Mark 12:41-44

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.

Here’s one of the 50 that you may recognize:

The Widow’s Offering
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 
42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 
44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

 

Mark 12:41-44

 

I’ll make it

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.”

Scottsdale Bible Church: The Irony of Losing

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.

Adjustments | The Irony of Losing from Scottsdale Bible Church on Vimeo.

This week in cloud computing

As a certified NetSuite ERP consultant, here are a couple articles that caught my eye this week:

  1. TheStreet: Oracle Must Sweeten NetSuite Deal
  2. The Wall Street Journal: Oracle Profit Rises on Cloud Computing Growth
  3. MarketWatch: Oracle earnings clouded by NetSuite acquisition uncertainty
  4. Oracle OpenWorld starts tomorrow.
  5. Slack.com (not an article, just a great site for team collaboration)

Brian Laesch is the key contributor to BrianLaesch.com. His opinions  are his own.

A history of U.S. Presidential drinking habits

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.)

History: Every U.S. President’s Favorite Drink

Happy Labor Day, everybody.

We aren’t here forever

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.

Solid Jim Carrey Commencement Address

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.

2016 Summer Olympics in Rio were a success

rings

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:

  1. 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.
14054131_10157305727540058_4969465980170250337_n
Usain Bolt after winning his first round 100m heat.

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.

2016 Summer Olympic Beach Volleyball
2016 Summer Olympic Beach Volleyball at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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.

13934854_10157254473765058_2493134207669115427_n

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.

14117909_10157296198100058_745257946847527172_n

14068133_10157296196555058_3722855442837895453_n

14021575_10157296195565058_6793958613095465097_n
I was told on the tour that the shape of this bridge does represent something.

5. Track and Field (Athletics) was incredible.

14079806_10157296100075058_1056326548557092327_n

13939322_10157305388955058_7831347952604173864_n

14064254_10157296099035058_8996841235259361446_n

14067681_10157296100305058_2048249401932864296_n

6. I met Kim Jung Un. (Surprisingly, with no security detail… Weird… Oh well.)  Apparently, according to theChive, others did, too: Kim Jong Un had a great time at the Olympics … sort of (10 Photos)

14102233_10157296199255058_3220126068213113246_n

7. Despite some games in pool play that were way too close, USA Basketball got it done in a definitive way.

DeAndre Jordan puts one down against France.
DeAndre Jordan puts one down against France.

14141798_10157305714980058_2855393420964157086_n

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.

2016 Rio Olympic Closing Ceremonies
2016 Rio Olympic Closing Ceremonies

There is lot more that I could post but I have to get back to work.  May post a “Part 2” in the future.

Michael Phelps watched ‘Hoosiers’ for motivation

Just heard an awesome story on the NBC Olympic coverage.  Michael Phelps alternated between watching Olympic coverage and the movie Hoosiers for motivation last night, prior to his record-extending 23rd Olympic medal, and 19th gold medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro tonight.

Hoosiers has always been one of my favorite movies.  And growing up a Midwestern basketball player, in the heart of Illinois, with an entire family of Hoosiers and Indiana connections, it’s always been my favorite sports movie. Hands down.  I grew up as a kid with a framed Hoosiers movie poster on my wall. (My mom was a cheerleader for the 1975–76 Indiana Hoosiers basketball team, led by Bobby Knight, who went 32-0 and won the National Championship.)  My entire family went to IU (except for me).

Hoosiers has always been an inspirational movie for me. It goes without saying that it was pretty cool to hear that Phelps used it as motivation.  If you haven’t seen the classic from David Anspaugh and Angelo Pizzo, I highly recommend it.

Go Team USA.