Thursday, January 31, 2008


I love Super Bowl Sunday. We always seem to find our way into someone else’s home to watch the Super Bowl. It’s genius really. Think about it. I get free food. I watch the game on a bigger, more expensive TV than I have. My kids destroy someone else’s home. I get credit for being social just for showing up. And I get to watch football while doing all of this! What a great day!

Super Bowl Sunday reminds me of all of the days I spent at practices growing up. Since my Dad was a football coach, I practically lived around the practice field. I understand the blood, sweat, and tears that these two teams have put into getting to the big game. I know about the hours in the weight room, the film sessions, the emotional investment, and the physical beating. But I also know the camaraderie, the brotherhood, and the sweet feeling of giving everything you have and it being worth it. One of my favorite things about football were the chants that coaches and players would say to either motivate or unify.

In Junior High we thought we were pretty tough when we would chant, “Let’s Get Psyched Up.” Sure, it sounds corny when reading it, but do realize that after rhythmically chanting these words we would follow up by slapping our thigh pads twice and then clapping twice. It was so cool. Then in High School our Defensive line coach would conclude every drill with, “good, better, best – never let it rest – till your good is your better and your better is your best.” I love these chants so much that I created one for my daughter’s soccer team, “We’re rough. We’re tough. We are the Fusion!” Chanting is really big with eight year old girls.

But my all time favorite chant was one that my Dad’s football team at Colorado used to do. Now this chant was not your ordinary chant. The team didn’t do it at practice and they didn’t do it after every game. In fact, if they were lucky they would do it only 12 times a year –because they only did this chant after a victory. The word victory reminds me of another Junior High chant, “V-I-C-T-O-R-Y, that’s our Trojan Battle Cry.” Back to Colorado…

It may sound trivial to know that the chant was only two words long, but being a part of it was magical. The chant transcended the actual words that were said and cut deep into the emotion behind the words. I remember being in the locker room after we beat Michigan in 1994 on a 64 yards pass from Kordell Stewart to Michael Westbrook to win the game. It’s still one of the greatest finishes in the history of sport and what I will never forget about that game is the two word chant that began right when we entered into the locker room. The chant lasted four minutes! Now that’s a long time for a two word chant, but it just kept going. “Offense, Defense”… that’s it. The offensive players would begin chanting the word “Defense” in unison and the defensive players would return with “Offense.” The chant was loud. The guys screamed it with everything they had. The echoes of “Offense, Defense” would ring off the locker room walls creating a thunderous feeling. The floors would shake. Think about it. These guys had given everything they had and the ultimate prize each week was a victory. But the amazing thing about football is that you can have the greatest offense of all time, but if your defense stinks – you will still lose. What I’m trying to tell you is that football offers an amazing look into the virtue of dependency. The offensive team is so motivated to scream out the word “Defense” because they know the work the defense put into the game. They know that they couldn’t do it with out them. So they give it up for each other.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Jesus Christ / John 15.6

Dependency is a key aspect of my faith in Jesus. I have learned that there is nothing worthwhile that I can do with out Christ. Since I know myself better than you know me, you are going to have to take my word for it, but I have serious issues. OK – so maybe that isn’t so difficult to believe… The truth is that I am in desperate need of Christ and His guidance in every single area of my life. As a husband. As a Father. As a brother. As a friend. As an employee. As a leader. I seriously can’t think of an area of my life that doesn’t need Jesus. So the challenge for me is to remain in Him. My favorite definition of the word remain is: to be left after the removal. I love that because when I become a branch that is a part of the vine, I remove the selfish aspirations that permeate my life and what is left is total dependency on the vine.

Jesus concludes this teaching about the vine and the branches in John 15.16 by saying: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.”

Sounds like there is a chant in there somewhere…

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bears Win in 5 OT's!

#25 Baylor 116
#16 Texas A&M 110

Just Do Something!

In the early 90’s Nike came up with their slogan of “Just Do it!” That resonated with our culture because people don’t like excuses. We like action. We like results. Of course we don’t always like the effort or hardships that we have to endure with the Just Do it mentality, but we sure do like the way it sounds. And we love our athletes to have this mindset. Just Do it has helped professional and amateur athletes alike to focus on the task at hand and disregard the pain that it may take to succeed.

I thought about this slogan after watching the San Diego Chargers lose to the New England Patriots on Sunday. Phillip Rivers is the quarterback of the Chargers and two weeks ago he was most notably known for trash talking and jawing with opposing crowds. But after his gutsy performance on Sunday his status has elevated to a Just Do it guy… even though he lost! Why? Because he played after having knee surgery earlier in the week - and on top of that – he is going to need further surgery because he decided to play. Just Do it! It’s moments like this that define people and set the trajectory of their careers. This may be that moment for Phillip Rivers?

Just like Nike’s Just Do it, Erwin McManus made a very similar statement that gave me a great deal of clarity in my Christian walk. While speaking at our Fusion Experience in Dallas he ended an inspirational message by chanting the mantra: Just Do Something! He was talking about the way that we go about discerning Gods will for our lives and how we want God to give us a Google Maps turn by turn directions of everything we should do in our lives. But God doesn’t work like that does He? Instead he gives us spiritual gifts. He wires us with passions to pursue. He burdens us with a desire to stamp out injustice. He places us in relationships that help us see where He is at work. God gives us everything we need, just not in the way that we may want it. Erwin was telling us that we need to stop waiting for the “voice from heaven” because He has already spoken! God has given us our charge and we need to Just Do Something! Watch this clip where Erwin is delivering that same message and let me know what you think…

The RightNow Campaign is a movement of 20 & 30 something’s trading in the pursuit of the American Dream for a world that desperately needs Christ! We are calling for a revolution of other 20 & 30 something’s who will Just Do Something and put our faith in action!

Erwin will be with us once again at our Leadnow and Fusion events this year. Please make plans to join us at one of these events!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bears Crack Top 25

The Baylor men's basketball team is ranked in the Top 25 for the first time since 1969! I could not miss the chance to blog about this historic achievement. Scott Drew is in his fifth season at BU and many experts have said that it would be impossible for him to rebuild this program after the disaster of Dave Bliss. Way to go Coach Drew!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Customer Service… Deal or No Deal?

I have a confession to make that I know will shock you, but nonetheless I shall make it. I watch Deal or No Deal. That wasn’t the confession… I don’t watch it every time it’s on, but I do like the show. I was watching on December 13th with Robin and I couldn’t tell you what happened on the show that night, except for the fact that they ran about 13 ads asking me to text in my vote for the lucky case. They said that if I picked the correct winning number that I would be entered into a drawing with all of the other Chachi's who also picked the correct winning number and one of us would win the grand prize that night of $20,000. If you watch the show then you know that at the end of the night they always tell you the name of the lucky case winner and what city they are from. Since it was December 13th and my Christmas purchases were looming – I though how nice it would be for them to call someone from Rockwall, TX and why not make it me! So I texted in the number 3 for obvious reasons, knowing good and well that standard text messaging rates would apply. That’s my confession.

So I was looking at my AT&T (formerly known as Cingular) phone bill today to see how much this impulse text would really cost me and I cringed when I saw the $.99 fee. Then I totally lost it when I saw the line below the $.99 fee because it read $19.99 - a charge from a company called Fun Mobile. It turns out that when you text in your vote for Deal or No Deal, you actually sign up for a monthly subscription with Fun Mobile at the tune of 20 bucks per month. I say no deal because that doesn't sound fun or mobile to me. Further researched showed that they had already charged me for two months worth of a subscription! My little standard text messaging rates apply rendezvous was now costing me more than $40! And I knew it was about to get worse. UGH! I was going to have to call in to AT&T and get this taken care of. When was the last time you called a big corporation like AT&T looking for customer service and actually got some? The irony is a little too thick that companies even have the term customer service anymore because it is almost impossible to reach someone on the phone. But this was $40 I was talking about here. So I had to make the call!

Four minutes later, not only had I talked to an actual person who was kind and helpful, but they had explained to me that I had signed up for a subscription by making that Deal or No Deal phone call and that she would take care of it immediately for me! In fact, about three seconds after she said that I got a text confirming my cancellation and she got me my money back! Way to go AT&T Customer Service… now that’s a Deal!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Season To Remember

I went to four LSU games this year - and boy do I know how to pick em...

September 8th :: LSU vs. Virginia Tech
This was my birthday and Steve Hayes took me to Tiger Stadium and taught me everything I needed to know about being an LSU Tiger. Virginia Tech was ranked in the Top 10 at the time and the Tigers totally dominated them 48-7.

October 6th :: LSU vs. Florida
Tim Teabow and the boys came into Baton Rouge ranked in the Top 10 with national title aspirations and gave the Tigers an epic fight. By converting on 4th down 5 different times throughout the game the Tigers pulled out a 28-24 come from behind victory that Lee Corso called the greatest game he had ever seen in person.

October 20th: LSU vs. Alabama
I got to take all of my girls to this game and introduce them to the Golden Band from Tigerland. With the game starting at 8 pm, Robin and I didn't think we would even make it to halftime since they normally go to bed at 7:30 pm. But the electricity of Tiger Stadium kept them up all night long. They loved it and the Tigers won the game 30-24 with a phenomenal TD pass with one second to go.

January 7th :: LSU vs. Ohio State
The whole family went to New Orleans to watch LSU beat top ranked Ohio State 38-24. The game was an absolute blast. While it really couldn't compare to being at Tiger Stadium, the atmosphere in the Superdome was still pretty incredible.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Colossal Fanatic

A Fan: an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer of a sport, pastime, celebrity, etc.

Everyone is a fan of something. It may surprise you to learn that I am a fan of various sporting activities. Well, I am... And as I think about being a fan, I have some baggage that not everyone has. My enthusiastic devotion to the teams I have followed has often been tied to the fact that a family member of mine was intricately involved in that sports team. Case in point: Colorado Football. Since my Dad was the Coach of the team, my fandom of Colorado Football was not ordinary. This was my Dad's job. The teams performance greatly affected our lives. It made the difference between staying or moving, fame or infamy, security or vulnerability, friends or enemies, etc... Colorado Football was very important. So when I cheered my favorite team on, I just didn't cheer for them - I was cheering my Dad on. The depth of care that goes into this fanatical devotion is impossible to measure. Let me try to give you a glimpse...

My brother Tom is a high school football coach. His team, the Fairview Knights, is my favorite team in all of sports. I care infinitely more if they win or lose than any other team that exists on this planet. Why? I already told you - my brother Tom is the Coach! My Friday nights in the Fall consist of several dozen text messages to determine the score of Tom's games. I can't sleep until I know how the Knights did. I scour the internet to see if their are any radio broadcasts available. I purchase packages on the satellite dish that enable me to see even highlights of his games. I forgo a night at the movies in favor of 19 phone calls from my sister updating me on the progress of the game. I have driven 16 hours one way to watch his games and turned around the next day and driven 16 hours home... many times! What I am trying to tell you is that I am more than just a fan. I am a Colossal Fanatic. I am tied to the Fairview Knights in a way only few can imagine. The result of being a Colossal Fanatic is that your stress level is at an all time high for these games. In a very real sense - I live and die by the outcome.

This year, I entered into a new season and became a Colossal Fanatic of two teams. My nephew TC used to play for Tom at Fairview, which admittedly took my addiction to a whole new level. But this year, TC is a freshman at LSU. The day TC decided to go to LSU, I instantly became a Tiger. I'm sure it's difficult to imagine, but I dove in head first. And it was so sweet! Monday night was the culmination as LSU rocked Ohio State to win the National Championship... and I was there! Here's some proof:

Geaux Tigers!