week, a flock of the world’s wealthiest people and their celebrity friends arrived on the southwest coast of Italy’s island of Sicily in helicopters and private yachts for the seventh annual Google Camp, a three-day luxurious summer retreat hosted by Google, whose past guest list has featured Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Katy Perry and more.

The annual gathering, taking place at the famed Verdura Resort in Sicily, was created by Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 2012 as a private version of the World Economic Forum where the world’s most powerful business leaders meet each other and exchange ideas.

The Google Camp is strictly exclusive: the guest list is considered top secret; social media posts are forbidden; and all of the hotel staff and security have to sign nondisclosure agreements, as the UK’s Daily Mail reported in previous years.

But reporters were nearly able to get a peek into who’s attending from the yacht lineup by the Verdura’s private beach. Per Forbes travel writer Jim Dobson, at least six boats were spotted, including those belonging to IAC owner Barry Diller and his wife, fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg, former Google chairman Eric Schmidt, New Zealand’s richest man Graeme Hart, DreamWorks Pictures founder David Geffen and German pharmaceutical titan Udo J. Vetter.

Rumor has it that Bradley Cooper, Tom Cruise, Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama are also on the guest list, Dobson wrote.”


From the religious persecution of Christians and Jews, to abortion rights, gay rights, climate change, gun control, social justice, open borders for illegal immigrants to free everything for everybody, author David Horowitz, a Jewish atheist turned agnostic, said it best.

Horowitz, in his must read book, Dark Agenda/The War to Destroy Christian America, accurately states, “The issue was never the issue. The issue was always the revolution. Each radical victory only inspired more radical aspirations and efforts.”

Horowitz goes on to sound the alarm saying, “Saul Alinsky, the radical organizer and mentor to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, used to ask his new followers why they wanted to become community organizers. They would respond with idealistic claims that they wanted to help the poor and oppressed. Then Alinsky would scream at them like a Marine Corps drill instructor, ‘No! You want to organize for power!'”

The Socialist Democrats want total power to eliminate any roadblocks in moving their agenda forward. An agenda that will forever change the face of the United States of America we know and love today!

They will never stop trying to accomplish their ultimate goal of total dominance of our political system, and of everyone who opposes them. It’s clear to me their motto is “do as I say, not as I do”!

May it NEVER happen, in Jesus’ Name I pray!

We, who oppose their agenda, must never let that happen by praying fervently against their agenda and by voting each and every one of them out of office every chance we get! It’s still our right, and more importantly, it’s our duty as Americans living in this God-blessed land of the free and home of the brave.

Flag and Cross-2

Stay vigilant and stay informed my friends. Your vote matters!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

A Timely Christian History Lesson

Most of the information below was taken from “We Believe In God” posted on 7/25/2019.

If you missed it, please take a few minutes to check it out here.

HOW JESUS’ APOSTLES DIED

  1. Matthew: Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound.
  2. Mark: Died in Alexandria, Egypt after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead.
  3. Luke: Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost.
  4. John: Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in a huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution In Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos. The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.
  5. Peter: Was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died.
  6. James: The leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller’s club. This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the temptation.
  7. James: Was the Son of Zebedee, a fisherman by trade, when Jesus called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was beheaded in Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.
  8. Bartholomew: Also known as Nathaniel, was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.
  9. Andrew: Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words, “I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the Body of Christ hanging on it”. He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.
  10. Thomas: Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the subcontinent.
  11. Jude: Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.
  12. Matthias: The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot. He was stoned and then beheaded.
  13. Paul: Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

Perhaps this biblical history lesson is a reminder to us that our sufferings are indeed minor compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the apostles and disciples during their times for the sake of their faith in Jesus Christ. “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)

  • Why do we feel sleepy in prayer but stay awake through a 3-hour movie?
  • Why are we so bored when we read the Holy Bible but find it easy to read other books and magazines?
  • Why is it so easy to ignore an online message about God yet we are addicted to all the crazy stuff on Facebook and YouTube?
  • Why is attending a church service becoming more unpopular while hanging out in bars, night clubs, and many other entertainment venues becoming more popular?
  • Why is it so easy to worship a celebrity but very difficult to engage with God?

You may find the answers to these questions, and a whole lot more, in a book I recently wrote, What IN the World Is Wrong With This World?

Please pass this on to all other Christian brothers and sisters you may know as encouragement to stand fast in the face of ridicule and persecution. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

“17 Inches” – A GREAT Life Lesson!

Since we have grandsons who play baseball, this story quickly caught my attention. I soon realized it wasn’t really about baseball at all but about life in general and how we choose to live it.
Although I shared this article on our Facebook page earlier this week, I felt it was worthy of posting again. PLEASE  take the time to read it to the end. I promise it will be well worth your time!
Also, please share with your family and friends, children and grandchildren, anyone you know in a leadership position, and any coaches you may know,  regardless of the sport they coach.
No photo description available.

Ken Koenen

Twenty years ago, in Nashville, Tennessee, during the first week of January, 1996, more than 4,000 baseball coaches descended upon the Opryland Hotel for the 52nd annual ABCA’s (American Baseball Coaches Association) convention.

While I waited in line to register with the hotel staff, I heard other more veteran coaches rumbling about the lineup of speakers scheduled to present during the weekend. One name kept resurfacing, always with the same sentiment — “John Scolinos is here? Oh, man, worth every penny of my airfare.”

Who is John Scolinos, I wondered. No matter; I was just happy to be there.

In 1996, Coach Scolinos was 78 years old and five years retired from a college coaching career that began in 1948. He shuffled to the stage to an impressive standing ovation, wearing dark polyester pants, a light blue shirt, and a string around his neck from which home plate hung — a full-sized, stark-white home plate.

Seriously, I wondered, who is this guy?

After speaking for twenty-five minutes, not once mentioning the prop hanging around his neck, Coach Scolinos appeared to notice the snickering among some of the coaches. Even those who knew Coach Scolinos had to wonder exactly where he was going with this, or if he had simply forgotten about home plate since he’d gotten on stage. Then, finally …

“You’re probably all wondering why I’m wearing home plate around my neck,” he said, his voice growing irascible. I laughed along with the others, acknowledging the possibility. “I may be old, but I’m not crazy. The reason I stand before you today is to share with you baseball people what I’ve learned in my life, what I’ve learned about home plate in my 78 years.”

Several hands went up when Scolinos asked how many Little League coaches were in the room. “Do you know how wide home plate is in Little League?”

After a pause, someone offered, “Seventeen inches?”, more of a question than answer.

“That’s right,” he said. “How about in Babe Ruth’s day? Any Babe Ruth coaches in the house?” Another long pause.

“Seventeen inches?” a guess from another reluctant coach.

“That’s right,” said Scolinos. “Now, how many high school coaches do we have in the room?” Hundreds of hands shot up, as the pattern began to appear. “How wide is home plate in high school baseball?”

“Seventeen inches,” they said, sounding more confident.

“You’re right!” Scolinos barked. “And you college coaches, how wide is home plate in college?”

“Seventeen inches!” we said, in unison.

“Any Minor League coaches here? How wide is home plate in pro ball?”…………“Seventeen inches!”

“RIGHT! And in the Major Leagues, how wide home plate is in the Major Leagues?

“Seventeen inches!”

“SEV-EN-TEEN INCHES!” he confirmed, his voice bellowing off the walls. “And what do they do with a Big League pitcher who can’t throw the ball over seventeen inches?” Pause. “They send him to Pocatello !” he hollered, drawing raucous laughter. “What they don’t do is this: they don’t say, ‘Ah, that’s okay, Jimmy. If you can’t hit a seventeen-inch target? We’ll make it eighteen inches or nineteen inches. We’ll make it twenty inches so you have a better chance of hitting it. If you can’t hit that, let us know so we can make it wider still, say twenty-five inches.’”

Pause. “Coaches… what do we do when your best player shows up late to practice? or when our team rules forbid facial hair and a guy shows up unshaven? What if he gets caught drinking? Do we hold him accountable? Or do we change the rules to fit him? Do we widen home plate? “

The chuckles gradually faded as four thousand coaches grew quiet, the fog lifting as the old coach’s message began to unfold. He turned the plate toward himself and, using a Sharpie, began to draw something. When he turned it toward the crowd, point up, a house was revealed, complete with a freshly drawn door and two windows. “This is the problem in our homes today. With our marriages, with the way we parent our kids. With our discipline.

We don’t teach accountability to our kids, and there is no consequence for failing to meet standards. We just widen the plate!”

Pause. Then, to the point at the top of the house he added a small American flag. “This is the problem in our schools today. The quality of our education is going downhill fast and teachers have been stripped of the tools they need to be successful, and to educate and discipline our young people. We are allowing others to widen home plate! Where is that getting us?”

Silence. He replaced the flag with a Cross. “And this is the problem in the Church, where powerful people in positions of authority have taken advantage of young children, only to have such an atrocity swept under the rug for years. Our church leaders are widening home plate for themselves! And we allow it.”

“And the same is true with our government. Our so-called representatives make rules for us that don’t apply to themselves. They take bribes from lobbyists and foreign countries. They no longer serve us. And we allow them to widen home plate! We see our country falling into a dark abyss while we just watch.”

I was amazed. At a baseball convention where I expected to learn something about curve balls and bunting and how to run better practices, I had learned something far more valuable.

From an old man with home plate strung around his neck, I had learned something about life, about myself, about my own weaknesses and about my responsibilities as a leader. I had to hold myself and others accountable to that which I knew to be right, lest our families, our faith, and our society continue down an undesirable path.

“If I am lucky,” Coach Scolinos concluded, “you will remember one thing from this old coach today. It is this: “If we fail to hold ourselves to a higher standard, a standard of what we know to be right; if we fail to hold our spouses and our children to the same standards, if we are unwilling or unable to provide a consequence when they do not meet the standard; and if our schools & churches & our government fail to hold themselves accountable to those they serve, there is but one thing to look forward to …”

With that, he held home plate in front of his chest, turned it around, and revealed its dark black backside, “…We have dark days ahead!.”

Note: Coach Scolinos died in 2009 at the age of 91, but not before touching the lives of hundreds of players and coaches, including mine. Meeting him at my first ABCA convention kept me returning year after year, looking for similar wisdom and inspiration from other coaches. He is the best clinic speaker the ABCA has ever known because he was so much more than a baseball coach. His message was clear: “Coaches, keep your players—no matter how good they are—your own children, your churches, your government, and most of all, keep yourself at seventeen inches.”

And this my friends is what our country has become and what is wrong with it today, and now go out there and fix it!

“Don’t widen the plate.”

Perfectly stated!

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Happy Birthday America!

This short post is dedicated to Ex-football player Colin Kaepernick, basketball player Labron James, U.S. soccer player Megan Rapinoe, and all the other ungrateful and unpatriotic athletes and individuals across this great land who obviously haven’t taken the time to learn and appreciate the history of the birth of the greatest nation on earth, what our flag really stands for, and the ultimate price men and women have paid over the past 243 years for the freedoms we all enjoy today, for better or worse!

The video below is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children and grandchildren on this 4th of July and every 4th of July hereafter. I highly recommend you watch it together as a family!

This 11-minute history lesson must not be ignored unless, God forbid, we really don’t care how many more Colin Kaepernicks and Megan Rapinoes will be raised in ignorance of how and why the American flag and our National Anthem are to be highly honored and respected every chance we get to do so.

Please Watch This Amazing Story Here Of How and Why the National Anthem Was Written

Happy Independence Day To All Who Believe America Is Still the Greatest Nation On Earth!

God Bless You and Your Family & God Bless America!

Flag and Cross-2

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

Some Lives Matter, And Some Don’t!

What God Has In Mind For The Future Of Israel And Its Enemies

Picking up where I ended with my last post, A News Flash For The World: Israel Will NEVER Be Defeated, here is what we know and can expect based on the Truth of God’s Word in the Holy Bible.

The Future Of Israel’s Enemies and All Non-Christians: Eternal Pain and Suffering

“They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.” (Revelation 16:14 & 16)

“Armageddon” is a transliteration of the Hebrew for “mount of Megiddo. In ancient Israel, Megiddo was a key city overlooking a major travel route between the great kingdoms of Mesopotamia and Egypt. Huge armies could assemble in the neighboring Plain of Esdraelon. Thus it is a fitting name of the location for the climactic end times battle between Israel and all the nations who will gather together against her to annihilate Israel once and for all!

I had the privilege of visiting Israel for ten days in 1997. One of our many stops was in Megiddo and I can tell you it is the perfect place for huge armies to assemble for that final battle between the forces of good and evil!

Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘It is done!’ Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of His wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds, fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.” (Revelation 16:17-21)

And I (the Apostle John) saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city (Jerusalem) He loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:1-3,7-10)

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

The Future Of Israel and All Christians: Eternal Life With a New Heaven and New Earth

Then I (the Apostle John) saw a new Heaven and a new earth, for the first Heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.'” (Revelation 21:1-4)

This is extremely GREAT news for Israel and all Christians! Consequently, it is horrifically bad news for Israel’s enemies and the enemies of Christianity!

No one knows how long God’s Holy Land of Israel and all Christians around the world will have to endure persecution and death at the hands of evil forces. However, the one thing we absolutely know for sure is in the end, WE WIN! “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Corinthians 15:57)

See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!

 

 

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