Life as a Fan Is TOUGH!

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Life as a fan is a bittersweet thing.

For one, you’re not the one on the field/ice/court taking the hit/shot/pass at the last second. Nope. You’re on your couch in your living room watching (and possibly imagining being in that situation yourself…OBVIOUSLY doing a better job…) and hoping for a win, while anticipating a loss.

Secondly, if you’re a big fan and people know it, when your team loses…your enemies will let you know it every time. For example: imagine cheering for a team like the Montreal Canadians in a city like Toronto…not fun when a loss takes place.

Lastly, if you’re a real fan, when your team (notice how we called them OUR team as if we’re partial owners?) loses can ruin your day (or night) and shake you up more than the actual players. Like, imagine being a fan of the Red Sox of Boston before they FINALLY won the world series. The people in Beantown would react to playoff loses like there was a death in the family. I remember when my favourite basketball team lost a championship game (worth the watch). I sat at the edge of my bed and sulked like a small child without a toy. I don’t have any ownership, any stake in them but MAN, I was rocked.

Now I know that we shouldn’t get caught up in things as these, as those who don’t have any cares for sports would say, but man I do. Each year. Hoping for wins, expecting some loses and looking forward to the next season.

Why talk about this? March Madness? Nope. Here’s why?

I am a fan of people! I work with students who I believe in whole heartedly and I can’t say that there haven’t been a few nights where I have sat on the edge of my bed heartbroken at a decision that a few have made. And while I have been heartbroken, I have been hopeful for “next season“, the next opportunity where they could do it right. And as a husband, there have been moments where I have led someone to sit on the edge of the bed, disappointed in me, hoping for the “next season.” Whether we know it or not, we’re all fans of someone…hopeful misfits, believing in a last second shot that’ll change the tide of someone’s existence.

Also: A real fan doesn’t jump off the bandwagon when their team loses year after year (or decision after decision). Instead, they keep on believing, risking their hearts, investing their time (and coin) and energy to hope, to dream and to one day celebrate in one of those championship parades.

And with everyone I have in my life, I hope to be able to do the same thing.

I am your BIGGEST fan!

P.S. Go Lakers, Canadians, Blue Jays (and since I no longer have the Expos…I guess the Nationals), 49ers (and sadly the Cowboys), Wolverines and Man City.

Question: Who are you believing in? Who is believing in you? How does this affect how we should live?

Proud Nerd Status

I’m a bookworm. I have been since high school.

My high school in Pierrefonds, Qc (MTL stand up!!) was built right near our public library and I spent HOURS there looking up encyclopedias, novels and more (in my school uniform. Classic blue sweater, white turtleneck and grey slacks). I wasn’t allowed to watch TV during the week so my imagination was fed through pages and pages of history, poetry, fiction, biographies and how-to-beat-video-games books. I’ve always tried to keep a balanced diet when it comes to reading. This may not be you, but I don’t think it’s healthy to ONLY read spiritual books or ONLY leadership books or ONLY fiction books. It’s good to be well-read in various types of books, for a couple of reasons:

1 – It’s keeps you sharp: Once I’m done a fun book, I’m longing for something deeper. After that, something that stretches my thinking in regards to leadership or culture.
2 – Vocabulary: Different authors, different words, different paintings, different ideas, sentence structures, etc.
3 – Conversation: The more you read, the more likely you’ll be able to enter into various conversations about lots of topics. (it’s funny how the one who only reads one sort of books is lost when any other topic comes us.)
4 – An appreciation for the gift of writing.
5 – A nice book collection (I have MANY leather-bound books…my office smells of rich mahogany…)
6 – You get a deeper perspective on life.

So…that’s why I balance it out. Biographies to know people and how they got to where they are. History to teach us lessons of old. Fiction to help me dream, imagine, paint scenes and grow as a communicator. Leadership to be an effective servant-leader. Spiritual books and essays (and blogs) to fuel the fire in my heart to live a Eph 4:1 life. Sports books to enjoy the highs and lows of teamwork, winning & losing. And culture to have a better understanding of the world I live in, people groups, trends, fashion and what’s ‘next’.

Here’s what I’m currently dabbling through (with hopes of finishing them by new years)

  • The Me I Want to Be (John Ortberg) – A book I’m reading with some quality leaders at our church. It’s all about knowing God, knowing how He’s wired you and then taking that information to know Him more. It’s a real eye opener. (4/5th done)
  • Parenting Beyond Your Capacity (Reggie Joiner and Carey Niewwhof) – Reading with some of our junior high parents. I figure I want to learn how to be a great dad now and to learn with them is a joy. (3/5th)
  • Switch (Chip and Dan Heath) – Leadership book on leading people through change. Good insights so far and the cover is cool. (1/5th)
  • The Armageddon Factor (Marci McDonald) – A deep “secular” view of Christian Nationalism in Canada. Funny to see things like The Cry, Canada Christian College and Tyndale in here. It’s a page turner. Was recommended by my good friend Steffan Watson. (2/5th)
  • The Book of Basketball (Bill Simmons) – I read it in like 4 days (it’s 700+ pages) but he’s re-releasing it with corrections, new stories and more. And Kobe’s in it. It’s my fun read! (RE-READ)
  • and…Decision Points (the Dubya) – I still don’t know if this is chalked up to fiction or not…kidding. His life is so polarizing that not reading it would be criminal. PLUS, it’s reads like he talks…that’s a win-win! (Need to purchase and finish before Becca gets to it. She loves George. Wants to have him over for supper.)

And books I look forward to reading in 2011

They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die like Children by Romeo Dallaire – Child soldiers is a travesty and something that burdens me greatly. I’d love to do something about it one day…
The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill and/or Roots by Alex Hailey
The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha – Cause it’ll be awesome (sorry, it had to be said…)
Journey to The Ring by Phil Jackson – It’s all about the Lakers and winning. Nuff said.
Off-Road Discipleship by Earl Creps
The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning (I’m VERY excited for this one…don’t know why…)
The Living Church by John Stott
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin (yes…the comedic actor writes and his book is getting great reviews) and a whole lot more…and The Help…(Becca and Karen Johnson loved it…)…and The History of SNL

P.S. You know what’s cool? Seeing my little girl pretend to read. The Kid will take her gabage patch doll, sit with her, pretend to drink tea and read to her Goodnight Moon. The nerd in her is alive and well!

SO….what are you reading? What do you look for in a good book? Where can you beef up/clean up your reading diet? What authors do you abhor/recommend and why?  What’s your FAVORITE book (not counting the Bible…). Mine’s a tie between To Kill a Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby. If you don’t like reading (which is completely cool), how to do you learn and grow?

Ron Ron’s Story

On Thursday night, the LA Lakers beat the Boston C’s in what could be called the worst (or best if you’re a D-FENCE person) game ever. Kobe wasn’t Kobe. Ray wasn’t Ray. Rondo was BONDO. Pau couldn’t connect from the line. Everyone sucked except for Ron Artest. Now if you’re not a sports person, let me give you a lil rundown on this dude.

He’s nuts. Period. He even admits it.

in November 2004, while lying on a table during a game timeout (already a bad sign), a fan threw a diet coke at Ron, causing him to leave his ‘post’, run into the crown, and punch him in the face. His teammates followed and what ensued is now forever known as The Malice in the Palace. Long story short, Ron got suspended for the season and then bailed on his team. Not cool. He was typecast worse than a child actor as a troublemaker and cancer on teams.

Last season he gets traded to the Lake Show and doesn’t perform during the season well…the critics come back. But in the end, it don’t matter cause then win and he gets a ring. Now, whether you like LA or not, you gotta love the story of 2nd chance and redemption here (and you KNOW how much I love story!!). It was undeserved (he shouldn’t be there) and confusing (he didn’t fit) but it worked and he is (for NOW) a better man for it. During the night, he did an interview with NBA TV and listen to how he describes himself back THEN and NOW and how thankful he is (watch it up to the 1st minute to get the point…you can watch more if you’d like. Major shout outs to him for admitting that he seeks help for his mental state.).

2nd chances don’t always come our way.

Yet when they do, we need to take them and do right with them. Here’s a crazy thought: What can you learn from Ron Artest? What 2nd chance moments to you need or are you looking for? What’s stopping you from getting there?