The Miami Marlin’s Dee Gordon hit his first home run of the season on Monday night, right after honoring late teammate Jose Fernandez. It’s an all around great moment, and the response from the dugout is the definition of TEAM. If anybody ever tries to tell you that the negatives of sports outweigh the positives, don’t listen.
Then, just a night later, Aledmys Diaz, childhood friend of Jose Fernandez, in his first game back after the memorial service, honors his friend and hits his first career grand slam to put the Cardinals up 5-2 in the bottom of the 4th. The Cardinals went on to win 12 – 5.
Say what you will. Even if you chalk it up to coincidence or happenstance, it makes these individual acts of hitting home runs under these circumstances no less incredible. These are uplifting moments.
I’ve always been interested in the Bible’s take on money and worldly things. My interest in the Bible’s take on money and finances has become even more solidified through occasionally listening to Dave Ramsey’s radio program–which I believe is good for anyone to take in, for some perspective on managing personal finances.
So I decided to google, “great bible verses on money,” and I came across this list of 50 bible verses about money, debt, giving, and finances on BibleStudyTools.com. Sure, these verses probably need to be taken in the proper context to gain their true meaning, but there is a lot of wisdom here. It’s funny to me, when I come across people who act like we are in a “new age” and things are so different and “progressive,” when I find there is still so much relevancy in something “written so long ago.” I think there are some good lessons and reminders to be found.
Sometimes in life, you’ll be in a situation with your team, company, support system, friends, whatever the group, and you’ll just have this overwhelming sense of self belief, in knowing that you can accomplish what may not be believed, or thought to be the best approach, by anyone but yourself. I always remember a time in elementary school when I raised my hand to answer a teacher’s true or false question, and I was the only one in the class who raised my hand, and I was right. I also always remember this scene from Hoosiers (my favorite movie of all time), which is even more fresh in my memory after watching it on a recent flight back to Phoenix from Detroit. Sometimes you just have to say it. “I’ll make it.”
The current series at Scottsdale Bible Church is on “Adjustments.” This Message is entitled, “The Irony of Losing.” It almost seems that no matter what I’m going through, Scottsdale Bible always provides me with a great, applicable message that helps me refresh and put things in perspective. I’d recommend it.
Here’s an interesting article I came across while sitting in a Malibu home in the hills, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. (This detail has nothing to do with the story. I just wanted to document it because this place is awesome.) It’s a history of the drink of choice for every single U.S. President. Some of the historical records used to validate this are a bit of a stretch, but either way, it’s an interesting historical account of the drinking habits of the leader of the free world. (A term that first came into play during the Cold War, by the way.)
I’ve unfortunately been reminded, far too often, over the past couple years, that we are not on this Earth forever. Time is our greatest resource. There is no “someday.” There is right now. Does this mean, live completely hedonistically and Carpe Diem constantly? No. Not to me, at least. But it does mean that our time is limited. It’s very important to focus on the things that really matter. Work hard and contribute to society, but enjoy yourself. Take chances. Follow what you are passionate about. Spend quality time with those family members, friends and significant others that you care about. Don’t take time for granted. Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can and should do today. Be true to yourself. Spread love. Have faith. Spend your time wisely. There is no time to waste being mistreated, and no time to waste not being 100% committed to the work, activities and relationships you enter into. We are not here forever. Focus on what really matters.
The range and brilliance of Jim Carrey is displayed in this commencement address at the Maharishi University of Management 2014 graduation. I had never heard of the Maharishi University of Management (or, MUM, for short–duh), so I had to Google it. Wikipedia gave me some answers, but it’s too late to read up on it right now. (If I find anything conflicting with my own personal beliefs, I’ll let you know.) But from the tone of this commencement speech, I can garner nothing but positivity.
By the way, where is the Maharishi University of Management located? Iowa. Duh.
By all accounts, and my perspective, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil were a big success–especially given all the negative media coverage leading up to the games. (Now, we can get into a more in-depth socioeconomic conversation, but I’m speaking to the event and experience of Rio, in particular.) I had an incredible time in Rio de Janeiro. Sure, I was concerned about my safety and the Zika virus heading into the trip, but overall, I found that using common sense and staying out of places I shouldn’t be was enough to have a successful trip. I was able to go to my first Olympics and visit Rio/Brazil/South America for the first time. My lack of Portuguese didn’t help, but it wasn’t a major impediment. Also, a seasoned Olympic traveler shared an important point: When you visit a country for the Olympics, you are typically getting the best treatment possible. Security is way up and the country wants to put on a good face, or, a “show,” if you will, so it’s a great time to visit. I found that to be true in Rio. It is too bad, that Lochte had to get weird and make up that story, I digress.
Here are some quick highlights of my trip:
On one of my first days, got to witness Usain Bolt coast to a victory in his first round 100m heat. Had a good view of the finish and his walk through the maze of worldwide media after the race.
2. Olympic Beach Volleyball in Rio was incredible. Not just the setting, overlooking Copacabana Beach and the South Atlantic Ocean, but even the music (DJ or live band) in between points and the general spirit/energy of the Brazilian people and crowd. It was definitely a unique experience. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the greatest things that has ever been invented.
3. Visiting Christ the Redeemer. Incredible experience. Also was able to spend a moment in the chapel nestled inside the base of the statue. On the walk back down from visiting, I will admit, internally, I became a little overwhelmed. Of course, in typical B. Laesch fashion, I did not really display this emotion, so nobody in my group really know. But what will stick with me, is that after that personal moment, I heard a voice in my head say, “Can you hear me, now?” I will always remember this. It was clear and concise.
4. Favela tour. We were able to take a tour of Rio’s Favela Rocinha–which is one of the biggest. It was an eye-opening experience. A bus took us to the top of the hill and we literally walked through the favela, all the way down. To see how these people live, in crowded conditions, poverty, poor construction and in gangland, was something I will never forget. I think I’m still processing it. At a certain point in the tour, it was truly overwhelming and I needed to get through that walk and back into the city just to clear my head. Just imagine living there everyday. I did see some hope there…but it was rough… We think we have it bad in the U.S. sometimes… This was life changing. I’m not sure how, yet.
7. Despite some games in pool play that were way too close, USA Basketball got it done in a definitive way.
8. The Closing Ceremonies were one big international party. The closing of the Olympics in Rio and the handoff to Tokyo were both a lot of fun. (Including an appearance by Super Mario.) It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Nobody wanted to leave. Or, at least, nobody in our group wanted to.
There is lot more that I could post but I have to get back to work. May post a “Part 2” in the future.