Friday, September 26, 2014

The past two weeks have been a wild ride. Over the course of 13 days our ministry hosted our first Beth Moore simulcast, I helped coordinate the wedding of the daughter of my dear friend, endured personal drama (and I am not a fan of drama), and watched with watery eyes (by watery eyes I mean I sobbed like a baby) as Derek Jeter said goodbye to Yankee Stadium. In classic Jeter style, his exit was triumphant, poignant, and inspiring. 

Derek Jeter had no idea what the outcome of that game would be. I am sure there were several exit strategies that could have taken place as the game drew to a close. Manager Joe Girardi had his own plan, and it always involved Jeter staying in for the whole game. At 40 years old he is still as vital a member of the team in many ways as in his first season. (if you doubt that you must not have seen the 9th inning last night) If the Yankees had remained in the lead, he may have been met on the field by the other members of the Core Four, as in the beautiful exit of Mariano Rivera just last year when Jeter and Pettitte went to the mound.  They were there last night, his former teammates: Rivera, Pettitte, and his best friend Jorge Posada. So were many others who were close to him over the years. One plan was to have them exit into the tunnel to the clubhouse together, symbolizing Jeter's imminent retirement. 

But the lead did not last and so play continued in the last home game this season at Yankee Stadium. Jeter, clearly touched by the moment, managed to steel his emotions and do what he has done better than most for 20 seasons: play baseball. 

In his final game at The Stadium, he taught us all again to just keep going. Through his grand Farewell Tour, where at every stop he was showered with gifts, donations to his beloved Turn 2 Foundation, and the accolades of a career that only and always traveled the high road, he grew more and more aware of the day when he would say goodbye. But the focus was always on winning. He just kept going and never stopped to be anything but a man of integrity. 



So as I have had this week (or 13 days) where I have been on the mountaintop and somewhere near the valley, where I have had things go as planned and where I have been totally blindsided, where I have been both an observer and the observed, I will take a lesson from Derek Jeter: I will continue to just be myself. 

In his post-game interview Jeter said that the only thing he wanted to take with him from Yankee Stadium was the memory of the view from his position as shortstop. That when he went out there after the game, he said a prayer of gratitude and took a last look. He said he always prayed before every game as well. It struck me then that we never heard anything about him praying before. I'm not surprised to know that he relies on God- just look at how he has lived his life. He has tried to be no more than a good ball player and a person who remained above the fray. He has done just that. I knew that he had served as best man in Posada's wedding, Posada being a man of deep faith, as are of course, Rivera and Pettitte. I was pleased to know that he prayed and I can only hope that he shares a faith that will carry him through the next phase of his life on earth as well as carry him into the arms of our Savior one day.  As he remembers his view from the position where he out-played and out-lasted so many, he will do so from a leader's perspective, a captain's perspective. He will look back and know that he remained a person of character. Respect. 

None of us knows what will transpire between our beginning and our end. But it's how we conduct ourselves, how we act and react, how we treat each other - and ourselves-  that will determine how we look back on our lives and how others view us. We can all learn from Jeter's example in some way- work hard, stay focused, give back, and pray at the beginning and at the end. And always treat each other and yourself, with respect. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Whatever Happened to Telling the Truth?

Whatever happened to telling the truth?
Really. Why do more and more people think it's ok to lie? Ok, I am even going to go that extra step and say that, by lying I mean the following:




lie: to tell or say something that is not true

deceive: to say or do something that will lead someone to a conclusion that is not true



lie of omission: purposely leaving out one or more important details that would change the outcome of your opinion (which was expecting the truth)



(these are my own definitions based on what annoys and infuriates me and I can do that because it's my blog)


I know, I know. There have been lies for as long as there have been people. Good old Adam and Eve were guilty of leaving out some very important information when God was asking about the forbidden fruit. They didn't drive the point home too well, either, since Cain got a little defensive and thought he could dodge the question by getting sarcastic with...GOD!!  (Don't you love how God asks questions that He already knows the answers to?) Well, I love it when He does it to other people. Frankly it can be a little irritating when He does it to me. 





So admitting that I totally get that it has been happening since forever, I tend to lay the blame of the modern epidemic of the acceptance of lying at the feet of a certain president who said something didn't happen with a certain person and it did and he later admitted it and tried to re-define certain activities in order to weasel out of the TRUTH. And now he has some "global initiatives" and writes books and makes millions and all the while hasn't really owned up to the lies. THE LIES. Hear me. People who cheat, who lie, who manipulate, who deceive, who purposely omit are somehow held in esteem and granted positions of celebrity or power, and those of us who call them out are deemed - here we go--


intolerant.

unkind.

mean-spirited.


We need to understand, we are told, that we don't know the pressures these great people are under. We don't know what it's like to walk in their shoes. We aren't living their life so we mustn't judge. 


WHAT?? 


If you have ever been lied to, then you know. Right? YOU GET IT. You have been led to believe a thing only to find that everything was based upon a lie. So many emotions and feelings follow this; AND THAT'S OK! It's just fine to have righteous anger turned toward lies and deceit and all the other evil activity of someone who is caught up in sin. Because it is sin


and (oh, yeah.)  we are all guilty of it.




Not necessarily the same exact sin. No, we all don't have to be guilty of every sin all the time forever and for all the days in order to have sinned. But we do sin and so it is important to separate the sin from the sinner.


Ok, say we've done that. Now what?



Call it out. See it for what it is. Let it be known that it is unacceptable and that

IT ENDS HERE.



It is time to accept responsibility for our actions and it is time to stop being so understanding and sympathetic to the liars and the cheats and the deceivers.Yes, we must forgive. But we must also ADDRESS THE SIN.
Recently I had on a TV show that showed someone saying something about another person. (yes, reality; don't you dare judge--it was when I was sofabound) On the show, the person denied saying it. Mind you now, they were on camera. ON CAMERA. Do you know, they still demanded an apology from the victim. Said they were "wounded, hurt." Said they were misunderstood and under a great deal of stress.
OH, PLEASE.


If by a great deal of stress you mean that you are a pathological liar, then I'll buy it.


THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS. Exodus 20:16


A FALSE WITNESS WILL NOT GO UNPUNISHED, AND WHOEVER POURS OUT LIES WILL NOT GO FREE. Proverbs 19:5



It doesn't get much clearer that that. 
So yeah, I'm a little fired up. A little annoyed. Ok, a lot annoyed. After all, I have to be truthful...I must tell the truth. After all, I am my brother's keeper. 




I'm in one of those seasons where I just want to retreat. Having the genetic makeup of generations of warriors, those seasons do not com...