Value Your Values

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Character, Courage, Culture, Heroes, Legacy | 0 comments

“I violated my values and it was wrong. I behaved shamefully.”

Those are the words of Christopher Correa, the former scouting director of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, recently convicted of hacking into the player personnel system of another major league team. He has lost his dream job, faces 46 months in prison and has been ordered to pay a fine of nearly $280,000.

What he would do if he could only turn back time and make another choice when faced with temptation to further his reputation as a winner! Too late; the secret is out.

How sadly often it is that we read very similar stories in the news:

  • imagesHead football coach Art Briles, a man of faith, whose decision to ignore, hide or discredit the stories of numerous women who reported sexual assaults by his football players, cost him his job and has cast a dark shadow over the outstanding reputation of Baylor University. He is not an exception; he is only the most public and recent of coaches to betray their own beliefs, and those who trusted him, for the sake of success.
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Dads Matter; Piece by Piece

Posted by on Mar 1, 2016 in Character, Fathers, Legacy, Significance | 6 comments

clarkson husbandMedia confession: Beryl and I watch American Idol regularly. Because it often actually moves us.

Sometimes the performances are lukewarm; every now and then they are jaw-dropping. Recently, Kelly Clarkson, the Season 1 winner, told a story through song that brought tears streaming down my cheeks—and those of the judges and many in the audience.

We intuitively know dads matter, but in our dramatically changing family culture that often questions the value of fathers, we sometimes need a reminder. Kelly gave us a jaw-dropping one.

Her song, Piece by Piece, compares her experience with a father who disappeared when she was a young girl, to her husband who is a present, loving father to her kids. “He filled the holes you burned in me when I was 6 years old…He restored my faith that a man could be kind, and that a father could stay.”

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A Good Man

Posted by on Dec 15, 2015 in Character, Legacy, Transformation | 0 comments

What does a good man look like?

“He whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;

whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;

who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;

who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things
will never be shaken.”

Psalm 15

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Build Good Men. Continued.

Posted by on Dec 5, 2015 in Character, Community, Culture, Heroes, Legacy, Significance, Venus and Vegas | 19 comments

p_blacksmith_1660195cYet again, we come face-to-face with the bewildering, heart-breaking news of another mass killing in the U.S. This time, for my wife, Beryl, and me, it pierces even closer to home—3 killed, 9 wounded in Colorado Springs, our home for the past 16 years. Revulsion, grief, ache, and anger boil to the surface.

And, just days later, another horrific scene of slaughter takes place in San Bernardino, CA. We watch the horror unfold in stunned disbelief.

Coming so shortly after the bombings and killings in Paris and Mali, a world that already felt unstable and unsafe, now feels even less safe and even more bewildering.

What is going on? I feel compelled to comment, mostly on the Colorado Springs event, because it happened in my backyard. I’m intentionally bypassing the political issues of abortion, terror or gun control. There is another time and place for that conversation. I’m landing on the common thread in these stories that motivates me more than any other.

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A Quiet Testimony

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Character, Heroes, Legacy | 0 comments

My first memory of a championship football was listening to the radio, as a 10 year-old in December of 1963, cheering on the Chicago Bears as they beat Y.A Tittle and the New York Giants. One of the stars on the Giants was Hall of Fame wide receiver/running back, Frank Gifford, who later went on to star on the legendary Monday Night Football announcing crew of 1971-1985 along with Howard Cossell and “Dandy” Don Meredith. Gifford brought a foundation of believability and steadiness to that entertaining team. What Gifford is less known for is that he was a man of solid faith; just less prone to drawing public attention to that fact than others might. The comments on this clip from his widow, Kathie Lee Gifford, on the Today Show demonstrate how important his spiritual values were to Frank. All of Kathie Lee’s comments are poignant and worth watching, but the heart of her comments, and of Frank’s faith, are mentioned at the 3:00 mark. Her testimony of Frank’s depth and impact reminds me of the great advice attributed to St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use...

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Go After It With a Club

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 in Courage, Legacy | 2 comments

Jack London, author of The Call of the Wild, among other books of adventure, once said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Those words immediately resonate with me. Partly because I like the blunt, get-to-the-point style of communicating. But more so because this statement is often so true for me; and I’m sure it’s true for many others. How often do we think, Man, I really need to talk to so-and-so about that? Or, One of these days I should do something about... Or, When I feel a little more inspired I plan to…? If you’re like me, the answer is Pretty often. London’s quote takes me immediately to writing. I’ve come to the realization that writing is one of the primary avenues I want to take in order to pass on encouragement to men about their role in the world. But I find it extremely difficult to make the time, identify the key point, or feel inspired to do so. I have friends who MUST write. Writing oozes from their pores; and they do it well. That’s not me. The hardest part of writing for me is to sit down with the conviction that I actually have something to say. But, when I finally force the issue, open up the laptop and hit the first key, the inspiration usually rises to the surface. If writing is one of the tasks I feel called to do, I can’t afford to just sit around waiting to feel inspired to do it. I have to go after it with an ugly club. How about you? What is the action, art or gift that you have to offer others, that doesn’t always come easily; the one you sometimes have to go after with a...

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