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A church that has passion is a church where "Discouraged folks cheer up, dishonest folks fees up, sour folks sweeten up, closed folk, open up, gossipers shut up, conflicted folks make up, sleeping folks wake up, lukewarm folk, fire up, dry bones shake up, and pew potatoes stand up! But most of all, Christ the Savior of the entire world is lifted up."
Bill McCartney retired as the head coach of the Colorado football team several years ago. His reason for retirement was not because he was unsuccessful as a coach. His teams had won the national championship. They had been in the top 10 many times.
McCartney said that he was retiring because he wanted to reevaluate his priorities. He said, “I’m leaving coaching, & I’m going to take a whole year to re-evaluate my priorities. Is God first? Is my family second? Is my work third?”
And when that year was over, Bill McCartney had dedicated his life & talents to Christ, & threw his efforts into founding the great men’s renewal gatherings that we know today as “Promise Keepers.”
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Every so often, in the world of high school boys' basketball, there comes a player with incredible talent and skill. He and his team become the focus of a lot of media attention. That player becomes one of the most talked about high school athletes in the nation.
Recruiters from the big-time colleges across the country come to the games just to watch the young man play. They begin to envision him playing for their school of higher learning and how he can help their school win a national championship. Those recruiters have a term for high school players with this kind of potential -- "Can't miss." He's referred to by this term because any school who signs this prospect "can't miss" having a superstar on their team. However, not every player who is labeled as "can't miss" seems to avoid missing.
That's what happened to a young man named Ronnie Fields. Maybe you've heard of him. Ronnie played for Farragut Academy in Chicago. Not only was Ronnie considered a "can't miss" prospect but he had a "can't miss" teammate named Kevin Garnett. They took Farragut to the high school state tournament in 1995.
Garnett was a senior and turned pro right after graduating from high school. Fields was only a junior that year. But the next year, his senior year, Fields -- a 6'3" guard -- averaged 33 points and 12 rebounds a game. He was named Illinois' Mr. Basketball for 1996.
Fans and media alike were enamored with Fields. Some even said that he would become the next Michael Jordan because of the way he could seemingly defy gravity and float effortlessly through the air. He accepted a scholarship from DePaul University, and seemed to be heading for stardom.
But then life fell apart for Ronnie Fields. In February of that same year, a serious car accident left him with a fractured vertebrae in his neck. In July, DePaul withdrew its scholarship offer when Fields failed to qualify academically. In September, Fields pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual abuse and was sentenced to 2 years probation and counseling.
Then in December of '96 Fields became a benchwarmer for the Rockford Lightning, a professional team that was part of the CBA, a far cry from the National Basketball Association where the real stars play and where his high school teammate, Kevin Garnett in October of that year signed a $123 million contract, the richest in the history of sports at that time.
Was Ronnie Fields the "can't miss" prospect that so many felt he was? No. In fact it's fair to say that his post-high school career was pretty disappointing. It's difficult to live up to expectations of absolute greatness. So many things can go wrong along the way.
(From a sermon by Michael Luke, Great Expectations, 4/16/2011)
A group of friends went deer hunting and paired off in twos for the day. That night one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under an eight-point buck.
“Where’s Harry?” he was asked.
“Harry had a stroke of some kind. He’s a couple of miles back up the trail.”
“You left Harry laying there, and carried the deer back?”
When passion is on the throne, reason is out the door...
Let me share story with you about some church people… It’s about 4 people in the church whose names were Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody…
The church had some financial responsibilities and Everybody was asked to help… Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it… Anybody could have done it… But you know who did it? Nobody… It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done…
Then the church grounds needed some work, and Somebody was asked to help… But Somebody got mad, because Anybody could have done it, and after all, it was really Everybody’s job… In the end the work was given to Nobody, and Nobody did a fine job…
On & on it went… Whenever work was to be done, Nobody could always be counted on… Nobody visi...