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In September, 1985, the camera-equipped Argo robot submarine of the USA-France expedition photographed and confirmed the wreckage of the luxury liner Titanic resting 13,120 feet down on the Atlantic ocean floor.
In its day, the Titanic was the world’s largest ship, weighing 46,328 tons, 882 1/2 ft long with 3 anchors weighing more than 10 tons each. It employed a crew of 400, a hotel staff of 5l8 and could carry 2,433 passengers. The 159 furnaces burned 650 tons of coal a day. The ship had a complete gymnasium, heated pool, squash court and the first miniature golf course -- all below deck. Its lavish appointments included opulent dining rooms with 24-hour service, orchestra on the promenade deck, palm courts and gilded Turkish baths.
Several millionaires were on the passenger list. But, on April 14, 1912, the "unthinkable" happened to the "unsinkable". Near midnight, the great Titanic struck an iceberg, ripping a 300 ft hole through 5 of its 16 watertight compartments. It sank in 2 1/2 hours killing 1,513 people. Why did so many die? Reasons: the crew disregarding the danger of the weather, there were not enough lifeboats on board, and the radio operator of the nearby California was off duty. (Adapted from USA Today, Sept. 4, 1985)
Youíve heard the story. JetBlue angered a lot of people when they cancelled a thousand flights in the course of a few days. Negative customer reaction was enough to make the average CEO want to hide. Instead, JetBlue CEO David Neeleman took the pilotís seat and responded quickly with sincere atonement, hitting every media outlet he could, and issuing apologies not just to every inconvenienced flier but also to his airlineís own crew members. The company also posted a public video apology on its Web site. He and the airline seem to be making a supreme effort to recover the publicís trust and confidence. The first step? Taking responsibility! Itís amazing what a little humility will do toward recovering customer and/or donor trust. Neeleman has said that the operational catastrophe may end up costing $30 million. But the short-term pain is part of Neelemanís long-term vision of success. ďIím not focused on the first quarter,Ē he said. ďIím focused on the second, third, and fourth quarter and rebuilding our reputation in the eyes of our customers and crew members.Ē When companies mess up big time (and it could happen to any company or ministry), the most important steps to take are those designed to recover trust in the most direct, straightforward way possible. As a general principle, customers and donors will forgive incompetence, but not bad character. Good behavior is the single most effective way to restore trust after an episode of bad or untrustworthy behavior. Only time will tell how this situation develops. JetBlue is trying to do the right thing.
MICKEY MANTLE'S SALVATION STORY
The #7 is for the Mick, or Mickey Mantle, who played for the New York Yankees.†
Why do I bring this out about Mickey Mantle.† Well 1st of all without a team playing with Him Mick would have won zero World Series.† But because of a team effort Mickey played in 12 World Series, and won 7 World Championships.
And because of a team effort they won 113 and only lost 54 in 1961.
2nd. Because of a certain player on his team, who let his light shine, Mick might not be in heaven today.† Hereís the story.
Remember, it wasnít how Mick started his life but how he finished it.†
You might have read the stories how Mick would come to games drunk, He had a problem with alcohol and it cost him his life.
Mickey Charles Mantle (The Mick)
Born: October 20, 1931
Died: August 13, 1995 (Aged 63)
Some of his awards
1956† Major League Player of the Year
1956 AL MVP
1956 AL Triple Crown
1957 AL MVP
1962 AL MVP
1965 ML Hutch Award
He was one of the most compelling athletic heroes in American history. Long after he'd hung up his fabled pin striped uniform, grown men would stammer and stutter in his presence and faithful fans would pay outlandish prices for his memorabilia. His achievements were many, but they cannot explain his enduring popularity. His legion of admirers felt a deep emotional attachment to this man who moved with such fluid grace and raw power. They loved Mickey Mantle.
His statistics are staggering--536 home runs, 1,509 RBIs, .298 career batting average, seven world championships, and three MVP awards--and they are all the more impressive when we consider how the Hall of Famer courageously battled chronic, painful injuries during his 18 years with the New York Yankees. In addition, he won the Triple Crown in 1956--a .353 batting average, 52 HRs, and 130 RBIs. In 1961, he hammered 54 homers, just six shy of Babe Ruth's record.
But these numbers pale when compared to what happened in the harsh summer of '95 when his heart took over in that desperate final inning. Faced with an aggressive cancer, he displayed incredible courage, humility, even humor as he battled for his life. And when he chose to drag his frail body in front of a mass of microphones and address the public, there was not a trace of self-pity in his words--only heartfelt pleas to avoid the mistakes he had made. "Don't be like me," he humbly declared, "I'm no role model!" But despite his flaws, Mantle remained a hero to his multitude of fans, and due to his honesty gained many new ones.
At age 19, Mickey Mantle left the lead mines of Oklahoma for the bright lights of New York City. Unfortunately, those lights cast an eerie shadow over his life. After Mickey's first season, his father, Mutt Mantle, died of Hodgkins disease at 40. His grandfather and two of his uncles also died to the same disease before their 40th birthdays. As a result, a growing fear of dying young haunted the budding superstar. He would talk long into the night with close teammates, confiding to them this nagging fear.
Convinced an early funeral was his fate, though often joking about it, he played hard and partied even harder. For him there was no tomorrow. Tragically, this attitude led to a 40-year bout with alcohol that caused his body to grow older before its time and clouded his mind. Many criticized his self-destructive lifestyle, saying it sabotaged the greatest combination of power and speed the game had ever seen. In autumn of his life, Mantle came to agree with those critics, admitting that his drug of choice, alcohol, kept him from reaching his full potential--as a player and a person. Mickey Mantle had learned the hard lesson that a man reap what he sows.
Finally in 1994, at the urging of his family and friends, Mickey Mantle sought help for his addiction. After checking himself into the Betty Ford Center, he was able to win his long battle with the bottle. But he knew something was still missing in his life. He just wasn't sure what it was.
In June of '95, doctors discovered that cancer had destroyed Mantle's liver. He was fortunate to receive a transplant, and for a while it seemed as if the greatest switch hitter of all time would live to fight another day. Then doctors found that cancer remained in his body, and he began chemotherapy. Mickey knew he was facing death. During the All-Star break in Dallas, he picked up the phone and called his old friend and teammate, former Yankee second baseman Bobby Richardson--a committed Christian. Mickey asked him to pray for him over the telephone. A few weeks later when the doctors had discovered that the cancer aggresively spread, Mickey's family asked Bobby if he would come visit him.
His death was imminent. After entering the hospital room, Richardson went over to Mantle's bed and took his hand. Locking his eyes on him, Bobby said, "Mickey, I love you, and I want you to spend eternity in heaven with me." Mantle smiled said, "Bobby, I've been wanting to tell you that I have trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior." Faced with the crushing weight of his sin against a holy God and its dire consequence-- eternal seperation from God--Mickey had asked for and received the forgiveness he so desperately needed. For Richardson, news of his conversion felt like cool rain after a summer drought, and brought tears to his eyes. For years, he had talked to Mickey about the Lord Jesus, but to no avail. Now, in the final inning of his life, the Mick had won his greatest victory--more glorious than any of his tape measured home runs.
When asked later how he knew he would spend eternity with God in heaven, Mickey, after some reflection, quoted John 3:16 from the Bible: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
At Mickey's funeral, Bobby Richardson told 2,000 mourners and a national TV audience that there are only two groups of people: those who say "yes" to Christ and those who say "no". He added that, since none of us knows when he will face his own final inning, saying "maybe" is really saying "no". The Bible confirms this when it says, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him" (John 3:36).
Excellent Congregations: Excellent Protestant Congregations, by Paul Wilkes and published by Westminster John Knox Press identified the following 26 common traits among the "excellent" protestant congregations.
1. A vibrancy about living a Christian life...living on the creative and holy edge of the New Testament...being a Christian is not a leisure activity but an adventure.
2. Entrepreneurial...risk-takers, self-starters, use what works and put aside that which does not.
3. Draws philosophically, rather than geographically or denominationally, by the spirit of a living and present God.
4. Reach beyond their comfort zone...not afraid of being uncomfortable and ask tough questions of themselves.
5. Regularly evaluate themselves...for effectiveness.
6. Have a clear, yet changing, sense of mission...a vision of where they want to be and willingness to redirect energies to be effective in their community and peopleís lives.
7. Willingness to break up and reassemble...put aside old structures and coalitions when necessary to move forward.
8. Unafraid of being vulnerable and making mistakes.
9. Laity are integral in leadership...competence and a desire to serve, the ability to learn, the humility to admit mistakes and the courage to continue despite setbacks are more important prerequisites for leadership than formal training and ordination.
10. Preach and practice forgiveness and acceptance.
11. Relationship evangelism...personal contact is the key...most new people come to the church through word of mouth...friend, co-worker and neighbor.
12. See themselves as a unique community...not as a franchise of their denomination or even Christianity.
13. In transforming the culture, hold government, agencies and institutions accountable...see their work as not only serving their constituency but also transforming the world around them.
14. Believe in partnerships with other churches, agencies and interest groups.
15. Offer an ascent to God, a relationship...provide the tools and support to forge a real, living and enduring relationship with God.
16. Traditional without being traditionalist...their tradition is a beginning, a springboard, not a wall, not a barrier.
17. The Bible is at their core.
18. Innovative about different spiritual approaches.
19. Tailor liturgies and programs to various constituencies...reject one-size-fits-all approach.
20. Powerful, life-situation preaching...pa...
Evidence for an over inflated opinion of ourselves comes from the College Board that administers the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the SAT exam, which millions of high school students take each year. On that test there are a number of other questions besides the ones about math and English which the students are asked to answer. For instance, they are asked to evaluate their leadership ability.
Recently in an exam, seventy percent of the students rated themselves as above average in leadership, and only two percent as below average. Sixty percent rated themselves as above average in athletics while only six percent said below. When they rated themselves as to how easy they were to get along with, 25 percent said they were in the top one percent, sixty percent said they were in the top ten percent, and absolutely no one said he was below average in being easy to get along with.
Obviously high school students have a very high opinion of themselves; they have pride in themselves. Now is this the kind of pride...
This parable (of the Wedding Garment) has something to tell us of the attitude we should have in coming to worship. The way we approach anything demonstrates the spirit in which we come. Is it willingly or do we begrudge the time out of our lives? If we go to visit in a friendís house, we donít go in our gardening clothes! We know very well that itís not the clothes that matter to our friend. Itís simply a matter of respect that we should present ourselves as neatly as we can. The fact that we prepare ourselves to go there is the way in which we outwardly show our affection and our esteem for our friend. So it is with Godís house.
The parable has nothing to do with the actual clothes in which we go to church; it has everything to do with the spirit in which we go to Godís house. Of course we want to be reasonably clothed out of respect for our Lord but Heís not expecting a fashion parade! What Heís looking for is a garment of the mind and the heart. Itís to be clothed with ...