Thursday, December 30, 2010

IMHO - December 30, 2010 Edition

Let us lump some game summaries together.

Tarheels vs. Evansville
  1. Sloppy 1st half play
  2. Better 2nd half play
  3. The match-up was for the Zeller family to come down from nearby (approx. 40 miles) and watch the game, they were not disappointed.
Long Beach State vs. Tarheels
  1. Too close
  2. Teams kept exchanging fast breaks
  3. Parents got to attend the game

William and Mary vs. Tarheels
  1. Carolina had better dominate in this one and did.
  2. Our 3-ball showed up
Tarheels vs. Rutgers
  1. 3 Pointer continues to drop.
  2. Too many turnovers for both teams IMHO.
  3. Great ball movement!
To all...Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays, oh yes, and...GO HEELS!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I WANT, I WANT, I WANT

What a world we live in today!  A world, but especially a nation, the U.S., where companies perfect their skill at convincing you that their product or service is something you can't live without.  The successful "fisherman" of a company gets the best of us to say to them "I want, I want, I want" and I wanted it yesterday and on sale.

Things. Our world is populated by physical, material things.  Because as the song goes, "We are living in a material world...", except I'm not a girl and I'm praying I'm not materialistic.  Of course the world has been this way for some time now - trying to outdo the last latest and greatest gadget or gismo, but if you can afford to give your condition some time, even the latest and greatest will be outdated soon and the next in line will be pushed even harder.

There is something to be said about always having to have.  There is a void there that someone is trying to fill.  Always jumping to the next new car or new house or the desire of more lavish amounts of money itself will never satisfy the hunger monster of this sort.  BUT GOD!  With the LORD's help this monster can be overcome with the spirit of contentment.

Here is a prayer you do not hear very often..."LORD...give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.  Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD? Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God." - Proverbs 30:8-9.  Which flows nicely with Matthew 6:11 - "Give us today our daily bread".  The Proverbs passage is probably one of the best descriptions of contentment that I have seen so far, an excellent definition.

The following are some additional verses that speak to being content and living the content life.

Luke 3:14 - "Then some soldiers asked him [John the Baptist], 'And what should we do?' He replied, 'Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely--be content with your pay.' " Here, I believe, John was teaching it is better to be satisfied and thankful and content with what you have.  However, if you are seeking advancement within your ranks don't use the methods of extortion or false accusations to get there.

Philippians 4:11-12 - "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."  It takes experience(s).  It takes life and the living thereof to know as Paul did - the surplus and the lack on the journey.  It evidently takes time to work out this truth and find the balance that works best.

1 Timothy 6:8 -  "But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.The essentials.  If my memory serves me right, Paul was a tent maker and he would have relied on this skill and his LORD to provide money to grant the needs (food and clothing) in his life.  His fellow believers helped him in the way of shelter some of the time.  But even when he was shelterless, God was there and Paul was content.

1 Timothy 6:10 -  "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."  And so we come to it.  Here we have one of the most famous verses about money, if not the most famous, in Scripture.  This verse simply stated - misplaced life emphasis, focus, and/or trust will put you in a world of hurt and one of those is the love of money.  It is sad that society has dictated that money rules instead of relationships, but we could change it around if we wanted to, with God's help.  But there are so many of us so enamored with money that we treat it better than some relationships.  Think about it.  You can use and abuse money and it doesn't talk back, well at least verbally.  You get to do whatever you want to it, whenever you want.  For the holder, no matter how much you may have, money is an instant "Genie in the Bottle" god.  And boy does this god have a hold over many people.  You see it everywhere - in sports, the business world, government, etc...  But just to drive home the point further here is another verse that supports our famous 1 Timothy 6:10 passage.

Hebrews 13:5 -  "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' " Wow!  Now this warning and instruction then comes with a reinstatement of God's promise.  I love to hear God's promises read aloud.  I also love to pray them to Him and remind Him of them (even though He might not need that, I declare it out loud and think it is more for me and my faith).  Read from "God has said,..." onward out loud.  Get it in your spirit.  God is not going to forsake you.  He is your and my provider -  "for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills" (Ps. 50:10). 

If everything is His to begin with then He should know what is good for us and what is bad for us.  God was gracious enough to tell us that "the love of money" is trouble while being content with what you have is His way for me and you to live.  Even praying for a huge monetary blessing I have not found to be necessary because Christian leaders have still misused, misplaced, mis-focused these monies on other things than what they promised the LORD (and sometimes publicly).  We try to add, "Oh, well, I would never do that!  I would be an excellent steward of God's funds and spend it only where He lead me."  Famous last words.  Hey, here's a personal note for you.  I'm not rich, by what this country deems rich, I'm even struggling somewhat, but I have perspective.  I'm in this journey of life learning to be content.  Learning to lean.  That sounds like a song...
Chorus
Learning to lean
Learning to lean,
I'm learning to lean on Jesus
Finding more power than I've ever dreamed
I'm learning to lean on Jesus.
(repeat)

Sad broken hearted, at an alter I knelt
I found peace that was so serene
And all that He asks is a child like trust
And a heart that is learning to lean
(Chorus)


So who/what are you leaning on?  Who/what are you trusting in?  Where is your focus?  Money?  That goes the way of the mothball and will never satisfy.  Jesus?  Right answer.  No multiple choice in this one.  Redirect your time and energies to relationship.  But not just any relationship.  Cultivate the one, if you have it, with Christ - "and all these things will be given to you as well" (Matthew 6:33).  It's all about relationship.

A FAVORITE VERSE, BUT VERY CHALLENGING - PROVERBS 27:2

I'm going to let you in on a bit of myself - I LOVED TO BE PRAISED.  I eat it up, soak it in, take it to heart and try my best to balance it all out with a healthy dose of humility so my head doesn't get too much bigger.

Proverbs 27:2 states, "Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips."

Why is this so challenging?  Because I know what I think I do best.  Others may disagree and think I'm on another level than where I think I'm at, but that is where the "rub" begins.  I want to start my speech out with the same person that started this sentence - "I".  Then, I want to brag a little.  Shoot!  How else are you going to know I did something of worth outside of my relationship with you?  I guess I don't trust others enough to tell, do I?

Somebody else had what I call this "I Disease" and he fell hard and permanently.  Isaiah 14:12-15 speaks to this disease and subsequent fall.  I definitely DO NOT want to be this dumb, stupid, and extreme.  Talk about learning from someone's example, this is a great one.  Lesson 1 - What words NOT to say to the King of Glory.  Lesson 2 - Pride, something that is dangerous.  I can imagine the angels around Lucifer when he decided to rebel saying something like -(Lucifer: "I will ascend to heaven") "What did you just say?", ("I will raise my stars above the throne of God") "Do you understand the words that are coming out of your mouth?", ("I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain") "RIIIIGHT, you are going to try to play King of the Mountain with The King?", ("I will ascend above the tops of the clouds") "You are already airheaded to think this way Lucifer", ("I will make myself like the Most High God") "DANGER Will Robinson, DANGER!".

Pride, the dark side of praise.  Not to say that we should not give anyone praiseworthy words or encouraging/uplifting compliments. On the contrary, Proverbs 3:27 encourages us to give a pat on the back to whomever, whenever we can.  It says, "Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act."  But Proverbs 27:21 also warns that praise is a constant test - "The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives."  In addition, the "air about me/you" or how we carry ourselves should line up with Scripture, such as Proverbs 29:23 - "A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor."    If praise is not tempered quickly with humility it has potential to do an amazing amount of damage, not only to yourself but to others around you as well.

Take away that you could have skipped to the bottom here and read - Praise, give it - but when you get it be careful what you do with it.

  

Monday, December 6, 2010

IMHO (Kentucky and more, Edition)

A shout out to Tanya's uncle, Herb Price, for the tickets he supplied me and my dad to the Kentucky vs. UNC game!  The National Anthem was worth the price of the tickets!  The Chancellor played a nice, smooth jazzed up version on the keyboard while a female staff member sang the song.  Great team!

After the game we went out the door to find everything covered in snow.  Very beautiful.  Kinda cold standing in line waiting for the next bus to come pick you up with a "jillian" other people, but the win and being with my dad made it all worth it.

There was a little spark of what Barnes can provide for the Heels in this game.  But the inconsistent play by him still continues.  Thankfully for Carolina the low post is occupied by one Tyler Zeller.  And I cannot scream loud enough - Feed The Monster!  If the others can practice and really nail down some perimeter shots then when the "monster" is full or cannot partake because he has got others that desire his entree, then Zeller can pass the ball out and allow others to "dine".  This has happened a number of times with other players.  The other team would double up and try to trap, especially Henson, and leave Zeller open for the underneath basket. 

I like the two big man plus three more speed body line-up that coach Williams has sometimes.  The key to the success of this line-up and any combo is ball handling, especially by your point guard/floor general, if you have one.  Leave Larry Drew off the court and UNC is better for it.  I'm not crazy about Watts either.  And those that know me, know how much I have wanted these two guys gone for such a long time now.  These two had better step up their play or when they come in the game it is going to bring the Tarheel's level of play down, In My Humble Opinion.

I tell you a situation Carolina better get a grip on quickly is the switching of the screens going on around the top of the key or around any area concerning the three-point arc.  Any amount of hesitation of who is guarding whom and a three ball is on it's way.

Low post play, defensively from Zeller and Henson and offensively from the same players, plus the free throws from Zeller at the end were the keys to this victory.

Switching gears...I'm not one that is much on Carolina football.  I wish them well and all, but who and where they are playing is messed up.
UNC vs. Tennessee at Nashville, TN
6:40 PM, ESPN, Music City Bowl
December 30th
Really!  You are going to allow TN to travel 2 hours and 52 minutes west to Nashville and play in their own state in a bowl game?  The Florida Gators are doing that too this year.  USC played in their own stadium against Texas a few years back and lost.  This is another something I think that has to change.  This would be like UNC traveling west to Boone and playing at ASU's field.  Get these games into parts of the country where the income could use a boost.  They say it is all about the money, well use it to help the underserved areas in the country that don't see this kind of action.  My word you have enough bowls to spread the love with, why use the same locations year after year?  And get them at neutral sites, at least out of the state of both teams concerned.

Evansville is next on the schedule for the UNC basketball team then Long Beach State.  Carolina better be prepared for these teams and not slack off by looking ahead to the Texas game.  We shall see.

GO HEELS!