In keeping with the politically correct climate of our current government, it seems the sports media has the same affliction as the news media: a sense of entitlement and self-righteousness which requires the person of their focus to comply with their demands.
The circus surrounding Marshawn Lynch (pictured above) has no clue why anyone would not want to speak to them followed by serious anger and outbursts such as, "How dare he not speak to us!"
As accustomed as the news media is to lying about its subjects and issues, it's not a stretch to inform the gullible public that they do the same thing about athletes. They sensationalize, they lie, they make up "information" from their anonymous sources, and they spread hurtful falsehoods and misinformation as often as the regular news media does the same.
If victimized by the press either by intentional errors, malicious reporting, and/or character assassination, it's only logical that a person would guard themselves from opening up to the possibility again.
The media needs to realize that few people really trust them. Although some of them take their jobs seriously, it's hard to take a group of pseudo-journalists seriously who seem to make no effort to verify and investigate the information they dig up. Much of what is read in the mainstream media is hearsay and wishful thinking. Sports writers can be equally guilty of damaging innuendoes and suggestions instead of facts and truth.
When Marshawn Lynch refused to answer media questions precisely because of the aforementioned reasons, some of that huge media presence became incensed and furious, ranting and complaining. It wasn't as if they had no one else to question. There was ample representation from both teams on Media Day and for each required appearance set aside just for the media.
It's long past time for media to realize they are nothing more than people, not more important than the people they seek to cover or the event they're recording. They're no better. The truth is they desperately need to get over themselves because much of what they write or report isn't worth the time it takes to read it or hear it.
Father, your word reminds us not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought. Help us to keep you our focus and act accordingly. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Football fans will tell you the ultimate quest is to make it to the Super Bowl. Pictured above is the Lombardi Trophy won last year by the Seattle Seahawks for the first time in their history since their inception in 1976. For die-hard fans like myself last year was a dream-come-true sort of season. To make it back this year is another such season which was plagued with serious injuries, the removal of a talented but disruptive player, a team meeting where all players clarified their aims and quests, and the determined efforts of the entire roster and coaching staff to make a run for the return to this big game.
True football fans are fanatics. I can't speak for others, but I can tell you this from my perspective. The game itself is simple: the objective is to score points, preferably touchdowns and point afters. You get four chances to make a first down which gives you four more to make another first down, hopefully working your way down the field to score either with a kick (field goal worth 3 points) or a touchdown (worth 6 + either a PAT worth 1 point or a 2 point conversion). The diversity of coaches and players to design ways to score points and keep the opponent from scoring them is as complex as chess maneuvers and far more enter entertaining.
I can't describe to you any of the subtleties of the position players, the intricacies of the routes receivers run, the stances and movements of linemen, but I can tell you watching my team outgain the opposition is one of the best experiences in life.
Why? Because the men on the field, some barely out of college, young and daring, some battle-scarred and wily, have been gifted to play the game just as others have been gifted to lead a church, play an instrument, write a story. Their passion is displayed on the field and many of them recognize from whom all good and perfect gifts come. Some not so much. A snapshot of life around us.
I love the game of football because . . . it gives me a break from the horrors of some of real life. It takes me away from the hard reality that headlines newspapers, the web, or any of the media. If we want to spiritualize it, it can represent the battle of good and evil - selecting whichever team you choose for each category. Granted, hatred for opponents does exist among NFL watchers. For me, football is a release and an escape. I have my favorite players, and, yes, I pray for them on and off the field. As my favorite quarterback Russell Wilson has said, "It's a spiritual experience." If you want to scoff at his remark or mine, it's your prerogative, but it doesn't change anything.
I love the game of football because . . . it gives me a break from the horrors of some of real life. It takes me away from the hard reality that headlines newspapers, the web, or any of the media. If we want to get symbolic, it can capture the battle of good and evil - selecting whichever team you choose to represent either. Granted, hatred for opponents does exist among NFL watchers. For me, football is a release and an escape. I have my favorite players, and, yes, I pray for them on and off the field. As my favorite quarterback Russell Wilson has said, "It's a spiritual experience." If you want to scoff at his remark or mine, it's your prerogative, but it doesn't change anything.
This year the Seahawks play the New England Patriots who are favored to win by one point. The heralded team, coach, and quarterback of the Patriots have a history of winning Super Bowls. Lots of football savvy, the Pats know what it takes to win big games. The Seahawks are the first team to return to the contest in 10 years after winning the previous year. The Patriots did it 10 years ago. No easy task. The Seahawks did it after much adversity. I hope they repeat.
Many of you don't care about football - it's not your sport, your thing, your interest. I get that. But to me it rises above being a sports fan. The Seahawks have captured my heart and soul. I love them. So many of them have foundations for kids, for helping the impoverished in communities, for doing good things with the money they make. I enjoy learning of who they are on the inside of those helmets.
And I always hope they'll win.
Lord, thank you for calling your people to all kinds of things. Thank you for them giving you the credit for who they've become. Thank you for what you allow them to do and helping them to remain true to you in the midst of it all. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
I know we've been over this, but it still irritates me with all of the multiple (and excessive) genre labels available, novels that aren't thrillers by any stretch of description turn out labeled as such. I suspect this is done to capture the attention of thriller readers. I get that. But you're taking a huge chance labeling a book a thriller when it's not. This disappoints real thriller readers. I can testify to that personally.
It's okay to call your work a suspense, mystery, cozy mystery, etc. Believe me, serious readers will appreciate accurate genre identifications over manufactured hype to sell a book.
Okay then. Peeve done.
Father, help us all to be accurate and honest in our books and their descriptions - and in all things. Apart from you, we can do nothing. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
For World War II history buffs, this quaint little suspense novel should serve them well. Author Dan Walsh has taken a little detour from his self-described Nicholas Sparks type of stories to pen an interesting mystery of sorts in When Night Comes.
Jack Turner returns to his roots in Culpepper, Georgia, to reunite with and guest teach for his old history professor while hoping to get serious about the new book he's writing. Already an accomplished World War II author, Jack's agent is anxious for this new book to get done.
After his reunion with Professor Thornton, he settles into the guest apartment where he used to stay in his college days. Rustic and perfect for what he needs, Jack is sure he'll be inspired to get a lot done on his book. However, when Jack experiences a lifelike "dream" in which he was one of the sailors at Pearl Harbor, he finally awakes after seeing, hearing, and feeling the devastation firsthand. Feeling like he'd just been transported through time, he couldn't share it for fear of ridicule or worse.
Prior to Jack's strange occurrence, a college kid turns up dead with a horrific expression on his face but no visible signs of anything but a heart anomaly which caused his death. Detective Joe Boyd is grateful to learn a heart defect was responsible, but there remains a nagging question at the back of his mind.
Professor Thornton is caught in a web of deceit and tries to free himself after cooperating with a sinister doctor, but it's too late for idle threats. Jack is caught in the middle of something he knows nothing about while his bizarre lifelike dreams continue.
With danger and murder afoot in Culpepper, Jack stumbles upon the source of his dreams and realizes he needs concrete proof before anyone will believe his outlandish claims.
With well-written characters and an interesting plot, Dan Walsh has constructed an intriguing contemporary story with nuggets of WWII history tucked into its pages. There were a couple of "too convenient" places in the story used to solve some serious problems, but overall the story stayed true and finsihed well with a twist.
Father, please continue to bless Dan's writing and imagination. Meet his needs physically, emotionally, and spiritually as he continues this writing journey. May he always honor you in the process. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight."
There are so many types of conflict - too numerous to name. Writing conflict varies from the intense and grotesque to the simple and minimal.
If you're in a high-stress job, chances are conflict is the major contributor to that stress. Whether it be from the competition or from within via employees, time crunches for deadlines, or the overall difficulty of particular demands, conflict is rarely pleasant.
If you're living your life within a family, conflict can come from disagreements with spouses, children, siblings, added to external issues which directly affect the functioning of the family.
If you're writing thrillers, the conflict is accelerated and almost constant, braking at just the right moment for the reader to exhale and re-enter "normal" life within the story. If you're writing a simple romance, the conflict is usually structured and often based on misunderstandings, distance, miscommunications, or specific issues interfering with the coupling of hero and heroine. If you're writing suspense, the story is usually less intense than thrillers but protagonists experience major conflicts along the pages. Literary novels usually portray inner struggles among many intersecting characters with a plot line that can be blurred or less defined, and the way the story is told is almost more important than the story itself.
I'm not good at conflict in real life or in my writing. I don't like conflict. In my love stories the conflicts are personal with individuals attempting to understand themselves and the objects of their affections, seeking mutual resolution, clarity, love. For some readers it works. Others not so much.
Conflict is the key element in keeping readers engaged according to many readers and professional writers, agents, and publishers. I would agree concerning thrillers, but with love stories - barring those of "the ages" over distant lands and times - normal people discovering a relationship shouldn't elicit great conflicts unless there are other specific issues featured in the conflict(s) changing the story agenda.
So . . . those are my current thoughts on conflict.
Lord, people are in conflict constantly. Ever since original sin. May your peace permeate those who seek you, Jesus. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
Would you agree sometimes it's the small things that make all the difference in a situation? An answer to what seems to you an insignificant prayer - one you know is "small"? Oh how big it becomes when that answer arrives. The gratitude pours forth. That little thing that slips every other little or big thing into place? Perhaps you missed its importance, but when it fits so perfectly, you realize how vitally it was needed. Again, gratitude bows your brow.
The small things in intricate types of practices - be it surgery, art, athletics, agriculture, engineering, and the list is endless - lead to the big possibilities of success.
Never disregard the small things because all the big things consist of those little things.
As the clever saying above relates, do even the smallest thing with huge love. It won't go unseen or unrewarded. You'll bless someone.
Father, the never ending small things you've done for me have humbled me repeatedly. And the big things have astounded me. You are Love. Thank you is never enough. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.