“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7
Yesterday I was having lunch with my good friend and youth baseball coach extraordinaire Chad Pearman in Cool Springs. We have been friends for a long time so we had our share of “glory days” stories mixed in with 7-year-old baseball strategy. The great thing about conversations with good friends like Chad is there doesn’t have to be any logical connection from one topic to the next. After we dissected the status of the real estate market, Chad decided to go deep.
“You know Brent, we hit the lottery,” said Chad. “For us to be born where we were and to have the parents we did, we hit the lottery.”
Charlie & Beverly Pearman and Junior & Donna High are four of the best parents I know. They all attended Lipscomb University in the early 70’s where they received an impeccable education and were surrounded by friends who are some of the giants in our community today as far as I’m concerned.
Because they had, we had. We have.
“…When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” – Luke 12:48
We have treasure (click here to see just how much you have in comparison to the world). We are educated. We have talents. We have networks. We have jobs and job opportunities. We have church families. We have citizenship in the best country in the world.
Now our challenge is to use that wealth, power, position and privilege that we’ve been given not for ourselves but for the Kingdom. Much has been entrusted. Much is required. May God provide all of us with opportunities to do just that this week.
We hit the lottery!
P.S. Please continue to pray for Sara Pigg Walker. She was diagnosed yesterday, on her birthday, with colon cancer. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you work for a university athletic program, there are certain hazards that come with the occupation. Wins and losses can have a direct impact on how easy or how difficult your job is in a certain week, month or year.
Last night I sat in Belmont’s Curb Events Center and finished my last score update of the night on the Lipscomb Athletics’ Facebook page:
MEN’S BASKETBALL: Belmont 88, Lipscomb 52 FINAL
The women had lost a heartbreaker earlier in the evening. Then in front of a full house and a national television audience on ESPN, the men got blown out of the gym. The 36-point loss was Lipscomb’s worst in the 127-game, 58-year rivalry between Lipscomb and Belmont. It was terrible. It was embarrassing. No one could possibly be having a worse day.
Then I read Sara Pigg Walker’s Facebook status:
biopsy indicates malignancy. CT revealed colon abnormalities. Colonoscopy tomorrow (fun prep today!), PET scan of my whole body on Wednesday. Back to onc MD next Thursday (my birthday) for diagnosis and treatment options. Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold I am the God of all flesh, is there anything too hard for me?”
Last Friday I shared Sara’s story with you. Her baby girl was stillborn at 37 weeks the first month of December after a healthy pregnancy with absolutely no warning. Then last week doctors discovered multiple spots on her liver which led her to this week of tests and waiting and finally the news she received yesterday.
Earlier in the day Friday my friend (and former Bison basketball player) Rob Browne sent an update on his wife Traci who is battling breast cancer. She had just completed her sixth, and hopefully final, chemotherapy treatment. Now she’ll deal with three weeks of side effects and waiting until she finds out if radiation is in her immediate future.
Lord, please help me to keep proper perspective. Thank you for the lessons you are teaching me through your warriors Sara and Traci who have the “even if He does not” faith of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego we read about in Daniel chapter 3. Help them see the eternal difference you are making in others through their faith. In Jesus name, amen.
* If you would like to send Sara a note of encouragement, her email address is email@example.com.
* If you would like to send Traci a note of encouragement, her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
As most of you read this, sometime between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Friday morning, Sara Walker will be receiving test results from an oncologist (the less alarming name for cancer doctor) in Nashville. Earlier this week, after a trip to the emergency room, doctors discovered multiple spots on her liver.
The rest of the story is that Brian and Sara were expecting to bring a healthy baby girl home from the hospital just before Christmas. Tragically, with no warning, Anna Elizabeth Walker was stillborn the first week of December, a full 37 weeks into the pregnancy.
Sara is in her early 30’s. Sara, her husband Brian and their two boys, Camden and Scott, attend the same congregation we do – Brentwood Hills Church of Christ in Nashville. Sara’s sister, Dinah Hall, and brother, Michael Pigg, are friends of ours as well.
Sara and her family are asking everyone everywhere to lift up their family in prayer, specifically between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. this morning. Dinah shared the verse below from Matthew in one of her latest emails.
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22
If you would like to send Sara a note of encouragement, her email address is email@example.com.
Lord, come back soon.
Some of the most powerful lessons you learn in life are unplanned.
On December 17th and 18th Coach Don Meyer, Lipscomb University’s former basketball coach, and Buster Olney from ESPN came to Lipscomb for a luncheon and two days of book signing. Olney’s book, How Lucky You Can Be – The Story of Coach Don Meyer, is in its fifth printing and doing very well nationally.
I had worked on promoting the visit and coordinating with our campus bookstore on how many books they should have on hand for purchase. I planned on helping Coach and Buster get set up and then go about my normal business. What actually ended up happening I could have never predicted and I would never trade.
Far more people showed up for the book signings than we ever dreamed. The line stretched out into the concourse both days. It was always 60-70 people long and never seemed to shrink. Someone bringing in one book to be signed was rare. Most brought at least two. Some brought five, six, 11, 36 at a time.
I decided to jump in and do whatever I could to help speed up the line. For over 16 hours over those two days I opened over 1,100 books to the title page, asked each person in line who they wanted their book personalized to, wrote the names on post-it notes and then handed them to Coach and Buster to sign.
I had the easy job.
From 11:30 a.m. to almost 9:30 p.m. on Friday and 5 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Coach and Buster wrote a personalized note in each and every book. Coach’s notes were in cursive writing, usually 3-4 sentences in length. Every note was different. If he knew the person in line the note was very personal in nature. If he didn’t know the person in line he asked enough questions until he could get an angle for his note. Then he signed his name.
What he did next was unprecedented at any book signing I’ve ever attended or read about. Under his name, Coach wrote out four scripture references in each and every book.
Throughout the two days I picked up little pieces of the puzzle as to why he picked those four verses.
“If we humble ourselves, God will lift us up,” said Coach. “If we do His job for Him, He’ll do ours for us.”
Coach made it clear that he had written the four references in the order he had written them on purpose.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” – James 4:10
“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” – Luke 14:11
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” – James 3:13
“Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.” – Ecclesiastes 5:19-20
Coach has every reason to be bitter, to withdraw and basically give up who he’s been for the last 65 years. The wreck, the amputated left leg, the countless follow-up surgeries, the cancer and the fatigue associated with it that forced him to leave the profession he loved would be easy scapegoats.
Instead, he continues to teach and coach – just sometimes in unplanned ways he doesn’t even realize.
Coach, thank you for helping make an eternal difference!
* If you’d like to send Coach Meyer a note of encouragement, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. He will be speaking at a men’s prayer breakfast at Brentwood Hills Church of Christ in Nashville next Saturday, January 8 at 7 a.m. To RSVP for that event, please call 615-832-2541. He is also scheduled to conduct a seminar on leadership on Tuesday, September 6th in Nashville. For more information on that event, please email email@example.com.
Happy New Year!